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Thu, Jun 21, 2018, 9:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

Terrible episode. Pointless, boring, and it even disrespects Odo's fine character with some nonsense that has no applicability to DS9's arcs or even as an analogy to something in real life. Quite clearly one of DS9's worst episodes with 2 subplots that are probably equally stupid and that have nothing to do with each other (which further affects the sum total of the episode).

When Lwaxana showed up pregnant I knew we were in for some stupidity. But I guess when she falls asleep on Odo, his character changes and he says he'll marry her?? What ever happened to trying everything possible to get away from her -- there's just no explanation for Odo's about-face. I suppose in the wedding ceremony, there's some truth to his desire for companionship and that Lwaxana didn't recoil given how different he was. But this is not enough of a payoff given how much crap the viewer has to sit through. And even Lwaxana admits the friendship is more important and Odo doesn't really love her so she goes off to Betazed to have the baby -- at least she won't be on DS9 anymore. Anyhow, it's a shame that a great Trek actress like Majel Barrett has taken on this Lwaxana role. She could be given so much better.

As for Jake and the alien woman -- I guess the payoff is Jake gets the start to a great novel before being saved from having all his brain power or whatever drained. This subplot was downright weird, farfetched, and I'm not sure what the point was. Is it to say Jake can't come up with something great on his own and needs this alien to help him?

In the initial encounter the writer(s) didn't even make it seem like Jake was under the spell of Onaya and he just innocently decides to go to her quarters. So he's naive but then just goes along with her massaging his head while he keeps writing? Just really weird and nonsensical. Highly questionable.

1 star for "The Muse" -- a mashup of 2 awful subplots (one of which was written by Majel Barrett). Slow, boring, and disappointing. So Onaya was behind some of the greatest writers and she/it can just come and go -- was she even done with using Jake when Sisko showed up? Anyhow lots of unanswered questions that aren't worth asking given how bad and forgettable this episode was.
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Thu, Jun 21, 2018, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Rules of Engagement

As far as Trek court-room dramas go, this one is below average. And the Klingon subterfuge seems like something the Romulans would do. Ch'Pok is a devious character and lies about how all those dead Klingons are etched in his mind and then Sisko trips him up. I've always had an issue with Avery Brooks' acting and here he is too theatrical like he's forcing himself to be a real defense attorney.

And it seems quite basic that before firing upon a ship that de-cloaks, that the ship should be identified. So Worf just fires up on it? Sisko reprimands him for that -- fine. But this whole Klingon subterfuge is just not well thought out. Just using a list of the dead from another crash as the dead here? I think the episode went for the drama of a courtroom battle but didn't have enough meat on the bones.

What I did like is how Sisko explains the pressure of being a captain and a bit more texture to the Klingon warrior mentality -- Worf wanted a reason to attack. So there's something in Klingons that can make them go berserk -- like when Ch'Pok pissed Worf off enough so that Worf slugged him. But it's pretty clear what Worf's predicament is (family, son's future, relationship with Klingon Empire) -- all not good. And Ch'Pok succeeded in striking a nerve and nearly had the case won.

The other thing that was cool is the flashback testimonies -- although Quark's part tarnished the severity/tone of the episode.

The episode also reinforces the theme in Season 4 of the uneasy relationship between Klingons and the Federation. And Ch'Pok constantly talking to Sisko outside the trial about what the Klingons hope for was good for the viewer to get the bigger picture, but is dumb in terms of him helping achieve Klingon objectives. Seems like he could really take a lesson from the Romulans.

A low 2.5 stars for "Rules of Engagement" -- some good ideas here but when you open the cupboard, it's almost bare. Worf learns a captain's lesson and relations between the Federation and Klingons should get worse after this scheme is divulged. Ch'Pok was allowed to go over the line with his antagonizing of Worf and even obtaining the holodeck evidence (even if permission is given after the fact) -- so plenty of holes in this one that goes for the thrill of a courtroom battle and only partially realizes it.
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Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Night

Some good ideas here and some bad ones too -- probably makes this a fairly typical VOY episode. The opening felt original and more realistic in that the ship is going through a void, crew have too much time on their hands and are going stir crazy. This is what literally must happen for 90% of the time Voyager is stuck in the DQ (and almost as much for TOS, TNG as their Enterprises explore). So to acknowledge this aspect was good.

But the huge issue I have here is Janeway -- what a character assassination "Night" is. All the guilt attacks her and she withdraws and stops caring about the crew. And then she wants to sacrifice herself when it's painfully obvious there's a viable plan where she doesn't have to.

