Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Explores Character, Emotion And Mystery In “Choose Your Pain”

Saru and Burnham share a moment

REVIEW: “Choose Your Pain”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1, Episode 5 – Debuted Sunday October 15th
Written by Kemp Powers, Story by Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts & Kemp Powers
Directed by Lee Rose

The fifth episode of Star Trek: Discovery slowed down the pace, but picked up the emotional impact. “Choose Your Pain” delivered strong character development across the board along with a good amount of nods and references just for the fans. Rainn Wilson stepped well into the role of Harry Mudd well, bringing humor and dramatic conflict with Jason Isaacs’ Captain Lorca. As the first third of Star Trek: Discovery’s first season wraps up, the show continues to grow…and grow on me.

Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd and Jason Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca


Tardigrade dreamin’

“Choose Your Pain” starts with a dream sequence, but not the kind that tries to fake you out. We pick up the thread from “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry,” with Michael Burnham seeing herself as Ripper the tardigrade. The character parallels with Michael and the tardigrade may be too on the nose, with her literally feeling poor Ripper’s pain, but the sequence effectively sets up the moral quandary for the episode over if they can continue to use the creature to make the Spore Drive go. 

And apparently Burnham isn’t alone. In fact, as we pop over to Captain Lorca attending a conference with Starfleet brass, they seem to be concerned that he is endangering the unique component that makes the Spore Drive into their most effective secret weapon. Although the admirals may not have the same empathy for the creature as Burnham, as it was noted they are “hunting” for more so every ship in the fleet can eventually have its own tardigrade-controlled drive. 

We are presented with some nice scenes with Lorca and Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook), which reveal they have some history.  Jason Isaacs gets to extend Lorca’s range with a bit of a softer side – or maybe just a bit of a less hard-ass side. We get more evidence that Lorca plays by his own rules, as Cornwell notes concerns about his recruiting of Michael Burnham, but interestingly she lets slip that there is some debate over if Burnham’s reputation for starting the war is justified. These and other scenes demonstrate how “Choose Your Pain” delivers character development in more subtle ways than previous episodes.

Burnham feels Ripper’s pain

Hi, Mudd

On his way home from the big meeting Lorca gets captain-napped by the Klingons, which seemed way too easy, but it’s wartime and maybe resources are stretched too thin to give this very important person a bit more security than a small shuttle and a single pilot. Thrown into a very depressing cell on a prison ship, we finally meet Rainn Wilson’s Harry Mudd, who does not disappoint as he starts cracking wise and talking about his beloved Stella.

But unlike his two turns in The Original Series, Mudd isn’t here for comic relief. Through a series of scenes which graduate in intensity, more and more about both Mudd and Lorca is revealed. Mudd hits Lorca over how he destroyed his last ship, killing his own crew to keep them from being captured by the Klingons. And Lorca uncovers Mudd’s lies and how he has sold them out to the Klingons. It was cruel but believably in character for Lorca to leave Mudd behind, however we haven’t seen the last of Harcourt Fenton Mudd.  Wilson and Isaacs sparring in the minimalist setting of the cell had the feeling of a Beckett play, with each tearing through the other’s layers to expose their inner truths. 

Mudd and Lorca’s battlefield

There were three lights

The Klingon scenes also introduced a new character for the show, Lt. Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif), who has been in custody since the battle from the series premiere. Lorca is dubious that anyone could survive that long and it is implied he only did so because L’Rell took a liking to him and possibly even used him as a sex toy. We can see the beginnings of what will be an arc for Tyler to recover from his mistreatment and rejoin Starfleet, on board the USS Discovery. Although the eventual escape from the Klingon ship may have been even easier than Lorca’s capture. This could possibly just be to move the plot along, or maybe Lorca shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss his suspicion of Tyler.

Pain is a recurring theme throughout the episode with the tardigrade, Michael and even Saru all experiencing different kinds of pain on board the Discovery. And inside Klingon ship, the guards give the prisoners the option to “Choose Your Pain” by picking who gets beaten next. Lorca’s treatment even hinted at Star Trek’s most famous episode dealing with torture, TNG’s “Chain of Command,” with L’Rell using a series of bright lights to torment Lorca and his light-sensitive eyes, Clockwork Orange-style. Mary Chieffo continues to be a bright light among the mostly dull Klingons as she reveals her philosophy on how “Glory must be earned, through sacrifice and pain.”

L’Rell is into bondage

Captain Saru’s basket of easter eggs

Meanwhile on the good ship USS Discovery, Saru finds himself as acting captain, tasked with finding Lorca while the secret ingredient to make the ship function is literally curling up into a ball. Just like his character, Doug Jones stepped up to the dramatic challenge with scenes between him and Burnham echoing classic Trek moments such as “The Tholian Web,” when McCoy questioned Spock’s ability to take command. 

With Stamets, Dr. Culber and Burnham questioning his judgement and pretty much ignoring his orders, Saru starts to question himself, leading him to doing some research on great Trek captains. This resulted in showing a screen with references that included Captains Archer, April, and Pike. The hunt for Lorca also used a map chock full of well-known Star Trek locales such as K-7, Rura Penthe and others. These fun bits of fan service were a delight that worked organically, unlike the silly and pointless ‘delta in the sand’ moment from the premiere episode.

Some Star Trek map porn


“Choose Your Pain” was less Burnham-focused than previous entries and allowed other characters to shine through, and not just Lorca and Saru. Mary Wiseman’s Tilly is starting to show that she is more than just a ditz, as she worked with Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Burnham to solve the problem of making the drive work without torturing Ripper. It’s nice to see them all banding together, although some of the exposition moments had the excitement of a PowerPoint presentation at a Federation science symposium. Doing the technobabble still seems to be a weakness for Sonequa Martin-Green, with Mary Wiseman and Anthony Rapp more adept at delivering this uniquely Star Trek dialog.  However, the dropping of two f-bombs may not have been the best way to break up the science-heavy mood and was potentially gratuitous.

It was also classic Trek to have the solution to the dilemma not be pure ‘teching the tech,’ with Stamets sacrifice by injecting himself with tardigrade genetic goo and stepping in for Ripper. The moment of triumph on the bridge when Saru called down to engineering had a nice echo of the scene in Star Trek II when Kirk called down only to find out no one was celebrating in engineering, due to Spock’s sacrifice. For a second you almost believed that this show was willing to go there and kill off Stamets.

Saru and Burnham also take a step forward in a heart-breaking scene played beautifully by Jones and Martin-Green, as they finally have it out over the death of Captain Georgiou. They still clearly have issues and Saru’s resentment may not be entirely rational, but maybe his threat ganglia won’t keep emerging every time Burnham is about to show up.

Things also come full circle as Burnham saves and frees Ripper. This creature was a monster that killed members of both the USS Glenn and Discovery crews and yet in a typical Star Trek twist, no one disputes that the right answer is to let him go to travel the interstellar fungus highway on his own. And does this also mean that Burnham too is now free? Does she no longer see herself as a monster? Her redemption may not be complete, but with every episode she takes another step.

Free Ripper!

Men in the mirror

The episode ends on a touching scene with Stamets and Culber, with Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz again demonstrating great chemistry. We believe this is a real couple who love each other as they simply brush their teeth and chat in front of the mirror. The fact that they happen to be the same gender is not an issue and the inclusion of this relationship is welcome addition to Star Trek’s tradition of diversity.

What may not be a welcome addition to the crew is Stamets’ reflection. The episode took a mysterious and creepy turn as Anthony Rapp turned away from the mirror but his reflection decided to stay. Clearly his stint in the reaction chamber had some kind of adverse effect. Could this ominous mirror image be from the Mirror Universe? Is that a bit too obvious? We will hopefully find out soon enough.

Stamets creepy reflection isn’t ready to leave

Welcome to the family

What makes any Star Trek show is how the characters come together as a family and with “Choose Your Pain” we are starting to see how this crew is slowly, but surely forming into that unit. This episode may not have had as much action as previous entries, but it had more emotion than all of them. For me, I am really starting to care about and feel with these characters. Star Trek: Discovery is fast becoming a welcome part of my Star Trek family.

The family that techno-babbles together, stays together

Random thoughts

  • Besides those mentioned above, namedrops in this episode included the Daystrom Institute.
  • Klingon disruptors were scary and cool how they vaporize targets into a green cloud.
  • The Klingon Raiders are so cool.
  • Did they change the design of the Klingon D-7?
  • Discovery crew complement 134.
  • Once again we hear about a familiar alien (Dr. Culber’s Androian tonsillectomy) but we don’t see them.
  • Jeff Russo’s score stood out, really helping deliver some of the emotional punch the episode needed.
  • Are shuttlecraft pilots the red shirts of Discovery?


Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusive in the US on CBS All Access with new episodes released Sundays at 8:30 pm ET. In Canada Star Trek: Discovery airs on the Space Channel at 8:00 pm ET. Discovery is available on Netflix outside the USA and Canada with new episodes made available Monday at 8 am BST.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

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A fast paced episode done in the spirit of The Original Series. I was surprised to see how different the Klingon D-7 design looked. It was a prison ship but was still classified as a D-7.
Not sure if i like the design of the new Klingon ships in comparison to the original designs.
Glad to see they handled the tardigrade conundrum in Starfleet fashion, but I’m not sure Stamets will go undamaged after prolonged use of the drive.
In After Trek, the Producer said they had originally planned for the tardigrade to become a b ridge crew member. That would have been ‘Balls to the walls’. It’s too bad it was cost prohibitive.

The original D-7 design is far too outdated to be used now, but even I was surprised that they altered it (from what little we saw). I guess the antiquated designs of the 1960s needed to be updated to be taken seriously in 2017.

The scene with Stamets and Culber at the end was so heartwarming. It was lovely to see an LGBTQ+ relationship handled with such maturity and warmth.

For me it’s not just about an LGBTQ relationship. It is also the tradition of having families and couples on board.

Families on board I think is a dumb idea. The galaxy is exciting and dangerous where even front line constitution class starships have a high loss rate. Leave your kids at home (exception – settlers, dilithium miners, the Wild West Cowboys and Cowgirls trying to strike it rich).

I haven’t seen any kids.

Good. Let’s limit the childhood PTSD to the kids of the Enterprise-D having to survive a saucer crash in nonsensical TNG.

I agree Cmd.Bremmon. There ought not be families on board. Fabio was incorrect when he said it was a “tradition”. It was something that showed up on TNG and was a terrible idea then. There were no families on TOS Enterprise. I’m sure there were hookups and certainly some couples. Kirk even officiated a wedding. But 5at is a lot different.

Regarding the gay relationship I honestly don’t really care it’s gay or straight or whatever. But regardless of the orientation of the couple I find the fact that it’s betwen two heads of departments to be a bit much. I’d say that even if it were a straight thing. Never really got behind the Worf-Dax thing either. Just didn’t feel right

Well couples are acceptable but I don’t think we would ever see kids on this ship since Discovery is a highly classified ship in the middle of a war.

@Fabio — what “tradition” are we talking about? You mean from TNG? Because there certainly were no families aboard starships in TOS.

Curious Cadet,

Re: tradition

Well the nursery only did contain plants, but there were husbands, wives, and that weird dog. While not the traditional ideal, there are those that consider a husband, wife, and dog unit a “family.”

@Disinvited — there were husbands and wives and weird dogs? I’ll take your word for it, but they would seem to be the exception to the rule, since I can recall none of them. The one couple I recall was the one getting married in “Balance of Terror” but they were already assigned to the crew as singles.

@Curious Cadet Balance of Terror

“The original D-7 design is far too outdated to be used now…”

Kurtzman and Co. had no problem with an updated version in 2009’s “Star Trek.” Of course, in “Into Darkness” they gave us those hideous scout ships, so maybe he just wants to destroy anything approaching classic design going forward.

There’s nothing outdated about the K’t’inga class battle cruiser in TMP and ST VI. That ship is actually the D-7 is it not?

I haven’t seen the episode yet (tonight) but this scares me. Why, why, why would you not just update the classic D7 design?!?! It looked cool. It looked powerful!? Trek fans have been waiting years to see a Connie and a D7 battle it out. WHY WOULD YOU MISS THAT OPPORTUNITY?!?! Why invent a whole new Trek show, spend five to twelve episodes setting up these scenes and then not deliver?!?!?!?

Because the show is basically a reboot. Its not exactly a shock looking at how different the Starfleets ships themselves look. I haven’t seen a Constitution class ship on this show yet either, and I’m not sure they will show one.

Not sure why everyone is so shocked the Klingon ships look so different when they themselves are altered so differently from the rest of the shows.

The K’t’inga and the D7 are different ships even though they looked alike. There was also a D5 from the Enterprise series.

If they look alike (in fact the same), what makes you think the D-7 and K’t’inga are different ships?

I am absolutely willing, even happy to admit the look of Klingon makeup, costumes and sets was desperately in need of a refresh. Hell, they needed one 20 years ago.
I do not think the overall ships should have been given such a radical redesign. Star Trek ships, by and large, are elegant and striking. Ships like Nero’s monstrosity and Shinzon’s ungainly warship are exceptions to the rule. There’s nothing appealing or inventive about the new designs for the Klingon ships, and it was completely unnecessary to supplant those iconic outlines.

Where is Rick Berman and Manny Coto when we need them. They observed continuity and canon and would have used K’tinga type D-7s and “Real” Birds of Prey”!!!!!!

I do recall there were fans who chided them for introducing photo torpedoes and orange phasers too early as well at the proto-Bird of Prey in season 2. Biggest stink I remember was the use of a K’Tinga model in season 1’s “Unexpected.” Way too early for that ship to appear, but contemporary designs hadn’t been made yet.

This brings up another thing I’ve been wistful about since 2009 – the behavior of weapons and the sound effects from ’90s Trek. I really miss the elegance and distinctiveness of how these FX looked and sounded. Now it’s all rapid fire pulses with “pew pew” sound effects that just sound like everything else.

Calling that ship a D7 was the unnecessary. If they don’t want to maintain visual continuity, fine. But at least come up with a different class for the ship. There are 25 other letters and 8 other digits they could have chosen from.

Only eight other digits?

So the rumors are true — this show takes place in an alternate universe!


I was only counting 1-9, with 7 already used. But, to your point, there would be an infinite amount of possibilities if they didn’t limit it to one number after the letter :-)

They called it a D-7 but were way to embarrassed to show the whole thing. Even Discovery is embarasses by their redesigns

Yes captain. I mentioned that in my little review below. There was no need to pull out the D7 except to show fans they knew about the D7 classification. This was 10years before. They needed to Maine it a C8 or maybe even D2. Or something else entirely. But they have been doing silly stuff like that. Playing with canon just to show fan boys some Easter eggs that make little sense. Like a tribble in Lorca’s desk.

I was under the impression that these were different ships. Lorca was captured by a D7 (which we didn’t get to see all of and I was upset about that cos I love the D7/K’tinga class design), got his arse handed to him, knocked the f out, and transferred to a Klingon prison ship. I don’t think these are the same ship…

Even if that closeup was of a different ship than where they were imprisoned, there’s no way that can be reconciled with a D7 design. We saw enough of it.

The original D-7 design, if minorly updated aesthetically, would create continuity fairly easily. Obviously, it wouldn’t be a prison ship, ergo it may be that the dialog/model was mismatched. Same thing happened in Enterprise (Unexpected)

I’m pretty resigned that this is a visual reboot at this point. Sticking with Prime-A in headcanon. Would have liked a better look at that D7.

Either Tyler is Voq (implied in last episode that he’d have to “give up everything”) or it’s a big red herring. If the tribble doesn’t panic when he’s in the room maybe he won’t be a mole after all. And the next time we see L’Rell she’s going to have quite the burn scar.

I think this is the first time I’ve seen Robert April mentioned in canon material.

Mirror Stamets. I think repeated exposure to the tardigrade serum might end in a Charlie X/Gary Mitchell situation. A grand TOS tradition! One of those twists will probably land them in the Mirror Universe.

I am happy they have finally add April to the canon.

April was in TAS, but whether or not you consider that canon depends on whom you ask. Apparently, Gene Roddenberry said it was all ‘apocryphal,” though all these new references (April, Alice in Wonderland) + a few others (some of the remastered TOS episodes have used TAS ship designs and even Spock’s hometown) are bringing TAS selectively into it.

