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Episode Guest Reviews

Reviewer : Tyyr
Ave Rating : 2.9091 for 11 reviews
Title : Contagion Rating : 3
Writers : Beth Woods, Steve Gerber Year : 2365
Review : The episode was rather jam packed. Too jam packed I think. It would have been better done as a two parter. The pacing was too fast, you didn't get enough time to assimilate the latest development before you were whipped away to the next one. Personally I prefer a little slower pace for episodes such as this. More time given to pondering the mysteries and debating what's going on as opposed to being railroaded from development to development. My favorite theme in the episode had to be the possible misinterpretation of the Iconian race and the purpose of the probe. Misunderstandings are bound to happen, its important to remember that just because something blows you up doesn't mean it didn't like you. On the YATI front Riker's comments to the Warbird about phaser capabilities doesn't quite ring true, Romulans seem to have always used disruptors and I don't recall them ever being pegged as anything else. Also, where did that beam originate from? Certainly no weapons port I think we've seen from a warbird before or since.
Title : Two Days and Two Nights Rating : 0
Writers : Brannon Braga, Chris Black, Rick Berman Year : 2152
Review : Easily amongst Enterprise's worst episodes. Bottom five easy. This episode isn't just bad Trek, it's flat out bad TV. It's a stunningly boring hour of TV. Things like Threshold or Dear Doctor may be horrific in their own ways but at least they weren't boring and pointless, this was. An episode not spent boldly going isn't a crime. Some time off will give you a chance to follow the crew around and get a feel for them removed from their jobs. Nothing I learned about any of the characters in this episode made me like them any more... well except maybe Hoshi. So a quick recap: Tucker and Reed are slimeballs right out the 1980's club scene. Then they indulge in a bit of homoerotic bondage. Yay. Mayweather goes rock climbing, on a pleasure planet, smooth. He gets hurt and returns to the ship. Upon arrival and awakening Phlox the doctor says the most appropriate line in the history of the series. "Ensign who?" April has a serious run in with a hostile spy. Thanks to the most boring seduction ever Archer realizes that any woman still interested in him after two days where the dogs had the most fascinating conversation must be up to no good. He scans her, she scratches him, he passes out and never mentions it. Finally we get to Hoshi, who earns those first two letters in her name. If you know a new language she will put out on the first date. Ultimately at the end of the episode nothing changes, nothing matters, we learn nothing about the characters (at least nothing we want to know about them) and unlike most time travel stories it doesn't have the excuse of never happening. This did, and we wish it hadn't. And oh look, Berman and Braga wrote this bomb, imagine that.
Title : A Night In Sickbay Rating : 0
Writers : Brannon Braga, Rick Berman Year : 2152
Review : This right here is a perfect example of how Berman and Braga are both horrible writers/producers and how they managed to kill Trek on the small screen, likely for a generation. There is nothing redeeming about this episode, nothing. Archer shows an incredible lack of judgment by bringing his dog along on a first contact scenario. Second, he shows even more horrible judgment by pitching a hissy fit over Porthos getting sick when he can't even be sure it's the Kreetassin's fault. Sure, you sent them his genetic profile and they compared that to every single organism on their planet ever. The final bit of bad judgment is that he values his ability to self-righteously pout about the situation more than getting necessary spare parts for his ship. Why is this guy captain again? In a stunning bit of character assassination Archer spends the entire episode whining, moaning, and blaming every one for something that was ultimately his own damn fault. At least on Voyager they killed characters slowly, spending entire seasons ripping them down until you couldn't stand them. Here Enterprise manages to destroy the main character's credibility in a single episode. He's not a captain in the Kirk/Picard/Sisko vein, he's a whiny spoiled child pitching a tantrum. The rest of the episode was just as uninspired. The sexual tension angle between Archer and T'Pol came out of no where. Unless I missed something major he's hated her and proven to be a pretty impressive racists. So now that was all just a juvenie attempt to gain her attention and get her legs up in the air? Sorry, not buying it. Besides, Enterprise's resident hottie is Hoshi "The Ho" Sato. Additionally we get a couple of fart and boobie jokes. Yeah, humanity's finest going out into the wider galaxy for the first time ever, exploring strange new worlds and meeting new cultures and the captain can't stop staring at T'Pol's jugs and Tucker asks if he ate cabbage before going down to talk to these people. Admittedly it's Trip "Catfish" Tucker in that last gaffe but still. Finally, they try to drag Pholx down with Archer. Rather than having Phlox's wildernesses be understood and mentioned in conversations they decided to have him do his thing on camera. It doesn't work. It's an old adage that its often best to let people's imaginations fill in things in horror or suspense as they can create images vastly more bizzare and horrible than your SFX crew can. Phlox's weirdness was always better off left up to the viewer's imaginations rather than shown. When it is shown it just bleh. Ultimately this episode could have been saved if at the end Archer had realized what a colossal dick he'd been and appologized to the crew and ultimately the Kreetassin's. Instead at the end Archer just sits around looking like a smug prick. He went through the motions of the apology but didn't mean so he got one over on them, Haha. He acted like a dick to his crew but since he did it his way and things worked out they obviously had it coming. This is just an awful awful episode, another one in the bottom five for Enterprise.
