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Trish
Mon, Oct 14, 2019, 8:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty?

Amazing how much the music played close to the end of the episode while Kirk gives Miranda a rose sounds like the Brady Bunch theme.

"It's the story of a lovely lady, who is mind-linked with an uggo named Kollos …"
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Trish
Sun, Oct 13, 2019, 8:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: And the Children Shall Lead

I do think that it is a better episode thannJammer and those who commented before me give it credit for.

It's true that it is thin on motivation, apparently just evil for evil's own sake. I am willing to presume that the evil angel has more of a motivation than that, but I wish we were privy to it.

His way of accomplishing that evil is the one thing of interest, and it underlies everything that happens in the episode: Evil manipulates the specific "beast" in each person, some quality that usually serves them well but has been twisted into a dangerous weakness:

Sulu's enthusiasm for martial arts, a respect that needs but a nudge to plunge him into an abyss of terror.

Uhura's youthful vitality and beauty, betraying a paralyzing fear of the ugliness of death.

Chekov's reverence for Starfleet's hierarchy, which usually gives him unswerving loyalty to his captain but is rooted in a deep fear of disobedience, even when the situation calls for him to question authority.

Scotty's dedication to the physical operation of the ship, perverted into a protectiveness that loses all sense of that ship's purpose.

Kirk's own identity as a natural leader, turned against him as he fears losing control over his ship and crew.

And of course, it all started with the children's beast, their dependence upon loving parents, a dependence they transferred onto an evil being who used their fantasies of power for his own aims.

As for the evil angel himself, he insists, "I fear nothing," but he ultimately fears the most powerful beast of all, the one beast that could have conquered all the personal beasts he had exploited: the truth.

The episode's execution is not always perfect, but the story beneath the plot is a profound one about the universal human experience. This episode implicitly asks two questions of every viewer: "What is your beast?" and then "How can you keep evil from exploiting it?"

Entire spiritual retreats have been structured around such questions. I think they make this episode worth a great deal more than half a star.

I'm not afraid of being alone in that assessment.
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Trish
Sun, Oct 13, 2019, 7:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: And the Children Shall Lead

McCoy: "Well, I won't stop you from questioning the children, but it could harm them if you do."

So this DOCTOR believes that Kirk's intended course of action has a real possibility of harming children who have just been through a terrible trauma, but defers to the captain's decision? What happened to the Chief Medical Officer's authority in matters of health? Shouldn't he be ordering the captain to take the kids to the starbase for the treatment he believes, in his expert medical opinion, they require? Or at the very least ordering him not to play psychotherapist with them?

Apparently, that whole "the doctor can overrule even the captain in case of medical necessity" thing only applies when convenient to the story.
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Trish
Fri, Oct 11, 2019, 8:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Cause and Effect

I actually am a little surprised to see so many people agreeing with my own opinion that this is one of my favorite episodes.

It's my personal favorite because I happen to have temporal lobe epilepsy, which gives me deja vu episodes.
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Trish
Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 12:47am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: A Private Little War

@Peter G.

The issue I'm pointing out is that in that "universe" (not the Trek universe specifically, but the "real" world view of the time), her lack of "any other avenue" was not being critiqued or challenged by the storyteller, but simply presumed as the way things were.

I remember back in college when we studied Euripides' play Medea, and the professor pointed out to us that her speeches that might seem to us to have justified her actions and made her the heroine would not have been intended that way at the time. She was not supposed to be a heroine you would love, but a villainess you would "love to hate."

Nona, too, is a villainess in the story. Some of us may understand her character's outrage now, and even at some level cheer for her behind-the-scenes machinations, but that is a revisionist approach to the narrative. I'm glad you see it that way NOW, but in its time, the presumptions woven into the episode (which remember was within a series that was very self-consciously modern and progressive from its creator's point of view) were exactly the kind of attitudes that feminists were fighting against, and that would never have simply faded away without a fight. The feminists who seem so strident from today's perspective were in a battle for their lives, that is, for the lives they wanted to live, not the lives the Nonas of their real world had.

It was also a battle for the lives of not only women who would come after them but of men who would come after them as well, lives in which the kind of revisionist reinterpretation of stories like this one would seem natural.
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Trish
Mon, Sep 30, 2019, 7:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: A Private Little War

People below the age of 40 or so, both men and women, are sometimes puzzled by what they see as the strident tone of feminists, and they think that feminists of days gone by just didn't know how to stand up for themselves and live their own life. Why did they have to FIGHT about everything?

The people who don't get why feminists had to fight did not grow up in a time when shows like this, that were still new or in their first round of reruns at the time, communicated "obvious" assumption that a woman could not be a leader in her own right, even if she was intelligent, knowledgeable, and strong. She could only act through a man, and she usually did so by means of distasteful manipulative behavior, and was often on the "wrong" side.

