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Nerys Ghemor October 19 2009 04:25 AM

I, Borg and Descent
Granted I don't wander in this direction all that often--and usually only if it involves my favorite grey aliens.

This time, I have a question about my second-favorite grey aliens (well, maybe white and black and red all over is more accurate ;) ), because I was truly surprised when I came to this board to discover what I think may be the prevailing consensus about two episodes I happen to love.

But, I thought I'd put it to the test and see what you guys think...what DO you think of I, Borg and Descent? (I'm afraid "neutral" is not an option because it would result in WAY too many permutations.) Please vote, and tell me why.

I would also be curious, though I would not put it in the poll, when you make your replies--what did you think of FC's handling of the Borg, and of VOY's?

The Grim Ghost October 19 2009 04:31 AM

Re: I, Borg and Descent
I Borg does take a bit of the bite out of the Borg. Hugh turned a little too quickly and easily. But I find it a mostly enjoyable episode, and Star Trek has always been about finding ways to get along with the enemy rather than fighting if at all possible.

Descent was total dreck though. Lousy story on so many levels.

drychlick October 19 2009 05:16 AM

Re: I, Borg and Descent
i am neutral on this:p

CoveTom October 19 2009 05:27 AM

Re: I, Borg and Descent
I like "I, Borg." Even though you could argue that it makes the Borg a less formidable enemy, I still think it was a great story in the classic Trek tradition of turning a situation on its ear and making you really think about it. It, unlike many of the other episodes, doesn't actually neuter the Borg because we're not talking about a change to the collective. We're talking about one drone being disconnected. And though the implication at the end is that Hugh's change could affect the whole collective, we don't know that for sure.

OTOH, I hate "Descent." Loathe it. And do I really need more reason than the season-ending cliffhanger being "The sons of Soong have joined together. And together we will destroy the Federation." Ugh. All Lore needed was a black hat and a mustache to twirl. The whole thing just falls flat to me.

As for FC and Voyager, I think they destroyed the Borg. Now, that's not to say I found them unenjoyable. I think FC is a good movie, and I like some of the Borg episodes on Voyager, particularly "Scorpion." But that doesn't change the fact that they destroyed what was great about the Borg. The whole notion of the queen takes away, IMHO, from the fearsome nature of the collective whole.

The entire notion that FC needed a character like the Borg queen is, really, lazy writing. It's being unwilling to think outside the box of needing a single devilish antagonist that we can see, speak to, and quantify. It would have been much more creatively satisfying, as well as uniquely Borg, to work within the parameters of the Borg not having a single leader and being a hive mind. There was even some of that in the decision to make Picard turn into Locutus, but at least that was executed in such a way to make it dramatically compelling. Much more so than, say, the Borg queen trying to seduce Data. Ugh.

I guess what I'm really saying is that I prefer the Borg of "Q Who?" to just about any other incarnation, though I can't deny that "Best of Both Worlds" is one of the best Trek has ever produced. But they just gradually got more and more neutered until the Borg were little more than any other villain, with their evil mastermind leader and her minions.

Nerys Ghemor October 20 2009 03:18 AM

Re: I, Borg and Descent
CoveTom--You make an interesting point about Lore...and yet I think that Lore was always a mustache-twirling villain, for better or for worse. He wasn't a Dukat, ever--his whole point was to be the "mirror" or "evil twin," and he was never given really complex motives other than that he was somehow deranged right from the start. Ultimately, that arc had to be resolved. And I personally liked seeing Lore meet his end.

I also liked the chance to revisit Hugh and see progression in his character. In was this progression that made me dislike how Seven of Nine was handled, because I felt it completely ignored the precedent we had, that even a Borg with absolutely no memories of a prior life that we know of could come into much fuller intensity of emotional experience than Seven ever did.

As for FC, I was not that bothered by the Queen, and could even see her purpose perhaps as not so much controller of the Borg Collective but as some kind of "release valve" for all the emotional dreck that must be pent up by the assimilation process.

But once we hit VOY--I did not like the way the power of the Borg collective was cheapened.

I would have preferred to see rebellion from within, or a Cylon-like civil war, which showed promise of starting with "Descent." Some of VOY's earlier explorations, like "Unity" did seem like things we could've seen with the civil war, but never did. I actually think this would've been more convincing than what we did see with the Borg because I think--though it's hard to articulate this properly--that the Borg were set up as SUCH a Big Bad that the arc needed to be resolved once and for all because there was no way that the writers could ever keep one-upping themselves after the setup in "Q Who?" and "Best of Both Worlds" without reducing the Borg's power.

But that's just me. ;)

Unicron October 20 2009 03:28 AM

Re: I, Borg and Descent
I like "I, Borg" and I think "Descent" had a promising follow-up that quickly went downhill. I also think the Borg queen is an okay idea that's not always been used effectively, and that's led many fans to have an unclear idea of exactly what she's supposed to be in relation to the rest of the Collective. I think of the queen (or queens, assuming there's more than one at a time, which seems logical to me as a redundancy factor) as being what she implied in FC, a sort of locus to control the drones. A nexus that provides structure to the Collective, because the drones lack the will to do so on their own.

