The Shuttle Pod Crew Surfs The Mycelial Wave For “What’s Past Is Prologue”

Brian, Jared, and Matt discuss the fourth and final episode in the Mirror Universe arc.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1, Episode 13 – Debuted Sunday January 28th

Written by Ted Sullivan
Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi

The Shuttle Pod crew thought it was a beautifully directed, briskly paced installment that featured strong performances from the cast. We dive into that, as well as some things we weren’t too thrilled with.

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Saru’s speech was a highlight of the episode

We also discuss what bringing Mirror Georgiou back to our universe could mean for the Klingon War arc, and speculate about how the season is going to tie up all the many threads with just two episodes left.

The Emperor arrives on the Discovery, what now?

Transport over during an ion storm, and join us as we discuss the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery

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Michael Hall

I really, really wish that I could fully embrace Discovery. It’s beautifully produced, and occasionally even shows flashes of brilliance. But I’m frankly getting very tired of promising thematic material (the nature of Starfleet’s mission during wartime, PTSD, etc.) being sacrificed for the sake of cheap twists in the narrative that may buy the show some publicity and water cooler chatter but do little to establish it as the kind of prestige drama the producers so desperately want to emulate. I admire and respect their ambition, but in terms of epic storytelling so far they have mostly over-promised and under-delivered. They need to let the show, its characters and themes breathe, and stop with the gimmicks.

Vulcan Soul

@Michael I think Discovery is (like many other forms of art and entertainment) a victim of the advent of both social media and subscriber-based streaming networks, which did not exist at the time Enterprise folded. Now it is basically a shouting match for exposure among the cacophony of voices online, and a race to the bottom for clicks and views. Additionally, the echo chamber nature of social media and subscriber streaming allows it to be hyper-partisan and dump the necessary inclusiveness of the old TV networks, leading to the extreme polarization and divisiveness of this series.

As someone else said, Discovery is the “most talked about” show online so by that metric the show is a big success, but the price is entirely too high if you look how they achieved it – by alienating half of the country, by sacrificing the integrity of their characters, by dumping any serious discussion of real world topics like PTSD or sexual abuse in favor of twists and gimmicks. In that way, the show is a “one trick pony” and once all the twists are out of the bag, the whole balloon deflates and I doubt this show has much to offer for later, future viewings and viewers.

CmdrR

Exactly right. I don’t mind the gimmickry, because I know they’re desperate to make a noise in a market glutted with genre shows and movies. That said, the way to stand out is to make us care about the characters and their moral choices.

Here’s to hoping.

TonyD

For me, Discovery’s biggest failing has been that it has sometimes tried too hard to surprise us. Lorca was a very interesting character: a capable but damaged captain who might still be redeemed for some ethically questionable prior behavior; then he turned out to be just another bad guy who was summarily removed. Tyler was a likeable crewmember working thru some major problems like PTSD before the whole Voq episode came to light, only for it to end up not being a factor at all. I think the show would have worked well if they just kept it all a bit simpler.

I also continue to think that while it holds my attention now, the serialized nature of the show will hurt its longevity as other shows that followed that format (Sopranos, Lost) quickly fell off the radar after their final episodes. Even Enterprise, which kind of followed that model in seasons 3 and 4 has largely faded away. Maybe Discovery will buck the trend.

All that said, the show has held my attention and I am curious to see how this season ends, where they go from there and how or if it all ends up fitting into TOS canon.

Michael Hall

Also, too, it’s a question of believability. Which ultimately makes more sense–that Lorca was a damaged, somewhat dysfunctional starship captain (does no one remember Ron Tracy, for heaven’s sake?), or that he was an agent from the MU who not only had to replace his Prime counterpart but effectively command one of the most high-profile ships in Starfleet without drawing suspicion, all while devising a way to get home? I mean, seriously? Not to mention that the Gabriel Lorca Jason Isaacs claimed to be playing all those months was just more interesting than the goatee-twirling bad guy he turned out to be.

Twists are fine, but they have to be credible, and they’re no substitute for real drama in any case. They’ve got the best-looking Trek series ever, and a cast with the acting chops to pull off just about anything. When the show flirts with big ideas (the spore network, the moral cost to Burnham and the others for fitting in to the MU), it can be fascinating. But if the producers don’t start upping the dramatic stakes along with the thrills, the only people working on Discovery to take home statues will be on the technical side. And that would be a real shame, however big a success the show turns out to be for CBS.

AdAstraPerAspera

You folks must not be watching the same Star Trek: Discovery that I am lol!

Is it different to other Star Trek series? Absolutely! It is modern, well written and gripping. Despite a slow beginning- since its return the show has been appointment television. The franchise disappeared up its own mythology by the time that Enterprise aired. DISCO is a breath of fresh air. My boyfriend, who has never seen an episode has been been gripped.

