Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Renews The Faith In Season Two Opener “Brother”

Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham "Brother" - Star Trek: Discovery season 2

“Brother”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, Episode 1 – Debuted Thursday, January 17th
Written by Ted Sullivan & Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts
Directed by Alex Kurtzman

TrekMovie posted a spoiler-free review last week. Today we take a deep dive so it should go without saying, but …SPOILERS BELOW.

RECAP

In the beginning

Before the season two premiere picks up the action from the season one cliffhanger, it takes a trip back, way back. A monologue by Michael Burnham transitions from our exploration of the solar system and back to an African myth about the creation of the Milky Way. Woven into this is the original “Space, the final frontier…” introduction. Thus the season begins by setting the table that this show is tied to Trek lore, and is set to tell a spiritual tale of an ancient mystery of galactic proportions. So, no pressure.

You are here

We continue our journey back through time with some flashbacks of Michael’s childhood, witnessing the young orphan girl welcomed into the Vulcan home of Sarek and his human wife Amanda. Mia Kirshner continues to impress, adding new dimensions to this familiar character as she offers her blessing to young Michael, one of the many religious tidbits peppered into this episode, which kicks off a season said to deal with the theme of science versus faith. But their young son was not nearly so welcoming, throwing a computer-generated holographic dragon at the frightened young girl before shutting the door in her face.

All this serves as background material before the episode drops us back into the chaos on the bridge, dealing with the distress call from the USS Enterprise. While the crew focuses on that, Sarek and Michael carry the weight of the other theme for this episode, family. They know who is on that ship just across the bow of the USS Discovery. This episode and this season may be full of action, character drama, lore, mystery, and exciting plot twists, but it kicks off by foreshadowing that the thing tying it all together is Star Trek’s most iconic character, and Michael’s titular “Brother,” Spock.

You would scowl too if you were told you have to keep this haircut for the rest of your life

An angel ahead of you to guard you along the way

It’s not long until Discovery introduces us to its newest main cast member, Anson Mount, who barrels aboard as the new Captain Christopher Pike to take command and set the ship – and the show – to a new mission. Pike is there to kick mysterious spatial anomaly keister and chew bubble gum, and he is all out of bubble gum. Hanging a lantern on the change of pace from the first season, he tells the crew “I am not Lorca.”

As you can see in my record under “Evil,” I checked “No”

Pike and his entourage, consisting of engineer Nhan and science officer Connolly, brief the crew on what will be the big mystery for the season: seven red bursts have shown up around the galaxy simultaneously. With the USS Enterprise waylaid and under tow after being damaged in the attempt to reach one of the bursts, it is now up to the USS Discovery to seek out these strange new signals. Setting up what looks to be the structure of the season, one signal is still active and ready to be explored.

Soon enough they find themselves warping into a dangerous field surrounding an interstellar asteroid giving off all sorts of weird readings, baffling the bridge crew. A frustrated Pike demonstrates a new more grounded tone for the dialog this season, exclaiming “I was expecting a red thing. Where’s my damn red thing?” As they have a whole season to get to the bottom of the seven red bursts, this mystery will have to wait, because there’s a ticking clock introduced when they discover a Starfleet ship crashed on the asteroid, and the asteroid will collide with a pulsar in five hours.

With transporters and shuttles incapable of helping in rescue operations, the only way to reach the USS Hiawatha is via an elaborate high-octane action sequence featuring cool new little one-man ships dodging space rocks. Michael Burnham leads Pike and his entourage down; however, to show the stakes, Connolly doesn’t make it as his craft gets wiped out in a puff of arrogance. Tropes aside, this sequence was some of the best action we have seen on the series so far, punctuated by impressive special effects and a more aggressive musical score.

You left a perfectly good big safe starship to fly into an asteroid field in rocket-powered glass balls?

Once down on the asteroid they soon find what was left of the USS Hiawatha, which isn’t much. A few of the crew survived, saved and in various forms of creative life support created by Jett Reno, a snarky engineer ably played by the deadpan Tig Notaro. While in no way resembling Scotty or LaForge, Tig’s chief engineer can rattle off Treknobabble like the best of them. In a role clearly custom made for her style, the veteran comedian helps lighten the tone without coming across as pure comic relief.

Hi, my hands are covered in Tellarite brain goo, but believe it or not, I’m here to lighten things up

Burnham and Reno tech the tech and are able to transport the remaining Hiawatha crew back to the Discovery, but a mishap leaves Burnham behind and badly injured with a nasty glowing leg wound. In the resulting chaos and bleary-eyed through the pain, Burnham gets a fleeting glimpse of what appears to be an angel, which we are led to believe is somehow tied into the big mystery of the seven signals.

Hello, I will be your mysterious arc for the season, please begin to wildly speculate how I tie into canon

After Burnham is safely back on the Discovery, they have a last bit of business of plot to take care of, with the recovery of a piece of this strange asteroid. The whole crew bonds as they work together to solve the problem classic Star Trek style, with Tilly exuberantly proclaiming a win for Team Discovery via “the power of math!” Phrases like “dark matter” and “gravity distortions” are thrown around, but the real analysis is left to future episodes. There were also indications that this space rock may be the key to getting the spore drive back online, with mentions of its mycelial effect being up to that of Ripper, our long lost enslaved tardigrade navigator.

OK, who parked this asteroid in a compact shuttle spot?

Love is patient, love is kind

In between the exploring, explosions, and exposition “Brother” also found time for a number of quiet character moments. By the time season one wrapped up, the crew of the Discovery had come together as a family, including a number of earned pairings which were highlighted in the season two opener.

When Tilly wasn’t being adorkably flustered around Captain Pike and sciencing it up, she remained the heart of this family, which she wears on her sleeve. Perhaps the most touching moment came between her and Stamets, who announced he has one foot out the door and is ready to leave the ghost of his dead partner behind and take a job on Vulcan. In a moment beautifully played by both Mary Wiseman and Anthony Rapp, Tilly failing to appeal to him as a scientist, heartbreakingly falls back to the simple “I don’t want you to go.”  Later when they work together to capture the asteroid, we get our first sense that maybe she got through to him.

I’m going to keep making this face until you agree to stay

Tilly also had a nice moment with her mentor Michael Burnham. Michael found time to return to some sibling banter with her brother from another Kelpien mother, Saru, and he showed how annoying it can be to try to hide your feelings with someone who can literally smell your mood.

One pairing that ironically remains problematic is the actual family dynamic between Michael and Sarek. The trend seen in the latter half of season one continues, with James Frain’s Sarek coming across as far too sentimental.

We also got the first indications of some new relationships. Saru and Pike are starting off with a bit of a rivalry as Pike comes on board to take shared custody of the ship. Pike and Burnham also show good chemistry, and one very different than her always a bit tense interactions with Lorca. After initially butting heads, these two show they make a good team, ready to take on the big mysteries of the seven signals and their shared bonding over Spock. Anson Mount demonstrated his impressive range, able to carry much of the action as well as developing these character dynamics so soon after joining the cast.

How much for that Enterprise in the window?

His only begotten son

The episode wraps up by coming full circle as the USS Discovery rendezvous with the USS Enterprise, now under tow. Pike reveals that Spock has taken leave, seeking answers to an unknown question. Even though she has been estranged from her foster brother for years, Burnham still feels a “need” to take a pilgrimage to his empty quarters on the USS Enterprise. Among the Vulcan low-level mood lighting and minimalist Vulcan decor that would impress Marie Kondo, Burnham finds a message and Ethan Peck’s first “appearance” on the series.

The new Spock actor speaks to us in a personal audio log, where he reveals that since childhood he has been haunted with nightmares that are somehow tied into the seven signals. And luckily this log also contains data and a map for Burnham, Pike and the gang to follow. Season two will quite literally be, a search for Spock.

Spock plays hide and seek on a galactic scale

ANALYSIS

Wider, faster, funnier…better

Reboot is a loaded term, but in many ways “Brother” was exactly that for Star Trek: Discovery. This soft reboot isn’t in terms of canon or hopping from the Prime Timeline, but in giving the show a fresh start. It is clear that the powers that be took a long hard look at the first season and made changes where they felt the show was coming up short and doubled down on areas where it was working. And for the most part, they have succeeded in presenting something that feels different, and quite frankly, better.

The script by Berg, Harberts, and Sullivan is tight and moves the show’s dialog into a more grounded place. Saru may come from a primitive planet but he has picked up Earthican phrases like “pump the brakes.” And Jett Reno is just full of contemporary vernacular, including dropping a “Thank Christ!” in yet another one of the spiritual references for the episode. While perhaps sometimes a bit too modern, the welcome effort here makes the show more accessible and relatable, replacing some of the stilted feeling often evident in the first season.

This may be reading into things, but sometimes it felt like the show was speaking directly to its goal of making some changes.  Is there a message about turning the page and perhaps letting go of canon nitpicking in Sarek’s suggestion to “focus on the problem in front of you, rather than what is behind”? Are we sharing Reno’s joy that “no one is speaking Klingon,” saving us from endless subtitles? Surely Pike’s assurance to Burnham that “wherever our mission takes us, we will try to have a little bit of fun along the way” is also a promise to the audience that the darkness of season one has been left behind.

In addition to Reno’s whole thing, the episode featured a number of lighter and comedic moments. From the broad comedy of the Saurian Linus sneezing on poor Connolly, to Saru’s sarcasm over his own threat ganglia, to Pike’s teasing of Tilly’s fluster, “Brother” had just about the right balance of humor to feel like Star Trek.

Saurian boogers are the worst

The new wider screen format director Alex Kurtzman chose, which is the new normal for the show, certainly makes Discovery more cinematic.  Many moments from “Brother” felt like they could have been taken right out of J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek feature, co-written by Kurtzman. This was helped along with the top-notch production design for the episode. A lot of effort has been taken to up the Star Trek-ness of Star Trek: Discovery, even down to the sound design of the “walla,” to the more colorful space suits.

Now on the catwalk, check out the colors of the 2257 Starfleet Collection

Burnham saves the day, but not Connolly

Michael Burnham remains as the lead focus of the series and Sonequa Martin-Green continues to be up to that task. Redeemed and returned to her place as a commander, Burnham’s arc is now pivoted into the exploration of her family’s past, especially with Spock. This is all nicely tied into the red angel arc for the season. “Brother” had a good mix of backstory to help fill in some of the blanks for this nuanced character.

Burnham also got to show off her talents in the episode, displaying the compassion, bravery, and intelligence that is to be expected of a Star Trek hero. Perhaps in an effort to make the character as likable as possible, Burnham’s flaws took a back seat in “Brother.” She comes up with the plan to get down to the Hiawatha, she saves Pike from certain death in the cold of space, she fixes Reno’s transporter room, and even in sickbay, she finds time to do the math for Tilly’s capture of the space rock.

It’s Super Michael!

One place where “Brother” showcases Burnham is in the action sequence with the landing pods. Here we can see her show off her skills and her smarts, leading the team through the field. However, the show falls into an unwelcome trope as she argues with Lt. Connolly who thinks he knows better, and by ignoring her he ends up getting killed halfway through explaining how much smarter he is. Having someone die to show the dangers of space is fine, but you don’t need to present the red shirt of the week as such a buffoon to make our hero look good by comparison. Flawed characters and conflict is fine, but not to the point where the audience is driven to applaud the death of a Starfleet officer as something he deserved for being a big jerkface.

Rooting for the space rock that’s going to wipe that smug look off Connolly’s face

Welcome back

In the end, “Brother” is a very welcome return for Star Trek: Discovery. While not perfect, the effort to pivot the show for the second season in big ways and small is welcome. Once again a Star Trek show demonstrates growth for its second season, assuming they can keep up the pace.

Rock and Disco just do not mix

Random thoughts, connections, easter eggs, and more screen caps

  • At 61 minutes and 32 seconds (including recap and preview), “Brother” has the longest single episode runtime of the series.
  • Spock’s childhood bedroom included a 3D chessboard, and his USS Enterprise quarters also included his Vulcan lute and the Vulcan ceremonial bells similar to those seen “Amok Time.”
  • Stamets mentions a former colleague who is an ethnobotanist aboard the Enterprise, which is likely a reference to Sulu who was a science officer in “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and showed an interest in botany in “The Man Trap.”
  • Pike mentions growing up in Mojave, as seen in “The Cage.”
  • Pike’s engineer Lt. Nhan appears to be a Barzan.
  • Saru ability watch: Can sense the level of humans endocrine system and his vision is superior enough to discern details beyond the rest of crew, and apparently even the computers.
  • Saru name-dropped sister Siranna, the first connection to Short Treks (“The Brightest Star”) and foreshadows season two episode visiting his home planet.
  • The transporter chief wears headgear reminiscent of Geordi’s VISOR from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • Pike refers to the colorful USS Enterprise uniforms as “the new uniforms” opening up the possibility that others in Starfleet may start wearing them.
  • Pike takes command of USS Discovery under Starfleet Regulation 19, Section C.
  • USS Discovery turbolifts ride on a roller coaster-like track system.
  • Wilson Cruz appears in the episode as Hugh Culber only via a recorded memory, which Stamets plays back through a kind of implant that works like a personal hologram, apparently beamed straight into your mind.
  • Connolly mentions he had a Caitian roommate at the Academy.
  • Airiam has been recast, now played by Hannah Cheeseman, now called “Airiam 2.0.” Original Airiam actress Sarah Mitich played new human character, Lt. Nilsson.
  • Making a clean break from the war of last season, no Klingons appear in the episode, but High Chancellor L’Rell did get a mention.
  • There was one bit of profanity with Connolly saying “no shit.”
  • Dr. Pollard now has a first name, Tracy. It’s still unclear if she is the Chief Medical Officer.
  • Pike finds a fortune from one of Lorca’s fortune cookies that reads: “Not every cage is a prison nor every loss eternal,” which could be a reference to “The Cage,” and also maybe Culber’s possible return from the dead.
  • Lorca’s tribble is gone, but Tilly still had to namedrop tribbles, because they can’t help themselves.
  • When discussing what he has learned from Spock, Pike paraphrases Spock from Star Trek VI, saying “Logic was the beginning of the picture and not the end.”

