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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the twenty-second episode of the second season of Enterprise, GOOD FUCKING GOD. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek

Trigger Warning: For extended talk of cissexism, slavery, suicide, and consent (specifically forced reproduction).

Throughout “Cogenitor,” we are shown (repeatedly, even!) that the Vissians are superior to the humans. They have better technology. They are scientifically advanced. They are happy. Everything about them is part of a portrayal of “perfection,” at least in the sense that this episode invokes a practical utopia as a means to create this contrast. We need to see the Vissians as “advanced” so that the tragedy of Charles hits just a little harder. We need to see Charles’s journey of discovery so that the end of this episode is as bleak as possible. This is all a set-up for that endgame.

And I’m stating that because I sat on this episode, on the sheer cruelty of that ending, and I realized that the writers of this show want me to believe in the wrong character. They want me to blame Tucker and his impulsive decisions, they want me to see this as some sort of precursor to the Prime Directive, they want me to place the blood on Tucker’s hand.

You know who killed Charles? Archer and the Vissians.

There is a value in exploring cultural contamination and the entitled behavior of cis straight white men who believe they know better than all others. In a sense, “Cogneitor” skirts around this theme, but actually never really commits to it, especially since the focus moves away from entitlement to the horror show that is that ending. It’s fair to analyze Tucker’s behavior through a critical lens! I wouldn’t suggest otherwise. But there are two key things this episode establishes and then completely ignores, which undermines the conclusion it comes to.

  1. The Vissians are wrong. Actually, plenty of people are wrong about a lot of things here, from the claim that humans are bi-gendered (we’re clearly not and haven’t been for a long, long time) to the confusing use of pronouns throughout (how can you have a character say that Charles is not a woman and yet consistently use “she/her” the whole time WHAT KIND OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE IS GOING ON THERE). But there’s one glaring mistake that the Vissians repeat over and over, and for an advanced society, it is utterly horrifying that they ignore it. They claim that the cogenitors in their society have no need or desire for anything other than eating, sleeping, and assisting during the mating process. (Which isn’t even explained, for the record!!! That seems like such a huge deal to ignore!!!) Yet Tucker’s scan prove otherwise. But let’s assume that the Vissians haven’t ever scanned a cogenitor, which… that’s suspect, but okay. Cogenitors can speak. THEY CAN COMMUNICATE. Charles has no problem conversing with Tucker, which outright confirms that they are not unintelligent objects. How? How can the Vissians truly believe that the cogenitors have no other purpose outside procreation when they had to interact with them enough for them to develop complex speech abilities in the first place? If Charles had been unable to talk, you might have been able to understand why the Vissians believed the cogenitors lacked desire or intelligence. That wouldn’t have justified their treatment of them, mind you, but it would have explain their reasoning better.
  2. Everyone knows they are wrong. If we assume the Vissians really didn’t know what the cogenitors were capable of, and if we assume that Tucker did a horrible, awful thing that is deserving of the scorn that’s heaped on him, there’s still a massive problem: Charles’s development over the course of “Cogenitor” proves that the Vissians have been wrong about these people and their gender. Like, 100% wrong! It’s not even ambiguous; this episode gives us confirmation of congenitor intelligence in explicit detail! There’s nothing to argue or dispute here! So when the Chief Engineer and Calla deny Charles the opportunity to do anything besides eat, sleep, and procreate, Charles begs for Tucker and Enterprise to save them. In that moment, this stopped being an issue of blame for Tucker. It stopped being his moral and ethical issue. And once Archer took it upon himself to hear Charles’s declaration for asylum, all responsibility landed solely on him. Only Archer was now responsible for Charles’s freedom or their suffering. Archer chose to send Charles back. It is highly suggested that Archer valued the relationship he fostered with Drennik (and the Vissians as a whole) so much that he was willing to doom Charles to a life of sadness and pain.

