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Karl Zimmerman
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 8:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

Lynos's "like a movie" comment gets down to one of the main issues Discovery often has - in Season 1, and in parts of Season 2 - including this episode. Dialogue is edited down to the bone in such a way that makes sense for a single 90-minute action flick, but doesn't make a lick of sense for long-form serialized drama.

I mean, right now I've been rewatching The Expanse in anticipation of the fourth season coming out later in the year. Much like the earlier seasons of Game of Thrones, The Expanse has loads of dialogue which is - quite honestly - not plot critical. It's two or more characters sitting in a room shooting the shit, either getting along together or (more likely) sniping at one another at least a bit. The purpose of these scenes are character development. They let us know both more about who the characters are and the status of their relationship at that particular point in the show. They are a key part of any successful drama.

Discovery - for the most part - seems to think there's no reason for these dialogues to exist for anyone - unless they happen to be Micheal Burnham. In the few brief cases where they are allowed to take place (such as Stamets telling Tilly to say less things) the show seems to want to get them over and done with as quickly as possible. Mostly it just wants its non-Burnham characters to be plot-exposition devices - to have everything they need to say in a given episode either tie into the problem of that episode or the overall plot arc.

This is weird for TV. But this is normal for movies. I remember reading some years ago that one reason why so many movies fail the Bechdel test (having two women talk about something other than a man) is because main characters in movies are usually men, and screenwriters are specifically instructed to make sure that conversations between secondary characters reference the protagonist.

This is awful, but considering the limited run time in a major movie, it does make sense that you can't really develop more than a single character in 90 minutes. Particularly in an action movie where much of the time will be taken up by unscripted action scenes and the like. But importing this sort of...economy of dialogue...into serialized TV drama is inexcusable. Discovery episodes can run as long as they like, and filming two people in a room talking is comparably cheap. And no one is forcing them to jam pack plot into every single second of the show. They really need to slow down and realize what they can accomplish if they stop to take a breath.
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Karl Zimmerman
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 4:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

@ Daya

The "energy" comment was when my eyes really started rolling, because it's clear no one in the friggin writer's room had any idea how the human brain actually works.

Basically, a lot of people falsely believe in Cartesian dualism - the idea that the mind and the body are separate things. Basically, under this loose analogy, the brain works as "hardware" while the mind is the "software." The body is "matter" and the mind is "energy."

But the fact of the matter is, there is no such division. There are of course purely energetic elements of the human mind, like electricity and magnetic fields. But there are also elements of the mind which are only energy in the chemical sense (meaning, unless you want to want to count borrowing an electron here and there, they're bound up in matter). Much of the mind is just the pure physical structure of the brain. Destroy the structure, and that element of the mind is gone. Fundamentally, "we" are not energy. We are organization, which falls apart via entropy.

There are ways you could use an understanding of how the mind works to make resurrection happen. For example, the whole Star Trek "transporter clone" thing is correct, given a materialist understanding of the universe. Perfectly copy someone's body - including the brain - and you have continuity of consciousness - it's literally the same person. Similarly, in principle a virtual copy of your brain down to the molecular level (most scientists don't think quantum phenomena really impact consciousness) would be enough to make a self-aware copy of you in a machine. And in an infinite universe, the chance of "you" somehow inexplicably popping into existence somewhere else after you die is...well...certain eventually.

But just talking about the mind as "energy" is new-age woo. That's the religious concept of a soul, not how the human mind actually works.

I'll grant that Trek has already implied that Vulcan minds do work like this with all the Katra bullshit, but this is at least semi-believable, because maybe Vulcan brain structure is very different from our own, with their minds operating as "software" rather than the mixed software/hardware of our own minds.
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Blue_Mike
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 1:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

I'm still not sure where people are getting the impression that the Section 31 of the late 24th century didn't have access to ships. There is literally nothing in the dialogue to suggest this, and besides which, where do people think the holodeck they had Bashir in for most of "Inquisition" was situated if not on a ship?
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Mike
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 12:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Profit and Loss

I liked this episode! Shows Quark has a heart. And some intersting insight on Garak. They should have had more fun with the Casablanca theme though. I was totally waiting for Quark to say “Of all the synth ale joints in all the space stations in all the galaxy, she walks into mine!” And I couldn’t believe at the end Quark didn’t say: “Garak, I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship!” Could have been great, but it’s all good, I enjoyed it!!
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navamske
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 10:05am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

OT as far as this episode is concerned.