Gene took their money to put his name on TAS, that’s enough to make it Canon as far as I’m concerned.

I always considered TAS to sort of be Canon-lite. In the sense that it was good enough to be mind heavily for material that could be cemented in canon but if there was something in TAS that didnt work for “modern” writers, they’d ignore it and not garner the fury of the fans.

But I thought the same thing when i saw April – had we seen him before…? What was his fate in the “expanded universe”.

Also interesting to see Captain Pike is considered one of the most decorated Captains already. He was pretty young in The Cage. Was he considered a decorated Captain in that episode?

I’d have like to have seen Erika Hernandez or A.G. Robinson on that list.

There is always that sense of “yeah right” when they list off established characters as they most decorated. They *could* have listed 100 but then we wouldnt have seen the names. Since “Pike” was the last one noted and they were alphabetical, we can assume there was a page 2…and so on.

^ I wonder if Hernandez wasn’t listed deliberately, though, to leave room to canonize the Destiny trilogy in the future.

Kirk was pretty young and highly decorated

I think this happens 10 years before Kirk on the Enterprise

@somethoughts my comment was in response to Pike being decorated when he was so young.

April was in the novel Enterprise as Captain of Enterprise. I believe he’s considered the first captain of the NCC-1701 in Canon

Jeez. As I write this I’m not sure what to think — about this episode, or even where I stand on Discovery in general.

In the other thread about last week’s Orville I noted that for me the comedy and serious subject matter add up to less than the sum of their parts, and I’m increasingly finding this series to be a similar stew of contradictions. On the one hand, there’s the kind of sloppy plotting I despised so much in the Kelvin films that takes me right out of the story. Why is Lorca separated from his ship at all, and why is so little effort expended on safeguarding such an important person? How do the Klingons know where to intercept him? How does Mudd come to know so much about his recent career? Add to that some gratuitous over-the-top brutality, Lorca’s contemptible decision to leave behind a fellow human being (albeit a despicable one) to torture and worse, and a completely pro forma and uninspiring rescue, and I was ready at several stages to write this episode off.

And yet. . . it also featured some of the best dialogue and character work on this series so far. Saru’s doubts about his abilities as acting captain, his ongoing conflict with Burnham, Stamets’ continuing struggle to reconcile his scientific curiosity with his new and unwelcome role of soldier. . . all handled expertly, both in the script and on the stage. And the scene where the tardigrade creature is released to find its own destiny, whatever the cost to its human hosts, is nothing but pure, classic Star Trek.

So, on balance, where do I come down on all this? Damned if I know.

I agree entirely, especially about sloppy plotting (a major DSC weakness so far). About half of it was the best episode yet, but the other half is the weakest yet. Almost everything on the Discovery worked for me. Almost nothing in the Lorca storyline worked for me. Frustrating!

None of it was weak if you actually think about it. Most of Hall’s questions have answers.


Then please, go ahead. I think you know by now I’m not a troll or a hater, and this forum is for discussion.– so, by all means, discuss.

Michael, TUP is right. Take a look at th episode again and you’ll see all the questions you have do have answers. Sometimes you miss things the first time around.

And thats no criticism. I usually watch the episodes twice because I miss things.

And my argument that the Lorca abduction was fine was a realization while writing out an “agreement”. I realised it would make sense to have him treated like any crew transport. It really works both ways.

Had they had Lorca’s transport escorted by “fighters”, that would be fine. Give us a big space fight scene. But then we could be critical of showing up that a VIP was being transported.

Reminded me of the scene in Saving Private Ryan when one solider is being lectured not to salute the Captain because anyone watching would try to snipe him. Same idea in A Few Good Men when Tom Cruise’s character wears his dress uniform (showing his officer rank) to Cuba and is given a jacket to cover it with so the enemy doesnt realise he’s an officer.

I addressed some points in a previous post but I think its in moderation.

I agreed that they could have shown Lorca under a heavy escort. But as I wrote it, I realised that if you do that, you’re actually telling anyone watching that a VIP is on board.

Let’s assume that they transport people around routinely and the Klingons dont often attack. Why would they? Why risk fights for no reason?

Also, he was clearly in Federation space. So the Klingons took a risk in going after him. The big question is, how did they know he’d be on THIS transport. Maybe they will address that in the future, maybe not. The assumption is Klingons have war intelligence too.

Regarding leaving Mudd behind. He was conspiring with Klingons. He was not a Starfleet officer. He was a criminal. Lorca had one chance to escape. Why bring along a guy that had already betrayed you? Its not like he showed an ounce of compassion or regret. There was no sense that he made a terrible decision out of fear. He was just a jerk.

Bringing him along was a MAJOR risk to their escape. There was no tactical advantage to bringing him and no disadvantage to leaving him. He was an enemy combatant at that point.

Besides, perhaps Lorca, once safely back on board, will go back for him.

IMO the story itself worked just fine. In fact I would say my favorite thus far. I assumed immediately that the Klingons had a spy in the Federation when they captured Lorca. The editing was my only issue. I wonder if Saru’s reflection of his performance was supposed to be so early? Also, the jump from running down a corridor to being on a Klingon shuttle by Lorca wasn’t done well.

That Lorca would be called in for a face to face isn’t a stretch, considering he’s been charged with safeguarding a spiffy piece of technology and has been given wide latitude in defending it. In Wrath of Khan, David Marcus has a pretty healthy amount of distrust of Starfleet – it’s unlikely he just pulled that out of his backside, if Starfleet has a history of turning a blind eye to the actions of a Lorca in the past, then that distrust Marcus had for Starfleet might be justified.

I’m okay with Lorca not having a heavy escort. History has shown that generals and admirals may not have had escort when it wasn’t considered necessary. Rommel and Yamamoto in WWII come to mind, with different outcomes.

Formatting a Trek story over the course of a season is going to leave for some choppiness in plot – I’d assume that your questions will be resolved by seasons end – if not, that will emerge as a problem moving forward. Questions will emerge moving into future seasons – this spore drive seems to be a significant development, one that I’m assuming has a fatal, uncorrectable flaw, as it was never revisited in the next 100 years. I don’t consider myself a slave to canon, but some closure to plotting problems would be welcome.

Michael Hall,
Does the show address anything backstorywise about how Saru winds up so high in the command tree given that (from what little I’ve read and seen about the character and his race) he doesn’t seem built for making the kinds of calls needed? I mean, this seems to be going beyond leaving Troi in command, or even (as was done in a Diane Duane novel, leaving McCoy in command.

By his very nature, Spock could be of two minds regarding the need for violence in command (this is evidenced as early as ARENA and as late as THE SAVAGE CURTAIN), but had clearly chosen to serve to the best of his considerable abilities regardless of his internal conflict.

But the little I know about this Saru guy doesn’t suggest flexibility or capability. Please understand that I’m not trying to say this guy or his people are inferior in any way, just different — different enough to not seem likely choices to incorporate into a conventional command structure.

It makes me wonder if anybody in the writer’s room ever read the KOBAYASHI MARU trek novel, showing how the regular TOS characters dealt with the test. Hint: Scotty works some miracles on it in a way that impresses AND amuses, while Chekov … well, if I recall it right, Chekov’s solution sounds like it was ‘inwented’ by a terrified old lady from Leningrad.

I didn’t like that novel at all, so I hope they didn’t.

Kevin Martin,

No, but this is actually addressed in the show. The character isn’t being portrayed as cowardly so much as risk-adverse, and that this might be a command deficiency that Georgiou never got the chance to mentor Saru out of is apparently what he really resents Burnham for. I wasn’t kidding about how good the Discovery-based stuff in this episode was, at least.

As for Saru’s background, I assume we’ll see more about that in the Saru-centric episode that’ll air before the season break that was written by Trek novelist Kirsten Beyer.

I can’t imagine someone as risk-averse as Saru becoming a first officer. More like LT(jg) Picard we saw in “Tapestry”.

Perhaps that’s why Saru was never first officer on Shenzhou. Burnham didn’t just become first officer of the Shenzhou overnight. (I haven’t read the novel, but it’s also not canon.)

In all likelihood, Saru’s actions in the Battle of the Binary Stars and how Saru handled things in the wake of Georgiou’s death is what gets Lorca to notice him. As we learned in the episode, Lorca was captain of the USS Buran up until a month into the war, six months before the events of last night’s episode. So Lorca has some reason for picking Saru to be his first officer.

Regarding Saru, people are making assumptions that the nature of his species makes him unfit for command. Yet he continually shows its not an issue. His doubts about his command are things we’ve seen before but not related to his species, more related to his experiences.

I definitely don’t make those assumptions. He seemed very willing to make hard choices in this episode. Maybe too hard, like he was overcompensating.

Another great performance from Doug Jones, at any rate.

I make the assumption about Saru being unfit for command based on what I have seen from him so far however I also acknowledge that the writing can be uneven at times in this series. For example, In the first two episodes he repeatedly refused to do things because they are dangerous. A Captain should always be willing to be at the forefront of such things. Then we are asked to accept that in 6mths time Saru has evolved enough to be in command of a warship without actually seeing it. That’s a tough task to handle. He himself admits he has no experience actually being in command and in the end acknowledgeds that it’s what he needs most of all. A mentorship from someone could have helped Saru out a great deal since his species isn’t inclined to be on the attacking side. I loved though that he used his experience as a predator for something good. So for me it could just be the writing rather than a species thing.

Spock wasn’t naturally inclined to shoot, either, and his first crack at command apparently came in “The Galileo Seven,” presumably years after his appointment to being Enterprise First Officer. And exactly what things did Saru outright refuse to do?

He refused to join Burnham to go check out the torchbearer. He also repeatedly told them they should leave while they were at the Binary Stars. Georgiou overruled him citing that they were explorers. Look I acknowledge that part of Saru’s problem is uneven writing. We don’t get to see him for 6mths and yet there he is aboard the Discovery as the first officer. A lot of his growth and evolution as a commanding officer was cut out.

He didn’t refuse to accompany Burnham — both he and she made it clear that his accompanying her wouldn’t be their first choice. (Georgiou was actually shown to be amused by their agreement on that point, and acquiesced to let her do it solo.) As for the other instance you cite, he was giving the captain advice from his perspective — that’s his job as science officer — which as you note was then overridden. Outright refusal to obey a lawful order would have earned him a spot in the brig right next to Burnham. That simply never happened.

Kevin, that was a very species-ist comment about Saru!

Thompson, I actually DID realize it read that way, which is why I qualified it thusly.

You anti-Kelpian bastard! :-)

I very rarely speak emoji, but THAT was damned funny!

(maybe ORVILLE should hire you as their in-house arbiter of ‘ancient pop culture’ because one of the Bryan Cranston SEINFELDs would probably have been a funnier and edgier clip to show.

I do have to wonder about the selection of SEINFELD … not due to quality (I still marvel at it, and have never ever burned out rewatching it, which is amazing in and of itself … except for the shows about Jerry’s parents and ‘Kramer in L.A.’, which I find dull as dishwater, I probably like nearly the whole series), but whether anybody has 2nd thoughts about paying more royalties that would wind up in Steve Bannon’s pocket!

Could be the choice of an Admiral.
Maybe someone wanted to counter balance Lorca’s tendency of risk taking, so he chose the risk-adverse Saru, hoping in reality they meet somewhere in the middle.

Actually Saru’s choice isn’t as unrealistic as it sounds. We are used to hollywood movies with heavy risk takers becoming winners. In reality that is not always the case. Often you don’t find the best person in a high positions but rather the one with the best connections.

From what I noticed Saru is portrayed as scientifically well educated. So I guess as long as he “only” was a science officer he easily could rise to #3 on the ship. After the events of the Binary Star he rapidly became famous and someone high ranked supported him, even though he actually is a bad choice for a commanding officer.

Or maybe he even was Lorca’s choice. Lorca might not want to have a strong first officer, who would question his decisions. He wanted someone who blindly follows his orders and therefore chose Saru to be his first officer.

Checkov dealt with it the same as Lorca did on an earlier ship (as Mudd accuses) that is he blew it up rather than have the ship and crew fall into Klingon hands…

I thought Lorca’s behavior was right in keeping with his character. He clearly doesn’t feel bound by all of Starfleet’s tenets and follows the beat of his own drum. That’s why he basically flipped off the admiral when she questioned his decision to keep Burnham and left Mudd behind when he figured out Mudd was a mole. I probably would have done the same thing.

I was kind of disappointed with Mudd and really don’t see why that character had to be Mudd at all. He was introduced, quickly left behind and didn’t feel anything like the Roger C. Carmel version. I don’t necessarily expect visual parity but at least some of the original Mudd’s humor would have been useful. Maybe he will be better used in future episodes.

I like how the tardigrade story was resolved; very in keeping with Trek’s philosophy. It will be interesting to see Lorca’s reaction once he finds out it’s gone.

I continue to hate the new Klingon designs. The ships look too busy and lack the simple elegance of their predecessors. The Klingon look this time is the show’s one big misstep in my opinion (but that is a personal opinion based solely on cosmetics).

As is the case with each episode so far, this was a bit uneven but overall the good outweighed the bad for me and made me stay tuned in for the whole episode. That’s all I ask of a show these days.

I watched Mudd’s Women quickly beforehand and felt Raine Wilson did a great job. Dicovery’s Mudd could have been someone else and that would have been fine. But that it was Mudd did not seem out of place. He fit just fine for me.

And Lorca’s decision not to take Mudd with them made perfect sense. Mudd conspired with the Klingons. There was no reason to believe he’d help them on their escape or be anything but a detriment.

I too, am very disappointed with the new Klingon designs. I realize these are different Klingon’s but they are too different. I mean, what’s with these elongated skulls? They look like cone-heads when they turn to their sides. I’ll be glad when this Klingon war-arc is over. Discovery is a decent show, but whoever green-lighted these Klingon’s needs to step down and let people who know what their doing handle the alien species in the show. I’m surprised they didn’t change the look of the Vulcan’s. I mean, they seem so hell-bent on changing everything previously established in canon. I’m not sure inserting easter eggs from the prime universe will excuse the changes they are making to things that are already established, accepted canon.
It is this one element of the series that continues to make me cringe every time I watch it, and I doubt I will ever be able to accept these changes- unless I decide to re imagine what is already established in my brain for the last 50 years.
It’s Alex Kurtzman who is demanding these changes to things we already know to be canon. He was the one element of the JJ movies whose input caused all the controversy around the 2009 movie, and Into Darkness. The guys a hack who see’s Star Trek and Star Wars through the same lenses.

@TTWD — couldn’t disagree more. I love how alien the new Klingons are. They are a species to be reckoned with — not some Goth metal hair band cruising for a fight in the parking lot outside the biker bar. And while we’re criticizing changes for no good reason — why did they add a forehead bone to the Romulans? Did that spoil your enjoyment of TNG? I cringe every time I see a Romulan from the Berman era. I would LOVE for DISCOVERY to introduce the Romulans without the stupid forehead plate the way they were created to be indistinguishable from Vulcans — best thing Abrams did for the Kelvin Universe.

>some Goth metal hair band cruising for a fight in the parking lot outside the biker bar

But… but… that’s what I love about Klingons!

@UAB — and that’s fine if true. It was obviously a big change from how they were depicted in TOS, and frankly they bored the crap out of me. I find these Klingons much more exciting.

@Curious Cadet It is true. I loved the whole space Viking metal head biker gang pirates schtick with them. It made them loveable to me. However, I will admit that loveable isn’t the same thing as feared, which is what they are supposed to be. I get why they felt the need to revamp the Klingons, even if I’m not sold on how they did it.

“And while we’re criticizing changes for no good reason — why did they add a forehead bone to the Romulans? Did that spoil your enjoyment of TNG?”

It didn’t “spoil” my enjoyment of TNG, because it was a minor tweak. (And a stupid one: Spock as a Vulcan was able to blend in on Romulus in “Unification,” and vice-versa for V’Lar in ENT.) These Klingons are virtually a different species. I agree that the Klingon redesign has been a misstep of discovery so far. The ships are overly stylized.