There was no standing up for yourself and living your own life. That was for men. Women were supposed to find a man to hitch their lives to, and hope that he was intelligent, knowledgeable, and strong enough to give her a good life.
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Trish
Sat, Sep 28, 2019, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Wolf in the Fold

Has it occurred to anybody else that maybe Next Generation should have made the hedonistic pleasure planet so popular for shore leave Argelius, instead of making up Risa?
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Trish
Wed, Sep 18, 2019, 8:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Metamorphosis

So Nancy Hedford had no friends, relatives, or colleagues who would have liked the opportunity to visit her, or at least communicate with her? It was all right to tell them that she was dead, even though she is actually alive as half of a joined being, not because she asked to drop out of sight, but because Cochrane did?
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Trish
Tue, Sep 17, 2019, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ascent

I have to say I'm a bit surprised by the generally positive reactions to this episode. It just doesn't do much for me. It seems like an hour of exposition.

"Show me, don't tell me." But the dialog is mostly the characters in the adversarial/bosom buddies pairs TELLING what they are and how they see each other. Despite the painfully high stakes for Odo and Quark, there really isn't much of a plot, and what little there is has holes in it like Swiss cheese. (Not only, as Quarkissnyder said above, is there no way they'd survive without water, but they should be suffering from altitude sickness, which makes dehydration even worse. The whole point in climbing the mountain is to get to thinner air.)

And yes, after Odo is injured, it should be perfectly obvious to them both (and to the writer, and to us) that Quark should continue the ascent alone. If their plan works, a rescue ship will come and can use its scanners to locate Odo, apparently the only other humanoid on the planet. If it doesn't, their mutual problem will soon reach its dire resolution.

I have nothing against a good bromance. Heck, they could have thrown in a C plot with Bashir and O'Brien. But even a character story needs a story.
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Trish
Fri, Aug 2, 2019, 7:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Savage Curtain

Arena: Kirk is forced by an alien to fight the Gorn while the crew can only watch from the ship.

The Gamesters of Triskelion: Kirk is forced by aliens to fight the thralls while the crew can only watch from the ship.

The Savage Curtain: Kirk (this time along with Spock) is forced by an alien to fight simulations of historical bad guys alongside historical good guys while the crew can only …

Once might have been creative. But every single season?!

I'm a fan of Trek, but I can't deny its flaws.
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Trish
Sun, Jul 14, 2019, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty?

Ah, the irony no Next Generation fan could miss:

"I realize you can do almost anything a sighted person can do, but you cannot fly a starship …"

… Geordi.
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Trish
Fri, Jun 28, 2019, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Immunity Syndrome

Is everybody else okay with those weak women being the ones who immediately started fainting left and right?

Of course, it did give us an opportunity to see more female crew members than in probably any other half dozen episodes combined.
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Trish
Wed, Jun 26, 2019, 8:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Gamesters of Triskelion

It's hard to take any episode seriously as an anti-slavery tract or as anything else when they couldn't even be bothered to have Shatner look like he was TRYING not to "step on the opposing color" in the climactic contest.

This episode wasn't a serious anything.
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Trish
Fri, Jun 14, 2019, 8:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Too Short a Season

I think many people are thinking of the anti-aging drug as a tangential subplot, but it's the whole point: Much as a person might want to "go back" to fix and/or atone for the mistakes of youth, the attempt to do so is fatal to the person they have become.

Despite bad make-up and worse acting, this episode starts looking a lot better when you reach the time of life when you have to start facing that reality.
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Trish
Thu, May 16, 2019, 11:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Sacred Ground

I think a lot of the negative reactions come down to "There shouldn't be religion in Star Trek!"

Well, that's obviously not true if "should" means what the writers did in fact put there over the years. You want a series untainted by religion, hey, write your own. This episode just is what it is, and if you enter into its "universe," then it means something. If not, then it doesn't.

What I found most fascinating on my most recent viewing of this episode was Chakotay's repeated resistance to the whole thing. At first, it seemed out of character. After all, isn't he the designated "spiritual one" on the crew? But as the episode went on and for the first time I paid special attention to his apparent attitude, it began to make sense, and to be very consistent indeed with his character. He seemed practically offended the whole time by the captain's willingness to throw herself into an alien spiritual rite, almost as if he thought, "If she won't convert to my religion, which is the one and only REAL one, then why is she embracing these stupid and dangerous alien superstitions?"

If you didn't see that when you watched it, try watching it again, and see if it jumps out at you.

It would have been interesting to see him make a "journey" of his own by confronting this reaction, and question why he could not accept another culture's spirituality as he would have liked others to accept his. Of course, this was a Janeway episode rather than a Chakotay episode, so he didn't make such a journey, just kept having the same reaction from beginning to end.

That happens in real life, too.
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Trish
Thu, May 16, 2019, 9:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Masks

This episode, which made me cringe with embarrassment for the actors (especially Brent Spiner) the first time I saw it, has actually grown on me through the years. I have come to see something intriguing about a culture that finds meaning in enacting symbolic stories about the rhythms of day and night, light and darkness, life and death. A culture fascinated by boundaries.

Maybe it's because I've had to navigate a lot more boundaries as the years have passed. Maybe I just didn't "get it" at first.
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Trish
Wed, May 8, 2019, 8:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

@ Matt

You said, "I just don't see how someone can have a back and forth conversation with the hologram of a dead person."

