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Thu, Sep 20, 2018, 10:00am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Dark Page

Wholeheartedly agree with Jammer saying: "I guess the lesson of 'Dark Page' is that some storytelling stones are better left unturned." Lwaxana has generally been an annoying character (a shame given who the actress playing her is) so why should we care about her backstory when it doesn't even seem to have much lasting significance for Troi? I guess the episode brings them closer in the end.

Also what sucks is this episode is so similar to "Phantasms" -- the immediately preceding episode -- (bizarre dream/meta-conscious visions, a cast member entering the vision to solve a mystery etc.) I didn't like "Phantasms" and I like "Dark Page" even less. The TNG show-runners weren't on their toes when planning out Season 7, a below-average TNG season (show-runners probably coasting at this stage, resting on past glories).

One good thing is that Lwaxana isn't really annoying here in the sense that she's not on some sexual hormone overload and chasing after Picard/Riker. I thought she portrayed her grief well and part with Troi helping her come to terms with the tragedy was reasonably well done. But still, it's hard to care about it. The story dragged on too long with what the big tragedy/mysterious event could be.

What didn't work for me was the Cairn leader and his telepathic joining. Ridiculous to watch his stupid stare. So they tried to make it difficult for him to speak , which is accurate enough, however it really was frustrating to watch and killed any flow.

As for how Deanna's older sister died -- I assume the dog dragged her into the pond and she drowned. Lwaxana first passes out when the little alien girl went in the water in the arboretum on the Enterprise. I suppose there are some clues etc. to piece together here and there but the exercise is not worth it. The end tragedy for Lwaxana is understandably difficult to deal with / traumatizing but the episode was just difficult to get through.

1.5 stars for "Dark Page" -- definitely a weak episode but not a terrible one. Somewhat arbitrary with how the mental anguish manifests in the Betazoid that is Lwaxana (the sci-fi element) but with some hand-waving can be a commentary on a personal human trauma. Not an episode I'd go back to re-watch -- my enjoyment of it is commensurate with a 1-star episode.
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Tue, Sep 18, 2018, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Gambit

Pretty disappointing payoff after a lot of subterfuge -- really should not have spent 2 parts on a rather superficial action adventure with no strong character moments or lasting implications. I liked the 2nd part a bit more than the 1st - although it achieved this through mostly shock value, twists, turns, manufactured suspense. Have to shake my head at the villains who have their chances to kill Riker/Picard, but of course they don't or, conveniently, something thwarts their plans. It did feel, again, like Indiana Jones in the 24th century ("The Chase").

The Baran character was weak -- over 2 episodes, he wasn't built into anything more than a cardboard villain. Thought him wanting to have RIker kill Galen (Picard) was hard to justify -- this is the writers just trying to add a layer of danger/shock value on top of a pretty basic action/adventure plot.

Data was good as captain of the Enterprise - liked how he dressed Worf down for challenging his orders. Over the course of the series, Data has many moments where he holds his calm when dealing with a potentially difficult situation -- a good example for humans!

It did seem weird that after so many episodes of TNG, the bad guys are a gang of mercenaries of different races - this is the kind of thing I'd expect to find in Seasons 1 & 2.

The ending with Picard telling his crew to empty their minds of violent thoughts -- maybe a nice albeit contrived message of peace being stronger than war/death. But there are surely better ways to exemplify this theme. Even Worf pulls off the peaceful thoughts -- reminded me of the gunfight scene in "Specter of the Gun" -- the bullets aren't real.

2.5 stars for "Gambit" -- not great, but not bad. Definitely not ambitious enough to justify 2 parts. A fair bit of padding here. The unpredictability keeps you on your toes although the ending is a letdown.
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Tue, Sep 18, 2018, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Interface

An OK Geordi episode - overall a bit boring though not bad, but definitely not hitting the heights of "The Mind's Eye" or "The Enemy" as examples. Since it's a Geordi episode it's heavy on technobabble -- which was a weak point ("warp funnel" etc.). Also weak were the guest actors playing his parents -- such stiffs showing no emotion (particularly his father). And, surprise, there are aliens who can read his mind and kill people. What is better is Riker and Data reacting to Geordi's situation. Even Troi's counselling seemed to sound reasonable -- but Geordi disagreed with her.

The VR probe is a good thing for TNG to be playing with -- we can clearly see it as being the extension of VR/AR today and I'm somewhat surprised we haven't seen more such VR suits on Trek. Thought it was cool how it could use tractor beams and phasers in the dangerous environment.

The real meat of the episode is Geordi pursuing what he believes is his mother to save her despite it being ridiculously unlikely (even by Trek standards). So Geordi can have his obsession -- and one can clearly see its justification, which is good. If it actually was his mother, yes, he'd never be able to forgive himself.

The dangers are somewhat arbitrary but at least here TNG makes it generally believable. But again, there doesn't seem to be much consequence for Geordi disobeying Picard, showing frustration. So he gets something on his record -- who cares by the next episode? There's no demotion or punishment. And what of Data who admitted he was put in a difficult position but still helps Geordi? These 2 are the best of buddies so one can probably see Data taking a chance hoping things will work out in time.

