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Steinway
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 12:59am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

No, just no.

Sorry guys, I just couldn’t like this. In fact I disliked it with a passion once we got to the part where Picard says bye to Riker and doesn’t tell him he’s dying because he wants to share his last moments with the randos he just met or reconnected with over the last week. There were some good moments in the episode, like Picard being a stronger protagonist, and Riker as acting captain (even though it was totally contrived...I guess one thing I’m grateful to this show for is making me realize how great he is, and always was, as Riker).

Picard-robot is super upsetting to me. The way it was done and what it means...no.

The whole Data thing did nothing for me. But I’m glad it was helpful for other people. It just seemed way too contrived and the aging issue made it seem cringey. I think there may have been some good dialogue in that part, but I was too upset by the bizarre Picard pseudo-resurrection looming.

I think today’s TV just isn’t for me. I couldn’t do Disco past S1 and not sure I can hang in for S2 of PIC either. Honestly probably the best part of this experience is coming on this site week after week and reading comments from really thoughful and intelligent people, lots of them. The posts of Trent and Dave in MN on this episode were my thoughts exactly. Thanks to all! Be safe and good health to you.
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Steinway
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@ Jason R, your numbers game re: the Romulans/Zhat Vash and 250 warbirds is so well put. Yes to that whole post.

I haven't watched any TNG in a long time. Last week my husband and I sat down to watch a random episode, and I chose "The First Duty". Super rewarding, great ep, I even remembered some of the lines and could say them with the characters.

We decided to watch another one last night, and I reached way back to season 1 for "Datalore". I didn't remember any of it. Small wonder...it was pretty bad. I understand the significance of the episode, but it was pretty schlocky, plot holes galore, awkward acting, stupid ending, etc. It was sort of your typical first-season Trek. TNG, DS9, and VOY are all pretty unwatchable on the first season level for me. And I love all those series - the key is, I remember the good episodes, not the bad ones (well, most of the time). So maybe I need to extend some mercy to PIC, more than I have thus far. However, there's no reason why the writers (in any series, in any season) can't pull together an episode that is fun to watch, thought provoking, exciting, gels well, etc. It's completely doable. So I'm still holding the standard high, because I know they can do it. I just haven't seen any real gems yet in PIC, stuff that I'll be quoting out loud 25+ years after the first time I saw it.
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Steinway
Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 8:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@ Daniel Prates - yes, I thought too that it was pretty clear that Sutra killed Saga for her own Evil Ends. But beyond dumb that it was done by poking her in the eye... And I had the same thought that Sutra is the actual destroyer and Soji was just mistaken for her. Good call on the “Soji kills Sutra” angle, I could see that playing out.

Sadly, I don’t really care much what happens to Soji. The actress is capable, but it’s more the writing. We don’t really understand what she is (android vs human - how is she different; also, what was her role on the cube? These things would give me buy in on the character). So, it’s hard to for me to be invested.
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Steinway
Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Yes to everything Lynos just said, great analysis.

I just don't like this sort of TV. It just seems poor quality to me. But obviously this is just my opinion. However, this doesn't make me (and others like me) a Star Trek hater who just can't like anything past TNG (or insert some other previous series). True confession: I liked the last few Star Wars movies. Yes, I know there were serious plot holes and other problems, but if it's a decent story that features good relationships and world building, I'm in. I loved Mandalorian...I went in with no expectations and was blown away. That was great TV. But DISC and PIC just don't cut it as far as what I'm looking for in television. I like things that have a classic, even classy, feel. Trek episodes that went to trashy levels (like mirror universe episodes, for example) never did it for me. My husband is not a Star Trek guy, but has watched all TNG and VOY with me (liked them both very well) and doesn't care for DISC/PIC either. So I think it has to do with what one is looking for in a TV show in general, in addition to our own expectations for Star Trek specifically.

And I don't think that analyzing episodes together is necessarily hating. I am the sort of person that, after I watch a movie/show or read a book, really enjoys going and reading what other people think of it from an artistic perspective. It deepens my experience and, in the case of good art, deepens my enjoyment of it.
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Steinway
Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 8:16am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@ The Chronek - you’re right, the kicked corpses could have been Romulan.

