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  #201  
Old 05-29-2021, 03:08 AM
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GUINAN: You know, sooner or later, everyone comes in here. They stand by those windows and they look out and the stare. They're looking for that little star they call home. It doesn't matter how far away it is, everybody looks anyway.

This seems a little ridiculous. There's a limit to how many stars you can see from the ship, and you can only see them at impulse speeds.

HELENA: I learned to cook rokeg blood pie.

You'd think that a rokeg is a Klingon animal, but in one of the novels Jadzia claims that it's an adjective (and an offensive one at that).

HELENA: Well, I'm afraid that Worf feels that we do not understand him.
GUINAN: Well, part of him may feel that way, but there's another part that I've seen. A part that comes in and drinks prune juice. A part that looks out the window towards home. He's not looking toward the Klingon Empire. He's looking toward you.

A nice moment.

WORF: When I heard you were on the visitors' list, I was not sure I wanted you to come. I am glad you are here.
HELENA: We had to come.
SERGEY: Our boy was in trouble. After we read your letter about the discommendation from the Klingons.
HELENA: We don't exactly understand it all.
SERGEY: We don't have to. We know what kind of man you are.
HELENA: Whatever you did, we know it was for a good reason.
WORF: I must bear my dishonour alone.
SERGEY: That is not true.
HELENA: I'm sorry if this is too human of us but, whenever you are suffering, you must remember we are with you.
SERGEY: And that we're proud of you, and that we love you.
HELENA: You're our son.

Let me just toss up a video clip.

ROBERT: Mind if I ask you a question? What the devil happened to you up there?
PICARD: Is this brotherly concern?
ROBERT: No. Curiosity. What did they do to you?
PICARD: You know what happened.
ROBERT: Not precisely. I gather you were hurt.

How do you describe the experience of being assimilated to someone who's never even seen a Borg? This smacks of Spock's claim that you have to die to discuss insights on death.

ROBERT: Still, I suppose it must have seemed like the ideal situation, hmm? Local boy makes good. Returns home after twenty years to a hero's welcome.

Twenty years? Picard has been in Starfleet over forty years!

ROBERT: Cancel the parade? In your favour?
PICARD: No! I never sought that rubbish.

Kirk never wanted accolades either, did he?

PICARD: You don't know, Robert. You don't know. They took everything I was. They used me to kill and to destroy, and I couldn't stop them. I should have been able to stop them! I tried. I tried so hard, but I wasn't strong enough. I wasn't good enough. I should have been able to stop them. I should! I should!
ROBERT: So, my brother is a human being after all.

This needed to be said. It's a shame that there weren't more repurcussions.

ROBERT: Jean-Luc, here is a little of the forty seven. Do not drink it all at once, and if possible, try not to drink it alone.

This bottle comes back in "First Contact."

PICARD: You had the full tour, I trust?
SERGEY: Well, actually, there are still a few areas because of the repairs
HELENA: Sergey. It's time to go.
SERGEY: Yes. Yes. Okay. I have all the specs and diagrams at home--

A great running gag. Although even if the specs are classified (which they should be), you'd think there'd be a holographic tour of the nonsecure areas of the ship available.

Memory Alpha

* Gene didn't like the concept. Of course some of it was his stupid "humans are perfect" nonsense, but he has a point that there's no action.
* O'Brien finally has a first and middle name.
* There's no footage of the bridge, a rare occurance.
* In this episode Jack Crusher has a TNG combadge with the modified Monster Maroon. The crew of the Enterprise-C will have TOS movie combadges with the modified Monster Maroon. You can see how tech advances.
* I knew that the wine appeared in "First Contact", but I didn't know that it appeared in "Legacy" as well.
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  #202  
Old 06-03-2021, 07:14 PM
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October 8th, 1990, "Brothers"

Fiver by Derek

The Episode

RIKER: Are you aware of the infectious nature of the parasites which inhabit cove palm?

If the parasites are that dangerous, than the plant shouldn't be publicly accessible. Period. This is a stupid scenario.

RIKER: Think about it, Mister Potts. And while you're at it, think about what may have happened had we not been this close to a starbase medical facility.

Furthermore, this doesn't seem like a "only a starbase would have the required medical facilities" scenario. This whole thing is just stupid. Furthermore the brothers parallel falls apart at the slightest scrutiny.

LAFORGE [OC]: Captain, we've completed our dilithium vector calibrations.

Dilithium vector calibrations? I assume they mean altering the matter and antimatter stream trajectories to properly interact with this particular chunk of dilithium, but it just seems like pointless technobabble.

LAFORGE: If we're going to maintain our realignment progressions we shouldn't be pushing warp eight for at least an hour.

You just said that you were done! The technobabble throughout this episode is just stupid and I'll try to keep my kvetching to a minimum, but there are times when it's unavoidable.

COMPUTER: Evacuate Bridge. Deck one life support failure in thirty seconds.
RIKER: Turbolifts two, three, four, everyone.
PICARD: Transfer helm to Engineering, Geordi.

Turbolifts two, three, and four? There are only three turbolifts on the Bridge, the rear turbolift, the one by the ready room and the dedicated Battle Bridge one. Futhermore, using Engineering instead of the Battle Bridge seems weird since they used the Battle Bridge set a couple episodes ago! Did they dismantle the thing already?

PICARD: Number One, take a security team up to deck two. Try and break through from below.

Isn't there an emergency hatch from the Bridge to Deck Two between the viewscreen and the helm? Why not use that? You don't need to "break through"!

PICARD: Mister La Forge, prepare for saucer separation.
WESLEY: Sir, we're at Warp nine three.

So? You were going way faster than that in "Encounter at Farpoint"!

PICARD: The saucer module should fall out of warp in two minutes.

Really? The saucer has no warp engines, it could coast to a stop in way less than two minutes! Another meaningless Treknobabble plot hole!

DATA: (doing a perfect imitation) Computer, recognise Picard, Jean-Luc. Alpha Two clearance.
COMPUTER: Priority clearance recognition, Alpha Two.

Shouldn't the computer require a secondary ID method for this sort of thing? A handprint on a console, a retinal scan, a scan of the unique EM aura of the person, something!

CRUSHER: He's alright. But he's not going to stay alright. Sir, we have to get this ship to a starbase medical facility.

I hate this ticking clock thing. Are they implying that if this boy wasn't dying that our heroes wouldn't try as hard to retake the ship? That's just stupid.

CRUSHER: Oh, Come on, I can't believe that. Everybody's played a practical joke on somebody at one time or another.
WILLIE: Not me.

I get the need for distraction, but discussing practical joke with the little boy that might die because of a practical joke might be a bad idea, Bev!

DATA: Show me the shortest route to Transporter room one.

I'd think Data would have the entire ship's blueprints memorized already, wouldn't you?

WORF: He has blocked every subspace channel, sir. We cannot even call for help.

You can't do a manual launch of a probe? They have certainly implied that manual torpedo launch is possible in the past. Heck, toss a probe out an airlock!

PICARD: See if the computer would be good enough to give you the precise stun setting to disable Mister Data.

I'd think Worf would have that memorized already!

PICARD: Computer, estimate the time from this location to Starbase four one six at warp nine.
COMPUTER: Inquiries regarding command functions are no longer accepted from your present location.

That's not an inquiry regarding command functions!

DATA: You do bear a resemblance to Doctor Noonian Soong, the cyberneticist who constructed me. But, Doctor Soong was killed shortly afterward by the Crystalline Entity.

I thought that "Crystalline Entity" was a name coined by the Enterprise crew. Why would Soong know it?

SOONG: I've never felt too comfortable living anywhere without a prearranged route of escape.

There's a novel about how Soong even had an escape route from this planet, having an android body available on standby to transfer his mind into in case he died.

WESLEY: When he transferred force field control to the Bridge, he must have only specified fields he was planning to initiate. The quarantine field was already operating.
LAFORGE: Under normal circumstances, we could divert that field energy and use it to cancel the force field protecting the Bridge, but we have to retain the medical quarantine.
PICARD: Determine the absolute minimum field energy Doctor Crusher needs and use the rest to get me onto my Bridge.

This is utter nonsense, of course. The idea that there's only a certain amount of "field energy" available for all of the force fields onboard is just ridiculous.

WORF: A small vessel, entering orbit. I detect no lifeforms aboard, sir.

Ugh. I get that Soong-type androids don't emit typical life signs, but Starfleet has had time to calibrate their sensors to locate Data's EM emissions in lieu of traditional life signs. Furthermore, this line is just here to prolong the reveal of Lore's presence. I hate this type of plot hole.

(Data is rubbing his stomach while patting his head)
SOONG: Good. Good, good, good. Keep it up. Keep it up. Old Tom Handy swore you'd never master that.

This would've been a great time to namedrop Ira Graves, but whatever.

DATA: Why did you create me?
SOONG: Why does a painter paint? Why does a boxer box? You know what Michelangelo used to say? That the sculptures he made were already there before he started, hidden in the marble. All he needed to do was remove the unneeded bits. It wasn't quite that easy with you, Data. But the need to do it, my need to do it, was no different than Michelangelo's need. Now let me ask you a question. Why are humans so fascinated by old things?
DATA: Old things?
SOONG: Old buildings, churches, walls, ancient things, antique things, tables, clocks, knick knacks. Why? Why, why?
DATA: There are many possible explanations.
SOONG: If you brought a Noophian to Earth, he'd probably look around and say, tear that old village down, it's hanging in rags. Build me something new, something efficient. But to a human, that old house, that ancient wall, it's a shrine, something to be cherished. Again, I ask you, why?
DATA: Perhaps, for humans, old things represent a tie to the past.
SOONG: What's so important about the past? People got sick, they needed money. Why tie yourself to that?
DATA: Humans are mortal. They seem to need a sense of continuity.
SOONG: Ah hah!! Why?
DATA: To give their lives meaning. A sense of purpose.
SOONG: And this continuity, does it only run one way, backwards, to the past?
DATA: I suppose it is a factor in the human desire to procreate.
SOONG: So you believe that having children gives humans a sense of immortality, do you?
DATA: It is a reasonable explanation to your query, sir.
SOONG: And to yours as well, Data.

Good scene.

LORE: No thanks to you. But thanks to you, dear brother, I spent nearly two years drifting in space. If it hadn't been for a fortunate encounter with a Pakled trade ship, I'd still be out there.

The expanded universe (see Memory Beta before) changes this.

LORE: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. What do you mean, you're dying? You look fine. You're not that old.

In canon we don't know how old Soong is, but the expanded universe has set his birth year as 2279, thus he's 88 here. I know that McCoy's 147 years are an outlier, but you'd at least think that 100 wouldn't be out of the ordinary in the 24th century. Chalk it up to decades of living in hiding without access to proper medical facilities.

LAFORGE: We'd have to access the transport controller, reset it to a testing mode, convince it that it's back in school accepting simulated inputs. That's not going to be easy without the main computer. But I suppose we could network a few tricorders together.

Yeah, no. Can't they use a shuttlecraft computer for this?

SOONG: The last thing you should think of yourself as, Data, is less perfect. The two of you are virtually identical, except for a bit of programming.

Actually they're not. For one thing, Lore's ears are removable and Data's aren't. Plus Lore has a type L phase discriminating amplifier and Data has a type R.

LORE: (sings) 'The sons of the prophet were valiant and bold, And quite unaccustomed to fear. But of all the most reckless, Or so I am told, Was Abdul Abulbul Amir.'

This is a music hall song written in 1877. Don't ask me what in the world it's doing here.

SOONG: Everybody dies, Data. Well, almost everybody.

Not Soong. At least, not now. I'll come back to this.
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Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #203  
Old 06-03-2021, 07:16 PM
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The Fiver

Riker: So why don't we take it from the top?
Jake: The top of what?
Troi: Chekov impressions won't get you anywhere; tell us what happened.

A good gag, even though I feel it was a little shoehorned.

Jake: Sniff. My poor brother.
Data: Your brother will be fine as long as nobody --
Jake: Nobody does what, sir?
Data:
Jake: Commander? Did you just blue screen?

"Why do I see spinning hourglasses in your eyes?" "How come your eyes suddenly contain red rings?"

Data: (Picard's voice) Computer, lock out everyone except me.
Computer: Please give Picard's access code.
Data: How many times have I asked you to stop speaking with Lwaxanna's voice?
Computer: Never mind, Captain. Sorry to disturb you.

I get the Majel Barrett joke, but the computer doesn't sound like Lwaxanna that much.

Willie: Practical jokes suck.
Crusher: But they're all in good fun. You've got to be spontaneous! Get it?
Willie: Got it. (push)
Crusher: (splash!)
Jake: Willie!
Willie: That was...
Jake: ...not funny.

Good Generations gag.

Data: Where am I?
Soong: The pit of despair! Don't even think -- heh heh, kidding. This is just your dad's lab.
Data: I hate to tell you this, but my dad died... a long time ago.
Soong: Wrong again! He's alive!

Only in fivers can you have a Princess Bride joke followed so closely by a Lion King joke. I love this place.

Soong: Does the emotion chip work?
"Data": (singing) "When your folks are square, then you must prepare..."
Soong: Whatta you gotta prepare?
"Data": (singing) "The parent trap!"
Soong: Gasp! You're Lore!

"I was smart enough to program Data with better taste in Disney live-action movies!"