2.5 stars for "Interface" -- not an episode I'd go back to watch again. Not sure how much more we learn about Geordi being obsessed about rescuing his mother -- anybody reasonable would be like that -- also the consequences of his disobedience don't seem important. That the crew (Riker/Data mainly) come together for him is fine but this episode just seemed sterile (guest actors contributed to this) and it should have resonated more emotionally.
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Sat, Sep 15, 2018, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Sixth Season Recap

Overall a decent season that started like a house on fire (for me, 3 out of the first 5 episodes deserved 3.5* ratings) but then it crashed back to Earth. Most notable for me were "In the Pale Moonlight" and "Far Beyond the Stars" -- both easily deserve 4* ratings and are among the best Trek episodes ever made (ITPM in particular). After the monster that was ITPM, the season had some fluff pieces, the dogshit that was "Profit and Lace" (worst episode in the entire Trek cannon) but it ended with a terrific setup for Season 7 with "Tears of the Prophets".

My rankings and ratings (4* scale, 10-point scale):

1) In the Pale Moonlight, 4*, 10.0
2) Far Beyond the Stars, 4*, 9.5
3) Rocks and Shoals, 3.5*, 9.0
4) A Time to Stand, 3.5*, 8.5
5) Favor the Bold, 3.5*, 8.5
6) Tears of the Prophets, 3.5*, 8.5
7) Honor Among Thieves, 3.5*, 8.5
8) Waltz, 3*, 7.5
9) Statistical Probabilities, 3*, 7.5
10) Behind the Lines, 3*, 7.0
11) Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night, 3*, 7.0
12) Sacrifice of Angels, 2.5*, 7.0
13) Inquisition, 2.5*, 6.5
14) Valiant, 2.5*, 6.5
15) Sons and Daughters, 2.5*, 6.0
16) The Sound of Her Voice, 2.5*, 6.0
17) Change of Heart, 2*, 5.5
18) One Little Ship, 2*, 5.5
19) Time's Orphan, 2*, 5.0
20) The Magnificent Ferengi, 2*, 4.5
21) The Reckoning, 1.5*, 4.0
22) You Are Cordially Invited, 1.5*, 4.0
23) His Way, 1.5*, 3.5
24) Who Mourns for Morn?, 1.5*, 3.5
25) Resurrection, 1*, 3.0
26) Profit and Lace, 0*, 0

Average rating is 2.50* / 6.2.
FYI, Jammer's average rating is 2.90* and has DS9-S6 as his 5th best DS9 season (only S1 and S3 are weaker based on the 4* rating system -- but the difference is negligible).
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Thu, Sep 13, 2018, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Tears of the Prophets

Tons going on in this episode and a great way to end Season 6 -- definitely leaves much to think about as we finally get back to the Dominion war. Really like Sisko's story here and what he's going through. Less to like, for me, is Dukat's transformation although the acting is spot on. Also not much of a fan of the metaphysical aspects of this episode with Pah-wraiths and Prophets having an influence over the plot -- but DS9 straddles sci-fi and fantasy and tells a good tale ultimately.

It's also great for the series that they can actually kill off a main cast member -- unfortunate that it just seems like she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But Dukat having the power of the Pah-wraith is intriguing as it creates yet another burden for Sisko -- found it a bit cheesy with the red eyes (not good to remind me of "The Reckoning").

There are some little things to love about this episode: Martok and the Romulan senator portraying their races so well - supposed allies but trading verbal barbs; can't get enough of the Weyoun and Damar dialog.

As a season finale, like "Call to Arms" it has to cover a ton of bases - some of which aren't that great. So Jake, who has nothing to do, gets to go on the Defiant. This is ridiculous. Odo and Kira get over some BS misunderstanding and kiss -- their interaction could have been omitted. Quark / Bashir as the losers missing out on Dax -- didn't need that, nor the scene with Vic singing. The transition away from the Klingons/Romulans arguing to Vic's program was jarring. And of course there has to be some soft moments between Jadzia/Worf (talk of a baby etc.) so as to make her death have more impact. I've never been a huge fan of Farrell's acting or the Jadzia Dax character so her death isn't that big of a deal for me but at least it has it's impact on Sisko most importantly.

DS9 does a great job of showing how difficult it must be to be Sisko -- he deserves a nice long break. He thinks he has failed as Emissary and as a Star Fleet captain - I assume the Admiral was OK with him taking off. But him taking off is a good way to end the season.

Good enough for 3.5 stars for "Tears of the Prophets" -- the important pieces of the larger arc are working well despite some minor flaws. Have to wonder how the Prophets will fight back -- this is a parallel war going on with the Pah-wraiths, so it's consistent DS9 that this is brought back into the picture, although it appears arbitrary. Dukat is a solo madman -- I like him better before his daughter was killed. Sisko is the main character and it's well portrayed just how much shit he has to deal with -- true reason for despair.
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Thu, Sep 13, 2018, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: The Sound of Her Voice

Another filler episode before we get to the real meat of DS9 - the Dominion war. I did like how the O'Brien, Bashir, Sisko came to some realizations about themselves and the effects the war is taking on them through talking to Lisa. But it took time for these realizations to develop and the episode was somewhat boring until an ending that tied the essence of it together reasonably well.

