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Gaius Maximus
Fri, Jun 18, 2021, 12:04am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S4: Redemption, Part I

The thing that really bothered me this time is that there's no way in hell that Picard should be making the call on whether or not to aid Gowron. Even Starfleet Command wouldn't be making that call. It should be up to the Federation Council and President. Also, I would have expected someone to bring up the fact that by not supporting Gowron, the alliance is being risked no matter who wins. Obviously if the Duras sisters prevail, the alliance will end, but if Gowron wins after asking for Federation help and being denied, he's likely to be much less friendly towards to the Federation than he might otherwise be.

As for the Duras' sisters cleavage costumes, they're obviously just for eye candy, but if one wanted to fanwank it, you argue that it's a subtle (by Klingon standards) form of boasting. "I'm so tough, I don't need to armor my most vulnerable areas because no opponent will ever get that close to me." Plus, Klingons are supposed to have all those redundant backup organs anyway.
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Gaius Maximus
Fri, May 21, 2021, 12:53am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: The Quickening

A good episode, though not much fun to watch. This last time through, I started to wonder about what it's going to be like for the blight-free generation growing up in this society. How is the baby Travean showed Bashir at the beginning of the episode going to feel knowing he's doomed to a terrible fate that those only a few months younger were spared? I expect there will be a lot of resentment from at least the last few years of children born with the blight towards their juniors.

Also, I have to agree that after this episode, the disease Section 31 infected the Founders with in Season 7 begins to look less like a war crime and more like justice.
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Gaius Maximus
Sat, May 8, 2021, 6:45pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: For the Cause

Regarding Eddington's speech at the end of the episode, I disagree that we're meant to take it seriously and I don't feel that the writers needed to do more in this episode to discredit it. We've had 14 seasons seasons of Star Trek up to this point that show Eddington's allegations to be ridiculous, plus his actions just in this episode as a traitor and terrorist.

Similarly, I don't think Sisko refuses to engage with Eddington's arguments because he agrees that they are true, but because they are so obviously ridiculous that it would be a waste of time to dignify them with a counterargument. Instead, he cuts to what is really important, that Eddington is a traitor and Sisko is going to make him regret it.

Sadly, for reasons that I've never been able to understand, there seems to be a large contingent of Star Trek fans who want to believe that the Federation is evil and so are eager to take Eddington's accusations as unvarnished truth, both in-universe, and as the opinion of the writers. Regrettably the current Powers that Be behind Trek seem to focused on giving this group what they want, judging by Discovery and Picard.
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Gaius Maximus
Fri, Feb 5, 2021, 2:13am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S4: Devil's Due

@CreveCoeur - It makes sense that this would remind you of that Simpsons episode, as they are both loosely based on the short story "The Devil and Daniel Webster."
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Gaius Maximus
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 9:57pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: Paradise Lost

I've been doing a 25th anniversary rewatch of DS9, watching each episode exactly 25 years after its original airdate, which brought me to this episode today. Deep Space 9 has felt like a show ahead of its time for awhile now, but watching this episode only two days after Trump's attempted coup was downright eerie.
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Gaius Maximus
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 6:39pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

@Josh - That kind of xenophobia is very much not in the spirit of Star Trek.

A couple things. Jaresh-Inyo is not a ruler, he is an elected President. He is also not the President of Earth, he's the President of the Federation, which is made up of many different species. It would be ridiculous if the President of the Federation was always a human; that would be more like a human empire then a democratic state made up of many species.

According the writers, they originally planned to include members of the United Earth government as well as the Federation government in this episode, but they felt that it was adding a lot of characters and complexity without much benefit to the story. Also, it makes sense that Sisko wouldn't be dealing with Earth leaders because Starfleet is a Federation institution and doesn't report individual planetary leaders any more than US Army officers report to state governors. I think we can assume that the writers had in mind something like the US President overriding a state government in an emergency situation and just didn't feel like they needed to show it onscreen.
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Gaius Maximus
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 2:15am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: Hippocratic Oath

I'm with Bashir on this one. All humanitarian concerns aside, anything that weakens the Dominion has got to be good for the Federation at this point. I just don't buy that the Jem'Hadar alone could possibly be more dangerous than the Founders, Vorta, and Jem'Hadar united. Nor does it seem likely that even if they did go on a rampage, they would all make for the wormhole and attack the Federation rather than staying in the Gamma Quadrant.

