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The Chronek
Sun, Apr 18, 2021, 9:58am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The City on the Edge of Forever

"City" deserves all the praise it gets. There are many great reasons why it has made critics' lists for best Trek franchise episodes and best hours of television over the decades.

I rewatched the episode last night with my wife and 7-year-old son. My son had seen Trouble with Tribbles before, but was unimpressed. This episode had him riveted throughout. Yes, McCoy was genuinely scary after he accidentally OD'd. Yes, the drama around whether Edith Keeler would live or die was riveting.

I'm more of a Next Gen fan. Next Gen was on first-run during my impressionable teenage years; I suspect Jammer and I are pretty close to each other in age, maybe a year or two apart. But I had seen TOS in syndicated reruns, and I had seen TWOK thru TVH before TNG debuted. I loved TOS, too, and this episode was a big reason why.

As for Harlan Ellison and his scripts? Well, he was a very talented, award-winning writer. But Star Trek was still in its first season, finding its footing, always within a whisker of cancellation. I've read Ellison's scripts and edits for the episode, along with all his "woe is me, Roddenberry screwed me over" bitter commentary. I think the changes made to Ellison's script made it better. I think those changes made this episode the classic that it is. And I'm pretty sure it was Dorothy Fontana who made those changes.

I remember reading a story, I think in Esquire, about Frank Sinatra shooting pool somewhere around his 50th birthday, and Harlan Ellison was there. Somewhere, words were exchanged, Ol' Blue Eyes got pissed off, and his friends had to stop him from stomping a mudhole in Ellison. Not that Sinatra was any kind of angel himself, but Ellison was a jerk in his own right. I kinda wish Frank's friends hadn't stopped him.
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Thu, Mar 25, 2021, 8:19am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

It is extremely frustrating to watch these episodes where characters make 180 turns on positions without explanation.

Almost as if the writers want to confuse the audience on purpose. Here for instance Janeway goes from sensible and rational investigation to concluding Seven made it all up, and then accusing her of the consequences (the way she looks at her when the guy blows himself up).

It is also depressing to come on this site to try and find answers (or at least interesting interpretations) that can provide clarity, only to find 90% of the posts being biased opinions with heavy preconceived political messages.

There is no evidence that the arms dealer is guilty or innocent. What’s the point of trying to infer whether he is or not, based on his reaction, or statistical data of false vs true claims, or whether Seven’s story is believeable, etc? We just don’t know, so he remains innocent, from a legal perspective. Given the facts presented there is nothing more to say or do about it, that’s it.

What is truly appalling however is that for some reason, the fact that he is not proven guilty automatically seems to mean that Seven made it all up and is at fault!!! This is so wrong on many levels. We actually don’t know, it has NOT been established, so 2 possibilities exist:

1/ If Seven indeed made it all up, it means she is in a pretty bad place psychologically speaking and needs support. She is a member of the crew (the ‘family’ as the show has tried to convince us so many times), she should be helped. Seeing Janeway blaming Seven really is revolting. That’s right, as the SINGLE and ONLY authority figure in these people’s life, blame them when they are in distress and something bad happens to them, that’s the right approach. I can only pray the writers did not have kids themselves because these poor little ones must have gotten messed up pretty bad. What I wanted to see here is compassion and much more discussion with Seven to try and help her as she has extreme difficulty dealing with this and more generally adapting to her new situation.

2/ If the arms dealer actually did violate Seven, well, it means Janeway is blaming the victim, great

The only thing I am wondering is whether the writers are idiots/incompetent, lazy, or purposely making Janeway’s actions and reactions contentious / provocative for the sake of it. If I had to guess I would say it is all of the above. In any case that shows contempt for the audience, and this is where I see a big difference with TNG. I only felt respect as a viewer when watching TNG. Whereas with VOY I feel like I am being played with, confused gratuitously more often than not.
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Fri, Mar 5, 2021, 3:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Sacred Ground

As a previous commenter mentioned, reading the posts on this forum makes the experience so much greater. It is a real pleasure to come here and read different opinions and views, and think further through the episodes.