I agree with another poster that the Space Flower thing was laughable - they just take down any approaching ships, and then they synths move on with life? It was bizarre when Picard & co walked up to the synth compound and they all just kind of gathered around - given the preemptive nature of the flower attack, you’d think the synths would be aggressive. But no, now they’re just kinda like, “hey guys, ‘sup?” And that was after the super goofy camera work where we had a cheesy focus on each character’s face before walking up to the compound. “For effect”...or...something. The cinematography felt really off to me in this episode.

For some reason, the synth colony didn’t really work for me on a world-building level. They all just seemed to be soft of just hanging around that building that seemed pretty small for so many beings. And then nothing else on the whole planet...I just kept saying, what do they DO all day?!

Spiner’s return fell flat for me here as well. So different from the performances and role of Frakes/Sirtis, which were well done for the most part. Are the synths going to kill Soong Jr too? He seemed pretty unconcerned.
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Steinway
Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 1:10am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Definitely a big step back in quality from the last three episodes. So much good analysis here in the comments...

Strange pacing in this episode. Things seem pretty urgent with the Romulan fleet approaching, and yet our “heroes” are taking leisurely strolls around the planet and at the android compound, and having lots of feely conversations which, as has been said so many times here, were embarrassing because of how unearned they were.

Zooming out, it feels like we have so many super flawed or cynical women on the show...Agnes, Raffi, Narissa, Commodore Oh, the F-ing Admiral...especially Seven with the mercy killing, vaporizing Bjayzl, and now she’s unceremoniously kicking dead xB’s off a ledge because they’re “in her way” and she’s so vigilante and jaded. Soji is an exception to this. Then on the other hand, we have the guys, who just kind of stand around: Picard, Rios, Elnor, and Narek. I actually like Rios (the acting at least) but he’s just kind of “there” most of the time, from a character perspective. I feel like it’s overblown post-modernist anti-stereotyping, which then becomes its own stereotype, and it’s just off-putting to me.
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Steinway
Sat, Mar 7, 2020, 8:02am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

@ Gerontius - thanks for the Nepenthe context! That's fascinating.

If you take the use of food this episode, there is some neat symbolism - the homegrown, healthy food at the idyllic Riker retreat; contrast that with the replicated cake-stuffing on La Sirena with the shadiness going on there...it works.

I'm glad Frakes got in front of the camera even though he doesn't look the same as he did in TNG (I know I don't look the same as I did watching that show run the first time!). I think it took courage to do that, and if he hadn't, we would've been robbed of the good stuff in that episode. Totally cliche - "it's what's on the inside that counts" - but Frakes proved it's true with his representation of an older Riker. Some people struggle with weight because of poor choices, and others struggle with weight for other reasons that are beyond their control. For most it's probably somewhere in the middle. Hard to know the difference, and it's best not to shame anybody anyway!
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Steinway
Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 10:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

I seriously thought before the mindmeld that Commodore Oh was going to take her sunglasses off and tell Jurati to put them on, and it would be some sort of VR/Google Glass way of doing the Horrific Knowledge reveal. It would have been silly but at least we would have a reason for the sunglasses!
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Steinway
Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 12:57am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

Overall good - as seems to be the general consensus. But enough bad to be bothersome.

THE GOOD:

The girl character - she was great. her last scene about how her parents were there for her during the toughest time in her life was such an uncomplicated, believeable slice of life - not something we get often on sci-fi shows, and it felt fresh and worked well here in this family setting. I like the complicated questions, but sometimes simple and sweet just works. Brought tears to my eyes.

Lots of good things about Troi and Riker reunion. Some great moments, good acting, pleasant to watch. Fun nods to TNG that worked well enough to make me smile.

Ex-Borg rebellion?? Could be fun!

THE BAD:

Way too much recap dialogue in the Nepenthe planet scenes. Boring-ified something that had a lot of otherwise great elements.

Out of character moment when Picard said something jerk-ish so he could be berated by Riker and Troi felt shoehorned in. Because, conflict. And Drama.

Both cube scenes. Death of Hugh?! No!

That’s handy that the tracker doesn’t work when Jurati is in a coma. I guess because she’s “mostly dead” and that’s close enough to “all dead”? Even if she had died, that automatically makes the tracker not work I guess.

