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Star Trek TNG - 6x07 - Rascals

Originally Aired: 1992-11-2

Synopsis:
Several crew members are turned into children. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.63

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 32 11 15 12 11 15 19 14 27 10 10

Problems
- The science behind this episode is horrible. How did the transporter shrink their clothes? What happened to Picard's artificial heart? And how did the transporter unshrink everyone's clothes when they went back through?

Factoids
- Guinan's father is over 700 years old.
- The writers ended the episode without showing Ro revert back to adulthood because they considered leaving her that way permanently.

Remarkable Scenes
- The actors for the child versions of the characters were pretty good selections.
- Picard trying to ignore the limitations of his new form.
- O'Brien's reaction to Keiko.
- Troi: "You could return to the acadamy, take another degree, brush up on your Latin." Picard: "And be Wesly Crusher's room mate?"
- Troi: "A second childhood. Without the pain of growing up again."
- Guinan picking on Ro.
- Guinan's proposed solution to the takeover.
- The child's computer.
- Picard freaking out at the Ferengi about seeing his "father" Riker
- Picard pretending to be Riker's son.
- Riker bullshitting technobabble.
- The children "tagging" the Ferengi.

My Review
The Ferengi conquering the Enterprise so easily seemed a little absurd. And why did the Ferengi even bother trying to unlock the computer? They could have just tractored the ship to Romulan space. I'm sure the Romulans would have been more interested and more able to crack the computer lockout... This episode suffers greatly from both logical and technical problems. Forgiving them briefly, this episode bears great humor. It's great fun watching the crew as children and how they're treated by the rest of the cast. It's also great fun watching the children outsmart the Ferengi. Besides the humor, the idea that they could live to be twice the age of normal people was also intriguing, but disappointing that in the end no one decided to remain a child; not even Ro who would have been perfectly suited for that role. A fine idea for an episode, but very poorly executed.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-07 at 3:03am:
    I agree. How did two klingon birds of prey disable the enterprise immediately and then proceed to board it and commandeer it so easily? That was ridiculous. I hate the ferengi so much.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-10-12 at 7:58am:
    - Once again, the creators use the "just switch the DNA with the transporter so everything will be ok" plot trick to fix the problem of changing the crew back to adults. At least the creators are consistent. This is basically the same solution they used to resolve a crisis in "Unnatural Selection." (see "Unnatural Selection" Fan Commentary for more information on this subject.)
    - When asked by the Ferengi captain how many people are on board the Enterprise, Riker replies, "One thousand fourteen" (1,014). During the episode "Remember Me," Data claims there are 1,014 people on the Enterprise at that point. What are the chances - given transfers, promotions, childbirth, etc. - that there would be exactly the same number aboard the Enterprise during both these shows?
    - Worf needs to get back to the phaser practice range. When two Ferengi materialize on the bridge, Worf fires a shot and misses! The Ferengi can't be more than twenty feet away, and the chief of Security of the Enterprise misses?
    - When Picard first attempts to access the main computer from a school terminal, the top of the screen reads, "Classroom 7." When Picard meets with Riker, he asks Riker to turn on the computer in "schoolroom 8."
  • From djb on 2008-05-27 at 8:29am:
    This episode was fun, though it brings up two rather sticky subjects (aside from obvious ones, like, how their clothes shrunk and Picard magically had hair).

    One is how easily the Enterprise, the flagship of the Federation, was captured. By those god-awful Ferengi, no less. I mean, it's certainly possible for the ship to be captured, but I'd expect it to maybe be a bit more of a struggle. It was a cakewalk! And, wouldn't there be security measures, like some kind of automatic lockdown if the shields fail? Or something? I mean, come on. It could have been epic.

    The other is the "age reversal" problem, which was also an issue in "Unnatural Selection." If a transporter can accidentally convert adults into children, couldn't it be configured to do it intentionally? Wouldn't that basically make the transporter an immortality machine? Wouldn't that mean that anyone, once their bodies have aged past 50 or 60, or whenever, could just enter the transporter, be reverted to children (with adult minds) and live another several decades with a younger body, and repeat ad infinitum? Maybe it could be configured to revert someone to, say, 29, instead of 12, and then people could go in for an "age-reverting" every 5 or 10 years without going all the way back to 12? The social, economic, and medical ramifications are ludicrous. Talk about messing with nature!

    I thought the casting of young Guinan and young Ro were excellent; it happens that the actress who played young Guinan also played a young version of the character Whoopi Goldberg played in "Sister Act." Keiko didn't really look like herself, but it's hard to tell with aging. Also notice that young Picard's accent is just slightly different from regular Picard's? Hmmm.

    Some episodes, though, have "priceless" moments that are somewhat incidental but memorable. "Schisms" had Data's poetry, which was genius. This one's priceless moment is Riker feeding the Ferengi complete nonsense about the computer. Bilateral kelilactirals... Heisenfram terminals! Wonderful touch.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-11 at 4:08am:
    Ughh. This is perhaps the most ridiculous episode of the Next Generation. The O'Brien/Keiko stuff was creepy and interesting, but Colm Meany didn't act it very well, probably because the plot was dumb he couldn't take it seriously.

    On top of all this idiotic mess with the children, we have another incredibly stupid Ferengi episode. The Ferengi are the Jar Jar Binks of TNG and an embarrassing black eye on the series. They become more believable in DS9, but here they are always bad news. It's already been documented that children are a bad idea on Trek, and the combination of the two here is dreadful.

    Thank God the writers didn't go ahead and make this episode inarguably canonical by leaving Ro as a child. Therefore, I move that this episode be struck from the canon, as nothing significant arises from it, it's thankfully never mentioned again, the science is ludicrous, and the whole package is utter shite.
  • From The Crytter on 2009-06-07 at 2:50pm:
    A hugely fun episode. I enjoyed it but for a few niggling details.....

    1) A case of mistaken identity:

    The Klingon Bird's of Prey are identified as "B'rel" class.

    The B'rel class Bird of Prey is well known to be a scout vessel, approximately 90 meters long and 130 metres wide. Whats more, the B'rel class has only a crew of 12, and could not carry very many troops in addition.

    The Birds of Prey that attack the Enterprise are clearly at least as wide as the Enterprise herself (467 metres). And they can cleary carry enough troops between them to overwhelm to Enterprise crew. These vessels are clearly of the "K'Vort" class cruiser variant of the Bird of Prey!

    2) Has Commander Riker become a wimp???

    2 vs 1 or not, the supposedly state-of-the-art Galaxy class Flagship-of-the-federation USS Enterprise goes down with barely a whimper! It fires just one shot in retaliation. Absolutely pathetic! Commander Riker is usually fairly gung-ho, and pretty handy in a fight. But here he simply lets the Enterprise take several minutes of pummeling before he orders Mr Worf to return fire, and even then with only a single phaser burst! With his hesitation and poor response to the attack, he basically gifts the Enterprise to the Ferengi!

    Commander Riker should have ordered Mr Worf to return fire as soon as they were attacked, and then concentrated fire on one of the Birds of Prey. The Enterprise is powerful enough to disable a K'Vort class cruiser in fairly short order with sustained fire, and once one was out of action the Ferengi crew of the other would no doubt have decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and retreated.

    So in short, the Enterprise seriously needs it's ship recognition files updating, and should have won the fight with it's attackers. This, of course, means that this whole episode should never have taken place.

    A shame really, considering the episode as a whole is such good fun! Enough fun, that i'll forgive the writers for the irritating errors.
  • From rpeh on 2010-06-14 at 10:33pm:
    You lot take this far too seriously.

    Yes, the science is rubbish. Yes, the ship was taken over too easily. Yes, there are other problems.

    But this episode is fun! The young versions do a brilliant job, young Guinan especially, and as long as you watch it all when you're in a good mood, it's a funny episode.

    Sheesh! Some people would even take Trouble with Tribbles seriously!
  • From baron on 2010-12-03 at 6:30pm:
    Riker didn't attack the ships because they were klingon ships. He didn't raised the shields because he would have had no reason to and that would be seen as a hostile gesture. He had no way of knowing that they were ferengi. He would have at least tried to hail them before he started firing. He wouldn't want to risk starting a war by firing at them first for no reason. Unfortunately, they had already attacked and disabled the enterprises sheilds at that point.
  • From Quando on 2011-08-25 at 12:40am:
    The absolute best part of this episode was when the Ferengi caught little kid Picard calling Riker "Number One". The Ferengi looks at kid Picard kind of funny, and Picard quickly says "he's my number one Dad!" and gives Riker a big hug. My kids laughed about this for days.

    Also, what happened to the rest of the 1,014 people on the ship? The only people to try to do anything to stop the Ferengi are the people on the bridge and some little kids. Meanwhile several hundred fully-trained starfleet officers are sitting quietly somewhere twiddling their thumbs.
  • From Wes on 2012-03-22 at 1:27pm:
    This marks the last episode the O'briens are on TNG. The next time we see Chief O'brien is on DS9 in Emissary.
  • From railohio on 2014-07-22 at 2:33am:
    Overall I found the episode enjoyable, however there is one continueing point involving the Ferengi that I need to meet
    The bridge crew spends so much time spilling out statuses and sensor readings during the battle, that they only manage to actually fire once. Once!! If they really wanted to win, they would disable the enemy as quickly as possible (or at least try to) and worry about the damages and casualties after. They would avoid even more casualties in the process.

    Another thing I found a bit funny actually was during the shuttle mishap. While the shuttle is experiencing "turbulance," the shuttle does not seem to move at all, and it appears they are just dancing in there chairs. Quite entertaining if you catch it

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Star Trek TNG - 6x08 - A Fistful of Datas

Originally Aired: 1992-11-9

Synopsis:
Data becomes the villain in a Holodeck malfunction. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 6.49

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 8 5 3 3 5 12 19 22 29 24 8

Problems
None

Factoids
- Patrick Stewart (Picard) directed this episode and has remarked that every single one of the holodeck scenes was filmed on a single day. Because there were so many scenes to film and everything was so rushed that Stewart forgot to put on sunscreen and left filming that day incredibly exhausted and sunburned.

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard playing the flute with the skill he acquired in TNG: The Inner Light.
- Picard getting annoyed at the interruptions.
- Worf trying to avoid Alexander.
- Worf, just after seeing the whore in the holodeck: "You wrote this program?" Alexander: "Mr. Barclay helped a little."
- Worf getting into the spirit in Alexander's program.
- Worf's objections to Troi's entrence.
- Worf getting slapped by the holographic woman.
- Picard's music glitching.
- Riker reading Data's poetry from TNG: Schisms.
- Data showing up as characters in the holodeck.
- Data interacting with his cat... suddenly switching to a Western accent.
- Worf, ordering a drink: "Klingon Fire Wine" Holodeck woman: "This ain't Kansas City! We ain't got none of that fancy European stuff here!
- Holodeck Data hurting Worf's shoulder, and Worf trying to freeze the program giving Worf a clue that something's gone wrong.
- Data starting to act like a cowboy.
- Troi having to explain to Worf that Holo-Data will break his word on the agreement.
- The Holo-Woman being replaced by Data...
- The Enterprise flying off into the sunset...

My Review
A cute, fun episode. The nicest part about this episode is how all the characters fit into their unnatural rules. Worf trying to fit in as a Westerner, yet perfectly comfortable with the idea of enforcing the law. Troi as a seasoned veteran nasty mysterious stranger, and especially Data, with his numerous roles in this episode. Brent Spiner's performance in all these roles was nothing short of brilliant; the accents were great. I'm not sure which I liked more. The real Data acting like a cowboy or Data as the holodeck characters. Even the final Data scene where he appeared in drag as a the bartender was done well enough such that it was funny and not tasteless.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-07 at 11:43pm:
    remarkable scene addition: Patrick Stewart uttering the words "I'm not much of an actor"

    Brent spiner is an unbelievable actor. God knows how many parts he has played in Star Trek. I'm willing to wager more parts than any other actor.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-11-01 at 7:16am:
    - Data and Geordi ask Picard for permission to take the computer in Engineering off line. Geordi says they are working on a new interface so Data could act as an emergency backup in the event of a shipwide systems failure. Data adds, "In theory, my neural network should be able to sustain key systems until primary control is restored." In theory? Hasn't the crew already done this? Wasn't it a direct link between Data and the engineering systems that prevented the destruction of the Enterprise during the episode "Disaster"?
    - In the first saloon scene, the bad guy Worf is supposed to arrest rises slowly to his feet. Worf seizes the opportunity and knocks him out with one blow. Immediately, Alexander stops the program and complains that the arrest was too easy. He then restarts the sequence, with a higher difficulty level. The odd thing here is that the second time through, the arrestee gets up from his chair with the same slowness he showed before, only this time Worf lets him back out of range.
    - After Geordi discovers that the problem is in a computer subroutine, he tells Picard it will take a couple of hours to fix it. Isn't this problem similar to that faced by the main computer in "Contagion"? In that episode, Geordi simply shut everything off and reloaded all the programs from the protected archives. Why not do the same thing here? Answer: The creators needed to stall the resolution so Worf could be in the shoot-out on Deadwood's main street.
    - To make his personal force field, Worf tears apart his communicator. Let me say that again: Worf TEARS his communicator apart. Why not just tap it and call for help? Geordi said only secondary systems were affected by Data's overwrite. Communications is a primary system. Shouldn't it still be functioning? Does the holodeck put up some sort of jamming field that prevents communication outside the holodeck?
    - Worf certainly has improved his markmanship skill since the previous episode ;)
  • From wepeel on 2008-07-03 at 4:56pm:
    When Data is shuffling cards in his cell, look at his arms...obviously they used another person's hands to do the shuffling, but couldn't they have found someone who had arms similar to Brent? You'll notice that in all the other shots, the excessive arm-hair is gone...

    After one of the commercial breaks, we see Geordi working on Data as Riker comes into the scene. Data greets Riker with a "howdy." After Data says, "You got it, partner," look at Geordi...this is purely my opinion but I think he is trying to hide his laugh by looking down. I thought it was pretty funny...

    And also, right afterward, while Data is looking at Riker while Geordi is talking...look at Data's face. Tell me he's not trying to suppress his laughter! ;)
  • From thaibites on 2012-06-07 at 2:21pm:
    More like "A Fistful of Stupid". This one was painful to watch...
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-26 at 6:02pm:
    Terrible episode. One of the worst ever, how this one has a fan rating of nearly 7 is beyond me. I give this a 2 only because there are a few genuinely funny scenes, like Picard continuing to get interrupted in the beginning. The way he says "Computer, pause recording" the very last time when it's Worf makes me laugh every time. Sounds like he's about to have an aneurysm. Overall though, just a CORNY filler episode with a ridiculously far-fetched premise. Alexander is just annoying (when is he not?) and so is Troi here for that matter.
  • From Quando on 2014-07-29 at 4:38pm:
    I think this is a really fun episode. Best moments: Alexander saying, "saddle up father" and Work not wanting to go; Worf starting to "get into" the program after the fistfight in the saloon; Data unconsciously saying things like "I recon" and "vamoose"; Worf's final look in the mirror in his quarters showing a sense of imagination. It may not be the most meaningful or the most technologically accurate episode, but it is very entertaining.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x09 - The Quality of Life

Originally Aired: 1992-11-16

Synopsis:
Data risks lives in order to protect a "living" machine. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 5.2

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 15 3 4 27 6 8 10 25 21 8 6

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- The discussion of Geordi's beard and beards in general. Personally, I like Geordi the best with a beard.
- Data beginning to believe the exocomp was alive.
- Beverly healing herself after being defeated in a sparring match with Worf.
- Data asking Beverly for the definition of life.
- Farallon: "One time I saw an exocomp enter a reaction chamber for no apparent reason and vaporize itself. Is that supposed to make me think that it was depressed and suicidal?"
- Beverly and Data discovering that the exocomp saw right through the test.
- Data objecting to sacrificing the exocomps to save Picard and Geordi.
- Data locking out the transporter to save the exocomps. I love how Data replies to Riker's anger to calmly.
- The exocomps noble sacrifice.

My Review
This episode takes a meager premise and makes it interesting. In the beginning of the episode wd have a simple space station with a radical new mining technique. A concept not unlike other TNG episodes dealing with one time guest stars. However, the introduction of the exocomps and the debate over their sentience is an intriguing one. And the debate over whether or not they're alive is even more fascinating than TNG: The Measure of a Man in some respects. Especially with Data's decision to protect the exocomps at all costs. I'm fond of how everyone is so easy to forgive Data and I'm equally fond of how much willing Data was to end his career with his extreme actions. The dialog in this episode was intelligent and was a general pleasure to watch.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-11-10 at 5:48pm:
    - During this episode, Data asks Crusher to define life, and Crusher sputters around for a while before finally coming up with an answer (sort of). During the first season she was a lot surer of herself. When asked a similar question in "Home Soil," she immediately answered that organic life must have the ability to assimilate, respirate, reproduce, grow and develop, move, secrete, and excrete.
    - Prior to a meeting concerning the exocomp, Picard makes a log stating that he has called a meeting of the senior staff. In the meeting, both Riker and Worf are missing.
    - The exocomps have the ability to replicate the tool attachment they need for a specific job. Normally, the exocomp dematerializes this attachment as soon as it completes the job. Very conveniently, an excomp "forgets" to dematerialize the attachment. This forgetfulness allows Data to see the tool and come to the conclusion that the exocomps are alive (which is needed to move the plot along).
    - When the bridge crew quickly runs through the options for rescuing Picard, Faralon claims that they don't have time to send a shuttle to the space station. Yet mere seconds before, Riker tells everyone they have twenty-two minutes! Twenty-two minutes isn't enough time to fly a shuttle next door to an orbiting space station? It's amazing the dance the creators go through to keep the tension up on this show. Of course, if the Enterprise sent a shuttle, the exocomps wouldn't be in danger, and Data couldn't save them, and so on, and so on.
  • From djb on 2008-05-29 at 7:55am:
    - I wonder why Riker, who outranks Data, wasn't able to override the transporter lockout. Of course, Data has been shown to be able to lock everyone out, even the captain (see "Brothers") but it didn't seem to indicate he imitated anyone's voice like he did before.

