Monday, March 31, 2014

Star Trek DS9 Episode 7 - Q-Less

Is Q Less a pun? If it is, I can't figure it out. Anyway, this episode is a bit weird but it's entertaining. It involves Picard's former girlfriend Vash (who appeared in a few TNG episodes) ... it seems that Q is in love with her or something. So he follows her onto the ship and causes trouble. Meanwhile Quark teams up with Vash to sell some crystals. Then Q boxes with Sisko. It's just crazy, but Q is fun and Quark is hilarious in this episode. Also, it's so weird to see Sisko this skinny and with hair.

7 down and 169 to go

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Star Trek DS9 Episode 6 - Captive Pursuit

I do no recall seeing this episode before, but it may now be one of my favorites. It was excellent.

DS9 gets their first contact through the wormhole with a being from the Gamma Quadrant. His ship is in distress and they take him in for repairs. He is only to be known as Tosk and Miles quickly befriends him. They did a really good job on the Tosk character, for once an alien actually looks cool. Also the actor played the part perfectly, the character was mysterious but likable. Finally! Miles O'Brien gets to show some range, he is not just the boring transporter guy from TNG any longer. He is gruff and irritable, but can also be a caring dude.

When another ship shows up seeking Tosk, the real plot becomes evident. Tosk is the prey in an intergalactic hunt and now the hunters have caught him. They are very disappointed with the outcome because it wasn't very entertaining. They are supposed to catch and kill him, not retrieve him from a space station. Miles tries to save Tosk by granting him asylum, but Tosk refuses. Their culture is very different than us humans. Tosk has been bred to be the hunted in this game, and in fact, that is the highest honor in his society. He was basically born to die. Tosk is actually ashamed that the hunt would end this way ... so, Miles helps him escape and the hunt continues.

6 down and 170 to go

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Star Trek DS9 Episode 5 - Babel

Miles O'Brien accidentally unleashes an old booby-trap while fixing a replicator. The Bajoran terrorists placed this virus in the system 18 years prior, now it is infecting everyone on the station. They start speaking in Shakespearean nonsense...and eventually die. Bashir, Sisko and Kira work together to solve the problem. Meanwhile a visiting ship is about to explode and destroy the station...Quark and Odo work together to stop the destruction of DS9. The episode was a bit crazy and seemed rather forced, but let me just say that the dynamic between Odo and Quark was excellent. Watching these two interact with each other will be lots of fun going forward.

5 down and 171 to go

Monday, March 24, 2014

Star Trek DS9 Episode 4 - A Man Alone

At this point, there are many new faces on DS9 due to the wormhole. A Bajoran outlaw named Ibudan shows and up and immediately Odo tries to arrest him. Sisko puts an end to it stating that Ibudan has not broken any laws here. Soon Ibudan is found dead and Odo is blamed for the death. The next scene is fantastic ... the civilian population turns against Odo and chase him into a room where Odo locks the door. The entire crowd is chanting insults at the shape shifter (basically they are just saying "shifter" over and over again) and the look of panic on Odo's face is frightening. I actually started to feel really bad for him.

Dr. Bashir figures out that Ibudan created a clone of himself and it was the clone that was dead. It was just a big plan to frame Odo. So eventually Odo arrests the Bajoran outlaw for clone murder.

Side plot: Keiko and O'Brien are arguing over Keiko's unhappiness of living on the space station.

4 down and 172 to go

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Star Trek DS9 Episode 3 - Past Prologue

The big thing about this episode is that it introduces the character of Garak. He is a former Cardassian spy that had worked for one of the most feared groups in the Cardassian intelligence community ... and now he owns a clothing store. That is sort of dumb, but it doesn't matter because Andrew Robinson does such a good job. Garak is a fun and mysterious character and it adds a well needed element to the somewhat drab crew.

The rest of this episode revolves around Kira questioning her allegiance when a Bajoran defector (and fellow former terrorist) seeks asylum on DS9. The Cardassians are hot on his trail. Meanwhile the Duras Sisters arrive on the station and Garak (along with a little help from Dr. Bashir) uncover a plot for the two Klingons to sell a bomb to the Bajoran defector. His plan is to destroy the wormhole, but Sisko and O'Brien set up a sting operation and capture him. It was like Miami Vice except with a darker Tubbs and a human troll doll instead of Crockett.

3 down and 173 to go

Monday, March 17, 2014

Star Trek DS9 Episode 2 - Emissary Pt. 2

So after Sisko gets that weird orb from that old lady, he has Odo check it out and they find that it came from an anomalous area of space close by. Sisko and Dax take a shuttlecraft to this area. Now here is where the bread and butter of this show comes into existence. They discover the first ever stable worm hole. Inside the worm hole are these life forms. They take Sisko and probe his memory in an effort to understand humans. He is subjected to relive memories of his wife, and although painful he realizes that it is time to let go.

