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Trish
Fri, Jun 18, 2021, 10:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Family

@Frake's Nightmare

Well, those 24th-century folks generally travel pretty light, probably because replicators can supply most of what they might want or need at their destination.

In fact, I kind of wonder why people need to pack anything for a relatively short trip. But given Robert's anti-replicator attitude, I guess Picard has to make sure he has enough changes of clothes, just in case any of them get, well, muddy.
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Trish
Thu, Jun 17, 2021, 2:11am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Heart of Glory

@Tidd

If you think our conversations here are nerdy, then you must not have read Phil Farrand's Nit-Picker's Guides to Trek.

Ever notice how people's professional work sometimes has something odd in common with their hobbies? The same attention to detail that lets me find misplaced commas in book manuscripts makes it fun for me to come here and play Star Trek nerd.
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Trish
Mon, Jun 14, 2021, 7:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: Operation--Annihilate!

I just want to agree with Nic's comment all the way back in 2013: Yes, the "it doesn't look real" line is a great way of handling the state of this episode's special effects.

Hey, who says a deadly alien species WOULDN'T look like a cross between manta ray conjoined twins, a unit of whole blood, and a plastic puddle of novelty vomit, with the flight skills of a vampire bat.

It's a big universe, after all.
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Trish
Wed, Jun 9, 2021, 12:59am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Samaritan Snare

Um, I do realize it's Earl Grey tea, not Early Grey.

My fingers, apparently, do not.
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Trish
Wed, Jun 9, 2021, 12:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Samaritan Snare

@S. D. Martino
Well, Patrick Stewart didn't write the scripts. You can hold him responsible for not even attempting a French accent, but not for references to Shakespeare and Early Grey tea. That's about writing, not acting.

Of course, the very fact that a British actor got the role is the result of casting, rather than acting. I imagine that if, for example, René Auberjonois had been cast in the role, Jean Luc Picard might have come across as at least French enough for American viewers.

Hmm. Shall we try to imagine who might then have played Odo?
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Trish
Tue, Jun 8, 2021, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

It is true, as @Booming says, that the female host does not "seem to care" about Beverly's sex and gender, but I would go a step farther to say that the host doesn't seem to care about anything at all, post-joining.

Yes, there are all the things we learn about the Trill in DS9, but some of that later knowledge isn't consistent with what is in this episode. I mean, Odan actually points to the pouch where the symbiont dwells and declares that "this" is who he is. As far as I recall (it's been a while since I've seen the episode), when Odan is joined with Riker, other than moments of being visually familiar, there's no indication that Riker is really there. There's no sign that he is a conscious part of the joined identity, or that the symbiont has access to Riker's memories. When Odan speaks of Riker, even while joined with him, it is in the third person. Sure, if we really work at it, we can find explanations to reconcile the things Jadzia tells us about the Trill experience with what Odan shows us in this episode, such as that maybe both Riker and the female host are just still figuring out how to function within the joined identity. But really, I think the concept of the species was actually changed. Odan portrays the original premise, in which the symbiont is the real person, the only person. The host may be a person before joining, and, as in the case of Riker, after separation, but the host contributes nothing to the personality of a joined Trill.

In a sense, the Trill as represented by Odan don't exactly love the "soul" of a person. They love the symbiont.

I think the DS9 premise makes things much more interesting, and might have led very naturally to a different response from the Beverly character. Even if she were very much a heterosexual (who knows? maybe someday "H" will be added to LGBTQ), she might have felt the kind of instant affinity for the "new" Odan that Ben Sisko felt for Jadzia Dax, but at the level of a deep, comfortable friendship rather than romantic attraction. Odan's question would then not have been so much about "nothing more," but just "So it's different now?"

"Not less," Beverly might have said with a nod, "but different."
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Trish
Fri, Jun 4, 2021, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

What I have always found most jarring about the difference between how this episode portrays the Trill as a species and how DS9 develops the concept is the role of the host in the joined identity. In this episode, it doesn't seem to me as if there IS any real joined identity, just the identity of the symbiont. The host's identity seems completely submerged. It is almost as if the host's own personality "dies" so the symbiont can put on his or her body like a spacesuit.

