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William B
Tue, Feb 19, 2019, 2:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: The Changing Face of Evil

Thanks for that, Chrome. I didn't know, for instance, that Santa Anna allowed some to escape to build up the legend of the Alamo victory, like the "Female" Shapeshifter (never sure what best to call her).
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William B
Sun, Feb 17, 2019, 12:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Prodigal Daughter

(In fairness to T&W the episodes are broken by the room and there are lots of rewrites etc., so who knows what to actually attribute to them; I was being glib. It does seem like the episode has similar flaws to some of their other eps.)
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William B
Sun, Feb 17, 2019, 11:55am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Prodigal Daughter

@Iceman, yes. This episode is also an example of the "dark side" of serialization. Just because you can make an episode that continues old threads doesn't mean you should. Thompson and Weddle man.

Actually this feels a bit like a weak TNG season seven episode, with both unnecessary follow-ups to forgotten stories (Bok in Bloodlines) and unnecessary family backstory (lots of examples, though I like at least one of the infamous new family member eps).
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William B
Sun, Feb 17, 2019, 11:45am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

@Iceman, agreed, for sure. Hard Time is one of my favourite episodes (I prefer it to It's Only a Paper Moon, which I also think is very good) . I have nothing against episodic drama. I'm more saying that if you want to argue what's formally different about It's Only A Paper Moon, that it's a follow-up to a previous episode is the reason. Not a quality judgment at all.
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William D Wehrs
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 6:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

@WolfStar. Really like that analogy between Kira and Georgiou. That really puts in concrete terms why the character is so problematic. What's all the more frustrating is there is room for depth there. For example, why not play up how mirror Georgiou is hurt she can't have a relationship with Burnham akin to the one she had in the mirror universe. This would make her more relatable. But nope, let's just have her hiss like a snake that won't be eye rollingly stupid at all.
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William D Wehrs
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 6:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

"Look, Discovery is an action show. It's not about ideas. It's hectic. It's intense." Personally, I find those things antithetical. Something can't be intense if it's not about anything. Something could be shot by Alfred Hitchcock, and it wouldn't matter if I don't give a damn about the characters or the ideas on screen, and unfortunately that's where Discovery falls into. Why should I care about Tilly and May? There's been zero time establishing a friendship. Why should I care about Stamets and Culber? They had one scene brushing teeth together. Hardly the stuff of legend. Having said all that if people want to enjoy something for being a dumb action show, then good for you. I'm happy for you, even if I personally don't understand it.
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William D Wehrs
Thu, Feb 14, 2019, 11:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

@Leif.

My apologies. I was under the impression people came here either after seeing the episode or not caring about spoilers. In the future, I will endeavor to keep my comments spoiler free.
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William D Wehrs
Thu, Feb 14, 2019, 10:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

I confess this episode broke me. Never a moment to build character, just problem, solution, problem, solution. Over and over. The way they Culbert was brought back to life was incredibly laughable. What? Stamets kissed him and then brought him into the nebula with him. Give me a break. And then just when I thought they might do something daring and actually leave him, nope another solution. Add melodramatic acting and direction, the opening had me rolling, and this episode became one of my least favorite Trek episodes I've ever seen.
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William B
Thu, Feb 14, 2019, 10:19am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Prodigal Daughter

(I vaguely remember some hint that Mrs. Bilby was an addict of some kind, and that's why she went to extortion to get more of whatever she was on, but I can't remember for sure if that was actually there or just a headcanon of mine. More properly I doubt it's that Mrs. Bilby "loves money so much" as I said, but that she wanted something in particular with the money, probably as a way to fill the void after her husband's death.)
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William B
Thu, Feb 14, 2019, 10:17am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Prodigal Daughter

Oh, I think the episode is "about" the way the people and things we love can make us behave self-destructively -- O'Brien abandons his mission to find the widow because he cared for Bilby, Norvo abandons his potential life as an artist and murders a woman chasing some imagined idea of family respect or something, the mother loves the company so much she apparently drives her children away, Mrs. Bilby loves money so much she pushes her extortion racket until she is killed. The last one is that Ezri loves her brother so much that she can't help but spot his guilt, but this is an ambiguous case (in that it's ultimately good that she sees the truth, even if it hurts her). You can flip it and see it as a matter of loyalty in many cases: O'Brien's loyalty to Bilby, the Syndicate's loyalty to Mrs. Bilby, the sons' loyalty to their mother's company, Ezri's loyalty to her brother, etc., and how those are enduring and at times beyond normal ethics. I don't think it's very well done, though.
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William B
Thu, Feb 14, 2019, 10:07am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Prodigal Daughter

This ep is a sequel to Honor Among Thieves and inherits and builds on its discordant characterization and setting, and is not as well acted.
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William B
Thu, Feb 14, 2019, 10:04am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Prodigal Daughter

@Springy,

The O'Brien thing is really strange.

