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Star Trek TNG - 3x26 - The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

Originally Aired: 1990-6-18

Synopsis:
The Enterprise has a deadly encounter with the Borg. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 8.72

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 12 1 4 4 1 3 4 18 12 50 167

Problems
None

Factoids
- Third time Riker saves his life by refusing command of another starship.
- This episode (both parts together) is often regarded as the best TNG episode ever done.

Remarkable Scenes
- Shelby after Riker's job. Even defeats him at Poker. Something rarely done!
- Riker trying to figure out why he's still resisting when starfleet offers him ships.
- The sight and music accompanying the approach of the Borg cube.
- Shelby's idea to release the Enterprise from the Borg.
- The Enterprise running and hiding.
- Picard's capture.
- Troi striking down Riker's decision to lead an away team.
- The firefight aboard the Borg cube.
- Seeing Picard assimilated.
- Riker ordering Worf to fire on the Borg cube. Truly one of the most badass moments of all Star Trek.

My Review
The controversy between Riker and Shelby was annoying. They're facing a major inter stellar war and all Riker can think about is his damn pissing contest with Shelby. I was impressed with Shelby's restraint against Riker's testosterone flaunting though. I was equally pleased with Riker admitting that he admires her. Still though, even after he admits he likes her, he strikes her down for no reason in Engineering regarding her request to continue working with Data and other times as well. That said, this is truly the most captivating, interesting, and exciting episode TNG has done so far. Only minor blemishes.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-30 at 12:50am:
    - As the show opens, Riker leads an away team down to the destroyed colony. When they arrive, he asks O'Brien to confirm their coordinates. O'Brien verifies the coordinates and says that they are at the center of town. The next shot shows the away team standing at the edge of a gaping hole. No buildings ring the abyss. If the hole is all that's left of the colony and they transported to the center of town, shouldn't they be standing in the center of the pit?
    - With the Enterprise concealed in the nebula, both Worf and Picard make statements about what the Borg ship is doing. How do they know what the Borg ship is doing? If the nebula is dense enough to confound the Borg's sensors, wouldn't it do the same to the Enterprise's sensors?
    - Before the away team beams over to the Borg ship, Worf hands out phasers. Shelby then comments that they will only be able to use the phasers a few times before the Borg will adapt to the frequencies. Evidently, tuning these phasers is a big deal. Otherwise the away could fire a few times, use the controls to set a new frequency, and start firing again. However, in the episode "The Arsenal Of Freedom," Data continues to retune the frequency on his phaser to find the "precise frequency" to free Riker from the force field. If Data's phaser had this capability in the first season, what happened to the phasers in the third season?
    - At one point, when Shelby boards a turbolift, she states her destination as, "Deck 8, battle bridge." She and Riker then have a disagreement, and she leaves as soon as the turbolift reaches her destination. However, the turbolift doors open into a hallway, not the battle bridge. "Encounter At Farpoint" showed two entrances to the battle bridge: both were turbolifts.
    - The Enterprise seems to have solved its structural integrity problems. During the runaway acceleration of "Hollow Pursuits," the Enterprise began shuddering as soon as it passed warp 9.4. In this episode, the Enterprise sustains a speed of warp 9.6 for several hours and everything's fine.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-04-17 at 12:25pm:
    This is something I've wondered before, but I thought of it again watching this episode. Can Troi turn off her empathic abilities? If not, how is it fair for her to play poker? Couldn't she sense if someone was bluffing?
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2009-06-26 at 3:31pm:
    The cool thing is, this episode wasn't just about the Borg. Riker's personal and professional life was under a microscope and you had Picard pondering man's role in history while talking to Guinan.

    When you add all these small pieces to the main plot, you get a very enjoyable, movie-like episode.
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-17 at 7:11pm:
    A very good, but imho overrated episode. I'd give it a 7. The Riker/Shelby rivalry thing gets annoying very fast to me, and I thought Picard becoming Borg was interesting enough but ultimately pretty gimmicky.
  • From Daniel on 2014-07-04 at 1:22pm:
    I love this episode, as well as Part 2. One thing I want to say about this episode is that it's perhaps the best cliffhanger episode of any series! I shall never forget that famous ending with the music building and Riker giving the command "Fire!" Then... To be continued!

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Star Trek TNG - 7x25 - All Good Things... Part I

Originally Aired: 1994-5-23

Synopsis:
Picard tries to prevent the destruction of humanity. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 8.69

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 3 0 1 3 1 3 9 18 23 131

Problems
- This episode recreates the past so well that they even copied one of the technical problems of the first episode. Data and O'Brien's positions appear to be reversed.

Factoids
- This episode (both parts) won the 1995 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard beginning to drift through time.
- Picard appearing during the time of the first episode.
- Yar appearance!
- Data's maid regarding Data's grey streak: "Looks like a bloody skunk!"
- Picard's odd behavior during the first episode.
- Data's objections to "burning the midnight oil" turning out (almost) exactly as before.
- The USS Pasteur. Captain Beverly Picard!
- Q's game of yes/no questions.

My Review
Troi's relationship with Worf finally reaches its apex, but the series ends and we never see them together again! One thing I liked about this episode was the remarkable detail the put into Picard's past experiences. The uniforms of the 7-years-ago Enterprise D were exact. Looked just like the first season! And Tasha's return was nicely done. The cliffhanger is exciting, one of the most exciting of the series, though not as much so as TNG: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I. I was nevertheless impressed with this episode.

No fan commentary yet.

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Star Trek TNG - 5x25 - The Inner Light

Originally Aired: 1992-6-1

Synopsis:
Picard lives another life on a faraway planet. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 8.32

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 54 7 5 3 4 12 13 13 16 23 381

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of TNG Award".
- This episode won the 1993 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. This episode was the first TV show episode to be given such an award since TOS: The City on the Edge of Forever.

Remarkable Scenes
- Picard's reaction to his new location. "Freeze program! End program!"
- Picard talking to his "old friend" trying to get information about where he is.
- The revelation that the probe is making Picard live a completely new life and that for him, years are going by.
- Picard getting sick in his dream world thanks to the disruption of the beam transmission.
- Picard's wife's death.
- Picard's old friend returning from the dead to explain the probe to Picard.
- Picard having to rediscover who he is.

My Review
This episode is a fan favorite, and with good reason. The story that develops within Picards mind is captivating and just when it starts to seem familiar and warm, the characters explain to Picard what his new life really was. The idea behind the story is very simple. Picard is taken into a dream world by an alien probe in which he lives a completely new life. It's not the idea of the episode that is superb, but the execution. This episode features an absolutely stunning performance by Patrick Stewart as Picard. Arguably the best performance he's ever done. In the end, we're left with the tragic story of a civilization destroyed by their own sun going nova and a profoundly affected Picard. He will never be the same man again after this truly life changing experience. A TNG classic.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Rich Dixon on 2006-04-20 at 6:37pm:
    Patrick Stewart never quite fully received the accolades and recognition from the Emmy's for his portrayal of Jean Luc Picard during his stint on TNG. The show as a whole was disregarded come Emmy time. We all know the reason why. It was a science fiction show, syndicated no less. In the early 90s, there was no way in hell a sci-fi show would be nominated for best drama on TV. Now in the 21st century, things have changed of course. Shows on Cable TV are routinely nominated. I still wonder if TNG and Stewart would garner nominations even still today. Not that the Emmy's are the end all to be all. My point is this. Somebody had to give this man an award! Stewart's performance in this episode was a tour de force. It was just stunning. The Inner Light although simplistic in its story telling, encompassed everything that Star Trek represents. The aliens in this episode will never be forgotten. At least not for Picard, who was controlled by an alien probe from a world long since vanished. During a span of 25-30 minutes, he lives a lifetime of another man complete with a loving wife and two kids. He watches them grow up along with the decaying of his planet. We watch as Picard stubbornly and defiantly refuses to play along with these people who seem to believe he's another man. Eventually, Picard assumes the life of this man and leads the life he never had and longed for. He has a family. He has a companion who is loyal, patient and nurturing. Picard's brilliant mind leads him to find ways to save his planet to no avail. Ultimately, the aliens reveal themselves and inform Picard the truth about themselves and their planet. This was their way of being remembered. What an effective way to let others understand who you are. Let them live a lifetime as one of you. One of the most moving and touching scenes came at the end, in Picard's ready room. Riker walks in and gives the captain the only contents that were found in the alien probe. A flute Picard learned to play as this other man. When Picard was first abducted, he didn't even know how to hold it properly. As Riker leaves the captain to his thoughts, Picard stares out the window. He begins to play it with a feeling and passion that conveys everything we need to know. These memories will stay with him forever. This is an excellent episode. It's the very reason why I loved this show.
  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-04 at 11:08pm:
    Is it just me or does the second version of picard (aged once) look a hell of a lot like Jimmy Buffett?
  • From Pete Miller on 2006-07-18 at 6:30pm:
    Sorry to come back and post again, but after I finished the series I decided to award my personal Best episode of TNG award.

    When I picked my "Best of..." episodes, I took into consideration what each series was really about. The Next Generation is truly about exploring the unexplored, discovering new people and cultures, and above all self-improvement. It is not like DS9, which focuses on more darker themes and contains more action. The Next Generation aims to paint an optimistic picture of the future, and to affect its audiences profoundly.

    The Inner Light accomplished all of TNG's goals. It is a masterful story of the tragic death of an entire species whose sun went supernova. The culture is not lost, however, but preserved through the memories of Picard, who is a changed man. It is a story of life in general, and of growing old and losing loved ones. The bottom line, though, is that the future is a bright one, and those things that we may consider to be lost causes today may yet live on in the future.

    This was a very moving performance by Patrick Stewart, the best actor to ever grace Star Trek. It was a perfectly written story, demonstrating the awesomeness of TNG's writers. I cannot subtract any points from anything, and the episode basically epitomizes TNG.

    It is with all of these things in consideration that I bestow my "Best of TNG" award to "The Inner Light". As soon as I finish Voyager I'll re-evaluate all episodes to find the best overall.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-10-05 at 3:29am:
    This is one of my favorite TNG episodes of all time. That is not correct. This is one of my favorite Star Trek episodes of all time! Jean-Luc Picard is one of my favorite Star Trek characters (it doesn't hurt having an amazing actor like Patrick Stewart playing the part.) However, yes, I have even "discovered" a problem with this episode.
    - This is a society with the technological level of midtwentieth-century Earth. It manufactured a device that can create an alternate reality within an unknown alien mind. Look at what this probe accomplishes. It scans the Enterprise and overpowers the ship's shields. It finds Picard and attaches an energy beam to him. This energy beam creates an alternate reality so complete that "it is as real as his life on the Enterprise." Does this sound like a project undertaken by a community who have just begun to launch missles? In the late 1950s, if the nations of Earth discovered that the Sun would soon explode, is it even conceivable that those nations would be able to build such a device?
  • From baron on 2010-12-11 at 2:49pm:
    After watching this I found the society that he lived in pretty unbelievable. All Picard seems to do is play his flute and look through a telescope. How did he raise a family just by doing that? Wouldn't he need a job and income of some kind? This isn't a futuristic society with food replicators and unlimited energy. They say they have to grow crops. Towards the end they say the crops are failing. Where are they getting their food from then? They say it takes a day just to send a message to the next village. It's pretty impossible that society could have built the probe in the first place.

    In an earlier episode someone mentioned that it would have been to impossible for a time traveler from the past to take a phaser and try to manufacture it back in his own society. Since their society wouldn't have the infrastructure in place to be able to manufacture it. Perhaps a phaser needs a mineral from another star system but they don't have the ability to leave their planet. But yet in this episode a 1950's era society can make technology more advanced than the enterprise.
  • From Autre on 2011-03-04 at 2:32pm:
    They are aliens, and regardless if they are in a 1950's era situation they are much different from humans. Rather than creating atomic bombs or weapons to destroy one another they all banded together as a race with a single goal in mind.

    If you were to take every scientist in the world and work them to one cause it is very likely something astounding would come from it.

    But again, the main point behind this is that they are aliens, and TNG has many episodes with aliens that appear to not be advanced but turn out having technological marvels.
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-04-29 at 11:46am:
    This was a very good episode but not nearly my favorite. In fact I rated it a 7. Stewart did do an excellent job of acting in the episode. But why I lowered my rating was that I did not find the scenario and the overall plot that exciting. While I could also say it was technically absurd, a race that seems to live a simple agrarian existence creating this marvelously advanced spacecraft that was launched on a very basic solid fueled rocket, that is not really my main complaint. It just wasn't that exciting or even enticing to watch Picard live this imaginary life. I am not a particular fan of massive doses of action or such but found this more of a soap operaish plot line. It appears I am the minority in this take on the episode but those were my thoughts while watching it. I found the interplay between characters much more interesting in the episode where Picard returns home and visits his brother.
  • From Alvlin on 2011-05-26 at 11:45pm:
    I agree with Baron. While this is a great episode both emotionally & executionally, logically it has a HUGE flaw -- there is no way that such a "technologically primitive" society could manufacture & launch a probe that would be able to pierce the defenses of a ship 1,000 years into the future, not to mention reach directly into Picard's mind and play out a scenario based on his own reactions. A real strech which unfortunately hurts the overall credibility of this one.
  • From Bronn on 2011-09-25 at 1:33am:
    I just want to comment on some of the scientific critique's of this episode. One of the reasons I can buy is that I don't necessarily think their technology had to evolve at a similar rate to ours. Just because they weren't advanced in the field of space travel doesn't mean they weren't advanced in other areas-they just may not have been interested in space travel. It's worth wondering how interested humanity would be in space travel if this planet had no moon. The extreme advance of technology during the space race is partly owed to the existence of an easily definable objective: Let's put a human on the closest celestial object. It helps also to have such a close orbit body to fuel the curiosity of planet-dwellers, to give them an actual urge to reach space.

    What we see of the planet during this episode also represents a single agrarian community. It's not necessarily the best cross-section. If you visited 20th century Earth and all you saw was a farming community in Nebraska, you might not catch on that we can generate nuclear power, or that there is a laboratory in Geneva that can isolate atoms of anti-hydrogen. The native culture in this episode may have simply had some specialization in ways to affect brain chemistry, and this was a technology unique to their development.

    "But how does it pierce the defenses of the USS Enterprise!?" Well it's just possible that the Enterprise's defenses aren't designed to defeat the specific thing that the probe was doing. The shields are designed to repel only specific types of energy, and presumably solid objects (there are many inconsistencies with THAT). The shields clearly allow certain types of energy to pass through-as evidenced by the fact that the crew can actually see out a window even with the shields are activated, so visible light is not stopped by the shields. The crew is also still able to use communication frequencies with the shields up, so perhaps other parts of the EM spectrum are not screened out. It's not like this beam utterly defeats the Enterprise, since it takes the crew a whopping 5 minutes to figure out how to interrupt it (if that)-they are only stopped because removing it nearly kills Picard.

    Okay, so there's a little bit of a hand-waving in that the probe apparently "scans" the crew, or least has some method of identifying that there are life forms on board the Enterprise, and it manages to isolate one to communicate with, but it's not like we ever learn much about how the USSE itself scans for lifeforms. There's not really an issue with bad science in this episode, at least not enough to destroy willful suspension of disbelief, unless you're just looking for reasons not to like it.
  • From Rob on 2013-01-27 at 1:05am:
    I love this episode, it could be my own personal experiences that leads me to this but it seems to me to be an analogy to a psychedelic induced state of mind wherein the 'traveller' can experience an entire lifetime in the blink of an eye.

    Once returning to their original understanding of their reality and normal perspectives there is a struggle, a conflict between the person they were before the event, the person they were during the event and who they need to be to move on from the event. Everything that took place was easily as real as the present and past to them, completely linked with emotions and feelings as real as any other memory in their mind.

    The only way for the traveller to move on is to merge the persona they lived into their ego, challenge the resistance from the higher ego and accept that they experienced a true existence and that perception combined with perspective is all there is, we accept our current one as the only one in order to live.

    This analogy would have been complete if after returning to the enterprise when Picard was given the flute he was able to play it as proficiently as he did in the mental projection.
  • From skye_sken on 2013-03-27 at 8:31pm:
    Just thought to comment on the allegations that a civilization such as theirs could not produce the technology needed for the probe to exist: I always figured the dreamworld that Picard experiences is rather an ideal representation of this people, or perhaps a "play" of a sort, rather than a full-on realistic portrayal of the advanced civilization they fostered just before the supernova event which eradicated it's people.

    When you think of it, some might say that a fine way to express one's civilization would be through art. It can be argued that technology is kind of homogenic in the way that any alien species can produce the same quantative results and inventions, whereas art I would suppose is always subjective and thus unique. I mean, showing aliens a play by Shakespeare would cover an immense amount of human emotions, those we hold so dear to us, and in a way sleek the image of humanity for the alien specators (after all, not many of us would sooner paint impressions of war, rape, extortion and other realistic qualities expressed by mankind).

    As someone before me noted, Picard doesn't seem to be doing any work, well, expect for his scientific research, which I guess many a folk do care for, and might deem important enough to sustain through their own labor. In the INNER LIGHT, art plays a key role in cultural preservation. In the dreamworld, we see art approached in the manner of the flute Picard gradually learns to play, the music of which in a way is a strong symbol of the lost people and a means to immortalize a part of their civilization.

    While we're making assumptions, I guess it's possible that if Picard's dreamworld was indeed a play, it was not entirely truthful, and this civilization never actually disappeared in a super nova after all; Picard just became a buffoon of an elaborate cosmic jape. But that's not nearly as romantic an idea, so forget it.
  • From railohio on 2014-07-27 at 11:03am:
    You guys are forgetting that while the probe was advanced, it certainly did not overpower the enterprise. The enterprise could have easily destoyed it, or severed the link (which they did), but they wouldn't because it would have been fatal to Picard. Even before he was connected by the beam, the Enterprise's mission is to explore new life and civilizations, so they could not simply destroy it on sight.

    As far as creating the probe in the 1st place. We can say the beginning of the episode took place somewhere in the 1950's. He lived almost a full life on Katan so it is feasible to say 40 years passed. That would put the society somewhere in the 1990s. With 1990s technology, it was seem like a far stretch to create such a device. However with the entirety of the planet working on such a desperate cause, one can conclude that it is somewhat possible to create something like this.

    Overall I loved this episode, and found it extremely interesting. A solid 9
  • From Axel on 2015-03-24 at 11:53pm:
    I'm in the minority that didn't enjoy this episode, and it's not because of the technological issues discussed above. It's because I really can't believe Picard or anyone else doesn't give a second thought to the ethics of what the Kataan have done.

    This probe is designed to take control of a person's conscious, force that person to relive a lifetime with the Kataan, and then awaken that person after making clear that this experience was just a recreation designed to keep the memory of their civilization alive. So twice you are confronted with years and years of your life being an illusion. The first time would be enough to make anyone question their own sanity. As for the second round of news at the end, Picard takes it pretty well. But the Kataan seem not to have considered (or cared) that others might not handle it that well. A person could leave this entire experience with serious mental and emotional problems rather than fond memories. Many might not have adjusted to living with the Kataan in the first place.

    Maybe the Kataan think that the collective memory of their civilization is worth all of this. But that issue is never really explored. Instead, Picard is released from his fake probe life as a happy man with a flute, never once wondering about the roller-coaster the Kataan just put him through.

    The acting in this episode is superb, not just Stewart but the guests as well. Still, the details of Picard's life with the Kataan isn't enough to redeem this one for me, nor was it interesting enough to put the episode's plot above average.
  • From Harrison on 2016-06-25 at 7:50pm:
    A dramatic masterpiece, by far the best episode of any of the Star trek series. Stewart's performance is simply magnificent.

    Of course it is easy as pie to poke holes in the sci-fi logic underpinning the plot. That's true with any episode in the series, and it is hardly significant in light of the outstanding screenplay, character formation and plain old dramatic compulsion. A little suspension of disbelief won't harm you, and in the laws of the Star trek universe, there's nothing terribly difficult to accept.
  • From dominic on 2016-06-26 at 1:11am:
    The thought did cross my mind that such a primitive society shouldnt' have been able to build such an advanced piece of technology in the probe, but I was able suspend my disbelief and get over that.

    What really bothers me about this episode is what Axel mentioned above. Surely the victim of this probe is put through an unfathomable amount of emotional trauma...not once, but twice. When Captain Picard "came back" and they asked him to go sickbay, I was totally expecting him to say something like "I don't need to go to sickbay. I need to see Counselor Troi." Not only did he not say that, but he didn't even see her. Was she even in this episode? Seems like a huge oversight to not have her play a more important role.
  • From Chris on 2018-02-10 at 10:02pm:
    I, like most folks, love this episode. An easy 10.

    If we here on earth were faced with a similar fate, I'm certain that once the religious idiots got out of the way, we could build something exactly like they did! ... and with current technology to start with!

    There are lots of study into mind reading technology going on right now and so nothing in this show is too much of a stretch for me.

    People always define other, alien technical abilities using humans as their benchmark and that is simply nonsensical to attempt. There is no context with which to base another alien's technical level and so leave it alone.

    I would have preferred if the aliens had done the probe to two people instead of just one. Like Axel, I think a person could seriously come out of an experience like this questioning one's sanity, and so having someone else come along for the ride would've been better I think.

    I have no problems with the food issues either. It's called C-Rations! ;-)

    Easily my favorite episode!
  • From CAlexander on 2019-03-31 at 11:38pm:
    Just watched this episode again, and it is even better when re-watched. This episode is too beautiful to care about the logic problems.

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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 - 8.28

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 15 1 2 3 1 2 13 10 18 32 113

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 2:58am:
    - 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 2:11pm:
    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 1:13pm:
    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 7:26pm:
    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 6:28pm:
    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 10:46am:
    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 8:14am:
    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 5:47pm:
    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.
  • From Axel on 2015-03-21 at 11:59pm:
    This two-parter was held back a bit by the scenes involving Jellico's interaction with the crew, but is redeemed by Picard's mission and subsequent captivity.

    The Enterprise crew comes off as very whiny in this episode. Sure, Jellico may be an abrasive captain, but what is he really asking? That the ship be prepared for an emergency combat situation and shut down its research missions to be fully ready for that? Surely the Enterprise has contingency plans for this kind of thing, so it can't be that unusual for the crew to step up its game a bit. I think the conflict between Jellico and the rest of the crew was forced. Jellico's negotiations with the Cardassians did make for some great scenes, along with the plan to place mines on the Cardassian ships.

    The Seltris III mission and Picard's captivity, though, are amazingly done. David Warner is one of the best guest cast members in all of TNG as Gul Madred. Patrick Stewart's research and preparation for this role pay off, and the two actors' performances are what make this two-parter pure gold. The final scene where Picard talks about seeing five lights was gripping and the perfect end to this story.
  • From Emitter Array on 2016-08-20 at 10:13am:
    I think this is one of TNG's finest episodes (although I do agree with DSOmo's comments about problems with the premise). David Warner is perfect in his role while Patrick Stewart gets to act out a bit more compared to the usual fare he gets on the show; just excellent all around and a joy to watch.
  • From Mike on 2017-05-06 at 5:59pm:
    If you want the Enterprise to explore space, make contact with new civilizations, or even go into a confrontation hoping to work out a peaceful result, you go with Picard. If you have to send the Enterprise into a confrontation expecting to do battle, you want a Jellico.

    What's interesting to me about the Jellico part of this plot is that all we can really say is that Jellico and the senior staff had a hard time working together. The episode does a good job of not portraying Jellico as a bad captain, just a different captain who excels in a situation most of the TNG crew aren't used to. Ultimately, he does have to rely on Riker and the rest to complete the mission, humbling him a bit. But Starfleet's confidence in Jellico as a Cardassian expert is clearly justified.

    The scenes between Picard and Madred are superbly written and acted. It was a very gripping part of the plot, and again, what we get in Gul Madred is not a one-dimensionally evil interrogator, but a complex and somewhat tragic figure. Picard recognizes as much. I absolutely loved the final scene, too, where Picard is speaking with Troi. He didn't come away from this experience completely unchanged, just as with his abduction by the Borg.
  • From jeffenator98 on 2019-06-04 at 1:19pm:
    David Warner played a Cardassian in this a Human in Star trek 5 and a Klingon in Star trek 6.
  • From Chris on 2019-07-29 at 6:03pm:
    What a great episode!

    Awesome acting and drama at all stages!

    To me a perfect STNG episode, one of my favorites along with Fistful, Relics, I forget...

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Star Trek Voy - 4x14 - Message in a Bottle

Originally Aired: 1998-1-21

Synopsis:
Voyager makes contact with the Alpha Quadrant. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 8.27

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 5 1 3 2 5 2 5 5 19 43 56

Problems
- When the doctor dematerializes, his mobile emitter seems to go with him, instead of dropping to the floor like it should.

Factoids
- This is the first episode to feature the use of of the Hirogen subspace network.
- This is the first Voyager episode to mention the Dominion. The EMH Mark 2 Tells the EMH Mark 1 that the Romulans haven't gotten involved in the Federation's fight with the Dominion.
- EMH Mark 2 insinuates that the doctor's program must not be functioning correctly after having been active for four years. A good reference to Voy: The Swarm.
- Two Defiant class Federation ships and an Akira class ship fought against the Romulans to get the Prometheus back.
- Voyager was declared officially lost 14 months before this episode according to the doctor.

Remarkable Scenes
- Torres feuding with Seven of Nine again.
- Chakotay: "Astrometrics?" Janeway: "I've been summoned. Any guesses what this is about?" Chakotay: "None."
- Seven of Nine detecting a Starfleet ship.
- The sight of the USS Prometheus.
- The Nebula class starship attacking the Prometheus.
- The EMH Mark 2 insulting the EMH Mark 1.
- EMH Mark 2: "I'm a doctor, not a commando!" Count 21 for "I'm a doctor, not a (blah)" style lines, which McCoy was famous for.
- Paris: "I'm a pilot, harry! Not a doctor!" Not exact, but I'll count it. Count 22 for "I'm a doctor, not a (blah)" style lines, which McCoy was famous for.
- Torres arguing with Seven of Nine.
- The doctor's interrogation.
- EMH Mark 1 to EMH Mark 2: "You know, you should really keep a personal log. Why bore others needlessly?"
- EMH Mark 1: "Stop breathing down my neck." EMH Mark 2: "My breathing is merely a simulation." EMH Mark 1: "So is my neck! Stop it anyway!"
- The Hirogen on the viewscreen is electrocuted. Janeway: "What happened?" Seven: "I generated a feedback surge along our sensor link." Torres: "You killed him?" Seven: "It was a mild shock. He will recover." Janeway: "And when he does?" Seven: "He wasn't responding to diplomacy."
- The replacement doctor reciting Gray's Anatomy.
- The battle.
- EMH Mark 2: "The secondary gyrodyne relays in the propulsion field intermatrix have depolarized." EMH Mark 1: "In English!" EMH Mark 2: "I'm just reading what it says here!"
- The Prometheus attacking the Romulans.

My Review
It seems Dr. Louis Zimmerman finally finished his new EMH program he was working on in DS9: Doctor Bashir, I Presume? :) While this episode is probably too silly, it's still one of Voyager's best. Voyager finally makes a connection with the alpha quadrant and we get an enticing story as a result. This episode is actually one to watch if you're just a DS9 fan too, because it shows us what the Romulans are doing; for we haven't actually seen them do anything since they stepped in to defend DS9 from the false Dominion attack in DS9: By Inferno's Light. It seems they wanted to steal the Prometheus. Unfortunately, neither the Romulans' motives nor the Prometheus were elaborated sufficiently. Like my objections to TNG: Birthright, this episode screams "I'm a Voyager episode! Not a DS9 episode." But we didn't get to see any of the crew alive nor any Starfleet people whatsoever talk to the doctor for any substantial period of time. This is forgivable though, seeing as how this is just the first of many episodes in which Voyager talks to the alpha quadrant. Additionally, this episode introduces a new alien species, the proprietors of the alien network of relay stations. We'll surely see them again; I would imagine that the Hirogen was less than happy about what Seven of Nine did to him. ;)

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Scott on 2008-11-10 at 3:56pm:
    In my eyes this episode was a massive let down. Starts of well, get to see the hirogen, puts the doctor on another ship, see some romulans and the new starfleet ship that travels at warp 9.9. Thats where the good ends, and it becomes a joke. For one, why are the romulans acting like kason, there interregation of the doctor was laughable, says everythin bout the Tal Shiar. Comparing the vulcan cousins in this episode to Senator Vreenak in DS9 makes them seem shallow and stupid. Why did they kill everybody and yet leave some bodies in sickbay, one of them who was resuscitated only to die seconds later. good one doc. Lastly i hope to god these are rebel romulans, if not then why on earth do they have the ship instead of been camped in by the dominion or helping the feds in the dominion war. looks like this ship was too important for both factions than the alpha quadrent itself. And why do the fed ships go in all guns blazing against 3 warbirds and the most technologically advanced ship in their own fleet, just doesnt seem starfleet to me. Still none of the attack makes sense anyway. Imagine sisko when he finds out about this ship and that TWO defiant style ships went off to rescue it from romulans. He must be wondering why this information of new ship technology was not forthcoming when he's basically head of the station forefronting the war. Shockin continuity here in this episode, and you almost forget why the doctor was on the ship in the first place when they're gettin attacked. But its ok, this is just brushed aside in the last 3 minutes. You would be forgiven for thinking that the doctor went to an alternate universe alpha quadrant. In 7 seasons id say this was the biggest let down of all voyager episodes. Id even go as far as sayin its a disgrace but im obviously in a minority there. I just cant get over the lack of clever romulans, it just fails the episode in my opinion
  • From Michael on 2011-10-23 at 5:44pm:
    I don't get how the computer can program an artificially sentient Leonardo da Vinci, Moriarty, etc. on it's own, but creating a doctor holodeck character requires years of programming by top holodeck engineers.
  • From Rick on 2013-01-04 at 4:16pm:
    Problem: New EMH guy says that he is transferring all life support power to something else because they obviously dont need it. Good point, except for the fact that there were 27 unconscious Romulans that he killed by doing so.
  • From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2015-06-11 at 9:53am:
    I wondered about that life support, too. Would they let the tranquilized Romulans die? Didn't they just recently treat wounded Romulans because, as doctors, they value the life and well-being of all species?

    Also, the 2 Federation officers who boarded the ship near the end weren't wearing environment suits... how did they survive/function on a vessel without life support? They didn't seem to be gasping or suffering in any way.

    I thought this episode had a lot of technical problems. But it was spirited, funny, hugely entertaining... as Doctor-centered episodes usually are! easily a 7 or 8.
  • From Phil on 2015-09-01 at 9:48am:
    Re: life support, I've always seen it as responsible for replenishing oxygen and keeping the ship warm enough for life. With only 27 unconscious humanoids onboard, it would take days to exhaust the oxygen in the ship's atmosphere, and the heat dissipation characteristics of these starships are never really explained in any detail.

    I laughed out loud at the replacement holographic doctor scenes because I've seen those same conversations happen between programmers and less savvy managers with unrealistic expectations. For once the technology in Star Trek isn't just "push a button and then it's all just magic", which I greatly appreciated.
  • From Xall on 2017-05-10 at 1:56pm:
    My main issue with this whole episode is the whole Alpha/Beta quadrant debacle.

    At first, Seven says the ship's in the Alpha Quadrant; cue to visual representation which clearly shows in the Beta Quadrant. Thereafter, she says it's at the outer edges of the Alpha Quadrant.

    Even so, when The Doctor beams over to the Prometheus, the computer (!) acknowledges their presence as in the Alpha Quadrant. The show's writers really were a letdown as fas as this was concerned.
  • From Mike on 2017-07-09 at 3:22pm:
    The Romulans definitely sent their goof troop to take over the Prometheus. They were a bit too bozo-like in this one, reminding me of the Ferengi in TNG. Maybe not quite that bad...but still.

    In response to Scott, I believe this one aired before DS9: In The Pale Moonlight, so the Romulans weren't yet in the Dominion War. If I remember, Andy Dick's character even mentions something about this,. But, since this episode begins with the Romulans taking over a ship and ends with multiple starships in a full-on battle, it does seem like a tricky thing to smooth over even when they become partners against the Dominion later on.

    I'm not a fan of Andy Dick and didn't think I'd like this one. But the Mark II worked well with the Doctor to create a good balance of humor and suspense. It was a nice episode for both the Doctor and Seven in their journeys to become more human, as the Doctor gets to see how far he's come in relation to a "normal" hologram, and Seven learns about how her abrasive communication pisses off her crew mates :)

    I was also curious about the wider Romulan motives here and also about the relay station. Who put it there? We (spoiler alert) learn later that the Hirogen merely use part of it, but it is clearly much older. Since it covers nearly half the galaxy, it opens up all kinds of possibilities about being the communications network for an ancient civilization that we never learn more about. Oh well. Still a good episode.

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Star Trek TNG - 7x11 - Parallels

Originally Aired: 1993-11-29

Synopsis:
Worf finds reality changing, but no one else notices. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 8.25

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 4 5 3 5 8 4 7 13 44 59 92

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is presumably the beginning of Worf's short lived relationship with Troi.

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf's surprise party.
- The crew singing "He's a jolly good fellow" to Worf in Klingon.
- Troi: "It wasn't easy to translate. There doesn't seem to be a Klingon word for jolly!"
- I love the first few scenes of small things changing.
- Worf proposing Troi become Worf's stepsister so that she could become Alexander's godmother. I love Worf's reaction when Troi tells him that would make her mother his stepmother. Worf, very seriously: "I had not considered that! It is a risk I am willing to take."
- Worf appearing on an alternate Enterprise.
- Troi married to Worf!
- Worf asking Data for details regarding "when, where, and how" Worf and Troi coupled.
- Worf becoming first officer and Riker becoming captain. I like the mention of Picard being killed by the Borg.
- Wesley appearance!
- The mention of the Bajorans overpowering the Cardassian Empire and becoming a hostile power in the galaxy.
- Thousands, maybe millions of Enterprises!
- Wesley: "Captain, we are receiving 285,000 hails!"
- One of the Rikers: "We won't go back. You don't know what it's like in our universe. The Federation's gone, the Borg are everywhere! We're one of the last ships left. Please, you've got to help us."
- Riker destroying his counterpart.
- Troi: "I know Klingons like to be alone on their birthdays. You probably want to meditate, you hit yourself with a pain stick or something."

My Review
This one's a classic. Worf was perfect for the role because he remained defiant of the changes in the timelines longer than anyone else would have. Another good detail in the episode is the incredible amount of continuities with other episodes. Too many to even list. All of them excellent and entertaining. This one is a gem among the 7th season and among all of TNG itself.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-06-20 at 9:56pm:
    It is always fun to watch this episode. The problem with Worf switching realities becomes worse and worse. You start to feel bad for him. The only drawback is that the solution was too easy. Get in your shuttle, emit this kind of field, and off you go. However, that part is long after all the cool things happen. I'll never forget the Enterprises filling space, or the Enterprise from Borg infested space, who's Captain Riker refuses to go back. This episode it a balls to the ground classic. I'm giving it a 9.
  • From Wolfgang on 2006-06-29 at 4:48pm:
    The disappointing ending turns a nearly-perfect one into a superb one. I guess that a 2-part episode may have presented the room for a more dramatic final, although it could have been difficult not to frustrate the viewers, and to maintain the tension.
  • From Jason on 2008-02-07 at 5:41am:
    Did you notice how in one of the timelines Data had blue eyes? Spooky!
  • From Paul on 2010-08-17 at 6:13pm:
    Really enjoyed this episode, the scene with hundreds of thousands of enterprises! I also enjoyed the subtle changes that were unlaboured, like data's eyes and the picture on his wall constantly changing
  • From Bronn on 2013-06-04 at 1:51am:
    Agree with others that the ending was disappointing and rushed. There were some serious changes in some of the timelines, and especially with the last one, which could have been explored more. Science Fiction fans always love to ask "What if?" This episode could have been a two parter.

    The first part could have ended with the revelation that Worf's shifting, and his inability to perform his duty had killed Geordi. That was a moment that was not very well explored in this episode. Deanna rather casually shows up in his quarters, lightheartedly mentioning that she'd heard he'd had some trouble on the bridge. It would have had real dramatic weight if she'd had this attitude of concern and nervousness in knowing that he'd screwed up badly enough that one of their dear friends and comrades had been seriously injured. The second of the two parts would have only had one timeshift, but it would have deal with Worf accepting some of the realities of his current universe in his attempt to get back. It's a different, and grimmer one, without Captain Picard or LaForge, and they'd end up losing Worf also (most likely, since we never see what happens in that timeframe after the shift back). The grim reality of a Deanna Troi forced to give up her husband and an Enterprise losing its first officer would have made for great drama. A second part of this episode would have been a greater contribution to Trek history than some of the later episodes in season 7, like Genesis and Sub Rosa.
  • From TheAnt on 2013-11-04 at 10:33am:
    A shuttle full of Worf's.

    There's a bit too many episodes with time loops and alternative timelines in Star Trek.

    But if we would have to remove one such, this is not one of those that would have to go. Since even though it is weird, and of course completely impossible, the idea presented here is indeed found in actual scientific discussions. That for every action with a choice - two timelines would be created.
    Even the conservation of energy in creating the new split off universes would not be violated, in case the universe is a hologram - which is part of a hypothesis that have been introduced after this episode of TNG were made.
    (Not that I even for a split second think the universe works that way, but consider it to be one interesting model only.)

    The telling of the story is also better than for a few other alternative episodes in Start Trek. So with good science and one enjoyable story I give this episode a solid 8.
  • From pzaz on 2017-08-19 at 1:25am:
    I don't get why Troi would have to "give up her husband"... once the Worf that we know goes back to his "proper" dimension, aren't all the dimensions put back to normal--and therefore, wouldn't alternative Troi's life with her husband Worf also be put back in place?

    hmm... this hole in the narrative logic meant I didn't feel sad for her

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Star Trek Dis - 2x08 - If Memory Serves

Originally Aired: 2019-3-7

Synopsis:
Spock and Burnham head to Talos IV, where the process of healing Spock forces the siblings to confront their troubled past. Stamets desperately tries to reconnect with an increasingly disconnected Hugh, while Tyler struggles to shed the crew's suspicions of him due to his past as Voq.

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 8.25

Rate episode?

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

Problems
- Vulcan was stated to have no moon in TOS: The Man Trap. This episode is one of several now to have contradicted that.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Culber lashing out at Stamets.
- The Talosians demanding to probe Burnham's memories of Spock.
- Burnham making fun of Spock's beard.
- Spock denying the murders.
- Culber confronting Tyler.
- Saru: "This must be allowed to play out." Tilly: "Are you sure about that?!" Later, Pike: "You allowed the fight to proceed..." Saru: "I believed the confrontation was a necessary and unavoidable catharsis for both men." Pike: "But hardly an example of by the book conflict resolution."
- Vina showing up in Pike's ready room.
- Spock: "I never believed I would ask this of anyone, but I need you to take me on faith."
- Spock smiling with Pike, like in TOS: The Cage.

My Review
The long awaited moment when Spock finally joins the story in earnest is a pretty satisfying payoff. With only a few relatively minor flaws, this episode delivers a tasteful tie-in to the beloved TOS episode The Cage and its sequel TOS: The Menagerie which adds lovely texture to those stories without creating any problems with the story canon in the process, finally delivers some details about precisely what the stakes are with the red angel, and sets up a story that is finally more about suspense than mystery; though the precise motivations of the red angel are still annoyingly a dangling mystery.

The most irritating thing about the episode is the opening montage of TOS: The Cage using stock footage. Discovery lost all rights to use stock footage the minute they decided to do a visual reboot. It frankly would've been far more appropriate (and impressive!) if they had simply reshot those scenes using Discovery's aesthetics and put those in the recap instead. Gone are the days of TNG: Relics, DS9: Trials and Tribble-ations, Voy: Flashback, Ent: In a Mirror, Darkly, and others when old footage or classic aesthetics were painstakingly integrated into modern Trek aesthetics in a loving and tasteful way. Instead, Discovery has fallen for the absolute worst kind of selective nostalgia: rebooting visual canon, except for when they're feeling sappy and nostalgic and want to literally reuse old shots in a stupid and jarring way. The climax of absurdity here is the cut at the end of the recap from Pike in the old footage to the new Pike which is clearly meant to be seen as an impressive transition, but it's totally disorienting and only serves to highlight just how problematic Discovery's attitude towards visual canon has always been.

What's strange is they actually got at least one notable visual continuity transition right: the transition to a new actor for Spock. Starting off with just his voice so we can get used to that change first was a nice touch. Then the detail of Spock having a beard implicitly grapples with the problem of switching actors (like all visual continuity breaks) being disorienting. If it is absolutely necessary to break visual continuity in this way, which is certainly the case here with the necessity of recasting actors, then changing the character's hairstyle or something and making that change notable in the dialog itself to lampshade things looking different is a good strategy to minimize this disorientation. The disorientation shifts from the actor changing to the hair changing and lets the audience suspend disbelief more easily on the visual changes by rationalizing it as, "Well time passed, so people look different." It's a cheap trick, but better than putting in no effort at all. And putting in no effort at all is what Discovery usually does with visual canon, so this bit of effort is appreciated.

Another wrinkle in the story is the fact that they're still so willing to jump at the chance to use the spore drive again despite compounding evidence that every time they use it they're possibly killing sentient beings or risking destroying whole universes or something. But hey, gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette. Getting to Talos IV is an emergency or something. We can still use the spore drive in the case of emergency right? Break glass and maybe kill a few sentient lifeforms to complete your mission a little faster like Captain Ransom in Voy: Equinox? No biggie.