Beverly's angst, then, sounds like a fear that maybe she didn't love the "real" Odan; maybe she was just attracted to the spacesuit he happened to be wearing when she met him. Even before he was injured, she struggled with the question of whether she was in love, or merely indulging in a shallow infatuation. She got her answer when the body she was infatuated with died, and even though the personality lived on in the next host, she found that she wasn't in love anymore, which, I would argue, kind of meant that she was never in love with Odan's personality at all. The fear that had been niggling at her during the relationship turned out to be the truth: She was not in love.

Yeah, the fact that the next host was female made the difference particularly striking, something that could be conveyed in an instant onscreen. But I take her crestfallen reaction not as some kind of horror at the thought of loving a fellow woman, but as disappointment at realizing that for her, her former lover WAS his body, rather than the person (s)he really was. I think she would have been just as disappointed if the new host had been another male, but one she didn't find physically attractive.
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Trish
Thu, Jun 3, 2021, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

Yes, I'm happy to get back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I actually do think this episode has some value to it. Yeah, Troi's grief at "the loss" comes across kind of over-the-top and even self-absorbed (I mean, she's busy resigning her job and packing up her office when the ship is supposedly about to be destroyed), but the loss of perspective is the very nature of her loss of ability. During the period when she lacks her empathy (in the Betazoid sense of knowing what others are feeling), she also lacks "empathy" in the more ordinary sense. She is becoming a universe unto herself, all that matters in her own little world, as are the one-dimensional beings.

For the beings for whom it is their natural state, there's nothing pathetic about it. But for someone whose entire life had been lived within the minds and emotions of others, it was indeed a "loss," not just for her, but for the people of her community.

There is a lesson in that, I think, about the dangers of CHOOSING to live in too small a world.
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Trish
Wed, Jun 2, 2021, 1:38am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

Just to clarify, the "discussion about the discussion" is not just about the particular new commenter's criticisms of this episode, even though that happens to be where I posted my query. Take a look at the overall pattern of the person's comments. (For those who don't know how to find that easily, just click on the user name, and you can see all their comments from anywhere on the site.)

It's not often that someone participates on these threads with 100% negative comments. Most of us are a mix, and that makes sense to me. The "I like this, but I'm not crazy about that, and I really hate this thing over here" is what makes possible interesting give-and-take discussions, especially because no two of us have exactly the same mix of reactions. I've found those discussions a fun hobby, off and on through the years, and I think that's probably true for most of us.

But when someone hates EVERYTHING, from the characters to the writers to the actors and now even to Jammer, without whom this platform for the discussions would not even exist, (and let's not forget that all except the first on that list are real human beings), well, I am genuinely puzzled as to how it's even a fun hobby, and that puzzlement is kind of distracting me , for the moment, from my fun hobby of talking about Trek with other people who enjoy it enough to see both its strengths and its flaws. I'm sure there must be a reason for O'Brien (who I think is probably also the equally angry Chief O'Brien) to be here. I just don't think it's the same reason most of us are here.

Be that as it may, it is no one but Jammer's business who is welcome here, so whatever mode of discussion is fine with Jammer pretty much has to be fine with the rest of us. If I never get my curiosity satisfied about why an unusual commenter came, so be it.
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Trish
Mon, May 31, 2021, 8:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Loss

@O'Brien

Just judging from your comments so far, there doesn't see to be much, maybe anything, you like about TNG. Not the writing, not the characters, not the actors.

Nothing against that. Hey, you know what they say: There's no accounting for personal tastes. But just out of curiosity, why are you even watching the show, let alone taking time to leave comments on a review site? I don't think I would have the patience to stick with a series if I had a strongly negative reaction to several episodes. I pretty much gave up on Enterprise within a short time after it came out, and I never got around to watching most of its episodes. You apparently have a lot more stick-to-it-iveness than I do.
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Trish
Sat, May 22, 2021, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Descent, Part II

I remember in one of Phil Farrand's Nitpicker's Guides, he posed the rhetorical question, Who would be comfortable serving on a ship with Data after the events in Brothers? Surely the same question applies to the events in The Schizoid Man, Masks, Datalore and Descent. Not only Data, but Troi and O'Brien get in on it in Power Play. In Voyager, there's sweet Kes' behavior when taken over by Tiernan in Warlord, and in DS9 the whole impersonation campaign during the Dominion War. TOS is not to be left out; Turnabout Intruder, Enemy Within, heck, Amok Time skirts the edge of the same trope. I'm sure I'm leaving out a few more examples.

