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nacho Picard
Tue, Jul 13, 2021, 7:23pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S1: Veritas

Comments #2-4 are hilariously astroturfed.

It has all the classic tells. Comment #2 tells Jammer to watch the show...in a review of the episode. Also it's obviously fake because no one really talks like that. Look at the way they put the episode title in quotation marks, the way they write out the title of the shows mentioned, all in a way that feels...artificial.

Comments #3-4 speak in all the vague generalities that you expect from an astroturf commenter; the kind of comment that could be typed up by someone who has never seen the show and is just writing based off bullet point notes they were given.
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Picard Maneuver
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 1:21am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Crossover

The awkward opening scene is amusing in the context that Saddig and Visitor eventually married. Visitor looked great in this episode. DS9's costume designer(s) was one of the biggest upgrades over TNG.

Love the camerawork in this episode. Great FX shot of Odo exploding. That said, reusing the same stock footage over and over again for "runabout goes in the wormhole" and "slow pan of the runabout" is beyond old by now. It's not because I'm watching these more than one per week; it was an annoyance when the show was originally airing. TNG didn't have the problem to this extent.

I don't know if it was intentional, but the terrans are like the caricature of the soulless, decadent atheists proffered by evangelical preachers.

I was expecting Mirror Odo's Rules of Obedience to encounter the Ferengi's Rules of Acquisition, but the two never met--and Odo and Quark strangely never shared a scene. I have a feeling it might have been planned but cut for time reasons.

Good episode, but everyone was missing their goatees.
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Picard Maneuver
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 4:26am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: The Maquis, Part II

Props to Bernie Casey for helping a bro out and making Avery Brooks look like a competent actor by comparison. I was confused when they were talking as if they were the same age. Casey is nearly a decade older and looks even older than that.

I liked Sisko's ranting to Kira about earth's ivory tower. Ironically he sold the Maquis' plight better than any of the actual Maquis did over the span of three shows.

It was weird hearing O'Brien talking about stashing sensors in the system's Oort cloud to detect incoming vessels. That makes perfect sense but since Oort cloud is a real (well theoretical) phenomenon it made me think about the seemingly impossible logistics of doing such a thing--and how casual O'Brien was about doing it. The Voyager 1 probe would reach our Oort cloud at about the same time of Star Trek TOS' setting.

The Federation treating DS9 like a random outpost rather than one of the most strategically important and unstable locations under their control was always an annoyance. First there is the wormhole. Then on Bajor there is deteriorating government, factionalizing, and outright terrorism that destabilizes the Federation relationship and thus stewardship over the wormhole.

Now you've got a lukewarm conflict situation that jeopardizes a totally different treaty with another planet. If that's not bad enough, it escalates into a hot war during these episodes and all the Federation can come up with are three modded shuttlecraft, one of which is manned by the IT guy and a doctor who was still in med school a few months ago. And why is Sisko piloting one? And with Dukat?

And when the Federation does take an interest, all they care about is Odo, who is effectively a mall cop in the grand scheme of things. Replacing him will do wonders to shore up these disintegrating treaties. Keep those suggestions coming. How about the window treatments? Do you think replacing them will help us defeat the Borg?

Trek usually has good, distinct sound design, but this episode conspicuously utilizes overused stock effects, the kind that were on those sound effects CDs everyone had in the early 90s. I half expected to hear a Wilhelm Scream.

On a bright note the dogfighting FX shots might have been the best to date. Usually Trek fights are along the lines of "gentlemen" wars where both sides line up and shoot at each other while remaining otherwise motionless. Here ships fire at each other as they roll and weave, with the camera panning and realistic light sourcing applied as well. I don't recall seeing a third person view before like with the Maquis fighter. Definitely a step up from what we've seen before.
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Picard Maneuver
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 3:20am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Profit and Loss

I struggled to pay attention in parts of this episode but did Lang say Quark's unforgivable act was shaving a bit off the top in an already illegal enterprise? What's the problem? This woman would be mortified if she found out what was acceptable at Earth's charities and non-profits.

Mary Crosby looked good. Definitely the better Crosby acting wise as well. That other Carsassian woman, though, sheesh. Supposedly it's Susan from Seinfeld. It's hard to believe the quality drop between the two roles.

