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Sun, Apr 18, 2021, 12:58am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Homefront

@The River Temarc

>they look a lot more like an allegory for someone who stubbornly resists masking or who embraces QAnon.

I was always annoyed with Dad Sisko back when I first saw all of DS9 in the early 2000s. Back then, I supported the post-9/11 wars and the fear-based policies that went with them. I wised up, but those policies will probably still be around even after we leave Afghanistan. (Do airports still check your genitals for IEDs?)

Now we're in a different 'war', but skeptics of the associated policies are treated even worse than war-on-terror skeptics used to be. They are casually compared to conspiracy theorists, and given four-figure penalties for living out their normal lives. In the 20th year of Covid, I wonder what the majority view will be about the restrictions that reappear every fall.

It's pretty obvious to me now that Joe Sisko was right to raise a stink. Shame they later retconned his principles.
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Tue, Mar 9, 2021, 4:42am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

“To quote LBJ, the last US president that tried to transform US society”

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Sun, Mar 7, 2021, 1:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Maelstrom

Michael here (the one from 2011).

I've matured (a bit) since then. I lost my Dad three years ago and am no more "over it" now than I was the day he died.

I still think the episode was thoroughly weird, even nonsensical in the overall scheme of things, and the mystical mumbo-jumbo did not resonate with me at all. But Kara at her mom's deathbed really got me choked up, big time. Makes you wonder: What's the point of life? To it?
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Michael Darwin
Sun, Mar 7, 2021, 12:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Just finished binge watching season 3 after taking the 50% off deal for a year of Paramount Plus. And the verdict is... eh.

In many ways Discovery moved Trek in the right direction, and this season moved Discovery the right way too. Showed flaws in the Federation, and took away some of their invincibility. We have brought in new crew and said good bye to familiar faces every season. They actually jumped into the future. Perhaps too far, IMO, but it was a necessary move for a series that was mired in the past.

On the other hand, the schmaltzy science grates me to no end. If TOS relied to heavily on radiation of the week, Discovery is all about the materialization of bad feelings. Bleh.

I am also unsettled by Gray's character. I know the actor is currently 19, but he comes across MUCH younger to me, while Blu de Barrio does not. I get Gray is probably supposed to look the age he was when he died, but still it feels a bit creepy to me. No offense to the actor, but I would like them to just resolve this story and move on from Gray.
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Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 10:53am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: The Passage

Re-watching the show and thought I'd look through my own and others' comments from years ago on here while at it.

I'm saddened, in a way, by some of the remarks made in the past few years. "This character does something bad, which is unexpected and out of character." "That character does something good, which is unexpected and out of character."

That, I think, is the incomparable strength of this show: There are no cartoonish, black-and-white, infallible vs. irredeemable, virtuous vs. villainous dichotomies that plague so, so many other shows, movies, franchises, etc. Instead, *every* character disappoints at some point while some unexpectedly delight us. We form a bond with one or two and begin idolizing them, only to see them fail us by making a decision or engaging in behavior we see as contrary to our own reason or moral imperatives. I remember going through that with Adama on the first watch.

But that's what humans are like, especially humans who recently went through a species-defining catastrophe, are cooped up in close quarters for years on end, getting on each other's nerves, losing perspective and hope... - would we really act much differently in their shoes?

The same goes for Lee Adama and Starbuck (re MDE427's comment). Yes, Starbuck is unattractive, to put it mildly, in her own right and especially as stacked up against Dee. Yet, she has charisma, which Dee does not. How many times have we seen someone pick a physically unattractive partner over a much more prepossessing one? It's, again, human. This is not a two-bit Hollywood movie where a stunning guy shacks up with a super hot broad and they live happily ever after, or whatever.

As I said, that's to my mind the greatest strength of B.S.G.
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Wed, Jun 10, 2020, 9:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

Can we get some moderation in here to delete this ugly, ugly comment by Elliott?

