Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Shares Its Dreams In “If Memory Serves”

“If Memory Serves”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, Episode 8 – Debuted Thursday, March 7th
Written by Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie
Directed by T.J. Scott

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

With a strong tie-in to classic Star Trek, “If Memory Serves” pays off in many ways, from character, to mysteries, to canon connections, and more. Ethan Peck is impressive as he steps into the role of Spock, helped along by strong chemistry with show lead Sonequa Martin-Green.

“If Memory Serves” — Ep#208 — Pictured (l-r): Ethan Peck as Spock; Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham (CBS)

[WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW]

RECAP

A night to remember

To emphasize the relationship this episode has to Star Trek canon, the “previously” segment recaps the original Star Trek pilot “The Cage.” The quick PowerPoint-like guide reminds us of illusion-inducing Talosians, Vina the lone human, and the visit of the USS Enterprise to Talos with Spock and Pike. A nice transition from Jeffrey Hunter to Anson Mount leads into Pike’s personal log, where he expresses concern over Burnham’s search for Spock. Foreshadowing where things are headed, he is also growing more distrustful of Section 31, and for good reason.

The feeling is mutual over on Leland’s ship as he confers with a group of Starfleet badmirals (notably, not including Cornwell) who don’t trust Pike due to his connection to Burnham, who has already been deemed a mutineer … again. While we may be used to Section 31 as a rogue operation, here in Star Trek: Discovery—at least for the time being—they are very much part of Starfleet. Her escape with Spock last week makes Michael as much of a fugitive as he, still suspected of murdering his way out of a psych ward. And none of the Starfleet brass can see they are being played by Agent—and former Terran Emperor—Georgiou. What part of evil universe do these people not get?

Infinite dimwits in infinite combinations

As the Discovery is being kept from the search for Spock, they are ordered to search the scene of last week’s time-bending shuttle trip to find debris from the squid-probe that was modified in the future. Tilly is committed to scanning all that can be scanned with her trademark enthusiasm but comes up empty. Also, there is yet another new mystery to deal with as someone has been sending out large unauthorized transmissions from the ship. Inspector Saru is on the case. So perhaps there is an enemy within? (See what I did there?)

Nicely, Pike is back in full Captain-mode and he makes it clear he is not going to forget about Burnham and Spock, telling the bridge “I won’t ignore a crisis involving my officers.” In a scene that mirrors Dr. Boyce playing bartender in “The Cage,” Pike tries to bond with Tyler over some drinks, to get him on board. But Tyler—who has revealed his relationship with Burnham was not always completely professional—flips the script, warning Pike off the search as it will only draw the attention of Section 31. To say Tyler’s loyalties and motivations are divided is an understatement, leaving Pike in a quandary.

I call this the “Mojave Mule-kick,” drink enough and you’ll forget you were ever a Klingon

To forgive is to forget

Burnham and Spock’s story picks up during their trip to Talos IV, where the computer finally reveals travel there is strictly forbidden. The danger of this planet featured in the first Star Trek pilot “The Cage” is very much on display as the shuttle comes out of warp headed straight into the event horizon of a black hole, with another impressive visual effects sequence. Spock seems truly out of his Vulcan mind as he wrestles control of the shuttle from Burnham to plunge them straight in. Of course, it was all an illusion—or, as Michael suspects, a test—but these Talosians have a pretty effective way of keeping out the riff-raff.

The surface of Talos is as barren as a post-apocalyptic wasteland should be. It doesn’t look like they have had any luck in the three years since “The Cage” in repopulating the surface with a slave workforce, but the singing blue plants are still holding on, with an impressive visual update for the HD era. Soon we meet a human woman who explains she is a permanent resident of this planet and an “old friend” of Captain Pike, and of course, it’s Vina. She recognizes Spock, and seems unaware of his condition, indicating that the Talosians may not have known they were coming, but it finally dawns on Burnham that Spock brought them there to get help from the telepathic Talosians, who offer their assistance.

Ever feel like you’re being watched?

The Talosians finally diagnose what is wrong with Spock: He is experiencing time as a “fluid, instead of a linear construct,” which doesn’t exactly mesh with a mind vigorously trained in logic. They are willing to help, but only at a price. They want Michael to reveal the memory of her childhood estrangement and the “wound” she inflicted on Spock because to these big-headed voyeurs, that kind of stuff is their version of Netflix and chill.

Inside Spock’s mind, Michael sees his first vision of the Red Angel from their childhood, where he saved her life after being shown a premonition of her getting killed by giant some spider-y monster. She also witnesses Spock visiting with the Angel more recently, where through a mind-meld he was shown another premonition, this time with the core worlds of the Federation being wiped out by squid ships, looking suspiciously like the probe from last week that was modified 500 years in the future.

Burnham is also shown a flashback to Spock’s recent time at a Starfleet psych ward, after Starfleet found out his visions of red signals weren’t the ravings of a madman but actually premonitions. Unfortunately, his doctor prescribed a dose of involuntary Section 31 questioning. A quick round of Suus Mahna and some Vulcan neck pinches—and significantly, no murdering—got him out of that bind. With that new evidence, it seems clear that Section 31 set him up to look like a killer, and appears to have murdered three people to make their case convincing.

The Red Angel is ready for its first close-up

The Talosian-assisted journeys into Spock’s brain do the trick and he is finally able to talk. He drops some exposition, moving the Red Angel arc forward by confirming it is a time-traveling human, warning of a “possible future.” But in service of the season’s mystery arc, the suit has a quantum field Spock was not able to penetrate, keeping the guessing game going. And because that’s how this show rolls, Spock reveals that only Burnham could help him on Talos IV as only  someone who knew him like she does could help, and apparently his parents didn’t fit the bill. As for their issues, the two fall into sibling bickering, but it isn’t like the fun banter she has with Saru. Michael continues to be wracked with guilt over their childhood, but Spock makes it clear he is “not here to absolve” her. Both Sonequa Martin-Green and Ethan Peck are excellent, showing an instant chemistry, albeit one as icy as an Andorian winter.

When it comes to Burnham revealing her painful past, Vina reminds us that while they have been playing nice, the Talosians have a dark side, warning Michael, “You don’t want them to force payment, it’s awful.” The big secret that Michael couldn’t even tell Amanda earlier in the season was finally revealed to have happened that same fateful night she ran away from home. It turns out Spock had become quite attached to his older foster sister, and in order to keep him safe and stop him from following her, she had to sever his growing emotional bond with her. Cleverly edited with both the younger and older versions of the characters playing out the scene, we see Burnham drop the bomb on kid Spock, telling him he is incapable of love and calling him a “weird little half-breed” to drive home the point. While maybe not as bad as calling him a pointed-eared hobgoblin, it certainly left a mark.

After the vision, the adult Spock recognizes what she was trying to do, calling it “primitive, but effective.” Her apology falls on pointed deaf ears. Spock even thanks her, saying this moment was a catalyst for him, helping him reject his human half and submerge himself in logic. His only regret is idolizing her in the first place. So yeah, these two are not resolving their issues any time soon.

That’s no moon

Gone, but not forgotten

This episode finally picks back up with Dr. Hugh Culber, resurrected and saved from the mycelial network three episodes ago, but very much not back to his old self. Try as he might, his partner Paul Stamets can’t get Hugh to reset his life back aboard Discovery. The fact that they keep running into Tyler—yeah, the guy who murdered him—isn’t exactly making the transition back any easier for Hugh. Whichever quartermaster put them on the same deck needs to be reassigned to scrubbing the warp field coils.  

Culber is clearly in a lot of pain and if there ever was ship in need of a counselor, it is the USS Discovery. Tapping into the theme for the episode, Culber acknowledges he has the memories of the man who was killed, but he cannot connect them to his feelings. To him, “that is just who I was.” It is heartbreaking watching Paul Stamets witness the miracle of his partner’s return slipping away in anger. Discovery is not resetting this relationship and these two actors are masterfully carrying their performances into the new places being asked of them.

Can’t we just go back to the synchronized teeth brushing?

Instead of continuing to take out his rage on the person who cares about him the most, Culber heads to the mess hall to throw around some more food and vent on a certain former Klingon. Tyler can only say he was sorry, explaining it wasn’t really him that snapped Hugh’s neck like a twig. Culber isn’t placated and attacks Tyler, demanding he bring Voq to the surface. This is so out of character for this healer-turned-bruiser that even he notices, saying “I don’t even know who I am anymore.” (“Who do you think you’re talking to?” Tyler aptly responds.) The heartbreak continues later when Culber tells Paul that the man he was—the man Paul loves with all his heart—is dead, and he is not coming back. Devastating.

And speaking of changed people, Saru—who is first officer and in charge of ship’s discipline—lets the whole Culber/Tyler fight happen. Acting more Klingon than Kelpien, he sees the confrontation as a form of therapy for both of these characters with twisted-up identities. Even after explaining to Pike that there was no regulation for the crazy dynamic, Saru is admonished and the Captain suggests that Saru, too, isn’t the same as he used to be. Maybe there is a darker side to this new post-Vahar’ai Saru. It’s a good thing that Discovery is exploring the consequences from these big character moments from earlier in the season.

Dance lessons on the Disco get dark real fast

Thanks for the memories

The episode’s two main storylines begin to converge when Vina pays a visit to her old cellie Chris, courtesy of Talosian long distance. For Pike it is an emotional reunion with a woman he reluctantly left behind years ago; for her, it is a confrontation with the real man her illusory partner is based on. Now she reveals herself to the actual Chris Pike, saying the image of her is “as real as it needs to be.” Discovery just loves complicated relationships and this one is a doozy. This brief scene was beautifully shot by keeping it simple, with Australian actress Melissa George impressing as she steps into this iconic role and gives it some growth.

The Talosian call becomes a party line as Burnham and Spock join in to brief Pike on the Red Angel visions and his exoneration for murder. Tapping back into the theme of the season, Spock asks Pike to take him “on faith” that they must “follow the Red Angel’s design” to avoid the coming catastrophe. Section 31’s motivations are revealed; they want Spock’s knowledge of the future, so Pike and the Discovery must get to him first.

New illusion, who dis?

In order to get to Talos IV while avoiding Section 31, they prepare to use the spore drive for the first time since retrieving Hugh Culber from the mycelial network. However, the drive fails, with all indications it has been sabotaged. Coupled with the unauthorized transmissions earlier, it is clear someone on board the ship is up to no good and of course Section 31 agent Tyler is the only suspect, thanks to some incriminating evidence. Maybe he doesn’t even know he is doing it, like when he Voq-ed out in season one. This is turning out to be a really bad day for Voqler, as no one trusts him and he is confined to his quarters. But the smart credits for ship saboteur are on Airiam, who was surreptitiously infected by the futurized squid-probe last week. Either no one has noticed, or her crewmates think it’s roboist to ask why her eyes periodically glow with three red dots.

I found this text, who is “Starbase 11 hottie”?

The captain’s plan B is warp to Starbase 11—Pike’s sad future home, btw—and pull over at the last minute to “run silent” to Talos IV. But Leland and Section 31 are too crafty to fall for such an obvious trick and are hot on their tail all the way, with both ships having dueling transporter locks, threatening to tear the landing party apart—an interesting technical challenge not seen before in Trek. With a tip from Vina, Pike lets go and Spock and Burnham arrive in the belly of the Section 31 beast … or do they? If you listened closely, the transporter sound was very “The Cage”-y, which was your clue the Talosians pulled the old beam-up-the-fake-people-while-the-real-people-were-on-a-hidden-shuttle trick. The ruse was topped by the Talosians showing they are fans of Vaudevillian humor with fake Burnham and Spock recreating the old “say goodnight” routine from Laugh-In.

With the real Spock and Burnham safely on board the USS Discovery, the ship is now set to the task of changing their fate in which all sentient life in the galaxy gets eradicated—so they are now totally on board with #TeamRedAngel, pitting them against Section 31. Harboring Spock and Burnham and traveling to Talos IV makes them “the most wanted ship in the galaxy.” The excitement for the rest of this season rises as they set off to save the galaxy, again. And in a fun little moment to wrap things up, Pike doesn’t even get to finish with one of his trademark rousing speeches. Cut off as he was about to give the crew the option to step off, we all agree with Detmer’s simple: “Course heading, sir?”

But I had this whole cool speech worked out, oh well

ANALYSIS

Finding Spock

While he was introduced last week, this episode was our first true taste of Ethan Peck’s Spock on Star Trek: Discovery. Ever since it was established in the series opener that the central character of Michael Burnham was an adopted part of the Sarek family, Spock has hovered in the background. Announcing Spock as part of the second season garnered the show a lot of needed buzz, culminating in a Super Bowl teaser last month, but incorporating the franchise’s most iconic character comes with risks.

Of course, co-creator and showrunner Alex Kurtzman has been down this road before as co-producer and co-writer of the first two J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movies, but that came with the endorsement of Leonard Nimoy and the relative safety of an alternative timeline. In Discovery, Kurtzman and his team are playing with the live ammunition of the prime timeline canon. And so far, so good. This Spock feels like Spock, but not entirely. The show is making good on its stated goal to fill in the gap between the Spock we see in “The Cage” and the events of the rest of The Original Series, roughly ten years later. We can see how he is still finding his way through balancing his human and Vulcan sides, both in how the character is written and ably played by Ethan Peck.

The brief scenes with Spock and Pike showed a particularly interesting dynamic and it was a delight to see Spock’s familiarity with his captain, talking his language about “riding into danger” and even cracking the smallest of smiles. We can see hints of why, a decade later, Spock would risk everything to bring Pike back to Talos IV after a crippling injury. We can also see his inclination to form bonds with his crew, something that pays off with Kirk and company in years to come.

