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Rivus
Mon, May 12, 2014, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

A lot of disappointment to this episode, though it was saved by O'Brien/Bashir (KILL WORF) and Martok (by far my favorite Klingon). While the disappointment is all too expected (whenever Trek does interpersonal relationships on this level, it's always rife with enough cliches to make my head spin), I agree with Paul that these always come around at seemingly the worst times. Stuff actually relevant to the plot gets shoved to the side (Kira/Odo quite literally), and there isn't even a line referring to Ziyal, whose death was already anticlimactic to begin with aside from Dukat's spiraling. Guess Kira got over THAT one real quick. I mean, so did Garak, but seeing how he dealt with his own father, it's very much in-character, even if there's some underlying emotion he doesn't bring to the surface.

And then there's Jadzia, who has been through five marriages, and yet can't seem to grasp what marrying even entails...

I'd say 2 stars, with reservations... It's not terrible, but after everything that's happened, you'd think MAYBE there could have been less boring fodder for the writers to tap into.
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Rivus
Sun, May 11, 2014, 4:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: In Purgatory's Shadow

@Garrison

I find it hard to believe that a changeling would sit idly by while one of its own slowly died off, considering how much value they place on their own lives... Wouldn't he want to take it back to the Great Link? Granted, maybe the whole thing was a ruse to give Odo back his abilities, but that seems as though it would go against the Founders' final decision. Granted, I haven't seen far enough into the plot yet to be completely sure, but...
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Rivus
Sat, May 10, 2014, 8:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Soldiers of the Empire

I enjoyed this outing, because as others have pointed out, we don't often get to see the 'different' sorts of Klingons as Jadzia points out early in the episode. It is a shame that we didn't get to see any real fighting, but really it wasn't the point of the episode, it seems... That being the tension building up to Martok and Worf's eventual duel. If there's one place I can find fault, it's that much of the plot is extremely formulaic, though I was surprised at Martok's victory. I'm probably still just too used to the abundance of Klingon deaths from back in TNG. Nice touch with Worf being taken in to Martok's house at the end, but it feels very bittersweet at this point, so soon after that awful ending of "Sons of Mogh" (I say soon, because at this point it's only been about a year for Kurn to adjust to his new life)...

Also, minor confusion... It takes... DAYS to get blood out of the carpet? Really Bashir? Come on now, this is the 24th century, I'm sure we've evolved past Oxy Clean by now.

3 stars.
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Rivus
Sat, May 10, 2014, 6:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Ferengi Love Songs

Ferengi episodes, corny (and insulting, if you think too hard) as they are, still manage to entertain me more than whenever TNG tried some weird crap... Like Sub Rosa, or most of the Troi episodes. That being said, this isn't just a Ferengi episode, it's a two-fer relationship episode. And we all know how almost universally trite THOSE can be.

2 stars.
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Rivus
Thu, May 8, 2014, 3:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ascent

Oh also (alert:spoilers to "Rapture"), further solidifying my point... Jake gets to make the decision that prevents Sisko from witnessing the final vision. The writers know that they cannot reveal *everything* crucial to the plot, even cryptically. That would kill some of the mystery, and by extension the suspense that goes with a good story.
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Rivus
Thu, May 8, 2014, 2:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ascent

@Paul

I think this episode and the one preceding it are very heavy on showing that Odo, while a fantastic constable, is not without his faults. It feels as if the writers came to this decision to give more 'humanity' to his character, even before he lost his ability as Things Past made clear.

Also, I like the little nod in the B-plot where Jake's writing is named "Past Prologue", the title to S1E2. I have suspicions that the writers of the show view Jake as symbolic of their positions, which in my mind makes me think that "The Muse" and "The Visitor" could both have some abstracted autobiographical motivation to them (The Muse in a writer's dealings with damaging substances, and The Visitor in a writer dealing with loss). I can't say for certain, but I wouldn't put it past them.
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Rivus
Thu, May 8, 2014, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

Still, it would be nice if one could at the very least give proper warning first, maybe some sort of spoiler tag... It's a common courtesy on many other forums. And while, yes, the point is valid that the show ended a decade and a half ago, and most of these later comments probably fall on deaf ears, there's also the fact that many new people are being exposed to the old shows thanks to the entire franchise now being accessible on Netflix. And, considering the new power Netflix has showcased in revitalizing old shows (see: Arrested Development... I know, I know... and the upcoming season 8 of Trailer Park Boys), maybe (and this is a big maybe) we'll finally see a new Trek that isn't entirely a watered-down action film series. Amusingly enough, I'm only here because of a series of events that started with the 2009 reboot and left me wanting more. Also, I like to read the comments when I have the episode fresh in my mind, even if sometimes means being exposed to info I'd rather have missed. It's kind of an addiction.

