Shuttle Pod At The Disco 4: “Choose Your Pain”

A trio of the shuttle pod crew (Kayla, Brian, and Matt) beamed in to discuss  the newest episode of Star Trek: Discovery, “Choose Your Pain.”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1, Episode 5 – Debuted Sunday October 15th

Written by Kemp Powers
Directed by Lee Rose

At The Disco 4: “Choose Your Pain”

The Shuttle Pod crew all felt like the the fifth episode was a strong entry, and one of the most satisfying as far as plot structure goes. We learn the fate of our new pal Ripper the tardigrade and follow Burnham as she fights the good fight on Ripper’s behalf and butts heads with acting captain Saru. In the second plot line, we learn new facts about Lorca, and we get to meet Harry Mudd as brought to life by Rainn Wilson, who the Shuttle Pod crew all really liked. Also we speculate on what that creepy second Stamets in the mirror means.

Oh… Hi there Stamets reflection…

Listen in to hear our thoughts on the latest installment of the Star Trek franchise!

That’s Some Good Fan Service

We agreed that the fan service this week was nicely done, with an excellent look at the Klingon/Federation bordering areas on a map filled with goodies like Space Station K-7, Rura Penthe and even Khitomer (hiding at the top, partially cut off). 

The list of decorated Starfleet captains including not just the obvious captains who had their own shows, but also Matthew Decker (who would soon become Commodore, and we’ll see in TOS “The Doomsday Machine”), and it pulled Robert April out of the grey-area of canon to make him totally official.


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So, the Discovery is canonizing Mandel’s Star Charts?

P.S. Lorca should’ve yelled “There are THREE lights!” :)

The eff bomb was pretty stupid. It was cringeworthy, not because they used it, but because of how contrived it was. For example, the pause and beat before it was used the second time. It screamed “look what we said audience!” *wink*

I agree 100%. Really wasn’t necessary and didn’t add anything of value to the scene. They did it simply because they could. A little disappointing.

Hmmm, sounds like you watched a different scene than I did. The pause was because Stamets was Tilly’s superior and that moment we were to believe she was in trouble.

Totally agree! This adds nothing to Star Trek. In fact, during The Voyage Home, Kirk struggles with how to use “profanity”. Although he’s aware of it being “just the way people talk” during the 20th Century I always felt it was implied that humans of the future moved past it. Something tells me we haven’t heard the last of it on Discovery. Sadly it ruins some of the experience for me and I’m otherwise liking the show overall.

It isn’t this one instance. People in Discovery act much less enlightened and evolved than Kurk’s crew in most ways. And this is by design by the creators. This is supposed to show how we got from now to then.
It’s ridiculous because all this happens in only ten years before TOS. It’s stupid. Worse, it betrays the essence of Star Trek.

Great point!!

Over the course of original Trek, we see tons of examples of people behaving in less than perfect ways. Think of all the rogue federation officers, mad scientists, etc. Spock and Bones regularly, openly insulted each other. It was only in the early seasons of TNG that the so-called Roddenberry rule was ever in full force.

Instead of moving past the “need to use profanity” why can’t we move past the need to consider particular words “profane”? I am not a linguistics expert or anything, but I would expect that the origins of “fuck” being considered profane go back to Christian/Catholic/Anglican taboos about certain subjects: celibate priests, birth control, virgin brides, etc. Once humanity has moved beyond these considerations being a important in daily life (which seems to be the case in Star Trek), wouldn’t we therefore also move beyond considering the associated word as “profane”? Much how words that might be profane in one culture (for example: ‘bloody’ in the UK) don’t matter at all elsewhere (e.g., the US), the context matters. Just food for thought.

Disagree. I think it showed some character insights. Tilly obviously is socially awkward. She just blurted out the F bomb. Stamets, agreeing with her, cut her a little slack, and at the same time, patted himself on the back at how cool his science (and himself) is.
I thought it was interesting character development to see, with just that one word. All of that said, cursing should be used sparingly.

Discovery is a visually stunning, “very” diverse, politically-correct f-ing disaster! It’s so not Star Trek and dishonors Gene’s vision. But what the heck, the Kool-Aid drinkers are happy! Silly as it is, The Orville is more Trekish….

Give it a rest.

Politically correct? You do know that the original series was racially mixed in the 1960s right?

