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Thu, May 6, 2021, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Savage Curtain

I love how Uhura doesn't even know why she should be offended. It's that much of a non-issue. I always remembered this small scene from when I saw it in childhood, and it was a part of shaping my beliefs and hopes going forward -- that we could have a future like that.

I never remembered the rest of the episode because I had no real context for Surak, Kayless, or Colonel Green. Now, after doing an entire TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT, and feature films rewatch, I'm going through TOS. I was delighted to see these founding historical figures brought to life and it's cool the other series ran with them.

I wish they did more with Kayless, but if Kirk perceived him as just a thug, I can live with that. He really hates Klingons.

Speaking of which, did the shows ever have a racial slur for Klingons? They had two for Cardassians -- Cardies and Spoonheads. The Andorians called us Pink Skins (which, okay, the cast in question was not entirely White, but I get what the intent was: to show that Blueness was considered normal and correct to Andorians).

Which brings me to Bones calling Spock a ton of seemingly anti-Vulcan racial slurs. I understand it's all meant with underlying affection, but they did make a point of Bones being a man from the South. I think that's notable. I'd love to see the series bible on McCoy.

But the Uhura comment to Lincoln always stuck with me. In times like these, it's especially refreshing. There's no need to bend yourself into a pretzel trying to get the terminology right to not offend, when offense isn't an issue.
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Fri, Mar 26, 2021, 5:02am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Cold Front

The ending felt very X-Files to me, which was a cool choice. The unusually moody music reinforced this feeling. The whole ep was like an X-Files homage, right down to the skeptical scientist, Scully -- I mean T'Pol.

Echoes of Raiders of the Lost Ark too.

"We've got top men on it."
"Top. Men."
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Fri, Mar 5, 2021, 10:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Two Days and Two Nights

So...Archer's door switch panel wasan outline of a Horgan. At least that part made me happy.

And then we had more Porthos (aya!) and we learned a little bit about Denobulans. Everything else else was trite.
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Thu, Feb 25, 2021, 6:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Singularity

Okay, I watched the last second three times to make sure, but take a look: T'Pol gives Archer a big smile (for her) when Archer asks her to take a look at his book preface. So cute. I'm going to choose to think this was her Amok Time moment, rather than the actress corpsing.

Phlox was scary in this ep. And the 'menacing' music reminded me of Time Squared when the TNG crew watches (Obs. Lounge view screen) the last moments before the Enterprise bows up. Same kind of ominous percussion. Memorable both times.

LOVED the kitchen scene with Hoshi holding down the pot lid as Archer is called to the bridge. Perfectly acted scene in a really nice episode. I don't care if the plot is redone. A three star comedy.

And remember, to T'Pol, she feels surrounded by human lunacy all the time. So her clueing in basically has to take this ship of fools to the next level. Well done, Enterprise.
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Sat, Feb 20, 2021, 5:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Crossing

This must be the most disappointing episode of Trek for me ever. The beginning was luminous and felt like really good TNG. What the frak happened? Where did the 'nice' alien(s) go? (...All killed by Archer. Archer continues to piss me off.)

Here's my thought: maybe this was intended as a 2-parter, with the eager, helpful and wondrous aliens, really wanting a cultural exchange AKA the actual Crossing. This could have been up there with The Nth Degree, sharing a new kind of galactic exploration. Or maybe they are on that huge ship, searching for a suitable new home for their kind.

In my scenario, if they wanted to go that way, there'd be a faction of aliens stealing the crew's physical bodies. We'd keep the scenes with Hoshi and Reed. Enterprise would have to work with the friendly aliens to restore everyone, we could hold onto the action sequences, use the Catwalk as shelter, etc as we saw. Have Phlox release the gas, yadda yadda, to get the 'bad' aliens back in their bottle (or some other astral equivalent) where they could not harm anyone again.

Then Trip could have worked together with his alien (reminding me of the movie The Host) to fix the ailing ship, and send them on their way to the next galaxy. Perhaps looking for the place Picard's crew went to in *Where No One Has Gone Before*. Seems like that could be perfect for their new home.

Honestly, there must have been more in mind. And the whole "Trip being back in Florida" thing should have been explored further, and with the other crew members. Where did Trip's nice alien go? They were even released from the big ship when asked. This whole thing was dropped. Big pieces of plot must have been cut for this travesty to make any sense. As a coherent episode of Trek, it fail morally in a way that makes me mad. Anyone know what happened behind the scenes?
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Sat, Jan 30, 2021, 6:36am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Daedalus

I was nervous that Quinn would come back 'wrong', like inverted or missing parts, or something horrific. So I'm glad they didn't go there.
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Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 8:58am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Bliss

@grumpy-_otter, well then. I got nothin'.