Bringing Spock in may be a stunt, and dragging out the search for Spock for half a season was getting tiresome, but it was worth the wait, and so far it is enriching the show.

It’s not just singing flowers that amuse me

Is that all there is?

Another item on the show’s producers’ to-do list is explaining why we never heard of Spock’s foster sister Michael Burnham before. Of course, Spock never mentioned his fiancé until she appeared on the viewscreen in “Amok Time,”  his parents until they showed up on the ship in “Journey to Babel,” or his half-brother until Star Trek V. This is actually a question that doesn’t really need to be answered, but they are determined to do so.

And in this case, the jury is still out. There was a lot of build-up to the revelation of the source of Burnham and Spock’s estrangement. It was something so shocking she couldn’t share it with her parents and so juicy the Talosians wanted to add it to their creepy watchlist of painful memories, but in the end, the revelation was entirely predictable and underwhelming.

An older sibling calling the younger one names? Really? As family secrets go, the revelation in “Lethe” that Sarek kept Burnham from her dream of attending the Vulcan Science Academy in favor of Spock makes this pale in comparison. Are we truly to believe this sibling spat changed the trajectory of Spock’s life? And on that note, once again does everything and everyone have to revolve around Michael Burnham? Yes, she is the lead of the show, but does that mean the entire galaxy needs to be obsessed with her?

This may all be revolving around a question that doesn’t need to be answered, but now that they have opened this door, let’s hope there is more to it than this.

Crying is not logical

Opening the cage

Another stated goal for the second season was to tie the show more into the canon of Star Trek, which of course all the stuff with Spock is doing. Going to Talos IV was also a big part of that, with “If Memory Serves” being the most direct tie to a specific episode from the franchise so far. And Discovery did an excellent job of respectfully bringing a world created in 1964 to life in 2019 in terms of visuals, with the characters, and even down to a generous amount of musical and sound stings evoking that original pilot.

The quarry location provided a nice update to the wasteland set created in a soundstage back in the day, and they threw some money at the repertoire of those singing blue plants by adding dancing. The character makeup was updated respectfully, minus the signature split backsides on the rear of the Talosian’s heads. The visit to Talos didn’t shy away from the creepiness of this race and their fascination with collecting memories and dreams. They may not be locking up our heroes in cages, but they are not exactly friendly either.

Is it still Talos if the back don’t crack?

One quibble could be that the main Talosian (ably played by Rob Brownstein) was a bit too robust for what is supposed to be a frail race, dying off in their underground isolation. For this reason, the original show cast only slight women to portray the Talosians. But perhaps in the following years, they have started a new workout regime, after abandoning their plan to use a slave race to repopulate the surface. And when Vina showed her true form, they played it a bit safe, not revealing much and even looking a bit better than she did in “The Cage.” There was an opportunity here to have shown something truly horrific enough for her to reject the rest of the galaxy for her isolation under the thumb of these strange telepaths.

“If Memory Serves” also clarifies a bit of canon regarding “The Cage.” As the standalone episode was never part of the original run of the series, it can be argued that only the elements seen in “The Menagerie” were part of Star Trek canon. The main difference being that “The Cage” ended with Vina being given an illusory version of Christopher Pike as a companion. In “The Menagerie” this scene was repurposed to show how the Talosians had given the real (and crippled) Pike the illusion of health. Now “If Memory Serves” firmly establishes that Vina was given an illusion of Pike three years earlier. And in a decade, she will be joined by the real thing.

One thing that remains somewhat unclear is there was no mention of General Order 7, which was mentioned in “The Menagerie.” While it was noted in this Discovery episode that travel to Talos IV was forbidden, there was no mention of Starfleet’s only order that comes with the penalty of death, which sort of seems like an important detail. It’s possible it will come up later in the season, or perhaps the prohibition adds on the ultimate penalty later. It is also possible that the producers of the show didn’t want to discuss capital punishment on a show that is trying hard to lean into Star Trek’s progressive optimism.

But all in all, this trip to Talos IV was—dare I say it—a dream come true.

Do you guys take requests?

Memorable

“If Memory Serves” was a risky endeavor that paid off. A lot led up to this moment and clearly, a lot of hard work went into making it happen, with everyone in front of and behind the camera putting in top-notch work. Even though they were new to Discovery, the writing team of Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie showed a deep understanding of the show and franchise, and were able to develop a number of characters. With memories as the episode’s recurring theme, we learn a lot about these people. Michael is haunted by hers, Culber can’t recognize the man he was, Tyler is struggling with his competing loyalties, and Spock’s memories of the future are weighing him down.

While at times he would use some of the distracting camerawork that has been overused this season, for the most part, director T.J. Scott seemed to take his cue from the connection to classic Trek by going old-school with his style, giving moments the time needed to land, and trusting his actors to maintain the drama. This respect for what came before was carried through across the board, especially with the production design, sound design, and musical score.

With a satisfying mix of emotion, suspense, lore and a little bit of humor, “If Memory Serves” is a triumph that confirms the sophomore season’s tweaks are working. Discovery’s second season continues to build the excitement. Now with Spock on board, the big mystery of the Red Angel is finally heating up in interesting ways. With a number of secondary mysteries also humming along, the show is keeping the anticipation high for the next installment.

Wait, what was that about the death penalty for visiting this rock?

Random thoughts, connections, easter eggs, and more

  • This is the first Discovery episode scripted by the writing team of Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie, who most recently created, and executive produced the 2018 ABC time travel show The Crossing.
  • This is the second Discovery episode directed by T.J. Scott, who helmed the first season episode “The Wolf Inside.”
  • This is the fourth appearance of the Andorian Admiral Shukar (Riley Gilchrist) and third appearance of Tellarite Admiral Gorch (Harry Judge). This was the first appearance of the Vulcan Admiral Patar (Tara Nicodemo).
  • Sara Mitich—who played Airiam in season one—returns as the new human character Lt. Nilsson, making her second appearance of the season
  • With a runtime of 54 minutes this is the 3rd longest episode this season.
  • The episode featured Pike’s first log narration. It was a personal log and not a captain’s log.
  • Stardate given as 1532.9.
  • While it has been hinted at, this episode appears to confirm that Section 31’s “Control” is an artificial intelligence. An AI called “Control” was also part of the 2017 David Mack novel Star Trek: Section 31: Control.
  • The search for debris would mean the USS Discovery returned to Kaminar; strangely, there are still no mentions of if they—or anyone from the Federation—are keeping tabs on the aftermath of Saru’s Vahar’ai revolution from two episodes back.
  • The upgraded corridor set is getting a real workout, with more meetings and “walk and talks” than an average episode of The West Wing.
  • Talos IV location scenes used same Ontario quarry used for planet Harlak in “The Wolf Inside.” Lafarge Quarry may be to Discovery what Bronson Canyon and Vasquez Rocks were for the various Trek series shot in Los Angeles.
  • Michael’s comment about being “on the other side of the looking glass,” is another reference to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a book Amanda read to both her and Spock as they were children.
  • Young Michael ran away to the Vulcan’s Forge, first seen in TAS “Yesteryear” and again in ENT “The Forge.”
  • Young Michael calling Spock a “half-breed”—and his strong reaction to it—will be echoed later in his life in two TOS episodes: “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” and “This Side of Paradise.”
  • Airiam’s data core audit reveals “the probe used SQL injections” indicating the database language developed in the 1970s is still in use in the 23rd century.
  • Burnham’s Discovery shuttle has an onboard transporter, a feature not seen on standard TOS or TNG shuttles, but was seen on runabouts introduced in DS9.
  • Hovering drones were seen cleaning up after the fight in the mess hall. They might be standard Starfleet issue or they could be custom equipment from Jett Reno (she seemed quite handy with making drones in “Brother”), who hasn’t been seen for a few episodes.
  • It is established that Starbase 11 is 2 light-years from Talos IV, which seems dangerously close. Starbase 11 is where Spock picked up Pike to take him to Talos IV in TOS “The Menagerie,” it was also the setting for TOS “Court Martial,” and was visually referenced in DSC “Context is for Kings.”
  • The TNG episode “The Outrageous Okona” uses the same “say goodnight” gag, which Data attributes to Burns and Allen, however, this appears to be apocryphal.
  • The mind scanner Section 31 was planning to use on Spock in the previous episode was revealed to be based on Terran technology, apparently courtesy of Georgiou.
  • Georgiou reveals the Mirror Universe’s Talosians tried their illusion tricks on her and she “blew them and their stupid singing plants off the face of the planet.”

The Roombas were created by man. They evolved….and they have a plan


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.

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Tony

Teriffic article, and the Easter egg section was cool as well.

ihitch10

Awesome episode

Stan

Point of order. The “Say Goodnight” gag is from George Burns and Gracie Allen, who later gave their names to a pair of time-traveling whales.

Actually that is not correct. We had a discussion about this among the editors while going over Tony’s review. It’s a long standing pop culture myth:
http://legendsrevealed.com/entertainment/2012/10/22/did-gracie-allen-ever-actually-say-goodnight-gracie/

Someone even went to the trouble of putting out a group of videos on YouTube that document every sign-off from the Burns and Allen show, just to demonstrate she never did it.

Stan

There’s just no video proof. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen on stage or on the radio.

Disinvited

Stan,

Except it was researched in radio archives and the line doesn’t exist there either.

Wikipedia cites Burns and Allen’s writers as writing an episode of THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES where Max Baer says the line “Good night, Jethro” as his and Buddy’s homage to the old bit, and I have a hazy recollection that it occurred on TBH but have been unable to verify it.

ST:EXP

Bizarre logic. The whole point is regardless of if it’s a pulp culture myth, it’s a cultural truism and which is why it was in there as a final line.

That’s like a different franchise having the character say “Beam Me Up Scotty”.

Even if Kirk never said that in 60’s show… it’s just accepted as an axiom… and it’s used as a reference.

it’s just accepted as an axiom… and it’s used as a reference.

Of course. However it is also it is also correct that the bit is also reference is to Laugh In. In a sense both are correct, one is the pop culture axiom, the other is something that’s more definitive. Since the original comment was approached as “error finding,” it got a response in the same mode.

Douglass Abramson

“Goodnight Gracie” is a cultural shorthand, like “Beam Me up Scotty”. Neither line is a straight quote, but both are instantly recognizable and are thematically “true” to their pop cultural inspiration.

HubcapDave

Same thing for “Play it again, Sam.”, or “Luke, I am your father.”

Kevin

Also in STAR TREK IV Spock says the words “if memory serves”.

Jack

And in STII.

Sam

Yep. Dubious flirtation with nuclear fission reactors. My favorite ST movie.

Douglass Abramson

And to paraphrase the good Doctor, Spock wasn’t exactly functioning on all thrusters. 😁

Jonboc

…I know it from Laugh-In…Dick Martin’s weekly sign -off. Dan says “Goodnight”…looks at Dick Martin…”say goodnight, Dick”. To which, he replies, into the camera “Goodnight, Dick.” lol.
The gag played much better on Laugh-In!

Alan

This was the best episode of Disco so far. Wow! I disliked every episode this season besides “New Eden” but this was great! Maybe the writers do know what they’re doing!

Highlights: Subdued Tilly, Spock interrupting Michael, Pike a vulnerable but still very capable captain. Iconic Vengeance vs Enterprise scene mimicked with S31 vs Disco. Sound effects, especially the plants. The Talosians. The interstellar supermassive black hole. The intro. Culber revival consequences. Captains log. Dialog scene shot correctly. WOW!

Minor minor dislikes: Dr. Culber not killing VoqTyler. The uninteresting Red Angel mystery plot thread.

Big dislike but can overlook it: Burnham hurting Spock’s feelings as a kid. Lame but a very Lost thing to do where you set up an interesting thread and back yourself into a corner with the reveal.

MysticalDigtial

Honestly the hurt feelings thing to me felt devastating, your own sister, seriously told you that your feelings, your emotions, everything that connects the two of you is nothing, is a lie, and that she is leaving.

For a kid, that could be absolutely crushing and damaging. Especially ‘half-breed’ is just so painful.

steve

I agree. I have had an experience like this. It stick with and haunts a “soul”. All the logical reasoning of why the exchange happened can’t erase the pain.

kmart

But it seems like purloined territory, given Sybok’s rejection of Spock, unless they’re treating that cut scene as grist for the DSC mill. I swear, unless Sybok IS the red angel, this is gonna remain the new question mark I put on the show, at least until I see this season for myself.

Duncan MacLeod

Kirk obviously felt it was a pretty bad thing to say that Spock wouldn’t believe of his captain when Kirk programmed it into his android doppelganger

Corylea

And she didn’t JUST call him a “weird little half-breed;” she told him that he was incapable of love, right after he said he loved her. It wasn’t just a few names; Burnham was eviscerating him.

ML31

Perhaps so, MD but as a story telling device it’s tired. Also, it helps if the audience is invested somehow in the characters for the ploy to sink in further. I’m forced to admit, now that Spock as finally showed up, I care a teeny bit about the Burnham-Spock thing. That is more a credit to the Spock character than the Burnham character. But if it were to end now and never get picked up on I wouldn’t feel like I missed anything.

Marja

That little boy though

Marja

Yes, I agree. Words hurt more than many people can imagine. If Spock had already been hearing that crap in school, then goes home to a trusted sister for emotional succor, when she “turned” on him it would have been devastating.

German Trekkie

Well… it goes further than that, doesn’t it? It was not just some name calling (which most of us know is common between siblings). We learn that by that point, Spock not only accepted her, but idolized her and took her as anchor for his human side to develop.
She severed that. She pushed him to adhere to being fully vulcan and purge his human side. So it is not just name calling.