So we were spoonfed more info about why Jurati “had” to murder Maddox. How did murdering Maddox help the anti-synth cause? I mean, I guess it could, but for Jurati to do that you need some plausible justification for that drastic of a character turn. And she saw Terrible Things in a forced mind meld. So, how does she know these things are true/will happen? Time travel future stuff? Does that really make someone SURE they need to kill someone they were close to? Being shown traumatic images that “might” come true (how? We don’t know - more spoonfeeding later, pinky promise!) should spur a character on to questioning the validity of those images, not mindless compliance. We aren’t led to believe she is being mind controlled so she just seems gullible or really prone to manipulation. I needed something to make me see why Jurati would do such a terrible deed but instead it just felt weak.
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Steinway
Mon, Nov 10, 2014, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Dax

WHY did they have to have the hearing in Quark's bar?! There were only five or so people present. They could've had the hearing in Odo's office, or Sisko's ready room, or the holodeck! Why did they need that goofy scene with also pressuring Quark to shut down the bar and let them have the hearing there? It was pointless.

I don't care for Avery Brooks' acting throughout the series, but I think Nana Visitor's acting takes the cake in the beginning of the series for being the most awful! The scene where she overacts in this episode is as laughable as it is painful to watch. I do think she wins the award for Most Improved Actor of the Series of award, though.
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Steinway
Fri, Apr 11, 2014, 9:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Homestead

@Elliott: Thanks, I'm glad I was wrong on one continuity issue :) It's been years since I saw Seasons 1/2 where they talked about that...
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Steinway
Fri, Apr 11, 2014, 9:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

I have to agree with the consensus (and Jammer) on this farewell episode. The first time I saw it (in college—I had a Voyager finale party at my apartment), I liked it—it had action, the Borg, Klingons, time travel, and...they got home!

But watching it again so many years later, it was frustrating for all the reasons people have already said—the ethics of Admiral Janeway's quest, the split-second shot of Voyager approaching home, and all the rest in between. Interestingly, my husband liked it (much like I did the first time around) but he did notice the ending was a bit abrupt!

Voyager is our favorite series and this finale is just okay. It works, for what it is, but I wouldn't call it "special". The big asset Voyager had to offer was the characters—the good acting, the sense of "family", and the quest for home. And it seemed it was the characters who got shortchanged in the final saga.

I liked the idea someone had above: what if the Borg weren't annihilated (were they, even?) but rather their queen crippled and they somehow became liberated? It would have been a fascinating premise. "Endgame" (with its flaws, I suppose) could have been aired as a mid-season two-parter/mini-movie, and then the second half of the seventh series could be Voyager trying to help all these Borg who are lost and confused, maybe the Borg and Voyager working together to get Voyager back home (or in contact with Earth) to pull in the resources of the rest of the Federation, to help with his massive and unprecedented effort. Starfleet could launch a plan to send a buch of ships to the Delta Quatrant to help out, and voila, you have a neat set of episodes where you're seeing more of the Federation, maybe Earth, maybe homecomings, and some interesting Borg moral dilemmas (some of them die, some of them go crazy, some try to take over Starfleet, etc.).

Could've been fun!
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Steinway
Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Renaissance Man

I agree with the consensus, that this was a fun episode but oddly placed in the line-up (or countdown, rather).

However, one thing really tickled me that hasn't been mentioned—there were clues early on that it was the Doctor, before the "reveal". The first was that the Doctor (as Janeway) went after Chakotay with a *hypospray*...and the second was that he (as Janeway) hid Chakotay in the *morgue*. Both those details were unusual, and after realizing it was really the Doctor, I appreciated those details.
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Steinway
Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 8:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Homestead

Hmm...I must ask, again, my opening question from my comment two episodes ago: WHERE are they getting their food? They are on a bald asteroid! Are they somehow sucking up and metabolizing that gaseous stuff that was coming out of the pipes? Ah well.

I would have been more excited and gung-ho about Neelix staying with those people (and fighting with them for their home) if the asteroid hadn't been such a depressing place to live. It's a rock, people :(

But anyway, I did like the episode very much overall—a "Neelix farewell" episode just sounds like a bad idea, but it came off well. I especially liked the Tuvok/Neelix scenes and how Neelix genuinely felt useful through their conversations, something his character had struggled with pretty much the whole series; and the way that Tuvok empowered Neelix to be more than he was. Although, I found the Tuvok-dance moment at the end rather cheesy, it was a nice touch and a great sendoff for a character.

