ext_2512: ([dcu] amused)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
I watched this LITERALLY EIGHT MONTHS AGO. Moving back from England and getting a job and becoming internet famous for my silly Buffy limericks and going through a thousand new fandoms just...took a lot of time away from my Trek viewing? But now my J.J. Abrams-related rage has only one cure, and it's more cowbell TNG.


+ I dig Guinan flashing her garters in Dixon Hill. Also, I was just reading an old article, and I really love that Whoopi Goldberg apparently called Gene Roddenberry up to demand a role on the show because Nichelle Nichols was such a role model for her when she was a kid.

+ There is a wormhole.

+ The Asian nurse who's in the background of a bunch of episodes got a name! That I did not write down.

+ Something something stalemate.

OH OH OH, okay, this is the one where everyone is all, "Is Data messing with us? I THINK HE'S LYING," but then we find out he did it to save their lives and they all willingly erase their memories.

I think I liked it?

Star Rating: *** seems like a good guess

Quote of the Episode:
"Geordi is super concerned about this beard thing." (Me, mysteriously, in my notes)
ext_2512: ([marvel] objectification)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
All I remember about last night after not falling asleep until almost 9AM: describing "The Wounded" as a poetic title.

I don't...not stand by that?

Episode Notes: Anyway, about this episode. )

Episode Notes: This was fuuuuun. Ardra brought some old school Trek flavor to this -- she's exactly the kind of person Kirk would have run across and probably kissed for the greater good.

Picard manages to resist kissing her, but, honestly, she's kind of his type. Oh, I don't think he's secretly pining for her, but she's just the kind of brash, outrageous figure who really gets under his skin, and that kind of fascination walks a fine line between outrage and attraction. (See: Vash, Q.) Sadly, Ardra ruins her chances by being a touch too "obvious and vulgar" (snap, Picard!), being a total charlatan, and also attempting to enslave an entire civilization.

So instead we just get to see Picard school her in the court of law. (Side note: do Starfleet officers have to pass the bar? I get that Kirk was apparently a giant nerd, but it seems incredible that we've now seen so many crew members serve judicial functions.) It's just as over the top and funny as you could hope, with the added bonus of getting to see Picard try and pep talk the enslaved civilization into self-esteem -- what did Ardra do for them, anyway?

Star Rating: ***

Quote of the Episode:
"Please do not take any offense to these questions, Captain. You know how fond I am of you."
"Sustained. The advocate will refrain from expressing personal affections for her opponent." (Ardra, Picard, and Data, the best judge ever)
ext_2512: ([tng] data)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: Going to the lj-cut and we're going to get married. )

Overall Reaction: Well, this is probably the worst Data episode yet.

Oh, it's not terrible. It's just...flat. I'm used to episodes about him that really illuminate something about his nature, like "Measure of a Man", or show him growing as he learns more about where he comes from and who he is. This is just a fairly standard "Data is comically baffled by human behavior" episode, especially in the Keiko/O'Brien wedding subplot, which -- I'm with you, Data. I am baffled by Keiko's behavior, and when I realize that this is how the show introduced her, I am less than impressed. Even if calling off your wedding the day before were not "childish and selfish," as O'Brien rightly puts it, having an android deliver the message definitely qualifies, and she shouldn't get to laugh it off with no explanation to her utterly perplexed mechanical friend at the end. Sorry, Data.

The learning-to-dance subplot is similarly uninspiring. Data...picks up dancing adequately! By observing and replicating! Okay, then! The surprising highlight was actually Beverly's horror at the possibility of -- once again -- being known as the "Dancing Doctor."

