Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Gets Even Darker In “Vaulting Ambition”

REVIEW: “Vaulting Ambition”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1, Episode 12 – Debuted Sunday January 21st
Written by Jordon Nardino
Directed by Hanelle Culpepper

Things heat up in the third episode of the mini-arc that began with the return of Discovery earlier this month. Some familiar faces return including Michelle Yeoh, who is back in a big way, bringing a different kind of performance and driving much of this fast-paced episode. As we go deeper into this arc, the tone of the show continues to get darker, with some of the season’s grimmest moments coming in “Vaulting Ambition.”

This episode also continues the pattern of using the back half of the season to pay off several long-running arcs, this time answering a major question that has had fans talking since episode 3. Jason Isaacs once again produces a powerful performance as he adds yet another layer to the character of Captain Lorca. Anthony Rapp is also a standout, as his Paul Stamets is tasked to carry a lot of the emotional load for the episode, and more.

With this episode, one thing is for sure: the party is over.

Michelle Yeoh returns to Discovery

[SPOILERS BELOW]

A reckoning

“Vaulting Ambition” begins with a tight intro with what is likely Discovery’s most interesting character chemistry pair, Captain Lorca and Michael Burnham. They quickly remind us of the the plot device that has carried through this Mirror Universe arc: they need that USS Defiant data if they are ever going to get home, and the bit of data they got off the Shenzhou was not enough, so off to the Emperor’s ginormous palace/flagship they go.

The real meat of this teaser is how Burnham continues to struggle under the tests the Mirror Universe is throwing at her. She is heading to face an Emperor Georgiou, but can’t shake the memories of her mutinous behavior and betrayal of her mentor, Captain Georgiou. She is even carrying Captain Georgiou’s Starfleet badge with her as a constant reminder, although at this point it seems a bit reckless to carry around proof that they’re not from around these parts.

OK, that is a big ship

Of course, Lorca continues to appear unfazed by life in the Mirror Universe, even though he has been the one stuck in the agony booth and knows that he has more booth time booked for him on the ISS Charon. It falls to him to give her a pep talk about how Georgiou is just a ghost, but Michael feels she is in for “a reckoning” for her actions.

This is a great scene that shows the strong acting of Sonequa Martin-Green and Jason Isaacs as well as pays off the character development both have gone through this season. Discovery is a show built for moments like this – to remind us that actions have consequences.

Spend a couple days in an agonizer and then come to me with your angst

Ain’t afraid of no ghost

Much of “Vaulting Ambition” weaves around the reunion of sorts between Michael Burnham and Philippa Georgiou. We soon learn that even in the Mirror Universe, Burnham and Georgiou were close, and perhaps even closer. Of course in this human-centric Empire, Burnham wasn’t raised by Sarek, but instead by this Emperor Georgiou, who has more titles and honorifics than Daenerys Targaryen.

All this gold must be compensating for something

The Emperor appears happy to see her “daughter,” and is especially pleased with the gift of the rebellious Lorca, who is in chains. As a reward, Burnham is gifted with the Kelpien of her choice, which you initially imagine is another slave, but no, its worse than that…much worse. Apparently Kelpien threat ganglia are a delicacy, which Michael soon learns at her private dinner, so good on her for not spitting it out and keeping her cover, but ew.

It’s fascinating to watch Yeoh and Martin-Green play out these roles. Yeoh’s Captain Georgiou exemplified the ideals and optimism of Star Trek’s Federation. As Emperor Georgiou, the fun is gone, but Yeoh doesn’t go over the top, instead delivering a nuanced performance of a determined and ruthless leader, but yet one who still has feelings for her Burnham. And we find out she isn’t so easily duped by the “Wookiee prisoner trick”, as she reveals that she knows Burnham is lying to her. The twist is that she thinks Michael is part of Lorca’s rebellion. So, with a heavy heart, she is going to have to execute her. Family, right?

Gross

When the time comes for Burnham to be put to death she quickly pivots to Plan B and tries out the truth, and the Emperor believes her thanks to that pin Michael was carrying. Not so reckless after all, or maybe in the back of her mind she knew she might need it just in case. Regardless, Burnham is spared. However, Michael’s actions again have consequences, as her reveal of the truth about a parallel universe results in the shocking moment of Emperor Georgiou using an evil fidget spinner to kill all of her Lords who were there to witness the execution. Well, all but one, who got to clean up the bodies in return for becoming the governor of Andor, so good for him.

Apparently unclear on the whole evil universe thing, Burham now tries to talk Georgiou into just giving her the Defiant data in honor of Emperor Georgiou’s love for Mirror Burnham. After some negotiating they agree to trade spore engine drive tech for the USS Defiant data, even though it appears the Defiant data may not be of any use, as the crew got there via interphasic space and went mad in the process. (See TOS: “The Tholian Web.”). Saru reluctantly agrees to a rendezvous, and apparently we will find out if all this obsessing over the Defiant data for three episodes will be resolved in the next one, hopefully. That MacGuffin is getting a bit scruffy.

Sure, trust the evil emperor, where has that ever gone wrong?

Mushrooms are a hell of a drug

Once again we have Saru and Tilly fussing over Stamets, still stuck in the reaction chamber. But after spending the last couple of episodes babbling, Anthony Rapp finally gets to dig into some drama as both Stamets and Mirror Stamets. This episode found the pair of them hanging out in the mycelial network, which presented itself – most cost-efficiently – as looking just like the USS Discovery.

Apparently they are both trapped, and only USS Discovery Stamets can find the way out. We learn that Mirror Stamets is the one who has been sending messages all this time, resulting in all the crazy talk. One of the most fun elements of Star Trek is when characters get to interact with themselves in some way, and “Vaulting Ambition” played this wonderfully, as the two Stametses raced around the ship bantering and bickering. Rapp has a ball, playing Mirror Stamets as sarcastic and snarky as early season regular Stamets was sarcastic and gruff.

I know you are, but what am I?

The mycelial Discovery scenes all played out with a twisted horror movie vibe as director Hanelle Culpepper creates a spooky atmosphere in this familiar place. There is something haunting this Discovery, and also maybe something dangerous lurking there. But there is also a surprise – if you haven’t been keeping up with the telegraphing from CBS PR – in the form of Hugh Culber.

Break out the tissues, as Wilson Cruz returns as the dead doctor to deliver some of the most heartwarming and heartbreaking moments of Discovery so far. This pair have always shown great chemistry, and this continues with these moments that allow the characters to say goodbye to each other through replaying their favorite evening rituals and revealing their love…sorry, I’m feeling a little verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves.

But this reunion was more than just for tear-jerking; Hugh has a message and a warning for Paul: Mirror Stamets is up to no good. Uh, no duh. Evil Paul has messed with the network and it’s dying. He tells him to listen for the music and look for the clearing in the forest. And whammo both Stametses wake up, one on the USS Discovery and the other on the Emperor’s ship. Alas, we soon find out that the entire stock of fungi on the Discovery is dead. Could there be more on board the ISS Charon?

These guys love brushing their teeth

The Man With Two Brains

The big reveal from last week’s episode was the final confirmation that Voq=Tyler, and repercussions of that are a big part of “Vaulting Ambition.” It appears that the planning of the Mo’Kai matriarchs on Voq didn’t work as planned. When Voq was finally triggered in the last episode, any good secret agent would have maintained his cover and reported back to his handler, in this case L’Rell. Instead Voq/Tyler went cuckoo for Klingon puffs and tried to kill Mirror Voq and Burnham, and the ranting in Klingon was also a bit of a tell.

Just a bit unclear on the whole covert part of being a spy

However, there is more to this transformed Klingon, ranting while restrained in sickbay. Again, Shazad Latif is able to really push his performance, as he goes from crazed to frightened to dangerous and back again. We can see the Tyler that loves Burnham is still in there, but we also see how this brain isn’t big enough for the both of them, as he is starting to hurt himself (themselves?).

So, apparently there isn’t going to be time to wait until they return and consult with Starfleet HQ. The moral decision on what to do with these two minds in one body needs to be dealt with now. Doug Jones steps up to the plate, through an effective series of scenes as Saru implores L’Rell (Mary Chieffo) to help. To her, this is just another battle in her war with the Federation. Saru shows that he has learned a thing or two from Lorca and is able to play a little hardball in a series of scenes in the brig. Eventually the acting captain is able to break through to L’Rell’s Klingon heart, as he knows she cares for Voq and won’t let him continue to suffer.

Saru is not messing around

Once again, this episode makes you ache. We can feel L’Rell’s love for Voq. Of all the actors who played Klingons this season, only Mary Chieffo has really been able to pull off the promise of making you understand and feel for this other. Using some kind of elaborate glove-laser-brain surgery device, L’Rell gives Voq’s mind a warrior’s death, presumably leaving Tyler’s mind as the sole occupant. She says goodbye with a Klingon death ritual and once again it’s time for the Kleenex.

Sing it, sister

The man in the mirror

You didn’t think I forgot about Gabriel, did you? The Discovery’s captain spent most of the episode in an agony booth being taunted by Captain Maddox of the ISS Charon. Apparently Mirror Lorca killed his sister, so this time it’s personal. Maddox reveals that he has followers of Lorca’s on board, and he brings one out and kills him, because what else is an evil captain going to do? These scenes with Lorca and Maddox seemed kind of gratuitous and something of a holding pattern while Burnham and Georgiou chatted elsewhere on the ship.

It’s Burnham and Georgiou who drop the big reveals. Not only was Mirror Burnham a follower of Lorca’s, but they were lovers, and he would “cross time and space” to find her. They have a destiny together. In a moment that might be too on the nose, the Emperor opens the shades to let the ship’s bright engine core shine in, and Burnham sees the light as Georgiou reveals her weakness to brightness…just like Lorca’s. We can see Burnham’s universe crash around her as she realizes the truth. Lorca is Mirror Lorca. Dun dun dunnnnn!

Since she and the Emperor are now pals, she lets Georgiou know that the Lorca she’s got is the Lorca she knows, and apparently everything that has happened has been part of a very, very elaborate plan of his to get on this ship. Seemingly aware of what’s happening in the Emperor’s suite, Lorca takes this moment to show his true nature and use the old Fake Incapacitation Trick (thanks to that analgesic) to escape, but not before he kills Maddox and delivers some sinister post-mortem dialogue.

It was a fun reveal, and of course Jason Isaacs is fantastic at pivoting his performance. You could almost see his goatee growing on the spot. It might have been a bit over the top and even a bit hammy, but this is the Mirror Universe after all.

Say my name

Insert mustache, begin twirl

All season long in these reviews, the mystery of Captain Lorca has been discussed, often noting that he was not your regular Star Trek kind of guy, and may have had something to hide. The revelation that he is from the Mirror Universe does on one hand provide a simple answer to the Lorca question, but it may not be entirely satisfying.

Star Trek: Discovery is a different kind of Trek show, full of broken and troubled characters on various journeys, all with the backdrop of a season-long war.  This was to be a show aimed at a more mature audience used to “peak TV” quality. Could not Lorca just be a darker character to fit this show and it’s setting? Starfleet is a peaceful organization focused on exploration, but would it not need men like Lorca for a time of war? Could he not be like Winston Churchill, a leader uniquely suited to his time, but perhaps out of place in peacetime? By having him now be from the Mirror Universe, is he written off as merely “evil” Lorca? Cannot the prime universe produce characters like Lorca?

You’re goddamn right

Into darkness

Episode 10 – the beginning of this trip into the Mirror Universe – had some fun as it played with the trappings of the Terran Empire. Episode 11 started to show the weight of this place and tested the emotions of the characters. With this 12th episode, things just got dark. It was almost relentless from the start, with grim scene followed by grim scene, with periodic extreme violence and heartbreaking sadness sprinkled in for fun.

There’s no need to wait for Quentin Tarantino to take on Star Trek, with writer Jordon Nardino bringing us a Kelpien for dinner, a Klingon trying to claw his own heart out, flying brain-eviscerating toys, flesh-eating DNA injections, and of course copious agony booth torture. We knew Star Trek: Discovery was not going to be like your traditional Star Trek, but wow, this is a lot to take in.

However, the journey still seems very much worth taking. This episode may have some grim moments, but it also has some lovely – albeit sad – ones. In the face of all of this, Burnham still believes in the Federation’s ideals of equality, freedom, and cooperation. And Saru believes that love can defeat war. And all of that is very much Star Trek.

That’s going to leave a mark

Mirrorus Universus Maximus

One delight for this episode is how it both hearkened and expanded upon the canon of the Mirror Universe. It is worth giving the two-part Enterprise “In a Mirror Darkly” a re-watch, as the repercussions of that episode are all over this arc. The whole storyline with the USS Defiant and the crew is referenced heavily here. Even the title of this episode seems to connect, with with Georgiou’s reference to “Vaulting Ambition” being a line from Macbeth, and Mirror Phlox told us Shakespeare is one of the only writers to exist on both universes, and is “equally grim.”

Nardino also picks up where past Mirror Universe episodes have in showing ties between the Roman Empire and the Terran Empire. One of Georgiou’s many honorifics is “Augustus,” named for the first Roman Emperor. Georgiou also notes that the ideals of the Federation that Burnham holds dear have been abandoned for “millennia.”

But we also add some new elements to the Mirror Universe, most notably that an aversion to bright light is a common trait for its residents. Sure, this has never been mentioned previously, but it can work with what has come before and of course served an important story point for the season. 

Bright Light! Bright Light!

Are we there yet?

All-in-all this Mirror arc for Discovery continues to entice. “Vaulting Ambition” probably isn’t the best of the three so far, but should still be considered one of the stronger outings for the first season. Even within the heavily serialized show, it is nice to see how each of these episodes has allowed their writers and directors to set different tones and play with the concept in different ways.

