The Last of Us EP26: John Sheeperson

By Shamus Posted Thursday Nov 27, 2014

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 76 comments

Link (YouTube)

Dear indies: please get Chris to be a voice actor in your videogame and have him do that “I did a wheelie on a horse” voice. I don’t even care what the game is about. Have him play Abraham Lincoln with that voice. Odysseus. A Japanese schoolgirl. It doesn’t matter. Just do it. It’ll be an instant GOTY.

Also, I apologize for not completely losing my mind and going on an insane tirade at the 24 minute mark when two teenage girls lift ten tons of rubble with a tiny metal bar. AND THEY CONTINUE TO BE ABLE TO TALK WHILE DOING SO. I got caught up in trying to multi-task so I could recount old TNG episodes and also follow the subtitles, and I failed to be your avatar of indignant outrage over absurdities.

I’ll try to do better next time. (Spoiler: I will fail. Seriously. In the very next episode.)

This is a review of Threshold, the worst episode of Star Trek ever made. It really is an abomination.


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76 thoughts on “The Last of Us EP26: John Sheeperson

  1. Daimbert says:

    This is a review of Threshold, the worst episode of Star Trek ever made. It really is an abomination.

    Both Agony Booth and SFDebris have gone back on that one. Chuck now says that “A Night in Sickbay” is the worst, and he says that Agony Booth also claimed that it was.

    His Worst of the Worst is here

    Threshold is second at SF Debris.

    (Yeah, I watch his videos probably a bit more than is good for me [grin]).

    1. krellen says:

      That doesn’t count. Enterprise isn’t a Star Trek series.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Pst,you want to hear something truly horrible interesting?

        Thanks to the new movies,only the events of enterprise are canon in the new universe.Everything else has never existed.

        1. Josh says:

          On the upside, Scotty apparently killed Archer’s dog.

        2. krellen says:

          I remain unconvinced that Abram’s Star Trek is real Trek either.

          1. Grudgeal says:

            Abrahams has always been making Star Wars films.

            He’s just had to put the wrong word at the end. I consider them, thematically, to be about as far from the original Roddenberry ideal of a post-scarcity futuristic utopia based on discovery and diplomacy as anything carrying that name has gotten.

            The only thing I got out of that last film was the knowledge that Star Wars already did “War on Terror IN SPACE” almost ten years ago.

        3. batti says:

          nah, it’s another universe

    2. Ithilanor says:

      I disagree with SFDebris on that, much as I like him. I’d put A Night in Sickbay, Profit and Lace, and probably Code of Honor below Threshold, bcause they’re all actually offensive. Threshold is stupid – incredibly so – but it doesn’t achieve the same heights of insensitivity.

      (Incidentally, I’m curious what Chuck thinks the worst ep of TOS is. Spock’s Brain wasn’t quite the bottom of the barrel, apparently.)

      1. Shamus says:

        For the record, this is the TOS episode I was talking about:

        That’s the one I count as worst. Note that for me “worst” usually means “most stupid”. I have no idea how I’d rate which one is “most offensive”. I mean, TOS was incredibly progressive for the time but often comes off as ignorant and backward today. It just sort of feels unfair to condemn those old shows. Kinda like condemning Isaac Newton for not figuring out relativity.

        1. Ithilanor says:

          Yeah, rating TOS on offensiveness is a tricky business; in that regard, I wouldn’t try and compare it with the modern series. The Omega Glory’s pretty awful (though again, not SFDebris’s 0). The Way to Eden’s pretty terrible, The Alternative Factor’s fairly awful…hard to say.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            SFDebris does compare episodes only to other episodes in the particular series though.Otherwise,most of enterprise would end up with 3 at the most.The exception is his worst of the worst list.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        For some reason,he never did the worst of tos.But,seeing how star trek five is on his list of worst things star trek,it can be counted as part of the tos.

        As for why Chuck says Threshold is bad,its because its the whole voyager condensed into a single episode.Its not offensive,sure,but its basically the prototypical voyager episode,and that earns it its place.

      3. harborpirate says:

        Code of Honor is on my “will not watch this again” list. I swear it gets worse every time I see it.