@ Jamie Mann - Why would Quark get in trouble for this one? He was working with Odo.
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Gaius Maximus
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 10:54pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S4: Suddenly Human

I always find the message of the episode to be absolutely morally repellent. Apparently killing some people and abducting their child makes you the rightful parent of that child as long as you evade justice long enough to brainwash him into thinking he belongs with you. I wonder exactly how long you need to keep your abducted child away from his real family before you gain this moral right to him. I guess if you’re one of those people who cuts a baby out of its mother’s womb and runs off with it, you’re automatically the rightful parent and should get to keep it, because, hey, it’s never known any other parent, right? Just appalling and disgraceful.
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Max
Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 10:27am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S1: Veritas

The release of this series just seems like really bad timing for the new season of Discovery.

At the bottom of it all, this series seems like it’s written by a bunch of people who just want to make fun of nerds. Hell, one of the latest episodes even made fun of Galaxy Quest. If it were truly serious about being a comedic take on Star Trek, I doubt they’d have pissed on one of the best comedic takes on the franchise.

All in all, this show has no business bearing the “Star Trek” name and should just be a separate animated comedy.
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Max
Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 10:13am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

I recently watched this back to back with “Where No Man Has Gone” from TOS. Threshold definitely seemed to me like a troll take on that particular episode. I appreciated (maybe even enjoyed?) Threshold’s absurdity more because of how fresh the TOS episode was in my mind.
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Maxim_7
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 6:39am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S1: Second Contact

Gave this a watch just now, and i would like to hear the opinion of this forum:

Who is this made for?
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Gaius Maximus
Sat, Jun 13, 2020, 3:30am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: Facets

@Tomalak - I agree that the attitudes of the senior staff to Quark can sometimes be annoying, (though he usually gives as good as he gets), but he's not a coworker of anyone else in the main credits. They're all members of Starfleet or the Bajoran Militia, he's a civilian business owner.
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d-maxsted
Sun, May 31, 2020, 7:17pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

The Boldest Trek Of Them All

Of everything that is Star Trek this is without a doubt the boldest voyage the Starship Enterprise has ever taken. A Machine Planet Sending A Machine To Earth To Find Its Creator and not till the final 20 minutes does the absolute WOW factor reveal itself as to who this machine is. As a lifelong Star Trek fan I really appreciate this film and the more times I watch it I love it even more as this film has every element that makes Star Trek the incredible story that it is and yes there is still a lot of hate out there towards this film but for me it is simply the perfect Trek of all,the return of Kirk,Spock,McCoy,Sulu,Chekov,Uhura and Scotty,the incredible intorduction the the new Enterprise,the magnificent new theme and incredible score by the legend himself Jerry Goldsmith,Douglas Trumbull,John Dykstra creating simply amazing visual effects throughout the entire film that give Star Wars a run for its money any day and at the helm none other than director Robert Wise who shows why he is the legend he is as a director,every shot in the film is so beautifully crafted and shot,I cant say I think its long overdue that Paramount release this film in 4K with a Dolby Atmos Soundtrack but I imagine it will happen sooner than later.
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Gaius Maximus
Sat, May 16, 2020, 12:12am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: Family Business

Just a comment on Sisko always dating women of the same race. This used to bother me a lot too, but I saw somewhere recently, (possibly it was in the What We Left Behind documentary), that it was actually Brooks' request that his character only be involved with black women. Still seems a bit strange to me, but as a white guy, I'm not going to gainsay a black man on what's most appropriate on a racial issue.
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Gaius Maximus
Fri, May 8, 2020, 3:53am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: The Most Toys

@ Chrome,

How exactly was Data supposed to knock him unconscious? He can't touch or even approach him because of his anti-positron device. His only weapon has no stun setting. Fajo is certain Data cannot kill him and so refuses to submit or be intimidated. What choice does Data have other than to kill Fajo or submit to him?
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Gaius Maximus
Sat, May 2, 2020, 1:06am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: The Die Is Cast

@Elliott - "Well knowing Odo, I would say they should probably put him in a holodeck where he has to watch Quark perform oral sex on Kira."

