“The War Without, the War Within”
Star Trek: Discovery Season 1, Episode 14 – Debuted Sunday, February 4th
Written by Lisa Randolph
Directed by David Solomon
The fourteenth episode of Star Trek: Discovery returns the crew to the prime universe and refocuses on the overall arc of the first season, the war with the Klingons. Unfortunately, this penultimate episode is also a return to the uneven nature of the season’s early episodes, feeling a bit disjointed along with head-scratching character decisions and plot points.
“The War Without, the War Within” has some standout performances, notably Shazad Latif, whose Tyler is still dealing with the fallout of his transformation. Also guest actress Jayne Brook delivers a nicely nuanced performance and drives much of the story as Admiral Cornwell deals with the void left by Captain Lorca following last week’s eventful episode.
While it has its moments, the episode is more of a set up for next week’s season finale. Writer Lisa Randolph takes on the ongoing idea of redemption and endeavors to analyze who our characters are, but leaves the episode without providing much progress. Episode 14 feels more like a series of memes, in search of a theme.
That escalated quickly
“The War Without, the War Within” picks up immediately after the events of last week’s exciting “What’s Past is Prologue,” which had the USS Discovery return to the prime universe, overshooting their jump and arriving nine months after they left, only to find the Federation losing the war against the Klingons.
The extended teaser dips into what will be the main elements for the episode, starting with Emperor Georgiou being brought on board by Michael Burnham. Acting Captain Saru was surprised to see who he thought was the late Captain Georgiou in the transporter room, but he soon learned her true nature and quickly got a hint at her gruesome cuisine choices. After calling him “slave,” she was dispatched to secure quarters to be dealt with later.
After chiding Burnham for lying to him about the state of Kelpiens in the Mirror Universe, all is forgiven by Saru, who appreciates her heroics in getting them home. She freely admits that she saved Georgiou for personal reasons related to her regret over her actions toward their former captain on the USS Shenzhou. It’s nice to see these two characters bonding again, and returning to the chemistry – ably shown by Martin-Green and Jones – they had in the pilot, before she Vulcan nerve pinched her way into mutiny and a prison sentence.
Saru brings up what will be another major thrust of this episode, returning to the Tyler story line left hanging in episode 12. Ash has been successfully de-Voqed, so it’s time to decide what to do with him. Burnham makes it clear that she is not ready to talk: finding out your boyfriend was a Klingon who then tried to kill you apparently isn’t easy to get over.
This leaves Saru to debrief Tyler, who explains more about how he was transformed, revealing he was the test case for the Klingon “species reassignment protocol.” Shazad Latif continues to impress as he tells the story (in gruesome detail) of his painful transformation and expresses his heartbreaking awareness of what he did when he was Voq. Saru trusts this new Tyler enough that he is not being held responsible for the death of Dr. Culber and is given his freedom, with limited privileges and some kind of monitoring bracelet.
The teaser wraps up with a bit of action as the USS Discovery is boarded by a Starfleet security team including Andorian and Tellarite officers, who are soon followed by Sarek and Admiral Cornwell, who overrides the ship’s command codes to tell the computer she is in charge. Clearly something drastic has happened in the nine months the Discovery has been gone to make people suspicious, which really shouldn’t have surprised Saru and the crew as much as it did. They knew the ISS Discovery took their place — who knows what it has been up to? Good thing Sarek can use a mind meld on Saru – apparently he doesn’t need permission – to get up to speed on what happened in episodes 10-13. Now all Admiral Cornwell wants to know about is where is her ex-boyfriend, Gabriel Lorca. Awkward.
Overly attached girlfriend
The action moves to the Discovery’s briefing room with our cast of characters sitting around the table, letting us know we’re in store for a classic Star Trek exposition scene. But just to keep us on our toes, Admiral Cornwell gavels the meeting to order by vaporizing a perfectly good bowl of Lorca’s family fortune cookies – she is not happy about the answer to her question about Lorca’s location, and this is her coping mechanism for believing that she’d been tricked by Mirror Lorca, while ‘her’ Lorca was killed after he was swapped onto the ISS Buran. But since this is Star Trek, who is to say she is right about his fate? It’s a good bet we haven’t seen the last of Jason Isaacs as one Lorca or another.
It turns out the gang in the Prime Universe never figured out the the USS Discovery was replaced by the ISS Discovery, led by Captain “Killy.” Conveniently, but inexplicably, the Klingons completely destroyed what they thought was the Federation’s secret weapon. As Sarek notes, “That Lorca was an imposter from an alternative universe was not the most obvious conclusion.” The decision is made to super-duper classify all information about the Mirror Universe in order to maintain morale in the Federation, conveniently also preserving canon so Kirk and crew can be surprised by the goateed Spock in “Mirror, Mirror” a decade later.
More importantly, without the the cloaking tech data the Discovery crew picked up in episode 9, the Federation has been losing the war pretty badly. We hear about all sorts of different attacks that have taken place, with the “feudal savagery” of 24 Klingon houses competing over which one can come up with the most creative ways to attack and kill inside Federation territory.
This is all another unfortunate butterfly effect from episode 9 after the Discovery crew killed General Kol, leader of the Empire. All of what has happened sounds pretty interesting, which may make some viewers wish they got to see it instead of just hearing about it after a too-long trip to the Mirror Universe.
All your base are belong to us
The new plan is to fall back to Starbase 1 to regroup and brief what’s left of Federation leadership, but there is a wrinkle: the ship is out of spores to make the jump. They decide to head there at warp, even though Klingons are everywhere. We have some goals, some jeopardy, and are finally ready to move forward.
Later, when they show up at Starbase 1 – apparently it wasn’t so hard warping around with all those enemy ships about after all – they find the station occupied (and painted on) by the Klingons, with no sign of Federation life. This is another gut-punch for Admiral Cornwell, now in command of the Discovery, so much so that Saru has to step in to order the ship back to warp before the Klingons notch another starship Discovery on their belts.
With Plan A dead, Cornwell seeks out L’Rell, the Klingon who saved her life back in episode 8. The admiral has no time to listen to Klingon propaganda about how the Federation is out to get them, stating bluntly that “T’Kuvma was an ignorant fool.” Cornwell is desperate for answers on how to end the war, but L’Rell can see nothing short of conquering the Klingons as way to get their attention. These two women may struggle to see past their differences but they respect each other’s power and even though her time is brief, Mary Chieffo continues to impress as L’Rell.
Acting as a sort of golden armor-wearing spider in the middle of the web of this episode is Emperor Phillipa Georgiou, who impresses both Sarek and Cornwell with her physical resemblance to the late Captain Georgiou. The similarities end there. The more sympathetic version of Georgiou from the end of episode 13 is gone, with the ruthless tyrant reasserting herself and demanding to be returned to her darker home universe. Michelle Yeoh continues to dominate as she plays out a series of scenes with various people popping in to have chats with the Emperor; it’s almost like she’s holding court, despite being in alien territory.
In a moment likely meant to evoke the pre-mutiny scene between Burnham and Sarek in the pilot, Michael seeks out the Emperor to find out how she defeated the Klingons. After some goading from Georgiou about her weakness for her dead captain, the Emperor drops some knowledge about how the Klingons are like cancer and the cure is to cut out the tumor that is Qo’noS. She really is not a nice person.
Going after Qo’noS becomes Plan B for the episode, with an insane scheme involving the ship spore-jumping into an underground chamber for a gonzo recon mission as a prelude to an all out attack on the Klingon homeworld. Apparently no one has been there since the name-dropped Jonathan Archer in the 22nd century. Lucky for this crew they have someone from another universe who brought along her copy of the Travel Guide to the Klingon Empire to help out.
Things get even darker when the spidery Emperor lures Sarek into her quarters for some more monologuing about their shared Michael Burnhams. She lets him know that going to Qo’noS may score some points, but if they want to go to the bonus round to win the game, they have to completely destroy the Klingons, and of course she has a plan because the Federation are a bunch of hapless fools who can’t fight their way out of a paper bag without help from evil people from another universe. And of course like any good temptress, this devil is demanding a price: her freedom.
While all this plot is marching on, there is a good amount of soap opera-level drama related to the aftermath of Ash Tyler’s reintegration into the ship, following a “minor incident” involving killing Dr. Culber. To start things off, Ash has a run in with Lt. Stamets, who may not be ready to forgive, holding back his emotions but asking the former Klingon, “Does it gut you? Does it sicken you?”
On the other side of things you have Tilly, back to her regular hair and chipper ways and ready to hang with Tyler just like the old days. In a scene straight out of an afterschool special, she gets all the kids in the cafeteria to accept poor Tyler and have lunch with him. This group includes Detmer, in a stark contrast to the evil side eye she gave Michael Burnham when she first came on board following her mutiny.
Tyler’s arc gets even weirder when Michael Burnham chats with Sarek about how she is not ready to deal with him. The usually ice-cold Vulcan somehow finds his inner Dr. Phil, offering sage relationship advice. He gets downright sentimental, telling her “Do not regret loving someone.” Someone, check this Vulcan’s eyes, because I don’t think he is in the right universe.
Tilly joins in later by telling Burnham that she has learned from life in the Terran Empire how to hold on to her ideals and to reject the darkness. She implores Burnham to seek out Tyler, who needs her, revealing he has been stripped of all rank and may end up becoming a study subject by some Starfleet scientists. According to Tilly, how they treat this ‘new’ Tyler is a test of who they are as people.
Eventually Burnham musters up the strength to see Tyler, but it doesn’t go well. She doesn’t accept his apology, he brings up how her parents died, she brings up how he tried to choke her to death. These two are not ready to hug it out. It appears that her Vulcan-trained logic is failing her, as her hatred of Voq blinds her to her love of Tyler.
Sonequa Martin-Green and Shazad Latif are able to deliver strong performances, digging into these emotional character moments. But given her apparent trust and faith in a clearly evil Emperor, Michael’s reaction seems a bit off. Maybe she can cut this poor mind-controlled guy some slack? Maybe that is something left for the finale, and maybe this episode spent too much time on this storyline, perhaps trying to make up for no time spent on it in episode 13.
One does not simply spore into Qo’noS
Over the last few episodes, we have learned that the forest Stamets has grown onboard, which supplies the spores that fuel the ship’s spore drive, has died. Surprise! This isn’t quite as tragic as we were led to believe. In yet another one of the episode’s convenient reveals, Paul already has a back-up plan. He has the original bit of space fungus, so all they need to do is regrow it.
The action for this subplot revolved around finding a lifeless moon and doing a “mini Genesis device magic” thanks to a bank of conveniently available launchers that implant and stimulate the extremely rapid growth of a new mycelial forest. After an impressive effects sequence involving terms like “rhizomes” and “EM darts” they are back in the spore-driving business.
Deal with it
The episode ends with – you guessed it! – another twist. Sarek calls in on behalf of the Federation Council to let Cornwell know they are so desperate that they are willing to move forward based on whatever it was Sarek and Georgiou talked about off camera, leading Cornwell to make a shipwide announcement.
Cornwell’s big (fake) reveal is that Captain Georgiou is alive and well and being given command of the USS Discovery for its daring mission to map Qo’noS. The cover story is that she was never dead, but was captured by and then rescued from the Klingons. It is clear that Saru and Burnham – who watch agape as the Emperor posing as “Captain Georgiou” strides onto the bridge after waiting outside for maximum dramatic impact- were not aware this was coming. The twist is so twisty that all the other characters are kept in the dark to maximize the reaction.
Burnham accepts her orders from Georgiou with a subtly indignant “Yes, Captain,” and we fade to black, probably feeling just like her. WTF?
This episode was a bit frustrating. It starts by bringing us up to speed on a war that was supposed to be the central backdrop of the show, but apparently we continue to miss all the cool parts. And even with all the exposition, it’s still not entirely clear what’s going on. On one hand we are told that (before it was taken) Starbase 1 was the “only remaining sanctuary,” but we are also told only 20% of Federation space has been occupied — but then whenever they show the maps it looks much worse than that.
Beyond nitpicking, it is hard to imagine the Federation was in such a desperate position and yet this was never again mentioned in Star Trek canon. A lot of leeway can be given to this show, especially with visual canon. Some things can be explained, like how they made the trip to the Mirror Universe a super-secret, but the Klingons killing masses of people and taking over large chunks of Federation space seems like it should be a big deal. Worf or Kor or someone probably would have mentioned it.
And there is something more fundamentally wrong here that the show seems to be saying, which is that the Federation needs to outsource leadership in war. Sarek explicitly states that “Starfleet tactics have failed us.” Things really started going bad when Lorca (revealed to be from the Terran Empire) took the Discovery back to his home universe, and now things can only be turned around by handing that same ship to the Mirror Universe Emperor?
Yes, Star Trek has always presented the Federation and Starfleet as peaceful organizations, but they have always been able to muster the strength and ingenuity to defend themselves. It was recently revealed that Bryan Fuller’s original idea for Lorca was that he was a brilliant tactician from our universe, but the replacement showrunners’ struck on the idea of Lorca being from the Mirror Universe because it would answer the question about why he was so successful in war.
Starfleet doesn’t need to bring in ringers for its war leadership. A cursory glance at the records of Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway and Archer (and many others in Starfleet history) shows that these people knew their way around a phaser bank: just ask the Klingons, Romulans, Suliban, Cardassians, Ferengi, Dominion, and Borg of their eras.
Hopefully this is all leading somewhere, but for now they seem to fragmenting canon and twisting Star Trek in order to make some point, which we will apparently learn in the finale.
Cool story, bro
“The War Without, the War Within” seems to be a step back in quality for the show and a return to the more uneven episodes of the beginning of the season. After spending so much time building these characters, many seem to be acting out of character. Combined with that are a number of confusing plot contrivances and conveniences that seem to exist only to deliver unnecessarily dramatic moments.
Episode 14 had some strong performances, cool special effects, a nice Enterprise namedrop, and it was great to see a good old-fashioned conference room briefing, which is so very Star Trek. But all of that wasn’t enough. In a way, this feels more like a coda for episode 13 and a prolonged set-up for episode 15. In the end, maybe the extension from 13 episodes to 15 didn’t serve the series as a whole and it could have been tighter and more focused by sticking to the original plan for thirteen.
With all that said, anticipation for upcoming finale remains high. The show overall has delivered enough on character, thrill and Star Trek lore to maintain a high level of excitement and mystery as to how this will all turn out.