So what happens when the Cardassian crew learn their leader was vaporized? That the prisoners were given a cloaking device, which is a violation of Federation Law, and set free? Do they just ago "aw shucks" and head home? Seems like the episode ended right before it got interesting.
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Picard Maneuver
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 3:28am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Playing God

It would have been a real shame if Jadzia had to eject Arjin in the Gamma Quadrant in order to reduce mass to make it home safely with the damaged runabout. That'd free up time for Kira to continue making the most sense of anyone on the station.

I think this is the point where the writers realized they made a critical error with Dax's character. It wasn't a good idea to create a wallflower who lives in the legacy of a larger than life personality that we never get to see. This sort of idea worked in the TOS movies because in a manner of speaking we knew Spock for decades and, very importantly, Nimoy knew Spock even better. So it was interesting when Spock was reincarnated as a colder version. But I think all we see from Curzon is the one scene with the old man on the operating table.

I get the impression that they were close to finalizing the characters when someone piped up with, "Wait! We don't have Spock! We don't have Data! Who's going to be the cold logical one?" And then they tried unsuccessfully retrofitting Dax into the role, thereby reducing her to a bland, barely there presence who can only make connections based on her physical appearance and nostalgic appeals to another lifetime. I actually like that she gets annoyed when everyone expects her to be Curzon but the unfortunate thing is that even in death he's more interesting than what Jadzia has to offer. This episode reeks of overcompensation, all the way into Auntie Mame territory.

What's funny is the Trill who stole the symbiant made for a better Dax and had way better old friendship chemistry with Sisko than I think Jadzia ever did. When that episode aired I kinda wished they kept him because we'd get to see the character with a bunch of negative character traits that's still ultimately likable. Jadzia seems like she's there because she graduated from an old money name brand school and her grandmother is a Space Senator or something.

I never understood precision flying in Trek. It's always one character slowly relaying information and another equally slowly tapping half a dozen commands on the worst UI ever to make the ship do anything. I would think the future would yield something like a VR suit, maybe with a direct synapse link, along with a dynamic, contextual HUD. As is, it's like tabulation machines existed for hundreds of years before space flight and were adapted for the purpose.
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Picard Maneuver
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 4:20am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Shadowplay

It seems like nearly every episode this season is a raffle of which two characters get to map a Gamma Quadrant nebula or whatever in a runabout. Kira and Bereil don't have much chemistry. They come across more like brother and sister with an arm's length relationship or childhood friends who only somewhat keep in touch. As a result it feels a little wrong when they kiss.

I feel like there are some mental health implications when the old man accepts he's been living a delusion and the other two do all they can to prevent him from resuming his previous life. They acted like druggie friends when someone in the group decides it's time to take a shower and look for a job. Odo's sudden leap into a reverse psychology bit was especially weird.
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Picard Maneuver
Wed, Dec 2, 2020, 5:16am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

I remembered the outcome about 10 minutes in when they were reading about mankind being soft in the the crazy lady's diary, though I probably figured it out at that point the first time, too. Her character made it difficult to invest in the episode because it was too obvious that she was insane and formed a primitivist cult out of the rest of the colony. At least Cisco figured it out quickly enough. It'd have been a real drag if it took him until the last five minutes of the episode to realize he was dealing with a psychopath.

While traditional/alternative medicine has some merit, what merit it has is based on centuries of (anecdotal) observation. It's just wacko to suggest the most reliable way to cure unknown illnesses is to go into the woods and gather random leaves, and it's difficult to believe 24th century scientists would go along with such a thing, even with a domineering bully involved.

I mean, I wanted to punch her, Sisco wanted to, also, and O'Brien almost did. And he also probably thought about shooting her, too; he had a "just give me an excuse" aura about him at the end. The rest of these people are like, sure, I'll get into the box, your wish is my command. You can't force everybody into willing submission. Some of them are going to pretend and stab you in the back the moment it's safe to do so. Though I wouldn't be surprised if some of the more disagreeable colonists had unfortunate accidents over the years. Meg was feeling a lot better before her sudden demise, just saying.

In the scene where Cisco confronts the leader about trying to win him over with sexual favors, it'd have been funny if he stole one of the candles as he left.

