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Chris Nash
Sun, Jun 13, 2021, 8:32am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: The Forgotten

What a great run of episodes. I'm with Jammer in wondering why it took so long for this season to reach this kind of quality - perhaps the 26-episode season length is to blame. The danger with announcing a "season long arc" is that viewers will expect that arc to be advanced every week, and this goes double when looking back on episodic shows like Enterprise from today's almost totally serialized TV landscape. , Perhaps the Xindi weapon arc should have been compressed into half a season instead for better narrative cohesion and fewer fallow spots.

I also took note of Degra's slight pause after Trip remonstrates with him. Wonderfully played by Randy Oglesby (yes, even without dialogue and with his back to the camera!) - there really is nothing that Degra could have said to Trip in that moment, and you can see that he almost wants to anyway, but then the futility of it catches up to him.

The show has done a great job of expanding Degra's character over the past few episodes, and although I'm not sure I'd be so forgiving if someone told me they'd repeatedly wiped my memory and subjected me to what was effectively psychological torture for extended periods of time, I nonetheless see the parallels between Archer's attitude in "Strategem" and here: in that episode, he used deception to extract information, tried to gain Degra's trust under false pretenses. But now, he's being open and honest with him, and it's leading to a de-escalation of the Xindi conflict. This, to me, is a textbook demonstration of Star Trek's values and message.
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Chris L
Thu, May 27, 2021, 9:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

Holy cow, what a cluster. Not as bad as the Voyager episode where Paris and Janeway turned into Salamanders and had babies together, but approaching that level. One star, tops, and the worst episode of Orville.

Hard to know where to start, but mostly I agree with Jammer on this one 110%. Ignoring so much else, there was absolutely no logical reason to keep Bortus and Kelly interred. Just let them go and pursue no further alien contact. By keeping them, you only invite further alien interference with your culture which Admiral Danson inexplicably forbids, but was bound to eventually happen.

Also the ‘solution’ should have been seen through in about ten seconds by a race advanced as theirs. And it also presumes that their society would even remember that star or why Giliacs are considered ‘bad’. How good are our records from 3000 years ago? Solid enough to justify altering our foundational societal keystones based on an obviously fake star showing up one night? Yeah, no.

0.5./4. Mostly just because the zero star bar has been set very low indeed.
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Chris Long
Tue, May 18, 2021, 3:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Metamorphosis

Good lord people! Get off your high horses!
TOS treated women the way they mostly were and, more often than not, still are!

Of course, there are smart competent women in the world! There are more, I'll wager, who are simply scatter-brained and emotional exactly as portrayed in the series! I know! I've met several of them!

The notion of some gaseous alien entertaining notions (or even caring) about human wants, needs, or frailties is beyond stupid. IT'S AN INTELLIGENT ALIEN FART, PERHAPS ONE OF TRELANE'S, for all you know!
Hedford was gonna die. The alien ultimately saves her and gives the love she had been unconsciously craving while focusing on, and being good at her job!

TOS has had myriad examples of smart competent women. Uhura, even if Nomad disagrees was viewed by it as not to dissimilar to the male humans it encountered. It liked Spock's ordered mind, as it referred to him, far above everyone else!
There was Janet Lester, a famed scientist who wanted to be a man! I've met quite a few women exactly like her! Except that these days, engineering confuses the issue a lot more than it should.
There was Dr Mulhall, a very beautiful and competent scientist.
Even early on, the Psychiatrist, Dr Dehner was a major component in the story.

I'm actually surprised that the new Picard series doesn't have him wearing some chick uniform since that is how the world has unravelled from sanity lately.
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Chris Nash
Fri, May 7, 2021, 8:45am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Expanse

Season 2 finishes strong, after a string of rather pedestrian episodes with only one or two bright spots amongst them. One of my previous comments was that Enterprise was starting to feel like a continuation of Voyager and that - like its predecessor series - it had buried its engaging premise in favour of telling simple, "safe" sci-fi adventure stories from week to week. Seems like this was the feeling amongst the Paramount and UPN execs back in 2003 as well.