Random thoughts, connections, easter eggs
- The Mo’Kai “species reassignment protocol” is likely the process later used for the Klingon spy Arne Darvin.
- Dr. Pollard (Raven Duada) is another medical doctor but not the Chief Medical Officer, who apparently is so busy doing Andorian tonsillectomies that he or she hasn’t been seen by anyone or even mentioned since episode 5.
- Speaking of department heads, where were the heads of engineering, science, tactical, etc during the briefing with the Admiral? People like Burnham and Stamets may have important information, but doesn’t this ship have any sort of chain of command?
- Opening teaser was quite long, last week had no teaser at all. The show seems to be embracing its streaming nature by experimenting episode-by-episode with the structure.
- The Emperor’s quarters may not be ISS Charon opulent, but were still large and lavish for Starfleet standards.
- Something about Sarek’s farewell to Michael felt final, as if he was headed somewhere very dangerous.
- The location of Starbase 1 was said to be 100 AUs from Earth, or right outside the Kuiper Belt, so why was it orbiting a blue planet? Is it Planet X?
- What does this show have against showing other ships? Most often, like when the Admiral’s ship approached and boarded the Discovery and when Sarek departed, we never see the other ships. Is this a creative choice or cost-saving?
- What are they going to do with that transporter tech who knows the truth about Georgiou. With her in charge, I would stay away from any airlocks if I were him.
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.
excuse my french, but this is some fucked up shit now! Emperor Meanbitch looks like she just swallow a canary.
love it, cant wait till next Sunday
The mention of Captain Archer and the NX-01 was cool.
I loved that! As somebody that’s enjoyed Trek in all it’s incarnations it’s nice that Discovery has treated the much maligned Enterprise wiith respect.
I liked it as well. And it didn’t feel forced. Ice touch. But in fairness, given the era they put the show in apart from the events of “The Cage” Enterprise is the only Trek show they can reference.
thats a fair point but I like that they’ve been positive about it. I know that seems obvious but they could have gone the opposite route and thrown in little digs at it to appease a segment of the fan base that were quite vocal in their dissatisfaction with that show. Also in a vast fictional universe like Star Trek there’s plenty of events that have been referenced in the futures shows that could still be acknowledged/foreshadowed not to mention the fact that the majority of principle TOS cast are in active service within this period as well as Pike and at least one recurring TNG character that I can think of off the top of my head.
I really hope that recurring TNG character is never ever mentioned again.
Btw.. By mentioning no Captain has ever visited the Klingon home world since Archer that removes the possibility of some future prequel show doing it. Unless they decide to classify that one too…
Hadn’t thought of that, Romulus is pretty much off limits too! I guess future intrepid prequel Captain’s will have to settle for Cardassia or Nausica!
I really hope this is the last prequel show we get for a long long time lol. But I have a feeling at SOME point the Romulan war will be visited, if not in a show then somewhere in a film.
I’d be fine with the Romulan war being revisited if we got to see a significant role for the NX 01 as well but I know what you mean. I like most, would like to see something post TNG but I’d also be happy seeing other post TOS periods fleshed out.
Romulans can still be done in DIS. Since Klingons canonically got cloaking tech from them, but somehow have it in this, the writers, have they any intelligence, could explain the Romulans getting the D7 designs by STEALING a ship to destroy some future cease-fire attempt between Qo’noS and Earth.
Highly derivative of Star Trek 6 … but hey DIS loves ripping off all the other Trek so far, right?
They already made it canon that Klingons and the Federation had no contact for a century so it would go against canon basically. Someone worked it out on another site according to Discovery timeline the Klingons would disappear a few years after Enterprise ended so it would make sense Archer would be the only one.
Well remember Beyond entire back story was based on a plot line from Enterprise so I see both the KT films and Discovery only giving the show major respect, as they should, since its all under the same franchise.
What TNG character was living during this time? The only one I can think of is Guinan.
That’s the one I was thinking of too @Tiger2.
OK and yeah she would make sense.
Incidentally, I really liked the Enterprise reference in Beyond but that’s kind of what I meant in terms of having a little dig. A bit like in that movie where Scotty made his point about getting rid of MACO’s because Starfleet isn’t a military organisation.That was fine for the plot of Beyond, it was probably done to address criticism of Star Trek 2009 when they were using terminology like “armada” but I’m just happy that Discovery has only shown reverence for Archer whenever he’s been name dropped,
I actually never saw that as a ‘dig’ though. I saw it more as Starfleet moving towards the Federation values and acknowledging it. If you recall, even on Enterprise itself the crew weren’t happy about having the MACOs onboard. It always felt anti-Starfleet in many ways even though it was a necessary evil to have as we do today. Of course both Enterprise and the KT films take place in a universe where Section 31 is secretly running things so you have to figure that one out for yourself lol.
Maybe ‘dig’ is too strong a word, as I say I was really happy with the Enterprise connection in Beyond and really enjoyed the movie despite or perhaps because I really expected to hate it.
“Let’s mention Archer and NX-01 to tie ST:ENT in with the story, but let’s also completely alter the look of the Klingons POST-ENT, PRE-TOS.”
Makes perfect sense. Along with just about every way they handled the mirror universe. ISS Discovery couldn’t possibly have been in our ‘verse, and yet it was? The fuck are these writers smoking?
I agree with most of the review. It’s not just the escalatingly absurd plot twists but also how so many characters don’t even feel consistent. I’ve defended this show a lot–and mediocre Trek is better than no Trek–so I’ll wait to see where this season ends before casting final judgment. But it’s really starting to feel like this show’s been running off the rails since the awkward Voq/Tyler reveal.
There are those who would say it’s been off the rail since the beginning. That said, you are correct.
” I’ve defended this show a lot–and mediocre Trek is better than no Trek”. I totally agree with you on this. I have been an avid supporter of this show as well and I also agree with most of this review. Ultimately, this episode seems like they’re putzing with canon far more than needed to make the plot concept work. The question becomes, if they say they’re going to somehow make all of this work with canon, HOW?!
I think it hinges on something Kirk said in Errand of Mercy. Probably paraphrasing here: “We have legitimate grievances against the Klingons. They invaded our territory, killed our citizens.” We know in TOS the Feds and Klingons are in a Cold War. This is how such hostility is set up. Ten years later it would’ve been open war again if the Organians hadn’t intervened.
Kirk made it sound like it was small skirmishes though. What we are seeing is full on war. They killed 80 thousand people on one starbase alone.
Agreed. Technically I don’t think they’ve crossed any red lines but it stretches credibility unless of course they are going to travel back in time.
I think it makes sense, the only way to get down to, like, 12 ships in the whole fleet in TOS. Space looked so much bigger in that series. So they are cutting us down to make it look that way again.
Was it 12 ships or 12 Constitution class?
Yes Corinthian7. Constitution Class.
Thanks for clarifying.
Yeah, I don’t think 12 total. Twelve Connies to explore and defend. Others seemed to be scientific vessels, evaluating/mapping and so on, probably of planets discovered by ships like Enterprise?
@Marja It certainly felt like no more than 12 at any given time ;-)
VS. Except they DIDN’T have only 12 Starships in the fleet. They had 12 Constitution Class starships. Big difference.
You’re mistaken it wasn’t just 12 Starfleet ships, just Constitution class. That would make no sense considering Starfleet is still considered very powerful in Kirk’s time and still seems to be the defense of the Federation as a whole.
I have a sneakin’ sneakin’ there’s gonna be a re-set of time in Disco. After all, it’s Trek Tradition!
Exactly, Marja. I see this going back to pre-‘Battle of the binary stars’, but instead of killing the torchbearer, they give the Klingon’s ‘A Vulcan Hello’, and make peace. They could time it so they could stop the USS Buran from entering the ion storm- which i believe occurs almost simultaneously.
I think Lorca was here before the war, it was probably him that engineered it sabotaging probes on either side of the neautral zone.
@Tiger2 That is nitpicking really. The point was that fleet size in TOS, as visible on screen and alluded to in drama (“Enterprise only ship in sector/quadrant!”) as late as the movie era, was vastly smaller than what we have come accustomed to in later series. It certainly felt more like the late Roman Empire with a few legions patrolling the vastness of their Empire than a tight web of starships all over the place. The fact is we hardly saw any other type than Constitution class starships anyway, so we might as well assume in best case it is “dozens of starships” (and a few types), compared to hundreds in later series, even though even that is not supported on screen. We all know the real world reason of course, but what is on screen is canon and if the Discovery people want to reconcile this “small fleet, big space” phenomenon with the rest of Star Trek history, that is one thing they are doing right.
A. Why is this only aimed at me lol. It sounds like everyone agrees it was more than 12 ships in the fleet.
B. Starfleet was suppose to be centuries old at the time. They never gave an exact date on TOS itself but it was implied Starfleet had been around for a long time. How does an organization last that long and only have 12 ships? Can you think of any organization today that has been around a century and has just 12 of anything?
B. How can you go to ‘war’ if you only have 12 ships? Why doesn’t the Klingons just takeover Earth then? Or the Romulans for that matter? Why are there even neutral zones? It just doesn’t make any logical sense on its head because we know Starfleet is essentially both a scientific organization but also a defense one. We know that especially since Beyond told us the MACOs was disguarded and Starfleet essentially became the peace keepers. Again space is REALLY big. There are tons of enemies out there, both known and potential. How do you defend your territory with so little resources and manpower?
Sorry it makes no sense on its head to me. I don’t think we didn’t see a lot of ships for the simple reason we didn’t see a lot of aliens on the ship outside of Mr. Spock and Klingons look like black face humans instead of real aliens…because the show couldn’t afford to do more, thats all IMO.
“Can you think of any organization today that has been around a century and has just 12 of anything?” Christianity? 12 disciples.
Actually I just thought a bit more about this and I buy the theory of a few ships in the TOS era even less now thinking about the Romulan war that happened nearly 100 years prior to TOS. How does Starfleet, in nearly its infancy, manage to go into a war with a powerful opponent who DID have an armada of ships and manpower at that time? This is where it wouldn’t make any sense. Starfleet, even back then, have to had quite a bit of ships, even if smaller and more primitive ones, and manpower to go to war with someone like the Romulans to last literally years. The Romulan war came directly from TOS canon and they made it clear it was long and brutal. Yes of course they had allies to help them like maybe the Vulcans but it seem clear the war was mostly between Earth and the Romulans themselves.
And if anything real world history has taught us, its usually after a war is fought that both sides prop up their military even higher after the ‘peace’ has been brokered because they feel a show of force is the only way to keep that peace in tact. This would be the same if Earth really got into a war with the Romulans, their instincts would be to build even more starships and weapons, especially after a century of tension. The cold war in the real world ended decades ago and yet America and Russia has more tanks, planes and aircraft carriers than before and that was a ‘war’ where not a single major conflict ever happened between the two in all that time.
Now in the current Star Trek timeline, Starfleet has now been in two big wars, the Romulans and the Klingons. In fact every century Starfleet finds itself in a major conflict with someone lol. Romulans, Xindi, Klingons, Cardassians, Dominion, you name it. Its no way there would only be a few ships after what they went through with the Romulans alone. If anything once the Klingon war ended Starfleet would build even more ships and starbases just to make sure the Klingons stayed on their side of space and be better prepared for another outbreak especially since the two sides never tried to make peace after the conflict ended.
Again, everybody is getting hung up on the number “12” when my point was that the fleet was SUBSTANTIALLY SMALLER than at other times in Trek history (well, apart from “Enterprise”, for obvious reasons). And for all the points you made, isn’t 12 CONSTITUTION CLASS starships – apparently the work horse of the fleet – very little as well and fits right with my point? Especially since half of them seemed to be destroyed by TOS’ short 3 year run! It also does not mean that it is the overall number of ships in the Federation, that is, merchant ships, civilian ships and alien fleets count extra. Just Starfleet seems very thinly spread in TOS time, as we routinely not just see but can tell from the plots of these episodes, with help nowhere near. TOS just wouldn’t work with BIG Starfleet, and that is the charme of it: space is dangerous, space is not everyday routine, and that’s 100 years after Enterprise even!
The Romulan War is a bad example actually to prove a bigger fleet size because we know from Enterprise that Earth had very few ships back then and couldn’t possibly produce hundreds out of thin air in just a few short years. But I don’t really see the problem as according to canon that war was thought with primitive ships and weapons (even “sublight” on the Romulan side if we take this literally) so if this enemy was that weak, it doesn’t matter if Earth was weak too!
Now, that they propped up their fleet as a lesson of the Romulan War (and the threat of Klingons) AFTER the Romulan War and BEFORE Discovery is totally in line with what I’m thinking – Discovery showed us quite a fleet in the first battle already. Just now this giant fleet is getting decimated especially where the most modern ships, the most advanced technology and the ship variety is concerned, explaining why we saw (and were told) what we saw in TOS.
Finally, there is no doubt that Starfleet is rebuilding large-scale after the Klingon War. Just this war was so devastating and resources spread so thin that it took many years until the movie years to get back up to speed (don’t forget even their ship building bases got destroyed), with TOS still placed in the aftermath of this War. Huge starships like the Constitution class aren’t build in one or two years especially if resources and manpower is missing (I remember each Galaxy Class ship took up to 20 years to build, the only number we have from background materials).
It still makes no sense though. As I said Starfleet is not only exploration but defense. They been exploring the galaxy for a over a century, there would seem to be a lot more ships, especially for smaller exploration. The Constitution class seem mostly for deep space travel and would explain why there wasn’t as many.
As for the Romulan War and lack of ships during Enterprise era, again real history teaches us how a war can turn tides completely in no time. During World war 2 for example America was only the 17th biggest military before they entered the war. Five years later after the war was over they had one of the strongest if not the strongest military at the time, only behind the Soviet Union. The U.S. had 30,000 people in the military in 1939. By 1945 it had 12 million people in the military. The number of planes, tanks and weapons had increased exponentially by this time as well. We are talking just five years. And now 70 years later America’s military is as powerful as ever.
So yes I can believe Starfleet would have done the same thing once the Romulan war started, the first major alien foe the planet would face and would build ships and man power to match them or they would’ve easily lost. And it makes more sense why Starfleet is a big operation during TOS time because these wars or the potential for another one would naturally build up their resources, especially after the Federation was formed. And of course we have both Discovery and the KT films to prove how big Starfleet was by this time, they simply had the budgets to show it.