Turbolift coaster

Stamets plays recording of Culber

Transporter operator with high tech headgear

The new Airiam

Spock’s quarters

 


Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else. The second season debuted on All Access and Space on Thursday, January 17th, 2019, and on Netflix January 18, 2019.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

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Mark Calcagno

I had a smile on my face the entire time. Great episode!

A great unintentional laugh though was the gravity trap springing open. Like, how many people have gotten hurt opening that thing?!

The Federation and Starfleet apparently do not have a 23rd century OSHA.

Mike2

Or 24th century. Never understood those glass coffee tables in the 1701-D crew quarters . . .

Denny C

Not glass, transparent aluminum (I guess?).

kmart

No, plain glass, I doubt even Riker’s beardless face could shatter transparent aluminum as it did when he got put through a coffee table in the penultimate s1 episode.

A34

Is that the same transparent aluminum that shattered like fragile glass when the enterprise-d crashed? LOL

kmart

Well, you could always technobabble that one away by saying the subspace shockwave emanating from the warp core breach destabilized the transparent aluminum.

Afterburn

Two things that improved the show this episode: Tone, and pacing.

The tone is not just a tad lighter but more adventurous (which is not the same as “action”). The story, writing, and editing moved the story at a brisk pace, and much more fluidly than any episode other than “Magic” last season (which still remains my favorite). The actors felt a LOT more at-home in their roles, most noticeably Burnham, and the chemistry continued to improve. Between Burnham and Saru, Tilly and Stamets. Pike is a fantastic addition and I find myself wishing he’d just be the permanent Captain.

Overall, this is EXACTLY why I preached patience to those who didn’t enjoy Season 1 as much as I did.

“Overall, this is EXACTLY why I preached patience to those who didn’t enjoy Season 1 as much as I did.”

Hilarious the people who literally watched The Vulcan hello and didn’t bother again.

Afterburn

I am someone who will tune out if i absolutely hate a premiere episode. I did that with Orville, it was garbage. But i’ll tune back in if the reviews start talking how it’s changed in ways that I was looking for. As it did with Orville. Tuned back in 2/3 through S1 and found it only slightly different, but not for the better.

Everything Seth does is the same thing. Pop Culture references in a patronising tone of voice and extremely lazy. Tired old jokes and toilet humour and sexual politics. He’s basically the American Ricky Gervais except that Seth can sing and do impressions and Ricky can’t do anything.

Afterburn

I’m not here to trash MacFarlane. He has his thing, and for those that love it, he does it well. I can respect that. It’s just not for me.

PEB

Couldn’t have said it myself. If I’d never watched TNG or DS9 or Voyager and I had only given their first episode or first season a chance, I probably wouldn’t be a Trek fan today. I have a feeling CBS is picking up more subscribers after these reviews have been getting out.

Tiger2

Agreed. And I have been saying this for nearly a year now. I had a lot of problems with the first season but I understand it was the first season and TV shows CAN improve because they are TV shows and not films. THey have all the time in the world to get it right if enough people are watching. I think every Trek show has improved the longer they went on with the exception of TOS which was great in the beginning but got worse in the end. But thats the only exception and TOS is kind of its own thing anyway.

So I never doubted that DIS couldn’t improve, it was just a matter of how and when? But even though I loved the episode I’m not going to declare its now a great show for me, but it shows it can be and no matter what should be a better show then first season at least. I just didn’t care about the Klingon war at all. And then the show made me want to care even less after watching it. But this story so far I feel the complete opposite. Its Star Trek being sciency and maybe even weird again. I love sciency and weird Trek so bring it!!!!

Your feelings are way off, I’m afraid. CBS All Access is struggling, and Star Trek Discovery will likely be canceled after this season.

Who cares

It isnt and it wont be, stop listening to idiot trolls.

curls1988

Personally I wasn’t impressed with S2E1 and would just give it a 5/10, in my opinion S1E1 had way better season opening. And i did watch it a few days prior to this season dropping. Hopefully the next episodes are better. I know I will watch all of it anyways.

Afterburn

He’s not listening to them, he IS the idiot troll.

Afterburn

lol they’ve already unofficially announced the third season…

A34

Sure kid

slider

First impressions matter, plus Discovery didn’t get any better.

helenofpeel

I do not understand why the one man ships had to launch in a “sort-of” rollercoaster. It made no sense. They could have just launched from the floor of the shuttlebay. While wonderfully visual, it was unnecessary and wouldn’t have been a good use of starship resources.

Because it looked cooool.

Spiked Canon

yep

ML31

That is the reason. It’s silly, yes but it looked neat.

Jack

It’s also a super-long rollercoaster. And if they’re entering those things from just below the shuttle bay, which is on the outside of the ship, where the heck is that long tunnel taking them to?

Whatever, it looked supercool.

DIGINON

I don’t think they showed where the pods emerged from Discovery but given the length of that tunnel it would almost have to be the front. Which seems strange if they are parked below the shuttle bay on the back.

Kevin Bleasdale

Too much overthinking there dude

DIGINON

I know that it was just done because it looked cool. But for people who need to make it work in their head this is a solution.

Curious Cadet

@Jack — it was reminiscent of BSG Viper launch tubes. But you’re right, it didn’t make as much sense. One idea is that like aircraft carriers, the tubes were needed to get the pods up to speed so that their limited resources weren’t needed to do it. Again, they didn’t give the full TNG technobabble explanation — which is NEVER necessary — and so who knows: might have to be explained off-screen by a writer.

Douglass Abramson

I say we use your explanation and then forget about it since it would appear that only one of the pods survived the mission, and they didn’t show that one being recovered from the asteroid.

ThePhaige

It wasn’t just the roller coaster ride…but that they seemed to cross at one point…reminders of the tubes in bsg…but a tad over the top…otherwise loved the ep

Kevin Bleasdale

Who cares it looked good

number 6

That was a slammin’ episode. Way to start this season with a bang!!

We already knew that each season intends to tell a different story so the change in tone was to be expected, but wow!!

Psyched to see this story play out!!

Huzzah!!

Alex

Any word on why Airiam was recast (especially since the acress appeared on the episode in another role)?

Yup! Sarah Mitich (Airiam in season 1) was the Starfleet officer who was almost redshirted by the “gravity simulator” in the hangar bay as it opened up to deploy itself. (Excuse me, Starfleet Corps of Engineers, but why did you design a device that starts WHOMP-WHOMPing open with giant arms that can squash personnel like a space bug, and within only a couple of seconds of activation?!)

Douglass Abramson

Because it looks cool? 😁

Shannon

Maybe the actress did not want to go through hours in the makeup chair?

Sarah has not been active on her Twitter account since November, but according to IMDB, Hannah Cheesman is credited in next week’s episode as “Airiam 2.5“. Now that is interesting to me… why rename the character in this software upgrade-like fashion? Perhaps this will be explained next Thursday, and will answer why the casting change occurred…?

Marja

I did think it was a shame that the lovely Mitich was hidden in all that bionicwear.

Toronto guy

Hannah is lovely as well. Don’t worry. :)

Captain Dunsel

What a terrifically written review of a terrific first episode for Season 2. The storytelling, acting, production, sound, special effects, and music were so impressive and cinematic in scope I actually had the thought, who cares about “Star Trek 4?” What if you had a feature-quality Star Trek movie every week for two months? Would that make you as happy as a tribble eating poison-free quadrotriticale? Yes. Yes it would.

Other bits:
• LOVED the edit of Burnham to Spock’s quarters door on Enterprise
• DID NOT LOVE the close up of the cheap-looking red plastic stopper on the gurney. Really out of place.
• Thought I heard Star Trek III music references when Burnham was in Spock’s quarters.
• Ethan Peck’s voice had hints of Leonard Nimoy’s baritone; it was great

Garth Lorca

Peck’s voice is spot-on to the fullest! Not seeing him made it really authentic. But unfortunately the bearded look of Hipster Spock is awfully off…

ML31

The voice wasn’t baaaad. But it still sounded nothing like Nimoy. Not a knock as Nimoy’s voice was so distinctive it is unreasonable to expect anything to get near it. But he did have the cadence down. Which is pretty much all an actor can do unless they want to make the part completely their own.

PEB

That bit on the bridge where they drop out of warp at the debris/asteroid field and the entire bridge was spouting off things to each other – I LOVED that. Trek gets me so hyped when they show off why these people are on the bridge of a ship.

Denny C

Well, it looks like I’m on the outside looking in on this one. Improvement over last season? Yes. Far more promise than last season? Yes. Anson Mount nails it as Pike? Yes, but they introduced a crutch for this season that still doesn’t allow Discovery to stand on its own until after the Pike / Spock story arc wraps.

Kurtzman also directed a premiere which looked as if had been directed by JJ Abrams and feels and looks a lot like an extension of Star Trek ’09 and Into Darkness (just swap out Pike and company in those pods with Kirk, Sulu and that poor red shirt in 2009 or Kirk and Khan in “Into Darkness” as they fly over to the Dreadnaught). I’m not suggesting that this series exists in the kelvin universe but it certainly looks as if it does and that’s where Kurtzman hails from.

So, yeah, I was less taken by it than most here and I’m sure that will rub a lot of people the wrong way since dissenting opinions are more often than not met with scorn regardless of how it’s presented.

So, for me at least, a solid hour and a step in the right direction but not what I would consider a complete turn around from last season (and we haven’t even gotten back to the Klingon’s or have met Ethan Hunt / Mission: Impossible Spock yet).

Afterburn

Oh the old “stand on its own” argument. It is standing on its own, but even if its not, a good show is a good show, so is it good or not? That’s the only question you need to ask.

I have no love or nostalgia for TOS or Pike, or any of that, and I thought this was a fantastic episode, and thought it wonderfully improved several flaws from Season 1.

Denny C

I agree on that count 100%. You definitely got the impression that they knew exactly what was working in season 1. I just want to see the show stand entirely on its own.

Afterburn

But including Pike is a part of not standing on its own, and he was without a doubt an incredibly fun and high quality addition to the show.

Denny C

Right. Pike is the highlight of this season, really but it’s an entire season dedicated to Pike and Spock. It’s not like Harry Mudd dropping by to flesh out his character a bit more.

HubcapDave

That’s because Harry’s too busy sipping Jippers on a beach somewhere….

Denny C

The good life.

NCC Lincoln 1785

Nice to know you Denny C you can stop commenting on these threads

Denny C

Because I have a dissenting opinion? Yeah, I kind of touched upon that in my comment but thanks for the feedback.

Mike2

Please ignore 1785. Maybe that was sarcasm? Regardless, I (and I think most people here) love to hear thoughtful, well-articulated, and respectful dissenting opinions. I’d love to get rid of the trolls and the haters, but that is clearly not you.

Denny C

Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.

Tiger2

Agreed Mike2

Denny C is one of the better contributors here and I value his opinion. I loved the episode but it wasn’t perfect to me either. And yes on other boards people have pointed out it comes off more style than substance which is what the Kelvin films were criticized for. Now I personally disagree with that because I really enjoyed the character moments. I really thought it was a nice balance and the intro set it up nicely. But there is nothing wrong to agree to disagree. I have been on the other end here where I stated what I thought just sucked and I have had morons basically trying to tell to shut up. Oddly enough those people are all gone either being banned or left but I’m still here because I understand how message boards are suppose to work.

But the most ANNOYING people are the people who don’t want to hear any descent from their opinion and or think their opinion is a consensus. You are allowed to give you opinion, but you’re not allowed to dictate how others should give theirs.

Denny C

Thanks, Tiger2. I’ve always appreciated your enthusiasm for this franchise, warts and all. The mark of a true fan!

NCC Lincoln 1785

When you keep egging on a show you don’t watch and put your opinions on a review thread all you doing is beating a dead horse 🐎 flaming the viewers that exactly take their time to watch and enjoy the show

Tiger2

But Denny C actually watches the show including the premiere and why he gave an opinion. So what’s the issue?

Denny C

Heck, i even kept my subscription active all year. Yeah, I’m one of THOSE people!

Denny C

Stating an opinion, not flaming or egging anyone on. I enjoy reading the various opinions, theories and perspectives.

Spiked Canon

I’m curious what Trek you like because IMO this episode as a stand alone was better than anything I ever saw on any iteration other than TNG

Denny C

I’ve watched it all. Loved a lot of it, didn’t like a lot of it, found something to defend in virtually every iteration of this series. I don’t dislike Discovery, I just don’t feel it’s quite ‘there’ yet. The premiere looked amazing, pacing was much tighter than last season, was far easier to watch than virtually anything they presented in season 1 but, yeah, I don’t know. I’m a subscriber, I’ll keep watching and I may be pulled into the fold after I see where it’s going but it still feels like it’s carrying baggage that it won’t be able to unload until Kurtzman gets a season that’s entirely his own.

Spiked Canon

fair enough

ML31

Well, the change in show runners took place after the 5th episode if I recall. Perhaps that is when we will start seeing the show Kurtzman wants.

NCC Lincoln 1785

Thanks Spike me too

DIGINON

No need to get defensive. It’s perfectly fine if you didn’t find the episode perfect ;-)
Besides its modern production design and better VFX I think what makes think feel more like the Kelvin movies instead of previous Prime universe shows is pacing. You have a lot of running around and a sense of almost constant urgency (although the episode had some nice character moments). Also, it feels to me (as a non-native speaker) that a lot of the dialogue is delivered much faster than it used to be. This was something I also noticed in the Kelvin movies.
Like mentioned in Anthony’s review this episode really felt like a kind of break from last season. They’ve set up a new mystery. We didn’t see the Klingons in this episode but I hope that they will find an organic way to weave both plots together instead of just “Meanwhile over on Qo’noS…”
Anyway, I’m very much looking forward to next week’s episode.

Denny C

Well stated and thank you!

I did not miss seeing Klingons in the premiere. I think we kind of got out fill of them last season.

DIGINON

I didn’t miss the Klingons, either. The episode was full enough without them. But we know that the Klingons are coming so I’m hoping that the two plots will be connected somehow so that it “makes sense” to return to them.

Denny C

Best guess is that’s what they’re intending to do.