My personal take on Janeway’s reaction at the end - and what makes this episode really interesting in my opinion, both from a character development perspective and as a more general philosophical reflexion - is the following: she has found limitations to her way of thinking and more importantly, her way of being.

Her scientific approach, which she uses to control her environment, was not the right solution here, given the time constraints. It had the potential to work but not fast enough. Her only other option was for her to trust her gut and go with the 3 stooges’ recommendation.

She did, and it worked. So when the doctor provides the full explanation using their conventional scientific referential, this is not what is interesting for her. She is on the contrary pondering on the various limitations of their current scientific knowledge and is trying to come up with a new systemic approach to decision making, but what else should this be based on? What other ways of making decisions are there? How can you trust other people without factual proof? Is she even able to use other decision-making approaches given how engraved her scientific approach is in her personality? In her life there must have been times when her scientific approach was actually not the right way to do things, what could she have done differently, and better, in her past? If these beings are not gods but aliens, do they have more advanced scientific knowledge, if so how limited is her current knowledge vs. other aliens? Etc. Etc.

It is a profound moment of self questioning.

While the writing is (voluntarily?) ambiguous on whether this is a science vs religion/faith episode, my personal interpretation is that it is not the question raised here. To start with, opposing science to religion is, as many have posted above, quite sophistic. More importantly, the episode does not portray Janeway as developing religious faith (pretty sure she did not convert to the alien religion in order to stop the forcefield).

What the episode says, however, is that these gods/aliens (whatever they are) not only knew the way to cure Kes but also managed to ‘trick’ Janeway in getting to the solution without coercion. One could even speculate that they engineered the whole thing (by purposely harming Kes in a specific manner) for the purpose of getting Janeway to change her way of being or at least question it. If this is the type of stuff these gods/aliens do, then it is quite logical (!) that the people on this planet developed this into a religion. All the more that based on the information provided in the episode these beings definitely seem to be benevolent.

Nowhere did I feel a strong intent on the part of the writers to say that it was good or bad to base decisions on scientific facts nor did it seem to infer that considering these beings as gods, developing a religion around them and having faith was good or bad (or right or wrong).

The question whether the gods/aliens engineered the whole thing from the start is also something Janeway might be wondering about when she ignores the doctor’s speech at the end. Which would add to her recognising of her limitations and self questioning.

Personally, I really appreciate that Star Trek (from what I have seen through one viewing of TNG and DS9, and thus far in VOY) never pins science against religion. It does however portray the manipulation that can be made of them and it does play with the stereotypes that can be triggered in the viewer’s mind, and hopefully questioned.
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Mon, Mar 1, 2021, 6:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

A satisfying episode and a rare look into the workings of starfleet academy, something that I think was neglected by all of the shows. Also brings Wesley down to Earth again but enables his sensibility and morals to develop and shine in a much more believable and relateable circumstance, without needing to delve into the prodigy silliness.

Also: a door with a handle and no bell? what was all that about?!
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Mon, Mar 1, 2021, 6:34am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

There is little redeemable in this episode. Usually an instant skip in any rewatch.
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Mon, Feb 22, 2021, 11:09am (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue


I am perfectly cool. I also stand by every word I've said.
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Mon, Feb 22, 2021, 9:33am (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

@Jason R.

There is something here that I don't get:

Why should there even be a connection between the stuff that an actor posts on social media and the hiring studio's name?

Actors are not hired for their political acumen. Nor are they hired for being well-rounded people or examples of moral virtue.

Actors are hired to act. If the do *that* badly, then I'd agree that this reflects negatively on the studio that hired them. But why care about their personal and political views? How does this reflect on the studio in any shape or form.

I just don't get it.
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Mon, Feb 22, 2021, 9:19am (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

"It is more like describing a phenomenon without justification of any kind."