The final subplot, involving a Romulan spy impersonating a Vulcan ambassador, was the most successful, probably because it is the most serious. Rather than merely showing "Data doesn't understand those wacky humans!", it showed how Data's observational and processing skills differ from our own, how makes sense of the world and draws conclusions about the people in it without the benefit of emotional cues. Data, having left the false ambassador's chambers after a tense, suspicious interview, remarks in voice-over that, "I have often wished for the sense that humans call intuition, or instinct. Since Vulcans are incapable of lying, I must accept the Ambassador's explanation as the truth. But I would still prefer a... 'gut feeling' to back up this conclusion." Watching him navigate his chosen world without that "intuition" is interesting.

In the sense of fairness, I will say that I caught this on TV last summer and enjoyed it more then -- for casual viewing, it is an engaging enough episode, as most Data-centric episodes are. At this point in his character arc, though, and during a mostly above average season, it is a little disappointing.

Star Rating: ** 1/2

Quote of the Episode:
"There are still many human emotions I do not fully comprehend - anger, hatred, revenge. But I am not mystified by the desire to be loved - or the need for friendship. These are things I do understand. " (ILU Data)
ext_2512: ([tng] skeet surfing)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: I am pleased to report there were no rape gangs in this episode. )

Overall Reaction: In this episode, we meet Tasha Yar's sister, Ishara, because TNG killed Tasha off in a completely pointless way and has been trying to make up for its guilt ever since by having everyone eulogize her once a season. Ishara Yar teaches the master course in Emotional Manipulation and Betrayal, as well as a Symposium in Solving Things with Explosives, at the Tasha Yar School of Diplomacy. She is kind of bad at both of these, because like her older sister, her neglectful childhood has left her an adolescent ball of vulnerability and confused impulses. She wants to be loved, but has literally no idea how to go about doing so. (In case you missed it in my incredibly subtle comment under the cut above: THIS IS WHY SHE AND HER SISTER ARE SO QUICK TO ATTACH THEMSELVES TO ANDROIDS. Because they cannot people.)

There's been a lot of that going around the Enterprise lately.

I liked meeting Ishara and thought the episode was a pretty enjoyable, if not overly memorable, one.

Star Rating: ** 1/2

Quote of the Episode:
"Are you able to have friends?" (Ishara, to Data, being unexpectedly gentle and tentative, instead of rude, so ... yay?)
ext_2512: ([tng] data)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: Lj-cut being portrayed in this episode by Brent Spiner )

Overall Reaction: Brent Spiner plays ALL THE ROLES! \o/

My excitement seriously kept mounting. I was like, "Ooh, something is up with Data, this is going to be a cool episode!" And then he went to the planet and I was like, "I BET IT'S LORE -- okay, no, it's Dr. Noonien Soong! Just as awesome!" And then Lore showed up and I was just like a slow motion victory celebration in an inspirational sports film.

Can I just reiterate how good Brent Spiner is at differentiating the different characters he plays? It took me a few minutes to recognize him under all the age make-up as Dr. Soong, and Lore was as bitchily wonderful as always. He has emotions, but he clearly doesn't know what to do with them; he was like a mercurial teenager in this episode, all jerky movements and eyerolls and sarky faces and feigned indifference over barely suppressed anger and longing. I love how he can vacillate between clear shock that Soong is dying at one moment -- "What do you mean, you're dying? You look fine! You look fine." -- to sarcastically lashing out or brutally attacking him the next. Also, I have to say: you are terrible at manipulating people, Lore. You are lucky one of these people is a credulous android and the other is a guilty old man, because you're just awful at it.

I also liked Data in this episode, though between being mind whammied for the first half and Lore's scenery chewing in the second, he didn't have all that much to do. It was nice to see him get to meet his creator and to get the opportunity to see that "I am not less perfect than Lore." (Which, of course, Lore follows up with some more sneering mockery. WHY ARE YOU THIRTEEN, LORE.)

The only thing I could have wished for was some more resolution -- I'd have happily watched a two-parter, but that surprises zero people -- which I hope will come in some future episode.

