Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Hits Its Stride With Lore-filled Episode 6, “Lethe”

REVIEW: “Lethe”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1, Episode 6 – Debuted Sunday October 22nd
Written by Ted Sullivan and Joe Menosky
Directed by Doug Aarniokoski

With a visit to Vulcan, some crazy science, a daring rescue mission, romance, and galactic political intrigue, what’s not to love about “Lethe?”  Standout performances from Jason Isaacs and Sonequa Martin-Green drive rich character development from writers Ted Sullivan and Trek vet Joe Menosky. The sixth episode dives into Trek canon and expands it in surprising ways making this the most ‘Star Trek’ episode of Star Trek: Discovery yet.

Jason Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca and Shazad Latif as Lieutenant Ash Tyler in “Lethe”

[SPOILERS BELOW]

Vulcan extreme!

“Lethe” kicks off with a beautiful shot of Vulcan, with Sarek (James Frain) boarding a ship heading off to a secret mission of peace. We know it is secret because Sarek refuses provide details, telling his pilot “In times of crisis, ignorance can be beneficial.” Maybe such verbiage beyond “it is classified” isn’t logical, but these kinds of delightful flourishes are peppered throughout this episode which shouldn’t be a surprise coming from Joe Menosky, who was also co-writer of the classic TNG episode “Darmok.”

The scenes on the shuttle also drive the plot for the episode as it was revealed that there is a faction of Logic Extremists who don’t like how Sarek cavorts with humans. These extremists have even decided Vulcan’s inclusion in the Federation to be illogical. The pilot turns out to be a suicide bomber, however Sarek has time to put up a force field thanks to the fanatic’s need to deliver a political statement lengthy and hateful enough to make T’Kuvma proud.

Sarek has a pretty cool ride, shame about the crazy driver

The issues of fanaticism and race are something the producers said would be addressed on the show, and now we see that it is not just with the Klingons. The Federation isn’t as unified as it seems. The Vulcans may no longer have the same problems evident during the 22nd century (as seen on Enterprise), but they apparently still have racist extremists in their midst. The message here seems pretty clear, but isn’t as heavy handed as it was in the two-part premiere.

We also learn these same Vulcan fanatics were responsible for the attack that on the Vulcan Learning Center seen in a previous flashback, specifically targeting the young Burnham because she was a human. They were even successful in killing her, leading Sarek to give Michael a piece of his Katra to bring her back to life. This “soul graft” is what gives the pair the special bond that allows for an interstellar psychic connection. This definitely pushes our understanding of Vulcans, but as noted in TrekMovie’s review of the premiere, we can’t expect the show to merely paint within the lines. The writers must be allowed to be creators of canon, and not just custodians of it … within reason, of course.

Live long and KABOOM!

Who is mentoring whom?

A big theme with “Lethe” regards mentoring relationships with Michael Burnham, both confronting the realities of her past with Sarek and fostering a new relationship with Cadet Tilly. Although with Tilly there is a bit of a twist as we see her trading advice on how to best advance to the captain’s chair from Burnham while she mentors Burnham on getting a “personality” and socializing, and plays matchmaker with the new “hot” addition to the crew, Lt. Tyler (Shazad Latif). Mary Wiseman continues to pop on screen with Tilly fast becoming a fan favorite.

Our initial scene between Burnham and Tyler drops the first seeds of what may be a budding romance between the two. One of the nice things about a serialized show is they can take their time with this, but both Martin-Green and Latif already show some promising chemistry, with Tyler giving Burnham a needed pep talk to start believing in herself and to leave the past behind, another theme of this episode.

Stop staring, Tilly

Klingon fight club

Another bonding pair for “Lethe” are Lorca and his new recruit, Lt. Tyler, who spend some quality time killing a few dozen Klingons in the armory almost-but-not-quite holodeck. The banter with the pair is reminiscent of a number of classic Trek bonding-during-target-practice scenes, like Riker and Picard or Seven and Janeway.

But there is another layer to this scene with Lorca seemingly checking out Tyler by asking him probing questions about his past. It appears he passed the test as Tyler is made chief of security (replacing the recently ripped apart Landry). Lorca’s need to surround himself with loyalists who are ready for combat seems to override any suspicions he may have, even though he ominously notes Tyler “fights like a Klingon.”

Lorca trusts Tyler so much that he entrusts him to lead the mission to rescue Sarek, although he does let Tyler know that if he loses Burnham on the mission, he may as well not bother coming back. Even though we are only six episodes in, Discovery has effectively defined this captain well enough now that we can say that was “classic Lorca.”

Boys and their toys

Groovy, crazy science

The episode also delved into some classic Star Trek tech and science, without getting bogged down in technobabble. It turns out the only way to find Sarek is to tap into the psychic connection Burnham has due to holding a piece of Sarek’s Katra, which we learned about in the premiere. Enter Lt. Stamets, who appears to be a whole new man now that he has been genetically altered with tardigrade DNA.

We still don’t know what is going on with Stamets’ creepy, smiling after-reflection seen at the end of last week’s episode, so maybe it was just the introduction of mycelial network comic relief. Anthony Rapp didn’t have much to do in this episode, but he certainly had a “groovy” time playing the newly shroomed-out science officer. He designs a new “SarekVisionTM” device for Burnham to track down and rescue her adoptive Vulcan father inside a nebulae that looks like the aftermath of an explosion at Santa’s Village. Sullivan and Menosky nicely weave a science solution into the plot, without making it the plot, allowing the focus to stay on the characters.

Stamets is one with his shrooms now

Sophie’s Sarek’s Choice

The heart of “Lethe” is the relationship between Sarek and Burnham. The terrorist attack on the shuttle has Sarek close to death, leaving his unconscious mind focused on a key memory. Burnham is able to insert herself into this flashback to the moment when it was decided she would not join the Vulcan Expeditionary Group. Through repeated visits we find out that it was not Burnham’s failure, but Sarek’s, as he was given a heartbreaking choice to pick only one of his “non-Vulcans” to attend, and he chose Spock over Michael. And to top it off, Sarek gets the “worst father of the year” award by lying to Michael, making her think that she wasn’t good enough for the Expeditionary Force.

In a scene replete with fun nods to Vulcan lore from familiar looking gongs to a Vulcan lyre, this episode again expands the canon in an interesting way. We now know why Sarek was so angry at Spock for rejecting the Vulcan Science Academy and joining Starfleet, causing a long rift between father and son as shown in “Journey to Babel.”

Vulcan graduations are not fun

The show also deftly expanded upon its own internal canon, as we meet Amanda (aptly played Mia Kirschner) giving Michael a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the same book we saw Burnham give to Tilly in episode 3.  Surrounded by the crushing logic of all those Vulcans, Amanda is trying to remind her adopted daughter to hold on to her humanity. And to add a bit of action to the serenity, we have Sarek and Michael engage in some Suus Mahna (aka Vulcan Kung-Fu), as he literally and figuratively fights her attempts to delve into his thoughts and reveal his shame.

After successfully breaking through, Sarek is saved and this story thread ends with a scene with him and Burnham in sickbay that echoes the final scene in “Journey to Babel.” But this episode reveals that like pretty much every character on this show, Sarek is also a bit broken and he faces his own path of redemption. So, instead of the fun, tidy sickbay resolution between Spock and Sarek seen on “Babel,” we have Burnham telling Sarek “You can do better” as she leaves him alone to contemplate his failures. James Frain’s performance as Sarek was more nuanced and subtle than seen in the two-part premiere, helping nail the needed emotional tone for this episode.

Leaving Sarek alone is logical

The admiral is in session

Also confronting the past was Captain Lorca, who gets a surprise visit from Admiral (and apparently ex-girlfriend) Katrina Cornwell. She is not pleased that he has taken on the rescue mission of Sarek, the latest unilateral move that has her warning him, “You cannot treat Discovery like its your own fiefdom.” Although actress Jayne Brook was never promoted to be a major player for the series, she has shown herself capable of going toe-to-toe (so to speak) with the formidable Jason Isaacs, who continues to extend his range with Lorca.

The pair switch from superior officer and subordinate, to psychiatrist and patient, to old lovers rekindling a single-malt fueled flame seamlessly. Lorca seems to have her convinced that he is able to cope with the loss of his last command and his time being tortured, but he lets his true self slip with a reflexive bit of light choking and phaser play. Instead of being turned on, Katrina literally picks up her badge of rank and declares “I can’t leave Starfleet’s most powerful weapon in the hands of a broken man.”

Set phaser to kinky?

It’s a Trap!

So, that’s that, Lorca is losing his ship as soon as the admiral gets back from her little trip to Cancri IV, stepping in for the injured Sarek … until the whole trip was revealed to be a trap laid by Kol. So when Lorca surprises Saru by not immediately rushing in to save the admiral and instead deciding (possibly for the first time) to first check in with Starfleet Command, was that Lorca learning his lesson to be less impulsive? Or was he recommending her for this mission part of another calculation? Subtle writing along with Isaacs’ performance allows this to be another mystery for this unusual captain. But, the smart money is actually on him cynically hoping that his Katrina problem will be solved by some bat’leth diplomacy.

Without getting bogged down like previous episodes, “Lethe” offered just the right amount of Klingon intrigue with a dramatic scene of Cornwell’s capture by the “independent” Ujilli and Dennas. We learn that Kol has now taken command of the Klingon Empire and he is using the promise of cloaking technology from T’Kuvma’s ship as a way to extract loyalty and bring reluctant Houses to his side.

Admiral Ackbar would have seen this coming

Now that’s a Star Trek!

“Lethe” book-ended neatly with Burnham learning a lesson and trying to impart it to Tilly, who is also appears ready to chart her own new path. Michael’s redemption continues apace as she moves past her Vulcan family, forging relationships with her new family on the USS Discovery. As a sign of her acceptance, Lorca has given her a new position as science specialist on the bridge, showing he too has a nurturing side. And the irony is thick as Burnham thanks him for “being able to serve under a captain like you,” moments after he was told he was unfit for command.

This episode is the most satisfying yet for Star Trek: Discovery. Although character development was paramount, “Lethe” was still able to offer Trek lore, action, science, romance and some humor too. While continuing to deal with darker themes, the true light and hope of Star Trek flowed through the “Lethe” instead of just offering a flicker. This sixth episode provided the best balance so far, feeling like a self-contained and resolved story, while at the same time moving the ball forward on a number of the serialized arcs for the season.

Star Trek: Discovery is really hitting its stride, and hopefully we are just getting started on this show which just got picked up for a second season.

