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Tue, Nov 12, 2019, 10:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

It's a rare two parter where part 2 is as good as part 1, but Best of Both Worlds manages it.

Ingenious resolution, every aspect well done, just as in part 1. Moving and well acted. A winner.

Riker rises to the occasion; they all do.

As to the title of the ep - I thought it was about how The Enterprise had to use both Independent (individual) effort and Team (collective) Effort - to win the day against a foe that could only use one of those methods.

The Enterprise had to be Borg-like in managing to continue even after "its head was cut off," so to speak (i.e., Picard was taken from them). They had to work together to quickly mend the great big hole.

But they also had to be able to tap into their individual talents and abilities - notice the emphasis on separation: Riker had to let go of Picard. The saucer had to separate. The shuttle craft had to leave the mother ship.

The Borg couldn't "just let go" of Picard. They can't separate in any way. Not really. So they lose.

So The Enterprise had the Best of Both Worlds - the World in which individuality is most prized, and the World in which teamwork is most prized. They had both abilities, and they had them in spades. Excellent individual talents, excellent ability to work together and sacrifice for the team. They valued separation; they valued togetherness.

They defeated The Borg.

Boom! Just fantastic.
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Thu, Nov 7, 2019, 6:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

The best season ender cliffhanger EVER. Yes, EVER.

So well done.

I loved Shelby. She was perfect for the occasion. I loved the juxtaposition of her comment to Riker about not being able to "make the big decisions," and that spine-chilling ending with Riker making the biggest of big decisions:

"Mr Worf, fire!"

So many wonderful moments and not enough time to do them justice. Kudos to all players. Oh, my!
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Sun, Nov 3, 2019, 9:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Transfigurations

I didn't really like it.

I can't think of the right word for this ep. It bordered on silly and cliche, but was well done.

I enjoyed Worf''s frustration with Geordi's way with women. Wes and Beverly had an awkward dinner. Will and Geordi had an awkward time in the elevator. Lots of references to indentity knowing others and knowing ourselves. Letting ourselves be our best selves.

The laying on of hands (healing the sick, raising the dead) and the title, Transfiguration, gives the ep heavy handed religious imagery.

The science/technobabble was super weak.

Average. Very average.
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Fri, Nov 1, 2019, 11:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Menage a Troi

Watching and commenting:

--Well, it's plain that this one is meant to be lightweight.

--Wes is leaving for the Academy. People giving credit and blame. . .

--Tog kidnaps the trois for the menage.

--Lots of talk about talk. Communication.Communicating telepathically, out loud, through gestures/actions, oral exams, written exams. Genuine, disingenuous.

--Talk about the future . . . not really picking up the thread. Hard to concentrate or care. Not that interesting.

--Competition, control.


--Picard getting Lwaxanna back through poetry and pretense.

--Wesley misses his chance at the Academy but becomes a full ensign. Wesley, the "little one," grows up.

--Earning things vs cheating/faking your way to them?

Not horrible, but not great. Below average.
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Fri, Nov 1, 2019, 1:08am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Sarek

Well done.

Great performances from Stewart and Lenard - a classic. In lesser hands might have been overwrought, hokey even. But I found the story of the brilliant, legendary, (but aging and ill) ambassador, genuinely moving.

I have always liked the character of Sarek and his portrayal by the talented Mark L, and he turns in a virtuoso performance, here. Perrin is also well portrayed. They all are.

We've been looking all Season at life, what it means to be alive, the need for relationships and for purpose. With Sarek, we take a look from a different angle. He isn't Data, struggling to feel, he's a Vulcan trying not to feel. He isn't inexperienced Lal, learning control, he's a learned man losing control. He isn't dead Tasha preventing a meaningless death, he's lived a life full of purpose and meaning, and he wants to die with dignity.

But for everyone we've seen during this outstanding season, ultimately the message is the same: We need each other and we need to belong and we need purpose.

The mind meld takes the idea of needing support, needing connection and intimacy from others, and dramatically pushes it to its limits. But we also see more everyday examples, from Perrin, from the rest of Sarek's entourage, and from Beverly, as she comforts a very needy Jean Luc.
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Sun, Oct 27, 2019, 3:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

A good, sold episode, well put together, written, and acted. An interesting episode, that leaves you with lots to think about.