@The River Temarc — all the more to my point. It bothered me quite a lot. I hated everything about the way the Romulans looked and behaved compared to those in TOS, to the extent that I often skip episode which feature Romulans. Yet you had no problems at all. I hated everything about the Klingons in TNG, except to varying degree their appearance. To me, I welcome any changes to these species to make them more alien, and more threatening. The more different they are to humans, the harder to understand them and accept them. If they had changed the appearance of Vulcans, I would probably roll with that too. Spock then makes even more sense as a half-human who looks more human than Vulcan. They aren’t going to please every fan with all of their changes, but they pleased this one, with the new approach to the Klingons. Sorry it wasn’t as effective for you, though I’m not that sorry because you evidently enjoyed the TNG era look much more than I did. Now it’s my turn. ;-)

The Klingons prosthetic nostrils are really on the nose too!

… see what I did there ;)

I agree about them not doing enough to protect him. Maybe it was budgetary (then again, they filmed a scene over seas that was rather pedestrian). But seeing a massive attack by the Klingons on Lorca’s shuttle and its security ships would have been great. I think its perfectly reasonable that they’d not have any large Star Ships available to simply accompany Lorca. But surely some support ships.

On the other hand, if they assume no one knows he’s visiting Star Fleet command, why draw attention to it. As soon as you provide VIP level security, you are telling any interested parties that its a VIP on board. They likely transport people routinely and its something the Klingons would care little about.

A better question might be, how did the Klingons know, Which isnt a plot weaknesses. They have an intelligence division, presumably, working on just this sort of thing. That we didnt see it, is not a plot hole. But might come up later.

I have no issue with Lorca leaving Mudd behind. Not just because it fits Lorca’s “prick” persona. But because Mudd was conspiring with the Klingons. Why would you take him along on your ONLY CHANCE to escape?

Right. The way I have always watched TV, is with the understanding that very little makes its way into dialogue for no reason. (You know, outside of Kurtzman/Goldsman cool factor needs) L’Rell said she’s good with English because she’s got experience with spy work. That right there establishes that Klingon espionage programs are already at work.

Also, the Feds knew exactly where the Klingon prison ship was. Again, that suggests an intelligence network on both sides.

Very good point.

“Lorca’s contemptible decision to leave behind a fellow human being (albeit a despicable one) to torture and worse”

Leaving Mudd behind wasn’t the detail I worry about. That may have been harsh but it is NOTHING against the backdrop of the USS BURAN tale that had him escape on his own, blowing up his former crew to prevent them from falling into Klingon hands. I wonder why almost nobody seems to be mentioning this. It was the WORST piece of dialogue ever on a Star Trek show and felt like out of GOT or TWD were “decisions” like this are made by selfish, relentless characters.

The fact that he came back for Lt. Tyler after finding the shuttle bay instead of just leaving him behind tells me he was being truthful about his rationale for blowing up his own ship and that he does care for Starfleet officers in his own way.

Still, the guy definitely has a pretty unique set of values that clearly don’t line up with traditional Starfleet officers. I’m sure in his mind he thinks he did the right thing. Also helps to explain why he hates the Klingons so much and why he is willing to break so many rules to defeat them.

We don’t know enough about the incident to make that kind of judgement. It’s entirely possible that Lorca was off the ship for completely legitimate reasons and triggered the self-destruct remotely by subsoace relay or some such to spare his crew horrific treatment at the hands of the Klingons. He’d have a boatload of survivor’s guilt to deal with, a la Matt Decker, but that’s a perfectly reasonable set of motives for his character.

I’m saddened, though, to read the defenses here of Lirca’s decision to leave Mudd behind. The man deserves to be imprisoned, not brutalized and tortured to death away from his own kind. Sure, taking him along may engender some additional risk. But you do these things because they’re right, not because they’re easy.

I think you’re applying your (and probably Starfleet’s) morals to Lorca. The story of him killing his entire crew to prevent them ending up as prisoners lets us know how deep this man’s scars go. Was leaving Mudd behind the right thing to do? I don’t know (particularly as I don’t believe he was the one leaking the intelligence to the Klingons from the cell) but it certainly gives the show a chance to take the path less travelled with its characters.

But I’d have left Mudd behind too, for what it’s worth. No good in a fight and he’d already proven he’d do whatever it took to save his own skin at the cost of other people around him. The danger is too great, particularly with Discovery’s secrets – and potentially winning the war – at risk.

He had a listening device in the creature. He admitted to leaking information to the Klignons. He is by his own admission a survivor. Someone who would do anything and everything to live. Having said that the Klignons still figured out the path that Lorca’s ship was taking through Federation space and managed to get him back to Klignon space undetected so they have spies within the Federation ranks. Maybe they will explore these angles in future episodes? One of the drawbacks of serialized storytelling is they focus on so many different things you often don’t get the answers you want right away.

They have beaten around the bush, but Lorca has clearly taken criticism for what happened to the Buran. Regardless, Starfleet Command was willing to give Lorca a new command, and there are at least some admirals backing him, including Admiral Cornwell.

That’s why I’m not really bothered by it – Starfleet placated it by giving Lorca a new ship.

Worst? Brain? What is Brain?

Nice assessment. That has almost been my exact takeaway. The characters in general are become great a bit more interesting but the plot holes and playing fast and loose with canon are just too big and silly to completely ignore.

What is going on, some parts of this episode were complete garbage, but others were excellent. The whole klingon/lorca storyline is just bad. Full of plotholes and without sense. Saru/Burnham/Stamits are amazing, this is the Star Trek we need and deserve.

The USS Buran is reference for the former soviet space-shuttle-like spacecraft:

I have been disappointed in Discovery, and until this episode I have not recognized it as being Star Trek. However, this is the first episode where I did see some rudimentary signs of it being Star Trek, beyond mere lip service and in actual practice. The compassion for Ripper, even at the great cost to themselves, was pure Trek and reminded me of The Devil in the Dark. Perhaps even more compassionate that “The Devil in the Dark” because there was no symbiotic solution and humanity had to make sacrifices to allow another species to- to coin a phrase-Live long and prosper.”
As a side note I love the old D-7 design and don’t understand why they may have totally changed it. A basic design can endure for over 50 years because of functionality. I looked at photos of 1940’s aircraft carriers and I still see the basic design of them intact today. So why not keep a D-7 recognizable?
Anyway, I liked this episode more and am hoping it continues to evolve into something I can recognize as Star Trek. This is the first time I saw the Federation acting differently than the Klingons, in the sense that it wasn’t just about two races in war trying to defeat the other by any means necessary. Instead, the Federation acted with integrity in their concern for Ripper. And, as Anthony pointed out, hopefully this is the beginning of characters who are actually kin to each other as well as “others” (e.g. Ripper) and I therefore I can care about in return. My fingers are crossed that this is the beginning of a new Star Trek show to me.

I meant “kind to each other,” not “kin.”

A little less than kin, and more than kind.

I have to admit I was a bit bored with this episode for some reason but still liked it overall. I like that the Admirals are still total dicks lol. Looks like this Admiral would get along with Admiral Nechayev easily. They could almost be sisters. ;)

I actually liked Mudd in this episode. Man that guy is despicable lol. You really didn’t feel sorry for him when Lorca decided to leave him there. He didn’t show one once of selflessness. I really thought I was going to hate the character and now I love hating him. ;)

How they handled the tardigrade stuff was predictable but its nice they won’t just stop completely using the spore drive either. Yeah I thought that might be a little too easy and it looks like they are going to try other methods to use it. I liked that Stamets used it on himself and it looks like that ending is going to open up to some crazy stuff in the future. This is the Star Trek I want to see!

Sorry still not liking these Klingons. It was nice just to see them speak English though so I could actually focus on the scenes. But so far they come off VERY unlikable. I am starting to miss the old ones but of course I’m going to give them a chance. But so far still not doing it for me.

Like the new guy. Already forgot his name lol. But yeah I think he’s going to be a good addition as well.

And Saru gets better every episode. And I’m happy the whole ‘coward’ thing is not true of the character. He was willing to go into Klingon territory at all costs to rescue his Captain, even killing the tardigrade if he had to. Thats not a coward. And I liked the talks between him and Burnham. It felt like Star Trek of old, two people admitting their doubts of each other and working through it.

Something still feels a bit off about the show to me but I am really enjoying it. I guess I just miss the actual exploration part of the show. And it feels too focused on the Klingons for obvious reasons. When are we going to see more aliens??? It feels so odd they just keep throwing out alien names but we don’t hardly see any. I’m not too bothered the Discovery are mostly humans since in this time period most of the crews were but can we see more than just one odd alien in a scene? I don’t expect it to be DS9 but it would be nice see a few alien civilizations before the mid season.

But yes overall it has kept my attention. I’m just waiting for cooler sci fi stuff like time travel and visiting the mirror universe but it will come.

You’re kidding, right? If anything, there have been too many non-humans seen in the background of multiple scenes for this time period. At the beginning of this episode, when Tilly and Burnham are in the mess hall, they seem to be in the minority species-wise; most of the crew having lunch appear to be something other than human. On the bridge, we’ve seen the large-headed insectoid alien during the battle simulation in last week’s episode, and then of course there is Commander Ariam, an “alien cybernetic hybrid” according to And let’s not forget all of the aliens that we saw on the bridge of the USS Shenzhou.

No I’m not kidding. Yes we seen a few but there has been no interaction with them outside of Saru mostly. Its mostly humans talking and interacting with other humans. Outside of Saru and the Klingons there is hardly any direct interaction.

I’m just waiting for them to seek out new life and civilizations I guess. I know because its a war theme thats not the mandate of the show but it would still be nice to land on an alien planet and interact with someone. But I know its early and it will come.

How you treat even the most despicable human being isn’t about feeling sorry for them. It’s about who you are.

Leaving Mudd behind was not a punishment. it was tactically wise. Taking him would have been stupid.

Why? He collaborated with the Klingons to save his worthless ass, not out of any loyalty to their Empire. I seriously doubt he’d try to sabotage his own rescue.

but isn’t that the Mudd of TOS also? You never were quite sure if he was a good guy or bad guy so he was treated cautiously at best.

Regardless I don’t feel sorry for him. ;)

And one other thought, building on Anthony’s point. Stamets may have taken his own version of “The No win scenario.” and it was interesting in that it was courageous like Spock, but also had elements of being in his own interest (his finding out more about his scientific dreams, and not having his partner break up with him).

I think the Spock callback was intentional, with the Captain calling down to Engineering from the Bridge to congratulate his subordinate, not getting the response he expected, and rushing down personally to Engineering to find someone he did not expect inside a glowing glass enclosure, apparently dead.

Yeah, once again, Kurtzman apes TWOK. LOL

Star Trek is over. Time to move on. It’s Just another fights and explosions fest now. I can understand the reasons for making it though – clichéd stuff like this the TV and movie industry can make in their sleep. Gentle and uplifting moral tales? Much much harder!

Art tends to reflect the times in which it’s made and these aren’t gentle times, alas. I get that it may not feel like Trek to you, especially if your reference is the TNG era. But if you believe that fights and explosions are all there is to Discovery so far, you aren’t looking very hard.

You must not have watched last night’s episode if all you took away from it were fights and explosions.

I took plenty of additional things from it also: An ever more unlikable main captain who’s now been revealed to be a mass murderer of his own crew, Klingons turned into tedious 2D villains who just mindlessly torture and kill for the sake of it, and Voyageresque tech filled gibberish inserted at every turn to forward the clunking mechanical story to whatever laboured outcome was required.

Don’t watch it then, simple.

But we all know you will.

@AdAstraPerAspera, That’s a very arrogant position to adopt. To tell people who saw any value in an old and established TV format to say nothing and just accept it being quietly killed off for no better reason than because hack Hollywood producers could not rise above beyond the standard myopic tropes that they think all sci-fi and ‘modern’ entertainment must consist of, well..that’s not a valid position to be pushing in my view.

Star Trek is just another average TV show now. I’m sure it’ll pick up whatever demographic of sheeple it needs to make some cash. It being the everyman science fiction programme that anyone of any age or background could watch and enjoy? Forget that! It’s history!

Maybe in 50 years poignant storytelling will be back in. At that point your equivalents will be telling us all how it was always such a wonderful thing, and they always knew no other sorts of stories came close. I’ll just stick to knowing what I know to be good. And let others get on with the business of finding excuses for this by the numbers dross.

Well said!

Sorry that you find my opinion “arrogant”- but your first comment came across as trolling. At least you have explained your rationale for claiming that Star Trek is dead. Of course, I disagree with you- but at least you have gone into some detail.

So you regard killing someone to spare them a horrible fate of torture, public humiliation and suffering as exactly the same as murder? Remind me not to give you any authority over my end-of-life decisions.

I mean, to be fair, Soren… This is also the franchise that gave us Spock’s Brain, Move Along Home, and Threshold. They can’t all be City on the Edge of Forever, dude.

@Soren Yeah, well, that’s like, your opinion, man.

In many ways, this was the darkest episode yet. But in true Star Trek fashion, there are shafts of light that shine through.

There was some criticism when it was announced that Harry Mudd would appear, as he’s shown in TOS to be an irredeemable criminal who exploits women, while TOS portrayed him as a lovable rogue. Here, there is humor, but he’s shown to be clearly irredeemable and traitorous. There is no redemption for him.

His cellmate is Lt. Ash Tyler, a POW who experienced sexual violence of his own. Given the stories on the forefront of the news this past week, it’s especially topical to see his story, and to see him get revenge.

We see what Lorca is capable of (his interrogation strategy is a bit like Archer’s), and all the good and bad that means. There, we see echoes of Kirk’s arc in Star Trek V.

This episode showed only a glimpse of a vessel with an iconic designation. It might only hint at how drastic a visual reboot this show intends to be.

This was the first Trek production to use unambiguous F-bombs–yes, plural, there were two. It also showed a quieter moment between Stamets and Culber, in their home life.

There was also some criticism at the way the drive was used to make its jumps. But here, the entire story revolved around the ethical conundrum at play, and how it tied to Saru’s first attempt at command. There were shades of The Galileo Seven, except that this time, the crew was right. The conflict over that resolved in the happiest way possible. It also brings at least a little closure to the Saru/Burnham conflict, as we learn some more about what drives it. The ending there was quite sweet.

As with most serialized storytelling, this is a show that rewards patience and good faith. Keep both and you may enjoy it.

Well said Eric.

Thank you for pointing out the sexual abuse angle of Tyler’s story. I don’t know whether few people picked up on it or they just don’t want to talk about it. Glad they explored it from the perspective of a man. Too often sexual abuse/assault is only talked about from a woman’s perspective.

Which is why I don’t believe the theory Tyler=Voq because as said it makes that story line feel more credible. And the way he went after L’rell (sp??) when they were all alone also makes that theory less so because it was clear he was angry and when he was hitting her he wasn’t doing it for an audience.

Tyler is Voq. He obviously lied about being a sex slave of L’Rell the whole time. L’Rell was stuck on that big Klingon ship for 6 months. She wasn’t on the prison ship before. It all was a ruse to make Lorca trust and like Tyler/Voq. Voq knew that Lorca was around and attacking L’Rell was just about making the ruse more believable. Their escape was so easy because they wanted them to escape. Tyler/Voq’s goal is obviously getting information about the Discovery’s jump drive and for this he needs Lorca’s trust.

Well we don’t know everything that happened with L’Rell on that ship. Maybe she was hiding him and taking him along with her as she went. He himself said the captain has taken a liking to me not that he had been on that specific ship for 6 months. Only that he had been with her. I could see that if she had him she would definitely hide him from Klignon hating humans.

“The Klingon Raiders are so cool.”

No, they really aren’t. Zero design lineage. They just looked like generic, forgettable sci-fi movie ships.

The D7? Ugh.

At least the ship interior was much better.

We actually don’t know if that was the D-7 throughout the ep.
At first I thought it was as well but Lorca could just as easily been picked up by one then transferred to a Prison ship.

@El Chup — I agree in that I don’t care for the look of the Klingon Raiders … they looked like mechanical turkeys … so strange. However, “generic” and “forgettable” they aren’t. Until I know for sure what the D7 looks like, I’ll reserve judgement.