Things are looking up for Michael Burnham, and Star Trek: Discovery

Random thoughts and easter eggs

  • Six episodes in and we finally got mention of the USS Enterprise and the Constitution-class in general (Captain Pike got a nod in episode 5).
  • Sarek was lost close to Yridia, which we have learned in many past episodes is the home to a race of information dealers.
  • “Lethe” brought the second mention of a “burrito” to the Star Trek franchise.
  • The organic explosive seems to be the same as used by the Triannon in the Enterprise episode “Chosen Realm”
  • The nickname first used by the creative team for the USS Discovery is now canon with crew wearing “DISCO” shirts.
  • Vulcan blood is now DayGlo green.
  • The USS Discovery food synthesizers are way too chatty, hopefully Lorca shoots one with his handy phaser.
  • Vulcan is not supposed to have a moon, but the objects seen in the sky can be explained by Trek books which give Vulcan a sister planet named T’Khut.
  •  2 more shuttle pilots dead (Suicide Vulcan and Cornwell’s pilot), bringing series total to four.

That’s no moon

Streaming issues with CBS All Access

While the episode “Lethe” was top notch, the same couldn’t be said for the All Access streaming service on Sunday night. There were a number of reports from fans across the country experiencing issues with the quality and connection to the CBS All Access streaming service. According to CBS, some users experienced buffering due to technical issues with one of their delivery partners. The issue appears to have been resolved.

Having Star Trek: Discovery drive many new users to CBS All Access was always the long-term strategy for CBS, so hopefully this kind of hiccup was a one-time thing and they have the infrastructure in place to deliver what they describe as a premium service.

Clips


Star Trek: Discovery is available on CBS All Access on in the US and airs in Canada on the Space Channel. It is available on Netflix outside the USA and Canada.

Keep up with all the Star TrekDiscovery news at TrekMovie.

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357 Comments on "Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Hits Its Stride With Lore-filled Episode 6, “Lethe”"

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Great episode ! Actually the mention of Enterprise gave me a frisson. Saying Uss Enterprise will always sound cool. It really is a great name for a ship.

I dunno why, but I didn’t like this episode as much as the others. Not that it was bad, but it felt very meh, very filler. I wanted to get on with the sporing and the war and the mirror shit. Maybe it was the poor quality of the CBS app. I’ll watch it again later this week if I have time, maybe my opinion will change.

I had a very similar reaction for some reason. I didn’t dislike it but also didn’t enjoy it quite as much a previous episodes. I watched it a second time and part of the issue for me was the rapid fire directing style this week. Everything felt super rushed including the dialogue. Some scenes just to slow down a bit. Oh and – Hey Hollywood, THE CAMERA DOESN’T ALWAYS NEED TO BE MOVING!!!!!

Exactly. The fighting scenes between Sarek and Michael looked so hokey… they must not have been much to look at if they edited it this way.

A part of me felt the same way, a part of me felt this was very much Trek, with a few exceptions.

@Marcelo Teson — I had the same reaction. I think it was because I was so frustrated by the streaming problems. It put me in a bad mood, and a mindset to dislike. I’ll need to re-watch this episode, as there was a lot to digest. Maybe before next weeks episode …

Same here, I came away from the episode feeling rather ambivalent. I agree with others who are disappointed with the cgi – one of the things I love most about (previous) Trek is the space and ship shots, and these seem very poor to me.

I like the layers to Lorca, but sadly have the feeling he’s headed down a path to becoming a madman. And he keeps telling his superiors “I’m fighting a war here..” but we’re barely seeing any actual scenes of battles, etc., which is disappointing.

Stamets’ scene was pretty humorous, being high on space mushrooms or spores, or…

Still not digging Frain’s portrayal of Sarek, but maybe he’ll grow into it. I agree with whoever said his fighting scenes with Burnham were almost laughable. Nice shout-outs to the Enterprise and Spock, but how to explain this, I feel as if we’re in a slightly altered reality than that one so far? It’s probably just me.

When the end credits rolled, my wife and I looked at each other and kind of shrugged, like “meh.” Many friends of mine who know what a Trek Nut I am ask me how the new show is, and honestly my stock answer thus far is ‘it’s alright.’

I didn’t care much for it, either. Admiral Cornwell hopping in bed with Lorca was ridiculous. She’s there to make sure he is fit to command, so she hops in bed with the guy?
I’m very surprised there hasn’t been more outrage about that. I suppose this is just another example of terrible flag officers in Star Trek, but seriously, that scene felt like it fell out of 1983.

I have noticed that when I stream it into a browser on my computers (in this case, the Opera browser), the quality is excellent. Probably better than even possible on the TV. Plus, it’s easy to toggle the CC in case I miss some dialogue.

The episode felt like the opposite of filler to me, many different important moments throughout. I liked the focus on the characters and their lives, those were often my favorite types of episodes during the TNG-to-Enterprise-era.

Next week looks like pure Trek, a time-loop with very bad things happening repeatedly. Hopefully they have found a fresh way to do it.

Great episode. Still not a fan of the space shots and CGI. The effects just seem…cheap. The nebula looked like somebody barfed up Fruity Pebbles. I’m wondering if they blew the bulk of their budget on the physical effects – which are great (makeup, sets, etc).

For me, the only thing is the loss of practical ship models. It made the effects look and feel different in Enterprise because no matter how great special effects get, outside of big budget hollywood films, they seem to lack the “weight” of a real ship when I see it on tv. Other than that, I have to say I’m loving the effects. Space is a bit more colorful than past trek but I’m ok with that. It gives it a few hints of feeling retro in a way.

Yeah I don’t know. I’ve seen CGI done better on past Trek. I think you’re right about the weight – something seems almost cartoonish about the feel. Maybe it’s just me ;)

I tried to look specifically at this to see where the complaints were. Im not sure I get it. Space is more colourful which DOES tend to make it look more generated. We’re used to black and stars. So all that colour comes across “false”.

And I think how they zoom in on the ships. I think it was one of the TOS films (TMP) where they had the camera fly over the front of the saucer. It was straight and slow. And it gave the effect of a large, heavy ship.

The quick, flippy camera on Discovery gives the effect of faster moving, smaller, “fighter” jet like. If we saw a nice slow, straight, fly over of Discovery, I bet it would look beautiful.

There was one shot, if I recall that slid along the side and it looked great.

I like the unique camera actions but when its all the angles, its not unique. A huge aircraft carrier still looks slow and heavy even when it’s moving pretty fast.

There seem to be very few “hero” shots like the one you mention that manage to to make the ship look both massive and attractive. (I did think the push-in on the “tube connector” to the jogging pair was pretty cool, though, ridiculous as that concept is.)

We need more beauty shops. A nice sweeping shot that takes its time. Spend 12 second flying by showing us the size and weight of the ship. Please!

Agreed!

Have you rewatched Enterprise lately? It feels tired and stale. Most of the times its just starships inf ron of a black background. I’m not of the fan of the all-colorful ‘new’ approach (they overdid it with the nebula), but I do admire the fact that they at least try to get away from the old ship-flying-by routine. Still no Firefly, BSG or even Babylon 5 as far as direction goes.

Funny, I just watched Babel One two nights ago and thought how very well this show is holding up. CGI is top notch, and the set designs are still some of my favorite in all of the various Trek incarnations.

No, I feel the same way. The CGI looks cheap, like a computer game. The opening scene on Vulcan was really awful and the Discovery somehow looks unreal.

Jeez. I thought the opening on Vulcan looked great, myself. Tough crowd.

TNG had better CGI and that was 30 years ago. The CG in STD is terrible!

It really didn’t.

Um. . . TNG had virtually no CGI at all. You’re just trolling.

Agreed, loved that opening shot on Vulcan. It was gorgeous. Really liked that ship, as well.

Had a real EMPIRE STRIKES BACK vibe, I thought.

There was no practical model of the NX-01 as far as I know. It was entirely computer rendered, as was much of Voyager by the end. They have made the decision to go with a stylized effects approach, probably partly due to wanting to differentiate the look of their show from other Treks. I don’t mind it, though I don’t love it either.

Ah, I think I read your post incorrectly. You were pointing out that Enterprise used CGI, not that they used practical ship models. Got it.

I think they blew it on the pilot too. I rewatched it yesterday and the look and feel and filming was very different more cinematic. Season 2 will have a much bigger budget

Thats possible. If all the immense start up costs were factored in, one would think season 2 would have more money to spend on “new” things, assuming they re-use a lot of sets already created. And many start up costs wont be required.

@Kevin Bleasdale — I wouldn’t count on them having a bigger budget. They’ve already indicated a move in a different direction from the Klingon war, which means a lot of money spent on the Klingons will have to be spent on something else. They also indicted the series would move toward the look of TOS, which means more changes to existing sets and costumes. Add to that CBS is likely looking to make it for less as well.

FYI, CBS doesn’t pay for production, that’s Netflix International that covers production costs. CBS just get exclusive streaming in the US because they are the rights holder. Essentially they get it for “free.”

I believe that is not the case. CBS produces the series and pays the bills. In turn, they licensed it to Netflix for a sum of money that happens to cover their production budget.

CBS covers all production costs. Licensing fees offset production costs.

I think if anything it will have a smaller budget, assuming they reuse most of Disco’s sets. They’re trying to make as much money as possible off this series, and I think they’re gonna trim costs as much as they can to avoid a Beyond-type overexpense

A bigger budget seems unlikely. Fewer episodes with the same per episode budget, possibly.

I think they wanted to go for a TOS vibe with that nebula.

I totally agree. When they first used the spire drive and almost got stuck in a star, it looked horrendous. There was no sense of distance. The star looked like it was the size of a small city. And the exterior of the mining colony in that episode… ugh.

Yeah the shots of the ship look great but the backgrounds look way to colourful for my taste.

I wouldn’t watch Babylon 5 then! LOL!

James Grain delivers in this one, you can see so much emotion despite his emotionless face…check him out in the sick bay scene you’ll see what I mean.

James Grain?

Normally Frain but if you were among the 5% of All Access users who had buffering and quality issues, it was Grain.

XD.

It’s a statement fighting back against the gluten free tyranny of the flatulence intolerant!

Agreed, Marc. Frain was excellent, a real standout. The sorrow conveyed when forced to make that decision between Spock and Michael, just really well done and subtle.

I like this episode the best out of series so far, but they REALLY need to start addressing the continuity issues. I want to like this show, but so far everything about it comes off as lackluster. I can’t believe how people are either gushing or hating on this series…it deserves neither…it’s just meh.

What continuity issues?

How much does CBS pay you two?

What do ‘continuity issues’ have to do with the show being ‘lackluster?’ Those are completely different, even unrelated, concerns. The thing could be a canon nightmare (and I know that in the view of many it is), and still be brilliant drama. You’ll need to be more cogent in your criticisms than that if you want to provoke a discussion that’s worth anything.

It both has continuity issues and is overall lackluster. I don;t have time to write a novel to detail my every thought on this series, nor do I care to “provoke a discussion”. A comment section is for people to state their opinion, I stated mine. If you don’t like it, keep scrolling. Thanks.

