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Karl
Sun, Oct 25, 2020, 11:08am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

The people complaining about sexual harassment and "obtuse sexual unawareness" in Star Trek due to the "teenage boy audience" remind me of this academic paper from the grievance studies affair: http://norskk.is/bytta/menn/masturbation_as_violence.pdf

Quick summary being "men masturbating while thinking of women qualifies as sexual assault".

Geordie didn't do that to Brahms (as far as we know) but even if he did, so what? People of all genders do it. They also research personal details sometimes to fit into their fantasies. Obviously there is a line where it becomes too personal, but most people don't cross that line. Otherwise, we would have to shut down all celebrity fan clubs. If a woman has a hot and heavy moment while fantasizing about a Ryan Gosling photo or a fanfic someone wrote, does that mean she (or the person who wrote the fanfic) is sexually harassing him?

We shouldn't be thought police, but we can punish people's actions if those actions violate norms that are deemed to be punishable. I don't see how Geordie's actions qualify as "sexual harassment". Calling it "sexual harassment" or "obtuse sexual unawareness" only serves to dilute instances of real sexual harassment.

The only potential criticism here is that using the holodeck to recreate someone's likeness seems like it could violate some 24th century privacy or copyright laws, but that question could be asked of the fanfic example. If the person's likeness isn't being used for sales, then I'm not sure there's a strong enough legal justification to prosecute in this case.
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Peter G.
Sun, Oct 25, 2020, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Half a Life

@ Garlaxor,

"That ethical story is about the conflict between the comforts of tradition and their morality."

That's a sort of funny take on it, since the only instance we see of a guy hitting 60 is that it is distinctly *not* comfortable to him to follow this tradition. But I'm not sure tradition is the right word; I think it's better just called a law. The premise of the episode we have to swallow is, I think, a reference to so-called overpopulation. This planet is somewhat like China in that it requires a law to restrict the population level for sustainability purposes. There is a moral component, but the conflict is between the needs of the society versus individual rights. I think we have to accept it as a fact that if this law is stuck down then the planet *will* have problems and many might suffer. If this is not true then the episode really loses all its steam. So under the assumption that it is true, each individual has got to accept a personal sacrifice for the good of all. Far from being a mere tradition, this makes it a supreme moral act to comply with the law from the point of view of the society. Since Lwaxana is an staunch individualist (and an aristocrat) naturally she views her own freedom as the ultimate good.

In fact when pitting these two values against each other I don't at all see a clear-cut line where one is more right than the other. It is surely the case that if each individual did whatever they wanted the society would be in big trouble. In this particular society the restrictions needed on individual license are perhaps stricter than they would be elsewhere, but even so there is no place there freedom vs social good is not a problem. What I think places this particular planet on the questionable side is the sort of calm acceptance of what is essentially the wholesale murder of all old people. It's sort of like fixing the social security problem by ensuring no one ever collects it because they're dead. Even though tonally they are different, the moral dilemma here reminds me most of A Taste of Armageddon, where similarly a 'social good' is pursued through the efficient and cold murder of entire segments of the populace.
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Trent
Sun, Oct 25, 2020, 10:31am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

Mal said: "@Trent, why do you think this will be the last time?"

I just don't see myself rewatching it. It's a big time commitment, and I have memories of the show jumping the shark pretty badly in the final season.

But who knows. I get weird Trek urges out of the blue. I'd go months or years without thinking about Trek, and then suddenly feel the urge to revisit a certain show or season.
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Trent
Sun, Oct 25, 2020, 9:09am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

A weak episode, "Muse" watches as Jake's creative energies get kindled by an alien vampire. While he gives birth to a novel, Lwaxana Troi visits the station and gives birth to a child. The episode spends most of its running time juxtaposing Jake's relationship with the alien (she inspires him, and his creative energies arouse her), with Odo's relationship with Lwaxana (she brings Odo out of his shell, and she falls in love with him).

Some good scenes here, like one in which Odo plays hide-and-seek with Lwaxana, and scenes of Jake flirting like some kind of bohemian artist (always attracting older women, the kid really is a smooth operator). But as Jammer says, this is one of DS9's worst episodes. The Jake plot is unintentionally funny, and Lwaxana Troi, despite a strong, opinionated character, has a sexist streak about her, her episodes too often revolving around her being pregnant, or needing men, or getting married, or losing kids etc, her character stereotyped around her biology.

