Showrunner: Reckoning Coming In ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Mid-Season Finale

This weekend brings the mid-season finale for Star Trek: Discovery. “Into the Forest I Go” (co-written by Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt) is the ninth episode, with the final six episodes of the first season kicking off in January 2018. During the UK press tour, executive producer and co-showrunner Aaron Harberts preview the fall finale with RadioTimes saying:

“I absolutely adore episode nine. There’s a clash of characters, there are several reckonings that happen. There are a couple of things that I don’t think the audience is going to see coming. The back half of the season is all about dealing with what happens next week. We really put the pedal to the metal.”

USS Discovery fires on Klingon Sarcophagus ship – from preview of Star Trek: Discovery episode 9

And Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham) joined in, adding:

“Things really kick into high gear. They also get very very very emotional as well. I love there’s going to be a bit of a break for everyone to think about things before the punch of the last half of the season.”

Lt. Stamets in distress hooked up to spore drive – from preview of Star Trek: Discovery episode 9

Writers join in on the 109 excitement

As noted in our After Trek recap, co-executive producer Ted Sullivan is also talking up “Into the Forest I Go,” describing it as “Balance of Terror good,” referencing the one of the best episodes of The Original Series. TrekMovie sent out a tweet about that quote last night, which solicited some responses from the Trek team, starting with Ted himself calling the work of Kim and Lippoldt “outstanding.”

He followed up, saying this wasn’t just hype.

And Tyler Dinucci, writing intern for Star Trek: Discovery, backed Ted up saying it was the best of the season.

Discovery writer Jordan Nardino also weighed in, noting that while “Lethe” (written by Sullivan and Joe Menosky) is his fave, episode 9 is “zomg.” Interestingly he described it as akin to the first part of classic two-part episodes, indicating it could end on a cliffhanger.

As for co-writer Bo Yeon Kim, she offered this ‘spoiler’ for the episode, which she clarified later was “an actual doodle from a #109 VFX storyboarding session.”

And her reaction to our “no pressure” tweet was a classic.

Get to know episode 9 writers

The writing team of Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt have not done press for Star Trek: Discovery, so not a lot of fans are familiar with them. To learn a bit more, check out this IdeateTV video from the summer of 2016 (before they were on Discovery) where they talk about how they met in college through their shared love of sci-fi and their writing process (at the time the pair were on the CW show Reign). The pair will also be guests on this weekend’s After Trek.

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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Sounds awesome! Too bad I’ll be on a business trip to Europe. I think I’ll be waking up early over there on Monday to catch up before I inadvertently get spoiled!

It usually isn’t online early morning over here. Watch out for those spoilers!

I love the “Storyboard doodle”. Thats about my skill level when it comes to drawing as well! I guess we can speculate its the planet with a bunch of ships coming in to view.

got my speculating juices going though. How about, the spore drive creates a worm hole and all the ships go through it and continue to battle

Kind of looks like the swarm ships that destroyed the Enterprise in Star Trek Beyond!

It’s not a donut with sprinkles in the captains mess?

Is it a PLANET?


That spoiler image looks like the saucer of the Discovery firing… Maybe firing on the Klingon ship? Are we finally going to see a Starfleet ship inflicting pain on the enemy and kicking ass instead of having it the other way around?

Pastry. Looks like a donut.

Garbage show is garbage

Garbage comment is garbage.

We get it,you don’t like it. At least others who are critical have some insight into why it’s not their cup of tea.

The irrational haters never have anything of substance to say. They’ve been saying the same thing for a year. Zero credibility.

And yet, here you are. Hmmmm.

Obvious troll is obvious.

Off you go then, to some board where you can discuss something you like more, hmmm?

The doodle is of Pahvo being destroyed. A shockwave. Crystalline entity creature moving off as homeless wanderers

Wouldn’t that be a nice callback to TNG.


Where will Saru spend his vacations?

Forgive me for being a little off-topic, but I wonder if we might see a plastic model kit off the USS Discovery being released?

When I was a young Pork, I used to construct the old Aurora/AMT Star Trek kits and due to recently retiring, I have taken-up this hobby again, and have started building the new Round 2 kits.

I imagine it depends how successful Discovery is as to whether Round 2 or Moebius release such a kit?

I imagine it all depends on how financially viable these companies feel it is to produce such a kit, and on how successful DISCO becomes.

Incidentally, Moebius are releasing kits form the Star Trek reboot; Enterprise, Kelvin and the Franklin.

Dunno… they were hyping last weekend’s episode as something amazing, moving and a tour de force, but personally I found it badly paced and underwhelming. By and large I’m enjoying the series, but for all the pre-launch hype and chat from the producers and writers, it’s not been at the level and breadth of storytelling I expected and hoped for. (And I write this as somebody who was hopeful and first to cheer on the series since its announcement))

THANK YOU, premium television it is, but Game of Thrones it is not….which is what it ought to have been.

So far all of the hype (for me) has failed to meet expectations. I know its a writers/producers/actors job to hype an episodes quality. Recently one of them referred to the next episode as “Balance Of Terror good”.

While I’m enjoying the series thus far I haven’t watched a single episode that strikes me as anything that would even crack my top 20 Trek episodes. It’s been fine but so far nothing breath taking.