Once again, as lingering questions are answered, new questions arise. We still don’t know exactly what’s up with Lorca, the when, how, and why of his crossover, what he is going to do next. Hopefully the Voq/Tyler storyline has more to play out as well, as it can’t simply be “oh, he’s just Tyler now, let’s move on.”

And while it’s been fun, I think it’s time to wrap up this foray into the Mirror Universe and get back home and end that war with the Klingons, while not forgetting to find out what Captain Killy and the ISS Discovery have been up to. Also, for the most part the redemption arc for Burnham, which was to be the driving force for this show, also seems to have gone on pause for too long.

The trip has been fun, Discovery, but it’s time to bring it home.

This disco needs to return to the party

Random thoughts, connections, easter eggs

  • At just under 38 minutes, this is the shortest episode of Discovery, and all live-action Star Trek.
  • Burnham gives Lorca an analgesic to mitigate the effect of the agonizers, um, shouldn’t she have done this two episodes ago?
  • If the mycelial network presented Stamets with the construct of the USS Discovery to make him comfortable, does that mean it has some sort of will?
  • It’s not entirely clear what the Hugh Culber in the network was, but the whole thing has Nexus flashbacks.
  • Stamets plays Kasseelian opera to drown out Mirror Stamets, a callback to “Magic To Make The Sanest Man Go Mad.”
  • Did L’Rell bring her Mo’Kai mind wiping equipment with her, or does Starfleet have their own version on hand?
  • So Maddox says they have a hold full of Lorca’s followers, who else might be down there?
  • If the mycelial network is dying, could that explain the lack of spore drive ships in the rest of Trek?
  • What’s up with that big glowy thing inside the ISS Charon? Is it a small star, harnessed for energy?

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 Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

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508 Comments on "Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Gets Even Darker In “Vaulting Ambition”"

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amazing episode. wow.

Thank you, CBS social media crew, you made your point.

And now the honest opinions please. I think the producers do not understand why ENT has been canceled. Do we need another 12 years intermission or may we now see the captain of the Discovery and strange new worlds, please?

Yours is the only valid opinion, right? I forgot that “true fans” must all conform to the same opinion or their opinion is invalid. Go home. The 1960’s is calling you back, pumpkin.

I agree! The reviewer seemed to be feeling a bit tired in the MU. I felt like this one opened up so many new fresh possibilities that I don’t know how they will wrap everything up in the remaining episodes. This episode was their Empire Strikes Back moment to me.

Nope, I agree with AP. The MU is a tired concept to begin with, and seeing Lorca as a stereotypical MU villain really sealed it for me. Notwithstanding Augustus Empress &c &c Phillipa.

I completely disagree with you Marja. I love all the MU episodes on all the TREK shows. I only with there was a TNG version (although the comics are covering that).

Great episode. Lots of questions. But:

Are we any closer to understanding what event referenced in canon that prompted the producers to set the series in this timeline?

Is there some crossover from the MU to the PU that ties to an event in this era? Somehing even that takes place in the MU that required it to be in this period? Something in DS9 maybe?

So far I’m still not convinced there was a NEED to set this series as a prequel to TOS.

Yeah, Curious. This has been an issue since episode one. And it continues to be one. All this could easily be done post TUC or in the KU. Thus far this exact same show would work with either option.

You assume that Fuller’s original plan is still in place. I get the feeling they moved the narrative away from the whole Klingon war, and maybe he wanted to do something with it that was ultimately scrapped? Also, I believe when Fuller mentioned that he was planning some sort of anthology show, he was thinking of the spore drive. MY bet on the season 1 cliffhanger sending them either to the future or the past. Romulan War anyone?

Alex, the producers have said multiple times now they kept the basic story outline that Fuller wanted in place. They might have changed some of the details and he didn’t write anything beyond the second episode but he did plot out the entire season.

But that is a good point, maybe the spore drive was created when they were thinking about doing an anthology show and it would be a way to move the show to different eras without recasting everyone. There would definitely be some story issues if that was the plan but I’m guessing they didn’t get too far with the idea.

@Alex — but if that’s the case, there was really no reason to keep it tied to this timeline.

Excellent question, Cadet, and this is the thing taking me out of the show the most, my biggest issue with it. I just don’t get how this fits with regard to continuity. No reason thus far why the show couldn’t have been set post-TUC.

Danp, I’m reading “Desperate Hours,” the first Discovery novel by David Mack, and it’s mind-bending to try mentally to visually reconcile the two technologies and sets of TOS and DISCO. I’m almost fed up with it.

Again I don’t know why this is a big mystery, its clearly the Klingon war. For one thing the MU is a secret in TOS time so it wouldn’t be a ‘referenced event’. How much bigger of an event is there outside of a full scale war with an enemy you haven’t seen for a century? It didn’t just set up the entire show but the characters like Burhham and L’Rell because we are introduced to their situations through the war.

Thats probably the only reason he set it before TOS because we know for a fact Klingons didn’t have a war during or after TOS, which is probably why it couldn’t be set post-TUC since the whole point of that era is to build a relationship with the Klingons and be full on friends by TNG time. Thats why its more than likely the Klingon war. Some assumed he just wanted to do Axanar but that was probably decided against after the fan film debacle and just created something that can logically fall within canon.

But sure I agree I think he could’ve had a war in the future post Voyager but then again I guess since they had a war in the 24th century with them too in DS9 it would feel too close to do it again even if its decades later.

Forgive me, but wasn’t it the Romulans the Feds hadn’t seen for a century, and conducted an entire war?

Yes, they as well. But as I said somewhere else they basically changed canon and retconned that part for Discovery with the Klingons too.

Aww geez really? Well, they retconned Klingons and Romulans for TNG [basically switching their value systems] so sure, whatever.

I don’t really mind such liberties once I get adjusted to them, but I still regret they changed the Romulans in TNG. Suddenly honor was a big thing with the Klingons, not them [see “Balance of Terror” to see what I mean].

Well I think its pretty established they retcon the Klingons to death here lol. They cut their hair off (which seemed to be a big part of their culture) and gave them cloaking technology decades early. So starting a war with them in this period is just another one. At least they still have the honor thing.

Yeah you’re right I forgot about the Romulans and honor thing as well. I haven’t seen Balance of Terror in ages but I do remember that aspect of them. That said did it go beyond that episode because I don’t remember the Romulans much in TOS outside of that one and the rare times you saw them in the TOS films they already seemed pretty different.

I feel like this era was chosen because space was still very much the badlands. It was a western and we hadn’t gotten to the point where Klingons were our friends and the legacy was all set. I personally wanted it to be set after Voyager but after seeing what they did with design and the way they’re telling stories, this era makes sense.

@PEB — but TNG showed us that the relationship with the Klingons was a tenuous one … the future is unwritten, and there could easily be a forgotten house of the Klingon race rise up and start a war, unifying the other houses. The producers referenced a specific event or incident from the series. It could be the Klingon War, but as I’ve pointed out, there’s no need to set it in this period at all, if that’s all it was.

Legate is correct. Also, Sarek would’ve had to be rewritten because didn’t he die in TNG? I’m fuzzy on that

He died in TNG yes, but the OP suggested being a few years before TNG.

But yes, I agree with Legate, the big idea is to do Mirror Universe for some reason. And as fun as its been, whats the lasting effects?

In a way, dont they need to hit the big reset?

By the time of Kirk, Prime universe is not aware of Mirror. And in the MU, they have an evil emperor. So is Lorca unsuccessful?

The interesting twist is, is Lorca a good guy? Does he want to over-throw the emperor to end the tyranny? Or is he a bad guy who thirsts for power?

The discovery of the MU prior to TOS doesn’t present any conflict with canon and the reason for this is the USS Defiant. Revealing anything about the Mirror Universe could result in history not playing out correctly and the USS Defiant not ending up in the he MU so the whole ad enter will be classified. Why would the Federation want history to play out in this way? Because the answer to creating peace with the Klingons in the PU is linked to the alliance lead by Voq in the MU.

TUP – is Lorca a good guy? Does he want to over-throw the emperor to end the tyranny?

I hope so, forfecksake, I’ve had enough of mustache-twirling evil MU types. Here’s hoping the rebellion wasn’t destroyed by Evil Georgiou, fled in time, and rise to help Lorca just in time.

MU should be left evil, that is the destiny of that reality. I hope Emperor Georgiou wins and snuffs out the rebel scum lol

Again which is why making this a prequel is baffling to begin with. Basically every major thing we seen outside of the Klingon war will have to be forgotten, classified or reset. We know there is no spore drives and no MU (that they know of).

I just don’t know what the point is that everything the show is presenting will have to be buried in some way to match canon to TOS and the others. At least Enterprise everything presented was considered part of the original universe canon even if they retcon some things.

Yes, Tiger, agreed 100%.

T2, Perhaps the series STARTS in Prime Uni but diverts to AltVerse as of the end of this season?

And it’d be fine, because the Discovery crew would have to “learn” a new universe [fish out of water stories are very interesting], and the potential for new adventures is unlimited.

Yes, I hope for this, MU based show and to survive and discover

Yeah Marja that is possible too of course. Some people on Reddit even suggest they may end up in a different time period. While I really doubt that one I think Discovery has proven, like most of Trek, anything is possible and if the Spore drive got them to this universe then maybe it will get them in another.

Personally I’m fine with that. I was fine with it being in the prime universe but to be honest after seeing what they did with it I don’t really see the point? I have no issue with it looking different but it feels TOO different IMO and I don’t feel a connection to the rest of cannon. That and the fact they are introducing things we know doesn’t happen in canon and as I said has to somehow be forgotten or buried. So why do it? I mean the spore drive thing feels exactly like something you would do post-Voyager with more advance technology that doesn’t have to be eliminated because no one ever talked about it since. But if you put it in another universe, yeah they can do what they want. Which is funny since that was the entire reasoning for the KT universe. ;)

We’ll see I guess.

Marja, I actually brought up that very theory on another thread here a few weeks ago. If the Discovery stays “lost,’ or time travels from here (MU) to….??, then the potential for new adventures would certainly be limitless, and canon (as well as my faith) would be restored because Discovery would never be in the PU again.

Star Trek… Meet Sliders!

It really would be interesting if they took a Voyager like approach with this show and instead of it being lost in another part of space it would be lost in another universe or time altogether.

Maybe the series finale they make it back home to find Starfleet has adapted go-go boots as part of the uniform, much smaller bridges and people are pushing big buttons again. ;)

The Enterprise crew is unaware of the Mirror Universe. Star Fleet has been aware of it’s existence dating back to before the formation of the Federation. The knowledge was obviously highly classified and not widely disseminated. I think we can chalk Lorca’s briefing info to personal knowledge and not to the Discovery’s computer banks.

Umm, no. Unless I am missing something major here, this is the earliest Prime Universe Starfleet Crew to learn about the Mirror Universe in Alpha canon.
The Enterprise episodes were completely set in the Mirror Universe without the involvement of the Starfleet crew.
The Terran Empire knows about the Federation from the Defiant since the mid 2100s but not the other way around. And the history of the Federation is highly classified to not inspire reforms and keep the Terran populace in check.
It’s likely these current events will be classified or the Discovery lost, or return to the Prime Universe post-Mirror, Mirror, which is why Kirk didn’t know about the Terran Empire in that episode.

@Hauke Fischer — right, that fits with with Fuller’s original multi era anthology series. However, if they return after Mirror Mirror, then they aren’t able to help stop the Klingon war, which we have to assume stops by itself? That’s rather anticlimactic, even if that’s not really what they ever intended the series to be about. Another thought occurs to me, which is the DISCOVERY might decide not to tell Starfleet anything about their excursion to the MU, depending on what’s been happening with the MU Discovery in the PU.

Let’s think about what a loose canon Burnam is … what if Lorca turns out to be a good guy, and she tells him to return to the PU with her. And the entire crew decides to keep his secret? They return, stop the war, and are all declared heroes going to their deaths with the secret that Lorca is really MU Lorca. The spore network turns out to be a sentient being, and Starfleet has to abandon it. DISC gets a 5 year mission and sets out with Lorca in command, with none the wiser.

Also, how would Kirk know what was going on. its not like he did some light reading on the mirror universe prior to negotiating with the Halkans. He was completely taken by surprise

We know from DS9 that after Mirror Mirror, Spock used the Tantalus machine to take over the empire and instituted reforms. They clearly wanted to do a Mirror Universe story that features the Terran Empire in all its glory.

I still think its the Klingon war he was referencing. I mean what ELSE could it be at this point? He started the entire story around that arc at the beginning of the show. You also have to remember he referenced both Balance of Terror and TUC having big influences on the show which clearly meant the war aspect and situation with the Klingons.

I don’t really think its that big of a mystery. He wanted a Klingon story line and wanted to shape it prior to TOS since we know there clearly was never a war during or after those time periods with them. I think the ‘reference event’ was just hints about being involved in a war with the Klingons which has been brought up here and there in the different shows but never shown. Again I think that’s all it is.

If it HAD to be Klingons the two solutions already presented would still work. Set it 40 years post TUC and you can easily get a Klingon war. Sure, by the time of TNG relations between the UFP and the KE seem OK. But who says the steps between TUC and then were smooth? Something easily could have created a set back. Besides… This show doesn’t seem to be focusing on the Klingon war all that much anyway. So does it really make a difference who the war was with?

That’s how I understood it.

Yeah I don’t think its really a mystery. He didn’t come out and say it at the time because the show was still locked in secret but it was obvious to me once we found out the story line was the Klingon war thats what it was. Fuller only wrote the first two episodes (although we know he help shape the entire season story line) so clearly that’s what he was talking about IMO.

Good question. Unless Fuller was being coy. Seems like the “reason” isn’t very clear at all.

Don’t get me wrong. Discovery is great. But that’s a very good question.

That’s a good question. If you didn’t want to go all the way past Voyager, I’m not sure why this couldn’t be plopped right into 50 years after TOS, and 30 before TNG. All the tech issues would disappear – You set Sarek and Amanda older, and they could still raise Burnham. You could have the Mirror universe not be so much a shock to the crew, and still do EVERYTHING that is happening.