Title : The Quality of Life Rating : 4
Writers : Naren Shankar Year : 2369
Review : I like this episode a lot. I have a thing for episodes dealing with artificial life. This is not a tremendous episode for artificial life, what makes it a four star episode then? It's a wonderful example of techno-babble gone RIGHT. First of all, very little of it is actually used. Secondly when its used the purpose is obvious and it lends the necessary Sci-Fi-ness to the proceedings. It never gets in the way or becomes the story. Every Trek writer should have to watch this episode several times.
Title : The Naked Now Rating : 1
Writers : J. Michael Bingham, John D. F. Black Year : 2364
Review : Just... ugh. I honestly can't fathom the thought process that decides to do a remake of a TOS episode for TNG's second episode period. Way to really set yourselves apart as your own show guys. That alone was a horrible idea. Now the Naked Time was not a horrible episode, not particularly great but not awful, but it had the sense to wait until a few episodes into the series to happen. There was some time to get to know the characters before they went crazy. Things made some sense. Sulu running around with a rapier wouldn't be nearly as funny if you weren't used to the normally reserved Sulu that populates most of the series. In this one, well all you've seen of Tasha was her getting frozen in Q's court, so maybe she really is just a slut at heart. If she'd been more established as the solid, rock steady officer we saw later her going buck wild might be more shocking, but coming right after the pilot you don't know, maybe she's easy normally and just throws herself at Data for the hell of it. The info dump about some of the characters isn't a bad thing, but again its ill timed, let us get settled in with them first, then do this. The episode does set up one ongoing thread in the series, Wesley is fucking annoying. Prior to the virus you just wanted to wring his little neck, afterward, well if someone had killed him I don't think anyone would have minded. Overall just a very weak episode, pretty much like all of season 1.
Title : Where No One Has Gone Before Rating : 3
Writers : Diane Duane, Michael Reaves Year : 2364
Review : On the whole I don't have a lot to add to the existing review and I largely agree with it. What I wanted to point out was Tasha Yar's backstory. Having her being gang-raped being the defining moment of her life is rather dark, especially for Trek, especially on a prime time late 80's TV show. It was refreshing to see someone in the Federation who had a very, very rough early life.
Title : Home Soil Rating : 3
Writers : Carl Guers, Ralph Sanchez, Robert Sabaroff Year : 2364
Review : Again, something I have to point out. Crusher is just so bad in this episode. A complicated analysis of an emerging lifeform, analysis of its potential to be life, coming to conclusions that can effect the course of a major starfleet project... and she delegates it all... to the computer. I half expected Picard to turn to her and finally ask, "Why do I keep you around?" Overall I liked the episode itself for showing a non-humanoid life form and a non-mustache twirling villain. They could have done more with it but they did alright with what they had. Except Crusher, who's only purpose seemed to be to ask the computer to do her job for her.
