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The Chronek
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 12:29am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Rewatched this Sunday night with my wife. My opinion of this episode has improved a lot.

Picard's death was impactful. I can see why the others reacted as they did, even knowing him a short time. They didn't know at the time that Picard would be reborn in a synth body.

Jurati had her great hero moment. A little convenient, but what the hell. I enjoyed the banter between her and Picard.

I agree with Jammer that the Blue Skies reprise retroactively made Nemesis better. Nice touch to bring Data's story to a close.

I'm not usually one to watch show discussions, but Wil Wheaton is fantastic on The Ready Room. His love and enthusiasm for Trek is infectious. His interviews with the cast and crew reveal some nice details. And the other clips with guys like Kurtzman and Chabon show that yes, they get it. I may not always like the choices they make, but they know Trek, and they explain why they chose to move the story the way they did.

I'm not sure if Kurtzman always understood Trek. I'm positive that he does now. And this is coming from someone who didn't like the 2009 reboot.

Yes, this was a job for them, but it was a labor of love.

Time for me to catch up on Discovery and Short Treks. Stay safe and healthy, all.
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The Chronek
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 9:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

So....thoughts.

Upon first viewing, I was underwhelmed. I felt the Picard death/resurrection to be unearned with its emotion. To all those who said Picard would become an android last week, kudos, you got it.

I get Raffi being emotional. I get Elnor being emotional. They had established personal histories with Picard. But I don't buy that level of emotion from the rest of the supporting cast.

I liked the scene with Picard and Data in Picard's post-death vision/dream/complex simulation thing. That's the kind of sendoff Data deserved. That was well-earned emotion, mostly from TNG, but also from Picard's journey as we saw during the season.

The trouble with Star Trek main character deaths is that I inevitably compare it to Spock's death and resurrection in The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock. That still remains the gold standard for any main Trek character's death. The characters really made significant sacrifices to bring Spock back: their careers, their freedom, the Enterprise, and of course, Kirk's son. By comparison, Picard's death paled.

I agree that Jurati needs to stand trial for her crimes. Romulan influence or not, she still killed a man. This isn't some cultural differences thing, like when Worf claimed right of vengeance against Duras.

I would have liked to have seen Q back in the finale, picking up where he left off near the end of All Good Things.

Heck, maybe my disappointment in this episode comes from what I wanted to see.

So, now I'll catch up on Discovery and Short Treks.

Stay safe, all. LLAP.
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The Chronek
Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

FFS.

And I thought The Last Jedi and the 13th Doctor hate brigades were bad....
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The Chronek
Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 11:59am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Brief addition: I liked the Picard line about anyone treating him like a dying man runs the risk of pissing him off. I think it was very much in character for him. He's a Starfleet officer gone rogue. And when shown as an old man in "All Good Things," Picard is quite grumpy with other people when he feels like they're treating him with kid gloves because of his Irumodic syndrome.
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The Chronek
Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 11:25am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@Steinway,
I thought the synths' collective reaction was ok. They didn't know Picard was on the ship when they sent the orchids, but I think it's ok to assume that Soong Jr. spoke favorably of Picard to the synths, thus their reaction of gathering around initially as opposed to more hostile measures. Also, it made them feel more alien to me.

Yeah, the focus on each individual character's face before they walked up to the compound didn't work for me either. I would have bought the shots if the compound itself was more visually awe-inspiring, but it didn't do much for me.

I wasn't bothered by the synths just hanging around the compound. Part of it contributed to the alien feel for me. And it fit in with the attitude that hey, we're better than organics, so why go explore when we don't need to?

I don't think it's wholly fair to compare Spiner's performance in this episode to those of Frakes and Sirtis in Nepenthe. Frakes and Sirtis were reprising their longtime roles, while technically, Spiner is playing a character other than Data. Splitting hairs, perhaps, but to me, there's a difference.

Not the best episode, to be sure, but it's no "Shades of Grey" or "Threshold" from the infamous Trek garbage pile for me.
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The Chronek
Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 7:57am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

I agree with the comments saying that this episode was a step down in quality from the previous 3 episodes.

Good to see Spiner again, but the nitpicker in me wonders if his appearance as Soong's biological son contradicts anything that previously said he was childless. The writers have done a pretty solid job so far of accurately referring to previous Trek stories, so my guess is no, it doesn't contradict anything. Still, it felt off somehow.