I was wondering if the Planetary Union also has a ship called The Wilbur. But I realized that the Planetary Union corresponds to the United Federation of Planets in the Star Trek universe, and Starfleet is the Federation's space-exploration agency. Is there an agency in "The Orville" that corresponds to Starfleet? The writers seem to be using the same terminology for the government (Planetary Union) and for the space agency.
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navamske
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 9:19am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

Wren T. Brown, who played Locar, was Kohlar on the Voyager episode "Prophecy."
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SlackerInc
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 3:28am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

I thought Moclan was part of the Union. If not, that seems strange to let one of their top engineers reconfigure a key defense mechanism and engage in war games.

I give this one three stars. Good, but not anything to get excited about.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 3:20am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: A Happy Refrain

OTDP, what do you mean by “brave” and “today’s social climate”?
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Kristina
Sat, Feb 16, 2019, 12:35am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Liaisons

The ONLY entertaining thing about this episode are the Worf scenes. Yes, he is funny as hell and does a great job here. The rest of the episode is twisted and weird and not in a good way AT ALL.
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Star Trek Joy
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 10:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Apocalypse Rising

Who out ranks who if Sisko hadn't returned? Worf or Kira? Who would have won that dispute? Captain of Defiant or First Officer of the station?

I think Worf would have left anyway. Lol!!

If we succeed there will be many songs sung in our honor -Worf HAHA! Always the Klingon warrior.

O'Brian makes one ugly looking Klingon! 😂 But I love the Irish accent in a Klingon body!

Sisko lookin like a Klingon version of Rick James 😂

Alllll those Klingons and nooooobody recognizes Worf who has no disguise? Mortok stares him right in the face and doesn't recognize him?? But recognizes Sisko? Um...ok?




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Star Trek Joy
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 9:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Broken Link



Odo walking across the promenade in a half gelatinous state...really? Why is he still even trying to hold a humanoid form?

Bashir almost throws rock into Great Link...haha!!!

No good reason for Sisko to bring Garak along except to give us great lines...Come now, Mr. Worf. You're a Klingon. Don't tell me you'd object to a little genocide in the name of self-defense...You fight well for a tailor.

Garak just gets to go back to tailoring after trying to sabotage the mission? Oh yeah, his heart was in the right place. Haha!!

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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 8:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

Didn't comment earlier because I've been getting over a bad illness. But put me down as thinking this was one of The Orville's better outings - albeit marred a bit by a slow start and a completely inconsequential B-plot.

I can see why people might argue having an allegorical discussion of "the closet" is a bit dated now. Hell, people were attacking friggin Bohemian Rhapsody for showing Freddie Mercury as being sexually conflicted in the 1970s, which is presentism if I've ever seen it. To me though, the performances of the "core four" of the A plot (Talla, Bortus, Klyven, and Lokar) elevated the story tremendously.

Honestly, it had elements of a classic dramatic trope - the tragedy - that Trek has barely touched upon in the past. I mean, one could argue that the end of The City on the Edge of Forever was tragic. But it wasn't a tragedy in the classic sense because Kirk made the right decision. Here we have four characters who are defined by their upbringing, duty, and culture, all acting in such a way that a calamity is bound to happen. Thematically, the entire episode is ripping off a giant scab and leaving a bloody wound behind.