As for the episode (rather for this point, the two before it), I feel Jammer has been very generous with the stars. Rapture was more of a three-star episode that kind of was dulled slightly by trying to do far too much at once, while so much of The Darkness and the Light focused on very unbelievably-handled situations, although the acting definitely helped it... Which to me is worthy of two-and-a-half stars.

For this episode, I'm sure plenty of us were kind of dreading Kira's eventual birthing, thinking it could be made into another of those weird Trek plots (the baby's not a baby at all! omg it's a caesar salad! an angry one, at that... Dominion stole my... Er, their baby!), but I'm glad it didn't. Instead, the B-plot is probably the best handling we could have hoped for. But I agree, to hell with Shakaar. He's not particularly good at his own job, it seems... Yet he barges in and tells O'Brien he can't even witness his own baby being born. I at least have sympathy for Kira, who has a baby that isn't even hers (even though she signed up for it), and is left with the consequence of having to leave it behind. Which is why I like the way this plot melds with the A-plot in the end, where both Odo and Kira are experiencing loss in VERY different, abstract, but still melancholic ways. Also, Odo never finished his drink before becoming a changeling again! ;_; One thing that intrigues me is Dr. Mora's character, essentially playing the role of a (formerly) abusive father but in a very abstracted DS9 'grey-area' light. Not only that, but this episode provides better insight for why Mora was so harsh in his experiments (though it kind of feels like it soured his first appearance in the second season, where Odo was starting to warm up to him and even said he'd keep in touch. The writers could have at LEAST touched on that in some way. Maybe Odo was just shaken up by his transformation in The Alternate?). For this episode, I'd say that Jammer was on the money.

3 stars.
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Rivus
Sun, May 4, 2014, 1:49am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

Ugh, my ability to write here tonight is pretty one-star worthy, though...

*oftentimes we'll drop whatever isn't pressing to us (even some healthy family time) in favor of the art we seek to accomplish

*I like to think that Jake could easily have stopped himself
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Rivus
Sun, May 4, 2014, 1:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

As a visual artist myself, the A-plot in this episode really struck a chord with me. Often times, when a young, naive, and inexperienced artist is faced with an undertaking that seems almost insurmountable in scale, we become desperate in our methods of tackling it... Often to the detriment of our health. This could be anything from losing sleep due to a coffee-fueled all-nighter, to cocaine for the more foolish and monetarily privileged (fortunately, I am not a member of the white-nosers club). But, as a result of these behaviors, often we'll drop everything in favor, even some healthy family time (much like Jake in his ditching of his father and Yates). Onaya very much feels like a symbol for how an artist's addiction, not only pertaining to his work, but also to substances that may seem beneficial in the short term, can take hold on anyone, even the best of us... Almost without any warning sign, just being pushed in the right direction by a soothing voice. I like to think that Jake could easily have given in at any time, but he was so drawn to his own work that it almost killed him to finish it in the end.

As for the B-story... Well, it fits the characters, and has its head in the right place regarding abusive partners (aside from the fact that this kind of thing DOES happen, and often times the abused will be reckless in choosing another suitable to protect them... Potentially leading to more abuse in truth). But the execution here I felt was a bit lacking.

I'd give this one more along the lines of 2.75 stars, though I can easily see why the A-plot would go right over the average watcher's head. Hell, I could very easily be reading way too into it for my own good!
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Rivus
Tue, Apr 29, 2014, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Our Man Bashir

Not gonna lie, I was laughing from the moment the champagne popped, to every completely absurd Bond-ehr... Bashir girl name cooked up (Mona Luvs... What, exactly?), to Garak being Garak, to Kira giving the most hilarious "DA" I've ever heard (not that I hear much Russian)... But out of all of it, EVIL MASTERMIND OF MOUNT (SOON TO BE ISLE) EVEREST BENJAMIN SISKO was where I just lost it. It's like Brooks crossed Sisko's normal talking with Mirror Sisko's enthusiastic rabblerousing, and I just couldn't stop laughing. Granted, I missed sleep last night, so it could just be the delirium talkin', but this was quite enjoyable. Also, some of the most memorable music in Star Trek since The Inner Light (which REALLLLY feels twisted to say, now that I think of it), they really went all out.

Well played DS9. Somehow, this feels like a redemption after having to put up with those dull, plodding Dixon Hill episodes back in TNG. I'm hesitant to give this three and a half stars because of a lack of real plot... How about 3.33 repeating stars?
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Rivus
Tue, Apr 29, 2014, 1:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Sword of Kahless

Really liked the scene with Dax getting fed up, one of the few times I can say that Farrell provided some truly solid and memorable acting... As soon as she got pissed, in my head I was thinking "IT'S CURZON TIME". However, the episode did do three things I didn't like. First off, yeah... The ledge was completely out of left field, and I don't think that Worf, even in his darkest times, would resort to such underhanded deception. No amount of greed could account for that being okay in any manner with his character. Other Klingons? Sure. Then there's, as Jammer said, the bit about the sword seeming to have magical properties, which lends to my previous gripe. Still, though, that seems almost like it's pulling a "Dramatis Personae"... But I digress. Plus, the cave trek seemed to just trudge on and on like a tortoise through molasses.