Meanwhile all of this activity has peeked the interest of the evil Cardassian (and ousted commander of DS9) Gul Dukat. He decides to enter the wormhole as well. When he fails to come back out, the Cardassians fear that he has been killed by the Federation and they proceed to attack the shit out of DS9. This was a great scene. Usually during these attack scenes the ship will shake and some sparks will fly. Not in this episode, there was literally giant firey holes getting blown into the station. It was awesome.

Basically in the end Sisko works out a deal with the life forms to allow ships to pass through unopposed. He also decides to accept the Commander position.
2 down and 174 to go

Star Trek DS9 Episode 1 - Emissary Pt. 1

"A new crew is assigned to a former Cardassian space station: Deep Space Nine. It is a joint Federation/Bajoran force, with Commander Sisko in charge, but his life is dramatically changed when he is declared the Emissary to the Prophets by a Bajoran priest. "

Here we go, the start of Star Trek Deep Space Nine. As far as first episodes go, this one was pretty good. Its basically just about Sisko getting his assignment to run the defunct (and run down) Deep Space Nine Space station. We slowly get to meet the crew and some painful memories from Sisko's past start to creep up.

It starts off with Ben Sisko as Captain of the USS Saratoga during the Borg attack at Wolf 359. His ship is destroyed and he is able to save his son Jake, but his wife dies. For this he blames Captain Picard (and rightfully so), he also is considering not taking this new post and leaving Starfleet.

Like I said, we start to meet the main characters at this point and here are my first impressions.

Benjamin Sisko - I love this guy. Not only is he probably the toughest of the Star Trek captains but Avery Brooks may be one of the best actors to star in a Trek series. It's weird to see him smiling so much in this first episode though.

Jake Sisko - Typically Star Trek has a terrible track record with child actors. They mostly suck and are annoying. But, I actually find Cirroc Lofton to be a solid actor ... and he is the nephew of baseball great Kenny Lofton.

Kira Nerys - Hate this character, such a bitch. But then again maybe we are supposed to hate her. She is kind of cute though.

Odo - Love Odo, one of my absolute favorites. Rene Auberjonois is a great actor.

Dax - Hard to not like Dax, she is smart and sexy. Too bad they eventually ruin the character by making her attracted to Worf.

Dr. Bashir - First impression, he annoys the shit out of me. But, maybe the character gets better.

Miles O'Brien - It's funny because Miles is always just a bland character, yet he managed to span two entire series. On the hand, Colm Meaney is one of my favorite actors and everything that he has done outside of Star Trek is amazing.

Quark - Quark is awesome. He is one of my top five favorite Trek characters ... even though his face looks like the inside of a dogs ear.

1 down and 175 to go

Star Trek Into Darkness

The problem with most movies these days, is that it is all action and not much plot. Plus the dialogue is so low and the action is so loud that I spend half the movie messing with the volume. Anyway, this movie at least had an okay plot. It involves Klingons and Khan, that's enough right there to get me watching. The visuals were extraordinary, the cast was great and the entertainment factor was high.

After watching TNG and seeing how many times the series used the premise of "alternate universes", I was able to buy into this concept a little bit more this time around. I did enjoy the first movie, but I was able to get into the second one much more. It's not the best movie and it pales in comparison to all of the other Star Trek films (just because for a Star Trek is not very "Star Trek"), but it's a fun watch.

The premise was not very complicated. It just boils down to Kirk stopping Khan from causing havoc. Still, the scene at the end with Khan crashing the Enterprise into San Francisco was pretty damn cool. So anyway, that's it, a decent film but not Earth shattering ... well maybe a little.

Interesting note: Bill Hader, Chris Hemsworth and Jennifer Morrison all have small voice over spots in the film.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Star Trek: The Next Generation Wrap-Up

I can't believe I actually finished watching all seven seasons of TNG. I started watching on May 12 2012 so it almost took me two years to do this. There were a few times that I almost gave up, many times that I had gotten worn out, but each time I pushed on. Now I know what it feels like to complete a triathlon or finish the Tour de France or survive multiple tours in Vietnam. I can completely sympathize with Vietnam Vets.

Overall, Next Generation is an amazing show. Great actors, interesting plots and solid directing. Sometimes I can get down on the show, but don't listen to me, I'm just a miserable reality Next Gen is possibly one of the ten greatest TV series of all time.

