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Peter G.
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 3:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

@ Rahul,

If I were writing a sci-fi story I'd probably have to create some kind of timeline of how long it takes races to evolve into 'godhood' or whatever. Trek doesn't have a defined view on this and each writer does his/her own take on it. I don't think looking around for specific examples will tell us much about making a general rule here.

Even if it were established somehow that a million or so years is enough to become an energy being, there's (IMO) a very definite thread going through DS9 that the Founders are *extremely* stagnant, both in their worldview and in their way of life. All they want is to go into the Link and stay there. It's an aggravation for them to even have to interact with the rest of the galaxy. It's pretty much the definition of xenophobic shut-ins. Even if some other race could have developed more quickly in less time, my argument would be that the Changelings are ironically the most stuck race of them all, basically doing nothing for thousands of years at a time and sitting in their little orgy or whatever it is.

I think I once mentioned it on another thread but there's a good book called Calculating God by Sawyer, and (SPOILERS) the major premise in the book is that races tend to vanish randomly at a certain stage of development. We find out later in the book it's because as soon as a race has the technology to plug themselves into The Matrix, basically, and experience nothing but pleasure all the time they will do so. One method of doing this is to upload themselves into a computer system that will perpetuate their lives forever in paradise. To me that's basically what the Great Link is: the eternal pleasure button where you disappear and cease doing anything. It's Youtube surfing on ultra-steroids. Based on this premise (which I do think is intimated in the scripts, especially in S6) I would suggest that they have been completely stunted for an extremely long time, and that it takes losing a war and almost being wiped out by a virus to wake up and look around.
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borusa
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Second Chances

Oh come off it-TOS episode series One-Enemy Within-transporter duplicates Captain Kirk.
This is a more mature but nevertheless reworked version of that story.
The eternal triangle was quite good but absolutely agree that Deanna just leaps at Worf next season only to lose him to Jadzia Dax in DS9-that Worf is a right tart isn't he?
I too cannot see why Will Riker has to be such a bung hole to what ,in effect, is a sort of long lost twin brother.
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Rahul
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 2:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

@Peter G.

I really don't believe that that 4 billion year old alien race in "The Chase" is or became the Founders. If they were, by the "Star Trek paradigm" I think they'd probably have turned into pure energy beings instead of "merely" shapeshifters given 4 billion years time. The Founders are nowhere near the most advanced species in Trek.

Another thing comes to mind re. as how long it might have taken the Founders to develop into shapeshifters from solids and why I don't think they've been around for even a million years: In "Errand of Mercy" (if memory serves) Spock speculates that the Organians had like a million years or thereabouts to develop into energy beings. But one thing that's problematic is in "Arena" the Metron told Kirk that in (again, if memory serves) 1000 or 1500 years humans could be like them. Now this seems quite farfetched.

I think what you said in your last paragraph is reasonable/logical as to the reason why the writers have it so Odo can't mimic humans properly but the Founders can -- it is a fanciful conceit, as I said -- and obviously Odo is DS9's Spock/7 of 9/Data so they have to make his face appear non-human and innocent enough looking for the audience's benefit. But the Founders need to be able to mimic humans accurately to be a real threat and thus, voila, they are able to.
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Chrome
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 1:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

@Craig

This episode was a fan submitted script used due to the writers' strike so that explains why the characterizations are all off.

In the writer's defense, whether Picard is interested in archaeology or not, he's still a Starfleet captain and handling looming aggression by the Romulans should be his top priority. It's not like he couldn't have a nice long chat with the cryo-hippies later.
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Peter G.
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 1:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

@ Craig,

You're not wrong. There are some other times in the series where I get the distinct idea that the Enterprise crew is somewhat elistist and doesn't really like talking with people or aliens who are 'less civilized' than them.
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Craig
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

The reactions from the crew just seem bizarre, especially in light of things we will know about them later. They react like angelic aliens who view even the slightest of flaws in humans as grotesque. Yet we have seen them react like normal humans many times, even before this episode. They magically become these utterly alien paragons purely for the purpose of judging humans.