Tiger2

Yeah the biggest problem for a lot of us from last season were the Klingons themselves. That was another smart decision the episode did and kept the Klingons away. Obviously we know they are coming back but the show told us its not going to be directly about them and thats a good thing.

But I do think when we do see them again they will tie into the main story line somehow. Just based on the little we seen in the trailers it looks like whatever Section 31 is doing may have a direct connection to both the Red Angel and the Klingons so my GUESS is they may be brought in that way although I’m sure L’rell will have a separate subplot as well.

DIGINON

Maybe the next burst is in Klingon space. Would be a “convenient” way to get them involved…

Tiger2

True!

Mike2

Agree re the pacing. I LOVED the episode, but was exhausted by the end. Made me glad I didn’t spring for the commercial-free version of CBS All Access. At least I have a few breaks to catch my breath and reflect on what I was watching. ;-)

Denny C

The commercials do add a breather but I’m ad free so it was full speed ahead!

Marja

With the supersonic speed, I kind of think it’s geared for folks to re-watch, again and again, just to catch things they missed [like 1/10 of the dialogue] the first time around.

Many of us watch with friends, too, and the noise we make definitely means I have to re-watch! But what a blast!

Curious Cadet

@Marja — yup. And unlike the first season Eps, I definitely want to re-watch this one.

I’m gonna zoom/crop it this time so the picture is much larger, and to confirm my suspicion that everything is center framed and it doesn’t matter if the sides are cropped.

Michael Hall

Please, continue to comment. Nothing you said was out of line or unreasonable.

Denny C

Thank you. I very much appreciate that. Half the fun of being a Star Trek fan is debating all of it and for a long stretch of time there was very little to discuss or debate.

Marja

Debating, I enjoy. But there are some folk who come in just to complain, condemn or needle. So here’s to healthy debate, Denny!

DataMat

If the show runs for six or seven seasons and the improvement is of the same calibre of Brothers then Discovery will go down as terrific in the long run.
Time will tell.

Afterburn

I said the same thing the day after the season 1 finale. That it had a flawed, but enjoyable and promising start, and that if it continued the trajectory in quality of TNG and DS9, it could go down as the greatest Trek series ever.

Marja

Seven seasons would be great! I am a little concerned by some changes in staff, and people being diverted to the new shows, so I hope the screenwriting continues to be good.

Marja

The scene with the arrogant Science officer dying in the small pod was VERY close to O’Neill [?] dying as Kirk, Sulu and he dived to the drill platform. Death from “hot-doggin'” arrogance, LOL

Stargazer

The awesome thing about this was that it was Kurtzman telling the whiners on the internet to STFU! A white dude wearing the “classic” uniform, complaining the entire time, knowing everything better, ignoring every smart thing Burnham does? This is the “DSC is not Trek” brigade getting a deserved slap. Well played.

Tiger2

I have no idea how you interpret that scene in that way. Thats beyond a stretch.

Stargazer

The annoying “but I know everything better” dude who gets spit on and then dies horribly because of his arrogant refusal to accept that other people (read: a new Star Trek show) might do a good job? I think it’s pretty obvious that this is some fun Kurtzman has with the troll brigade.

He’s in here for less than 20 minutes and nobody gives a damn that he dies. He’s clearly not meant as a ‘real’ character. This is a fun bit: DSC tells the trolls to fuck off, they are not needed on this ride!

Tiger2

I’m going to repeat it again. It’s beyond a stretch.

Stargazer

Just because you don’t want to see it, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Tiger2

You stretching a ‘message’ into this isn’t right either.

ML31

Except this was done to strengthen Burhnam’s position of the center of the show rather than nail a guy for “hot-dogging” it. I agree with the reviewer that it could have been accomplished in a much less obvious way.

Corylea

Yeah, I agree. It felt too much like Generic Space Action Sequences and not enough like Star Trek to me. I also really disliked the way the writers have revamped Sarek as a sentimental guy instead of as the Vulcan we all remember from “Journey to Babel.”

I did like some things about it, and I’m keeping an open mind, but it felt like a combination of Star Wars and Mission Impossible for much of its runtime.

ML31

I agree that I am still bothered by their change in Sarek. It just doesn’t fly with with me. Yes, people change. But this should be right in the middle of his refusing to speak with Spock. It would be reasonable that he still cares about his son but he is showing far too much publicly especially for someone who is harboring ill will. Even more so for a Vulcan.

Curious Cadet

Corylea — you mean like the “generic” fist fighting sequences Kirk routinely had? The reality is, there has always been pointless action sequences in Star Trek to appease a certain portion of the audience. I’d rather they do exhilarating spaceship stuff than fist fights, YMMV. From my perspective, adapting a pod designed to do something else to solve the problem of getting them where they needed to go, is very Star Trek like. The fact Trek never really had the budget to do things like that before, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have.

ML31

Denny C, we are on a similar page. I, too, felt the episode was a step in the right direction but still has yet to be a complete turnaround. As the season goes on it certainly has the potential to improve. That said, there is still the very real possibility of another nose dive. We shall see.

Did anyone notice the exterior lighting on the Enterprise when the Discovery returned from her mission to the nebula? If you squinted a bit, the stark white lighting made the dark gray ship look oh so much like she did in 1966. Brought a tear to me eye, it did.

I still want to know why the Crossfield-class starships seem to have such a vast abundance of hollow unused space on the inside. The turbolift sequence was hella cool, but the cavernous guts of Discovery just don’t seem to jibe with the exterior scale of the ship we’ve seen up until now.

John Ruschmeyer

Agreed. I would have have figured on a series of vertical and horizontal tubes. I suspect that this may be a nod to the Abrams Enterprise with its giant industrial Engineering section.

The River Temarc

Yes, this was one of the few things that missed the mark. You need to maximize usable space on a vessel, and you certainly don’t want to spend fuel hauling around massive amounts of air. And the ultra-idiotic JJ Abrams engineering set? The less said, the better.

Douglass Abramson

Why would the empty hull sections have air? They appeared to be used only to move things around via turbolift and worker bee. Atmosphere wouldn’t be needed to do this and both conveyances are sealed off from the outside. As for a use for the empty space, it could be used for mission specific uses. Expanded cargo or shuttle bays, expanded laboratory space, crew quarters, etc. Discovery doesn’t do much without a reason. We might find out the reason for the empty hull space before the end of the season.

NCC Lincoln 1785

Into darkness and beyond the engineering was close

ML31

I just want to add that the moment I saw the engineering section of the Enterprise on Star Trek (’09) I instantly thought it looked like a brewery before I found out they actually shot in one. It was a TERRIBLE look and possibly one of the biggest mistakes in the film.

Denny C

If this was a Disney series that turbolift scene would be turned into a ride.

Marja

LOL
You never know, maybe CBS is headed that direction

ML31

I recall when Paramount owned Great America and they had actors wondering around the park in costume, make up and IN CHARACTER. This included people dressed as TNG star fleet officers and Klingons.

Jack

It made no sense — but I sure liked it.

Denny C

Yup.

I’m guessing large areas of the ship may be hollow to accommodate the spire drive functionality including the spinning saucer.

It would also explain why such a large ship (750+ meters) has a crew of 134.

Marja

Yeah, yeah Rel! Good. Okay, I’ll go with that :^)

HubcapDave

That is something that is going to give the Trekyards guys fits! It looked really cool, but no way that actually fits in the ship!

A34

I can’t stand those guys. I use to watch them all the time until they became haters to appeal to their viewers.

Thomas W.

The turbolift scene was complete nonsense. They don’t think, they just want to show “cool” stuff. I’d like to quote jugde Harvey Cooper from “Boston Legal”:

“It is an insult to our notion of democracy.
It makes a mockery of criminal justice.
I will not indulge a mockery in my courtroom.”

(replace “democracy” by “Star Trek”, “criminal justice” by “Gene Roddenberry” and “courtroom” by “living room”)

Did you hurt yourself stretching for that comment?

Marja

I, too, was a bit put off by this turbolift thing; it seemed like CGI for CGI’s sake. Plus, if Tilly had to relegate some on-board scientist to a storage closet to make room for Stamets and his spores, why so much empty space …? As Ruschmeyer says, it did seem like a tribute to Giant Engineering from the KT Enterprise.

CapitanoSMAW

Can we also mention that fantastic roll call scene wherein we get full names for TWO CHARACTERS! Lieutenant Gen Rhys and Lieutenant Ronald Altman Bryce played lovingly by Patrick Kwok-Choon and Ronnie Rowe, Jr., respectively. I have full names to refer to them by rather than Rhys or Random Communications Officer Guy/Bryce.

Mike2

Yes! And it also made me hopeful that this is the beginning of seeing all the bridge crew get the screen time and character development that was missing in Season 1

Garth Lorca

I fully agree. That scene felt so perfectly human. We finally got all the minor characters named. No one was a nameless redshirt but got a name attached. Pike is such a great captain.

HubcapDave

I found it interesting how the two one-named crew members handled it. Ariam ignored Pike’s request to forget the rank, while Saru said his and felt the need to explain that it was “just Saru” to a bunch of people who mostly knew his one name status anyway.

A34

I’m pretty sure we already had their full names on the internet.

Matthew

Enjoyed the hell out of the episode. I wanted to hate season one but ended up enjoying it. This, though, is much, much better.

That being said, Tilly is just too much. Mary Wiseman is a talented actress, but the it writers keeping taking the kinkiness just a bit too far. And no matter how smart she may be, somebody that over the top would have a real hard time being the cream of the crop and being admitted into some special command program. It’s just terribly unrealistic.

I’m thinking that the producers agree with you. The first scene between Stamets and Tilly in Engineering, where Stamets prompts his protégé to “say… fewer things” was a clear nod to some folks in the audience (but not me–Tilly and Saru regularly swap places in my ranking of favorite Discovery characters). As the season evolves, I have a feeling that Tilly will “grow up” a little. It certainly seems to be the direction they’re taking the character if Mary Wiseman’s “Short Trek” is any indication.

DIGINON

“I wanted to hate season one” seems like a very strange starting point to go into a show.

ML31

Two things… I wanted to LOVE season 1 but ended up not. And this episode is better than all but one episode from S1.

And I am with you 100% on Tilly. She SO needs to dial it back. She was annoying before. Now it so much worse.

Mike P.

To add to the possible and probable easter eggs in the episode, I wonder if the death of Lt. Connely is a somewhat obscure reference to the TOS episode “The Man Trap.” Since it was the first episode ever aired, it was the first episode to showcase the three uniform colors used in TOS. The first character to die in that episode wore a blue uniform. Likewise with “Brother” we see the original series colors for the first time on the show and the first character to die also wore blue.

Rhett Coates

So, from the tid-bits shown above, “Connolly mentions he had a Caitian roommate at the Academy.” Yeap (and I’m liking this): more and more TAS items are becoming canon all the time: “Tiberious” (Kirk’s middle name was first revealed in TAS then in the 6th movie), and many more items. Now, when will they reference “NCC” as Naval Construction Contract” ….?

Tiger2

They were shown in STID too having a three way with Kirk.

Alan

I enjoyed this episode over the abomination that was season 1. Pike is 5*, Saru and Stamets are still great, and even Michael is beginning to grow on me this episode. Reno is a great addition too. And I’m glad L’Rell, Klingons, and Ash Tyler never made an appearance. I thought the lighting and special effects was much better in this one too. You can totally tell why Gretchen and co. were fired: blew half of the budget on this thing.

Things I disliked were:
– Tilly. Stamets said it the best “repeat after me: I will talk less”.
– I hated the 2009 and STiD helmet pod racing sequences, and I still hate them in this episode. Seems unrealistic (I know it’s science fiction) and just a scene to throw in some action.
– Candle blowing scene. So unnecessary and thrown in just because.

John Ruschmeyer

One minor nit.. when would the Enterprise have gotten the new uniforms? It sounds like they were on long-range exploration for most/all of the war and haven’t been back for all that long. Is this a case of fielding the uniforms to a small number (one?) ship and collecting feedback before a larger rollout?

Denny C

It’s possible that the new uniforms were starting to be rolled out just prior to the war. I wouldn’t be surprised if Discovery encounters other vessels with crews wearing the new uniforms.

The flagship Constitution class crews get the new uniforms first, they imply that in the episode.

It’s more directly spelled out in David Mack’s Discovery tie-in book Desperate Hours (which was written in coordination with the writers of Discovery, so not technically canon, but close) where he says the Constitution class ships got a new uniform first.

The Klingon War only lasted about a year, so it’s totally conceivable they’ve had the red/blue/gold color uniforms for a year (maybe more) as an exclusive style for the flagships.

Denny C

They really need to get David Mack into the writer’s room. He’s a hell of a writer and knows his Star Trek. Nice guy, too.

Brian Middleton Jr.

I absolutely agree with this. His Destiny trilogy is some of the best Trek out there.

starlord the outlaw

Going into this episode I was wondering if it would reference or acknowledge Desperate Hours, but it sure feels like they are not treating it as canon at all.

Who cares

But they are, and that goes for all of the novels, the whole story of why Enterprise missed the war is the next novel.

Afterburn

The writers of the novels have said however, that while the novels are canon, they are only canon until they’re not.

Which is to say, don’t count on them hewing to the novels if it inhibits a story they want to tell.

Jack

A parting gift before leaving on their five-year mission — you guys get the first batch so you’re not stuck with outdated uniforms after 18 months? (Although, the uniforms are synthesized on the E anyway, aren’t they? ).

NCC Lincoln 1785

Easy visiting star bases for supplies

Alex

Uniforms are replicated anyway (at least according to DSC’s first season). So they probably just mailed them the file.

GQMF

Anything interesting gleamed from Pike’s profile?

Denny C

He excels at everything except astrophysics. That was pretty much it.

The River Temarc

Robert April is now canon, even if you don’t think TAS was.

Michael Hall

‘Twas okay. I can certainly agree with the posters who laud the hour for the fun factor. The cast was obviously having a good time being reunited; Burnham’s opening narration and the Cassini footage was beautifully evocative of Trek’s core mission; Vulcan was once again very nicely visualized; Mount makes for a nuanced Pike; and the production values are better than ever, with the CGI in particular being markedly improved. There was lots to enjoy in this exceptionally long episode, and I’ll look forward to watching it again.

