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» Flare Sci-Fi Forums » Star Trek » New Trek » SNW 1x10 "A Quality of Mercy" ($$$) (Page 1)

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Author Topic: SNW 1x10 "A Quality of Mercy" ($$$)
Krenim
Unholy Triangle Fella
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Damn. Now this is how you do a "what if" episode.

While upgrading the outposts along the Romulan Neutral Zone, Pike meets a kid who is fated to die in the accident. As a result, Pike begins dictating letters to try to warn everyone involved about the accident. However, he is interrupted by his future self, who has been sent back by the monks at Boreth to get history back on track.

Future Pike has brought a time crystal *grumble* to show his past self how history will unfold should the accident NOT come to pass. And this brings me to my only real problem with this episode... How does Pike surviving result in him being captain of the Enterprise? Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the accident happen after Kirk takes command?

Anyways, what unfolds is an alternate version of the events of "Balance of Terror", where Pike is in command instead of Kirk (although Kirk plays a big part in the episode as captain of the Farragut). In many cases, the dialogue is line-for-line lifted from "Balance of Terror". To sum things up, Pike handles the situation differently, which leads to all-out war between the Federation and the Romulans; a war that is still ongoing in Future Pike's present. Also, Spock is either gravely wounded or killed in the attack, which means he will be unable to set Vulcan-Romulan reunification in motion.

Pike decides not to send the letters, which sets history back on track. However, we end on a cliffhanger as Pike's girlfriend shows up to arrest Number One for violating Starfleet's ban on the genetically engineered.

Lots of new uniform variants in this episode, mostly call-forwards:
  • Future Pike is wearing a TOS movie uniform, or at least SNW's version of it. Looks pretty close to the original, except that it seems to have the same sort of detailing on the shoulders/arms that the SNW uniforms have.
  • A few folks, Uhura included, are wearing a variant of the skirt uniform with a neckline way closer to the TOS version.
  • Chapel seems to be wearing a blue version of her usual white jumpsuit.
  • Holy f*** I love the updated Romulan uniforms (Well, except for the Praetor's outfit. Didn't care for that). I need those to be available in Star Trek Online.

Scotty is heard but not seen in the alternate future. I don't know if they recycled old dialogue or got a sound-alike.

No, we don't get a name for the Romulan Commander. Also, no, he's not played by James Frain. Also, the character of the Romulan Centurion seems to be conspicuously missing.

A great episode to end Season 1 on, I think. Bring on Season 2!

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"Kirito? I killed a thing and now it says I have XPs! Is that bad? Am I dying?"

-Asuna, Episode 2, Sword Art Online Abridged

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Malnurtured Snay
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quote:
And this brings me to my only real problem with this episode... How does Pike surviving result in him being captain of the Enterprise? Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the accident happen after Kirk takes command?
Yes, but remember: Future Spock is theorizing about how things may have unfolded differently in the original timeline. Because the timeline would have split when Pike sent the letters (presumably) he made other choices which resulted in him retaining command of the Enterprise.

Spock theorizes that in the real future, Pike would've been serving as captain of the Enterprise when the radiation incident occurred, thus requiring a change in command.

Of course, we know that Pike had accepted promotion, and left the Enterprise, prior to the accident.

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Malnurtured Snay
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(Also: Cadet Uhura is still on the Enterprise!)

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Shik
There's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait
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Disappointing as hell. Like, TATV level of crap.

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"I never agreed with Jefferson once—we have fought on like seventy-five different fronts. But when all is said & all is done...Jefferson HAS beliefs; Burr has none."

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Lee
I'm a spy now. Spies are cool.
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So did we just see a TOS Miranda? They seem to be retconning the Farragut away from being a Constitution (which was to all intents and purposes always a noncanon assumption to begin with) which means there’d be one less Connie with a lower registry than the class ship to deal with!

And yes I’m not ruling out that being exactly why they did it… it’d be the Morbius Doctors and the fucking Timeless Child all over again, throwing everything and the kitchen sink into fixing a minor niggle nobody really cares about!

Bit annoyed that the season cliffhanger is literally the same one they just used for LDS. I mean come on.

And what’s Starfleet’s thinking here? The executive officer of a starship needs to be arrested. Why not ask her captain to do it? If the reason for arrest is valid, he’ll have to comply. Unless they think he is complicit, in which case why not arrest him as an accomplice? What do they think a senior and respected officer is going to do? Go rogue? It’s a bit ridiculous…

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Dukhat
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Besides being a saucer with two underslung nacelles, I’m not sure their intent was to create a TOS Miranda per se. but I still like it nonetheless. It’s not one of those overly-designed John Eaves starships from season 1 of DSC, or worse, those Section 31 ships that look straight out of the Kelvinverse. It’s plain and simple, like the FJ designs. It’s literally the first ship that looks like it comes from the TOS time period.

