Star Trek: Picard

"Hide and Seek"

2.5 stars

Air date: 4/28/2022
Written by Matt Okumura & Chris Derrick
Directed by Michael Weaver

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

As season two of Picard lurches toward the finish line, the creators are able to deliver a fairly engaging payoff that tackles several aspects of the season-long storyline, even as they churn through a bunch of routine action sequences and needless detours in the process of getting there. "Hide and Seek" isn't great Star Trek, but it's pretty good season-two Picard, which I suppose is the problem. It's probably the best episode since the second installment of this over-padded arc of a season, but it's still not especially good.

This show just can't stop getting in its own way even when it's doing things right. There's too much contrived silliness in here to make it something to recommend, even though there are scenes and ideas that I thought worked in the context of what we've seen this season.

For example, as telegraphed and inevitably as Picard's deeply buried childhood tragedy plays out, there's something haunting and evocative about that reverse-playing sequence with Patrick Stewart's voiceover, where we watch young Picard walk backward out of that room where Yvette Picard (Madeline Wise) is dangling from the ceiling, and then her feet go back onto the chair, she unwraps the rope from around her neck, and walks backward and gets into bed with her son. As much as the Big Secret Tragedy seems like it could end no other conceivable way, the way this is depicted is surprisingly effective, because it evokes not only the childhood sadness and regret, but the unshakable feeling that maybe, somehow you could fix an unfixable mistake by willing yourself to change the past.

There's a human believability to the idea that even 80 years later, a person might not have gotten over the guilt and sorrow and loss of something like that, which has forced oneself to bury it as a survival mechanism. I don't know that it's an especially great insight into Picard as a character specifically, and I know for certain it wasn't worth building up over nine episodes, but I'll take the wins where I can get them.

Similarly, I found solid story value in Agnes' internal struggle with the Borg Queen and the way it plays out with the action's climax, where the Queen has Seven wounded on the floor and is prepared to kill her, but Agnes is able to, improbably, strike the most unexpected of deals with the Queen within her mind. In exchange for Seven's life, Agnes and the Queen will take La Sirena and leave Earth in peace, and instead seek to start a collective created from willing participants instead of forced victims.

Annie Wersching continues to find ways to give the Queen subtle layers from behind those black eyes. The implication here is that the Queen was always an individual that had eventually taken on a collective consciousness. That's the opposite of the way I always thought of the Borg Queen, which was as an arbitrary construction created by the hive mind out of convenience. But in a way, it makes sense that the Borg would have to contain an origin story that started as an individual somewhere, and why not a desperately lonely one obsessed with creating a collective? In a way, this is the most Trekkian idea of the season, in which our characters (or at least Agnes) come to understand an alien lifeform in a way no one ever has before. Sure, it might come across as a pat and convenient resolution (and how this will time-bend and replay into the confrontation of the first episode still remains to be seen), but at least this has an interesting idea at its core.

Aside from these story threads, there's a big firefight outside and inside Chateau Picard (sometimes punctuated with Picard remembering himself playing hide-and-seek with his mother, which jogs his memory about the secret passages within the chateau where they can hide from danger). Soong brings his army of quasi-Borgified mercenaries, who are under the Queen's control. These are really just guys with machine guns and green laser-sights, because green equals Borg. Or Matrix. Or Saint Patrick's Day. The lasers mostly serve as warnings for our heroes, making them tactically counterproductive. There are various gunfights and knife fights, action that proves serviceable albeit not inspired.

Meanwhile, Rios continues to be sidelined because the writers can't think of anything better to do than keep him off in a separate 10-hour movie with Teresa and her kid. Rios gets briefly pulled into the action only to get shot in the arm and then sent out of harm's way. The whole Teresa thing continues to be a massive dead-end of a storyline that just needs to end already, but refuses.

And the show continues to find excuses to give Evan Evagora scenes even though Elnor died in the third episode. Now the ship is using him as a defensive combat hologram; Agnes previously planted in his program the codes that have locked down the ship to keep the Queen from taking control. But why does Agnes reveal to the Queen in the first place that Elnor is the holder of the codes, and why does he "hold" them if he's just a computer program? Is this like putting the secrets in a hidden folder that can only be opened via swordfight?

Worse, we have to put up with scenes where Raffi has an emotional moment with a dead character in holographic form. The scene goes to pains to make it clear that Raffi knows Elnor is just a hologram and not the real person, and yet we still have to watch her unload all her baggage on him. The fact the hologram holds all of Elnor's memories feels needlessly and implausibly tacked on as a way of legitimizing this dialogue. (Wouldn't it have been more interesting if the hologram was a blank slate, confused by Raffi's personal admissions? And why did the writers kill this character in the first place, only to keep giving him scenes?)

Once the Borg threat is put down and Soong conveniently escapes, we're left with Agnes' mystery about Renee Picard, who will apparently factor into Soong's plot to thwart the Europa mission. Agnes says that one Renee must live, and another must die. A riddle, wrapped in an enigma, inside a mystery. Par for course.

On the whole, this is actually a fairly workable and watchable hour, and it wraps up a number of plot threads from this season. But it still suffers from the usual Picardian clunkiness, and shows just how needlessly protracted this storyline has been.

"Now I have a machine gun. Ho. Ho. Ho.":

  • Raffi and Seven continue to be paired up; Rios is off with Teresa and son; Picard is with Tallinn; Agnes and the Queen — couldn't they mix it up a little and not be so monotonous in how they use all the characters all season?
  • Seven gets back all her implants when the Agnes-Queen heals her from her wounds and re-Borgifies her. For Seven, it's a cost of the brief, full humanity she enjoyed, and which the writers didn't do nearly enough with.
  • The Queen's tentacle always gets everybody. No one can pull a trigger fast enough.
  • Brent Spiner makes a good B-movie villain, doing all the usual B-movie villain things and making all the usual B-movie arrogant speeches.
  • Tip to Yvette Picard: Although the notion is dark and lonely like your tragic soul, the stars that we can see are not "billions" of light-years away and have not necessarily "burned out" before their light has reached our eyes. The diameter of the entire galaxy is less than 200,000 light-years. And talking of the stars so mysteriously is strange coming from someone who lives in a century where people routinely go to other star systems.
  • The idea that Yvette could be so mentally ill and not be treated with 24th-century medicine is too contrived, and the Picards feel far too weirdly isolated in that house.
  • I guess Chateau Picard (in 2024) is far enough off the beaten path you can have a machine gunfight in the woods and no authorities come looking. The same goes for La Sirena being decloaked for so long.
  • I've been busy, so that's why the review is so delayed, and I'm about 400 comments behind. So I hope the comment etiquette has been observed in my absence.
  • The season finale is next week, as well as the series premiere of Strange New Worlds. Couldn't they at least not air two the same week and give a reviewer a break? It remains to be seen how much longer I can keep this up.

Previous episode: Mercy
Next episode: Farewell

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387 comments on this post

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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:07am (UTC -5)
So Picard's mother hangs herself when he;s a child, but they "address" the scene from "Where No One Has Gone Before" by having Picard fantasizing about her elderly, offering him tea.

Rather pathetic.

Also..."Emergency Combat Hologram"
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Mike Lindell
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:19am (UTC -5)
I'm only halfway through this ep, but I'd just like to say that i've been rewatching Enterprise, and even a fairly pedestrian episode like "Cease Fire" just gets me more invested than Picard right now. A big problem with this show is that the many facets of the plot are barely coherent, let alone dramatically meaty enough for the requisite action scenes to land as they should.
The Enterprise ep had the same type of TV fistfight action, but I cared about why the fights were happening, because the plot wasn't so... muddled.

I think season 1 was better no cap fam.
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:32am (UTC -5)
Yes, all the drama of this series is hopelessly unearned.

The flashback material hijacks this episode and is too absurdly presented to inspire any reaction but shrugs.
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Greg M
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:37am (UTC -5)
This is the episode "Mother" should have been.

How are they going to wrap all this up next week? We didn't even see Q or Soong's daughter.
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Brian
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:02am (UTC -5)
It just gets worse and worse. I know. I'm doing it to myself. This thing is a zombie passing itself off as Trek.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:09am (UTC -5)
Jurati tells the Queen that "actually the Borg aren't about adding biological and technological distinctiveness to our own in search of perfection, it's all because you're lonely" and I can hear the sound of thousands of nerds smashing their TVs in disgust and cracking their knuckles to sit down at their keyboards and rage until the end of time.

So I will just point out that it was a line of attack Jurati took against the Queen, and it did not work. The Queen pretty definitively shut that idea down. She wasn't firmly dismissive and wasn't shook in the slightest. In fact, the line of attack that Jurati ultimately uses against the Queen--the idea that there is an alternative way of assimilating worth trying that might result in a more perfect outcome--leans into the core purpose and mission statement of the Borg in order to be effective.

So now we have two versions of the Borg running around the future: the Borg we all know from the prime timeline, and Jurati's offshoot of the Borg that had a head start on technology, and has obviously been slinking around the margins of the galaxy and not attracting attention as a time anomaly until the incident which creates them has happened, at which time they reveal themselves.

And it seems Jurati's offshoot "experiment" that she sold the Queen on will prove more successful than the mainstream Borg, given what we (think) we know about the mainstream Borg in the early 25th century, which is that they've been decimated.

Okay then.

Moving on . . .

I. Fucking. HATE. The idea. That Starfleet. STARFLEET! Would not accept Seven after she returned to the Alpha Quadrant. Because. She. Was. BORG. Are you fucking kidding me, writers? Have you ever seen a single episode of Star Trek EVER?!! If Star Trek is about nothing else--NOTHING ELSE!!!--it's about the IDIC, it's about being open-minded, it's about strange new worlds and new civilizations, it's about being the best version of ourselves and bringing out the best versions of themselves in others, it's about optimism, it's about not rushing to judgement based on appearances. It's not first and foremost about "spaceship go pewpewpew." There are a million "spaceship go pewpewpew" IPs out there. Congratulations, you just blew the one thing that makes Star Trek "Star Trek" and not, say Battlestar Galactica. Fucking morons, go fuck yourselves right the fuck off.

Sorry for all the profanity, but seriously, FUCK that. Fuck every part of that because you just betrayed the entire spirit of Star Trek. Honestly. If you had only one job, it would be don't fuck THAT up!

Anyway.

If Rios stays in the past, might we see Captain Seven of the Stargazer in S3? If so, would that make any sort of internal sense with how Starfleet operates? Nah. Would I care? Also nah. Do it, why not? Picard's like a super admiral at the moment, right? Give her a field commission and dare Starfleet Command to undo it.

It doesn't make much sense why healing Seven restored her familiar implants, so let's just assume that, due to her particular personal biology, if there are nanobots in her bloodstream, they will always form those particular implants at a minimum. Even though her alt-universe body has never had those implants before, it's just where they gravitate towards.

Also that wasn't La Sirena the Borg Queen took, it was alt-La Sirena. Unless the ship was brought between timelines and altered like the bodies of the main characters were. Which could be. If so . . . hey, Elrond or whatever his name is ain't coming back to life. His body's on that ship, and the fact the show thought it needed to re-do Seven's implants rather than just having them magically re-appear when the timeline is reset means that anything that happens to things that hopped timelines physically won't be undone.

Boo hoo?

I'm not touching Raffi's dumb goodbye to a hologram version of Elric or whatever his name is in the middle of Borg firefight (really not the time, Raffi), let alone the emergency COMBAT hologram providing her both absolution and therapy.

So . . . there are just a bunch of Borged humans in the walls in the basement of Chateau Picard and they've been there unnoticed for 400 years? Boy, really no one EVER goes into that cellar, not even workmen, eh? Not even when restoring the chateau when the Picards moved back from England?

Oh. That reminds me. The Picards might have leased the fields but not had the money to restore the chateau following WWII for a century or however long Picard said it was. It would have been hard for them to hold onto the property and not lose it, sure, but not impossible. As long as it was productive and as long as they prioritized retaining it, it is certainly possible.

Oh look the sun finally came up in France.

I don't care a whit about Picard's mother. Just not interested in the story at all. That said, they managed to tell a story about it that doesn't screw up the character at all. Deftly managed, at least, if ultimately pointless.

Next week I guess we see why Q did any of this in the first place (to create the "good" Borg?), what the point of Adam Soong is other than to give Brent Spiner a paycheck, and whatever that cryptic statement about two Renees is meant to mean, which I'm not going to bother trying to figure out, because whatever I come up with will be smarter than what the writers ultimately use anyway, and then I will be disappointed.

Will Kore appear? Yeah, probably, to give an emotional appeal to her dad and talk Adam into saying he's sorry and he was wrong all along and here, take the MacGuffin I'm holding in my hand that I was just about to use to end the Federation timeline forever, I'm ready to go to jail now.

I do kind of wonder if she'll be an ancestor of some kind of the Noonien Singh character that'll debut on SNW next week. But probably the character didn't even have that much of a purpose.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:19am (UTC -5)
Anyone want to unpack the bootstrap paradox of the alt-Borg showing up to cause the event that leads to the creation of the alt-Borg? I guess the show has an "out" here, though, in the logic of that, and its name is Q.
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The Chronek
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:44am (UTC -5)
I liked this episode. It seems like a lot of the ideas that were fleshed out in previous episodes are finally starting to gel into coherent themes.

I'm ok with Seven not getting a chance to join Starfleet. Yes, we've seen IDIC a number of times. However, we've seen several examples of intolerance and bigotry in previous Trek incarnations, even among humans. Balance of Terror from TOS. Cartwright in The Undiscovered Country, calling Klingons the alien trash of the galaxy. Bruce Maddux's attitudes toward Data. Christopher Hobson's attitude toward Data.

And it's not the first time we've seen distrust of the Borg or anyone associated with them. That's why the Enterprise-E was out chasing comets at the start of First Contact. And it's why Chakotay was so fearful of Janeway's plan in Scorpion.

Should Seven have been given a chance by Starfleet? Heck yes. She's proven herself time and again. Is there an in-universe history of reasonable distrust of the Borg and of human/Starfleet bigotry? Also yes.

It seems like the main theme of this season is confronting past traumas to be able to move forward. It's messy and it's non-linear, but it's also compelling and a good exploration of the human condition.

Three stars from me. Looking forward to next week's finale.
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Booming
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 4:06am (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey's Tube
Sorry, but the entire first season of Picard was about the Federation being racist (letting millions of Romulans die) and intolerant (banning cybernetic beings). For the NuTrek Federation it makes sense to be intolerant towards Seven. Imagine the recruitment officer looking at her and saying:"The sheer fucking hubris!"

NuTrek has scraped up all the dark and disgusting things it could find in hundreds of episodes and declared those aspects the most important. That's what it is. Did you not notice that before?
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Norvo
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:32am (UTC -5)
Unbelievable. Incroyable.

So the big, meaty and hidden tragedy this season was Picard's mother committing suicide, a death he feels responsible for? And that's why he was never able to form long lasting, stable (romantic) relationships? If the writers thinks this adds invaluable new depths and insights into the character... Fine. Sure. I'm just glad we're done with those endless flashbacks of young Jean-Luc yelling 'MAMAN!"

Seven getting reassimilated and ending up with the exact same Borg parts as she had in the future that no longer exists? Fine. Sure. The writers want us to buy Isa Briones, Brent Spiner and Orla Brady in different roles, why not break the same old prosthetics out of storage?

"Soong is still in the wind". Yeah, but why? But if Rios had kept his mouth shut about the man's weapon getting ready to overload, he'd have taken himself out. I guess we still need an opponent for next week's finale. How'd he escape Chateau Picard so quickly without transporters? Fine. Sure.

I like Evan Evagora. More's the pity that his role this season is so limited. He's basically a prop now. A glorified stunt man who only gets called to add some action to the scenes. "Fine. Sure" is about all the meaningful dialogue he gets.

The show plays so fast and loose with continuity, I won't even wonder how Holo-Elnor got a mobile emitter. We're in the past on a ship from an alternate future where Voyager didn't get lost in the Delta Quadrant and didn't interact with a time ship from the 29th century. But there it is. Fine. Sure.

I also won't bring up the potential butterfly effect of leaving half a dozen Borg fused in the walls of the Chateau Picard catacombs. A thousand ways to die down there, beamed into a solid object is a new one.

All in all, I'm not even sure how to process this one. Stuff happens. The plot advances. The sun comes up and we have one episode left to make some kind of sense of this season. Don't get your hopes up. But it's all fine. Sure.
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Mint
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:59am (UTC -5)
Please, please do not allow for writers to use the Borg, please use something else. I get that they're popular but please come up with other things for 24th century villains. The whole thing about "the Borg inevitably lose" is just nonsense, they've already wiped-out hundreds or thousands of entire species and cultures, we've already been shown at least a timeline where they've almost totally wiped the floor with the Federation (Parallels). They're scary because they're ruthless, efficient, alien, and amoral. They're a perversion of technology and unity - the things that makes the Federation so strong, and that's what helped make them so narratively compelling. I'm pretty sure the only episode in recent memory that got the Borg right was that episode from Enterprise. Defeating them takes ingenuity and creativity - which is ironically what the Borg desire and take from their victims nanoprobed or just through combat.

Seven of Nine one moment: "God my life in the Federation sucks because I'm being discriminated against for being a Borg"

Seven of Nine the next: "HAHAH beam the Borg into the WALLS baby!"

The discrimination itself just makes little sense given what we saw of Voyager and how the crew handled Seven. Off-putting maybe, but they were always ready to give her a chance. There was also Sisko's scene in the DS9 pilot but those were under very different circumstances, and it was handled with a lot more professionalism. At any rate, if Seven was barred then they shouldn't have let Picard back into the Captains chair by similar logic, and then we see Icheb with Starfleet in Season 1 of the show itself which also makes little sense then, what's the criteria here?

Former drones aren't a different race because they had tech installed on them and were compelled to do terrible things, they're a lot more like trauma victims. Granted, you can still write for some interesting social conflict there, much as there exists in real life for victims of certain terrible traumas, but for the 24th century Federation it's really hard to rationalize...but it's not entirely unreasonable for maybe the 23rd century Federation ("Alien Trash of the Galaxy") and certainly for 21st century humans it's a lot easier to make sense of...

Still, these are humans almost 400 years in the future, how have they not made any more progress in that kind of tolerance at this point? That's just a little disheartening.

I will say though, I actually didn't mind the idea of the "Artifact" from Season 1 of Picard, I thought that it was actually not a bad way to explore the Borg, well at least up until they all got jettisoned into space and Hugh got a throwing star up his neck.
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The Chronek
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 6:11am (UTC -5)
@Mint, sure, the Voyager crew adapted to Seven and trusted her, but they had four years of experience with her. People outside of Voyager didn't.

Maybe Starfleet showed a bit more trust in Icheb and Picard because they didn't spend as long in the collective as Seven did. That said, they still thought Picard was enough of a risk to have him chasing comets in the Neutral Zone at the start of First Contact. Maybe it was degrees of risk.
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Sigh2000
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 6:25am (UTC -5)
@Booming
"NuTrek has scraped up all the dark and disgusting things it could find in hundreds of episodes and declared those aspects the most important. That's what ​it is. Did you not notice that before?"

On point!
So in effect we ourselves are now trapped in an alternate universe where our only option (if we choose to view the show) is to experience, and then comment about those dark things........nothing is left but DarkTrek at the moment.

All we have as viewers is the frail hope that once the carousel turns, there will be a return to order (in the next reboot).

In the near term, it appears to me that our main compensation is to continue to write the eschatology of this current iteration of Trek. Praying that it will end.
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StarMan
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 7:41am (UTC -5)
I think I've finally reached Doctor Who levels of disinterest and apathy. I was always a Trek fan above all else, so it's been a *much* harder habit to break. But, we only have one episode left and nothing they conjure up can justify what a mess this season has been. This was a slog to get through, with fast forward tempting me on several occasions.

These writers have utterly failed to create a compelling story. I just don't care anymore. Kill off Picard, Seven, any of the new ones - it'd mean nothing to me now.

I think it's quite an accomplishment to harness this sort of warped talent to alienate a fanbase and create such dreck, with so many resources at their disposal. This isn't appealing to anyone outside the fanbase. Who on earth is this for?

As for the story -- I wonder if Seven raised the Locutus precedent with Starfleet command after they rejected her? Afterall, Picard had only just been severed from the hive mind and had a bit of nip/tuck performed by ol' Doc Crusher before resuming command of the flagship of The Federation - mere days after being used by The Borg to murder thousands of his fellow Starfleet officers, no less. IDIC indeed.

As for the rest, like I said - I just don't care.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 7:41am (UTC -5)
Well, 2/3rds of the way through the episode I thought this was an entertaining, but kinda schlocky action episode. Relentlessly middlebrow, and just fine, but - as with much of the season - nothing special.

Then the final act started, and it became - easily - the best episode of the season since the first two. Somehow the scripting started feeling like it was written by someone else entirely, so many themes and character arcs present throughout the season came together to some semblance of payoff, and I honestly got a bit misty eyed - a rarity when it comes to Trek.

The emotional core of this episode is clearly Picard finally facing down all of his childhood trauma regarding his mother. While the ending was telegraphed from miles away, I don't have any issue with when endings are telegraphed. As I've said in the past, I think all of the good stories build towards predictable endings (historically we didn't consume stories once and never return to them) and the true enjoyment comes from the path from A to B. Given what came earlier, the execution here was about as perfect as it could have been. Sir Pat's kind of phoned it in in some earlier episodes this season, but here he hits it out of the park during the emotional climax of the episode. I give the writers kudos for remembering the scene from TNG where Picard sees his mom elderly offering tea and giving an explanation that works. You could argue that this entire subplot wasn't needed - that (so far) it doesn't seem to fit with the season as a whole, but I think it reached a satisfying conclusion. Hell, this also arguably helps to explain why Picard ended up with such a toxic relationship with his father (and brother) if they ultimately blamed him for his mother's suicide. Regardless, I cried - almost - which is notable because last night I watched the fifth episode of Moon Night (which has been a much better season of TV overall) which had a very similar episode (dealing with the main character's guilt around accidentally causing his brother's death, which broke down his relationship with his mother), but that made me feel absolutely nothing, while this...did.

Turning to the seeming conclusion of the Borg/Jurati stuff, the execution left a bit more to be desired. I don't have issue with the idea that the Borg fail in all possible universes. They are basically a malignant bot-net, which needs to constantly expand to survive (since Voyager stupidly established they don't breed, just assimilate). With a need for constant assimilation to survive, they'll inevitably either burn themselves out due to lack of new targets or eventually run up against a Species 8742 or something who is powerful enough to destroy them. If coexistence is impossible, that's the only possible conclusion. It was done awkwardly, but I did like that they tried to tie it back with the discussion the Borg Queen had with Jurati earlier in the season as well. And while I fundamentally hate the Borg Queen as a character - even before this season I thought she was usually a comical, vampy, catty mess that reminded me more of Cruella Deville than a genuine threat - once you establish her as a person, that means that within the confines of a story redemption is possible. I wish they planted the seeds of a reverse heel turn a bit earlier in the season, but that's more of a season arc issue, not an episode issue.

The other still surviving main characters get some closure on arcs as well. Rios seemingly turns his back on Teresa for the good of the timeline (though we will see next week if it holds). Raffi gets to work out her feelings involving Elnor with the hologram as a sounding board (I thought holo-Elnor came across as a bit too "real" - but I suppose it's no different than the holograms of Rios last season). Most intriguing however was Seven, who gets back her exact implants when Queen Jurati saves her life. I don't mind the idea that Starfleet rejected her due to her Borg heritage at all (they may have thought they had legitimate concerns about her nanoprobes getting hijacked), and it sort of retroactively created a full character arc for her this season, where she explored what it was to be fully human, but ultimately embraced that her Borg history was a part of her that she needed to stop running from. There was also some finally some sense of forward movement in the Seven/Raffi relationship, with something other than bickering between the two of them. Tallinn remains just a support character/sounding board for Picard unfortunately, but I've given up any hope she'll have real development.

I've not mentioned the action sequences and the stuff with Soong, because I think it was just wheel spinning here. Action scenes were...fine...I guess? I was a little taken out of the experience when the assimilated mercenary started grunting during hand-to-hand combat. Spiner is basically just a giant ham here, and that's okay I guess. It might have been because I was watching the episode on a tablet, and outside waiting for the bus, but I found the action scenes way too dark even when I turned the screen brightness up all the way, so I'm not entirely sure I got everything here.

This is not a perfect episode by any means. Some of the dialogue is still...rough, almost groan inducing. There were some weird leaps of logic. But it was still the best episode I've seen since the second one, and I feel confident they'll tie everything up now.

What remains? Clearly Soong will (apparently solo) try to take down the Europa mission. Somehow Kore will be involved. The whole "two Renees, one must live, and one must die" thing made me wonder if Kore is a clone of someone named Renee. I expect we'll see Guinan again. Q will have to have his great speech with Picard. Maybe there's a more final resolution to the Rios/Teresa thing. And Picard goes back to the future and makes peace with the more benevolent Borg faction formed by Jurati. That seems like a small enough tally for a single episode.

Three stars.
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Tim C
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 7:46am (UTC -5)
It astonishes me how badly and quickly this show went off the rails after the strong opening this year. What an awful waste of a talented cast and an open ended premise.

The dialogue is trash. The plotting is awful. The characters arcs barely exist and when they do, they don't make sense. The action has been poorly staged and executed in almost every episode since we went into the past. The only reason I'm still watching is morbid fascination in how it's going to end, because it certainly can't "stick the landing" at this point. It's been sprawled spread-eagled on the concrete for weeks at this point, occasionally twitching.

Bring back Michael Chabon please.
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Ilsat
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 8:03am (UTC -5)
Lol to anyone giving this over 2 stars. Talk about deluded. I hope CBS continues to churn out schlock. Watching you people flail about, angry yet incapable of doing what any normal, well-adjusted person would do. STOP WATCHING.
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Chrome
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 8:20am (UTC -5)
This episode surprised by making stunning completion into what’s become a bulky story. By the end, the Borg were effectively neutralized, Picard understands a deeper truth about the love he had for his lost mother, and the crew is reassembled and ready to complete their mission. I almost feel like they cleared up too many menaces this episode. Is it even plausible Soong can still be a threat with all the problems Picard’s crew has conquered?

Most of the episode revolves around Picard’s past trauma and unresolved regret for how he handled his mother. The narrative is relatively simple, but the episode feeds us pieces of it spliced through what’s otherwise an exhilarating action episode. Speaking of which, this episode reminds me how much I missed Elrond from season one. He shows up in this episode and plays a refreshingly straightforward role as the outnumbered samurai. With both nerves of steel and justice on his side, he’s a simple but relatable hero for us to root for.

What also plays big this week is Seven’s relationship to the Borg. Her past traumas have made her a strong leader (like Picard) but we find out that Starfleet never gave her that chance. Although it may be somewhat unbelievable considering how vital Seven was to Voyager’s crew, Starfleet’s hard line on Borg makes sense from a security point of view. Starfleet has always seemed ready to welcome Borg technology but not so ready to accept *Borg culture* into its folds. This also paints Janeway in a better light, because her pragmatic dealings with the Borg come off now as more the exception than the norm. Perhaps only Janeway could have recruited Seven and rehabilitated her the Gamma Quadrant and another Starfleet captain may not have been so kind. It’s something to think about, anyway.

The strangest twist here is Jurati striking a deal with the Borg Queen after regaining control by using the feelings of compassion and sadness. Jurati proposes to the Queen that she strive for a new kind of Borg that’s more willing accept the weaknesses of species it comes across. As the Borg have been unsuccessful in all its other iterations, the Queen finds Jurati’s offer interesting. The proposition of having a crew “full of Sevens” does sound tantalizing for a mission statement, anyway.

With all the bases this covers as while having some exhilarating sci-fi action this season has lacked sometimes, “Hide and Seek” comes out as one of the season’s strongest episodes.
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Chrome
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 8:44am (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman

I enjoyed your write-up.

"I was watching the episode on a tablet, and outside waiting for the bus, but I found the action scenes way too dark even when I turned the screen brightness up all the way, so I'm not entirely sure I got everything here."

I've been watching this on an M1 Mac with liquid retina XDR and it looks pretty nice. I do wonder if my subjective enjoyment of the story might be impacted by high production value. That said, if they ever got some starship battles (Season 3?) this would be fun to see in IMAX.
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Captain Jon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 9:07am (UTC -5)
This is definitely the season's best outside of the first two episodes. It was flawed but compelling, though I found the flashbacks to be handled in a bit too clunky of a fashion. Still, I'll take it.

I can buy Starfleet rejecting Seven even in 90s Trek (see The Drumhead for a perfect example), and like that she has to accept her Borg heritage despite how it's held her back.

The resolution with the Borg Queen was very Trekkian, finding a peaceful and hopeful solution instead of killing the bad guy. I wonder what this means for Jurati next season.

I do understand the anger a lot of fans seem to have because this is definitely a different breed of Trek. The middle patch of episodes definitely struggled but I hope they can bookend the season with four strong and compelling episodes.
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The Chronek
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 9:29am (UTC -5)
@Captain Jon, great point about the Borg Queen resolution. It's not as if every single Borg confrontation has ended with a huge Starfleet-Borg battle. I, Borg, anyone? I don't think that Hide and Seek reaches the same highs that I, Borg does, but it too had a peaceful resolution with what was once presented as an implacable enemy. So does this episode, working to see the humanity in a known enemy.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 9:34am (UTC -5)
If you have an issue with how easily Jurati took Queenie down with a single conversation, remember they're inside the same brain, and Jurati was probably subtly "assimilating" the Queen for some time, softening her up for the merging of their consciousnesses.
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Timmy the Tribble
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 10:41am (UTC -5)
I usually just post stupid wisecracks here, but I have a reeeeeeeeeeeeal problem with Picard's mother committing suicide. Gene's original vision for Star Trek was explicit in that humanity had collectively solved issues of war, poverty, and disease, and that the show was to be a vision of hope for us in modern times, that the world would one day not be quite so crappy anymore. Star Trek has played in the dark side of the sandbox many times, to varying success, but this one plot twist really speaks to me of the opposite of what Star Trek was intended to be. I would imagine that "curing all disease" includes mental illness, and what is left can be helped with counselors, medical intervention, etc.

We've seen suicide many times in Star Trek, of course, but there is always a REASON for it. This felt entirely purposeless to me, a plot point used by the writers without much thought.

Our society is traumatized now for many, many reasons, and we seem to be working that out in our entertainment. In that way, it holds up the same mirror to ourselves that Gene wanted us to look in during the 60's and 80's. But where Gene saw hope, these writers see boo-hoo, we are sad and traumatized. Poor us. Show me some hope!
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Scott
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 11:55am (UTC -5)
This was a good episode. The way some earlier commentors are having meltdowns is oddly hilarious. We are finally seeing progress for the Borg rather just seeing them blown up again like every other encounter. Picard and Seven get some much needed character focus. The plot lines are coming to a head with Soong and Rene's space mission to Europa.