Thus, the final scene – in which Archer viciously criticizes Tucker and places all blame on him for Charles’s suicide – doesn’t feel like an uncomfortable exploration of the complicated ethics of this situation. To me, it felt like projection. It felt like that anger should have been directed inward. It felt like the writers had completely dodged the greater ethical conundrum by having Archer deny Charles’s request for freedom, and my god, it’s so cruel. This is not just one of the bleakest episodes in Trek‘s run; it is downright mean. Again, I don’t think Tucker should escape scot-free or that he shouldn’t be criticized for pursuing all this with Charles while openly lying to the Vissians. But why didn’t anyone criticize the Vissians for denying Charles something that certainly would have affected them less than Charles dying? Charles never once said that they didn’t ever want to help those people procreate; they just wanted to read. To listen to music. To climb a mountain. And those Vissians panicked because they’d been so use to the compulsory access to these people that all they could think of was themselves and literally no one else. They were so threatened by the mere idea of freedom for someone else – something they’ve had their entire lives – that they wanted to crush that hope in Charles.

They’re not criticized by anyone but Tucker. As impulsive and misguided as he may be as a character, he had enough empathy within him to point out the highly disgusting dynamic that had been unfolding here. In the end, only Tucker is criticized; the script offers no scorn to anyone else. You could assume that we were supposed to see the Vissians as antagonistic, but does anyone say that? No. It’s left to the imagination of the audience, and sometimes, that’s not good enough.

The video for “Cogenitor” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the ninth episode of the first season of Person of Interest, I can’t. I CAN’T. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Person of Interest.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of racism, specifically anti-blackness and Islamophobia, as well as domestic abuse.

Holy shit.

So, I gotta start this by saying that while I adore this episode, I find it suspect that it took this show nine episodes to give us a plot centered around one of the main characters, who also happens to be the only non-white regulars, who is also a black woman. Granted, this is not as an extreme case as it was with Astrid on Fringe. I also understand that the impact this episode has is partly due to the fact that Joss Carter wasn’t the focus prior to this, and once we get part of her backstory, EVERYTHING HURTS. Still, that’s not an exoneration, and I hope that this episode is the beginning of Carter’s greater inclusion into this narrative.

BECAUSE IT SURE AS HELL FEELS LIKE IT. With one episode, the writers set up the inevitable alliance between Carter and Reese/Finch. The entire point of this episode is that Carter has been trying to stop bad things from happening to good people her whole life. Reese and Finch are merely playing catch-up, and their advantage comes from the access to information that Carter doesn’t have. But once The Machine spits out Carter’s number and these men examine every threat in her life, they’re forced to acknowledge just how fiercely she cares. The possible threats are numerous and powerful, and it’s because people feel intimidated by her unrelenting dedication to doing what’s right. The NYPD hates her because she refuses to bow to their corrupt and archaic practices; Elias hates her because she’s too close to upsetting his empire. We’re introduced to Hector Alvarez, the man who murdered one of Carter’s witnesses and got away with it. We meet Mr. Kovach, who despises that Carter keeps interfering in his continued abuse of his wife. In each one of these cases, Carter risks her own life and her job to do what’s right.

She ruthlessly pursues Alvarez and INSULTS HIM TO HIS FACE IN HIS GARAGE. She does whatever she can to reach out to Mrs. Kovach so that she doesn’t feel like she’s alone; she goes after cases based on need rather than department politics; she even treats her informant with respect instead of making him feel like an object. Yet it’s the flashback here to her time in Afghanistan after 9/11 that paints the full picture for us. I absolutely believed that Yusef’s interrogator was going to be Reese, given that we know he was in the Middle East during that time. So yeah, I was quite shocked when Carter was revealed because it didn’t quite make sense to me. She’s a persistent cop and a dedicated person, but a torturer? Of course, I was assuming that Person of Interest was going to portray the same stereotypes I was used to on television. Hell, Anthony Azizi has been typecast before, so again, I assumed that’s what we were getting here.

