Star Trek: Picard

"Watcher"

1.5 stars

Air date: 3/24/2022
Teleplay by Juliana James & Jane Maggs
Story by Travis Fickett & Juliana James
Directed by Lea Thompson

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

The best scene in "Watcher" comes near the beginning. It's the scene on the bus with the same punk mohawk guy with a boombox (Kirk Thatcher) listening to a version of the same song as he was in Star Trek IV. Seven asks him to turn the music down. The guy complies and meekly apologizes. He learned his lesson four decades earlier. I laughed out loud. It's a fun, winking reference to the time-travel scenario we're in and shows the writers have a self-awareness about the material they're aping.

Unfortunately, that sense of fun and self-awareness is nowhere to be found elsewhere in this slog of an episode, which is mostly just bitter and preachy — when it's anything at all, that is, since it spends most of its time literally spinning its wheels. The first two episodes did a good job of moving the narrative forward and keeping us involved. The third episode was a piece-moving transition piece, but an engaging one. This episode, however, worries me. It's a textbook example of serialized stalling, where everyone mostly just kind of does mechanical things in ways that run out the clock on the episode while not really accomplishing anything.

I mentioned last week that Seven and Raffi made an effective "buddy-cop team." I clearly shouldn't have said that, because they took it literally and here decide to steal a police SUV in their search for Rios, who is sitting in ICE detention. The writers annoyingly double down on Bitter Angry Raffi, who could unlock the police vehicle with her tech, but instead phasers the window and risks drawing unwanted attention because it makes her "feel better." Eyeroll. If the writers want me to take this character seriously, they should write her as smart instead of hot-headed and dumb. This is a waste of Michelle Hurd's time, and mine.

Seven drives the car, which leads to an interminable series of head-scratching Fast Driving Scenes through traffic, down the wrong way of one-way streets, etc., but with no destination or reason or motivation. It's essentially a car chase with no one chasing them. Why are they driving so fast as to attract attention and potentially injure or kill someone and contaminate the timeline when there's no one in pursuit — when they could just be parked somewhere in hiding waiting for Agnes to beam them where they need to go? The answer: So the editors can piece together a mindless up-tempo "action" sequence scored with an "action" score while the in-car "amusing" banter between the two characters chews up screen time and pretends to entertain us. This is conspicuously lame, hacky, and pointless.

Equally pointless are the scenes of Rios in ICE detention. He waits there while not giving the ICE officers his name or backstory, since, you know, he's from the future. Eventually, out of boredom or frustration, Rios cops to the truth (he's the captain of the USS Stargazer from the year 2400, yada yada) which of course is immediately dismissed because it sounds insane. Hilarious! The ICE officer is, of course, a dick, because he is the Prison Warden of this particular scenario, which is a role that requires one to be a dick. The scathing commentary here is apparently that American immigration policy is a dragnet that puts people's lives in the balance. Also, there are jerks in law enforcement. Wow. Astute. Who knew? Rios remains a likable presence, but he's literally trapped in the cage of this plot.

Picard and Agnes venture into Chateau Picard, which in this century has been shuttered since sometime after World War II while all the Picards have ventured to England. Agnes keeps subconsciously expressing the number 15 from her repressed information stolen from the Queen, which Picard deduces (in a rather convenient logical leap) refers to the date of the 15th, which is in three days. This reminded me of how Data kept expressing the number 3 in "Cause and Effect," so I guess there's that.

Since there are only three days until the event that will alter the timeline, we have to move fast. This brings us to the substantive centerpiece of the episode, an extended meeting between Picard and a younger recast version of Guinan (Ito Aghayere), in the very bar where Guinan still hangs out in the 25th century. (The 10-Forward reference is cute, I'll grant.) This is a very embittered version of Guinan, who sports three guns — a shotgun and those sculpted arms — and is so sick of watching humanity punch itself in the face that she's decided to leave the planet, like literally tomorrow. Picard hopes Guinan can guide him to the Watcher and tries to persuade her. She's not in the helping mood until he name-drops that he's Picard, which she recognizes as important for some reason through the timeline. Picard should've led with that, but for some reason doesn't.

Instead, Guinan unleashes on Picard a litany of problems on current-day Earth: "You know they're actually killing the planet? Truth is whatever you want it to be. Facts aren't even facts anymore. A few folks have enough resources to fix all the problems for the rest, but they won't." This, among other stretches of dialogue, may be technically true but is entirely too heavy-handed. A subtler approach is necessary for this type of sci-fi commentary when it comes from someone who has lived for centuries and seen everything — including the destruction of her own world by the Borg!

This is all wrong coming from Guinan, who should be a lot more wise and contemplative and willing to see the long-term picture, and not so bitter and despairing and ready to give up. This is supposedly the same person who said, on the eve of the possible destruction of humanity by the Borg, "As long as a handful of you remain to keep the spirit alive, you will prevail." But now they've recast her in a completely different template, and it might as well be a different character. Making Guinan a cynic who serves as a contemporary mouthpiece for the writers is a terrible choice that leads to dialogue that just clangs to the floor. This version of Guinan has an attitude that comes from a far too purely privileged American perspective; after all, there is suffering far worse in the world than the myopic view on showcase here.

Let's set aside the fact that Guinan doesn't recognize Picard as she should from the events of "Time's Arrow." Apparently that never happened, which I guess we can chalk up to timeline shenanigans (or the writers not knowing or caring about it; you decide). But we know that even if Picard didn't go back in time and meet her in 1893, she still lived through America of the late 19th century and would've known with much more immediacy than a person living in 2024 the state of race relations and post-Civil War tensions. (Or, since she was in San Francisco hanging out in the literary circles of the time, maybe not.) Of all the problems in the past 150 years, this is her breaking point? Sigh.

On the plus side, I'm enjoying Annie Wersching as the smug and catty Borg Queen, and the back-and-forth banter between her and Agnes is fun. Nothing develops on this front, or really happens at all (okay, Agnes makes and then backs out of a deal to be the lonely Queen's friend in exchange for her help), but Wersching is very good and has made this version of the Queen her own.

We'll have to see how this whole Watcher thing plays out. The big reveal is that the Watcher is a non-Romulan version of Laris. This is something that has an equal chance of being interesting or blowing up in our faces. And the very final scene is an intriguing teaser: Q tries to manipulate the mind of a young woman who I'm guessing is important to everything going on here; he snaps his fingers and realizes it didn't work. What's he doing and why, and why aren't his powers working?

But aside from some of these brief moments, "Watcher" just doesn't work at all. (Guinan with a shotgun: a million times no.) Here's hoping this is a blip the season recovers from and not an indication of a greater slide.

Previous episode: Assimilation
Next episode: Fly Me to the Moon

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318 comments on this post

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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 8:40am (UTC -5)
Well, that was...okay. About the same as last week.

I guess we'll start with the elephant in the room - the recasting/portrayal of Guinan. I can understand why they chose not to de-age Whoopi, given it seems Guinan will have a bigger role than just in this episode, and such extensive de-aging is dodgy even when done by the likes of Marvel. The actress looks nothing like Whoopi (other than being a darker-skinned black woman with braids), sounds nothing like Whoopi, and acts nothing like Guinan - but you know, at least they remembered to shave off her eyebrows! It took me like 5 minutes of her being onscreen for suspension of disbelief to return.

As for Guinan not recognizing Picard, that flummoxed me originally, but it kinda makes sense when you think about causality. Guinan did meet Picard in the 19th century in Time's Arrow, but that was the Picard from the Federation's 24th century. Whatever Q did already overwrote the timeline, as can be seen by the main cast still being in the bodies of the Confederation alters (like Seven not having implants). The Confederation Picard never went back in time and met Guinan, hence she's never seen him before - and won't until they "restore" the timeline to what it should be. It's really odd though, because it seems to imply that the change in the TL affected not just everything after 2024, but things before it as well, but there's so much time travel within the Trekverse that was bound to happen anyway. It's a bit less forgivable that Picard doesn't initially try to connect with Guinan regarding their time in San Francisco together in the 19th century with Mark Twain though - I don't expect he would figure that all out in his head as a nonagenarian within the span of 5 seconds. Still in an episode which remembered the bus punk from TVH and friggin Jackson Roykirk, I can't believe that the writers just forgot about one of the most key Guinan stories.

Turning to the remainder of the episode...meh? Like last week, there was a ton of wheel spinning here, and not much in the way of action. Rios is in prison the entire episode. I liked his scenes, but honestly the whole ICE angle isn't telling us anything we don't know already regarding the U.S. immigration system, and it's doing it in a lot more of a shallow manner than a real contemporary drama would. Seven and Raffi try to hatch a plan to break him out, but don't complete it by the end of the episode. I was a bit let down they didn't go with an actual car chase with the police until like the last 30 seconds, but I suppose Seven being able to do real stunt driving would be implausible - too bad there's not someone around like Tom Paris who really knows how to drive cars well. The Jurati/Borg Queen stuff still kinda leaves me cold, because I feel the queen is being written way too much like the campy queen of Voyager. "Laris" being the Watcher is - I guess - predictable due to the main cast having to stay involved.

I have to give the episode some props because one of my big issues with Kurtzman Trek has been the total absence of themes or much of any political content other than "representation." This episode had politics in spades, from immigration to the plight of the homeless to the environment. It was very heavyhanded and kiddie-pool level depth, but...so was a lot of politics in earlier Trek. It's not Past Tense part 3, no matter how hard it tries, but baby steps I suppose.

I am coming to the conclusion that this season of Picard might be...schlock. And that's okay to be honest. One of the issues with live-action Trek in the modern era is it takes itself too goddamned seriously. I don't get that vibe at all from this season to date. It doesn't want to be prestige TV like Season 1, and it's not trying to be over-earnest in the way Discovery always is. The writers are clearly not afraid to have fun, even if it means there's a lot of corny/campy elements peppered through the show. This might be in part meant as a homage to TVH, I don't know. But I do want to note that even in cases like this week - where the episode itself underwhelmed me - it's still a well-paced show that leaves me eager to find out what happened the next week, which stands in contrast with the season of Discovery that just finished, where I was impatient instead.
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Andy G
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 8:54am (UTC -5)
Well. Very mixed feelings. Not quite a turkey as it had my attention, and I wasn't bored like I frequently am with Discovery. However, I felt that it merely served to move the plot with action scenes like Seven's driving antics. Jurati and the Queen seem to hopefully be building to something interesting. As far as the Watcher, I'll keep an open mind but it has promise. However, I hate to be a continuity stickler but the Guinan scenes bothered me. The writers all know we watched TNG and loved TNG. Why then did they stretch out the scenes where she has no idea who Picard is? At the very least it could have been glossed over or explained away by time travel. But no, he won't reveal who he is and she has no recollection of him. "Time's Arrow" may not be a masterpiece, but to simply forget it, doesn't sit right with me. Ridiculousness aside, it marks the initial meeting of Picard and Guinan. For the writers to forget it is an insult to the audience. I hope the writers rectify this going forward.

**1/2 (Barely)
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Timmy the Tribble
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 9:18am (UTC -5)
Three cheers for the return of TVH bus punk! If loving fan service is wrong, then In don't wanna be right!
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Galadriel
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 9:23am (UTC -5)
I am confused about many things. Who is that woman who claims to be Guinan but does not remember Picard? And why does he not remind her that they met 131 years earlier? Both should have memories of that encounter, but none has, and the writers don’t care.

Moreover, the Guinan impostor does not act like Guinan at all, as she is cold, impatient, resentful and pessimistic. This can hardly be explained with age (she was her typical humane and inspiring self also in 1893); a more likely ex­pla­na­tion is that the writers have never seen “Time’s Arrow”.

Point in Guinan’s favour: The Watcher dislikes her, as much as Q does. She makes ene­mies only with the most power­ful beings around.

I have more questions, like Château Picard being empty and desolate (why should the owners choose to keep it like that?) and looking the same as in the main timeline, although it has burnt to the ground in “Generations”.

Yet the main question of the season has become “What is Pi­card guilty of?”. I ab­so­lute­ly re­fuse to believe that Picard is be­ing pun­ished for not having a family, as it is not Q’s busi­ness. Yet earlier Q hat some­what implied that Picard bears re­spon­si­bil­ity for the Con­fed­er­a­tion Time­line and all its atroc­i­ties. The only way how I could ima­gine that being true is if the self-destruc­tion of the “Star­gazer” some­how cre­ated this time­line. In that case the peace offer of the Borg Queen would have been for real, and Picard & Co would be to bla­me for their ir­ratio­nal fear of the Borg. This ties in with the general theme of fear (in particular, xenophobia) in the episode.

Yet Q himself had described the Borg as “The Borg is the ulti­mate user. They're un­like any threat your Fed­era­tion has ever faced. They're not inter­ested in po­li­ti­cal con­quest, wealth or power as you know it. They’re simply inter­ested in your ship, its tech­no­logy. They've iden­ti­fied it as some­thing they can con­su­me” and called the “re­lent­less”. Fun­ny if the same Q now ar­gues it is a mo­ral fault not to talk with them while they as­si­mi­late your vessel.

The ICE and LAPD stuff let me cold, although I would like to see Te­re­sa again (her clinic is even called “But­ter­fly Cli­nic”, as I saw this time. May­be she’s a fan of Ian Mal­colm?). Apart from her, pretty much every­one gets on my nerves. The Agnes sub­plot may turn into some­thing inter­esting, though. I have frankly no idea what she is plan­ning. Vo­lun­ta­ry as­si­mi­la­tion to escape lo­ne­li­ness? Please, writers, find some­thing less stupid.

So we now have confirmation that Q is in trouble and that Laris is … dunno … important for the plot?
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theBgt
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 9:45am (UTC -5)
Well I liked it much better than the previous one, which says a lot since I do not really enjoy Star Trek visiting our..."present".
Anyway, the most interesting plot right now is Jurati and the Borg Queen, although the Laris-Watcher thing also seems intriguing enough.

I didn't mind the younger actress playing Guinan. As for her behavior and her lost Picard memories I guess it all has to do with the new reality, but please do not ask me to try to think more about it, everything with time travel back to past burns valuable brain cells.

I really enjoyed "chauffeur-Seven". I find the ICE plot not necessary, it would be ok if the series left something out from the current political situation.

So Q is indeed broken and It seems the timeline event has to do with space exploration?

Overall, I really like this season so far, wants me wanna watch each episode again, something that rarely happened with season 1.

p.s.
The music score is so good, the end credits music pieces are amazing .
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dlpb
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 10:10am (UTC -5)
This whole series is a total cancer. I had a quick gander and what I saw was quite ridiculous really. None of these people act like the TNG counterparts. All the swearing and other crap too - just to appeal to a mindless section of society that never really liked proper sci fi anyway.

Another typically shallow show for the millennials.
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modulum
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 10:24am (UTC -5)
Are we not gonna talk about how the watcher/"supervisor" is a clear reference to Gary Seven/Assignment: Earth? That's a cut I didn't expect them to pull out.
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AMA
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Perhaps more so than others, I was taken out of the episode by trying to understand why Guinan did not recall Picard from their experiences in 'Time's Arrow.' It was only after some further consideration, after the episode concluded, that I realized the two did not meet in this timeline. Although my (and, from what I have read elsewhere online, others') confusion is not the fault of the writers, I do perhaps wish that a simple line of dialogue or scene could have been added to clarify matters, or remind viewers that the story is set in an altered past. The confusion was also indicative of an issue that I often have with altered timeline stories, that what I am watching occurs outside of the known universe I have to come to care about: Picard and Guinan are my two very favourite characters in all of Trek, so it's disappointing to bring 'them' back together only to have one not recognize the other, and not reveal or add anything new about/to their friendship.

Perhaps distracted by the aforementioned, the episode otherwise did not do very much for me: Elnor's death has seemingly caused Raffi to act ever more irresponsibly, thrusting her and Seven into a needless car chase (instead of, for example, waiting for the transporter to come online); and Rios' scenes, while charming, did little to progress the story. As @Karl Zimmerman suggested, there is plenty of 'wheel spinning' here, and I, again, cannot help but think that the second episode ought to have been extended some, and that three and four ought to have been stripped down and combined. Put another way, the episodes are being divided by roughly equivalent lengths of time, rather than by story.

The most interesting and compelling scenes from the episode came from Jurati and the Borg Queen, and led me to wonder if the former may be in fact who appears at the start of the season asking for aid - timey-wimey stuff abounds. Unfortunately, the scenes were only a few minutes in length. The season remains generally fun and watchable, but it is lacking in substance far more than I might have expected given content of the first two episodes.
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Chrome
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 11:29am (UTC -5)
Well, this week breezed by quickly with some fun trivia and over-used car chase sequences. Then again, I liked the slow scenes like where Picard revealed why his ancestry sounds English and that cute moment when he found the “Forward Ave” sign – accompanied with the Trek fanfare.

This is going to be a spicy take, but Ito Aghayere lit up the character of Guinan. She nailed most of Guinan’s speech patterns and brought youthful energy to the character. TNG was often so sterile and rigid that it’s fun to see a character from that show break the mold with passion. Most of plot focuses on Guinan’s disillusion with humanity, which is understandable considering the tense backdrop the show takes place in. But in an assuring sign, Picard remains relentlessly optimistic about opportunities for growth.

The rest of the episode was a bit of humdrum with Raffi, Rios, and Seven trying to stay one step ahead of the police.

We were left with two curious points at the end, one of which moves the ball on Picard’s romantic life with Laris (but *not* Laris) showing up again. The other is an eerie ending sequence with Q. It starts scary and spooky, but Qs powers fade and it turns out goofy. As a standalone segment, it could easily be a trailer for this season.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 11:34am (UTC -5)
Yeah, I'm seeing a lot of people confused online regarding the causality loop here. They think (possibly due to sloppy scripting) that Picard & Co only have three days to stop the change in the timeline. But the change clearly already happened, as they are back in time in a Confederation ship, with Confederation bodies (not their own original bodies, which blew up with the ships in the first episode.

Presumably once they "fix" things they'll be transported back to the 25th century Federation, since their alternate bodies and ship won't exist any longer, but due to Q magic they'll retain their memories of all that happened.

Of course, there's a causality issue here, as if the Confederation ceases to exist, they can't go back in time to fix things, can they? But I think the real timeline issue was caused when Picard didn't overcome his hostility and consider the peace offering from the veiled Borg queen.
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John Harmon
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
Guinan absolutely should know Picard. This is 2024, this is supposed to be the normal timeline before things go wrong that they need to fix. Picard should remember meeting Guinan in the 1800's but that would require Kurtzman and/or the writers to know Star Trek and care about it.

Also they do know that the Bell Riots happened in San Francisco and not Los Angeles right? I mean I already know they don't know that
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Winde
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 12:07pm (UTC -5)
Ok, that was a pretty robust spaceship crash last week. In France. Not Antarctica. Not Siberia. Not the middle of the Pacific. 2024 as depicted in the show seems to be technologically equivalent to the present so I feel like that would not go unnoticed today.

I kept expecting Picard and Jurati to have some kind of conversation about local authorities or government investigation on the ground, but no. 🤷‍♂️ Did I miss some important bit of dialogue where this was addressed?
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Joseph
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
@John Harmon

I was confused too, but that future from Time’s Arrow never existed so they never met. Also, because of that the Bell Riots won’t happen because Sisko doesn’t exist in the same way.
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Henson
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 12:13pm (UTC -5)
@Joseph

No, the Bell riots aren't dependent on Sisko. They happened anyway; it was only after he unknowingly caused the death of the actual Gabriel Bell that he because instrumental in the event.
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Henson
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 12:13pm (UTC -5)
*became
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Mike Lindell
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 12:44pm (UTC -5)
Not a bad episode, but after a promising start, this season seems to be devolving back into CBS trek.
The emotions and messages are all just so... obvious.
But then again, Edith Keeler talking about going to space in City on The Edge of Forever wasn't exactly subtle either, so in a way this is nothing new for Trek.

I liked the new Guinan actress, even if she seemed too young, when Whoopi was a bit older than her (I think) in 1893 already.

The bus scene with the punk was a little on the nose, but in general the Raffi/Seven plot was dumb fun.

Rios and Jurati's plotlines was also both watchable. Rios' plot was pretty hamfisted, but had its moments. Jurati's plot with the borg queen has lots of good tension, but I'm sort of confused as to where they are taking it.

6/10
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Mike Lindell
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 12:49pm (UTC -5)
Oh, and I didn't get the ending scene with Q, beyond the fact that he seems powerless. Who was that blonde girl?
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 1:14pm (UTC -5)
The only interesting bits in this episode were Picard and Jurati's stories. I can't believe Seven and Raffi went to bust Rios out of detention and hadn't accomplished it yet by the end of the episode. You only have ten episodes. Come on. What a waste of time.

I guess the better writers wrote the opening episodes and will write the closing episodes and the more average writers will have written the middle, "connecting tissue" episodes.

I'm totally fine with Guinan having a phase where she was angry and disillusioned with humanity. Makes perfect sense to me. And, pretty much all shows and stories dealing with immortals or exceptionally long-lived individuals among a society of shorter-lived individuals depict them this way--going through personality phases, trying out different personas in different times, etc. Who knows how immortals would actually behave if they were real--but I've always found this supposition completely logical given their circumstances, personally.

I also found it odd that Picard did not bring up Time's Arrow--Guinan is sensitive to timeline changes, so even though it didn't happen for her at the moment, she might've gotten her "timesense" thing about it, which would have helped his case. I suspect the real reason is that the writers don't want to rely on referencing specific episodic plot points from a minor TNG episode that the audience may not have seen or may not remember much if at all. Much easier to rely on the conversation Picard had with Guinan two episodes ago, if somewhat less logical (her having deja vu over something that hasn't happened yet, rather than her having deja vu over something that once happened to her but didn't anymore because of a timeline change). He was also, at first, not wanting to tell her much or anything about himself. He may have thought mentioning the Time's Arrow events was too specific. I'm not sure I agree--but, you know what, I trust Jean-Luc Picard to make determinations about temporal causality risks more than I trust myself! Even old, nearly-dead Picard.

Speaking of, Rios breaking the fourth wall to call Picard "now a flesh and blood robot or something, I don't really understand it and no one can explain it to me" I found both funny and not funny at the same time. On the one hand, it highlighted how dumb the whole thing really is. On the other, at least the writers know it.

I'm concerned over the concept of "Watchers" as explained by Guinan so far . . . I feel there's a lot of dangerous ground here re: implications for the Star Trek universe that could fundamentally undermine some really important things about it. Like, if everyone's seen the Loki Marvel series, well, yeah, the concept of some kind of multiversal agency that protects against anomalies is super fun. In a comic book way. It ABSOLUTELY does not belong in Star Trek in any way, shape, or form. I won't go into why because I think it's self-explanatory. If they're going that way . . . that's a serious uh oh.

But we won't know until next week, so I'll hold my tongue for now. It occurs to me we do know there's a Guardian of Forever that has referred to other such time "entities," presumably created by long-gone advanced civilizations, so maybe this Watcher is one of those. Heck, maybe it's the Guardian itself.

I wish Raffi had said something like "how do you know how to drive this thing? and Seven had said something dismissive like "Voyager's pilot loved these old contraptions." But again, the writers don't want to make it feel like you need to have seen eleventy billion hours of Star Trek previously or you're missing things. They're probably scared that would turn people off the show. I get it . . . but would it really have hurt?

On the other hand we DID get a Dixon Hill reference in this episode, presumably just to remind us that Picard (and presumably his close friends like Raffi) are familiar with this time period (roughly) from the holodeck.
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Chris Lopes
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
"Three cheers for the return of TVH bus punk!"

Who would have to be in his late 50's to early 60's. Voyage Home takes place in the 1980's.
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Henson
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 1:50pm (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey's Tube

I was under the impression Guinan got her 'timesense' from her experience with the Nexus, and the 'echo' of herself that was left behind is what allows her to detect changes in the timeline. This past version of Guinan, however, has not yet encountered the Nexus, so she probably wouldn't have that sense.

(Which makes we wonder: if the timeline were to get changed in such a way that the El-Aurien spacecraft no longer encounters the Nexus, does present-day Guinan still sense the timeline change?)
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Eric Jensen
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 2:02pm (UTC -5)
I liked this one and Q is definitely in trouble... what was that last scene about?
I do get the sense of urgency in that they have some days left and the Watcher scenes were fantastic
The car stealing scene was not great at all, it is like they DELIBERATELY want to be seen, want to change the timeline, where is the time ship Relativity or Daniels?
Dropping words like Ferengi and I do not get how Guinan finally relented when he told her his name...
What is up with Jurati and the Borg Queen? Do we see a foreshadowing of Jurati being assimilated to become a Borg drone so she would not be alone?
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Joseph
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
@Henson

I see what you’re saying, but we don’t know that for certain. It could be a predestination paradox. We never saw what Bell was “supposed” to look like in historical documents prior to the events of Sisko’s journey through time. He could have always looked like Sisko in the historical texts.
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Jaxon
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
So what is Picard's body now exactly?

Is it like Juliana "Data's mom" Tainer's?

Is it artificial, but thoroughly carbon-based?

Have they said?
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Henson
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 2:23pm (UTC -5)
@Joseph

That seems unlikely. Sisko was well aware of the Bell riots prior to traveling back in time; if this were a predestination paradox, surely he would have seen a picture of himself as Bell when reading about those riots.
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Steven
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
@Chris Lopes

Yes! It’s the same guy - IMDB says he really is 60. The nervous glance he gave to his neck after being told to shut off the noise was priceless.
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Robert
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
Like I said in the post about the previous episode... RIP Star Trek.

Car chase action scenes, ICE detention centers, "Watchers" whose job it is to be guardians over different parts of the galaxy, characters who have no relationship to their canon Trek versions, bleeding heart, intellectually lazy leftism that has literally no relationship to the masterful liberal society of 25th century Earth...

This reminds me of the failures of Star Trek: Nemesis, which was really the end of traditional Trek as we knew it. They used similar conventions there: mindless action sequences, characters we know and love being completely unrecognizable in their behavior, needless sacrifices for shock value, fluff sequences that lack any impact, and modern day values being inserted into a universe that is supposed to be hundreds of years ahead of us. The root cause? A director and a production team who were not familiar at all with canon Trek.

Picard is suffering from all the same problems now. They tossed the keys of the car of the Trek universe to a group of millennials that have either written off old Trek or they simply don't know it. They (mis)use characters we know and love as they see fit. They attempt to pacify traditional Trek fans with shows like Discovery because they are too blithe to realize that we care less about the era more than we care about the core spirit of the show. The content of the era isn't meant to WOW us with endless distractions, we're supposed to be WOWED by how humanity and all its friendly allies make conscious use of their era.

This is popcorn TV, nothing more.

I bet you Jurati will become the Borg Queen that we saw in the first episode, since the current Queen is so impressed with her. The Borg ship of unknown configuration in episode 1 comes through a temporal anomaly. No doubt it made some improvements thanks to Jurati. This my prediction based on the shallow quality of writing we're seeing that, like all writing of its ilk, likes to elevate its main characters to God-like status.

I actually like Ito Aghayere as an actress, if only her character made sense, which it doesn't whatsoever. Picard and Guinan have a century's old friendship and her species is capable of sensing temporal distortions. Yet she has no idea who Picard is? Did any of the writers even bother reading the Wiki on Guinan? All they had to do was watch TWO episodes of TNG (Time's Arrow and Yesterday's Enterprise) to know how this character is supposed to function.

Anyway, who cares. This show has become a leftist commentary on 2020's Earth, we all saw it coming. Nobody has the guts or talent to tackle future Trek anymore. Contemporary writers are taking the genius character development of past writers and putting a carving knife to them because they don't have an original idea in their heads. And honestly, I could handle a social commentary on us 21st century Earth folk if they actually bothered to stop for a moment to have a truly deep conversation about it. So far all we're seeing is homeless people bad, forest fires bad, money and social inequities bad... world war III and nuclear holocaust coming, bad! They've done all the glorified finger wagging at the viewer but have failed to insert any 25th century wisdom into the equation. The BRIEF moments that it's brought up, my eyes light up with hope: yes? YES? TELL US MORE?? And then nothing. They get moody or quippy as characters and then run off to their next fast-paced segment. Since when did witty banter matter more than substance in Star Trek? Totally useless! Trek characters were ALWAYS vehicles of human commentary, they aren't supposed to be the be all and end all of the show.

It's all retrospective and downhill from here. The amount of time they spent on car chases could've been spent on character development or philosophizing... but contemporary writers don't do that, which is why they waste time on fluff and jagged timing. Don't want people to stop and focus on one thing long enough for them to realize you're a hack writer. I guess philosophy is not on-demand enough for the short attention span of the current drooling masses either. Wouldn't want to use actual brain cells while watching TV, now would you?

The sad irony is that they are unwilling to tackle dreams of a 25th century, but they are perfectly willing to prognosticate what will happen in 2 years from now based on polarized modern values. That should tell you everything you need to know about where this series is headed.
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Chris Lopes
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 3:11pm (UTC -5)
"Yes! It’s the same guy - IMDB says he really is 60."

So he's been running around in that get up and listening to that song for 40 years? I admit that's kind of funny.
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Jaxon
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
"So he's been running around in that get up and listening to that song for 40 years? I admit that's kind of funny. "

Like the Vincent Schiavelli character from Ghost, but on a bus and still alive...
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Parad0x
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
There is absolutely no reason why the younger version of Guinan in this episode should have remembered meeting Picard in the 19th Century, because that didn't happen for her.

You people seem to forget that they travelled back in time to the past of the Confederation timeline, not the Prime timeline, where General Picard never would have travelled back to 19th Century San Franscisco and met her in the first place.

As far as this Guinan knows, this is the first time she's met him, until he tells her his name, and her reaction and sudden trust of him was entirely consistent with the way she was presented in Yesterdays' Enterprise. As with Tashas' death, she doesn't know the specifics, she just knows that the timeline is off. The recognition of his name was the catalyst.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
@ Henson

Nah. Yesterday's Enterprise was pre-Nexus too, remember. And while I cannot remember specifics, I feel pretty certain Guinan has said it's a race thing. Qs don't really like El-Aurians because of whatever-it-is. They find them irritating. Like they give off a bad "smell," or whatever. Although that's been poorly defined, too.
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The Chronek
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, the punk on the bus made the entire episode for me. I laughed a good couple of minutes at that. I know, fan service, blah blah blah, but I liked that fan service.

At this point, we'll get a whole punk album from Kirk Thatcher by, what, the 24th century, assuming there's a new 2-minute punk song every 35 years or so?
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Henson
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey's Tube

Guinan first encountered the Nexus in the prologue of Generations, seventy-something years before TNG, and Yesterday's Enterprise, is set.
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Dreubarik
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
@Robert I absolutely despised this episode and I think you hit the nail in the head. Beyond all the inconsistencies and nonsense that was thrown at us, the real issue with this setup is that our characters at all times come across as righteous 21st century people, rather than more evolved humans from the 25th century with a perspective to add to the situation.

Why are we supposed to watch this show then? The writers suck all of the interest from the premise of time travel this way. These people all act and sound like people from the century they are in. We never saw Rios' surprise at the very concept of ICE and limiting immigration, he seems to understand what is going on at all times! So what is the payoff there, what do we viewers get out of it? Do I need a Star Trek show to tell me "deportations bad"? For crying out loud, they didn't even let us enjoy seeing future people not being able to drive a petrol car! I hate it, thanks.
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TheRealTrent
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 5:27pm (UTC -5)
To all the people moaning about "millennials": all the key producers, writers, showrunners and directors on nu-Trek are in the 50ish to 65ish age range.

Three of the last Picard episodes were directed by a 60 year old. One was by a 56 year old. Akiva Goldsman is 59. Chabon is 58. James Duff is 66. Ayelet Waldman is 57. The directors in season 1 ranged from 50 (Culpepper) to 69 (Frakes). Even the "fresh young blood" Michelle Paradise is 50 years old. Patrick Stewart, who has a huge influence on the TNG movies and "Picard", is about 100 years old.

The youngest influential people on the show, Terry Matalas and Kurtzman, are 48.

A "millennial" is someone who would be 25 to 40 years old today. This is not a show made by "millennials".
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Robert
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 5:30pm (UTC -5)
@TheRealTrent

Millennial sensibilities determine the viewership demographic, which shapes studio decisions like which scripts to accept or not. Excuse me for lacking razor accuracy in my statement. Nu Trek is still Millennial TV™.

Picard is dangerously close to coming off as a Netflix Original Series.
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Jaxon
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
Yeah the producers and directors hardly matter...shows like Dawson's Creek weren't directed and written by teenagers, but that's who they were for.
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Robert
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 5:41pm (UTC -5)
@Dreubarik It's because they can't envision a 25th century culture. They literally can't do it. Think about Gene Roddenberry who crafted the entire Trek universe from his mind (and probably some other well chosen source material). Although series like TNG are dated now, it's still amazing to think about what Roddenberry envisioned while in the 1960's. The only other producer who matched that brilliance in his own way was Ronald Moore. Everyone else since then has been picking over a carcass.