Star Rating: *** 1/2

Quote of the Episode:
"You’d be surprised, Data. Feelings do funny things. You may even learn to...understand your evil brother." (Lore, this is what I mean when I say you're terrible at manipulating people)
ext_2512: ([ds] maggie may)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
This post doesn't even merit the header of meta, because it's really just a small observation (for viewing up to 4x08 -- I haven't gotten to all my reviews yet): I love how many stories there are about family in TNG, especially about family and the main characters. TOS, largely because it subscribed much more fully to the no-continuity-just-adventures! model than TNG does, very rarely had family stories, and certainly showed none of the diversity that TNG has. (And, of course, there's the fact that the Enterprise of TNG is a family ship, something even represented amongst the main cast, which includes a mother and son.)

Just out of the last few episodes that I've watched (but going back to a few I watched back in December), we've had:

+ An episode about Sarek, the only fleshed out family member from TOS, which expanded and enhanced our understanding of Spock's family.

+ An episode full of the mother and daughter shenanigans of Deanna and Lwaxana Troi (who is a recurring character).

+ An episode entitled family, where we met Worf's parents, learned more about Wesley's father, and (most thrillingly) got to see Picard's brother and his childhood home.

+ An episode about Data's "father" and "brother."

+ An episode about adoption.

+ An episode where Worf discovers that he is a father, begins to think about passing on his heritage, and loses the mother of his child.

+ An episode about Tasha Yar's sister, where we get to learn more about Tasha's upbringing.

+ An episode where Riker is fooled into thinking he is a father, takes to it much, much better than Picard or Worf, and ends up forming a bond with an alien child.

Not to mention the nice Wesley-Beverly moments in the Beverly-centric episode.

Family's been all over the last part of season three and the beginning of season four, and I, for one, am loving it.
ext_2512: ([tng] i'm not lying)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: DATA IS A FREE ANDROID. )

Overall Reaction: A Data episode. Is there any way I'm not down? It was pretty delightful! Though I would like to reiterate: DATA IS NOT A SEXBOT, FAZHA (yeah, I don't know his real name, I heard an Austin Powers joke and I'm sticking with it). HE HAS FEELINGS.


I thought the ending was a bit of a cop-out -- we got Data nearly killing a man but getting saved from the repercussions of his actions via deus ex transporter -- but all in all we had enjoyable performances, some great lines, and some lovely grieving from the Enterprise crew as they struggled to deal with Data's apparent death.

Star Rating: ***

Quote of the Episode:
“Personally I’d be delighted to see you go around naked.” (Fazha, after ACTUALLY DISSOLVING DATA'S UNIFORM, WTF)
ext_2512: ([tos] no biggie)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: And when we're holding hands, it's like having sex to me. )

Overall Reaction: I liked this episode a lot, in terms of the writing, the performance by Barclay, and just giving us some delightfully goofy moments, but it raised a few big questions for me.

Number 1: Holodeck ethics. Is it ethical to enter into an occupied Holodeck without express permission? There was a clear understanding amongst all the crew members that the Holodeck was a place for fantasy and self-exploration, a judgement-free place where one can act out one's id. Geordi explicitly states that what happens on the Holodeck is private. Further, though the show skates around this, there's a suggestion that the Holodeck can be, well, a masturbatory aid. Certainly we've seen people act out sexual fantasies in there. GEORDI HIMSELF IS THE WORST OFFENDER IN THIS. He has both fallen in love in there, as he tells Reg in this episode, and relived super awkward dates in it. That may all have been in one episode. I watched that episode a lot because I kept falling asleep during it. ANYWAY. If all this is the case, then why is it acceptable for crew members to enter into their co-workers' fantasies?

And if there's a sense that the Holodeck is in some way a public place, then I don't think Riker was out of line with his comments that co-workers should be off-limits in it. Deanna was right that he was responding out of hurt pride and that he was taking it much too seriously, but there is something deeply inappropriate about Barclay's use of real people on the Holodeck. Especially his use of Deanna, which began to read almost as sexual obsession. In fact, all of the women in his programs read as combination mommy figure and sex object, and that's both very telling psychologically and fairly disturbing, especially since the objects of his fantasy can walk in at any time.