Yeah it would solve so many of their problems if they just put the show in a more proper time era. Even if it was before TNG, at least post TUC would feel more right and that it is a huge period we know little about. Some of it would still feel out of place but certainly more so than where it is now. I don’t understand why make a show where so many of the story lines directly clash to the show its suppose to be a prequel to.

Well, Martin, by the time of 50 years after TNG, Amanda would be around 100 years old, so no.

He said 50 years after TOS, not TNG. And its already established she was dead by TNG time unless this was just a typo.

Well humans do live longer by this point so it wouldn’t be a huge deal IMO. Archer was supposedly 140 when he died. And since we don’t know when Amanda actually died (in the PU anyway ;)) they could stretch if they really wanted to.

And McCoy visited the big D when he was that old too. Precedent has been set.

Well they did it! I’m surprised. Because I like Lorca. But it effectively means we don’t have him next season which creates a few problems.

It’s a cool twist because he’s Mirror Lorca but he’s actually a good guy as a rebel leader.

I think you can keep Lorca because I don’t see anyway that Discovery fits back into the known PU as it has to this point

As much as I love the series so far, the most disappointing aspect is that it likely means Isaacs is not here next season.

But they cant simply promote Saru or (hopefully not) promote Michael. Neither has enough gravitas yet to be Captain. But I have a suspicion the idea might be to advance Michael to complete her redemption arc.

I kind of think that by now, Burnham has paid her dues.

But I won’t find DISCO as compelling without Isaacs. Sorry, folks. Everybody on that show is a very good actor, but Isaacs has been the compelling, enignmatic root of the story.

I think you nailed it, Marja. It’s Michael Burnham’s journey, but Lorca is the heart of the show, driving the mystery and the narrative. Everyone else has mostly just been reacting to his actions.

I don’t think I can imagine Discovery without him.

I think they won’t dump Lorca completely. The real PU Lorca might still be out there or brought back some way or another. I don’t think Lorca is Ned Stark… he’s rather Harrison Wells who keeps returning in a different capacity every season of The Flash.

This MU Lorca was the one from Season 1 of The Flash… the enigmatic manipulator trying to get back home while abusing his role as a father figure to the main character…

Next season could feature PU Lorca as Burnham’s new menthor, having her to deal with the memories of this season’s outcome…

The Wells comparison works quite well although I’m still hoping that Mirror Lorca is not just a villain. The producers have gone on record as stating that things are not as black and white as previously depicted in the MU.

Its funny I was thinking of Flash too lol. That show’s first season had a very similar story line of a villain from another time trying to get back home and basically manipulated the heroes to do it. And yes, the actor who played the villain was so popular they found ways to bring him back the next season and been part of the show ever since even when the original character was killed off. Thats the beauty of science fiction there is ALWAYS a way to bring someone back, no matter how ridiculous. ;)

It will be a blow to lose him but Game of Thrones went from strength to strength after Sean Bean left. I do hope they find a way to keep him in though, I do agree with you that it will be disappointing if they go down the evil Lorca route for the rest of the season.

Or… perhaps the Discovery will be given to a new Captain. Maybe a guy named Garth of Izar :-)

I agree that nobody else in the current cast really has the necessary gravitas and presence to pull off being given command of the ship. Burnham has worked best, so far at least, when she is pulled along by the narrative, not when she is driving it. Saru has grown leaps and bounds from the annoying alien Sheldon he was in the pilot (I saw the first couple of episodes again recently and it’s pretty amazing how much he’s changed) but I just don’t think he would be interesting as captain.

I’ll be curious to see if we find out when the Lorca switch happened. If it occurred after Prime Lorca got command of the Discovery, then there’s a chance he could still be around. It might actually be interesting to have Prime Lorca back in season 2, knowing that he would probably be a very different character from the one we’ve seen in season one. I think Jason Isaacs would like that kind of a challenge and could probably pull it off easily.

I suspect that MU Lorca possibly killed off PU Lorca when he destroyed the Buran.

I agree, and think it’d be very easy for him to probe Hidden Depths of the PU Lorca thrust back into a universe where he is viewed as having killed his entire crew, is suffering PTSD, and so on.

All I can say is BRING BACK ISAACS.

Would he want to though? Isn’t it the darkness that attracted him to take the part? That’s how it sounds when you listen to his interviews.

I really don’t think Issacs cared that much. In of the day he’s a working actor who has been on multiple cancelled TV shows and supporting roles in films and now he’s doing Star Trek, his most high profile role since Harry Potter. He may have signed on knowing the role would have a finite ending but my guess if they wanted him to stay he would.

But he was selling the Lorca of Season 1 at the time, Soren.

Mirror Lorca didn’t come off as a good guy rebel leader to me. His quip at the very end about how he liked so-and-so (can’t remember the girl’s name right now), but then found someone better (ie: Burnham) was pretty cold, not to mention the fact that if Georgiou is to be believed he basically seduced his own foster-daughter (at least, that’s how I read it). Also pretty sure I saw Landry being removed from one of the agonizer booths in the preview to next week’s episode. While the episode was well done, entertaining and well acted, I can help but be a little disappointed that things appear to be playing out pretty much exactly as we thought. It was a common theory that Lorca was from the Mirror Universe; having it be confirmed suddenly makes him seem a lot less nuanced than he did before the reveal. Likewise the Tyler/Voq mystery felt ultimately pointless since it appears L’Rell pretty much erased Voq as soon as he woke up (unless that Klingon death scream was an attempt to misdirect the viewers, the crew would probably not know what it means). The Mycelial network also seems to be quickly morphing into Nexus v2.0 and the whole resolution of how Stamets escaped the network felt very shaky to me. The Kelpian fricasee scene was probably the most disturbing thing in the who show so far for me. Overall though they have me hooked for the rest of the season; I will be… Read more »

Georgiou is Emperor and the opposite of her Prime self. You can’t trust her version of events. Landry, whom you mention is actually a key clue.

I wondered why a security officer on a Federation ship would be such a hard-ass, and violent. Well, I’m certain Landry’s mirror is likely the opposite. I do think Lorca is a “good guy” for the mirrorverse, which is gray for survival’s sake.

Well if you listened to other Lorca theories in the past people also thought he worked for Section 31 (that was my belief too) or that he was secretly Garth of Izar. As I said before, people get just as many things wrong as they get right, its only when the theory that proves to be true that now everyone seems to believe it was something everyone kind of guessed. But sure if you’re talking when they actually entered the MU thats different but I didn’t believe it personally until the last episode when he gave that little smirk at the end. But I’m fine with the reveal. I NEVER thought Issacs was going to be on the show full time since they have made it clear from day one its really Burnham’s story and in time she will probably end up being Captain. Maybe not soon but my guess is that’s where they are going and why she was made first officer before the fall. But then again they may find some way to keep him on and he is definitely a popular character so who knows? But I completely agree about the Tyler/Voq thing. I NEVER liked the idea. I thought it was stupid then, its stupid now. Mostly because it accomplished literally nothing. What did Voq do as a ‘spy’? Nothing. He managed to get on the ship and have sex with Burnham basically. And what I find funny is his entire time as Tyler all he… Read more »

Funny thing about the Lorca being from the MU theory… I read them but dismissed them thinking the show runners would never do something as lame as that. It would totally undercut what was shaping out to be a very interesting character. Modern tv is much more savvy than that. Boy was I wrong.

As much as I’m enjoying DSC, I’m inclined to agree with the (out of universe) explanation that this Voq/Tyler business was, once again (as is always the case with Harberts/Berg/Goldsman), shock for shock value alone.

In universe, I’m guessing this monumental failure on the part of Voq and L’Rell could be chalked up to an experimental means of covert infiltration that was being tested out with Voq. Tyler’s personality ended up too strong because of the bond with Burnham, coupled with how the entire procedure was far too traumatic for Voq’s mind to handle. I would say this is why we later see Klingons using a similar and yet less sophisticated version of a surgically altered spy with Arne Darvin.

@UAB — except Arne Darvin could just as easily be an augment now that we have that unfortunate bit of Berman/Braga nonsense added to canon for posterity …

That’s a good point. Either way, I am thinking this can be in-universe explained as a failed experiment and something the Klingons will never consider again. It backfired against them so badly.

I am not sure Lorca is the rebel leader. I think he just wants power and to be the Emperor. He was ready for Michael to just launch torpedos at the rebel base, not a care in the world.

I hope, hope, hope that MU Lorca knew for certain that the rebel base had an emergency plan to escape and that they made it.

MU Lorca end game is to get back on palace ship so he was ready to kill a few rebels to do so. His reasons will be revealed soon I guess.

When the MU captain asked Lorca in the Agonizer where he’d been hiding all this time, he says “with friends.” I’m thinking Lorca is not done fooling people, and might still be around longer (an MU captain with the moral compass you suggest in the PU could be interesting). Anyway, pure “evil” Lorca is just such a depressingly simple narrative concept, so I hope that’s not where they are going here.

AGREED 100%. Lorca could be a “not by the book” good guy.
Although some of the things he did in the PU were definitely not good [using the Tardigrade, and more].

It would be most interesting to see a MU character making his way successfully through the PU as a ship’s captain with a moral compass of a dedicated Starfleet first officer like Burnham.

That was the shortest episode since Battle at the Binary Stars (the episode released immediately after the premiere).

It definitely felt like a middle part, as it seemed to be there mostly to answer a lot of questions. Not only did it answer storyline and character questions building up all season (in ways that confirm some things the fans have guessed), but it also answered franchise-long questions in fun ways. The best example of this is a cute explanation for one important stylistic difference between the Mirror Universe and the Prime Universe, that’s been present since Mirror, Mirror, which aired all the way back in 1967!

This episode also sets up a possibility for the ascension in the ranks of some of our characters, whether they return home or not.

Though brief, it’s always fun to get a little bit of comic relief from Tilly and Stamets. They don’t disappoint this week.

We can definitely see the way out of the forest now.

Only three more episodes left to the season…

What style difference did they explain?

Heh: Tilly: “Look at his complexion — it’s so dewy!” Best comic line.

Why is it that you double post things on different sites all the time?

I do that all the time. I don’t usually copy and paste, but I float the same thoughts in a variety of groups to get a wide variety of conversation about those thoughts.

Why is it that this bothers you? There’s nothing wrong with his posting things to different sites.

Agreed, everyone. I enjoy hearing different thoughts from my own. But I especially love it when people agree with me ;^)

If I had the time I’d post on other sites in addition to TM.

he’s creating an alternate universe! I can’t tell if I’m in the prime discussion or the mirror discussion! which one is the prime site and which one is the mirror site? :'(

Just check the lighting. That should help you determine the universe.

LOL

why can’t he post on different sites…they are different sites lol

LOL I thought that post sounded familiar. He posted it on Trekcore as well. But I don’t the answer is that big of a mystery, he just wants more responses, which is fine.

Eh, I guess it’s less that I want more responses than I’m interested in talking to different people. Maybe that’s the same thing? But it’s more of a “hello, let’s talk about it, but with more content.” If someone wants to, then cool, if not, maybe I’ll just reply to other comments on the various sites and Facebook pages.

Yeah who cares? I post similar thoughts on both sites all the time. Different people leads to different discussions. The sites arent the same.

I do the same all the time :-) I don’t know how many people visit both sites, apparently a bunch.

WOW you guys called it. I’m shocked. Really liked Gabe.

What I particularly loved was he’s a mysterious character who uses unorthodox methods, not so “by the book.”

So now we see that’s all down to him being MU Lorca.

Meh.

I was on board with the Voq theory. I’m not really feeling the Lorca MU twist. It does neuter what was interesting about him.

I think the ganglia scene was possibly the darkest of all. It was really horrific. However, this is simply a result of what we have grown to expect of fiction — that it breaks boundaries.

Some will criticize it as perhaps gratuitous. However, the fact is that this is cutting-edge fiction and not everything will be to everyone’s tastes, so to speak.

I will admit it should strike many as controversial.

Overall, an enjoyable episode.

I wonder how she is going to explain to Saru that Kelpians are considered a delicacy in the MU? Burnham already lied about not encountering any more Kelpians so this is going to be one very awkward conversation with Saru. How do you explain to someone that you ate one of their relatives?

Personally it is a conversation I would avoid, unless Saru actually sees one. Why hurt him unnecessarily?

Saru knows their species was hunted, no need to bring it up.

“I wonder how she is going to explain to Saru that Kelpians are considered a delicacy in the MU?”

“Saru – just so you know, Kelpians are well-loved in the other Universe.”

Best not to mention it.

So you guys are calling getting crude and uncivilized “breaking boundaries” and “cutting-edge”? I guess we are turning into a bit of a mirror universe ourselves. And no, Trump is not the reason.

“Game of Thrones” is.
And leave Trump out of it or this progressive’s anger will become evident

No, Trump is not the reason. He is, however, most definitely a symptom of the problem.

I agree, Michael. He is the symptom of the problem. We don’t solve it by becoming a part of it and preaching in an echo chamber while ignoring the other side. This show should overcome divisiveness and not feed into it. As of now, it is easily the most divisive Trek show ever (and I’ve followed them all), and that is a real pity, especially in our real world situation. TV needs a show about reaching out to the enemy, reaching sensible compromises and mending ties more than ever, not yet another Game of Thrones feeding the lower instincts.

Electing Pennywise as the POTUS is a symptom of the problem. True.
And yeah, we do sort of live in a Mirror Universe now… the dark and gloomy mirror images of presumably “pure”, innocent children’s tales have replaced the originals…
GR Martin has devoured and transformed Tolkien, The Magicians have replaced Harry Potter and Narnia… John Wick’s the new 007, Deadpool’s the new Superman! And Tarantino’s gearing up for a blasting new take on Star Trek!
Some call it mature creative progress, others call it a moral downfall of epic proportion.
I personally think it’s just incredibly exciting to observe those changes while being fully aware of them. After all it’s just fiction, but it’s riveting to say the least…

just a modern version of Trek

Not everything modern is good. There’s a difference between resisting change and resisting the wrong kind of change, as anybody following politics should know.