Where is the vision here? I just don't see it. They have now copped out twice from dealing with a future humanity in a constructive way. In season 1 they made it about humans vs. androids. In season 2 it's about the present vs. the present.

I'm sorry if I come across as jaded but I just want to see something innovative and inspiring, and this is not it. This is filler sci-fi. They spent more time designing a 25th century city scape and "cool looking shit" than they did aspects of characters that make me want to invest in them as people.

Picard being in the 21st century would be like one of us going back to the 1600's. It's just not groundbreaking. People in the 1600's threw their filth into the streets and then ended up with cholera plagues and mass death. We could easily go back and say "Look at how they're failing!" But then humans invented plumbing, discovered microbiology, etc. It's mystifying why modern humans are not given the same hopeful message... and that we need intervention from the 25th century to make sure that the 25th century even happens. There's utterly no message about the enduring human spirit here.
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Jason R.
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 5:49pm (UTC -5)
Guinan is another bitter washed up has-been bearing no resemblance to her TNG character - well at least they are being consistent. I guess her quiet grace, humor and wisdom in the 19th century of Time's Arrow was due to there being no racism to worry about in that century, unlike the racist nightmare of 2024.
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Jason R.
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 5:53pm (UTC -5)
By the way, forgive my ignorance, but that bus Rios is on is headed to Mexico, right? I mean, he's not going to be shot and tossed into a mass grave by ICE correct? So a "rescue" isn't actually necessary. Seven and Raffi could just wait for ICE to drop him off in Mexico and then they could pick him up. Not like it takes more effort to beam him up from LA versus Mexico.
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Booming
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Man, the millenials are really taking a beating here.

Horace 2000 years ago:
Our sires’ age was worse than our grandsires’. We, their sons, are more worthless than they; so in our turn we shall give the world a progeny yet more corrupt.

:D
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Yanks
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 6:30pm (UTC -5)
To quote Janeway, "time travel gives me a headache".

I think they are in THE ONE timeline that has been altered. I'm assuming that this altered timeline didn't include the events of 'Times Arrow" as we know them. That's the only reason I can postulate that results with Guinan not recognizing Picard. Did I get it right?

IMDb is really slacking... the only two listed as cast members for this episode are Stewart and Spiner. I had to come here to figure out who is playing the young Guinan. I knew I recognized her from somewhere... 'The Blacklist' and 'Person of Interest'. Quite an impressive bio. I don't think she came off as a young Guinan though... nothing about her spoke Guinan... not her fault... her lines were horrible. Guinan is diesel!!

I'm falling into only enjoying one aspect of the season. The Borg Queen and Jurati. Annie is killing it as BQ! Jurati also is much better written this year. I look forward to seeing where this relationship goes.

The whole Seven/Raffi bit is really tiresome... good lord. The first scene in this episode had them track the location of Rois' com badge... and a gal with a broom completely derails them and they leave without it... (slaps forehead)

Everything is doom and gloom portrayed by cardboard mustache-twirling jerks... aside from Picard's conversation with Guinan - EVERYTHING lacks any inspiration from the future. Everything lacks Trek.

I was ready for 7 to get up in the bus and put the Vulcan nerve pinch on the dude with the loud tunes in the bus.

The Laris appearance, in the end, is intriguing... I guess we'll see what happens next week.

Only 2 stars from me.
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Squid
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 6:41pm (UTC -5)
Seemingly a bunch of bitter oldies in the comments here yelling at clouds and whinging about 'kids these days!' and 'back in my day!' I hope I don't get like that in my old age!

Whether or not modern Trek is any good (I tend to think it's been mediocre overall), there's other TV shows out there that are actually quite good. Even ones that millennials like!
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Parad0x
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 6:54pm (UTC -5)
"Baby boomers more sensitive than millennials, research shows"

A study has found that older generations are more sensitive than younger ones, putting to rest the idea that millennials are "snowflakes".

The study, the largest ever one conducted on narcissism, looked at the different levels of hypersensitivity in humans according to their age.

It found that those who fall in the baby boomer category are, overall, more sensitive than certain younger generations, including millennials.

Looking at generation-specific trends, the researchers found that, while there is a drop in hypersensitivity around the age of 40, older generations are more sensitive than younger ones.

The study, which was published in the journal Psychology and Aging, examined six previously collected data sets to better understand how narcissistic traits vary among generations, and how they change as people age.

The researchers looked at people aged between 13 and 77 who had completed interviews about their work, personality, and family lives, which psychologists and psychiatrists then analysed and ranked on a scale from 1 to 5 - with 5 having the most narcissistic traits like defensiveness, authoritativeness, and stubbornness, and 1 having the least.

William Chopik, a social-personality psychologist at Michigan State and a co-author of the study, explained that the experts defined it as being unreceptive to others' feedback and lashing out at any criticism toward one's self.

They found that, overall, younger generations are less hypersensitive than older generations.

The millennial generation, which includes people who are currently between 23 and 38 years old, is less sensitive than the baby boomer generation, which includes people between the ages of 55 and 73.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/baby-boomers-more-sensitive-than-millennials-research-shows/SYG4BSFT3V2YGWRNROZGPIW3RE/
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Ron Burgundy
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 7:12pm (UTC -5)
When you’ve got an ass like the North Star, wise men are going to follow it.

How is this show not following Picard's ass? Seriously??
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Leif
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 7:13pm (UTC -5)
NO GOD WHY IS LARIS THE DAMN WATCHER?? Wasnt anyone else disappointed..didnt anyone else want a cool new alien life form or soecies or even alien phenomenon as the watcher?? And WHY DOESN'T GUINAN know PICARD-- SHE SHOULD REMEMBER HIM FROM TIMES ARROW..What's going on..this better get better fast! What does anyone else think??
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Mal01
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 7:34pm (UTC -5)
@Robert lmfao. You're such a small, disturbed little person. You're just another MAGA weirdo who is angry that they've woken up to realize that Star Trek has NEVER been on their side politically.

Star Trek has always been "woke", and progressive; it's YOU that has regressed into a small, bigoted little cretin.

Even Gene Roddenberry was against the depiction of Starfleet and its ships as more militaristic, as the portrayal began to take the form of in Wrath of Khan. I like the choices, and think that Gene's vision was too narrow and inflexible to make for good TV, and it's a good thing that he was kept on the fringes of most of the TOS films, and eventually had less involvement in TNG.

I bring this up because creeps like you ALWAYS say things like, "Gene would roll over in his grave about this new Trek", yet you associate the militaristic portrayal of Starfleet with his ideas, and it's typically the part you and your ilk like most about Trek. That wasn't even what he wanted, and Trek is better for it.

Trek has always had leftist ideals, and has always been bleeding heart. You learned much of your moral and ethical positions from Trek, but at some point you simply stopped keeping up, and now that these ideas have passed you by, you don't understand them and you're afraid and angry.

Oh, and to still see insecure, weak little boomers and Gen Xers STILL scapegoating millennials and speaking of us as if we're thin-skinned toddlers (when you repeatedly demonstrate you're the thinnest skinned of us all--you can't even accept that the real estate grifter you worship lost an election because you see the rejection of him as a personal attack somehow) when many of us are nearly 40 is just...you're beyond caricatures now.

lmao
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TheRealTrent
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 7:36pm (UTC -5)
Robert said: "Millennial sensibilities shape studio decisions like which scripts to accept or not."

I would say - with regard to Trek - it's mostly the other way around. The 50 to 80 year olds making nu-Trek wouldn't "suddenly make better Trek" if they were "freed from the shackles of having to pander to 25 to 40 year olds". Rather, young people would write better SF if they were free from the mandates, rules and strictures of these old producers and film-makers.

Stewart didn't ask for "dune buggies" to please 25 to 40 year olds. He literally liked dune buggies. Kurtzman doesn't ask for dopey action scenes to please kids. He literally likes these dopey action scenes.

Remember the three big names who set the aesthetic for nu-Trek (Kurtzman, Abrams and Orci), all came of age in the wake of Spielberg and Lucas and 1980s scifi. Their aesthetic doesn't pander to millennials, they literally are juvenile and love juvenile stuff. They were brought up and raised on this stuff. They're artists whose formative years were influenced by FX/action heavy Hollywood blockbusters and lowbrow SF writing.

Anyway, I thought this episode was terrible. The dialogue continues to be too contemporary (would Raffi and Seven know the term "parking lot"? Should Raffi be using phrases like "customs and immigration, BABY!"?), and the show is trashy on almost every level.

When past Trek went "back in time", there was also a charming quality to it. Here everything is bombastic, loud, and there's no real culture-clashing, as our heroes seem to handle the era fine, and indeed seemed like 21st century folk even when in their original timelines. There's no real "fish out of water" story here.

Similar to Karl Zimmerman (in his review far above), the only thing that interested me about this episode was some of the politics. It's ineptly done, but the idea of Guinan being a melancholic pessimist works on some kind of meta-level, not only as a comment on the dead-endedness of contemporary politics/socioeconomics, but the impasse Trek found itself in as well. It's like she's moaning about both Trek's inability to be Roddenberry's shining beacon, and the world for not being - or trying to be - the same.

I thought the ICE subplot was dull, with the "villains" far too heavy-handed; compare them, for example, with the bit more sympathetic villains in DS9's "Past Tense".

The show also continues its needless referencing of past Trek. And so we have Dixon Hill, the punk guy on the bus from The Voyage Home, Guinan, and 10 Forward again. The characters, meanwhile, are all one-note; Raffi and Seven do nothing but yell or cry ("Elnor's death wasn't your fault!), Jurati's the ditzy genius, Elnor chops heads off, and so on and so on. I personally don't find any of them, or the plot they're in, to be interesting.
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TheRealTrent
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 7:45pm (UTC -5)
Also, so we all think Jurati's the masked Borg Queen, right? They've been laying on thick the idea that she "desires to be in a collective".

Could be another ruse or piece of misdirection, though.
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AMA
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
Just finished a re-watch, and found, having resolved my confusion regarding Guinan's ignorance of Picard, that I rather liked that portion of the episode. The only weak point remained the side adventure with Raffi and Seven. Still believe that the third and fourth episodes could have been pared down to one.

Also just noticed that Q was sitting outside Jackson Roykirk Plaza. Maybe, in this timeline, Roykirk creates a version of Nomad that accidentally attempts to eliminate some 'biological infestation' on Earth. Probably not. Just some fun speculation.

Finally, agree with @The Chronek @Timmy the Tribble, the punk fan service was good fun.
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Rahul
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 8:27pm (UTC -5)
This season is getting worse with every episode. This one didn't feel like Trek -- more like some cop crime drama with the usual cliches. Young Guinan was nothing like what Guinan should be like, Raffi/7 in the cop car - just terrible, Rios getting tasered in the ICE detention camp -- just nothing of interest or real substance here other than maybe Jurati and the Borg Queen playing mental games with each other. And what's up with Q -- lost his magic touch?

Overall, just found the episode really boring -- lots of stuff being stretched out (Picard meeting with Guinan, Raffi/7 at the LAPD, RIos in the detention centre) for what I guess is the 3 days the series spend in 2024.

Picard's childhood flashback -- looks like his mom was in distress somehow and this affected Picard the child. His mom tries comforting him. Similarly, Picard pleads with Guinan to stay on Earth for a few more days and that change is coming (poverty to be eliminated, the environment to be fixed, etc. I assume). Is the time-changing event something to do with climate change? Guinan moans about killing the planet, rich people not doing enough... ugh.

The Borg Queen's motivations are intriguing and her reading of Jurati was somewhat interesting -- I did like watching these two analyze each other, though it's not exactly a symbiotic relationship. Both are lonely in their own perverse ways.

1.5 stars for "Watcher" -- overwhelming boredom as basic things get stretched out and little is accomplished, though there are the customary teasers (Q, the Watcher). Again, nothing impressive or new and I can't see a good payoff. PIC S2 shaping up to be the worst season of non-animated nu-Trek.
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Ron Burgundy
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
I don’t know how to put this but most of you on this site think you're some kind of a big deal. That people know you. That you're very important. That you have many leather-bound books and your apartment smells of rich mahogany.

If I wasn't so angry, I would punch every one of you.
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brian
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
"Picard being in the 21st century would be like one of us going back to the 1600's. It's just not groundbreaking. People in the 1600's threw their filth into the streets and then ended up with cholera plagues and mass death. We could easily go back and say "Look at how they're failing!" But then humans invented plumbing, discovered microbiology, etc. It's mystifying why modern humans are not given the same hopeful message... and that we need intervention from the 25th century to make sure that the 25th century even happens. There's utterly no message about the enduring human spirit here. "

Yep. And sadly, after I read your paragraph, i pictured not an indignant teenager rolling their eyes, who is none-the-less still passionate enough to discover their own enduring spirit....but an aging 30 or 40 something who is simply checked out and doesn't believe there is a future worth living for anymore.

It's almost like its written for a specific class of TV watchers today, who, at any age, might be some of the most pessimistic, isolated people who ever lived. people who get a tiny bit of a dopamine rush over the idea that things might get "really bad", and that's the biggest dopamine hit they get in their day.

Watching this episode of Picard literally almost felt like watching the news.
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 9:40pm (UTC -5)
Look, that was an hour of almost nothing happening. Can we call this a “holding pattern” episode? Cuz it seems like a holding pattern.

Rios was arrested by ICE last episode. He’s still arrested by ICE. Picard was looking for the Watcher last episode. He’s still doing it. Jurati was mentally sparring with BorgQueen last episode. She’s still doing it. Seven and Raffi got up to hijinx last episode. They’re still doing it.

We found out that the number 15 is significant or something. The Borg Queen fixed the transporters. We found out that the Picards emigrated to England before WWII and only returned to Chateau Picard later (kinda neat to learn that actually).

But nothing fu$$ing happened. …I guess it’s better than dumb stuff happening but it’s still not that enjoyable.
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Shannon
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 9:57pm (UTC -5)
There is clearly a far left agenda being shoved in our faces. Depicting ICE agents as sadistic monsters, when 99.9% of them are just trying to do their jobs and enforce our immigration laws. Declaring we live in a culture of hate, and via Guinan's dialogue, clearly pinning that on one side of the political aisle. Hate is a two-way street in our current political climate, and I continually hear the "other" side of the political aisle spewing incredibly venomous, vitriolic hate towards anyone who disagrees with their worldview, going out of their way to cancel those who dare to have different opinions.

The ideals of Star Trek have always revolved around humans coming together in a civilized manner to solve problems. We don't all think alike, and that's okay. To suggest that all humans in the 25th century bow to the alter of a leftist ideology is poppycock. Humans innovated, science pushed the boundaries, and we eventually (according to Trek) will solve the problem of limited resources, which is the primary driver behind wealth creation. And per Trek canon, a little intervention was required to inspire change. Per Troi, it took the arrival of the Vulcans to shake humanity by the shoulders, to help mankind to stop digging themselves in trenches to fight the other side, but instead to listen, to come to mutual understanding, and to work towards the betterment of all mankind, because there is a much larger community out there to which we can aspire to be a part.

@Robert I agree with much of what you said, and I found @Mal01's criticism of you rather humorous (he certainly proves my venom spewing comment). It's easy to write stories where your ideology is depicted as pure as the wind driven snow, while depicting anyone who disagrees with you as a taser-wielding ICE monster. Good science fiction writing finds that balance in between, allowing both sides to get absorbed into a good story that teaches all of us the value of questioning our positions, listening carefully to the other side, and somehow finding common ground that we didn't even know was there. Tell me something, if Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill were able to do that in the 1980's, why can't we do that now?
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Alex
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 11:01pm (UTC -5)
Star Trek is trash garbage now. I do not care what happens in the show. The End.
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Robert
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 11:19pm (UTC -5)
I grew up on Star Trek, and I hate to see it bastardized. That's all. I couldn't care less if somebody reads my posts or not. This is the only Trek forum I have any relationship with. None of my friends watch Trek. I don't think myself high and mighty at all, just critiquing like anybody else. And I'm not "old", I just enjoy discourse on the media.

@Mal01 Trek has always been progressive, with a little "p", not Progressive™ or "woke". Roddenberry envisioned a society that embodied social values which naturally arose from the elimination of material inequities and survival of major hardships that we in the 21st century have not yet seen (WWIII, nuclear holocaust, etc). They did not become that way by having some kind of far fetched ideology shoved down their throats by a bunch of simpering hyperpartisans pitching a narrative. Society evolved according to necessary in Trek canon, and not because of what a partisan group of people thought society should look like. You call me a MAGA lover, which is hilarious as I'm not even American. It goes to show that you can't disagree with leftists these days without being called a far right extremist. You're the only one here insulting other posters.

It's not like I love ICE, but I also don't see their staff as these malevolent human beings either, despite how Trek portrays them. People get involved in law enforcement for all kinds of honest reasons. Just like how there are lots of rich people on this planet who are working to make our society a better place. They donate to charities, they build philanthropic organizations, they support technological and social solutions. But Guinan's little speech would have us believe that rich people are the root of all evil -- another leftist sales pitch. Old Trek had its flaws but one thing it didn't do was make everything black and white. You mentioned Khan... perfect example of a complex, rich character. He has to go down in flames, but we understand his dilemma.

It doesn't really matter how old the production/direction team are. They are pitching a narrative that is lowest common denominator with little nuance. Jeeze, even Henry Starling in VOY's "Future's End" had more dimension than some of these characters, and that was pretty bad. Notice though how in those episodes, future characters came to Earth to deal with future events, and we got to enjoy watching them fumble through the 21st century without any major commentary on how humanity is failing. Consider that in Trek cannon, we make it as a species. These characters from the future should be saying things like, "It looks bad, but good to know humanity figures it out." If it weren't for Q's meddling, things would be right on track.

There should be more fumbling. If any one of us got transported back to the 16th century, we'd be totally lost, even though we'd have super knowledge about nature and the universe. 300-400 years is a LONG time. Think about the past 100 years. The first flight was in 1903 and in 1963 we landed on the Moon. Picard comes from the 2400s.

That's all I have to say really. This show is abysmal so far and not because I'm such a hardcore old fogy who loves military good times. Good writing stands out in any era, in any genre. This is not good writing.

OK, I've said enough. Time for others to weigh in. Til the next episode :)
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Bryan
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 11:39pm (UTC -5)
Y'all buckle up because this is the Contemporary Issues episode that we've all been waiting for!

- ICE gets its own sinister theme song, paired to "find them before ICE makes sure you never do". This sounds more foreboding and insidious than if she had simply added: "Alternatively, you could just go to Mexico."

- "Ahh very interesting, you chose the number 15. This must be your brilliant mind at work!" I seriously thought Picard was joking...but nope! That's really the kindergarten logic at work here. Are they unfamiliar with the concept of priming? You know, like how just SEEING the number 15 on the book would cause her to subconsciously choose 15 again without knowing why..?

- How does Agnes know that Picard used to play Dixon Hill? Is that something they teach at the Academy?

- Seven to Raffi: "You lost someone and losing them was not your fault." I feel like the actors all got a copy of the writer's notes to explain their characters motivations, but then the writers entirely forgot to convey any of this to us, the audience, through the actual story that unfolds on screen.

- "You're more than you let on. So smart, cunning...cruel. Also, we're hiring new Borg Queens. You interested?"

- Did they seriously just recycle the scenes a couple episodes ago where Picard finds 10-Foward? It looks exactly the same. Did nothing change over 400 years?

- Wait.. is this supposed to explain why the the Enterprise-D lounge is called 10-Forward..? That Guinan moved her bar from earth to the Enterprise and named it thusly? I thought it was only called that because it's on the FORWARD section of DECK 10, but thanks Kurtzman for that new bit of lore: I hate it.

- They didn't REALLY need to bring in a new actress for Guinan cuz Time's Arrow.. but they kinda painted themselves into a corner with that "I choooos to be olde nao" bullshit, didn't they?

- LOL @ even the lil' doggo having more "temporal sense" than Guinan

- Hey guys, did you know that:
1) "they're ACTUALLY killing teh planet"
2) "the truth is wahtever you watn it to be, facts aren't even facts anymoer"
3) "a few folks hav all teh rseources to fix all the pwbloems for the rest but they won't"
4) "all dis specie want to do is fight"

Picard's words of 25th Century Wisdom: "Change...can take time."

Oh wait, this isn't news? Well at least no one can say that Star Trek isn't being topical. So congrats to all those who needed it to be?

- I think the main problem with all this can be attributed directly to Kurtzman's own words. He thinks that he can't properly do science fiction unless it speaks to the present. Therefore, he thinks we need to literally go back to the present and talk about it. Because Kurtzman doesn't know the first thing about science fiction. Or allegory.

- Oh dear god, now then even got Guinan on the identity politics train with the "Ya better check your White Privilege before ya come on down here and try to change the future, Peecard!" As if El-Aurians DON'T have the LUXURY OF PATIENCE precisely because they're the Ancient Listeners?

- Alright Nu-Trek fans, go ahead and break out the apologetics. But first you really gotta ask yourselves, do ya feel lucky?
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Sigh2000
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 11:42pm (UTC -5)
@Henson to @Joseph
"No, the Bell riots aren't dependent on Sisko. They happened anyway...."

The riots were bound to occur. They had reached the point of ignition before the arrival of Sisko, Dax and Bashir into the 2024 timeline. However, Sisko is responsible for making them the "Bell Riots." The actual Bell is killed by that awful guy in the floppy hat with the front folded up who was fighting with Sisko. Bashir's attempt at CPR upon Bell fails.
BASHIR: "A good man died because of us."

Feeling remorse over Bell's sacrifice, Sisko assumes Bell's identity. He also knows that only "a Bell" can keep the hostages alive. Of course, there aren't any hostages at that stage. They're haven't been taken yet.

History records that there were quite a number of floppy hatted persons in the sanctuary zone looking for other people's food cards, eventually resorting to hostage-taking. In view of the prominence of these various hats and fedoras among the meanest of the lot, the Bell Riots might have been called merely the "Felt Riots." Sisko made all the difference.
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Ben
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 1:57am (UTC -5)
I didn’t love this episode, but it wasn’t bad. I thought the buddy cop formula of Seven and Raffi grew tiresome really fast. Agnes and the Queen could be interesting — I’m really getting the feeling that it was Agnes as the “Super Queen” in the beginning, asked for Picard. The recasting of Guinan is weird, but I guess it’s preferable to bad CGI de aging Whoopi for multiple episodes.

As for the politics, well…it’s too on the nose. There isn’t any subtly. Star Trek historically was great with allegory. ICE is doing some awful stuff, yes, but making token ICE cop guy such a comically over the top, mustache twirling villain was too much. Guinan’s speech about how awful everything has gotten was likewise about as subtle as a sledgehammer.

Remember Past Tense? Bashir and Sisko have a wonderful discussion about the situation, and it’s not blatant finger pointing. It’s a poignant, intelligent conversation about the dark times of humanity, and of the potential for the human condition. That was an episode that worked magic because it was intelligently written.

I absolutely despise people blasting modern media and pop culture as being “woke” or “hyper PC” or some “leftist agenda” or whatever dumb stuff those paranoid idiots think. Especially as it relates to Star Trek. It’s like, helllllllo, Trek future was a classless, moneyless, socialist utopia. So shut up about “Trek going woke.” The truth is that older Trek was just better written, it had more subtly. It could tackle issues like this, but it wouldn’t do it with bright flashing neon lights telling us what to think. It would present a situation and usually portray it from both sides and leave the audience to determine. I’m sorry to say, this feels pandering. But it’s not pandering an agenda, it’s feigning intelligence where there is none.

I’ll finish this season, and probably the next, but Picard S2 is quickly getting back to that facepalm Kurtzman crap of the other series. I just wish they had better writers scripting better stories with better ideas.
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PM
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 2:36am (UTC -5)
RE "This whole series is a total cancer. I had a quick gander and what I saw was quite ridiculous really. "
If you all hate - it seems - every Star Trek since "Star Trek", why are you spending so much time watching it (and commenting about how much you hate it?)
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Quincy
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 2:52am (UTC -5)
As someone has pointed out, Two major wars lie ahead, including the Third World War that, according to Commander Riker, wipes out most of the large cities on earth. The major issue is humanity's overall self-destructiveness, which is only supposed to change after Cochrane's warp flight achievement. Since they already know this, it's kind of hard to listen to them be continuously shocked and harp on about all the ways that humanity of that time period is pathetic. When The Voyage Home did it, it was played for laughs and succeeded admirably. When STP does it they're dead serious and they're failing miserably.


@modulum
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 10:24am (UTC -5)

"Are we not gonna talk about how the watcher/"supervisor" is a clear reference to Gary Seven/Assignment: Earth? That's a cut I didn't expect them to pull out."


Great catch. I knew something about that scene looked familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on it. After your post I remembered the Gary 7 escape to the vault scene. His vault had a smokey effect similar to that black square space the Laris lookalike opened up at time stamp 10:51. The vault also opens up similar square portals to anywhere at 23:25:
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6n5dhi

The introduction of Laris threw me for loop. If this is the same organization as on TOS: Assignment Earth it would have made more sense to have someone playing Gary 7. If you're going to do a fan service callback to boombox guy, I would think Gary 7 would be higher on the list, but maybe not. If they do introduce Gary 7, I hope they get either Julian McMahon or Jason Beghe to play him.

That whole scene was the only thing I found remotely interesting about this episode. Primarily because it reminded me of one of the more intriguing sci fi shows in recent memory. The show Travelers features instances where people are being taken over temporarily to send messages across time to agents. Children can be taken over momentarily without harm. But adults will have their consciousness overwritten by an agent, essentially killing them. In one particular episode an A.I. is communicating from the future in realtime through the bodies of multiple old people on their death beds in the present. I loved that scene.



@Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 8:40am (UTC -5)

"I guess we'll start with the elephant in the room - the recasting/portrayal of Guinan. I can understand why they chose not to de-age Whoopi, given it seems Guinan will have a bigger role than just in this episode, and such extensive de-aging is dodgy even when done by the likes of Marvel. The actress looks nothing like Whoopi (other than being a darker-skinned black woman with braids), sounds nothing like Whoopi, and acts nothing like Guinan - but you know, at least they remembered to shave off her eyebrows! It took me like 5 minutes of her being onscreen for suspension of disbelief to return."


This annoyed me. Young Guinan had what could have been dreadlocks, but what look more to me like twists, plus weave. I've never seen Guinan wearing weave. I'm pretty sure Whoopie doesn't wear weave, but I could be wrong about Guinan. Dreadlocks are somewhat different than twists, quite different than braids, and far more different than weave. But this was a minor quibble. I didn't like anything about the actress playing Young Guinan. I would've preferred Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne on the Walking dead, or someone else.
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Booming
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 3:19am (UTC -5)
@Shannon
"There is clearly a far left agenda being shoved in our faces. Depicting ICE agents as sadistic monsters, when 99.9% of them are just trying to do their jobs and enforce our immigration laws. Declaring we live in a culture of hate, and via Guinan's dialogue, clearly pinning that on one side of the political aisle. Hate is a two-way street in our current political climate, and I continually hear the "other" side of the political aisle spewing incredibly venomous, vitriolic hate towards anyone who disagrees with their worldview, going out of their way to cancel those who dare to have different opinions."
Talk about incredibly venomous, vitriolic hate...

" To suggest that all humans in the 25th century bow to the alter of a leftist ideology is poppycock."
Roddenberry was a hardcore leftwinger. People are complaining that Star Trek doesn't do allegory anymore. I wonder what Roddenberry wanted to say when he depicted a society where everybody gets free education, healthcare, housing, food and much more, while erasing money and stock markets. Probably had nothing to do with the USA or politics. :)

@Robert
"But Guinan's little speech would have us believe that rich people are the root of all evil -- another leftist sales pitch"
That is really bastardized leftism if anything. Economically the USA at the moment has two right wing parties. Rich people are not the root of evil. They are a symptom or maybe a fever curve of disharmony. The problem are societal incentives. Capitalism as it's major driving force has lots of incentives to become rich which can be seen as bad or good. The problem is that in a more or less stable society the wealth over time concentrates in the upper parts of society. That leads to the rich becoming more and more powerful who then transform the system to serve their needs, which leads to things like Bezos not paying taxes in several years or the citzens united decision. That's one of the reasons why the USA is scoring lower on democracy scales every year. Sooner or later the system is less and less able to serve a significant enough part of the population, infighting gets more violent, the oligarchy strengthens it's grip on power normally through a military coup that then often leads to a dictatorship. As a political scientist I was always a little fascinated by the circle of polybius. It's not true, there are many deviations but still.

Here a picture with veeeery short explanations of the steps.
https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-07049114e1e62f59d63563ba7ef639e2-lq
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Perfunctory
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 4:23am (UTC -5)
A black woman on the television makes factually accurate statements about the state of modern society, and The Usual Type are so triggered by it that they immediately start screaming "Leftist Propaganda" into the echo chamber they've constructed for themselves?

It would be funny to watch you all lose your collective shit if it weren't so depressingly predictable.
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Jason R.
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 4:52am (UTC -5)
By the way, forgive my ignorance here, but doesn't someone need to be from Mexico to get deported to Mexico? Does Mexico permit the USA to deposit random stateless individuals there? Just kind of curious.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 5:28am (UTC -5)
> By the way, forgive my ignorance here, but doesn't someone need to be from Mexico to get deported to Mexico? Does Mexico permit the USA to deposit random stateless individuals there? Just kind of curious.

Yeah, I think you're right. In that case, wouldn't they have to report him to the CIA, or suspect him of being a spook himself? "We have an individual here who speaks Spanish, appears of Mexican descent, has given us a Mexican name and surname, but is scrubbed of all ID and refuses to tell us anything about himself. We also can't locate any pattern match with face-recognition tech."

My first suspicion would be a secret agent.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 5:31am (UTC -5)
Btw guys, think about it;

Star Trek is a powerful arm of what you might consider the Peace Movement. Warmongers certainly have slaves working on computers all the time to try to brainwash whoever they can into thinking Peace is stupid (and this has in fact been in the news lately).

2+2 = Trolls. You may as well ignore them. They're not gonna stop no matter how eloquently you shred their points of view.

Let's talk about *THE SHOW* shall we? This episode kind of sucked.
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Booming
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 5:45am (UTC -5)
@Jason MidshipmanNorris
"We have an individual here who speaks Spanish, appears of Mexican descent, has given us a Mexican name and surname, but is scrubbed of all ID and refuses to tell us anything about himself. We also can't locate any pattern match with face-recognition tech."
That is probably true for all undocumented immigrants. There must be some legal framework with Mexico that allows the USA to sent people over the US Mexican border when they are Latinos without papers.
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Artymiss
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 6:00am (UTC -5)
Weakest one of the season so far but still watchable.

Loved punk rock guy on the bus.

I found the identity of the Watcher a bit of an anti-climax.
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Squid
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 6:38am (UTC -5)
After watching the episode, some of these comments about "far-left propaganda being forced on us" are just hilarious. And incredibly transparent. Says so much about the lens these people are seeing everything through. And I'm not even an American.

As for the actual episode, it was solid. Similar in quality to last week I think. The Seven/Raffi stuff was pretty rote, as was the Rios story, but I enjoyed the Young Guinan scenes. And the Watcher part at the end was interesting. As Quincy mentioned, it gave me strong Travelers vibes, which I liked. And while I am curious about what's going on with Q, I'm hoping they're not just going to keep giving us a 30 second snippet of him every week like the last couple of episodes. That style of story-telling tends to wear thin with me and I end up being bored with it, even if overall it might have actually been a decent plotline when condensed.

While it hasn't kept up the high level of the first couple of episodes, it's still keeping my interest and I'm liking the season a lot more than the first.
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RedD
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 6:44am (UTC -5)
What a waste of time this episode was. The Seven/Raffi and Rios scenes took up half the episode and they were utterly pointless. Way, way too much "messaging" going on in this episode. I wish the writers kept their political views out of Trek, or at least not make them so obvious.
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Booming
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 7:24am (UTC -5)
Ok ok ok. Is there some kind of eternal night where the ship crashed and by the way that ship, according to the internetz, is around 80m long and 20m high. That is like a 5-6 story building. How has nobody seen it! Uh it has a cloak now. Problem solved!

Don't drink that Pinot Noir! The the house was abandoned a hundred years ago, this is Eastern France and the bottle wasn't kept in a wine cellar. That's just a bottle of vinegar at this point.

Picard says:"Three days until the time is changed irrevocably." YOU ARE TIME TRAVELERS! Just go back again.

- The Punk should have been 70. Like it's actually the same guy, doing the same thing for decades. That would have been nice. :D

- Seven! Elnor was so important to me. Remember? We almost had several scenes together!

- Agnes, scientist of everything.