This is the best episode of the season since the first two, and I liked the previous ep as well. Only major low point was the ice officers arresting Spanish people for no reason but what can you do?
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 11:59am (UTC -5)
@ Booming

As I understand S1 of Pic, Picard did put together an unprecedentedly massive rescue fleet for the Romulans and saved millions or billions of them. However, the Federation discontinued the fleet before the job was finished because it was too massive a drain on the resources of the Federation, which effectively abandoned the remaining unevacuated to their fate. Picard then resigned in disgust.

That's not the Federation living up to its best principles, but it's them earnestly trying to live up to their best principles and failing.

The synths were non-sentient beings. The Federation and Jurati still had not succeeded in creating another Data (the ban of course prevented further research). Adan Soong is the one who successfully created another sentient, Data-like android. The synth ban was certainly a fearful response by the Federation to a potential severe security risk, but not a discriminatory or "racist" one because the synths in question were not sentient beings.

It is also heavily implied that Romulan infiltration in Starfleet following the evacuation is the true reason for the synth ban.

This is all a far cry from "sorry, you're not allowed to join Starfleet because you're black--errr, a Borg."

Sure, there are other examples--two given are the Drumhead and Cartwright in Star Trek VI. Those are fringe elements of Starfleet taking actions upon themselves. They are defeated, shamed, and given their comeuppance. You never get the impression that Starfleet as a whole is behind them. They are "rogue."

Individual members of Starfleet may be racist like in Balance of Terror or with Miles O'Brien toward Cardassians. But institutionally, Starfleet isn't.

The idea that Starfleet wouldn't accept Seven--and that that status quo would stand rather than be rejected and overturned due to moral superiority prevailing--breaks the fundamental principles that makes Star Trek "Star Trek."

And it doesn't even make sense, because they took Icheb. (Picard being restored to his rank is less inconsistent because he was a) already a serving officer with a known record and mind-altering things happen to officers while exploring "out there" all the time and they are restored, and b) Starfleet had less experience with the Borg at the time.) But Icheb . . . as a child, maybe he had less "questionable" interactions with Janeway or something, plus he was willing to go through the Academy. So maybe Seven being rejected from Starfleet wasn't about her being Borg at all, but she merely perceived it as being because she was Borg. That is of course entirely possible.

But it's still me making excuses for the shit writers being shitty and not understanding the IP they're writing for.

Anyway you look at it, it's unforgivable, because whatever the reason for rejecting her actually was, Starfleet still should have been able to look past it and see the tremendous asset and good person that we know Seven to be. That they rejected her--for whatever reason--will always be a betrayal of everything Star Trek is meant to be about.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, it seems really clear that the current Trek writers aren't interested in Gene's vision of a better humanity in the future. They seem to primarily be interested in writing about humanity as it is, NOW. To that purpose, the show's universe has been re-conceptualized as a world where people in the 24th century act very much how people in the 21st century act, with all the same problems.

I wonder why? Is it a lack of imagination? Or is that, for whatever reason, the writers of nu-trek just REALLY want to write about modern day people? For whatever reason, I believe that Star Trek was a terrible vehicle for these kinds of stories. And this sort of re-conceptualizing is what really bothers many old Trek fans about the "nu-trek."
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
It honestly doesn't matter what the "real reason" is Seven was rejected from Starfleet. It might have been for something else entirely (indeed, Icheb being accepted suggests it was). But she as a character took it to be about being Borg, got a chip on her shoulder, which then defined her character over the next several decades.

Any time someone argues "Gene's vision" I immediately tune them out TBH. Gene was someone who wanted to make money and have sex with lots of women. Zephram Cochrane in First Contact was meant to be an expy of Roddenberry - someone who in retrospect is viewed as a great genius, but was just a shallow, flawed person like the rest of us. Most of the utopian aspects of his conception for Trek didn't even come about until TNG, and really only lasted over the first few seasons (because a crew with virtually no interpersonal conflict made for very lousy TV). As soon as Piller and others took the reins, flawed characters like Ensign Ro were added purposefully to create more interpersonal drama.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 12:30pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman
"Gene was someone who wanted to make money and have sex with lots of women."
You say that like that's a bad thing. I'm not even joking, seriously, doesn't everyone want to be successful and have a good sex life? That's just all humans.

Not to say he didn't have flaws, that's one thing and this is another. His vision of a future where humanity had improved it the important thing, and it's a good vision. And it continued to inspire Trek even after others had taken over. Whatever you want to say about Gene, whatever criticisms you want to make, that positive vision of humanity is a key ingredient that people love about Star Trek.
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
I was dissatisfied with Starfleet's attitude towards Seven as well, but Berman-era Trek did establish that there is some point in assimilation where, even if freed from the collective, one still remains physiologically Borg to some degree.

Even after her liberation, Seven's body was at the least still a source of nanoprobes, and perhaps even continued to manufacture them. Scorpion heavily suggested the latter. She also continues to need an alcove to regenerate, likely because of her cortical node. When it failed in Imperfection, normal sleep apparently wasn't an option for her....she was drinking smoothies in the mess hall.

Locutus would seem to have not been Borg long enough to have these permanent physiological changes. Picard was never said to be a source of nanoprobes, and resumed sleeping in a bed after his ordeal. His Borg experience didn't repair his heart, because in Tapestry that was still artificlal.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
But what about Icheb in Picard season 1? How does that square away?
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KDalton_69
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
Agnes is the new Borg Queen. Called it.

Pardon me, I'm resting on my laurels with a steaming mug of I Was Right to keep me warm.

Next prediction - Agnes of Borg was taking control of the Starfleet ships in the first episode because the Borg tech in those ships was going to become dangerous in the future. She was trying to help. Picard is supposed to make a better choice the next time round.
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KDalton_69
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 12:38pm (UTC -5)
Seven's stated "I couldn't join because I am ex-Borg" was not the reason. There was another reason, that's just how she took it.
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Booming
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 12:45pm (UTC -5)
"Gene was someone who wanted to make money and have sex with lots of women. Zephram Cochrane in First Contact was meant to be an expy of Roddenberry - someone who in retrospect is viewed as a great genius, but was just a shallow, flawed person like the rest of us"
That's harsh. Roddenberry was a little more than a greedy philanderer and Cochrane not only had the idea to build a ship that could fly faster than the speed of light but also build it. That is a little more than what the rest of us can even dream of accomplishing. You seem to imply that only because Roddenberry was free loving, drug enthusiast he is not responsible for creating and then growing what we call Star Trek. So he didn't live by bourgeois morality, big deal. Oh and he earned quite a bit of money, considering his lifestyle he probably needed lots of money for medical bills. :) At least he didn't put stuff into Star Trek to sell as toys like a certain other infinitely franchise creating richer guy.

@Jeffrey's Tube
I saw it a little differently. There were several sentient robot like beings. There was the robot lady in Discovery, Harry Mudd had an entire armada of intelligent robots. One could assume that there were more. I also had the impression that this was the message of the first season, that racism is bad. If you ban anybody from having children of a certain race, then that is pretty bad and that is practically what the Federation did. What would have happened if the Federation had stumbled over the synth colony? Planetary eradication pattern omega?

I also remember that during the Interview at the beginning Picard said something like we had to save these 800 million lives to which the news lady says:"Romulan lives.". If an important news personality can so openly say something racist then things must be pretty racist already and Admiral Clancy said, that they only abandoned the rescue effort because a dozen member worlds threatened to pull out of the Federation. So given the choice a)Let many millions die or b) Save those many millions but lose a few member worlds, the Federation opted for a). Well...
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Eric Jensen
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 12:46pm (UTC -5)
Mention of Janeway! (still watching...)
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 12:52pm (UTC -5)
@Booming
"I also remember that during the Interview at the beginning Picard said something like we had to save these 800 million lives to which the news lady says:"Romulan lives."

Yeah. That's a minor detail, but something like that is extremely bothersome to me as well. Sure, there's a precedent for certain kinds of discrmination in the old shows, but usually those make a bit more sense from a 24th century perspective. The Borg were a deadly force that couldn't be reasoned with, that had annhilated hundreds of other races... OF COURSE that would lead to treating Borg differently.

But the way 20th century discrmination is just casually inserted into the newer Treks really sets a different tone, and I think it's quite clear that the writers are hellbent on treating these issues from a modern perspective, rather than a future perspective. It's no big secret.
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:10pm (UTC -5)
Forget the Confederation timeline...the nuTrek timeline is deviant enough from the prime to be worth going back in time to repair.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:12pm (UTC -5)
To be clear, I'm not saying I want a grimdark Federation. But this stuff isn't really new at all. Remember The Drumhead? Remember Homefront/Paradise Lost? Remember every friggin "evil Admiral?" There is tons of evidence that the Federation isn't utopian - it's just better than the present. Frankly, given most of this season has taken place in the past (or the Confederation) I don't think it's selling a negative vision of the future at all (there was way more of that in Season 1).

But my broader point is "Gene's vision" is a crock. Much of what people came to love regarding TOS came from the influence of Gene Coon and D.C. Fontana anyway. I'm not saying that he had absolutely no good ideas, or that Trek would have happened without him, but he had many stunningly bad ideas too, and we really don't need to keep "original intent" in mind when looking at Trek today, any more than we need to consider what Jack Kirby's vision as the canonical one for the characters he created in comics. If you don't like a choice, just say it, but you don't need to essentially invoke the Word of God.
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Ilsat
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
Karl Zimmerman - "It honestly doesn't matter what the "real reason" is Seven was rejected from Starfleet. It might have been for something else entirely."

Yes it does. The writers are hacks that have not the slightest clue re the context raised in the comments here. Stop making excuses - "something else entirely" is disingenuous. You know why she was rejected.
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Ilsat
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
Gene's vision is a crock? Now you're just off the reservation.
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Dreubarik
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:22pm (UTC -5)
So apparently feeling sorrow is enough to allow people to de-assimilate themselves. I wonder what this says about the character of one Jean-Luc Picard (the main focus of this introspective character study, let's remember), who under the control of the Borg Collective murdered thousands on Wolf 359. I guess he just wasn't sorry enough.

Once again in NuTrek: Unjust systems that enslave you don't exist, people. It's all down to us as individuals to take control of our lives.
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Peter G.
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
@ Karl Zimmerman,

"To be clear, I'm not saying I want a grimdark Federation. But this stuff isn't really new at all. Remember The Drumhead? Remember Homefront/Paradise Lost? Remember every friggin "evil Admiral?" There is tons of evidence that the Federation isn't utopian - it's just better than the present. Frankly, given most of this season has taken place in the past (or the Confederation) I don't think it's selling a negative vision of the future at all (there was way more of that in Season 1)."

This sounds like equivocation to me. The Federation is by definition a utopia in TNG, which does not imply every single human being is without flaws, and also does not imply that nothing more ever needs to be done to preserve this utopia. It's a utopia because material need has been eliminated, and because society is finally advanced enough that people *can* pursue the greatest good without pressures to sink down and be corrupt. In other words conflicts of interest are gone. That does not imply that individuals cannot fall, nor does it imply that maintaining such a society is easy. The Drumhead is an excellent example of an admiral who believes she has the correct intention but has become corrupted in her execution, if not her goal. This type of person needs correction from the system, which ultimately she receives albeit not immediately. Human weakness will always exist so the system must be able to account for this and help those people (and their victims). If the system can do that then it's pretty much a utopia. DS9 challenged the *mechanics* of this, asking not only whether we can be better, but more specifically *how* this sometimes has to happen. Paradise Lost is an example of the right and wrong attitudes to take in extreme circumstances, but is not an example of how the Federation is really just as bad as governments today are. I think you are perhaps fundamentally misunderstanding what TOS and TNG were saying about the future.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Seven is discussing her feelings, not reading from a textbook. All we know as viewers is that Seven believes it was why she was rejected from Starfleet, and that's all that's important, as it's about understanding Seven as a character, not understanding how Starfleet works.
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Booming
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
@ Karl Zimmerman
" There is tons of evidence that the Federation isn't utopian"
Utopian doesn't mean that there are no problems. It's a utopia, not paradise.

"Remember every friggin "evil Admiral?"
Were there really any evil ones? Bad ones maybe but evil?

" I'm not saying that he had absolutely no good ideas"
Oh, ok. A few good ones slipped in. :)
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman
"I'm not saying that he had absolutely no good ideas, or that Trek would have happened without him, but he had many stunningly bad ideas too, and we really don't need to keep "original intent" in mind when looking at Trek today"

You're being too vague. "Gene had good ideas, he had bad ideas." Sure, but we can specific about what his vision is, and that it was overall a good idea. It's been said over and over: the overall thrust of his vision is imagining a positive and evolved view of humanity in the future. And that vision is a core reason of why Star Trek works, it's why many people love it. I think that's undeniable.

If Gene's vision had a flaw, perhaps it was a bit too optimistic, and maybe it was a good that laters writers had a bit more freedom to add in human drama. You can point to episodes like The Drumhead as evidence of this. But those writers were still operating under a framing that these are 24th century people, and the problems they face would be different. There was still a more evolved sensibility to the way they'd deal with these problems.

The main problem with the new Star Trek, for me, is that evolved sensibility seems to have evaporated. The characters all behave like recognizably 20th century people. And that's just not as interesting as the old Star Trek.
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:34pm (UTC -5)
NuTrek basically putting late 24th century technology in the hands of what amounts to early 21st century people is pretty much proving the validity of the Prime Directive.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:38pm (UTC -5)
To us, the Federation seems like a utopia, it's true. But to someone from 500 years ago, likely the present in a developed nation would seem utopian. Very little risk of starvation, even if you are destitute. Much lower risk of being randomly murdered by someone. Almost all children survive to adulthood. All of these would seem to be incredibly positive outcomes to someone from the past, but we take them for granted, and act as if the world has never been more cursed than today (something this season of Picard has also sadly leaned into at times).

But I simply don't see evidence based upon Season 2 it's saying much which is negative about the Federation itself. We only got some brief glimpses in the first episode, but everyone other than Seven had pretty good lives (Seven's was only bad by choice, because she decided to remain a Ranger). The future of the Federation has been repeatedly lifted up as something worth saving, and held out as being in contrast to both the Confederation timeline and the "present" of the show. This is no deconstruction of the Federation. And to be clear, there were some aspects of what Season 1 did (having Raffi intimate a class structure with Picard as "rich" - Rios getting paid, etc..) which I did have big issues with.

On another note, I strongly resist the idea that Gene Roddenberry's vision should in particular be lifted up as the most important aspect of Star Trek. Out of all of the seasons, his influence was strongest in TNG Seasons 1-2, and to a lesser extent TOS Season 3 - and that was the nadir of Trek. Not to mention TMP was the most direct distillation of his ideas in the movies, and it was (while not actively bad) relatively shallow, derivative of a TOS episode, and slow-paced. There were lots of good ideas that came out of TOS, but it was a synergy of many voices, with Roddenberry inflating his own role over time because that's how he made money between the end of TOS and the beginning of TNG - on the talk circuit talking up his own contribution.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:46pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman
"On another note, I strongly resist the idea that Gene Roddenberry's vision should in particular be lifted up as the most important aspect of Star Trek."

What do you mean by "vision," what are you talking about, specifically? Are you saying that "a spirit of optimism about the humanity's future" is *not* an important aspect of Star Trek? Or do you have your own concept about what his vision is, and if so...... what is it?
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:49pm (UTC -5)
@ Booming

Roddenberry purposely inserted the IDIC symbol pin into an episode and had Spock explain what it was to the audience just so he could merchandise it. Heh. It's just an example that blatant commercializing doesn't necessarily have to compromise creative integrity. People DO seem to like the Ewoks, after all.

____

Without rewatching PIC S1 or earlier Discovery seasons to remember exactly what was said, I can say that the android ladies on Discovery were from that planet Mudd discovered in TOS that had the machine that built them. When the machine was destroyed in that episode, no one ever figured out how to rebuild it or how to build androids like them. Whether these androids were sentient is not a settled question, but regardless, they were likely not positronic-based androids. The synth ban was particularly on the development and employment of positronic technology. Any pre-existing sentient "artificial lifeforms" certainly were not outlawed by the ban. For example, if Data had still been alive, I don't believe he would have been persecuted under it.

As I understand it, the Federation were using non-sentient synths as a labor force while researching how to create sentient androids like Data. The Romulans were scared of this because they had secret knowledge of the Reapers from Mass Effect--errr, a massively powerful transgalactic ancient synthetic positronic race hostile to organic life. So the Romulans arranged a security breech that destroyed Utopia Planetia and used that as a pre-text to ban all research into positronics (having infiltrated Starfleet and the Federation into key positions to make that ban happen), hoping to prevent the development of any more sentient positronic androids that might attract the attention of that race.

If the Federation had come across that colony they surely would have attacked it, but it would have been under the influence of the faction of Romulan infiltrators. It would have been handled quietly by them; most of the Federation and Starfleet wouldn't have even been aware. And that's really how they would get away with it. The laws they got passed give them just enough cover to move under.

As for the reporter coming off somewhat racist, sure, that struck a wrong note. I guess even in the future it's a reporter's job to provoke and try to get a response from the interview subject. Hey, it worked! Besides, we know there ARE still people with feelings like that even in the future (Cartwright), even though they're a largely insignificant majority. I guess Picard shouldn't have agreed to an interview with Breitbart. ;)
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Armus
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
So, there's just one episode left?! There are still so many things that don't make sense or are incomplete plot lines.

The thing I find most hard to believe is the Jurati is still not 100% assimilated and is still battling the Queen, plus she made the Queen have a change of heart about the whole thing that defines the Borg just because the Queen is "lonely" and Jurati sees that and understands her? This heartfelt moment is soooooo Disco. I legit thought Seven was going to be dead by the time they finished talking about their feelings.

Moving on, where's Q? WTF is going on? I'm so lost. Also, where was Tallin these past few episodes? Her transporter and guns would have been super useful but I guess they needed to stretch the story for a few more episodes. Also, the sun finally came out in scary France? And where is Picard's brother? Do the writer's know that Picard had a brother?

Seven was not allowed to join Starfleet becuase she was assimilated at some point? Classic Star Trek moment similar to "do not violate the Prime Directive until one of your bffs needs to be saved". Picard was assimilated and was allowed to return to command. What about when they found out Bashir was genetically engineered and was allowed to keep his post even when it was clear that Starfleet would not allow it. I'm surprised they didn't allow Seven to join Starfleet after she spent so much time being a valuable crew member at Voyager.

Teresa seems to know all about tricorders and medical gadgets from the future!

Spinner is a good bad guy, but this whole Soong thing is all over the place. For a smart guy is sooooo damn stupid, how can you trust a bitch full of nanoprobes? Also, still no answer on how he came up with his own soldiers.

The Queen took La Sirena, now what? Is she going to assimilate Earth, then Vulcan and so on? Or is she going to do the slingshot thing again but to travel back to the 25th century? I'm guessing they are going to sabotage the Europa mission to make the other timeline come true, then go full circle to the Stargazer explosion where The Queen is Jurati and the only reason they went back in time was for this to be true. This is just a fucking mess - "Plot Salad" like someone said last week. I bet the season finale is going to be rushed and unsatisfying.

p.s. @Alienatbar you guessed the hanging (unless this was obvious from other Star Trek episodes I've missed)
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
Again, I tend to think "Gene's Vision" is a completely meaningless slogan that people throw about. I've read a lot about the early development of TOS, from The Fifty Year Mission and elsewhere. TOS was truly a collaborative effort. DC Fontana wrote the original series bible back in 1964! And a lot of the ideas that we now consider a core part of TOS (from the Federation, to Starfleet, to the Klingons, to the Prime Directive only came about when Coon came on the show. Shatner himself attributed all of these to Gene Coon, not Gene Roddenberry.

Roddenberry was a true showman, and as he told tales over time his own role in conceiving all of this increased. Gene Coon himself died of cancer in 1973, so he wasn't around anymore to really question Roddenberry's version of events.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:03pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman
Alright. But I'm a little confused, because you say you "Gene's vision" is a completely meaningless slogan, but before you said: "I strongly resist the idea that Gene Roddenberry's vision should in particular be lifted up as the most important aspect of Star Trek" as if that's something specific. Even just saying "important aspect" seems to recognize it IS an aspect, so it can't be a meaningless slogan, right?

Honestly, 90% of the time when people talk about "Gene's vision," I think it's pretty clear that means an evolved vision of humanity in the future. I think calling it a meaningless slogan is really off the mark, rather I think that specific idea is fundamental to what people like about Star Trek. You hear that all the time when you talk to people who like Star Trek, not only from fans, but also in interviews with former people who worked on the show.
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Species 10-Forward
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
The mission was to hold the ship; therefore, everyone runs or beams away from the ship and tries to fight their way back via numerous, mindless action sequences.

Pew pew pew! Pew pew pew pew! Pew pew!

Mamaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnn!!!

I choo choo choose you… Happy Galentine’s Day, Borati!

The sloppy drunk that is this season ambles toward the exit, occasionally squinting their eyes into focus via basic psychoexpositional resolution and an alternate vision of the Borg as lonely losers who bond through hive-thinking and advanced weaponry. What could go wrong? Stay tuned!
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
My point is the following.

1. What we typically attribute to Gene was a collaborative effort between many different individuals. It's just that after TOS went off the air Gene made his money on the talk circuit, which meant the tales (both of his own contribution and what the Federation meant) grew bigger and bigger with every telling.

2. TOS wasn't all that utopian of a setting. There were tons of offhanded remarks regarding money, for example, which were basically later retconned as being figures of speech when TNG established the "no money" rule. It was an optimistic future, with humanity seemingly united, racism a thing of the past, etc. But that didn't make it utopian.

3. TNG was clearly intended to be not merely a positive, but an outright utopian vision of the future when it was first conceived. But the writers had tremendous issue writing for characters who had no conflict, and some of Roddenberry's maxims were nuts (like no one would grieve when someone died), meaning as soon as Gene was incapacitated, they began moving away from the weird strictures he put on storytelling.
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Jason R.
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
@Karl I agree with you that the claims that the Federation portrayed in Picard is some radical departure from old Trek is overblown. I also agree that Trek should not be slave to Gene's vision.

The issue here is less the technicalities of whether or not poverty or mental illness or prejudice should exist or not exist in Trek - the issue is tone.

Starting with TOS Trek presented a hopeful upbeat vision of the future. The basic premise was that humanity might one day, through a combination of technological and social progress, achieve a lasting, sustainable and most importantly, *virtuous* peace and prosperity.

Essentially, Trek proposed that liberal democratic society could be perfected. That you could have vast power without corresponding corruption. That you could have wealth and comfort without a foundation of deprivation and oppression just beneath the surface.

You could enjoy being a modern middle class prosperous American without the secret guilt of knowing that down the street or in some faraway country, people were living in squalor, or that maybe your vast wealth and convenience might not be sustainable and could even be ruining the Earth.

Basically Trek offered up a perfect version of middle class liberal American society designed to appeal to the values of liberal middle class America. The message being: one day you can have it all and not feel guilty about it!

If my description has a tinge of cynicism to it, that comes from the fact that at no other time in recent history has liberal democracy had a greater crisis of confidence in itself and in the rightness of its values. Liberal values are under attack from Marxism and its offshoots - an ideology that revels in tearing the mask off of liberal hypocrisy.

So to reiterate, the issue is one of tone. The Federation of the Rodenberry and Berman eras had problems, but the tone was one that gave hope to liberal first worlders and affirmed their values.

NuTrek's tone, in keeping with the ascending ideology of our times, cannot help but tear the mask of virtue off of the utopian future. It struggles with the very idea that liberal democracy could be perfected, and consciously or unconsciously, seeks to undermine that conceit at every turn. It takes all the insecurities of 2022 and projects them 400 years into the future. It sends the message that even in 400 years in a world of replicators and starships, we will still be unclean and immoral.

Now keep in mind, most of this is unconscious. I don't attribute a particular political motivation to the writing because let's face it, the writing is too stupid and too incoherent to have a conscious political motivation. This is more like something that seeps into the story like a gas, filling the cracks even if the writers and showrunners don't perceive it. But people who grew up on Rodenberry and Berman can sense the change, even if we can't always put our fingers on it. Just as we can sense the decline of our liberal democratic societies, even if objectively they seem more prosperous than ever.
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Iceman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:15pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman--There's also a lot more skepticism of the Federation in some TOS scripts, particularly those by Gene L. Coon.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
"Gene's vision" is just shorthand for the attitude and ethos he cultivated and shepherded. It doesn't mean he invented everything. Can we move on from that, now?
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
Star Trek is Gene Roddenberry's creation. "Created by" is probably the most potent credit in any work.

That said, an architect doesn't actually construct the building themselves.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:24pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman
Well I feel like a lot of that difference of opinion just amounts to semantics, "is it fair to call this Gene's vision?" Like it or not, many label it that way. You make a fair point that a lot of it probably comes from other people.

But no matter what we call it, I think there is something important that is lost in the new Treks. Sure, TOS and TNG people were not flawless, but there is still an optimism about humanity. There is still a recognizably evolved way that people handled problems. And regardless of who you want to attribute it to, I think it's an extremely important part of what people loved about Trek.

The way thay nu-trek could have improved on this was by solidifying the idea that characters were 24th century people. I think old Star Trek did a pretty good job of creating a vision of a hypothetical 24th century humanity, but there were times when you could see 20th century thinking slipping through the cracks. The way to improve Star Trek would be to make that future vision more robust, put more thought into how 24th century humans would act.

That's how I feel Star Trek could have been improved. Unfortunately modern Treks have really gone the opposite way, now it feels like they are fully content to just portray 20th century people who *just happen* to live in the 24th century. They act and talk like 20th century people, and they have recognizably 20th century flaws. To me, that really destroys what I loved about Star Trek. It's exactly the opposite way I would have liked to see the series evolve.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:32pm (UTC -5)
@ Jason R.

I think the tone of this season in particular regarding the Federation is correct, even though (as I said) I think there were some big misses last season. The future of the Federation is repeatedly portrayed as something worth fighting for - worth risking everything to ensure that it happens. I don't know how much more explicit you can get than that.

I don't understand your whole weird aside about Marxism. While I wouldn't claim that Gene was a socialist himself, looking at the Trekverse in the Berman Era in particular, it was pretty explicitly a socialist future. No money, things are given to people according to their needs, no one needs to do a job they aren't interested in, and instead they collectively work for the betterment of all. The early criticism of the Ferengi is explicitly anti-capitalist in nature, as is Picard's speech to the frozen businessman in The Neutral Zone. Plus it's a largely atheistic setting. Star Trek might not be explicitly Marxist, but it's sure as heck usually post-capitalist (something Chabon really pulled away from in Season 1 of Picard, to the detriment of the setting).

Star Trek was also always supposed to be - quite explicitly - telling morality tales regarding our present, not the future. It was right there in the original working documents for TOS before the show was produced. I do think it's true that more typically this was done with the allegorical "alien of the week" which allowed our crew to be the enlightened ones. I think the shift happened not because the writers are any more cynical about the setting than in the past, but because the idea of what makes a good TV character has now changed, with it almost required that every protagonist have some deep trauma which defines them as a person (note: Every single cast member this season, either here or in Season 1). I can't say that I like it, but it is what it is.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:37pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman
"with it almost required that every protagonist have some deep trauma which defines them as a person (note: Every single cast member this season, either here or in Season 1). I can't say that I like it, but it is what it is."

Yeah I agree. I don't like it either, and personally I feel like that idea really clashes with the idea of Star Trek.

Evolving past capitalism also makes a lot of sense in a post scarcity society, where capitalism as a system loses a lot of it's benefits. So I think that aspect of Star Trek was very forward thinking. I think it's fair to attribute that as another aspect of "Gene's vision" but you may disagree.
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DoorDoNot
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:37pm (UTC -5)
I've ignored a lot from Picard. The whole forgetting Guinan's backstory is one thing. Q dying which also makes no sense from immortal beings. His Dad have a thick set of hair and being very obviously bald years later.

But forgetting that Picard had a vision of an old French woman in TNG who somehow now killed herself ... I don't understand how you can fuck this up so badly. Memory Alpha exists for a reason.

Also, where is Robert? Does Picard not have a brother now?

I don't care how this season ends, this show is written so poorly with basic mistakes about the character there supposed to be writing about.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
@Flipsider,

I agree with you regarding the 24th century, but not in the way you think. Like, a lot of people hated how the Prime Directive was interpreted in TNG, but I honestly liked it because it was a way that the characters were morally alien from us - we couldn't relate to the idea the most just thing to do was to let people die who we could save, but in being unrelatable, it showed that the characters were not just meant as stand-ins for us. I also think that a lot more could have been done to flesh out the culture of the future, from music to fashion to literature.

That said, good drama requires conflicts, and it requires characters with flaws. It does not require the flaws to be due to some deep, dark trauma though. I personally really like Lower Decks, and I think it has the best depiction of flawed characters within an optimistic future. Mariner is a real piece of work, but when it comes down to it she's there for her friends/coworkers when there's a crisis, and steadfastly committed to the ethics of Starfleet.
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Jason R.
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:42pm (UTC -5)
@Karl I would call the Federation a post capitalist liberal democracy. I don't see any evidence whatsoever that it is socialist, indeed in a post scarcity society I don't think such a label could ever apply any more than capitalist could.

Gene was showing us in the Federation a utopian United States; a first world liberal democracy purged of the ugly machinery of capitalist exploitation.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:43pm (UTC -5)
@DoorDoNot,

Picard explicitly notes he sometimes had fantasies of his mother as an old woman offering tea, meaning it retconned that scene as a fantasy of what his mother would be like if she lived, not his real mother.

The first episode had a line about Robert being away at boarding school I believe. It certainly did mention Robert as existing. I think the story would have improved here with his inclusion, but it's ultimately not about the Jean-Luc/Robert relationship, which was already dealt with in Family.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
@ Jason R.

I have always understood the difference between capitalism and socialism to come down to the ownership of the means of production. The Federation does not seem to have any capitalist class to speak of. The means of production is largely replicators (and cheap energy) which do seem to be collectively owned by all and distributed on an as-needed basis. But I do admit there's a lot of discussion about what post-scarcity economics would actually mean, and at times they kinda fudged it (why did people work as waitstaff in Sisko's Creole Kitchen exactly?)

I agree that the Federation was intended as "Space America" though.
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
Lots of talk about socialism and the post-scarcity setting here. That is largely due to the technology of replication/particle synthesis.

If you remove that technology from the timeline, it's not hard to see how capitalism might have actually entrenched itself once Earth/Federation became a spacefaring society.

