20. Inquisition (6.18)

Synopsis: An officer from the Starfleet Department of Internal Affairs arrives on the station and accuses Dr. Bashir of being a Dominion spy.

Memory Alpha Summary: He’s just a spy on the holodeck

Review: If you can’t tell by now, it’s hard for me not to watch any episode of Star Trek and not compare it to something done on TNG. For the first half here, I kept thinking this was just a poor man’s version of Drumhead what with the abusive investigator with no evidence. But when it became clear that things weren’t what they seemed, I started to think it was derivative of Frame of Mind, but less suspenseful. And then in one fell swoop it became better than either episode. 

Continue reading 20. Inquisition (6.18)

21. Past Tense (3.11, 3.12)

Synopsis: Trapped three hundred years in the past, Sisko, Bashir, and Dax find themselves confronting one of the darkest hours in Earth’s history. With history itself at stake, Sisko must risk all to see that the Bell Riots reach their inevitable conclusion, even if it means sacrificing his life

Memory Alpha Summary: Could be our near future.

Review: A very polarizing episode, as it gets political and preachy about the homelessness and mental illness in the early 21st century. As a social worker, I appreciate that they were willing to take this on directly. Treatment of those who are homeless is still very poor in this country. What bothered me about the episode is that Bashir makes it sound like fixing the problem is as easy as snapping your fingers. He whines about how there are medications that can fix mental illnesses in our time period. It also would have been nice for them to mention the real reason that the homeless don’t get much help: there’s no immediate profit in it. 

Continue reading 21. Past Tense (3.11, 3.12)

22. For The Cause (4.22)

Synopsis: Sisko discovers that Kasidy Yates may be a Maquis smuggler; Garak takes an interest in Ziyal.

Memory Alpha Summary: The Sisko can’t trust anyone!

Review: A really important episode in the Star Trek canon as it completely solidifies the shift from the Roddenberry idealist Federation to something more familiar to the humans we know and love today. Eddington’s speech about how the Federation’s assimilation of cultures is worse than the Borg’s runs the risk of being bombastic but connects enough to be effective. A little less effective is Sisko’s speech about duty and betrayal, especially since he has a history of sympathizing with the Maquis when he’s not personally affected. 

Continue reading 22. For The Cause (4.22)

23. what you leave behind (7.25, 7.26)

Synopsis: In this last adventure, the Federation Alliance prepares a final invasion of Cardassia. Meanwhile on Bajor, Kai Winn releases the Pah-wraiths from the Fire Caves which threatens the safety of not only Bajor, but the entire Alpha Quadrant.

Memory Alpha Summary: Gotta put your behind in the past

Review: The finale suffers a bit from everything that came before it, in that the war has just dragged on too long and space battles lack the intrigue they would have if there hadn’t been so many of them. That said, this episode wraps up everything pretty much as perfect as one could have.

Continue reading 23. what you leave behind (7.25, 7.26)

24. One Little ship (6.14)

Synopsis: O’Brien, Dax, Bashir, and their runabout are reduced in size while investigating an anomaly. Meanwhile, the Jem’Hadar attack and commandeer the Defiant, leaving the runabout crew with no choice but to take their miniature ship inside the Defiant and help Sisko and the others recapture the vessel.

Memory Alpha Summary: It’s a good ship.

Rascals meets Honey I Shrunk the Kids!  From a conflict standpoint there’s not a lot of new ground here (except the ordinary Gamma vs. Alpha Jem Ha’Dar fighting) but visually this whole episode is a treat.  Getting to see the inside of a plasma conduit and computer circuitry not to mention substituting the photon torpedoes for a handheld phaser. 

Continue reading 24. One Little ship (6.14)

Lifeless Planet

Publisher: Kingstill
Developer: Stage 2 Studios
Year: 2014
Platform: Windows, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Rating: 3

Lifeless Planet sold itself as a mostly stress-free platformer that focuses on story. While that turned out to be mostly true, there was not enough platforming and not enough story. Braid this is not.

