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Wed, Apr 29, 2020, 2:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Symbiosis

One thing I did not see mentioned which made the moral dilemma all the more interesting in this episode: this "symbiosis" made the Brekkians just as dependent on the Ornarans as the other way around. Their society has become so accustomed to the Ornarans providing everything for them that, by their own admission, it does not produce absolutely anything but the drug.
If Picard and crew helped the Ornarans to (relatively) quickly overcome their addiction, it would have doomed the Brekkians as a whole; surely not all Brekkians would have deserved such a fate. What makes Picard's decision smart here in my view is that it does not turn the situation on its head, but lets both races know that present arrangements cannot continue in the long-term: the Ornarans can no longer maintain their vessels, thus the drug trade WILL eventually stop - but it gives a chance for both races to prepare and, hopefully, arrive at a better solution.
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Sun, Apr 19, 2020, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Innocence

The twist at the end of the episode felt incredibly forced to me. The kids, supposedly heading to a most sacred ritual, crashland on the moon, and no one among their race seems to care. When they do start looking, they send search parties armed to the teeth, even though they KNOW the children might not recognize their own situation and, again supposedly, they just want to help them reach the end of their lives in peace.

During the reveal, one the natives claims that her people feel a calling towards the cave, yet the three children spent the entire episode frightened by it, and even right then and there, the girl does not want anything to do with it at first (only to magically remember everything seconds later, because otherwise the ending would have involved and unfortunate firefight between the Voyager crew and her people).

I agree with the person above that this twist feels disconnected from everything that came before it, and even the Memory Alpha article suggests that it was tacked on after much of the episode had already been written, because the original writer initially had no idea how to wrap things up.

It's a shame, because I for one enjoyed seeing Tuvok as a father in this episode. He really makes the whole Vulcan philosophy work. All too often is it portrayed as some misguided tradition that his race practices because they're too afraid of confronting their emotions - or at least one may get such an impression from looking at Spock alone, simply because for Spock, as a half-Vulcan, this philosophy could have never been a perfect fit. But Tuvok faces no such issues, and he really manages to show the, well, the logic behind it all. :)
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Tue, Apr 7, 2020, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Masks

Given the infamy of this episode, I went in expecting something horrible, but frankly I was blown away. I think we may forget that part of the Enterprise's mission is about "exploring strange new worlds" - this episode was exactly that, depicting a culture that seems to communicate through symbolism and mythology.

I was having a lot of fun trying to understand the meanings of these symbols along with the Enterprise crew. I absolutely loved the fact that the viewers were able to experience the mystique of the situation instead of being spoon-fed immediate answers. It was very satisfying to realize the answer of Korgano being the moon just a few minutes ahead of the cast, long enough for it feel like an accomplishment, but short enough not to be annoyed by the characters following a false lead at first.

This episode lets the viewer draw their own conclusions concerning the meaning of these myths even at the very end, and I feel this gesture is genuine, not something like "well, we had no idea what we were doing but hopefully the audience will think of something". There seemed to be a lot of thought put into the mystery, the symbols, the personalities "possessing" Data, and it paid off overall.

I personally arrived to the conclusion that the civilization in question might have fallen victim to a cosmic disaster that destroyed the moon around their planet, and made the sun much more deadly than it previously was (perhaps by altering their planet's orbit). That is why Korgano was not present as a personality on the artifact and Picard had to take his place, resolving the cataclysm that artifact's builders fell victim to, at least in a symbolic manner. Of course, that's just my take on things after seeing the episode once, I believe other valid interpretations definitely exist - and for me, that's one of the Masks' strengths, instead of a weakness.
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Wed, Jan 31, 2018, 3:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Rightful Heir

Just a small note regarding Picard's behavior at the start of the episode; I was initially flabbergasted by the whole thing as well, but then I realized: Picard is treating Worf exactly how Worf would prefer to be treated by his superior officer. In a slightly more... Klingon manner, if you will.

Even among Starfleet personnel, Worf takes his obligations and duties very seriously. Obviously, a random officer may oversleep on occasion, they're only human - but Worf? For Riker that is so hard to fathom that he immediately runs to his quarters with two security escorts, thinking that something very-very bad must have happened. And he's right, at least to the point that for Worf really is bothered by the whole situation; not just his spiritual issues, which are the main point of the episode, but also the fact that these issues negatively affect his performance on the Enterprise as well.

So, what does Picard do? Instead of trivializing Worf's problems, the captain reinforces his earnestness and dedication, and pushes him to seek a solution, while also immediately offering him his full support in the matter. And as Worf's superior and comrade, I do believe that really is the best he can do.
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