    - There's obvious continuity between this episode and "The Measure of a Man" but there's also a subtle reference to "The Offspring," in which Picard encourages Data to disobey the Admiral who wants to take Lal away, saying, "There are times when men of conscience cannot blindly follow orders." It seems Data has taken that to heart.

    - I find it weird that there isn't much of a difference made between "sentient" and "sapient" in this episode. Clearly the line has to be drawn somewhere when it comes to the importance of preserving "living" things. If, for example, I had to sacrifice my cat, who is sentient, but not sapient, to save a human friend, there wouldn't be much of a question, even if it were a difficult decision to make. And if it were a tree, there would be no question. The tree is alive by all definitions of the word, but it would be ludicrous to put a single plant on the same level of importance as a starship captain. Data's acting as if the AI exhibited by these devices might make him "not alone" is ridiculous, because simple self-preservation is certainly feasible without a positronic brain. Plus, even if the exocomps could be proven to be "sentient," they don't have positronic brains, and therefore would never make Data less unique no matter how smart they became.

    Somehow Data has come to the conclusion that the rudimentary intelligence shown by the exocomps, which is, at best, circumstantial evidence that they are anything approximating "conscious," is of equal value with two humans, one of whom saved him from being disassembled. Wouldn't Data take that into account? He seems to have jumped to conclusions, which is inconsistent with his programming. In fact, he seems very driven by emotion in this episode. It brings up a good question of where our the border between our thoughts and our emotions lies.

    It's true that the exocomps exhibited self-preservation behavior, but that is a far cry from sapience. Even following Crusher's loose definition of "alive," these exocomps didn't reproduce or grow. They also didn't consume food any more than a tricorder would. Neither do they obviously exhibit self-awareness. Their self-preservation tendencies could be nothing more than good AI. As indicated in the episode, they have heuristic programming, writing itself as it learns more, and for all we know, this program came to the logical conclusion that self-preservation is most conducive to the unit executing its function properly. Clearly, unlike Data's designer, their designer did not intend for them to become "alive," even in the loosest sense of the word. (This, of course, brings up the whole debate of Intelligent Design, but that's a whole different can of worms.)

    Indeed, I wonder why more effort wasn't made to discover to what extent these exocomps could exhibit life-like behavior, why no one bothered to try to communicate with them outside of the typical "enter command" protocol, and why no one asked exactly HOW they became "sentient." It reminds me of "Evolution", where a science project "accidentally" became intelligent, and all of a sudden has to be preserved and protected, even when it threatens the ship. One wonders, then, since the Federation is committed to seeking out new forms of life, why there isn't a comprehensive working definition of life, along with a set of tests to gauge whether or not something is alive, so this quandary doesn't come up every time some device exhibits seemingly intelligent behavior.

    - This is trivial, but I like the "beard" continuity between this episode and the previous one. It's true that the producers intentionally kept this series episodic, with not much overlap from episode to episode, but some more continuity on non-plot points like this one would have been nice.
  • From 2 Of 14 on 2008-09-05 at 10:53am:
    This episode has some excellent aspects such as great ideas, great production values, etc. However, I just cannot get my head around Data deliberately disobeying direct orders from his commanding officer by locking the transporter. To me, this is a major problem in this episode.

    Data’s reasoning that the exocomps are just as valuable as two human lives is totally believable; he is an android and we understand that he sometimes arrives at conclusions many people would not understand or share, that is part of his appeal.

    But to directly disregard direct orders from his commanding officer in this way is just bizarre. In an organisation like Starfleet following orders would be essential, such a complex starship cannot operate without a high level of discipline. A commanding officer is supposed to be so highly trained and experienced that if they make decisions affecting the lives of their crew they should expect them to be carried out, not necessarily without question, but certainly without such blatant refusal.

    Data knows all this; in "Redemption II" when Lt. Cmdr. Hobson questions Data’s orders, Data threatens to relieve him of duty.

    If I was Picard or Riker after this incident I would feel very uncomfortable having Data in such a senior position and would not want him on board the ship in such a capacity.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-11 at 3:49pm:
    Thie episode trots out a few standard Trek themes that are starting to get a little cliche by this point in TNG: the definition of life and/or sentience, Dats's humanity, moral conundrums, and scientists blinded by ambition.

    We don't really get anything new here, but these ideas are all handled servicably, and this episode is intriguing nonetheless.

  • From Rick on 2014-03-13 at 5:24pm:
    Huge problem in this episode (which is otherwise a great one): If the scientist and Riker do not buy that the exocomps are lifeforms, then why do they need to disconnect their command pathways? They both tell Data that they arent lifeforms and Data responds by saying that because they are lifeforms they will not accept the commands that will kill them. Then Riker and scientist decide to disconnect the command pathways? Isnt this directly admitting that Data has been right all along and that they are going to kill the exocomps anyway!!!???

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Star Trek TNG - 6x10 - Chain of Command, Part I

Originally Aired: 1992-12-14

Synopsis:
After being reassigned, Picard is taken hostage. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 7.24

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 8 2 0 3 14 2 2 19 24 36 21

Problems
None

Factoids
- The writers considered having this episode tie in more directly with DS9, replacing the Ferengi character we see in this episode with Quark. But some scheduling eliminated this possibility. :(

Remarkable Scenes
- The matter-of-fact matter in which the admiral dispersed her orders.
- Captain Jellico's enthusiasm.
- The command transfer ceremony.
- Jellico: "Oh... and get that fish out the ready room."
- Jellico criticising Troi's uniform.
- Jellico "being blunt" to Picard.
- The Ferengi claiming that "he's not a smuggler"; overly paranoid about an accusation not made...
- Beverly seducing the Ferengi into helping.
- Beverly and Worf picking on each other.
- Jellico's deliberate rude behavior to the Cardassians.
- The Cardassian captain giving (perhaps not so) subtle foreknowledge of Picard's mission with Worf and Beverly.

My Review
Like any cliffhanger, this episode can not be fully judged until part II. But standing on its own, there are several nice features. Certainly, the tension level of this episode is its greatest feature. Everybody is on edge. The whole episode is like an adrenaline rush. In addition, this episode sets up the premise for DS9. We're told that Bajor has finally won its freedom! A shame we don't get to hear Ro Laren's opinion on the salvation of her planet. The new uniforms of the Cardassians are also established here. Due to all this, I consider this episode the first episode of the DS9 era. Starting here, Star Trek takes a turn into a bold new direction.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-11 at 3:50am:
    That whole thing with Jellico relieving picard in front of the whole ship PISSED ME OFF. I absolutely hate all admirals in starfleet. I STILL stand not having seen a decent one up to this point, and I've seen 5.5 seasons!!!!

    Jellico is a complete bastard. Time to rant about him. "Get it done" is an asinine saying. I hate how he uses data as his personal bitch. He doesn't give a shit about people's feelings, or schedules. "I don't have time for a honeymoon with the crew". What an asshole.

    Jellico ranks as a worse bad guy for me than a Borg or a Romulan any day of the week. I actually found myself enjoying the Cardassian making a fool of Jelico and the federation. That's not supposed to happen!
  • From DSOmo on 2007-11-11 at 5:41am:
    - While rearranging the Enterprise to suit his own taste, Jelico tells Troi that he prefers a certain formality on the bridge. He then requests that she wear a standard uniforn. After seeing Troi function in a standard blue uniform, you suddenly realize the injustice the creators have done to her character. In a standard uniform, Troi becomes a serious professional woman of the same standing as Crusher. Troi's character could have been just as effective, maybe even more effective, had the creators opted for something other than the obvious. Certainly Troi's physical beauty is not diminished by wearing a standard uniform.
    - As the commandos navigate through a maze of caves on Seltrice III, a cave-in buries Crusher. Unbelievably, she's okay even though she was buried under a huge pile of rocks. Maybe the rocks were the Seltrice III equivalent of pumice?
    - Shortly after taking over the Enterprise, Jelico tells Riker to change the functions of the Science I and Science II workstations on the bridge. They are supposed to be "dedicated to damage control and weapons status from now on." Yet when reporting that the theta band emissions from Seltrice III have stopped, Riker stands with Jelico in front of Science I and it still says "Science I" at the top and Riker is still using it for planetary scanning, not weapons status, as Jelico ordered.
    - The creators reused the matte painting of the colony on Moab IV ("The Masterpiece Society") as an establishing shot just before the bar scene.
  • From djb on 2008-05-31 at 8:07am:
    Good episode. I like 2-parters, especially with this series because it's so episodic, i.e. there are hardly any interweaving storylines. 2-parters allow for a larger, more detailed story to unfold.

    - I fully agree that it's high time we saw Troi wear a standard uniform. Too bad it's only for just over 1 1/2 seasons that she actually gets to wear something that makes her look dignified. Why hasn't she been wearing one up to this point? Surely it can't just be for ratings. Now she looks like an actual officer. Anyway, good call on Jellico's part.

    - I'm confused as to why Jellico would want a four-shift rotation instead of 3. That means 6-hour shifts instead of 8, which means less work. What? Unless he's expecting the crew to pull double shifts, in which case, it makes sense.
  • From Mike on 2008-06-13 at 3:08pm:
    Absolutely love this episode, and Ronnie Cox was BRILLIANT as Captain Jellico. I actually would've like to have seen more of this character - it was very cool to see the Enterprise under a different commander.
  • From Quando on 2014-08-16 at 1:43am:
    I really like this episode specifically because Jellico is such a jerk. That is "real." Everybody has had a boss, teacher, parent, or friend like this before, so you can relate to the situation. And it finally lets us see some dynamic interpersonal conflict for a change. I know Gene Roddenberry's vision was that members of the crew would not be in conflict with each other -- rather, the conflict would generally come from outside the crew (aliens and others they encounter). That's OK I guess, but not very realistic and not as interesting as it could be. Compare with the approach taken in the new Battlestar Galactica where there are constant conflicts among the crew, and that is the most interesting part of the show.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x11 - Chain of Command, Part II

Originally Aired: 1992-12-21

Synopsis:
The crew attempts to rescue Picard from Cardassians. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 8.67

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 5 1 2 2 1 0 14 8 15 25 100

Problems
None

Factoids
- Patrick Stewart performed the scenes where he is stripped by the Cardassians fully in the nude, so as to better act the part.

Remarkable Scenes
- Zombie Picard being interrogated.
- Gul Madred describing a peaceful, prosperous Cardassia of 200 years ago, before the military takeover.
- Madred's psychotic torture techniques.
- Jellico relieving Riker of duty.
- Data in red!
- Madred exposing his daughter to his work. That man is insane.
- Madred and Picard discussing Cardassia's history.
- Madred bluffing about holding Beverly and killing Worf to get Picard to be more cooperative.
- Picard eating a live Taspar egg.
- Picard defying Madred.
- Picard continuing to defy Madred while the pain device keeps him in constant agony.
- Geordi carefully trying to put in the good word to Jellico about Riker.
- Riker taking pleasure in Jellico's brief moment of humility.
- Geordi: "Do I wanna know how close that was?" Riker: "No."
- Jellico playing his minefield card to the Cardassian captain.
- Picard taking the pain inflictor controller and smashing it. Madred: "That won't help, I have many more." Picard: "Still... felt... good."
- Madred trying one last time to get Picard to submit to him by telling him that there are five lights. Picard, one last time defying him and continuing to tell the truth: "There... are... four... lights!" The guards try to help Picard get to the door, Picard pushes them away. He walks to the door with dignity on his own power.
- Picard describing his ordeal to the counselor and admitting that he was almost about to give in.

My Review
Two rivalries, one between Jellico and the Cardassian captain, and one between Madred and Picard. In both the Cardassians start out on top, but get outmaneuvered by the humans. With regards to Madred and Picard, we get an utterly amazing performance by Picard once again. Madred also did an amazing job showing us just how much of a twisted man he was. I like how in the end, Madred only wanted to break Picard. He wasn't interested in getting any information from him. He just wanted to win the rivalry. All things considered, this episode features one of the most impressive displays of acting and character usage ever shown on Star Trek. It's also one of the most disturbing episodes ever shown on Star Trek. A truly memorable showing.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-11-12 at 7:58am:
    - Madred asks Picard the names and ranks of those who accompanied him on the raid. Picard responds with "Chief Medical Officer Beverly Crusher and Lieutenant Worf." Isn't "chief medical officer" more of a title than a rank? Crusher's rank is commander, in the same way that Riker's rank is commander and his title is first officer.
    - Both Part 1 and Part 2 of "Chain of Command" suggests that the Cardassians were able to lure Picard into their trap simply by using theta band emissions as the bait. Is Picard really the only person in Starfleet who knows about these kinds of subspace waves? What happened to the rest of the crew on the Stargazer? Data seems to address these questions when he says that Picard is "one of only three Starfleet captains with extensive experience in theta band devices. The other two are no longer in Starfleet." But is this the type of mission that Starfleet feels must be lead by a captain? Isn't this really just a commando raid to seek out and destroy a Cardassian lab? Does it seem reasonable to send the captain of the flagship of the Federation on a grenade-throwing mission? And does it seem reasonable that the Cardassians would expect that they could capture Picard simply by transmitting a bunch of theta waves?
  • From wepeel on 2008-05-04 at 6:11pm:
    While DSOmo is once again on point with Picard saying the title Chief Medical Officer instead of Crusher's rank (like he was asked to), and is probably a writer oversight, one could make the argument that the writers deliberately wrote that line to illustrate the view that information extracted via torture is neither ethical nor reliable. Picard was simply too exhausted to give the most appropriate answer...
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-16 at 5:13pm:
    This is one of the stronger episodes of the series, and one that's often overlooked.

    The only problem I see here is that it seems a little unlikely that Star Fleet would choose to send it's flagship captain on such a dangerous mission. We're given some justification of that -- Picard is an expert on the techno-babble issue of the day-- but it still seems like a long shot for the Cardassians to lure him in this way. I can't imagine that Star Fleet couldn't simply train some special-ops task team on the subspace emissions and turn them loose rather than sending Picard. But that's a minor thing, and the this episode is more than worth the suspension of disbelief needed to get through it.

    The torture scenes are acted wonderfully by everybody involved, and they're some of the most gripping scenes of TNG. This episode also features a great guest turn by the actor playing Jellico, as well as the one portraying Gul Madred. We also get that rarest of TNG treats, a Ferengi character not so annoying and overdrawn that the Ferengi at large seem unrealistic. This is quality stuff, and I give the two-parter as a whole a 9.
  • From rpeh on 2010-08-01 at 11:26pm:
    As far as I'm concerned, this is the best episode in the entire Trek oeuvre. The story is gripping from start to finish and then... Patrick Stewart.

    His acting in the torture scenes was nothing short of perfect, and the final line in the scene with Troi... well. Perfect again. This is one episode where the TNG writers finally realised that had a serious actor on their books and gave him a chance to show off his talent.

    It's almost as if every other actor steps up a gear given Stewart's performance. Frakes in particular loses some of his usual cardboard edge and gives a great show as Riker, and the others are almost as good.

    It was the memory of this episode that made me get the old DVDs down off the shelf and watch them all again. Absolutely brilliant.
  • From nirutha on 2010-11-21 at 11:28pm:
    I really dig David Warner as Gul Madred. He has the perfect voice for that role, one that seems to belong to a man both sophisticated and sadistic. (He also voice-acted Jon Irenicus in a similiar role in the RPG classic Baldur's Gate 2.)
  • From John on 2011-02-01 at 3:46pm:
    Once again, DSOmo manages to suck all the mystery and fun out of a fictional show. I bet he's a lot of fun at parties. And funerals.
  • From anon on 2013-12-29 at 1:14pm:
    I feel kind of sorry for captain Picard at this stage. He's lived a very hard life. First he was a borg, then he lived a whole false life in 'Inner Light' (to suddenly discover your children and wife weren't real would be devastating) and now he has been tortured. Plus it appears that he has never been in a very serious relationship despite him appearing to want companionship.
  • From Quando on 2014-03-19 at 9:47pm:
    The whole "how many lights do you see" thing was borrowed (stolen?) from George Orwell's great novel 1984, in which the protagonist Winston was being tortured by the state and asked repeatedly how many fingers the torturer was holding up (there were only four, but the torturer insisted that there were five). Like Picard, in the end Winston said that he really did believe that he saw five fingers, although there were only four.