Oh it has a bunch of continuity issues but you can’t name any. I see.

Right. My bad, then, for assuming you had an interest in doing anything more constructive than hearing yourself whine.

So you’re okay flinging out a glittering generality, but don’t want to back it up with even one example? I’ve been accused of being a troll for a helluva lot less….

The only issue I see here is your lack of coherence. If you can’t even explain and elaborate on your views when asked to do so, why do you even bother to present them. I for one am genuinely interested in knowing what continuity issues you are referring to.

What an odd question coming from someone who’s handle is Just A Star Trek fan…

JASTF doesn’t really need to state his reasons. Even without them, I agree with what he says. Discovery for me doesn’t provoke a high or low reaction, but mostly a middling “meh”. Do I enjoy watching it? Yes. Is it my favorite thing ever? No. But it’s Trek and I love Trek and I will watch it. And I’m confident it has the potential to meet my expectations. So far, however, it’s merely okay.

He stated it had continuity issues. Sure, he doesnt have to explain. But its a discussion forum so people are going to ask. And generally with the intent of helping him understand better.

@Albatrosity

I think I’m more or less with you so far. After a mere 6 episodes it’s not bad but not particularly good either. It feels more like Voyager or Enterprise season 1 & 2. If it has more episodes like this last one then it will raise its profile in my eyes. But something tells me it will end up being “meh” for its entire run. However long that may be.

If you want to engage in an actual discussion on Discovery your best bet is to head over to AV Club. Much more civil, far less critical of those with dissenting opinions and points of view.

Come on, most of the “dissenting” opinions are whining about plot holes that dont exist or canon violations that never happened. If there is a forum where people can pat each other on the back for having the content go over their heads, then great. Those people should go there.

Then the rest of us can debate and discuss the good AND bad in peace. ;-)

Did you mean canon issues? Continuity is one episode matching events/story/sets from a previous episode (i.e., Landry is not suddenly alive again). Canon is things like cloaking devices and holodecks being anachronistic, among other things.

That is something I have yet to mention. REALLY don’t like Klingons having cloaking devices. For some goofball reason the TOS features not only transferred the tech from the Romulan to he Klingons but they gave a class of ship to the Klingons too. I guess there is nothing precluding the Klingon use of the tech but the Enterprise never encountered a Klingon vessel cloaked in TOS. I suppose this is a nit pick but it’s bugged me for years. And was hoping this show would not give the Klingons the cloak. If for no other reason than to treat it like new tech that appears a decade down the road. At the very least the cloak ought not be an ACTUAL invisible to the eye ship. At least make it invisible to sensors. Even in TSFS it was not invisible to the eye. But suddenly in TVH it is… But shh about that!

That’s because the continuity issues aren’t really issues.

The show’s detractors really can’t bring themselves to put down their thoughts in a coherent and intelligent way. They simply feel the need to be as childish as possible.

I haven’t noticed any continuity issues. Perhaps some questionable decisions, but no problem with continuity. Are you saying continuity within the show or continuity between shows?

I’ve felt that the show overall has got better with each episode. They’re finding their feet much more quickly than other Trek shows did.

I was shocked to learn it was Vulcans who killed Michael’s parents. I assumed it was Klingons. Didnt Sarek reference this when discussing the Klingons with Michael in the premiere??

It wasn’t Vulcans that killed Michael’s parents. Michael’s parent were killed by Klingons on the colony where they lived. Later on, there was an attempted assassination attempt on Michael at the Vulcan Learning Center that was carried out by Vulcans.

Ohhhhh I see. Right. That makes sense.

We’ve previously seen that Sarek saved Burnham during a bombing, but weren’t told which it was. I (and I suppose a lot of other people) assumed it was the Klingon attack, which it wasn’t.

I was very confused until this week, since that didn’t make any sense. The bombing where Sarek saved Michael was clearly at the Vulcan Learning Center, but her parents were killed on a colony. I’m glad that they’ve finally explained things.

I too thought they were related. In regards to the bombing itself I wonder how many others were hurt? We know it temporarily killed Bunrham but did it get some “pure Vulcans” as well. We know that these targeted bombings often kill/maime other people near by. It could potentially be a topic they could go back to in the future.

The attack on the Learning Center that (briefly) killed Micheal was a separate incident from the one that killed her parents.

I think the Logic Vulcan Terrorists are the ones feeding info to the Klingons

He referenced her background with the Klingons, shots of the bombing I think were to lead you to believe that was the case. Maybe we will find out more later…

I loved this episode. It really added to Sarek’s character, and I will never be able to watch Journey to Babel the same way again.

I’m thinking “Journey to Babel” is key to the first season. Let’s see if the Androlians show up.

“Vulcan is not supposed to have a moon, but the objects seen in the sky can be explained by Trek books which give Vulcan a sister planet named T’Khut.”

This was a visual nod to “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”. We see similar ‘moons’ when we cut to Spock on Vulcan.

Correct, although I believe the novels introduced the notion of Vulcan having a sister planet to reconcile TMP with other canonical references of Vulcan not having any moons.

Actually, this started back in 1973 with the TAS episode “Yesteryear.” D.C. Fontana, who was a producer on the show as well as the episode’s writer, recalled getting a cell from Filmation for approval showing the adult Spock waslking towards his home city of ShiKahr with a huge orb hanging in the sky, upon which she and Roddenberry scrawled “NO MOON!” But someone didn’t get the memo, and the show aired that way, so they had to come up with the sister planet as an explanation.

Ah, that’s right! Love stories like that.

Fontana stated at the time in that little essay that “Yesteryear” would be her last word on Vulcan. But it sure didn’t turn out to be THE last word on Vulcan!

Let’s not forget the totally canonical Delta Vega conveniently located directly adjacent to Vulcan either!

Ugh. Not my canon, thanks.

#notmycanon

I hear ya’.

I mostly agree with your assessment of this episode, which I would definitely say was the best since the third (essentially the rebooted pilot). Some martial arts silliness, and I’d have liked more exploration of the “logic extremists,” who appear to revere Sarek’s call to non-emotion but not so much his philosophy of peace. And doesn’t this episode contradict our first impression of who bombed the Vulcan Learning Center, killing Burnham’s parents in the process? I thought it was supposed to be the Klingons, which was her motivation for hating them even before the war. Was Sarek lying about that, too? That said, lots of great character work for Burnham, Lorca and Sarek (and I’m much more inclined to buy James Frain in the role than I was previously). The heart of this show is indeed the SOPHIE’S CHOICE moment of Sarek’s betrayal of Burnham, the necessary lie he capped it off with, and the years of guilt that no doubt followed. Putting this together with Spock’s rejection of his Vulcan heritage, their long estrangement actually makes more sense in the context of a character we’ve never previously heard of, a very neat bit of threading-the-needle that’s precisely the opposite of clumsy fan service like name-dropping the Enterprise. Kudos to the writers for that, and for pushing the character of Lorca to the very edge of our understanding of what a starship captain can be while still giving the actor room to turn in a believable and even sympathetic performance.… Read more »

Michael, i thought the same thing but have been corrected.

Klingons killed Michael’s parents. it was LATER that the learning centre was bombed by Vulcans where she was injured and saved by Sarek.

Thanks for the correction, which makes sense.

Yeah, Burnham was already Sarek’s ward at the time. It is explained in more detail in the novel Desperate Hours. He wouldn’t have done that for a stranger, and only used the Katra healing to bring Michael back because Amanda begged him to do so.

Understanding this shouldn’t require reading a novel, though. They really need to re-visit this issue somehow to tie this very important plot point down, methinks.

Well it isn’t strictly needed to know that Amanda got Sarek to save her. Yeah it deepens Amanda’s relationship to Michael and makes Sarek a little bit colder, but you don’t need to know the detail to understand what’s going on in the episode.

I feel they did it rather elegantly. This way we didn’t have to bog down the pilot episodes with a long explanation about the Vulcan radicals and kept the surprise for this episode.
All you needed to know was that Sarek “healed” Burnham after “the attack on the Vulcan Learning Center” (where it is shown that Michael is traumatized by the Klingons already) and they had the connection since.

@Hauke — I don’t think I cared for Amanda. She had a casualness about her demeanor that sounded too much like a spoiled socialite to me for some reason …

My problem with Amanda is that she has only ever been shown as a wife and mother. I would like to see her separate from all of that. It takes a pretty unique individual to give up the way of life you have known and move to another planet to absorb a new one. I would like for them to explore more of that where she is concerned. Rather than always being seen to be giving “motherly advice.” As for her inclusion in the novel, I look forward to getting to that part as I haven’t made it that far.

True, but of course in 1967 wife, mother and (maybe) schoolteacher was what women primarily did. It was men who got to captain starships and invent things and get into fights with aliens and so on.

True. One of the nicer aspects about the prequel being made after the original is that we can move people forward. ;)

I didnt mind name dropping the Enterprise because, remember, he “brother” serves there. In fact, he serves the same position Michael was going to be offered on Discovery by the end of the episode – science officer.

Michael served on only one ship her entire career and did rise to First Officer, and rather quickly. But her advice to Tilly was to try and get assignement to a Connie, like her brother’s ship, rise to first officer and then the Captain’s chair.

So, her brothers’ ship could be on her mind simply because it’s his posting. It could be that Connie’s are “preferred” assignments. it could be envy. It could be a revelation of what her own plans would be if she could do it over again. And in that way, is it a bit of a competitive note that she’d try to get Enterprise and become First Officer (over her little brother)

How is the Enterprise reference name-dropping? It’s the ship her brother serves on, and it’s the fleet’s flagship.

Minor correction: the original Enterprise has never been or referred to as the ‘flagship’ of Starfleet. That was Enterprise-D.

It wasn’t referred to as the flagship, but its class was intended to be the very top-of-the-line, not only in the Writer’s Guide but confirmed in “Tomorrow Was Yesterday” and a number of other episodes.

It’s dumb to call any of the Enterprises the “flagship” of a nation state (I.E The Federation). Flagships are command ships for a battle group, where the flag officer is stationed. And it isn’t necessarily the strongest ship – heck, it could be a shuttlecraft!

NX Class… Agreed, the current/recent writers of Trek really don’t have a good grasp of military jargon. The Abrams movies with their “you’re captain now” dialogue is another example. No, temporarily in command doesn’t make one a captain. Kirk left Spock in command lots of times. Picard even left Geordi in command once. That didn’t make them Captain. Flagships need a flag officer: Commodore or Admiral.

“Tomorrow is Yesterday” only says there are 12 like Enterprise, not that Enterprise is the cream of the crop.

Oh, come on. In the context of the conversation that’s clearly what’s implied, not to mention the other episodes (“Errand of Mercy,” “Court Martial,” “The Enterprise Incident,” etc.) all alluding to the same thing. Plus, it’s in the Writer’s Guide. Why quibble?