IMO the Jake story - a writer inspired by a muse - should also have been played straight, without supernatural overtones and hilarious sexual metaphors ("Oh baby, yeah, use your artist energy to write that novel. Yeah, ohh, work that pen! Baby, you're so creative! Do me Jake! Do me a well edited, 10,000 word novel!).

The technobabble is also particularly cringey, particularly those which attempt to metaphorically describe the process of artistic creation ( "Something has stimulated Jake's brain functioning in a way that I have never seen!" Bashir yells, "The capillaries in his cerebral cortex have dilated twenty percent. Neurotransmitter production is up by at least that amount, and neural activity is off the scale!").
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SlackerInc
Sun, Oct 25, 2020, 7:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

Good episode. I fully cosign Mal’s three star writeup.

Not a fan of the comments about Tilly’s weight. That doesn’t mean I’m telling anyone they don’t have a right to say anything about it, but I also have a right not to like what they say.
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Unicorn
Sun, Oct 25, 2020, 4:05am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

@Ruomyes
"If the new Trek programmes are trying to encourage us to feel, and feel more, it's because qualities like empathy are sorely needed in today's world, now, if there is ever to be a future world like Trek."

Why would anybody want to live in the hellish world that modern Trek depicts?

Food for thought.
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Garlaxor
Sun, Oct 25, 2020, 3:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Half a Life

Interesting to see people rate this down because they disagreed with the 60 age and planetary custom. Or because it was a Lwuxana episode. It goes with my theory that when people watch these shows, they form prototypes of what a “good ep” and “bad ep” are.
For example, some people toss out the “bad ep” tag if a character they don’t like is prominent. Others can say “good ep” if the social issue being discussed agrees with them, but “bad ep” if they find it “silly”.
I think once each of us confront our own biases when reviewing episodes, we can step back and analyze them. For example, my biases are tied up with expectations. Generally, if an episode surprises me, I will rate it more extremely, good or bad, depending on how it goes. Because of this I probably fall for simple twist plotting on occasion if the rest of an episode agreed with me.

Back to this episode... for those struggling with the 60 year age setup and the realism of the political dynamic, just accept it as necessary script work to place the ethical story in the foreground. That ethical story is about the conflict between the comforts of tradition and their morality.
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Peter G.
Sun, Oct 25, 2020, 1:27am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

@ SlackerInc,

Maybe this is just a terminology thing. In terms of the plot I might agree that it's a little pat that Picard's entire life would hinge on one single decision in a bar, although still it's not impossible. But I think the plot in this case is just the crowning moment of Q's lesson more so than the specific moment on which Picard's life would turn. True, he got into a fight and was stabbed, but more broadly Picard seems to wish that he had been a different kind of young man; not just in that one incident, but throughout his youth. His current taste for discipline, seriousness, and a stiff upper lip gives him the idea to romanticize about what it would have been like to have been like that from the start. It's not so very different from the "if only I could go back to high school now and do it differently" dream. But Q's point is that the very person wanting this was necessitated by that exact past. Change the past and you eliminate the person doing the wishing into...who knows who. In this case if Picard had his wish and had never been brash and bold *ever* (not just in the bar) then this might have been his future. And I think that's entirely a reasonable hypothesis. Only if you look at the bar fight as being the single thing Picard would change does it become a little hokey to suppose that it would magically transform his life. But I think the plot we're shown is meant to support the bigger picture of Picard's entire life arc and why he needed to go through all of that to get where he got. Sure, if he could keep his life exactly the same, just minus being stabbed, maybe he'd have still made Captain. But that's the point: in order to be the sort of person who'd have never gotten into the fight, he'd also not have been the man to win the Academy marathon or to spoil for command.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Oct 25, 2020, 1:06am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

@Peter G: I'm definitely not saying that. What I AM saying is that I don't accept the idea that if Picard had not gotten into a brawl with these miscreants and gotten stabbed through the heart, he would have become some milquetoast dead-end lieutenant. The implication being that he was wrong as an older man to think it would have been much better not to spoil for such a fight. It doesn't even make sense within the context of the story, since he says the incident made him learn the lesson not to be so reckless--yet we are then told that it is because he was MORE willing to be reckless that he rose up through the ranks.
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Sen-Sors
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 9:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

"Georgiou is a rebel."

Georgiou is Space Hitler. Nothing less.