Haha. I'm joking, "The Parent Trap" is one of my favorite movies.

Memory Alpha

* Data didn't have the time to tell Soong about Lal. That would've been hard to fit in, to be honest.

Memory Beta

* All Lore appearances after "Datalore" are actually Data from the future according to the short story "I Am Become Death". Data was kept prisoner by a race of Soong-type androids who had taken over the Federation. He went back in time and hired the Pakleds to find Lore's body, only to find it destroyed. Data had to impersonate Lore to preserve the timeline.
* Soong returns in the Cold Equations novels in his new android body. He eventually sacrifices himself to let Data be resurrected in his body (using the memories within B-4).

Nipicker's Guide

* The code Data says isn't the code that appears on the screen as he says it. Oops.
* Turbolifts don't have control panels, except in this one episode so Data can punch it dramatically. I find this odd, as other episodes and series have no problems putting control panels everywhere just in case. A turbolift seems like an obvious place to put one.
__________________
mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #204  
Old 06-04-2021, 01:01 AM
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Two posts in one day? What new spore of madness is this?!

October 15th, 1990, "Suddenly Human"

No fiver

The Episode

CRUSHER: It's Jono, right? Is that what I heard them call you? I'm Doctor Crusher. I'm just examining you for radiation injuries. It won't hurt. I have a son not much older than you. Perhaps you'd like to meet him. Well, Jono, you seem to have escaped radiation damage. Pretty lucky.

I get what Crusher is going for, but it seems too soon for this. Wait until he's completely healthy again!

CRUSHER: It's not uncommon. It was identified centuries ago as the Stockholm syndrome.

JONO: Why do you take orders from a female?
WORF: Doctor Crusher. She is my superior officer.
JONO: Among my people, a female can never outrank a man.
WORF: You are human, and among humans, females can achieve anything the males can.
JONO: I am no more human than you are. I am Talarian.

There are two issues here: whether Klingon women are really equal and how this "women can never outrank a man" thing is supposed to work. The former would require an essay by itself, centered around Gowron's claim that women can never sit on the High Council. The latter would require women to never have a rank at all, another complicated discussion.

Let's just keep it brief and say that the writer heaped way too much on Jono and this alien race to raise questions about whether or not our heroes have to rescue him. Way way way too much.

Presuming that the Talarians aren't a Federation member (a safe bet), we can't force Federation/human values on them. It can't be used to make the decision of where Jono goes, so why is it here? It's a level of hamfistedness that smacks more of TOS than TNG.

TROI: Jeremiah needs to build a relationship with a man, a father figure with whom he can explore his origins. And I think it should be you, Captain.
PICARD: Oh, no, Counsellor! Oh, no, Counsellor, I don't think so. He needs someone who is trained in these things.
TROI: But you are the only person with whom he has shown any connection. If he is to find his humanity then you are the only one who can help him. It's up to you, Captain.

I'm reminded of Charlie X all of a sudden. And that's not a good thing. I think that they went to the "Picard is uncomfortable around children, so lets make him spend time around children well" far too often. Besides, he was pretty mellow with Rene a few episodes ago, I thought he had worked past at least some of his issues. He won't fully be pro children until after "The Inner Light" of course, but this is a journey, not a destination.

PICARD: I notice you haven't taken off your gloves.
JONO: Not here.
PICARD: Why not?
JONO: So that I don't have to touch an alien.

Ugh. Are we supposed to like Jono? Because I really hate this brat and would've turned him over to the counselors and lawyers by now, Troi or no Troi.

JONO: I did not say that. Don't you understand? Pain is not what matters. Passing the tests is everything.
PICARD: Is that what they are? Tests of pain?

I always hate it when they try to justify child abuse. It'll never work.

PICARD: You're probably not aware of this, but I have never been particularly comfortable around children.
TROI: Really?

I hate this exchange. It's Season Four, not Season One, and Troi should know this! To be frank her responsibilities as a counselor should indicate to her that she shouldn't force Picard into this. Picard's mental wellbeing is an important consideration as well. Furthermore, I don't think Picard is the only one who can work with Jono. This would be a great job for Riker or Data.

TROI: Strange, isn't it? You'll travel light years, dodge asteroid storms, brave hostile aliens, and yet when asked to assume a parental role, you cringe. Why do you suppose that is?
PICARD: I'm not cringing. I'm just acknowledging my limitations.
TROI: When you were a child, did you have any friends? Other children you played with?

What does his actions as a child have to do with this? Yeah, this is just '80s psychobabble, but it still doesn't apply! Of course Picard had friends his own age! He doesn't like kids because they're an element that he can't control and his self-image requires him to be surrounded in an environment that he can control. That's why he hates Q and why Q is so fascinated by him.

PICARD: it's just that ever since I was a child I've always known exactly what I wanted to do. Be a member of Starfleet. Nothing else mattered to me. Virtually my entire youth was spent in the pursuit of that goal. In fact, I probably skipped my childhood altogether.

It makes you wonder how he got to that conclusion. Everyone we've ever met from his hometown likes civilian life. Please don't tell me he went the Kirk and Janeway (when's the last time I read Mosaic, anyway) route and saw the whole thing as a challenge.

PICARD: Yes, I certainly did, and I expect it to stay turned off. Would you come down from there? I see you've made yourself at home.
JONO: I cannot rest on your beds. They hurt my back.

So ask for a different bed. You'd think he would have the contact info to Troi or a social worker or whatever on standby.

PICARD: Those are Connor and Moira Rossa. They are your parents. The baby is you. Jeremiah Rossa.
JONO: My name is Jono.
PICARD: Well, you were born Jeremiah on Galen Four.

It's too soon for this. Jono doesn't even want to accept the identity of human, why would he want a different personal identity?

PICARD: Jono, your parents were killed by Talarians.
JONO: It was war. Death is part of war.

There's a whole essay to be written on the subject of acceptable civilian casualties and Jono's unusual acceptance of the hospitality of the people who killed his family.

Captain's log, supplemental. Captain Endar's claim that Jeremiah Rossa is his son is clearly unacceptable. However, to avoid escalating tensions, I have invited the Talarian leader to come aboard the Enterprise so that we may address the issue face to face.

Clearly unacceptable? It seems a bit premature to make judgement on Endar's worthiness as a father without knowing all the facts. To make this decision so casually smacks of racism. Where was Gene?

ENDAR: I lost my son at the hands of humans during the conflict over Castal One. Talarian custom allows me to claim the son of a slain enemy.

Since formal diplomatic relations don't seem to exist, this is another sticky situation. I'd have to know who instigated the Castal One conflict.

DATA: Talarian warships are limited to neutral particle weapons, high energy X-ray lasers and merculite rockets. No match for the Enterprise, Captain.

It's always fun to see the creators try to invent weapons less sophisticated than Starfleet's without resorting to lasers. It doesn't always work.

WORF: Captain, is it worth it, to go to war over a child?

I'd like to think that if one Klingon house kidnapped the child of another, there would be war. I don't think Worf should've been the one to say this. You can't always have Worf be the one to say the nonhumancentric things!

JONO: What is her rank?
PICARD: She is an Admiral.
JONO: She outranks you?
PICARD: Yes.

There really wasn't a MALE relative available?

PICARD: Then it wasn't a dream.
CRUSHER: I'm afraid not. No vital organs pierced, no major arteries.
PICARD: Where is the boy now?
CRUSHER: Worf has him in security. Hold still.

Attempted murder. It's a shame this is so close to the end of the episode, or else we could actually explore the implications here. But we needed time for Jono to act like a misogynistic jerk over and over again.

WORF: Talarian vessels routing power to forward rockets.

I wonder what the diplomatic ramifications would be if the Enterprise defended itself at this point. "Rockets" imply a chemical propellant, i.e. these things are slow enough to be targeted by phasers.

JONO: What matters is that I have attacked a Captain. I am ready to be put to death.
PICARD: You think you're going to be killed?
JONO: To attack a superior is the worst offence. I will die at your hands.

No, I'm pretty sure that attempted murder gets you lots of counselling and time in a penal colony. You wouldn't be very happy with that, Jono!

It's a shame they couldn't have trimmed down some of his jerkish behavior to make room to discuss this suicidal behavior.

PICARD: There was a crime committed on board this ship, but it was not Jono's. It was mine. When we found Jono, it seemed so clear what had to be done. We knew that if only we could persuade him to make the decision to stay, then you would most likely let him. So with the best of intentions, we tried to convince him, and in so doing, we thoroughly failed to listen to his feelings, to his needs. That was the crime, and it has taken a huge toll on a strong and very noble young man. And it must be rectified. He will return home. To the only home he's ever known. And to the father that he loves. To you, Endar.

There's a whole essay here about Federation people trying to force other people to share their values. I'm reminded of that quote about how the Borg are better because they tell you they intend to assimilate you.

Memory Alpha

* There were complaints about letting Jono go back to child abusers, but I thought the episode worked hard to explain that it wasn't abuse, or that at least it wasn't a black and white issue.

Nitpicker's Guide

* In this episode Picard is fine a short time after a stabbing, but in "Who Watches the Watchers" he needed a sling after a simple arrow hit. I can't say I disagree with this nit.
__________________
mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #205  
Old 06-04-2021, 02:31 AM
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The more I think about "Suddenly Human", the less I like it. It kept creating questions and not resolving any of them.



1. Are Jono's injuries really the result of Talarian pasttimes being more dangerous than normal Federation ones, of was this a cover for abuse? Was Jono asked directly about each wound?
2. Can Jono be trained to not be misogynistic anymore? Should our crew even try? Where was the scene with a female crewmember earning Jono's respect? We may have attempted a similar scene with "Code of Honor", but it wasn't done properly there either!
3. Why does Jono only respect Picard? Would Riker have not worked? Even if the Cardassians haven't been invented yet, they could've made reference to O'Briens earlier career in broad strokes in this case, plus Miles probably has more experience with kids.

4. How would Guinan have reacted to Jono? We know that she's a crackshot with a phaser, could she have been a useful bridge just like with Ro?
5. Why is Picard still so anti-kids? He should be farther in his character arc than this. Is he still in the process of rebuilding his identity post-Borg (it's only been two months) and he's not sure if he wants to deal with a young man's emotions at this critical time?

6. Does Troi have a male assistant who could've been useful this episode?
__________________
mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #206  
Old 06-08-2021, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
Borg: Your distinctiveness will be added to our own.
Picard: Was that a marriage proposal?
Borg: What? No, you idi--
Picard: Mr. Worf, dispatch a subspace message to Admiral Hansen. Tell him... we have been engaged to the Borg.

That pun is just painful.
Which is why it needed the ellipsis, to give you time to prepare for it.

Quote:
Guinan: Pre-battle jitters, eh?
Picard: Yeah. You know, this could be the end of civilization. No more Earl Grey, no more Twinkies....
Guinan: That would suck. Maybe I should use my Q powers to save us.
Picard: You have Q powers?
Guinan: Shhh! You're endangering my secret identity.

Guinan's powers are very different from a Q, this doesn't really work.
Her non-secret powers are different, yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Great View Post
The Fiver

Wesley: The Borg have gone to Warp Sweet Mother Of Mercy That's Fast.
"Sweet mother of mercy" worked itself into my vocabulary and has never left.

Quote:
Crusher: Jean-Luc? Are you in there?
Locutus: Foolish human. Picard no longer exists.

I'm not even a Ghostbusters fan and even I can see the obvious "There is no more Picard, there is only Locutus" joke.
Honestly I think the non-referential line is better in context. It's very snooty.


Quote:
The Shelby of New Frontier never really felt like this Shelby. Just my two cents.
None of the characters in New Frontier ever felt like anything.


EDIT: I seem to have forgotten a couple of things to quote, so I'll note here that Picard's marathon is referenced/explained in The Devil's Heart and they get to try the graviton thing against the Borg in Vendetta.
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:50 PM
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October 22nd, 1990, "Remember Me"

This is an episode that I don't watch anymore. I don't like episodes where a huge chunk of the time is dedicated to people thinking that a character is crazy. That's why I don't watch "All Good Things" anymore either.

Fiver by Marc

The Episode

LAFORGE: Wes, time for the experiment is over. I want my warp engines back now.
WESLEY: Almost done, Commander.

So in "Peak Performance" they let Wesley play with antimatter, and now they let him play with the warp engines themselves? You'd think by the fourth season the creators would've figured out that we don't like it when Wesley is this Mary Sue-ish.

WORF: Computer, where is Doctor Dalen Quaice?
COMPUTER: There is no Doctor Dalen Quaice aboard the Enterprise.
CRUSHER: Lieutenant, Doctor Quaice is very old and rather frail. If he fell somewhere, if his communicator were damaged.

I despise it when people act like a person can be tracked ONLY when they're wearing a communicator. Especially when you think about episodes like "New Ground" when Alexander was identified by his lifesigns (yeah, yeah, no doubt he's the only three-quarters Klingon on board, but still). Of the thousand people on board, maybe half are Starfleet officers. The computer can't tell them apart except by species/age/gender/etc.?

Furthermore, there is inconsistency about which guests get combadges and which don't. That's a whole other rant.

WORF: Sir, I have several teams conducting a deck by deck search. It is not yet complete.