It was BS with Lisa being dead for 3 years given the liveliness of the communication -- why did that need to be thrown in? It would have been perfectly fine if, for once, the rescue team didn't get there in time and found her dead. They could still get on with the eulogies and talking about what she made them realize about themselves. No need to introduce the time-shift in the communications because of some nonsense with the planet's atmosphere or whatever -- needless sci-fi suspension of disbelief required.

The B-plot was mediocre -- another example of Odo lightening up although he should really be nailing Quark. But Quark was helping him out with his romance with Kira since Odo is clueless. Seems like the writers are just trying to give Jake something to do -- he has really been neglected of late. This was just filler material although it was almost more interesting early in the episode than listening to Lisa talking/badgering Sisko etc.

Interesting how Sisko and Kasidy have some issues and this comes out in the conversation with Lisa, then it starts to click with O'Brien who opens up to Lisa. Ridiculous how Lisa pretends to be eaten to get Bashir to listen to her.

Barely 2.5 stars for "The Sound of Her Voice" -- clever tool to psychoanalyze Sisko/O'Brien although the episode was dull for long stretches. Hard to care for some distant voice, who was annoying at times with her probing into the personal lives of Sisko/O'Brien. But the episode does a good job portraying how tough things are on Sisko/O'Brien -- the captain does seem miserable around Kasidy.
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Tue, Sep 11, 2018, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Descent, Part II

Part II is a bit weaker than Part I -- there's a lot of moving parts/subplots here, but the idea of a megalomaniac (Lore) emerging as a savior to a people in utter chaos (individualized Borg after Hugh's arrival) is a reasonable analogy to Hitler's fascism (although that's not explored here, it's just given). Plenty of mechanical "problem solving" make this overall not very intellectually stimulating but it's still decent fun.

This episode had plenty of situations which should feel more intense and dramatic but they just fizzle out. Lore wants Data to phaser Picard. Data refuses. Lore then threatens to phaser Data but Hugh's insurgency arrives just in time. The Borg ship pursues Crusher into the sun and waits there -- but she uses the special shielding from "Suspicions" and it works - surprise! Of course it would. And then the stand-in tactical officer creates a solar flare...

The scenes with Crusher in command -- since when did she become a competent commander? No signs of hesitation etc. This was hard to believe. And then there are the 2 wooden stand-in bridge officers...those scenes were borderline painful to watch.

Got a kick out of Geordi proposes a technobabble pulse to disrupt the transceiver that was causing Data to be under Lore's influence. Best part of that was when Troi goes: "I think it's worth a try." Like what else is there to do??

Even Lore's experimentation on the Borg that went wrong (reminded of Hitler/Jews) didn't have much impact -- of course we don't feel for the Borg. Hugh's being disappointed at running into Riker/Worf again wasn't really that big of a deal since he helps in the insurgence. And of course, Geordi will be back to normal despite getting stuff drilled into his brain etc. Shouldn't he be a basket case?

2.5 stars for "Descent, Part II" -- could have done without the Crusher commanding the Enterprise subplot and focused more on how Lore became leader of the individualized Borg (maybe through a flashback?) . Too many moving parts and some things strained credibility (Lore manipulating Data's emotions with a switch under his fingernail, Picard subduing a Borg and stealing a transceiver, special shielding/solar flare creation working perfectly, Geordi surviving -- a bit much). Might be a decent start to the final season if you just want mindless action.
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Tue, Sep 11, 2018, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Descent, Part I

There were a few interesting themes here with the Borg turning into vicious individuals, Data exploring emotions again, and appearing to provide a follow-up to "I Borg" but the ending with the sons of Soong being back together to destroy the Federation totally deserved a MUAHAHAHA! So the ending pegged back the episode's quality for me.

"Descent" Part I is better than "Birthright" Part I. Both have a lot of setup with Data's character study appearing to be a B-plot thrown in to pad it so that it's a 2-parter. But the Data emotion thing is more a tool here rather than character development. He gets manipulated by some transceiver. It's also an episode that reinforces the Data / Geordi bond, which I like -- one of the better friendships on Trek.

Found it weird to see the Borg "seducing" Data with the promise of emotion. Where did this come from? Answer to come in Part II, of course. But it perhaps is an extension of the Borg attack on the away team earlier in the episode -- acting as individuals, showing passion. At this stage it appears interesting and potentially more menacing.

Where the episode started to go south is getting practically the whole crew on the planet to look for Data and leaving Crusher in charge of the Enterprise. This strikes me as foolhardy. And how could Crusher command the Enterprise under anything less than routine circumstances? McCoy never would have been put in charge on Kirk's Enterprise.