Speaking as someone watching through this series for the first time, I do hope this Xindi arc helps galvanise Enterprise a bit. I can practically see the producers' logic now: "A seasons-long war arc worked great over on DS9, fans loved it!". And of course there's the 9/11 parallel: I'd imagine that this had been in the back of the producers' minds for the last two seasons. To put it into context, Enterprise made its debut only two weeks after the attacks in New York.

As an episode, though - this one is a bit too heavy on the table-setting and throws a ton of exposition at us too, having the Suliban and Future Guy set up to hand out plot-relevant information and then bookending it with the Klingons, still pissed off that Archer's escaped them (twice!). It ends up feeling very disjointed, but it just about gets by on the strength of its characterisation, particularly Trip. I thought the scenes between him and Malcolm were very strong, especially when Malcolm tries to console his clearly grief-stricken friend and Trip's having none of it. Sounds like the kind of thing that a ship's counselor would be useful for....
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Chris Nash
Thu, May 6, 2021, 10:40am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Bounty

Enterprise has generally done a lot better than Voyager in following up on the consequences of past episodes. Here we see a direct consequence of Archer escaping from Rura Penthe back in "Judgment" - the Klingons are pissed off and want him back! And that works, sort of, in a short-term kind of way.

But this isn't Voyager, where nobody will be going back to the Delta Quadrant to follow up on Janeway's diplomatic SNAFUs. Enterprise may be a lone explorer, but it's not completely cut off from Earth, and there are greater, long-term consequences to think of: like the captain of Earth's (de facto) flagship being a fugitive from Klingon justice. What implications does that have on Earth's diplomatic relations with the Kilingon Empire? Granted, this being a prequel, we know that the Federation and the Klingons will be at loggerheads for 150 years yet, but you'd think that Earth's diplomatic core would be tearing their hair out over Archer's various escapades.

So while I'm broadly supportive of the series's efforts to follow up on previous adventures - it feels like in this respect, Berman and Braga took the feedback from Voyager on board - Enterprise is still too episodic for its impact to feel "real", like DS9 did with its frequent focus on galactic politics. And that's a shame, because the whole premise of the series lends itself to these kinds of questions.
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Chris Nash
Tue, Apr 27, 2021, 8:22am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Horizon

@Mark - I think he left Horizon four years ago and spent two of them at Starfleet Academy (or wherever this century's Starfleet trains its officers - Archer mentioned that Starfleet wasn't chartered when he was a young man making career decisions, which would have been only ~25 years prior, so it might be too young of a service branch to have the dedicated "Academy" - but I digress). Then two years aboard Enterprise.

I'd imagine that the promotion track for Starfleet officers is less well defined, too, given that Enterprise is their only long-range explorer and it's out charting the galaxy for an indeterminate amount of time. Crew rotation is at least another 18 months away at this point, as it'd take them just as long to return to Earth as it has done travelling away from it. Enterprise is more like Voyager in that respect - it's definitely got a feeling of "all alone in this big bad galaxy" that Voyager did pretty well. (But then, that just contributes to how similar the two shows feel in terms of their scope and ambition - see my comment on "The Crossing" earlier this season.)
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Chris Nash
Sun, Apr 25, 2021, 10:22am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Crossing

Couldn't agree more with this review and the prevailing sentiment. As soon as the aliens were revealed to be hostile after all, and thus Archer was totally justified in being suspicious of their motives after all, I was yelling at my TV. What a waste of a good premise.