I still think visual effects really peaked around 1997, when they were using a combination of traditional effects with CGI, rather than mostly running to all-CG solutions, which has been the case most of the time for the last couple decades. Modern didn’t equal better, just that they could do five times as many shots for the same price, just lower quality in most cases. I think cinematography has de-evolved somewhat with digital as well, because productions know they don’t need to spend time lighting to get an image (even a crappy one), so they are shortchanging the cinematographers to get more shots done.

ya, I like Hogan’s Heroes over the comedy’s of today. I guess that’s your point

Yes, I was horrified and realized Michael had selected MU Saru as the main course!

Nope, MU Saru was the slave of MU Shenzhou’s captain, Michael Burnham.

She did select someone who looked a lot like Saru though.

Br-r-r-r. [Restrain gagging impulse]

here have some ganglia 😁

It was not Saru. Saru was still on the ISS Shenzhou, remember he didn’t come over with Burnham and Lorca on the shuttle.

Author of episode confirmed:
https://twitter.com/jnardino/status/955482789595332608

I’m sure it wasn’t him. They were probably short on tall actors who could be dressed up as Kelpiens so they used him as filler. Kelp ,by the way is a delicious seaweed. Someone on the writing staff has a sick sense of humour.

I don’t remember him even being the tallest one!
Poor Kelpien, poor Burnham.
Fits with Klingons eating their enemies [brrr], although in MU it’s “superior beings” eating slaves. UGH

MU doesnt waste

More likely it was Doug Jones’ stunt double or stand in. They don’t waste money on a starring role actor’s salary just to have him be an extra background character.

I still can’t figure it out how MU Saru made it to Charon when on the shuttle were only two people.

Also with the terran empire getting the plans for the spore drive, I think I know who will be the enemy uniting the federatia does Klingons under one banner:)

we don’t know it was Saru do we

Michael picked Saru as she recognized him in line, she thought she was saving him lol

I’m sorry but what did she think was gonna happen?? I knew the moment Georgiou said “Pick one” that it could only be bad. Also I guess it isn’t Saru, realizing he’s on the Shenzhou, but that kinda cheapens it for me because I thought she was selecting Saru because she knew him and then she wound up eating him. Still, it was obvious from the get-go that she was selecting someone to die.

ya, would have been crazier if it was Saru. I think someone chickened out here

I thought MU Saru was back on the Shenzhou.

Was there a line cut last week where she mentioned a Saru there?

I thought that it was a Kelpian that just looked like Saru and he is still on the Shenzhou.
If it is the case that she just ate him… well, damn!!!

yes lol

Whats pretty funny about that is someone posted in the youtube comments with the video clip that was released before the episode that she could be making a mistake picking him because he would probably be a dish for them to eat. And that was hours before the episode came on.

I think it also shows people are really not surprised by anything anymore.

The power of the collective internet creates far more jaded annoying fans who know-it-all.

lol dam poor MU Saru, he becomes main course after saving Michael. She ate Saru, I cant stop thinking about that and she initially said dinner is delish before being told it was Kelpian!

Actually the consensus is now it wasn’t MU Saru after all which I’m happy about since that seemed even more cruel, even for this show. But its still funny someone guessed the guy was getting eaten lol. They don’t mess around in the MU.

ya lol

– When we first met Lorca I figured him for Section 31, but then they started hinting at the MU with Stamets lingering in a mirror, scars on Lorca’s back, and the admiral saying something about him not being the same man. Something always seemed off about him.

– The MU has always been a silly concept, but it’s literally darker? Hehe, okay, Discovery.

The mirror concept is essentially ourselves in a very different light (or dark). This is in the best tradition of fiction — of all kinds.

Who here will not understand the long foreshadowing of “Alice Through the Looking Glass” as alluded to earlier in this series? We are tasked with understanding a bizarre permutation of a fictional universe and we are presented with entertainment that only first-class productions can provide.

This is a virtue of novels versus short stories: It reveals in a texture closer to the complexity of life the layers of love, hate, anger, betrayal, and possible redemption, among other things, that shorter literary forms cannot as ably manage.

Not that length is a virtue in and of itself, but it does offer potential.

Lorca himself is a kind of Mirror Virgil to Michael Burnham, and Burnham looks for a Dante in this inferno. She is trapped within a construct in which her quasi-mentor whom she betrayed still “lives”; there is no obvious solution, as she is held subject to the Emperor who once considered her an heir — much like her deceased Captain.

Love your analysis on this one, Hat Rick.
From the very beginning, they gave a huge hint about the literary influences being employed, especially in terms of ALICE IN WONDERLAND.
Michael Burnham clearly is Alice, who went down a crazy rabbit hole as a result of her insane mutiny, and the rest is history. In many of her monologues, she references the key messages in the story — “what’s up is down and what’s down is up…”, etc.
They are in the Mirror Universe now; they literally went THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS.
And in episode 12, we saw Emperor Georgiou (aka Red Queen) not only declare “off with their heads!”, but ensure execution personally!

Actually what’s funny is DS9’s second episode in the Mirror Universe is literally titled Through The Looking Glass so the Alice in Wonderland motif with this universe has been there for awhile.

Thanks, ST DISCO FAN. This series is fun to watch even though it is a bit shocking at times. Part of the fun is catching literary references, allusions, metaphors, and callbacks such as the Alice references, as well as a contemplation on the nature of reflection, literal and not.

Interestingly, a reflection of a reflection leads to the illusion of infinity (hold two mirrors parallel to each other and look at one mirror’s reflection of the other).

In theory, there could be as many Mirror Universes as necessary to accommodate a narrative, although I think that canonically there is only one. Each parallel universe may its on mirror version. The possibilities are almost endless.

Infinite universes; I think mention of this was in ST 2009 as well.

@Marja — yes, Spock’s first mentions his mother was fond of Lewis Carroll’s work in TAS, and his familiarity with ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS in particular.

I still don’t feel she betrayed Georgiou exactly. She was trying to save the peace by doing a pre-emptive strike a la Vulcan.

She did act unprofessionally and suggest violating Starfleet protocols — she saw the writing on the wall and tried to prevent its appearance — but Georgiou was going by the book, much to our sorrow.

Then, interestingly, along comes Lorca who doesn’t go “by the book” at all, hardly.

That’s all well and fine, but as the Mission Log guys like to say, ‘Bonk bonk on the head’ with the darkness.

I think the comments I’ve read so far, whether positive or negative, show that if anything this show is a deep well written, though dark, drama and in a world that isn’t anti Star Trek would most definitely be nominated for many awards.

Shows stand on their own. Battlestar Galactica was universally praised by critics but it only managed one major Emmy nomination during its entire run and that was for Mary McDonnell.

It has nothing to do with an ‘anti Star Trek’ world.

Right, it’s less an anti-Star Trek world and more an anti-SciFi world. SciFi and Fantasy almost never get the consideration they should, by the mainstream. Almost. It does happen sometimes, it’s just rare.

We are all casting light in the darkness for an honest person, allegorically, and quite often we are surprised and a bit frightened to realize that most of the universe is entirely dark, although it is perfectly clear once we do see it.

The universe is clear because most of it is dark.

In other words, paradoxically, we see the light when we see the dark.

Ultimately, literally and figuratively, we see the mirror image of ourselves only when there is light.

I can get the allegory without turning down the lights. But I’ll admit, this does jive with some of TOS’s wonkier writing.

What saves TOS’ wonkier writing (and acting excesses) is the fact they’ve often got musical underscore that is superb. That hasn’t been the case with TREK at all in the years since, except maybe half of TIN MAN (BOBW and other Jones scores are good, but not quite reaching superb.)

Three more weeks and then I can do the three-day free binge through Amazon, and then I’ll actually know how good/bad/ugly this series is for myself!

Hot dog, kmart, really? Amazon’s offering DISCO? Are you in the US?

yep, but you have to pay for it after the first 3 days.

I see a binge watch in my near future :-D

My prediction: you’ll absolutely hate it.

I think so too, but there’s a possibility of a story for a different magazine now.

Show is ok. Watchable, as a star trek, 4/10. as a space show with no relation to the trek universe, 6/10. lazy writing though. lots of mary sue and no rules going on here.

Have you actually WATCHED the series or are you just an old-Trek fanboy angrily decrying things you’ve heard online?

Your review is lazy writing. Maybe 4/10. 5 at a pinch ;)

Try 0.5/10 haha!

Yeah, it’ll get by being what it is now. Nothing more though.

This show still isn’t appointment viewing for me but once you move beyond the visual aesthetics it lines up perfectly. As far as the whole ‘Mary Sue’ thing, well, hate to break it to you but strong women were a driving force in both DS9 and Voyager.

Yeah, the use of “Mary Sue” is confusing to me, perhaps because I am familiar with the usage of 15-20 years ago.

If it’s for ANY strong woman, y’all are wrong, wrong, wrong. Not to mention socially backward.

That pretty much nails it.

No relation to Trek? HAHAHAH Its on episode three of the MIRROR UNIVERSE, a deep dive into Trek if there ever was one.

That follows up a plot point from Enterprise!

lol so wrong in your opinion. You don’t understand modern television or fiction in general

Um, lazy writing is still lazy writing, Mary Sue is still Mary Sue, and low internal consistency is still low internal consistency – today or thirty years ago. That has nothing to do with “modern television”.

Who the frack is Mary Sue here? Burnham? I don’t think so. Brilliant, yes, but a background of heavy personal trials. Heh, and one Starfleet one.

it’s also easy to type lazy writing. I don’t agree with you, nor do millions of others.

My thoughts on lorca as mirror in the PU;
He was instantly cool under pressure and got the job done. I love this. I think he will choose to go to back to PU with discovery in the end. Burnham exchanging specs for lorca? Hmm, I would not trust the emperor at all. She served her kelpian! Eww. Don’t know what next week will bring as Space here in Canada never shows previews.

Michael must have had a plan because obviously she cant give Mirror Universe the ability to create a Sport Drive that then has the ability to cross universes. She was playing for time and will dupe the Emperor.

Michael will leave out the fact you need a navigator for the spore drive to work

There is a MU Stamets, but he done kilt all the spores, haha

I’m pretty confident that MU Stamets is the reason the tech fails and nobody else has heard of it. The network will die as the result of his experimentation.

@UAB — ah. Right. ANd here I was thinking there would be a happy ending and Starfleet would learn the spore network was sentient and voluntarily banned the use of it. But in the context of this series — right. They’re going to likely kill it. :(

Just saw the preview for next episode. It included a shot of Landry.

Explains the quick death of Landry…so bringing her back later was more interesting.

ya, I always have to go to youtube after a day or so to watch them

More Troubles, More Dribbles

Burnham gives Lorca an analgesic to mitigate the effect of the agonizers, um, shouldn’t she have done this two episodes ago?

Not necessarily. Lorca may have believed he would not be killed by agonizer or any other means until he was brought before the emperor. At that point he asked for the pain killer. he knew he needed to retain his strength until Burnham and the emperor were occupied, so that analgesic was administered at the perfect time. When your sinister, you’ve just got to get the little details right.

More Troubles, More Dribbles

What’s up with that big glowy thing inside the ISS Charon?

Exactly what it appears to be: A captive neutron star that is being tapped for it’s inexhaustible energy. Romulans of the prime universe use a confined version of this tech in the 24th century by formulating an artificial singularity for their primary source of power in certain class ‘s of ships and Imperial Starbases.

I had a vision that something or someone will fall into that orb, which is a highly unusual power source (if that’s what it is) in the Trek universe.

It’s sort of like the handgun on the mantel (referred to as “Chekhov’s Gun”) when first seen in the first act of a play — it should be fired by the third.

Ahem. A neutron star and a Romulan quantum singularity are not even remotely the same thing, even assuming the second thing wasn’t technobabble with handwavingly undefined properties. Neutron stars are typically about ten miles wide, so if that’s the identity of the starlike orb in the ISS Charon, that gives us a more specific scale than “monstrously big.” But the energy of a neutron star lies in its rotation and magnetic field, and make it *not* a healthy place to be; suitable shielding is way beyond what we usually consider TOS tech level — although I’d be happy if the Charon were built atop salvaged alien supertech.

To be fair, the Defiant being pulled into the MU in the 2100’s puts the MU about 100 years, potentially, ahead of the PU in terms of technological advancement.

More Troubles, More Dribbles

Can’t wait to find out for certain. I figured it was either a neutron or some type of stolen technology that enables them to create their own protostar. As for shielding? Whatever tech they used to capture the star must have enabled them to shield themselves from the intense radiation. I really hope they explain it. As for future Romulan tech, I agree that black holes and stars are two different things…

Don’t hold your breath for very much of a plausible or detiled explanation. That’s not how Harberts/Berg/Goldsman roll. And besides, as pointed out a bit above, Trek has always had pseudo-tech with hand-waiving explanations anyway. I think the Chiron was made to have the – whatever it is – at its core, simply because it looks cool.

It’s the Magog homeworld! :)

Fantastic description! Interesting to see if they delve into more detail in the next episode.

More Troubles, More Dribbles

Did L’Rell bring her Mo’Kai mind wiping equipment with her, or does Starfleet have their own version on hand?

Molecular recombiners of the 22nd century can create the parts for most anything, providing the schematics are available, or can be programmed by L’rell, personally.

That’s a really good point! Thanks for pointing that out. I was trying to decide how she was using one.

Probably gave schematics to the replicator.

More Troubles, More Dribbles

Great analysis btw

The preview for next week shows Landry. Could she be the PU Landry? The one that died seemed careless and brutal, like what one would expect from the MU.

That’s an excellent question.