Still, I’d be less than honest if I didn’t admit that the whole thing felt a little hollow. Harlan Ellison once famously opined that the only kind of story really worth telling was one of “the human heart in conflict with itself,” and that certainly was not something last night’s season premiere even tried to go for. In truth we only got a bare glimpse of how the emotional components of this story — Pike’s assuming command, Burnham’s and Spock’s estrangement and how it ties-in with the “red angel” signals — will play out over the course of the season. The flight through the asteroids in particular (and the offing of an obnoxious Starfleet officer) felt like a reprise of the orbital drop sequence from Trek 2009 — a big, elaborate set-piece that didn’t advance the narrative in any meaningful way or to any particular purpose. It was the quieter, more reflective moments in “Brother” that made it somewhat worthwhile, as opposed to the spectacle. So I’ll have to call the episode more of a promising beginning than a triumph on its own. Season 1 started with a lot of promise too, so we’ll just have to see.

Denny C

That’s pretty much where I’m coming from.

DIGINON

I agree that the flight through the asteroid field was a nice set piece but felt a little pointless.

Afterburn

Ultimately most action scenes are pointless. Even in DS9, most battles could have been done with static bridge shots and Dax reading off what was happening as the camera shook around once in a while.

The scene in this episode was to not only bring a little excitement, but also build tension. Additionally, the fact that Pike– the Captain– took part in this dangerous landing party displayed his eagerness to put himself in the line of fire (so to speak) out of a sense of guilt for not having been on the front lines of the war.

They could have done a better job of illustrating that, perhaps with Burnham arguing that he shouldn’t be on the landing party, and him saying sternly, “Captain’s prerogative.”

kmart

Afterburn,
Disagree. Action is an essential component of drama, and without a certain measure of well-executed action, there’s bound to be an imbalance for most — not all — stories. Decrying action as pointless is just pointing up bad writing, including action that is gratuitous. You CAN play a space battle entirely with interiors — hell, they’ve done CORBOMITE MANEUVER as a stage play! — but your drama has to be written and pitched at the right level to sustain that approach.

I don’t think you need to be cutting outside every second shot — which is actually one of my biggest problems with the CGification of visual effects in the last 20-25 years, throwing a ton of mediocre work at audiences in place of a handful of well-designed shots that tell the story and give you the OOMPF when it is called for — but a certain amount of cutaways and inserts, whether they are hands on consoles or ships going by, increase the drama in cinematic ways, and that is the form we’re watching.

If you look at the number of insert shots in TWOK vs TMP, it is easy to see how TWOK seems to be doing more of the conventional ‘right’ things, even when they do it badly, like that insert of what looks like a stereo console during the ‘energize defense screens’ bit right before Khan first tears the E a new one. TMP could have used more subjective views and inserts in the live-action, and probably would have if Trumbull had been involved from the beginning. If you look at the stuff Trumbull was involved with it has tons of inserts of Spock’s jet pack and a very subjective feel to much of the space stuff.

Afterburn

“Disagree. Action is an essential component of drama”

And that is my point. Saying they are pointless was poking holes in the OP’s logic. Action absolutely can serve a purpose, as it did here.

Holden

I agree that most action scenes are pointless. They are largely there to pick up the pace for certain people in the audience whose attention has started to wander . . .

However, I think this sequence served a very important story function because it helped solidify the trust between Pike and his new crew. In that respect, it was more narratively valuable than similar sequences in ST09 or StiD which largely were just spectacle for the sake of spectacle.

Tiger2

I agree!

I thought the scene worked great. Its not like they did it for fun (the characters I mean) they gave them a real obstacle and it worked in the story. Its probably the most cinematic action scene we ever seen on a Trek show before. It really proves just how far TV has come to match movie effects these days.

HubcapDave

Well, it DID get them down to the surface……

DIGINON

Minus one.

Holden

Yeah, I thought of the irony there: they lost one crew member just to save one crew member (though I know there were also patients).

Marja

Any time I see one of these flights thru an asteroid field, I wonder why they aren’t deploying the Deflector to maximum.

I also noted the bride viewscreen/port got damaged. They must have an ace rapid response repair team, bc the crack wasn’t there later.

Afterburn

To my understanding the deflector dish can deflect particles and space dust, but not enormous rocks and asteroids which would take a tractor beam.

Tiger2

I did think how Pike assumed command was a stretch lol. I still don’t get why Starfleet wouldn’t just tell them before hand (Saru was already going to lose command since they were literally on their way to meet the next captain) but its not a huge deal. But he just sort of become the Captain even after the original mission of finding the first burst had ended. And why is Discovery the only ship investigating?? Again I understood the first burst because it was kind of a now or never thing. But now it seems like they would just use other ships to investigate them if they want a more ‘experienced’ crews. Or why can’t the new captain just be in charge of investigating them from this point on? That was just ignored completely. Its not like Pike is some expert with these anamolies or dealt with them in the past. None of it is a big deal but its clear they are doing everything to justify him being there.

Marja

Maybe there are not a lot of starships right now. Remember the Klingons’ attacks on starbases and how many ships they must have taken out. It does take a while to build these puppies.

Tiger2

I can understand that in relation to Discovery investigating but it still doesn’t make any sense why Pike himself is captaining the ship. As said they already HAVE a new captain and he/she could investigate it. I’m not trying to make a big deal about it but clearly its a stretch.

I originally thought he was captain because he knew the red bursts had something to do directly with Spock’s disappearance and he wanted to find him; so Starfleet gave him Discovery partly for that reason. But now we know that’s not the case, he doesn’t even know Spock has a relationship to them and just gave him time off.

Vger23

I have a feeling that it’s as simple as Starfleet recognizing that Pike is a top command officer, and his current ship (the Enterprise) is down for the count.

You don’t keep one of your best players off the football field just because his helmet breaks, you have a backup give up his helmet and you get your horse back into the game! I’d guess it’s just that simple.

Tiger2

Yeah I can buy that.

ML31

It was my understanding that the Enterprise was already investigating. It went down and Star Fleet wanted Pike out there still. Discovery was available and minus a captain (forgetting that supposedly they had a captain in place waiting for them)

TonyD

This kind of echoes my feelings as well. Mount’s Captain Pike was the highlight of the episode for me, though even there I feel they tried a bit too hard to keep reminding us that he is not Lorca.

The whole section in the asteroid field had a very strong Star Trek 2009 vibe to me. The Hiawatha interiors reminded me a lot of the USS Kelvin; the roller coaster shuttle flight thru the asteroids felt like the kind of thing JJ Abrams would love; the late Lt. Connolly was the very definition of one dimensional; when someone that obnoxious bites it you almost feel like cheering and that feels lazy and manipulative to me. It was the unfortunate engineer from ST 2009 all over again.

I also found Tilly’s constant babbling grating and I really found myself identifying with Stamets’ “I will talk less” mantra.

Overall the episode had a less than the sum of its parts quality to it for me. The quieter introspective moments were nicely played but belied the fact that they really didn’t accomplish much with regard to the overarching mission. On the other hand, visually it all looked very nice and far less murky than season 1.

One last nitpick: I could have done without the map to Luke Skywalker moment at the end.

Denny C

Oh, man. THAT’s what that reminded me of. The Luke Skywalker map. Yeah, I’m with you on that point, too.

curls1988

Totally agree that the episode felt hollow, I was expecting a stronger cliffhanger at the end (and it does not normally take much to suck me in with sci-fi series of any sort). I honestly was thinking:”is this it” when the episode was done. Seems majority of the forum disagrees. I my view the cliffhanger at the end of episode 1 in season 1 was stronger. I´ll just keep watching and see, probably built the season opener up to much in my head.

Tiger2

To be fair the cliffhanger was stronger last season because it really was a two hour story. CBS basically just broke it up in two one hour formats so they can persuade people to watch the second part on AA. But it really was a two hour pilot.

In this case, its not a cliffhanger its just one part of a much longer story. But if you were still feel disappointed, thats understandable.

DIGINON

I agree that the cliffhanger in season 1 had a different purpose. It was to get people who had watched part 1 on CBS to check out CBS All Access for part 2.
I kind of preferred the ending of this season premiere to the second half of season 1 where each episode seemed to end with a big “WTF” twist.

The River Temarc

Modern television is a marathon, not a sprint. Episodes are less self-contained. On a show like BREAKING BAD or THE AMERICANS I have a tough (not impossible, but tough) time singling out specific episodes for praise, but a much easier time for seasons as a whole. All of which is to say that we don’t necessarily need a huge cliffhanger at the end. It was expository, it whetted our appetite for what is to follow, and AFAIK, that’s mission accomplished.

Marja

This is a thing that drew me to the KT films: the quiet reflective character moments and humor. Not the action spectacles. It will be easy for the crew to adhere to Pike as a commander, since Lorca turned out to be a Very Bad Guy, and Pike is a model of Good Leadership. Maybe a little more discussion and a little less action in the rest of the season? We shall see.

Holden

I suspect Pike’s not quite the picture perfect Leader he seems to be in the first episode. I think his demons (issues he hasn’t addressed in the previous years) will slowly be revealed this season too, but to a hopefully more constructive end than was with Lorca.

ML31

You may be right. A return to Talos was hinted at.

The River Temarc

Still, I’d be less than honest if I didn’t admit that the whole thing felt a little hollow.

I don’t think “hollow” is the right word; I think a better description is “expository.” And expository pieces can be poorly executed (THE PHANTOM MENACE, cough cough) or well executed. This one definitely fell into the latter category.

I agree the space jumping is getting old (we had it in STID and “The Vulcan Hello,” too), but at least this one had a point that the others didn’t; it showed that Pike had won Burnham’s trust.

Personally, I’d call it the second-best Trek season opener after “The Way of the Warrior.” (Caveat: I also don’t count the concluding episodes of cliffhangers, like “BOBW Part II,” as a true season opener.)

Jack

Frain’s Sarek doesn’t seem like a guy who would cut off his son for joining Starfleet.

Mike2

Family dynamics can be pretty f’ed up, difficult to understand, and (dare I say) illogical. Maybe his expectations and interactions with Spock are very different than what he has with Michael because one is his biological offspring and one isn’t. One is vulcan and one is human? Who knows. Maybe we’ll get some more insight as the season progresses.

JamfoFL

I think his reaction is better explained when you take the season one episode into consideration. Remember: The Vulcan Science Academy was only going to allow ONE of Sarek’s children to attend, forcing Sarek to choose his natural born son, Spock, while crushing the dreams of Burnham.

And then, after having to endure that, Spock decides to decline the invitation to run off and join Starfleet. It was the proverbial “double whammy”, and Sarek was crushed by Spock’s rebuke of an honor that was robbed from Burnham by Sarek’s own decision.

I think if I was ever in the unenviable position where I had to choose one child over another for something prestigious, then the favored child turned around and threw it back in my face, I might be a little grumpy, too!

Alex

I love Frain as Sarek, but the way he is written and all the top secret stuff he’s involved with kind of makes me think that he’s next in line to join section 31. :D

Curious Cadet

@Alex — I did not like him at all the first season. I got a real Joaquin Pheonix vibe that rubbed me the wrong way. But this season, it’s like he’s been reading some fan critiques and settled into the role.

Holden

I like the developing idea that, for all his iconic value, maybe Sarek was just the galaxy’s worst father.

Marja

There’s an amusing meme in the Tumblr-sphere about what a crap dad Sarek is :^D

ML31

Well… He’s only human you know…

Marja

If you re-watch “Lethe” you’ll get more of Sarek’s pain over Spock’s joining Starfleet. Spock’s doing that totally invalidated a very difficult choice Sarek had made in his behalf. So Sarek resented him and did not speak to him in a father to son way for 18 years.

khambattafan

Frain’s Sarek is not the same character as Lenard’s Sarek. They’ve made that pretty clear by now. If fans want to contort themselves trying to make the two fit together, by all means, have fun with the exercise.

ML31

Hence the problem with the decision of sticking to the prime universe. Had this been a reboot such a thing would not be a problem.

Land O'Calrissian

The ethnobotanist reference couldn’t have been to Sulu. For one thing, this is a decade before TOS, so he’d be too young. For another, Sulu was the head of the Astrosciences Department, which has nothing to do with ethnobotany. People are reading too much into that line.

Also, the captions on this article are a bit too silly. “How much for that Enterprise in the window?” Seriously? It makes the review and the site come off as trying way too hard to be Cracked.com.

HubcapDave

I found the one for Tilly to be cute.

Garth Lorca

Stamets and Sulu… would make lots of sense :-) I hope Sulu was at least 18 when they first met.

Marja

Anthony’s captions are a highlight of the reviews, man, lighten up. “Hit or miss” … humor is like that sometimes.

More Troubles More Dribbles

I wonder if we will- in fact see the Talosian’s, and what role they will play in this particular Red Angel story arch.

Tiger2

Kurtzman confirmed we will see them this season. But I never thought they could have a tie in to the Red Angel arch but that would be interesting if they are.

Holden

I posted elsewhere that Saru’s line about how the red burst could have been a mass hallucination (or something to that effect) added to the fortune cookie foreshadowing, could suggest the Talosians are very much involved.

Marja

Damn it, and here I was hoping the fortune cookie saying had to do with Lorca. [Now I see it could be about Talosians or Hugh Culber. I love Dr Culber!]

I want to see *Prime* Lorca come back from the MU, with all kinds of repercussions from Mirror Lorca’s actions…

Holden

I hadn’t thought about the idea it’s foreshadowing Lorca’s return. Maybe the Talosians will force Michael to relive/rethink her past choices with Lorca in her own ‘Cage’ scenario. Wouldn’t that be a mind-blower? (j/k)

The River Temarc

Maybe the entire spore drive is a Talosian illusion, which explains why we never see it again? :)

I do wonder whether the Talosians may be responsible for Dr. Culber’s return.

Holden

All I know is someone’s going to end up in a Cage at some point this season! I’ll bet on it.

ML31

Only if he takes mirror Georgeau back to the MU with him.

Ben Adams

I thought Connolly’s death was a great red (shirt) herring twist, because from dialogue we were led to assume Lt. Nhan would die. After all, she really was in a red shirt – even if it was Engineering.

