Review: On ‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ Family Is Everything In “Point Of Light”

“Point of Light”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, Episode 3 – Debuted Thursday, January 31st
Written by Andrew Colville
Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

Things slow down a bit for the third episode of the season, but the intensity increases in a very emotional episode. Filled with lore, intrigue, and a strong theme of family, “Point of Light” focuses on character development. A number of recurring guest stars make welcome returns, some of whom deliver their best performances in the series to date. This is the first episode of the season to take its full focus off the USS Discovery and fans are likely to enjoy the visit with the Klingons, who have been going through some changes since the war ended in the season one finale. Whiling falling back at times into of the issues that plagued the first season, “Point of Light” still builds on the improvements to Discovery’s sophomore season.

“Point of Light” — Ep #203 – Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler

[SPOILERS BELOW]

RECAP

Vulcan family

The episode starts with a personal log from Michael Burnham, kicking things off classic Star Trek style. Although he again doesn’t appear in the episode, Spock remains an important character in this season as thoughts of him weigh on her. Cluing us in to the theme of the episode, Michael refers to him as “my brother Spock,” without caveats like “adopted” or “foster.” He is family and she is worried, after learning he has checked himself into the psychiatric wing of Starbase 5. And to make things even more of a family affair, it is not too long until Amanda pays an unexpected visit to the USS Discovery, arriving via Sarek’s ambassadorial ship, but notably without Sarek, which was a big surprise to Michael.

Turns out after Amanda learned Spock had taken leave, she went to see him at Starbase 5 only to be rebuffed. So she decides to steal his encrypted medical files as a consolation prize and tries to get her daughter to help by decoding them. Michael Burnham shows character growth as she takes the encrypted data to Captain Pike, who plays by the book and doesn’t want anyone on his ship to get involved with the stolen data. However, following a strange call with the Captain of Starbase 5 who informs him that Spock has escaped and murdered a few people on his way out the door, Pike senses there is something wrong going on and orders Burnham to decrypt the files.

Does this get ESPN 1000? I want to check out the Parrises Squares scores

Burnham and Amanda are also reluctant to believe that Spock has snapped and started killing people, but they recognize that he has issues going back years related to how he was brought up by Sarek, who may be a great ambassador, but is not going to win any Father of the Year awards, on any planet. Amanda holds a lot of guilt, revealing she gave Michael all the love she wasn’t allowed to give to Spock, breaking our hearts as she says, “I was not a real mother.”

The files reveal how Spock has been haunted all his life by a red angel, which actually appeared to him early in life following an attack by logic extremists who tried to kill Michael Burnham as a child, something shown briefly during the first season of Discovery. We also get a bit more insight into one of the big mysteries of Star Trek: Discovery, which is why we’ve never heard about Michael before as a part of this family. Here she explains to Amanda that she did something as a child to Spock that caused a rift that still remains, in order to drive a wedge between the two of them and protect him in case the logic extremists decided to get to her through those close to her.

We still don’t know what this horrible thing was, but the promised pieces of how this all fits together are slowly falling into place. Sonequa Martin-Green and Mia Kirshner show great chemistry together as they both move the plot along with the mystery of Spock and his connection to red bursts and red angel, and as they explore more of the backstory of this very dysfunctional family. This storyline wraps up with Amanda taking the lead, saying she will use what she has learned to find her son.

I’ve done the calculations and yep, it’s all Sarek’s fault

Qo’noS family

While Amanda, Pike and Michael are moving the season arc along a bit, it turns out they are not the primary focus of this episode. Cutting in and out of the happenings on the USS Discovery is some serious palace intrigue on Qo’noS. We last left L’Rell and Voq/Tyler on the Klingon homeworld in the season one finale, with the war being tidied up way too fast and L’Rell left in charge of the Empire. “Point of Light” picks things up by showing that her grip on power is tenuous at best. After some deft handwaving to explain why they are speaking English and everyone has hair, “Point of Light” gets deep into the weeds with the Klingons and things get downright operatic, as they were meant to be.

Chancellor L’Rell is doing her best to fulfill T’Kuvma’s vision of a united Klingon Empire, but the High Council is having a hard time dealing with a woman in charge, especially one with a human “pet” in the form of Tyler. He may truly be Voq the Torchbearer and have introduced what will become the iconic D7 Klingon battlecruiser of the TOS era, but his fellow Klingons can’t see past his transformed human appearance and to be fair, he looks less fierce warrior and more hipster bartender at an artisanal pop-up bar. Leading the charge to challenge L’Rell’s authority is Kol-Sha, the father of Kol, who butted heads with L’Rell in season one and died when the USS Discovery blew the Sarcophagus ship to bits. In a nice bit of casting, Kol actor Kenneth Mitchell returns to play his own father (something  TrekMovie guessed back in October).

Ending the war has been a huge boost to the Qo’noS hairdresser community

And if her political career wasn’t hard enough, L’Rell’s personal life is simply a mess. She remains deeply in love with Voq, who is now Tyler, who is sort of the victim of her abuse. Added to that, Tyler is also in contact with his other former girlfriend Michael Burnham, whom he rings up to give an update on the political situation, but ends up sort of flirting with, including talking about his new beard (but no mention of the topknot, which has to go). L’Rell is, of course, jealous of all of this as she knows they have a connection she may never be able to match.  Things only get worse when Tyler learns that L’Rell has hidden the fact that they have a child together (from when he was Voq); the baby was gestated ex-utero and she has shunned it, not even giving it a name. “It’s complicated” doesn’t begin to explain these relationships and Mary Chieffo is outstanding as she lurches from crisis to crisis through this episode, being able to emote and reach us through the prosthetics.

But before things get too soapy, brutal Klingon politics intercede in a big way. Papa Kol has bugged L’Rell and Tyler–using his own warpaint no less–and he knows all the dirt. He kills L’Rell’s uncle and steals the baby. Like a proper bad Klingon, he isn’t above resorting to blackmail and kidnapping, using the baby in trade for the Chancellorship. And these Klingons aren’t all talk, talk, talk as things devolve into a good old-fashioned fight with mek’leths, bat’leths and Kol-Sha’s cool paralyzing weapon that seemingly ends L’Rell’s reign. Lucky for her, one of the House Mo’Kai aides who has been hovering around all episode turns out to be …. wait for it … Emperor Georgiou in disguise, and she has even cooler and deadlier toys than Kol the White, ending his briefest of administrations and wrapping up what may be the best choreographed fight of the series.

Turns out the Federation wasn’t done with L’Rell after handing her the “iPad of Death” at the end of season one, and they are going to do anything, and I mean anything, to keep her in power. The solution to this was downright biblical, with L’Rell presenting the severed head of Tyler to the High Council claiming she killed the treacherous human herself after he killed her baby. She sells the heart-wrenching lie by throwing the head into a flaming pit, watching her approval ratings soar. Dead Kol-Sha is refashioned as a hero when she reports that he gave his life to save hers, and she is now well on the road to uniting the Empire. And since Discovery can never miss a chance to hit you over the head with the thematic message of the week, she tells them to call her “mother” because that is the “fiercest” title of all.

That’s one way to get ahead in politics

Disco family

There were also a few other goings on around the USS Discovery, primarily related to the ongoing drama with Tilly and her work in the Command Training Program, which is being severely compromised by the fact that she is being haunted by her dead friend from junior high. Mary Wiseman finds yet another level to take Tilly’s Tillyness to as she loses her grip on reality, resulting in some embarrassing moments of shouting at the unseen ghost while she’s supposed to be shadowing Captain Pike on the bridge. Doug Jones, seamlessly stepping into the role of den mother of the trainees, gives his best angry parent full name shutdown “Ensign Sylvia Tilly!” resulting in her quitting the program and sulking into the turbolift.

For someone who is so hell-bent on being a senior officer, Tilly continues to show a lack of respect for the chain of command. She should report her condition to a doctor or her supervisor. This habit of keeping things to herself was also demonstrated in the Short Treks episode “Runaway” and is something she is going to have to work on. She heads to her quarters–where Michael is already there crying over what she may have done to Spock–and loses it completely, in a deeply emotional scene between the two roomies. Luckily Michael still has the power of logic (and reminds us she is a xenoanthropologist), and susses out that Tilly isn’t going crazy, she is merely possessed. Just another day in Starfleet.

After some science mumbo jumbo in the lab, it is determined that Tilly is infested with some kind of sentient fungus thing that has grown from a spore she picked up in the Mirror Universe and was triggered by Dark Matter. Sounds pretty ominous. “May” seems preoccupied with Lt. Commander Stamets, who she thinks is the captain, likely due to his connection to the mycelial network. After Paul shows a severe lack of bedside manner, he sucks the blob out of Tilly and locks it into an isolation field. What is going on here is a mystery, but with everything else we know, they might as well have put a sign on the floating fungus that says, “This way to the resurrection of Dr. Hugh Culber.”

There has got to be an easier way to clean Starfleet uniforms

Spy family

The last bit of “Point of Light” deals with a new element in the show: Emperor Phillipa Georgiou in her new role, which she describes as a “Starfleet security consultant” disguised as the “retired” Captain Phillipa Georgiou. The exiled emperor makes it clear she has gone local and is now working on behalf of the Federation, for reasons. Georgiou also gets in on the familial theme for the episode, telling L’Rell “children are parasites.” Apparently, you can take the woman out of the evil universe but you can’t take the evil universe out of the woman.

After sorting things out with L’Rell on Qo’noS, we find Georgiou on a mysteriously cool new ship, with a dark decor to match her sleek new black leather outfits. Even if you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you probably still figured out she is now working for Section 31, the nefarious clandestine organization that has caused trouble before on Deep Space Nine and Enterprise. But they do have cool stuff, so they were able to pull off the deception of creating fake heads for L’Rell’s consolidation of power. Yeoh continues to relish in this new role, with just the right level of hamminess to make it fun.

And now with nothing to do, it appears that Tyler is their latest recruit, joining what Yeoh describes as a group of misfits on this ship, which is sure to be seen again this season, doing the work Starfleet doesn’t want to do. Before he can get his own black badge and cool outfit, Tyler has to say goodbye to his son forever, beaming him to the Klingon monastery on Boreth. Just when Tyler thought he was putting together one family it has been snatched away, sending him into yet another complicated situation on this ship of misfit spies.

We make being bad look good

ANALYSIS

Cleanup in aisle cha’

In our review of the season 2 premiere, we described it as a sort of reboot for the series. This new approach continued in the second episode which sought to evoke classic Star Trek, with an exploration mission and struggles with the Prime Directive, and it continues in the third episode with what is clearly a reboot of the Klingons in Discovery, or perhaps it is more of a “de-boot.”

Alex Kurtzman and, especially his co-creator, Bryan Fuller sought to remake the Klingons for the modern era. Significant time and resources were devoted to developing and remaking this classic Trek foe for Discovery, fitting them into a modern allegory and redesigning them for high-definition peak television. The end results were mixed. In the second season, the warrior race has been refreshed. There is a clear acknowledgment that they went too far in some areas, and the team behind Discovery gets some credit for listening to the #NotMyKlingons critiques.

In “Point of Light,” Klingons have hair again, as they did in the Next Generation era, which itself showed an evolution from the redesign of the TOS film era. Sure there is an explained logic to the change, that Klingons shave during a time of war (season one) and let it all hang out in a time of peace (season two), but the change is clearly a way to make fans feel they understand these Klingons. The makeup itself has also gone through a big transformation, especially with the speaking characters like L’Rell. The heads are less elongated and the makeup around the eyes and mouth are less intrusive, allowing more of the actors’ performances to come through.

Hanging out with Uncle Ujilli. What? Too soon?

Another big change is the use of English extensively, limiting the scenes in Klingon with subtitles. In-story reasons were given in some cases, but notably, during L’Rell’s speech to the council, they used the old Hunt for Red October zoom in effect to transition from the native tongue to English (also used effectively in Star Trek VI). This was done well and should be the standard for the show going forward. It is notable that in 2017 Alex Kurtzman specifically said they chose not to do this technique as it “would’ve felt very inauthentic.” What they were trying to do was laudable; however, the combination of heavy makeup and actors speaking a foreign language phonetically simply was not working in practice. To Kurtzman’s credit, he changed course and we are all the better for it. Qapla’!

But what they have done to fix the Klingons for season two goes deeper than hair, makeup, and language. The Klingons here just seemed more Klingon. The duplicitous infighting was classic TNG-era court intrigue. L’Rell propping up her power on a glorious myth is right out of the Ron Moore playbook. There are also little things like Kol’s father using technical spy paint to listen in on L’Rell was reminiscent of how the Duras sisters hacked Geordi’s VISOR in Star Trek: Generations. And even with all the intrigue, in the end, these Klingons resolve things in blood, and due to this being a streaming show, things can get bloody indeed. Oh, and the blood was pink too, again how it should be. One new thing that has been added is some lion or tiger sounds to the Klingons as they face off, enhancing their ferocious natures.

And moments like showing off the design for the classic Klingon D7 battlecruiser was also a bit of a fix. The one shown in “Point of Light” fits with what we know from Star Trek: The Original Series and I can’t wait to see an actual D7 ship in action. But this was also setting something right from season one when L’Rell’s prison ship was identified as a “D7” in the episode “Choose Your Pain.” Subsequently, that ship has been re-classified as a “Sech class” (based on the Eaglemoss brochure). While not as iconic as the USS Enterprise, many fans looked at that ship from season one and knew that was no D7.

The episode title itself is a deep cut of Klingon lore, coming from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Rightful Heir” where Worf recalls the words of Kahless saying “I will go now to Sto-Vo-Kor. But I promise one day I will return.’ Then Kahless pointed to a star in the sky and said, ‘Look for me there, on that point of light.'” And that point of light was the location of Boreth, where Tyler took his son in the final moments of the episode. These guys did their Klingon homework.

The bottom line is, these are your parents’ Klingons, but still with new and interesting twists, turns and designs to make something new.

You call that a D7 battlecruiser, now this is a D7 battlecruiser

Section Thirty-what?

The other big thing, which was actually just briefly touched on for this episode, was the introduction of Section 31 into Discovery. We have known this is coming for some time and for the most part what we saw of Georgiou, Leland, and their ship of misfits was intriguing. Incorporating Tyler into Section 31 is also smart and offers some interesting possibilities and will certainly bring him back into contact with his old pals on the USS Discovery. And there was an intriguing hint that Section 31 could be involved with what is going on with Spock on Starbase 5, possibly concocting the story of his murderous escape.

However, it is a bit unclear what exactly Section 31 is, within Discovery. As it was originally conceived for Deep Space Nine, Section 31 was an autonomous covert organization that worked in the shadows, doing the dirty work that the Federation couldn’t do, due to its high-minded ideals. It was a perfect way for DS9’s producers to shine a light on some of the inherent contradictions around a utopian society that has to live in a complex galaxy, with dangerous threats from both without and within.

What is not yet apparent for Discovery is how Section 31 fits within Starfleet and the Federation. The idea of Section 31 is for it to work on behalf of the Federation but not within it. It was also extremely secret, with most not even aware of its existence. So, it is unclear why people seem to know about Discovery’s Section 31 and everyone has black Starfleet badges, which would indicate this group is more of a standard covert arm of Starfleet Security. The official Star Trek store has actually started selling Section 31 T-Shirts today. This seems to be more of the approach to the organization taken in Star Trek Into Darkness. By making Section 31 part of Starfleet, it could take away some of the dramatic possibilities and conflict that could arise with an organization that is answerable to no one.

But Michelle Yeoh is great and the ship seems pretty cool, so I’m looking forward to seeing what is next for this new interpretation of Section 31.

Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!

taH pagh taHbe

“Point of Light” continues builds on the impressive second season of Star Trek: Discovery. These first three episodes aren’t just good for Discovery, but good Star Trek, period. It was worth it for the show to dial back the red angel arc a little bit to give time to bring in the renewed and improved Klingons, adding galactic scale to the season and delivering on some of the promises the first season never delivered. The episode spent a bit too much time moving pieces around the board to help set things up for future episodes but still didn’t feel too much like mid-season filler.

Andrew Colville’s Star Trek writing debut was impressive, showing off some of the skills he picked up working on top-rated AMC dramas like Mad Men and Turn: Washington’s Spies, while still demonstrating some geek cred, no doubt evidenced by his history working on shows like The 4400 and Threshold. Director Olatunde Osunsanmi was able to keep up the new style for the show, but find time for the quiet character moments where this episode really lived. He may be a bit too fond of dutch angles, but he was able to draw out some very strong performances, especially Mary Chieffo’s and Mia Kirshner’s.

“Point of Light” had a bit of the haphazard structure, like some of the season one episodes, as it was designed not to tell a mostly standalone story like “New Eden,” but to reintroduce a number of characters. Also feeling like a return to season one was the tone, missing the lighter moments seen in the last two weeks. However, even with these limitations it still did the job well, especially by making the Klingons Klingons again.