There would be farm planets in all likelihood (Worf grew up on one), and feeding the galaxy would be lucrative and profitable. Same for mining and other industries.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:59pm (UTC -5)
"That said, good drama requires conflicts, and it requires characters with flaws."

It does require conflicts, I don't think it necessarily requires characters with flaws. Those conflicts don't have to be within the crew. Conflicts with alien lifeforms is a tried and true way of creating good drama on Star Trek. And even when those conflicts are within the crew, they don't have to arise from 'character flaws', actually it's often more interesting when they arise from a difference in values.
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:01pm (UTC -5)
Karal Zimmermann said:

"and at times they kinda fudged it (why did people work as waitstaff in Sisko's Creole Kitchen exactly?)"

Joseph seems to use real food in his restaurant. Real food seems to be a novelty commodity in the future where replication exists. I get the sense that his restaurant takes in actual revenue, and that acquiring that real food involves at least barter capitalism in some form.
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:08pm (UTC -5)
Also, the Starfleet personnel must earn some form of income that is of transactional value at Quark's Bar and elsewhere.

When Julian and MIles ordered a big meal at Quark's when Jadzia briefly cancelled her wedding to Worf, Quark said "no refunds" when he took it away.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:13pm (UTC -5)
@ Jaxon

Thought experiment: could an "optional capitalism" system exist alongside whatever-we'd-label-the-Federation-as?

____

While it's fun to speculate on specifics, I've always felt for the purposes of the show it doesn't matter and there aren't meant to be defined specifics. It's an economic system of a certain spirit we're just only meant to know is functional, and not an economic system with an actual blueprint.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
I've always just thought that certain Starfleet officers who deal with alien races receive a certain "allowance" of currency, towards that purpose. It makes a particular amount of sense on DS9, where they'd be dealing with alien races all the time.
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Dreubarik
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
@Captain Jon So yes, the idea of a new, different Borg Collective is an intriguing one, but here it was merely a nonsensical trekkian-sounding deus ex machina to end a convoluted plotline. We know this stuff can be effectively addressed because Star Trek has already done it in the past! One example is VOY's "Unity," which asks the fundamental question: Is the collective existence of the Borg necessarily bad? Can people freely decide to link their consciousnesses to one another to escape the alienation of their regular lives, and in thus achieve a happier, more peaceful society, or does this fusion of the individual in the communal inevitably lead to harm to others in the name of utilitarianism?

These are the same questions that it seemed Picard wanted to ask in this episode, given the focus on Jurati's loneliness and her eventual transformation into the new Borg Queen... and then it didn't. What exact idea was Jurati proposing here? We don't know, apart from the fact that the Collective would be focused on rescuing derelict ships. I'm sorry, what?

Let me quote directly from the episode: "A real Collective, based not on assimilation but salvation. Think about it: a Borg Collective that embraces the uniqueness of its members."

What does any of this mean? Will the members of the Collective still be interlinked? Jurati's pitch makes it sound like the answer is "no," so is her proposal to the Borg Queen that the Borg stop being Borg (ie annihilating their way of life)? And if the answer is "yes," what would "embracing the uniqueness of its members" even mean? What do derelict ships have to do with anything? It reminds me of a comic book I used to read in Catalonia when I was 7 or so, in which the bad pirates admit their evil ways and reform into "good pirates" who only help shops in distress. It was a good comic book. For 7-year-olds.
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:25pm (UTC -5)
"Thought experiment: could an "optional capitalism" system exist alongside whatever-we'd-label-the-Federation-as?"

On DS9 (both the station, and the show), yes.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:30pm (UTC -5)
An "optional capitalism" system? It actually makes a certain amount of sense. Although most basic needs could be provided by replicators, the crew sometimes seemed to prefer non-replicator things like food and wine... for those and other luxury goods that can't be replicated, it makes sense to still have a currency.

Although bartering would work as well. (if you do X for me or give me Y, I'll give you this precious alien artifact that you want.)
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
Or in the Sisko's example....Joseph using real food would mean he'd need to take in some form of revenue for the novelty/luxury good/service of real food that he is providing in order to "purchase" more real food and be able to sustain his enterprise.
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Timmy the Tribble
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
I guess I'm the one who threw out "Gene's vision" initially, so I appreciate all the discussion.

I'm the first to admit that "Gene's vision" is, at best, a conceit; it's definitely a mythology that Gene built up himself. Partially for the cash and babes, I'm sure, and we all know from "Chaos on the Bridge" that he was, at times, a far, far less than perfect human being.

That said, the point of my initial post was what @Flipsider said way better than I did:

"now it feels like they are fully content to just portray 20th century people who *just happen* to live in the 24th century. They act and talk like 20th century people, and they have recognizably 20th century flaws. "

Exactly! Maybe I've been looking at this wrong for 40 years of my Trekkie-ness, but I've always gone under the assumption that the Federation is a far more utopian world than mine, and the people who live in that world are "better" in the sense that they have solved all their problems or have productive ways of dealing with their problems that are far better than mine. If I attributed that mindset to "Gene's vision", then that's on me, and I'm probably off-base somewhat. But it doesn't negate my original point, namely that I expect Star Trek characters, especially Picard, to, yeah, have crappy families sometimes, yet have far better ways of coping with those issues than the callousness and dismissal of Maurice and the suicide of Yvette. And I don't buy that Picard, who has sought to explore the universe and seek truth, would repress such a huge matzo ball of trauma. Why wouldn't this have come out long before, post Wolf-359? Inconsistent with the character's arc. Lazy writing.

Suicide is a deeply personal issue and has affected my family. I don't care for it being used as a lazy plot device.
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Jason R.
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
"I have always understood the difference between capitalism and socialism to come down to the ownership of the means of production. The Federation does not seem to have any capitalist class to speak of. The means of production is largely replicators (and cheap energy) which do seem to be collectively owned by all and distributed on an as-needed basis."

Well let's say the evidence is mixed on that point.

But here's how I have always seen it: who owns the oxygen in the air? If the answer is that no private citizen can own it, do we immediately infer that it must be "owned" by the government?

Or is it meaningless to talk about ownership in the context of a resource that is for all intents and purposes infinite?

In a post scarcity society, you can't have capitalism or socialism because ownership is a meaningless concept where resources are akin to oxygen in the air - basically limitless.

I sincerely doubt that Gene's intent was to show the triumph of state ownership over private ownership.

But admittedly there is certainly evidence of state or collective ownership in Star Trek just as there is evidence for private ownership. The economics of the future are... different.

But circling back to my original point, the Federation depicted by Rodenberry and Burman era Trek was supposed to be the final perfection of liberal democracy, basically American society. But the zeitgeist of 2022 society (which is under a Marxist influence) cannot depict such a society in an uncynical way.
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
Regarding replication technology and "real food," etc., I have just this to say: If replicators and transporters operate on the same basis, and transporters can reconstruct a living being perfectly, right down to maintaining their stream of thought (Barclay's spooky adventure in the transporter beam confirms this, for example), then replicators could replicate foods perfectly. And all this talk about being able to tell the difference between real food and replicated food is simply gibberish, or the given character is a playing the role of food snob.
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Booming
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 3:58pm (UTC -5)
Maybe the Federation produces things like farm goods with machines because people want them sometimes and then gives them out through some super complex and mega fair system. In other words someone opens a restaurant and tells the federation what is needed and it is then provided. That's how I imagined it.

Roddenberry was a leftist and later even a Maoist. So who will now be the first to say that he made a lot of money? :)
Sometimes leftists make money. Sometimes capitalists die poor, it's a strange world.
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Booming
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
Jason, could you point out aspects of this season, even better this episode, that you perceive as marxist?
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Jason R.
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 4:12pm (UTC -5)
"Jason, could you point out aspects of this season, even better this episode, that you perceive as marxist?"

You will note that I said that the writing is too stupid to have a coherent ideological focus.

But the fact that the immigration system and the ICE apparatus is depicted as having no legitimate purpose other than to persecute Mexicans for racist reasons is vaguely Marxist. The idea being that it's not just a few bad apples running things but the system itself that is rotten with an emphasis on power structures and whatnot. Just substitute race for class and it's pretty transparent.

But I again emphasize that the writing here is so incoherent, so shitty, that you can't call it Marxist. It is more like a certain Marxist zeitgeist has seeped into the writing like radon through cracks in the foundation.

This is kind of what some commentators are getting at when they dismiss these shows as "woke".
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Eric Jensen
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 4:12pm (UTC -5)
I still liked the episode but it's little too late.
1. JuratiQueen leaves to Delta Quadrant... the borg soldiers seemed pointless...
2. Soong disappears until next time... Next episode? More delays
3. Q will probably show up... delayed
4. Seven is borgified again
5. Two Renee's??
6. Will Rios stay in the past?
7. Will Seven be in season 3?
The problem is that plot threads aren't answered in a timely or satisfactory fashion...
8. Jqueen just left and forgot about Soong? Well that's Borg for you... oh wait. Was she fully borg?
9. The FBI agent will be back??
10. Talinn seemed a bit useless in this episode apart from providing weapons and the transporter...
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Jason R.
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Just to add there is a similar thing going on with the decision to abandon the Romulans and the synth ban in Season 1. These things had official explanations in the story but we are meant to read these as mere pretexts. What is really going on is the system is functioning to permit those with power (the Federation, starfleet, humans) to crush those without power (synths, Romulans etc...) while giving them plausible deniability. It is a Marxist framework applied to the 24th century
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Ilsat
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Karl, just stop it. Stop attempting to defend this.
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 4:23pm (UTC -5)
@Booming — I would imagine the Federation itself provides nothing more than the legal infrastructure that allows for a balanced economy between producers and consumers, which would necessitate broad public ownership, and democratic participation, to maintain such a balance. The UFP doesn't seem to be a federation of socialist republics, if, by socialism, we mean democracy in the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and state-ownership as the primary dynamo of economic activity. It's post-capitalist. And it's post-socialist. The "New World Economy," as Lt. Paris called it, seems to be "the free association of producers."
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
Jason kind of alluded to it, but in prime Trek, humans are the force that united the galaxy into a Federation and the glue that keeps it together.

NuTrek subverts that and almost makes villains of us. SWMs in particular almost get the Angel One treatment.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 4:27pm (UTC -5)
@Ilsat
Hey now. If he feels that way he *should* defend it. How else are we supposed to talk about it? Do you want to just pretend like no one out there likes Picard? The purpose of this board should be for *everyone* to express their opinions, bad and good.
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 4:33pm (UTC -5)
Yep...I don't care who likes this drivel or why...just don't tell me I have to like it just because I watched it.

I don't even bother with the other nuTreks at all. I watched a few minutes of the DSC pilot, saw what they were passing off as Klingons, and *click*.

Never tuned in again. Everything I've heard about it since (main sequence stars going supernova...suddenly, spore drives, etc.) kept me from coming back.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
I understand why DS9 has money (it's a frontier outpost at a point of contact with non-Federation civilizations that use money, like the Ferengi). I'm not sure Joseph's restaurant is necessarily proof of anything. For all we know, waitstaff get a kick out of waiting tables in the future and do it for free. Or any one of a million other explanations.

I guess my question was more along the lines of, do we think the Federation could have an internal optional-capitalism system along with whatever the mainline economic system is? Or do we think, by its very presence and nature, a competing internal optional-capitalism system would bring too much pressure to bear on the mainline system and cause it to collapse?

I know, there's really no way to answer this or discuss it without making a number of assumptions. So, thought experiment.

@ Dreubarik

I think the idea is that the Borg will approach people who would otherwise die and ask if them if they would prefer to be assimilated into the Collective rather than death. Therefore they are only recruiting beings who "choose" it. The idea being that if they choose it the hivemind they create will be a necessarily better one because there will be no need to suppress or dominate anything. I don't think they stay individuals, it's more that the Hivemind gets "more" from each that is added to it, which would necessarily transform the character of the hivemind. A very different tone to the voice of it in the head of all drones. Does that make sense?

@ Dahj's Digital Ghost

Sure, the cheeseburgers made by the replicator are every bit "real food" as cheeseburgers made from grass-fed slaughtered beef. But they're assembled from a pattern. This means every cheeseburger you'll ever eat from the replicator is the same. Oh, you can program the replicator to do this or that different. But it's an abstraction of something you're doing when you do that. You'll always get better results just doing the actual thing (cooking).

Plus, it remains a fun thing for people to do to cook, and for people to go out and eat things that have been cooked. We still go to movie theaters even though on paper it's the worst way to watch movies these days, is it not? You can't even pause or rewind them!
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 4:44pm (UTC -5)
"Sure, the cheeseburgers made by the replicator are every bit "real food" as cheeseburgers made from grass-fed slaughtered beef. But they're assembled from a pattern. This means every cheeseburger you'll ever eat from the replicator is the same"

Oh, that's a really good point. I didn't think about it that way before.

Of course they could program in hundreds of variations... I guess it depends on how much memory all those variations take up. But yeah, if the appeal of cooking for yourself is just the unique-ness of what you make, it actually makes a bit more sense that TNG crew members would speak fondly of non-replicator food.
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey's Tube — Cows are assembled from a pattern, too, slowly, recycling through materials over many years. Snarkiness aside, you don't have to replicate the cheeseburger; you can replicated the side of beef. You can replicate the milk and turn it into cheese. You can replicate the seeds and grow lettuce and tomatoes and pickles. You can cook the cheeseburger. No doubt you could even manipulate the DNA patterns to make an endless variety of meat samples from the same species computer-stored DNA.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
Oh, that's another good point. When the TNG crew were "cooking for real" because "replicator food isnt as good as real food," were they using replicated ingredients? It didn't seem like they had a storeroom of real ingredients, although I think I do remember certain lines like "I got these alien eggs from plant whatever." These are things that the writers probably didn't put too much thought into.

On Voyager, IIRC didn't Neelix's kitchen have a storeroom of real ingredients?
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:07pm (UTC -5)
Jeffrey's Tube said:

"I think the idea is that the Borg will approach people who would otherwise die and ask if them if they would prefer to be assimilated into the Collective rather than death."

That's the logic as to how Jacob Carter became a Tok'ra in SG-1.

Choosing assimilation just to stay alive rather undemrines Voyager's Survival Instinct, where Marika Wilkarah chose a month of freedom over a full lifetime as a drone...a choice I think I would also make.
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
Flipsider said:

"On Voyager, IIRC didn't Neelix's kitchen have a storeroom of real ingredients? "

Well he had an animal leg he was saving for someone's birthday that schizo-7 ate in Klingon mode. Why have the leg sitting around when you can simply replicate it on the day you cook it.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
@ Dahj's Digital Ghost

Cows, like all sexually reproducing animals, are actually assembled from two different patterns smashed together with particular bits of the resultant pattern randomly selected from one of the two constituent patterns or the other, and then a sprinkle of additional randomization pertaining to neither of the constituent patterns at all. But your point is well taken.

We actually don't know if Joseph replicates all the ingredients for his restaurant, do we?

I'm not sure the DNA of the cow really matters as much as the experience of it having lived, grown muscle fibers, had fat deposited in certain places, had lactic acid made in certain quantities in certain fibers at certain times in its life, etc. I know a sufficiently advanced computer could model all of that and randomize it so each cheesburger is coming from a "new" cow . . . but I just don't know that the end result would capture the same experience. Probably with enough refinement and iteration and "machine learning" the technology would get there but it seems that, in the time of TNG at least, it hasn't yet, and non-replicated food remains a distinct culinary experience from replicated food.
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:15pm (UTC -5)
As much as I loved Star Trek: First Contact — it was fun and exciting — I feel that film utterly destroyed the Borg as an interesting alien civilization. The Hive needs a Queen, after all! Ugh! Ruined everything about the Borg; reduced them to a bad cliche. And it only got worse with Voyager. And now it's been reduced to this: Lonely lady on Borgia assimilates her species and then millions more because she's got a black hole in her heart.
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
Agreed on the Borg Queen ruining the Borg. I t was even worse when Picard's dialogue in FC shamelessly retconned her into existence, with the "I remember you!" BS.

The debriefing he got from Starfleet would have caught that little detail instead of sitting on it for six years. Funny that Hugh didn't mention her. And I'd think she'd have had something to say about Lore commandeering some of her troops.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:24pm (UTC -5)
@ Jaxon

That was a different collective, though. There might be a version of a collective she wouldn't feel that way about.

We take it for granted that being an individual is better than being part of ANY kind of collective, no matter what, but . . . we wouldn't really know. All we've ever known is life as individuals. I recognize that our ability to extrapolate what it might be life only goes so far.

Oh and Neelix had "real" food on Voyager because they were rationing use of the replicators. At least in the early seasons, until they forgot about it along with the number of torpedoes and shuttlecraft they had. I figure they just moved into space with species that had more advanced technology that allowed them to trade for the energy supplies they needed to run the replicators all the time, and the replicators took care of the shuttlecraft and photon torpedo issues. But, by that time, it was obvious Neelix wasn't good for anything else and Janeway wasn't going to kick him off the ship in the middle of nowhere, so they allowed him to continue to keep cooking his hair pastas and whatever. Secretly Janeway ordered everyone on the crew to have to show up to one meal a day in the mess and they were allowed to replicate the others.
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:25pm (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey's Tube — True enough. Excellent point. But then consider this: Millions of cows on Earth might be transported yearly, without harm, solely for the purpose of having fresh samples on file to be replicated, not as living beings, but as meat stock. The cow itself is transported, its pattern stored, then re-materializes, goes on its merry way to graze and low in the fields, free and happy as a cow can be.
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Chris Lopes
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
"I guess my question was more along the lines of, do we think the Federation could have an internal optional-capitalism system along with whatever the mainline economic system is? Or do we think, by its very presence and nature, a competing internal optional-capitalism system would bring too much pressure to bear on the mainline system and cause it to collapse?"

I'm not sure there is a realistic way to compete with free, so I don't think it's possible to have an optional-capitalism system for every day items. For luxury items like a bottle of 2184 Chateau Picard though, there would have to be some form exchange. I also don't think people are going to be waiting on tables as a hobby. It's not that fun a job. So the luxury of an actual cooked meal in a restaurant will also involve some form of exchange.

I'm also guessing there is an underground market for prohibited items like hand phasers and Romulan ale. That too would require an exchange system. It would have the advantage of being untraceable.

What you aren't likely to see is a Spacely Sprockets versus Cogswell Cogs kind of competition. There just isn't any market to compete over.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:31pm (UTC -5)
@ Dahj's Digital Ghost

You're making my head explode. Hahaha.

We know that transporters can't store full patterns for very long . . . but they wouldn't need the full pattern information for this. For example, the information about the exact electrical activity in the cow's brain at the moment of transport, because who cares what it's thinking, right? We don't need its quantum state, just its physical structure.

Man, farming in the future is going to be WEIRD.
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:33pm (UTC -5)
It's amusing the weeds these comments drift into by the time Jammer posts the review...
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey's Tube — "We know that transporters can't store full patterns for very long . . ."

Mr. Scott would like to have word with you. Lol.

"Man, farming in the future is going to be WEIRD."

Star Trek: Green Acres 2501
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
When there was the planetwide blackout in the Homefront/Paradise Lost crisis, hopefully the earthlings had some backup chow to cook and a means to do so.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:57pm (UTC -5)
@ Chris Lopes

"What you aren't likely to see is a Spacely Sprockets versus Cogswell Cogs kind of competition. There just isn't any market to compete over."

Good observation.

The economic system of the Federation must have a way of distributing things like luxury items and desirable real estate that everyone considers equitable, as unfathomable as that may be. As for the black market . . . it's entirely possible it's strictly a barter system. Mariner seems to operate that way on Lower Decks. She'll swap contraband Romulan Ale for two Mugato horns, or whatever. As far as I'm aware, a simple barter system isn't considered capitalism, though that feels like a distinction without a difference considering the principles we're really discussing.
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grey cat
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 6:16pm (UTC -5)
Jesus wtf is all this?

Must have been a really deep and thought provoking episode to have all these comments already.

It isn't out here until tomorrow and much as I still enjoy the show I'm not really bothered about spoilers at this point. I do prefer my sci-fi more like Expanse (or at the very least s2e1 of this show). I'm so bored of 2024 that I'm preferring s1 right now. 2 episodes left for me though
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Mike Lindell
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 6:20pm (UTC -5)
Incorrect prediction: Renee the pilot will die, and Renee the nephew will live. Somehow.
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
@grey cat — "Must have been a really deep and thought provoking episode to have all these comments already."

Well, it wasn't. It just has us thinking of, and writing about, all the deep and thought provoking conversation fodder Star Trek has left us with these last 50+ years.

It amazes me that this creative team has been left with one of the largest and finest sandboxes in the sci-fi world, and the only things they come up with are the little dumplings the neighborhood cats have buried. Surely they are better than that.

I'm disappointed. The first two episodes really had me thinking that this season would be better than S1 (which I thought was passable), but it hasn't been. It's been worse, in my opinion. Much worse. I'm especially frustrated because there are good ideas here, buried under trivialities.

You know, if this season had been an "on-the-nose" vehicle in the which Patrick Stewart dealt with domestic abuse, his own sorrows re: childhood trauma, and advocacy for victims of such abuse, I would have been fine with it. I can think of ways a classically Star Trek story could have been written within such a framework, dealing with issues of war, PTSD, pride, grief, the love and disappointments of family life, community outreach, support, and treatment, all within 24th century parameters. In fact, looking at the issue from a 24th century perspective, where such matters have been addressed, would be a good way to promote advocacy. And isn't that the real point Stewart is driving at, to advocate for, and help those who are looking now for help?
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Oradivi
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 7:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: The Roddenberry optimism, a number of people claim, is q commandment. Roddenberry’s belief in the perfectability of mankind was formed and then encased in amber, never to have changed.

Has anyone read any one of the numerous authorized (David Alexander) and non-authorized biographies of the man, have read his movie novelizations, his memos, his scripts, or conversations with him recalled by his colleagues?

From halving done these things myself , I think it is fair to say that there was no single end-all, theory-of-everything definition Roddenberry intended for Star Trek to have. Interpersonal conflict among the main characters was a staple of TOS fare. That conflict then vainshed come TOS - ask Rick Berman, Tracy Torme, Leonard Maizlish or Maurice Hurley would say. Roddenberry opposed the very notion of an episode like “Family,” believing that humans in the 24th century would not have reacted to being traumatized in the manner that Picard did. Roddenberry was against the idea of families on starships (TOS) before he was for it (TNG). What is most interesting to me is that people who claim Roddenberry’s legacy is defiled by those who point out these contradictions, are (seemingly) unfamiliar with its the basic facts and logic at play. Raise your hand if you have heard of Nicholas Meyer. Nice. In his book, A View from the Bridge, and on his DVD and Blu-Ray commentaries, Meyer said Roddenberry’s (about-face) belief that mankind in the 24th century would be free of bigotry and prejudice was not so much nonsensical as it was contradicted by history. What evidence is there in the year 2022 to predict that humans will have shed their xenophobia, sexism, racism, and religious intolerance by the 24th century? What happened between the time of John Paxton and Jean-Luc Picard that erased bigotry from the human genome? Absolutely nothing, of course. But, If someone, by suggesting Roddenberry’s forecast had no clothes, points out that maybe Roddenberry was motivated by less than altruistic concerns, that person is branded as “defiling the dead.” Please. There are any number of reasons to criticize Star Trek made from 2009 onward. Artistic, aesthetic, and a whole host of others. But please oh please enough of “it’s bad because it was not because what Roddenberry wanted.” It’s bad because of episode and movie-specific dramatic, story, script, and acting callings. Not because “It’s not what Roddenberry wanted.” He seems to have wanted whatever suited his interests at a given time. In that way, he is precisely no different from the rest of us.

If you can’t accept the easily discoverae fact of Roddenberry revisionism, perhaps you should not be lecturing anyone on what Star Trek means, is, or does
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grey cat
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 7:38pm (UTC -5)
@Oradivi well said.

Exactly why "this isn't Star Trek" discussions are utterly pointless. Star has been many things over time and has taken many forms.

I mean even the Chris Pine films even had a place for hopefully introducing Star Trek to people who thought it was some dull cerebral TV show. Even though they were generally pretty awful even as action sci-fi (the first one was decent enough I suppose).

But PIC is using fine actors and has a huge lore to draw upon.. DSC literally had a clean slate to work with (and then another one from the year 3500 or whatever). Unfortunately the writing lack any imagination or even real talent I'm sorry to say.

I've watched plenty of low budget sci-fi that has cheap effects and no-name actors that is still engaging and enjoyable because the concepts are interesting or spark some thoughful reflection etc.

DSC/PIC are just obsessed with endless fan service, unearned emotional scenes and ret-conning.

I had high hopes for PIC because at least it was set in future of TNG/DS9/VOY (I don't care about DSC year 3500 drivel personally) but what did they do... spend the whole season in 2024.. Great.

I have high hopes again for SNW but another Kirk Era show.. why? Can't we have more VOY/DS9/TNG era shows or maybe use some real imagination and set it even further in the future and imagine some really cool new things that seem incredible and futuristic (again ignoring DSCs utter lack of any use of the far-flung future).
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Ilsat
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
Grey cat, it's not. The season is crap, and anyone with an ounce of integrity knows it
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
@Oradivi
I don't understand who you're arguing with, though. Because I didn't see anyone arguing (and I certainly am not) that Roddenberry himself needed to be "respected." As far as I can tell, you're the only person in this entire thread who use the term "defiling" Roddenberry's vision.

It's not about that, and the actual truth about Roddenberry's vision isn't important.

Regardless of where it came from, the old Star Treks had a certain sensibility which is absent from the newer shows: a sense of optimism about humanity having evolved and become a better version of itself in the 24th century. Also, they consciously tried to have characters on Star Trek speak in a "Trekkian" kind of way that was supposed to feel different from 20th century people.

Those elements are important to me, and important to a lot of people. Can I also say I find it tasteless that some of us seem to feel the need to dig into Roddenberry's past, and point out every possible character flaw as if we are in some kind of Q style human trial of the man? Sure he was flawed... so are all artists. So are all people. I bet ALL of the writers of the modern Star Treks, if you did intensive investigation into *their* lives, you'd find find plenty of flaws. And what really is the point of that?

Can't we just stick to talking about the merits of the shows, themselves?
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 7:50pm (UTC -5)
@Ilsat
Look, if you want to say it's crap, I agree with you. Although I try to actually make positive posts, or give reasons for why I like or don't like certain things. But I know this may come as a shock to you: whether you like or dislike Picard actually has nothing to do with a person's integrity.
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
grey cat said:

"Can't we have more VOY/DS9/TNG era shows"

I suggested an idea for one a while back...STar Trek: Federation News Service. An episodic show that every week checks up on a culture in the aftermath of a prior episode. Like checking in on the recovery of Cardassia after the Dominion War, or checking in on the Teplans after Julian took care of the blight. Check in on Bajor. Check in with Neelix via subspace. Check in with the Malcorians. Check in with the Children of Tama. And so forth...

That said, I wouldn't remotely trust this collection of writers with such a show.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 7:56pm (UTC -5)
Wow, you guys were busy,

Anyway, some replies,

Jason R,

Socialism is not about state control of the means of production - it's about worker control. Plenty of socialists are anti-government (see anarcho-syndicalism for example, where there's no formal government, with every workplace run by/owned by the workers, who then coordinate across sectors.

I still don't know what any of this has to do with Marxism, unless you're using that idiotic Jorden Peterson definition of "Cultural Marxism." Real Marxists had postmodernism (if there's no truth, there's no way to have a meaningful political program) and most Marxists are pretty suspect of "Idpol" taken to the furthest conclusion as well, often considering identity politics a sop the capitalist class throws at workers to keep them divided/give the illusion of progress while nothing actually threatens the interest of the wealthy.

I do agree though that a post-scarcity society can be seen as past the issues of both capitalism and socialism, insofar as there's neither a capital-owning class, nor much of a working class (if a lot of work is automated). The economy becomes much more tangential to human experience and presumably other issues become more salient than economics.

Dahj's Digital Ghost,

I think the Borg were better when they were a horror movie concept - monsters rather than characters. But the second First Contact decided to personify the Borg, this was eventually - a Borg redemption arc of sort - was possible. Frankly it holds up much better with the Trekkian ethos as well, because there's few other notable examples of antagonists shown to be 100% bad, must be wiped off the map like the Borg.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 7:57pm (UTC -5)
How about a show where we just get Colm Meany to come back, sit behind a desk, and rant about the Cardies for an hour every week?

I think it should be called: The O'Brien Factor.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 8:01pm (UTC -5)
I would love a new Star Trek that *feels* like the older Treks. I don't even care what it's about... just a show where everyone has that 24th century way of speaking, that professionalism and general sense of being well adjusted people, no slang, few modern expressions (that's one flaw of old Treks, a little too much use of 20th century expressions). Interpersonal drama not off limits, but more conflict generated from people having to solve problems and conflicts with other alien lifeforms.

That would be so great. And if I could add my own selfish wish, I'd love to see both Vulcans and Androids. I think a great idea for a 25th century Star Trek (like a NEXT next generation) would have been to follow through on more Data-like androids. How interesting would it be to look into the future where they have basically become their own race, and are treated as allies to the federation like Vulcans? That would have been so great!
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The Chronek
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 8:19pm (UTC -5)
A response to all the "this isn't what Roddenberry was about" waaahburgers out there.

Patrick Stewart, an executive producer, personally knew Roddenberry for four years, so it's fair to say he has more of an idea of what Roddenberry's vision was. Can any of you honestly say the same?
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
@The Chronek
Again, that's not the point! We're not debating "what Roddenberry wanted," that doesn't matter! For myself, I already conceded that we don't really know how much of OG Star Trek was his vision.

Basically, people use "Roddenberry's vision" as shorthand for the idea of a vision behind Star Trek. And it's not a big mystery, I feel like most of us are talking about the same thing. Which is a spirit of optimism about humanity having evolved in the 24th century.
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Rahul
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 8:30pm (UTC -5)
Overall a mixed bag, but with some pretty good parts -- episode's good enough to be the 2nd best one of the season (after "The Star Gazer"), but that's not saying much. I liked how Picard's childhood flashbacks got resolved with him feeling guilt for letting his mother go -- that's a sufficiently appropriate reason for what has dogged him all these years. But while the 2nd half of the episode was strong, the 1st half was just mechanical action scenes. The other thing that really bugs me about this episode is the suspension of disbelief required and having 1 too many miracles to save the day.

Maybe the standout scene for me was Jurati telling the Borg Queen about salvation instead of assimilation -- nice to hear a very Trekkian message. Longing for longevity and discovery, cooperation etc. And the BQ saves 7 and now she looks just like she did in the later seasons of VOY...interesting. What to make of this bit from the BQ about 2 Renee's (1 who lives, 1 who dies) -- guess we find out in the season finale.