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"A film made in 2008 isn't going to look like a TV series from 1966 if it wants to make any money. As long as the characters act the same way, and the spirit of the story remains the same then it's "real" Star Trek. Everything else is window dressing." -StCoop

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Spike
Pathetic Vampire
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quote:
Future Pike is wearing a TOS movie uniform, or at least SNW's version of it. Looks pretty close to the original
I strongly disagree. The flap angle was changed, so we get this ridiculously long shoulder strap. The gold piping was omited and the black piping starts at the shoulder. It's an alternate timeline so I'm ok with changes, but these particular changes are rather unfavourable. It looks like a rushed job; something you'd expect from a cheap Chinese cosplay shop.
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Malnurtured Snay
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I liked seeing a version of the Maroon Monster, but the way they did the shoulders and the arms looked awful.

quote:
And what’s Starfleet’s thinking here? The executive officer of a starship needs to be arrested. Why not ask her captain to do it? If the reason for arrest is valid, he’ll have to comply. Unless they think he is complicit, in which case why not arrest him as an accomplice? What do they think a senior and respected officer is going to do? Go rogue? It’s a bit ridiculous…
Presumably Starfleet and the Federation have some sort of provision about "innocent until proven guilty." Starfleet would, I think, want to ensure that if Number One was cleared to return to duty, that she'd likely want her old post back, and at a minimum, especially since they had another officer in the area, why put Pike in a pickle?

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Spike
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Ok, I don't dig Paul Wesley as Kirk at all. When he introduced himself it felt like a parody and later on his performance was rather wooden.

The musical cues were also sometimes too over the top, adding to the parody-feeling.

Ortegas was downright annoying with her borderline insubordination and animosity towards Spock.

Yeah right, the Romulans aren't gonna notice within a second that these Deltas are not combat vessels?

quote:
but doesn't the accident happen after Kirk takes command?
Umm, they've retconned so many things by now I wouldn't put it past them.

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"Never give up. And never, under any circumstances, no matter what - never face the facts." - Ruth Gordon

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Lee
I'm a spy now. Spies are cool.
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The whole backstory to the Neutral Zone is so nonsensical it’s almost best not to think about it. A war between two low-warp civilisations using nuclear weapons (actually pretty useless in space) and they never saw each other face to face? And then ENT muddies things further - the Romulans know full well what humans look like and who the Vulcans are, they have advanced highish-warp ships that can be remotely controlled (some fillip towards nobody ever having seen a Romulan) - and if the novels are to be believed, the Romulans’ nature was actually known to select parts of Starfleet who suppressed it so as not to really turn humanity off the Vulcans, or something? And then flash forward to “Balance of Terror” and the Warbird is a piece of shit compared to the Enterprise…

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Shik
There's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait
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So I been thinking about this, because as I said before this episode felt like a TATV-level fuckup. Thank fuck this is an AU (no matter what production says; they've made too many changes for it not to be) so Farragut is still properly a Constitution as she should be, & this crappy Kirk who looks & sounds like the lovechild of Chekov & Phil Dunphy from "Modern Family" can fuck off (yes, I know he's going to be around in S2). Mostly, the whole need to reuse & reimagine a TOS episode was lazy & not in the least bit appealing.

...BUT.

But.

If we stick with the idea that they needed/wanted to showcase a TOS ep, then they chose the wrong one. Two decades of war with the Romulans because of a fucked-up "Balance Of Terror" is boring & trite & cliché. Consider this: Instead, it starts as the actual SNW episode, but when Pike touches the crystal, he's taken to "Space Seed"; this would've tied in better with existing characters & the final reveal.

So, Enterprise finds Botany Bay as before. The passengers are brought over. La'an is brought to sickbay to discuss security questions; it's her who identifies Khan on sight, & he awakens to confirm her statement. We've now set up the genetic engineering elements. While Khan is confined to the brig & his group are still frozen in a cargo bay, Pike has to grapple with this infamous villain now being on his ship. La'an is stuck in the middle, with Pike & company (especially M'Benga & Una) watching her for being compromised while Khan—now aware of who & what her heritage is, & being both disappointed & disgusted not only by her squandering it, but the Federation's prudishness on genetic enhancement—works heavily to bring her into the fold. Learning of the Illyrians & Una's background, he praises her people for embracing the good of what it could be. Una accepts her remarks for what they are, truth wrapped around seed of lies.

Eventually, shit goes down & La'an is compromised but not willingly; it's either accidental or coerced. Things happen as before, when Khan frees his people with help & they try to take over. They're stopped, recaptured, & now Pike has to figure ouy what to do. Spock brings up the possibility of exile during the meeting; he also mentions La'an's assistance & whether or not it really was unintentional. Along the way, he mentions some discrepancies in the stories.