2.5 stars for "Descent, Part I" -- should have been a 3 star episode but for the ending with Lore's diabolical plan (as if he was a James Bond villain). Enjoyed a different version of the Borg here -- still threatening, although more nuanced. Also interesting that Picard gets chewed out for not doing more with Hugh to destroy the Borg and then he rips into Riker -- maybe another moral decision for the captain coming up in Part II.
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Thu, Sep 6, 2018, 11:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part I

A rather dull affair that doesn't seem to have the story to go with making use of DS9 and revisiting the Khitomer massacre of Klingons by the Romulans. The potential of adding to that historical tale is intriguing, but it's not realized here unfortunately. The dishonor thing is a strong motivator for Worf to find his father, but this A-plot was slow to get going.

Data's quest to understand his visions did not do it for me -- what "character development" he gets out of this isn't worth the time spent on all the nebulous aspects of interpreting his visions.

So this is an episode about the importance of the father figure -- Worf realizes he should pursue the Yridian's info to learn about his father after telling Data to learn about his own father, Soong. I found the Data/vision subplot to be particularly dull and arbitrary. So Data decides he should try dreaming -- big deal. Ultimately, this Data dreaming subplot is filler material to turn "Birthright" into a 2-parter.

I guess the episode does a good job creating some intrigue for the 2nd part given that the Klingons make it clear that they don't want to leave / can't leave and that Worf is to be a prisoner there. Hope Data's dreaming is not part of Part II!

A low 2 stars for "Birthright, Part I" -- just too much padding here, really don't know how Jammer rates this 3 stars. Data's quest to be more human is an often visited theme on TNG but this aspect of dreaming/visions does not lead to some specific human characteristic like love etc. What Data was going through just was not interesting. Most of the Worf subplot was just mechanical but at least it ends with leaving the viewer wondering what's up in this prison camp with Klingons apparently having freedom with Romulans about.
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Wed, Sep 5, 2018, 9:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Unimatrix Zero, Part II

Didn't quite reach the interest level of Part I -- agree with Jammer that Part II is a mechanical exercise in getting from A to B. We know what B has to be although where it leaves the Borg is up in the air -- the resistance is alive and kicking. There are, of course, a lot of fortunate developments and some seem quite unlikely (Korok taking command of a sphere). I don't get why the Borg Queen thinks Janeway has some sway with the Unimatrix Zero Borg such that she can put an end to the cubes needing to be self-destroyed or something. Strikes me as the Borg Queen has too much respect for Janeway and is not ruthless enough -- or is too stupid.

The Borg Queen orders cubes with "individualized" drones to self-destruct and Janeway finds this objectionable due to Star Fleet life preserving principles. I think it would be highly idealistic on Janeway's part to think she could liberate all the drones who have the ability to get to Unimatrix Zero without excessive cost (i.e. a big response from the Borg). But then we wouldn't have an episode. (I'd be like "go ahead and destroy your f'n cubes".)

7's romance is a a bit sappy and artificial for me but at least we got the Doc/7 scene discussing relationships. Doc is a good character for this kind of thing and him and 7 make a great combo -- one of VOY's character strengths. Personally I think the episode could have done without 7's romance.

Also interesting that Paris steps up and provides some council to Chakotay (like the former Maquis used to do for Janeway) -- guess that being a lieutenant again was made use of effectively.

Again, I liked the Borg Queen as a character but not for what she represents as it relates to the integrity of the Borg. I was curious where the scene with the little boy in Unimatrix Zero would lead -- this was a good scene that had an element of unpredictability to it (something this episode lacked overall).

2.5 stars for "Unimatrix Zero, Part II" -- again, definitely watchable although slightly less "believable" than Part I. Loved the production and effort put into making everything grand. Some subtle character moments were nice although largely drowned out by the overwhelming theme of action action action. Unimatrix Zero gets destroyed but it had to be done -- the Borg can be pragmatic. Decent stuff overall but somewhat shallow.
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Wed, Sep 5, 2018, 9:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Unimatrix Zero, Part I

Doesn't come close to hitting the heights of "Scorpion" but this episode has a good, intriguing concept and decent action scenes -- unlike some VOY action scenes where we don't care as much about one of the parties. VOY goes all out for this 2-parter and it wins points from me for the elaborate production. Yes VOY overuses the Borg and, for me, declaw it but it still provides for a can't miss villain. There's also the 7 romance element, which I found out-of-place but perhaps it is to appeal to a certain type of viewer amid the grand action adventure that this sets out to be.

Janeway puzzles me, although by now she shouldn't. She plans to go solo to plant the virus -- this is suicidal - not unlike "Year of Hell" where she takes unreasonable risks. Anyhow, it makes more sense with Torres and Tuvok alongside and it was definitely cool to see them as Borg. But I agree with Jammer that it is ridiculous to include being assimilated as part of the plan!

I have mixed feelings about the Borg Queen. I don't think there should be one in the first place -- the Borg should just arrive at a collective decision and not be dictated to by 1 individual. That being said, Susanna Thompson does a very good job portraying a calm but cold-blooded villain. Loved the threat to Harry after she finishes bargaining with Janeway, which was a well-done scene. She makes the Borg more interesting but also compromises its integrity for me.

