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Picard Maneuver
Sat, May 9, 2020, 2:06am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

This episode is worth it just for Frakes' impression of Stewart for Captain Picard Day.

Something with the admirals in this show, they always seem to just order ships around on their own. Blackwell says she's postponing the quasar study. Um, okay. Just you? Does your boss know about this? Then later Riker is shocked when Pressman tells him higher ups are aware of the mission parameters. I realize that we're supposed to be surprised that some sort of rogue attache is forming but honestly I can't tell the difference from normal Starfleet Command behavior.

I've always wondered if there was a Starfleet Command hierarchy or once you reach some kind of admiral, eh, it doesn't really matter, just contact any ship and tell them to do whatever. It seems the Enterprise should only hear from one or, at most, two admirals: their regional rear admiral and maybe a higher rank when something major is going down, like a Borg invasion. It's strange that they're bossed around by what seems like at least half a dozen of these guys. It's like Office Space of the 24th century.

Also, I think it's funny that a handful of episodes since the space ecology one, Picard is authorized to exceed mandated warp speed limits.

Ensign Gates speaks! Finally! And doesn't get paid for it! At least she has a name now.

Finally, a S7 episode that doesn't feel cheap. I liked the effects with Riker's rib healing and the interaction with the asteroid. The asteroids outside the ship's windows in the interior shots don't stand the test of time but probably looked fine on NTSC.

Anyway, this is a good episode and has the kind of stuff I previously mentioned other recent episodes lacking: quandaries and arguments. Finally there is something to weigh and having good reasons for both sides. The biggest flaw is not giving Pressman's side more credence: it makes a lot of sense to develop such a technology. It'd make a lot of sense for Picard to never make admiral as a result of this incident, despite doing the "right" thing. If war happens, the Klingons are always up for killing Romulans. They'd probably be grateful the Federation made space less boring.

It kinda feels like this episode was backported from DS9. Except if it were there Pressman would be played by Sisko. He's be the good guy and punch the Picard character, who was obviously wrong. That's why he was punched.

It seems a stretch that the Enterprise could be so easily retrofitted to do the phase cloaking thing. I'd have to imagine that's something a ship would need to be designed for from top to bottom, not just sticking a plastic tube into the engine. Speaking of DS9, I like the aspect that the Defiant wasn't specifically designed for cloaking having consequences, e.g. its dense power output leaking out of the cloak.
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Picard Maneuver
Sat, May 2, 2020, 3:55am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Parallels

The continuity staff must have breathed easy with this one. "Hey wasn't Sirtis previously wearing boots and not heels? And didn't she have more rouge?"

"Nah, that was in an alternate universe, boss."

Speaking of Troi, I always felt there was more chemistry between Sirtis and Dorn in this episode than there was with the entirety of scenes with Frakes. I'm not saying it's the greatest thing ever, just that Sirtis X Frakes isn't just cold as ice; it's heat death of the universe. On Riker, glad to see a cameo of the version form "Genesis" on the Borg-beaten Enterprise.

I forgot there was a Wil Wheaton episode left before he returned to being Perfect Boy and becoming Literal Space Jesus. Good thing Alexander was gone. The universe may have imploded having both of them on simultaneously.

Regarding the other Worfs, it seemed obvious to me they were also sliding around. That's why Data and Picard of the "correct" universe knew exactly what was going on when they answered the "current" universe's hail 30 seconds after the fact. Also, we see two sickbays investigating the same thing, so we know there were at least two misplaced Worfs. Otherwise he would warped to a different location and would have to track down Geordi again. Of course, this also meant at least two Worfs dropped the ball at the tactical station. I think they never explained why the visor made him quantum leap.

It'd be funny if in one of the parallel universes, Worf gets so startled by the surprise party he goes into fight-or-flight mode and bat'leths the party-goers. I guess he can't kill that lady helmsman who is in every episode, though. By virtue of not being paid to shout "Surprise!" she should be spared.
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Picard Maneuver
Sat, May 2, 2020, 1:33am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

I like how Data can just pull medical records. I guess they don't have HIPPA in the 24th century.

Totally agree with the above suggestion that Data's mother be played by Spiner in drag. Why not? He already did it a season ago in "A Fistful of Datas".

