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Fri, Jan 29, 2021, 5:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Call to Arms

After doing a big rewatch of Voyager (well, the half or so of episodes that are worthwhile), I'm starting some DS9 rewatch here.

What strikes me most in flipping from Voyager to DS9 and this episode in particular is how much richer these characters and their relationships with each other are. Scene after scene of relationships that feel real and particulad and informed by past experiences in a way Voyager could never do-- I love those characters and some of the relationships, but they operate at a much simpler level (in part because there is less continuity and therefore development, but also because characters are put in fewer stories that even seem
to allow them to grow in the first place).

In fact, even in a fairly minor scene like the exchange between Dax and Martok when he arrives to the rescue, and forgetting all the particulars of their past relationship (which I don't think was much apart from Kurzon Klingon stuff)--- there was a richness to their pretty simple exchange that came from actors knowing the nuances of their (I think somewhat) limited history.

And of course all of the wonderful material informing Dukat's personal relationship to the siege and sisko.

Anyway, in my mind DS9 is the best trek because of the storytelling, but I can't say that it's my favorite crew. For whatever reason that is, its certainly the richest one. I guess I just like my Voyager junk food...
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Steve McCullagh
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 3:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I will happily watch These Are The Voyages or the one where Beverly gets jiggy with ghosts, on a loop for all eternity, before I watch one second of Discovery ever again.
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Steve McCullagh
Thu, Jan 21, 2021, 1:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

In the entire history of Star Trek, from the 60s to the 20s, there is nothing I detest more than Mirror Universe Bullshit. And this was no different.
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Tue, Dec 29, 2020, 9:35am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Persistence of Vision

I liked the episode. 2.5 or 3 stars sounds good to me. I particularly liked the ending and the facf that we don't get anything more from the alien than "because I can".
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Mon, Dec 28, 2020, 3:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

I liked the first half, 3 stars on its own and could have been the first half of a standout episode. But the second half just got progressively disappointing-- once we got the cake line, I just felt a shrug. I think I liked it more in middle school. But It all just ends with a shrug for me (and how did voyager get in that sphere?)

Fortunately, since voyager isn't particularly into growth and change and continuity and such, it's not like this is a blown landing for things leading up to it.

And my, how tired the borg have gotten.

2.5 stars sounds right. I love Voyager, but it's not a great show. Cut out 1/3 of the episodes on rewatch, turn off your brain to anything beyond the episode itself, and it's my favorite to watch for whatever reason.

If I want something that does more, DS9 and BSG await. I like Voyager for Voyager. As a series? 3 stars? 2.5?
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Sun, Dec 27, 2020, 2:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

Definitely a contender for best episode (along with Scorpion and perhaps Timeless). It was even better than I remembered-- in my mind this was the is the doctor a person episode, and while that part is the ultimately the core, I was surprised by the ground it covers before it settles into that. Particularly, I reeeeeallly liked crew members like Paris confronting the doctor about how he must see them. Neelix was put to great use in delicately coaxing the doctor into the right action. And all of the little conversations with family were so well done (and concise and efficient) that I was kind of impressed that the episode was able to make room comfortably for these side things. Seven's was great.

So the comparisons to measure of a man I think are a bit unfair-- that's just one component of the episode (really just its climax) and just one really interesting outcome
of doc'a holonovel. It's handled in its own way and is done well, but the episode is more than that!
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Sun, Nov 29, 2020, 11:52am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Barge of the Dead

Of course Neelix is the first thing she sees in hell. 4 stars for that haha.

Strong episode. It's not among my personal favorites, but I do think it's high quality.
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Sun, Nov 29, 2020, 11:03am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Survival Instinct

This is a strong episode on its terms, but there are a lot of bits that I had to suspend disbelief because they were unconvincing of the Borg. I'm a huge Ron Moore fanboy, but I don't think he had the best grasp over what the Borg were (although a lot of good ideas for what they could be or how they could be used-- see First Contact's Queen for a great and successful example of something unborgian in nature but a good addition anyway). I had a hard time with hiw quickly individuality seemed to come on once stranded, how Seven emerged as a queen-like leader among the drones, how the collective mind became collective agreement around a suggestion and not actually collective thought. And though I liked the one drone's point that in the collective all the voices were white noise and with 3 it is too loud and intrusive, it seems to suggest greater mental independence of drones in the collective-- their mind in opposition to a hive buzz, not an equal part of it.