I wonder how many security officers the Enterprise has. I'd imagine that a key criterion would be setting a maximum allowable time to manually search the entire ship and setting the number accordingly.

DATA: I have scanned the entire ship, Captain. Other than the Enterprise's regular complement, I can find no one else onboard.

You'd think Data would look up all available records on Dr. Quaice and see that there is no such person in this version of the Federation.

CRUSHER: I'll be a little more comprehensive than that, Chief. Doctor Crusher to Doctor Hill. Respond, please. Doctor Selar, your present location? Computer, current whereabouts of Doctors Hill and Selar.
COMPUTER: There is no Doctor Hill or Doctor Selar aboard the Enterprise.

I really hate the fact that Selar never appeared again. Considering how often actors have been recycled for other alien races in the future, why couldn't Suzie Plakson have appeared as Selar more than once? It's not like Selar and K'Ehleyr look that much alike.

CRUSHER: Doctors Hill and Selar, and four other members of my medical staff have all vanished. All record of their ever having been on the Enterprise has been excised from the computer's memory.
PICARD: Did they come aboard with Doctor Quaice?

Asinine. Maybe, maybe one civilian can fly under the radar. But I expect Picard to know the names of all doctors on board. This is stupid.

WESLEY: I've been experimenting with Kosinski's warp field equations, trying to improve engine efficiency.

Oh, you mean the equations that involve intermix ratios other than 1:1, i.e. the complete nonsense that the chief engineers didn't buy for a second. Yeah, yeah, this is supposed to remind the viewers of the events of "Where No One Has Gone Before" and set up the Chekov's Gun of the Traveler's return. That still doesn't mean that this isn't hamfisted.

WESLEY: This is the static warp field we created inside the warp drive.

I don't have a problem with a "static warp field". All you need for that is to not introduce the asymmetry that moves the ship. I have a problem with the "inside the warp drive" part. If they mean the engine core, that doesn't make sense. If you mean the warp coils in the nacelles, I wonder why they didn't say "inside the nacelles".

WESLEY: The experiment was designed to see if we could keep a bubble like this intact.

If I have to guess at the purpose of this, perhaps they want to see if the ship can "hide" within subspace without actually moving. It would certainly make for a valid alternative to a cloaking device.

PICARD: Has something else happened?
CRUSHER: Sickbay is totally empty. Apparently I no longer have any staff.
RIKER: And that surprises you, Doctor?
CRUSHER: Surprises me? I'll say it surprises me. There should be at least four members of my staff on duty at all times.
DATA: I am afraid ship's records do not concur. Doctor.
CRUSHER: What are you talking about?
DATA: You do not have a staff.
CRUSHER: You're telling me I'm the sole medical officer on a ship with over a thousand people on board?
DATA: Excuse me, Doctor, but the entire ship's complement is two hundred and thirty.

Even if there are only 230 people on board, they still need more than one doctor (insert rants about how the EMH should've been training a dozen nurses from Day One here). I get that this alternate reality is partially based on Beverly's knowledge, but she's still trained in command and she's still smarter than this. This should seem weird to everyone.

DATA: There are one hundred and fourteen people on the Enterprise.
CRUSHER: What?
DATA: That is the exact number there should be.
CRUSHER: There are now over nine hundred missing. Deck after deck of this ship is deserted now. How do you account for all the empty rooms? If there are supposed to be only a hundred and fourteen people on board, why all the extra space?
DATA: Transportation of colonists, diplomatic missions, emergency evacuations.
PICARD: Thank you, Mister Data. Have security confine all nonessential personnel to their quarters.

Diplomatic missions regularly involve hundreds of guests? And how are emergency evacuations supposed to work if there's only one doctor on board? And how can there be "nonessential personnel" if there are only 114 people on board?

CRUSHER: It's all perfectly logical to you, isn't it? The two of us roaming about the galaxy in the flagship of the Federation. No crew at all.
PICARD: We've never needed a crew before.

Have I mentioned how much I hate this episode yet? I hate Idiot Plots, I really do.

CRUSHER: Computer, is there more than one USS Enterprise?
COMPUTER: This vessel is the fifth starship to bear the name USS Enterprise. It is currently the only one in service.

Seriously, why did the NX-01 have to be called Enterprise? And as a meaningless aside, why was the prototype prefix used for a ship that was actually in service? Even the Excelsior went from NX-2000 to NCC-2000 when it entered real service.

CRUSHER: Estimated time to Tau Alpha C at warp nine point five.
COMPUTER: One hundred twenty three days.

I'm pretty sure that Beverly doesn't have the skills required to keep the warp drive working at that high speed for four months.

The Fiver

Wesley: I was testing Kosinski's Advanced Hyperspatial Propulsion Theorem.
Picard: "No matter where you go, there you are"?
Wesley: That's the one.

I've never seen Buckaroo Bonzai, but I know about his quote from popculture osmosis. This is also the motto of the Excelsior, the Phoenix, and the Hathaway (you'd think a given motto can only belong to one ship).

Crusher: Computer, what just happened?
Computer: The spherical universe we occupy is collapsing. Its periphery has just obliterated the forward edge of the ship's saucer section.
Crusher: Does that mean that Ten-Forward is now the Restaurant at the End of The Universe?
Computer: Very well put.

Ha ha.

Wesley: You want me to input the retrieval equations with my targeting computer off, my helmet blast shield down and my eyes closed?
Traveler: Wesley, trust me. Let go. Reach out with your feelings.
Wesley: Yes, Master.
Picard: (aside to La Forge) What are they talking about?
La Forge: (aside to Picard) Beats me. They lost me ten minutes ago when they were swordfighting against some little floating drone thingies.

I get the Force analogue, but this still seems like a stretch of a joke.

Memory Alpha

* McFadden didn't know she was pregnant when she did the stunts in this episode.

Nitpicker's Guide

* If the bubble is cutting off parts of the ship and exposing them to the equivalent of open space, how come the boundary can follow Crusher in the corridor without exposing her to explosive decompression?
* The bubble is contracting at 15 meters per second. That's 30 miles per hour, how is Crusher running that fast?
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Old 06-11-2021, 03:37 PM
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October 29th, 1990, "Legacy"

Fiver by Wade the Sane Commodore

This will come up again, so let me get this out of the way: I hate long-lost relative episodes. I really do. I'll skip the long speech, so let's jump to this particular instance. Tasha should've evacuated all of her old family members and friends by now. And oh yeah, we SAW HER FUNERAL! Ishara deserves at least a namedrop there!

The Episode

DATA: I will raise you three.
RIKER: No cards? The best poker face I've ever seen.

Would Data's poker face get worse after he gets emotions? That's a whole other rant I could make.

RIKER: Take five. Throw them away.
(He does, literally, over his shoulder)

Troi has the best facefault. Just look at it.

Captain's log, stardate 44215.2. The Enterprise has bypassed its scheduled archaeological survey of Camus Two in response to a distress call from the Federation freighter Arcos, which has assumed an emergency orbit around Turkana Four, birthplace of our late comrade, Tasha Yar.

It gets painful sometimes how often the Enterprise is detoured away from actual exploratory missions to do something else. Incidentally, what's an "emergency orbit"?

DATA: The last Federation vessel to make contact was the Potemkin, six years ago. They were warned that anyone transporting down to the colony would be killed.

Yeah, that's cause for a coup if you ask me. The Klingons and Romulans would never agree to those terms, so why should the Federation?

RIKER: Are you offering to help us?
HAYNE: In return for some consideration. Phasers are in short supply down here. A starship isn't going to miss a few.

I'll buy that the necessary manufacturing infrastructure for proper phasers doesn't exist down here, but if these people have been fighting as long as claimed, you'd think they would've kluged together primitive equivalents by now.

RIKER: Riker to Enterprise. Energise.
(The team beam away)
HAYNE: I want everything there is to know about the starship Enterprise.

How would they have ANY information on the Enterprise or past crewman? The whole planet has been left to its own devices since Tasha escaped, or so we've been told. If anything their database should have info on the Enterprise-C.

TAN TSU [on monitor]: Enterprise, I'm being held by Turkana Four Alliance. I've been instructed to say that you have twenty hours to make reparations for Federation intrusion into this colony, or my pilot and I will be killed.

Federation intrusion? It's a damaged freighter!

I really don't like the entire premise of this colony. The government broke down until civil war broke out? The Federation wasn't maintaining contact? A starship wasn't visiting once a year to check up on things? This whole thing would fit so much better in an episode of TOS.

LAFORGE: Captain, if I could get to the myographic scanner.
ISHARA: What's that?
DATA: A sensing device from the escape pod. It monitors the bioelectric signatures of the crew, in the event they get separated from the pod.

Myography is the study of the mechanics of muscle contraction. It has nothing to do with bioelectric signatures. I'm not disputing the practicality of this kind of tracking device, but myography is not the right name for it.

ISHARA: You have Tasha's DNA on file?
CRUSHER: The ship's computer does. There's always some differentiation between sonomic chromosomes, but not enough to affect results. It should take me a few hours to run the sonomic comparison.

Gates McFadden mispronounces "somatic" here. A somatic chromosome is any chromosome that isn't X or Y. Technically correct, but I still would've used simpler Treknobabble.

ISHARA: That wasn't too bad. So, all that's left of my sister is a file in a computer.

Really? Putting aside Data's little holostatue, Tasha should've had other belongings that were put in storage for a time, just in case. Besides, there's other evidence of Tasha's presence, like all the lives she saved.

SHARA: Are you able to have friends?
DATA: Yes.
ISHARA: But you don't have feelings, do you?
DATA: Not as such. However, even among humans, friendship is sometimes less an emotional response and more a sense of familiarity.

TROI: Have you ever heard Data define friendship?
RIKER: No.
TROI: How did he put it? "As I experience certain sensory input patterns, my mental pathways become accustomed to them. The inputs eventually are anticipated and even missed when absent."


RIKER: In all trust, there is the possibility of betrayal. I'm not sure you were prepared for that.
DATA: Were you prepared, sir?
RIKER: I don't think anybody ever is.
DATA: Then it is better not to trust.
RIKER: Without trust, there's no friendship, no closeness. None of the emotional bonds that make us what we are.
DATA: And yet you put yourself at risk.
RIKER: Every single time.
DATA: Perhaps I am fortunate, sir, to be spared the emotional consequences.
RIKER: Perhaps.

A good message, but a bit hamfisted.

The Fiver

Data: The last starship here was warned not to beam anyone down. The colonists executed their first officer as a demonstration of their power, and threatened to do it to any other ship that came to the planet.
Picard: I see. Commander Riker, assemble your away team.
Riker: Aye sir. Oh, by the way, I made sugar cookies. You should grab a few before Troi scarfs them all down.
Picard: Ah, sugar cookies, my favorite! I think I'll have an Angel One.

I get the joke, but I'm not sure how much Angel One parallels this episode.

Hayne: The Alliance is holding your men. Our Coalition could get them back if we had some of your fancy heaters.
Riker: Oh no, only Federation types get to play with these guns.
Hayne: Come on, we only want a piece of the action.

See the previous comment, only substitute A Piece of the Action.

Crusher: I could take a blood sample! Let me go find an empty barrel!
Ishara: (gulp) How much does she need?
Riker: Just enough to prove you're not a changeling. But I'm asking the questions here. For instance, have any of your siblings served on previous Enterprises?
Ishara: No.
Riker: Correct. Now, do you have any nieces living on Romulus?
Ishara: No.

How would Ishara even know about Sela? I'll buy that most of Tasha's service record is probably public, but Sela's parentage claims are probably classified.

Data: Ah, Ishara, I'm gratified to see you've been issued a standard Starfleet catsuit.
La Forge: I'll say, kinda makes me want to go run some stimulations on the holodeck.
Barclay: (over the comm) You mean simulations, right Commander?
La Forge: Uh... yeah. I guess you've had enough experience to tell the difference.
Barclay: Holo-Janeway never hurts my feelings....

Just for funzies, I looked up what Janeway would be doing right now. It's 2367. No clue, this is after her command of the Bonestell (she left before it was destroyed in the Battle of Wolf 359) and before the launch of Voyager. Somewhere in here she meets Tuvok for the first time.

Ishara: Anything else you can tell me?
Data: I can't. I gave her my word.

For a fiver this is oddly open-ended.

Worf: You want me to sponsor your application to Starfleet Academy?
Ishara: 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 letter. Tell them you'd be honored to serve under me.
Worf: You have no desire to join Starfleet, do you?
Ishara: No, I'm afraid I don't.
Worf: Then why all this deception?
Ishara: Because lying is a skill like any other and if you want to maintain a level of excellence you have to practice constantly.
Worf: (to Riker) At the first sign of betrayal I will kill her, but I promise to return the body intact.

I get the reference to "In Purgatory's Shadow", but as Obscurus Lupa says, a reference is not a joke. There's no variation here, no subversion, no commentary, just pasting "Ishara" over "Garak."

Ishara: Commander, we have got to get out of this tunnel!
Worf: We need breathing room!
Data: Earth, Hitler, 1938.

Again, a reference is not a joke. And this one is even more of a stretch than the last one.

Ishara: Whatever it looks like, I am not overloading the Alliance's reactor.
Data: I cannot permit this to continue. (raises phaser)
Ishara: But... I thought we were friends.
Data: Ishara, I'm only going to tell you this just once. It never happened.