I think a reason this episode and so many of the "out of gas" later episodes don't resonate is that they're so one-sided with just-so decision storytelling. The more fondly remembered Trek has quandaries and arguments. It's why people like "Measure of a Man" so much. Even "Best of Both Worlds", which is primarily an action-packed special effects extravaganza, has a bunch of arguing where everyone has a good point. In S7 TNG, everyone just goes along with whoever is talking at the moment. It wouldn't surprise me if Data proposed shutting down Android Mom for study and Picard and Crusher said, "Whatever you say, Data. It's your choice." It'd be funny if that happened, though.

It's a good thing that the cast became very comfortable with each other over time, but I think it bled into the scripts and made them too homey. This episode feels like it belonged on something like Highway to Heaven, Touched by an Angel, or Quantum Leap.
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Picard Maneuver
Thu, Apr 30, 2020, 2:40am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

I guess it makes for a better shot, but boy does it look awkward when two people crawl through the Jefferies tubes side-by-side; Burton was crammed into the wall. Spiner was having some difficulty supporting himself as he crawled in the final shots; I'm wondering how long the filming was for these scenes. I think I'd rather not have them than to be reminded that Data is not an actual android. Otherwise, I didn't mind the Spot subplot. Sometimes TNG does humor well, and I thought this was one of them. "This is down. Down is good. This is up. Up is no."

This episode checks a number of TNG standards: starts off with a meeting almost immediately, something is considered an act of waaarrr, and something will fail in some hours (though no minutes and seconds this time). All that's really missing is an alien threat that they're given a long, arbitrary amount of "your earth hours" to consider.

Continuing on the trend of cheaping out, we never see the Fleming or anyone who was on board it. These levels of cutbacks make it difficult to invest in the tension of the rescue mission. The guest stars' heavily compressed screen time was also conspicuous. Effectively the episode's climax was the rift's creation. It's possible this episode would have been better off with more Spot footage instead of a soulless (literally) rescue.

Despite the simplistic and heavy-handed political messaging, I liked this episode's (attempted) contribution to the lore. I believe Roddenbery's mandate that technology basically be magic is a mistake. I love the concept of "equivalent exchange" in fictional systems, where even mundane actions have consequences of some sort. It's just too bad after paying lip service, no one really cares and they just continue warp 9ing everywhere all the time.

Actually, this episode's implications are rather realistic, if ironic. Despite the attempt, they actually indict themselves more than their targets of criticism. The opposition don't actually believe the claims; the most you can go for is to accuse them of willful ignorance or self-delusion. These guys on the other hand do buy into the claims and keep on regardless. Which, again, is ironically realistic.
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Picard Maneuver
Wed, Apr 29, 2020, 11:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Attached

I definitely agree that the characterization was likely ad hoc. There is also this phenomenon with late stage TV shows to start romantically pairing characters together, often out of the blue.

I don't hold Gates McFadden responsible. Even if her input did affect the character it's up to the show runners to keep things on track. I have a feeling she just did what the script told her to, but I dunno. I don't know why they didn't do what they will do with Worf and Troi and just have Picard break out some of his brother's champagne and have Crusher not refuse the invitation.
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Picard Maneuver
Wed, Apr 29, 2020, 2:49am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Attached

The Federation requiring the elimination of all uncooperative assholes before joining must have produced some rather undesired results by this point. It'd be a problem especially when the "assholes" are 33% of the population and the other 67% want "unification". Add futuristic weaponry to the mix and it just gets worse. It's not even an illogical course of action. Access to the Federation or similar entity would increase a planet's prosperity multiple fold. It'd be an easy decision for an ambitious leader to make "the future" happen by any means necessary. We don't even need a crystal ball to know this.

I feel like the nerfing of Worf continues. Now he's filling in for Chief O'Brien. It's hard to believe such a low position is possible! He's not very good at the job, either. You'd think it would be standard procedure to verify the transport but Worf figures, eh, it probably worked, and walks away in the middle.

I like how Picard just chucks his coat the moment it temporarily gets hot. Things like that are pretty handy in survivalist situations. Even if not for him, surely the skinny, middle-aged doctor might get cold at night.

So Picard and Crusher can suddenly communicate telepathically and Troi is nowhere to be found.

Every episode the music merges more with DS9's.