"I also wanted to point out an element in the production of this episode that really ticked me off : we have never seen a black Bajoran before--which simply implies that their species evolved differently and their skin colouring is effected by different phenomena than humans, vulcans or klingons--but because Jake has married a Bajoran woman, she must be black. This, especially in the context of Star Trek, is offensive. I'm sure it wasn't written into the story, but someone's decision behind the scenes to cast racially in the 1990s is damned frustrating."
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Sat, May 23, 2020, 6:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

I liked this one. I noticed how in the cabin in a scene near the end- there’s a book in the cabin book shelf by a “La Farge- A Pictorial History of the American Indian”. Interesting that in a story about a clash of cultures that has a book describing a people who’s culture was affected by the arrival of a new one. Also Gullivers travels which involves meddling in other cultures. THe gorilla hunters book in the shelf involves the complications around helping an escapee.
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Michael Wallis
Sat, Mar 7, 2020, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Time's Arrow, Part I

An extended Guinan episode is always a recipe for disaster. She is perhaps the worst character in the Trek universe. But when added to the mix is a bombastic, annoying Mark Twain, it becomes a calamity. Twain is presented here as some sort of progressive curmudgeon who we are supposed to delight in as some kine of 19th century Gene Roddenberry. So very boring and predictable.
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Michael Wallis
Mon, Mar 2, 2020, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ethics

Beverly needed to get down from her high horse in this one. The research surgeon was completely ethical in presenting Worf with the new treatment. She provided full disclosure and obtained Worf's informed consent. Great to see Riker heroically representing the pro life position and reversing Worf's embrace of the barbaric culture of death.
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Michael Darwin
Sun, Feb 9, 2020, 12:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

So I'm a year or so late, but I just finished watching the season, and once again want to thank Jammer for all his reviews, and the comments by the community. On the one hand I find the series frustrating for many of the reasons most of you did, but I really am drawn to the characters. They may be a little too... colorful at times, but they are all so much better than the bland gruel that dominated Voyager and Enterprise. The show has a lot of good ingredients, but I think was wrongheaded in being a prequel based on silly spore science. For all the flaws of season 2, dropping the ship into the far future offers a fresh start, both for the crew and the universe itself. Who knows where the Federation, Klingons, Vulcans, Kelpians, etc will be 930 years in the future? I am genuinely excited to find out.
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Fri, Feb 7, 2020, 12:04am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

After 3 episodes, I think I'm done with this. This comment helped me understand why:

@Jeff Chapman

"After all, it's not us up on that screen... and that is the problem. We don't feel we are there. We are simply being entertained, and it has no relevance to us after it's all over."

I think that's why ideals are so essential for Star Trek to work. There is nothing I feel I share with the characters I are watching on DSC and PIC. They have their own lives, their own goals, and because they aren't mine, I simply don't care. When watching TOS, TNG, DS9 the reason I cared was because I felt I had the same values - whether it was justice, freedom, peace. Therefore the crew's victory was my own. I had stakes in their success.

This series, with a crusty old Picard chasing after some android's sister he apparently cared for, because there are tenuous links to another android he served with? Honestly, who cares? I would like to sit down with the writers and ask them why I should give a shred of fucks why this should matter to me. Especially with a crew who are generally jerks.
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Michael Dunleavy
Sun, Feb 2, 2020, 9:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Sound of Thunder

Just catching up on S2 as I refuse to pay for All Access.

I enjoyed the episode and am always glad for a chance to read more of Jammer's reviews, but in this case I think he could have been a bit more reserved in criticizing the ending. As he says, we are still at the point where we are dealing with General Order One, not the Prime Directive. If this was TOS or TNG, I'd fully expect to set sail and never hear about this planet again. But given the serialized nature of this series, and what I hear is happening in S3 in terms of where the ship ends up, it may be that we will see the ramifications of the interference on Kaminar. Maybe it is even what reframes the consideration of General Order One into the Prime Directive.
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Sat, Jun 22, 2019, 9:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Covenant


"Are you sure faith is always a bad thing? Children have but faith in their parents to do what’s best for them, and without that, they might not learn how to become responsible adults. "

Well, he did say faith without evidence. If a child has faith in his parents while they beat him daily, then yes, it's a bad thing.

Nothing in this world can be relied upon, which is where religious faith comes in. The paradox is, I find, that faith in God is first required to have evidence of God. In an age where we have utmost faith that what our senses tell us is true, that is something that is extremely difficult to overcome.
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Tue, Jun 4, 2019, 7:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

"Also, the ship reaches warp 9.65 even with force fields holding its hull integrity after the Borg cut out a section of the saucer. Technically, I don't think this should be possible but we can suspend disbelief."

