Winn's back! And she's … First Minister? Anika and Liz put on their robes, dig up an ancient Bajoran city and discuss…

  • Winn wants power, but she's not good at using it
  • Why is Shakaar interesting right up until he becomes a love interest for Kira?
  • Winn thinks she and Kira are playing good cop/bad cop, and Kira's like, "Wait, I don't wanna be a cop!"
  • As a portrait of a white church lady on a power trip, Winn has aged VERY well
  • We are going to generously assume the Federation is a democracy
  • Winn's desperation for power is a trauma response, because the entire planet of Bajor has PTSD
  • She has actual character development (and ceases to be an antagonist to Sisko) in "Rapture"
  • The Prophets seem to hate Jake Sisko specifically, which is just further proof they're not good people

It's the episode where we compare the Federation to the British Empire!

Put on your best Opera House hat and join Anika and Liz as we dive into the first of a three-episode deep dive into Kai Winn Adami. This week, we're looking at her rise to power -- covering the episodes "In The Hands Of The Prophets", "The Circle", "The Siege" and "The Collaborator." And along the way, we discuss...

  • If you only watch the Winn episodes, and maybe even only the Winn scenes, DS9 is a really amazing show about two women fighting about religion and politics
  • "In The Hands Of The Prophets" - just because Winn is wrong doesn't mean the Federation is right
  • Winn asks questions the writers should have thought about themselves: why is a human the Emissary? Why should Bajor join the Federation? (Why is this botanist with no teaching qualifications running a school?)
  • Winn is the target for so much misogyny, and it says a lot about how fandom perceived and still perceives women in power.
  • Minister Jaro and Shaxs: the only sexy Bajoran men in the entire history of the planet (also we do not agree on how to pronounce Frank Langella's surname, but Anika's version is probably right)
  • Contrary to popular belief, Winn has integrity: she hates the Cardassians even more than she loves power, and is loathe to collaborate with anyone -- even the Federation
  • Unfortunately we have become Winn/Jaro shippers
  • "The Collaborator": Kira becomes the Vimes to Winn's Vetinari
  • Winn as a maternal figure for Kira, which is GREAT except when you think about what happened to Kira's actual mother and then what happens to Winn…

It's the episode where we realise we don't NOT ship Sisko/Winn...

Anika and Liz put on some fancy costumes, murder some Gorn babies and agree: that was definitely a season of television.

But did we actually like season 1 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds?

Erm. Well.

  • Remember when we were afraid this would be the Pike, Spock and Una show? It's definitely not the Una show, and we have different opinions on whether or not it's a Spock show!
  • It's fascinating how season one of SNW shares a lot of problems with season one of TNG, but no one is out there arguing that TNG's first season was good
  • Anika has to "well actually" Liz
  • The Elysian Kingdom: 
    • We just want M'Benga to be happy, is that so much to ask?
    • It's 2022 and the depiction of queerness in SNW is roughly on par with DS9 in the 1990s (this is not a compliment)
  • All Those Who Wander:
    • #GornRights
    • "Straight-up Aliens rip-off" is a feature not a bug for us, but the depiction of the Gorn is even more troubling than it was in "Memento Mori"!
    • PLEASE make Star Trek hire a disability consultant because the depiction of disability and mental illness in any Trek overseen by Akiva Goldsman is dreadful and offensive
    • Children, whether Gorn or human(ish), don't have rights in this series, and Anika finds that TROUBLING
    • Lifting a Spock/Uhura scene -- body language, camera angles and all -- from Star Trek (2009) but subbing in a white woman was … well, the optics aren't great, y'know?
  • The Quality of Mercy
    • We don't often say this, but we hate everything about this episode!
    • Like, don't remake "Balance of Terror" if you don't understand Kirk, Spock, Romulans or the plot of "Balance of Terror"
    • It makes a good double feature with "These Are The Voyages…" but that isn't really a good thing
    • We have a new appreciation for Greenwood!Pike and the (relative) lack of ableism in his story 
    • The Great Man Theory of Star Trek history
    • The ending is … exactly the same as the ending of season 2 of Lower Decks? At least for once it's a white woman facing the Federation's capricious justice system?

Content warning: We discuss school shootings, gun violence and child death a LOT in this episode, but specific time stamps are as follows: 

  • Conversation about the Uvalde massacre from 4:30 to 6:26
  • The coronavirus death toll: 8:42 to 9:01 but also Liz is very mean about the British to 10:04
  • Back to school shootings, and also Kenobi, from 25:41 to 31:38

Anika and Liz don their finest catsuits to plan a jail break and discuss episodes 6 ("Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach") and 7 ("The Serene Squall") of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

  • Is it possible we are being punked? Is everyone else getting a different, better version of Strange New Worlds?
  • If you're going to rip off Le Guin, at least try and do a good job
  • Everyone who called Discovery "grimdark" and "nihilistic" owes it an apology
  • It left the sexism behind, but otherwise Strange New Worlds is very much the heir to Enterprise
  • We are very concerned for M'Benga and Rukia, and also very mad about fandom's racism towards them
  • Following last episode's strong anti-child-eating stance, we're going to take another radical position: maybe we shouldn't let children die?
  • Anika will not stand by and let Liz criticise the Star Wars prequels
  • SNW is like season 3 of Voyager: competent but not in any way groundbreaking or remarkable
  • "The Serene Squall" owes something to How Much For Just The Planet? Except that was … good
  • We've seen Our Flag Means Death, we have standards when it comes to comedy pirates
  • Honestly, we would feel better about the trans/non-binary representation here if the writers were not cis and the writing was not so heteronormative
  • (It's so heteronormative!)
  • Anika has a controversial opinion: let's decanonise TOS
  • Hey, remember when this series had two Black regulars? Where'd they go?
  • Maybe they're in the same place as that emotional continuity we were promised?