The simple reality was during TOS the show just didn’t have the money or resources to show a much bigger Starfleet, thats all. Its also why every time there was a conflict in space it was mostly just one ship vs another. Technology and budgets was in a very different place by the time TNG showed up and later DS9 that could show these massive space battles with hundreds of ships on a TV budget.
But I get your point that Starfleet would have less ships by the time the Klingon war was done but I still think it would be a comparable fleet because again, how do you maintain the peace when you had two big foes you were in conflict with and could literally go to war at any moment? We know the Klingons were originally an analogy for the cold war between America and the Soviets and think just how much hardware as I said before those two countries had in that time? That was the analogy Roddenberry was going with. He lived through all of that, he obviously saw Starfleet as massive and strong or why give them such deadly foes who had so much power in the first place? Clearly he saw Starfleet being strong enough with enough capable ships that not only fought one major war a century ago but was prepared to fight another if it came to that.
I’m sure if Roddenberry had the kind of money the later shows got and definitely what Discovery is getting we would’ve saw a very different Starfleet back in the 60s.
Twelve Constitution class ships. Budgets being what they were for the show, they didn’t have the luxury of creating a fleet, so when they needed multiple ships they just dressed up the Enterprise set/models, and away they went.
Its funny you mention that Phil because there seems to be this constant debate if TOS was a ‘cheap’ show or not. Many people take offense over the notion but yet there are SO many instances where we see just that, like the fact they either didn’t have the money or time to make new bridges or ship designs like all the other shows manages to do multiple times in a season. Yes thats the only reason why we saw that class of ship because it was all based on the stuff they already built for the show.
So yeah maybe ‘cheap’ isn’t the word but it was certainly budgeted a lot more than the others and where the infamous red shirt meme started in the first place since I read it was just cheaper to dye red shirts and had more on hand. Maybe thats just an urban legend but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were true.
Perhaps not cheap when compared to other TV shows of that era but Insuspect TV in general was cheap then with it being a relatively new medium.
@Tiger2 The problem is that two discussions and arguments are conflated by the (literal) “cheap shot”, and THAT is what riles up people: the justification why Discovery need to diverge widely from established visual canon because TOS design is “cheap”, and “cheap” is equivalent to “bad”.
Yet I still do not see any reason why the basic SMOOTH design aesthetic of TOS can’t be replicated with some very high class materials, and touch screens of course, and I maintain this is a more realistic vision of the future than John Eaves’ one trick pony “busy look”. It certainly hasn’t been tried (the TOS fan series is not what I mean).
Everything we know about the history of technology, as exemplified by the history of the smartphone, shows that things should get more “simple” on the surface yet more complex beneath. But same as with “diversity”, Discovery prefers to stay at the surface and make things complex there. I get it that this makes it easier to grok for the audience, especially casual viewers, but it’s not exactly realistic.
They had other ships than Constitution-class in TOS, but yeah.
I’m still enjoying it because I’m convinced the story ends with a reset. I think the purpose of this episode is to show how we’re not that far removed from our mirror selves when faced with the prospect of losing everything. I do have concerns, canon just does not allow for a conflict of this scale to have occurred with the Klingons but then we know full well that Qo’noS is not going to be destroyed and that’s what it will take to stop the war. I think the most likely scenario is that Stamets will figure away to travel back in time and they’ll go back to the very beginning ie Lorca switching places with his MU counterpart. Somebody had to sabotage that probe from the pilot and it’s likely the future Captain of the USS Discovery manufactured a conflict because it was the only way Starfleet would go along with the things he needed to do in order to get back home. As I’ve said before I’m not convinced that Fuller’s original vision for this show to be an anthology series won’t actually happen.
This is actually one of the best interpretations I’ve seen so far! I hope you’re right.
@J_Randomuser thanks buddy. It could go either way I guess but I genuinely can’t believe we’ve seen the last of MU Lorca. He’s the main villain on the show and time travel is the most plausible way to bring him back so that he’s there for the final showdown.
Yeah, me too. Partly because I’d love to see Jason Isaacs perform Prime Lorca, much as he did Mirror Lorca, enigmatic and maybe just a wee bit “practical” in his decision making, not so “by the book.”
I am convinced, from what i’ve seen on this show so far (for good or for worse) that this will not end in a reset! I guess either way we will know in less than 1 week, unless they pull an evil cliffhanger on us in which case we may not have the answer until next year…
@Vulcan Soul I think they have said that the Klingon war will be resolved by the seasons end but I guess they could be lying or they could throw another cliffhanger at us. There have been some good posts including by yourself that demonstrate that a war on this scale could be reconciled with canon so this might be one of those areas where the writers have felt there was enough wriggle room to stretch the established lore. I’m still heavily leaning towards time travel but like you I’m looking forward to next week and so long as we get a compelling story that can still fit with prime timeline canon then I’m happy to be surprised.
OH yeah there’ll be a cliffhanger for sure. Can’t have viewers go away completely satisfied, need to stoke the hunger for the next season.
So I predict any conclusion will be in the first ep of Season 2.
There seems like an awful lot to wrap up in just one episode so maybe. I’ve been wondering lately whether season 2 is a red herring in that they may be sticking to the plan of doing an anthology show after all.
And lest we forget, need to keep people subscribed to CBS-AA for the following season ;-) The budget basically demands a cliffhanger, more than the drama even.
The sad part is that your hopeful interpretation is 100 times better than what these writers are going to come up with. Fans have been ahead on every story line, but how long can we find excuses and explanation for this Drek [typo is purposeful]?
And even if you look past the violations of cannon (which is becoming exceedingly difficult), neither the characters nor the long-form plot lines are being developed. Other than pieces of the very backstory we have witnessed, what do we know of these characters? Do they ever sit still for 2 minutes to tell us about their home, experiences, family, something? Do they interact with each other beyond barking out orders and brilliant “solve-it-all-at-once” solutions? Do they ever work as a team? Michael’s backstory is richest, but it involves such a hard-to-fathom twist of Sarek’s character, that’s it’s impossible to buy into her character. What’s the point of her being (a) Vulcan-raised at all, and (b) raised by Sarek, a character that has spanned 2 series and 4 movies, and is intimately and inextricably tied to likely the most pivotal character in the ENTIRE cannon. What absolute necessary element of Michael’s character is tied to Sarek?! Why not make it just “a Vulcan stepfather”? The review describes the problems with Michael-Tyler love story well.
Beyond Michael, Stamets was the only other character where a significant relationship was developed… and then killed off. The other characters are shallow tokens, if that. We really only have Saru, who has a decent backstory (from the Forest episode), speaks calmly and explains himself, and whose actions further the character, and don’t confuse us. (Of course, he is not without issues: Kelpians are prevalent in both mirror and prime universes.. and never seen in ENT, TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, movies… ).
As an avid fan of every trek, I watch, as one must. I hope for a “reset,” as OP describes. Perhaps they kill off the timeline, the spore drive, the MU presence in PU, the bad Klingons… But, a part of me is beginning to hope the show itself is killed off, so that violations stop before they go too far.
@feldashv — you lost me at questioning the teamwork … all I see is teamwork. And they talk a lot about what makes them who they are. It’s like we’re watching two different shows.
Further, I don’t see any canon violations here requiring a reset. This one line from “Errand of Mercy” satisfies this all fits with canon:
KIRK: “We have legitimate grievances against the Klingons. They’ve invaded our territory, killed our citizens. They’re openly aggressive. They’ve boasted that they’ll take over half the galaxy.”
As far as Kelpians, well now I know you’re just grousing … name any alien character ever seen in Star Trek, and I’ll guarantee they weren’t mentioned before they were first introduced in their respective series — and that according to you, delegitimizes them all.
Just nitpicking here but the Ferengi were mentioned in Encounter at Farpoint but not shown until a few episodes later but yeah, they were only mentioned to foreshadow their introduction.
I appreciate the replies… but saying things don’t make ‘em so. I repeat: what’s the significance of Michael being Sarek’s stepchild? Tell me something about any character’s life outside of their immediate work, other than Saru and Michael? How can spore drive not require a killing off/reconciliation?
Teamwork, we’ll just agree to disagree. Michael’s “feats of strength” (which is all I see) is not teamwork.
Someone said something about my ideal trek? I said clearly that I am an avid fan of every single trek (until now, that is). DS9 is a personal favorite, but never missed an episode of any of them. And love them all in their own ways. I stuck with the Xindi and the temporal Cold War, for crying out loud. Even appreciate the new movies, although substantially less so than TV trek. So, I don’t mind cannon bending. But it has to have a reason. This show’s choices were so dangerous that they needed serious justifications. It lacks them. Among many other things….
Thats Ok. Its fine not to like the show. EVERYONE has their likes and dislikes on shows and films, certainly on this board. There are people here who hate TNG. Others think DS9 was basically anti-Star Trek. You heard what many thought of Enterprise and Voyager over the years. And many don’t get what made TOS so popular since it feels so outdated and campy.
And ALL of it is valid. People like what they like and hate what they hate. The ONLY thing that bothers me when someone doesn’t like a show or film are two things. A. Putting someone down who DOES like it or saying they aren’t a real fan for liking it. Or B. That they try to claim its not canon because they don’t like it. And yes sadly both of those happen here a lot, ESPECIALLY with the KT films. I don’t know why these irritate me because they do. You don’t have to like everything but don’t put others down or try to wipe it from existence either.
But what I find funny about the latter is all the Enterprise hate is that show as relevant as ever because now its being acknowledge by all the new stuff. I mean we obviously don’t hear about the future shows and while TOS get a brief mention because of Burnham and Spock there has really been no real mention of the Enterprise and its crew. Basically all the canon is from Enterprise. I know that kills some people and I say GOOD!
I don’t love Discovery btw but I’m enjoying it enough. I actually loved the last batch of episodes but I get why it has turned others away too. But I think Discovery has the potential to be a great series even though I HATE its premise but feel it will grow on me as time goes on like Enterprise did. Maybe not as great as TNG or DS9 for me, but up there. And remember those shows had their detractors early on and yes still do for some but it took awhile to be considered the great shows that they are. That didn’t happen after just 14 episodes right?
In other words, its still early guys, so lets give it some time. Hopefully the producers have been listening and make changes in the future as they all did at some point.
Thanks @Feldashv. I do get where you’re coming from as all of us that have invested so much time over the years to Trek value the canon, However, there have always been discrepancies in every incarnation of Trek and those are things we’ve always debated and invented our own workarounds for. The reason I’m optimistic about Discovery is that I genuinely believe that they are respecting the story canon. They’re stretching it at times for sure and they’ve made decisions that challenge long held assumptions about canon but I still hope that when when the season concludes everything will fit together in a way that can make sense. It may not be a story that everyone likes and it won’t change anything for anybody that is upset with their approach to visual canon but it should hopefully still fit story wise with all the other series,
Yes, they work as a team. Quite well, I think.
As for backstories, traditionally, the way these are told is through various episodes. In TOS we didn’t learn about Kirk’s time on Tarsus IV until “Conscience of the King.” Otherwise you’d never know he had such a tragic background story. We learn more about various characters in various stories. The Mudd episode of DISCO had Stamets telling Burnham how he and Hugh Culber met. Yes, Burnham’s backstory is richest as you say; she is the focal character.
No, Kelpiens are rare in the Prime Uni; Saru says so.
Jiminy, way to support Trek. But I’m sure you have your ideal Trek versus televised Trek, so, prepare to be endlessly disappointed. I find it much more fun to go with the flow.
Except for the “killing off Lorca” part and the EXTREMELY convolution conversion of Voq into Ash Tyler.
Yeah… I don’t like the idea of the reset at all. I find it a cheat and lazy. But they painted themselves into a corner that sounds like that is the only way out to maintain canon.
I’m finding myself kind not giving a rat’s ass about canon at this point. I know, I know [preparing for flying tomatoes].
Maybe it’s just age talking, but I’m feeling the same way these days. Worrying about things like Trek “cannon” makes sense only if you think you’re going to live, like, forever. Sadly, my mirror of late tells me a different story, and given the current state of the world it seems to me there are just more compelling things to worry about, if worry I must.
I understand. But for me, even if this were stand alone it would not be very well executed.
@Corinthian7 — I’m less convinced there will be a full reset now. They’ve left the door wide open to recover dead characters, and after seeing the episode, there does not appear to be any canon conflicts. I don’t think there’s any reason to expect the destruction of Kronos is the only way to stop the war. Certainly the destruction of Japan was not necessary to stop WW II. And using that analogy, perhaps they destroy an area of Kronos, making it uninhabitable (as we saw in STID and assumed it was the Klingon’s own doing). Either way, Time Travel would be a bigger canon violation than anything I’ve seen so far.
@Curious Cadet You’re right, it’s possible that L’Rell is the key or maybe Ash makes the ultimate sacrifice and is transformed back into Voq and he and his former lover/torturer reunite the Klingon’s and forge a peace with the Federation. I think to an extent they’ve been quite clever with the Klingon war, in that previous references to it were ambiguous enough for this to be one of those areas where the producers have said they can stretch canon.
I personally feel the extent of the war stretches credibility in that more of a big deal would have been made of this war whenever historic conflict was being discussed on the other shows but technically I don’t think it’s crossed any redlines. For example in DS9 during the Dominion War they confirmed that the last time hostilities had reached Earth was the Romulan war and they made a point in this episode of showing that the bloodshed had not yet reached the Sol system. Also the Federation and the Klingons went to open warfare in DS9 and most people had stopped talking about it a few episodes after they both signed up to the Khitomer Accords again.
So like I said I do think they’ve been quite clever with this plot line as we are going in to the season finale and we still can’t decide if it’s going to be a reset of the timeline or they end the war and continue forward. My money is still on a reset though, primarily because it would be unusual to kill off the big bad a few episodes before the conclusion of the story and the most plausible way of bring back said big bad would be to time jump to before the Buran was destroyed. Also I’m fairly sure that the producers have said that there’s a a reason why we haven’t heard of this ship and crew before. Now surely when Spock was so heavily involved in creating peace with the Klingons in TUC or attempting it with the Romulans in Unification that the subject of his foster sister would have come up. Now somebody is probably going to point out that the involvement of Burnham and the Discovery might have been classified and that Spock never actually melded with Sarek so might not have found out but those comments by the brain trust behind the show imply a clear cut explanation not something we have to debate.