They turned Crusher into a real cocktease in this episode. There are the increasingly extravagant breakfast dates (that aren't really dates). She plays coy when Picard lays out his feelings (at her insistence!) and then admits, oh yeah, I guess I did notice you were pining over me for two decades. In the final scene she dresses sexy (by Trek standards) and eggs Picard on some more with the "Penny for your thoughts". Picard finally takes the bait after so much prodding and lays out a full confession. Then she rejects him and flees his quarters. LOL! I guess they wanted to keep the will-they-won't-they alive but to do it they turned Crusher into the kind of manipulative, soul-crushing woman that men are warned about.
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Picard Maneuver
Tue, Apr 28, 2020, 3:01am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Dark Page

Auntie Mame has a sad.

I dreaded this episode but it's actually not as bad as I remembered. However, it's very cheap feeling in that they obviously didn't want to construct new sets, utilize the "rocky planet" set, or film on location. As a result, we see Lwaxana's memories from the perspective of the Enterprise, which makes absolutely no sense. The scene with Deanna's father was the only scene that looked remotely different and all they did was use a standard crew quarters, put some toys in it, and replace the starfield background with some trees. It's downright confusing when they reuse the arboretum set and claim it's a different place. It's not like I'm remembering the set from a different episode, it was 20 minutes ago! It looks like a mini-golf course to boot, which really doesn't set the mood they're going for.

What happened to Kestra, anyway? The dog gets away and then what? She drowns? With no screaming or thrashing or the dog yelping? She can't swim at all? How long was Lwaxana distracted? An hour? The girl was like 11 years old. You generally need a credible threat to explain the loss of a child that age. SIDS doesn't cut it.

Marina Sirtis is a terrible actress but she actually hit the right notes in this episode. The bit about her thinking her dead dad would be mad at her mom for packing his things away is one of her better performances. She was also convincing when conversing with her father's apparition. I was impressed she did her own jumping stunt.

I've always wondered, is it normal for adults to keep journals/personal logs? Everyone in this show does it, but otherwise it seems something little girls do and grow out of by the time they start dating. It also seems weird that Captain Picard would just sit down and start reading Troi's logs, even if her life depended on it.

They went backwards with the telepathic alien guy: they introduced him as a character and then turned him into a MacGuffin by the middle of the episode.

The turbolift extra in the beginning should have gotten a credit. He was great.

Thanks to these comments I can't unsee Mitt Romney.

It's a solid meh from me. I actually think there was something here but it needed script work and better production. People use the term "out of gas" to describe S7 but episodes like this make me think they were actually skating by on the show's reputation and cheaping out on production costs. At the very least clearly the competence-lacking B-team was in charge.
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Picard Maneuver
Sun, Apr 26, 2020, 2:20am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Phantasms

I always called this "the cellular peptide cake episode". It looks like I'm not alone.

The ensign hitting on LaForge is very cute. Don't know why he isn't interested, especially since he strikes out at every other opportunity with more boring women who aren't as attractive. She's even perceptive and runs interference with Picard. She's a keeper. You suck, LaForge.

Great atmosphere in this one. The far above comment about it being "Lynchian" is spot on. Also, regarding the comment directly above mine, I don't think Ten Forward ever looked more interesting. Usually it's shot so flat and bland. The direction (and lighting) was actually pretty good in general.
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Picard Maneuver
Sat, Apr 25, 2020, 1:22am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Gambit

In which we see why Riker doesn't have his own ship. It's pretty obvious it's his job to give the eulogy but instead he whines and pouts. We need Tom back. Mirina Sirtis delivers a performance of a lifetime here. I didn't say it was a good performance.

I love in the phaser fight while they're abducting the unconscious Riker, they just stand there out in the open while Worf and the others look absolutely baffled. That is the time for everybody to shoot at the same spot all at once.

Sondra Huxtable is a worse actress than I remember.

I wonder if they gave Picard a goatee then would Riker be convinced he was evil mirror universe Picard? You can tell Patrick Stewart had fun as Galen. Richard Lynch was great, too. Someone like James Worthy should have played Kahless instead of the pudgy dwarf.

I realize the setup is a little forced--Worf is being unrealistically petulant--but Data's dressing down is a favorite of mine from the series.

Loved the ragdoll physics with the Vulkan weapon. 10/10 would Havok Engine again.

Anyway, loved these episodes as a kid and feel they hold up pretty well. And that's on their own. In the context of the closing of season 6 and season 7 so far this is a masterpiece.