Beyond that though, there is so much to love about this episode. The Talosians demanding Burnham finally spill the beans on what the details are of her family drama with Spock felt like they were speaking through the fourth wall as the audience to the characters. Like really, Burnham. Out with it. Now. Or we won't let the plot advance. Thank goodness! The acting for the new Spock was also truly excellent, as was the writing. His recklessness was perfectly in character. He encounters the red angel and doesn't understand it. So why not mind meld with it? That'll surely—crap now I have space madness. His exasperated sigh at Burnham making another Alice in Wonderland reference also felt like the audience speaking to Burnham through the characters. Very cathartic.

Speaking of catharsis, Saru letting that fight happen in the mess hall was fascinating. The way he rationalized it to Pike made more sense than it might be comfortable for us to admit. Likewise Pike taking a hard line against that sort of conduct in the future was exactly the right response. A very well-conceived progression of scenes. And of course the interplay between Culber and Stamets in this episode is heartbreaking and once again beautifully acted and written. That Discovery is taking its time with the two of them processing their trauma is quite worthwhile and appreciated. Overall this adds up to one of Discovery's finest episodes.

No fan commentary yet.

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Star Trek TNG - 7x15 - Lower Decks

Originally Aired: 1994-2-7

Synopsis:
Four junior officers are involved in a top-secret mission. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 8.21

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 8 5 2 4 4 5 6 12 40 53 91

Problems
- In the junior officer Poker game, Ben has a King, a Jack, a Ten and an Eight. Lavelle has two Sixes and two Sevens. It is impossible for Ben to win no matter what his other card is! Why does Lavelle fold even though his victory is a certainty?

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Lavelle complaining about Taurik as his room mate.
- Lavelle attempting to be social with Riker.
- Picard chewing out Sito.
- Geordi bluffing about "testing the hull" of the shuttle and Taurik seeing straight through it.
- The two Poker games running simultaneously.
- Worf teaching Sito to stand up for herself.
- Sito standing up for herself to Picard.
- Sito attending the senior staff meeting and voluneering for the mission.
- Sito's tragic death.

My Review
This one's a classic. One thing I liked was one of the inclusion of Nurse Ogawa in the lower decks posse, reusing an existing character along with the three new characters. Besides the excellent acting by all characters, the main plot is enticing. A Cardassian, who's a spy for the Federation, needs to get back to Cardassian space. The two plot threads about the Cardassian and the junior officers are wonderfully integrated with one another and the ending is quite tragic and touching. My only regret regarding this episode is that we never see these characters again, with the obvious exception of Ogawa, as I especially liked Levelle and Taurik and it's a shame they're wasted. Though it should be obvious by now that Star Trek throws away good guests of the week all the time.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From FH on 2009-02-04 at 4:45am:
    Sito is not a new character. She was in Wesley's team at the academy in "The First Duty".
  • From askthepizzaguy on 2010-08-10 at 1:56pm:
    I thought that the actor that played Taurik went on to play a vulcan on Voyager, Vorik.

    Vorik is basically a Taurik clone. Similar to Tom Paris and Locarno being a clone.
  • From MJ on 2011-04-25 at 6:04pm:
    This is one of the best episodes of the seventh season of TNG, and is probably one of my top 10 for the whole series.

    First, the concept itself is unorthodox. Not many television shows put their main casts in a side role and make the story revolve around a bunch of characters, some of which haven't been introduced before. It works, too, because the actors and actresses pull it off and we still see enough of the main cast-it's just that we see them through the eyes of junior officers. The writing is perfect because we instantly get a sense of the characters and their relationships with each other.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, including Picard's testing of this young ensign in order to prepare her for a dangerous mission, with the added benefit of having some nice continuity from TNG: The First Duty. Worf was well written in this episode too. His bonding with Sito was both believable and a nice fit to the overall story.

    This one gets a 10 from me.
  • From L on 2013-05-02 at 12:02am:
    Genuinely moving at the end, and great to see the view from other members of the crew. I like how we were kept in the dark as much as the characters were, which is how it must be for 98% of the crew every time a red alert or an emergency is happening.
    Incidental personnel aren't usually privilege to exposition, unless Picard does a weekly 'This week on the Enterprise' public announcement wrap-up.
    Sad to know we won't see any more of the perky Cardassian. Loved the way Whorf and the Captain helped to build her up.
  • From L on 2013-05-02 at 2:34am:
    Oh crap. I meant 'perky Bajoran'. Embarrassed apologies.
  • From Quando on 2014-01-27 at 4:55pm:
    I just watched this episode again, and I think it is my favorite of the whole TNG series. I love that we get to see a "crisis of the week" in a way that the crew would actually experience it -- learning bits and pieces here and there but never really knowing exactly what is going on, even when it is over. I also loved the somewhat parallel but different dynamics between each of the senior officers and their corresponding junior officer counterparts (Riker/Lavell, Beverly/Ogawa, Geordie/Taurik, Worf/Sito). Lavell being terrified of Riker, but trying to kiss up to him, and Riker eventually realizing that he was being too hard on Lavell, possibly because he saw some of his own young self in him. Worf personally vouching for Sito and trying to give her more confidence and an opportunity to succeed, only to see her killed and feel like it was partly his fault (note how he protectively stands next to her when she is sitting in the observation lounge meeting the Cardassian). Geordie getting over his pride and annoyance with a show-off newbie and Taurik learning a little about how to interact with humans without coming across as a jerk. Letting the senior officers interact with new characters in the crew who are somewhat more developed than the usual "redshirt" extras lets us see old, familiar characters in a new light. Also, the ending of the episode is sad but perfect. The crew has to presume that Sito is dead based on some pretty strong circumstantial evidence, but in the end nobody really knows for sure what happened - and we the viewer don't even get to see it from our usual third person omniscient point of view. We get to see no more that the crew does, and even the senior officers don't know (indeed, there are no shots outside of the ship in the whole episode). Very true to life. My only complaint is that with the exception of Ogawa (IMO the least interesting of the four), we don't get to see any of these interesting characters ever again. I would have even liked to see a whole episode about Ben, and how he ended up tending bar on a starship. But this was the last TNG season, so I guess time had kind of run out. Even so, this is a really great story about the people on the ship and how they act and react to each other, and for that reason I give it a "10" and my vote as the best episode of TNG.
  • From dronkit on 2014-03-14 at 2:58am:
    Another favorite episode for me, when I saw it the first time years ago I loved it, seeing new characters developed, a civilian and lower rank officers, and I loved the new reformed Zito and her destiny was so sad.

    Anyway I came to say: Troi playing poker?!? She should be banned!

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Star Trek TNG - 5x18 - Cause and Effect

Originally Aired: 1992-3-23

Synopsis:
The Enterprise is trapped in a time warp. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 8.16

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 14 1 4 4 2 5 7 10 31 93 79

Problems
None

Factoids
- Kelsey Grammer plays Captain Morgan Bateson in this episode. Grammer is well known as Dr. Frasier Crane on the TV shows Frasier and Cheers. He also plays the voice of Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons.

Remarkable Scenes
- The opening scene. Wow! :)
- Data's fast shuffling.
- Riker and Worf's suspicions that Data is stacking the deck.
- Worf getting emotional at the Poker game.
- Watching the collision and the Enterprise explode never got old.
- Beverly, Worf, and Riker predicting the hand Data will deal.
- Beverly knocking over her wine glass over and over again serving as a bad omen.
- Data replaying recordings of the disaster.
- Data stacking the deck with threes.
- Data realizing Riker's suggestion is correct.

My Review
Dr. Frasier Crane is to blame when weird stuff starts happening to the Enterprise... This episode is a TNG classic and truly memorable. Some people object to its repetitive nature, but I think it was well done. Nicely repetitive but not overly so. The only improvement I can think of is to perhaps cut one of the repetition scenes so that some time could be spent exploring Captain Morgan Bateson and his crew's culture shock as they come back to their lives in the Federation. Saving that, an exceptional episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-04-22 at 11:38pm:
    problem: How the HELL can casualty reports be coming in from all over the ship a mere 2 seconds after impact?? A little ridiculous.

    Some of the stuff in this episode is just chilling. Like hearing Picard order all hands to abandon ship, while he's sitting there at the table

    I love how they refuse to reveal the actual year at the end. Picard just craftily tells him to beam aboard, but doesn't say "well its actually ____ A.D." I thought I could finally know, but I guess we're just damned to deal with their stardates.

    Wonderfully directed, Jonathan, wonderfully directed
  • From DSOmo on 2007-09-30 at 3:15am:
    - At the end of the show, Worf checks with the nearest starbase and discovers that the Enterprise has been stuck in the loop for more than seventeen days. If that is true, the crew hasn't been repeating the same fragment of time. If they were repeating the same fragment of time, the ship's chronometer would line up with the starbase's chronometer, since the entire universe would get reset at the beginning of each loop. Instead, the crew of the Enterprise must have been repeating the same actions, and somehow everything on the ship - including the crew's memories and the ship's chronometer - got reset at the beginning of each loop.
    - The episode never adequately explains where the other ship came from. The show implies that the USS Bozeman has been caught in a loop for eighty years. If so, how did the Bozeman get started with its loop? According to Geordi, the Enterprise began its loop when the ship exploded. The captain of the Bozeman made no mention of any explosion before seeing the Enterprise. He simply said the time-space distortion appeared and was followed by the Enterprise. The Bozeman could have jumped forward in time eighty years when it entered the time-space distortion. It could have exited the distortion and collided with the Enterprise. That would explain the lack of explosion for the Bozeman. If that is true, Picard should be treating the Bozeman the same way he treated the Enterprise-C in "Yesterday's Enterprise." Just after the Enterprise-C came through the temporal rift, Picard realized that disclosing information to the crew of the Enterprise-C could fundamentally alter history if the Enterprise-C ever returned to its own time. In this episode, Picard's behavior is quite the opposite. He immediately invites the captain aboard for a conference.
  • From djb on 2008-04-16 at 6:05am:
    I love this episode, and always have, and the one thing I think that's lacking was already brought up: what the deal is with the other ship and why it's 80 years off, where the enterprise is only 17 days off.

  • From online broker on 2009-10-04 at 5:17pm:
    I love this episode, its my favourite of TNG, and has been since I was 12 and saw it on TV. I always thought it is called "Deja Vu"!
  • From musterpuffer on 2010-03-04 at 4:11pm:
    One of my favourite episodes ever, I love the repetitions which are slightly different from time to time. Jonathan Frakes is such a talented guy!

    I think Data should have found the way out of the loop though: At one critical point they discuss whether to change course or not. Picard speculates that altering course might have caused the problem in the first place. But, the single reason the discussion arises is because they have become aware of the loop by now - hearing the echos etc. The very first time around there was no loop and no echos or other pointers so therefore there would have been no reason to change course. From which they might have concluded that there was no course change in the original timeline. But then the episode would have been a lot shorter so it's not meant as a criticism! Great stuff.
  • From Jason on 2011-01-05 at 11:06pm:
    My question: how can the crew program the number 3 (recognizing Riker to be correct in his strategy for avoiding the collision) when they have no tangible memory of these (for them) still future events? The crew has no idea what is coming through the rift and yet they retain memory of who had the correct strategy of how to avoid it? Seems far-fetched and certainly not adequately explained

    Otherwise an excellent episode and a season (and series) highlight
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-07 at 1:27pm:
    When I think of my favorite TNG episodes, this always comes to mind first. Really skillfully done.

    In answer to Jason's question: Seconds before the Enterprise is destroyed the last time, Data realizes his strategy was wrong, looks at Riker's 3 rank buttons, and sends the message to the next iteration. This is clearly shown, but easy to miss since it happens so fast and with no verbal explanation.
  • From Zaphod on 2011-04-12 at 9:27am:
    I don't like this episode, not just because it indeed is very repetitive, but because of a couple of other reasons too:
    1. Timeloops dont make any sense and the technobabble explaining them is complete bullshit, period.
    2. Moreover there is no believable explanation for why they have memories of past runs through that loop. Dekyonparticles interfering with their brains or what? Where did I hear that before? ... Ah, that's it! I bet Geordi is wrong and the midi-clorians told them what happened last time! That's where the whispering came from too! Midi-clorians, Dekyon-Particles, both just pathetic excuses for magic mumbo jumbo, nothing more. Star Wars was about magic, at least before George Lucas screwed it, so at least they have an excuse.
    Doesnt make sense at all. If I want to watch magic mumbo jumbo then Star Wars does a better job.
    3. Why do they remember some unimportant things like the cards they got dealt but not important ones like using the tractor beam doesn't work? Very easy answer, plot convenience, that's why.
    4. The story they repeat over and over again ... *headdesk* ... it's just boring as hell!
    You might argue: "But the Enterprise explodes!"
    Sorry, still boring, taking into account the poor special effects of that explosion and the annoyingly stupid explosion sound they play every f***ing time when a ship blows up in Star Trek.
  • From Zaphod on 2011-04-12 at 9:57am:
    @ Jason:
    Since CAlexander didnt really understand your question, here's the explanation:

    They altered the dekyon grid last time they went throught the loop and that alteration manipulated Data (his Brain seems to be sensitive to these dekyon field emissions) into unknowingly placing that 3 everywhere he went this time.
  • From Zaphod on 2011-04-12 at 12:20pm:
    Sry, it's me who didnt understand Jasons question. ^^
    He asked for the message, I explained the delivery method. CAlexander is right of course.
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-04-19 at 7:39am:
    I only rated this a 6 as I found the episode beginning to get repetitive and a bit boring as a result. Certainly there were minor differences each time which managed to hold my interest a bit but I told my wife, one more repetition and I'm giving up on it. Now at the same time I did find the idea somewhat interesting although flawed a bit but then while being fairly good technically ST still deals with some of these things as magic rather than technology. The crew interaction was good and that also kept me from turning it off. Still, one more time through this loop would have been it for me.
  • From Rache on 2012-05-03 at 4:29pm:
    My favorite TNG episode too!
  • From Keith on 2013-08-21 at 4:46pm:
    Love the episode, but absolutely hate the poker. Once a pair of queens is showing everyone should have folded, looking at the cards there is no conceivable way that Worf or Data should have stayed in for as long as they did, that is lousy poker, and while Riker may have wanted to bluff Crusher should have bet whatever the limit is before the last card giving him a possible straight. Finally, poker in general in STNG is silly. Poker only works if there are stakes or consequnces to betting, i.e. losing money, if played for points nobody folds and it is just a silly game of luck.
  • From Daniel on 2014-05-03 at 6:10pm:
    This episode brought about two questions for me; one purely hypothetical. First - Riker orders all crew to be ready at the escape pods, then Picard orders all hands abandon ship. Now, admittedly, there is no time for anyone to actually escape the ship. But, suppose a few crew members did manage to escape in time. What would happen to them in the repeating time loop? Would they be out of the loop and adrift in their escape pods? (Just a hypothetical.) The other question for me regards the habit that Riker has of putting his foot up on the console and assuming a pose like that. Like when he is standing next to Data at the helm and props his leg up on Data's console. Is it okay for a Starfleet officer to use ship equipment as a footrest?
  • From tigertooth on 2017-07-04 at 10:31am:
    I loved this back when it first aired and have considered it my favorite episode since. Watching it now, it didn't hold up for me. Without the mystery, it loses the effect.

    I found it funny how useless they made Nurse Ogawa seem. She has to call Dr. Crusher away from her off-duty hours just because Geordie comes in feeling dizzy?

    Also, I know why it had to be this way, but the reactions of Picard and crew when the impact is 30 seconds away seem awfully slow. If they'd fired up the tractor beam a few seconds sooner, they might have deflected the Bozeman successfully.

    And Riker's solution seems pretty goofy, really. You couldn't control how the decompression would move the ship. I'm not even convinced that it would move the ship very much. That said, why not do both? Use the tractor beam *and* blow the shuttle bays!

    Finally, I get why the writers went with "three" as the message to be sent -- to add to the mystery. But I'd think Data might have sent "Riker" or "shuttle" or something instead.
  • From Chris on 2018-04-03 at 12:50pm:
    Did I miss something? The Bozeman apparently is stuck in the 24th Century from here on out?

    Since that seems to be the case, They would've done well to keep Grammer on as a semi-regular who was re-learning updated Ster Fleet protocols and tech! Or perhaps as a history teacher? He's a great actor and his cameo in this episode was wasted I think...

    I liked this episode when I first saw it, but thank god for Netflix to allow me to kick through the repetitions! ;-)

    Also, 10 'right arrows' on your keyboard allow you to skip the main intro after the set-up intro!

    Personally, I think the message I might have sent to myself if I were Data, would have been simply "Wrong". Three or 3 would have simply been way too arcane a reference to have figured out so abruptly or quickly. In fact, by this point, I'm thinking that once the drama began to unfold, and them all having a good idea that bad things were afoot, whatever command Picard designated as make-it-so, would've been the incorrect one.

    My guess is that they figured they could only send a single character and not a word... I don't recall them specifying.

    Why was 'Sideshow Bateson' unaware of what was happening to his ship and crew who surely must've been getting the same deja vu feelings!
    Made me think of the Darmok episode or others, where the Enterprise crew is filled with geniuses compared to the boobs in the rest of Star Fleet who no matter how much time they have, are unable to figure things out for themselves! It's a little irritating.

    Still, a great episode!

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Star Trek TNG - 7x26 - All Good Things... Part II

Originally Aired: 1994-5-23

Synopsis:
Picard tries to prevent the destruction of humanity. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 8.12

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 30 5 0 5 2 6 1 11 20 14 179

Problems
- People like to bitch about "warp 13" in this episode, but those orders were given during one of Q's future fantasies, so who cares?
- Data sat in the helmsman's position during the present in this episode.

Factoids
- This episode (both parts) won the 1995 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

Remarkable Scenes
- A clean-shaven Riker!
- Picard investigating the anomaly in all 3 time periods.
- The three nacelled Enterprise!
- Geordi's regenerated eyes and Ogawa losing her baby.
- Q showing Picard the primordial soup.
- Picard senilely describing a temporal paradox and Data catching what he's actually talking about.
- Picard manipulating the Enterprise in all 3 time periods.
- Picard: "Mr. Data, you are a clever man in any time period."
- The sight of all 3 Enterprises together.
- Q: "I'm going to miss you Jean-Luc, you had such potential. But then again all good things must come to an end..."
- Picard thanking Q.
- The crew discussing the changes in the timeline.
- Picard joining the Poker game.
- The last line on of TNG TV series: Picard: "So, five card stud, nothing wild, and the sky's the limit!"

My Review
This episode finishes off with a bang, much more exciting than the first part. The issue of Troi and Worf's relationship is neatly tied up here. It would have been nice if in the TNG movies it was at least somewhat addressed, but it's certainly better than no explanation at all. The series ends making just as grand a point as it began with. Humanity is evolving and its collective mind is expanding. I like the sense of camaraderie at the end of the episode, both between Q and Picard regarding their relationship; Q really is a good guy, guiding humanity, and protecting humanity as they grow. Also the camaraderie between Picard and his crew as he finally plays Poker with them for the first time. This episode is a wonderful conclusion to Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-07-08 at 9:16pm:
    I give All Good Things a 10 overall. I did not rate Part 1 and Part 2, since I watch it on DVD and have no idea where the halfway point is.

    The episode itself is actually better than all the TNG movies. Everything about it is genius. Having the episode take place in three time periods is genius. Having the episode be a sequel to the very first episode is genius. I always look forward to watching it again.
  • From Tony on 2008-09-09 at 12:23am:
    The whole idea of working among diferent time periods and Picard in that "one moment" open to new posibilities and things to explore is great, but there is one problem: the movies and series set after this episode in time seem to show that humanity didn't expand in ways predicted in this episode and just settled back into their old ways. Admittedly, our current minds are not highly evolved enough to comprehend such endevers, but it does seem odd that both humanity doesn't advance (except maybe in VOY: Relativity dealing with an even farther future) and that the Q doesn't seem to care. This is not a strike against this episode, but a strike against future episodes relating to this episode.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-11-05 at 3:09pm:
    I just finished the entire TNG series, so this is a review of the series as a whole as well as a comment on this episode.

    "All Good Things" is phenomenal. It's intelligently written, fleshes out the characters well, and filled with fanboy fun stuff that doesn't get in the way of a good episode. I gave it a 10.

    TNG overall was also solid. Like the original series, it had its lame moments, but it was able to take the original concept and turn it into a sleek, intelligent show that took itself seriously but was still still fun. The best moments of TNG ("Measure of a Man," "The Inner Light," the Klingon saga episodes, the Borg invasion, Wesley's continuing journey to higher astral planes, et al) get at the heart of what Trek was really about. Now I'm looking forward to seeing DS9. I've seen a good bit of it, but a lot of it will be new to me.
  • From djb on 2009-04-03 at 4:20am:
    I loved the 3D space battle scene. Unfortunately throughout most of Trek, the potential allowed by the three dimensions of space is wasted and most everything is in two dimensions, as if they were in a ship on the ocean. The brief battle scene here with the Enterprise arriving from a totally different angle and orientation was brilliant, and I wish we could have seen more battle scenes like that.
  • From Ali on 2009-04-12 at 12:21pm:
    I love this episode too, but I think the science is a little bit iffy.

    Since Picard establishes that changes in timelines don't affect each other (i.e. Deanna doesn't recall him ordering a red alert on his first mission), then the fact that the first amino acid doesn't bond in the past shouldn't affect their known future or present...

    Multiple Universe Theories generally say that if an event is changed in the past, it will not alter the present; rather, create a new alternate Universe with that decision. And since there are infinite universes that exist where life did not end up occurring on earth, it wouldn't be that amazing. Life would have continued as normal to their perspective...
  • From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2011-10-01 at 9:49am:
    If it's a 10, why isn't a candidate for your "Best TNG Episode" award?
  • From Kethinov on 2011-10-07 at 2:49am:
    Both parts of the episode would have had to be rated 10 for it to be considered.
  • From Vlad on 2012-02-13 at 10:49am:
    This is one of my favourite episodes in all of Star Trek, but one little problem kills the magic for me...

    An early draft of the script, which was discarded for budget reasons, had the future crew stealing the Enterprise from a museum. Which meant that they started the search for the anomaly in the Enterprise and not the Pasteur.

    In the final version of the script they were on the Pasteur.

    Later, present-day Data says that the resonance pulses (or whatever they were called) inside the anomaly were identical "as if all three originated from the Enterprise".

    But they didn't!

    Anyway, aside from this little nitpick I have with the episode it's a fantastic send-off for TNG.
  • From michael on 2012-08-07 at 6:03pm:
    If the anti-time reaction in the future goes backwards in time - how were they able to see it in the future? From the point of origin it travels backwards. From the perspective of linear time it would be impossible for anyone perceiving the forwards movement of time to see a reaction that moves precisely in the opposite direction?
  • From Captain Keogh on 2013-03-17 at 6:38am:
    I loved this episode, just saw it on 26.12.2012 and thought it was brilliant, I gave it a 10.
  • From thaibites on 2013-04-16 at 7:41pm:
    This is a great send-off for TNG. It's obvious a lot of thought was put into this episode. For example, I love the shot of Baby-face Riker they lifted from the 1st season. It was ingenious how they had new audio from Frakes while the shot shows Picard looking at the monitor, and then cuts back to Riker actually saying something from the season 1 footage. It was seamless and shows a lot of attention to detail.
    But the bigger aspect here is that All Good Things is what Star Trek is all about - pushing frontiers and going where no one (man) has gone before. Plus there's a lot at stake here - the existence of humanity (and the existence of every species between Earth and the Neutral Zone). This is awesome science fiction and TNG at its best!
  • From L on 2013-05-09 at 8:32am:
    This definitely was a great finale, epic and exciting. But a little frustrating too.

    Why do the Q continuum continue to torture Picard? They create some nonsensical dilemma and accuse Picard of being the cause when it was solely due to them that the crisis existed in the first place, just so they can force him to make some grand act they approve of.
    I thought the dilemma and its solution was totally irrational and may as well have been a dream, but it is implied that to evolve humanity must stop exploring real world science and technology and devote more time to this sort of thing. It seems they want to hold them back more than anything.
    I was annoyed at Q seeming to revert back to his earlier character after all they'd been through together, but felt better when it turns out he was acting under orders and did try to help after all.

    It was awesome seeing how irritable Picard was as an old man, and seeing Troi in a mini-skirt. It was a shame Guinan didn't make an appearance for the last episode.
    The last scene was perfect and uplifting.
  • From Dstyle on 2013-09-23 at 11:03am:
    This episode first aired when I was in middle school, and I remember being very annoyed at the fact that the anomaly, which is supposed to be moving backwards in time, was somehow moving forward in time after it was created. It was the first time I ever noticed any logical inconsistencies in my favorite show (which is kind of funny now, looking back on all the various logical inconsistencies throughout TNG's run), and it still hinders my enjoyment of this episode. But I guess it would have taken too much screen time for the future crew to create the static warp bubble in the past by slingshotting around a sun or something.

    I've always wondered why star ships always seem to be on the same plane when they run into each other, so it was good to see the future Enterprise approach and attack perpendicular to the Klingon Birds of Prey. Shame future Star Trek's didn't continue with this.

    Everyone thinks future Picard is crazy, but they inexplicably (or perhaps touchingly) humor him because he is Jean-Luc Picard. He refuses a brain scan at Cambridge, insisting instead that they immediately get a ship to the neutral zone. The "present day" crew, on the other hand, believe Picard completely, in part because Beverley was able to show (via two brain scans) that he had accrued two days worth of memories in a matter of hours. Why didn't future Picard immediately insist on the same brain scans? Wouldn't it have been much, much easier to get everyone on board with him (and to avoid being sedated) by easily providing evidence that what he was saying was true?

    Future Geordi is married to a woman named Leah. Leah Brahms, perhaps?
  • From Jai Parker on 2014-07-09 at 10:11pm:
    After a generally disappointing Season 7 TNG ends with a massive bang! Easily the best finale of any Trek series and 20 years on this is still one of the best grand finale's of any TV series IMO.

    I just wish they'd left the story here, rather than trying to reinvent TNG as a series of half baked sci-fi action films with a horribly out-of-character Picard at the helm.

    As with the Star Wars prequels I pretend the TNG films didn't happen and it ended with "the sky's the limit!"
  • From englanddg on 2014-08-02 at 4:40am:
    The only thing I'll add is that the previous episodes were all setting up for this, outside of summing up loose characters (as fan service).

    Many of the derided episodes (when taken on their own) are in fact building the audience to this climax...

    Where Picard finally loses his mind.

    It was a quite brilliant story arch, across episodes, while still paying fan service to characters in interesting ways as they writers knew the show was dead after this season.

    Extremely well done.
  • From Mike Chambers on 2016-08-25 at 10:55am:
    This has already been mentioned by another commenter, but I want to reiterate. The one thing that always bothered me about this otherwise amazing finale is, if the anomaly only grows backwards through time then how the heck were they able to go back several hours into the future and see it??

    It's been a while since I've watched this, so maybe I'm forgetting something but I don't recall any explanation for it. Seems like a pretty massive oversight.

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Star Trek VIII: First Contact

Originally Aired: 1996-11-22

Synopsis:
Picard orders the Enterprise to follow the Borg back in time to stop them from destroying the Phoenix, Earth's first warp-speed vessel. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 8.12

Rate movie?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 21 6 6 7 6 10 11 18 31 56 181

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
- In TOS: Metamorphosis, we meet a much older Zefram Cochrane played by a much younger actor. Maybe the alien in that episode rejuvenated him?
- Daniels says there are 26 decks on the Enterprise E. But later PIcard says to Lily that there are 24.

Factoids
- This film is the winner of my "Best Star Trek Film Award" and is therefore a candidate for my "Best Episode Ever Award."
- This film introduces a new style of uniforms which will be adopted by DS9, but not by Voyager.
- This film further establishes that the Eugenics war and WWIII were separate events.
- The Enterprise arrived ten years after the third world war, on April 4th, 2063. This puts the third world war circa 2053. Most of the major cities have been destroyed and there are very few governments left. 600,000,000 dead.
- First Contact occurred on April 5th, 2063.
- This film features a new transporter effect.
- According to Picard, there are over 150 planets in the Federation spread across 8000 light years.
- The Enterprise-E has 24 decks and it's almost 700 meters long.
- It took Lily 4 months to scrounge up enough titanium just to build a four meter cockpit for the Phoenix.
- Ethan Phillips, otherwise known on Voyager as Neelix, plays the holographic maitre d' who greets the Borg when Picard takes Lily to the holodeck.
- Data's a faithful companion! When the Borg Queen asks Data when the last time he used his sexual programming was, Data's response was: "Eight years, seven months, sixteen days, four minutes, and 22 seconds." That date puts it right about during the events of TNG: The Naked Now when Data had sex with Yar.
- There are 50 million people living on the moon in the 24th century.
- This film was nominated for the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
- This film was nominated for an Oscar in Makeup.

Remarkable Scenes
- The Enterprise-E. Gorgeous.
- Geordi without a visor!
- Listening to the battle as it starts.
- Data: "I believe I speak for everyone here, sir, when I say to hell with our orders."
- The battle with the Borg cube.
- Worf: "Perhaps today is a good day to die!"
- Riker regarding the Defiant: "Tough little ship." Worf: "Little?"
- Data diving down several meters of the silo to talk to Lily.
- Data, after being shot repeatedly by Lily's machine gun: "Greetings!"
- Beverly regarding the EMH: "I swore I'd never use one of these."
- EMH: "I'm a doctor, not a doorstop." Count 20 for "I'm a doctor, not a (blah)" style lines, which McCoy was famous for.
- Drunk Troi: "Timeline? This is no time to argue about time. We don't have the time."
- Data: "Captain, I believe I am feeling anxiety. It is an intriguing sensation. A most distracting--" Picard: "Data, I'm sure it is a fascinating experience, but perhaps you should deactivate your emotion chip for now." Data: "Good idea, sir." Data twitches his head. Data: "Done." Picard: "Data, there are times I envy you."
- Picard regarding the Borg: "Don't let them touch you!"
- Data's conversation with the Borg queen.
- Cochrane: "And you people... you're all astronauts on some kind of star trek?"
- Picard: "Maximum setting. If you had fired this, you would have vaporized me." Lily: "It's my first ray gun."
- Data questioning who and what the Borg queen is and her subsequent assemblage.
- Borg Queen: "I am the beginning. The end. The one who is many. I am the Borg." Data: "Greetings. I am curious. Do you control the Borg Collective?" Borg Queen: "You imply a disparity where none exists. I am the Collective." Data: "Perhaps I should rephrase the question. I wish to understand the organizational relationships. Are you their leader?" Borg Queen: "I bring order to chaos." Data: "An interesting if cryptic response."
- Borg Queen: "We too are on a quest to better ourselves. Evolving toward a state of perfection." Data: "Forgive me, but the Borg do not evolve. They conquer." Borg Queen: "By assimilating other beings into our Collective, we are bringing them closer to perfection." Data: "Somehow I question your motives."
- Lily: "Borg... sounds Swedish." Upon seeing a Borg, after screaming a few times, Lily says: "Definitely not Swedish."
- The whole Dixon Hill holodeck scene.
- Barclay's appearance.
- Geordi to Cochrane: "You're standing almost on the exact spot where your statue's gonna be!"
- The zero gravity space suit scene, walking upside down on the Enterprise traveling to the deflector.
- Worf's hand to hand combat with the Borg in space.
- Picard releasing the deflector emitter.
- Worf saving Picard, having tied the leak in his suit with components from dead Borg. :)
- Worf: "Assimilate this!"
- Cochrane: "You think I want to go to the stars? I don't even like to fly! I take trains!"
- Riker: "Someone once said don't try to be a great man, just be a man and let history make its own judgments." Cochrane: "That's rhetorical nonsense. Who said that?" Riker: "You did. Ten years from now."
- Worf's response to being called a coward by Picard: "If you were any other man, I would kill you where you stand!"
- Lily accusing Picard of being another Captain Ahab from Moby Dick. Picard smashes the glass container holding the model ships and the Enterprise-D falls...
- Picard: "I will not sacrifice the Enterprise. I've made too many compromises already. Too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no farther! I will make them pay for what they've done!"
- Beverly: "So much for the Enterprise-E." Picard: "We barely knew her." Beverly: "Think they'll build another one?" Picard: "Plenty of letters left in the alphabet."
- The Phoenix lift off, to Steppenwolf's Magic Carpet Ride.
- Cochrane: "Engage!"
- Data to the Borg Queen: "Resistance is futile!"
- The First Contact scene.

My Review
My only real complaint about the film is the beginning, believe it or not. Yes, the Borg battle was spectacular. So what was wrong with it? It was too bloody short! They should have scrapped the entire tidbit about Starfleet not trusting Picard to fight the Borg and given all that extra time to the battle itself. Would have been perhaps less dramatic, but a showdown between the Borg and the Federation fleet certainly deserved more of a fight than that. Why, we didn't even get to see Wolf 359 until DS9's pilot, and we didn't get to see much of the battle even with that. Aside from that, the Enterprise-E was, as I've said above, gorgeous. She is everything a next-next generation Enterprise should be. Sleeker, more elegant, more powerful, etc. One interestingly funny in-joke regarding this movie is the method by which Worf was introduced as a crew member aboard the Enterprise. Obviously he was stationed aboard DS9, so he must have been given command of the Defiant to fight the Borg. When his ship was crippled, Picard beamed his crew to the Enterprise. Very convenient and very effective. The only annoying quality surrounding this is the fact that the only DS9 crew member aboard the Defiant was Worf. Everyone else was a redshirt. Personally, I wouldn't have minded seeing a few more DS9 guests in this film. But alas, like the episode TNG: Birthright, the film screams "I'm a TNG film, not a DS9 film!" Also remarkable is the music of Jerry and Joel Goldsmith in this film. Fantastic throughout, but my favorite scene (both musically and otherwise) is toward the beginning of the film when the Borg cube first pans over the camera. In the end, all things considered, this is easily the best Star Trek film ever done; many people would say the best Star Trek production period.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Neil on 2006-05-23 at 3:42pm:
    Hi, great site. I am loving the reviews and may submit some when time allows.

    I would like to make one point though, you say that Lt Hawk dies in First Contact but appears in future films. This is not true, Neil McDonough's character does not reappear after his death, in any of the remaining 2 star trek films.

    Thanks
  • From EKH on 2007-05-14 at 3:32pm:
    If this movie was a place, its name would be "Perfection, Arizona". "Perfection", because IMHO this is the best SF movie ever - though it ties with Aliens for that position - and "Arizona" because it is out-of-the-way, and far too frequently overlooked as a great film in its own right. It has got all the elements: The humour, the wonder, the plot, the atmosphere, the scares, the darkness and lightness, and all those wonderful little character moments. And the Defiant!
    And then it weaves everything together in just the right manner. While I agree the space battle might have been longer, I'm afraid that might break up the pace.
  • From JTL on 2008-01-19 at 11:26pm:
    This is truly the greatest movie that the Star Trek franchise has put out - but I have one problem with it, and indeed all incidents with the Borg. If the Borg adept so readily to energy weapons, then why not get the computer to replicate machine-guns to mow them down? It seems simple and it obviously works, looking at the Dixon Hill holodeck scene.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-11-17 at 3:30pm:
    I just watched this again recently, as I'm hitting all the films during my slow march through the franchises. I agree that it's easily the best film of the bunch (with the possible exception of Star Trek II, just because it's so iconic) but there are some trouble spots that keep it from being a 10 in my book.

    Cochrane's character is a little too broadly-drawn for my tastes, and his generic rock n roll jukebox is a little embarrassing. That said, I think it's cool that they revisited first contact with the Vulcans in a way that makes the Vulcans in Enterprise more believable. One huge problem for me is the way that Hawk is assimilated while still inside his suit. This makes the Borg out to be zombies, and doesn't seem to fit with their character.

    That said, I love the scene in which Picard and Worf let loose the deflector dish. It's cool to see the ship close up from outside. Lilly is also a great character, and Patrick Stewart has good chemistry with Alfre Woodard.
  • From Jonathon on 2009-12-09 at 12:41am:
    I loved this film when it first came out and for a long time it was my favorite trek movie. However for me it does not stand the test of time that well. It lacks the personal emotions of TWOK, the political relevance of TUC, and the humor (I feel) is only really funny to star trek fans. Yes the battle is great, but again it lacks weight and is really just a bunch of ships shooting at one big ship. Cool for me as a star trek fan (I wanted to see a big Borg battle since BOBW as much as anyone else) but now it just feels like eye candy. Compared it to the battles on TWOK and TUC, while they may not look as nice (due to when they were made), I still feel a real sense of danger with each shot fired.

    Not to say I dislike FC now, I like the interactions between the Queen and Data (lots of people don’t), I like the grief and personal turmoil of Picard (Whether this is true to his character can be debated), I like that Cochrane was an anti-hero.

    There is more good and bad to say but I will leave with this, more than 10 years after 1998 this movie means much less to me than when it came out. It can not be great sci-fi in my books because it fails that crucial test of time.
  • From Jason on 2009-12-22 at 7:03am:
    I'd like to echo Jonathon's thinking on this movie. When I saw it on opening night, I was ecstatic with it. But over time, this movie has lost its luster.

    In particular, the idea of a "Queen", a central point that you can disable and knock out the whole hive, entirely defeats the whole concept of the Borg. The whole reason that the Borg were scary was that (1) they were so adaptable, and (2) they are perfectly decentralized, precisely so that this kind of single-shot-killing-the-death-star kind of foolishness could never occur. This movie takes one of Star Trek's most innovative, truly frightening enemies and turns them into generic stupid centralized bad guys.

    In short, the movie is a fun romp, but doesn't have any bigger purpose, and takes the Star Trek universe a step backward on the whole.
  • From MJ on 2011-02-26 at 8:35am:
    The Borg were one of the most brilliant aliens ever created in science-fiction, and they worked out great for a couple episodes of TNG, specifically "Q Who?" and "Best of Both Worlds". After that, they weren't the same.

    For me, this movie was the last straw. A queen? Come on! The Borg’s decentralized structure and hive mind are exactly what make them so interesting. Also, you do not negotiate with the Borg, as they are amoral and only interested in assimilating life forms and their technologies. This completely upset that concept. As for the premise of the movie, it’s riddled with timeline disruptions and contradictions that I won’t get too much into here…suffice to say that the Enterprise crew’s spelling out of the entire future to Cochrane and Lilly makes it very hard for me to believe the timeline still unfolded exactly as it would have if the crew never visited Earth.

    Anyway, as with the other TNG films, there is enough here to somewhat redeem the movie despite its glaring failures. The Borg now look scarier and more sophisticated than ever…imagine what a budget like this would’ve enabled the TV show to do with Borg costumes and makeup! We can now see close-up shots of gadgets being installed into body parts, skin being graphed, eyes being drilled into, and all kinds of other frighteningly realistic operations to turn humanoids into cybernetic beings. This added a lot to the film, as it made the Borg seem more real!

    The opening battle scene is incredible. Once again, Trek’s efforts to incorporate humor so as to appeal to a wider audience are largely successful here. And I loved the “Big Goodbye” scene, which offered some nice continuity. This movie is worth watching twice (unlike Nemesis and Insurrection) because it has several exciting twists and turns, and three parallel plots that keep your attention.
  • From Johnnyribcage on 2012-05-15 at 3:01am:
    Hi all, this is my first comment on this site. I've been a Trekker since I can remember (I'm 31). Grew up on the Kirk Treks, and TNG to a lesser extent. I've never been a big fan of anything other than TOS, the original cast movies, and a couple of the TNG movies including this one. Had some time on my hands recently and I tracked down this site, which led to a little Trek revival in my life (looking back on episodes I've loved, misjudged, and/or missed) I've always enjoyed this movie in particular. I just wanted to say that I agree with the host that this one is really up there with the best of Trek. Also, I noticed that someone earlier posted a gripe about Cochran's generic jukebox. I wanted to set the record straight that there's nothing generic about Roy Orbison OR Ooby Dooby - it's a classic (albeit one of my all time least favorite classic rock songs).
  • From TLAS on 2013-01-03 at 3:37am:
    Great movie... But I just have to ask...
    Anyone find it funny how the enterprise is magically able to reverse-engineer time travel from the Borg at the end of the film? If so, shouldn't that mean the federation has the ability to (at least) jump 300 years into the past and future at will now? Kind of seems like something that would have changed everything in the future movies and was just a side wrap-up rather than a coherent concept.
    Oh we'll - still a good movie.
  • From Selador on 2013-06-24 at 9:17pm:
    This film is riddled with flaws which makes it completely incoherent. It frustrates me how the writers of the 'the best Star Trek film ever done' couldn't even be bothered to think things through properly. Here are some of the most obvious problems in ascending order.

    1. How many decks are there on the Enterprise-E? 26 according to Worf, 24 according to Picard.

    2. Weapons - when the Borg adapt to the phase-modulation, Picard says they'll need to find a way around it. So the Federation of the 24th century either haven't done that already or Picard reckons his crew can come up with something new during an extremely chaotic situation. Also Picard kills a few Borg in the holosuite using projectile weapons - so why not just use them? If the Borg are capable of 'adapting' to this then they would have done so already - matter is matter, you can't re-modulate that.

    3. Even though the Borg have assimilated "thousands of worlds" they all look human. Didn't they ever assimilate shorter/taller/bigger/smaller species?

    4. Picard says the Borg won't attack them until they consider them a threat - so they don't consider a big, armed crew of hostiles a threat?

    5. The Vulcans are aware of humanity but have decided not to make contact with them because they're "too primitive". Does one man inventing warp drive change this? How?

    6. In the end, before Data intentionally misses Zefram's ship with the missiles, he over-rides the computer decryption. Why? Doing so gives him no tactical advantage and only adds a huge unnecessary risk, since if he fails to incapacitate the Borg, they then have control of the ship.

    7. Apparently the Vulcans didn't detect the presence of the Enterprise. How could this be? Countless times we've seen Federation captains scanning for other ships in the sector - are we supposed to believe that Vulcans can't do this?