Anyway, I look forward to being proved right or wrong next week and so long as it’s a good episode and it doesn’t out and out violate canon I’m fine either way.
“Certainly the destruction of Japan was not necessary to stop WW II.”
Please expand upon this premise. Specifically in how many more allied forces would have been killed had we not dropped atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
To be clear, I am against war. But war has consequences and in any case, I want my people to win any war we are involved in.
The atomic bomb may have not been necessary, but how my many Allied forces did it potentially save? How has it influenced future use of weapons that are far more destructive?
To pose the question, “Was the destruction of Japan necessary to end WW II’ is quite valid. But to assert that it was not necessary with certainty is misinformed.
Just for giggles… who says there has to be only the “Prime” Universe and a single parallel/multi universe? Perhaps there’s another parallel universe that is TOS?
I’ll probably be shot for saying this but I’d kind of like a Kelvin universe crossover episode!
Hasn’t that already been established with the Kelvin universe? The way I’m told, that universe would’ve unfolded nearly exactly like PU if Spock and Nero didn’t go back in time and change things. That and the fact Enterprise itself seems completely canon in that universe based on what we know from Beyond.
And TNG’s Parallels have also made clear there are hundreds if not thousands of similar universes to this one. Worf was blinking through many of them and most only had minor changes that he went through. So I think all of that has been established. Maybe Discovery is in one of those but the producers have made clear thats not the case.
“and mediocre Trek is better than no Trek”
I’m forced to agree with this. Because I’m just a big Trek guy. I also agree that since the Tyler/Voq reveal the show really went into a tailspin. It was never great but it was ok and I was curious to see where things would go. But the Lorca reveal to me was the last straw of lame I can accept. I’m finishing it out but it’s super hard to take anything in this show all that seriously anymore.
The Voq/Tyler thing was the dumbest plot twist thus far. Besides the fact it made no sense, it really did nothing to move the story along. I mean it gave ‘Tyler’ some interesting development in the craziest way possible lol but I really liked the idea more if he was a POW going through PTSD and then brain washed to help the Klingons. That just come off so much better and realistic than a Klingon transforming into a human, taking his memories, not knowing he was an actual spy and all of that. Just garbled nonsense IMO.
Agreed. Ugh, I’m done. One more episode and then hitting cancel on CBS All Access. Compelling TV? Maybe. Is it Star Trek? Not in the slightest.
@Eric — well I’m doing the same thing, but because the season is over, and CBSAA hasn’t offered me anything compelling enough to remain subscribed. I disagree completely that this isn’t Trek in the slightest. Frankly, it’s some of the best Trek I’ve ever seen. Sorry it doesn’t work for you.
Fortunately in the UK and we get it on Netflix but I hope that a lot of other Americans do the same as it might encourage them to produce a second Star Trek related show to fill the gap between Discovery seasons.
Yes this is what I’m thinking too. If Discovery is REALLY popular on that site but subscriptions drops like a stone after the last episode then it will encourage them to get Discovery episodes out sooner, make more episodes or just make another show entirely. We NEED more Star Trek!!!!!
I don’t consider the War to even be a backdrop. It’s a bookend. The prologue and epilogue to the Lorca MU arc. The war started in two episodes, it’ll end in two episodes. There’s a symmetry to this story.
I’ve got to admit, though, I didn’t expert Emperor Georgiou to end up Captain. Wow.
Maybe the symmetry will also include Burnham and Saru turning on MU Georgiou in favor of PU Lorca?
The price to win the war is MU Georgio’s freedom and Sarek and Starfleet agreed on those terms and who better to lead the fight than a MU Emperor?
There ought to be plenty of people in Starfleet who are capable of leading a fight. I agree with that much from the review.
I am not sure. Maybe not in this time period? Isn’t this the major war, in which Starfleet firstly really starts to build up its millitary expertise?
Thinking of Prelude to Axanar here. Wasn’t Garth of Izar the one who really turned it around?
Well you’d wonder where Chris Pike is…lol
@The River Temarc — That’s not the point. They want her on the bridge for her expertise, and in order to keep the secret she’s from the MU, they can’t very well put her on the bridge and not give her command, unless a flag officer is in charge.
Pike? Decker? April? Garrovik?
If you go by TOS history/canon there are plenty of capable captains around; giving the chair to a despot from the mirror universe seems more like a stunt for the sake of shock value than an organic decision, especially after the way Cornwell reacted when she discovered Locra was really MU Lorca.
“Pike? Decker? April? Garrovik?”
They have urgent assignments in the far Alpha quadrant…
Look at it this way: if they were at the frontlines of *this* war, they couldn’t be possible in TOS, only in Valhalla!
Yes I don’t get how NO ONE can figure out how to win this war but her. Section 31 exists in this time, you mean to tell me THOSE guys couldn’t figure out a plan? Yes it is done for shock value, which is fine, but it makes no real sense on its head. And I don’t buy the ‘we have to keep the idea of the other universe quiet, so we’ll give their psychotic emperor a significant role playing a dead captain leading our most advance ship because really what can go wrong with that idea?’.
MU Emperor has a proven track record and excellent winning resume. Federation pretty much loss, this is the hail mary emperor play.
@Tiger2 To be fair it makes no more and no less sense than the “Enterprise only ship in the quadrant” trope of so many episodes and movies! Not just warp speed but the whole makeup of this universe was always defined by the needs of the plot. Ironically, with all its focus on serialization, Discovery is not really better at in-universe realism and continuity than any of the other series (including TOS).
Yes but the difference here is there is just not ONE Captain who can lead. And she’s not even a captain. It defies logic because what if she WASN’T there, then what would they do? And its not like they couldn’t come up with the same plan themselves, which is barely a plan outside of wipe out the planet, they just somehow seem persuaded by it. Fine, I still don’t get why she has to lead in a universe she’s been in LITERALLY a day lol when someone can just take her plan and do it on their own. Why wouldn’t Saru do it for example? If they think the crew will follow her orders why would it be different if someone else lead it?
And why are you suddenly defending this show so much man lol. For 13 episodes we had to hear how the show sucked out your brain cells after every scene, nothing but liberal propaganda and was an affront to all things Trek. You like one episode and now it all makes sense to you. I’m not complaining its just funny.
@Tiger2 I haven’t changed my mind on the latter. These are two different issues. One is about (political) message and the other is about in-universe canon and we Vulcans can separate the two without getting emotional ;-)
As for bad continuity and in-universe realism, I wasn’t defending the show anyway; I said it is just as bad as the other shows then the producers promised us something better in that regard. Overpromise and undeliver.
As for switching gear, it ain’t just me actually (just the other way round) – i noticed that after just one episode people disliked (this one), alot seem to be much more reserved about this show and whether it’s “the best season 1 ever!!111” which is surprising given that is what we were hearing during the inane MU episodes. Let’s just all agree that politics aside, Discovery season 1 has the usual growing pains of all Treks after TOS and they better get this sorted out for season 2!
I waited a decade for a new Star Trek show like everybody else and so despite what Harberts mandates I won’t just tune out because he thinks “this show is not for me”. Star Trek was always an inclusive show for the whole family and for people of all political and religious leanings, apart from extremist ones. So I will keep complaining where complaints are due, hoping for some course corrections for some of the more extreme leanings of this show (compared to previous Treks) and praise when I see something good.
@TonyD I think the reason for giving the chair to a despot from the MU is because that for this mission only a despot from the MU will do. Remember the real objective is to turn Qo’noS to dust, could you really see a Pike or April going along with that?
True that; Emperor can take decisions a SF captain could not/would not do. But this is a shady grey area, because she’d be using a Fleet ship to do it [scratching head]
they were saying on After Trek last week that a big theme of the MU storyline was that given the right circumstances we are not that far removed from our mirror counterparts. I think the point of this story and the 9 month time jump was to show literally how quickly we can abandon our values when our very survival depends on it. Of course the Discovery crew hasn’t spent 9 months facing annihilation so their Federation values will prevail.
Thank you Marja, thats what doesn’t make sense. They seem to think ONLY she can do whatever it is she plan to do but then use a Starfleet ship and crew to do it in. Thats what I don’t get either. If they can find a crew that is willing to follow a psychotic dictator to destroy the planet, you mean they can’t find an actual captain who would do it as well?
And maybe it will save them the headache when she accomplishes her mission and then somehow betray them all and try to eat Saru for dinner in the process because this idiotic decision really only has one way of going. Did these people not learn anything from Khan, both versions of him? Oh right that hasn’t happened yet.
Holden, That would be AWESOME.
Symmetry like a…mirror?
1) The Klingons actually seemed as threatening and terrifying in a way I have never seen them before. In some ways they seem to be more threatening than the Borg as this is purely a form of bloodlust started by the fundamentalism of T’Kuvma and his desire that Federation ‘tolerance’ is really just a front for conquest. The Klingon war seemed very distant in the first half of the season. Now they are back with a vengenance
2) The impact of the Mirror Universe. — The notion of classifying the Mirror Universe seems quite interesting. In the future we have new technology but the fundamental facts of death and loss seem to still be true in the future. The idea that a loved one may be alive could be so strong that people would do anything to get at it. Maybe this is saying that at some level love has nothing to do with things like ‘good’ or ‘evil’ , that is we want to be with our loved ones even if they have a different character from what we knew of them
3) Confronting evil to make us whole – This seems to be the point of this episode. Burnham confronts evil in two ways . In her confrontation with Georgiou she still sees the person she looked up to even though this Georgiou is a despot. Georgiou senses this in Burnham and tries to manipulate her. When Burnham realizes this , I hope a revelation will happen and some of her guilt over her demise will be dealt with. Her confrontation with Ash/Voq is different because she is trying to exercise something. On the surface she is breaking up with Ash/Voq but it seems like she is really trying to exercise the fact that she fell in love with something so evil and treacherous.
Overall this was a great character episode and it ramped up the Klingon threat to something truly menacing
I loved the terra forming part, resolution of tyler and burnham arcs, guilt of not saving geogio from binary stars.
Always love twists and the ending gave us another one, nobody saw that one coming.
The acting is fantastic from top to bottom and very appreciated for everything they have done to make Star Trek relevant on TV again. I dont know what is going to happen next week but for season 2 they can do anything from finding Prime Lorca to exploring MU Georgio and her adaptation to PU.
I forgot about the amazing speed at which they could grow spores on that moon. By this point such contrivances seem to be par for the course.
Honestly I hope they do none of that for season 2. I want MU Georgiou to die an awful awful death. Not everyone needs to be redeemed given the probably millions of deaths she was responsible for. But sadly it looks like they may go that way.
I’m not so sure, MU Georgiou has been selected because the real plan is to commit genocide against the Klingon Empire.
Federation will be wiped out if MU Georgiou doesnt help, right? It’s war, go win.
Yes, the conversation with L’Rell was clearly designed to highlight the fact that th Klingon’s are no longer unified and they’ll keep on pressing until the Federation has been annihilated but we know that doesn’t happen. However, Georgiou was clearly pitching destroying Qo’noS (presumably with a plan involving the interconnected dormant volcanoes and we know this cannot happen either. Add to this the fact that we still don’t know who sabotaged the probe that ignited the conflict at the Battle of the Binary stars plus we still haven’t really saw what happened on the Buran and it leads to one obvious conclusion. That sabotaged probe was included in the episode for a reason. If it wasn’t relevant then they would have used another reason to draw the Shenzou to that system.
Nah, maybe she’ll get a Klingon sword thru the gut. Echoing Prime Uni and a good symmetry with how she ended Mirror Lorca. BWAHAHAHA
I hope Georgiou is not destined to die in the PU, her kicking some Klingon a$$ is fitting revenge for PU Georgiou
She was JUST as bad as the Klingons are, she was just the other side of the same coin.
The woman ATE her slaves!!!!!! I mean not even Klingons do that (Ok, they eat people too but only when they are really starving ;)).
they ate her pu version lol
I do look forward to this site’s episode reviews each week, but with no disrespect intended, I wish there were a good deal more analysis and a lot less plot rehashing. A good reviewer does not need to recount the whole plot–he or she should focus on analyzing and assume the readers have watched the episode and thus know what happened.
Two things: with CBSAA, we can’t assume everyone who wants to know what happens has seen the episode. Also, I’ve assumed the reviewer is collecting his thoughts in real time as the episode plays out as a way to get his quick take thoughts analysis out as efficiently and as organized as possible.
The reviews are consistently excellent for establishing basic facts about the shows and how they feel. It gives us the perfect place to ruminate and argue as much as possible!
Ever since episode 3, I expected the season to end with Burnham being forced to rise up against Lorca just like she did against Georgiou, only the other way around (with Burnham, and not the captain, being right). And apparently, that’s exactly what going to happen next episode – except that for some reason, they decided to hammer the point home by bringing in a mirror Georgiou instead of using Lorca. Ham-fisted storytelling much?
That is not an example of ham-fisted storytelling.
So, ssshhhhhhh — don’t mention to Kirk or Scotty that beaming up during an ion storm is a bad idea.
IF ISS Disco got its Terran arse handed to it by PU Klingons (<=== insert your own joke here) then that is just a waste of a tremendous story line. I'm hoping that was a feint and the producers are just saving the Disco on Disco showdown. That'll be hot!!
Trailer chow: green Orion slavegirl booty… retcontrekking: why yes, starships DO have rockets in them…
Worst of all… we never got to read a single one of Lorca's fortune cookies! Dammit!
Lorca explained the ion storm beam-swap to mirror Stamets, but I don’t think anyone on Discovery would have known about it.
I have to say – I really enjoyed this one. It kept me on the edge,of my seat and the Tyler / Burnham scene almost had me weepy. The acting is so first rate. While the last few episodes have been enjoyable, this one really clicked with me. One more to go. Hope it’s as good as this one.
yes, the scene with tyler and michael was fantastic, the ending got me choked up cuz it was like Georgio was back from the dead
Meaning no offense to Shazad Latif but I have never been able to fairly judge his performance because every time he speaks, all I hear is Ray Romano’s voice. : P
Haha, me too! Even kind of looks like him.
I wonder if he has (had) a brother that sounds like Brad Garrett.
I loved the scene with Tilly and Tyler too.
Great review. Good questions!
In this episode, exciting reveals were also narrative reversals that offered great emotional moments propelling us to a crazy cliffhanger. Now our heroes could possibly create a strategic mistake as tragic as the one that began the series. In real life I think a lot about Genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war. Discovery seems to thrive on heroes making bad decisions. Is this a universe where sentient beings do no right if they are in conflict? Is that the theme of the series? Or it’s central question?