Yeah, I did not expect this to happen. Azizi’s portrayal of Yusef works, along with the writing, to humanize his character, to present him as someone who got wrapped up in something awful out of fear that his family would be killed in retaliation. There is no cruelty from Carter; she treats him with respect while still being strict. She promises that if Yusef helps her, she will do her best to help him and his family. And it’s through this that the show demonstrates how Carter’s ability to empathize with others makes her a stronger cop. She got Yusef to give up the other vests because she relates to him. Which is why it’s so goddamn heartbreaking to find out that the soldiers who accompanied Yusef to the site of the hidden explosives “accidentally” killed him. It’s a vile scene, both because of the slur used and because it’s clear that Carter was the only person willing to care about the people whose country she was in.

It establishes her loneliness. In the military, she was the sole person willing to understand the other side. In the present time, she’s earned the ire of countless people, and she knows it. It doesn’t stop her. And even as Reese/Finch try to take out each possible threat to Carter’s life, we’re shown that Carter is able to make moral decisions with lightning speed, and it’s proof that this comes natural to her. When Hector tries to escape, she plants herself in front of his truck. When Mrs. Kovach calls her, she rushes to the woman’s aid without hesitation. And the whole reason she gets shot is because she makes a point to go find her CI in order to make an attempt to pay him what she promised!

This is a while ride, y’all, and I just can’t believe this show is able to sustain this sort of tension for as long as they did. I’m glad that we finally got an episode where Carter is in the majority of scenes. We know her first name! We met her son Taylor! (Who I know headcanon as gay, by the way, and that’s why he never told his mom about who he took to the dance.) And the truth is, she’s not alone. She has her son, and she’s got the commitment of Reese to watch over her. Look, y’all, I don’t think we should necessarily praise writers who took this long to give one of their main cast members more than like 10 minutes screentime in a single episode, but I’m impressed that the one person who the show deems as being the most ethical and most worthy of protection is Carter. SHE IS CANONICALLY THE PUREST, MOST PERFECT SOUL ON THE SHOW. It’s a pretty cool thing to experience. (Don’t fuck it up, Person of Interest, please.)

(PS: My soul can’t take this show ruining me back-to-back.)

The video for “Get Carter” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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Posted by feliciacraft

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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the twenty-first episode of the second season of Enterprise, the Denobulan government asks Enterprise to help rescue some geologists, while Dr. Phlox deals with a much more personal conflict. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek

Trigger Warning: For extended talk of claustrophobia, consent, racism, and genocide.

So, I’m splitting this up so I can best address these two plots, since they’re so utterly unlike one another.

The Descent

I thought “The Breach” was a decent episode, though it’s got such wildly different plots smashed into one script. It was a tad jarring at times, but both stories were entertaining. So, let’s start with the Denobulan “rescue,” which was less about any sort of character development or greater message than it was an experience. I am intentionally referencing The Descent because it was the first place my mind went as I watched this. Now, that horror film is massively better than this plot in a number of ways, and I cannot recommend it enough. It is INTENSE. It is surprising. It manages to combine genres in a method that truly shocked me. It’s also deeply upsetting, much like “The Breach” was.

Why? Well, part of that is personal. I can get claustrophobic in this specific context, and the first time I went on one of those cave tours (with handrails and a gift shop, much like Tucker described), it took a while to get past the sheer existential horror of realization that there was so much earth above me. Robert Duncan McNeil (!!!!!) does a fine job staging many of the climbing sequences so that we get the full scope of what these three men face. That shot of the ridiculously far cavern drop… YEAH, NO THANKS. HARD PASS FOREVER. Through the direction and cinematography, we can believe that a single mistake means certain death. The entire sequence where Reed falls is NOT OKAY. It’s made even worse when Travis clear fucks up his left leg in order to save the others.

And then the Denobulans REFUSE TO EVACUATE. It’s… well, “frustrating” isn’t the right word. It’s damn near illogical to know that these scientists didn’t seem to care that they’d be arrested or executed for staying in the cave system. Why? BECAUSE THEN THEY COULDN’T SHARE THE RESEARCH WITH ANYONE. If what you’re learning is so important to Denobulan society, then maybe you should guarantee that you can actually give it to someone else. Like??? Of course, then part of me thinks about how these scientists are just so immersed in the act of discovery and expanding their knowledge, and I’m like, “…that is exactly what all my science friends are like.” SO: RELATABLE CONTENT INDEED. They just wanted to learn more!!! It’s so unreasonable to ask them to think about their own well-being!!! AND THEY’RE NOT “JUST ROCKS,” TUCKER. Get it right!!!

