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STAR TREK: PICARD - S1, E3: "The End is the Beginning"...


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#1 FarscapeOne

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 02:31 AM

Completely unaware of her special nature, Soji continues her work and captures the attention of the Borg cube research project's executive director. After rehashing past events with a reluctant Raffi, Picard seeks others willing to join his search for Bruce Maddox, including pilot and former Starfleet officer Cristóbal Rios.

#2 Christopher

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 08:22 AM

Clearly the ban on "synths" has not affected emergency holograms. Seems an odd double standard; they're both AIs, and Trek holograms can be just as solid and thus just as physically dangerous as androids -- even more so, since they can become intangible at will (cf. the Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp for why that's an advantage). But of course, the ban was enacted out of fear and prejudice and thus is not rational.

Hugh's statement that only one group of Romulans was ever assimilated (as far as he knows) is implausible, given that the first hint of the Borg's existence was the mysterious destruction of Romulan colonies along "The Neutral Zone" in the episode of that title.

And it turns out that the Romulans with the bumpier foreheads are "Northerners."

Meanwhile, Romulan spy Peyton List got from Earth to the Artifact remarkably quickly, since this episode picked up right after the last one and seemed to cover not much more than a single day. Well, it's 20 years after NEM, so it's logical that they have faster ships. In the novels, Starfleet starts using quantum slipstream drive c. 2380.

I laughed out loud at seeing Star Trek finally use Vasquez Rocks to represent the actual Vasquez Rocks. :lol: But it was odd hearing Raffi gripe about Picard's elegant estate vs. her hovel. There's no economic or class inequality on 24th-century Earth, after all. I suppose the reason she lives that way is because she's an outcast due to her revoked security clearance and whatnot, but still, it seems to me the only reason someone would live like that on 24th-century Earth is because she chooses to.

Could it be any more obvious that Dr. Jurati is working for Commodore Oh? She's just too perfect. "Oops, I accidentally killed an assassin, sorry, I'm so innocent and doe-eyed, please trust me completely as a member of your secret mission." I hope it turns out that Picard isn't falling for it and is pulling a "Keep your enemies closer" thing.
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#3 Nick

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 10:01 AM

Hello again, it's been a while. :happy:

View PostChristopher, on 06 February 2020 - 08:22 AM, said:

Clearly the ban on "synths" has not affected emergency holograms. Seems an odd double standard; they're both AIs, and Trek holograms can be just as solid and thus just as physically dangerous as androids -- even more so, since they can become intangible at will (cf. the Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp for why that's an advantage). But of course, the ban was enacted out of fear and prejudice and thus is not rational.

No, but for a ban to be workable it has to have the rules spelled out.  The archive hologram was clearly allowed.  Rios's "suite" of Emergency _____ Holograms might not have been entirely above-board, but wherever the line is isn't clear yet.  I suspect holographic smart assistants are fine, but anything that can develop sapience might not be.  I really want to know what happened to Voyager's EMH and his dilithium-mining bretheren.  It's hard to square any of them with the synth ban, so I suspect they've all been deactivated or have fled.

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Hugh's statement that only one group of Romulans was ever assimilated (as far as he knows) is implausible, given that the first hint of the Borg's existence was the mysterious destruction of Romulan colonies along "The Neutral Zone" in the episode of that title.

As a drone, he may simply not have been privy to the full knowledge of who's been assimilated.  There was at least one Romulan member of the Cooperative in Voyager's "Unity," but he might've been assimilated after Hugh was disconnected.  Hugh did recognize Picard as Locutus, but perhaps that information was relevant to his tasks while he was a member of the collective.  Although, if it's true that Romulans are especially difficult to assimilate, It does add some fuel to the "Romulans are Vulcan Cylons" theory.  At the very least, it's obvious that the Romulan scout ship was a trojan horse and they were delivering a payload to that cube to knock it offline.

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Meanwhile, Romulan spy Peyton List got from Earth to the Artifact remarkably quickly, since this episode picked up right after the last one and seemed to cover not much more than a single day. Well, it's 20 years after NEM, so it's logical that they have faster ships. In the novels, Starfleet starts using quantum slipstream drive c. 2380.

As Zhat Vash she's got access to the best-of-the-best rapid transit available to the former Star Empire, and she also had enough time to get ear surgery between the past couple episodes.  Maybe a little more time has passed than apparent.