The show acts like it's fine because she knows Micheal Burnham. They apparently have a weird connection that has not been explored and makes no sense; the Mirror Micheal the Empress knew is dead, and Disco Micheal rescued her from a situation she might have been able to handle herself and threw her into a foreign timeline where her empire doesn't exist.

"It's not like she's genetically predisposed to act that way,"

No, but neither was Hitler! That's a weak argument when someone works their way up to being a brutal dictator who literally eats other sentient species for lunch.

Georgiou is way, way beyond the sort of character who has done bad but may come around to being an ally for good. Her whole life has been violence, brutality and a quest for power for it's own sake. She has yet to show any of the depth or nuance found in Dukat, Baltar or even Q. She's a cartoon, and it is a waste of a talented actress.

A show with better writers could perhaps pull off a gradual turn in her character, but they would have had to start earlier, in season 2. I really don't think the current crop of STD writers can pull it off, which is why I'm leaning towards a schmaltzy self-sacrifice during a season finale. That's easy and dumb and it's like Star Wars.
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George
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

If Riker had fired a phaser at the time of transport, wouldn't the phaser still be in his hand?
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Chrome
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 11:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

@Tomalak

"Georgiou is there to teach us viewers empathy?"

Yes, clearly everyone is overreacting to Georgiou's intermittent murder sprees and not seeing that deep down inside she is a beautiful unique snowflake we all can relate to.
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Trent
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 11:44am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

Prior to today, I'd seen this episode twice. I didn't think much of it; found it rather dull, and the Maquis rather unsympathetic. Rewatching the series this year, for what will probably be the final time in my life, and determined to really focus properly on each episode – DS9 plays best when you prepare yourself for slow-burning drama, and mentally psych yourself up for its rather deliberate, mannered writing style – I found myself incredibly impressed by the episode. I think it's one of DS9's best, and the best Trek romantic episode since “Conscience of the King” (I'd put “Lessons” and “Perfect Mate” next).

The episode was written by Ron Moore, who was on an excellent run of DS9 episodes at this point. Even though they don't contain his best work, “The Search Part 1”, “House of Quark”, “Defiant”, “The Die Is Cast”, “Rejoined”, “Paradise Lost”, “Sons of Mogh”, “Rules of Engagement”, “For The Cause” and “Trials and Tribulations” is one of the most consistent writing runs in all of Trek.

And so this episode opens with Kasidy and Sisko sleeping together. Sisko describes himself as a “paragon of Federation virtue” and she symbolically slips out of his reach and away from him. “You are so evil”, she mockingly describes him.

We then get a scene in the briefing room. Eddington is informing the crew that the Federation are giving giant replicators to the Cardassians, a detail which I like; the Federation aren't formally allied with the Cardassians, and yet they're giving them twelve class 4 replicators, machines big enough and powerful enough to replicate whole factories. So you see the seeds here of the Federation trying to build bridges and alliances within the quadrant.

We then get a great scene in which Odo and Eddington inform Sisko that Kasidy may be smuggling for the Maquis. From this point onwards, Avery Brooks' performance in this episode is excellent, wonderfully conflicted, and often subtle. He refuses to believe that Kasidy is guilty, and bashes Odo for the accusation, but what's great is how he nevertheless IMMEDIATELY puts Kasidy on watch. Love doesn't get in the way of duty. Sisko's Cause – the Federation – takes a front seat. And what's interesting is that this Cause applies to Sisko defending Kasidy's rights as a citizen (“Odo, she's a Federation citizen. You can't just invade her privacy based on your suspicions. You'll have to show me some real evidence before I authorize what you're proposing.”) as much as it applies to Sisko's job monitoring the Maquis (“There are times we have to search vessels docked at the station. If you can find a reason [to search Kasidy's ship], do so”).

We then get a neat scene where various DS9 crowds watch a springball game. Here, Bashir and Garak have a conversation which alludes to the episode's themes of misdirection and knowing where to watch. We also learn that Garak is infatuated with Ziyal, Garak's daughter, but that he is “unsure whether or not she is the enemy”, which obviously echoes Sisko's suspicions of Kasidy. DS9, more than most other Trek's, has always been careful to have its A and B plots thematically related, and so this scene ends with Garak praising “Kira's brilliant springball move!” which “nobody saw coming because they weren't paying attention” and weren't “looking in the right place”, a line which anticipates Eddington's betrayal of Sisko.