Why not? From what I understand, warp doesn't propel the ship any faster it just changes the space around it. So it's really no different from impulse in terms of whatever forces would be acting on it. And since there is no friction in space a hull breach shouldn't make any difference unless it affects the integrity of the structure connecting the engines.
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Sat, May 18, 2019, 9:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Necessary Evil

William B,

I just wanted to let you know that your 2450 word comment was such a profound character analysis that I copied it into word so I can find it again later. If you have a blog I'd love to read it. Bravo.
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Another Michael
Mon, Apr 29, 2019, 1:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

While I really like the Orville and think it has made some great strides of late, this episode is maybe the least interesting of the season to me. Everything is so predictable. I knew the resistance base would be invaded thirty seconds after they got there because that is what always happens in these stories. Same thing with sending a solution back into the past with the time mcguffin. While other current sci fi series with very similar plots fail to achieve even this level of competence (this time travel plot is much less confused and arbitrary than STD) it still doesn’t work for me. I could almost get behind the fate of the union being decided by a relationship, but not Ed and Kellys. The writers have gone there too often, there just isn’t much of anything left to explore in their relationship. Also, the relationship that we know actually makes the difference is Finn and Isaac, so making the shows’ leads the focus here seems strange.

While I endorse them trying to tie their big sci fi arcs to actual relatable character pieces, and while I recognize that a lot of these story elements and action bits will be enjoyed and applauded by by others, particularly those who haven’t yet seen other sequences which seem to inspire them, to me this is an unfortunate misfire. I appreciated the last episode more than most, although it was flawed, largely because it still had some ideas (regret, how people change, how people can be poorly matched, how timing can ruin things, etc.) Nothing incredibly deep, but still authentic and real. This last episode, however, was just boilerplate apocalypse procedural. Not good, not bad, not really anything, just a collection of scenes from other shows and movies repurposed and glued together.

Season 2 was pretty great overall. Many things I really enjoyed. Looking forward to season 3.
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Michael H.
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 10:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

“I have a question...if this show didn’t have the Star Trek brand attached to it, would anyone care about this?”

I’m sorry but this question is - in the vernacular of others here - dumb, dumb, dumb. Would anyone care about TNG if Star Trek wasn’t attached to it? How about Enterprise? I don’t think we can construct a hypothetical show without the brand these shows based on because...wait for it...these shows are based on brands and written that way.

In line with your thinking, I offer a piece of wisdom to anyone who doesn’t like this show: don’t consider it Star Trek and let it go. I made that decision with Enterprise long ago and am perfectly content.
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Another Michael
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 10:56am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Lasting Impressions

After rewatching this again, I agree with Jammer that it is one of the best of the series. It’s a clever use of the sci fi theme to talk about a lot of very real and relatable issues, it makes good use of it’s characters, and is both emotionally compelling and just the right amount of funny. It’s great stuff, and I greatly appreaciate that they didn’t feel the need to throw in unnecessary action. That kind of restraint is wonderful to see. The Orville definitely grew into it’s own this season, but this one really stands out to me as being incredibly brave, thoughtful and surprisingly naunced. 5/5
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Another Michael
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

I loved this episode almost from start to finish. It’s about a compelling moral issue, has great peformances, and explores the politics of the union in an interesting way. I could have done without the skirmishing... but hey, it’s crowdpleasing, it’s meaningful within the context of the narrative, especially for Bortas, and it’s pretty short, so it gets a pass. I admit the Dolly Parton thing also kind of threw me at first, but it’s both fun and adorable, and I love the Orville for it’s eagerness.

Overall, this episode and the last have proven the concept of the Orville as show in my mind. Season two has been a dramatic improvement in basically every way. The Orville is now a smart, thoughtful show that engages with substantive issues both large and small, while painting the picture of a better world. At it’s best, it manages to be funny, compelling, exciting and often very touching. It is, as Seth described it, aspirational. I love it.

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Another Michael
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

@Daya & Alan Roi

To both, while I realize this is the wrong place to be making this argument, I’ll just say that simpler is usually better in storytelling, especially in science fiction which tends to gravitate to grandiose thinking. “Saving all sentient life in thr galaxy” is much less interesting than a simple act of throwing someone out of a “burning building” because it’s something we could actually do.
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Another Michael
Sat, Apr 6, 2019, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

Everyone has broken this one down rather well, but I just want to highlight one point.