- 10 Forward. Facepalm! hahaha

- This show is hellbent on destroying Raffi as a character. She behaves completely irresponsible. I cannot take her seriously anymore. After screaming at a police officer who could not help her, she shots a car window of a police car and opens the door, gets in and hacks the computer all IN FRONT OF THE POLICE STATION! Dumb! Obviously she finds Rios in 5 seconds. Why did she even need a LAPD computer, wouldn't any internet capable computer suffice?! Of course then they are stealing the cop car. Jesus Christ! Seven apparently knows how to perfectly drive a car but doesn't know on which side of the street to drive. hahaha. Ok, this is starting to get amusing. Now they beamed out in front of police officers. OMG hahaha.

- Phew Guinan's monologue is really on the nose. I guess the oldies are slowly replaced. The whole timeline stuff is now really just a free for all. Nothing makes even remotely sense. Isn't Picard changing time by talking to Guinan??? Wouldn't she have left considering that the she wanted to leave immediately and the change in the timeline happens in three days??? bebbel di bebbel?

- Okay after they cry wolf people described the one ice agent being portrayed as a monster I was expecting a lot more like comically evil. He is just a run of the mill douchebag.

- Oh god damn. The watchers are another mystery box.

- Ok so Agnes has intimacy issues, too. Will we get a flash back of some trauma? The whole Agnes Queen stuff was the only part of the episode that wasn't dumb but I also didn't find it that interesting.

So the season has officially lost me. I get very little out of it at this point. Too many mystery boxes, too much stupid stuff, the setting is uninteresting as are the themes who are handled with the subtlety of a sledge hammer. It's not making smart or even interesting points about immigration or climate change.

2 stars.
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Squid
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 7:57am (UTC -5)
I forgot to mention earlier: Say what you will about the quality of some of the writing in recent Trek, but I liked the line where Picard said "Change always comes slower than we think it should".
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Chrome
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 8:00am (UTC -5)
It's easy to confuse this universe with our own (especially considering all the real-world parallels thrown in) but we have to remember it's still a fictional 2024. Weren't Sisko and Bashir just plucked up off the street and essentially imprisoned without cause during this time in Star Trek? 21st century Earth is a pretty bad place for ST. In contrast, TVY didn't deal with any canon baggage, it's basically just 1986 Earth - I remember one of the newspaper headlines talking about Reagan's troubles with Gorbachev even thrown in.

Jason R. wrote:

"Rios is on is headed to Mexico, right? I mean, he's not going to be shot and tossed into a mass grave by ICE correct? So a "rescue" isn't actually necessary. Seven and Raffi could just wait for ICE to drop him off in Mexico and then they could pick him up."

I think the episode made it explicit they couldn't track Rios without his communicator. That's not to say they couldn't somehow find him later, but there's the whole damage to the timeline (and Rios's life) to consider.

"doesn't someone need to be from Mexico to get deported to Mexico? Does Mexico permit the USA to deposit random stateless individuals there? "

The border problem is larger than that. The U.S. doesn't get people just from Mexico, but people from all over Central and South America travel through Mexico and into the U.S. We don't have the financial will to seek out exactly where every immigrant came from and give them safe voyage back to their country (I'm not sure that's possible even if we did throw money into it. Can Canada do that with its immigrants?) Thus, sending people back to Mexico and negotiating with Mexico to deal with their immigrants becomes the policy. There's way more to it, but it's kind of pointless getting bogged down with it here. Again, this is also a dramatized Trekverse version of the problem with different rules.

BTW, real world California is relatively loose with immigration policy. The state relies on undocumented immigrants to perform tasks for less than minimal wage. The ones that get deported here are likely higher priority targets dealing in drugs or human trafficking.
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Jason R.
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 8:00am (UTC -5)
"After watching the episode, some of these comments about "far-left propaganda being forced on us" are just hilarious. And incredibly transparent. Says so much about the lens these people are seeing everything through. And I'm not even an American."

Ok my last comment on this issue I swear.

My problem with this isn't that it's "propaganda". The problem is that it's just failing to honour the scifi premise of the show and the hopeful vision of Star Trek.

When Spock said "to hunt a species to extinction isn't logical" even setting aside him being a Vulcan, it wasn't coming from a place of rage, but genuine befuddlement. Because Spock is a man of the future who doesn't understand the past. He's not wagging his finger at us, just asking how this could happen.

If you're going to comment on these issues in a scifi setting, then have the characters act like they are really from the future. I don't understand why there's so much anger coming from people who live in a utopian future. All of this stuff is in the past. The post atomic horror is in the past. Why is everyone so damned bitter about stuff that happened 400 years before they were born?

Speaking of detachment, Guinan isn't a time traveler, but she's an alien who chose to be in Earth to "listen". So why is she so damned angry and bitter and judgmental? If humanity is so bad, why didn't she leave a long time ago? I mean we know she's been around Earth since the 1800s, but living in 2024 LA, that's what broke her? Chattel slavery didn't do it, but George Floyd did her in?

Of course this goes back to a fundamental issue with the writing here because in this show, even the future utopia is a bad place, going back to season 1 of the show. Never mind the alternate hell future, even in the main timeline the Federation let the Romulans die and enslaved / banned synths.

So with this show it's 1) Heads we're angry and bitter and 2) Tails we are angry and bitter. The past sucks and the future sucks and the alternate future sucks even more.

You wanna wag your finger at me? Okay, fine, I suck, we suck, everything sucks. But because this is Star Trek, how about you show me something that doesn't (suck) once in a while?
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Chrome
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 8:04am (UTC -5)
Also what even:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/10+Forward:+The+Exprerience/@34.040065,-118.2333374,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x80c2c767392e4d1b:0x8c8f1ef30505f9b1!8m2!3d34.0400665!4d-118.2333187?hl=en-US

Is this episode a marketing ploy for a new bar in downtown LA? Lol
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Jason R.
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 8:24am (UTC -5)
@Chrome, yes I get that Rios being deported is a problem because it would be harder to locate him without his communicator, but come on. They have phones and computers in Mexico. They have 24th century tech. The idea that he is being deported is some kind of existential threat requiring them to steal cop cars and end up in some kind of armed "rescue" (which is where they seem to be going with this) is such contrived nonsense. He's being deported to Mexico, not tossed into a mass grave or shot into the sun.

They are so busy trying to send a message that they have completely lost their own plot and forgotten who Rios is and what kind of tech they have. And I repeat again, the writers do know that people live in Mexico and don't fall off the face of the Earth when they get deported, right?

Rios is in no danger. They can just beam him back to LA. In fact, that could be the setup for a comedic scene where Rios shows up at his doctor's friend's clinic 6 minutes after getting deported. If this show were interested in comedy, which clearly it is not.
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Dreubarik
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 10:26am (UTC -5)
@Chrome But at the time DS9 was aired, 2024 was three decades away, and so the show still made interesting science-fiction predictions (ie the Sanctuary Districts) that made it worth watching. This time, they are just doing an on-your-face rendition of issues that we are having right now and they aren't even trying to say anything new or interesting about it.

As I was saying, at the very least give us the audience the payoff of seeing our characters shocked by the events they are living. But no, because they come from an equally distopian, angry reality. I don't have an issue with Star Trek getting preachy, but if the preachiness comes from contemporary-looking characters superficially examining our exact current reality, then why do we need Star Trek or science fiction?
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Alex
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 11:05am (UTC -5)
@PM "If you all hate - it seems - every Star Trek since "Star Trek", why are you spending so much time watching it (and commenting about how much you hate it?)"

I absolutely loathe the idea that people don't have the right to criticize.

I love ToS, TNG, DS9. Amongst my favorite series ever. Picard is (WAS) one of my favorite characters in history.

It's nice you like this. You are entitled to your opinion and should like what you like. I think it's complete garbage, stupid, and trash. In 50 years people will still talk about ToS and TNG and how good some episodes were. Zero chance Picard (or any Kurtzman produced Trek) will have that reverence. I guess enough people still watch this garbage to make money for CBS, but I can't imagine the viewership is that good, I know they said Picard lost nearly 50% of viewers from premiere to finale in S1.

Picard is unrecognizable as Picard. Maybe some similarities to TNG movie Picard but the TNG Picard is long gone. And its a shame because the character was great. Q is all wrong too.


So yeah, I watched because I was a big fan of TNG. Hoped maybe they could do better in S2 but its worse. I do not care what happens anymore to this show, and I honestly don't care about Star Trek at all anymore. I consider myself divorced from the fandom, or whatever fandom there is for it now, I don't believe there is really very much.

And it's sad. With all the potential there was with Star Trek, this is what we got. Shame Shame Shame.
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Frank A. Booze
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 11:40am (UTC -5)
This is my personal opinion, but I am finding that season long story arcs for Star Trek do not work. If the “A” storyline is not good, then the season is doomed to failure. I’m just having a difficult time with yet another alternate reality/mirror universe/time divergence story, which I feel as though NuTrek has gone to far too many times. What else is next? More Section 31? More references to the Kobayashi Maru test (which the writers do not understand the significance of).

It sounds crazy, but I do prefer episodic Star Trek, which the occasional two parters or three parters. DS9 was the best at doing this. At least then I can point at individual episodes and say “that was a great episode” or “that episode sucks”, as opposed to “the overall story in this season sucked”.

Anyone else have similar feelings?
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Bryan
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
(phew, a new topic)

Yes, I liked episodic Star Trek better. But the episodic nature of Classic Trek is purely incidental to how good it is. It's really about the quality of the writing overall and the fact that having a few stinkers doesn't really detract from the whole as much. Also it's arguably harder to write a self-contained 45 minute episode that's good than it is to have several hours to let the story arcs unfold however you like, with fewer restrictions.

That's not to say you couldn't theoretically have excellent Star Trek in serialized form: there is already great sci-fi like The Expanse, among others. You need a great writer to have great television either way but the episodic can require more editorial skills, whereas serialized needs a whole more forethought than what we've gotten from Nu-Trek to prevent it from getting really dull and dumb.
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Paul C
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
No mention of impractical joker Sal, which took me right out of the episode. Star Trek fan?

Bus moment, indulgent, but good.

A few references thrown for good measure yes, but about right.

Btw anyone actually check these coordinates? The first one (where they’re crashing, ep 3) was not France, but LA, East Carson road. The second (shit I stole) was LA also.

Kept me entertained.
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Sven
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 12:49pm (UTC -5)
Just had a quick read through. Sure looks like the trolls have found us.

Besides that: the ICE (whatever that American acronym stands for) DID look a bit too comic book evil and DID seem to reference the deportations of the Trump era too much, from my humble European perspective.

As mentioned here: a bit of a filler episode it seems.
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Jammer
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
Review now posted.
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Paul C
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 12:57pm (UTC -5)
I mean… Q turned up. A guy called Q came for the dog…
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Sj82
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 12:58pm (UTC -5)
This was not good. The show is poorly written and lacks imagination. Since this is a continuing story of Picard, I expect the leadership, strength and grace of his character, and a story that highlights his twilight years. The strongest moments of TNG were not the loudest, as this show fails to understand. What a wasted opportunity.
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Paul C
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 1:03pm (UTC -5)
Oh and there’s that lazy writing. Guinan is bad ass because she can handle a shotgun.

That was the original guy from ST IV Jammer!
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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 1:10pm (UTC -5)
FWIW guys, the actress who plays the young Guinan was interviewed. She is a TNG fan and explicitly asked Terry Matalas about Time's Arrow, which he demurred on.

https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/star-trek-picard-young-guinan-ito-aghayere-whoopi-goldberg-1235213292/

Like it or hate it, but this was not an oversight. It was done on purpose.
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Jason R.
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 1:23pm (UTC -5)
I don't really care about the Time's Arrow thing because it's the one part of this shtick that makes some slight sense. It's just that this performance bears no connection whatsoever to Guinan. I actually didn't even realize it was supposed to be Guinan for a lot of time because the actress wasn't saying or doing anything Guinan like. She's just an angry bartender with a shotgun and a chip on her shoulder.

Wouldn't it have been great, in all this grim dark negativity, to have Guinan, filled with wisdom and humor and the perspective of a centuries old listener, to give Picard a little advice? Is a little hope too much to ask?
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Jaxon
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
Jammer said: " (The 10-Forward reference is cute, I'll grant.)"

In 2401, it was.

Here it's dumb. It suggests that it predates Ten Forward on the Enterprise.

It suggests that the Ten Forward on the Enterprise was located there on purpose, regardless of what the Galaxy Class blueprints had to say about it.
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Jaxon
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 1:33pm (UTC -5)
Jammer said: "Of all the problems in the past 150 years, this is her breaking point? Sigh."

I almost expected her to cite that no one was cancelling student loans as her final straw.

No particular offense to Lea, but I'll be glad to move on to the next director.
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Jammer
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 1:41pm (UTC -5)
Not the director's fault. The direction was fine. This is all on the writers, as it is 90 percent of the time in TV.
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Jammer
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
"That was the original guy from ST IV Jammer!"

You are right, and that's even better. I think that warrants an edit to my review.
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Jaxon
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
So Guinan is running a tavern in Los Angeles in 2024 and still in 2401, so presumably, excepting occasional sabbaticals of which her time on Enterprise was an extended one, all the time in between as well.

It looked remarkably similar in 2041 as in 2024...that thing somehow survived World War III in tact.
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Stork1
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 2:27pm (UTC -5)
Great, great, great to see the Punk on the Bus! I really enjoyed that! Bravo! The rest of the episode was not so good.
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RedD
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 2:43pm (UTC -5)
Karl Zimmerman - while it's great the actress herself raised this issue around Time's Arrow, I just don't buy the explanation. Surely Picard himself would have remembered those events and mention it to Guinan?
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Tommy D.
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
@Karl

I was going to say that I think the writers are almost too aware of past Trek rather than unaware, given some of the other references in the episode.

I also agreed with Jammer. 1st episode of the season I just didn't care for all that much.
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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 3:01pm (UTC -5)
I think Matalas's rationale makes total sense. Picard & Co ended up in a screwed-up Confederation timeline, and now have to go back in time to "fix" things so the Federation exists. Since the Federation didn't exist, Data probably didn't exist - and certainly his head wasn't found in San Francisco, meaning the "evil" Picard never went back to 1893 and met Guinan.

That said, as I noted at the top of the thread, I don't buy that all of this would be immediately clear to Picard the moment he saw Guinan, both due to the complexities of time travel and that he's old. He should have said something first, because it does seem like the majority of viewers were confused by this.

And yeah, this is the worst episode yet. Sad the season is heading straight downward. I will note the first two episodes were written by the "core team" (some mix of Goldsman, Matalas, and Chabon) while these last two have been...some dudes/dudettes. This scares me, because it seems to suggest we're going to be in for a bad middle section of the season before it picks up again at the end.
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Eric Jensen
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 3:38pm (UTC -5)
In the last scene... Q was reading Los Angeles Times... Will space exploration be revived in 2024... Q then tries to induce fear into that young woman and it did not work... she laughed... Hmmm... Q had said, "people are going to die"...
Most unfortunate.
In a trailer, (spoilers), Q talks to Soong's ancestors I presume...
I do not see Q as a villain but something is going on...
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SC
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 5:29pm (UTC -5)
The tone of television has changed for the worse, everything has to be dark and moody now, with boring anti-heroes. And flashbacks, lots of flashbacks! Gone are the hopeful days of TNG and Quantum Leap. New (or old) Guinan, and Picard, the show, is a product of 'new,' television. I agree with commenter Jason, can we have a little hope back?
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Tim C
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
This felt like more wheel-spinning, which is a shame after the propulsive start to the season in the first two episodes. I hope they pick up the pace again, and quickly. I did like the weirdness of Picard's looking for the Watcher, and I'm still enjoying Agnes v. Borg Queen, but the Raffi/Seven/Rios plotline is floundering. WTF was going on in that car chase scene? From this viewer's standpoint, Seven could've just pulled away quietly instead of screeching out of the car park like a bat out of hell and they wouldn't have immediately alerted the authorities. And Rios' adventures in immigration detention are not working; their condemnation of the system is far too shallow to be engaging.

There's a quote from Rick Berman (god, of all people) that I think the new generation of Trek producers could learn from. It's from Stephen Edward Poe's behind-the-scenes look at the development of VOY, "A Vision of the Future".

Rick Berman: "There is something very specific and unique about acting on Star Trek. This is true for our cast regulars as well as for our guest stars. Star Trek is not contemporary. It's a period piece. And even though it's a period piece in the future as opposed to a period piece in the past, it still necessitates a certain style of acting and writing that is not contemporary. It's not necessarily mannered like something that would take place in a previous century, but it's probably closer to that than it is to contemporary.

There are many actors who are wonderful actors. Gifted actors. But to play a character... to play a Starfleet officer in the twenty-fourth century is very difficult for them. They've got a "street" quality about them. They've got a very American twentieth-century quality about them. They'll have a regional quality about them... or a Southern accent... or they'll have a New York accent or a Chicago accent.

They will have certain qualities about them that's very contemporary, that just doesn't work when you're trying to define this rather stylized, somewhat indefinable quality that makes somebody "work" as someone who lives in the future.

One of the first things that destroys futurist science fiction for me, whether it be movies or other television series, is when you see actors who are *obviously* people from 1990's America. We're always looking for people who have a somewhat indefinable characteristic of not being like that. And it's hard."

Why do I quote this? Because it feels like something that is acting as an anchor on the fish-out-of-water scenario of this season. In particular, Michelle Hurd is just not convincing me currently, which is a shame because I actually quite liked her in the first season of the show.

(I would also take pains to note that Berman's production teams often followed that casting approach a little *too* closely, which often made the 90's shows feel quite sterile.)
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Robert
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 6:39pm (UTC -5)
I failed to notice the chaseless car scene. LOL Good one Jammer.

@Perfunctory I'm a POC, so go away with your inane assumptions about me losing my sh*t over a POC narrating the truth. I'm all for the truth, if it's characterized well. That was not Guinan, not in any time line, in any universe. She is at least several hundred years old by 2024 and has lived through way worse periods of Earth history, not to mention the El Aurian home world's assimilation. She is way, way too petty in Picard to be taken seriously as the Guinan we know.

Jammer seems hopeful that is this will be a 50/50 chance of a good season. I am much more doubtful.
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grey cat
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
I know Jammer has said before his stars (star system?) Doesn't really make sense but to rate this lower than literally ANY episode of DSC.. seriously?

I agree with a lot of the review however. I was kinda bored in this one. Far too preachy and heavy handed. My wife literally yawned a couple of times.

This was always the danger of doing The Vogage Home meets Past Tense. I feel like I've seen this before and better or at least more subtle.

The Borg Queen and Agnes were great and Rios was entertaining enough considering how little he had to do.

7 was 7 and Raffi Rage is getting old.

I caught the 15 (3) reference from Cause and Effect too as I literally rewatched it a couple of nights ago. One of my favorites. I did however feel that I definitely remember TNG era trek as being better than perhaps it actually was because it was enjoyable but not as great as I recalled.

This had enough good elements to keep it to 2 stars for me (and by that standard all of S3 DSC and most of S2 deserve zero)
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Daniel Prates
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
"Where did they go"
"England"

Oh....! That explains the accent then! Glad to have this explained, even if it took some 35 years!
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grey cat
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 8:00pm (UTC -5)
Oh reading above.. Rios isn't getting deported to Mexico he's getting sent to a santuary district where presumably they woulf find it nearly impossible to locate him for beam out.

I've seen a few shows lately doing the whole deportation thing (Roswell NM for example). Is it the end of the world to be deported back to the neighbouring country when you're illegaly living and working in another? If i want to live and work in the US I have to apply for a visa like everyone else.

I'm not American so I don't really understand why we're meant to be sympathetic. Refugees fine but Mexico isn't at war.

But yeah santurary districts look like a living hell - unlike Mexico.
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Mal
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 8:28pm (UTC -5)
@Jason R. makes a great point,

"that bus Rios is on is headed to Mexico, right? I mean, he's not going to be shot and tossed into a mass grave by ICE correct? So a "rescue" isn't actually necessary. Seven and Raffi could just wait for ICE to drop him off in Mexico and then they could pick him up. Not like it takes more effort to beam him up from LA versus Mexico.”

Exactly.

This episode was really dumb. Which is such a shame, cause I enjoyed last week so much, and I was really looking forward to this week.

But this Mexico blunder was egregious.

As @Jason R. also says,

"they have completely lost their own plot and forgotten who Rios is and what kind of tech they have. And I repeat again, the writers do know that people live in Mexico and don't fall off the face of the Earth when they get deported, right?”

I went to Mexico last year on vacation and it was super nice. Granted that was 2021, and not 2024, but I can’t imagine that there is any reason Rios couldn’t enjoy his time in Mexico, and then get beamed back by Jurarti.

These writers are straight up ignorant about Mexico, or racist against Mexicans, or both.

The episode's second ignorant move was putting Guinan in a dive bar.

Guinan is a woman who ran a Salon in the eighteen hundreds for the likes of Mark Twain!

Guinan is a woman who will run a bar on the Flag Ship of the Federation in the 24th century.

Guinan is essentially a three-Michelin star bartender/super-sommelier of the Galaxy, and you’re putting her in a dive bar in LA??? Give me a break. She should be in Brussels or Tokyo or Zurich, not in this dump.

It is very disrespectful of her talents. If Picard was really beaming out to meet her, he could very well have beamed anywhere in the world. Why LA?

This episode was dumb trash.

What a shame.
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Tim Kaiser
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 10:01pm (UTC -5)
There was a line in the TNG episode "Code of Honor" which says that by the 24th century, French was an archaic language. So they already explained why he had a British accent...way back in season 1 of TNG.
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Angela
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 11:01pm (UTC -5)
Not a big fan of this episode in general but I liked the line "Change always comes later than we think it should," especially delivered with Picard's trademark gravitas
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The Chronek
Fri, Mar 25, 2022, 11:54pm (UTC -5)
Jammer, I disagree with your thoughts about Guinan having a shotgun. She had something like a phaser rifle when she was barkeep in 10-Forward. She stabbed Q's hand with a fork just to see if he really turned mortal. Behind her serenity is someone who's seen a lot of bullshit and occasionally gets pissed off about it.

I feel like the episode was more connective tissue than standing out on its own. It was unsubtle in saying LOOK HOW BAD THINGS ARE!!!! But sometimes you can't be subtle.

Still, the return of Punk on Bus was the highlight for me.
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StarMan
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 1:23am (UTC -5)
Agree with Jammer's rating on this one. Great review.

As a non-US person, I thought ICE was some heavy-handed dystopian thing tacked on to Homeland Security. The name alone - ICE! - sounded daft. Well, now I know better.

As for Time's Arrow: Frankly, one line of dialogue would've helped glue it together for the continuity-aware among the audience. They opted not to. It was fine and dandy to put the pieces together online after the fact with fellow fans, but it still proved to be a distraction during the episode.

I think it's quite possible Terry Mathalas has just pulled off a masterful troll on the fanbase. I doff my hat to him and say - well done! And if he protests his innocence on this matter, the more I'll believe he's guilty, because it's *exactly* what I would have done in his place. ;)

What was most disconcerting was the gutting of Guinan's sage characterization for this contemporary, no nonsense version that bears no similarity to the character we've known across multiple time periods. Her entire attitude was so wrapped up in our muck - so provincial. She is a powerful, near-immortal being (relative to us) with wisdom & experience to transcend the muck of 2024 humanity. As already pointed out, THIS is the straw that broke the El-Aurian's back? Come on.

Hadn't noticed the Seven / Raffi car chase was minus pursuers. I loathed this scene in the trailer and it didn't do jack for me in the episode. Raffi ... honestly, I could do without her. I think it's a combination of writing and performance here.

Jurati and The Queen still remain a highlight. I wasn't sold on the new Borg Queen and first, particularly with her less-Borgy / more quippy mode of talking. I'm sold now.

Top marks for the punk rock guy. Trying to reconcile whether Kirk and Spock visited ... no. The scene is more fun imagining they had. It's a 4th wall breaking Easter Egg - that's enough for me.

As for Q - is he going to get much screen time with Jean Luc at all, or is he just here to move the plot along? Still a lot we don't know about where this is all heading.

In any event, we need a rip roaring episode next week to pull us out of muck. This episode as conceived and executed shouldn't have happened - especially not with such a tight episode run and in light of the stellar start we got off to. For myself, I'll let them away with this dreck, but they get one. If next week is a dud, I'll be far less generous.
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Kenji
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 2:04am (UTC -5)
A lot of viewers have criticized the depiction of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in this episode. I've seen two main criticisms:

1. The depiction is obvious and unneeded, as we all know ICE is that bad and don't need to beaten over the head with it.
2. The depiction is outrageous, as ICE is not that bad, or is actually praiseworthy.
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Booming
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 4:06am (UTC -5)
Jammer makes a good point about that there is more suffering elsewhere. Homelessness, a bad healthcare system and a crumbling democracy aren't nice but there are far worse things going on, like over 40 million people are threatened by famine, for example.

@grey cat
"Is it the end of the world to be deported back to the neighbouring country when you're illegaly living and working in another? If i want to live and work in the US I have to apply for a visa like everyone else."
It really depends on your definition of "end of the world". First of all getting into the USA illegally is costly. For somebody who tries to flee either poverty or civil warlike situations and often supports people in their country of origin that is a huge financial loss. Secondly, at least half of Latino immigrants are not from Mexico and Mexico isn't driving you back to their southern border. Thirdly, work visas are very hard to come by aka legal migration. Lastly, the whole illegality of immigration is a fairly new thing. Most of the time you could go where you wanted and the divide was between people with citizen rights and non-citizens. While any country can regulate their borders as they please, for all of Human history people moved from poorer, less stable regions to richer more stable regions. Richer countries are fighting a basic Human behavior.
And that's not even going into the debate about why countries in the southern hemisphere are so poor while the northern hemisphere is so rich or the numerous actions the USA routinely takes towards other American countries that most people don't ever hear of that create mass migration. Let me just say that when Trump said that the USA is ripped of by the world that was one of the greatest lies in political history. Political scientists all over the world were getting queasy from rolling their eyes. How the USA sent Russia's or Venezuela's economy and specifically the banking system into a nosedive is a nice reminder how powerful the USA actually are and how they play the game to their own benefit and often create migration in the process. Europe will soon start buying huge amounts of US fracking gas and the US almost installed a loyal politician in Venezuela, the country with the biggest oil reserves on the planet.

Here one country profile (according to freedom house).
Haiti: As a result of political instability, street protests, and rampant gang violence, the Haitian government struggles to meet the most basic needs of its citizens. The criminal justice system lacks the resources, independence, and integrity to uphold due process and ensure physical security for the population. Antigovernment protests often result in excessive use of force by police.

Is it the end of the world to be sent back to Mexico if you have fled Haiti? Opinions vary.
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 4:15am (UTC -5)
So was the blonde woman an ancestor of picard? Europa mission? Is the watcher a protective agent for the Picards? Remember Picard gave a speech about his ancestor...
I think picard will WANT to find love at the end of the season. To further the Picard lineage
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TheRealTrent
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 6:38am (UTC -5)
Chronek said: "I disagree with your thoughts about Guinan having a shotgun. She had something like a phaser rifle when she was barkeep in 10-Forward."

Yeah, she had a hilariously huge gun: https://i.stack.imgur.com/ztdZO.png

Tom C said: "There's a quote from Rick Berman that I think the new generation of Trek producers could learn from. It's from Stephen Edward Poe's behind-the-scenes look at the development of VOY, "A Vision of the Future". "There is something very specific and unique about acting on Star Trek. This is true for our cast regulars as well as for our guest stars. Star Trek is not contemporary. It's a period piece. And even though it's a period piece in the future as opposed to a period piece in the past, it still necessitates a certain style of acting and writing that is not contemporary. It's not necessarily mannered like something that would take place in a previous century, but it's probably closer to that than it is to contemporary.There are many actors who are wonderful actors. Gifted actors. But to play a character... to play a Starfleet officer in the twenty-fourth century is very difficult for them. They've got a "street" quality about them. They've got a very American twentieth-century quality about them. They'll have a regional quality about them... or a Southern accent... or they'll have a New York accent or a Chicago accent. They will have certain qualities about them that's very contemporary, that just doesn't work when you're trying to define this rather stylized, somewhat indefinable quality that makes somebody "work" as someone who lives in the future. One of the first things that destroys futurist science fiction for me, whether it be movies or other television series, is when you see actors who are *obviously* people from 1990's America. We're always looking for people who have a somewhat indefinable characteristic of not being like that. And it's hard.""

That's a great, and very apt, quote. Thanks for posting.

With regards to this episode, I'm reminded of several great scenes throughout "City at the Edge of Forever", where Spock simply dispassionately observes the poverty and homelessness around him. He says nothing. He simply watches.

Elsewhere in Trek, our heroes adopt an aloof stance toward the social problems of past Earth. They're almost amused at how backwards humans were. Yes, Trek often does the opposite to great effect - big, righteous, moralizing! - but IMO this episode would have been better served if our heroes simply shrugged off everything bad they saw, or made flippant, objective, scientific comments about the contemporary world instead. Seven should dismiss homelessness/poverty as a natural part of 21stC socioeconomics and move on. Rios should see immigrants being mistreated and merely shrug: of course, he says to himself, this is how we behaved. Picard should likewise meet Guinan and immediately sympathise. He's read his history books. Nuclear war's coming, massive calamity, a third world war. Guinan senses this, he knows, and is right to be pissed off.

There's a level of scientific/anthropological objectivity missing. If old Trek was a triumph of rationalism over emotions (yes, it's debatable whether this is even possible), then nu-Trek too often focuses on very knee-jerk emotions.

In my mind, Starfleet is just a bus service for scientists (even political scientists). I expect the heroes of a Star Trek show to thus be more science-oriented, more objective and self-reflexive; they intimately understand what they see, they have a holistic understanding of the factors at play, they understand why what they see is happening, and are capable of reflexively understanding themselves and their own emotions. You don't get that sense with nu-Trek. These folk are extremely volatile.
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Tim C
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 7:26am (UTC -5)
@TheRealTrent, if you ever get the time and a chance to read "A Vision Of The Future" (I don't think there's an e-book available, more's the pity), I highly recommend it. It's an excellent examination of how the sausage was actually made at a time when the last generation of Trek was at the height of its powers (TNG movies being developed, DS9 finding its footing, and VOY in development).

It's particularly good in hindsight to see where VOY went wrong, and how for the most part it was actually unintentional. In Berman's mind, VOY could carry on the TNG legacy but with a unique spin, and as the head honcho who had to please Paramount executives *and* the casual TNG audience who weren't flocking to DS9, he genuinely believed that serialised elements like the Starfleet/Maquis tension would be a hinderance rather than help to VOY's success. There's a lot of good material from Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor in there too.

On the subject of the current generation of Trek, I actually for the most part appreciate that the characters are allowed to be a little closer to people we'd recognise today. I find it more engaging as a viewer. But it's an extremely fine line to walk, as Berman mentioned, and the pitfalls are laid bare in this season of PIC. In "The Voyage Home", or "Future's End", or "Past Tense", the cultural differences between our crew and the contemporary characters were quite stark, but characters like Raffi feel like they fit right in, and it harms the story they're trying to tell.
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Tobias Johannes
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 7:42am (UTC -5)
Man. I agree this episode comes off as not moving forward a lot. BUT some of the complaints are real hogwash.
Yes, Star Trek depics a future where humanity managed to overcome its biggest flaws. That is something we can hope and strive for. But one also hasto acknowledge, that the “way to enlightenment“ is not a natural course.
First of all, it is pretty much established that humaniy had to learn its final devastating lesson with WWIII. This was shown even back in TOS.
Human history is NOT supposed to end well. Not in every timeline. TNG established a timeline where the Borg overran Earth and the Federation.
TOS showed that one small incursion with McCoy meeting Edith Keeler put Earth on a track where the Future was wiped out by ne Nazis winning.

So.... what is this moaning and bitchin about “NuTrek showing humanity being shitty“? If anything, ST always has shown a bright future is POSSIBLE, but in no way guaranteed. And iti takes all of us to make the change happen.

The ones of you who beliefe that humanitys path to a brighter future is inevitable, are probably those who have no interes to ACTUALLY work for the, betterment of it...
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Yanks
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 8:11am (UTC -5)
Nice review Jammer...
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Dom
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 8:25am (UTC -5)
@Tobias Johannes, the "moaning and bitchin" is because this episode - and this show - is just preachy and pointing out the problems we have in the present without saying anything interesting. There's no inspiring message of hope asking us to be our best selves, as there was with Cochrane in "First Contact." There was no call for people to step up and be their own change, as there was with Sisko standing in for Bell in "Past Tense." There was no interesting sci-fi twist on a known problem, as there was with the probe seeking whales in "The Voyage Home."

Also, there's no tension or conflict between the 24th century characters and the 21st century setting. Unlike in "Times Arrow" and "The Voyage Home," there's no humor from the characters being proverbial "fish out of water." There's no debates between 24th and 21st century characters about values, as there was in "First Contact" and even "The Neutral Zone."