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x01 - Emissary, Part I

Originally Aired: 1993-1-3

Synopsis:
On a distant outpost at the edge of the final frontier, an untested crew embarks on an unprecedented journey. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 6.57

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 24 1 3 5 3 4 9 17 37 32 22

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Not filler by virtue of being the pilot.

Problems
- This episode heavily retcons the Trill species originally introduced in TNG: The Host. Most notably, they look completely different on TNG, sporting the built up forehead instead of DS9's spots.
- Also why did the Federation know so little about the Trill in TNG: The Host? Dax seems to have served the Federation for a long time. And Sisko seems to have known him/her for decades. Maybe Sisko had some kind of insider knowledge of the Trill through this friendship that most Federation citizens don't normally have access to?

Factoids
- This episode introduces a new uniform style.
- Cardassian architecture maintains a tradition that the Prefect's office is in a central and higher location in bridge or ops settings, so that all under his command must look up with respect.

Remarkable Scenes
- Seeing Sisko as first officer of the Saratoga fighting the Borg.
- Viewing the destruction of the Saratoga from the escape pod.
- The first sight of DS9, orbiting Bajor.
- The DS9 intro, my favorite of all the Star Trek intros.
- O'Brien and Sisko discussing the poor state of the station.
- O'Brien asking Sisko if he had ever served with Bajoran women. O'Brien remembered how feisty Ro Laren could get. ;)
- Kira's adversarial first meeting with Sisko.
- Odo's first scene; a shape shifter!
- Odo's first line to Sisko: "Who the hell are you?"
- Picard: "Have we met before?" Sisko: "Yes sir, we've met in battle."
- Picard disturbed, trying to ignore Sisko's angry attitude.
- Quark complaining that he can't run his establishment under Federation rules, and Sisko telling Quark that he'll bend the rules because the station is owned by Bajor, not the Federation.
- Sisko's meeting with the Kai. Opaka: "Ironic. One who does not wish to be among us is to be the Emissary."
- Sisko's first orb experience, freaking out about meeting his wife again for the first time.
- Jennifer: "Do you use this routine a lot with women?" Sisko: "No. Never before. And never again."
- Opaka's confidence in Sisko.
- Bashir's first scene... trying to seduce Jadzia.
- Sisko's first discussion with Dax.
- Bashir's faux pas with Kira.
- Sisko's first use of the nickname "old man" for Dax.
- Dax having an orb experience, flashbacking to Curzon's death.
- Dukat's first scene.
- Dax discovering the wormhole.
- Odo sneaking aboard the Cardassian shp, as the bag for the Cardassians' game winnings.
- The first sighting of a runabout class vessel.
- Morn appearances; 1. When Sisko enters Quark's Bar for the first time. 2. gambling with the Cardassians at the Dabo table. 3. In the crowd Odo is moving when the station is attacked.

My Review
Probably the most remarkable first episode for a Star Trek series ever. This is a complex episode with oodles of internal continuity and nice small details. It opens with an absolutely stunning flashback scene of Sisko fighting the Borg as first officer of the Saratoga, in which Sisko's wife, Jennifer dies. There are some small things I liked a lot about this scene. The whole scene was perfectly tied into the look and feel of TNG. They could have inserted the whole scene into TNG: The Best of Both Worlds and it would have fit in seamlessly. That said, this episode plays well into modern (season 6) TNG as well, since it picks up on the story displayed in TNG: Chain of Command. Cardassia has withdrawn from Bajor, and they need help from the Federation. So Sisko is assigned to take command of the ore processing slave labor station in orbit of the planet, which they planned to convert to a center of interplanetary operations to oversee the rebuilding of Bajoran society. Since the station is under Federation control, despite now being owned by the Bajorans, it has been designated Federation Deep Space Station 9, or Deep Space 9. This premise is complex, but not overly so. Additionally, the smaller TNG continuity bits are great. O'Brien gets promoted to Chief of Operations of DS9, so both O'Brien and Keiko move the DS9 show on which O'Brien becomes a main character! Also, Sisko's confrontation with Picard adds some flare to the episode. Finally, this episode ends with a marvelous cliffhanger; Sisko trying to investigate the Celestial Temple on behalf of the Bajorans. But to do so he must elude the maliciously close-by Cardassians.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Captain Keogh on 2013-05-05 at 5:45pm:
    The one problem I have with this episode is the beginning, very trivial, when the USS Saratoga is hit by the Borg vutting beam, it hits the sensor dome, but when Sisko asks for the damage report, the tactical officer says it hit Decks 1-4, I will be looking forward to any insight into this.

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x02 - Emissary, Part II

Originally Aired: 1993-1-3

Synopsis:
On a distant outpost at the edge of the final frontier, an untested crew embarks on an unprecedented journey. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 6.01

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 25 3 2 2 2 3 12 20 15 27 14

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Not filler by virtue of being the pilot.

Problems
- The behavior of the prophets are a little confusing. They don't understand the nature of linear time, nor do they claim to interfere in the world of the corporeals. Yet, they encouraged Bajor to develop an entire religion around them and shaped their society for 10000 years. I'd say that's a pretty good set of interference in corporeal matters, and requires a pretty vivid understanding of linear time. We could write this off by saying the prophets are vastly more superior to corporeal beings, which isn't hard to imagine, and that their confusing display of behaviors is just a misinterpretation of a greater purpose.

Factoids
- Sisko's love for baseball is first established here when Sisko is talking with the prophets.

Remarkable Scenes
- Odo crashing the Cardassian ship's computers.
- O'Brien getting the Cardassian computer to work by kicking it.
- Sisko and Dax' first trip through the wormhole.
- Sisko's first meeting with the prophets.
- Moving DS9.
- O'Brien getting in a fight with the computer.
- O'Brien: "Computer, you and I need to have a little talk."
- Odo: "Doctor, in my experience, most people wouldn't know reason if it walked up and shook their hand."
- O'Brien mentioning his participation in the border wars to Bashir.
- Morn appearances; while Odo is evacuating everyone to safer parts of the station.
- The special effects used in the battle with the Cardassians were quite good.
- The Rio Grande towing Dukat's ship back through the wormhole.
- Sisko treating Picard better in his second conversation with him.
- Kira to Quark: "If you don't take that hand off my hip, you'll never be able to raise a glass with it again."
- Morn appearances; 1. In background when Sisko is reunited with Jake; 2. In the background in the last shot.

My Review
This episode is a fine sequel to the first part, but it suffers from the scenes with the prophets being far too lengthy. That, and all the great fun trivia and whatnot was all introduced in the first part. So the second part is merely a conclusion to the plot of the first. In the end, we're left with a nice premise for the show. In particular, the wide cast of characters is exceptional. I'm most fond of Commander Sisko. He's not as cowboyish as Kirk was, but he's not as rigid and stuck up as Picard is. Kind of the best of both worlds. Other notable highlights are Odo and Quark. The interplay between them is fun. Even in the first episode, DS9 is competently able to make use of a vast set of characters and complex plots, setting the stage for a stellar new Star Trek show.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Rob on 2008-04-18 at 11:16pm:
    I really like the scene where the Prophets force Sisko to realize that he's "not acting linear" regarding his wife's death. It's heart breaking watching him break down and Avery does a wonderful job to make us feel his heartbreak. I think this one scene probably shows more raw emotion than all of TOS (except Spock's death in Wrath of Khan) and TNG combined.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-11-12 at 5:08pm:
    This is probably the best pilot of all the series. The only flaw is noted in the review; the scenes with the prophets drag on and the scene shuffling through Sisko's memory is well executed but borders on corny at times. Still, a fine maiden voyage, so to speak.
  • From Bernard on 2009-11-12 at 11:58pm:
    Just started rewatching DS9 back through again on dvd. This two parter/feature length gets better every time I watch it. I would agree with the previous poster that it is most definitely the best pilot episode, setting up the premise of DS9 perfectly. Shame much of the rest of season one does not build on it as well as it could have done.
    Avery Brooks' performance is nothing short of exceptional considering the range of emotion that he has to convey while coming to grips with his new character. I also like the handling of the introductions of all the main cast as well as our first sitings of Rom, Nog, Gul Dukat and even Morn!
  • From Cory on 2011-09-28 at 2:45am:
    I'm confused, maybe somebody can clear this up for me, I thought the aliens in the wormhole stated it disrupts them whenever anyone passes though, how did Sisko manage to convince them to not only re open the wormhole but to allow passage from any ship that desires it?
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-09 at 10:54pm:
    Since I keep pointing out scientific issues, I can't resist pointing out the gaping hole in the story with respect to the "wormhole aliens" as they come to be known in DS9. This concerns the temporal nature of these aliens, I.e., that they supposedly exist in a non-linear fashion with respect to time.

    Any one remotely familiar with either Einsteinian or Quantum physics knows this is completely nonsense. The existence of a four dimensional universe consisting of three spatial and one temporal dimensions is a basic feature of our physical universe. Only string theory postulates any deviation from this, and that is in a very different form from that shown on DS9. That is, string theory postulates the existence of several temporal dimensions, all of which are linear. (Only one of these has sufficient depth to have any relation to normal matter.) Also, the experimental basis for both Einsteinian and Quantum physics is overwhelming, while the experimental basis for string theory is non-existent, making it a form of intellectual masturbation in my view. But I digress.

    Lots of quality scifi concerns the varying rates at which life forms live in linear time. One excellent example is "Dragon's Egg" by Robert L. Forward in which he proposes the possibility of life on the surface of neutron stars. The compounds in these life forms would be nuclear rather than chemical, and thus would be much faster than normal biological processes. Thus, these life forms would live and die very quickly. (Nonetheless, they would be "linear".)

    In order for a life form to transcend time it would have to exist outside of the physical universe. The only intelligent being that could exist outside of our physical universe and still relate to creatures within it would be God. (This is the very nature of the definition of God in philosophical terms.) While the writers of DS9 attempt to take on the issues of religion and philosophy in ways that no other series has attempted (in the process going where no other star trek series has gone before), they pull back from making the WHAs truly divine. These creatures are severely limited in their physical locality, for example. They live only in the wormhole. This may be a very strange location in non-Newtonian space. It is nonetheless a single location. A truly divine creature would be capable of co-existing everywhere in the universe simultaneously.

    In the end, the WHAs present some difficult scientific and philosophical issues which the writers of DS9 do a pretty poor job of reconciling.

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x03 - Past Prologue

Originally Aired: 1993-1-10

Synopsis:
A reunion with a member of the Bajoran underground forces Kira to choose between her people and her duty as a Federation officer. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.82

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 29 2 0 0 4 5 21 21 12 6 3

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- This episode shouldn't be skipped because it's Garak's introductory episode and it also sets up a long term arc regarding Keiko and O'Brien.

Problems
None

Factoids
- It seems the Runabouts are all named after Earth rivers.

Remarkable Scenes
- Garak imposing himself on Bashir.
- Garak to Bashir: "What a thoughtful young man. How nice that we've met!"
- Garak: "Ah, an open mind. The essence of intellect!"
- Bashir's reaction to having met Garak, then talking to the senior staff like an excited child.
- Sisko to O'Brien: "When Gul Dunar docks, it'd be nice if there were a few docking regulations to keep him outside a while."
- Sisko and Kira chewing each other out.
- Kira going over Sisko's head, discussing his actions with an admiral.
- O'Brien hinting at the Cardassian torture techniques to Sisko... additionally hinting that he wouldn't turn over anyone to the Cardassians, no matter what the crimes.
- Dunar complaining about the manufactured docking procedures.
- Tahna complaining about the Federation presence in Bajor.
- The Duras sisters showing up on the station.
- Odo: "We have specific regulations. You can leave your weapons or leave the station. Your choice. Please make it now." B'Etor: "Who are you?" Odo: "I'm the one giving you the choice."
- Odo trying to convince Sisko to let him lock up the Duras sisters summarily.
- Garak: "Join me doctor. Enhance my evening!"
- Garak trying to give Bashir subtle hints regarding the Duras' sisters malicious intents.
- Odo spying on the Duras' sisters using his shape shifting abilities.
- Sisko to Kira: "Go over my head again and I'll have yours on a platter."
- Garak negotiating with the Duras' sisters.
- Garak trying to give Bashir more subtle hints.
- Bashir to Garak: "I'm a doctor--" then he gets interrupted. Bashir was probably going to say something like, "I'm a doctor, not a spy!" A tribute to McCoy's many famous "I'm a doctor, not a (something)!" lines.
- Bashir seeking advice from Sisko regarding Garak.
- Bashir eavesdropping on Garak's conversation with the Duras sisters.
- Bashir realizing Garak's purpose for the "new suit."
- Tahna hitting Kira. Ouch! That looks like it hurt!
- Morn appearances; 1. Passes by Kira and Sisko while they argue; 2. Can be seen on the upper level of the Promenade when Odo confronts the Duras Sisters; 3. Quark's bar while the Duras sisters are there "just sitting."

My Review
An episode where no one knows who to trust. Kira, Tahna, Sisko, the Duras sisters, Garak, and Bashir all trying to push their own agenda. This makes for an interesting political episode, especially with regards to its placement directly after DS9: Emissary, which hints to this kind of political unrest is inevitable. Garak, however, stole the show. Cardassian spy? Probably, but we don't know. One thing's for sure though. He's highly entertaining!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-08-27 at 2:16am:
    This episode contains elements we'll see throughout the series. Kira's past causes her to make tough decisions, Garak is scheming, and runabouts are used for the climax.

    Garak and Odo are great in this episode, but I gave it a 4 because it still seems to have that "pilot feeling."
  • From Bernard on 2009-11-15 at 10:54pm:
    I don't remember ever liking this episode, but viewing it now I can see that it is a fairly strong episode. Character development is the order of the day and this has it in spades, even for guest characters (the wonderful Garak in his first appearance).

    Bajoran politics are continuing to be featured and that usually makes for decent episodes. I gave it a 6.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-14 at 4:12pm:
    This episode along with "Progress" in this season, and numerous episodes of other seasons of DS9 exposes one of the annoying aspects to Kira's character: She "goes stupid" whenever she is around a former "hero" of the Bajoran resistance, any Bajoran religious leader, anyone bucking the establishment order or the like.

    Admittedly, Nana Visitor is not the greatest actress to start with. (Witness her terrible overacting in "Progress" after Mullibok gets shot.) Whenever Kira gets that starry eyed look, one begins to cringe: You know something embarrassingly lame is coming.

    It's like this girl has no common sense whenever she is confronted by one of these guys. She simply cannot accept that they are human beings. Over and over she expects them to behave in a manner which accords with her delusions. And she is constantly and consistently disappointed. Yet she stubbornly refuses to admit defeat: The next time one of these guys comes along: Wham! There she goes again, all strarry eyed and deluded.

    The plot device is way, way overused, and it does no credit to Kira's character. It just makes her look stupid.
  • From Bernard on 2011-10-15 at 9:22pm:
    And Jeff has put in a nutshell while talking about Kira exactly why I prefer characterisation in DS9 to that in TNG.

    Yes she is stupid. Yes she is stupid often. That is exactly how the character is! She is consistant, although as the seven years go on she does eventually mature somewhat. I prefer watching an imperfect character like this over the perfect people we had in TNG.
    As for Nana Visitor as an actress I have to disagree with Jeff as I find her to be spot on almost all of the time during the shows run.

    But hey, that's the great thing about opinions!
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-18 at 8:01pm:
    Bernard:

    I love the dialog! Thanks so much for your response to my post. My issue with Kira is not just that she is stupid: She is stubbornly and aggressively stupid. After a while folks tend to learn. Kira does not seem to do so that much (although I will keep watching and see what she does in later seasons).

    But I also agree with you. DS9 characters rock compared to TNG characters whio become cloying and sickeningly sweet at times. (The funeral schene for Tasha Yarr being one glaring example) DS9 characters seem more real, and for that reason more appealing. Bashir is such a blatant man whore (in a way Riker never was). Dax is so much more edgy and ambiguous than Troi. And as I have said in other posts, I absolutely adore the relationship between Quark and Odo.

    I still maintain though that Nana Visitor overacts blatantly at times, though. ("Progress" is a good example.)
  • From John on 2012-03-20 at 4:51am:
    I agree with Bernard. Nana Visitor does a fine job playing Kira. Unfortunately, Kira, as a character, is stubborn, willfully ignorant, and pretty much one-dimensional. It's not entirely her fault though.

    In order to like Kira -- to sympathize with her whining about the Cardassians and appreciate her as a loyal Bajoran, you actually have to like the Bajorans. This is nearly impossible, as most Bajorans are depicted as helpless sheep who are WAY too religious, and generally weak. If this was TNG, Picard would find himself disgusted with their blind faith and rigid dogmas. Frankly, I do too.

    I admire and respect that Kira is tough, but that's the only thing about her I like at all. Other than that I find her shrill, ignorant, and generally annoying.