I think sometimes it’s the pacing of Discovery which limits our ability to take its values to heart. I know part of this is on purpose and partly to make the story suspenseful. But in this much more clear and obvious second half of the season, we now see some patterns: We get cues from a scene that are actually “clues.” Characters do take the issues seriously but whatever is not personal or is too political ends up edited down. We don’t get to see it.
The end result next week may give us a resolution that is so deep that we shout from the rooftops this must be seen by our friends. It could. Even this episode is forcing us to think about the trauma the characters went through and how they are beginning to acknowledge it to each other. They have been in crazytown!
But as Trek fans I think we still want to see the depth of a Kirk/Spock/McCoy argument. If we get second MU captain, the Admiral can’t force that on THIS crew.
Uneven episode. “Transition” episode. In any case, having Michelle Yeoh around almost the whole season is a wonderful thing. I guess she’ll also be killed off (again) next week. Not much else you can do so close in to the TOS years. “Prequelitis” has set in, and it makes us aware already where things with the Klingons will end up, so we just wait to see how they do it, with the usual lack of tension, etc.
So what’s with the star dates? Are we in 3rd season of TOS? I guess they just continually recalibrate them from time to time…
There was a theory years ago that stardates were specific to a ship’s mission. That might work here, and does seem to make sense for TOS, but their usage in this series is confusing. I’m not sure.
But at least they’re not the Gregorian calendar year, as they are in the JJ films. That seems far to Earth-centric for a system that ostensibly consolidates the calendars of hundreds of worlds.
I had always thought that the Stardate was a response to relativity. Time on the starship was not what it was on earth. The stardate was relative only to the ship and nowhere else.
Yeah, in TOS I think it was spatial coordinates per Roddenberry.
Man, I gotta say I disagree with Anthony whole-heartedly. This episode was a much needed change of pace, not a ton of plot, but a TON of introspective character work. The MU stuff moved so fast I was sometimes wondering what our characters were thinking/feeling through all this (“oh our Captain was from the MU? Shoot that sucks, moving on”. We needed a slowed-down episode to see how our characters are digesting all that’s transpired.
All the Tyler-confrontation scenes were wonderfully acted (Stammets/Tyler, Burhman/Tyler). Tilly’s mess hall scene…loved it, pure Trek, all heart. Admiral Cornwell kicks so much ass, loved her vaporizing the bowl of fortune cookies and calling Gheorgiou “your highness or whatever you’re called”.
One of the best of the series, even though it’s an extended setup for the finale.
you hit all the points correctly
yes instead of out casting people who are different or who have mental illness the crew in the mess hall sit with tyler and support him, that is star trek at its finest.
While I don’t think that outcasting him is what they should do – setting him loose on the ship is not what they should do either. How do they KNOW that Voq is gone gone, and not just repressed again to be activated later. How does Saru know that something won’t trigger Tyler into a breakdown? Setting him loose on one of the few remaining StarFleet ships seems foolish.
@Martin, they didn’t set Tyler loose on discovery. Saru explicitly said his movements would be restricted.
That will be of great comfort to the family and friends of the crew member he kills the next time he gets activated, I’m sure.
That is the social commentary star trek is great at. It allows viewers to discuss social issues such as the impact of mental illness on society and consquences. How to be part of the solution instead of the problem of prejudices and ignorance of mental illness.
His wristband will keep him in line.
Oh, I do hope so, because L’Rell is still onboard Disco. I would really hate to see her “activate” what’s left of Voq in Tyler.
‘Course, this gives the character Tyler a chance to redeem himself by Ultimate Sacrifice. We’ll see.
@somethoughts THAT is certainly a lesson many viewers should take to heart in our times. I’m quite satisfied with this episode.
@Vulcan Soul yes that was awesome
You mean like suddenly putting complete trust in a guy who very well could still have a lot of crosses wires in his brain? This is not a simple case of including someone who had an unfortunate illness. This was a guy was was reprogrammed and was capable of killing in cold blood and very well could again at ANY moment. So yeah… let’s all buddy up to that guy.
But the crew don’t know that, only Saru and Burnham and the med staff know that.
Agreed; although it did have a slight touch of “Afterschool Special,” these crewmembers had worked with and trusted Ash Tyler, Security Guy, rescued from a Klingon prison ship and suffering PTSD. To them, Ash has been through absolute hell, so I think the welcome back is appropriate.
Wonderfully acted! I’ve got good news! If you want more of this wonderful acting and just wonderful writing, be sure to check out The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS), Days of Our Lives (NBC), General Hospital (ABC), and The Young and the Restless (CBS). Wonderful wonderful.
“As the Burnham Turns” will be back after these messages.
Nice snark man, thanks for your constructive contribution.
And, contrawise, if you insist on a steady diet of laser blasts and CG explosions for your genre fix, Solo is on the way.
I completely agree. If nothing else, this episode demonstrated to me just how tired I’d become of the MU. It was a real pleasure to see these characters grappling with the choices they’d made, and while the writing could have been more solid (and the characterizations more consistent), I’m more convinced than ever that this cast can sell just about anything. In terms of acting that scene between Tyler and Burnham was just one of Trek’s best, period.
It’s not just the MU. I grew tired of the endless phaser, laser, disruptor, fist, feet and whatever fights! This was the first in half-dozen episodes that actually focused on the characters, on consequences and deeper themes than “Fascist Trump” and it was all the better for it!
This by far was one of the best Star Trek episodes ever. I really feel for all the reviews and the people who write them that rely on dissecting Science fiction rather then enjoying the experience. The size of rooms really ? Thumbs up for ‘this series .
Whoa! I think I found a Russian bot employed by Les Moonves! Take a screenshot. Best Trek ever! Like fer sure!
So because he likes something you don’t his opinion is not merely wrong, but fraudulent and corrupt? Well, I’ve been fairly critical of Discovery (in all senses of that word, mind), so if you’re correct the times I’ve offered up qualified praise should have generated some revenue. Alas, I’m still waiting for my check.
It was very interesting to see that the few web reviewers who are usually very critical of Discovery (AVClub, io9 and Popular Mechanics) were all visibly engrossed with the last episode. So it certainly isn’t just you and me. I think the lack of fights and focus on characters is what did the trick. It probably also means next week will be a slogfest again though!
I think she told Sarek that the way to bring the Klingons to their knees is to blow up Praxis. Remember Admiral Cartwright made that same statement in Star Trek 6.
My question is Where is Pike? Where is Garth of Izar? Would be cool if they got Bruce Greenwood to play Pike. They need to bring in some original series characters. Love to see Scotty or a young Kirk.
I wonder if the Klingon Human thing will be used to explain why the original series Klingons look so Human besides the Augment virus.
The Klingon War was always an ambiguous part of Trek Lore. It was never really explained. I agree wouldn’t a war like this impact Starfleet for Generations? The casualties are insane.
The writers of this show say that this will all reconcile with canon. I can’t wait to see. This is a fun show. I really really love it as a fan.
The Archer line was dope. It was a way to say to fans calm down we got this!
You don’t think the impact is correct? In TOS, it seems that Starfleet ships are pretty spread out, and there are only 12 Constitution class ships. This level of war does explain why between the time of Archer and the time of Kirk that there was only this level of expansion – it was a MUCH larger fleet until the Klingon War.
There is nothing to suggest the fleet was much larger in this time than in TOS time. In fact, I got the feeling it was larger still in TOS time.
Hey at least it does explain the fact that the Enterprise is always the only Ship in Range ;)
Garth is trying his hardest to continue swindling fans.. that’s where he is…
If he does appear, let him be ANYONE but A.Peters
“I agree wouldn’t a war like this impact Starfleet for Generations? The casualties are insane.”
But didn’t it? This is a genius way to get us back to the TOS level of “small fleet”, overstuffed starships and outdated technology. Of course all the newest tech and ships were used against the Klingons and obliterated. Took until about 2270 to get back up to speed!
I didn’t think about it like that. Thanks.
In terms of percentages, casualties depicted in any Star Trek story are always manageable. If you figure Earth has a population of 9 billion (assuming the population of Borg on Earth in 2373 in Star Trek: First Contact is any indication), then multiply that by the countless worlds of the Federation and Klingon Empire, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard a number that sounds like it would be a huge percentage.
The numbers are kind of meaningless, which is why I’m not impressed by the trend in the Star Trek films, and elsewhere, to raise stakes artificially, by having high death counts. 2009 had Vulcan, Into Darkness had the building in London, some Klingons, the Vengeance, and much of San Francisco, and Beyond had much of the Enterprise crew.
In Discovery, and in DS9, it’s a little different, because it operates as a barometer on the status of the war.
7 million killed in the Xindi attack on earth and yet not one mention in the other shows so you’re argument has some merit but the Xindi were probably never considered a threat after the Temporal Cold War ended whereas the Klingons have always remained a super power. Therefore I think it stretches credibility a bit that the scale of this conflict was never discussed on screen. I still think the timeline will be reset.
It’s not Praxis they are blowing up it’s Qo’noS. Remember they’re jumping into a giant cave network that encompasses the whole planet and is linked to dormant volcanoes. Key word here – dormant. In the MU we’ll learn that the Terran empire set of some sort of chain reaction with here Volcanoes and effectively wiped out the planet.
I think the preview is a red herring here and the blown-up planet is a different one. The advertised confrontation between the warmongers and the idealists is too important to allow for such a dire outcome.
While I’d love to see Greenwood as Pike, they’d have to ‘youthen’ him up quite a bit. Greenwood has aged well [a Silver Fox] but does look older than TOS Pike.
The casting directors have been pretty good at finding actors who strongly resemble younger versions of their TOS counterparts. Amanda and Stella Mudd are two examples. James Frain looks almost nothing like Mark Lenard, but his performance is aces.
That said, I do wish/hope they could find a way for Greenwood though. I loved him as Pike in the Abrams films.
The dude playing Jack Ryan in the Amazon series looks like Hunter.
I think it is safe to assume that Michael will prove that they don’t need the help of an evil emperor to defeat the Klingons. She will probably want to do something drastic, like destroying Q’ono’s, but Michael and the others will stand up for the Federation’s ideals, and find a less genocidal way to end the conflict.
That’s certainly what the trailer implies. And that sounds great, sort of a reverse of In the Pale Moonlight.
I’m honestly not sure how the Klingon war is going to end with anything short of a reset – Or at least a reset of the last nine months. I’m totally fine with pushing the boundaries of canon, but to have the Federation nearly completely conquered and the Klingons on the doorsteps of Earth, and then to have this never talked about…well that’s just pushing it too far.
I fully expect that the spore drive will be utilised to go back in time somehow to save the Federation.
That’s kind of what I’m thinking…which just seems like a massive copout, but I really don’t see how else Disco can end the war while still remaining true to canon.
Michael Burnham will wake up and say that was a fantastic dream, you were there and you where there. Or out pops Lorca and Georgio and say well done you passed, you are promoted to USS Discovery as Captain.
I’m in complete agreement but I don’t know that I would describe it as a cop out. Remember the original plan was for this story to only ever last one season. Now they may adapt the original ending so they can continue to tell stories with this crew or it might turn out this is an anthology show after all.
AdAstraPerAspera, that was my thinking too. But then IT would have to get classified. Spock is unaware of the possibility of time travel being possible in The Naked Time. So it seems there is no way around doing something unappealing. The perils of setting it a mere 10 years before TOS.
You mean like the way Spock had a foster sister who was inCREDibly important to Sarek but never got mentioned in the entire previous history of Trek…?
They’ve been saying all along, “Just wait until the end of the season, we’ll show you, it’ll work.” And maybe — hopefully! — it will.
But I don’t see how.
Or a half brother? Trek has never given you as much information about character back stories as you think it does.
If you have to invoke ST:V as your defense, you’ve already lost!
@Bryant Burnette — that’s not the same thing at all. There are relationships in my family which are important to me that I don’t really share with anyone outside of my family. And DISC has precedent in canon for it, since Spock never once mentioned to his friend and captain that one of the most important Vulcan’s in the Federation is Spock’s father.
However, time travel is well documented in canon, and as soon as the Enterprise discovered it, Starfleet sent the Enterprise on a rather routine mission through time to gather historical information. If Starfleet knew how to time travel more safely, they would have sent the Enterprise through time on an historical fact finding mission long before that.
Easy … they will map the planet and destroy the Klingon infrastructure, just as Burnham had planned. Then, when the Klingons are helpless, Georgiou will move to wipe out the planet but Burnham (and probably Saru) will intervene and stop her, thereby ending the immediate threat to the Federation but also creating the status quo and Klingon – Federation cold war we had all during the TOS era.
@TonyD — yup!
Correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t there a DS9 episode where they talked about the possibility of the Klingons reaching Earth? Maybe I am wrong but I remember some dialogue about it.
By the way weren’t there Starfleet Officers in all Black (Section 31) in Discovery. What happened to Black Alert?
Black Alert was issued whenever they used the spore drive.
No, they said the last time a conflict had reached Earth was the Romulan war. Technically they made a point of showing this war has not reached Earth.
“What does this show have against showing other ships? Most often, like when the Admiral’s ship approached and boarded the Discovery and when Sarek departed, we never see the other ships. Is this a creative choice or cost-saving?”
So much this. The space vfx have been really weird in general. A combination of really odd lighting (typically everything is way too dark and hard to make out, with splashes of overbearing light drowning out everything else), too much detail with certain ships, to the point that all the details just blend together (mainly with the Klingon ships, kind of reminds me of the Transformer movies vfx being so overstuffed as to be indistinguishable). And then on the flip side of things, most of the space vfx are really sparse, outside of the Battle at the Binary Stars we’ve rarely seen more than one or two ships in any single vfx shot. Normally I would chalk that up to budget, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with Discovery, with each episode reportedly costing b/w 8 and 8.5 million to make…so I guess creative reasons?
I say time and cost to produce the fx shots
Then what are they spending the money on if not exterior VFX? Does the show have THAT many non space effects shots? Or are they just building everything full-size on stage even though VFX tech can do reasonable set extensions for a lot of art direction issues? (Will not be attempting to view eps till next weekend, when I will have three days to get through all 15 for free, and am still wondering if it will be worth my time.)