Let's summarize your latest post, shall we:

1. You've painted one half of humanity as being backwards and racist and governed-by-fear, while painting the other half as being enlightened and progressive and tolerant.
2. You've equated these two groups with the two sides of the political spectrum.
3. You give ridiculous examples for what being "conservative" or "progressive" means, and they always paint the former in a bad light.
4. You constantly say that conservatives being ostracized is "just the way things" are and interwine this claim with rhetoric about "progress" and "being left behind".
5. You always treat the persecution of "those left behind" as "their problem" and a source for "their fear". It never occurs to you that these people are just human as you are, and that their persecution is also your problem.

And then you claim you're not making any moral judgement? That you're just "describing a phenomenon"?

Sorry, but this doesn't fly.

The truth is that you *are* making a moral judgement, and it's a terrifying one. The rhetoric in your latest comments is a classic example of how demonizing and hate-mongering starts.
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Sun, Feb 21, 2021, 1:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

@Dave in MN

"And frankly, a lot of the time, Booming DOES have a point"

I agree. A lot of the time, she does. Unfortunately, this was not one of those times...

BTW have you read the entire comment in question? Or did you stop at first sentence (which was the thing you praised)?
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Sat, Feb 20, 2021, 2:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

"Very recently it has become more pronounced on the left. It will calm down now, I think, now that nobody is Trump crazy anymore. "

This is factually wrong.

Trump has been gone for over a month now, and it isn't calming down. On the contrary: It looks like the PC mob has just gained *more* confidence from the fact that "nobody is Trump crazy anymore".

"Let's separate people into conservative and progressive."

Let's not.

Seriously, it is this kind of sh*t that has gotten us into this mess in the first place. This belief that "our side" (whichever that side it may be) is the paragon of virtue while the "other side" is a barbaric echo of the past which needs to be purged.

"In general for several decades, with some shortlived reversals one could argue for 200 years now, societies progress..."


Now here is an interesting challenge for you:

Can you describe what "social progress" entails, without referencing any political agenda?

"...societies progress which means that conservatives sooner or later become reactionaries, not because they changed but because societies changed. Then they are ostracized or canceled. Progressives are cancelled if they are too far ahead. That is why progressives sometimes later on are vindicated while conservatives who fall behind are not."

Do you realize how cultish this sound? Just because you call yourselves "progressives" does not mean you have a monopoly on social progress.

I'm reminded of all those religious nuts who claim "our religion is the ultimate truth and source of morality" while also committing - at the same time - horrendous amoral acts.

I mean seriously... look at all the things that people have done in the name of your allegedly enlightened views in the past few months. You call this living nightmare that's constantly getting worse "progress"? Are you f***-ing kidding me?

The worst of it is: This is exactly how the PC mob justifies what they are doing to themselves. They are so sure of their moral superiority that they treat everybody who thinks otherwise as subhuman.
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Sat, Feb 20, 2021, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

@Dave in MN

When did Booming do that?

Let's not let ourselves get distracted from the main issue here. As Jason stated:

"There isn't any serious doubt at this moment in history that left is the perpetrator, end of story. Left against right; left against centre; left against left.
This is not a symmetrical phenomenon."

This is precisely why cancel culture - in it's present form - is so terrifying. If it were only about random groups of people who ostracize other random groups of people, it wouldn't be a big deal, would it?

Now note that 99% of Booming's comment is aimed at denying Jason's statement. So what point, exactly, did she concede when she said "cancel culture is a problem"? Context, my friend, is everything.
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Wed, Feb 17, 2021, 8:50am (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

"It's interesting that people say 'How will lefties feel when cancel culture is turned around on them' because that scenario describes most of the 20th century, at least in the US. Cancel culture wasn't invented by Twitter lefties, it's always been with us, often wielded by conservatives."

That's true, and it's not just the 20th century. This has been going on since the dawn of history.

But this just strengthens Dave's point:

You don't need to "imagine" what a reverse situation would be like. There are plenty of historical precedents, and history has proven just how bad and oppressive those precedents are.

So why are so people okay with the current situation? Was McCarthyism so fun that we want to go through it again? Do these things suddenly become okay when it is your side of the political map who does them?