MFW the people behind a Star Trek series have no knowledge of Star Trek and don’t know fighter crafts are not really a thing in Star Trek, so then they put fighter crafts in Star Trek, so now fighter crafts are a thing in Star Trek, even though they aren’t. o_______o

@UAB — I’m OK with fighter crafts, the Bird of Prey is sort of that. And they add a bit of excitement. Would Roddenberry have had them originally if he’d had the budget? Certainly they fit within the naval experience he had, with aircraft carriers and fighter jets. They don’t really fit with the Starfleet model of diplomatic scientific exploration, so a ship like DISCOVERY wouldn’t really have facility for them. Who knows, maybe the Constitution class ships filled its hanger decks with them during this time, much as the Queen Mary became a troop ship during WWII. But I have no problem with the Klingons having them, especially as a warrior race. But the design they came up with was horrific.

I suppose one could view the Bird of Prey as a fighter craft. I agree, fighters fit the naval model. I just detest that they add to the whole dogfight feeling to the space battles that have become the modern norm in Star Trek. I long for the days of slower, more surgical battles.

To be fair, things like Maquis raiders are fighters. One could also see the Delta Flyer as a fighter craft as well. I guess it’s not that it’s unprecedented, it’s just that I don’t care for the idea much.

Oh and yes, the design for the Klingon fighters was terrible.

@UAB — terrible.

@UAB — agreed. That’s why I don’t see Starfleet as maintaining that model. They don’t need them to conquer planets where they hope to beat populations into submission, whereas it’s appropriate for the Klingons and Romulans.

@UAB — no argument from me. “Balance of Terror” and TWOK are my favorites. I would have hated to ruin either of those productions with fighter craft buzzing about.

Totally agree! Those raiders looked like insectoid ships from LEXX the dark zone. Definately not klingon. And why call that ship a D-7? Why not give him some random name? The Sarcophagus ship looked more like a D-7 than that ship.

I enjoyed this one overall. I thought Harry Mudd was well done and continue to enjoy seeing more on Lorca. The hardcore swearing is really throwing me. It’s so unnecessary and adds absolutely nothing to Star Trek.

Totally agree. I’m no prude but F bombs and Star Trek do no mix well. Other than that I thought it was another good episode.

Nothing wrong with a few “colorful metaphors”, sparingly used.

Actually, the f-bomb dialogue was a f*ing great scene. I’ll never get the American sensitivity towards those terms. As long as they’re not overusing them as on American Gods (three f-bombs in one and the same setences is a turn-off!), I’m fine…

But I’m not fine with a couple of gratuitous instances of graphic violence. The Klingon killing the unnamed Starfleet officer by kicking in his skull, sorry, nope, that’s exactly an instance of unnecessary TV-MA violence I just don’t want to see in Star Trek. And the female Klingon being nearly missed by the Disruptor only to die in horrible agony was also inacceptable…
Not to mention Lorca’s USS Buran backstory I’d expect in a show like BSG or The Expanse, and even there, it would be awkward… They’ve put themselves in a corner with this ridiculous TV-MA rating and now they have to include these vomit-inducing tidbits to deliver…
But as with last week’s “They ate the Captain” issue, Gretchen Berg will be happy that we are shocked once again!

I didn’t think that L’Rell died. She was clearly in a lot of pain, and I expect we’ll see some impressive scarring when she shows up again, but I don’t think she was killed. Her story is not over.

It is a common trend to make dystopic scifi nowadays.
Trek was always about presenting us with a positive apsirational future, people who had flaws but did the best they could to be better people.
While DSC on occasion has its Trek “moments”, this series thus far is that–A GoT/BSG-reboot/Expanse-like scifi show lightly peppered with Trek.
No matter what Star Wars is made, they all “feel” like Star Wars.
Same with Doctor Who.
Or other franchises.
Yet Hollywood sees that Trek does not make the kind of money or viewership that the grim, violent, and conflicted shows make and they have wanted to inject these qualities into Trek to make it popular and more money.
But once that is done… in the end, if it doesn’t carry that future we all want to live in that Gene laid out… is it really Trek at all if it doesn’t feel that way?
Is the Discovery a future I would want to live in?
I can say yes about all prior Treks, including the Kelvin films.
But this one… eh…

I know the vast majority disagree with me, and that is fine.
I will be called backwards, not-forward-looking, unwilling to embrace change, etc.
I only hope the show finds its true Trek roots after this Klingon-arc is over.
(Hey, if ENT had been just the Xindi war, I’d say the same for it, too.)

Also, it saddens me that this is a Trek that young kids cannot watch.
Trek was always a family experience, even in its rougher parts, but still handleable for kids.

But this…

I just think the Star Trek universe used up the Utopian treatment of stories. It got boring. That’s why Trek on TV ended and TNG movies ended. The only viable Trek was going to be “real world” Trek. That is why the reboot did well and that is why I believe DSC will do well.

Where in the world was Trek so ‘utopian’ on TV though? Why do people say this as if it were a fact? DS9 had a five year war with the Dominion. Voyager encountered every crazy villain out there and dealt directly with the Borg the last four of its seasons. Enterprise spent season 3 dealing with the Xindi who killed millions of people on Earth. The fourth season was setting up the Romulan war which they were planning for the fifth season.

And Star Trek had things like Section 31, the Maquis and the Bajoran/Cardassian conflict. Everything from terrorism to slavery actually happened on these shows.

I hear these things as if every episode it was Picard, Sisko or Janeway sitting in their readyrooms having tea or coffee and not a care in the world. Thats just completely false. There was NOTHING Utopian about the universe they were in. What was utiopian was Earth and being part of the Federation, which oddly enough, was formed out of fear of their enemies. But thats where it ended. Q said it himself, “Its not safe out here.” and it rarely was.

The only thing Discovery is doing differently from the others is it threw a war story line in its first season. That is definitely new for Trek but blood and war in Trek is as old as the franchise itself.

To abandon the spirit of Trek in order to keep Trek alive?

I’m with Captain Picard:
“If we’re going to be damned, let’s be damned for who we really are.”

Gene’s words, really.

first of all you would’ve never seen Trek on TV again without “whatever style” DSC is. Give the show a chance to become what you want. Second, ur right that Utopian was probably the wrong word, but what people are asking for is TOS and TNG Trek. That can’t be done anymore and get ratings

OK fair enough! And I’m personally fine with what Discovery is. I don’t mind the war arc since that’s why so many of us loved DS9 so much but it was seen as the ugly step child for a long time. But today it is viewed differently.

So my guess is many people who hate Discovery now may grow into it later as they simply get more comfortable with the characters and situation. I honestly thought I would never really get into the DS9 cast when it first started. They came off a little too unlikable and weird. I mean if nothing else the Ferengi wasn’t going to last for more than two seasons. In other words, things simply change.

If DS9 can become so loved than so can Discovery. I guess the difference being when DS9 was on you still had TNG and then Voyager which felt more in line with Star Trek we knew. With Discovery, this is all we have for now and after a decade without weekly Trek I think some are just missing the ‘explore strange new worlds and seek out new civilizations’ part of the show. But it will probably come in time as well.

For me personally though I don’t want all Trek to feel the same. I’m glad every show feels a bit differently than the last one. I really hated the idea that Discovery would basically just be a redo of TOS and happily glad that’s not the case.

I’m not actually American and I’m perfectly fine with F and C bombs galore in the likes of Game of Thrones, Sopranos or the wire I just think it’s a little out of place in Trek. I would agree that the violence was a little OTT for Trek as well although I think there is room for a darker back story for the Captain particularly if it does turn out that he’s involved with Section 31. Other than those little gripes I thought it was another good episode. I loved the little Easter eggs like the Captain April reference.

>Gretchen Berg will be happy that we are shocked once again!

Yeah, this is the kind of thing that’s making me really dislike her. OMG, SHOCK VALUE! OMG, focus on good stories.

It didn’t feel organic to that scene at all and a bit out of left field. If you’re going to drop an f bomb make it count.

Well, I thought it was a pretty natural use of fuck, as opposed to it done in anger or something here it worked well for a scientist being overwhelmed by the coolness of stuff…. it’s fucking cool.

agreed. sounded like how conversations pretty much go now. especially when something is effing cool

You act like the swearing is a routine thing. “The hardcore swearing is throwing me”. There was one scene. And I thought it worked. I didnt feel it was gratuitous. I thought it made a point about both those characters.

Yeah…it was a cheesy Orville moment to be sure. Added nothing other than
‘hey look, we said a bad word on STar Trek!” Stunt writing. I hope that’s all of it.

“Did it shock you? GOOD!” – What I imagine Gretchen Berg would say.

Some plot holes aside that others have addressed already, I thought this made for one of the stronger entries yet. A couple of things – while sufficiently menacing, Riann Wilson didn’t channel Roger Carmel at all as Mudd, but then again I really didn’t expect him to. I liked getting a little bit of backstory on Lorca, and his interaction with Starfleet in the beginning. In fact, I really enjoyed how he got all bad-as* while in captivity.

What is really disappointing me so far is the Klingon ship designs and the space scenes in general. The ‘raider’ Lorca stole at the end actually made me laugh, but not in a good way.

Saru stands out again, and Stamets continues to grow on me. Nice WOK shout-out during the climax. Burnham is the least compelling character to me so far. I liked the creepy Stamets doppelgänger at the end.

Overall, pretty enjoyable.

The raider reminded me of designs from LEXX. The ship designs for the Klingon’s are falling way short for me.

@Denny C,

Yep, maybe the ship’s designer is a Lexx fan!

I agree. Burnham is the least interesting character of the bunch.

Found it a bit strange when the ‘f-bombs’ dropped in! Really enjoyed it again this week and Rainn Wilson I think has Mudd down almost perfectly.

I’m not a fan of Rainn Wilson at all, so I was kind of cringing when he was cast as Harcourt Fenton Mudd, but I was surprised that I actually enjoyed his performance.

Did anyone else shed a tear when Ripper drained itself?

For me, this is fitting right into TOS canon more and more, and not just the name-dropping. In the late 1980s and early 1990s I was really getting into the lore of the 23rd century Trek universe. I remember stories, games and novels filled with rogue captains, playing loose and careless with experimenting with new technologies, skirmishes with the Klingons, etc. Even in canon, we know that this era was filled with these elements.

We finally get to see cowboy captains like Lorca on screen. He doesn’t have to be S31 to be such a loose canon. I think some of us are comparing him to other captains like Archer, Picard and Janeway and not really comparing him to captains like Kirk and Sisko (the latter would’ve fit perfectly in the 23rd century by the way).

Also, we know that Starfleet was not afraid to experiment with new technologies. We know that it’s in this time that the Federation was experimenting with, and destroying subspace as a result of messing with, Omega (VOY: “Omega Directive.”) Experimenting with sentient-slave-driven technologies like the S-Drive on Discovery doesn’t seem that far-fetched given the situation and times we are in.

The only thing I still can’t shake right now are the Klingons. Personally, I believe it was a very, very bad choice to redesign them. I know we want to make the Klingons look alien, but armor and battle gear can do that. Even the changes in the design of the starships is fine by me, but if you’re going to name-drop the D7, SHOW THE ENTIRE SHIP! Not just the underside, which is familiar but more textured like the K’Tinga upgrade from TMP. So I’m supposed to believe that the Augment Virus that affected “millions” only made them, what, lose their hair in the end? Or are there 3 physical offshoots of the Klingons now – the TMP/TNG Klingons, the TOS human-ish Klingons, and these guys on Discovery? I don’t think so. Messing with the Klingons themselves was a bad idea.

That being said – L’Rell was starting to grow on me. I loved the armor of the warriors on the prison ship this week.

For crying out loud, someone give these Klingons some HAIR!!

In all seriousness and to conclude, this was fantastic. I went into this series not expecting much. I’m loving the novel-like serialization of this show. I’m liking Lorca as a captain, Burnham is growing on me. I can see Saru easily becoming a science fiction icon like Spock or Chewbacca. From the moment Burnham and Stamets had their intellectual spat on the shuttle on their way to the Glen, the mutual respect these two characters have for eachother (even if they didn’t say it) was quite apparent. If he didn’t respect or trust her, he wouldn’t have given her his phaser to distract Ripper on the Glen. In the end, Discovery is really growing on me. I love this era of Trek and I love seeing this part of the 23rd century fleshed out more and more.

Color me surprised and very happy with what I’m seeing so far.

“I think some of us are comparing him to other captains like Archer, Picard and Janeway and not really comparing him to captains like Kirk and Sisko”

Neither Kirk nor Sisko would have left their crew behind, saving himself, violating the most principal rule of naval history that a captain has to go down with his crew, and then openly admitting to the fact that he had killed his crew by blowing them to smithereens, “saving” them from Klingon imprisonment… At this point, Lorca is already beyond redemption, no matter what he will do in the future. This character is worse than most renegade Starfleet admirals we got to hate in the movies (minus Admiral Marcus that is)… The Buran backstory is the worst bit of character detail we ever got for a main character of Star Trek.
Pike, Kirk, Picard, Sisko, they all had to suffer some terrible losses in their earlier careers, but this??? And Lorca doesn’t even seem tormented by what he did, but he proudly boasts about that “on his watch” his crew will never ever be taken prisoners. What kind of monster does that?
Those are creative decisions that go far beyond the worst expectations I had. The violence is one thing, but this?

Really? Because Lorca killing his crew to save them for a worse-fate with the Klingons reminded me of Picard telling his crew in First Contact not to hesitate on killing Enterprise crewmembers being assimilated: “believe me, you’ll be doing them a favor”. Cold, but harsh reality.

I guess Picard was evil too. lol

And Picard did kill the crew member who was in the process of becoming Borg, without hesitation or regret.

Good point. Truly! But being assimilated by the Borg is a worse fate than having to spend some time in Klingon imprisonment, with a reasonable option to be broken out of it at some later point as it has been done time and again in Trek.

How do you know? Have you been assimilated or spent time in Klingon prison?

I still think blowing your ship up and killing your crew is a bit off. Unless you were blowing up a lot of klingons with it or some other strategic purpose.

I think that was the implication. They were taking the ship back to Kronos as a prize, obviously the Klingons had control of it somehow. We know that Klingons like to board enemy vessels to take them over.

then what he did was nothing less than what Kirk threatened to do multiple times

The dialogue of the Admirals would seem to indicate Discovery is NOT sec 31.

I believe some are proposing that Section 31 doesn’t exist at this point, but that the arc of DSC could bring it into existence

That doesn’t work either. Reed was part of S31 so we know it was founded around the same time Starfleet was founded since we know Reed has been part of the organization since before he signed on to Enterprise NX-01.

Section 31 is as old as Starfleet is. Dr. Bashir was told this by this in their very first appearance and then Enterprise confirmed it when they showed up there.

In fact the name Section 31 literally comes out of the Starfleet charter that states it has the right to defend itself against extreme threats in Article 14, Section 31. That was referenced in Enterprise.

ok then i dont think DSC is S31 either

Thought the same. Interesting and a bit dissapointing.

I enjoy the show, loved this episode’s ending with Stamets reflexion. But am I the only one who thinks that the space shots look like crap?

Agreed, the space shots look pretty horrible. Very much taking me out of each episode. And that was always one of the things I found most exciting about Trek.

Yeah I wish the space shots were less colorful. Why is there always a super-colorful nebula in the backdrop? I love the way the ships look otherwise.

Yeah, it’s like they don’t know the vast majority of space is empty or something.

@UAB — we don’t see the colorfulness of space from our planet due to our remote location in the galaxy. My understanding is that most other parts of space, especially more central, have extremely colorful views.

I feel the exact opposite way. I love the color.

Posted this elsewhere, but… Displacement Activated-Spore Hub Drive = “DASH Drive.” Wonder if we’ll start hearing that acronym? ;)

DASH drive? Like it! If only that show wasn’t dragged down by so many lousy choices piling up to a huge heap of horse dung…

There are so many good aspects about this show! This episode had so many positive aspects and yet I cannot help but feel overwhelmed by all the outrageously graphic depiction of meaningless violence and demonic character details… Maybe it’s just me and my current mindset that I cling onto all the negative aspects instead of enjoying the better moments. But great character moments are overshadowed by a growing line-up of pathetic choices. This may work on TWD or GOT, but on Trek, it just doesn’t feel right…

I honestly have no idea what you are referring to with ‘meaningless violence’ and ‘demonic characters details’… I didn’t pick up on any of that so maybe some examples?