Ethics

I know that I’m hyper-critical of Star Trek in general when it comes to their representations of oppressive frameworks and political movements and such. These sort of things matter to me a lot, and even though I can tell the writers for Trek often have good intentions, I also feel like they miss the mark far too much. The conflict that Phlox and Hudak experience here is better than I expected, yet still flawed.

My main issue with the writing for “The Breach” is… well, you’ve heard it before, sadly. I need specificity, and this episode starts to explain what the Denobulans did to the Antarans before veering away from it. It’s actually a bit infuriating because… shit, we need to know! We need to know what happened long ago between these two peoples so that it can inform us in the present. There’s a reference that Hudak makes about Denobulans knowing a lot about Antaran anatomy, and in general, it feels obvious that it was the Denobulans who oppressed/tormented the Antarans.

If that’s the case, then this conflict is more one-sided than we’re ultimately lead to believe. While I wouldn’t say that this script is outright giving us an example of a false equivalency, it damn sure gets close to it. Historically, the Antarans have a pretty good reason to distrust and dislike the Denobulans, who seemed to have committed genocide. Thus, most of the work done here should be on the side of those who used to be in power, right?

For the most part, we do see Dr. Phlox working through his prejudices, but Archer is SO AGGRAVATING. No, Hudak doesn’t need to set aside his preconceived notions; he appears to have every reason to believe a Denobulan would despise him. It’s Dr. Phlox’s job to build that trust, not the other way around. I got the sense that Phlox understood that, and thankfully, this episode avoids “solving” this conflict with a few pithy monologues. At the very least, all we get is a start. Phlox does the minimal work to distance himself from the “archaic” prejudices that he was raised in while admitting that he failed with one of his sons, who still despises Antarans. He also builds trust by doing Hudak right without exception and without conditions, which is also necessary. And perhaps this really will be the beginning of the end of the separation of these two cultures! That part I did appreciate, that this wasn’t resolved within a few minutes. There’s a ton of work to be done, you know?

So, not the greatest, but it was a decent effort.

The video for “The Breach” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– Please visit my new site for all announcements. If you’d rather not have to rely on checking a website regularly, sign up for my newsletter instead! This will cover all news for Mark Reads, Mark Watches, and my fiction releases. 

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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the eighth episode of the first season of Person of Interest, I cannot believe how much this episode fucked me up in just forty minutes. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Person of Interest.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of torture.

In just eight episodes, this show has found a sweet spot between episodic adventures and serialization. It should also stand as an incredible example of what this medium can do. I am astounded at what a complex and emotional arc is given to these characters who are introduced and then shuffled off-screen, ostensibly to never be seen again. THIS WAS SO EMOTIONAL AND IT ALL HAPPENED SO FAST.

Kohl

There are two angles to this story, though, and I’ll address the main one first. For the first half of “Foe,” there’s a sympathy offered to Ulrich Kohl, despite that he was part of one of the most vicious secret police organizations in the world. It’s not until the second half of this episode that Kohl’s full characterization is given to us, and that’s intentional. Much like the experience was for his wife, Anja, we don’t know the truth, and it’s easier to ignore it. Instead, it seems like Kohl’s fellow Stasi agents merely sold Kohl out to the Americans and Germans in order to secure a life for themselves. They were responsible for Kohl being locked up in a prison while being wiped from society. As far as any official record could state, he no longer existed. Even worse? Kohl’s associates got his wife killed. This was a case of revenge, plain and simple. These men skirted accountability and found success in New York City, all at the expense of Kohl, who suffered for nearly two decades.

