ext_2512: ([tng] picard/q)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
First off, you can't have a recap without Captain Picard in his shorty pajamas:



Oh, and why not:




Episode Notes: Was I drunk when I watched this episode, or just DRUNK WITH HAPPINESS? )

Overally Reaction: Yesssssssssssssssss. I love Q and I love Vash and they will make marvellous mischief together. This episode makes me so happy.

I really like the prickly relationship between Vash and Picard -- how uncomfortable he is to have her in his space, how hard it is for him to allow himself a non-professional life, but how much he is still trying because he is so hopelessly charmed by her. I love that this is his type, all button-pushing and brash and flirty, sitting in his Captain's chair in her slinky black dress.

The episode gets even better (of course) when the crew are unceremoniously dumped in Sherwood Forest by Q. They are supposed to be learning something, but damned if I know what. That really isn't the point of this episode. The humor is top-notch. Everyone has great moments (everything Worf does! all of Picard's faces!), but Vash really shines. Her pragmatism and self-reliance are so welcome in a love interest character, and she puts a delicious tweak on the Maid Marian story -- and a fantastic kink in Q's plans. I appreciate that Vash like Picard, and wants to be with him, but she is unapologetic about pursuing her own interests. In fact, she is ruthlessly self-interested. She does not need him to save her.

I'll still with my (possibly drunk) assessment: "in love in love in love."

Episode Rating: *** 1/2

Quote of the Episode:
tumblr_mhgwvywDbu1qji4w1o1_400
ext_2512: ([tng] sass brigade)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: I'm too bummed out to be clever. )

Overall Reaction: I love K'Ehleyr. I'm glad to see her again. She is beautiful and sassy and amazing and super smart and she does all this research and is always two steps ahead of Worf who is trying so hard to be long-suffering and noble. Oh, baby.

Therefore, I hate that she dies.

Hate. Hate hate hate.

And I'm not all that thrilled that she died leaving a SUDDEN SURPRISE CHILD, because I'm not sure what this show needed was a baby (even if for now Alexander is stashed on Earth).

And I still don't care about Klingon politics except inasmuch as they cost us all an AWESOME LADY. Screw you, Klingon politics!

Ugh.

It's a pretty well-done episode, and while episodes about Klingon culture are never going to be my favorite, I do like seeing Worf struggle with finding his place within that culture and I really like the alternative perspective K'Ehleyr gives us on mediating human and Klingon identities. I just could have done without the fridging.

Star Rating: ***

Quote of the Episode:
"He knows nothing of our ways!"
"Our ways? You mean Klingon ways, don't you?"
"He is Klingon!"
"He is also my son and I am half Human. He will find his own ways. Why the sudden concern? You won't even acknowledge that he's yours." (Worf and K'Ehleyr, discussing Alexander)
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: ([tos] STRONG SPOCK)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
I LIED, THIS EPISODE MADE ME LOSE IT SO MUCH HARDER THAN "BEST OF BOTH WORLDS". TEARS ALL OVER THE PLACE. SOMETIMES OF LAUGHTER. BE PREPARED FOR LOVE. Also, writing this maybe made me cry again like five times, because THIS YEAR, MAN, so sorry if it...is incoherent. I just have a thing about family. And conflict. And loss of self. And ugh, sorry.

Overall Reaction:I'm giving this reaction first, because of all the LOVE I have. This episode is wonderful. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful; please give all the awards to Patrick Stewart.

While Picard's plot is obviously my favorite, I really liked all three plot-strands in this episode. Yes, even Wesley's. They combine several of my die hard narrative kinks: family relations, especially ones where discord leads to greater understanding; character backstory; and serious treatment of the ramifications of trauma on characters, which is especially rare in a mostly episodic show.

Picard's visit to his childhood home in France, to the vineyard that his father and now his brother have preserved as a shrine to an archaic way of life, reminds us of a world we forget exists lost among the stars with him on his adventures. It is a world he has been happy to leave behind, but where he is now turning to try and find something of himself that he has lost. He is trying to know himself. At first, it seems like a poor place to look for that missing part -- Deanna had warned him that home may not give him what he needed, turning her therapist voice on him which he, like I, totally hates -- given the tension between him and his brother, and between their stunningly different ways of life. It seems that Picard, who was always moving too fast for that world (winning all the ribbons and all the races), looking out at something bigger and better, has grown too big to return there and will find nothing but sullen resentment. Even when he is most seriously considering remaining on earth, he is still looking for something new to explore, considering signing on as the leader of his friend Louis' Atlantis Project.