DIGINON

Well, once started he started bragging you got the feeling that he wouldn’t make it.

Curious Cadet

@Ben Adams — while that may be somewhat true, once he started ignoring Burnam it was pretty obvious he was going to get his comeuppance. I would have preferred they resisted the urge to off him, and let him stick around for a couple of more episodes before his bravado got the best of him. It would have helped Kurtzman avoid the obvious similarities to the ST09 space jump scene — and been more effective character development for all concerned. Granted Burnam wouldn’t have shed much of a tear, but Pike should have exhibited a bit more emotion over the loss of his crew.

Tiger2

Agreed! I didn’t mind the scene but it did feel a lot like the space jump scene, even with the cocky crew man getting his early on.

Denny C

I thought that he was going to be the McCoy of this season but, nope, he was the red shirt from the 2009 movie. And you’re right about Pike’s reaction. After telling the bridge officer’s that they won’t leave anyone behind and that it was imperative that they rescue whoever is down there, he had a surprisingly muted reaction to losing his science officer.

Who cares

You mean the guy who refused multiple direct orders and got himself killed by his own actions? Why should Pike be torn up over that?

Denny C

Because he was one of the officers under his command and a member of his crew. Would you want to serve under someone who placed so little value on your life?

Who cares

Pike placed plenty of value on Connely life, thats why he ordered him to follow Burnham. Connoly however valued his ego more than his life, and you don’t mourn fools.

Afterburn

@WC You don’t seem to understand how emotions work.

Who cares

I gave you a direct quote from a military veteran.

Who cares

@Afterburn

No response to that? Ok here you can find out for yourself. Find a friend or relative who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Ask them how other soldiers would react to a soldier who disobeys multiple direct orders and then gets hinself killed being a jackass. Guarantee nobody will be broken up about it.

ML31

Actually, I found him to be the most obvious first death. When he started ripping on Burhman that sealed his fate. (Started before he even got in a pod)

Aaron

I believe that “dragon“ is actually a Sur-Snake from TAS ( or rather a similar Denebian Whale as the snake wouldn’t be discovered until 2269)

Jacek

Unfortunately this episode brings back the impression I got eg. from the Mudd episode, that the only way this show manages to appear serious is by being dark and gloomy. Whenever it decides not to be dark, it goes straight into the area of silly action and bad science. The best of Star Trek has always been serious and optimistic at the same time. How I wish season 2 went into that classic direction instead.

Afterburn

I don’t think you’re watching the same episode. The one we’re reviewing is called “Brother” and it was the premiere of Season 2, released today on the CBSAA app. I think if you give it a watch you’ll really enjoy it.

Jacek

Trust me, that’s what I watched. And there were so many things that ruined the seriousness for me. The sneeze scene, the Discovery vs Enterprise banter, the buffoonish Lieutenant Connolly, the snarky Commander Reno, the lighthearted Captain Pike.

Tumbler

Well, at least no one has walked into an overhead pipe and bonked his head. Yet.

kmart

Does anybody actually want to know THIS ship like the back of their hand?

Tumbler

:-D

Afterburn

lol @ Jacek, who thinks TOS and Star Trek in general have never been light hearted.

Marja

The sneeze was the only super-juvenile humor for me. “Disco v Enterprise” seems quite typical of military folk to me, as did Connolly v Burnham. As for Reno you’d be snarky too, if you were stuck on a freakin asteroid for 10 months, trying to keep people alive with duct tape and baling wire. And Pike is perhaps light-hearted because he has a mission to tackle while his ship is OOC.

Tiger2

Afterburn, you know you can just disagree with the guy. Not everyone sees it the way. Stuff like this comes off snarky, immature and not needed.

Afterburn

Yes, yes it does. You know what else is not needed? His attitude. There’s a difference between criticism and needless nastiness and bitterness.

khambattafan

This from Afterburn, who said Star Trek fans who watch The Orville are like a guy who hires a prostitute who looks like his dead ex-wife.

Curious Cadet

@khambattafan — Hey that’s not bad, I must have missed that quote the first time around … maybe more like hiring a budget party clown to perform Shakespeare, that looks like their dead spouse …

ML31

At best there was only a smidgen of attitude in Jacek’s post. Whereas your responses to posts you don’t like are often caked with it.

Vulcan Soul

I agree: “serious and optimistic” – that is the key they keep on missing. We don’t need Dark Trek and we also don’t need Spoof Trek.

Afterburn

Thankfully we’re not getting either!

Marja

Spoof Trek … I think that’s The Orville

khambattafan

You have a point, the modes of the premiere seemed to veer between teary melodrama and wacky workplace sitcom (plus JJ Abrams pod racer sequence complete with race car engine sound fx). Though I’m all for more Tig Notaro and Anson Mount, if it means less Tilly babbling and Burnham sulking. I liked the way Tig seemed to be almost mocking the goofy dialogue with her deadpan delivery.

Thomas M

I really enjoyed this episode and season 2 looks like it’s going to be a vast improvement on season 1 which I didn’t enjoy. Tone is more adventurous although I actually found the pacing too fast. I found it a bit difficult at times to extract the key information on the story from all the extraneous glib dialogue. Contrary to most people’s views my least favourite character is Tilly. I find her extremely annoying and her over familiarity with her much more superior ranking Officers is very unrealistic. She’s a good actress and would do well to tone down her silliness and show more respect for her superiors. I also really hope Stamets leaves the show as he suggested. His character just doesn’t work for me at all.

The use of conventional warp drive gives the show a sense of added momentum and excitement which I love. I hope the whole spore thing just gets forgotten about.

New additions Pike and the new engineer are very interesting and very well cast. Can’t wait to see more.

Vulcan Soul

I totally agree on Tilly. She is a cartoon by now. No science geek is this hyper-extraverted, hyper-emotional and hyper-social. It’s just completely unrealistic. The “Power of Maths” scene was borderline comedy that felt really out of place. And no, someone who does “everything out of love” will not be a good captain. A captain needs to stay level-headed in times of crises and has to make hard decisions which means sometimes sacrificing crewmembers for the greater good. But these “heart-bleeding” characterizations and dialogues, in contrast to the unforgiving portrayal and unceremonial end of Connelly, who in this series’ judgment comes off worse than the genocidal mass murderer Emperor Georgiou, give away how this series is firmly in control of one faction and still has no desire to play something of a balanced mediator in the ongoing culture wars that would acknowledge that extremes in either direction are never a good thing.

Greenhagen

Please don’t believe the common media portrayal of scientists. Science geeks actually come in all different flavors of personality. While I’ll admit that Tilly isn’t my favorite character, she distinctly reminds me of two friends from grad school days. Unfortunately Connolly does as well.

Marja

The scientists I sometimes hear on NPR’s Science Friday are excitable and funny! Funny like Reno or funny like Tilly. And some scientists, like other people, may have some personality issues. As for Tilly not being “realistic,” I’m an introvert who plays an extrovert and am impossibly awkward in social situations. I was also kickass at my specialty in the military. Things aren’t black/white. Contrast and appositional traits are human, and that’s part of why Tilly is such a hit with many Disco fans.

Praetor Tal

Engineer joke: What’s the difference between an introverted and an extraverted engineer? An introverted engineer looks at his shoes while the extraverted one looks at YOUR shoes. XD

The River Temarc

“No science geek is this hyper-extraverted, hyper-emotional and hyper-social.”

Thanks for the stereotyping, my good sir. I take it you’ve never heard of Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk, incidentally?

ML31

Forced to agree about Tilly. One thing I found was the new characters are more interesting to me than the ones from the previous season. Pike and Reno are the two who could make this show work. Throw in Saru and they are starting to get a good cast going here…

JAGT

I quite enjoyed most aspects of this episode – new and re-introduced characters, acting, storytelling, pacing, depth, humour – it was all there. My, oh my, compared to “The Vulcan Hello”/”Battle at the Binary Stars” there was SUCH an improvement in tone.
There’s one thing I keep missing though: A certain “hands-on” feel, a certain bit of realism. This episode in particular just made me wonder: Is there anything in this version of the Star Trek universe that’s not holographic or collapsible? We got holographic displays, holographic controls, holographic candles, holographic drawings, collapsible spacesuits, a collapsible… “gravity simulator”? You know, I won’t cry “CANON VIOLATION” at a bit of pre-TOS holo-tech – that would be silly. But hitherto, in Star Trek a glass of tea was just a glass of tea… or in regard to this episode: A candle was just a candle and an EV suit was just that: A suit that one had to put on. It’s just a bit too much fanciness for the sake of fanciness, if you know what I mean. This season may turn out superb, but those stylistic choices kinda take away from the overall picture.

kmart

Plus they’re missing out on the drama of having to suit up in a hurry, which has got real potential with all the latching and such.

Tiger2

I did say on the other thread they went a bit too holo crazy lol. Every other scene had a holo effect of some kind. I didn’t mind it but they did over do it. I did like the holo candles in Burnham’s room but the stuff with them throwing holographic images from their hands feels like something that belongs in the 25th century and not the 23rd.

The EV suits or whatever they are called was cool to but yeah it felt waaaaay too advance. Save some of that for the Picard show guys. ;)

Vulcan Soul

Regarding the “throwing from their hands” holo magic, I really wonder if they even have left to themselves any place to go for the Picard show which is set nearly 150 years in Discovery’s future. I think we can now safely expect that this show will be wildly more advanced than even the final episode of Voyager, and TNG for sure, even though only set a few decades apart. Because it has to. Seeing the producers are bringing all sorts of Abramstrek tropes into Discovery, I highly doubt they would not ensure internal consistency between Picard and Discovery, even at the expense of TOS and the TNG-era shows.

Tiger2

This basically prove my point I been saying for years now it doesn’t matter what century they set these shows in, writers know people want to see really cool futuristic stuff and writers want to write cool futuristic stuff. This was actually one of my biggest arguments why they should go forward because guess what, the ‘magical’ technology people constantly complain about in the 24th century has now turned up in 23rd century Trek as well. ;)

If people were being really honest, they all know nearly everything we are seeing on Discovery would be more in tune to a post-Nemesis era. Its too advance for even TNG or Voyager. Who wore suits and helmets that formed over your body at voice command? And yes its going to be pretty hard for the Picard show to look that much more advance in terms of every day tech Discovery now has. They CAN do stuff like A.I. which Discovery has not really touched (yet) so they can find ways to distinguish it in some way. But when you now have Stamets looking at holographic recordings of Hugh from his mind, its going to be hard to go too big. What will they be doing by the 25th century then, have personal holodeck rooms in their quarters?

Afterburn

This proves nothing of the kind.

Tiger2

It’s nothing close to TOS technology and beyond anything we seen before, that sort of proves it lol.

I just find it funny, people say if you go too far into the future the technology will be too magical although we are now watching a show that has a spore drive that can teleport you to any part of the galaxy and can manipulate holograms with your hands. How is that not ‘magical’?

Afterburn

Going forward, prequel, it’s besides your point. You were right about nothing.

Tiger2

You haven’t said why I was wrong yet lol. I’ve given out actual examples which again how is it WRONG if the tech is literally far beyond what we seen before in this era? You just seem to hate our opinion over it. Fine, but it still stands.

The River Temarc

We’re not that far from manipulating user interfaces with our hands *now*. It’s very likely your iPhone five years from now won’t actually require you to touch the screen but will instead use remote gestures. If you can accept the use of holograms, and even TOS had them, you should also be able to accept gestures as a user interface.

I agree that this is a little bit of a visual reboot, but that’s what happens in a prequel when real-life special effects technology advances 30 years.

Tiger2

And why you just make it a reboot so you don’t have to worry about violating big pieces of canon with a 50 year old show. I’m not disagreeing with these points, I’m saying it still violates canon from the old show so just reboot it and you have less issues with it. Is this thing on?

A34

TOS and TNG are products of their times. Discovery shouldn’t be limited by those shows. Having the show set in the 24th century just to show holograms makes no sense to me since we already have holograms in 2019.

Curious Cadet

@A34 — yes exactly. I don’t want to have to be denied stories told about this era and these characters, because they can’t update the technology to match our expectations. Holograms don’t hurt canon. Intergalactic transporters, self-contained in a duffel bag do.

ML31

Then make the show a reboot and have it be a product of ITS time. TNG went forward so such tech advances were not problems. If you go back and want the past to be more advanced then do a reboot. Nothing wrong with that.

Denny C

Right. I understand updating the aesthetic but the technology should mirror what was presented at the time of TOS. We’re seeing things that surpass technology presented in even TNG.

kmart

The more advanced tech they throw at 23rd century, especially any kind of RepliTech, the easier it will be for them to take on my old old idea that replication is bad for space-time and that going forward everybody is going to have to deal with food and spareparts in a real-world way instead of a magic box way.

I think that a lot of the slicker looks of the current show could be handled by just being clever. Want a nice window in Spock’s quarters? Fine, dress a set vaguely like TOS or SFS Spock quarters, and then have somebody press a button that deploys an articulation in the wall that reveals the window. At least genuflect in the direction of the original design instead of plugging in 12 ft high ceilings into what is essentially a battleship where every inch of space is important.

Denny C

Yup, THAT. The ceiling height, and I know it’s nitpicky, makes absolutely no sense. Vessels of this type in current times must maximize space and adjust for those areas where significantly more space is required. The Enterprise refit we see in TMP and Star Trek VI make a hell of a lot more sense. Corridors are tighter, crew quarters are more confined. It’s a military vessel, not a cruise ship.

Kevin Lee

Well, here’s the big difference with this and similar points: in the 1960s, most all American men and some women had a personal familiarity with the military, its surroundings and mindset. If you went around the set on TOS and asked cast, crew, producers, writers, all personnel about military experience, you would get a lot of stories about it.

Do that today and you’ll just get *crickets*. That’s why the Dr. Who sensibility of a vessel magically bigger on the inside than on the outside has invaded Star Trek over the last few decades.

Marja

That makes it relatable to people who serve[d] on contemporary naval ships, but it makes little sense to me in a future where the only limitation on your power is the efficacy of your dilithium crystals/matrix. You can replicate so much stuff, it seems if you have industrial replicators material to build starships is not limited as it is in our present-day world.