CHRISTOPHER: Must have taken quite a lot to build a ship like this.
KIRK: There are only twelve like it in the fleet.

That’s it for “Tomorrow is Yesterday”.

After a quick search, I can’t find anything in the episodes you cite. The closest I can find is this line by the Romulan commander in “Enterprise Incident”:

ROMULAN COMMANDER: A starship? One of the Starfleet’s finest vessels? You’re saying instrument failure as radical as you suggest went unnoticed until you were well past the Neutral Zone?

Note “one of”.

Man. It’s hard to tell what’s going to float people’s boats. I didn’t care for this episode at all. Worst so far by a fairly large margin.

Is it the worst by far when you rank them in quality and they are all good? ie. I like Alyssa Milana, Bri Larsen and Megan Fox so the “worst” of the three is still pretty damned awesome. lol

If its worst of the six as in it sucked, I find it hard to believe if you’re generally a fan, to have disliked it so much.

In my opinion, it was far below the quality of the previous five episodes. Some good concepts, but not well executed.

FYI: A show doesn’t get a free pass when it drops the ball just because I happen to like the show overall. That went for previous incarnations of Trek and it applies to this one too. That doesn’t make me any less of a “fan” than you just because you liked this one, by the way. It just means you liked it and I didn’t. You might want to expand your definition of that word sometime. There’s nothing wrong with constructive observations and criticisms, even from a “fan”.

That’s all true. You’re absolutely right about liking a show not meaning you give everything about it a free pass. But out tastes in these episodes are apparently different nevertheless, since I would rank “Lethe” as better than the last episode, and much, much better than the fourth.

If the show can scratch different itches in different ways for different people, than it’s clearly doing something right. That’s good news for everyone.

I don’t need to expand anything. I generally view things pretty critically so my point was the episode was very much in keeping with the rest of the season so if you thought it was so far beneath the others I find it perplexing. That’s all.

Differing tastes and insights is what makes this dorky subject worth discussing in the first place. I don’t know why people tend to forget that.

Apparently not.

@Michael Hall

Just remember this is an internet thread and there will always be people who are perplexed by people who have opinions that differ from their own.

Star Trek: Discovery, don’t be a shuttle pilot.

Funny thing is, in Voyager the shuttles got toasted, but the pilots lived!

Yeah they are quickly replacing Red Shirts as the go-to killees. Wasn’t it the pilot in Context is for Kings that got eaten by the Tardigrade on the Glenn as well?
Though in my personal headcanon, the Shuttle pilot on the prison transport shuttle earlier in the episode was picked up by Disco (since it was Lorca’s plan all along for the shuttle to conveniently fly into a swarm of those pests and get lost so he could pick up Burnham).

I’d like to think that was the case. Her death (abandonment, really) still haunts me. :-)

The cavalier attitude towards her death I found off putting. By both the tone of the show and the characters.

We don’t really know that that first Shuttle pilot in “Context” actually died. Could’ve been rescued by Discovery just like the Shuttle passengers.

The sister-planet goes all the way back to The Motion Picture. That’s nothing new.

I still think those marks on Lorca’s back were from an agonzier.

Good one!

Really worried about where they are going with Lorca. I would like him to remain the captain for the duration of the show, however, I fear they will make him go off the deep end and Michael will take his place.

Anyone else have that fear? Really hoping we get to keep him for season 2

I can’t even begin to imagine the Burnham will be made a regular member of Starfleet again any time soon, much less appointed to be captain of its most advanced ship. I’ll certainly be very, very disappointed if anything like that were to happen–it’ll be like alt-Kirk going from cadet to captain in one beautiful jump, all over again. Ugh!

I think Burnham would have to do something on the scale of Kirk saving Earth (a la Star Trek IV) to have her conviction vacated/overturned/commuted/expunged/thing/deal.

I suspect that she will become the captain towards the end of the series, which hopefully won’t be for at least seven more years. Until then, she will move back up through the ranks.

I’m guessing not. The writers are well-aware that the absence of any canon lore on this ship and crew begs explanation, and I’m sure they are mapping out where the series goes accordingly. Who knows, but I’ll go out on a limb and predict a very bittersweet conclusion for this show entirely in keeping with its tone (which I further believe will still be dark and complex even after the Klingon War concludes). Many Trek fans seem to prefer bland certainty, but audiences for premium programming like twists and surprises, and I suspect those will be the people the network wants to primarily serve.

Where these characters finally end up is probably in flux now that Discovery has definitely been renewed for another season. It is problematic that we’d never heard any of them as you’d think Spock would have mentioned that he has a foster sister in Starfleet at some point. Because of canon issues like that I’m inclined to doubt Burnham will ever make captain or even end up in a place of notoriety.

I do recall the conversation she had with Georgiou in the pilot about what she would would do if she became stranded on a planet and her response was that she’d try to fit in. It was an odd, kind of left field conversation, and I wonder if it was meant to foreshadow her final fate.

This might be the closest we’ve seen to a stand-alone character piece. It was a quieter affair, where we get some insight into Burnham’s relationship with Sarek, Sarek’s motives for his conflict with Spock, Lorca’s past with Admiral Doctor Cornwell, Tilly’s apprenticeship under Burnham, and Burnham and Tyler’s introduction.

Saying much beyond that would be spoiling things, and I’ve been trying hard not to do so in these brief recaps. But it was thrilling to see that added depth to Sarek. We’ve known about his troubled adventures in parenting, and now we have greater insight into why that is.

Regarding Cornwell, when she delivered her assessment to Lorca, and its requisite consequences, that suggested a couple of possible fates for her, in an episode that had relatively few deaths. There was a kind of delicious irony in how Lorca’s encounter with Cornwell changed his captaining strategy in the short term–well two ironies. On the one hand, by changing his course of action, he amended his style based on Cornwell’s advice. On the other hand, by following that strategy, he could possibly prevent her threat from coming to pass.

The one canon-centric nitpick I had was that the training simulation was awfully close to a holodeck. I would have preferred at least a bit more artifice to contrast it with the 24th century holodecks.

And of course Joe Menosky’s first script for Discovery is a metaphysical mind trip!

Has sybok been mentioned yet?

No he has not.

thanks

Spoiler alert: during the season finale, Burnham pulls a Tyler and has herself genetically altered into Sybok. Calling it now.

@Holden — hmmmmmmm. So Michael as her name is foreshadowing her trans-gener metamorphosis? She goes off to attain the Kolinahr and comes back Sybock? I could live with that, certainly explains his embrace of emotion. And deals with a topical issue at the same time. Of course Sybock could also be part of the Vulcan isolationists, which is another reason he’s never mentioned in the family.

I wasn’t being serious, of course, but I like your thinking. I have always felt Sybok was a character with a lot of unfulfilled potential.

And his absence in this context is a little glaring, I guess. Unless they are just ignoring ST-V like everyone else!

There was no real reason to mention him. He was much older (different mother). The Vulcan elder could have mentioned him as a reason for not taking Michael or giving Sarek only ONE choice after the failure of his FULL Vulcan son. But its not glaring that he didnt.

CC, I think he was kidding. You were kidding, right?

No, but I’d love an episode or two where we run into Sybok; if they follow the Vulcan Extremist plotline he might even be able to provide some useful insights in light of the fact that he is a Vulcan who has embraced emotion.

In their report on CBS All Access problems last night, Variety reports this regarding refunds or credits:

“In the wake of the streaming glitches Sunday, CBS is responding to user requests for refunds or credits on a case-by-case basis.”

Thanks for the heads-up, since for the first time I had streaming issues as well.

In my case I wouldn’t say it merited a refund. I just stopped watching at that point and tried again a few hours later and it was fine. In fact I was surprised I haven’t had more problems like that. It’s pretty common to have similar issues while trying to access the HBO app on Game of Thrones night. To each his own though. They are clearly trying to appease their customers and I am sure some people will appreciate it.

This is good to know–it was frustrating looking forward to Discovery flushing my mind after another garbage hour of a new The Walking Dead episode. I was sorely disappointed I had to wait, but I agree it’s not worth a refund.

Just don’t let it happen again, CBS.

@Ahmed

That’s good to know as I intend to contact them for the failure of every streaming episode I’ve viewed thus far. And it better not be half off next month since I don’t plan on keeping the service after November 13th.

I do not know if anyone has mentioned this… so I apologise. But does anyone else think Lorca could be from the Mirror Universe? That’s why he’s so dark and irrational?

Unlikely. There have been plenty of Starfleet Captains/Admirals going off the deep end for various reasons, usually because they lose their crew, or get stranded somewhere.
Captain Ransom of the Equinox, Garth of Izar, Commodore Decker, Benjamin Maxwell, Admiral Leyton, just to name a few off the top of my head.
At this point, I think Lorca had already been a bit of a hardliner before he lost the Buran. He made a terrible choice killing his crew to spare them Klingon imprisonment, and refuses to get his eyes fixed as penance for his actions (if we are to believe his words). He’s fixating on his work to avoid getting consumed by his survivor’s guilt and the pain of his choice, wanting first to do anything in his power to help win the war so his crew’s death wasn’t for nothing.

He has the same lesson to learn that Burnham struggled with, trusting others, instead of manipulating them (she did it again this episode when she requested Tilly to join, she assumed Tilly would follow her instructions, but it was only Tyler’s orders and advice which lead her to successfully reaching Sarek).

forgot to add:
Things are spiraling out of control for Lorca now that his secret is out. He is surrounding himself with a crew mostly loyal and beholden to himself (Burnham, Tyler and maybe even Saru) and fortifying his position as Captain. Because there will be hell to pay eventually.

This is exactly true. Someone was critical of him advancing Ash so quickly. But he’s actually stacking the deck like a cult leader. He tests people, bonds them to him, causes them to owe him favours and after using the “stick” rewards them wirh a carrot.

It’s great writing.

Interesting, too, that Burnham ultimately fell into that trap, even as she asserted in the rebooted pilot that she would not. As written she’s a lot smarter than Lorca, actually. But when it comes to leadership (or that cult of personality, take your pick) intelligence isn’t everything. And yes, I consider acknowledging that to be pretty good writing.

Yes, Michael and Ash were parallels in this episode. Just as Tilly foreshadowed at the beginning when she noted people thought Lorca “adopted” her just as he seems to be adopting Ash.

Lorca did the same thing. Rescued them. Bonded to them. Dangled secrets and opportunity in front of them. Built up their self esteem and confidence. made them feel important. Gave them a second chance. Gave them an opportunity to be useful and redeem themselves. And ultimately made it so they appreciated him for all of it. He manufactured their loyalty.

And I think Michael falling in line has a lot to do with her being a Starfleet officer as well as a ‘damaged’ Starfleet officer. She believes in him but she also needs something and someone to believe in. Had Lorca been Captain in that first encounter with the Klingon’s he would have followed Michael’s recommendation and fired that first shot — and she knows it.