“Maybe its just me…”

We have a winner…again.

I’m just wondering why this post about the amusing acronym for the new spore drive was hijacked to discuss other topics which have also been repeated numerous other places in this thread? Perhaps sharing in an original post (as you did) that you have issues with the language and graphic nature of the show thus far and ending your comments on this post after the first four words would have been the most appropriate route to facilitate a discussion in which we can all effectively and productively take part.

There were many, many good moments and easter eggs in this episode but once again, the episode was dragged down but a bunch of aweful choices that could have easily avoided if the producers hadn’t adapted that “we need to turn this mature” ideology just for the sake of shock value.

There are number of moments that really turned me off and I was about to turn the episode and the series off for good at those points.

– The Klingons torturing and killing victims is nothing new, but did they really have that Klingon stamp on the unknown Starfleet officer’s skull just because it’s 2017?

– First I was glad that the Klingon disruptors vaporize people seamlessly like in any other Star Trek show because I was expecting worse: slow and painful disintegration. Only a minute after I had been reliefed about that, they really had to include exactly that on the female Klingon when the disruptor nearly missed her… I wasn’t as gross as it could have been but again an unnecessary instance of those “2017 sensibilities”…

– And then the unforgivable! Lorca’s backstory on the USS Buran! A Captain leaves his crew behind and murders them in cold blood before letting them taken prisoners by the Klingons…told in an episode about saving this very Captain’s life! For me, this character is finished. There is no way I could ever accept such a person as a main character on a Star Trek show…

– D-7 cruiser redesigned and referred to as both a prison ship and a Bird of Prey!?! Are these writers even doing their homework? It’s not that some of us fans don’t care about stuff like that. I have spent thousands of bucks on even the most exotic starship models from Eaglemoss and other companies. These starship types matter! Another punch in the face by a team of producers and writers that seems to be enjoying themselves giving us a hard time on such continuity breaches…

There are many nice moments: the Tardigrade set free, the sweet moment between Stamets and Culber, the Captain’s names referenced on screen, but all in all this was yet another instance of provocative screen-writing…

While D7 is a nuisance, the meaningless inclusion of graphic violence is a turn-off and Lorca’s backstory is a major offense to this universe!

@Smike – your complains make no sense. We realise you’ve beat the TVMA drump into submission but as much as you love F-Bombs (which will earn a TV-MA) you complain about violence?

You are fine with the Klingons beating and killing but upset they showed a kick to the face? Huh?

What was gross about the Klingon taking the shot to the face? Watch Saving Private Ryan if you’re so concerned with “2017 sensibilities”.

Its YOUR sensibilities. I mean, gee, criticize the show for things it deserves. You’re way out to lunch on those two items.

Regarding Lorca, its fiction. But if you cant accept that character as a lead on a Star Trek show, I guess you wont be watching anymore. SAD.

“You are fine with the Klingons beating and killing but upset they showed a kick to the face? Huh?”

Because that’s what Klingons have always been doing. Killing, beating, fighting, torturing… they WAY they depict that stuff it what matters.
My gosh, man… that scene was SUPER gross! They had the killer going full throttle with some inrun, smashing on the skull of the already finished victim. The sound editing added a lot to the intolerable nature of that scene. Same goes for the agony depicted in the post disruptor blast scene. Right out of a horror movie! I can live with that stuff in a horror series, but not on Star Trek! I want my family-friendly Trek back. That sort of obnoxiously graphic and tonal violence is entirely superfluous. It doesn’t serve any other porpuse but to justify the high rating and provide shock value.

This is not Star Trek! Scenes like that I can never tolerate with this universe! There was one scene like that in TNG’s first season. Now we get two of them every episode!

Nope, not super gross. Implying violence versus showing violence both have merit and is a director decision. I have no issue with it. The fact you keep going on and on about it. Okay, Smike WE GET IT. Move on. Or dont watch.

I’ll keep going on about these scenes in future episodes. Because not watching is no option but not speaking out against these depictions isn’t an option either for me. Cutting back on the number of posts is an objective though. :-) But that only shows how emotional I am about this show and all of these grizzly tendecies with the mainstream part of all speculative fiction…

Its spamming the forum and trolling everyone here at this point pal.

You can’t get ratings with family friendly anymore and it won’t come back. Orville is family friendly for the most part and not doing well.

@Spiked Canon — to be fair, ORVILLE is not doing well in the Live broadcast ratings, particularly the key demo. It is maintaining roughly 6 million viewers a week in time-shifted viewing, which won’t necessarily keep it on the air, but does draw an ultimately decent audience. So it’s conceivable FOX could find a different delivery method for it, though it remains to be seen if all 6 million viewers would be willing to pay to see ORVILLE if it came down to that.

I still think CBS will do more versions of Trek if DSC ends up being popular. If only to keep the DSC viewers paying between seasons. We may see other versions at that point that appeal to those that like a different kind of trek

Personally, I’m not bothered by the way you complain about the violence and more adult nature of the show, smike. It’s not even that I agree with you, I just think you’ve a right to the opinion and you are at the very least correct that these things are new to Trek. It’s of course going to give some less satisfaction than others.

“but as much as you love F-Bombs (which will earn a TV-MA) you complain about violence?”

Occassional f-bombs shouldn’t even be an issue for age certificates. We have family movie titles carrying a (misspelt) f-bomb in my country. There is NOTHING gross about using these terms outside of an explicitly sexual context.

But with those spikes of unnecessarily graphic depictions of violence, it’s an entirely different thing. Our censores used to cut these tidbits out of movies like Terminator back in the day and while I used to be against that sort of censorship back then, having these unnecessary seconds on Star Trek makes me finally appreciate these cuts to some degree.

If that sort of over-the-top depiction doesn’t bother you Americans in the slightest anymore, congratulations! The problem is that most countries the world don’t have their own huge movie and TV industry and need to import Hollywood stuff and thus we important all that pointless violence. Our kids don’t even realize anymore how gross that stuff is in parts, all thanks to TV-MA “premium cable” shows and R-Rated movies that would have been illegal in uncut form a couple of years ago.

Yeah, I can tolerate all of this in niche horror series or below-radar action flicks, but now that it has become the new normal, infesting mainstream franchises, it stops being good fun for occasional deviations.

So you’re using YOUR sensibilities to judge a show and basically condemn it. You need to get out more if you think the violence or graphic scenes are a big deal. They are all in context and rather tame.

Smike…you got some issues man. And stop comparing YOUR censors. Star Trek is an American show. IF the violence is too much for you, you already know your option. Why don’t you actually take it instead of whining about things like this most people, especially Americans are use to seeing all over their TV screens day in and day out.

Does anybody remember when Star Trek used to march to the beat of its own drum, instead of doing what other TV shows are doing? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

“We realise you’ve beat the TVMA drump into submission”

If the TV-MA had only been given for an occassional f-bomb or two, my pre-launch quibbles would have been pointless… the pilot was okay, but then it got worse with each episode.

Ep 3: The mangled crew of the Glenn… as a one-shot scene, this would have been fine. But they didn’t stop there.

Ep 4: Landry’s injuries… still borderline but already gross to some extend.

Ep 5: The despicable kick / stamp to the head… in combination with the sound editing… no way! The disruptor headshot with all the tonal agony presented. This is not Trek anymore!

On top of that: eating Captain Giorgiou off-screen and the Buran backstory… simply too much! It’s getting worse, and by the time we’ll be arriving in the Mirror Universe, this show will be TWD in space!

So dont watch. It’s just television. You can call it 2017 sensibilities but violence far more graphic than this has been shown for years and years and years. All the ‘gross’ stuff is rather tame, really.

The fact you complained incessantly BEFORE even seeing the show is making you want to affirm all that after you’ve seen it.

“The fact you complained incessantly BEFORE even seeing the show is making you want to affirm all that after you’ve seen it.”

I guess your assumption is correct. Absolutely. My current mind-set, even before the launch of the show, has got something to do with that.

But point being? From my POV, these scenes have proven me right so far, altgough I wish they wouldn’t have. From Star Trek’s POV, these scenes are NOT tame. If you compare it to Spartacus or GOT, they may be, but that only proves my point. Current developments have lowered the standards on good taste to such a low level, we now consider these scenes rather tame… They aren’t, IMHO…but then, having the choice between going on watching and discontinuing the only part of my life that kept be going, there is no choice… And don’t tell me it’s just television! If so, I am just television!

Depiction of brutal violence *as brutal* (e.g. not glorified as moral or fun) is not in bad taste.

Smike, the way that you keep going on- you’d think that Star Trek: Discovery was some kind of Eli Roth produced horror slasher. It’s not. There are a lot more violent shows on television- Game of Thrones for example.

I know that you believe you cannot not watch this interaction of Star Trek (despite not believing that it is Star Trek which is…. confusing to say the least)- but if you have such deep issues with the show, I would really suggest watching the other 700 hours of TV Trek instead. The issues you have with Discovery are not going to go away.

Its not Star Trek of old. Girls also don’t wear go-go boots and sets don’t like cardboard. In other words, things change. YOu really need to as well or simply don’t watch the show if you are so offended over it.

Well said @TUP!

@Smike – as I’ve pointed out to you before, this level of graphic violence is not new to Star Trek in any manner. In a previous post, I mentioned how one of the most graphic things I’ve seen in any iteration of Star Trek, including Discovery, was the graphic and brutal exploding of Remmick’s head in the TNG episode “Conspiracy”. That episode was filmed in 1989, almost 30 years ago. When I brought up that point, you shrugged it off stating “I don’t watch seasons 1 and 2 of TNG much”. As if ignoring it makes it not so.

But, just in case one example does not convince you that realistic brutal violence has not always been a part of Trek, let me give you a list, much like the one you compiled for Discovery:

ST:TOS – The horrible deaths of the redshirts by the cloud creature, with their lingering, choking deaths shown on screen and their ashen bodies strewn about afterwards.

ST:TMP – Sonak and another officer are horribly mutilated in a transporter accident, the depiction of their deformities visible in the transporter beam, and their extended screams lingering for seconds in the scene.

ST:TWOK – Who can forget the Ceti Eels burrowing the ears? Close up and in slow motion? Or the close up scene where one pops back out of Chekov’s ear, with blood and Eel goop after Kirk melts the Eel with his phaser?

ST:TWOK – Khan’s bloody mutilated face and hands, burns, blood, and all, at the end of the movie.

ST:TWOK – Scott’s nephew’s burns and bloody body, and Kirk walking around with the bloody handprint on his tunic as an unpleasant reminder.

ST:TWOK – Researchers at Regula, hung upside down with their throats slit.

ST:TSFS – The SLOW disintegration of the Klingon who accidentally blew up he Grissom.

ST:TSFS – Kruge fighting with the giant worm, with the nice close-up of his fingers penetrating the worm with gobs of goop and blood.

ST:TUC – The slaughter of all the Klingons on the disabled ship. The nice close-ups of Grokon’s oozing, seeping wounds and burned flesh as McCoy tried to save him as a nice touch.

ST:TNG – The aforementioned head exploding, chest bursting scene.

ST:TNG – At least two graphic instances I can remember of characters being run through with swords: Wesley Crusher in a season one episode and Picard (both young and old versions) in Tapestry. In both cases, you saw the sword jutting out through the chest, blood and all.

ST:DS9 – One scene that always stood out for me, not because of the graphic imagery, but because of the realism of the descriptions and the delivery, is the scene where Jake and a number of Star Fleet soldiers are trapped in an encampment, with Klingon soldiers rapidly approaching, and are discussing whether they’d rather be killed by a disruptor, or by decapitation by a bat’leth. It’s rather morbid and gruesome, and hits very close to home.

ST:INS – All of the scenes involving surgery or repair to the decaying Son’a. And Admiral Dougherty’s “face stretching” death.

And, these are just the ones I can think of, right off the top of my head. I’m sure, when I walk away from this post, I will think of many more.

In short, smike, a level of graphic and brutal violence has been involved in EVERY incarnation of Star Trek, from its very beginnings. I’ve outlined only a few of those above… leaving out men being burned to ashes, stabbings, and other gruesome means of demise that have all been depicted on screen. So now I must assume that your memory of classic Trek is one that is viewed through rose-colored glasses, wanting to ignore those moments that invalidate your objections here. The depiction of, and dealing with, the potential horrors of journeying to the unknown has ALWASYS been a part of Trek and nothing I have seen, thus far, in Discovery is beyond anything I have seen in previous iterations of Trek.

Wrath of Khan was a 15 in UK wasn’t it? At some point?

Ah yes..I also forgot the TNG episode “Loud as a whisper”, where the three members of Riva’s “chorus” are disintegrated slowly, skin peeling away to reveal muscle and organs before that peels was to reveal skeletons. Not gruesome at all.

Or Kivas Fajos infamous Veron-T disruptor disintegration of a totally unarmed, helpless Varria, her bloody scream resounding for seconds as she slowly is torn apart inside out.

But, yeah, that stuff has never been a part of Star Trek.

I know, I know! Stamets is Killer Bob!

How’s Annie?

It’s strange that no one has commented yet on the totally unnecessary presence of not ONE but TWO f-bombs in Discovery’s latest installment. I’m sorry but f-bombs, amongst other things DO NOT belong in the Star Trek universe. If this sort of “Shock value Star Trek” continues, I may have no choice but to cancel my subscription to CBS All Access. Oh, and another btw DSC’s version of “Harry Mudd” was even more one-dimensional than he was in the Original Series. Just sayin’.

But things like “shit,” “bullshit,” “horseshit,” “goddamn,” and “son of a bitch,” those all just scream Star Trek, right? I mean they must, they’ve been in it enough.

The F Bombs were out of place in the context/place they were used, but c’mon, they were hardly ‘shocking.’ Walk down almost any street in any city these days, you’ll hear much worse. It’s how many, many, many people talk.

I think surprising because we haven’t heard on Trek before, but definitely not out of place

Heaven forbid that somebody would swear in excitement. It was a very Tilly thing to do.

@AdAstraPerAspera — indeed. After all the build up to it, I was stunned by how organic it felt. It actually felt like she had no choice other than to exclaim like that. And Stamets, who seemed stilted in his reply, actually came off exactly as I would expect him to. Extremely well executed moment.

The two lines I REALLY hated in this episode were Mudd’s “Boldly Go” and Michael’s “All Access Pass” comments. Both seemed way too clever and overt.

Overall I’m still not entirely sure where I stand with this series. As I was watching I kept thinking to myself that this show may have been better served as something else entirely unrelated to Star Trek.

Almost everything presented thus far is easily interchangeable with what could have been a standalone series, simply by scrubbing out all elements related to Star Trek. Swap out the federation with a different governing body, the Discovery with a new ship design, Klingon’s with a new alien species (or even humans who broke off centuries earlier to form a new society) and you would still have a show called Discovery with the same premise and characters. Though it exists in the Star Trek universe, very little would need to be tweaked in any of the episodes presented thus far to remove it from the Star Trek universe.

Agreed, Denny. Others have said the same here.

Agreed. Or at least they could have openly admited it’s a reimagining in a new timeline, a timeline that split from the original Primeverse millions of years ago to explain the Klingon designs, the different tech and everything else that doesn’t fit.
It feels like those many different iterations of the Superman myth. There are familiar elements but no incarnation is fully compatible with the others. And this is how it feels. It’s set in a different version of the Trek universe… But this cannot be set 10 years before TOS… maybe 10 years before a similar five-year mission by a similar Enterprise crew, just like in the Kelvin Timeline, but not in our familiar universe. I hope they have a change of mind and openly admit that… they may even reboot TOS after DSC ends for what it’s worth.

It’s Prime. Knock off the silliness.

Why should they ‘admit’ to something they and many others don’t agree with?

I’ve said before. The Trek we grew up with can not be made on TV or in the movies. It would get next to nothing ratings.

Then maybe the time has come to end Trek for good. I’d rather have no new Trek than this sort of jumping-the-bandwagon sort of “evolution” for a new generation of people with completely different sensibilities than in those decades true Trek was made.

This is Star Trek in name only. If classic Trek (updated by monern FX) doesn’t sell anymore, let this franchise die… this is a zombie show that should have never made.