    8. Can Vulcans speak English? Surely not... But when they land on earth they can converse with humans. Via the Universal Translator? No, because as we've seen in DS9 it has to be implanted in the brains of those that have it for it to work. There is also an episode of DS9 where the crew comes across a new species - the Universal Translator can't translate their language because it's "not in the database". So what's going on here?

    9. Time. This is by far the biggest flaw in the film and completely undermines its whole premise. So the Borg can travel to the past in order to assimilate earth before it has made first contact. Why haven't they already done this? I mean, what's the point of launching an attack with one Cube (one!!! They have a massive empire!) when they could have simply traveled to the past in Borg space THEN traveled to earth? If they're willing to do that at all why not just do it?

    I don't understand how these problems weren't flagged up during production, and why Trek fans are willing to put up with such lazy writing. Are we really that easy to please?
  • From Kethinov on 2013-06-25 at 12:12pm:
    Selador, some of your critiques are valid, but most are easily rationalized.

    #1: Valid. I just checked. Though it was Daniels, not Worf who contradicted Picard.

    #2: Not valid. It's well established throughout Star Trek that projectile weapons are considered primitive and passé. For example, in DS9: Field of Fire, the plot goes out of its way to make a point of that. So it seems reasonable that the Federation would not have come up with Picard's idea on its own.

    #3: Not valid. It's well established throughout Star Trek that nearly all aliens are humanoid to some degree. Besides, if you look closely at their faces you can see alien detail. I'm pretty sure one of the Borg that fights them on the deflector disk used to be Klingon!

    #4: Not valid. Maybe it's bad tactics for the Borg to ignore an armed boarding party walking around near them, but that's how they are, and it's how they were depicted since day one. It's a character flaw, not a plot hole. They're supposed to be an insect colony metaphor, remember?

    #5: Not valid. It's well established throughout Star Trek that any species without warp drive is to be left alone to develop on its own. That's what that whole Prime Directive thing is about.

    #6: Not valid. Data did that to gain and then abuse the Borg queen's trust. Once the encryption was defeated, she thought she had Data in her pocket and then trusted him too much.

    #7: Not valid. The Vulcans were stated to be just passing through the system at the exact time Cochrane made his famous warp flight. The Enterprise arrived a considerable time before that. Once they discovered what historical event was about to happen, the Enterprise took measures to conceal themselves from the Vulcans.

    #8: Not valid. The Vulcans had plenty of time to learn English while studying humans from afar. This is confirmed in In Star Trek Enterprise, where it is well established that T'Pol and her Vulcan comrades learned English to work with humans, and T'Pol's ancestors learned English while studying Earth in secret.

    #9: Not valid. The Borg are overconfident. That's why they sent only a single cube both times they attacked Earth. As for the time travel, the movie doesn't make it clear why the Borg can't just try again. However, it seems obvious that if they could, they would. It stands to reason that whatever device the Borg used to travel back in time must require a scarce resource or something.

  • From Bernard on 2013-06-25 at 2:10pm:
    This movie polarises my own opinion so goodness knows it must with the Star Trek fanbase as a whole.

    On the one hand, you have one of the best sci-fi (dumb) action movies ever made (in my opinion).

    On the other hand, you have a plot that is very silly and characters doing silly things in order to make that plot work.

    I have to agree with one poster that said this movie does not stand the test of time in terms of my maturity. When I saw this film at the cinema I was 13 and it was one of the best films I'd ever seen, period!

    Looking back on it now, as I said above it is a great action movie that ticks a hell of a lot more boxes than most current action movies do, but it lacks common sense and that is a fatal flaw when I watch it as an adult.

    I don't actually agree with most of selador's gripes, there are more! It's the way the individuals act. Specifically, Picard, Data and the Queen (who should not have been in this movie or invented at all - she was the beginning of the Borg becoming a joke). The three of them act so stupidly, especially towards the end of the movie, that understanding they're goals and motives is nigh on impossible, thus you lose your grip on the audience.

    Why can Picard hear the Borg? Beverly is incompetant after Best of Both Worlds? (I know you'll come up with some explanation for this webmaster - but essentially it's a plot device). Why does Picard go to Engineering at the end, what is his plan? No plan? What is the Queen's goal with Data? Why is she thinking like an individual? What is Data doing? He has a chance to break the plasma tanks midway through the film and doesn't, he says at the end he only considered the Queen's offer for a fraction of a second. The fact that these three characters are acting like they have no clue what they are trying to achieve is simply a plot device to allow the events of the film to play out. How the hell does Picard manage to survive the plasma being blown at the end of the film, supposedly everyone in Engineering was going to be killed by that? Why is Picard suddenly so affected by his Best of Both Worlds experience again? In I, Borg he lets Hugh go instead of getting his revenge and that was only a year or so after, this is years later! Why do the Borg stop on deck 16? Why not continue assimilating the ship whilst building the emmitter? Oh hang on, I know why, to give the good guys chance to come up with a plan and execute it!

    Now, despite all this I still love this film. I accept the silliness for what it is. You cannot do time travel without some fudging around the edges. You cannot defeat the Borg without either dumbing them down and powering them down a bit or creating some kind of get out of jail free card.

    This is a fantastic action movie, the shots of the big battle at the start still look at good as anything J.J. put in his films and this is nearly 20 years old. The production value used to sex up the Borg was excellent, this was the Borg we always wanted to see on TNG appearance-wise. The back story of Cochrane and the Phoenix was well realised along with First Contact and it all ties in nicely and works well with the action on board the ship. The magnetic boot scene is the absolute highlight in terms of using a different envronment to create a tense action scene. The interaction between Picard and Lily and Picard and Worf is excellent creating great tension between the good guys. Worf's 'if you were any other man' dialogue still makes my neck hairs stand on end.

    So these days I think I have to rate this film a 8 or 9. When I first saw it I thought it was an outstanding 10...
  • From Kevin on 2013-12-18 at 2:13pm:
    Wow, I hate to be in the minority, but this is by far my least favorite Next Gen movie. It has action, it has a lot of action...and it has action. Beyond that it is a plot with many holes, and is FAR too simple. There is no grand message, no epic story, but merely fighting the borg, that have gone back in time.
    YAWN. Star trek does so much better at stories that aspire to more. Exploration, a statement. It is entertaining somewhat, but also has some boring parts. It feels mostly like an excuse to fight the borg. Is that all it takes to excite star trek fans?
  • From Edward on 2014-12-16 at 7:44am:
    Loved this movie so much I didn't notice this until recently:
    How come none of those highly educated Starfleet officers recognized Lily? She was supposed to fly in the Phoenix with Cochrane. She was Buzz Aldrin, for crying out loud!
  • From Armsauce on 2017-06-02 at 5:59pm:
    I'll never understand the praise for the TNG movies. Picard is completely out of character in all of them, First Contact included. Not to mention completely trivializing the borg.

    It's another movie filled with too many coincidences and lazy explanations.
  • From Thomas on 2018-08-18 at 11:15pm:
    Picard: "You may encounter members of the crew who have been assimilated. Don't hesitate to fire on them. Believe me, you'll be doing them a favor."

    Picard (on Lynch): "There was no way to save him."
    Lily: "You didn't even try. Where was your evolved sensibility then?"

    Picard: "When I was held captive on the Borg ship, my crew risked everything to save me. There is someone still on this ship, and I owe him the same."

    This stuff is the only thing about the film that bugged me. True, Picard probably barely knows Ensign Lynch from Adam's housecat, whereas Data did save his life in TNG: BOBW. But don't hesitate to fire on them? Seriously?? What if an assimilated crewman's friends wanted to do for him or her what the main cast did for Picard? It just comes across as badly inconsistent writing. I know they want to spotlight Picard's feelings about the Borg, but I can't imagine him ever telling his crew to unflinchingly kill former crew members that may still be worth saving. Yet, he goes after Data. Do as I say, not as I do? Unlikely for Picard.

    That aside, it was definitely the best TNG movie, and one of the best Star Trek movies. I know some people didn't like the Borg queen, but that was done for the big screen. Edward, not sure about your criticism. I'd say saving the future of humanity counts as a pretty epic story.

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Star Trek DS9 - 6x19 - In the Pale Moonlight

Originally Aired: 1998-4-15

Synopsis:
Sisko goes to great lengths to enlist Romulan support in the Dominion war. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 8.12

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 22 10 10 4 14 14 7 10 9 37 228

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is the winner of my "Best Episode of DS9 Award."
- This episode is the winner of my "Best Episode Ever Award."
- This is the 143rd episode of DS9 and the 512th episode of Star Trek, not counting the films. It's the 520th episode counting the films.
- Garak's 29th episode.
- Bio memetic gel is strictly controlled by the Federation and is not for sale at any price.
- The Dominion conquers Betazed in this episode.
- The Romulans declare war on the Dominion in this episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- The teaser, showing the frustration with Romulan inaction and Sisko's determination to put an end to it.
- Dax citing to Sisko the Romulan position from their perspective, pretending to be the Romulan procouncil responding in turn to Sisko's pretend propositions.
- Sisko: "The founders see it as their sacred duty to bring order to the galaxy. Their order. Do you think they'll sit idly by while you keep your chaotic empire right next to their perfect order?"
- Sisko: "Very good old man. You would have made a decent Romulan." Dax: "I prefer the spots to the pointed ears."
- Sisko's initial conversation with Garak, enlisting his help.
- Sisko: "My father used to say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
- Garak outlining his plan to manufacture evidence that the Dominion is planning an attack on Romulus.
- Tolar's decidedly negative reaction to his discovery that Garak is aboard the station and that he is to work with him.
- Sisko: "What happened?" Odo: "As I understand it, Mr. Tolar there came in about two hours ago, ordered a bottle of Whelan Bitters, fifteen minutes later he ordered a second bottle, and then a third, half way through his fourth bottle, he decided to dance with Empella; she was otherwise engaged running the Dabo wheel, declined his invitation, he decided to force the issue, a brief struggle ensued, and Quark in an uncharacteristic display of chivalry, attempted to intervene, so Tolar stabbed him."
- Quark, as part of the bribe he requests of Sisko: "I'm also having a problem with station security. Some cargo containers which I've been waiting for because of some missing import license or something--" Sisko: "I'll handle it."
- Garak: "Mind if I join you?" Sisko: "Be my guest." They enter a turbolift. Sisko: "Ops." Garak: "Hold. The less I'm seen parading through ops the better." Sisko: "I couldn't agree more." Garak: "You seem angry." Sisko: "Who's watching Tolar?" Garak: "I've locked him in his quarters. I've also left him with the distinct impression that if he attempts to force the door open, it may explode." Sisko: "I hope that's just an impression." Garak: "It's best not to dwell on such minutia."
- I love Sisko's initial reaction of rejection and then slow acceptable when Garak asks for bio memetic gel to purchase a genuine Cardassian optolithic data rod with.
- Bashir's objections to Sisko's request for bio memetic gel.
- The fake holo recording of Weyoun and Damar plotting against Romulus.
- Sisko freaking out at Tolar.
- Sisko's meeting with Vreenak.
- Vreenak commenting about how for a moment he almost forgot the Romulan drink wasn't the real thing. But only for a moment. Some great foreshadowing there.
- I like how Sisko's conversation with Vreenak went exactly the way Dax predicted it would.
- Vreenak watching the fake holo recording.
- Sisko: "I'm not an impatient man. I'm not one to agonize over decisions once they're made. I got that from my father. He always says worry and doubt are the greatest enemies of a great chef. The souffles will either rise or it won't. There's not a damn thing you can do about it."
- Vreenak: "It's a faaake!" One of the most legendary DS9 quotes.
- Worf delivering the news to Sisko that Vreenak's shuttle was destroyed. I love how Sisko instantly knew Garak did it.
- Sisko confronting Garak about the murder.
- Garak explaining to Sisko why the plan in fact worked perfectly; that the Romulans would in fact declare war on the Dominion.
- The final scene with Sisko trying to convince himself that he can live with what he did, then erasing the entire log entry.
- Rules of Acquisition; 98. Every man has his price.

My Review
In the Pale Moonlight exemplifies everything that made DS9 great. It's an episode in the middle of the Dominion war, which is the best arc ever written on Star Trek and it's a pivotal episode in that arc. Also, it manages to stand on its own very well; even without the backstory as a premise, it would remain most touching. For Avery Brooks puts up one of his best performances ever as Sisko in this episode behind some of the most spectacular directing ever featured on Star Trek. Moreover, the episode's narration is unique. Few, if any Star Trek episodes are told in this original manner, nor is there is a single bit of wasted dialog. Every line is carefully crafted. Every discussion is nicely pointed.

But most importantly, this episode examines the moral center of the human condition at its deepest levels. Captain Sisko is overwhelmingly distraught over the nonstop casualties the Federation is facing in the war with the Dominion. He knows that if the Federation doesn't procure an advantage, a big advantage soon, the Federation will either crumble before the Dominion, or exhaust most of its resources defeating the Dominion. To rectify this situation, Sisko decides he must determine a way to bring the Romulans into the war on the Federation's side. But convincing an empire of billions to go to war for you is no small task...

Well, that's where Mr. Garak comes in. How fitting for the best episode of DS9 to center itself around my favorite character? Sisko approaches Garak, asking him to steal proof from his former homeland that they're planning to attack Romulus so the Romulans will join the war. Garak responds by saying that such a mission would use up all the favors owed to him on Cardassia. And that would be a very messy, very bloody business. Garak asks Sisko if he's prepared to accept the consequences of his services. Sisko responds by saying he's already involved in a very messy, very bloody business. It seemed Sisko didn't realize at first the full extent of what Garak was proposing, perhaps consciously anyway, but subconsciously Sisko knew he was willing to do anything to lessen Federation casualties and if that meant cooperating with Garak in some shady business, then Sisko was willing to do it.

Even more interestingly though is Garak's plan in the first place. Garak knew exactly from the beginning that blowing up Vreenaks's shuttle and making it look like the Dominion did it would be the only way to get the Romulans to declare war on the Dominion. From the impressions I get from Garak, he'd have already done something similar to this deed by now if he had the chance. Yes, Garak skillfully manipulated all of the events of this episode to achieve the result both he and Sisko wanted, even if the means weren't quite what Sisko expected. I saw it in his eyes from his very first scene in this episode: Garak was actually using Sisko to get the Romulans into the war just as much as Sisko was consciously or unconsciously using him.

In the end, Sisko and Garak both knew the same thing: winning the war was going to require the assistance of the Romulans. And as Sisko said in DS9: Rocks and Shoals, "given the choice between us and them, there is no choice." There's no choice but to pay any price to get the Romulans on his side. In this episode of deception and great moral dilemmas we get to see the darkest side of Sisko's personality. We watch as he turns a blind eye to atrocities like murder because the "cause was righteous" and the ends most certainly justified the means.

But even when it was all over, that wasn't the end of our story. Sisko couldn't personally forgive himself for his actions and he felt that maybe recording it all in his log would make him feel better. In the final scene, Sisko tries to convince himself that he can live with what he did, but it's clear that he's having trouble doing just that. So instead of trying to live with it, he tries instead to forget it all by erasing his entire log entry. That act signifies the hypocritical nature of human morals and how easily we abandon them when the situation calls for it. That said, there is certainly enough evil done in this episode in the name of good. And so you have it, the best episode ever done on Star Trek.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Vlad on 2006-03-31 at 7:55am:
    I finally watched this last night. Is the best Star Trek episode ever? I don't know. But it made the list of my favourite episodes. And mine is a short list.

    We've always known that Sisko is human. That's not the issue here. What we come to realize, painfully so, is that he is just as flawed as any 20th century human being. Faced with the paradox "Doing something wrong to do something right", he makes a choice that will cost him his self-respect. And perhaps, it cost him our respect as well.

    Ira Behr said that Trekkies see the captains as gods. Well, this God just sinned!
  • From RichD on 2006-05-02 at 5:56pm:
    In the Pale Moonlight is an astonishing episode. It ranks in my top 5 among any of the 5 series. I remember how tense and riveted I was when I first saw this episode. A stroke of genius retelling this story through Sisko's log entry. The opening scene immediately captures your attention. We all knew one way or another, the Romulans were going to be key players in the war. What we didn't know, is that Sisko would trick them into it?! Would Picard ever do this? I doubt it. He didn't in The Wounded and he wouldn't here. I do believe Kirk would do it.
  • From JTL on 2008-08-17 at 4:37pm:
    This is without a doubt one of the best Star Trek episodes ever done. It is an excellent probe into the human system of moralities and epitomizes what this franchise is all about. Yes, "Favor the Bold" and "Sacrifice of Angels" are awesome, but if there is one postmortem episode I think Gene Roddenberry should be shown if it were at all possible it would be this one. Absolutely astounding. The best? I can't say whether it is or not. However it is very, very high on my list of great episodes.
  • From Abigail on 2008-12-17 at 2:47pm:
    Although I greatly enjoyed the plot, I thought the confession-in-personal-log style of telling the story was very cliche. I'm not so into the confessions. If I ignore that minor annoyance, though, it really was a terrific episode.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2009-05-05 at 10:00am:
    Sisko's treatment of Tolar (holding him up against the wall, threatening to send him back to the Klingons for execution) is not really consistent with his character. I think they should have cut that part out. Although, he seemed to regret it later by saying "Maybe I was under more pressure than I had realized."

    Other than that nitpic, this is an episode that never gets old.
  • From Jaap on 2010-10-31 at 4:06pm:
    The review says: "Sisko couldn't personally forgive himself for his actions and he felt that maybe recording it all in his log would make him feel better".

    I don't say I don't agree but another possibility occured to me. Sisko has grown to be a very "self-aware" person. He's very confident and has grown more confident in the years on DS9. Like he said: HE fell like he just walked through a door and locked it behind him. HE was going to get the Romulans to enter the war; HE was going to convince Vreenak; HE was going to turn the war around; HE was going to defeat the Dominion; HE was going to get the credits with SF Command (and the rest of the quadrant).

    But then... he didn't see through the plot, he was outsmarted by Garak; he didn't turn the war around but a Cardassian did.

    So i don't think it troubled him all that much that two "innocent" men got killed. Innocent people get killed by the hundreds of thousands at this stage and Sisko has - in some way - been responsible for quite a few deaths himself, just look a the Maquis.

    No, I think the thing that pains him most is the damage inflicted to his self esteem. And that's why he got what he wanted but can't be really happy about it.
  • From Tallifer on 2011-04-21 at 2:18am:
    The point of the Federation is the vision of a utopian future where men have learned to forgo money and concomitant greed, militarism and fascism; where men of all races live in harmony and peace. The moral of Kirk and Picard's inevitable victories of the warlords, maniacs and monsters of outer space was that the Good and the Just will triumph over the Wicked and the Mighty.

    If the Federation must resort to Section 31 and murder, forgery and manipulation, then it is just another sinful empire. Parallel to this is the increasing respect for the militaristic and barbaric Klingons and the selfish and honorless Ferengi through the successive generations of Star Trek.

    I did enjoy this episode, but these stories should not be told about the Federation: it would have been better to set this Deep Space Nine series in a different polity, perhaps someone neutral like the Tholians. Then the stories could be as free of utopianism as the writers want.

    0/10 despite the fun. Simply not Star Trek for me.
  • From Gul Darhe'el on 2012-04-04 at 11:01am:
    During its initial run I didn't get to see much of DS9 beyond early season 4. Also, at the time I was unsure on the direction the series was taking as I found the whole Klingon war story a bit contrived. With that being said, I was stunned at this instant classic years later catching it at random in re-runs. This episode is flawless. Every one (especially the guest stars) turned in spot on performances, the story is completely original, all of the dialogue was interesting and meaningful, I can't say enough. I love the dynamincs and conflict that arise when Sisko employs a small group of professional liars to deceive someone from an ever-skeptical and paranoid race. Simply perfect. I was even more pleasantly surprised upon purchasing the series DVD's that this episode was just one from possibly the best season of Star Trek ever done.
  • From DK on 2013-04-23 at 2:18pm:
    Tallifer got it exactly right.  I can understand making this your best episode ever but not best Star Trek.  The artistic vision of this series is most definitely different from the creators of the Star Trek universe.  I happen to like the direction this series took but it is not the "Star Trek" way.  Witness what Roddenberry did when he got a second bite at the apple and created The Next Generation and contrast it with the gritty nature of DS9.  DS9 is a fine vision of the future and a wonderful premise for a show but the differences Tallifer mentions between it and what the vision of the future the creator of Star Trek  had preclude this episode from being the best of what Star Trek has to offer (IMHO).  
    I completely understand the dilemma.  If put on the spot to name my favorite I suppose, like many others, I would choose The Wrath of Kahn.  Ricardo Mantalban was a formidable presence.  Much criticism could be leveled at TWOK too but in the end entertainment is the highest measuring stick but may be different from what Star Trek was all about.
  • From BigBoss on 2013-10-08 at 5:39pm:
    To claim that the episode doesn't mesh with Roddenberry's "Trek" is a bit of a misnomer, since Roddenberry's closest vision of Trek was Season 1 of TNG (which is almost universally derided as the worst season).

    The issue is that TNG/TOS are well, cartoonish in their morals. You can still tell a great store, but, their stories preclude the possibility of a no-win scenario. Or, to put it even more bluntly, that the only right solution is a morally corrupt one.

    This is what makes this episode, and conversly DS9, such a breath of fresh air in the series. Characters have baggage, they have decisions that they wear the repercussions of as scars, instead of everything getting neatly trimmed up at the end of each episode and perhaps not mentioned again. In TNG we never really see anyone make the tough decisions because plot contrivance always foregoes that possibility. The weight of decisions is where DS9 really shines.
  • From OmicronThetaDeltaPhi on 2014-06-29 at 9:43pm:
    Wow! This is one of those episodes where you leave the TV screen and tell yourself "Now THAT'S what a perfect 10 episode looks like".

    It's impressive. It's captivating. It's full of moral dilemmas. Bravo, Deep Space Nine!

    As for the claims of this episode being "Un-Roddenberry", I disagree. Sisko simply had no choice, but to do what he did. And he didn't do it to save his ship, or even to save the Federation. He did it to save the entire Alpha Quadrant - including those Romulans he lied to.

    And I think that the very fact that Sisko agonized over the whole affair of "presenting a lie as truth", demonstrates how far the morals of humanity have come in the 24th century. A 21st century person wouldn't even blink an eye over this, when the stakes are so high. Yet Sisko feels wretched by what he did. And Why? Because as a Starfleet officer, he values the truth. And this, in my opinion, makes this episode very Roddenberry.
  • From Phil on 2015-08-22 at 1:03am:
    I don't necessarily see this as being against the spirit of Star Trek if you frame Roddenberry's two series in a slightly different light from what's been presented in the comments so far.

    Rather than "Mankind will eventually evolve beyond militarism and pettiness" I believe the takeaway of TOS and TNG should be "if technological progress leads to eradicating scarcity, then mankind can put aside its pettiness, etc."

    This leaves room for the Dominion arc--in the first two series you never see the Federation face an existential threat that lasts more than an episode or two. Here you see what would really happen to a society that has its back against the wall, and I believe that both this portrayal and the TNG portrayal are in line with human nature--it's only the context that has changed. Technology and progress can remove the internal causes for base, primitive behavior, but they can't change human nature.
  • From Phi on 2015-09-13 at 11:56am:
    This episode also reminded me of this quotation from Frank Herbert's "God Emperor of Dune":

    "I know the evil of my ancestors because I am those people. The balance is delicate in the extreme. I know that few of you who read my words have ever thought about your ancestors this way. It has not occurred to you that your ancestors were survivors and that the survival itself sometimes involved savage decisions, a kind of wanton brutality which civilized humankind works very hard to suppress. What price will you pay for that suppression? Will you accept your own extinction?"
  • From tigertooth on 2017-01-06 at 12:10am:
    I gave this a 10 so this didn't hang me up too terribly much, but...

    One the Romulan learned the recording was a fake, wouldn't he have transmitted that info to Romulus immediately? Like even before meeting Sisko? If he does that, the whole plan flops.

    I think Garak's plan could have been identical if he had just gotten the Romulans to come to the station for any old reason. He can still hide the rod on their ship then blow them up and he gets the same result.

    Though, of course, I'd think Romulus would be wondering why the killed Romulans didn't send them a message saying they had come into possession of extremely vital information.

    But whatever. I'm not going to let that seriously get in the way of such a great episode.
  • From McCoy on 2017-03-02 at 12:49pm:
    While I love DS9, I can't agree it's the best episode ever made. DS9 has without doubt best characters in all Trek (not so boring, soulless mannekins as i.e. TNG or Voy). Even secondary characters, like Weyoun or Garak, are greatly written and performed (why they couldn't write interesting characters in other series is beyond my imagination). However, I'm not a fan of military space opera. I like different kind of s-f - speculations about "what if...", about mystery things in Universe, about human's place in Universe. But not war with aliens. You can make film about war without all that s-f stuff, it's irrelevant. And it's irrelevant here. Maybe it's good episode, mabybe Dominion story arc is good, but... It's not good s-f for me. It lacks that "something". 7/10 is max I can vote for Pale Moonlight, sorry.
  • From Axel on 2018-06-17 at 12:10am:
    Interesting takes on this episode. I can't really go along with the notion that this, and DS9 in general, go against Roddenberry's Trek vision, though.

    First, TOS and TNG episodes weren't always neatly packaged stories about good triumphing over evil. Kirk faced a comparable moral dilemma to Sisko's-allowing one to die so millions could be saved-in TOS: City on the Edge of Forever. Picard wrestled with numerous Prime Directive violations, showing that Federation values were sometimes at odds with another, perhaps more moral, course of action. And what about when Nechayev scolded him for not sending Hugh back to the Borg and wiping them all out? Moral dilemmas indeed.

    Second, as Phil pointed out, the Federation faces an existential threat in the Dominion. Under such circumstances, things are bound to get messy. Nothing like that was ever quite shown in TOS or TNG, although in TNG: BOBW, Picard is co-opted by the Borg.

    Third, I don't even agree that this goes against Roddenberry's "vision" of what the future or the Federation were supposed to be. It wasn't a future where all moral problems, ethical dilemmas, and human shortcomings disappeared completely. It was a future where the modern societal problems of poverty, hunger, racism, sexism, corruption, and lack of opportunity had disappeared. Faced with an external threat, though, that future society may make decisions that are still human and survival-driven. And even if the DS9 Federation didn't meet Roddenberry's standards, it's a reminder that the course of human history has a "bunny-hop" rhythm to it: sometimes taking two steps forward, one back.

    Anyway, this episode is an amazing story. Sisko and Garak, as it turns out, were using each other. But Garak has no moral qualms about the outcome; Sisko does. This didn't feature a lot of "science-fiction" but it did what Star Trek does best: it gives you multiple points of view and makes you think, all with a gripping plot from beginning to end. Definitely one of the best Trek episodes ever.
  • From Thavash on 2019-01-01 at 7:25am:
    The final scene between Garak and Sisko is a masterpiece

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Star Trek TNG - 2x16 - Q Who

Originally Aired: 1989-5-8

Synopsis:
Q hurls the Enterprise across the galaxy. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 8.1

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 4 2 18 4 4 3 6 7 20 52 94

Problems
- Not so much a problem but a nitpick. Geordi makes fun of his new officer for saying "please" to the computer when that is precisely what Data was doing in the last episode! I guess when Data does it, it's okay?

Factoids
- Ensign Sonia Gomez will appear on the show only one more time (the next episode). Seems her confrontation with the captain resulted in a dismal career!
- The Borg were originally supposed to be an insectoid species but such special effects could not be worked into the budget.
- The Borg ship was originally supposed to be a sphere, but the cube form was selected so the show wouldn't be accused of plagiarizing Star Wars' Death Star.
- This episode establishes that Federation shuttlecrafts of this time period do not have warp drive.
- This episode establishes that Guinan is at least 200 years old and is "not what she appears to be." She and Q also have had some sort of previous business.

Remarkable Scenes
- Guinan interacting with Q.
- The sight of the massive cubic shaped alien vessel.
- Guinan: "When they decide to come, they're gonna come in force."
- The Enterprise battling the Borg.
- Picard begging Q to end the encounter.

My Review
Meet: The Borg. Q demonstrates interesting character in this episode by introducing the Federation to the Borg "far sooner than expected." As Picard said, Q may very well have done the the Federation a favor. The eerie music played throughout the episode is entirely appropriate, complimented nicely by Guinan's fear and feelings of absolute hopelessness due to her people's history with the Borg. Indeed, this episode sheds a great deal of light on her character and her history. The idea that an entire society can be unified under a collective mind is fascinating at first, but then you have to wonder what happens to the individual. This episode doesn't quite dive into this, but it's not hard to imagine. The Borg are a well presented mystery in this episode and unlike TNG: Conspiracy, I look forward to this alien's return.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2008-02-18 at 2:21pm:
    This is perhaps the first truly important episode of the series in terms of long-term developments, and it's a fittingly good one.

    Some of Picard's best moments are when he's antagonized by Q. You can really see his frustration that he's being toyed with by a petulant child who happens to be endowed with omnipotent powers. It offends his sensibilities that he's subjected to this, and it shows in his demeanor with Q. Even his plea at the end, when he admits that the Federation is outmatched by the Borg, is spiked with contempt for Q.

    My only quibble with this episode is the interaction between Q and Guinan. I like that they know each other, but the way they raise their hands at each other like some kind of fantasy wizards seems out of character and rather silly. Still, this doesn't tarnish an otherwise excellent episode.
  • From JR on 2008-10-26 at 1:46pm:
    "This episode establishes that Federation shuttlecrafts of this time period do not have warp drive."

    Thad had been established in Time Squared.
  • From paidmailer on 2009-09-23 at 10:56am:
    Great episode, but isn't there one GIGANTIC plothole? If the planets destroyed look like the destroyed outposts in the neutral zone, then the borg were already there, so Q did not lead the borg to the federation, did he?
  • From Inga on 2012-01-03 at 2:01pm:
    "Q may very well have done the the Federation a favor" how is that a favor?

    Also, agree with paidmailer.
  • From Kethinov on 2012-01-03 at 3:15pm:
    Paidmailer, no, it's not a plot hole. Q was trying to warn them that the Borg were a yet-unnoticed threat that they should begin taking seriously.

    Inga, that's the favor that Q did for the Federation. He alerted them to the threat of the Borg that they had previously been oblivious to, but existed and was coming for them nevertheless.
  • From Ggen on 2012-02-26 at 9:06pm:
    This episode is superbly done and full of great moments, "both subtle and gross," to quote Q.

    It presents good continuity with events from last season, when both Romulan and Federation outposts were mysteriously "scooped up" by an unknown force. But most of all it brilliantly and seamlessly weaves together a number of great elements: the greenhorn Sonya subplot (itself useful in creating the social atmosphere on the ship, reminding us that there's a full complement of different characters, not just those we're most familiar with), Guinan's character development and history (with more background on the El-Aurians), the very first Borg encounter (and an exciting and dramatic one too), and a masterfully executed "Q returns" main plot.

    All of this is done well and nicely tied together. Sonya is convincingly overexcited and shaky under pressure, the Borg are perfectly cold, creepy, and confidently indifferent, Guinan is mysteriously wise, and Q is... well, Q ("next of kin to Chaos," according to Picard, and arguably at his best, with plenty of great lines of his own).

    This is exactly what a Q episode should be, and should've been all along. Less posturing and historical references, less "weird animal things" in costume dress, less inconsequential illusions and more serious threats, more real developments and dangers, including casualties.

    (I love how Q refers to the loss of several sections across a number of decks, along with 18
    crewmen, as "a nosebleed.")

    Finally, I love how Q is the archetypal "trickster" figure. Neither obviously good and beneficial, nor explicitly malevelent - and how his actions often have seemingly unintended positive consequence (in this case, giving the Federation a "kick in its complacency," to quote Picard).

    (From Wikipedia:

    "In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a god, goddess, spirit,
    man, woman, or anthropomorphic animal who plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and
    conventional behavior.

    The trickster deity breaks the rules of the gods or nature, sometimes maliciously (for example,
    Loki) but usually, albeit unintentionally, with ultimately positive effects. Often, the
    bending/breaking of rules takes the form of tricks (e.g. Eris) or thievery. Tricksters can be
    cunning or foolish or both; they are often funny even when considered sacred or performing
    important cultural tasks. An example of this is the sacred Iktomi, whose role is to play tricks and games and by doing so raises awareness and acts as an equalizer."

    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trickster)
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-10-20 at 8:51pm:
    "Con permiso, capitàn. The hall is rented, the orchestra engaged. It's now time to see if you can dance."

    Wow, what an episode! I can watch this over and over again, and not get tired of it. The only thing that I thought was stupid was when they went over to the Borg ship, and Data said something like "we were scanning for individual life forms" when Riker asked why their sensors didn't detect any life signs when there were that many Borg.

    That's one of the stupidest "technical" explanations of the entire series.

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Star Trek DS9 - 1x19 - Duet

Originally Aired: 1993-6-13

Synopsis:
Kira discovers that a Cardassian visiting the station could actually be a notorious war criminal. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 8.1

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 7 17 3 4 7 0 1 8 12 42 115

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Aside from being one of the best episodes of DS9 in general, this episode is also foreshadowing for the future nuanced, morally ambiguous texture of DS9's overarching story and the ending is a profound moment in the life of Kira's character; beginning her true in-earnest transition from partisan freedom fighter to her eventual significant role in healing the wounds between her people and Cardassia.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of DS9 Award."

Remarkable Scenes
- Kira: "If your lies are going to be this transparent, it's going to be a very short interrogation." Marritza: "Well in that case I'll try to make my lies more opaque."
- Marritza: "Gul Darhe'el himself called my computer filing system a masterpiece of meticulous exactitude."
- Dukat: "This Bajoran obsession with alleged Cardassian improprieties during the occupation is really quite distasteful." Sisko: "I suppose if you're Bajoran, so is the occupation."
- Kira wanting Marritza to be something worse so the punishment can mean more to her.
- "Gul Darhe'el" reminiscing fondly about his accomplishments. Gloating about the horrors he inflicted.
- Odo breaking into Quark's private stock to give Kira a free drink!
- Kira: "Nothing justifies genocide." Gul Darhe'el: "What you call genocide I call a day's work."
- Marritza's breakdown in the end.
- Marritza murdered.

My Review
This is the best episode so far, superbly acted all across. A truly deeply affected Cardassian, Marritza, feels a profound sadness for what his people did to the Bajorans during the occupation. He served in the Cardassian military, and therefore feels responsible. He never played a major role in the atrocities though, so he pretends to be Gul Darhe'el, the butcher of Gallitep, so that he can let the Bajorans exact satisfying revenge on him. That way he gets personal redemption and in his mind an honorable death and the Bajorans get the satisfaction of putting to death one of their greatest enemies. He's not Darhe'el though, and Kira is forced to toss aside her personal hate and her racism to stop this man from committing suicide for something that really isn't his fault. In the end, the profoundly tragic character is killed by a Bajoran man who represents the person Kira used to be only the day before. There are elements of this story that are contrived, most especially the lack of security at the end setting up Marritza for an easy ambush, but the episode is still a fantastic example of this show at its best.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-07-22 at 1:12am:
    "But why?"

    "He was cardassian. That's reason enough."

    A line that certainly is a microcosm of the current conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Eventually the killing goes on for so long that both sides don't even know why they do it, except that the other side is their adversary.
  • From JTL on 2008-08-03 at 7:35pm:
    A supremely touching episode; when Marritza breaks down at the end there I don't think I've ever felt such sympathy for a character in a television series. The only reason I wouldn't normally give this episode a 10 is because Marritza's death is (while perhaps necessary) very rushed and, as you said, too easy. However this was much too moving as to not get a 10.
  • From Thorsten Wieking on 2008-09-02 at 8:54am:
    What struck me while watching the first season a second time in this episode and episode "Dax" is the fact that obviously there is still the death penalty imposed on Worlds belonging to or becoming a member of the Federation. I for one thought that this punishment has been abolished at least in the future UFP.

    Cheers
    Thorsten
  • From Bernard on 2010-01-11 at 7:16pm:
    Beautifully constructed episode, brilliantly performed.

    Enough said!

    Seriously though, it seems like they saved the best stuff for the last two episodes. You have to wonder what was going on for most of the season when they can produce this standard of episode that rivals anything TNG could do for emotional impact and profound messages.
  • From MJ on 2011-02-09 at 4:39pm:
    This ranks as one of my favorite DS9 episodes of all time.

    It's brilliance has already been pointed out by the other reviews here. My only other thought is that I can't think of a single other TV series in science-fiction or elsewhere that produced such a stunningly and powerfully dramatic episode in its first season. I must admit, when I first watched DS9, I was not prepared for this episode based on what I'd seen. And Moritza's breakdown loses absolutely none of its power with repeated viewing, the sign of a truly great episode.

    Even TNG, which I still tend to like better, did not produce such a moving episode until its second season (Measure of a Man). Pure brilliance...
  • From John on 2011-12-06 at 10:49pm:
    While the rest of the characters are well utilized, particularly the brilliantly-written Marritza, the weak link (as usual) is Kira. No surprise there, as she is one of the most irritating and one-dimensional characters in the entire Star Trek canon. Her constantly over-dramatic indignation gets very tired very quickly, and detracts from an otherwise gripping episode.

  • From Jimmy on 2019-08-21 at 9:32pm:

    For me simply the best Star Trek episode ever written! Excellent acting all around. Captivating and riveting dialogue. Not one punch thrown, not one phaser fired, not one explosion. The current people working on Star Trek could learn a lot from this episode.
  • From Abigail on 2019-09-01 at 2:02pm:
    Great episode!

    Kira was super annoying in this episode.

    But still, it was great!

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Star Trek DS9 - 5x26 - Call to Arms

Originally Aired: 1997-6-16

Synopsis:
As another convoy of Jem'Hadar ships emerges from the wormhole toward Cardassia, Sisko and his officers face the grim realization that the Dominion is taking over the Alpha Quadrant. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 8.07

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 9 2 4 7 8 10 2 5 14 23 103

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
- So when did the Runabouts leave the station?

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of DS9 Award."

Remarkable Scenes
- Quark: "Any marriage where the female is allowed to speak and wear clothing is doomed to failure."
- Another Jem'Hadar convoy coming through the wormhole.
- Nog discovering that the Romulans signed a non aggression treaty with the Dominion.
- The whole briefing room scene where Sisko decides to mine the wormhole.
- O'Brien, Dax, and Rom discussing how to mine the wormhole. I love how Rom was able to think about his wedding and come up with a genius idea for the mines at the same time.
- Odo and Kira addressing their discomfort with each other.
- Kira: "So for now, all we need to concern ourselves with is deploying the minefield, maintaining station security, and preparing ourselves for a possible invasion." Odo: "Well I don't know about you, but I feel more comfortable already."
- Sisko's confrontation with Weyoun.
- Bashir: "You don't think Starfleet could be persuaded to send us a few more ships, say, fifty?"
- Garak: "I must say, constable, I admire your composure. You're an island of tranquility in a sea of chaos." Odo: "What I am is useless. My entire staff has been evacuated to Bajor."
- The Dominion fleet attacking the station.
- The minefield being deployed.
- Sisko evacuating DS9.
- Jadzia announcing she will marry Worf.
- Sisko's goodbye speech.
- Sisko: "I promise I will not rest until I stand with you again... here, in this place where I belong."
- Kira running Sisko's program to sabotage the station. Kira: "Dukat wanted the station back? He can have it."
- The revelation that Jake is still aboard the station.
- Dax: "We should rendezvous with the Federation task force in 48 hours." Bashir: "And then what?" Nog: "And then we make the Dominion sorry they ever set foot in the Alpha Quadrant." Sisko: "Cadet, you took the words right out of my mouth."
- The scene when Kira, Odo, and Quark welcome aboard Dukat, Damar, Weyoun, and the Jem'Hadar.
- Dukat correctly interpreting the reason why Sisko left the baseball in his office.
- The Rotarran and the Defiant joining the Federation-Klingon task force.
- Rules of Acquisition; 190. Hear all. Trust nothing.
- Morn Appearances; 1. In the crowd when Sisko gives his goodbye speech. 2. In Quark's bar after the Federation personnel evacuate.

My Review
Quite possibly one of the best DS9 episodes ever done. Yes, here is where the Dominion war finally, really begins. Numerous major events and major character developments happen here. For one, Rom marries Leeta. Proving that Rom has come a long way from being Quark's second in command, a B-list Ferengi. Now he's married to a beautiful woman. And his technical genius is put to its best use in this episode by O'Brien and Dax. Speaking of Dax, Jadzia and Worf get engaged in this episode. It's interesting to note that it probably wouldn't have happened so soon without the war. Kira and Odo finally deal with their feelings for each other, at least to a certain extent. And then there's Jake. Jake finally got a job! He's a news reporter for the Federation news service. In accordance with his new job, he decided to remain aboard DS9 to report on the ensuing events. His father, furious, finally has to admit that Jake has become a man and can make these decisions for himself. Sisko's speech as he leaves the station is wonderful. Just when Sisko was finally beginning to like his job as commander of DS9 and his appointment as Emissary of the Prophets, it is all ripped away from him. At the beginning of the show, all Sisko wanted to do was get out of there. Now it greatly pains him to leave. Between the political intrigue, the space battle, and the captivating villains, this episode takes advantage of everything the five seasons of buildup has to offer. Truly spectacular, and with a cool episode name to boot.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Wes on 2012-04-13 at 1:40pm:
    Agreed. This is the best episode of DS9 thus far. Probably my favorite up to this point, too.