We then get a version of the scene in “Homeland” in which Sisko suspects that his father may be a Changeling. Here, Kasidy joins Sisko and Jake for some home-cooking, and makes mention of her trade routes. Sisko finds her words suspicious. Does she, or does she not, visit the Badlands, a region of space oft visited by the Maquis?

Garak and Ziyal make first contact in a turbolift. In typical fashion, the dialogue is cloaked in suspicion and subterfuge. “You're not going to hurt me, are you?” he asks.

Another good scene follows. Odo confronts Kasidy in the cargo hold and informs her that he wishes to search her ship due to a “plague outbreak”. She then calls Sisko and asks him to get her out of this pickle. Sisko thus begins to suspect that she has cooked up their romantic relationship in order to exploit his rank. But what's great is that Sisko once again defends Kasidy and concedes to her wishes (“You are clear to leave the station. Just remember to irradiate that cargo”), whilst simultaneously plotting in the background against her (“get down to the Defiant and tell Worf he has a change of orders. I want you to follow Kasidy's ship.”). The guy lets her off the hook and immediately buys a giant fishing net. It's an interesting tightrope Sisko walks throughout this episode.

And so the Defiant quietly stalks Kasidy's ship, which is really cool. They follow her into the Badlands, which is really dramatic, the ships slinking in the shadows like a submarine or hiding in turbulent skies. Is Kasidy really a Maquis collaborator? What if she is?

On the station, Sisko is nervous and privately freaking out. On the Defiant, Worf and Odo are similarly on edge, walking on eggshells, realizing how their mission might bring them into conflict with Sisko. There's a level of sophisticated tension here that you rarely get in Trek.

We then get a conversation between Worf, Miles and Eddington, where they discuss whether the Maquis represent a legitimate cause. Miles “understands the Maquis point of view”, Worf thinks they're stupid, and Eddington just cares about following Starfleet orders. When you rewatch the episode, knowing that Eddington is a traitor and wholly biased, Eddington's stance is hilarious. He's acting out what he believes Starfleet officers to be; bone-headed dudes who just follow orders.

Now I used to agree with Elliot's comments regarding the Maquis, up above. The Maquis are stubborn, are risking starting a Federation/Cardassian war, and have access to countless planets and Federation resources if only they'd go live elsewhere. But the show itself has the Federation echo Elliot's feelings. The Federation always treats the Maquis as being irrational, selfish children as well. They were given land and informed that the Federation could not protect them from Cardassian settlers. The Federation's hands are tied.

Still, as is typical of DS9, most of these "murky issues" could be solved or clarified just by a single line of dialogue. Maybe have Sisko inform Gul Dukat that the Federation views the persecution of the Maquis as a breech of treaties, to which Dukat agrees, but says the crimes are carried out against the will of the Cardassian High Command (a kind of slow, unsanctioned ethnic cleansing). Or have Sisko explicitly inform the Maquis that the Federation is willing to resettle them on countless other worlds, and give them countless resources, if only they'd leave. Make it clear that the Federation can't protect the Maquis in the DMZ, and cannot risk a war with the Cardassians.

To DS9's credit, it does “infer” a lot of this stuff, but it takes multiple viewings to tease out these strands.

Anyway, we then get a cute scene in which Ziyal meets Garak in his shop. They seem to like each other, and the actress who plays Ziyal in this episode is better than the one who would replace her later in the series. They agree to go to a holo-sauna together. Their coming together ironically counterpoints Kasidy and Sisko, who drift farther apart, as Sisko now knows that Kasidy delivered supplies to a Maquis ship. This leads to a good scene in which Sisko sits tormented in his quarters, followed by one in which he bonds with Jake. Their bond is unbreakable, his Cause as father unshakeable.

We then get some good scenes in which Sisko and Eddington further monitor Kasidy (the scenes in which the Defiant stalks her in the Badlands are quietly creepy), and Sisko and Kasidy share uneasy conversations. These conversations are wonderfully underplayed, both suspicious of one another, and both increasingly aware of being under suspicion. Much of the doublespeak during these scenes is also very good (“Neither of us are doing anything important”, “I have commitments to fulfill”, “Duty calls”, “I wish I could take you up on it”), pregnant with duplicity. It's one of DS9's best acted scenes.

