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Chris Lopes
Tue, Sep 7, 2021, 11:17pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S2: Mugato, Gumato

"We need more of that kind of thing and fewer masturbating mugatos."

That's not a phase I ever thought would have to be uttered.
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Chris Nash
Fri, Jul 16, 2021, 6:29am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S4: These Are the Voyages...

And so Enterprise ends with its infamous "it was all a holodeck program" episode. I don't think I can say more than what's already been said, in great detail, above. But I'll do it anyway....

Riker and Troi don't belong here, and having them steal the spotlight from the main cast in their _series finale_ was just a dick move. Berman said later, "it was the only time that Scott Bakula was pissed at me" - if that's really the case then I admire Bakula's self-restraint! I appreciated the attention to detail on the recreated Enterprise-D sets and CG ship, but this episode just feels like it should have been a one-off mid season affair. I'm reminded of Voyager's "Pathfinder", where the main cast are sidelined in favour of an episode about a TNG guest star (and Troi was there too!) - but in that case, it worked well and actually advanced what little plot Voyager had.

Trip's death: contrived, unnecessary, narratively empty, dramatically bereft. It feels like it was shoehorned, badly, into the rescue-Shran's-daughter story (which again could have filled a mid-season hour instead of being the _series finale_ - I get the feeling that they just wanted to have Jeffrey Combs there and needed a plot for him.) It doesn't even follow logically from that plot: Shran says "their ships only do warp two, they'll never catch us", but suddenly they do! And are able to board the ship without any security stopping them, are in just the right place to confront Archer and Trip, and then Trip decides that blowing himself up is the right thing to do - instead of, for example, leading them through the ship on a wild goose chase while Reed gets a bunch of MACOs geared up to take them all down?

A boneheaded, unnecessary "self-sacrifice" like that just isn't noble, and it just ends up feeling phony, like the writers determined that Trip had to die and just moved the characters into place like game pieces to make that happen. A good writer would never let Trip do this; there are far too many examples where he's gotten into and out of worse scrapes with barely a bruise.

I'm with the majority, who prefer to think of Terra Prime as the "true" finale - and since we actually got to hear Archer's speech at the end of that one, it feels much more like a finale than this misbegotten mess of a "tribute".

I don't regret watching this series. It's not as bad as everyone claims it to be, but at the same time, the purported "highs" of the season 3 Xindi arc and the "let's clean up TOS inconsistencies" approach to season 4 didn't always "hit" for me either. Goodbye, Enterprise. It's been a long road- sorry, it's been a fun ride.
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Chris Nash
Sun, Jul 11, 2021, 8:50am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S4: Demons

When Phlox first said "I can't explain it, but the baby is Trip and T'Pol's child", my first thought was that this has happened before - last season, in fact at roughly the same point in the season, with "E2". They never did find out what happened to them. So (a) there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for this child, and (b) they've gone through this "omg I can't believe I had a kid with *you*" thing before!

And did Trip and T'Pol really think they could go undercover at this mining facility when they're widely known as the heroes who saved Earth from the Xindi? If there's anyone who would know their faces, it'd be a group of radical humanity-first xenophobes!

I enjoyed the various callbacks (forwards?) to TOS - Colonel Green, the United Earth Space Probe Agency - but overall the episode is very by-the-numbers. To be honest, that's almost my estimation of the whole season. Manny Coto did his best to give the series a new purpose and the two or three episode arcs worked very well for telling more detailed stories, but I kind of wish the new purpose was more than just "hang around Earth and clean up inconsistencies between Enterprise and TOS". If a season 5 had come about, I would have liked to have seen the ship go back to its mission of exploration, perhaps with Shran or Hernandez as more regular companions to Enterprise on its mission.
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Chris Nash
Thu, Jul 8, 2021, 7:48am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S4: Bound

Even ignoring the puerile objectification of the Orion women - and I thought this show had grown out of this kind of plot or set-piece when it ditched the gratuitous decon chamber gel rubbing scenes - this episode is a snoozefest. Its script is terribly written, dialogue outside of the Trip and T'Pol interactions is laughably bad, and on top of that, it's mostly a repeat of "Raijin" from last season.

The "Trip transfers to Columbia" subplot needed to be a lot longer than three episodes in order to be believable, as well. If I were Captain Hernandez, I'd have declined his transfer request straight off - it's unreasonable to expect an organisation like Starfleet to bow to every whim of its officers, especially if it would require a reorganisation of key personnel on two ships. Kelby is right to be aggrieved!
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Chris L.
Tue, Jul 6, 2021, 11:41am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: Rejoined

Just to add a comment on the whole Trill rules not making sense…

I always thought the rule about reassociation was only relevant between two joined Trills. Granted, Bashir’s clunky exposition about separating from former children and such undercuts this, but that could be because he is a human and doesn’t actually know what he is talking about.

I could understand why they wouldn’t want symbionts hanging out exclusively with each other for centuries. As for the rest of unjoined Trills and other “mortal” species, they don’t seem to care as much. That makes sense, given that taking up with a former lover that is unjoined would not potentially dominate centuries of a symbiont’s life, and would take up no more than…. one lifetime, literally. Even if that one lifetime managed to go through several hosts.

Exile and death of the symbiont does seem a harsh penalty. I would think exile and then returning the symbiont unjoined to the caves for a few hundred years to think it over after the death of the host might be more appropriate.
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Chris Nash
Tue, Jul 6, 2021, 8:15am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S4: Divergence

The cinematography this season is certainly a departure from previous Trek styles. I believe that this season they switched to filming on HD video cameras rather than 35mm film, and at the same time are employing far more "dynamic" camera movements in action scenes. Lots of in-shot zooms and frenetic panning around. I'm not sure if it's novel or just jarring; I can't recall any other show (of the time) that looks quite like it.
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Chris Nash
Mon, Jun 28, 2021, 7:49am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S4: Awakening

It's perfectly fine that V'Las is a bit emotional - he's on an ends-justify-the-means crusade and has probably rationalised it to himself just fine, and he's got sufficient power over the rest of the High Command that no-one would dare challenge his authority. I think the biggest takeaway here is that Vulcans are just as vulnerable to falling under the sway of an authoritarian quasi-dictatorship - perhaps more so, given their society is governed by strict rules and social rituals that must be observed less they lose face. If you're in a position to set those rules, it's all too easy to rig the game in your favour and justify it any way you like.
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Chris Nash
Fri, Jun 18, 2021, 12:34pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S3: Zero Hour

Not much else I can say other than to repeat that this whole Xindi arc should have been compressed into a smaller span of episodes rather than dragged out across the whole season, when it really only came into its own from "Azati Prime" onwards. It was clear that there just wasn't enough story there to carry a 26-episode season; a lot of the earlier Xindi episodes don't contribute anything meaningful to the last five/six episodes, or contain hints of a payoff that never comes.

For example, what happened to Raijin and her bio-scans - if the Reptilians used them to build their bio-weapon in "Carpenter Street", why do the other Xindi know nothing about it when Archer shows them the dead Reptilians and the weapon itself?

The finalé here is very strong - well, up until the alien Nazi curveball - but I'm a little concerned at how defenceless Earth appeared to be, and why Archer hadn't been communicating with them and warning them that the Xindi weapon was on its way so they could put some ships in orbit! There's also the plothole of being unable to communicate with the doomed orbital station due to "interference from the weapon", and then in the very next scene receiving communications from Shran without any trouble...
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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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