All season, Enterprise has been taking the path of least resistance, throwing high concept after high concept at the wall and seeing if something sticks. It hasn't pushed for greatness; it hasn't done anything unexpected or unpredictable or even *interesting*. It feels like a continuation of Voyager from season 5 onwards - which is perfectly understandable given that Berman and Braga took the lead at that point, but not in any way a compliment. Voyager was well established after four years, and its run from seasons 5-7 was competent and entertaining for the most part. But here, with Enterprise only a season and a half in, it feels like a squandering of the premise on episodes that could have been done with any of the Trek casts. I don't want "good solid entertainment" from Enterprise: I want something new, something different. Otherwise they might as well have just made two more seasons of Voyager.
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Chris Nash
Thu, Apr 15, 2021, 7:54am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

Like the previous episode, "Vanishing Point", this one feels as if it's trying to crib from previous Trek episodes. A Kriosian woman in a stasis pod? Well that's obviously meant to evoke the (far better) TNG episode "The Perfect Mate", where Famke Janssen played a Kriosian empathic metamorph who became 'bonded' with Captain Picard.

But here, it's like the writers belatedly realised that if they continued any further they'd be making a shot-for-shot remake of that episode, and decided instead to swerve into a dismal escape-from-captivity plot, starring the most inept criminals this side of those Ferengi from last season. It's perfectly serviceable if you like this kind of thing, but it's just fluff. It's meaningless, and by the time Archer and T'Pol arrived to oh-so-conveniently rescue Tucker from one of the aliens (who seems to be immune to face-punching for some reason!), I found myself wondering "is that it? Is the episode over? What was the point?"
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Chris Nash
Wed, Apr 14, 2021, 8:31am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Vanishing Point

I don't think I can say any more than what's already been said regarding how this episode riffs of of half a dozen previous Trek outings. I found annoyingly derivative in many ways, but with flashes of brilliance. Jammer's right to call out its psychological character study aspects; Enterprise is at its best when it's developing its characters (which is why I very much enjoyed the previous episode, "Singularity", as it was mainly about interactions between the main cast).

I realised early on that the whole scenario could be a dream: the scene on the bridge, where Hoshi fails to translate the alien language and the other crew implore her to "just talk to them", is practically a repeat of the scene in "Fight or Flight" where she had to do the same thing with the aliens there. Only this time, it doesn't all work out happily, and she's shown-up in her area of expertise by a no-name crewman. I thought this fit very well with the dream-like nature of her experience - dreams, or nightmares, often feature rehashes of things that happened in real life, and especially memorable moments that we naturally dwell upon.
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Chris Nash
Tue, Mar 9, 2021, 7:43am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Detained

If I were the Tandarans, I'd be fuming. And I'd probably have a small fleet halfway to Earth, all set to demand Archer's head on a pike. But that's true of the half a dozen planets that Enterprise has pissed off over the course of its mission, I guess. The Vulcans must have a scary enough interstellar reputation that everyone thinks twice about attacking one of their allies.

By-the-numbers prison break episode. Fun enough, neat action sequences, but too many loose ends. I did enjoy T'Pol's call to Grat's office, offering him dinner and distracting him with a massive data transfer - as soon as the signal breaks up, her face goes from "earnest and pleasant" to an expression of total disgust (controlled, of course) at having to act so much like a human!
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Chris Nash
Mon, Mar 8, 2021, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Oasis

Always nice to see Rene Auberjonois on Trek. That's two former main-cast actors in a row, with Ethan Phillips on the last one.

Sean - I think the references to the Xyrillians in this episode was intended to explain why Trip can repair their systems. T'Pol needles him on it in the context of not falling in love with strange alien women, and I think that the "twist" - that they're holograms - was intended to have been foreshadowed by that reference too, as the last time Enterprise encountered sophisticated holography was back in "Unexpected" with the Xyrillians too.

And I spotted Annie Wersching straight away as I'd just finished watching her on Runaways. Not sure on what photos you're seeing, but she was very attractive in that series.
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Chris L
Thu, Feb 4, 2021, 1:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Dauphin

Kinda sweet story. Wesley grates, but the episode is a good one for him and takes him at face value for what he is and explores that: a naive kid.