Wasn't it odd though when they (Neelix and the other two Talaxians) were looking at the picture of Talax in astrometrics and no one mentioned that it had been destroyed?? (Hadn't it?!) That was awkward and a pretty glaring continuity issue since that was one of the only aspects of Neelix's character that wasn't happy-smiley—he had that awful part of his past, that came up many times throughout the series.

I also really liked Janeway's scene with Neelix, when she appealed to his sense of duty—presenting the idea of ambassador in the Delta quadrant to him. It gave him a pass to leave while still honoring his sense of pride.

I would definitely say, the best Neelix episode of the series!
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Steinway
Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Natural Law

Not too much more to say that hasn't been said, but I did like the twist at the end (with the civilized aliens encroaching on the primitives) and how Seven came to realize there was a beauty and simplicity to them that challenged her presumptions.

For a Trekkie, I'm terribly skeptical of technology and feel that it brings a lot of harm (along with, undeniably, a lot of good) and that it's right to examine whether we are better off with or without. There were hints of that theme in this episode, and I appreciated that.

It was pleasant enough, but not what I'm wanting in the home stretch of the series. That really bothers me—so little of the last 10, or even 5, episodes, had anything to do with wrapping up the series (I would say that only "Homestead" did, and only for one character).
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Steinway
Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 3:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Friendship One

My first thought was, where are these cave-dwellers getting their food? Ah well, I had to ask.

I liked this for a lot of reasons others mentioned (it was one of the few episodes I missed when they first aired), primarily the nice setup. I didn't find the plot too bland. But the one thing that REALLY bothered me was Lt. Carey's death. Poor guy! Of course, I knew from the moment I saw him at the beginning that he was going to die. But the way the aftermath of his death was handled was distasteful. The next scene after Carey was shot, Neelix and Paris are just sitting around like nothing happened. They should have been shaken up or...something! I recognize that there's a certain military "the show must go on, keep your cool" attitude, but this was just silly. I would have thought that at least one of them would have been visibly shaken and upset, even if it was only amongst themselves that this was explored.

And then you have the later scene on Voyager where Paris and Neelix are urging Janeway to help the cave guys! It seemed way out of character for both—there should have been some reference to the emotional impact of Carey being killed. It was totally disjointed and served only to nudge the plot along.

And then the last scene with Janeway ruminating over Carey's death with Chakotay...it was as though the writers said, "well, we've got two and a half minutes left, just enough time for someone to finally acknowledge that Carey died." It was just bizarre.
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Steinway
Wed, Feb 26, 2014, 1:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

The other thing I forgot to say (since no one else has mentioned it yet) is that the scene where the Doctor confronts Paris in the corridor about the "revised" version of the holonovel was so well done. The little detail of having other crewmembers walking by and accidentally observing added more for Picardo and McNeill to play off of. But the best moment in the scene was when Picardo got within an inch of McNeill's face. Golden!
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Steinway
Wed, Feb 26, 2014, 11:42am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

LOVED this. Hadn't seen it since it first aired but it was still very fresh in my mind because it's so memorable.

The only part I'd forgotten about was the hologram's rights hearing which was a weak point in the episode for me. I'm not into the whole AI rights issue...my mind begins thinking things like what SpiceRak said so well in the comments. I found myself cringing at some of the silly statements being made in favor of the doctor's personhood but did enjoy hearing the personal testimonies from Seven and Barclay. The end result, declaring him an artist for the purposes of the hearing, worked for me and I'm glad they pushed off the personhood issue for a "later date" (that is, never). So in the end, it worked for me.
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Steinway
Wed, Feb 26, 2014, 9:23am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Q2

Wow, I'm surprised this one is so hated. It's definitely not my favorite, but I didn't find it offensive (except for the female sexploitation moments). I didn't like Death Wish (moral objections), and thought Q and the Grey was a little boring, so I guess this one would be the best Voyager Q episode in my book. Once again I agree with azcats.