Unfortunately the episode brought back Elnor via a hologram -- all this actor/character is good for is fight scenes. But Raffi also gets to tell him about being frightened of being alone. So hopefully no more angry, bitter Raffi as she gets closure. But before that, Raffi and 7 should never have been able to make it to the ship -- they admitted the odds were stacked against them. But if Kirk and Spock could overcome the odds in "Errand of Mercy" to get to Kor's office -- why not 7 & Raffi?

Another part that was just too much was Teresa healing Rios's flesh wound with a tricorder and then Rios arriving just in time to save Picard in a cloud of smoke... How stupid do the writers think we are??

Was also interesting to see Soong confront Picard. But how did Picard exactly deduce what Soong's calculus was to take the BQ's offer? I think there's a leap in logic here or maybe I'm missing something.

2.5 stars for "Hide and Seek" -- some resolution that is satisfying but how we get there way too farfetched. But there is some substance here with this idea of loneliness playing out with 7, Raffi, and even for the Borg, and Jurati's speech to the BQ. Overall, to get to this point, we didn't need 8 prior episodes and that's reflected in having gone through a number of mediocre and even terrible eps.
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The Chronek
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 8:39pm (UTC -5)
@Flipsider, so, how is confronting past trauma and then resolving to still do good not optimistic? How is it not an evolution to move past that trauma?
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Jason R.
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
@Karl my familiarity with Marxism consists of picking up the Communist Manifesto and reading it. It's a pretty short read so it didn't take me long.

I also read a book by Crenshaw K. on critical race theory to get a flavour for that, since many were alleging that CRT etc... was "Marxist". That was kind of how I got into this subject because I was interested in knowing if the right wing allegation that CRT and its woke relatives were "Marxist" was correct.

All I can say on the subject is that it appears that these are fruit of the same ideological tree.

So when I say that "Marxism" is ascending today, I base that on my rough layperson's impression based on the fact that it appears that the current ideological framework is related to Marxism in the same way that Homo Sapiens Sapiens is related to Homo Erectus or an iPhone 12 is related to an Ipod Touch.

Something similar to what Marx wrote about is clearly becoming dominant in academic, corporate and social institutions- a fact I have personally observed in my professional life.

But anyway, getting back to Trek, I think that this ideology (Marxism or whatever you want to call it) is quite antithetical to the kind of liberal utopia Rodenberry envisioned. So to the extent that these shows are written in that intellectual milieu, it is very hard to end up with the same tone that you got from the TNG era shows- the world has basically moved on from the idea that liberalism can be perfected and that liberal systems can be made good through evolutionary changes and incremental improvement.

One of the points Crenshaw et al. make on the CRT side is that color blindness can perpetuate oppression if it exists within a system designed to reproduce a certain outcome such as white supremacy. So when Trek dreams of a colour blind "post racial" future, that generates a natural suspicion that comes through in some of this material.

Anyway I hope I am not getting too far off topic. I should reiterate that this is not my primary complaint with nuTrek. To me shabby writing is shabby writing, and that's really the chief sin here.
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 8:42pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman — A Borg redemption arc was always a possibility, even when they were "monsters".

The Borg we have post-First Contact are kind of what Hurley, Berman, and crew dreamed up near the end of TNG S1. The aliens were originally going to be a devouring ant-like Hive. Later it was decided to make the aliens cyborgs, functioning in perfect unity, a totalitarian democracy.

"Why do you resist? We only wish to improve quality of life." Isn't this what Locutus asked his former crew when re-captured and returned to the Enterprise?

"They are not interested in political conquest, or territorial acquisition, or power, in the way you know it," Guinan said. They were motivated by the idea of perfection. But perfection was unachievable without adding the technological and biological distinctiveness of other civilizations. This was interesting. And telling.

Had it gone on like this, one could see where a redemption arc was possible. The Borg may have been monomaniacal in their pursuit of perfection, but they were also pragmatic, and perfection was not to be for them alone — "we only wish to improve quality of life" — all members of the Collective were active in the "affairs of state" so to say, res publica dialed up to 11!

With every encounter, with every new technology, with every new assimilation, a paradigm shift presented itself. At some point a new method in the pursuit of perfection might have been realized, or the pursuit itself might have been abandoned in favor of simple improvement without an end goal.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
@The Chronek
Thanks. Now you're actually addressing what I've been saying.

"confronting past trauma and then resolving to still do good" IS optimistic, sure. But that's not the same as "an optimistic vision of humanity in the future." What I'm talking about is a vision of the future where humanity has already evolved to a certain point, and they don't necessarily face the same problems they do.

A focus on trauma is a particularly modern and recent human focus. I'm not saying Star Trek can't still have that, that trauma wouldn't exist in the 24th century... but if I feel like I'm just watching characters who are written like 20th century people, acting like 20th century people, with 20th century problems... well there's just no imagination behind that, you know? Those type of stories have no need of a science fiction setting.

What I'm saying is, this is something that I believe (and I think many would agree with me) that older Star Treks were better at doing.
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TheRealTrent
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 8:50pm (UTC -5)
I don't know why you guys are complaining. Whenever I watch TNG, I always feel like it's missing a captain whose mom died of suicide.

It's like Spock in TOS; the character is unbearable until you learn that he has a secret sister whose parents were killed by Klingons.

I'm excited to see what the writers do to the relatives of Khan in "Strange New Worlds". I've always felt the Khan character needed a close relative who served on board the Enterprise.
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The Chronek
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
@Flipsider, Star Trek dealt with many issues from a 20th century perspective: racism, environmentalism, the Cold War, sexuality, and more. The running rivalry between the Federation and the Romulans was more than a little reminiscent of the Cold War. Too Short a Season took its inspiration from the Iran-Contra affair. The High Ground can be looked at through the Israel/Palestine conflict.

And I'm fairly certain that at least a few TOS episodes got past censors because they tackled, at the time, current-day issues with a science-fiction setting.
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Ilsat
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 9:21pm (UTC -5)
Flipsider - because many of the arguments are flatly disingenuous. Karl's several posts are out of bounds. It's an integrity issue
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The Queen
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 10:58pm (UTC -5)
Grey cat, maybe you already know this, but Strange New Worlds was created entirely due to requests from Discovery watchers. Anson Mount did so well at playing Captain Pike, and the episode showing his decision about the end of his career was so well done, that it boosted him into his own series practically right away. And it was created to be episodic also because of fan requests. Discovery and Picard are both overloaded with easter eggs and "continuity" good and bad, but in this case they might amount to something. We'll see.

I liked this episode a lot. It certainly didn't fix everything wrong with the season, but it did tie up a lot of the loose ends pretty well. I thought the childhood memories were interwoven with the current action very well, and in fact helped drive the action at some points. The suicide being the awful secret Picard had to face made sense to me. Everything else was a little more . . . mechanical, is the word that comes to mind . . . but it made sense and didn't drag. I did think Soong's vanishing was odd, and I'm really wondering how they're going to get back to the future without the ship.
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AMA
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 11:24pm (UTC -5)
Was not particularly impressed by this episode. The action sequences were rather uninspiring; and took away from other, more interesting elements of the episode, namely the reveal of Picard's past trauma, and Jurati's identity negotiation. Although I sympathize with Picard, I ultimately find the backstory unnecessary for his character (more so given that it was stretched over nine-ten episodes). Much of the meaning or weight that may have been attached to Seven's reintegration as a member of the Borg was also undermined by the lack of attention the season has given to her and her identity. And finally, as @Dahj's Digital Ghost's seemed to suggest, the series missed a great opportunity to explore the evolution of the Borg. What the audience gets instead is a cheat, the alt-Borg. This is turning out to be another disappointing season. Sigh.
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StarMan
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 11:24pm (UTC -5)
I think there might be a few things going on here. There's NuTrek fatigue - this latest incarnation of Trek has been a tough pill to swallow for many fans who have tried & persevered through one mediocre-to-poor season after another in the hope something better will emerge.

Unfortunately, much of what rubs them the wrong way don't appear to be bugs - they're features. Then, Picard S2 comes along and knocks it out of the ballpark first episode. Hope is rekindled. Maybe - finally - this is it?

Instead, it goes off the cliff like every other season. Not only is it arguably worse than any other season of NuTrek, but they enticed us with something pretty damn good at the beginning. After one successive season of disappointment after another, the ability to thoughtfully critique wanes and frustration kicks in, leading to less constructive, more embittered commentary. I say this because that's where I'm starting to drift. I cannot be bothered when it's wretchedness should be so obvious for all to see.

I don't know why they didn't want me on board. I don't know who they want. The only way forward is to simply say "enough" - this isn't something special anymore. In the age of Prestige TV, this is embarrassing compared to top tier productions out there. That's fine for some - perhaps the good stuff has spoilt be for the eminently forgettable low-midbrow fluff might've once enjoyed.
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Frank A. Booze
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 11:31pm (UTC -5)
First scene starts with a dark and stormy night. How cliched can you get? That’s as far as I have gotten so far.
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Bryan
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 11:49pm (UTC -5)
I can see that they're beginning to try to tie up some of the plot threads but the way they go about it is just so ridiculous, it's infuriating. It's an affront to those with even rudimentary intelligence.

- Sigh. The Borg are "lonely". That's why they do what they do. Apparently it has nothing do with the quest for perfection, control and power. I guess this is what you get when you replace the experienced sci-fi writers of Classic Trek with people who have almost no writing credits to their name, let alone any actual sci-fi. I mean, seriously...look at their imbd.

- If both sides of this conflict have personal site-to-site transporters, wouldn't it render the traditional warfare that we see in this episode pretty moot? Everyone can just beam everyone else off the battlefield (or into walls) so there's no point. And you wouldn't wanna send them in the first place if the other side can theoretically summon countless holographic warriors to dispatch them.

- Apparently every time Picard comes up with his clever strategies, he mines the depths of his childhood for ideas... his guerrilla warfare tactics were inspired by the times he played hide and seek with his mother, while his famed Picard Manouver owes it all to his mother playing peek-a-boo.

- Holographic Elnor: "I share the recollection of Elnor's final breath.." ...how?

- Since this is Nu-Trek, Raffi naturally has a spare minute in the middle of a time-sensitive battle to have a therapy session with Elnor's hologram.

- lol, the Borg Queen is fueled by endorphins whereas Jurati is fueled by tears... the more BQ hurts Jurati's friends, the sadder she gets, and the more agency she has to overcome BQ's influence. Nu-Trek fans are probably like "Wow, that's so brilliant!" when it's really not.

- Soong bring two soldiers with him to execute Picard, but only one them is armed apparently, which is why he has to go hand-to-hand with Rios when he beams in...?

- Someone really needs to tell Picard: "It's not your fault. People have hanged themselves in locked rooms using less than what your mother had access to in the next room."

- Since the differences between fully human Seven and regular Seven seem to be purely cosmetic, I don't see what all the fuss and tears are about.

"They come for you, for your top-shelf overreaching Icarus-worthy arrogance" - presumably a real person wrote this line, decided that it sounded good, and through the negligence of everyone else involved, ended up within the final script that was handed to an actress to say at a pivotal moment in the show.

- So they're all just suddenly going to trust this Jurari-BQ hyrbid not to enslave the galaxy in the past, because why...? Because she spared Seven's life?

- The episodes ends with happy music as the Borg Queen, having successfully commandeered their ship, warps away to do benevolent Borg things....WTF? Yikes. And people say Voyager ruined the Borg.


(Also, 132 comments already?! That's got to be some sort of record! I have some catching up to do.)
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dave
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 12:25am (UTC -5)
I really am getting baffled at the "genes vision" comments in relation to mother committing suicide.

His vision was of a society that had cleaned up and done all these wonderful utopian things. Not that individuals of the entire species had made it to that point.

First thing I think of when people are complaining about someone being flawed like this is those crew people crapping all over Spock in that episode they are down on a planet (forget the name of the ep, but you all should know which one I am talking about). They were essentially racist and they were humans in starfleet .Even Gene acknowledged that a utopian society has flawed individuals who do bad things.

I am not defending the writing. This season is an utter mess and this episode was no better. But , this GENES VISION talk is probably over dramatized. Utopian societies can have greedy people or a thief or a rape or whatever. Its just very minimal and not prominent as most people are committed to good ideals.
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Booming
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 12:27am (UTC -5)
@Jason
Sorry, that I don't use quotes but there are too many posts.
Karl Zimmerman, I think, pointed out that the examples you describe aren't Marxist and that many things that are called woke or leftist these days are actually antagonistic to Marxism. Marxism is an economically focused theory. The examples you describe (ICE, poverty) are humanistic along the lines all people should be treated with a lot of respect and dignity or that you shouldn't suffer because you were born on the wrong side of the border. Then it also seems to have a liberal bent, meaning that state overreach is bad and it is anti borders, in other words, all individuals deserve a fair chance to succeed, states shouldn't limit free movement.

I agree with Dash's Ghost view that apart from the joy people get around the ritual of cooking and dining, replicated food should be superior and incredibly diverse. Just get the best cooks and let them create the dishes the computer uses as a base line for meals and on a general not, do we really thing that there people in the Federation who slaughter animals?

Oh and a bartering system is not capitalistic. About the whole was there money debate (in our made up future:) No, Moore stated that "By the time I joined TNG, Gene had decreed that money most emphatically did NOT exist in the Federation, nor did 'credits' and that was that." So there was no exchange medium of any sort.
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dave
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 12:27am (UTC -5)
Oh, and of course they had to go to the old trope that the villian is about to shoot the hero (picard) and instead of pulling the trigger immediately like he does ever other time he is shooting at people, he takes his sweet time to allow for the savior to get in there.
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dave
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 12:32am (UTC -5)
This show just continues to make huge continuity errors and even mental gymnastics can't save us.

We know the Borg do exist in 2024, space travel ,warp, etc out in the Delta Quadrant. So what is JuratiQueen going to do? Start a new collective and stay off the radar until the big moment on the Stargazer? That seems utterly impossible. WIll she contact the 2024 Borg and eventually rejoin with them ? That would throw the entire canon out of wack. Whatever she ends up doing next episode it is going to cause a lot of problems with our known timeline and probably best to just write it off.

So Picards mistake on the Stargazer was freaking out and going to self destruct. Let's assume he gets back to that moment and JuratiQueen comes in and he doesn't destruct. She does whatever she is trying to do and Viola, the NUBORG are allies and then they vanish into thin air ? (Disc said they hadn't seen them in centuries)

And another random thought. So Jurati's plan is to go around assimilating people who chose to be part of the collective because they are lonely and broken? Sounds like an exploitive cult leader more than anything.

Soong better settle down and have kids at some point or we will have more questions!
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dave
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 12:36am (UTC -5)
They also would have been better off just jumping them to another universe AKA Parallels and not even give a crap about continuity. The writing is messing it up so much anyways they might as well have done that and then not be restrained by it.

I think this summer a good TNG rewatch is in order, it will be a great palette cleanse.
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Frank A. Booze
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 12:49am (UTC -5)
@dave

Yes, watch TNG. I have been watching a ton of old episodes since Picard Season 2 started. I needed a reminder that Trek used to be good.

On another note. If Soong doesn’t have access to a transporter, wouldn’t he be an old man trying to escape on foot? Why doesn’t the group at least try to chase him down? Or just transport into his house to stop him?
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Bryan
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 1:41am (UTC -5)
"Soong better settle down and have kids at some point or we will have more questions!"

I'm honestly surprised that ANY Soong iterations have managed to reproduce and yet there are so damn many of them that happen to look exactly alike. Have we ever seen a Soong with a female companion who has a functional womb? Each Soong seems to have foregone the trifles of romance and bypassed the need for women entirely by concentrating all his efforts into playing god and creating life all by himself, whether they're constructed artificially or genetically engineered into custom-order Asians.

The only possible explanation I can think of is that the guy just keeps making copies of himself in a 6th Day kind of way.
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mosley
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 1:42am (UTC -5)
So, Galactica 1980 continues.

It's approaching post Wolfe Andromeda levels of indifference to me. It's all just so pointless.absolutely unbelievable how this went nowhere. I really did like the first 2 episodes.

But hey, at least the finally adapted DSCs "let's introduce a talk about our emotions right next to some tucking bomb story.

What a waste. Zero stars.
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mosley
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 2:00am (UTC -5)
Gotta go and watch some old trek to remind myself how much better it was.

"Threshold" or something.

Still good enough for that contrast.
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Dreubarik
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 2:11am (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey's Tube No, it doesn't make sense. How is offering your superior medical capabilities in exchange for assimilation a better moral position than what the Borg did before? Why would people joining under blackmail make up a better Collective? And in what way would the manner in which you join better preserve your individuality? How does this address anything when it comes to the individualism/collectivism debate?

If this is what they meant, it is even stupider than I thought.
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Flipsider
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 2:19am (UTC -5)
@The Chronek
Sure, Star Trek has dealt with 20th century issues like you mentioned. But it usually at least tried to deal with it from a 24th century perspective. The Federation was still an overall force for good in the universe with an evolved perspective, even as it still grappled with these issues in a 24th century context. A lot of the time, connections to 20th century issues were allegorical.

But there were times when even the classic series were too on the nose. For example, some of the worst episodes of TNG like "Forces of Nature", "Journey's End", or "Dark Page" are bad because they very awkwardly try to be message episodes in a way that is hamfisted.

What I'm saying is that, IMO, the way new Trek handles issues is usually on the level of something like Forces of Nature. In terms of how forced it is, how awkwardly obvious the message they want us to take from it. In fact personally, I think the worst moments of Picard go lower than any of those. And that's not even getting into how the writers seem unable to write characters that seem like 24th century people.
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Colin Lindsly
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 3:55am (UTC -5)
Disc said nothing about the Borg's relationship with the Federation. It was the Q that vanished off the Federation radar. We do have a hint from Lower Decks of the future, where a Borg child is being educated with other children. We might be seeing the beginnings of this new friendship.

Data's creator had a wife and we know that he had another relationship with a woman where he had a son.

I had an issue with the psychological realism of this episode. I spoke with my therapist and my mother about the events in Picard's life. I find it difficult to believe that an individual would become as closed off as Picard because of a single terrible and tragic event. We are the culmination of our experiences. Speaking of that, I am reminded of the first episode of DS9, "Emissary", where we see a man dealing with grief over the loss of his SO. It was handled so much better and it felt more real than what we got in Picard.

This is from Emissary. Sisko is speaking with the prophets. He is in his quarters aboard the Saratoga, looking at his wife who was killed at Wolf 359.

SISKO: What is the point of bringing me back again to this?
JAKE: We do not bring you here.
JENNIFER: You bring us here.
TACTICAL: You exist here.
SISKO: Then give me the power to lead you somewhere else. Anywhere else.
OPAKA: We cannot give you what you deny yourself. Look for solutions from within, Commander.
SISKO: I was ready to die with her.
TACTICAL: Die? What is this?
JENNIFER: The termination of their linear existence.
(and she puts her hand on his cheek)
TACTICAL: We've got to go now, sir.
SISKO 2: Damn it, we just can't leave her here. Oh, no!
SISKO: I never left this ship.
JENNIFER: You exist here.
SISKO: I exist here. I don't know if you can understand. I see her like this every time I close my eyes. In the darkness, in the blink of an eye, I see her like this.
JENNIFER: None of your past experiences helped prepare you for this consequence.
SISKO: And I have never figured out how to live without her.
JENNIFER: So you choose to exist here. It is not linear.
SISKO: No. It's not linear.
(and he finally starts to grieve properly)

This is a two-hour episode and the writers accomplished more and said more than Picard has over 10 episodes. smh

I can accept that Picard as a child was not prepared as a child to deal with the suicide of his mother. However, there had to be more for him to become the man he grew up to be.

One of my biggest concerns was the lack of a social support network. Where were the other members of the Picard family? There are indications that there were more than the father, the mother, and the brother. There was an Aunt Adele, for example. Did no one help Jean-Luc with the trauma?

I am still struggling to understand the importance of Renee Picard finding life on Io. Why is this important? And, I do not see the connective tissue between her not completing her destiny and the birth of the Confederation. And what could Adam Soong do that would lead to the birth of the Confederation? He is a disgraced geneticist who has lost his license and his medical funding. He is a man without standing, without money, without power. He is nobody.
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Timmy the Tribble
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 4:25am (UTC -5)
Note to self: never use the phrase “Gene’s vision” ever again.
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TheRealTrent
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 4:57am (UTC -5)
Colin said: "I had an issue with the psychological realism of this episode. I spoke with my therapist and my mother about the events in Picard's life. I find it difficult to believe that an individual would become as closed off as Picard because of a single terrible and tragic event."

Picard's seen extremely horrific stuff throughout his career. He's been tortured, abused by aliens, been in combat, possessed, and witnessed the destruction of whole worlds, and even the entire universe. That he's severely traumatized by this event in particular is a bit odd.

There's also something exploitative about the way this tale is told. This season is a giant lie; it is not about "Picard's trauma" or "how to deal with trauma" or "about someone confronting trauma". It's about exploitatively teasing, withholding and revealing Picard's trauma. A show concerned with a man grappling with and overcoming this trauma would introduce the mom's death in the first epsiode. But in this show, you're jerked around for 10 episodes, salaciously delivered the big shock, and then I guarantee you this issue will be forgotten and magically resolved henceforth. Just like Picard's ridiculous Data obsession and golem body in season 1.

Norvo: "The show plays so fast and loose with continuity, I won't even wonder how Holo-Elnor got a mobile emitter. We're in the past on a ship from an alternate future where Voyager didn't get lost in the Delta Quadrant and didn't interact with a time ship from the 29th century. But there it is. Fine. Sure."

Not only that, this episode features a holographic mobile emitter. Isn't that impossible? In Voyager, the mobile emitter was a solid, real object. In this episode, the emitter itself is a hologram. And of course the mobile emitter tech came from the 29th century, from an advanced time ship's interaction with 1996 Earth (in "Future's End").
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Winde
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 4:57am (UTC -5)
@Timmy lol, oh Gene.

Also, I 1000% agree that making the mom's death a suicide was totally unnecessary.
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Sigh2000
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 5:36am (UTC -5)
@TheRealTrent
"He's been tortured, abused by aliens, been in combat, possessed, and witnessed the destruction of whole worlds, and even the entire universe. "

Torture is integral to scifi. Nearly all characters in Trek have gone through it. With O'Brien it occurred in what seemed like every episode in which he was featured.

Picard has to have a deep reaction to each new torture event or there would be no story at all. Callouses never seem to form.
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Ilsat
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 6:45am (UTC -5)
The Chronek - "how is confronting past trauma and then resolving to still do good not optimistic? How is it not an evolution to move past that trauma?"

The issue isn't whether the completion of this process is a good thing. It's that the process was told in a trite, incoherent manner. And it really doesn't matter to Picard or his story to shoehorn this nonsense in - certainly not an entire season's worth.

The aging Picard in Inner Light is what Picard is supposed to look like. If you're being true to the character that was developed over the many years of TNG.
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Jonas
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 7:00am (UTC -5)
Wow... you guys think Picard was good at speeches? Jurati single handedly convinced the Borg to be good just by talking to the queen.

Sing with me:
"If you are going to Delta Quadrant /
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair"

What an amazing developement...

How they make so much story threads amount to nothing? Half that episode was flashbacks and filler.
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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 7:22am (UTC -5)
Still not sure why Ilsat is accusing me of being disingenuous...

Anyway,

One thing people should consider is this season was almost certainly a "plan B" - a rewrite of whatever was originally planned prior to COVID. I say that because Chabon mentioned in interviews he wrote two entire scripts for the season, and we have never seen them (there's a partial story credit on the second episode). LeVar Burton also initially said he was going to be in Season 2, which obviously didn't happen. And we know that the hiving off of the cast into "pods" was due to COVID precautions. That's why Raffi and Seven have been together all season, why Jurati and the Borg Queen, Rios and Teresa, etc. So that if one of the cast tested positive they just had to isolate people who were in the subplot, and production on the remainder of the series could continue. Thus I expect there were extremely rushed rewrites (if not an entirely new season) in 2020, after the full script of the season was reportedly already finished.

I think it's also important to note that even if the whole sideplot with Picard's childhood trauma has little to do with the main plot of the season, without it Jean-Luc would be reduced to a bit player in an ensemble cast. I'm not sure which side was a holdover of their original plan.

One thing I've been mulling is if (as it looks certain now) the Masked Queen is Jurati, that means that the Confederation timeline has to continue to exist in order for her group to escape through that spatial rupture and claim asylum in the Federation. The cryptic line Borg Jurati made about one Renee has to live, and one has to die thus makes sense - there needs to be two timelines in order to get back to the right "present" on the Stargazer (and, presumably, to have a full Borg redemption arc).

The part that's driving me nuts though is it's not within the powers of anyone - except maybe Q, if he has his powers - to split the timeline into two. They can, within a single timeline, either succeed or fail, not do both at the same time.
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KiminAsia
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 7:40am (UTC -5)
The first 10 minutes or so was promising, then the rest was just ....disjointed crap. What happened here?
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MODMAN
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 7:56am (UTC -5)
If they sincerely wanted to tackle sensitive issues such as suicide, they should have done so without dragging them through their usual plug 'n play mystery box and start writing like adults.

Add it to the list, I guess. A bit awkward this one ...

• Who is the Red Angel? Michael's the Red Angel!
• What caused The Burn? A crying Kelpian kid!
• What's behind the Admonition? Giant space robot tentacles!
• What caused the DMA? A species that, uh, didn't know how to scan for sentient lifeforms!
•What's behind the door in Picard's childhood memory? His dead Mom swinging from a ro -- owwww. Oh dear.

When they bought up the old lady and the tea I just thought "don't - just don't bother".

Another few nitpicks, not that it matters:

• Elnor hologram has a mobile emitter attached to his arm when he shimmered into being - huh? Oh, and remembering up to the moment of Elnor's death or some such -- HUH?

• Seven's eyewear. She retained that in the Prime timeline due to her ocular implant. She is inhabiting her unaltered Confederation timeline body. Did BorgJurati / JuratiQueen / JurQueenie eradicate her regular eye in those brief moments and install a new ocular implant?

-- The Borg are lonely. The Queen is lonely. It's not ruining them of course - it's DECONSTRUCTION.

And as for Starfleet rejecting Seven. Wow. All good for Picard - the first human known to be assimilated by The Borg to take back the captain's seat on the flagship of The Federation a couple of days after being Locutus. All good for Icheb to make his way through the ranks. But not Seven, whose individual contributions to Voyager saved the ship on more than one occasion. No Voyager, no Endgame - where The Federation's most lethal enemy were dealt a critical blow. Nope, you can fuck off Anika. Sheer fucking hubris thinking you had a place on Earth. And we're to believe the oh-so-principled Kathy threatened to back down, then didn't? Woah. Just before her admiral promotion came through, was it?

Well, there's only one more bite left out of this shit sandwich.

I can't believe after such a strong start I'd be saying this is worse than Discovery. Heavens to frackin' Betsy.
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Jan
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 7:58am (UTC -5)
@TheRealTrent

"This season is a giant lie; it is not about "Picard's trauma" or "how to deal with trauma" or "about someone confronting trauma". It's about exploitatively teasing, withholding and revealing Picard's trauma. A show concerned with a man grappling with and overcoming this trauma would introduce the mom's death in the first epsiode. But in this show, you're jerked around for 10 episodes, salaciously delivered the big shock (...)"

So much this. This is crucial. It exemplifies perfectly the problem with this season and large parts of nuTrek, which is that it has little or no intelligent discourse behind it, despite the grand themes. There's no need to invoke Gene's vision, these shows fail at a fundamental level of not being good SciFi nor a good exploration of the human nature. They're a bunch of cliffhangers, glued with rambling filler and mystery boxes, and a few nuggets of actual ideas that are superficially presented and lost among the noise.

I love the old Trek soul, and I would love to be served more of it. I also can be open minded and accept Trek to expand its horizons in new narrative ways (I also understand people that don't want it. You came for Trek and you want to be served Trek), but this is simply failing as both Trek, SF, and good TV. There may be good intentions or important themes, but that doesn't automatically make it good TV.
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Dreubarik
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 8:08am (UTC -5)
Great point by @TheRealTrent. Because the only writing device they know how to use is the Mystery Box, they end up mystery boxing even their core character dramas to death.
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TonyD
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 8:34am (UTC -5)
The writing on these shows never ceases to amaze me. It’s as if the writers only come up with a basic storyline, bang out a first draft, pat themselves on the back and call it done without any consideration about how it may or may not line up with established canon or even basic common sense.

The Borg have assimilated civilizations for thousands of years, have technology no race can match, have never been able to be reasoned with, yet a 20 second pep talk causes the queen to rethink their entire philosophy that spans millennia?

Picard has come close to reaching the century mark and has endured his share of traumatic experiences (being assimilated, captured and tortured by the Cardassians, living out another man’s life, seeing his brother and nephew die thus leaving him the only living Picard, relived the moment when he got stabbed thru the heart) yet somehow his mother’s suicide never comes up? By the way, where was his brother Robert in all of this?

Rios, supposedly a trained officer, flaunts prime directive, temporal directive and just plain old basic common sense protocols at every turn?

Technology that is introduced mere scenes before which can make short work of a situation is conveniently ignored so we can have a big violent action scene complete with joint eye stabbing.

Maybe I’m being unfair but I hold Trek to a higher standard compared to the usual drek that is on TV and the problem for me with these shows is that they can get so downright stupid at times that it becomes impossible to look past it.
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Sascha Sebastian
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 8:43am (UTC -5)
Another episode that barely adds anything to the actual plot. Let’s run around in the catacombs a little, do some shooting and the thing with a speech about loving one another (well that last thing is at least kinda Trek-y)

But mostly I found it incredibly tasteless how they used the suicide of Picards mother as a crutch for cheap drama. It does nothing to motivate the character in the old Trek shows and it adds nothing to the story of this season. You could cut it out and nothing would change. There’s thousands of reasons why Picard could be hesitant to love someone and his character didn’t need a tragic beach story tacked on after almost 40 years.

That whole “subplot” is so insulting to people suffering from mental health issues. Just mention offhand that therapy was/is no use and then actually locking her up in the house “for her safety” and ultimately not even having the restraint not to actually show her corpse dangling on screen.

I’ve said it in the first season for Rafi and it’s the same here: if you want to do a plot about mental health in the 24/25th century, then do so. But find an actual story that fits the established universe and not just tell a generic story about things happening that don’t even has a point in the end. Or what would that be? If your father locks your mother up in room, leave her there and if she shows signs of mental issues don’t call a Doctor?

For the rest of the episode it’s just the usual mix of “Why?!” And “How?!” Again:

Why change the look of Borg Drones? Was the MakeUp Budget really that slim? And why sanitize what a horrible violation an Assimilation actually looks like? They somewhat showed it in the first season. — the only thing I can think of, is so they can casually murder those drones without having the viewer feel the emotional impact such a death should have. Because if that that loves one thing more than dark and depressing backstories that just happen to matter years after the actual events, it’s the casual murder.