There's an image I didn't need in my head. If I'm ever tortured, I hope it's by someone less imaginative than you.
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Rattrap Maximize!
Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 12:58am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Good Christ, no one hates Star Trek more than Star Trek fans. For a franchise that cut its teeth on the idea of "boldly going", you'd think Trek would have a more bold, forward-looking fanbase. Instead, it's the most weirdly possessive, unexpectedly regressive group of compulsive hate-watchers.

Unbelievable.

Why are we so pathologically incapable of enjoying a show? Why is Every.Single.Comment.Section immediately and constantly befouled with endless "This isn't Star Trek" bullshit over and over?

Stop it.

Stop.

This IS Star Trek.

I sincerely hope that this is just the small, vocal minority of the fandom that does this, but good God, your insistence on constantly coming on just to air your most inane gripes is just exhausting. Seriously. *Now* we're bitching about bad acting, poor writing, weird dialogue, plotholes, and laughable science? Have any of you seen Star Trek before?

PIC is already a better series than the whole of VOY and ENT combined, and it's not even close. Trek fandom seems hellbent on forcing the franchise back into the insipid, timid, tortured box that was the Berman/Braga era. At least, that's the logical conclusion, as DISCO and PIC are easily the best things to happen to Star Trek since DS9.

You're making it just *slightly* difficult for those of us who actually like Star Trek.

When I have more time, I'll address why I completely, utterly disagree with Trent on this show. And John Harmon. And...

But just for the moment, let's move on. Possible spoilers ahead, so read or not.

Part 2 will have Seven re-Queen, and use the Borg cube to fend of the Romulan fleet.

At some point, the idea of fully synthetic civilizations being at odds with fully organic civilizations will come to a very weirdly awesome full circle, where the Borg are, after all this time, the purest expression of coexistence and symbiosis between the two extremes. To make just the briefest nod to my username, the Borg will represent some sort of "Technorganic" ideal, as perverse and out-of-left-field as it seems.

I wonder if the writers have the stones to go that route. Curiosity very much piqued.

Final speculative spoiler -- at some point, Picard *does* in fact die. Soji adopts his last name, in a scene that seems ripped straight from another saga...
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Gaius Maximus
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 1:45am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: Destiny

It's been mentioned a couple of times in the comments that the orbs only work for believers, but this is definitely not so. In "Emissary," both Sisko and Dax have Orb visions. In "Trials and Tribble-lations," Arne Darvin uses an orb to travel back in time.

Also, @Springy,

"Or maybe some sorta-Jesus equivalent, anyhow. A Prophet-alien sent to walk among them to experience linear time and such."

They did have one of these. His name was Ben Sisko.
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Gaius Maximus
Thu, Jan 30, 2020, 3:01am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: The High Ground

I want to add a bit to the discussion about terrorist merely being a label applied to people who lose a war. This is one of those platitudes that sounds good to people who don't know a lot about the subject, but is blatantly false when you actually do know something about it. Terrorism is not just 'violence by people we don't like.' It is a specific strategy, that of deliberately inflicting violence on a civilian population, generally with the goal of forcing the government of those civilians to change its political policies. No serious historian, professional or amateur just labels losing generals as terrorists. No one even calls Nazi German or Imperial Japanese generals terrorists. Same goes for Imperial German generals, US Civil War Confederate generals, and Napoleonic French generals. George Washington was never called a terrorist by the British. For one thing, the word 'terrorist' was not even invented until after the American Revolution. I'm not sure where this idea came from, but it seems to be an article of faith these days among the many who see the US as an evil empire and assume it must have been completely rotten from the start. Washington was not a terrorist because he did not target civilian populations. It's not even true that he used unorthodox tactics. In fact he lost a lot of battles early in the war because he was using standard tactics with an army that wasn't trained in them against an army that was trained in them. Washington was, in fact, generally respected by his British counterparts, and even George III called him 'the greatest man in the world,' albeit a decade after the Revolution ended.