Were those xB corpses that 7 kicked out of her way? I thought they were Romulans, but I'd have to rewatch it to double check. I can see her doing that to Romulan corpses, but I don't think she'd do that to xB's. Again, not sure, I'd have to rewatch. I don't have a problem with her kicking Romulan corpses unceremoniously. After all, they spaced a lot of drones.

I agree with the predictions that Agnes doesn't make it out of the finale alive. I commented as such to my wife while watching the episode last night.

I thought that the costumes on the synth planet were a nice tribute to William Ware Theiss. Trek has definitely used sex appeal before, going all the way back to TOS, so the Theiss titilation theory is nothing new.

I was also ok with the Picard/Raffi "I love you" exchange. They've been through a lot, and with how the episode is set up, there's reason for them to believe they won't survive the coming Romulan attack. Clearly, Picard means a lot to Raffi, which is why she was so disappointed in him for leaving Starfleet, why she was so hostile to him when he came to her for help, and why she has so far agreed to go with him on this journey.

I can even see why the synths would want to wipe out other life. I mean, not cool, but understandable considering the Federation's synth ban and the fact that there's 200+ Romulan ships on their way to wipe them out.

I guess I'm talking myself into a more favorable review than I initially thought. 2.5 stars on the Jammer scale for me. Here's hoping the finale will pay off.

LLAP, fellow hermits.
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The Chronek
Tue, Mar 17, 2020, 1:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

I'm ok with how Starfleet and the Federation are portrayed on Picard.
The Dominion War and the Borg were more than enough to motivate the Federation to become more isolationist. Add in a bunch of Romulans seeking refuge and an attack on Utopia Planitia by the synths, and sure, I can see them becoming more paranoid.
Much of Star Trek has dealt with the fear and distrust of the other. And with all the above attacks, the Federation would feel justified in its fear of the other and not be so inclined "to explore strange new worlds," seeing what it's got them.
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The Chronek
Tue, Mar 10, 2020, 8:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

@Gerontius, I think Riker was being metaphorical in describing Soji as a teenager. She's just starting to discover who and what she really is, and that's certainly part of being a teenager from a human vantage point. So, there's some truth to his statement, regardless of how biologically/technologically old she really is.

I think there's a lot of love on this thread for Star Trek, both from the folks who like Picard and those who are critical of it. I know I was very critical of the 2009 reboot. I still don't care for it. As a result, I haven't watched Into Darkness and Beyond, and I was skeptical of Discovery. I probably never will watch Into Darkness or Beyond. Life's too short for me to watch or read something I won't enjoy.

I think that, perhaps more than other franchises, Star Trek fans feel more personal ownership in the franchise. Fan response saved TOS from being cancelled after its second season. Fan viewership in syndication eventually led to Star Trek conventions, and ultimately, The Motion Picture, more films and more TV series.

Does Picard use nostalgia? Absolutely. Am I nostalgic for Star Trek? Without a doubt, yes. Star Trek, and in particular, The Next Generation, is a big part of my life. I was an adolescent when it started and a young college student when it finished. Like many Trek fans, I suspect, The Next Generation showed me that I have a place in the bigger universe, even as in real life that universe was telling me the exact opposite.

Emotionally, for me, watching Picard is like spending time with a loved one who has died. It's a gift that I didn't think I would ever have, and I treasure that extra time that I thought I would never have. Maybe that makes me nostalgic. Maybe that makes me more willing to overlook some flaws. I can't fully intellectualize watching Picard. I just can't. Maybe that makes me uncritical.

Maybe that makes me human.

For those of you who don't enjoy Picard or Trek in its current form, that's your prerogative. I'm sure you all bring your own lives and experiences to Star Trek and how you view it. I would only ask that you remember that those of us who enjoy Trek in its current form also bring our own lives and experiences into it and view Trek through that prism, too. IDIC and all.
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The Chronek
Tue, Mar 10, 2020, 6:55am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

@Booming,
I don't think anyone responding here has said that Picard was 100% arrogant, full stop. Yes, other characters have called Picard arrogant. I will reiterate, I don't think Picard is arrogant all the time, or even most of the time. He is my favorite of all the captains. I wouldn't be watching Picard otherwise. I believe that Picard's good and noble qualities far outweigh the incidents of arrogance I've seen from his character, both in Next Gen and in Picard. Riker and Troi must believe that, too, or they would not have welcomed him as warmly as they did. I think Raffi believes that too to an extent, or she wouldn't have come as far with Picard as she has. All I'm saying is we haven't seen his entire life onscreen, and there's a small kernel of truth that he can be arrogant at times.