I completely agree. Best episode yet. Felt like star trek to me!

At first I was surprised to see a Vulcan Admiral, but then realising Spock had already graduated and serving on Enterprise by this point. Unrelated: looks like the Tellarites are coming next year: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1731923/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t25

I remember thinking that Spock was the first Vulcan in (Federation) Starfleet. But apparently that is not the case. In fact, there was whole starship, the USS Intrepid, in the second season of TOS that was completely staffed by Vulcans. (See “The Immunity Syndrome’)

Given the fact that DSC establishes that you could be commissioned a Starfleet officer after having graduated from the Vulcan Science Academy, he could have been the first to attend Starfleet Academy.

This also makes me wonder if the writers on TOS intended to imply a racist/separatist streak in Vulcan culture from the beginning. Or were they unaware of how exclusively Vulcan or virtually exclusively human crews would appear antithetical to what they had set Starfleet and the Federation to be? One of the best parts of ENT was the exploration and development of Vulcan history. Vulcan terrorists always feels weird to me, but it does add color and complexity. Their imperfection makes Vulcans more interesting and perhaps compelling.

Why do people always say that Spock was the first Vulcan in starfleet. Vulcans were one of the four founding members of the Federation, and Spock didn’t join Starfleet until almost a century after its founding. I’m sure there are plenty of Vulcans (including the crew of Intrepid) in Starfleet.

I think it was mentioned by Roddenberry or Fontana at some point that Spock was the first, but it never made it into dialogue and so never became canon. That said, it’s not all that unreasonable an assumption, except that it’s long since been contradicted on film.

I am really starting to get on board with Discovery. Each new episode has been, in my opinion, better than the last. I did find it somewhat humorous that the synthesizer was describing the nutritional value of the food. When I first heard the description of the burrito, I laughed a bit.
Overall, the character development of the main characters in this episode was great. We get to see a lot of new aspects of both Burnham and Lorca. We get to see a different side of Lorca who seems to be putting Burham under his wing while still fighting his own demons.
I am excited to see what comes next.

Third mentions of burritos, in fact. :-)

Why would Cornwell’s bodyguards allow Klingons to stand right alongside them?

And how does a medical officer become a high-ranking admiral?

Dr McCoy became an admiral and many other medical officers become admirals eventually

Crusher Also became a captain, can’t forget that even if it was a future that could have been.

@Nebula1701 — was it a future that could have been? Or was it just one that Q fabricated with a scenario that amused him? The more I think about All Good Things, the more I think it was a mistake not to make it linear time wise — but I guess if it unfolded that way, then nobody would have thought Picard was crazy. Not to mention time was literally coming to an end as existence was being wiped out, as in City On The Edge of Forever.

I always thought of it as the “real” future. They all forgot it anyway, once Picard saved the universe.

Presumably they were in the medical division. She seems to be in the general command. Not impossible, but unusual.

There is no indication she’s akin to Troi becoming a member of command. Surely she did her time in command and earned her job. She just happens to be a doctor as well.

You would think Star Fleet is smarter than to be tricked by the Klingons in this matter also the aliens guarding this meeting would use their omnipotent powers to prevent anyone from being killed in such a meeting, just my 2 cents.

Evidently the alien guards, if any were unseen, were also killed by the Klingons. In the scene itself, the three aliens in the background were revealed to be Klingons in disguise, as I recall, or had been murdered by the Klingons. (I’ll have to watch it again (I have it on DVR) to be sure which one of these two scenarios was depicted.) Another great episode, by the way, and no wonder DISC has been renewed!

Great review. I enjoyed this episode more than the others so far. There was more in the way of dialogue to propel the plot than we’ve seen so far (which I like!). And I’m guessing that we’ve seen the first holodeck (or its precursor – let’s face it the Xyrillians had that tech in the 2150s so if he Federation managed to have diplomatic relations with them they may have shared their insights into holography. Maybe we’ll get “a Fistful of Lorcas” in season 2…). Michael was a little softer in this episode too. I hope she carries that with her going forward – she was more likeable (I even smiled when Lorca offered her the position on the bridge), and the transgalactic mind meld from the pilot(s) makes much more sense now. Good episode, this one imho.

Apparently the TAS establishes that one of the Recreation Rooms on 1701 has holographic capabilities. http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Recreation_room

I understood TAS to in fact be canon. The Discovery is a more advanced ship then 1701. So it makes sense that it “could” have a simulation room for tactical training that is less advanced then the completely immersive character focused holodeck introduced on 1701-D

I, too found it jarring, but apparently the writers are honest when they say they have people in the room whose job it is took them completely informed about canon. They say they may apparently bend canon, but never with reason and eventual resolution.

Thanks for the Link!

I think it was was just a fancy holographic firing range, as opposed to an actual holodeck where you could physically interact with the characters and props, but it would be nice to have someone on staff confirm this.

One of the writers did confirm this

https://twitter.com/karterhol/status/922616677161771008

I almost hesitate to call Disco more “advanced” than the Constitution class. Yes, she’s ten years younger, and brand new. But Kirk and TOS generally imply pretty heavily if not outright state that the Constitution class is the best of the fleet. I see Disco as more of a testbed than anything, a science experiment that happens to have a whacky spore drive and a war commander.

I agree. If Pike’s Enterprise were to make a cameo appearance its interior design would necessarily look a lot closer to DSC than TOS, which is why it’ll probably never happen.

Personally I’d be ok if they stuck with canon in terms of known events and characters, but went with updated designs for the Enterprise. In other words, Pike still goes to Talos IV, but the Enterprise he commands looks up to date by our 21st century standards rather than being a clone of the 1960s design. I know that would probably put some people off but I also think it’s a reasonable compromise if you want to intermingle classic characters and events with Discovery.

Yes, that’s what I was getting at. Story canon remains exactly the same, but visual canon evolves to fit updates in technology and production design in the real world. It works for me–if Trek is to continue to be a going concern at this point, really, what choice is there?

(Roddenberry may have actually foreseen this dilemma when, in his novelization of STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, he had Admiral Kirk complain about the inaccurate way the five year mission had been portrayed by the media after the Enterprise returned to Earth.)

Thanks :) I didn’t know that about TAS (not seen all of it tbh). But I’m just going with it regarding the tech now. My initial thought was “oh no not a holodeck in the TOS era” but then I just thought well the disco is a newer ship than the Enterprise so maybe that’s why she has it…! Or maybe the fact that we never see one in TOS is that those pesky holograms kept running amuck on Discovery? Professor Moriarty taking over the spore drive? Michael with holo-addiction? Robert April would have been like “nope”!

One of the writers wrote on twitter last night that Discovery used holograms but was not a holodeck. An earlier form of the technology.

Not that it makes sense but the distant mind meld thing was done in Enterprise. Love it or hate it, it’s been canon for almost 15 years.

Spock “felt” the death of the Intrepid from light years away, so in a sense it’s actually much older than that.

Yeah it makes sense. Im glad its not over-done. We knew in TOS that Spock could mind meld without actually touching. They have psychic abilities. Not to the extent of Betazoids, but similar. So in extreme situations to have that ability magnified is not too crazy.

The Intrepid as an example (X amount of souls crying out at once, to steal a Star Wars reference), Sarek/Michael where they had a unique connection by virtue of him pulling her back from death etc.

I’d forgotten about that! Season 4 of ENT was just as up and down in terms of quality as the rest of it I thought (and I generally liked Enterprise!). The worst moment was when Trip asks T’Pol how she knows she has a baby and she says “I’m Vulcan” like that explained everything haha!

I love Anthony’s reviews but have to disagree with his overall positive take. While there were many elements I enjoyed (Lorca’s subplot, Tilly/Burnham bonding) I really did not care for the way they handled the Vulcans in general and Sarek in particular. To be fair, this is not unique to DSC, as many later Trek incarnations have painted a darker picture of the Vulcan race. I’m okay with that insofar as it presents greater dramatic possibilities. But I thought they went too far with Sarek this time. None of his motivations were even remotely based in logic, instead stemming from pride and arrogance, which ultimately led to outright deception. This felt like too big a swing for the character. If we were to base our opinion on Vulcans from what we’ve seen so far, we’d have to judge them to be a race of uptight, racist ideologues, as opposed to a highly evolved peaceful race. Maybe that’s what the writers are going for, but it does not work for me.

He was side of in a no win situation. He sided with his “real” son.

The most frustrating thing is that SO many of these concerns could have been avoided, for me at least, by making the character a Vulcan other than Sarek. There really is no reason he needs to be, other than some vague idea of “fan service” on the part of the writers. And if they were desperate to tie in past Trek characters, why not make him Sarek’s aide or something, who tries and perhaps fails to walk in the shadow of his boss? Problems with Spock-canon — avoided. Problems with retconned character traits — avoided. And you could still throw in cameos by Sarek and Amanda. Look, I know it’s just grousing on my part, but nu-Sarek just grates on me (the character, not the actor, whom I admire) and often spoils what I find to be a highly enjoyable show overall.

What concerns? Its filled in a 50 year question in a really satisfying way.

Sarek made stupid decisions based on pride right from the moment he was introduced. There was no logical reason for him to stop talking to his son.

Sarek is one of the most complicated characters in trek. The Vulcan ambassador to the Federation who seemingly wants to work closely with humans but seems to turn his nose up at those same humans…marries a human woman, has a half human son…rejects son for basically doing the same thing he does.

Its almost like Sarek was far more human-loving than he would ever admit and almost sacrificed his true feelings to “serve” the greater good of Vulcan. Spock really followed in Sarek’s footsteps to an extreme degree.

We can speculate that Sarek wanted Spock to not suffer negative experiences as a half human that he, Sarek experienced merely by working with humans. Spock, feeling that he never had the love and respect of his father, tries to impress his father by being even MORE in with humans than he was and is rejected. Eventually becomes an Ambassador himself and surpasses the father. All the while we know (from TNG) that Sarek did love and admire Spock but never told him.

This episode showed us that Sarek sacrificed Michael to help Spock, who rejected the help. Ouch. Sucks to be Sarek.

I would argue that there WAS a logical reason, albeit a cold and unemotional one. Once Spock had made his career choice, Sarek chose to eliminate the source of any emotional turmoil by cutting off ties with Spock, thereby allowing Spock to pursue his goals independently while he, Sarek, could theoretically focus all his energies on his own work. Cold, yes; prideful, somewhat, but still a very Vulcan solution to the problem, and without deceit.

TUP and SpiderBat, you have both just forever altered the way I look at Sarek. Thank you for that.

Excellent episode and very star trek, can’t ask for any more. Some of the characters are now starting to grow on me.