The Boy Who Cried Worf October 20 2009 03:52 AM

Re: I, Borg and Descent
I'Borg and Descent were perfectly fine episodes. I'Borg kind of gets across the idea that every Borg is an ex-something . Strip away the cybernetics and the hive mind, and there still may be remnants of the original person behind there. Although I really didn't like everyone's mass conversion after having one conversation with Hugh. Star Trek's conception of proper military ethics sometimes puzzles me.

Descent was really more of a Data/Lore story and was effective on that level. It kind of have to be established that the whole collective wasn't effected by the events of I'Borg.

Full Contact was one of the top 3 ST films and I thought really presented the Borg well as a strong opponent. It took an entire fleet to defeat one cube(although shouldn't Picard's tactical evaluation of the Borg's defenses already be a matter of record?), and even the mighty Defiant was on the verge of destruction. The crew was unable to contain them once they were on board and had to resort to deciding to destroy the ship to overcome them. The drones weren't stooges walking into walls trying to obey the queens orders.

Voyager? You've got to be kidding.:rolleyes:

Anwar October 20 2009 04:12 AM

Re: I, Borg and Descent
Descent was half-great and half-garbage.

But it was good in having Crusher in command and having her defeat the Borg in a believable manner. No deus ex machina or super-weapons, she beat them with a force of nature that was believably more powerful than the Borg.

RyuRoots October 20 2009 04:21 AM

Re: I, Borg and Descent
I was a little lukewarm on I, Borg after I first watched it, but I've come to love it. I can understand how people say he turned too quickly, but I thought that was fine. It was cool, because you got a look at the fact that most of the Borg used to be somebody, with a life and an identity. I've definitely come to like it more and appreciate it more with time. Although I wanted to slap the living crap out of Dr. Crusher at first, though. I love her, but holy balls she was annoying before Hugh started asserting his old self.

But Descent? Hated it, and still hate it. It started fairly well! The beginning was interesting and unexpected, with the renegade emotional Borg, and Data's surging emotions and ensuing confusion. But it quickly went downhill, and continued racing downhill at a breakneck pace, with few exceptions (Crusher taking command being one of them. I loved that).

Harvey October 20 2009 04:48 AM

Re: I, Borg and Descent
I like I, Borg and Descent. But Descent, Part II is mostly a mess that is only saved by (a) finally putting an end to the Lore story, (b) bringing back Hugh, and (c) Crusher in command of the Enterprise.

Nerys Ghemor October 20 2009 05:01 AM

Re: I, Borg and Descent
Ryu--WAS that an old personality, with Hugh, or a new one? That's something about the TNG Borg I noticed--is that with the exception of Locutus/Picard, not one of them ever exhibited signs of past memories. Just curious what you think of that question.

Piper October 20 2009 03:26 PM

Re: I, Borg and Descent
I, Borg is a great follow-up to the first two Borg eps. After the wham-bam action of BoBW the only thing the next Borg show could do was go totally opposite, make it small and personal, and that's exactly what they did. It's a fine episode.

Descent suffers from having one vaguely good idea - what if Data feels rage? - and not having a clue what to do with it. Part 2 is the weakest conclusion to any of TNG's two-parters, it does not answer a single question Part One asks, and is the clearest illustration of what was always said, that Part Ones were written without any real idea how to finish it. It's a mess, full of bizarre plot points (all the crew on the planet - what?) and a huge drop in quality compared to the other TNG Borg shows.

TeutonicNights October 20 2009 03:42 PM

Re: I, Borg and Descent
I Borg was a good episode. As I said in the other topic, if an invincible villain race is made into a recurring foe, it's bound to be wussified.
If TNG had stayed on the air, we would have seen something like the Borg Baby and Unimatrix Zero (as Geordi or Riker episode) there, too. There is only so much you can do with an unstoppable race of mindless Cyborgs.

I, Borg was rather good and fit TNG very well.
Descent was a friggin joke.

Anwar October 20 2009 04:04 PM

Re: I, Borg and Descent
I think Hugh was supposed to be one of the Borg babies, as in he was meant to be one that was never an individual to begin with. It's why he turned more easily and developed emotions and stuff better than Seven. With her she DID have a life before the Borg and thus they would have inhibited her ability to feel emotions more to ensure control.

RyuRoots October 21 2009 01:07 AM

Re: I, Borg and Descent

Nerys Dukat wrote: (Post 3503745)
Ryu--WAS that an old personality, with Hugh, or a new one? That's something about the TNG Borg I noticed--is that with the exception of Locutus/Picard, not one of them ever exhibited signs of past memories. Just curious what you think of that question.

I said that without thinking about it, really. But a new one, I'd have to say. It developed less like an old soul resurfacing and more like a mind opened for the first time, considering things it was never taught to consider.

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