"The Most Toys" title is obviously a reference to the well known Malcolm Forbes quote about whoever dies with the most toys, wins.

And the title gives away the theme, IMO - value and values. Data is a valuable object. But we see he's also a valuable friend, co-worker, officer, even loved one.

Varria tells us exactly what Data's made of at the beginning and she shows us at the end. Geordi says Data's more than just a "walking pile of circuitry and memory cells," and it certainly seems as if he is.

Picard says Data "has been lost," and in a way, they do lose Data. He comes back a different Data. He's no longer the naive Data who falls for every Riker poker bluff.

He loses his innocence. It's a coming of age story, for an android.

The little interlude between Troi and Worf, and Worf's instant reaction: "Data," when the shuttle blows up, is meant to provide yet another view of the complexity of sentient beings, what they value, and how they value. Worf, as Deanna mentions, is a Klingon, he does things the Klingon way. But it does not mean he doesn't have feelings or make independent decisions. There's only so far your inherent "programming" can take you.

Data fires at Fajo, then (essentially) lies to Riker (deliberately leaves Riker with a false impression). Then he feels the need to see Fajo in his captivity and let him know that he's lost all his toys.

Data weighs the pluses and minuses of firing and fires - the feeling for me, when he says he cannot "let this continue," is that he's found a way around his programming, and the same with his lie - it's not strictly a lie, after all.

But Star Fleet getting their nose into all this is the last thing he needs. Star Fleet tried to have him dismantled and said he was property, at first. They tried to take Lal. No. Data keeps his disrupter use, I.e., his knowledge that he's more independent (and more dangerous) than people think, to himself.

Best line:
DATA: "You are a fine debater, sir. It is a pity you have used your verbal gifts for mere hucksterism and the advancement of your own greed. "
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Sat, Oct 26, 2019, 10:45am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Hollow Pursuits

@Peter G, @William B

Good thinky thoughts.

Of interest, the definition of invidious:

"Calculated to create ill will or resentment or give offense; hateful: invidious remarks. "

Our harmful compound is invidium.
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Fri, Oct 25, 2019, 10:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Hollow Pursuits

A well done episode for the most part - the last part, full of technobabble as they try to figure out what's wrong, was kind of tedious. The plot line was weak - definitely a character-driven episode.

Schultz does a good job as the hapless Barclay, and Sirtis is excellent and amusing as the various versions of Troi (goddess of empathy!).

I think the ep might be drawing parallels between the way the invidium was being spread around the ship causing damage, and the way rumors and name calling (Broccoli) was being spread around the ship, causing damage.

Contact with others, can be good or bad, depending on what they're "spreading."

I loved tiny Riker with his short little sword.

Lots of nice little touches. Enjoyable ep overall.
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Mon, Oct 21, 2019, 2:09am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Tin Man

A good solid ep. Harry Groener was great, playing the tricky role of Tam very convincingly.

Like the other recent eps, we get a lot of talk about purpose - what is life without a purpose, the need to have a purpose. Data, who recently lost Lal, asks Tam if caring for another is what gives life purpose. Tam says yes, he thinks so.

But Tam protects himself by not caring, which is what Picard accuses him of - acting on impulse, not caring who he endangers. But Tam, feeling all those emotions, hearing all those thoughts - he can't afford to care.

Yet he has let himself care about Tin Man. And Tin Man lets itself care again, also, about Tam.

Tin Man. The name brings two things to mind: The Wizard of Oz's Tin Man and his desperate desire for a heart, and Robots/Androids (mechanical men).

Tin Man has no heart because it was broken to pieces; Tam Man effectively has no heart because he's cloaked and shielded it from the onslaught.

Our resident Tin Man, Data, figures out where he belongs: On The Enterprise - where he has connections, relationships, and purpose.

There are multiple references to both space and time, and the need to find your place in them.

Not great, but good.
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Thu, Oct 17, 2019, 12:18am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday


An OK ep. Sorta boring.

The lighthearted moments were good. Watching Picard try to relax was funny, there were some humorous lines and nice moments.

Not a fan of Vosh. She's basically a dishonest person, no matter how you look at it, and I can't see the charm. It's the false charm, the fake bravado, of a grifter. I liked Picard much better with that lawyer . . . Phillipa.