The only thing i would complain about (and maybe is the reason that the reveal does not resonate that well with a number of people) is that we should have seen more of the positive development between Michael had on Spock, becoming close and really appreciate each other.

ML31

“we should have seen more of the positive development between Michael had on Spock, becoming close and really appreciate each other.”

That might have helped. But once again, it’s due to the limitations of the mini-season.

TrekFan

There is no such thing as a ‘mini season’ … this is the norm for shows these days. Gone are the days of a 26 episode season. If you want to talk mini-season, ARROW will have a short final season with 8 episodes. These days, a 12-14 episode season is the norm.

Spiked Canon

almost all episodic shows are 20+ still. Only the streaming shows are shortened to 10-15

Mike Williams

And HBO. And Showtime. And Start. And AMC. And just about every other series on TV that isn’t on network television. Not just streaming.

ML31

A mini season is anything below what has been established as below the industry norm as 22+. Nearly every streaming show have mini-seasons. Many cable shows do and a few over the air ones as well. I just heard about Arrow ending with a shortened season. But it has been described as, “shortened”. So their final season will be a mini-season as well.

TrekFan67

That is the norm for streaming series therefore it is not a mini season. Streaming services are not network TV so their standards to not fit with streaming services. A full season on streaming services is anywhere between 12-14 episodes.

ML31

It is, but for a TV series in general 12-14 episodes is a mini, or shortened season.

TrekFan67

Once again. It’s not for streaming. This is a regular season. Not a mini season. You cannot compare network TV with streaming services. Apples and oranges. A mini season would be under 12 episodes. Over 12 means it is a regular season. DISC is on a streaming service therefore this is a regular season… Not mini.

Afterburn

Not only that but a LOT Of cable series’ have 10-15 episode seasons. From Walking Dead to Game of Thrones to True Detective– even Anson Mount’s “Hell on Wheels” had just 10 episodes in Seasons 1-3, and 13 and 14 for 4 and 5 respectively.

If you like your crappy network sitcoms, you’ll get 20-25 episodes a year.

ML31

So you are saying there are not a lot of crappy cable and streaming shows?

ML31

And once again, TV in general has 20+ episode seasons. Hence, anything less, even if all the streaming shows have less, are mini-seasons.

Tiger2

Its not a mini-season for streaming though, that’s just considered a normal season for them or else you would have shows that had as many episodes as network shows in streaming. They don’t have them at all because its not the standard.

ML31

Regardless, TV is 20+ episodes. Sure, the trend is go go less. But less is not necessarily more.

TrekFan67

Sorry, but you cannot compare the 2. Streaming is always short seasons. Network is longer. Streaming is not technically TV, it’s more of a web thing. You can watch it on your TV but you assessment is quite incorrect sir. And the norm is that you usually have to wait up to a year for the next season unlike TV which is only a few months. Again, that would like comparing apples and oranges just because they are both circular.

ML31

TrekFan67, you are not wrong. But many do put the two in the same category. I do not think it right or fair, but that is what is happening. Since it is happening, it feels proper to compensate a bit by calling them mini-seasons.

TrekFan67

Well to be honest, ML, you have been the only person that I see calling it a mini season. Not in any articles, not in any reports, not from any other posters…just you. So I don’t understand why you would feel compelled to call it a mini season. But hey, if it helps you sleep at night,knock yourself out buddy!

ML31

Considering that most shows are 20+ and these are 10-14… Then I do not see how one cannot consider the shorter seasons as mini. Same reason those things were called Short Treks. Because they were shorter!

TrekFan67

Because shows on streaming services are normally 12-15 episodes per season. This is the norm. It is not a shorter season, it’s a normal season. If DISC was on network TV, there would be 20-24 episodes per season. That is the norm for network TV. Then again, streaming services is not technically TV. I don’t understand why you are the only person that doesn’t get this and argues the point.

ML31

It’s normal for streaming. It is not normal for television. I do not understand why this is such a difficult thing for you or that you feel compelled to keep it going.

TrekFan67

Because it isn’t a mini season. This is a regular season. Just like anything else on a streaming service. What don’t you get about that? It’s NOT tv. Why do you feel it necessary to argue this point when it is clear.
It is not on network TV. Fact.
It is a streaming service show. Fact.
Network TV has 20 to 24 episodes per season. Fact
Streaming series are 10-15 episodes. Fact.
Claiming that DISC has mini seasons is therefore incorrect. It’s like actually comparing apples and oranges because they are both round.

ML31

At this point nothing new is being stated here. It feels like you just want to argue for arguing sake. I’m dropping my end of this until you offer up something new. Go get your last word in.

TrekFan67

You’re using my line. Dude, you are the only one that sees it that way. I guess you cannot admit when you are wrong about something. I’ve given you the facts. As has others.

TrekFan67

You seem to be the only one thinking that though.

Mike Williams

Network is NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox. Other television networks are considered cable, not network. Therefore, there are more than just Network and Streaming as most all cable series also have a limited number of episodes, far less than the 26 episode runs of network shows.

Tiger2

For network TV it is. But yes for streaming 13 episodes is the norm. Many shows its 10 and under. Its not the same thing as a network TV show. Its just totally different standard. If Discovery was on CBS, it wouldn’t have less than 20 episodes.

Marja

But if you think of total minutes per episode we may get more minutes of drama by streaming Discovery. 50 minutes for an hour show is very unusual for network TV, which usually allows only 42 minutes, last I heard.

ML31

Marja, unusual is an understatement. It just doesn’t happen anymore. You are correct that the episodes dent to be in the 50-60 minute range on streaming. (HBO often gets closer to the hour or 28-29 minutes for their half hours) However those 17 extra minutes are more than made up for from the 10 more episodes. Although Discovery has had a large share of 40-45 minute episodes…

Corinthian7

You guys should try being British! Full seasons can typically be 6 episodes and a mini can be a low as 2!

Herb Flynn

Actually, ARROW will have 10 episodes for it’s final season.

Ashley

I’ll admit, I was also expecting something a bit more dramatic to cause the rift between them, but that’s on me. This actually works well if you consider the context. They’ve discussed a lot of the backstory already. In episode 3 of this season, Amanda admits she wasn’t a good mother, and to appease Sarek she emotionally withdrew from Spock. This leaves only Michael as an emotional outlet and emotional support. So for her to say what she said after that, it would leave Spock with no outlet, no support, and only logic and the Vulcan ways to fall back on. And it would really mess him up emotionally. Now, if Amanda hadn’t revealed all that prior to this reveal, then sure it might be underwhelming. This was never meant to be some big spectacle, so maybe framing it as such was the mistake. It does make sense though, and follows through that story arc.

Culber killing Tyler would have been a massive mistake for many reasons. 1) It would be out of character. And I’m fully considering that he’s essentially a different character already, but he still has the same memories. He acknowledges the disconnect, but his memories are still there and still a part of him, and I doubt the part of him that’s a doctor would allow him to just turn around and murder someone. Given his identity issues, and frustration, I think just fighting him was appropriate. 2) Again, he has the same memories, and he’s not dumb. He knows the consequences of killing a fellow officer. 3) It wouldn’t accomplish anything. He’d still be dealing with his identity issues. 4) It would be much more interesting to have Culber befriend Tyler. There was a great exchange between them… “I don’t even know who I am anymore.” “Who do you think you’re talking to?” That right there shows they both have more to gain from talking with one another than fighting. Culber, as Tyler’s former doctor, is very aware of what Tyler went through. Certainly realizing that, and relating, would ground him more than killing. They might even help each other heal. It’s just better storytelling potential in the long run.

Ari300

This was supposed to be a spoiler free review? Are you kidding?

Only the top is. Just below the spoiler free review you’ll see there’s a spoiler warning, as is normal for our reviews.

Captain Danno

Only the top paragraph is spoiler free. Anthony put a big warning that spoilers follow beyond that point…

Marja

The ‘spoiler-free review’ is, like, three sentences long and appears above the regular review.

ML31

Yeah… I found the headings perplexing for quite a while. The “Spoiler Free Review” section ought to be clearly labeled. I thought it weird to tell me it’s spoiler free then have a spoiler warning. After those first few sentences there ought to be a new title… “Review with Spoilers from here on”.

Captain Danno

Really great episode. I was pleasantly surprised that they leaned into this episode as a direct sequel to “The Cage” by showing actual clips from the classic episode in the intro. That was cool and helps me better appreciate that the visual reboot isn’t intended to erase or disrespect what has come before. Well done!

Spiked Canon

I liked it too but didn’t like the music bed

ML31

Yeah, I felt that was unnecessary and would be very confusing to someone unfamiliar with The Cage. Hell I am VERY familiar with it and I found it difficult to decipher. A standard recap of the series would have been fine and a line drop here or there would have been plenty.

TrekFan

I respectfully disagree. I think it worked quite well. My GF isn’t a follower of the original Trek… but said that it that it helped her understand the link to the original.
I am sorry you had a difficult time deciphering it. Maybe you were overthinking it.

ML31

Mrs. ML 31 didn’t have a clue what the hell was going on. It was very badly planned out. I had to pause and explain. (She doesn’t watch the show but did this time only because I had been looking forward to this particular one) I strongly suspect your GF already had a semblance of The Cage already. One would need to be clairvoyant to figure out what went down from that jumbled mess.

TrekFan

My GF knew about who Kirk and Spock were. She had no idea about who Pike was before this season of Discovery. But she said she was able to figure it out and the connection very easily. I am sorry that you and the Mrs. had a difficult time sorting it out.

ML31

OK. I’m glad your GF is clairvoyant. Do her mental powers also allow her to get you to comprehend the ability to decipher exaggerating to illustrate points? If so ask her to use that ability on yourself.

TrekFan

What are you talking about? No need to be an ass just because you and your wife cannot figure it out. It really wasn’t that difficult to decipher. Doesn’t seem like anyone else had a hard time with it.

Who cares

Told a few non-Trek fans about it, they thought it was neat, like the episode of the new Hawaii Five-0 which featured original series credits, and an original series criminal played by the original actor. So yeah, this kind of stuff isn’t some grand mystery.

ML31

It was cute. But it sure didn’t really convey the events from “The Cage”. It basically just said Pike has been there before. Little else.

Who cares

Your entire problem seems to be that people didn’t automatically agree with you. This stuff about your wife, frankly I doubt that even happened, I cannot imagine anyone dumb enough to be confused by it. I believe you invented that for drama because nobody agreed with you. It isn’t a new concept, its been done before, like the previously mentioned Hawaii 5-0 episode.

ML31

What you just did there, Who Cares, is called wishing something was true when there is no evidence it is. Just because you did not see it that way means no one else did either. You and I and all the fans here got it because we all knew the story. Feel free to think that everyone who sees things differently than you do are dumb. I’m sure that makes you the person in the room everyone loves to be around. At least, in your way of thinking.

ML31

” No need to be an ass just because you and your wife cannot figure it out. ”

Says the person who either doesn’t realize he is being an ass or is intentionally ignoring that he is being an ass.

That was a very pleasant memory ride. They make it their own and I absolutely loved it. One of the very best of Discovery. I really dig this season, and I sincerely hope they won’t shortcut the season’s ending.

Marja

It was jarring on first viewing. Second time, it didn’t bother me as much.I liked the musical and sound effects cues back to “The Cage”

JonBuck

That was really quite good. I’m very, very impressed with how they handled the revised Talosians themselves and the underground areas. Not to mention the singing flowers. The “Previously on…” bit was a great touch.

Professor Spock

Loved “The Cage” reference at the beginning

Luke Montgomery

Loved this episode!!!! The intimacy between Spock and Michael and Pike and Vina was touching. There is ZERO reason why Spock’s not mentioning Michael in the future Treks is needing explanation. He didn’t mention his fiancé T’Pring. He didn’t mention his parents as being Ambassador Sarek and Amanda. He didn’t mention Sybok as his brother. Seems in keeping with cannon that Spock didn’t mention people close to him to Kirk. Maybe we can all relax about this?

Professor Spock

Luke Montgomery Michael Burnham insulted Spock as a child because of logic extremists. She was protecting him. Makes perfect sense now.

Professor Spock

Tonight’s episode was a treat. I loved Spock in the episode. Talos IV is a great place. Spock is not insane anymore. That’s great. The Red Angel is human… They are trying to change history!

They really did keep that Section 31 was run by an AI from the novels. Cool!

Professor Spock

William section 31 is run by artificial intelligence? Better not be a Terminator AI

TG47

No PS it sounds like the Terminator AI is in the timeline that the Red Angel’s trying to undo, and that Ariam has been suborder into.

But Control is its very own flavour of scary. An AI running an intelligence division with ‘nation building’ in its mandate!

I’m still convinced it was some Vulcan logic grenade that came up with that seriously flawed solution to guide the development of emotional species.

If they keep following the book it was just an execution of its original program.

Corinthian7

I think that it’s likely that Control and the AI from the future are one and the same. If the Red Angel does turn out to be Burnham then I think it’s equally likely that her nemesis will prove to be an entity that we are at least partially familiar with. Maybe the future AI could actually be the one that developed on Discovery in Chabon’s Short Trek. This would subvert audience expectations as that consciousness wasn’t presented as evil.

ML31

The more I think about it I could be on board with the Red Angel being Burnham if it means she gets picked up and swept to the future off the show.

In a sense it is. That’s also an explanation in the novels for how 31 seems to be all knowing: the AI source code is in pretty much every Federation Computer System including those ‘stolen’ (arranged by the AI to be acquired) by other powers to receive.

As a suggestion: avoid the replicator!

kmart

So it’s like Comcast times Facebook times your brand of TV in terms of stealing and collating your data? Guess this is an even better argument against installing a smart toilet, I don’t want everybody to know all my sh …

TG47

Worse, it’s your smart replicator influencing your preferences and neurochemistry if they keep going down that path.

