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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old July 18 2009, 08:33 AM   #1
Navaros
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The Abandoned: really great episode

For some reason The Abandoned is another great episode that doesn't seem to get mentioned too much.

I love how Odo tried to make the Jemmy into a pro-human lackey, but failed. That's awesome! It's great how DS9 has the fortitude to say that the Feds' way of life will not be accepted by everyone (it's also great how they picked up on similar themes again with Laas).

I think of this episode as sort of the anti-"I Borg"; instead of the Jemmies becoming wussified like the Borg were in "I Borg"; they become more terrifying than ever.

Additionally, The Abandoned is highly entertaining, and developed the Jemmies/Dominion/setup future plotlines really well.
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Old July 18 2009, 07:47 PM   #2
Captrek
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Re: The Abandoned: really great episode

Navaros wrote: View Post
It's great how DS9 has the fortitude to say that the Feds' way of life will not be accepted by everyone.

I think of this episode as sort of the anti-"I Borg"
Agreed. That really bothers me about I Borg.

For his entire life, Third of Five has worked as part of a collective consciousness to assimilate that which is useful to the collective and destroy that which is troublesome to the collective. That is his purpose. That pattern of behavior has been drilled into his head since infancy.

Then he spends a few hours among people who have individual personalities, refer to each other as friends, and show concern for each other as individuals, and his reaction is, “These values are much better! This is how I want to be from now on! I don’t want to go back to the collective because I now believe in Federation values about individuality. But I will sacrifice myself and go back to the collective in order to protect Geordi because I now believe in Federation values about friendship and selflessness.”

Come on. And all the other drones who assimilate his experiences when he rejoins the collective will also recognize these values and superior and adopt them. And it’s a new concept to them, despite the fact that they have assimilated countless races who experience individuality, friendship, and selflessness.

I Borg is so frustrating. The dialog is very well written and the acting is top notch. In those two respects, it is one of TNG’s best episodes. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t make sense.
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Old July 18 2009, 08:25 PM   #3
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Re: The Abandoned: really great episode

captrek wrote: View Post
Navaros wrote: View Post
It's great how DS9 has the fortitude to say that the Feds' way of life will not be accepted by everyone.

I think of this episode as sort of the anti-"I Borg"
Agreed. That really bothers me about I Borg.

For his entire life, Third of Five has worked as part of a collective consciousness to assimilate that which is useful to the collective and destroy that which is troublesome to the collective. That is his purpose. That pattern of behavior has been drilled into his head since infancy.

1) Then he spends a few hours among people who have individual personalities, refer to each other as friends, and show concern for each other as individuals, and his reaction is, “These values are much better! This is how I want to be from now on! I don’t want to go back to the collective because I now believe in Federation values about individuality. But I will sacrifice myself and go back to the collective in order to protect Geordi because I now believe in Federation values about friendship and selflessness.”

Come on. 2) And all the other drones who assimilate his experiences when he rejoins the collective will also recognize these values and superior and adopt them. And it’s a new concept to them, despite the fact that they have assimilated countless races who experience individuality, friendship, and selflessness.

I Borg is so frustrating. The dialog is very well written and the acting is top notch. In those two respects, it is one of TNG’s best episodes. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t make sense.
Actually, 1) is not impossible or even that improbable. We know that people have converted, and do convert to religions and ideologies completely different than those they had been brought up with all their lives. So why couldn't it be the same with members of alien races, or even with Borg? They might be a collective, but they're still made of inviduals, as much as they try to erase their individuality. Which means that every drone, once cut off from the collective, might react to the new circumstances in a different and unexpected way.

...Which also means that some other Borg drone might have reacted completely differently to Geordie and Crusher and all, and concluded that being part of the collective is so much superior to these people's values of individuality, friendship et al.

But, we also know that it's rather unlikely that the majority, let alone everyone, would willingly accept the new values introduced by one person, or one drone. Massive conversions always happen either by force, or gradually through a longer period of time. Which makes 2) very, very unlikely.

So, I don't really have a problem with the story about Hugh in itself... but I wish the episode did not leave the impression that it implied that every Borg drone would react the same way to being confronted with individuality. I wish there was some reminder that the outcome might have been very different with some other drone.

After all, isn't that what individuality is all about? Different individuals reacting very differently to the same circumstances and the same set of values?
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Old July 19 2009, 12:04 AM   #4
Captrek
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Re: The Abandoned: really great episode

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
Actually, 1) is not impossible or even that improbable. We know that people have converted, and do convert to religions and ideologies completely different than those they had been brought up with all their lives.
Sure, conversions happen.

But a devout Muslim who has been raised in Islam all his life doesn’t often convert to Christianity after being exposed to it for only a few hours. (Or vice versa, etc.) A passionate conservative doesn’t often change his political outlook to the opposite end of the spectrum after hearing a liberal talk for a short while.

Such things do happen. After all, we are individuals. But such cases are rare.

While you might suppose that Hugh was simply a very unusual drone (assuming such a thing even exists within the Borg collective), that is clearly not the intent of the writer or director. The episode’s point of view is that our values are so obviously superior that anyone who is exposed to them, even briefly, will quickly discard the values he has held all his life and embrace ours. It’s a point of view shared by many a person on the internet who can’t understand why his sound political or religious arguments aren’t changing any minds. It’s not a very realistic point of view.
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Old July 19 2009, 12:07 AM   #5
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Re: The Abandoned: really great episode

captrek wrote: View Post
And while you might suppose that Hugh was simply a very unusual drone (assuming such a thing even exists within the Borg collective), that is clearly not the intent of the writer or director. The episode’s point of view is that our values are so obviously superior that anyone who is exposed to them, even briefly, will quickly discard the values he has held all his life and embrace ours.
Yes, as you can see in the last 3 paragraphs of my previous post, I agree with you on that.

Come to think of it, that kind of thinking (our values are so much superior that everyone must and will embrace them once exposed to them... everyone - there can't be any individual differences in that respect) almost makes one think Eddingon had a good point in comparing Federation to the Borg.
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Old July 19 2009, 01:29 AM   #6
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Re: The Abandoned: really great episode

^

As did Tal Shiar chairman Koval in the novel Section 31: Rogue.
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Old July 19 2009, 02:47 AM   #7
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Re: The Abandoned: really great episode

No, it really isn't a great episode. It is a weak retread of the much better "I, Borg". The Odo/Jem'Hadar dynamic wasn't very compelling. The only interesting thing about the episode was the insight into the Jem'Hadar and some of the Jake/Ben sub plot.
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Old July 19 2009, 03:14 AM   #8
Captrek
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Re: The Abandoned: really great episode

Hugh initially expressed a belief that the Borg way was is better, and there’s a powerful argument for that.

[Note: In this post, I talk about the Borg as they were presented before I Borg: namely, in Q Who and BOBW. I’m ignoring Descent, FC, and VOY’s desecration of the Borg.]

The Borg collective consciousness has all the knowledge and experiences of everyone and everything it has assimilated. It knows and understands more about different ways of life and different values than anyone, and has experienced them all, countless times.

And with all that knowledge and experience, this superbrain chooses to continue with collective consciousness and assimilation.

Isn’t it pretty arrogant to assume that you’re right and that incredibly powerful mind is wrong?

I suppose it’s worth noting that in ST: Destiny,
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