Saga of the Jasonite

The continuing adventures of that eternal man of mystery…

Star Trek episode reviews: The Masterpiece Society and Conundrum

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The Masterpiece Society

I’ve completed my reviews from episodes 13 and 14 from season five. I continue at the rate of two episodes a month, and unfortunately it will probably get slower in September. My wife is due with our second child in the first week of September, so I’m pretty sure my ability to get reviews done will decrease. Both of these episodes are rather lackluster, and they make up the middle of season five. It’s a shame.

The Masterpiece Society is an average to below average episode to watch. In TMS the Enterprise is trailing a stellar core fragment (a totally made up phenomenon) and discover the planet populated by a colony of genetically engineered humans made to form a collective utopia. The problem occurs when the xenophobic society finally accepts help to save their planet, when many of them catch a glimpse how far advanced the Federation has come and they want to leave. It’s an okay philosophical episode, but it comes across as a light-weight do over of the First Contact from last season, which is far better.

There aren’t a lot of behind-the-scenes bits here, but you can catch some of my thoughts on being either for or against a society and how it might play itself out in my full review. Also, several of the actors in this episode would show up later on DS9 and Enterprise episodes. Want to know which ones?

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Conundrum

I wish I could say that Conundrum is better, but it’s really not. Within the first five minutes the Enterprise crew meet a strange new ship, gets their memories wiped and the computer crashes. The ensuing 20 minutes as they try to figure out who they are and what’s going on are pretty interesting, as well as getting used to this MacDuff guy who’s now the first officer? After learning the Federation is at war with a race called the Lysians and they’ve been given a top-secret mission to destroy their command center, the crew go ahead even though they still don’t know much about who they are. Doubts about the mission grow over the following 24 minutes, and it plays out in a somewhat less-interesting second half. The premise is pretty provocative, but ultimately I just don’t buy how things could have happened, the ending itself doesn’t seem interesting after the first viewing.

One thing that does give me a chuckle is Geordi saying the ship they see in the teaser is completely new, totally unknown. Except the model they used we’ve seen in almost half a dozen previous episodes! I talk more about this, and share some of the improvements and mistakes CBS-all access made in remastering episode in my full review. Take a look and feel free to share your thoughts.

The next two episodes up for my review are Power Play and Ethics, one of which is awesome, the other OK. I can’t make guarantees as to when given my expected lack of sleep, a baby girl, job and a wife to take care of! Not necessarily in that order.

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