There's also a general conflation of terrorism with guerrilla warfare. The tactics are similar, but the targets are different. Suicide bombing a nightclub is an act of terrorism. Blowing up a Humvee with an IED is guerrilla warfare. On DS9, Kira frequently calls herself a former terrorist, but what we hear about the Bajoran Resistance makes them sound much more like guerrilla fighters. It's difficult to believe that there was much in the way of Cardassian civilians on Bajor for a terrorist to target. They could have targeted Bajoran civilian collaborators, but we don't hear much about that. We do hear a lot about them fighting the Cardassian military, which is not terrorism.
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Gaius Maximus
Fri, Jan 3, 2020, 2:28am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: Past Tense, Part I

Just wanted to make a comment on the possible effect of the Bell Riots on the development of the Federation vis-a-vis World War III.

Keep in mind that these riots are taking place two months before a Presidential election, and, according to Star Trek chronology, it's the last Presidential election before WWIII breaks out in 2026. How the riots play out is obviously going to have a major impact on the election and it's not hard to believe that if they go a different way, a different President would be elected. That President might turn out to be a Chamberlain rather than a Churchill, or an isolationist rather than an FDR, to make an analogy to WWII, and that in turn might lead to an even worse WWIII.

As bad as WWIII undoubtedly was (will be?), it could have been a lot worse. We don't know a lot about it directly, but we do know that less than 10% of the world population died, most of the Earth remained inhabitable, so there was almost certainly no large-scale nuclear exchange, (though there obviously was some use of nuclear weapons), and enough of an industrial and technological base survived that a spaceship with a functioning warp drive was built and launched less than 10 years after the end of the war.

Given that O'Brien detects no satellites in orbit 350 years after WWIII in the altered timeline, the war in that timeline was likely bad enough to knock humanity back to a pre-industrial level of development. To me at least, it's plausible that a political change in the United States due to the altered course of the Bell Riots in the lead-up to a crucial election would be enough to worsen the character of the ensuing war to such a degree.
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Gaius Maximus
Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 1:18am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: Defiant

One nitpick occurred to me rewatching this episode that I haven't seen mentioned before. We're explicitly shown that Kira has command codes for the Defiant and Riker doesn't. So why doesn't Kira try to use that against him? If I were her, the first thing I would have done after waking up is order the computer to cut off all unauthorized access to ship's systems. It would at least be worth trying before blowing up the replicator.
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Gaius Maximus
Fri, Sep 27, 2019, 1:16am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part I

@Elliott

I know I'm chiming in pretty late here, but my objection to your portrayal of Sisko is that you seem to be portraying him as more of a free agent than he was. Starfleet assigned him to do this job. There's no indication that he requested this particular assignment. I can't see any argument that it's immoral for Starfleet to design a ship to fight the Borg, (more like bare-minimum prudence,) and given that, I can't see how Sisko doing that job can be immoral, just because he lost his wife to the Borg previously. Is it only moral for people who haven't lost family to the Borg to design ships to fight them? Do you think Sisko had a moral obligation to request a transfer or resign his commission rather than carry out this assignment? To me, you seem to be holding Sisko to so high a standard that I can't even understand it.
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Rattrap Maximize!
Mon, Sep 23, 2019, 12:08am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S3: Doctor's Orders

Three stahs.

I love creepy, psychological terror stories.

I especially like any Trek episode that goes against the Trek grain. Ask me about any TNG episode featuring Lwaxana Troi...

Aside from seeing an episode or two way back in the day, I'm on my first real run of Enterprise. I've been hearing so much about the 'Xindi arc' for so long, that I've found myself, frankly, let down. As yet, the Xindi seem to have little agency; most episodes seem to boil down to them ominously kicking the can further and further down the road, in meeting after meeting which could easily *all be the same meeting* for as much as I can tell.

