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Tim
Sun, Apr 5, 2020, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Whispers

So my review isn't really a review of this episode per se but you may judge the episode from what I have to say! Last year I watched Voyager back to back and would often refer to Jammers reviews for comparison to my views on each episode. I'm now working my way through DS9 and haven't really checked back here much (mainly because season 1 and 2 generally suck). However upon watching this episode and being thoroughly enthralled I thought I'd check back here to see if my views matched Jammers and I can safely say they have. Best episode so far!
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Tim M.
Fri, Apr 3, 2020, 8:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Agree 100% with Jammer's review.

This season had its flaws, but gets an overall thumbs-up from me.

I'll definitely be tuning in for Season 2.
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Tim
Thu, Apr 2, 2020, 6:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Jammer

"There's no weight or dimension to starships anymore. They have unfortunately become video game avatars that look like they were cloned with copy and paste."

This. One million times this. :(
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Tim C
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 9:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Marvin, you can also put me in the camp that agrees this season should have been a different length. Either much shorter, with less fat, or much longer, so we could actually deal with those additional stories that came out of it and were left unresolved.

But! I don't entirely agree that everything between the bookends was filler. The opening three episodes could definitely have been condensed to two. After that, though, each one had some important moments for Picard. Consider:

• "Absolute Candor" showed us how deep his regret over the refugee situation on Vashti runs. Elnor turned out to be a totally inessential character (albeit entertaining, I thought), and the show failed to properly inform us how things got to this point*. But as a showcase for Picard, I found it pretty effective. He doesn't just regret walking away from the Romulans, he's also downright *angry* that they don't appreciate the effort that he *did* put in. It's a pleasingly complex emotional portrayal, I thought.

• "Stardust City Rag" was pretty intensely disliked it seems (although it's my favourite episode of the season), but I think (?) most people agree the Picard & Seven scenes were exactly the sort of thing they'd hoped for were these two characters to ever meet.

• "The Impossible Box", of course, showed us just how far Picard's willing to go on his new quest. We had those great scenes with him and Hugh and some great demonstration of how his assimilation will never stop haunting him.

• "Nepenthe" - would anyone really want to lose any part of this episode? I think it was kind of essential to have Picard run into his old crew at some point; it's one of those plot things you can't ignore. I mean, if your main character is really up against it and we all know he has an intensely loyal group of friends, you pretty much *have* to include them in the story at some point and explain why they're not a part of this new quest.

• "Broken Pieces" - here's where we really start to see the old Captain really coming back to the fore. The way he sternly puts Raffi and Jurati back in their places, the renewed empathy he shows Soji, his reminiscing on what Data actually meant to him.

You could certainly rewrite this story in many ways to be shorter, in order to focus more intently on Picard, or longer to give the plot more time to wrap up. I think that definitely would have been a better show. But I don't think the show ever took its eye off the ball completely; every episode had some important moments for Picard.

* The backstory for Vashti is effectively told in the prequel novel, "The Last Best Hope", but you can't really count that as part of the show.
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Tim C
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 6:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Some direct replies:

@Dom: like you, I've become pretty hard-nosed about what TV I spend my time with nowadays, with the streaming era making so much top-shelf content it's impossible to see everything worth seeing. Aside from new Star Trek (because I will *always* set aside an hour a week to watch new Star Trek... unless it's ENT, which I gave up on in frustration very early), right now I make time for Westworld (great!), Homeland (fun!), Better Call Saul (amazing!), The Expanse (excellent!).

When it comes to re-watching shows, it's interesting. I'm far more likely to chuck on an old classic episode of a show I love that's completely self-contained than I'm ever going to say "gee, I'd like to binge an entire season again". It's a real reflection of the changed business models of our time, I think.

When the old Trek shows were geared for sale into syndication, it was also enshrining their rewatchability essentially forever. The new ones are now pumped out to keep you subscribed to a specific streaming service; they can hyper-focus on telling longer stories to an audience that's paying to be there, and there's always new content coming if you're willing to pay. It's early days, but I think this Third Age of Star Trek is not going to be as rewatchable as the First and Second were, just because people don't have time to re-watch entire seasons.

(Rewatching BSG is not on the cards for me, I think. Great show, but like new Trek it demands you keep watching to get a complete picture of the story, and I just don't have time for that anymore!)