I am guessing salary costs for Isaacs, Yeow, Sonequa, Rapp, Jones, Latif, Wiseman, etc talent is not cheap
Isaacs is worth it, as is everyone else. They cast this show very well. If it proves as popular as it seems to be it will pay for itself eventually. It’s a long game.
I think you will enjoy S1
It’s very likely not worth your time–because, frankly, your mind was made up on this show before the first episode ever aired–and, very mixed bag that it is, I doubt that much will present itself to change your mind. Which may strike you as an unfair thing for me to say, but it’s honestly the only conclusion I can come to based on what you’ve written in these forums.
Yeah, on AfterTrek the director said the spore genesis took three months in visual development.
This is the first incarnation of Star Trek where the ships don’t feel like actual, physical vessels. Too many of the visual effects feel like extended cut scenes from video games.
Which has more to do with her inexplicable aesthetic decisions than actual technical prowess. Making the ships super-colorful, super-detailed while having this weird “glow” that makes space look like a humid rain forest just lends itself to look like a videogame. If you want to see what space realistically should look like, 2001 is still the bar.
There was an interview with one of the producers (maybe Kurtzman? Can’t remember) where he said that they under-budgeted the VFX. The show probably has a lot more FX that we’re not even aware of such as set extensions or full-CGI sets. However, I agree that many of the space shots are disappointing. That’s surprising since TREK is a space show (and other space shows with smaller budgets had better space VFX). It’s not only that spaceship shots are short and far between, they also seem awkwardly choreographed a lot of the time.
Can someone please explain why Michelle Yeoh is so highly regarded? This is the only role I’ve seen her in but she seems so wooden and unable to act. She seems like a mannequin compared to everyone around her.
I can’t believe we traded Jason Isaacs for this.
Speaking of which, I don’t see how MU Lorca was any more evil than the awfully portrayed emperor.
Here’s to hoping the writers stop relying on tricks and twists and instead focus on a good story for season 2. The modern day comparison to the end of this episode would be like putting Hitler in charge of our most fearsome battleship because he has a knack for genocide. Even in the world of science fiction this is absurd writing.
Shit =/= creativity
you should watch crouching tiger hidden dragon, Michelle is a big star in Asia. Her acting range is tops and she has charisma and chemistry with Burnham
I’ve not only seen her in that but also in Tomorrow Never Dies and Marco Polo. She is adequite. But she does feel out of place in this role. She’s a lot more forced here than in anything else I’ve seen her in.
I will say I just can’t buy that they would put her in charge. It seems waaay over the top. It feels like if they decided to put Khan in charge or something. You can’t keep people like this in line and you would THINK after what MU Lorca did the last they would do is trust someone else from that universe but I guess that makes the drama.
Yes, I also felt it was over the top. Why put The Emperor in charge when she could advise Adm Cornwell from the sidelines about Q’ONos geography? Oh ,,, did she insist she sit in the captain’s chair? I guess if you’re Emperor you don’t stand on the sidelines!
she wanted her freedom and to pretend to be PU Georgio to satisfy covering up MU and prevent people for searching for long loss dead loved ones. She wants to have a relationship again with Michael and she wants to destroy the Klingons again. New universe so much to conquer.
Yeah it makes no sense at all. Although I have a feeling we are going to get a plot line where she will use being the fake captain as a way to try and get back to her universe just like Lorca did. I think one thing has been made clear neither side likes being in the other universe.
The reason she is in charge is that she’s got the stomach for genocide. Somebody like Cornwell could sanction the attack so why not command the mission herself? Probably because when it came to actually pulling the trigger there’s no guarantee she’d be able to go through with it. I’m not saying it’s the most plausible plot line but I’m fairly certain that’s the internal logic behind this particular creative decision.
Yes but does the crew who is helping her to commit genocide has it as well? Thats the bizarre head scrather here. Just because they didn’t have a real Starfleet captain giving the orders, its still Starfleet who is sanctioning it and its still a Starfleet crew who is carrying those orders out as well.
Thats why it doesn’t make sense. I mean give Section 31 the job then, they will do it with bells on lol. And Starfleet could deny they had any involvement in it.
I was thinking late last night… what if she was also an augment? The MU would not limit it!
Wow that would be interesting. And a nice twist to the MU that they went the opposite way and was motivated to make augments and even could be used as a reason why they became more stronger than other species to rule them. Probably feel like a retcon at this point but so what? If we learn anything from all these prequels, retcons are part of the job. ;)
I thought Yeoh was massively wooden in TOMORROW NEVER DIES, a truly godawful Bond movie, but also thought she brought some sophistication and grace to SUNSHINE, a really well-intended and almost successful space film. People I guess like her from the Ang Lee movie about walking on trees while swordfighting that I’ve never seen, so maybe that is it.
You have to check out some of her other work. The woman kicks ass. I love her on this show.
I don’t view her line readings as wooden at all. YMMV.
This one was OK but not that great IMO. After the fantastic MU arc it looks like we are back to the Klingon war again. And some of it was decent but yeah this show is starting to feel like something out of a soap opera. Now we have MU Georgiou leading the ship and I don’t really understand why she has to pretend to be the Captain? Just make her the advisor or something. It feels a bit over the top IMO but yeah this is Discovery we’re talking about lol. I also feel the MU Discovery being blown up was too much of a cop out (again, this is Discovery so who knows?) but if true it just conveniently solved everything dealing with the ship. And I really, really wanted to see Captain Killy lol.
And it just feels like they are throwing canon out the window with the idea the Klingons got that far into Federation territory but yes the entire war is basically not very canon so I guess you make do.
But there were some good things, the scene with Ash and Tyler and I loved the whole spores thing growing on the planet. Once again that felt like classic Trek what you would find in a TNG episode, just a moment where they acknowledged the beauty of life.
But oddly my most favorite moment was the shout out to Archer and NX-01. I have no idea why but I smiled when they mentioned them. Its funny how Enterprise now feels like the show most IN canon thanks to the KT films and now Discovery.
“Now we have MU Georgiou leading the ship and I don’t really understand why she has to pretend to be the Captain?”
I thought this part was very clear! They said nobody should ever know a person from the MU came back with them and is on board, and all evidence on the MU must be destroyed. They even threatened the young transporter chief with court martial!
So the “Captain Georgiou survived” play is the cover story for everybody who didn’t see Emperor Georgiou come aboard (she was beamed directly from the transporter room to guest quarters).
In other news, I must really be from the MU too since I like the episodes nobody else likes and hate the ones everybody likes!
I loved this episode
Yeah but no one but Discovery even needs to know she is on board. Since everyone on Discovery clearly knows the truth, just keep the fact she’s there a secret. Isn’t this why we have a Section 31, to find ways around things like this?
I just don’t buy it. If you want to destroy all the evidence then you don’t make someone from there the leader of your ship because it will just raise a LOT more questions in the end. And now she has to pretend to be the real PU Gerogiou and fool others who may know her before. We saw MU Lorca get away with it but no one ever knew what happened to the real Lorca.
But yes I had to look at your handle again because I can’t believe this is the same person now defending the show lol. And as I said I didn’t hate it, certainly liked it waaaaay better than the reviewer lol. I just thought some of it had some problems story wise and it felt more of a set up than anything but overall it was definitely a decent episode, just not as good as the last batch in the MU.
As others have mentioned her visible presence, on Discovery, the ship Klingons thought they destroyed 9 months ago, seems to be a major part of her plan. Like “Shock and Awe” – the dead came back from Stovokor! Of course next week’s episode looks like a complete action romp so they may just forget about motivations and make it “Hell Georgiou is back in the chair kicking a$$”, but at least this would be an internal motivation we can always imagine. But you are probably right that this will blow up in everyone’s face by the end of next week, and maybe that’s what they are fully counting on even – the next TWIST (TM)!
I’m not really defending “the show” or even “the producers” but plot logic in terms of the greater Star Trek universe. It is certainly a nicer discussion to have than the awful political fights from last week but they forced it onto us with a sledgehammer! This week seemed to contained an apology almost with the line “How we treat [them] is who [they] will become”, but I don’t actually expect the writers to be so conscious of the consequences of their messaging.
What I expect in Trek is to have big philosophical discussions such as the upcoming “pragmatism vs. idealism”, and not get its hands dirty in partisan politics. I still feel the latter was wrong and un-Star Trek for many reasons, even business. But I understand it is unfortunate consequence of subscriber-based networks creating a tailored audience and built-in echo chamber. Discovery is a mirror (Ha!) of its times more than remedy to our problems.
I didn’t have a problem with them putting her in command and, truth be told, this was the first real twist of the season.
OK thats fine although I’m not sure how this is the first real twist lol. I’m guessing you mean the first one you didn’t see coming? I think a Klingon pretending to be human and someone from another universe pretending to be in this one were much bigger.
Well, the first twist we all didn’t see coming.
OK thats fair. Although I wouldn’t have seen a lot of these twists coming if I didn’t read so many theories here about them. And I think a lot of people would probably say that if they were being honest. THAT said though people did guess them just the same for me to even read them so yes a lot did figure them out but not everyone.
Are we 100% sure that the person we saw at the end was Mirror Georgiou, and not the actual Captain Georgiou?
Back in “The Battle of the Binary Stars,” I was unconvinced Georgiou was really dead. We never saw a body. I backed off this stance when Voq said that they ate her — but of course that’s what he *said*; again, we didn’t see it. Klingons have been known to brag about their war trophies.
Maybe but that feel even MORE convoluted IMO. So both the Klingons and starfleet lied about her being dead? Why? Why all the secrecy? This show already has so many crazy twists I can’t say its not possible at all but highly unlikely, especially since the whole point is to have a crazy, irrational, violent Gergiou at the helm, not the one who actually adheres to Starfleet ethics and protocol.
For all the twists and reveals on this show for me there has thus far only been one “Holy Crap!!” moment. When Ash snaps the doctor’s neck. Most of the rest were met with facepalms.
If that is Prime Georgiou, then that is the single worst plot twist I’ve ever seen on television. Well, outside of cartoons and sitcoms.
Bryant, it would rank right there with Lorca is really from evil land and only wants to take over the universe.
Anything is possible but her injuries in BotBS looked pretty terminal and Saru did say they lost her life signs right before he beamed Burnham back. Her death is also at the heart of Burnham’s arc; so to render all that moot via some convenient, yet to be revealed deus ex machnina stunt would be a cheap cop out.
I think she is the emperor and the final episode will be a battle of conflicting ideologies; Burnham’s (and probably Saru’s) innate optimism and belief in Federation ideals vs. Georgiou’s militant, do whatever it takes to win attitude and what path the Federation ultimately decides to follow (and we pretty much already know what that will be).
As someone said above in the thread, perhaps Cornwell puts MU Georgiou in the captain’s seat because she will do what no Starfleet captain could do.
I just don’t know what this series is. I don’t think anyone making it does, either.
Unless they’ve got the mother of all rabbits waiting inside a hat to be produced with a flourish next week, then I’ll be proclaiming this as my least-favorite Trek series by roughly a factor of 10AU.
So you loved EVERY Star Trek show its first season? I have issues with it too (see my quick review above…or below) but I have also learned Trek’s first seasons are usually baby steps and I feel this is probably the most entertaining first season of a Trek show IMO, if not the best. I mean every week, or at least since episode 9 I have been riveted to what happens next. Its sad its all done next week.
But I’m not completely disagreeing with you, I think the show relies more on cool misdirection than actual direction at times. Its nothing wrong with that but yes it is hard to peg what this show is REALLY about outside of seeing Burnham redeem herself. I’m wondering too what happens when the Klingon war is over? And they have no official Captain? DO they just go off and explore or are they going to do another big thing that will be revealed next week? I’m guessing the latter.
But I think its OK NOT to know what its about. DS9 had a solid idea of what it thought it was about but by third season it was something completely different. Same with Enterprise. And both for the better.
There are some pointless and goofy Deep Space Nine episodes in the first season (Q & Spunky, Rumplestiltskin, Allamaraine etc.) but DS9 Season 1 starts well and ends well enough, with some classic episodes along the way – Duet, Progress. Anyone who honestly thinks the gimmicky, whiplashy, sudsy, dreck fest that is “Disco” comes close to early Deep Space Nine is … is … perhaps on the first shap of Wadi Chula?
I never said Discovery is as good as DS9, I was making the point I think DIS first season isn’t any better or worse than most of Star Trek has been but has been more entertaining where I found DS9 first season a bit boring and plodding, even if overall better episodes. I liked it as a whole though but no I wasn’t riveted to my seat either. Lets face it the Bajoran subplot fell flat at times and why the Dominion came around because they realized the Cardassian/Bajoran plot line wasn’t going to be the page turner they hoped and came up with a more serious and deadly story line with the Dominion arc. Now to be fair to them, they figured out a great way to incorporate that story line with the stuff that was going on with the Cardassians and Bajorans. In other words they never abandoned any of it, they just found a more exciting way to tell those stories and made them more impactful at the same time.
And as I said I’m not disagreeing Discovery maybe doing too many twists for the sake of it and said in my quick review of this episode the Georgiou reveal at the end felt like too much. Its like the writers are upping themselves to see who comes up with the next crazy thing to do. At least since episode 9 every single episode has had one “OMGTHATWASACRAZYTWIST” syndrome. But that said I have to admit thats when I became really invested. Maybe it was just the MU arc in general though.
And sadly thats probably just our binge-watching culture these days. CBS knows many people will binge the season and this is a way to keep them clicking to the next one.
But DS9 didn’t really find the crux of its story until third season. Most of them, for one reason or another, doesn’t seem to hit their stride until then. DIS seems to at least have people interested in where its going, although maybe they are because they don’t know where its going.
Or Chateerjee…. some people might have a difference of opinion to you? Your own opinion is exactly that- an opinion, but you have laid it out as though it is fact.
You clearly dislike this series, so with all due respect to yourself: why on Earth are you still watching it?
Sorry but absolutely no… TNG got only good when they got rid of the way to small Pyjamas in S3…
Most of S1 and S2 of DS9 were so cringe worthy that I still suffer from “Fremdscham” every time I see them (last week was the last time btw.).
VOY never really recovered from that and dragged awful stuff around but got better late S3 onwards.
i never got the voyager hate. hands down best series, particularly after 7-of-9 came in.