I’ve survived 12 years without new Trek, but I’m not sure how to survive one year with this sort of Trek…

Then maybe the time has come to end Trek for good. I’d rather have no new Trek than this sort of jumping-the-bandwagon sort of “evolution” for a new generation of people with completely different sensibilities than in those decades true Trek was made.

And yet in another topic, you were saying that not watching Star Trek is not an option and that you would rather die. Which is it? It’s time for Trek to end, but you can’t live without it.

And yet you will be watching every episode Smike. Why don’t you just make it easier for yourself and stop watching? And maybe for rest of us to DO enjoy it and want to see where it goes keep watching?

I don’t think Discovery is perfect and have issues with it too which I have expressed many times but after not having Trek on for over a decade I am giving the show a wide berth for these reasons. And I just think people are waaaaaay too short sighted on these issues, especially about TV shows that morph and change in time. Very few people thought TNG was a good show or represented Star Trek its fifth episode into its first season. Same for DS9. Guess what, those views ultimately changed and they changed big for TNG.

And Trek needs to evolve and change for every new generation. This isn’t suppose to be TOS, TNG or Voyager. It IS different. It doesn’t mean you have to like it but its premature to say its not Star Trek. Its just not the version you’re use to.

And if you removed all the Star Trek elements from Next Gen, it would have been a different show too.

Drew Melbourne,

Re: … if you removed all the Star Trek elements…

Actually just as Roddenberry had created STAR TREK to get his network rejected THE LIEUTENANT and HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL scripts and story ideas on the airwaves, he didn’t create NG to bring back STAR TREK, but rather to use its trappings to get his Network rejected THE QUESTOR TAPES and GENESIS II/PLANET EARTH/STRANGE NEW WORLD scripts and story ideas on the airwaves. So if all the STAR TREK identifiable marks and trademarks were removed the thinly disguised THE FUTURE ADVENTURES OF QUESTOR IN PAX HUMANITY would still remain not making one whit of difference.

The pacing was great and had some great character moments. I wanted more when the show ended. I really like Lorca. I love his story arc. He’s a man with a plan and he doesn’t show his cards. Everything flowed well in this episode. This felt like a true Trek story. Evetything about this episode worked for me.

I loved seeing Captains Archer, Pike, Decker and April’s name pop on the screen. Nice touch. Mudd was done very well… loved the mention of his wife Stella. lol. The writers are doing their homework. And Easter eggs aren’t just eye candy, they play nicely into the story. Can’t wait until next week!

“I really like Lorca. I love his story arc…Everything about this episode worked for me.”

Of course, it did. You may be the only captain in Starfleet history who is equally despicable. Abusing space creatures for selfish reasons and all that…

Seriously… how can anyone still like Lorca at this point? The USS Buran backstory was the final nail in the coffin of that character’s decency. Killing your own crew to “save” them and selfishly saving his own ar$e? I really hope they turn him into a full villain now. If they ever try to redeem him as a person, I’m going to vomit onto my laptop…

I didn’t see it that way. It showed that he is damaged and wants to redeem himself just like Michael. It reminds me of Commodore Decker, who was mentioned on the computer screen in this episode, when he struggled with survivor’s guilt after he lost his crew. Yes I do like Lorca. Looking forward to more episodes.

Being the lone survivor is one thing but willingly killing them and then boasting about this act of murder by lines like “Not on my watch!” is an entirely different beast! This man is evil… not ambiguous, but pure and utter evil!

Smike, are you 8 years old? You’re very emotional about this. lol

What does my age have to do with being emotional about this? I was emotionally upset about the death of the fake Voyager crew in “Course: Oblivion” for months! I’ve always been emotional about anything Trek for 25 years now. Only this time, I feel so helpless against the backdrop of a changed TV landscape…

My late father’s concerns about those issues still haunt me from his grave, I guess. That’s the only explanation I can offer you. He was so emotional about far lesser instances of violence, I tell you! Two days before he died, he cried during a fun comedy…
Star Trek was one of the few shows we used to watch together. And I know how he would feel about scenes like that. Okay, he was 45 years older than me, haunted by the suicide of his first wife and his war experience as a child.
But then, I know, he wouldn’t want me to suffer. I have to overcome this! Somehow!

Time to move on Smike. Really.

Move on? Where to? The only way to move on would certainly not be something you’d suggest to anyone I hope.
There is no easy moving on from this place. It’s record that cannot be changed, not reset, not even silenced. It keeps on spinning until kingdom come. So stop telling me to “move on”…

“Move on? Where to?”

Maybe getting a real life for starters. And maybe people will stop telling you that if you quit sounding like a baby over minor details in a TV show.


Re: Course: Oblivion

I can relate as I was that sensitive when I was very young. However, I am totally mystified how you got past the death and destruction of a real Voyager and its entire crew that occurred in the much earlier DEADLOCK?

A very much real Voyager as Janeway rediscovered the science and logic maxim “A difference that makes no difference IS no difference.”, via Harry Kim.


Really? Pure evil? Because (if his story is true) he wanted to spare his crew much pain and suffering?

Decker’s guilt was a result of an act that he thought would save his crew but instead cost them their lives.

I’m not sure if Lorca is looking for redemption and he seems at peace with his decision. His primary concern is defeating the Klingon’s at all costs. All other matters are secondary.

@Denny – we dont know what is inside the heart of Lorca. He could be “acting” the part of the Captain we need. ie. focusing solely on decisions to win the war and perhaps its killing him on the inside. Or perhaps its not but might later. We dont know.

If the end result is Lorca sacrificing himself due to a sense that its all he has left after everything he has done and seen (and not just the deeds, but the act of putting emotion aside, like when Landry died, it could impact him), that would not surprise me.

Military commanders make decisions that ultimately send young soldiers to their deaths. Many of us could never do that. But its to our benefit that there are those that can.

Oh definitely Denny. I agree with you. The mission is to win the war at all costs. Kinda like Decker wanting to destroy the Doomsday Machine at all costs. Yes Lorca is a different breed and complicated. I am looking forward to seeing more.

@Denny C — just as stopping the “Doomsday Machine” was for Decker. He had a moment to express his guilt, but all that went out the door when it came to stopping the planet killer, even putting another crew of another ship at risk to do it. Or, perhaps that was how he expressed his guilt — he was going to stop the Doomsday Machine at all costs to relieve himself of the guilt of having lost his crew battling the thing, so their sacrifice — his mistake — wouldn’t be in vain, regardless of whom else he took down with him in his suicidal mission.

And maybe its why he wants to defeat the Klingons so badly. Its probably personal for him now after what he felt he had to do with his crew.

SMike, why are you personally offended. Relax. They have done very little to expand on the story of Lorca. We have no way of knowing how much of the story of his former command was true and have no context for it.

Also, the “abusing” animals thing isnt cut and dried. As we found out this week when it was discussed. They ultimately did the “right thing”. But had the creature not been on the verge of death, the question would have persisted as to what length you can go to save others.

I guess after 9 months of continuously second-guessing, contemplating and rambling about the current state of Trek, genre TV in general, cinema and any form of “adult” media, I’m at a point where I am personally offended by almost anything and everything.

I could tell you about Trek saving my life at the age of 17, when I didn’t get the girl called Annika and Annika Hanson (Seven of Nine) popped up to make my day and keep me going.
I could also tell you about my late father, his inability to deal with violence, pain and suffering, his constant “adivce” to stay away from anything “horror”, calling people watching that “poor, poor people”. This memories of well-intended words stick, even if I have had decades to overcome them.

There are many things that have me deeply emotionally involved with these quibbles and tribulations. You may call this “unhealth” and mentally unbalanced. And you’re only right about that.

But giving up on all of genre TV and cinema because there isn’t much left my father would endorse from his cold grave, would deprive me of everything I have been for the last 25 years. If you tell me to stop watching, you could easily tell me to end everything…

Yup. Unhealthy and unbalanced is exactly true.

I mean, dude, I hope you’re okay. But you cant expect everyone else here to embrace a position you’re acknowledging as unhealthy.

Time to move on.

Why on Earth would I want anyone EMBRACE my position? On the contrary, I wish it wasn’t my position in the first place! But unfortunately, what I WANT TO THINK is not the same as how I ACTUALLY FEEL. There is a fine difference.
I don’t want anybody to agree with me. I don’t want anybody to share my points. I don’t want anybody to be in my position.
Moving on? Where to? Lethe? Oblivion? Nothingness?

For the record, Course: Oblivion and Deadlock were both really emotional for me too.

Those episodes is what I love about Star Trek. I really liked the concepts that surrounded them, especially Deadlock. Course: Oblivion was really heartbreaking.

I couldn’t watch it last night. It wouldn’t load on my set. Besides that, I don’t understand why I have to wait until 7 o’clock on a Sunday to watch it. Let me watch it on my weekend.

I feel the same when I have to wait until 10PM to watch the Duece on HBO. Why can’t HBO send me an advanced copy to watch when I want to!

Gee, I didn’t know CBS AA was a broadcast network you could subscribe to like HBO – you know, be part of your cable package.

Apples and oranges.

@Lurker – Not if you use common sense. Premium content.

Just for you, Ill switch the example to “Chelsea” on Netflix. Netflix has a few series it releases once per week.

Why you have to wait until they release it to watch it is self explanatory. I was making fun of how silly the complaint was.

One callout the review missed: “Captain” Matthew Decker as one of Starfleet’s most decorated. Obviously a reference to the future Commodore Decker and the ill-fated USS Constellation.

Yes that was awesome.

My stream buffered on the Fbomb. Haha. I thought, did they really say what I thought they said? (Data’s “Oh, shit!”)

There was also a SHIT earlier when Tyler meets Lorca.

Robert April, Jonathan Archer, Matthew Decker, Phillipa Georgiou, Christopher Pike. That gave me goose bumps!

Yup. They *should* have thrown in one we never heard of just to get the Expanded Universe peeps’ tongues wagging.

Sure it did. So many great scenes! So many great actors and characters, but all of that – and the entire Star Trek universe – brought down by a growing line-up of inacceptable scenes and details crossing the boundaries of good taste and decency. Make no mistake, but this does not just destroy my appreciation for DSC but for all of Trek, all of TV and movie making. This is the point where I finally have to admit, that Hollywood has gone too far. I don’t know who or what to blame for all of this.
It would be easy to blame it all on TWD or GOT. These shows didn’t come out of thin air. At what point did we lose control? At what point did the exception become the rule? Was it CSI, The Sopranos? Was it 300? Was it the internet itself? I dunno anymore, but the ting I know is that I hate what has become of genre TV and cinema and now, of my beloved Trek.

Guess you never watched Deadwood, smike. That would have made your head spin. But to attempt to answer your question, a lot of people point to HBO and The Sopranos, or The Wire, that started the type of shows so prevalent (and successful) now, like GOT, TWD, Breaking Bad…

I came of age in the 70’s and 80’s, and watched all the horror and everything ‘real’ and ‘edgy’ I could get my hands on, so I guess I’m just desensitized to violence, language and gore on-screen. The only thing my wife and I boycott now are movies that are based on torture, like the Saw films or Texas Chainsaw – no thank you.

Funny (to me), when I first saw that scene last night of the Klingon stomping that poor guy’s skull, I literally said to myself – ‘Oh Man, Smike is not gonna like that one bit…’ Gave me a chuckle (no disrespect intended).

Yeah, I never watched a single episode of non-fenre shows like CSI, Sopranos, Deadwood, Breaking Bad, The Wire or whatever stuff has changed TV for more than a decade now.

But I DO watch every sci-fi or fantasy show, so I had to give GOT or TWD a try. And at first, these shows, especially GOT, worked for me because I can’t developed that sense of being overwhelmed by those changes yet. That has only started 9 months ago, when I watched Logan in cinema… and those quibbles have never left me alone for a day since that day.

“‘Oh Man, Smike is not gonna like that one bit…’ Gave me a chuckle (no disrespect intended).”

Absolutely no offense taken. It’s nice somebody thinks about me while watching DSC.

“I came of age in the 70’s and 80’s, and watched all the horror and everything ‘real’ and ‘edgy’ I could get my hands on”

Most horror and action, even the few R-Rated sci-fi flicks, had been cut by our censors back then. Not even movies like Terminator or Total Recall had been available uncut until recently. So even if I had had an interest in watching “adult” entertainment, there was no way of ever getting contact with scenes like that on German TV back then.

But even the cut versions I couldn’t watch until I was 17-18 because my father would have never let me. It took me some time to adapt to horror and hard action as genres, so it wasn’t until I was 23-24 that I actually wanted to watch more of that. The earliest movies I had seen (“From Dusk Till Dawn”, John Carpenter’s “Vampire”), were also shred to pieces by the censors, and even those butchered versions shocked me beyond compare. But yeah, I came around at about 25, finally accepting those genres, right after the demise of ENT. This is when I began ordering stuff from the UK to finally be able to watch them uncut.

But for all those years, I was only okay watching that stuff as some sort of “guilty pleasure”, a dirty little secret filed under video nasty. I had never perceived any of that as coming even close to mainstream.

Of course that has changed recently… Deadpool, Logan, IT, TWD, GOT, you name it… And this is where I am now, trying to come to terms that all of this is the new mainstream…

And this is difficult after I had been raised to believeby both my father and my country that movies like that are evil…

Thanks for that insight into your viewing history and the culture of censorship you grew up in, Smike. Very interesting, and kind of a bummer for you. No wonder you find much of what is broadcast today to be so challenging. You were actually conditioned, purposely or not, to be squeamish to it.

“You were actually conditioned, purposely or not, to be squeamish to it.”

So true, so true. Even today, a large percentage of 18+ releases are cut, lots of the uncut version either put on an index not to be sold openly or banned altogether from even being sold to adults. Of course, nowadays, we are talking about movies like Hostel 2 or Hobo With a Shotgun. Movies like Terminator and Total Recall are now free 16+ releases.

But those changes cannot change my youth. Others have managed to bypass these restrictions by ordering in Austria. Then the internet came round. Today, not many people even here care for these restrictions anymore. All (from my POV) “ultra-violent” TV shows are shown uncut on TV late night, only Spartacus has been cut in two places. But again, those changes came too late for me I guess.

Star Trek was the only show I regularly watched together with my now late father who died two years ago. We even watched the 2009 and 2013 movies together! This is why those changes now affecting Star Trek has such a deep bipolar impact on me. I cannot help but wonder what he would have said about this week’s scenes in question. Actually, I know the answer. :-(

Are you kidding? What the heck are babbling about? There has been violence in film and TV for as long as they have been widely produced.

You can argue that it was up to (or just past) the standards of the time, but that’s not Hollywood losing moral sensibility, its a societal shift.

As Dan notes below, it might be a larger change for TV but this isnt the NBC Movie of the Week from 1982. Its streaming. Its premium content TV which has fashioned itself as TV version of film.

Time to change records, Smike, the current one is stuck.

Some moderate violence has always been part of mainstream entertainment, but the truly hard stuff used to be pretty niche back in the day, certainly in my country.
They had several minutes CUT from movies like Terminator, Total Recall, Predator etc for their 18+ releases. So even if I had had the guts to stay up and watch any of these movies at NIGHT (the only time these movies could be broadcast) against my father’s will, I wouldn’t have seen any scenes like in today’s DSC episode. But I never did that.
The only time I saw a horror movie below the age of 18 was on a party where they watched “From Dusk Till Dawn” and I had to leave the room when they got to the TittyTwister in Mexico because I just wasn’t prepared! I was freakin’ 17 back then!

Of course, even in Germany times have changed since then. But my “formative years” have been dominated by watching harmless cartoons and old Star Trek and it took me until my mid 20s until I finally began to embrace horror as a genre.

I have seen countless movies and TV shows since then, but that was before I had realized these items had become mainstream. Now I’m feeling the strange mixture of guilt and bad conscience on the one hand and relief that today’s kids will never go through the same lack of preparation on the other hand.

Am I fine with horror and violence as a niche genre for adult only? Check. But am I fine with horror and violence as an ingredient of mainstream factually watched by all ages? I simply can’t make up my mind on that. The toll of my upbringing still drags me down too heavily…

Smike I just watched the episode for the 2nd time and it wasn’t that gruesome at all. The stomp was actually less visceral than the poor shuttle pilots death. Also when L’Rell got shot in the face you know she didn’t die right. She will be in many more episodes. Also in my humble opinion, she was more angry than crying out in pain. Man this show is really impressing me.