    I noticed something after watching this time. Something about this episode seems really similar to Star Wars. It's like they took the best parts of Star Wars and capitalized on them in this episode. (Of course, I'm not saying that's actually what they did. It just has the things I liked about Star Wars.) I think most of that comes from the great space battle. Other feelings of Star Wars come from all the characters who have some role to play. DS9 makes awesome use of a huge (for Star Trek) cast. This is just an awesome episode. The music was good, too.
  • From Thavash on 2018-12-25 at 12:59pm:
    Why did Starfleet not send any assistance to the most strategic Station in the Alpha Quadrant , which was being attacked by the strongest enemy they had yet faced ? For me a major inconsistency.

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Star Trek DS9 - 2x22 - The Wire

Originally Aired: 1994-5-8

Synopsis:
Bashir fights to save his Cardassian friend Garak, who is slowly being killed by a brain implant to which he is addicted. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.94

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 4 2 1 1 6 1 5 12 14 45 27

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Despite the implication that everything Garak said was a lie, many parts of it were true as later episodes will confirm. This episode also marks the first appearance of Enabran Tain, who will be a significant character in the series later.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This is Andrew Robinson's (the actor who plays Garak) favorite episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- Garak and Bashir discussing "The Never Ending Sacrifice", a supposed classic Cardassian novel.
- Bashir regarding Jadzia's plant: "In my expert medical opinion, I'd say it's sick."
- Bashir: "I'm a doctor, not a botanist!" Count 9 for "I'm a doctor, not a (blah)" style lines, which McCoy was famous for.
- Garak's seizure.
- Odo: "I routinely monitor all of Quark's subspace communications." Bashir: "Is that legal?" Odo: "It's in the best interest of station security."
- Odo regarding the Obsidian Order: "It is said that Cardassian citizens cannot sit down to a meal without each dish being dually noted and recorded by the Order."
- Garak telling inflamed stories of his past.
- Bashir's meeting with Enabran Tain.
- Tain regarding Garak: "That man has a rare gift for obfuscation."
- Garak foreshadowing a Cardassian Klingon war.
- Bashir: "Out of all the stories you told me, which ones were true and which ones weren't?" Garak: "My dear doctor, they're all true." Bashir: "Even the lies?" Garak: "Especially the lies."
- Morn appearances; 1. I've read that Morn appears in this episode somewhere around Quark's, but I've not been able to see him.

My Review
Finally, a Garak's past episode! Up to this point, we know literally nothing about his past other than that he was most certainly exiled from Cardassia. At the end of this episode, all we know for certain is that his first name is Elim and that he has some connection to the head of the Obsidian Order, Enabran Tain because we don't know which of his stories are lies and which are the truth (if any). This episode features one of the best acting performances of Andrew Robinson's entire career. A splendid showing.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-10-20 at 11:00pm:
    I gave it a 4. There is just not much here. Garak is a fascinating character, but most of the airtime here is spent on scenes with him physically suffering and acting out of character. There are better "Garak's past" episodes than this.
  • From Mr. Lincoln on 2007-11-29 at 2:45am:
    This is a very enjoyable episode, and a good introduction to Garak's past (although what we actually learn is up for questions at this point).

    For the record, the Morn appearance is immediately after the scene with Bashir and Jadzia when they are discussing her plant. Immediately before the scene where Quark meets with Garak. I enjoy how Morn is looking sad after he realizes Quark's is closed.
  • From djb on 2009-04-06 at 1:36am:
    I liked this episode a lot. I'm coming to really like Garak's character.

    I think the episode title may be a reference to Larry Niven's "Ringworld" series, wherein the main character, Louis Wu, is an ex-"wirehead," i.e. he used to have some kind of "wire" implanted in his brain that directly stimulated his endorphin receptors. Just a thought.
  • From Bernard on 2011-05-06 at 4:40pm:
    This is a very difficult one to judge. I think Robinsons performance is fairly good but not all that others have made of it. The performance however does not necessarily make the episode and in this case it does not quite do it.

    There just isn't any payoff here. It just sets up Garak for more stories... and that's great! It just makes this episode fall into the 'above average' bracket.

    I'd give it a 6 or 7 but at least it's good enough to keep up this late-season surge of good episodes.

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Star Trek Voy - 3x26 - Scorpion, Part I

Originally Aired: 1997-5-21

Synopsis:
Janeway faces an enemy more dangerous than the Borg. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.94

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 12 4 2 2 1 0 4 4 5 26 64

Problems
- The Borg vessels are disabled 5.2 light years away and Janeway orders to go there at warp 2. This would take months!

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of Voyager Award".
- This episode is the first to feature Janeway running the Leonardo Da Vinci program.
- Tuvok claims the Breen use organic vessels.

Remarkable Scenes
- Seeing the Borg annihilated so easily in the teaser.
- 15 Borg vessels passing by Voyager. Chilling.
- Janeway: "In the words of Jean-Luc Picard: 'In their collective state, the Borg are utterly without mercy. Driven by one will alone. The will to conquer. They are beyond redemption. Beyond reason.' Then there's captain Amisov of the Endeavor: 'It is my opinion that the Borg are as close to pure evil as any race we've ever encountered.'"
- Paris upon seeing the destroyed Borg vessels: "Who could do this to the Borg?"
- The alien attacking Harry. I love his blood curdling scream.
- The alien bio ship firing on Voyager.
- Kes, regarding the alien that spoke to her: "It said the weak will perish."
- Chakotay regarding the Northwest Passage: "It's clear of Borg activity for a very good reason."
- Leonardo: "What do you see?" Janeway: "A wall. With candlelight reflecting on it. Why? What do you see?" Leonardo: "A flock of starlings. The leaves of an oak. A horse's tail. A thief with a noose around his neck... And a wall with the candlelight reflecting on it."
- Chakotay: "A scorpion was walking along the bank of a river wondering how to get to the other side. Suddenly he saw a fox. He asked the fox to take him on his back across the river. The fox said, no. If I do that you'll sting me and I'll drown. The scorpion assured him, if I did that, we'd both drown. So the fox thought about it and finally agreed. So the Scorpion climbed up on his back and the fox began to swim. But halfway across the river, the scorpion stung him. As the poison filled his veins, the fox turned to the scorpion and said, why did you do that? Now you'll drown too! I couldn't help it, said the scorpion. It's my nature."
- Voyager confronting a Borg vessel.
- Species 8472 destroying a Borg planet. The cliffhanger with a Borg vessel fleeing 8472 with Voyager in tow was fantastic.

My Review
One of Voyager's best offerings. Right from the beginning we're shown the ominous destruction of Borg ships by an unseen force. Afterward, we see more Borg ships in one episode than we've seen in all of Star Trek so far. The exciting plot and the great musical score grow more and more intense as the episode progresses until finally it ends with the best cliffhanger since TNG: The Best of Both Worlds.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Mike on 2017-05-28 at 2:07pm:
    I didn't really like the conversation between Janeway and Chakotay after she proposes the Borg alliance. Chakotay raises some good points and Janeway gives some good rationale for her decision. But she forces Chakotay into a bit of a false dilemma when she claims she is dealing with this alone. Chakotay never said he or the crew will abandon Voyager; they will indeed face the threat together. He owes her support once the decision's made, but he doesn't owe her complete agreement with everything. He's right when he says he's no good to her as just a nodding head.

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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 - 7.83

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 32 7 5 4 6 5 7 3 20 33 165

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 9:04am:
    Remarkable Scenes

    -Lieutenant Picard !
  • From JRPoole on 2008-09-18 at 11:58am:
    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 6:05pm:
    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.
  • From dominic on 2016-08-18 at 9:04pm:
    Problems: Q let Picard go back and put things back the way they were originally, so how did he end up surviving his present-day injury? A pretty glaring one IMO.
  • From Cal on 2017-02-27 at 7:39am:
    Q was involved, he can give and take life at any moment, so Picard's injury isn't an issue. Maybe Beverly saved him, maybe the whole injury thing was set up by Q in the first place, so it's hardly a problem. I adore the episode.

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Star Trek Voy - 3x23 - Distant Origin

Originally Aired: 1997-4-30

Synopsis:
An alien professor kidnaps Chakotay. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.82

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 12 1 2 1 6 1 15 14 14 33 64

Problems
- There are 148 life forms aboard Voyager according to Voth sensors. This would seem to be too many people, considering how many people have died since the last time we got a crew count in Voy: The 37's, which was 152 people. Way more than 4 people have either died or left the ship since then. Though it's possible there are crewmen aboard with pets, which would certainly constitute a life form to Voth sensors, though perhaps unlikely.

Factoids
- This episode is the winner of my "Best Episode of Voyager Award" and is therefore a candidate for my "Best Episode Ever Award".
- The Voth have transwarp.
- Gegen calls Voyager: "The Voyager." Another rare use of the word "the" to prefix Voyager, unlike the common use of it on front of "The Enterprise".

Remarkable Scenes
- The Voth analyzing the human remains.
- Gegen approaching the Ministry of Elders with his Distant Origin theory, the human remains, and his request for an expedition.
- Good continuity with regards to the station at the Nekrit Expanse from Voy: Fair Trade. It's kind of ironic that the Voth believe the fake green plasma is actually Voyager's warp plasma.
- Gegen: "Simple binary system. I've downloaded their database." Wow. That was fast.
- Veer regarding the Voyager social structure: "It's obviously hierarchical with clear differences in status and rank. The males appear to be subordinate to that female. Perhaps a matriarchy." Gegen: "My conclusion exactly."
- Chakotay's meeting with Gegen.
- Janeway plotting the evolutionary model of the Voth.
- The Voth city ship beaming Voyager into its hull... Wow.
- Gegen and Chakotay confronting the Ministry of Elders.
- Chakotay: "I know from the history of my own planet that change is difficult. New ideas are often greeted with skepticism, even fear. But sometimes those ideas are accepted and when they are progress is made. Eyes are opened." Minister: "When I open my eyes to this theory, what I see appalls me. I see my race fleeing your wretched planet. A group of pathetic refugees. Crawling and scratching their way across the galaxy. Stumbling into this domain. I see a race with no birthright. No legacy. That is unacceptable." Chakotay: "I see something very different, minister. An ancient race of saurians. Probably the first intelligent life on Earth. Surrounded by some of the most terrifying creatures that ever lived. And yet they thrived. Developed language and culture. And technology. And when the planet was threatened with disaster, they boldly launched themselves into space! Crossed what must have seemed like unimaginable distances! Facing the unknown every day. But somehow they stayed together. Kept going. With the same courage that had served them before. Until they reached this quadrant where they laid the foundation of what was to become the great Voth culture. Deny that past and you deny the struggle and achievements of your ancestors. Deny your origins on Earth and you deny your true heritage."
- Minister to Chakotay: "It would be in your best interest if I never saw you again."

My Review
For almost the first entire 15 minutes of the show, there isn't a single scene aboard Voyager. We're shown the perspective of a mysterious reptilian alien race, the Voth, investigating what is to them a strange species: humans. We get the rather surreal experience of watching "dinosaurs" excavate human bones (who is actually Hogan who died in Voy: Basics, this is genius writing in more ways than one), then as they catch up to Voyager we get to see them analyze the alien human culture. Some great funny tidbits, like the Voth watching Tom court Torres, the conclusion that Voyager is a matriarchy after watching Janeway for a few minutes, and Gegen's first words to Chakotay: he knew his instinct was to flee. ;) These details aside, the critical issue of the episode is of religion vs. science and it couldn't have been explored better. The Voth culture satirizes our own present day culture's evolution vs. scripture controversy with this fictional Distant Origin theory vs. Doctrine controversy. The dialogue of the episode couldn't be more nicely constructed; there is pointed discussion all around. No character involved is wasted and the episode leaves the viewer profoundly moved, with a deep sympathy for Gegen, for he, like our very own historical Galileo Galilei goes down a martyr. He sacrifices his science to save Voyager from the wrath of the Minister's power; her power is absolute, like a 16th century Pope. She prevails despite the fact that she neither disproves Gegen nor seems entirely convinced of her own Doctrine herself. My final comment regarding this episode is that I hope we once again some day see the Voth. They've got to be one of the best alien races ever presented in Star Trek and this episode was one of the best Star Trek episodes I've ever seen. Well done.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From David from California on 2007-10-04 at 3:46pm:
    Wow! That was *ridiculously* good! I can't believe I missed seeing this one until now. The early change of narrative perspective, the delightful humor in the first half, the performances of all the supporting cast playing the Voth, sets, dialogue, costumes. I found myself wondering how the production team could suddenly raise their game for one episode to this extent. Coming here now and seeing it's highly rated by others confirms I'm not going mad. :)
  • From EKH on 2007-11-23 at 2:11am:
    I actually found the life form count to be rather low, as I assumed it included *all* life forms - including the ocntents of the hydroponics bay.
  • From Mark McC on 2009-07-03 at 5:38pm:
    This is easily my favourite episode of Voyager to date (watching it for the first time). Nice to see them taking a leaf out of TOS - tackling issues that are topical back here on present-day Earth and presenting them in an original way.

    It would have been pretty well perfect if not for a little silliness at the start with the Voth's attempt to track down Voyager. They may be advanced, but being able to translate one word ("VOYAGER" from the uniform) with no knowledge of the language, alphabet or any kind of context to work with is simply impossible.

    That, and the fact that the Voyager crew seem to have been giving away technological souvenirs to alien races along the way (handing out tricorders and containers of warp plasma - didn't Neelix find it impossible to get hold of that for his drug-dealing in "Fair Trade"?)

    Only minor flaws, and totally forgivable considering the excellence of the rest of the episode. I'd give it a 9.5, but since I can't vote halves on here I'll round it up to a nice fat 10.
  • From Thomas on 2009-10-01 at 7:15pm:
    I agree this is one of the best Star Trek episodes ever made. The struggle between honest science and hypocritical religious doctine was never dealt with this well. However, there is quite unnecessary misrepresenting of evolution again - surely not nearly as bad as in "The Threshold". However, the scene with holo-evolution of the Voth implied quite the same evolution=progression-misunderstanding.
    There are no most "higly evolved" lifeforms and certainly the extrapolatation of how the dinosaur evolved wouldn't work this way, not even with extremely advanced computers. You just cannot predict to such detail how a species will evolve, because of random environmental changes.
    Another real mystery is how the Voth culture could evolve on earth to a spaceage technology level without leaving any trace at all.
  • From Dennis on 2011-09-13 at 10:44pm:
    Unfortunately there was something that bugged me. When the Minister asked Gegen if he could have been mistaken, Gegen should have said yes. Because he said no, he appeared as stubborn, but no where near as heartless, as the Minister and the Doctrine she represented. In spite of all the evidence supporting this notion, that they were in fact Dinosaurs from Earth, it is entirely possible (though completely implausible) that they could have developed native to the Delta Quadrant. Science itself is not about believing in the infallibility of whatever theory you have with enough evidence to make it seem real, it is about challenging the status quo and reaching beyond the world as it is and seeing what it will be tomorrow.

    Even so, apart from that minor blemish, I readily enjoyed it. 9/10.
  • From distant@origin on 2011-09-18 at 3:52pm:
    Agree with everything above. Great episode.

    One thing I would've enjoyed more: the "change in narrative perspective" in the very beginning could've been kept up a bit longer. That was really fascinating and novel to watch.

    There is also a minor wrinkle in the plot: at the trial, Chakotay refers to Janeway's and the Doc's research and analysis of the Voth... but he's been more or less kidnapped during that time, and as soon as he got on decent terms with Gegen, Voyager itself ended up kidnapped, its systems locked down and overrun. We neither see Chakotay communicate with Voyager, nor is it even very likely that he could do so off screen... So it's kind of implausible that he'd have access to that information.

    But who really cares about a wrinkle in this case? I agree with the general consensus: this episode fries some pretty big fish, and does it well.

  • From Josh on 2011-09-28 at 11:36pm:
    One of the best Star Trek episodes of all time. It's incredibly refreshing to see such a solid example of 'hard' sci-fi on Star Trek, let alone on television in general.

    Obviously they missed some of the finer scientific points, but its easily forgiven considering the rare form of the episode's subject matter. Arthur C. Clarke would be pleased.
  • From Joseph Angeles on 2012-08-09 at 7:23pm:
    Without question one of the most compelling Star Trek episodes, and probably the very best Voyager episode. I only wish the writing team had stuck to such rigorous attention to detail throughout the series.
  • From TheAnt on 2013-09-24 at 4:31pm:
    I cant but chime in with most other comments here.

    The idea of what the dinosaurs might have become have gotten a treatment in pop science.
    So the story is not entirely original.

    Even so it really reminds me of the episodes in TOS and TNG where science fiction writers provided the storyline and resulted in outstanding episodes.
    Distant origins can only compare with those few and in my opinion is one of the best Star Trek episodes ever made.
  • From thaibites on 2014-05-11 at 12:41am:
    Finally, a good episode! The last 2/3 of season 3 has been poo-poo.
    I loved how the the first part of the show is seen through the eyes of the aliens. It was really refreshing to get away from the Voyager crew and get a different perspective on things.
    This episode affected me deeply because I live in Thailand, which is on the brink of a civil war as I write this. The cause of the problem that is splitting the country is dogma. The royalist side wants to continue lies that have portrayed the king as a god. They have a law called lese majeste where anyone who challenges dogma (the myth that the king is perfect) gets thrown in jail. The royalists only have money and power as long as the myth continues to be believed in by the citizens. It's the same with the Minister in this episode. Her power is built around myth. Take away that myth and she loses everything.
    Awesome!
  • From tigertooth on 2016-10-08 at 1:57pm:
    Besides starting from the Voth perspective, after some Voyager perspective in the middle, the trial is Voth-centric with Chakotay offering a well-done but ultimately ineffectual (plotwise) monologue. This episode is Gegen's story, and Voyager is just a supporting player.

    If you gave this a "Filler Quotient" it would actually be high, since it has little to do with the Voyager crew. But of course this is not an episode to be skipped.

    One quibble I have that I didn't see mentioned: it seems implausible that a species could have warp technology but A) not leave any trace of their existence on Earth and B) not keep records of their history that would survive. Yeah, it's 65 million years, but still - this is *the* most important thing to happen to this species: packing up and leaving their planet of origin. How could that ever be lost to history?

    It's a shame Voyager didn't offer Gegen a chance to get away from his sad fate by coming with them. I don't recall him mentioning having a family, and joining Voyager would be vastly more scientifically rewarding.
  • From tigertooth on 2017-04-25 at 11:56pm:
    D'oh - of course Gegen's daughter was *in* the episode. So yeah, he had family.
  • From Rick on 2017-05-02 at 9:02am:
    I dont see the problem with the way evolution is presented on the holodeck. Janeways asks the computer to display what would be the most highly evolved species from that specific dinosaur. Since Voyager has all environmental data from Earth's history, it has a basis for making a reasonable extrapolation of evolution from that dinosaur. The end result isnt exact, which is a nice nod to the fact that it is just a guess and not meant to be perfect.
  • From Mike on 2017-05-28 at 6:58pm:
    I was also expecting that this would end with Gegen joining the Voyager crew, maybe as some form of exile. It would've made sense: the Voth authorities clearly would see life among a mammalian species as being fitting punishment. But that, of course, would've necessitated the addition of yet another character so within the show's constraints it was good enough ending.

    I agree, this one begins fantastically well and immediately piques your interest. It's a great piece of science fiction, and the problems to me are excusable as it tells a compelling story and deals with important themes. The most glaring problem is that raised by the reviewer above, that in the ST universe there is no archaeological evidence for a spacefaring race of hadrosaur descendants on Earth. Keep in mind that how the Voth left Earth is up to the imagination. Maybe they joined with another spacefaring species that was visiting Earth. It's a detail, that's all.

    What matters is that the truth of their origin is a threat to the species' mythology about itself. I remember studying Darwin in college, and that he clearly did not set out to overturn and eliminate all religion. He merely sought to explain something he observed in the natural world, and could not have foreseen the implications of his theories or how they would be perceived as such a threat by religious authorities. Gegen, in this story, asserts that he isn't trying to upend the Voth worldview entirely, just bring some truths to light that may require some adjustment in the historical record. For a scientist, this isn't a problem because science is constantly challenging itself until left with the truth. But challenging even a small part of a religious belief has historically been seen as dangerously disruptive to the socio-religious order, and that has led to countless wars and persecutions. THat's really what this episode is about.
  • From McCoy on 2017-08-11 at 11:46am:
    It's an enertaining episode, but a 10? Best of Voyager? With all that nonsense included? Please... This episode is based on silly idea of advanced warp capable dinosaurs escaping Earth - it's almost as stupid as newts from "Threshold". Am I suppose to believe, they didn't left any signs of existence and after millions of years further evolution are only a bit more technologically advanced than humans? As was written above - holodeck reconstruction of evolved dinosaur is based on complete lack of understanding what evolution is. We have plenty of evolved dinosaurs aroud us - they're called birds... Next - it's really that strange voth and humans have common parts of DNA? It's Trek! Almost every race can mate with another and have children, so humans, vulcans, klingons, ocampa and so on... - they all must have similar DNA. So even in delta quadrant the voth could find plenty of other "cousins". Sorry, but I just can't take this episode seriously, it's almost a parody.
    PS - Galileo's conflict with Inquisition and pope (who was in fact his former friend and supporter) wasn't such simple and one dimensional as we may think:) I recommend further investigation of this matter, off duty:)
  • From Axel on 2018-06-10 at 8:12pm:
    Some interesting criticism of this one in the fan comments. I don't share most of it though. I think the overall lessons and themes of this episode are more important than any science-fiction blunders, and if anything, the "blunders" get you thinking about the science rather than forcing you to suspend logic so badly.

    First, on the question of how a civilization of evolved, space-faring hadrosaurs could have existed without any trace: I recommend an excellent article in the The Atlantic back in April by Adam Frank. It was more about how long the impact we humans are currently leaving on Earth's geological and atmospheric record will be available, but it posed some questions that made me think of this episode. We assume that we'd be able to detect an ancient civilization, and if it's a few thousand years ago, we could. But that ability becomes a lot murkier if you turn back the clock several million years. An advanced civilization may not be as traceable as we think, especially if it only lasted a few thousand years itself. Just some modern science to inject into a sci-fi premise :) Could something like the Voth have actually existed? Of course it's extremely unlikely. But if nothing else, it raises some interesting questions about the long-term impact a civilization can make on a planet, depending on its technology.

    Second, I don't think the Saurian they show in the holodeck, or the Voth themselves, are such an outrageous slap in the face to evolutionary biology because of the existence of modern birds. Homo sapiens and other modern species of ape share common hominid ancestors that no longer exist. And, the more fossils we uncover, the more complete our understanding of the evolutionary process becomes. The only known evidence linking birds and dinosaurs used to be Archaeopteryx; now we have a lot more. It's fun to imagine, I think, that in the distant future, when every continent on Earth has been excavated, how much more we'll know about evolution. That's how I looked at the holodeck extrapolation: just a sci-fi imagination of a real-world future technology. We'll one day be able to fill in a lot of gaps that we currently can't.

    All in all, this was badly in need of a sequel. If you accept the webmaster's view that the last couple seasons of Voyager could've been spent back in the Alpha Quadrant, then you would have the makings for that sequel. Of all the discoveries Voyager made along their journey, this would be earth-shattering, and they could've done a great sequel involving Federation efforts to re-establish contact with the Voth. Maybe then, some doctrines change.

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Star Trek TNG - 2x09 - The Measure of a Man

Originally Aired: 1989-2-13

Synopsis:
Picard must defend Data against being disassembled. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.8

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 49 4 5 5 2 2 4 8 18 29 205

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of TNG Award."
- This is the first Poker game episode.
- Data's total memory is somewhere around 90 petabytes with "a total linear computational speed of 60 trillion operations per second."

Remarkable Scenes
- It's nice to learn more about Picard's past through Louvois. That, and it's nice to get more small tidbits of info regarding Dr. Noonien Soong.
- Got to point out the beautiful model used on that space station.
- Data tearing down Maddox' argument (on many occasions in this episode).
- Data suddenly ripping the gift wrap.
- Pulaski to Worf in a happy tone: "I couldn't disagree more! We'll save that argument for another day." Regarding the novel gift from Worf.
- Riker objecting to prosecute Data. The whole adversarial scene is awesome.
- Riker gets a look of such profound happiness when he realizes that he has a good argument against Data. Then a look of such profound sadness when he realizes that using it may kill his friend.
- Picard's argument is that much better though.
- All of the dialog in this episode is articulate and well placed.

My Review
At what point does artificial intelligence become "alive" with the same rights and responsibilities as any other "real" person? This is a very high brow science fiction question but in very few places is it examined as eloquently as here. This episode is a TNG classic and one of the best Trek episodes ever written.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-06-23 at 8:39pm:
    Data: "That action injured you and saved me. I will not forget it." (Great line)

    - Data tells Picard that Maddox was the only dissenting member of a sceening committee that approved his entrance into Starfleet. Maddox did this because he did not believe that Data was sentient. It seems reasonable that Starfleet would allow only sentient beings to attend the academy. However, since the rest of the members of the committee disagreed with Maddox's position, didn't they already imply that Data is sentient? If so, when did Data lose that label?
    - Maddox asks the JAG officer if Starfleet would let the computer of a starship refuse a refit. But the comparison doesn't match up at all. Starfleet built the computers on starships. They did not build Data. If Data belongs to anyone, he belongs to Dr. Noonian Soong. All Starfleet did was find him.
    - JAG officer to Riker if he doesn't prosecute: "Then I will rule summarily based on my findings. Data is a toaster." A toaster? That seems a little antiquated for the twenty-fourth century. Wouldn't a person in the twenty-fourth century illustrate their point using an everyday item for them - something like a food replicator, a tricorder, or a communicator?
  • From TashaFan on 2008-09-28 at 7:34pm:
    I LOVED the reference to Data being "a toaster"... because "toaster" is what the Colonial warriors in "Battlestar Galactica" called the Cylons, who are also a mechanized artificial lifeform. I wonder if Ron Moore, who went to spearhead the "reimagined" Battlestar series, had anything to do with this reference?
  • From Razorback on 2009-06-25 at 9:26pm:
    A shocking episode.
    They have stripped away all of the trappings of a normal star trek episode, and done away with the sense of intergalactic exploration that gives me a reason to continu watching.

    Istead, they have created this terrible episode.

    You ask me to justify this?

    It has ruined me for the rest of star trek.
    No oher episodes will have even the slightest chance of ever living up to this one, seemingly set up to allow patrick stewart to prove exactly why he is seen as one of the greatest actors of all time. Brent spiner and Jonathan Frakes also outdo themselves - the dialogue is wonderful, the character's magnificent, and the whoe issue outstanding - leaving us with the question are we not all man made machines?

    I would also like to note the look on maddox's face at the end of the episode, as he relises that Cmr Data is far more wonderful than he'd ever imagined.

    Definately a 10 rated episode - a wonderful example of exactly why star trek is more than a sci-fi show.
  • From Ching on 2010-04-05 at 11:38pm:
    Thoroughly moving episode, but there are two things I question. One is to do with Picard's speech being, perhaps, unrealistically effective. I think I received it as one of those fictional events that has a perfect effect in it's story, but realistically would be questioned or perhaps a bit unprofessional (with Picard being so intimidating and emotional). But I'm much hazier on whether I find that an issue (and it wouldn't be a huge one) or not. I'm also not exactly well versed in court procedures to begin with.
    The second issue is with Riker's role in the story. I know the episode makes it clear why he was unfit to have taken the prosecution role, but does anyone know why there's a rule that the next most senior officer of the 'defendant's' ship becomes 'prosecutor'? I know, at least, that a jury is chosen specifically as an impartial body of people, so why chose a prosecutor who's in agreement with the defender? Makes no sense to have your opposing forces biased in the same way, but it certainly created an interesting drama. And like I said before, I really liked this episode on the whole, despite some confusion about common sense.
  • From tigertooth on 2011-03-23 at 10:12pm:
    I agree that the episode was great. My quibble: the first thing Riker does is call Data to the stand as his witness. Would he call a tricorder to the stand? Or the ship's computer? No, you call *people* to the stand as witnesses. If I was Picard, I would have said "There you go! Case closed!"

    But anything that gives Picard (Stewart) a chance to go off on a righteous monologue is pretty much guaranteed to be great.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-03-28 at 10:13pm:
    This is a fine episode. I especially love the way Picard starts his speech by dismissing the opposing arguments as irrelevant. The only caveat I have about this episode is that it portrays Starfleet's judicial system as oddly primitive and arbitrary.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-23 at 7:24pm:
    Agree with CAlexander's comment about how crude the Federation legal system appeared. As an attorney, I found it embarrassing. Several obvious issues:

    1. Data can't choose his own counsel? He is told that Picard will represent him. Picard offers to replace himself, but Louvois makes no such offer. The choice of defense counsel is totally in the control of the defendant in all civilized legal systems.

    2. The notion that Riker has to prosecute is absurd. He has a strong personal relationship with the accused. He is obviously not qualified. He would have to recuse himself.

    3. Why didn't Maddox appeal? You're telling me that a ruling by a mere JAG officer in a remote star base is final?

    You get the idea. Anyone with any legal training can find holes big enough to drive a truck through on this one.
  • From One moon shirt on 2012-02-26 at 10:56pm:
    I would give this episode 100 if there was such a rating. This is some of the best Trek out there. The issue of slavery and human rights is classic, this is an episode that will always endure the test of time, people will be watching this one in the 24th century :)
  • From Rick on 2012-10-10 at 12:11am:
    This may well be the quintessential star trek episode. How do we treat new life forms?

    A commenter above notes that this episode may be flawed because Maddox already made the argument that Data was not sentient and he lost. This point of view is flawed, however, because although Maddox made the argument that Data is not sentient, the Board may have ruled that Data could be admitted to Starfleet on alternate grounds. This is a technical legal point but it is certainly plausible. The board simply couldve punted on the sentience issue and ruled that Data was admissible to Starfleet for whatever reason.

    The rest of Maddox's argument is rather poor upon further examination, as other commenters have noted. His entire reasoning is based upon analogy to other types of machines. Fatal flaw? No other type of machine is capable of or would refuse his examination. It seems pretty obvious to me that as soon as a being is capable of refusing to be destroyed (albeit potentially), it has earned the right not to be.
  • From Rick on 2013-11-11 at 12:19pm:
    One more thing. Even if Data is ruled to be property why would he be Starfleet's property? Isnt he still his creator's property? Maddox would have a tough time explaining how he was against Data being able to join Starfleet while also believing that Starfleet owns him. If I were the judge it wouldve been an easy ruling to say even if Data is ruled as property Starfleet has no ownership so the whole case is irrelevant.

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Star Trek Voy - 4x09 - Year of Hell, Part II

Originally Aired: 1997-11-12

Synopsis:
The destruction of Voyager changes history. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.67

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 12 6 2 1 1 4 4 8 12 23 60

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of Voyager Award."

Remarkable Scenes
- The doctor: "I told you eight minutes on that deck. Not eight and a half, not nine, and certainly not twelve!" Janeway: "Would you rather have an indoor nebula?"
- Annorax serving a dinner of "lost histories" to Chakotay and Paris, comprised of "artifacts" of extinct civilizations.
- Annorax: "Beyond study and instrumentation, there is instinct. Not everybody has the ability to truly perceive time. It's colors, it's moods."
- Seven regarding Neelix' new endurance drink: "It is offensive. Fortunately taste is irrelevant."
- Tuvok discussing with Seven her questioning the captain's orders.
- Chakotay's simulation, wiping out a comet and because of the comet's history, wiping out 8,000 civilizations.
- Janeway going into deflector control despite the fire.
- Janeway discovering the watch Chakotay replicated for her. He disobeyed orders by not recycling it.
- Chakotay: "You're trying to rationalize genocide! One species is significant! A single life is significant!"
- Annorax: "When I tell you that time has moods, a disposition to be intuited, I'm not speaking metaphorically." Chakotay: "What do you mean?" Annorax: "Anger is one of its moods. Anger and the desire for retribution. Vengeance. Time itself is trying to punish me for my arrogance. It has kept me from my wife; denied me my future!"
- Tom: "This guy thinks that time has a personal grudge against him! That's called paranoia, Chakotay, with a hint of megalomania!"
- Janeway's reason for staying on Voyager while everyone else leaves: "Captain goes down with the ship."
- Tuvok: "Curious. I have never understood the human compulsion to emotionally bond with inanimate objects. This vessel has done nothing. It is an assemblage of bulkheads. Conduits. Tritanium. Nothing more." Janeway: "Oh you're wrong. It's much more than that. This ship has been our home. It's kept us together. It's been part of our family. As illogical as this might sound, I feel as close to Voyager as any other member of my crew. It's carried us, Tuvok, even nurtured us. And right now it needs one of us."
- The final battle with Annorax' ship.
- The free view of space with the front portion of Voyager's bridge ripped off.
- Janeway: "If that ship is destroyed, all of history might be restored. And this is one year I'd like to forget... Time's up!"
- Voyager crashing into Annorax' ship.

My Review
Well, first let's talk about what I didn't like. Putting everyone off the ship except the main characters was a petty trick and I didn't see much point to it. Additionally, the coalition Janeway formed with the aliens seemed a little convenient. I realize a great deal of time has passed, but it would have been nice to see at least a little bit about how this coalition was formed, or even a few sets aboard the alien ships, or at least see a few of the aliens themselves! Finally, it was obvious from early on in the first episode that this was a reset button episode. That said, this has to be one of the best reset button episodes ever done. And now let's talk about Annorax. We learn the weapon ship was constructed by Annorax because he wanted to use it against his people's greatest enemy. When he did, the Krenim were instantly awesomely powerful again, but a rare disease broke out and devastated them. Annorax failed to consider a key antibody his enemy he erased from history had introduced into the Krenim genome. Additionally, every time he made a temporal incursion, he could never restore the colony on Kyana Prime, no matter how close he got to a complete restoration of the Krenim Imperium. And Annorax had no plans of stopping these incursions until his wife was restored. Ironically, the only way to restore 100% of what he had lost was to erase the timeship from history and undo all the changes he had done. The final scene is the best scene. Annorax is on Kyana Prime, with his wife, making temporal calculations, presumably building his weapon again. But his wife asks him to stop for a moment and enjoy the day. This signifies that Annorax will build his weapon again and repeat his mistakes, but his wife will delay him long enough for Voyager to make it past Krenim space... A brilliant ending.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From gategod on 2011-07-04 at 12:34am:
    You do relieze that at the very end we see Annorax reset back to where he would have been if the time ship never existed. Yay great, makes sense right? Oh wait he was on the time ship and time passed for nearly 200 YEARS! Time past outside the time ship 260 some odd days when they were looking for Voyager and inside it past 260 some days... THEREFORE if the time ship never existed he would go back in time 200 years. Therefore... he should be dead at the end of the episode and instead they've jumped the culture forward or backward or some strange thing to make him still alive so that we could have the unique ending... Why not just say "200 years ago" as a little title before that scene, otherwise it is pointless and wrong!

    I don't know why you think that is a brilliant ending, can't you see the major plot hole. If they have been on the ship for 200 years or however long it was, then if time gets reset 200 years would pass once he was back on his homeworld so by the time voyager is there... he is already DEAD! The scene they showed of him is thus WRONG! ahhh lol anyways i just couldn't get past that and no one seems to mention it ever. Please let me know if you can agree with that?!
  • From Kethinov on 2011-07-06 at 7:29pm:
    I always just assumed the scenes with Annorax at the end were set 200 years ago, although I do agree with you that the lack of a caption indicating this leaves it rather annoyingly open to interpretation.

    My interpretation is that the temporal incursion within the ship created an alternate timeline in which Annorax failed to achieve his breakthrough to create the weapon ship in the first place, because in this timeline he gave his wife the attention she deserved and began to neglect his work.

    Fast forward 200 years, the Krenim's demeanor is all different now because Annorex never invented that weapon and the enemy they were fighting continued to exist.

    Overall, I stand by the ending. I thought it was fantastic.
  • From JR on 2012-06-12 at 1:02am:
    I thought it was pretty good two-parter overall. I really did not like how there was seemingly no recollection by the Voyager crew of Kes' "Before and After" warning about the Krenim and the 1.47 variance.

    Up until the very last scene I was expecting that the first meeting with the Krenim would somehow reset. In this last iteration we would witness the crew react quickly to the realization that these aliens were Krenim, and utilize the 1.47 variation that they know about via Kes. That is, I expected the last scene would have been Voyager taking no damage from the chroniton torpedo, disabling or destroying that Krenim warship, and then detouring around Krenim space.

    It was set up so carefully and to not utilize it...looking back, it really seems the writers/producers did not want to mention Kes/Jennifer Lien ever again.



  • From Rick on 2014-01-21 at 3:48pm:
    I think the best way to view the ending is that the temporal incursion erased the temporal core from history. Therefore, Annorax never invented it and because he never invented it he spent more time with his wife. This is similar to what kethinov said above but I reversed the cause and effect because the temporal incursion erased the temporal core, it did not cause him to want to spend more time with his wife. I disagree, however, with what Kethinov wrote in his review about Annorax eventually building the weapon again. Annorax's temporal core has been permanently removed from history.

    The temporal incursion only incurred within the temporal core though. If it occurred throughout the ship then none of the people on the ship would exist. Rather, the temporal shockwave hit the rest of the ship and the other ships, which allowed them to exist as if the temporal ship never existed. Took me quite a few years to figure this out and I probably still have a few things wrong, but Im getting damn close to a perfect solution.
  • From pbench on 2015-09-03 at 11:26am:
    was pretty amazing seeing voyager smash into the ship. i knew it was going to happen and it still made me say "daaaaamn" out loud.

    however i was frustrated by the way chakotay and tom acted onboard annorax's ship. as i said in my comment on the previous episode, more rich character development/clever writing opportunities dropped for weird uncharacteristic banter.

    chakotay, the way he has been portrayed throughout the series, is extremely loyal, or has become extremely loyal to captain janeway, and aboard this ship--with all his training, everything he's been through and seen--he basically immediately falls for annorax's siren song. it just seemed preposterous to me--i mean i get the plot device of him being persuaded and then disappointed but it was just inappropriate, completely. when tom & chakotay first had their little spat in front of annorax i thought for sure we would get a later scene of them conferring and agreeing to do a good cop/bad cop routine, one of them getting in annroax's graces and the other being the fall guy. i thought, what a brilliant way to mess with the viewers' expectations--because i was insantly cognizant of how chakotay, beyond being strategic, was being more sycophantic than usual. instead we get pithy lines about "you don't understand him", etc. are you serious? CHAKOTAY? with his life story, his experience of the world, hell as a supposedly earth-indigenous character (and that's its own can of worms obviously) who should have a very well-oiled and effective bullshit meter is suddenly waxing (shittly) philosophic about how this guy is misunderstood? when his entire mission is to return to the ship?

    let's say he does buy some of annorax's story--the point is, chakotay never loses sight of the mission. he would never have sympathised with, and only have taken advantage of annorax's narcissism in a better story, in my opinion. have the morality play, fine, but this is not the way to do it, at all. if anything they could have shown tom & chakotay colluding at different ends of the tactical spectrum. but the idea of chakotay being whisked away by the concept of playing with time...it just seems so patently naive and against his morals and everything he's come to stand for, it felt cheapening for him to get enthusiastic about it like that.

    was very disappointed, and felt like it left a taint on the whole episode, which i still enjoyed immensely but had me shaking my head and confirming yet again what i have come to believe about voyager: it has a lot of strong actors and some good writing, but just freely gives away their potential seemingly at random, which is why it can never be my favorite star trek.

    oh yeah and the kes thing. *face palm*

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Star Trek Voy - 4x08 - Year of Hell, Part I

Originally Aired: 1997-11-5

Synopsis:
A temporal weapon threatens Voyager and the timeline. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.65

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 16 2 2 3 2 10 4 6 10 22 73

Problems
- Why didn't Janeway change course as soon as she heard the species name "Krenim"? Did she forget her warnings about the Krenim from Kes in Voy: Before and After? Maybe, and perhaps interestingly, one of Annorax' temporal incursions erased the warning from history?

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of Voyager Award."
- Thanks to the astrometrics lab, Seven of Nine plotted a more efficient route to the alpha quadrant. This eliminates 5 years from Voyager's journey. This means Voyager has traveled the equivalent of 18 years. (10 years [Kes boost] + 5 years [Seven of Nine boost] + 3 seasons = 18 years.)
- The temporal variance of the chronoton torpedo is 1.47 microseconds. This is exactly what Kes determined in Voy: Before and After.
- Janeway's birthday is May 20th.

Remarkable Scenes
- The doctor: "Who would have thought that this eclectic group of voyagers could actually become a family? Starfleet, Maquis, Klingon, Talaxian, hologram, Borg, even Mr. Paris."
- The temporal shockwave changing everything.
- Chakotay: "I still don't understand why these torpedoes are ripping right through our shields." Tuvok: "Their weapons are chronoton based. They're penetrating our shields because they are in a state of temporal flux." I love how the dialog is exactly like Voy: Before and After.
- Janeway deploying torpedoes like mines.
- The conduits on deck 5 exploding.
- The doctor unable to keep the hatch open long enough for two of the crewmembers who couldn't make it in time.
- Janeway: "Abandon ship? The answer's no. I'm not breaking up the family, Chakotay."
- Seven: "The Phoenix." Harry: "What?" Seven: "The correct response to your query. The vessel Ensign Kim was describing. It was designated the Phoenix." Harry: "Not bad. I didn't realize you knew so much about Earth history." Seven: "I don't. But the Borg were present during those events." Harry: "Really?" Seven: "It's a complicated story. Perhaps another time."
- Tom, regarding his transverse bulkheads: "I was inspired by an ancient steam ship, the Titanic. The engineers of the day constructed a series of special bulkheads, sort of like a honeycomb, that would lower into place if they suffered a major hull breach. In theory, they could stay afloat even with half the ship filled with water." Janeway: "The Titanic? As I recall, it sank."
- Seven of Nine examining the undetonated chronoton torpedo exactly the way Kes did in Voy: Before and After.
- Paris: "Physician heal thyself."
- Tuvok shielding Seven of Nine from the chronoton torpedo explosion.
- A blind Tuvok, being assisted by Seven of Nine.
- Seven of Nine and Tuvok discussing the "less than meticulous" domestic habits of most humanoids.
- Janeway: "Seven, we could use a little bit of that Borg efficiency right about now."
- Voyager protected from Annorax' temporal incursion because of their temporal shielding. I love how confused everyone got when they witnessed the incursion without being affected themselves.
- Janeway to Annorax: "It seems your Imperium never existed. Perhaps you could shed some light on this?"
- Voyager losing its outer hull.

