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Peter Swinkels
Thu, Jul 19, 2018, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Doctor's Orders

Nitpick:
Traveling a quarter light year in ten weeks? At SUBLIGHT?!
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Peter
Sun, Jul 15, 2018, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

PS:
Archer can be pretty amoral when it suits him. Not good for a Star Trek captain.
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Peter
Sun, Jul 15, 2018, 3:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

I was worried that clone would act according to his biological age rather than his chronological age ... and when the episode indeed went that route it lost all credibility for me. Memory from DNA or super fast learning? ABSURD!
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Peter Swinkels
Fri, Jul 13, 2018, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: The Shipment

Good episode. Nitpick that isn’t important to the story but that moon seemed awfully close to the planet with the facility. Could it maintain a stable orbit? What about tides? While minor Star Trek could make itself that much more close to being mostly sci rather than fi by paying more attention to such details.
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Peter
Thu, Jul 12, 2018, 5:44am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Anomaly

Nice episode. Nitpick: how nice of those pirates to not secure their computer files. Never heard of access restrictions or encryption I guess. Why allow remote access through radio when it isn’t absolutely necessary anyway? Trek often happily assumes that all aliens will have compatible poorly secured computers. Yeah, I know artistic license and whatever.
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Peter
Thu, Jul 12, 2018, 5:36am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Extinction

To add to the fun with DNA crap:
One crew member asks why the virus wasn’t programmed to stop when the alien population was replenished. Excuse me?! How the f*** is a virus going to do a census? The mutation happens absurdly fast and you CANNOT ENCODE AN ENTIRE LANGUAGE IN DNA! Oh well, I guess Enterprise has to bombard those new to Trek with the usual incoherent fantasy nonsense too.
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Peter
Wed, Jul 11, 2018, 11:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: And the Children Shall Lead

No argument here about this being easily among the worst episodes of the franchise. But I found certain elements bothered me that haven’t been mentioned yet.

Re: the crew’s fears: I get that Sulu’s vision of space knives is symbolic. His actual fear is making some mistake at the helm that causes damage or destruction of the Enterprise. Likewise, Uhura’s fear is death and painful disease, and not specifically ugliness. Okay.

But since when is Kirk’s biggest fear losing command? I would have thought, from many previous episodes, his greatest fear is the death of his crew and destruction of the ship, as he clearly feels responsible for the safety of both. Making him out to be someone who cannot stand the loss of power, even for a few minutes, does a disservice to the character.

A less important issue is the costuming. Normally I like what William Thiess did, even though he never met a pastel jumpsuit he didn’t like, but he really phoned it in on this one. The alien is dressed in some kind of shiny plastic tent meant to obscure his body. It looks weird with a normal-looking older guy’s head perched on top. Weird as in ridiculous rather than eerie. Contrast that tonthe aliens of Talos IV in the pilot, with their pulsing distended skulls and shiny robes, to see how an alien could be done well even back then. But the kid’s costumes are the worst of all. Like Theis decided to use some curtain fabrics to make pajamas for each of them.
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Peter G.
Wed, Jul 11, 2018, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

This is one where I diverge from probably most posters here, as I always - since day one of its airing - thought it was annoying at best. It continues the trend of Doc being treated as sentient and yet acting less and less in a way that interests me as a viewer. I'm supposed to find him an intriguing character to watch on a weekly basis when his activities include maligning his crew with a ridiculous story and then playing dumb like a con man? It's like watching Living Witness but in bizarro world, where the Doc is dead-set on making the Voyager crew look terrible. Is that how far the character is supposed to have come in these years? How petty. For how it plays I'd rate the episode lowly, but for the pure betrayal factor it makes the episode actively aggravating, and so deserves zero.
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Peter
Tue, Jul 10, 2018, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Bounty

Typos, grrr. That's "headed" not "heated".
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Peter
Tue, Jul 10, 2018, 4:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Bounty

Ok, I think you definately have issues with sex here. I just KNEW you were going to be hard on this episode because of T'Pol's pon far thing. To me it was just vaguely amusing and nothing more. Juvenile and wannabe? Perhaps, but like you said that's what you get with TV-PG. I'm prettymuch certain that people a lot younger than you or me also watch Star Trek. To them this whole pon far thing may be much more than annoying, amusing, or juvenile. I don't know. Perhaps you should find something with a higher rating to watch? Maybe I will go look for a less hot heated reviewer with sex related issues.
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Peter G.
Fri, Jul 6, 2018, 12:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@ Rahul,

"Regarding the ratings -- I think a 2.5* episode is a decent outing -- and will definitely have some strong points, which are worth highlighting (as this one has). But such episodes don't strike me as great (3* and higher). They either aren't ambitious enough or have some flaws (perhaps too much suspension of disbelief, poor premise/writing/acting etc.) I don't think I'd have too many "excellent" comments for a 2* episode as it is largely bordering on mediocrity with enough flaws creeping in and I'm sure I'd have enough criticisms leveled at it."