Number 2: Is this really the crew's job? Okay, okay, I'm not questioning that from a human perspective it was good for Geordi to take a personal interest in a clearly troubled subordinate or for Picard to put the kibosh on mocking nicknames. Certainly he should at least have been pointed to a counselor. But, he was really bad at his job! Yes, he ended up solving the problem, but there was NO WAY to foresee that, and I don't understand why precisely they have to be lenient about his absenteeism and inarticulateness. Probably I am just Missing the Point, but from a pragmatic perspective, this is not how to respond to lousy employees.

However, I do appreciate the message of empathy in the episode, of not letting troubled people slide through the cracks, and of the idea that even...I'll say introverted for the moment, but I'll come back to that...people can have contributions to make. So I guess I'm just nitpicking here. Maybe not good business practice, but good from a message point of view, and I suppose the Enterprise wouldn't be the place it is if it focused on the pragmatic over the human.

(THIS IS LIKE THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT I SAID WHEN I CAME OUT OF MONEYBALL THE OTHER DAY, IT'S KIND OF HILARIOUS. There I was all, "I respect his business practice and I get that he changed baseball and that he gamed the Yankees, etc., but, but BASEBALL. I WANT TO ROMANTICIZE IT. WHAT ABOUT LOYALTY TO PLAYERS AND, AND TEAM SPIRIT, AND.")

Number 3: I'm not a psychiatrist, and he's a fictional character, but with those caveats, I'm pretty sure the issue in this episode was not what the show thought the issue was. They seemed to think it was fantasy versus reality, and that was part of it, but I'm pretty sure the issue was that this guy has a MASSIVE UNDIAGNOSED ANXIETY DISORDER. How was that not caught during the endless psych evals these people go through? How is he not in therapy and possibly being medicated? Geordi called him shy, and that seems to be the assessment everyone else stood by, but he says it's more than shyness, he knows it's something more, even if he can't articulate it. I really would have liked some acknowledgment that he clearly had some problem beyond being slightly awkward around people and that perhaps just telling him to engage with the real world and talk to people wasn't enough. (Okay, they did point him to Deanna, but that was like the shittiest therapy session ever. Possibly because of his hard-on for her.)

These questions aren't necessarily criticisms, though. I liked that the episode made me think a little (even if the space mystery of the week did not).

Star Rating: ***

Quote of the Episode:
"Being afraid all of the time, of forgetting somebody's name, not, not knowing... what to do with your hands. I mean, I, I am the guy who writes down things to remember to say when there's a party. And then, when he finally gets there, he winds up alone, in the corner, trying to look comfortable examining a potted plant."
"You're just shy, Barclay."
"Just shy... Sounds like nothing serious - doesn't it? You can't know." (Barclay and Geordi, talking about something that -- I'm not wrong, right? This is more than shyness?)
ext_2512: ([tng] skeet surfing)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: Pretty much these boil down to 'Is that the Mayor?' 'Wow, it's the Mayor!' )

Overall Reaction: I'm afraid that I, rather unsympathetically, spent the whole episode saying, "Suck it up, young Mayor! Stop being such an over-emotional Betazoid." (Fun Fact: "Betazoid" is one of those words that always sounds like an insult, even when it isn't. Like "unitard.")

Having said that, I was sympathetic to his problems, I like telepathy plots, and I appreciated his kindness to Data.

But, WTF, random Romulans? WTF, living creature that evolved to be a spaceship?