But Picard does find what he is missing, there. It isn't the place or the life he left behind or the Atlantis Project -- he doesn't need to revert. It is just one moment of connection with his brother, who may never like him or understand him, but who knows him and who can give him what he needs. "Did you come back because you wanted me to look after you again?" his brother sneers at him during their worst fight, and Picard punches him in the face. But the fight breaks the tension and the brothers end up laughing together and Picard realizes he did need his brother to look after him, for just a moment. He needed to be able to say what happened to him and for his brother to listen and to treat him the same and let him come back into himself. And then they're laughing together like boys in the sitting room -- getting mud all over the sofa -- and when Picard leaves they both understand each other a little better, or at least are able to forgive each other a little.


Worf's story is more comical -- the variety of socially awkward faces that Michael Dorn can make is an endless delight to me -- but it's also about finding understanding and connection, even when it's difficult. Like Picard, Worf went into space looking for something his family didn't really understand -- not adventure, in his case, but honor, some sense of Klingon identity that they were unable to give him -- and it is kind of wonderful and painful to see how proud they are of him and how uncomfortable he is with it. "It was a difficult adolescence," Worf's mother says at one point, and, really, what is Worf's life but one long difficult adolescence? He is so afraid to let himself be happy because he always feels that he is failing to live up to some invisible standard. But even as he tries to hold himself distant, to be the guarded Klingon, there is so much love in his family that it kind of breaks my heart. His parents sum it up, finally: they don't always understand, they can't, but being family means that they care whether they understand or not. "Whenever you are suffering, you must remember that we are with you."


And then Jack Crusher's speech just provides a beautiful thematic resolution to the episode (in addition to making me cry) -- about what it means to be family, to see so much of yourself in this other person, and to know that you'll make mistakes but that you'll try and do better next time.

Episode Notes: There were a lot of these but I've tried to pare it down. )

Star Rating: ****

Quote of the Episode:
"Hello, Wesley. As I make this recording, you are about ten weeks old. I wanted you to know who I am today. You see, this Jack Crusher won't exist by the time you're grown up. I'll be older, more experienced, and hopefully a little wiser. But this person will be gone and I want you to know who your father was when you came into the world. When I see you lying there in your crib, I realise I don't know the first thing about being a father. So let me just apologise for all the mistakes I'm about to make as you grow up. ... You're only a baby, but it's remarkable. I can see in your face all the people I've loved in my lifetime. Your mother, my father and mother. Our family. I can see me in you, too. And I can feel that you're my son. I don't know how to describe it, but there's this connection, this bond. I'll always be a part of you, Wesley. Well, I hope this made some sense to you. I'm not sure that it does to me, but maybe I'll do better next time. I love you, Wesley." (Jack Crusher)
ext_2512: ([jcs] fabulous)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: Hey JC, JC, would you transfigure for me? )

Overall Reaction: I'm just going to get this out of the way: SPACE JESUS. SPACE JESUS SPACE JESUS SPACE JESUS.

Half my notes (well, of the notes not about Geordi's lack of luck with ladies) were like "Wow, this guy is super likeable. And hot. Very hot. Picard just felt him up. Picard just realized Beverly thinks John Doe is hot and is now side-eying him. He's so hot I don't even mind that hideous, hideous turtlejumpsuit. Even if it is embarrasingly revealing and his nipples are much too visible and really that's a terrible jumpsuit."

And the second half were all "SPACE JESUS."

This all begs the question...am I doomed to find Jesus hot forever?

No, I'm sorry! This has all gotten so out of hand! Focus, Taf, focus!

To be fair, though, I am not the only person distracted by my strange feelings for Space Jesus. Beverly is intrigued by her the quick healing alien patient with no memory from the start, even having what has to be the most awkward boy talk conversation with her teenage son ever. Sure, Bev. We've all used the "deep spiritual connection" line to justify the butterflies we get with our amnesiac patients. Wes is clearly humoring you. (Come to think of it -- that spiritual connection line probably should have tipped me off to the Space Jesus thing.)

And, ultimately, his charisma and appeal is the main strength of this episode. The episode's message is a little muddled -- the old Star Trek standby of kindness and tolerance and joy in IDIC has been done better -- but Mark La Mura as John Doe held my attention throughout. (Shut up.) I wanted him to remember who he was and to find out where he came from, I didn't want him to be turned over the authorities on his home planet (even if, like the crew of the Enterprise, I struggled with what that would mean for the Prime Directive), and I felt for him in his fears of persecution. Also, I decided to become his acolyte and convert into an energy being myself. Wait. No.

For all I've belabored them, though, the Jesus parallels could have been much more hammer-like, and I enjoyed this episode. It was helped along by an entertaining script with some great moments for Worf and Geordi.