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I laughed out loud at seeing Star Trek finally use Vasquez Rocks to represent the actual Vasquez Rocks. :lol: But it was odd hearing Raffi gripe about Picard's elegant estate vs. her hovel. There's no economic or class inequality on 24th-century Earth, after all. I suppose the reason she lives that way is because she's an outcast due to her revoked security clearance and whatnot, but still, it seems to me the only reason someone would live like that on 24th-century Earth is because she chooses to.

The Vazquez Rocks bit was fun.  I'm wondering though if Raffi's really talking about wealth inequality, or she imposed her living situation on herself and the comparison she made was borne more out of self-loathing.  I can't imagine she got fired and told she has to go live in a trailer in the desert.  I think she made a choice and she's just unhappy about everything.

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Could it be any more obvious that Dr. Jurati is working for Commodore Oh? She's just too perfect. "Oops, I accidentally killed an assassin, sorry, I'm so innocent and doe-eyed, please trust me completely as a member of your secret mission." I hope it turns out that Picard isn't falling for it and is pulling a "Keep your enemies closer" thing.

They cut away from their conversation, which is a pretty big giveaway.  That could just be misdirection and she' really as golly-gee-nice as she seems, but I agree that if it's something sinister, I hope they don't set up Picard to be totally oblivious to it.

Edited by Nick, 06 February 2020 - 10:53 AM.


#4 Christopher

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 10:17 AM

View PostNick, on 06 February 2020 - 10:01 AM, said:

The archive hologram was clearly allowed.  Rios's "suite" of Emergency _____ Holograms might not have been entirely above-board, but wherever the line is isn't clear yet.  I suspect holographic smart assistants are fine, but anything that can develop sapience might not be.

But there's no reason that would lead to a ban on androids but not holograms. If anything, the 24th-century shows demonstrated that it's far easier for holograms to become sapient than Soong-type androids -- see Moriarty, the Countess, the EMH, possibly Vic Fontaine (though he might just be a very sophisticated interactive emulation), etc.

Also, there's no reason the body should matter where the mind is concerned. There's no reason you couldn't install the EMH's consciousness inside a synth body, say. He got uploaded into Seven of Nine once, after all. Sapience is software, not hardware, so logically a ban on AI sapience should apply equally whether that sapience runs on a synth's positronic brain, a holomatrix, a starship computer core, or anything else.



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Hugh's statement that only one group of Romulans was ever assimilated (as far as he knows) is implausible, given that the first hint of the Borg's existence was the mysterious destruction of Romulan colonies along "The Neutral Zone" in the episode of that title.

As a drone, he may simply not have been privy to the full knowledge of who's been assimilated.

He's clearly been working with the Romulans and interacting with Federation members for quite some time, probably years. Surely the history of the Federation's contact with the Borg is well-known by this point. It's hard to believe he hasn't learned it.


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As Zhat Vash she's got access to the best-of-the-best rapid transit available to the former Star Empire


Except she was embedded on Earth as a Starfleet officer. One would assume she used Starfleet or Federation transport to get at least as far as the border.


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I'm wondering though if Raffi's really talking about wealth inequality, or she imposed her living situation on herself and the comparison she made was borne more out of self-loathing.  I can't imagine she got fired and told she has to go live in a trailer in the desert.  I think she made a choice and she's just unhappy about everything.

Yes, that was pretty much what I was suggesting.


Anyway, we need to talk about the Federation's disregard for the concept of public lands and national parks. We've seen a ton of Starfleet facilities or San Francisco residential areas built on the Marin Headlands, which are part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Starfleet HQ and Academy are built on the grounds of the Presidio, a historic site that's also part of the GGNRA. And Vasquez Rocks is a park and a registered historic site. These are not places where people should be building homes or military facilities or whatever.
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#5 Cardie

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 01:29 PM

On her first visit to Narek, Peyton List was a hologram. What visual cues were there that her Romulan version was there in the flesh? My eyesight is poor these days, so I suppose I just missed it.