        Threshold is stupid, sure, but only because the ending is terrible and the explanation for the transformation is so bad. Up until the end, it’s more or less a modified version of the The Fly. If the only thing wrong with it were the nonsensical “Tom is rapidly evolving”, but it had a decent ending, it probably would fall in the middle of the pack somewhere.

  2. SAeN says:

    Well I guess I should finally get around to playing Left Behind.

    1. Sacae says:

      Wait did they already beat the game and doing Left Behind now?

      1. SAeN says:

        Left Behind is inserted in between the Autumn and Winter chapters.

  3. Ivan says:

    Regarding Threshold, I didn’t really fault it for getting evolution wrong. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever seen evolution brought up in a TV show or movie where they didn’t butcher the concept. Even forgiving that though the dude’s right, they spent a lot of time contradicting themselves in that episode.

    1. cassander says:

      the guy that wrote it, Brannon Braga, wrote a number of other evolution themed episodes. They all butcher the science horribly. apparently he was really interested in evolution, just not enough to, you know, learn anything about it.

      1. James says:

        I think Braga also spoke out and said that Threshold was his worst work, he had ever done. which is remarkable that no one noticed during pre production, cast meetings and dry runs.

        I like voyager, it might be because while not my first Trek experience, it was the first time i watched the show as a series over just stumbling apon it, and watched it while visiting my nan.

        1. Twisted_Ellipses says:

          Like James this was the full series of Star Trek I watched and I am pretty forgiving of it. I also get a bit defensive of it just because so many people hate it so vehemently. All the different series have goofy or questionable episodes, especially the original. However even at the time, I remember being confused with the direction that particular episode took. The concept of going so fast that you’re effectively omnipresent is cool and if the episode had gone into the psychological consequences of that, it could have been a very different episode. Instead we got the crew ‘evolving’ into weird otter things and mating. Hmmm…

          1. guy says:

            Threshold was so bad a later episode had it explicitly stated that Tom Paris never went to warp ten.

        2. cassander says:

          Voyager isn’t so much bad as lazy. the show’s premise was that there was continuity in their journey, but the writers seem to have deliberately gone out of their way to avoid creating any sense of that. character motivations, particularly Janeway’s, gyrate wildly between (and sometimes within) episodes, they lean incredibly hard on technobabble resets to restore the status quo. most episodes are competent on their own, but the series as a whole is a massive disappointment when you compare what we got to what we could have had with episodes like equinox or year of hell.

    2. Ciennas says:

      The prologue from the first X-men seemed to get it right until the plot mandated otherwise. Aside from superpowers, Patrick Stewarts explanation seemed right on the money.

  4. BlusterBlaster says:

    I knew it! You’re doing Left Behind where it fits in the chronology. Nice one.

  5. cassander says:

    Disagree vehemently. Shades of Grey, the season 2 TNG finale, was a clip show. You heard that right, they made a clip show from the first two seasons of TNG, and one that prominently features Riker’s erotic adventures. It’s definitely the worst.

    1. Shamus says:

      Okay, I’ll allow all clip shows are worse than all other shows, just on general principle. I don’t generally consider them in the running for “worst”, just because they would clog the list. Also, they’re obviously a budget problem. I’m more interested in dissecting episodes where they had money to spend and wound up making something horrible anyway.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        “Okay, I'll allow all clip shows are worse than all other shows, just on general principle.”

        Except avatar the last airbender one.There,the clip show is done as a play,and its awesome.

        1. Grudgeal says:

          The Ember Island Players is a recap episode, but notably not a clip show one. After all, it has its own script and all the animation is new as well.

          The sequel has a clip show episode in its last season and its, well, less ideal. It was a bit similar to Samurai Champloo’s clip episode in that it’s essentially the characters giving their own character arc recaps an in-character MST3K treatment, but only one of them is any good at it.

          1. Mersadeon says:

            It’s a shame they had to do that clip episode. They outright said that Nick slashed the budget and the only choices they had were “fire people” or “make clip episode”.

            1. Grudgeal says:

              Indeed. But I don’t see why they couldn’t have made Varrick do *all* the segments.

              1. Ciennas says:

                Voice actors like eating food too.