I’d really like to see an essay on this topic … :^)

Kevin Lee

Even though we’re talking about highly speculative scenarios made possible through control (or circumvention) of both special and general relativity, “efficiency” will still have a place in considerations.

Regardless of how well you could replicate building materials, that would still be limited by the raw baryons and leptons you are refashioning. You can’t make protons from nothing. “Waste not, want not.”

And you are still on a vessel keeping a vacuum at bay. Efficient usage of every cubic centimeter would matter.

Assuming their warp drive is something like hypothetical Alcubierre methods, all other forms of propulsion are still going to be affected by mass. Once again, making efficient use of space relevant.

Just my ignorant two cents.

kmart

If you pasted together all my relevant posts as trevanian and kmart on trekbbs together, you probably would have an essay on that topic. But it would also focus on the visual impact of having a lower ceiling, both cinematically and pscyhologically. Apart from that, I just don’t see you replicating things just because you can, anymore than you throw perfectly good stuff away after a single use (most of us, anyway.) And if there is a chance you can lose that replifunction, then you’re really screwed if you don’t have old school analog non-magicbox alternatives in place. Somebody upthread was saying you can’t go back to toggle switches on a modern show, but if there is an in-universe justification for practical buttons and such, you can. The Reeves-Stevenses offered one up in MEMORY PRIME that worked for me in a big way. I don’t think you need to go all Meyer on things, but the fact they’ve got Scotty using bagpipes instead of just a sound effects record playing in TWOK meant something. (Not as much as if it hadn’t felt pinched from the Kaufman BODY SNATCHERS, but something.) Wise insisting on Sulu having that gear-shift thing on his helm so there was a physical device for him to use to save the ship might seem old-fashioned, but it was true — to see everybody doing the Klaatu thing waving their hands at the consoles would have been dramatically weak, potentially even laughable to 1979 audiences, and that is what had already been built into the phase 2 sets. I guess it is the execution on all of this that matters most. In INS, if they’d had Riker put on some kind of descending periscope rig that he manipulated by turning his shoulders and bowing, instead of the silly… Read more »

Afterburn

No it absolutely should not look anything like the tech on TOS. They were designed by people in the 1960s who were not futurists, and had a dot matrix printer on the bridge.

Denny C

It doesn’t have to look like the 1960s but it should reflect what was presented. Holotechnology wasn’t a thing until TNG, replicators for food were merely touched up but greatly expanded upon in TNG. Enterprise, all its flaws aside, managed to strike that balance.

Afterburn

No it shouldn’t. It’s time to retcon the 23rd century, because some form of holo technology will likely be real within 50-75 years. It doesn’t make sense to present an Enterprise bridge with big toggle switches and printers.

Trek had two choices: ignore how inconsistent tech is– even in the 24th century– with the progress we’re currently making in the real world, OR retcon the technology and the look and feel of ALL Trek to make more contemporary sense as a “real world future.”

They chose the latter.

As for Enterprise, it was pushing the boundaries of believability even in 2005 when they were using big bulky computer monitors on the bridge, when even then we KNEW that quarter inch thin laptops, curved TVs and touch screen tablets were just a few years away.

Even when the premiere aired in 2001 my friends and I half laughed at how hard the producers tried to strike that balance between “Pre-TOS” and “Real World Future.” It barely worked then, it certainly doesn’t work now.

Denny C

Which is why a prequel is such a dicey proposition. Easier to do with Star Wars, not-so-much with Star Trek.

Afterburn

No, not a dicey proposition at all, because you’d run into the same problems going forward, and even if you didn’t, it doesn’t change how off TOS and ENT now look. The prequel concept is actually a GREAT idea because it gives the franchise the chance to visually retcon and remain relevant.

Tiger2

Again if it was a REBOOT, fine. I would agree 100%. But since it isn’t, it just comes off jarring or out of canon for a lot of people. That’s why its not a great idea and so many people have a hard time accepting the show as it is.

Going forward you wouldn’t have any of these problems.

Afterburn

The idea that “going forward” will solve all fans problems, even this issue, with NuNuTrek, is laughable. Fans will always be problems with it.

Tiger2

I didn’t say they won’t be problems with the show overall, I’m talking about the advance technology presented and you know it.

No one would have a problem with a spore drive and holographic tech in the 25th century and would actually expect it. Not so here.

Tiger2

Which probably goes to the point why you don’t do a prequel based on a 50 year show in the first place with a fickle audience.

ML31

OK. You laughed at the NX-01. Even though the show was not well received the consensus seems to be that it did a good job with the look and feel of the ship. While this doesn’t diminish your opinion on this matter yours appears to be the minority one.

Marja

Afterburn, in the 1960s they were futurists who got tech to the 1980s and ’90s. Voiceprint technology! DMPs! Flip phones! All courtesy, I imagine, of Rand Corporation’s advice to Roddenberry & co.

kmart

And this is why the Air Force wound up with a comm center resembling the TOS bridge — efficient effective design (which also was pretty cinematic for TV, with the split-level.)

Vger23

I actually highly doubt that technology is going to be a focal point of whatever the Picard-centered series end up being. I think that is shaping up to be a more contained, character driven show. I’m actually not even convinced that there will be a starship prominently featured.

Tiger2

It doesn’t matter, its still Star Trek. Unless he’s living on some rural colony somewhere tech is still going to play a part of the show. DS9 wasn’t really technology focused either set on an old Cardassian mining station and not a sleek science vessel but it was still a big part of the show and even presented new things like the holo tech communication.

And for some reason I think the Borg will be involved in some way. Could be wrong, but if they are you better believe tech will be VERY important lol. And if they don’t show up first season they will probably show up in another at some point.

Afterburn

I don’t understand why the EV suits are too advanced. We are headed the way of mechanized, wearable moving suits already, and this show takes place 300 years into the future. The problem is, and has always been, Trek’s inability to accurately predict future tech, so things portrayed in the 24th century even sometimes look oddly antiquated. I think any smart fan will agree regular retconning of that sort of thing is needed as we continue to progress 20, 30, 40 years in technology in the real world.

For example, we’re very close to the kinds of HUDs they use in Discovery (if not already there). What happens in 40, 50 years when even THEY become obsolete?

Denny C

Star Trek actually has a pretty strong track record predicting future tech. What happened, though, is that we reached those technological thresholds far sooner than even they could have imagined in the 1960s. Flip phones, tablets, tricorders, full body scanners and the list goes on (and a lot of that tech was inspired by Star Trek).

Afterburn

The timing and speed of development was the inability I was referencing.

Denny C

Fair enough.

Marja

What are HUDs? Holographic ___ Displays?

Afterburn

Heads Up Displays.

A34

We already ready have window HUDs like that for luxury cars.

Marja

The EV suits reminded me of Marvel’s IronMan and Black Panther, the way parts just appeared and built up into body armor.

Tiger2

Yeah it did. And looks way too advance for Trek’s universe in this period. But it does look cool!

A34

And yet the space suits from TNG looks completely obsolete in real life.

Tiger2

It still looks too advance. It has nothing to do with another show. Hopefully the Picard show will have less obsolete ones.

ML31

Maybe they should do what they did the TAS. Environmental belts. That create a force field around the body.

ML31

Yep. Silly tech like that… Tech that creates something from nothing work in the comic book world, but not so much in Star Trek. Those helmets literally came out of nowhere. That material HAS to exist on the suit somewhere… Is there some sort of mass decreasing device attached? Such tech looks cool, sure, but it did take me out of the scene.

Curious Cadet

@Marja — One word: TRANSFORMERS (see Kurtzman’s resume).

Vulcan Soul

I am also surprised that NO review mentioned the tech-mania that has now started, even in comparison to season 1. Apparently all flood gates are open now in portraying a wildly advanced future with all sorts of holographic magic, drones, collapsible space uniforms and cybernetically enhanced humans. It is true that this may be more realistic from today’s point of view than TOS was in the 1960s, but this is the bane of prequels – it just wildly contradicts not just TOS, but even the 24th century series by now. They chose to do a prequel for the advantages of connect to TOS lore and characters – but they are totally not willing to be bound by the disadvantages of playing before someone else’s canon.

Thomas W.

Siri says: “Why does Airiam speak with such a 1960 robotic voice?”

ML31

LOL! So the audience can more easily tell she is some sort of cyborg?

NCC Lincoln 1785

Not pre TOS. It’s a newer ship with newer tech. Even on the BigE Scotty was working on Holodeck before the Refit

Vulcan Soul

Forget about TOS, it’s more futuristic than the 24th century. The “hand-throwing” holographic technology is more advanced than in TNG (apart from the holodeck itself), the collapsible space suits are more advanced than in First Contact and drones didn’t figure into TNG apart from the alien killer drone in season 1. Of course we all know why but it’s just not internally consistent anymore. For everything TNG introduced they had the benefit of being 100 years after Kirk.

Garth Lorca

The holo tech may NOT be more advanced than on Next Gen after all. TNG made holograms solid. You could touch them, kiss them or kill Borg with holographic bullets. The holo tech on DISCO is visually impressive but it’s basically just some transparent light projection gimmicks. Maps, communication, arts, decore…

Curious Cadet

@Garth Lorca — what’s getting missed here is that the technology in the era in which we watch this entertainment is far more advanced than not only TOS, but also TNG. We can retcon these changes all we want to fit into the original, but there’s absolutely no reason not to update the technology to reflect what we in many cases take for granted in our daily lives, and expand it to depict what we now expect from our on future. It’s ridiculous to limit that vision based on the ideas from over 30-50 years ago. That’s a sure way to lose the interest of new audiences to the franchise.

Tiger2

Look you’re not wrong but what’s funny is I remember hearing the argument over and over again the reason why so many wanted a show in the 23rd century because they DIDN’T want all this advance and sleek technology like the 24th century shows got. They wanted it to feel more ‘grounded’ (whatever that meant lol) and where you can’t just have stuff made out of air by machines, super weapons or things that just felt too fantastical. Well now that we have that, even more so than the 24th century the argument has become we live in a more advance time so the show should just reflect all the wild possibilities.

Yeah, I agree somewhat, but many people actually said they wanted a show to reflect a less advance time when you didn’t know if the engines were going to give out or not after warp 8 and not have mcguffins like a spore drive flashing you out of danger to another part of the galaxy in literally seconds.

Discovery just feels wildly out of place tech wise. I think touch screens for example are necessary to reflect a more realistic future since we have them now (and said so before the show premiered) even though its not in canon with TOS. But big jelly bean buttons would just feel ridiculous to anyone under 30 today.

However, I don’t think they need to have holographic images of people sitting on desks or walking around rooms as if they are there. Even on DS9 the holographic tech didn’t have people’s images interact with objects on another ship. You can still do cool stuff for the show to feel updated but not so wildly futuristic that you literally have no idea what century its suppose to take place in.

Denny C

It kind of goes back to what Nicholas Meyer said many years back that it was important to have Kirk holding an actual book in his hands in Star Trek II. It shows a connection and keeps things somewhat grounded.

JAGT

Exactly! Funnily enough they took the book-advice very literally, since we see Burnham reading her old copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and pretty much every character whose quarters are seen seems to have a bookshelf (albeit a “decoratively” understuffed one). Too bad they took the advice ONLY in regard to books.

Afterburn

Too bad? I don’t know. In my own life, I think books may be the only thing I would never want to replace with a digital replica. I don’t read e-books, because the experience just isn’t the same. But even decor– it’s just stuff you look at, I don’t really care if it’s real or a hologram. Heck, i’d love it, wouldn’t collect dust, and real easy to move.

Marja

Yeah, like holographic candles! I think that would be so great. And my house would be so much neater.

A34

All my books are ebooks. It’s great having over 300 books on my phone.

The River Temarc

Yep. You would think I stopped reading circa 2012 if you looked at my bookshelf. I HATE clutter and dust, and ebooks solve both; plus, I can search my notes on books if I want to source something I read a few years ago.

ML31

I actually LIKE having my books on display. Even if they are collecting dust. There is something to be said about having the physical media here in my hand.

Captain_neill

You hit the nail on the head of a major gripe about visual canon, it is holo overuse.

Why do suits come out of nowhere and why do candles have to be holo. We see they are real in the other shows.

Why do they do this?

Denny C

“Preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

Afterburn

“It doesn’t really matter.”

Bradpitti

This is exactly my issue with this episodes. Iam no canon sheriff. But this collapsible transformer tech is so out of place and makes no sense- it looks so fake.

ML31

It looks fake because it literally came out of NOWHERE. There was no compartment on that suit that looked like it could contain the amount of material needed to produce that helmet. Perhaps if they had some large bulky back pack….

Tiger2

“Reboot is a loaded term, but in many ways “Brother” was exactly that for Star Trek: Discovery. This soft reboot isn’t in terms of canon or hopping from the Prime Timeline, but in giving the show a fresh start. It is clear that the powers that be took a long hard look at the first season and made changes where they felt the show was coming up short and doubled down on areas where it was working. And for the most part, they have succeeded in presenting something that feels different, and quite frankly, better.”

I agree with this line completely! I really enjoyed this episode, so much so I seen it twice already. It really hit all the marks that I felt first season was seriously missing and its nice they recognized that and getting back to form.

AND this proves for all the people who DID complain about first season (like me) that we weren’t just completely crazy lol. For many the show DID lack something and it just wasn’t quite there. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t good for the people who truly enjoyed the first season but even the producers knew it wasn’t hitting for a lot of fans out there. I have complained about the many problems I had with the show and crazy enough this one episode tackled nearly every complaint I had with it (that they could actually tackle). It shows they are listening and want fans to enjoy it. And more importantly it proves most of us DO in fact want to enjoy it.

Now its still not perfect. And one episode is not going to just turn it into a winner for many over night. But it does prove it has the potential to do just that. Hopefully the season will prove it.