Paradoxically, the Xindi Arc seems designed to come at the expense of substantive, cogent, entertaining stories on a per-episode basis WHILE ALSO kicking the can so far down the road as to suggest that the writers really had no idea where they were going with the arc. It's a... strange place to be.

As a bottle episode, Doctor's Orders felt free of the shackles of the Xindi Arc. The episode felt free to be its own thing, and it felt like a breath of fresh air as a result.

Phlox and T'Pol are *easily* the best characters for my personal taste. Billingsley obviously can act circles around the rest of the cast, while Blalock's performances are... extremely underrated IMO. She's oddly adept at communicating a wide range of responses via a very subtle mastery over a limited set of facial expressions, body language, and inflections.

I don't mind the fact that the plot here was thin -- like I said, it's a breather from the sorta overbearing ineffectiveness of the Xindi Arc thus far.

Seeing the ever-cheerful Phlox slowly descend into paranoia while attending to duties far beyond his qualifications, aboard an effectively deserted ship built a rather effective sense of quiet desperation. Where other commenters found the episode to be poorly paced, I found it to be a satisfying slow-burn punctuated by moments of real confusion and terror. Xindi insects on board? Radiation-poisoned Hoshi? I thought it was paced wonderfully.

While I was initially confused as to T'Pol's first appearance, I didn't suspect the twist until roughly the near-euthanasia of Porthos. It seemed odd to me that T'Pol wouldn't arm herself, just in case the things Phlox was saying were true. The scene on the bridge, where T'Pol never even once goes to her station to check anything is where I pretty much knew. The engineering scene became a bit... silly. But I can let that slide, the price to pay for an otherwise great episode.

The interesting question -- why did Phlox conjure T'Pol? Jammer points out that it seems like an odd fit, considering how introverted Vulcans tend to be, compared to the extreme socialization of Denobulans.

Frankly, I think Phlox conjured T'Pol *because* of how private she is. Limited interaction means fewer clues for his conscious mind to pick away at. T'Pol's value for privacy and limited interaction is a credible means for Phlox's subconscious to 'protect' the illusion. If Phlox conjured up a more engaging person, he'd likely interact with that person more. More interaction increases the chances of him spotting something 'off' with the other person. If he does, he realizes how mad he's going, and probably goes all-the-way crazy, leading to the demise of the NX-01.

Phlox actually had to be crazy, in order to maintain sanity.

This may sound a bit dark, but as Phlox was waking up Archer, I was kinda hoping for one last terrifying twist where the ship exiting the anomaly was a hallucination, and the entire crew died because he woke them too soon. Alas.

Anyway, great episode. Three stars solidly earned. The concept was solid, and the execution was awesome.
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Rattrap Maximize!
Mon, Sep 2, 2019, 3:13pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S3: Extinction

Hi Jason. Viruses do indeed change the DNA of the cells they infect. In the majority of cases, however those changes cause the cell to stop functioning, and die. By that point, the virus has used the cell to reproduce, and infect more cells, but as the infection spreads, the host cells will likely keep dying. Or, they'll often become cancerous. Both situations are bad for the host.

There are exceptions, but for a race to design a pathogen that could successfully infect species from another planet is... really improbable. By "successfully", I mean that it could rewrite the DNA of the infected individuals such that it doesn't end up killing them.

This would require knowledge and understanding of the target species' genome, which is exceedingly unlikely as in the case of this episode. It would require tailoring the pathogen specifically to the target genome so that it would have any chance of working as intended at all.

On top of that, the crew showed *very* significant physical changes. Changes in bone structure, almost instantaneous massive hair growth, gills, and I think that x-ray zoom into Archer's chest showed him spontaneously popping a second heart into existence?

Such drastic physical changes *might* be able to be encoded into a person's genome, but it would need to be done before the cells begin differentiating. Basically, this pathogen would need to have been injected into a very early fetus for any hope of working.