@Trent

You point out that Picard's failure to help the Romulan refugees would traumatize him far more deeply than Data's loss. You're right - but the show showed us that! Data's loss is something that sat with Picard for years, but the conclusion of the Romulan evacuation actually led to him quitting his lifelong career and spending a decade in semi-isolation stewing over it. So much of his identity was built on his own idea that he was inseperable from Starfleet, and when it became clear that wasn't true it left him shellshocked for a long time. The refugee situation is the kind of state-level thing that one man can't effectively deal with without the backing of an institution, and this story was partially about Picard forging himself a new path outside of said institutions.

I agree that an interesting show could be built around the political situation the Federation and the Romulans find themselves in, but I don't think I agree that that is the story this first season should have told. Disco's first season failed in part because the show immediately jumped into a high-stakes political plot - a huge war! - without first setting the stage. (In contrast, DS9's Dominion War plot was far more effective because we had multiple seasons of plot chess pieces being put into place first.)
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Tim C
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

This review really set the cat among the pigeons, huh? 🤣 (I feel the same way about the review of Nemesis, team.)

It's interesting reading the more critical comments, because in some ways they seem to be echoing my feelings about Disco season 2. I've always accepted that in a franchise with such a deep bench of stories about one-shot, amazing technologies being tossed out on a whim by writers as an excuse to explore the human condition, suspension of disbelief and audience participation is the price of entry if you're actually looking to be entertained.

(Otherwise, you will just drive yourself insane going down the rabbit hole of "But why didn't they just...")

I think the most important distinction is the one that Jammer (with help from the dearly departed Ebert) points out in the review: plot vs story. Disco season 2 fell apart for me because when I step back from it, the plot *was* the story. Burnham's estrangement from Spock, arguably the most easily identifiable story thread of the season, was effectively concluded with "If Memory Serves" (notably, a pretty universally well-liked episode), leaving us with little but plot machinations to endlessly nitpick going forward. The entire season suffered as a result, despite having a generally better quality of one-off episodes than season 1.

When I step back from PIC, though, I don't have the same empty, dissatisfied feeling about the story. Going in, I was promised a story about *Picard* coming back to life, and that's exactly what was delivered in a mostly satisfying way. People asking "but what was the point of the Borg cube?" or "what's the deal with Romulan refugees?" are, I feel, missing the point. Those are all background to the story about *Picard*. The Borg cube is there so Picard has fears to confront. The Romulans are there so he has regrets to consider. Etc etc.

Some people demand a watertight, swiss-watch plot, and I totally get that, but I feel like you're cheating yourselves out of something nice by doing so. Unlike (again) Disco season 2, which had nothing to offer but plot at the end.
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Tim C
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 7:30am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Great review, Jammer. You've zeroed in on the same feeling I had (far more eloquently): the central storyline of this season was always about Picard honouring Data's sacrifice. The pilot made it abundantly clear that Picard's primary motivations going in were a combination of survivor guilt, and needing to regain his lost self-confidence. Viewing the last ten episodes through that lens, I consider the story to be quite a success.

Yes, as a lot of commenters here and elsewhere have noted, the show also spun out a *lot* of other story threads and most were not concluded satisfactorily. But stepping back from the frustrations of not being told a complete story (which, with a second season coming, may yet be resolved), a different question emerges: was I entertained by the ride? And will I buy another ticket?

The answer for me is yes, on both counts.
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Tim M.
Tue, Mar 31, 2020, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Booming
I always felt the Dutch also have a charming--and at times hilarious--directness as well.
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Tim M.
Tue, Mar 31, 2020, 11:41am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I've started to think that, in general, the proliferation of reviews and opinions on virtually everything has sucked the joy out of TV and movie-watching. People need space to form their own opinions--after all, whether *you* like a show or movie is the most important thing, IMHO--without being smothered by everyone else's comments.

@Boomer
I've stopped putting high value on audience reviews on RottenTomatoes since the incident of losers trolling Captain Marvel before it was even released. People with an axe to grind like to weaponize online comments and it's a sad commentary on the state of our society, IMHO.
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Tim
Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 6:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Dom

"the consequence for the Prophets helping Sisko was that Sisko "died" at the end of the series. It's not an immediate consequence, but it's sure a steep price to pay."

Except that "sacrifice" was apparently pre-ordinated from the time Sisko was immaculately conceived by the Prophets.
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Tim
Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Booming

"The wormhole was constructed, probably by the prophets. I'd assume it would not be stable without them. But they could make up stuff. Sure."