Lorca who?

Random thoughts, connections, easter eggs, and more

  • Stardate given for Burnham’s personal log was 1029.46.
  • Sarek’s ship (or one of the same class) first appeared in the season one episode “Lethe” and is inspired by Vulcan designs from Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • The bridge now has a second officer of the same large-headed alien species as “Osnullus.”
  • The Command Training Program has a custom gold-lettered version of the DISCO T-shirt (making this the 3rd version of the t-shirt, for those keeping track), which was made available for purchase today, along with a Section 31 shirt. Yogurt would be proud.
  • The Sarek family living in the ShiKahr region of Vulcan was first established in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode “Yesteryear.”
  • The Klingon monastery to Kahless on Boreth was first seen in the TNG episode “Rightful Heir.” Kahless’ story in that episode also inspired Glenn Hetrick’s reasoning for the Klingon ritual of shaving their hair during a time of war, as seen throughout season one.
  • Reinforcing Pike’s old-school Star Trek origins, he prefers not to use holograms but instead likes to communicate screen-to-screen, as the Great Bird intended.
  • Michael’s science lab is a redress of Lorca’s old ready room set and the bridge of the Section 31 ship was re-worked from the USS Shenzhou bridge set, which was last seen redressed as the ISS Shenzhou.
  • This is the first episode written by Andrew Colville, who joined the series as a co-executive producer for the second season.
  • This was the second episode of the series directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi, who was promoted to executive producer for the second season.
  • This is the first proper appearance of Alan Van Sprang as the Section 31 operative Leland, who was first seen recruiting Emperor Georgiou in a season one “bonus scene” revealed last spring.
  • This was Damon Runyan’s fourth (and likely final) appearance playing L’Rell’s uncle and representative of House Mo’Kai Ujilli.
  • Kenneth Mitchell playing Kol’s father Kol-Sha joins a Star Trek tradition of playing relatives of their original characters including William Shatner (Sam Kirk), Brent Spiner (Lore, B4, Noonian Soong, Arik Soong), Robert Picardo (Lewis Zimmerman), Kate Mulgrew (Shannon O’Donnel) and Michael Dorn (Colonel Worf).
  • Wilson Cruz does not appear in this episode and his character, Dr. Culber, was not mentioned.
  • Tig Notaro’s Jett Reno does not appear in this episode.

Two big heads are better than one

Flying upside down is no problem for Section 31

Merchandising!


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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CmdrR

A watchable 48 minutes, but… it’s back to the dark side.
–Lousy wallpaper music during the Klingon fight scene; coulda been a beer commercial soundtrack.
–Dead baby head? Really??
–I don’t care what’s in the script, if you’ve got an Ensign yelling at the captain on the bridge, SOMEONE needs to take her to sickbay or the brig.
–Did Voq/Ash just tell L’Rell that he was a Klingon who was manipulated to appear human? Um… yes… SHE was the one who did that!
Otherwise:
–Cool new ships, Section 31’s and Sarek’s.
–What is Sarek Vulcan’s ambassador to? Is it the whole galaxy? They couldn’t spare one for each Federation member planet?
–Good in-universe reason for losing the endless Klingon language scenes. Thanks!
–I’m sure Spock didn’t actually murder people. Starfleet is forgiving, but…

What did everyone else think?

Vulcan Soul

Totally agree with you about “the dark side”. On some very low-brow level this is watchable, but not as Star Trek.

DPrescott

Indeed. It has all (well most) of the Trek words and props but it takes more than that… I would class this one as a Mondo Freiberger…

Trek Fan1973

I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought this. This felt like a first season episode to me. The dialogue as delivered at such a rapid fire pace it’s hard to even track what’s going on. Olatunde Osunsanmi directed this episode with so much camera movement going on it became a true distraction from the story. I think this was a big step backwards compared to the first two episodes of the season.

Corylea

I agree completely on the camera movement! I found it hard to focus on what the characters were saying and doing with the camera in constant, drunken motion.

martin

I have always thought that Sarek was the Vulcan Ambassador to the UFP, the same way countries have ambassadors to the UN.

I agree that the Tilly scene on the bridge played too long and ended badly. If they wanted Burnham to resolve this, they should have put her on bridge to take Tilly to sickbay… but I think that the best resolution would have been for Saru to step up and escort her there.

As for Spock – I think he is being questioned on the Section 31 ship, and it was Section 31 that either murdered people on Starbase 5, or more likely – Section 31 and Captain Vela have concocted the story of the murders (the same way that L’Rell and Georgiou have concocted the story of Voq and son of Voq’s murders).

If Phillipa is just making up stories about killing people instead of actually killing people now, then that’s a good thing, no?

ML31

BTW.. Is there a precedent to make the first of the D series model 7? Wouldn’t the first be the D-1? Is that the 7th version before they decided to construct? Or do we just chalk it up to Klingons just do things differently?

A34

Maybe you should stick to watching the Disney channel.

Alan

Trolololololol

A34

Embrace the Dark Side.

OSVALDO TORRES

You forgot the repeated camera angles after every commercial- Tilly’s STD sorry fungus being older yet she last saw her at 15yrs old-The klingons are no longer bald because the war is over hahahaha sorry but they had no hair before the war started in episode 1 season 1 and why weren’t they bald on DS9 during the war with the dominion-The Captain at starbase 5 tells Pike that he and his grandmother still use screens WTF!!! so TNG only used screens in the future why? I guess saving on the light bill-Tilly outruns everybody, Ok as overweight person myself but I was really fast when I was younger but NO-And for the love of god I’ve been called a Canon Nazi whatever that means for my personal gripe that I keep saying Spocks mother was a BLONDE.

Disinvited

OSVALDO TORRES,

Re: personal gripe

Is that anything like having a personal gripe that most fans act oblivious to the fact that the recurring blondes were obviously wearing wigs, hairpieces toupees, etc.?

Jonboc

Well after last werk’s somewhat promising turn, this episode was one big hot mess. Ugh. ☹️ Mush mouthed Klingons are back… trying to speak through poorly fitted alien dentures, horribly choreographed sluggish Klingon fighting, a captain that uses screens…unlike most of starfleet…except, of course, every Trek series ever made. Filmed from a roller coaster, apparently… the headache-inducing camera work this go-around screamed “look how unconventional I can film” ..every single. Shot. And why can’t we have ONE story and tell it well? This episode was all over the map… ghost bugs, section 31, Spock’s personal soap opera, Klingons, Michael whispered her way through the whole episode with bad dialogue and over the top reactions. She’ll rummage through Spock’s personal belongings all day on the Enterprise, then complain about hacking into his medical records. Terrible episode.

The intro to the upcoming D7 was fun and a step in the right direction… but outside of that, geez…what a mess.

Alan

We’re back to Season 1 DSC. Yay? No. Definitely not yay. Ash Tyler needs to be removed. His character serves no purpose other than exposition. Also, can anyone understand Yeoh when she said “He’s in”. I thought she was saying the other person’s name and it was a big reveal. Had to turn on the subtitles to understand all she said is “He’s in”…

I understood her immediately. Granted, I was wearing headphones.

Thorny

I understood Yeoh as well. Sometimes she is hard to understand, but I had no problem with her in this episode.

Spiked Canon

yes, that was a plus having Yeoh’s dialog understood finally

Olaf

No, I understood her just fine. But Shazad Latif (spelled right?), I just sometimes don’t understand what he’s mumbling…

Trek Fan1973

Agreed!!

Danpaine

That is a perfect synopsis, Jonboc. My head was spinning, and not in a good way, by the end. Ugly, ugly episode. I’d like my 49 minutes back.

ML31

I’m on board with that analyses, Jonboc. A dizzying mess that not only tried to do too much but was an unpleasant reminder of season 1 events.

Corylea

The camera work seemed like a film-school experiment, not the work of a polished professional.

Spiked Canon

who in the hel* came up with the baby? That was utterly ridiculous and visually horrible. #LessTilly

Alan

I’m totally onboard with the #LessTilly. This show really has figured out how to make unlikeable characters.

A34

#MORETilly I love her.

Holden

Overall, I liked Tilly more last season. Probably because she was a source of levity in a season sorely lacking it. This season, though, she does at times feel tonally out of place.

But that said, I think last night’s episode really gave her a great arc.

eric2

Tilly was pretty good in this episode, now that she has some goals we can root for her on (the command training program). Her performance made me genuinely sad for her when she was breaking up over potentially losing a shot at captain.

ML31

I’ve decided that she is probably a better actress than her part allows her to be. Tilly is a badly drawn character with even worse dialog. Patrick Stewart aside, actors can only do so much with sub par material. She’s doing what she can but Tilly seems to be beyond saving at this point. She’s this show’s Wesley Crusher. Wish the command training program took her off ship for a year.

Holden

Yeah, eric2, I think “goals” is such a great way to put it. She has a strong storyline that doesn’t involve her only being a balance to Michael, or the other characters.

Maltz

Dare I say…#NoTilly?

Tiger2

Sadly agree with most of your points Jonboc. This one was simply a let down.

slider

See, all those empty promises. They gave you want they wanted to begin with to reel you in and then (snap) you’re a new subscriber.

Vulcan Soul

This episode could’ve been straight out of season 1. The entire point seems to “shock and awe” with unlikely, continuity-breaking twists (Section 31 now has 25th century ships and tech apparently – there is no logical timeline anymore), overbursting emotion and disgusting gore. For the latter, we reach a sad new peak in a Star Trek show (worse than a captain being eaten even), a cut off baby head. Real or not, this is outrageous. As I predicted, this episode was devoid of any thoughtful message, any real content but the intent to push emotional buttons and deliver ultra-violence to the thirsty throats of the plebeians. There is zero room for nuance here, for anything but the most garish black and white. Everything has to be written in the starkest, most absolutist terms: Spock murdered doctors, Ash murders Klingons, heads get cut off and entrails pulled out. What unspeakable thing Burnham did to Spock apparently gets saved for a later show. We are in full soap opera mode now. From the preview, apparently next week Saru is dying. Folks, this is what you get when emotion trumps reason! And in direct rejection of IDIC, anything that is different gets vilified: the Klingons as nativists are cannibals and savages, pure logic Vulcans are extremists who bomb learning centers (as if such acts have not always been committed by irrational religious fanatics). Meanwhile writers get their sexist kick by putting in nuggets like “tiny male brains”. The only thing that gets exposed as extremist through this is the emotionalism the creators of this show are celebrating. But then again, reading their own, unintentional subtext is not the strength of such compromised people.

Jonboc

Well said!

CmdrR

I really hope Klingon/Section 31 is Disco’s home for dark spew and the rest aims for TOS-style positivity.

Vulcan Soul

That may be so, but I’m not optimistic about the balance between the two. With so few episodes this season and their love for grimdark, highest-stake soap opera, “New Eden” may turn out to be the only inspiring, (quasi) self-contained away mission for this season, similiar to “Into the Forest I Go” in season 1. One Star Trek episode per year is a bit thin for my diet.

ML31

My hope is that the episodes after the Hobarts/Berg departure will be better. If I recall, they left after the 5th episode. So only two more to go…

Danpaine

I was thinking/hoping the same.

Marja

It was a bit “rah-rah Starfleet” last week for me, but the on-planet stuff and discussion of faith/science was great. Pike’s saying “ranks don’t matter” really grated on me. Yes, it does matter. It matters very much to the people who earned the ranks. I like Pike, but I’m not so sure his ship would have made it through the Klingon war…just call me an old military sourpuss.

PaulB

@Marja – Complaining that a Star Trek show is too “rah-rah Starfleet” is like complaining that NCIS is too “rah-rah U.S. Navy.” Um…yeah…it’s a show about Starfleet characters as our good guys, in a franchise centered around Starfleet’s good guys…

CmdrR

You’re an old military sourpuss! There. Actually, I agree that starship captains are those one-in-a-million guys who can cover all bases, from buddy to boss, ambassador to military strategist. Pike, so far, has only shown part of the spectrum.

A34

Watching Kirk beat up people in every episode is positive to you?

The River Temarc

1. Um, it was a FAKE cut-off baby head?

2. Setting that aside, we have seen cultures in real-life that have practiced infanticide. Why can’t alien species be among them? Klingon custom would have had Toral killed in TNG; only Worf’s human side spared him (and that nearly came back to haunt Worf in DS9). So if you want to blame a Trek series for “abandoning IDIC” as a result of this, blame TNG. Hell, blame TOS, because in “Friday’s Child” the planet’s barbaric code-of-honor culture also demanded the death of a newborn. No one is saying these are model societies, but they exist.

2B. Of course, here in meatspace, our own country is putting illegal immigrant kids in camps, so perhaps you would do well to direct your outrage to that, rather than a fictional TV show.

3. We have seen the existence of extremist groups on Vulcan before, in TOS (T’Pring), TNG (“Gambit”), and quite a bit on ENT. They are marginal groups and rare, but like our real-life extremists at Charlotteville, not quite extinct. And they would surely be drawn to the Sarek clan like catnip.

4. It’s almost certain that Spock is going to end up being exonerated for these alleged murders. He does go on to serve on the Enterprise and as a Federation ambassador, after all.

All told, this wasn’t my absolute favorite episode of Discovery, and I could do without Mirror Georgiou (as opposed to Captain Georgiou), but I also think an episode like this was necessary to bridge the two seasons and make sure that the first season didn’t stand out like a sore thumb.

Mr Limpopo

Heavy-handed Femacist extremism is ok, though?

The River Temarc

What the f@ck is “femacist extremism”?

I sense he was trying to make a single word by joining “feminist” and “fascist.” I would likely want to spell that “femascist,” if I were going to do such a thing, which I wouldn’t because I don’t listen to those types of radio shows. No beets for me, thank you.

Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine.

Mr Limpopo

Female Supremacist, actually. Nice try, though. You tried.

Trophy?

Don’t you mean “brophy”?

I’ll pass, thanks.

Mr Limpopo

Severed baby head??

** Gently places severed baby head back into the draw…..***

PEB

I can’t help but laugh – and I say this as a man – women have been objectified and boxed into specific types of roles since the beginning of film and television. Not even a real year and a half of a show with a female lead, and reversal of roles in many ways and some guys lose their minds over it. Some people are so easily triggered.

Mr Limpopo

Two wrongs do not make a right.

A34

It just shows how immature they are. No wonder they are a target of Russian trolling.

Vulcan Soul

Okay, I’ll play (brace for impact) – 1. It doesn’t matter how fake it is or not; even if in this fictional universe it was “real” it would still not be real because it’s a TV show. I was commenting on what this glorification of the most gory, shocking violence in our Star Trek says about these hypocrites who produce this show and call themselves “progressives”. Then again they are equating people who think the rule of law and borders mean something with genocidal murderers and cannibals, right in their shows, so I sense a larger theme here. 2. The abandoning of IDIC again was about the subtext and not about fictional Klingon history. The creators are the ones who have created this alleged Klingon “allegory” and association with current partisan politics mentioned in above staff review but in fact it says more about them than about their enemies. Equating your enemy with sub-human behavior goes all the way back to the Nazis and the Jews (I take that Godwin home, thank you). The fact is that this show, behind the scenes as much as on the screen, cannot accept other ideologies than the religion its creators or worshipping. Anything non-emotional and purely logical is evil (see all that talk about “empathy”, whooooo, Spock is a psychopath), any idea of nativism is evil, any idea of a red-hot blooded male commander is evil (in Lorca’s case, quite literally so). What this age is suffering from is too much emotion (on both sides) and not too little, period. 2b. I won’t, because adults are responsible for their children and they full well knew they are breaking the law! I want to see you people wine about all the regular criminals who are citizens, the burglars, the bank robbers, who have family… Read more »

Mr Limpopo

They certainly love their Pay-Wall… So inclusive.

PEB

You have to pay for the device and/or the ability to be on the internet and come here to comment. Tv like a lot of things, is a luxury you’re spending some kind of money on so….what’s new?

Mr Limpopo

Walls work. Thanks for pointing that out. Well done. So many smart people here.

ML31

“but I also think an episode like this was necessary to bridge the two seasons and make sure that the first season didn’t stand out like a sore thumb.”

Faulty logic. An episode like this only serves to shine a spotlight on the first season. Causing it to stand out even more. What would have been better is to let the first season fade away to obscurity and pretend nothing that happened in it never happened. At least never speak of of those events ever again.

Mr Limpopo

A good critique, Vulcan Soul.

“As I predicted, this episode was devoid of any thoughtful message, any real content but the intent to push emotional buttons and deliver ultra-violence to the thirsty throats of the plebeians.”

This comment is made of vinegar and water.

Vulcan Soul

You are right I could need some sugar. Not much around these days, sadly.