But, on its own the episode is strong. And at this point I think it's ok and only natural that some of the canonical ideas of the borg are fudged or compromised in order to tell new types of worthwhile stories. Voyager will keep doing this with the borg, and from here on they aren't necessarily worthwhile compromises. This one is.

On a broader scope, it's sure starting to look like borg reclaiming some form of individuality is quite common (this, Unity, Seven herself just to start). Here it comes on particularly strongly and quickly. But, the episode itself is a real winner and worth it.
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Fri, Nov 27, 2020, 11:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

I love Kim's story about his ancestor piloting a ship with crew in stasis and Seven just sits there without commenting that that is exactly what she did in One. And Tom says "I'd rather be in stasis" when he did everything he could to get out of that stasis.

I don't think this story was a winking reference, which is an impressive bit of non-tinuity...

Anyway, I do like this episode a lot.
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Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 7:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Fifth Season Recap

It's interesting diving back into Voyager in 2020. Having a show (BSG) that delivers on the missed opportunities of the premise, and being many years into a period where tv js by default serialized... I actually view the episodic low continuity reset nature of Voyager as an asset in a way I didn't before. It allows for a lot of things you can't have in a serialized show dedicated to lasting effects, growth, more realism, etc. BSG is a far superior show to Voyager, but Voyager has a comfort food familiar quality and the opportunity to pursue things it couldn't if it had to follow through on consequences-- it can do more (albeit with less depth). Turns out it now fills a void I find for a show that does exist to entertain an hour at a time.

One section of this season review that stood out to me was the remark that Voyager would be remembered for what it did as a series, not just on the strength of its individual episodes. This is to an extent true-- and I think character arcs like the doc and seven and certain recurrent themes across the seasons were worthwhile. But, I actually think it's better assessed as a collection of one offs, an average or sum of its parts. Indeed, in a time when seasons are maybe half the length of a Voyager season... I think this show is a delight if you just completely omit the bottom third-to-half. There are a toooon of good episodes over 7 seasons of usually 26 episodes. I assess the show ultimately on the many episodes I would rewatch, not on every episode it produced.

Of course, even doing that it has fewer great top tier episodes than DS9 or TNG. But, I come to Voyager more for the comfort food.

I've always "liked" Voyager more than Jammer's reviews seem to indicate he did (not that he actively disliked it), but probably would have averaged the same star ratings per season with minor adjustments up or down. It's not that I thought it was a better show than Jammer seemed to, just liked it more. With 2020 eyes, however, I see certain "problems" or shortcomings of the show that I once held (and are noted throughout Jammer's reviews) are not necessarily the defects I thought at the time. What I want from the show has changed somewhat, and assessment of a show is as much about what we bring to the table as what the show does.

Anyway, this seemed like an appropriate place to dump my pseudo-rewatch thoughts.
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Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 11:17am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Mal: In the vein of what you just posted I offer this:

Why do I have the distinct feeling this season will go the same path post-Wolfe Andromeda did...
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Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 7:44am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I’ll be passing on this show as well. The fact that CBS shut off comments, likes/dislikes on the trailer demonstrates that I’m probably not the only one. Honestly, what’s the point of doing that? All it does is show you’ve got something to hide. Ever hear of the Streisand effect?
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Sat, Jun 27, 2020, 8:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: The Plan

On rewatch, hard to stay too engaged while watching. Nothing really negative to say other than that it is basically scaffolding for some good though unnecessary bits. I'm watching the credits now, and I actually really like this reworked version of the theme song. This is oddly my favorite part of the Plan now.

2.5 seems right, though on the lower end.
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Steve McCullagh
Thu, Jun 18, 2020, 3:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

There really are some hilarious posts in this thread. "WHERE IS THE SCI FI???" Yes, there is no sci-fi to be found in this episode about alien-human hybrid babies in space...

Great episode, four stars.
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Mon, Jun 15, 2020, 5:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: ANDR S1: Star-Crossed

Fun fact: Michael Shanks (better known as Dr. Daniel Jackson on Stargate SG1) would later go on to marry Lexa Doig; they met while filming this episode.