As for Unimatrix Zero, I think it is believable considering how many drones have been assimilated (presumably billions) that there can be some defects with brain functions such that some individuality can resurface in a subconscious state. To me, that is interesting sci-fi that doesn't violate the paradigm. And it is a good premise that Janeway wants to save these Borg and potentially eliminate a major threat.

3 stars for "Unimatrix Zero, Part I" -- definitely a very watchable hour of VOY with an interesting twist on a familiar and formidable enemy. I guess it may not strictly be original as there are some elements of "I Borg" here. VOY overuses the Borg and 7 but it still generates good episodes. We get Janeway and Chakotay having their heart-to-heart about the captain's decision but maybe by now the 2nd in command figures it's useless to challenge his boss. But in the past when those 2 have been at odds, it's made for some strong scenes ("Scorpion"). Good way to end a season.
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Tue, Sep 4, 2018, 10:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Suspicions

This is a poor Crusher episode and one that I found particularly boring and nonsensical. Considering it's a murder mystery, it's a real disappointment as the cast of characters/suspects aren't well-developed. Crusher's career is on the line yet it didn't have any impact. Guinan and her tennis elbow BS didn't work -- she hints that Crusher should keep pursuing the mystery but her role was mostly fluff.

There's the usual technobabble which is to be expected -- flying a shuttle into a star's corona with special shielding. What of the brightness of the star? No discussion of that. Or does the special shielding take care of that too in addition to the heat and radiation? Makes me think of "Operation -- Annihilate!" from TOS where all the work McCoy/Spock do fails to realize that a star is very bright.

The ending with Jo'Bril popping up in the shuttle and announcing his evil plan was just too ridiculous. Muahahahah! indeed. And of course Crusher subdues him and phasers a hole in him and then kills him. And where did Crusher figure out how to set the shuttle to evade Enterprise's methods of stopping it? Too much that Crusher does seems hard for me to believe she should be capable of doing -- not to mention disobeying orders multiple times - just seems so out of character for her. And what of her doing an autopsy on the Ferengi? Are she/Picard off the hook for that? Loose ends...

Barely 1.5 stars for "Suspicions" -- one of those episodes where a main character has his/her obsession/career on the line but it didn't work for Crusher here. Just too much nonsense and sloppiness. Came up with a new alien species with just enough contrivances (able to fake death) to make a story (albeit unoriginal). Betting there are no lasting consequences for Crusher -- really seems as if the show-runners were trying to force a Crusher episode but it had her doing a lot of non-medical things which didn't feel right for me.
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Tue, Sep 4, 2018, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Starship Mine

"Die Hard" on the Enterprise indeed with Patrick Stewart as Bruce Willis. Problem is the villains sucked and the action scenes were weak (although typical for TNG). But this episode had a different feel to it -- in a good way -- to see the main crew in this type of hostage situation with a bit of humor injected. This was much better than "Rascals" as it appeared more believable. But TNG can't do justice to a true hostage situation like "Die Hard" because it is the much more sanitized Trek after all.

I liked the humor of Data imitating Hutch and then engaging in small talk big time. This is the aspect that the tried-and-true TNG crew can add to a more serious situation -- by this stage in Season 6, TNG has "carte blanche" and this is an episode where it can try something atypical ("Die Hard") and mostly get away with it, with its own twists.

The hijackers were just goofy -- the one guy setting up the trilithium for safe transport did not act like he belonged, "Tuvok" only had a very minor role and the others were stiffs. But the head profiteer -- who looked like Jamie Lee Curtis -- was not convincing. As is typical, when she has a chance to shoot Picard, she doesn't (because Picard is the protagonist). Yet on the planet, Hutch and Geordi get shot no problem.

Pretty straight forward action/resolution ending -- definitely nothing to write home about. Of course the baryon sweep gets stopped in the nick of time, but it does serve as a good countdown.

2.5 stars for "Starship Mine" -- kind of a fun, inconsequential episode - sneaking around a darkened Enterprise with some good TNG humor injected (mostly from Data who is the best at it). Picard, as action hero, is serviceable although he is not credible in action scenes - the fight scene with the female head profiteer was weak. Definitely not a bad episode but not a great one either.
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Fri, Aug 31, 2018, 11:21am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Change of Heart

@ Peter G.,

One correction to my last message -- "Behind the Lines" is what I meant to refer to when Jadzia successfully took command on a supposedly difficult mission.
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Fri, Aug 31, 2018, 10:55am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Change of Heart

@ Peter G.,

I think Sisko was particularly tough on Worf also because of the intel from the Cardassian that could have potentially saved millions of lives so the consequences were more serious than say letting Kira run off to Bajor against just the principle. But Sisko was also more strict about going by the book here.

Interesting that even if Worf had gotten to the rendez-vous point and waited for the Cardassian (Jadzia would have died) but it would have been in vain anyway as the Cardassian was killed. But of course that's not really the point.

As for command potential, I was thinking Jadzia might be moving in that direction -- she commanded the Defiant in "Favor the Bold" while Sisko had to sit and worry. So it shouldn't be a stretch for her to migrate beyond Science.