Why change the motivation of the Queen. That character was never a good idea, even in First Contact. But there she was simply an avatar for the goals of the collective – at least those are the parts of that movie with her in it, that work. The Borg are so intriguing as a Villain, because they don’t really have a deeper motivation. They’re a force of Nature that can’t be reasoned with. They are the exact opposite of what the Federation strives to be. Individualism vs. Collectivism (a discussion more contemporary than ever). Changing that to: the Borg do what they do because they actually have a sad leader that makes them do it, is just so bad. And it completely undermines Jurarti's speech at the end, since you shouldn’t be able to reason with the Borg. That’s the whole point of them as villains.

And another few small things:

- Man … with a field of enemies in front of you, a weapon that can shoot a beam of energy would really come in handy.

- Those have to be the worst special forces soldiers ever, the way they’re constantly giving away their positions by not turning of the lasers.

- Wait … they decide to flee/to hide and instead of using the working Transporter to the apartment (or anywhere really) they decide to run through the catacombs instead?

- So Janeway couldn’t help seven get into Starfleet even as a Vice Admiral?

- It used to be “no warp travel within solar systems” now we’re just warping from the atmosphere of a planet?
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Colin Lindsly
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 9:31am (UTC -5)
I was watching Angry Joe's take on this show and he brought up a point that I totally had forgotten about.

Seven of Nine and Raffaela Musiker have to do a 50-yard sprint to the crashed La Sirena. Between them and the ship, there are armed soldiers. They are armed only with a corkscrew, an ice pick, and something else. They did not grab the weapons off the soldier they cooperatively killed. They have no armor.

So, what do they do? They run into the field with the soldiers. The soldiers open fire on them. Do they get hit once? Nope. How are these special forces soldiers? They can't even take out two running targets.

These two are idiots. Realistically, they should have been hit. Furthermore, they displayed no thinking.

Instead of, you know, running into the field and straight into the line of fire, why don't you go to the sides of them, where the woods are and act stealthily?

I am kinda looking forward to SNW. I am worried that AG is involved with it; he doesn't have a stellar record of making quality products. Here's to hoping with fingers crossed that SNW will be good.
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Booming
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 9:32am (UTC -5)
Elnor 10 seconds on screen, two dead.

Wow, Raffi and Seven doing some couples stuff. Slowly pushing a knife into a head.

hmmm so would Picard have become a famous captain and leader of the Federation without his mother suicide?

Ok, what Picard said about the French Resistance was complete nonsense.

I'm confused I holoElnor not part of the ship? Wouldn't he know everything in it??

What are the Borg? I have no idea anymore. It seems they are whatever the script needs.

Phew, good that the big actions scenes was a shootout, another million saved.

Ok another science be damned line. Mum Picard says that it takes billions of years for the light of stars to reach young Picards eyes. Well, the star we can see is about 1500 light years away. So her hole line about the stars you see have long faded away is complete nonsense.

Ok, so if you are scared or desperate you cannot be assimilated??? Well, that seem like a real design flaw. Who isn't scared during assimilation???

Did Raffi really just shout at the Borg Queen:"You are killing her!!"

Alrighty, it finally happened. The Borg are defeated by the power of love.

Also do the writers not understand what infinite means? Saying that the Borg always try to assimilate everything and always lose in the infinite amount of parallel universes is again a science oopsie.

I guess as an episode it works better but I must admit most of the time I just go with the flow. Who cares anymore. They laid out no rules and things just happen. Often things don't make sense. The Borg just needed a heart to heart. Everybody had to get in touch with their feelings. Wonderful. It is a little worrying that apparently everybody is an emotional cripple in the future.

Here is my rating:

These Pretzels are making me THIRSTY!
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MajorMayhem
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 9:53am (UTC -5)
How does a Robot have flashbacks? They seemed to have danced around the fact that Picard is now a robot. Why didn't Q bring this up when they first meet in this series. "Mon Capitan! You've changed. Your now all circuits and gears! I can fix that for you!"
When we first see the mercenaries in the previous episode they seem a diverse group but when they attack the chateau they seem to be all dudes and white. That scene of Seven and Raffi was pretty brutal.
How did Picard get into Star Fleet after a psych evaluation? Surely his mother's suicide would have come up? What about when Sarek and Spock melded with him? Surely the trauma would come to the surface. What about when he was Locutus? Surely the Borg Queen would have dug up that nugget of information.
This series is a mess. The writers seem to have only a perfunctory understanding of the characters.
Seven not get into Star Fleet? Admiral Janeway couldn't have flexed her influence and told Star Fleet to admit her or else. Seven was instrumental in Voyager getting in contact with Star Fleet.

I could go on but won't. Its very frustrating to see great characters turned into cariatures of themselves.

Live Long and dumbdown.
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 10:47am (UTC -5)
Yup. Pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty… awful.

‘The kicker is the repressed memory where Picard petit uses the key to free his imprisoned mother to find, too late, that she has hung herself in her despair. ‘Look up’.

Unfortunately Armus, I was kinda there but they couldn’t even get that right. Did Picard’s dad leave his fucking CrossFit climbing rope hanging in the conservatory? Did he suddenly wake up stiffly in his armchair and go ‘oh heavens, did I put that strangulation device away from this afternoon’s efforts…. ah, it’ll be fine, she hasn’t had an episode in a while’ (neither the fuck have we by the way)

Ha, fucking mercenaries, really, who brings an assault rifle to a corkscrew fight? Also, I’m pretty sure the lasers were red, the colour theirs should have been, in First Contact which they may have been trying to emulate.

Soong: ‘thanks for the heads up on the ray gun ya daffy twat’. Kore will be his undoing next week once she gets off the frakkin beach.

Now we have Borag: Cultural Learnings of Agnes for Benefit Glorious Nation of Kurtzman! Waawa woowa!
Lucky they didn’t destroy the Borg Queen and just popped her in the handy morgue section of the ship. I guess her connection with the dumb mercenary drones wasn’t working due to the poor French internet. Might have been handy to coordinate a simple flanking move on some under equipped targets.

Is there a World Cup final on in France or something? Gunfire, spaceships, missing gendarmes??? Ah, vest La vie.

This a small one but really shat me. Raffi and Seven are about to leave the kitchen and there is some gunfire that makes Seven jump. Who the fuck was that person who opened fire shooting at??? Those two bump ties were in the kitchen and Picard and his psych were in the the fucking catacombs??? This isn’t Beirut, Baghdad why sporadic gunfire???

Is Miles O’Brien taking over from that useless fuck Corden? I’d watch that.
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Jason R.
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 11:01am (UTC -5)
"How does a Robot have flashbacks?"

I am pretty sure the writers forgot about the robot body thing about 5 minutes into the season opener.

Say, by the way, what could be more traumatic to a human being than the death of his mother? Oh I know, how about the death of one's biological body and transfer of consciousness into a machine?

Whoops, that's little too scifi for this show.
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 11:05am (UTC -5)
Are Rios holos not operative anymore?

Why isn’t La Doctorrrrr more angry with Rios for endangering her and her son? She was more pissed off when she was called into her clinic when she must get emergencies all the time.

A tricorder might assist in examining Rios but it wouldn’t be able to remove a bullet? Even a medical tricorder? Am I wrong?
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 11:32am (UTC -5)
Perhaps Picard’s memories aren’t flashbacks at all but memories placed as in Bladerunner. This might lead to his mother actually being alive and being assimilated by the Borg due to her depression and becoming the new Borg Queen who ends up on the bridge of the Stargazer and tells Jean Luc to ‘look up’? Sorted.
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Jonas
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Ohh shit, i watched Angry Joe review right now and they pointed out something that i haven't realized when i watched this episode...
Those Borg corpses are going to be stuck half way on the wall forever. Some time in the future, some Picard will refurbish the Chateau and find ALIEN CORPSES sticking out from the walls!!! Even if nobody goes in the basement for centurys, at least young Picard and her mother will eventually.
Heads up for those Borgs young JL!
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Sven
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
Going through the motions, that's what this episode was. I hardly felt any emotions where I clearly was supposed to feel them.
I tried so hard the last few years to NOT jump on the 'This is not Star Trek' bandwagon, but there's really NOTHING smart about this season of PIC. It feels like a incoherent mess. I'm so bloody disappointed.

On the plus side: the sun did indeed finally rise in Europe.
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Jaxon
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
These comments are 47 times better than these episodes.
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Bryan
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 12:37pm (UTC -5)
"When we first see the mercenaries in the previous episode they seem a diverse group but when they attack the chateau they seem to be all dudes and white."

I guess they left out the extended scene in Mercy where BQ says, "Guess what? You're all getting assimilated!" Cheers resound. "...except for you, you, you, and you," she clarifies, pointing out the women and PoC among the mercenaries. "Awww," they respond.

"Sorry but there's some real dark shit ahead and we wouldn't wanna subject that to any vulnerable minorities. Believe me, you'll all thank me when you watch the episode."
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Booming
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 12:39pm (UTC -5)
Well Bryan, Borg not only sounds Swedish...
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Dahj’s Digital Ghost
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
“The sun finally rises on Europe.” Indeed. Misaka and Korgano had something to do it, I’m sure. Easter egg.
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Jaxon
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
And the finally arriving daylight is the moment chosen for La Sirena to take off and go to warp...
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Jaxon
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 1:08pm (UTC -5)
Never heard of this Angry Joe before, but his two word phrase "disgustingly interesting" describes this dreck rather well..
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Carter
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
Jurati was the one character I hope they killed off/didnt bring back aftet season 1. And here she is in season 2 the only shining light in this extremely subpar show.
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SC
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 2:35pm (UTC -5)
It's entertaining enough, but very little happened. Patrick Stewart doesn't have a great deal to do. Why is Dr. Soong able to control the Borg soldiers? What does Q have to do with all this? The flashbacks are tedious, tell a linear tale! Now every time we watch TNG we'll be thinking his mum killed herself. Or we can just ignore it, like I do with the Picard robot storyline. I think, like last season, it's watchable, once.
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modulum
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
Nowhere else to discuss this, so I'll just pop in to say: Strange New Worlds intro looks incredible.
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Booming
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 2:49pm (UTC -5)
I thought the trailer looked like the usual nonsense.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeBnz03ZM9o
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Steve McCullagh
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 3:03pm (UTC -5)
Watching a show so meticulously plotted, perfectly written and flawlessly acted as Better Call Saul, and then sitting through another episode of this disaster is quite the experience.
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Ilsat
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 3:27pm (UTC -5)
The Chronek - "Patrick Stewart, an executive producer, personally knew Roddenberry for four years, so it's fair to say he has more of an idea of what Roddenberry's vision was. Can any of you honestly say the same?"

Stewart is on record saying he wanted to take his character in a completely different direction. He didn't want a Star Trek show similar to either the Berman or Roddenberry era. So your point is meaningless. Even if Stewart, at his advanced age, still has a clear recollection of Roddenberry's vision, he doesn't want it any longer.

And, as others have said, this "vision" wasn't some concrete set of principles under which the various shows and episodes were forced to conform. Nor was Gene's vision compelling enough to prevent Berman and others from, over time, altering that vision to suit their own needs. So, you're arguing over a somewhat vague, moving target.

Too many people give actors/celebrities too much credence. Considering the amount of time people on this forum have pored over all things Trek, to say that a single person's insights outweigh this collective effort and dedication is both obnoxious and misguided.
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Bryan
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
I carefully avoid all Nu-Trek trailers because I know they will inevitably give me false hopes and mislead me more than the actual episodes already do. I find trailers kind of pointless in general if one is going to watch the thing anyway when it comes out.
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Flipsider
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 3:49pm (UTC -5)
I think it could be said that Berman era Star Trek did a good job of evolving Star Trek in a way that brought more intelligence and depth to the show. Wouldn't it be nice if we could say that about the new Treks? I'd love if Star Trek had continued to evolve in the direction of intelligent writing, subtlety, depth of character...

But unfortunately I think the trend has been towards shallow qualities, instead: slickness, flashiness, pandering, loudness. Forget about who's "vision" that is, that's just not what I want out of Star Trek.
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Ilsat
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
Well said Flipsider. It really is a wasted opportunity.
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Jaxon
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 3:56pm (UTC -5)
Trailers became pointless and ridiculous in the UPN era.

Look at the trailer of ENT's Cogenitor, and then watch the episode itself.
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modulum
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 4:02pm (UTC -5)
Oh, I meant the intro theme/title sequence that just got released, not the trailer. Feels very Voyager-y, lots of bright colors and hero ship shots. I will gladly take a shameless attempt to remake Star Trek Continues over Picard S2, lol
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Bryan
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
"I think it could be said that Berman era Star Trek did a good job of evolving Star Trek in a way that brought more intelligence and depth to the show."

Now that I think about it, I don't believe that the geeky science stuff and all the technical specificity that came with that was mainly Gene's contribution but more likely Berman's. Sure, he brought the gee-whiz futurism of tricorders, phasers and transporters, but Gene mainly envisioned submarines in space as his starting point, hence the military aspect but with a greater emphasis on exploration and diplomacy that has been a Trek hallmark ever since. There was nothing especially geeky about that back in the 60s when all that space stuff was perceived as fresh and "cool".

When you marry Gene's optimistic humanism to Berman's technological optimism that science can save the day if you keep on problem-solving and you don't give up, it all dovetails nicely into the sort of show that a lot of Classic Trek fans appreciated. So it's not exclusively "Gene's vision" that we're clamoring for, but a collaborate effort that brought out the best in Trek, which is more than could be accomplished through one man's vision alone.

This is not to say that because every showrunner brought something new to Star Trek, it is pointless to want more of what can only be a product of the past, or that what makes the show great or not is entirely subjective, relative to whatever the viewer's tastes happen to be. Of course, these things are true to a limited extent, but my point is that it is totally possible to build upon the legacy what we have already seen before instead of being negligent or even antagonistic towards those original collaborative visions.
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Cristóbal
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 4:56pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman

"One thing I've been mulling is if (as it looks certain now) the Masked Queen is Jurati, that means that the Confederation timeline has to continue to exist in order for her group to escape through that spatial rupture and claim asylum in the Federation. The cryptic line Borg Jurati made about one Renee has to live, and one has to die thus makes sense - there needs to be two timelines in order to get back to the right "present" on the Stargazer (and, presumably, to have a full Borg redemption arc)."

Conceivably that splitting is what Q is trying to prevent by nobbling Renee, if it affects the continuum in some way
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StarMan
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 7:02pm (UTC -5)
@Steve McCullagh "Watching a show so meticulously plotted, perfectly written and flawlessly acted as Better Call Saul, and then sitting through another episode of this disaster is quite the experience."

This is why the "wait and see how it ends" and "it may still stick the landing" comments fall flat for me. There are plenty of serialized shows I've watched since the golden age of TV kicked off that have kept me on the edge of my seat week-on-week.

A serialized Star Trek series is perfectly doable in the hands of capable writers.

I understand the directive from Paramount won't be an on a high-brow approach that respects the viewers' intelligence. Still, I doubt TPTB are demanding low-brow, meandering and nonsensical. Is it the case the overriding priority is quantity of Trek product to fill up Paramount+; whether the content meets a minimum standard is secondary. I'd hate to think that's the case, but it would be a business model destined to blow up on them eventually if fans subscribing to their service are dissatisfied with the majority of their Trek content. Or not. I can only speculate.

Frankly, I think Trek's best future only has a shot of happening out of Paramount's hands. How far away that day is is anyone's guess. But anyway ...

Yes, Better Call Saul is a fine example of how a set of writers can expertly develop characters and a compelling narrative over several seasons. I would never dare dream Trek could reach such levels of craftsmanship.
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NachoPicard
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 8:03pm (UTC -5)
I hate this show.

I derive no joy from it's existence.

I can't even love how much I hate it.

I just hate it.
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Ilsat
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 8:06pm (UTC -5)
Bob Odenkirk has bowel movements with more intelligence and soul than Picard and DSC.
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Jason R.
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 8:06pm (UTC -5)
"Yes, Better Call Saul is a fine example of how a set of writers can expertly develop characters and a compelling narrative over several seasons. I would never dare dream Trek could reach such levels of craftsmanship."

What I love about Better Call Saul (and also Breaking Bad before it) is how meticulously tight the writing is. Nothing is arbitrary or haphazard. There are no dangling plot threads or wasted characters or tangents that go nowhere. As you watch, it's crystal clear in each scene what each character is trying to do and why - this applies to a gunfight or to a legal argument in a courtroom. They have mastered the art of showing not telling. Everything you watch is well thought out and rings true as you watch it.

Next to a show like Better Call Saul, Picard's slapdash writing is an embarrassment. Each scene is a struggle to suspend your disbelief in the face of such utter incompetence.

I mean take the latest episode of Picard, which I got to watch a couple hours ago. *Spoilers*

Soong shows up at Chateau Picard with a fucking army of borgified special forces dudes. And as you are watching, you are just thinking WTF - how can this crackpot assemble an armyy of mercenaries?

And then they are all running around with these green lasers that give away their positions so that they can be easily pinpointed and shot in the dark. And it's just so bloody stupid- are these trained killers or are they playing laser tag? What kind of nincompoop special forces dude carries around a weapon that obviously gives away his position and makes it easy to get shot?

And as Picard et al. are running from these green laser soldiers (who somehow can't run down an 80 year old man) Picard is having flashbacks to the suicide of his mom and is busy having a therapy session with the agent casually chatting while being supposedly hunted down. I mean good god man. Not only are these scenes tedious and uninteresting (soooooooo much time wasted on this meandering Mamma Picard suicide plot which is soooooo much less interesting than they seem to believe) but it's just so glaringly inappropriate to what is supposed to be a tense game of cat and mouse.

Meanwhile on the ship Agnes activates an emergency combat hologram of Elnore which proceeds to start cutting apart Borg Queen's soldiers. And at one point they surround him and you get the feeling that the writers expect us to think that they are going to kill him or disable him, and there's this fake tension over that, except, he's a fucking hologram. Do the writers understand what that means? There is literally nothing these soldiers or the Queen can do to him. Did they think we wouldn't remember the hologram part? And ya, Raffie has to take a minute to confess her sins to this hologram *while they are hunting the Borg Queen* in yet another laughably inappropriate interlude.

I mean I could go on and on with this stupidity. Note I am not talking about "Gene's vision" or the meaning of Trek or Marxism or any of that - I am just pointing out how embarrassingly incompetent this writing is, how utterly stupid.
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StarMan
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 8:48pm (UTC -5)
@Jason R."I mean I could go on and on with this stupidity. Note I am not talking about "Gene's vision" or the meaning of Trek or Marxism or any of that - I am just pointing out how embarrassingly incompetent this writing is, how utterly stupid."

Gene's vision, True Trek and such is trivial when the writing is at these levels of (in)competence. This would need to be a couple of tiers higher in quality before I had enough respect for it to ask such questions.

And that is why it bounces off of me. I just don't take this show or the characters seriously. Back to Better Call Saul: I am *very* invested in the journey and fate of the characters - particularly one blonde-haired lawyer! On Picard, you could run a bat'leth through each character - legacy and new - and I'd barely be able to eek out a shrug. I feel nothing. These are not vital, inhabited characters with any agency save to circle around like headless chickens to run out the clock before resetting for the next mystery box.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 8:55pm (UTC -5)
So: to watch the SNW premiere first next Wednesday, or the Picard finale?

Do I go for what I hope will be the Star Trek renaissance I've been waiting for to premiere for over two years now and chase it with what I expect will be a disappointing Picard finale that is pretty much guaranteed to make several large creative choices that piss me off, or delay the potential gratification of the SNW premiere to get the Picard finale out of the way in the hopes I'll be left with a warmer, happier feeling at the end of the night?

Decisions, decisions. What are you all planning to do?
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EmpressHoshiSato
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 9:03pm (UTC -5)
So slow for much of the episode.

Seeing Baltar Picard was good. Why did the heroes beam to outside of the ship instead of back to the ship in the first place?!

Similarly the Borg would have beamed back to the ship en masse, not outside. The Borg did not look or act like drones, used old 21st century weapons and suddenly all the women soldiers were male. The ECH would be impervious to bullets and didn't try to use phasers on the Borg. At least could have shown them adapting and then him resorting to the sword.

The Cute doctor lady is so hot. But the timeline seems contaminated by continued exposure to 25th century technology unless she's going back with them. And Rios never should have brought them to the ship knowing it had been compromised by the Borg.

Seven not being accepted into Starfleet is utterly preposterous. Way to undo the entirety of Voyager. So did the Federation line up the Macquis members of the Voyager crew upon their triumphant return home and execute them?! There might have been elements of Starfleet uneasy with Picard having been assimilated, but the show contradicts the kindness and values of the Federation seen in TNG, Voyager, DS9, Enterprise etc in the 24th century. And contradicts ITSELF given it showed Hugh having a prominent position and Icheb serving in Starfleet. It also suggests that Janeway and Seven's Voyager family just abandoned her afterward. I cannot imagine Torres, Paris, Harry, the Doctor etc doing that.

The whole thing seems like a paradox unless the Borgrati go to an unchartered area of space or alternative universe before encountering the Federation of our timeline.

Can Q restore Data to life?

Soong escaped by just running round the corner despite Rios probably being able to outrun him. The reason for why the Europa mission is critical to the establishment of the Federation is still deeply unclear.

What causes the Confederation timeline.

If the Q are omnipotent and we go by the TNG/Voyager canon, they should be unable to die. Unless, if the Confederation timeline means Voyager never encounters the planet from Blink of an Eye thus not creating the Q.
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 9:26pm (UTC -5)
I don’t think anyone’s mentioned this one yet.

Soong, in a darkened room, manages to work out by christ knows how that the bookcase moves and then deciphers that it’s the emblem that you turn to the left that opens it. In the dark, in the fucking dark. The emblem opens the secret bookcase door. Thank fuck he wasn’t a Nazi during ze war or the Resistance would have been fucked. And then, the dumb smug bobbing head ‘eh eh’ look back to the mercs just topped it. He may as well have stared into the camera and said ‘what?’ They think we’re morons. Diabollockal.

I used to pass through the room when my daughter was 12 or 13 and stop and rile her up, jokingly, about the ep of drivel like Pretty Lil Liars she was watching. Thank the baby hesus she doesn’t stumble in on my wife and I watching this!! At least I could head her off. ‘If you think that’s bad…..’
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 9:35pm (UTC -5)
@Empress

‘The Borg did not look or act like drones, used old 21st century weapons and suddenly all the women soldiers were male’

Empressive point, but we couldn’t have Seffie drive a knife through a females boonce now could we? What message would that be sending?
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 9:58pm (UTC -5)
Now, Picard has the skeleton key before the timeline eventually splits and we don’t see him return it to wherever the hell it flew out from. Does he return to his own time with it in his pocket with 2 year old gummi bears stuck to it (oh Grandad)? If the key is removed from its ‘migration’ pathway around the château, will Picard petit never find it and never release his mother from the room, where on later release she gets a call from Borag who recruits her into her lonely hearts group where she later becomes Queen and?.. you know the rest.
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Daniel Prates
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 10:04pm (UTC -5)
GOD DAMN IT WHAT A BORING STORY.
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
Yvette means ‘living one’ in hebrew derived from Eve. In French it can mean ‘archer’. Do the Picard’s have beagles?

Nice flick back to DS9 by the way Colin with the Sisko. Ah great days.
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Armus
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 10:55pm (UTC -5)
@Alienatbar love reading your theories!
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 11:09pm (UTC -5)
More ravings than anything else :)
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 11:17pm (UTC -5)
@ Jeffreys Tube
I dumped Paramount- just the other week as there is not a whole lot on it (Halo and Australian football, my team are shit) so I won’t be watching Capn Pike and his polystyrene hair do. It’s only 8 bucks a month but the Glaswegian in me says ‘get te fuck’.

And that’s 200.
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StarMan
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 1:27am (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey's Tube "Decisions, decisions. What are you all planning to do?"

When there was Disco/Picard overlap, I went with Discovery first, Picard second. No regrets. Picard blew Disco out of the water.

And then - then unthinkable happened. ;)

There's only one episode of Picard left; I'll get it out of the way and have a break for a couple of hours, then watch SNW.

@Alienatbar "Now, Picard has the skeleton key before the timeline eventually splits and we don’t see him return it to wherever the hell it flew out from. Does he return to his own time with it in his pocket with 2 year old gummi bears stuck to it (oh Grandad)? If the key is removed from its ‘migration’ pathway around the château, will Picard petit never find it and never release his mother from the room, where on later release she gets a call from Borag who recruits her into her lonely hearts group where she later becomes Queen and?.. you know the rest."

Sweet Baby Jesus.

This is happening.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 4:05am (UTC -5)
@Alienatbar

1883 is prestige TV as good as Better Call Saul or any other series you'd care to put it up against. Man, watching that show when it aired earlier this year was one hell of an experience. Evil is another Paramount+ show I really enjoy. Very intelligent and carefully, tightly written with extremely interesting characters. Halo has been entertaining enough for what it is (I didn't care for the first episode much, but the second episode was immediately vastly better). And Mayor of Kingstown was uneven, but I found it worth watching.

Those are all reasons to keep Paramount+ other than Star Trek, especially for $8. Might as well pony up and give SNW a chance, imo.

@StarMan

You're probably right. I should do PIC -> SNW. I probably won't--my burning desire to know if SNW is truly a more traditional Star Trek will probably overwhelm me, and honestly, as I sit here at this moment, I don't even care how this dumb PIC story ends at this point--but I probably should.
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Jason R.
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 6:17am (UTC -5)
"It also suggests that Janeway and Seven's Voyager family just abandoned her afterward."

This was addressed in a single throwaway line where Seven claims that Janeway went to bat for her and threatened to resign over it. But yes, this isn't merely a retcon of how Starfleet would behave - it is just total garbage that Starfleet rejected Seven because she was a Borg - fuck you show, not buying it. Just bullshit. It's like nope, sorry show, don't believe you, that's not what happened. Someone obviously misred the script. Does not compute.

Incidentally, this whole Renee thing is another level of stupid. Remember the Eugenics War? Post atomic horror? First contact? No no those weren't the turning points in man's future, silly! It's some depressed astronaut finding a microbe on Io that changes history! Otherwise, we'll need to "turn to" some scientist to save the world from environmental cataclysm (how's nuclear war for the environment? Who gives a fuck about microbes on Io or some Tony Stark scientist when ICBMs are flying around and Khan supermen have conquered half the world?).

Again, the writing is just so fundamentally broken here. And oh yes, don't get me started on the Borg. They lose in every timeline? Every one? Is this like how Agnes is destined to never ever get a date (except Maddox, but we won't talk about that).

I don't even understand what this new Borg is about? So the Borg fly around the universe finding half dead or dying people and offer assimilation as an alternative to death? W.T.F.
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Alienatbar
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 7:27am (UTC -5)
@Jeffreys
It wasn’t so much the shows or the price. P+ for Australian football (round ball) is so inferior to what we had previously I quit it on principle. I’ll probably hook back in at some stage.

@Jason R
So Borag and her connected collective will hang out on, you know, street corners with sign up sheets, knock door to door, chase ambulances, just get the message out, distribute a few pamphlets, couple of well placed advertisements, get you thinking about it… and then POW you’re assimilated. No refunds.
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Jason R.
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 8:10am (UTC -5)
"@Jason R
So Borag and her connected collective will hang out on, you know, street corners with sign up sheets, knock door to door, chase ambulances, just get the message out, distribute a few pamphlets, couple of well placed advertisements, get you thinking about it… and then POW you’re assimilated. No refunds."

The concept isn't merely stupid - it is bordering on inexplicable. I truly don't know what it means.
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Henson
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 8:17am (UTC -5)
I think you can make 'Starfleet rejected Seven because she was once Borg' work. As others have noted, Starfleet was already cautious of Picard for being assimilated once, and Starfleet has been known to stray in other ways as well in the past. But, you can't just shove it in the script. You have to do the proper setup.

And most importantly, you need to have not lost the trust of your audience.
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Jason R.
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 8:18am (UTC -5)
Actually on this topic, you know what it immediately reminded me of when Agnes was explaining it to the Queen? The Soul Hunters from Babylon 5 - the guys who go around collecting the souls of great leaders, philosophers and visionaries just before their deaths to preserve them for eternity. They father the souls in little floating glass spheres and then talk with their "collections". The way Agnes was selling this to the Queen, you can sort of imagine the Borg "collecting" interesting souls just to kind of have them around for company. The whole thing is incredibly bizarre.

In a good show, you wouldn't be watching this scratching your head in befuddlement. They'd find a way to *show* you what this means and you'd say oh isn't that a cool concept. Here all you can say is WTF?!
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Alienatbar
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 9:23am (UTC -5)
@Jason R
As far as I saw it that was the concept which is exactly why it is stupid. Agnes seemed to be selling the BQ on going on a recruitment drive, selling the benefits of the collective to lost souls or near dead, inviting them to choose to be assimilated. Just like religious sects or insurance salesmen in the past.
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Klanky
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 11:52am (UTC -5)
I am just so so tired of the emphasis on emotional trauma and therapy. I just want science fiction! Cool spaceships and mind bending crazy plot developments. I don’t care about character’s trauma, at least when it’s the focus episode after episode. Why is every character so…broken?

Taking care of one’s mental health is very important, and therapy is a tool for that, I just don’t watch to watch it week after week.
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Maq
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
As some others here I start writing the comment before I have watched it compltely. I have seen about 90 %. Now I just have to watch the last 10 % and wait until next episode is there. Will it be ready then?

I agrea with Klanky above.
I have understood that Orville starts in the begining of June. It is a quite depresseing univers we live in when you consider Orville to be Star Trek and not Orville.
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Clark
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
What a mess. This entire season has felt like being trapped in a bad holodeck episode. Decision making remains baffling with so many missed attempts at fan service. Here’s a hint, don’t spend an entire season of a series based on futuristic space exploration on earth fighting with swords and guns.
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Paul M.
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 3:40pm (UTC -5)
Do you guys think that Season 2 of Picard is the worst season in Trek history? I've given it some thought, compared Picard to some really bad seasons of yore like TNG1 and TOS3, certain VOY, ENT, and DIS stuff, and I must sadly say that I've come to the unflattering conclusion that doesn't give me any pleasure whatsoever that, yes, this season of Picard is in fact that absolute worst piece of trash Star Trek has ever produced. It's so unfathomably bad, I'm unclear as to how it's even possible for TV professionals to script, film, and air this drivel.

One honest question: what ia wrong with Alex Kurtzman?
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Flipsider
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
Well personally I think TNG season 1 is underrated, it did an amazing job of establishing beloved characters. And it has some of the best BGM music of the entire show, plus I like the spirit of optimism and adventure that was leaned heavily into. I don't mind the cheese, it's a bit of a guilty pleasure.