                Incidentally, where’s a good place to watch seasons three and four?

                1. Thomas says:

                  I don’t know what Shamus’ policy on this (although I’d like to point out that Nickelodeon _still_ aren’t selling season 4 anywhere online for people in the UK) but this site has all the episodes

                  If you live in the USA and so Nickelodeon are actually functioning like a business and let you _give them money_ in exchange for their goods, then it’s on iTunes and Amazon Instant.

                  Also it should be available for free on Nickelodeon’s own website (if you live in the USA)

              2. Wolf says:

                Maybe so that I could actually stand to watch the thing? Because Varrick is awesome only in small doses and after that his nonsense gets annoying very quickly. Makos part was the best and Korras was worst.

  6. Arkady English says:

    RE: Shamus’ comments at ~9 minutes, with the game designers being just as sick of dudebro protagonists as everyone else:

    I can confirm this is absolutely the case. (And especially true for artists.) Marketing departments and publishers are massively risk averse and consider deviations from the tried formula of 30s/white/male to be risky as it “might alienate our core audience”.

    Designers know this is total bull, but when you’ve put so much time and effort into a game things like what the protagonist looks like are often not worth digging in over when put up against getting paid to release the game.

    1. Tizzy says:

      Makes sense. You can’t have creative types churning the same thing out over and over again without them chafing under the collar.

      1. Arkady English says:

        Also they tend to be the young, hip sort who are more in touch with social justice causes and less motivated by pure profits.

  7. Tizzy says:

    I would bet good money that Shamus’s local mall has heating and air conditioningyear-round. Remove that, and your skylights may not last that long.

    1. ehlijen says:

      Yeah. If nothing heats it from below to melt the snow off as it falls each day, a long winter may just see it collapse under too much weight.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Also maintenance.Check out any abandoned building that was not maintained for a decade or so,and youll see a bunch of ruination going throughout.Ive seen a couple abandoned factories from the inside,and the windows and skylights are pretty much the first things that go.

      2. guy says:

        That’s why they’re angled like that. Snow will mostly just slide right off. It’ll maybe accumulate a couple inches, not nearly enough to break it.

        1. Tizzy says:

          Hmpf… Colorado, odds are snow is going to be a little thicker than that, don’t you think?…

          1. guy says:

            It gets pretty thick on the ground, hence why the skylights are slanted to stop it from building up too deep on them. You can get several feet on the ground with very little on angled roofs.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Oh Shamoose,stop being such a sheeple hater.

  9. Lord Nyax says:

    Hey I’ve been looking for a good comment thread to tell you this in, but I never found one that would be appropo so I’m just going to let you know here:

    It’s possible that your website has been invaded by some kind of bot or something. Just about every day the first time I come to the blog IE comes up saying that it blocked possibly dangerous content coming from some random .biz site. Stuff like “”. After I refresh it doesn’t come up again, and then everything seems fine for hours at a stretch. I’d give you more specifics, but it’s proving hard to reproduce it on demand, yet it had definitely happened to me dozens of times over a period of about three weeks. Just wanted you to know.

    1. Shamus says:

      Thanks. That’s the second time someone warned me about this, but I can’t figure out where such a thing might be coming from. Naturally, I don’t see it on my end. :(

      Looking into it. If anyone else has any leads, please let me know.

      1. ehlijen says:

        I’ve experienced it too, for a while, but eventually traced it down (I believe) to a ‘hostage trojan’ on my end. Basially a virus designed to throw up false positives and anti-virus program recommendations to scam you into buying the creator’s product.

        Now, I can’t say that’s 100% for sure what happened, but I stopped getting those messages once I did a full system bleach, and only ever got the messages on the one machine.

        So I’d recommend doing a thorough check on your own end as well, if twenty sided (or any website) gives you those messages (and in the interest of avoiding ironic self implication, I’ll just suggest you use whatever tools you trust the most rather than making any suggestions myself).

