The Shuttle Pod Crew Gear Up For Battle In “The War Without, The War Within”

Saru in episode 14 of Discovery

Jared, Brian, and Kayla come together once again this week to discuss the penultimate episode in Star Trek: Discovery‘s first season, which kind of felt like a long setup for next week’s finale.

Subscribe to Shuttle Pod: The Podcast on iTunesGoogle Play Music and Pocket Casts! Like what you hear? Please feel free to leave us a glowing review on iTunes.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1, Episode 14 – Debuted Sunday February 4th, 2018

Written by Lisa Randolph
Directed by David Solomon

At The Disco 13: “The War Without, The War Within”

None of your hosts were particularly enthralled with the latest installment of Discovery. Lots of loose ends were left hanging or cut awkwardly short in an episode that felt like filler leading up to next week’s big finish. Can the show wrap everything up next week?

The pseudo-resolution to the Tyler/Voq/Burnham storyline was welcome in principal (we haven’t heard from our dear friend Voqler in a couple of weeks now), but the soap-opera overtones of Tyler and Burnham’s heartfelt reconciliation left something to be desired. Discovery seems like it wants to struggle with the ethical issues surrounding Voqler (who, as Voq, killed a man) but instead seems to sweep them aside in favor of everyone just being glad to see their old pal Ash (who, again, killed a man as Voq) in an awkward mess hall scene led by Tilly. In this storyline, Stamets seems to be the only one acting rationally, and Anthony Rapp lays on a great bit of emotional acting in the confrontation between his character and the now de-Voqed Tyler.

It was great to see Admiral Cornwell back again. The scenes in the briefing room (so Star Trek!) and between Cornwell and L’Rell were particularly fun. But, just like the other threads of this episode, we’re left feeling like the characters in the story have lost their minds. A Vulcan and human admiral conspire with a treacherous genocidal maniac to win a war against the Klingons? And they do so by parading said maniac around as a fallen war hero, which was a mentor to many of the people now serving on the Discovery? The writers may have kept some of the pieces from us, but it’s hard to imagine a world in which this makes much sense or leads to a satisfying conclusion.

All-in-all, your Shuttle Pod crew was left confused and dismayed. But, of course, the show has one more chance to pull this all together. What could possibly await us this coming Sunday?

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Personally, I prefer Tyloq to Voqler.

Thanks for giving voice to so many people that are unhappy with so much things in Discovery. :) I’ve become a fan of this Podcast. Greetings from Brazil!

Everyone deserves a voice, even those with a minority opinion.

How gracious of you, Your Highness.

LOL. Nice job completely misunderstanding my point.

I hear and understand many of the concerns expressed in the podcast.
I am just wondering, like you, what the show would have been like if it had run for 23 episodes as opposed to 15. Would the story tellers have done a better job at telling us the story? Or would we have seen a few episodes that were little more than filler, and which would not have really contributed to the overall story arc? What ifs are infuriating!
That said… there is something about compressed story telling. Yes, it is important to see rather than have characters tell us about certain key story elements. There also is that element of imagining those elements and filling in the gaps yourself.
Notwithstanding ST DISCO’s faults… I intend to binge watch once all the episodes are in! Started doing that recently, and so many threads are actually beginning to make sense.
Another thing, I think that having so many interviews, leaks and previews might have hurt the show a little. Maybe there were some things they should have kept secret, despite public pressure to reveal all. The best part of any series is the suspense of waiting to see what happens next. Some of that was lost with all the media reveals the producers felt they needed to do. Just my 2 cents…

I actually have no issues with Discovery. I think that is been a solid first season. It had it’s strong episodes and weaker episodes. I think it was much better the TNG’s first season. I think that season 2 it will come out even stronger. I love the storytelling, the acting, the character development, the updated look. I give it a 8.5/10

I like this show a great deal. I like that they sometimes let you fill in the blanks for yourself, but there are some elements that could have been shown rather than spoken about. There are tiny drawbacks to the quick pace — the result of fewer episodes for storytelling, but which might have solved by longer episodes (perhaps 58 minutes duration rather than just 42).
But like you, Captain Ransom, I give it more than a passing grade, mainly because the acting is really good and it is such a visual feast! 8.5 out of 10 for me too…

See this is the part that I don’t understand and many TV shows are guilty of this, even Game of Thrones. If you have a long story to tell, then why don’t you ask for more episodes, instead of just trying to cram everything into each episode you could have more breathing room with longer episode counts. I know people are less patient these days, but if TV is a visual medium, and your story is long, then you should take the time to tell it, otherwise we would get episodes like this one where everything is kind of crammed in instead of putting the breadcrumbs and parts of character developments in other episodes.