Guinan saying “Shut up, kid” is worth an extra half star alone.

My main criticism is this felt like this would have functioned as a solid Wesley B-plot for some other main plot, but instead it was an entire episode.

2.5/4
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Chris L
Sat, Jan 30, 2021, 9:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

Okay. My one major nitpick that really threw me for a loop: If Julianna left Soong, how did the chip he left in her head know about that? How did Noonian provide any insight into the problems that led to their splitting up? Did he track her down, deactivate her, and then update the chip and leave?

Or did he presume that she was about to leave him and put that in the chip? But it seems from the hologram that he’s had some time to reflect on what his mistake was, and if she hadn’t left him yet.... why not act on that insight?

Anyway, done nitpicking. 2.5/4. Would be 3 other than that which struck me as a major plot hole and took me out of the episode entirely.
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Chris Lopes
Thu, Jan 28, 2021, 2:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"Jammer, how can you love Star Trek this much and be a capitalist? :)"

The Great Bird himself was quite enamored with the capitalist system. So are the current owners (looks at CBS All Access item on bank statement) of Trek. Such is the difference between fantasy and reality. :)
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Chris
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 10:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Jammer, you're no fuddy-duddy. You know what the hell good entertainment is and is not. Discovery is not even bad entertainment-- it's terrible, incoherent and nonsensical fantasy. It's made by children, for children. It's also pretty hateful for a show called Star Trek. Yum yum. Just ask that guy Gene who got swept up off the floor. All the tears for fake promotions, but no tears for an officer who lived his dream in Starfleet and tried his best in life.

That baggage you mentioned comprises all the past examples--and there are numerous, even uploaded on YouTube for FREE (hint hint, Hollywood)--of Star Trek done right. In 50+ years, the franchise hasn't always been great. There are terrible examples even amongst the first 3 seasons of it (Spock's Brain)! But the GREAT examples are there--have been there--for DECADES now. Doing your homework is boring. But doing your homework actually does matter sometimes. Is it so wrong at this point to say: "Hey writers, go check out those all-timer examples and take some notes on 'em" hahaha? These creatives don't seem to care about making timeless art that will stand strong for generations to come. It's about making a few dollars off of already-uber distracted audiences. SO glad marketing departments are in charge of writing rooms these days.

Personally speaking, my hope is that some young hotshot college student out there, who perhaps appreciates retro and is inspired by the great, timeless stories of yesteryear (ya know, ones that contain real poignant allegories that make you think, universal themes, deep character growth that's earned), watches these modern day video game programs and says FUCK THIS. Someone, someday, will be inspired to do better when they're in the Hollywood captain's chair, right? You're telling me there's a chance??
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Chris L.
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 10:55am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

What I find most galling and emblematic of the poor choices this season:

This season was ostensibly about rebuilding a floundering Federation. What planets are actually still members? Do we know of any for sure? I don’t recall them ever telling us or showing us anything about who remains in the Federation. The only planet we know for sure at the end is Trill, who has rejoined apparently.

And why, if Earth is no longer a member, are all the people at Starfleet command apparently human? Nobody on Earth even seemed to know where the HQ was, so how do they get these recruits? And why is the President (I am assuming Cronenburg is the President, which is another poor storytelling choice. Just who is that guy?) human as well?
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Chris W
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 12:26am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

The comments so far are amazing! Consistently on point and very entertaining! Thanks so much everyone!
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Chris L.
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 10:36am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

And with that, it’s over.

The inside of the ship is mostly hollow space filled with turbo lifts. Who knew?

Is the sphere data gone now with the DOT dying? It rebooted, but did it retain all of the data? I hope not, because it was basically a deus ex machina and only served to remind me of the dumb decisions in Season 2.

I think I am done with Disco now. It has had its moments, but all in all it isn’t worth the time investment. There are better shows on television. I love ST, but this is just skating by on the name and I am tired of waiting for CBS to clue in and hire some writers that respect the franchise enough to at least try and understand it some.