So yeah, I didn’t exactly feel all that bad for the men who were being hunted down and killed by Kohl. They deserved it! And in that sense, you can have sympathy for Kohl without necessarily approving of who he is and what he did. But that’s because that detachment is easy until you know the truth. That “truth” is revealed in pieces until it comes rushing forth in one of the most shocking moments in the series thus far. (IT IS A LOT TO DEAL WITH AFTER “WITNESS,” OKAY.) Kohl’s wife never died. SHE FOUND OUT THAT MURDERED COUNTLESS PEOPLE AND WAS AN ASSASSIN AND DID AWFUL THINGS FOR THE STASI AND SHE FAKED HER OWN DEATH TO ESCAPE HIM.

“Foe” becomes an entirely different story from this point on, and I was breathless. Suddenly, Kohl had every reason to kill his wife for betraying him, too, but is that enough? Is Person of Interest content with this major twist? NOPE. GUESS WHO WAS PREGNANT WHEN SHE FAKED HER DEATH AND GUESS WHO GAVE HER DAUGHTER A LIFE FREE FROM THE ATROCITIES OF HER FATHER.

What is this show. WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHOW.

John Reese

Oh my god, y’all. Sometimes, in episodic fiction like this, you’ll often get main plots that are supposed to provide some sort of insight into the protagonist’s life or past. And sometimes, those stories are like… barely connected? Or seem really forced? But holy shit, THAT IS NOT THE CASE HERE. There is an unreal sequence in this episode where Reese surprises Kohl in Anja’s apartment that haunted me. After Kohl reverses who is in control and tries to torture Anja’s location out of Reese, Kohl realizes he is dealing with another spy. The writers brilliantly use this to address Reese’s undeniably fucked up past, and y’all. THEY DO NOT PULL ANY PUNCHES AT ALL. I mean, we knew he used to work for the CIA, and we knew that he had a traumatic, violent history, but the flashback in “Foe” spells it out very, very clearly. Even if Reese didn’t know what he was getting into initially, he became a tool for the state. That scene with his former partner (whose name was either not said or I did not catch) demonstrated what was expected of him. Were those two men truly deserving of death? Or was Reese ordered to believe that?

Thus, there’s a synchronicity between these characters. They understand what it’s like to become someone deplorable, violent, and inhumane. They know what it’s like to take a life. And they know what it’s like to choose to push everyone else out of their own lives. That scene in Anja’s kitchen is tense because TORTURE WITH NEEDLES, NO THANK YOU. But it’s also intense because these two men have done unspeakable things for their respective countries, and they’ve lost pretty much everything that matters because of it. John even lost his name. Y’ALL, WHAT’S HIS ACTUAL NAME???

What. The. Fuck. Is. This. Show.

The video for “Foe” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– Please visit my new site for all announcements. If you’d rather not have to rely on checking a website regularly, sign up for my newsletter instead! This will cover all news for Mark Reads, Mark Watches, and my fiction releases. 

So farewell then.

21 Aug 2017 03:13 pm
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http://whedonesque.com/comments/36482

15 years is a long time and a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. But now it's time to say goodbye. No more threads after this one, we're closing down. The site will at some stage become a read only site. So if you want to leave your contact details in this thread for other posters to get in touch that would be great otherwise email us at whedonesque@gmail.com. The admins would like to thank the posters at this site. You made this site and we wouldn't have lasted as long as we could without you. So thank you. And if you want to mark our passing, please find a charity or organisation that deals with the treatment of Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) and leave a donation.

And a special thanks to Caroline who I had the privilege of meeting.

13 AUG - 20 AUG

21 Aug 2017 01:30 am
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Posted by kidmarathon

{Carol (2015) Price of Salt}
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- archaic kinds of fun by templefugate -Diana Prince/Kate Kane .

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- Chapters 11-13 of All I Want Is You by pure_ecstasy6 -Miranda/Andy .
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- Chapter 60 of Second Chances, Season 6chadmaako Faith/Tara/Willow (BtVS) **Off LJ Links**

{Marvel verse}
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- Following Her Eyes by katleept -Wolfsbane/Mirage (New Mutants/X Men) .
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http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/tv-news/we-want-the-tick-to-resonate-in-20-years-the-way-buffy-does-now-buffy-writer-david-fury-on-new-superhero-show-36045405.html

He tells Independent.ie that he considers his new show to be "very much like a Mutant Enemy show very much like Buffy. We really want it to resonate in the same way that Buffy does 20 years from now."