My Review
This is an amazing episode. While the cliffhanger isn't particularly compelling, the basic story is. It seems that the Krenim Imperium built a temporal weapon and something went wrong. Annorax is on a quest to "restore" his Imperium. To what end, we don't know. But surely the second part reveals this information. Besides the already downright thrilling story and the wonderfully intelligent construction of this episode, there's oodles of trivia, tidbits, and fascinating details. One of my favorites of which is the connection between this episode and Voy: Before and After. Everything is nearly exactly what that episode said it would be in chilling detail. Even the lines of the characters regarding the chronoton torpedoes are exact, as is the timing; Kes said Voyager would encounter the Krenim in six to eleven months. Sure enough, she was right. Another nice detail is the new astrometrics lab. It ties up the loose end left by Voy: Revulsion a few episodes ago. Supposedly Harry and Seven of Nine have been working on that lab since that episode. Additionally, there's the episode's marvelous eye candy to redeem it. Everything from deck five blowing apart, to the space battles, to the outer hull ripping off were all well done. I liked the detail regarding Seven of Nine mentioning that the Borg were present during Star Trek VIII: First Contact, and I loved her interaction with Tuvok in this episode. The friendship they had seemed to me to be a very natural and logical (pun intended) development. Overall, some of the finest quality writing ever shown on Star Trek and it's only the first half!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Jeff on 2009-06-04 at 8:20pm:
    I remember seeing a big continuity error in this episode way back when it aired. How could they encounter the Krenim in 6-11 months? In Voy: Before and After, Kes' prediction was under the assumption that she would still be with the crew and hadn't flung them so far closer to home. Her boost would have flung them 9.5 years of travel past the Krenim.
  • From Kirk 377 on 2010-05-21 at 9:22am:
    @ Jeff-- Good catch man, I dunno why but that never occurred to me. Is it just me, or do they sometimes seem like they want us to forget all about Kes? I never heard her name much after she left(Not that I expect them to, maybe in this episode I would). But I've still not finished the series.
  • From pbench on 2015-09-03 at 3:13am:
    i just can't believe the snafu with the chronoton torpedo thing. even if the entire crew's apparent amnesia about this was a thing, a 5 second scene that showed someone about to say something about it followed by a sudden shudder/wave from one of the 'incursions' would be enough justification to move forward. as it stands it just feels weird.

    more examples of voyager dropping the ball amidst otherwise amazing things.
  • From McCoy on 2017-08-17 at 2:01pm:
    I agree - there ara major continuity problems here. Even if we assume, that Krenim-amnesia among the crew is caused by Annorax' time changes, we still have a problem. Because there is no way to reach Krenim space without "farewell gift" from Kes. And in "Before and After" such thing didn't happened yet. Answer is simple - it's just careless writing. During third season they didn't plan to kick out Kes, so she was present when Voyager encountered Krenim. But they kicked her evetually, so I really don't understand, why "Year of Hell" was ever written. I imagine something more like this - Paris: "We're entering Krenim space". Janeway: "So what are you waiting for? Change the course now!"
    PS - Don't know if it's just my opinion, but Janeway looks 10 yers older in this haircut. Speaking of which... In "Before and After" she still had prevoius hairs, so it's another continuity problem:D

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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 - 7.51

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 9 2 2 2 2 7 13 9 84 32 24

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 4:36am:
    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 6:17pm:
    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 9:56am:
    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 8:58am:
    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 3:33am:
    Didn't they forget to save Picard's fishes from the sweep?
  • From Inga on 2012-03-20 at 1:01pm:
    Is it me, or did Picard use a Vulcan nerve pinch on Devor?
  • From Bronn on 2012-12-25 at 3:22am:
    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 2014-03-08 at 10:19pm:
    A barber without hair? lol
  • From Autre31415 on 2014-08-31 at 7:28pm:
    Also ironic about the Vulcan nerve pinch Picard performs is that it was on a future Vulcan!
  • From tigertooth on 2018-02-26 at 10:17pm:
    To dronkit's point: the real Mott is bald, too!

    The Baryon sweep was such a great gimmick to bring tension and to force everybody to be in the same spot on the ship.

    I loved how after the sonic pulse that knocks out everybody but Data, the first thing Data does is calmly collect the bad guys' weapons. A detail like that could easily have been missed, but it was done perfectly.

    I also liked how you think the B plot is just going to be comic relief, but then they end up being part of the A plot. It was timed well, too, as you couldn't have gotten much more out of the "small talk" gag.

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Star Trek DS9 - 6x02 - Rocks and Shoals

Originally Aired: 1997-10-6

Synopsis:
Sisko and his beleaguered crew are captured by the Jem'Hadar. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.51

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 26 2 1 2 3 8 3 4 15 31 83

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of DS9 Award."

Remarkable Scenes
- The teaser. Thrown right into the action!
- Seeing the Jem'Hadar ship sinking into the ocean background.
- O'Brien lamenting about tearing his pants, then laughing as he realizes that it's the least of his problems.
- Nog to Garak: "You tied me up and threatened to kill me." Good connection with DS9: Empok Nor.
- Sisko to Remata'Klan regarding his proposal: "Would you make a deal like that?" Remata'Klan: "No." Sisko: "Then why should I?" Remata'Klan: "You shouldn't."
- I like how when Nog and Garak are released, Nog walks ahead of Garak. ;)
- Yassim committing suicide.
- Keevan betraying his men.
- Everyone debating the morality of slaughtering the Jem'Hadar in this manner. Sisko: "Given the choice between us and them there is no choice!"
- Kira, lamenting about becoming a collaborator: "Half the Alpha Quadrant is out there right now fighting for my freedom, but not me."
- Sisko to Remata'Klan regarding his "decisive advantage": "To fight a battle under these circumstances would serve no purpose."
- Sisko: "Do you really want to give up your life for the 'order of things'?" Remata'Klan: "It is not my life to give up, captain. And it it never was."
- O'Brien: "What'd he say?" Sisko: "All the wrong things."
- The slaughter.
- Keevan showing up just after the slaughter, very pleased with himself.

My Review
An episode exploring the morality of conduct during war. On the station, the monotony of Kira's daily routine is depicted and we begin to see her slowly realize she's becoming a collaborator. In the end, she decides to go against Sisko's advice and form a new resistance after Vedek Yassim kills herself publicly to protest the Dominion occupation. More interesting though is Sisko and crew's situation stranded on the planet they crashed on. The Vorta leader, Keevan, decided to betray his own men by giving Sisko and crew his exact plan of attack so that instead of being stranded on the planet, he could surrender as a prisoner of war and spend the war resting comfortably in a Federation prison. Sisko is left with the choice of whether or not to go through with Keevan's plan. He doesn't like the shady morality of it, but he realizes that "given the choice between us and them there is no choice." He tries one last time to appeal to the Jem'Hadar's wits, informing them that Keevan betrayed them and that they'll surely all die if they decide to fight this battle. But instead of surrendering, we're shown instead just how insanely loyal Jem'Hadar soldiers are. They knew Keevan betrayed them and they walked into their own deaths knowingly, and proudly. Because obeying the command structure and the "order of things" means more to them than their own lives. A fantastic episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Hugo on 2012-11-10 at 5:17pm:
    I don't really get it - how did the Dominion ship get there? We saw two jem'hadar fighters chasing our heroes and attacking them - then we saw the ship with the heroes crashing towards the planet in the nebula - but... ? Just before we saw the two enemy fighters breaking off, and no shot was fired against them...
  • From L on 2013-08-03 at 5:33am:
    A fantastic exploration of the poignant relationship between the Jem Hadar and their Vorta. The Jem Hadar's blind and doomed loyalty to 'the order of things' was somehow noble, akin to the Samurai ethic.
    Kira's situation as a frustrated civil servant to a bureaucracy she despises was interesting too.
    Lots of moral complexity here.
  • From Axel on 2015-07-02 at 12:10pm:
    I like the dual storyline here depicting people wrestling with the morality of what they are doing. At the same time Kira is questioning whether she is a collaborator with evil, Ramata'Klan is being asked to question his own loyalty to the Vorta. Kira ultimately decides that she is playing the very role she fought against during the Cardassian occupation. Meanwhile, Ramata'Klan is well aware of the flaws of the Dominion command structure and the treacherous ways of the Vorta, but has resigned himself to his own role within that system. He chooses obedience-the overarching Jem'Hadar value-over his own freedom and self-determination.

    This episode has lots of great scenes and dialogue: Garak and Nog's conversation just before being captured; Jakes interview with Kira and Odo; Ramata'Klan standing up to Keevan and insisting that only he should be able to discipline his men; and of course, Yassim's chilling suicide on the Promenade. Overall, a really well done episode and some fantastic acting by the guest stars who played Remata'Klan, Keevan, and Vedek Yassim.

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Star Trek DS9 - 5x15 - By Inferno's Light

Originally Aired: 1997-2-17

Synopsis:
The real Bashir, Worf and Garak try to stay alive in the hostile world of a Dominion Internment Center. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 7.48

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 3 7 1 3 2 25 4 7 39 54

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
- Exactly why did the Dominion leave that Runabout in orbit so Bashir, Worf, Martok, Garak, et al could escape? This problem is later resolved in DS9: Inquisition. Bashir says the Dominion didn't think they'd be able to contact the Runabout. Nevertheless, that was pretty damn sloppy of them, huh?

Factoids
- When Garak is talking to himself, he mentions, "This isn't like Tsenketh." This means Garak might have once been on the Tsenkethi home world as an Obsidian Order agent.
- Worf is shot during transport in this episode but it seems the transporter beam was able to protect him.
- Jadzia in this episode establishes that going to warp inside a planetary system is infrequently done because it's too dangerous.
- According to Bashir's and O'Brien's conversation, Changeling Bashir had been operating aboard the station for four weeks.

Remarkable Scenes
- Dukat joining the Dominion fleet.
- Worf fighting the Jem'Hadar matches.
- Gowron resigning the Khitomer Accords.
- Dukat threatening to take back Deep Space Nine.
- Martok: "There is no greater enemy than one's own fears." Worf: "It takes a brave man to face them."
- O'Brien: "We're facing a major inter-stellar war and you're thinking about darts?"
- Quark: "The Jem'Hadar don't eat, don't drink, and they don't have sex. And if that wasn't bad enough, the Founders don't eat, don't drink, and don't have sex either. Which between you and me makes my financial future less than promising." Ziyal: "It might not be so bad. For all we know, the Vorta could be gluttonous, alcoholic, sex maniacs."
- The Romulans joining the Federation and Klingon task force.
- The Breen firing at a Jem'Hadar while the Jem'Hadar fires at him. They vaporize each other! Awesome.
- Romulan: "My people have a saying: 'Never turn your back on a Breen.'"
- Worf refusing to yield.
- Jem'Hadar: "I cannot defeat this Klingon. All I can do is kill him. And that no longer holds my interest."
- The Defiant going to warp within the Bajoran system, destroying Changeling Bashir's Runabout bomb.

My Review
More major events. The Dominion hasn't in fact invaded. Cardassia has joined the Dominion. So the Dominion is legally moving in. Dukat's betrayal isn't particularly unexpected. But I'm with Kira. The next time she sees Dukat, should kill him. :) More episode name coolness, though even more than the cool name I like the cool connection between this episode and the previous one. Rather than Episode Name, Part I and Episode Name, Part II, we have In Purgatory's Shadow and By Inferno's Light. The two episode names are kind of opposites of each other. Very clever. There are some annoying things though, keeping the episode from being worth a perfect score. Firstly, another very annoying technical problem. Why did the Dominion leave the Runabout in orbit so everyone in the prison camp could escape so easily? Secondly, it was rather convenient that the Yukon had nothing but redshirts on it so no important characters had to be placed in jeopardy. *rolls eyes* One final note, I found it interesting that the Romulans joined the Federation and Klingon task force in this episode. It's very consistent with their behavior. We already knew they didn't particularly like the Dominion when they gave a cloaking device to the Federation for the Defiant. Now they finally show their teeth to the Dominion!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Sean on 2010-07-07 at 3:11am:
    "If the Dominion come through the wormhole, the first battle will be fought here. And I intend to be ready for them."

    That's what Sisko said at the end of season two, and just when I thought we'd finally get the big battle we were promised... they turn and head towards Cardassia. Sigh. Still a terrific episode, though, amoung DS9's best.
  • From peterwolf on 2013-12-13 at 6:21pm:
    An episode with many unexpected turns. After Cardassia joined the Dominion one of the best (quite surprising) moments was the Romulans joining a new alliance with Klingons and the Federation against the Dominion. They should have done this earlier. The Bashir-changeling with female voice is rather eerie. His determination to wipe out the solar system of Bajor is nearly too much. At least they would wipe out Odo too, although the founders may not consider him as part of the changelings any more.
    Another strong part was Worf not giving up against the 20th or so Jem Hadar warrior in hand-to-hand combat and made them "yield", because they could not gain victory against him. In parallel, Garak had to overcome his claustrophobia and inner fears to save the prisoners of the federation. The short scene in the runabout when Worf and Garak show some mutual respect is very well done.
  • From dronkit on 2014-04-21 at 12:44am:
    The continuity with "Rapture" is notewrthy too. The "flock of locusts" skips Bajor and flies right away to Cardassia because Bajor is not Federation, thanks to Sisko's visions.
  • From Dubhan on 2014-10-01 at 12:44am:
    This is also a fantastic Garak episode. We get another little glimpse at his background and he saves the day for those imprisoned by the Jem'Hadar.

    Is there any question that Andy Robinson is the best actor in DS9? Not in my mind.
  • From tigertooth on 2016-12-03 at 12:08am:
    When Dukat announced to Kira that the Cardassians joined the Dominion, Kira's response was to say to Dax "Lock phasers and fire". This was when the huge Dominion fleet was starting to move away. When a huge hostile force is leaving, you don't shoot at them!

    I want to believe that Dax was lying when she said Dukat was out of range; she was just stopping Kira from going through with something that could have needlessly cost hundreds of lives.

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Star Trek DS9 - 6x06 - Sacrifice of Angels

Originally Aired: 1997-11-3

Synopsis:
Dukat loses a daughter, while the Alpha Quadrant gains a victory. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.44

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 25 13 5 5 3 3 3 6 8 13 125

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of DS9 Award."
- In this episode alone, 2800 Dominion ships were destroyed in the wormhole and at least some of the 1254 ships the Dominion sent against the Federation had to have been destroyed as well, along with some of the ~600 Federation ships that engaged the Dominion and some of the Klingon task force too. That's quite a body count. It must have been in the hundreds of thousands at the very least!

Remarkable Scenes
- The sight of the two fleets in formation before the battle. Impressive stuff.
- O'Brien: "Canon to the right of them. Canon to the left of them. Canon in front of them. Volleyed and thundered." Bashir: "Stormed at with shot and shell. Boldly they rode and well into the jaws of death. Into the mouth of hell rode the six hundred."
- Sisko ordering the fighters to attack.
- The entire fleet charging into the battle.
- Dukat: "War is such thirsty business, don't you agree?" Weyoun: "Perhaps if you didn't talk so much, your throat wouldn't get so dry."
- Dukat and Weyoun discussing the Bajoran occupation, the current occupation, and future plans. I love how they casually discuss whether or not to completely wipe out Earth's population to quell possible resistance. This conversation really shows you how insane Dukat is. Weyoun? He's a bit twisted. But Dukat is a maniac.
- Watching ships get picked off left and right as the Defiant charges through the lines.
- The Klingons showing up and joining the battle.
- The Defiant breaking through enemy lines.
- Quark rescuing Kira, Leeta, Rom, and Jake.
- Dukat detonating the minefield literally one second before Rom disabled the station's weapons.
- I love the speechless looks on the Defiant bridge as they watch the mines go one by one.
- Sisko: "Take us into the wormhole." O'Brien: "What the hell. Only going to meet a couple thousand Dominion ships." Dax: "One ship against an entire fleet? That's a hell of a plan B!"
- Female shapeshifter: "Send a message to our listening posts in the gamma quadrant. Tell the reinforcements that the alpha quadrant awaits them."
- Sisko charging the Defiant into the wormhole.
- Sisko to the prophets: "You want to be gods? Then be gods. I need a miracle. Bajor needs a miracle. Stop those ships!"
- Weyoun, realizing they've been defeated somehow: "Time to start packing!"
- Damar murdering Ziyal.
- Sisko and crew reboarding the station.

My Review
And so ends the DS9 occupation arc. This episode is the biggest roller coaster ride ever displayed on Star Trek so far. The massive space battle is indescribably awesome, and the immense use of characters was truly sublime. This episode is everything the conclusion to this magnificent arc should have been and more. Aside from general declarations of the episode's awesomeness, there are some interesting details I'd like to point out. For one, I enjoyed watching Garak fight for the Federation all through the arc. From Call to Arms and onward, Garak chose his side very clearly. He's no longer the ambiguous player of both sides he was in the first season. Another detail I enjoyed was how it was Odo and the Bajoran security officers that ultimately allowed Rom to sabotage the station's weapons and kept the Defiant from being destroyed. If you remember back to earlier in this arc, Dukat and Damar expressed dismay about the idea of armed Bajoran security officers on the station. Seems their fears were justified. :) Last, but not least though is Dukat. The way he fell apart at the end of this episode was absolutely perfect. He went from being absolutely sure of victory, to confused, to realizing he'd been defeated, to despair over Damar murdering his daughter, to totally insane and disconnected with reality in the span of a few minutes of on-screen plot. One of the most brilliant performances I've seen on Star Trek. When you add it all up, this episode is a stroke of utter brilliance.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From RichD on 2006-06-19 at 8:18pm:
    What a fantastic episode. It incorporated brave, bold ideas that were missing in say, the last 2 Star Trek movies. Dukat's meltdown at the end after witnessing the death of his daughter Ziyal was truly gut wrenching. The battle scenes were epic in nature. DS9 is my favorite among all the Star Trek series. This episode ranks among the top five or Six along with In the Pale Moonlight, A Call to Arms, Rocks and Shoals, The Siege of AR558 and The Visitor.
  • From Pete Miller on 2006-07-13 at 1:14am:
    The scenes over the past two episodes where the female shapeshifter is talking to Odo about leaving the pathetic solids behind and joining the great link are really quite disturbing. This reminded me alot of Emperor Palpatine trying to turn Luke Skywalker to the dark side in 'Star Wars: Return of The Jedi'. That shapeshifter lady is so evil, it's unbelievable. She just dismisses all solids as irrelevant and constantly manipulates Odo to turn to the Star Trek dark side. I was waiting for her to start shooting lightning bolts out of her fingers at the end.

    For all the female shapeshifter's smugness, condescension, superior attitude, and downright xenophobia, it was quite a pleasure to see the prophets destroy the Dominion's ships like flies. It's nice to know that there are those out there who would consider the shapeshifters limited and pathetic, as the shapeshifters consider the solids. It also reveals that the dominion and the shapeshifters are nothing but petty dictators and conquerors. If they were as superior and detached as they claimed, they would be in a situation similar to the prophets, not messing in the affairs of the solids as they currently do.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2010-03-09 at 11:55am:
    This episode marks the end of the fun Dukat, and the beginning of the insane Dukat. I love DS9, but I think this is the single biggest mistake in the DS9 story arc.
  • From Zaphod on 2011-05-18 at 7:33am:
    What a letdown, what foolish decision to let the prophets conjure away that Dominion fleet just like that.

    Btw, I stopped watching DS9 after that bullshit ending to such a promising and exciting story arc, because I just dont trust the authors of the series anymore, dont want to give them the chance to fool me again. ^^
    And I wont read your site anymore btw, guess, the reviews on this site are more to my taste:

    http://www.cynicscorner.org/ds9_6/ds9_6s.html
  • From Bernard on 2011-05-25 at 12:50pm:
    And I'm sure our webmaster is truly devastated by that announcement Zaphod.

    This is by no means the best television I have ever watched, but it is a super conclusion to the 7 episode story arc. It really is. As usual with DS9 it is what's going on with the characters that is important. Here, Marc Alaimo gets to take centre stage and he doesn't disappoint.

    This episode also has a rare commodity in Star Trek... genuine suspense. It builds up and up continuing from where the last episode left off. Will they make it? Will Rom do it? All the pay-offs here are brilliant.

    The only thing that brings this episode down slightly is the problem with many major episodes later in the DS9 run - too much pointless space battles. I just don't want to see another CGI sequence, that's not why I watch Star Trek. TNG had that aspect nailed, used just enough to show what was going on. DS9 in episodes like this hits you over the head with shot after shot of ships exploding... I want to see more of what's going on in Sisko's head, Dukat's head.

    The conclusion that Zaphod takes such exception to is fine with me. In fact they could have used a similar 'get out' in Voyager by using Q to save their bacon instead of the preposterous watering down and then besting of the Borg in 'Endgame'.

    The aspect of the prophets that I dislike as shown here, and I already discussed this in a comment on 'Ascension', is that they become more and more interested in Bajor as the series progresses. Instead of Science Fiction you almost feel like you are watching 'Spiritual-Fiction'. Throughout all other incarnations of Star Trek religious belief was continually held up as ancient superstition by our heroes. Everytime there is a culture or being that holds some beliefs they are shown to be backward or erroneous in some way. This show actually starts to suggest that the spiritual people of Bajor are being watched over by beings that didn't even understand the concept of time in the pilot.

    Anyway, none of that takes away from this episode as a dramatic piece. As our webmaster describes it, 'utter brilliance'. I would say ALMOST flawless, but not quite.
  • From Christopher Wright on 2011-12-18 at 2:56pm:
    Deus Ex Machina. That's that only problem I have with the conclusion. Too many things worked out in this epsiode. The change of h eart Odo had seemed a bit too quick as well. They should have played up the conflict more with Odo in that respect - almost like a drug addict having to give up his fix for the ones he loves. I LOVED the Weyoun's quick retreat comment and body language. I can see why this episode is highly rated, I just wish the resolution was more creative.
  • From JR on 2012-06-12 at 3:04am:
    There are so many good episodes in seasons 5 & 6 and this one is non-stop action. It seems like I find ways to nitpick a bit in each one.

    I could not, and still cannot, figure out how a mere Captain, on one of the lead ships no less, is commanding the entire fleet of ships. That would be the responsibility of someone three or four grades higher. They even had an admiral (not sure how high) in the last couple episodes that could easily have been included.

    I understand Sisko commanding maybe one attack wing, but giving orders to all of them while making a rapier himself is a bit ridiculous.

    I also agree with the above sentiment that having the prophets "disappear" all the dominion ships in the wormhole was pretty cheesy. It would have been cooler if Rom's minefield ended up working after the dominion thought it was clear and ordered their ships through. But, I gather there will be some repercussions to Sisko for asking the prophets to act, and I guess that will make for a good storyline down the road.
  • From Captain Keogh on 2013-03-17 at 7:20am:
    I remember the first time I saw this episode, I was only 8, I was amazed at how many ships there were.

    I alos loved the ending where Dukat is being led away and O'brein is holding a baseball bat, I just thought there was a bit of humour in that.
  • From L on 2013-08-04 at 4:05am:
    I didn't see any O'Brien with a baseball bat.

    This was a fitting climax. Hard to see how the rest of the season can compete.

    I was as shocked as Dukat was when his daughter was killed. Why did they have to do that? I really liked her. Almost made me cry, especially coming straight after the honest exchange between them of their love for each other.

    The Changeling's callousness and superiority is becoming more evident and sinister.
    The head changeling's apparent blandness just increases this evil.

    I did not like the Prophet's cliched intervention, and the demanding of a 'price' to do so. I don't see any reason they had to deny Sisko his future happiness, other than the usual psychopathic motivation of those who call themselves gods.
    A very slight anti-climax to a moving story arc.
  • From TheAnt on 2013-09-15 at 7:22pm:
    It really is a great episode, tension and quite some excitement how the situation will resolve with such impossible odds.
    A remarkable scene in my book is when Quark stand stunned after killing the two guards.

    Odo comes around all of a sudden, sadly it does not feel altogether convincing. Ok Kira have given him a verbal kick in the gonads, yet even so he shrugs off the lure of the changelings from having been all enthralled.

    The reason I cannot give the episode a solid 10 is the fact that the Dominion is defeated by a Deux ex machina - that's where the storytelling depart from the style which have made Star Trek great - not even 'Q' did any supernatural rescue from the Borg for example. I shake my head and give a thumbs down on this detail.

    Now if we accept that, and watch this as Space opera in the Star Trek universe.
    Then Dukat's madness is rather fitting, and as such t can be viewed as one heck of an episode for entertainment value, with good action and multiple story lines that make it top notch drama.

    A small correction, it's actually Weyoun who push for the idea of wiping out Earth's population. Whereas Dukat appear to think it might not be necessary if only the will to resist can be broken by a decisive victory.
  • From Axel on 2015-05-09 at 8:13pm:
    Sure, this does end with a deux ex machina as other comments have pointed out. It's made a little more bearable by the fact that the wormhole aliens (hate calling them Prophets) do extract a price from Sisko in exchange for intervening purely at his insistence. Without that aspect, it would've been a lot more ridiculous to simply have them make the Jem'Hadar fleet disappear. It would've begged the question as to why Sisko doesn't just go to the wormhole aliens every time he needs help fighting the Dominion.

    I would've preferred an ending that involved the minefield too. Far too much time was spent on that plot element for it to simply end as abruptly as it did. But the episode still gets an 8 from me for all its other awesomeness.

    It's been suggested that Roddenberry might've included more space battles in TOS if he'd had the budget and technology. This episode shows what that can add: a fantastic visual to go along with the plot. It's also beautifully acted especially by Alaimo.
  • From Zorak on 2016-06-21 at 12:48am:
    All other things aside, the ending with Dukat was surprisingly heart wrenching. As much of a villain as he is and as much as he had it coming to him, I couldn't help but feel for the guy. That was brutal.

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Star Trek DS9 - 4x03 - The Visitor

Originally Aired: 1995-10-9

Synopsis:
When a tragic accident causes Sisko to vanish before his son's eyes, young Jake begins a life-long obsession to bring him back. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.4

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 39 9 7 5 6 7 6 12 8 21 161

Filler Quotient: 2, filler, but an enjoyable episode nevertheless. You can skip this one, but you'd miss out on some fun.
- This episode is technically filler, but it's some of the best character development Ben and Jake will ever get.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of DS9 Award."
- Tony Todd, who plays the older Jake in this episode, also plays Kurn, Worf's brother.
- Rachel Robinson, who plays Melanie in this episode, is actually Andrew Robinson's daughter. Andrew Robinson plays Garak.
- The future uniforms worn by the reunited crew on the Defiant when Jake first tries to rescue his father are the same as the ones worn in the future presented to Picard by Q in TNG: All Good Things.
- This episode was nominated for the 1996 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

Remarkable Scenes
- Future Jake telling Melanie about the death of his father.
- Sisko: "I'm no writer, but if I were it seems to me I'd want to poke my head up every once in a while and take a look around, see what's going on. It's life, Jake! You can miss it if you don't open your eyes."
- Seeing Sisko's death.
- Sisko appearing in Jake's quarters briefly out of nowhere, confused, then disappearing.
- Jake talking about all the changes in the timeline due to Sisko's death. The Klingon situation got worse and the Bajorans allied with the Cardassians! Chilling.
- Sisko appearing again, this time in front of other people.
- Future Jake telling Melanie that the Federation gave control of DS9 to the Klingons.
- Sisko appearing to a middle aged Jake.
- A desperate Jake and Sisko pulled into subspace together, discussing the situation.
- Future Jake: "I want you to promise me something." Melanie: "Anything." Future Jake: "While you're studying my stories, poke your head up every once in a while. Take a look around. See what's going on. It's life, Melanie." Melanie: "And you can miss it if you don't open your eyes."
- Sisko appearing in front of his son now an old man.
- Future Jake: "I've been dragging you through time like an anchor. And now it's time to cut you loose."
- Future Jake: "For you. And for the boy that I was. He needs you more than you know."
- Morn Appearances; 1. Standing behind Quark during Sisko's memorial. 2. Pats Jake's shoulder, seemingly sad for him, in Quark's bar in the scene just after the memorial. 3. Not shown, but Nog tells Jake that Morn runs the bar in the future. He talks his customers' ears off and is probably drinking himself out of business. ;)

My Review
This is one of the best reset-button episodes ever done. The biggest reason for this is that Sisko retains a memory of his son's efforts to save him across the decades. The reason this is cool is that many reset button episodes are just that; total resets. None of it actually happened. But the way this one played out, Sisko is left with an extremely profound memory of his son's heroic sacrifice in the divergent timeline. It's a nice ride too. Both actors playing Jake did an utterly fantastic job acting their parts, as did Ben Sisko himself. In the end, the temporal paradox is presented very nicely. Future Jake's sacrifice and Ben's resurrection was one of the most moving scenes ever presented in Star Trek. Ben begging his son not to kill himself on his behalf was very sad and very moving. The episode ends with a deeply moved Sisko who has dodged death thanks to the second chance his son gave him. Only he will ever truly know the pain his son went through in the divergent timeline, and I'm sure it changes his life. Bravo, an unexpectedly brilliant episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Johnny Storm on 2006-05-07 at 7:59am:
    I have to admit that I am mainly a TOS and TNG fan but I would go so far as to say that this is IMHO my candidate for pretty much the best episode of any Trek, ever.

    It beautifully portrays a father's love for his son. It is the only ep of Trek that has ever brought tears to my eyes (and my wife's). It is successful on a number of different levels: the plot, the superb acting, the view of how the DS9 charcters will turn out in future (very like "All good things...").

    Having said that it does not stand up so well to repeated viewings and the view of the future was superceeded by later events.

    Still a great one though.

  • From RichD on 2006-06-02 at 5:16pm:
    I just saw this episode recently. I had not seen it in many years. I'd forgotten how incredibly moving and touching it is. I am a full grown man. I do not cry often watching a tv show or a movie. Maybe ET when I was a boy. This episode gets me every time. Perhaps it reminds me a lot of my relationship with my father. The thing that struck me with this most recent viewing, was Cirroc Lofton's acting. It's like a .150 hitter coming up with the game winning hit in the World Series. Superb. Where did that come from? If he'd only been half as good, the episode would have suffered. This is an episode you can watch and show to someone who doesn't even follow the Star Trek. It's that good.
  • From Pete Miller on 2006-06-24 at 10:06pm:
    You know, as I was watching this I thought "I can't wait to see how low a rating eric gave this reset button episode". When I came to find out that you gave it a TEN my mind was blown. I am sorry, I usually agree with all your ratings but I found this episode to be filler, doubtlessly the producers recovering from the expensive "Way of the Warrior". I couldn't focus on the episode because the whole time I knew that this couldn't possibly be. I knew that DS9 didn't just end with an old man jake kicking the bucket and the Klingons owning deep space nine. Now if I went back and watched it again, maybe I'd enjoy it more. I did like seeing Nog as a CAPTAIN.

    Bottom line, I disliked it. I thought it wasn't nearly as profound as it was trying to be, and I think that TNG "The Inner Light" is a much better executed version of a similar premise. I recognize that I am in the minority, so I won't mess up the fan votes by submitting mine. I, however, would give this one a 3. I didn't care for it at all.
  • From Alex von Treifeldt on 2008-07-07 at 4:25am:
    An absolute cracker! I only saw it 7 July 2008. Your last sentence sums it up perfectly! The series really came alive for me today! I just didn't know what hit me...
  • From djb on 2009-11-08 at 1:48am:
    The concept of a "reset button" episode is not, in itself, bad. Some of the best TNG episodes had that going, to some degree (The Inner Light, Tapestry, Yesterday's Enterprise, and All Good Things come to mind). It's all in the execution. This episode executed the reset button quite well. In fact, you could even say that aspect strengthens this episode, in a way.

    For one, it's obvious from the very start. As soon as we find out that the old man is Jake, it's clear that this is not a typical episode. Then when he refers to his father's death, since we know Sisko doesn't die, it has to be some kind of alternate-reality-type episode.

    One way it which this aspect is a strength is the way it implies how things would have turned out if Sisko weren't around; in other words, Sisko is instrumental in the events that happen over the next 4 seasons. This is clear, but the episode highlights that. Plus, as someone else pointed out, Sisko is left with the memory.

    I always appreciate these small excursions from the normal sci-fi Trek. It reminds us that this show (series of shows) is about the human journey as well.
  • From L on 2013-05-28 at 4:29am:
    Jake and Sisko's relationship has always been portrayed so wonderfully, an openly affectionate father-son dynamic is rarely seen in popular culture or sadly even real-life. This was beautiful and moving.
    My only concern - does losing his father and his consequent bumming around make Jake a great writer, or will he still be one with the timeline 'fixed'?
  • From meinerHeld on 2013-06-02 at 10:57pm:
    Too bad that the poignant exchanges between Jake and Melanie are rendered meaningless. Nonetheless, just the chance to see a sagely Jake in an exquisitely homey setting, dispensing wisdom unto the youngun, was beautiful.
  • From Dstyle on 2013-10-24 at 3:44pm:
    You know how sports teams sometimes wear retro throwback jerseys in certain games? It must have been throwback uniform day on Commander Nog's ship, because there's no way that TNG era uniform was still in use!
  • From Zorak on 2016-05-17 at 4:53pm:
    As good as the acting was by the regular cast all around, I think it was Tony Todd who really made this episode what it was.
  • From Coihue on 2018-10-02 at 12:37pm:
    Made me cry. Every-time-they-get-together.
    This was even better than The Inner Light.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x17 - Sins of the Father

Originally Aired: 1990-3-19

Synopsis:
Worf defends his late father. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.39

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 5 3 2 4 26 2 6 13 34 57 30

Problems
- In the original airing of this episode, the lighting and perspective of the Klingon ship were both a bit off. This error was fixed for the Blu-ray remastering.

Factoids
- This is the first Star Trek episode in which we get to actually see the Klingon homeworld.

Remarkable Scenes
- Kurn. Has everybody on edge. He is the very model of a modern Klingon.
- Kurn patronizing Worf.
- Kurn: "If it were a Klingon ship, I would have killed you for offering your suggestion."
- Kurn's reaction to human food.
- Worf confronting Kurn.
- Worf confronting the Klingon High Council.
- Worf: "It is a good day to die, Duras. But the day is not yet over." The first time the classic Klingon phrase "it is a good day to die" was ever used on screen.
- Picard trying to find a way to clear Worf's name.
- K'mpec urging Worf to dissolve his challenge.
- Picard holding his own against Klingon assassins.
- Kahlest insulting K'mpec's weight.
- K'mpec: "Kahlest, it is good to see you again." Kahlest: "You are still fat, K'mpec." Kahlest exits...
- Picard standing up to the chancellor of the Klingon Empire in defense of Worf, knowing that he may be about to start a war...
- Worf's discommendation.

My Review
A soap opera episode and a continuity goldmine. First, we get mention of Riker's experience aboard the Pagh. Then we meet Kurn, son of Mogh. Worf's long lost brother! Then we get to hear about Worf's past and about his father. This is also a milestone TNG episode which will have a serious impact on Worf's character in the coming years. We even get to see the great leader of the Klingon Empire who presumably forged the alliance with the Federation. Marvelous!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-25 at 4:10am:
    - Someone needs to replace the light bulbs in the transporter room. When Kurn beams aboard the Enterprise, the transporter platform is very dark. Maybe he called ahead to tell the transporter chief he wanted to make a dramatic entrance ;)
    - Picard replicates a variety of foods for Kurn to sample. One of them is roast turkey. Why would the replicators aboard the Enterprise replicate bones? Doesn't this seem like a waste of enegy? Picard must be a real stickler for authenticity ;)
  • From thaibites on 2011-02-05 at 12:05am:
    To say that this episode is a soap opera brings dishonor to this episode. A soap opera is where some slut is having an affair with her boss, while her Mom is banging some guy upstairs, and then the boss wants to bang the Mom, but the Mom is now depressed because blah, blah, blah...

    This episode is intense and obviously had a lot of energy put into it. I love how the Klingon homeworld is shown as a dark, sterile, foreboding place. The lighting is great! For me, this is the best episode of TNG so far, chronologically speaking. It's flawless.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-22 at 10:12am:
    This becomes a really superb episode once the main plot starts. No wonder Klingons became popular, they had some strong episodes in TNG. It also adds a lot of dimension to both Worf and the Klingons to see that not all Klingons are as rigidly obsessed with honor as Worf – that he has essentially overcompensated for his Federation upbringing by trying to become the perfect Klingon.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-27 at 10:48pm:
    Tony Todd who played Kurn, Worf's younger brother, also appeared in several other Star Trek episodes, two TNG episodes where he reprises the role of Kurn (as he does in one DS9 episode) plus one other DS9 episode (The Visitor) where he played the older Jake Sisco. This DS9 episode is arguably the best Star Trek episode ever. Certainly, Todd's performance was a major factor in that. Todd also plus the Alpha Hirgen on Voyager.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-28 at 12:47pm:
    Tony Todd who played Kurn, Worf's younger brother, also appeared in several other Star Trek episodes, two TNG episodes where he reprises the role of Kurn (as he does in one DS9 episode) plus one other DS9 episode (The Visitor) where he played the older Jake Sisco. This DS9 episode is arguably the best Star Trek episode ever. Certainly, Todd's performance was a major factor in that. Todd also plus the Alpha Hirgen on Voyager.
  • From John on 2011-11-22 at 9:33pm:
    That I really like this episode. I tend to like most Klingon episodes, but this one in particular because it's the first time we get to meet Worf's brother Kurn, played so well by Tony Todd.

    There's only one thing about this episode that confuses me. It's really a nitpick, but... when Picard first finds out the story behind why Kurn is there, he orders a course change to the first city of the "Klingon Imperial Empire". As opposed to the Klingon "non-Imperial" Empire. If it's an empire, then it's imperial. What's up with the redundance?

    Other than that I think this episode is great.
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-22 at 12:21am:
    Another excellent episode. There are almost two separate halves here, each interesting in its own way: first Kurn as exchange commander, and then Warf's legal drama on the Klingon homeworld.

    Kurn is a great character, with the tension on the bridge practically dripping off the ceiling... And the heartfelt scenes of loyalty between both Warf/Kurn and Warf/Picard were great. And finally the legal drama was excellent, with all its open court and behind-the-scenes elements.

    I'd imagine this is how many of our earlier courts operated, complete with stabbings in the halls. Unfortunately, I also strongly suspect that our modern courts aren't a heck of a lot better, not when there's a "powerful family" involved, and there's a perceived threat to "national security." There are backroom deals, plea bargains, and all sorts of extralegal, purely political considerations. See the mock "trial" of MLK's assassin, James Earl Ray, for a very prominent example.
  • From Daniel on 2014-07-02 at 6:04am:
    I too loved this episode for many of the same reasons as others do. I like the introduction of Kurn and the seeding of a future storyline with Worf and the Klingons. I do have one nitpick about one particular scene... When Wesley Crusher is at his post to navigate and Kurn is in command, Kurn gives the coordinates and speed, then says "Execute" - which is the Klingon version of Picard's "Engage"... Now, any other Starfleet officer would have simply replied, "Aye, Sir!" And obeyed the command. But, Wesley, upstart brat that he is, replies very vehemently "Engage!" Thus correcting his commanding officer's choice of words in pure spite. No one seemed to notice this. If Kurn had noticed Wesley's smart-ass response, he would have killed him, as any Klingon would do. If Picard or Riker had noticed Wesley's contempt of his commanding officer, they'd have scolded him and possibly reprimanded him. Yet, somehow, the boy wonder gets away with being insolent. Doesn't seem right! What about the rigid Starfleet regulations and code of honor? Since when is it okay for a Federation Starship crew member to correct his superior officer... And spitefully too, since the correction is unnecessary?
  • From Axel on 2015-03-02 at 9:13pm:
    John's comment made me laugh only because I thought the same thing. THe first time I saw this episode, I had to rewind and listen again because I thought I misheard. But "Imperial Empire" doesn't make a lot of sense. Was that in the script or was it just a flub-up?

    That redundancy aside, this episode was awesome with lots of great plot twists. The Worf-Picard relationship evolves a lot in this one, and will continue to do so in "Reunion" and "Redemption" as they discuss Worf's family honor and their mutual struggles to balance between Federation and Klingon interests and cultures.

    On a side note, Tony Todd is one of the better guest actors in Star Trek. He does a great job as Kurn in TNG and DS9, and also portrays an older Jake Sisko in DS9: The Visitor.

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Star Trek DS9 - 2x19 - Blood Oath

Originally Aired: 1994-3-27

Synopsis:
Dax risks her life and her future with Starfleet to fulfill a blood oath made with three aged Klingons. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 7.36

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 8 6 1 3 6 5 25 22 70 30

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- This is the first episode to feature Kor, Koloth, and Kang since the original series. The DS9 incarnation of Kor will also recur later in the series. Kor's relationship with Dax and the events of this episode will be relevant later.

Problems
- This episode made the Klingon forehead problem much worse before Ent: Affliction solved it.

Factoids
- This episode establishes that Klingons live much longer than humans.