I liked the scene with Chakotay and Tuvok -- they know they're not exactly buddies but as it relates to Janeway, Chakotay needs to know what's up. VOY never played up Janeway's guilt enough for me -- I think there's a potential wellspring of material here. It pops up here but is used stupidly.

The part about the 2 new alien species whose roles/intentions get reversed is decent. And Voyager takes the righteous Trek stance of helping the oppressed. Interesting that the environmental analogy is the profit-at-all-cost Malon dumping toxic waste and harming a more or less helpless species. And also the Malon is not willing to learn Voyager's technology for fear he might be out of his current job. Chakotay has a prescient point about him then being able to do better things when given Voyager's knowledge...but then we wouldn't have a spaceship battle scene to end the episode.

2.5 stars for "Night" -- the episode felt different at the start, like something new was being explored (adapting to nothingness). The alien confrontation wasn't bad, but I was not a fan of how Janeway's character was written here -- at the start she was a just simply going to be a non-leader as the crew faced 2 years of nothingness. But then the episode goes down a more traditional route. So much more could be done with a haunting judgment error for the captain.
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Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 8:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

Really frustrating conclusion to what was a decent set up. But there's more good Janeway/7 stuff here (as there has been throughout VOY S4). The alien Arturis'srevenge plan is ridiculous -- instead of delivering Voyager to the Borg, why not just blow them up or make them die a slow, painful death? His plan will get himself assimilated in all likelihood, right?

But what I did like is how his revenge is related to Species 8472 and how his people wanted the Borg destroyed by 8472. Obviously Janeway had to look out for her crew. "Scorpion" is 1 of the the best things VOY ever came up with. Also liked the idea of Arturis being a living universal translator -- but of course, the "too good to be true" thing is pretty clear at the start of the episode. At least the cast recognizes that, having been burned in the past.

Would have been interesting to see characters like Torres/7 adapt to life on Earth but that would be a different series. I don't quite get 7's fear for wanting to be among humans on Earth -- I think the fear some of the Voyager staff initially had of her seemed to dissipate quickly but perhaps going through that over and over again on Earth would be a pain. Her refusal to help Janeway initially seemed a bit out of left field. But Mulgrew was very good in that scene, I thought.

So the chase scene in the end -- this is the kind of stuff that bugs me. Just arbitrary stuff. Of course, Janeway/7 break through the forcefield. The quantum slipstream works perfectly for to chase Arturis' ship, rescue Janeway/7, but then they can't use the technology again.

High 2 stars for "Hope and Fear" -- bit of a rip off of an episode. The best part is more 7/Janeway relationship development starting with 7 challenging Janeway with the holodeck game and then Janeway challenging 7 with her fear of going to Earth. The episode is a setup for a disappointing end result for Janeway & co. although they do get a lot closer to home. But how it degenerates into a standard kidnap/rescue is underwhelming.
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Wed, Jun 20, 2018, 7:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: One

I can see the admirable objectives in this episode -- 7's new-found beliefs being challenged, her dealing with loneliness -- but it got overdone with the hallucinations and paranoia. It stopped "adding value" after a certain point when it seemed to be just trying to break her and I wondered what was real and what wasn't (or what makes "sense" and what doesn't).

As for being another 7 episode, I think they maybe could have made it work for say Tuvok but 7 is the new toy this season and it has done quite well -- albeit to the detriment of other characters.

At first, I was wondering where they came up with all those stasis chambers. Do they just have them hanging around? And then, I assume Paris getting out of one had to be a hallucination otherwise he'd be covered in burns etc.

Trek's had a number of these episodes where a primary character goes through the ringer (paranoia etc.) but here I don't think it works well -- not because of 7's acting but just the situations are so repetitive. The random alien, the bridge crew all mocking got ridiculous. But 7 (Jeri Ryan) does have some great facial expressions -- like when she showed genuine fear.

Ultimately it's a baptism by fire -- 7 sticks to her guns (not surprisingly) and redeems Janeway's trust. Obviously the 2 have a strong bond and I liked all the stuff their relationship has gone through, although the captain didn't have much choice other than to trust 7 here.

A high 2 stars for "One" -- the whole paranoia thing went on for too long and has been done better ("Frame of Mind" comes to mind) but there are other examples. Another lesson for 7 about the need for companionship now that she's not Borg is a good premise for an episode but the ongoing nagging from the alien and hallucinations of the shipmates, stuff not working on the ship etc. got repetitive and annoying. Ultimately it's a pretty basic, somewhat predictable episode.
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Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

These kinds of TNG episodes seem like a dime a dozen -- predictable 2-plot affairs that can drag for stretches, leading to an arbitrary technobabble ending. Geordi's crush on Brahms -- I suppose it's fine to re-visit it but it was all too predictable that, after Leah being aghast at Geordi's holodeck recreation they'd find a way to smooth it over and connect to the B-plot of getting the alien off the ship's hull.