We then get a scene in which Quark and Garak talk in his shop. They talk about “paranoia” and “bluffs” and “double bluffs”, and whether or not Ziyal is being friendly simply to assassinate Garak. This leads to the well-disguised revelation that Eddington's working for the Maquis, and has been plotting to steal the replicators bound for Cardassia. Turns out he lured Sisko off the station under the guise of Sisko needing to “protect Kasidy from accidentally being shot down by the Defiant”. Eddington thus reveals his Cause (a Maquis sympathizer) while exploiting the ways Sisko lets love get in the way of duty to his own Cause.

Kasidy also reveals her Cause; she's sympathetic to the Maquis, is a humanitarian in her own way, and willing to ferry them food and medical supplies. Sisko sympathizes with her stance, but Federation law is Federation law. He, in a heartbreaking moment, thus turns her over to Starfleet security. She, in an equally heartbreaking moment, allows this to happen. She so loves him, so respects him, so respects his Cause, that she's willing to subject herself to Federation Law for him, rather than run away. It's a great climax.

There are some more neat little scenes in the episode. When Sisko beams onto Kasidy's ship and reveals that he knows she's essentially a criminal, the pain and shock on both their faces is pretty powerful. The scene in which Eddington “hijacks DS9” and orders Starfleet officers to put the replicators on a Vulcan transport ship, is also quietly dramatic. Like an action scene in which nothing dramatic actually happens.

Ziyal's admission of exclusion and loneliness, is also very good, as is the scene where she reveals her own Cause; she's not working for the High Command, only herself and her own happiness.

We then get the famous message from Eddington in which he likens the Federation to the Borg. People criticize this scene for its implications (“The Federation aren't the bad guys!”), but that's a bit unfair. Quark has been saying for ages that the Federation assimilate and change cultures in their own way. This doesn't make them “bad”. It makes the Federation destined to be viewed as insidious in the eyes of a bad or worse cultures (terrorists, imperialists, Ferrengi profiteers etc). So I thought the speech was excellent.

Some commenters above point out that the speech is fine but Sisko's response to it is not – Sisko makes appeals to duty and speaks of betrayed oaths, and doesn't chastise Eddington for being a Maquis, Elliot says above – but is that what really happens? Eddington thinks the Federation is bad, and Sisko's problem is that Eddington has stepped away from his duties to the Federation, a Federation which, as a matter of policy and law, thinks the Maquis are a bunch of petty, misguided folk.

Elliot says “Sisko should have told Eddington that he is a spoilt, presumptuous and arrogant little twit who has risked the lives of innocent people in a completely misguided parody of social justice”, but Sisko in a sense does. The Federation thinks the Maquis are arrogant little twits, and Sisko thinks Eddington stepped away from the institution which holds this belief. And we have to remember that Sisko is lashing out – Eddington has cost him Kasidy – angry and emotional. The guy's furious, and not got the time to offer an elaborate, nuanced take on the DMZ/Maquis situation. He just wants to lash out.

Regardless, we then get a scene in the holo-sauna with Ziyal and Garak. Ziyal says “I'm an outcast back home. I can't go back and neither can you”, which in a sense echoes Eddington's plight, now fully outside the Federation. Sisko and Kasidy then say sad farewells in the cargo hold. DS9's tried for “Casablanca” endings several times, but this one works fairly well.

Anyway, my enjoyment of this episode has really shifted over the years. I can't think of any bad scenes here, and lots of great ones. I'd give it a 3.5 or even 4 on Jammer's scale.
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Startrekwatcher
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 11:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

The problem is the new series aren’t generating any sort of emotional reaction. There’s no investment in the characters or their plights or jeopardy they find themselves in. Scenes don’t slow down to breathe to let you get engrossed in them or the people featured or any kind of human reaction. Because the actors aren’t that great. The characters are cyphers. The writers don’t imbue them or the dialog or the scenes with any kind of insightful or relateable human moments. It’s all mechanical and to serve the bigger mystery and arc which themselves are so badly plotted and clockwork like in just going through the expected motions

It sparks nothing but indifference. kurtzman Trek is hollow. It’s as artificial as the green screens and overdone VFX.
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Ruomyes
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 8:33am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

I love the fact that Burnham is a rebel. Georgiou is a rebel. And that Tilly is a rebel. And Saru's planet's evolution was rooted in rebelling against the status quo. In this day and age rebels are needed in Trek. If it's causes discomfort, then it's doing something right, IMO. The 'stable familiarity' that a lot of (older) fans want, that is part of what caused Trek-fatigue back in the day, I think. The repetitive format, the reliance on the hierarchy as a mode of storytelling, just, no. Trek doesn't need the lead character to be the captain. They don't need to be one with the (quasi-military) hierarchy. DIS (and PIC) contain characters who try to do the right thing despite the hierarchy, not because of it. It keeps Trek from getting stale. It reminds me of what Ira Behr said in the DS9 documentary, something along the lines of "It's DS9, don't get too comfortable."