The wormhole does whatever the writers say it does. Sisko decided to wear brown shoes today and that caused the wormhole to implode. Whoops. (Yes, that would be pretty stupid, but they could have written it if they were so inclined)

Point being, there should have been some sort of consequence for the Prophet's intervention. I outlined one idea but by no means is that the only way it could have gone. What they did though, ugh, it cheapened the whole thing to me, it was a true deus ex machina in my mind, only ever referenced once again in the episode where Jake and Kira are possessed by demons and angels fighting to bring hell/paradise to the galaxy, and ugh, just writing that sentence makes me roll my eyes.

"The same goes for Dukat who in the last seasons became mustache twirling evil guy."

Ugh, I'd blocked that out of my mind. Yes, they took the person who was arguably the more complicated villain in Star Trek history and turned him into a one dimensional mustache twirling bad guy. Why? Just why?

"The war went off the rails at some point. It is questionable that they used a huge war because our protagonists have to be forced in more and more situations of importance where they shouldn't be present. For the Bajor arc it made sense that many thing revolved around the crew/Sisko and DS9 because DS9 was the most important installation in the system and Sisko the highest officer, effectively the most powerful non Bajoran."

The war should have lasted one season -- tops -- and the seventh season should been devoted to the exploration of Bajor, which (aside from the religious nonsense I hate so much) was seemingly forgotten about by the end of the series, even though Bajor was the whole point of the series in the first place!
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Tim
Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 5:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Booming

"About the AR-558 episode. I have problems with that one too. But more because it is too pro military for my Star Trek taste. Nog admiring the hardened soldiers, Quark in the end giving up his anti-violence stance."

Those were actually the redeeming parts of the episode for me, which I guess goes to show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, lol. :)

Nog's words and actions in that episode felt completely in character for a Young Cadet (or was he an Ensign by this point?) whose head is filled with words like "duty" and "honor" (paraphrasing Riker here)

Quark was always at his best as the outside observer of humanity and his monologue in this episode was probably my favorite moment of his in the entire series, perhaps only equaled by his discussion with Garak in "Way of the Warrior"
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Tim
Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 5:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Trent

"Modern writers also have more access to science articles, science fiction prose, and a back-catalogue of Trek episodes which provide pretty clear lessons on what works and doesn't, and what pitfalls to avoid."

They might have access to them (science articles) but they damn sure don't use them.

In fairness, neither did 90s Trek. TNG maintained the illusion through the first four seasons or so, generally trying to at least pay lip service to real world scientific principles, but by the 6th and 7th seasons they were every bit as guilty of the "magic particle of the week" nonsense that made Voyager's technobabble so bloody painful to listen to. DS9 was probably the best in this regard, if you set aside the first season, they generally ignored technobabble or used it as an in-joke (self sealing stem bolts)

I don't actually care if Star Trek remains grounded in real world science but they do need to remain consistent to the rules of their own universe (Voyager failed miserably at this) and not make a total mockery of science, the biggest two examples of which would be Generations with the instantly killed sun (speed of light what?) and JJVerse Trek with the supernova that was going to destroy the entire galaxy (say what you will about Picard but at least they retconned this nonsense to one solar system)
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Tim
Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 5:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Booming

"Ok sure but what would they achieve by doing that? They would lose contact with their alpha quadrant part and make it impossible to ever sent ships there at a later point. An episode about the Dominion trying to deal with the prophets would have been nice. Weyoun and the Wormhole Aliens. Bajorans dealing with the destruction of their gods would have been interesting, though. True. "

You're assuming that the Dominion retaliating and wiping out the Prophets would destroy the wormhole. That is not necessarily the case. Not going to argue the physics of the wormhole or anything, just saying that the results of Prophet genocide would be entirely up to the writers of the episode(s) where it happened, and my main gripe remains that there was no real consequence for that intervention. Only a vague statement that "The Sisko" would find "no peace" on Bajor, which never really happened because apparently it was always his destiny to stop Dukat in the fire caves. Yawn.

I really hate the whole overarching plot line if I'm being honest, but it could have done better if they insisted on having it, that's all I'm saying.
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Tim
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 7:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Gerontius

"I think Tim's summary of world war two rather misses out the Russian involvement - without that I'd question whether there would have been any inevitability about Allied victory."