At least this time the references had twists. Although I must say that the idea of Data sleeping with Ishara is a little icky.

Memory Alpha

* 80th episode of TNG, thus breaking the TOS number. Although I'd argue that "Shades of Grey" doesn't really count as an episode.

Nitpickers Guide

* Data collects the chips as though Riker lost the bet. But Riker won, he found the card with Data's help! Did Data think that Riker wouldn't use tricks?
* Why didn't Crusher put Ishara's proximity detector back?
* Phil agrees with me, the colony's database is 15 years out of date. How did they know about Tasha's service on the Enterprise?
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  #209  
Old 06-14-2021, 03:49 AM
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November 5th, 1990, "Reunion"

No fiver (Zeke, is this one claimed already?)

The Episode

Captain's Log: Stardate 44246.3 We're investigating radiation anomalies reported in the Gamma Arigulon system by the starship LaSalle. Preliminary readings are inconclusive.

I hate disposable missions that the "real" plot distracts our crew from. Of course, I wouldn't want an episode about radiation anomalies, but the radiation anomalies can be the backdrop to some character work.

PICARD: Lieutenant, please receive our guest.
WORF: Captain, I must request permission to send another officer.
PICARD: May I know your reason?
WORF: My dishonour among Klingons may offend Ambassador K'Ehleyr.
PICARD: Lieutenant, you are a member of this crew, and you will not go into hiding whenever a Klingon ship uncloaks.
WORF: I withdraw my request, sir.

I get the need for a quick recap here, but not the application to K'Ehleyr. She doesn't care about "Klingon nonsense."

K'EHLEYR: Sorry. I just thought you might want to talk. A few minutes ago, you looked like someone with a question to ask.
WORF: Must I ask the question?
K'EHLEYR: Yes, you must.

So K'Ehleyr's old character trait of trying to take control of every conversation with Worf continues. I don't like it in this case. She's about to declare her desire to marry him, she should be more mature than this.

K'EHLEYR: The Klingon Empire is at a critical juncture. We may be facing civil war.
RIKER: War over what?
K'EHLEYR: The usual excuses. Tradition, duty, honour.
DATA: The word excuses implies ulterior motives for a conflict.
K'EHLEYR: I won't bore you with the intricacies of Klingon politics.

I don't associate this conflict with "tradition", "duty", OR "honor". "Glory" by all means, "power", "reputation", etc.

PICARD: Do you believe there is a threat to the Federation in this struggle?
K'EHLEYR: Klingon wars seldom remain confined to the Empire. Sooner or later they'll drag in the neighbouring star systems, then the Tholians, the Ferengi. The Federation won't be able to stay out of it for long.

I can't really see the Ferengi being pulled into this war. The Breen or the Gorn would be a better fit here.

K'MPEC: No one on the Council can be trusted.

I'm dubious at this, but that's a whole other speech.

K'MPEC: You are an accomplished mediator. This is no different than any other dispute requiring your services.

I'd argue that the Federation doesn't choose leaders of other governments, but you could argue that if there was such a law Kirk broke it several times. "Plato's Stepchildren" comes to mind immediately.

K'MPEC: Find the assassin. The Klingon who kills without showing his face has no honour. He must not lead the Empire. Such a man would be capable of anything. Even war with the Federation.

There's a whole speech about the malleability of the Khitomer Accords to be had here, but I'd be tempted to compare it to Brexit and other such nonsense.

Captain's log, supplemental. K'mpec, who ruled the Klingon Empire longer than anyone in history, is dead.

Memory Alpha doesn't state how long he served, but there's a novel that states that he became Chancellor in 2346, dying in 2367. Twenty-one years being the longest term is a little disturbing, but not unexpected for Klingons. Although I do wonder why nobody challenged this guy, K'mpec doesn't seem fit enough for a bat'leth duel.

FYI, Azetbur only served 18 years, being assassinated in 2311. Gorkon only lasted for a year.

ALEXANDER: Where are the other Klingons?
WORF: There are no others on board.
ALEXANDER: Why?
WORF: The Federation and the Klingon Empire were enemies for many years. No other Klingons have asked to serve in Starfleet.

Insert Klingon civilian scientists joke here. I've made enough of them in the past.

WORF: He knows nothing of our ways!
K'EHLEYR: Our ways? You mean Klingon ways, don't you?
WORF: He is Klingon!
K'EHLEYR: He is also my son and I am half-human. He will find his own ways.

I gotta ask, how long were they living in Klingon space? How long has K'Ehleyr been Ambassador? Has it been only a year or four since she was on the Enterprise?

K'EHLEYR: What would you have done? That's right. You would have insisted that we take the oath, just as tradition would demand.

This is a whole other discussion. I would've forgiven the "sex=marriage" thing as early NextGen weirdness, but Dax makes reference to this later. Plus we know that Klingon prostitutes exist.

K'EHLEYR: Why did you accept discommendation from the High Council?
WORF: My father was accused of collaborating with the Romulans at Khitomer.
K'EHLEYR: I know. And I also know that you challenged it.
WORF: Yes at first. Ultimately I withdrew my challenge.
K'EHLEYR: But why, Worf? I can't believe you'd just give up. What really happened?

Over at TVTropes I asked why he wouldn't tell her, the only plausible explanation is that Worf knows that she has poor impulse control and would cause a scene.

PICARD: The Sonchi ceremony will take place in one hour aboard K'mpec's ship.
DURAS [on viewscreen]: One hour? What is the delay?
PICARD: There is no delay. It is the time I have chosen.

I like it when Picard gets petty, it humanizes him.

PICARD: Worf, the next few days will be difficult for you
WORF: You have made it clear that I am to perform my regular duties, sir.
PICARD: I want you to know that I am aware of your discomfort.
WORF: Thank you, sir.

A good exchange, it's a pity that Janeway never had a similar scene to humanize her. Then again, such a thing would require a plot to be about someone other than her, and how often did that happen?

WORF: Well, I know little of Gowron. Only that he is an outsider who has often challenged the Council.

A funny moment that I added to TVTropes. Worf will grow to know Gowron VERY well and will be the one to kill him!

PICARD: Qab jIH nagil

This is a challenge: "Face me if you dare!"

WORF: As Head of Security, it is my duty to be concerned.
K'EHLEYR: Is that it? Just official concern for my well being?
WORF: You know my feelings.
K'EHLEYR: Maybe I've forgotten.
WORF: You were right. I would have insisted we take the oath. But not just because of tradition.
K'EHLEYR: I thought about telling you. Wanted to tell you. But I wasn't ready. When I left, you said you'd never be complete without me. It took some time but, I came to realise I need you too. You're part of me, Worf.
WORF: jIH dok.
K'EHLEYR: maj dok.

A nice scene, it's always nice to see K'Ehleyr with her guard down. He said "my blood" and she said "our blood." Not very romantic to me, but I'm not a Klingon.

WORF: No, I cannot allow you to suffer my humiliation.
K'EHLEYR: There would be no suffering I don't care what other Klingons think of you.
WORF: But what of the boy? He may want to live in the Empire someday.

"And if he did he'd be the most pathetic soldier in the fleet! Why, I wouldn't be surprised if he flooded a corridor with superheated hydraulic fluid someday!"
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Old 06-14-2021, 03:50 AM
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K'EHLEYR: Captain, what do you know about Worf's discommendation? My interest is personal. I understand that you were there. You stood by him before the Council. I'd like to know what happened.
PICARD: I'm sorry, I can't discuss it.

You'd think Picard would ask Worf about it, but I guess he can guess that she already asked Worf and wanted to respect his wishes.

DURAS: The Council must have a leader now!

Really? Then why did it take nine months for Gowron to officially take charge?

PICARD: mev yap!

"Stop already!"

ALEXANDER: What is this?
WORF: A bat'leth. It belonged to my father. It has been in our family for ten generations.

I was surprised when SF Debris pointed out that this is the first appearance of the bat'leth. How did Worf get this? Did Kahlest grab it for Worf? Was it left behind with Kurn's adoptive father?

GOWRON: What do you want? Command of a ship? A seat on the Council? There are many opportunities for you in the Empire.

Command of a ship? I'm pretty sure that you can't just be given command of a Klingon ship, you have to have a record as a warrior for that.

LAFORGE: And the entire device couldn't have been more than three cubic millimetres in size.

Three cubic millimeters? A single grain of rice is 20 cubic millimeters! I don't think you could even build a matter/antimatter bomb that small, so what's in this thing and where was the space for the detonator?

LAFORGE: Klingons and Romulans working together? They've been blood enemies for seventy five years.

So that's 2292. In other words, around the time of the Khitomer Conference. Was this fallout from the Chang Conspiracy (2293, FYI)? Did Ambassador Nanclus screw things up that badly? Incidentally, Nanclus was a Tal Shiar agent.

RIKER: A new Klingon alliance with the Romulans?
DATA: If true, it would represent a fundamental shift of power in the quadrant.
PICARD: Indeed. It would put the Federation in a very difficult position.

It stands to reason that Duras would dissolve the Khitomer Accords, but you have to imagine that the Council has anti-Federation AND anti-Romulan members. Could Duras tip the scales that much, even as Chancellor?

PICARD: As Chief Security Officer, you will accompany me to the next transition proceeding.
WORF: Captain, they will be incensed. My presence will be disruptive.
PICARD: Yes, it will.

And people have the gall to call TNG boring.

K'EHLEYR: Computer, list stardates of the last Enterprise mission to the Klingon home planet.
COMPUTER: Stardates 43685 through 43689.

That's a day and a half. This is clearly a reference to "Sins of the Father", was that really only a day and a half? And does this really count as a "mission" as opposed to a "visit"?

K'EHLEYR: How many ship's logs during that period?
COMPUTER: Forty three officer's logs. Ten personal logs.

This number seems a little small. Even if only half the Starfleet personnel on board makes logs on a daily basis, that's still at least two hundred.

RIKER: It's considered an honourable way for a Klingon to die, a suicide that takes an enemy with it.

Once again, there's a whole spiel here that could be discussed. Even if I'll agree to this thinking in general, I don't think it applies to implanted bombs, that seems too deceitful to be honorable.

(Worf removes his baldric, takes the bat'leth from the wall. As an afterthought, he takes off his comm. badge too)

I get the baldric thing, given Duras' reaction in "Sins of the Father". What confuses me is Worf being allowed to beam off the ship without a commbadge. Did he know where an empty transporter room was?

CRUSHER: Multiple stab wounds to the chest and abdomen. Too much trauma to the internal organs. There wasn't time enough to take her into stasis.

I wonder if Worf couldn't have taken care of this BEFORE beaming over to Duras' ship.

KLINGON: He has claimed the right of vengeance.
DURAS: You have no rights here, traitor!
WORF: K'Ehleyr was my mate.

The idea that there are still challenges that Worf can make is confusing to me.

PICARD: Mister Worf, the Enterprise crew currently includes representatives from thirteen planets.

This number seems a little low. I also question the use of "planet" instead of "species."

PICARD: If anyone cannot perform his or her duty because of the demands of their society, they should resign. Do you wish to resign?
WORF: No, sir.
PICARD: I had hoped you would not throw away a promising career. I understand your loss, We all admired K'Ehleyr.

Great exchange. Seriously, I wish they hadn't've killed K'Ehleyr.

ALEXANDER: Are you my father?
WORF: Yes. I am your father.

"No, that can't be! That's impossible!" Sorry, had to do it.
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Old 06-14-2021, 02:46 PM
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November 12th, 1990, "Future Imperfect"

Fiver (by Derek)

The Episode

Captain's Log, Stardate 44286.5. The Enterprise is conducting a security survey of the Onias Sector near the Neutral Zone.

I guess a "security survey" is checking up on the defenses of the border outposts, but they could've worded that better.

PICARD: Mister Data, we must hurry or we'll miss Commander Riker's party.
DATA: Sir. I find it interesting how much importance humans place on celebrating the day of their birth. A day they cannot possibly remember.

It is a bit arbitrary, but whoever said the human race was logical?

RIKER: What about energy readings?
WORF: Magnetic clutter is increasing. I cannot make an accurate determination.

Magnetic clutter? That's an odd way to refer to EM interference.

CRUSHER: That day on Onias three, you were infected with a strain of Altarian encephalitis, a retrovirus that incorporates its DNA directly into the cells of its host. It can lie dormant for many years and then suddenly become active again, as it did in your case ten days ago.

The point of a virus is to reproduce, I don't think one can evolve to lie dormant for that long. Furthermore, is this a recent discovery? Did they know that one day Riker would just collapse and lose his memory?

RIKER: Main Bridge.
COMPUTER: Repeat command.
RIKER: I said main Bridge.
CRUSHER: Computer's been slow all morning. A processing accelerator's down. Commander La Forge has running a level one diagnostic to isolate the problem.

I get the foreshadowing with having to give Barash time to set up the next setting, but it could've been done better than this. As for a "processing accelerator", I want to say that this has to do with using subspace to get computer signals to move faster than light.

(Worf is at Ops, and a Ferengi at helm)

We know now that not all Ferengi are satisfied with the usual way of life of their people, but we didn't back then. At this time in TNG's history, the idea of a Ferengi in Starfleet is just stretching incredulity a bit too far.

RIKER: Commander Data. You're my First Officer?
DATA: Do you remember, sir?