But yes, Worf not being able to make command because his wife works with him and he abandoned his duty briefly because of her -- by the book, it's harsh -- especially if the 2 can be separated from working with each other on difficult missions going forward.
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Thu, Aug 30, 2018, 8:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Change of Heart

Way too much fluff in this episode but it we certainly get plenty of Worf/Jadzia as a couple and especially Worf putting his wife before duty and that he'd do it again knowing the consequences is what is really accomplished here. So it's a good character episode for Worf & Jadzia but I found it dragged with all the fluff and I still find their relationship unnatural (mostly because of Worf). I'm not a fan of Farrell's acting overall but she does better when it comes to relationship-type stuff like here.

There's the MacGuffin of whatever intelligence the Cardassian had that could save millions of lives. What could it possibly have been?? So the overall Dominion war arc doesn't really develop.

The B-plot was just silliness with the tongo game and O'Brien wanting a challenge. What was eerily interesting is how Quark was going on about Dax was the last chance of happiness for him & Bashir because she's now married -- and it turns out she was dying.

Anyhow, plenty of Worf/Dax relationship stuff here -- most of it belongs in a romantic comedy and most of it was tiresome for me as there isn't a lot of chemistry between these 2. Again, Trek rarely gets romances right but at least somewhat of a base was developed here for Worf/Jadzia beyond snarky one-liners.

It's interesting how tough Sisko is on Worf -- in Star Fleet duty comes first. Seems like Sisko bends the rules slightly for others now and then. Really have to question why Worf/Jadzia went on the mission together with nobody else in the first place. Why not O'Brien given that Keiko is away for 6 months? Probably because we just had an O'Brien episode "Honor Among Thieves".

2 stars for "Change of Heart" -- really not much here, a MacGuffin, some contrivances (walking for 2 days in the jungle, Worf/Jadzia together alone) but ultimately we get an important understanding of Worf's love for Jadzia but had to sit through a lot of fluff to get there.
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Wed, Aug 29, 2018, 9:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Live Fast and Prosper

It's not good when you can't take the villains seriously and the episode is not even meant as a comedy. How do these 3 thieves even go around shafting all these cardboard stupid aliens anyway? Just seemed so implausible to me -- kind of like the Pakleds. They download all of Voyager's databases in a few seconds by some kind of scanning tool? Shouldn't these 3 have gotten their asses kicked multiple times by the heavies in the DQ?

Anyhow, the little bit of trickery at the end couldn't save this episode from overall sucking. At least the ending fooled me and got me thinking a bit. But this kind of thing was done much better in "Counterpoint" - an episode with class and one that used a new character far more effectively.

Another gripe I had with this episode is the actress impersonating Janeway -- she played that annoying Vorta in "The Ship" and was totally inappropriate in that role. Here she is in a role that she's better suited for but hardly credible as an intergalactic con artist.

There were some moments of levity and Neelix naivete/soft moralizing but this episode is too lightweight/fluffy. What was interesting is Voyager concerned about its reputation -- this can have some serious consequences being all alone in the DQ and trying to forge alliances etc.

1.5 stars for "Live Fast and Prosper" -- VOY does a lot of these lightweight, poorly thought out episodes. Nothing of consequence for the characters or the series.

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Wed, Aug 29, 2018, 8:59am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: True Q

I like good Q episodes and this is definitely one of them. Reminds me of "Charlie X", "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "Hide and Q", and "Death Wish". Of course the possibilities are endless with the omnipotent Q and trying to use the human framework to understand the Continuum isn't supposed to lead anywhere. But it's a fun exercise. So Picard's typical moralizing speech "Morality, I don't see it," while speaking for us, should be sneered at by Q. Humans should not be able to comprehend Q's motives, but I think the Continuum's actions were right in that having omnipotent beings running around freely shouldn't be permitted (though it sometimes seems that de Lancie Q indulges himself).

What quite doesn't work for me is Amanda, like Charlie Evans, developing phenomenal powers as a young adult after being born human. I think Amanda right off the bat should be a being of pure energy or something. But it's a small nitpick and gives the story its plot.

As for Q testing Amanda -- his description of joining the Continuum may be to entice Amanda as she's young - "universe can be your playground". That's clearly not totally true. What's disappointing is he doesn't speak of the Q's responsibility to her-- surely the writers could come up with something that appears to transcend human thinking (or maybe not). Instead the Continuum's responsibility is only touched on slightly later-- which is probably fine to keep some element of mystery of something that should be unfathomable to us mere mortals.

The part about killing Amanda's parents -- maybe the Continuum deemed this a mistake and took a different tack in VOY's "Death Wish" with the renegade Q?

The ending was predictable -- of course the B-plot with the ecological disaster and reactor overload would test Amanda and she'd use her powers and realize she's Q and say good-bye to Crusher etc.