Corylea

I couldn’t believe it in “Brother” when Stamets talked APPROVINGLY about how a Kasseelian opera singer kills herself after her first performance and said how much Dr. Culber liked this. A Starfleet physician approves of someone’s killing herself for no good reason?

I was trying to imagine Dr. McCoy’s attitude towards Kasseelian opera singers and thought that the most emotional of the TOS crew wouldn’t have thought it was gorgeously romantic for the diva to kill herself; he’d have thought it was a sad waste of a person’s life and of all that training.

What is this version of Starfleet, that their officers — including a PHYSICIAN — could approve of such a thing?!

PEB

The irony of complaining that a fearsome warrior race who fight with giant sharp death sticks wouldn’t get a little messy when they fight and actually have a reputation of being as fearsome as every iteration of Trek has made them out to be…

Rome wasn’t built in a day. We live in a supposedly advanced society compared to hundreds of years ago yet we can’t seem to get along. Why wouldn’t the Klingon “houses” need to be united as one Empire before being able to drop the nativist attitude and cannibalism?

If you stopped being so triggered the “tiny male brains” line would easily come from Georgeou who – coming from the Mirror Universe – would easily think that way about men and power structure.

A34

You need a hug? If it wasn’t for the huge success of season one we wouldn’t have a season two right now.

I’mPaul

Still watching now. I’m loving Discovery but the new Klingon makeup is truly terrible.

The River Temarc

It’s better than it was in Season 1, but yes, it’s still just a bridge too far. But I blame Fuller and the season 1 makeup for this. They have to segue their way back to the more traditional look

Trek Fan1973

I agree but one thing I saw, at least I think I saw, was the purple colored Klingon blood from The Undiscovered Country. Maybe I’m wrong but that’s how it looked to me and was the only cool thing about the Klingons. I did think they’re look was improved with bringing the hair back

VZX

I saw that as well and enjoyed it. I was bummed when TNG choose not to honor TUC with the purple Klingon blood, but am glad that Disco is doing the purple blood. Or is it pink? Either way I like it. What I don’t like are the very fragile-looking bat’leths on Disco. What was wrong with the original TNG versions?

Reign1701A

There was actually a mix of red and purpled blooded Klingons. I like that, it implies genetic variety.

The River Temarc

YEs, I noticed that. It was a great way to resolve the discontinuity between TUC and TNG/DS9.

ML31

A better way of doing that would have been to include the TOS style and post TMP style Klingons among the many houses. But they nipped that idea early.

Tiger2

The blood thing was a nice touch.

PEB

I just don’t want them to look too human. I always hated that. I understood that there were financial constraints that kept them from going further with the older Klingon makeup but no, they shouldn’t look like humans with bumpy foreheads and dreads.

John Chilton

Truly horrible. They look ghastly and they aren’t Klingons. The Klingons in the Kelvonverse are remodeled and look great, even sexy …. these are just heavy handed ghastly aliens. Further, the placement of their newly grown hair looks naff … as if they’ve gone to the local trick shop and bought $2 beards and moustaches.

PEB

Do you really want to go down that road? I can literally show you pictures of Klingons throughout the years who look exactly like you described…

Land O'Calrissian
Tumbler

My favorite part of these reviews is the little smart-alecky quips under the photos. Always good for a smile.

Marja

Haha, yeah … “Merchandising” under the pic of the command trainees in their shiny t-shirts. Jiminy, they look like they’re gonna cost fans a bundle!

Elrond

Thanks to Anthony for this thoughtful review which to me helpfully set forth the underlying structure of the episode. We’ve got the Sarek family, an experiment in a melded family between Vulcans and humans that increasingly seems dysfunctional. Sarek, maybe sensitive to the charge of raising two “not quite Vulcans” (Lethe) and threats from the “logic extremists,” apparently rigorously tried to stamp out displays of emotion from his half-human son and to impose Vulcan discipline on his human adoptive daughter. Although by the time of Disco he seems to have realized his errors, when Spock and Michael were kids he wouldn’t allow Amanda to love Spock –making him unempathetic– but allowing it for the human Michael. More on this to come.

Then there’s the experiment of the melded Klingon-human family with a literally melded Klingon-human male and a Klingon female herself the offspring of two different Houses who had to choose between them. At this point this experiment seems to be ended with its members scattered to stay alive.

There’s also the “family” of melded misfits of Section 31. Too little known as yet to say much, but there is a universes-spanning senior agent and the Klingon-human hybrid.

Back on Disco is a coalescing family. I loved the early shot that circled around the entire bridge crew, visually tying them together. And next week we’ll apparently hear Michael call Saru “family” — another inter-species linkage.

So, I didn’t find the episode a mess, but multi-dimensional and structured while exploring different instances of diversity in “families.” ‘Nuff said other than to note that Pike is great in his interactions with Michael and Amanda, and I think he used a flatscreen rather than holography with the starbase officer to prevent him from seeing the presence of Spock’s family.

An enjoyable hour!

Trek in a Cafe

Thumbs up!

Ixley

I love Discovery, but this episode was a bit of a letdown. It seemed more like a preface to several storylines, rather than a single entry in a serialized story. I don’t recall S1 having such a sloppy turn. I guess the whole A/B/C storyline structure did not help.

Some observations:

+ Section 31 features the A.I. named ‘Control’ from the beta cannon! Cool, right? (See: 48minute mark)
+ POSSIBLY A SPOILER: The Section 31 ship looks exactly like the ship symbol/schematic seen in the Spock-on-a-gurney scene in the NYCC trailer. I’m guessing that Section 31 abducted him at some stage? The medics could have black badges, for its hard to see clearly. The lighting also suggests that the ship in that scene *is* the S31 ship
+ That mashup shot of Burnham and Tyler (with the two backdrops meshed together) was STUNNING
+ Too much spinning on the bridge. Olatunde Osunsanmi saw Frakes’s work on the last ep and probably thought, “Heck! I can definitely out-spin Frakes! Just watch!”
+ The friendship between Tilly and Michael is starting to feel really authentic
+ Number One next week. GAAAAAHHHHH… Cannot… Wait.

Marja

I think that’s why the episode kind of flew all over the place, yes. It did feel like it was doing exposition for about three different storylines.

And LOOK! I’m in Section 31! I have this cool black badge that I don’t wear, I just carry it around! Pro tip: attach it to your outfit UNDER A FLAP. Gad.

Holden

It was doing exposition for *at least* three different storylines. That’s what the third episode of a season *should* do. All the whining about this episode remains me of someone who walks into a movie 30 minutes late, watches for only ten minutes, then says “it’s too complicated. I’m leaving.” Let’s let the season play out first, huh?

Ixley

“Let’s let the season play out first, huh?”

Cosigned :-)

Douglass Abramson

How dare you apply reasoned logic to a Discovery comment thread! 😁

JAGT

+ Too much spinning on the bridge. Olatunde Osunsanmi saw Frakes’s work on the last ep and probably thought, “Heck! I can definitely out-spin Frakes! Just watch!”

Oh, too much spinning EVERYWHERE in this episode. That’s the sort of stuff that really just grates my nerves – it doesn’t make me yell at the screen, but I quietly just keep saying to myself “Put that damn camera down!”
Frakes-directed episodes were downright static in comparison. As a matter fact, I felt it was more like the cinematographer going “I can out-Noé Gaspar Noé – I can do it FASTER”

Dan

Officially back on board with Disco. Loved season 1 wasn’t a huge fan of S2 EP 1 episode 2 was better and this was my favorite yet. Some solid action and a kickass sword fight, some mystery and intrigue and a couple spots where the score stood out. I was worried season 2 would completely abandon the tone set up during season 1. I’ve enjoyed individual episodes of trek but have never really been able to get behind a series becuse there kind of….yeah. Anyways my wife and I thought this was the best episode yet of season 2. Tyler was pretty badass with that sword play. Im worried about what Michael did to Spock becuse that could play out very poorly. Also, to everyone conplaining about blood and gore, severed heads etc I don’t think you should be watching a show that involves Klingons. I would argue that they would terrify even the Lannister’s in Game of Thrones. They are brutal as needed. Glad they are being portrayed as such. It’s not going to just be the tone of TOS. Many of us loved season one and they are still going to be catering to that party as well. If they were just catering to old trek fans this show wouldn’t have gotten a season 2. Perfect example is Star Trek Beyond. Great movie, but the movie that made the most money was Star Trek Into Darkness. STID is my least favorite of the three yet it is the only one I hear casual moviegoers talk about as being the best of the three. This is being catered to a new audience too and it’s certainly picking up traction with us. I think it’s going to be a healthy balance of Season 1 and TOS in terms of tone.… Read more »

The River Temarc

Does everyone think that batleths would really only produce a few bruises, as sometimes seemed the case in TNG? They’re sharp (assuming they’re not the fan version)!

ML31

“Im worried about what Michael did to Spock becuse that could play out very poorly.”

Don’t worry about Spock. We already know he turns out just fine. He eventually meets his best friend, finds himself and lives a long and productive life. All while never telling anyone (on screen) about his adoptive sister.

Ben Adams

Or his brother, until absolutely necessary – who we STILL haven’t seen or heard of on Discovery.

ML31

He should get a mention if for no other reason than to help solidify Micheal’s existence. And it would show they know their character a bit, too.

A34

But Spock never had a girlfriend or got married. Makes you wonder…………………………………

Land O'Calrissian

Spock HAS had lovers. He was also married until she divorced him.

Douglass Abramson

He got married. Picard was at the wedding. (TNG: Sarek) Yes, Spock isn’t mentioned by name, but does anyone think Sarek would have attempted fatherhood again after Amanda died?

A34

But was the wife a woman?

Douglass Abramson

I’d have to watch the episode again to be sure, but I think so. Non-canon, The Autobiography of Jean Luc Picard says it was a woman, but Jean Luc couldn’t see her face from where he was and he never heard her name. Apparently it was a Federation secret since he apparently never looked her up on the Federation News Service. 🤣

A34

LOL

Marja

First Impressions: I really prefer the simple DISCO t-shirts. This episode just felt like it was flying here, thither and yon. Amanda’s appearance was a bit odd. So she couldn’t tell Sarek what she was doing because she stole Spock’s medical record because she wanted to consult Michael who can solve any problem because well I guess she has nowhere else to turn? [Kirschner and Martin-Green do have wonderful chemistry though] … then Amanda condemns herself as a bad mother who didn’t properly love Spock [but she DID love Spock, quite clearly, and a bit embarrassingly, to Spock’s way of thinking, in TOS]. Perhaps her poor perception of herself will later be disproven by Spock. The best portion of this episode was the Klingons, and L’Rell and Tyvoq discussing their relationship. I thought it was important that Tyler communicated his hurt over being abused by L’Rell and how it would interfere with any possible relationship with her, and that she was broken-hearted about that. Those schemin’ Klingons, like Kol-Sha were very welcome. I liked that Tilly’s problem came to a head on the bridge, but as you say, the characters [especially a command trainee!] need to learn to pursue solutions to their problems through the prescribed channels. Jaysus, do commanding officers get picked because they just WON’T adhere to proper procedure or obey orders? Lucky for Tilly, Pike is collegial instead of a top-down commander. Imagine if she’d pulled that shouting-at-the-captain stuff on Lorca’s bridge, LOL! But … I didn’t particularly care for Burnham saying [paraphrase] “I have a terrible problem that I can’t see my way to solving right now. Let me hear yours, Tilly. I need something to solve.” WTF? Like it was just gonna be a snap because it was Tilly? But later in that scene, there… Read more »

Joe

Honestly, I’m beginning to think they’re overdoing Pike’s by the book ways.

Marja

Kudos once again to Gersha Phillips for dynamite Klingon and Georgiou costumes.

Vulcan Soul

The costumes are probably the only good thing I can mention about this episode. They weren’t continuity-violating either (unlike the Section 31 ship and tech).

MysticalDigtial

How in the hell can Section 31 ships and tech be canon violating when we have barely any canon to go on, especially in this era? God, you really just nitpick don’t you?

Vulcan Soul

Yes, they can. Even the most secret of secret services in the 19th century did not have turboprop airplanes and diesel ships. Even if some of you, including the creators of this show, do not have any appreciation for history or how basic technology works and evolves, you can’t just pull out magic out of your behind and pretend any time has any technology. This is science fiction and not fantasy, damn it.

They seem to be looking at the novels a bit for 31’s backstory as Control is straight out of the novels.

If the novels remain an inspiration for 31 It was revealed that 31 travels between the multiverse and steals technology to enhance themselves.

ML31

Ugh. I cannot stress how much I really do not like that concept.

Tiger2

But it would line up with Discovery knowing they have the spore drive. I agree though, I don’t need it to do all of that but it would also explain where all the advance tech is coming from as well.

The novel this happens in is very good though.

MysticalDigtial

Didn’t they do that in DS9 or am I mis-remembering it?

Tiger2

It was never on DS9 or anywhere that revealed Section 31 travels through the multiverse. The multiverse is rarely even mentioned outside of the MU.

Not in canon. The novels identify 31 as traveling to other realities to acquire technology (the Wormhole Drive for example), but novels aren’t canon.

My comment, which has a part missing in the original, was that if they keep using the novels as inspiration (CONTROL is from the novels) they could explore 31 stealing technology to explain how they appear so advanced.

ML31

Agreed with VS. They can. All they have to do is look at the tech shown in the various eras of the prime universe (three different eras have been showcased) which they claim their show is set in. See how it evolved over the years then they can extrapolate what would be appropriate for a time frame 10 years before the TOS era. It really doesn’t require much effort.

Boze

Except for the boots. Crakow toes are a rather questionable footwear choice when your job includes sneaking, running and infiltration (or basically anything else than horse riding and 15th century history reenactment).

It’s especially noticeable in the bridge scene… her toetips are almost longer than her face. Try running up a flight of stair in that. ;)

Michael Kukielka

This was pretty awful. Tons of tedious exposition and wooden performances, more dragging their feet on the Spock and Burnham history, badly edited to the point it was cringe inducing (especially the Klingon fight), and we’re back to frantic plotting over substance with no time to let a scene breath with any emotion. And this show still has terrible audio mixing with wallpaper music and frequently inaudible dialogue with inexplicably bad onstage audio from the actors. Have to say this is the worst episode of the series so far and I was honestly dumbfounded by the what appears to be a noticeable drop in filmmaking expertise and quality. While I enjoy some of the world building and canon fixing, it’s ultimately put on screen in a way that doesn’t make me care at all.

Vulcan Soul

Maybe they should have hired McNeill/Frakes (although the latter wasn’t pitch-perfect either in “New Eden”, it was leaps and bounds above this chaos), but then again, as we have been told these fine directors have the wrong gender/race for too frequent employment. This is what affirmative action instead of meritocracy gets ya ;)

MysticalDigtial

“..these fine directors have the wrong gender/race for too frequent employment. This is what affirmative action instead of meritocracy gets ya ;)”

It’s not ‘let’s not hire them because they are [white] men’ it’s ‘let’s keep them in mind but see who else can maybe do this other than people who have done it many many times before’… I fail to see why the latter is a problem. You can’t build a solid base on a small core group, gotta spread that work load around or else things start looking the same and kinda sucking (like Voyager and Enterprise when Berman and Baraga didn’t do anything new and played it far far too safe).

Vulcan Soul

Let me add I am NOT a fan of Hollywood favoritism or worse, nepotism, so no, they don’t have to keep hiring the same two directors for all shows (although their long Trek background is certainly a qualification, as in contrast the Trek-lessness of this episode shows). But given the results we witness here the question must be asked just why THIS particular director was hired, and keeps getting hired pretty much solely by Discovery, when there is such a vast pool of excellent directors, whichever gender or skin-color. I think nothing speaks against having a diversity of talent AND highly skilled directors at the same time. This is supposed to be the cream of the crop streaming television so it is not the place for rookie directors to earn their chops and paying viewers to suffer from it.

Other than that, I was pretty much reporting what McNeill and Frakes themselves had to say on this matter in interviews. The former expressed understanding while the latter was frustrated by it, so there seems to be something bigger going on.

Afterburn

If you think affirmative action is the opposite of meritocracy you misunderstand the issue.

Vulcan Soul

Maybe it wasn’t meant to be, but in reality it often does.

Exhibit A: This episode.

Afterburn

lol that’s an evasive AND nonsensical response!

Vulcan Soul

Have you checked the director’s credentials on IMDb? I did.

Afterburn

Right, because no white man with a poor track record ever got another job! Yours is the very kind of thinking that makes ACTUAL affirmative action necessary.

Afterburn

Also just checked their credentials. Not sure what the problem is, he has a fine track record directing some very high quality, well regarded shows. Meanwhile guys like Zack Snyder, Brett Ratner, and Michael Bay continue to get big movies despite delivering awful results on screen.

And those are just the big names. Plenty of white male directors just keep getting movies even though they continue making awful films that bomb at the box office.