An adult human has more or less reached the end of the growth/development phase of life, so editing the DNA isn't going to result in sudden organ/bone/etc generation *unless* there's also a way to reset the host cells into a pluripotent state -- but that would also likely cause massive debilitating health issues.

On top of *that*, is the fact that the virus seemingly transmitted an alien consciousness into the team's brains, which I can't think of any sort of justification for.

Somehow, though, that's all a roundabout way of getting to my real issue with this epidode, and Berman/Braga era Trek in general:

The biological properties and functions of the pathogen in this episode are the *interesting* aspect of the show. And yet it's handwaved away, and treated as a means to an extremely uninteresting end. All that, so Archer could find the ruins of an ancient city? Meh.

If the episode actually focused on studying the virus itself -- if the hour was devoted to a detailed, analysis of how it does what it does, and if that analysis even *sounded* plausible enough, I might have liked the episode.

I mean, I can't overstate how significant this pathogen is to the Star Trek universe (you can turn a Klingon into a Vulcan? Hello!). A few decades of study by the Federation's top biologists should give you a cure to essentially any illness. Been exposed to Berthold Rays? Got Dorek Syndrome? Telurian Plague? Just take a hypospray of this stuff that can edit your DNA, and reset your cells back to normal! Doctors will be obsolete. McCoy will go into Anthropology.

A collective of cybernetic organisms comes knocking at Earth's door, hellbent on assimilating your population? Make giant bug-bombs of this stuff, and beam it onto their cubes! Massively edit their DNA to reject the cybernetic implants, and turn them all into tribbles! At the very least, reversing their own assimilation should be fairly trivial.

Alternatively, edit your own species' DNA to be assimilation-proof.

If the massive changes to the away team's bodies had killed them, or the treatment had killed them, or at the *very least*, left them with severe, debilitating medical conditions requiring them to resign from Starfleet, *that* would have been an episode worth watching.

You'd have a new captain (T'Pol, maybe?), security chief, and communications officer, so the show would have to deal with those ramifications, but that's what bothers me...

...The pathogen in this episode is a MAJOR discovery. Historic, even. The biology and physics behind its abilities are not trivial, and should be almost the sole focus of the episode.

The ramifications of the pathogen's very existence are crying out to be explored. The ability to change a person so fundamentally and completely into a completely different species, with a completely different personal identity is utterly terrifying.

But instead of focusing on the *actually compelling* aspects of this pathogen, it's used as nothing more than an infection-of-the-week to set in motion this utterly insipid, threadbare story about the ruins of an ancient city in a jungle.

This is Star Trek pulling its punches. It introduces a (frankly universe-breaking) concept/situation, and then goes on to completely sidestep and ignore everything that made the opening concept compelling, in favor of telling a generic, safe, non-compelling story.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for the replicators, I'm not going to say they're more plausible per se, however...

...I would say we have enough established science on biology to set some upper limits on what a virus should be capable of.

I'd say that we don't have enough established science on quantum physics (which I tend to associate transporters/replicators with) to set any meaningful limits on what such a device should be capable of.

In other words, I think we know enough by now to know that this virus is nearly impossible.

I think we *don't* know enough yet to know that a replicator is impossible.

That might be a weak argument, but it's easier (for me, at least) to suspend my disbelief on a topic when it has less data screaming in my face "this isn't plausible!!!"
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Rattrap Maximize!
Mon, Sep 2, 2019, 1:23pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S3: Impulse

I more or less agree with both Dave and NoPoet on this episode. Not much I can add to that.

Something brought up by kythe:

"I wouldn't have rated this more than 2 stars. I didn't see the purpose of this as a zombie story. Vulcans who can't control their emotions are just called Romulans. There is no reason to believe they turn into killing machines that don't speak."

This brings up a question that the show clearly (and unfortunately) had no interest in asking -- just *what if* Vulcans with no emotional control ARE, in fact, hyper-violent killing machines?