The technobabble and time travelers: Not Good.

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Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 11:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Allegiance

Watching and commenting

--Picard gets xeroxed. Yuh-oh.

--He's being kept in a box and fed cherry jello discs.

--Xerox-Picard acting just ever so slightly off, takes them off course.

--"STOP, we mean you no harm!!!" Some really, really hokey dialogue in the box.

--Xerox Picard asks Beverly to dinner. Intimate dinner. In his quarters. Low lighting. Sexy clothes. Sexy talk. Romantic music. The old "would you care to dance" maneuver . . . a kiss, followed by . . . showing Beverly the door. Beverly looks mystified. Don't try to figure out, Bev.

--Xerox-Picard seeming less and less like the original, as he sings in Ten Forward. Riker is suspicious.

--Lots of boring, badly written, predictable dialogue in the box.

--The part on The Enterprise is definitely more interesting, as we learn a bit about how the crew sees their Captain.

--The "we're in a lab, being studied," solution very hokey and reminiscent of an old Twilight Zone.

Prisons: Self made, other-made.

Allegiance? The captors say they're studying leadership - leaders and followers, how it all works. I suppose the ep is meant to study that too? What allegiance costs, and demands of, both leaders and followers, what its limits are, how priorities are established.

I wonder what they were studying by asking Beverly to dinner?

Some nice moments, but below average overall.
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 10:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Sins of the Father

Watching and commenting:

--Kurn!! I like Kurn. Instead of "Engage," he says "Execute!" Perfect.

--Picard sure can slice a turkey! I'm going to invite him to my Thanksgiving this year. Please pass the potatoes, Jean Luc.

--Great scene between Worf and Kurn as Kurn makes his revelation. But I have to say, it's hard to believe Worf, at the age of five, wouldn't remember he had little brother. But I will accept it.

--Picard makes a wonderful gesture, going with Worf to the Great Hall.

--Duras. Such a slimy guy.

--"It is a good day to die." Such a useful quote. I like to pepper it into my conversation whenever possible. I need to go to the BMV this week. Maybe I'll have an opportunity there.

--Nice bonding and development of Picard and Worf's relationship.

--Lots of references to who's in charge, who's got the power. And lots of references to the past, what can be left behind, and what cannot - what is dead, and what is not, what is unchanging, what has a lasting impact, and what is lost.

--Worf makes a huge sacrifice for his brother.

Nicely done.
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Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 9:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Offspring

A solid episode.

I liked the beginning, everyone's reaction when they see The Child, and Picard trying to explain his concern to Data is priceless. Spiner and Stewart are great.

Does the crew generally consult Picard before they procreate? I bet they don't, Data.

Picard and Data reminds me of Janeway and the Doctor - yes, the Captains acknowledge the sentience and indulgence and rights of their non-biological crewmen, but not really. Not completely. Not wholeheartedly.

The Riker business in Ten Forward was a great little lighthearted interlude. Wouldn't want Data to miss out on the "dealing with Lotharios" aspect of raising a daughter.

The ep hammers the importance of relationships, connections, when it comes to "being human/truly alive." At a micro-level, literal connections form in Lal's brain, at a macro level we watch the connections amongst the crew (we open with closed-up-in-his-lab Data finally letting his friends in on his little secret, as doors open and shut. Lal asks about everyone's coverings, and we get repeated references in the ep, to sharing our inner lives, to connecting to others). And we watch the connection form between Data and Lal.

In doing this, the ep also explores the definition of love. Data's attentive, concerned, protective actions toward Lal has Dr Crusher believing he loves Lal. Is love ultimately defined by, expressed by, actions?

There's something else we're hitting on here: What did Worf tell Q, when Q asked what he had to do, to prove he was human? DIE.

A lot of nice little moments, well done. A bit too low key for me to think of it as a classic, but definitely a good one.
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Sat, Oct 12, 2019, 9:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Yesterday's Enterprise


Some truly wonderful performances, Whoopi, Patrick and the actress playing Captain Garrick, especially. Crosby was good, too.

The quickie romance was done about as well as it could be - the extraordinary life-and-death circumstances and low key presentation made it believable and engaging (instead of nauseating, as in many the quickie ST romance).