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x04 - A Man Alone

Originally Aired: 1993-1-17

Synopsis:
Security Chief Odo's character is questioned when he is implicated in the murder of a shady Bajoran. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 4.16

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 25 3 1 8 3 23 10 4 6 11 0

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- There's no essential plot or exposition in this episode that renders it unskippable and while the story has a decent sci-fi backdrop, it's largely poorly executed.

Problems
None

Factoids
- Ibudan's files has a note in it that says "Departure from Alderaan spaceport." Alderaan was the planet destroyed by the Death Star in Star Wars IV, A New Hope. ;)
- Odo: "You have 26 hours to get off this station." This is the first episode to mention the 26 hours Bajoran day.
- It is established in this episode that Odo has to return to his natural state once every 18 hours to regenerate. He "sleeps" in a pail in the back of his office.

Remarkable Scenes
- Bashir trying to seduce Jadzia again.
- Keiko appearance.
- Odo being a fascist prick.
- Jake's first meeting with Nog.
- Odo realizing that he'd been set up.
- Rom appearance.
- Quark and Odo bickering.
- Sisko: "Care for lunch?" Bashir, not realizing Sisko wasn't talking to him: "Sure!" Dax: "No, thank you."
- Odo: "Killing your own clone is still murder."
- Keiko's first day as a teacher.
- Morn appearances; 1. On the Promenade while Odo and Quark are talking, before Odo freaks out at the stranger; 2. Can be seen while O'Brien and Keiko attempt to resolve their argument on the Promenade; 3. Can be seen on the Promenade when Odo goes to his office; 4. Odo sits next to him when he sits at the bar. Everyone, including Morn, leaves when he sits down; 5. Morn was also in the mob outside Odo's office.

My Review
A man with a grudge against Odo clones himself, then murders his clone so that everyone will draw the conclusion that the only man who could have committed the murder was Odo, because his DNA would be at the scene of the crime due to the fact that he was the first investigator on scene. This is a somewhat overcomplex and slightly weak premise, but it works. The more emphasized plot regarding the Odo angst in this episode is a little more interesting. Unfortunately the mob mentality of this episode is silly and hard to believe.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-11-12 at 7:52pm:
    I'm in almost total agreement with the review, so I don't have a whole lot to say here. I do, however, absolutely hate the scene in which Jake and Nog let loose the flea-like insects as a prank. It works until the victims start rapidly changing color. I just don't see how this is possible, and it reeks of bad sci-fi: weird situations and improbable outcomes just for the sake of being strange.

    One of DS9's main attractions (and often a thorn in its side as well) is the galactic melting pot that it represents. The strange-looking aliens are almost all exectuted well, but it sometimes borders on the ridiculous, the way the bar scene with the intergalatic lounge band in one of the Star Wars movies does. Here's an example of that kind of visual stimulation getting corny.

    Wow. I just spent two whole paragraphs bitching about a throwaway scene.

    I do like Keiko's decision to start a school on the station, as it fits with the roll-up-your-sleeves-and-pitch-in aesthetic established by the rest of the crew.
  • From Bernard on 2009-11-16 at 12:22pm:
    I know that the reaction of the bajorans on the station is overplayed here to create the tension that the episode needs. I forgive this with the view that they are developing Odo's character and background and it would have been very pedestrian without any threat. The interplay between Odo and Quark is marvelous even at this early stage in the series. How well did those two actors nail their characters so quickly?

    Again, this episode is only hinting at how good DS9 can be. I gave it a 5.
  • From Bronn on 2013-06-10 at 10:36pm:
    It creates a bit of discontinuity with the later characterization of Odo that the Bajorans were able to so quickly incite a mob against him. Later on it's established that all the Bajorans who ever visited DS9 believed he was a hero who stood for justice within the corrupt Cardassian system.

    This was also before they'd established a few facts about shape shifters-Odo wouldn't shed skin cells like a humanoid. It's not to say that shape shifters never leave cells of their DNA behind, we don't actually learn that. But a big plot point of the show is that any part of a shapeshifter that becomes disconnected from their body reverts to a gelatinous state, so it wouldn't remain in the form of hair or skin cells.

    Those little continuity gaffes don't bug me because it was very early, and once they'd figured things out, they did stay consistent with them. What does bother me about watching this episode is that Terry Farrell's performance is VERY wooden for most of the first season. Her line reading is bad here, and was just as bad in the pilot. She got better, fortunately, but it's surprising she was ever cast with some of these early performances, especially since the producers made the decision to redesign Trills specifically because she had a pretty face that they didn't want to cover up.

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x05 - Babel

Originally Aired: 1993-1-24

Synopsis:
A mysterious epidemic sweeps over Deep Space Nine, and Kira must find an antidote. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.48

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 24 0 6 2 9 9 21 15 8 6 0

Filler Quotient: 2, filler, but an enjoyable episode nevertheless. You can skip this one, but you'd miss out on some fun.
- There's no essential plot or exposition in this episode that renders it unskippable, but it's a decent episode, even though it could have been better.

Problems
None

Factoids
- Quark mentions that the Ferengi immune system is stronger than most humanoids.
- Odo mentions the station was built 18 years before this episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- The chief's bad day; feeling overwhelmed by people's demands.
- Sisko: "Chief! I thought you were going to fix the replicator!" O'Brien: "You're absolutely right sir, I knew I'd forgotten something. Can't have the operations chief sitting around daydreaming when there's work to be done, can we? Hohohoho... I'll get right on it!"
- Odo picking on Quark.
- O'Brien starting to talk funny.
- Dax: "I'd forgotten what it was like." Kira: "What what was like." Dax: "Being female. I haven't been one in over 80 years."
- O'Brien speaking jibberish.
- Dax talking jibberish.
- Random crewmembers speaking jibberish.
- Odo discovering Quark was making unauthorized use of crew quarters replicators. Quark: "How did did you figure it out?" Odo: "You claimed Rom fixed your replicator. Rom's an idiot. He couldn't fix a straw if it were bent." Completely untrue, as we later learn Rom is somewhat autistic. But Odo's hunch had merit.
- Jake talking jibberish.
- Bashir succumbing to the disease.
- Kira kidnapping the good doctor and infecting him.
- Sisko talking jibberish.
- Quark coming to Odo's aid and teasing him.
- Sisko's coffee in the end burning him again.
- Morn appearances; 1. In Quark's Bar when Quark talks to Dax and Kira; 2. in Quark's Bar when Odo goes in to ask Quark about the the quarantine.

My Review
While a fatal-virus-infects-the-crew episode seems a bit abrupt this early in the show, it nevertheless makes for some entertaining viewing. Everybody speaking jibberiish is great. See if you can repeat a few of those lines to some of your friends mid conversation, it will get you some funny looks. Horseback green undertow in the backwater. Sun rising crest between two ducks. Appalling nature exacts vast insurgency. Oh what fun. Who doesn't like a good word salad?

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Bernard on 2009-11-21 at 1:53am:
    I thought this was a fairly drab outing, with a quick fix ending. Lots of cliches and a very poor effort at injecting the suspense needed toward the end of the episode in the shape of the captain trying to escape the station.

    Chances at character development largely missed out on because they were talking jibberish!

    On the bright side, it's watchable and it's not the worst outing of the season....

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Star Trek TNG - 6x12 - Ship in a Bottle

Originally Aired: 1993-1-25

Synopsis:
The senior staff is trapped in a Holodeck fantasy. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 6.43

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 6 1 3 4 23 11 11 28 15 28 10

Problems
- Moriarty experiencing the passage of time whilst being stored in memory is a bit ridiculous. Why doesn't the doctor on Voyager? He seems a pretty self aware hologram to me. Maybe it had something to do with this funky protected memory that Barclay kept on rambling about.

Factoids
- This episode is a continuation of TNG: Elementary, Dear Data.

Remarkable Scenes
- Data and Geordi playing a Sherlock Holmns story on the holodeck.
- Data, who has memorized the program script, confused as to why it glitched.
- Moriarty appearing on the holodeck talking to a clueless Barclay.
- Moriarty "walking off" the holodeck.
- Barclay talking to Moriarty's lover.
- Data attempting to transport the chair off the holodeck, then Data suspecting that they were still on the holodeck.
- Watching the two planets collide.
- Picard, Data, and Barclay tricking Moriarty.
- Picard explaining how he fooled Moriarty.

My Review
Moriarty was a Mori-Moron in this episode. Granted Picard, Data, and Barclay's method of fooling Moriarty was clever, even downright genius, it seems unlikely that Moriarty would be so foolish as to think he could ever leave the holodeck. An irony of this story is that in 5 years or so in Voyager, this indeed will happen for Voyager's EMH, but it will require technology from hundreds of years from the 24th century. Unfortunately, it kind of annoys me that the issue of Moriarty becoming sentient was washed away once again as something to be forgotten. And this time, we won't be following up on it. Picard does mention that the greatest scientific minds in the Federation would be studying how it became so, but the episode leaves the viewer with the impression that it's a non issue. Especially with regards to how much progress had been made; more accurately the lack there of, with the exception perhaps of Dr. Zimmerman's work on the EMH. I tend to have sympathy for Moriarty's cause in this respect, but since he was a clinical madman with malicious intents throughout his life interacting with the real world characters, I also say good riddance. I bag of mixed emotions.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-12 at 4:49am:
    The whole holodeck inside the holodeck thing was confusing. If picard told the computer to "end program" at the end, shouldn't both programs have ended at the same time?

    I did find that whole concept of "we might be inside some simulation right now" intriguing. Who knows? Maybe the wachowski brothers ripped off Rick Berman when they made the Matrix ;)
  • From Dean on 2007-06-28 at 10:49am:
    Couldn't Data reverse voice control back to Picard with simullating Moriartys voice?
  • From DSOmo on 2007-11-13 at 10:36am:
    - In case there was any doubt about the disposition of holodeck matter, this episode absolutely confirms that it cannot exist outside the holodeck. The dialogue again and again pounds this point home. For example, Picard says, "Although objects appear solid on the holodeck, in the real world they have no substance." To prove it, he picks up a book and tosses it through the holodeck entrance. The book immediately vaporizes (much quicker, by the way, than the villians did in "The Big Good-Bye"). True, this scene occurs within Moriarty's simulation of the Enterprise, but Picard acts like the book behaved exactly as he expected. If holodeck matter cannot exist outside the holodeck, the following anomalies exist. Wesley, drenched in holodeck water, walks off the holodeck and remains wet ("Encounter At Farpoint"). Picard, kissed by a 1940s holodeck woman, leaves the holodeck with her lipstick intact on his cheek ("The Big Good-Bye"). A snowball flies out of the holodeck and hits Picard ("Angel One"). And finally, Data carries a piece of holodeck-created paper to a meeting of the senior staff ("Elementary, Dear Data").
    - In the opening scene of the episode, Data and Geordi enjoy a Sherlock Holmes adventure. At one point, Geordi tells the computer to "freeze program." While the character quits moving, the clock keeps ticking and the fire keeps burning. Shouldn't these freeze also?
  • From Rob on 2008-04-18 at 12:34am:
    I don't think some of the anomolies are really problems. I always got the impression that the Holodeck uses standard replicator technology to augment the illusions of the environment it creates. Ergo - food, water, even objects specified by the user can be "really created" out of standard replicator materials, the same as ordering tea in Picard's ready room. These things would exist beyond the holodeck and even within a simulation after it is ended.
  • From Remco on 2008-08-06 at 1:20pm:
    I think this is a brilliant episode. Is this episode the first demonstration of phishing? Creating an environment in which someone will inadvertently release their authentication key surely does seem similar to the problems we face on the web today.
  • From Ggen on 2012-04-15 at 9:02pm:
    Brilliant episode with a good balance of intrigue, suspense, and metaphysical musing. Moriarti is great as usual (glad they took the concept one step further and made this sequel).

    I love the concept and the execution, with all its twists. Of course, I kind of thought the whole thing might've still been on the holodeck, but pretty much forgot about that idea by the time it was actually revealed. And the final twist was even more surprising, and chock full of irony to boot.

    This episode very effectively preempted the movie Inception by a full 17 years.

    Goes straight into my personal Trek Hall of Fame.
  • From Mikael on 2014-05-29 at 11:20pm:
    Two planets colliding, creating a star? WTF???

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x06 - Captive Pursuit

Originally Aired: 1993-1-31

Synopsis:
Through a new friendship with a bizarre alien, O'Brien and the rest of the officers of Deep Space Nine learn that other beings do not respect life as much as they do. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 5.45

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 20 0 1 2 5 5 20 14 14 10 5

Filler Quotient: 2, filler, but an enjoyable episode nevertheless. You can skip this one, but you'd miss out on some fun.
- There's no essential plot or exposition in this episode that renders it unskippable, but it's a decent episode, even though it could have been better.

Problems
None

Factoids
- The "Ferengi Print" at the beginning of this episode is a nod to the Earthly expression "Fine Print" with regards to contracts.

Remarkable Scenes
- Sisko discussing Miss Sadra's grievance with her.
- Tosk's funny accent and behavior.
- Odo refusing to use a phaser.
- Tosk to Quark: "I live the greatest adventure one could ever desire."
- The hunter's opening lines belittling Tosk.
- Tosk to O'Brien: "I am Tosk. The hunted. I live to outwit the hunters for another day. To survive until I die with honor."
- Quark to O'Brien: "More trouble with the little woman?" A reference to DS9: A Man Alone when Quark overheard his conversation with Keiko.
- O'Brien regarding the hunter: "Glass jaw. Now I know why you wear a helment."
- Sisko "officially" chastising O'Brien for his conduct, but secretly admiring him.
- Morn appearances; 1. Quark's Bar as O'Brien and Tosk stop at the entrance; 2. Quark's Bar, can be seen in the background with his back to the camera when Quark tries to cheer up O'Brien.

My Review
Our first look at life on the other side of the wormhole depicts a xenophobic and arrogant gamma quadrant. Some highlights: Odo's handling of Tosk's minor crime aboard the station was great. Odo isn't always the "ill tempered old crosspatch" Quark would have us believe. More interesting is O'Brien's role in the story. First O'Brien makes friends with Tosk, then he tries stick up for Tosk to Sisko, then he feels responsible for him, then he helps him escape. Notable as well is Sisko's subtle hint to O'Brien that he completely respects the judgment call he made, even though he officially chewed him out. Finally, Tosk himself was a great character who was played wonderfully by the actor. The accent was especially pleasing.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-11-13 at 5:08pm:
    While I like the idea of the hunt, I don't like the hunter aliens. I find it hard to believe that Sisko would tolerate them tearing up his station in pursuit of their quarry.

    What I do like about this episode is O'brien's growing dislike for Bashir. Notice how he completely cuts off Julian's speech in Ops? DS9 is better at continuing character development and plot threads in filler episodes and alien-of-the-week episodes than TNG ever was, and that's one of it's strengths.

    The review above wondered whether these races are part of the Dominion. Tosk certainly is reminiscent of the Jem Hadar to come....
  • From Bernard on 2009-11-22 at 1:59am:
    Strongest episode since the pilot. Tosk is magnificently portrayed too aswell as providing a good outing for the Chief.

    I love the way Sisko reacts to O'Brien's subterfuge, gives him a blasting but he agrees with him.

    Sounds like I'm copying the review above ... but I found it to be spot on. Solid 6.
  • From John on 2011-09-07 at 11:05pm:
    Additional factoids:

    At the time of this episode, about 300 people live on Deep Space 9.

    At this point in time, DS9 has traffic of about 5 or 6 ships per week.

  • From Dstyle on 2013-08-25 at 12:57pm:
    Man, those universal translators are magic! First contact with a brand new species, and they understand and are understood completely!

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Star Trek TNG - 6x13 - Aquiel

Originally Aired: 1993-2-1

Synopsis:
Geordi falls in love with an alien murder suspect. [DVD]

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 4.31

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 14 9 11 17 17 18 43 7 4 4 1

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard intimidating Morag with his influence over Gowron.
- Aquiel showing up on the Enterprise.
- Crusher's hand showing up in the gunk.
- Geordi phasering the shape shifting life form.

My Review
An absolutely dull episode and sad in a way. Another tragic LaForge romance in which we watch him spend virtually the whole episode trying to land a girl only to be turned down in the end. The murder plot is confusing right up until the last moment at which point LaForge employs Texas justice, murdering the murderer. It's a little absurd that he never once called for security despite the fact that he had plenty of time to, and could easily outrun the shape shifting blob. I'm a big fan of LaForge and all, but frankly, this has got to be one of his worst episodes.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-12-01 at 7:27am:
    - In one of her personal logs, Unari yearns for a glass of real muskin seed punch, the kind her mother used to make. She doesn't think the replicator does a very good job. Later, Geordi brings her a glass of muskin seed punch in Ten-Forward and Unari acts like it is wonderful. Is Unari just trying to make Geordi feel good or did Geordi get into Guinan's personal supply?
    - This coalescent being is either not very smart or it made a bad mistake. Crusher states that it probably has to change bodies every few days. The episode supports this by saying that the coalesced officer arrived at the relay station several days before the incident with Unari. Supposedly he attacked Unari because he needed the food. But the episode's dialogue indicates that the station assignment lasts for a year. What was the being going to do after it consumed Unari and her dog? The station is out in the middle of nowhere. If the being absorbed the officer before he arrived at the station, why would he go somewhere with such a limited supply of nutrition?
    - Someone made a mistake in the sound effects department. During the last scene between Geordi and Unari, they sit together in Ten-Forward. At one point, the "boop" sound effect for a companel page momentarily interrupts their conversation. Strangely, no one pages Geordi or Unari, and the scene continues as if nothing happened!
  • From sarah on 2008-07-20 at 11:45pm:
    was the dog a berger picard (dog breed) ?
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-19 at 3:03pm:
    I agree. This one is "absolutely dull and sad." Geordi can't get a break with the ladies to save his life. What is it about Engineers and women? Scottie had this kind of luck as well.