The US/UK alliance would have beaten Germany without Soviet help, read the Plan Dog memo, which was written _before_ the Soviet Union was invaded, we just would have paid a huge butcher's bill to win the war. As it was the US and UK got off comparatively cheap, we had the luxury of fighting with money (tanks, planes, ships, etc.) rather than lives, which was the only choice the Soviets had. That said, I have to address this:

"And its been reasonably argued that the moment when eventual German defeat became inevitable was when Hitler invaded Russia"

That argument is flawed because the entire point of the war from Germany's perspective was to obtain "living space" (Lebensraum) in the East. Germany was _ALWAYS_ going to invade the Soviet Union. It was no secret, Hitler spelled it out in Mein Kampf, which was widely available and surely known to the Soviet intelligence apparatus. Stalin apparently didn't believe Hitler's own words, or he did and opted to throw the West under the bus to buy time, who can say, but it was all there, telegraphed out in the open more than a decade before the war started.

Everything that happened prior to Operation Barbarossa was mere table dressing. France had to be dealt with so Germany didn't have to fight another two front war. Poland had to be invaded because it was to be the first part of the "living space" for the Reich. The Balkens were conquered to secure Germany's oil supply and Southern Flank. The list goes on and on....
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Tim
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 7:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Sen-Sors

"Really? I mean, to each their own, but courtroom stories have turned out to be some of the highest rated Trek episodes as well as some of the best Picard stories. "Measure of a Man" and "The Drumhead" for example."

Do you really think a procedural courtroom drama about a manslaughter case and Jurati's defense of justification and/or temporary insanity could rise to the level of either of those two episodes?

The Measure of a Man was about individual liberty, freedom, the right to choose, and the rights of a newly created race that stood to be enslaved if the court had ruled the other way. The Drumhead was about paranoia in times of crisis and was freakishly prescient given the events of modern times, that episode was at least 10 years ahead of its time.......

How would you write a Jurati courtroom scene to be any different than a random Law & Order episode? I'm not being snarky, I'm genuinely curious, if you can convince me that it could be done in a compelling manner that would justify an entire episode or even a significant portion of one I'd be willing to entertain it, but if we're only going to get ten episode seasons out of Modern Star Trek I just can't see using one for this.
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Tim
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 7:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Glom

"Have these two characters ever exchanged dialogue? They can't have shared more than a couple of scenes since in episode 5 Raffi buggered off early and when Seven returned, she's spent almost the entire time in the Borg cube. If they have exchanged dialogue, has it been anything other than purely plot related?"

Why does everything need to be spelled out for people to be happy?

They shared a pretty intense life and death struggle together. They both have a common friend/mentor (Picard). They're on a ship afterwards playing some sort of game together. One of them accidentally brushes the other one's hand and chemistry ensues. I really don't think it needs to be viewed as anything more complicated than that.

(*) And yes, I can already predict people saying "Picard is Seven's mentor????" because folks here were previously annoyed that they seemingly had a relationship out of nowhere, but do recall that Seven was a Borg Drone during the time that Picard was Locutus and in every scene of Star Trek filmed since then has made it apparent that EVERY current and former Borg Drone retains a special connection to him.
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Tim
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Booming

"No it doesn't. It just brings the worst together. 5 people fight about toilet paper, 500 do not."

I hear what you're saying and I don't entirely disagree but I stand by my comment that the Internet brings out the worst in people.

Are you on Facebook? I'm not, any longer, but when I was I watched people I know and respect in the real world arguing about politics with language they would NEVER use in a face-to-face discussion. That's on a platform that requires you to use your real name and can come with real world consequences (loss of employment) for what you say and do, but people still run wild with it.

Then there's the platforms that permit people anonymity and all you need to know about them can be summarized by The Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory. (Google it if you're unfamiliar, it's a thing, lol)
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Tim
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 6:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Booming

"Without the prophets the Federation, the entire alpha quadrant, would have been overrun."

That's another deus ex machina I never forgave the DS9 writers for.

The Prophets weren't Gods. DS9 itself established that they could be killed by mortal technology ("The Assignment" and "The Reckoning"), but the Dominion just lets them wipe out their fleet and never retaliates?

That was a huge missed opportunity in my mind. When Sisko is begging them to intervene one of them tells him "A penance must be exacted." You know what I would have done with that storyline? The Prophets stop the Dominion fleet, as happened, but the Dominion retaliates and wipes them out. You've saved the Alpha Quadrant, but the price is the destruction of the Bajorian Gods, their religion, and now you can explore the major societal upheaval that would ensue on Bajor, Kira having to come to terms with what Sisko did, the resurgence of the Pah Wraith cult, and maybe even the Pah Wraiths themselves......

If you've watched Babylon 5 recall Kosh's reluctance to intervene in the war when Sheridan is begging him for help, because he knew the Shadows would retaliate and he would die, that was the "price" that had to be paid for his help at a critical time.

But no, it was a true deus ex machina in DS9, and that's something I was never able to look past.