      2. MichaelGC says:

        I often* check the site from work, and my company has the most paranoid hair-trigger baby-&-bathwater content-checking system I’ve ever encountered. (It can take 30 seconds or so before it’ll even start loading e.g., because of the number of passthroughs & checks & I don’t know whats it has to do first.) Anyway, so far the fire(raze-to-ground-and-plough-the-soil-with-salt)wall has consistently waved Twenty Sided through without demur.

        *By “often” I of course mean “very occasionally during scheduled break periods.”

      3. Lord Nyax says:

        I managed to reproduce the problem in question. I’d post a screenshot, but I’m pretty sure you can’t do that in these comments so I’ll just describe it: the blog loaded up for a second, then was replaced by a red screen with a Microsoft Security Essentials message in the middle of it. The content of the message was as follows:

        “Microsoft Security Essentials blocked content on this website
        Hosted by:

        Microsoft Security Essentials blocked this site because it might contain threats to your PC or your privacy.”

        I don’t think this is the same thing that ehlijen reported, as Microsoft Security Essentials is my antivirus of choice that I have installed, it hasn’t given me any error messages for other websites, and it isn’t bugging me to buy anything.

        I hope this is helpful. I’ll post any more I encounter, as the offending url seems to change each time (it was definitely a .biz site before).

        1. Lord Nyax says:

          Another one today, exactly the same as before but with the offending url of “”

          1. Lord Nyax says:

            Another one today,

            If I’m getting annoying, feel free to tell me to knock it off. Just want to be helpful.

            1. Lord Nyax says:

              New one today. “”

              1. Lord Nyax says:

                Got another one. “”

                Also: I dropped my laptop and killed my hard drive a few days ago. I just got a new one installed and just now got the OS and everything updated and running. So it’s not a virus or malware on my end that’s doing it, this is a totally new hard drive and your website was just about one of the first ones I went to (after gmail and facebook, and I don’t thinking I’m getting malware from them.)

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Yeah,threshold was bad,but night in the sickbay is empirically proven to be the worst start trek episode ever.Threshold is just number two(fittingly).

    EDIT:Damn!I knew I shouldve read the comments before posting this.I mean,I usually do,precisely because I dont want this to happen.Heck,I even did a quick search before posting that sheeple thing,but not before this comment.*sigh*

  11. lostclause says:

    I don’t know why but you guys are really hitting it off this season. It’s been fun to watch, I think Chris might be right that this is a perfect SW game (except Pittsburgh). Although Rutskarn rapping certainly helps.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      “I think Chris might be right that this is a perfect SW game (except Pittsburgh).”

      He forgot to mention that the game also offers plenty of ludonarrative dissonance,especially the pitt.So it is a perfect game offering everyone of the crew something to obsess over.

  12. Andrew says:

    Re Josh’s comments at the 4 minute mark on why you shouldn’t play Left Behind until after you finish the main game.

    There are 2 main reasons here which are sort of a reveal and not entirely obvious. The first is more obvious and simply…

    …how Ellie got bitten.

    The second is less obvious.

    When you finish the main game Ellie tells Joel in the very last scene how she and her best friend were bitten together and how they had decided to die together because it would be poetic etc etc… The whole thing is an insight into Ellie’s state of mind in the sense that she is obviously suffering from survivor’s guilt and that in itself IS the reveal, Ie, How Ellie ended up being the person she was in the main game which is something that isn’t explained anywhere throughout the main game, hence the DLC, hence the convoluted reveal, hence play the DLC second.

    For what it’s worth…

  13. NotDog says:

    Am I the only one who didn’t know Voyager was so hated by the Internet until maybe a year ago?

    1. krellen says:

      By and large, the people that “hate” Voyager aren’t really fans of TOS and are a bit more iffy on TNG as well – they’re the folks that like DS9 the best, which is the least trekking of the Treks. (DS9 also has a lot of moments of violating the core ethos of Trek, all in the second half, which is after Roddenberry died. Berman is the worst thing that ever happened to Trek.)

      1. Ciennas says:

        I dunno. I’ve noticed that core storytelling relies on conflict, and I can’t help but notice that Star Trek is at a tech level where almost all sources for conflict are outmoded or redundant.

        That’s a real challenge to pull off writing a single story. How do you kep the concept fresh and interesting after thirty years?