"That said, I am not necessarily a big fan of Twitter-style cancel culture. Exposing powerful people as predators and bigots is good, but there can be elements of mob-mentality..."

It's not just an "element" of mob-mentality. It's the very nature of the psychological process that's going on.

There's absolutely NOTHING in the current cancel culture that is aimed to expose predators and bigots.

Just like McCarthyism wasn't really about exposing Russian spies, and the post 9-11 mania wasn't really about stopping terrorists. At best, you could argue that these things have *started* with these goals in mind, but even then, the end result was inevitable to anyone who knows anything about human psychology. At worst, you could argue that they were a deliberate ploy to use an existing crisis to gain more power over the others.

Have you noticed how these things *always* get out of hand? It's quite telling that all your examples of historical cancel-culture ended up badly, isn't it? When will we finally learn the lessons from history and stop doing this sh*t?

"But here in the US, people with politics like Carano might endanger their revenue stream. They want everyone's money so they can't risk offending anyone."

Ah. But ask yourself this question:

Why does Carano's politics endanger Disney's revenue stream, any more than Pascal's politics? Both of them referenced the Nazis. Both of them have also made plenty of controversial tweets in the past. So why does this logic only works in one direction? After all, roughly half of Disney's viewers are Republicans. Why aren't Disney afraid to offend *that* half of their customers?

It's funny how people use this argument of "this isn't censorship! It's just business!" without actually stopping to think what that argument really means: Apparently the mob of the extreme left has become so powerful, that the mega-corporations find it "profitable" to fire actors who exhibit wrongthink.

I don't know about you, but I personally find such a situation to be much scarier then a simple "we've let her go because we find her views appalling". This kind of thing only becomes a danger when it is systemized, and "systemized" is exactly what you get when there's a mob that pressures everyone to conform to the same way of thinking.
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Tue, Feb 16, 2021, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

"I don't know if my post created any responses."

You made me curious and I looked. My God, that was surprisingly mean-spirited, even for you.

Anybody keeping a tally of how many times Booming deliberately tries to hurt another person with a wild under-the-belt attack? I wonder if we're in the 3-digit zone already.

"I didn't read them because I'm too sensitive and afraid..."

Let me get this straight:

You're such a tender sensitive soul, that you're deathly afraid of the responses you might get. Yet you don't give a hoot that you've just DELIBERATELY hurt another poster? Heck, you've done this dozens of time before, and not even once have you shown a hint of remorse?

Forgive me if I'm having trouble buying your "poor sensitive little me" routine.

At any rate, you'll be happy to learn that nobody retaliated to your vicious post in kind, so your saintly pure soul remains protected.


We apologize for the above interruption, and now return you to your regular program.
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Mon, Feb 15, 2021, 8:51am (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

@Cody B
"It will be a never ending back and forth."


These "discussions" with this guy achieve absolutely nothing, because he isn't interested in an actual discussion. He is doing this because:

(1) He has a need to "prove" to everybody how right and smart he is and how stupid they are.
(2) He is bored sh*tless and this is a way to pass his time (that's not my interpretation but something he openly admitted many times). This also means that often his replies are deliberately provocative and nonsensical because that's the best way to lure you into an endless cycle.
(3) He simply can't refrain from replying.

This is why these arguments go on and on in circles, without anybody ever learning anything.

So what's the point? I can't speak for anybody else, but I - personally - have decided that I'm not going to waste any more of my time on pointless verbal sparring with people who aren't interested in an actual honest conversation.
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Sun, Feb 14, 2021, 9:52am (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue


Given that the TV Networks and the media generally try really hard to pretend that nothing I've stated is a big deal, your statement doesn't make any sense.

Perhaps it is you who should stop believing the narrative you're being fed by that little box? Turn your TV off and do your own research for a while. I guarantee that you'll find it illuminating.