Is Saru gone then? Like, not going to be in the next season because he’s gone back to Caminar? I hope not. It would be fitting for this show to get rid of anyone that dares take the spotlight off of Burnham from time to time.

I will wait until Season 4 is over and some season reviews are in before I decide to continue watching. I do like the uniforms though.
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Chris Lopes
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

"If you replace all characters by white straight males, the burn being caused by a kid or the EC wanting suddenly to join the federation is still bad writing."

Yep, just as lame only in a monochromatic way.
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Chris Lopes
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

"Nevertheless, Discovery's many narrative problems have far more to do with its faux-Star Wars action, paucity of ideas, and anemic characterization than they do with checking off demographic boxes."

Definitely, but the writers appear to see checking off the boxes as a form of absolution for their narrative sins. The box checking isn't causing the story telling failure, it's being used to cover up for it. Unfortunately while they're virtue signalling, they aren't telling a coherent story.
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Chris L.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

@Dreubarik

In my own head from now on, I am going to refer to this episode as “The one where Michael Corleone goes to the UN and applies for representation”
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Chris Lopes
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 2:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

"If the trailer can be believed next week will be lots of shooting and action, also crying."

That'll be a change of pace. ;)
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Chris L.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 10:21am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

I should add to my above comment, I also have an issue with calling whatever the Emerald Chain does as "capitalism". It's mostly just anarchic collection of planets ruled by an iron fist. There are no discernible guiding principles or laws at all other than "Don't piss off Osyrra!" Osyrra seems to fund and take interests in things only that she can personally exploit. The very idea of there being a structure to it beyond a criminal organization through me for a loop.
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Chris L.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 10:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

@Dreubarik-

"- I will add that I am somewhat distressed by the answer that the writers seem to be providing: That the Federation must indeed accept capitalism as a necessary evil. To be clear, I do agree that this may be the case today (though I reiterate that the writers don't understand what "capitalism" is) but it is concerning that such a moral is being applied with little discussion to a utopian future shaken by a natural-resource disaster. It is the latest example that showcases that NuTrek writers may be openly progressive, but they are also unconsciously deeply neoliberal. "

Yes, this. Rare event natural disasters are also what capitalism does very poorly (generally speaking), since there is no competitive advantage to prepare for every conceivable thousand year event. That is where centralized governments and 'socialism' do better. Not trying to turn this thread into a debate about the relative merits of either one, but if the show runners want to bring these issues up, they should at least understand these concepts better.

This episode was better. That said, it was very hard for me to suspend disbelief after Osyra revealed she just wanted to open peace negotiations. Seriously? The federation is obviously interested in peace and stability and always would have taken that meeting. You use that olive branch and some concessions to get your hands on the spore drive through negotiations. Not steal it and then come to the table when you already have everything you need. She wants the good name of the federation? Why the heck does she need that? She has a spore drive and can possibly replicate it and do whatever she wants!

Also, I guess the magic mushroom highway is fully healed and impervious to continued jumping now? I seem to recall a plot thread from one of the other seasons that each jump was killing the network a little bit more. Maybe it's fine for Disco to jump occasionally all on its lonesome, but it seems a whole fleet of them would be bad, considering the effect was measurable with just one ship. Or was it only jumping into the MU that decayed the network? It's so hard to keep up with the nonsense....

This season started off stronger, but went off on a weird tangent or two and lost my interest. It's finishing stronger again, but I am tired of it. I think next season, I will just wait till the end of the season and only buy one month of CBS and watch it all at once. I'd support it more fully and keep my subscription if the show were a bit better.
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Chris
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 2:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

"A season of initial promise seems to be disintegrating before our eyes, just as crunch time has arrived."
Just like season 1 and 2. And just like Picard did. I can't stop watching but it hurts.
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