The thing is we might feel for Geordi in that he's the typical engineering geek and a genuine person with good intentions -- but it makes sense that Brahms would not like being turned into a holodeck character and being fantasized about. So Geordi is a creep. Wish his actions weren't interpretable in that way.

And how Geordi misses that she's married is downright bizarre. What was also abrupt was why Brahms started opening up about people finding her cold and then she says it would be inappropriate to stay for dinner. Why start to open up in the first place?

Read that the actress for Brahms was considered for Janeway's character -- completely agree with her rejection. Wasn't particularly impressed her acting here.

As for the B-plot with the "Tin Man" like creature -- the best part was Picard's reaction after the Enterprise kills the mother accidentally. Stewart has some of the best facial expressions. There's the usual frantic part at the end about technobabble trying to "sour the milk" before other aliens get to the ship -- and of course it works in the nick of time. No surprise, no suspense.

2 stars for "Galaxy's Child" -- a reminder that Geordi's character has some women issues and hopefully Guinan's words about seeing a woman for who she is and not who he wants her to be take hold. Some mildly interesting sci-fi with the aliens, however it doesn't seem like the ship makes any progress understanding them and the episode just becomes a mechanical exercise in getting rid of it. One of those overall middling episodes.
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Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 4:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

Can't help with this minor nitpick upon rewatch -- while the Malcorians are on the verge of warp-flight (so humanoids supposedly more advanced -- in some ways -- than we are now), their hands appear like those of a crocodile. Think the Trek folks erred in this poor attempt to differentiate them from humans. Such an advanced species should have more developed appendages I'd think.
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Thu, Jun 14, 2018, 6:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Crossfire

Auberjonois is terrific in this episode -- even under all those prosthetics we can see the emotions clear as day and they're so well portrayed. Not much of a plot here other than the Odo/Kira arc, but in terms of similar frustrated romance episodes, I found "Crossfire" clearly superior than "Rejoined". This episode was good for its various character interactions, something DS9 excels at more than any other Trek series.

I actually really liked the Odo/Worf discussion about order and routine and how they should be inhospitable to prevent folks from visiting them. Quite hilarious.

Then there was Shakaar asking Odo about Kira -- great acting from Auberjonois here, feeling uncomfortable - not wanting to encourage Shakaar and not giving away his feelings, but still trying to be helpful.

I did enjoy the Quark/Odo interaction after the shapeshifter rips up his quarters -- this is the best use of Quark as a 2ndary character: when he is perceptive but conceals his true, upstanding feelings with his typical profit babble. No question there is a subtle kinship between Odo and Quark and here it comes across well. Quark reminds Odo of who he really is or should be -- not the distracted emotional mess he's become.

Shakaar looks quite different from the "Shakaar" episode -- he's much more cleaned up as a minister. But introducing him again in place of Bareil is a reasonable tool to get the Odo/Kira thing going again. But unfortunately, the whole Bajor joining the Federation doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

And of course Odo can't come around to revealing his feelings to Kira, who likely suspects but doesn't probe.

2.5 stars for "Crossfire" -- need to have one of these kinds of pure character stories once in a while. Odo is terrific here with all the emotions he goes through. It's not a great episode but it is decent and engaging enough. I do think the episode could have made more about Shakaar's duties re. Bajor and the Federation -- it could have involved Sisko perhaps. Not a major knock, however.
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Wed, Jun 13, 2018, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Unforgettable

Turns out this is a very forgettable episode -- boring, pointless, and one that doesn't focus what would have been the more interesting parts of the premise. Instead it's some kind of stupid romance story with absolutely zero chemistry between Chakotay and Kellin.

I know there's some weird alien capabilities out there but this ability to make people forget longer term memories, making tricorders/transporters not work is a bit farfetched. The episode went on a bit too long with Chakotay not remembering Kellin and then Kellin not remembering Chakotay...ugh. And then the transporters work on the aliens in the end -- was there an explanation given for that?

I just kept thinking Kellin has something nefarious up her sleeve -- there was something inaccurate about the acting for somebody helpless claiming asylum. The closed society is one of Trek's stupid notions -- I suppose some cultures could be like that but this one has space-faring capabilities with advanced weapons. Doesn't add up.