Though I gotta say, that actor playing Castillo looks so much like Joe Piscopo that I kept flashing back to Piscopo's awful turn as Data's comedy mentor. Yeeeeee.

Loved the scene in the ready room when Picard tells then he's sending The Enterprise C back - fantastic camera work as we slowly pan through the players. The mood setting throughout was excellent. Perfect.

Sadness. Sweetness. Right and wrong. Terror. Determination. Courage. Confidence. Sacrifice. Leadership. Trust.

Time - lives so predetermined, so tethered, yet so completely malleable and free. So, so short.

The quest for meaning and purpose in this well ordered, yet wholly random, Universe.

The balance of instinct and intellect - so hard to do right, but so important to do right.

The ending, as they fought off the Klingons and Geordi cleared everyone out of engineering, had my heart pounding and tears in my eyes. It didn't matter that I'd seen this one before, and I remember how it ended.

Good stuff - a classic!
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Sat, Oct 12, 2019, 7:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

@Peter G

Love your comparison of the paintings to the versions of what happened in Riker's room (and @Chrome, your addition was great).

If I remember right, they were three paintings, and three story versions - if I had to pick which story was analogous to Picard's painting, I'd say the last one - it's the last one examined, as is Picard's painting. And it's the least believable/most distorted one. (The story told by the assistant that includes the "You're a dead man!!")
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Fri, Oct 11, 2019, 10:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: A Matter of Perspective

Watching and commenting:

--Well, we're clued off right away from the title and Data's funny critique of Picard's artwork, that this ep is about individual perspective.

--OK, is this the one about the woman/wife who accuses Riker of being inappropriate with her? I hope not. I remember it fairly well, and remember that I did not like it.

--Yes, it is that ep, isn't it? And now I don't feel like watching. But I'm too much of a tight-a** to skip any eps on a rewatch.

--Pretty bored, but it's hard to judge this fairly when my boredom could be in part due to remembering this fairly well, so - no suspense.

--Just kind of silly and unoriginal - the premise (literally showing us their separate perspectives), the technobabble from Geordi and Data (the holodeck did what??), the psychobabble from Troi (both are reporting their memories completely honestly??).

Little to recommend this one. Below average, and very, very skippable.
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Wed, Oct 9, 2019, 11:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Deja Q

Loved it.

I knew I was in for a fun time after this bit:

Q (insisting he's human): What must I do to convince you people???
WORF: Die.

Perfection. Lots of boring preachy dialogue not necessary (or optimal) for getting a point across.

What it means to be human. How best to be human. Selflessness, morality. Happiness, laughter, suffering, tears. Oww!!

It's all there in the ep, all without lectures from Picard.

The dialogue was snappy, the performances were great, the story engaging. Having Data act as a foil for depressed-human Q was pure genius.

John de Lancie at his peak.

The planet is saved; Q is saved.

Q's in his Continuum and all's right with the Galaxy.
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Mon, Oct 7, 2019, 11:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The High Ground


Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk.

This is the third time in very recent memory that we're looking at an ep about rebels/outsiders fighting the good fight (or is it good?) against evil oppressors (or are they evil?).

We had the older lady with the pretty young servant (being hit on by Riker), negotiating with wayward outsiders; We had the last ep, with the no longer useful soldiers escaping their bonds; and now we have this.

Boring, talky, talky, talky.

Please Beverly, don't develop Stockholm Syndrome. Hmm. Looks like Finn has developed reverse-Stockholm Syndrome. He's been drawing The Bev with a great deal of thoughtfulness and tenderness.

Music overdone.

Hokey scene where Crusher tells Picard that there are things she's always wanted to tell him, and she wants to say them now, since they may not survive. With the subtly and sophistication of an episode of "Saved By The Bell," this ep then gives us an immediate, amazingly-timed intrusion, and the moment is entirely lost.

I just want this to be over.

I do like the mother and child reunion.

Average ep, brought down to below average by my weariness with this theme and approach. I get it. People mistreat people in this imperfect galaxy and The Enterprise is a force for goodness in same. Let's move on.
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Mon, Oct 7, 2019, 8:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Hunted

Eh. Can definitely take or leave this one.