There's a lot to unpack here about everyone except Picard staying on the Enterprise all this time. Yeah, yeah, they'll stay together through the movies, but realistically half of the senior staff should've moved on by now. Furthermore, I always hate it when senior officers from one department step into the shoes of a senior officer from another department. Worf wasn't trained to be Operations Officer in "Data's Day", and Data isn't suited for Command.

RIKER: Deanna, who's his mother?
TROI: She died two years ago. A shuttle accident. I'm sorry, Will.
RIKER: I have no recollection of her at all. What was she like?
TROI: Min was beautiful, of course, strong, intelligent, patient.
RIKER: Well, if she was married to me, she had to be patient.

I'm sorry, but this whole "Minuet is the woman Riker had the strongest feelings for, so she should be his wife" thing is a bridge too far. Riker never loved Minuet, he loved the idea of Minuet. Oh, and using "Min" instead of "Minuet" at this point of the episode is just lazy plot hole filling. Riker only knew her as Minuet, and even if he started using "Min" as a pet name, I doubt that Troi would as well.

TOMALAK: Thank you, Admiral. It is an honour to be the first Romulan to freely walk about a Federation Starship.

Oh boy, where to start with this one. Do we ask how plausible this is? Do we talk about how hamfisted this statement is? Do we bring up T'Pel/Selok from "Data's Day"?

CRUSHER: Will, how old were you when you first started playing parrises squares?
RIKER: Alright, I was probably a little younger than he is.

With all the times they mention Parisses Squares, I wish we could've seen an actual game.

DATA: Pardon me, sir. I am experiencing subspace interference which limits my abilities. I can't operate as quickly as
RIKER: What did you say?
DATA: I said I cannot operate
RIKER: No! That's not what you said. You said I can't. You used a contraction, didn't you?
DATA: Sir, I can explain if you would just give me a moment.

Once again, I get what they were going for, but this is not the ideal way to prove Will is in a simulation. It's been sixteen years, plenty of time for Data to modify himself to use contractions.

TOMALAK: With the help of our neural scanners and what you would call a holodeck.

So the Romulans don't call them holodecks? What was the purpose of this line?

The Fiver

Riker: So Data's my first officer now?
B4: Actually, I'm not Data.
Riker: Sure, whatever.

Whether or not Data's memories actually made it into B4 is a long discussion by itself. The problem here is the use of that contraction. If the episode is going to make a big deal about it, so should the fiver.

Riker: I've never trusted Romulans, and I never will. I can never forgive them for the death of my boy.

Cute reference, but what "boy" is Riker referring to here?

Jean-Luc: Will, you are my father.
Riker: No, that's not true! That's impossible!
Troi: Um, no, it's not.

I can't decide if the Star Wars reference was stretched too far for this joke or not.

Jean-Luc: Try giving it a stardate. Computer, show the picture of mom from stardate 11001001.
Riker: Isn't that kind of long for a stardate?
Jean-Luc: Um, it was a leap year.

Stardate 11001001 would be January 1st, 12931. Future dates in Trek rarely go that high, but at least we can be sure that the Andromeda galaxy is completely uninhabitable by then.

Riker: This is all a hoax, and I can prove it! Worf, where'd you get that scar?
Worf: In battle against the Dominion.
Riker: Ha! Whoever heard of the Dominion?

Nice one.

Memory Alpha

* First appearance of Ogawa.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Phil points out the fact that the communicators double as rank insignia. I have to point out that Ogawa is apparently still an ensign. That's weird.
* Ogawa apparently won't age in sixteen years. Oops.
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Old 06-14-2021, 05:23 PM
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November 19th, 1990, "Final Mission"


Fiver by Admiral Sab


The Episode

Captain's log, stardate 44307.3. I am preparing to leave by shuttlecraft for Pentarus Five, where I have been asked to mediate a dispute among the salenite miners, a contentious group unfortunately prone to violence.

This is the only mention of salenite. You wonder why they didn't use a preexisting mineral. Not dilithium, but maybe boronite, gallicite, topaline, etc.

PICARD: I just received a message from Admiral Nsomeka. She expects you to report in two weeks. A position has opened up in this year's class.

The Academy has a quota/class size this strict? Weird.

PICARD: Ah, Captain. It's good to meet you.
WESLEY: Captain? Of a mining shuttle?
DIRGO: Yes, Ensign, Captain.

This thing can't be that much smaller than Okona's ship the ''Erstwhile.'' I have more trouble accepting the idea that a one-man crew automatically earns the name "Captain."

WESLEY: Sir, one of the moons around Pentarus Three registers as class M, barely. The mean temperature is fifty five degrees Celsius.

55 degC is 130 degF. I really don't think these guys could survive that long without water.

PICARD: Surely you have emergency supplies?
DIRGO: This isn't a starship. I have to choose what I carry.
PICARD: Are you telling me there's no water?

I'm having trouble believing that fifty pounds of emergency water and food would make that much difference for any spaceship. Furthermore, mass may matter at sublight speeds but at warp it's the volume of the ship that matters.

LAFORGE: The radiation levels from that ship are off the scale.

I hate it when scifi series say that. When you have ships being sent outside of known space by advanced aliens, you should have larger scales. Furthermore, if the radiation levels are THAT high everyone on board should be dying already.

WORF: Commander, a message from the mining settlement on Pentarus Five. The shuttlecraft carrying Captain Picard has not yet arrived.
CRUSHER: They left here at oh eight hundred hours.
WORF: They have asked if we are beginning a search.
RIKER: Tell them we have an emergency situation. We'll begin a search as soon as we've completed that.

Couldn't the saucer handle this drifting vessel situation while the stardrive goes back to look for Picard and company? With all this nonsense you almost wonder why the saucer was designed to detach in the first place.

TROI: We've contacted the nearest Starbase for a search vessel. I'm afraid the closest one is almost a week away.

Really? Are we that far into the sticks? Shouldn't there be an acceptable radius to space these starbases out? Like, no more than two days at Warp 8 from everywhere in the Federation?

(some things rush into the cavern, rather like the seraphim from Raiders of the Lost Ark)

It's been too long since I watched the Indiana Jones movie. Incidentally, if you haven't watched Crystal Skull yet, DON'T. I have no idea if Indy 5 will be any good.

First Officer's log, stardate 44307.6. Radiation levels on the Enterprise continue to rise. The ventilation system has started pumping hyronalin into our air supply to counteract the effects.

Seriously, even if they didn't have Picard to worry about, this is a prime situation for saucer separation and a skeleton crew. And they should be wearing spacesuits as another layer of radiation protection.

CRUSHER: Crusher to Medical unit one, evacuate and seal off all non-operational areas. Group the crew and their families in the interior corridors of decks nine and ten. Radiation exposure protocol.

Crusher should've already been doing this!

COMPUTER: Warning. Radiation levels at one hundred fifty millirads per minute and rising. Lethal exposure in thirty five minutes.

I've probably already mentioned this in another episode, but everyone is not going to die at the same level of radiation. Age, species, health, etc. will play a factor. Just say "casualties expected in 35 minutes"!

First Officer's log, supplemental. Mister La Forge has diverted power from auxiliary fusion generators in an attempt to stabilise the tractor beam. This is the only hope of increasing our towing speed so we can clear the asteroid belt before radiation levels become fatal.

You should've already been doing that!

PICARD: I was selfish. I thought I wouldn't see you again. I'm sorry.

He thought he wouldn't see Wesley again? Wesley would've been on the first shuttle back as soon as he had vacation time!

LAFORGE: Most shuttlecraft hulls are made of duranium.

Most SPACESHIP hulls are made out of duranium, Geordi!

PICARD: Aupres de ma blonde, il fait bon, fait bon, fait bon.

These are lyrics from a French song called "Aupres de ma blonde" ("Next to my Girlfriend"). It's used as a drinking song and nursery rhyme. The transcriber accidentally used "il" instead of "qu'il." It means "Next to my darling, how good it is, it is, it is."

PICARD: There's so much I wanted to tell you. The Academy, there's someone, someone who meant a great deal to me. He's been there forever. Someone you must get to know. His name is Boothby. Now, you tell him that you and I were friends. Now, when I was there, he helped me. Listen to him.
WESLEY: What does he teach?
PICARD: He's the groundskeeper. One of the wisest men I ever knew.

Nice setup.

PICARD: One moment. Mister Crusher?
WESLEY: Yes, sir.
PICARD: What are you doing in such a filthy uniform?
WESLEY: You don't look so ship-shape yourself, sir.
PICARD: Wesley, you will be missed.

Nice moment.

The Fiver

Wesley: What a piece of junk!
Dirgo: She may not look like much, kid, but she's got it where it counts.
Picard: Nice to meet you, Captain Solo.

See, this time it's not merely a reference because Dirgo is actually like a hardened, more cynical version of Solo.

La Forge: It's a radioactive garbage scow! We came all this way to take out the trash!
Riker: Hmm...I wonder if the Malon had something to do with this?
Data: Who?
Riker: Um, never mind. Wrong quadrant.

I wonder if Admiral Sab knew that Riker was considered for the command of Voyager.

Wesley: Here's a fire to warm you up.
Picard: There's something about the flame...the smell of the smoke....
Wesley: Sir, you're delirious.
Picard: Never mind.

Nice nod to "Attached."

Memory Alpha

* Wheaton wanted to leave the show so he could be in movies. A quick look at his IMDB page shows that he didn't do too well at it. I don't recognize any of his work until Flubber in 1997. (Incidentally, I don't think he did very well in that film, he's certainly no Tommy Kirk from the original).
* I was surprised to learn that Boothby only made three appearances, "The First Duty", "In The Flesh", and "The Fight."

Nitpicker's Guide

* Wouldn't Geordi's safety inspection before the shuttle left reveal the lack of emergency supplies?
* Who made this fountain and installed the sentry? (a mention of the Preservers would've been a great namedrop for this episode)
* Why didn't Riker just let the ship crash into the asteroid field?
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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Old 06-16-2021, 12:49 AM
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December 31, 1990, "The Loss"

Ugh. A bad example of a Troi episode. I have to imagine that there are diseases that can take away a Betazoid's telepathy and she'd be trained to deal with this scenario.

Fiver (by Kira)

The Episode

BROOKS: It's been five months since Marc's accident. I haven't missed a single hour of my duties. I volunteered for extra time in the nursery. My language studies are better than they've ever been. Somebody else might have given in, but I didn't.
TROI: Given in to what?
BROOKS: Death is a normal part of life. Maybe some of us are better at facing that than others.

Ugh, stupid Gene and his "humans don't grieve" nonsense.

DATA: An aggregate field of plane-polarised objects has just appeared. And disappeared.

A what? Can asteroids generate a magnetic field large enough to align all of the rocks in the same direction? Weird...

DATA: A resumption of our present course at warp six will place us in the T'lli Beta system in six days, thirteen hours, forty seven minutes.
RIKER: What, no seconds?
DATA: I have discovered, sir, a certain level of impatience when I calculate a lengthy time interval to the nearest second. However, if you wish
RIKER: No, no. Minutes is fine.

I get the idea, but actually at this scale "almost six days and fourteen hours" would be fine. Do the official records rely on bridge dialogue for stuff this important, rather than the helm display?

PICARD: Full impulse. Rotate heading in five degree increments.

You do know that headings consist of TWO angles, right Jean-Luc? "His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking."

DATA: Integrity field stress exceeding eighty two million kilodynes.

The dyne is the unit of force for the cm-g-s system. Why Data doesn't use 820 kilonewtons is beyond me. Incidentally, the episode "Gravity" introduces the isodyne, which the Star Trek Encyclopedia calls a unit of measure for the energy of warp particles.

TROI: No, I don't think so. No. There's nothing. Nothing. I sense nothing.
PICARD: It's alright, Counsellor. Perhaps there's nothing out there to sense.
DATA: Indeed, there are many races that are not empathically detectable. The Breen, the Ferengi, the
TROI: No, you don't understand. I don't sense anything. Not out there, not in here. All of you, you're all blank to me.

Listing species that are likely immune to telepathy would be interesting. Tholians come to mind immediately. It would be interested to see what races a full Betazoid can read but Troi's weaker powers can't.

I don't understand the "blank" comment. This field is overloading her mind with physic static, she shouldn't detect anything. "Blank" implies she can read everything except the holes occupied by people.

CRUSHER: And you may not. Now, I'll do my homework. I'll see what I can do to regenerate those cells. In the meantime, I want you to talk to someone. There are several people on board who have degrees in psychology, who are qualified therapists.

Troi has to be TOLD this? Aren't they members of her staff? Doesn't she have an assistant counselor to go to?

TROI: You know what the worst part of this is? And I've seen it happen to so many patients.
RIKER: What?
TROI: The way other people change. How they start to treat you differently. They walk on eggshells around you. Sometimes they avoid you altogether. Sometimes they become overbearing, reach out a helping hand to the blind woman.
RIKER: I'm sorry if I
TROI: I will not be treated that way!
RIKER: Hey! Imzadi.
TROI: Oh, please.
RIKER: Deanna, I've never seen you quite so scared.
TROI: I'm fine. If I get better, I get better. If I don't, I'll adapt. Life goes on.

I don't like this exchange. I get the parallel with Brooks, but it doesn't work like this. Troi is acting like she can be perfectly fine without her powers, but she should know that denial can't be encouraged.