I will again point to Picard saying "we're ready to least face anything" in Q Who as an example of arrogance. I think he was arrogant with Q in Tapestry, when he thought he could go back to his youth, change a life-altering event, and have it have no effect on his life. To be fair, Picard was grateful to Q for the lesson at the end of that episode.

I think even Picard acknowledges he can be arrogant at times. His admission to Riker that he was in over his head certainly felt self-aware of that trait to me.

I think hubris and arrogance are pretty closely related in terms of coming from a place of self-perceived moral superiority. I don't see much of a distinction between the two.

Of course the Picard we're seeing now isn't the Picard we saw in Next Gen. Everyone involved in the show has said as much. Stewart himself said as much at STLV 2018 when he announced that Picard was back. People change. People have different experiences that influence how they act. That's just life.

I agree that some people, perhaps many people, in Picard view him as an ivory tower saint. To that, I say that is a bit true as well. What would you think of someone who essentially packed up their ball and went home? Is it entirely true of Picard? No. He has shown before that he is willing to get involved to make things right, even at risk to himself, and his is showing that again by going on his current mission.

As for Stewart returning to the role, I don't believe he would have returned to it unless he wanted to.
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The Chronek
Mon, Mar 9, 2020, 11:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

@Marvin,
I suggest you decide what you want from Picard and not impose it on others in the form of the royal "we." You don't speak for me any more than I speak for you.
Speaking for myself, yes, a more human Picard is something I'm enjoying watching. Heck, I'm delighted to see new stories with him. After Nemesis, which was a disaster, I'm glad to see new Picard stories written and produced by people who care a great deal about the franchise and these characters.
While Picard has a great deal of nostalgia, I don't think it dwells on it. I think that the Starfleet/Federation as depicted in Picard is very much a reflection of our current times, and I think that's something that Trek in general has done very well over the decades. I also enjoy the depiction of a more aged hero, which is something else Trek has done very well over the decades.
Yes, Picard is more of a character study. Stewart himself said it would not be a clone of The Next Generation. That's fine with me.
What do I want from Picard? The chance to see Patrick Stewart back as Picard. The chance to see a story that explores the human condition. For me, Picard delivers on both fronts.
I agree with Walrus1701D. This show is a gift.
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The Chronek
Mon, Mar 9, 2020, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

Walrus1701D, I largely agree with you about your assessment of TNG. That said, after season 3, when Berman and company took over, there were a lot more stories that weren't quite so cut-and-dry, and the show was better for it. Ensign Ro and Preemptive Strike particularly stand out for me.

Q frequently called Picard and humanity arrogant. Heck, the JAG in The Measure of a Man called Picard a pompous ass. His own brother thought he was arrogant. Heck, I thought Picard was arrogant when he told Q that he thought the Enterprise was at least ready to face whatever was out there, only to have his proverbial nose bloodied by the Borg. For Picard to be called as such now isn't new. As viewers, we saw a lot more of Picard where he wasn't arrogant, but there were enough characters who saw him as such to suggest it's not entirely false.

In All Good Things, Future Riker may have thought Picard was arrogant for going off on his own. In the Enterprise series finale, which takes place during the 7th season episode Pegasus, Riker slips up and asks Mayweather if Trip ever took a swing at Picard. For all that was wrong with These Are the Voyages, I thought that was a nice touch to show that maybe things weren't always sunshine and rainbows between Picard and Riker, and it shows that maybe Riker thought Picard to be arrogant at times. To paraphrase a line from Return of the Jedi, maybe the arrogance thing is true, from a certain point of view.

Just before Soji shoved Picard, she said how, given her recent experiences, that she wasn't able to trust anybody. I don't remember the exact words Picard said in reply, but they came across to me as very sarcastic and cutting, as if Picard couldn't understand why Soji wouldn't immediately trust him. So, Troi telling Picard he had it coming isn't a stretch for me.

Nepenthe rang true for me. I think it had fantastic references to Next Gen, I think that the Riker and Troi we saw were true to who they were on Next Gen and changed enough from their time on the Enterprise, and I think the Soji storyline really started to take off. She is now wondering who and what she is and whether anything is real. She is very much starting to explore the human condition, and that has been at the heart of the very best of Star Trek.
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The Chronek
Mon, Mar 9, 2020, 1:15am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

I have to wonder, for those complaining about this show, what will be good enough for you?