A colorblind society is not “PC” or “SJW”. It’s human. Star Trek has always had a “classical liberal” vibe to it…but it has NEVER been far left.

…until now!

It was racially mixed — which was groundbreaking and terrific! Gene did that because it was his vision of the future (and the right thing to do. He didn’t do it because it was “politically correct”. The new show is way overly political and in some ways obnoxious, including the dual f-bombs. “Racially mixed” and “Political correctness” are not one and the same terms. This new show is a garbage crusade. It is NOT Star Trek.

So you know for a fact that Roddenberry included a mixed-race crew because “it was the right thing to do,” and the DSC producers did the same thing because they are being “politically correct.” Explain the distinction between those two things, if you please, and how you are able to inform us of the motivations of people you’ve presumably never met. Show your work.

I quote Captain Kirk “People can be very frightened by change”

Not ‘politically correct’, I’d say it’s humanistically correct….

And who made you the Star Trek/Roddenberry vision police anyhoo? ;)

If you were trying to make a legitimate point about this show’s flaws–yeah, it has them–you lost me at “politically correct.” Trolling is for losers, sorry.

Michael: maybe a dictionary will help with your confusion.

Don’t need a dictionary because I’m not confused. Your point is stupefyingly clear, thanks.

The PC is there but always has been with Trek. But I see you’re point. I don’t think the show is a disaster. I think with Burnham as the focal point instead of the captain, that’s the biggest change for many fans to get used to.

Actually that’s what made the last episode the best one so far – the focus was more on the captain. The crew had to work together to solve the problem of getting him back. It was a step towards what Trek is, at its heart. Hopefully the series will get a more optimistic because we tune in to Star Trek to see a brighter future, not a darker one.

The captain is a morally-gray-sort-of-bad guy. Presumably they are setting Burnham up for a second mutiny…

That possibility is interesting. Still, I’m not sure that Gene would be okay with the Captain being the bad guy. Not his vision at all.

Your tears are delicious.

Nothing to moan about this week :)

I saw the first episode, but will not be paying to watch the remaining ones on the streaming service. My main issue was with the look and design of the show. But, as to it not staying true to Roddenberry’s vision…..I point to Star Trek: The Motion Picture. While I love the theme and story….basically, dealing with the single most important character issue for Spock….the battle between his Vulcan and human halves and the resolution that he needs both to be a complete person……I think it’s a film devoid of fun. In some ways, it mirrors the Spock arc, and that’s cool. An unemotional movie. But, its also, I believe, because Roddenberry had too much control. There needs to be some conflict/emotion to go along with the positive vision of the future. That’s the lesson from that film. I could expound at length, but I think from that standpoint that Discovery is fine….from what I’ve seen. I certainly think its first episode was better than Enterprise or Voyager…..just my opinion.

Bah, Star Trek the motion picture was great fun and filled with wonder. Right from the Enterprise in its star dock through to the revelations of what the gigantic ship actually is. It does exactly what great sci fi is supposed to do; it dares to ask… what if? (Just my opinion).

“…not just the obvious captains who had their own shows” Who? Picard, Sisko, Janeway? You have to wait at least 10 + 78 years.

Disco is so clumsy with canon in many ways. D7 says it all but I’m loving how the spore drive fits in. As soon as they said that the spores needed a biological element to interact I instantly thought of the traveller. The stress of that method of travelling causes It fits right in with “Where no one has gone before”

Re: Saru – I don’t think Saru’s being “mean” to Burnham at all! Maybe it’s just that I’m learning about this in my own life, but I admire how in-touch Saru is with his emotions. When Burnham asks him if he’s really scared of her, Saru replies that he’s not frightened, he’s angry with her and jealous of the time she had with Georgiou. I thought Kayla addressed this really well in this podcast – Burnham derailed his life plan, and this created a real sense of loss for him. I don’t think Saru said this to Burnham in an accusatory way, but rather in an honest and vulnerable way. Saru can name his feelings and is honest about his feelings, in a way that Burnham is not and cannot be at present.

I found Saru’s arc in this episode to be impressive. At the beginning of the episode, he sets the computer up to evaluate his performance as Captain, because he is prone to second-guessing himself and his leadership when she’s around. But at the end of the episode, he discards the computer’s observations without hearing them, recognizing that having the computer second-guess him is not any better. He made his decisions, he will live with his decisions. That was a step of maturity and confidence that I really appreciated in him.