@Dave in MN

"If you want to understand someone's fear, put yourself in their shoes. Or create a hypothetical where the current paradigm is reversed? Would you be okay if these tactics were used against you? "

The funny thing (in a sad way) is that this is bound to happen at some point. These witch hunters always turn against their own, eventually. Unfortunately, by the time thing get so far that these people wake up, it is usually too late to do anything about it... :-(
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Sun, Feb 14, 2021, 6:23am (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

"That's the thing. Most people probably *don't* fit into any particular binary political box, but the partisan (and increasingly polarized) state of our electoral politics has all but forced everyone into one, and the no-compromises, take-no-prisoners political combat media infrastructure has made it very hard for sane voices and middle ground to be paid any attention."

The real problem with the current style of discourse, is that it politicizes everything. What's currently going on in the world (and in the US in particular) is terrifying, and one does not need to be affiliated with any political party to openly state this.

We are slowly but surely deteriorating into a "1984"-style dystopia. This scares the heck out of me, and at this point I couldn't care less about right-wing or left-wing ideologies. Those quibbles could wait after this crisis is over. At this point, I simply want this nightmare to stop, and I would support any public figure - regardless of their political affiliations - who decides to fight these worrying trends.

@Paul M.
"As someone who is not American, I must say that I think that cancel culture over there is reaching horrendous levels. Surrendering your basic human rights - and the right to work is a basic human right - to unaccountable corporations is downright scary."

Agree 100%

"The scariest thing, to me, is how seemingly willing people are to hand away their freedoms. Interested in reactions of fans, I went to Mandalorian reddit and was amazed by what I found there. They were all cheeeing! This is McCarthyism come again."

The original McCarthyism serves as a fine reminder of how both sides of the political spectrum can go down this route.

Back in the 1950's it was the right. Now it's the left. Needless to say, these witch hunts are equally repugnant regardless of who is doing them.

The big problem, however, is that the current witch hunters have the insane power of social media in their hands. Nobody could achieve such total control in the 1950's. So this time it's going to be much harder to fight against.
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Thu, Feb 11, 2021, 10:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

@Dave in MN
"Why is it wrong to compare a historic political party advocating national socialism a current one?"

The history nerd in me would like to point out that this is factually incorrect: The Nazi party was anything by socialist, despite its name.

Doesn't change the legitimacy of the comparison, though. It's interesting how the process of targeting and dehumanizing dissenters is pretty much the same, regardless of who is doing it.
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Thu, Feb 11, 2021, 10:47am (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

Funny how this only happens to people from one side of the political map, eh?

Democrats can freely compare Trump to Hitler, call Republicans "Nazis" and "terrorists" and whatever they please. I don't recall any of them being fired or canceled.

And Gina didn't even call anybody a Nazi. Nor did she accuse anybody of "planning genocide". She just mentioned a specific dangerous process that happened in Nazi Germany and argued that a similar process is happening right now in the US.

She is 100% right.

The kind of demonizing that's being done to Republicans right now is downright scary. The fact that a person can't even *say* this simple truth without fear of being fired by a mob trial, only proves just how serious this situation is.

I'm not interested in endless arguments about this. I've never had much patience for either bullies or people who support bullying mobs.
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The Chronek
Wed, Feb 10, 2021, 4:26am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2


Jammer's wife and I must agree on this episode, because I thought the season finale was better than you did, sir. For the record, I watched TNG in first-run from start to finish. I can see why some of the old fogies like us don't care for Discovery, the reboot films, etc., but I'm enjoying Discovery.

I like Trek for its continued dedication to showing that everyone has a place and for reflecting current events. I don't think it's that much of a stretch to say that the fractured Federation depicted in Discovery's third season very much mirrors a fractured US and a fractured world in current time. Some people probably didn't like it. I thought it was apt.

I think it was in the second to last episode that had the discussion between Osyrra and Vance about the Chain joining the Federation. I liked how that discussion was portrayed. Vance was willing to listen and be reasonable, but he was justifiably cautious about Osyrra. I like that he wanted to hold her to account for her crimes. To compare her with another criminal in another franchise, she's no Tom Zarek. Zarek, I could at least sympathize with more. I ultimately found him to be self-serving and out for power, but he had flashes of decency and practicality. Osyrra struck me as someone who would only do whatever serves her and not what's right.

