Saga of the Jasonite

The continuing adventures of that eternal man of mystery…

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Star Trek episode reviews: Final Mission and The Loss


Final Mission

I’ve just completed reviews from episodes 9 and 10 from season four. They seem to continue the pattern from the past several episodes of good episode followed by a bad one.

Final Mission is good. Some folks were just happy to see Wesley leave the show I suppose, for me it’s a great send off. Picard takes Wes with him on a final mission, and on the way they crash land on a desert moon. Along with an unpredictable shuttle captain they have to survive, and Wes is on his own with controlling the jerk they have with them and keeping his captain alive after he gets injured.

If you have the Blu Ray version this episode has a couple of deleted scenes with it, which is nice. Neither of them need to be in the episode, but I’m always curious to see that stuff. In my review I include a couple of links to interviews that cover Wil Wheaton’s feelings about leaving the show, and why for years he felt too ashamed to stay in contact with his co-stars.


The Loss

The Loss isn’t that good. The Enterprise unwittingly flies into a bunch of two-dimensional beings and gets stuck, and before long we learn they’re taking the ship toward a cosmic string fragment! What ship captain hasn’t told that story? The real story is the side-effect of all this, which is that Deanna Troi loses her empathic abilities. There are one or two good scenes, but overall you just don’t care enough to emotionally invest in the story.

Evidently the producers and writers had been pitched a show about Troi losing her powers every single season, and they finally decided to do it. Watching this makes me wish they’d waited for something better. The story came from an intern on the show, and I think you can understand why she only wrote two other episodes: Hero Worship, which is decent, and Dark Page, which is terrible. Check out my review for more.

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Star Trek episode reviews: Reunion and Future Imperfect



Episodes 7 and 8 from season four are on tap this time, Reunion and Future Imperfect. One of them is great, and one less so.

Reunion is terrific from start to finish. Seems like most of the Worf-centered episodes are good and this one is no exception:  Picard is asked to arbitrate the rite of succession for leadership of the entire Klingon Empire, and one of the two claimants is our old friend, Duras. K’Ehleyr is back too, and she’s brought a surprise:  Worf’s son!

This episode introduces the iconic bat’leth, major recurring characters die, a new Klingon ship is seen here, and the rich Klingon mythos is expanded even more. Believe it or not Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, is even indirectly involved with this episode! I compare this episode to a combination of The Princess Bride and Game of Thrones, see why in my review.

Future Imperfect

Future Imperfect

Future Imperfect is the next episode, and while it’s interesting, it’s also far more forgettable. On an away mission, Riker passes out only to come to and find that 16 years have passed, he’s the captain of the Enterprise, and he remembers none of it. As the episode progresses we realize something’s wrong, and after being a little bit fooled by the Romulans we get fooled again!

What’s ironic is that a lot of the “future” changes that appear in this episode actually end up happening in future Star Trek years. A Ferengi does become an ensign on DS9, B’Elanna Torres is a female Klingon in Starfleet in Voyager, Geordi does get better eyes in First Contact, peace talks with the Romulan actually happen in the Nemesis film, and Troi starts wearing a standard uniform in season 6.  To read my review click here, or the picture above.

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Star Trek episode reviews: Remember Me and Legacy


Remember Me

I’ve just finished up reviewing episodes 5 and 6 from season four:  Remember Me and Legacy, respectively.

Remember Me is just a cool episode. It’s all about Beverly Crusher, and for a change it’s interesting! She’s in the spotlight and does a great job with the crazy situation she’s place in. Friends and crew members of the Enterprise are disappearing and she seems to be the only one who notices or remembers them. One of the few episodes in early season four that isn’t about family, this is a fantastically creative episode that could only be told in science fiction, and is well worth your time.

It was during the shooting of the episode (where she did all her own stunts, BTW) where Gates McFadden discovered she was pregnant. Originally planned to be a subplot for the episode Family, there was so much here they decided to make it it’s own episode, and I’m glad they did. Read my review to discover more behind-the-scenes info and trivia, and feel free to comment!



Legacy, the episode that marks TNG surpassing the total amount of air time of the original series, is a landmark episode from that viewpoint alone. Unfortunately, other than a great poker scene in the teaser this is a low point so far in season four. The Enterprise crew runs into Tasha Yar’s sister Ishara in the course of trying to rescue some Federation freighter pilots that crash-landed on the dangerous colony where Tasha grew up. In my opinion this episode falls a bit flat, but I can’t deny some nostalgia regarding Tasha.