The game’s beginning is intriguing and has the same sense of awe I had when I started Journey. Sadly, less than an hour into play I found myself become increasingly bored and underwhelmed. The premise is that you’ve crash landed on a planet believed to be full of life. However, you quickly determine that all life is gone (including your crewmates) and find evidence that Soviet era Russians had been colonizing this planet for years, though there’s no evidence they’re still around either.

The story does develop over the five to nine hours it will take the average person to play, but it is so freaking slow. So much time is just spent walking over vast expanses of land and the platforming that exists is generally repetitive, occasionally awkward (those geysers made me want to scream), and with very little in the way of challenging puzzles. This would be fine if the story plugged along at a nice pace, but sometimes you can go an hour without learning anything of note. Some people were moved by the story that is there. I was not.

The most frustrating part for me were the few levels that were dark. I even selected the in-game option of brightening the screen and it was still so hard to navigate some areas without straining my eyes. Darkness has its place in games to add to the atmosphere, but here it was just mostly annoying.

I got this when it was a free download off Epic Games. It was generally a nice diversion, but I have no desire to ever pick this up again.

25. Rejoined (4.06)

Synopsis: Dax is reunited with the Kahn symbiont, a wife of one of her previous hosts, and must decide whether or not to ignore Trill taboo and continue their relationship.

Memory Alpha Summary: They don’t

Review: Now this is what The Outcast wasn’t. If this aired today it probably wouldn’t be a big deal, but in 1995 showing two women kiss on prime time television was scandalous. What I love about this episode is that not for one second is the story a token to same-sex relationships (especially since for Trills sexuality is extremely fluid), but rather an aristocratic taboo specific to Trill culture. Nobody in this future even blinks at the fact that Jadzia is in love with this person who identifies as female. All they care about is her happiness. Even living in a world now where gay marriage is legal it’s still a refreshing episode.

Continue reading 25. Rejoined (4.06)

26. Broken link (4.26)

Synopsis: Odo is plagued by an unknown ailment that threatens to kill him. Meanwhile, the Federation and the Klingon Empire move closer to war.

Memory Alpha Summary: It’s a bitch to be hungry

Review: Man, DS9 isn’t afraid to take chances with character shifts. On a lesser show, Odo wouldn’t become human, or if he did, it would be only briefly, as the writers would be scared about not being able to rely on Odo’s shapeshifting abilities to wow viewers. Instead they chose the more satisfying character development path. Then you have the announcement at the end that Odo believes Gowron is a changeling. It wasn’t terribly surprising to me, as Gowron’s personality has changed quite a bit since his interactions with Picard. Still fun, though.

Continue reading 26. Broken link (4.26)

27. CARDASSIANS (2.05)

Synopsis: Garak and Doctor Bashir investigate abandoned Cardassian war orphans on Bajor.

Memory Alpha Summary: Duplicity

Garak is back! Finally! He helps take a show about orphaned Cardassian children and makes it dynamite. His friendship with Bashir grows stronger, and his own character develops as well, as he’s forced to help Bashir with the orphaned children, not just to get back at Dukat, but to help his own conscience. He’s still as evasive and wry as ever, and it’s hard not to grin whenever he’s on screen.

Continue reading 27. CARDASSIANS (2.05)

Telling L!es

Publisher: Annapurna
Developer: Downing a Mermaid Productions & Furious Bee Ltd.
Year: 2019
Platform: Windows, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Mac, iPad, iPhone

Rating: 8

Has it really been almost five years since I review Her Story? Sheesh, I’m getting old. Back then I said I was looking forward to Sam Barlow’s next project. I think I forgot about that as I didn’t discover Telling Lies until about 18 months after its release. Still, it was very much worth the wait.

Mild spoilers under the break. You might enjoy the game more knowing nothing about it.

Continue reading Telling L!es