Thats a great point. If the Landry that died was also from the MU, it means the Landry shown in next week’s preview is the real Prime Landry. Which might mean the entire crew being held are the PRIME Buron, not Mirror.

Woo-hoo! How BOSS would that be?!

That would also be a viable reason for Disco to keep MirrorLorca.

That would be an interesting twist if the Buran crew being held are from the PU. When the show started, Lorca and Landry both stood out as not behaving like usual starfleet officers, and Landry seemed to be very close to Lorca. I thought it odd they killed her off so quickly.

The second half of season 1 seems like a series of big reveals, some were already guessed but it kind of makes the show thoroughly interesting and suspenseful like what are they going to reveal next?
Regardless, I think two things will definitely happen in this series, first end the Klingon war and find a way to destroy the mycelium network or make it unusable since both doesn’t exist in TOS.

Post-TOS Star Trek has always been kinda racist when it comes to villains. Klingons became stand-ins for 1990’s white fears about black people. Literally cast with black actors, the species became a barely-containable violent force within polite society. The Borg were nearly identical hive-minded autonamatons bent on total domination. Which mirrored, it is hard to recall, American’s fears about the Japanese at the time. The Ferengi seemed to be some sort of grotesque commentary on Jews, but they never went anywhere as villains and soon became déclassé allies. To be crystal clear I endorse none of this, but it was and remains hard to miss. There is a dark side to using science fiction to comment on the present.

All these old observations sprang to mind when I watched a presumed-trustworthy character played by an actor of Pakistani descent, recently revealed to be a sleeper terrorist, spout ominous fatalistic threats in a foreign tongue. The fears have changed with the times but Star Trek is playing its same old dispiriting game

I’m not sure how old you are but the Klingons were intended to represent the Soviets and communism.

The Ferengi were intended to represent capitalism and the materialism of late 20th century society.

I’m pretty sure Michael Ansara, John Colicos, Christopher Plummer, Christopher Lloyd and John Larrouquette were not black when they played Klingons. Oh, and John Tesh, too (who most people would agree is REALLY white).

A Pakistani actor just happens to be playing a Klingon (he’s also part Scottish and English).

In what is arguably one of the most progressive franchises on television over the past 50 years, I would argue that you are way off base here.

Actually, Denny, Ansara and Colicos were made up to look darker for their roles, but that was de rigeur in the ’60s.

Tesh? Or the Sevateem?

Hmmm….

I think Robert O’Reilly (Gowron), Charles Cooper (K’mpec), Gwynyth Walsh and Barbara March (Lursa and B’Etor), Suzie Plakson (K’Ehleyr), J.D. Cullum (Toral), and many other actors disprove your argument that Trek post-TOS was exclusively casting black actors as Klingons. (Mary Chieffo’s of mixed European background, FWIW…) I think they continued with the Klingons as a metaphor for the Soviet Union, as noted, Star Trek VI was a Chernobyl allegory, but the TNG world depicted the Klingons more like feudal Japan, with the armor taking on a distinct samurai quality, the focus on honor and swordsmanship, battling great houses, etc. I do not recall any fears of the Japanese being hive-minded automatons, more that at a certain point, the Japanese economy was very strong, and their corporations began to flex their muscle by purchasing American companies, and extending their manufacturing into North America (automotive plants, etc.). At most, this got a little bit of satirical notice in comedies like Gung Ho, SNL sketches, and the like, and economic worry for the then-uncompetitive US manufacturing sector, particularly the car industry. Yes, the Ferengi may have started out as crude Shylock caricatures, but better writing and acting (esp in DS9) fleshed them out as complete people, and Ferengi society more as a commentary on capitalism-run-amuck with a heavy dose of sexism – and how Quark and his family defied those norms. Ash Tyler’s nationality in the show is given as American (from Seattle). No clues to his actual ethnicity are given. I didn’t… Read more »

I think the Borg were an allegory about “Computers / AI taking over the world!” fears myself.

“TNG world depicted the Klingons more like feudal Japan, with the armor taking on a distinct samurai quality, the focus on honor and swordsmanship, battling great houses, etc”

Culturally, yes, but the political disarray mirrored that of Russia at the time. Coincidentally, “Redemption” part I foreshadowed the 1991 August coup in Russia.

hunh?

Exactly.

When during the 80s was afraid of the Japanese and when during that time did we seem them as a collective hive mind?

Some of that is true, like the Ferengi, some of it is not (like Klingons, which have always been allegories for Russians). Not all Klingons are black actors either, such as Gowron, Martok, Chang and Kruge.

As for Tyler, few see him as “the Pakistani guy.” In fact one fellow on this site referred to him as a white guy.

Regarding the Japanese: Around the time of Michael Crichton’s “Rising Sun.” The fears were also reflected in this Newsweek cover: comment image
Regarding the other points: You see the parallels or you don’t. Many reflexively deny anything has anything to do with race. Some come around in time

I think the Ferengi thing is and always was supposed to be stereotypical modern US capitalism – which is quite borne out by the recent tax ‘cut’ …

Unless you’re equating Uncle Miltie with all Ferengi to justify the GR concept that they all have giant schlongs, I don’t think the reference to Jews and Jewishness is accurate at all, just points to a subset (probably a large subset) of that same group of modern US folks and their questionable ‘tudes and lack of ethics.

kmart, I agree with you on the Ferengi. I always saw them as grubby greedy shark executive types, with huge egos concerning their sex appeal.

I have always thought of the Ferengi as the used car and insurance salesmen of the universe.

You endorse none of this, but what makes you think Star Trek does? Just because they’re depicting fears in the real world doesn’t mean they’re necessarily endorsing them, does it? How can you have a story about humanity without showing what scares us?

To the extent that the fears in the real world ST shows us are the racialized ones I mention, who is this “us” in your formulation? White people. That’s my point.

Not to mention that to be “redeemed,” Worf and Seven of Nine had to fit into the predominant paradigm to join the “good guys.” Then again, there is a distinct point made in the shows that cooperation *with individuality included* is beneficial to the most people, e.g., Klingons cooperating with Starfleet in DS9. The Klingons didn’t have to BE Starfleet, just had to join an alliance.

I can see Gray’s point though. I had that fear about TNG-era Klingons myself, but on the bright side actors of color got lots of jobs. And there was a nobility and spirituality to the Klingons over time.

Fritz, I think your point is quite valid and more optimistic; depicting fears in contemporary society does not mean Trek endorses those fears.

Yep. You have to tackled them honestly, in order to address them.

Erm… white dudes play Klingons too.

This is literally true, of course, but I my point wasn’t that Klingon’s were stand-ins for a particular view of black people because they were cast with black actors.

Nor is the analogy absolute and airtight. But it’s also not a math proof. It’s just an observation that the presentation of Klingons in many ways aligns with some retrograde views of the era. This was when, particularly in LA where Trek is written, blacks were often portrayed in the news and media as ultra-violent barely-containable marauding gang-bangers.

If the Klingons were the only example that would be one thing. But then there are the Borg and the Ferengi and I didn’t even mention Q as a representation of unserious and dangerously amoral gay men.

The GamerGaters among SF fandom will always rail whenever anyone brings up race in any context, but I think it’s interesting. It was another era, diversity was nonexistent. That shows up on screen

Amazing how you ignored my post. There is nothing on TNG they portrayed them as ‘gangbangers’, since ONCE again they were the good guys on the show. No one feared Worf for example and treated him like everyone else on the crew. Jesus did you actually watch it?

And diversity was ‘nonexistant’? It was the 1990s, not the 1890s. I think by then there was plenty of people living with others. Segregation ended decades before that.

Maybe it’s just me but, I never really thought of Klingons as stand-ins for “black people”. I always thought of them as space Mongol-Samurai-Viking-Biker-Soviets.

I’m black and I never remotely got the idea they were stand ins for black people oir ‘bad’ black peopole either. I always thought of them as I did in TOS, an alien version of the Soviet empire, with some samurai qualities in the later shows as you pointed out.

I really don’t get the Klingon one at all. No one ‘feared’ the Klingons in TNG time because they became the allies. Yes, there was still some slight tension and Klingons were still Klingons at times basically doing their own thing but NO ONE feared them. I don’t remember a line of dialogue where people commented they didn’t want to be alone with them or was afraid they would be attacked by one. Klingons are a warrior race and very ‘type A’ about it but in the 24th century they never provoked an attack first.

And when we did see them turn against the Federation in DS9 that was out of fear Cardassians were being turned and they feared an attack would happen. And as you said they came back in the fleet when (ironically) they learned it was one of their own who was really the one turned and manipulated the situation to upset the alliance.

UNTIL Discovery showed up Klingons were only perceived as ‘evil’ on TOS. Even Etnerprise, the Klingons had tensions with Starfleet but they weren’t treated as enemies but mostly kept at arm’s length.

Thank you, Marja.

You can’t re-write history like this. “Americans feared the Japanese were a hive-mind of automatons bent on total domination in the 1990S”. No. Just no.

Your Klingon observation is also total nonsense. Get a new hobby other than race baiting.

I posted a Newsweek cover a few responses below, but I don’t know how this site feels about links. If it doesn’t post you can look it up under the headline “Japan Invades Hollywood.” The fears are also expressed in Michael Crichton’s novel “Rising Sun,” which is 45% xenophobic anti-Japanese rant. I can’t really respond to your Klingon objection because it lacks substance.

I thought Klingons were Soviets/Communists? No? Like, in The Undiscovered Country, Praxis going all kersplodey was supposed to be an allegory for Chernobyl. I take your point re Ferengi though.

When Lorca revealed his Mirrorness, all I could think of was “Turns out he was a Femme-Bot all along”!

I can’t wait for Burnham to open the next episode with “…Yes, we knew all along, sadly,” or even with “Hang on a tick – that means I’m single again!”

[Record scratch] Yup, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I got into this situation…

LOLOL.

She didn’t give him an analgesic the last time because she didn’t know he’d be going to an agonizer. Maybe.

Great review!

“You could almost see his goatee growing on the spot.” – This line had me laughing out loud in an open plan office!

Anthony is funny as hell!
Hmmm and what were you doing reading TM in your office? Oh — dining Al Desko for lunch maybe.

They have completely botched the Voq storyline. Really embarrassing. Why would L’Rell kill off Voq in his own mind and leave Tyler in there? How can any of the characters truly trust that Tyler isn’t still a Klingon Manchurian Candidate? Episode 12 and they’ve just completely dropped this major plot point, presumably because they couldn’t work out anything else to do with it?

Question – what exactly was the plan with Voq and why didn’t we see him ever actually do any of it? The entire infiltration amounted to nothing.

The entire Voq story line was just ridiculous and convoluted. It was only done to have a “GASP” reveal but it did little to serve the story since Voq did absolutely NOTHING as Tyler. Yeah what was even the point?

Now to be fair, now that we have Tyler consciousness or whatever it will probably be interesting of how he copes with what he went through and living in a body that’s technically his but not his? Yeah I really really hate this story line lol.

I can hear Harberts/Berg/Goldsman in the writer’s room:

“Okay, so you know how they did that thing with the Cylons in BSG? Well what if we do that but instead of robots it’s a secret Klingon?”

“Wow. That’s so cool.”

My big question:

Why the heck all the surgery, if L’Rell was moving one mind from one body into another???

Or was she peeling Ash Tyler and putting him on Voq’s bones?

Kind of a head-scratcher

I think it’s that Voq’s new body became a bizarre hybrid. They altered his bones and features, organs, etc with surgery. Mixed in Tyler’s DNA somehow so he can pass basic Starfleet scans, and then grafted Tyler’s mind into Voq’s. I think L’Rell chose to kill Voq’s consciousness instead of Tyler’s because to allow the obviously shattered Voq to live in this abomination of a body would dishonor him – and be more torture than she could bear to think of for her lover. TL;DR: She mutilated Voq’s body, grafted Tyler’s mind and some of his DNA, didn’t wanna watch Voq suffer and to live with a shattered psyche is a dishonor. Tyler is the obvious choice to survive in this abominable existence.

More Troubles, More Dribbles

I’m going to go with: The writers totally blew it!

More Troubles, More Dribbles

An excellent question requiring deep thought. Please Stand By…

L’Rell planned to reverse the process and save Voq but during the procedure she screwed up and killed Voq. She realizes this when Voq started to speak english and so she mourned by screaming etc.

She is just as full of tricks as Felix the Cat’s bag, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Tyler still has some Voq in him.

Good point, Marja. He *did* end his little Klingon prayer in English as he passed out after the procedure. ;)

There’s only 3 episodes to wrap up
1. Wrap up the mirror universe / Lorca
2. Get back to Prime / deal with ISS Discovery (real)
3. End Klingon War
4. Where is Prime Lorca? Who will be Captain of Disco now ? Saru ?
5. Does Disco even get back to Prime ?
6. Is Burnham still destined to wind up in prison ?

Lots to wrap up in only 3 episodes.

Khan&c
mayyybe
Maybe they’ll leave the biggest effin cliffhanger since Cdr Riker ordered, “Lt Worf: FIRE” at the end of Best of Both Worlds Part 1.

or other seasons

Well they said the war story would not be a factor in Season 2 but they didnt say anything about Mirror. Hmmmm

yea, they have to end up somewhere other than the PU which TBH isn’t what I wanted for the show before it started. I love it, but would’ve preferred we could see them interacting with people we knew came before TOS

I was thinking about this, thinking that maybe they’d return to the PU through the same rift that the Defiant left it and then end up a 100 years in the future around the time Picard was serving on the Stargazer. However, if they go down this route we don’t get an onscreen resolution to the Klingon war and I can’t see them resolving such a major plot point with just a random line of dialogue. For this reason I can’t see them turning this into Star Trek Sliders as if future seasons are set in different universes then the Klingon war wouldn’t get any conclusion.

actually it might clear up the fact that Discovery figured out a way to see cloaked ships but TOS didn’t have that technology.