I was completely taken in by Jurati, probably because Alison Pill always plays these sorts of ditzes. I would guess she isn't working with Oh but is a double agent Mattox acolyte needing to get to him to warn him about what's up.
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#6 Christopher

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 03:11 PM

View PostCardie, on 06 February 2020 - 01:29 PM, said:

On her first visit to Narek, Peyton List was a hologram. What visual cues were there that her Romulan version was there in the flesh?

Not visual, but Narissa said she could smell Soji's scent on Narek, and I think he had a line about being glad she was back. Plus the two were practically making out right there in the corridor, despite being brother and sister. (They really are going all out with the TV-MA. F-bombs, graphic violence, drug use and smoking, and now implied incest.)

Plus it's standard TV/movie technique that if a character is meant to be a hologram, there will inevitably some kind of glitch, translucency, etc. in the image to establish that fact, or they will fade in at the start or fade out at the end. None of that happened here.
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#7 Nick

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 04:54 PM

View PostCardie, on 06 February 2020 - 01:29 PM, said:

I was completely taken in by Jurati, probably because Alison Pill always plays these sorts of ditzes. I would guess she isn't working with Oh but is a double agent Mattox acolyte needing to get to him to warn him about what's up.

If I recall correctly, she grabbed his arm--which isn't the greatest cue since Star Trek has loads of hard light holograms, but following it up w/ the smell comment built on that without outright stating she was physically present.

#8 RJDiogenes

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 06:16 PM

"Pro tip?"  :lol:

Well, after a strong start, Picard has given us a second week of decline. Hopefully now that the three-part pilot is over (if this was true), we'll start to see some more interesting developments and course corrections.  This initial quest for Freecloud seems a little intriguing, anyway.

But our two new supporting characters are a little painful. Somebody needs to remind the creators that they are writing in the Star Trek universe. How can somebody in the 24th century, a former Starfleet officer, end up living in a trailer, drinking and vaping and snarking Millennial slang? And complaining about Picard's nice house.  Are we going to be subjected to Picard accused of being a one-percenter?  :lol:  Unless this turns out to be some form of extended self abuse-- it was implied that Starfleet discharged Raffi for being Picard's XO, but I'll bet she was offered the Enterprise and also resigned.  At least that would salvage this scenario somewhat.

And then we have Han Solo Junior.  Once again, in an allegedly moneyless society, we have someone who will do anything for the right paycheck. Perhaps a little more justifiable in his case, since he probably operates on the fringes of space society where you still need to pay your way, but seriously-- a cigar-smoking rogue?  Can't Trek do better than that?   I did get a kick out of his multiple emergency holograms, though. I wonder if his Emergency Intercourse Hologram also looks just like himself.

So, if we keep in mind that the cyberneticist also has a grudge against Starfleet or the Federation, this is apparently going to be the League of Disgruntled Employees.  I didn't really want to see Starfleet and the Federation portrayed as the bad guys in this series, but I found that the scenario does really speak to me, since I've been watching the younger generations abandon the liberalism of my youth for at least the past quarter century, but I really hope that we get to see some Star Trek again real soon.

It certainly wasn't all painful and inappropriate cliches, though. I'm not sure if the contemporary trope of preluding the main story with a backstory-filling flashback is something I want in a Trek series, but my favorite part of the episode was definitely the glimpse back to Picard's last day in Starfleet.  They did a nice job of suggesting, in just a couple of minutes screentime, that he and Raffi had an easy camaraderie and close relationship similar to he and Riker.  Her use of the nickname "JL" also gave it a unique touch that made her different than his other close companions like Beverly and Riker (though I was disappointed not to hear him call her Number One). Those few moments were so sweet that I immediately wanted to see this current series replaced with one about Picard and Raffi on Enterprise with a new crew.

The uniforms were also notable. They were a nice evolution of the later uniforms from DS9 and Voyager and had a proper Trek feel to them. I do prefer the more colorful uniforms over the primarily black jumpsuits, but at least those horrible gray pleated things from the horribly gray movies were nowhere to be seen.

And I continue to love the Romulan caretakers. I envision one of two futures for them:  Either they turn out to be moles of the Jack Flash or they will catch up with Picard out there in the universe just in time to save his ass.

But now I'm leaning more toward the cyberneticist being our token mole character, despite her being the most interesting of Picard's rag-tag, off-the-grid crew. I think she was speakng the truth when she said that she didn't tell Commodore Oh that she was going with Picard-- because I'm pretty sure that Commodore Oh ordered her to go with Picard.  I'm not happy with the idea of high-ranking foreign agents in Starfleet, but, oddly enough, I do hope we see a lot more of Commodore Oh.