I was just curious to know what your system translated to in terms of "good", "decent", "very good" and so forth. If *** to you is "great" then that's not what I would have expected but it makes me understand your various ratings much better. In that case I can see giving this one a rating just shy of 'great', as it is.

For my part I don't usually think in terms of ratings but using the 'Jammer scale' I usually think of less than *** as meaning it's not such a good ep at all, although it may have some positive points.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 5, 2018, 9:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@ Rahul,

"One thing I don't get is why Worf would go to such great extent to help Quark impress Grilka. Worf can barely tolerate the Ferengi and just because of his beaten down status can't court Grilka -- seems quite forced to me that he should go to extraordinary lengths to help Quark. But I think a good point is made about Worf's inability to court a Klingon woman. When has he really done it? K'Ehleyr from TNG was different. So maybe that's his motivation here. "

It's pretty much stated outright in one scene by Worf "So I don't know about Klingon women, eh?" Once he knows there's no chance with her the rest in an ego trip to prove he had what it took. And that fits in perfectly with what Dax tells him later on, that he's thinking of a woman of being a statue on a pedestal rather than a real person right in front of him. He doesn't even want Grilka, not really; he wants the idea of her. While in the meantime he doesn't even notice someone right in front of him who's desirable but not what he pictured in his head. And this isn't some kind of "best friend" scenario where he just doesn't see Dax that way - actually he sort of does! In an early episode she tells him a joke in Klingon, which he agrees with, which translates to the fact that she's good looking. So really his problem wasn't that he didn't see her, but rather that he didn't understand that a woman isn't an object to win but someone to actually care about. And although the Klingons talk a good game about 'winning' a woman the reality is always a bit less dramatic than that.

Incidentally, Rahul, I guess I'll just observe that I've noticed a number of times where every comment in a review of yours is an item of praise, often using words like "great" or "excellent", and after seemingly reflecting glowingly on the episode the final rating is ** or **1/2. Any reason why the final rating is sometimes so harsh compared with the things that struck you as being successful about the ep?
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 5, 2018, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

One thing the candle issue has brought to my attention is Joseph's punishment for stealing a single candle. Not only does it seem like Alixus has allocated resources unequally and deliberately keeps down 'the poor' with punishment, but there's more: his punishment is extremely harsh, and I always took it for granted that the colony simply used draconian punishment for crime of any magnitude. But what if he stole the candle *from Alixus* specifically? And - reaching a little bit - what if he stole it from her out of spite rather than need, as a form of rebellion? It could be interpreted as showing that some of them had a problem with her even before Sisko showed up. The severity of the punishment would be a bit more understandable if seen as being her revenge against someone who stood up to her in some form.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 5, 2018, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

Sorry, mid-2nd paragraph should read "It doesn't require showing she's 'more equal than others'..."
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 5, 2018, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

@ William B,

"No mention of a huge number of candles, and the stage direction seems to suggest the opposite interpretation -- that Alixus is the Real Deal, that she *does* hold herself to the same standards as everyone else, etc."

It's an interesting observation but when creating a show design you'll rarely stick to what's literally on the printed page. Unless the director is already the writer, or in some cases where the writing is *extremely* meticulous and precise (like a David Mamet script), it's the director's job to realize the script and covert it from an idea into a reality. Adding something not in the script is ideally a means of enhancing what's there, although you're right that in principle directing with a poor script could involve going against the writer's intentions.

In this case, however, I find it essentially inconceivable that the writer intended for Alixus to be the 'real deal' and legitimately respectable within the confines of her own philosophy. She whored out one of her own people to Sisko, engaged in torture, and lied to everyone about the reason for them being there. It doesn't showing she's'more equal than others' (to quote Orwell) to show that she's a villain. I don't disagree that it's a nice directoral touch, however I scarcely think that she would magically come out looking good if she was seen to be working to the light of one meagre candle. Being willing to make things crappy for yourself doesn't somehow smooth over treating others like slaves. In terms of simplicity, though,I frankly don't think it was necessary for her to be portrayed as Napolean from Animal Farm to demonstrate how morally bankrupt she was.
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Peter G.
Thu, Jul 5, 2018, 11:51am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

@ Chrome et al.

"That said, I do agree that Sisko's message should've benefited someone on the planet more than this episode shows. In the end, the gesture is more for the audience's benefit. Sisko is a hero to us because of his actions, but he's not really a hero to this village, at least, not from their point of view."