Additionally, Picard is later revealed to have a reverence for archaeology, to the point that he considered a career as an archaeologist, and was a little tempted to become one again when offered that role by an old mentor. Yet he has zero interest in talking to what are essentially living museum pieces?
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Peter G.
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

@ Rahul,

I'm not confusing them, I outright said that in my head canon they're the same race (in other thread). However putting that aside the Changelings used to be solids and it's clear that in order to evolve from mammalian animals to metamorhps it would take millions of years. Of course evolution gets wonly once a race is sentient and we get into the whole technological singularity thing. So maybe in the Founders' equivalent of the 29th century or something they genetetically engineered themselves to be like that. I guess it's possible. But the story we're told in this series is that they naturally evolved to be like this, so that's a OLD process.

SPOILERS

We also see (and are told) that while in the link time doesn't pass normally for them like it does for solids, and they hate being out of the link because it means they have to monitor mundane day-to-day details. I can only guess about the technical details of this, but I would imagine that they might go hundres, or thousands of years at a time between noticing what's going on around them, aside from the few of them that have to remain out of the link for extended periods to TCB.

As for the narrative of why Odo's portrayed this way, it's because he's the Data-character: his role is to learn about humanity from the outside, the hard way, and it's a slow learning curve. The lack of mimicking well is a metaphorical way of us seeing that he really doesn't understand us yet. We might then ask how the Founders can do it, since clearly they don't either, but in their case we also know they are deceitful to the extreme, whereas Odo doesn't seem to be at all. So maybe the faces they put on are detailed but 'fake' in a way? Whereas Odo would only be able to do it if he really believes in what he's doing since he's too honest to lie. Just a thought.
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Rahul
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 10:50am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

@Peter G.

I think you might be confusing the Founders with that alien in "The Chase" (obvious similarities + Salome Jens was the actor for that alien - a "Progenitor"). So I don't think the Founders are millions, let alone billions of years old. They set up shop in the GQ like 10,000 BC after persecution from solids -- but I seriously doubt that persecution would have gone on for millions or billions of years.

Then they had their own way of exploring the universe by sending out like a hundred changelings who are supposed to make their way back to the home world. So maybe some of those changelings however long ago encountered humans and then made it back to the Founders' home world and taught the Great Link how to mimic humans accurately. But somehow Odo who has spent years amongst humanoid species can't properly mimic a human?? It doesn't make sense to me that the Great Link should be able to impersonate a human better than Odo unless there's he's somehow deficient or something.

It also escapes me now as to why the writers wrote Odo as being unable to properly impersonate humans -- was it so that he could look like an alien for the benefit of the TV audience? I think it's just a writers' fanciful conceit.
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Sleeper Agent
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 10:41am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Message in a Bottle

"But when did the Doctor have sex?"

Well he did have a romantic relationship in an earlier season. Plus, he has access to the holodeck just like every body else. But I would imagine that he mostly tried it out to see what it was like, in general he seems very asexual.

Regarding the episode: it was entertaining and had a fair share of interesting ingredients, but in the end left me somewhat underwhelmed. Kudos to Andy Dick though, I was afraid it was going to get cringe-y, but he pulled it off satisfactory. I look forward to more Hirogen action; from the little we saw they look like a very promising villain.

2 Stars.
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HackFarlane
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 9:49am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Unnatural Selection

I am also one of the voices on this board that actually prefers Dr. Pulaski over Dr. Crusher. She and Picard had a great dynamic, and I really love, unabashedly, what they did with Pulaski and Worf, after Worf got "the Klingon measles" in an episode near the end of the second season.

"Unnatural Selection" was a great vehicle for Pulaski and for Diana Muldaur. We got to see Pulaski's foibles and stubbornness but also her warmth for humanity. She even apologizes to Data while she's on the shuttle with him, which I thought was a nice little touch of dialogue. I think everyone involved really made an effort to create a well-rounded character in Dr. Pulaski, and I would have liked to see more of her.

As for the continuity issues raised in this episode, specifically in regards to, "How could the Federation allow Darwin Station to experiment like this, considering what happened with Khan and the Eugenic Wars," I will simply chalk it up to this episode taking place in an alternate universe where the Eugenics Wars never happened, and there never was a Khan Noonien Singh.

Also, I can't explain why, but I cracked up at the arrogant, snotty Dr. Kingsley who oozed contempt and snapped at Picard through the viewscreen. She's exactly the type of haughty, vicious scientist-with-a-God-complex that would run a station and experiments like this. It was a nice touch that she knew who Pulaski was, because of that "Linear Models of Viral Propagation" paper that Pulaski wrote.