Heck, if anything, the year 2024 probably showcases humanity better than any other period Trek characters visited in the past. We don't have segregation like 19th century America in "Times Arrow." We've made considerable advancements in LGBTQ and other rights since the 60s and 80s. The Cold War is over (ok, maybe not that last part). Yes, we have very real problems. Yes, we need to act on them. But the tone of this episode just rang false for the story we were seeing on screen. And, worse, it was boring.
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Henson
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 8:29am (UTC -5)
@Mal

"I went to Mexico last year on vacation and it was super nice. Granted that was 2021, and not 2024, but I can’t imagine that there is any reason Rios couldn’t enjoy his time in Mexico, and then get beamed back by Jurarti."

From what I understand, it depends which part of Mexico you're in. The tourist areas are very nice. The non-tourist areas can get pretty damn rough.
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Jason R.
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 8:39am (UTC -5)
"From what I understand, it depends which part of Mexico you're in. The tourist areas are very nice. The non-tourist areas can get pretty damn rough."

That's what I was thinking when I read that comment.

But the point is it isn't the dark side of the moon. Even when I have personally travelled in rougher parts of developing or third world countries (albeit not Mexico specifically) people still have cell phones, there are computers etc...

He'd borrow someone's phone, leave a message for his doctor friend and Seven and Raffi would find him and then they'd just beam him up.

It's alot safer and easier a plan than whatever cockamamie rescue plot we are going to get in the next episode. Because you know, deported people get "disappeared" in 2024.

I guess the show is predicting a Trump victory in 2024 by implication?
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Jason R.
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 8:43am (UTC -5)
Oh no wait a sec - even if Trump won he wouldn't take office until Jan 2025 right?

So it's Joe Biden "disappearing" those immigrants. DAMN! Are the writers Republicans?!
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Booming
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 8:56am (UTC -5)
@Jason
"Oh no wait a sec - even if Trump won he wouldn't take office until Jan 2025 right?

So it's Joe Biden "disappearing" those immigrants. DAMN! Are the writers Republicans?!"

Good point. That's all happening in a state governed by democrats under a democratic federal government. Anybody remember that one could speculate that season 1 was in a weird way super right wing (Romulans/refugees are terrorists, lgbt/androids could snap any minute and want to murder us all). hmmmm.
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Henson
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 10:00am (UTC -5)
@Jason R

I suppose it depends on whether Seven and Raffi know that ICE is just going to let him go across the border. Do they know what ICE is? Do they think he's being transferred to a high-security prison? Or perhaps, going to be executed? How well-acquainted are these characters with this time period and place?

Is any of this communicated to the audience?
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 10:09am (UTC -5)
From the trailers of Picard
Trailers and spoilers.
Seven breaks Rios out of the vehicle.
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Booming
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 10:25am (UTC -5)
@Henson
The nurse said that they better find Rios quickly or Ice will make sure that they never do...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlLGwW7eHTI

It's kind of like Seven having a car chase with herself, there is no real danger but the audience has to believe that there is some reason for why they do all these things.
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Cristóbal
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 12:19pm (UTC -5)
If Bus Punk's concern for his neck when Seven tells him to turn down his music is meant to indicate that he remembers being nervepinched by Spock, whereas Guinan doesn't remember the events of Time's Arrow, that implies that whatever the 2024 change to the timeline is doesn't have a major impact until sometime after Kirk's era – perhaps consistent with Q saying that the Confederation is a world of (alt-)Picard's making.
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nacho Picard
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 12:22pm (UTC -5)
Does anyone working on that show not realize that Guinan's bar on the 1701-D was called "Ten Forward" because that was the deck and location of the bar on the ship?

No. They do not.

"Oh, let's have her tend bar on #10 Forward Street! Get it?! It'll be just like the name of the bar on the Enterprise! She's always tended bar at a place with that name! Get it?!"

What a sad existence for Guinan, this nigh-eternal alien, gifted with wisdom across the ages...and she's reduced to being a bartender, not just as a way to be the real ship's counsellor on the D, but just as a life's work for centuries before that.
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Rich James
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
I thought 1.5 stars for this was a little harsh - especially at the elements Jammer disliked were logical steps in the narrative and no more or less derivative than on other time travel episodes. Rios in ICE detention? Well, of course he’s going to be in detention. Very thinly veiled social commentary? I mean Star Trek has been doing this for decades. A younger, grumpier Guinan also makes sense - she’s old, but for an El Aurian she may be relatively young and not have developed the wisdom that marks her character in TNG. Characters develop and change and I do think that having spent so much time on earth could make you quite surly. Both destruction of El Auria also happens much later, as is my understanding so that shouldn’t have any real impact to this character.
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Rich James
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
@Robert

A few points here Robert I want to raise, and this isn’t mean to as criticism, merely as an observation to what you raise.

“This show has become a leftist commentary of 2020s Earth” to very large degree ALL science fiction is a commentary on the present day - just set in the future to mask this. Blade Runner is effectively a commentary on 1980s commercialism, 60s Star Trek reflects that eras optimism, BSG reflects that post 9-11 apathy. Star Trek in particular has always been pretty left wing - just look at The Voyage Home or maybe those time travel Voyager episodes to LA. I don’t think it’s transitioned into a leftist commentary, but we can argue whether or not the mould they’re taking here is as effective as other science fiction or even previous series of Star Trek.

Also, it’s a popular misconception of “Gene Roddenberry’s” vision of Star Trek being total and complete. He didn’t actually contribute many of the core features of Trek we know - like the Federation, the Prime Directive -even Klingons were created by Gene L Coon. Point is - it is and always has been this collaborative creative process. Not one mans solitary vision to be upheld.

Basically, I can understand your frustrations and I’m all for criticism of NuTrek. I personally don’t like DSC at all, but quite like Picard. But when NuTrek goes bad, I don’t think it’s because it leans too left or does social commentary - but HOW it does this.
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Yair
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 1:07pm (UTC -5)
Trek has often been political, but it's rarely been so inept. The agenda here is actually less Leftist than TNG in key parts, but it's delivered like a megaphone (shouting nonsense*) next to my ear. If I wanted to hear people shouting at me, I could have turned on talk radio.

I have a test for politics in a show: Imagine an episode was edited by someone from the opposite politics. If the editor could reach a just as effective a episode by flipping a few stuff, than the episode is shallow. It's pretty trivial to flip all this: have Guinan shout different slogans, have Rios be taken in by some stereotypical crime gang, at which point Seven would actually have better reason to act than in the real show.

There isn't much else to talk about this episode really.

* The planet ain't dying, girl. The planet will be fine no matter how warm it gets. It's us humans (and other animals) which will have problems with warming. Why can't these people sell their agenda even when they start from the right idea??? Also, there's a decent argument Humans are less warlike than in the past.
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nacho Picard
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 1:14pm (UTC -5)
The problem with new Trek, in my opinion, isn't its political stance, but its cynical messaging.

old Star Trek: You don't have to live like this; let me show you a better way...

Picard season 2: You all suck for living like this; I hate you and wish you were dead! You're ruining everything!

The former is aspirational; the latter is bitter and cynical. Old Trek was very preachy, but it did it in a subtle way so that many didn't even realize they were being preached to. It helped that they had good stories wrapped around those morality plays. New Trek is so heavyhanded and blunt it makes it a depressing chore to watch more often than not.
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Bryan
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 2:10pm (UTC -5)
Not saying whether I agree or disagree with this litmus test to tell whether the politics of a show are effective, but I think it's fun to imagine how this would have looked like if the political messaging had been flipped.

- When warned that "you'd better find Rios quick before ICE makes sure you never do!", Seven and Raffi are like "You know what? If Rios got into trouble with the law, he probably deserves it. We got bigger fish to fry anyway, so lets join Picard in the A plot." This also means no more C plot with Rios who is conveniently forgotten about after this point.

- Raffi isn't rude to any cops nor damages police property just because it's "fun" since she respects authority figures.

- Seven still complains about the wild fires, adding "no doubt caused by a rise in global temperatures completely unrelated to human activity."

- Guinan tells Picard that:
1) the planet may be dying but she has no idea why
2) the truth is whatever you want it to be, which is pretty sweet
3) a few folks have all the resources because they've totally earned it
4) all this species wants to do is fight so why not egg them on

- Picard tells Guinan that "Change...is highly overrated."

- The Borg Queen observes that Jurati is more than she appears at first glance. She can tell that Jurati is actually a highly intelligent and cunning woman, but that she'd better do a better job of keeping that under wraps if she wants to find a husband because men LOATH that kind of thing.
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Paul M.
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
@therealtrent: "In my mind, Starfleet is just a bus service for scientists (even political scientists). I expect the heroes of a Star Trek show to thus be more science-oriented, more objective and self-reflexive; they intimately understand what they see, they have a holistic understanding of the factors at play, they understand why what they see is happening, and are capable of reflexively understanding themselves and their own emotions. You don't get that sense with nu-Trek.

These folk are extremely VOLATILE." [emphasis mine]

Immature is another word. NuTrek characters, be it on Abrams movie trilogy, Discovery or Picard have this intrinsic immature Young Adult fiction quality to them. It's not that they are all damaged and conflicted in some way (which they often are), but that they often deal with that damage and inner turmoil in a very contemporary 21st century immature barely-out-of-teens way. You know, I have problems, therefore I drink, curse, lash out, blame others and so on.

And even worse, it's not only that these characters behave as immature contemporary people, they behave as Hollywood versions of immature contemporary people which means they are also "witty", have a quip ready at a moment's notice and are masters at engaging in inconsequential "cool" banter.

That's my main problem with NuTrek. Not the untrekiness of it, whatever that may mean, but simply bad and derivative writing that doesn't really aspire to much of anything.
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Yair
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 3:59pm (UTC -5)
@Bryan ,

Guinan's speech is an angry rant, not connected to anything we see on-screen, so anything semi-coherent can replace it. Mirror Guinan could say things like:

* Moochers are stealing the fruits of producers' hard work.
* It's silly to care about the planet when there are other planets. Humanity is setting back its industrial progress due to sentimental reasons.
* Humanity is sentimental, wondering about truth when what's important is power.**
* She's leaving. Humanity is boring, besides it will inevitably be conquered by a more interesting species like the Klingons.

Mirror Picard could promise her humanity has some ambition yet. Come to think of it, watching the real Picard's stunned face after this monologue would almost be worth it.

** I originally though about a more typical 'fake news' line, but your truth line works better.
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Jaxon
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 4:49pm (UTC -5)
"Does anyone working on that show not realize that Guinan's bar on the 1701-D was called "Ten Forward" because that was the deck and location of the bar on the ship?
"

Having Guinan settle down to a nostalgically named bar in Los Angeles in the twilight of her life is a neat idea.

Having it have existed already in 2024 with that name - and the same decor - was ridiculous, and basically asserts that the tavern was her centuries old day job (surviving in tact both World War 3 and the Hermosa Quake) and her other endeavors like her stint on the Enterprise were just sabbaticals...is stupid.
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Top Hat
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 5:47pm (UTC -5)
Guinan can simply have reconstructed her old bar. Don’t have too much trouble with that one.
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Mal01
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 8:22pm (UTC -5)
“ Guinan with a shotgun: a million times no”

Jammer, are you forgetting that Guinan had what was effectively a space shotgun behind the bar on the Enterprise?

Some valid criticisms, and this has also been my least favorite of the season so far, but the prior 4 had been quite great.

Funny that the majority of those who are heavily critical of new Trek always act like a bad ep is a harbinger of destruction for the series, when most Trek series have either as many bad eps as there are good, or more bad than good (Voyager is the latter). TNG and DS9 scrape by with having slightly fewer bad eps than good, but they’re the only ones, and the margin is very small.

Folks are unwilling to only for even the slightest modicum of grace for less than stellar episodes of new Trek, and are telling on themselves that they came into the series intending to dislike it and to derive pleasure from hating on it (Mike and Rich from RLM have fallen victim to this, as well as many “nOt My StAr TrEk” grifters on YouTube and such who never intended good faith reviews in the first place, like that Midnight Edgelord or whatever his name is), and that they could never handle watching a Trek series week to week. It’s guaranteed most of them never did, and think back fondly on the older series with nostalgia, omitting from memory the episodes that, many of which, are far far worse than anything Picard or Disco has put out so far (Masks, anyone? Or 90% of DS9’s and TNG’s first two seasons?

I’d rather watch any season of Disco or Picard than have to watch s1 or s2 of TNG or DS9, and if any of the unreasonable haters were being honest and capable of good faith conversations on this topic, so would they. We all know we just go back and cherry pick from those shows.

Pretending that Skin of Evil is good television to own the Libs is a sad way to live your life. Not saying this is you, Jammer—you teeter on the line here precariously—but many of the angry, middle-aged losers who’ve been whining about new Trek for four years do fit this bill.

Star Trek has always been woke. #DealWithIt
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Frank A. Booze
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 8:50pm (UTC -5)
Season 1 TNG is bad. Like really, really bad. Season 2 is mostly bad, but with two of the best episodes in the entire series (“The Measure of a Man” and “Q Who?”). Seasons 3 and 4 are the best, 5 and 6 are okay, and 7 is mostly bad. The TNG movies are not great.

I think DS9 seasons 1 and 2 are generally shat on because it was pre-Dominion. Season 2 is mostly good though. The opening 3 episode arc is solid.

I think with a Sci Fi show like Star Trek, you are going to have good and bad episodes, which is why doing season long story arcs is a bad idea. Although the previous episodes of Picard were much better, I was already irritated at the alternate timeline/time divergence writing decision, as NuTrek has done this too many times.

And yes, having ten forward before Guinan is ever on the Enterprise is stupid. It wouldn’t surprise me if the writers didn’t realize it was a deck on the ship. But then again, they don’t understand the significance of the Kobayashi Maru aside from having characters be “bad asses” by saying “I don’t believe in no win scenarios”. Sure, Kirk said that line in TWOK, but he certainly had to eat a big piece of humble pie by the end of the movie, and finally deal with a true no win scenario.
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Sigh2000
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 10:45pm (UTC -5)
I wish that the writers had looked more closely at the DS9 episode "Past Tense" before doing Watcher.

A decent scene occurs in Past Tense, pt. 2 (set in the processing office in San Francisco Sanctuary District A on September 2, 2024). Bashir attempts to comfort a woman processor held hostage during the Bell Riots. She has a guilty conscience about having helped a woman disappear after abandoning her baby with a family "over in the marina." It would have made a damned good story tie-in for the 2024 timeline. Who was the woman? Who was the baby? Who was the family at the marina?

Bashir: "What happened to this woman."

Hostage: "I don't know...but I think about her all the time. Ever since then, I've just done my job....trying not to let it get the best of me."

Bashir (sympathetically): "It's not your fault that things are the way they are."

Hostage: "Everybody tells themselves that....and nothing ever changes."

To me the processor's lines could have been spoken by Guinan. The actress even sounds like Guinan.

Missed opportunities.
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Leif
Sat, Mar 26, 2022, 10:46pm (UTC -5)
@Frank A. Booze why do you think TNG Season 1 is bad..which episode did you think were bad....I'm curious? I thought it was mostly good except for Code of Honor and Justice..lot of good scinfi eoisodes same with season 2..except for Shades of Grey
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Frank A. Booze
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 1:02am (UTC -5)
@Leif

Season 1 TNG feels too much like they are trying to replicate the original series. In fact, most of season 2 feels like that as well. Season 3 is where TNG starts to feel like its own show. I can’t really quantity why.

Wesley is intolerable for most of season 1. He’s a lot better in seasons 2 and 3. Tasha is not a great character. And Worf and Geordi just seem like side characters in season 1.

Here is a list of some bad episodes: Code of Honor (as you mentioned), The Last Outpost (the Ferengi are sooo bad), Justice, Haven, Angel One, Too Short a Season, When the Bough Breaks, Symbiosis, Skin of Evil. Others listed are just watchable. Whenever I get a TNG itch, I don’t really watch anything from season 1. Conspiracy is good, although I mainly just like watching the old admiral beat up Riker, Worf and Geordi.

I’d still take any of season 1 TNG over Discovery though. That show sucks. I gave up on it finally 2 episodes into season 4.
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Jason R.
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 5:40am (UTC -5)
I would take TNG Season 2's Q Who and Measure of a Man any day over all of Discovery and Picard combined.
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Lee
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 5:44am (UTC -5)
@Tim C
Bravo for providing that quote from Rick Berman. I totally agree with what he's saying there and couldn't have put it any better or more succinctly. For all the flack Rick took when he was steering the Star Trek ship, he really did understand what it took for an actor to adopt that 'starfleet persona'. He hits the nail on the head when he says acting in Star Trek is acting in a period piece. The way the actors talk is incredibly stylised and is almost Shakespearean in the way it's delivered. Nobody talks over each other. But "new" Star Trek is just current actors applying current mannerisms to what should still be a period piece. Raffi is a perfect example of this. From the moment she started delivering lines in session one, I just could not accept her as ex-starfleet. I get she went through bad times, but she was so angry and negative all the time that it made me wonder how she'd ever been accepted into the academy in the first place with that attitude. Even Seven has lost that Data-like quality that apparently seems incompatible to modern Trek and they have her now coming across more like Jeri Ryan herself than Seven. Some of the lines Seven delivers just don't make sense. A sign of modern times.
Say what you want, but looking back, I think Rick Berman had more of a handle on what made 'Star Trek' than any of the people who followed him.
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Jason R.
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 5:46am (UTC -5)
"Jammer, are you forgetting that Guinan had what was effectively a space shotgun behind the bar on the Enterprise?"

Are we forgetting that she pulled out said space shotgun to suppress a riot and not to threaten some 80 year old man who came into her bar? Speaking of which, maybe that explains why her bar had to close. Randomly pointing a gun at your customers for zero reason?
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Jan
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 5:56am (UTC -5)
This is why I don't like time travel plots. Too easy to get them wrong, and they essentially exist to leave things as they were. Extra-worse if people forget they were involved in them, as the only thing that remains of interest is what people experience along the time loop.

If you posit that the divergence is a single change yet to come, it follows that everything before the change is exactly the same. Otherwise, you diverged long ago, and the whole season premise fails. So Picard did meet Guinan.

If you posit that things in the past are already different because the change about to happen removed the events in "Time's Arrow", the change itself is moot, as all things that lead to that moment are already different and the change moment shouldn't exist.

To salvage the previous case, you could argue that "Time's Arrow" events where inconsequential up to 2024. No matter what, after that point in the past, things remained essentially equal. My memory of "Time's Arrow" is too fuzzy to remember if removing it would result in the same timeline up to 2024. The thing, is anyone claiming this is what happened?

To me, the bigger problem is that the whole Confederation premise is suspect: a change in 2024 was pivotal in creating the Confederation, but at the same time everybody mated with the same people to produce the same lineages leading to Picard, Seven, Raffi and Rios during centuries, just that they were all happy with imperialism. All these missions and wars of extermination didn't alter the progenies in any substantial way. Which leads to the common criticism (that I share) that the Confederation is too much like the mirror universe. Because everybody exists just the same, but they're evil. Where not witnessing a truly different evolution with different people down the road, as surely would happen. And we even have Seven married to another person as a telltale!

Unless, again, you argue that the Confederation is a thing only in the last few years, with only subtle differences for the most part between 2024 and up to when things truly diverge. But, again, this would merit some backing in-universe. It is still hard to swallow, unless one is willing to accept that Picard's whole personality is dependent on subtle external changes.

And that leads us to the nature vs nurture elephant in the room. Does such a Picard make sense in any non-mirror universe? Now, that would be something worthy of exploration.
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Maq
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 6:25am (UTC -5)
It is easier to watch these transportation episodes in in Picard than it was in Discovery.

Nevertheles it is not reeally star treck an more. On reason is the previos discussioon regarding the charaters. The star fleet people are, except for Picard, not star fleet confirm. Seven is not more seven. I can partly buy this as a natural deassimilation but she has unfortunately lost much of the good seven.

Next thing, it happens in a current arth societey. DS9 Past tense was more imaginative. It is to less SciFy to put it short.

It can be very enjoyable just to go back and watch single episodes from TOS until ENT but for DIS and Picard I do not think it will be possible.

Stll, I do enjoy Picard and look forward to next episodee.
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Dreubarik
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 7:12am (UTC -5)
Something I find hilarious is the writers' assumption that Guinan must be a bartender at every point in her multicentennial life, because that is the way pop culture remembers the character. Up until now, I had always assumed bartending on the Enterprise was a brief period of her life, motivated by her friendship with Picard and willingness to explore and interact with different species. She obviously didn't need a job, because nobody in the 24th century does. Now we find out that she is actually extremely serious about her bartending career and has nurtured it for centuries, even in capitalist economic systems in which she presumably had to charge customers, crunch financial statements and employ other people as wage labor. Neat.
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Booming
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 7:27am (UTC -5)
Yeah Jan hits the nail on the head. Time travel plots are the sci fi version of a dream episode. Nothing that happens here will have any consequences, apart from what happens to our core team (maybe). Either have an interesting voyage or a twist on the time travel plot but this has only the big mystery box about why, who, where.

- past tense had the twist that they caused a change in time and had to slip into the role of a famous historical figure while at the same time humanizing all people involved.

- the voyage home was a fun fish out of water story.

This on the other hand does really nothing. The characters act like 80s action heroes/heroines, there is almost no fish out of water humor and they aren't even humanizing the immigrants or the people who have to work the system or the officers who do the inhuman stuff. All of which would have been far more interesting than one doctor and one douche. Both are fairly one dimensional.

Even though I haven't watched past tense for years I still know most of the characters, their weaknesses and strength, what they were willing to do and what motivated them. Like the guy who got shot at then end. He was sad and sensitive but also willing to use violence to achieve his goals yet inclined to listen to reason, but he was also a caring father who would rather live a good life and achieve that through peaceful community organizing. In this episode we have the doctor who cares about immigrants and is critical of the system and has a kid, then there is the ice agent who is a little racist and mean. That's all I know about them.

Even the Agnes Queen story is not that interesting because we barely know Agnes. We get one very awkward exposition by Agnes that she is not good at relationships towards that bald guy and then another by the Borg Queen. I don't think that during the entirety of season 1 did she ever mention feeling lonely. Before that I thought she was a happy, well adjusted and very successful scientist. It's like the whole Raffi-Elnor relationship. Never have we seen anything that explains why they are super close. The show pulls those things out of nothing just to have a new drama plaything.

Oh and by the way, there is a certain irony in the fact that they felt the need to explain why Whoopie Goldberg looks older in one episode and then use a very different looking actress in another and it isn't even mentioned.

At the end a little mystery box count.
- What's up with Q
- Why did Q what he did
- Who is the other Borg Queen
- Who changed the timeline and why
- Why is Laris in Human form
- What really are the watchers
- What happened to Picard's mother
- Lots of will they won't they

How exciting.
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grey cat
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 7:42am (UTC -5)
@Mal01 it's all subjective anyway.

I'm not getting into what is or isn't Star Trek since it obviously all is.

But for me I'd rather watch any of DS9 including season 1 than any of DSC (not seen season 4 since it'd have to pay for it here).

TNG's S1 is definitely rough but as with DS9 the characters and actors are still far superior to DSC.

Imo the only thing DSC has going for it is how great it all looks but thats just because of budget and technology.

I quite enjoy PIC (even season 1). This episode was rather dull and preachy. It made some very basic points which had Twitter swooning so I guess that's something.
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Henson
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 8:29am (UTC -5)
Man, I must be the only person here who thinks Skin of Evil is a really solid episode. Sure, it's an Original Series-type script in a TNG show, but it's a good one, a clash of an optimistic future with an uncaring, immovable force.

Season 1 is still rough, though.
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N
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 9:05am (UTC -5)
Well put Henson, it's absolutely that. There's a rawness and starkness to the episode - it's one of a few S1-2 episodes like Conspiracy and Q Who that have a fantastic 80s gothic horror sensibility. The raw grief and actually losing a main character is really affecting too. When I first saw it at the age of 7 or thereabouts, I was in floods of tears - I knew it was a drama, but it hit me hard, in a good way... I wasn't disturbed or frightened, it was just shocking and really sad. Children's and a lot of adult's programming is full of the message that good always triumphs over evil, which is a lie that leaves people ill-equipped to deal with the real world. Episodes like Skin Of Evil and shows like Black Mirror are fortifying in that they actually show us the truth - that awful things can and do happen to good people for no reason.
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Jason R.
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 9:31am (UTC -5)
"Now we find out that she is actually extremely serious about her bartending career and has nurtured it for centuries, even in capitalist economic systems in which she presumably had to charge customers, crunch financial statements and employ other people as wage labor. Neat."

Haha maybe her bitterness is really from the failure of her bar business?
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Rahul
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 10:04am (UTC -5)
"Star Trek has always been woke."

Trek has always challenged the status quo but there's a big difference between today's woke culture and what was progressive in classic Trek. And one difference that is key IMHO is the idea of striving for equal opportunity versus striving for equal outcomes. Going back to TOS (since that's where the seed was planted), one of the things that made it so broadly appealing was thinking of a future where everybody has the equal opportunity to succeed, i.e. no discrimination. It was very inclusive. For example, Kirk from "Plato's Stepchildren" to the dwarf Alexander: “Where I come from, size, shape, or color makes no difference.”

Contrast this with DSC (in particular) where it's clear the showrunners have crossed the line into striving for equal outcomes -- they are basically mandating that, to make up for the historical prominence of straight white males on TV , they will try to, with 1 series, restore balance. So this amounts to ticking boxes, virtue-signalling and losing the broad appeal of classic Trek. DSC is no longer inclusive. And then there's the actual treatment of straight white males on DSC...

It's kind of like mandating that the board of some publicly traded company be 50% female. While I think that's a worthy goal to strive for, board seats ought to be awarded based on merit (granted there's subjective judgment involved) not gender. The key is to avoid discrimination, which has increased under woke culture.

On a slightly different note, re. PIC, I agree with the respective comments from @Robert and @Shannon. "This show has become a leftist commentary on 2020's Earth." and "There is clearly a far left agenda being shoved in our faces." I wonder what Robert and Shannon would think of DSC... But I see a sort of divide-and-conquer strategy between the 2 nu-Treks of trying to cover as much of the left/far-left agenda as possible. DSC focuses on the issues of race/gender/sexuality/BLM and it seems PIC is taking on the environment / social welfare. I need to see more from PIC to get a better sense of what the message is and also how it is delivered.

Where classic Trek was providing social commentary on a broad range of themes, I never felt it was singularly preaching a particular ideology. So overall, I don't agree that Trek has always been woke -- it's primarily DSC, and I need to get a better sense for PIC, though I suspect it is going there too.
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Booming
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 10:16am (UTC -5)
"The key is to avoid discrimination, which has increased under woke culture."

Did you hear that PoC's, Gays, transsexuals and women, today there is more discrimination than before.
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Ron Burgundy
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 10:40am (UTC -5)
"TNG and DS9 scrape by with having slightly fewer bad eps than good, but they’re the only ones, and the margin is very small." -- Mal01

Knights of Columbus that was stupid!
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Jaxon
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 11:30am (UTC -5)
Jan points out the main problem with time plotlines.

That there are sweeping historic changes, but somehow the exact same egg-sperm combinations over countless generations *all* produce the same genealogy of people is simply bonkers nonsense.
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Henson
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 11:45am (UTC -5)
@Jaxon

Well, this isn't really a problem with time-travel plotlines so much as alternate universe plotlines.
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Alex
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
qHenson
))I was under the impression Guinan got her 'timesense' from her experience with the Nexus, and the 'echo' of herself that was left behind is what allows her to detect changes in the timeline.((
Then Picard - who was likewise in the Nexus (remember: He and Kirk cavorted around for a while, went horseback-riding, etc. in the Nexus) - should also have that ability.
In fact, so should all of the Enterprise crew! After all, they were walking around on the hull of the crashed Enterprise, etc., when the Nexus hit them. And even if Picard's actions effectively erased that timeline - since the Nexus is timeless, they should have all left "echoes" of themselves in the Nexus.
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Alex
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
))He could have always looked like Sisko in the historical texts.((
@Joseph
No, Sisko and the other crewmen stranded in the past consult their shuttle's computer records and see, very distinctly, historical records of the original Gabriel Bell - a Black man, but definitely NOT Sisko.
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Shannon
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 7:59pm (UTC -5)
@Rahul... 100% agree with your commentary. And yes, I think DSC is doing the same thing, just from different angles.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 9:38pm (UTC -5)
"But now they've recast her in a completely different template, and it might as well be a different character. Making Guinan a cynic who serves as a contemporary mouthpiece for the writers is a terrible choice that leads to dialogue that just clangs to the floor."

Oof. That sounds dreadful. After seeing some of the positive reviews for previous episodes, I was toying with the idea of returning to this series, but yeah, no.

@Jan: "To me, the bigger problem is that the whole Confederation premise is suspect: a change in 2024 was pivotal in creating the Confederation, but at the same time everybody mated with the same people to produce the same lineages leading to Picard, Seven, Raffi and Rios during centuries, just that they were all happy with imperialism. All these missions and wars of extermination didn't alter the progenies in any substantial way."

This always bugs me with time travel stories. I actually have a radical view that even if you went back in time and just did nothing major, keeping your head down and keeping everything really low profile, within a year at most all the babies on Earth would be different genetically even if most of them would have the same parents. But even if you don't accept that more radical take, dramatic change of the kind described here should certainly result in different people being born. This is of course also a big problem with the mirror universe.

I can be charitable in this case, however, and offer a fanwank: this was all engineered by Q, so he made sure all the principal characters survived the transition.

@Rahul: "And one difference that is key IMHO is the idea of striving for equal opportunity versus striving for equal outcomes."

This.
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dave
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 2:20am (UTC -5)
Time travel stories always cause problems and questions that make it messy. I wish they would stop going back to time travel! I thought this series was looking great after the first episode but now here we are and it is starting to get a bit messy.

I can rationalize in my head few things.

- the "alternate timeline" Picard would not have travelled back to 19th century so it is reasonable that Guinan never met him before

- Guinan going from smooth talking 19th century wise woman to bitter crossfit athlete a 100 years later and then back to smooth wise woman a couple hundred years after is possible. People can and do change over long periods of time, we see it in our lives it can happen over that long of a frame. I know its a jolt to see her portrayed like that but I don't find it terrible stretch to accept it.

- this being Guinan's "final straw" to leave is fine. Yes, she has seen worse in the last 100 years but often we hang in their through the worst and eventually get so disillusioned that something less serious is that final trigger point

- Raffi and Seven trying to break Rios out NOW. They would have no idea he would end up walking free in Mexico at some point so I can understand that urgency. They don't know how ICE works and he is being sent to a sanctuary at the border who knows how long he sits there to be processed.

- I liked the abandoned Chateau Picard. The family still owns the property but are in England for a significant number of generations before returning to rebuild. A nice little way to explain Picard's accent all those years later being English and not French. I think the writers forgot a bit about wine aging though as a wine maker like Picard would realize that a 100 year old bottle that has not been stored properly is likely to be undrinkable!


I have to grade these new series on a different curve. Picard Season 2 is significantly better than S1 so on that alone I am fine with what we are watching. I sure as heck can't compare it to the 80s and 90s TV series by any stretch; and maybe we shouldn't other than hoping they don't damage continuity too much.

Disc S4 was the best by far for them so it left me satisifed even though there were a lot of holes they could have filled if they were at the level of quality of the older series.
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dave
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 2:25am (UTC -5)
A lot of people seem to be upset at this "woke Trek" trend.

I would like to point out that the old school Trek vision of the future of humanity was this incredible unattainable socailist utopia where everything is provided by government, everyone barters freely and only wants what they need, people don't care about material works or wealth or ever want to grow beyond what society and government provides them as essentials of life. No racism, no discrimination, no pollution, no war, you name it. Ultimately, it is the "woke left's" ultimate dream, isn't it?

Trek has always strived to be "woke".
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dave
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 2:30am (UTC -5)
Another comment on 10 Forward

I agree with most people, I am quite displeased her bar in 2024 is 10 Forward when the bar was named that way due to its location on the Enterprise D!

It was cool her post enterprise life was a peaceful time opening a bar and naming it that, but to have her with a bar named that in the past is ridiculous.

They could have just given it another name and location and everything would have been fine.

Fan service is fun, but I don;t think many TNG fans will be jumping in excitement that she had a bar named that in the past. it will upset people more than anything due to the huge gap in logic on that.

