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Tue, Apr 1, 2014, 3:18am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Awww, after twenty years I finally have watched the whole thing (well, okay, I skipped some of the Ferengi eps) and now at last I know how it ends.

I liked the finale. Loved the battle scenes and the Cardassian arc. Loved Garak. Wanted to see Damar kill Weyoun but ah well, Garak did a good job of it too. Some moments were too predictable (who didn't know that Cardassian guards would turn on JH guards in time to save our heroes from execution?) but overall it was exciting and emotional. So much so, that the rest of the ep (Sisko, Dukat, prophets, Vic) was abut of an anticlimax. But still. It was good and I can die happy now.

Did find it strange that DS9 started out being Bajor's show, but by series' end the Bajor arc became uninteresting (spare me from emissaries, prophets and fire devils) and all the heart and heroism centered on Cardassia instead. Given where the show started, it would have been nice to see at least a glimpse of Bajor's development -- how its society had rebuilt and matured from season one days and become Federation-ready. But that's a minor nitpick.

The biggest loss was the waste of Dukat on this silly pahwraith arc, as many have said. This is all the more true with Cardassia's fate being the central drama of the finale. I would have loved to see Dukat as a complex antihero - what he used to be - who finally, FINALLY is brought to a glimmer of humility and self-knowledge by the shock of seeing his own world razed as Bajor was razed. Would have loved to see him mumble a not-quite-apology to Kira for the Occupation and then stagger off alone into the wilderness to search his soul and perhaps start down the path to redemption.

I was irritated in S7 by the need to pair everyone off; it seemed trite. Most of the romances fell flat for me all season, most especially Sisko/Kassidy -- she was never much of a character since all she did was hang around Sisko and make vague references to her job. Ezri/Julian was pleasant enough but came out of nowhere The whole Odo/Kira thing was hateful and sadly weakened Odo's poignancy -- Odo was heartrending as a lonely outsider and became boring as Kira's shmoopy boyfriend. They should have finally shared a first kiss in the finale so I could cry, and that's it. (The one romance that worked was, of course, OBrian/Bashir.)

But far outweighing my complaints, there were so many great arcs and rich characters and big themes in this series - definitely the most ambitious and interesting Trek despite its flaws. And the final shot of Jake and Kira on the station? Perfection..

Thanks jammer for the site. It's been a pleasure reading your reviews.
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Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 10:37pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

Ugh, I am even more disturbed now that I have made myself watch to the end. Bashir's character is totally bastardized here. This is a guy who risked himself to save enemy Jem-Hadar fighters, who risked himself fighting the Quickening, who has consistently been devoted to saving any life he comes across. But in this ep, he watches Sloan die and all he cares about is "There goes our chance of saving Odo.". Not a hint of guilt about the fact that his actions - luring Sloan to Ds9 and illegally interrogating him - caused the man's death. It seems Bashir sees Sloan not as a human being but merely a data storage unit to be raided and pumped for info. Bashir's "so what?" attitude towards his death would befit a psychotic torturer.

If I thought the writers actually meant to show Bashir losing his humanity as a theme, I would be okay with it. (In fact that would be interesting.) But it's clear they didnt. And the fact that we are expected to condemn Sloan, while accepting Bashir's abusive interrogation of him and feeling a-okay about his death -- is hmmmm highly distasteful.

(Next time, doc, just try water-boarding.)
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Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 9:49pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S7: Extreme Measures

What ruined the ep for me - despite a promising start - was Bashir and O'Brian's response to Sloan's suicide move. The man was willing to sacrifice himself to keep (in his view) the Federation safe. I expected Bashir and o'Brian to realize this and respond with a moment of quiet surprise and respect -- realizing that, guess what, their evil adversary had turned out to be a noble man and a true patriot Instead they made smarmy comments like "He just couldn't bear to let his little secret escape.". I am no fan of Sloan, but I am a great hater of double standards. Heroism is heroism, even when bad guys show it.

I am also not understanding all the talk of 'genocide.'. Genocide is genocide because it targets civilian populations. It is perfectly legit in wartime to kill enemy soldiers. So the question is, are the Founders civilians?

We've seen them spy, infiltrate, and give combat orders. It could be argued, I know, that only a few of them do this, while the rest lie around in the Great Link all day being perfect pacifists. But since they are all Linked and apparently of one mind, and also given the Female Changeling's answer to Odo's question "How many shapeshifters are there?" it's hard to define any of them as individual enough to be truly outside of combat.