Basically taking all that Facebook and Google data and using it for social engineering to ensure those emotional Humans, Andorians and others evolve towards Federation values.

ML31

Big disagreement here. The idea that an intelligence agency would be run by an AI is foolish. That is probably the same AI that had to foolish idea to recruit a genocidal maniac from an evil universe. So it makes perfect sense.

kmart

It’s a matter of execution; a terrfic unproduced (and hereby highly recommended) Harlan Ellison script called FLINTLOCK for the never-done OUR MAN FLINT TV series had Flint up against what turned out to be an organization controlled by a computer, and it was dynamite all the way through, practically like FLINT meets THE PRISONER.

Professor Spock

Amazing episode. The best Star Trek Discovery episode ever pretty much

TG47

PS First thing I said to my spouse was that this is the episode that people will be still talking about 30 years from now.

It delivered on every count.

It was so full of moments that filled in so much without ever feeling like fan service. So very well done.

And to those who critique the big reveal about Michael’s lacerating verbal attack…

All I can say is that it seems inconsistent to argue that this wasn’t a turning point in Spock’s development, while accepting as canon the TAS story or the bullying in the Kelvin film.

Duncan MacLeod

Additionally even though we don’t like to talk about Star Trek V, Sarek in that movie expresses the difficulty Spock may encounter growing up when they experience his birth.

ML31

If you are referring to Sarek saying “So Human.” At Spock’s birth, I’m not seeing it. That scene was Sybok’s understanding of Spock’s issues. Spock told him he was not that same person and has found himself. That Sybok did not know him.

Spiked Canon

I believe it was significant because it totally explains Menagerie

ML31

Are you saying that this episode totally explains the events from “The Menagerie”? I don’t get that at all. Seems to me like devotion like Spock showed to Pike in that episode can only be built up over time. Not from one incident.

Spiked Canon

you never thought that Spock was acting out of the norm by kidnapping Pike and mutinying? You never wondered how he knew that they would accept him back and give him a different reality and could be with Vina? You knew based on the show that the Talosians would be nice guys and help? you’re a smart guy

ML31

I figured Spock was motivated by some logical reason. Spock never wanted to be with Vina of a different reality. The Talosians were only interested in creating slaves.

Thanks for the compliment but none of that requires very much brain power.

Michael Hall

I always thought that Spock, for all his protestations to the contrary, was motivated s.olely by compassion, pure and simple. And I think that the last five minutes of “The Menagerie” make that abundantly clear.

ML31

I can see how one might think that. That is a possibility. I found him to be amazingly loyal and devoted to his former Captain. Why? I have no idea.

GarySeven

I agree. I have been bitterly disappointed, actually heartbroken, by Discovery as a TOS fan. And I have posted my reasons throughout articles on this site repeatedly.
But this was different. I waited with apprehension. I showed my 13 year old son “the Cage” before the discovery episode. And I waited to see how they would ruin it.
And was so pleasantly surprised! This was anextremely well done episode which managed to thread the needle. It respected the original and brought back many old reminders. And yet it also brought it into our time and into Discovery. It was exciting and yet the pacing slowed down enough to let thoughtful people enjoy the show and not feel they were just watching a video game. It was logical and made sense. I have to give credit where credit is due- this was wonderful. It shows how good Discovery could be if they just had the right people making the right decisions about the show. Now I have hope for the future.

Spiked Canon

This was a stand alone Sci Fi de force. This director gets it. But too many JJ Flares. Loved everything but two things. It shouldn’t have been that hard to find a barbie for Vina. Great actress. I loved her but it was a distraction that she didn’t look like her. Needed more butt crack on the Talosians lol

Professor Spock

Spiked Canon 😂 loved everything you just said. The actress did a mighty fine job portraying Vina. I liked her relationship with Captain Pike. Very genuine.

TG47

I think you’ve got the essential point PS.

We needed a credible actor who could make us believe that Pike still feels something real for her more than we needed a mannequin double.

I found that Melinda George looked as much like the original Vina as Mount looks like the original Pike. Unless Spiked Canon feel she should have the same illusionary dress and hairstyle 3 years later…

Marja

It’s funny, I didn’t feel much from Melissa George. I felt like Anson Mount was so genuinely in Pike’s feelings but she gave little to nothing back. Perhaps that was purposeful, as she had been living with an illusion, IDK. To me, she was miscast, and it was odd because DSC usually does a great job of casting.

Professor Spock

The lens flares don’t bother me that much. Makes everything look futuristic

Spiked Canon

I have always liked them but this episode they were like back in the day when we would have that distortion line run up the screen. Showing my age

TG47

I found they were getting in the way at times in this episode.

That said, there were definitely some different things being tried with the lighting and corridor shots at lower elevations gave a different sense of space. Hard to know if this originated with the director or the heads of cinematography and lighting.

It’s clear in any case that TJ Scott did a great job as director of an episode with both intense emotions, dialogue and action. He really gets Trek.

I hope they give him more than one episode next season.

Spiked Canon

agree. as stated above he relied more on the performance of the actors and less on the action to tell the story

Marcelo

And in this specific case they were used very elegantly to transition in and out of Vina’s appearances to Pike on the Discovery.

kmart

Naah, just makes it look like incompetent work or like a child is operating the camera. Right down there aesthetically with using a zoom lens like a rubber hose, shooting all over the place. Any movie using more lens flares than say, DIE HARD (which was really pushing it) is just creatively feeble, to say nothing of hard on the eyes.

And why would flares make things look futuristic? The more things advance, the more obscure they become, and the harder it is to see clearly? It must be fear over their visuals not being done well enough to withstand ordinary scrutiny. Why else wreck your image?

Spiked Canon

I don’t mind the flares. As JJ stated they remind you that there is action going on outside what you are seeing but in this episode they became much more and were distracting

Tiger2

Did you watch the episode Kmart? What did you think?

kmart

I still can’t get the service to work on my TV for this season (device is not recognized when you try to order CBSAA, which is a change from last year), much to my wife’s chagrin. We figure that we’ll do the one month pay or a free week when the season is over and binge it on my computer monitor, but that’s a pretty huge comedown, as it is is only 26 or 27 inches (at least the flares will be smaller!)

I’m modestly interested in what I’m reading about, that’s for sure. Will be sure to weigh in at length after the binge.

Tiger2

Wow that’s too bad. Honestly I only watch on my computer since (sadly) I’m the only one in my household who watches the show and its just more convenient for me since I’m usually on it for my job anyway.

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts then. Not sure if you will like the new season but this episode may surprise you at least.

ML31

” Honestly I only watch on my computer”

Ugh… I hate, and I cannot emphasize this enough, HATE watching TV on anything other than my TV. From time to time I have viewed things on my laptop or tablet. But only certain things and only because I don’t have much other choice. Sorry that is what you are stuck doing. I’m the only one in my household who watches the show but no one has an issue if I’m watching between 5:30 or 7:30. (This last episode I started around 7:30)

Michael Hall

Some good stuff this year, but if I had to guess (and knowing your tastes to the extent I do at this point), you won’t be impressed.

kmart

Well, there’s lots of good and/or interesting stuff to tide me over in the meantime. I might be getting to interview the co-creator of THE OA, so I’m rewatching s1 of that in anticipation of the new eps coming this month, and am a big fan of the work the guy has done with Brit Marling, including a neat little movie called THE EAST. Plus we have been randomly rewatching TOS and DS9, only a few each month.

And I couldn’t believe it, but I got my hands on another cheap copy of DS9 COMPANION. Water-damanged, but with the way I handle books, I know it will fall apart before I finish rereading it, just like the last copy. Between that and the STAR TREK: CUT SCENES book, which I highly recommend for fans of TOS and TV production, I’m feeling pretty good about my reading habits right now. Now if I could just find good deals of the ART OF EAVES and any kind of decent price on Mead’s KRONOLOG …

JAGT

Hmm, I didn’t even find the lens flares that noticeable (especially since they seem to have been mainly used in sequences where the Talosians tapped into someone’s mind – but that might just be my first impression and I’d need to rewatch the episode to either confirm or dispel that impression).
What I did find way more distracting was the overuse of extremely wide lenses! At some point I was wondering if everyone was experiencing interphase-dementia (see: TOS “The Tholian Web”), since the lenses used were so wide, they downright distorted the image. It was most noticeable in those simple walk-and-talk scenes and added an unnecessary flavour of 1960s fisheye-mania.

Karl

Yep, I noted the huge use of extreme wide angle and fish eye lenses too, though I felt they were used more to add a sense of distortion to the flashback/memory reading sequences

Support Your Local Salt Vampire

“Georgiou reveals the Mirror Universe’s Talosians tried their illusion tricks on her and she ‘blew them and their stupid singing plants off the face of the planet.'”

Or the Talosians let her think that she blew them off the face of the planet…

I'm Dead Jim

Good call!

Spiked Canon

that’s pretty good. Hopefully we will never know

ML31

“Or the Talosians let her think that she blew them off the face of the planet…”

That’s more likely the case. I 2nd I’m Dead Jim. Good call.

JAGT

Yeah, especially, since technically speaking they didn’t even live on the face of the planet.

Tiger2

I think people overstate the Talosians powers. Their illusions really only work if you don’t know they are illusionists or how powerful they are. Once you do, its not that easy to get over on people. We seen this in The Cage itself once the Enterprise crew realized they were being duped. Someone like the Emperor would bomb that thing to hell and back. And how can they fake not being blown up? They couldn’t stop them from blasting the mountain in The Cage and they weren’t trying to kill anyone. AFIK they don’t have any real defenses so nothing stops them from being blown up.

Michael Hall

Would have been a good comeback line for Leland; another missed opportunity.

Tiger2

He could’ve been wrong though.

Spiked Canon

Oh and I love what the writers have done with Culber. Badass!

Professor Spock

I agree

ML31

I really hope we have not seen what they have really done to Culber yet. Sadly I get the feeling we have. The Culber thing just makes no sense. Again, I do not understand why no one on the ship is freaking out about this. A guy gets his neck snapped. His body is in the morgue. Then he just shows up in the Mycedial network. And everyone just agrees that it is the same Culber we all knew and loved? The very first thing anyone should logically think is it’s some mycedial entity trying to make contact or planting a spy or something in our world. This cannot be Culber. No same thinking person should ever believe it.

Ad Astra Per Aspera

People die and come back to life in Trek all the time. By the mid 23rd century- people are probably used to it! Haha!

I like what they’ve done with Culber. I suspect he will get back to how he was in Season 1 but it will be a journey.

Tiger2

Obviously its not over. He and Stamments essentially broke up in this episode, so I think its going to take awhile for Culber to really feel like he’s whole again.

As for your point about why people are not freaked out by it, I guess no more than why they weren’t freaked out by Spock coming back from the dead in TSFS. It’s Star Trek, it’s all part of the job. ;)

I said this the day we saw them bring him back but in the real world he would’ve been sent off to a lab somewhere and poked and prodded for months if not years. A guy coming back from the dead in essentially a new body would’ve made news everywhere and herald questions about the meaning of existence itself. But in the world of Star Trek, that’s just a Wednesday lol. They just seen so much crazy stuff at this point it doesn’t even phase them anymore.

Maybe if Culber starts to have ESP powers or something people will freak out more. Right now he just come off like another guy, just one confused by his new existence.

ML31

Except, from Discovery’s point of view, Spock has yet to be resurrected. And Spock wasn’t resurrected from some alternate universe who already showed hostile intent and felt like they were being attacked. Different circumstances. Besides Spock, and now Culber it seems, the resurrections were either quick or had some sort of tech supporting it. This did not fall into either category. Therefore, he SHOULD be shuffled off to be poked and prodded ASAP. IMHO, he ought to be in a holding cell. Also, how many resurrections do you think these guys have seen already? As I said in another post, they are acting like it happens every month.

Tiger2

I meant you could’ve made the exact same argument when they resurrected Spock. They didn’t really question it either. No one acted suspicious over it and he was acting a bit weird himself. They all just accepted it was him when he should’ve been poked and prodded by Starfleet scientists for months. He may not have come from a different universe but he was still placed in a different body from his own, but one made via the Genesis device. Even if you can argue they used molecules from his old body, he went from a kid to a full grown man in a day. That is still pretty weird lol.

I don’t really disagree with you but this is just how Star Trek operates. People die and come back from the dead all the time. Culber situation is a bit more extreme, agreed, but its also not over yet unlike the other shows or movies where they bring someone back and the next episode they are going on about life like nothing happened. Here they are at least saying it won’t be that easy.

ML31

Respectfully disagree. The same argument cannot be said for Spock. Spock was not found recreated in an alternate reality where it is known they are feeling like we attacked them. Spock’s body was regenerated due to the weird science mumbo jumbo from the Genesis planet. But he had no mind. It was stored in McCoy. Yes, it’s absurd but it does make a weird sort of sense to go from A to B to C. Culber doesn’t follow such logic. Not only that, look at where he was found. That right there ought to raise more questions than it ever did with Spock. Soctty was killed by Nomad but he used future tech to come back. Chekov was “killed” by his mind. All these things, while sci-fi silliness, make a weird sort of sense. Not Culber. I would be a little more placated if SOMEONE would question this. But no one is. It boggles the mind. But then, they figured that the RA was not divine only because of what Saru saw. So the series has been taking it’s share of unreasonable leaps…

Tiger2

Regardless, the guy died and they resurrected him. Yes its not the same thing as Discovery but a guy dying and coming back to life would still be a big deal, right?