Don’t forget that Lt. Tyler’s mom died on a ship (I’m guessing shuttle with doomed pilot) that got hit by a rogue comet. Yuh, right!

It wouldn’t be the first time some death seemed ridiculous but really was truthful. As for his dad not being around I liked that they are trying to show “imperfect” people. While nobody probably goes hungry or even homeless that doesn’t mean the Federation can give you a sense of personal responsibility.

I really hate how “sad backstory” they made Tyler right in like 30 seconds of dialogue. Oh, woe is me, my family is dead! It’s like why are they going so hard with the tragic life on this guy. Reminds me almost of Boomer’s backstory in BSG, her family died in a mining accident. Easier to pass background checks when your whole background got wiped out.

Nothing wrong with a tragic back story. Not everyone has the happy home life. Plus his family could be his fellow Starfleet officers. Wouldn’t be the first character where that happens. Kira Nerys, Chakotay and even Seven of Nine all come to mind.

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense from various perspectives. If the back story is true of the “real” Tyler, you can ask yourself why does anyone join Starfleet? Some for scientific opportunities (Stamets) some to explore the galaxy, some to be soldiers. Having a tragic backstory could be the very reason Ash joined.

For Lorca, he knew the back story. It seemed clear to me he was bonding Ash to him to create a loyal soldier. That was the point of the battle exercise and sending him on the mission with Michael and making Security Chief. Its all about imprinting upon a damaged person that he owes Lorca.

Great review Anthony! Thank you, always a pleasure to read your reviews.

I have some issues with this episode. There was secret meeting on Cancri IV to discuss an alliance between Vulcan and 2 independent Klingon houses. The Cancri hosts failed miserably. Shouldn’t they disarm all parties before they meet? So much for using them in the future when they failed so badly.

Since Sarek couldn’t attend because he was injured during an assassination attempt, either cancel the meeting, reschedule it for another time when Sarek has recovered, or send another Vulcan official in his place. Why send Cornwell? Does the Federation speak for Vulcan? For all we know the Feds weren’t aware of the secret meeting until after Sarek was rescued. Does she get briefed by Sarek?

Cornwell’s security escort are not trained very well. Don’t let a Klingon stand within arm’s reach where they can attack with a knife. The protocal for such a meeting must be that both sides are standing face to face with enough distance between them to prevent any sneak attacks. If a Klingon attacks then the distance between them gives the Feds the time to defend themselves. That should be basic security training and they should have recognized that situation once they entered the room.

Excellent points. These kinds of potential plot holes stop me from fully enjoying some of Discovery’s episodes. While I don’t need an explanation for everything some more would be nice. Sometimes they ask us to just go with the things they say but I don’t work like that. I too question some of the Federation’s decision making skills regarding a lot of things in this war. I can accept that for Cornwell if there is a peaceful option she will try it no matter what. However some things are just a trap.

None of those were plot holes.

They are if you wonder if the guards are bad because of poor training or is it just poor writing on Discovery’s part? Are they just trying to make a statement on the Federation being “scientist not warriors.” So yes still a plot hole for me. A simple statement from an admiral to Lorca about everyone improving their training when protecting people could go a long way to fixing it though. Maybe for everyone else it’s not a problem but for me it is. It pulls me from the scene because it’s done poorly.

Agreed, it made absolutely no sense. One of my habitual complaints with DSC: stuff just happens to advance plot, not to make sense.

How did it make no sense?

Armed guards allowing armed Klingons anywhere near themselves or the Admiral, for one. Starfleet intelligence is also completely negligent to have allowed anyone to have walked into this one. Could they really not realize one of the 2 houses offering peace was Mo’Kai? The house of spies, liars, and deceivers? It seemed to me they just made this all happen, because they wanted the Lorca gonna lose his command drama, and the captured Admiral Doctor drama. Like Landry’s death, it doesn’t happen in a way that makes sense, it simply happens because they need it to.

You say that shortly after an ambush killed real life US soldiers overseas. It happens.

You’re trying to explain away everything to create plot holes where none exist. In a perfect world there would be no reason for anything and thus no drama.

Why would Starfleet intelligence know that two houses who reached out through backchannels were planning an ambush? It would have been GREAT if they had. They didnt.

It would have been great if every terror attack today gets thwarted due to intelligence. They dont. Why would they in the future?

You’re literally saying “the writers wrote this drama because they want to create intrigue and drama. How dare they.”

They cant spend three hours explaining every little tiny thing. You’d feel a lot better if they took time for Cornwell to call Command and have a heart to heart with other Admirals about how its a risky mission and that Intelligence has no information or “conflicting info” but Cornwell insists on going anyway because its the firsty real overture of peace and worth the risk yadda yadda yadda.

Do you *really* need that?

No, TUP. I don’t *really* need that. Ambushes happen. Of course they happen. You’re missing the point I was trying to make. Starfleet should have been suspicious. Surely they have an intelligence network. L’Rell boasted that her mother’s house, Mo’Kai, are known to be deceivers, tellers of lies, weavers of deception. Then in the episode where she tortures Lorca, she boasts she’s done spy work. The implication is that Mo’Kai is known to be deceptive, and untrustworthy. I’m questioning, how did Starfleet intelligence not know this? How was the fact that one of the two houses that wanted to meet, is a house of lies, not a red flag for anyone looking at this proposal? That was my issue. It’s either that the Klingons have been impenetrable concerning espionage efforts, or that Starfleet intelligence was grossly incompetent at vetting the offer for peace.

That’s what I felt made no sense.

I’m not oppose to drama. Quite the opposite, I want and welcome it. What I want is for stories to make sense. It’s not an outlandish request.

I think I maybe need to step of the gas on my criticism of Discovery. I’ve said before in a few threads, that I overall do like and enjoy the show. I just can’t help that some things make me roll my eyes.

I agree with you. As a viewer I knew that as soon as Cornwell went she was going to get captured. Plus the security made it very easy for them to take her. I too wonder why there wasn’t any back-up plans in case it went south. In most military and even peace situations you have multiple different contingency plans mapped out so you are ready no matter what. The Federation had an A plan and that was it. Lorca should have known how to respond to Cornwell’s predictable capture.

Well, Steph, I think the implication from Lorca’s actions (or inactions, as they were) was that he suspected it was a ruse. It’s just that he also figured it would solve his problem with her taking his command.

I suspect too that was the case, but we really don’t know for certain. That’s what makes it interesting.

The Klingons could have just taken out Cromwell’s aides by shooting them from a distance. Same net result, but possibly more believable. I agree that was very poor judgement by the Starfleet contingent to let the Klingons come anywhere near them, but OTOH, what can you do? If the meeting isn’t being held in good faith and they’re just looking to take hostages or kill you outright, you’re pretty much screwed either way. Both she and Sarek had to know they were taking a huge gamble, and they lost that particular bet.

Wait… I thought the peace mission was by Vulcan independent of Starfleet. Did I misunderstand that? They had only a few hours to replace the injured Sarek, and they chose the best representative they had on-hand, Admiral Cornwell. That didn’t leave a lot of time to figure out which Klingons they were meeting with.

Most of your concerns arent really concerns.

Yes, the Cancri screwed up. The presumption being the Klingons forced the Cancri to pretend to host a peaceful meeting.

Even Sarek was reluctant to tell his companion of their mission because it was so sensitive. Sarek is an Ambassador, highly respected in the Federation and among Starfleet. He was requested by the Klingons (Kol said he wanted to capture a Vulcan Ambassador), clearly under condition of secrecy.

The motivation given was it was two Klingon houses that might be swayed. They would obviously not want anyone knowing they were meeting. In real life, nations send envoys all the time. Sometimes its secretive.

The reason Cornwell would go is obvious. You’re in the middle of war. Are you going to cancel a back-channel secret peace meeting? Of course not. Made perfect sense.

As for why Cornwell’s guards didnt do a better job…well, they should have. But the point was to go into a potentially dangerous situation because the risk for peace was worth it.

Did Lorca really have a change of heart or did he defer the Admiral’s rescue to Starfleet in hopes to save his command?

@Dave — and that’s why this is a great episode. You tell me. ;-)

Yes, that may be the most ambiguously adult ending I’ve seen on Trek since DS9’s “In the Pale Moonlight.”

And the best part is, if Cornwell returns and is pissed he didnt rescue her he can say “hey, you wanted me to follow orders. So I did.”

The second one, seemed apparent to me.

He’s buying time. I also assume he recommended sending her in the first place because he suspected it was a trap and thought that would solve his short term problem.

Impossible to say for sure but I think that last shot of him staring into space, with a phaser hanging out of his pajamas pretty much answers that question for me.

They’ve talked a lot arcs and mini-arcs and this episode definitely fulfills a lot of seeds planted as well as planting new ones itself. Great Trek! So well written.

CBS however can not have another main computer failure like it did last night. On Discovery night it should be all hands on deck. I couldn’t watch the show without errors until 11:00PM PST and it comes on here at 5:30PM PST. That is not premium.

@Andrew SD — I’d seriously contact CBSAA to ask for a credit. If we just let this go, they’ll never know the extent of the problem, and risk it happening again. I’m certainly planning to, even though I was finally able to stream it with no problems on my Android app built into the TV set.

When I first set up CBSAA on my ATV 4K, I had to contact support to help login to it. In the end they discovered a problem they weren’t aware of and thanked me for helping them. At this point I feel I can ask for a credit since they’re benefiting from my inconvenience for a service I’m paying them for …

They know. 5% of users had issues. And they are doing refunds/credits if people complain.

I doubt they need extra hands on deck to turn wheels or shovel coal into a streaming fire or anything. Tech breaks down sometimes. When no one is watching, few care, but when its popular, its a bigger deal.

Netflix goes down from time to time. HBO once aired Sopranos in the wrong order. Game of Thrones was uploaded several days early. Cable and network tv have occasional issues.

it happens.

I should add, the great thing about streaming is, once the issue was resolved, anyone who missed the episode can watch it at their leisure rather then when cable has an issue and you have to look the guide for the next airing.

5%? Judging by comments here it was a LOT more than that.

Look, it happens. Even Netflix goes down from time to time.

Definitely affected me, and I’ve had no issues previously.

My new guess is that Captain Lorca (and maybe the former Commander Landry) are from the mirror universe.

It would give a great explanation for his style of leadership style. Senior officers on the mirror Enterprise gathered factions around them. They carried guns and and demanded loyalty. Lorca behaves in this way. He manipulates. He tests. He plots. And he apparently sleeps with his phaser under his pillow. Some have said that in this episode he seems to not actually remember the story Cornwell tells about their youth and then pivots to seduction to change the topic. Well, makes sense to me that he would be from the mirror universe.

To me Lorca is of this universe. He just has a more complicated command style than what we are typically use to. In regards to them reminiscing about their past Cornwell did mention that they had been drinking so I just assumed he had been to drunk to remember all of what happened. As for the phaser moment…it was just a classic case of PTSD for me. In fact I was glad they brought it up.