I think the reason I found endearing is that I'm a parent, and so I could relate to a lot of the parenting plotline. I didn't take it as a grand Q Continuum story, but rather a metaphor for human parenting. A lot of the time that's what Star Trek is – a metaphor for our own times.
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Steinway
Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 12:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Human Error

So Seven loses her virginity to a hologram?! Ugh.

I thought Seven/holo-Chakotay did have great chemistry though. Glad Beltran got to actually do something on the show!

All the writers had to do to redeem this episode for me was to have Seven change her mind at the last second of the episode and tell Chakotay she'd go with him to the cooking class. I couldn't believe they didn't give us that one little glimmer at the end! It would have been a nice, subtle payoff.
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Steinway
Tue, Feb 18, 2014, 2:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

I don't know why they had to make Paris into such a schmuck this episode. I know he is kind of schmucky with his one-liners, but I know Duncan-McNeill can act, and when he's getting more than one line, it usually turns out pretty well. Someone above thought it was his acting that was the problem is this ep, but the lines he was given were so trite that I don't know how he possibly could've acted them well.

I could have happily done with some machosim on Paris' part, shoving the Klingons a little bit when they were trying to get his goat instead of just standing there and saying some truly pathetic lines. The combat scene wasn't too bad, and I thought B'Elanna's line was cute: "Today would be a very BAD day to die."

At any rate, this wasn't my favorite episode, but I did enjoy it. I'm one of those who likes the Klingons, with their honor and tradition. Seems like we should get one episode with them in the Voyager series, no matter how convoluted it has to be for them to show up :-)
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Steinway
Mon, Feb 17, 2014, 3:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Repentance

I really liked this episode. Like Jalandra, I'm one of those who believes that capital punishment can be used appropriately from time to time, but certainly not as a means of revenge, which would be wrong. I say that not to further fuel the fire, but just to say that a person who can see the appropriate application of capital punishment in some cases can also like this episode. I thought the characterizations were very good and the plot was well thought out. Yes, I knew that Iko was going to "prove himself" at the end of the episode, but I liked how it played out because I thought it was well acted and well conceived.

I knew that some would be offended by the subplot with the other prisoner, but it's a mistake to stereotype his situation. They highlighted the fact that these minorities take up more space in the presence that makes sense, but the point was that some of those people were justified in being there.

To me the episode was thoughtful, not preachy.
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Steinway
Fri, Feb 14, 2014, 7:56am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Shattered

I thought this was great fun. I am another one who really would have enjoyed a Chakotay/Janeway kiss at the end – it would've been so easy to write in! Just have Chakotay say "let's just say there are some barriers we never crossed…" And then he pauses, and adds, "But I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to..." and he kisses her! Easy!

Ah well. I thought it was funny that Icheb was wearing a red uniform and Naomi was wearing a yellow uniform – seems like it should've been the opposite, with Icheb so interested in engineering-type things and Naomi wanting to be the captain's assistant.

One thing that struck me as being so funny was at the very end was when Chakotay only had six seconds or whatever to fix everything, and he's very calmly talking to B'Elanna, like they has all the time in the world! I usually enjoy Chakotay's calm and gentle manner, but this moment really called for some urgency and action! Ha ha.
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Steinway
Fri, Feb 14, 2014, 7:48am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

Love this. I remembered the episode from when I saw it years ago in college, and I was looking forward to seeing it again now that I have my own husband and family. I was crying buckets at the end!

This episode was about people with complex problems with a 24th century twist – exactly what I'm looking for in Star Trek! So glad it wasn't muddled with a boring B-plot. The B'Elanna/Tom issues got all the time and attention it needed.
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Steinway
Tue, Feb 11, 2014, 10:25am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

Previous to watching this episode I saw that Jammer gave it two stars, so I was prepared for something pretty mediocre. So I guess that's why I found myself entertained by the episode. I honestly thought it was well acted and the characterizations were good. I thought this was the best Harry episode besides "Timeless", but in this one he's actually playing his current self. Harry doesn't bother me like he does other people – he is a little bit of a caricature, but there are people in the world like that.

I thought the story with Icheb and B'Elanna was hilarious! I think the thing I liked best about this episode – not that I thought it was the greatest – was just the tension between the characters in both plots. I think that's what made it good for me.
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