THe only way to explain out of this is she specfically got the posting to the Enterprise and asked if she could make her bar on the 10th deck in honor of her former bar name. But that would be awfully silly, wouldn,t it.
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Booming
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 2:51am (UTC -5)
@dave
"THe only way to explain out of this is she specfically got the posting to the Enterprise and asked if she could make her bar on the 10th deck in honor of her former bar name."
In Strange New World we will find out that Guinan became super important in Starfleet engineering for 200 years and that she mandated that every last ship had a 10 Forward with a bar, just in case she wanted to go back to giving out legal and semi legal substances for free.
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Booming
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 3:16am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
Oh, I would advise you to at least wait until the season concluded. Jammer's ratings highlight the problem: 3 1/2, 3, 2 1/2, 1 1/2

It's pretty bad.

About the whole equal opportunities vs equal outcomes. I don't know if Rahul doesn't understand the difference but Star Trek is the essential equal outcomes.

This picture illustrates the actual difference, left is equal opportunity right is equal outcome.
https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-5d339789cbf1db3a963729b9bb2c7a49-lq

Equal opportunity means that you aren't banned from participating for whatever reason, meaning that you have the same opportunities but if you are for example poor then your chances of seizing those opportunities are far smaller than that of somebody born into wealth. Equal outcome doesn't mean that everybody is the same at the end but that society creates systems that give everybody the same chance to succeed.

Star Trek because there is no money and everybody gets the same education, health care and so on is the ultimate equal outcomes scenario.
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Bryan
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 3:56am (UTC -5)
I don't know why people continue to harp on with "Trek has always been woke", as if the people commenting on a Star Trek forum have never watched Star Trek before, and especially when there have been plenty of nuanced takes explaining the difference. So if people are going to hold fast to that argument, it would really move the discussion forward to at least engage at the same level of sophistication and nuance as those you disagree with, rather than just beating that same old drum and imagining it will make any difference.

I've talked before about how Nu-Trek seems to weaponize identity politics which is something new, and very different from simply subscribing to the theory of identity politics. Others have pointed out that Nu-Trek mainly expresses its politics through "wokescolding" about everything that the showrunners dislike, whereas classic Trek usually tends to lead by example, optimistically pointing the way forward. I think this is mainly what is meant when people say "too woke". Also, when this laundry list of dislikes is rattled off with little significance to the actual story, and the characters are used merely as mouthpieces for the writer du jour, people from both sides of the political aisle are going to complain about that because it's just bad writing.

And this is just me listing things at the top of my head without going back and re-reading what people have actually said in this discussion thread...there's a whole lot more that is worthy of attention.

There's something else, though, that people need to keep in mind: the left isn't a monolithic entity where everyone believes or prioritizes the same things. So there's nothing necessarily contradictory about someone loving the quasi-socialist utopia of TNG while simultaneously disliking the more overt in-your-face feminism and identity politics of Nu-Trek. That's because there's nothing in socialism per se that automatically commits you to any of those things. The word "woke" doesn't really apply to socialists either. They're interested in dry economic theories, not things like political correctness...

There's also an important distinction to be made between the rah-rah feminism of activism in broader society, and the rah-rah feminism within a television series that you're a fan of. You can totally be all for the one, but not the other without betraying your fundamental principles. And that's because effective methods depend on the medium and context. Being really on the nose with self-righteous fury might be effective at tilting the scales in real-world activism, but can actually put a stranglehold on effective storytelling. I don't think we should downplay the comparative importance of storytelling, either. Because good storytelling does something that partisan political activism doesn't do very well -- it allows people on both sides of the fence to empathize with each other's positions, bringing them closer together. Allegory isn't just a tool for pure entertainment. Telling the story "slant" chips away at the listener's automatic defenses and achieves better buy-in from them in those cases where beating them over the head it would turn them away from the get-go. It means that you've got them to listen and may have even converted them to your side.

This is especially relevant to me because I thought the main strength of Classic Trek was not JUST the optimism nor the utopianism, but the humanism that says that deep down we're all basically the same, that we're all essentially on the same side, even if we don't know it yet. That we don't draw lines across divisions of race, gender or sexual orientation or fall back on tribalism according to creed. At the very least, we're all worthy the same basic respect and dignity. This is arguably a leftist or even "woke" message, but it doesn't have to be. Do you honestly get the sense that Nu-Trek shares this same message, or has it fallen into the same divisiveness that Roddenberry wanted to pull us out of?
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SlackerInc
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 4:04am (UTC -5)
@Booming, that illustration is clever but ultimately glib and inaccurate.

"About the whole equal opportunities vs equal outcomes. I don't know if Rahul doesn't understand the difference but Star Trek is the essential equal outcomes."

Certainly not. Remember the "Lower Decks" episode of TNG? Ensign Sam Lavelle is desperate to rise in the ranks, not only to attain more authority and status but to get his own quarters. In pursuit of this goal, he obsequiously attempts to curry favor with Riker--which shows it's not simply a question of seniority and therefore putting in the time just like everyone else.

But we already had confirmation of this a season earlier in the episode "Tapestry", when (again thanks to Q) Picard learns that if he hadn't nearly gotten killed in a fight as a cadet, he would have risen no further than junior lieutenant in the astrometrics department by the time he was the same age as the sixth-season veteran captain we knew.

Equal opportunity vs. equal outcomes can best be described in terms of blind orchestra auditions. Fifty years ago, the hiring process was accused of being an old boys' network. So a clever new system was implemented in which candidates play from behind screens. This dramatically increased the representation of women, but didn't do much in terms of Black representation. Therefore the NY Times's chief classical music critic argued in 2020 that we should get rid of the screens and put a thumb on the scale for Black candidates:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/16/arts/music/blind-auditions-orchestras-race.html?referringSource=articleShare

Might my airline pilot or heart surgeon have benefited from growing up with more advantages? Maybe so. But the answer is to help nurture young students of diverse backgrounds. If this still leaves us with disparities in skill level by the time they come out of the educational pipeline, c'est la vie. I don't want my heart surgeon or airline pilot to be an affirmative action hire! 😳

Getting back to science fiction, Kurt Vonnegut provided us an excellent satirical illustration of where the "equal outcomes" ideology leads us. Here are excerpts from the first page of his novel Harrison Bergeron:

--------
THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.
[...]George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.
[...]
On the television screen were ballerinas.
A buzzer sounded in George's head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm.
"That was a real pretty dance, that dance they just did," said Hazel.
"Huh" said George.
"That dance-it was nice," said Hazel.
"Yup," said George. He tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They weren't really very good-no better than anybody else would have been, anyway. They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn't be handicapped. But he didn't get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.
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Booming
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 5:00am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
"This dramatically increased the representation of women, but didn't do much in terms of Black representation. Therefore the NY Times's chief classical music critic argued in 2020 that we should get rid of the screens and put a thumb on the scale for Black candidate"
Hahaha, OMG. Dumbest idea ever! But it points to a problem that many liberal elites like to ignore, the problems of the system. In this case the fact that not many black and Latino kids get the opportunity to fiddle their way out of poor neighborhoods. So instead of creating an environment/society where these kids could succeed for example in music, this "critic" thinks that we should just get rid of a useful tool to fight female discrimination and put a little bandage on a huge bleeding wound. Problem solved.

"I don't want my heart surgeon or airline pilot to be an affirmative action hire! 😳"
Would you rather be operated by a trust fund kid whose parents payed for best schools and teachers even though in a fair race that rich kid would have become a bus driver, while at the same time the poor kid never got the chance to become a great surgeon because that would have cost several hundred thousand dollar in the US.

"where the "equal outcomes" ideology leads us."
While one should obviously not become excessive. An ugly kid might concentrate on studying and do far more good that way. But I don't think that using societal wealth to give people the same chance to succeed will lead to some kind of egalitarian totalist brave new world scenario. It's more about different but equal.

And about Vonnegut (from his wiki page): Vonnegut disregarded more mainstream American political ideologies in favor of socialism, which he thought could provide a valuable substitute for what he saw as social Darwinism and a spirit of "survival of the fittest" in American society, believing that "socialism would be a good for the common man".
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Booming
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 5:13am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc a little more
Maybe it wasn't obvious but I'm not a big fan of affirmative action. It has some value but similar to the orchestra example it is just fighting symptoms, not causes.
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SlackerInc
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 5:16am (UTC -5)
@Booming Your last paragraph indicates to me that you have made a common error in assessing my political orientation. I'm not a right winger, even if woke progressives consistently take me as one. I'm a Democrat, and not just one of those people who says that but votes Republican: in my adult lifetime I voted for Gore, Kerry, Obama twice, Clinton, and Biden. I support dramatically increasing taxes on the wealthy and using the money to boost government spending on education, health care, protecting the environment, regulating corporations, providing housing and mental health services to the homeless, etc. I'm an atheist and therefore strongly opposed to school prayer or teaching "intelligent design".

But I can't stand wokeness, and this concept that straight white guys like me should carry around collective guilt and wear hairshirts or be seen as the enemy (which is clearly the stance of NuTrek producers). Without the support of guys like me, Democrats would be doomed. If white guys were as Republican as Black women are Democratic, Democrats would be lucky to have fifty seats in the House, maybe five or six in the Senate, and would never come close to winning the presidency and therefore nominating Supreme Court justices.

Center-left straight cisgender white men are one of the most valuable resources in modern society, and it really ticks me off to no end to see the wokesters thumb their noses at us.
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Jason R.
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 7:32am (UTC -5)
https://www.reddit.com/r/TheRightCantMeme/comments/dhpm0t/equity_vs_equality/

Fixed it for you Booming :)
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Nick Ryan
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 7:52am (UTC -5)
The explanation for Guinan not knowing Picard makes sense but then that same explanation would have prevented Spock's encounter with the punk on the bus. They can't help themselves from immersion breaking references even if it contradicts a major plot point. And tob point out a technicality, the Borg won't destroy Guinan's homeworld until around the time of the original series so it hasn't happened to her yet.
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TheRealTrent
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 9:34am (UTC -5)
You're misreading "Harrison Bergeron"; it is not a satire on "equal outcomes", it is a satire on the popular understanding of what leveling entails. More specifically, it uses a Randian ubermensch fantasy to mock anti-socialist propaganda - Vonnegut was a socialist himself - and the Cold War misunderstanding of egalitarianism. See: https://s3.amazonaws.com/arena-attachments/197545/03882696bfa8a19df975946fa70f142c.pdf.

Remember the story ends with the one guy freed from "equality" and "forced outcomes", beating everyone up and setting up a tyrannical aristocracy. The story is parodying a false dichotomy between individualism and collectivism, taken to extremes in the story by an author who believed individualism and collectivism are not mutually exclusive.

The "equal opportunity, not equal outcomes!" meme is itself as old as time. Over a hundred years ago Lenin was dissing it with: "This is the reasoning of liberal scholars who repeat the incredibly trite and threadbare argument that experience and reason clearly prove that men are not equal (in strength, mental ability and so forth), yet socialism bases its ideal on equality. Hence, socialism, if you please, is an absurdity which is contrary to experience and reason!"

He then goes on to deliver an early-1900s version of Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron", where he contrasts the way absurd forms of "equality" are used to distract from or palliate the goal of democratizing land and abolishing class exploitation, without which he believes "equal opportunity" will always lead to the only "unequal outcomes" he cares about- poverty and class exploitation. It is this line of critique that Vonnegut is engaging in.

Someone above mentioned that nu-Trek is not "meritocratic" and is for "equal outcomes" not "opportunities". That argument struck me as weird as well.

The implication is that the cast of nu-Trek are "quota picks" and "not selected based on merit" and "don't deserve to be there". But what's the difference between them and how Kim, Chakotay, or Sulu were selected by producers? Why's Kim selected based on "merit" but not Culber? Why's Sulu selected based on merit, but not Michael? What makes Janeway a product of a meritocracy, but Michael a product of nefarious affirmative action do-gooders?

Nothing. The only difference is that nu-Trek's minorities are in positions of power, and are gay, trans or black women. That's the only difference. They are no more or less "quota picks" as Chekov, and have no more or less "merit" to offer.

It is their locations within the shows that are unconsciously pissing certain people off, and their not conforming to "comfortable preconceptions" (Uhura was stuck in a corner, and to some Geordi and Tuvok are but cozy, white, middle-class versions of blackness). Why else would one believe Sulu was the product of a meritocracy but Culber isn't?

Concern about the "end of meritocracy!" has historically always been a cover for anxieties about minorities achieving greater representation. People displace their (often unconscious) feelings, and then convince themselves that some folk don't "deserve" to be seen ("You're only captain because you're black", "you're only the chief medical officer because you're gay", "you don't deserve your position, you're a quota"). Usually this is aligned to anxieties about white males being "replaced".

But how many white males does it take to make one comfortable? Nu-Trek begins with white boy Kirk magically getting command of a Starship (no meritocracy there, he just gets it). "Picard" gives you Rios, Elron and Picard. "Discovery" gives you Vance, Pike, Spock, Stamets and Saru. Is that too little? Does "Discovery" need a white male executive officer to calm people down? And why? Why's it okay for DS9 to have only 2 female lead characters and dozens of reoccurring male ones, but not okay for "Disco" to do the reverse? And what's it say about people who even notice the latter?

Another thing people complain about is the show "demonizing" males. Jean Luc Picard is apparently "repeatedly attacked for being male", and "Discovery" is a "man hating show". But is this really happening? The villain of Disco season 1 are two women: a female Klingon warlord and a Mirror Universe Empress. The heroes of season 2 are two noble white guys. The villain in season 3 is a female Orion crimelord. The villain in season 1 of Picard is a female Romulan fleet commander. And the casts of both shows are filled with women who are extremely messed up (Raffi, Seven, Jurati, Michael etc). It's bizarre to say the shows are bashing males when their villains are women, and their "heroes" are some of most negative portrayals of women in all of Trek.

What's really going on is that nu-Trek is terribly written, which is pissing people off, and employing counter-cliches to juxtapose itself against past Trek, which is also pissing a subset of people off. As these counter-cliches get played out (the novelty of a black woman, the novelty of a gay doctor etc), old cliches will begin reasserting themselves.
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TheRealTrent
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 9:41am (UTC -5)
Dave said: "THe only way to explain out of this is she specfically got the posting to the Enterprise and asked if she could make her bar on the 10th deck in honor of her former bar name. But that would be awfully silly, wouldn,t it. "

Do "TNG" or "Generations" ever hint that Guinan can see the future? Am I misremembering things, or does "Best of Both Worlds" not include a scene where Guinan seems to see into the future? Or is this all simply due to he knowing that Picard will go back in time to the 19th century and save her life?

If Guinan can "see in the future", then the bar in 2024 being called Ten Forward mightn't be a goof. She probably simply "senses" that Enterprise's Ten Forward would one day be an important part of her life.
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Paul G
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 10:57am (UTC -5)
I don't know if the episode was supposed to be woke or aimed at millenials, but it was badly written. Which is the true problem.
I didn't like young Guinan, she doesn't feel like Guinan at all.

About episodic trek:
The strong point is that you can rewatch any episode of any season whenever you want. If you think only two episodes of TNG season 1 were good, you can rewatch only those two. We don't have to care too much how many clunckers there was in any season. We just skip them if we can't stand them.
In serialised trek, a cluncker brings the whole season down with it. The writers should be more careful about that.
Well, maybe it won't happen in the case of this episode ? Nothing happens in it, so maybe we can just ignore it? I hope the time travel stuff is planned ahead and not improvised.
I went quickly through all the previous posts, good points were made. But I don't think people should get so angry about a TV show.....
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Give a Hoot, Read a Book
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 10:58am (UTC -5)
Hey TheRealTrent you might want to read Harrison Bergeron again because you are totally wrong about it.


Honestly, I can't imagine you have ever actually read it if you think it ended with "the one guy freed from "equality" and "forced outcomes", beating everyone up and setting up a tyrannical aristocracy."


Just totally off base. A complete 180 from what the story is actually about.
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Booming
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 11:29am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc (and the others)
Keep in mind that I'm writing this after walking probably 500 miles while constantly drinking apple cider. Not my fault, it's the fault of those companies producing that delicious apple cider.

"Your last paragraph indicates to me that you have made a common error in assessing my political orientation."
No, capitalistic meritocracy is about equal opportunities, socialism is about equal outcomes, that's why I quoted those wiki thingies. We surely interacted but I have the memory of a fruit fly so I really don't know what you believe. You voted for Kerry... did you know that he fought for the VIetcong? or something... Let me post another Vonnegutism, Vonnegut said, "The two real political parties in America are the Winners and the Losers. The people don't acknowledge this. They claim membership in two imaginary parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, instead." A two party system is not much better than a one party system. Keep it complicated, that makes it harder for the rich.

" I support dramatically increasing taxes on the wealthy and using the money to boost government spending on education, health care, protecting the environment, regulating corporations, providing housing and mental health services to the homeless, etc. I'm an atheist and therefore strongly opposed to school prayer or teaching "intelligent design"."
Are you single? :)

"But I can't stand wokeness, and this concept that straight white guys like me should carry around collective guilt and wear hairshirts or be seen as the enemy (which is clearly the stance of NuTrek producers)."
While I can appreciate the woke concept which exists since the 1930s, it has been co-opted by the elites to fortify their power. divide et impera. Or maybe it's producers following the almighty algorithm.

" Without the support of guys like me, Democrats would be doomed"
In Germany it's different. It's equally hopeless but different. In Germany we have a socialist party (besides the center left social democrats) and that party was fairly strong for a while but they are now going full humanist. Immigrants, homelessness, climate change and so on. All these topics that are important but workers won't vote for you because of it. Middle-class kids playing politics.

@Jason
" Fixed it for you Booming :)"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONwYOhpIAoY

Sorry if somebody else tagged me. I'm just too drunk
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Jason R.
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 12:50pm (UTC -5)
"Keep in mind that I'm writing this after walking probably 500 miles while constantly drinking apple cider"

Are you sure that it's 500 miles and not 500 kilometers? Not that 500 kilometers isn't a nice little stroll too.
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Bryan
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 2:02pm (UTC -5)
@TheRealTrent

"It's bizarre to say the shows are bashing males when their villains are women, and their "heroes" are some of most negative portrayals of women in all of Trek."

I've fully addressed some of these points not too long ago, I think midway through DISC season 4 so I may have to repeat myself a bit. I think Nu-Trek particularly takes aim at those who are both White and Male (and ideally straight too, which is why Stamets gets a pass), though it will occasionally take aim at folks who are just one or the other. I also think that every white male need need not be villified and every female of color need not be perfect in order for there to exist a broader trend here. Certainly if that were the case then more people would have to admit that pointing this out isn't ridiculous, but it works in the showrunners favor to be a little more subtle about their attitudes in order for people like you to give them the benefit of the doubt. My aim then is not to get everyone to agree with me, but hopefully to defend the position as not being so "bizarre" afterall.

- When we say a character his been villified we need to distinguish between being framed in a negative light versus cast as a villain because this is not necessarily the same thing. MU Georgiou may be in the role of the villain but from a narrative framing sense, she's framed as slick and cool. The audience is rooting for her, not hoping that she will be defeated and die. At least that seems to be the intent on the part of the showrunners. The same with Raffi and Seven. They may be flawed, but these flaws are not a deal-breaker as far as the narrative framing is concerned. Their ass-kicking coolness trumps all. If anything, their "flaws" of being hot-tempered and vindictive only contribute to the sense that these are strong female characters and not cardboard cut-outs that only exist to be knocked down, unlike most of the villanous and/or minor white male characters that have ever existed in Nu-Trek.

- Female villains like Osyraa and a few others who are indeed cast in a more negative light can usually be read as "white", possibly to echo the sense there exist white females in the real world who have throw in their lot with the patriarchy rather than take the side of what is good, just, and progressive. Also, once again, even Osyraa isn't a cardboard cut-out but has some fairly reasonable motivations for taking the side that she does, which makes her a stronger and more relatable character. Don't get me wrong though: I think it's great that the showrunners have a few female villains in there for the sake of balance, so it's not something that I'm going to critize them for.

- Spock and Pike are "grandfathered-in" as good, beloved characters that the showrunners briefly tossed in there to cynically trade on their fan recognition, so of course it would be stupid and counter-productive if they spent all this effort to achieve that buy-in from Old Fans only to throw them under the bus for being straight white males. Also, I could understand and appreciate the argument that "Look, they have Pike and Spock, there you have nothing to complain about" if they had actually kept them around, because I think they actually did serve to counter-balance this attitude that straight white males kind suck, even if their being white males was merely incidental on the part of the showrunners. But as it stands, they only stuck around for one season.

- I've argued before that Saru's sheer alienness trumps his whiteness in a way that Spock's doesn't, and that Vance has been claimed as Jewish as much as he's been claimed as white, but these are not hills that I'd be willing to die on. Like I said, such an argument doesn't hinge on there being zero exceptions to the rule.
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Yanks
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 3:25pm (UTC -5)
Hey everyone.

I stated earlier that Guinan shouldn't have known Picard because of the change in the timeline that resulted in the events of Time's Arrow never happening... but going by what we were told in this episode, the change won't happen for another three days on April 15th. Everything before that should be as it was in the original timeline, right?
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Sen-Sors
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
@Bryan

"There's something else, though, that people need to keep in mind: the left isn't a monolithic entity where everyone believes or prioritizes the same things."

This is a level of nuance far beyond the boilerplate conservative grievance rhetoric you will regularly find on this site.
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Jammer
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Well, if Picard came from a future where the timeline was already corrupted, you could argue in that timeline Picard would never have traveled back in time in the events of "Time's Arrow" to meet Guinan because he was too busy waging war against all of Earth's enemies.

But you could also argue that since it already happened in the past, the "past" should stand, regardless of a different version of the future.

The bottom line is that it's time travel, it's paradoxical, and you can never logically make it line up ... or you can line it up however you want, which is what the writers did here.
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Bryan
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 4:12pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, I think it's best not to get too bogged down with the time travel implications lest we start to lose our minds: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/SD5yR5JN2vY
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Jaxon
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 4:21pm (UTC -5)
Drastically altered timelines still producing the exact same genealogies has always been an absurdity.
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Jammer
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 4:25pm (UTC -5)
Really, with time travel, it's all absurd when you get right down to it, so you have to just go with it, *within the rules that we have previously generally accepted*. Any changed event in 2024, no matter how minor (and this one is supposed to be major), should result in none of the people alive in 2400 in the regular timeline having ever been born, because the changes will have resulted in a massive divergence that happened well before the birth of their grandparents. The likelihood that any of these people would've existed *at all* should be zero. And that's probably true if you go into the past and merely breathe the air. So it's really all just nonsense you have to take on a comic-book level.

I'm willing to completely overlook the 10-Forward thing. That's not even in my Top 100 list of things to care about. Like the punk rock guy, it's a joke/reference and absolutely nothing more. If you look at punk rock guy, it's ridiculous too. He's still listening to the same song nearly 40 years later, and just happens now to be in L.A. instead of San Francisco? It's a gag. The 10-Forward thing is a gag. It's not meant to be taken seriously. You could just as easily chalk the 10-Forward thing up to being a coincidence. Guinan just happened to work on Forward St., where the address is 10, or whatever.
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Jaxon
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 5:03pm (UTC -5)
Put indelicately, pretty much everyone that existed in the prime universe would have met their end in a toiletry.
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Frank A. Booze
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 8:20pm (UTC -5)
Can somebody give me a concise definition as to what “woke” or “wokeness” is referring to?
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SlackerInc
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 8:51pm (UTC -5)
@Bryan Vance is not only Jewish, he's very clearly Middle Eastern in ethnicity. NuTrek never casts a blue-eyed straight-coded cisgender guy (who is not "grandfathered in" by previous series as you say) as anything but a villain.

And obviously Saru is not white!

"And that's probably true if you go into the past and merely breathe the air."

Yesss! Jammer's one of my people! So right.

@Frank, my tendentious definition is that it related to Noetzche's "slave morality", except that it goes even further to impute a genetic or racial inherited guilt. People are implicitly ranked from most "marginalized"/ and therefore deserving/exalted, to most "mediocre" and despised, on a continuum from disabled Black transwomen to straight cisgender white men. The only possible explanation for ineqal outcomes is patriarchy or white supremacy.

It bears some resemblance to the demonization of the formerly hegemonic Tutsis that led to 1994 Rwandan genocide. although history is unlikely to repeat itself to that extent because white men outnumber other groups numerically and are in many cases well armed.
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Bryan
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 9:34pm (UTC -5)
@Frank

Woke just means "alert to social injustice" and is normally applied to issues of racism and sexism. In most contexts, it can be used in place of "politically progressive" without losing much in translation. However, when the term is used pejoratively, such as "too woke", it is referring to a sort of tunnel vision on the part of many of the left, such as being overly concerned with matters of political correctness, identity politics, affirmative action, etc., which the people who use the term pejoratively think has dominated a particular discourse in an excessive way.

Because the term is rather vague and be used both descriptively and pejoratively, it leads to a lot of confusion with people talking past each other, compared to if they had used more precise language.

@SlackerInc

Yeah, I'd agree that being 'very Semitic' makes a difference, but I fear that insisting on Saru not being white because of the actor is to open a can of worms that might distract from the broader issue here.
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Frank A. Booze
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 10:06pm (UTC -5)
@Bryan

Thanks for the clarification. I also was under the impression it meant “alert to social injustice”, which is obviously a good thing. My confusion is that it seems to be used as a negative phrase a lot on the internet. I worry that people are using “too woke” as an excuse to not be “woke”. I’m not sure if that makes any sense.

Anyhow, this is a Star Trek discussion, so I’ll direct the conversation back to Star Trek. Did anyone ever notice how much of a hypocrite Chief Engineer Logan is in the TNG season 1 episode “The Arsenal of Freedom”? towards Geordi? What is up with that guy?

Wait…this is a Star Trek: Picard discussion. Does anyone think this whole going back in time plot is going to span the entire season? Or will it be over in a few episodes?
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Gorn with the Wind
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 10:42pm (UTC -5)
@Frank A. Booze

Given this pointless time waster of an episode, I think we’ll spend as much time as possible in 2024.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this season’s budget (and the next’s) was slashed to the bone after the bloated turkey that was season 1.

Take the car chase as an example. Not a single crash or stunt. Just a lot of weaving through traffic. The driver for craft services was probably behind the wheel.
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SlackerInc
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 11:29pm (UTC -5)
@Bryan: "I fear that insisting on Saru not being white because of the actor is to open a can of worms that might distract from the broader issue here."

I have no idea what race that actor is. Which is kind of the point. Saru is simply alien, so not any human race. Technically this would be true of Tuvok on Voyager as well, but give him a knit cap like Spock wore in time travel stories, and he immediately looks like a human Black man. Saru by contrast doesn't look human at all, regardless of what he wears.
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Seyms
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 3:59am (UTC -5)
The final scene showed Q reading a newspaper. One of the headlines states: "Brynner fights unionization: Says conditions in his factories are better than union shops". I like how they referenced 'Past Tense' with Chris Brynner, the corporate executive who helped Jadzia. The headline also fits his character, seeing as he was quite disdainful of the Sanctuary dwellers, and Jadzia had to really convince him to let them use one of his net channels.
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Yair
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 5:45am (UTC -5)
"To me, the bigger problem is that the whole Confederation premise is suspect: a change in 2024 was pivotal in creating the Confederation, but at the same time everybody mated with the same people to produce the same lineages"

It's just a conceit of these types of stories. Even hard sci-fi traditionally allows one conceit. Once you've a being called Q to call the shots you can just blame anything on him. The problem is that they don't do much interesting with it. The second episode is almost superfluous. Q could have beamed everyone direct into the past, and not much would differ (except for better motivation for working with the Borg Queen).

@TheRealTrent

"The villain of Disco season 1 are two women: a female Klingon warlord and a Mirror Universe Empress"

Disco spends a fair amount of seasons 2 and 3 showing how cool this Mirror Empress is, despite her having a body count that makes the world's famous mass murders look like amateurs, and a lot of that in the press was 'she's an action girl'.
But, yes, the real problem is horrible writing and not the political message. These people would have screwed up with a different politics. TOS did the 'seductive tyrant' far far better with Khan. (Also, the Klingon plot is so confused I'm not sure who its villain is. Didn't they end up working with said female Klingon warlord?)
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Yanks
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 5:54am (UTC -5)
@Frank A. Booze
Mon, Mar 28, 2022, 8:20pm (UTC -5)
"Can somebody give me a concise definition as to what “woke” or “wokeness” is referring to?"

Only here will you get a civil discussion on a topic like this.
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Yanks
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 7:10am (UTC -5)
Pretty decent article here on the "woke" topic:
https://deadline.com/2021/08/tv-too-woke-the-office-it-crowd-edinburgh-1234821978/#comments

As to the time travel thingy. Thanks for responding Jammer. I guess you're right, it's whatever the writers deem necessary.

I still didn't get one "Guinan vibe" from our new young Guinan. She certainly wasn't acting like a 400-year old.
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 7:39am (UTC -5)
""Can somebody give me a concise definition as to what “woke” or “wokeness” is referring to?""

I won't bother pulling up the Wikipedia entry but I'll just give you my off the cuff take.

Woke is a word typically associated with a strain of left wing thinking that focuses on power structures and the intersection between identities and oppression / privilege.

So a liberal would say that we need to treat all job applicants equally and let the chips fall where they may. A liberal would want to be "colour blind" and select for merit.

Someone woke would observe that the system of selection is itself a product of one group's historical dominance and would suggest that the system itself privileges that group *by design*. So being "colour blind" is actually anything but if the system you are using is designed to reproduce one group's privilege and another's oppression. In that sense, the individual intentions of the person employing the compromised system are irrelevent.

So a liberal would look at an unequal outcome and ask for evidence of bias whereas a woke would see the unequal outcome *as* the bias inherent in the system itself.

More colloquially, woke is associated with cancel culture and censorship and other illiberal nastiness.

One of the things to keep in mind is that woke isn't liberal - it's actually Marxist, which is like antimatter to liberal matter. So when people say that Trek was always "woke" they are not quite right. Trek was always liberal, which is the opposite of woke.

That said, I am not even convinced that nuTrek is woke in any meaningful sense. I think that nuTrek appropriates some of the trappings of woke that act like allergens to the anti woke, but in actuality the substance is hollow.

It's like someone rubbed a little drop of peanut oil on a slice of bread. Allergic people might break out in hives and go into anaphylactic shock after eating it, but that doesn't make it a peanut butter sandwich. The woke stuff is mostly superficial. As Trent noted the issue with nuTrek is the bad writing, not the politics.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 8:17am (UTC -5)
@Booming
"Did you hear that PoC's, Gays, transsexuals and women, today there is more discrimination than before."

Do you really think that these people are immune to woke-based discrimination?

Modern woke culture paints a one-dimensional picture of reality, and ruthlessly attacks ANYONE who dares to doubt this picture. The wokesters don't really care if you are a black woman, a binary person, or a gay dolphin. They only care if you
subscribe to their childish view of reality or not (and if you don't, then you are labelled as "the enemy").

I will also add that the old forms of racism, bigotry and prejudice are as alive as ever. Woke culture did not decrease these age-old problems at all (one could even argue that it made them worse). So now these people get to "enjoy" being abused by *both* the original racists and the new woke crowd. How fun, eh?


@Dave
"I would like to point out that the old school Trek vision of the future of humanity was this incredible unattainable socailist utopia where everything is provided by government, everyone barters freely and only wants what they need, people don't care about material works or wealth or ever want to grow beyond what society and government provides them as essentials of life. No racism, no discrimination, no pollution, no war, you name it. Ultimately, it is the "woke left's" ultimate dream, isn't it?"

Not really.

I fail to understand how some people still believe this myth after the last two
years. We've *seen* what woke culture is all about. No racism? No discrimination? Plenty and prosperity for *everyone*, including people whose opinions we don't like?

Don't make me laugh.

One thing on your list which does fit woke culture is this bit:

"People don't want to grow beyond what society and government provides them as essentials of life."

And this is a complete anti-thesis of what Star Trek is all about. Compare with these (pre Nu-Trek) Picard quotes:

"The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity."

and

"This is the twenty fourth century. Material needs no longer exist. The challenge is to improve yourself. To enrich yourself."

Does this sound like woke culture to you? Because it sure doesn't sound like it to me.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 8:36am (UTC -5)
@Jason R.
"That said, I am not even convinced that nuTrek is woke in any meaningful sense. I think that nuTrek appropriates some of the trappings of woke that act like allergens to the anti woke, but in actuality the substance is hollow."

I don't think there's a conscious political agenda in play here.

NuTrek is simply entertainment for the masses. It also tries to appease the show biz crowd, which is deemed important today. That's were both the "woke" and the "hollow" parts come from.

The same is true for like 90% of modern TV. Everyone wants to be fashionable and "play it safe". And you can bet that when these social trends change (and they will), NuTrek will happily follow suit.
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Booming
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 8:56am (UTC -5)
While it seems, if one believes how it is portrayed here, that Woke is everywhere, I cannot remember a single person her on the forum acting like people describe the wokist. That is even stranger because NuTrek is often called woke. Where are those powerful masses who are so immensely threatening?