Still, I'd rate it as only a three star episode, because as I said, the B plot was rote, and it took a long, long time to get rolling. It wasn't really clear at all given the ho-hum beginning that the final act was going to be so brutal. I wish they'd learn to pace a bit better on this show.
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Spockless
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 7:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

NS8401 RElationships ARE the premise of the show.. it's even in some of the taglines..One tagline went something like "In the future there has been lots of changes in technology. Relationships: not so much"

The show is not and never wa about battles. It's ABOUT relationships
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Spockless
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 7:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

@Jack

Sure, they can do it directly now without clunky metaphors..

They CAN.. but what made trek great was the fact it had the metaphors, thinly veiled and obvious, but metaphors just the same.. it's something that is missing from TV now, and I enjoy the throwback
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Star Trek Joy
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 6:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Quickening

There's no Prime Directive violations happening here? Bashir seems too involved.

Starfleet has been in and out of the Gamma Quadrant many times at this point. I missed why this is the first time they have picked up that distress call, one that has been signaling for 200 years?

Why is every new discovered planet filled with white actors? It seems more often than not that aliens are only truely alien looking or majoritively diverse when they are villians.

Overall great episode.

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UnknownGenius
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 6:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

@ Gil

How is this possibly right wing pandering with a whole gay couple kissing on screen, not to mention characters using f bombs? For me, this is far removed from classic Trek, and far, far removed from anything remotely right wing. Not to mention the lead is a black woman.

That being said, Discovery needs to take a long hard look at Michael Burnham. Literally every character makes decisions revolving around her, and is only shown in relation to her. When has Pike ever had a one on one with any of the crew besides Burnham. Besides Tilly and Stamets, which of the characters talk to each other without Burnham?

Where is the O'Brien and Bashir of this universe?
Where is the Kim and Parris?

Before Voyager even got to episode 2, we knew Tom Parris went to prison, and what he went to prison for. We knew Tuvok was undercover in the Maqui. We knew Chakotay had defected from Starfleet. We knew Harry was a happy go lucky kid. And don't even get me started on how much we knew of DS9's characters. What do we know about the rest of this crew besides Burnham, Saru, Tyler and Tilly? They haven't bothered giving any other character a backstory.

End of rant
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Star Trek Joy
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 6:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

I'm glad to see Yates go. I think she was poorly cast and written. She lacked affection and demanded a lot from Sisko without giving alot in return. The storyline between them never gave us any insight into what it was that added to Sisko's life as a man, as a captain. Everything about her irritates me.
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SmallKiwi
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 4:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

Also, how can you not understand that the moclans are not coded as homosexual? Theyre literally homosexual. Monosexual. They're coded as conservative.

They're also not human. It seems weird to read so deeply into a monosexual species as a portrayal or criticism of homosexuality.
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SmallKiwi
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 4:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

I saw this as a critique of Star Trek's often stupidly simplistic portrayal of alien cultures. The moclans are meant to remind us of Klingons, but they're simultaneously a more complex and nuanced portrayal of a conservative alien culture, AND more realistic, for good or for bad. Star Trek regularly dismisses the short comings of various alien cultures by simply not exploring the problems that would inevitably arise from such cultures. I find The Orville's willingness to dissect these issues (with core species no less) very refreshing.
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Kinematic
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 3:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

So some of you were wondering what Discovery's main theme or moral is? I figured it out.

This show's message, perhaps its overall purpose, is to justify and indeed glorify United States foreign policy.

The first season begins by contrasting a benevolent Starfleet who repeat the motto "we come in peace" to a bestial foreign culture who react murderously to the Federation's superior ideals. The Federation's failure to act decisively leads to a bloody war. This war is resolved by using a weapon of mass destruction to make hostages of the enemy nationals and install a puppet despot whose goals coincide with the Federation's.

In the second season, we've seen the Federation's secret intelligence corps assassinate high officials to preserve their puppet L'Rell, and the writers make sure we understand this is a Good Thing. In the last episode we've watched as the entire Discovery crew was saved thanks to the convenient intervention of a Section 31 vessel. Michael and Pike take issue with S31's amorality, but Georgiou reminds us that "nation-building is never easy," and Pike's disdain for Leland is corrected by Admiral Cornwell, reminding him of the usefulness of people whose path "isn't always clear." Even if that path sometimes leads to you assassinate the wrong ambassador. This stuff could've been written by Henry Kissinger.