TROI: Because I can't tell how you're feeling this morning, but it seems to me that one night of crying can't make up for months of denial.
BROOKS: No. You're wrong. I feel better today than I have in ages. You're absolutely wrong, Deanna.

Troi will tell Guinan later that there are other ways to gauge the emotional state of a person, is she just having a brain fart right now? There's denial and there's refusal to accept the truth.

DATA: The probe's point of view reveals that the objects exist entirely in two dimensions, on a single plane.
LAFORGE: They have length and width, but not height. Virtually flat.

"Virtually" flat implies a very small third dimension. This is a problem that I always had with Flatland. A line has no width, we just represent it with a very small width to be able to see it. These "border lines" don't exist in the real world unless there is a small third dimension.

DATA: That is why the ship's forward sensors did not detect them initially. We were looking at them along their edge. There was no surface to read.

I get that the lateral sensor array is aligned on the saucer's perimeter and would imply a planar scanning region, but there have to be other sensor arrays to make things three-dimensional. Even IF the saucer equator happens to lie on the same plane as these things, the stardrive sensor arrays AREN'T.

RIKER: Can you explain why they're pulling us along with them?
LAFORGE: Somehow, they're able to polarise the graviton field as they move about. We're caught in the wake.

Polarize? They turned the Enterprise into a magnet that's being attracted to the magnetic field of these guys? This is exactly the sort of thing that a warp field should be able to sidestep!

LAFORGE: It's a shame we can't tell if they're sentient.
TROI: What do you mean by that? I'm doing the best that I can.

Ugh! We've seen plenty of sentient life-forms with brains sufficiently different than humanoids that I wouldn't expect a Betazoid to understand. In fact, I wouldn't expect the Betazoids to be able to read anything other than similar humanoids (decedents of the Preservers) Even Q should be a blank.

TROI: How do you people live like this?

Like I said, I hate this episode. It makes Troi less likeable, which is a stupid idea when a lot of the viewers already don't like her. Furthermore, it's like I said earlier, both as a Betazoid and as a counselor she should be trained for this. At this point in the episode Deanna really is acting like she needs to be empathic to be a counselor, which is ludicrous.

.
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Old 06-16-2021, 12:51 AM
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TROI: I've been working with Ensign Brooks since the death of her husband. She's avoided the reality of what happened, denied it to herself, and I realise I've been doing the same thing about my condition.

Too little, too late, writers! You could've had her come to this realization a lot earlier.

PICARD: There was a teacher of mine at the Academy who had been confined to a wheelchair since birth. She was a woman
TROI: Captain, spare me the inspirational anecdote and just accept my resignation.

"Spare me." I call that insubordination, no matter her condition. Furthermore, if we're still supposed to be in Gene's "humans are perfect, they don't mourn" period, where did this episode come from?

RIKER: You always had an advantage. A little bit of control of every situation. That must have been a very safe position to be in. To be honest, I'd always thought there was something a little too aristocratic about your Betazoid heritage. As if your human side wasn't quite good enough for you.

She wasn't aristocratic because she was a Betazoid, she was aristocratic because she was born to the nobility and her mother was always grooming her for big things.

LAFORGE: The energy we wanted to transfer to the nacelles was absorbed by the graviton wake instead. It set up a torsional wave that rebounded back to the ship.

How does that work? The warp plasma was drained, twisted, then fed back into the nacelles?

TROI: I just know you're not serious.
GUINAN: Have I given you any indication that I might not serious?
TROI: Not really, but
GUINAN: Then how do you know? Are your empathic abilities coming back?
TROI: No. I suppose it's just instinctive. I get it. You're trying to make me see that I have other abilities to draw on. Human intuition, instincts. Guinan, those skills only develop after years of experience. It's not that easy.

So how long as Guinan been a bartender? We sure got the implication that Picard met her as a bartender in the Stargazer days decades ago.

PICARD: If there is a psychology to these creatures, we must discover it. If there is an explanation for their behaviour, we must know what it is. Even in your current condition, you are the most qualified person aboard this ship to assist. Data is in Observation attempting to formulate a strategy. I want you to join him. Deanna, we need you.

I get the plot device, but that doesn't mean it's not forced.

PICARD: How do you simulate a cosmic string? It has the gravitational force of a hundred stars.
DATA: I do not suggest simulating the gravitational field of the string fragment, rather the string's vibration.
RIKER: Vibration? We're not talking about a violin, Data.
LAFORGE: No, Data's right. The principle is still the same. A cosmic string emanates a characteristic set of subspace frequencies as atomic particles decay along its event horizon. I could use the ship's parabolic dish to amplify and reflect those frequencies back toward the cluster. The Enterprise itself would echo the cosmic string.

"Parabolic dish"? I'm pretty sure that the main deflector is nowhere near a perfect parabola given its shape.

The Fiver

Picard: Well, there's nothing to see here. Let's go.
(BOOM)
Ensign Allenby: The ship just stalled. And we're being pulled somewhere.
Riker: See what happens when you steal lines from Archer?

I can't find this quote from Enterprise, but I did find this fiver over at TrekToday.

Troi: You don't understand -- I'm completely useless!
Riker: And you're stating the obvious.
Picard: Am I supposed to be seeing something out of the ordinary here?

Ha ha.

Captain's Log: We're screwed. On the plus side, if you stare at the images of the creatures long enough you can see a picture of a fish.

I could never see Magic Eye pictures. I guess my prescription is too strong.

Picard: I've called you here because we only have a few hours left to live.
Troi: Sir, I'm flattered, but....
Picard: Eew!

I didn't nee that mental image, Kira.

Memory Alpha

* The writing staff considered making the loss permanent, but I do question how you could've made that work long-term. Troi is mainly used as a psychic tricorder as it is, what else would she have to do? Without her powers there's nothing she can do that Guinan can't.
* First mention of the structural integrity field.
* First mention of the Breen.

Nitpicker's Guide

* "Tin Man" clearly said that Betazoids develop their powers at adolescence. Troi should have plenty of experience not having it
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Old 06-17-2021, 03:49 AM
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January 7, 1991, "Data's Day"

No fiver

The Episode

Second Officer's personal Log, Stardate 44390.1. Record entry for transmission to Commander Bruce Maddox, Cybernetics Division, Daystrom Institute.

Why is Data recording a letter WITHIN his personal log? What purpose does this serve?

RIKER: Nervous?
DATA: I cannot become nervous, sir. However, I do sense a certain anticipation regarding my role in the wedding.

I call anticipation an emotion. I get that they're trying to create Data-equivalents of the usual emotions, but they could've done better.

RIKER: Anything to report?
DATA: All systems normal, sir. Sickbay reports that Lieutenant Juarez went into labour at zero four hundred hours. We remain at station awaiting the arrival of Starship Zhukov and guest quarters have been prepared for Ambassador T'Pel.

Let's lump this entry with the report at the end....

WORF: All systems normal, sir. We are on course for Adelphous Four. Engineering is realigning the main deflector dish. Sickbay reports Lieutenant Umbato broke two ribs during a holodeck exercise, and sensors continue to gather long-range information on the Murasaki quasar.

This level of detail is just silly. I can understand the tradition of starting an official ship's log with the ship's current position and course, but I don't think women going into labor or ordinary broken ribs as appropriate for this sort of thing. That stuff should be in Crusher's log.

DATA: Will cancelling the wedding make you happy?
KEIKO: Yes. He'll probably be just as relieved as I am. Data, you introduced us to each other. You mean a lot to both of us.

Okay, we gotta talk about this a bit. Data is not capable of love himself, so how could he act as matchmaker? The weirder part is how he met Keiko in the first place. As a civilian specialist, does Botany really fall under Operations? (Meaningless aside, but I never liked the fact that there seemed to be no Science Officer on the E-D. Data did some of the job, but there was no chief blueshirt in the senior staff)

DATA: I have good news.
O'BRIEN: Oh?
DATA: Keiko has made a decision designed to increase her happiness. She has cancelled the wedding.

See, this gag works because of Data's obliviousness.

Second Officers personal log, supplemental. This is the one thousand five hundred fiftieth day since the Enterprise was commissioned. Besides the arrival of Ambassador T'Pel, other events occurring today include four birthdays, two personnel transfers, a celebration of the Hindu Festival of Lights, two chess tournaments, one secondary school play, and four promotions. Overall, an ordinary day.

It's Stardate 44390.1. 1550 days ago is 40143.5. That's March 24th, 2362. The ship was launched October 4th, 2363. The ship was commissioned a year and a half before it launched? Furthermore, I would think that Data would reference the launch data for this purpose.

Four birthdays means about 1400 people, I guess that's reasonable, although a little biased for one day. Three would be better.

The Hindu Festival of Lights takes place between mid-October and mid-November. 44390.1 is late April. Oops. Furthermore, it takes five days, not one. Oops again.

DATA [OC]: Sine I am not affected by emotional considerations, I am closer to being Vulcan than human. However, while their devotion to logic does have a certain appeal, I find their stark philosophy to be somewhat limited.

Ugh. There's a whole screed here. Vulcan philosophy isn't NO emotion, it's CONTROL of emotion. They use logic to control their minds and their actions, Data's mind IS logic.

RIKER: Charming woman.
DATA [OC]: The tone of Commander Riker's voice makes me suspect that he is not serious about finding Ambassador T'Pel charming. My experience suggests that in fact he may mean the exact opposite of what he says. irony is a form of expression I have not yet been able to master.

Good for you, Data. Knowing your limitations is a key step on the road to overcoming them.

LAFORGE: He didn't mean to blow up like that. He knows that Keiko probably doesn't want to call off the marriage. She's just getting cold feet.
DATA: Cold feet? Jitters. A nervous reaction to an impending event of great importance.
LAFORGE: Right. Don't worry, everything's going to be fine. She'll change her mind again.
DATA: She will?
LAFORGE: Absolutely.
DATA: So you believe the wedding will still proceed?
LAFORGE: Trust me, they're going to get married.

I get the need for the lesson, but Geordi isn't the one to give it given his history with women. This is a Riker conversation.

DATA [OC]: I find Lieutenant Worf to be what is called a kindred spirit. We were both orphans rescued by Starfleet officers. In many ways, we are both still outsiders in human society.

Another great joke. Data understands the surface properties of a kindred spirit, but none of the subtle underlying meaning. Worf is NOT a kindred spirit in this matter.

DATA: I would appreciate your help in selecting an appropriate item.
WORF: Of course. I have attended human weddings before.
(he runs through few pictures and stops at glasses)
WORF: Hold.
DATA: This is a traditional gift?
WORF: Yes, my adoptive parents often give these things at family weddings. A human custom.

The idea of Worf at a human wedding is hilarious. I've no doubt that he's on his best behavior, but I also have no doubt that it's an ongoing process. Furthermore, these "family weddings" can't refer to his brother, so I'd like to learn more about his cousins!

(he changes the picture to a glass swan)
WORF: Hold.
DATA: It is my understanding that the item selected should reflect the personality of whoever is giving it. This does not remind me of you.

I listed this on the funny moments page at TV Tropes years ago. It's absolutely hilarious how unlike Worf crystal knick-knacks are!

CRUSHER: Why me?
DATA: It was in your service record. Awarded first prize tap and jazz competition, Saint Louis Academy.

There are multiple St. Louis Academys. One is a Catholic school (K-8), the Academy of St. Louis is also a Catholic School (K-12), but it's the St. Louis Academy of Dance that was probably meant.

CRUSHER: It's just that, that was a long time ago, and I don't want to be known as the dancing doctor. Again.

I don't get this. If "Dancing Doctor" is supposed to be an insult, isn't that anti-perfect human?

Then again, I'm reminded of Ed Stevens. He's not a bowling alley lawyer. He owns a bowling alley, he is a lawyer, two separate things. Does anyone else remember Ed?

PICARD: Data, I want a tactical projection of possible future Romulan deployments along the Neutral Zone. Access all Federation records on the subject and report to my Ready Room.

Isn't this Worf's job?

DATA [OC]: It is fortunate that I am able to perform my duties without emotional distractions. If that were not the case, a sudden course correction toward the Neutral Zone would make me very nervous.

It's a shame the transcriber forgot to mention that Data's surprised to see his fingers nervously tapping the console.

DATA: Feline supplement seventy four.

You gotta wonder how many cat food recipes Data had to try out. At least he has infinite patience...

O'BRIEN: I came to ask for your help. It's about Keiko. I'd like you to talk to her. Convince her to go through with the wedding.
DATA: Would Counsellor Troi not be a more appropriate choice to speak with Keiko?
O'BRIEN: She already has. It didn't help. You've known her longer than I have. I just thought she might listen to you. She won't even talk to me.

I'd like to know what O'Brien thought Data could say.
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  #216  
Old 06-17-2021, 03:50 AM
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O'BRIEN: Just talk with her. Make her see reason. She's going off half-cocked, not thinking this through. You've worked with her for a long time. She respects your opinion.

Even if Keiko is nominally in Data's department, I can't imagine why they'd have much interaction besides her giving him reports.

DATA [OC]: Commander Maddox, I noted that Keiko was quite calm and rational when she informed me of her decision this morning. Therefore, I can predict that she will respond to an objective analysis of the situation based on the available facts. It is fortunate that she has not let emotional considerations cloud her judgement. It should make my task much simpler.