If I had to complain about anything: it would be that the series needed to be released at once- at least in two halves. This is a show that needs to be binged watched. Some episodes, such as Context Is For Kings, only watched when watched in the middle the second and fourth episodes because little happens.

albatrosity

That’s funny cuz Context is like my favorite episode, it was so mysterious and intriguing, but then they like ended all the mysteries in that episode. I guess it’s an example of all setup and no payoff, which applies to a lot of DSC, but I just wish the show had committed to the direction it seemed like it was going in in episode 3.

Mike Thompson

“You folks must not be watching the same Star Trek: Discovery that I am lol!”
Well said AdAstraPerAspera

Chatterjee

Agree 100%. Now that we’ve seen the full Lorca arc, we can start to assess – and the thematic/character depth here is closer to Marvel Comics than the best of Star Trek. Good news is that it’s fixable – hire some better writers. People who want the show to succeed need to speak up and demand better. Also, hire a science consultant, and if you have, then pay attention to the memos; too much hokum – katra skypes, injecting magical giant tardigrade DNA to turn you into a mushroom-navigating supercomputer which lets you talk to dead people etc.

Danpaine

Agreeing with both of you, as I’ve found this first season to be interesting, but far from “Must-See.” That said, I’m intrigued enough to be interested in seeing what they’re going to do with season two. It’s early in the game; hopefully they (or as you offered, different writers) can make this show something very memorable, compelling and cohesive with the best of the franchise in future season(s).

Chris

Wrong. Discovery is peppered with new and old things,all of them exciting and the twists are important (at least to me). This show is, from what I read, the most talked about (chatter on the net) show out there. I have seen every episode of Trek at least a billion times and I have to say, this one rivets me to the chair in front of the Tube like non before.

albatrosity

You’re right, it’s got some like 53 million people talking about it in the US. Forbes described it as “unstoppable” or something, “a monster”, which is pretty impressive in terms of word of mouth. But I agree with the posts above — DSC is NOT the epic storyline we were promised, and I hope it gets better next year. Still digging it though.

Tom

Why does every review and podcast about Discovery now insist on talking about the preview for next week like everyone has seen it? Some of us try to avoid it, but these last two weeks have been a minefield of spoilers that aren’t warned about. The preview may be attached to the episode but it isn’t part of it. I’d like to be able to watch the next one without thinking “oh, I already saw this bit” or “I know what happens next because a thousand podcasts and reviews INSISTED on spoiling it in their discussion”.

Sorry, but I can’t listen to this if even the hosts don’t care about ruining things for us.

Phil

I second that. Watching Disco on Netflix and don’t want to know about what happens in the previews.

Gary 8.5

I think they assume that if you watched the episode,
You saw the preview,too.
I never listen to a podcast until I have seen the show or film in question.

Trek Fan 67

They don’t show a preview of the next week’s episode on SPACE in Canada. I hate spoilers so I’m fine with that. I dont listen to the podcast either, the audio is horrible most of the time and I can barely make out what they are saying.

Stop mumbling. Slow down and speak up. I listen on the road with the volume on full blast, I still only hear half of what you say.

Phil

I sort of can relate to that, although there are other podcasts out there, I have more problems with. But still, I feel the Trekmovie Podcast could use some help from Auphonic’s Intelligent Leveler (https://auphonic.com/).

TrekFan 1973

Another awesome Shuttle Pod guys! It’s always so interesting to hear your insights and predictions. The comment about MU Lorca turning into a one-dimensional Bond villain was so crazy accurate I laughed out loud. I was a little surprised you guys didn’t speculate about what MU Discovery might have been up to and where they might be now. Do you think the next big twist will involve USS Discovery vs ISS Discovery? Maybe they impacted the war effort and the Emperor will play a role in that arc somehow. I’m also wondering if the crew will have any debate about warning the USS Defiant about their ultimate fate since they now have that knowledge.

Mr. Mot

Who better than Emperor Georgiou to head up section 31 in the prime universe (an organization that does not always follow Federation rules)! This will give her a reason to come and visit the DISCO in season 2 when she needs to talk to the guys with the black badges guarding the secret lab.

Phil

I just realised I wrote two comments which were complaining about the podcast, so I decided to add one to say thank you and to praise you and the interesting discussions and insights. I’m always looking forward to the next episode and the Trekmovie Podcast is one of my favourite podcasts. So please keep on doing what you are doing.

I assume it’s quite unpopular in the US to ask for support or rewards when creating stuff, but if you would come up with a donation thing (like Paypal or links to Amazon wishlists of the hosts), I would definitely chime in.

Mike Thompson

Guys, I know you wanted to see more of Burnham and Georgiou before Discovery and the MU next season. However, just before Christmas Season 2 was not confirmed. They had to do something interesting to keep the viewers and they have….otherwise it could have been cancelled