So this tracer shows up on the ship and zaps Kellin and then plants a computer virus so that Voyager won't remember their appearance on the ship. And then him and Kellin are able to transport away. This kind of crap bugs me in that it's inconsistent and the writers just do whatever to make things wrap up nicely.

1.5 stars for "Unforgettable" -- was the point of the episode to get Neelix to spew some lines about analyzing love? That wasn't bad but this was just a boring episode full of holes -- it wasn't turkey-level bad, but it was rather bland. At one point Chakotay is supposedly showing rage against the tracer for zapping Kellin -- but he seemed to back off as if realizing he's an officer. It was just a weird, pointless episode.
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Wed, Jun 13, 2018, 8:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Omega Directive

Decent episode, carried mainly by 7 and some very intriguing sci-fi. But it also had some of the usual VOY crap like being fired on by the "aliens of the week" near the end of the episode and some arbitrary technobabble that makes things work out conveniently.

The secrecy of the Omega directive made the start of the episode quite interesting -- was thinking this better be good for all this cloak & dagger behavior from Janeway given that they're stuck in the DQ so far away from Star Fleet.

Quite inventive to come up with something like the Omega molecule -- I compare this concoction to the Douwd in "The Survivors" -- a being of immense power just like the Omega molecule has immense power. However this episode is nothing compared to "The Survivors", which is a very different episode -- the danger/volatility of the particle didn't really make much of an impact since 7 was able to come up with her Borg tricks to neutralize it effectively.

Easily the best part is 7 having a religious/spiritual experience -- all part of her humanization. But Ryan as an actress does a great convincing job showing the awe/appreciation of seeing perfection -- which is the equivalent of the divine to the Borg. She challenges her orders as would somebody on some kind of pilgrimage.

2.5 stars for "The Omega Directive" -- another episode to make 7 experience different human emotions but these ones are quite powerful and interesting to understand from a Borg perspective. Interesting and maybe even awe-inspiring if we consider it form the actors' perspective. Thought it was a bit arbitrary with handling the Omega molecules -- what could be done to them, what couldn't etc. But they're a good plot device in a decent and somewhat refreshing VOY story.
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Tue, Jun 12, 2018, 7:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Data's Day

Nice, refreshing change of pace episode. Thought it was quite charming to start off but then the Data discovering human experience thing wore off a bit and while the Romulan spy plot is quite different in tone, observing it through Data's monologue (poker analogy for Picard etc.) made it work.

What's great to see is a day in the life of the Enterprise crew -- interesting to hear about all the things that were going on through Data's monologue. Monologues tend to work quite well on Trek.

Definitely a nice act was Crusher teaching Data to dance and the android's grin. The 2 clearly have some talent and I didn't mind spending a couple of minutes witnessing it.

As for the Keiko/O'Brien wedding -- just another example for Data to witness some unusual human emotions and behaviors. Keiko's cold feet is a good start to her generally annoying appearances on TNG and DS9. The teaser for the episode got off to a good start with Data conveying to O'Brien that the wedding's off. Of course there is plenty of Data putting humans in awkward situations when he doesn't understand some of the human aspects.

The Romulans at this stage are interesting foes -- very devious and capable. They score a win over Picard here. More to come on this whole reunification thing...

When the wedding's back on I believe Picard starts off with the same line as Kirk in "Balance of Terror" before he pronounces O'Brien and Keiko as husband and wife.

Good enough for 3 stars for "Data's Day" -- cool that it was tied to "The Measure of a Man" with Data's monologue to Maddox (guess they're on good terms). Whether or not Data does truly portray an emotionless android perfectly is up for debate but in many ways he does it well, although there may be the little slip here and there where he reacts more humanly. "Learning" about humanity through Data's eyes -- a tried and tested aspect of sci-fi/Trek.
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Sat, Jun 9, 2018, 12:15am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Measure of a Man

So much to love about this episode -- one of Picard's best, a very good one for Riker, and Data's approach to the whole thing. He doesn't have any emotional outbursts per se but definitely wants to make choices and has preferences. I think it should elicit some strong emotions from viewers re. Data's future -- Data who is one of the most likeable characters in the series.

The argument that ultimately tilts the ruling in Picard's favor (and Data's) is the one about creating a race of slaves (Datas) and how humanity would then treat them. Initially, I felt I wasn't convinced but now I think it's something that goes right to our humanity. Really interesting dialog between Guinan and Picard when she brings up this notion. What would it say about us humans to just have androids who obviously display sentience to do our "dirty work"?