Seriously, in a universe in which people can either be convincingly impersonated or can completely lose their free will every few weeks so that they (or someone thought to be them) can do things utterly out of their normal character as everyone around them knows it, how would anyone ever trust anyone else? How would a starship or any community function without that basic level of trust?

I realize sometimes we just have to suspend our disbelief and enjoy the story. Each story can be fun on its own, but sometimes Trek overuses this particular device.

To tell you the truth, I have always secretly (and I now reveal this secret to the Jammer community) wanted to see an episode in which a regular character seems to have been taken over by some malevolent entity and is thus considered not morally culpable for his or her actions under that evil influence, and at the end we, the viewers (but not the other characters), find out at that the "possessed" character was only pretending to have been taken over, in order to get away with something they had always really wanted to do, but hadn't been willing to sacrifice their career for. "Oh, it wasn't really me that assassinated my commanding officer and hijacked the ship to Risa for extended shore leave. You can't give me a reprimand for that."
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Trish
Mon, May 17, 2021, 10:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

Since I first saw this episode back in the series' first run, I have been irritated by the apparent changed premise with which the episode ends. During TNG, it was well-established that Klingons consider dead bodies a "shell," basically trash to be disposed of. The person is gone, hopefully off to Sto-vo-kor. They have no death ritual of protecting the body from being eaten by the Klingon equivalent of hyenas or buzzards. Within seconds of death, they stare into the corpse's eyes, then scream to the heavens to warn the dead that another warrior is headed their way.

I suppose the writers could have been saying that Worf was lying about the ritual in order to offer comfort to O'Brien (whose Irish heritage does have the custom of a wake), but is that kind of subterfuge consistent with Worf's bluntness earlier in the episode?

All in all, it looks to me as if writers set out to make Worf a completely different character (or several completely different characters) in DS9 from in TNG.
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Trish
Mon, Apr 26, 2021, 6:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

@Jason R.

I have to say that the "absent some extraordinary accomplishment, a life without children is lesser" strikes me as just as problematic a world view as if Picard had been saying, "The lives of the thousand or so people on a starship who are NOT the captain are … lesser." (And I don't think the writers intend for us to think that is what Picard is saying.)

At the risk of igniting some religious debate that has nothing to do with anything, I will go ahead and mention that I am a Catholic who has lived a life of intentional celibacy in order to focus on serving in the kind of professional ministry roles open to laywomen in my Church. Not that celibacy is required for anyone who wishes to provide service, but I felt it was required for ME.

Maybe it's coming from a faith community that talks about every person having a "vocation" and defines multiple possible "states of life" that makes it sound so strange to me for someone to identify one path (in this case, parenthood) that would be best for everyone (or at least for everyone who does not achieve history-book-level greatness), to such an extent that the response to examples of childless people is "adoption is probably a great alternative" (in other words, no matter what, don't be childless).

I wonder, would your life look any different to you if your view were more like, "Not that parenthood is required for anyone who wishes to live a fully meaningful life, but I felt it was required for ME"?

Would my life, and the lives of other childless people, look any different to you?
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Trish
Sun, Apr 25, 2021, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Insurrection

@Silly

I agree. Insurrection was little more than an extra TV episode. And a "just okay" TV episode, at that.
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Trish
Sat, Apr 24, 2021, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Vengeance Factor

@Javier

I think the idea of the episodes is that the "traditional value" she embodies is, well, as the title says, "the vengeance factor."