        Deconstruction is one way. I heard that DS9 made an effort at deconstructing the underlying concepts. Maybe they just forgot to put them back together afterward?

        1. krellen says:

          Being able to write whatever story you want leads to corruption of the central theme of the show. Star Trek isn’t supposed to be about the dark stuff like what the entire second half of DS9 was about.

          1. Shamus says:

            Okay, this topic is interesting enough that it warrants a thread of its own. Spoiler Warning will be on hiatus next week (the crew is scattered for the holiday) so I think we’ll talk about Trek instead.

            1. krellen says:

              I hope you don’t mind me spamming the heck out of that thread. Trek runs in the family (my father was at the protest at NBC when TOS was cancelled.)

              1. Shamus says:

                Actually your input was the reason I started thinking it was a good idea. :)

          2. Daimbert says:

            The problem was that central theme was too restrictive. What DS9 allowed for was conflict among the main characters, because not all of them were human and so didn’t all have the same ideals, so you could have a clash of opinions among people who all wanted the best for everyone. DS9 might have overdone it, but even its arguably darkest moment — “In the Pale Moonlight” — could easily be seen as nothing more than a clash of ideals among normal human people, with people like Picard wanting to stay true to the ideals while people like Sisko saying that they weren’t going to put their faith in ideals when people were dying. That’s a very interesting clash of ideals, even if the Star Trek main theme would look at Sisko as more of a Knight Templar than as a hero.

          3. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Tell that to the borg arc.Or to the sixth movie.

            Yeah star trek ideals are nice and all,but like Daimbert said,they are too restrictive.And when they lead to things like “people dont grief”,they are downright sociopathic.

            1. Alex says:

              Also, the idea that refusing to help people is a good thing in itself. If you want to know what the Prime Directive should be concerned with, watch the Stargate SG-1 episode “The Other Side”.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                The principle of the prime directive isnt that bad:Dont mess with pre warp civilizations.But when it goes full on retarded and says that “maybe they were meant to be wiped out”,thats where the problem lies.

                1. Daimbert says:

                  I actually did a whole post series once defending the Prime Directive from mostly the criticisms at SFDebris, and on that specific point I think the only person who ever mentioned that argument was Riker, who before that had already been demonstrated to be someone who would choose saving people over following the Prime Directive, and it had already been established that one of the duties of a First Officer was to make sure that all alternatives are properly considered, even if they didn’t agree with them themselves. So I take that as more Riker simply being the Devil’s Advocate there, and even his defense when Geordi challenged him wasn’t so much that it was right and more than it needed to be considered.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Its not really hate*,its disappointment people feel towards voyager.It has its good parts,it has its bad parts,but the constant reset button and insignificance of the events doesnt make it a good series to follow.You can basically watch just the good episodes in any order you wish,and you wont lose anything.That,and the joke that the borg and q were turned into.

      *Except for neelix.That turd can die in a fire.

      1. Daimbert says:

        I’ve never watched Voyager, but at least Chuck’s general impression is that despite the very different setting, Voyager pretty much was trying to do TNG-style stories which a) didn’t fit the setting b) were being done after people had gotten tired of them in TNG and c) squandered the opportunities they had. DS9 gets credit, in general, for at least taking advantage of their opportunities for the most part, for good or for ill.

  14. Jacob says:

    Oh man. None of you noticed Ellie blowing past a comic book in her search for medicine. She’s so concerned about Joel that she didn’t even see her preferred form of entertainment right there. She even moves it around and completely ignores what it is because it isn’t pills or stitches…

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I liked that little tidbit.Its a nice touch.

    2. Eric says:

      Maybe she’d already read that one.

  15. Zak McKracken says:

    I haven’t watched Spoiler warning in a long time (no time, and bunnyhopping makes me nauseous), so this was the first (and so far only) episode of Last of Us, also the first video of the game at all, that I’ve seen.

    My goodness, is this beautifully made. Graphics, story, characters, animations, scenery, world … Can’t say what the game feels like to play but this seems sooooo much better than your Fallouts and Call of Modern Crysis.

    I assume that you’ve mentioned all the good bits about the game before but … I just wanted to say something nice about the game because it seems to deserve it.

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