The episode is extremely well conceived, written and acted. Captain Louvois was a tad annoying initially and she did piss off Picard a fair bit. The situation is a tad contrived so that it gets Picard to face off vs. Riker. Such a landmark ruling should wait until proper attorneys etc. can be put into place. I don't know if there's an urgency to Maddox's work. I don't doubt there are some legal flaws here as well like asking Maddox to define sentience and attacking him on it. But it is the slaves argument that ultimately matters. And regardless of these minor nitpicks, the episode achieves its objectives -- nothing overly farfetched here.

4 stars for "The Measure of a Man" -- thoroughly enjoyable hour of TNG. Data's compassion for Riker at the end is a great finale.

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Fri, Jun 8, 2018, 2:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

Can't find any redeeming qualities in this episode (not even Porthos' acting) -- not sure where Jammer comes up with 1 star based on his review. Archer comes off looking like a dumbass -- can't apologize to T'Pol, who sets the working relationship straight.

The attempts at humor just fall flat. What are we supposed to make of Archer's ridiculous log cutting ritual? Nothing artistic, nothing humorous -- just stupid.

Have to drop my rating to zero stars for this dog of an episode. It doesn't measure favorably with the "gems" that are "Spock's Brain" and "Favorite Son" (for example). It's idiotic from the get-go and doesn't let up, totally pointless.
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Thu, Jun 7, 2018, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

Some additional thoughts after a re-watch:

The episode really picks up about half-way through. A fair bit of scattered padding before that which weighs the overall episode down from a 3.5- or 4-star rating for me (Nog/Red Squad, O'Brien/Bashir holodeck fun, Dax messing with Odo's furniture).

Also have to wonder how Earth would ever accept an alien as UFP president -- but who knows how attitudes are supposed to change in the next 300 years. Here, the president is woefully inadequate for the role, needs to be reminded by Odo/Sisko/Leyton about the need to provide re-assurance, that this is an emergency situation etc. Why does it take so much convincing FFS?? I suppose it is to provide the non-military high-level representative view of the general population.

Best acting performance here comes from Peters as Sisko's dad. Really has a relationship with Ben and Jake that comes across very naturally and plays a stubborn old man very well dealing with health issues, the desire to keep working.
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Tue, Jun 5, 2018, 9:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Remember Me

I was too harsh in my 1st evaluation of this episode -- in terms of psychological thrillers (am I going insane?) it's not bad and felt like something Braga would concoct. I've never been impressed with McFadden and the Dr. Crusher character but she does a convincing job here. It's reasonably suspenseful and, with a big stretch, can be rationalized, although it doesn't go enough into Crusher's personal notions or conceptions. So we don't necessarily learn enough about her. I think something similar might be "Barge of the Dead" for Torres -- a superior episode that plays on some of her personality attributes.

The ending with the traveler dude from "Where No One Has Gone Before" makes things arbitrary and somewhat silly and is definitely the weakness in this episode.

2.5 stars for "Remember Me" -- ultimately some good sci-fi, though how it comes about is a bit farfetched, but was hoping the episode could shine some light on some aspect of the human condition through Crusher instead of just self-doubt etc.
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Tue, Jun 5, 2018, 8:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Suddenly Human

Not a lot to like about this episode. It started with that annoying hum of defiance from Jono then Troi lecturing Picard on being a father figure and then just turning over the kid to the Talarians without getting any kind of closure from Admiral Granny. I did like the brief bit of introspection Picard did about his childhood -- how he was singularly focused on getting into Star Fleet and why he cringed at being a father figure.

This was a bizarre custody battle -- we get some idea of the culture clash between the Talarians and Federation where the aliens will go to war over 1 boy, although some pretty scary stuff happens in custody battles in our society too. But ultimately it's too simple -- Picard after getting stabbed and then realizing they could not convince Jono to remain with humans finally acknowledge what the boy wants. So this makes it seem like the Enterprise crew (mainly Picard, Troi) are pretty foolish. It was pretty clear Endar and Jono had a good relationship and there was no abuse.

I don't think the actor playing Jono gave a particularly convincing performance for when he was haunted by the human memories (collapsing playing racquetball. Picard did play the part of uncomfortable father figure well. And he did bounce back pretty quickly from a stab in the chest...

