My sister’s big, fat, green wedding

"Something Borrowed, Something Green" opens with an Orion support ship being destroyed by the powerful Mystery Vessel that attacked the Klingons and Romulans in the season’s first two episodes. It’s a scene that’s exactly as the other two were — completely divorced from the rest of the episode and advancing this supposedly "serial" plot in no real way because it provides no additional information, but merely more of what we already know. If this is supposed to be some sort of poker-faced parody/commentary on bad serialization, then mission accomplished, but that doesn’t seem like the intent.

This scrap of plot does, I suppose, ever so loosely tie into the main plot, as it provides Freeman with slightly more reason to insist Tendi return home for her sister D’Erika’s wedding, which she’s reluctant to do because she wants to keep her Orion past buried rather than in full view of her friends. ("D’Erika" — I love how we’re now just adding consonants and apostrophes to the beginnings of regular names to make them "alien.")

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Tackling climate change, ‘Lower Decks’ style

The Cerritos assists a Federation colony on Corazonia, a massive artificial ring structure that was built by an ancient alien civilization millions of years ago and now functions much like Yorktown Station in Star Trek Beyond. Vexilon, the AI climate-control computer (which Freeman notes has "no interest in world domination"), is on the fritz and in need of a software update, which is millions of years past due. But when Freemen attempts to make the updates, the computer crashes, causing widespread climate-based havoc. (First, clouds turn into ice and fall like boulders from the sky, then come the prehistoric volcanoes.)

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‘Lower Decks’: Season 4 starts with a twofer

Star Trek: Lower Decks kicks off its fourth season with a two-episode premiere.

“Twovix,” the better of the two episodes, is an entertaining romp that shows what Lower Decks has become as it starts its fourth season — which is essentially the same show it was in its first season, but more refined, balanced, restrained, and effective at doing what it does. In setting this episode aboard a museum-ified Voyager, the writers allow themselves to plunder the archive for as many Voyager references they can fit in.

“I Have No Bones Yet I Must Flee” is not quite as good as “Twovix” but is close enough, and there’s something to be said for this show’s unwavering focus on the devotion this core group of friends has to one another. I’m finding that when this show can strike the right balance between its sincerity and its lunacy, it works out.

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Season finale: Here today, Gorn tomorrow

I guess it had to happen eventually on the episodic Strange New Worlds: The episodic season-ending cliffhanger. "Hegemony" hews closely to the TNG cliffhanger style, resembling one of that show’s middle-season-capping two-parter setups. It’s an effective and efficient sci-fi thriller with expectedly excellent production values and a nice sense of foreboding and a good balance between action and downtime. Is it on the level of "Mr. Worf, fire," the yardstick against which all Trek cliffhangers will forever be measured? Not remotely, but few are.

The question of how the Gorn figure into the Trek canon, and whether SNW‘s use of them can plausibly match up with TOS‘s "Arena" has never much concerned me, so I have few issues with the Gorn being used as SNW‘s mysterious Big Bad. With "Memento Mori" and especially "All Those Who Wander," the writers re-established them in the mold of Alien, with a creature-feature vibe (perhaps too much so) and an escalation in the (moderate) gore, and that continues here.

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Star Trek: The Musical

Well, that was delightful.

Let it be said that the idea of Star Trek: The Musical was not an automatic winner in my book. I figured this had an even chance of being an embarrassingly goofy misfire. But "Subspace Rhapsody" is a swing for the fences that connects (as sure as Uhura’s concluding effort to bring the crew of the Enterprise together in song), and it runs an emotional gamut I was not expecting.

I mean, sure, the plot is completely absurd and the opening minutes had me fearing the possibility of a show that would collapse under the weight of its own conceit. But as the setting took hold, the episode managed to build more and more emotional resonance and tie into the characters in very specific ways.

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