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Posted by waddiwasiwitch

KID: Help me! Call the police!
VAMP: Get outta here, girl. (turns back to the kid)
BUFFY: (emerging from the doorway) You guys havin' a fight? 'Cause, you know, fighting's not cool.



~~The Gift~~



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http://happierinhollywood.com/episode13/

In case you didn't know, TV writers/producers have a podcast about working in Hollywood. In episode 13 they interview writer, actor, and producer Felicia Day.

They discuss auditions, ComicCon, The Guild, and advice for forging your own path to success.

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http://www.ifccenter.com/films/rebel-in-the-rye/

IFC Center in New York is having multiple screenings of "Rebel in the Rye," written and directed by Danny Strong (with Adam Busch in a small role). There will be Q&As with the filmmaker at most screenings.

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Posted by rbfvid



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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the twentieth episode of the second season of Enterprise, Travis heads home and EVERYTHING HURTS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek.

Oh god, I really, really loved this episode, and I’m glad that out of all the characters here, he got a story that’s so emotionally rich and complicated. It is an unfortunate thing that he’s been used so sparingly over the course of season two, and I really need the show not to do this going forward. (Same with Hoshi!) (Wow, surprise, the two non-white characters on this show appear to get the least amount of centric episodes.) (Insert an angry face and eye roll emoji here.)

I could do without the fridging of a black man, too, though I understand how that framing device provides the story that follows, and I did enjoy it despite this trope. Travis’s time on the Horizon is a part of his characterization on Enterprise, so it was a welcome thing to actually get to explore that. Of course, it’s marred by tragedy. Because of his travels with Starfleet, Travis never got the message that his father had passed away. I was shocked at how quickly this became a sad episode, though credit must go to Anthony Montgomery for making me feel for a character I not only hadn’t met, but wouldn’t ever meet. HE IS SO TALENTED, GIVE HIM MORE TO DO, OKAY. And that sadness was complicated by the relationship Travis had with a man who seemed to disprove of his son’s decision to leave the Horizon for a job with Starfleet. While it’s addressed in other ways later in the episode, it’s still so remarkable to see the script for “Horizon” talk about Travis’s grief as it does. He’s allowed to feel sad for losing his father, and yet, when Archer reveals what Travis’s dad wrote in his recommendation for his son, Travis is still given space to express a different kind of sadness.

He wished his father had told him that he was proud of him.

So when Travis arrives on the Horizon, it’s only a matter of time before these feelings creep up to the surface. In that sense, there are elements of “Horizon” that were familiar and predictable. It was inevitable that Paul and Travis would almost reach a point of no return because of Paul’s sense of betrayal and abandonment. It also felt inevitable that they’d work out their differences. Still, I found the journey compelling, partially due to the fantastic performances, and partly because Travis deserved a story so wholly focused on himself, his family, and how he would find the courage to deal with his guilt. And the episode is so open about that! Travis wanted to impress his family with his work in Starfleet, but he never felt like he could get through to his father. Why would he maintain a steady, consistent relationship with someone who kept up the appearance that he disliked his son?

Still, that doesn’t ameliorate his guilt over missing out on his father’s last few months of life, or not being there when he died, or only returning to Horizon when it’s convenient for him and his Starfleet schedule. It’s why Paul’s rejection of him stings so hard: even if his brother is being mean or cruel, deep down, Travis knows that he has hit on something true and uncomfortable about himself. He hasn’t been around the ship; he’s not in charge; and he certainly didn’t have to deal with the emotional turmoil of their father dying. It’s Paul who has had command thrust upon him amidst dealing with the grief of losing his father, and so I felt sympathy toward Paul more than anything else. Was he given enough time to heal after his dad died? Probably not, given that the ship needed a captain. And what of their mother, who had to continue on as Head Engineer amidst losing her husband? Here, she has to support both her sons, too, as they bicker with one another, and no one really stops to ask her if she is okay. (HMMM I WONDER WHY THAT IS.)