I'm conflicted on the transporter solution at the end. In its favor, we really don't know how the science behind it works, because, frankly, it's preposterous. But as it is, I can wrap my head around a system that converts matter into energy, and then recreates the matter after traveling through subspace to another location, being able to reform "another version" of the subject by superimposing a trace pattern. (I'm not sure if that even made any sense, but it's no harder to believe than warp drive. ) I can even forgive this can-of-worms being ignored in future episodes and movies because it was shown to be incredibly risky--they almost lost Pulaski, so it doesn't strike me as something that anyone would want to risk attempting again. And besides, if this episode took place in an alternate timeline, there are plenty of parallel universes where it never happened, so it wouldn't be brought up in a future show as a solution anyway.

However, I do understand the criticisms that the solution was an overly-simple, ridiculous deus-ex-machina and that they could have come up with something more inventive.

Also, it seems to me that they should have heard of space suits or even simpler Haz-Mat suits, but I know--Paramount budgets. I also think the message of the episode was simplistic and obvious. But I do like how it showcased the Picard/Pulaski dynamic; Muldaur and Stewart were both marvelous.
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Jason R.
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 7:54am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

It's more than that Peter. As I interpret it, the Founders *are* the link, which means each individual you see is basically an avatar of the whole. So it is not just that individual's person experience in play, but the experience of every changeling back to the beginning of the link itself. It explains how Odo was so easily swayed to betray his friends when the station was invaded after linking with the Founder.

There is something Borg-like about the Link when you stop and think about it, but it is interesting that like the Borg, the process does go both ways. When Odo linked with the Founder his being could change hers (and by implication, the entire link) much like Hugh was able to change the Borg.

Incidentally, there is another element to this. Odo went out of his way to avoid shapeshifting so as to not risk offending his friends; a fact that was pointed out numerous times in the series. This may have been just a symptom of his immaturity (perhaps all changelings go through such a phase) bit it does help explain why his skills were so poor. Comparing him to a Founder would be like comparing the running skills of a toddler to Usain Bolt.
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Patrick
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 1:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Ties of Blood and Water

Good episode but...

...I couldn’t really get THAT into it because I just don’t buy that Ghemor and Kira are as close as father and daughter; it’s pretty ridiculous tbh.

The whole sharing of Cardassian secrets thing was a stretch too; apparently these secrets can only be shared verbally, face-to-face while experiencing severe mortal pain. Ghemor is such a drama queen.
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Springy
Fri, Aug 23, 2019, 12:34am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Unnatural Selection

A great episode. Stewart and Muldaur make the ep. Spiner is good too.

More stuff about life and death - the nature of life, natural evolution, unnatural evolution, Darwin.

"No life forms present," says the transporter engineer to O'Brien, as he looks over Data, who is materializing in the transporter, having been disinfected by it. No life forms present, he declares, starting right at Data.

My favorite lines: PICARD: Will she be normal again?" DATA: "As normal as ever, sir."

Excessive use of the word normal, throughout the script.

That is one miraculous transporter. The technobabble in this ep is woven Iike a tapestry. It is positively mesmerizing.

Pulaski is a great character. Wish we could have kept her longer.

Good one. Light on the plot, but very well done.
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Peter G.
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

@ Rahul,

It's probably because Odo's like 50 years old or whatever, and only gained consciousness maybe 10 years back, while the Founders from the Link are, I dunno, millions of years old or something. If my head canon is right, more like billions of years old.
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turquoises
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 8:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: The Magnificent Ferengi

@Eat at Quark's--- EXACTLY!! I just watched this for the first time in 10 years and that was my conclusion. The lightbulb went off as soon as I opened the review and saw Jammer talking about how implausible it all is. I suspect that's the point. Especially because the episode starts off with one of Quark's fish stories being interrupted by the returning war heroes. I think he went full Spaceman Spiff to make up for it.
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Springy
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 6:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Schizoid Man

Kind of slow moving, but an interesting premise, very well done by Spiner.

More talk about what it means to be alive, as Graves refuses to go gently into his grave.

I wonder what the idea of the Vulcan doc was. Pulaski could easily have played that part. Were they considering replacing the doc yet again?

Average ep that rises above average due to Spiner.
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Rahul
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 6:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

Really have a hard time rationalizing how Odo, who spends all his time on DS9 among humans, can't mimic a human face properly yet another changeling, recently from the DQ, perfectly replicates Adm. Leyton...
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Springy
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 6:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Loud as a Whisper

So I finished this, but aside from the nice shock of the deaths of the trio, it was truly a snoozer. I think this week's continuing Season 2 exploration of "the nature of being alive and being human" was probably about identity - the need for relationships but the need to have our own independent identity. Lots of stuff about what makes you, you.