And it looks like Picard's new canine Number One won't be going with him on his latest space adventure.  This is a shame, because I was hoping for a scene where, confronted with an enemy Romulan or something, Picard points and shouts, "Number One, engage!" and the formerly laid-back puppy goes for the throat.  :lol:

Ah, well, on to Freecloud and Maddox.  Hopefully they will do better.
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#9 Christopher

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 06:33 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 09 February 2020 - 06:16 PM, said:

How can somebody in the 24th century, a former Starfleet officer, end up living in a trailer, drinking and vaping and snarking Millennial slang? And complaining about Picard's nice house.  Are we going to be subjected to Picard accused of being a one-percenter?  :lol:  Unless this turns out to be some form of extended self abuse-- it was implied that Starfleet discharged Raffi for being Picard's XO, but I'll bet she was offered the Enterprise and also resigned.  At least that would salvage this scenario somewhat.

According to the series backstory told in various places (a "museum exhibit" at last year's San Diego Comic-Con, the comics miniseries Picard: Countdown, and the just-released prequel novel The Last Best Hope), Raffi was Picard's XO on the Verity, the ship he left the Enterprise to command in 2381, when he was promoted to admiral to lead the fleet being assembled to evacuate the Romulans. Apparently they had 6 years' warning before the supernova, which is actually pretty plausible.

I agree with a comment I read somewhere, that it's nice to see this show remembering that the Enterprise is not Picard's entire career. We've seen his old doctor from the Stargazer and now his XO from the Verity -- his commands before and after the two Enterprises. It's pretty ridiculous the way Trek tends to assume that officers stay together on the same ship for decades on end, and while that's already a firmly established conceit in Picard's life (the Stargazer for 22 years and ships named Enterprise for 17 years), at least they aren't compounding it still further.

As for the economics, even in a society where money is no longer needed, there will probably still be an economics of prestige and reputation. Everybody’s guaranteed the food, medicine, housing, etc. they need to live comfortably, but how willing people are to give you optional stuff beyond that, or to cooperate with you in an ongoing joint undertaking like running a vineyard or operating a spaceship, could be a function of your reputation and social standing. Picard’s reputation is great enough to survive the setbacks he suffered after the Mars attack, but Musiker’s was not, and she ended up trashing it still further through her behavior. So in the reputation economy, she’s much “poorer” than he is.



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And then we have Han Solo Junior.  Once again, in an allegedly moneyless society, we have someone who will do anything for the right paycheck. Perhaps a little more justifiable in his case, since he probably operates on the fringes of space society where you still need to pay your way, but seriously-- a cigar-smoking rogue?  Can't Trek do better than that?


The comparisons of Cristobal Rios to Han Solo fall down when you consider what Picard observed about him being Starfleet to the core and taking meticulous care of his ship. The “roguish space pirate” thing is just an affectation to cover up his true idealism. I think that’s why his emergency holograms look like him — they’re basically his conscience made literal. He lets them say what he really thinks and feels so he can pretend he’s at odds with it. I suspect he broke with Starfleet for the same reason Picard did, because Starfleet lost its way.

And though the Federation is moneyless, we know that neighboring societies like the Ferengi and others still engage in capitalism and commerce, and there are presumably humans who operate beyond the UFP as traders, much as Cyrano Jones did in his day. I assume Rios is such an individual.


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I'm not happy with the idea of high-ranking foreign agents in Starfleet, but, oddly enough, I do hope we see a lot more of Commodore Oh.

I agree, but mainly because she's Tamlyn Tomita.
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#10 Orpheus

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 06:09 AM

View PostChristopher, on 06 February 2020 - 08:22 AM, said:

Clearly the ban on "synths" has not affected emergency holograms. Seems an odd double standard; they're both AIs, and Trek holograms can be just as solid and thus just as physically dangerous as androids -- even more so, since they can become intangible at will (cf. the Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp for why that's an advantage). But of course, the ban was enacted out of fear and prejudice and thus is not rational.

I don't know where the Federation line is, but we were told in the first 5 min that Dahj had been hired as a Daystrom Institute Fellow in Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Consciousness.