That doesn't mean we haven't met a few characters along the way who were -too- ruthless, Lorca being the prime example. He went too far and had to be put down for the greater good. But what made him different from Empress Georgiou? Why is L'Rell now considered acceptable Klingon leader despite the fact that she was a high-ranking member of the vicious fringe Klingon sect whose action sparked the war?

The reason is that Georgiou and L'Rell are more worthy than Lorca in the eyes of the Church of the Woke. The Church of the Woke is a new religion with just two tenets: "tolerance" (of things we approve of) and "diversity" (but not diversity of opinion). According to this religion, these are the only remaining virtues and anyone who upholds and represents them is a certified Good Person regardless of any selfish or destructive acts they may have committed.

Georgiou is a powerful, competent Asian woman, so it's okay for her to have a happy ending despite the fact that we watched her commit cannibalism and mass murder onscreen. L'Rell is also a cannibal, raped a POW and was complicit in starting a war that killed millions, but she represents female empowerment so all is forgiven. If a male character on Discovery was revealed to have coerced female prisoners into sex, does anyone believe he would be portrayed as anything but a monster?

If you belong to the right marginalized groups and mouth the right platitudes, you can commit any misdeed and all is forgiven, because your motivations are inherently pure and whatever you did was just helping to pave the way toward an enlightened future. The Federation, like the United States that woke ideologues imagine, is not good because it -upholds- high ideals. It is good because it pays lip service to humanitarian ideals regardless of its actual actions. Michael's sermon delivered at the end of Season 1, where she asserts that "we are Starfleet" in the wake of some very unStarfleetish skullduggery, brings this contradiction into sharp focus.

People have remarked that despite its touted diversity, this Star Trek has been the most American of them all, with every major human character but Georgiou representing US culture. It's no wonder -- this is no longer a show about a better future or about humanity as a whole. This show is about leveraging Star Trek's reputation to paint a rosy picture of the present-day United States and its relationship with the world.

"Infinite diversity in infinite combinations" has officially given way to "my Federation, right or wrong."
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RK
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 12:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Rascals

I liked this episode all right when first seeing it as a teenager, though I did see it with a somewhat more critical eye looking back over it as an adult and having seen what some of the later series had to offer. As with many episodes from the three 24th century series, this episode is actually two stories: story "A" is about the four adults dealing with the problematic implications of being turned into children, while story "B" is about the Ferengi taking over the ship and the crew having to find a way to take it back. My verdict: story "A" is nearly all "hit" and story "B" is nearly all "miss" and the episode would have been a lot better if it had been *all* "A" while cutting out "B" altogether. Split the difference, and that gets you two stars out of four.

A few corrections I would make to your critique: Picard's child actor David Birkin was in fact 15 at the time, and I think the show was implying that was rejuvenated Picard's biological age too. (It makes sense, since he's the most biologically aged of the four; El-Aurians apparently turn immortal somewhere around their 30s or 40s, while Ro and Mrs. O'Brien were apparently in their late 20s or early 30s.) Having Keiko ask Miles whether their marriage is over was actually one of the things that made story "A" work so well in my opinion, though it was (of course) also prudent of the writers in that day and age to keep him from having to give an unambiguous answer that question. Guinan and Ro don't get quite so much to do in this story, but I did think Ro's actor was a cute kid (especially when she was fretting; kinda made me want to tell her to lighten up and try enjoying a second childhood the same way young Guinan was), and I liked how Guinan was able to think enough like a child to know how to coax some useful information out of the computer in the children's playroom when Picard couldn't.