"Then there was the problem of the white production which severely limited the Dominions capacity to produce Jem Hadar. "

The Jem Hadar lost all of their fear factor (and let's be candid, they were scary AF in the episodes prior to the war, possibly the scariest Star Trek villains outside of the Borg) in the war. "The Siege of AR-558" comes to mind, we're supposed to get emotionally invested in that battle, but I just sat there thinking, "Two crew served machine guns from World War I would be enough to stop this assault dead in its tracks." They literally just marched into the teeth of Starfleet's defenses, no plan, no strategy, and it's only Federation stupidity (Seriously, nobody has thought of making the phaser equivalent of a crew served machine gun? What happened to the photon grenades Kirk once used against the Gorn?) that allowed them to get as far as they did.

Star Wars does the whole "War" thing way better than Star Trek ever could. Watch Chapter 4 of The Mandalorian; the ground battle in that episode is infinitely more plausible than anything that came out of DS9's war arc, to the point that the tactics and strategy depicted therein were praised by actual military officers and historians.
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Tim
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Startrekwatcher

"And If there was one story left in the Borg I figured it was an origin story."

I really thought from reading the few interviews and watching the trailer that they were going to do away with the Borg altogether (fallout from future Janeway's virus in Endgame?), The Collective has been destroyed, and all that's left are refugees who (in Hugh's words) are the most despised people in the galaxy.

That would have made for a pretty compelling story, IMHO, one that would be relevant to modern times, and why not kill The Collective off altogether? You can't really use them for the future stories, there's only so many times our heroes can defeat the unstoppable enemy before they lose their fear factor. Voyager was definitely guilty of this, by the end of that series a Federation scout ship/light cruiser could apparently go toe-to-toe with a "Tactical Cube," when just years earlier it took a Cube about 15 seconds to render the flagship Enterprise-D completely helpless....

Apparently The Collective is still a thing in this universe though and it was only this one particular cube that failed, so I'm kind of dreading their inevitable return, because let's be real, how long are the writers going to be able to resist that temptation? You'll never outdo The Best of Both Worlds, but that won't stop them from trying. :(
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Tim
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 5:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Dom

"Speaking of fan reactions, I'm actually quite relieved that so far I haven't seen any personal attacks against Chabon or any of the people involved in Picard in these forums. Sure, some of us are disappointed, but that's never acceptable."

I found the attacks against D&D extremely disheartening. You can call them lazy writers, because they clearly were ("Well, you see, Dany kind of forgot about the Iron Fleet.....") but the personal attacks and sheer enjoyment some quarters of the Internet got out of watching their subsequent downfall was extremely off-putting to me.

The Internet really brings out the worst of humanity. :(
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Tim
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Nick

"I also think Star Trek has always been at its best when there isn't a overarching narrative. It really only worked for me for the Dominion war arc."

I feel the Dominion War arc went on for far too long and had too many twists to remain plausible by the end. I could never get invested in the huge CGI battles, they were nothing more than eye candy for me, the standout episodes in my mind were the character pieces ("Rocks and Shoals" and "In The Pale Moonlight" being my two personal favorites) that used the war as a backdrop to tell a good story.

I wish they had stuck to those sorts of character pieces and resisted the urge to put our heroes at the front and center of everything. The war should have bypassed DS9 once the station was retaken, Guadalcanal was a pretty exciting place in late 1942/early 1943, but by 1944 it was a backwater assignment with no real relevance to the war effort, and so it should have been with Deep Space Nine.

Maybe I know too much about the economics of war for my own good, but I can't help but feel that the whole war arc was written by people with a High School level understanding of World War II, which is what they clearly based the whole arc on, but WWII was essentially over once the United States entered the war, the economic/manpower/technological disparity was simply too great for the Axis Powers to overcome and there was no plausible scenario where the Allies lost the war after that point.

If WWII had gone the way of the Dominion War Germany would have been unstoppable, until a plucky American O-6 and his crew of misfits handed them a decisive defeat, except we're still losing because they outproduce us, but wait, we brought in a new ally and now we're going to win, except oh fuck, they got a new ally with an unstoppable weapon, but we reverse engineered it in only a few weeks time and developed a defense against it, now the Germans are screwed, we've got them bottled up in Berlin, except we can't just leave them there to wither on the vine because they're somehow still a threat to the entire planet even though they only have the resources of one city at their disposal.......