I still think this general interpretation hinges on the premise that it was a cult, which by our usage implies "baaaaad!" But I'm 99.9% sure what the writers intended was to show that Alixus was correct in her philosophy even though she was personally corrupt and a megalomaniac. I think the takeaway isn't that the colonist were brainwashed or stupid, because then Jacob's statements become meaningless - and that's not how the acting and directing portrayed the ending scene. Rather, the takeaway is supposed to be that it's quite true that something of primal living has been lost in the Federation's sterile and cushy life, *but* that it also isn't reasonably possible to get it back. And it may even be implied that the trade-off is worth it (but this point is perhaps more controversial and should have been addressed more in the episode). Alixus' mistake was in *insisting* on getting back the more primal way of life despite the fact that in a technological future it's very hard to find a way to implement that in practice. Who would sit idly by a let a child die when a comm unit could summon a medical ship? Probably very few would want to do that, and yet that doesn't mean Alixus is wrong that on an every-day basis the life the colonist were leading wasn't better than what they had before. I believe they're being quite honest when they say they prefer the simple life on this planet. I don't see the need to cynically reject this element of the episode and over-focus on Alixus' faults. Yes, she was bad, but that doesn't mean that her intellectual observations are therefore bogus.

The ending isn't supposed to be about Sisko saving anyone from living a horrible life, and so the lack of anyone being "saved" isn't a flaw. The point is that Sisko helped them to remove a tyrant who was controlling them. The benefit to them is obvious, and I'm sure they're grateful for his help. That doesn't mean they have to give up everything they believe in to prove it.
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Peter G.
Tue, Jul 3, 2018, 4:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part I

I had a thought just now about Riker's insubordination. I do believe he was out of line, however I think I'd failed to take something into account before when considering how he played his position. James04 brought it to my attention when mentioning Riker's "offhand" manner when Jellico came to his quarters, almost as if he wasn't paying due respect to a Captain.

The thing is, Riker should have been a Captain multiple times over. He saved the Federation single-handed and everyone knows it. The *only* reason he doesn't have the rank of Captain is that he knows he'd rather serve under Picard than command his own ship. But that doesn't mean he'd rather serve under just anyone. When back when he had the decision to make to accept one or more commands, if the Federation had told Riker that if he stayed as XO on the Enterprise it would be under Jellico I'm sure he'd have accepted his own command. So losing Picard here isn't just a father-issue thing. It's the fact that Riker by all accounts *basically is* a Captain except in name, and that's only because there's no realistic way he could have been promoted to Captain but remained on Picard's crew. Starfleet just doesn't work like that (or at least not anymore, since Kirk seemed to be surrounded by Captains by the time the films wrapped up).

So maybe Riker's behavior is a *little* more warranted than I had thought. After all, it's ridiculous to treat him as if he's a lowly whipping boy when he has all the accreditation, experience, and command understanding that a Captain has, and the skills to boot, as well as respect far and wide (even from the likes of Shelby). Treating him like just another XO to boss around is completely within Jellico's prerogative, except that Riker is uniquely exceptional. There isn't likely to be another Commander in Starfleet with his resume and accomplishments. Jellico may be right not to like him or want him as his XO. Frankly he shouldn't be anyone's XO, he should be a Captain, and it's silly (objectively speaking) that he isn't. So here we have a bit of a rock and a hard place, where a Commander who 'deserves' to be treated like a Captain is faced with a Captain who frankly doesn't give a damn and needs people who will obey orders swiftly and without objection. In a way RIker is right to demand the respect that he deserves, and to owe subservience as such only to Picard. On the other hand that's not how the chain of command works, and there's no room in the command structure for people to have 'unofficial rank'.

The more I think of it the more this feels like an ill-fated pairing rather than anyone being totally wrong. I still think Riker is more wrong, and overall find little to no fault in Jellico, but looking at the series as a whole it doesn't feel like Riker is so off-base as I had previously thought,
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Peter
Tue, Jul 3, 2018, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

Let’s see here, first: to each his own opinion. Next: to me the episode wasn’t great and definitely had a few weak spots such as acting that seemed a bit off. However I didn’t think it was awful either. 1.5 stars out of 4 feels just about right.
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Peter Swinkels
Sun, Jul 1, 2018, 7:04am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Seventh

Don’t have much to say about the plot. Nitpicks: how the hell can an icy moon where it snows ACID have a breathable atmosphere?! That acid was obviously so dangerous people could casually walk around while it fell onto their bare heads. Couldn’t the acid have worked to the story’s advantage if taken more seriously? Also, what do you dobwhen you have a station on a barren moon with acidic snow? Why you completely ignore fire safety of course! What else would a smart manager do?
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Peter Swinkels
Sat, Jun 30, 2018, 6:40am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Marauders