Other than that one hilarious scene with Riker snowing his Ferengi captor with a lot of made-up-on-the-fly doubletalk, I agree the "B" story was an utter failure and the episode would have been better off without it. Aside from the Ferengi all too easily taking out an entire bridge crew that should have been able to put up more of a fight (especially Worf and Data), you have to wonder how a couple dozen Ferengi (at most) got the better of the thousand or so red shirts on the rest of the ship; *nobody* was sufficiently trained in hand-to-hand combat or able to get to a weapons locker in time to break out some phasers to fight back? Odo's ribbing of Worf on Deep Space Nine over his epic failure during this whole sorry incident was richly deserved, to say the least.

If writing this episode had been up to me, I probably would have just expanded the "A" story to fill the whole episode. Instead of being about the kids pranking the Ferengi (which only serves to emphasize further the implausibility of these dolts ever taking over the ship in the first place), the story could be about all the social awkwardness of having to deal with people who understand logically that these "children" are actually fully mentally mature adults despite appearances, but can't quite get their emotional perception to agree with their logic. In addition to the awkward moments with the bridge crew trying to adjust to Captain Picard now seemingly being a 15-year-old boy and Miles trying to figure out what to do with his wife now that she's biologically 12 (and looks more like she's 10 in his opinion), the story could have pulled a running gag with having Picard having to start every... single... frickin' conversation through the view screen with "Picard here; please don't mind my appearance. It's a long story and I'll fill you in later."

From there, instead of being asked to step aside and let Riker run things, Picard could first start insisting on communicating audio-only ("Just tell them the view screen is broken or something, would you, Data?") and then decide even that is too bothersome ("My voice? Oh, yes, I hope you don't mind: I have the Tarkaelian Flu right now, Admiral. [*Cough*] [*Cough*]") and decide on his own to step aside. Throw in a little subplot with Data getting curious as to why nobody else seems to accept so easily that Picard in a younger body is still the same person he's always been, and you get some character development in there for him as well. (Young Picard: "Well, Data, now that I think of it, what kind of body you have really does make a difference. A man's identity depends on more than just what's in his neural pathways.")

Meanwhile, for Miles and Keiko, one could milk both some creepiness and some pathos out of their dilemma as Miles says something like "Well, I say our marriage is until death do us part, and it sure doesn't look like either of us is dead yet, but think about what you're asking me! I'm not some kind of pervert who can get into 'the mood' at the sight of a flat-chested little girl. Be honest, Keiko: would you have married me if I were!?" Then they could go back and forth a bit on whether there's anything she can do to look more grown up. ("Do you think if you could wait that long I might look better to you a year from now? I was a pretty early bloomer in junior high, you know." "Uh... maybe... but what about Molly? How do we convince her in the meantime you're still her mother?") Finally, they could come to the conclusion that if Keiko can't get her de-aging reversed, they can try putting Miles through the same anomaly to de-age him as well, and do it in front of Molly so she'll understand. ("...and I bet preteen Miles will be able to get in 'the mood' with me in no time!" "Well, I *was* quite the hormone storm in junior high...")

As for Ro and Guinan, I might let some of the interactive dynamics of their situation play out the same as in this script, but I'd first probably try to milk some humor over having Guinan continue in her duties as the bartender in Ten Forward (as she starts getting belligerent when some of the patrons there refuse to take her seriously) while Ro sulks in her private quarters. Then, when Guinan decides she's sick of tending the bar for all those louts in Ten Forward, she drops in on Ro and tries to talk her into enjoying a second childhood something like in the original script. ("It's not like we get the chance for a do-over every day, and they're not going to let us be adults right now anyway.")

Then, instead of Ferengi attackers, I'd have the ship get hit by some kind of negative space wedgie that knocks out the communications system and transporters and causes cave-ins on various decks that leave a lot of people trapped behind piles of debris, and have Ro's being the smallest child with an adult brain come in remarkably handy for getting vital medical equipment through a tight space to a severely injured crew member in order to save his life. The same crisis leaves the O'Brien family trapped in their quarters and huddled together in fright, which helps reconcile little Keiko's husband and daughter to her. Meanwhile, hitting upon the idea of getting Data to simulate his adult voice for him, Picard manages to take proper command of the ship again and steer it out of this mess.