I also want to point out that no other group on this forum talks more about identity politics than white heterosexual men.

Sorry guys, i cannot do "woke, the biggest threat to society" round 500.

I'm more concerned about stuff like Florida banning any kind of mention of homosexuality in school until the fifth grade and also made it possible to sue anybody who talks about homosexuality if the parents have a problem with that after the fifth grade which will lead to many schools informally banning any homosexual depiction in word or media. Or Texas encouraging citizens with money to hunt women who had an abortion. Or the states that have so called "bathroom bills" which should really be called "transgender assault bills" because forcing transwomen into male bathrooms often leads to violence. That is actual legal discrimination. Show me one state, one county that has laws that discriminate white heterosexual men and I will start to take this seriously. Just one.
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Yanks
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 11:05am (UTC -5)
@Booming
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 8:56am (UTC -5)

"While it seems, if one believes how it is portrayed here, that Woke is everywhere, I cannot remember a single person here on the forum acting like people describe the wokist. That is even stranger because NuTrek is often called woke. Where are those powerful masses who are so immensely threatening?"

Taking an argument to the extreme in an effort to prove a point? You honestly can't see that Discovery is woke? ... really? Jesus, even those that like it know it's woke. Why does there have to be an "immediate threat" for it to be woke? ... or for someone to have an issue with it?

"I also want to point out that no other group on this forum talks more about identity politics than white heterosexual men."

Based on what?

No kidding, 30 minutes ago I had a conversation with a new employee and we were discussing Trek. He said he stopped watching Discovery because it was too woke. This person is NOT a white American male and it was this person that brought it up, not me.

This is getting as bad as the female ghostbusters fiasco. The movie was horrible, and to HIDE the criticism of the movie, Sony (I believe it was) censured all public forms of criticisms and justified it because the 4 main cast were woman so the criticism MUST be a bunch of male haters.

"I'm more concerned about stuff like Florida banning any kind of mention of homosexuality in school until the fifth grade and also made it possible to sue anybody who talks about homosexuality if the parents have a problem with that after the fifth grade which will lead to many schools informally banning any homosexual depiction in word or media. Or Texas encouraging citizens with money to hunt women who had an abortion. Or the states that have so called "bathroom bills" which should really be called "transgender assault bills" because forcing transwomen into male bathrooms often leads to violence. That is actual legal discrimination. Show me one state, one county that has laws that discriminate white heterosexual men and I will start to take this seriously. Just one."

The question you need to ask is why would such a law be required? What possible reason would their be to discuss homosexuality to any child 5th grade or younger in school? These bills just didn't show up one day, they show up as a reaction.

Bathroom bills are desired because anybody can "identify" with any gender at a whim and everyone has to respect that lunacy or be labeled as anti-(name it) or a racist. It's a joke.

Jason R got it right:

"More colloquially, woke is associated with cancel culture and censorship and other illiberal nastiness."

Those that say that ST has always been woke are wrong (and many, go to any forum). It's always been progressive and sometimes liberal, never nasty.

How many heterosexual white males have been on Discovery that weren't bad, or dead, or gay? Just a coincidence?

I have a sign, I'm protesting... hear me...

Do I need to list all the positions of power filled by females on Discovery? Do you really think that's a mistake Booming? ... just happened to turn out that way?

Again, WHY is Michael Burnham the Captain of Discovery? it's not like she was just cast from the get go in that position... is it because of her unblemished Star Fleet record?... her unyielding regard for all lifeforms?... ability to follow orders even if she doesn't agree with them? I'll let you answer that.
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Jaxon
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
The woke's "defuhd the police" schtick has always struck me as absurd, because they are the ones that are about policing speech, policing thought, policing intent, policing outcomes, and after Sunday, policing comedy.

They're the ones most likely to defend Will Smith's literally *assault* of someone exercising free speech and say that Chris Rock "had it coming".
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grey cat
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 12:27pm (UTC -5)
I don't loathe DSC because it has a mostly female cast or a black captain or even if it tries to shove its political message down your throat with a road drill.. i loathe DSC because it is horribly acted and horrendously written. Is it woke or not? Who cares tbh.

Thankfully I grew up blissfully unaware that people even cared that ds9 had a black captain or voy had a female captain and a black vulcan. The internet was new and I guess I didn't mix with enough racists to it ever to be "a thing".

Someone pointed out to me what a wonderfully diverse cast The Expanse has the other day. I'm like? So what? Everything about the show is so damn perfect and THAT was the thing they thought was important. Can we just be human beings at some point? The irony of the fact the show is about Martians vs Belters vs Earthers (all human beings) was not lost on me.

PIC has a random collection of genders and races (which is as irrelevant as it should be beyond being relevant to the story). Its vastly better acted (raffi wasnt great this episode but perhaps more the scripts' fault) and mostly better written.

This was definitely a rather average episode though.
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Booming
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 12:38pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks
I said that many people call NuTrek woke. In my view the term has become so fuzzy that it is more or less a catch all term now for things people don't like.

" This person is NOT a white American male and it was this person that brought it up, not me."
Sure. I get that. I dislike NuTrek for it's bad writing, the political messaging is a minor point for me. It's a little eye rolling sometimes but not much more.

"The question you need to ask is why would such a law be required? What possible reason would their be to discuss homosexuality to any child 5th grade or younger in school"
Enlighten me. Why is it bad for children to hear about homosexuality? Were the teacher recruiting children into the gay lifestyle?

"Bathroom bills are desired because anybody can "identify" with any gender at a whim and everyone has to respect that lunacy or be labeled as anti-(name it) or a racist. It's a joke."
Discrimination always has reasons. People aren't intolerant because they are evil. You think that by banning transsexuals from using a fitting bathroom will keep sexual predators from entering bathrooms? The entering of the bathroom is a minor offense compared to anything else that a sexual predator would do. Oh and let's not forget all the assaulted and raped transsexuals because of those laws. These laws do nothing to actually decrease sexual assault of women and at the same time endanger an already discriminated minority.

"Do I need to list all the positions of power filled by females on Discovery? Do you really think that's a mistake Booming?"
Sure, it put's more women in. Is that bad? Again I find these arguments very strange. If Starfleet would realistically represent Humanity then we should have far more Asians, like hald should be Chinese or Indian. How many people of Humanity are white heterosexual men? 5%? And when I said that the last time people were just arguing that shows should represent US society. Then there is the fuzzy nature of the term "white". Is it about skin pigmentation? Is it about culture? Is it a combination??
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Bryan
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 1:37pm (UTC -5)
I can almost see the origin of Booming's reputation as a "left-wing troll" flash before my eyes. It's possible that I, too, would care less about the nuance of people's actual position and how they differ, and instead strike at all of thee with scattershot venom and fury if I had to deal with this sort of thing day after day.

I don't think she was addressing me but the main reason why I don't do the Whataboutism of actually worthy progressive issues here is not that I don't care about them but because they typically are not relevant to a Star Trek forum unless they are discussed in an actual episode. And this still has no bearing on my belief that, while the main problem with Nu-Trek is indeed its bad writing, I feel that these schlocky shortcuts are directly attributable to the negative attitudes that pervade these shows. And these attitudes are largely "informed" by an overzealous misreading of intersectionality theory that isn't unique to Kurtzman and his ilk, but takes up significant space in the landscape of the American Left. So yeah, it's definitely political.

That said, I also want to distinguish myself from others with their unfathomable Jordan Peterson-like misunderstandings of Marxism, or the more typical "Republican reforms have a point", since I am just a socialist-humanist and not any of those other things.
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Booming
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
How is it not discrimination. If a book features a homosexual couple, banned. If a movie features a homosexual couple, banned. If a kid asks what homosexuality is, forbidden. If a teacher brings her girlfriend/wife to an official school function, cause for termination?

Homosexuality is not just about sex, it's about people falling in love, people sharing their lives with. It's a part of the Human experience. It's not a threat to children.
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Sigh2000
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 2:03pm (UTC -5)
Self-evident truth: All beings with power of inhalation must simply live happily in spite of the near certainty that they will never be asked to appear in Star Trek (TM) and that therefore their ethnicity and sexual orientation, no matter how special those may be, in the final analysis, may hardly matter to the showrunners, let alone to the viewers.

-The (Insert-interesting-galactic-term) Accords of 2022 Article XXVII, part 18c, paragraph 67.
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JS
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
"Another typically shallow show for the millennials."

BS. Millennials grew up on TNG/DS9/VOY. I guess an "ok boomer" is in order ;>

Yours truly,
Millennial
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Jaxon
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 2:38pm (UTC -5)
Millennials didn't write TNG/DS9/VOY.
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JS
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
WRT "Star Trek has always been woke"

I consider myself a leftist (EU-based millennial) and I despise NuTrek and its over-the-top heavy-handed wokeness. They are doing a huge DISSERVICE to feminism and LGBT people. If they put women into every leader position imaginable and the future is now pretty much dystopian as opposed to pre-NuTrek utopia... do they even realize what kind of messages they're sending? Or perhaps this is a wokeness false flag operation? Same with putting all LGBT people into engineering - "stick with your own kind" (as a not exactly heteronormative person I personally found this offensive). Not sure what to make of it. I hope it's just Hanlon's razor.

I grew up on Voyager. And while it wasn't, per popular opinion, the top of Trek series with regards to quality (even though it's still my personal favorite) they still knew how to do proper Trek by doing ALLEGORY instead of transplanting 1:1 20th/21st century humanity problems into the future. Which is precisely what NuTrek does and which makes no sense, because humanity was supposed to be way past those (32nd century Adira making remarks about their pronouns in the rudest possible way was the icing on the cake). They don't even care about the language and NuTrek is full of 21st century jargon. With Picard S2 they went full-retard and ditched the future setting by boldly moving the show into the present, ultimately proving that sci-fi is simply not their thing.

When I was a teen Voyager made me reflect on what "human values" are. It taught me morality ("The Void"). It taught me about the chain of command. About using science and logic. About the importance of human lives. I would never be able to learn about any of those from NuTrek. NuTrek teaches me that there is no chain of command, that emotions trump logic and that you can always fail up (guess Kurtzman made Burnham into his own image), because there are basically no consequences to what you do. Oh yeah, and that it's also ok to slaughter people (and get away with that too!)

Yes, Star Trek has always been "woke", just not this kind of woke. It was allegoric. It was clever. This one is not. It's just heavy-handed, dare I say, aggressive nonsense that not only won't educate anyone, it's also offensive to the parties that they think they are the voice for.
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Gorn with the Wind
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 3:16pm (UTC -5)
Stat Trek has always been “woke” - socially & economically. Name another show in the 60’s, 80’s, or even 90’s that had a diverse cast, social justice allegories, and a society without disease, poverty, inequality, or any of the bad -isms.

The difference now is that we’ve lost this utopian optimism. I loved the first ep of this Picard season because it finally gave us a future to root for. Too bad it didn't last long.

The fact that the dialogue, characterization, and plotting all suck is nothing new. Voyager & Enterprise sucked too in these departments, despite some decent episodes here and there.
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Gorn with the Wind
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
@JS

I would agree. Picard does politics terribly. It’s preachy, didactic, and dull.

And this is coming from a space commie who agrees with the writers on almost every ideological point.
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Jammer
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
Here's the problem with the term "woke": It has become completely meaningless thanks to the detractors who use it constantly. Now, mere *mentions* (not didactic preaching) of, say, climate change are labeled as "woke." Using a mask during covid is "woke." Any sort of criticism leveled at certain people is answered with accusations that the "woke mob" is coming for them. For some, every liberal must be "woke."

Would the term be justified in some cases? Sure, I guess, when it used to mean something, but that's not how it's mostly used. So now it's a completely worthless cliche term, thrown out there to complain about anything and everything. I don't even know what it means anymore without the context of who said it and what their motivations appear to be.
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Rahul
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 3:55pm (UTC -5)
Very good post @JS

In general, I kind of wish we could agree upon a clear demarcation between progressive/liberal (left of center) and woke (far left). As I said before, classic Trek was not woke but it was certainly liberal/progressive whereas DSC definitely is woke (and, for me, the jury's still out on PIC).

It's not just a question about not portraying an optimistic future (or portraying a dystopian one) but also targeting a certain cohort of the human population for disproportionately negative treatment -- that is the primary distinction between classic Trek (liberal/progressive but still optimistic, benevolent, and inclusive) and DSC (woke, divisive, and creating strife amongst segments of the populace).
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Rahul
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
Sorry for posting again -- I didn't see @Jammer's post until after my prior post.

But his post emphasizes one thing -- yes, "woke" is overused and I think it should be used more carefully and that people should be precise with their terminology. Woke is not liberal or progressive IMHO -- it shouldn't be used to describe classic Trek, for example. And similarly it shouldn't be used for just talking about climate change or basic social welfare issues. It should be used, for example, to describe that aspect of DSC regarding treatment of straight white males.
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Peter G.
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 4:23pm (UTC -5)
@ Jammer,

"Would the term be justified in some cases? Sure, I guess, when it used to mean something, but that's not how it's mostly used. So now it's a completely worthless cliche term, thrown out there to complain about anything and everything."

To be fair, this is a result of the nature of the ricochet effect in the social media echo chamber, amplified by having shots fired into the chambers by the clickbait mass media. Anytime a term becomes politically charged that means it's fertile ground to mine it for massive clicks, and so it becomes a disposable commodity that is used for gain rather than for communication. When even a cogent term gets thrown into a centrifuge, or a house of mirrors, it's going to get bent and distorted out of all shape. So I agree with you that this type of term (and you can add in terms like "alt-right", "communists" and even "literal Nazis") ends up being a casualty of war rather than a help in communications. However the trouble is that the thing the term originally designated still does exist, it's just that the meat grinder renders it impossible to render clearly, but additionally that means it renders *the topic* impossible to render clearly. We do need clear words to discuss things clearly.
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Jammer
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 4:23pm (UTC -5)
I think the straight white male argument is a slippery slope. I definitely don't think SWM's should be discriminated against simply for being SWMs. But going so far as to count the number of "positive" SWM portrayals in a show that is trying to diversify its cast by intentionally casting women and minorities (while excluding actors from that number who don't "count," such as Doug Jones) really goes to lengths to assume the worst of the writers/producers.
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Jaxon
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 4:34pm (UTC -5)
Woke is probably overused, but one reason is because all the nutty stuff it peddles, like "defund the police" becomes the entire Democratic Party's cross to bear. All of American media, not just the right wing venues, make sure of it. And then that burden inevitably manifests electorally.
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Bryan
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer

To be clear, for me it's been less about the low number of positive portrayal of SWMs as it has been about the high number of negative portrayals, and I think the ratio between the two gives more credence to this argument than if it had simply been just the one or the other. And as I've said earlier, I actually do applaud the showrunners' intentions to have an even more diverse cast, and have never made any anti-affirmative action type arguments. The idea that they have good intentions regarding diversity and affirmative action is not mutually exclusive with the idea that they, consciously or unconsciously, harbor some bad attitudes regarding the archetypal SWM, which they have time and again, depicted with cartoonish caricatures.

People are welcome to dismiss this as "just bad writing" if they must, but I think it's particularly telling that the showrunners have NOT extended this "bad writing" to characters belonging to any other identity category except SWMs.
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Far be it for me to lend any help or cover to the woke, but it seems to me Rahul is factually just wrong about the claim that straight white males are mistreated in Discovery or any other show of that ilk disproportionately. At least I don't see any evidence of it and would expect to see something concrete to justify that claim.

It just seems like confirmation bias to me, coupled with the fact that we are so used to seeing such an overwhelming disproportionate representation in favour of the swm group that a sudden change to true proportionality comes across as unfair targeting, even though it is really just rebalancing.

Also keep in mind that Discovery's setting is a future space force recruiting from planet Earth - so it shouldn't be just representative of America or whatnot, but Earth. I would say in that light it almost certainly isn't diverse enough, especially regarding South Asian and East Asian groups.
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Rahul
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
The math doesn't lie Jason R. I'm not the only person who has noticed the disproportionately negative treatment of SWMs. I would not have noticed it if there were better a balance on DSC. Like how could there be no SWMs on the bridge, or in sickbay, or in engineering? Regardless if DSC is trying to portray proportional representation however many hundreds of years into the future, its balance is just off. Are we to believe lesbians are to become far more commonplace than SWMs?

To Jammer's argument: " But going so far as to count the number of "positive" SWM portrayals in a show that is trying to diversify its cast by intentionally casting women and minorities (while excluding actors from that number who don't "count," such as Doug Jones) really goes to lengths to assume the worst of the writers/producers."

Personally, I would not have been inclined to do the math had DSC had more balance. And when one looks at the minimal positive instances of SWMs compared with the exaggerated negative instances on SWMs, it's hard not to at least wonder what is going on with the writers/producers, aside from just poor writing.
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Booming
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 5:10pm (UTC -5)
"Are we to believe lesbians are to become far more commonplace than SWMs?"
Yes. If the number of swm stagnates at around 300 million and humanity peaks at around 9 billion and around 87% of women identify as completely heterosexual, while the rest is either bisexual or gay/lesbian and that number is going up in every generation. But whatever, let's say the number stays constant. So 13%, that would be 580 million give or take. Around twice as many as swm. Factoring in probability laws one could assume that there is probably as ship out there that is mostly staffed by Lesbians.
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Bryan
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 5:27pm (UTC -5)
"Are we to believe lesbians are to become far more commonplace than SWMs?"

For me, personally, I'm less concerned about proportional representation as projected into the imaginary future as I am about the jist of that article that someone posted earlier. That is, that the showrunners have failed to "take their audience with them" into the progressive present, whether this failure is intentional or not. They've jettisoned a large portion of the prior fanbase by really making it an uphill struggle for them to get on board with the change in politics and tone.
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
One thing I will say is that I don't think woke ideology or whatever you choose to call it, is compatible with an optimistic utopian vision of the future. This ideology defines itself in opposition to liberalism and to tearing down liberal political, social and economic structures. But what comes afterward is extremely vague and I'll defined.

Which means that if we assume nuTrek is in this ideological mold, it does explain why the writing consistently rejects Rodenberry's utopia - it literally can't conceive of such a world, so it is always intent on sabotaging or undermining such a vision .

Indeed, if Rodenberry's vision was a vision of the liberal society perfected, the present shows do what Marxism does best - tear down liberal hypocrisy and expose liberalism for the fraud it is. That applies as much to the future as to the past.
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Jaxon
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 6:08pm (UTC -5)
Populism is agitation for its own sake, so by design it can essentially ever be satisfied. Thus, no utopia can possibly ever exist.
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Tim M.
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 6:47pm (UTC -5)
Getting back to the episode, it was mostly a "filler" installment to me, providing necesary connective tissue and setup for the next act of the season. It wasn't terrible though, so I would be a bit less harsh than our host and rank it two stars (**).

Punk Rock Guy (we should dub him PRG) and 10 Forward Avenue were fun little easter eggs; like Jammer, I didn't read into them more than that. I did, however, find the recast (but cut) Guinan to be distracting, precisely because we'd expect her to look about the same as Whoopi given what we saw in "Time's Arrow." The recast didn't work for me, although I understand why she would have no memory of Picard. Heck, that might explain her (uncharacteristic) bitterness--perhaps that encounter with Picard in 1893 affected her; without it, she is more jaded and hopeless.

I enjoyed the exposition about Picard's family and the scenes between Jurati and Picard at the dilapidated chateau. Well-written and a nice way to fill in some of Picard's history.

I also enjoyed the mind games between Jurati and the Borg Queen aboard the ship. I'm definitely curious to see where that leads.

Hopefully this episode is the low point of the season and we start building back up to an early-25th-century climax in the latter third of the season.
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Horseplay
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
Booming wrote

"Sure, it put's more women in. Is that bad? Again I find these arguments very strange. If Starfleet would realistically represent Humanity then we should have far more Asians, like hald should be Chinese or Indian. How many people of Humanity are white heterosexual men? 5%? And when I said that the last time people were just arguing that shows should represent US society. Then there is the fuzzy nature of the term "white". Is it about skin pigmentation? Is it about culture? Is it a combination??"

I'm guessing but I'd imagine that there would be very few "black" or "white" people around at all in 400 or even whatever ridiculous year DSC is set in (3000 something?). As we see with the invention of the aeroplane there are many more "mixed race" (I'm assumming that term is still inoffensive) than there were even a 100 years ago.

Does that mean soon everyone will be a PoC and we can STFU about it? That really WOULD be utopia.

Hopefully that isn't feeind the "left-wing troll".

@Bryan wrote
"People are welcome to dismiss this as "just bad writing" if they must, but I think it's particularly telling that the showrunners have NOT extended this "bad writing" to characters belonging to any other identity category except SWMs."

The bad writing is universal.
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Bryan
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 7:43pm (UTC -5)
@Horseplay

Yess...there are many instances of bad writing unrelated to what I'm talking about... but what I mean is that this particular kind of bad writing is very selective. Since there are many different factors that can lead to bad writing within the same show, surely it's not impossible to do the equivalent of a 'forensic analysis'.
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 8:16pm (UTC -5)
"Yess...there are many instances of bad writing unrelated to what I'm talking about... but what I mean is that this particular kind of bad writing is very selective. Since there are many different factors that can lead to bad writing within the same show, surely it's not impossible to do the equivalent of a 'forensic analysis'."

Let's face it, black women have most cause to complain. Not since Bella Swan has there been a greater female villain than Michael Burnham.
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Gorn with the Wind
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
I’m just not concerned about a “woke” mob led by Alex Kurtzman and Michael Chabon terrorizing SWM’s. Picard’s name is literally the name of the show and Stewart’s is top billing. His rate likely has a few more zeroes at the end than the rest of the cast’s. We’ve even had a fascist straight asian man and a mad pansexual deity to take the burden of villainy off the shoulders of us SWM’s.

What I am concerned about is how this show fails at good storytelling. The antagonists, aside from the Borg Queen, are as thin as paper no matter their color or sexuality. When a character says something political, it’s the writers who are talking, likely after 5 hours of doomscrolling on Twitter. And as I mentioned in a previous comment, the show lacks the power of allegory, an ancient and powerful tool which unlocks emotions we had long been inured to, helping us to understand the same old problems in new ways.

There are many classic examples of allegory in other Trek shows: the Outcast, the Doomsday Machine, the Offspring, the Drumhead, Paradise Lost, Duet, Chain of Command, Past Tense (which takes place in the same week or so in 2024!), and so on. Picard sort of tried it with the synthetics last season but got bogged down in too many characters and pointless plot shenanigans. This season isn’t trying at all.
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Quincy
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 11:46pm (UTC -5)
Is anybody else wondering if Q continuum is directly descended from human beings or not? Otherwise, they really need to explain Q's obsession with humanity. I know he flits about screwing with many races, but he certainly seems to have a god boner for humanity.

Or perhaps humanity saves some other race that become the Q. We know Q set Picard up last time to cause the very phenomenon he sent him to investigate. "You did it before. You're doing it again." He also keeps playing specifically with Picard's timeline.

And now he's losing/lost his powers. This doesn't seem to be an issue of the Q continuum restricting his abilities like they've done before. It's something different. Something at least partially puzzling to him. If he has no real connection to humanity why isn't he somewhere figuring out why his powers are gone instead of once again bothering Picard/humanity?
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Kyle
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 1:48am (UTC -5)
So am I the only one who thinks that the Picard writers are totally under using Seven? She has a long history with the borg queen, yet not even a mention of it or aknowlegment of it is made, like the two don’t even know each other. That should have been Seven bonding with the borg queen and talking about loneliness and doing all the mind stealing, and Jurati should have been on that lame cliche action movie car chase with Raffi. It’s like the writers have no idea or don’t care about sevens character or history, and the current character beats no relation to her canon character. But I do think Jeri Ryan is doing a good job with what she’s been given by the writers.

As for Laris as the watcher I think she’s is one of the DS9 Prophets; didn’t they always take the form of people close to you? And did anyone catch the reference to ICE taking Rios to the Sanctuary District on the border? Maybe the Bell Riots are indeed coming? That would be awesome for canon continuity and world building, but I’m afraid Nu Trek writers will let me down yet again.
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SlackerInc
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 2:57am (UTC -5)
@Yanks: "You honestly can't see that Discovery is woke? ... really? Jesus, even those that like it know it's woke."

Right? It's what they aggressively love about it!

It was a bit disguised in most of the first season of DSC because the captain was a straight-presenting white male. But then at the end of the season he turned out to be an evil Trump* avatar (even going so far as to proclaim that he was going to "make the Empire great again"), and there were no white guys even visible in the wide shots of Federation bigwigs in the season finale, and suddenly it was all very plain.

*Those who like Trump might be offended that a Trumpian figure was portrayed as a villain. My beef, as someone who hates Trump, is having the only straight white male character be Trumpy!

@Booming: "If Starfleet would realistically represent Humanity then we should have far more Asians, like hald should be Chinese or Indian. How many people of Humanity are white heterosexual men? 5%?"

If they went the route of having the cast be mostly Chinese and Indian, I could respect that. (@Horseplay made a good point that everyone should be sort of a similar mixed race, kind of like in the "Matrix" future--but instead, we have at least two characters who are gingers, the most fragile recessive kind of genetics you can find among white people.) I liked having the non-evil Georgieu be captain in the DSC pilot. But they created new, non-villainous characters who were straight white women, straight Black men and women (there are about the same number of Black and white people in the world), but none who were straight white men. Oops, just an oversight I'm sure!

@JS: "If they put women into every leader position imaginable and the future is now pretty much dystopian as opposed to pre-NuTrek utopia... do they even realize what kind of messages they're sending?"

Haha, this is a great point. It reminds me of the unintentional message of the show "Noughts and Crosses" on the Peacock streaming service. It's an alt-history deal where instead of European countries becoming colonial powers in the "Age of Exploration", sub-Saharan African countries developed advanced technologies first and became the hegemons. In the 21st century setting of the show, Black aristocrats lord it over a white underclass arguably more than is the reverse in reality. So, contrary to the Nietzchean "slave morality" I mentioned earlier that underpins wokeness, this actually acknowledges that Black people are fundamentally no better than white people: if they had the same historical advantages, they would be oppressing everyone else who is not them. In fact, it's white men who are the only demographic group I know of in all of recorded history who have lessened their grip on power simply because they (however grudgingly in some cases) recognized that it was the right thing to do.

@Peter G: "However the trouble is that the thing the term originally designated still does exist, it's just that the meat grinder renders it impossible to render clearly, but additionally that means it renders *the topic* impossible to render clearly. We do need clear words to discuss things clearly."

This. The fact that dumb right wingers muddy the term by throwing it around willy-nilly does not mean it's not an actual issue, any more than their labeling all Democrats "socialists" nullifies the fact that a small but noisy minority of Democrats actually do oppose capitalism (as opposed to just wanting to make sure it's well-regulated, like regular liberal Democrats do).

@Jammer: "I definitely don't think SWM's should be discriminated against simply for being SWMs. But going so far as to count the number of "positive" SWM portrayals in a show that is trying to diversify its cast by intentionally casting women and minorities (while excluding actors from that number who don't "count," such as Doug Jones) really goes to lengths to assume the worst of the writers/producers."

Doug Jones doesn't count because I couldn't tell what race the actor was (same was true of Worf BTW).

I don't ask for perfect equity. If they had created just one new straight, blue-eyed man who got to say lines and was a sympathietic character, that would have gone a long way even though the numbers would still be quite skewed compared to the country where this is produced. But they clearly seem allergic to doing that. (I can't think of any on Picard either.)
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Booming
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 3:36am (UTC -5)
" But they created new, non-villainous characters who were straight white women, straight Black men and women (there are about the same number of Black and white people in the world), but none who were straight white men."
There is so much number crunching around this issue. Saru is not representing white people even though he is played by a white guy and has white skin, Ossyra on the other hand is white even though she is green, then there is Vance who behaves like a classic TNG character but is too middle eastern looking, same goes for Rios who is too Latino looking and people of southern European descent aren't white people in the USA, I guess?? Then there are Spock, Pike, Maddox and Riker who don't count because they are "legacy characters", Picard doesn't count either because people sometimes act disrespectfully towards him even though in the end he goes full Jesus and saves the galaxy, with the help of Riker who rides in with the cavalry. Q, another beloved characters played by a white man, doesn't count because he is to alien. .

I always like to point out negative Asian characters.
- Commodore Oh (Evil mass murdering Mastermind season 1 Picard)
- Seven's confederate husband.
- Commander Landry (evil in our and the mirror universe)
- the Empress (mass murdering cannibalistic psychopath; but here people say that she doesn't count as negative because she is a badass)

positive Asian
- Georgiou (first had to suffer through a mutiny and is then killed in the second episode)
- That Asian bridge guy who believe never said a word.

" In fact, it's white men who are the only demographic group I know of in all of recorded history who have lessened their grip on power simply because they (however grudgingly in some cases) recognized that it was the right thing to do."
Eh, what??? Could you specify what you mean by the "white men giving up power willingly", maybe some examples, too.

It's sounds a little strange for a man who lives in a country that has a war against it's colonial overlord and a civil war that ended slavery, as two of it's most defining moments.
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N
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 4:01am (UTC -5)
Re: Jammer's comment, let's not forget that the only two straight white American men on DS9 were Eddington and Admiral Ross. I do think it's important to look at Americanness when it comes to Star Trek series' character makeup, because this increases massively from VOY onwards. TOS was very intentionally non-American, with its Russian, Japanese, Scottish, African and alien regulars, and Kirk and McCoy the only American regular characters. TNG only had 3 canonically American regular characters - Riker, Beverly and Geordi - out of its main cast of 7, and if we consider the supporting cast too (Wesley, Barclay, Pulaski = American; Guinan, Yar, Ro, Alexander, Keiko, O'Brien = non-American), that's still only way more non-American regular and supporting characters than American ones. DS9 is even more diverse on this front: Sisko and Jake are the only American characters in the main cast, and apart from Eddington and Ross, the only American supporting characters are part of the Sisko family unit (Kasidy, Joseph). By contrast, over half the main characters on Voyager are canonically North American (Janeway, Chakotay, Harry, B'Elanna, Tom), and particularly from Enterprise onward and in NuTrek, the franchise has a much narrower American sensibility and worldview. The way dialog in NuTrek no longer conforms to a Trekkian sensibility (see Tim C's Rick Berman quote - "it's a period piece [...] and it necessitates a certain style of acting and writing that is not contemporary") is a huge part of this too. Voyager still maintained this style, but Enterprise didn't - watching Archer and Trip, the way they spoke, conducted themselves and particularly the way they treated T'Pol, was like watching the worst of us in space. Suddenly Trek had become obnoxious, boorish and anti-intellectual. From then on, Trek characters have mostly just been written as 21st century Americans because the writers don't grasp Trek's sensibility and aren't able to write characters in this voice anymore, with a few exceptions like Chris Black on ENT, and much of Star Trek Beyond. Putting aside all the issues of race, gender and sexuality, the main issue with NuTrek as well as the terrible writing is just how American - blinkeredly so - the franchise has become since the millennium. And this easily ties back to things like the fact the 24th century characters don't seem at all out of place (because no-one on Picard knows how to write a 24th century character) and Guinan's awful dialog in this episode - this is a solipsistic America that is so turned inward and preoccupied with itself that it automatically thinks its concerns (or rather, the concerns of a specific subculture of upper-middle-class social-media-using coastal progressives in 2022) are the world's concerns. That the things this particular class of people are most concerned about are the worst things in the world.

But here's where I diverge with Jammer:
"going so far as to count the number of 'positive' SWM portrayals in a show that is trying to diversify its cast by intentionally casting women and minorities (while excluding actors from that number who don't "count," such as Doug Jones) really goes to lengths to assume the worst of the writers/producers."
Here's the thing, one that a couple of people have touched on already - I don't think anyone thinks the writers are racist or that particular patterns in characterization (straight white men only appearing as series villains - DIS S1-2 - or to be constantly berated by the other characters - PIC S1-2) are there because the writers have any particular ideological convictions. Rather, they're there in a really shallow, pandering way because writers think that that's What The Kids Want. Just as Enterprise was one of many 2000s shows that tried to pander to what it perceived as the prevailing sensibility of the time, with its regressive sexism, Dubya-era rednecks-in-space shtick, anti-intellectualism and hard-headedness, NuTrek from 2016 onward goes the other way - storylines that hint at right-on political messages and that seem to yearn to generate Twitter buzz and Slate headlines, but which are never deep or through-through enough that they have actually anything to say; diversity in a way that's much more about optics than substance and that seems to consider diversity an end point in itself, whereas 90s Trek understood that diversity was just a starting point for good storytelling and characterization, literally a basic minimum; I could go on. The point is that Enterprise's tacky adoption of a 2000s reactionary neocon sensibility and NuTrek dressing itself up in woke progressive clothing are the same thing - a franchise with no ideas and nothing to say desperately trying to ape whatever it thinks the current zeitgeist is.