Haha, pride goeth before the fall, Data!

DATA [OC]: In many ways, Deanna Troi is the friend that I understand the least. Her life and her duties are predicated on her understanding and perception of emotions. Since I have none, no doubt she finds me as much of a mystery as I find her.

A good insight.

DATA: Chief O'Brien talks to me. Keiko talks to you. Why do they not talk to each other?

And another!

DATA: In an effort to be helpful, I am attempting to calculate the variables involved in a successful marriage.
TROI: Good luck.

The belief that everything can be reduced to equations is a classic source of hubris. It's a good thing that Data is immune to hubris. Nice bit of sarcasm from Troi.

DATA: There are many opinions. On Galvin Five, a marriage is considered successful only if children are produced within a year of the wedding. Andorian marriages require groups of four people unless

I do hate Data's recitations of irrelevant and only tangentially-related factoids. Only mention of Galvin V, you'd think there'd be a short story devoted to it by now...

DATA: Do you believe it to be the right decision for them to marry?
TROI: I don't know. They're very much in love, but sometimes that isn't enough. Marriage is an agreement to share who you are with someone else. To spend your lives together. To grow old together.

Oh, how the times have changed, and I can't say that I like how they have. These days 15 years is about the median, with a third getting to 25 years. And remember that people live longer in the 24th century.

DATA: Although I am an android, I have not excluded the possibility that I, too, may someday marry.
TROI: Data, I had no idea you'd thought about getting married.
DATA: I believe I have much to offer a potential mate. However, we cannot grow old together because I will not grow old.
TROI: Data, you do have a lot to offer.

The problem with this is that he hasn't even tried a romantic relationship yet. He doesn't have a clue about how marriages really work.

T'PEL: What is the field strength of the ship's deflector shields at maximum output?

You know, you'd think the Romulans would know that already.

O'BRIEN: The signal lock wasn't broken, sir. I had just entered the transfer sequence when the Ambassador's pattern began to break up.

"Entered the transfer sequence" implies that the Enterprises's transporter was in operation. Later they'll imply that the Romulan transporter was operating independently, not hacking into the pattern within the Enterprise's transporter.

CRUSHER: Her molecular structure dissipated instantly once the pattern was lost. There were some organic compounds left on the pad, but there wasn't enough material to do an autopsy.

How are there organic compounds left at all? A lost pattern indicates that the matter was already in the ship's pattern buffer. Which is impossible if the Romulans beamed her off the pad. And are we to believe that the transporter scans the person, dissolves them into atoms, THEN transports them away? That's one too many steps.

MENDAK [on viewscreen]: Well played, Captain well played. Starfleet opposes normalisation of relations with the Romulan Empire, and so you are ordered to create an accident.

Um, if Starfleet didn't want peace the Enterprise wouldn't be here in the first place. Furthermore, the Federation doesn't need to stage an accident to avoid peace with the Romulans, they just need to refuse to show up.

DATA: I could be chasing an untamed ornithoid without a cause.
CRUSHER: A wild-goose chase?

These jokes get tiring sometimes.

DATA: The only abnormality found during my investigation was a temporary increase in the matter to energy signal ratio. Due to the circumstances, I decided to investigate the possibility that a second transporter signal had caused the fluctuation. Although this was highly improbable, it was the only remaining theory.

So T'Pel (or should I say Selok) initiated transport with the Enterprise's equipment. Then the Romulans highjacked the signal and did a bait-and-switch with it. I'm sorry, but that just can't work, not without leaving the passenger a pile of goo on the transporter pad. Furthermore, the Enterprise's equipment should've noticed more than they did.

PICARD: Since the days of the first wooden sailing ships, all captains have enjoyed the happy privilege of joining together two people in the bonds of matrimony. And so it is my honour to unite you, Keiko Ishikawa, and you, Miles Edward O'Brien, together in matrimony.

I like the reuse of the "Balance of Terror" wedding ceremony. And given the pre-Internet stage of the fandom, the creators had no obligation to use it. It's almost like Trek gets worse when the creators have distain for the legacy of the franchise...

DATA: The Juarez child?
PICARD: A boy. At the same time we were facing destruction, this small miracle was taking place. Welcome aboard.

Wow, the Borg really did mellow him out.

Memory Alpha

* First appearance of Keiko. I don't like this any more than Ogawa getting married offscreen and getting pregnant is such a short period of time.
* The Bolian barber in this episode is V'Sal. The Star Trek Encyclopedia thought that he was still Mot.
* Memory Alpha also did the math with the ship's launch and the Festival of Lights.
* Since the transporter set was being redressed for use in Star Trek VI, the appearance of the set varies throughout the episode.

Nitpicker's Guide

* What's the point in lower lighting levels for Night Shift, anyway?
* And if the lights are lowered a third of the day, how likely is it that all major events in the series occur during day shift (it's not like Worf would have full control over the lights, right?)
* Why was Data able to come into Sickbay during a prenatal exam? Shouldn't Lieutenant Juarez get some privacy? (I might add, doesn't Sickbay have supplemental room for this kind of thing?
__________________
mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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  #217  
Old 06-21-2021, 01:24 AM
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January 28th, 1991, "The Wounded"

I have to say it, I hate the Cardassian uniforms in this episode. Furthermore it's just silly that Cardassians wear armor at all times. You gotta pity poor Marc Alaimo, especially when he had to stagger around a desert in that thing.

Fiver (by Marc)

The Episode

Captain's log, stardate 44429.6. We are on a mapping survey near the Cardassian sector. It has been nearly a year since a peace treaty ended the long conflict between the Federation and Cardassia.

Really? Then why didn't the Federation ask the Cardassians for help during the Borg invasion?

This has to be the clumsiest introduction of a new galactic power ever. Furthermore, why did it take TWO YEARS for Cardassia to leave Bajor?

PICARD: Last time I was in this sector, I was on the Stargazer, running at warp speed ahead of a Cardassian warship.
TROI: Running, Captain? You? That's hard to believe.
PICARD: Believe it. I'd been sent to make preliminary overtures to a truce. I'd lowered my shields as a gesture of good will. But the Cardassians were not impressed. They had taken out most of my weapons and damaged the impulse engines before I could regroup and run.

What an idiot. Both for lowering the shields and waiting for that much damage to happen before leaving.

And as a meaningless aside, the Constellation-class model in his ready room isn't the Stargazer. The model is NCC-7100, the Stargazer was NCC-2893. We are explicitly told that the only two ships he's ever commanded were the Stargazer and the E-D, so what was the NCC-2893? Another Constellation-class that he served on before the Stargazer?

WORF: The Cardassians have no honour. I do not trust them.
TROI: They're our allies now, Mister Worf. We have to trust them.
WORF: Trust is earned, not given away.

I have to agree with Worf here. It's also funny to think about how much more experience he'll have with Cardassians in the future.

O'BRIEN: What is it?
KEIKO: Kelp buds, plankton loaf and sea berries.
O'BRIEN: Sweetheart, I'm not a fish.
KEIKO: It's very healthy. I had this every morning when I was growing up.

Is Keiko a vegetarian? And incidentally, they've been married two weeks, they haven't had to deal with their tastes in breakfast until now?

Also, the stuff on the plate isn't kelp buds, plankton loaf, and sea berries. It's boiled taro (a root vegetable), pickled cucumber, and seaweed with sesame seeds.

O'BRIEN: What? No muffins or oatmeal, or corned beef and eggs?
KEIKO: For breakfast?
...
O'BRIEN: Scalloped potatoes, mutton shanks, oxtails and cabbage.
KEIKO: Kind of heavy.

You have to admit that Keiko is diplomatic. She sounds like a pescatarian, and that kind of food would sound disgusting to me if I was a pescatarian.

O'BRIEN: Oh, you'll love it, I promise. I can still remember the aromas when my mother was cooking.
KEIKO: She cooked?
O'BRIEN: She didn't believe in a replicator. She thought real food was more nutritious.
KEIKO: She handled real meat? She touched it and cut it?

Ugh. There's a whole other issue here. We've seen plenty of people who prefer making food from scratch if possible, but most people in this era seem to be replicator-only.

So Keiko has never touched real meat? She's only eaten replicated fish? I thought her family was a bit more traditional than that.

PICARD: Why have you fired on us?
MACET [on viewscreen]: A curious question, Captain. In war, one attacks one's enemies.
PICARD: There is a treaty between our peoples.
MACET [on viewscreen]: Perhaps that fact was unknown to the Federation starship which destroyed our space station in the Cuellar System two days ago.

Um, if you intend to restart the war, you have to let the other side know about it. Picard didn't know that you considered yourself at war again.

HADEN [on monitor]: They've granted you safe passage. We've agreed that you'll take along a delegation of observers as a show of good faith. Jean-Luc, I don't have to tell you the Federation is not prepared for a new sustained conflict. You must preserve the peace, no matter what the cost. Haden out.

I really hate it when the "good guys" say "whatever the cost." That's just inviting fate to make sure that the cost is larger than you think.

PICARD: Counsellor, I want you to stay as close to the crew as possible. Some of them may feel uncomfortable with Cardassians on board. I don't want any incidents.

I thought prejudice didn't exist anymore!

PICARD: Mister Data, is there anyone else on board who served previously with Captain Benjamin Maxwell?
DATA: Accessing. Chief O'Brien served under his command aboard the Rutledge, sir.

You'd think this would've been in the mission briefing Hayden sent.

RIKER: Welcome to the Enterprise. I'm First Officer William Riker, Counsellor Deanna Troi.
MACET: I am Gul Macet. My aides, Glinn Daro, Glinn Telle.

The usage of "Glinn" for "Commander" doesn't happen very often. I have to wonder if they have an equivalent of "Lieutenant Commander" that is also appreviated to "Glinn".

LAFORGE: And with long range sensors, we've been scanning a radius of ten light years. We can effectively scan one sector in a day.

A sector is twenty light-years to a side. So that's twenty-seven positions that the Enterprise has to occupy. It takes almost an hour to find anything large enough to be a ship within sensor range?

This is why you never give real numbers in situations like me, it invites twits like me to Do The Math.

MACET: Captain Picard, you can understand that we are sceptical. Do you expect us to believe that you are using every means at your disposal to track down one of your own?

You shouldn't, because Picard is obviously prolonging this process. Either that or the writers have no sense of scale and the Okudas never corrected them.

DARO: In the meantime, we're going to your Ten Forward. Will you join us?
O'BRIEN: If my Commander tells me to discuss the Transporter with you, I will. If Captain Picard orders me to tell you everything I know about Ben Maxwell, I will. But who I choose to spend my free time with, that's my business.

Well, that's just rude. I get that Miles is uncomfortable, but I expect better of him.

MACET: We have a number of ships in sector twenty one five oh five. If you will give us more precise coordinates and the ship's coded transponder frequency, we would be able to intercept Maxwell far more quickly than you.
PICARD: I'm sure that's true. However, given the circumstances, I would prefer to make the initial contact myself.

I'm with Macet on this one. He's not asking for the full specs on Starfleet weapons, he's asking for a way to locate one rogue ship. Picard is just making himself look like one of those "on this mission I'm not doing one little bit more than I've been ordered to do" types. Kirk asking the Klingons over for dinner in Undiscovered Country comes to mind immediately.

O'BRIEN: (sings) The minstrel boy to the war has gone...

The Minstrel-Boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you'll find him;
His father's sword he has girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him.
"Land of song!" said the warrior-bard,
"Tho' all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!"

The Minstrel fell!—but the foeman's chain
Could not bring that proud soul under;
The harp he lov'd ne'er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder;
And said, "No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and bravery!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free,
They shall never sound in slavery.


Incidentally, in DS9 the tune became a leitmotif for O'Brien.
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Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

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  #218  
Old 06-21-2021, 01:24 AM
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O'BRIEN: I guess it's all this business with him and the Cardassians brought it back to me. You know, sitting with the staff this morning, I could tell there were people in that room who still don't like the Cardassians.
KEIKO: I imagine that's to be expected.
O'BRIEN: You do?
KEIKO: Sure. The war lasted a long time. That takes its toll on people.

We have no idea when the war started, beyond "before Setlik III in 2357." One thing I don't like is Miles acting like he's not one of the one who doesn't like the Cardassians.

You also have to wonder which of the senior staff has prior experience with the Cardassians. Riker probably knows most of the facts, but has little direct experience with them. We have no clue if the Potemkin fought in the war. This might be Worf's first experience with them. Troi and Geordi are too young to have much experience (and remember that Geordi was hanging around Starbases shuttling people around before the E-D). Who knows about Data. I get the feeling that Beverly hadn't served on a ship for awhile before the Enterprise.

DATA: It appears it be a Cardassian supply ship.
MACET: How would you know that?
PICARD: We are able to make that determination.
MACET: You can read our transponder codes.

Or, y'know, supply ships have a wildly different warp signature than Galor-class cruisers. Macet needs to dial it back a notch.

PICARD: Very well. Mister Worf, relay the prefix codes of the Phoenix to the Cardassian warship.
WORF: Sir, they will be able to dismantle its shields. The Phoenix will not have a chance.

Yeah, Worf, that's kinda the point. Stop being an idiot. Besides, you should be in favor of a traitorous ship being destroyed!