3 stars for "True Q" -- nothing that hasn't really been done before but it's a compelling story and de Lancie is awesome in this one. He has the Continuum's agenda and it slowly gets revealed, the humans don't like it but he's right. The actress playing Amanda did a reasonably good job -- she has her crush on Riker, likes puppies etc. but ultimately realizes what she must do. Nice also to get a bit more about the Q Continuum.
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Tue, Aug 28, 2018, 9:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Face of the Enemy


Have you seen "Disaster" recently? Troi was the epitome of uncertain person-in-charge there for the most part. She eventually developed a bit of steel but that's a far cry from her carrying on the Tal Shiar Major role the way she did here. She represented Tal Shiar like she had been serving with them for years, challenging Toreth etc.

It's good that some see this episode as a break-out role for her, which she needed. But it just came out of left field for me. Almost thought N'Vek had reprogrammed her in addition to the surgery.
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Tue, Aug 28, 2018, 7:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Face of the Enemy

This one reminds me of "The Enterprise Incident" -- much weaker, although it's a decent episode with somewhat of a letdown, convenient ending -- it didn't really live up to the build-up and the questions one asks oneself as the episode wears on. Seymour as Toreth was terrific (but not as good as the female Romulan commander in the TOS episode). Getting some Romulan world-building was cool but I don't get how Troi comes up with the balls to challenge Toreth, to live up to the Tal Shiar reputation, take command of the Warbird etc. This is big-time out of character for Troi and was very odd, for me.

Some cat-and-mouse between starships is always fun although I'm somewhat surprised Toreth would want to attack Enterprise after it finds out it was being followed. Also surprised she didn't just phaser Troi after all the pissing matches these 2 had once Troi was found to be a traitor. Trek tries to portray the Romulans as scheming/clever, but they can come across as dumb/naive ("The Enterprise Incident" again comes to mind) or in this case so fearful of the Tal Shiar. At least Toreth gave some background as to why.

The defector the Enterprise took on seemed to be a complete idiot -- not sure why the Romulans wouldn't have killed him long before he got a chance to re-defect. He was a strike against this episode with his overweight/goofy appearance.

But it's good that this episode kept up the theme of Romulan dissidents after "Unification". Can see the similarities between Romulans and Cardassians in that they have this strong military control, some may be attracted to it for the order, while others want out (dissidents).

Not much made of Troi missing from the Enterprise or if Picard/Riker knew what happened to her -- obviously they recognize her when she speaks from the Warbird but how the whole thing was orchestrated is unclear to get the Romulan dissidents makes it really seem Picard/Riker were clueless.

I don't get why the freighter was destroyed -- perhaps the random element to show N'Vec's uncertainty about the situation and make things seem less under his control. Or maybe to spur Troi to be more assertive with him...

2.5 stars for "Face of the Enemy" -- definitely intriguing but somewhat lightweight. We get a Troi episode -- but again one like "Power Play" where she gets to act out of character, although I found it hard to rationalize here. Not totally sure what the bigger implications of the episode are -- successful defection of some high-ranking Romulans. Something to build on for a future episode perhaps.
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Wed, Aug 22, 2018, 9:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Spirit Folk

Has to be one of the worst VOY episodes -- I was literally aghast watching the Fair Haven folk discussing for long stretches amongst themselves what to do with the Voyager crew. Who cares about these people ffs?? The level of stupidity from the Voyager crew and arbitrary holodeck malfunctions made this a complete disaster of an episode.

"Fair Haven" was a weak episode but at the end it planted a seed for a sequel. And as the opener hit with Paris driving in Fair Haven, I sighed.

Holodeck characters growing beyond their programming has been done far better (Moriarty on TNG). This one didn't even have any logic to it -- like Paris and Kim fixing a control panel in Fair Haven and then it getting shot?? Of course the safety controls and ability to end the program don't work... Must have been amateur hour when "Spirit Folk" was written.

I couldn't believe Janeway nixing Torres' idea of shutting down the holodeck program because she has real feelings for the bartender while her crewmembers are in danger. And how is it to be explained that Doc gets hypnotized in Fair Haven??

The ending is quite campy, the Fair Haven people don't turn their backs on good people after Janeway tells the bartender the truth about who she is etc. I'm glad at least that happened (more consistent with their programming) although I couldn't care less at that point.

0.5 stars for "Spirit Folk" -- an episode that should not be part of the Trek canon. Shit like this just shouldn't be made -- basic rules of the Trek holodeck paradigm aren't observed, the Voyager crew act like idiots, and the real focus seemed to be the Fair Haven folk. This is VOY getting carried away without a purpose for some truly mindless "fun".
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Tue, Aug 21, 2018, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: The Quality of Life

Hit and miss episode with some interesting ideas -- trying to rekindle the magic of "The Measure of a Man" with Data believing the exocomps are alive/sentient. I suppose we shouldn't be "put off" by the appearance of the exocomps when considering their sentience. But this episode looks dated with our world of AI -- no way in hell those exocomps are alive although they do seem to be sentient. That Data makes his "most human decision" to fight for their right to choose is a worthy premise.

The Dr. Farallon character was your fairly typical Trek guest character -- nothing special, offers some token resistance to Data's belief. She's again the usual risk-taking scientist obsessed with her new mining technique -- not a great actress and hardly compelling.