I just can't get as invested in DS9 as a lot of people. It was my first introduction to Trek ("Duet", still a Top 5 episode after all these years), it had some of the most compelling characters (Garek, Odo, Kira, O'Brian, Dukat....) out of any Trek series, but I really don't feel like the war arc has aged well at all, I really really really hate the whole Sisko as the Messiah (he's even divinely conceived!) of the Bajorian people plot line, and they completely fucking forgot about the whole premise of the series, which was to get Bajor into the Federation, we didn't even get a throwaway line about Bajor joining in the final episode, but we spent half of it on Sisko and Dukat's divine battle between good and evil? Ugh.

More than anything that plot line is why I believe there's some merit to the claim that Paramount ripped a lot of DS9 off of the Babylon 5 series bible -- which JMS pitched to them before he went with WB -- because Babylon 5 had the same storyline with Sheridan (my least favorite part of an otherwise excellent show) and it was completely out of left field for Star Trek.
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Tim
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 4:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Dom

"Look at the reactions to Game of Thrones - people who followed that series for years have disavowed it because they're disappointed in the final episode."

The ending is allegedly true to GRRM's outline of how the books will end. I would posit that most people would have been fine with the ultimate ending, if the show runners had taken their time in getting there, rather than rushing to tidy it all up so they could move onto their next project. The last two seasons should have been ten episodes, as with the preceding six seasons, HBO is on record as saying they would have keep it going for many more seasons if the show runners and cast had been interested in it, but they weren't, and that's that.

It's interesting though, because the online reaction to Season 8 was a large part of the reason why I disavowed Internet discussions, something that I've largely kept to this day, though I do allow myself to take part in the discussions here because I've been coming to this site ever since Jammer first put it online. There are whole sites (/r/freefolk on Reddit being the most obnoxious, IMHO) devoted to nothing more than bitching about Season 8 of Game of Thrones, a self-reinforcing circle jerk of toxicity, IMHO.

I was _heavily_ invested in Game of Thrones, too long of a story to tell here, but suffice it to say it got my immediate circle of meatspace friends through some very trying times and we were all disappointed in how it ended, but we haven't obsessed over it for months and months on end while eviscerating anyone that dares to find something redeeming in the final season (and it did have some redeeming moments, IMHO)

People went so far as to create an online petition demanding a remake of the last season, which I found patently absurd and offensive to the legions of people that worked tirelessly on the production. No wonder the show runners and actors don't take them seriously, you're going to tell someone who pulled 18+ hour days for months on end that the final product sucked when you have zero experience in their industry and haven't written anything yourself other than snide comments on the Internet? It's the ultimate armchair quarterbacking.
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Tim
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 1:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Gerontius

"Maybe they will address the question of Agnes in the next series, though if there's a court hearing I'd guess it would be referred to rather than shown. I can't see any fair court finding her guilty."

I could really live without a whole episode (or even a whole scene) devoted to Law & Order: Alpha Quadrant

"In the criminal justice system, the citizens of the Federation are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups: Starfleet Security, who investigate crimes, and Random Admiral of the Week, who adjudicates them. These are their stories."

Unless we're going back to an old school 24 episode season I just don't think there's enough running time to waste on this story, particularly given Trek's history of hand-waving away heinous crimes on the part of lead characters, both with and without extenuating circumstances.

Jurati killed Maddox and feels like shit about it even though she clearly wasn't herself and was acting under duress. End of story.
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Tim
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@ Robert

"One thing is for certain, even in the off-chance that some writer from the show is reading such comments, they wouldn't take such criticism seriously."

The serious criticism that I would offer is that I really really really wish they didn't have to make everything so bloody dark in the hopes of attracting the masses.

I also wish they'd get away from the 10 episode novel concept, or, if they insist on doing it that they release them all at once like Netflix does. On my second re-watch of Picard (just completed a few hours ago) I found it a lot less annoying, because I could binge them all, but if you're going to stick to a traditional release schedule you should consider sticking to a traditional writing/production style.

That doesn't mean you can't have a season long story -- The Mandalorian did -- but it does mean that story can't be the sole focus of every single episode. Outside of the first and final two episodes, most of the The Mandalorian told self-contained stories, the overarching story was always there in the background but it didn't demand 100% of the run time.

I truly would love to see that approach taken with the Star Trek universe. It's not a novel concept, NCIS has worked this way since its inception and until recently was one of the highest rated shows on broadcast television. Nearly every season has a season long story/villain, but for the most part the individual episodes are self-contained and the season long story is advanced in bits and pieces, a few minutes tops in each episode and sometimes not mentioned at all.
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