Why is stopping the unmanned runabout so complicated? Can't they just use the prefix code to remote control it? We had remote control in the mid-90s, you know. I'm sure at least one person on the staff used pcAnywhere. And it was a major plot point in Wrath of Khan and the 25th Anniversary video game. It came up in a few TNG episodes, too. I guess that's less exciting than forgetting this stuff exists and hyping up the lasso method, which was really more like arresting gear, like on an aircraft carrier.
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Picard Maneuver
Tue, Dec 1, 2020, 4:11am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Whispers

Plot twist: Keiko had no idea Miles was a clone and actually wanted to poison the original. They should have let the clone live, had him go by his (lame) middle name, and given him a trombone.

Anyway, if they can copy consciousness and program memories, why not skip the first step and just program the original O'Brien? Does it only work during the copy process? How did O'Brien get free anyway? Surely the rebels were planning on killing him the moment they verified the clone worked. Pretty silly to leave a loose end like that in your intricate assassination plot.
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Picard Maneuver
Sun, Nov 29, 2020, 3:14am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Armageddon Game

I like how Starfleet sends one random 20-something year old junior doctor who is basically a general practitioner rather than a staff of epidemiologists and virologists to solve the harvester virus problem. Well, at least that makes more sense than sending the recently promoted transporter chief as well.

I have fond memories of the bunker scenes. It's good that they work so well because I forgot literally everything else about this episode, and for good reason, apparently.

On the topic of the Defiant, it's a little unrealistic that they didn't get a real ship the moment the wormhole was discovered, either through their direct use or through a permanent attaché. There probably should be at least one starship in visible range at all times and another half dozen or so a Space 911 call away.

I always got the impression that Miles loved Keiko while she mostly tolerated his presence.

Regarding the clumsy manner in which they tried to destroy knowledge of the virus, I guess they've found a solution for the Streisand Effect as well in the 24th century.
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Picard Maneuver
Thu, Nov 26, 2020, 3:46am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Rivals

Pretty careless to fire at the probability machines. And there was an obstacle with the last shot. Given how the things work, what if Sisko hit the equipment and the phaser ricocheted into his eye? Also, I'm sure Starfleet Command might have some interest in developing the things into weapons or at least furthering scientific research.
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Picard Maneuver
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 4:24am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Sanctuary

When Jake and Nog were discussing entomology, I wondered if the universal translator would translate the concept but then Nog asked what entomology was. It's hard to believe a technology like this would leave gaps similar to how a child naturally learns language. That said, the earlier scenes with the alien race is how I'd expect the technology to work: the most common concepts are translated quickly while more obscure and technical language takes longer and doesn't seem to translate exactly. It's a little too fast, though. I think even a super advanced AI would need at least hundreds or thousands of sentences to make sense of things.

I agree with above comments that this episode has a season 1 TNG or TOS script leftover feel. Or someone cribbed some Space Mormon ideas from Battlestar Galactica.

Also, why does future music suck so much? it's very often tranquil and sonically boring.

The drama with the Space Lepers wasn't very compelling. The Bajorians really dodged a bullet on this one, for a change. Actually, the big brain move would have been to move Bajor to Draylon II and stick the overly demanding aliens with Bajor's withered husk.
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Picard Maneuver
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 3:20am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Second Sight

I also noticed the production quality issues pointed out by Dave in NC. There were multiple scenes that while it was clear they were on sets looked like they were set up for green screen/FX shots due to flat angles and lighting. I agree that just about everything in this episode seems to be off. While Alexander Singer was a Trek veteran, apparently this was the first DS9 episode he directed. Maybe that's it.

According to Memory Alpha this is a most hated episode because of Seyetik, the terraformer character. Huh? He's the most entertaining part of this episode. The only other good thing I have to say about it is Salli Richardson looked great and I'm glad DS9 has better costume design than TNG, well at least for the Feena character. Nidell looked like she grabbed unfinished Vulkan garb from the Paramount storeroom.

Also, apparently physicists in the future have forgotten how stars work.
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Picard_Is_Wesleys_Father
Wed, Oct 28, 2020, 9:55pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S5: Trials and Tribble-ations

Without delving into spoilers for Picard or Discovery, this episode of DS9 set a gold standard for approaching the classic Trek canon that newer series have failed to meet. Instead of being embarrassed by the camp of TOS, Tribble-ations embraces it head on. The meta, of course, is the characters are interacting with the retro with the same fondness we do. Jammer cited this element as a flaw, but Jadzia’s “pep” is absolutely appropriate - and given strong rationale in the episode. Having lived through this time, like many viewers, she is delighted to revisit it.