2 stars for "Suddenly Human" -- weak episode that could have been something out of Seasons 1 or 2. Could have been a stronger episode with a more convincing performance from Jono (reactions seemed somewhat arbitrary) or greater emphasis on what's right for the boy rather than what's right for the Federation. Interesting that this episode fleshes out the Talarian race, which I believe was first mentioned in "Heart of Glory". Wonder if we will hear more from them...
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Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Shockwave, Part I

Just feel the need to correct an earlier comment I made -- this is no longer, for me, "Easily the best episode from an ok Season 1" -- that "honor" would go to "Dear Doctor". An excellent episode, the first part of "Shockwave", is the 2nd best ENT S1 episode.
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Thu, May 31, 2018, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Way of the Warrior

@ Peter G.,

I've seen the series before but when judging an episode I try not to do so using knowledge of future episodes. So I know there's more to Gowron than what meets the eye here.

Here's what Jammer said re. Gowron: "This is the other quibble I have with this episode, which is that Gowron comes across as too stubborn and unreasonable. It's as if the writers made him more cardboard just so they could force elements of the confrontation."

So I felt the same way as Jammer but we know from TNG that Gowron is a multi-dimensional character so perhaps more could have been expected of him here. At this stage, to win Cardassia at the risk of losing the Federation alliance seemed foolhardy to me.

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Thu, May 31, 2018, 8:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Rejoined

At times, I found it hard to believe that this was DS9 that I was watching. Overall I found "Rejoined" mostly boring and probably what you'd find in some kind of lesbian romance novel (I'm guessing). No issues with the kiss as it seemed like a natural development between Dax and Kahn as their love grew -- sure it was thrown in to stir up some hype/controversy, but it wasn't gratuitous. It seemed more appropriate here than the kiss between the 2 gay doctors on DSC.

And while I find Farrell the weakest actor on DS9, she does a reasonably good job here while the guest actor for Kahn also acts well. But as far as love/romance stories go, it does not measure up at all with the best in Trek canon ("The City on the Edge of Forever" or "Metamorphosis" etc.) This episode is purely about the relationship and lacks anything tied to it.

The big detractor in the episode for me is the Trill BS. Ridiculous that Jadzia Dax and Kahn aren't supposed to get together, re-association, exile from Trill society -- who gives a shit?? It's all meant to represent the forbidden romance, or taboo romance -- and we get that about Dax/Kahn but realizing that it's only Trill taboos in the background make it hard to care. Not like Dax/Kahn are truly lesbians.

I did like yet another solid example of Sisko/Dax's true friendship -- for once Avery Brooks' huffing/puffing style of delivery worked.

The ending fell flat -- Kahn leaves, Jadzia observes from a distance...didn't have the emotional impact that it should. But it was also very predictable as Kahn wasn't going to be a recurring character. Not sure what the rescue scene accomplished either since Jadzia was already head over heels in love but Kahn still has her head screwed on right and ultimately doesn't jeopardize Trill society rules by calling off the relationship.

2 stars for "Rejoined" -- will give DS9 credit for trying to do something very different, although using Trills to do it wasn't the right choice for me. Not much of a plot here other than a building romance which ultimately can't last. Some good performances here from Farrell, Brooks and the actress playing Kahn but it was largely contrived and couldn't hold my interest.
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Thu, May 31, 2018, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Way of the Warrior

Terrific way to kick off a DS9 season -- all the political elements, well-developed characters, good action scenes and a great plot. A season should introduce some new twists and with Worf part of the cast (and Martok/Gowron as recurring characters), it is done really well here.

Interesting how Cardassia has a civil uprising now that its SS (Obsidian Order) has fallen. Take away the gun and then freedom can follow. Just needs time in order to establish a non-authoritarian government. But it all flows sensibly after "The Die Is Cast" -- we get consequences of that episode here.

DS9 goes from strength to strength with Worf and his adaptation to the station gives plenty of source material for interesting tales. He's always been good for being caught between loyalties dating back to "Heart of Glory".

Loved the scene where Sisko has Garak measure him for clothing while conveying the Klingon plan. Always great to have Garak and Dukat interacting as well. But one scene that was pure filler was Dax trying to measure up to Worf with the batleth fight -- in a 2-parter, there will be some filler but what's great is that there's very little of that in this one.

Gowron's a bit 1-dimensional here -- yes he's devious as usual but I don't get why he'd throw away the treaty with the Federation over some belief that the Dominion has infiltrated Cardassia. This was a bit weak from the writers, trying to force a conflict between all the familiar powers.

Good battle scenes with the Defiant rescuing Dukat and the Cardassian governing council although I don't get why Klingon boarding parties don't come firing phasers. Instead many of them get phasered when showing up ready to fight with batleths! Seems kind of dumb to me.