For Voyager fans, this is the first episode written by Joe Menosky, who’d pen over 50 episodes for that series. This is another episode where the theme of family is invoked, which about half of season four is dripping with. Here’s the link to my review, or just click the picture above. Come see why this colony didn’t believe in bras for some reason!

That’s all for now. Keep checking back because I’ll have reviews for the next two episodes, the terrific Reunion and the episode Future Imperfect, very soon!

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Brothers and Suddenly Human



Episodes three and four of season four are what I’ve just finished writing reviews for, and as usual I’ve had a lot of fun.

Brothers is a favorite of virtually everyone who likes TNG or Data. Data hijacks the Enterprise and takes it to world that is the current home of his creator, Dr. Noonien Soong, for a little family reunion. Things are going well until his brother, Lore, shows up. Season four leans heavily on family themes and this one is about family, with all the drama of two androids, their dying father, and a tantalizing emotion chip thrown in.

Brent Spiner plays three different roles in this episode, and the only way they could reasonably do it was to have him play one character per day of the shoot. In my review I also point out an Easter Egg that I just found out about. Take a look and see for yourself!


Suddenly Human

Suddenly Human is a definite step down from the terrific start that season four gets. It’s not all bad though. When rescuing alien teens from a training exercise gone wrong, the crew discovers that one of the aliens is actually human, and the son of Federation officers that were killed by those aliens. It’s an exploration of cultural identity that was pretty decent, but could have been better.

Suddenly Human was actually the first episode made after Best of Both Worlds II, but it was aired fourth in the season instead. I don’t know all the reasons, but I do know that LeVar Burton was still recovering from his emergency surgery. His one scene is actually stock footage. It was not shot for the episode at all. I cover this and more reasons why I consider this a sub-par episode in my review.

That’s all for now. Keep checking back because I’ll have reviews for the next two episodes, the excellent Remember Me and the landmark episode Legacy, very soon!

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“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”


Those of us of any Christian faith believe in the Bible, and are generally agreed to keep the commandments contained therein. The purpose of the Sabbath dates back to the creation of the world, when after six days of labor the Lord rested from the work of creation as recorded in Genesis. It’s importance has been underlined by prophets, presidents, and the Lord himself.

In Moses’ day, God revealed the Ten Commandments and He commanded: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days thou shalt do all they work:  but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God:  in it thou shalt not do any work… For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day:  wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11.

Down through the centuries Sabbath day worship continued to be practiced, both in the Old Testament and after the coming of our Lord and his Apostles.

In fact Isaiah called keeping the Sabbath “a delight.” “If you turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord… and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:  Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah 58:13-14.

We learn from Ezekiel that the Lord gave the Sabbath to His people “to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them…hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” Ezekiel 20:12, 20.

The Lord Himself endorsed the Sabbath, and its importance. What did He mean when He said “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath”? To indirectly quote a living Apostle, He wanted us to understand the Sabbath was His gift to us, giving us a break from the rigors of daily life and an opportunity for spiritual as well as physical renewal. God gave us this special day. He didn’t give it to us for our own amusement or for work but for a rest from our duties, with physical and spiritual relief. Our Lord declared Himself Lord of the Sabbath. It’s His day! He’s repeatedly asked us to keep the Sabbath or to hallow the Sabbath day.

As many of my readers know I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In our faith there is modern revelation that re-emphasizes the importance of the Sabbath: “That thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High… And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances… the fulness of the earth is yours.” Doctrine & Covenants 59:9-16.

Think about the blessings promised in the preceding verses. We will ‘delight ourselves in the Lord,’ ‘ride upon the high places of the earth,’ be fed ‘the heritage of Jacob,’ we will be sanctified, and the ‘fulness of the earth’ will be ours. Those are some great promises! Every commandment the Lord gives us is to bless us, and to help us become more like Him. The Sabbath has been observed by many people down through the ages, but is it a commandment we are keeping today?

Scripture is pretty clear that while Sunday is a day of rest, it’s not necessarily a day of recreation. Recall the scripture asks us to “turn away from doing thine pleasure” and “not do thine own ways.” It’s also not a day for work according to Exodus, except in cases where this is unavoidable. I’m not advocating shutting down the police or fire departments, or other emergency services. Too often, though, we think of Sunday as a day for partying, shopping or working. I read of a man who was a barber, and as he drew closer to the Lord realized that his profession required him to work on the Sabbath, which is when a large proportion of his business was generated. He prayed about it and changed his profession. THAT is faith, and a willingness to please his Lord by obeying his commandment.

