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Sun, Dec 8, 2019, 9:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

RIP, Rene' .

A wonderful actor who added so much to this series, and seemed very well loved.

I've been trying to think of my favorite Odo moment, and though I can't narrow it down, I enjoyed his banter with Quark the most. Shimerman tweeted a nice message in remembrance and it wasn't surprising to read he considered him a close friend. They had great chemistry.

I did love when they were stuck in Odo 's office together:

QUARK : Should've listened to my father. He always warned me this was gonna happen.

ODO : What? That you'd spend your final hours in jail? I could have told you that.
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Wed, Nov 27, 2019, 9:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Reunion

I love K'Ehleyr and was sad to see her go. She would have made an excellent regular or recurring character.

But, the drama of her death was almost worth the loss. I was riveted to the screen throughout. Dorn was great. His anguish at K'Ehleyr's death, his hot-blooded, completely unstoppable, jaw-dropping killing of Duras.

Alexander was never a well done character - not on TNG or DS9. Too bad. With Worf and K'Ehleyr as parents, he could have - should have- been a very interesting character.

More on the Family theme - so far, prominent in every ep this Season.

Definitely, with K'Ehleyr and Worf trying to make a big decision about their personal lives, and the Empire trying to make a big decision about its next leader, we see a lot about the role of tradition vs personal preference vs concern for others (the bigger picture). There's also an emphasis on time and timing, as Picard deliberately delays the proceedings, K'Ehleyr tries to explain and understand why she delayed telling Worf about his son, Worf and K'Ehleyr run out of time, and we learn Worf is biding his time, in regard to getting his good name back.

Both Worf's decision and the Empire's decision are simplified when death limits the options to one.

An excellent episode - the moment Worf kills Duras is absolutely unforgettable.

Good stuff.
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Wed, Nov 27, 2019, 8:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Legacy

Eh. It was OK. Casting wasn't great - Ishara looked nothing like Tasha. Zippo. And this bugged me, from Ishara:

"Our parents were killed in some crossfire just after I was born. Some people took care of us for a few months, then one day we came home and they were gone. So Tasha took care of me, and when I was old enough I joined the Coalition. "

The "then one day we came home and they were gone." The wording is as if she was out with her older sister, the two of them came home, and they found their "foster parents" gone. Just weird wording for someone who was probably around 4 months old at the time of the event.

I know, picky, picky. But it bugged me, and the whole episode felt sort of haphazardly put together.

Continuing with our Family theme for the Season, certainly, though I didn't find it particularly enlightening about Tasha.

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Sun, Nov 24, 2019, 8:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Miri

Just making a comment here because I just read that Michael J Pollard died on the 20th of Nov - i.e., Wed.

I immediately thought of this episode, where Pollard's baby face couldn't quite disguise the fact that he was 28 and not prepubescent.

An interesting and talented actor who distinguished himself from the pack. RIP.
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Sat, Nov 23, 2019, 1:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Remember Me

Giving some thought to the title - Remember Me. It's an odd title for an ep that seems to be more about not forgetting others, than hoping others remember you.

But the part that memory plays in our lives is certainly being explored: Quaice can't stay in a place where his memories of Patricia are so vivid. The fact that Wes remembers the Traveller saves Beverly. Beverly places great importance on remembering her disappearing comrades; the implication is that it is the only way to keep them in the Universe now - alive in her memory.

It's interesting that Beverly is making her own world and that in that world, her "wild claims" are taken seriously well past the point that might be expected. It's no coincidence that her thoughts are creating her world, and the last thought anyone has is that maybe BEVERLY is the one that's lost. Picard, Riker, Data, etc. - they're not able to suggest Beverly might be the one with the issue, until Beverly herself starts to wonder.

It's interesting to that Picard is the last one to "abandon her."

But Beverly still has one last thing, even after Picard is gone: Herself. Maybe that's what the title refers to, that Beverly has to remember Herself. She had to stop seeking non existent external help and validation, she has to remember Beverly.