But somehow a black man does solid work for a few years across a number of highly regarded TV series, and gets a gig on Discovery, it means his talent and track record had NOTHING to do with it.

Danpaine

Good points, Michael. Well put. By the end of the episode, I could care less about any of it. The dialogue was all whispers for some reason, so I used subtitles so I could then read how garbled the script was. No tension throughout. And the rollercoaster camera throughout had me looking away from the screen at times. Bad direction, bad acting. What a huge letdown after last week. Night and day difference.

Michael Kukielka

I don’t hear enough about how bad the audio can be on this show, it’s as if the show was filmed with lapel mics under the actors clothing. I find this simple issue to be a major barrier and frequently frustrating. The audio in this case really magnifies how garbled the script is, and the way it’s edited makes it unenjoyable to follow along because we’re just onto the next thing. I don’t understand why this show is cut together the way it is. And this episode is directed in such a procedural way, the actors just lurch from one scene to the next spewing clunky exposition. I love this show but this was a bad turn for them from script to production.

I don’t hear enough about how bad the audio can be on this show, it’s as if the show was filmed with lapel mics under the actors clothing.

I’m noticing that more this season. Glad its not just me. I don’t remember being so bad in season one.

MysticalDigtial

“show was filmed with lapel mics under the actors clothing.”

For once, we agree on something in this episode. I literally had to turn my TV up to the max to be able to hear them. Wasn’t a problem in previous episodes for me. Then again, the acting and writing was all great this episode imho, but the directing and editing really were sub par and that goes for sound editing (this is all odd because the director, Olatunde Osunami, did two great episodes already).

ML31

Nothing of interest really happened in this episode so it feels like the director wanted to have rollercoaster-ish swoops to make up for the lack of anything actually happening. Character or otherwise.

ML31

And I am STILL experiencing a very glitchy stream. CBS has yet to correct the problem.

Danpaine

The same thing happens with CBS’ Showtime streaming service. Clipping, audio not matching video. Bargain basement product.

Marja

We didn’t “have access” to “Discovery” on CBS All Access for the first 15 minutes of the scheduled show. At last it came available! But golly, improvement would be great

A34

It’s a steaming show. It doesn’t have a scheduled time. 8:30 pm is just the time they put it on the server.

ML31

8:30 is the scheduled time of the show. The streaming nature of it just causes it act as if you recorded a show on your DVR. It records the show at its scheduled time. You have the option to watch whenever you like after that.

A34

The problem is that when everyone tunes in at 8:30 the servers get overloaded. They need to release episodes at 3 am like Netflix does.

Khan's Chihuahua

Somehow: simultaneously boring, soap-operesque, and shark-jumping. I liked the previous two just fine.

Gotta go. Khan just came home with a package of Ceti eel-flavored snausages.

Lee

Nfudnt rnjoynit like I have the other 2 of s2.

swgs

WOW. STD ripped off PACIFIC 201’s Bird of Prey design!

Remember what they said during the fanfilm debacle: you cannot assert independent rights against them if it pertains to the Trek IP.

So fanon designs are theirs to do with as they please.

The River Temarc

I wish they would extend the running times of the episodes to a full hour, like a lot of other high-end TV shows do these days.

Trek Fan1973

I agree. The dialogue needs to breathe. It feels like at least 2/3 of everyone’s lines are rushed. There’s no reason for this with a streaming television program.

Vulcan Soul

That’s because they were trying to cram the story of three full episodes into one. Everything gotta be faster, including the camera movements, apparently ;)

Danpaine

Yea, and about everything being faster, what was up with the speed-whisper-talking? Are we seriously supposed to follow all that?

Vulcan Soul

Since there was so much bad dialogue in there, apparently (hopefully) not!

ML31

I agree. It STILL feels like CBS is trying to make it so this show can be minimally edited to fit a standard over the air broadcast hour for some bizarro reason.

A34

At some point in the far future CBS will sell old episodes of Discovery to on air broadcasters. It makes sense to fit them to a standard air broadcast hour, and even then the broadcast channel will be edited for time. And the show is being broadcasted in Canada with ads. I can’t stand ads, that’s why I pay 10 bucks a month.

ML31

That’s why I pretty much don’t watch anything live anymore. Live sporting events are the only exception. The DVR is a wonderful thing. And why I pay the extra $3 for CBSAA. That said, no other streaming service seems to have such restraints. Most hour shows hover in the 50-60 minute range.

A34

Who is going to watch a 60 minute episode edited for ad time? Netflix and others can make 50-60 minute shows because those shows will stay on their streaming network pretty much forever.

Plus one 60 minute episode already ran them over budget. They just can’t do that with every episode.

ML31

A lot. Dr. Who is edited on BBC America. And I’m sure there are others. Further, those streaming shows aren’t designed for fit in the traditional time slots. STD is going to be on CBSAA and ONLY CBSAA. (with perhaps the occasional freebie to you tube or something for promotional purposes)

A34

BBC America has shown DW uncut in the past, cable channels can do that. A little broadcast station in Toledo can’t do that.

Just wait until Discovery ends, it will be everywhere. The same way all the other ST shows are. CBS makes tons of money on those old shows, Discovery won’t be any different.

ML31

Actually they have recently shown some episodes at about 1:10 or 1:20. But that is a very recent thing. In fact, the premiere aired for an hour and later re-aired as an “extended” version.

I will believe you when I start seeing Veep and House of Cards everywhere.

A34

Yeah, I don’t have cable. I bought the Doctor Who season pass on Amazon. Loved it BTW.

You can buy House of Cards on Blu-ray. The show belongs to Sony not Netflix. It’s been broadcasted over the air in Canada but was pulled when Spacey was exposed for the creep that he is by Anthony Rapp.

ML31

So what does any of that have to do with my response to your claim that soon STD will be “everywhere”?

A34

I have no idea.

Section 32

Broadcast, not broadcasted. The past tense of -cast verbs is -cast. As in, “the die was cast (meaning thrown),” or “The statue was cast in bronze,” or “he fell off the ship and became a castaway,” not a “casted-away.”

“To broadcast” is to cast something broadly, originally, it referred to seeds, and was later adopted for radio and TV as the waves are sent out widely over a given area, or to a wide audience. (Compare to: narrowcasting, which targets a smaller, more specific audience.)

Similarly: “The movie roles were cast” and “the actor was cast in the role,” comes from the other sense of the word casting, as in molten metal; to fill a mold, as to fill a role.

The related present tense of the verb can end in “-casting,” and we can refer to the process of “casting” a show either as a noun (“the show’s casting was done over 3 months”) or a descriptive combinator (“the casting director”).

Also: “bias” can be a noun (“She showed her bias,”) or a verb (“The jury was biased towards the defendant,”) but you can’t say “he is bias” unless you mean he IS bias, incarnate.

— sunday grammar rant

Disinvited

Section 32,

For completeness, you should have also mentioned that “broadcasted” is an acceptable form of the past participle which likely contributes to this confusion.

Section 32

It’s “acceptable” but not really the preferred use. But true.

See also: cost / costed. Something is “costed” only when it’s a full estimate of how much something will cost. For regular purchases, the past tense is simply “cost”.

i.e. “The chips cost $1.98.” vs. “The project was costed by the purchasing department, and it fits into the 2019 budget.”

alphantrion

Or if they insist on having 40-45 minute episodes, just make them have a higher episode count and get several extra episodes in the season to let the action breath.

martin

Anyone know what the Orville running time is? Seems like every week now it is limited commercials, and last nights story seemed more than 43/47 minutes.

I completely agree with missing the mark on this 45 minute story. They just skip over some transistions that wouldn’t seem to cost anything but a few hours of shooting. Last week’s stuff on the planet could have easily been extended and not had a single effect. Why are they keeping it 45 minutes? If they want to show it in syndication at some point, they can cut it then.

alphantrion

Orville is 48 minutes this year.

A34

What a waste of 48 minutes. Glad I don’t watch.

Matt

In a world of chaos and change, it’s nice to know we have A34 as a rock to grab hold of. Keep on being you, A34.

kmart

a34,
You must be rich, to share so much.

Curious Cadet

@alphantrion — wow. I felt every minute of those 48 this week. More time is not always a good thing …

Vice Admiral Nakamura

The disconnect between the schlockiness of the show and the money they are spending on it is almost psychedelic. I think there was more substance to the royal intrigue in Aquaman than in this potboiler. They could at least give the audience small pleasures like killing off the pointless and rather dippy Tyler. But quite the tease… I can’t wait to find out The Really Mean Thing Burny Did to Spack, who has a lifelong obsession with angels (great territory to take this character, guys!)

Vulcan Soul

The disconnect between professional reviewers and the audience on this one is also almost psychedelic. I only found one negative staff review so far, and it wasn’t on this site. But especially old school fans seem to be rubbed the wrong way by this one while the GoT crowd is cheering understandably.

Trek Fan1973

Agreed!!

Danpaine

Very true.

ML31

This show has wet dreams about it being GoT.

Danpaine

I wish people would stop talking about GOT here like Discovery is even nearly on par – this show can’t polish GOT’s boots. Not even in the same league. Maybe cost-wise it is.

Vulcan Soul

That’s why it is so foolish for the creators trying to turn Trek into the next grimdark scifi or even GoT fantasy. They suffer from a serious bout of envy and personality confusion as a result. Somehow Kurtzman convinced the beancounters that he singlehandledly can turn Trek into the next MCU forgetting Trek was never for the cool kids like these comics were. People will always pick the original over the imitation. So anyone wanna take bets how successful this endeavor is gonna be?

I didn’t hate this as much as I expected to (a Trekkie friend of mine texted me while I was at work and reported that it was garbage). I thought it was well-produced, well-acted, and occasionally well-written. But the Klingon makeup has not improved even slightly, and the scene in which Burnham unrealistically Decides To Not Reveal One Of The Season’s Big Secrets (c) to Amanda … man, that’s inexcusably bad writing. I’ve got zero confidence in this show’s ability to render a Spock I can believe in as actually being Spock.

Still, I more or less enjoyed the episode. I even kind of liked Georgiou, which I never got close to doing during the last half of the first season.

Anson Mount kills in his every scene. If a Pike-centric spinoff isn’t announced before this season ends, I’m running outside and tipping over a car or two.

ML31

Anson Mount very well might save this show. Every scene he is in just turns the level up for everything around him. Even Tilly is a little less irritating with Pike next to her. They NEED to find a way for him to stick around. The range for going from Cullen Bohannan to Christopher Pike without skipping a beat is impressive.

A34

Hell on Wheels ended years ago.

ML31

I am aware. Your point being?

A34

I’m sure he’s done other things since Hell on Wheels got cancelled.

ML31

Yes. Inhumans was one of them. Still not seeing your point.

Danpaine

As I’ve said before, ML, Pike’s inclusion in the show is pretty much the only reason I’m tuning in. Saru is a strong character, and Stamets is better this season, but the rest, not so much.

ML31

I think I mentioned before that Saru grew on me to the point that by the S1 finale he was the best character. And it wasn’t even close. I’d like to see an Enterprise set show with Pike, Saru and Reno as the top 3, to be honest.

DeanH

I know the show did return to a darker story-line and theme but as we have been told before, this is not an episodic show with a nice feel good ending every week. Serialized story telling is not my favorite but something that older viewers like myself have to get used to. The writing overall was good with a few nice plot twists added in and production values always look good. Also happy to see what was going on with Tyler, L’Rell and Georgiou. As someone else said, this episode tied S2 back to elements and characters from S1. Once again too much to tell in a 60 min show. As for the reply comments, overall nice balance of opinions. Predictably, this was not exactly the favorite of those who disliked season 1 but some did not hate it as much as I assumed they would. Overall I would give this one a 3.5 out of 5. Btw, looks like next week’s episode is primarily on Discovery and Number One makes her Disco premiere.

ML31

I guess I qualify as an older viewer. But I’m not turned off to season long story arcs. I’ve been seeing them for over 20 years now. It’s nothing new. This episode was a turn off because it returned to everything that made the first season terrible. And that first season was not terrible because it was a season long story arc.

A34

But the first season wasn’t terrible.

ML31

Oh, my mistake. I didn’t realize that there was only one official state approved opinion out there.

A34

All I did was state my opinion. Why so serious?

ML31

As did I. So why the absolute?

Tiger2

There is a difference between stating your opinion and stuffing your opinion down everyone’s throats. You are doing the latter. You are treating yours like its a fact and everyone else’s like they are wrong.

A34

Now why would I do that?

Feminist Trek fan

I am SO ANGRY when I hear people criticizing this episode because it was like the first season.

These are MALE fans saying that they like the second season because WHITE MALES (Pike, the head of Sec. 31) are back calling the shots, and womyn of color (Georgiou and Michael Burnham) are relegated to following them. Season One was so refreshing because it was the most feminist season of Star Trek ever since Voyager. Season One was all about womyn of color beating misogynist white men who felt entitled to their privilege (lookin’ at you, Cap’n Lorca massa). Suddenly Michael is deferential to her white MALE superior (Georgiou too) and her big goal in life is to find her white, male foster brother. The black Vulcan admiral is nowhere to be seen, because he dared to order around Lorca, a white male.

Jett Reno was a feminist character, of course she’s not allowed a second performance until way later in the season.

So what was GOOD about this episode is that L’Rell, a true womon, is back in charge. Ash Tyler bows to HER wishes. This has the white male fan base with their tighty whities in a bunch.

Marja

I think Terral, the Vulcan admiral, has been absent because the script didn’t call for him to appear yet.

A WOC professional with whom I watched the show found Pike rather deferential to Burnham, for a captain.

The misogynist Lorca came from the Mirror Universe, where there was a female Emperor, so not quite getting your logic here. He was not prejudiced against POC, only non-Terrans.

Sec 31 – Georgiou was recruited by the guy she talked with on the Bridge of the Sec 31 ship. So, yes, he’s senior to her in the 31 chain of command.

I like the dynamic of L’Rell with Tyler; however he expressed discomfort because of his history with her. Part of him loved her [Voq]; his Tyler essence felt violated by L’Rell. So it was dramatically interesting. She is quite devoted to him, but fully turns her attention to leading the Klingons when he leaves. I still think it is too bad he could not keep the baby but instead farms him out to be raised in a monastery. But I guess he’s a spy now and can’t allow himself any attachments. It was just an abrupt switch for him, from wanting to devote himself to his child, then zip! becoming a spy. I guess sending the baby away is for its own protection.

A34

True

Feminist Trek fan

Number One should have her OWN ship by now. It has been five years since The Cage (which was sexist but it was the sixties, they’re gone). So to show her as still a first officer is misogynist. She should be coming back as a captain and EQUAL to Pike. Got it, Watson?

Marja

That would depend on how quickly promotions happen in Starfleet. Burnham had been Georgiou’s First Officer for a number of years; in TOS it is noted that Spock served with Pike for 13 years [though not all as First Officer]; Riker was Picard’s XO for seven years; he turned down command of at least one if not two ships. Who’s to say where Number One is. Maybe she wants to learn more from Pike. And not because he’s a man, but because he’s senior to her in the service and has more experience to pass on.

A34

Maybe she’s the next Captain for Disco.

Tiger2

Unfortunately this one was a tough one for me. I don’t know how I felt about it to be honest with you. It felt like it reverted back to the season one stuff and all the issues I had with that season for the most part. It just felt lacking although they threw so much stuff in there and thats probably the issue for me, they didn’t give enough time for the stuff they had, it was just going back and forth. I followed it all (OK, the Klingon stuff got away from me at first but fine now) I just don’t know if I really cared about most of it. The melodrama between Spock, Amanda and Burnham feels like it belongs in a soap not Star Trek. I’m curious to see where the Vulcan extremist subplot will go but I don’t know if I buy thats why she felt she had to push him away. They are extremists, they are going to kill you just to get the point across no one should be adopting anymore humans, ala what almost happened to Sarek last season. The Tilly and ghost thing I’m pretty curious about and I have a feeling we are looking at the first steps of how Cubler comes back. I think its the most dramatic we seen Wiseman in the role though. She delivered every emotion she could give lol. I have to say I did like Section 31 entrance. I knew it was coming because it was obvious Georgiou was going to show up in that room from the trailers but I am excited to see what they do. And I guess everyone just knows who they are now. Tyler didn’t even have to guess when he saw the badge. “Section 31, huh, cool.” Speaking of… Read more »

DeanH

I was wondering if Tyler knew they were Section 31 because he has Voq’s memories and S31 has been messing with the Klingons since the time of Enterprise. Nobody seemed to know what the black badges meant in S1E3 where they first appeared on Discovery. It will be interesting to see how the writers explain things. Perhaps it’s as simple as S31 was underground back in Enterprise. They were more of a known entity leading up to TOS and were driven back underground 90 years later in DS9 but had their own ships like in the KU.