If you think it is harsh that "by the end of the episode she must die," I wonder, what method do you suggest for co-existing with someone who is not willing to co-exist with you, and whose whole focus for more than a lifetime has been on destroying you? There really are only three possible endings for the Yuta character: She kills, she is killed, or she gives up killing. Her "cultural practice" of vengeance killing is not one that can be given deference and respect alongside other cultural practices, because by its very nature it refuses to stand alongside other cultures with deference and respect.

Encounters between vastly different cultures do not always have to be a zero sum game, but it only takes one side in the encounter to decide that they are. Yuta's clan made that decision. The episode seems to be written fairly straightforwardly.

How to apply that to any specific "real world" situation in the twentieth or twenty-first century is not as straightforward as writing a TV episode.
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Trish
Thu, Apr 22, 2021, 12:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

@Dave in MN

Thanks, I am definitely on a good trajectory. I had a years-long battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma the culminated in an autologous stem cell transplant (the kind where they harvest your own stem cells and give them back to you, instead of using donor cells). Although my cancer is in complete remission and I am coming up on the three-year anniversary of the transplant, I still have disabling levels of fatigue. There are good days and bad days, and I have learned to make the most of the former and allow myself to rest on the latter.
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Trish
Tue, Apr 20, 2021, 11:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

@Mal

I've never given a TED talk (my sister was actually invited once, but she found out they expected her to pay her own way, and she told them some variation on, "Uh, no thank-you; this is what I do for a living.")

But you can find a few videos of me on YouTube as "Retreat Preacher." I keep meaning to get back to making new videos as my health improves after a several-year bad spell, but other things keep elbowing YouTube aside.
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Trish
Tue, Apr 20, 2021, 11:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Brothers

@Mal

(I'm responding to your comment back on April 9, because I have been away from the site for a while.)

Regarding Spiner having to lip synch Stewart perfectly during the password scene, actually, I think there's another possible explanation:

I have read that Spiner could imitate Stewart so flawlessly that he used to play practical jokes like calling Stewart's assistant and ordering him to Stewart's dressing room, where Stewart would be puzzled as to why the assistant was there. I think Spiner may actually be the one saying the line, imitating Stewart's voice. When I listen to it with that possibility in mind, it does sound just ever so slightly "off."
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Trish
Thu, Apr 8, 2021, 9:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

I have always thought that this episode could very easily, with no distortion to either the script or the performance, be interpreted to carry a "message" that I am guessing is not at ALL what the writers were trying to say. (And of course, Trek writers are trying to say something about our here-and-now world with pretty much every episode. Nothing wrong with that as a part of the general format of the series and of the entire Trek franchise; it is what it is.)

The inadvertent possible "message"?

"If there were a way for people with non-majority sexual orientations, gender identities, etc. to be made truly like everyone else, they would be happier."

As I said, I know that's not what they are trying to say. But Soren sure seems a lot happier with that whole conflict out of her system.
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Trish
Thu, Apr 8, 2021, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

@Dave in MN

It sounds as if you conflating different legal concepts.

The reason an employer can't fire someone because of their religion (other than a religious organization from a position in which religious behavior is intrinsic to the function) is not because of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but because of anti-discrimination laws, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Act. That law spells out what "consequences" may not be meted out on the basis of religion.

"Freedom of speech," on the other hand, is not protected against the actions of private employers, non-governmental websites, your social contacts, etc. because there is no law that lays out any such protections. The Constitution protects freedom of speech, as well as the freedoms of religion, the press, assembly, and petition of the government, against the actions of the government. No one else, just the government. This does not make these freedoms non-existent, but it does narrow the parameters of what it means. Those narrow parameters are not "BS," just the legal reality.

So yes, there can be consequences for your speech. As long as it's not the government meting out those consequences, the legal phrase "freedom of speech" does not apply.

A pretty basic distinction, but one that many Americans get confused about, especially in the heat of passionate debate.