I think what would make sense, dramatically at least, is:

1. MU Lorca is killed, thus wiping him from the board and explaining why we’ve never heard of him before.

2. Discovery makes it back to prime universe (ISS Discovery would return to its own universe at same time), it delivers solution for Klingon cloaking device, thus explaining why it was never used in TOS, and ending the open warfare.

3. The Spore network dies or at least close itself off as a result of mirror Stamets tampering with it, thus explaining the absence of spore drives in rest of Trek.

4. Burnham and possibly Tyler/Voq remain in the MU and maybe return to Vulcan and help with the resistance. This would be the easiest way to resolve the whole issue of never having heard of Burnham, her relationship to Spock and Sarek, etc.

I don’t think it will all shake down this way (especially that last one) but I will be curious to see how it ends.

Could be, except #4. Michael is the star of the series. She’s be in season 3. Unless they do a big reset where they get back, but in a different time and many things we’ve seen dont end up happening (Michael/Sarek for example).

Im most concerned with Lorca because the actor is too good to lose. The character is too interesting to lose. But how to you keep him. If you rescue Prime Lorca, its essentially a new character so its not as interesting.

But they do need to wrap it up without the MU being a known thing, which they can simply by classifying the info but still… maybe they make it back with Lorca and Landry and Section 31 takes over the Discovery and keeps Lorca in command.

But, as it has been said by many fans, MU doesn’t *necessarily* mean they have to be *so* dissimilar. Maybe PU Lorca is a similar man, unorthodox, a bit rough around the edges. For all we know, the switch took place after the Buran and MU’s story of Lorca blowing his ship is what PU Lorca did. Maybe PU Lorca’s main difference is that he doesn’t want to rule the universe and doesn’t see women as pawns in love and war.

That was a really well done episode. My new questions are:
Is MU Burnham and PU Lorca still around somewhere?
Did L’Rell really kill Voq for nothing?

And I also think, the biggest twists still lie ahead of us

I did not get why she killed Voq and not Tyler? That explanation of the process was extremely convoluted but in the end wasn’t Voq the primary donor for body AND mind?

Actually Tyler was the the main donor for the body. The modifications to Voq’s Klingon body were irreversible but his mind could be terminated in order to stop his suffering.

Why didn’t they just use Tyler’s WHOLE body then and did the mind transfer? Klingon minds incompatible to genuine human bodies? Other than that, it just asks for being detected to mash Klingon and human physical form…

She couldn’t stand to see Voq trapped in a lesser physical form.

This kind of reminded me of “Heroes” storyline that featured Sylar occupying Nathan’s form. Nathan was still in there but Sylar was the dominant and Nathan’s personality ultimately succumbed.

she wanted to save Voq but she realized she failed and killed Voq when he started to speak english

because Voq could not complete the original mission and he was suffering. She always said she wouldn’t let that happen

Yes, that’s very strange.

Well I have to say this was a very thrilling episode of … Game of Thrones!

I found the eating suru funny as hell. Didn’the gross me out in the slightest. Don’t know why some find this gross. Hell…we slaughter animals and eat them don’t we ? God forbids if there is ever a catastrophe on earth, and there is a food shortage. ..humans may just turn on each other for food…. like that rugby team that crashed back in 70s did.

Uh, congratulations? I’m guessing/hoping this is a teenager speaking. The reason people were bothered was because they knew Saru by this time as a sentient intelligent being, and personal friend and brother to the character forced to eat.

It was akin to cannibalism for her.

That wasn’t Saru. Saru is still back on the ship. Burnham and Lorca took a shuttle to the Emperors ship.

It sure looked like Saru. Not saying it was, but it looked like him.

The writer of the episode confirmed that it wasn’t. Also, that Kelpian was shorter than Mirror Saru.

I thought it was Saru too. I was intrigued to see Burnham face Saru knowing what she’d done… Oh well…

I’m confused, Was that MU Suru with 2 other Kelpian on the emperor’s ship? How did he get there from the ISS Shenzhou. He was already assigned to Burnham as a slave.

Probably wasn’t him, just a Kelpian who looked similar.

No we don’t all slaughter and animals on earth. Not all of us are primitive and cruel. “Humans no longer enslave animals for food purposes.” – Riker, “Lonely Among Us”

Yeah, well I take a lot of the stuff said in TNG with a huge vat of salt, especially in the – often very poor – first couple of seasons. Same goes for the joke in the culture-shock time travel comedy Star Trek IV about money. Even DS9 mocked the idea of non-existence of currency!

Either way its all canon. You can take anything with a ‘grain of salt’ but the point is its officially ‘true’ for the franchise. And why would anyone doubt what Riker says? He didn’t say they all became vegetarians simply don’t enslave animals for food. Its centuries into the future who knows what they do? And since replicators are a thing its not hard to guess they don’t have to kill anything directly anymore.

And its been established they don’t use money but they probably have some kind of credit system, especially outside the Federation.

Rodders is quoted in inside Star Trek as being happy to contradict continuity when he made TNG. The money thing is stupid so it deserves to be ignored, as does his Californian hippie dippie idea that the farming industry should be destroyed.

A. There is contradiction in continuity in practically every Trek show and movie. Have you not watched Discovery?

B. Gene Roddenberry was only on TNG for two seasons and wasn’t the only one who created canon from it. And after seven seasons and four films there is a lot of it now.

C. NOTHING that was said about animals no longer being enslaved for food has ever been contradicted in Trek anyway so I don’t even get your argument? It just sounds like you don’t like that aspect for some personal reason. Well if it makes you feel any better, we don’t live in the 24th century today and Star Trek is not real. So you can keep eating all the animals that you want. Its not illegal here. But in that universe it no longer applies.

Tiger2

A. Umm… yes. What’s your point?

B. Again, so what? If the show’s creator was happy to contradict continuity, I’m happy to ignore anything I think is silly or clearly made as a joke. A comedy episode, to me, is less ‘canonical’ – deuterocaninical, even, than a serious one.

C. Animals aren’t ‘enslaved’ for food; they’re reared. The whole idea that no one has a farm anymore is ridiculous. If no one has a farm anymore, why would the Picard family own a vineyard? You could just replicate wine. For that matter, how did the Picards buy the farm if there’s no money? Did Jean-Luc’s dad simply go to the previous owner, kill him and declare the ownership for himself? In absence of money and property rights, there’s only coercion and violence available for acquisition.

A. You seem to be making it out to be about one show when that can be applied to every show. So yeah that’s my point.

B. That’s not how canon works. I can ignore everything from Enterprise or the Kelvin Timeline films or The Original Series if there is something I don’t like either–its still canon meaning its still official. If you don’t personally like something, fine, but canon simply means what is said or seen on screen. I would like to ignore Trump being President but that indeed did happen as well.

C. It’s 400 years in the future man. Anything is possible as Trek shows over and over again. Transporters and an universe where everyone has an evil doppelganger can be easily argued is way more ridiculous than finding alternatives to eating food in an advance society but here we are. If you don’t like it fine, but its called science fiction for a reason. And maybe having a vineyard is legal because its not an occupation that hurts sentient creatures in the process. Maybe some people just like drinking home grown wine vs replicated wine. I have no idea how the no money thing works in Trek because its never been directly explained. But I don’t understand how a lot of things works in Trek but that’s how Trek has worked forever. Its just fun thinking about the possibilities.

A. Nope, I mentioned TNG purely because Rodders was still kicking around at the time. If he was cool with contradictions, then so should everyone else be. I’d have to gather people around a table, join hands, roll my eyes upwards and make funny hooting noises to claim his authority on any other Trek show, since he was no longer with us by the time of DS9!!

B. Canon is what a person in charge decides it is at the time. Until I get told otherwise on screen, I’ll assume Lorca and co draw a paycheque the same way Kirk and his crew clearly did from dialogue in TOS.

C. Animals aren’t sentient. When there’s a felix sapiens, I’ll defer to the opinion of my cat.

A. What difference does that make when he wasn’t the only one who ignored canon when it suited him? You’re making no sense. Every show avoids canon if and when they think the story justifies it. Every single one, so what difference does it make he did it? He wasn’t the only one. And this is a guy who contradicted canon within TOS itself. So pointing out one is pretty silly. No Trek show gets away from screwing up continuity when it serves a purpose. None.

B. No one draws a ‘pay check’ on Star Trek. Thats been made clear for decades now. You can believe what you want but its all fiction, I’m not sure why you are so bothered by the fact that they don’t.

C. They are living creatures and there are people today who don’t eat them because of their belief in not harming other life forms. Again, I don’t even get the argument? Its not the 21st century, things have simply changed by then. So what? Its not telling you you can’t eat them now.

They’re able to grow meat in labs now, so in a few hundred years I don’t doubt it’ll be available away from the whole livestock system. “Meat” and “poultry” will come from cells harvested and replicated.

Marja, the poor quality of replicated food and drink is frequently commented on in the series. We see almost zero civilian life in Star Trek, so chances are plenty of people live in a house in the middle of nowhere and have a few chickens to lay eggs and some turkeys knocking around until Christmas Day! We’ve seen galleys in both STVI and Voyager. I seriously doubt everything is replicated in the Trek universe.

If you can replicate a steak that tastes just like a real steak, then what Riker said makes a lot of sense.

Despite it being in almost every single episode of TNG, DS9 and VOY, I don’t think that many viewers give it a second thought beyond it’s immediate use on-screen at that specific moment. The utopia that exists in Star Trek is largely possible only because they have super advanced machines that can automatically create anything they want it to create. “Humans no longer enslave animals for food purposes” is certainly a huge part of that shift. The same goes with Picard’s line about “The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives.” It’s possible because machines can create literally anything you want, whenever you want to.

On the flip side, Riker is not above eating living creatures like Gagh in “A Matter Of Honor.”

Most people can skirt or duck the whole horror of eating meat because they let their religious beliefs run cover for them with inane blather like man having dominion over animals.

If anybody ever sees a video of the pig running to try to protect another of his kind as it is being slaughtered, or seen the film of the monkey crying over his friend after a jerk shot the latter for no good reason whatsoever, all this malarkey about animals not having souls or not being able to feel in the way we do should evaporate unless you’re a replicant.

Those aren’t the fight-or-flight responses that should be foremost for something that is just supposed to be a lesser form, those are the kinds of responses that, if demonstrated by a human, would let him pass a Voigt-Kampf test with flying colors (something that I have my doubts about with at least a third of you out there.)

I tend to agree, even as I continue to eat meat.

and plants tend to bend towards sunlight. So enjoy your sentient salad today. I’m going to enjoy my pork chops

I dont eat for religious purposes. I eat meat cause its tasty.

I said they use religion as an excuse – that is the rationalization for getting their tasties in.

Oh please. I don’t eat meat because my religion tells me it is permissible. Nor do I think animals are “low” or slaves. I don’t kill animals for pleasure or take joy in their deaths. But I’m not going to afford them equal status to humans either. In the end it’s just food – I eat meat because it is delicious, and natural. It’s a dietary choice. Deal with it.

Card carrying member of PETA – People for the Eating of Tasty Animals…

Just provin’ my point jammer

As God told Noah when he got off the boat, “Everything that moves is food for you”.

What does God need with an ark?

What does man need with such gods?

I wonder how many of you would eat any kind of animal if you had to kill it yourself and remove its organs before cooking it. Hearing its screams, the pain and hopelessness it its eyes…

Animals kill each other.
You’d have done well with the Dinos! No mercy back in those days. It was survival of the fittest… and it was bloodthirsty…

lol, seriously. What are you a documentary writer? wow

And it takes how many more pounds of water to raise that beef than it does for a more ‘natural’ food source? We’ll all ‘deal with’ the ramifications of your meat choices — in some places we already are — because it is inefficient as well as inhumane. But I shouldn’t inject facts into a discussion like this, because that probably wouldn’t be fair in your case.

So long as you don’t espouse that Vulcan ‘the sword in the other’s heart is a sword in your own’ (or words to that effect, I don’t recall exactly), you’re living down to lowest-common-denominator expectations, same as most self-professed trekfans — which I usually translate as ‘nerd hypocrite.’ That’s how I ‘deal with it.’

kmart,

First of all, thank you for questioning my intelligence. That seems to be a requirement in all post responses these days. Second of all, I’m not going to cave to the “your meat choices are ending the world” argument. Especially from someone who is typing on a computer, the mass production of which causes far more damage to the planet than livestock.

kmart,

The excesses of agribusiness is legitimate to bring up. However, they don’t limit it to animals. They do pretty outrageous and costly things to plants as well. GMO’s not free even when they let their pollen blow onto my property and hybridize my seeds.

very true.

“GMO’s not free even when they let their pollen blow onto my property and hybridize my seeds.”

Star Trek is supposed to be a show that appeals to people who believe in science.

Start acting like it. Give the anti-GMO propaganda a rest.

Political scientist,

What’s unscientific about the fact that unexpired GMO gene patent holders seek to collect a fee for any plants in which they claim they detect their patented genes?

Oh wait we get it. Your a vegetarian. That’s pretty much all you had to say and you could’ve save the pounding on your fingers

Vegan (not from Vega, delta or otherwise.) Also ethical.

bacon is good
-pulp fiction

Bacon is good, bacon with ground beef and cheese is even better!

mmm yes, Wendys, BK or MCD

Yes, and I woulnt eat a Kelpian because a Kelpian has personality.

So eating somebody who was lobotomized is cool?

kmart,

Re: … lobotomized is cool?

Which reminds me I’ve always found the argument, that eating whole plants is more noble than animals, suspect as it seems predicated on the position that because they have no eyes with which to see them cry, or mouths with which to hear them scream, plants can’t possibly “want” to live or in anyway be opposed to their deaths at my hands.

boiling water is inhumane also as there are millions of life forms in water, but guess what? I need water to survive and it tastes delish!