There's various complaints about the writing. Michael Chabon won the freaking Pulitzer, for crying out loud. And he has serious scifi cred as a winner of both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Akiva Goldsman won an Oscar for adapting A Beautiful Mind. Kirsten Beyer wrote a number of Voyager books and is well-steeped in Star Trek lore. Sir Patrick himself is an executive producer and has provided significant direction for the show. Short of resurrecting Gene Roddenberry, what will be good enough for you?

There's complaints about the music, but I love it, especially the music for the opening credits. It's abundantly clear to me that Jeff Russo took a lot of time, effort and love to create that opening theme, from the piccolo to the reference to Batai's flute-playing in The Inner Light to the end with the wonderful TNG/TMP Jerry Goldsmith theme. And then there are complaints about how intrusive the music is. Hello? Have any of those complaining ever watched Best of Both Worlds? The music was VERY prominent in that two-parter, and I've seen very few complaints about that.

I had my doubts about Alex Kurtzman. I still don't care for the 2009 film, and I probably won't watch Into Darkness or Beyond. But it seems like his role now in Star Trek is largely to get the right people involved, whether it's writing, directing, acting, whatever. Based on what I've seen from Picard so far, Kurtzman has done a fantastic job in that respect.

If you don't like something, fine, but that doesn't mean you speak for "real Star Trek fans" or whatever other nonsense. Fandom is toxic enough with all the gatekeeping that goes on. The people who watch Picard and enjoy it are real Star Trek fans. Someone who just started watching Star Trek today and decided they enjoy it is a real Star Trek fan.

Also, I watched TNG first-run, in its entirety. Watched TOS in reruns. Watched all of DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. I can't wait to hear, as someone who enjoys Picard and has watched Star Trek for a long time, how I am not a "real fan."
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The Chronek
Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 3:24am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

More thoughts.
I thought Picard's treatment of Soji was quite in character for him, even going back to Encounter at Farpoint, Disaster and Pegasus. He was consistently uncomfortable around children, unsure of how to handle himself. Sure, Soji appears to be a young woman, but he is treating her somewhat as a child.
I was a wreck for many of the scenes of Picard reuniting with Riker and Troi. After the mess that was Nemesis, I didn't think we'd get to see them together again. Not only do we get to see them together again, we get to see them with perhaps some of the best material they've had. Next Gen is my Star Trek.
I think, in his review of All Good Things, Jammer wrote about how the characters came together to solve problems. Picard's dinner with Soji, Riker, Troi and Kestra felt very much like the characters on Next Gen coming together to solve a problem. This is Star Trek. Sure, it's not exactly like Next Gen, but it's still a fantastic episode with fantastic acting.
I've watched The Ready Room quite a bit while watching Picard. It seems like everyone involved gets it. Yes, even Kurtzman.
4 stars from me.
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The Chronek
Thu, Mar 5, 2020, 11:14am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

Loved loved loved this episode.

So good to see Riker and Troi, and not solely for nostalgia. They really got to flex their acting muscles.

The Raffi-Rios-Jurati scenes were also well done.

Would have liked a different ending for Hugh, but oh well.
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The Chronek
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 11:33am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@Bold Helmsman

I've noticed that, too, about the old fans treating the new fans like they aren't "real fans." For what it's worth, this older fan used to think the same thing about newer fans, and it took me a while to come around.

Anyhoo, welcome to the fandom and to the page. Whether you've watched everything Trek-related or you just got started with Trek, you're a real fan in my book.
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The Chronek
Tue, Feb 4, 2020, 12:01am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

I liked this episode.

Concerning the Utopia Planetia workers being openly racist towards androids, I can believe it. If you're in your own little work culture and not exposed to other people and ideas, I can see how the workers' attitudes would develop.

I'm not fond of the f-bombs. Previous comments have referred to the context, which I agree with. Also, let's remember just how big a deal it was for Kirk to say "let's get the hell out of here" in The City on the Edge of Forever.

Three stars from me.

And episode 3 is when Picard finally says "engage" and I lose my Trekkie fanboy shit.
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The Chronek
Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 12:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Absolutely loved the premiere. Plenty of tidbits to reward longtime fans, but plenty of new stuff to keep the story moving forward. Picard is indeed the captain I remember.

I loved the effects, too. I also enjoyed seeing the characters interact with computers and databases. It felt like the producers took special care to make it look more futuristic, but to still make it feel like a logical evolution from the LCARS displays we saw in 24th-century era Trek.

I'm curious about what's being kept as canon and what's not. For a while, I thought the Countdown comics that preceded the 2009 film were canon. Orci stated that they were canon, and Kurtzman did co-write those comics. But I know, as a rule, only the broadcast shows and films are considered canon.
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