You are free to speak. Others are free to speak, too, including by expressing disapproval of your speech. They are also free to take whatever actions they wish in response to that speech as long as there is not some law that forbids the action they have chosen.
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Trish
Thu, Apr 8, 2021, 12:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Starship Mine

@Silly

I agree, the death of Hutch seemed gratuitous, and the other characters really didn't react to it in any way that made sense to me. I remember when I first saw the episode, I felt an odd kind of guilt at having bought into the characters' sense of him as annoying and kind of pathetic, and laughing behind his back at Data's mimicry. For just one moment, I felt as if I had been mocking a dead man, as if such things could be retroactive.

It was almost like something I remember hearing two boys from my high school say to each other in the cafeteria the day we'd all been told of the death of a fellow student: "Remember him? We laughed about how pale he looked, and we didn't know it was because he was sick. Just think, we made fun of him, and now he's DEAD."

The Trek regulars, however, went on with their adventure of the week as if they had stopped noticing the corpse in the room, a corpse that had been the host of the party just a short time before. It seemed inhuman, somehow.

I liked the rest of the show, but that detail has always felt awkward to me.
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Trish
Tue, Apr 6, 2021, 9:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society

@Peter G.

Perhaps!

Or it could be that because she is a professional in a field with strict ethical codes, she might be more cautious than a typical person in "the service."

Then too, I had forgotten that in "The Price," she didn't seem to feel there was anything wrong with having an affair with a negotiator for an opposing power, until she found herself in a conflict of interest. Maybe that made her more gun-shy. Not enough to keep her from doing it again, but enough to feel guilty about it.
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Trish
Tue, Apr 6, 2021, 8:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Masterpiece Society

Man, I know that this site gets periodic flare-ups of tangential arguments (some of which have gone on for years), but I'm not sure I've seen such a display of what-about-ism in a long time.

Saying that one country did something wrong is not saying that it's the ONLY country that ever did anything wrong.

Saying that another country (also) did something wrong is not a defense of any wrong one's own country may have done.

If believing both of those principles makes me "woke," so be it.

Now, back to Trek:

How come Troi feels so guilty about being "unprofessional"? It's not as if she was providing therapy to the man she was having a dead-end fling with. Not that I personally approve of dead-end flings, but, well, it's not as if Captain Kirk hadn't set a pretty clear precedent. I'm surprised that we're supposed to think that such things are a big deal in the Trekverse.
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Trish
Thu, Mar 25, 2021, 12:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Sarek

I like the idea of "memory leakage," in part because this idea goes in the right direction when you think of how the two slaps came to be in their respective scripts. Of course, at the time "Journey to Babel" was written, TNG didn't even exist, but when "Sarek" was written, the writers had access to everything in the TOS episodes. There would have been no reason for the TOS episode to have envisioned the character Sarek projecting his emotions telepathically, but every reason for writers who wanted to portray Sarek doing so to mine the character's past appearances for material.

I do think that once you do have the information from both episodes, it could be argued that if a Vulcan would lose telepathic control of his emotions due to neurological decay, he might also lose it momentarily when "incapacitated" by a heart condition, especially at moments when he is slipping in and out of consciousness.(Good thing Vulcans aren't telekinetic. If they were, a Vulcan ICU would have equipment flying all over the place like the scene in Plato's Stepchildren when Parmen's delirium is translated into physical chaos.)

I actually think the writers may not have thought it all the way through, because I suspect if they had, they would have been so proud of the idea that they would not have been able to resist throwing in at least one line somewhere that would explicitly point out to the viewer that Sarek's memory of Amanda's conflict with Spock was overflowing to the crew of the Enterprise-D, and was picked up by the two people whose relationship was most similar. If they did, it was a masterful touch, and I'm sorry they overestimated my (and apparently most other viewers') perceptiveness, given that it took me over three decades to appreciate it. Even if it was just a little homage to the TOS episode, I am a little sorry how long it took me.

But as with most things, once seen, it cannot be unseen. You'll never convince me now that it was just a coincidence. I think they did it on purpose.
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Trish
Wed, Mar 24, 2021, 11:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Devil in the Dark

@Tidd

As I recall, a miner mentions that he DID shoot the "monster," but he was using a "type 1" phaser, which was not powerful enough to have an effect. The starship personnel had type 2 phasers, so they could at least carve a piece off the creature.
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