I did learn a few things along the way. For one, I hate Worf and for two, Q is annoying. This was a revelation because for many years I assumed that I had loved both characters. Not so much. Picard, Geordi and Data are still three of my favorite characters in all of Star Trek. Also, Troi really is as hot as I remembered her and Riker is still one cool cat. One of the best moves that Star Trek could have ever made was taking the idea that the Ferengi were some kind of evil villain and completely transforming them into a civilization of scam artists. This was a brilliant move. It is such an original "bad guy" character and they make me laugh every time.

Seeing the Enterprise D always gives me a nostalgic feeling, I remember being a teen and having the toy of it hanging from my bedroom ceiling. It reminds me of being in High School and reading the Star Trek Encyclopedia during class, a book that I had stolen from one of my friends. One day we were hanging out in his bedroom and I stuffed the book under my shirt and left.....seriously I am the worst friend ever.

Anyway, that was an interesting experience. I must admit that I am nervous about Deep Space 9 because I had only watched that show sparingly when it came out. I know many people love it, so I am hoping that it can keep my attention. We shall see.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Star Trek TNG: Episode 179 - All Good Things... Pt. 2, in the future there seems to be a "getting the band back together" scenario going on. Picard and Geordi go and pickup Data (a college professor??), then they go on Crusher's starship, then they pick up Worf (a Klingon governor) and finally hook up with Captain William Riker .... btw Troi is dead.

Anyway, Picard guides all three ships into a similar scenario...two ships survive but the future Enterprise is destroyed. Picard fails. In the end Q is impressed that Picard could simultaneously troubleshoot in the three different timelines so he decides to let humanity live.

Listen, is it the best plot? No. Is it the best finale ever? No. Is it even the best TNG episode? No. Was I happy that the entire series ended with a Q episode? Not at all. But damn it was fun and very very interesting. I will miss some of these characters; mainly Picard, Data, Riker and Geordi. Makes me a bit sad. Oh well, on to DS9.

179 down 0 to go

Star Trek TNG: Episode 178 - All Good Things... Pt. 1

Damn, so it's the season finale. Never thought I would see the day. And as finale's go, this one is pretty good. The plot was very engaging and the filming of this episode was phenomenal.

The entire series ends up back at square one, The Encounter at Farpoint. Picard is simultaneously living in the past, present and future. In the past he is back at Farpoint with Q. Q explains that the "test" is still going on and this is the final judgment. For once, I actually enjoyed Q because he wasn't a total goofball...he was actually really really evil.

The test involves Picard making the correct choice in a scenario involving an anomaly. But, he must do this in three different time frames. The past (basically episode 1), the present (episode 178) and future Picard as an old man on a starship piloted by his ex-wife Bev Crusher.

178 down 1 to go

Star Trek TNG: Episode 177 - Preemptive Strike

"Ro Laren finds her loyalties divided between Starfleet and a group of Bajoran resistance fighters who oppose the Cardassian Union"

Why would Picard ask Ro (who is currently court-martialed) to go undercover and infiltrate the Bajorans (of which she is one of them) and help the Cardsassians (who she hates). Do you see where this could possibly go wrong? Regardless, I was still a little surprised when Ro Laren screws over Picard and decides to stay with the resistance fighters and fight against the Cardassians.

177 down 2 to go

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Star Trek TNG: Episode 176 - Emergence

These holodeck themed episodes have run its course about two seasons ago, but this one was pretty good. The Enterprise takes over the holodeck and turns it into the Orient Express. Also it seems to be putting itself into warp etc. Well, it seems that the ket to this mystery is inside the Orient the crew go into the holodeck to play out the program. Data and Geordi t discover that the Enterprise is generating it's own nodes, similar to a human brain. Data figures that the ship is trying to come alive. They let the Orient Express program finish and a new lifeform is created. The creature then leaves out the cargo bay.

So exactly what the hell just happened in this episode? Hahaha, I have no fucking idea.

175 down 4 to go

Star Trek TNG: Episode 175 - Bloodlines

This is yet another one were the idea of it is decent, but the execution of it is just so flawed. The Ferengi Daimon Bok looks to get even with Picard for killing Bok's son a few years back. So, Bok gets a random kid and re-sequences his DNA to look like he is related to Picard....hmm, sort of dumb. Picard believes that he could possible be his illegitimate son because, well, Picard has bedded many a fine lady in his day. Bok then abducts Picard's "son" and threatens to kill him. But then Crusher figures out that it's not really Picard's son and the entire plot falls apart.

I will so however that the dynamic between Picard and his "Son" (a petty criminal) was rather interesting. Also, it was good to see Picard sort of take on the unexpected role as a father.