@Eric He seems to have an Agonizer scar on his back, too. If he isn’t from the Mirror Universe, he might have spent some time there.

I am so tired of this Lorca and Landry are from the Mirror Universe theory.

It makes even less sense than the Section 31 theory.

It would really shake things up, though and would probably be far more complicated than that.

It would definitely shake things up. Heck, I’d be fine with the idea. I just don’t think that’s it. I think Lorca is a hard edged man, with a hard edged command style. A man that’s haunted and twisted by things he’s seen and done. I think he’s dealing with survivor’s guilt and PTSD. I think what’s up with him is he is a man that’s smart enough to realize you can beat screenings, but not smart enough to realize that he’s unfit for command. Captaining the Discovery will be his undoing.

Interestingly, a friend and I had a discussion about a year ago about how he was dealing with mental health issues, but was in denial and didn’t want treatment. He carefully considered his answers to tests he was administered and managed to manipulate his way out of treatment he turned out to need. It’s entirely possible, and this is what Lorca has done. The man needs help.

And if he is from the Mirror Universe he stepped in after the real Lorca died with his crew. A Mirror Universe Lorca would kill his crew as would be expected of an Imperial officer but a Federation captain would not.

And assuming this is a Mirror Universe Lorca, assuming Lorca’s identity could be a shot at redemption for him.

The stream had so many buffering problems and glitches that my family couldn’t watch it any more. Hopefully they have it resolved and we can watch it another day of the week. But it was very disappointing to look forward to something all week and pay so much for something and not have it work. It also didn’t help that there were so many weird hologram and dream sequences as we couldn’t tell the difference between the bad streaming and the actual show.

There are always other options

I must say, Tilly is gorgeous

You must like a fixer upper.

Dunno if I’d call her gorgeous. But she’s cute and attractive. Then again, red heads, women with some bass, and pale skin are kinda my thing. So… ¯_(ツ)_/¯

I find a bit of colour in the skin makes a big difference. Pale skin for me makes someone look a little unwell. I should know, because come January and February my skin goes pale and pasty.

For sure, some color is also good. There’s a difference between pasty and porcelain, I think. It’s possible to have very light skin but still look healthy.

Lt. Tyler on the shuttle mission is wearing the black insignia and then at the end in the mess hall he is wearing gold. What does the black mean?

Episode 6 title: “Lethe”

In classical Greek, lethe means oblivion, forgetfulness, or concealment.

This episode was heavily themed about concealment.

Sarek’s planned secret meeting with 2 Klingons houses.
Lorca’s probing questions to Tyler to see if he’s the real deal (or is he’s concealing something?).
Lorca’s concealment of his damaged state of mind to function as Captain.
Sarek’s concealment from Burnham, that he chose Spock over her for the Vulcan Expeditionary Group.

Another callback: Before her departure, Lorca says to Admiral Cornwell “May fortune favor the bold.” Kirk says a similar phrase in ST:IV as their ship gets ready to attempt time travel, “May fortune favor the foolish.” “Favor the Bold” is also the title of a DS9 episode. The original phrase, “Fortune favors the bold,” is from Virgil’s “The Aeneid.”

It’s also the motto of Columbia NX-02 and is written in Latin on the patch

I also took that to be a nod to that line’s repeated use within Trek. It was a nice touch.

Fantastic review Anthony. I agree… it was a great episode. I love the way they are developing the characters. Lorca is fast becoming my favorite. There are so many layers to him and such depth to his character. The shot of the Vulcan ship was quite spectacular. Looking forward to next week’s episode already.

The Walking Dead knocked me out of the loop (may the Trek gods forgive me). Enjoyed the episode a lot. I actually think Stamets may have switched with his mirror universe counter part. His personality seemed quite opposite from what we’ve seen so far. It could be the spores affecting his personality I suppose. And I think Lorca is going to turn out to be a straight up “evil” Captain. Maybe because of all the things he’s been through.

Oh ya and the nods to the Enterprise and Spock were awesome!

I wonder if they will get an actor to play the role of Spock. Sidenote: I hope the admiral survives in the next episode. I really hate when writers kill off great characters. Just keep them around.

The producers have already stated that Spock will never, ever appear on DSC.

I think that’s a wise move. Recasting Spock yet again is just not a good idea.

I would have no issue with re-casting Spock. I also wouldnt have an issue with using Quinto since he’s identifiable to the role. But he wasnt a great Spock. They can do better and with it being TV with less pressure to stunt cast, they could find someone that not only resembles Nimoy but sounds like him and can act like him as well.

Regardless of the actor, the worst part of the Spock character in the JJ films was the writing and directing. Quinto wasn’t terrible. Just didnt have Nimoy’s gravitas. Discovery can do better if they want to.

They did?

Yes. Akiva Goldsman told Variety (I believe it was Variety, if memory serves, anyway) that we would absolutely never see Spock on DSC.

We shall see!

True. I do remember Kurtzman and crew’s stubborn insistence that Benedict Cucumbermismatch was not definitely not Khan. They weren’t going to use Khan. Blah blah blah…

I always like to look at the clips after I have seen the episode.
VERY COOL!

Jeez, poor Sarek. I wonder if he had Sybok on the Vulcan Expeditionary Force waiting list just in case? That ‘Vulcan Princess’ could have made a small donation, and he’s in like Flynn. He’s pure Vulcan, after all, but spent a little too much time following the Grateful Dead around and lost track of time, I guess.

That happened with a lot of people, following the Dead and losing track of time. But he’ll always have his mix tapes.

I had completely forgotten about this http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Recreation_room
Makes more sense now that we see Discovery is pulling things from TAS.

Yeah, but, that was added to the Enterprise in like 2270. Discovery is in 2256. I just don’t believe this technology should have been there.

You’re an expert on mid 2200 technology? lol

The writer has confirmed its not a holodeck, just holographic Klingons. If the Enterprise had a holodeck in 2270, why would a new ship than Enterprise, built with all cutting edge technology for a war effort not have advanced battle simulations?

If a holo recreational room was being put into general use in 2270, there are pretty good odds, proto-types were being tested years beforehand.

That’s a fair point. Military often drives technological progress, which eventually is acknowledged or released for the masses. And no, I’m not an expert on mid 2200 technology, I just think they wanted to use a holodeck, so they made a holodeck. It’s just a weird decision.

They’ve said it wasnt a holodeck.

Right, which is why I called it elsewhere on this thread, “the not-holodeck holodeck” It’s like the Star Wars EU authors that created grey Jedi. They wanted to be able to have Jedi that shoot lightening and can force choke… so they came up with their not-darkside darkside Jedi. It’s the creative team’s way of having their cake and eating it too. They wanted a holodeck, so they created a not-holodeck holodeck. Technically, they are correct, that was not a holodeck. And yet, functionally, as a storytelling device, it was.

You’re looking for plot holes where there are none.

@UAB,

It was a holodeck.

You have Lorca and Tyler in a reconstructed Klingon prison ship. They were moving in the corridor, going into the cell; all the while shooting at Klingons.

I didn’t say that was a plot hole, TUP. I just found it annoying.

Ahmed, I agree. It was, for all intents and purposes, a holodeck. They can say it wasn’t, they can justify it with dismissive bits about how it’s a smaller room, it’s not as advanced, etc. But it’s a holodeck. Shouldn’t exist in this time period just yet.

Oh God. I agree with Ahmed. I need to go rethink my life.

@UAB,

“Oh God. I agree with Ahmed. I need to go rethink my life.”

Lol!

UAB,

Yes, you might want to rethink that question, if not your life. (I sure would.) According to the guy who co-wrote the script, it’s not a holodeck. And I have no problem believing him, because at no point do Lorca or Taylor physically interact with anything in the scene, e.g. pick up an object, kiss a girl, play a trumpet, or do any of the other things people have done on holodecks since the early days of TNG. It was just a holographic set with holographic Klingons to shoot at (and to shoot back), a glorified game of laser tag on a futuristic shooting range, nothing more. They act like the walls and doors are “there” because that’s part of the exercise, and running through them would be pointless. And even if you think they cheated the distances, well, that also has been going on since the early days of TNG.

Just amazes me that people get so bent out of shape about this stuff.

https://twitter.com/karterhol/status/922616677161771008

@Michael Hall,

“And I have no problem believing him, because at no point do Lorca or Taylor physically interact with anything in the scene”

Oh, really? Tyler physically hit a button to open the cell door, and he did it TWICE.

Okay, I’ll check that. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. (But OTOH there is an actual door in the room, so why wouldn’t the control for it be an actual physical object, as opposed to everything else in the simulation?)

Again, the writer has made it clear that this is NOT a holodeck. That was the intent of the people who make the show. Pointing out their mistake in executing that is fine, but insisting that it IS a holodeck nevertheless after the writer says it isn’t is just trolling.

@Michael Hall,

Mr. Sullivan can say whatever he wants, but what was shown on the screen has all basic functions of a holodeck. From moving around in a recreated Klingon prison ship, with solid walls and door, interacting with objects within that environment..etc

And no, questioning what the writer says is not in any f**king way trolling.

I rewatched the scene several times and can honestly say that with the quick editing it’s really difficult to tell what’s going on–Tyler certainly makes a motion twice as if hitting a switch, but it’s very quick and somewhat off-camera. He could just as easily be using a motion gesture to get a holographic door to open–again, there’s no point in going through the simulation if you’re not going play along with all the details you’d have to contend with in real life. It’s also noteworthy (in the context of this stupid debate, anyway) that the Klingon soldiers seem to dissolve as soon as they’re “killed,” which isn’t something I think you’d ordinarily see on a holodeck. Or, maybe not. In any case it seems like pretty thin beer as the basis for accusing a writer/producer of lying about his own work, or even believing that you know more about his work than he does. (Just like you knew more about HBO’s plans for GAME OF THRONES than its own President of Programming.) But then such behavior is what you’re noted for in these parts, so by all means have at it.

@Michael Hall,

Now, you’re lying.

The first time, you hear Tyler hit something and the cell door opens. In the second time from inside the cell you see Tyler clearly hit a switch and the door opens.

What do you call a completely reconstructed immersive & solid environment that vanishes once the program that running it is deactivated? A holodeck.

Keep up with your mental gymnastics to deny the obvious but I’m done here.

@Ahmed – you expose yourself with your ranting and swearing. Grow up. If the best you’ve got to criticize a show you have been determined to rip on for ages is to play semantics, you
re defeating your own position.

Why hate watch at all (if you even do watch).

Where have we seen this time period before where it was stated holographic tech didn’t exist?

Nope, not a holodeck. Did you even watch it?