Where's Dr. Marr when you need a large devouring entity to kill?

@Tannhaeuser -- is your name a Blade Runner reference?
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Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 8:45am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Carpenter Street

This felt like an episode of the X-Files. The cold open was especially reminiscent of how an X-File ep starts. Unfortunately, Archer and T'Pol don't have the amusing banter of Mulder and Scully. I enjoyed this anyway as a small, well-made hour.

Would have been better to not have Xindi in this at all, and replace them with ANYONE else. This barely makes sense as presented in the arc. Don't give the Xindi time travel. It's bad enough that the Borg did this in First Contact -- but at least the Borg gave good value there (and in Regeneration, to give credit where due). The Xindi are barely interesting villains and the Reptilians especially suck the air out of everything. There's a way to do that kind of character right, as in Farscape, with the Scarrans.

The idea of having different sapient species of Xindi is really cool -- imagine if we had a mix of societies here from intelligent velociraptors, ravens, dolphins, chimps, elephants, and pigs? We don't even have different species of humans, although at one point in time different types of Homo co-existed. I would have liked to see the plots dive into some world-building about the Xindi. How does each species develop a culture, do they have castes, do they live together in tolerance, and what is that like? What was it like when they realized the Avians had completely died out?

We could have explored some very unusual, interesting, and timely topics.

I also wish we could have less Archer. Besides him playing his Quantum Leap character every time they do something like this (like this and the cowboy ep), it doesn't seem like Bakula has a handle on the captain's personality.

I actually lay the blame at Bakula's -- not the writers' -- feet. Look at Kate Mulgrew. Janeway was wildly inconsistently written, but her captain was always forceful and compelling. She actually made it work: Janeway became a megalomaniacal despot, ruling her tiny kingdom with an iron fist -- while staying compassionate and caring to her 'subjects'. She's probably loving being an Admiral.

Archer, OTOH, just seems like a stressed out jerk who is in over his paygrade. Which is probably intentional, but it's the actor's (and director's) job to make him interesting. Trip and Phlox are interesting. Porthos is interesting. Archer is cranky.

Anyway, taken as an X-Files episode, it's not too bad.
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Sun, Dec 13, 2020, 8:52am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Dark Frontier

Interesting that the Queen considered Seven to have been assaulted, mutilated, and indoctrinated by humans, instead of liberated. The Borg see what Janeway did as abhorrent as we see Assimilation.

Not too different than Quark's little speech about humans and root beer. It's all about perspective.

We really only see the Alliance in Firefly as the bad guys because our main characters are on the lam, but is the Alliance evil? No.

It gets into a greyer area with the Peacekeepers in Farscape, but aside from insane military commanders, are the Peacekeepers evil?

On the far dark end we have the Empire in Star Wars, who definitely perform acts of atrocities, but seem to justify it as bringing order to the galaxy.

Anyway, I love the ideals of the Federation, I really do! But in spite of the Prime Directive, the Federation does a fair bit of assimilation on their own, and I like the self aware nods to this here and there over the various Trek series.
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Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 9:57am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Bliss

The beast doesn't have to be assumed mobile. Sea sponges are sessile, as are anemones, barnacles, and other marine animals. And since the idea of pitcher plants was evoked, we have an example of a pheromone type trap that lures victims to it (instead of chasing its food). So the warning beacons would work in this context.

To continue the marine animal theme, a juvenile version of the beast might have been a motile form with different eating habits from the adult sessile form. So the possible nymphal stage of the beast may have swam in space to this one spot, to possibly cocoon and emerge as a 'lie in wait' style predator.

Since these things happen here in reality, I'll give the episode points for a possible biological background. I'll ignore the actual "animal living in vacuum" bit bc it's been done so much on and off trek that I don't want to beat my head against a wall.

Yes, this ep is a lot like many others, like One, Persistence of Vision, The Cloud, Galaxy's Child, and The Immunity Syndrome, but what it feels the MOST like is Farscape's Green Eyed Monster. As someone mentioned above. And Farscape's version is just lovely, one of Farscape's best -- top notch sci fi. Not to mention Stark's great line: "Electromagnetic candy!"

Bliss is still a good romp, and we get some insights into the deepest desires of the crew, and how some of those wishes have changed or grown from what we saw back in season two's Persistence of Vision.