ML31

I think back in S1 they just thought the black badges looked cool and were issued to people working on the spore drive? And they just reconned them to be a Sec 31 thing.

But again, it’s odd that everyone seems to know section 31 when nearly no one does 100 years later. Or even 140 years before!

A34

It makes sense for trained Section 31 security agents to be protecting the Spore drive. Wish we had seen more of them.

Marja

First producer/showrunner, who left early, had planned for Disco to be a Sec 31 ship.

If you’re referring to Fuller. He likes Halloween so he drops 10/31 references in his various shows. So the registry of NCC-1031 was about Halloween.

The black badges actually came later, after Fuller left. It was something producer and episode director Akiva Goldsman added to season 1 episode 3 during production.

I don’t believe there was a plan for the black badges initially, they just looked cool and mysterious, but they had no real meaning during that episode. They were black, just like there was a “Black Alert” for the spore drive.

It was later used for Section 31. You’ll note that the two times they appear in season one: Episode 3 and Episode 15 (in the deleted/bonus scene where Georgiou is recruited to Section 31) he was the director.

Curious Cadet

@Matt Wright — I still don’t know how I feel about “Black Alert”. Given what we’re used to — a corresponding colored light giving people visual notice, who may not be able to hear in an emergency, or in the absence of the loud klaxon being turned off so people can think to do their jobs — how is a Black Alert visually represented?

Hang some sweet black light posters? But seriously I tend agree, it’s odd, picking another obvious color would have been good. Orange isn’t taken for example.

A34

Black Alert makes sense. It’s using black op tech after all.

Vulcan Soul

Don’t fret. I checked here and in other places and “a fallback to season one” seems to be the overwhelming consensus for everyone but the paid reviewers.

It’s like somebody packed all the weaknesses of Discovery in one episode – a “worst of” reel of horrors. Halloween in February ;)

How do you feel about the Section 31 ship and technology they threw at us this week? It seems they one-upped everything we ever saw in all Treks with that, including the far future.

A34

Or maybe it’s just you. People on twitter loved the episode. People use twitter.

Spiked Canon

it’s not just him. It’s people like me that defended Disco all the way through season 1 believing the promise for season 2. Then season 2 began and we were saying, See? I told you so. Then BOOM back to season 1. I believe the majority feel this way.

A34

You believe? Can you tell me the winning lotto numbers too?

Spiked Canon

that makes no sense. just picking fights?

A34

I just want to be rich.

Tiger2

A34 you are starting to come off like a serious troll.

Marja

Saying “I believe the majority feel this way” is just stating your belief, it does not prove how the majority feel; you did not survey to find a majority.

Illogical

ML31

Maybe Section 31 is really an arm of temporal investigations? They travel though time correcting stuff. lol

Tiger2

Hi Vulcan Soul,

Yes you’re right it seems most people who didn’t love this one seem to be saying the same thing, it felt too much like season one and what they faulted with it. And it also proves that for many there were a lot of problems with it. While I wouldn’t say the first two episodes had unanimous praise, they were easily the most popular of the show so far and even turned downright haters to admit they were decent, at least New Eden. Thats not saying tons with just 17 episodes lol but it does prove A. There WAS a lot of room for improvement and B. Most fans actually do want to like the show. This season are giving Trek fans the type of elements they felt not only was missing but almost purposely ignored in season one so it can be darker and edgier. The loud outcry of this one has brought it right back to the same division of season one as well. But as I always say, its a TV show, what’s great this week can be horrible next and vice versa. Hopefully this is more of a fluke as its clear they can write decent Trek stories.

As for S31, I liked them but yeah the technology is just going nuts lol. The stasis bubble thing or whatever it was Georgiou used felt like something from a different show. Of course its S31 so you can buy they will have advance tech but they shouldn’t go too crazy with it either. I guess its too late for DIS though lol.

Vulcan Soul

I wonder what Section 31 in the Picard show will be able to do then? (You know they can’t resist to include it. It’s been in Enterprise, Abrams Trek and now Discovery) Time Travel?

Feminist Trek fan

It reverted to season one stuff, GOOD. Season One had a war started because a white male admiral thought he could sweet talk his way out of a confrontation with Klingon men beating their chests. It too a strong womon of color to solve the problem basically by giving the MALE aggressor a good kick in the balls. So a panel of MALE admirals try to silence her by putting her in prison. Season One is totally an allegory for the civil rights movement and more importantly for the feminist movement. Male fanboys like you are angry because you are scared of femayl leadership.

Danpaine

I was going to leave this one alone, and probably should, but I have to ask, do you actually watch the show because you enjoy it? Or do you just go from channel to channel counting how many white men vs. women of color there are on each show? Men = BAD! You must be fun at parties.

A34

No one invites him. 😆

Trek in a Cafe

Every time they went for something that made me feel uncomfortable, there was an unexpected and interesting payoff. So it was exciting and pleasing and yes bonkers, which is why I will be curious to see what happens next. And yes it is Star Trek. It is also “operatic” and what’s great is that it’s not Star Wars, it’s not BSG. It’s not Scandal. The incredible quality and tone of this episode is a high water mark for me – and it hits so many marks this season needs.

Marja

The Klingon plot was VERY operatic — family tragedy, secrets, the whole schmear. No wonder Klingons have opera.

Although I guess the Vulcan plot was operatic too with its family secrets and tragedies — but I can’t imagine Vulcan opera!

Curious Cadet

@Marja — very good point. Do we even know if Vulcan’s have theater? Hard to even a imagine a Vulcan Movie or TV show now that I think about it, much less a sitcom.

Marja

They do enjoy making music, although that could be put down to exploring mathematical possibilities through the medium of sound. And although science and math require imagination, to begin to theorize, Vulcans have the leading Science Academy in the Federation, so I confess to some confusion about their culture.

Perhaps theatre as a teaching tool? With the moral of the story?

Curious Cadet

@Marja — I would surmise the same about music, but hard to make a compelling case about theater. If they do have opera, then it would be along the lines of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck? I can only imagine a Vulcan actor would be at the bottom of acceptable occupations — second only to joining Starfleet that is.

ST:EXP

So glad I’m not alone in the comment section here

I respect that the majority of the comments for these episodes lately are coming from actual levelheaded fans and not trolls

And in the context of that, me being a fan of the show and happy to see where it’s going, I may have to watch the episode again because upon first viewing I was shocked what a visual and auditory mess this episode was

Was there something wrong with the audio mix? The dialogue was buried so deep in the sound effects and music that I only got the general idea of what everyone was talking about on the Klingon home world.

It’s like everyone is talking through a mattress pad. And since everything that happened in this episode seems to be mean spirited and stereotypical dialogue, it didn’t matter.

I guess a severed baby’s head Is meant for shock value to show the ruthlessness of the Klingons, but whatever.

I thought Enterprise ret-conned flatheaded TOS Klingons already. Is this hybrid baby meant to do it all over again?

The way Tilly and Sametz are handling “first contact” with the spore is equally bizarre

The writers have dialogue where the “manifestation” In Tilly’s head is outright saying word for word “I’m not going to leave until you listen to me”

So they write the Starfleet officers actions to ignore that plea and Ghostbusters the entity out of her body. WTF???

Episode 3’s tone and direction and frenetic pacing are so diametrically opposite to the first two episodes this season, It’s like it’s back to being produced by an inexperienced interpretation of what they heard Star Trek could be if it was “cool” Did Stuart Baird direct this episode?

Trek in a Cafe

They rushed to get the spore thing out of Tilly because they were really worried about her sanity. That said, yes if this was TOS, Kirk would have debated the entity until it left. It would have been interesting for Michael to have a conversation with the Spore.

BTW I watched this episode with subtitles. I think my system at home just isn’t up to par. But maybe it is the mix.

A34

Check the sound settings on your TV and streaming device. I had a similar problem when I was watching Doctor Who on a firetv stick. Amazon was sending out audio my tv couldn’t handle.

ST:EXP

I watched again today with a surround receiver. When I boosted the centre channel, it was a different audio experience.

These episodes don’t mix down well to a regular TV set’s stereo speakers. I asked a few other people who watched last night and they had the same issue.

And this is here in Canada on SpaceTV.

A34

The problem could be the way SpaceTV is broadcasting it.

Yes, Discovery generally does not mix down well. It’s an issue Americans have been putting up with since Season 1. Here in the states All Access was limited stereo for all of season one. It’s still only supports 5.1 on limited streaming devices.

A34

I’m still using the crappy stereo speakers that came with my TV. One day I need to get a soundbar.

Tiger2

Agreed with most of this. It felt a bit erratic and off to me too. As far as the audio thing I didn’t really notice because I always keep the subtitles on (always afraid of missing an important lol) so it came out fine for me.

Overall I didn’t hate the episode but it didn’t nearly stack up to how much the previous one was. Sometimes less is more but I guess its easy to say that when you don’t know where its all going.

Marja

I think it’s because there was an awful lot of exposition in the episode. A LOT. This will unroll through the next episodes, yes; but as several on the thread have said, I wish they had let the dialogue and scenes BREATHE a little more.

I also felt like I was watching “mumblecore.” I’ll do a re-watch and see if I catch more dialogue. If not … there are always subtitles [sigh]. It’s good that there are TV experts here who can tell you why the audio might be bad, as in how it’s broadcast, and how to set things up to get the best sound, but it seems like there are a lot of variables!

Danpaine

Good points. I have to say the only thing I found neat in the episode was the holographic image of the D7. That isn’t saying much. So now Spock is a renegade murderer, Um…ok. And Burnham already saved his life once, Um…ok. Tilly’s ghost friend was nearly as annoying as she is, so the both of them together, yelling at each other on the bridge made for some fine viewing. It was like watching two teenagers fight over the remote. If I was Pike I’d be calling for Enterprise to come pick me back up. As someone said above, it’s amazing the amount of money they’re spending on such a misdirected, frenzied story. And I think I’m still dizzy from the constant camera spinning. How many upside-down starships do we need to see?

ML31

General thumbs up to the post, Danpaine.

ST:EXP

And why would the Klingons refer to their own ship as the “D7”

Sounds rather “Terran Standard” to me.

I can see the Federation referring to the ship class as that, but…

Is that a nitpick?

Spiked Canon

The Tilly/Ghost thins was one the most annoying things I have ever seen in Trek. She came across as having a mental break down, she was insubordinate…and no one did anything about it. Ridiculous

A34

Yeah Pike should have beat her up with his fists.

Really?

Spiked Canon

how about taking her to sick bay. Really?:

Danpaine

…and from the previews it looks like next week it tries to eat her.

A34

I think Pike and Tilly should hook up. Hope it happens, they have chemistry.

Land O'Calrissian

They have no chemistry whatsoever, and he’s her commanding officer–and a lot older.

A34

When has that stopped two people.

Marja

Check on Archive of Our Own, there are probably already 100 Tilly/Pike fanfics out there, LOL

Marja

Really, as her Command Training supervisor, Saru should have escorted Tilly off the bridge when she began yelling.

May screaming at Tilly was INTENDED to “drive us crazy”, in sympathy with Tilly. I felt like I couldn’t think either and only wanted that kid to STFU, and realized of course, that’s exactly how Tilly feels right now!

ML31

It’s funny because I was only wanting TILLY to STFU. Less so Mae.

A34

I found a video of the actress that plays May on youtube. She was in a Canadian Ted Talk. I don’t know if I can post links here.

Tiger2

Agreed with all your points Danpaine.

ML31

I felt it was very un Star Trek like to so quickly find and accept the manifestation of the spore in Tilly, then just immediately rip it out of her (using a tool that felt to specific for the job that happened to be sitting right next to Stammets). Everyone believed Tilly was talking to the entity. Why not TALK to the thing? Find out what it’s goal is. Maybe that could help things out rather than rip it out while it was obviously angry in doing so? Yeah. That will work out.

Spiked Canon

exactly…very un Trek to not want to engage with the entity.

Danpaine

Very good point. Kind of throws out the “seek out new life..” portion of the mantra.

A34

So they should have allowed it to stay in Tilly? It’s not like they killed it.

ML31

It wasn’t hurting her. They could have had the Dr. Confirm that. Someone, especially the show’s hero Burnham, ought to have noticed that Tilly was in direct contact with this thing and was able to converse with it. Seems the perfect opportunity to gather information about it. Learn about it. But, nope. Let’s get that thing we know absolutely nothing about out of poor Tilly because she’s confused. It just didn’t feel like the Trek thing to do. Even Kirk would have seen the value of trying to talk to the thing. Worse case scenario Spock would have advised it.

A34

We know it was hurting her mentally. That’s enough reason to remove it. Besides the her story hasn’t ended yet. Next week looks good.

ML31

We know it will get resolved. That’s hardly a spoiler. The point is she WASN’T being hurt even mentally. She was just having a tough time wrapping her brain around the “invisible friend” concept. Which is another thing her “friends” could have helped her with.

Sam

From their scans it seriously looked like it was *physically* taking up a lot of space inside Tilly’s body. Why shouldn’t they remove it, and immediately? It’s medically not supposed to be there.

ML31

No one even bothered to TRY to communicate with it. No one said anything about it being harmful. They just found it, reached for the right tool for extracting unknown entities from humans (I guess this is a common problem so they have a lot of those things lying around engineering rather than sick bay) and zapped that thing out of her without considering the consequences or anything else, really. It absolutely was NOT the right move.

Tiger2

That was the problem I think a lot of people had ML31, once she started to realize it was there for a specific reason why not ASK her why she is there??? It was one thing when she just thought she was going crazy, but its a difference when it was painfully obvious the ghost was there on a mission. Her starfleet radar should’ve went up instantly.

Marja

I’m with the “removal” team myself. It was physically occupying Tilly, and GROWING. It was making her crazy. Perhaps the aim is to extract it and then communicate with it. They’ll find a way.

Tiger2

I’m talking waaaaaaay before then. How long has she been around? Days? Seriously. It was pretty clear when she was on the bridge she wanted something when she was looking for a white guy. Here’s an idea, spend a minute and ask WHO SHE IS LOOKING FOR AND WHY?? And why would spore ghost simply not tell her what she wanted in the first place? What was she waiting for? But the fact they waited so long for Tilly to get suspicious it may be more than just some weird psychosis made the episode feel a bit lazy to me.

Marja

The entity was a bit confused bc she repeatedly said she wanted the captain who was whiter than Pike and had blond hair. Of course she meant Stamets, which she made clear in Engineering, but she only said it to Tilly.

I wonder if Tilly will regret having the entity ripped out of her. Weeeeee’ll seeeeee

ML31

But this was all Tilly’s fault. Once she figured out what was going on she did nothing to try and learn why. It was obviously a separate entity. Why not ask immediately, “why do you need the Captain?” It was also Burnham and Stammet’s fault for not following up on this. It was bad writing. Period. It was another element this episode had in common with season 1.

Tiger2

Yes, that’s what was so frustrating. I’m practically yelling at her ‘ASK HER WHAT SHE WANTS WITH THE CAPTAIN???’ She’s literally getting into a fight with the spore ghost but not once in that entire exchange she simply asks her why is she there? It felt frustrating watching it because you know the character isn’t this obtuse but yet that’s how they treated her for the entire episode.

Tiger2

C’mon, it takes all of two minutes to figure out who she was looking for and why. She never bothered to do that, even after she ‘quit’ the CTP (God I wish that was true, I’m already over it lol). It made no sense, especially FOR a Starfleet officer.

ML31

Yep. Hoping to communicate after is not a real solid plan. The ghost was pissed at getting taken out. They had that tool. They should have it on standby and talk to the thing first. If it’s malevolent rip it out of her. Not only do I think Kirk would have done that but certainly Picard would have as well. Further there was no evidence it was physically harming Tilly.

sunfell

I’ve been playing the show on my computer, and the audio is OK, but it was a bit muffled, dialogue-wise. I remember reading complaints about that from last season. Happily, the Blu-Ray made up for that problem- the audio was excellent. But it sucks to have to wait most of the year to get it on disc.

Marja

sunfell, Can you not play it on your computer with subtitles?

alphantrion

Ok first of all the Vulcan stuff starts to remind me a bad soap opera. I am half expecting Spock stepping out of a shower now and revealing it was all a dream. Second, I gotta be honest so far the character I absolutely love in second season is Pike. I don’t know perhaps its because I am too old school, but I like his old school ways. Thirdly does anyone think that Voq’s son is the ancestor to the albino klingon that Kor, Koloth and Kang were hunting in DS9’s Blood Oath and this episode was actually the true start of this “blood oath” between the families. Lastly, what I don’t understand is why would they want to put all these plot points in a single episode. If they feel like they don’t have enough episodes they should just ask CBS for more.

Danpaine

Interesting point about the albino Klingon from DS9, alphantrion. Any continuity we can drag out of this, I’ll take. And I agree about Pike; honestly if he weren’t on the show, I very likely would have bagged out of season two already.