My favorite part was Data doing the "two people at the beach" in sign language.
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HackFarlane
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Bounty

I agree with Strejda. Of course Rick Berman & Brannon Braga wrote this. One of them actually admitted to an interviewer that he has an ongoing fantasy of crawling up into a giant woman's vajayjay. I'd say "A Night in Sickbay" makes a lot more sense in that context.
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Patrick
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 7:49am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Quickening

TNG - pregnant Ogawa is the cure

VOY- pregnant Torres is the cure

DS9 - pregnant Ekoria is the cure

Who was the pregnant elixir on Enterprise?
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Strejda
Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 2:39am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Through the Looking Glass

@Chrome That is a good point. I suppose the writers felt the somewhat inherent goofiness of the concept warranted less serious approach, but it is a step down and in retrospect perhaps responsible for the diminishing quality of Mirror universe stories. Still, it arguably led to the In the Mirror, Darkly, which I enjoy greatly precisely for the goofy evil universe hijinks, so I don't think it's total loss.

I disagree with Elliot on many things, but I do have respect for him and generally see where he's coming from. Years ago when I first discovered this site, I remember thinking he was just dismissive and biased, but I see now he has put a lot of thought into Star Trek and how it works (probably much more than I have) because of how much he loves it and cares.
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Jason R.
Wed, Aug 21, 2019, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Damage

This is the first great Enterprise episode. In some ways it's even better than In the Pale Moonlight, if I'm being honest. And that is one of my all-time favourites. In ITPM Sisko had the luxury of a fixed goal that guaranteed a massive payoff if successful. His actions brought the Romulans into the war, which was the big break. He did it once and it was done and he could go back to being a shining knight in Starfleet armor.

Archer is in a much worse situation. He has this message from Degra that may be a trap for all he knows. But as iffy as it is, it's his best shot. His ship might not even make it it to the rendezvous vous *with* the warp coil. His act of piracy and murder may lead to a pointless death even if it succeeds.

I thought the T'Pol subplot worked beautifully here in concert with the main one. Tripp's moral struggle was gut wrenching.

This is a true 4 star episode, plain and simple. About damn time!

Incidentally, for a second I really thought Casey Biggs at al. were Cardassians. Now that would have been a fun Easter egg.

One additional point: I kept waiting for Archer to pull out his Encyclopedia Galactica that he keeps in Daniels' quarters but he never does.. ummm why not?

And wouldn't have been neat if they had a video recording of the trans dimensional guy twirling his moustache at Archer and bragging about his nefarious plot to Degra instead of a couple lousy still photos of his corpse? They don't have CCTV cameras in Sickbay in case someone sneaks in and eats one of Phlix's bats?
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Jordy
Wed, Aug 21, 2019, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part II

Eh. Shut up, Worf.
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Chrome
Wed, Aug 21, 2019, 3:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Through the Looking Glass

@Strejda

I'm with you and this can all be seen as big fun adventure episode, in the vein of TNG's "Starship Mine". The questions of whether our hero Sisko's actions have any moral ramifications are really only secondary to the driving force of the piece which is an action story with a heart (As other have pointed out, this is Star Trek does "A New Hope").

OTOH, the Mirror episodes up until this point have been good because they're an inversion of the prime universe. We've been asked to consider what our prime heroes would do if they're put in a situation where their values are now foreign and subversive. Many of the good moments like Kirk getting Mirror Spock to consider his freedom or Bashir and Kira pushing Mirror Miles to be more than a slave really spoke to what's great about the values of the Prime Universe. We're missing that in that in this episode. So while this story might be good on its own, perhaps it's a step down intellectually from previous MU stories.

And hey, Elliott's just a passionate guy. I don't totally agree with him on all things, but I try to see where he's coming from as he raises some interesting points.
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Strejda
Wed, Aug 21, 2019, 3:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Crossover

@Peter G. I would say they've changed Paris quite bit form his original conception. At first, they were clearly writing as a bad boy maverick ladies man, until giving up on that and writing him as a cool nerd type. And I think part of the reason was precisely to play into McNeill's strenghts-watching early Voyager, you can see how he is not playing Paris with the sleaze he is intented to have.
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