I do think every season of Picard and Discovery are solidly beneath all classic Star Trek seasons. Might be fair to call Picard S2 the worst season of Star Trek, depending on how you felt about various seasons of Discovery... they're all kind of bad.
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Dom
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 3:55pm (UTC -5)
@Paul M., unfortunately I agree. Season 1 of TNG had some very bad episodes... but it also had some good episodes. 11001001, The Big Goodbye, and Heart of Glory are all pretty good. Other episodes like Encounter at Farpoint and Datalore pay off later in the show for the world-building. In short, I can derive some joy from Season 1 of TNG. And, because TNG was an episodic show, I can ignore the bad episodes.

But there isn't a single episode in Picard Season 2 that I really liked. The first episode was pretty decent, but even that is retroactively undermined by where the rest of the season went. And it all went downhill from there. There isn't even anything comparable to Nepenthe in Season 1, which was a nice character piece. The whole season is just mediocrity.
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Jaxon
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 4:20pm (UTC -5)
A season of episodic television can overcome bad episodes, even if there are several.

A serialized season with a terrible premise is wrecked in its entirety.

nuTrek has only made it more prudent that the idea to make Year OF Hell an entire season of Voyager was kiboshed.
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Rahul
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 4:31pm (UTC -5)
While I've often said that TNG S1 is the worst season of Trek (including nu-Trek), the way PIC S2 is going, I'd say it is very likely to take over that dubious honor.

I agree with @Jaxon here: "A season of episodic television can overcome bad episodes, even if there are several.

A serialized season with a terrible premise is wrecked in its entirety."

But even just thinking about individual episodes and knowing the background leading up to them, there is literally nothing in PIC S2 that I'd have any desire to revisit, except possibly "The Star Gazer". With TNG S1, I'd rewatch "Heart of Glory" and maybe a couple of others. But what astounds me is that my average rating for PIC S2 is just about as bad as it was for TNG S1, which reflects the overall abject level of the season. What is simply inexcusable for me is having a well-oiled machine in terms of production and still churning out garbage as PIC S2 has done. The writing was terrible on TNG S1 and is on PIC S2, but at least TNG S1 wasn't hamstrung with an awful premise that kept getting worse.
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grey cat
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 4:48pm (UTC -5)
Got around to watching it..

Damn what a let down. I had SOME hope that this would tie-up in a coherant or at least interesting way.

But no.. lot of pointless action mixed in with some dreadful DSC style random emotional scenes.

Unless I've really not been paying attention not much of this made any sense. Such as:

1. Why is Soong chasing Picard through a castle? Unknown Variable? Fine ok maybe.. but with all his tech use thermal imaging or something to find him.. don't chase him ON FOOT.

2. Where is Q?

3. What is the point of the Watcher at all?

4. It makes no sense to deal with childhood trauma at 80 or 130 (ignoring the fact picard is an android essentially) as he's (Picard had an incredible successful and happy life full of many proper relationships and even raised a family (Inner Light) so is more than capable of having deep relationships. I mean sure deal with them in weekly therapy if you like. It may well help but this season has kind of implied there is something wrong with Picard.

5. Why is the Europa mission so vital? 1 episode left to explain that unless i missed it.

6. They act like a borg queen in the past is suddenly so dangerous.. Didn't they watch First Contact? They literally recreated the problem they went back to fix in the film.

And finally I just don't buy the whole Borg are just lonely crap. It goes against pretty much everything we know about them and surely 7 or Picard would have some idea of that (on any of the XB's for that matter). But yeah just give them a ship with advanced technology and trust they'll do the right thing somewhere.

Maybe I lost interest and missed the answers to these.

Worst episode of the season for me (except maybe that preachy Guinan one), largely because it was mindless action and meaningless pay off to all these plot lines. I guess that's the risk with a season long arc.

1.5 stars for me.
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grey cat
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
@Jaxon @Rahul

I was never that excited about this premise from the the minute I watched the trailer but I was happy to give it a chance but this episode tipped me over the edge.

I doubt I'll ever loathe the PIC as much as DSC but this season has been hard to get through to say the least. Star Gazer set the bar so high they just didn't live up to it at all.

Shows like Stargate Atlantis (mixed episodic and season arc) etc knock PIC (and DSC) out of the water on modest budgets so there's just no excuse for it - and you can definitely do good sci-fi set on earth in our time period with a limited budget too (Travelers).
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Jaxon
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 4:57pm (UTC -5)
If you factor in Picard's "Inner Light" lifelet, he *is* essentially 130-150 years old. His conscience has certainly lived out at least that many years.
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Rahul
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 5:23pm (UTC -5)
Speaking of "sci-fi set on earth" as @grey cat mentioned, I'd rate Earth Final Conflict's 1st 4 seasons higher than PIC S2. EFC was serialized, although it wasn't like PIC and DSC with one arc per season. I'm pretty sure it didn't have the budget PIC does and it didn't have the quality of actors PIC has. EFC wasn't great but it had an interesting premise and posed some decent existential questions.

EFC's 5th season, however, was a total disaster and never should have been made -- it makes PIC S2 look OK.
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Dahj’s Digital Ghost
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
@Jaxon — While I’d generally agree with your thoughts on serialized TV, I have to say ENT S3 was compelling, and every time I get to the last number of episodes, the next thing I know It’s three in the morning! And the Xindi arc was even close to my favorite Trek.
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Dahj’s Digital Ghost
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 5:38pm (UTC -5)
Correction: The Xindi-arc WASN’T even close to my favorite Trek.

Sorry
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Dahj’s Digital Ghost
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 5:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY Year of Hell — wasn’t it Braga who wanted that to be a season-long project? I’d say he eventually got that, only it was the Xindi-arc in ENT. NX-01 went through hell, and there was no reset button.
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Jason R.
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 6:09pm (UTC -5)
When you are evaluating the season relative to other stinker seasons of Trek, keep a few things in mind. At the time Season 1 TNG came out in the 80s there was no CGI - they had to do everything with models and practical effects. Picard has modern CGI which can pretty well do anything and a budget to match.

Also remember that Season 1 of TNG was not only rebooting a franchise that had been off the air for 20 years, but starting from scratch with brand new characters in an entirely new setting that had no audiemce good will. Whereas Picard is set in a similar time period to TNG starring the central character of TNG who is one of the most popular characters ever, played by a top notch actor.

Finally, in 1987 they had to fill over 24 episodes of 45 minutes each in a season. Picard is 10 episodes total?

And yet, here we are discussing whether or not Picard Season 2 is the worst season of Trek ever. Just think about what that means. Even if it gets edged out by something else, the fact that it should even be in the conversation is extraordinary. It is utterly unfathomable that with so many advantages this show could be failing so badly. I gave up on watching Discovery about halfway through Season 1 but I'll tell you right now that show was waaaaay better than this.
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 6:18pm (UTC -5)
//Nowhere else to discuss this, so I'll just pop in to say: Strange New Worlds intro looks incredible.//

Agreed, Strange New Worlds I am really excited for. The music for Discovery and Picard were underwhelming.
It - SNW - feels more hopeful, exciting, exploratory and reflective.
It feels more like TNG, DS9 and VOY

I really hope Picard season 2 they will explain how it feels clunky - like the Q continuum is suffering and the poor storyline is just some effect of the Q continuum.
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Ixnay
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 6:27pm (UTC -5)
Jesus H. Christ what on Earth makes you think SNW is going to be any better than these other crappy shows? Four years from now some of you are going to be here saying "sure these first few seasons of snw have been bad but I think next year is gonna be good."
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Jaxon
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 6:45pm (UTC -5)
Jason R. said:

"
Finally, in 1987 they had to fill over 24 episodes of 45 minutes each in a season. Picard is 10 episodes total?"

And the average episode length is probably about 42 minutes.

So about 420 minutes of TV...or 7 hours.

A season of a *half hour* television program used to be more actual television than that.
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grey cat
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 6:56pm (UTC -5)
@Maq wrote "I have understood that Orville starts in the begining of June. It is a quite depresseing univers we live in when you consider Orville to be Star Trek and not Orville."

I don't love Orville, I do like it and at least it's actual sci-fi - I'd just rather it did more new things rather than so rehashes of old Star Trek episodes. It's certainly entertaining and hasn't beat me over the head witha social issue or depressed me with emotional baggage and crying.

Which reminded me of another point.. I realise 7 and Raffi are fighting for their lives but don't they feel the least bit guilty they there are responsible for all those humans being assimiliated (and then killed with knives and 1940s guns etc)? Wouldn't at least a few of them had a meaningful impact on the timeline. Maybe not the Europa Mission but SOME impact on the future (or their offspring etc etc).

This is all such a mess at this point that surely the Q has to snap his fingers and put it right. Maybe the Europa mission stops the Q from dying or.. something equally ridiculous? Why even have Q in it at all if he's not going to actually DO something.

John De Lancie is great anyway..

@Ixnay Yes I'll watch it and try to love it just like i'll try the same with PIC S3. Maybe at some point i'll need therapy for the trauma of watching NuTrek.
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Rahul
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
Just watched this 1/2-hr show on CBS (hosted by the insufferable Wheaton) about previewing SNW. There's one big difference that gives me hope that this nu-Trek series won't suck like DSC, PIC -- and that it's episodic. This greatly simplifies the task for the writers. Just make a 1-hour episode and don't worry about some 10-part season-long arc. They say it's supposed to be Gene Roddenberry sci-fi, which may mean to distinguish it from PIC, DSC. But I'm skeptical about this given that it's still a Kurtzman product. But there's a new co-show runner / EP.

Looks like SNW is all about providing the back-story for TOS, so we get a younger version of Uhura, Chapel and the chief medical officer is M'Benga (from "A Private Little War") not the older white dude in "The Cage".

So at least it does seem to be different from PIC, DSC in concept and structure -- and that is a good thing. I'm personally sick and tired of season-long arcs after 6 of them from DSC, PIC.
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Flipsider
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 8:04pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, the first season of TNG set up the cast and crew that we love. They had an impossible job, to come up with a cast that would somehow live up to the classic Trek crew. They not only came up with an excellent crew, but a truly inspired choice picking Patrick Stewart as a different kind of captain from Kirk. When you consider all that, TNG season 1 was an incredible success at what it needed to do.

In theory, a show like Picard has an easier job, because they're using characters that are already beloved. After all, that's why they're making Picard in the first place, to take advantage of the built in fanbase. It's much harder to come up with a new crew that could establish it's own fanbase; Discovery certainly couldn't do it.
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Nick
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 9:24pm (UTC -5)
I thought the first half of the episode was terrible. It wasn't even good action or interesting in any way.

I did like the idea of the Borg always losing and Jurati convincing the queen to take things in a different direction. It adds an interesting new twist to an old foe. But I wasn't really feeling this episode outside of that 5 minute scene.

I'm hoping they can finish strong in the finale. Q dying and doing penance is another intriguing concept. If they can deliver on that they might be able to salvage what has mostly been a train wreck of a season.
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EmpressHoshiSato
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
@JasonR - Yes I know they mentioned Janeeay batted for her, but I meant afterward it seems highly unlikely to impossible that the entire Voyager crew who considered her family would abandon her. Why would she leave Earth? Aside from having a surviving aunt on Earth, she also had her Voyager family as support. Seems improbable she would just leave the Federation. The way this show is, the whole Macquis crew must have been executed upon their return. The Doctor shut down and deleted despite having gained sentience. The Admiral lady from last season must have personally told him "You think you can just carry on in Starfleet? The sheer f****ing hubris! Computer shut down the EMH and delete it!"

@Alien - good point. Notice how the Borg drones seemed half to mostly female last episode, but now seemed all male. And utterly useless and non Borg.

Why did the heroes initially beam to somewhere other than the ship they wanted to secure?! Still makes no sense.

And this whole season seems to make a Third World War and First Contact irrelevant despite the latter being the pivotal moment in Earth's history!

They probably should have made this about the Eugenics War or some type of event that causes such anti extra terrestrial feeling.

Q wasn't in this episode and nothing really connects. So much screen time is wasted for a show that only has 10 episodes to tell its tale. Could have covered all of Episodes 3 to 9 in about 2.5 episodes giving at least 6 episodes worth more to tell a story or action.

I only hope that Q brings Data back to life. And I still maintain that Ducane should have been used instead of the FBI episode.

Soong's daughter shouldn't have been Kore, but a different actress instead. He also changed from someone desperate to save his daughter to maniacal villain fast. And ran away from Rios who can probably run faster than him.

Could have even made the alternative universe more interesting. Instead of a pure evil Human First regime, why not have had a military coup by Starfleet and a benevolent Viceroy Picard in the alternative future. One where the "temporary" Starfleet Council chose to fight fire with fire when it came to the devious Romulans and Borg threat, Dominion etc and lost its way. Maybe Picard himself ordered the utilisation of the Baku's planet rings to extend the life of the Empire's citizens. The Enterprise E is now has ablative armour, phased cloaking and advanced warp drives (acquired from raiding Borg vessels) and along with a fleet of Prometheus class vessels is launching a preemptive strike on species deemed to be a threat. And in this universe, Voyager was never sent on its mission to chase the Macquis and create the W in the Delta Quadrant in Blink of an Eye. Because the Macquis were used as a militia to invade Cardassia. Q shows Picard footage of the execution of his former torturer with Picard asking him "How many lights do you see?" as the phaser beams of his firing squad line up. And the last of the Borg then break through to the Prime Universe somehow affecting the Q continuum because their ceasing to exist spills over into our reality.

Just making it up as I go along. But the people with teams of supposed TV writers, entire resources at their disposal are seemingly ignorant of Star Trek history and devoid of talent sadly.
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EmpressHoshiSato
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 10:18pm (UTC -5)
*create the Q in the Delta Quadrant.

Another thing - Why wouldn't the crew have activated MULTIPLE Emergency Combat Holograms to GUARD the Borg Queen IN THR FIRST PLACE a few episodes back?

"Where do you think you're going lady?" - RCH 1.
"I thought you had perished. Well We shall add your technological and biological distinctiveness to our own." (Fires Borg arm at ECH who is in a red shirt. It simply encounters thin air since he's a hologram)
Ten other ECH guards materialise and each fire a stun weapon at the Borg Queen who gets knocked out.
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Ilsat
Sat, Apr 30, 2022, 10:56pm (UTC -5)
I got completely fucked up tonight. Then watched the episode again. Good stuff, baby. Tits, ass, rubber, and yummy tech. I finally figured it out. This is the Taco Bell of television. A late night treat for those whoring for pleasure.
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Armus
Sun, May 1, 2022, 12:58am (UTC -5)
BTW here is the "sneak peek" for the season finally. What a fucking stupid show.

https://twitter.com/StarTrekOnPPlus/status/1520493191094366208
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Eric Jensen
Sun, May 1, 2022, 3:17am (UTC -5)
Why will SNW be better?
1. Episodic
2. Better intro/opening credits not unlike TNG, DS9, VOY
3. It actually links to TOS
4. SNW is fan inspired.
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Jan
Sun, May 1, 2022, 3:35am (UTC -5)
@Henson
I agree that some concepts in PIC could work with proper work, which I also agree is totally absent. Huge controversial points are justified in throwaway lines if at all, and that simply isn't convincing at all when you're already jaded.

@Jason R
" And oh yes, don't get me started on the Borg. They lose in every timeline? Every one?"

This irks me too. So Jurati has seen the whole of the multiverse and timelines to completion just by being half-assimilated and sharing some nanoprobes with the Queen? Must we understand then that the Queen is always operating under omniscient prowess, kind of a God emperor of Dune? And yet she fails to find this easy solution (or any other)?

That's straight up terrible fantasy, I cannot bear with it. It's plainly ridiculous.
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Booming
Sun, May 1, 2022, 3:52am (UTC -5)
It's curious that there is so much dumb stuff that people overlook other things that make no sense. Like Rios overcoming Tallinn's security system in 15 minutes and then using her transporter. That's tech he has never seen before. I immediately picture O'Brien looking at some alien tech and saying:"This is either a quantum flux modulator or some form of Heisenberg compensator."

Oh by the way, I looked and there are still women and PoC's on the merc team of doom aka the Spiner Spiders. It's just super dark (less costs) and Borg are really pale. Uh, thinking about that made me realize, why does Holo Elrond even need to find a sword?? He is a hologram, could he not just create one with his holomatrix?!
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Yanks
Sun, May 1, 2022, 6:17am (UTC -5)
So, we've all had to endure the never-ending trip down Picard's memory lane so he can remember how to play hide and seek from sort-of-borg mercenaries and Soong?

It all makes sense now.

Sort of like the reason the Borg exist is because the Borg Queen has been lonely all along.

Let's make a collective of 7's!

Weeeeeeeee!!!!

Good lord, all is lost in Star Trek.

One Renee has to live (the current one) and one has to die (Picard's nephew)??
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Yanks
Sun, May 1, 2022, 6:19am (UTC -5)
...oh, the actress that plays Picard's mother is dreadful...
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Paul M.
Sun, May 1, 2022, 7:31am (UTC -5)
Someone upthread was quite on point regarding nuTrek, be it Abrams movie version or Kurtzman TV version: these people simply don't care about science fiction. They are producing superficially trekified Marvel stuff with some generous side dish of modern identitarian therapy nonsense. It's all about action, noise, quips, fast cuts and quick edits mixed with whispering, crying, facing one's demons and becoming a better person by embracing all of the above. There isn't a single bona fide SF idea in this stew nor are these people interested in exploring one.
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Armus
Sun, May 1, 2022, 8:06am (UTC -5)
@Paul yeah, I feel the MCU vibe they are trying to create and I hate it so much - I don't like MCU or superhero movies. I remember in the first episode of season 4 of DSC I rolled my eyes at all the tacky meta jokes typical of MCU style. For me the biggest problem with both PIC and DSC is that most of the ideas for plot points are interesting but badly excecuted. Too much filler and wheel spinning. I never felt like the old shows were spinning on their wheels when watching episodes of a two or three parter.

I hope the episodic nature of SNW is good, because I don't know who told these writers that they are good enough to write a season long arc. I'm definitely not watching SNW right away - I kinda need a nuTrek break.
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StarMan
Sun, May 1, 2022, 8:52am (UTC -5)
By and large I'm a big fan of the MCU. I dig the MCU vibe - when it's the MCU *doing* it.

It's Never Going. To. Work. With. Trek.

Trek going for the lowest common denominator only alienates a generally loyal, hardcore fanbase. These shows aren't making a splash, so why torpedo the support you have?

Honestly - speaking as a keyboard warrior, I think the best way forward would have been the literal opposite of what they did. Quality, first and foremost. If Discovery had burst out the gates with the ambition to go toe-to-toe with top tier prestige television, critical acclaim may have followed and maybe - just maybe - interest outside the usual sphere might have been perked.

That said, I know we wouldn't be looking at MCU numbers, but still, I think you could've had a fresh, modern, layered and intelligent take on the IP, with richly drawn characters - driven by people who had a passion for the franchise and understood both what attracted people in the first place, and how to reinvigorate it for a 21st century audience.

Instead, they veered away from assuming any risk and figured lowbrow dreck packed to the brim with 'memberberries (because self-referential crap is all Trek fans care about, apparently) was the safest bet.

Can you imagine anyone becoming a Star Trek because of this show? We all had our entry points. Mine was Star Trek: First Contact. Can you imagine anyone re-watching S2 of Picard in the future, or naming their favourite Picard episodes in 10-15 years on bulletin boards (or in The Matrix if we've made it that far by then)?

I just struggle to see the long-term play in what Paramount are doing here. Blast out enough product in the medium term to make the IP more sellable in the future?
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modulum
Sun, May 1, 2022, 9:51am (UTC -5)
Yeah, I think if Discovery had kept Bryan Fuller and all his batshit ideas about each season having a different crew, the initial show actually going all-in on being dystopian and experimental, etc. we would be living in a very different world for Trek. What these shows need is a sense of auteurship - a single creative strongly gripping the reins.
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Dreubarik
Sun, May 1, 2022, 9:59am (UTC -5)
@StarMan "Honestly - speaking as a keyboard warrior, I think the best way forward would have been the literal opposite of what they did. Quality, first and foremost. If Discovery had burst out the gates with the ambition to go toe-to-toe with top tier prestige television, critical acclaim may have followed and maybe - just maybe - interest outside the usual sphere might have been perked."

I think you are totally correct. The power of the Star Trek brand is that it can make such a highbrow niche show profitable where the Expanse brand, for example, simply cannot (yes, the show had a decent run, but every indication was that it was a huge money pit). Star Trek as an IP is fantastic as a little money spinner that, in the age of prestige TV, could bring you some praise and subscriptions to other higher-margin content without requiring it to be a loss leader (unlike most niche prestige shows). But executives are unable to understand this and will keep getting burned going in the other direction. I don't see this changing in the foreseeable future.
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Dreubarik
Sun, May 1, 2022, 10:20am (UTC -5)
Re the worst season of Trek ever. I will die on my hill that the worst Trek season is Picard Season 1. It is the one of the most creatively brankrupt seasons of TV ever made.

Here's a wild theory: Star Trek Picard is actually a scam. It has been created to launder money and funnel it towards certain people in Hollywood under the pretense that work is being done. Think about it: Not only is this thing clearly written by teenagers in a single afternoon, but they have also gone to enormous lengths in Season 2 to bring back the same actors to play different characters without any justification whatsoever (Isa Briones, Evan Evangora, Orla Brady, Brent Spiner). Could it be that someone wants to launder money or owes something? Just putting it out there.
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Dreubarik
Sun, May 1, 2022, 10:20am (UTC -5)
PS: I was kidding, obviously.
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Booming
Sun, May 1, 2022, 10:29am (UTC -5)
Who cares if it is the worst or second worst or x worst season. It's a fairly bad season and that's really all that matters.

But CBS must think it is a relative success. Kurtzman is/was executive producer of 10 seasons of NuTrek and a writer+executive producer of 7. CBS would not have kept him around for more than 5 years if they weren't at least somewhat happy.
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Jaxon
Sun, May 1, 2022, 11:58am (UTC -5)
@Jason R
" And oh yes, don't get me started on the Borg. They lose in every timeline? Every one?"

I thought this concept was stupid when Doctor Strange did it too.
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Chris from Canada
Sun, May 1, 2022, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
Hey Jammer!
Could we get a reply feature or something on these chats with their own seperate reply chain? It's kinda difficult to keep all these different convos and replies straight, my brain hurts.
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Sven
Sun, May 1, 2022, 2:44pm (UTC -5)
"Can you imagine anyone becoming a Star Trek because of this show?"

I was thinking something along those lines a few weeks ago after Monsters: I can't imagine anyone becoming an engineer, astronaut or scientist after watching the last few shows. I know not everyone cares about that, but if you look at it even broader: what has Star Trek brought the last few years that is unique to the franchise, besides that it's all happening in space in the future? That future isn’t even utopian anymore. Everything that made dramatical and contextual sense in the past (the mirror universe, the Borg, AI (i.e. Data), Ferengi greed, the inherent message and the beauty of episodes like Inner Light) has become a simple tool to ramp up the excitement or stir feelings and sadly failing at it, because it's presented in such a diluted and unappealing way. Like someone said, some ideas are good, but the execution is disastrous. Too shallow, too fast, too contrived.
I was the first Trek fan in my family, since the early 80ies, when I was too young to even understand most of it. I managed to bring my wife into the fold (before she became my wife) in the 90ies and we enjoyed many episodes of the TNG era together (TOS was a bit too theatrical for her taste). In the period between ENT and DIS, I rewatched everything with my wife and children, including the movies, old and new. I was terribly excited when DIS was announced and we watched Season 1 together as a family. We managed to do the same with Season 2 and Season 1 of PIC. But then things went wrong. I started having horrible flashbacks of Lost, that kept my watching season after season by promising much and delivering very little (the Burn!). Lost is a series I own on DVD/BD but simply cannot watch again, because, you know, I know now.
When I started watching PIC S2 with my wife, having been unable to watch DIS S4 because of the whole Netflix debacle, I was hopeful, especially after the first 2 episodes. But now I know I can’t honestly recommend my kids to watch it on their own. They moved on, new Trek just isn’t that interesting to them and I have next no arguments to persuade them. I can’t imagine myself buying PIC S2 on bluray, which would be a first. As for the announcement for S3, with the original cast coming back, I think they’ll just doop me again by sticking them in some ‘These are the Voyages’ kind of holodeck thingy that lasts 10 minutes.
My wife and I will be watching the PIC finale next week, but we both have a feeling we’ll be glad it’ll be over. As a decade long Star Trek fan that has shared that love for Trek with this entire family, I consider that to be a tragic thought. The powers that be won’t give a sh*t about that, that I realize all to well.
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Jaxon
Sun, May 1, 2022, 2:58pm (UTC -5)
Honestly I can't imagine anyone becoming a Star Trek fan because of the TNG films either.

Even then we were into the "Patrick is now playing himself rather than Jean-Luc" phase.
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Ixnay
Sun, May 1, 2022, 3:30pm (UTC -5)
I agree Jason. The TNG movies have almost nothing to do with what made the series great. They're just dumb, forgettable summer action flicks. Not even very good by that standard either.
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Bryan
Sun, May 1, 2022, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
I thought Generations was the most like a regular episode of TNG which is why I liked it the most of the TNG movies. Most people like First Contact because it stands as a good action film on top of whatever lingering appeal it might also have a Star Trek film. But I think First Contact is where it starts to be a little less Trekkian and Stewart starts to be a little more himself rather than Picard....then of course by the time we get to Nemesis, it has devolved to the point of dune buggy rides that are only there because Stewart wants them to be there so that he can have a great time as himself.
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Jaxon
Sun, May 1, 2022, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Generartions was flimed right on the heels of All Good Things. I think they were even filming movie scenes with just guest stars even while ...Things was wrapping up.
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Jaxon
Sun, May 1, 2022, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
First Contact is lousy because not only did it ruin the Borg by introducing a queen, but it tried to shamelessly retcon her into past events with Picard's nutty "I remember you".
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modulum
Sun, May 1, 2022, 4:59pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, I've never really understood the love for First Contact. Generations and Insurrection have always been my favorite TNG movies, not in the least because they feel like they both act as actual epilogues for the crew's lives.
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Spacechick
Sun, May 1, 2022, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
Wow, can't believe how detailed the comments are here. I thought this episode was a bit of a bin fire. Writing was all over the place, plotting was too. Surely we haven't seen the last of Alice/Borg Queen? Didn't she fucking rock the red dress and boots in the last episode though?
Still think Seven is a different character altogether and don't know why she's got implants but they looked pretty crappy and bigger than her previous implants.
Wish I didn't have to say it but I think time for Picard to retire. I am allowed to say that because I am old myself. I am also just seeing if I get a response but it seems a long shot.
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Michael
Sun, May 1, 2022, 7:28pm (UTC -5)
Not to defend "nuTrek", but does anyone think that for a franchise that's been running as long as Star Trek has, it's just not possible to write original and high-quality material in the setting anymore?

Take the sequels, for example of any series of movies that's been running for longer than say, three movies. I'm no statistician, but I'd guess that the ratings and viewer opinion nearly always, on average, decline significantly after the 3rd film. Star Wars, Police Academy, Rocky. Even stylistically the setting tends to get old and stale, like in the Hobbit movies.

I'm not a movie nerd so somebody will likely correct me on this.
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StarMan
Sun, May 1, 2022, 7:44pm (UTC -5)
@Jaxon "Honestly I can't imagine anyone becoming a Star Trek fan because of the TNG films either."

For me, First Contact was a trigger. I had a growing interest in Trek via TOS reruns, which lead me to seeing FC on the big screen. I wasn't making any comparisons to TNG as I hadn't seen it (I had seen it obviously, but never gone out of my way to watch it). I loved it for what it was - a tight, fairly well written action movie (and I was a a sucker for that opening battle).

The real fan-building exercise came after seeing FC. I scoured every Blockbuster across the city for any VHS tapes of Trek I could find; spent the next couple of years watch TOS, TNG, DS9 and VOY in scattershot order until I was finally caught up to VOY S4 / DS9 S6.

And yes, by the end of my epic deep dive into all things Trek, DS9 was at the top of the pile for me.
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Sen-Sors
Sun, May 1, 2022, 7:46pm (UTC -5)
Eh. I think Star Trek is is more malleable than something like Star Wars or Police Academy. Different Trek series have had different crews, settings, and tones. "Optimistic problem-solving show in space" is a pretty open concept, you could go almost anywhere with it.
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Michael
Sun, May 1, 2022, 8:39pm (UTC -5)
Well, The Mandalorian might be said to prove the post-3rd movie theory wrong, even though that's a TV show based on a series of movies.
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grey cat
Sun, May 1, 2022, 8:57pm (UTC -5)
I love First Contact if only for the score. The opening title music is simply gorgeous. But for me its 2nd only to Wrath of Khan which is a masterpiece.

@SpaceChick wrote "Didn't she fucking rock the red dress and boots in the last episode though?"

Lol she did indeed. Also it shows what a great actress Alison Pill is that she manages to (just about) salvage some extremely clunky dialogue and dreadful writing.

The Borg Queen said "Bullshit" and that pretty much summed up my thoughts on the episode.
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Ilsat
Sun, May 1, 2022, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
Michael - "Not to defend "nuTrek", but does anyone think that for a franchise that's been running as long as Star Trek has, it's just not possible to write original and high-quality material in the setting anymore?"

No, objectively speaking, it's completely possible. The problem is Paramount and its writers are complete shit.
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Brian
Sun, May 1, 2022, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
Well, I mean, look at something like daytime soaps (I haven't actually watched any in a long time) but some of them were on for decades with the exact same characters with a new show every single day of the week.

Paramount had a winner with TNG and they got greedy for the big movie money and started throwing everything they could think of at the wall to see what would stick (in terms of new shows based on Star Trek).

TOS wasn't cancelled as a strategy to get movies made. Canceling TOS was a mistake that was later acknowledged as such. They got lucky with TNG and they pissed it away. Yeah. OK there was some pretty good stuff in DS9 but I could have totally lived without Voyager. They were in their groove with TNG and when they took it off TV, they never got what they lost back. The combined output of every single show (and movie) that has come since TNG was canceled is less than what TNG could have been if they had just kept doing it until there was some sign that people were tired of it.
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Michael
Sun, May 1, 2022, 10:40pm (UTC -5)
@Brian
"Well, I mean, look at something like daytime soaps (I haven't actually watched any in a long time) but some of them were on for decades with the exact same characters with a new show every single day of the week."

And are the people watching it because the stories are original and brilliant, or are they watching out of sheer inertia?
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dave
Sun, May 1, 2022, 11:27pm (UTC -5)
The comments stream here at Jammers always gives us an indicator of what people are rewatching at the current time. I would boldly suggest about 10 years from now there will be nobody rewatching Pic S1 or S2 unless, somehow, a rare person decided to rewatch everything one year to be a completionist.