After Geordi LaForge and Dr. Crusher worked out a way to reverse the anomaly's effects using the transporter, the end of the story would play out much the same as in the original script, except that there would be an extra little bit with Keiko asking Miles whether he would really have de-aged himself to accommodate her if they hadn't found this way to reverse the anomaly's effects Miles would embrace her and kiss her tenderly while assuring her "You *know* I would!" Then the story would cut to that final scene in from the original script where Ro has finally started to accept having a second childhood and Guinan assures her that though they can go back to being adults now, there's no rush.

Among other things, I would also have tweaked the script to indicate that instead having some biochemical effect, the anomaly the four adults on that shuttle encountered (probably something to do with tachyons) actually produced some kind of temporal regression that reduced them to having children's bodies and yet somehow left their adult minds intact; maybe something about the anomaly only affecting matter and not energy. That would make the part about LaForge discovering the anomaly also made the shuttle's debris get "younger" make more sense. Also, I would have left room for a follow-up episode in this series or in Deep Space Nine or Voyager by having Crusher and LaForge tell the O'Briens that they could indeed have replicated this "fountain of youth" anomaly to help de-age Miles if they hadn't come up with a way to reverse the process first.

That none of the writers ever revisited the concept of de-aging people using the transporters again was rather a shame, especially considering that doing so might have prevented that Star Trek: Insurrection movie from ever being made. ("Forget about that planet's rejuvenating qualities, Admiral! We'll just use Regenerative Transportation the way Picard and his crew discovered how to do.") Apart from that, if rejuvenating people using the transporters proved to be too much of a story-breaker, a writer could always add some handicap to the technology to keep the rejuvenation from being permanent the way this excellent fanfic (written to follow up on this episode) did:

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6262409/1/Remembrances

Really, I don't think the writers of this episode appreciated the potential uses of the scientific discovery their characters made here. For follow-ups, I can already think of several potential stories they could have told:

1. Tell a story of Starfleet officers using rejuvenation to pose as students at Starfleet Academy in order to ferret out an imposter, as in that fanfic.
2. Have an episode about the ethical controversies surrounding more morally questionable uses of the technology, such as a pedophile using this "regenerative transportation" to de-age his (fully mature) wife into a preteen girl in order to make her more attractive to him. If she consents to being modified to his liking in this manner, is that still an unethical use of the technology? Suppose in addition to this, that there's a readily available pharmaceutical cure for his sexual deviance and he just doesn't want to take it because he prefers to maintain his unique perspective on romantic aesthetics? Would using the technology on his willing wife to accommodate his perverse desires be unethical *then*?
3. Suppose someone decided rejuvenation and effective immortality were absolutely worth losing all of his memories from his life past his youth (as the above fanfic suggested might happen if one tried to stay permanently rejuvenated instead of reversing the process). Could one make the case that he's right (especially if his life as an adult has been miserable), or is there some incredibly compelling argument that using the technology this way is a bad idea?
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Jack
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 12:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

@Dave

I’m not saying they have to be flawless. And of course there would be problems. But we’ve just seen nothing *but* problems, and they’ve all been sex- and gender-related ones, so far. It’s being presented as an effed-up culture, and all those problems stem from being all-male. Again, some think gay culture is a effed-up culture.


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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 10:20am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

I really didn't like this week's episode, though my opinion might have been swayed in part by being sick and having a bad sinus headache. Easily beats out Point of Light as the worst episode so far this season.

First I'll give the episode some credit. I thought it seemed on a macro level well put together. While other episodes this season had fancy camerawork, fast cuts, and other distractions, the production itself was much more straight ahead this time around. And the overall narrative structure of the episode was pretty coherent, with the A plot (Tilly lost in the sporeverse) and the B plot (Section 31 crap) relatively tightly put together.

But, when you zoom in past the 5,000 foot view, it had a lot of issues.