I started watching SG1 recently and thought the name "Michael Shanks" sounded familiar; a quick Wikipedia search turned up the above nugget. The more you know...
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Sun, Jun 14, 2020, 10:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

Some comments on the series as a whole on rewatch:

-Tricia Helfer really is a good actress, and it only took the writers until seeing her work in Pegasus to open up the opportunities she got in seasons 3 and 4

-BSG has always been my favorite show, but it was even better than I remembered. Watching it as it aired I think let me develop a lot of expectations and fears around being let down and such. Issues like the reduction of cylon/hybrid babies, for example, were a bigger issue for me at the time. And really, those bumps really aren't big deals if you take the pressure I placed as a rabid viewer off

-I've regarded season 4 as the best, but in my mind it was like 4.0 was perfect and 4.5 had a lot of amazing but also issues and grinding gears. On rewatch, perhaps 4.0 is better simply because its floor episode-quality was higher, but 4.5 probably has even more high points, a lot of beauty and poignancy in its few episodes, and (as mentioned) issues like the children or not enough aftermath from the mutiny really didn't bother me the way I feared they might.

-I'd rank seasons: 4,1,2,3 I suppose. Season three is hard to rank because the opening and closing arcs are possibly the high points of the show, and new caprica reverberates throughout in ways that elevate lesser episodes. But the middle goes so long without a standout, has a few clunkers, and even the good episodes have some issue or other.

My thoughts on the best episodes:

1. Tie: Crossroads and Sometimes a Great Notion
3. Maelstrom
4. Occupation/Precipice
5. Kobol's Last Gleaming
6. Revelations
7. Pegasus
8. Exodus part 2
9. 33
10. The Oath? Downloaded? Daybreak? Coming to Dinner? Home?
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Sun, Jun 14, 2020, 10:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

Nice to have a rewatch buddy!

Just finished Daybreak all in one go. It's really quite beautiful and I think its best moments are the ones it takes for characters and imagery over plot. Watched as a whole, part 1 is a seamlessly satisfying part of the whole.

I do have to admit racetrack's hand of god nuking was a bit much, and unnecessary. Similarly, Gaius sayinf at least twice that clearly there is a "god" whatever that is--- I believe that is true for this universe, and I believe Baltar has come to believe, yet somehow it came across a bit like Moore trying to speak to the audience. Not needed.

Finally, as much as I have tried to get on board with it in the past, I cannot buy the decision (especially so swift and easy) to settle earth in the way they do. It's to the episode's credit that this last issue doesn't actually hurt it as much as it could. The series as plot is over once they jump to earth, and for me the rest is just providing a setting for goodbyes and nice character moments. A setting where the images of hope and life matter more than the logic. And the quick decision is itself a thorn in my side watching, that speed lets us have 2 full acts to make various goodbyes with the time they deserve. By the end of the episode, I no longer care about that thorny issue, and I'm just really satisfied with the character endings it provided.

I also like the flashbacks more each time I watch.

And that flash forward to present and All Along the Watchtower robotics montage is the perfect way to end the show.

3.5 for the whole, but a rating for a single 3 hour episode that serves as the finale is hard to do. In a lot of ways this is 4 stars and among the very best of battlestar. It's just difficult to maintain that for 3 continuous hours, and when *everything* must be addressed and you can't funnel off the clunkier bits to lesser episodes (see Deadlock).

I love the way the finale leaves me feeling, and leaves me feeling about characters and the show in particular.
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Sun, Jun 14, 2020, 2:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Islanded in a Stream of Stars

Like Matthew Martin, I've been rewatching during the pandemic (I've stretched it over 4 weeks though!) and I would echo his entire post

For me this is a really strong 3 star episode, and I'd give the other half star to the Oath.

Boomer is an endlessly fascinating character each time we catch up with her. She is torn apart by feelings of betrayal by the Cylons (for discovering she IS a cylon) and by the humans (for killing her etc). She copes by trying to cling being human (Downloaded) or by going hard on loyalty with the old
line Cavil group after none of that works (like with New Caprica). Here at the end, she's still convulsing across all these loyalties and betrayals outside and within herself. She's really quite broken, and I have appreciated the mess in contrast to Athena or the Final Five in reconcling (with effort and struggle) who they are. Not everyone in every situation can.
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Sat, Jun 13, 2020, 10:24am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Deadlock

On rewatch, I like this episode a lot more than I remembered. I had built it up in my head as the one (though huge) flaw in the fourth season. In retrospect, the biggest issue was my expectations.

