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Star Trek: The Exhibition In Washington State
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Old March 29 2008, 04:01 PM   #16
Brutal Strudel
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Re: The Survivors

Pioneer wrote: View Post
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I like this episode--it used to be one of my favorites--but damn if MEG doesn't have a point.
Really? And what, I wonder, do you and MEG think would have been a fitting punishment for Kevin? Hmmmm?

What would you have done in Picard's place? What would you have done if you had more power than Kevin(if you were a Q, say)? Consider your answer carefully. Then tell me again about the nature of evil and justice.
Who gets to be judge, jury and -- dare I say it? -- executioner?

I can't wait to hear your answer.
If I were Picard, I would have made it clear that no amount grief over the death of one woman*--a woman who died because Kevin was too proudly wed to his own moronic code to do something non-violent to rectifty the situaution, like, say, teleport the Husnock into a sparsely inhabitted galaxy or even put all their star systems in the galactic void beyond the Virgo Supercluster where they can go on living as miserable fucks and never hurt anyone--justifies a genocidal hissy fit and then invited Kevin off the ship. If Kevin is such a tragic figure wracked by guilt, he'd go quietly. But no, Picard was in no position to do anything. Doesn't mean he needs to keep silent about the magnitude of Kevin's crime.

If I were the Q, I'd fold space-time back upon itself or reverse the chronitonic flow or bippity bobbity boop the glayvin and intervene to save the Husnock and then put them out past the Virgo--well, you get the idea.

Or, If I could not, for some entirely arbitrary technobabble reason, do that, I think I might just have to send Kevin off to join his wife, the other colonists and the Husnock. If he's so grief-stricken and guilt-ridden, it would be a mercy killing, no?

Look, I still think its a good episode, I just think we--Picard, myself--let Kevin off too lightly for what was ultimately the result of his own selfishness, much as we are required in SW to forgive Anakin Skywalker his countless murders because, in ROTJ, he kills SDidious to save his own son.

*Of course, his pacifism was oh-so-admirable so long as it was other men, women and children dying.
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Old March 29 2008, 04:57 PM   #17
Brutal Strudel
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Re: The Survivors

Since, for some reason, I can't edit, i'll have to make do with another post: Like MEG, I have a problem with these advanced-beings-just-wanna-be-human stories. As much as I might like to experience a few hours running through the wilderness as a cheetah or soaring through the air as a hawk, I'd never want to spend my life as one and I'd surely never "fall in love" with a female, not if I--as the Trek gods always do--still have access to my human frame of reference. So why is it that we constantly see god-like beings--beings which, like the Organians, stand as far above us as we do the amoeba--desiring to be human, falling in love with humans, getting told off by humans? Talk about parochial story-telling.

Really, Kevin should have felt no more loss at the death of his wife than I feel when I flush a goldfish.
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Old March 29 2008, 06:39 PM   #18
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Re: The Survivors

"Good tea. Nice house."
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Old March 30 2008, 02:04 AM   #19
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Re: The Survivors

I think a large part of the POINT was that even in extreme cases such as this, a black & white OMG EVIL!! worldview is terribly inaccurate.

Kevin's worldview, as a superbeing, is essentially the whole buddist monk (or whatever) viewpoint: Cause no harm to anything, no matter how small & evil. Ie, don't step on the bugs. Even the nasty nasty bugs. But that cost him dearly and he essentially got really pissed, something snapped...and he stomped on the nasty bugs.

When one gets really pissed one doesn't tend to stop and say...Hmmm, these evil, horrible little creatures just killed my wife and destroyed my life...what are my options here? I think I'll make a list of alternatives... No. The whole point is that it wasn't a rational choice. Kevin made a mistake and it caused him to do something 'evil', but that doesn't make him 'Pure Evil'. That's Pure Nonsense.
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Old March 30 2008, 03:18 PM   #20
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Re: The Survivors

Well said, ancient. MEG completely missed the point of the story and the character, as she is usually prone to do, turning yet another "review" into a personal diatribe that rambles on and on and in the end has no value.