I just find it funny how we compartmentalize some of this stuff. Just because we can follow how Spock was resurrected should still be crazy and suspicious of itself. ESPECIALLY when you consider what happened to the Genesis planet. It broke down and destroyed itself right? So why is Spock walking around in perfect health? How come no one else is worried Spock may have some of the same ill effects as the planet did? No one ever brings it up or cares, even out of concern. I don’t think he was even medically checked out lol. Its just Spock again, with a new body, just reconstituted out of his old one and they move on to the next crisis.

I’m not saying Culber’s resurrection wasn’t weird or confusing (since I said in the original review it made no sense to me either), I’m only saying how everyone reacts to him is par for the course in Star Trek. Someone dies, they come up with some technobabble how they can bring them back, they do and eventually everyone moves on. Star Trek has been doing this literally since 1984. You can’t be shocked now people are not weirded out by it.

ML31

The thing is, while it seems to be acceptable that someone came back from the dead, the circumstances of it is what really plays a part in this. And I think it even more so from the Discovery crew as last season they had the wool pulled over their eyes more than once. If there is any crew that would question it, it’s them. I honestly don’t care if Culber is having a tough time with it. That’s the wrong focus. the REST of the crew should be the ones having the tough time with it. That is a mistake from those who plotted the show out. Unless there is another reveal later that explains all this…

Marja

I hope there will be some discussion of this. But then they have to re-explain the resurrection with technobabble. Maybe Stamets and Tilly will explore it. I like your idea of examining the crew’s reaction.

I hope that will definitely happen if Prime Lorca shows up. There’s great dramatic potential with distrust of a good man. …or is he still …?

Disinvited

ML31,

Re: not yet ressurected

This is not entirely true. In DISCOVERY’s timeline young Spock died and then was resurrected by his time traveling “cousin” from the future.

ML31

I will need to review Yesteryear and get back to you on that. It’s been quite some time but I do not recall Spock dying. I recall old Spock saving young Spock.

Disinvited

ML31,

He saved him because when he popped out of the Guardian on his history research mission, Kirk had an Andorian second in command and no one knew who Spock was. When the Andorian searched the databanks he found Ambassador Sarek and Amanda’s son had died as a child. The DOD triggered Spock’s memory that a cousin had saved his life as he attempted a Vulcan rite of passage. He ressurrected his young self using the Guardian to time travel to a moment on Vulcan before young Spock made the attempt and played the role of the cousin, but this time his pet selat died protecting young Spock so that Adult Spock, who was delayed for some reason, had enough time to rescue himself.

ML31

That’s more than a stretch. Changing history is not the same thing as resurrection.

Marja

ML31, Equally implausible though

Disinvited

ML31,

According to the rules of the Guardian, history wasn’t changed because if adult Spock had changed something the Guardian never would have spat him out and he would have been stuck in the past. But, instead, historical Spock died, but for some cockamamie reason The Guardian resurrected him as an adult and spat him out decades later.

ML31

Not sure why he would be considered “resurrected.” He really wasn’t. He was just alive in another time line and the guardian spat him out in the new one.

Disinvited

ML31,

Because according to the Guardian young Spock dying is correct history which is why it trigured time travelling Spock’s return. In that correct history, the Guardian spitting out an adult version of the dead child looks no different than a resurrection of the child “aged” to an adult which is indistinguishable from the Genesis/rejoining result.

You are trying to argue the audience knows things that makes it semantically different but in-universe science says when two processes cause 2 indistinguishable, i.e. identical, results – a resurrected aged Spock – there IS no difference.

ML31

I plan on checking out Yesteryear this weekend. It’s been a while but I recalled Spock came back and found things changed. No resurrection was involved. Your argument is that there is no difference between resurrection and causing changes in the time line. That is 100% wrong. They are decidedly two different things.

Disinvited

ML31,

The rules of the Guardian are clear: If you go back in time and significantly change history, you are stuck. The Guardian will not return you unless history is restored which is up to some other time traveler or travelers to pop in an undo then the Guardian will return all home.

An adult Spock matching the DNA of the dead child in a history the Guardian regards as “repaired” looks as if its an aged resurrection of the dead child occurred. They are indistinguishable.

You keep claiming there’s a difference as if you can prove the Genesis aging didn’t involved the effect accelerating time, which is another way to travel in time. In fact we are all traveling forward through time. Your point that somehow traveling through time invalidates a resurrection is specious, and boils down to a silly semantical argument.

Disinvited

ML31,

Also keep in mind this is Prime Universe time travel, alternate timelines are not SEPARATE universes. There’s no physical way to distinguish an adult Spock popping out of the Guardian where history says he died as child as not belonging to the Prime universe.

Ashley

Well, they aren’t as paranoid as all that perhaps. I’d even say they’re optimistic. Plus, given the weirdness of the Spore drive, I think somebody coming back from the dead as a result of it isn’t as weird as it seems. However, note that whenever Culber is around EVERYONE gets weirded out and stops talking or stares at him. So it’s not like they’re acting like everything is normal. Stamets of course is TRYING to get things back to normal because it’s what he desperately wants, which they discussed in the episode.

ML31

That’s not what I’m seeing. I’m seeing most thinking a guy coming back from the dead is just Tuesday. The only weirded out stuff is coming as a result of his behavior. And again, that is a flaw because everyone is concerned abut what Culber is going through and no one is thinking, is this really Culber?

Marja

I agree. There are probably rumors flying all over the ship and people are curious, sympathetic, horrified, weirded out, or apprehensive.

Disinvited

Marja,

The first Trek series, made so much about their advanced medtech making things appear like miraculous resurrecting to lesser civilizations that I’d be shocked if they showed members of starfleet weirded out by people they thought dead actually recovering.

Corylea

Wow! Wow, wow, wow! That was stunning! This fangirl’s heart is absolutely SINGING right now!

I wondered if any payoff could be equal to the excruciatingly long search for Spock they’d given us, but they pulled it off! In my opinion, this was the best episode of Discovery yet, and I think I need to watch it again every day this week, until we get another new episode next Thursday!

Also, I love the phrase “Talosian long distance.” :-)

WML

Wow! The second season, like TNG’s second season, is a great improvement over the first. Funny thing about TNG’s second season. They had a different doctor, just like Discovery. Welcome back Beverly. Oops, I mean Hugh.

A34

TNG’s second season was still crap.

Karl

What???? But it gave us such classics as The Child and Shades of Gray 😂

A34

LOL.

Tiger2

You are going back to your old trollish ways. That got you kicked off here before. I suggest you stop baiting others.

A34

Everyone knows TNG didn’t get better until the third season. I’m sorry you don’t like my opinion, but I’m not the first person to recommend skipping the first two seasons.

As for the rest. I really have no clue what you’re talking about. God bless.

Tiger2

You’re right of course, but you’re still back to old habits, putting down everything else to talk up Discovery. And I’m talking about numerous posts here you been making like putting down TOS and the Cage. It may be your opinion, which is fine, but it comes off like trolling. And sure you have no clue what I’m talking about lol. You’re not stupid…and neither am I. I’m not here to blow up your little cover, but trolling is banned for a reason here. Just do less of it you’ll be fine.

A34

I still don’t know what you’re talking about. I never said I hated TOS, I just think that the show wasn’t put together very well, but that’s true with a lot of TV shows from that time. I actually liked the JJ TOS movies very much. That was TOS done right.

I'm Dead Jim

Wasn’t it stated in Season One that the Federation didn’t have a death penalty? I think it was when Admiral Cornwell was talking to L’Rell about her defecting. Perhaps Disco producers are unwilling to let General Order 7 be part of their version of the Federation. I always felt it seemed a little out of character for the enlightened UFP to have a death penalty for visiting an off-limits planet.

Tiger2

Yeah they are probably just side stepping that whole thing. It does seem very out of line with Federation we know today.

FLB

Maybe General Order 7 is a way to keep Section 31 at bay? A way to keep them happy?

Josiah Rowe

Or the Federation didn’t have a death penalty when Cornwell said that, and still doesn’t as of Spock and Burnham’s return. This episode said travel to Talos IV was forbidden, but didn’t say that doing so carried the death penalty. I’d wager that General Order Seven (at least, in the form in which it’s seen in “The Menagerie”) is put in place as a consequence of something that happens this season.

Drew

I liked the episode but i am convinced of ONE thing. Star Trek Discovery is an alternate timeline. PERIOD. Forget what Alex Kurtzman and his subordinates say otherwise.

MysticalDigtial

There is absolutely no story reason it would be another timeline.

Drew

There are plenty of reasons why it would.

No individual viewer gets to decide whether it’s an alternate timeline. The producers decide that. If you want to think of it as an alternate, that’s up to you.

And I still don’t understand what would make it an alternate.

ML31

No warp factors. Pew pew phasers. Holograms everywhere. Radically different Sarek and Amanda. Spore drives. Section 31. Knowledge of the MU. Weird looking Klingons. The list is seemingly endless.

purdueenginerd

Sometimes I just want to scream into a pillow, “ITS FICTIONAL”

Karl

You’re not alone. A certain SNL sketch featuring Shatner often comes to mind when reading some of the comments

ML31

purdueenginerd, I think we are all aware this is fiction. At the same time, a game is just a game. But games have rules. It’s always 3 strikes and you are out. It’s not three strikes today but two tomorrow.

Disinvited

ML31,

While you made your point, it was based on the absolute fiction that the rules of baseball remain unchanged since its inception.

ML31

Further down I addressed the analogy. But I would hope that most minds would understand the point even if the analogy is perhaps 1% flawed.

Marja

LOL yeah.

Spiked Canon

“max Warp” is used, Different ship, explained, not radical by any means, being phased out, sect 31 existed and we have never seen it at this point in time, only they have knowledge of the MU-it wasn’t told to Pike, re-imaged Klingons

ML31

Max warp means what? No one says “warp 3” or anything similar. It’s like star wars. It’s light speed or not. The KU did the same thing. The phasers go beyond “different ship”. They are using the KU type phasers. In fact, even in Star Trek ’09 the USS Kelvin phasers were the consistent ones. Only after the Narada intervention did they change. The holograms have yet to be explained. Why would you de-evolve tech? Makes no sense. Section 31 exists but was super secret in the two eras we saw it. But NOT in the KU and not in Discovery. Seems like everyone has knowledge of the MU. Irrational star fleet would send exploring ships out with no data concerning the phenomena already encountered. Re-imagined Klingons to the point where they ignore the look that has been used for 40 years.

Spiked Canon

max warp means there is more than just 1 warp factor. What is so hard to understand? With the phasers what is it you want? TOS, TNG, ENT? So the Klingons should look like they did in TMP? You never really explain yourself. You only criticize.

ML31

I thought I was perfectly clear. Sorry you are not getting it. Let me try and do better for you. Warp speeds increase with a number. Like warp 2 or warp 6. Max warp I guess means cruising speed? Or the max possible before the engines explode? We don’t know but I guess THEY do. So what I am asking is why do they not use the varying speeds like every other Trek show has done? The only one to not do that has been the Kelvin films. Phasers… Not saying I “want” anything. Just noticing they are like KU phasers or Star Wars blasters and not the traditional phasers used in every other Trek show. The TMP look has been used (save for small tweaks here and there) for 40 years. I do not know why that is so hard to understand. Not sure I entirely understand what you are asking. I have explained myself plenty and only criticize what deserves it. You want something positive? I listed positives from the episode in my take on it further down. Therefore, you are wrong.

CaptainSheridan

The “maximum warp” command was used a lot on Deep Space Nine. As for the klingons, we don’t know, but I’m guessing we are seeing some (failed?) genetics altering trying to make them back they way they were before the Enterprise episode that made them look human. Why every Klingon we see on Discovery looks this way is confusing to me and how they go back to looking human remains to be seen (if at all).

ML31

Captain,

“The “maximum warp” command was used a lot on Deep Space Nine.”

That is true but that is not what I was pointing out.

Ashley

You’re conveniently leaving out the times when they DID use lower warp factors.

This is going to sound nitpicky, but to be fair, we don’t always know when they’re using phasers. It’s been established that at this point, they’re still holding on to phase cannon technology as a supplement to the phasers, which could be what the pulses are. I believe that was the case with the USS Kelvin as well, since it had pop-up pulse turrets as well as beam phasers.

The holograms have yet to be explained, though Pike did sort of hang a lampshade on that, even if it was meant to be more of a tongue-in-cheek moment. However, I can use the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series as an example of why one might de-evolve tech.

We have yet to see why Section 31 went underground, and I hope that is explored in the upcoming series. Just because they’re known at this point in time (and we don’t know how well known), doesn’t mean that can’t change over the next century. I’m sure if they wanted to disappear, they could. And sure they were more secretive in Enterprise, pre-Federation, but perhaps after the founding of the Federation, it was in their best interest to have a more active and visible role. I’m more interested in why that would have changed.

Finally, the look of the Klingons was reimagined. Simple as that. Sorry there’s no in-universe reason for it, but there really doesn’t need to be. They weren’t even drastically re-imagined either. Compare TOS Klingons to TMP for a more drastic reimagining, which didn’t get an in-universe explanation until decades later because it didn’t require one.

ML31

“You’re conveniently leaving out the times when they DID use lower warp factors. ”

Fine. If they did, I’m not recalling it.

The NX-01 used phase canons. They were not the “pew pew” ones Discovery uses. The USS Kelvin in Trek 09 used the traditional type phasers as well. Once the timeline was changed the phasers changed with it.

True, they did add the holograph line but as you said, that doesn’t really explain why no one else was using them or why Kirk didn’t just bring them back. If felt like a band aid to explain away a mistake they made. At least they made a bit of an effort. A clumsy one, but still.