And in particular, we see Janeway is still not over wanting her fiance back. I wonder how much that factored into her depression in Night. She consciously signed on for a grand adventure, back in Caretaker. She never expected years in sensory deprivation. She totally got afflicted with SAD (Space Affective Disorder)! ;-) But my point is that she was indirectly willing to give up Mark for epic quadrant adventures, but not for an endless window into...nothingness. Too much time on her hands to think about her guilt and isolation.

Janeway still missing Mark is good characterization, and also makes Counterpoint more poignant.

Neelix worried over being accepted and happy on Earth also ties in closely with his existential dread and loneliness, and is only resolved at the very end of the series in Homestead.

Tom being accepted and forgiven, with a bright future ahead to make his father proud and feel good about himself -- more good insight. Tom, as a fallen Golden Child, is sensitive to criticism and riddled with poor self esteem, which comes out most clearly in Non Sequitur.

Three stars is about right. It's well written and acted, and offers a lot of insight if you look at the hints that are dropped.
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Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 8:33am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

I think the writers decided it was a running joke to never promote Kim, and they even lampoon it when he wonders why there is no little box on his seat (when Paris is restored as a Lt.)

The problem with this gag is that the audience is more annoyed than amused.

I'm listening to the Delta Flyers podcast, and Wang admits he publicly said some things about the writers that pissed them off, and that also might have been a little vindictiveness on their part in their continued Harry arc (or lack thereof). Which really is unprofessional on all ends.

And it's too bad, since Wang actually adores Star Trek. Kim should have been promoted when Tuvok was, storywise, and as a thank you to the actor for not getting fed up and ditching the show (like Denise Crosby) or just phoning it in (like Robert Beltran).

It rubs the wrong way, like Chewbacca not getting a medal all over again.
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Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 12:34am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Bride of Chaotica!

I dig how this episode -- and Janeway herself -- recognizes just how comfortable Janeway is as a megalomaniacal ruler. The nods to it throughout Arachnia's performance are hysterical, culminating in whipping that microphone cord like a boss. She's loving it. Watch her sit on the throne with her little comment about somehow liking that. Her expression is priceless.

If you watch Janeway's little expressions of awareness about herself, it's an awesome bit of story meta. At this point in the series, Janeway is more or less written as a complete dictator with no accountability -- a fellow ruler of the cosmos indeed...

The actors seem to be trying not to corpse throughout, and pass it off as the characters barely restraining their glee at the ridiculous situation. Janeway did what Picard really couldn't, and "bow to the absurd."

I'd take Satan's Robot as a series regular too! At some point it looks like he is trying to cuddle Harry and Harry keeps trying to get the robot to leave him alone. What a hoot.

A cute metatextual episode with enough levity to provide a respite from Voyager's more serious fare. Three stars.
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Thu, Nov 5, 2020, 1:15am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

I'm dreading seeing this again in rewatch because I remember it as grim, moody and depressing.

I remember only liking the eggs scene. I love the family vibe in these little moments. And now we know Worf likes plain eggs and prune juice.

Worf was so much fun on TNG. Much as I enjoy DS9, Ron Moore seemed to drain all the fun out of him.

I also assumed that was good set up for Pulaski knowing Kyle Riker in the next episode. It's the right amount of surprise in her voice about not knowing something you would have expected to in your ex-lover. Also, with ubiquitous replication tech, it's not surprising most people don't even know how to scramble eggs. It underlines how rare and precious Joe and Benjamin Sisko's cooking skills were.
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Thu, Nov 5, 2020, 12:04am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

Guinan is supposed to be on season 2 of ST: Picard. Maybe we'll learn about her past dealings with Q and what the frak was up with their standoff.

Although heck, if Guinan doesn't move in linear time, she could appear on Discovery. Q too. But since Guinan is so closely associated with Jean-Luc, it makes more organic sense to have her there, and less like fan service. Again, Q too.

Re: The Neutral Zone colonies that were 'scooped off' (both Federation and Romulan), we just have to accept that the Borg knew about at least two Alpha Quadrant powers, and didn't consider their assimilation a priority until Q tossed them into the DQ and then whisked them away. I'm okay with this.

One could say it's Early Installment Weirdness, but then would have to add Late Installment Weirdness into the mix because of First Contact's events, Seven's family debacle in Voyager, and "Regeneration" in Enterprise, all of which are earlier in the timeline than The Neutral Zone.

So I'm going with 'Not worth a full scale invasion' until Q made it appear the Federation had something very advanced the Borg wanted.

Remember that the Borg had no interest in the Kazon. (But really, who did?) I always find that interesting. Why detract from perfection, as Seven would say? I assume they'd be uninterested in the Packleds too.