Re: Pike. To paraphrase above, this not a fantasy element, it’s maybe the most ridiculous, arbitrary and obvious plot device ever concieved. What’s more, it is exactly the kind of thing people (rightly imo) despise about the SW prequels, this lowest possible effort “storytelling” method that seems to anyways rely on drilling down into every piece of previously established lore and making it worse in the process. Yes, Anson Mount gave a great performance, but put that aside. Before, Pike was someone who was injured saving others in a tragic accident. Now, he is someone who traded a “time crystal” for being locked into a horrific injury at some time in the future, in order to save “all sentient life in the galaxy”. Ask yourself which of these is more relatable.
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Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 8:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

"Save all life in the galaxy including my own or save myself from a debilitating accident" - it's not much of a choice, is it? Even MU Lorca wouldn't choose differently.
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Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 6:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

All the Pike praise is a bit over the top for me. He's a good character, but best captain? How? He doesn't command nearly enough, he comes across as rather dim and lacking in initiative in conversations he has with his crew, we still don't know what he's like as a person away from his role as captain, and he's lacking in ideals. The last one is his weakest trait as a character and in particular a captain - what does he stand for? I can't say I have the faintest idea, whereas with all the previous captains I would be able to tell you. Like many of the other characters he's failed to make a distinct impression upon me about who he actually is. I can't really figure out why, but Discovery's attempt to make its characters more real has only done the opposite for me.
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Tue, Mar 26, 2019, 4:29am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

I don’t think that’s necessarily true. If it’s really “batshit bonkers crazy”, meaning senseless and random, then that’s about as boring as anything gets, because there’s no point in engaging with it, there’s literally nothing there to engage with.

It’s easy to mistake randomness for cleverness. It’s very common in art. This isn’t exactly that, it’s more like what you get when you take 500 sci fi cliches and mash them together. Nothing particularly clever, or good, but always lots of things going on. It has all the meaning of randomness though. It’s a hodgepodge of themes and ideas barely connected and hardly explored, changing at random.
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Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 12:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Armageddon Game

A new version of "Armageddon Game" below.

Not many recent comments so I may be a little late to the game. I am a long time TNG fan who could never bring myself to embrace DS9. I have now decided to force myself to get through the first couple of "growing pain" seasons as the characters, actors and writers try and find their groove (just as TNG had to in the early days). My frustration with the early episodes of DS9 isn't the sub par acting and 2 dimensional characters, that can be forgiven and I have faith that DS9 will come into it's own. My frustration is with the main character of any trek series and that is the Science, I would have expected that in this regard DS9 would be taking the reigns from TNG and learn from their mistakes and build on their successes. On the contrary, DS9 seems to be starting from scratch and putting little thought into plausible technical explanations, instead using lazy writing to create any contrived situation they want no matter how ridiculous.

"Armageddon Game" is a perfect example of this laziness. With just a little thought the writers and director have an excellent episode on their hands. The character building between O'Brien and Bashir is well done and most of the action elements of the plot can work with just slight revisions.

So let's fix this episode!

First, as has been pointed out by most of the commenters on the site, the premise around the difficulty of destroying this biological weapon does not ring true as well as the virility and toxicity of the biological agent does not make sense. What's frustrating is the writers have a perfect analogy in our present soceity to build the story especially a story called "The Armageddon Game". The 2 sides have been maintaining a Cold War style peace due to the theory of Mutually Assured Destruction. Each side has the Harvesters and the planet's population have lived under the constant threat of extinction for decades. Now Scientists from one side or both have reached out to the Federation in a hope of finding a cure or vaccine that would eliminate the biological threat. This is where the writers would invent a reason why Dr. Bashir would have been chosen to assist, maybe he has studied and done research in vaccine creation and has researched this planet's biological weapon. An interesting element to this 24th century HazMat lab is an emergency button (big and red behind a break glass style cover), it is explained to Bashir and O'Brien that in the case of a terrorist or enemy attack as a last defensive measure, the button will build up a radiation pulse that will eliminate everything in the lab, Harvesters and people alike. Also, because they are dealing with one of the worst biological weapons ever developed Bashir and Obrien are in full HazMat suits.

Ta Da! Dr. Bashir is successful (with the help of Chief O'Brien) and just like the episode they are celebrating the creation of a vaccine/treatment that will render the Harvesters obsolete. Everyone lives happily ever after except...

Rogue elements of the governments have come together on both sides to protect the status quo, in fear that without the pending threat of the Harvesters, the two sides will be doomed to a long and bloody war. The action can proceed as it did in the episode (but it will make more sense since in the episode they attacked before the last Harvesters were completely destroyed, in this version they only care about destroying the vaccine and the scientists who created it). In the fight that ensues, O'Brien's HazMat suit is torn (Oh NO) and only seeing one way out of this O'Biren quickly enters some transporter codes and hides the records of where they transported to (as is always easy to do in Star Trek and he is O'Brien the King of transporter tech) and he yells to Bashir to hit the emergency button. Bashir grabs his iPad with the research and hits the Fail Safe and the 2 transport to the planet as a pulse wipes out all living matter in the lab.