Hmmm, I am getting the impression that Star Trek Enterprise is mainly aiming for a younger audience than the reviewer or me (38). As far I can tell there is a lot of rather violent stuff out there in movies in games. Things also appear to have gotten faster paced and more intense. Part if this may be just be me getting old :-) ahem. Personally I don't mind something quiet and not so violent. While I have no problem with young audiences being exposed to sometimes rather intense and violent stuff per se, I certainly don't think it hurts to balance it with tamer stuff. Or perhaps I am just rambling. Whatever.
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Debra Petersen
Fri, Jun 29, 2018, 10:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Rejoined

Definitely a strong episode, but I do question Jadzia's apparent willingness to reject her responsibility to the Dax symbiont. Oh there's no question her feelings for Lenara would cause her a great deal of conflict. But if she should pursue her desire to stay with Lenara, that means her action would be directly responsible for the death of Dax. How could she deal with that? And Sisko...when Jadzia comes to him for some "friendly" advice he starts putting it to her pretty strongly about that responsibility. But he winds up going back on that and giving in to the "feelings above all" argument. So why is this aspect of the situation dismissed that way?
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Peter
Fri, Jun 29, 2018, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

One star? More like zero. Archer here is an overly emotional hot-head. He should not have taken his dog down to the surface. I'm a dog owner and if my dog does something she shouldn't while I'm visiting someone I would feel responsible and apologize. At least that's what a sensible person would do in my view. Yes, I get that he's under of a lot of stress and his dog being sick doesn't help, however he is the CAPTAIN of a STAR SHIP, even if he's a little inexperienced he should be capable of being a little more mature. Oh, and nice job of turning Phlox into a clown...
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Peter Swinkels
Thu, Jun 28, 2018, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

Just one question: Why would T'Pol's age be classified?
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 28, 2018, 2:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

@ Mallory,

"it sounds like Worf and Dax have been having a pretty wild time in bed. If he's still grumpy after all that, Dax should realize that there's just no hope for him"

Since it's a given that there's no lack of enjoyment for them in the relationship maybe it should be taken as a given that his problem has nothing to do with his ability to 'have fun'...
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Peter G.
Thu, Jun 28, 2018, 11:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

@ Chrome,

"I think you’re merging Worf’s point with the extremist’s point, but the episode itself tells us that Worf was never really that interested in what the Fundamentalists were saying, but just using that as a tool to get Jadzia’s attention so she’d take him and his desire to discuss their relationship seriously. This is reinforced by Worf turning on a dime after Fullerton takes things too far leading to Worf knocking out Fullerton and dropping the Fundamentalist view. "

As I mentioned, I think the episode did a bad job showing how Worf *did* agree with their message to an extent. The way it plays it ends up looking like Worf is 100% wrong (and Jadzia 100% right), which therefore means his support of Fullerton was BS. But it shouldn't have been BS, and earlier in the episode it didn't seem at all like his agreement with them was BS. And frankly their argument simply *isn't* BS in the first place, whether or not their actions were justified. So better writing would have made it clear that they had a valid point to make even though resorting to scare tactics is the wrong way to go, much like how Admiral Leyton was wrong in Paradise Lost even though he was right that the President wasn't prepared to take necessary steps against the Dominion.

@ William B,

That's close to what I was trying to say, I think. The idea should have been that each was resisting the relationship in different ways and they needed to see more of each other's needs rather than just ride on their own hang-ups. Worf's side of the argument especially needed bolstering because of the setting. It's totally crazy to give a balance view of their disagreement while in a place dedicated to licentiousness and basically cheating on your partner. If I was in such a place with a significant other and she wandered off with a previous lover I would flip out, no question about it. There is simply no answer to that in "her side" of the argument, and so to me Worf's concern about her seriousness isn't merely 'a point' but is of critical importance. How could she be so inconsiderate about her partner to do such a thing unless she literally doesn't care? At least that's how it looks from the outside, so to me she has a lot of explaining to do to justify that. Maybe something about having lived 7 lifetimes and Worf just doesn't understand how much stability that gives her compared to confused people who *look* her age. There could be something to that - that she warrants more trust than others would in her position, but the episode never makes that case. If anything the series in general seems to be saying that she's actually *more* impulsive than normal, in which case he should be doubly worried. To me the episode's major failing, if I had to name one, would be that this is never justified and Jadzia comes off to me looking like she's stringing Worf along and he'd better just deal with it because she's going to do whatever she likes anyhow. This comes back with a vengeance in "Your are Cordially Invited" when it's made clear that she's acting out on all sorts of entitlement in general. But in this episode that's left out completely.
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