PICARD: Ben Maxwell. He must be quite a man.
O'BRIEN: He's a rare one, all right. I count myself lucky, sir. I've served with the two finest Captains in Starfleet.

I know he hasn't met Sisko yet, but seriously, Maxwell is getting way too much praise piled on him. Besides, the episode is half over and we haven't met him yet. At least in "Arena" we've met the Gorn captain (S'salk or S'slee, depending on who you ask) by now.

O'BRIEN: I'd say he took it well. Oh, I know he was broken up inside, who wouldn't be? But you'd never know it to see him. He never missed a minute's duty, always had a smile, a joke.

You know, it's really out of character for O'Brien to be this blind to the faults of his superior officers. It's not even like you can use the "he was young" excuse like Riker and Pressman, he is 39 at this point.

PICARD: You don't care for the Cardassians?
O'BRIEN: I like them fine. It's just, well, I know them. You learn to watch your back when you're around those people.

"Those people". You can tell Roddenberry is gone at this point.

PICARD: I think when one has been angry for a very long time, one gets used to it. And it becomes comfortable, like old leather. And, finally, it becomes so familiar that one can't ever remember feeling any other way.

A good line, but I can't help but feel that now isn't the time for it. Furthermore, if the idea is to start making O'Brien aware of his blind devotion to Maxwell, this isn't the time or place for it.

O'BRIEN: Kanar. I never could develop a taste for it.

That's because the stuff in the bottle is colored corn syrup. Alaimo and Biggs had problems drinking it.

TELLE: A lie, Gul Macet. I was studying the terminal interface systems. They're more efficient than ours.

Well, yeah, the Federation believes in big screens with full LCARS interfaces. DS9 doesn't have those.

MAXWELL: Then listen to this. The Cardassians are arming again. That so-called science station? Military supply port.
PICARD: How do you know this?
MAXWELL: Information comes my way.
PICARD: From whom? Where is your documentation?
MAXWELL: I know what they're doing. I can smell it.

So...you have no documentation. You just tried to start a war because of unsubstantiated facts. Have fun at your court-martial!

PICARD: You have killed nearly seven hundred people and you have taken us to the brink of war.
MAXWELL: I have prevented war, or at the very least delayed it a good long time.

How? The Cardassian fleet still exists, and they want to start the war up again thanks to you!

PICARD: And so all alone you decided to dispose of the treaty.
MAXWELL: I took the initiative.

Not your call, Maxwell. I hope Picard is recording this for the shortest court-martial on record.

MAXWELL: When it becomes clear what the Cardassians have done, I will be vindicated.

Yeah, no. The Cardassians will kill you before you can prove or disprove anything!

PICARD: I will permit you the dignity of retaining your command during the voyage.

This is stupid. Then again, if people known to be guilty of court-martial offenses are allowed to retain command, it would go a long way to explaining why Janeway has a ship.

RIKER: He'd never drop his shields and allow you to transport on board.
O'BRIEN: The Phoenix is using a high energy sensor system. It cycles every five point five minutes. Between cycles there's a window of a fiftieth of a second. Trust me, I can get through.

A fiftieth of a second? That's not enough time to even START initializing the matter stream! Besides, what does the cycling of the sensor system have to do with the shields? Are you telling me that the sensors are outputting so much energy that every 5.5 minutes the shields have to drop a bit to bleed off some of it?

MAXWELL: But he'd turn his weapons on a Federation Starship to protect the enemy?

What enemy? They signed a peace treaty a YEAR ago!

MAXWELL: We're not the same at all. We do not start wars. We do not make surprise attacks on manned outposts. We do not butcher women and children in their homes. Children who never got the chance to grow up. You were with me on Setlick. You saw what they did.

Whether Starfleet has done these things is another discussion. I don't know enough about Discovery, but I know that Enterprise once deliberately stole a warp coil and left a ship adrift. That was pretty awful.

Captain's log, supplemental. Captain Maxwell has turned his ship over to his First Officer and transported aboard the Enterprise. I have confined him to quarters for the return voyage.

When Maxwell disobeyed Picard the first time he forfeited the right to be confined to quarters. Throw him in a cell!

The Fiver

O'Brien: This is breakfast?
Keiko: Yup. Kelp buds, plankton loaf and sea berries.
O'Brien: Mind if I put some gagh on it to improve the taste?

What kind of gagh would be good with breakfast? Bithool has feet, Filden squirms, Meshta jumps, Torgud wiggles, Wistan which is packed in targ blood...

Keiko: This is supper?
O'Brien: Yup. Potato casserole with capers.
Keiko: Mind if I wash it down with some kanar?

Well, corn syrup would certainly cover the taste...

Memory Alpha

There were a number of deleted scenes, but oddly enough not any about Miles and Keiko resolving their images of proper breakfast food. What was the point of that again?

Nitpicker's Guide

* How come the Phoenix's dedication plaque is in the ready room?
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Old 07-05-2021, 01:46 AM
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February 4th, 1991, "Devil's Due"

Let me just say, I don't like this one. People pretending to be gods when actual gods like Q, Travellers, and Douwds are running around gets old real quick when not written properly, and Ardra is NOT written properly.

Fiver (by FatMatDuhRat)


The Episode

MARLEY: You don't believe in me.
DATA: I don't.
MARLEY: What evidence would you have of my reality beyond that of your senses?
DATA: I don't know.
MARLEY: Why do you doubt your senses?
DATA: Because a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. Why, there's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are. Humbug, I tell you. Humbug.

I thought this wasn't an accurate Christmas Carol quote, but it turns out all Data changed was adding "Why" before the gravy line and "Humbug, I tell you, humbug."

Then again, maybe I've watched too many movie adaptations. I don't read the book that often, the closest I get is the Patrick Stewart audiobook, which I don't think is 100% authentic.

DATA: Yes, sir. I have studied the philosophies of virtually every known acting master. I find myself attracted to Stanislavsky, Adler, Garnav. Proponents of an acting technique known as the Method.

Stanislavsky was a Russian theater actor and director. Any classic movie fan worth his salt will know of Danny Kaye's routine based on him, which Tom Lehrer turned into "Lobachevsky."

Hey, any excuse for a Tom Lehrer link, right?

Stella Adler ran a Studio of Acting in Los Angeles starting in 1949. A student of Stanislavski, her school later trained such actors as Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, and Kate Mulgrew. How's that for a coincidence?

Garnav is the obligatory fictitious addition to the list, or as TvTropes calls such examples, Famous, Famous, Fictitional.. I'm disappointed that he didn't namedrop Anton Karidian (AKA Kodos the Executioner). Karidian certainly seems like a guy who would be a proponent of The Method.

Chakoteya comments in the transcript that Stewart himself is a Method actor. Which makes Picard's comment that he's vaguely familiar with it all that funnier.

DATA: Sir, I have modified the Method for my own uses. Since I have no emotional awareness to create a performance, I am attempting to use performance to create emotional awareness. I believe if I can learn to duplicate the fear of Ebenezer Scrooge, I will be one step closer to truly understanding humanity.

I don't think "fake it 'til you make it" works in this case. While I have no doubt that given enough centuries Data can internalize a complicated procedure to decide which fake emotion to display in most situation (a million IF-THEN gates, so to speak), it still won't give him real understanding. Whoever said the human race was logical and all that.

PICARD: Transporter room three. Lock onto the science team and beam them aboard.
CHIEF [OC]: I've locked onto Doctor Clark. I can't pick out the others. It's a mess down there.
PICARD: Then beam Doctor Clark aboard by himself.

What? Do enough cellphones in one place scramble individual lifesigns from ship's sensors? The sensors that can identify a single person on a planet by species, gender, and approximate age in seconds? Isn't this a situation for beaming up everything and disabling weapons in transit?

CLARK: First contact was made by a Klingon expedition seventy years ago.

Seventy years ago was 2297. You'd think they'd still be restructuring their economy and dealing with Praxis fallout at the time to spend time on exploratory missions. Yeah, yeah, STVI hasn't been made yet.

TROI: This situation is deteriorating, Captain. The people are approaching levels of anxiety that could lead to suicide.

They're not anxious enough YET? I shudder to think what Troi thinks is a justifiable level of anxiety for suicide.

PICARD: No. I'm going down to the planet myself.
WORF: Sir, you run the risk of being taken as an additional hostage
PICARD: Mister Worf, you and Mister Data will accompany me. Mister O'Brien can keep a lock on our communicators. He can pull us out if necessary.

Yeah, 'cause that kind of arrogance has NEVER backfired! Talk about contrivances...

DATA: So you do purport to be the mythic figure Ardra?
ARDRA: I have many names, my pale friend. I'm Mendora in the Berussian Cluster. Torak to the Drellians. The Klingons call me Fek'lhr.
WORF: You are not Fek'lhr.

Only mention of Mendora, the Berussian Cluster, Torak, or the Drellians. B'Ellanna mentioned Fek'lhr in "Barge of the Dead". It's a shame that TAS was noncanon at this time, as this would've been a great place to mention Lucien.

PICARD: I have encountered many who more credibly could be called the devil than you.

Oh, the list we could make. Q, of course. The God of Sha Ka Ree, who I still refer to as The One. Trelane. A rogue Kelvan. Apollo, even!

PICARD: Q would never bother with contracts.
TROI: Or economic forecasts.
PICARD: I noticed that too, Counsellor. I had the distinct impression of in the presence of a flim-flam artist.

It's a shame Data is on the planet, because I'm sure some members of the audience don't know what a "flim-flam artist" is.

TROI: She has an incredibly focused mind. It was virtually impossible to sense any deception. Or anything else, for that matter.

I'm going to assume that Deanna was referring to Vulcan-style mental discipline. No doubt a Vulcan can lock down their telepathic transmissions to almost nothing for a short amount of time. What bothers me is that Troi was implying that Ardra has mental discipline as opposed to a gadget that can block telepathic transmissions (yeah, I know Data said that it wasn't possible, but that doesn't mean the idea isn't stupid).
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mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #220  
Old 07-05-2021, 01:46 AM
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ARDRA: Yes. When the contract came to term, I gained clear title to the planet, anything on the surface, in the air or in orbit. So you see, the Enterprise belongs to me now as well.

The sheer stupidity of this statement gives me a headache. Did the locals have spacefaring capability a thousand years ago? Furthermore, how does Ardra intend to "claim" her prize? Even if she really was a rogue Q or whatever, she can't run the ship without a crew.

DATA: Sir, do you believe Ardra is, to use the vernacular, a con artist?
PICARD: Yes, I do, Data. And I believe it is our job to out-con the con artist.

Star Trek uses the out-X the X thing a bit too much if you ask me.

PICARD: You know, there's nothing about you I find tantalising. On the contrary, I find you obvious and vulgar.
ARDRA: Easily fixed. (Victorian clothing) I can be your ideal woman, Picard. Prim and proper. And chaste, until I succumb to your charms. Or would your fantasies turn more toward a professional woman, one perhaps who wears a Starfleet uniform? Perhaps I could even be
TROI: Someone close at hand and yet unattainable. I can do anything for you, Captain. Anything you could ever imagine.

I don't see Picard as being into historical romances. And the idea of Picard being attracted to Troi is just as repugnant as Professor X being attracted to Jean Grey (which actually happened).

Of course, this scene is another hint that Ardra is a fake. She hasn't met Crusher, nor does she know enough about Picard to properly gauge his sexual desires.

DATA: The case involves a contract dispute over services rendered by a Klingon craftsman on the construction of a Ventaxian home.

I'll try to stop making jokes about Klingon civilian careers, but I do wonder why you'd have Klingon civilians hanging around this planet after it was discovered.

LAFORGE: Hey, I think we've found something here. There's a sudden jump in Z-particle readings just about the time the Enterprise disappeared.

Z particles carry the weak nuclear force. What this has to do with exotic cloaking devices or transporter systems is beyond me.

PICARD: I am prepared to offer an added incentive. If you win, I'll take you to the ruins of Ligillium.
ARDRA: The Zaterl Emerald? You know where it is?
PICARD: Yes, I do.

Only mention of the Zaterl Emerald. I wish they could've namedropped the Rejac Crystal. It might actually be plausible that Data confiscated it back in "The Most Toys."

LAFORGE: A cloaked ship.
PICARD: She has a Romulan cloaking device?
LAFORGE: More likely a bad copy of one.

Even at this point we knew that the Romulans weren't the only ones to use cloaking devices. For the moment let's put Klingon devices aside, there's still the ones on Aldea and Minos.

PICARD: The Enterprise?
LAFORGE: Exactly where it's supposed to be. Ardra extended her cloaking shields around it, set up a subspace damping field to interfere with normal operations. I've isolated the frequency spread and penetrated the field.

Nonsense. Ardra's ship can't be that big, and you'd need a huge power source to extend shields around a Galaxy-class. Furthermore, is everyone on the Enterprise so incompetent that they couldn't reveal themselves before Geordi found it? They couldn't even launch a shuttle to help Picard, or just get far enough a way to use communications?

The Fiver

Sorry, this one is competent but not exactly quotable.

Nitpicker's Guide

* Ardra beams through shields a few times. I don't call this a nit, that's only a rule for standard transporters. Her system is nonstandard and may even involve a variant of Bok's subspace transporter system.
__________________
mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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