Re: the f-bombs – My eleven-year-old and my fifteen-year-old watch Discovery with me, and we talk about it thoroughly. Yes, both of them have heard the f-word before, but we don’t use profanity as a matter of course, and I am saddened that Star Trek has taken this step into coarseness. It’s not going to make me stop watching the show, and I’m not angry about it, I’m just saddened by what I think is a step in an unwise direction for the show. The podcast crew is outraged that the Starfleet crew unthinkingly used the Tardigrade in a way that endangered its life – even though when they understood what they were doing, they worked to correct the situation, even at the risk of their own lives. That outrage is an ethical judgment – and you are free to make it! I see it differently, I think their work to correct the situation when they become aware of it is noble and good. I don’t judge them for what they did unawares. In a similar way, I make an ethical judgment about the use of profanity – I don’t like seeing it on the show, I think it coarsens Starfleet in a way that I perceive as a loss. It doesn’t bother me that other folks see it differently. That’s just my opinion, my preference.

Anyway, great podcast this week! Keep it up!

I don’t like Saru but I chalk that up to him always bringing up the mutiny. Maybe it’s because I agree with Burnham’s actions so I am tired of her getting attacked for it. Speaking of Burnham, She has always struck me as someone who follows her own set of personal principles and therefore following orders can be difficult for her. One of the reasons why Lorca both recruited her and yet might come to have problems with her in the future. We know she has always been on the Shenzou and she struck me as someone who wasn’t fully formed when she came aboard. By the end of her time on that ship she was beginning to figure out who she really is. As a result her time aboard the Discovery feels more like the real Burnham to me. We are watching her figure out how she really feels about certain situations rather than her just snapping too and doing what she is told to do. Plus we know she has already received a life sentence for her actions. What’s the worst that could happen now? Death? Well then she wouldn’t have to finish out her sentence.

One of the problems I am having with Discovery is that some problems feel like they drag out for too long. I don’t know if they are going for realism but I just feel like some of this stuff could get hashed out and be done with while still maintaining some overall story arcs. As for the f-bombs, I agree with the podcasters, they felt forced to me but I didn’t hate it. Maybe if Staments had said it after he had been in the chamber then it would have felt more natural to me.

I worked in TV News for 30 years. One consultant forced us to write our tagline into EVERY script (:04 of copy out of a :20 story) because they said polls showed people watching us didn’t know which news show they were watching!! Yuh! So, too many deltas? Or not enough? Wouldn’t want the audience to think the Klingons were attacking The Orville.

Couple of things about ships… NO, that is NOT a D-7. As for the Disco, there’s a little outer rim that holds the revolving ring in place. It looks like rooms in that outer rim would be like six feet wide. Who lives/works there???

Remember when TNG started, the show was going to focus on Riker. As it progressed, the focus moved to Picard. I predict that the same will happen here and as they go into the next season the focus will move to Lorca.

I hope you are correct. I’m finding Lorca to be my favorite character. Kirk will forever be at the top of my list of captains but I especially liked him in TOS season 1. That Kirk is flawed and often “schooled” by the end of an episode where he’s initially convinced to take an action and changes his point of view by the end of the episode ( Errand of Mercy, The Devil in the Dark, Arena, Balance of Terror, The Squire of Gothos…etc). I liked when Kirk’s flaws and assumptions were challenged because it made him real and relatable. For different reasons, I’m finding Lorca flawed, human, and really interesting. I sure hope he doesn’t become the character “everyone bands together in order to defeat” or something stupid like that.

I too really appreciate Lorca’s complexity. He is still Starfleet to me. I just feel like he has been through a lot and he wants to win this war. As for his “questionable” tactics war is complex and sometimes the “right” answers are hard to come by. I think the writing for him shows this. He reminds me of Sisko in the episode “In the Pale Moonlight” only he is like this a lot more. I don’t imagine he will top Sisko for me and some how become my favorite captian but I like his journey more than some of the other characters we are following.

