Saga of the Jasonite

The continuing adventures of that eternal man of mystery…


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Star Trek episode reviews: Night Terrors and Identity Crisis

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Night Terrors. And Deanna’s butt.

Sorry for the long break between posts, life has gotten pretty crazy the past month or so. It’s actually going to continue for another month at least, so I’ll keep up with this as best I can. Today I’m announcing the completed reviews for episodes 17 and 18 of season four, Night Terrors and Identity Crisis. Neither one are particularly good or memorable episodes, thought Night Terrors at least had an interesting premise.

Night Terrors is about the Enterprise getting caught in a Tyken’s Rift in a binary star system while investigating a science vessel that stopped reporting back. They’re not only unable to leave, they are for some reason unable to dream, and this is slowly driving everyone mad. The only one unaffected by this (other than Data) is Troi, who has strange nightmares, which might be the key to the whole mystery.

A blooper here is the spelling of Brattain. Some genius spelled it wrong while putting the decals on the model of the ship, and we get an up close look at it several times during the episode. Also, there’s an in-joke for the dedication plaque on board the bridge of the Brattain referencing Gilligan’s Island! Check out my full review to learn more.

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Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis is the next episode. Galaxy’s Child, Night Terrors and this are probably the low-point of season four. Geordi’s old Lieutenant from an away team mission he was on five years ago is back to say that the other members of their team have all abandoned their posts and disappeared. D’oh! Guess who’s next?

The makeup from this episode is pretty great, though LeVar Burton probably isn’t a fan: it took 21 hours from the time they started putting it on him until it was finally all off. Keep an eye out for a hot new ensign in this episode, she was the 1990 Miss Universe winner! Take a look at my review to see my full analysis, and feel free to write your own comments.


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Star Trek episode reviews: First Contact and Galaxy’s Child

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First Contact

I’m getting a little quicker at writing and posting my reviews! This time I’ve reviewed episodes 15 and 16 from season four, First Contact and Galaxy’s Child. First Contact turned out to be much better than I recalled it, while Galaxy’s Child stayed just as lackluster as I remembered.

First Contact is about just that: first contact with a planet that’s about ready to discover warp drive. Riker has gone down to meet with the team, but ends up in the ER after a riot rocks the city. The twist is, this entire episode is from the perspective of the people from the planet.

This episode, #88, is the exact halfway point in the TNG series. Bebe Neuwirth, who played Frasier’s wife Lilith, has a great cameo that is hilarious! For Mass Effect fans, the actress who voiced Doctor Chakwas plays a major character in this episode, see if you can find her. Check out my full review for more tidbits as well as a full analysis of this good TNG entry.

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Galaxy’s Child

Galaxy’s Child is the next episode, and it’s a definite step down. There are two plots here. The first is the Enterprise crew, after accidentally killing a space-born life form, find a way to cut its young free only to find the little bugger has attached itself to the ship. Plot B features the return of Dr. Leah Brahms, Geordi’s ‘holodeck helper’ from Booby Trap. Only now she’s here in the flesh and she can’t stand him!

This episode features CGI prominently for the first time since Datalore, and it’s been updated for the Blu Ray version. I discuss this and the double meaning of the title along with a deleted scene in my full review. Feel free to check it out and comment if you like.


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Star Trek episode reviews: Devil’s Due and Clues

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Devil’s Due

It’s been over a month, but I’ve got two more episode reviews finished. These are episodes 13 and 14 from season four, Devil’s Due and Clues. I’d say overall they’re of a roughly equal caliber, which is middle of the road.

Devil’s Due is about a planet that’s gone nuts because their version of the Devil has returned to enslave them all. She’s a pretty hot looking devil, sure, but enslavement isn’t so good, right? The Enterprise is just there to pick up the people running the Federation science station, but then Picard gets a bee in his bonnet about debunking her, we’re along for the ride as they go for each other.

What may blow your mind here is that this is the single most-watched episode of TNG up to this point. Not even the pilot got ratings as high as this one! Want my theory on why? Click here to check out my full review and I’ll tell you.

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Uh, Clues. Not to be redundant.

Clues begins with the Enterprise being sucked into a wormhole, the entire crew getting knocked out except Data. They were only out for 30 seconds he says, but more and more “clues” point to it being a whole lot longer than that. What happened? Why would Data cover it up? The mystery builds until all is revealed in the fairly disappointing climax of an otherwise enjoyable episode.

What you probably don’t know about this episode is that the script was written by a Trek fan. He submitted it, Michael Piller liked it and had Joe Menosky punch it up a bit. Kinda makes me wish I’d taken a shot at a script myself, even though I was only a teenager at the time. Click here to check out to read my full review and tell me what your thoughts are.


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Star Trek episode reviews: Data’s Day and The Wounded

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Data’s Day

I’m slowing down a bit lately, but doing my best! I’ve completed reviews of episodes 10 and 11 from season four. This time we have two pretty good episodes back to back.

Data’s Day is an enjoyable and unique entry into the Star Trek canon: an episode strictly from Data’s narrative point of view. In the context of a message report to a Starfleet officer, he gives his thoughts and impressions on Chief O’Brien’s upcoming wedding and a Vulcan ambassador who apparently dies in a transporter accident.

One of my favorite scenes from this episode is where Dr. Crusher teaches Data to dance. You may not know that Gates McFadden choreographed that scene, is an experienced dancer herself, and also was the choreographer on some major films such as Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal! This is also where Data’s cat Spot first gets introduced. Check out my full review to learn more.

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The Wounded

The Wounded involves a rogue Starfleet captain attacking aliens we’ve just signed a peace treaty with, and threatening the eruption of a new war. These guys are called Cardassians? Hmm. Yep, this is the episode that introduced us to the Cardassians, which anyone who’s watched Deep Space 9 knows very well. They’re a bit under-powered in this episode though. This is a pretty good episode which addresses the problem of soldiers who can’t deal that well when a long-fought war is over. There’s also an enjoyable monologue from Chief O’Brien, who fought in that war.

The Blu Ray version of this episode includes no less than six deleted or extended scenes! I give you a brief description and my impression of each of them in my full review. That’s all for this time, thanks for taking a look!


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Star Trek episode reviews: Final Mission and The Loss

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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 a good episode followed by a bad one.

Final Mission is good. Some folks were just happy to see Wesley leave the show I suppose, but 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.

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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 a freelance writer, 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

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Reunion

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.

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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

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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!

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Legacy

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!