DeanH

I think you hit a lot of good points about the premiere. Also, I have always liked reading your constructive balanced critiques of the show. There is no doubt that the producers looked at SOME of the issues and made adjustments to further improve the show. Hopefully that will allow Disco to have a nice long run. As for irrelevant complaints, it’s the toxic attacks on the producers, writers, cast and crew supposedly justified by devotion to a show that we all obviously love (or we wouldn’t be visiting Trekmovie.com) that I really can’t stand. As I pointed out earlier, I am heartened by the positive and cautiously optimistic comments regarding S2E1 and hopefully this will quiet down some of the “haters” of Discovery, although as Anthony Rapp said yesterday, it won’t please everyone. More importantly, I hope the rest of S2 can continue to be a show that MORE of us can enjoy, because more fans and more eyeballs will be good for all of us.

Tiger2

I definitely appreciate that DeanH!

And I never doubted they would make adjustments since all of them have it in the past. It was really only a matter of when and to what degree. But to have made the effort as much as they did so soon tells me they know how serious this is. Enterprise was the last show and got cancelled prematurely because they made the turn too late. This is the first show in over a decade now on a new streaming site, they don’t want this show to be another Enterprise and want to keep the fanbase happy as possible and they deserve credit for doing it.

And I agree, I don’t like the endless name calling and attacks on people who are just trying to make a good show. I have never shied away from my issues but I have never called anyone who worked on it with any immature name calling over it, ever. I wish more people on the internet could feel free to express themselves on the internet without sounding like bullies or trolls to others but yeah.

Denny C

And I think one of the key problems with season 1 was that the show started with one man’s vision, they fired him and those left behind had to work it all out. From what I recall, each season was supposed to represent a different era of Star Trek and then culminate into one final story. We’ll never know exactly what Fuller had in mind.

Afterburn

The rumor i’d heard was that Fuller wanted to do an American Horror Story format with a different story in a different era every season, but he was shot down pretty quickly even before he left.

Tiger2

I agree Denny C. I have said in the past they were all put in a tight spot. The entire show was Fuller’s idea. I mean Kurtzman ‘created’ it too but its clear Fuller came up with everything, Kurtzman just went along with it. But yes I would’ve liked to see his original anthology idea. It sounded ambitious to go from Discovery to probably a hundred years past Voyager but probably was turned down due to the costs.

Afterburn

And I find it very funny that so many fans applauded Fuller’s hire (myself included) and now hate everything he put in place. A lesson in “be careful what you wish for.”

Tiger2

We agree there lol. I myself also applauded. I think Fuller wanted Star Trek in his image and that was the main problem, hence the Klingons. And I also said if he was still in charge today I doubt we would see the wholesale changes we are getting. He would’ve stuck to his guns more than likely, which is why he can’t seem to stay in one project these days. But since he left, there isn’t any egos to manage and they can change it how they see fit, within reason of course.

Captain_neill

I liked the episode but I have some gripes as usual with visual canon. I would like it to feel like it leads in to TOS visually a little more but it is a good opener

Why do space suits appear out of thin air these days? It is a thing sci fi does now and it seems like magic.

I liked Anson Mount and look forward bring seeing vwhat he does with Pike

Tilly needs to be dialled back at times still.

DIGINON

To be honest, the reason we get collapsible space helmets now is the advancement of CGI. Something like that would be (almost) impossible to do practically (especially on TV) but you can build anything in CGI and they have also gotten better at integrating live action footage with CGI.
If you google for “bike airbag” you will see that people have actually developed a self-deploying helmet for cyclists. It’s hidden in a cover you carry around your neck and deploys over your head.
The self-deploying space helmet we see on Discovery is hidden in a backpack belonging to the suit.

A34

The suits use nano tech.

Trek in a Cafe

My “message in a bottle” prediction is that this season is going to be a tearjerker. There are numerous reasons why everything points to that. God, fun, weird aliens and resurrections (Tig’s cargo?), and whatever causes Pike’s accident is the reason why Spock will never mention Michael. And my big guess from this first episode and the actions in the trailers is that in the final episode Pike saves Tilly – perhaps as she struggles to help other cadets. This is why we are not talking about separate series for the Enterprise. That’s why Anson calls this story Pike’s “second act.” In fact, they pretty much gave it away, or am I wrong: This is the end of Pike’s 5-year mission? And Tig will build the chair that has the lights which tells us what his brain says. IDK about this, but the season may also end with Michael facing off against her Mirror Georgio, a kind of cliffhanger for Season 3.

Mike2

Interesting. But if Georgio is going to have that Section 31 spin-off, I doubt she will be key to a Season 2/3 cliffhanger.

Ben Adams

This season of Discovery is happening in 2257. Chris Pike’s accident saving the cadets happens in the late 2260’s, around a decade later.

Trek in a Cafe

Ok, thanks!

Lostrod

Well, they’ve changed so many other things already, so I suppose they could change dates as well …

Regards.

Who cares

They have not changed any dates.

Dave

Great episode, but now I want a Pike/Enterprise series more than ever.

mattj

Me too! By the official timeline he’s got another 5 or 6 years in command of the Enterprise so there’s loads of adventures to tell there.

Marja

Yep! I’ll be gobsmacked if they don’t do it.

Tiger2

I think they could do it but people probably shouldn’t get their hopes up it won’t be for a few years. They made it clear we won’t even see the Section 31 show until Discovery is off the air which obviously could be years. I think the plan is to keep on two live shows at once (currently Discovery and the Picard show) but no more then that. Of course who knows how firm that is but with so many animated shows too I think thats the plan.

It would probably be better if they swapped out the Section 31 show for a Pike show, it just seems like it would be much more popular (and certainly less controversial).

Harry Steele

Great review and hilarious picture captions!

Ted C

Hilarious? Do you know what that word means?

Tay Dervis

I’m 20 minutes in and ugh… this is just dragggginng. It’s all presumption and no substance.

I can’t imagine how bad it would be with commercials.

HubcapDave

You must be watching the wrong show….

DeanH

As Anthony Rapp said the other day, you’re not going please everyone. Thanks to Discovery, CBS will be giving us a lot more Trek options to choose from and hopefully one of those will be more to your liking.

slider

Sounds about right.

Schultz

I really liked “Brother” a lot, a *lot*. Great opening for the season arc, want to know more, well written, including the characters, loved Pike, just the right amount of humor and lightness, great acting, even by Martin-Green, who I didn’t like at all in season 1, visually an absolute stunner, triple-A special effects & production design, even for a theatrical film, though I didn’t care for the over-the-top & unnecessary debris field race—but I guess in episode 1 you need some dumb action, too, to keep certain viewers hooked (and subscribed!)—, very good score (except the main title), well edited & paced. I’m a little skeptical about the whole red-angel-wants-to-destroy-the-galaxy thing, which sounds kinda lame, to be honest, but we’ll see. Will definitely stick around. That one episode was better than the whole first season. Just wish there had been a touch of emotion between Sarek & Burnham at the end, at least coming from Burnham, but maybe they want to wait with these kinda things until later in the season or series, when she’s become more human, less Vulcan. I do want to see a bit more sophistication in terms of genre plots, some hard SciFi. After all, this is Star Trek: less doomsday fantasy please.

Vulcan Soul

I was prepared to give them the benefit of doubt and open-minded to even like this new start, but all things considered I have to come down squarely in the middle of it. I didn’t get what the negative Vulture review meant by “too much lightness” when reading it but it became very obvious over the course of this hour. It seems a mature subtlety is not something the previous showrunners could execute in any regard, not regarding the over-the-top grittiness and violence of season 1 and now, not regarding the over-the-top emotional, informal, immature and downright silly tone that borders on parody at times (“The power of maths”). The “contemporary vernacular” (as per the review above) is not something that strikes me as befitting for a 23rd century show about professional science officers in an army-like organization, and it will make Discovery look awfully dated in a few years more so than any hippie boots in TOS. Captain Pike’s portrayal in particular surprised me in that regard as following entirely the Bruce Greenwood playbook and having no reminiscence of the TOS Pike safe for the appearance. If this Pike is “by the book”, then certainly not in his manners and speaking (not to mention his “unconventional” command transfer). All in all, and together with the focus on action set pieces and warp speed pace, Discovery now feels like a near replica of Abramstrek movies (safe for Into Darkness, maybe), and seeing how this particular kind of movies has reached the end of the line, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Ironically it gives me hope to know this season opener was written by and under full control of the inept duo of previous showrunners. Much of what feels wrong with this episode comes down to the script and dialogue.… Read more »

Webguest

To me, this season opener doesn’t feel like Abramstrek movies at all. I really did not like them and did not even watch the last one. But I respect your opinion.

Jonboc

Well said, Vulcan Soul, I agree on all points. I found the lighter tone very manufactured and not natural or organic to the characters and the contemporary “relatable” high-five moments corny. It also does my heart good to know the 2 responsible for writing it are no longer there. Hope springs eternal!

Eric

“I bless you, Michael. All my life.”

One of the most touching lines in the episode. I really want to know what and where the Sarek-Grayson house is in the realworld. What a great location and how well it’s used as a Vulcan house, sufficiently reaching back to “Testeryear” in TAS.

The idea that Amanda would greet Michael with such spiritual language is really interesting. It even puts a fresh spin on the role of Alice and Wonderland in Michael’s life … and in Spock’s. At least at this point, it seems that Spock couldn’t relate to his mother in these human empathetic ways. Maybe he simultaneously resented Michael and learned from her, alluding directly to the conversation between Michael and Sarek in the episode. Some wonderful layers of meaning, played with great precision and gravitas by all the actors. Really, really nice.

Honestly, the only missteps in “Brother” for me are the launching of the one-man ships and the turbo lift coaster. Simply because they create problems for our imagining the structure of the ship. I think they could have done those sequences without screwing with interiors in such a gratuitous way. That represents an easy way to annoy die hard fans like me who want the show and the universe to be as internally consistent and realistic as possible.

Vulcan Soul

Giant sets that don’t fit into the ships they are meant for is another Abramstrek trope. I suppose it was this episode that broke the bank and led (together with the harrassment of writers) to the firing of the duo responsible for this show, so hopefully they will dial back all of the excesses later in the season. Too much of one thing is never good and that even includes SFX budgets!

ML31

I was under the impression that the firing of the two showrunners was officially due to how they treated the staff. And they were gone, I believe, after the 5th episode was shot. We will not see an episode without their influence for quite a while.

DIGINON

As far as I remember they didn’t show where the pods emerged from Discovery but given the length of the tunnel ride it would almost have to be the front. So they have them parked below the shuttle bay on the back but launch from the front? It would be interesting to know if the VFX team actually built those tubes into their ship model.
Unfortunately, it’s far from the first time something like that has happened on Trek, and it hasn’t limited to Abrams Trek, either. For example, there’s the infamous turbolift shaft scene in TFF, and if I remember correctly the final fight between Riker and the viceroy in NEM was supposed to take place on the lowest deck of the Ent-E but ended with the viceroy falling down a deep shaft.

Eric

Trekcore.com posted this link to the Sarek-Grayson house in the real world: https://twitter.com/TrekCore/status/1086352935020183552

Here is another direct link: http://www.architectureartdesigns.com/the-integral-house-in-toronto-by-shim-sutcliffe-architects/

Really a perfect fit for Sarek and Amanda’s Vulcan home!

Dr Zaius

Funny how they sprinkle the show with references to faith. They seemed to have forgotten that Roddenberry had a distain for organized religion.

Saiyan

ya! What does God want with a starship anyway?!

Who cares

He really didn’t, plus Gene was no longer involved after season 2 of TNG so can we just stop acting like he decided anything of substance about Trek? He flat out hated what are considered some of the best films in the franchise after all. If he had been in charge we would have gotten 2 TMPs in a row and the franchise would have died.

Tiger2

I always said the reason why Trek lasted so long pass TNG is because Roddenberry was no longer in charge. I’m pretty sure both the movies and the shows would’ve died in the 80s if he had complete control. His form of Trek was just too cerebral and Utopian and doesn’t work for a mass audience.

Afterburn

Nor for most Trek fans if we’re honest. His vision for Trek in 1987 was not the same as 1966.

Tiger2

But his vision in 1966 wasn’t really his vision lol. It was basically the network who made him turn it into a more action adventure show and others like Coon and Fontana who made it appealing for a mass audience. But yes we agree.

When Roddenberry had complete control, we saw what it was TMP and early TNG. Maybe in time more would’ve came around but I don’t think it would’ve ever reached the popularity stuff like TOS and TNG eventually did, although TNG probably retained his original vision in later seasons more so then TOS ever did. They just got ride of the silly no conflict rule and added better stories in the process.

ML31

I am actually a little tired of people praising Gene’s “vision”. From what I can deduce based on the rest of his work, Star Trek was a lucky mistake for him. It might be just buzz words to feed reporters but I don’t think it a good idea to slavishly adhere to Gene’s “vision”.

MysticalDigtial

As an atheist *wow, I actually started with that*… faith doesn’t necessarily mean supreme being or supernatural. I can have faith in others, in a process, in a plan, doesn’t mean I think a supreme being is helping out in any way.

A lot of what they said in here can easily be seen as turn of phrase or such. I know this season is going to tackle faith v. science/logic and I hope they handle it without coming down too hard on one side or the other like DS9 did.

Jonboc

I guess they remembered Kirk married a couple, in the ship’s chapel…attended a Christmas party and mentioned to Apollo, they found the one God, suite sufficient. Not to mention Kang’s remark to Kirk, We have no Devil Kirk, but we understand the habits of yours.” Religion, just as it is now, may not be practiced by everybody, but it’s clearly present in the 23rd century.

Tiger2

Enterprise also confirmed religion was still part of Earth culture. I think by the 23rd and definitely the 24th century it would have faded a lot but I’m sure there are still pockets where religion is practiced even by Picard’s time.

The River Temarc

Picard celebrated Christmas (albeit in a Nexus vision)in Generations.

Tiger2

Exactly! Although even as an atheist I celebrate Christmas lol. Sometimes I have to remind myself its suppose to be a very religious holiday but its so fun and festive!

ML31

But for many, even though we understand it’s origins, Christmas has nothing to do with religion any more. Just look at what Halloween evolved into.

Ted C

First of all there is nothing wrong with references to faith. Second, they have thrown so much of Roddenberry’s vision into the shredder what is one more thing.

HubcapDave

Connolly’s death was the first time I’ve seen anyone die from mansplaining…..