Let's start with the main plot of the episode - the search to find Tilly, which also results in the inexplicable discovery of Culber. I realize that Trek is full of dumb technobabble, but this episode took things waaay past my suspension of disbelief. I mean, I guess I'm glad we didn't find out that all souls of the dead resided in the mycelial network, that it was just a one-time thing with Culber. But it was very clearly some sort of awkward retcon. The dirty, shaggy, half-mad Culber we meet is nothing like the serene spore-ghost we saw in the first season. I also don't understand how if real atoms don't exist in the mycelial network that Tilly, Stamets, and Micheal managed to - you know - breathe. Because my disbelief was never suspended, I simply couldn't emotionally invest in the reunion of Stamets and Culber, even though I knew it was supposed to be a touching moment. I suppose it was a nice Trekkian touch to have the "monster" be Culber - who was just trying to defend himself - but too little time was spent on this.

Regarding the B plot - the introduction of Section 31 to the Discovery crew - there really wasn't a plot at all. I suppose it's setup for later in the season and might develop some sort of payoff. But basically we see that Michael still doesn't like Georgiou, that Pike doesn't trust Tyler, and that Pike and Leland had some sort of history together. The last point in particular confused me, because through most of the episode they seemed like old friends who went down different paths, but then Cornwell dressed both of them down and said they had to work together??? They already were working together!

There were also macro problems with the entire episode. The dialogue was very clunky, dumb-sounding, and (things like Georgiou DRAMA aside) seemed to just exist to plot the plot to tech the tech. And the episode was framed with Burnham monologues on either side! Honestly I think part of the reason why I disliked this episode so much was because it had so much content which reminded me of the aspects of Season 1 I really didn't like.
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Nukey Shay
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 7:09am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

It could be that there is a Moclan revolution story arc in the works...the Bortus-centric stories always involve highly-regarded Moclan characters (wasn't it revealed that their most-celebrated literary figure was secretly a female?).

The problem with this episode is that even IF Lokar's plan had worked, he'd still be stuck living in hiding forever. Either way, his entire family would still be ostracized just for his sexual preference being revealed (no different than if he had suicided). Not a very good plan coming from a character who is supposed to be brilliant.

B-plot was equally muddled. What the heck was Kelly trying to get out the relationship again?
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RK
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 6:20am (UTC -6)
Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

I'm more or less with those who liked this flick overall, but would have liked it to have a little something more. It does seem more like an interlude than a standalone, particularly with that cameo by Maul and with Qi'ra just kind of taking off and leaving her old flame to his own devices at the end (instead of either being a star-crossed lover who tragically dies in his arms or being his old-flame-turned-deadly-foe who tragically forces him to kill her in a shootout). The way I figure it, what it's setting up there at the end is not a sequel, but rather some connection to Episode IX: think of how an apparent throwaway line in Rogue One ("...lightspeed tracking...") ended up foreshadowing a plot point in the Last Jedi (the First Order now has technology that can track the Resistance through hyperspace).

(My guess as to what the connection will be? Qi'ra will turn out to be Rey's grandmother; seems to me she probably slept her way to the top of Crimson Dawn during those three years she was apart from Han, and then the gangsters simply recruited her child-out-of-wedlock into their gang with Imperial ties the same way they recruited her. Said illegitimate child later ended up on Jakku after the Empire was overthrown, went on to have *another* teen pregnancy resulting in *another* child out of wedlock, and that child was Rey. That's one way to make Rey's origins just a little more despicable and help dispel this silly notion some critics have that she's some kind of Mary Sue.)

As for this film? Well, yes, a solid entry overall, though I think we all wanted a little more character development for Han. Comedian Donald Glover (a.k.a. Childish Gambino) does an excellent impression of Lando Calrissian and makes me glad they're bringing Billy Dee Williams back for Episode IX. It was also fun to see them taking a few potshots at L3-37's SJW ways by having all the characters behave dismissively toward her. (I could almost hear Lando thinking "Droid, please!" every time he was talking to her.)

In short, it's not a bad flick, but it's not exactly a stellar entry either. It stands somewhere in the middle of the pack (ahead of the prequels but behind the original trilogy), and doesn't really stand out much from any of the other entries in this franchise.
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