Section 31. You are correct. We do not know why they went from clandestine to public back to clandestine. Although I would wonder how clandestine you could possibly be once you are public. But if that’s what what they want to do, I guess. It’s just something that doesn’t make much sense even if they come up with a circumstance for doing so.

Klingons, as have most of the Trek aliens, have been tweaked here and there over the years. You are correct, the change to Discovery version is not as great a leap as the change from TOS to TMP. The difference here is 40 years. The thing is it was still a pretty big change. If I didn’t know any better my guess upon first seeing them is that they “resemble” Klingons but I would not be 100% certain that is what they were. Which means the designers went too far.

Ashley

Correct. The NX-01 and Discovery use different phase cannons, because they are 100 years apart and the technology has advanced and changed, like with phaser technology. However, the NX-02 had “pulsed phase cannons”, and even though it was only shown firing a beam, the Franklin also had “pulsed phase cannons” about a decade later which fired rapid pulses. It’s reasonable to assume the NX-02 had this ability as well, perhaps as an optional setting. I don’t believe there was any dialogue that specifically stated the Kelvin had them, but it clearly has a rapid pulse weapon that worked alongside the phasers. Then the Shenzhou (and I believe the Discovery) are said to have them, and we’ve seen rapid pulses being fired from both. It may be reasonable to assume any of the pulse weapons we’ve seen have been phase cannons. My own ‘head-canon’ suggests that pulsed phase cannons, while weaker than phasers, may have better tracking than phaser turrets and may be more suitable in certain combat situations. They also might be more effective against shields, which would have been a priority as shield technology was encountered more. That is, until phasers improved, and even had their own pulse settings (TWOK), and eventually overcame the tracking problems with phaser strips and arrays (Ambassador-class onward). So I see plenty of precedent for “pew pew” weapons, even without mentioning the Defiant-class, or the Enterprise-D’s ‘anti-matter pew-pew spread’. The Sovereign-class almost had them too, in First Contact, in the form of ‘gatling-phaser batteries’.

And as for the Kelvin Timeline Enterprise, it had advanced technology… which really doesn’t need to be explained at this point. It’s technological level was likely somewhere around the 24th or even 25th century of the prime timeline, though this may not have been consistent across all the technology it used. So the pew pew phasers are probably very similar to the Defiant-class phasers. Nothing wrong with that.

ML31

Except, Discovery uses phasers like we saw in the Ku. Not the kind we saw in TOS. Or the TOS movies. Or even TNG.

Ashley

Assuming we’re talking ship-mounted weaponry…

1) Starfleet ships in Star Trek: Discovery have been seen firing pulses which are only half similar to what was seen in the Kelvin Timeline. These are blue, have a different sound effect, and different shape. Burnham, in episode 1, established that the Shenzhou has phase cannons and they were her go-to weapon initially. It’s reasonable to assume the blue bolts are phase cannons. While I’m pretty sure I’ve heard them say phasers in relation to the ship’s weaponry, I’m not sure if we’ve seen a direct correlation between an order to fire the phasers and the blue bolts we’ve seen.

2) TOS “Balance of Terror”, ‘proximity blast’ phaser pulses. TOS movie “The Wrath of Khan”, pulsed phasers not too unlike what we see in Discovery, just slower and a different color.

ML31

*sigh*

I’m not talking about the color or what they are called. I’m just saying that the phaser weapons in the KU and on Discovery are different from the same phasers used in Trek before. Ranging from Enterprise, through TOS and TNG eras. And to be honest, it’s not that big a deal. I was just wondering if anyone else has noticed this and it seems for some weird reason, no one here has. Others on other boards have, however. But I’m done unless someone wants to contribute something worth while to the discussion.

Marja

I have noticed, and I don’t give a care. I’ve watched Trek for 51 years. Stuff changes.

Marja

And let us not forget when TOS had Kirk say “Phasers” and they shot torpedos [or was it the other way round?] :^D

ML31

“And let us not forget when TOS had Kirk say “Phasers” and they shot torpedos”

Yes, that was always odd. And was fixed in the remastered versions, wasn’t it? I think that was more a budgetary thing more than anything else.

Disinvited

Marja,

Surely, you are not suggesting there’s no such thing as an order being misheard? You know like ordering retreat and some Captain charges into victory?

Marja

We’ve done the reimagined Klingons discussion to death. I grew to like the redesign.

No, everyone does NOT have knowledge of the MU. Only the Disco crew, and it is Classified Information. People that work with classified information in secrecy do not talk about it unless they want to be punished.

It seems irrational that Starfleet sends captains out without a classified briefing about the MU, though, you’re right about that.

But, fiction.

And rules do get changed, over time. I think you’re old enough to know that, right?

MysticalDigtial

You do realize this is a TV show right? It’s not a documentary.

ML31

Assuming your question is rhetorical… Your point being?

HubcapDave

Only because its filled with mostly nonsense……

Marja

Warp Factor #. “Maximum warp” or “Warp four” will do the trick. [No United Space Ship either.]

Pew-pew phasers. Cool. The old sound effects might seem hokey to modern audiences.

Holograms — we’re close to having them now!

Radically different Sarek and Amanda? Mark Lenard and Jane Wyatt have, regrettably, not been available for some years. Mia Kirschner looks a lot like Jane Wyatt, at least to me. James Frain looks nothing like Mark Lenard, but he’s a good actor.

Spore Drive, Section 31 and knowledge of the MU could all be Classified. Certainly the MU is Classified, per Adm Cornwell in the penultimate episode of season one.

ML31

It will do the trick, but I’m not recalling the captain calling out a specific speed. I point this out because that is how they did it in the KU movies, too. Same with the phasers. I was thinking that was a Kurtzman addition to the show.

Doesn’t matter. They weren’t used before and it seems somewhat inefficient even if it were possible. Especially for a ship so very far away.

Different not in that different actors play them,duh! Different in that they are behaving too far from their characters as established. Sure, people can change in a decade. But that much?

Classifying everything is a cheap cop out and doesn’t always work anyway. There is now way Star Fleet would send a ship out on a deep space mission without as much info as possible on all the odd anomalies and everything else previously discovered for them to consult.

ML31

Actually, there are many many story reasons that suggest it’s another timeline.

Captain Ransom

It’s NOT an alternate timeline. You can protest it all you like, that doesn’t make it so.

ML31

The producers SAY it’s not. Yet every bit of evidence they have provided has suggested it is. No matter what you say, if you draw a picture telling me it’s of a horse in a green meadow but what you show me is a bunch of kids playing on a playground the rain, its NOT a horse in a meadow.

Captain Ransom

ML, you sound like a petulant child that will argue that the sky is green because YOU feel it is green no matter how many people tell you that it, in fact, blue. Yes, the Producers said it is not an alternative timeline because it is not an alternate timeline. Look, it you believing it is an alternate timeline helps you sleep at night – go ahead and believe what you want. You can believe that Star Wars and Star Trek are in the same universe too if you want – doesn’t make it fact. Heck, R2D2 was in Trek 2008 – does that mean it’s the same universe? No.

ML31

Now now Captain… No need to get all playground insulty. It is not a matter of what I FEEL. It is a matter of what IS. You can tell me that your math allows you to think 2+2=6. But I know for a fact it = 4. And everyone who knows their math will tell you it = 4 as well. Some will just go, yes, I know it = 4 but let’s just go with it for now. Not that big a deal.

If you sleep better at night believing everything people tell you is 100% accurate and true, no matter what the intentions are, then you are free to live your live thinking that. And since that seems to be your dogma, I have a bridge to sell you. You can make a fortune on tolls.

Captain Ransom

How is comparing you to a petulant child a playground insult?
I see that you have some serious conspiracy issues believing that they are trying to pull the wool over your eyes! LoL that’s rich!
Well if you believe that DISC is in an alternate timeline. Why not TNG or DS9? How about ENT? Seems plausible by your “logic”
And your math is a little off there. Mine is 2+2=4… Yours is more like 2+2.5687551=72. So far off base. Go on and continue your conspiracy theories…you just make me laugh with your ridiculous posts!

ML31

I see. So if made a post where I said you were a petulant child, you would not feel insulted? Nope. I don’t buy it. I can see your response to that already. ‘I don’t act that way so it wouldn’t apply’. (eyeroll)

I don’t know what to believe regarding where discovery exists in the ST world. Producers have said one thing yet everything they show us on screen suggests something other. At best the fans are getting mixed messages. Unless you think all the elements in Discovery are “close enough” to all the like elements of The Cage.. Well… Then for you, 2+2=6. If you feel better about the show seeing it that way, knock yourself out.

Spiked Canon

but you are a petulant child. I can show more facts that that is true then you can that this is an alternate timeline

ML31

Wow…. Are you trying to get a rise out of me? Not saying you are but that is troll like behavior.

And you aren’t going to get it with your petty schoolyard insults.

BLACKMOCCO

The producers SAY it’s not an alternate timeline, which means it’s not an alternate timeline. They make it, we watch it. That’s the end of our involvement with the show. You think they’ve time to take part in some nefarious conspiracy theory? About a 50 year old TV show? Really? They’ve updated a TV show from 1966 to 2019 so that people – not just established Star Trek fans – will actually watch it. That’s all.

More importantly: who cares? They didn’t kill anyone’s dog. It’s a TV show, not world history. They can change what they want. If anyone’s REALLY that mortally offended by something changing on a TV show, they may need to rethink their life priorities.

ML31

Well, you can tell me it’s rib eye but if there is salisbury on my plate I’m going to question it. And if I my say so, it’s foolish to NOT expect anyone to question it.

BLACKMOCCO

We’re discussing a work of pure fiction, something that has no relevance to our real lives, so that analogy doesn’t work. As we’re also addressing a TV show that simply has to update its look and style from another one 50 years ago in order to entice people to actually watch it, it’s also a little ridiculous. Suggesting the people in charge of the show are lying when they don’t have any reason to – and you don’t have any proof of otherwise – is just sorta obtuse on your part. It’s their show, not yours. If they say it’s set in Prime, then it’s set in Prime. You don’t get a say, unfortunately. You just get to watch it and either go with it or not.

Anyway, knock yourself out. This isn’t a topic I’ve any interest in discussing any further. Waste of everyone’s energy.

ML31

But it is exactly what we are talking about. You want a fictional example, fine. The author of a book says it’s set in the Civil war. But then goes on to describe people hopping in their horseless carriages and calling others on the phone. Yet we are supposed to believe it is set in the civil war. If the author isn’t lying then they have some heavy explaining to do. Something isn’t something else because someone says it is. It needs to actually be that something.

But you are right in a sense that this is an old discussion from back when the show started. I’m not sure how it devolved into it.

BLACKMOCCO

Your new analogy still doesn’t work and you’re being overly dramatic. If Discovery had the cast traveling on bicycles instead of starships, you’d have a point. Arguing over stylistic design choices – and that’s all they are – doesn’t make Discovery a new timeline. You’re taking a TV show’s reality over our own. It’s pretty easy to make the leap in your mind that this is all the same show set in the same universe, just some of it looks a bit different because they’re producing it fifty years later. It’s still a starship, it’s still a phaser, it’s still a Klingon. It’s certainly easier – and far less tiresome – than trying to wrap yourself in knots dreaming up an explanation for why things look different. Again, it’s very simple: it’s 2019, and CBS wants to get a new audience to watch their show. Let’s move on. The world has enough pointless conspiracy theories causing trouble.

ML31

The analogy is spot on. It is exaggerated on purpose to deliver the point. It’s not just a stylistic change. It’s everything. I would wager everything I have that if you show someone who never saw Trek before and showed pictures from Enterprise, TOS, the TOS movies, and TNG they could figure out the time line line of when those shows are set. Throw in Discovery images and I’d bet almost everyone would say they came AFTER all of them. THAT is a design fail. This is not MY reality. It’s the STAR TREK reality. I didn’t come up with it. I’m just an end user here. And please… Enough with the tire and worthless comments of “it’s 50 years later so it HAS to look different.” That comment has been debunked more often than the sun has risen. For the last time… It is possible to update the TOS look and STILL evoke the FEEL of the era it is supposed to be in. Enterprise was successful updating the production but still making it FEEL like it belonged 150 years before TOS. It CAN be done. Discovery people just didn’t want to do it.

And again, I accept they are setting the show in the Pike era. There is no denying that is where they want the show to be. But the only clues for that before this season was Sarek and a few lines here and there. Without that, (combined with the knowledge that this is NOT intended to be a reboot even though it totally feels like one) the show would look and feel like it was post Nemesis. It would be pure insanity to deny that.

BLACKMOCCO

I’m sure you’re right if you showed Discovery next to TOS and said one was set ten years before the other people not familiar with the show would get it wrong. I don’t think there’s any disagreement from me or anyone else on here about that.

However, I’m also 100% sure people would say Discovery looks more like a show they’d want to watch in 2019, which is the entire point of updating it. YOU might not personally care for it, but CBS doesn’t care what you personally think. They want people besides militantly closed-minded Trek fans who can’t accept an update without conjuring up alternate timelines to help themselves sleep at night to watch it.

Damn right “Discovery people just didn’t want to do it.” Nor should they have to. No franchise is the property of the fans. Their show, their rules. You’re nothing but a spectator.

Exhausting, and somewhat ironic, seeing as Trek is supposed to be a champion of open-minded thinking.

ML31

BLACKMOCCO, you are picking and choosing what you want to hear. I did NOT say just use Discovery and TOS. I said if you took someone who never saw Trek before and showed pictures from Enterprise, TOS, the TOS movies, and TNG. Not just those two.

“which is the entire point of updating it.”

Again, you are not reading what I said. I never said it should not get updated. How many times does this need to get repeated?

And again, the main problem with the show was not the abrupt change in look. It was plotting, writing and characters. But the change in look certainly doesn’t help especially when it came up so very short in the more important aspects.