If the new Trek programmes are trying to encourage us to feel, and feel more, it's because qualities like empathy are sorely needed in today's world, now, if there is ever to be a future world like Trek.
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Yair
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 8:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

Liked this more than the previous episode, the crew is actually acting as a crew, Saru gets the command role he so obviously deserved, and the villain is good (well, bad) enough. Even Michael's big smile at the end works. Not great but good enough for a second episode.

* Note that even the Hazmat repair guy named himself. A cute self-referential joke.

* Georgiou shouldn't be here for too many reasons to count. She's there to introduce tension, but the result is just tonally off. There's no good reason for her to be there or to be tolerated like that, and the bad guy should have just shot her.

* Stamets actually had more characterization in S1 than in the other seasons. He hated serving on a warship, liked Opera and was critical for the plot piece (which will hopefully stop existing forever). Right now, he's defined only by his relations with Culber, and his poor health (both from S1). The character could use actually doing something again.

* I give 95% odds that the villain just hangs around the house until the Feds are gone, and then goes back and either him or the other person in the house die.
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Peter G.
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 7:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

@ SlackerInc,

"But I fundamentally do not accept the moral of the story, so that ultimately makes the episode something of a failure."

You do not accept that all of your experiences, good and bad, shaped who you are at present?
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Yair
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 7:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

@Mike

"On Tilly... Technology has already rendered many of the body's functions as obsolete in our time, so it's not hard to envisage the body as wholly obsolete in the future. "

In many plausible futurist universes you'd be right. In the Trek universe where 'sending unescorted senior officers in apparently unaltered human bodies to explore planets' happens a lot for some reason, physical fitness matters.

We wouldn't have to change much in this episode to have Tilly go back alone to the discovery over 'parasitic' ice, and a more nimble and lightweight Tilly should have had a better chance of surviving that.
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Yair
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 7:35am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Others wrote just about everything I wanted to write about the episode. As one commenter here wrote: "Meh". This episode can be entirely skipped for the next (better) episode. I'll just note that I wished for a bit more from the setting.

One of Trek's flaws is that its tech is growing anachronistic, making it much less relevant as a sci-fi series. Moving the timeline forward should allow us to address that while not stepping over the current franchise.

Except the showrunners picked a basically post-apocalyptic setting, which I suspect means that we'll at best see iterations of existing Trek tech (i.e. personal transporter), rather than dealing with existing and future issues (social media, strong AI, etc. etc.).
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SlackerInc
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 7:33am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

LOL @Picard Maneuver.

I always enjoy Q and he was in fine form here. But I fundamentally do not accept the moral of the story, so that ultimately makes the episode something of a failure.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 7:20am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Coincidentally, just today I watched TNG 6.15 “Tapestry” for the first time. Doesn’t the moral of that story contradict what many people have been saying here about the Star Trek/Federation ethos?
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Latex Zebra
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 6:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

Apart from the "Burnham saves the day" at the end I pretty much enjoyed this episode.
Not off to a bad start and I am looking forward to seeing Earth soon.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 6:19am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Starfleet's "Ideals" and such, were originally just a stand-in for "America" because Studio Suits liked that angle.

I think one thing a lot of people forget is that TV Studios used to have A LOT more power over what got put into a show, than they do now. With the advent of streaming, it is much easier than it would have been back in the 60s (or 80s) for a show to, ahem, "take their business elsewhere."

Look what happened with Cobra Kai. Youtube Red (or whatever the heck they ended up calling it) completely tanked, but the moment it got onto Netflix, it went through the roof (wow that's kind of like what happened with TOS when it went into syndication).