Things are suitably wrapped up for this family at the end of “Horizon,” as Paul learns compromise and cooperation, while Travis accepts that he shouldn’t run away from Starfleet, nor should he presume to be a better captain than his brother. I do hope we see these characters again, as I’d love for Travis’s mother and for Paul to see Enterprise.

However, there’s one other bright spot in this episode: FEMINIST FILM CRITICISM WITH T’POL. PLEASE. PLEASE TELL ME SOMEONE WROTE FANFIC OF HER WATCHING A BUNCH OF SEMINAL FILMS AND GIVING THEM ALL HER TREATMENT AND ENRAGING TUCKER/ARCHER BECAUSE SHE KEEPS GETTING THEM “WRONG” EXCEPT SHE’S ACTUALLY GOT THE BEST AND MOST INTERESTING INTERPRETATIONS EVER.

I may have been a little thrilled by this subplot. May.

The video for “Horizon” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– Please visit my new site for all announcements. If you’d rather not have to rely on checking a website regularly, sign up for my newsletter instead! This will cover all news for Mark Reads, Mark Watches, and my fiction releases. 

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Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the seventh episode of the first season of Person of Interest, I fell for this without a single look back. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Person of Interest.

I had a review prepared in my head. It’s something I do whenever I’m watching something because… well, it’s nice to have an idea what I’m going to address out of all the possible interpretations of a work of fiction. And like some of the great plot twists I’ve been dealt over the years, this episode has two vastly different interpretations. There are my thoughts on “Witness” prior to the scene on that ferry, and then there’s my interpretation after finding the truth about everything I’d seen.

See, I was ready to talk about kindness. About how Reese and Finch were undeniably helping people who were, in turn, helping this part of New York be better. About how that scene in that one student’s apartment was a sign that if people just try to be good, it’s a hell of a lot better than resigning one’s self to cynicism and nihilism.

And then it turned out to be Elias on the goddamn boat and I am a fucking mess.

So, I’m sure I missed others, but the clues were there. “Charlie” mentioned foster parents; that student pretty much described Elias when he summarized The Count of Monte Cristo. How many other hints were there? The fact that D’Agostino said something to the “witness”? The fact that Charlie was pursued in the first place? Oh god, no one knew what he looked like, OH MY GOD I FELL FOR THIS SO HARD.

It utterly changes what “Witness” is about. This isn’t about altruism or standing up to your bullies or anything of the sort. At the heart of this plot twist is an uncomfortable reality: The Machine spits out numbers with no context. It’s easy to assume that the person named by that number is either a victim or a perpetrator, that there’s a binary to reality, that all Reese and Finch have to do is determine which of these two groups a number belongs in.

But Elias destroys that. The Machine gave Reese a number of someone who would, with a high probability, die in the immediate future. He was going to be the victim of a violent crime, and it would be soon. Yet the Machine cannot provide context; it cannot tell them that he’s a wanted criminal, that he’s acting out a decades-long plan for revenge, that he has murdered others, and that he’s gonna murder a whole lot of people in order to reclaim Brighton Beach from the Five Families. And now, both Reese and Finch have to live with that guilt. They made a horrible mistake, and they saved someone who may cause untold harm to others. But there’s nothing else they can do aside from doing the best with limited information, right? Finch no longer has access to any of the actual information that The Machine uses to come to its conclusions, so everything is biased because it’s interpreted by humans.

So what’s the solution? There really isn’t one; this is always going to be a problem! Everyone fucked this up, y’all. Even Detective Carter and Fusco came at this the wrong way, believing that Charlie was merely a witness and not a major player in all of this. That doesn’t make this situation any better, of course, and now, Elias is set to unleash hell upon Brighton Beach. I WASN’T READY. NO ONE WAS READY.

I can’t believe this show fucked me up so quickly into its run.