So how are we to make the Sabbath a delight? What does He want us to do? What does He want us to refrain from doing? Certainly worship has always been a component of Sabbath Day observance. One of the most important and significant things our Lord did was to organize a church, both in the Old Testament and the New. The Apostles appear throughout the book of Acts as observing the Sabbath, and if you think about it, what better way can you spend the Sabbath than by attending church and worshiping? Consider making this a priority on the Sabbath. Reading your scriptures on this day is a great use of time also and highly recommended, especially if it’s hard to find time during the week.

How else can we make the Sabbath a delight? Sabbath days are a wonderful opportunity to strengthen family ties. Wholesome family activities are in short supply these days, and time to engage in them is in short supply also. Visiting relatives, renewing ties with them through phone calls, emails or letters is a great way to spend some of your day!

Here’s one many of you will be happy to hear about:  sleep! Nothing wrong with napping and getting some physical rest. According to a recent Gallup Poll, 40% of Americans are getting 6 hours or less sleep per night, which is insufficient. Rest and restore yourself.

Serve others, especially those who are not feeling well or those who are lonely or in need. Our Lord famously healed a man on the Sabbath, which angered the Pharisees. Rendering service or assistance to others is emulating our Savior Himself.

Not pursuing our own pleasure on the Sabbath requires self-discipline. We may have to deny ourselves of something we might like. If we choose to delight ourselves in the Lord, however, we won’t permit ourselves to treat it as any other day. Help yourself by arranging your week so you can reserve the Lord’s day for activities that are appropriate for it. A guiding rule is “what sign do I want to give God?” This question may help make your choices about Sabbath day observance crystal clear.


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The Best of Both Worlds Pt II and Family


Wolf 359

I’m happy to have begun reviewing season four of TNG, my favorite television show of all time. It’s with great pleasure that I get to review TNG episodes as fine as these. Season four started off the strongest of any season so far, and we get two first-class but very different episodes.

First up is the Best of Both Worlds, Part II. As I state in my review, no episode of Star Trek has been met with more anticipation than this one. How could the Enterprise crew possibly defeat this enemy? In part one they slapped down the Enterprise pretty thoroughly, and even kidnapped her captain and assimilated him! How could it possibly be resolved? Part II does the virtually-impossible, and that’s finish this story in a satisfying way to everyone.

If you noticed that Geordi wasn’t in much of this episode, it’s because he had to have emergency surgery while they were shooting. This is why he only appears in close-ups, and why O’Brien’s role was expanded. I also include a link to bloopers from this episode in my review.


Picard’s brother. Not the warmest of men!

Family is a special episode, because it changes how Star Trek is presented from here on out. It’s the first episode that is serialized, or part of a story that you had to have seen previously to understand. Because this episode was done we get to see more serialization through this series and all of the Star Trek that follows. It also kicks off what is a large part of season four, episodes that are dedicated to family. We follow how Picard recovers from his virtual rape by the Borg, Worf dealing with his adoptive parents visiting, and Wes gets a visit from his long-dead father. It’s a standout episode in its own right, and one of the finest in a season of top-caliber episodes.

Did you know that Roddenberry was completely opposed to this episode? He hated the idea of conflict among the crew, and was especially antagonistic of conflict among family. It took some magic from Michael Piller and Rick Berman to get this episode aired the way it was written. Take a look at my review to see more behind-the-scenes info.

That’s it for now, more episode reviews are coming!

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Season Four overview is here!



They’ve arrived


As promised, my season four overview of Star Trek: The Next Generation is here! Season four is where many people, Michael Dorn included, felt TNG really hit its stride. Coming off a huge amount of nationwide speculation about its season three cliffhanger, season four hit with some of the highest ratings ever for a syndicated show.

After Best of Both Worlds Part II season four was off and running, with some of the finest episodes in the series occurring. Standout episodes also include Family, Brothers, Remember Me, Reunion, Final Mission, Data’s Day, The Nth Degree, Qpid, The Drumhead, In Theory and the season finale Redemption. They had 10 Emmy nominations and 2 wins, which would continue to increase as the series progressed.

Season four saw a change in emphasis in two ways:  they began telling serialized stories, and family becomes one of the main themes. This season we spend time learning about Picard’s family, Worf’s family, Data’s family, and even a dead crew member’s family! Miles O’Brien really becomes part of the Enterprise family this season, gaining a first and middle name, and having several episodes where he is featured. Spot, Data’s cat, also joins.

We also lose a member of the family, as Wil Wheaton left the series after the episode Final Mission. I discuss his reasons why and give a behind-the-scenes photo of his going away party in my article.

If you’d like to read my season 4 overview, click here. Hang on and in the next few weeks I’ll start reviewing episodes from season 4.🙂