I think they could have gotten away with some ambiguity there at the end -- maybe Ezri or her mom saying, "I wish we had known how to help him before it came to this" or something. But yes it's totally ooky for everyone to jump on board that mother is responsible for Norvo being a murderer for...being somewhat bossy?

There's something off about the whole thing. I found it weird that Ezri's mother also jumps to immediately assuming that the other brother definitely did murder the woman to save the company and then won't believe him when he (truthfully) says he didn't. Why do Ezri's family, who are presumably Federation citizens, act like they're in a melodrama about a Depression-era coal mine with ties to the mob? (And what, if anything, does that tell us about Ezri?)
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William B
Thu, Feb 14, 2019, 9:44am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

Last point: skimming through the episode list, there are a few edge cases in terms of the main cast involvement. Valiant is sort of a Nog-Jake story, but Nog has a much more active role (the Voice of Reason who gets thrown in the brig isn't that big a role); Once More Unto the Breach is more about Kor and Martok than Worf, though I think Worf is more central there than any of the regulars are in this one. Certainly there are episodes that give *as much* or even more attention to the non-regular as to the regular (e.g. The Die is Cast is about both Garak and Odo, not Odo with a side of Garak), it's just very rare for the regulars to be as decentred as this. Which is, again, formally interesting, more so than artistically interesting. I suspect it's easier to do these kinds of stories late in the series because the main cast are bound to be less protective of their status (partly because the show is ending so they aren't worried about losing their job, partly because, besides new arrival Nicole deBoer, they've been working hard for six and a half years and are probably exhausted) and there's less need to protect the show from cancellation for going too far off the promised "script" (of what or who gets the focus). Certainly Avery Brooks' centrality has wound down this season up to this point.
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William B
Thu, Feb 14, 2019, 9:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

(Just to add, re: Afterimage, that Garak has trauma about feeling that he is betraying Cardassia is not at all a problem, but it's given resolution within the episode in a less-than-compelling way, IMO; it's perhaps unfair to say it's because the episode prioritizes Ezri's story over his, rather than it just being an honest misjudgment of how to balance the two main stories in that episode.)
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William B
Thu, Feb 14, 2019, 9:29am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

It's also unusual that the episode focuses almost exclusively Nog and Vic, despite being recurring (non-regular) players. The main cast, especially Quark, have some key scenes but it's mostly a two-hander. This is fairly unique even within DS9 -- are there any previous episodes in which *none* of the regulars are all that central to the story? There are many episodes which focus heavily on recurring players (Dukat, Garak, Rom, Winn etc.) but usually it's in the context of a relationship with a main character (Kira or Sisko with Dukat or Winn, Bashir or Odo or various for Garak, Quark or O'Brien for Rom) or a full ensemble piece with both regulars and non-regulars playing big roles (as in the arc at the start of s6). This is easy to compare even to another episode this season: despite Garak being arguably a more central recurring player than Nog, Afterimage (again, arguably) plays Garak's trauma in a shallow way in order to sell the story of the just-introduced regular Ezri.
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William B
Thu, Feb 14, 2019, 9:22am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: It's Only a Paper Moon

@Springy, Iceman:

I think some of what sets this apart from *some* of Springy's examples is that, formally, this episode is in response not to a piece of "character background" either part of the "character bible" (as with Seven's Borg past or B'Elanna's childhood) or introduced within the episode, in a way consistent with the character's bible (ala Lwaxana's daughter's death), but an event specifically from a previous episode. Those Seven and B'Elanna examples (as with Odo's isolation as a changeling etc.) are part of the foundational structures of the characters rather than responses to particular events within the narrative, so they feel a little different.

On the other hand, B'Elanna dealing with the Maquis deaths in Extreme Risk, or Picard dealing with BoBW or The Inner Light in Family/Lessons, are follow-ups to events in previous episodes which aren't as much part of the basic set-up of the character, and are more similar to Nog here.

This isn't me saying that this episode is automatically better than an episode about Seven dealing with her Borg past, or Lwaxana dealing with a trauma that happened before the series began and about which we only found out about during that ep. This episode is a good episode because it's a good episode, and that it's a follow-up to Nog's injury in a previous episode isn't essential for that. For another DS9 example, I love Hard Time and that's all about a trauma which was introduced totally ad hoc at the episode's opening for the purposes of that story. It's more just interesting to note structurally what sets this episode apart from many other "consequences" eps in Trek.

There weren't any episodes directly about Worf dealing with K'Ehleyr's death, but the whole Worf/Alexander story in TNG was related to it, and New Ground and Firstborn especially seem to pay attention to how K'Ehleyr's death looms over how Worf and Alexander see each other.
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William Brown
Sun, Feb 10, 2019, 10:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Pria

I want to like this show soooooo much. But that little clip from "Friends" did me in.