ML31

” I am half expecting Spock stepping out of a shower now and revealing it was all a dream.”

As derivative and silly as that is, it would STILL be a better out than the Lorca thing.

I too, am liking Pike far more than I thought I would.

And yes, at the very least expand the length of the episodes. This is a streaming show and supposedly is not restrained by old school scheduling and editing.

Marja

I wish they could ask for more! 13 more! Then the season would be 26 eps long, like in the good old days.

Alas, at $8M an episode, that’s not likely

ML31

Then cut back the cost per episode. There really is no reason for this show to cost that much. It CAN be done.

A34

No one has time to watch 26 episode seasons again. I barely have time to watch 10 episode shows on Netflix.

ML31

If it’s good, people will find the time. I promise you if GoT was 30 episodes per season people would still watch. (rolling his eyes in disbelief)

A34

I have yet to see that show. Just not my thing.

Avi

Probably not an ancestor to the Albino. It’s more likely to be the actual Albino. Kang, Kor and Koloth shut down the Alibino’s piracy in 2290, which is 34-ish years after the birth of this baby. 34 is young, but not too young, to be in charge of a fleet of pirates. So if this kid ran away from Boroth in his youth and took up with some pirates, he could very well be one and the same.

Josiah Rowe

Back before the Tyler/Voq reveal, I wondered whether the albino Klingon Voq might end up being “the Albino” from the DS9 episode with Kang, Kor and Koloth. That clearly doesn’t work any more… but the albino baby abandoned on Boreth certainly could grow up to plague Kang, Kor and Koloth by the 2290s. I’d imagine that the monks of Boreth might not be the best child-rearers; “None, son of Voq” could well rebel against his monastic upbringing and become a notorious criminal by the time he’s 33. He’s even conveniently nameless, explaining why he goes by the sobriquet “the Albino.”

GorillaPotRoast

Kor’s family did try to kill him and his parents, so I can see him growing up to become the Albino.

Fred Javelina

Kor isn’t in this series, it’s Kol-sha, the father of Kol (from S1).

The Albino killed Kor, Koloth and Kang’s firstborn children with a virus in 2280, as revenge for them stopping his pirate raiding activities; they caught up with him in 2370 in the DS9 episode “Blood Oath.” Nothing to do with Kol or Kol-sha.

Marja

Kol-sha and Kol are House of Kor.

Fred Javelina

Ah ok. I somehow missed that. Even so, the Kor we know hasn’t been shown in the series, and the show has made it quite clear that Tyler and L’Rell abandon their child to the monks of Boreth, intending that he never know who his parents are. I suppose maybe, someday he could do some genetic research and find this out, but it’s a big leap to say that he *definitively* attacked Kor’s family because he knew about this palace intrigue that happened when he was a newborn.

Capt Mercer

You know what Gene Roddenberry,s original vision was missing…severed baby head. Wtf. Thank god for the orville.

A34

The ratings for the orville isn’t so hott. I think Fox had a deal for 3 seasons. After that they will end it.

ML31

Please show me something official where it says Orville has an automatic 3 season order? Such a thing is unheard of even in the streaming world. Most streaming and cable shows get 2 season orders with options the cut the show loose after one.

A34

I read it somewhere that Fox wanted to keep Macfarlane happy. So they greenlit this vanity project for him. If they do renew it for a third season I expect Fox to brush it aside to one of the dead end time slots.

ML31

That doesn’t jive with what I’ve uncovered. So until you provide source material I will give it all the credence it’s due.

A34

Sorry I can’t give a source. It’s just a hollywood rumor, but it’s no rumor that Fox wants to keep Macfarlane’s ego happy.

Tiger2

So in other words, you made it up.

A34

Nope, I read it online.

Tiger2

Source then? You are claiming Fox gave The Orville 3 season guarantee. That wouldn’t exactly be a hard rumor to find as most fans would’ve been discussing even if it was just a rumor.

Curious Cadet

@Capt Mercer — nah. I could have lived my entire life without the ORVILLE. It’s fine for a mostly benign distraction within a genre I enjoy, and it’s kind of fun to watch how badly they can reinterpret the worst episodes of the TNG era, and yet still manage to skim IP infringement with CBS. I’m far more interested in what DISC is doing. ORVILLE is just kind of sad in a way, it evokes a bygone era in the franchise, best left to 90s nostalgia, yet offers nothing new, and seems devoted to mediocrity across all levels of its production; yet its embraced by old star trek fans as what’s missing from the franchise now.

Marja

I enjoy it. For what it is. In its way. Tribute/parody with fabulous visuals.

Danpaine

Exactly the way I feel about it, Marja. It looks good and I come away from each episode feeling good.

ML31

Don’t mince words, CC. What do you REALLY think?

Land O'Calrissian

Overall, this was a rather weak episode compared to the first two. Tilly’s story isn’t working this season, and the actor who plays her spore ghost is all over the place. The Klingons are more palatable this season, but that doesn’t make them interesting.

A34

Weak? Did we watch the same episode?

Land O'Calrissian

Yes. We did. We simply have a different opinion–and, in fact, most fans online seem to agree that it was weak, especially in the comments above.

FrostUK

The actor playing the “spore ghost” does seem particularly bad, which is a shame because everyone else is so good. It looks like they’ve tried to mask her performance a bit in this one with quick editing, adding effects to her voice in places and keeping the camera moving.

Land O'Calrissian

Yeah, her performance is dire. I have to wonder how she was even cast in the role.

Marja

The reason she’s all over the place is that the spore ghost is crazy. Crazy to tell us something, crazy to DO something, we don’t know yet. What we DO know is that it’s terribly frustrated and needs … something. I am sure the crew will be working to find out. It’s intriguing to me, anyway.

And I think Tilly’s story is working fine.

I just wish Starfleet officers would stop going against orders, against procedures, so often. It almost seems it’s a REQUIREMENT to go against the grain to ascend in rank. I know Kirk was a great one for “cowboyin'” but he was supposed to be a one-of-a-kind captain.

I think the writers could have achieved the same amount of tension by having Tilly go to Sickbay but the doctors don’t find anything, because it’s a SPORE ghost, which can’t be discovered until they’re in Engineering with the spore expert. The freak-out on the bridge was dramatic and effective in its way, it just made me sigh a little. If anyone, I thought Tilly would be pretty much by the book. Hmm.

GorillaPotRoast

This episode was just kind of “meh” to me. There were some cool parts, but otherwise forgettable.

Stuart Sweet

Nice that we had a Klingon episode so we all know they have hair now. Hopefully this is the last we see of them for the season. I’m a little over-Klingoned, to be honest. I’m sure I’ll get razzed for this, but the Klingon stories in TNG were my least favorite part of the show. I understand why they needed to be the villains in season 1 of Discovery but enough already. Let’s move on.

On the other hand excellent work by the actress who plays Amanda. She was strong and feminine and tough and sensitive. She loves Michael to death and it was clear she couldn’t stand the sight of her in the last scene.

Spiked Canon

no razzing from me. The klingons took over on TNG. It was my least favorite part as well.

ML31

For me, Worf and the Klingons were the best part of TNG. My friends often joked how much better the show would be if it were set on board a Klingon ship. One must recall that in TNG’s day Klingons hadn’t been fleshed out at all. So everything about the society was new and fascinating.

Spiked Canon

I’m not disagreeing that the klingon arc was very good. It was, IMO, just too much the last few seasons…

Marja

Re-watching DS9 and those Klingons are all over the place. But as time went on I grew fond of General Martok and the rough humor on the Klingon ship. They represent different, and interesting, aspects of humanity just as the Ferengi and the Bajorans do.

martin

>>However, it is a bit unclear what exactly Section 31 is, within Discovery. As it was originally conceived for Deep Space Nine, Section 31 was an autonomous covert organization that worked in the shadows, doing the dirty work that the Federation couldn’t do, due to its high-minded ideals<<

It is unclear what Section 31 is in all of Trek. What is clear that there is some relationship between some Starfleet officers (usually Admirals) and Section 31. Admiral Ross we know had planned or been part of plans with Section 31. Books have retroactively established that Dougherty's weird plan in Insurrection may have been part of a 31 plan or 31 was involved in it… and that Admiral Cartwright and Odo in Star Trek VI was Section 31 plans (to actually assassinate the Federation president).

Now we have seen Section 31 fake two murders, I think that we'll end up finding out the murders on Starbase 5 are a fiction by Section 31 and Captain Vela, and that Spock is on the 31 Ship.

Now why are they carrying around black badges? Do CIA assassins carry on their body a black CIA ID? Shouldn't this be more like the MIB in that they have completely false identities and no ties to any government? (except we need to sell Section 31 badges)

DeanH

All good questions. Don’t forget they were essentially around back in Enterprise creating all kinds of havoc with the Klingons while recruiting agents like Malcom before he joined the Enterprise NX-01. Also in the KU they were once again creating more havoc for the Klingons and they had their own ships. On DS-9 they had no problem faking the deaths of agents. Finally, in S1E3, the black badges were out in plain site onboard Discovery. It could be as plain as in the time of Discovery, they were an accepted but hidden part of Starfleet but were disbanded to become the shadowy covert operation they were in DS-9. No matter what, looking forward to see how the writers explain everything.

Danpaine

Sacrificing a cohesive story for the sake of marketing. Section 31 badges are $14.99 + shipping on StarTrek.com Happy shopping.

A34

Damn I want one. It’s the coolest ST badge ever made. Thanks for the info. And what’s wrong for a for profit company making money?

Holden

‘Cause most for-profit companies don’t care about the public good, which seems very … not Trek? Anyway, topic for another day.

ML31

So it’s not in the public good to have hardware stores to buy nails from? Barbers and hairdressers to get your haircuts? Places to take your car to get fixed? All those things are for profit companies.

Holden

Yes, small, local businesses do provide a service to their communities, which supports them in turn. That’s one ideal for a public good. Let’s hope there are more of them in the future.

ML31

So, if your corner grocery store grows, you shouldn’t open one up in another neighborhood? Serve more people and make more profit? Then open one in another town, and so on?

Holden

Your scenario doesn’t seem to give much thought to the community supporting your first corner grocery store. It just focuses on the logic that you making money leads to opportunities to make more money. And that opportunity leads to more opportunities to make money.

Until that day when it dawns on you that your chain of grocery stores has stopped making money, then you panicked and closed a bunch of your stores to maximize your own personal profit. In the process, you stopped caring long ago about all those communities exploited in your personal pursuit of profit.

No, that’s not a business model thinking about anyone’s good but yours.

ML31

Actually, that scenario is a best case scenario. But you are also taking things off track. The point is, things that are done for the public good are not mutually exclusive from making a profit. And making a profit is NOT a bad thing.

Holden

Oh, I agree they aren’t mutually exclusive. I guess I don’t see what the model for a balance is.

We’ll have to agree to disagree about “off-track” as I feel I was following your scenario’s logical conclusion.

A34

You know Roddenberry made Star Trek for the money right?

Holden

You know, I really don’t give a s#!@ why Roddenberry did what he did. It goes without saying he was a product of his society like the rest of us.

A34

Are you a socialist?

Holden

You want me to name names?

I seem to recall you admitted to having a bad day yesterday. I wished you a better one today. Sorry it didn’t work out. But there’s still tomorrow!

A34

I’m having a much better day thank you. I’m sitting home watching youtube. So are you a socialist?

Holden

Glad to hear it, A34. I guess I’m just the kind of guy who cares about others.

A34

“When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich”.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Marja

And it may just be that you learned those caring values from your folks, Holden, and possibly from Star Trek as well. So even though Roddenberry wrote it for money, we still got lots of personal good out of it! I know I did.

As to merchandising, they all do it. Personally I do not get the whole “collector” thing but some fans revel in it.

[N.B. I do know that I like my DISCO t-shirt because it’s soft and the perfect color for jeans and has cool Starfleet insignias and lettering. It’s a sort of “practical” collector’s item.]

martin

Too bad for CBS that I have some black PLA. I will just print my own.

Thomas W.

What does the Discovery actually do in space except of meeting Spock’s family members here and there? In this show space seems to have the size of 2 or 3 solar systems.

Heisenberg's Hat

Really disappointed with this episode. Tyler could have easily joined/been recruited by Section 31 in the season one finale. The writers love torturing this guy. “Let’s make him a Klingon who has to become human and then let’s give him a baby that he has to give up!” It wouldn’t bother me if we didn’t see the Klingons the rest of the season.

Tilley and this command training-isn’t that something that should be covered at the Academy and not while on a high priority mission?

Well, Pike says it’s a priority but it seems like it’s only purpose is to drag out the formal introduction of Spock. Yes, that’s right, I’m calling the writers a bunch of Spock teases. I suspect they will drag this out much longer than they need to.

I really liked the first two episodes of the season but this one felt completely unnecessary and reeked of Season 1. Part of the problem is we all know the ending of the Spock story-he turns out just fine. We know he’s not in any kind of real danger and for me at least, it keeps me from getting engaged in the story the longer they drag it out.

Anson Mount remains terrific and I’m starting to wish this show was about him on the pre-Kirk Enterprise. The show comes to life whenever he’s on screen. Same with Doug Jones as Saru. Happy to see next week is Sarucentric.

Tiger2

LOL Tyler is becoming like O’Brien, who the writers said they loved to make suffer even though he was one of their favorites. Tyler seems to get so much thrown at him, you do actually feel sorry for him. You make a good point about Tilly and the ‘training’. Have we ever seen people being trained like this on a ship? I just assumed she would be given certain tasks in her position, not a literal training onboard but whatever.

And yes its too much dragging on about Spock. I understood the first episode. Second one was done well but now its starting to feel like overkill. They are trying to set up this huge mystery around him and it feels like every episode they drop another huge bomb as they did here. Its too much of a tease. “Spock is missing, Spock is in an insane asylum, Spock seen visions of the Red Angel, Spock has met the Red Angel, Spock ran away from the asylum, Spock has killed people…”

My god, what’s next, Spock is now holding hostages until the Red Angel talks to him? Too much focus on Spock but its clear the season is all about him.

DaveCGN

“And since Discovery can never miss a chance to hit you over the head with the thematic message of the week, she tells them to call her “mother” because that is the “fiercest” title of all.”
That might cause some laughs by german viewers because the title “Mother” in german is associated with chancellor Angela Merkel!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!
(Indeed her nickname is “Mutti” = “Mom”, to be exactly).

Marja

I think “Mother” is a pretty tough job to begin with, so the title should be fierce! And since L’Rell can’t have her baby near her, she will be Mother of the Klingons.

But I loved learning that about Merkel. She’s kind of Mother of the Free World right now … certainly seems to be the only grown-up in the room sometimes.

ML31

Wow. A lot of goodwill generated by the first two episodes just went out the window. This was a terrible episode. It started with the dizzying camera moves. That was jarring. Not a fan of this “command training” program taking place on an active star ship performing an important mission. Seems like something Tilly would leave the ship for and return for the “shadowing” portion. And Tilly is still annoying. The spore/Mae/Tilly story moved WAY too fast. But I guess they had to keep the episode under 50 minutes for some reason. The reviewer said “they might as well have put a sign on the floating fungus that says, “This way to the resurrection of Dr. Hugh Culber.”” Which is correct. But it would have been less so had they NOT told everyone he was coming back to begin with. Was nice to see Pike using screen time to communicate, like they were doing 10 years later. Not a fan of the “grandmother” crack. Just tells me that they intend on doubling down on their way too advanced tech silliness. I guess the holographic communication falls out of favor later since no one is using it that way then. I’m sorry but I feel nothing for the issues in the Spock-Michael sibling relationship. I just don’t. All those scenes with Amanda felt hollow. Side note, they really NEED to drop in a Sybok reference and referring to the “logic extremists” felt like a perfect place to do so. Such a move would give credence to Michael’s existence. I will say that this one episode did for the Klingons what they SAID they were going to do for an entire season last year. The problem is, it hearkened back to a lot of the worst parts of season 1. Which took… Read more »

Captain Danno

I had assumed the reason Pike used a traditional screen instead of the holo-system was because he didn’t want the captain at Starbase 5 to know Amanda and Michael were in the room. This allowed them to stay off screen. But, I agree I don’t particularly care for the holograms. They don’t make a lot of sense. Last season an admiral was actually walking around the bridge and stepping up on raised platforms as if he was actually there. For an in universe explanation maybe it was new tech at the time of Discovery that eventually fell out of favor, like a fad. Or, to parallel current events, maybe the technology could be used to spy on people without their knowledge and was discontinued after a privacy lawsuit! LOL

A34

The holograms are more interesting. There’s nothing interesting about watching two people talk on a screen. I can do that on my phone right now.

ML31

So you think a it would be better for in a WWI show the soldier just picks up his smart phone and face-time’s his CO to confirm orders?