LOL @ Jay's comment about Baran looking like the Lion heading to Oz. Not sure I'll be able to unsee from now on. Richard Lynch could probably do a decent "wuuuuff" too.
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Picard Maneuver
Wed, Apr 22, 2020, 2:15am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Interface

P.S. James Earl Jones as Father LaForge would have been great, too, but that would have been a big get even for the last season of TNG.
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Picard Maneuver
Wed, Apr 22, 2020, 2:07am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Interface

Three stars, huh? I remember detesting this episode, even more than the season 1 schlock people tend to bring up. With the unexpectedly high rating, I figure I'd go in with an open mind.

As much as I rag on the wardrobe in this show, Geordi's VR suit is cool despite its cheap construction and holds up much better in high definition than most of the costumes. The bright color tubing is a little much, though. They probably looked more muted on the NTSC broadcast. Geordi looked looked good with the milky eyes and the VR-visor interconnect prop. So what does he see, anyway? If it's conventional vision, it's gotta be rather alien to him given his visor's vision is like an LSD trip.

How'd his hands get burned, anyway? How'd they get burned?! HOW'D THEY GET BURNED?!

Riker looks weird sitting at the science console. It's like he's having a time out or something.

I don't know why, but I get a kick out of the main engineering seats being average office chairs.

Well, open mind and all, I guess this isn't the worst episode in the catalog, but it's in the ballpark. Terrible pacing and lame, unsatisfying mystery. 1.5 stars at best from me and probably worse than that. After crapping on the past few episodes, I'm looking forward to Gambit. I remember liking that one a lot.

It's funny to see Kunta Kinte's wife play his mother in this episode. Points deducted for not casting John Amos as Father LaForge instead of Ben Vereen.

"Why Geordi/probe doesn't have a visor makes no sense, BTW."

From what I understand, LaVar Burton was really bitching about wearing the visor by this point, especially since it had no storytelling purpose. It's kind of ironic that when his vision is finally a relevant plot point the visor has almost nothing to do with it. Not sure he thought it out that far but it'd a nice passive-aggressive middle finger if he did when (likely) insisting his avatar have real sight.
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Picard Maneuver
Tue, Apr 21, 2020, 2:02am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Liaisons

I have trouble suspending disbelief with this episode. It feels like a prank show where the audience is supposed to be in on it, like we're supposed to be laughing at the Enterprise crew for buying into everything. Picard's segments are like the Yandere Simulator of the early 90s.

You'd think by season 7 they'd be able to hire an actual wardrobe person but, no, the producer's cat lady aunt is still dressing everybody. Just as well, this feels like a season 1 episode, so I guess nothing is out of place.

I love the look the kid gives his mother (or whoever it is) when the alien is manhandling him. Also loved the glutinous alien contentedly munching away as his masochistic co-worker and Worf slug it out.
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Picard Maneuver
Mon, Apr 20, 2020, 2:49am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Descent, Part II

Where this episode fails is returning Lore to the mustache-twirling "muahaha" cartoon villain he started as. It's a total regression from his hostile, unstable, yet vulnerable--and ultimately relatable--performance in "Brothers". As a result, he has little impact as an antagonist as there is no reason for the audience to consider his position. He's just the "bad guy of the week". These Borg really suck. Picard sucks, too. He just stands there and does nothing as he waits for the Deus Ex Machina to happen. I never noticed the fading pupil effect when Lore deactivates.

Along with the Borg, this episode marks the death of Data. Besides being already irredeemable after this, he just gets worse and worse from this point on, from being taken over yet again in Masks, to becoming a psychotic clown in the movies. I'm pretty sure I was laughing at the end of Nemesis.

Why do they always fly toward the Borg ship when trying to evade it? That said, Crusher is still an upgrade from Janeway. I like how no one noticed the guy who tried to steal the metaphasic shields took off his makeup, became a bridge officer, and had a suspicious level of knowledge of the technology. Then he probably shacked up with the cute ensign after their argumentative flirting. Maybe that's why Crusher kicked him. Sorry, hon, he's just not into MILFs, but I've got great news: there's a certain Space Candle in your future, you lucky girl.