There's just too much current pop culture in this show. It's ruining it for me.
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William Shakespeare
Sat, Feb 9, 2019, 11:44am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

@Dougie

Your comment cuts me to the quick, sir. Are such accusations leveled against Stephen King, hyper-prolific author of the 20-21st centuries? ;)
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William B
Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 7:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

@Iceman -- I agree. I like how Pabst sees himself as above the fray and you're totally right that Pabst seems to think that his own boss who objects is also going too far, and sees himself as the reasonable neutral observer of his boss and Benny's conflict. He seems to like "O'Brien's" idea of making a dream because he likes the idea of resolving the conflict, rather like Odo got his start settling disputes among Bajorans before Dukat approached him. Implicit though is that neither side's deeply held beliefs are actually all that important, compared to stability, and only he is "wise enough" to see that.
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William B
Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 4:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Bar Association

@Elliott, I go back and forth on this one, but I tend to concur with your overall assessment. It is mostly okay as a Quark & Rom story (see Robert's comment above), except for the bit when Rom seems fine with Brunt beating Quark up. It is a fair bit better than Family Business or Prophet Motive, as you allude to. The allegory is mostly confusing in practice ("confusing" is maybe generous). And the Worf stuff isn't thrilling but is (besides the inexplicable brawl) okay.
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William B
Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 1:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

@Chrome, that's not impossible as an interpretation. SPOILERS up to Nemesis, end of DS9:

Even if he is entirely over Troi, also, it might still feel like there are unresolved issues between him and Will, given that Worf didn't make a move on Troi in part because he didn't want to hurt Riker. And also while Worf felt more kinship with Jadzia than he would have with Deanna, I could see him, after having lost Jadzia, wondering whether it would have been better to get together with Deanna and maybe he would have avoided some of that heartache. Who knows, maybe Jadzia would still be alive -- she went to that temple where Dukat killed her to pray for getting pregnant with Worf's child, after all. I wonder if some part of Worf would wonder, deep down, if she would be alive if not for him. However -- this is speculation, and to be honest I don't really think that sounds like Worf, to me.

But I think it's also just that Nemesis wanted to do a "Worf drank too much Romulan ale" joke because it's funny (in theory) for super-strong bear Worf to be taken down by booze. That it's specifically Romulan ale is meant to tie into the Romulan threat. In fact if we want to give the movie credit (which I don't recommend), I think it's more about that Worf is finally letting himself open to Romulans -- and of course it violently disagrees with him, because he's hated Romulans his whole life. But by the end of the movie, we get the exchange:

WORF: The Romulans fought with honour.
RIKER: Yes they did, Mr. Worf.

So Worf's longstanding hatred of Romulans *as such* has finally dissipated and he can judge them individually, even though the notion hurts him (via the ale). End of character arc.

Because it's Nemesis, I mean, I'm not saying it's handled well or anything. But I think it's more about that than about Troi anyway, and even if it were about Troi, I don't think anyone on DS9 sabotaged Worf/Dax in order to, years later, make a joke about Worf getting sick from drinking because he's still pining for Troi.
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William B
Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 11:11am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

@Chrome, while it's true that might prevent some extreme Worf developments, I don't think Worf/Troi was really a factor in the movies. Besides Worf giving tacit approval for Riker/Troi in Insurrection, which feels to me to be subtly nodding to that triangle, W/T was never really referenced in the movies. Really besides requiring that Worf stay in Starfleet - - and I could imagine even that being worked around - - I don't think there were that many constraints placed by needing to continue to be in the TNG movies.
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William B
Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 10:19am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

Yeah, I'd say that by later in this season the two developed a rhythm that made more sense for them (think of the Change of Heart Runabout banter, or his pride at her winning at tongo), but the path to get there was very bumpy. Nor do I think the central character realizations that Peter mentions were really explicit; I think to an extent Dax was moving toward taking her life and others' feelings more seriously, and Worf was moving toward acknowledging that Being Klingon wasn't his top priority, but it feels like those elements never fully blossomed. You could say it was cut short by SPOILER but really they had all of s4-6 (since they were setting up the pairing from wotw, arguably) to work on it, and a lot of it should have been clear by YACI in order to justify the marriage not being a mistake.
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William B
Wed, Feb 6, 2019, 12:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: The Reckoning

@Springy,

There are a lot of things I don't like about this ep. One thing I think was a missed opportunity - - if they're going down this road anyway - - is to actually have Established Coward Jake react with some disappointment, fear or anger that his father was willing to sacrifice him like that. There's a suggestion that Sisko believed the prophets would protect Jake, but that's a big leap for the inscrutable and capricious wormhole aliens. Having Jake say "oh yeah, it was pure evil, I would die to kill that thing" is an easy out for Ben. It's not necessarily unbelievable that Jake would find that kind of courage, but I think for him to even go "I would have been willing to die, but you had no way to know that" would have been good.
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William B
Tue, Feb 5, 2019, 3:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

I think Vulcan and Betazed would serve similar purposes -- both as longstanding Federation planets, and as symbols of Federation values (logic, openness) that are threatened by the Dominion (and which the increasingly panicked Sisko loses over the course of the ep).
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