Tread Perilously — Star Trek Voyager: Living Witness

Tread Perilously’s attempt to tread safely continues with the Star Trek: Voyager episode called “Living Witness.”

Seven hundred years after the Voyager encountered the Kyrian civilization, an archeologist tells the tale of how the Federation warship unleashed a bio-weapon on the planet in exchange for a way home. The incident led to lasting tension with the nearby Vaskan civilization as the latter now occupies the former’s homeworld. And just when it seems the Kyrian archeologist has learned all he can about the Voyager incident, he discovers a back-up of the Emergency Medical Hologram. The reactivated Doctor presents a substantially different version of their shared history. Will he dismiss the Doctor as fake news?

Seven of Wine‘s Jacqueline Lopez joins Erik and Justin to discuss the notion of the Dark Federation, smiling Vulcans and why Tom Paris sucks in all realities. Justin makes fun of the aliens with nipples on their foreheads. Jacqueline explains the different pronunciations of “Chakotay.” Justin considers the horror of waking up 700 years in the future. Erik tries to find the source of his Tom Paris hatred. Jacqueline introduces the term “Bragadocious” and reveals her favorite single hour of Voyager. Also, Erik avoids calling out Rick Berman for a change.

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Tread Perilousy — Star Trek Enterprise: Similitude

Tread Perilously attempts to tread safely with the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Similitude.”

It goes poorly.

When Trip is gravely injured after a Warp 5 experiment, Dr. Phlox devises a way to clone him and harvest parts of the clone’s brain to heal Trip. But in order to do it, the clone must live four or five days growing to Trip’s approximate age. When he begins to remember Trip’s childhood, Archer is faced with with a classic Star Trek moral dilemma. T’Pol, meanwhile, is faced with unwanted advances from the Trip clone. Mayweather pilots a shuttlepod.

Erik and Justin determine Trip was the most popular Enterprise character and, by season three, the star of the show. Erik suggest an ugly tension between Scott Bakula and Jolene Blalock. Both credit the series with a great credit sequence despite its ruinous theme song. A prominent shot of T’Pol’s ass leads to a discussion of fan service on Star Trek. Erik invokes Frank Miller’s feature film debut, Will Eisner’s The Spirit. Justin pitches a better version of the episode, but Erik suggests its similarities to The Next Generation‘s “Inner Light” boxed the writers in. He also determines that T’Pol is the star of the Vulcan Love Slave holosuite program.

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Tread Perilously — Fringe: Unearthed

Tread Perilously jumps to another reality with the abandoned Fringe episode known as “Unearthed.”

When Lisa, a recently deceased young woman, suddenly comes back to life on the organ harvesting table and blurts out nuclear codes, Olivia Dunham and the Fringe Division arrive on the scene. When Lisa starts speaking Russian, the group investigates a missing Naval officer with access to the launch codes. Meanwhile, Walter Bishop begins to suspect the girl somehow caught the Navy man’s soul as he lay dying. This doesn’t stop her from noticing how handsome Joshua Jackson is. Unfortunately, the Navy man figures out a way to possess Lisa and plans his revenge.

Sarah Madden joins Erik and Justin for a look at the season one Fringe episode FOX held back and burned off in season two. She deduces star Anna Torv is Australian almost immediately. Justin points out the Oz actors on the show. Erik points out the Law & Order veterans. The two points converge with Erik’s “favorite” actor, Kirk Acevedo. Erik determines Anna Torv’s Elvish origins. Justin professes his love for Diego Luna. Sarah drops truthbombs about Katie Holmes and cream soda. She also learns about Fringe’s fantastic and convoluted meta-narrative.

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Tread Perilously — Babylon 5: TKO

Tread Perilously docks once again at Babylon 5 for an episode called “TKO.”

Two visitors to the station bring drama and trauma for two members of the B5 executive staff. Michael Garabaldi’s old friend Walker Smith comes aboard to win a local toughalien contest called the mutai — no, not Muay Thai — and restart his failing boxing/MMA career. Meanwhile, Susan Ivanova receives a visit from her childhood rabbi who wants her to sit shiva for her recently deceased father. As Ivanova attempt to explain her reticence to Commander Sinclair, Walker Smith trains to fight in the mutai. You might think the two stories will collide, but they never do.