Not sure what to make of the Quark/Garak conversation about the Federation being insidious (like root beer once you get used to drinking it). I'm sure both would prefer a Federation presence instead of a Klingon one. But these kind of masked conversations between the 2 are one of the things I've gotten to really appreciate on DS9 -- might be the only thing I appreciate about Quark.

3.5 stars for "The Way of the Warrior" -- literally had everything going on and makes use of well established background and characters in an effective and highly entertaining way. And it's not just superficial stuff either -- Sisko telling Worf about running away may help for a while rings true in all situations (better to face the situation head on). Anyhow, the Klingons are going to be involved in DS9 now -- a wellspring to draw upon.
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Thu, May 31, 2018, 9:40am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Heart of Glory

Definitely one of the highlights of TNG Season 1 (which isn't saying much) however this is a good episode on its own merits. It does have some of the flaws that plagued TNG S1 but establishing Worf as a character and fleshing out the Klingon species was huge for Trek and this episode did a reasonably good job getting that started.

Clearly Korris is delusional and misguided but through him and the effect it has on Worf we get the picture of a warrior race, the quest for glory etc. It's misplaced given the alliance between the Klingons and Federation but it's not unreasonable given nationalistic tendencies people can have popping up. Worf is called a "brother lost among infidels".

As for Worf's development, it's pretty good here as he tells Korris about duty/honor/loyalty coming from within. Easy to see how some nut jobs can take valid and good principles and distort them for whatever means they see fit. Bottom line, Korris is a fugitive criminal but he serves a good purpose. Worf's line "they died well" is understood by the Klingon captain, even if strictly speaking, it may be a tad hollow in truth.

As for what didn't work -- too much time was spent examining the cargo ship before it blew up and Geordi's visor nonsense really hasn't aged well. Why not a regular camera on his head FFS?? And why were Riker and Geordi not in some kind of enviro-suits with oxygen masks when going aboard?

And then there's the phaser shootout scene where Korris escapes -- how lame were the Enterprise security officers? Seriously, this was a pitiful action sequence. Absolutely no cutting edge to it. The hostage scene with the little girl could have been a really strong moment -- Worf didn't seem to know what to do or maybe he realized the girl wouldn't be harmed as Klingons apparently don't take hostages.

This episode also had a decent musical score, which is very rare for all the Treks coming after TOS.

3 stars for "Heart of Glory" -- the 1st Worf episode has plenty of strong points and sets the stage for plenty more to come regarding Klingons. We can gather a great inner conflict is going on within Worf's mind although that much wasn't reflected well in his acting. Some weak points given it was TNG S1 but it goes a good length to fleshing out Worf/Klingons in the era post-TOS with some interesting philosophical debates.
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Wed, May 30, 2018, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Waking Moments

This one is very similar to "Scientific Method" -- fighting an alien invasion from some other realm whether it is phase-shifted or, in this case, dreams. Not a bad premise but totally implausible. So if these new villains do everything in the sleep realm, is that truly real? I guess the threat is that the awake body eventually dies but what about the ship -- it's not in the dream realm... How would the aliens take over Voyager?

The other big issue I have here is that what should be an important action is just skipped over and we are at the episode's coda. So after Chakotay threatens the alien after falling asleep and entering the dream realm (after he wakes up one of them on the planet) then the next thing we know, the aliens' field is being neutralized and the crew are recovering (with bouts of insomnia). This was ridiculous -- we don't even get to see the cardboard aliens acquiesce to Chakotay.

Enough stuff that requires a double take to figure out if it was in a dream or awake. I liked the opener -- the shot of Tuvok walking around (obviously naked) -- it was very weird but unfortunately the episode didn't live up to the promise.

There was one line that was so stupid it made me laugh. This is where (in the dream world) the crew is gathered in some holding area, and Chakotay goes "We need to re-take the ship." No really?? This is almost on par with Troi's "He's frozen." in "Encounter at Farpoint".

The visions of the moon for Chakotay were well done to symbolize when he's in the dream world -- it got hard to keep track of at times. Some interesting dreams for the various crew members that speak to their characters (although Tuvok's might be the exception here).

2 stars for "Waking Moments" -- interesting idea but implausible with some cardboard villains...something becoming all too common with VOY. Really disappointed with how quickly the ending wrapped up. Really seems like VOY will give any idea a try -- this episode is such an example.
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Wed, May 30, 2018, 7:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Concerning Flight

Just an excuse to get Janeway and Da Vinci in a "real" adventure together. I think this is one of those supposedly feel-good VOY episodes but I found it silly and overly contrived. I think there was really 1 good bit of dialog between Janeway and Da Vinci when the captain tries to explain to Leonardo that there are realities beyond his comprehension as if he were a sparrow. The whole thing of Da Vinci asking questions etc. got annoying -- like why he didn't want to leave the new world, why he survived being phasered etc.