Anika and Liz have put on our memorial pins and fishing hats (and briefly considered, then rejected, a body swap) to discuss Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episodes Memento Mori and Spock Amok...

  • Everyone says SNW is a good show and we're starting to feel a bit gaslit…
  • "Memento Mori" and SNW's whole depiction of the Gorn becomes uncomfortable when you look at "Arena" and realise they were conceived as an allegory for Native Americans
  • Liz cites Finding Eliza by Larissa Behrendt as, among other things, an examination of the European preoccupation with cannibalism
  • It's weird how Worf, Michael and La'an all have exactly the same backstory
  • Anika is explicitly opposed to eating children
  • We were promised that SNW would have serialised emotional arcs, so … why is La'an fine now?
  • Ortegas will be getting a second dimension to her character any day, right…? 
  • It's troubling how sidelined MBenga has been through this season, especially when you consider the racial dynamics and how Uhura gets one whole line in "Spock Amok"
  • Clearly Spock/T'Pring is doomed BUT CONSIDER: movie-era Spock/T'Pring! Picard attended the wedding of Sarek's son in the early 2300s! THINK ABOUT IT!

Anika and Liz beam up through an ion storm and discuss the third episode of Strange New Worlds, "Ghosts of Illyria". Topics we cover include…

  • This is a pretty mediocre episode and the character stuff is very hit or miss
  • Do we need a log at the end to tell us what the moral is? 
  • We love La'an and we want to know everything about her, but her story makes no sense here
  • "I never think of you as a child," in the context of a character first encountered as a child, is a terrible line
  • Somehow … Palpatine has returned (to our conversation)
  • Has no one told La'an that she can just … change her name? People can do it all the time! Anika did it! 
  • Don't sleep in your eye make-up, guys. This is an Antimatter Pod PSA.

You will definitely need to wear your dress uniform to listen to Anika and Liz discuss the first two episodes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds!

  • We are not watching for the plots, which are decidedly familiar, but the characters
  • Pike: dealing the burden of knowing he's going to be the subject of an ableist plotline, and also his haircare routine
  • We are once again asking the writers to hire a disability consultant
  • This is a Pro-Spock/T'Pring podcast
  • Did Uhura need a tragic backstory? No, but Starfleet is full of orphans, so what's one more?
  • It's Christine Chapel's universe, we're just living in it
  • It feels like Sam Kirk is here purely to alienate casual viewers
  • La'an feels like a do-over of Tasha, and we approve
  • Is Ortegas queer? The show has started out on a pretty heteronormative note 
  • Hair Trek
  • You can rewrite "Amok Time" and erase "The Menagerie" (please! Please erase "The Menagerie!") but you cannot tell us Spock doesn't have chest hair. That is where we draw the canon line.
  • Protect Celia R. Gooding at all costs
  • Our new regular feature: Where Is Katrina Cornwell Right Now?

Okay, team! It's time for the final two episodes of Star Trek: Picard season 2. Anika and Liz exchange awkward hugs, get stabbed a little, and return to the early 25th century as we discuss...

  • To be blunt, we did not enjoy these episodes or, ultimately, the season
  • CONTENT WARNING: We discuss the Yvette storyline, suicide and mental healthcare from 5:04 to 25:20. If you are vulnerable or simply not in the mood, feel more than free to skip. And if you are vulnerable or affected by this and need help, here are some resources: 
    • https://www.imalive.org/ (international)
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK (8255), Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime. 
    • Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
  • The theme of the season is loneliness
  • How do you have Orla Brady in two roles and waste her in both?
  • Raffi/Seven is the new Hera/Kanan (in that there is a total disconnect between what the writers think the relationship is versus the actual relationship on screen)
  • We do not love Rios's ending (or the way all but one of the original characters have been discarded)
  • Anyway, that was a whole THING! That was just super not for us! Even the bits that should have been!

Anika and Liz are locked in the FBI's basement to discuss the latest two episodes of Star Trek: Picard, "Monsters" and "Mercy".

  • We have a few follow-ups to our discussion of mental health in our mini-ep, but otherwise we're skirting around the Yvette plotline in "Monsters"
  • Liz maybe owes Michael Chabon an apology
  • Okay, but it's probably a bad sign when Law & Order addresses the same issues as Star Trek but more progressively
  • Raffi? Manipulative? Really?
  • Seven and Raffi are both dealing with a LOT, and this episode puts a lot of their recent interactions in context (finally)
  • (Again: what IS pacing?)
  • Anika had a really outstanding rant about the foolishness of making people chose their career paths at age 18, and it was trimmed down because her cat agreed so enthusiastically that the rant itself became inaudible, but trust us, it was great
  • Rios slept through the class on the temporal prime directive
  • We're going to be Those Fans about Agent Wills's story, but for different reasons

Anika and Liz had such strong feelings about episode 7 of season 2 of Star Trek: Picard, Monster, that they organised a quick out-of-schedule catch-up to rant.

Accordingly, this episode (and its show notes!) contains much fresher spoilers than usual.

We discuss:

  • Our concerns about the Yvette Picard plotline came true, with a fun domestic violence fake-out twist!
  • Multiple ableist tropes: the tortured artist whose creativity depends on their mental illness; the "having a mentally ill parent is SO traumatic" story
  • Imagine being a bipolar Trekkie right now
  • Brief mention of suicide from 8:14 to 8:26
  • This is not AS egregious, but they got Freud all over our Picard/Crusher

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