Regarding the comment above about the sun's light being blinding when that close, it'd be well beyond that. Things would be igniting, the ship included if we're being realistic. Remember in physics class using a concave mirror to focus the sun's light to burn things? Imagine that but times a billion or trillion or whatever.
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Picard Maneuver
Mon, Apr 20, 2020, 1:16am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Descent, Part I

Eh, it probably didn't matter. I'll bet the "individuality virus" caused more damage than that stupid geometry puzzle would, anyway.
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Picard Maneuver
Sun, Apr 19, 2020, 2:39am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Descent, Part I

Funny, I hated Admiral Bitchayev when I was a kid, but she's totally right. Picard should have obliterated the Borg when he had a chance.

I like how data used his quest to find emotions as an excuse to consume porn. He should have called Bender if he wanted tips on being a perverted robot. It'd be funny if talking with Troi rekindled his memory of anger. Or introduced new feelings of boredom or despair.

The stuntmen earned their pay in this one, dressing up in all that makeup and gear and being repeatedly thrown into the wall by Brent Spiner.

LOL at the "Power Rangers Command Center" comment. Zordon's face appearing and spouting exposition would have made this a wild episode. As for the above comment regarding TNG becoming Voyager at this point, Jeri Tayor's increased influence is surely a factor.

Personally, I was pretty much done with the Borg after "I, Borg" and was moderately bored even the first time I watched this one. I think I recall feeling a little cheated that I'd basically have to watch it again as the first episode of season 7. I remember being surprised at the on-location shooting but it somehow looking every bit as drab as their awful "planet and cave" set.

I still enjoyed season 7, though some of the episodes are absolutely horrendous. If you're going to have reduced quality, the way it happened was better: relatively strong episodes mixed in with garbage. The worst is when everything is homogenized to a consistent substandard.

In retrospect, the problem is obvious: Including the concept phase of Voyager, Paramount was supporting three TV series simultaneously along with a new movie franchise. While theoretically it wouldn't drain too many resources, they were also getting aggressive with licensing at the time, resulting in video games with actor voiceovers and that MainView office automation software commercial that utilized the bridge set and Jonathan Frakes. Just one more way they were overstretching themselves. I think it's no coincidence that the eventually good DS9 took a while to make sense of itself with all this going on. It's actually a little surprising it didn't get cut after its second season or so as a casualty of overextension. But that's how hot Star Trek was at the time.
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Picard Maneuver
Sat, Apr 18, 2020, 11:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Timescape

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

So basically Picard and team successfully ward off the aliens and stop the warp core breach but leave a trail of fusion explosions in their wake.

"The ball is going so fast that everything else is practically stationary. Even the molecules in the air are stationary."

I thought about this before but not while I was posting: "How are they breathing?" There cannot possibly be enough oxygen inside the pocket and the carbon dioxide would build up. It's not like you can suck or blow air across a barrier where time basically does not move. I guess maybe the pocket is semi-permeable. We know it was for Picard but that seemed like an accident. Still, I'd imagine it'd be like sucking air through a straw. Maybe the armband doohickeys did life support, too.

While we're at it, how can they even see? All the photons would be suspended. Or, moving very slowly. It seems like it would be the smallest unit of brightness above absolute darkness and visual perception would be absolutely nothing resembling normal. I guess if the pocket is permeable, you could suck in the photons but then you probably could see only while moving and then encounter darkness when standing still. If you occupied the same spot twice it'd be dark because you already "used" the once suspended photons and time is moving too slowly to put new ones there.
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Picard Maneuver
Sat, Apr 18, 2020, 2:51am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Second Chances

So, the Rikers are trying to recover the database and Lt. Riker tells Cmdr. Riker to disable the file server. Then Cmdr Riker just goes along with it.

That was some awkward-ass Tai Chi Troi and Crusher were doing, lol.

It's kind of funny that Freedom Riker is all angry, brooding, and sulking while Imprisoned Riker is vibrant, spontaneous, and fun. Riker #1 probably should have accepted one of those 2,927 command positions previously offered.

Pretty presumptuous of Riker #2 to assume Troi was still available after eight years when he first kissed her. Well, knowing Riker, he probably didn't care. Troi missed an opportunity for a really weird, sad, shameful threesome. The Rikers wouldn't be telling Dad about it.