The biggest issue was clearly how none of us could tell what the Klingon was saying when she spoke English because of her make up. Wait. What. We COULD understand her? Oh.

Let’s put the “make up makes it impossible to speak” nonsense to bed.

Best episode thus far. Cant think of a single thing that was weak.

I agree. I feel like this is truly a return to the Star Trek I loved back when Ds9 was still on the air.

yep, agree it was the best

Only 134 crew members? Just over 40 crew members per shift to man the bridge, engineering, shuttle bay, sick bay, transporter room, security and the science labs supporting the “record” 300 experiments? Doesn’t compute.

Possibly they’re at reduced manpower due to wartime needs?

Yes, one would suspect they are working OT during the war. 300 experiements means little as that can encompass many small experiments and many happening concurrent to others.

There are a lot more experiments happening on ISS than there are astronauts on it.

The 134 number does seem low, but q: with the design of the saucer, it really cuts down on the volume and exactly how many are living and working in the spinny rings?

Plus, for an experimental ship, you’d want only as many people as you need. Its war time and its classified. In fact, one might question if Culber’s assignment there was a favour to Stamets to help him go along with the plan (while they need doctors, they might not generally assign couples to a ship like this during war time).

Yeah, that surprised me too. Pretty large ship for that number of people. And it hasn’t exactly appeared under-populated thus far, including Burnham and Tilly having to share quarters. What’s up?

Well if the Constitution Class typically housed approximately 400 crew, it may stand to reason Discovery is quite a bit smaller. And thing is, we really haven’t seen it compared to any other Federation ship so far if I’m correct on that, and it did seem pretty small compared during that two-second battle with the warbirds, so maybe 134 makes sense.

It sure doesn’t look smaller to me. The hangar bay, Bridge, and Engineering are all larger than their TOS equivalents, and that area where the spores are grown is a damned forest.

Good points. I have no choice but to throw up my hands and wonder along with you…

Starfleet wants Discovery to be careful with their spore drive resource. So Burnham releases the Tardigrade? Who gave her the authority to do this? Her disrespect of the chain of command is what got her imprisoned and still she hasn’t learned. Lorca’s going to be pissed. (And so am I!)

I thought the same thing. I guess Saru allowed it as acting captain. But thats a major decision. The argument will be, if they had kept the creature, its service was still over. But surely Lorca would rather keep it stuffed and mounted than let it go.

Even in suspension the creature could have been probed for its secrets. I imagine that Burnham would be in some real hot water with Lorca over this, though if they’ll elect to show it is anyone’s guess. Still, since her releasing it went a long way towards redeeming the episode as Star Trek for me, I’m glad she made the decision she did.

I would guess Lorca will be unhappy as well. We shall see if they examine that next episode (or beyond).

Yep. Best one yet. Show’s finding its groove now, gathering strength every week. Have to confess, grew so fatigued by technobabble on TNG and VOY over the years but really enjoyed Tilly, Burnham and Stamets doing their take on it last night.

I loved Wilson as Mudd. He fit the part without any issues for me. Wasn’t much of a stretch to envision him as the same character. I think anyone doing a rewatch of Mudd’s Women would see there’s nothing whimsical about the character in that one.

Burnham and Saru’s exchange at the end, Saru’s attempt to find common values between the greatest Starfleet captains as reference for himself, the ethical debate (and drama arising from) regarding the tardigrade and its subsequent release were all perfect Trek. The show’s too dark? Nonsense. Someone may have turned the lighting down but the show’s spirit is aligned towards hopeful solutions.

I personally loved the F-bomb. It was used in a playful manner. You’d have to be pretty thin-skinned to be offended by it and I think we can assume it’s not something we’re going to hear too much of elsewhere in the show.

Acting’s top-shelf in this one. Doug Jones in particular gets to shine but Isaacs is so, so great. You can tell he’s having a lot of fun.

If I’ve some minor nitpicks…? The plotting’s still a bit clunky. It’s an issue with a lot of episodic TV. Game of Thrones suffered a lot this season with this – the feeling of characters being moved around to service the plot like chess pieces rather than characters making decisions themselves to push the plot forward.

I wish we could get some nice money shots of some of these ships. Everything moves around so fast, it’s hard to get a sense of what they look like.

These are minor compared to the positive aspects though. Show’s warping now. So happy it seems to be in good hands. More, please!!

I like to show. There’s still stuff to get use to. Still hate the ship, probably always will. Not on board with the F-bombs. I don’t have a problem with any of the Characters. Most of all I am very very very very very happy they don’t have the bland, mundane Dennis McCarthy score from TNG, DS9 and (maybe, still haven’t seen all the episodes) Voyager.

This is the first episode where Lorca seemed like a true Star Fleet captain to me. Up to this point he seemed more like the “evil” Captain type.
And I’m no expert on canon but Robert April was the first Captain of the Enterprise, according to TAS I think. But I wonder what ship Pike was in command of.
The F bombs actually caught me off guard, but not because I didn’t like it but because it came from her. She doesn’t seem the kind to cuss much lol.
Liked the Klingon D7, more “organic” or decorative, like Crustacean’s or sea shells?
Another great episode imo. Keep em coming! :]

Captain Pike was Captain of the Enterprise at this point in time.

Yes that’s what I thought, April, Pike, Kirk ect. Cool.

Oh yeah I was worried about Mudd’s portrayal, but he did a fine job imo. I thought they may try some total “reconstruct” of the character but he channeled the original pretty well.

Liked the Klingon D7, more “organic” or decorative…

Dunno, man… I couldn’t for the life of me recognize that as a Klingon D7. I presume the prison ship was another ship entirely, but the one that intercepts Lorca’s shuttle and which is only visible for a couple of seconds didn’t really look like a D7 to me either with those “appendages” on the ventral side. Those actually reminded me of the Negh’Var with its torpedo launchers or whatever those “pods” were supposed to be.
What complicates matters is the line about the Discovery looking for a Bird-of-Prey – at least that’s what Saru calls it… A bit of a mess if you ask me.

If they would just admit that this show is another reboot set in an alternate timeline it would go along way to elevate it from awful to just mediocre.

Why? It’s still the same show either way. Interpret it in any fashion that pleases you. What is it with some fans that they require a TV producer or studio legal division to tell them what to think?

If they’re going to make drastic changes, they should own up to them instead of sweeping them under the rug and denying the lack of any visual continuity. It would be in their best interests to. They wouldn’t have to keep up the damage control if they would, and fans would understand.

I don’t see any evidence that they’ve been denying the lack of visual continuity.

It’s obviously a “soft” visual reboot set in the prime universe. That being said I love the show so far. And I am a TOS freak!

Which was done in TMP/TWOK too. The problem with some fans is they find things unacceptable if they happen now and sacrosanct if the same things happened 40 years ago.

The difference being those came after so its easier to accept. TNG was a nearly complete redesign but the show was set 80 years later. If they said it was the same timeline but said it was 10 years before TOS people would’ve riot at the time.

I’m ok with the fact Discovery is updated from a 50 year old low budget TV show but it really does feel out of place from this era in many ways. It feels more advanced than the 24th century era as well.

Am I the only one to notice (and maybe Im wrong), that the theme, after the opening “classic” part, seems to lift the first couple of notes from the Klingon theme from TMP (albeit a different tone)?

Didn’t notice that, will have to keep an ear out for it. I would say its possible.

Its basically the first one or two beats. It sounded familar immediately and I looked and it is similar to the Klingon theme. But I have zero musical inclination so its possibly my imgination.

The notes Im referring to are at 16 seconds of this video:

I think the most decorated captains in Star Fleet are eventually rewarded with command of a Connie.

Except for Archer, makes perfect sense.

Georgiou didn’t have one though although her ship seem way more advanced anyway.

I like this ship! Y’know, it’s f***ing exciting.

Love it!

The more I see of Discovery, the more I can see TOS. It’s subtle, but there. This show is amazing.

What struck me again about this episode, just like the pilot, was the very… weird way in which expository dialogue was handled. Most perspicuously during the scene in which Burnham, Stamets and Tilly are discussing the Ripper-dilemma in engineering: Whom are they talking to? At first it made sense, since it seemed that Burnham and Stamets were explaining their findings to Tilly, but then we learn that Tilly had been in the loop all along, finding it all “fucking cool”. So who’s there to talk to? Would it have been so difficult to just have Saru in the scene? Or they could just have briefed the engineering staff, but there was absolutely no one else in that room. It was just like during the pilot episode’s opening sequence where Burnham relays the details of their mission to Georgiou… the details of the mission they’ve been on the entire time…
It would seem that the writers have quite a problem with the very simple narratological concept of a “Watson-figure”. And those details just really take me out of the story.
They’ve handled such things better even in TNG’s first season. I’m specifically thinking of one of my favourite S1 episodes, “Home Soil” (kinda TNG’s take on “The Devil in the Dark” in many a regard), where they find out that they’re dealing with a sentient organism in a way that’s completely plausible to the viewer but still fantatiscal enough that some expository dialogue is needed. But it’s handled in a way that everything that’s found out during the course of the episode, be it on-screen or off-screen, is relayed to another person (Picard in most cases) and as such seems plausible as well. Of course the main difference here is that this specific epsiode wasn’t “burdened” with a subplot. Still, in Discovery it sometimes seems that a lot of internal logic is sacrificed in order to move the plot forward, just for the sake of a faster pace…

@staff: Sorry about the double comment! As you might have noticed, I chose to censor the curse word when I should’ve just waited for the comment to be unlocked. Please feel free to delete this comment if you get around to it. Didn’t mean to clog up the thread.

There was also some weird dialogue in Burnham and Saru’s first scene together in the pilot that made it sound like they didn’t know each other very well, despite having served for 7 years together.

What struck me again about this episode, just like the pilot, was the very… weird way in which expository dialogue was handled. Most perspicuously during the scene in which Burnham, Stamets and Tilly are discussing the Ripper-dilemma in engineering: Whom are they talking to? At first it made sense, since it seemed that Burnham and Stamets were explaining their findings to Tilly, but then we learn that Tilly had been in the loop all along, finding it all “f*cking cool”. So who’s there to talk to? Who needs an explanation (apart from the audience)? Would it have been so difficult to just have Saru in the scene? Or they could just have briefed the engineering staff, but there was absolutely no one else in that room. It was just like during the pilot episode’s opening sequence where Burnham relays the details of their mission to Georgiou… the details of the mission they’ve been on the entire time…
It would seem that the writers have quite a problem with the very simple narratological concept/device of a “Watson-figure”. And those details just really take me out of the story.
They’ve handled such things better even in TNG’s first season. I’m specifically thinking of one of my favourite S1 episodes,”Home Soil” (kinda TNG’s take on “The Devil in the Dark” in many a regard), where they find out that they’re dealing with a sentient organism in a way that’s completely plausible to the viewer but still fantatiscal enough that some expository dialogue is needed. But it’s handled in a way that everything that’s found out during the course of the episode, be it on-screen or off-screen, is relayed to another person (Picard in most cases) and as such seems plausible as well. Of course the main difference here is that this specific epsiode wasn’t “burdened” with a subplot. Still, in Discovery it sometimes seems that a lot of internal logic is sacrificed in order to move the plot forward, just for the sake of a faster pace…

Ill have to watch it again. I hate when any show has one character “re capping” events to another who already knows as a way to tell the viewers. In that regard, the VERY FIRST SCENE of this series (well, okay, the second scene after the Klingon scene) did that and it drove me nuts.

I see we share that sentiment. As I said: It’s stuff like that which just totally takes me out of the story. It’s fourth wall-breaking in a way if a scene makes me feel like the characters are explaining stuff to the audience (and not an audience-surrogate). Note the conspicuous lack of “briefing” scenes on this show. That used to be one of the classic Trek go-to solutions for expository dialogue. Yes, it might’ve become sorta clichéd at some point (more importantly: It’s not exactly “pace-friendly”), but it always worked! And doesn’t Discovery like its Trek-clichés? No matter if TOS or VOY, the most interesting moral dilemmas were actually mostly touched upon during briefing room/observation lounge scenes. It’s a typical “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?”-situation, if you ask me.
And even in case the writers (or producers – I’m one of those paranoid fellows who sense executive meddling everywhere) arr categorically opposed to that sort of scene: “Captain’s Log”/”Officer’s Log”/”Personal Log” would be other typical Trek-ways of dealing with such issues.

I agree and I actually struggled with it on this show because I had such high hopes for the writing, but I think sometimes it’s necessary

I agree. Worse, all they really did (up until the end, anyway) was to recapitulate what we and the characters already knew about how the spore technology was supposed to work. At least have Stamets says something to the effect of, “So, to recap. . .”

Yeah I admit too that kind of bothered me. Usually I understand why its done but it was all explained just last episode so I’m not even sure why they felt they had to even explain it again? AFAIK there wasn’t even new info just a recap of it.

I LOVED Culber and Stamets… it didn’t feel forced or out of place, just spoused brushing their teeth. It was done so well and SO creepy when the reflection kept standing, can’t wait to see how that pans out :D

Agreed, the ending scene was lovely! And I’m very happy to see Culber becoming more of an actual character (as shown during his interaction with Burnham), since he struck me so much as a gay stereotype during his first appearance (I might be overly sensitive, but that “Oh look what you’ve done, silly!”-attitude he displayed there really came across as a half-parody)

I’ve been pretty forgiving of the show so far, giving it a chance, just happy that Star Trek is on TV again. But I think it’s starting to lose even me. Mostly because the Spore Drive is stupid, an idiotic concept. And this show is DARK. I’m giving the showrunners the benefit of the doubt that perhaps the arc of the series will resolve many of my issues with the show…. but we shall see. There is still tons I like about the show – Saru is my favorite character so far.

No snark, but what is your basis for finding this concept ‘idiotic’? Do you claim a particular expertise in the science involved, or related sciences? How do you know?

No, I’m not an expert in galactic mycology. The idea of a universe-wide network of ‘mushrooms’ that allows instantaneous travel to anywhere in said universe just sounds… stupid. Granted most tech in Star Trek is handwaved away with technobabble but at least things like Warp Drive attempt to be plausibly explained.

Subspace Domains, Magic Crystals and Q also sound very stupid…

There’s a number of examples of folded space drives in Star Trek giving an instantaneous jump. The Cytherians of TNG, and the one planet in Voyager for two. Not to mention whatever the Caretaker did to pull ships tens of thousands of light-years to him. Transwarp fungus is a little odd, but not really unprecedented.

So it ‘sounds. . . stupid’ to you. Why do you think that would be disqualifying for it being used on this show?

@Jonathan Thomas,

Agreed. The first time I heard about this mushrooms drive I thought it was dumb. Watching it in action cement that idea. A spaceship runs on mushrooms and guided by a space bear is idiotic.

Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel also thinks it is nonsense. He writes articles for Forbes reviewing the science aspect of ‘Discovery’ and he is not impressed by the idea of the mushrooms drive and other science elements in the show.

The Suspect Science Of Star Trek: Discovery, ‘Context Is For Kings,’ Season 1, Episode 3.
By. Astrophysicist and author Ethan Siegel

On spores

“And despite the fact that fungi form complex underground networks, providing the seeds for the fertile humus that plants thrive in, that web is in no way connected to the cosmic web of matter and dark matter that binds the large-scale structure of the Universe together.”

“Even if they did obey the same mathematical equations (they don’t), there’s not a physical connection there. These are independent systems, and even in a Universe where the Vulcan mind-meld is routine, instantaneous consciousness transferral across hundreds or thousands of light years is not even science fiction; it’s wish fulfillment.”

@Jonathan Thomas,

Star Trek: Discovery Is Smart-Sounding Scientific Nonsense, Season 1, Episode 4 Recap.
By. Astrophysicist and author Ethan Siegel

On Tardigrade:

“But in Star Trek: Discovery, the giant version is hairy, with a non-segmented body, is non-aquatic, and can navigate through and thrive in space just fine. It’s science fantasy, not science fiction.”

On Hawking radiation firewall:

“The “Hawking radiation firewall” is some strong evidence that they don’t actually have a science consultant to help with the writing of the show. By combining two unrelated ideas about black holes, Hawking radiation and black hole firewalls, they create a nonsense term and then invent some mumbo-jumbo about how running into it is bad.”