And for the record, being open minded does not mean we should just accept everything they throw at us with no questions. Open minded would actually encourage the scrutiny.

Marja

The Civil War is actual human history. It was not fictional, as Star Trek, which is set in the future, is. Your example doesn’t work.

ML31

In the world they established, that is the future. Whether we have currently surpassed it or not. That is what has been established. Those are the rules the franchise created. There are ways to change it, but it would require doing other things the Discovery people didn’t want to do.

Ad Astra Per Aspera

This sounds like something the folks over at Midnight’s Edge would say.

It’s a visual update of the Prime Timeline. This is how the producers want to portray it and if they say that they it’s Prime Timeline then it’s Prime Timeline. They – and CBS – are the ONLY people who can determine that since they hold the rights to the IP.

Tiger2

I’ve never once questioned its in the prime timeline because it is all fiction at the end of the day. So if they say its in the prime timeline, then that’s what it is, period.

BUT, we know its not that simple for a lot of fans out there. The fact the universe does feel so different is probably going to be an issue for many for awhile. I agree with most here, it takes place in the prime universe, but sadly it feels like its going to be the constant argument over the Kelvin timeline really being the prime universe, etc because they are going the opposite direction and can’t believe in the multiple universe theory. People will always push back on things even when you have writers tell us directly what the deal is, not everyone will believe it until it aligns with what they know.

Disinvited

Tiger2,

But the Prime has time travel which is busting out all over. The only thing DISCOVERY is guilty of is not fingering whose time travel is responsible for the nuances now in effect.

Tiger2

I agree. I’m not saying I have an issue with it and you can argue it 100 different ways why it looks different. But for some people unless you actually explain it looks different due to time travel for example then they will give themselves their own explanation, one being its simply in another universe.

But even though I’m critical, I’m not overbearing about it. End of the day I get DIS is a modern show trying to hook a modern audience so it just looks different on that basis alone. I accept that. But I’m still not any less convinced it couldn’t be placed in a future timeline to not completely conflict with TOS but what’s done is done now.

Marja

There ya go, Dis. My theory and I’m stickin’ to it. It’s a timey-wimey thing.

Spiked Canon

only if you want it to be

ML31

It’s not about what I want or don’t want. It’s about what they have shown us.

Spiked Canon

if you are so adament explain yourself. Why do consistently complain and never back it up?

ML31

I do not constantly complain and everything I have said is backed up.

Why do you constantly hassle people who you have differing opinions with? Why do you keep telling people to back up claims when you know they have already done so?

Amazing. Even when they show scenes from TOS as a “previously on,” you can’t believe your own eyes.

Spock Jenkins

The show in fact showed that DISCOVERY is in the same timeline as “The Cage”.

German Trekkie

YEAH Drew! It does not look like “The Cage!” They admitted! Even the actors are not the same! Vina is cast new, so is Pike and Spock! The tech is incompatible! And look at the plants. The where flat and blue and did not move. Now they are moving?!? What the heck! … i could go on and on… the aspect ration does not fit! There is no film grain! It was not filmed in the 60s!!! It is impossibly the same universe! XD

Spiked Canon

OMG let it rest. They have done nothing to directly make it an alternate timeline. If you are talking about the look well as stated numerous times IT IS REIMAGED!! period

ML31

“IT IS REIMAGED!!”

Meaning it’s a reboot.

Captain Ransom

DUH. They have said all along that it is a visual reboot. Nothing new here. Move along.

ML31

It’s more than just a “visual” reboot. Which means, reboot. But this is an 18 month old discussion.

Spiked Canon

No a show reboot would have the option of changing the story. they haven’t changed ANYTHING. They have only added to it. It is a visual reboot. Do you get off on being such a pain?

ML31

There is enough of a change to support the reboot theory. If you see no changes then.. Well… Nothing more can be said.

A34

Good luck with that.

jalo

Good Lord Guys. Calm down.

But I have to Say…. the Word timeline is used a Lot in this Episode. we also have a Timetraveler Form the future fixing things like young burnys Death.

But also ml31 … of course you can Play With 3 Strikes Today ane 2 Strikes tomorrow. Game Rules are Dynamic.

ML31

OK. jalo. Perhaps that was a bad example. Perhaps it is something like if you establish that in your world you cannot beam people when your shields are up, you cannot just start doing it because it’s convenient for your new story. Not without explaining why you now can. And then, once you do that, you need to come up with a reason for why you can’t do it again down the line. That is a limitation from a franchised universe like Star Trek.

Marja

Maybe it’s a time travel thing and all will be set right.

Tiger2

Another good episode! I didn’t love it as many did here but it was a great throwback to the Cage. They seem to have gotten most of it right. I knew Vina would return but I was surprised just how much of a presence she was. Loved her appearing on Discovery and talking to Pike face to face. I also liked Burnham’s and Spock together. Some of it felt a bit too melodramatic but that was expected. Spock seem pretty angry at her (well as angry as a Vulcan can get ;)).

But part of the reason I didn’t love it more because their ‘fall out’ feels a little thin and trivial. Burnham telling Spock she hated him, called him a half breed, etc and other insults is what siblings say to each other all the time at that age. I say that to my brother now and he’s in his 30s. Spock did say he realize why Burnham said those things but they made such a huge deal out of it since episode 3, like some big mystery and that was it? And people been talking about the entire death penalty issue about going back to Talos IV. It looks like its in place after all but then no one makes a big deal about it lol. But I think the death penalty plot point has just been dropped. It’s very un-Federation today. That and learning the alpha quadrant will be wiped out probably has more priority. ;)

Anyway the rest of the episode was cool. Culber working through the fact he should still be dead and not in a new body is something anyone would be working through I guess. The Section 31 stuff is getting a lot more twisty and I loved when Georgiou mentioned Control is an AI computer. So they ARE sticking with the books. Cool! And the Red Angel stuff is always intriguing and now we know its human and a woman (please don’t be Burnham!).

Overall a lot to chew on but it was nice to see it going back to Star Trek’s original roots.

It was racism. From where he least expected. I understand some people were expecting something more convoluted, but sometimes you can inflict a lot of damage with one word. It seems like a brutal betrayal. Spock had to put up with kids saying he was not Vulcan enough. And now his beloved sister turns her back on him saying he wasn’t human enough. That should hurt. And I can see how young Spock turned this into, “I should never ever have feelings again. This hurts too much.” A big push towards his “vulcanity.”

Tiger2

Only he said he realize why she said it. He knew she didn’t even mean it, she was just trying to do everything from crazy Vulcans to blow up their family and she wanted to run away. So why would it be an issue now, decades later? I could maybe buy it if she MEANT it, but she didn’t and he knew it. That’s why its all a bit confusing why this would divide them.

Niclovestrek

Tiger, he would have realized it later on, not immediately. Although we did not see it, there probably lingering feelings of discord as indicated in Amanda words in episode 3. The way they interacted in this episode alone showed that incident define their ongoing relationship. No matter what people say word especially from someone you love can hurt deeply.

Trek in a Cafe

I mostly agree with you Tiger 2 – But I think that at the time Michael did mean it. Only through time did adult Spock “understand.”

If we look to what just happened in Congress yesterday, there are so many angles: we can even intuit that Michael might have internalized the hate the extremists felt for her by hating that which could not love her, and proving their case.

Was she genuinely racist? It makes logical sense that she was sick of being the focus of terrorists, tired of Vulcans and their logic battle culture, and depressed by their lack of imagination that she could be a good Vulcan.

Re-watch with your brother and ask him how he feels!

In total, this episode tried really hard to not go over the top (good) by making the Talosians less threatening (meh), which resulted in this realistic gentle reveal (to the Talosians and to us the audience) that throughout her time in Starfleet, Michael has been using her Vulcan upbringing proudly but also asks: has she been proud of it or trying hard to hide that she was racist or had racist feelings that she used to protect Spock.

Tiger2

You do make some great points. And I guess I can understand Michael being actually racist against Vulcans in that time, especially after we find out what happened to her parents. But nothing in the scenes we saw her before really suggested that. I’m not saying she can’t be but look at her interaction with young Spock in the episode before this one, she obviously had grown attached to Spock and vice versa. I just never felt any real resentment with her over Vulcans. If the season at least showed her being a bit apprehensive living with them or something it would be easier to swallow.

To me it just felt like what Spock said, to purposely push him away. The whole thing just feels murky I guess because it happened so long ago and we have to believe Burnham never just told him why she did that later on? But its not a huge deal, I just thought as much as they played it up it would be a little more dramatic like she was directly involved in hindering Spock’s life in some way.

But my guess is we will know one way or the other soon when the producers or actors discuss it (which we know they will).

Trek in a Cafe

And more could be revealed – Michael and Spock should (according to drama) have another discussion about this and not let it just sit there. It seems like they both joined Starfleet to get away from Vulcans.

Spiked Canon

scars don’t always go away even when you understand how you got them

Tiger2

I just don’t buy it. We are talking about Vulcans. Once Spock knew why she did it, it would’ve just been seen as a logical way of pushing him away and he would’ve gotten over it. Maybe as a child it would bother him but he is still harping on this 20 years later? Over something he himself know she didn’t really mean. It just feels a bit contrived and a way to create drama where there really isn’t any.

The funny thing is I rewatched This Side of Paradise the day before this episode and Kirk insults Spock the same way even calling him a half breed. Of course it was just to make him angry but once he got over being controlled he knew why Kirk did it and none of it phased him. Maybe I guess that’s the more mature Spock we are seeing but it’s still too hard to buy, especially since we never saw Burnham racist against Vulcans before in any way.

Spiked Canon

But he is only half Vulcan and at the time he was trying to embrace his humanity

Tiger2

That’s a fair point. Maybe there is more to it as well, but Spock is a grown man, even if it did hurt him he should be old enough to accept what she said was to protect him and move on. I’ll repeat it again, if he truly felt she meant what she said is one thing, but once he realized why she really said it, he should acknowledge that even if it hurt him at the time. It just feels more like unneeded melodrama instead of a real introspection of why they are not close….20 years later.

Kelvin Spock literally almost killed Kirk over what he said about his mother who just died and lost his command as Captain over it. A few hours later he got himself together, resolved it and became friends anyway. And what Kirk did WAS underhanded even if he felt he was doing it for a good reason. But Spock didn’t hold a grudge over it for another 20 years either.

But I’ll wait and see if there is something more to it. I may be pre-judging it too soon.

Jemini

He was a baby, by the time he got older the damage was already done and he internalized a denial of his feelings. However, it’s obvious he has them and he can’t help being human too, no matter what he tells himself and who he pretends to be.

Besides, it seems he only has a bond with Michael as a kid so now they’d have to bond again as siblings after years of not really talking to each other and having no relationship.

Marja

DSC Adult Spock says Michael did him a favor. He established himself as ultra-logical from the day she ran away to now. He planted his feet in Logic and grew up there. He would not feel “free to love” until “This Side of Paradise.” However, he did show great loyalty to Pike, and later, Kirk, and to Starfleet. [And loyalty is not always logical.] He also showed friendship to Kirk and the senior crew, if only in his own way.

Really, when I look at the fictional construct of Vulcan society, it’s as confusing as Human society, LOL.

ML31

” Maybe as a child it would bother him but he is still harping on this 20 years later?”

That is why I’m hoping there is more to it than just that. Even if he resented her for it… He opted to embrace logic. He said so himself. Once he accepted that, he would realize what she did made logical sense and he would no longer beat himself up over it. It’s logical. There just has to be more. If there isn’t, it’s another Discovery writing fail.

Tiger2

Exactly! Yes as a kid I could understand it. But this Spock is older and has embraced his Vulcan side. I’ll say it again, maybe at the time, I could understand. But you are still holding this grudge 20 years later? And I guess I don’t understand but did they just severe their relationship from that point because AFAIK they lived together until they grew up. So maybe there is more to it but as it stands now it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Disinvited

Tiger2,

For a Vulcan, wouldn’t 20 years feel like 10 would to us?

Tiger2

LOL, I don’t know. Is that really a thing for Vulcans? I’m seriously asking here.

ML31

Here’s the thing about the Vulcan extremists. It seems to me that Michael leaving would not remove the target from the Sarek household. Sarek married a human and had a mixed race child with her. How would that cease being something the “logic extremists” not want to see around? Even that story element doesn’t make sense.

TG47

Burnham was a child with a child’s sense that events centred on her.

So, since the logic extremists attacked after she joined the family, she reasons that they will be safe again when she is gone.

Spock critiques her self-centred perspective , but doesn’t give her credit for no longer being a child and moving beyond that.

Instead he’s the centre of his own story and she’s just there to help.

Pretty typical of an encysted sibling conflict that can’t be resolved.

ML31

OK. So Burnham might think she was the problem. Not unlike a child blaming themselves for the divorce. Fair enough. But the reality still is that the target would not have been removed from the Sarek household.

HubcapDave

But that is basically moot. Doesn’t matter if it actually did or not, just that she THOUGHT it did.

TrekFan

You are thinking like an adult would. Think like a child put into that situation. Michael felt it was because of her and that is why she felt it necessary to leave. She felt the family would be safe.

HubcapDave

Exactly.

Spiked Canon

you are seriously going to delve that deep into it? We don’t know what has happened on a day to day basis. Maybe someone egged their house or threw a brick threw the window with a note attached. She’s a young girl that is afraid.

German Trekkie

(Copy and pasted this i admit)

It was not just some name calling (which most of us know is common between siblings). We learn that by that point, Spock not only accepted her, but idolized her and took her as anchor for his human side to develop.
She severed that. She pushed him to adhere to being fully vulcan and purge his human side. So it is not just name calling.