Star Rating: ** 1/2

Quote of the Episode:
"You said in the transporter room that you could not read my mind."
"True enough. But I think I understand you pretty well. It worries you that I can't read your mind?"
"Perhaps there is nothing to read - nothing more than mechanisms and algorithmic responses."
"Perhaps you're just different. It's not a sin, you know. Though you may have heard otherwise." (Data and Tam Elbrun)
ext_2512: ([tng] data)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: Picard's got an Admiral and he hates that dick, he tells me everyday -- what you thought I would actually avoid an Offspring reference? )

Overall Reactions: I'm a little surprised that I didn't like this episode more than I did. Oh, I liked it, but sometimes the premise felt a bit hokey, as if I were reading very strange kidfic, and the villain of the week was such a cartoon villain -- if I may refer to my notes: "suuuuuuch a dick," "dick, dick, dick, dick," "such a dick," "I...AM...STARFLEET" -- until his sudden final redemption, that it was hard to take the episode as seriously as I would have liked to. There have been better examinations of Data's sentience and what it means for him and for Starfleet, I think.

None of this is to say that the episode didn't occasionally MELT MY HEART. Aside from a few moments of comedy gold -- see: RIKER'S FACE when he gets kissed -- there were so many deeply touching moments. Lal and Data holding hands, for one. And then the final scene, which just made me lose it -- the moment where Data can't feel what his daughter is feeling as she dies, cannot say that he loves her, and she tells him, "I will feel it for both of us. Thank you for my life." That was beautiful.

So some really nice moments and an enjoyable episode, but not my favorite Data vehicle.

Star Rating: ***

Quote of the Episode:
"So without understanding humour, I have somehow mastered it." (Lol, Lal)
ext_2512: ([misc] red balloons)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: Riker Wanted for Murder One )

Overall Reaction: I love a good murder mystery! I was just reading over my earlier episode reactions and I know that that statement is directly contradicted in a previous Voyager review, but that was different! That was bad noir pastiche! This played with the idea of subjectivity and different perspectives on the same event, and I even like the one kind of shitty due South episode that does that! This was an actually slightly good murder mystery!

Slightly. I can only give it a slightly because nothing about the different perspectives was resolved. We can only assume Riker's is the most accurate, because we are meant to side and sympathize with him, but what are we supposed to make of Deanna's assessment that Manua Apgar was not being dishonest in her recollections? There is a pretty big difference between coming onto a man and being rejected and having a man try and rape you, and it would be pretty hard to confuse the two. That is not a misunderstanding or a different interpretation, as her earlier memories of him checking her out could be; it is a completely different event.

Are we supposed to think that she is deeply delusional? Perhaps grief-deranged? Are we supposed to believe the assistant's representation of the scene and assume that both Riker and Manua were remembering things in the best light for themselves after having been mutually involved? That would be the best answer, but, although I call Riker a lech a lot, he's not self-deluding; I doubt he'd reimagine himself as an unwilling partner if he actually made out with the scientist's wife. Which leaves us in a bit of a narrative pickle, and also leaves me in a pretty dissatisfied place with the episode's handling of what is essentially an accusation of attempted rape -- it doesn't call Manua a lying bitch trying to ruin Riker's life, for which I am grateful, but Riker's perspective is clearly privileged because we know him and the other characters love and trust him. Without any clear explanation for her memory of the events, Manua's hung out to dry.

Still, toss me some twisty narrative techniques and a bit of suspense and I am usually there, so did get a kick out of the episode.

Star Rating: ** 1/2

Quote of the Episode:
"While suggesting the free treatment of form usually attributed to fauvism, this quite... inappropriately attempts to juxtapose the disparate cubistic styles of Picasso and Léger. In addition, the use of color suggests a... haphazard melange of clashing styles. Furthermore, the unsettling overtones of proto-Vulcan influences..." (Data, trying to be tactful in his assessment of Picard's art -- personally, the brief glimpse I saw reminded me of Modigliani and didn't strike me as horrendous, but I admit I wasn't paying any attention. ...Just enough attention for my brain to dredge Modigliani's name out of my memory and draw a comparison, obviously.)
ext_2512: ([tng] guh)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! This is one of my favorite Q episodes! Fair warning that I will probably just go on to quote half his lines in the notes.