Additionally, the reason they're able to stay largely out of the bloody fray is that they deliberately bred slave races to do their fighting for them -- an immoral act and not something they should be allowed to hide behind. As creators and masters of the jem-Hadar, they can all be considered commanders in the Dominion military. Therefore, they are fair targets in wartime.

In fact, I would say killing the founders is far more just than wiping out squadrons of Jem-Hadar slaves who have no choice but to be there, as they have been bred for obedience.
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Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 8:58pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S7: Tacking into the Wind

A great episode - loved Ezri's lines, loved kick-ass Kira. But I was disappointed in Damar's about-face. Just like that, the scales fall from his eyes, he jettisons a lifetime of beliefs, and kills his friend for saying "Let's rebuild our empire"? Yes, certainly it was all very tidy and dramatic, but way too rushed -- and the spped with which Damar dispatched his loyal comrade was really morally questionable. (It's actually not okay to murder your friend and colleague because he holds different political beliefs from you. You might instead try ordering him to put down his weapon.)
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Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 6:55pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S7: The Changing Face of Evil

Elliott: Thanks for highlighting one of the things I love about Damar's turnabout here: he is not suddenly being presented as a convert to Federation values: "Freedom is good! Oppression is bad! Pass me a white hat!". He is still very much a cardassian.

As for why we call him a "good guy" - I think that is largely due to the way the storyline has played our human emotions. We have seen him brought down, belittled, stripped of his cocky Cardie attitude by Weyoun and his humiliating position as an unwilling Quisling. His drinking and powerlessness evoked our pity, while his patriotic outrage on behalf of cardassia's dead soldiers cast him in a heroic light. This is great characterization: the writers haven't whitewashed him but they have made us - me, anyway - cheer for him.

K'Elvis, my only disagreement with your take, is your statement that Damar acted unselfishly when he rebelled. That would be true *if* he loved Weyoun and were having a fine time hanging out with him. In fact, his constant humiliation at Weyoun's hands and his consequent (selfish) desire for vengeance, joined with his Cardassian patriotism to make rebellion the obvious choice. His life had become a misery and he had little left to lose.
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Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 4:01pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S7: 'Til Death Do Us Part

I love Dukat's scene with Damar, but the resurgent warmth between them has me wondering at what point Dukat forgave Damar for murdering his daughter. I am forced to assume that this is fallout from "Waltz" - that Dukat really has decided that Bajor and Bajorans are despicable and that his love for Ziyal - which was once so moving - was in retrospect a mere weakness. This is an ugly and shallow turn for a once-great character. (And i agree that the pahwraith vs prophet plotline is comic-book dumb.)

The Damar/Weyoun conflict is the highlight of the past two episodes.
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Sun, Mar 30, 2014, 2:23pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S7: Prodigal Daughter

I liked it fine until the family reaction to the crime. A guy beats a woman to death to prove his toughness, and his mother blames herself, and his sister (a counselor no less) pretty much says "He's not responsible. Really, my mom, the castrating bitch, drove him to it.". Made Ezri seem petulant and resentful.

Otherwise, slow but tolerable.
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Sat, Mar 29, 2014, 12:33pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Tears of the Prophets

What Ric said.

Not understanding why Dukat is suddenly eager for just-plain-vengeance against Sisko. I thought 'Waltz' showed him desperate to save Sisko's life because he was driven (by guilt and vanity) to win Sisko's friendship. Even leaving on the runabout in that ep, he signaled the Defiant so Sisko wouldn't die. Or did I misunderstand something?
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Sat, Mar 29, 2014, 11:15am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Inquisition

Oy. My point: Appeasement is only possible when Team A is willing to settle for what Team B is willing to hand over. Are you playing dumb for some particular rhetorical reason?

To keep the examples in-universe: Fifty-some years ago, the peaceful Bajorans appeased the expanionist Cardassians by becoming their subjects. In this way they kept the peace, were rewarded handsomely, and lived happily ever after. Dunno why those dumb resistance fighters had to screw things up by getting all violent.
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Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 4:27am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

The Cheese Factor was the biggest problem for me - the acting and dialog were simply atrocious, especially from the first officer but also from, well, pretty much everyone besides Moon Girl and Nog. And because I was primed for cheese, the "Red Squad Red Squad!" scene struck me as a cheesily scripted "Go team!" moment and not as the fascism which perhaps the writers intended.