Title : Data's Day Rating : 4
Writers : Harold Apter Year : 2367
Review : This was a Data-centric episode, obviously, and it was a lot of fun. Data's "normal" day was far more action packed than any real normal day but the episode was all the more fun for it. No doubt Maddox is getting a skewed impression of just what Data spends his time doing.
Title : In the Pale Moonlight Rating : 5
Writers : Peter Allan Fields Year : 2374
Review : ITPML is one of the reasons that DS9 was great. The biggest single part of it is that it restores some humanity to Trek that had been sorely lacking in TOS and TNG. There's no way this episode could have been made in Gene's day, it would have never left the meeting room and anyone endorsing it might just have been fired. DS9 was never my favorite Trek series when it began. I didn't watch it as religiously as I did TNG but I still found myself coming back time and again. There was something oddly unTrekish about it that was strangely compelling. The first few seasons were rather blah, but when the Dominion war started it got interesting. ITPML was one of those episodes that hooked me and made me watch DS9 religiously. I mean what else was I gonna watch? Voyager? DS9 was the last bit of Trek I watched in somewhat isolation. I didn't know any trekkies prior to leaving for college and the internet was still a big and wierd place for a kid with a 56k modem so I never discussed the show that much, I still don't. So it really surprised me to find out that there were people who not only didn't like ITPML, but absolutely loathed it. I still have trouble fathoming it. Does it betray Gene's original vision for Trek? Of course it does. I'd argue that Gene's vision needed to be betrayed though. While we all love the TOS and TNG casts it was hard if almost impossible to relate to them. Many times the aliens in the shows were more human than the humans, and I'm not just talking about the Pakleds. DS9, and ITPML specifically, showed us humans being humans in the future. Kirk or Picard would have NEVER done what Sisko did, Kirk would have fought on valiantly or tried to talk the Romulans into help. That or just screwed the female half of the Senate until they gave in. Picard would have gone into convulsions at the meer suggestion of compromising the principles of the Federation then spent the rest of the season ranting about them. Sisko however does what needs to be done. That alone was a departure from Trek, what made it such a refutation of Gene's vision of humanity in the future was that at the end of it Sisko admits that he'd do it again, even knowing all that would go down. He accepts Garak's reasoning, that the lives of two men and Sisko's guilty conscience are a small price to pay to save the Alpha quadrant. In any other series the captain would have flat rejected that idea. That's what makes DS9 some of the best Trek ever and convinces me that it picked up all the real talent from TNG and sadly left the scraps, B&B, for Voyager. I suppose I've spent a lot of time talking about the ramifications of the episode and very little about the episode itself. What's really to discuss though, ignoring all the baggage that ITPML brings with it at its core it is a fantastic episode. Brilliantly written, acted, directed and shot. I think that ultimately Sisko's guilty conscience stems from the fact that his Federation conscience is screaming at him the whole time that what he's doing is wrong and he's ok with that. If he could just condemn his own actions and move on there wouldn't have been any soul bearing in his log. The problem was that he was conflicted. Sure it was wrong but ultimately knowing it was necessary. All his shady dealing led to the deaths of two men and even though he didn't pull the trigger his actions put them in front of the man who did. It also committed and entire people to war under false pretenses. He used the Romulans to get what he wanted. He saved the Federation by throwing the Romulans in front of the Dominion. Millions of Romulans would die that might otherwise have lived. He's done some less than reputable things before that was nothing compared to this.
Title : The Inner Light Rating : 5
Writers : Morgan Gendel Year : 2368
Review : This is one of the best episodes of TNG and probably Trek in general. It's not typical Trek, its your ideal Trek. It took an off the wall idea and made it great. Stewart's acting is wonderful here and he really sells the role. It also gives Picard something he never, a family. Great stuff over all.
Title : Hollow Pursuits Rating : 4
Writers : Sally Caves Year : 2366
Review : A very solid episode of TNG. It introduces a character who is far closer to an everyman than we usually get to see. Mostly I like this episode for seeing someone use the holodeck like a regular person even with all the very sticky questions that get raised. I also enjoyed the B plot with the ship malfunctions. It didn't feel like a technobabble solution even if it sort of was.

Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 154 Last updated : 1 Jan 1970