But Data is way out of line with his beliefs and jeopardizing Picard/Geordi. He locks out the transporter but did he have any other plan for saving the 2 crew members?? Was he just going to let them die? This strikes me as idiotic -- it was Riker who suggested the plan of giving the exocomps a choice. Data apparently ascribes the same quality of life to the exocomps as Picard/Geordi -- the episode should have dug deeper here. No repercussions for Data's insubordination either, I would assume. That shouldn't be the case.

There's the usual arbitrary technobabble part about the exocomps saving the station but an interesting twist is one of them sacrificing itself to save the other 2.

Too bad the episode didn't return to the poker game in the opener with Crusher going brunette or Worf/Geordi/RIker shaving their beards -- another drawback of this episode. Weird when episodes have the majority of the openers being unrelated filler.

2.5 stars for "The Quality of Life" -- felt like it should have been more compelling given the ideas being examined. But maybe this episode didn't age very well. The whole mining techniques strikes me as ridiculous and the guest character/actress was mediocre. No way can the exocomps be alive -- the episode focused on life instead of sentience it seemed to me, which may also have been the wrong choice. Still, this is very much a TNG episode with decent ideas but iffy execution.
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Tue, Aug 21, 2018, 5:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

Felt like TNG tried to do "Home Alone" -- very weak episode with an absolutely ridiculous premise that 4 adults could go through the transporter and become kids (and their clothes also get shrunk accordingly) - kind of like in "Mirror, Mirror" where the transporter changes the costumes of Kirk & co. (one minor gripe I have with that classic). No amount of technobabble / medibabble can make this seem reasonable -- that the minds remain adult but the bodies are those of kids. Too much suspension of disbelief.

Worse still is the Ferengi who are so stupid but because of that I suppose they are appropriately chosen to have the ship re-taken over by the kids. The Ferengi -- the most annoying creation in the Trek cannon.

The Miles/Keiko (as a kid) bit posed some very uncomfortable questions -- good thing that part was quickly abandoned. Not sure what they could have done with that or what point needed to be made other than it being hugely awkward.

The Guinan/Ro (as kids) was really terrible to watch -- fine that Ro had a rough childhood, but that Guinan actually wants to be a child?? Some shitty filler material here with jumping on the bed. And in the end Ro wants to keep drawing just because she's in the body of a kid?

1 star for "Rascals" -- terrible idea with a very neat and tidy transporter resolution (of course it would work perfectly to return the kids back to being adults). Too simple with the kids overwhelming the small Ferengi boarding (for a ship of over 1000) and RIker giving them the command codes. Just really lousy TNG here.
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Tue, Aug 21, 2018, 3:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Schisms

"Schisms" deserves 2.5 stars -- it's a decent sci-fi episode with not too much wrong. Takes time to get going and there's loads of technobabble, but I like the idea and especially the creepy/eery atmosphere in the subspace alien realm was created effectively.

Frakes, in particular, puts in a really good Riker performance showing his irritation at the lack of sleep etc.

In the end, leaving the subspace aliens a mystery as their probe (or whatever) leaves the ship and is not traced is fine.
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Mon, Aug 20, 2018, 11:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

Really stupid episode with just a couple of worthwhile moments. An episode is never going to be a winner with Lwaxana and Worf's son being the main characters -- maybe they should have thrown in a Ferengi too... Just a very poor idea for an episode -- largely intended as a comedy with some bullshit ship threat tossed in.

It really makes no sense for Lwaxana, an older woman desperate for love, to pay any attention to Alexander. And the holodeck program was idiotic -- what is TNG thinking having Lwaxana corrupting Alexander with adult entertainment while sitting in a mudbath?? I simply can't buy into the bond between these 2.

The 2 acceptable scenes were when we get an insight into Lwaxana being old, lonely -- this is well-acted by Majel Barrett. But why would she not confide this to Deanna? Is telling this to Alexander basically like getting it off her chest to somebody without anybody really knowing/understanding (since he's a kid)? Barrett is a good actress -- she was on TOS as well -- but the Lwaxana character is ridiculous and unfortunately, too shallow - a shame.

As for Lwaxana's wedding -- so predictable that it would fall apart and that she'd show up naked. I will say the scene where her husband wants to negotiate and then Alexander/Worf/Deanna all get there was somewhat amusing. Everything is moving in a different direction, Lwaxana's trying to be polite, Worf (or "Woof" as Lwaxana would say) wants to get Alexander to eat, but the kid wants to do his annoying laughing our... a mildly entertaining scene of comedic chaos.

As for the technobabble problem with the metal parasites -- your typical half-assed B-plot. TNG has way too many of these -- could have had more comedic effect if it actually interfered with the A-plot (other than Lwaxana having sausages in her tea and then drinking it).

1 star for "Cost of Living" -- much of the episode's premise makes zero sense, the holodeck scenes with Lwaxana/Alexander were truly pitiful and the alien parasite threat to the ship did nothing for the episode as, predictably, Data solved the problem in the nick of time. One gripe I have is that at warp 9 it was going to take like 5 hours to get to the asteroid field but the ship could only get to like warp 6 -- but with some handwaving, it all worked out. Pretty much nearly the worst of TNG here.
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