A34

I don’t get what you’re saying. ST is a scifi show, it’s not real. The writers can do whatever they want. Just because you never saw holograms on TOS doesn’t mean they didn’t exist. There’s a few times where holograms have showed up on TOS in fact.

As for WW1, that’s an event that happened. It wouldn’t make sense for a smartphone to show up, since it hadn’t been invented yet.

The only way it would work is if it was a scifi and the soldier was a time traveler using a device disguised as a smartphone. Perhaps the time traveler was planning to go to 2018 but he over shot his landing and finds himself in the middle of a WW1 trench. Maybe his 2018 era clothes is made out of smart matter and starts to change into the appropriate WW1 uniform. Then he pull out his disguised computer that looks like a smartphone.

That’s the only way I can see that happening.

ML31

It is a fictional universe but it still has rules. Of one wants to set a show in that fictional universe it would behoove them to follow the constraints that come with it. It’s like setting your show in 1910 and complaining that your character can’t get from Europe to America in less than a day. So you decide to add jets because it works better and “looks cool”.

This is not a dig but I honestly cannot tell if you were being ornery or really don’t understand the concept.

A34

Made up fan canon rules have no power over the producers and writers of Disco.

ML31

*sigh*

I’m not talking about made up fan rules. I’m talking about going to the source material and following the rules they set. Not what some no face fan might say on the internet.

Jeez… This stuff I really thought was self evident.

Michael Hall

That the contradictions are self-evident to you doesn’t require that others agree.

ML31

I wasn’t talking about the contradictions in this case (although I do think they ought to be easy to spot). In this case I was talking about the producers looking at the source material and sticking within the restraints of the world they chose to set their show in. A34 called those “made up fan rules”. I felt it was self evident that they are not.

A34

It’s made up. Anything written can also be unwritten.

ML31

I’m honestly wondering if you are serious or if you are just trying to be contradictory for fun now.

A34

Didn’t Discovery just erase that whole Klingon human virus story from Enterprise. I don’t see any laughable TOS Klingons running around.

Fred Javelina

What rules were set, by whom? Were laws passed? Was Congress involved?

Technology in the real world has advanced dramatically in the 50-plus years since TOS aired. Billions of people have videophones in their pockets. Some of them can even put AR graphics over the video, or over the real world as seen through the cameras.

It’s only a matter of time before AR smart visors become small, cheap, and ubiquitous, and we’re still over 200 years away from the timeframe of DSC / TOS, so who knows what will get invented in that span?

Tons of sci-fi shows (Treks included) have done 2D screen conferences through the last 30 years. It’s not futuristic anymore when it becomes zeerust. https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Zeerust

Like, in the future, everyone will have 1960s miniskirts and beehive hairdos, and all design will be a slightly modified take on Danish Modern (like the wooden armrests on Kirk’s chair?)

And because that is what people in the 1960s (who were born in the 1920s!) thought of as futuristic, we have to slavishly hew to that idea of the future now and forevermore?

I mean, Things To Come had a vision of the future, too, but by the 1950s we could see that it wouldn’t involve propeller planes and pilots wearing giant helmets that merged with the fuselage, and everyone wearing Roman togas.

ML31

OK… This subject has been dealt with 100 times already. Some people just aren’t going to understand no matter how simply it gets explained.

A34

Fred is right.

ML31

Case in point…

A34

I just saw a Smartphone prototype that has simple hologram tech.

ML31

Or the tech was pulled back because after the initial “wow” factor people just stopped using it as it wasn’t 100% reliable? Or yes, they would see all the stuff around you when you really didn’t want that. Even in Krik’s day visual communication was not possible under some circumstances. There was a lot of audio only going on.

A34

Holograms are just around the corner in real life. It’s silly to think they wouldn’t use it in the future. I don’t see the problem, Trek uses subspace (whatever that is) to communicate. The only difference is they use a holo emitter and AI algorithms to display the image. If they could warp time and space to break the speed of light in TOS. A hologram phone should be child’s play.

ML31

Subspace is a made up thing to allow communication to travel great distances at faster than light speed because… Sci-fi.

A34

I know that, they never explained how it works.

ML31

It works because science fiction.

Curious Cadet

@Captain Danno — interesting theory. But the conversation suggested that Pike usually conducts conversations via screen. Maybe it’s sort of like Bones not liking the transporter, even though everybody else doesn’t think twice about it. I do see some practical reality of having a conversation with a hologram. It makes it more personal, and the 3D nature of it, probably gives people more non-verbal cues to facilitate difficult conversations. But it’s also a bit static-y and kinda transparent, so maybe Pike just finds that aspect somewhat annoying. Then again, if he can read other’s body language, perhaps he just doesn’t want them to be able to read it about him, or just feels self-conscious about the idea of him parading around in someone else’s space he can’t really see. Regardless, there’s no need to reconcile it with established visual canon, just as there was no need whatsoever to reconcile the different appearance of the Klingons in TMP. Our real technology improves, and our expectations of the future changes. Star Trek is supposed to be our future, so the productions should mirror that and not be locked into whatever was the limit of our imagination, or budgets were 50 years ago. My personal retcon is that even if people in TOS were having conversations on a screen in TOS, unless explicitly stated the image was on a screen, it could have been a hologram, just as the flat forehead Klingons could have had ridges. I’m also of the mind that we’re being shown an image which is actually VR via ocular implants, which all starfleet personal have always had, but TV budgets of the times didn’t previously permit us to see. That might also explain why Pike used a screen, so that Amanda could watch, not having a secure starfleet ocular… Read more »

Danpaine

Agreeing with everything you’re saying here, ML. Especially about the Michael/Spock storyline, not feeling it at all. So…much…melodrama. And so much (rushed…whispering). Luckily the camera movements seem to have been indicative of this particular director, because they were just awful. Seeing previews of this episode I was expecting a mess, and boy did it deliver.

Tiger2

Yeah it felt too much like a scene out of a soap opera. Star Trek has had their family issues in the past but this came off too melodramatic with the Spock stuff. I have a feeling we only got a taste of it in this episode and its going to go full on whenever Spock does show up.

Michael Hall

Haven’t seen the ep yet and so am not defending it, but if melodrama offends you I have to wonder how Chapel’s offer to cook Spock Plomeek soup would sit with you, had that aired last night.

ML31

How is that melodramatic?

Corylea

I REALLY hated the direction of this episode. Having the camera in constant motion — often for no real reason — distracted me from the story. It was hard for me to pay attention to what the characters were saying and doing with the camera jumping all over like that.

The camera work is supposed to support the story, not distract from it.

Danpaine

Exactly. And it very much compounded everything else wrong with the episode, imo.

Corylea

It felt really amateurish to me, like it was a film-school student experimenting, rather than a seasoned professional doing his best work to support the story.

Trek in a Cafe

I disagree, what they did – pulling all these strings – is a kind of coup. They made it feel crazy while also making sense at the same time. I literally loved everything I hated. Michael is really becoming interesting. And I love how divisive this episode has been. It’s very interesting to feel it and discuss it. ST has for too long been a series of known styles. This used all of them and pushed backward me and forward at the same time. That’s not easy!

ML31

I found it telling that of the first three episode the one that feels the most like season 1 is this one. And it seems to be the episode most are unhappy with.

Afterburn

Good episode. The Klingon stuff was actually the most interesting, and I enjoyed the evolution of them from last season. The episode started a bit slow and dragged and got bogged down at times by the B and C stories.

Overall, should have focused on the Klingon Empire happenings and Spock. Between the overstuffed “New Eden” and this, they should have cut all the Tilly stuff and made it its own episode.

Vulcan Soul

Agreed about Tilly. The ghost stuff did not fit into either episode thematically and it took away time from the main plots in both episodes. Apart from all other problems, their low episode count this season is really diminishing quality again, instead of raising it as it is supposed to.

ML31

Yep. If they have to be this rushed in 14 episodes maybe they ought to up it to 16 or 17? There are other dramas with short seasons that NEVER feel this rushed.

Spiked Canon

If they would’ve taken all the Tilly stuff and the baby out I would’ve come much closer to enjoying it

Afterburn

Disagreed. Flaws aside, the quality is still quite high.

Vulcan Soul

I’m glad we have settled this. Afterburn, the arbiter on all things quality, has spoken. Trekmovie, close the thread. Discussion is over :D

Afterburn

Well they should certainly close your threads.

PEB

I don’t get this whole idea that Trek CAN’T go dark ever or else it’s just out of its element. I feels more organic when it’s sporadic but Trek can go dark. It’s like some people want to view the franchise through some happy filter. There was a whole dark cloud over Enterprise through an entire season and subsequent episodes, and do I even need to bring up DS9 as a whole? Maybe the most vocal fans right now are the ones who view TNG as the defining example of Trek but it’s really strange.

A34

There’s a lot of older Trek fans on the site, maybe they just can’t handle change well.

Elrond

To my chagrin, I guess I find myself I in the category of “older Trek fan.” But this can cut both ways. Early in S1 of Disco, Sarek says something like, “Change is the constant of the universe.” The longer people live, they either learn how to adapt to changing realities or they become rigid. My point is that older Trek fans may have more experience adapting to change than younger ones, especially if “older” goes back only as far as TNG! 🙂

ML31

It’s not that they can’t go dark. At least for me. I don’t mind Trek going dark and think it could be fascinating. The problem is it was just BADLY done. Not the tone.

A34

That’s just your opinion. I see nothing wrong with the show. The majority of people that likes the show will never post here. Always remember that, don’t get stuck in your bubble.

ML31

I don’t know about that. I see a number of people who like the show here. There is no need to say repetitive things like “that’s your opinion”. Duh! We all know that. This is EVERYONE’s opinion!

PS.. This site is pretty lightweight when it came to STD S1 hate. There are sites where it is downright venomous. Granted negative opinions tend to be more plentiful but this was unreal…

A34

A lot of those haters are trolls. When they announced that a Black woman was going to be the star. Trolls came out for all corners. Most of them didn’t know jack about Star Trek. Also Russians have been egging on this kind of hate to push their political agendas for some time now.

ML31

OoooooKaaaaay…

(he says backing away slowly)

A34

Just google “Star Wars and Russian trolls”. You can read the news articles yourself.

Spiked Canon

The Whole first season was dark!! It’s just too much!

Marja

The Mudd episode was NOT dark. It was rather funny. Okay maybe darkly funny.

Vulcan Soul

Look, the problem is they pretty much ONLY want to do dark save for the odd token old school Trek episode (such as New Eden this season) every year or so, and they have been peddling in dark for 25 years all the way back to DS9 season 4. That’s a quarter century! It is not modern. It is not groundbreaking. It is boring, tired and cliched! There are so many dark dystopian scifi shows out there. Why do they need to pick and destroy Star Trek? The fact is we have no Trek left to watch. Out of 5 new shows *maybe* Picard is watchable, but with the indication of premise it looks like it will just be a more thoughful kind of dark, at best. And no, we don’t wanna keep re-watching 700 old hours of Trek. We want new stuff! Bright utopia for the 21st century!

Elrond

VS, part of me really resonates with your comments about dystopias, especially when you go back as far as DS9. TNG was almost too utopian with perfect people barely showing any irritation with each other despite being at close quarters for years. That wasn’t how it was on TOS, with McCoy bordering on racist insults with his “why you pointy-eared, green-blooded, etc.” despite the undercurrent of affection. I dunno. DS9 had Section 31 create a biological weapon that could have made the Founders extinct. VOY and ENT had their “dark” moments, too. DSC S1 had the Federation on the brink of committing genocide but then remembering its true values and finding an alternative (albeit not entirely believably – won’t someone deactivate that bomb sometime?). I guess I wonder if it’s the writers’ fault or that Trek reflects who we are a little too well. (Today a nuclear weapons treaty was pretty well scuttled.) Sometimes reading websites I have to wonder. Thanks for your thought-provoking comments.

Vulcan Soul

Thank you too! There ought to be place for different and differing opinions and that is one hallmark of Utopia. I am aware much of BermanTrek after TNG had dystopic elements and in fact that was pretty much my point. It came in vogue in the 1990s and has not relented ever since. But there is a difference between very occasional dystopic elements, stories or characters, as in TOS, and making it the foundation of an entire season and tone of the series as in Discovery.

One thing your “green blooded” quote, which I always believed highlighted the strength of their friendship rather than its happy-happy shallowness, reminded me of also is that different people have different ideas of Utopia, and that is also changing with generations. For me a world where people lose their jobs or are even locked up for making a racy joke or offending someone, even unintentionally, is definitely not a Utopia. And Orwell tended to agree. Beware the beginnings.

Elrond

Vulcan Soul, I hear you and take your point about the McCoy-Spock relationship. Friendship based on true knowledge and sincere affection can make even socially sanctioned divisions melt away. But that kind of banter can be tricky.

More importantly, you have a bleaker view of Disco than I do, and you could well prove to be more correct. I see signs that the producers, writers are well aware of the issues (“We are Starfleet.” “We will not take shortcuts on the path to righteousness,” etc.), so am hopeful for the ultimate outcome as tending toward utopia and not dystopia. I agree completely with you that that is Trek’s most important characteristic.

Michael Hall

TOS had Kodos the Executioner, Captain Ron Tracy’s attempted genocide, etc. It was certainly optimistic, but anything but utopian.

Vulcan Soul

Michael, that’s what I meant by “occasional elements”. It was episodic, it was part of the story of the week, and then it was over and okay. The entire structure of the show meant we could highlight different tones, different stories and different messages over the course of just one season, and that was true diversity. With hardcore serialization we can’t have that anymore. As Kurtzman correctly asserted, if TOS was serialized we would have to spend an entire season for Kirk to mourn over Edith Keeler. Yes, that may be more “realistic” but seriously what are we trying to get out of these shows? I am not interested to see a fictional character mourn over another for an entire season and waste important screen time that could be used to highlight other issues (especially now that seasons are so short). I understand that some people view television series now as some kind of “visual novel” but I always liked the more allegory-like, even more anthology-like style because it is less limited in the stories it can tell and the issues it can explore. Ironically the “Short Treks” greatly illustrate this point – so sad they are merely the side show for in between the seasons.

A34

Wasn’t O’Brien racist towards cardassians?

Marja

I’d say more prejudiced, because he’d fought in a war against them [I think before he became an engineer] and seen a lot of death and destruction at their hands. He calls them what he and his fellow soldiers back then called them, “Cardies”. But he ceases to say it, because he acknowledges now that it’s racist. [It was a distancing of soldiers from their enemies thing, to make it easier to fight and kill them.]

He is very very slow to trust them. Yet, later in DS9, he becomes tolerant of, if not friendly with, Garak.

Thorny

“I don’t hate you. I hate what I became because of you.”

-O’Brien to a Cardassian officer, “The Wounded”

RockoandSocko3

My worry is we have seen the last of the Klingons for this season (unless they have some major monent in the finale). I hope not though, as L’Rell is my favorite character of the series. I just think this because when thinking back to all of the trailers and images revealed for this season, everything Klingon related was covered in this one episode. Whereas footage and images for the rest of the cast are clearly spans across a large chunk of the season.

I hope I am wrong though.

Marja

No, I think we’ll see more of L’Rell this season. I certainly hope so. She’s a BOSS.

I’m sure some of the Houses are still going to dispute her leadership as Mother of Klingons. Why would the show give up on that intrigue?

ML31

So what good was the trigger to the bomb then? That was supposed to discourage any house from challenging her authority. In fact, the Federation could use that as a threat against the Klingons. Just tell them they have the ability to destroy their homeworld at any time now if they don’t stay in line.

Ugh, the more I think about season one the dumber it gets. Gawd I would like no more references in the show to ANY event from that sorry waste of a Star Trek season.

A34

She only needed the bomb to gain power. Keeping the bomb active as a threat wouldn’t go down well with the Klingon people. Remember the time when tRUMP tried to hold government workers hostage?

ML31

Eye roll

Thorny

To each his own. I’m hoping that’s the last we see of the Klingons for a long while. A little Klingons go a long way. I much preferred the mirror universe side of Season 1 over the Klingon storyline.

I never really understood why Michael was blamed for starting the war in the first place. Because she landed on an unidentified ship and defended herself when almost immediately attacked? Wouldn’t Klingons actually respect that? The show goes on to say the Klingons hate the Federation for always saying “We come in peace” and they launch the war when Georgiou does exactly that. But Michael takes the blame? Sure, she’s guilty of mutiny. But starting the war? No.

Nah, I’m done with Klingons. I hope next time we see them, it is an entirely different storyline.

Marja

I agree, it was very stupid of Starfleet to blame Burnham for starting the war. I guess because she was not in direct contact with Shenzhou at the time [radio interference] there was no official record of the moment when she had to defend herself. Although actually, if she had launched herself from the surface she was occupying with the Klingon, he wouldn’t have been able to attack ….