Still, I'm quite okay with Colicos's acting, top-notch as ever.

I'd give it 2 and a half.
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Rivus
Mon, Apr 28, 2014, 9:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Rejoined

Welllp... While this may not be an 'obligatory politically correct gay pairing episode' in the traditional sense, it's obvious that, by the backwards and imposing Trill customs and reaction, that it's meant to be an allegory for current issues in our own society. That being said, that's not what killed it for me (quite the contrary, I thought it was a clever and novel clusterfark of an idea). It was the all-too-predictable plot and overuse of technobabble early on in the episode. Hell, I'd be the first to say that technobabble doesn't bother me in most of Trek, but in this episode it felt considerably more forced than I remember it.

Great scenes at Quark's in the early scenes, Worf not elaborating on Klingon dreams, and of course the Sisko giving advice scene, though... The latter two bringing back fond memories of TNG. I'd say this warrants 2 and 1/2 stars, but could have been more had the execution been better.

Also, re:'Terry Farrell can't act'...
She's not *terrible* (oh hi Marina Sirtis and Wil Wheaton's doofy smile), but when you look at her along with her resume that she has being a fashion model under her belt, the fact that Trills were completely redesigned for her character, AND she gets the 'lesbian' make-out scene... It's more than a little obvious why she has the part, and that's because provided eye candy. Not to mention the fact that she consistently is surrounded by broadway and shakespearean actors in Visitor, Brooks, and Rene's characters probably making her look worse in comparison.
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Rivus
Mon, Apr 28, 2014, 7:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Indiscretion

Episodes like this are good because they show that the Cardassians, even the most villainous of them, aren't as one-dimensional as they initially come off. I'm surprised the stick in the butt scene got the most comments, yet few people are mentioning the scene where Dukat mentions that the occupation may very well have strengthened the Bajorans in the end, but one can take a lot more from this in light of previous episodes. For one thing, could the power-hungry Kai Winn, almost Cardassian in her ways, have gained such a foothold in the government without the new mindset that Dukat claims? On the other hand, perhaps there's an equal tradeoff, where Bajorans also introduced cold-hearted Cardassians to compassion in matters other than interrogation, totalitarianism, and their own family (though the potential can be argued for that from the start with Duet, and Marritza's attempted sacrifice). Food for thought at the very least.

I'd say this is more hovering around 3 stars... Though last outing with the Jem'Hadar may have arguably been slightly better in its premise, I like the potential underlying messages here more, evening the two episodes out in my mind. (as I've said in other comments, this IS my first run of DS9, so there could easily be more to it later on)
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Rivus
Wed, Apr 16, 2014, 6:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Second Skin

*FOR when it was finally time for a new trial to get the people all riled up

But yeah, 4 stars for me, this was excellent. Oh and to the ones questioning Sisko's capacity for blackmail... Episode 1. Quark.
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Rivus
Wed, Apr 16, 2014, 6:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Second Skin

I like to think that the body's purpose was to instill a sense of ambiguity, that it was meant as a side dish for viewers who tried to piece the whole thing together in their heads. I, for one, feel that Ghemor was 99% certain that the dead body was, in fact, his actual daughter. Of course, now that he cannot return to Cardassia Prime, he will never know for sure. It was for this reason that my eyes got a bit cloudy when he gave back the family jewel. Then, of course, he says he hopes he'll find her some day, but again, I think the line was meant, once again, for the sake of ambiguity. It could very well be that he KNOWS he will never find her. That the order would be so cold as to use Ghemor's famillial emotions against him to an end, and that on Cardassia trials are already decided before they begin, I wouldn't put it past them to keep the fake corpse when it was finally time for a new trial to get the people all riled up. They probably knew Ghemor was a traitor from day 1, and the cameras that weren't on? ... Yeaaah I doubt that. Also, the comment about Garak, while could easily put the Legate into question, it could at the same time simply add more depth to DS9's ambiguity figurehead himself.

All in all, "Face of the Enemy" obviously comes to mind (possibly the only Troi episode I actually really enjoyed), but also "Frame of Mind", with the plot centering around trying to convince a main character that their life is a lie. To me, combining two of my favorite TNG episodes together and then having Garak come in and say what pretty much everyone in this comments section was thinking...

