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Rattrap Maximize!
Fri, Aug 16, 2019, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Extinction

This was the worst hour of Star Trek I've ever sat through. No, I'm not exaggerating -- The worst. Zero stars. No, scratch that. -2 stars.

It was uncomfortable watching reasonably talented actors run around like neanderthals in an utterly unnecessary episode. Apparently, designing a virus which can turn an alien into one of your people by literally rewriting their DNA and booting up a copy of your species' brainwaves is so easy a caveman can do it.

"Pretty laughable really, when those same folks have accepted Warp drive, replicators, transporters and sub-space communications as gospel for 50 years."
- Yanks

I don't think this is a sensible comparison. Warp drive and transporters are a founding conceit, without which we wouldn't have Star Trek. I mean, we *might*, but we'd have to sub in cryostasis ships/generation ships and shuttlepods. But I'm getting away from my real point which is:

Warp drive and transporters, while obviously not real, are somewhere on the very fringes of speculative science. We may never have those technologies -- they may, in fact be entirely impossible. *However*, we don't know that yet, and there are actual, real physicists who are entertaining the thoughts. Replicators are just a variation on transporters.

Subspace -- okay. There's no such real hypothetical that I'm aware of. Maybe you could say it's just another name for extra dimensions/bubble universe theory, which is also somewhere on the fringe of speculative science.

Point is, I (and apparently millions of Trek fans) are willing to suspend disbelief when the science seems at least somewhat plausible.

Rewriting DNA, and suddenly undergoing extreme physiological changes (altered bone structure, extreme hair growth within seconds, altered respiratory system [sudden gills],) is simply not plausible. Not even the fringes of biology (to the extent that I'm familiar) has *any* speculative science to support the idea that a virus/pathogen could literally turn you into a different species, write new data (language, memories, personhood etc) to your brain, radically re-engineer your respiratory, circulatory, and/or nervous systems, do so within minutes, AND somehow leave enough of your previous body/identity intact so as to return FULLY back to normal with the simple injection of an antidote?

That's not how biology works. That's not even how biology *could* work. If you make sudden, massive edits to a person's DNA, they get cancer and die.

Things like warp drive and transporters are a plausible --even if just on a fringe level-- conceit that allows Star Trek to exist. The completely asinine 'Extinction', 'Threshold', and 'Genesis' ideas on biology are the stuff of saturday morning cartoons (I should know, see my username).

I like saturday morning cartoons. But Star Trek isn't --and shouldn't!-- be a saturday morning cartoon. Not the live-action, mainline canon series, anyway.

Star Trek should ask sensible, compelling questions. Or even fringe-sensible, but still compelling questions. This asked neither. This is dreck.
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Mon, Aug 12, 2019, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: The Xindi

So. I actually *liked* the opening song for the first two seasons. I know, I know. But this weird island remix? That's not a good thing. That's bad.

I love the MACOs. It's incredibly refreshing to *finally* have a platoon of appropriately trained and equipped infantry on a Starfleet ship.

On a slight tangent from the above; It's always been a bone of contention of mine that Starfleet tries so hard to define itself as a non-military force, despite being THE arm of the Federation which conducts every military activity, up to and including total war.

Every Starfleet vessel should be staffed with MACOs from ENT through VOY and beyond. It makes absolutely no sense to fly headlong into deep, unknown, often hostile space, relying on a frankly insufficient "security team" for the inevitable combat scenarios.

My only fear with the MACOs is that they're being deliberately setup as a sort of 'thematic effigy' to be burned at the alter of 'Gene Roddenberry's Vision™', and will eventually be revealed to be stereotypically 'military jock bully' types. This will be used to show how 'enlightened' and 'superior' the non-military, pacifist, Starfleet Way is in comparison.

Maybe they won't do this. I really hope they don't do this.

On a related note, I *really* can't stand Reed. The guy has such an aggressive, overbearing inferiority complex, it's insane. It really feels like every time he opens his mouth, it's to whine, complain, or fish for sympathy. It's absolutely grating. His unilateral measuring contest with Maj. Hayes over who should do what on the rescue mission was immature to the point of being unprofessional. I'm glad T'Pol agreed with Hayes.

Speaking of T'Pol, let's talk about THAT scene. No, not the not-sex-but-Trek-sex scene with Trip, but rather the earlier scene with Phlox. The scene that somehow *no one* is talking about.

I have the utmost respect for Phlox. He might just be my favorite character so far. But, the hell?! His pressuring T'Pol into committing a very intimate act with a crewmate was plain unsettling. I get that Denobulan (and Vulcan, for that matter) ethics aren't necessarily in lockstep with human ethics, but T'Pol and Trip were *both* clearly uncomfortable with the idea, yet Phlox pressed on anyway. He both pressured T'Pol into the act, and lied to Trip about a treatment, so as to set up the encounter.

I *get* that he wanted to help Trip relax, so he can focus and perform while on the job, but really. Would he pressure Sato into having sex with Reed, to help him get over himself? Because that's essentially what he did. This feels unprofessional, unethical, and wrong. Maybe it could almost work if the whole Xindi situation became incredibly desperate, urgent, and dire, but this is literally the beginning of the arc. We're not there yet.

As an aside to T'Pol, sexuality, and feminism -- I find it interesting that during TOS, it was considered a show of sexual liberation and female agency, that women could wear somewhat... accentuating attire. From TNG through ENT, however, dressing this way developed a presumption of sexual objectification.

Having said that, I also do believe that there was a concerted effort (from B&B? The network?) to overly sexualize T'Pol (and Seven before her), and it would have been gratifying to see T'Pol switch to a Starfleet uniform in this episode.

The prison break was... eh. The MACO shootout was enjoyable, largely because of how cathartic it is to see a competent combat team at work in the Star Trek universe.

But seriously -- enough with the kidnapped/imprisoned captain. The one time it worked, there were four lights.
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