(Did I want Geordi to have a consciousness exchange with the mysterious injured alien when they did their risky neural hook-up thang at the beginning of the episode, and to hopefully become a super sassy villain? Obviously. But I guess him developing self-esteem or whatever was...whatever. *sigh*)

Star Rating: ***

Quote of the Episode:
"I’VE BEEN TUTORING HIM. HE LEARNS…VERY QUICKLY." (Worf, about Geordi's newfound romantic success, with this amazing wry little chuckle in his voice)
ext_2512: ([tng] good god no)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: I'll overcome that in order to erase the humiliation that I've brought upon myself and my father. / You're just in your own little Euripides play over there, aren't you? )

Overall Reactions: So I guess that brings me to the actual plot of the episode, and not just the red herring cross-cultural-hijinks plot that I held out so much hope for. Which, fine, I can do the Klingon Honor plot, even if I got over my hard-on for HONOR at, like, age fifteen.

So, I missed some of the nuances with how the Klingon justice system works and why exactly Worf had to descend from on high to go through a trial with the death penalty to try and avenge his father's honor. I'm sure it's all perfectly self-explanatory to Klingons. The set-up wasn't really what was interesting about the plot, anyway. What was interesting was seeing the character with possibly the most black and white view of right and wrong and of honor in the show (something I've commented on a bit before) come face to face with corruption and hypocrisy at the heart of the system that he believes so strongly in, even more strongly because of his separation from it. The episode didn't hold my interest all the way through, but the last scene, where Worf had to shame himself and be outcast (again) from his people, when there was no last minute reprieve to clear his name, was powerful.

Star Rating: ***

Quote of the Episode:
"The family of a Klingon warrior is responsible for his actions, and he is responsible for theirs. If I fail in my challenge, I will be executed." (Worf, in a quote chosen not because it is interesting, but because it actually vaguely explained the justice system stuff I zoned out on while watching)
ext_2512: ([ub] queen for a day)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
So, in the five minutes since I last posted, I have become OBSESSED with the idea of Worf as Lancelot (Camelot edition). And, King Arthur-like, I shall explain my logic in a list!

1) Worf is from abroad, the only Frenchman Klingon on the Round Table on a Federation ship.

2) Worf seems unnaturally serious next to his compatriots -- even his Klingon compatriots ("Are you sure he's French?") -- often comically so. Can you imagine Worf's response if he was told to go "a-Mayin'"?

3) He is dedicated to the notion of honor and would lay down his life for his king Captain.

4) He is an unmatched warrior who doesn't mind being hit by big sticks.

5) He is a not-so-secret romantic, fond of love poetry and meaningful ceremonies.

6) He over-sentimentalizes sex. Well, sentimentalizes. I shouldn't be so judgy.

7) He is a big honkin' dork, but is too badass for people to accuse him of it.

All I can say is that we are lucky that he doesn't go around preaching about how chaste he is, although he does go on a bit much about how awesome Klingon sex is for my taste.

In conclusion: Sir Worfalot du Lac.
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."
"Data!"
"I busted him up!" (Data, Pulaski, and Troi)
ext_2512: ([misc] well-heeled)
[identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Episode Notes: I'm starting to think Betazoid weddings might be the most straightforward amongst Star Trek alien races. )

Overall Reaction: It's interesting that Worf would have had such a serious relationship with such an atypical Klingon (half-Klingon), because he, having been raised by humans, seems like Spock to cling all the more fiercely to his non-human side. Or perhaps it's simply that he finds a different way of reconciling the warring cultures in which he was raised than K'Ehleyr does, as despite his pride in Klingon culture and values, he is much more serious than most Klingons we meet and (of necessity) has a much more controlled temper -- I think he uses his seriousness as a shield just as much as K'Ehleyr uses her humor, though it's also possible that he is just a hugeass Klingon NERD. Oh, he completely is, he doesn't have many friends and he's way too earnest and he loves love poetry -- I mean, it's more a Lancelot kind of nerdiness than an Urkel kind, but even so. Still, whatever balance Worf has found seems to be a healthier one than K'Ehleyr's, as her rejection of her Klingon side nearly ends disastrously; it is Worf who is able to bring about a successful diplomatic resolution.

I thought K'Ehleyr was an interesting character, serving as a stand-in for the audience to learn about Klingon nature through, much as Riker did in "A Matter of Honor" (though she's way more prejudiced than he was). Ultimately, though, I wasn't that interested in her romance with Worf, so the episode felt duller than it could have.

Star Rating: ***

Quote of the Episode:
"We are mated!"
"I know! I was there!" (Worf and K'Ehleyr, having a totally awesome wedding or whatever)

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