I think a five year old can figure out the moral of the story - no subtly at all. Also, pretty dull. There's action, but the action is repetitive and uninteresting.

Not a favorite. Passable.
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Sat, Oct 5, 2019, 5:13am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Defector

Very well done.

Really kept me interested. Tons of good suspense.

Great performances, good writing, the final confrontation was absolutely brilliant.

The very end was the only slight disappointment I experienced. The suicide made sense and I expected it, it was the unabashed characterization of the General, by Picard, as a brave hero, that didn't quite sit right with me. I mean, he was, and he wasn't, a hero. I didn't feel like Picard knew enough about him for such a declaration.

The episode hit heavily on loyalties and connections and responsibilities, and on things being hidden, i.e., not what they seemed to be. The Shakespeare fit right in, giving us a direct clue that the Romulan was a "king" in disguise.
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Thu, Oct 3, 2019, 9:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Enemy


Interesting thoughts! My take:

I think the Klingons are quite deliberately shown as much more in touch with their animal side, much more id, than ego.

We see Vulcans often struggling to trust their instincts/emotions, or to ever let their animal side take over - the Klingons struggle in the opposite direction. They struggle to keep their animal side at bay and allow logic and reason to play a role.

Klingon or Vulcan (or humans who are in between and struggle in both ways, depending on their individual make up)
it's always about finding the right mix in the right time . . . knowing when to go with your gut, and knowing when to harness it and go with your brain, and knowing when to go with some delicate balance of each.

The Klingon tendency to allow the animal-side to easily take over sometimes costs them - gets them into avoidable trouble and such. The Vulcan tendency to allow Reason to reign supreme in all circumstances sometimes causes them unnecessary problems and heartache, too.

Though not each and every situation or bit of dialogue may be intentionally set up to further this, I do think that overall the set up, with the Klingons representing instinct/id, is intentional.
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Thu, Oct 3, 2019, 9:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Vengeance Factor

Last ep, Deanna romance, this ep, Riker romance - even less believable or interesting.

Did not like the ep. The technobabble about microviruses and the clans and the unlikely negotiations and the barely plausible motivation for our ageless murderer (one gets the idea the age-slowing was introduced just to allow her to be young and pretty for Riker) . . . just all very contrived from beginning to end, especially distraught and disturbed Riker at the end.

Ugh. Very little redeeming value here. I guess the moral of the story is that devoting your life to vengeance is bad. You have to put up with being a servant to cranky older ladies and your romances really go south.
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Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 8:02am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Price

Lord, that's supposed to say the "negotiations/wormhole *stuff*" in my comment above. Not *stupid*.

The introduction of the Ferenghi was silly, but I liked how Voyager picked up on it, later.

Anyhow, I wanted to comment on the title, The Price - pretty clever, as it refers to the obvious negotiations, and to other, more subtle prices paid - how everything is always an exchange.

You have to give up Earth for peace of mind. Give up your traveling companion to seduce Troi. Give up any chance of a continuing relationship to continue with your present life. Etc. There are really constant mentions of this throughout the ep - what you pay, what you accept, what you receive in exchange.
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Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 7:30am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Price

Some good elements, the negotiations/poker stupid was sorta interesting, as was the wormhole.

The Troi story really suffered from horrible casting. The actor wasn't bad, so much as he didn't fit the role. There was zero chemistry between the actors, and he just came off as.super- creepy when he started touching her hair.

They didn't try to sell it as true, deep love, which I give them credit for. I hate when the characters are madly, throw their lives away, in love in an hour or two. But still, it didn't even work as instant, strong , natural attraction.

Mostly an average episode, brought down by the creepy.
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Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 12:46am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Enemy

Good one.

More traps and power struggles - this time, Geordi falls down into a hole. Where's Lassie when you need her?

More good character development for Geordi.

Loved the Worf stuff. Loved how he stood firm, and how Picard refused to order him to help the Romulan. Great twist when the dying Romulan told Worf he didn't want his disgusting Klingon help.

I think we're meant to compare and contrast "Worf with Romulan 1" and "Geordi with Romulan 2. " Adaptability, compromise, trust, reason.

Nice performances, nice look at the Romulans - The Enemy. What are they up to, anyhow?
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