Concerning the TV MA thing: Oh, that little (double-)f-bomb really can’t be a huge part of the reason for that rating. It’s obvious they just slipped it in there because they could. And I think it’s okay, since they put it in Tilly’s mouth and Tilly is, after all, that bubbly, enthusiastic, young character who wouldn’t keep her composure in that moment. She’s a cadet, she has a bit of leeway in that respect.
But you know what I’m actually really really waiting for? – An episode in which no people are violently killed or injured! Cause so far, that has happened in every single episode – of course more explicitly in some cases than in others. The very first episode was probably the tamest, since (as far as I remember) it only has the original torchbearer getting stabbed by Burnham (and that happened pretty much by accident); but then it also had Burnham suffering horrific radiation burns… Anyway, soon as the second episode came around, the show became “Star Trek: Kill or Get Killed” to a certain extent, didn’t it?
First Georgiou and T’Kuvma, then the big ol’ redshirt and some Klingon in episode 3 – along with all the mangled bodies on the Glenn, Landry in episode 4 – you get the picture!

Also, concerning the most fanservicy moment in the last episode: That one had me wondering: If Georgiou was such a highly decorated Starfleet Captain, why did they give her a tiny old ship with (as Burnham readily pointed out when she was still sporting the Vulcan hairdo) outdated Buck Rogers-looking transporter technology, very limited defensive capabilities, sensors that couldn’t pierce a glorified sandstorm and have her go on missions fixing busted subspace relays? Oh well, scratch the last one: of course they had Picard doing the same thing every now and then. But it’s still a bit of a contrast to the others on the list, especially since all other Captains listed (except for Decker) did at some point captain the fleet’s flagship.

I was always confused as to why people overreacted when they saw a TVMA rating. It didn’t mean the show was going to be Game of Thrones but little things like a a small scene where there’s blood, plus an F bomb, plus a mangled body and other violence can sit on the edge of a TVMA rating. The rating system is very interesting when you pick it apart

I don’t mind the rating at all. On the contrary: I recently rewatched the DS9 Season 2 episode “Blood Oath” and it served as a fine example of how “family friendly” TV can hamper a show: The episode brought back good old Kang, Kor and Koloth, revelling in blood-drenched fantasies of finally killing their nemesis, sharpening their blades right before battle and then… not spilling a single drop of blood and instead mostly whacking people over the helmeted head with their “sharpened” bat’leths. See, I wouldn’t mind a blood-soaked Klingon bat’leth massacre episode (although I still think the “new Klingons” just aren’t half as fun as the wacky old Samurai Viking Bikers of TNG/DS9/ENT), but I’d really prefer it being only one episode.
The frequency at which violent death, murder, mutilation and mayhem occurs in DISCO is just sorta off-putting to me.
Even if you think back at DS9, the “darkest” pre-DISCO series, how many on-screen deaths… or rather on-screen killings were there in first four episodes? That was my point. Not the rating per se.

Speaking of Georgiou being this great captain…why does she have to be one of the greats? There are plenty of normal captains doing good work. More of them than the standouts. That’s always been one of my beefs with Star Trek. Why can’t we just get someone who is competent at their job? Why do they always have to be stars?

They showed the teaser for me on my Xbox One after the show before the credits.

And see I saw no teaser either before or after the credits. This better be a good episode with the way they are hiding stuff. Although the pessimist in me says that the higher the expectations are the greater things tend to fall.

I thought the list of captains was super cool but a little surprised Captain Garth didn’t end up on that list. Kirk said his accomplishments were required reading at the academy. Maybe his fall from grace already happened by the time Discovery is taking place and they took back all of his awards LOL. I know Whom Gods Destroy isn’t a great TOS episode but always thought something more could be done with that character.

So I enjoyed this episode.
Likes: Discovery showing a complete Star ship, Lorca being an imperfect, perhaps even a future Captain-gone-bad character (as we saw often on TOS), some combat as Lorca escapes. HARRY MUDD giving hints to how there is more to the Trek universe to Starfleet and that the actions of Starfleet have dramatic implications. Starfleet Admiral. Maps showing TOS, TOS sound effects and TMP symbols on Red Alert and boosting power. Discovery bridge officers in action. Klingon characters, Klingon treatment of POWs being “unhuman”, Klingons having a different ethical system where they torture and break captives, Klingons actually acting to counter Discovery tech. Saru and Michael scenes. Computer read out showing Pike, April, Archer, Decker. Klingon War arc I love.
Dislikes: D-7 battlecruiser not looking like a super cool version of the iconic D7 battlecruiser, Discovery again no strategic combat, Discovery’s super huge bridge and lack of TOS sensor ping background just doesn’t seem functional or alive, mushroom fake science (may this spore drive save the Federation yet end up being an epic disaster of unparalleled proportions that it may never be used again…), discussion of Discovery saving all these Federation ships without actually showing it saving any Federation ships. Screens showing Decker, Pike and Constitution class ships saving the Federation without showing any of it. Almost wish that the show moved beyond Discovery to a civilian ship (i.e. Starfleet officers leave Starfleet to save it).
Notable controversy I have come to like: Mudd left behind struck me as odd, the civilian was just trying to not get beat up. That’s fair in my opinion, but in reflection I like that Lorca has a “with us or against us” attitude that is different.