Cut to Pike entering the brig with Spock, La'an, Una, & some guards. Pike presents the choices: they can be held in custody pending trial for both Federation crimes committed aboard Enterprise & war crimes still pending on Earth; they can be placed back into their sleeper pods indefinitely, with final disposition pending decision at higher levels of UFP government, or they can be marooned on a far-distant world with no chance for escape & only the barest minimum of survival tools. Of course, as before, Khan chooses the last option. Pike agrees & says he'll crop them on Ceti Alpha V with enough to sustain [X] number of people for 6 months. Khan says that his group only numbers [Y]; Pike says, "I know. One other will be going with you."

He turns to La'an, says he's reviewed her actions & found them wanting, & because of that he's decided to drop her there as well a la Marla McGivers. She of course protests, begs, even curses Pike but he does not relent. His decision is final: she goes, to be with her ancestor & those like her.

Suddenly, one voice dissents: it's Una. She sighs & tells Pike & the rest that La'aan is innocent; it was she, Una, who aided Khan & his people using La'an's codes because it would be believable, but it would be TOO believable, thus seeding doubt in La'an's complicity. Pike said that he knew it was Una already, that Spock's small discrepancies led him to look harder & find the truth. The scene just acted out was for show, to lure Una out in to the open through guilt by playing on her affection & history with La'an. Pike asks her why; Una says something about connection to Illyria, about Khan's unabashedness in what he was & what he could do, about how while his past actions were horrendous, his philosophy still made a kind of sense to her. She apologizes to Pike, to La'an, to Spock; none of them look likely to accept or forgive. Una willingly takes the place in exile that La'an was supposed to go to. She leaves the ship with Khan & the rest.

Flash back to 2259. Pike talks with Future Pike about "that's it, Una betrays us?" & Future Pike says "not entirely." He says that La'an still suffered from association & her career stagnated, with shittier & shittier posts until she she finally disappeared; she's still listed as AWOL & no one's seen or heard from her in 10 years by his time. The worst was that somehow, Khan & his group got off Ceti Alpha V about 10 years after. They think a small scoutship made an emergency landing there & they took it over, because they all showed up a little afterward on Illyria, where they were first feted & honored...until they took over. All of them except Una, who also got the same fate as Marla McGivers on Ceti V. Anyway, Khan & his people took over, made use of the genetic modification apparatus, & in the 10-12 years since have been on a slow march through the galaxy, conquering through coercion, domination, & outright aggression. They've captured & annexed some 30% of the Federation, along with major chunks of Romulan, Klingon, Cardassian, Tholian, even Gorn space. The only good part of it is that it's forced all the opposing nations to work together to fight the Illyrian Khanate—shades of the Dominion War alliance. All of this, because of the letters & the choices that branched out from them.

After this, it ends as the actual episode did, with him not writing them & Una's arrest, which now has a deeper, greyer element to it.

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"I never agreed with Jefferson once—we have fought on like seventy-five different fronts. But when all is said & all is done...Jefferson HAS beliefs; Burr has none."

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Lee
I'm a spy now. Spies are cool.
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So we’re doing “this show sucks and my fanfic is better” now?

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Shik
There's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait
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I mean, my fanfic has always been better than post-2005 product. But no, this is "this episode could've been better; here's one possible way".

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"I never agreed with Jefferson once—we have fought on like seventy-five different fronts. But when all is said & all is done...Jefferson HAS beliefs; Burr has none."

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Guardian 2000
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quote:
Originally posted by Lee:
The whole backstory to the Neutral Zone is so nonsensical it’s almost best not to think about it. A war between two low-warp civilisations using nuclear weapons (actually pretty useless in space) and they never saw each other face to face?

Why would they? I grant that some of the sensor performance in ENT suggests that they ought to have at least detected some DNA at some point, but just as WW3 would not necessarily involve a lot of facetime, so too could a spacewar to the death. Ship-launched missiles as stand-ins for nuke-laden bombers or subs, maybe some warp-driven ICBM analogs, and along with Earth and her allies not being all invasive, and blammo, you have a war without much personal interaction.

The Dominion, by comparison, was a war for control. That means ground troops, diplomacy, and all that jazz.

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. . . ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.

G2k's ST v. SW Tech Assessment

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Guardian 2000
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Incidentally, even if we presume this Pike just decides not to reveal the critical detail that there could be "Vulcan" spies running amok, would this not imply that Spock and Pike must never mind-meld again, lest this pop up?

I mean, on the scale of galactic events, all Pike knew before was that he and a few cadets had a bad day. Now, however, he knows about much more incredible things.

Heck, at this point, it's almost as if he has the Klingon Timelords as his hostages. For all the talk of killing him, I don't think they can do that without altering the future they seem intent on protecting. I'd start writing a letter about the Romulan threat and see if a Pike as Commander, Starfleet showed up to feed me more.

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. . . ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.

G2k's ST v. SW Tech Assessment

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