I actually really like the characterization of Ellen in this episode now. I see more nuance as she struggles (failingly) to be the Revered Final Fiver of No Exit despite circumstances triggering all the Ellen defects of character. To me, it's a great expression of how human and fallible these revered ones are. And I like the circumstances of Ellen's life can produce versions of her from early on in the show as well as the new Ellen with all her experience and memories-- and yet all parts are in her, waiting to be triggered under the issues of love and Saul that really get her. She can handle all the loss and Cavil's actions in about the best way possible, but when it comes to this one ever-trouble area, it all flares up (even as she tries to maintain the exterior). I also like that when Ellen votes to go with the Cylons and that pure cylon is the way to go, she is doing it for the "petty and vile" "human" defects---Saul is right that human or cylon alone is no good, and together is better and they can temper each other.

I also liked Baltar's story and the rest of the episode fine.

I don't know that the loss of the baby now reads as an appropriate development, but I don't have any objections to it now. A little distance from my expectations at the time, and kind of 180 on my reaction to Ellen this episode... and I do like this episode lot more.

Not to say the episode is entirely successful or without issues. 2.5 I think. Definitely better than Black Market, Passage, Day in the Life, and Hero (setting aside Tigh's scenes there).
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Sat, Jun 13, 2020, 12:30am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Blood on the Scales

3.5 from me. Yeah, it doesn't have the space to address all the fallout and remaining mess. Yes, that is a bit of a mark against the season. But the episode itself is really strong. I can buy that this all exploded suddenly and, to an extend, ends as quickly as it came (all in a matter of hours) and that a lot of traitors were swept up before realizing the real consequences and mess of it all (like Kelly).

I am behind Zarek shooting the Quorom. It's in him and he's been constantly frustrated with Gaeta not just killing Adama immediately (even in part 1) and the dangers in letting those of the former authority remain. Also, I think there is a distinction between the Quorom and the People-- I don't see an issue with Tom killing them and still fighting to persuade the people. Indeed, they are part of the old regime and seem to remain loyal there. Let the people have new representatives who stand for them rather than Roslin. Not a smart move, but one that I think makes sense for Zarek as he digs himself deeper to dig himself out.

And Roslin yelling. Amazing.
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Fri, Jun 12, 2020, 11:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: The Oath

On rewatch, I'd give this 4 stars. Watching seasons 3 and 4 knowing where Gaeta winds up here has made it seem
incredibly inevitable-- some serious steady character work and fulfillment here. I also loved the touch of Gaeta sitting down and frakkin with starbuck in the mess hall like she did in Collaborators. Both stained and untrusted outsiders at the time.

I always smile and chuckle when Roslin says "Frakking Zarek- he always had dangerous ideas!" I mean, yes...
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Fri, Jun 12, 2020, 11:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: A Disquiet Follows My Soul

I don't know if this is 2.5 or 3 stars for me, but I know I always like it and appreciate the breathing room to linger on some of the things Jammer notes as issues. In my mind it's a bit like Final Cut-- I always enjoy it, there are some really good moments, nothing really bad. But don't have to go to the mat for it either.
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Thu, Jun 11, 2020, 1:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Sine Qua Non

On rewatch, the Romo confrontation still makes me groan but the rest is good. I really like that when Adama handed things over to Tigh, he told Tigh to let Athena have her daughter back. He's done with the bullshit separating people from their sine qua nons.
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Steve McCullagh
Sun, Jun 7, 2020, 5:55am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Spirit Folk

As an Irishman myself, there are few things more annoying or insulting than when American shows try to do "Oirish" episodes. This episode (and "Fair Haven" before it) were absolutely awful.
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Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 1:06am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: Razor

On rewatch, very enjoyable and solid. I didn't find the redundant nature to be a negative, because to me that was just scaffolding for seeing characters to make choices that are fleshed out here. I watched the extended version, which has longer segments flashing back to the first war-- this created some difficulty in keeping the emphasis on Cain and Pegasus (by the end, it felt like it wasn't really the main story at all-- which is ok, because all the other material
was good) and the time switching could be a little disruptive. Actually, taking the pressure off of this as The Pegasus/Cain Story and giving more material to the interesting present day (and first cylon war bit with Adama) was kind of a good thing-- I didn't feel like I needed more from Pegasus/Cain. Also, removing pressure of being the only content btwn seasons 3 and 4 and rewatching this as just a kind of Bonus... well, it helped too.

Strong 3.
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