Bashir and O'Brien get to the planet, and Bashir take off their HatMat suits. The episode can continue for the Bashir and O'Brien as was written with a couple of changes. When O'Brien starts to get sick, Bashir gets an intense look and grabs O'Brien suit and finds the tear. O'Brien "I'm infected?" Bashir "We both are. We have to get this cure to the T'Lain". Another good scene that would exist is as O'Brien is slipping deeper into the sickness and Bashir is trying to fix the com. link, we see Bashir shiver and realize that both our hero's are on borrowed time (Da Da Daaaa). It has been mentioned multiple times that the biological agent isn't that scary because people don't get sick right away. This is actually what makes an effective biological agent (watch Outbreak), if an agent acts to quickly it is easily isolated and its spread controlled. Now, a slow activating agent gets spread quickly through a community and is much harder to control. The problem with this episode is the writers didn't seem to have made the agent contagious at all (or at least not airborne), I have remedied that and the agent is still slow to activate but spreads like wildfire.

Back on DS9, things can continue as they were, it's unfortunate that there has been so little character development between the main cast that there is little emotion or story to draw out of them. The best that could be done is from Dax (hopefully DS9 will invest the time to create some greater bonds between these characters). A great opportunity is missed and what should have been a homerun of a scene (assuming Avery Brooks could pull it off). When Sisco tells Keiko her husband has died is the opportunity to Sisco to delve into his own experience losing his wife and it wouldn't have been a bad idea to end the scene with Molly coming in and showing Keiko's realization that she has to tell her daughter she has lost her father.

The government officials story to Sisco is different now, the lab was attacked by terrorists, the cure was lost and in act of heroism Dr. Bashir sacrificed the scientists in order to keep the weapon out of terrorist hands. The video is still doctored but just the portion showing them transporting off the lab. This will allow us to get rid of the stupid "he doesn't drink coffee in the afternoon" and "I looked at the spectoanalyis". What would be better in my mind is someone like Dax recognizing that O'Brien is inputting something right before the Fail Safe is triggered. Personally, I would like Dax to take the video to the HoloSuite (TNG style) and recreate the scene, from this detective work Dax would conclude that they may have transported to the planet and that someone had doctored the video. Sisco and Dax head off to confront the T'Lani.

Okay, maybe there are more than slight revisions. Back on the planet, Bashir and O'Brien are now very sick, they have had their deep conversations about marriage, love and loss. Bashir has fixed the com. link and has called the T'Lani. The T'Lani and the Kellerens burst in with guns drawn, remove the long drawn out scene where they explain things and painfully draw out their execution. As soon as they burst in, Bashir and O'Brien are beamed up to the Run About even as laser blasts are filling the room.

The stand off at the end is also changed for the better because Sisco has an Ace up his sleeve. The T'Lani and Kelleren hit squad from the planet have beamed up to their own ship and are now demanding Bashir, O'Brien and the research be handed over. Sisco to the ambassadors "How are you feeling? I have two very sick men over here, it seems that they have been infected and from what I know about the Harvesters, you may want to rest a bit." Ambassadors "Send us the research or we will destroy your ship"
Sisco "It's over, the cure has been sent to your scientists, the Harvesters are no more. It will be up to your people whether or not you are the last victims of that terrible weapon. I suggest you give them a call."

Now Bashir, O'Brien as well as Sisco and Dax can be treated at DS9 rather easily as Bashir has the cure. Last but not least, let's get rid of the end coffee line which I half expected the Seinfeld end credit and music to start playing. Instead, I suggest ending on the O'Brien and Bashir relationship, so much was done during the episode that it would be nice to have some building of their character arcs. Bashir "How you feeling Chief?" O'Brien "Much better Doc, thanks to you." Bashir "I'll leave you two alone." O'Brien "Oh doc, I have something for you, it's not much but I thought.. well open it when you get back to your room." Bashir, opens a piece of paper (or the Star Trek equivalent of paper), smiles, contemplates, looks at his monitor and types. A woman comes on screen. Bashir "Hi.... (whatever the Ballerina's name was" fade to credits. A nice way to end that elevates the Bashir/O'Brien friendship and also shows Bashir maturing and thinking about the possibility of long term romantic relationship.

Well, as I said earlier, I'm not sure if anyone is still reading these comments and who would ever get this far down the comment chain but if you do and you took the time to read my version, would love to hear your thoughts, edits and reviews.
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