It’s interesting that mutiny carries a penalty of life in prison, as opposed to a few years of rehabilitation followed by continuing one’s career at the bottom of the ranks.

ML31

Yes. It always felt weird that she got blamed when it really wasn’t her fault at all.

A34

Humans are petty and wanted someone to blame. That’s how I saw it.

Tiger2

Agree as well Thorny. I was really loving this season until the Klingons showed up again and everything suddenly felt like what I hated about season one again. I know they will show up again obviously but I’m really hoping as little as possible.

And I never understood why Michael was blamed for the war nor did the show do a good job explaining why. But this is exactly why we weren’t all thrilled with the first season.

A34

Awesome episode, I’m really love the idea of Section 31 pulling the Klingon strings behind the scenes. Good to see that show is not becoming some happy go lucky Star Trek.

Marja

Fomenting dissent just as our contemporary spy agencies do. Good commentary on present-day societal mores, just as Trek has always done.

A34

It’s nice to see how grown up Trek is now.

Elrond

Interesting that there are such divergent reactions to “Point of Light.” I wonder how much of this is based on the episodic vs. serial format question. In a serialized format the meaning or significance of so many individual scenes can only be determined by how it plays out in future episodes. So with Amanda’s declaration that she’ll find Spock by herself, I don’t know what to think yet. To a lesser degree the same is true with Tilly’s unwanted mind intruder (btw, really liked the question about whether this is a case of first contact). And then there’s the accusation of murder against Spock. Let’s not jump to conclusions!

I often wondered in the 10-episode closing arc of DS9 if new viewers would be able to make head or tail of all the characters coming and going without their backstories. This is really true with Disco. I’ve also noticed, I think, that many posters seem to really like those episodes of Disco that seem more like self-contained, well, episodes, and less serialized. “New Eden” and “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” come to mind.

Also wonder if the different reactions to camera angles, motion, etc. depend on the size of the screen people watched the episode on.

As to heads rolling in this episode, sounds like the French Revolution. Why wouldn’t Klingons, who from their first appearance in TOS “Errand of Mercy” were described (but seldom shown) as brutal and violent not have that side of their culture less sanitized in streaming as opposed to broadcast media?

Just some thoughts.

Trek in a Cafe

It is surprising that people here are finding it difficult to absorb serialization and seem like they really don’t want to experience “what comes next” moments with these characters. This Trek’s themes are that the problems and the solutions are within – even as they face outside forces. If Roddenberry’s assumption was that humans won’t change that much in the next 200 years, then the whole idea is out the window in the future we anticipate after 2019. But the conflict on Discovery is that all the characters are both magical and flawed. That said, it’s interesting so far and I like the feeling of wondering what comes next.

ML31

I would not think the serial nature of the show is the cause of the disdain for the episode. Such arcs have been in shows for over nearly 25 years now. We are all used to it. Regarding Amanda, I know what I think. And I think that I really don’t care about much of that. I know Spock is Spock and will find a life long friendship and ultimately will have personal issues really until he attempts his Kholinar thing. So no, I really don’t care as it is not a significant thing in his life. No one is jumping to conclusions (at least no fan is) regarding the capping of guards. We know Spock turns out fine.

I also have no real issue with the brutality of the Klingons. I just found the story to be uninteresting and repetitive.

Elrond

ML31, it seems, then, that your perspective is primarily based on the fact that Disco a prequel and since we know how everything will eventually turn out for familiar characters (for the ensuing century or more!), who cares? OK. For me, I enjoy learning more about the experiences even of friends I’ve known for years and have the same attitude with regard to Sarek, Amanda, Spock, the Albino (well, not a friend really), etc. etc.

ML31

My issue is not with it being a prequel either. I actually don’t mind the concept of prequels. But they can be very dicey things. I felt Enterprise worked pretty good as a prequel. This one did not. And yes, Spock is part of the problem. In going to the Spock story line a mere 15 episodes into your series you are telling the audience that “we know all these new characters don’t seem to be working, so we are going to go mine this well known and well liked character to get more eyes on the show.” People speak a lot of how they want things to be organic. This is not organic at all. It feels forced. I would feel less of that if the show was a tremendous hit for CBS and was in it’s 5th or 6th season before deciding to do this. But it feels like a desperation move and as such, all the personal sibling drama they are trying to capture just isn’t working. Which is a shame. Because there is potential for a decent show here.

Regarding learning more about a friend, I understand and agree. But doesn’t it feel like Spock has been done literally to death already? I know I sure feel that way. Perhaps if they used another character who has not been so overused… But no. No one pulls in the eyes (CBS hopes) like Spock.

Trek in a Cafe

I don’t think the narrative is without strain. They sold this unlikely woman as Spock’s sister and now they are going to deliver. And I am sure, especially after this episode, Michael did something much more than taunt him that he would never be fully human or Vulcan.

Elrond

I think it’s too early to make such judgements about Spock before he has even appeared. Time will tell.

Vulcan Soul

The question is why we have to see “heads rolling” in all its titilating gory glory? People used to say thay they dont need nudity in Trek because there is pron for that, and for the same reason we can watch horror movies for the gore and ultra-violence. This does not fit in with Utopia and a hopeful vision of the future no matter what they say. They should stop trying to turn Star Trek into something it is not! It was never for the cool kids, but the smart ones. And in the age of *paid* streaming, it is beyond dumb to alienate your paying audience, which is mostly old fans (who else is paying for a channel that has nothing much else?) Which may be why their streaming numbers for season 1 only turned out half the expected ones…

Elrond

I have some sympathy for your comments on this, VS. Please see my reply to your earlier posting.

Fred Javelina

I cannot help but think the Onion had you in mind when they wrote this: https://entertainment.theonion.com/trekkies-bash-new-star-trek-film-as-fun-watchable-1819594814 The fact that you want to turn Trek into some sort of uber-nerdy, long-winded, philosophical show that only asthmatic, thick-lensed, spotty unpopular kids like says more about you and your vision of yourself than anything else. Trek isn’t and never was for “smart kids,” it was a broadly popular TV show that begat several popular sequels and over 20 blockbuster sci-fi motion pictures. If it was only for “smart kids” it would be a 6-episode limited series that only ran on PBS and is only remembered by cultists, like The Prisoner and Sapphire and Steel. Your argument also ignores the actual history of the show, which had fistfights and phasers every other episode, and pneumatically attractive female characters given strategically placed bits of shiny fabric to wear (according to the Theiss Titillation Theory). And Roddenberry was a *notorious* horndog, who today might have been called a sexual harasser. Remember that Utopia is the title of a socio-political SATIRE by Thomas More. The word is Greek for, literally, “Nowhere,” not, as is commonly mistaken, “Eutopia,” meaning “a good place,” which is already a TV sitcom. More’s Utopia had a world with no money and free healthcare but also widespread slavery, which was also the punishment for premarital sex. It also wasn’t really a democracy, either. (Hard to see Kirk getting along in such a place.) Rather than a vision of an ideal world, More’s Utopia was a satirical exaggeration of what he thought of as unsustainable or dangerous ideas, like the later Gulliver’s Travels or other works by Jonathan Swift, which satirized then-current politics. Your other claims are illogical because you have no information to base them on. How is the paying audience alienated? How… Read more »

A34

Bravo. Bravo.

Vulcan Soul

Elrond, about serialization you are very correct much of the difference is rooted in the very structure of the show; also see my reply to Michael above. It is not just a different way of storytelling, it has very definite implications on what kind of stories you can tell and what viewers can take out of such show. With its greatly restricted inter-episode continuity and character development, classic Star Trek was always more like an anthology-show in that it was “concept/idea-driven” (even though with the same cast and sets). The characters and their relationships were in place from the beginning and provided the basis for the story, but they were not the main point in many cases. Now in serialization everything revolves around *changing* characters and relationships, about twists and turns like in a fictional novel. There is little room for the kind of fourth wall commentary as in “New Eden”, and for having a take-away conclusion right at the end of the episode, opposed to the end of the season. Same as I prefer short stories over novels, I always prefered the episodic format for that reason. We got 45 minutes to 1 hour self-contained “movies”, opposed to 12 hour movies that are released in drips over 3 months, create alot of frustration in the waiting time in between, and are hard to rewatch due to their sheer length. And somehow I have a hard time to believe we won’t move beyond this curious idea of storytelling eventually, especially with social media groomed generation “instant gratification” now firmly in place.

Elrond

Hey, VS! Fwiw, I agree with everything you’ve written here. Of course, your comment above about TNG being the best Trek ever is consistent with this post as well. It’s a different topic than episodic vs. serial, but I recall Ira Steven Behr saying that in DS9 they wanted to test TNG’s vision, “it’s easy to be a saint in Paradise,” by building in both internal conflict (a Bajoran station) and external conflict (the Cardassians, the Dominion War) and seeing how Federation values held up. By “What You Leave Behind” those values have triumphed, but not without moral compromise (“In the Pale Moonlight”) and pain and suffering. It could be argued that this is a more realistic situation, as our present national situation demonstrates. I’m guessing, VS, that you might say it’s better for Trek to project a more perfect society than a marred or compromised one. Maybe so. Or perhaps it’s good to present different visions to connect with more people. Who can say? Thanks for the exchange!

Vulcan Soul

You are completely right, Elrond, that the Star Trek universe is vast and there ought to be space for more than one storytelling format. I don’t want to deny the fans of serialization their “visual novels”. And the “Marvelization” of Trek with soon five series in the air means there would be the unique chance to satisfy all fan factions with separate visions in separate series. Unfortunately, it does not look like this is going to happen at least for the fans of Utopia, as all these series seem to reflect the zeitgeist more than any independent vision. The premise of the Picard series strongly suggests it will be darker than TNG and full serialization has already be announced. That is why I am rather holding out hope for a shift in sentiment in the future of storytelling. Even if it takes another 25 years ;)

Ensign Crusher

Thoughts and questions:

The amount of story threads they juggled only became more chaotic and difficult to follow with the distracting camera moves.

The Klingons are improved, but those teeth have to go. Every time they talk in Klingon, it’s distracting (and it shouldn’t be). Section 31 with a ship? Sure. Section 31 with a badge? That’s just dumb. To have a badge that is clearly a version of the Starfleet badge only undermines what they’ve been established to be since DS9 – a myth.

Side note, is anyone else concerned that this Section 31 show will do to that org what Voyager did to the Borg? The mystery of that org is it’s biggest deal.

The fighting was more violent than it was skillful. Didn’t need the baby head on full display. I guess someone this show is GOT with the unnecessary violence and Tyler is Jon Snow from GOT with his wardrobe.

What was this episode about? Tilly? Spock? L’Rell? Too many threads, none explored all that well.

Overall, this episode was definitely a regression.

DeanH

Although I disagree with some of the above, I definitely agree with regards to having perhaps too many story threads going at once – maybe they should have considered another longer episode like the premiere to flesh things out a bit more but doing that might have posed some contractual issues.

Chancellor Gowron

The first two episodes of the season were good, but I missed the Klingons. I’m glad they’re finally back.

Captain Sisko

Loved it! I love this show so much. I appreciate the depth it is adding to Star Trek. I will say this. The further they go, eventually they are going to end up in the Original Series and honestly, I would be cool with a new show based on the original series and of course all of the original series would be canon but it would be cool they threw in some new stories. We never saw the entire five year mission. That is a lot of stuff to play around with.

Voq is going to be the leader of the smooth head Klingons. I am calling it. They will say that the Klingon soldiers were altered to look human to fool populations they conquer. That is my prediction. Love this show man.

Quinton O’Connor

Liked this episode a lot. Better than last week’s but not quite as good as the season premiere. I agree with this article that the producers are going to great lengths to course-correct last season’s more blatant Klingon-related missteps. L’Rell was at her best here and Papa Kol was a good villain to root against.

Back on the Discovery, Michael’s scenes with Amanda were also pretty great. I felt like Mia Kurshner was woefully underutilized last season. Thanks to the slower (yet still fast) pace of season two, the actress actually had a chance to showcase her talents. I don’t particularly care about Spock right now and I suspect I won’t until he’s properly introduced but the red angel plotline has me intrigued. Meanwhile, I’ve seen a few critics, well, criticize the Tilly story this week as being “just another spore thing” but I’ll take anything over some of the worries last week that May was simply a cliched inspirational hallucination plot beat. It was clear to me she was related to the dark matter, but hey, I guess some people were still confused.

Michelle Yeoh continues to rock her role as the former Terran Emperor. She is so many magnitudes better at this than her short stint as Primeverse Georgiou. I’m stoked rock see her and Ash reunite with the Disco.

Sincerely,
A Thirsty-Throated Plebeian

Mr Limpopo

Where was I Trolling, Mr Pascale? I’d certainly like you to point it out. So much elitism on this site.

Michael Hall

When I hear cries of ‘elitism’ in Trump’s America, the first thing I do is to check my wallet.

Andrew SD

This was the first time I really enjoyed the Klingon stuff and story on Discovery this much. So way to go there! The way they are fleshing out the Spock/Burnham story has become very interesting. Tilly was a bit much in this episode. It feels like she’s got a long way to the Captain’s chair. Emperor Georgiou is delicious as a spy. Someone or something has set Spock up, the question is why. I’m definitely looking forward to finding that out.

Fabio

It was an entertaining chapter, not as good as the first two. The only thing that seemed incredible to me was the part where an entity tells Tilly to help her and she prefers not to listen to it. That was not very “Star Trek”.

Mark Calcagno

No, but it is believable

A34

Would you listen to voices in your head?

ML31

If I was told I had some alien spore talking in my head via images only I could see, I would want it out. But this is where the crew need to look at the bigger picture regarding the spore things. They needed to tell Tilly that they needed to talk to the entity and find out what it wanted and how to best accomplish it’s needs without harming more Star Fleet personnel. Kirk would have said something like, I’m not going to order you to do this, but we really could use you mustering up your strength and talking to this entity.

A34

But that would make for boring television.

ML31

How much Star Trek have you seen before Discovery and if you’ve seen it why would you even watch Discovery given what Star Trek is?

A34

I’ve seen all of them. They were good when I first saw them as a teen, but I’ve outgrown those shows. DS9 is the exception to the rule. DISCO is the Heir to DS9’s throne.

ML31

Yeah… Still don’t understand that if you think trying to reason with rather than do something rash and not well thought out made for boring television then it feels like you felt a lot of Star Trek was boring. Hence me wondering why you would give Star Trek a chance.

MysticalDigtial

As a life long trek Fan, a lot of Trek is boring TV. It’s amazingly preachy as well. I sometimes miss it, but I don’t need all Trek to follow the same formula. If it’s good TV I’m down with it, and the fact there’s still a lot of messages and morals in Discovery helps a lot. You don’t see them, that’s fine.

Spiked Canon

if it was in my head no, but it was an actual body and no it isn’t Trek to not help. Well I guess it is now

Marja

The body [May] was a hallucination produced by the occupying physical force/spore critter in Tilly’s body that was about to physically invade her brain. As it was, “May” was too irrational to communicate with anyone in a meaningful way. She was screaming for attention but couldn’t communicate clearly. I think the crew will find a way to communicate with “May” in the next few weeks.

ML31

Mae was communicating perfectly well. It was Tilly who was irrational about it. Even AFTER it became obvious what it was. They may find a way to communicate with the entity later but they had a perfect opportunity to talk to it already and decided they didn’t want to.

Yeah yeah yeah nice episode WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET AN ORVILLE REVIEW??

This is pretty obnoxious. Last week another person demanded our Discovery review when it wasn’t posted right away. I don’t know if you think you’re being funny. But demanding a review from a website that offers its content for free is just not cool. Our regular Orville reviewer is on vacation, shocking as it may seem, people have lives. We’ll have a review posted in due time from another staff member. Your comment is off topic, so I’m locking it, but leaving this here as a warning to others. There’s no call to comment simply to demand/beg/ask/whatever about a review. Rest assured we’ll post them as we can.

dsgsdg

Good episode, not quite as good as the more ‘Trek episode of last week but better than most (all?) of season 1. I like how they are trying hard to fix canon mistakes.. keep going.. keep tweaking the Klingons as there’s still some way to go visually.

Denny C

A, B, C AND D stories? This is how they started to go off the rails last season.

Oh, and is it really necessary to have the camera spin into as many shots as possible? Scenes opened upside down, sideways, upside down, zoomed in and tilted. It’s like being at Six Flags.

Thorny

Well, the C and D stories were basically one. (Klingons and Section 31). A being the Spock storyline and B being the Tilly/May storyline.

FrostUK

Why the hell would the lights turn off and on repeatedly during a half marathon? Talk about a health and safety nightmare! Saru, did you sign off on the risk assessment for this activity? Just because you’re frequently tasked with dangerous missions, it doesn’t mean you can create additional risks on the starship! Saru! I’m going straight to Pike with this! You wait until he hears about this! No wonder it looks like you’re dying in the next episode!!