Hey, another thought: Ava Landry? ;)

So, we FINALLY figure out that “Prime Lorca” is really “Mirror Lorca”.
The question now is ‘what happened to Prime Lorca?’ Did he really die with the rest of his crew on the Buran? Or did Mirror Lorca come to the Prime Universe earlier with the express purpose of killing his Prime counterpart?

Side note: the Stamets/Culber thing is getting SO old. Culber is DEAD!
GET OVER IT! MOVE ON! The whole ‘first gay couple in Star Trek’ thing DIDN’T WORK. Just sayin’

I dunno, it worked for me. The Culber/Stamets goodbye scene warmed and broke my heart. To each their own, I guess.

Maybe Culber is going to continue as some sort of guide/conscience for Stamets in the mycelial network. It seems life, death, time and reality exist in a state of flux in the network.

Cool idea, and they may go that route.
I’m not nuts about the meta message though: “it’s okay to show gays on TV as long as one gets killed off and they’re not REALLY together” … I mean, come on guys.

Why does everything on TV have to be about message, though? Just think about it for a minute. They wanted to write tragedy into one of the romantic stories. There’s already maximum dramatic twist going on over there in the other couple of Burnham/Tyler. That leaves, one couple.

This wasn’t “bury your gays” it was “death for drama”.

Maybe, given the Dante comparison in the episode, the Mycelial Network is an equivalent of the Divine Comedy and Culber is Virgil. Maybe Culber will return from it in time…

Mirror Lorca killed Prime Lorca and then eliminated his crew. That’s probably the long and short of it.\

As for your side note, well, it’s basically pointless.

Maybe MU Lorca and PU Lorca are the same person, integrated together. It could explain is soften demeaner.

Please God, no.

Hmm! Intriguing!

We already have that with Voq and Tyler, So I hope that isn’t the case.

Unless of course Voq and Tyler was meant to foreshadow that with Lorca (kind of like B9 and Shinzon).

wow. Happy much?

HOMOPHOBE ALERT!! Sorry, Josh, you’re gross. Move on!

So what’s with the name calling? If I said the couple Burnham/Tyler doesn’t work, would you send out HETEROPHOBE or RACIST alert? It’s just an opinion. Chill out man!

No, that poster was due, this was the phrase that indicated homophobia: “The whole ‘first gay couple in Star Trek’ thing DIDN’T WORK. Just sayin’”

Switch that out for your scenario and yep, it would be racist too.

Just saying. It did work for me. They handled it quite well and in a very natural way for me. I am a bit sad that most of the twists have been figured out by fans before the episodes aired. And I did kind of like the idea that Lorca was a broken individual on a personal mission of some kind. Him being from the MU takes that away, but let’s see where they take it. So far a good season 1. I think in season 2 the showrunners will have a bit more freedom and will be separated from having to follow the decisions that Fuller imposed on the show. Remember, before he left Fuller had made some decisions that were approved by the studio and those were kept even after he left. If you go by what’s been tweeted the feeling is that these writers would have liked to not be a pre-TOS show. I don’t think season 1 will wrap it all up by the end. We may even end the season in the MU or immediately after returning to the prime universe. I never expected they would wrap it all up. The only thing I want is for them to dive back into Canon by the show’s end when it comes to the big differences. Burnham’s heritage has already been explained enough. The visual differences will not be deleted by show’s end to where it looks like TOS or TNG, fans will just have to live… Read more »

yes, Stamets/Culber worked. Only a homophobe would complain. If seeing two men kiss makes OP so uncomfortable perhaps he has some deep-seeded feelings he should confront and work out. It was great. Very well done.

Agreed, Stamets and Culber are both very well acted. Culber is a loving and lovable character and Stamets is a prickly yet still loveable character.

Personally I hope there’s some kind of “reset” — just for their sakes.

Well, and Lorca.

Very Well Done indeed.

I cried. :'(

@TWS — yup! I’m not sure how they can wrap up the whole MU story and the Klingon war story in three episodes with any kind of satisfaction. But there’s likely going to be a cliff-hanger that keeps us coming back for more. Maybe they don’t get out of the MU …

Or they don’t exactly get back to the Prime Universe…

Are we ever going to actually see the Defiant??

I suspect that the Defiant’s logs will reveal a future that has no record of their existence.

lol, as stated in the review they are really dragging this out. They had a lot to take care of first though.

I have a feeling we wont. The fate of the Defiant is interesting though. I thought it would have been the Flagship. But it makes sense that since normal technological evolution has caught up, that the Defiant isnt the power it would have been 100 years previous.

So has it been decommissioned? Destroyed? Is it revered? is it held in secret? Who know.

I thought showing it as a wire model was their way of teasing it without having show us, if their intent is not to show it. They will eventually cross the “Constitution” bridge, but if they dont have to yet, no sense in committing themselves to a detailed look.

It’s definitely not revered. Georgiou makes it clear that she is against what that ship and the Federation represent and that’s why she suppressed knowledge of the PU.

Great episode, if not the strongest of the MU arc so far. But there were a couple of really great nods to other genre shows…

The entire Lorca reveal, his whole arc feels a lot like The Flash’s Season 1 arc for Harrison Wells, something I had expected from day one. Lorca was meant to be the enigmatic bad guy, and never the hero. It’s Burnham’s story, not his.

The dwarf star the Imperial flagship exploits for power feels a lot like the one in the TARDIS…

The “Throne Room” fidget spinner killing reminded me of some GOT moments and the ending of WANTED…

The episode had a lot more shockers than previous entries. So far, they had one or two of those “shock value” moments per episode… this one had at least four! The fidget spinner, the injection to Lorca’s friend, the ganglia cuisine, Lorca’s final kill… combined with reprises (agony booth) and several Tyler-related flashbacks that’s quite a lot in terms of “mature” content for a 37 minute episode! I don’t mind the occasional boundary pushing, but no, I don’t want this show to become the next Game of Thrones…

The emperor’s deadly spinner device and the whole scene with it reminded me of Shinzon’s ally using the thalaron (spelling) device in the Romulan senate in Nemesis at the start of that movie. Maybe it’s just me.

Interesting comparison. But I think the Thaleron killing was dealt with in much more meaningful way and thus – while pretty dark – a lot less shocking. The Thaleron weapon was supposed to be THE big gadget of the movie and illustrating its lethal capacity an absolute necessity.
The fidget spinner was a somewhat parenthetic gimmick, only there to underline the evil nature of the Emperor and this cynical mirror universe. Swift, quick and morally gratuitous therebye a lot more shocking…but yeah, it’s VERY effective that way. The MU is Trek’s GoT realm, or Into the Badlands, if you like… If they keep it within the MU, I’m totally fine with it!

Or the flute in guardians of the galaxy

I LOVE that flute. Coolest weapon ever.

Great episode! I’m really looking forward to how they explore Ash Tyler’s character moving forward. If I’ve followed things correctly, he basically has Ash’s mind implanted over a genetically and surgically altered Klingon body. Crazy! If done correctly, they will still be able to address the effects of PTSD in a very Sci-Fi kind of way!

One thing I don’t think I’ve heard anybody talk about yet: This Mirror Universe has to be different from the Mirror Universe seen in previous Trek episodes because the Defiant had a profound impact on their timeline. Could it have also somehow impacted the prime timeline as well? Maybe some cross universe connections between ST ENT and ST DIS? It could be the big explanation for why this is still the Prime Universe but things are very visually different.

CaptDan, Ash Tyler’s character moving forward. If I’ve followed things correctly, he basically has Ash’s mind implanted over a genetically and surgically altered Klingon body. Crazy! If done correctly, they will still be able to address the effects of PTSD in a very Sci-Fi kind of way!

I wonder if he’ll have a facility for speaking Klingon, but be reluctant bc of PTSD. Much to be explored.

And thanks for clearing up that weird business about all the surgery on poor Voq. A friend of mine suggested that Tyler was dead, but served as a model for the reconstruction of Voq. Still gives me shivers.

And why the heck didn’t L’Rell use anesthetic if she loved Voq so much? Are Klingons really “into” torture?

@Capt. D. — I suppose you can interpret it that way, but I took the Defiant crossing over as an event that was always part of the MU history, having occurred before the events on Mirror Mirror, regardless of when the story was presented to us.

If the defiant crossing over was always part of the mirror universe and had occurred before Mirror Mirror why was the ISS enterprise pretty much the exact same as the uss enterprise.

Surely it should have been more advanced?

Mirror Darkly was fan service (nothing wrong with that, Star Trek writers should do more of that) but it had nothing to do with Mirror Mirror.

@Isabella1990 — not necessarily. Look at the USSR during the cold war. Same technology as us but at substantial sacrifices in every other way. Who’s to say the Enterprise wasn’t a 50 year old copy of Defiant? There’s the time to reverse engineer, time to create the infrastructure to build these ships, much less advance the technology, while trying to rule an Empire. And why expend the resources to improve the technology if there’s no one around with better technology anymore? Ultimately, there’s the visual canon issue so many are having problems with. The ISS Enterprise looked the way it did because of budget realities of the 1960s. In an updated retelling with the ENT defiant story retcon, a new Enterprise could look significantly more advanced.

Because the idea that the enterprise would be based on 125 year old technology is illogical. The Terran empire should be way more advanced than the federation of TOS or the federation of discovery if they had access to technology from 125 years in the future. The enterprise was over 20 years old, why would the iss enterprise not also be over 20 years old? Why would the Terran empire build ships that at that point were a century old? Unless the Terran’s are super dumb and cannot figure out how to use a computer database there technology would have received a 125 year boost from the uss defiant. The idea that the Empire would be not expend resources to improve their technology because there is no one around with better technology anymore makes no sense unless the Empire had magically conquered the entire galaxy. Even if you try and tie discovery to the rest of Star Trek in TNG second season they mentioned that the federation had only explored 11 percent of the galaxy. Unless the Terran’s have been using spore drives for a century there’s is a lot of the galaxy to conquer and would lead to continuous war and the desire for bigger and better war machines. The idea that the enterprise defiant story is a retcon goes completely against the idea that Mirror mirror would tie in because as you mentioned it was retconed. Plus the problem with discovery is not merely the problem of visual… Read more »

Could be, but wouldn’t it have to have happened a first time at some point? How do we know that wasn’t the first time. As Janeway said, “the future is the past, the past is the future, it all gives me a headache.”!

P.S. I laughed when you called me Capt. D. That’s a fast food seafood place in some parts of the country!

I agree Curious. Its not an off shoot (like how JJ presented the Kelvin Universe). When Kirk crossed over, unbeknownst to us, the Defiant had crossed over 100 years previous.

Another mirror story could have been Kirk phasing in and out of the MU.

Nothing in this show so far makes me think Lorca is the villain. Is he darker, yes. But not the bad guy. In Episode 8, Lorca uses Discovery to shield another Federation ship (I forget the name) from Klingon Fire. He risked Disco for to try and save another fed ship. In Episode 4 he presses the crew to work their hardest to get the drive working to save the colony. While he is MU, I can’t see this character being a villain, I don’t think he wants to be the emperor. I don’t see how a character who is evil in nature caring so much, even as an act Part of me thinks he is simply going aboard to save his crew, maybe from the Buran (Landry scene in preview) If it was not for his light sensitivity confirming him as MU I wouldn’t believe him to be from the MU just yet. Also, the question needs to be asked. How has this character been given so much freedom in Starfleet. In the episode where Saru was captain Lorca was not listed in the names of great Captains. Lorca has been given authorization to do whatever he wants to do, but great captains like Pike are not? I want to say that Section 31 still plays a roll. I read from another post that they are aware of the MU. Could Lorca be an agent they recruited to help end the war? (probably not) His freedom in the PU… Read more »

Everyone is mirrored, so the PU Lorca was probably a less than admirable person but the MU Lorca has noble intentions of overthrowing a cruel emperor. I think Lorca returns to the PU and remains captain but has to struggle with a lifetime of living in a universe filled with racism, xenophobia and betrayal.

I was going to post a similar theory. Lorca working along with section 31. He could still technically be prime universe. But deep deep under cover to retrieve tech and or also the Buran too.

I agree! I hope you are right

@Dan — there’s a lot of STID Section 31/Admiral Marcus going on here. Makes me wonder if Kurtzman had more to do with that storyline than we realize. If you look at STID, a lot of DISC mirrors that kind of win at all costs, collect all tech that could help defend the federation, whatever the source, or risk.

@Curious Cadet – I’ve been seeing a lot of parallels to STID as well. I don’t see Lorca having this level of authority and command if Section 31 wasn’t involved. The After Trek scene (of which I will not spoil) makes me believe Lorca isn’t the bad guy. I really think he came here to save his crew, but who knows.

I would like Michael to keep his secrete and have him return, but who knows.

I don’t feel like Lorca would have access to all those deadly weapons in Disco without approval of a higher level of within Starfleet. Admiral Cornwall doesn’t like the authority he has been given so it wasn’t necessary something she had a say in.

Either Lorca went rogue to save his crew or some other agenda, or he’s on an entirely different mission for Starfleet.

Given is fear when Staments only wanted one more jump, I suspect that saving his crew/people was his top priority.

Yeah, the fate of the Buron is probably a key here. Its come up too often to just be a throw away history.

But if MU Lorca is “good”, to keep him for season 2, it would mean Starfleet letting a Mirror Lorca keep command.

Then again, the only person who knows is Michael. Might she keep the secret?

To those who mocked me for saying it was obvious Lorca was from the Mirror Universe: I rest my case.

I was hoping it wasn’t the case but, it is what it is.

Most people agreed (not me personally but a majority of people watching closely) that he was MU Lorca all along so I don’t see why you can claim some kind of special privilege here. Why would people mock you if they probably mostly agreed? I think the criticism you endured had more to do with reactions to your trolling, standoffish attitude towards other posters, and not the substance of what you were posting.

I don’t recall anyone mocking that idea either – I always thought it a distinct possibility he was from the MU. Regardless, I agree losing Isaacs would be a big hit for this show to take going into season two. He’s my favorite character.