Breaking news: scientists confirm TV show technology isn’t real.

Ahmed must be fun at parties. Deciding you hate something before you see it and then hating it after just makes you correct about your biases, not correct in reality.

I think it’s a great concept! Fun and pure Trek. And who gives a sh!t what a real scientist thinks?

Michael Hall, that is a ridiculous thing to say and you should apologize to Jonathan Thomas and the entire internet for saying it.

Yes, a transdimensional mushroom network that instantly teleports you anywhere in the universe is idiotic for so many reasons I really couldn’t begin to list them all. One might be the idea that these mushrooms exist in different dimensions, or that there would be spores at all in other places in the galaxy, let alone around a sun or any place in open space, or that somehow these spores could form a “transdimensional highway”, or that a transdimensional highway could exist in any form at all, or that you would be all to enter and exit it at a time a place of your choosing for a finite amount of power. The entire idea, from start to finish, is utterly, completely, totally and irredeemably without scientific merit of any kind whatsoever.

Warp was implausible, yes, but the idea of warping space at least made a kind of sense. Riding the space mushroom network is space fantasy, aka Dune or Star Wars. Warp is soft science sure, but it’s grounded in the correct fundamentals. The Spore drive may as well be a magic hat they put on for all the “scientific accuracy” that notion has, and you can take that from me, a science person.

Michael the Science Person,

Re: that is a ridiculous thing to say

What exactly do you think Hall did to justify that claim?

Upfront: I don’t enjoy the leanings on the crutch of technobable the BB Gun introduced to the SF of Trek back in the day and that tends my knee-jerk reaction to go along with you. But I feel like playing Devil’s Advocate.

I recall back in 2012 when Wilczek first proposed the existence of Time Crystals that publications like ArsTechnica seem to claim there was no there there. But just this year:

There THEY are!

So is it too taxing for the Science to have SF postulate that there exists some natural phenomena in our galaxy that is roughly the equivalent of a Time Crystal nursery? And are Time Crystals too far removed from our normal conceptualization of crystals that it is just to big a stretch to conceive that over billions of years they evolve into rudimentary forms of life somewhat akin in reproduction to fungi? And as their crystal structure exploits quantum effects somewhat to exist is it at all possible for this life to evolve to exploit quantum effects such as, perhaps, quantum teleportation somehow and build its stimulus response nets on the same back bone which we build quantum computers?

I think I’ll leave there and see what sort of responses it elicits.

Share and enjoy.

“He who controls the spores, controls the Universe!”

Ironically, if you read the original version of “Dune” (not published until “The Road to Dune” as “Spice Planet”), it did have magical fungi and spores – iirc.

I have it on good authority that subspace is lousy with mushrooms.

Drew Melbourne,

I don’t know about that but I imagine there are some crawlspaces in subbasements flooded by hurricanes that are.

@Michael Hall: It doesn’t require any “particular expertise in the science involved” to know the spore drive is stupid. I don’t need a medical to degree to know that a pill that instantly turns someone into a pink elephant is stupid, and I don’t need a physics degree to know the spore drive is stupid. It requires basic high-school science knowledge with maybe a few extra vocabulary terms.

In episode 3, Stamets tells Burnham that quantum physics and biology are the same. Baloney! It’s a fundamentally wrong statement. The quantum level is so much farther beyond the level of cells and biology that Stamets is basically speaking stoned hippie gibberish. “Physics *as* biology” is gibberish.

He then tells her that spores are the “building blocks of energy across the universe.” This claim is a fictional as The Force, and I think it proceeds from a misunderstanding by the writers. The previous line of dialogue says that spores are “the progenitors of panspermia.”

Panspermia is a hypothesis about spores spreading through space and establishing life on various worlds. It is NOT about spores infiltrating every corner of the fabric of the universe and becoming a foundational web of energy, but that seems to be what the writers *think* it means. (Or they literally do not care at all about scientific accuracy.)

The spore drive is based entirely on nonsensical pseudo-science. Star Trek has had plenty of psuedo-science (protomatter, for instance), but it’s rarely been so fundamental to the show’s storyline. It’s fine to accept it, but don’t try to defend it. It’s idiotic.


Re: The quantum level is so much farther beyond the level of cells and biology…

Then I look forward to the THE JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B’s correction, once you contact them:

“The primary detection mechanism of this compass sense is uncertain but appears to originate from a truly quantum process involving spin-correlated radical pairs.” — ‘Radical-Pair-Based Magnetoreception Amplified by Radical Scavenging: Resilience to Spin Relaxation’; by Daniel R. Kattnig* Living Systems Institute and Department of Physics, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter, Devon, EX4 4QD, United Kingdom; J. Phys. Chem. B, Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b07672; Publication Date (Web): October 13, 2017; Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society

@Jonathan Thomas — perhaps explain why you think the Spore Drive is an idiotic concept? So far it seems like brilliant sci-fi, based on a plausible concept, but then I haven’t really researched the science behind it. I assume you have? If so, please, by all means educate me. If it’s really a stupid, idiotic concept, I’d like to know about it.

All I will say about Dark shows, is how better to see the light? And this show has some shining beams of hope cutting through the darkness for me.

I highly recommend Zack Handlen’s review of this episode at the A.V. Club. He nails it and I’m in complete agreement with him almost point by point.

L’Rell said her English is nearly perfect because she is a spy. Will Tyler end up being a human that has been brainwashed to work for the Klingons, or is he a Klingon that has been altered to assume the identity of the real Tyler that was killed during the battle of the binary stars?

I felt like that was dialogue that nodded to Voq being surgically altered or exposed to the Augment virus and inserted into Starfleet. Exposition like that doesn’t happen on TV for no reason. There’a almost ALWAYS a reason for characters mentioning details like “I do lots of spy work.”

So…piecing this together from other forums and stuff

Ash Tyler is played by Shazad Latif

Voq is played by Javid Iqbal who seems to have no other acting credits. Also, Trekmovie at one point described the identity of Voq as a “mystery”.

Well, Shazad Latif was born Shazad Khaliq Iqbal

Mystery solved?

Oh wow. Funny, since I had tried to look up Javid Iqbal as well and only found a couple of articles on a Pakistani judge of that name.
That would explain a couple of things: Firstly, why L’Rell had “taken a liking” to the character and secondly why Voq’s delivery always seemed so terribly forced. Might simply have been the actor disguising his voice. It also fits L’Rell’s line about Voq having to “give up everything”.
Poor poor L’Rell btw. That sure didn’t work out as planned. It’ll be interesting to know whether Klingons have heavy-duty dermal regenerators or whether Klingon women also like to wear their scars with pride.

In fact, the line about “taking a liking” would fit “in universe” as a way to explain why Ash was “taken” so often or seen with L’Rell in case Mudd knew or Lorca became aware of that.

On the surface its a way to explain why he was still alive after “so long” but could be a cover as well.

Perhaps they used the Augment Virus to change Voq into a human looking Klingon, made a few other alterations and we have Ash Tyler.

They’d have to overcome plot issues concerning 1) a medical exam and 2) Tyler’s Star Fleet record

It would be quite the irony considering T’Kuvma preached how the humans were coming to assimilate them. And Voq’s place as an outsider within Klingon culture.

I’ve already got Tyler’s Starfleet record covered: there was an Ash Tyler taken prisoner by the Klingons, now sadly deceased. Pretty simple. The medical exam is another matter, of course.

He’d have to look the same, I mean. Which is possible. Klingons are fine surgeons lol

And they *could* have the real Ash Tyler still imprisoned. It would make sense to have tried to get as much personal info from him as they could, so anyone speaking to the fake Ash is convinced.

So if Ash is Voq and presumably is “defeated” by seasons end, they could always rescue Ash to keep the character on the show. That might be an interesting angle.

Rumor had it Ash would have a relationship with Michael. Voq and Michael would have some things in common so that could be really interesting.

Inserting a record into (or getting a copy of one out of) Starfleet is within possibility too. The Klingons obviously knew Lorca was moving about and when to nab him. They took him specifically. L’Rell knew about Lorca’s eye condition. Sounds like they already had his record too. I’ve come to the conclusion that they’ve got operatives in place already. They just needed to get one on to Discovery, and now they have.

Seems clear the Klingons have spies on the inside of Star Fleet. So that makes sense. It actually plays well into what we know about the future from TUC where Star Fleet leadership conspired with Klingons and Romulans.

To be honest, if we are shown conspirators or spies in the time of Discovery, it adds some support to the idea of the same in TUC time.

@UAB — to be fair, he also dropped his eye medication in the shuttle, which they made a point of showing, and I think he even discussed it in the cell

Plot twist: When Tyler punches L’Rell it’s actually a display of affection. Those wacky Klingons…

Thats actually a relevant point! lol

Right cause let’s not actually discuss sexual assault and him getting revenge on her for all she did to him when we can discuss this instead. It’s nothing personal with anyone who actually believes in this storyline so much as it is possible anger that the marketing for this show has made a point to say that Tyler will be suffering from POW/PTSD. Now with this episode they have clearly stated he is a sexual assault survivor. Only for there to be a possibility that he is really Voq therefore it is all a lie. On a personal level I just wish they made it definitive that’s he is human in this episode or showed Voq so we know it’s not true. If it’s true then why even discuss these very important topics at all. He could infiltrate any character and they wouldn’t have to claim to want to put this kind of character in a show only for it to be a potential red-herring.

Why do they need to be untrue to their story so you can feel okay about discussing important topics?

There is a chance Tyler is just Tyler. And these topics will be covered later. It was not a six hour episode.

Its possible Tyler IS Voq and they might still have him fake out the PTSD and they discuss it seriously.

And its entirely possible that Tyler is Voq, will be discovered but the real Ash Tyler will be rescued and be dealing with POW issues that get discussed.

But either way, the series isnt ABOUT ptsd and sexual assault so while it might come up, its not going to be a forensic examination of the issues.

Maybe it’s not a forensic examination but don’t bring it up as a plot point and throw it all away. How terrible is that? Pretty terrible in my mind. They spent a lot of time telling people his character is one way and he COULD be another. That’s my point. Don’t bring it up at all!

@Steph,how do you know? Have you seen the end of the series?

I was going to dispute this, but as i was typing I thought what a brilliant idea to find out where Discovery is by having a Mole inside

I considered that when they fought. Klingon foreplay!

Shazad Latif is definitely playing both Ash Tyler and Voq. If Voq would have been played by another guy, we would have gotten so much promotion with Javid Iqbal. But the actor wasn’t announced at all by CBS. No interviews, no pictures of him with the cast.

Voq was also a quite important character especially in episode 4. And where was the name of Javid Iqbal in the end credits listed? On the same screen as these “important” characters: Airiam, Joann Owosekun, Milton Richter and Shenzhou Computer. He was listed among the unimportant co-starring people, but he obviously did more than enough in that episode to get him at least a guest starring credit. This can only be explained with Shazad Latif already be listed among the main cast and putting Javid Iqbal in the credits at all is just a ruse by TPTB.

And then there is also what we have seen on screen. L’Rell said to Voq that he must sacrifice everything and then in the last episode we only saw L’Rell and no Voq. That is because Tyler is Voq. He underwent a transformation to become a spy. Tyler/Voq obviously lied about being a sex slave for so long of L’Rell. L’Rell was stuck on that big crippled Klingon ship for 6 months. She wasn’t on the prison ship to keep “Tyler” alive as her plaything. It was all a lie and ruse to make Lorca trust Tyler/Voq.

Main takeaways: Trek seemingly wants to shift to put the captain at its center. Sorry, Burnham, but it’s true. // Now we know where Worf got his security skills. Klingons are no better than Starfleet at being mall cops. // Space jammies with cute little delta shields! // So, what does a D-7 Klingon battle cruiser look like? We may never know at this rate. Turn on the damn lights out there!

@CmdrdR — I really hated that the PJs had what appeared to be metal delta shields. Worst possible thing someone could wear to sleep in.

Haha I thought the same thing!

thought that was a miss too. Makes no sense

I thought the same thing. Not practical at all.

I guess I missed that part. What scene were people wearing PJs in? I want to go back and look.

These Klingon’s remind me more of the JJ-verse Klingon’s than any who were established before. I wonder how long it will be before they start sporting long robes, and helmets. Prime Universe? i think not. You can plant all the Easter-eggs you want, this is still a JJ-Abrams contrivance. At the very least it was designed in the spirit of the JJ films.
What’s next: Red Andorians?
The show is great, but it’s only done in the spirit of Star Trek. It’s not the Star Trek we grew to love. That ship has sailed.

That ship might have sailed a long time ago… and for the better because boy, that one was an old Shooner… of course it is different, ST always was somewhat a mirror of our time and we’re in some pretty goofy times, eh?

Green Andorians, actually. With antennae on their butts.

Anything I say would just echo the positive comments already stated, loved it!

So, in the promo for next week – they’re wearing “Disco” t-shirts, huh? Can’t wait to see what that’s all about. Didn’t Kayla coin that first?

Where’s the promo? They dont play a “next week on…” promo on SPACE

It was shown in the After Trek special, is that not airing in CA?

Ohhh, yes it is. But later on. I dont watch it. I guess I should record it. or find a video online!

Has anyone noticed the actor playing Saru is talking with a constant stuffed up nose? His make-up covers his real nostrils so It sounds like he has a constant cold. I never noticed until my GF pointed it out. Now I can’t unhear it!

Yeah, I noticed. I’m not crazy about that. lol

This was a mixed episode; some parts were good & some not so much.

The episode clearly benefited by not focusing on Burnham or having long speeches by the Klingons. They need to spend more time with the other characters on the show and not making it Burnham centric show.

Stamets finally got to do something different & heroic this time, unlike the last two episodes where he was complaining about being enlisted in the war effort.

I guess the Matriarchs spent the 3 weeks between this episode and the last one preparing and changing Voq into Tyler.

Capturing Lorca was way too easy, especially when Starfleet command is aware that the Klingons know about ‘Discovery’ and its new propulsion drive. The escape was also was too easy & those The Klingon raiders were so weird. As someone else mentioned in the thread they were like something out of ‘Lexx’.

Didn’t care much about Mudd, not a fan of the original character and the new one is not that interesting.

The exposition scene in engineering was just bad. Burnham’s delivery seemed someone reading from a book, and not a natural conversation.

You had very little complaints for an episode you thought was mixed.

If Ash is Voq then it explains why the escape was so easy, no?

Also, why would Lorca be under guard on a Federation shuttle in Federation space? To let anyone watching know that he’s a VIP?

“The episode clearly benefited by not focusing on Burnham or having long speeches by the Klingons. They need to spend more time with the other characters on the show and not making it Burnham centric show.”

Well put, Ahmed. Maybe that’s why this was my favorite episode so far.

So far, nothing about these Klingon ships are remotely compelling to me. I thought T’ Kuvmas’ ‘coffin ship’ was neat, but since then, the designs range from generic to indiscipherable.

I actually agree that the episode benefited from not focusing on Michael but because she’s an uninteresting character but because we got a chance to see MORE from other interesting characters.

The Klingon raiders were so weird[…]like something out of ‘Lexx’

Yes. YES! Now that’s a blast from the past. I was wondering what they were reminding me of and it’s true! Not only the raiders but also some parts of the ‘sarcophagus ship’ looked like they were straight out of Lexx. Also always nice to see that someone remembers that show. It was the most enjoyable kind of schlock!

one small shuttle in the vastness of space would not garnish attention to the klingons. They knew he was there and maybe we will find out why later. Agree the escape was too easy, as if a scene was missing. The raiders were horrid IMO. Mudd represents the non-Star Fleet characters that work in space. At times Trek makes you think it’s just Star Fleet and the bad guys in space. It’s good to have the Mudds and Cyrano Jones mixed in.

The escape was too easy if the plan was to let them escape. Not a plot hole.

No promo played for next week’s episode like it normally has in the past. I searched the website to find it manually but couldn’t find anything. Is there no promo for next week’s episode?

I’ve heard some say it didn’t play, I’ve heard it played after the credits, and for me it played before the credits. Next week’s ep is a Sarek ep.

It played after the credits for me, on the mobile app.