" Major, I don't think I've ever seen you looking so ravishing."
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Rivus
Wed, Apr 16, 2014, 12:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

The whole episode I was bracing myself for another display of Quark groveling at "Move Along Home" cringe levels, instead I get a thrown bat'leth and (if you'll excuse me) "COME AT ME BRO", followed by the most amusing divorce ceremony ever.

And yeah, it's good to see Keiko responding negatively with depression, as awful as that sounds now that I think of it... It gives the character more dimensionality than the usual O'Brien marital duking we've seen. Here, we see Miles instead of returning angry canned lines off in the distance, we get 'I can't see her like this' and real solution.

I agree with Nic, though... Does Jake just have to suck it up and tutor himself and everybody else now?
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Rivus
Wed, Apr 16, 2014, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part II

I tend to look at the stars before watching the episode, then read the review... This whole episode, I was scratching my head, going 'how in the hell is THIS two stars!?!?!?' I was laughing my head off at Garak's one-liner... But then the ending came around, and while I think the 'cop-out' isn't nearly as bad as some say, I think the issue is more with how it's presented. It's not like "Whispers", where there's all this huge buildup until the plot's made clear, it's just madness and chaos all throughout, and a sudden sucker punch at the ending... I just don't feel it punctuated the overall feeling of the episode as well as it could have... Still, excellently acted, especially the interactions between Kira and Odo. I'd say it's worthy of a 3, docked down from 3.5 just because the ending felt admittedly abrupt.
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Rivus
Wed, Apr 16, 2014, 12:54am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Crossover

I think the best Trek episodes are ones like these that make you think. Speaking of Plato, I could imagine Picard shaking his head at all this. But that's a lot of DS9. Sisko says it best in The Maquis... The heart of the federation is all up in the clouds with their saints and philosophies, but the same doesn't hold true for the rest of the galaxy. In a way, the mirror universe takes this idea, and exponentiates it.

Now, looking at what Mirror Kira said about the terrans... Sure, there was probably high hopes initially, but look at what they faced here. First off, trying to make peace when all around you is much more chaotic, never mind the likelihood that mirror terrans would be ill-equipped to actually enact change in the way the Federation did... Klingons are no help, neither are the Bajorans, in fact here they seemed to have become Cardassians.

Another parallel I see here would have to be the prime directive (Yeah, I know, I know...). Much like how TNG gets all preachy with developing worlds, tampering with the course of natural history... Where here, 'natural history' throughout the galaxy seems to be one of chaotic order. All Kirk did would not be dissimilar to taking a pail of septic sludge and an eyedropper to drop a tiny droplet of pure water. At first, perhaps for an instant, the drop will appear to make a tiny portion of sludge look like cloudy water, but corruption is inevitable.

Granted, I still have yet to see "Mirror, Mirror", or for that matter the remainder of DS9... But this is how it looks to me.
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Rivus
Sat, Apr 12, 2014, 2:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Playing God

This whole season seems to reek of the TOO MANY PLOTS syndrome so far... Not only that, but I feel this moral dilemma of taking out a universe was already explored far too many times in TNG in some form or another for me to feel any impact from it.
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Rivus
Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 6:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Generations

Actually, looking again at the scene, Picard asks echo Guinan if she's on the Enterprise, which she says she is... I guess the argument could be made that since the echo is a part of Guinan, and time is meaningless in the Nexus, then maybe she retains the experiences of the real Guinan. Honestly, not much is even known of Guinan's species aside from long life, abstract time sensitivity like in the Yesterday's Enterprise incident, Borg genocides and Q, so you could make all sorts of arguments about the way she interacts with the Nexus.

Also, another thing dawned on me, as I was watching the Red Letter review of this movie... The 1701-D just seems like it was run by a pre-Borg TNG crew. No effort was made to remodulate the shield's frequency... Considering the Bird of Prey's weapon capabilities, getting past the shields could ONLY have been done if they knew the frequency it was operating at. And then Riker gives Troi the helm, which honestly, should NOT have been a problem considering in Thine own Self Troi passes the commander's exam by Riker's own admission. But for the sake of the event, it's as if that never happened, and if it did, one can just look at Riker again because it's ALL HIS FAULT. It's like you can look at a silly decision made in season 7 leaking into the movie... and in a way, dooming the Enterprise.
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Rivus
Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 4:38am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Generations

@paul, I think it can be assumed that echo Guinan knew Picard because of Time's Arrow.

As my first run through of everything surrounding TNG, I'd say that this probably gets me a 2.5 of 4. After seeing All Good Things for the first time a couple days prior, this feels incredibly weak. There's no a-ha moment in my head when everything really falls into place, something I cherished in the best TNG episodes. Instead, we get concepts upon duplicating concepts, arching over each other and beating you over the head repeatedly until you truly tire of it.

That being said, it was still a fun, if a little of a hollywood handholdy movie up until right around when the 1701D crashed.
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