The only Star Trek show to have any universal top 20 *trek episode* in its first season was TOS. So some room for improvement.

I wish “Duet” netted out better in ultimate fan polls.

Agreed 100%, Anthony. And to even mention “Balance of Terror” in relation to this week’s episode is some pretty egregious hubris, imo.

Same here, I think the show is ‘ok.’ But feel no urge to re-watch any episodes and haven’t been waiting on the edge of my seat for the next episode every week. I’m pulling my subscription to CBSAA this-coming Monday morning after the release.

@Anthony Lewis.

Another agreement. The show has been ok so far but hardly anything to get excited about. I like seeing trek back but that’s about it. I don’t think it proper for the people involved with the show to tell us the audience how great upcoming episodes are. That is for us to decide. Hush all you want about previously streamed eps. Don’t say things like “Balance of Terror” good. Be more cryptic and generic.

Like many others I’m canceling my subscription Monday. But will be back in two months.

“All this hype” is their job. They’re proud of what they’ve made and sense nothing but genuine enthusiasm.

Get over it.

I just want to see a photon torpedo and someone ask for warp 5.

I’d also settle for a mention of impulse power.

The doodle. It’s the Death Star.

Only a few days to go! Can’t wait. I’ve been enjoying the Series a lot. I think it is very well executed (even though as a fan and a 700+ member would point some inconsistencies). I think so far they did a good job on adchering to canon.

My guess is that Stamets will just vanish into Another World (great game BTW) meaning the Mirror Universe as part of a/the cliffhanger.

I’m excited but I agree with others sometimes its a bit too much hype and people are left disappointed even if the episodes are decent. There isn’t a single episode I hated yet but I haven’t loved any of them either. I just want it to be good, tell us we have a solid episode without hyping it to death.

They really need to tone down the hype machine on this, frankly the show isn’t that great. Not bad…very flashy…but it’s just kinda “there”. It has no teeth, no heart…all the result of good writing that makes you care. Outside of episode 3…it all just kinda flows along like line of ants…nothing really pulling you in…nothing particularly intriguing or characters (outside of the captain and Saru) that have that certain “something” that make you want to see more. Perhaps their arc is too long, allowing them too much slack so they don’t feel the need to tighten things up. Don’t know. Maybe it’s the actors. I just know, I loved the Shield. Loved 24. Deadwood. Those were serialized and had you pulled into the story in three episodes with great writing, good pacing and great strong unique actors. Not one cookie cutter face or one green screen to be found. If you took away the eye candy of Discovery, it would be bland as driftwood. A day of reckoning isn’t too far from the truth. But I fear it will be between much of the audience and the show itself.

Your opinion is certainly valid but I and many others feel the show is excellent. I have already converted three friends into fans of the show, two of which have decided to subscribe to the app. One was a fan of the original series in the 60s who refused to watch any of the 90s spinoffs, and now loves Discovery.

Agreed on some accounts. I think the story has been a bit stilted and lazy. I think they are really trying to inject Trek with adrenaline, in an effort to pull in a wider audience – action over substance. Development has suffered because of that. And yet we’ve seen this before: Look how terrible TNG was in Season 1, and look what it became. And I’d say Discovery’s first season has not been terrible – just a bit lacking. If they can maintain the current energy level (but improve the writing) Discovery could be a solid, or even epic show.

It does feel a little at times like they are stretching slightly pedestrian stories that could have been a single Voyager episode over three or four episodes instead. serialisation should be an opportunity to put a lot more meat on the bones and get truly epic, deep and emotional (and by that I don’t mean just having the crew yelling at each other!). Season 2 will have to start doing this more if Discovery is going to become a phenomena like TNG.

Though the season has had its flaws I actually think one of its strength has been its characters and that is in no small way the benefit of the serializiation. We have had more time to delve into who these people are, and give them depth beyond the single sentence longline cardboard cutouts we’ve had for the past fifty years.

That’s not a criticism of past shows: I love all of them, but even my favorite characters have little depth beyond their single sentence character description. What we have in discovery are flawed, well rounded who feel fully formed within a handful of episodes. It took TNG three seasons until the cast of characters felt fully formed.

It’s great to see so many women working behind the scenes on this show. Without generalising too much, they are usually more interested in the emotions and development of characters, vs the usual shouty space battles stuff that a lot of other male produced and consumed sci-fi falls into the category of. Having this sort of emotionally connected slant should be what makes Star Trek unique.

Isn’t firing on the Sarcophagus ship like lobbing grenades into the cemetery?

Alternate caption: THIS is what we of the clean-line Discovery think of your skanky, raggedy old Klingon ship design; bring back classic D-7’s!

I hope something happens soon. Aside from my beef with the Aesthetics of the show, changes to the klingons and the ridiculousness of a Magic Mushroom drive in this era – I’ve found the season so far to be a bit blah in terms of the war. The allude to the fact that battles are happening but nothing has been shown. The last episode finally gave us some bridge/ship action and some exploration on a planet. I have hopes that Discovery will do something to blow our minds and finish the season strong but still have doubts they will

All I can say is it better be good or else DSC will go down as the most underwhelming Trek series for me yet