Well, people in my Universe are calling me away. Back soon, but in the meantime: Remember me. :)
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Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 10:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Remember Me

A good one.

A great Beverly vehicle - I may be forgetting something, but I'm thinking it's her finest hour.

It's been a rough a couple years in the Springy family, and my Thanksgiving table is down three people from two Thanksgivings ago. I had just finished counting the guests and making my shopping list, and thinking about the diminishing number of people, and lo and behold, I get this episode next in the line-up, to complement my thoughts.

Maybe we ALL make our own realities.

The ep keeps us on the Family theme we've seen all Season, but with a very different, creative angle. There's the obvious mother and son connection, but more than that, we see, through Quaice's reaction to his wife's death and Beverly's Incredible Shrinking Crew experience, how all our loved ones, our connections and relationships, define the size of our Universes: quantity and quality.

Nice touch to bring back the Traveler.

Well done!
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Wed, Nov 20, 2019, 1:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

I actually think that there are episodes that do refer back to this one, and the fact that this traumatic experience has stayed with Troi.

I could only remember one instance, so I looked up the wording, in The Offspring:

TROI: Why should biology rather than technology determine whether it is a child? Data has created an offspring. A new life out of his own being. To me, that suggests a child. If he wishes to call Lal his child, then who are we to argue? 
PICARD: Well, if he must, but I fail to understand how a five foot android with heuristic learning systems and the strength of a ten men can be called a child. 
TROI: You've never been a parent.

That last line - that's a deliberate reference, I think.

I have a vague feeling I've noted others as we went along.

Not that it didn't deserve a bit more attention and emphasis for get character development, but my feeling is that it wasn't zero.

If any more examples come to me, I'll post it. I'm thinking possibly with Lwaxana . . .
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Sat, Nov 16, 2019, 9:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Suddenly Human

Well, certainly continuing with our Family theme here, but - not great. Lots of silly, the most absurd thing being the way Jono's attempted murder of Captain Picard is just sorta brushed off. No biggie, kid's OK to return home!

Though it went in the opposite direction, Picard's quick decision about the boy's fate reminded me of Sisko sending the Cardassian boy, who had been raised by Bajorans, home to Cardassia. I realize now that I was wrong to ding Sisko for his hasty, unilateral decision-making - he was merely following established precedent.

Kinda dull. A few good moments.
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Sat, Nov 16, 2019, 12:42am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Brothers

This episode was good, a solid offering, but not a favorite. I think this is mostly because I find Soong unlikable and not very sympathy-evoking. He's manipulative, kinda nuts, and one dimensional.

Spiner is fantastic in it, and fun to watch.

There are really three sets of brothers in this - the little boys, Data and Lore, and Jean Luc and Robert. We just finished watching two brothers fighting in Family, now we're watching more adversarial-brother action.

I suspect it's really all about Jean Luc. The resentments between Jean Luc and Robert, and how they've impacted Picard. Jake is resentful and feels made fun of by his little brother Willie, and now a parasite is in Willie's belly. Lore takes what Dad has to give, leaving his younger brother to be different, more detached.

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Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 10:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Family

I really liked this episode.

It was a departure from the standard ST fare, and a well done one. The bucolic, peaceful, sunny beauty of La Barre, Picard's hometown, was such a great contrast to their usual surroundings.

Everything is so . . . down to Earth. Soil, vines, grapes, wine, a child, a marriage, home cooking. Talk of the ocean. Of reclamation. You can almost smell the mud when Picard gets covered with it.

The performances were outstanding.

The Worf stuff was wonderful character development for Worf. The Wes stuff was less significant, but interesting nonetheless.

Roles, relationships, the way we build our lives, the paths we choose and the people along the way - the paths we don't choose, and the people we leave behind.

Just a beautiful little interlude before, like The Enterprise, we're all charged up and on our way.
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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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