INDEED, and I feel kind of disloyal to the rest of the excellent cast for thinking it, but my keenness to watch will not be so sharp if Isaacs is gone.

I think everyone thought Lorca was from the Mirror universe. I don’t recall anyone ever mocking that theory.

I honestly had no clue (and therefore didn’t mock). But I sure hoped it wasn’t true, because I think it totally diminishes the character.

Whether or not you recall it, the fact remains that several people here mocked me for saying it. So I’m not sure what your point is.

My point is does it really matter? It’s a discussion forum. Some theories pan out, some don’t. You (and a number of others) were right so savor the moment.

If you said it, you were right. I never mocked the idea but I thought the clues were red herrings. For the simple reason it almost surely means he wont be with the show next season which sucks.

Have hope! If the Prime!Crew are Mirror!Lorca’s rebels theory hold true (because of Landry!), I think that’s the biggest in to forgiveness and staying on in the last finale ep., “Take My Hand.” which, sounds like an invitation and a nice bookend to ep.3’s symbolic handwork to me.

I don’t want Gabe gone either. He’s been fantastic.

I’m with you, TUP. I admitted I was wrong on the theory, which I was also skeptical of for some of the reasons you mention (and some other points which now feel like plot holes to me). But I never mocked anyone for believing what was a pretty widely agreed upon theory. I think the OP’s being a little melodramatic.

Wow! I haven’t been this excited for a Star Trek show in a long time. Each episode leaves me wanting for more. Sunday can’t get here fast enough!

I just had a thought. What if the resolution of “you take everything from me” is for Burnham to free all the Kelpien slaves and bring them to the Prime universe? I don’t think it was an off hand comment that Saru says his race are limited. This could be how Burnham finally makes it up to Saru for everything she did ?

I don’t think that Kelpien slave they ate was Mirror Saru. He looked too short, He was on the Shenzhou, would have no reason to go to the palace ship and was not on the shuttle with Lorca and Burnham.

KhanEt.Al, Burnham to free all the Kelpien slaves and bring them to the Prime universe?

Excellent — and very PU Starfleet — idea!

David Alexander Harrison

Sylvia Tilly for permanent Disco captain! (Why not, Kelvinverse Kirk was a 3rd year cadet when he ascended to command of the Enterprise…)

I mean, Alex Kurtzman is involved so… anything’s (unfortunately) possible.

Kurtzman without Orci. That’s key.

That’s fair.

Any Cadets or convicted mutineers suddenly becoming Captain will turn me off of this show pretty quick.

Yes, and it was an incredibly stupid turn of events.

Small aside, but can I just say that between flashbacks, promotions, etc., I feel like I’ve had to watch Vyler snap Culber’s neck a hundred times. Now that all the characters are finally up to speed on his violent death, I hope that’s the end of the unpleasant replays! *ugh*

Yep — one too many times last night. It’s almost lost its huge impact through repetition.

At least it’s instant and Culber isn’t screaming in agony. I’m 39 and I can’t handle people screaming in pain in movies. That’s why the final shot of Despite Yourself was so difficult for me. But all the agonizer scenes in Vaulting Ambition were fine since I knew Lorca was pretending so I didn’t feel so bad.

I didn’t think he was pretending; I thought the analgesic simply took the edge off the torture… I think he was still in pain.

Lorca’s snide remark on “that…Tyler” last episode while holding Burnham’s hand seemd indeed suspicious.

Maybe it’s just me, but he seemed a tad … jealous of Tyler.

Another basic pillar of Star Trek torn down for a cheap and easy reveal. In this case the captain is actually one of the bad guys. Producers to audience: “Hey suckers, sorry viewers, you know all that time and effort you spent rooting for the captain, well, watch this dudes, cos it’s keeeewwwll!!!”.
The only question now is will Isaacs stick around for season 2. Given his total disdain prior to Discovery being like the old shows, I can’t imagine his ego would allow him to continue playing a nice, unmirrored and probably to him lame version of Lorca. Could we have Captain Burnham in the second year?

As I’ve mentioned it seems to me now that the characters in this twist-driven show are total cartoons that only serve the revelation of the next big reveal, their integrity and meaning and real world relevance completely undermined. This is the second character in one season whose PTSD has been turned into a complete mockery! Sadly, the audience is totally smitten by the twists and only outraged when they sacrifice something we are officially supposed to care about, such as the “dead gay trope”. But it’s all the same with Tyler and Lorca!

What makes me especially angry is his touching line from half-season ago about keeping his broken eyes to never unsee the horror of the Buran. It’s now clear this was a complete lie!
The audience should feel duped by having invested emotions in fake characters.

What worries me the most is how this show can still evolve seeing they are already blowing up everything in season 1 – their characters, their plots (does anybody remember the point of the Kling War?), their real world relevance. How can this show not become MORE extreme in coming season to one-up all this? I’d say they have twisted themselves into a corner!

VulcanS, What makes me especially angry is his touching line from half-season ago about keeping his broken eyes to never unsee the horror of the Buran. It’s now clear this was a complete lie!

There are several possibile reasons for his horror at what happened to the Buran.

I’m thinking, “stay tuned” because surely they cannot simply go with evil evil Mirror Lorca. Surely not. That would be simplistic and stupid. A complex mirror Lorca with some good in him … that I could stick with for sure. And Isaacs is great at playing such.

“That would be simplistic and stupid.”

I mean, simplistic and stupid is kinda how Harberts/Berg/Kurtzman/Goldsman roll.

Captain Saru is my first guess.

The show you wanted this to be would have sucked balls.

The fact you’re using that sort of terminology says a lot about the type of person who thinks what we just saw is great and unimprovable. Where do you think all those non sci fi followers who aren’t male genre fanboys went when the franchise started to indulge this need to diss itself with endless darkness? They bailed and they never came back, that’s where.

If Isaacs now goes there are however the bare bones in place for a great show here. Georgiou could easily be brought into the series properly by some macguffin twist. We could then see the alluded to profound bond between her and Burnham on a weekly basis. This would then give the show the Trekkian heart it’s been missing up to now. With Sarak popping into more episodes like the only truly decent ep “Lethe” too, Discovery could then really start to motor.

All the other crew characters are likable and interesting. They could easily be worked into this shift in tone. As Jonathan Frakes said recently to Tarantino about the next movie, “don’t forget the heart”. That should be the core, not some side dish.

The only darkness that’s really worked for me is L’rell, and that’s because you can see she really loved Voq.

I think it is now clear that Discovery episode 1 was the show I wanted to see, with Captain Georgiou in the chair. That would have been a fantastic series! But I don’t hold my breath for a second believing they are going to get back to that. Breaking “our” Star Trek in episodes 2 to 4, and then turning it into Game of Thrones, was always the intention of the current leadership.

As for the heart being the main and not some side dish, you do realize on what this show has become (same as Tarantino Trek), they are going to take this literally…

Impeccable logic you’ve got there.

I didn’t give my opinion on this episode. Frankly I thought it was a weaker installment.

For the record, I really enjoy Discovery but it’s far from perfect. Overall despite what I consider a weaker episode the show has steadily improved since a very soft opener and I have no doubt it will continue to improve.

My comment was in reference to the kind of series people like you seem to have wanted in Discoverys place simply would have been awful. This show is not precisely what I wanted but I’m enjoying it.

My comment was not in praise of this episode or in any way a claim that Discovery is “unimprovable.”

” Lorca is no Kirk or Picard – he’s not behaving like a Starfleet captain NOT MY TREK ”

He’s a terran posing as Lorca from the mirror universe.

” What a cheap tactic !!!! TNG would never do that ! NOT MY TREK ”

Never change star trek “FANS”…….

The captain is normally the main character. This time he isn’t, so there’s plenty of scope to do something different. It fascinates me that when I watched Star Trek as a youngster (my earliest Trek memories pre-date even TMP and the original show had a huge influence on me between the ages of about 8-12) anything seemed possible in a Star Trek show or film. The whole of Star Trek was about trying new things, breaking boundaries. Since TNG came along, everything seems to be about what Star Trek *can’t* or shouldnt do, both from programme-makers and a significant section of fans. All I seem to have read for the last 30 years is ‘crews can’t have personal friction’ ‘you can’t have this or that camera angle used with a Star Trek starship’ ‘Federation humans aren’t allowed to talk this way’ ‘can’t do this’ ‘can’t do that!’ No wonder Star Trek became ‘the McDonalds of sci-fi.’ It became prepackaged, risk-averse and bland at the centre, with an occasional change of series name and cast as a ‘sauce’ and ‘garnish’ to try to cover up how darned anodyne everything had become. In terms of content and visual style, there was little to distinguish a season two Enterprise episode from a season three TNG episode a lot of the time, beyond the new actors and standing sets. Television had moved on narratively and visually for almost two decades, yet Team Berman still seemed determined to keep churning out Star Trek made like… Read more »

You and many others completely misunderstand what “breaking boundaries” meant. It never meant “being the sickest show on television with the most meaningless plot twists” and competing with the likes of Game of Thrones on cannibalism and destroying characters. It was something more noble: real world relevance, pushing the envelope on portraying a future worth living in as a counterpoint to our divisive reality.

Sadly, Discovery utterly fails at this in a time we need this most.

so stop watching. God I hate when people watch a show and do nothing but b*tch about it. Go away

No, Vulcan Soul, the original Star Trek was a romantic action-adventure series with a dash of philosophy thrown in. The original Star Trek had plenty of evil humans – Kodos and Dr Adams for starters. The ‘perfected humans’ utopia nonsense didn’t show up until TNG, which was actually a depressing portrayal of the human spirit crushed by communism.

This is an adult-orientated *spin-off* dealing with different aspects of the Star Trek universe(s.)

If you really think this is the ‘sickest’ programme on television, I can only say ‘Good for you for watching so little television that you can believe such a thing!’

good post

Even in TNG era they didn’t have ‘perfect humans’. I wish people stop saying this like its a fact. If that was the case we wouldh’t have episodes like Pegasus, Paradise Lost/Homefront, The Maquis, Equinox, The Wounded, Inquisition, For The Uniform, In the Pale Moonlight, The Drumhead and I can literally go on and on. Its like some people here watched 1 or 2 seasons and then ignored the other 17 seasons.

Discovery isn’t doing anything new, nothing that wasn’t done on DS9 over and over again for example, it just started darker from the beginning by throwing us in a war unlike the other shows that started out more positive even if things got really bad later on. And Discovery is a modern show on a streaming site that can ignore FCC rules so they can push the envelope more in terms of violence, language and sex.

No its not for everyone though and I know people here have complained Star Trek has always been a more ‘family show’. Maybe thats true but its never been a kids show either and like a lot of those episodes above shows a really mature show that are really aimed for adults. It just never been as gory I guess until now thats the main difference but thats TV in general today, especially cable and streaming shows.

It needn’t be stated that this is not representative of most Star Trek “fans.” Please don’t overgeneralize when bashing people.

too late.

Hear hear. Let these emphemeral gimmicks go out of fashion. Then Star Trek’s USP as the only sci-fi that is lighter and more humane, and therefore is for the general public, can reassert itself.

I think you may have missed Khan&c’s sarcasm

I’m wasn’t tuned up for endless cynicism. I hope I never am.

@Soren: Sadly ‘lighter and more humane’ does not mean more interesting and challenging. I have been on the Star Trek boards since they began in 1990 (back in the Usenet days) and I have never seen so much discussion and new fans coming in as I have with Discovery. This debate and discussion is the sign of an active fanbase with new people coming in. This is the Star Trek that is meant for those looking for challenging stories. Star Trek ,in order to survive, has to adapt and grow. Discovery does just that.

35 minutes. Shortest episode in 51 years. Impressive proof for complete unimaginativeness.

Honestly, I was bothered by the run time when I queued up the episode and hit play. But then after it was done, I thought it was a good call. The story and pacing were tight and on point. I’m totally cool with a shorter ep like that sometimes, if it means they had a good story that they didn’t need to pad to fit a “required runtime”. If they had padded it, people would be complaining about the pacing. The creative team behind DSC can’t win. lol

37 minutes – no padding.

The short length makes sense.
Fewer commercials.

There’s a lot to wrap up in 3 more episodes. I’m hoping that 14 and 15 or at least 15 will be double length.

I suspect this episode is one of the results of the change to the 15 episode run count. It strikes me they probably had too much material for thirteen 48-55min episodes (keep in mind it airs on television in some places) but because it’s streaming they weren’t by forced to produce two extra 48-55min episodes with filler to pad the run times– so they simply produced stories to the length they needed to be to tell the story most effectively.

Everyone assumes that the lack of a set run time means shows should be OVER 50 min, and never stop to think that maybe a slightly shorter episode is just as beneficial.

As for the “shortest run time” lest we forget the animated series episodes ran 23min each.

And most of those animated episodes were pretty good, too!

good points. that helps explain it

37 minutes of greatness

1) kept me on the edge of my seat
2) Good that they are free to write the show they want to write and dont have to add filler.

On the flip side, hopefully we get some extra long episodes too!

If we do get some longer episodes, Lets throw in some space battles!

The writer of Vaulting Ambition just confirmed on Twitter they didn’t eat Mirror Saru as he didn’t even make the trip with Lorca & Burnham. Still alive on Shenzhou

So, did I see what I thought I saw? Did Stamets and Mirror Stamets switch places when they came out of the network?

Anthony Rapp himself confirmed that they didn’t switch:

https://twitter.com/albinokid/status/955521870706757634

I did at the first moment and screamed “nooooo”!

The mycelial network is consciousness. I don’t think it would be able to move physical bodies thru time and space. It could only return Stamets mind to his body – where he was plugged in – Kinda like The Matrix. Neo couldn’t exit from a phone booth in the Matrix and then switch places with Morpheus in the Nebuchednezzer.

PiperKev