Bingo. It might be OK to imbibe as schlock, if it didn’t take itself so seriously and wasn’t so pretentious and ponderous – the disconnect between what it thinks it is and the dreck that it is, would be amusing if it weren’t such a colossal waste of space bucks. Captain Bakula and Buster the Beagle – your show is looking better every dreary on-demand week. Excelsior! Sons of Bad Robot away! Bad robot, very bad robot. #KurtzmanMummy
What the hell are you saying????
Bryant, you hit that ball right on the screws. They really do need the mother of all rabbits in their hat to pull out for this season to be redeemed.
Can you not just enjoy it and not pick it apart to the Nth degree? lol
Me and my pals are members of a ‘Mother Goose Club’, and we watched this episode this morning at our ‘Mother Goose’ clubhouse.
Discovery is really going from strength to strength. Great acting, special effects and an enthralling storyline!
Can’t wait to see how the plot develops!
OK, I don’t think there’s much hope for STD without a change in showrunner. I was hoping most of the derpy stuff was leftover from Bryan Fuller (who might be a heavy drug user or whatnot) but I read that Buzzfeed piece which reveals it was Harberts & Gretchen who made Lorca a Mirror man. And it comes down to taste and it comes down to not really getting Trek – see, Ira Behr and Manny Coto knew Mirror Land is corny as hell, so they didn’t take it seriously; for DS9 it was a break for the actors to be hammy, and Coto described it as a “pure romp” – no statements to be made here, folks. But STD not only takes cheesed-out Mirror Land seriously, it centers the season around it, to make heavy duty statements about genocide! And despotism! And Trump hats! And questionable battlefield ethics! And gold decor! But like, in a less compelling way than you might see in a Marvel/DC comic book from 1970. So yeah, the showrunners are likely simpletons, and the boss above them directed The Cruise Mummy and wrote Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Doom index at warp 11 … prediction: the season finale will end with the entire show mutating into a salamander and laying an egg inside The Traveler’s fungus-van. #YerFired
I really think they haven’t thought this through totally that making Lorca Mirror instead of “Different Captain” is very Un-Star Trek in its Black and Whiteness and uncompromising rejection of (intellectual) diversity. It was more something I would expect in a cartoonish Marvel superhero movie. But it does seem they do want to have that discussion about whether we give in to divisiveness and becoming who we hate in desparate times (next week) – we will see how that turns out.
I think having Mirror Lorca as a man of principle who managed to escape into the the Prime Universe would have been a more interesting take on the character. He wants to be here and discovers a universe that embraces the ideals he could only have dreamed of as a captain in the Mirror Universe. That would create a complex character as he commands a ship with his MU edge while defending the ideals of the Federation.
Indeed! IF this show is arguing that people’s morality is solely a matter of circumstances and can be changed if circumstances change, it has made a poor case for it so far, as Mirror Lorca turned out to be utterly irredeemable despite more than a year on the captain’s chair, and judging from the preview it doesn’t look much better for Mirror Georgiou!
This whole nature vs. nurture discussion is kind of a red herring if the end result (irreversible) is the same!
Exactly! That’s about as Star Trek as it gets.
That would’ve been awesome, and him having some idea of going into MU and stopping the slaughter of innocents would be cool too, with the angst that it’s an impossible task.
Oh, well indeed.
I hope Prime Lorca comes back and has to deal with the bad things his MU counterpart did, recover from having been in the MU, and, yes, still be a “different” sort of captain, practical, demanding, and not so “by the book.” Some great stuff for Jason Isaacs to chew on.
Imagine a pretty decent guy walking into Dr. Lorca’s Chamber of Horrors ….
The lack of redemption for Lorca, which still was a fantastic character before they turn him into a fascistic character, is still a major peeve I have. You will also notice the historically unique situation that both the main and support cast is now utterly lacking of his type of (human) man. Bring back Lorca!
Harberts and Iceberg are like a real life SNL skit. I can’t figure out how either of them were deemed competent enough to run this show. I guess they simply “checked” the right boxes.
Pardon my sarcasm but deliciously they moved up the ladder Mirror-Universe-style: their superior was murdered, erhhh, fired.
Iceberg was an honest autocorrect mistake, but sadly ironic. I guess Fuller was destined to be the Titanic.
I have to say that this review misses the mark on a lot of things and reads in parts like an angry fanboy rant. Vulcans DO HAVE emotions and do understand that humans act on them so for Sarek to tell his adopted, human daughter to not regret loving someone, ESPECIALLY post the episode named Lethe and post the mind meld discussion from Battle of Binary Stars (not sure in which part) makes A LOT of sense.
Same with the crew showing Ash Tyler some compassion. That’s what Trek is about. The Voyager crew embraced 7of9, Tuvix. TNG had them accepting a Klingon on the bridge (Worf’s brother), had them even willing to save a Romulan (minus Worf), had them willing to accept Lore… Troi and the ship put their necks out to help a guy who had killed 84 people and who was a genetically engineered solder. Same as on Voyager with the alien whose neural pathways got corrected by the Doctor, thus turning him from a serial killer into a kind person.
“the Chief Medical Officer, who apparently is so busy doing Andorian tonsillectomies that he or she hasn’t been seen by anyone or even mentioned since episode 5.” WHY do we need to see the CMO? All crews on all ships have always had competent people OTHER than the chiefs of the respective sections. It’s just that on those shows, the section chiefs were main characters on the show. Here they are not. Stamets isn’t the ship’s engineer either. We haven’t seen that character. We haven’t had a reason for that to happen yet.
“What does this show have against showing other ships?” Granted, I would love to see other ships. But here’s something I noticed watching TNG. So many of the exterior shots of the Enterprise are pointless, filler that could have easily been cut out without hurting the episode and sometimes it would have helped the rhythm of the episode. Also, how many times did they re-use the same model for different ships? The Hathaway = The Stargazer. All admirals are on Excelsior class ships Whose nacelles and shape are nicely hinted at in Discovery’s design as well. The Pakled ship had showed up before and would show up again…
I think they don’t show ships to keep the visual intersections with canon at a minimum and I get that. They don’t want to show TOS style ships and they want to keep the ENT style ships at a minimum as well.
Sometimes I don’t get people. This is infinitely better than TNG Season 1 and yet…nitpicking everywhere.
This episode was the most like the Trek of the Berman/Braga era out of all so far.
The most common complaint “Discovery is not like classic Trek” is so redundant and then even when it is like classic Trek people still bitch and moan.
They certainly reversed course by 180 degrees from last week where different was pure evil which uncompromisingly *had* to be killed. Are we now going to have a proper philosophical confrontation between the ends justifying the means and living up to ideals?
We enjoyed this episode and are loving the show.
This review is more of a whiney rant.
I guess I can see where this going. Emperor Georgiou’s grand scheme is to blow up Praxis in order to cripple Q’onos. But Michael has to confront her again in order to stop Starfleet from committing genocide… In the end, she’ll talk L’Rell into negotiation a cease fire…
Why Praxis? Easy. They are photocopying elements from the original movies that are easily relatable for general audiences… the Terraforming bit was Genesis Zero, now it’s time to blow up Praxis.
The problem is: neither did they scan that barren Vader moon for pre-existing life-forms nor does the Federation council consider genocide unethical anymore. Sarek was completely out of character succumbing to the Emperor’s offer. Now it’s Michael’s chore to save Federation’s moral integrity before Emperor Georgiou can Burnham all… I have a bad feeling about this. May the Spores be with us…
@GL — how do you know they didn’t scan? Stamets knew about the moon, so one assumes it was already studied for this purpose. Someone did call it a lifeless moon. Any life that arrived after wasn’t native. And I never got the impression the spores were like the Genesis device, wiping out any life in favor of its own. So this is just a non-starter issue.
May I say, Admiral Cornwell was BOSS. But that weird decision to put the Empress in the captain’s chair … I dunno.
Latif conveyed lots of emotion, convincingly; so did Martin-Green. I have a feeling we’ll see shreds of Voq coming back … all because L’Rell was the one who did the “brain surgery” … do we really think she would have got rid of her lover completely? Sure, she did the Klingon death scream/shout/whatev but was that for show, or a release of emotions?
They can’t kill Sarek! I mean …!
Is there a time re-set in the future? [I sure hope there’s a Prime Uni Lorca!)
Lots and lots of questions. I do feel we’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster ride, and wish the plot twists would slow down a bit.
And, folks ..? what’s an AU ..?
An AU is an Astronomical Unit – a unit of measure equal to about the distance from the Earth to the Sun. That’s why the reviewer was puzzled both by the distance of 100 AUs and the presence of an Earth-looking planet in the background. Even Pluto is only about 40 AUs out.
Who’s the science advisor on this show, anyway? Bormanis is on ORVILLE, and they have another future advisor there too.
WTF? Why not use light-years or parsecs? How weird.
Marja, AU shucks, that’s like asking about parsecs during a Kessel run! Not!
AU is the distance from the earth to the sun. Trek reference has it that vger’s cloud was 82 AUs in diameter though the ludicrous director’s version shrinks it down to 2AU (which means the E refit at warp 7+ would have flown through it pretty DAMN quickly, meaning the cloud passage in BOTH cuts of the film is slower than realtime)
Oh, and a parsec is 3.26 light years, not a measure of time.
And not to forget: It stands for Astronomical Unit, from sun to earth are around 150 Mio km or 8 light minutes ;)
I knew about the parsec, laughed at Lucas’s use of it as a measure of time. But the parsec/light year is commonly used in SF and in Trek canon … at least I thought so …
Thanks, I thought maybe it was Astronomical Unit, but have no idea why the Federation would hook a distance measure to an Earth-centric idea. SMH.
*** HUGE SPOILER ALERT***
The brave crew of the Discovery defeat the Klingons in double time and head back to Georgiou’s lavish room for a celebratory meal and a few drinks. The Emperor-in-exile has prepared a lavish feast of delights and wonder. Stamets and Tyler have a heart to heart and the latter is forgiven in a touching scene. Across the table Michael looks on, a steely tear rolls down her cheek as she ponders if she will ever be able to find enough humanity to forgive Tyler.
From the corner of the table, though still stuffing the delicious food down her gullet, Tilly pipes up ; “hey you guys, does anyone know where Captain Suru is?” There is a pause, silence descends apart from Tilly’s obnoxiously loud chewing. Suddenly the door opens, an unknown figure looms in the door way. A second, tenser pause ensures. Tilly gulps! It’s Admiral Cornwell. The camera goes to a close up of Georgiou’s face. A rye smile forms as she utters; “Hello Clarice….”
Solid review which really touches upon the few issues I’ve had with the show in general and this episode in particular:
– The more I find out about it, the more I prefer Bryan Fuller’s initial concept; it appeared to be simpler, more direct and had less of the forced surprises that I think have backfired a bit.
– The continued absence of other Federation ships, especially anything a little more recognizable in terms of design is a little disappointing, as is the fact that we’ve seen so little of this war that the whole season is supposed to be about.
– The Federation leadership was always a little dicey during Kirk’s time but the guys running the operation here are particularly ineffective; the show seems to be trending back towards that unfortunate habit of making the crew look good by making everyone else look weak and incompetent.
– Lorca’s absence is also just a gaping hole and a little ominous; the show really needs someone to anchor it and none of the remaining cast is cut out to do that in my opinion, which is why I think Prime Lorca is still out there (Cornwell was a little too quick to pronounce him dead).
The episode felt like filler and while it moved the plot along it was also one of the least satisfying ones so far.
This episode was really not Star Trek. Burnham not even a bit forgiving Tyles is out of the character. Sarek hearing to emperor – out of character.
The whole federation command, including Sarek look like admiral Nechayev multiplied by 10.
Section 31 looks like amateur organization when I compare it to this group of admirals.
I just realized that Discovery has the most weirdies company on board of all series at the same time on screen lets count it:
– Admiral that shoots on cookies(without alarming security, hello Cmdr. Chekov)
– Commander which species is food for another species(universe independent)
– Mutinier with adoptive vulcan father, about which every one thinks as cause of the war, which is not truth
– Guy with beard that was once Klingon, but now is former Klingon looking as former human prisoner, with that human in his brain(wow)
– Klingon woman prisoner that thinks about self as biggest strategist of all time(doubt)
– Mirror terran female canibal – Former emperor of Terran empire which is now acting canibal captain(10 x WTF)
– A guy that likes fungus so much that he was able to use it for multidimensional spacetime displacement drive
– A cyborg which is not making any attempts to assimilate the rest of the crew
– Another minor cyborg at helm
– Cadet genius with multiple strange personality disorders that represents the best of humanity and Federation and like to sit in mess hall with outsiders
Did I forgot something?
I will remember name of the person that written this episode, I have to compare his another work to understand it.
@markpizi: Good observations. Maybe some will be cleared up in the finale next week, but until then I will try to have a little fun attempting to explain a couple of them!
I agree that Admiral Cornwell blasting the cookies was really weird, as well as agreeing to let MU Georgiou “play” captain. But, I think the writers are trying to convey that after 9 months of horrific losses to the Klingons, they are understandably on edge and willing to do things atypical for Starfleet during peace time. Our POV characters from Discovery have skipped these harrowing times. This was pretty clear when Cornwell was catatonic after seeing Starbase 1 had been taken over by Klingons and Saru needing to give the order to warp out of the system.
Regarding the “cyborgs:” I originally found them out of place also, especially since we haven’t seen this type of Federation officer in later series. My assumption is that they are medical augmentations that allow otherwise wounded and/or disabled persons to live normal lives. Maybe an explanation for why we haven’t seen them before is that these types of electromechanical enhancements are relatively new during this time period and by the time TOS rolls around they have become miniaturized and subdermal.
I’m looking forward to how they wrap all this up next week!
I will say this about small nits like phasering the cookies. If the show were better this sort of thing would be amazingly minor. Sure, it would get brought up. But few would care because overall the show was engaging and well done. The fact that it has come up as much as it has tells me that the show just is not that engrossing to many. To the point that it gets brought up in a list IOC issues they are having with the episode.
I think Cornwell was just RULLY pissed off and used the cookies as an outlet. Somehow I think phasers have settings other than “kill.”
maybe not wise to fire phasers in a starship, much like not firing guns on a airplane. I recall in TUC one cannot fire phasers on a starship?