Modern Trek is seemingly ashamed of its origins dressing its crew and ships in drab grey and muted blue. Feeling the need to be sleek and edgy, Discovery may share its position on the timeline, but too afraid to share TOS’ colorful optimism. DS9 knew how to honor its roots, respect its canon, and still do something new. This episode is Trek at its best.
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Picard_Is_Wesleys_Father
Sat, Aug 1, 2020, 4:01am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S4: Fourth Season Recap

I have so many mixed feelings about Star Trek: Enterprise in almost every category.

Positives: Unlike later Abrams Trek, Enterprise more or less maintained the Star Trek “feel” (especially in the latter third and fourth seasons). And unlike the bile of contemporary Kurtzman Trek, it demonstrated a general respect for the franchise. Did we *really* need to know why TOS Klingons had smooth features? No, probably not. But I remain in awe that this series had such a love for TOS and desire to honor the overall continuity that it gave us an origin story anyway. That “love-letter” to continuity ended up an albatross in the finale weaving in the TNG cast in a story that was not their own, but it at least proved the showrunners cared about the wider franchise canon. That’s commendable.

Visually, Enterprise is a good looking show. A little more drab than previous entries, but, again, considering how embarrassed Kurtzman seems of classic Trek uniforms, ships, and aesthetics in DIS and PIC, Enterprise honors the visual style of its predecessors, while still being slickly produced.

A number of the series’ characters are engaging, particularly Tripp. Likewise Malcolm and Doctor Phlox (disagreeing with the reviewer) are reasonably well-rounded and no member of the crew grated on the viewer like Wesley or Neelix. I remain a Travis defender in that Anthony Montgomery COULD have handled deeper, more abundant material. His bright-eyed optimism and divergent upbringing could have been a real asset if they had bothered to give him more screen time. If he appears “wooden,” perhaps it derives from so much time atrophying on the bench.

Enterprise also makes more of its premise than its predecessor Voyager. We see first contact with a number of classic races, in-depth looks at early relations with Vulcan, and a sense of the wonder, danger, and novelty of interstellar travel in their era. It isn’t flawless, but it does well as a prequel (again, shots fired, Discovery).

Negatives: The collective cast never gels in remotely the same way as the TOS Trinity or the TNG bridge crew or the wonderful noir ensemble on DS9. Even later Voyager managed to build meaningful dynamics between EMH, Seven, and Janeway or Tom and Belanna. T’Pol regresses in many ways as a character after ingesting toxic metals (emotion crack) losing her strength, competency, and distinctiveness. The continual “will they, won’t they” yo-yoing of her and Tripp’s relationship culminated in absolutely nothing and the reviewer rightly notes that all characters essentially end where they began. Character arcs need not be seismic to be profound (before senselessly killing Data off in Nemesis, his triumph was merely in incrementally becoming more human).

Archer ultimately never really worked as a character, especially when the writers unsuccessfully wrote him as a tough guy. A series of poor scripts resulted in Archer imprisoned or kidnapped too many times to count and the character fluctuated wildly between compassionate and aggressive (Janeway syndrome).

Now the unfortunate standard, Enterprise pioneered season-spanning arcs far beyond even what occurred on DS9. Relying on ongoing narratives for an entire season necessitates that your core story be really good. And like eventual Discovery and Picard, much of Enterprise’s core plot threads were not very good. Particularly the Temporal Cold War which was a) confusing, b) largely unexplained and unresolved, and c) diverting and uninteresting. Anchoring so much of seasons 1, 2, and partially 3 in this plot marred many of the series’ episodes. DS9 paid dividends focusing on the Dominion War, but also showed the dangers of serialization with the P’ah Wraiths and the Prophets (in many ways seriously harming its own finale).

All in all, Enterprise is as worthy a member of the franchise as Voyager, if not in some respects more meritorious. Voyager and even TNG and DS9 all came into their own in their latter halves. With three more seasons and the promising changes of seasons three and four, Enterprise might well have become a great series, despite its flaws. Cut off at the legs as it was hitting its stride, we half to judge it as a half series. Yes, it’s tiptoeing into grittier material and serialization may have helped pollute the franchise of the latter 2010s. And no, Enterprise lacks a Darmok or a Measure of a Man or an Inner Light. But it tried something new, fleshed out the canon in a meaningful way, and showed great respect and care for a franchise we love.
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Picard_Is_Wesleys_Father
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 11:16pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II