But back to my original point, the comparisons of the UFP to the USA, have gotten thin with time; due to what I think are a combination of factors:

- "Television" writing has been held to higher and higher standards as time has gone on. Even the very best-written episodes of TOS now sound kind of like "products of their time," and TNG is starting to go that route as well. This is inevitable; all works are products of the time in which they were made (as Nick Meyer said in the commentary of TWOK Director's Cut).

- The USA has NEVER had as squeaky-clean a set of hands, as Star Trek portrays the UFP as having. Lo and behold, while Star Trek was in the middle of being made, people were in fact rioting in the streets over the USA's racist shitlord attitudes (and yeah if you can't tell from my name and dialect of English, I am a natural-born citizen of the USA. Da Bears. Da Bulls. Mike Ditka). Honestly, the UFP is a very sanitized and whitewashed portrayal, in any show that has focused on it.

- The shows themselves have covered this semi-allegorical angle so well, that the idea itself has become stale. Sure, we can have a story about time travelers arriving in a Post-UFP galaxy, I'm for it.

But I think it's important to remember that well, the Maquis happened, Jean-Luc Picard once referred to the missions of Kirk/Spock as "Cowboy Diplomacy," Benjamin Sisko once poisoned an entire planet to get one guy and Starfleet fully let it go without repercussions for him, the UFP did kind of sit idly by while Cardassia was basically raping the shit out of Bajor, the Dominion tried to tear the entire quadrant apart to beat them, and just barely managed to fail mostly because they were attacked with a biological weapon created by Section 31, and now (with Picard), the UFP managed to get shitty enough to simply ban all forms of Synthetic Life because a Romulan Death Cult thought space dragons would come destroy the universe if they didn't.

This was what I mean when I say A LOT OF SHIT HAS HAPPENED in the Star Trek Universe. And with all that, the UFP *still* comes off as a much more sanitized and whitewashed version of what the USA has been up to.

Think about it. There is very little mention of the economic infrastructure of the UFP. There is no mention of how people pay for healthcare, or what happens when workers aren't satisfied with the conditions of their employment, or who pays taxes, and who doesn't, and what proportionality between these two groups exists.

All very real issues, but simply not very dramatic.

The UFP was designed to be simple to write about, easily understood, and conducive to filling up the viewer with joy-joy patriotism feels. ...Why can't we address that?

This is a golden opportunity to do it. Gene Roddenberry's "Vision of the Future" is pretty and gives you those nice feels, but it's actually, in a way, a bit of a dodge. It gives the story a stereotypical set of "good guys" who you can sympathize with as they fight the "bad guys."

2001 didn't have that. Heck, 2010 didn't have that, the whole World War III subplot was added into the movie just because the producers thought people wouldn't watch the movie unless it was there.

In all the series that have been produced (it's bordering on Dragonball Z Levels of Ubiquity by this point), has anyone ever said "Wait a minute, is the UFP really that great?"

Has anyone ever said "What if we don't need the UFP, and can take only what we feel is good, righteous and necessary from it, and just start over on our own?"

Because aren't we really talking about Earth, as a planet/country in this galaxy? ... I would be most interested for Star Trek to take this deep dive.

TOS was born not only from a desire to have thinking-man's stories about exploring space, but from fans that supported it (like my Mom and Dad). Those fans, were ***vehemently*** dissatisfied with the US Government of the time, you know. They listened to CSNY sing "Ohio," they carried signs that said "War is good for business, invest your son," et al.

If Star Trek ever really wants to "go where no Star Trek Show has gone before," that might be a good place to start.

The very principle of a free, fair, Democratic Election is basically anti-government in the first place; simply put, it gives people the ability to replace the current government with a new one, if they don't like what's being done, because in this way, power can be more equally distributed than it was when the world was run by Aristocrats born into their power, basically hurling massive amounts of Peasants at any problem they had like so much cannon fodder.

Get up, Star Trek. Trek out for your rights.
Get up, Star Trek. Don't give up the fight.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 3:49am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

The chewy chunks being scraped off the floor in engineering look suspiciously like prosciutto... other than that, I don't have time to talk... and now I want a sandwich, lol
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Sen-Sors
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 2:37am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Far From Home

Actually no, the best thing they could do with Georgiou this season would be to make her the big bad. What reason does she have to actually care for this Micheal Burnham? Why wouldn't she want to rebuild what was taken from her? How exactly does she share Starfleet's values? Actually don't answer that. The point is Micheal has to kill her and make the face. It's perfect.
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