So...maybe the best defense against the Borg is to be entirely unremarkable.
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Wed, Oct 28, 2020, 11:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Contagion

I had to back this up and listen twice, but Commander Maddox is given a mention here! When Data is "dying" Geordi wishes he could get help from Maddox.

I can't believe I never noticed that before.

So that's three callbacks on TNG (Measure of a Man, Data's Day and here), and the MacGuffin plot with Maddox on ST:Picard. Not bad for what would normally be a one off character in a show that doesn't do a ton of continuity. I'm noticing a lot more nods to continuity snuck in here and there on this rewatch.

Also noted for the first time: when it seems the Romulans were about to destroy the Enterprise (in a truly tense moment), Troi grabs Riker's hand. After they realize they aren't dead, Riker throws her a questioning glance.
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Mon, Oct 26, 2020, 8:47am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Unnatural Selection

One thing I appreciate about Pulaski is her easy rapport with Worf. Everyone else kinda holds him at arm's length and with some degree of trepidation.

But even if Pulaski doesn't like androids (at first), she seems to be a Klingophile. She knows about the exotic Klingon tea ceremony -- enough to actually prepare the tea and what kind of poison it contains. She is the only person to casually touch Worf, which she does in several episodes, and you only do that with people you feel close to.

Okay, Wesley also treats Worf like a friend, but it's more like a kid with an adult instead of equals and colleagues.

Troi doesn't warm to Worf until that episode where she snaps at him, "Captain Picard talks to me!" It's interesting to see that is the exact point he starts respecting Troi. It's been a fun series rewatch to look for the little hints of where their relationship builds to in season 7.

Anyway I hated Pulaski back in the 80s and was thrilled to get Crusher back. But now I appreciate the little touches the actress sneaks into her scenes that show her real warmth under the abrasive exterior. I agree with the better writing we get soon, she could have been a tentpole character. I bet she would have gotten off some real zingers to Q.

It's a shame Diana Muldaur never went to the conventions. I wonder if she was afraid she would have been booed off the stage, or did the rest of the cast really not like her? It's not as if she didn't like Trek: we know she had been featured in two TOS episodes, so she was probably happy to get a callback as a main character on the new show.

On those lines, maybe she was never intended to be a long term character. She was always billed as a Special Guest Star, right?

I thought she deserved more than to be written out with no mention, especially since it's established here that she asked to serve specifically with Picard -- enough to have studied his service record. Both the actress and the character deserved more than one snotty line by Crusher next season, "I am familiar with Dr. Pulaski's technique."

In universe, where did Pulaski go? Why did she go? Did Picard dislike her enough to send her packing and beg Crusher to come back? Why did Crusher leave her spiffy job as head of Starfleet Medical? Since she knew Wesley would be heading off to Starfleet Academy soon, she couldn't have returned just to be with her son. And if she wanted that badly to be near Picard, why does she brush him off at the end of Attached?

I was thrilled at the time to have Crusher back under any circumstances, but now I'm not sure why. She didn't really do much. Except for a few episodes, she was mostly wallpaper.

It's not like Star Trek can't write good doctors, so why the ball is dropped so badly with Crusher is a little jarring in retrospect.

I do remember reading that Marina Sirtis was happy to have her friend back. She said something like with Crosby and McFadden gone, she had no one to talk to. Ouch.
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Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 12:38am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

This one never bothered me. In the 80s I found it unusual and interesting. As of tonight's viewing, I wasn't offended either. It held my attention and had some good moments with the regular cast.

Trio and Yar cracking up after Riker said he was comfortable
in his new "clothes" and swept out had me smiling. I backed it up to see it again and I think it's actually Sirtis and Crosby laughing it up. It looked so natural and good natured. Their characters can be reserved, so I enjoyed their light interaction.

More good bits with Geordi, Worf, Data, Riker, Crusher, and Picard (being too sick to function and hating it, which also made me smile). So that's 8 of the 9 main cast members having at least one shiny moment in a rare full use of the ensemble.

It's episodes like The Outrageous Okona which bore and confuse me, like accidentally stepping into someone's else's failed backdoor pilot. Angel One is no gem, but it's not boring.
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Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 10:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Neutral Zone

Early Borg incursions. Gul Dukat as a Romulan. A gorgeous new Romulan warbird, Data being instantly adopted by the fun loving musician, and no forced action insert. A good use of Troi. Nice ensemble moments.

"Much obliged."

Again, BORG BABY, BORG! What's not to love?
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Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: We'll Always Have Paris

Better than I remembered back in the 80s. Was that a twin pulsar system? Very pretty. I'm loving these remastered eps.