Sam Kriss has described wokeness - or what it has become - as "not really a cohesive ideology, but a cluster of postures and affects" and I think that's what we're dealing with here. The fact the vulnerable and elderly Picard is constantly attacked, berated and blamed by younger female characters, and is only redeemed in S1 by becoming a member of the show's exalted victim group, isn't because the writers have any interest in taking apart and examining his character (on the contrary, they seem to have absolutely no idea who Picard is), and I don't think it's something we'd see at all if Michelle Paradise were in charge of the show; her approach to feminism and character is much more one of listening and uplifting. Rather, this is writers who have scarcely seen an episode of TNG sitting around and thinking "this is what Young Viewers want today, right? They want to see Strong Women and People Of Color stick it to The Man!". It's even evident in an episode like Nepethe where - incredibly - the writers use Troi to berate and verbally attack Picard. It's just awful, awful hacky writing, not borne out of any conviction or ideology or any understanding of the characters, but merely reducing Picard to extratextual factors (his being an older straight white male authority figure) and having characters sassily clap back to him in the way you'd expect on a bad young adult series written by 40-year-old men where supposedly edgy teen characters are constantly getting one over on the staid adults.

The same pattern applies in DIS S1-2 where Lorca and Leland's literal only function is to hang around long enough to turn into the season's Big Bad (again, this was before Paradise took over), while Mirror Georgiou's evil is presented as cool, sassy and empowered due to extratextual factors. A lot of it is also writers trying to impress each other or save face in front of each other. Writers on these kinds of shows are operating in a social environment where diversity is default and you have to have a reason to make a character straight, white and/or male - we're in a social media panopticon (Twitter, Slack, WhatsApp groups) with a huge amount of backchannels and backbiting, and a writer in one of these kinds of writing rooms deciding to deliberately include straight white male characters and give them positive portrayals and character growth would be deliberately going out on a limb and would likely be treated with suspicion by peers, or at the very least viewed as not singing from the same hymn sheet. Above and beyond the missionizing element, there are a hell of a lot of writers who just go along with this out of conformity and even laziness, because in their current professional environment, it's much easier to make the straight white guy the villain as it will cause you and your script to be viewed more positively and reassure your colleagues that you're on the right team. A lot of what we see in Picard in particular (particularly the constant clapback scenes where a white authority figure is berated by women and minorities) hasn't at all been written with the audience in mind, it's for the writer to look good in front of the other members of the writing team. These people are high on their own supply - they think they're doing important work and they're all praising and policing each other.
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Booming
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 4:38am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
Sorry, but your believe that only white men have ever given up power willingly really bothers me. You are not an idiot, you are obviously capable of deep and complex thought and analysis so how somebody like you could come to such an obviously wrongful conclusion is mystifying.

Empires throughout history have given up power for stability. That's how Persia became the first great empire of Human history. If you want a modern example, Israel giving up the Sinai. Sometimes empires and countries are willing to fight to maintain their grip, sometimes they decides that it is not worth it.

Seriously, how did you come to conclusion that only white men had ever given up power willingly?

I also would like to know how you define white? and please no "I know it when I see it" definition, because that is just another way of saying that you use personal bias. Rios (Spanish descent) is not white? But Marina Sirtis (Greek descent) is? Are Italians white?
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SlackerInc
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 4:47am (UTC -5)
@N, that was a seriously great read. I think you got a little too cynical there for a while in opining that there was no true ideology behind any of this, just an attempt to "ape whatever it thinks the current zeitgeist is". In the last paragraph, talking about all the pressures (mostly implicit) in the writer's room, is where IMO you nailed it.

@Booming: "Picard doesn't count either because people sometimes act disrespectfully towards him even though in the end he goes full Jesus and saves the galaxy, with the help of Riker who rides in with the cavalry. Q, another beloved characters played by a white man, doesn't count because he is to alien."

Nice strawman, but none of those guys count simply because they are legacy characters. Period. By not introducing any new replacements, they make all the straight guys of northern European heritage old, soon to be retired from the franchise (unless they are villains of course).

"Could you specify what you mean by the 'white men giving up power willingly'"

Obviously it has not been willing on the part of all white men. But go back and look at a State of the Union speech from sixty years ago, still within living memory (my mother was a young adult). It's all white men as far as the eye can see: the president, vice president, everyone on the Supreme Court and in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But a few years before this, straight white male president Harry Truman desegregated the armed forces. All those white guys on the Supreme Court voted for desegregated schools in the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, and then the Civil Rights and Voting Rights laws of the Sixties were also passed overwhelmingly by white dudes. Law and medical schools that once admitted virtually no one but white men changed their policies, such that they now make up a minority of those attending such schools.

If the white men who were in charge of all this stuff, again just in living memory, had held tight and refused to cede any power, who knows: maybe there would have been a revolution. But I kind of doubt it. They changed because they, more than anyone else who has ever lived, come from an intellectual Enlightenment tradition and could not defend or justify preserving barriers to diversity. And good for them.
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Horseplay
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 5:05am (UTC -5)
That's why I think the whole PoC term is ridiculous.

Many lanino(x) people from Mexico etc DO define themselves as PoC but Spanish people generally think it's ridiculous. So who is white (or not)? It's meaningless.

I don't understand why Picard was so upset why Guinan's BLM speech, he's not racist - it's not even a thing in his century. He's back there to fix the past, not worry about how shit 2024 is. Being a student of history he's already aware of how bad it is and how bad it's about to become. It's not like they beamed into a Santuary District ("Past Tense").

It felt more like the writers berating any white people watching for being white. It's not like any actual racists are going to be interested in her rant anyway. I dread to think how upset she is about her whole species being almost wiped out if that's how she reacts to the social issues of our era.
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Booming
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 5:42am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
You do realize that "giving up" power or opening the centers of power for disenfranchised groups is true for many non white countries as well. Especially when it comes to women's rights or LGBT rights. Israel, Pakistan, Philippines, India, Bangladesh Brazil, Turkey or South Korea to name a few had female heads of state well before the US (if it ever gets one). Saudi Arabia allowed women to vote in local elections (which apparently exist in Saudi Arabia). Then there is native enfranchisement in Latin America. There is like a million examples.

"Nice strawman, but none of those guys count simply because they are legacy characters. Period."
Yeah but legacy character is just a category you invented so that you could maintain your view on the matter and now you added that some of them are old so they will be left at the wayside which means they count even less. Pike gets it's own show which will feature young Spock! So that is a new show with two swm leads.
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Booming
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 6:25am (UTC -5)
@N
"Above and beyond the missionizing element, there are a hell of a lot of writers who just go along with this out of conformity and even laziness, because in their current professional environment, it's much easier to make the straight white guy the villain as it will cause you and your script to be viewed more positively and reassure your colleagues that you're on the right team"
While I agree with quite a lot in the other parts of your critique, I want to point out that this is not happening in a vacuum. For example, of the first 20! Marvel movies only one did not have a swm lead.
Transformers movie all had swm leads.
Harry Potter movies had swm leads.
Mission Impossible
James Bond
Spiderman
Batman
Fast and Furious
X-Men
Pirates of the Caribbean
Lord of the Rings/Hobbit
Twilight

The list goes on.
All these are either exclusive swm or mostly swm. So I really don't see a cultural norm where you can only depict swm as villains considering that they fill 90% of the hero roles in movies.
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SlackerInc
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 6:48am (UTC -5)
It’s a very new norm. Had the first Doctor Strange movie come out even three or four years later, they likely would have chosen, at minimum, one of those ambiguous-looking people who are all the rage in commercials these days. You know the ones, who might be Latino or Middle Eastern, or maybe just Italian.

@Booming: “legacy character is just a category you invented so that you could maintain your view on the matter”

BS. This is no “true Scotsman” move. Those characters already existed, already were cast, and were something the corporate parent of Viacom presumably leaned on them to include to pull in established fans. Their leeway came in how they wrote and cast new characters, even extras like in the Federation conclave scene I mentioned. And they have been nothing but clear in how they have exercised that leeway.

BTW, you make a fair point about other nonwhite countries who have taken steps for women's rights (although Western nations led the way). But for ethnic groups who were traditionally the underclass? I can’t think of any other hegemonic ethnic group that has done what educated white Americans have over the past couple years in what people are calling the “racial reckoning”.
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Jason R.
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 7:24am (UTC -5)
"BS. This is no “true Scotsman” move. Those characters already existed, already were cast, and were something the corporate parent of Viacom presumably leaned on them to include to pull in established fans."

Ok but the point is they were under no obligation to include, say, Pike or Spock in Discovery. Yes they had good incentives to do so, but so what? They didn't have to.

In fact, that's the issue isn't it: there is without question objectively a "legacy" of swm getting massive overrepresentation in these shows and frankly, that has only changed moderately recently.

I am not up in arms about this - I think it was perfectly reasonable in the context of an American scifi show in the 90s, but it's true.

Even Discovery with its ultra diverse cast, doesn't really do what you say it does. For every Lorca or Leland there is a Pike or Spock.

I do agree with some of the criticism in Picard what with JLP as the scapegoat for all of the cosmos (although I get more of a generational boomer-bashing vibe to it rather than it being racial or gender based) but this is just weak sauce.

Let's face it, these shows are too stupid, too corporate, to have a coherent ideological bent. The writers treat the show like a salad bar - some classic Trek, some snarky Marvel style dialogue, a hacky J.J. Abrams style fate of the universe mystery plot, a few woke accoutrements, and then they throw it in a Vitamix blender cranked to Level 10 until a grey soup comes out, which gets poured into nice individually portioned freezer molds, like the ones I use for homemade baby food.
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Booming
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 7:46am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
My point about Pike, Spock and others is that they are swm. They did not have to include them but they did. They are representation of swm. If they wanted to use characters from the TOS era then they kind of had to use white men. If they are so against swm then why not just get a new Uhura and be done with it. Were there any more or less important other non-whites on TOS??

"But for ethnic groups who were traditionally the underclass? I can’t think of any other hegemonic ethnic group that has done what educated white Americans have over the past couple years in what people are calling the “racial reckoning”."
Again Latin America, several African countries and India to name a few. I can go into specifics. Respecting ethnic groups/legal equality is nothing unique to the US or the Western world. I'm also not sure that I agree that it was mostly white benevolence that lead to black liberation.
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Booming
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 7:51am (UTC -5)
damn Jason was quicker. :D

I also share Jason's view on the motive. Hollywood is cold money machine. Sure streaming gets you some leeway because nobody really knows what works or how to really measure success but still Kurtzman only makes these shows this way because he thinks that they will be successful. If they are not successful then he is gone in a second.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 8:34am (UTC -5)
@Jammer
"Here's the problem with the term "woke": It has become completely meaningless thanks to the detractors who use it constantly."

The people who used this term here, have explained their usage very clearly.

"For some, every liberal must be 'woke.' "

Pretty much every single person here who used the word "woke" has emphasized that it has absolutely nothing to do with liberalism. A few (like Slacker Inc and myself) are liberals themselves.

The only people I've seen to confuse "liberal" with "woke" are the wokesters themselves. They are the ones who label any person who doesn't agree with their extreme views as a right-wing bigot (or worse).

The truth must be said here:

Present-day wokism is just a mirror image of the worst alt-right philosophies: it is racist. It is dogmatic. It mercilessly punishes any kind of dissent. It presents a simplistic view of the world and bullys anyone who questions it.

"Would the term be justified in some cases? Sure, I guess, when it used to mean something, but that's not how it's mostly used. So now it's a completely worthless cliche term, thrown out there to complain about anything and everything."

I think the exact opposite is true:

A decade ago, the word "woke" was a nebulous term which could mean anything and everything. There were myriads of different opinions which could be associated with the term.

The past couple of years, however, have seen the rise of a specific social trend. A social trend which is very monolithic (due to its aggressive way of dealing with dissent) and quite ubiquitous.

The meaning of "woke culture" has never been clearer than it is today.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 8:42am (UTC -5)
@Jason R.
"I do agree with some of the criticism in Picard what with JLP as the scapegoat for all of the cosmos (although I get more of a generational boomer-bashing vibe to it rather than it being racial or gender based) "

It's more of a "Patrick Stewart views TNG Picard as an arrogant entitled SOB, so this is his opportunity to mock and ridicule the legacy of that iconic character" vibe then either ageism or sexism.
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Dreubarik
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 9:10am (UTC -5)
I also find the notion that Kurtzman & co are somehow "dogmatic "about their "woke" ideology really funny. As if these people believe in anything beyond the business they have going on.

@Booming I'd be careful with assuming that what Kurtzman is doing must be making money just because it is profit oriented. And it isn't really about confusion about how to measure success in streaming per se. Anyone involved with Wall Street over the past decade has seen how traditional "value" investment has taken a back seat to the obsession with "growth" stories and the notion that in the new economy you first need to build economies of scale and network to eventually make a killing. There is a lot of value to this idea: Amazon was making paltry margins until 2013 and then their business model was validated, unleashing today's age in which growth-led investment (ie future profitability) is pouring money into air taxis based on ludicrous future market estimates.

Streaming platforms are another example of this paradigm, in which terminal value is what matters, rather than short-term profitability. It is neither right nor wrong (I do believe the business model will survive and mature, albeit with fewer players), but it does direct money towards certain investments rather than others. This is the reason why hacks like Kurtzman who specialize in exploiting IPs with established audiences are having a day in the sun, and also why Kathleen Kennedy is pushing corporate feminism at Disney: Projections of future addressable markets for these franchises and thus users for these platforms (let's shed a tear for all those naive YouTube analysts who truly believe she puts "her idology before everything"). Streaming right now is about building user numbers with the resources (IPs) you've got and perhaps hope for a succulent acquisition in the future when the industry consolidates. So NuTrek may very well be losing a lot of money and may keep going until this happens, both things can be true because the name of the game is showing your growth potential.

TLDR: Just because it isn't about profit in the PRESENT it doesn't mean it isn't about profit.
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Jason R.
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 9:51am (UTC -5)
"It's more of a "Patrick Stewart views TNG Picard as an arrogant entitled SOB, so this is his opportunity to mock and ridicule the legacy of that iconic character" vibe then either ageism or sexism."

Really? Do we have evidence that Stewart is behind this?

Not that I'd be surprised - he did say he was through playing Picard and I really think he meant it.
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Yair
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 9:53am (UTC -5)
@N,

ENT and DIS have a lot in common.

Just compare ENT season 3 to DIS season 4. Both start with a massive attack on planet directly affecting an important character (ENT: Earth and Trip's sister, DIS: Book's entire planet), Earth itself is at risk of another imminent attack, both have a misled alien antagonist (ENT: Xindi by time-traveling Sphere-Builders / DIS: C-10 not noticing sentient life?) and both are mainly resolved with diplomacy (ENT: Archer managing to convince most of the Xindi council to stop trusting the 'Guardians' i.e. Sphere Builders / DIS: Michael and others appealing to C-10).

Also in general: Both have a season 1 plot which simply needed to be removed for the show's health (Time-Travel shenanigans in ENT, Klingon war in DIS), both supposedly introduced serialization (if later in ENT's seasons), both have an unpopular lead, and so on...
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Sigh2000
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 11:13am (UTC -5)
@Booming "My point about Pike, Spock and others is that they are swm. They did not have to include them but they did. They are representation of swm."

Whoa. Pike sure, but Spock? Wait. Are we talking new Spock or old Spock? The characters or the actors?
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Booming
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 11:22am (UTC -5)
@Sigh2000
The definitions are fairly vague. That's why I asked how SlackerInc defined white which so far he hasn't really done. It seem that white for him means nordic and anglo saxon mostly. Sometimes it is important that the actor is a swm, sometimes it is important that the character is a swm. The term that is often used by the people who believe in this is "coded as white" but also some kind of ethnic component, I assume. So in that sense, despite his pointy ears new Discovery Spock is essentially a swm.
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Tim M.
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 12:05pm (UTC -5)
Re Quincy's comment about Q losing his powers (way) above. I am not sure what to make of it, but it is intriguing. Q mentioned that he was "but a suture in the wound," which suggests that the altereted timeline is so heinous that even the Q Continuum is affected negatively. That could explain Q losing his powers and is in keeping with Picard being "the board on which the game is played."

The scene with the Watcher taking over the bodies of random people to lead Picard to her was also effectively done with a distinctly creepy vibe.
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Jason R.
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 1:19pm (UTC -5)
This pivot towards cosmic beings and guardians of destiny is very reminiscent of a Marvel style cosmos. At this rate I expect the Living Tribunal to show up. It makes the universe seem small, provincial and very much not scifi. Then again, in fairness the DS9 Prophets versus Pah Raiths conflict could be said to fall into a similar vein. But of course DS9, for all its pivot to serialization, was still (mostly) episodic television and the Prophets were still a pretty small part of the plot.
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Jaxon
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
The prophets were one of the worst things about Picard era Trek.

The Reckoning in particular seemed to have no point at all.

What events that transpired after The Reckoning would have played out differently without it or if Winn hadn't "cancelled" it? "Sara" already existed.
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Bryan
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 1:42pm (UTC -5)
@N

I think you've made some good points. Star Trek has become more American with each series to the point where in Nu-Trek, the showrunners are catering exclusively to American sensibilities, particularly those of the American Left, many of whom would derive some cathartic pleasure out of seeing SWMs portrayed as villanous or ridiculous strawmen that only exist to be knocked down, or heckled by characters with the most 'idpol badges'. The idea that this is a product of giving this narrow audience what they want and not necessarily the showrunner's own biases on display is valid, but I still think it's likely a bit of both. I have seen nothing so far to indicate that Kurtzman's team have not been steeped in the same ideological stew as the audience that they cater to.

@Booming

"My point about Pike, Spock and others is that they are swm. They did not have to include them but they did."

"Pike gets it's own show which will feature young Spock! So that is a new show with two swm leads."

It seemed to me that DSC's Pike & Spock arc was a matter of the showrunners trying to have their cake and eat too by having Untouchable SWM legacy characters to attract Old Fans while simultaneously bashing SWMs in general to appease the American Left.

Now, by segregating the legacy white characters to their own show, it's like they're segregating the fanbase too: "For all you Old School SWM fans who don't like Nu-Trek, boy do we have the show for you..." which is actually kinda cynical? Wouldn't it be better if we could all unite under one Trekkian banner and enjoy the same shows? It feels very antithetical to the vision of Roddenberry to have one show for PoCs and a separate show for the rest of us.
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Tim M.
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 5:23pm (UTC -5)
@Jason and @Jaxon: As another commenter pointed out, the "guardian" concept has appeared before...Gary Seven and, to a lesser extent, the Guardian of Forever. So I'm willing to see how the "Watcher" storyline develops. I agree that if the Watcher has an outsize role in directing events in a godlike manner, it could very well diminish Trek. So hopefully the showrunners don't play their hand too heavily with this.
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Tim M.
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 5:29pm (UTC -5)
And I'll add that just having watched the trailer for Ep 5, the Laris/Watcher thing seems to be more along the lines of the Gary Seven angle, which would be very much in keeping with Trek canon.
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Quincy
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 10:39pm (UTC -5)
@Jaxon
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 2:38pm (UTC -5)
"Millennials didn't write TNG/DS9/VOY."

What exactly have Millennials written? Because Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise are both Gen X's.


@Tim M.
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 12:05pm (UTC -5)
"Re Quincy's comment about Q losing his powers (way) above. I am not sure what to make of it, but it is intriguing. Q mentioned that he was "but a suture in the wound," which suggests that the altereted timeline is so heinous that even the Q Continuum is affected negatively. That could explain Q losing his powers and is in keeping with Picard being "the board on which the game is played." The scene with the Watcher taking over the bodies of random people to lead Picard to her was also effectively done with a distinctly creepy vibe."


Waaaaaaay above. This forum really exploded with Great Walls of Text. I came back an instantaneously experienced eyestrain.

Q and the Watcher are basically my last bit of interest in this season. I've got my fingers crossed, but I won't be holding my breath. It's hard to see what phenomenon could affect Q, let alone the whole Continuum. I thought there were ways for even ordinary civilizations to shield themselves from changes to the time stream. For what possible reason would the Q be unable to accomplish this? Hopefully, they come up with a good explanation.



@Jason R.
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 1:19pm (UTC -5)

"This pivot towards cosmic beings and guardians of destiny is very reminiscent of a Marvel style cosmos. At this rate I expect the Living Tribunal to show up. It makes the universe seem small, provincial and very much not scifi. Then again, in fairness the DS9 Prophets versus Pah Raiths conflict could be said to fall into a similar vein. But of course DS9, for all its pivot to serialization, was still (mostly) episodic television and the Prophets were still a pretty small part of the plot."



Excalbians, Thasians, Metrons, Gary Mitchell, Organians, Trelane's species, etc are some of the cosmic beings on TOS. No pivot there.

And Gary Seven, Class 1 Supervisor, said himself: "Agents are male and female, descendants of human ancestors taken from Earth approximately six thousand years ago. They're the product of generations of training for this mission. Problem. Earth technology and science have progressed faster than political and social knowledge. Purpose of mission. To prevent Earth's civilization from destroying itself before it can mature into a peaceful society." - Gary Seven to Computer

Sounds like a guardian to me. No pivot. I won't even go into TNG and DS9. If it was there from the beginning it's been there all along.
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SlackerInc
Wed, Mar 30, 2022, 10:50pm (UTC -5)
@Dreubarik Is right about what the fashionable paradigm has been on Wall Street for the past few years. But last month there were signs this may be changing:

https://www.barrons.com/articles/paypal-intel-paramount-stock-buys-51645811868
"Paramount stock dropped in mid-February after the company announced it would double down on its streaming-video strategy, pushing expected earnings further down the line."

The price has since rebounded, but it was a definite sign that "the street" is beginning to question the viability of this strategy.
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Booming
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 3:02am (UTC -5)
@Bryan
"while simultaneously bashing SWMs in general to appease the American Left."
I doubt that this intolerance is a real thing. It would be the most specific intolerance in existence. Intolerance normally doesn't work that way. People either hate all black people, all women, all homosexuals, all Jews, not a very specific subset of a subset of a group because a part of that subset had a dominant role in society. Through questioning the people here we have even found out that it is not actually white men/men with white skin but the even more limited group of men with Anglo-Saxon, Nordic and Germanic roots. As long as somebody proves with actual data that this very specific intolerance is a real thing, I will remain doubtful.
Have you ever thought about the possibility that the believe that the American Left hates swm was created on purpose? To quote Cicero:"Qui bono?"

"Now, by segregating the legacy white characters to their own show, it's like they're segregating the fanbase too:"
So having them on Discovery doesn't disprove that the writers or the American Left hates straight white men (minus descendants of southern Europeans) but, because especially Pike was so popular, giving those two their own show is a sign of intolerance as well?? We know that Pike and Spock were on the Enterprise at the time. If you want to have a show with Pike it has to be on the Enterprise with Spock. Also let's not forget that the strange new worlds cast includes what people call whites, blacks, Asians, non-white whites aka Latinos. :)
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Bryan
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 5:16am (UTC -5)
@Booming

"I doubt that this intolerance is a real thing. It would be the most specific intolerance in existence."

I'm surprised you think this sentiment would have to be either imaginary or implanted as some kind of false flag operation. You obviously haven't spent much time in leftist social media spaces. I have, and it's gotten to the point where "cishet" is starting to sound more like a derogatory slur than that the neutral descriptor that it's supposed to be because of the contexts in which the term is often used in those spaces. I don't mean that -everyone- has this attitude within the American left, but it's more prevalent than a tiny fringe element. You need look no further than major Leftist publications like Slate with articles about "White Fragility" and such that are dripping with condescending derision toward suicidal white men; at least there's not a shred of empathy or humanity attributed to the suffering or deaths of those who happen to belong to the wrong identity category.

Would anyone else like to back me up here because I don't know what else to tell you...

"So having them on Discovery doesn't disprove that the writers or the American Left hates straight white men but, because especially Pike was so popular, giving those two their own show is a sign of intolerance as well?"

No, it doesn't. Because these people may be 'intolerant' but they're not complete idiots. The almighty dollar will always reign supreme in the hearts of producers and they want to capture the Old Trek fans within their viewership because more subscriptions means more money. That's the ONLY reason that Pike was resurrected in Nu-Trek.

Like I said before, they tried to have their cake and eat it too because they apparently forgot (or at least underestimated) that a large segment of old fans are SWMs who would be turned off by the intolerance, however subtle. In their minds, giving Pike his own show is a less contradictory way of achieving both ends at the same time: capturing that elusive audience that they failed to capture before, while still pouring on the hate within DSC and Picard (if they decide to continue expressing those attitudes into the future, that is).

"Also let's not forget that the strange new worlds cast includes what people call whites, blacks, Asians, non-white whites aka Latinos."

Sheesh... that's completely beside the point. Nowhere did I argue that the average SWM is allergic to PoCs and I would hope that the showrunners at least understand that much. Star Trek has always been racially diverse...the old fans are generally okay with that...

I'm trying to be as clear as I can here... even if you disagree, am I at least getting through to you?
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Booming
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 6:58am (UTC -5)
@Bryan
"I'm trying to be as clear as I can here... even if you disagree, am I at least getting through to you?"
Sure, I get you argument and I'm not disagreeing. I'm inquiring. Part of the job. The thing is, you can clearly measure antisemitism, misogyny or racism in societies. Do you know how social scientists do that? We don't ask: Do you hate Jews? Or are you a misogynist? Even some of the most hardened antisemites wouldn't admit that they hate Jews. You ask stuff like (simple examples):" Do you think that Jews are too influential in finance?" or "Do you think that black men have a harder time to control themselves when they see an attractive women?". You don't ask point blank if somebody is intolerant, you ask questions that try to reveal certain prejudices that are associates with that particular intolerance. When you describe your experience in the leftist twittersphere what are the prejudicial thoughts about swm? What is the reason swm are hated by these people? One would assume that quite a few people in those circles are swm, how do they deal with that? (This seems like an additional problem most hate groups don't have)

A few other general things about social scientific inquiry.

- personal perception by an untrained civilian has the lowest value in a scientific inquiry. For a scientist it is almost meaningless in itself. I'm not saying that you are wrong but I have a 500 page book here that is filled with personal biases. In other words, it's a book full of examples of how people perceive reality in a way that is different from objective reality.

- people who actively participate in social media are a specific group that is not necessarily big or representative of anything besides the closed of world of that social medium

- Social media actively and knowingly stirs conflict by promoting more inflammatory statements.

So to reiterate, your personal view might be correct but it would at best be a jump of point for a social scientist probably to do a qualitative study to lay the groundwork for a quantitative survey. First to find the prejudice on which the negative feelings are based on (qualitative) and then find out how many people in a society see swm that way (quantitative). One would probably also look at crime statistics? Is there violence aimed at this group specifically?

"You need look no further than major Leftist publications like Slate with articles about "White Fragility" and such that are dripping with condescending derision toward suicidal white men"
Could you provide me with an article that features this (please without paywall)?
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SlackerInc
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 7:25am (UTC -5)
@Booming, it's called "virtue signaling". This is exactly what nuTrek is engaging in:

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/01/763383478/how-white-liberals-became-woke-radically-changing-their-outlook-on-race
--------
Most racial groups feel more warmly about their own race than they do about other races. That's true for every group, except white liberals, according to the American National Election Studies.

Engelhardt says these recent flips suggests there's something about being white in America that white liberals are trying to distance themselves from — something that could be accelerated by the rhetoric and tone of Trump and some of his supporters.

When white liberals adopt some of these progressive positions, Goldberg said, they're "virtue signaling" — they want to prove that they're allies of minority groups and feel they need to do that more assertively and openly in the Trump era.
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Dreubarik
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 7:55am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc There has been a narrowing of the valuation gap between growth and value stocks, yes, mostly because of rising interest rates. Whether this will mean a true permanent shift in business attitudes towards streaming in particular and "economies of network" growth stories in general remains to be seen.
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Jason R.
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 7:58am (UTC -5)
"Excalbians, Thasians, Metrons, Gary Mitchell, Organians, Trelane's species, etc are some of the cosmic beings on TOS. No pivot there."

No, you are not understanding me. I am not just talking about very advanced, very powerful or (seemingly) omnipotent beings like the Q or the Organians. These characters obviously have vast capabilities compared to humanity but they are not akin to actual gods with some divine cosmic plan.

There's no evidence that the Organians are stewards of the cosmos. The metrons don't give a crap about preserving destiny. The Q mostly just treat the galaxy as an amusing diversion when they are not sodding off to their continuum. In Trek there are big fish, even whales, but as far as we know they are still minuscule beings in the ocean of the cosmos. In Trek, barring one or two exceptions, no one ever even leaves our milky way galaxy, which is a grain of sand in a desert.

In Marvel, a character like Thanos can gather the six infinity stones, elemental crystals created in the big bang that literally confer infinite universal power on him to affect *everything* everywhere. He is described as "the most powerful creature in the universe".

And then he can be beaten by a bunch of heroes on Earth with some magic hammers gee-wiz technology built by a human billionaire.

This is what I mean by small, provincial and so NOT scifi.

"And Gary Seven, Class 1 Supervisor, said himself: "Agents are male and female, descendants of human ancestors taken from Earth approximately six thousand years ago. They're the product of generations of training for this mission. Problem. Earth technology and science have progressed faster than political and social knowledge. Purpose of mission. To prevent Earth's civilization from destroying itself before it can mature into a peaceful society." - Gary Seven to Computer

Sounds like a guardian to me. No pivot. I won't even go into TNG and DS9. If it was there from the beginning it's been there all along."

Sounds like a benevolent alien race helping out humanity - hardly cosmic beings.

My point is I am getting serious "fate of the cosmos" vibes from this story.

The only thing that comes close is the "entire universe set in flames for eternity" line by Dukat at the end of DS9. It was insanely idiotic and so not Trek. But that was the final thread of a secondary plot in a (mostly) episodic series. It was nutty, but in the grand scheme of things, the cosmic battle between Pah Raiths and Prophets didn't even carve out much more than a small chunk of DS9's seventh season, to say nothing of the rest of the series.
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Booming
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 8:03am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
From the article
"Starting about 2016 ... white liberals actually rate non-white groups more positively than they do whites," explained Engelhardt. "Usually, it's the opposite."
A Trump effect. Trump build his platform around xenophobia (muslim ban, Mexico is sending rapists) and Liberals wanted to distance themselves from that. Sadly the article doesn't provide a graphic for this poll. We don't know the actual numbers or the wording of the actual survey question. Still the wording in this quote is important. They do rate other groups more positively. This doesn't mean that they see themselves/white people negatively, just not as positively. It's about fearing that a significant part of white Americans is more racist than they thought which well... is probably not an unfounded fear, I'm sorry to say. Still what does reduced positive feelings for the xenophobic parts of their own race have to do with hate of a subset of a subset (male and heterosexual) of white people?
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 10:49am (UTC -5)
@Bryan, @Slacker Inc

A point for consideration (do with it what you will):

When you continuously debate a person who is denying a very obvious reality, you are giving this person's views a legitimacy it does not deserve. It's also a sure way to be lured into an argument that ends up going in circles, because such a person seldom give replies that force you to update your arguments.

I would also like to remind you that this person has a history of trolling here (which they openly admitted). They've actually admitted, multiple times, that they write their cr*p in order to annoy others and push their buttons.

So is this constant back-and-forth really such a great idea?

Just wondering.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 11:02am (UTC -5)
@Yanks
"I stated earlier that Guinan shouldn't have known Picard because of the change in the timeline that resulted in the events of Time's Arrow never happening... but going by what we were told in this episode, the change won't happen for another three days on April 15th. Everything before that should be as it was in the original timeline, right?"

Since it's Guinan, it doesn't really matter.

This is the woman who remembered the unaltered timeline in "Yesterday's Enterprise". So she should have definitely remembered meeting Picard, regardless of whether this event "really" happened in the current timeline or not.
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Booming
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 11:05am (UTC -5)
Omicron, you haven't watched any NuTrek for years and you are only coming here to make these kinds of comments and to spread lies. If anybody is a troll, it's you. Probably the only thing that Rahul and I agree on.
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Bryan
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 12:34pm (UTC -5)
@Booming

There's actually an easier way to measure bias without having to interview people at all. It's called the Implicit Bias Test and it's so simple, you can even take it yourself on the internet. The rationale and science behind the test is explained in the book, "Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People". It's definitely worth a read. From it, I learned that it's possible to have internalized biases that you aren't even consciously aware of. For instance, it's possible for black people to have a bias against black people compared to white people, for women to have a bias against women over men, and for gay people to have a bias against gays over straights. I would expect the very same internalized bias from white men who have been indoctrinated by the version of intersectionality that teaches them that "the more marginalized identity badges you have, the higher your moral standing as a person, and if you have none as a non-disabled SWM, you barely even have a right to speak on progressive politics unless you do some serious kow-towing and virtue signaling."
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Booming
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
@Bryan
"From it, I learned that it's possible to have internalized biases that you aren't even consciously aware of."
That's true for most biases. I guess that's one reason why it was called "woke" meaning becoming aware of your own biases and furthermore societal injustices who are also often not obvious.

