(Content Warning: PTSD, addiction, incest, the Holocaust) This week Becca and Ryan take Soji's return as a jumping off point to discuss Fembots, the Pygmalion myth, and Pinocchio. Also (mild spoiler) Hugh is back! Plus, how is Raffi holding up? Join us for our analysis of The Impossible Box.
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Picard and the Borg
We believe that Picard is suffering from post-traumatic stress distorder, or PTSD, from his time in the Borg collective where he was instrumental as Locutus of Borg in the Battle of Wolf 359, which was devastating to Star Fleet. We saw Picard struggle to see individual borg drones as victims who can be saved in First Contact, exemplified by this scene with Alfre Woodard, who echos the audience's horror at his attitude toward assimilated crewmen.
One theory we put forward is that Picard's exaggerated arrogance in the Picard series is the result of him being separated from the Enterprise senior crew, who kept him in check and grounded throughout the TNG series and films. This is an example of the Heroes needing friends trope, which is depicted in many properties including Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In that series, we repeatedly see Buffy's heroism and effectiveness suffer when she is separated from her friends, never more so than in the episode "The Wish," which explores an alternate timeline where Buffy never moved to SunnyDale.
Fembots and Bikini Machines
For our discussion of fembots and female robots, we read the essay "Fembots: Female Androids in Mainstream Cinema and Beyond," by Marianne Zumberge. We also read The Fembot Mystique by Annalee Newitz at Popular Science, and this review of Ex Machina by Angela Watercutter, which coins the brilliant phrase "The Ex Machina Zone" for a mashup of the Bechdel Test and the Turing Test. We a few other essays and articles which we failed to bookmark and are, as always, indebted to the internet's feminists in general.
And let's not forget the Buffybot.
Scene on Radio: Men is a 12 part series that we HIGHLY recommend listening to. We specifically reference Episode 6: Warriors on how society conditions men to embrace violence and prize character traits that make for pliant soldiers.
A lot of Star Wars fans hated the evolution of the elder Luke Skywalker who had lost his way and needed to redeem himself, including Mark Hamill. (For the record, Ryan completely disagrees with this analysis and thinks his retreat from the galaxy in the face of failure is completely in character, since Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda did the same thing in their old age in the original trilogy. Plus, flawed characters are more interesting to watch. But whatever, fanboys. )