The turbolift scene was all kinds of awesome, especially as it starts with one timeline that ends up not being the one we follow. Good mind screw.

I didn't mind not getting any real meat in this episode. The ride was fun.

I like the characters and wish there was less ragging on, for example, Troi. And the Wes hate seems rather mean now, knowing what Wil Wheaton went through with people being assholes to him about Trek. I think it's more fun to rewatch all the great reaction shots littered across the episodes, explore the nature of humanity through a sci fi lens, and be exposed to a hopeful message about the future.
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Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 9:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Symbiosis

I loved the solar flare opening with the crew enjoying themselves, and the hysterical dialogue between Picard and the absolutely stoned Onaran captain.

I felt Picard's frustration after dealing with these two planets' problems. There was no real win here, plus he and Crusher ebded at loggerheads. It's going to be difficult for both worlds going forward, although the solution with the coils was novel. At the end, Picard's weary realization that he didn't care where they went, as long as he could put this one behind them, was palpable. Stewart's line reading was great. His voice actually cracked a little as he repeated, "I don't care." Good stuff.

Back to the opening scene. Was this the first instance where we see a Picard face palm? Those never get old.
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Wed, Oct 14, 2020, 9:11am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Datalore

I love that it was the dim Packleds who pick Lore up, which makes total sense knowing that they "Look for things." They must have thought Lore would "Make them strong."

Which leads me to wondering what happened to the poor Packleds. I'm guessing Lore took over their ship after disposing of his benefactors, and used said ship to travel to and from Soong's beacon planet. I'd love to see a novelized version of the events between Datalore and Brothers.

It's too bad that the only nuance we see in Lore onscreen is a small note in Brothers where he learns Soong is dying.

I loved the scene where Lore is reassembled. It felt like classic science fiction and had an element of wonder.

The callback to Chief Argyle was neat. But didn't he have a Scottish accent before? Was this deemed too much like Scotty? Then why bring him back and even name drop him as Argyle? I was happy to see him, regardless. I'm not certain, but I think one of the blonde engineers might have been the Chief in The Naked Now, or at least an acknowledgement that she was still one of the Chiefs (we were told there were more than one in season one, so this would be a surprising point of continuity).

Last note: when Wesley is told to go check on Data/Lore he is visibly pleased, there is a random at Tactical who beams to see Wes' youthful enthusiasm. Have we seen this bridge officer before? He had an incredible smile.
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Sun, Sep 20, 2020, 2:32am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Manhunt

I don't know. I forgot this one existed. And after all this time I'm actually thrilled to just hang out with the crew and watch them shoot the shit.

I didn't love Manhunt back in the day, but this time I was utterly charmed. I had to back it up every few minutes to catch everyone's expressions. Clearly the cast had a ball.

Sometimes I don't want a plot: it's nice to watch my friends having fun. And Lwaxana did save the conference. It was nice to see her being competent. ;-)

I also got a kick out of seeing Worf be obsessed with the Antidians. Early Worf cracks me up. And I could see he and Pulaski had a fine familiarity -- good continuity from their tea ceremony.

It's a cheery little episode.
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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 1:11am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Justice

"Nice planet."

It's worth watching just for this priceless Worf comment. I still quote it. I think this is the first of his many dry, terse, hysterical deliveries.
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Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 12:42am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Where No One Has Gone Before

What is it about Jean-Luc and turbolifts? I recall three times he's had trouble on one. Here, Night Terrors, and Disaster.

Geordi had a bad experience on the turbolift too, where he was rolling around on the ceiling before it spat him onto the bridge. I think it was Contagion.

I'm surprised anyone takes these things. Clearly the turbolifts are evil. Maybe they should just beam all around the ship. ;-)
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Tue, Sep 8, 2020, 2:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Sub Rosa

Ah, one can't edit here. Okay.

I don't mind Sub Rosa. Seven is the "experimental season" - the X-Files had one in (I think) Season Five. Xena had them littered through her last season.

TNG tried a lot of weird stuff, and at this point I just enjoy the characters' company. They can even crawl through Jeffries Tubes and talk about Spot the cat for half the episode. I know it's ending and I will miss them.

This is my first actual rewatch. I saw it live in the 80-90s and it was appointment TV. Since then I've only rewatched my favorites. So it's nice to find "lost" episodes. Even the ones that suck have value to me in small ways.

Another note: this isn't the first time someone walked in on Bev pleasuring herself. Wesley caught her during The Game.

Beverly might want to lock the door next time...move it into the bedroom.. just saying.

And didn't she tell Troi that Odan made her toes curl?

Maybe sex in the 24th is more open?
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