Burnham’s flaws are what make her such a fascinating character to me. Despite her brilliance and her badassery, she makes bad choices sometimes. Emotional choices. Her attitude toward Tyler frustrated me. Last week, when she rescued the emperor, I was yelling at the TV “No! Stupid! Don’t do that!” To me, she’s very much like young TOS Kirk. She does what she thinks is right, no matter what the consequences. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Yes! Karidian, I like your idea of Burnham. That is probably what they are doing. Being an “emotional virgin,” having had to stifle her emotions for 10+ years on Vulcan, she is probably quite susceptible to the big emotions.
As a Vulcan I can personally confirm this from younger years ;)
These reviews have been top notch. Very funny, even when I don’t totally agree.
I doubt that Arne Darvin was disguised in this way. McCoy was able to identify him with a simple tricorder scan. I think its more likely that he just had the augment virus.
Or… Starfleet Medical has added the Information about altered Klingons to the Tricorder database and hence McCoy being able to use a simple scan as opposed to Full Exam.
Possible that L’Rell helped them on the way.
@SK — no, McCoy makes comments about physical differences from humans that would have turned up in Voq/Tyler’s original scans. Voq’s body mimicked a human body perfectly.
KIRK: Obviously. Mister Baris, they like you. Well, there’s no accounting for taste. (and back to Darvin) They don’t like you, Mister Darvin. I wonder why. Bones?
MCCOY: (scanning him) Heartbeat is all wrong. His body temperature is. Jim, this man is a Klingon.
“She lets him know that going to Qo’noS may score some points, but if they want to go to the bonus round to win the game, they have to completely destroy the Klingons, and of course she has a plan”
Unlike DSC’s characters, we know that isn’t what ends up happening, of course. I suspect the “plan” involves time-travel that changes Klingon history and does save the Federation in the DSC era — but, unpredictably, it also changes the Klingon species into the TNG/DS9 version. Definitely physically, maybe culturally too.
Possible bonus twist: Instead of the Klingons getting erased from the timeline, Tyler turns out to be the prehistoric father of all Klingons. Bonus bonus twist: Tyler’s genetic tinkering is partly reversed, and he ends up looking like the Klingons we’re more familiar with…and so do all his descendants.
Tyler/Voq is Kahless!
You heard it here first :P
@Jai — I think you’re letting your desire for visual canon to align with what you know to affect your predictions. I have a hard time imagining any of that happening.
Yes, the entire series will ultimately be about why the Klingons look different, lol. It’s funny that people are still so hung up on this.
The idea of Starfleet letting MU Georgiou take command of the ship so that she can “save the day” is very problematic. It’s Agents of Shield levels of silliness, and another example of DSC’s showrunners/writers sometimes sacrificing realism and logic for dramatic effect and whatever they think is “cool”.
A far more realistic storyline would be Starfleet Intelligence interrogating MU Georgiou about her secret plan to defeat the Klingons. If she still refused to divulge the information — and especially if the situation was so dire that the Federation’s very survival was at stake — she’d be handed over to Section 31, who would probably force the details out of her using more questionable methods. A suitable Starfleet (or Starfleet Intelligence/Section 31) “strike team” would then execute the plan themselves. Instead, DSC has gone for the AoS/STID version of storytelling.
@Jai — I sort of get the impression they don’t have time for all of that. In fact that was the original plan until Starbase 1 was destroyed. I’d be surprised if MU Georgiou is not on a short leash. Most movies rely on a ticking clock which forces the protagonists into an implausible situation — even TOS did this. This is the basis for most entertainment. Add to that, Discovery is a surprise weapon the Klingons think has been destroyed. The longer it’s around the more likely they lose that edge.
How much of a leash could she possibly be on? She will be in command of a ship, far out of reach, where all but 3 crew members know who she really is. She has a TON of power at her disposal. The only thing they have on her is perhaps the offer to get her home. A place where she will be executed anyway. Is that what she wants? Especially after she gets a taste of command again?
No. There is one more trick up their sleave that one or more characters are in on but the audience is not. It’s pretty darn obvious.
I love STD. Ironically enough, nder unconditional surrender. I’d buy anything from them, maybe just because I try not to expect so much. That doesn’t mean that I’m hopeless or that I wouldn’t care, no.
I let them show me Star Trek. I don’t want them to fit my prejudice but I open my mind.
Listen to them. They tell me a fantastically great story. Never have I been touched by any show since DS9. I cannot defend the series for its weaknesses. Alone, they entertain, they grab me, show after show. Gorgeous.
I do not agree with the review. It wasn’t a good story but the first episode that felt and looked a little bit like Star Trek.
thank you. I thought the exact same thing
I’ve enjoyed Discovery for the most part, but this episode disappointed me. Guess I was expecting too much, but I was hoping there would be some repercussions from the ISS Discovery being set loose in the Prime Universe. What do we get? Basically a cop out, not unlike the USS Defiant. So many missed opportunities…
Although it is now obvious that DISC takes place in the “Prime” timeline based only on the assertions of the writers – I am still enjoying it. Discovery is dark, and a bit twisted, but it is still Trek. I’m officially hooked on the show, and excited for the future. Now if they can just find a way to bring back Lorca…
Sounds like I was right in watching the Super Bowl instead. I’ll take my time getting to watch this.
Sounds like you have bad taste.
I enjoyed the episode. In a vacuum, one of the better ones. Didn’t do much for me for the overall story, but as a standalone character piece it was expertly done. Character drama is where this show really shines, and it’s a shame people are focusing so much on the plot and narrative, which is really secondary (much like TNG).
Besides, even if you chose the Super Bowl over the VOY episode “Threshold” you’d still be wrong.
So Danpaine is wrong for having his own opinions and preferences?
He hasn’t expressed an opinion; he hasn’t watched the episode.
“Besides, even if you chose the Super Bowl over the VOY episode “Threshold” you’d still be wrong.”
I agree with this whole heartedly.
One thing we (us!) have not been examining is how Alice in Wonderland ultimately fits in. Does anyone have ideas…?
Very good episode. The reviewer seemed a little whiny with the review. Patriots fan?
I would’ve like to have seen a montage of the Klingon attacks as the Admiral described them. Show us these things. Let us see the carnage and the brutality!
I think it was wise of them to focus on the characters and how the war is effecting them, rather than on the action and the war itself. Like DS9, which while it showed some big battles because they had 26 episodes and 5 seasons to cover the dominion war, most of the episodes focused on the character drama and what the war did to them. Sisko, Jake, and Kira, particularly really got a lot of development thanks to the war arch.
Similarly DSC is focusing on how the war is changing Burnham, Saru, and how Mirror Giorgio’s’s presence and Tyler’s dual personality is affecting them.
Agreed on the characters, but I would like to see quick scenes of what they described. Makes it more real, even if it is video footage that the crew views.
@Trex — what’s ironic, is many fans argued against a series about a war, and did not want to see epic space battles. And that’s pretty much what we got — a drama that focused on the characters and not so much the spectacle of war.
@Curious I respectfully disagree. What was promised was a redemption story amid the backdrop of a never before heard of Klingon war. What we got was little to no Klingon war story and more tying to out maneuver the viewers (which ended up being futile) than we got redemption themes.
I think Cornwell’s shock at the sight of Starbase 1 said it all.
I liked the episode more than the reviewer but there were some odd choices which I chalk up to time being an issue.
I think the “20% of Federation space” thing was meant to imply the Klingons were attacking planets, bases, outposts, not so much to invade and take over space as to damage the Federation.
It would be akin to bombing the heck out of a country but not actually moving in. So the other nation might be practically destroyed, but may not be occupied.
I thought the crew forgave Tyler too easily. I could see Tilly doing it…and in fact, it makes sense for one person, Tilly, to do so. Good point about Detmer and for character development reasons I’d have chosen someone, her being a good one, to angrily storm away (doesnt even need to be addressed this season…just a thread for the future).
Nice name drop of Archer, though it felt a bit gratuitous. When the Admiral earlier mentioned not being to Kronos this century, that was enough of a call out for me. But when you still have some “fans” whining about canon, I guess it never hurts to shoe-horn in some familiar names.
I have to assume Phillipa sacrifices herself (cause having her roam around will be a big problem unless part of the “cover up” is to let her have a command) and Ash likely tries to sacrifice himself but is saved. Maybe he addresses the Klingons as the literal example of Klingon/Human peace.
“All your base are belong to us”
I somehow missed this when I first read the article. I get the reference and almost fell out of my chair laughing. Good one Anthony!
classic pc gaming red alert and warcraft/starcraft multi player asian term
It’s one of many really bad translations from Zero Wing, a side scrolling shooter released around 1989 on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. Side and vertical scrolling shooters were all the rage back then and Japanese companies could not release them fast enough, often with hilarious translations but this was one of the best (ie: worst).
I dunno if this has been mentioned before so I will say it. While I agree with many items mentioned here, one negative thing they have discussed on this site on more than one occasion (this article and last week’s podcast) is that is that Starfleet should adept at battle enough to hold their own in a war against the Klingons, and should not need outside help.
This analysis bugs me because if I remember correctly, it is cannon that Starfleet was very close to losing a war with the Klingons in the 24th century. And they were so desperate that a ship going back into time seemed to be the Federation’s only salvation. Yes it was a different universe. But the only thing that made the universe different was a disappearance of that same ship.
And on top of it, it sounds like the Klingons are using non-traditional war tactics that Starfleet is not prepared for. So while I think giving Georgiou command of the Discovery is taking it too far, I don’t believe it is a stretch to think that the Federation could be losing a war to the Klingons and might desperate enough to rely on an outside source to help change the balance.
You’ve confused the alternate timeline created in Yesterday’s Enterprise with the normal Prime timeline.
In the normal timeline, the Enterprise-C’s legacy is that they responded to a Klingon outpost being attacked by Romulans, that the Federation would come to their aid and fight to do their own destruction earned the Klingons respect.
There was no war with the Federation at the time, their relations were the status quo that had been in place since Star Trek VI, what it did was turn the tide of Klingon opinion about the Federation and the kind of honor they were capable of.
The war you’re referring to was created by the writer of Yesterday’s Enterprise as something that had happened sometime after the disappearance of the Enterprise-C, to create a perilous situation and give the crew a dilemma about what do with the Enterprise-C (keep it for the war effort or send it back and perhaps avoid the war altogether). The disappearance of the Enterprise-C means there was no battle to the death with Romulans to defend Narendra III, which means the Klingons didn’t have a new appreciation of the Federation. So sometime later they start up a new war with the Federation.
I don’t believe I am confusing them. I am well aware that the events of Yesterday’s Enterprise took place in an alternate time line. My point is that that timeline was created by the Enterprise C’s disappearance during the battle of Narendra_III. But if I understand correctly, before that all events up to then existed in the prime timeline as we knew it. So up until that point, Starfleet was the Starfleet that we all knew. Then the Enterprise C disappeared, there was no new appreciation from the Klingons, and at some later point a war started. And the Federation was losing that war badly.
So yes as you say it was a was a the writer’s device “…to create a perilous situation and give the crew a dilemma about what do with the Enterprise-C”. But Yesterday’s Enterprise is one of the most highly regarded episodes of TNG (if not Star Trek in general). And I am not ready to dismiss it because it because it paints Starfleet in a negative light. And what that episode tells us if this:
Everything we know about Starfleet and the Federation existed as we knew it. The Enterprise C’s disappearance led to a war that wouldn’t have happened had it not vanished. That disappearance and that disappearance alone lead to a timeline where Starfleet and the Federation was losing a war against the Klingons.
What I am saying is it is not without precedence to think that Starfleet could be desperately losing a war against the Klingons.
What I am saying is it is not without precedence to think that Starfleet could be desperately losing a war against the Klingons.
Ahh yes I see your point there. What threw me off is calling it canon. While it is canon in the sense it was seen on screen. It’s not actually something that happened, since it was an aberration to the timeline and was fixed. Two slightly different things I realize, and one doesn’t invalidate the other in the strict sense of what canon is (i.e. something shown on screen in an official Star Trek production). Sorry for the derailing the conversation.
In “Yesterday’s Enterprise” history is altered when the C gets sucked into a spacial anomaly and the Federation is losing the war to the Klingons. In the original timeline the Enterprise C was destroyed when it came to the aid of a Klingon vessel under attack by Romulan Warbirds. By episode’s end the timeline is restored.
So, one Klingon War followed by a decades long uneasy peace.
It was explained in the episode that Starfleet isn’t fighting a war with one enemy. They are fighting a war with 24 Klingon houses that are attacking the Federation in an attempt to reign over the other rival houses. How do you fight a war against 24 different enemies that have their own separate goals and tactics?
MU Georgiou is correct that Qo’noS must be attacked so the Klingons unite and Starfleet only has one enemy to fight. Even though I am sure her plan is to just wipe them out, the Disco crew won’t allow that to happen.
Exactly Trellium. My point was I believe Yesterday’s Enterprise showed that Starfleet COULD lose a war with the Klingons using traditional war tactics. Fighting against 24 different Klingon enemies who are using various, unexpected, somewhat terrorist like methods? How is it not realistic that the Federation could be losing a war like that?
I was sure that they were going to use the 9 month gap in time as an excuse to use the spore drive to travel backwards in time, to stop or slow down the Klingons. When they mentioned the destruction/heavy damage to Starbase 12, a mainstay of both TOS and TNG, I was even more certain. But now, it would feel like a cop-out to have a time-travel reset in the final episode, especially with so many other threads to wrap up.
Two thoughts: 1) Funny that Sarek is essentially working as a Starfleet agent at this point, alongside the admiral. Makes his continued objection to Spock joining Starfleet — only rescinded in ‘The Voyage Home’ — very unconvincing.
2) We haven’t seen or have a name dropped for the Discovery’s Chief Medical Officer yet. What are the odds we see next week that it’ll be Dr. Boyce, or Dr. Piper, or (Heavens help us) Bones?
@JinC — except we haven’t seen the end of this. Ultimately this is exactly the kind of thing that could make Sarek change his mind about Starfleet. Regardless, wanting one’s son to follow in the Vulcan path is very different than helping an ally.
@Curious, I hope so. I’m still optimistic that a lot of these issues will be resolved, if not in the final episode then next season.
I think the way they presented Sarek’s ultimatum (in “Lethe”) between choosing Michael or Spock to attend the Vulcan Science Academy was quite clever, and gave an insight into why Spock rejecting the VSA drove such a wedge between them. As of now, though, seeing Sarek galloping to the rescue on a Starfleet ship was jarring (to me). Here’s hoping as you say that seeing the rest of the story will help it all make sense. Cheers.