My more important complaint is with the ep's essential dishonesty. I felt I was being led by the hand to side with Jake and agree that the young captain was clearly a nut because he was risking his crew on a dangerous mission with a slim chance of success. (Even Nog endorses this view in the end.). But that is sheer manipulation. Fact: week after week on DS9 (and every other action series, in every war movie, etc). , this exact trope is played heroically. The guys who are willing to give their lives to destroy an enemy -- who volunteer for a daring suicide raid -- are shown as Big Damn Heroes. Even if they fail, even if they die, we still esteem them for risking all and making the big sacrifice. And why? Because they are the main characters. Here, they are not. That's the only difference I see.

This would have been a much better show had it actually been even-handed. The Lord of the Flies elements could have been toned down, and the ending could have Jake and Nog still disagreeing about whether the captain's choice was right or wrong. Nog could have made a reasoned argument in his defense. He could have talked about all the adult-run ships that have thrown themselves against the Dominion and been decimated, how war involves risk and sometimes gambles fail and soldiers are trained to accept this. Jake could have disagreed. We could have pondered and made up our own minds. That would have been an honest story.
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Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 3:11am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: The Reckoning

Hated the episode, but love and appreciate many of the above comments. Apparently there was depth, subtlety and good characterization going on, and I just didn't see it.

I admit I have never seen any shades of gray in Winn and don't see her in Dukat's league as some suggest. Dukat's villainy is balanced by his charm, patriotism, love of family, occasional heroism, and frequent vulnerability/suffering. For these reasons, i endlessly root for his redemption. Winn has never been given any attractive qualities, so I only root for her to get off the screen.
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Thu, Mar 27, 2014, 3:58pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

I appreciate the writers' efforts here. I'd give the ep three stars for how hard it tries to say something big.

Pluses: Garak, as always.

Minuses: Brooks's hamminess, the framing device (It was far too similar to that TNG ep where Crusher invites some alien scientists for a symposium), and - as an above commenter said - Sisko going apeshit over the death of one Romulan senator after not agonizing at all about all the young Romulan men and women who would soon be cannon fodder thanks to his lies.

For me the most emotional moment of the episode was Garak relating that all his Cardassian contacts (whom I think must have been his last connection to the world he loves) had been murdered thanks to Sisko's scheme. In the fight scene when Sisko punched him, I really wanted Garak to retort, "You know, when all my friends died -- for YOU -- you didn't bat an eye. "

Somewhere along the line (I think it was 'Waltz') I stopped seeing Sisko as a sympathetic character. Which is a shame.
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Thu, Mar 27, 2014, 11:51am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Inquisition


You're in favor of the good guys "appeasing the Dominion"? The female shapeshifter made the founders' aims. Lear in an early episode: they want to ensure their security by ruling over solids with an iron hand. And countless eps have shown HOW they rule: by tyranny and violence, using their minions - who have been bred to revere their shapeshifter masters as God.

Hitler was not satisfied with enslaving merely Czechoslovakia to his Reich. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is not satisfied with torturing only the citizens of Raqqa as they pursue their dream of a caliphate. Peacemaking and appeasement have their limits. As do liberal apologetics.
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Thu, Mar 27, 2014, 8:31am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Who Mourns for Morn?

I'm with Jammer. How many times has the ST franchise given us a female schemer whose tired MO involves prostituting herself for profit? And how many times have we seen Quark get his lobes stroked by young attractive women? Ugh.

I absolutely loved the first five eps of this season - riveting! - but that only makes me extra impatient with boring fluff like this.
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Wed, Mar 26, 2014, 10:06am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Waltz

This episode really angered me. Dukat -- villain though he is -- had my utter sympathy in his first scene aboard the ship, when the subject of Ziyal comes up and his brokenness and anguish shows clearly through his arrogant facade. (Brilliant acting by Alaimo.). From there, Dukat descends into raving lunacy.

When Sisko starts calling him "evil" I was thrown - since Sisko's assessment was clearly wrong. Was the episode intending to show Sisko as a merciless judge, stripped of empathy by the hardships of war and the burden of command? That would have been understandable and an interesting development of the character! But by the last scene it seemed that viewers were meant to actually agree with Sisko and consider Dukat evil rather than sick. WTH?

I just came away thinking Sisko was a self-righteous jerk. Now I am hoping for Dukat to regain his sanity and either redeem himself somewhat or hand the Great Sisko his comeuppance.