    Apart from that, the saddest thing is that a pretty cool idea gets completely wasted here. I love the idea of the coalescent being, but the way it's executed here is just boring. The plot just sort of plods along and then explodes at the very end with the dog attaching LaForge.

    Think for a second how shitty an assignment Aquiel has in the first place. She's stuck on a remote outpost for at least a year with only one other person for company, but she's listening to everybody's communication. It would have driven her crazy even if her new partner hadn't been a homicidal blob of ectoplasm. Now that's something that could have been explored a little better. But, alas, this episode squanders it all. I bump it up a point for at least having an interesting premise, so it's a 2.
  • From Jeremy Reffin on 2009-08-03 at 5:20am:
    I'm having problems recreating the murder scene here. Rocha/Blob attacks Uhnari in order to absorb her. Does it succeed a bit (Geordi suggests an initiation of coalescence may have been responsible for her loss of memory) ? Uhnari phasers the blob down to scrap DNA - interfering with the absorption process ?? Uhnari flees to shuttlecraft having interrupted absorption ??? Bits of blob (missed by the phaser meltdown of Rocha ????) then absorb the pooch ????? Or something. Sheesh what a mess.

    I know - who cares, get a life.
  • From thaibites on 2012-07-05 at 1:53am:
    Hey, at least this chick was real and not some computer generated fantasy.
  • From Arianwen on 2013-01-02 at 12:40pm:
    The episode isn't just dull, it's idiotic as well.
    - Uhnari confesses to Geordi that she deleted the logs because she "was afraid that if they found the letter they'd blame [her] for the murder". This directly contradicts her earlier statement: if she had no memory of a murder, then she had no reason to get rid of the evidence! Or memory of having removed the logs at all, for that matter. Did she delete the logs AFTER she came to the Enterprise? If so, what kind of incompetence would allow a bloody murder suspect to teleport off the damn ship?
    - Crusher, Picard, Riker and Worf are all aware of the shape-shifting organism. Not ONE of them thinks of the dog. Riker even has a conversation with Geordi while PETTING it - even the Red Dwarf crew would have noticed!
    Everyone's holding the Stupid ball today. One can only assume the senior staff are still concussed from their previous adventure.

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x07 - Q-Less

Originally Aired: 1993-2-7

Synopsis:
Frequent U.S.S. Enterprise visitors Q and Vash introduce themselves to the crew of Deep Space Nine, while the officers struggle to save the station from imminent destruction. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.44

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 24 6 5 13 9 12 19 16 12 2 6

Filler Quotient: 2, filler, but an enjoyable episode nevertheless. You can skip this one, but you'd miss out on some fun.
- There's no essential plot or exposition in this episode that renders it unskippable, but it's a decent episode, even though it could have been better.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is a continuation from TNG: QPid and TNG: Captain's Holiday.
- Q has never seen a space station torn apart by a wormhole before.

Remarkable Scenes
- Bashir telling the story of his medical finals.
- Vash and Q appearing.
- O'Brien explaining what he knows of Vash's relationship with Picard.
- Vash to Q: "You're arrogant, overbearing, and you think you know everything." Q: "But I do know everything!" Vash: "That makes it even worse!"
- Quark ignoring the weirdness of being transported about by Q due to his strong desires to do business with Vash.
- Vash sexually arousing Quark.
- Q toying with Julian.
- O'Brien's reaction to seeing Q: "Bloody hell."
- Q to Sisko: "Is Starfleet penalizing you, or did you actually request such a dismal command?"
- I like the inside joke about the uniforms. Q: "I like your new tailor." He then magically switches from the TNG uniform to the DS9 uniform. :)
- The conversation between Quark and Odo regarding Odo eavesdropping on him. Quark: "What were you this time? The table? One of the chairs? The wine bottle!" Odo: "When are you going to realize that you have no secrets from me?" Quark: "I have nothing to hide. I'm selling quality merchandise to select clientele." Odo: "And what makes them so... select." Quark: "They're all ridiculously wealthy. And not too bright." Odo: "I'll never understand this obsession with accumulating material wealth. You spend your entire life plotting and scheming to acquire more and more possessions until your living areas are bursting with useless junk and then you die. Your relatives sell everything and start the cycle all over again." Quark: "Isn't there anything you desire?" Odo: "I have my work. What more do I need?" Quark: "A suit of the finest Andorian silk. A ring of pure sorax! A complete set of Tenaish pottery. How about a latinum plated bucket to sleep in?" Odo seemed tempted by the last one. ;)
- O'Brien to Q: "O'Brien. From the Enterprise." Q: "Oh yes, weren't you one of the little people?"
- Q mentioning that the station is "hurtling toward its doom" to the auction crowd.
- Julian having slept through the whole episode thanks to Q.
- Morn appearances; 1. Can be seen walking behind Vash and Sisko during their first meeting. 2. Behind Quark when he tries to convince Vash to sell him her artifact at an absurdly low price. 3. In the crowd when Q creates a boxing match between himself and Sisko. 4. In Quark's Bar when Vash is leaving in the end of the episode.

My Review
Certainly a bonus to bring back Vash and Q, further tying the series to TNG, yet allowing us to see that it can stand on its own against TNG villains. This episode bears a resemblance to TNG: Encounter at Farpoint. Both episodes featured Q, both episodes featured a trapped alien being exploited, both episodes ended in the release of that alien as a puzzle for the Starfleet crew to solve, and both episodes ended with Q being proven wrong. The repercussions of this episode are of course not as grand as Farpoint's, but it is nevertheless a fun episode, even if it gets annoying waiting for the crew to solve the painfully obvious puzzle at times.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Mark McC on 2009-02-19 at 3:02am:
    This is a nice fun episode that ties in nicely with TNG, and provides some light-hearted relief from the relatively heavy mood set by the batch of DS9 episodes (compared to much of TNG anyway). The plot doesn't do much except update us on what Vash has been up to on her travels. The real highlight is, as always, John de Lancie's performance. There doesn't seem to be any real reason for Q being there, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable.

    My favourite moment of this episode is Q's little double-edged jibe at O'Brien. "Weren't you one of the little people?". It highlights the fact that O'Brien has moved on from his lesser role in TNG, where he was a minor character who was never far from a transporter console; one of those "little" people who beaver away in the background to keep everything running. It's also a nice reference to his Irish ancestry, "little people" being another name for the leprechauns of Irish legend (as in the hokey Disney movie "Darby O'Gill and the Little People").
  • From Bernard on 2009-11-24 at 1:57pm:
    There is a reason that Q never returned to DS9, he doesn't really work does he?

    I'm glad they stopped rehashing TNG villains because there was absolutely no reason for Q to be in this episode just like there was no reason the Duras sisters needed to be in 'Past Prologue'. It's nice when they tie in to TNG, but at least make said tie in relevant to the plot (I know they think Q is behind everything that is going on but we all know he isn't and that's getting very old by now - see TNG's Deja Q for this false blame type of thing).

    Vash on the other hand is central to the plot and fits into the underworld of DS9 perfectly. Overall a fairly satisfying episode with a mundane plot, I'd give it a 4.

    'Picard and his lackeys would have solved all this technobabble hours ago', love that line.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x14 - Face of the Enemy

Originally Aired: 1993-2-8

Synopsis:
Troi becomes a pivotal part of a Romulan defection. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 7.09

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 8 2 17 0 0 4 5 24 37 43 19

Problems
None

Factoids
- This is one of many episodes to mention that the Romulans use quantum singularities as power sources.

Remarkable Scenes
- Troi's briefing from N'Vek
- Trio's abraisive meeting with Commander Toreth.
- Riker arresting Ensign DeSeve for treason.
- DeSeve delivering Spock's message.
- N'Vek blaming firing on the freighter on Troi.
- Troi and N'Vek discussing the failure of their plan.
- Commander Toreth's objections to Troi's new plan to cross into Federation space.
- Troi forcing her plan on N'Vek.
- Troi challenging Toreth's command.
- N'Vek firing a low powered disruptor to piggyback a transporter.
- N'Vek's death.
- Troi's escape.

My Review
A human defector to Romulus returns to the Federation and Troi unwillingly becomes a Federation spy on board a Romulan warbird. The political web weaved for this episode is a complex one, but definitely interesting. Seeing more of the inside of Romulan vessels is certainly interesting as well. The thrilling plot keeps you on the edge of the seat as the warbird and the Enterprise become ever so dangerously closer to one another, climaxing with Troi's extremely risky maneuver hailing the Enterprise under the guise of being a member of Romulan intelligence. Granted, N'Vek's death is a huge cliche and in this case extremely needless. There's no reason the plot couldn't have been further complicated by Troi pleading Picard to transport him out too, only to find that his fate was now sealed once the warbird went to warp. I enjoyed watching him vaporize, but it seemed entirely senseless. Having him simply remain on board while Troi escaped would have beared so much more emotion. Finally, this is possibly Troi's greatest episode in that she played the most important role and did so spectacularly. Bravo.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-17 at 2:58pm:
    This episode is great. The plot hatched by N'Vek is far-fetched at best, but this it's worth it in the end. I love the way that Troi starts to throw her weight around, and I absolutely love the way that the Romulan people are presented as a very complex people. Recently they've been been fleshed out much more than they ever were in the past, and I like that Spock's work on Romulus is revisted here. Overall, this is top-notch. I give it a 9.
  • From J Reffin on 2009-08-03 at 2:02pm:
    It's a great episode, but The Inner Light (s 5) is in another league.
  • From Inga on 2012-03-17 at 10:12pm:
    I liked the Romulan Commander. A strong episode with strong female characters and an engaging plot.
  • From Dennis on 2013-03-31 at 11:29pm:
    I didn't know they could spend money. Riker tells Ensign DeSeve to go buy some civilian clothes because he doesn't want to see him in a Star Fleet uniform.
  • From Harrison on 2013-08-24 at 10:52am:
    Any weaknesses (there are few) in this episode are rendered trivial by the outstanding performance by Carolyn Seymour as the Romulan Commander Toreth. It's a compelling and memorable portrayal, of a calibre rarely achieved on television.

    Marina Sirtis delivers a pretty remarkable performance, too. It's a little shrill in places, but her repartee with the Romulan Commander is pulled off wonderfully. It's almost jarrig how departs so thoroughly from the soft & sensitive "Deanna Troi" in this episode.

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x08 - Dax

Originally Aired: 1993-2-14

Synopsis:
Curzon Dax, Jadzia's former Trill identity, is accused of murder. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 6.16

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 3 3 3 9 9 15 7 10 14 10 13

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- Unless you're dying to see the first episode to mention Raktajino, there's nothing terribly notable in this one.

Problems
None

Factoids
- O'Brien is said to be visiting a 100 year old relative in this episode, to explain his absense. Interestingly, the arbiter mentions she is 100 years old as well. I wonder if the parallels between these two extreme old age mentions have anything to do with the remark about Dax' age.
- This episode marks the first mention of Raktajino, Klingon coffee.
- Jadzia is said to be 28 years old in this episode.
- Bashir says that 93 hours after a symbiote is joined to a host, they cannot be separated without killing the host.

Remarkable Scenes
- Bashir flirting with Dax again.
- Kira and Sisko finding a political loophole to keep Dax on board.
- Odo blackmailing Quark into cooperation.
- The arbiter. She's hilarious.
- Sisko making an entirely bias argument in Dax' favor.
- Odo interrogating Enina Tandro.
- Arbiter: "Lieutenant Dax, you are either 200 years older than I am or you're about the same age as my great granddaughter. At first I wondered which of those you were. But now I am bothered by the likelihood that you may be both."
- Enina Tandro showing up and admitting the embarrassing truth at the hearing, proving Dax' innocence.
- Morn appearances; 1. When Sisko and Odo are walking on the Promenade, just after Odo blackmails Quark into cooperation; 2. Can be seen behind Quark as the hearing is beginning.

My Review
I don't particularly like this one. It seems a failed attempt to reproduce TNG: The Measure of a Man. For one, we don't know Dax well enough yet to care very much. Second, the legal grounds for extradition in this episode are pretty damn solid. Sisko was defending her blindly. He didn't care if Dax was a murderer or not; he was going to save her either way. In that respect, it's good that Dax did end up being innocent for the sake of future stories. That said, I enjoyed hearing details of Curzon and Sisko's history. Really, the whole purpose of this episode was just an excuse to develop Dax' character though. Unfortunately, Dax acted like an idiot the whole time. Her blind sense of honor almost got her killed.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Roth Mantel on 2009-03-16 at 8:37am:
    One of the things that troubled me throughout watching this episode was that even if Ilon is correct in his legal claim that the relevant Federation treaty with Klaestron IV authorizes the unilateral extradition of a federation officer with no notice to her commanding officer--which seems quite odd itself--it still surely does not authorize them to use violence against federation officers (Bashir) in the process, nor does it authorize the sabotage of the station's tractor beam.

    Since the manner in which Ilon attempted to execute the warrant surely violated either Federation or Bajoran law (probably both), it seems to me that they could have held him on the charge and delayed extradition proceedings at least until Klaestron IV sent another representative to pursue the matter through the Bajoran government. Not only would it have been sensible to pursue the charge to deter future sabotage, but this would have created a much more effective delay than a mere extradition hearing with the Bajoran arbiter.

    Also, Sisko asked Kira to investigate any relevant legal precedent, but we never heard back anything. That seems odd--I can hardly imagine that the issue, or at least highly analogous issues, have not been resolved before on Trill. Perhaps we heard nothing more on the subject because it wasn't useful for Sisko. Furthermore, tThe "expert" on Trills either doesn't know or nobody bothered to ask!

    Otherwise, I though the episode was pretty average. Dax's obstinate refusal to cooperate was irritating, even if it was explained at the end. I also thought that Anne Haney did a wonderful job playing the Bajoran arbiter.
  • From Sheriff__001 on 2009-08-23 at 7:35am:
    I found the grounds for extradition entirely absent. The question is broached poorly in the episode, but the initial argument was correct: the defendant named on Tandro's warrant was already dead. Jadzia Dax is not liable for any of the actions of her previous hosts (meaning that others may believe she is, and Jadzia Dax may believe herself obligated but she is in fact not obligated).

    I cannot believe that no one thought to ask if Trill law covered such a fundamental question. If there was a Trill equivalent to the Bill of Rights, it would surely say that no joined Trill is liable for the actions of a symbiont's previous joinings.
  • From Bernard on 2009-11-23 at 12:06am:
    An interesting episode that brings up an intriguing question about Trill society. Unfortunately the question is never really answered adequately because it turns out that Dax is innocent anyway. Luckily they return to similar themes later on, but not regarding Curzon but Joran.

    On the positive side though we learn loads more about Trill society, Dax and even Sisko.

    I find it difficult to accept criticism of the way the Jadzia character is played since she is consistantly played in her serene, relaxed manner upto this point in the series. The writers seemed to make an active decision to write her differently around the season two episode 'Playing God'. But this Jadzia came first! I found her to be within character at this point in the series and that aspect of this episode was believable. Another steady episode.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-11 at 5:50pm:
    Again, speaking as an attorney, the idea of "unilateral extradition" is utterly ridiculous. If we are to accept the Federation as being a more evolved version of our own society, how much sense does it make to sign a treaty that authorizes a foreign law enforcement officer to violate the law? There is absolutely no precedent for this in any international law.

    Further, as others have pointed out, since the treaty did not apply anyway (DS9 being Bajoran, not Federation, territory), Sisko could have simply clapped Ilon in handcuffs and thrown him and his goons into the brig. Not doing exactly that is simply spineless, and does not accord with Sisko's character.
  • From Wes on 2012-11-20 at 10:20pm:
    I guess they didn't have the have the wardroom (or hadn't found it yet) by this point. Thus, they resorted to using Quark's for the trial. This was just a bit annoying, but somewhat understandable. Just interesting that this would have been a great time to introduce the wardroom, but they just didn't think of it. Another trial/hearing took place on DS9, Worf's, and it took place in the wardroom.
  • From Bronn on 2013-06-11 at 1:33am:
    Just realized. The person turning 100 years old at the beginning of the episode is Keiko's MOTHER. That means she was at least 60, unless you buy Keiko being over 40 at the time of this episode (Rosalind Chao was 35 at the time). Medicine of the future, I guess.
  • From Dstyle on 2013-09-03 at 5:57pm:
    I can't believe all of the negative reactions to this episode! The purpose of this episode seemed pretty clear to me: a deeper exploration and explanation of what a Trill is, at least in DS9. I found it very useful in that regard, especially since the Trill species we see in DS9 is very different from the species we previously saw in TNG: The Host.
  • From Damien Bradley on 2013-10-02 at 7:59am:
    Poor Dax. Swore an oath to secrecy and bound by honor to keep it. (Later season spoiler alert: even though it's pretty annoying, but she definitely proves herself worthy of Worf, honor-wise.)