That sounds like exactly the title of someone hired to work in Bruce Maddox's (now Agnes Jurati's) Lab at Daystrom. "A ghost town" per Picard -- so I don't imagine there were many other similar labs at Daystrom. As such, she'd probably been hired --at least vetted-- by Agnes Jurati herself.

Thank you, Christopher. This really fits with my Episode 2 Overthinkers Anonymous Notes.

Agnes' skilled forensic sleuthing seemed suspicious to me in Ep.2. She also remarks wistfully that she regrets never meeting the wondrous synth Dahj. Now it seems that she had surely seen Dahj's resumé long before, and likely approved/recommended her for hiring to her own lab. She knew she'd meet Dahj in the next day or so.

I only lightly skimmed Episode 3 when it came out (vs. really watching it), and nothing good comes of Overthinking television shows, but dayyum, Christopher, if you stick something like that in my pipe, I've GOT to smoke it. This makes the attack in Dahj's apartment look like a rush job on a logical schedule.

Is there some reason Dahj shouldn't meet Agnes or learn more about her lab?

I've already questioned if Dahj was dead after the Romulan disruptor overload. In ST:DS9 "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges", involving EXACTLY this kind of covert shenanigans (referenced in my OS ep.2 notes), a Section 31 operative identifying hinself as Luther Sloan is apparently killed by a disruptor, but the plan [per Admiral Ross] was to beam him out a fraction of a second before he was disrupted. Adm Ross himself claims he didn't know if it worked, because he claims he was only a temporary ally to Section 31, no a part of it.

By the 24rd century, Section 31 considers itself a "rogue organization' that claims it "operates independently of both the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet, performing actions most Federation citizens would abhor and otherwise consider morally questionable", though its authorization --and resources-- derive directly from Starfleet's originating Charter (Article 14, Section 31 of which allowed for extraordinary measures to be taken in times of extreme threat).

Am I crazy? Sheesh, after 20+years, it's insulting that you even ask. Of course I am. But ST:Picard is starting to gel for me, if only in the context of my own Misspent Youth.. Thoughts?

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Hugh's statement that only one group of Romulans was ever assimilated (as far as he knows) is implausible, given that the first hint of the Borg's existence was the mysterious destruction of Romulan colonies along "The Neutral Zone" in the episode of that title.

I agree, but IIRC his remark could also be heard as "the only known EXISTING assimilated Romulans". Others may be presumed dead after their cubes collapsed.

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Meanwhile, Romulan spy Peyton List got from Earth to the Artifact remarkably quickly, since this episode picked up right after the last one and seemed to cover not much more than a single day. Well, it's 20 years after NEM, so it's logical that they have faster ships. In the novels, Starfleet starts using quantum slipstream drive c. 2380.

Just to clarify (I had to look it up, in steps, because I'm dumb), the ACTRESS Payton List plays the [Romulan] character Starfleet Lt Rizzo.

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I laughed out loud at seeing Star Trek finally use Vasquez Rocks to represent the actual Vasquez Rocks. :lol:

That WAS pretty wackadoodle. Once you explore (the area around) the Vasquez Rocks, you can't help but see it (and homages) everywhere in ST:TOS/TNG

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But it was odd hearing Raffi gripe about Picard's elegant estate vs. her hovel.
You're right -- but social issues of psychology, choice, status, opportunity are far more complex than I care to address. I'll accept that she could likely have made other choices.

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Could it be any more obvious that Dr. Jurati is working for Commodore Oh? She's just too perfect. "Oops, I accidentally killed an assassin, sorry, I'm so innocent and doe-eyed, please trust me completely as a member of your secret mission." I hope it turns out that Picard isn't falling for it and is pulling a "Keep your enemies closer" thing.

I'll grant that she's significantly not what she appears. Not sure that I'll concede her as "working for" Commodore Oh, even if Oh might believe/hope she is.

I'll address the rest of this thread later. It's freaking 6am. I have things to do, people to see -- or people to do, things to be. Sumpin lke that.

#11 Christopher

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 08:40 AM

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I agree, but IIRC his remark could also be heard as "the only known EXISTING assimilated Romulans". Others may be presumed dead after their cubes collapsed.