If I met my unexpected twin, I'd want to join forces. I'd know we'd get along because he'd be thinking the same thing. We'd divide labor, arrange pranks, and set up a system of plausible deniability by constantly blaming the other one even though it was us all along.
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Picard Maneuver
Fri, Apr 17, 2020, 2:20am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Timescape

Every time I watch this episode I think about what would actually happen to the objects if they were manipulated at something approaching the speed of light. The rotational force of the bridge console Picard manipulated would probably detach it. It might even spark or melt a little around the shaft from the friction, though these phenomena would take like a day or something to manifest. Picard--again!--would probably have shattered every bone in Worf's arm moving it from the transporter console, and this is minutes after he admonished Troi for wanting to touch Riker.

I never understood why the warp core breach was the only thing visibly moving. The Warbird disruptor shots probably should have been and/or the shimmering of the power beam. I imagine the strobe of the lighting would have been detectable. Crusher's torso should have been gradually chewed up while we watched it. Why was she rubbing it after time reversed? And then there was the stuff mentioned earlier like the computer consoles still working, which should have been a dead giveway.

The time reversal shot made it really, really obvious they simply overlayed an explosion animation over the Enterprise model.

Anyway, these are nitpicks. I always liked this one. I used to fantasize about all the cool time traveling things you could do with the "time pockets" those armbands created.
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Picard Maneuver
Thu, Apr 16, 2020, 2:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Rightful Heir

Doesn't the Enterprise have fire detection? It's hard to believe Worf would be able to ignite a bunch of candles and a firepit without a bunch of alarms going off. I mean even in the early 90s let alone hundreds of years after.

Picard must have been thinking, "Oh my God not this Klingon shit again. How many times does this have to happen? It's like every other week my chief security officer goes on some soul-searching sabbatical. I'll bet I'll have to use up the rest of my diplomatic capital bailing Worf out when he stabs some high-ranking Klingon to death. Again. I might even miss another conference and PowerPoint slides diverting the Enterprise to rescue him. God I miss Tasha. Girl grew up on Rapeworld yet didn't complain half as much as this crybaby Klingon. I wouldn't have minded giving her my painstick. Consensually, of course. At least beyond reasonable doubt."

They really didn't get how DNA worked, yet, did they? While it is possible for it to survive for 1,000 years, it does so frozen or otherwise preserved, not out in the open on a knife that's probably been handled as many times as years have passed. Any blood on it was probably from someone who cut himself within the past few years.

I love Gowron's cynicism. He was right about everything. But, man, I thought fake, left-handed holodeck Geordi had an existential crisis when discovering the truth. He's got nothin' on fake Kahless'. Also, why is Kahless a fat midget? I mean, really. He looks like a bowling ball. I expected a Viking god.

DATA: "Has this experience only deepened the spiritual crisis that originally sent you to Boreth?"
WORF: "Commander, I have discovered nihilism."

I like how Worf gets to decide the political and cultural overhaul of the entire Klingon Empire because reasons.

Christianity would be a lot more fun if people swung bladed weapons at each other after verbally sparring with Bible quotes. I think it used to be more like this.
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Picard Maneuver
Wed, Apr 15, 2020, 2:27am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Suspicions

I'm amazed a man with the name Peter Slutsker survived to adulthood. Well, at least until this episode.

I swear the camera focus gets softer every episode with Crusher. I think by the time I get to the Space Candle episode I'll be trying to wipe the Vaseline off my monitor.

So, uh, why does Crusher care about star shields? A little outside of her expertise. Shouldn't this be a LaForge episode or something? Hard to believe LeVar Burton slid so far down the totem pole that Gates McFadden got his stories.

Why can't they remote control the shuttle? Not only did the technology already exist, the 80s were defined by it. I don't want to hear any crap about star interference. If they can get a video conference stream, they can send a 200 baud signal to enable basic piloting commands.

"Mr. Worf, override the shuttle's computer. Return it to the shuttlebay."
What?! Bullshit!

"Sir, she has isolated her navigational control. It will not be possible to establish remote operation."
Okay now I'm positive this was a Geordi episode.

So what was the guy's plan to get away? What if the plan was to eject him into the sun after the autopsy? How can the shuttlecraft have a warp engine breach when it lacks a warp engine? What the hell is going on in this episode?

If I were Picard, what the Ferengi government thought of whatever would be like #50 on my list of concerns after all the crap their citizens put the Enterprise through over the years.

On the topic of the injection of "Mary Sue feminism" into mid-90s Trek, I almost turned Voyager off during the first episode when Harry Kim stammers through "Sir... I mean ma'am... I mean, uh uh uh" to which Janeway tells him to call her "Captain". This is the type of setup a teenager writes into her fanfiction about the time she looked really smart in class and how Becky was really embarrassed.