The same way they have back and forth conversations with the holograms of fictional characters all the time on the holodeck. Or the way Geordi did with the hologram of a living person he'd not yet met, Leah Brahms. Computer algorithms analyze what the person says and create a response, based on the parameters programmed into the system. Just part of twenty-fourth century technology.

Heck, some chatbot programs don't do that too badly in the twenty-first century. Even not much past the middle of the twentieth century, there were people who asked to be alone with the computer terminal so they could confer in private with a conversation program designed to mimic a counselor.
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Trish
Tue, May 7, 2019, 9:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

I mean, "STARRED" a cat. Not just "included."

"Starred."
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Trish
Tue, May 7, 2019, 9:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

I thought the "filler" story about Spot was better than the "real" story about warp drive suddenly being bad. If anything, there should have been more stories dominated by Spot, and indeed more crewmembers dominated by Spot.

PS: I am not at all being influenced by the feline in my lap. She's not at all forcing me to type any of thi

SEND HELP! She won't be distracted by the catnip for long …

… and in conclusion, I think Star Trek would be a better franchise if every series included a cat.
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Trish
Sun, May 5, 2019, 10:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Basics, Part I

Okay, am I really the first person to wonder while watching this episode why when obtaining water was supposedly the top priority, Chakotay didn't figure out that he could have made a still from uniform fabric (whatever that magical 24th century fabric may be) until Hogan permanently vacated his?

You mean the same captain who sacrificed a lock of her hair as tinder for their campfire would not have taken off her jacket, as Ensign Ro did to give it to a Bajoran child in a refugee camp?
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Trish
Tue, Apr 30, 2019, 11:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Resolutions

Okay, everybody, about the monkey:

The line that tells you what it's doing in the story is when Chakotay says it can't be domesticated, at least not easily.

It is a metaphor for Janeway settling into domestic life, something that apparently attracts her enough to get her to flirt with it but then always withdraws from her. That's why when she bids the monkey good-bye, she tells him to use the house. That's what he's all about: making yourself at home.

And that's something she leaves behind when she returns to the ship.
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Trish
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 8:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Suspicions

On my most recent viewing of this episode, what I kept wondering was why Crusher, a medical doctor, was doing the "psychological autopsy" of Reyga (trying to determine if it was psychologically plausible that he had committed suicide) with no help from Troi, the ship's counselor.

When McCoy dabbled in psychology, the writers added lines of dialogue pointing out that he had studied psychology as well as medicine. I don't recall anything like that in Crusher's background.

I know, the story is showing Crusher going out on a limb all by herself (except when Nurse Ogawa gives her access to the autopsy files after her suspension), and a cooperative effort with Troi would have spoiled the mood. But they could have had Troi being about as "helpful" with psychology as Data and Geordi were with engineering, telling Crusher she did not have strong reason to say Reyga was not suicidal.
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Trish
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 10:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Innocence

It would be interesting if there were a way to know whether there is any correlation between liking this episode and having at some point actually faced one's own death, or accompanied someone else on that journey.

The idea of it as a time when we become like children facing an unknown "monster" and wondering if having more "faith" would bring peace has a depth that may not be appreciated by those who have not (yet) been there.

Unless the Morrock happens to come very suddenly for you, I think you will someday understand.
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Trish
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 1:00am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

I'm not generally big on prequels in general, so I was never big on Enterprise as an entire series. This episode seems to have been intended as sort of an origin story for the Prime Directive, and it doesn't work for me.

I stopped reading the comments when I got halfway through 2014, amazed that over a period of several years, nobody had mentioned the TNG episode "The Perfect Mate," in which Picard is outraged by the limitations placed on a sentient being who has been raised all her life to be a diplomatic "gift" because she is, essentially, a rare other gender that the Federation had not been aware of among her species, and he insists on opening new vistas to her, radically transforming her view of herself and the universe.

Picard's actions were clearly considered by the writers to be right and good, and so they wrote no dark ending with suicide and reprimands that would hold up a figurative billboard proclaiming to the viewer, "This is why we need a Prime Directive!" They gave us only a bittersweet resolution in which she will be forever the person she became by knowing him, and as a person of duty like him, she chooses to follow through with her assigned duty, while Picard keeps a stiff upper lip as he watches a woman he seems to have fallen in love with marry a man who cares more for trade agreements than for her.

The Trek franchise has always been fond of grinding axes, and its writers have never been very subtle about it. It's generally pretty clear which side the viewer is "supposed" to be on by the end of an episode. No, it is not about accepting all possible approaches to morality; it's usually a pretty heavy-handed effort to impose the writers' morality (even if that morality is sometimes the oxymoron of imperative moral relativism). Apparently, a TNG viewer is supposed to think pretty much the opposite of an Enterprise viewer, even though they attempt to draw on the same fan base.

Forgive me for not wanting to subject myself to moral whiplash.
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Trish
Mon, Feb 25, 2019, 7:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Court Martial

This episode contains one of the greatest "howlers" in Trek: The heartbeats are picked up by sensors whose efficiency has been increased by a factor of "one to the fourth power." That is, ONE!

Arithmetic was apparently not the writer's strong suit.
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