I think the collapse only happened to this one cube, not the whole Collective. They were saying that the Borg abandoned it, not that they all suffered its fate.
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#12 Orpheus

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 04:22 PM

I was only suggesting that those specific cubes that had assimilated Romulans may have died.

As I said elsewhere, I didn't watch ST:VOY, so I don't know what happened to the Borg. It was my understanding that several Cubes had variously been infected, detached, submatrix-collapsed, defected, etc. since ST:TNG. I must confess that since it appeared that tne Borg were no longer considered a threat to the Federation et alia. I assumed the Borg were were effectively dead or gone. In hindsight, this is clearly not the case, per the concerns of that Long-Named-South-Asian-Scientist. (Sorry, I'm not going to even try to remember/guess/spell her name)

Edited by Orpheus, 10 February 2020 - 06:24 PM.
changed/emphasized "died" (vs "collapsed" in first sentence


#13 Christopher

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 04:41 PM

View PostOrpheus, on 10 February 2020 - 04:22 PM, said:

I was only suggesting that those specific cubes that had assimilated Romulans may have collapsed.

We have seen at least two Borg drones of Romulan origin in Voyager, the liberated drone Orum in "Unity" and a personality briefly manifesting in Seven of Nine in "Infinite Regress." There's no reason to think it's a species trait; more likely that specific ship was carrying some sort of Zhat Vash Trojan horse.



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As I said elsewhere, I didn't watch ST:VOY, so I don't know what happened to the Borg. It was my understanding that several Cubes had variously been infected, detached, submatrix-collapsed, defected, etc. since ST:TNG.

A handful here and there, yes, out of a vast number.


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I must confess that since it appeared that tne Borg were no longer considered a threat to the Federation et alia. I assumed the Borg were were effectively dead or gone.

The Borg are based on the opposite side of the galaxy. From their perspective, the Federation is a minor, remote power only deserving of occasional curious prodding, which is why they only made two assaults on the UFP seven years apart. It was of interest to them, perhaps a nuisance once it resisted assimilation twice and then once Voyager ended up in their territory and started inconveniencing them, but absorbing it was a low, long-term priority compared to concerns closer to home. And in "Endgame," the Borg's transwarp hub leading to the Alpha Quadrant was destroyed, so they'd have to get to us by slower means that might take many years. So they're not an imminent threat, but they're still a presence in the galaxy.


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In hindsight, this is clearly not the case, per the concerns of that Long-Named-South-Asian-Scientist. (Sorry, I'm not going to even try to remember/guess/spell her name)

I'm guessing you mean Naáshala Kunamadéstifee, who's actually a Trill.

Edited by Christopher, 10 February 2020 - 04:45 PM.

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#14 Orpheus

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 06:27 PM

Sorry, I should have said "died", not "collapsed" in the first sentence of my post. I've edited it to reflect that for future readers.

My intent was to indicate loss of Borg-Romulans by any means -- combat etc., as well as all the stuff I'm not qualified to speak on.

Y'all are going to make me watch Voyager, aren't you? Didja think I went 25 years without it by accident?

I should also have said Long-South-Asian-named scientist. That's not any better, if she's a Trill, but it better reflects my intent. I've been doing that poorly, of late. I have a great familiarity with South Asia, but many Dravidian cultures (and some others around the world) have names that make my ear-buffers overload.

#15 Orpheus

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 08:51 PM

View PostNick, on 06 February 2020 - 10:01 AM, said:

The archive hologram was clearly allowed.

Oooh. Nice catch. I can't ask for more proof of official approval than that!

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Hugh's statement that only one group of Romulans was ever assimilated (as far as he knows) is implausible, given that the first hint of the Borg's existence was the mysterious destruction of Romulan colonies along "The Neutral Zone" in the episode of that title.

As a drone, he may simply not have been privy to the full knowledge of who's been assimilated.  There was at least one Romulan member of the Cooperative in Voyager's "Unity," but he might've been assimilated after Hugh was disconnected.  Hugh did recognize Picard as Locutus, but perhaps that information was relevant to his tasks while he was a member of the collective.  Although, if it's true that Romulans are especially difficult to assimilate, It does add some fuel to the "Romulans are Vulcan Cylons" theory.  At the very least, it's obvious that the Romulan scout ship was a trojan horse and they were delivering a payload to that cube to knock it offline.