In reference to not seeing more action from the Discovery I wonder if that’s why I feel like it’s a “light” take on war? DS9 had some great battles scenes that IMO helped to show the scale of the war. Even with the limited times, per episode, they showed the Dominion members they felt more menacing and believable as being the enemy that the Federation is fighting against. The Klignon point of view feels like it’s dragging on and so far their attempts to make them more three-dimensional aren’t quite working for me.

They need scenes of the Klingons planning and attacking Earth, Vulcan, Rigel, Andora, etc. Why not show the Klingon fleet invading a Federation planet – that’s something never before seen, awesome and lots of stories (civilians in cross fire, see fed infrastructure, etc)

the Klingon fleet invading a Federation planet – that’s something never before seen

I beg to differ! Remember DS9’s “Nor the Battle to the Strong”?

I’ve been mostly disappointed so far. Discovery keeps flirting with what I would term “good Trek”, but is falling short. I just can’t ignore the glaring visual and stylistic differences to past shows. Slight visual cues here and there seem only token afterthoughts. The acting is good, but much of the writing seems forced – the dialogue is clunky and expositional (in fairness, so is the dialogue in most of Trek’s first seasons) . Overall the show seems forced – it’s a modern sci-fi series shoe-horned into the Star Trek name. That being said, I don’t dislike it. Discovery has great potential and I hope it will improve as the writers and developers get a better sense of what they are trying to accomplish.

Yeah I am getting this vibe too but it’s with the dialogue/ writing. I am with you I am not against it but it’s hard for me sometimes to watch these episodes and like what I see overall. I like some characters. Others could care less for them. I too am not quite convinced they know where they are going and even if they do that I am going to appreciate where they are taking it. This whole be patience thing can be quite difficult at times to have even in regards to a show that’s just starting out.

I had an issue with how easy it was for the Klingons to capture Lorca. He is the Captain of the most important ship currently in the fleet. Why would they send him off on a shuttle with no escort to protect him? How did a Klingon cruiser (referred to as a D7) manage to warp into Federation space precisely on top of the shuttle? And how come Lorca was in a shuttle in the first place? The space station had several ships docked and flying about. Why wasn’t Discovery there? It felt like a rather sloppy set of circumstances just to get Lorca abducted.

great episode .like harry mudd I liked tyler and the captain showed he is no joke andi like they freed ripper when seen that he was in pain that is startrek.

there is one thing that I will like to complain about by the 23 century if man can live in peace on the earth surely he will be able to talk to each other with out cursing that is surely illogical .

Friends all curse at each other today just for fun (and to express excitement) and no one bats an eye in my circles.

So if Tyler turns out to be Voq in disguise, and Lorca’s escape from the Klingons was just a set-up, how could they possibly explain how Voq & L’rell would be so certain that Lorca would not kill L’Rell? He nearly did after all, and it’s a little surprising he didn’t bother finishing her off, but there’s no way they could predict Lorca would just shoot her in side of face. The escape really didn’t seem too difficult, and the prison cell seems to have been pretty conveniently close to the shuttle bay.

Good point about Lorca not killing L’rell. They wouldn’t have a had a way to know that. As for the escape it reminded me of two episodes of DS9 called “In Purgatory’s Shadow” and “Inferno’s Light” were something very similar happened. The writers left a runabout hovering above a Dominion internment camp and they were able to beam themselves back on it. They then made it through Dominion controlled space back to Federation space and sent off a message to DS9 stopping Bashir’s doppelgänger form blowing up the Bajoran sun. When the producers were asked why it was so easy for them to make it back they said it was basically a plot device. Although the producers did bring it up again in the episode “Inquisition” no in-story explanation was ever given. My own personal head-canon was that the Dominion was over confident in their security. Doesn’t explain how they made it through Dominion space but you get my point.

Over confidence would be my thought – remember these Klingons think they are a jihad for Kahless.