This was my favorite mirror universe episode since TOS. Sure, it was pointless. But considering what a slog some of the DS9 mirror adventures turned out to be, this was a breath of fresh air. Fan service is at its best when its contained to a bottle (like DS9’s wonderful Tribble outing). Keeping the plot relatively light and inconsequential is actually a good thing. Considering other (read: later) series infatuation with the overly serious Mirror stories, relegating this camp romp to its own, independent tale was smart. Plus we get a gorn, a fun twist, and lots of hammy invocations of Kirk through Archer’s overacting. This two-parter is a winner in my book.
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Picard_Is_Wesleys_Father
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 4:25pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S4: Bound

Yes, the episode is a mess. It deals in sexist tropes and its “empowering” reveal makes little sense in regard to t previous appearance of the Orions in an earlier episode. For a final five episode installment, shockingly poor.

But like DS9’s Profit and Lace, it isn’t nearly the worst Trek outing. Despite its many failings, it still has a light, comedic bent that makes it less painful. Some of the banter is fun and it was a treat hearing about the Gorn. But compared to TNG’s deeply problematic forays to planets of both Native Americans and Africans or Voyager’s butchering of both evolution and warp drive that sees Janeway and Tom mating as lizards, this was at least semi-watchable. Not great. Not good. But not mindnumblingly boring or canon-rending.
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Picard_Is_Wesleys_Father
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 10:19pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S4: United

It seems plausible Shran simply viewed “incapacitation” as impossible in a battle with serated blades. Archer took advantage of the secondary element of the ushaan-tor, the tether, to choke Shran and then unbalance him by slicing off his antenna. So I think it’s fair to say “duel to the death” is fueled more by the practical and emotional considerations of Shran than the explicit rules themselves.
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Picard_Is_Wesleys_Father
Tue, Jul 7, 2020, 10:16pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S3: Damage

Though a fine episode, it is easy in retrospect to see it as a portend for the franchise’s steep decline into murky, aggressive, any-means-necessary dreck now synonymous with Discovery and Picard. The episode’s message ages particularly poorly as we look back at the actual War on Terror over a decade on. T’Pol’s crack addiction and Pirate Archer are now emblematic of the franchise that lost its way. Picard would convene the officers in his ready-room to weigh any ethical dilemma. Archer unilaterally and continually makes the unethical call. And the franchise still lives with the consequences.
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PicardIsWesleysFather
Thu, Jun 25, 2020, 1:20am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Like “Doctor, Doctor,” another episode with an extremely dubious moral lesson. Yes, Tripp overstepped bounds by entering the cogenitor’s quarters and bringing it aboard the ship (initially). But once the cogenitor (Charles) becomes aware it is a slave - and there is no avoiding recognizing this fact - and requests asylum, Archer becomes morally culpable for dooming this person to be denied autonomy, choice, or even basic personhood. In “Doctor, Doctor,” Archer permitted an ENTIRE ALIEN RACE to face imminent extinction on the off-chance that the subordinate race MIGHT evolve into greater potential. In this episode, Archer forces a runaway slave back into captivity to avoid offending the slaver race. Only one episode prior, Archer DEMANDED Dr. Phlox administer treatment to an ill alien in violation of Phlox personal medical ethics.

Of course, what Tripp should have done isn’t cut and dry and the degree to which Enterprise should have involved itself in mitigating sex-based slavery among these people is worthy of consideration. But the ultimate conclusion is yet one more example of Enterprise disturbing didactic episodes.
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PicardIsWesleysFather
Wed, Jun 24, 2020, 1:01am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: Horizon

I chime in these many years later to say I don’t see Travis as a “blank slate,” but rather very earnest and optimistic. And revisiting this episode after the jaded, downright deplorable character traits on display in ST:Picard, that fresh, eager, openness is extremely welcome. I only find myself disappointed that Travis is relegated to the background when in many ways I prefer him to Hoshi’s blandness or Malcolm’s “must follow the rules” routine.
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Picard
Sun, Jun 14, 2020, 2:42pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians

The fact that the boy's foster parents had engraved a strong feeling of self-hatred into him really settles it IMHO - the boy deserves a better existence.

On another note: what an absolutely fabulous episode! Garak in high gear (for the first time?) and Dukat to boost. It also features one of my favorite lines in all of Trek.

"I believe in coincidences. Coincidences happen every day. But I don't trust coincidences."

4 Stars.
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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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