    I agree with the criticisms about the legal issues here. Unilateral extradition does not mean illegal entry/assault/kidnapping. It would mean "hello, I am so-and-so, I have come to claim so-and-so by order of this warrant." Annoying to see Sisko not throw the book at the intruders. And Trill society would have determined guidelines for legal ramifications of previous hosts' crimes long ago. And Quark's being the only appropriate venue for a hearing? Come on! There would have been dozens of conference rooms, not just the single wardroom that somehow hasn't been discovered yet.

    And yet, somehow, I still kind of liked this episode.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x15 - Tapestry

Originally Aired: 1993-2-15

Synopsis:
Q gives Picard the chance to change his destiny. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 8.3

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 20 5 2 3 3 5 5 3 16 28 153

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is the winner of my "Best Episode of TNG Award" and is therefore a candidate for my "Best Episode Ever Award."

Remarkable Scenes
- Q's declaration that he's god and Picard's reaction.
- Q: "You're lucky I don't cast you out or smite you or something."
- Picard regarding Q being god: "I refuse to believe that the universe is so badly designed!"
- Watching young Picard fight the Nausicaans. He even laughed, just like the story he told Wesley in TNG: Samaritan Snare.
- Q: "Is there a John Luck Pickerd here?"
- Picard waking up next to Q...
- Picard alienating all his friends.
- Picard passing Q's test and seeing the results of his new life.
- Q making his point about how Picard's history of risk taking shaped his life.
- Q: "That Picard never had a brush with death, never came face to face with his own mortality, never realized how fragile life is. Or how important each moment must be. So his life never came into focus."
- Picard: "I would rather die as the man I was than live as the man I saw."

My Review
This episode is absolutely perfect from beginning to end. In many ways it reminds me of TNG: Family; but with a particular emphasis on Picard. The simple, yet profoundly powerful point this episode makes is done in an articulate downright moving manner. There are many things to redeem this episode. Firstly, it doesn't waste any time on pointless action scenes; in particular we don't see how Picard was injured at the beginning of this episode. Why? Because it was completely unimportant. Next, this episode presents Q in a completely unusual manner. As the series develops, it becomes clear that Q has something of an affinity, or perhaps a sympathy for Picard. Q begins to like Picard and wants to see him succeed; despite his adversarial appearance. As it was put at the end of the episode, it's almost hard to believe Q could be so nice. Finally, this episode allows the average viewer to connect excellently with Picard. Everyone has moments of their lives they regret or would like a chance to change. But like it or not, they are a part of who we are. Pulling a single thread in the tapestry of our lives would have profound effects on who we would become later. This episode is nontraditional in terms of the issues Star Trek usually tackles, but is nonetheless completely successful and one of the most memorable and moving episodes ever written.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Wolfgang on 2006-07-10 at 1:04pm:
    Remarkable Scenes

    -Lieutenant Picard !
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-18 at 3:58pm:
    There's not a whole lot to complain about here, but I'm not as smitten with this episode as many fans are.

    It's great to see Picard's past, and his evolving relationship with Q is certainly interesting. But I find the It's-A-Wonderful-Life theme of this episode is a bit heavy-handed and explained to death. I also think they could have done a better job writing the characters of the young Picard's friends, who both seem pretty broadly drawn and never really elevate out of stereotype.

    Still, this is solid, and I can definitely see the charm, but I can't list it as one of the absolute best episodes. I guess I'll have to wait until I finish the series to make that call, though.
  • From Dennis on 2013-04-02 at 10:05pm:
    I couldn't wait for this one to be over, and I've never felt that way about any other episode. The stupid costumes and make up. The over the top acting by Picard's adversary's, Q, all of it just stupid. The story had nothing to do with the theme of Star Trek. It could have easily been an episode of Mayberry RFD. Sorry if I'm a little heavy handed but they can flush this one.

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x09 - The Passenger

Originally Aired: 1993-2-22

Synopsis:
The crew's efforts to thwart a hijack scheme are complicated when a sinister alien criminal hides his consciousness within the brain of someone aboard the station. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.52

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 2 6 7 7 10 13 14 3 2 5 0

Filler Quotient: 2, filler, but an enjoyable episode nevertheless. You can skip this one, but you'd miss out on some fun.
- There's no essential plot or exposition in this episode that renders it unskippable, but it's a decent episode, even though it could have been better.

Problems
- Bashir mentions that people only use small fractions of their brains and claims that there's "plenty of room" to store an additional consciousness. This is a common error in science fiction. In reality all parts of your brain are used for various things. Whatever mechanism Vantika used to transfer his consciousness to Bashir must have operated on some other principle.

Factoids
- Bashir: "The closest thing I've encountered is synaptic pattern displacement. But I've never seen it done by a non Vulcan." This is probably a reference to when Spock transferred his soul into McCoy in Star Trek II.

Remarkable Scenes
- Kira complimenting Bashir and Bashir being completely immodest about it.
- Odo and Quark talking about Dax. Quark: "It's good to want things." Odo: "Even things you can't have?" Quark: "Especially things I can't have."
- Odo being grilled by a Starfleet security officer about how he does his job.
- Sisko: "Odo was probably making sure Quark knows we know he knows."
- Odo's objections to being called "constable."
- Odo regarding Quark: "I always keep an eye on him."
- Bashir, disoriented when he woke up aboard the freighter.
- Kajada murdering her prisoner.
- Morn appearances; 1. At the bar in the background as Odo and Quark talk about Dax.

My Review
A pleasing mystery episode about a man obsessed with preserving his own life even at the expense of other people's. Some highlights are the contention between Odo and the starfleet security officer and the crazed Kajada character hunting her metaphorical whale all episode. I'm not fond of Star Trek's affinity for alien of the week episodes though and the Vantika-inside-Bashir's-body scenes are painfully poorly acted. However, while this isn't the most spectacular episode of Star Trek, it's most certainly decent ride.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Bernard on 2009-11-23 at 3:44pm:
    This is another solid outing. A couple of red herrings thrown in for good measure to keep you guessing.

    Worth watching back to see how Vantika is acted by his 'host' as you don't really watch for it first time around. Speaking of which, isn't this another review where you give away what has happened to Vantika? After all, we don't find out until very near to the end of the episode who is carrying Vantika's mind.
  • From Paul on 2010-08-31 at 11:04pm:
    'Vantika did the exact same thing on Rigel VII' - isn't that where kang and kodos from The Simpsons are from?

    Also Bashir states that humanoids use very little of their brains - this is untrue. All of the brain is used by humans, but not all of it at any one time. Different parts are used at different times. He has been reading too many urban legends and not enough Starfleet Medical textbooks
  • From Bryan on 2011-03-29 at 12:10am:
    I have to confess that this episode is painful for me to watch. I find Siddig's performance as the posessed Bashir to be extremely wooden, forced, and silly. It ruined a good episode.
  • From greeh on 2011-08-11 at 11:30pm:
    This was a painful one, the first painful one in the series. I'm not sure if I can really explain why. Pretty much everything seemed unbelievable, not well-explained, and too convenient for the sake of moving along the plot...

    Somehow it had a weird kind of fairy tale quality to it (maybe some of the usual production staff were sick?)

    The red herrings and Bashir being the host was a good twist, but then the possessed acting - and here I agree with another commentator, and disagree with the reviewer - was unexceptional... at best.

    I give it a 3.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-16 at 6:12am:
    Pretty obvious problem: If Bashir is possessed by Vantika, why does he continue to talk in the phones British accent? Wouldn't he talk like Vantika did at the beginning of the episode. I also agree Bashir's acting was pretty bad.
  • From Shani on 2014-01-09 at 1:01pm:
    I'm not really a fan of Siddig at all at this point. He's performance here was terrible. TNG had much better actors. DS9 characterisation is better (the characters actually have flaws) but that doesn't make up for the difference in acting ability.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x16 - Birthright, Part I

Originally Aired: 1993-2-22

Synopsis:
Worf and Data set out on journeys to find their fathers. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 6.4

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 5 0 2 3 2 10 23 21 14 6 8

Problems
- Watch Data's final scene with Bashir and look closely at his feet. Notice the little pink slippers? They didn't mean that actually to be visible, but according to Siddig El Fadil, who plays Bashir, they wear those slippers to silience the sound of footsteps when walking about and he simply forgot to switch them with his shoes for that scene. ;)

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Seeing the Enterprise docked at DS9 again.
- I like Geordi's reference to O'Brien being on the station.
- Bashir's meeting with Data.
- Worf freaking out at people.
- Troi regarding Worf's broken furniture: "Did the table do somethiing wrong?"
- Bashir's fascination with Data's peculiarities.
- Data seeking advice from Worf about the vision of his father, inadvertently causing Worf to realize what he must do.
- Worf "negociating" with the information seller by threatening his life.
- Picard to Data: "You are a culture of one. Which is no less valid than a culture of one billion."
- Data's complete "dream."
- Morn appearances; 1. On the promenade when Worf is walking around looking for the information seller.

My Review
This episode is both annoying and cool at the same time. I love learning about the details of Worf's past and the attack on Khitomer which made Klingon relations with the Romulans go sour. But this episode also is the only crossover with DS9 which in my opinion is totally wasted. This episode just screams "I'm a TNG episode, not a DS9 episode!" DS9 sets and characters are used at only minimal amounts. In fact, mostly used as plot devices to advance Data and Worf's stories! The device Bashir wanted to examine is largely forgotten (it may be interpreted as a literal plot device!), the meeting Picard has at Bajor is not shown, and DS9's sets are only shown so that Worf may meet his information dealer. That said, the plot is interesting, even if slightly annoying. Worf finds the truth about what happened to his father, but at the cost of being captured himself...

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-15 at 3:31am:
    Factoid: Is it just me, or does Troi start wearing her official starfleet uniform more often after being criticized by Captain Jellico in "Chain of Command"?

    Data was tripping BALLS in this episode. That was the most ridiculously psychotropic experience I've ever seen.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x17 - Birthright, Part II

Originally Aired: 1993-3-1

Synopsis:
Worf risks his life to inspire younger Klingons. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.96

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 30 3 5 4 5 23 18 12 13 12 11

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf trying to teach the people of the compound the Klingon ways.
- Worf taking offense to the existence of a Romulan Klingon hybrid.
- Toq: "Tonight, we eat well!"
- Toq: "You do not kill an animal unless you intend to eat it!"
- Ba'El: "They will kill you!" Worf: "Yes, but they will not defeat me."
- Worf: "No one survived Khitomer." Picard: "I understand."

My Review
A rather underwhelming sequel to the two parter. It focuses exclusively on Worf with the DS9 crossover having been completely wasted. Further, it's hard to believe that Tokath didn't go to greater lengths to ensure the secrecy of his little utopia. It is nice to see all this emphasis on Klingon culture, which makes this an episode to remember. But the timing was just terrible and I have to take off points for this.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-16 at 3:55am:
    Worf finding the idea of a Romulan mating with a Klingon "an obscenity" was hilarious

    I liked this episode alot, but I found the ending largely inconclusive
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-22 at 5:27pm:
    This episode is a bit of a dud despite an intriguing premise.

    For one thing, it's constructed badly, as Data's issue with his father and the dreams is wrapped up in part I, while Worf's issue with his father and the Klingon prisoners takes up both episodes. Data's exploration of his dreams is intriguing, but the execution was pretty lame and new age-y.

    I thought the whole idea of the Klingon prison was great, and Tovak's character was interesting, a mix of idealism and control; he was willing to become a jailer in order to preserve the peace he's created. The scene where Worf's disciple comes in with the freshly killed meat is cool (are the Romulans vegetarians like their cousins the Vulcans?) but it quickly descends into cliche when the song and the speech begin to mimic the civil rights movement and African-American spirituals. Still, the idea is solid enough to carry through, and this one is decent if you overlook some of its problems.

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x10 - Move Along Home

Originally Aired: 1993-3-14

Synopsis:
Quark's attempt at deception toward a newly-encountered alien race places the space station's senior officers in a labyrinth of danger. [DVD]

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 3.09

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 32 24 11 9 5 1 3 10 5 7 6

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- Nothing to see here. Move along...

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is the winner of my "Worst Episode of DS9 Award" and is therefore a candidate for my "Worst Episode Ever Award."

Remarkable Scenes
- Sisko laying into Bashir for not packing his dress uniform.
- Quark after his decidedly negative reaction to the nectar: "One man's priceless is another man's useless!"
- Kira: "I'm a Bajoran administrator. This is not what I signed up for!"
- Odo laying into Primmin for letting all the senior staff disappear without noticing.
- Odo: "And don't call me constable, I'm chief of security!"
- The hopscotch game with the little girl. Hilarious!
- Morn appearances; 1. Seen just after the credits rolls walking by the camera. 2. Seen behind Quark and Sisko when they talk just after the credits.

My Review
This episode has almost no substance and decidedly manufactured danger. It's completely incredible that there was no real danger; the aliens of the week should have seen that our heroes all thought it was real and pulled the plug, or at least told them they were safe. Instead they just egged on the hysteria. There's no evidence that they somehow needed unwilling participants to enjoy their time in Quark's bar, so the whole story is one giant contrived plot device.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-04-15 at 4:36am:
    I'd give it a 2 instead of a 1 because it does have some fairly comical moments
  • From JRPoole on 2008-11-17 at 3:40pm:
    My (admittedly now vague) memory of DS9 is that it was the high point of the Trek franchise, so it's been a bit surprising to me in my current run through the series to find that, after the promising pilot, the early part of the first season flounders with some truly unremarkable episodes.

    "Dax" is a bad episode and doesn't really even get to accomplish the character development it shoots for because the episode is handled so badly. "The Passenger" is lackluster because we pretty much know that Julian is the one carrying Vantika's consciousess from the very beginning.

    Then we get this mess: Annoying, ridiculously over-the-top alien-of-the-week. What amounts to a recylced holodeck-malfunction-puts-crew-in-danger plot, and then there turns out to be no real danger at all. On top of that, none of this really makes any sense. At least there are some comical moments.

    Also, what's with Primmin? I have no recollection of him, and I can only assume that he goes away quietly after a few episodes. Was he simply a replacement for O'brien during his short stay away from the station?
  • From Bernard on 2009-12-02 at 7:03pm:
    Couldn't bring myself to watch this one again in my current 'revisiting' of the series. So it must be bad.
  • From John on 2011-01-06 at 12:58am:
    It cannot be overstated how much I completely hate, Hate, HATE this episode.

    The worst show of the entire series. The only good thing you can say about it is that they got it out of the way early.
  • From Tallifer on 2011-03-08 at 6:22am:
    This story is similar to "The Celestial Toymaker" from early black & white Doctor Who, and believe it or not, the hoary 60s show did it far better. In the Whovian story, there was a real threat that the characters would be trapped forever as toys of the game-playing Toymaker. The games were equally silly and easy to overcome, but the dialogue and the villain were more convincing.
  • From Zaphod on 2011-04-16 at 10:18am:
    I really enjoyed watching the first season of DS9 so far, much better storytelling than any other Star Trek series and more interesting characters than the one dimensional ones TNG had ... except for Ro Laren, love her, a real shame that she didnt want to play the Kira character (but Nana Visitor is awesome too).

    And because DS9 was really great to this point I am very offended by this terrible episode.
    I think the biggest problem is that Odos reaction to the game didnt make any sense. If he really feared that these aliens would play with the lives of Sisko and the others why didnt he force them to end this immediately? But no, they played along and gambled for their lives! That's just bloody stupid and even vicious. I cant find words for how much I hate this lazy written bullshit episode!
  • From Shani on 2014-01-12 at 12:50pm:
    I watched every episode of ds9 when I was a child. For some reason this is the only episode I can remember clearly. Now that I'm re-watching this episode it does seem a little ridiculous. But I still like it for some reason (probably nostalgia more than anything else).

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x11 - The Nagus

Originally Aired: 1993-3-21

Synopsis:
Quark is suddenly named leader of the Ferengi financial empire, and discovers that he's not only popular, he's now a target for death. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 5.17

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 15 1 4 9 7 4 8 21 9 6 6

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- This episode is a must watch largely for the pivotal character development for Jake, Nog, and Rom. It's also the episode which introduces Grand Nagus Zek and sets up Ferengi interest in doing business with the Gamma quadrant which will be significant later.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This is the first mention of the Bajoran fire caverns.

Remarkable Scenes
- Zek's "death."
- Quark's reaction to Rom wanting to take over the bar.
- Sisko: "Going through my own adolescence was difficult enough. Surviving my son's is going to take a miracle."
- Dax taking generous helpings of Sisko's dinner.
- Jake teaching Nog to read.
- Rom and Grax attempting to execute Quark.
- Rules of Acquisition; 1. Once you have their money, you never give it back. 6. Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity.
- Morn appearances; 1. Quark tells him a joke about Andorians at the bar. We hear Morn laugh! 2. Quark shoes him away when he tries to come in during the Ferengi conference. 3. Can be seen on the bottom level during Nog and Jake's argument. 4. Can be seen walking by after Gral threatens Quark. 5. Can be seen in Quark's through the window during the discussion about whether or not to take a Dabo girl. 6. Passes by during Quark and Nog's final conversation regarding the airlock execution stunt.