Just read an interesting analysis on the Tyler PTSD issue.
GEEK DAD’s Jules Sherred sums up everything perfectly, and actually shows how the writers are being true to the reality of this issue. In his words, the Tyler-Voq reveal does not invalidate Tyler’s PTSD and rape trauma. They still exist and still are very real.
Have a read of it, here…

Though I agree with the apparent silliness of putting the Mad Empress in command — I trust (hope against hope?) that an explanation is forthcoming — overall I liked this episode, preferring it greatly to last couple spent in the MU, whose dim precincts I’d rapidly begun to tire of. At least the characters have begun to confront the consequences of the choices they’ve made, whatever the show’s other missteps. What I frankly find distressing about the podcast is all the fanboy angst at the idea that the Federation could actually lose a war with the Klingons fair and square, as though that were an unreasonable outcome for a warrior race with fairly equivalent technology. As a fan I have to say that I found the concluding half-hour of last week’s podcast with its hair-pulling and rending of garments at the notion that Starfleet might not always kick ass a real embarrassment, to the extent I’m not sure that I even care to sample another.

I find it a little amusing how unified the displeasure with the show suddenly is after one episode that drove home many points true earlier already (characters, plots and messages being sacrificed for improbable twists) – given how equally unified the support of the show was during the crazy Mirror Universe episodes.

I also find it dubious that time and again we see many fans liking Star Trek best when it is “not Star Trek” – dystopian, amoral, dark and violent. This is shown by not just the mirror episodes, but similar “violent alternate reality” episodes like “Yesterday’s Enterprise” (TNG) and “Year of Hell” (VOY) consistently ranking as highest of the entire series among fans. I suppose the answer is that the people who truly like Utopian, cerebral science fiction with lack of phaser fights and antagonized characters is rather tiny compared to the entirety of Star Trek fans who more embrace the narrative of a cohesive science fiction universe, dark or light.

And this is a problem in so far as producers have naturally recognized this and reacted – by making our “Prime Star Trek” just as dark and violent as these alt-reality trips. This was most evidenced by the deliberate mirroring of the 9-month-later Federation with the Terran Empire we saw before, but is really going back all the way to DS9 season 4 when it was decided to bring in more war, more Klingons and more action. The pendulum has been consistently swinging in one direction for almost a quarter of a century now, I’d hope it is swinging back in the other direction eventually!

I agree that the spore drive is the biggest question mark for me as well. But it’s always been implied that the Federation and the Klingons fought a major conflict prior to TOS. In “Errand of Mercy” Kirk goes into detail about planets turned in labor camps and innocents slaughtered by Klingons, Picard references the Federation’s disasterous first contact with the Klingon Empire (which can be interpreted as the Battle of the Binaries since Broken Bow was United Earth), Garth of Izar fought some decisive battle prior to TOS that’s referenced that could be during this war, plus that map isn’t all of Federation space, it’s only about quarter of it, there’s areas galactic west and north that aren’t shown. The number of casualties seem like a lot to us but in perspective the population of the Federation it probably in the hundreds of billions if not trillions at this time. So I’m not surprised it hasn’t come up before, drop in the bucket compared to the Dominion. Wolf 359 only comes up as often as it does cause it was one engagement in what was looking like a century of relative peace.

Plus the people that are junior officers now would be Admirals and Captains by the time you get to the movie era (2280’s) which would account for Starfleets obviously more militaristic look by that time. The generation that fought a war is now making the rules.

My next biggest concern is Starbase 1 being so close to Earth and an attack on Qo’noS. The Klingons are right outside or just barely within the Sol system, and after the Breen attack Earth Martok specifically tells Sisko “…even my people never attempted that” though it does imply the Federation and Klingons had a bit more conflict then we ever saw but attack on earth or even an attempt is pretty blantantly flying in the face of canon. And of course Qo’noS has to survive into at least the 24th century, and I have a feeling that’s not the plan.

Also, they were terraforming Mars at the end of Enterprise, and the difference between the Genesis Device and Stamets magic spore pods is, to me, it looked, like it was just a section of a moon with an existing atmosphere and just a small area of that moon, the Genesis Device turns an entire lifeless rock into a paradise. It’s the difference between terraforming…Mars or Venus, and say, Earth’s moon, ones gonna take waaaay more effort and tech

Jayne Brook was in Chicago Hope and Kindergarten Cop

I really enjoyed this podcast. I have enjoyed most of the Shuttlepods at the Disco, but this one in particular illuminated many of the points I had been wrestling with in my head since I watched this episode.

I really like the show overall but I think the major issue with Discovery is the pacing/serialization. There isn’t enough time given to weighty, important issues. Decisions are quickly made, with no discussion, no consideration of impacts. It’s all just let’s paper over a major event, decision, or consequence with a single line of dialog or a single short scene so we can get on to the next plot point. The themes touched on are good, important ones, but they go by two quickly with little or no consideration. Often they can be just tangential, but major, ideas that should be direct consequences of parts of the story but the show has no time or interest in them because it has to get to the next serialized story point.

How do you expect me to take you seriously as a fan review podcast when you effing admit you skipped sections of the damned show? I mean common?!

Nit picky point. This is 3 years after the Cage.
The war is only once referenced in TOS, when Garth is referenced as having won a crucial battle. So one may say the fault is within TOS by making a sloppy reference which allowed “us” to refer to this vast carnage. Otherwise there’s the vicious speech by Kirk in Errand of Mercy wherein he tells the Organians he’s seen whole worlds enslaved by the Klingons.

In Star Trek VI, at dinner, its noted that 70 years of high alert might end. This pushes things back to the 2220s.