I just don’t get why they could not have had a more mechanical practice room to avoid hints of the snoozefest that is the holodeck. I figure that must be the contribution of the TNG writer, just unable to let bad story elements go.

I was hoping against hope it would be some kind of VR headset or something. That would have been more in line with TOS era tech, I think.

We have VR headsets today. Have had them for years.

Well, we have “communicators” right now too. “PADDs” today too.

Exactly. So extrapolating that tech into the future isnt so hard, is it?

@UAB — I haven’t ruled out that Starfleet crew don’t have some kind of optic, or neural implant that creates AR environments, which is depicted for the audience as their visible “reality”. This really fixes a lot of limited tech disparities with respect to TOS and our current state of technology. So the hologram communications we see in DISC aren’t viewable to those who don’t have the implants. McCoy’s handheld scanner relays a lot more information than that little device could possibly tell him otherwise. Likewise for the tricorder, to say nothing of all of those unmarked jewel-tone buttons throughout the Enterprise bridge, and computer terminals, and instrument panels, with no display outputs.

Since it’s not a holodeck according to the writer, it’s really not a problem.

@Michael Hall,

You’re free to disbelieve your own eyes but it is a holodeck.

It was a tactical training simulation that covered a very small space.
On Voyager, they had a holographic Irish village that was populated by truly sentient beings.
Much more sophisticated system.

@Ahmed – you’re beliving in things that arent evident because it serves your negative narrative. Believing the writers AND what we see is far more logical than what you’re doing.

The technology had to have come from somewhere. Can’t just poof out of nothing.
The Room on Discovery is very small and seems to have limited use.
The one seen in TAS is very large.

You don’t see the entire room when the scene concludes, only the end where the characters are. Maybe the floor and projected images move in concert to help cheat the distance. (And if it didn’t, a VR helmet wouldn’t make any difference.) Who knows? Holodeck technology would be an anachronism in this time period, but as we’ve seen repeatedly holograms certainly aren’t. Why is this such a big deal in any case?

I liked the Vulcan costumes for this episode. I also liked the Vulcan script on them. It was a nice attention to detail.

This was the first episode of Discovery that I really loved. I just wished Mr Leonard Nimoy was alive and had a small cameo in this episode. (Perhaps as the father of Sarek or something) I am happy the producers didn’t change the green blood of the vulcans. Lorca is really becoming a sneaky SOB, I like it. Also there seemed to be small hints towards that Ash Tyler = Voq theory.

“…but he lets his true self slip with a reflexive bit of light choking and phaser play.” LOL

Liked the episode!!!! Likes: Reference to the Constitution class and the Enterprise (what an exciting universe!!), Sarek inclusion and the whole Spock/Bernham plot line, Sarek’s attempt to bring Earth and Vulcan closer together, rescue mission to save Sarek, the Admiral actually trying to make rational decisions, Lorca being morally and ethically compromised in leaving her to the Klingons (this universe is shades of grey fun!). Crew running in the halls for exercise (hey, this is a starship in the middle of nowhere that they crew needs to keep in shape and entertain themselves!!). Klingons being ruthless enough to trick the Federation and take an Admiral hostage (and they wanted a Vulcan ambassador to boot!!)
Dislikes: Unnecessary holodeck, technobabble relating to katra communication.
In between: Food replicators, I suppose burritos would be a stock item but please don’t make it where they get to make whatever they want whenever they want for free. That’s fake science TNG lame. Have these crews have to sacrifice a little, it is a “frontier” after all.

Also bland sound FX this episode. No cool TOS medical scanner noises in sick bay. Bridge still seems dead vs Shenzhou without TOS sensor pings.

I need to start condensing my reviews like this. Mine are way too long and rambling. lol

You know what’s funny? I loved the whole jogging through corridors bit. I actually thought to myself “Oh hey, that makes a ton of sense. I bet that never happens from TNG onward since they have holodecks they can do that on instead. I like this.” Aaaaaaand then they show us a not-holodeck holodeck. Okay… so why are you running through the corridors now? Like a lot of stuff on this show, pointless.

@UAb – no offense, but if you apply some critical thinking to your question you might come away with plausible reasons rather then “pointless”. it might help you enjoy the show more.

They dont have holodecks. They had a combat simulation in the armory that used holograms to shoot at. There used to be a lazer tag business near me. No one went there to go jogging.

You can job on a treadmill. People still like to jog outside or on tracks. There are many reasons they would choose to jog how they did. It’s not a pointless plot hole at all.

Just think about it.

None taken. I’m honestly not trying to troll, I want to discuss what I think with others, and discuss what they think as well. I don’t really see my annoyances or gripes as plot holes. Just silliness. To be fair, you make a great point – for all I know, there’s a gym on the ship too. Running elsewhere is a nice change of scenery.

They just wanted to show off the overhead shot of them running through that ridiculous connecting corridor in the saucer. Which was, admittedly, pretty cool.

In fact, it would be weird if there wasnt a gym on board. And as you said, many people with gym memberships or home treadmills will go jogging for the change of scenery or fresh air or whatever.

If Michael was trying to get Tilly into a fitness routine, jogging the ship sounds way more interesting than jogging on a treadmill, especially with the idea it was to point her towards a command track – jogging the halls on your off time allows you to be seen and interact with other crew members.

I know people with gym memberships who sometimes go to a different gym just to change things up.

Good point, TUP. I think you’re right, all that makes sense. I guess what I was originally thinking was a Starship back in ENT and TOS era isn’t terribly large, and it seemed like running through corridors would be inconsiderate. But you know, I watched Lethe again last night and I noticed it’s really not a problem. They jogged around a couple crew members but otherwise, there seemed to be room. And admittedly, the exterior shot of them running was a cool shot, and gave us just a little more detail about the ship.

It’s that time again: Time for UAB to give his thoughts that nobody asked for! I am completely and utterly bewildered after reading this review. The most Trek-like episode yet? Did we watch the same thing? The fact that this episode felt light years away from anything resembling Star Trek blows my mind, considering Menosky is responsible for this. How on earth did the author of Darmok, Hero Worship, Time’s Orphan… actually, you know what? He also wrote a huge chunk of Voyager and also Masks. Alright, nobody’s perfect. But still, how did Joe Menosky end up writing an episode that was extremely alienating to me? And here I was waiting for him to write something so I could FINALLY feel like I was watching Star Trek. Why did I find this episode alienating and very un-Trek-like? Lorca, for one. He’s actually the biggest reason this wasn’t Star Trek to me. His seduction of the admiral in an attempt to manipulate her. And most definitely his reluctance to go rescue her, which was obviously him letting the situation sort itself out so he can keep his command. He’s essentially consigning her – an apparent old flame – to death so he can keep his little ship. Just when I thought the guy that killed his own crew (you know, to save them, and yet made sure HE got home) and left Harry Mudd to be tortured (and possibly die in Klingon prison), couldn’t get any further from what a Starfleet… Read more »

“Battlestar Game of Expanse.” UAB wins the internets for the day! I love it, even if I don’t necessarily agree.

Well, if we can’t agree, we can at least laugh together. I’m going to try to be less critical of DSC. Like I said, I do like it. I admit it’s good TV. It’s just taking some getting used to. It is quite different from its predecessors. Although, I’ll note, so was DS9. I ended up loving DS9. I’ll be patient and continue to give it time.

I’ve been listening to the podcast recaps and reading reviews, and while there is mention of this no one seems to be freaking out to the degree that I was, when it was revealed that Sarek chose Spock over Michael, and that being the rift between Sarek and Spock. This felt like a shockwave that affected SO much of what I know about Star Trek in TOS, TOS movies and TNG. It really gives you a lynchpin for the strain in their relationship that we’ve seen for decades. I loved it, I had to pause the show and just take that moment in…

I will say, THAT was absolutely amazing. THAT was some damned fine writing. Finally, we have context to the rift between father and son.

AGREE!!! It adds to Journey to Babel and TOS for sure!!!!!

As much as I come across as someone that just lives to dog on DSC, I do enjoy it. Lethe was, for the most part, an enjoyable episode. One of the reasons I did overall enjoy it, is this revelation about Sarek and how it gives so much context to TOS and TNG. I absolutely love that.

Agreed. What a grenade to handle too. A piece of Trek lore that you simply cannot screw up so its probably dangerous to try to mess with and these writers handled it and added to the lore in such a cool and organic way. Its not just a shocker, it MAKES SENSE. Beautifully done.

If they can add to other lore, explain inconsistencies etc with the same deft touch, I will be very very please.

@TUP – I agree, it was very dangerous to try and handle that. Previous incarnations’ attempts to explain inconsistencies and expand lore haven’t always been so good (Augment virus on ENT, for example) but Lethe nailed this. And you know, I’ve always loved Sarek. I think I love him just a little bit more now. His flaws actually endear him to me, always have.

Is there any chance Ash was always Ash and became Voq? Now he’s back to being himself? He was infiltrated with the Klingons for some reason? I can’t reconcile that part. It would be a twist. We think it’s Voq to Ash back to Voq (presumably), but maybe it’s Ash to Voq to Ash. Who knows right??

I dunno. I don’t think that theory holds up. If he was an agent working for Starfleet intelligence, he completely and utterly failed at his job. The battle at the binary stars was a complete and total surprise to Starfleet. Then there’s the whole… he apparently ate Captain Georgiou thing. I get hunger is hunger but… eww. Hard for a human to do. Not impossible to do. Just going to be a real struggle. Then, how would he have been transformed back into his human self, if he was still with the Klingons?

I agree it is far fetched.

Not that far fetched has ever stopped Alex Kurtzman and Akiva Goldsman!

I will say that there are theories about everything being some how tied to section 31. There are also theories about some characters being from the mirror universe. So why not have a new theory about Tyler? Who knows where they are going.

New theories are good. This may just be one big pass-fake on the part of the creative team. We may not have cracked the riddle of Tyler just yet. I just don’t think it’s this answer.

Or maybe he’s a Cylon… Ya’ never know.

Cue All Along The Watchtower

Dylan or Hendrix version?

Bear McCreary version, actually.

Crossover!

I’ve read many reviews and I’m surprised no one mentioned that bit about Eugenics.

I did catch that. I’m thinking Admiral Doctor is right to be alarmed. Illegality aside, something’s going to go horribly wrong with Stamets.

It may have already, if you saw the preview for next week on the aftershow. The poor guy is definitely ‘shrooming out, and the strawberry alarm clocks are ringing. (He’s definitely got a thing for 1960s jargon, which is kinda cool and kinda silly.) I honestly didn’t know whether to be amused or appalled.

I’m kind of both amused and appalled. I feel bad for him, because it’s gonna be some bad juju when it catches up to him. But for now, watching him be all shroomed out was pretty funny to me. I loved how Lorca was annoyed by it. It was a funny bit. I also love Stamets’ 60’s fascination. I’ve got a bit of one myself.

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