Episode Notes: THESE AREN'T MY COLORS. )

Overall Reaction: Okay, I saved pretty much all the Q-Picard and Q-Data interactions for this, because otherwise everything would have ended up in the notes. I feel that my love of this episode can be pretty accurately summed up just through a list of quotes.

Anyway, this episode has wonderful, wonderful Q/Picard interactions! "Because in all the universe, you're the closest thing I have to a friend, Jean-Luc," is probably one of the most honest things Q says all episode even though, being Q, he obviously has other motives for ending up on the Enterprise and certainly only means to be honest in the very loosest way. But it's no surprise to anyone at all that given a split second to decide the rest of his now-mortal existence, he would turn Picard-wards. Picard is unsurprisingly grumpy throughout the episode, but I love all Q's doomed attempts to get him on board with the human!Q thing -- sitting on his desk, asking for guidance, trying to become accepted as a Starfleet officer. And all so charmingly ineptly and egotistically.

God, my heart is such a Q apologist because I'm all like, "GIVE HIM A CHANCE!" and then my brain says, "Um, Emma, he's a terrible, terrible human. And really awful at taking orders. And has a pretty bad track record." But I can't help that I love him and that I love Q/Picard.

And the episode also has great Data and Q interactions! With Data nearly sacrificing his life for Q and Q letting him laugh and, oh, be still my heart!

Plus at the end Q is a hip-swiveling mariachi band leader. And at one point he is naked on the bridge. I could watch this stuff all day.

Star Rating: *** 1/2

Quote of the Episode:
"Oh, you’re so stolid. You weren’t like that before the beard!" (Q, on Riker)
ext_2512: ([tng] data)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: Once more unto the breach, dear friends! )

Overall Reaction: Okay, when I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I hereby accept TNG's ability to do Romulan episodes. I may have even liked this better than the last one (though I was a bit surprised to have another just three episodes later) because I found the very personal story of the Admiral so touching. Well-done and understated.

Though using Henry V at the beginning of the episode kind of telegraphed the twist. My second note is "I BET HE'S A GENERAL OR SOMETHING."

And the episode suffers very, very slightly because I so recently watched the DS9 episode "Duet", which has the opposite twist and is so very, very good. But that isn't TNG's fault. TNG was first, after all.

Star Rating: *** 1/2

Quote of the Episode:
"There comes a time in a man's life that you cannot know. When he looks down at the first smile of his baby girl and realizes, he must change the world for her - for all children. It is for her that I am here. Not to destroy the Romulan Empire but to save it. For months I tried desperately to persuade the High Command that another war would destroy the Empire. They got tired of my arguments. Finally, I was censured, sent off to command some distant sector. *This* was my only recourse! I... will never see my child smile again. She will grow up believing that her father is a traitor. But she will grow up, if you act, Picard. If we stop this war before it begins." (Hot damn, Jarok)
ext_2512: ([3g] cake!)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
And the second part in my ongoing "I'm addicted to icon making" series!

83 icons, like 7 of them about skeet surfin' )

Again, please help yourself!

I <3 Data

Aug. 3rd, 2009 09:36 pm
ext_2512: (Default)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Now, this guide to Star Trek that I've been writing is all well and good, but today I thought, "What if, like me, you only care about Data in your watching of TNG?"

And so I created a quick guide to seasons one and two of TNG that really pares things down to the essential.

1x01-2: Data tries to whistle. )

2x01: Data witnesses the miracle of childbirth. )
ext_2512: ([ad] they never did)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
A chronological retrospective of some favorite moments from season one of TNG.

So, you know, there are no icons from "Code of Honor."