After seven years of seeing females in command positions, including at least one admiral, it was absolute cringe seeing the franchise pretend we've never seen a female senior officer before. Sure, it was the first female captain showrunner, but the in-universe people shouldn't be reacting to media hype. I'm sure the Los Angeles focus group cheered loudly at the scene.

I felt sorry for Kate Mulgrew for inheriting such a shitty character, a character who ended up so irreparably damaged that they basically had to soft reboot the show halfway through. Actually, it would have been funny to see her in this episode as Mrs. Columbo.
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Picard Maneuver
Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 1:05am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Frame of Mind

One of the better performances from Frakes. I don't really expect him to carry high-tension for an episode but he does it.

It would have been cool if TNG was coming to an end but Berman or somebody wanted to create a sci-fi thriller and this was how they introduced the series. Minus the return to the Enterprise, of course. It turns out Riker is just a murderer with a vivid imagination.

If it's just a dream and he's going crazy, they could have gotten lewder with Troi. It's not like they never did that before. Maybe even Crusher. I thought I saw a Space Candle in the mental ward common area, let's get down.
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Picard Maneuver
Mon, Apr 13, 2020, 12:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: The Chase

This comment section may as well serve as the official "Is Norman Lloyd Still Alive" site. Currently he is 105 years old.

Linda Thorson was cute as a Cardassian. I liked her pigtails and melodic speaking.

I loled at the conference tension point. "Captain, we really have to get to the conference! We'll miss the PowerPoint slides and we won't get our nametags who will know who we are without the nametags?!" Really, they should know by now to schedule these things during the summer break where nothing ever happens.

I didn't realize the beings from Alien Nation were the universe's progenitors. Anyway, what are the chances that dozens of independent DNA samples stay intact enough to slot into a jigsaw puzzle four billion years later? None of those suns went nova? Did all of them even exist in the first place? Things were a lot different back then. All of those planets continued to support life? None of their atmospheres were burned off by solar winds or whatever?

Cardassian vessels look like seafood to me, like shrimp tempura or calamari or something.
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Picard Maneuver
Sun, Apr 12, 2020, 2:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

Good camerawork in this episode. Regarding Riker's posture, Jonathan Frakes suffers from a back injury. It's possible it was bothering him more than usual during filming.

When Picard and Crusher left their meal in a hurry to attend the concert, I wondered if there is mold in the future. It seems plausible their environmental systems would filter it out. When Troi sat behind Picard at the concert, I half expected her to say, "Captain, I sense you are quite randy."

I was amused when Picard was impressed by the technology of a novelty rollup piano that might have existed by this episode's filming. Its invention wouldn't have been far off otherwise; those things have been around for a long time.

It's fun to pretend that Picard is actually crazy when he's telling the story of his probe life. In reality, his date would be scoping the closest exit. Maybe Geordi can help Picard recreate his girlfriend on the holodeck and then have her find out about it the following season.
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Picard Maneuver
Sat, Apr 11, 2020, 1:54am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Starship Mine

When it was first airing, I watched this episode probably half a dozen times across various syndication slots, staying up way too late to watch it again. I liked the action and the tension from the "chase" of the sweep. The crossbow was also pretty hardcore. It was a nice touch that Picard had to use that door unlocking module while the power was off. It was more satisfying than merely prying the doors open. Good sound design, too. I like the terrorist communicator chirping and the ramping noise Geordi's visor made when incapacitating everybody.

I realize she inevitably gets eaten by the baryon sweep, but the second female outright vanishes in ten forward. It really seems like some sort of editing mistake. Same with Hutch's fate, which has to be assumed.

I'm just glad the guy from Spaceballs who ain't found shit ended up eating shit. I also like Hutch and Data Hutch.
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Picard Maneuver
Fri, Apr 10, 2020, 2:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part II

Richard Herd is a versatile actor. I enjoyed his performance as L'Kor.

When watching this episode on Amazon, one of the production notes said that the crew went on holiday and forgot to leave the lights on for the plants, which died. That kind of says it all about this episode.

Romulans really know luxury with the eggcrate mattresses.

I can't hear the Klingon victory chant without thinking of the Pogo Data & Picard song.
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