Following from that, what if their strict adherence to emotional suppression was merely the consensus best-available solution to a deep, fundamental flaw in the 'Vulcan Condition'?

Following further, what if the Romulans were simply a portion of the Vulcan populace who disagreed with the idea of emotional suppression, and simply developed different ways of managing the darker parts of the Vulco-Romulan psyche.

What if the 'fully matured' Vulcan and Romulan societies are the products of differing lines of thought, regarding the best ways to manage a hyper-violent Id? (a slightly re-worded version of the previous question).

From what I've learned over the years, emotional suppression is largely an unhealthy thing. What if the shared base tendencies are such that Romulan civilization

1) Allows for freer expression and management of emotions, thus...
2)... a given Romulan is --individually-- more emotionally/mentally/psychologically healthy than a given Vulcan, yet...
3) ... a civilization which allows such free psychological expression is susceptible to the darker elements of said psyche becoming a defining characteristic or guiding principle upon which the civilization as a whole is based.

WHEREAS Vulcan civilization:

1) Insists on --frankly oppressive-- emotional suppression of the individual, thus...
2) A given Vulcan is more psychologically unhealthy than a Romulan, despite their often calm outward demeanor, yet...
3) ... a civilization which works so hard at suppressing their emotions, and which ostracizes those who can't/don't, ends up out-thinking the hyper-violent tendencies which would otherwise make that civilization unsustainable in the long run. The unhealthy self-denial of the individual allows the civilization to flourish alongside many other worlds.

This could be seen as the Vulcans choosing a sort of conceptual dictatorship -- where logic is the dictator, and slavish subservience is ensured through strict social conditioning. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few... or the one.

The Romulans, on the other hand, choose a certain freedom of expression, which allows a toxic and fundamental aspect of their psyche to take hold on a civilizational level. This makes them less amenable to diplomatic relations with other worlds.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BUT, as I said earlier, this show isn't interested in asking these questions. The following quote from Cetric proves as much

"You just have to look into their distorted, mutated faces to understand the effect goes more far than just switching off logic and turning on paranoia. The Vulcan chief engineer interrogated by T'Pol isn't capable of recognizing her, a former ship mate, lest saying something. He was turned into a beast, we have to assume what's left of the Vulcan brain is an animal-like horde drive which makes them behave like they do. And other physical changes go along with it."

This condition goes FAR beyond simple inability to control emotion. This loss of all higher functions altogether. This isn't representative of a possible Vulcan psyche, but rather what's left of their reptilian brain (or equivalent) simply reacting violently in a violent situation.

And it's too bad. Dave pointed out the 'what if', with regards to the possibility of rescuing the Vulcans, and having to deal with the fallout of having 140+ new residents on your cramped vessel, all recovering from a severe psychological illness during a desperate mission to save your own world from annihilation. That's a story I want to watch. But Enterprise pulled its punches by making the Vulcans a lost cause, and blowing them up.

Similarly, exploring the possibility that Vulcans *are* in fact a fundamentally hyper-violent race, and what that implies about both how Vulcan AND Romulan society developed in response, offers a potentially fascinating and status-quo breaking insight into both civilizations. But again, Enterprise pulls its punches, by turning the Vulcans into straight-up zombies.

This is the major failing endemic to Berman/Braga era Trek. FAR too often, compelling problems are presented, but then completely worked in such a way that all the compelling aspects of said problems are ignored/evaded completely, in favor of some utterly toothless, unrealistically convenient, uninteresting, 'safe', status-quo-maintaining resolution.

I often get the sense that whoever was making the decisions in the B&B era, be it writers, producers, or network, didn't actually *see* how compelling the situations they came up with were. The situations were just a means to an already-scripted end.

Maybe it's the fault of the more episodic TV of the time. I don't know.

I haven't seen Discovery yet, but I hope it goes all-in on asking the compelling questions.

Having said that, I absolutely enjoyed the production value and presentation of the episode. I'll give it three stars for being utterly watchable, despite the shying away from the big questions, and despite the seizure-inducing visuals, Seriously. They should have put a warning in front of that episode.
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