64 icons under here! )

These are, as ever, up for grabs -- I just like a comment if you're taking any.
ext_2512: ([misc] nsfw)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: My icon has nothing to do with this episode, but I thought it might make up for the fact that I wrote down six notes total, only one of them about plot. )

Overall Reaction: Wow, this really wasn't a bad episode or anything, but it completely drove home to me how absolutely terrible the Ferengi would be as a major Star Trek villain. Seriously, every time TNG Ferengi appear on the screen my brain just shuts off because they are so unbearably silly.

And unfortunately that is what happened for most of this episode.

Also I was really sick when I watched it and kind of half-asleep and drugged out. You know.

Star Rating: ** 1/2

Quote of the Episode:
"While Kolrami was dedicated to winning, I was able to pass up obvious avenues of advancement and settle for a balance. Theoretically, I should be able to challenge him indefinitely."
"Then you have beaten him."
"It is a matter of perspective, Doctor. In the strictest sense, I did not win."
"I busted him up!" (Data, Pulaski, and Troi)
ext_2512: ([music] i must have been thirsty)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: Hit me. )

Overall Reaction: Well, they could have had a lot more fun with the idea of a man stuck in a wretched dime novel for all of his days. There isn't very much to commend this episode.


And then my brain shorted out.

Star Rating: **

Quote of the Episode:
"Take this creature for example, he doesn't exhibit any DNA structure!"
"Excuse me, son. Look who's talkin'! You sound like my ex-wife." (Data and one of the endless stream of Southern stereotypes who love him)
ext_2512: ([btvs] i'm under your spell)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
I have many small, miscellaneous comments to make about this episode, but first off -- this was one of the best episodes of Star Trek I have ever seen, any series, and I was an emotional mess by the end of it, so do not read this post expecting coherence. (Really, my icon says it all. Datagasm!)

Episode Notes: Do not motherfucking disassemble Data, is the gist. )

Overall Reaction: I had a ... very emotional reaction to this episode, and one that entailed many all-caps notes, such as "DON'T WORK ON DATA. OH GOD, DATA HAS A BAD ROMANTIC HISTORY WITH THIS MAN. DATA IS A SENTIENT BEING, EVEN IF HE WON'T SLEEP WITH YOU" (um, the character had just shown up, I find that my enjoyment of TNG is enhanced if I assume that everyone wants to sleep with Data or Wesley, I'm a bad person, moving on) and "OH NO, HE CALLS HIM IT HE CANNOT COMMAND DATA" and "YOU CAN'T JUST TURN DATA OFF."

One of the weaknesses of the show, in its handling of questions surrounding what it means to be human, to have a "soul," to be free (and this is the only time I will use the word "weakness" in this recap) is that the show and Mr. Brent Spiner have done too fine a job in crafting Data, in making him so thoroughly sympathetic that no viewer could watch more than an episode of the show and doubt that this is a thinking, feeling, self-aware, good person, could possibly think of Data as "it." It makes it difficult to see things from the perspective of characters who, really, are reacting in a not unreasonable way to a wholly new phenomenon, to something that feels definably mechanic; instead, I just want to punch people like Maddox in their smug, close-minded faces.

That said, this was the show at its most eloquent and most moving. Every character was at his or her finest -- Riker's struggle with prosecuting a case he found morally repugnant was especially well done -- and the themes addressed with Picard's careful, analytical humanity are the themes that keep me coming back to sci fi as a genre.

This episode is wonderful, and I'm tempted to just go watch it again right now rather than move on to the next episode, which promises to provide awkward teenage romance.

I'll leave you with Data: "Then why are not all human officers required to have their eyes replaced with cybernetic implants? ... I see. It is precisely because I am not human."

Star Rating: ****

Quote of the Episode: Skipping right over any more serious quotes, especially as I already provided my favorite Data quote, I'll go with this:

"It brings a sense of order and stability to my universe to know that you're still a pompous ass. And a sexy man." (Picard's giiiiiiirlfriend)

This is one romance of the week I can get behind.


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August 2014



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