174 down 5 to go

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Star Trek TNG: Episode 174 - Firstborn

"Worf is visited by a mysterious Klingon saying Worf's brother Kurn sent him to help Alexander grow into becoming a Klingon warrior."

The Klingon's name is K'mtar and he tries to train Alexander in the ways of a warrior. But Alexander just sucks at it. So basically in the end K'mtar tries to murder Alexander by stabbing him.

But that's not all!

K'mtar is actually Alexander from the future who has traveled back in time to prevent Worf from dying in the future by killing himself in the past!

Listen, it's a clever idea, but the overall plot is just sort of dumb.

173 down 6 to go

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Star Trek TNG: Episode 173 - Journey's End

I feel that people may have thought this episode was dumb, but I really enjoyed it. The Federation is giving some planets back to Cardassian control, so Picard is asked to help move the Federation inhabitants off one of the worlds. The inhabitants are Native Americans that have left Earth to preserve their culture on a new planet. They do not want to leave and Picard is sort of seen as a white devil or something. History is repeating itself, with the Native Americans again being forced from their land.

Meanwhile, Wesley is back on board. He is questioning his future in Starfleet, he's kind of losing the passion for it. He is visited by a shaman that helps him see his future clearly. Wesley decides to help the Native's stay on their planet much to Picard's disappointment. Wesley then resigns from Starfleet and that "shaman" reveals himself as The Traveler. You may remember him from such episodes as 6 and such seasons as 1. Wesley decides to leave with the Traveler and and explore the universe. How homoerotic.

The Native Americans decide to leave the Federation and live under Cardassian control. The Cardassians allow them to stay and promise to leave them be. The moral of the story is, you have to fight for your right to look a gift horse in the mouth.

172 down 7 to go

Star Trek TNG: Episode 172 - Genises

And, Worf turns into a werewolf.

171 down 8 to go

Star Trek TNG: Episode 171 - Eye of the Beholder

I watched three episodes last night, so I will just post all three in a row. Here is the first one...

Well, I just didn't understand this episode. A crew member kills himself by jumping into a plasma field thingy. From what I understood, he killed himself because his girlfriend cheated on him...i think.

Anyway, Troi and Worf are asked to investigate this death. That's an odd pairing for an investigation you say? Yeah it is. This is because they are trying so hard to match them up, we already had a few episodes where they are an item in alternate universes and in dream sequences ... but this time its real. They actually get together and have sex. It makes zero sense and it makes me very annoyed. First we have Troi; personable, very nice and very beautiful and then we have Worf; gets along with nobody, is angry and violent, and looks like a human horseshoe crab. Why the fuck would they ever hook up???

170 down 9 to go

Monday, March 03, 2014

Star Trek TNG: Episode 170 - Masks

The Enterprise encounter a rogue comet that is in actuality an archive for a long extinct alien race. This archive begins to effect Data and causes him to act out the lives of every inhabitant from that race. While it was a decent idea on paper, it just didn't translate well to screen. In fact, this is the first time that I actually felt embarrassed for Brent Spiner. As Data, he has been asked to do some pretty goofy things...but this was just too much. If I had to listen to him say Masaka one more time....
And, for an episode named Masks ... not one appearance from Jim Carrey, Rocky Dennis or T-Bob.

169 down 10 to go

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Star Trek TNG: Episode 169 - Thine Own Self

Great episode. Data is sent to a pre-industrial planet to retrieve a crashed probe. He suffers amnesia during an accident and ends up being found by the inhabitants. They think he is an "ice man" named Jayden and pretty much welcome him into their society. Data is then befriended by a little girl. But soon Data starts to prove to be far superior to the rest of the villagers and they start to become leery of him. Then they discover that he is robotic and the rest of the episode plays out like Frankenstein ... ending in the villagers killing Data. So basically this episode is Data becomes Frankenstein.

Eventually Data is recovered by the Enterprise and repaired.

Subplot involves Troi getting promoted to Commander.

168 down 11 to go

Star Trek TNG: Episode 168 - Lower Decks

"While enduring the Enterprise's promotion evaluation process, four junior officers find themselves involved in a top-secret mission."

This episode almost seems like a spin-off attempt. It is so heavily focused on these four officers that we do not even know. Basically one of them is going to get a promotion so they are all vying for that spot. For some reason Picard sends one of then (Silo Jax?) on a secret mission. Seems rather strange, but whatever. Anyway, she dies.

The episode was pretty good actually, and evidently it is an influential episode to future sci-fi TV I have read ....and I don't really see why.

167 down 12 to go