This series is not re watchable. I could name dozens of episodes from multiple Trek series that I remember and would rewatch at anytime. Nothing from this series will likely pop up in my mind for me to say "hey, I haven;t' seen that one in a while, let's watch it!"

I probably could rewatch Disc Season 4 at some point as it honestly was not too bad at all. Ironically, Disc Season 4 is closer to Trek than this show that has actual legacy characters from some of the best days of Star Trek. How bizarre is that.
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dave
Sun, May 1, 2022, 11:31pm (UTC -5)
I am a bit excited for the season finale just to come here and see the explosions . I can't imagine this final episode will be anything close to satisfying even for the most soft of critics.

It's like they wrote this series without a plan and got to EP 8 and were frozen thinking how the heck they tie all this together in 2 more episodes.

The final one has to tie up a long list of loose ends, it will be kind of fun to see how the writers attempted to get out of the corners they painted themselves in.

We can all have a laugh after, hopefully.
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Sun, May 1, 2022, 11:52pm (UTC -5)
Dave said: "I probably could rewatch Disc Season 4 at some point as it honestly was not too bad at all. Ironically, Disc Season 4 is closer to Trek than this show that has actual legacy characters from some of the best days of Star Trek. How bizarre is that."

I watched three episodes of Discovery S1, then turned it off, never to revisit. Those three episodes gave me vibes of dumb teenagers in space. Yuck. If I wanted to watch Riverdale, I'd watch Riverdale.

Pike was re-introduced in S2, and I watched it for the nostalgia factor, you know, for Vina and the Talosians. Okay, but certainly not a reason to actually care. The Control storyline was terrible, and had I missed S2, I'd have missed nothing.

Then Season 3 came, and they jumped to the 3000s, and I was actually impressed, if just a little, even if The Burn was rather dumb. Book and Grudge were nice additions.

And, finally, with the exception of three episodes, I actually liked S4. The extra-galactic aliens and all that, I genuinely liked that. Felt like Star Trek again. The characters of Vance, T'Rina, and and Rillak are very welcome additions. Michael Burnham as Captain is so, so much better a character than "Mikey Spock," the sulking quasi-Vulcan ever was. The supporting characters all have moments to shine, too.

But will I rewatch S4? No. Probably not.

If SNW is able to capture the essence of Star Trek in its episodic format, I'd be very happy. In fact, if they are able to achieve that, then my sincere wish is that Discovery, too, make a transition to episodic TV. The Milky Way of the 32nd Century could be really interesting to explore. Maybe we'll even get the chance to visit Andromeda and something more of the Local Group?

If this were to happen, I can almost guarantee there would be episodes (or two- and three-parters) of SNW and STD I'd revisit.
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Booming
Mon, May 2, 2022, 12:50am (UTC -5)
It's fascninating that people know that SNW is another show created, written and produced by Alex Kurtzman and still think that this time it will be good. Am I part of a cult? Oh and about Jurati's boots, it made me wonder. She did wear heels at first, I think, so did the Queen sneak into a doc martens store and steal a pair of boots?
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dave
Mon, May 2, 2022, 1:29am (UTC -5)
Yes, we are part of a cult. One can not watch 700+ hours of this stuff over 30+ years and not get brainwashed :)

I think people just keep hoping, one day, that a new Trek series is "good enough". SNW is our current hope after trudging through swamp in Picard.
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Dan
Mon, May 2, 2022, 1:35am (UTC -5)
Why Do i read SNW as SNL?
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Jan
Mon, May 2, 2022, 2:52am (UTC -5)
@Yanks
"One Renee has to live (the current one) and one has to die (Picard's nephew)?? "

Oh this ffs. This kind of "prophetic" stuff has no place in scifi and I despise it so much. Characters dropping premonitions or future events as faits accomplis. There was also some of this in DIS (I cannot remember) and I was yelling at the TV.

I can buy a modicum of time-shenanigans sensitivity given the setting. But knowing full timelines? I call BS, unless it's an out-of-time entity (Q, prophets), and that's pushing the envelope a lot.
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Alienatbar
Mon, May 2, 2022, 3:05am (UTC -5)
@Booming
‘She did wear heels at first, I think, so did the Queen sneak into a doc martens store and steal a pair of boots?’

Saw it somewhere where she probably took them from her dumpster fling although he would of had a massive hoof you’d expect. Eh, details.
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Booming
Mon, May 2, 2022, 3:11am (UTC -5)
ewww, you mean she took the stinky shoes of that guy she murdered... not showering for days, doing sweat-inducing activities and now smelly boots... that must be quite the melange. They really missed an opportunity for Picard to say:"Wait! I'm smelling something."
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, May 2, 2022, 3:30am (UTC -5)
@Booming
"It's fascinating that people know that SNW is another show created, written and produced by Alex Kurtzman and still think that this time it will be good."

What I find far more fascinating, is the way people continue to torture themselves by watching a show they hate. They complain about how their beloved franchise is butchered, while - at the same time - actively supporting what CBS is doing with their viewership and/or their money.

What's even more ludicrous, is that people do this out of "loyalty" to the brand. As if actively supporting the act of pissing all over Star Trek is some how an act of "loyalty".

(personally, I am neither watching or supporting this cr*p precisely because I'm loyal to Star Trek)

"Am I part of a cult?"

Read the first two paragraphs of my comment again. There's your answer.
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Alienatbar
Mon, May 2, 2022, 3:38am (UTC -5)
Still think that was a River tribute from Firefly so, cool if it was even though it lacked the flair. Actually I might have a crush on Borag because of it.
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Alienatbar
Mon, May 2, 2022, 3:51am (UTC -5)
I mean we are only assuming Borag killed him from Seffie stumbling on his body. Perhaps he was just pissed and was sleeping it off and the neck scar was from… dumpster task? Did they check? But yeah she must smell. With eating all those batteries does she now come with a 2 year warranty?
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Alienatbar
Mon, May 2, 2022, 3:51am (UTC -5)
Rash!
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Booming
Mon, May 2, 2022, 3:55am (UTC -5)
@Omicron
"What I find far more fascinating, is the way people continue to torture themselves by watching a show they hate."
Well, Nostalgia is a powerful force.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeDfgUvyKHk

"What's even more ludicrous, is that people do this out of "loyalty" to the brand."
Leaving things behind is always hard. I see change as the normal state of things and try to embrace it. This will be my last season of Star Trek, Nu or otherwise.

@Alienatbar
"Actually I might have a crush on Borag because of it."
Sorry, I don't know who that is. I guess you didn't mean Borat.
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Alienatbar
Mon, May 2, 2022, 4:01am (UTC -5)
And yes loyalty plays a big part in being a Star Trek fan. Cult status? Maybe. Yeah probably. My football team stats are pretty poor. 1 win in 17 games. Do I still support them? Yes I do. Do I let the management know I’m not happy with their vision? Hell yes. When Star Trek returns to its former glory then it’ll be worth it.

OR

I need my frakkin head read.
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Alienatbar
Mon, May 2, 2022, 4:16am (UTC -5)
Borg and Agnes. Borag. But her friends still call her Captain. Thought that one might stick.
Business trip. Red wine. Posting at my worst.

Mr Jammer. Waiting for your thoughts my friend.
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Alienatbar
Mon, May 2, 2022, 4:26am (UTC -5)
@dave
‘The final one has to tie up a long list of loose ends, it will be kind of fun to see how the writers attempted to get out of the corners they painted themselves in. We can all have a laugh after, hopefully.’

Looking at the preview on YouTube, it’s going to be very interesting. There a few shots on there that I kind of went ‘oh baby hesus’? Shall we laugh afterwards dave? Yes we shall. Nay, we must. Let’s see what they pull out of the fire.
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Booming
Mon, May 2, 2022, 4:45am (UTC -5)
Borag?? I don't know. Borati sounds like a cool Italian motorcycle. Or a little nerd tease: "Agnorg" even though that sound like a wall mounted cupboard from Ikea.
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Alienatbar
Mon, May 2, 2022, 5:05am (UTC -5)
Bugatti! Borgatti! Bellissimo!
Agnorg gives me a Harry Potter vibe. Giant spider.
If the BQ ends up being Q in drag we’re screwed.
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Yanks
Mon, May 2, 2022, 5:24am (UTC -5)
@dave
Sun, May 1, 2022, 11:27pm (UTC -5)
"... I would boldly suggest about 10 years from now there will be nobody rewatching Pic S1 or S2 unless, somehow, a rare person decided to rewatch everything one year to be a completionist.

This series is not re watchable. I could name dozens of episodes from multiple Trek series that I remember and would rewatch at anytime. Nothing from this series will likely pop up in my mind for me to say "hey, I haven;t' seen that one in a while, let's watch it!"

Absolutely agree. I've watched all the trek incarnations (prior to Discovery) numerous times. The only episode of PIC I've rewatched is the closer for season 1, and that was only to see the Data/Picard scenes.

"I probably could rewatch Disc Season 4 at some point as it honestly was not too bad at all. Ironically, Disc Season 4 is closer to Trek than this show that has actual legacy characters from some of the best days of Star Trek. How bizarre is that."

I've rewatched a few episodes of STD... the series still pisses me off but there are a few hidden gems in there. Season 4 is hard to watch for me... Burnham "failing up" to the Captain's seat just doesn't sit well and tarnishes the whole thing.
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Winde
Mon, May 2, 2022, 8:34am (UTC -5)
Bagnes.
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Eric Jensen
Mon, May 2, 2022, 12:19pm (UTC -5)
//It's fascninating that people know that SNW is another show created, written and produced by Alex Kurtzman and still think that this time it will be good. Am I part of a cult? //

It's called hope. Heard of it? I explained the reasons. It's episodic and it relates to TOS. UNLIKE Picard or Discovery where they try to make new stories, they will try to tie into TOS.
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Dreubarik
Mon, May 2, 2022, 12:20pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks Which ones?
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Booming
Mon, May 2, 2022, 12:31pm (UTC -5)
@Eric Jensen
Oh I will never tell you not to hope, if that is what you wish. For me sadly this season means something else. I know for a long time now that Star Trek is never coming back. This season has confirmed it again. There are too many other infinitely better things out there I rather waste my time on.
If it shouldn't turn out as you hope, don't be too disappointed. :)

Sorry if that all sounds rather flowery. I'm watching the BBC version of War and Peace and it makes me channel my innermost dramatic self.
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Eric Jensen
Mon, May 2, 2022, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
//What I find far more fascinating, is the way people continue to torture themselves by watching a show they hate. They complain about how their beloved franchise is butchered, while - at the same time - actively supporting what CBS is doing with their viewership and/or their money.

What's even more ludicrous, is that people do this out of "loyalty" to the brand. As if actively supporting the act of pissing all over Star Trek is some how an act of "loyalty".

(personally, I am neither watching or supporting this cr*p precisely because I'm loyal to Star Trek)//

No. That's not loyalty.

I support what it stands for: hope, exploration, new ideas, science fiction... the story can be awful and the way it's told. VOY was good. Ds9 was good. TNG was good. The problem is that it's serialised and it's not episodic but that is not inherently problematic. It's chopped into 10 hourly bits when it could be told as 10hrs straight. The editing and storyline doesn't fit the episodic format, so it doesn't work. The script isn't great either and the writing is not TNG or VOY standard.

A few bad episodes doesn't make the series bad. Staying "loyal" means sticking by it no matter what, because the characters are worth investing in. The narrative might be awful but it's still entertainment.
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Eric Jensen
Mon, May 2, 2022, 12:38pm (UTC -5)
//Oh I will never tell you not to hope, if that is what you wish. For me sadly this season means something else. I know for a long time now that Star Trek is never coming back. This season has confirmed it again. There are too many other infinitely better things out there I rather waste my time on.
If it shouldn't turn out as you hope, don't be too disappointed. :)

Sorry if that all sounds rather flowery. I'm watching the BBC version of War and Peace and it makes me channel my innermost dramatic self.//

It won't be TNG or VOY or DS9 again. It doesn't matter.
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mosley
Mon, May 2, 2022, 8:44pm (UTC -5)
Well, I for one can totally imagine a good new trek in the right hands.

The complex universe is a perfect backdrop for today's binge watching culture. You just have to embrace it instead of *still* following those Boomer TV rules of yesterday, where a complex backdrop was a disadvantage.

This is basically a universe that brings you the complexity of several seasons worth of game of thrones from the get go.

With cgi capabilities and budgets for great visuals and no storytelling limits.

Shows like the expanse (or, many years ago, BSG) show that scifi as a concept is as flexible as any other genre to tell new stories. Arguably more.

Would I want to see a trek where Mr. Moore tries to find new angles, just like he originally tried to do many things in voyager that he then did on BSG? Sure I would.

Ultimately, *any* series with a good cast and good writing can be awesome. There is absolutely no reason why trek automatically can't.

Yeah, well, that, and I'm a trek fanatic enough to watch even if I don't really like it. I don't mind owning that fact at all 😄

Thinking of it now, hey, lower deck is nutrek too, and while one might disagree with what it tries to do and what it tries to be, I do think it very much succeeds in what it's doing. I am entertained.

So, no reason for any doom and gloom attitude. Kurztman (who I speculate is the biggest factor here) also isn't going to stay forever. Case in point, seems like the head writer for SNW will not be him but the guy who did the first two episodes of Picard s2, precisely the last trek episodes that I actually liked.

So, bring it on 😄
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Flipsider
Mon, May 2, 2022, 8:58pm (UTC -5)
I think that over time, it gets more and more difficult to maintain the quality of a series. Just from a combination of writers getting old, moving on, new people being put onto the show who don't necessarily get it... I'm not saying it's impossible. But it's difficult.

This has happened with Star Wars as well. Most of the time when people try to revive older shows, it just doesn't go well. I can think of two recent examples that IMO buck that trend, and do a great job of continuing / revamping older shows: 1. Twin Peaks The Return. 2. Cobra Kai.

(In case you're wondering, I'm not including stuff like the Battlestar Galactica revamp because that itself is pretty old now. Just talking about in the last 10 years or so.)
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Flipsider
Mon, May 2, 2022, 9:04pm (UTC -5)
(Oh. and just in case you're curious... that post I just wrote, I started out writing that it hasnt been done well in a long time. And then I thought about it... and realized I could actually come up with not one but TWO examples of it being done well recently. Funny when you go to write something... and then realize you're kinda wrong mid-post...!)
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Booming
Tue, May 3, 2022, 1:05am (UTC -5)
As a counterpoint I want to throw in Mad Max. That series came back after 30 years written and directed by the same guy who made the first three and Mad Max Fury Road was a great movie.
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Booming
Tue, May 3, 2022, 2:35am (UTC -5)
Wow, has anybody here seen the new red letter media vid. Normally I'm laughing about shill Wesley but now he is really crushing it. He compared ICE to the Gestapo which I find insulting on more levels than Wil Wheaton apparently has IQ points. Gestapo means Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret state police) it was part of the Reichsicherheitshauptamt (Imperial security main office) lead by Reinhard Heydrich, the man who invented and oversaw the final solution aka the Holocaust. The Gestapo hunted down leftists, pacifists, Jews and homosexuals and many more. It was instrumental in the Holocaust and committed mass torture and mass murder.
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The Chronek
Tue, May 3, 2022, 4:05am (UTC -5)
Not gonna watch anything to do with RLM. They have a long history of problematic content, and that's putting it mildly.

I will not say that ICE is exactly like the Gestapo, but there are some disturbing similarities as lack of accountability goes. And I could definitely see their power being abused, say, by a former president who fawned over strongmen and dictators.

I understand that Trek in its current incarnation is not for everybody. Fine. Things change. Tastes change. And yes, as this season of Picard goes, there have been some clunker episodes and some inconsistencies.

But RLM is a bridge too far.
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Paul M.
Tue, May 3, 2022, 4:31am (UTC -5)
The Chronek: "I will not say that ICE is exactly like the Gestapo, but ..."

There is no but. Not in the slightest.
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The Chronek
Tue, May 3, 2022, 4:39am (UTC -5)
@Paul M.: Yes. Yes there is. ICE has received legit criticism for abuse of power and for being accountable to only themselves. Apparently, they're not even accountable to Freedom of Information Act requests.

Maybe you don't like Wheaton's comparison because it makes you uncomfortable, but there is some truth there.
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Booming
Tue, May 3, 2022, 4:46am (UTC -5)
ICE is a problematic organization and I completely understand when Latino's living in the southern US states watch it with deep suspicion and even hate. And all policing organizations have an accountability problem. Esprit de Corps and everything. That's why even Plato wrote about how to train security forces because they are so powerful and easily corrupted BUT that is still veeeeery long way from a Nazi organization that was instrumental in genocide and much more.

"But RLM is a bridge too far."
Could you be more specific. I have watched them for many years and while I certainly not always agree with them, I find even their few offensive statements fairly harmless. Especially Mike, who is probably the most problematic of the bunch, has grown over the years, as people sometimes do.
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Jason R.
Tue, May 3, 2022, 4:53am (UTC -5)
I must have missed something- what is "RLM"?
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Booming
Tue, May 3, 2022, 5:09am (UTC -5)
@Jason
In general a sign for the American tendency to shorten everything, specifically red letter media. :)
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The Chronek
Tue, May 3, 2022, 5:14am (UTC -5)
RLM = Red Letter Media.

@Booming: rather than regurgitate it, I'll provide the following link: https://www.resetera.com/threads/a-critique-of-red-letter-media%E2%80%99s-bigoted-content-see-staff-post.129228/

I know. I haven't watched RLM, how can I criticize, blah blah blah. I don't watch Fox News either. Don't listen to conservative talk radio. Don't read stuff like Daily Caller either. I don't have to. I've watched/heard/read enough of the kind of poison perpetuated by those outlets and have no further desire to drink it.

Everyone has their own thresholds, I suppose. Certainly there are things that I found funny years ago that I now find repulsive.

Maybe there will come a time when RLM doesn't have that sort of jokey, wink wink nudge nudge misogyny and racism. Maybe then I'll pay some attention to it.

Until then, there are plenty of other quality critics out there who can speak/write about entertainment without resorting to the same garbage that RLM does.
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Colin Lindsly
Tue, May 3, 2022, 5:21am (UTC -5)
I have seen the latest RLM video. They were honest about their feelings on Star Trek. I do not see it as a bridge too far. A lot of what they are saying is being echoed elsewhere. I am seeing people becoming energized for SNW for they hope it will not be a repeat of DIS and PIC and that some element of it will harken back to the Star Trek they knew a long time ago.

While ICE might not be Gestapo, I fear that someday, if the trends continue, that we will have an American Gestapo in this country. It won't be full-bore genocidal, but it will work hard to persecute those who the state considers enemies of the state. This is a pivotal year in elections - if the Republicans are not soundly defeated in November and they do reclaim control of both houses of Congress, we will see a more insidious minority rule in the US developing deeper roots in the soil of society and politics. We are well on our way to a Handmaid's Tale nation.
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The Chronek
Tue, May 3, 2022, 5:29am (UTC -5)
I am not saying that all of Red Letter Media's content is racist and/or sexist. Who knows, maybe there actually is some decent criticism in there that doesn't resort to that. Even Fox News had Chris Wallace.

But I've seen/heard enough about them that they would REALLY have to change for me to even consider going there.
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Booming
Tue, May 3, 2022, 5:53am (UTC -5)
@Chronek
"I know. I haven't watched RLM"
Well, they have far more often criticized right wing patterns than left wing patterns. Oh and Mr. Plinkett is a character, which they rarely use anymore, that is a 200+ year old pervert who gets humiliated, scammed and murdered constantly. Comparing them to the Daily Caller is nonsensical. Sure, make up your mind before watching anything they made but please, if anybody every asks you if you consider yourself open minded, then mentally get back to this conversation. Oh and by the way, I'm a socialist and have created a program for migrantsand quite a bit more. Red letter media once called out Disney for being passive progressive.
Here, their newest video. Do you dare?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3RBuVpwsFQ

@Colin Lindsley
There is debate in the political science field to classify the republican party as right wing populist (along the lines of PiS and Fidesz) or maybe even classify them as authoritarian. You really don't need ICE. The normal police is militarized already, the FBI and the NSA break the law regularly. But if the US should take a turn towards authoritarianism that normally brings about new organizations for terror like the Gestapo. Authoritarian regimes don't use old ones.

" We are well on our way to a Handmaid's Tale nation."
Yeah, Coney Barrett was part of a sect in which the the women were called handmaids. The supreme court leak proved it. Abortion rights are gone in the US in many states. If the child will not live, you have to carry the child to term. If the birth threatens your live the state will force you to have it. If you were raped, even by a close family member the state will force you to have that child. A great day for republicans. What next? Maybe getting rid of LGBT rights?
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The Chronek
Tue, May 3, 2022, 6:12am (UTC -5)
@Booming, maybe I'm not open-minded. Maybe I'm old enough where if I hear enough about something that I don't even want to give it a chance, I've earned that. I once slogged through Atlas Shrugged in the name of giving it a chance, even though I could viscerally feel myself hating it more and more as I forced myself to turn the pages.

Never again.

I like me. I know my limits. I think I'm a reasonably fair guy. I know what I'm willing to spend time and energy on. If you get enjoyment from Red Letter Media and find it to have good, valid criticisms, more power to you. Doesn't mean I have to.

Totally agree that Disney has been problematic. The "passive progressive" label can easily be applied to a number of businesses that are too scared of alienating more conservative customers.
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Booming
Tue, May 3, 2022, 6:31am (UTC -5)
You think one can earn the right to be closed minded??
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The Chronek
Tue, May 3, 2022, 6:45am (UTC -5)
Dude. Maybe this is why reasonable people ignore you.
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Booming
Tue, May 3, 2022, 6:50am (UTC -5)
I guess you find the question insulting. I was just curious. No need for insults.
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Yanks
Tue, May 3, 2022, 7:02am (UTC -5)
@Dreubarik

"@Yanks Which ones?"

Do you mean STD episodes?
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Ilsat
Tue, May 3, 2022, 8:00am (UTC -5)
Colin Lindsly -"This is a pivotal year in elections - if the Republicans are not soundly defeated in November and they do reclaim control of both houses of Congress, we will see a more insidious minority rule in the US developing deeper roots in the soil of society and politics. We are well on our way to a Handmaid's Tale nation."

I've got news for you. The GOP is going to kick the snot out of the Dems this election cycle. Very likely they'll reclaim both houses. And you what? Not a helluva lot will change. We're nowhere near Handmaid's Tale status. That is just nonsense. Minority rule has always persisted here. You're just more aware of it now.

ICE isn't some evil squad. The problem is the lack of proper funding, logistics and planning has turned border detention into an enormous mess. But every country has a legitimate right to detain and remove people there illegally. Both parties created this mess by looking the other way while millions poured into this country over 30 + years. They did this for various reasons - cheap labor for businesses, seasonal labor especially for jobs most Americans wouldn't touch, political gain and, of course, because confronting the problem would require backbone which few have. Both Obama and Trump built cages, detained people for long periods, and failed to reform LEGAL immigration - to make that path more palatable. So, here we are. With our VP - the appointed border czar - refusing to even visit the border or address the problem. Stop living in TV land and start paying attention to what's really happening.
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Jason R.
Tue, May 3, 2022, 8:22am (UTC -5)
Haha I was trying to guess and all I could think of was "Red Lives Matter".
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Costelad
Tue, May 3, 2022, 10:09am (UTC -5)
Got permanently banned from the startrek Reddit because I criticised this show. Remember, resistance is futile.
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Flipsider
Tue, May 3, 2022, 10:28am (UTC -5)
I really liked the latest RLM video. Honestly, they do come at Star Trek often with a similar perspective (and the same amount of knowledge) as some of the posters here. I think they often make a lot of smart points in their criticism of pop culture.

They certainly are not "racist" or "sexist," unless one likes to apply those terms VERY liberally. Some edgy humor from time to time, sure. I like that kind of thing.
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Gorn With the Wind
Tue, May 3, 2022, 10:46am (UTC -5)
Speaking as a self described space communist it’s beyond hilarious to hear people call RLM problematic.

RLM’s targets on the “left” are limited to wealthy liberals who pretend to be progressive for marketing purposes. As someone who believes in class struggle, I share their disdain for millionaires who run or take part in multi-billion dollar profit machines while claiming to champion the rights of oppressed minorities.

Save words like problematic for those that actually deserve it, otherwise their meaning becomes as diluted as a homepathic medicine.
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The smiler
Tue, May 3, 2022, 10:50am (UTC -5)
Reading through the comments.

Jesus fucking christ what a weak human being that chronek is. Rlm triggers you?

How do you survive each day?
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Mike Lindell
Tue, May 3, 2022, 10:55am (UTC -5)
The only thing problematic about RLM is how bad their opinions on Star Wars are. Other than that their videos are funny.
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grey cat
Tue, May 3, 2022, 11:40am (UTC -5)
@Mike Lindell How do you have a bad opinion on Star Wars? I hate the newest 2 mobiles with a passion. The Force Awakens was ok but was just a poor rip-off of A New Hope. Rey is terrible. Is that a good opinon or bad?

I've seen the same criticisms of Critical Drinker (racism/misogyny). I don't see it personally but some people equate not thinking Black Panther is the best movie ever or SMG is a terrible actress with being racist or saying the Rey (Star Wars) is a dreadfully written character is sexist.

Some people think that certain things cannot be criticised. SMG IS a dreadful actress (or mediocre on a good day) but that wouldn't change if she were white or male.

I have a feeling Jammer is about to delete a huge swathe of these comments anyway.

I'm also guessing he's going to give this episode 1 star.
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Jaxon
Tue, May 3, 2022, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
I dunno...Jammer's has been spotting this whole season about a star or so from what I can tell.

By the trend I'll be surprised if he gives it less than two.
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TheRealTrent
Tue, May 3, 2022, 12:17pm (UTC -5)
I just saw the RLM review and found it funny ("Secular blasphemy!"). I don't know anything about them other than their Trek reviews, which I tend to enjoy for their absurdity.

I still prefer Jammer's reviews, though, and a few of the commenters here who offer neat insights. Karl, Mal, Elliot, Peter, William B, Booming etc always have more interesting takes than what I see on more "official" review magazines.

One review magazine which I thought offered decent takes on Trek was the AVClub, but they seem to have stopped reviewing nuTrek.
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Dreubarik
Tue, May 3, 2022, 2:10pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks Yes. I find Discovery much less awful than Picard, but still bad enough to wonder which episodes you'd rewatch.
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Mal
Tue, May 3, 2022, 2:36pm (UTC -5)
Thanks @TheRealTrent, I enjoy your comments as well.

I did watch the RLM review. While it is no substitute for @Jammer’s review, it certainly has it’s place, and I understand the sentiment. I just don’t share it.

What I love about @Jammer is his hope that Star Trek will again be worthy of it’s greatest moments: Journey to Babel, The Enterprise Incident, Mr. Worf fire, The Wounded, Klingon bastards killed my son, In the Pale Moonlight, Living Witness, and Dear Doctor. Maybe you have your own list of moments that define for you not only Trek, not only TV, but in a real way, who you are.

RLM says that for them, this TNG clip of Picard defined the man better than anything we’ve seen in the two seasons of Picard,

https://youtu.be/U3RBuVpwsFQ?t=1024

And I tend to agree. But then they take it to a level of despair. They say that Paramount has destroyed the character. Destroyed the legacy of the show.

And that simply isn’t true.

Just because some giant corporation has billions of dollars and can buy up some IP, doesn’t mean it has any say over what Star Trek means. A soulless corporation isn’t Gene Roddenberry or Gene L. Coon.

Those men made Star Trek. They are dead. Now it is up to all of us to decide what Star Trek means. And there isn’t a damn thing Paramount can do about it.

Some people say that we are in dire need of IP reform. They say it makes no sense for a soulless corporation with billions of dollars to have any say over a creation of long-dead men. And sure, they might be right. But in way, that is besides the point.

Star Trek will always be great.

Journey to Babel will always be my favorite, no matter how bad SNW turns out to be (oh, and it will be bad!).

The Wounded will always be my favorite no matter the trash they pump out in the name of “Picard”.

In the Pale Moonlight will always be true Trek no matter how “dark” they think that allows DISC to get.

Trek is trek. This garbage ain’t it. And nothing a soulless minion of orthodoxy like Paramount (and evidently Wil Wheaton?!?!) can say will change that.
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Flipsider
Tue, May 3, 2022, 2:38pm (UTC -5)
There is always hope for the future, you never know! Still, I think it would have to start with a completely new team of writers, at least.
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Paul M.
Tue, May 3, 2022, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
The Chronek: "Yes. Yes there is. ICE has received legit criticism for abuse of power and for being accountable to only themselves. Apparently, they're not even accountable to Freedom of Information Act requests.

Maybe you don't like Wheaton's comparison because it makes you uncomfortable, but there is some truth there."

I live a zillion mile away from the US of A so whatever ICE does or doesn't do has no bearing whatsoever on my emotional state. I do have family history that involves being on the receiving end of Nazi state apparatus (well, one of their puppet states', but anyway) so it kinda irks me when people throw around these silly labels like "Nazis", "marxists", "genocide", "Hitler", etc. whenever there's something they politically disagree with. Whatever ICE is guilty of, I'm pretty sure it can't be in the same general ballpark of "having a hand in murdering millions of people in concentration camps". Therefore, even if ICE has some organisational or oversight defects that under a certain light can remind one of, say, Gestapo, the sheer monumental disparity of crimes these organisations are accused and/or guilty of, make the comparison rather grotesque and not at all helpful. On the contrary, it only serves to stifle any serious debate on the matter because: a) any argument that involves some version of Godwin's law can hardly be considered as having been made in good faith; b) it devalues the terms used, especially among those not as historically versed, because if (Holocaust, Nazis, Hitler, in this case Gestapo) is everywhere, it's essentially nowhere, which then further leads people not to draw the right lessons from history.
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Booming
Tue, May 3, 2022, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
To be fair. Rich said that his view on Star Trek hasn't changed. He can still watch and enjoy it. Mike said that for him something changed. It's the same for me. I cannot watch Star Trek anymore. Maybe in a few years that will change, maybe I can never enjoy it again. It's that feeling that you get when you realize that something is over. Not to push the movie Inside out anymore but my happy star trek memories are now bittersweet.
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Mal
Tue, May 3, 2022, 3:12pm (UTC -5)
@Booming, it is actually the opposite for me.

Knowing now what a hack Patrick Stewart really is, I am all the more amazed at the folks who made TNG as incredible as it was. When I go back now and watch what they were able to pull out of Patrick Stewart, I am in awe.

For all the talk of girl power today, when you see what Melinda Snograss (Measure of a Man) and D.C. Fontana (Journey to Babel) were able to create in the Trek-verse, my reverence for the show knows almost no bounds.