As long as I'm comparing Discovery to BSG, I'm ok with the music not being fully explained at the end of this season, just like I'm ok with Kara Thrace not being fully explained by the end of BSG. For me, the bigger questions were answered with Discovery. Does the crew survive? Will they fit in with the current Federation? Will they resolve the conflict with the Chain?

I'm not fully onboard with how emotional everyone seems to be on Discovery. I can buy it a bit, though. They left everything and everyone they knew behind. At the start of the season, they didn't even know if they'd fit in with the Federation during this time, let alone if there even was a Federation. It was, and is, a traumatic shared experience. That kind of thing shakes you. Takes a while to find a new normal and steady yourself emotionally after that.

I could take or leave Mirror Georgiou. I can kind of see why Discovery's crew was attached to her, thanks to the whole time-jump all-alone-out-here thing. Sure, she was a pain, but she was their pain, and she was good in a fight.

I'm also ok with Burnham getting promoted. She, too, had to find her place. Burnham's background aside, it's clear that in this season of Discovery, the Federation isn't what it used to be, so it makes sense that highly qualified, experienced officers would rise the ranks quickly. But, "hey, we've been decimated and we need every warm body we can get" doesn't make for an inspirational season-ending speech from an admiral.

Not sure if I'll sign up again for CBS All Access in time for Discovery's fourth season, but I'll get around to it. Picard? I'll subscribe in time for the season 2 premiere.

Side note: the Lower Decks series was a lot of fun, too.
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Mon, Jan 25, 2021, 9:15am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Schisms

I just finished watching this episode. Am I the only one that was weirded out by the aliens extremely long hands? They looked completely unusable. Also when they grabbed itemsz it literally looked like they picked them up with human hands under those long fingers. A little annoying to me when. They could have easily given them chameleon like hands and it would have looked better and been more functional for the actors. It kind of took me out of the scene a bit. Great episode other than that 😁
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Thu, Jan 21, 2021, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Power Play

See I far prefer this one to conundrum, mainly for the pacing of the final resolution and the lack.of Swiss cheese plot. You get the impression that Riker and Co really are trying every trick they know of to break the siege, and Picard is also clearly thinking on his feet as the situation deterioates around him. After finally getting a one up on the entities, he throws a moral choice at them that they cannot ignore, but it took a lot to get to this point. It's a much better buildup and payoff than in conundrum, where its all over in a matter of seconds.
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Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 9:42am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably. Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie as wisdom and warning. The first time any man's freedom is trodden on, we're all damaged."

--- Judge Aaron Satie, 2331
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Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 2:42am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Time's Arrow, Part I

Felt a bit like an end of term panto to me - fun in various ways, but a bit thrown together. It was rather as if the team felt a bit embarrassed by the depth and impact of The Inner Light, and needed to lower the emotional temperature and establish that the show was setting out to be entertainment, not that Highbrow Stuff. But the contrast was a bit jarring.

As for the stuff about Picard being more mellowed in the rest of the series, which was seen as a decline, I'd see that as an intentional and fitting shift in tone by Patrick Stewart to reflect his "time" in The Inner Light.
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The Chronek
Fri, Dec 25, 2020, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

I know The Mandalorian also ties in a lot of stuff from what was once the Star Wars expanded universe. I'm only a little familiar with that stuff, and I didn't feel like I was missing anything by not religiously knowing the SWEU. Admittedly, the Thrawn reference was really cool in The Jedi.
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The Chronek
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 2:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

I loved this episode. And the build up to finally reveal Luke Skywalker was pitch perfect. I didn't know I wanted or needed that emotionally, to see Luke again. Not gonna lie, I teared up seeing him. I didn't feel like it was solely for nostalgia, either. Post-ROTJ, there aren't many Jedis left. Who better than Luke to come to the rescue and train Grogu?

Mandalorian is the best Star Wars since Empire.
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