"Why didn't Kevin do this technobabble thing? Why didn't he do the 'right thing' that I'm so clearly right about? Why, why, why am I soooo much smarter than the writers of this misbegotten piece of crap?" It's an allegory! It's a tale of absolute power corrupting absolutely, no matter how much its possessor tries to avoid it, if only for one brief instant of grief and terror and loss. It's not about a superbeing wanting to be more human - it's about a superbeing falling in love with someone whose greatest power in return is only love itself, and the superbeing sacrificing his potential - since he can't sacrifice his actual power - in order to love that person on a more equal level. It's about the mental anguish of knowing that you can destroy on such a ghastly level - and maybe that's the only way you can respond, so you make a conscious moral decision to remain a pacifist out of fear and concern for the victims in the eventuality that you do lose it, and despite a heroic effort at self-control, having your greatest fears come true at the same time: loss of the love of your life, and as a result, loss of your self-control, with the resulting unleashing of a terrible power.

We don't know that Kevin's 'unlimited' power could do anything but what it did. If he could turn back time, surely he would, given his immense guilt. But this is fiction, and as we've seen on Trek itself many times, reset buttons do not make good stories. Kevin had to live with the consequences of his actions, and it was wisdom on Picard's part, not stupidity, that left him in the peace of his own guilt - getting up in his face would've solved nothing, as it might have if Kevin had been entirely without conscience.
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Old March 30 2008, 09:15 PM   #21
Brutal Strudel
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Re: The Survivors

Allegory doesn't forgive everything. And riddle me this: if Kevin was so guilt-wracked, why was he content to go on living in his little Crater's Paradise with a recreation of his dead wife and why was he willing to torture Troi to the brink of madness to cover up his crime?

When this episode first aired, I thought it was brilliant--even more "The Measure of a Man." But I think MEG--whom I have disagreed with mightily in the past--is onto something here. It's one thing to suspend disbelief, another to suspend the very moral sense the episode is appealing to.
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Old March 31 2008, 01:58 AM   #22
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Re: The Survivors

Brutal Strudel wrote: View Post
Allegory doesn't forgive everything. And riddle me this: if Kevin was so guilt-wracked, why was he content to go on living in his little Crater's Paradise with a recreation of his dead wife
I thought it made sense. He was so ashamed over what he did and was so overwhelmed by the grief over the loss of his wife that the recreation was just a form of coping, to try to make things the way they were and so in his mind he could pretend it never happened.
and why was he willing to torture Troi to the brink of madness to cover up his crime?
As he said he was afraid of anyone finding out of what he had done. What he had done was such an anathema to what he believed in that he couldn't bear that anyone learned of the despicable thing he did.

Did the episode say Kevin was right in what he did? Of course not. It painted a very human and sympathetic portrait of him but also condemned what he did. But it never made him a hero, simply a tragic figure.
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Old March 31 2008, 12:29 PM   #23
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Re: The Survivors

Let's face it, people. The Husnock needed killin'. (A valid legal defense in Texas.) Mission accomplished.

And if Kevin could re-create Rishon, couldn't he just as easily have re-created the Husnock? Science Fiction, at least as far as episodic television is concerned, is an illogical, needy bitch.

For me, personally, I didn't like this episode because it depicts the torture of Troi and I don't enjoy watching people suffer. But that's just me.
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Old April 2 2008, 01:39 AM   #24
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Re: The Survivors

Yeah I'm pretty sure if I'd just killed a bunch of people in a fit of rage after a lifetime of being a peaceful person, I wouldn't be like: "Oh yeah guys, I just killed a bunch of people...so am I a bastard or what?"

You can feel guilt without wanting external judgements from strangers. That's the natural reaction, actually.

Kevin was essentially trying to hide behind the illusion of normalacy because he felt shame and guilt. Two things that an 'Eviiiiiiiil' person would not feel. It's true he tried to block Troi and caused a problem there, it's obvious he was still in an emotional state of semi-shock/denial. Certainly that is natural.

I'm not excusing what he did, and Kevin doesn't expect forgiveness, but none of his motivations or mistakes were unreasonable or unusual. They were just on a bigger scale.

Screwing with Troi's head noes not = evil. Or sexist.
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