Also, the plot is super simplistic. Alien pirates steal technology, Voyager finds them and retrieves them while Janeway and Da Vinci work on the ground. No real twists or unexpected turns. The character bits don't make up for the ultra basic plot. But I did like Tuvok's line to Da Vinci when he says he's from Scandinavia! (Like Data saying he's from South America in "The Big Goodbye").

It's definitely over the top cheesy in the end when Da Vinci and Janeway manage to fly (it never worked before but now it works with the weight of Da Vinci and Janeway somehow).

1.5 stars for "Concerning Flight" -- kind of a light-hearted adventure where nothing is to be taken seriously, no lasting effects. (Might as well not have been made). Not sure what the point is of giving Da Vinci some added inspiration given that he's a holodeck character. Weakest episode of a decent VOY Season 4 thus far.
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Tue, May 29, 2018, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Transfigurations

Kind of a lame episode before the epic BoBW -- one with a slow, repetitive buildup and a payoff that isn't really worth it. I think the episode intended for a cool sci-fi ending as we witness the "evolution" of a species into something god-like but it didn't have the desired effect for me. And then there's these new humanoid aliens that are on par with or stronger than the Enterprise -- but they're 1-dimensional stiffs.

I don't quite get why the rescued alien could not remember anything prior to the crash. Perhaps the writers wanted an excuse for a big reveal at the end. In a way the changes the alien is going through remind me of "Too Short A Season" with Jameson's changes being somewhat of a mystery and then a payoff that falls flatter than this one here. But again, it's hard to care about some unknown race where 4 of them tried to undergo this metamorphosis and just 1 survived the attack.

We have our wooden 1-dimensional aliens at the end who want to kill the alien, but the alien has gotten too powerful by then.

I take it Geordi is the big winner here -- having his nervous system hooked up with the alien gave him confidence to get the girl, finally. One other cool scene involving Geordi was when they determined the home world of the alien -- seemed like good logical deductive problem solving.

2 stars for "Transfigurations" -- hard to care much about this one with its recycled ideas, inexplicable medi-techno-babble. I guess the Enterprise crew, and Crusher specifically, are supposed to marvel at saving an alien and allowing him to transform into some kind of higher being. Kind of boring, slow-paced but not awful in any respect.
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Tue, May 29, 2018, 1:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: When the Bough Breaks

Another boring TNG S1 episode -- just really not well thought out and downright boring. Did the writers think having some kids featured would work well? Based on TOS, I think they should know better.

This highly advanced society with superior technology than the Enterprise doesn't even bother to figure out what's wrong with them and so they think they can just kidnap children and, worse comes to worst, (presumably) defend themselves. No morals or anything. And of course, Crusher figures out what's wrong with them in a few days.

And the Aldeans have this supposed super computer -- the "Custodian" which is easily disarmed by Riker/Data (lower the planet's shields/cloak). It didn't even try to pull a Landru or disco cube ("That Which Survives") on the landing party.

I apologize for comparing this episode to "The Inner Light" but there was one thing that makes me say this -- this Aldean society wants to preserve itself, wants to preserve its art forms. It does this by kidnapping children whereas Picard's mind was basically kidnapped in the TNG classic. So there is an aspect of the society's preservation at stake here.

Interesting that the Custodian was build by the "Progenitors" -- from "The Chase" so that could explain how the Aldeans had the cloaking device for millennia. Some of these things are mind-boggling relative to the usual Trek. But I didn't like having these idiotic Aldeans in possession of such valuable knowledge.

And what of that room where the power source lies -- did they take the "God" from "Justice" and stick it in there for this episode? That's what it looked like to me.

Anyhow, the rescue operation is too standard, predictable (beam through fluctuation in the shield, etc.) The kids' passive resistance isn't tested -- the episode is just too lame, too docile. I don't think even 1 kid shed a tear at not being with their parents for a few days.

Barely 1.5 stars for "When the Bough Breaks" -- it's as if this episode is meant to be G-rated although there are serious issues at play -- but they're dulled down. The balance was off, urgency lacked, and the Aldean society seemed like it wanted to just focus on arts etc. and leave technology to the Custodian, except when threatened. The little girl fooling around with Picard couldn't even help this episode. Plenty of filler material.
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