Erik and Justin decide Commander Sinclair is a robot. They also note the supreme 90s decor and fashions around the station. Walker Smith’s trainer reminds Erik of Christopher Lambert, leading to plenty of Highlander references. Justin suggests Bruce Boxleitner would be a great lead in a “old-spy-helps-people” TV series. Erik declares that Tron 3 will never happen. He also blames massive cocaine abuse for the 1980s. Justin points out bad Babylon 5 episodes lack the ambassadors and that the station is filled with NPCs. No Drazi were harmed in the production of this episode.

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Tread Perilously — Star Trek TNG: Masks

Tread Perilously returns to the 24th Century for “Masks,” a late-series episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

When the Enterprise encounters an 85 million-year-old comet, Data begins having visions of an ancient, vaguely meso-American culture. Soon the data center inside the comet begins sending its payload into the memory banks of the ship and Data. As more and more artifacts replicate aboard the Enterprise, Data’s personality is overtaken by a number of warring personalities. In order to save the ship, Picard battles with a long dead culture’s sun god.

Justin returns from family leave as he and Erik attempt to make sense of the episode’s ancient ceremonial culture. They also ponder on the staff Counselor Troi must have to deal with the emotional needs of the 1000+ people aboard the ship. Will Riker’s insatiable sexual appetite is discussed once again. Justin proposes a Cylon test for all machines to prevent their uprising. Erik believes mandatory drama courses are part of the core curriculum at Starfleet Academy. The pair also take a long look at the disappearance of 20th Century media in the Star Trek universe.

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Tread Perilously: Special Review Unit — Born Psychopath

Tread Perilously opens the case files of the Special Review Unit for the Law & Order: SVU episode “Born Psychopath.”

When the detectives of the Special Victims Unit are called out to a case of possible child abuse, Detective Nick Amaro encounters a boy beyond the help of his affluent parents. Soon, it becomes clear that if the boy isn’t a genuine psychopath, he is a letter-perfect example of the profile. Bane is his favorite superhero. While the parents are reluctant to accept the truth, the SVU team gets ready for an unfortunate outcome. Also, Amaro resolves to tell his recently-discovered son the truth about their relationship.

Executive Assistant District Attorney Louis Allred joins the Review Unit as Erik freaks Justin out by showing him a crazy kid episode shortly before the birth of his child. The trio obsess over a Russian nanny that the episode quickly forgets about. Justin and Erik begin pitching a horror movie called “Peek-a-Boo.” Justin quickly recognizes Amaro as Armadillo from The Shield. The group also imagines the DuckTales version of Tiny Fey. Louis and Erik attempt to recreate train-song. Louis questions the wisdom of telling your children the combination to the gun safe and Justin learns that protection rackets are cyclical.

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Tread Perilously — Ancient Aliens: Aliens and Bigfoot

Tread Perilously gets lost in the weeds with its first ever foray into the docu-series wilderness with an episode of Ancient Aliens known as “Aliens and Bigfoot.”

Bigfoot. The Yeti. Skunk Ape. Enkidu. The Legend of Boggy Creek. Every culture has a legend of wooly half-men emitting a foul odor and possessing a grumpy disposition. Did extraterrestrials cause their evolution? Ancient astronaut theorists say yes. Further, they contend the aliens built a secret system of caves for the creatures in the Pacific Northwest. They also suggest Merlin, Goliath and the Nephilim may be artifacts of Bigfoot’s presence in our distant past. Somehow, it also ties to Soviet mad science.

Erik and Justin have a field day with the wild claims of people like Giorgio Tsoukalos and Linda Moulton Howe. They lose themselves to discussions of how myths emerge, anthropology, and the Battlestar Galactica finale. Crom and Shai Hulud become the official patron gods of Tread Perilously while Erik suggests monotheism lacks certain nuances. Erik notices that Western Europe is the only thing that matters in history. Justin reveals that murder chickens never stop appearing in the fossil record. Erik offers his hypothesis that Judaism did not crystallize until the Babylonian Captivity. Also, Justin suggests Londo Mollari would be a terrible contractor and Erik blames Nick Nolte for most Bigfoot sightings.

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