Remarkable Scenes
- Kor and Koloth's appearances.
- Odo lamenting about having a "Klingon afternoon."
- Koloth: "A sharp knife is nothing without a sharp eye."
- Kor, regarding the albino: "I will cut his heart out and eat it while he watches me with his dying breath!"
- Dax dueling Koloth.
- Dax describing her alternative tactical strategy.
- Kang killing the albino.
- The silence when Jadzia returned to her duties.

My Review
Introducing Kor, Koloth, and Kang. Oh, do you remember them? Yep, seems Klingons live for an extremely long period of time. These were some Klingons who gave Kirk some headaches in the original series. The three Klingons and Dax's previous host Curzon swore a blood oath to avenge the death of their Klingon sons murdered by a treacherous albino Klingon. In this episode they band together for one last glorious battle together. I very much enjoyed this episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From MJ on 2011-02-10 at 1:46pm:
    I'm not a fan of most DS9's Klingon episodes from the first four seasons. It got better with "Soldiers of the Empire" and "Once More Unto the Breach", and I do really like what they did later with Martok's character. But this one was pretty good.

    The personality differences between the three Klingons reminded me a bit of the Three Musketeers. You have the lover of life, women, and drink, you have the ambitious, arrogant one, and the quiet, secretive leader of the group. They are also old friends seeking one final adventure together. Dax is d'Artagnan, the one who wants to join the group and is seen with affection by them, but not quite one of their own until later.

    There are some nice moments in this episode, such as the conversation between Kang and Jadzia about their friendship, about the blood oath, and the Klingon glory days. Overall this was very well written.

    I also mark it down somewhat because Jadzia just isn't as convincing as a Klingon warrior as I'd like her to be, and because I would expect a bit more in the way of consequences for her actions. Remember how in TNG: Reunion that Worf was reprimanded formally for his vengeance killing of Duras, despite Picard's sympathies. It would've been nice to see some kind of consquence for Dax, but instead this would seem to reinforce the privileged relationship she enjoys with Sisko simply because of Curzon.
  • From Bernard on 2011-03-29 at 10:40am:
    So, here we go again with the new Jadzia who's decided that she's Curzon.

    I love the use of the three TOS Klingons although I find it an interesting 'device' to make all the other races long-lived... Romulans, Vulcans and now Klingons all live well into their hundreds.

    The episode itself is good enough and I would give it a solid 7. Just wait for Worfs arrival for plenty more where this episode came from. This episode marks the start of a run of high quality toward the seasons end.
  • From int on 2011-08-29 at 3:41pm:
    This was a great episode. The three Klingons are exceptionally interesting, unique characters. They make for a very believable team of old warrior friends. The final raid on "the Albino" has a bit of a Three Musketeers (+ 1 Dax) quality to it, and also a bit of a Tom Clancy quality to it... the premise and execution of this episode is almost feature film material.

    There were some good subtleties around Jadzia's uncertainty, which at times reached almost palpable levels. As Dax with her 7 lifetimes she is an experienced warrior, no stranger to battle, hand-to-hand combat, and death. As Jadzia, she is a fairly delicate, innocent creature who's never personally killed anyone in her life. As Jadzia Dax, about to enact an ancient vendetta, she's, well, visibly uncertain, torn, unsure of herself. It's interesting to watch her resolve these things, put on some armor and pull her own weight in battle, but stop short of personally executing the albino herself. Interesting how the Klingon interprets this too, as saving the deathblow for himself.

    This is a fun episode, and also an interesting exploration of what some less compatible elements of Dax, and specifically Curzon Dax, mean now, for Jadzia...
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-25 at 8:13am:
    Kor is played by John Colicos, who among other roles played Count Baltar, the principle villain in the original Battlestar Galactica series. He also played Kor in DS9: The Sword of Kahless and DS9: Once More Unto the Breach. His first appearance as Kor was in TOS: Errand of Mercy way back in 1967, 27 years before this episode. Colicos was thus one of the longest running guest stars on Star Trek ever. (It would be an interesting study to find out who holds that record.) According to Memory Alpha, it seems that Colicos was also the first major character to appear on screen in a Star Trek episode playing a Klingon. Thus, Colicos defined the initial look of the Klingons.
  • From Harrison on 2013-01-10 at 4:18am:
    A solid story line with some very unconvincing performances from Dax (Terry Farrell, who conveys nothing of the great Curzon, but chews through her lines in the most stilted, smarmy way) and William Campbell, who is hopelesslu mis-cast as Koloth. He exudes about as much noble Klingon aggression as a retired suburban Jr high school teacher. Kang's character is adequately stolid, but it is Kor (John Colicos) who salvage the episode with more believable & impassioned delivery.
  • From Scott on 2018-05-17 at 9:11pm:
    I know I'm responding to what is now a very old set of comments, but I think you're being (were being?) unfair to Terry Farrell. I think she possesses an outstanding ability to convey emotion with her expressions, and think she did so here.

    Of course Jadzia's not Curzon. She's a 27-28 year old woman. But she feels what he felt and I think Farrell did a good job conveying that dichotomy.

    One of my favorite DS9 episodes.

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Star Trek I: The Motion Picture

Originally Aired: 1979-12-7

Synopsis:
A mysterious entity threatens to destroy Earth, while Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are recalled to help save the planet. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 7.35

Rate movie?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 12 10 18 14 19 27 29 43 37 27 159

Problems
- Kirk orders "warp 0.5." That's a little absurd. There's nothing impossible about such an order, but he should have said half impulse seeing as how you wouldn't (and they didn't) use the warp drive. Indeed, they actually are using the impulse drive in this film, but the dialog throughout the film is consistently misleading.
- This film was the first Star Trek production to feature ridge headed Klingons. A deliberate break in visual continuity from TOS that, unlike the set and uniform changes, cannot be rationalized without some sort of in-universe explanation. Decades later, this problem thankfully was rationalized, first by a casual reference in DS9: Trials and Tribblations, and later by Ent: Affliction/Divergence. But for many years, this continuity problem was infamously known as the "Klingon forehead problem."

Factoids
- This film was inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- This film was the first Star Trek production to use the "TNG style" opening music.
- This film was the first Star Trek production to feature the Klingon language.
- This film was the first Star Trek production to mention that Starfleet Command was located in San Francisco.
- This film was the first Star Trek production to use a modern style visual effect for a ship accelerating to warp speed.
- This film was the first Star Trek production to feature a sonic shower.
- This film was created to replace the prospective new series Star Trek Phase II, which never got off the ground.
- This film was nominated for the 1980 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
- This film was nominated for Oscars in Art Direction, Music, and Visual Effects.

Remarkable Scenes
- The opening scene is really great; Klingons and Klingon ships have never looked so cool.
- Kirk is an admiral now!
- Scotty flying Kirk to his refit Enterprise via shuttle.
- It's good to see Mr. Chekov again, after 22 episodes of TAS in all of which he was absent.
- Kirk retaking his ship.
- The transporter failure. It's nice to see technology isn't infallible even in the 23rd century.
- Starfleet Command, regarding the transporter failure: "Enterprise. What we got back didn't live long. Fortunately."
- The space station being engulfed and destroyed.
- McCoy's reluctance to use the transporter.
- McCoy with a huge (unix) beard and a decidedly 70s disco outfit! Many might insult this as being too much a reference to the date of the movie, but I find this hilarious.
- McCoy: "Why is any object we don't understand always called a 'thing!'"
- McCoy: "They probably redesigned the whole sickbay too! I know engineers, they love to change things!"
- The flyby through Earth's Solar System.
- Kirk angrily questioning why his phaser order was countermanded, then humbly accepting Decker's completely valid explanation.
- Spock's appearance and overly cold reactions; even for him.
- Spock: "Who is the creator?" Ilia: "The creator is that which created V'Ger." Kirk: "Who is V'Ger?" Ilia: "V'Ger is that which seeks the creator."
- Ilia busting through a wall!
- Decker: "Jim, V'Ger expects an answer." Kirk: "An answer? I don't know the question!"
- Spock: "V'ger is a child. I suggest you treat it as such."
- McCoy: "Spock! This child is about to wipe out every living thing on Earth! Now, what do you suggest we do? Spank it?"
- The revelation that V'Ger was in fact the Voyager 6 probe.
- Text at the end of the film: "The human adventure is just beginning."

My Review
Star Trek: The Slow Motion Picture... Many insults are thrown at this film for having too slow a plot. Perhaps well deserved. The story seems stretched out. The actual development is probably only enough to cover a single episode. The film also bears a close resemblance to episode TOS: The Changeling, though much improved. Finally, Lt. Ilia happens to belong to an alien species that looks exactly like humans! Okay, so the women of their species don't grow hair; my complaint is still valid. Despite all this, it is still a fine film. Most remarkable are the visual effects which are superb, especially for the time. Many people complain about there being too many visual effects, or that they take too long. This is a valid complaint, but I still like them nonetheless. Additionally, there are complaints about the uniforms being too drab. Again, I liked them. Gene Roddenberry has made claims that many elements of TMP were in fact Star Trek as it was meant to be. One particularly noticeable detail is the uniforms for women are no longer sexist. Another fine detail is the redesigned set of the Enterprise. Incredible, she was absolutely stunning, especially the engineering section and the sight of the absolutely beautiful warpcore. Remarkably, decades later the warpcore of the USS Voyager will quite strikingly resemble this one. Another good detail about the ship is the new deflector dish. The silly looking outward protruding dish is replaced by a futuristic, blue, glowing, cool looking dish. Another nice detail in this film is the multiple points of contention between Kirk and Decker, all of which are intelligently done. The resolution of the plot in this film is something of an anticlimax, but the intent of the movie was that it be viewed as a whole. A work of art, not a Star Trek episode in the traditional sense. In that respect, the film is highly successful. Notably, it was a commercial success as well. It is fitting that Decker and Ilia should be reunited in the end by both joining with V'Ger. It creates something of a happy ending out of their brief but decidedly tragic loss of one another. Indeed, the human adventure is just beginning. A fantastic film true to the spirit of Star Trek.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Old Fat Trekkie on 2011-12-15 at 5:22am:
    I thought the tension between Decker and Kirk was forced, unnecessary, and silly. Kirk is an admiral. He should behave as an admiral and he should function as an admiral. I would have liked to have seen his character grow a bit. Kirk's character never does throughout all of the movies. He remains Captain Kirk, while all of his subordinates become Captains as well.

    With such a danger approaching the Earth, why wasn't a fleet sent out? Now, Kirk as an Admiral, could have used the Enterprise as his flag ship with Decker as Captain. Kirk could have assumed a more strategic roll, and left the running of the Star Ship in the more capable hands of Decker in that role. In WWII Admiral Halsey was not the captain of a ship, he was the fleet commander. That is the role Kirk should of had.

    It becomes incredibly absurd in STIV-TVH when Kirk is demoted and this appears to be a good thing. In real life this is a career ending event.
  • From Bernard on 2011-12-15 at 7:04pm:
    Ahhh, Star Trek: The Motion-less Picture.

    I actually really like this film. Yes all the complaints thrown at it are valid and it is a BIG disappointment compared to what it could and should have been. I think they were thinking too much 2001: A Space Odyssey when they should have been concentrating more on the elements that made the original series tick at its best moments.

    I have to disagree with Old Fat Trekkie because part of what gives this film the extra notch that makes it more watchable is Captain Decker. His interaction with Kirk is central because it provides some much needed conflict. Conflict, otherwise, is missing from the film because the all powerful VGER has no underhand objective or evil plan it is simply going about its business. Also what happens to Decker throughout the movie, his arc if you like, paves the way for his dramatic exit in what is for me, a special and spectacular ending.
    This movie shows how to do dramatic and tense scenes between two characters at odds with each other unlike the latest reincarnation of Trek where Chris Pine and Zach Quinto just shout and ball at each other.
    To finish, this movie is a masterpiece in terms of an artistic (effects, shots and music) feature film set in the Star Trek universe. Unfortunately the plot cannot handle the burden placed upon it and the movie drags towards its conclusion with long contrived scenes. Still love it though!
  • From Old Fat Trekkie on 2011-12-17 at 3:30pm:
    Thank you, Bernard for our thoughtful comments. I do find it interesting that you disagree with "Old Fat Trekkie," then go on to state that the tension between Kirk and Decker was needed since the film itself was lacking. In that, I totally agree with you.

    I believe a great opportunity was lost by the writers. The reason was laziness on their part. Let’s face it; this movie was going to do fantastic at the Boxes regardless of the story line. Trekkies, such as myself and I am sure you as well, had been waiting 10 years for this film. I still would loved to have see Kirk as an admiral, I mean a real admiral, leading a fleet.
  • From Bernard on 2011-12-18 at 12:41pm:
    I guess I should have been slightly more specific. I disagreed with your statement that the tension between Kirk and Decker was forced and unneccessary. In my view it was absolutely neccessary and well played. Everything else you said I can agree with!

    And yes, always nice to have dialogue though isn't it!

  • From jeffenator98 on 2014-02-06 at 2:45pm:
    After what happened in the transporter room I understand Dr. McCoys fears of "Having my atoms scattered all over the universe."
  • From Scott Hearon on 2014-04-15 at 9:25pm:
    Not bad, really. I gave it a 6/10.

    The "Slow Motion Picture" jokes are warranted, as I thought that first super-slow pan of the Enterprise was was overdone. I guess they just wanted hardcore Trekkies to have time to bask in the glory, soak it all in, and then have time to recover before any more dialogue or plot movement occurred.

    The story is actually a very good one, even if it does take a while to build up to it. I love the notion of a massive, mysterious alien lifeform bearing down on Earth, and then learning that it's not malevolent. The idea of living machines is intriguing, and the noted sci-fi writer Alan Dean Foster used it well.

    I have to say that some minor parts of the story were ill-conceived and a bit contrived. As others point out, there seemed to be no need to have Kirk an admiral. It just complicated and mucked up the tale unnecessarily. And having to "get the band back together" by pulling in Spock and McCoy seemed like a silly contrivance, in the name of being sly and funny. I found it neither. And this will sound odd, but I found Spock to be too distant and cold. I know, I know - he's a Vulcan. Still, during TOS, Nimoy and the writers always managed to work in the sense that Spock was at least willing to acknowledge emotions and humor, even if he very rarely participated in them. In the Motion Picture, I didn't get any such sense.

    The clothing aesthetic was a bit weird, but hardly tragic. A bit drab, but certainly a bit more stately. Though why, oh why, can science fiction movies never get past the hairstyles of the times in which the movies are made?

    The remodeling of the Enterprise was quite nice, considering it was 1979. Much stronger, even, were the external visuals. Yes, it borrowed very heavily from the trippy, psychedelic light show of 2001, but it worked well. Though it was probably a tad too long, I actually liked the drawn out journey through and to the alien energy field. It conveyed the sense of scale needed to induce wonderment.

    The resolution was fine to me, though I feel that we never get enough information about Decker and Ilia's relationship to feel much empathy for them. it certainly is a romantic, and even poetic, ending for them both, and I liked that. But it was missing some of the emotional punch which I assume the filmmakers intended.

    A film not without warts, but a decent one nonetheless.

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Star Trek TNG - 4x26 - Redemption, Part I

Originally Aired: 1991-6-17

Synopsis:
Worf is torn between the Federation and his people. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 7.3

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 15 2 1 6 1 5 3 23 20 49 30

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Gowron's appearance. The eyes! The eyes!
- Picard encouraging Worf to challenge his discommendation.
- Gowron asking Picard to assist his installation.
- Picard suspecting Romulans as aiding the Duras' family.
- Worf discussing the truth behind his discommendation with Gowron.
- Guinan target practicing with Worf.
- Worf discussing Gowron with his brother.
- The Duras sisters confronting Picard privately in their house. Picard accuses them of behaving like Romulans!
- The battle between the Klingon factions.
- Gowron giving Worf back his honor.
- Worf resigning from starfleet to fight for Gowron's cause.
- Worf's send off.
- A Romulan Tasha Yar?

My Review
More Klingon soap opera and brilliant continuity. This episode opens with Picard encouraging Worf to challenge his discommendation (TNG: Sins of the Father) whilst the Enterprise is en route to the Klingon homeworld to observe Gowron becoming leader of the high council. Gowron meets them early, but tells Picard that the Duras family is still running amuck. Picard mentions that Duras was killed (TNG: Reunion) and attributes corruption to why the Duras family still has power in the empire. Additionally, we get great continuity with TNG: The Mind's Eye first regarding Picard's mentioning and suspicion of the Duras family having a Romulan connection and the revelation of who the shadowy Romulan figure is. A Romulan Tasha Yar? That's a little lame. But it does little to stain an excellent episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-09-03 at 3:02am:
    - Near the beginning of the episode, Worf and Guinan practice together on the phaser range. Guinan tells Worf she had a bet with Picard that she could make Worf laugh before he made the rank of lieutenant commander. "Not a good bet today," he replies. The conversation seems to imply that Guinan has never made Worf laugh. In the opening scene of "Yesterday's Enterprise," Guinan did make Worf laugh. Was there an alternate reality that was caused in that episode by the older Enterprise coming through the time fissure and then returning so that Worf never laughed in Ten-Forward?
    - When Gowron first tells Picard of the Duras sisters' challenge, Picard asks for details. Gowron has none, stating that women cannot serve on the High Council. That must be a new rule, because Gowron offered K'Ehleyr a seat on the High Council in "Reunion."
    - As Worf prepares to leave the Enterprise, he packs his belongings in a large chest. Picard comes to his quarters for a chat. During the conversation, Picard says he will make sure Worf's belongings get transferred to the Klingon ship. Just before Picard escorts Worf to the transporter, Worf closes the lid on the chest and they walk out. However, while they were talking, a pan of the room showed Worf's bat'leth still hanging on the wall. In "Reunion," Worf explained to his son that the weapon had been in his family for ten generations. There is no way Worf would leave that behind. Was he hoping that Picard would remember to pack it also?
    - When the family of Duras attacks Gowron, two Klingon warships attack, pummeling Gowron's ship. Picard observes the battle as Data narrates. At one point, Data says, "[Gowron's ship] has lost her port shield. It is unlikely that they will withstand another hit in that quarter." The shot changes to the main viewer of the Enterprise. As Data continues narrating, the graphics show Gowron's ship taking not one, not two, not three, but four more phaser hits on the port side, and in each of those hits the blast disperses as if the port shield still functions!
  • From JRPoole on 2008-07-01 at 9:00pm:
    This two-parter would be a candidate for my best of trek award. The only small problem for me is the Romulan Tasha Yar, which, despite the explanation coming in the second part, is stretching it a little.

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Star Trek DS9 - 6x10 - The Magnificent Ferengi

Originally Aired: 1998-1-1

Synopsis:
The Grand Nagus calls with news that Quark's mother, Ishka, has been captured by the Dominion. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.3

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 16 0 2 2 3 5 9 11 18 24 44

Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- Outside of Keevan's ultimate fate, there is nothing significant here from a continuity standpoint. But I strongly recommend watching the episode anyway simply due to how hysterically entertaining it is.

Problems
- Why is Empok Nor shown titled in exterior shots? Why is the station abandoned still? Surely either the Federation or the Dominion would be interested in moving it somewhere to be used as a supplementary defensive position?

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of DS9 Award."
- Vorta are supposed to commit suicide when they're captured, according to Keevan.
- The Vorta Yelgrun in this episode was played by famous musician Iggy Pop.

Remarkable Scenes
- The Starfleet officers stealing Quark's audience. Poor baby...
- Quark telling Rom about the Ishka's relationship with Zek.
- Quark and Rom getting showing up in Sisko's office.
- Leck: "I don't care about latinum." A surreal statement from a Ferengi.
- Brunt to Quark: "A child, a moron, a failure, and a psychopath. Quite a little team you've put together."
- The holosuite practice session.
- Keevan's appearance.
- The whole running scenes on Empok Nor when they thought they lost their prisoner, then running back to the infirmary when the Dominion ship arrived.
- Quark, Rom, and Nog's first meeting with Yelgrun.
- Keevan's final words just after being shot by Gaila: "I hate Ferengi."
- Yulgrun: "And I thought the Breen were annoying."
- Puppet Keevan with his tilted head.
- Puppet Keevan walking into the wall.
- The Ferengi ambushing the Jem'Hadar and capturing Yelgrun. I especially liked Leck throwing a knife into a Jem'Hadar's chest.
- Morn Appearances; 1. Opening scene, listens to Quark's story. 2. Behind Rom in the bar when he talks to Quark about the holosuite practice session results.

My Review
Marvelous; the best Ferengi episode yet. Good connections with DS9: Ferengi Love Songs, with regards to Ishka's relationship with Zek, good connections with DS9: Empok Nor since we get to see Empok Nor again, and good connections with DS9: Rocks and Shoals; we learn the true fate of Keevan. It's a shame we don't get to see Quark tell Sisko the story. I think Sisko would have said something like, "Keevan got exactly what he deserved." Iggy Pop's cameo as Yelgrun was fantastic; the musician makes one hell of a Vorta! The episode features good continuity all around and the team of the six "magnificent Ferengi" is wonderfully constructed and brilliantly played out. I couldn't be happier with this wonderful episode that mixes humor and danger so successfully. Bravo!

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-07-14 at 11:16pm:
    Yelgrun has a barely tolerable lisp that annoys the hell out of me. It sounds like he's wearing a retainer.
  • From onlinebroker on 2009-11-15 at 12:53am:
    The scene where Nogg checks his grandmas blood is just hilarious. Loved the whole episode, and I agree, great performance by Iggy Pop!
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2010-02-18 at 4:40pm:
    The laughing between Quark and Nog at the end of the episode seems to be an ad-lib. Out of character, but I always laugh with them when I see it.

    I'd probably give it an 8. There's one part that I dislike. It's when Nog, Quark, and Rom first come out to greet Yelgrun. The three stare at each other with these bad-ass looks on their faces. Maybe it was a parody of some old movie, but I thought it was a stupid moment.
  • From rpeh on 2010-08-03 at 3:20am:
    It's a great episode that manages to mix fun and suspense well. The references to westerns make it even better.

    @Orion Pimpdaddy, Gene Roddenberry created star trek as a western in space: "Wagon Train to the Stars" was his description, so homages to the genre are entirely appropriate. It's tough if you don't understand them.
  • From Popescu on 2010-09-21 at 10:55pm:
    This episode is absolutely fantastic! I've never laughed so much watching a ST episode. Watching those little Ferengi banging their heads to form a commando and confront the Dominion was simply amazing.

    "Two slips of latinum to the first who makes it to the infirmary" - I couldn't believe my ears hearing that :)

    A very nice relief episode during the Dominion war and a very very good reuse of characters! Bravos!
  • From MJ on 2011-01-26 at 1:18pm:
    Well, both the Vorta may hate Ferengi, but I love them! Or rather, I love the Ferengi as they are portrayed in DS9, which did the same thing with the Ferengi that TNG did with the Klingons.

    DS9 really made itself better and more rounded by expanding on the Ferengi through episodes like this. The Dominion War, the Maquis, Sisko's struggle with his wife's death, Odo's separation from his people, Kira's stories and the horrific history of the Bajoran persecution...all of these are very serious topics that deal with complex issues. How nice to have the comical Ferengi episodes enter the series every now and again!

    My two favorite scenes in this episode are the bungled rescue operation in the holo suite, and the prisoner exchange at the end. I couldn't stop laughing...very well done!

  • From attractionmagnetical on 2011-07-11 at 2:59am:
    I have to say, Keevan really made this episode for me. His constant disgust while being dragged around the station, his bored expressions while the Ferengi planned, his over-the-top predictions of doom, his dying words, and of course, the behaviour and expressions of puppet Keevan were all priceless. Christopher Shea (the actor who played Keevan) did a delightful job with puppet Keevan; I haven't laughed that hard in awhile. Plus, Iggy Pop made a delightful appearance, too.

    As an old movie buff, I really appreciated the many references to the classic "Magnificent Seven" film, although I suspect that DS9's younger audience may miss a lot of them.
  • From Axel on 2015-08-16 at 11:30pm:
    DS9 really found a great crop of actors to play the recurring Ferengi characters. This episode is their crowning achievement. The ensemble works well together, each one bringing his own hilarity to the group. The return of cousin Gala, the assassin Leck, and of course Jeffrey Combs as ex-Liquidator Brunt combined with the usual trio made for a spectacularly humorous and adventurous episode. Close runner-up to "Little Green Men" as far as Ferengi episodes go. Not a dull moment in this one, and great continuity with other story arcs as well. One of my favorites.

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Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Originally Aired: 1991-12-6

Synopsis:
The Klingons seek help to save their world by turning to their former enemy, the Federation. Some, however, do their best to sabotage the peace efforts. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 7.29

Rate movie?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 37 3 6 3 3 3 18 32 45 75 82

Problems
- We all know Klingon technology is different and all, but I have no idea what level of "different" would cause Praxis to explode in such an impossible manner.
- Spock claims the Federation has had hostile relations with the Klingon Empire for "almost 70 years." I'd put it at approximately 150 years.
- This is the only Star Trek production in which Klingon blood is a bright pinkish color.
- Why was Worf in this film? I know it was supposed to be something of an in-joke because this film was produced during the TNG era. Maybe Defense Attorney Worf was supposed to be one of Worf's ancestors or something. But the least they could have done was give him another name or something...
- Did Chekov get demoted or something? He appears to be in the navigator's position again...
- Martia claims no one has ever escaped from Rura Penthe, yet Captain Archer did just that in the second season of Star Trek Enterprise. Maybe the Klingons struck his imprisonment and subsequent escape from the records.

Factoids
- Brock Peters plays Admiral Cartwright. He later plays Joseph Sisko on DS9.
- Rene Auberjoinis plays Colonel West. He later plays Odo in DS9.
- According to Spock, Klingons have no tear ducts.
- General Chang's line "Don't wait for the translation" is a reference to what the UN delegate from the US demanded from the Soviet delegate during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
- The speech made by the warden outside Rura Penthe is a reference to the novel War and Peace where Siberia is Rura Penthe.
- This film is the first canonical indication that the Romulan and Klingon Empires are in the Beta quadrant.
- This film was nominated for the 1992 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
- This film was nominated for Oscars in Makeup and Sound Effects Editing.

Remarkable Scenes
- Captain Sulu!
- Officer: "Do we report this, sir?" Sulu: "Are you kidding?"
- Spock: "There is an old Vulcan proverb: Only Nixon could go to China."
- Kirk: "They're animals!" Spock: "Jim, there is an historic opportunity here." Kirk: "Don't believe them! Don't trust them!" Spock: "They are dying." Kirk: "Let them die!"
- Kirk: "Captain's log, stardate 9522.6. I've never trusted Klingons, and I never will. I've never been able to forgive them for the death of my boy. It seems to me our mission to escort the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council to a peace summit is problematic at best. Spock says this could be an historic occasion, and I'd like to believe him. But how on earth can history get past people like me?"
- Spock: "Logic, logic, logic. Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end."
- Chang quoting Shakespeare in Klingon.
- Chang: "We need breathing room!" Kirk: "Earth, Hitler, 1938."
- The crew lamenting about the dinner after it was over.
- The mystery murderers attacking the Klingon ship and beaming over and murdering people. I love the ensuing chaos and confusion.
- Scotty: "I bet that Klingon bitch killed her father!"
- McCoy: "He was the last best hope in the universe for peace."
- Valeris' phaser demonstration and Uhura's and Scotty's reaction.
- Chekov: "If shoe fits, wear it."
- Uhura attempting to respond in Klingon.
- Kirk's extremely, extremely, lucky escape.
- Kirk bitching about Spock's rescue having been two seconds too early.
- Spock's mind meld "rape" of Valeris.
- McCoy, regarding Chang's attack on the Enterprise: "This is fun..."
- Officer, regarding the Excelsior flying too fast: "She'll fly apart!" Sulu: "Fly her apart then!"
- The space battle at the end. Awesome.
- Spock: "If I were human, I believe my response would be, 'Go to hell.'"
- "Captain's Log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the Starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of a new generation. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun, and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man--where no one has gone before."

My Review
This film an impressive and for once a fitting end to the series. Granted it isn't the last time we'll see Kirk and a few of the other characters, it is the last bona fide TOS film. There are some idiotic details in this movie, such as another shapeshifter, or another Kirk double, or the discussion about dismantling Starfleet because of the possible peace with the Klingons. Are we led to believe that Starfleet is only a military organization? What happened to the whole exploration thing? Even if so, what about the Romulans? With the Klingons out of the way the Romulans are of course still a major threat... Thankfully Starfleet is not dismantled of course and this idiotic detail is quickly forgotten. Also annoying was Chang's incessant quoting of Shakespeare. At least Spock told him to shut up! One thing I was fond of was an alien president of the Federation. Something we will see again. Another good detail was the way the Klingon language was handled in this film. Additionally, this film presents a convincing mystery concerning who's trying to accomplish what clear up to the climax which is pleasing. The final nice detail is how this film parallels the the cold war. Praxis' explosion parallels Chernobyl, the Klingon ecological problem parallels the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the plot to disrupt the peace talks mirrors rumor that people would disrupt the American-Soviet peace to keep the military budgets high. Overall a very fine film.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Macca on 2007-12-26 at 10:19am:
    Re the factoid about Rene Auberjonois playing Colonel West. Isn't his rank something of an anomaly? All the ranks in Starfleet are naval - Commanders, Admirals, Ensigns etc. Colonel is an Army rank - and to my memory, the only one to appear in Star Fleet. Apart from Kira, of course -but that's a Bajoran Militia rank. It's hardly a killer detail - but it is an odd one that could have been avoided by giving him the rank of Commodore, which was still around in that era.
  • From Bernard on 2008-07-25 at 4:44pm:
    I absolutely love this film. I remember it fondly as being the first one I saw at the cinema.

    I give it a 10, any faults in this film are glossed over for me with the energy, action and also family feel to the performances, script and direction.
  • From Spatula on 2008-11-23 at 1:13am:
    Regarding the explosion of Praxis, one of the theories I've heard is that it was a failed test of a Klingon copy of the Genesis Device.
  • From Zaphod on 2011-04-11 at 5:07pm:
    Best Star Trek movie by far imo. Great fun to watch, I really miss the old crew, especially the trio Kirk, McCoy and Spock.

    The only scene I didnt like was the one where they trapped the traitor in the infirmary. That never should have worked, it smelled like a trap when they mentioned the names on the public address system and it yelled TRAP!!! when the infirmary was dark and abandoned. That traitor obviously is a retard too.
  • From Wes on 2011-08-24 at 10:58am:
    After my last viewing of this pretty good movie, I noticed an interesting FACTOID: the Federation president's office is actually the Ten Forward set from TNG.
  • From Duffnick on 2013-12-09 at 11:25pm:
    Kirk orders Lt. Valeris to leave space dock at 1/4 impulse. Are we to believe she then lit this up to 1/4 the speed of light. The doors would not have opened yet and if they had it would appear that the ship just disappeared.
  • From Shane on 2013-12-22 at 10:19am:
    I thought that female's couldn't be on the council. But yet in this film the daughter takes over when her father dies.
  • From Douglas Horton on 2015-12-09 at 9:38pm:
    The Colonel West character was a reference to the U.S. Colonel Oliver North: a gung-ho military officer. That's why in the movie the rank is colonel and not a naval rank.
  • From Bronn on 2016-01-30 at 9:29pm:
    Having just watched this again, it occurs to me that THIS is the film that they should have tried to copy for Nemesis, instead of Khan. Mostly because Khan was a unique villain and there's never any connection between poor Tom Hardy and Patrick Stewart in that. Instead, it should have been a film about the Romulans and overcoming fear. And in that film, the various characters could be spread out-Riker captaining his own vessel with Troi working with him, and Worf serving as the Klingon ambassador.

    I don't know if this is the BEST Trek film, but it's really strong. It holds up 25 years later. It just makes me sad to watch this and remember all the actors who've passed on: Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelley, and James Doohan.
  • From Stephen on 2016-02-25 at 9:54am:
    @Duffnick impulse isn't relative to the speed of light so 1/4 impulse isn't 1/4 the speed of light.

    Also, I always assumed Worf being in the movie was a nod that his father (before being called a traitor) was well regarded and a politician iirc

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Star Trek DS9 - 3x21 - The Die Is Cast

Originally Aired: 1995-5-1

Synopsis:
On the eve of a Romulan/Cardassian attack against the Dominion, Garak may have to prove his loyalty to his former mentor by eliminating Odo. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 7.28

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 20 2 1 18 5 1 1 5 8 38 70

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is kind of a runaway idea. Someone on the writing staff just kind of blurted out an idea, wondering what would happen if Garak blew up his own shop. Eventually the idea got so large, it didn't fit the constraints of a single episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- A fleet of Cardassian and Romulan ships decloaking near DS9.
- Enabran Tain reminiscing with Garak about the old days. Supposedly, Garak got a confession out of someone during an interrogation by just sitting and staring at him for four hours straight. Disturbing...
- Eddington revealing he sabotaged the cloaking device.
- Sisko to Eddington: "I'd stay out of the chief's way if I were you."
- Odo's initial reaction to Garak's torture.
- A peeling Odo. Very disturbing...
- Odo revealing his desire to return to his people to Garak.
- The attack on the Founders' home world and the revelation that it was all a trap.
- Enabran Tain staying on the warbird.
- Odo saving Garak.
- The Defiant showing up in the battle.
- Garak: "Do you know what the sad part is, Odo? I'm a very good tailor."

My Review
A quality ending to a quality story. Garak and Odo finally have some respect for each other and the Dominion once again proves its valor. I'll never forget the Romulan officer aboard the warbird reporting that 150 Jem'Hadar ships were coming out of the nebula. 150 vs. 20! I don't like those odds at all! Enabran Tain certainly got what was coming to him, but in a way it seemed almost tragic. It seems now Garak will never get his old life back, now that the Obsidian Order and the Tal Shiar are all but eliminated. Maybe not gone per se, but definitely disarmed for the moment. I think Garak has finally begun to accept that if and when he does return to his people, that it will be to a very different life than he had and for a very different reason than he had originally expected. This two parter is one of DS9's finest moments.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Marissa on 2012-08-01 at 9:45pm:
    I absolutely love the final scene of this episode, where we only see Odo's reflection in the mirror. It kind of makes the whole thing feel surreal. Odo's offer of friendship there is a beautiful moment for both of my two favorite characters of DS9, and the choice of camera angle was just perfect. Too bad I can't seem to find the proper words to describe exactly why I love this scene.
  • From Dubhan on 2014-07-16 at 1:41am:
    This episode is pretty jam-packed. It's got action, subterfuge, sabotage, willful disobeyance of orders, a substantial space battle (!), and - the best part - great dramatic scenes between Garak and Odo to hit you in the feels. This is some of the best Trek has to offer.
  • From Mike D. on 2017-01-25 at 1:50am:
    I've heard season 4 is when this series really takes off, and I hope this awesome two-parter is a taste of what's to come. Garak's wide-eyed stare is so effective, he really is a great character. I loved the special effects in this episode, both the peeling Odo and the big ship battle.

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Star Trek Dis - 1x09 - Into the Forest I Go

Originally Aired: 2017-11-12

Synopsis:
Bypassing Starfleet's orders, Lorca uses the U.S.S. Discovery crew's ultimate asset, the ship itself, in an effort to end the war with the Klingons once and for all.

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 7.28

Rate episode?

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

Problems
- Since It seemed clear that Lorca didn't know there was anyone aboard the ship of the dead who needed rescuing, then if Lorca's intent was to destroy it rather than take it over, why not just beam a bomb onto the ship instead of an away team? Some technobabble about the ship having explosion suppression tech would've been nice here.

Factoids
- The title of this episode is a reference to a quote by John Muir: "And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul."
- The writers chose 133 spore jumps as an homage to the Battlestar Galactica episode "33."
- At one point in the episode, Stamets offers to take Culber to see a performance of the opera La bohème. The writers chose that specific opera because the actors Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz had both previously performed in a musical called Rent, which is based on La bohème.

Remarkable Scenes
- Tilly idiotically blowing Stamets' cover to Culber.
- Discovery engaging the ship of the dead.
- Burnham discovering Admiral Cornwell still alive while Tyler encounters L'Rell again.
- Burnham revealing herself to Kol to distract him to prevent him from ordering the ship of the dead to go to warp.
- Burnham provoking Kol into a duel.
- Discovery destroying the ship of the dead.

My Review
A fantastic story from start to finish with only minor things to quibble with. The most important thing this episode needed to clarify was just what was going on with L'Rell and Cornwell in the last episode and we thankfully got that clarification. Well, mostly. Was Cornwell really dead? Nope. Did L'Rell intend to deceive Kol and revive her after staging the fight where she killed her? Probably. Did she succeed in deceiving Kol about Cornwell being dead? Unclear. Also unclear is how exactly she managed to revive Cornwell. The most interesting revelation in this episode though was that Tyler was repressing the trauma he experienced from L'Rell's prior torture and that she continues to have some sort of hold over him. At the end of the episode, she says to him, "Do not worry, I will never let them hurt you. Soon..." which strongly implies that she has some kind of plan for him.

Given the conspicuous absence of Voq since L'Rell informed him he would have to sacrifice "everything" in order to go on and then the sudden appearance of Tyler directly afterward who also just so happens to seem to have some deep connection to L'Rell, either there is some kind of connection between Voq and Tyler, or the narrative is deliberately misleading us. We should hope for the former. Even so, unfortunately the exact nature of this connection if it exists is still being withheld both from the audience as well as the characters, a weak narrative choice.

While we can't know the precise nature of any such connection yet, a reasonable guess would be that Voq was surgically altered to look human and brainwashed into thinking he is Tyler. Tyler is thus just Voq acting as a sleeper agent, waiting to be activated by L'Rell. But if that is the case, Discovery would have done well to learn from how Battlestar Galactica did this. In BSG's pilot, we learned that Boomer was a sleeper agent at the start of the series. This information was withheld from the characters, not from the viewers. That narrative approach would've made the drama in Discovery much more satisfying. Instead, Discovery's approach of hiding this from both the audience and the characters too is just a recipe for cheap surprises down the road rather than great storytelling with true replay value.

Regardless of what ends up happening there, another weak beat in the story was L'Rell's insane luck. Whatever her plan really was aboard the ship of the dead in the previous episode, it failed miserably. Kol saw through her deception and she was imprisoned, presumably with no hope of escape. Sure was handy that Discovery showed up to blow up the ship and then rescued her by accident without at all planning to! If L'Rell really does turn out to be some mastermind sleeper agent puppeteer, she will also simultaneously only survive long enough to activate her sleeper agent due to incredibly dumb luck. There is no way she could've possibly planned to end up aboard the Discovery in this manner. And if all this was planned, subsequent episodes are sure gonna have to do a lot of work to fill in the gaps. Either way that's weak storytelling.

But all that said, this was otherwise a spectacular episode. Discovery battling the ship of the dead was cool. The military tactics leveraging the spore drive were clever and exciting to watch. And Burnham's duel with Kol was even cooler than the space battle! Overall a very satisfying episode that seems to have gotten the story back on track for the most part. The jump-to-the-middle-of-nowhere cliffhanger was a bit anticlimactic after such an otherwise strong episode though.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Matthew on 2017-11-15 at 2:25pm:
    I am feeling much better after this one - it's starting to come together, after a rather abrupt start.

    The cliffhanger is more meaningful where you consider where they probably are - i.e. the mirror universe, as covered around the web. I am completely convinced Lorca is actually Mirror Lorca, and that this will make sense of a number of things, like his sleeping with a phaser (consistent with the mirror universe love of shipboard assassination), praising the warrior aspect over science and exploration (his valedictory speech on the bridge was a weird bit in this episode, even taking the fact they're at war into account) and the fact that Cornwell finds him a stranger to her (with some unexplained scars).

    I've found myself thinking back to stuff he says in previous episodes in this context. What really strikes me is his attitude to Burnham. You can see that he's overridden the spore drive in a screengrab of his captain's chair console from this episode, so he clearly wants to get to one of the alternate dimensions that he talks Stamets through. But he clearly also wants Burnham, above all, to come with him. Nothing else explains his extraordinarily protective attitude to her in this episode - if he just wanted her on his team to help win the war, then her going over to the ship of the dead would just be her fulfilling that mission. But he doesn't want her there, he wants her safe until they jump dimensions. Also go back to the episode where he gets her on board and she's saying "I'm Starfleet, you can't break my principles" and he says "I know who you are, Michael Burnham" - my take is that while she obviously takes it as a figurative character assessment, he's being completely literal. He does know Burnham, very well, from the Mirror timeline. Tyler too, possibly, though who knows. A lot of his other random man management can be put down to him just being a bit of a do-whatever-it-takes merchant.

    My guess is that they have jumped to the Mirror universe but he's been out of stream for a while so is genuinely confused by what he's seeing when he gets there, rather than just putting it on.

    Maybe we are in for some juicy flashbacks with what actually happened with Lorca and the Buran - could have been Mirror Lorca engineering Prime Lorca's death then passing himself off as surviving Prime Lorca. BSG Razer style full episode flashback, anyone? Chance to bring BSG Tory back from the dead (also dead suspicious on the Mirror Universe front - would redeem her ridiculous death slightly if she was an aggressive xenophobic Terran Empire type). Also it would pay BSG back for giving us more Ro Laren!

    The whole Tyler/Voq thing is coming good, fingers crossed. L'Rell is just a fantastic actress and great character. Tyler appears totally confused and to have a split personality. I am inclined to think the nightmare flashback is not quite what it appears. Wild guess - L'Rell snatched Tyler and somehow implanted Voq's consciousness into him, which is now warring with the native mind. The flashbacks could imply an actual physical transformation (instead of torture) but I don't really see how that would pass the inevitable medical scans.

    Also let's not forget those weird black badges. I'm still hoping that's Section 31 though their role in this - who knows. Put themselves there to monitor Lorca given immense potential of the ship's technology; or even they are actually behind getting him from the Mirror universe because they saw the Federation might otherwise lose the war?