My Review
Introducing the Pope of the Ferengi. The Grand Nagus. This character cements the status of the Ferengi as a wonderfully overly exaggerated representation of American capitalism. You've got to root for Quark for once in his struggle against the greater greed he faces here. And he achieves honest success at that! I also like how Quark held no grudges against Rom for his actions. Indeed, he congratulated him! The most touching detail though is the reaffirming of Jake's and Nog's friendship and seeing it withstand the prejudices of their fathers. All things considered, a fine episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-11-17 at 5:11pm:
    I cringed at the thought of this episode because I'm generally anti-Ferengi. At their best, they're little more than comic relief. At their worst, they're silly and borderline offensive.

    This, however, is pretty solid. Yes, it's mostly aimed at laughs. Yes, the Ferengi are what they are. But this is done pretty well, and we get good character development of Rom, Quark, and the Ferengi at large. On top of that, it's entertaining from top to bottom, so it all falls together well.
  • From Bernard on 2009-11-25 at 11:17pm:
    Excellent episode! One of the strongest of season one, though that really isn't saying much.

    Ferengi lore is started in earnest during this episode and remains throughout the seven seasons. I for one enjoy what you might call the 'Ferengi story arc'.

    Two important recurring characters get a good grounding here. One is the Nagus, delightfully played by Wallace Shawn. The other is Rom, who despite earlier appearances gets more to do here.

    Surprised to see the fan average below your score here, but many do not like the ferengi storylines. I'd give it a solid 7.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-18 at 1:39pm:
    I thoroughly enjoyed this one, not the least because of the great contribution of Wallace Shawn, the exceptional character actor who plays the Grand Nagus. (Shawn is possibly best known for his role as Vizzini in the Rob Reiner film "Princess Bride", but he has a long list of credits to his name. See the IMDB database for more information.)

    One comment on the idea that the Ferengi represent American capitalism. Having traveled extensively, I find the Ferengi more like the capitalism in places like Hong Kong or Singapore than the US. The fact that the Ferengi despise trade unions for example, and their extremely repressive attitude towards women are certainly not typical of the US. However, I see the point. I think Star Trek in general tries to portray the Federation as a more evolved version of the USA, absent the drive for wealth and status (although this analogy breaks down at times). Thus, the Federation is a symbol of our aspirations, while the Ferengi are perhaps symbolic of our dark side.

    At any rate, I generally enjoy episodes where the Ferengi's are heavily involved. (I find the relationship between Quark and Odo as rich and fulfilling as any in Star Trek, including that between Bones and Spock, or between Geordi and Data.)

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Star Trek TNG - 6x18 - Starship Mine

Originally Aired: 1993-3-29

Synopsis:
Picard is trapped on the ship with interstellar thieves. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.86

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 5 1 0 1 1 6 9 7 69 31 23

Problems
None

Factoids
- Tim Russ, who plays Devor in this episode, goes on to play Tuvok on Voyager.

Remarkable Scenes
- I like the teaser of this episode, where Picard is micromanaging so many different things.
- Data attempting smalltalk.
- Picard granting Worf to be excused from the reception, but not Geordi. Picard: "Worf beat you to it."
- Data mimicking Hutchinson.
- Picard walking into a wall while he's attempting to leave Hutchinson's reception.
- Picard Vulcan neck pinching Devor.
- Riker unleashing Data on Hutchinson.
- Riker: "I have to admit, it has a certain strange fascination. How long can two people talk about nothing?"
- Picard pretending to be the barber who never shuts up.
- Picard killing the invaders of his ship en masse.

My Review
I like this episode quite a bit. The humor regarding Hutchinson and Data is slapstick but still tactful. The terrorist threat aboard the ship during the Baryon sweep is original, interesting, and thrilling. Most interesting though was Picard the killer! Picard murdered at least half a dozen people in this episode in defense of his ship; setting them all up to die one by one! This of course is the best part of the episode. Picard's tactics and trickery were superb and fun to watch. The episode maintained a consistent level of excitement all throughout and a fun level of humor at the beginning. The technobabble was borderline annoying, but served mostly as a successfully exploited plot device, so I don't dislike it too much. A great episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From djb on 2008-07-20 at 8:36am:
    I've seen this episode many times, but I just got what might be a little joke at the end. This bit of dialogue between Picard and Worf:

    "I only wish I'd had the opportunity to use it on a horse."

    "Of course."

    Reminds me of Mr. Ed....
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-22 at 10:17pm:
    Not so much a problem as a WTF moment: Data mentions that ther are several Terralians living on the Enterprise, and that Terralia is one of only a few inhabited planets without any atmosphere whatsoever. How in the world can someone from a planet with no atmosphere exist in the first place--perhaps an underwater civilization? In any case, it's hard to believe they could function on a ship.

    This episode is pretty incosequential in the long run, but it's a perfect 10 from an entertainment stand point. As mentioned in the review, Picard the killer is cool in James Bond mode here, and there is some serious McGuyver action with Geordi's visor being turned into a weapon. Come to think of it, Spock was doing that sort of thing long before McGuyver anyway.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-23 at 1:56pm:
    An afterthought:

    With the obvious exeption of the Borg conflict episode and the occasional random death-of-an-entire-civilization plot, this episode has to have one of the highest body counts ever recorded in a Trek episode. Picard kills pretty much all of the thieves and even indirectly blows up their shuttle. Plus, "Hutch" is gunned down and presumably dies as well.

    The slapstick stuff with Data and Commander Hutchinson is funny and well done. I also love the way Troi rolls her eyes when Picard excuses himself from the reception.
  • From Mark McC on 2009-02-08 at 1:58pm:
    Some on the production team was obviously a fan of the Bruce Willis move, Die Hard, and decided to make Die Hard in Space! There's a whole raft of similarities, the staff/crew are both held hostage at a social function while our lone hero runs around the building/ship causing mischief. In both, what we assume to be terrorists actually turn out to be mercenaries doing it purely for profit.

    Even the scene where Picard pretends to be Mott the barber is a reversal of the movie scene where Alan Rickman, the leader of the bad guys, fools Bruce Willis by pretending to be a clueless hostage escaped from his captors.

    I enjoy Trek for the range and depth of social and moral questions it explores, but sometimes an all-out entertainment episode like this is a breath of fresh air.

    Data and Hutchinson's slapstick is the icing on the cake, the comic timing and quick repartee between the two is fantastically done. 9/10
  • From Markus on 2009-11-09 at 8:33am:
    Didn't they forget to save Picard's fishes from the sweep?
  • From Inga on 2012-03-20 at 5:01pm:
    Is it me, or did Picard use a Vulcan nerve pinch on Devor?
  • From Bronn on 2012-12-25 at 8:22am:
    Picard executing the Vulcan nerve pinch is actually a subtle, but nice, continuity nod. Remember that he's been in a mind meld with both Sarek and Spock, by this point. He should possess quite a bit of Vulcan knowledge.
  • From dronkit on 2014-03-09 at 3:19am:
    A barber without hair? lol
  • From Autre31415 on 2014-08-31 at 11:28pm:
    Also ironic about the Vulcan nerve pinch Picard performs is that it was on a future Vulcan!

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Star Trek TNG - 6x19 - Lessons

Originally Aired: 1993-4-5

Synopsis:
Picard sends the woman he loves on a deadly mission. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 6.92

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 7 0 4 3 2 8 37 21 22 29 16

Problems
- A crew member gets in the turbolift with Picard and Darren but doesn't specify any destination! Is she wandering the ship aimlessly?

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard, frustrated that Stellar Cartography is consuming all of the ship's resources.
- Picard's rather abrasive first meeting with Darren.
- The Chopin performance.
- Picard playing Frère Jacques with Darren.
- Darren playing the Moonlight Sonata.
- The scene with Data and Geordi where they hear Picard and Darren's music.

My Review
This episode is delightful in that it presents the first convincing romance for Picard. I also like the continuity with TNG: The Inner Light regarding Picard's flute and the story concerning the probe. Finally, the music in this episode is great. The best scene in my opinion is when Darren plays the first part of the Moonlight Sonata in the Jeffrey's tube juncture for Picard. I have to take off points for the fact that we never see Darren again though. As moving as this episode is, its lack of consequences is extremely annoying.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From djb on 2008-08-19 at 2:03am:
    I loved this episode. At first I was afraid it would be a little dull, but it quickly turned around. I liked how you could tell from Picard and Daren's first conversation that they would become an item. Since I am a musician myself, I really like the musical connection the two of them have, especially since it refers to "The Inner Light," which is an excellent episode to be reminded of.

    I find myself consistently enjoying Picard love-interest stories, mainly because they're not treated at all cavalierly, as with Riker (for the first few TNG seasons anyway) and Kirk. Picard takes love, like everything else, quite seriously, and he's not at all a skirt-chaser, and I identify with and appreciate that. I enjoyed Vash ("Captain's Holiday"), I enjoyed Kamala ("The Perfect Mate"), and I enjoyed Eline ("The Inner Light"), and I enjoy the continuing romantic tension between Picard and Crusher, though the producers have wisely toned it down since Season One. In the scene in sickbay between Daren and Crusher, you can see hints of jealousy on the part of the doctor (brilliantly acted by McFadden), which show that that's still a viable plot thread.

    The one problem I have is Daren's hokey roll-up keyboard. They could have easily thought up something not only cooler, but more realistic; any pianist, seeing a keyboard just under three octaves, and scoff. Daren certainly manages to get a lot more than three octaves' worth out of it! Also, not being able to press keys that actually go down would be rather confusing to any pianist. Plus, the keys definitely look bigger than real piano keys. Fortunately, we don't see it too much after the love interest plot takes off.

    The other problem, of course, is that due to the heavily episodic nature of the series, we never hear from Daren again. (Reminds me of "The Game".) I mean, we hear Picard say he's in love with her, and they wisely decide that it's a conflict of interest, but you'd think we'd see him keeping up some kind of communication with her! Oh well.

    The scene between them toward the end is brilliantly written and acted.

    An 8.
  • From John on 2011-09-04 at 3:56am:
    Though I guess it's part of the remarkable scene with the Moonlight Sonata, I really loved it when Picard played that folk melody from "Inner Light" in the Jeffries Tube. It reminded me of just how amazing that episode was, and how amazing that little tune is.

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x12 - Vortex

Originally Aired: 1993-4-18

Synopsis:
An alien criminal from the other side of the wormhole tempts Odo by telling the shape-shifter he can put the changeling in contact with others like himself. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 5.2

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 16 1 2 1 3 15 9 9 12 7 4

Filler Quotient: 2, filler, but an enjoyable episode nevertheless. You can skip this one, but you'd miss out on some fun.
- This is the first episode to mention that Odo's people likely originate from the Gamma Quadrant. It also establishes the character of his people as being distrustful of other species and that their colony is difficult to locate. However while some of this information could be taken as foreshadowing, strictly speaking none of it is essential exposition for proceeding with the story.

Problems
None

Factoids
- Randy Oglesby, who plays the twins in this episode, played one of Riva's chorus in TNG: Loud as a Whisper.

Remarkable Scenes
- Quark: "You think the whole galaxy's plotting around you, don't you? Paranoia must run in your species, Odo. Maybe that's why no one has ever seen another shape shifter! They're all hiding!"
- Odo: "There's no profit in kindness. Your favorite charity is your own profit."
- Odo luring his pursuer into a trap.
- Odo releasing his prisoner to the custody of the Vulcans.
- Morn appearances; 1. Can be seen as the Miradorns walk by in the teaser, back to camera. 2. Odo takes the honor of being the first to refer to Morn by name by pointing him out to Quark.

My Review
This is the first episode in which Odo's past is examined. We learn Odo is one of a kind and that he has possible ties to the Gamma quadrant. We also hear the name of his species for the first time: Changeling. While the plot is somewhat meager and strung together from seemingly random elements, the effect is still nicely profound for Odo's character. It's nice to see Odo so curious about his origins and it's nice to see Odo so compassionate to one of his prisoners. All very nice changes of pace for the character.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Jens-Ivar Seland on 2009-07-18 at 5:41pm:
    Come on! Don't you thionk it's a "problem" that Odo's knocked unconscious by a blow to his "head" ? :)
  • From Bernard on 2009-12-01 at 10:22pm:
    Okay, this episode has quite a few flaws such as Odo being knocked unconscious and Odo piloting the prisoner back into the gamma quadrant alone!

    It does provide a different angle with which to view Odo though. It also seems to have an emotional impact through the storytelling. I love the final line of the episode. I also love that the writers obviously thought their casual made up name for Odo's 'people', changeling (first heard in this episode) was really quite good so continued to use it as seasons two and the rest continued.

    I gave this a 5... unfortunately we now head into a run of mediocrity with the next few episodes...

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x13 - Battle Lines

Originally Aired: 1993-4-25

Synopsis:
Sisko, Kira, and Bashir are stranded on a war-torn world where it is impossible for the combatants to die. [DVD]

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 4.32

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 5 12 4 9 11 5 6 8 6 5 1

Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- As much as I hate to recommend such a terrible episode, if you don't watch this episode, you may find yourself wondering where the hell Kai Opaka went at the end of the season when they're holding elections for the next Kai.

Problems
- The nanites ending permanent death stretches realism. What if someone's limbs get hacked off? Or they get decapitated? Or they get blown to bitty little bits by a bomb? Or vaporized by a phaser?

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Kira's reaction to her "disappointing" file and feeling "under-appreciated."
- Sisko taking the Kai through the wormhole simply to indulge her.
- Bashir: "I've discovered we can't afford to die here. Not even once."
- Morn appearances; 1. Walks by with a bag on his shoulder when Sisko and Bashir are discussing the Kai in the teaser.

My Review
I don't like this one. This episode is a complete waste of a great character, Kai Opaka. A completely unfitting end for a character who was never given a chance to develop. The implications of the nanites which can apparently end permanent death are never sufficiently explored, nor is it ever explained how the nanites are supposed to resurrect someone who is vaporized by a phaser or something. And worse yet, the people of the planet are shown as nothing but mindless savages who Opaka is supposed to begin life anew with and somehow bring together these bitter enemies. Most of these concepts have been explored better elsewhere, and nothing particularly remarkable happens in this episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Bernard on 2009-12-03 at 10:29am:
    Interesting premise done badly, and I agree that the Kai is just thrown in there as a convenient way of setting up the ongoing bajoran story arc. I'd hardly say misuse of a great character though, she was only in the pilot for about five minutes!

    The three regulars are all well within character though and I liked Kira's reaction to Opaka's death, unfortunately because the viewer has not grown to know the Opaka character well enough any emotional impact is lost for me so you cannot share in her grief. It smacked much more of a TNG plot however with the convenient escape at the end. I gave it a 4, mainly for all the interesting moments and good characterisation throughout.
  • From John on 2012-03-24 at 8:06pm:
    This episode is pretty bad. Not nearly as bad as 'Move Along Home', but still pretty bad. It has the additional distinction of being the episode which open the doors for Winn's rise to power. This is also a bummer.

    However, it does have one redeeming moment: when Kira reads her Cardassian intelligence file and discovers they didn't consider her much of a threat, she flips out, and I laugh every time. Yet another example of Kira taking things way too seriously.
  • From Nathan on 2013-10-12 at 9:42am:
    This was a filler episode, and it was pretty awful. I think it might be my least favorite in this season (possibly even worse than move along home).

    About the only redeeming quality this episode had was setting up the Kai election at the end with Opaka's demise. Additionally, her end was thankfully brief- I hated every scene with her in it. She was a one dimensional character that spouted meaningless mumbo jumbo. People say she was a character that didn't get the chance to be developed. I say I am glad she didn't get more time and that they got rid of her when they did.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x20 - The Chase

Originally Aired: 1993-4-26

Synopsis:
Picard tries to solve a four-billion-year old puzzle. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 6.34

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 0 2 22 3 6 24 23 20 23 18

Problems
None

Factoids
- There are 17 people on board the Enterprise not from Federation worlds.
- Salome Jens, who plays as the humanoid alien projection in this episode, later goes on to play the leader of the Dominion in DS9.

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard's enthusiastic meeting with his old teacher.
- Picard lamenting about having to betray his mentor once again.
- The meeting between Picard and the Cardassian and Klingon captains.
- The Klingon captain challenging Data to a number of ritual challenges.
- The Klingon captain attempting to bribe Data, then retracting his offer when Data points out that it is in fact a bribe.
- Picard's conversation with the Romulan commander in the end.

My Review
A bold episode; why do so many Star Trek aliens look just like humans? Because somebody's been seeding them! A decent episode with a well executed though very strange premise. Unfortunately, this episode which tries hard to be profound, fails largely as the results of this discovery are largely inconsequential. As Picard said, the speech fell on "deaf ears." This isn't necessarily unrealistic but it does make the episode a little more unremarkable, naturally.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-22 at 7:57pm:
    Although the execution sometimes leave a little to be desired, this remains one of my favorite episodes.