For ST:Picard's Romulans, everything is a secret, and even the secrets are heavily censored. Hugh had never seen Ramdha's file, nor did he expect that was even a possibility, though he headed the Bureau responsible for her. Even Soji, who had "read every available unclassifed file" about the Artifact AND Ramdha's dossier, hadn't known about the Shaenor, and hence, even the circumstances surrounding Ramdha's assimilation.

I don't know how workable a government based on such ubiquitous multilevel security would be, but it's what we're explicitly given. Hugh has never had anything close to the knowledge of Romulan assimilees that "we" would "reasonably" expect. THIS is the context in which Hugh said: "The only Romulans ever assimilated ...as far as I know."

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As Zhat Vash she's got access to the best-of-the-best rapid transit available to the former Star Empire, and she also had enough time to get ear surgery between the past couple episodes.  Maybe a little more time has passed than apparent.

This is something I fear. As an Overthinker, I need to know I have a reasonably fair presentation of what happened, but it would certainly be possible for uneventful days to pass unrecorded -- and [IMHO "bad"] mystery novels, even acclaimed ones, are famous for hiding key conversations or details until The Reveal. I hate that.

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I think she made a choice and she's just unhappy about everything.
Her subtext seems personal: "I needed a friend to help me pull out of my tailspin. You SHOULD have been that friend, after all we've been through. You seem to be doing okay."

View PostRJDiogenes, on 09 February 2020 - 06:16 PM, said:

I wonder if his Emergency Intercourse Hologram also looks just like himself.
Ah! That assumption might explain some otherwise anatomically impossible suggestions that have been directed at me over the years.

Christopher said:

RJDiogenes said:

I do hope we see a lot more of Commodore Oh.
I agree, but mainly because she's Tamlyn Tomita.

RJDiogenes has been a Tamlyn Tomita fan since at least the Babylon5 premiere, maybe all the way back to Karate Kid, Part II. Now Christopher declares himself. I'd say "there's enough of her for all", but she's tiny.

Lately, I've been noticing more and more actors I've seen essentially their entire adult life. I recently saw a post-StarWars:ANH interview with the late Carrie Fisher. She was 20 in that film (as Tamlyn was in Karate Kid II), and I was amazed how different she seemed, a serious young lady looking to build her career, as opposed to the Carrie Fisher of the 2000s, who'd been knocked around by life a bit and was jollier but less self-assured. I went through much the same in that time--I'm not terribly much younger than her.

Now her tale is ended, while I'm still wrangling plot bunnies in mine. Makes me worry about wrapping things up by Act V.

#16 Christopher

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 09:51 PM

View PostOrpheus, on 10 February 2020 - 08:51 PM, said:

For ST:Picard's Romulans, everything is a secret, and even the secrets are heavily censored. Hugh had never seen Ramdha's file, nor did he expect that was even a possibility, though he headed the Bureau responsible for her. Even Soji, who had "read every available unclassifed file" about the Artifact AND Ramdha's dossier, hadn't known about the Shaenor, and hence, even the circumstances surrounding Ramdha's assimilation.

I don't know how workable a government based on such ubiquitous multilevel security would be, but it's what we're explicitly given. Hugh has never had anything close to the knowledge of Romulan assimilees that "we" would "reasonably" expect. THIS is the context in which Hugh said: "The only Romulans ever assimilated ...as far as I know."

That presupposes that the Romulans would be his only source for such information. But the first confirmed evidence of Borg activity in the vicinity of Federation space was the mysterious destruction of Federation and Romulan border outposts in TNG: "The Neutral Zone," later determined in "Q Who" to be the work of the Borg. So the information is known to the Federation and is probably openly available in history texts and documentaries about the Federation's dealings with the Borg.

Not to mention that Seven of Nine was able to rattle off the details of just about any species the Borg had ever assimilated. The Borg are the diametric opposite of the Romulans -- it's impossible for them to keep secrets from each other, because they're all pieces of the same brain. What one drone knows, every drone should know. Those Romulan outposts were destroyed in 2364, years before Hugh's liberation from the Collective, so he should've been aware of those attacks as they happened, and of the presence of Romulan drones in the Collective afterward.