Additionally, when the Defiant locates "a signal! It's from Dukat!" - leading to Sisko's rescue - my understanding was that Dukat deliberately signaled so that Sisko would be saved. (He had spent the whole episode preserving Sisko's life, I thought because he desperately needed validation/forgiveness). Seemed damn ungrateful of the Great Sisko to have not even a shred of mixed feelings.
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Wed, Mar 26, 2014, 8:24am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

I like humor but not buffoonery. The cartoon-cutout nutcases were an insult to viewers' intelligence. I might have liked a well-conceived show about genetically-engineered people who were depicted as more realistically disturbed and suffering.

Additionally, as soon as the savants identified the reason the Dominion was willing to sacrifice a lot to get Planet X for the manufacturing of ketracel white, the clear solution was to pollute Planet X on the sly and cause the extinction of the fungi the Dominion wanted.

I originally thought that Bashir's genetic manipulation had merely turned him from subpar to very smart and physically above average. It's irritating that he is now depicted as a cartoonish Math SUperhero with the brain of a computer.

Overall, worth skipping.
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Thu, Mar 20, 2014, 8:35am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S5: A Simple Investigation

Because Arissa was immediately shown to be a clever sneak and liar, I had no idea why Odo suddenly decided to believe and trust her. Did he think she was only capable of one lie per week? This seemed so gullible and out of character, that I couldn't enjoy the plot because I kept waiting for her to be unmasked as a manipulative criminal.

Additionally, she admitted to being a sleazy criminal blackmailer -- yet instead of being disgusted, Odo immediately assumed she was a victim and not responsible for her actions. (Shades of last week, when Bashir's mother went unpunished.).

If every female criminal can get around Odo by merely batting her eyes and spinning a tale, he's a lousy security chief.
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Thu, Mar 20, 2014, 7:25am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S5: Doctor Bashir, I Presume

So many unsavory moments in what could have been a great story.

-- Leeta as a bimbo.
-- Rom's "I love you!". Rom has never talked to Leeta (nor has she ever said anything interesting) so there can be only one reason for his "love.". And it's not her wit.
-- Amsha Bashir as a stereotypical submissive-Pakistani-wife type, making soft placating sounds all episode while her husband and son fight. ( Even the Federation seems to consider her a nobody who was just obeying her husband and therefore deserves no punishment.)
-- Julian suffering no consequences
-- The casual reference to despicable Ferengi marriage customs, which are far too similar to despicable current-day earth customs (the buying and selling of brides as a business deal conducted between father and groom, with the female as property) to be at all amusing.
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Thu, Mar 20, 2014, 3:26am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S5: In Purgatory's Shadow

Agree with Jammer that the major plot developments of this episode were thrilling and well done. Disagree about the effectiveness of the minor character scenes. The back-to-back "Darling must you leave me?" scenes were trite and grating. Dax/Worf have such a one-note relationship that I lIng for them to break up, and sadly the writers have done the most obvious and dull thing possible with Ziyal/Garak and Ziyal/Dukat. The last time we saw Ziyal I commented that the writers were thankfully dodging the naive-girl-in-love cliche. Guess I overestimated them.

Not four stars, but worthwhile for the suspense and excitement of the Dominion plot.
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Wed, Mar 19, 2014, 7:40pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S5: For the Uniform

Ever since his turncoat moment, the Eddington actor has invested the character with a smug villainy that makes him too easy to despise. I am afraid this is a directorial decision: load the deck so viewers can't possibly see his side or respect him as a man of courage and ideals.

But Eddington's real crime? The Les Miserables nonsense. I thought when he said " book" that it was going to be "Moby Dick" - which would have made sense on two levels. Instead he recited the usual BS about Javert.

Goddammit, Javert did NOT pursue Valjean for twenty years over a loaf of bread. Nor was he an obsessed madman with a personal vendetta. (That was Ahab!) Eddington, you're an effing moron, and you're no Valjean.
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Mon, Mar 17, 2014, 6:44pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S5: The Darkness and the Light

Frankly, as a three-times-pregnant human being, I take serious issue with the idea expressed above that "Kira's risky actions were not believable because no pregnant woman would risk her fetus!"

Fetuses pretty much take care of themselves. While some pregnant women cling to old ideas of "Don't exert yourself honey; you'll miscarry!" most are accustomed to leading their usual active lives unless fatigue or discomfort slow them down. They don't walk around thinking of themselves as Wombs First and Foremost.