"For instance, it's possible for black people to have a bias against black people compared to white people"
Absolutely, then it's often classism. Same is true for women, it's no coincidence that there are far more insults for women than men and even insults for men are often also insults for women, like whoreson or pussy. Women can be racists, transphobic and so on. They normally are to a lesser degree than men but those differences are often, while significant, not huge.

"you barely even have a right to speak on progressive politics unless you do some serious kow-towing and virtue signaling."
I'm not saying that there is no white guilt or "virtue signalling" even though I'm unhappy with the term because it seems to define a behavior typical for white people when "signalling your virtue" is true for many groups. For example, immigrants often "virtue signal" when they want to show their worth to their new country. Converts are often more radical than other religious members to show their devotion.

I think that when it comes to race or gender swm should probably do more listening than talking, when it comes to economic questions the amount of white men from the lower classes have obviously as much right to talk as anybody else. Plus, one has to always look at the individual, a father who unjustly lost custody of his children probably has something to add.
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Bryan
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 2:26pm (UTC -5)
@Booming

Yeah, so my main point is not that these biases are typically unconscious -- that much is obvious -- but that they're often internalized, meaning that you can also be biased against your own kind. And of course the alternative is also possible -- being biased against other identity groups that are not your own, even if you're the "wokest" person or one with the most marginalized identity categories.

I feel like we've gone on a bit of a tangent since we already agree on the easy points. It's much harder to "prove" a narrative that I believe borders on self-evident for all to see, but that you are skeptical about even at a basic theoretical level and also in the epistemological sense of "can we really know this without rigorous study?" And it's tough because just like racists have been driven underground so you're not going to see as many obvious and overt racist claims spouted out in the open so much as "racist attitudes" dressed up in more civil discourse, you're also not going to see as much obvious and overt condemnation of SWMs compared to these attitudes about them that are hidden in plain sight. I couldn't find the particular Slate article I was referring to earlier, but if you're interested in hearing about the truly bizarre behavior that these kinds of attitudes and cognitive distortions lead people to engage in on American college campuses, I recommend the book "The Coddling of the American Mind" (with I think "The Quest of Justice" chapter being most relevant IIRC). Not to be confused with "The Closing of the American Mind", the authors aren't suspected conservatives but liberals, one of whom is a social psychologist.
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Booming
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
@Bryan
I'll think about reading maybe the coddling book but I must admit that those "The kids aren't alright/The kids are too soft" books are normally not that interesting to me. These books appeared in the 1960s, 1990s and now.
Here a review of the first book.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/have-parents-made-their-kids-too-fragile-for-the-rough-and-tumble-of-life/2018/09/07/7b977440-8e92-11e8-bcd5-9d911c784c38_story.html

And about swm. I'm still not sure what the specific prejudices are on which the intolerance is build. Are swm seen as more violent or greedy? People don't just hate a group, they must have constructed reasons why that group deserves hate. For example, intolerance towards the Irish was based on these (and probably a few other) prejudices: alcoholism, violent, lots of children, servants of two master (US and Catholic Church).
You cannot have intolerance without prejudice and I still don't know which prejudices could be aimed specifically at swm.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 5:24pm (UTC -5)
@Booming

I wasn't talking to you, and I have no interest in getting into yet another of those piss fights with you.

I was talking to Bryan and Slacker Inc, and I'm sure they are smart enough to tell for themselves whether I was "telling lies" or speaking the truth.

At any rate, I was just trying to stop this thread from turning into yet another mega-thread about identity politics, where people retread the same arguments over and over just because a single commenter is repeatedly baiting them with outragous statements.

Rahul is quite correct about this being a problem. His extreme absolutist stance of "any person who bites the bait is automatically a troll" is both stupid and way too confrontational, but he got the general idea right. This *is* a problem. A big one. At least, that's my take on it.
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Jammer
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 5:43pm (UTC -5)
"At any rate, I was just trying to stop this thread from turning into yet another mega-thread about identity politics, where people retread the same arguments over and over just because a single commenter is repeatedly baiting them with outragous statements."

(1) That's strange. I thought people were having a spirited discussion where not everyone agrees. I didn't realize this thread needed to be "rescued." (2) We are 270+ comments in. The mega-thread has already long since happened. So ... not sure what the point is here except to grind an axe against a poster you don't approve of.
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Quincy
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 6:10pm (UTC -5)
@Jason R.
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 7:58am (UTC -5)
"No, you are not understanding me. I am not just talking about very advanced, very powerful or (seemingly) omnipotent beings like the Q or the Organians. These characters obviously have vast capabilities compared to humanity but they are not akin to actual gods with some divine cosmic plan.
This is what I mean by small, provincial and so NOT scifi."
Sounds like a benevolent alien race helping out humanity - hardly cosmic beings.
My point is I am getting serious "fate of the cosmos" vibes from this story."



All this is moot as of the latest episode, but it sounds like you just got the wrong vibes of the story. The Watcher isn't even a cosmic being, so your example doesn't even fit your own criterion. She's just the same type of Supervisor as Gary Seven. It's canon now. Therefore, no pivot.







And on another note, people seem to think virtue signaling only refers to the left. That's not true, despite the rights attempt to coopt the word for their own purposes. It's been around since at least 2004. And it refers to anybody attempting to publicly make themselves look virtuous by expressing certain pre-approved opinions. Republicans engage in this at least as much as anybody, despite their assertions to the contrary. They just do it on different issues. Whether waxing poetic on how far more patriotic you are or holier than thou, it's the same phenomenon. Every conservative burning Nikes after the Colin Kaepernick campaign was engaging in this. Social media is just exacerbating a situation that's been going on for quite some time.

vir·tue sig·nal·ing

noun
noun: virtue signalling; noun: virtue signaling
the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one's good character or the moral correctness of one's position on a particular issue. "it's noticeable how often virtue signaling consists of saying you hate things"
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Bryan
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 6:20pm (UTC -5)
Since the natives are growing restless, I'll try to be brief and then we can all move on to complaining about the next episode as per usual.

@Booming

I don't really care as much as the authors do about the whole "fragility" aspect to "kids these days" so I'm not going to engage with arguments for and against. I think the book is valuable for other reasons besides that.

Regarding SWMs, I'd agree that there are likely some specific prejudices from which people generalize. I don't think it matters so much what they are, but that their very existence leads to the dehumanizing Good vs. Evil, Us vs. Them Thinking that we should all want to put a stop to. If you're really keen on uncovering what they might be, I'd say that you need look no further than Nu-Trek and the stereotypes commonly used to portray these characters in a negative light: arrogant, self-entitled, fat, pastey, lazy, incompetent relative to their rank or status, emotionally immature to the point of being childish or easily unhinged, etc...

I'm sure some people are nodding or laughing at this list, because clearly there are real SWMs who display one or more of these traits just like there exist Irish alcoholics, but I think the veracity of the stereotype is beside the point. We're all hardwired for tribalism and the domino that sets people down that path can be as fictional or trivial as those found within the propaganda invented by the Nazis against the Jews, or within the treatises of ideologues throughout the course of history that aimed to pit one group of people against another.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 7:35pm (UTC -5)
Well said, @Bryan. And to @Booming, again: the reason behind the antipathy for "SWM" is very simple. It's Nietzche's "slave morality". If a group has been overrepresented or disproportionately granted power, boo hiss. If they have been on the bottom, invisible or oppressed, they must now be exalted and overrepresented.

I will sometimes see defenders of the woke trend acknowledge that there has been an overcorrection, but argue that it will sort itself out eventually. Cold comfort for any SWM born in the Nineties or early 2000's who wants to become a journalist, or college professor, or Democratic politician. They weren't the ones who got to ride high, but they are the ones who have to bear the brunt of the overcorrection.

You can go all the way over to the right wing and be welcomed with open arms, of course. Is that what we want to encourage? For those professions and a few others, it's either that or possibly be tolerated on the left in a subservient role if you make sure to self-flagellate enough that everyone knows you abhor and regret your SWMness.

My naïve, old-fashioned view is that no one should be faulted for demographic characteristics they were born with and cannot change. Period.
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Gorn with the Wind
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 10:27pm (UTC -5)
@Booming

Here are a few specific prejudices about SWM’s.

We:
-can’t dance
-frequently say “swell!” and “gee whiz!”
-wear viking helmets when no poc’s around
-love the american flag, objectively the ugliest flag
-annually rewatch Gilmore Girls
-are aliens in human disguise
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SlackerInc
Thu, Mar 31, 2022, 10:40pm (UTC -5)
Haha, so true about the American flag!

My wife periodically rewatches Gilmore Girls.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Apr 1, 2022, 1:17am (UTC -5)
@Jammer
"So ... not sure what the point is here except to grind an axe against a poster you don't approve of."

Lets get one thing straight, Jammer:

From my own personal selfish perspective, these discussions can go on indefinitely. I've participated in them myself in the past, and I would have been happy to join the party now. Sure, I would be going in fully aware that I'm being baited, but (from a purely selfish perspective) why should I care? As long as I were having fun and/or getting my point across, why not?

It's just that these endless discussions are bothering loads of people. People who have openly stated that this bothers them, and I totally get their position. If I were coming here to talk about a weekly show I'm a fan of, and instead I was greeted by *this*, then it would have pissed me off too.

So I'm trying to do this less. I'm also asking others do put their efforts in too. It was in this context, where I've mentioned that there's one poster here who loves to bait others into endless tangents.

Nothing more, nothing less.

P.S.
I just love how Jammer couldn't care less about Rahul's vicious canceling campaign against Booming (which lasted for months), but when I ask people to take reasonable precautions he is suddenly outraged by my "axe to grind".

It's just so ridiculous and so over-the-top, that I can't help but laugh.
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Booming
Fri, Apr 1, 2022, 2:22am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
I'm not sure what you mean by professor, journalist and democratic politicians. White men are still often vastly overrepresented in all these areas.
https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=61

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/11/02/newsroom-employees-are-less-diverse-than-u-s-workers-overall/

https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/religious-landscape-study/compare/racial-and-ethnic-composition/by/state/among/party-affiliation/democrat-lean-dem/

The Senate should really be called the white house :) (even in the house white men are overrepresented)
https://www.statista.com/chart/18905/us-congress-by-race-ethnicity/

"the reason behind the antipathy for "SWM" is very simple"
Science will take this intolerance seriously if certain warning lights start to blink. For comparison a hot button intolerance, transphobia. There are thousands of violent acts/hate crimes committed in the US where intolerance is the driving force (perp openly admits motive; perp doesn't know victim personally). There are several laws that are specifically aimed at transsexuals (bathroom bills; forbidden to be talked about in school); Transban for the military; Politicians calling for violence.
https://www.mississippifreepress.org/22283/ex-gop-gov-candidate-calls-for-firing-squad-for-trans-rights-supporters-political-foes/

As long as none of those things happen it will be very low on the agenda. There are just so many intolerances that cause more harm. It is certainly uncomfortable to be disliked by some people just for what you are. Welcome to the club. :)

@Gorn with the Wind
Hahaha, at first I read "wear viking helmets without a port in sight" :D
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dave
Fri, Apr 1, 2022, 2:34am (UTC -5)
Hm, seems you all are assuming these SWMs are full on with the STRAIT in that label.

One never knows what they are searching on pornhub or repressing or doing on the down low ;)
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Booming
Fri, Apr 1, 2022, 4:16am (UTC -5)
Thankfully the people at pornhub give out a very extensive yearly statistical report about searches and more. Let's just say, it is pretty revealing.

There is a direct pornhublink to the numbers and charts but I'm not sure if that would cause problems. Just look for insights 2021.
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dave
Fri, Apr 1, 2022, 12:25pm (UTC -5)
@booming

Yes, that is what I was thinking about when making my silly post :) People who tell the world they are SWM may just not be, and that is cool and ok. Its just interesting!
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SlackerInc
Fri, Apr 1, 2022, 9:01pm (UTC -5)
@Booming "White men are still often vastly overrepresented in all these areas"

Overrepresented in terms of new hires, or just in the entire working population? Those are very different things. The other key question is how many candidates there are for these positions who have the minimum credentials but are not white men.

Point being, in 2022, let's say you have two people graduate from identical universities with identical journalism degrees and identical grades, the only difference being that one is a Black woman and the other is a cishet white man. The Black woman will get job offers from major, big name publications in every major city. The SWM will be lucky to get a low level position at a small market TV station or newspaper in flyover country. Even if they both end up with gainful employment, one is in a position to be much more influential than the other.

Same goes for Ph.D.'s. There is a glut of people with doctorates, and universities are increasingly stingy with hiring tenure track professors. But if you are a Black woman with a PhD, you will have no shortage of offers, whereas if you are a cishet white male with a doctorate, you will probably end up having to sell insurance or become an assistant manager at a supermarket.

As for the composition of the Senate, I already pointed out that there is plenty of room for SWM *Republicans*. I don't think that's what we should be implicitly telling young white men, that this is where their realistic prospects are if they want to go into politics.

The Senate is also old, and I'm talking about straight white men under 30. Time will tell if we see many such men enter the Senate on the *Democratic* side over the next few decades, but I would bet against it.
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Booming
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 2:35am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
"Overrepresented in terms of new hires, or just in the entire working population?"
You asked about journalism, universities and democratic politicians. If you want the numbers for the entire workforce of the USA by profession and new hires you would have to pay me because that would be a huge undertaking. :)

In the three profession you asked about white men are overrepresented. I don't have the numbers for new hires in journalism but if you look at the numbers I provided: Non Hispanic white men have 61% of all newsroom jobs, meaning that they are more than twice overrepresented (white men are around 30% of the population).

For the house of reps: 119 out 221 of democrats are white and of those 221 90 are women (40%). One could of course count them one by one to have the exact number but that would be up to you. Let's just assume that 60% of the 119 white people are men so 71 meaning around 33%.
Here a few more numbers. As you can see when it comes to democratic primary candidates men are still strongly overrepresented (38%).
https://wholeads.us/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/reflectivedemocracy-systemfailure-may2021.pdf

(For the senate the numbers are even more tilted towards white men. On the democratic side they are twice overrepresented)

The last part where we have numbers for "new hires" aka lecturers and instructors at universities (lowest ranks of academic employment/first career step) here white men are still overrepresented with 33% and 35% respectively. The other group that, while still underrepresented in full time professorships, is overrepresented is white women.

Let me just pick out two statements
"Even if they both end up with gainful employment, one is in a position to be much more influential than the other." and "But if you are a Black woman with a PhD, you will have no shortage of offers,"
The numbers certainly don't reflect that. Black women (6% of the population) are strongly underrepresented in lecturer (3%) and instructor levels (5%). Black men even less with 2% and 3% respectively.

Ok, I know people don't like to hear this but you should either check your media diet because it gives you a skewed perception or maybe reflect on certain confirmation biases. Confirmation bias means that someone has a certain view and the brain then unconsciously looks for information that supports that view because challenging a strongly held believe is emotionally unpleasant. It is well documented that people knowingly keep a wrongful belief rather then go through the painful process of challenging that belief.

Be that as it may, your belief that white men have a harder time to find gainful employment in the three fields is certainly not reflected in the numbers.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 11:52am (UTC -5)
Give me a break. My "media diet" is the Washington Post, the New York Times, Slate, and NPR. I'm not being fed the right wing tropes you imagine, because I don't watch any cable news, much less Fox News. But I see who all the new faces are at these publications and it ain't white dudes.

You are continuing to rest your evidence on percentages of fields overall (which reflect decades of hiring practices) rather than who is getting hired in the past couple years since we started this "racial reckoning" (that looks to me mostly like a combination of a fad and a moral panic).

You also can't judge "underrepresentation" based on a group's percentage of the overall population. What percentage of people with newly minted PhD's do they make up? If that is itself smaller than their representation in the population overall, you can question why that might be. I don't know that I would agree that it's automatically because of racial discrimination, but regardless: it's not the fault of academic hiring committees if they only have a pipeline of so many black female PhD's to choose from. My mother is a professor emeritus of sociology who used to be involved in making those decisions at a major public university, and she proudly admitted to me that even after the Supreme Court decision came down banning affirmative action, she and her colleagues kept defiantly doing it anyway--but made sure not to leave any evidence in the written record of what they were up to.
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Booming
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 12:38pm (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
I don't have numbers for news room hires during the last few years and if certain companies want to balance out their racial make up then for a few years they will hire more people who are not white. If. But that effect would quickly fade when it reaches an acceptable level.
The thing is, i cannot argue with your perception. Give me some hard evidence and we can talk. Maybe write the Post and the Times and ask if they can provide you with numbers for new hires or if they have some specific policy in place. Then you will know.

" I don't know that I would agree that it's automatically because of racial discrimination"
If a distinct part of the population attains less institutionalized cultural capital than the average population what other reason could there be than systemic disadvantages? The word discrimination is somewhat unfortunate in this context, while there is certainly some, a lot can probably be explained by the long term effects of 100+ years of discrimination (poverty, bad schools, no political power and so on). That's why I would use systemic disadvantages.
Here, that page shows a few things like black students on average having considerably higher student loan debts but there also several encouraging numbers in there. :)

https://graphics.reuters.com/GLOBAL-RACE/USA/nmopajawjva/#the-justice-system


"it's not the fault of academic hiring committees if they only have a pipeline of so many black female PhD's to choose from."
Sure, getting a phd is closely linked to the socio economic situation of the parents. That is even more true for a system in which money is so central. Affirmative action should only have been necessary for around 20 years. After that the problems in the education system that had made it necessary should have been fixed. That obviously never happened. The problem starts with the beginning of school, when people reach college the damage is already done. At this point Affirmative action is just a quick fix to tip the scales of an unjust system a little.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
@Booming: "If a distinct part of the population attains less institutionalized cultural capital than the average population what other reason could there be than systemic disadvantages?"

The fact that other potential possibilities are so taboo as to not even be allowed to be spoken or even conceived of is part of the problem.
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Booming
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
"The fact that other potential possibilities are so taboo as to not even be allowed to be spoken or even conceived of is part of the problem."
Such as?
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SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
I'm not touching that third rail here. Feel free to go look at my posts on the Straight Dope Message Board (same screen name) for my takes on that and many other topics. I was permanently banned from that site a couple years ago after posting there for 15 years, but I believe all my old posts are still there.
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Booming
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
There is like a million posts by you there.
Come on. It will be our little secret :)

What is it? The Bell Curve? Blacks unwilling to use bootstraps? "Hormonal problems"? Give me a hint!
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SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 3:02pm (UTC -5)
Nope. Not taking the bait. That site has a search function, you know where to look if you're that curious.
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Booming
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
I get a little inkling. The Bell Curve is terribly bad science. Like first semester fail grade bad.
If you would like to know more.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBc7qBS1Ujo
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Mike Lindell
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 7:05pm (UTC -5)
Ah yes. My favorite Star Trek forum topic- the inferiority of the negro as explained by a basement dwelling Aryan ubermench.
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Randy Arse
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 8:51pm (UTC -5)
I wonder if the same people complaining about the representation of minorities in Disco will also be complaining about the largely white male cast of Strange New Worlds. My eight ball says no.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
@Randy Arse: You are misinformed, either about the cast or what the word "largely" means. From the Paramount press release:

https://blog.trekcore.com/2021/03/star-trek-strange-new-worlds-new-casting-production-starts/
--------
March 12, 2021 – Paramount+, the new streaming service from ViacomCBS, today announced five new cast members joined the upcoming Original Series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Babs Olusanmokun (“Black Mirror,” “Dune”), Christina Chong (“Tom and Jerry,” “Black Mirror”), Celia Rose Gooding (“Jagged Little Pill”), Jess Bush (“Skinford,” “Les Norton”) and Melissa Navia (“Dietland,” “Billions”) will join as series regulars.
--------

Zero white guys among those five actors.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 11:16pm (UTC -5)
@Randy Arse More broadly, looking at IMDb there are 12 characters other than Spock and Pike listed as appearing in multiple episodes of the series. Only one of the twelve is a white guy.

Now, I'm not complaining about this. That one guy actually appears to be a new character. Progress! Happy to see a diverse group round out the cast, and I am crossing my fingers that the show will be better than Discovery and Picard. Just pointing out that your "largely white male cast" claim is completely wrong.
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Bryan
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 11:44pm (UTC -5)
Could it be Nu-Trek's very first Main Original SWM character who's not a pathetic or abominable sack of shit? That would indeed be worthy of some celebration...and not only for the white supremacists (though those guys in particular will be partying the hardest).
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SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 2, 2022, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
We shall see! (For that matter, it remains to be seen if Hemmer, as his character is called, merits the S in SWM.)

Ohhh...wait, I just googled the character and he is from a blind alien race with blue skin and antennae (cousin species to Andorians, I guess?). Never mind. Cool that he's played by an actual blind actor though.
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Bryan
Sun, Apr 3, 2022, 12:31am (UTC -5)
That..actually makes more sense given the overarching agenda. Not that I'd complain, mind you. I'm all for some disability representation in Stark Trek just like the showrunners, and I think that's the main reason why Aurellio was one of the very few SWMs who wasn't irredeemably evil. I know that many wanted to see more of him as a recurring character and that's cool with me too.

Also, regarding the "S" in the SWM, I only put that in there, not because I'm a stickler for heternormativity (I am SO not), but because "SWM" is the archetype that the showrunners have been dancing around without explicitly saying so whenever characters that fit this mold get a bum rap (unless they have Legacy Armor), whereas those that don't fit this mold typically don't. So I don't really care if a character isn't 100% straight, just as long as everyone is similarly fleshed out and humanized.

This is why Tarka was kind of a step in the right direction in some ways...he was humanized more than all of the archetypal SWM villains that came before. Plus many will argue (myself included) that he's not actually straight at all, which both dovetailed with his humanization and explained him being an exception to the rule. Again, no complaints from me about that except for the part where they apparently killed him off....which was not great for the same reason that nearly killing Culber off was not so great... Either way, Nu-Trek definitely need more nuanced characters like Tarka that defy simple categorization and aren't simply there to check boxes and score political points.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 3, 2022, 4:30am (UTC -5)
@Booming
"As long as none of those things happen it will be very low on the agenda. There are just so many intolerances that cause more harm. It is certainly uncomfortable to be disliked by some people just for what you are. Welcome to the club. :) "

This, exactly, is why it is ridiculous for PoC and other minorities to rejoice at the these trends.

Those for whom this is the first time they suffer intolerance, will probably manage. It is those whose life was already a fight for survival, that you need to worry about.

If you're J.K. Rowling, then no cancelling campaign could either bankrupt you or isolate you. That woman will always have millions of fans and billions of dollars.

Or if you're an Archie Bunker type, then no cancelling campaign is going to put a dent in the support you're getting - either morally or financially. They have plenty of Archie Bunker type friends, who would probably just become more extreme the harder you try to terrorize them.

OTOH if you're a black lesbian woman with little money, and you've said the wrong thing on twitter, you're in danger of being completely annihilated. What's worse: such a person has nowhere to turn to for support.

In short, the intolerance of your agenda is creating tons of poverty and suffering in the very groups you're claiming to protect. But hey, at least they get to see people "who look like them" more often on TV. Totally worth it, eh?

@Bryan
"Also, regarding the "S" in the SWM, I only put that in there, not because I'm a stickler for heternormativity (I am SO not), but because "SWM" is the archetype that the showrunners have been dancing around without explicitly saying so whenever characters that fit this mold get a bum rap (unless they have Legacy Armor), whereas those that don't fit this mold typically don't."

If it's any consolation, the writers of these shows are so fond of the violence-equals-cool trope, that it almost reverses the effect they were going for.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 3, 2022, 4:33am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
"Ohhh...wait, I just googled the character and he is from a blind alien race with blue skin and antennae (cousin species to Andorians, I guess?). Never mind. Cool that he's played by an actual blind actor though. "

Sounds like an Aenar (which are - indeed - from Andoria)
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Booming
Sun, Apr 3, 2022, 5:26am (UTC -5)
@Omicron
You insult me a few times and then want to start a debate. Interesting strategy.

"if you're a black lesbian woman with little money, and you've said the wrong thing on twitter, you're in danger of being completely annihilated. What's worse: such a person has nowhere to turn to for support."
Yes, an openly black Lesbian who would have to suffer through quite a bit of abuse by racists, misogynists and homophobes on the internet and likely in real life would probably be pushed over the edge by the PC twittermob. Ok.

Thanks Omicron.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kofR7f7oNnE

I will now try to get my pulse below 200 again. Don't expect me to respond anymore.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Apr 3, 2022, 6:11am (UTC -5)
@OTDP makes an excellent point, that I will broaden: cancel culture is hardest on those who are left of center but heterodox; those who identify in many ways with coastal urban intelligentsia but have an independent spirit of inquiry. The penalty of ostracization hits them much harder.
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Booming
Sun, Apr 3, 2022, 6:59am (UTC -5)
I will post this video and be done with this topic. Have fun (until cancel culture finds you).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7aWz8q_IM4
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 3, 2022, 7:22am (UTC -5)
@Booming
"You insult me a few times and then want to start a debate. Interesting strategy."

I did not "start" anything. I've joined an ongoing conversation and replied to something you've written.

"Yes, an openly black Lesbian who would have to suffer through quite a bit of abuse by racists, misogynists and homophobes on the internet and likely in real life would probably be pushed over the edge by the PC twittermob."

Mockery does not make for a compelling argument.

Also, as a guy who has known prejudice all his life and got severely hit by this PC "revolution", I don't find this mockery of a very real problem to be amusing.
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Sigh2000
Sun, Apr 3, 2022, 9:44am (UTC -5)
@Bryan "I'm all for some disability representation in Stark Trek....."

That's it...I think you've got it....an alternate universe scenario in which all of the crew have disabilities! It can be a season cliff hanger Titled "Stark Trek " :)
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EmpressHoshiSato
Wed, Apr 6, 2022, 2:08pm (UTC -5)
Damn, this episode was a bit of a let down.

The opening, yes was reasonably funny with "The Voyage Home" radio guy on the bus.

Overall the episode felt a little bit like it didn't further the story much at all and use the limited screen time the series has to do anything at all. If you've only get X number of episodes to tell whatever your series based story is, was this the best way to use 45 minutes?

Guinan in TNG is a wonderful character. Aside from the charisma of the Goldberg and rapport between her and Picard, she has a certain way of explaining things calmly and humorously (e.g. to Worf, to Picard, to Data etc etc) and a WISDOM and air of almost royalty about her. However, the character we see in this episode is NOT Guinan. Not remotely comparable.

Furthermore, Picard and Guinan should have met given the episodes in TNG where they travel back to the 18th century and she is on Earth. And if they are saying Time has been changed and the Federation never existed and thus Picard never went back in time... well then by that argument the Federation never existed and KIRK NEVER WENT BACK IN TIME EITHER to retrieve the whales...meaning Spock never taught the Radio Guy on the bus a lesson...meaning the start of this episode makes no sense.

The actress for Guinan not only didn't look like Guinan at all (surely they could have found someone who looked more like Goldberg???!), but didn't behave like her AT ALL. She was just preaching in rather generic overly simplified terms. And was she even meant to have been on Earth this whole time? Respectfully, not that current times (if that's what they are alluding to) are good, but there have been terrible times in human history before ranging from Slavery to two world wars as well as Great Depressions etc. So it seems bizarre that only these problems today would cause her to want to leave.

And again, she does NOT seem like Guinan AT ALL. Terrible writing. I think if they weren't going to get someone who at least looked like older Guinan, they should have used CGI. Guinan is also meant to be much older than humans and wiser. She would not behave in this depressing manner that nothing can be changed. Hell no.

I also think it would have been better if Guinan WERE the Watcher. Rather than some other entity. That would have given some connection to Picard in the First place!

I don't quite understand the "Rios is going to disappear" angle. He was mistreated a bit too generically along with others. But could they not discreetly pick him up just tracking him? Why would they risk further contaminating the timeline to rescue him from transport rather than just picking him up at the border?!

I'd have also thought they'd have planned for a contingency in the first place to account for ID if they had to encounter law enforcement of the era.

Doctor Lady was hot so hope she makes a comeback in the series.

Seven seems to be the most calm and switched on outside of Picard. What was Raffi thinking just breaking into a Police car in broad daylight right outside the Police station? And did they need to even speed away in the first place? I didn't see anyone chasing them until they drew attention to themselves by breaking a barrier.

I think I'd prefer to have seen Raffi struggle and then Seven take over. And then Seven mentioning that her friend B'Elanna used to ask her to come along to a Holodeck programme her husband created to tell him how primitive it was and that's how she learned to "drive" this old contraption.

I did not like that the Watcher was Laris at all frankly. Should have kept it as Guinan, or else just used a totally new character with new actress. Would have maybe made more sense if the Watcher was some early form of Q (maybe created on that spinning planet Voyager encountered in "Blink of an Eye") who came to observe the species they first encountered.

Also not sure I can buy into this whole "pivotal moment" that changes history thing since surely that was First Contact itself.

This episode really went back to the quality of the last season of Picard sadly. A shame, because the first 2 episodes felt more like Star Trek. The 24/25th century visitors still don't seem to be finding 21st century Earth alien at all which is bizarre. They should be amused, baffled, struggling and confused by this time period.
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Flair
Wed, Apr 6, 2022, 9:26pm (UTC -5)
What a disgrace to Star Trek.
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Nic
Fri, Apr 8, 2022, 9:06pm (UTC -5)
The cloaking device on La Sirena works, but the heater doesn't? I call BS.

The "10, Forward Avenue" bar has not only existed for over 400 years, but hasn't changed its decor? I call BS.

"Making Guinan a cynic who serves as a contemporary mouthpiece for the writers is a terrible choice that leads to dialogue that just clangs to the floor. This version of Guinan has an attitude that comes from a far too purely privileged American perspective; after all, there is suffering far worse in the world than the myopic view on showcase here." Agree 100%. I could buy Guinan being a little less wise and contemplative in this era, but this was several steps too far from the character I know and love from TNG.

I also wasn't a fan of Jurati's interactions with the Queen. It was just standard clichéed villain stuff we've seen countless times before.
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Nic
Sat, Apr 9, 2022, 6:14pm (UTC -5)
...Like, does Guinan not know that extreme poverty AND child mortality have been CUT IN HALF in the last 30 years, the fastest such improvement in living conditions in human history?
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Mike
Tue, Apr 12, 2022, 5:59pm (UTC -5)
Jammer- your observation of the episode being bitter and preachy is exactly why I am finding it very hard to like Discovery or Picard right now.
I am on season 4 of my first rewatch of Deep Space Nine and what a difference.
They could tend to preach on that show too, but nothing like the cliche cops/ice are the bad guys, and so much more.
Guinan is a huge fail. There is nothing of the Guinan as we know her. I just watched the TNG episode where they went back to the 1800's and Mark Twain.
That is the Guinan in personality I want to see. Not bitter and twisted.
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dlpb
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
and yes, I'm aware there are grammar mistakes there. Been a long day, so don't bother with that nonsense. :)
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Jason R.
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
"and yes, I'm aware there are grammar mistakes there. Been a long day, so don't bother with that nonsense. :)"

I routinely misspell words that I never misspell in any other context. I am pretty sure the autocorrect on this site is the culprit. It is batshit insane.
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Eric Cheung
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 2:52pm (UTC -5)
Regarding Guinan, if you only knew someone from a day or two 131 years ago, and had no photographic evidence of him, even if he saved your life, the memory of him would be pretty fuzzy unless it was jogged by something like a name.

And 131 years can do a lot to beat a person down when you see the climate situation getting within six years of averting extinction, per the IPCC deadline to halve carbon output by 2030 to have even a chance. That, plus the ways in which institutional racism really has traded a hood for a suit by crafting things like the loophole in the 13th Amendment, which incentivized outlawing non-violent activities in order to capture newly freed slaves, as well as Jim Crow, redlining, busing riots, disparate medical treatment because of a false perception in the medical community that Black people don't feel pain, houses getting appraised higher when white friends pose as owners of the same houses, racial profiling, police brutality, and countless other systemic issues and Guinan's hope that she felt in 1893 would surely have dissipated without the intervention of someone from the future saying that things will change.
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Rubens
Mon, May 30, 2022, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
... and we are back to fanfic level of writing once more - season 1 sends its regards.

The dialog is cliché and heavy-handed, the pacing is horrible an the history is boring. It is diffcult to think professional writers were behind this.

Overall, this episode is below mediocre like most of the nu trek, they can bring back classic characters, Guinan, Picard, Seven, they might look familiar for nostalgia's sake, but they don't react as the same original counterparts, they don't talk as the same original counterparts, and ultimately, they are not the same persons as in TOS, TNG, VOY.

The only way this series makes sense is that it is in different universe than the "m ain" timeline.

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