    Anyway - however these are resolved there is plenty to look forward to next season. There was some better character stuff in the later part of these episodes, particularly this one and Lethe. And I hope they keep variety - it's all a bit frenetic, and while the planet one before this was flawed in some ways I enjoyed the change of pace and tone.
  • From tigertooth on 2017-11-20 at 10:05pm:
    The "just one more jump" thing was painfully bad. So, so obvious - almost a parody. And they didn't even have a particularly good reason for it. Lorca didn't insist on it. They could have just used warp, but no -- we'll just do this incredibly dangerous thing ONE more time.

    Lorca was trying to unlock the secret of the cloak, not merely destroy the Ship of the Dead. If he beams a bomb over, that takes care of the one ship, but not all the others in the Klingon fleet. So that worked for me.

    Did they show how Burnham got onto the bridge? It seemed implausible that she could get on the bridge undetected and set up the machine. Then again, that huge bridge is quite unlike the small, simple bridges we're used to seeing on Klingon ships.

    So the Klingon ship cloaks and prepares to warp away. Then Burnham shows up and the entire bridge forgets that there's a Starfleet vessel popping from place to place all around them. Seems that would raise some alarms, but instead the entire bridge crew ignores their sensors and turns into the thunderdome. Ridiculous.

    I didn't like the "Tyler is the Manchurian Candidate" idea, but assuming that Voq is indeed related, I might come around on it.

    I hope they can start making the characters, especially the Klingons, act in ways that show some common sense.
  • From T. Buchholz on 2017-11-28 at 2:39pm:
    Hi there Mr Kethinov! Have you considered reviewing The Orville? I think it captures the spirit of classic Trek quite well though it can be a bit silly at times. is there any particular reason not to review it other than time constraints?
  • From Kethinvo on 2017-11-28 at 4:54pm:
    Time constraints is the only reason.

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Star Trek DS9 - 5x06 - Trials and Tribble-ations

Originally Aired: 1996-11-4

Synopsis:
Deep Space Nine crewmembers travel back in time and integrate with Kirk's Enterprise crew. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 7.25

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 46 1 11 2 6 7 5 9 28 23 141

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- This episode serves as a sequel to TOS: The Trouble with Tribbles and TAS: More Tribbles, More Troubles. Also the scene when Worf falls just short of explaining why TOS Klingons look different is a sort of inadvertent setup for the later episodes of Star Trek Enterprise, Ent: Affliction and Ent: Divergence. And of course this episode is also one of the best and funniest episodes of the entire series and shouldn't be skipped solely for that reason!

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of DS9 Award."
- Kirk was "a menace" because of his repeated temporal violations.
- Emony Dax met Dr. McCoy on Earth and probably had a brief relationship with him when he was a medical student while she was judging a gymnastics competition.
- The intermittent tribbles that fell on Kirk after the initial downpour were actually Sisko and Dax throwing them down the hole. :)
- This episode was nominated for the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

Remarkable Scenes
- Dax' faux pas, time joke.
- Bashir and O'Brien making fun of the way Worf smells.
- The crew dressing up in retro uniforms.
- Bashir: "I'm a doctor, not an historian." Count 18 for "I'm a doctor, not a (blah)" style lines, which McCoy was famous for.
- Sisko: "In the old days, operations officers wore red and command officers wore gold." Dax: "And women wore less."
- O'Brien and Bashir trying to work a 23rd century turbolift.
- O'Brien's and Bashir's confrontation with a local Engineer.
- Worf describing to Odo the history of Klingons and Tribbles.
- Odo: "Another glorious chapter of Klingon history. Tell me, do they still sing songs of the Great Tribble Hunt?"
- Bashir speaking of a possible predestination paradox surrounding his birth: "I could be my own great grandfather! If I don't meet with her tomorrow I may never be born! I can't wait to get back to Deep Space Nine and see your face when you find out that I never existed!"
- O'Brien mistaking a low ranking officer for Kirk.
- O'Brien, Bashir, and Odo not recognizing 23rd century Klingons and Worf's reaction to it: "They are Klingons, and it is a long story." O'Brien: "What happened? Some kind of genetic engineering?" Bashir: "A viral mutation?" Worf: "We do not discuss it with outsiders."
- The bar fight.
- Dax calculating the exact number of tribbles exactly the way Spock did.
- Sisko meeting Kirk.
- Tribbles all over DS9.
- Morn Appearances; 1. At Quark's, drowning in Tribbles.

My Review
This episode is wonderfully funny. They did a great job making everything look retro; even the characters' hair, along with splicing together scenes from TOS: The Trouble With Tribbles into this episode. Dax is ridiculously nostalgic, Sisko wants to ask Kirk about fighting the Gorn, O'Brien can't figure out all this old technology, Bashir thinks he's his own great grandfather, and Worf feels shame about Klingon history. All very entertaining and probably the biggest fanboy episode ever made.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Sean on 2010-06-07 at 4:45am:
    That was such a fun episode, the producers did such an excellent job on recreating the Enterprise and merging the TOS footage. I can't remember the last time I laughed so much during Star Trek!

    And as a side note, I think that mystery sixth Enterprise must be the 1701-E, because Geordi says in First Contact that the Enterprise has been out of spacedock "for almost a year", so presumably when this episode was set, the Enterprise-E was out there, stutting her stuff.
  • From rpeh on 2010-08-01 at 1:00pm:
    Wonderful stuff. A perfect tribute to TOS and a great episode in its own right.

    One minor problem: Bashir says to O'Brien "Surely you took elementary temporal mechanics at the academy" but we know that O'Brien didn't graduate because he was worried about having to call Nog "sir".
  • From packman_jon on 2012-05-15 at 1:48am:
    So much fun. Even if Dax's line about McCoy brings a visual of college-age McCoy "getting to know" Emony...! Still, it's too hard not love this episode!
  • From Drac on 2013-02-17 at 3:52pm:
    Very good episode, but as a second watch i found it too easy they captured the klingon effortlessly and silently out of the blue and he told them what he did. Chop chop, time to cut this short :)
  • From Selador on 2013-06-10 at 3:13pm:
    A classic episode. It had a wonderful feel and was perfectly pulled off. Just superb!
  • From AW on 2015-12-21 at 7:40pm:
    Just one problem (though the writers couldn't have known at the time) they say that it was the first enterprise when we know that is not true. I guess I was the first Federation enterprise as the Federation hadn't been formed yet when the first was made.
  • From Thavash on 2018-12-24 at 2:33am:
    Watching in 2018, I'm still amazed at how seamless they made everything look.

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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Originally Aired: 1986-11-26

Synopsis:
Using a Klingon ship, the crew of the Enterprise return to 1980's Earth to retrieve two whales in an effort to help save the planet from a probe. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 7.23

Rate movie?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 25 5 11 6 8 14 26 36 52 65 86

Problems
- Kirk and Scotty take measurements in English Imperial Units.
- Ugh, another use of the slingshot effect.
- How are whales able to communicate through space?
- How could Taylor scream during transport?

Factoids
- This film establishes that the humpback whale will be extinct in the 21st century. Though with all the time travel fudging around in this film, that may not actually pan out.
- Brock Peters plays Admiral Cartwright (though we don't actually hear the name of this admiral until Star Trek VI). He later plays Joseph Sisko on DS9.
- This film was nominated for the 1987 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
- This film was nominated for Oscars in Cinematography, Music, Sound, and Sound Effects Editing.

Remarkable Scenes
- Sarek's appearance.
- McCoy, regarding the Klingon ship: "I just wish we could cloak the stench."
- Spock testing himself. The computer asking him, "How do you feel?"
- Spock's mother's discussion with him on Vulcan.
- Kirk: "May fortune favor the foolish."
- Spock's method of covering his ears.
- The cloaked Klingon Bird of Prey landing by the garbage men.
- The cast's entrance into the 1980s.
- Chekov asking people how to find "nuclear wessels." Hilarious! A Russian during the Cold War asking Americans in a city street how to find American nuclear secrets...
- Spock Vulcan neck pinching the punk rocker.
- Spock continually calling Kirk "admiral" in front of the commoners.
- Spock: "To hunt a race to extinction is not logical." Taylor: "Whoever said the human race was logical?"
- Spock Vulcan mind melding with the whale inside the aquarium.
- Woman: "Maybe he's singing to that man!" Taylor: "What the hell?"
- Taylor: "All right, who the hell are you and what were you doing in there?" Spock: "Attempting the hell to communicate."
- Spock clumsily integrating curses into his speech.
- Kirk clumsily trying to "explain" Spock by passing him off as a former hippy who did too much "LDS."
- Taylor questioning Kirk and Spock in her truck.
- McCoy's and Scotty's performance at Plexicorp.
- Scotty talking to the computer.
- Oh man. I love the random typing on the computer keyboard and the random nonsensical screens they bring up.
- Kirk spilling the beans to Taylor.
- Chekov, a Russian, captured in an American nuclear submarine during the Cold War. Just golden.
- Chekov's reaction to the interrogation.
- McCoy's disgust with 20th century medicine.
- McCoy: "It sounds like the goddamn Spanish inquisition to me!"
- McCoy taking over Chekov's surgery.
- McCoy: "My god, man! Drilling holes in his head's not the answer! The artery must be repaired! Now put away your butcher knives and let me save this patient before it's too late!"
- Kirk: "Scotty, beam me up!" Another very close line to the famous and much parodied but never actually uttered, "Beam me up, Scotty!"
- The Klingon Bird of Prey decloaking in front of the whale hunter ship.
- The Klingon Bird of Prey crashing into the sea in the 23rd century.
- Spock is clearly smiling and laughing with the rest of the cast at the end of this film.

My Review
I like the opening of this film, with the Klingons in diplomatic contention with the Federation council. Unfortunately, the plot goes sour fast as the cliches abound. Another alien probe, more time travel, and more slingshot effect magic time travel calculation nonsense. Having said that, the rest of the film redeems itself nicely. The humor is excellent and the ecology issue is original. Also, this film was regarded as the most successful Trek film of all time in terms of the level of appeal to non Trek fans; for perhaps obvious reasons. Unfortunately, the time travel issues are extensive. There is a lot of minor contamination, and some major; for example Chekov left a phaser on board the nuclear vessel. Though the radiation seems to have rendered it useless, it is still a futuristic device the 1980s has never seen before. These things can all be rationalized, but they weigh badly on the film; it shows carelessness. Ultimately, the entire story of the alien probe, the travel into Earth's past, and the whales is completely superfluous. As fantastic as the humor is, I can think of a dozen different and better ways to have used the stolen Klingon ship. I give the film an A for effort though, and I must admit it is one of the most memorable of the Trek films, despite my misgivings regarding its premise.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Wes on 2011-02-21 at 6:28pm:
    I just watched Search for Spock. It's frustrating to me that they change the bridge of the Klingon Bird of Prey between Search for Spock and Voyage Home. Have you ever noticed that? The new bridge set is very similar to that of the Birds of Prey in later episodes and movies, but very different from the set used for Kruge's bridge. If you ask me, Kruge's bridge was pretty fruity looking. It didn't look like a Klingon bridge with all the blues and lighter colors. The doors were lame. I'm glad they altered the set, but it's frustrating, too. Why didn't they just do the new design from the beginning?
  • From Wes on 2011-02-22 at 12:27pm:
    This is one of my favorites. I love the humor in it. I really liked the continuity seen in having the same guy play the Klingon Ambassador in this movie and in The Undiscovered Country (although, he gained a little weight between now and then).
    Another stage flaw! The set of the Enterprise-A bridge at the end is DIFFERENT than the bridge set in The Undiscovered Country. The set at the end of this movie is more like the set in the newest movie (Star Trek). That's a bit frustrating. It doesn't make sense to me either. You would think it would cost them more to change the set than to just keep what they had the first time.
  • From Overand on 2014-08-07 at 9:53am:
    One fun tidbit about this film - that scene with Checkov asking about the nuclear vessels? That was filmed with a candid camera.

    It was the *actual* responses of people in 1986 San Francisco being asked about Nuclear Vessels by someone with a Russian accent.

    Hilarious!

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Star Trek DS9 - 6x14 - One Little Ship

Originally Aired: 1998-2-18

Synopsis:
In order to investigate a rare subspace phenomenon, Dax, O'Brien, and Bashir board the Runabout, U.S.S. Rubicon, that is shrunken to four inches long. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 7.23

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 8 2 2 1 1 8 11 14 20 28 21

Filler Quotient: 2, filler, but an enjoyable episode nevertheless. You can skip this one, but you'd miss out on some fun.
- There is nothing significant here from a continuity standpoint. But I strongly recommend watching the episode anyway simply due to how hysterically entertaining it is.

Problems
None

Factoids
- The Defiant's registry: NX-74205.

Remarkable Scenes
- The Defiant being taken over by the Jem'Hadar.
- The revelation that the Rubicon is still small. I like the panning shot outside the Rubicon and the Defiant.
- O'Brien suggesting that they take the Rubicon inside the Defiant. Dax' reaction: "I love it. Let's go."
- Dax and O'Brien navigating the impulse exhaust tubes to board the Defiant.
- Dax and O'Brien analyzing Sisko's escape plan.
- Dax flying through the ship stealthily.
- Little O'Brien and little Bashir bypassing huge circuits in the Defiant's computer.
- The little Rubicon firing on Jem'Hadar.
- Odo and Quark picking on Bashir and O'Brien, making them think they're shorter than they actually are by standing on things to make them taller.
- Morn Appearances; 1. Listens to O'Brien and Bashir tell their story.

My Review
An interesting episode. It justifies the shrinking by claiming that the space between their atomic structure is actually decreasing. I was equally impressed with Bashir's claim that the oxygen molecules outside would be too large for a one centimeter man to breathe. So this episode is in the tradition of TAS: The Terratin Incident in more ways that one. First, we have crew shrinkage, and second, we have exceptionally good science for it which is very pleasing. The rivalry between the gamma quadrant and alpha quadrant Jem'Hadar was not pleasing though. I found it all quite annoying. But it was a necessary plot device to create a way for Sisko and crew to escape with the Defiant. In the end, it does little to spoil the awesome ride. This episode takes full advantage of the visual effects that Star Trek is now capable of and features several very impressive external shots of the Rubicon, the Defiant, and the Rubicon within the Defiant. Another fantastic showing for a great season.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From GDorn on 2011-10-16 at 7:53pm:
    This episode has the classic shrinking problem shared with Honey I Shrunk The Kids and Inner Space. If you simply remove some of the empty space between atoms to decrease volume, the mass will remain the same and the density will increase. So even though the runabout is six inches long, it weighs the same as a normal sized runabout. O'Brien and Bashir walking around in the circuitry would have destroyed it, ramming the control panel would have destroyed it, and there would have been no need to fire torpedos at the Jem'Hadar - ramming them alone would have been more than sufficient.

    This leads to all kinds of physics abuses, like building a excessively large ship, shrinking it to normal size, and noticing that the ablative armor is almost completely immune to conventional weaponry due to sheer density...
  • From Mike on 2016-10-28 at 2:21pm:
    Even with the point about increased density, I think Dax would've found firing a torpedo at the Jem'Hadar far less risky than ramming into him. It seems like having the Rubicon ram its way out of the plasma vent when they first entered the engine room was tricky enough.

    I also don't know that O'Brien and Bashir simply walking around the circuit would've destroyed it, but the mass/volume/density relationship would've probably allowed them to much more easily lift everything. That's hard to show on TV, however. I agree with the original review that getting the air molecule thing right is pretty impressive.

    Anyway, I enjoyed this one. It had some good action and an interesting story. I also prefer the episodes of DS9 where the Jem'Hadar are shown to be more than mindless hordes of soldiers.

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Star Trek DS9 - 3x20 - Improbable Cause

Originally Aired: 1995-4-24

Synopsis:
Garak's shop mysteriously explodes, launching Odo on an investigation to determine who is trying to kill the Cardassian exile and why. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 7.22

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 17 2 3 17 2 3 3 9 15 51 50

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Garak and Bashir discussing Shakespeare, and then the difference between human and Cardassian eating habits.
- Kira and Bashir discussing the atmospheric requirements of the Yalosians. Their atmosphere dissolves carpets and they can't see red or orange colors.
- Garak, lying in the debris after his ship blew up: "I'm afraid your pants won't be ready tomorrow after all."
- Bashir telling Garak the story of the boy who cried wolf.
- Bashir: "The point is if you lie all the time, nobody's going to believe you, even when you're telling the truth." Garak: "Are you sure that's the point, doctor?" Bashir: "Of course, what else could it be?" Garak: "That you should never tell the same lie twice."
- Odo: "I'm not about to leave you in here alone so you can look through my security files." Garak: "What makes you think I haven't already looked through them?"
- Odo's interrogation of the Flaxian. I like Odo's mixing of the perfumes, revealing the Flaxian's assassination arsenal.
- Garak: "The truth is just an excuse for a lack of imagination."
- Odo's conversation with his Cardassian contact.
- Odo getting pissed at Garak, realizing he blew up his own shop.
- Odo: "Well that's an interesting way of scrambling a signal." Garak: "Yes, I thought you might appreciate it on an aesthetic level."
- Garak's joking instructions to Bashir.
- Odo speculating that Enabran Tain means something to Garak.
- A Romulan warbird decloaking just above the runabout.
- Garak's meeting with Enabran Tain.
- Odo: "You both go to such lengths to hide the true meaning of your words you end up saying nothing."

My Review
This episode is crazy! Talk about a web of complex hidden agendas that blows up into some major events going down. There is much to redeem this episode, so many details. My favorite is the reference to the buildup in the system controlled by the Obsidian Order in DS9: Defiant. But there are many more. The thing I like the most about this episode is how carefully Garak manipulated events in order to determine who was trying to kill him and why. We finally know now for sure that Garak and Enabran Tain were very close at one time, working together in the Obsidian Order. Something went bad between them at about the time Cardassia evacuated Bajor and Tain exiled Garak from Cardassia. But Garak truly cares for Tain for some reason and went with Odo on what appeared to be a mission of mercy, only to discover that the Obsidian Order and the Tal Shiar are working together to deploy a joint Romulan-Cardassian attack on the Dominion. This is probably one of the most complicated plots ever done on Star Trek, and not to this episode's disadvantage! An excellent first part to the two parter.

No fan commentary yet.

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Star Trek DS9 - 6x13 - Far Beyond the Stars

Originally Aired: 1998-2-11

Synopsis:
After a friend's ship is destroyed and Sisko considers leaving Starfleet, he begins having visions of his crew as 1950s Americans. [DVD]

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 7.19

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 21 25 2 4 2 5 5 15 20 25 106

Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- This is one of DS9's most famous episodes, but strictly speaking there is not much here that's relevant to the overarching story. There is a small connection to this episode in DS9: Shadows and Symbols, but it's pretty minor.

Problems
None

Factoids
- Armin Shimerman, who plays Quark, has said that this is his favorite episode of Deep Space Nine.

Remarkable Scenes
- It's a lot of fun figuring out which actors are which character with their make up off.
- O'Brien, who has trouble choosing his words.
- Quark, constantly complaining. No change there.
- Odo, the editor, and control freak. Not much a change there either.
- Kira, discriminated against because she's a girl.
- Sisko, discriminated against because he's black.
- Dukat and Weyoun. Fascist police officers. Not much a change there.
- Worf, a slick baseball player.
- Dax the secretary.
- Dax: "Oh! She's got a worm in her belly! Oh that's disgusting. Interesting, but that's disgusting."
- Odo, referring to Quark: "Herb's been angry ever since Joseph Stalin died."
- Sisko's breakdown.

My Review
Another fantastic episode in a season that's shaping up to be phenomenal. Far Beyond the Stars is an episode exploring perseverance in the face of insurmountable opposition. A war weary Sisko receives a vision of the prophets in which he is the main character in a story of racism in 1950s America. If Bennie the writer can persevere, then Bennie the soldier can persevere as well. There are drops of humor in this episode with regards to the odd behavior of the displaced crew, O'Brien was my definite favorite, but the subject matter is quite serious and Sisko's performance during his breakdown at the end is marvelous. Up there with the kind of performances we've seen from Patrick Stewart as Picard in TNG: The Inner Light or TNG: Chain of Command. This episode is a fan favorite for these reasons, but I'm slightly more critical. I'm not fond of "it was all a dream" plots, as I've noted in DS9: Distant Voices and Voy: Waking Moments. Despite my objections to the premise though, the episode is well done and very original. Another shining star of a spectacular season.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From MJ on 2011-02-02 at 11:59am:
    This episode is one of the things that sets DS9, and Star Trek in general, apart from other TV series. The powerful social message and creativity of this episode is so rarely seen on TV these days. This episode also convinced me that Star Trek has found some of the most talented actors in the business. In this case, Avery Brooks!

    His mental breakdown as Benny Russell is breathtaking in its intensity. Had I been on the stage during the filming of that scene, I probably would've neglected my job because of being drawn into his performance. Sometimes Brooks overdoes the emotion just a tad, but in this episode it was stunningly real. It reminded me of "The Ship" when he contemplates his dead comrades at the end.

    The concept of the episode is well executed. I share the webmaster's dislike for "it was all a dream" episodes. In TNG's "The Inner Light" for example, I couldn't believe how the Kataan aliens could reconcile abducting a person, making him live his entire life in their world having doubted his sanity, only to reawaken him back on his ship to once again doubt his sanity. But in that episode, Patrick Stewart's performance helped overcome this glaring problem. In this episode, the performance of Brooks and all the others does the same. And the ending is a nice twist in the sense that DS9 is sort of getting in touch with its roots. Gene Roddenberry lived in a time of social upheaval, and dreamt of a future where all humanity is united regardless of petty differences. Benny Russell shares that same dream.

    This episode reminds us that Star Trek is more than just another TV series. It's a form of social commentary. It forces us to look at ourselves in new ways and keep our imaginations going. This episode is a gem for sure.
  • From djb on 2011-04-15 at 4:11am:
    This episode was painful to watch, but very powerful, and still enjoyable. Viewers in the 90s, especially younger ones, can easily take for granted that a popular show could depict a "negro captain." Just 50 years previous, this was unthinkable, and it is good to be intimately reminded of how hard it is to be an oppressed minority. Sisko, a 24th century man in the Trek universe, most likely has no direct experience of racism, and probably doesn't appreciate what his ancestors were up against. The experience probably gave him some good perspective.

    It was great to see all the actors without their makeup! It was also a pleasure to see them playing different characters. I'll bet it was refreshing for all of them. I liked how each character had some similarity to their corresponding DS9 character, but was also markedly different. Michael Dorn's character was very different from Worf, but like Worf, was very good at a physical skill and competed in it. Marc Alaimo and Jeffery Combs still played villains, but their villainy was much more overt. Shimmerman's character may have been annoying, like Quark, but he was also very idealistic and principled, very unlike Quark.

    A unique and fascinating episode.
  • From Jay on 2013-02-26 at 1:36am:
    I had half a mind to stop watching the series after this episode, because after Sisko said, "I'm a human being" I knew the series couldn't possibly get any better. Honestly, maybe the best acted anything I've ever seen. Definitely a performance deserving of an Emmy.
  • From L on 2013-08-06 at 3:48am:
    I couldn't work out if the pulp artist was an un made-up regular or not, he looked familiar but I couldn't place him.

    The rocket model on the table in the writer's office seems to be inspired by the Tintin on the moon books, which came out in the early 50's.

    I loved Jake's character, he played it well. The two cops were really disturbing.

    'You are the dreamer, and the dream.'
    Powerful episode.
  • From Dstyle on 2013-12-02 at 7:53am:
    L, the pulp artist was Martok. I admit, I had to check IMDB, but he was so familiar and it was driving me crazy!
  • From Zorak on 2016-06-23 at 5:38pm:
    I both like and dislike this episode. On the upside, the acting was great, the sets were well done and it was definitely powerful and expertly written and directed. On the downside, there's just something about them doing an episode like this that just doesn't seem right. Focusing on Sisko being black feels very out of place to me. I can't quite articulate why this felt cheap, but it did. That being said I still really enjoyed the episode.
  • From McCoy on 2017-02-26 at 3:37pm:
    11/10 and a winner of my personal Best Trek Episode Ever. It's not only a story about racism. It's a story about how other people and ideology can destroy you (but not your idea). I've experienced something similar in my life, so I'm taking it probably more emotional.
    One more thing - it's not "it was all a dream". It's more meta-level. Similar to Dick's "The Man in the High Castle". A character, who suspect, he's fictional.
    Masterpiece!
  • From Jadzia Guinan Smith on 2017-09-08 at 3:11pm:
    I was wondering about the pulp artist too, I thought either Garak or Morn. I hadn't thought it could be Martok?! I have to watch it again. Oh, twist my arm :-)

    I also liked seeing Michael Dorn without klingon make up. Such a good-looking guy forever covered up with THAT make up! sigh... (he looked even better when he was a few years younger, in TNG: Homeward, where worf was surgically "altered" to look human for a mission. Hah!)

    I usually don't like "it was all a dream" episodes either, as a concept. But I agree with the other reviewers that this one had so much going for it, that it really makes up for the cop-out device. Also, it's not absolutely clear that it was JUST a dream. It could be the wormhole aliens sending him visions.... although as I hear myself say it, I don't think that makes it better at all :-(

    But really great episode thought provoking in a serious, deeply star-trek way, but also super funny. A solid 8 from me.

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Star Trek DS9 - 2x14 - Whispers

Originally Aired: 1994-2-6

Synopsis:
O'Brien returns from a security mission to notice that the entire crew has seemingly turned against him. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 7.17

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 16 1 3 3 4 3 17 14 37 42 29

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
None

Remarkable Scenes
- O'Brien and Bashir during the medical exam.
- O'Brien: "I haven't had a physical take this long since I was born!"
- Jake accidentally inferring that O'Brien is "really, really old."
- O'Brien: "They even broke into my personal logs to see what they could find there. I hope they enjoyed the sexy letters I sent to my wife."
- O'Brien freaking out at Quark.
- O'Brien fleeing the station and stealing a runabout.
- The revelation that there are two O'Briens!
- Rules of Acquisition; 194 (maybe, Quark's not sure): It's always good business to know about new customers before they walk in your door.

My Review
A decent premise is slightly ruined, drowning under the weight of another conspiracy plot. The ending redeems most of the annoying aspects of the story, but I wish the plot twist was revealed a little sooner than the last two minutes of the episode. Though it is sometimes fun to watch O'Brien freak out at everybody and everything, it also gets old fast. A decent ride though.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-06-07 at 10:56pm:
    This episode has one of the most intriguing "hook" beginnings of all of star trek. I thought the whole episode was just stupendously done, and the director(s) achieved a truly spooky feel throughout it. I was a little disappointed at the quick, cheap ending. When I looked down and saw that there was only 10 minutes left, I could feel the cheap ending coming on.

    I think the episode would have been REALLY cool if they had made it into a two-parter and really explored the situation with the rebels and such.

    -1 for the cheap ending, but all in all one of my favorite ds9 episodes. The Obrien concentration was fun.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-09-29 at 11:41pm:
    A perfect 10 all the way! You get to watch O'Brien slowly lose everyone he cares about drift away in deception. Every time he finds someone to confide in, they turn against him. First it is Jake, then it is Odo, then a Starfleet commmander. All trust becomes diminished. I would not want this to happen to me.

    What is great is that if you are watching the episode for the first time, you will not be able to figure out the mystery, no matter how smart you are. Nor, do you notice that the clone O'Brien is constantly drinking a kind of coffee that the real O'Brien never dirnks. Fantastic!

  • From djb on 2009-01-28 at 3:11am:
    I liked the buildup in this episode. At first, the way people are acting towards the fake O'Brien is subtle, yet noticeable, and it eventually becomes more and more strange and overt.

    I also loved the acting; yet another great performance from Rosalind Chao (and others). I especially liked the scene where they're eating, with the closeups on their faces. He knows she's up to something, but won't tell. She knows he's not really her husband. The tension is terrific.

    I definitely didn't guess what was going to happen, but I did get an inkling when he was told to go back by the starfleet admiral. I began to think that there was something wrong with him rather than the others, given that if there seems to be something wrong with everyone but you, chances are you're the problem!

    A very decent episode, worth watching twice.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2010-03-16 at 9:03am:
    Bashir totally misjudges what has happened when, at the end, he says, "I think he was trying to be a hero." Honestly, O'brien just wanted to survive. Heroic just doesn't seem to apply here.
  • From Popescu on 2010-08-09 at 10:18pm:
    I feel that a lot of Star Trek is inspired by the writings of Isaac Asimov. This episode also I think was inspired by the short story "Let's get together" by the writer.

    Well, not the entire episode, just the ending stroke me as being very similar.
  • From MJ on 2011-02-04 at 1:15pm:
    This should have been a two-parter. This episode was so gripping that it kept my attention right up until the very end. If they'd have done a "to be continued" when he arrived on the planet and then further explored the Paradas rebel plot a bit more in part two, this would have been fantastic. Instead, as with several DS9 episodes, they try to rush the ending after giving us a truly intriguing storyline. I share the webmaster's below average rating for that reason alone.
  • From bernard on 2011-03-08 at 11:05am:
    Whenever the webmaster has given a rating that is near enough 4 points below the mean then that points toward the true score of the episode being somewhere in between. I think that is true here.

    We have a good episode that is one of those oddities that you can get equal fascination from both first and second viewings, first from O'Briens point of view and then when rewatched from the other characters point of view.

    Overall a quality outing.
  • From Zaphod on 2011-04-20 at 5:36am:
    Great episode, one of the best DS9 episodes this far.
    4 points is ridiculous, as is giving no good explanation for such a low rating.
    It's not just another conspiracy episode, for Christ's sake!
    None of the conspiracy episodes in other series of the franchise was even close to be this original and well written.
    Waiting to the very end to solve the mystery was a very clever move too as it saves the suspense until the end.
    And it's no "cheap ending", quite the opposite. TNG "Conspiracy" had a cheap ending, this one here is amazing and makes you watch the episode a second time just to see it from the other's point of view.
  • From James T Quark on 2015-08-15 at 9:14pm:
    This is actually one of my favorite eps of DS9. I understand a lot of viewers don't like "dream" episodes, "tricked into thinking the holosuite is real" or episodes where things are conveniently reversed due to time manipulation.

    I get why some people don't really enjoy those type of episodes but I'm the opposite. I really enjoy the twists they exhibit and this episode is a perfect example.

    On my first watch, I was completely fixated and didn't see that twist coming at all.

    I'd give it a ten and a must watch.

    JTQ

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Star Trek TNG - 6x25 - Timescape

Originally Aired: 1993-6-14

Synopsis:
The Enterprise is frozen in time on the brink of annihilation. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.16

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 0 1 3 18 2 7 16 33 36 26

Problems
None

Factoids
- This is the first TNG episode to feature a Runabout class vessel which are more commonly featured on DS9.

Remarkable Scenes
- Riker describing that his injury was the fault of Data's cat.
- Troi describing being seduced by an alien at the seminar.
- Picard: "There was no pause. He just kept talking in one incredibly unbroken sentence moving from topic to topic so that no one had a chance to interrupt it was really quite hypnotic."
- Everyone freezing in time except Troi.
- Troi freezing. I like the camera work.
- Picard's hand aging faster than the rest of his body.
- The sight of the Enterprise and the Romulan Warbird frozen in time.
- I love the eerie sights abord the ships, making it look as though the Romulans were trying to take over the Enterprise.
- Picard drawing a smiley face on the warp core breach.
- Time starting back up, the Enterprise exploding, then time reversing...
- The crew positioning themselves in key spots within the ship before they run time backwards to fix things.
- I like how Data has to step out of the way of one of the backward walking crewmen.
- The teapot scene in the end. Very well done.

My Review
This is one of the more unique TNG episodes, and certainly one of the most exciting. There's good continuity too with regards to Troi's acquired knowledge of Romulan technology from TNG: Face of the Enemy. The science of this episode is a little shady. For example, how can the life support systems of a slowed down starship support the normal-speed characters? It's best if you don't think about it too much I suppose. Time travel gives me headaches. While the excitement remains high, another detail I liked was the ending. In the end, no, it wasn't a Romulan attack on the Enterprise but in fact the Enterprise assisting a Romulan ship in need. They lost their ship, but the Enterprise saved most of the Romulan crewmembers and returned them to Romulus. A shame the Romulan Empire didn't seem to appreciative of this act. Nevertheless, the episode demonstrated the Federation's goodwill toward the Romulans despite past hostilities, and it presented a very unique and memorable story.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-05-21 at 9:42pm:
    One of my favorite episodes EVER. The whole concept was really cool, the story was engrossing, and I enjoyed the romulan-federation cooperation. The only thing keeping it from a 10 is that it's not profound or anything. Only episodes that move me deeply get 10's. But certainly a 9.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-06-04 at 4:52pm:
    This episode is fun from beginning to end. The plot moves along nicely with enormous challenges for the characters involved, such as the warp core breach, Beverly receiving a point blank phaser shot from a Romulan, and the difficulties with working in a suspended environment. There are a lot of memorable scenes, such as when Picard draws the happy face. The science portion is also well explained.

    Deserving of a 9.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-06-04 at 4:57pm:
    Problem:
    I could be wrong about this, but when Picard, Troi, Data, and Geordi first see the Enterprise and the Warbird frozen, their descriptions don't seem to match up with what is shown. The refer to a second beam, but there is only one beam visible. I don't think they are talking about the photon torpedos that the Warbird is firing.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.
  • From Kethinov on 2006-06-05 at 12:56am:
    I'm pretty sure the warbird was firing disruptors and that that's indeed what they were referring to, Orion.
  • From Evan on 2008-05-26 at 10:36am:
    I don't think there's an issue with the life support per se. What would it need to do? (1) Keep the Enterprise warm enough and (2) provide enough air. The first wouldn't be affected by time, and the second wouldn't matter so much because there would be plenty of oxygen in the spaces available to last for the "fast" characters' short visits. The bigger problem is where the O2 that they breathe come from, since the air molecules would also have been slowed.
  • From J Reffin on 2009-08-05 at 4:34pm:
    A very fast moving episode packing a lot in to the time available.

    One of the actors playing a Romulan can't help swaying slightly in the background when Picard is making a speech on the Bridge on the first visit (no - not one of the aliens). Must have been tough to hold a freeze pose for that length of time.
  • From Mike on 2017-04-23 at 9:53pm:
    This is one of my favorite episodes. It's just a classically well-done piece of science fiction. Like "Darmok" and the finale, this is TNG sci-fi at its best. This one comes down to the crew experiencing something entirely unexpected as a result of encountering a life form they had no idea existed.

    While the plots of some episodes tend to crash in the final minutes, this one kept it together until the end. Yeah, there are some problems. For example, I don't know how they managed to save Geordi...granted, they said they were beaming him directly to sickbay, but quite a bit of time elapsed between the resumption of normal time and that, and he was seconds away from dying when they removed his armband. Overall, though, this is brilliant and one that doesn't lose its suspense with repeated viewing.

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Star Trek Voy - 5x22 - Someone to Watch Over Me

Originally Aired: 1999-4-28

Synopsis:
The Doctor takes an interest in Seven. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.16

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 13 2 2 3 2 4 7 8 19 22 34

Problems
None

Factoids
- There are 146 crewmembers aboard Voyager according to Neelix.
- Voyager was designed for long range deep space exploration according to Neelix.
- According to the doctor, species 8472 may have as many as 5 sexes...

Remarkable Scenes
- Torres discovering that Seven of Nine is following her and Tom.
- Torres: "How the hell do you know when we're having intimate relations?" Seven: "There is no one on deck nine, section twelve who doesn't know when you're having intimate relations."
- Torres: "Borg provokes Klingon. Klingon breaks Borg's nose."
- Janeway: "This is a starship, not a nature preserve." Not exact, but I'll count it. Count 31 for "I'm a doctor, not a (blah)" style lines, which McCoy was famous for.
- The doctor: "They say gossip travels faster than warp speed."
- The doctor: "You're a woman, Seven." Seven: "Is that an observation or a diagnosis?"
- The doctor's silly slideshow.
- Seven of Nine attempting poorly to get a holographic date.
- Tom making a bet with the doctor.
- The doctor: "Seven, has anyone ever told you you have have a beautiful voice? It's a true gift!" Seven: "The gift is from the Collective. A vocal subprocessor designed to facilitate the sonic interface for Borg transponders."
- Seven of Nine's "flawless" singing, along with the duet.
- Harry discussing Seven of Nine's date candidate selection.
- Seven of Nine asking out Chapman.
- Seven of Nine's behavior on the date.
- Seven of Nine tearing a ligament in Chapman's arm.
- The drunken ambassador.

My Review
This episode is original and a nice change of pace. Neelix' role with the alien ambassador is a lot like the Enterprise crew's roles with the alien ambassadors in TNG: Liaisons (especially Troi's ambassador), which is certainly a compliment. But Seven of Nine steals the show. I don't know whether her attempts to start dating are embarrassing or hilarious to watch, maybe a little of both. The episode is almost tragic, as the doctor desires a relationship with Seven, but is unable to bring himself to ask her out. Maybe he felt it would be a conflict of interest, or maybe he feels more content in a fatherly role than as a lover. In any case, the mingling of the two plot threads worked extremely well and ended up being one of Voyager's surprisingly better episodes. I like being pleasantly surprised.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Rob UK on 2013-10-26 at 7:08am:
    I enjoy this episode for the quirky backdoor feelings and insight you get into the crew and life onboard, the confrontation about hearing the intimate relations was great, being on a starship in the future is like living in a tower block in modern day, i could do a nature reserve study on any one of my neighbors with great accuracy.

    The key swing comedy factor for me is the doctors slideshow

    "Here we see how fortress ovum is besieged by countless little warriors" with all the arm movements and hand gestures is a classic.
  • From thaibites on 2015-02-13 at 7:56pm:
    Another horrendous soap opera episode that gets an 8 rating from HRM Eric Newport. Are you people all gay? Unbelievable...
  • From parkbench on 2016-02-12 at 4:54am:
    well, a truly mediocre episode with lackluster pacing and based purely on the novelty of seeing the characters in a banal situation. but rather than explore this in any profound way or use it to get behind some of the themes of voyager, we get more voyager aimless meandering--another crappy love interest episode that star trek is famous for, recycling a hundred stereotypes a minute and wielding them all in the least-thought out, least creative and safest character on the show--seven of nine, unfortunately little more than eye-candy in most of the episodes. it's like they felt bad for having janeway for the first few seasons and had to pander even more than they usually do. so embarrassing.

    apparently the writing for this one was so bad that it caused the above commenter to lower several grades of intelligence and equate mediocrity with emotions, and emotions with gay people. the discovery of the century, no doubt. i fear for this (no doubt) man, anyone who must care for him, and whatever offspring he may one day produce. be on the lookout for profound moments like this one. oh, i'm gay, by the way.

    anyway, back to seven. really i can't stand most episodes about her, because they read like poor imitations of Data episodes, and even some of those aren't that amazing! i found myself compelled to skip at the beginning and now wish i had.

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Star Trek DS9 - 4x22 - For the Cause

Originally Aired: 1996-5-6

Synopsis:
Sisko is shocked to learn that his girlfriend, Kasidy Yates, may be a Maquis smuggler. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.15

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 9 1 2 2 1 2 9 9 44 23 10

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Kira participating in the springball tournament.
- Garak expressing attraction for Ziyal to Bashir.
- Sisko gently needling Kassidy about the places she visits on her cargo runs.
- Garak's first meeting with Ziyal.
- Eddington's opinion of the Maquis... or lack thereof. :)
- Ziyal visiting Garak in his shop.
- Jake making fun of his father about his relationship with Kassidy, unaware of the allegations against her.
- Sisko inviting Kassidy to Risa for a few days to try and get her off the hook.
- Quark complaining about his new suit and then Kira threatening Garak about Ziyal. Too much at once! Poor Garak.
- Garak: "Paranoid is what they call people who imagine threats against their life. I have threats against my life."
- Quark egging on Garak's paranoia.
- Sisko discovering the plot against him.
- Eddington stunning Kira.
- Sisko's conversation with Eddington after his betrayal.
- Garak's conversation with Ziyal in the holosuite.
- Kassidy returning to the station, alone.

My Review
A story of secrets, lies, love, tension, betrayal, and perseverance. Garak has fallen in love with Ziyal, and Kassidy is a Maquis supplier! I always suspected something funny about her since her DS9: The Way of the Warrior when she seemed a bit nervous about all the activity on the docking ring. The writers probably did that to make her falsely seem like a Changeling, so this is a nice twist on that continuity. I felt Sisko's pain all throughout this episode and deeply at the ending too. He struggled with his deep love for Kassidy and his duty to the Federation. In the end, he had to sacrifice his love for his duty; then, to top it all off, he's betrayed by one of his most trusted officers, Michael Eddington! You really got to feel sorry for the poor guy by the end of the episode. By contrast, things between Garak and Ziyal couldn't be better. And, since Garak is my favorite character on DS9, I couldn't be happier for him. :)

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Jason on 2009-10-24 at 3:23am:
    Great episode. "You're even more insidious than the Borg -- at least they tell you that they're going to assimilate you!". But it's too bad about Eddington; I liked him. At least his plot was well enough hatched that he got away safely to the Badlands.
  • From MJ on 2011-01-14 at 3:08pm:
    Several episodes of TNG and DS9 have dealt with the Maquis now, and they’ve all been very, very good. It’s a dilemma that is relevant to the real world, in situations like the Middle East peace process. What’s great about these episodes is how powerful the Maquis point of view is always portrayed. These are not truly terrorists, they are ordinary men and women who are convinced tey are doing the right thing for their well being. But you can also understand the Federation’s point of view.