The video for “Witness” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– Please visit my new site for all announcements. If you’d rather not have to rely on checking a website regularly, sign up for my newsletter instead! This will cover all news for Mark Reads, Mark Watches, and my fiction releases. 

March 2014

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Functions


 
Little About a Girl
 
The Latest Nonsense
 
My Chorus
 

 

Indexs


 

 
Fiction Master List
 
Monthly Fiction Recap
 
Archive History
 
Tags
 

 

Fragments


 

 
FRTCharlatan’s Web
 
FRTFleeting Moments
 
FRCFootprints
 
FRCHow Not to Say No
 
FRMPossession
 
FRCSomething Glue
 
FRTA Study in Chartreuse
 

 

Short Stories


 

 
FRAOAnd Wouldn’t You Be Bored?
 
FRMAnother Side of Faith
 
FRTAnswer Me These Questions Three
 
FRMCounterpoint
 
FRAOIn the Mourning
 
FRAOOne Kiss, Two Kiss…
 
FRTOne of Five
 
FRTOne Teensy Little Problem
 
FRMThese and Other Differences
 
FRMWalk About
 
FRTWiddershins
 

 

Side Stories


 

 
Table of Contents
 
FRAO-GVBloodlust
 
FRTNew Blood
 
FRTNow and Then
 
FRAO-GVVicarious
 

 

Novellas & Novels


 

 
FRAO-GVBloodletting
 
FRAO-GVBloodletting (the Final Cut)
 
FRMFlood
 
FRAOVanishing
 

 

Series

ACROSS SEASONS


 

 
Table of Contents
 
FRTCrossed Wires
 
FRTCross Words
 
FRTCross Purposes
 
FRTWhere Dreams Cross
 
FRTCross Section
 
FRTPaths Crossed
 
FRTLines Crossed
 
FRTCrossing the Rubicon
 
FRTIn the Crosshairs
 
FRTCross Examine
 

 

A.T.S. (2009 – present)


 

 
Table of Contents
 
FRTThe Outsider
 
FRMThe Noose
 
FRMBlue
 
FRMGravity
 
FRAO-GVCrimes
 
FRMEpitaph
 

 

A.T.S. Fragments


 

 
FRAO-GVCrimes: Dream Sequence
 
FRAOCrimes: The Second Time
 
FRAOCrimes: It’s Just Sex
 
FRMCrimes: Fresh Linens
 

 


 

 

Empty Spaces


 

 
Table of Contents
 
FRTA Single Step
 
FRCThe Paragon of Monsters
 
FRTCrossed Wires
 
FRTIt’s a Glamorous Job…
 
FRTOwen Who?
 
FRTAbsolute Zero
 
FRCKinda Pretty
 
FRTFishwife Blues
 
FRCGlass Heart
 
FRTPeanuts
 
FRTAnother One Closes
 
FRTIn the Time of Wolves
 
FRTStone
 

 

The River’s Daughter


 

 
Table of Contents
 
FRTIn Blue Moon’s Light
 
FRTJupiter
 
FRMCapture Theory
 
FRAOAn Effigy to Aphelion
 
FRAOA Keyhole in the Sun
 
FRAOHesperus in Retrograde
 
FRTThe Two-Body Problem
 

 

S.O.R. Fragments


 

 
FRMA Prelude to Schism
 
FRTBalance (an Interlude)
 
FRTTherapy and Waffles
 
FRCSoft Spot
 
FRMUse of Force
 

 

Thirteen Steps (2007)


 

 
Table of Contents
 
FRMThe Outsider
 
FRMThe Noose
 
FRAOGravity
 
FRAOBlue
 
FRMWeak and Powerless
 
FRAOPet
 
FRTLullaby
 
FRAOThe Package
 
FRAOFor Marie
 
FRAO-GVCrimes
 
FRAO-GVA Stranger
 
FRAOVanishing
 

 


 

 

Essays


 

 
FRTOn Writing Series
 
FRMA Selective Meme
 
FRTFanFiction Writing Meme