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As an Overthinker, I need to know I have a reasonably fair presentation of what happened, but it would certainly be possible for uneventful days to pass unrecorded

Normally that would be my first thought, but the episode made it clear that it picked up immediately after the last one ended and that only a day or so elapsed.



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RJDiogenes has been a Tamlyn Tomita fan since at least the Babylon5 premiere, maybe all the way back to Karate Kid, Part II.

I'm puzzled, because I have the impression that I was already aware of Tomita before B5, but she didn't do much before then that I could've seen her in. The only previous thing I could've seen her in was a Quantum Leap episode from the previous year, in which she played a character named Tamlyn. That's probably what it was, though it feels in my memory like I knew her from more than one thing. She must've left a strong impression.

I guess part of it is that I'd previously been familiar with "Tomita" as the name of a prominent composer of electronic music that I was aware of through my father, who worked at a radio station and was a proponent and fan of contemporary music. We had this really neat long-tailed kite with "Tomita" printed on it, which I guess was a promotional item my father got with an album of his or something.
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#17 Orpheus

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 10:42 PM

I wouldn't expect the Federation to know the details: which Romulans were assimilated vs. killed, missing, later located etc.

You're right, the Borg would know. I can't comment on 7 of 9's abilities, but as I understood, she retained different aspects of Borg capacity/nature than other "reclaimed" Borg (as the kids call them nowadays) e.g. she used some sort of sleep chamber(?) that I don't recalled mentioned for any others. It might depend on exactly which modifications were installed (we saw parts being removed or replaced by other in TNG) and which were retained after reclamation. Maybe Hugh, in his current state, doesn't "know" everything he once did. Just a theory.

I'm hoping your right about the continuity of events overall, and I agree in this instance. I just have to be a little paranoid about "what I really know". I'm often mistaken.

I, too, found Tamita Tamlyn immediately familiar in the Babylon5 premiere, and I didn't follow Quantum Leap. It's possible that Karate Kid II left more impact than I would imagine. As a child, I noticed how movies used many tricks to "make us fall in love" with romantic leads. I observed, and often said, that many of my female friends were objectively as/more objectively attractive vs. similar starlets [I think this frequently stated belief is why they deigned to hang out with me]. Even now, I strongly believe this, both in hindsight, and in routine observation of young people in public from the objectivity of age.. I've also often had the experience of re-watching a film years later and either failing to "fall in love" the second time, or "falling in love" where I hadn't before.

#18 Christopher

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 09:29 AM

View PostOrpheus, on 10 February 2020 - 10:42 PM, said:

I wouldn't expect the Federation to know the details: which Romulans were assimilated vs. killed, missing, later located etc.

They know from the events of "The Neutral Zone" that entire Romulan outposts were scooped up from their planets. You don't have to know the fates of specific individuals, it was entire populations that were taken.*  And Voyager's crew personally encountered at least one assimilated Romulan, two if you count the one in Seven's memories. So yes, they knew for a fact that more than zero Romulans had been assimilated prior to the Shaenor.


*Which was always a problematical notion, since as large as Borg cubes were, a single one was way too small to "eat" entire cities or assimilate all tech on an entire planet. But then, the Doomsday Machine was only a mile long and was supposed to be able to eat whole planets, so there are worse scale problems in Trek.
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#19 FarscapeOne

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 12:09 PM

I don't see the scale problem with a single cube being able to assimilate a whole planet.

Think of the Borg as a disease, which in a lot respects they are.  Each person and ship and place they assimilate, goes out and assimilates even more.

It's also like word of mouth.  One person telling 10 others something, then each of them 10 more and so on, until thousands are told.

A single cube might take longer than multiple ones, but it will get the job done eventually.

(Plus, I like the theory that the Borg do allow some pieces of civilizations to survive just so they keep developing new technology, only to assimilate, much later, that knowledge and tech.  It certainly explains why some worlds seem to get constantly attacked by the Borg, like Icheb's people in "CHILD'S PLAY".)

Edited by FarscapeOne, 11 February 2020 - 12:10 PM.


#20 RJDiogenes

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 06:51 PM

View PostOrpheus, on 10 February 2020 - 08:51 PM, said:

RJDiogenes has been a Tamlyn Tomita fan since at least the Babylon5 premiere, maybe all the way back to Karate Kid, Part II.  
Definitely B5. I never saw the Karate Kid movies.
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