    I absolutely love the idea of genetic "seeding" and the idea that all humanoid life comes from an ancient common source. It's perhaps a little bit unrealistic that they all found out at the exact same time, but it's necessary for the plot; I found it a little forced that the Cardassians and Klingons thought there would be a weapon or limitless power source at the end of this chase--why would anybody put this kind of code in our DNA if it was simply a weapon? But I guess their suspicions are in character.

    A few loose ends: what's the deal with the ship that Worf destroyed? Maybe I missed it, but there didn't seem to be an explanation why a minimal phaser blast destroyed the whole ship. Also, while it's plausible that the Klingon captain would destroy all life on the planet after getting the DNA sample, it seems like there would be some sort of repercussions.

    The only person who seems to share Picard's wonder and fascination at the Romulan captain. By this time in the series, the Romulans are becoming the most interesting and well-developed alien race around, and this is no exception. The Klingons and Cardassians hold on to their hatreds, but the Romulans, represented by the captain here anyway, see the bigger picture. Looking back over the next generation, it's a pity the Romulans couldn't have taken a bigger role. They would have made a much more interesting and engaging species to study than the newly-found Ferengi. Maybe that's just my bias talking, as anyone who's read my posts here knows that I loathe the Ferengi and find them to be an embarrassing additon to the series.
  • From Mark McC on 2009-02-09 at 12:23pm:
    A strange episode where all races go in search of something that surely must be accepted scientific fact by now.

    We've had Human/Vulcan, Human/Klingon, Betazoid/Human, Klingon/Romulan and Human/Romulan mixed-species characters. There's probably more, since Kirk and Riker seem to consider anyone with two legs and breasts a suitable candidate for mating with!

    With all these successful hybrids, wouldn't scientists have already concluded that the vast majority of bipedal sentient species in the galaxy must share not only common DNA, but also compatible reproductive systems?
  • From Random Guy on 2010-04-30 at 7:34pm:
    Regarding the repercussions bit:

    The guy only killed a bunch of trees on some distant planet. There wasn't any kind of civilization there, nor any animals at all, so it's not as big of a deal as it would appear.
  • From MJ on 2011-02-23 at 11:22pm:
    This episode reminded me of the TOS episode "Bread and Circuses" in which they talked about parallel planet development. I liked how in that episode, and this one, Star Trek tries to give a somewhat plausible (at least in sci-fi) explanation for why there are thousands of beings in the galaxy that are some variation of the Human form. Star Trek is just as anthropomorphic as any sci-fi show (or religion, for that matter), but at least they acknowledge it.

    However, the first time I saw this, I felt a bit as the Klingon captain did: "That's all???" They could've stretched this into a two-parter, adding some more intrigue and action to the chase, and also providing more as to how these original aliens seeded the galaxy. In truth, you actually have the makings of a movie here, certainly a better one than TNG would later field.

    Galen was an interesting character, and shows us another side of Picard. The one thing we've seen Picard excited about in previous episodes is archaeology. It's more than a hobby, it's a passion, and now we learn it's something he had the opportunity to devote his life to. And, his mentor hasn't really forgiven him for not doing so.

    The scenes with Data and the Klingon captain are priceless. I love the part where Data is trying to logically explain why the captain's offer was indeed a bribe, innocently ruining the subtlety of it.
  • From Zaphod on 2011-04-14 at 9:47am:
    Annoying Episode, packed with everything I don't like about Star Trek.
    Here the wise and peaceful Federation guys, there a bunch of insanely stupid and childish aliens not capable of understanding the message of peace and tolerance. Everything we know about these races is thrusted aside and again they are reduced to irrational and aggressive morons not blessed with the superior wisdom and diplomatic skill of the federation. Naturally all suggestions to defuse the situation are made by Picard, the Federation representative.

    And how on earth can that Klingon be so foolish and think that a trial of strength with an android is a good idea?!

    These caricatures remind me of the arrogant and selfish view Europeans had in past centuries, especially in the imperialistic age. Our ancestors back then also honestly believed they were the good guys and their conquers were beneficial for the "savages" they conquered.
    Star Trek seems to preach tolerance and respect for other cultures but the way the Klingons, Cardassians and Romulans are depicted tells me the opposite.
    And why does every peaceful civilization join the f*cking Federation? Why aren't there many more alliances who are not just stupid warmongering caricatures like the Cardassians and why do these Klingon, Cardassian and Romulan boneheads get so much room in Star Trek? Because it gives the audience a feeling of superiority so they can do the same thing Roddenberry did, feel comfortable with the worldview they have and preach about it everytime someone listens without any doubt and the need to ever think again in their lives or to listen to the unimportant stuff other people say. ^^

    And what moron wrote the speech that ancient alien gave them? Didn't sound wise to me, sounded more like an inept preacher trying too hard to reach the poor lost souls of his fold. Really embarrassing.
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-06-06 at 2:08pm:
    I found this episode to be very good and definitely liked the ancient planting of space seed around the galaxy. I told my wife as we watched that was the intent of the riddle right from the beginning and said it reminded me of the theme of 2001 from the perspective of an ancient galactic civilization being the creators of new civilizations. While I still have problems with such militaristic races, particularly the Klingons (how could a race such as that even manage to survive each other and develop technology), it did make sense from how they are portrayed in the series. And I for one liked the morality of the counterpoint of this ancient race hoping we had overcome our war like ways and learned to live peacefully with each other. Even that final point between the Romulan and Picard. Yes it is simplistic but there is a huge portion of the human race that hopes for such a thing even on this rather pathetic human planet with all its' hatred and killing and inequality.
  • From Brendan on 2011-09-15 at 12:17pm:
    So would it be a stretch to assume that this ancient civilization evolved to become the Founders of the Dominion. I say that for several reasons.

    1. The alien in this episode is played by the same actress who portrayed the female changeling in DS9 (Salome Jens).

    2. They look kind of similar, not identical, but the again the Founders are changelings.

    3. The Founder mentions to Odo in one episode that they were solids once but then they evolved. Judging by how much time must have passed for life in the entire Alpha Quadrant to evolve, I imagine that would be enough time for this alien race to evolve into the Founders.

    Kind of a cool thing to think about....even if it was never intended to be that way. It does seem like sort of a wink and a nod from DS9's producers in casting Salome Jens as the Founder.
  • From Ggen on 2012-04-21 at 1:00am:
    This was a most excellent idea that unfortunately was pretty much botched during execution. I really enjoyed the initial scenes with Picard's professor, but although the premise got even more interesting, the actual episode got worse.

    The main problem was that the whole thing felt very contrived and everything just lined up in an all too convenient way, one link after the other, one gratuitous-feeling exposition after the next. Virtually everything said in this episode didn't feel like realistic dialogue, although it was all very convenient for explaining the story.

    I also didn't really care for how it turned into a who's who of TNG: the Cardassians show up (that captain was kind of ridiculous by the way), then the Klingons, then the Romulans... Although it made sense in the context of the story, it also didn't quite feel right...

    I do have to give the episode credit where its due, because the basic idea of a DNA-based computer program was rather original. The "extraterrestrial origins" thing is original for TNG, although not entirely original among scientists/paranormal researchers/ufo buffs, etc (look up "panspermia" and "directed panspermia"). It was certainly a welcome topic, in any case, because it successfully addressed that longstanding nagging question: "Why are almost all aliens in Trek humanoids, some even indistinguishable from humans?"

    - - -

    Then again, although I'm not a biologist, I'm not sure that question is really answered. Introducing basic DNA material into the primordial soup is one thing. But our humanoid appearance also depends on millions of years of unpredictable, blind evolution, complete with countless random factors, environmental changes, etc.

    As far as I understand it, there's really no way to draw a direct line from seeding the genetic material and the eventual outcome, millions of years later, unless you also control or manipulate countless other factors and events.

  • From thaibites on 2012-09-20 at 2:09pm:
    This was a very enjoyable episode with good pacing. It had mystery, intrigue, and even a little action.

    I agree with Brendan about the Changelings. I thought the same thing when the Founder appeared to all those gathered on the planet.

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x14 - The Storyteller

Originally Aired: 1993-5-2

Synopsis:
Against his will, O'Brien becomes spiritual leader of a Bajoran village and the only one who can save them from a destructive energy force. [DVD]

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 4.06

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 9 10 4 5 14 5 7 5 3 5 2

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- There's no essential plot or exposition in this episode that renders it unskippable and while the story has a few charming moments, it's mostly terrible.

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- O'Brien trying to avoid Bashir in the teaser.
- Bashir trying to be friendly with O'Brien.
- Quark offending yet another woman.
- Odo taking pleasure in ordering the kids to stop dangling over the Promenade.
- Rules of Acquisition; 9. Opportunity + Instinct = Profit!
- Morn Appearances; 1. Quark is talking to him as Kira enters his bar. 2. Crosses the Promenade with a jumja stick, as Jake and Nog walk by.

My Review
Another weak DS9 episode. The only thing I like about it is the interplay between Bashir and O'Brien. The major problem with this episode is the sheer ridiculousness of a single village of Bajorans who must fight off a monster every so often. The idea that it was needed to create unity at one time is convincing, but the idea that it must be done routinely to maintain unity is just lunacy.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Bernard on 2009-12-03 at 10:28pm:
    Two moments of sheer genius in this episode, otherwise it is atrocious.

    The first is Nog's practical joke involving the bucket...

    The second is the knife fight involving Bashir, O'Brien and the bajoran! Watch it again, it's like something from Naked Gun!

    What I love about the relationship between Bashir and O'Brien at this point in the series is that they are written to be idiots. O'Brien is outrageously rude to Bashir in this episode whilst Bashir is so self important up to this point. That's where DS9 is such an improvement on TNG, the characters are flawed and therefore seem more real and you can relate to them.
  • From John on 2011-12-06 at 2:26pm:
    One question kept nagging at me the whole time I was watching this episode: How can the Bajorans possibly have a 10,000-year-old, warp-capable civilization when their people are this stupid?

    Sadly, we will see numerous other instances of stupid, easily-led Bajorans throughout the series, so this aspect of the show never really improves.

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Star Trek TNG - 6x21 - Frame of Mind

Originally Aired: 1993-5-3

Synopsis:
Riker is trapped in an alien mental hospital. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 6.93

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 23 3 8 6 10 3 19 13 29 67 40

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Riker starting to freak out.
- The insane "officer" from the Yorktown.
- Riker seeing and hearing things in his second acting of his play.
- Data complimenting Riker's ability to play a demented character.
- Riker refusing to believe Beverly's, Worf's, and Data's appearances were real.
- Riker realizing he's still in an illusion.

My Review
This episode features an excellent acting performance by Johnathan Frakes as Riker. The plot itself is a little weak; the motives of the people who captured Riker aren't entirely explained. Nevertheless, this is still an excellent episode and a fun one to watch. As Data points out during the episode, Frakes presents an extremely convincing madman!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-21 at 9:48pm:
    Yeah, yeah. good acting by frakes. However, acting doesn't get you anywhere if the plot is incoherent, which the plot of this one is. The entire thing is unbelievably fucked up, and just impossible for the viewer to follow along. It took me like 15 minutes to sit there and rationalize what was real and what wasn't, and just figure out the whole thing. And they didn't even explain it well at the end. I didn't care for this episode at all. It's like star trek on PCP. I can't believe someone gave it a 10.
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-06-07 at 1:16pm:
    Myself and my wife didn't care much for this episode either, we rated it a two. There have been three or four dream based episodes like this and there were some on DS9 as well. The dream sequences seem to get out of hand and the surrealistic scenes of the dream episodes never play well with me. While I managed to pick up on what was reality and what was dreamed a short way into the episode, I was telling my wife this scene will end up being a dream, the numerous episodes of dream became far too much. And the beginning where you are given the scenario apparently was a dream as well but necessary to setup the episode which didn't play well with the overall logic and flow. Frakes did do an excellent job of acting but as mentioned previously, that can't make up for a very flawed theme.
  • From Ggen on 2012-04-22 at 10:19am:
    This is a brilliant episode that goes straight into my personal TNG hall of fame.

    The writing in this episode is consistently top-notch, as is Jonathan Frakes' performance. The story has some superficial similarities to a previous great showing from this season: Ship in a Bottle. Gotta love the multiple levels of illusion.

    I've actually had some amazingly vivid dreams where I've "woken up" inside what turned out to be yet another dream, and then had yet another false awakening, and so on... So I can identify with Riker a little bit in trying to sort out fact from self-generated fiction. I also know the feeling of your subconscious throwing up clues that something's not quite right here (in Riker's case, it was the recurring cut on his head that served as a sort of "reality check"). And of course there's the ever-present problem of memory, also similar to remembering dreams (or remembering you're dreaming while inside a dream) - when Riker's on the ship, it's almost as if he has access to one set of memories, when he's inside the hospital, a different set. The ship memories have their own internal logic, but then make no sense from the perspective of the other reality, and vice-versa. Anyone who's messed around with lucid dreaming will find a number of things familiar here.

    That's part of the damned awesomeness of this episode: it's a considerably sophisticated psychological episode, well beyond the token Troi psychobabble. The whole thing really made a damned lot of sense.

    As Riker eventually realized, the preparation for the mission, the preparation for the play, the play itself, being transplanted *inside* the play, all of that was self-created from recent memories in his mind's attempt to hold itself together and regain consciousness. The way it all plays out - the switching back and forth, that one alien being the "one constant," the "reflection therapy," the multiple layers - is all pretty much brilliant.

    - - -

    This line was just a bonus: "That's not a phaser. It's a knife. You took it from one of the food trays."
  • From thaibites on 2012-09-22 at 12:33am:
    I really enjoyed this episode tremendously. It was great to see Riker completely out-of-control and manic. He's usually so perfect - a true Renaissance Man. Which is probably why they did this episode, so that he could break out of his "perfect" mold. Or maybe they were addressing complaints about Riker's character?
    I think the comment by Pete Miller really sums up this episode well. He says the plot is incoherent. Well...YES! What do you expect from a story about a man slowly being driven insane? I think it was a brilliant decision by the writers to do this, and they should be applauded not panned.

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x15 - Progress

Originally Aired: 1993-5-9

Synopsis:
A stubborn old Bajoran farmer forces Kira to take a good look at how much she has changed since her alliance with the Federation. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 5.67

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 7 3 2 4 6 11 11 9 15 9 2

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- Unless you're dying to see the first episode to mention self-sealing stem bolts and Cardassian Yamok Sauce, there's nothing terribly notable in this one.

Problems
- It's not realistic for Bajor to have a habitable moon. Its Earth-like gravity (the same as Bajor) would preclude such an orbital relationship.

Factoids
- This episode establishes that Bajor has 5 moons.

Remarkable Scenes
- Jadzia discussing Morn asking her out with Kira. Jadzia thinks Morn's few wiry hairs make him look cute.
- Jake and Nog bartering for profit.
- Mullibok's insistence on calling Kira a girl, getting her all mad.
- Mulibok's exaggerated stories about how he colonized the moon.
- Mullibok: "The Cardassians probably told you you didn't stand a chance either. Did you surrender?" Kira: "No." Mullibok: "Why do you expect me to act any different than you?"
- Jake and Nog trying to figure out what self-sealing stem bolts are.
- Bashir "requesting" Kira stay on the planet.
- Kira's nasty old tree analogy.
- Kira destroying Mullibok's home.
- Morn appearances; 1. Seen talking to someone as Jake and Nog talk to the Lissepian captain on the Promenade. 2. Sitting on a barstool when Nog walks into Quark's. 3. Sitting at bar while Odo and Quark talk about Nog and Jake's land.

My Review
For once, Jake and Nog's childish exploits are entertaining; I particularly enjoyed the "self sealing stem bolts" gag. The "stem bolts" are basically one big joke about Star Trek technobabble. Everyone insists on using the term so accurately ("they're not just stem bolts, they're self sealing stem bolts!") but you never find out exactly what they do. None of the characters even know! Unfortunately the main plot of the episode is less well made. A story about a luddite is a good premise and Mullibok's dynamic with Kira is good fun and all, but the whole premise of the episode suffers from a number of problems. First of all the idea that Bajor could have a habitable moon as depicted isn't realistic. Second of all, even assuming that hard to rationalize premise, it's profoundly irresponsible for Bajor's government to ruin such a rare freak of nature by destroying it just to extract some energy to heat some homes. Finally, it's mentioned that there is a slower energy extraction method that wouldn't destroy the moon's environment. Seriously, why not use that instead? Can't they find another energy source in the mean time to heat some homes with? The whole plot just defies common sense.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Bernard on 2009-12-06 at 10:57pm:
    Why? Why, oh why did I just subject myself to this episode again?

    Truly horrendous.

    Yes there are good moments for a couple of the characters, but we've already established that Kira doesn't like being on the opposite side to the 'little guy' in Past Prologue so we don't really gain anything from it that we havn't already seen. The B plot has nothing to do with the A plot and it is also mundane.

    Low point of the season surely.... though I've just seen what is next.

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