    This might be one of the best Maquis episodes yet, if for no other reason than Eddington’s very well written speech to Sisko. Hell, he almost had me ready to join the Maquis, even knowing they don’t really exist! But this episode hints at a greater theme, a disturbing one, at least for Star Trek fans. The Federation has always been the “good guys” in TOS and TNG. It’s a group of aligned planets whose goal is to explore the galaxy and make peaceful contact with new worlds, and to protect the fundamental rights of its members. DS9, for all its other faults, is really the first series to explore the darker side of the Federation, and it’s a very compelling theme. For the first time, we see covert agencies, we see attempted military coups, we see naivety in government…and we see a distant bureaucracy unable to grasp the demands of its former colonists. The Federation that Gene Roddenberry conceived is shown in a very different light in DS9. I don’t know that Roddenberry would have approved, and I don’t know if I really do either. But whatever the case may be, it certainly is fascinating, and it strikes a powerful chord: after all, isn’t America supposed to be “paradise”? And don’t we have our darker side too? This is what separates DS9 from other Trek series, and in my opinion, what ultimately makes DS9 worth watching.
  • From peterwolf on 2013-12-03 at 12:15am:
    Kiras interference with the Ziyal and Garak romance was absolutely unnecessary. Her charater shown as being a tough woman is overdone too often for too many times. Physically she does not fit into the role. It is total nonsense that she could fight Klingon or Jem Hadar warriorrs in hand-to-hand combat. Only Dax, who is much more athletic and trains constantly with Klingon combat prorgrams could stand a chance against such opponents.

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Star Trek DS9 - 5x14 - In Purgatory's Shadow

Originally Aired: 1997-2-10

Synopsis:
Worf and Garak are taken prisoner by the Jem'Hadar. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.08

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 14 1 6 2 6 5 5 29 32 44

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- Numerous major long term plot threads are serviced here.

Problems
- Real Bashir is wearing an old style uniform in this episode. This means he must have been replaced while still wearing the old style uniform. If this is true, why didn't the Changeling Bashir kill Sisko in DS9: Rapture? Or prevent the Changeling from dying in DS9: The Begotten, or prevent it from merging with Odo giving him back his shapeshifting ability? Or kill Kira in DS9: The Begotten? It seems obvious that the writers intended Bashir to have been replaced just before this episode began and were using the two uniforms to help viewers distinguish the two characters. But that's no excuse. The audience shouldn't have to come up with this stuff. For the record, Bashir said he was replaced "over a month ago." Take it how you will...

Factoids
- Odo reverts into his gelatinous state when he attempts to sleep.
- Odo is a solid 18 hours a day according to Kira.
- According to Bashir, the Breen have no blood.

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf and Jadzia arguing about Worf not telling her about going into the Gamma Quadrant with Garak.
- Dukat attacking Garak.
- Worf regarding Garak: "At the first sign of betrayal I will kill him, but I promise to return the body intact." Sisko: "I assume that's a joke." Worf: "We'll see."
- Worf: "You want me to sponsor your application to Starfleet Academy?" Garak: "What do you think?" Worf: "I think it is a bad idea." Garak: "Well, I'd write the actual letter myself. I'd just need you to sign it!" Worf: "Find someone else." Garak: "Why? Because I'm a Cardassian? You're a Klingon. Nog is a Ferengi. Starfleet Academy is a very accepting place." Worf: "You are not just a Cardassian. You are a spy, an assassin, and a saboteur." Garak: "I know I've done some unfortunate things in the past and I regret them. That's why I want to join Starfleet, why I need to join Starfleet. I'm looking for a fresh start, a way to make up for all the damage I've done. I need to prove to myself that I can be better than I am. But I need your help. Your support to start me on my way to redemption." Worf: "If that is how you feel, I will consider your request." Garak: "That's all I ask. Frankly, I think I can be quite an asset to Starfleet. With my extensive experience, I could skip the lower ranks entirely and begin my career as a commander! Maybe you should suggest that in your latter. Tell them you'd be honored to serve under me." Worf: "Do not play games with me. You have no desire to join Starfleet, do you?" Garak: "No, I'm afraid I don't." Worf: "Then why all of this deception?" Garak: "Because lying is a skill like any other and if you want to maintain a level of excellence you have to practice constantly." Worf: "Practice on someone else." Garak: "Mr. Worf, you're no fun at all." Worf: "Good."
- Garak: "I'd like to get my hands on that fellow Earl Grey and tell him a thing or two about tea leaves." Garak insulting Picard's favorite tea. ;)
- The huge fleet of Jem'Hadar ships.
- The revelation that Enabran Tain is Garak's father. I like how Garak let Bashir hear this private conversation.
- The huge Dominion fleet coming through the wormhole.
- Morn Appearances; 1. In the background when Dukat attacks Garak.

My Review
A classic DS9 episode, this episode features a plethora of major events and revelations. Bashir is a Changeling, Enabran Tain is Garak's father, Tain dies, and the Dominion invades the Alpha Quadrant. The episode even has a cool name. There is only one thing I don't like about this episode and it's the technical problem I listed in the problems section. That's got to be one of DS9's most annoying technical problems. Overall, a great start to the two parter with a magnificent cliffhanger.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From siukong on 2010-08-31 at 1:31am:
    I don't necessarily see your beef with this episode as that big of a problem. In espionage, sleeper agents often have to ignore smaller opportunities that arise in order to achieve success with their long-term objective. Changeling-Bashir probably didn't want to blow his cover and risk losing the chance to cripple the Federation, Klingons and Romulans all in one fell swoop. That act would achieve a lot more than just killing a single Starfleet Captain and/or Bajoran major.
  • From Christopher Wright on 2011-12-12 at 10:50pm:
    I actually didn't notice that the real Bashir was wearing a different style uniform (but I am no Sherlock.) I know from reading the other reviews that uniforms are HUGE to the owner of this site. Speaking of uniforms, why is it that in the Star Trek universe, no one is EVER removed of his/her uniform when taken captive? Does that even make sense? I mean, it would have prevent Kirk's escape from the Klingon jail world (moon?) in ST VI. I guess that such questions shouldn't be asked - like when Ben Affleck asked Michael Bay on the set of ARMAGEDDON: "Why is it easier to train oil riggers to be astronauts than to train astronauts to be oil riggers?"
  • From Wes on 2012-04-10 at 9:19am:
    The staging when Sisko calls for battle stations makes me laugh. And it's not just in this episode. But when he does, Bashir moves forward, out of the picture and Kira moves from one side of the central console to the other. Would there really be that big of a difference in the controls from one side of the central command console to the other?

    I mean, I totally see why they do it. It has nothing to do with the function of the consoles. It adds a dramatic, moving element to the shot in what would otherwise be a very boring shot following a command for battle stations (like on the other star ships we're familiar with).
  • From Lee on 2012-04-10 at 9:31am:
    I actually like the fact that they use different uniforms for the different Bashirs, and that's not because I am too stupid to realize the difference between them :p

    I think it adds to the shocking moment of realizing that one of our main characters has been replaced for such a long time (the uniforms have been changed for quite a while). For that reason I also like that the real Bashir isn't shaved :p

    But I think the changelings behaviour seems a bit too suspicious, I mean, he didn't act like that in the episodes before, but here he acts too "evil", almost like in a cartoon for children. I think it would've been much more convincing, if the fake Bashir would've acted just like the normal one, not with the dramatic music and looking around like a suspicious bandit.

    But all in all, it's a great two-parter and it's on my list of favourite episodes!
  • From dronkit on 2014-04-20 at 10:23pm:
    An almost suicide "reconaissance" mission to find prisoners in the heart of the dominion and they send a petty runabout insted of the Defiant?

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Star Trek Voy - 4x23 - Living Witness

Originally Aired: 1998-4-29

Synopsis:
An alien species duplicates the crew. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.08

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 20 3 12 1 3 1 4 6 16 39 52

Problems
- At one point, Fake doctor has a comm badge in the simulation. In the next scene it is missing.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Fake Janeway: "When diplomacy fails there's only one option, violence. Force must be applied without apology. It's the Starfleet way."
- The Fake Voyager simulation and all its hilarious differences and details.
- The doctor: "Granted, this looks like the briefing room, but these aren't the people I knew, no one behaved like this, well, aside from Mr. Paris."
- The doctor, prepared to die and stop attempting to clear Voyager's name to stop the race riots.
- The final scene, reviewing yet another simulation.

My Review
When I first saw this episode, I was convinced we were looking at the mirror universe Voyager. Fortunately, I was wrong. This episode is entirely original. The time in this episode is mostly consumed by the simulations. The fake crew was hilarious. Janeway, evil, impatient, and warlike. The crew with their black gloves. Chakotay, with his tattoo covering half of his face. Neelix, the operations officer. Tuvok, Paris, and Kim, sadistic and evil, just like Janeway. The doctor an android. Seven of Nine a full Borg with a Borg assault team. Torres, a lowly transporter chief, plus a Kazon security officer. Aside from the simulation humor, the episode presents a story that is almost epic. The setting is in the year 3000 and beyond! This conjures up all kinds of curiosities about the Federation. Does the Federation even exist in the year 3000? If so, how far has it expanded? A possible technical problem: at the rate of technological progression displayed between the 1900s and the 2300s, wouldn't the Federation extend well into the Delta quadrant by now? Wouldn't the Kyrians et al have heard of the Federation by now? I can see this becoming a problem as newer, further into the future Star Trek shows develop. That said, it's a minor deficiency. I'm personally in awe of the idea that a copy of the doctor has set out on a journey to return to the Federation in the year ~3000. Opens up all kinds of possibilities.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-11-05 at 12:18am:
    Absolutely my favorite episode of Voyager so far. i too was convinced that it was a stupid mirror universe episode, but it turned out to be much more. Not only was it original and hilarious at times, but it also made huge statements about society and revisionist history, even dangerously skirting the whole issue of Holocaust denial. Overall, it was a true 'Star Trekkish' episode, and those are the best kind! Bravo to the writing team for this one. The only voyager episode so far that even comes close is distant origin.
  • From David Chambers on 2010-09-09 at 5:22pm:
    I was amused to notice that the actor who played the scientist Quaren (Henry Woronicz) also played the Voth scientist Gegen in 'Distant Origin'. He seems to have cornered the market for playing unconventional scientists!
  • From Tallifer on 2011-04-17 at 2:33am:
    Holy cow!

    This one rates 11 out of 10.

    The revisionist re-creation of Voyager and her crew is exciting and darkly humourous. "Shut up, Hedgehog!" one shouts at Neelix during a meeting. Janeway ordering the use of biogenic weapons on a massive scale; Chakotay and Harry as psychotic interrogators.

    The subsequent historical investigation and discussion was interesting and intelligent. One is reminded of the constant re-examination of the American civil war as well as the soul-searching by Germans about the two world wars.
  • From packman_jon on 2012-07-09 at 11:23pm:
    Brilliant episode. Tallifer touched on it a little, but I'll add more. This episode makes a nice portrayal on how people have twisted history to be used as propaganda for their own uses - not to mention how people can't accept reality.

    On an unrelated note, dang! Janeway looks great with more black colors! ;)
  • From Lee on 2012-07-29 at 8:44am:
    I actually loved the ending scene with the doctor going on another journey to the alpha quadrant. I always thought a whole series of the doctor travelling through the delta quadrant in his little ship would have been awesome!
  • From Rick on 2013-01-05 at 1:52pm:
    Huge missed opportunity in this episode. When that female arbiter retorted, "It's always about race!" I was immediately disappointed that they didnt get jesse jackson or rev. sharpton to play the role. Wouldve been perfect.
  • From Dstyle on 2015-06-16 at 10:54am:
    In the doctor's version of the simulation the Kyrian rebels invade engineering, and after a brief confrontation Tuvok reports to Janeway that the raiding party has taken Seven of Nine and "one of the injured crew members" hostage. Seriously? I know this "injured crew member" is not one of the seven or eight characters we're supposed to care about on this show, but for the purposes of the story couldn't you at least give him a name? How about "Ensign Jones." There, see? That was easy. Or are we worried the audience might think, "Ensign Jones? Do we know him? Who is that?" If that's the problem, use a minor named character like Vorik or something. There are only 150 people on board Voyager anyway (well, 147 now, since three are dead)(oh just kidding, no one cares about them!) and I'm pretty sure after four year everyone knows each others' names.

    I know the red shirts are a tried and true Trek tradition, but on Voyager I find the nameless extras to be frustrating. This isn't TNG's Enterprise, where crew members can come and go at each space station stop. I mean, I get it, I do: I understand that we, the idiot box viewing public, can't realistically be bothered to care about more than the core cast, but at least pretend the in-universe officers care about the entire crew!

    It's a minor complaint, to be sure, and it doesn't seriously hinder my enjoyment of the show, but I do find it irritating each time it happens.

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Star Trek TNG - 3x15 - Yesterday's Enterprise

Originally Aired: 1990-2-19

Synopsis:
An Enterprise from the past mysteriously appears. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.07

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 79 1 6 0 18 6 1 14 38 70 169

Problems
None

Factoids
- Worf's love affair with prune juice begins here.
- This episode scored third place in the viewer's choice awards.

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf laughs at the thought of any human woman not being "too fragile" for him.
- The transformation from the starship Enterprise into the warship Enterprise.
- Tasha Yar's appearance.
- Picard not wanting to be specific of which ship he commanded: "This is Captain Picard of the Federation Starship... er... a Federation Starship!"
- Guinan's intuitions.
- The Enterprise D operating on such a nicely superior level of efficiency in the alternate timeline.
- Likewise I love the retro feel of the Enterprise C.
- Picard and Guinan arguing over which history is the "correct" history.
- Guinan freaking out over Yar.
- Guinan explaining Tasha's death to Yar.
- I like how the writers gave Yar a better send off in this episode than in Skin of Evil.
- Picard: "Let's make sure that history never forgets the name. Enterprise."
- The battle between Enterprise D and the Klingons.

My Review
The idea that a ship from the past entering the future and instantly changing history is fascinating. This episode has everything a great Trek episode needs. Excellent continuity, a genuine and interestingly new dilemma, action, and excellent character development. Tasha Yar's guest appearance was wonderfully appropriate and Guinan's involvement in the story was a rare treasure. Truly one of TNG's finest moments.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-24 at 2:59am:
    - The major plot oversight in this episode concerns the personnel aboard the Enterprise during the alternate future created by the Enterprise-C. In the alternate future, the Federation and the Klingon Empire have been at war for twenty years. In war, people get killed. In fact, Picard says the Klingons have destroyed half of the Federation's fleet. Since people get killed in war, people get promoted quickly. It is inconceivable that Riker, Data, and Geordi would still be serving with Picard. They would have their own commands fighting the Klingons. Of course, this is a television series. The viewers want to see the same set of core actors from week to week.
    - Picard has an odd sense of three-dimensional space in this episode. He meets with Guinan on the spacious observation lounge. He meets with Riker and Yar on the spacious observation lounge. However, when he meets with his senior officers, five in all, he crams them like sardines into his ready room.
    - At the beginning of the episode, emergency teams beam over to the Enterprise-C. Dr. Crusher determines to take the captain back to the Enterprise-D. Dr. Crusher taps her badge and calls for transport. She then puts her tricorder away and reaches up to tap her badge again. At this point a befuddled look comes across her face and she puts her hand back down to her side. I guess she realized she didn't need to tap her communicator to shut it off.
    - After Crusher leaves, Riker and Yar find a survivor in the wreckage. The survivor is buried under a bunch of rubble on a darkened main bridge. Riker and Yar dig him out. What's the first thing they do for him after he's out? They shine flashlights on his face!
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-20 at 10:14pm:
    One of the great Star Trek episodes. I'd like to add one more Remarkable Scene:
    - Picard discussing how the war is going badly, and Federation defeat is inevitable.
  • From Percivale on 2011-09-05 at 1:02pm:
    A perfect Star Trek episode - worth a 10.

    I feel that the ingenuity, energy and skill that went into this script surpasses any of the TNG movies (and most TOS movies) and feels much more epic.

    Wouldn't it have been great as a film? The only important characters left out of this are Wesley and Worf. I don't know (and frankly don't care) what could be done with Wesley, but there's an obvious role for Worf - as a Klingon commander attacking the Enterprise, of course!

    I especially love how they let Guinan really shine in this one. It shows the strength of her character and the depth of her relationship with Picard - even in a depressing alternate universe - and we are even left with another tantalizing clue as to the nature of her species. I don't think there is another episode where we are shown quite as clearly why she is on the Enterprise.

    But the interesting cinematography, the dramatic tension, the moving ending - Man, I could watch this one over and over again (and have).
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-21 at 8:31am:
    I agree generally that this is a fabulous episode. For one thing Denise Crosby is terrific. Perhaps because she was unhappy in her role in season 1, she seemed to be lacking in that season. Her performances were rather wooden, I thought.

    One logical issue: when the Enterprise D is holding off the Klingons, it takes the Enterprise C friggin' forever to go into the temporal rift! What's up with that? At the distance they were from the rift, they should have been through in a couple of seconds. As it is, it takes several minutes. Of course this adds to the tension, but it still creates a logical problem.
  • From Sean on 2012-01-07 at 8:20am:
    As I write this, there are over 700 episodes of Star Trek and eleven movies, and "Yesterday's Enterprise" still stands as my favourite episode of all time, twenty years after it first aired on television. To me, this episode is a perfect representation of what Star Trek is about: hope for the future. In this timeline, Picard is still as loyal and reflective as his normal counterpart, but he's a man who's been turned bitter by decades of war. I love seeing his slow turn from stubbornly refusing to sacrifice the Enterprise C ("Every instinct is telling me that this is wrong, it is dangerous, it is FUTILE!") to slowly realising that Guinan has introduced an incredible idea: that this ship has altered history - badly ("I've weighed the alternatives. I will follow Guinan's recommendations").

    Ultimately, Picard puts the needs of the many (the billions lost in the way) above the needs of the few (the crews of the Enterprise C & D). It's Star Trek at its very best. The fact that the crew all accept this is just beautiful - there's no dumb mutiny by a character who's looking out for his own skin, everyone realises that by sacrificing themselves, they are saving billions of lives and creating a brighter future for humanity. Even in this dark version of the future, the crew stays true to Roddenberry's vision of a united humanity. Even Riker, who clearly disagrees with Picard's decision, speaks to him with respect and once Picard makes his decision, that's it.

    What truly makes this episode so perfect, though, is the performances. As I've already mentioned, Patrick Stewart is in fine form, as are all the other regulars. Tricia O'Neil gives Captain Garrett a tough, strong personality without ever making her annoying. Whoopi Goldberg is suitably spooky, yet Denise Crosby steals the show by giving Yar the send off she deserved - particularly the scene where she requests the transfer to the Enterprise C. Seeing her explain to Picard that she's "supposed to be dead" always moves me.

    Of course, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the space battle, which to this day is impressive to look at, hardly aging at all. I love how the ultimate fate of the Enterprise C - it's final stand and it's destruction by the Romulans - is left to our imagination.

    Others may complain that it should have been a two-parter, or that Worf should have been on board the Klingon battleships, but I disagree. Having only one episode gives it a quick, almost panicked pace - after all, the Klingons are on their way! And we don't need to see the Klingons, or Worf, or any other part of this dark world, it's so much more interesting to see the story at the intimate level of just one starship. Often the best way to tell a large story is to just tell a small part of it.

    "Yesterday's Enterprise" is Star Trek at its best. My favourite episode of not only The Next Generation, but all of Star Trek. "Let's make sure, history never forgets the name... Enterprise."
  • From meinerHeld on 2012-02-10 at 1:36pm:
    Keith: "I like how the writers gave Yar a better send off in this episode than in Skin of Evil."

    Three cheers for that one!
  • From Ggen on 2012-03-21 at 2:21am:
    This was a rather excellent episode. In fact, of all the time travel episodes throughout Trek, this has got to be one of my favorites, for several reasons: For one thing, this episode accomplishes so much more than just the typical temporal parodox. 1) It is also a "mirror universe" episode of sorts, because the alternate militarized timeline is so fundamentally different from the norm. [And rather awesome to observe, I might add. I've long wondered about the straight-up military dimension of Starfleet - nice to finally see it on display] 2) It is very much so a Tasha Yarr episode, and a damn proper one at that. Tasha's oddly timed and oddly executed first death is rather gloriously redeemed here. 3) We're introduced to the mysterious and unique Al-Aurian "perceptions beyond linear time," which is a neat concept and a useful plot device. 4) Finally, this time travel episode is the only one I know of where someone (in this case Picard) asks the crucial question, "Who's to say *this* history is any less proper than *that* one?" This typically unexamined question has been perpetually in the back of my mind throughout the rest of Trek, causing me to cringe every time I heard the words "polluting the timeline."

    I also loved the high stakes of the final scenes - revealed when Picard admits that the Federation is doomed to lose the war within 6 months, failing some radical change of events.

    I don't know if I entirely follow how all of the events tie together to the very beginning and the very end, when the Enterprise (in "present" time) stumbles onto the space-time anomoly, but in this case I'm willing to just assume it makes some sense.

    Details
    - Warf calling prune juice a "warriors drink," and being sort of chauvinistic and piggish.

    - Alternate Picard's jargon: "miltary log," "combat date," "battleship."
  • From Mike Chambers on 2013-11-16 at 2:05am:
    One of the best TNG episodes ever filmed, without a doubt. However, one major problem I noticed.

    - Since the Enterprise-C traveling into the future caused such a radical change in the timeline, do you really think the Enterprise-D would have still been at the exact position in this new timeline that they were at in the old timeline? That is, at the site of the temporal distortion at that particular moment in time. I'd say the chances are practically zero percent.

    Granted, there wouldn't be much of an episode if they weren't. It's just something I was thinking about while watching.
  • From tigertooth on 2017-04-30 at 10:30pm:
    This is great. I loved the instances of Picard arguing against the logic of the plot. NOT GOOD ENOUGH, DAMNIT! And also when he and Yar have the scene in the Ready Room. He tells her it's illogical for her to go, which it is! But I still completely dug it.

    I guess I view it as all the characters having a less defined version of the El Aurian senses. Guinan can sense the anomalies far more than anyone else, but the others sense it, too. That's the only reason I can imagine for Picard and Yar's actions. And it works for me.

    I will say the death of Captain Garrett was not great. The shot of her wide-eyed with shrapnel in her forehead was more comical than anything else. The Riker death scene was only better by comparison. Overall the director did a great job, but that was a clunker. The casting of Castillo was questionable, too.

    One other quibble: right after Riker was killed, it probably would have made more sense for Picard to talk about surrender terms with the Klingons if for no other reason than to stall them while the Enterprise-C got through the rift. But the awesomeness of Picard's "That'll be the day!" and vaulting back to tactical? Those far outweigh the logic issue.

    But overall this was great - a terrific sendoff for Yar, a fascinating look into a possible military Starfleet, some juicy moral conundrums... what more could you ask for?
  • From Steve R Mohns on 2018-05-08 at 6:05pm:
    I love that at the end of the episode they are heading to "Archer 4".

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Star Trek TNG - 4x21 - The Drumhead

Originally Aired: 1991-4-29

Synopsis:
A Starfleet investigation becomes a witch hunt. [DVD]

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 7.04

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 9 5 5 16 11 36 15 31 45 59 50

Problems
None

Factoids
- According to Satie, Picard has violated the Prime Directive 9 times since he took command of the Enterprise.

Remarkable Scenes
- Worf's reaction to being bribed.
- Sabin mentions Worf's father a traitor. I like that detail. As far as he's concerned, that's true, as he wouldn't know the secret the high command is maintaining.
- The revelation that the engine explosion was an accident.
- The revelation that Tarses is part Romulan, not Vulcan.
- Good contintuity, mentioning the Romulan spy from TNG: Data's Day. As well as the mentioning of Picard being assimilated in TNG: Best of Both Worlds.
- Picard getting Satie all wound up.

My Review
This episode examines a very real moral dilemma, but I found the way in which it did so utterly offensive. Nobody seemed to be in character until the end, except for Picard, and the paranoia exhibited throughout this episode just seemed ridiculous. The various plot threads didn't seem to connect very well, and loose threads are left behind. What happened to Tarses? How and why did a Romulan enter the Federation and take a human wife 100 years ago? All the interesting things about this story were neglected while it concentrated on fear, uncertainty, doubt, and paranoia.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-03-31 at 9:41pm:
    This episode is one of the few times I disagree with Mr. Kethinov. To me, this episode is what Star Trek is all about.

    Negative : What's up with all the 70 year old Grandma Admirals in Starfleet? I do agree that some of the characters were out of character. And the episode lacks, shall we say, action. As silly as it may seem, a 10-rated episode for me has to have SOME action. So -1 for those things.

    Positive : This episode builds a very intriguing and nicely done story right from the beginning with the Klingon spy. I liked how the grandma admiral gradually transformed from a typical bureaucrat into a ruthless monster. I would not say that the paranoia seen in the episode is at all ridiculous. It is quite real, as was seen partly in the McCarthy trials, but most prominently in the Salem witch trials. The mob rule sentiment makes your blood boil, yet it is extememly applicable to the world today.

    "Witch hunting" in the sense exhibited in this episode is something that has occurred throughout human history. It is important to have episodes like this that remind us of problems within our culture. This episode is a manifestation of Gene Roddenberry's intentions at their finest, and as I said earlier they are what Star trek is all about. Makes you want to read the Crucible by Arthur Miller. Great Episode, I'd give it a 9, perhaps even a 10.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-05-07 at 2:26pm:
    "Trial" episodes of Trek have never been disappointing, but most fall along a predictable plot line. The trial always gets out of hand with the protagonist about to win, but the defendant pulls off a remarkable comeback in the end.

    It is always great to see Picard's moral conscience react to the things going on around him. This episode brings that out a lot. Worf, on the other hand, seems to be easily influenced by what is happening. This becomes out of line with his character as we know it. He may kill a person every now and then, but it is unlikely for him to conduct an unhonorable witch hunt.

    Although the Drumhead immediately relates to some of the issues of the modern world, such as the interrogation of suspected terrorists, I just find this episode forgettable just hours after I watched it.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-26 at 5:15am:
    A Klingon exobiologist? Not a "normal" occupation for a Klingon. Doesn't seem like a very "warrior-like" line of work to me.
  • From Firewater on 2008-03-03 at 7:47am:
    I have admired many of your TNG reviews although I will, respectfully, disagree with your comments on this one.

    I believe making the characters "out-of-character" until the end propelled this episode's story. At it's essence, it *was* about fear, uncertainty, doubt and paranoia. It was an example of how even the best of men/women can fall to the influence of such things, despite their intentions.

    All of the Romulan/Tarses shenanigans were red herrings. In the end, it was all a witch hunt with no verifiable ties to anything at all. To be honest, I see this as a very TOS episode, hinting at the way our society could easily shift back into McCarthyism even though (when this episode was aired) it was the 1990s.

    In fact, I would even go so far to say that this would be relevant today post-9/11. So I would just suggest looking at this episode from a slightly different viewpoint.. I think it's highly underrated and worth another shot.
  • From JRPoole on 2008-06-25 at 11:53pm:
    I'm in almost total agreement with the review here. I don't find this offensive really, but I do find it dreadfully dull, didactic, and obvious.

    On the subject of Tarses' Romulan heritage, I think the most reasonable explanation is that his grandfather was a defector who lived his life posing as a Vulcan to avoid trouble. Probably only his family knew the truth.
  • From Flot on 2010-09-24 at 7:40pm:
    I agree with your view, and think this episode could have easily been fantastic if it didn't feel like it came out of nowhere, nor end with no real consequences.

    I found it frustrating to watch because you could see that they were trying to take advantage of a lot of good content and continuity, but to no avail.
  • From MJ on 2011-01-07 at 5:27pm:
    I also agree with the vast majority of the webmaster’s ratings, but I would give this one a 7. The lack of explanation of Tarses fate doesn’t ruin it for me, nor does the lack of sufficient explanation for what exactly he did wrong (was it falsifying the application or the fact that his grandparent is Romulan?).

    The drama of the episode is irresistible, and the issues it grapples with are both complex and timely; it would’ve been interesting to see how differently this might have been written in a post-9/11 world. I also don’t think everyone is quite out of character. Worf’s paranoia at the prospect of having a Romulan spy on board seems very fitting, for example.

    The only other snag which knocks the episode down somewhat is that it seems strange that Admiral Satie would’ve been able to use tactics like this in all her investigations without throwing up any red flags. Sometimes it seems everyone at Starfleet are blind, despicable fools compared to Picard and crew.

    But overall, I really enjoyed it!
  • From Robert Koenn on 2011-03-16 at 8:43am:
    I personally found this to be a very good episode which I rated 8. I suppose a big part of that for me was the way it applies to our present Muslim fear mongering which is actually going on as I write with Rep. King's Muslim witch hunt in congress. It was so pertinent the way a powerful politician can gain fame by preying on the fears of the populace and undercutting our fundamental principles using this fear. It of course also reinforces that persons personae for personal gain. It was so great to see Picard handle this is such a moral and principled way that is portrays what one rationale individual can do to put these glory seekers in their place. I did not find the characterizations out of place and Worf has always been a character to jump off the deep end at a moments notice, not an inaccurate portrayal of his Klingon genetics at all. So for me using this alliterative to present day and historical events was quite good and I rated this episode quite high.
  • From ChristopherA on 2012-06-18 at 9:13pm:
    This is an excellent morality play, though a little clunky a times. While it is true that the characters seem to fall into the witch hunt mentality somewhat too easily, morality episodes like this usually have to play rather aggressively with characterization in order to get to the point and fit the episode within the time available. Also, it can be hard to set stories in a utopia. Measure of a Man has exactly the same issues as this – it makes the Federation justice system seem awfully unfair – but it works if you just accept the premises and go with the episode.
    - They never explain why Tarses lied on his application at all. So what if he is part-Romulan. Is the Federation racist? I thought it had been established that they had gotten over that. Perhaps the Federation is only racist when it comes to races that are currently enemies of the Federation.
    - DSOmo: Although the Klingons love thinking of themselves as warriors in spirit, that doesn't mean they have no other occupations. Somebody has to fill all those support roles.
  • From Quando on 2013-07-31 at 1:13am:
    This episode raises a question I often ask about Star Trek TNG: why is there no lawyer assigned to the Enterprise? This is the flagship of the Federation, and it's not like this is the first time that having a lawyer around would have really come in handy (see, e.g., Data's trial in the Measure of a Man, or the episode where Picard is analyzing the really complicated treaty with the Sheliac Corporate looking for a loophole). I mean, the Enterprise seems to have everything else. They have a botanist, a bartender, several waiters in Ten Forward, a barber, and even an expert on 20th century earth history (Wyatt what's-his-name on The Long Goodbye episode). But the best they can do for poor old Simon Tarses, with his career and maybe even his freedom hanging in the balance, is appointing Will Riker as his "counsel" (practicing law without a license). Remember when they stopped at that planet where everyone was half-naked and peaceful for shore leave? They asked Lt. Yar (who, I assume, has no legal training at all) to review the planet's legal system, and she concludes that there is "nothing unusual". Except, as it turns out, that they have the death penalty for EVERYTHING - including stepping on the flowers. Nice job Yar (although, you almost got Wesley killed, and in the words of Galron, I consider that "no small favor"). Come on. The Enterprise needs a lawyer. I'd be glad to volunteer!
  • From Troy on 2015-06-08 at 2:28pm:
    Yes a lawyer for the Enterprise...make him an ambulance chasing Ferengi!
  • From Chantarelle on 2015-12-23 at 1:07am:
    Like other commenters, I mostly agree with the reviews on this website, however, I disagree with most of this one. I’ll agree that the premise of the episode, and the witch hunt involved was kind of clumsy and forceful, however, if that had been handled better, then I think the Enterprise’s reaction, and their being ‘out of character’, would have been completely believable. That’s the whole point of causing that kind of fear and paranoia. I especially liked Worf’s embarrassment at being swayed so easily.
    Interesting to see that comments going back to 2006 talk about how relevant this episode is in ‘today’s’ world. Sadly, it seems to be even more relevant today than it was 10 years ago. Can only hope that people won’t still be saying that in 2026.
    Eric, if you read this, I’d be curious to know whether you have reviewed your opinion on this one since posting the review, and whether your opinion may have changed at all either due to some of the comments here, or a rewatch? Not that I’m implying it *should* change. Just curious :-)
  • From tigertooth on 2017-06-07 at 11:37pm:
    I remember really liking this one, and I was excited to re-watch it. I still liked it, but I certainly see some of the criticisms here. It's a bit obvious -- perhaps the tropes are more fully entrenched now than they were in 1991.

    Also, as someone pointed out, there's really no action and I'd add there's no real sci-fi either. Sure, there's hypospray-this and dilithium-that, but there's nothing that you couldn't easily put in a modern setting -- or even a few centuries pre-modern. Not a huge criticism, but it's interesting.

    Maybe even a bigger flaw than a lack of resolution on Tarses is the lack of resolution on Satie. What happened to her after this? It seems like she just went on to her next case. Yikes, no repercussions? I'd almost be tempted to check her for one of the aliens from Conspiracy (1x25).

    But more than that, the question I would have liked to have seen explored is: Why did Satie get so hellbent on finding traitors where they didn't exist? Without an answer to that, her motivation is a complete mystery, thus hurting the drama.

    Another problem is J'Dan. So there was a Klingon spying for the Romulans who was aboard the Enterprise?!!? Whoa! That's huge! And they only caught him by sheer luck that the new dilithium chamber hatch happened to be faulty in such a way that it happened to fail at just the right time and in just the right way that it looked at first like sabotage. Man, they got super duper lucky! What information did J'Dan transmit? How did he get turned by the Romulans? There's a lot of big stuff there that never gets discussed, and I think that's way bigger than all the talk about Tarses' grandfather. I get why the dropped the J'Dan story when they did, but it's a huge thread to just let go of.

    So while I still give this a thumbs up for the main story arc -- the nice Picard-Satie enemy-to-friend-to-enemy cycle -- nearly all the surrounding stuff with Tarses, Worf, and J'Dan
    is neutral at best. Even Genestra seemed like he'd be more interesting than he turned out to be. A ton of potential for an amazing episode (even without much action or sci-fi), but it didn't really come together.


  • From McCoy on 2017-12-10 at 4:29am:
    10/10.
    About lack of action - watch "Twelve angry men":)
    It's a great episode and even paradoxally good sf. Because it remind us that witch hunt is always possible, even in technologically advanced society. Human is always human and we need to watch our morality, no matter how "advanced" we think we are. People may think, that witch hunt were all about religion, but it's not true. Episodes like this makes me wonder - all that Federation stuff is to good to be true, and their confidence in "starfleet values" sometimes reminds me of totalitarism. Just a bit, of course, but still...

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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 - 7.04

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 11 3 4 3 15 5 2 22 30 47 22

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 2006-05-10 at 11:50pm:
    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 12:41am:
    - 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 4:07am:
    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 11:08am:
    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 2014-08-15 at 9:43pm:
    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.
  • From Dstyle on 2016-09-16 at 11:20am:
    I haven't watched an episode of TNG for a while, but decided to revisit some old favorites to celebrate Star Trek's 50th anniversary. And I was surprised to find I was far more sympathetic to Captain Jellico this time around.

    I'm not surprised viewers like Pete Miller up above hate Jellico so much. He's visually unappealing: he wears an ill-fitting uniform shirt that is too baggy in the shoulders and gives him the subtle look of a perpetual slouch. He's brusk and dismissive with the senior officers, and he has the audacity to remove Picard's fish from his ready room and ask Troi to wear her uniform on the bridge. It made me marvel at how easy it is to make an audience dislike a character. Had the producers of these episodes dressed him in a uniform that fit and had he delivered his lines with a little less abruptness he'd be far more relatable. Nothing he does is unreasonable at all, considering the circumstances. But we're not supposed to like Captain Jellico. He's an interloper and a threat to the comfortable world of the Enterprise that we've grown accustomed to over five-plus seasons.

    But, perhaps because I wan't watching this episode after five-plus seasons but rather as a one-off, I was surprised at how entirely unprofessional the crew was during this change in command, particularly Number One. Jeez, Riker, you're first officer: your commanding officer isn't supposed to coddle you. Follow his orders and quit acting so entitled. When Geordi complains to you about his orders, you're supposed to get Geordi in line with the captain, not agree with his complaints and go crying to Picard. There's little wonder Jellico chose to have Data by his side as he worked to get the ship ready for a potential war zone: he was the only one acting like a professional. Another commenter (djb) was confused as to why Jellico wanted a four shift rotation. Me too. But it doesn't matter why. He's charged with potentially leading this ship into battle, and he only has two days to get it ready. The four shift rotation was the very first order he gave, so evidently it is very important. Riker shouldn't need a reason. He should follow the order and make it work and then deal with staffing issues once the new rotation is in place. But the purpose of the four shift rotation doesn't matter, because real purpose of the four shift rotation is to make us dislike Jellico. And it works. He's changing things.

    In part 2 of this episode Riker and Jellico have an exchange where they openly and directly tell each other how little they think of each other, and we're supposed to side with the collected and confident Riker. He is seated, but he is cool and calm while Jellico stands and fidgets awkwardly, emphasizing his belly pooch and baggy shoulders. The scene is set in such a way to make us instinctually favor Riker, but all I could think was how inappropriate and insubordinate he was being. He was a total dick, bellyaching that Jellico wasn't inspirational and took the joy out of everything, but he could get away with it because he had the audience's sympathy. And Jellico let him. Because we're not supposed to like Jellico.

    I get it. It's Picard's ship and Picard's show. But it's amazing how a few flourishes of visual rhetoric could make an audience turn again a character so completely.
  • From Chris on 2019-07-28 at 9:43pm:
    It strikes me that Jellico is on the business end of the Enterprise's military capabilities needs her ready for combat ASAP.

    As one of the other commenters posted some years ago, you want a research vessel who deals nice with new life and civilizations, you want Picard, you want someone to take you to war, you want Jellico...
    ... and YES! Troi looks awesome in her uniform! Jeez!!!

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Star Trek DS9 - 4x23 - To the Death

Originally Aired: 1996-5-13

Synopsis:
Attempting to stop a group of Jem'Hadar renegades from gaining power, Sisko and the Defiant crew must join forces with deadly Jem'Hadar soldiers. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 6.98

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 13 2 4 1 2 4 4 17 47 25 15

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- This is the first episode to feature Weyoun. The episode also establishes many important smaller details about Dominion culture that will be relevant later. And this episode also serves is a sort of minor sequel to TNG: Contagion.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode establishes that solid neutronium can withstand several quantum torpedo blasts.

Remarkable Scenes
- DS9 with a whole pylon destroyed!
- Weyoun meeting Sisko.
- Weyoun: "The Dominion has endured for 2000 years and will continue to endure long after the Federation has crumbled into dust."
- Odo: "Are you accusing me of something?" A Jem'Hadar: "It is not for us to accuse a god of betraying heaven."
- The Jem'Hadar soldiers trying to provoke Worf into a fight.
- Omet'Iklan announcing that he knows about the Gateway and that they don't need to keep secrets and use the White to ensure their loyalty because he believes the Jem'Hadar are more loyal to the Founders than the Vorta will ever be.
- Lots of great Jem'Hadar tidbits here. Jadzia: "Am I really that interesting? You've been standing there staring at me for the last two hours." Virak'kara: "You are part of my combat team. I must learn to understand your behavior. Anticipate your actions." Jadzia: "There must be something you'd rather do. Maybe get some sleep?" Virak'kara: "We don't sleep." Jadzia: "How about getting something to eat?" Virak'kara: "The White is the only thing we need." Jadzia: "Don't sleep, don't eat. What do you do for relaxation?" Virak'kara: "Relaxation would only make us weak." Jadzia: "Well you people are no fun at all. Glad I'm not a Jem'Hadar woman." Virak'kara: "There are no Jem'Hadar women." Jadzia: "So what do you do... lay eggs?" Virak'kara: "Jem'Hadar are bred in birthing chambers. We are able to fight within three days of our emergence." Jadzia: "Lucky you. So let me get this straight. No sleep, no food, no women. No wonder you're so angry. After 30 or 40 years of that I'd be angry too!" Virak'kara: "No Jem'Hadar has ever lived 30 years." Jadzia: "How old are you?" Virak'kara: "I am eight." Jadzia: "I would have guessed at least fifteen." Virak'kara: "Few Jem'Hadar live that long. If we reach twenty, we are considered honored elders... How old are you?" Jadzia: "I stopped counting at 300." Virak'kara: "You don't look it..." Jadzia: "Thank you."
- Weyoun staring at Odo, obviously regarding Odo as a god. O'Brien to Odo: "I wonder what would happen if you went over there and ordered him to stand on his head."
- Weyoun administering the White. Worf: "Loyalty bought at such a price is no loyalty at all."
- Omet'Iklan: "I am First Omet'Iklan and I am dead. As of this moment we are all dead. We go into battle to reclaim our lives. This we do gladly, for we are Jem'Hadar. Remember, victory is life!" O'Brien: "I'm Chief Miles Edward O'Brien. And I'm very much alive, and intend to stay that way!"
- Omet'Iklan killing Weyoun.

My Review
A real thriller, this episode has many things going for it. Seeing an entire pylon destroyed on DS9, the delightful character of Weyoun, tension with the Jem'Hadar, a big battle, and so many other things. Of course, it's also a reference to the events of TNG: Contagion. I liked the idea of the Iconians quite a bit in that TNG episode, and it was nice to bring them back for this episode. Once again, the Gateways are destroyed, but I'm glad this time. Gateway technology is somewhat overwrought and would fundamentally alter the entire storytelling of Star Trek were it to become normative for the characters to use. Overall, I was extremely pleased with this one because we're finally getting to see some real contention with the Dominion. At the same time, it was a rare moment of truce between the Dominion and the Federation, something we may never see again to this extent.

No fan commentary yet.

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