What those people did was not just amazing. It was fucking hard.

They were giants.

Nothing Paramount does can change that.
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Winde
Tue, May 3, 2022, 3:30pm (UTC -5)
I think it's worth revisiting these observations and ponder how they might apply to Picard... @Jammer

"Caprica was an ambitious, intriguing, multi-pronged, handsomely produced series with good actors and production values, but its season was one that suffered from excessive runtime bloat and sometimes muddled characters"

"The show often had a deliberate pace, and took itself so deadly seriously that it walked the line of pretension."

"... the myriad of different angles the show’s universe was seen from (the mob, the VR world, the corporations, the terrorists groups, the law enforcement, etc.) made for a scope that was particularly suited to serial TV.

"On the other hand, this scope and ambition sometimes felt wasted. There were too many haphazard strands.../ ... and the show’s characters often fell victim to what might be called a Sophoclean Slog — in which characters seemed so tied to a preordained outcome."

That was all about a show I've never seen from 11 years ago and yet I felt like I could be - at times - reading a contemporary review of Picard or DSC.
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Bryan
Tue, May 3, 2022, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: RLM

When ever you see someone invoke terms like "white fragility" and "dog whistle" you should already know that you're not going to get any nuanced or intellectually honest, good faith engagement out of them. It means that they've already blackballed the person under consideration and all "reasons" given to support their argument are just an afterthought to try to rationalize their disdain for everyone else.
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Jaxon
Tue, May 3, 2022, 5:06pm (UTC -5)
Looks like Pill/Jurati is not in Season 3, so I guess she stays Borg Queen and off she goes...
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Bryan
Tue, May 3, 2022, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
That, or I imagine that they needed to make some tough choices for who to cut in order to have room in the budget for the original TNG cast....

Hah, seriously though, I don't think any of non-legacy characters can really compete, so it's not statement on their talent or acting ability. If even Pill isn't safe, then no one is.
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Li'Griv
Tue, May 3, 2022, 7:03pm (UTC -5)
Paul M - that's because you're a rational person. Most people on this site haven't been in a fist fight, much less seen actual atrocities in their life.
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mosley
Tue, May 3, 2022, 8:27pm (UTC -5)
just when you oscillated back towards the silly thought that now youd really have seen everything, you read a claim that RLM basically equals fox news :-D

i will never stop being surprised though at how shallow the (online) world has become in that regard.
heres a good rule of thumb for getting back some of the nuance that the world has lost in these matters in the past years: learn to differentiate between "corporate progressiveness" and "fake corporate progressiveness".
while the first is indeed a modern day right wing clichee narrative, the latter is an actual progressive position.
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mosley
Tue, May 3, 2022, 10:39pm (UTC -5)
(last line should read "while *criticizing* the first" etc)
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Alex
Tue, May 3, 2022, 10:48pm (UTC -5)
A lot of smart people here critiquing and discussing Picard.

But apparently not smart enough to quit watching it.
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Booming
Wed, May 4, 2022, 12:17am (UTC -5)
It seems obvious at this point that NuTrek always does do-overs. There is a season arc where many things happen, then most of that is resolved off screen or waved away with a few comments (robot Picard, Agnes the murderer, Agnes and Rios, galactic peace and harmony) and then a new season begins. I think it is made that way so that new viewers could jump in at the beginning of any season. That's probably the reason why the side characters have remained so shallow. If the side characters were more important to the overall plot and complex relations would develop over the run of the show then that too would make it harder to just jump in. Contrast that with the Expanse. You basically had to watch that show from the beginning to understand the stakes and the characters. Discovery and Picard are almost like a strange form of Anthology series but with the same characters. That Picard started to use the same actors for numerous different roles made this even stranger.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, May 4, 2022, 2:08am (UTC -5)
@Booming
"To be fair. Rich said that his view on Star Trek hasn't changed. He can still watch and enjoy it. Mike said that for him something changed. It's the same for me. I cannot watch Star Trek anymore."

ST:Picard got me to feel the same way about TNG. Can't enjoy it anymore. But this has less to do with Nu Trek itself and more to do with Patrick Stewart (as well as some very questionable things that other TNG actors have said and done in the
past few years).

At any rate, I really don't understand people who continue to watch the new shows after being affected in this way. I mean, you can't even enjoy the old shows anymore, yet you watch the new cr*p (which is directly responsible for killing your enjoyment from the old shows)?

I just don't why people do this to themselves.

And on a related note:
@Mal
"Now it is up to all of us to decide what Star Trek means. And there isn’t a damn thing Paramount can do about it."

This is only true as long as you stick to your guns and refuse to cooperate with what TPTB are doing.

Otherwise, the TPTB are more than capable to render you helpless to resist. They're spending billions of dollars on marketing for the sole purpose of keeping people like you addicted.

And it works wonders. Look around. The majority of the commenters here are Classic Trek fans who force themselves to watch the new shows despite thinking that they stink.

"Trek is trek. This garbage ain’t it. And nothing a soulless minion of orthodoxy like Paramount (and evidently Wil Wheaton?!?!) can say will change that."

That's the spirit, Mal!

Then again... if it's "garbage" and not Star Trek, why watch it (and pay for it)?

Food for thought.
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Booming
Wed, May 4, 2022, 3:34am (UTC -5)
@Omicron
For me it's everything. There are now more Trek shows I did not like. I'm not a big fan of the word franchise because that makes me think of McDonald's aka soulless corporate product but that is all Star Trek is now. The magic is gone. I'm happy though that others can still enjoy it and I hope that they will continue to enjoy it for a long time.

"But this has less to do with Nu Trek itself and more to do with Patrick Stewart"
In general I try to ignore what actors say. These days actors have to lie constantly if they are part of a big movie or show. It's always the greatest most fulfilling experience and they are so thankful for what director xyz created. It's corporate newspeak. Combine that with huge amounts of money, endless fan admiration and the fact that actors in general score far higher on narcissism scales than the average population and you have a recipe for creating people who are completely disconnected from reality. Living in gated communities, flying on private planes all the time, servants and the occasional violent stalker/internet mob does the rest.

"At any rate, I really don't understand people who continue to watch the new shows ..."
I gave both shows a second season/chance. Why others continue? Some certainly enjoy it to some degree and others... well CBS is very good a stoking the flames. Picard is coming back, Seven of Nine is coming back, the old TNG crew is coming back, Data died. Strange New World will be like the Star Trek you loved. Spock is back, Discovery jumps into the far future. It's smart advertising and it obviously works as you can see here. Here the last 30 seconds are a visual aid to understand the old fandom's situation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56lagISrP4o

(quoted from Mal)
"And nothing a soulless minion of orthodoxy like Paramount (and evidently Wil Wheaton?!?!) can say will change that."
In my post I called him Shill Wesley. I want to apologize for that. The obvious choice was right there. Shill Wheaton. Watching him embarrassing himself and his guests constantly is really the only enjoyment I get out of NuTrek. It's so unbelievably bad, it's great. He is like an untalented apprentice of Caesar Flickerman.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYDnZLMt8lM
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Maq
Wed, May 4, 2022, 3:58am (UTC -5)
@Alex

"A lot of smart people here critiquing and discussing Picard.
But apparently not smart enough to quit watching it. "

I would not be surprised if the typical critic is a white "very smart" male between 55 and death.

We beleive we own it. We live in the good old trek, whatever that was. We have the hope to again watch a clever intrigue presented with a twinkel of an eye.

We tend to repeat ourselves and do not realise that our high principles are nothing else than stubborness.
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StarMan
Wed, May 4, 2022, 5:02am (UTC -5)
Shit writing is shit writing. This is not about some generational conflict within the fanbase - NuTrek has been embraced by young and old; it has also been rejected by an even larger and equally diverse mix of fans.

If you want to boil all of this down into something concise - there it is. The writing is shit.

While there are a few dozen left standing up for the show, I rarely if ever see anyone standing up for the writing - have fun dying on that hill.
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TheRealTrent
Wed, May 4, 2022, 5:05am (UTC -5)
Alex said: "A lot of smart people here critiquing and discussing Picard.
But apparently not smart enough to quit watching it. "

They're doing a social good, warning others and correcting the historical record. They're like brave soldiers, putting their bodies in harm's way for the greater good. Like George Washington and the Count of Rochambeau, leading their legions away from harm and toward freedom!

Everyday I look at my life-sized Gene Roddenberry doll and whisper thanks to guys like Jammer, Karl and Rahul for protecting me from Alex Kurtzman. I still remember the heroism of one commenter who saved me from season 3 of "Discovery". One mention in the comments of the "Mirror Universe" and I was out, my body unscathed.

God bless the hate-watchers.

God bless them all.
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Booming
Wed, May 4, 2022, 5:33am (UTC -5)
@ allegedly real Trent
"Like George Washington and the Count of Rochambeau, leading their legions away from harm and toward freedom!"
Good day, sir. Metaphor police. Those brave people are more like this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJvCFAHRAFI
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Sigh2000
Wed, May 4, 2022, 6:16am (UTC -5)
The point is to derive pleasure from the critiques and not from the show itself.

The Red Letter Media guys (who I watched for the first time last night) were unexpectedly, rather amusing. They interspersed their discussion of episodes 6-9 of Picard season 2, with a selection of absurd scenes from the show. They created something humorous by cherry-picking choice elements of the dreck. This included clips of Mr. Wheaton interviewing several of the actors.

Without the corporately-produced tripe, the job of comedians would be so much harder.

I have to say though, that this kind of thing has gone on within the world of Trek for years, e.g. the legendary Xmas jingle: "Make it so, make it so, make it so."
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Ilsat
Wed, May 4, 2022, 6:19am (UTC -5)
I really hope you people give Jammer some money for these therapy sessions he's facilitating.
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Ilsat
Wed, May 4, 2022, 6:21am (UTC -5)
Also, Alison Pill has confirmed she's not in Season 3. Gee, what could possibly happen in the final episode?
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Jeffrey's Tube
Wed, May 4, 2022, 11:41am (UTC -5)
The last fifty or so comments have been pretty useless. Too bad, as there was some good discussion in this thread at one point.
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Bryan
Wed, May 4, 2022, 11:59am (UTC -5)
*counts back from fifty...*

..HEY!

To be fair, I don't think there's much left to discussed, though Jammer may surprise us yet. What would you like to talk about, JT?
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Mal
Wed, May 4, 2022, 12:06pm (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi said,

"That's the spirit, Mal!

Then again... if it's "garbage" and not Star Trek, why watch it (and pay for it)?”

Great point. Money is super important. Just remember, my screen name is Mal, which is latin for bad. Just like @Niall did back here,

https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-films/intodarkness-mc.php#comment-15906

I aim to misbehave ;)

@Booming said, "In general I try to ignore what actors say. These days actors have to lie constantly if they are part of a big movie or show.”

I agree. One wrong move and they get canned. I miss Cara Dune!

That said, at some point you have to believe that 82 year old Sir Patrick probably says what he means and means what he says. Sure, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But when they use their power to destroy a beloved character, they have to be prepared for the backlash.

I was truly shocked to see how horrid Shill Wheaton (TM @Booming) has become. I don’t really follow celebrity “news”, so when RLM showed those clips, holy hell, it was insane! What a fucking shame. I hope the money is worth it kiddo….

@Maq said, "We beleive we own it. We live in the good old trek, whatever that was. We have the hope to again watch a clever intrigue presented with a twinkel of an eye.

We tend to repeat ourselves and do not realise that our high principles are nothing else than stubborness.”

Preach!

@TheRealTrent, LoL. You are hilarious :)

@Ilsat asked, "I really hope you people give Jammer some money for these therapy sessions he's facilitating.”

Indeed, the tip jar was my idea. Money is super important.

@Ilsat said, "Also, Alison Pill has confirmed she's not in Season 3. Gee, what could possibly happen in the final episode?”

https://youtu.be/oiX3gq3RfvQ
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Jason R.
Wed, May 4, 2022, 12:45pm (UTC -5)
"I really hope you people give Jammer some money for these therapy sessions he's facilitating."

I sure did.

This forum is a real gem, in all its cantankerous nerdy glory.
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Peter G.
Wed, May 4, 2022, 1:54pm (UTC -5)
@ Mal et al.,

"I was truly shocked to see how horrid Shill Wheaton (TM @Booming) has become. I don’t really follow celebrity “news”, so when RLM showed those clips, holy hell, it was insane! What a fucking shame. I hope the money is worth it kiddo…."

I didn't watch the clips in question, but if they're what I think they are Wheaton has been like that for a very long time. Not sure if anyone here remembers but way back there was an episode of The Weakest Link featuring all-Trek participants, and Wheaton was one of them. His awkward, cringey comments were legendary at the time, and still are in my mind. I think ever since he left TNG he's basically been petitioning to be put back on a Trek show.
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Sigh2000
Wed, May 4, 2022, 2:32pm (UTC -5)
My favorite secgment of the RLM discussion:

Clip showing Picard being taken to the medical clinic.
RLM guy #1 "Do robots need first aid?"
RLM guy #2 "He's a human robot."
RLM guy #1 "Do human robots need first aid?"
... "shouldn't they take him to a repair shop?"
No convincing reply ensues from RLM guy #2.
RLM guy #1 puts the ice pack back on his head.
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Jaxon
Wed, May 4, 2022, 3:12pm (UTC -5)
I thought that the "a biobed is not a doctor" observation was funny, because later a tricorder basically became a doctor.
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Flipsider
Wed, May 4, 2022, 3:22pm (UTC -5)
I loved the whole Stand By Me metaphor. How the current Picard show was the body, and their reviews of it was the fun journey to see a body. They had fun along the way, but eventually you come to the realization that the thing you used to love is dead. That's when you grow up!
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Jammer
Wed, May 4, 2022, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
Review now posted.
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Lodged Morphedo
Wed, May 4, 2022, 5:16pm (UTC -5)
In 56 years have we ever seen a ST season finale air the same day as a ST series premiere? What a special day tomorrow is for all Trek fans! Enjoy! 🖖
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Jaxon
Wed, May 4, 2022, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
I'm fascinated by the curve Jammer seems to grade this show on.

There are classic Trek episodes he has given 1.5 stars to that are more compelling than this.

I'd rather watch Rise ten times in a row than watch this season again.
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Wed, May 4, 2022, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
Look, even the Borg have an aversion to being pinched.
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Sigh2000
Wed, May 4, 2022, 6:20pm (UTC -5)
@Flipsider
"I loved the whole Stand By Me metaphor. How the current Picard show was the body,..."

Agreed. That was pretty clever. While Patrick Stewart has been participating for years in all manner of low grade fare (the whole crazy X-men franchise for example), for some strange reason it is still very hard to accept that Trek has been completely overtaken by the same insanity and may now be terminal.... just a body lying by the tracks.
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Jammer
Wed, May 4, 2022, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
Call it a curve or whatever you wish, but the simple matter is I don't find Picard, in all its hopeless mediocrity, to be as terrible as many of you. And, no, "Rise" is not better than this episode, except in revisionist history. "Rise" sucks.
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Jason R.
Wed, May 4, 2022, 6:23pm (UTC -5)
"I'm fascinated by the curve Jammer seems to grade this show on.

There are classic Trek episodes he has given 1.5 stars to that are more compelling than this.

I'd rather watch Rise ten times in a row than watch this season again."

Suffice it to say I would not be rating these episodes nearly as highly as Jammer does.

But that said Jammer is a judicious reviewer. His reviews tend to give the benefit of the doubt and avoid hyperbole in either direction. He points out obvious weaknesses in an episode but does not rub it in or dwell on negativity unduly. He seeks the positive where he can find it but doesn't ignore the negative.

He'd make a very good judge. In fact, his reviews remind me of good judicial decisions - the ones where I didn't really get everything I wanted (or thought my client deserved) that were a little too generous to my adversary, but I had to grudgingly accept was fair and defensible.

Maybe Jammer should investigate a legal career :)
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Jaxon
Wed, May 4, 2022, 6:32pm (UTC -5)
I'd say a career in diplomacy...
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Mike Lindell
Wed, May 4, 2022, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
Hey now, don't go besmirching the good name of the X-Men movies. Especially the ones featuring Stewart. Quality movies on the whole.
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Peter G.
Wed, May 4, 2022, 7:17pm (UTC -5)
"Maybe Jammer should investigate a legal career :)"

"I'd say a career in diplomacy..."

I'd say he's also proven he can do any of the following as well:

-Write reviews and articles
-Run a kindergarten
-Maintain precision targeting with the Delete button despite infrequent practice
-Mock Voyager episodes that desperately deserve it

Any of these could make for viable careers, no doubt.
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Alex
Wed, May 4, 2022, 8:04pm (UTC -5)
I absolute loved Logan. In fact Picard could’ve learned a whole lot from that movie and how to use Patrick Stewart in an engaging role.

Side note: I’ll all appreciate jammers reviews from way back when it was st hypertext. BUT I do not at all agree with his general praise or ratings for this or Discovery. That is okay though, we all like different things.

@Flipsider the Stand By Me metaphor is spot on, I have thought of it constantly. And sadly like Mike, I’ve not only have zero interest in new trek, I don’t even care to watch old trek anymore. It’s just all over for me. I’ve seen the body. It’s just time to let it go and move on to other things.
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J Lo
Wed, May 4, 2022, 8:16pm (UTC -5)
As much as I love Jammer, I have to agree that his scores all over the place.

This show is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen and most episodes should be getting below 2 stars.

I don't really understand the criteria.
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Flipsider
Wed, May 4, 2022, 8:35pm (UTC -5)
I think you guys are worrying too much about the score. If you read the review, a lot of what Jammer says seems to be in general accordance with what a lot of people have been saying in the comments. Besides, you can not like something in different ways and to different extents from other people. I probably would rate it lower too, but that's just me.
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Sigh2000
Wed, May 4, 2022, 8:47pm (UTC -5)
I admit to going a little too far in knocking the X-men films. :) I actually liked the original and no. 2. It was really X-men 3 (Last Stand) that turned me off. I especially disliked Stewart getting demolecularized by Jean Grey's "negative personna" before he had a chance to really do anything. The vaccination drama was interesting, but boy, Famke sure needed some lines.

Origins (Wolverine) was a much, much better movie and I must say had superb cinematography. Still sad about the old farmer and his wife though. :(

The strange avatar of Stewart that appears at the end may not be him. And Oh, I'm not a fan of Deadpool ....yuck. Poor Ryan Reynolds.

X-men First Class was also decent. I Haven't seen Logan, but plan to.
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Jonas
Wed, May 4, 2022, 9:20pm (UTC -5)
All this wait... for nothing...
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Booming
Thu, May 5, 2022, 12:56am (UTC -5)
2 1/2 stars is an outrage. I would have given this episode minus 5 million stars.

Seriously though, I don't like the idea that the Borg started because a woman was lonely somewhere. It's too close to season 3 of Discovery, where it all came down to a tamper tantrum of a teenager. At the beginning of everything in NuTrek there is a single being with an emotional problem. I find that very uninteresting. Could it not have been something like a group, or a people in a war is losing and some scientist came up with a tech to be super efficient and that way step by step they fused more and more but after a while noticed that they could not go back even though some wanted to try. Then there was a Borg civil war, in which families broke apart and so on.

Instead we now have this entity, the Borg Queen, who is certainly not the same being that started it all but is still lonely somehow like the woman who started it and just needs a verbal hug. I guess that was Agnes' plan all along, or was she just suicidal? I have no idea what her motives were apart from also being lonely.

To recap. Renee Picard has crippling depression; Picard's mum had so fundamental emotional problems that she killed herself and traumatized Jean-Luc for life. Agnes has so many emotional issues that she willingly joined the Borg collective; Raffi is still a loon and billions of lives were wiped out aka the Borg were created because a woman had emotional issues. Feminism? Bitches be crazy?

I guess there is Seven and the doctor. Oh and Tallinn (not the capitol of Estonia). Both Tallinn's and the doctor's roles can be summarized as "love interest". Do you remember the scene where Picard said to Tallinn:" And who is looking over you." Ewww. That's really like... no, just no. He barely knows her. She could be married or god knows what. So that only leaves us with Seven whose role is to keep her "will they/won't they/no they definitely will" girlfriend from blowing up the mission + half a scene of self acceptance. Even though I found the whole self acceptance scene to be really weird. It is presented as coming to terms with what you are like being part of a sexual minority (for a short while she was happy to be normal but then is back to being not normal) but being assimilated, I thought, had strong connotations of rape. Another person is penetrating your body with a phallic object to pump their "seed" into you that then changes/impregnates you. And now Raffi said to her that not accepting that she is a former Borg is what is keeping her from being awesome. I cannot put my finger on it but this feels like a weird message.
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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 1:14am (UTC -5)
No mention made of the Borg Queen that already existed in 2024 before Picard and Company came along.

Is there going to be a Borg civil war when Jurati meets her and tells her about her bonkers plans for the Borg?
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Artymiss
Thu, May 5, 2022, 1:50am (UTC -5)
@Jammer

"Raffi and Seven continue to be paired up; Rios is off with Teresa and son; Picard is with Tallinn; Agnes and the Queen — couldn't they mix it up a little and not be so monotonous in how they use all the characters all season?"

Someone somewhere above comments this relates to them filming in 'covid work bubbles.'
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Booming
Thu, May 5, 2022, 2:23am (UTC -5)
Ok, to think this through. The Borg Collective, a group that wants to essentially rape and enslave the galaxy, was created by a woman. #girlboss
Agnes and the confederate queen now want to start another collective which works through "consensual assimilation". Again, what is up with the messaging on this show?! In season 1 it was:"Be nice to minorities and refugees OR THEY ARE GOING TO KILL YOU." and now this??

Oh and by creating this sex-positive collective of fun would they not change the future???

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7LPXv7avco
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TheRealTrent
Thu, May 5, 2022, 5:12am (UTC -5)
Jammer said: "The implication here is that the Queen was always an individual that had eventually taken on a collective consciousness. That's the opposite of the way I always thought of the Borg Queen, which was as an arbitrary construction created by the hive mind out of convenience."

I always figured the Borg started out as some kind of nanite or computer virus that began with very simple programing - like one of those internet bots programmed to sniff out certain data - and then gradually became obsessed with "collecting" entire races. I saw them as amoral, dispassionate machines that accidentally evolved into a collective. Stuff like cubes, drones and a queen were like weird emergent properties, accidentally coming into being after centuries of Borg evolution.

"Picard's" idea of the Borg evolving "consensual assimilation" is IMO a good one. I've always thought it would be neat to have a straight "Borg request to join the Federation" story, with different Federation factions happy to let the Borg join, and others vehemently against it. You can then have various interesting debates: maybe the Feds demand that the Borg free all drones and make all future drones consent to assimilation. Maybe the Borg argue that their drones are "happier citizens" than Federation citizens (our drones live longer, and have richer experiences and inner lives!). Maybe the Borg argue against the concept of consent itself ("Prove to us that Federation citizens have free choice"). Maybe the Borg learn that they're fated to go extinct, and only "joining the Feds" allows them to flourish. Maybe the Borg renounce their "old school assimilation techniques" and "learn to assimilate data" in a more "humane" way. Maybe the question of the Borg joining the Federation causes schisms, certain worlds fearful and so leaving the alliance.

There are so many fascinating angles to deal with a Feds vs Borg story. You can't help but feel that this whole "time travel/Picard's mom" story is getting in the way of far better storylines.
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Jan
Thu, May 5, 2022, 5:12am (UTC -5)
As workable as this new Borg variety could be in a well-done Trek, we would need so much more to make sense of it. What's an individual giving away when joining? Is it irrevocable? Is it only offered to people terminally ill or wounded? So many questions.

And Seven is borgified and healed, yet not assimilated in this new collective. How does that work?

I just remembered another nitpick caused by "Let's do some random nonsense that looks cool and is immediately abandoned": notLaris could control (mind-rape?) arbitrary humans, conveniently unaware, inconveniently with give-away white eyes. That would have been very useful when Soong was in the room.
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Jan
Thu, May 5, 2022, 5:16am (UTC -5)
@TheRealTrent, we crossed messages. That's exactly how I interpreted the Borg, and the questions you open are worthwhile of exploration in a well done story. Alas I'm afraid we are again just getting the bad scraps of it. Maybe LD will be able to flesh them a bit more properly (!).

The fact that these newBorg are unheard of all the way to DIS time means they don't make into the main timeline, or they remain somewhat isolated in it. So much lore that could be created, and these series insist on recycling (some would say wrecking) old characters and canon.
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Nic
Thu, May 5, 2022, 7:50am (UTC -5)
Kudos to Jammer for reviewing this show at least semi-objectively every week. I tried to do that with this episode (i.e. “does it succeed at what it’s trying to do?”), but I just couldn’t. The Star Trek universe (and TNG in particular) is too close to my heart.

I would probably object to Picard’s troubled childhood no matter how well it was presented (which it wasn’t). I’m not saying that NO ONE in the Star Trek universe of the 24th century would have a troubled childhood, but if they did, they would have access to the resources and help they need to work through it.

And why do it? Will the entire third season focus on Picard going to therapy to work through his issues? Obviously not, so the only reason the writers seem to have done this was to turn it into a mystery to keep the viewer guessing. Once the trauma is revealed, it is also magically healed, which is hogwash and exploitative. It’s an insult to anyone who has gone through trauma and knows it’s not that easy.

Same goes for Seven not being accepted in Starfleet. It doesn't make any sense in the Star Trek universe I have in my head, but I think I MAY have been able to accept it if it had been explained better, instead of being a throwaway line that we're supposed to take as a given.

So why do I keep watching? Season 1 had things I loved and things I hated, but overall was still worth my time (though I doubt I’ll watch it again). Season 2 has been a slog for me (and for most people here it seems). I almost always finish a season when I start it, so I’ll be back for the finale. But for subsequent seasons of Trek (or any show, really), I have decided to wait until all episodes have been released and skim through the reviews (while trying to avoid spoilers) to see if the season is worth my time.
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Costelad
Thu, May 5, 2022, 8:12am (UTC -5)
Rise is much much better than this.

Events in this episode aren't just beyond established Star Trek history, they're beyond belief, beyond any reality.

This episode is the fever dream of an inexperienced fantasy writer.

Perhaps Jammer has been influenced by the persistent dreck he has to swim through for these reviews, that he actually believes that this is better than a significant chunk of TNG, VOY and DS9.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, May 5, 2022, 6:23pm (UTC -5)
@Mal
"Then again... if it's "garbage" and not Star Trek, why watch it (and pay for it)?”

'Great point. Money is super important. Just remember, my screen name is Mal, which is latin for bad.

I aim to misbehave ;)' "

That's not really an answer, but hey... whatever rocks your boat. If you dig watching random TV shows that you - yourself - deem to be "garbage", that's fine with me.

@Booming
"I gave both shows a second season/chance."

Will you also give them a third chance? And a fourth?

"well CBS is very good a stoking the flames. Picard is coming back, Seven of Nine is coming back, the old TNG crew is coming back, Data died. Strange New World will be like the Star Trek you loved. Spock is back, Discovery jumps into the far future. It's smart advertising and it obviously works as you can see here."

Yeah, but you'd expect that after 4-5 years of this, people would eventually learn their lesson, no?

As Scotty once said: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
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Tim M.
Thu, May 5, 2022, 10:39pm (UTC -5)
I give this episode ***/**** stars. The prior episode and this one have picked up the pace and started weaving the plot threads together without feeling like the "filler" of Eps 4-7. The new "spin" on the Borg is intriguing, and it seems inevitable the alt-timeline Jurati-Queen is what came through the rift in Ep 1 and perhaps genuinely is wanting to make peace with the Federation. That would be a pretty Trekkian idea to turn an implacable foe into an ally.

Really hoping we see Q again to help wrap up the season, along with being plopped back into the 25th century.
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CaptainCourage
Fri, May 6, 2022, 12:00am (UTC -5)
Love your reviews but are you joking? One of the worst episodes of any trek. Just complete nonsense - why doesn’t anything get lower than a 2 anymore?
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Booming
Fri, May 6, 2022, 12:48am (UTC -5)
@Omicron
"Will you also give them a third chance? And a fourth?"
Well, Picard will only have three seasons, no chance for a fourth. But no, I'm finally done. For example the Strange new world show does not interest me. Maybe if they produce several seasons of which people here say that they were really good or better. Not kind of good, not "it warms my hard in cold times" good, really good.

"Yeah, but you'd expect that after 4-5 years of this, people would eventually learn their lesson, no?"
Studies have shown that believing in something is kind of a natural thing and also emotionally pleasing. Skepticism on the other hand has to be learned and is emotionally uncomfortable. That's for example why the stock market goes up, even at times when it shouldn't. Your brain, no matter what you hear, believes it at first, and then you have to go through the process of disproving it. So when I say:"The next season will be good." You brain just acknowledges that as true but then starts thinking:"Wait a minute, all the other 6 NuTrek seasons are some form of bad! It is not likely that this will change." and that process is emotionally uncomfortable. So in the end quite a few people continue to believe that "yeah, this could be good" and get a little free endorphin rush. That might sound stupid but this is how the Human brain seems to work.
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Flipsider
Fri, May 6, 2022, 1:32am (UTC -5)
I also think that Picard is something that classic Trek fans would have really WANTED to be good. It would be really nice to have something like a classic Trek show on TV today (I know that for some people Lower Decks or Orville satisfies that niche, but not particularly for me.) The very idea of Picard coming back just seems designed to play into what classic Trek fans are hoping for, and the first season had little hints of classic Star Trek, like the Picard & Data talks.

I think it's actually pretty understandable that a lot of fans were still holding out hope for this season. Even though, yes, I think it was predictable that it would end up this way.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, May 6, 2022, 2:27am (UTC -5)
@Booming

I mostly agree with your analysis.

My only caveat is that humans can *learn* to do better. Especially when we know that we are manipulated in this manner. It still boggles my mind how people allow themselves to be tricked in this way, even when they are aware of being tricked.

Especially when this happens in the Trekkie crowd. After all, isn't transcending our weaknesses a major part of the Star Trek ethos?
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Flipsider
Fri, May 6, 2022, 3:13am (UTC -5)
Yeah... but so is hope! And keeping an open mind!
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RobSolf
Fri, May 6, 2022, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
" For Seven, it's a cost of the brief, full humanity she enjoyed, and which the writers didn't do nearly enough with."

So little, in fact, that I completely forgot about it. And so did Raffi, deciding to go with completely random, inappropriate comments like, "You should be a starfleet captain...". It's almost like driving like a lunatic when no one is chasing you.
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CW
Sat, May 7, 2022, 1:32am (UTC -5)
Honestly after reading the reviews of this episode fully after my first watch, I could agree with many of the posts. But after watching on the second take I don't understand the reviews I previously read. But whatever. I enjoyed it, this season.

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