Eric

Haha! That’s what I called it, too. He just couldn’t handle Burnham’s competance. There is a hilarious trend on Twitter: Listen to black women #StarTrekDiscovery.

HILARIOUS! … But sad for Connolly.

Trek in a Cafe

Just cause you never saw it before doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened!

HubcapDave

I’m sure there are some buried in deep, dark basements somewhere….

Afterburn

The punishment every mansplainer deserves.

slider

I have no idea what mansplaining is? SJW buzzword?Oh right…

alphantrion

It was a solid episode. Anson Mount definitely knocked it out of the park as Pike. The space shots looked much more epic and I liked this new cinematic style. However I still can’t get used to Frain’s Sarek. There seems to be something missing with his performance. Also I think they went a little too overboard with Connoly’s depiction. I mean the guy was the science officer of the Enterprise, certainly there had to be some aspects that made him likable. I also think they need to tone Tilly down a notch, otherwise it might get a little annoying.

Ixley

This was a brilliant episode.

I loved the writing, humor, and lightened tone. But what really knocked my socks off were the visuals.

Kurtzman and Co have talked a lot about how “This season looks really cinematic” and they’ve certainly shown us a lot of amazing VFX. However… I actually think that it’s the little details in this episode that demonstrate a cinematic quality. For example: the GORGEOUS transition between Burnham standing on the Discovery and then outside Spock’s quarters; and tiny, unusual compositions like the red gurney wheel shot.

In my humble opinion, I don’t think that a wider frame, $$$$$$$$ dollar VFX and shimmering bokeh really give something a “cinematic feel.” I think it’s actually a care and attention to every single shot that contributes to that feeling. “Brother” certainly has tons of that. I get the sense that Kurtzman and his team are consciously thinking about how to make shots look evocative and interesting.

Garth Lorca

“Not every cage is a prison nor every loss eternal,”

That was the BEST part in an already incredibly good episode. Great foreshadowing of Pike’s destiny in “The Menagerie”… his return to Talos IV and his “imprisonment” in an illusion that frees him from his tremendous bodily prison. This was so utterly perfect! Just wow!

The River Temarc

Could the Red Angel be a post-Menagerie Pike?

Garth Lorca

“When discussing what he has learned from Spock, Pike paraphrases Spock from Star Trek VI, saying “Logic was the beginning of the picture and not the end.””

Now THAT felt a tad off. That particular piece of insight was supposed to be conceived at the end of Spock’s journey with his TOS friends, not prior to his departure for Starfleet. Sometimes those references can be overdone and missplaced.

Second complaint: the grid-like wall structure in Spock’s quarters was supposed to be hexagonal, not round :-)

Alex

I was thinking the exact same thing. Spock isn’t at a point where he allows logic to be a step on the journey – he’s still trying to figure out if he should go all logic (hence the scene in TMP) or let some emotion in. It’s still “either/or” for him (which is one of the better thing about the reboots, Quinto at the emotional tipping point was really well done)

Curious Cadet

@Garth Lorca — the grille? Really? I noticed that, but also thought, what a nice updated homage to TOS. I then questioned whether it was even updated enough to get away from the 60s design style that invoked it, and decided it really didn’t, but in the end who cares?

Webguest

I think they got so many things right: The wonder of space, the danger of missions, the joy of teamwork, the excitement of science, shots conveying the dimension of ships (roping down the wall of USS Hiawatha), and Pike being the embodiment of a Trek captain from head to toe, these were all there again. This felt much more like Trek and, somehow, more real than season 1. When I watched Trek as a kid, it made me dream, and that’s what was missing from the first season.

Importantly, they also stayed on the right side of cheesy. Family flashbacks et al. have often made me cringe in past Trek, but they did not feel cheesy in this episode. I particularly want to commend composer Jeff Russo for the subtle and atmospheric music in this episode. Particularly the Angel vision could have been such a cheesy moment drowned out by soppy strings in typical movie score fashion, but instead the subtle and ethereal score succeeded in making it a moment of wonder. Also, the Discovery musical theme worked for me for the first time in the haunting way it was arranged in the final moments of the episode.

Ethan Peck’s deep voice sounds quite promising.

The only thing I did not understand was whether the Enterprise crew allowed Burnham into Spock’s quarters without his permission. But I’ll assume she did not ask for it and it was a case of sneaking into her sibling’s room to secretly read this diary.

So: cautious optimism here.

Alex

100 years later, people are allowed to recreate other people on the holodeck, supposedly without their permission. I assume Starfleet doesn’t really value your privacy or data protection. :)

Who cares

The ship’s Captain, Pike, gave Michael permission, thats all she needed.

ML31

And she played back his personal log with no problem. Either Pike gave her a command “key” of sorts or Spock does not care who can hear his personal logs.

Who cares

Spock left his “laptop” unlocked so if he didn’t return the log would be found, he says it flat out.

Cmdr. Str3K

THANK YOU!!! A great episode , that personally met all my expectations an makes me crave for more :)

Greetings from Germany!

I wouldn’t say I loved it, exactly, but I thought that was a solid episode. And I didn’t like the majority of the first season much at all. This, though? Solid. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more.

Anyone else notice the reference to the Alexander Courage theme for the Talosians during the scene in which Michael was in Spock’s quarters?

I was happy to see this episode give Sonequa Martin-Green an opportunity to really shine. She was always good in the first season, but Burnham was written so dour — it didn’t play to Martin-Green’s strengths at all. This episode did, and it’s about damn time.

Also dug Anson Mount and Tig Notaro. And basically everyone. Even the guy who played the science officer who got killed was good at doing what he was doing.

Webguest

Also: Somebody’s got to make this joke. So I’ll take up the mantle:
“Expecto Patr…” – “It’s a dragon!”

The Recursion King

Just watched this last night at midnight and it was terrific! Everything I wanted, and more. Great performances from everyone and a really surprisingly emotional episode. Far superior to what we saw in the first season.

Captain_neill

Why do space suits appear out of nowhere?

mattj

I really enjoyed that. I wasn’t one of those that disliked the first season but it felt a little off. This just felt felt better.

I thought that Connolly looked like “Enterprise Geologist” played by Ed Madden in The Cage – I wondered if this was on purpose. It would have been a nice bit of continuity if so.

Glenn

I thought so too, but the actor shows up again in The Enemy Within. It is unknown if they are the same character.

ML31

Just because it’s the same actor doesn’t mean it’s the same character.

Boze

(Spoilers, obviously) First, the good. – It was big, flashy and stylish, and so much more fun than anything we’ve seen in the first season. If they opened the show with this, maybe now I wouldn’t be the last one in my local Trek club who still bothers watching it. – The Pike was phenomenal (though it took some time to get used to his “cowboy” manners). I want him have his own show with Enterprise (and it could even be the Frankenprise, I don’t really care at this point). – Saurian makeup was cool. – Enterprise corridor design used the proper color scheme. – Little Spock’s actor was so *straight out of Yesteryear*, it was almost uncanny. – Tilly was positively shining (even though it felt a bit forced at times). Now, the bad. – The bridge crew introduction felt incredibly forced. Even worse is that we’re only learning their names like fifteen episodes into the show. It feels kinda disrespectful towards those characters. – Why did they make little Spock such a brat? I mean, I hate uninvited visitors more than most people do, but I’m not throwing tantrums about their presence like this. I am at home, which already puts me into more important and stronger position. I do not need to assert my superiority over them, I have it by default. – Vulcans need to learn empathy now? – Rollercoaster turbolift. Seriously? – Could do without those Lost in Space (1998) spacesuits. The previous design was perhaps a bit clumsier, but it looked so much better. This felt kinda gimmicky, like those life support belts from TAS. And the ugly. – Deus-ex-machina squidshuttles we never heard of before, and will never hear of again. They are designed for gravitation anomalies and they’re made out of material… Read more »

DeanH

Michael is obviously the central figure so she won’t be going anywhere. Fortunately for you, thanks to CBS, Kurtzman and those who watch Disco, there is a lot more Star Trek coming for you to choose from. Hopefully one of those shows and characters will be more to your liking. In the meantime props for continuing to watch. LLAP.

Afterburn

Some fans also just need to come to the realization that Star Trek just may not be for them anymore, and that’s OK. Plenty of franchises i’ve loved have moved into territory I wasn’t a fan of. I’ve been disappointed, sometimes a little saddened and upset, but never angry and bitter. These things happen. Not everything in life can be exactly the way we want it, nor the way it has always been.

Danpaine

Very thoughtful post, Afterburn.

M113

Fans can disagree with this interpretation of Star Trek and still be fans of Star Trek.

What you are arguing is the equivalent of “if you didn’t like Batman v. Superman you need to come to the realization Batman isn’t for you anymore.”

Maybe we believe there are plenty of great stories left to be told, we just don’t think this current incarnation is delivering.

Tiger2

Agreed! I don’t completely disagree with Afterburn, if you want Trek like the Berman or Roddenberry era then yes maybe THIS interpretation of Trek isn’t for you, but it doesn’t mean you grown out of Star Trek in general. There are some fans even now who still doesn’t look at any Trek pass TOS as ‘real’ Trek and those people can’t be saved lol. But for others who generally enjoy it all (which I think is the majority even they hate a particular show) Star Trek will always be part of their lives.

Many simply don’t like this iteration of it and its understandable. And of course its new, it may take some time to come around then others too like many eventually did with TNG and DS9.

ML31

Yes. It is hared to completely disagree with what Afterburn said. The problem I often have is HOW he says it. Many of his disagreeing posts have a very bitter and antagonizing subtext. I do not know if it is intention or not to be honest. Maybe that is just how he writes…

Afterburn

You can believe what you want, but the facts are the facts. As a huge Spider-Man fan I was sad when the movies turned to garbage. I was disappointed because there were great Spidey stories left to be told. But I just accepted that what they were doing wasn’t for me, and stopped watching.

Fans need to accept that they don’t have a say in what Trek is, and if it’s not for them anymore, let go of the nastiness and bitterness.

khambattafan

A weird thing to say considering Discovery seemed to have retooled itself based on backlash to the first season. And considering Kurtzman said he pays attention to feedback if he sees the same comments being made repeatedly. So, fans, collectively, do have some say, in addition to the obvious fact of voting with their wallets.

Tiger2

Yes that’s pretty obvious. Even with the Klingon changes this season he (finally) admitted part of the change was due to the fan backlash. For some reason people were trying to convince themselves dramatically changing their look after just 15 episodes of Klingons looking and sounding like rejected LOTR creatures had nothing to do with fans hating them, but just a natural process. It was clear as day that wasn’t the case as much as they pretended thats all it was.

You would have to be crazy to listen to every minor issue fans bring up on message boards but you would be just as crazy to completely ignore the (very) obvious problems they are pointing out as well. Especially if you want to keep them as fans.

And in a lot of these cases its about trying to fix something that wasn’t broken in the first place. I think they learned change just for change sake doesn’t always work if there is really no underlining reason to do it…other then just to say you’re different.

ML31

It’s also a very disheartening stand to take. It is entirely possible that the next incarnation of the franchise you just vowed to never follow again will improve and be more to your liking. Imagine if I turned away from Batman after Batman Forever? I would have missed the Nolan version. But to each his own.

M113

I do not believe it is nasty nor bitter to give a honest critique of a film or TV series one does not care for. In fact those honest fan criticisms are often what leads to a series improving. The “Amazing Spider-Man 2”— also written by Alex Kurtzman— released to low grosses and negative reviews, are what gave us terrific Spider-Man films like “Homecoming” and “Into the Spider-Verse”.

slider

Exactly! Essentially by that logic of “if you don’t like it, it’s not for you” is sending a message to the studiot they can do whatever they like because the original fans aren’t watching. Is that the freedom you want to give them? Subpar Star Trek? Terrible Star Trek?

slider

Sorry, I’ve been cutting onions…

I thought I was watching a high budget movie. Star Trek at its best. So glad it’s back. Great article BTW guys.

Denny C

They probably blew through a fair amount of the season’s budget. Expect some quieter episodes in the coming weeks.

Tiger2

IIRC part of the reasons the old show runners got fired was because the first few episodes went WAY over budget (but I doubt the main reason). Watching this episode I can see how lol. But at least the money was on the screen. This one at least.

Afterburn

I do believe the reason they were fired was because of harassment and abuse on-set.

https://trekmovie.com/2018/06/14/star-trek-discovery-showrunners-berg-kurtzman-named-showrunner/

Afterburn

I do believe the reason they were fired was because of harassment and abuse on-set. I tried linking to the article on this site but it’s not posting, so you can google it.

Your first comment is there. To cut down on spam comments with URLs need to be approved. I approved it.

As the article says, they were fired for both the budget overruns (operational issues) and the harassment.

Tiger2

Yes, as I made clear in my post its PARTLY the reason but wasn’t the main one which we all knew were the abuse claims.

slider

Actually it’s more a toxic show created run by toxic people, surprise, surprise wasn’t expecting that…he lied.

slider

Would you say JJ Abrams Star Trek budget?

Quarks pre owned tribbles

If the Enterprise was so damaged, then how did she “pull up” to the Discovery at the end of season one? Where is Scotty? Acting as a transporter chief assistant at this time? Kirk never would have tolerated such a prognosis as “the engineering core has no clue as to how long it will be before the ship is up and runnng again”. Kirk and co. even got the U.S.S. Constellation to move around witin 10 minutes:) First the big E sits out the Klingon war, then breaks down looking for 7 “red things”. Damn, I hope she is at least still under warranty:)

DeanH

Good question about the Enterprise pulling up to the Discovery in S1. I guess we should also question why the Discovery has force field shuttle bay technology and the TOS 1701 does not OR why the Enterprise A is shown on TNG when referencing the Naked Time episode OR why according to TNG anything higher than Warp 5 was destroying sub-space but afterward in all the series, they are traveling much faster OR why… I think you get my drift, nothing is perfect, let’s just say the answer is due to what is known as “artistic license”.

Curious Cadet

@Quarks — We don’t know when Scotty joined the Enterprise. He may not have been on board by this date.

ML31

You bring up another question I had. If the Enterprise was a “last resort” or however it was they put it, then why weren’t they recalled months earlier when the war was obviously going so very very badly?