I think the fact that she's carrying someone *else's* fetus might have given Kira pause...but with her friends murdered, is she really gonna sit home crocheting a baby blanket? She's still Major Kira! Being temporarily pregnant doesn't change her nature or make duty-to-fetus her only concern.

There was plenty wrong with this ep, but Kira's rash actions were right in character.
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Thu, Mar 13, 2014, 12:42pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

I did not understand the basic set-up, and spent the whole episode trying to make sense of it.

Renegade Jem-Hadar are about to gain control of an Iconian gateway on a Dominion world. The Founders respond by sending a single fighting ship with a mere 6 JH warriors aboard - not to the gateway which needs destroying, but towards the wormhole, in pursuit of the renegades. When the renegades disable the single ship sent after them, well, that's all she wrote! No one else in the entire massive Dominion army is available to stop them from taking over the universe. Good thing the Defiant moseyed along at the right moment.

So: I gather that the Founders and the Vorta are not military geniuses.

Also, was there ever a line explaining how the renegades will live without White? Maybe I missed it while pondering the other stuff.

I feel cheated because i would have liked the ep a lot, had the premise made more sense. Or any sense.
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Thu, Mar 13, 2014, 9:28am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

Guess I am the only one who likes the new Ziyal? I liked the previous version too, but the character was played very much as a naive ingenue - OK for a guest star but boring in a recurring character.

Given what we'd been shown of her previously, I utterly expected her to fall for Garak and end up gazing at him with big puppydog eyes while Kira did a mama-bear act. The writers' decision to give Ziyal a stronger character was a pleasant surprise. Her future relationship with Garak, Kira, and Dukat could prove interesting - as she is not necessarily going to comply with what each of them wants from her.
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Wed, Mar 12, 2014, 11:25am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse


Lwaxana states in her first scene that her husband started off promising he adored her and would NOT follow his people's traditions, and that after the marriage he went back on his word, began treating her like property, and kept her virtually imprisoned. A pretty common scenario of domestic violence. You cam blame Lwaxana for being naive enough to believe her lover's promises, but she isn't the bad guy here.

My objection to the Lwaxana eps is that her shtick of sad-middle-aged-woman-desperate-for love is boring, cliche and somewhat insulting . How many times have we seen this? Does she ever do anything besides chase men or cry over men? Is it meant to be amusing? Maybe it was...for about two minutes, the first time. Though not really.
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Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 5:37pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: Family Business

When I first saw this ep I dismissed it as the typical lightweight Ferengi nonsense - somewhat cute, somewhat dull, entirely inoffensive. Twenty years later, it enrages me.

Ishka is a female Ferengi who has a pretty good life. Widowed and living alone on Ferenganor, she bucks tradition, dresses as she pleases, speaks to males outside her family, does the profit-earning work she loves, and gets a stipend from her well-off son. The legal and cultural enslavement of Ferengi women is, therefore, cast as a lightweight concern: we viewers are encouraged to see her as a middle-class lady whining because she wants to play in the boys' league. Unlike famous Treks of old which used sci-fi to make us think seriously about real social problems of today, this ep determinedly wants us to laugh at those problems.

Ferengi women live under the following restrictions: They are kept utterly dependent on male family members. They are told how to dress. They are not permitted to speak to unrelated males. They are not allowed to travel. They are also the repositories of 'family honor' as we see in Quark's words to his mother ("our family's disgrace...our family's reputation...")

These are not the cute problems of big-eared aliens on a tv show. These are the very real problems of hundreds of millions of real human women: Muslim mostly, but also ultra-orthodox Jew and certain Christian sects and in parts of India and much of Africa etc etc. I wonder what happens to Ferengi women who don't have kind male family members to support them. I wonder what happens when a husband, son, or brother feels like hitting his (utterly dependent) woman. I wonder what happens in any society to a class of people who are kept powerless and thrown on the mercy of others? I wonder if every Ferengi female besides Ishka is - as Quark believes and no one contradicts - docile, obedient, without opinions and totally happy to be powerless.

Not every episode has to has a heavy social commentary. Personally I prefer the adventure outings and the DS9 geopolitics to the moralizing that characterized a lot of TOS and TNG. But to portray a real and huge social problem that enslaves countless women today, and recast it as a giggle-fest? That is shameful, and unworthy of the Star Trek legacy.
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