The only thing i would complain about (and maybe is the reason that the reveal does not resonate that well with a number of people) is that we should have seen more of the positive development between Michael had on Spock, becoming close and really appreciate each other.

Spiked Canon

They laid it out in earlier episodes that Burnham was tasked with showing and demonstrating humanity to Spock and that they had grown fond of each other. Other than a stand alone episode just showing that I thought they made it clear enough.

Spiked Canon

I respect your thoughts on this episode. It seems to me that they set out to help make more sense about The Menagerie by showing there was a deeper connection between Pike and Vina and that she was more than a pretty face. The things Burnham said to Spock were significant because she was his link to humanity and he wanted to embrace that. She turned the faucet off for him. If you have siblings try to look at it through your eyes and if they said something that bashed your dreams.

Benjamin Adams

It wasn’t racism, everyone. It was feigned bigotry, yes – but not racism, which is “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.”

Racism implies a power structure. Bigotry has no power structure.

I wish I liked this episode as much as everyone else seems to have. I didn’t care for it much at all, personally.

Section 31 continues to be the worst thing that ever happened to Star Trek. And the use it is being put to on this series is the worst use of it yet. It’s almost impressive how much it sucks.

Elsewhere, the revelation of what happened in Burnham and Spock’s meltdown was lame (and the fact that it was revealed via the Talosians wanting to see it was even lamer). That’s what they’ve been building to for eight episodes?

Peck was okay as Spock, but that’s the best I can say for him. The fake black hole was cool, but otherwise the Talosians didn’t much work for me.

I liked all of Pike’s scenes, and I liked Culber’s subplot. Otherwise, this one gets nothing from me but a shrug.

Jack

I’m with you. The Culber stuff was great. I like Peck’s Spock. But everything else: meh. The Talosians/Vina etc were just a big flashy easter egg and not much more — and, frankly, they paled compared to the 60s versions.

They seem to be moving too fast with Saru, to the point where it’s not clear who the character is.

Not only does it pale in comparison to the original, it doesn’t come off as much more than a piece of fan art to me. I can’t take it seriously. Those aren’t Talosians; that’s not Vina; that’s not Spock; etc. That’s a writers’ room desperately trying to convince me they care about the history of Star Trek. I’m not convinced.

Regarding Saru, I’ve never felt like the writers had any idea who the character is. Doug Jones’ performance is so good that he holds the character together, but otherwise he’s not the same person from one week to the next. This, of course, is a bit of a Trek tradition (they call it “Gumbification” on the Mission Log podcast), but for serialized storytelling, that doesn’t work.

It’s almost as if Star Trek is best suited to NOT being serialized…

ML31

“It’s almost as if Star Trek is best suited to NOT being serialized…”

Season 3 of Enterprise was one season long arc and it worked way better than 1 and half short seasons of Discovery. DS9 had serialized portions as well and it worked swimmingly. Season 4 of Enterprise had two three episode arcs and a few two parters. And I think they worked from OK to well. I do not think it the serialized nature of the show. I think it more the people in charge just don’t have the creativity to pull it off.

Spiked Canon

I think it more the people in charge just don’t have the creativity to pull it off. Are you speaking of Disco? Even the haters from season 1 love this season.

ML31

I thought it obvious. Sorry, I will make it more clear. I do not think the people in charge of Discovery have the creativity to pull it off.

I think the overall feeling is that season 2 is better than season 1. But “love”? That’s a great leap. Season 2 is better but it still has a number of issues. Issues that are keeping it from being good.

Spiked Canon

Well I know without a doubt you and I define love differently. And you do realize that you are in a very small minority right? The shows viewership is up from last season. Trek fans on this and many sites are heaping praise on the show. Youcome to FAN sites and dis on a show for what reason? Yes you can have your own opinion, but make it once. Why do you continue to bash it constantly?

ML31

You don’t know any such thing. There is no way you could know any such thing. Unless your definition of “love” is different from the consensus then you do not know. Larger viewership does not = Love. The praise for the show is that it is better than last season. I share that opinion. Trek fans are saying all sorts of things about the show on many sites. Your conclusion that it is universally loved is hardly accurate. Why is it so important that your opinion be the right one?

Ashley

Before this season, I had high hopes that Saru would continue to overcome his natural inclination towards fear and applauded his bravery and curiosity. But now that he has ‘evolved’ and that fear element has been rapidly removed, I find I care less about him now. I hope they develop a solid and interesting direction for him that feels plausible and natural. I’d hate for him to become like Tyler, who feels shoe-horned in, and is essentially a body to be used for whatever plot purposes he’s needed for.

ML31

You know, that is a good point. Overcoming a natural inclination is one thing. Having that impediment removed on it’s own is quite another. That said, he is still the most interesting character in the original cast.

MysticalDigtial

I think getting the racist *half breed* from your sister, told you can’t possibly have emotions, you can’t possibly love her, you can’t possibly understand that because you’re only a Vulcan is pretty freaking crushing and world changing to a kid coming from someone they idolize.

Especially when the Vulcan half of him is the half that gets picked on as well, it’s like he has no safe place now.

I guess. I just don’t care about any of that (not in terms of how it is being played on this show, at least). The show has done nothing to make me care about any of it. It doesn’t feel like an actual story is being told; it feels like fan-fiction (or a Wikipedia summary of fan fiction) is being written, with the emphasis on the outcome and with no knowledge of how to properly tell a story in order to reach that outcome.

This series is a prime example of telling the audience how to feel about things and then expecting them to feel that way. Maybe this works for some people; it doesn’t work for me.

NCC Lincon 1785

You just a show hater. Looking through your post

An odd reaction to encountering an opinion one feels unworthy. But you do you, pal.

kmart

Lincon,
I hate to have to quote from James Cameron, but you need to look with better eyes.

A34

You wouldn’t wrong

blackmocco

What he said. This season feels like a rambling mess since we’ve hooked up with Spock.

ML31

It is indeed starting to feel like fan fiction. And now that you mention it, you described what it is they seem to be doing. We are told we have to care and the Burnham-Spock dynamic and then when the moments come they expect us to feel for them. It doesn’t work that way. Up to this point, they have presented no reason for the audience to care about the Burnham Spock thing. Therefore, when something like this is revealed, it is less impactful than it could have been.

Captain Ransom

Maybe you should rephrase that. Please stop speaking for everyone else ML. Just because YOU don’t care about the Burnham/Spock thing, doesn’t mean everyone feels the way you do. Please use the correct use of pronouns and say “I” or “ME”.
Thank you.

ML31

Tired of this. I have decided that more often that not, I will not point out what is obviously subjective as being so. If readers cannot comprehend this then too bad.

Captain Ransom

Well, I am tired of you speaking for the rest of us. Your opinions are your own. They do not represent mine nor do they represent a majority of the other posters on here. If you cannot own your opinions, they do not state them. You do not and never will speak for me. I don’t know how you decided you are the voice of the fans – but please stop.

ML31

Captain, captain, captain. Why is the concept of subjectivity so difficult for you? We all know what is opinion and what is not. I’ve never spoken on your behalf and you are now the one who seem to be speaking for what you perceive as “the majority”. And you probably don’t even realize it. Sad.

Captain Ransom

If your opinion is so important…then own it as yours. Stop hiding behind subjectivity.

ML31

??? Do you not realize that opinions are subjective? I’m not the one hiding here…

A34

Take a chill pill dude.

Spiked Canon

It does work. You sound like someone that doesn’t have siblings or children. If you do you can look at this through those eyes and see the emotion….that’s if the person looking has a heart

ML31

I have both a sibling and a child. It doesn’t work because the audience has not been given a reason to really invest themselves in the Burnham Spock relationship. If this were happening between Burnham and Saru, we could feel a little something. Because we have been there with them. This was just thrown at us and we are expected to care without cause.

Spiked Canon

In my opinion you are just wrong. Anyone that has had similar interactions with others or their children have can empathize. I don’t need a television writer to tell me when it is an emotional scaring moment.

ML31

” Anyone that has had similar interactions with others or their children have can empathize. ”

That is 100% not true. All that is required to empathize is for the situation to make a connection to the audience. One does not need a sibling or a child to get that. In this case, they failed to make the necessary connection to get the audience (beyond Spiked Canon and a number of others) to greatly care.

TG47

Agreed MysticalDigital

Add in having that sister destroy a shared dream/fantasy of a future life on Earth where his human side and emotions could be embraced and owned.

I believe Discovery has done something very important in the current social conversation about diversity, racism, and unconscious bias. And I think that it was crucial to the metaphor that Michael is female and African-American to underscore her racist attack on Spock’s mixed heritage.

By showing a family of essentially good willed and intelligent people getting a biracial and bicultural family relationship so wrong that there are deep wounds that drive them so far apart that they can ‘never get the four of them together, Discovery is demonstrating that true inclusion and acceptance is hard and takes ongoing eggort and self-awareness – even in an ideal society.

The River Temarc

Add in having that sister destroy a shared dream/fantasy of a future life on Earth where his human side and emotions could be embraced and owned.

Which Sybok might have implanted in him, actually.

ML31

I wholeheartedly agree about section 31. Every time the series shifts to Leland or Space Hitler I mentally tune out. It’s just way too cartoony. I liken Leland and Georgeau to Boris Badinov and Natasha Fatale. Save Section 31 for Lower Decks.

I really hope that was not the payoff for Spock and Burnham. If it is, chalk it up as another major fail. However, there are still plenty of episodes left. More could be revealed.

I liked Spock more than you did. But I also found it weird that the Talosians wanted that memory. I’m not really understanding why. I’m kinda hoping we come back to them later and wrap that little thing up. But this show has a history of explaining things that need no explaining and not explaining things that do.

The Culber thing I am still not buying. I can’t get past the fact that there is no way in hell this is the real Culber. That story is carrying no weight for me because NO ONE on board is doubting the situation. Which is patently absurd. It’s as if people on that ship die and come back from an alternate dimension every month. So no big deal.

Spiked Canon

if you know Trek you know why the Talosians want those memories. This is FAR from an epic fail. I seriously don’t know where you get that. I don’t like the Sec 31 stuff but that doesn’t cause the show to fail. WTH do you want? It’s Trek in 2019.

ML31

I know Trek. I’ve seen The Cage countless times. It is arrogant presumption of you to think otherwise. It’s possible the best pilot show ever made. And it still makes no sense why they would suddenly want to trade a memory when they never showed any inclination towards such a thing before. Section 31 is a fail because it and their involvement with Georgeau (aka Space Hitler) feels like it comes straight out of Robocop 2. What do I want? I want a story that actually is fascinating. That doesn’t rely of the goofiest tropes Trek as done (better) in the past. A Trek that has characters that are interesting. I do not want to be spoon fed.

Tiger2

I really like Section 31 this season but I admit I am still having problems with their portrayal and yes MU Georgiou is one of them. I am liking her more than I thought I would but why on earth would anyone trust her??? Leland recruited her and now he doesn’t even trust her lol. It’s a bit absurd, its clear she has her own agenda. She’s from the MU, they all do. That’s just how they are bred over there. It’s going to end about as well like when they tried to get Khan to work for them in the KU.

But Section 31 is interesting to me in the sense we now see how they manipulated certain missions and events in the TOS era. I know some people don’t like that (welcome to prequels people ;)), but it does interest me. But yes, they should be MORE behind the scenes when doing it, not so upfront as they are on this show.

ML31

I can appreciate how some do like the Section 31 concept. It just doesn’t work for me. But even if one likes the idea of exploring section 31 the concept of recruiting Georgeau is so monumentally insane that it’s just unbelievable it got past the “joke” stage at the section 31 meeting. I likened it to Robocop 2. Where they took the mind of the serial killer and put it in the cyborg. What did they think would happen? Why do you think it was Steve Rogers who got the Captain America serum and not Adolph Hitler? This falls into the category of, DUH!

Tiger2

I accepted long ago a lot of people are not going to like Section 31, and for many its valid reasons.

And as I said although I DO like Section 31 being on the show, yes their portrayal is probably the main issue why a lot of people are having problems with them. If this was the old S31 for example, we wouldn’t see them so involved in every mission like trying to apprehend Spock in this episode.

In fact it would be the opposite and they would’ve found an asset in Starfleet to do it for them like how they used Bashir or Kirk and Spock to kill Khan in STID. They were always there but never directly, that’s what made them feel so cool and elusive. You really only saw Sloan on DS9 or Harris on ENT and they rarely interacted with more than 1 or 2 people at a time.

So I get the apprehension. Many already don’t like S31, but then to see them so proactive where they are now taking orders from Starfleet brass and have official members like Tyler on Discovery is probably too much for some. And having Georgiou only makes it worst. But oddly enough we probably only have them on the show this much to give Yeoh a reason to be there.

ML31

Good point. If there was some sort of character doing things and there is no mention of S31 until only at the end we see who was REALLY pulling the strings, it might be easier to take. As someone who doesn’t care for the concept to begin with, seeing them with their own fleet and super tech doesn’t help.

Tiger2

That probably would’ve been the better way to do it. And in fact have them simply pose as Starfleet intelligence only by the end of the season we find out it was Section 31 all along. That would’ve been a great twist. The only problem is they wouldn’t have been able to use Gerogiou because no one would’ve believed Starfleet intelligence would’ve made her a member. Section 31 is shady enough where anyone is used if they see any value to them like Khan and the Romulan Koval from the DS9 episode I can’t name but too lazy to look up lol. But you know which one I’m talking about.

S31 lives in a world of murky grey areas that Starfleet doesn’t and probably why its best not to have them so closely aligned with them, at least not out in the open as they are doing on Discovery. It would’ve been a great twist for example all those admirals talking to Leland and Georgiou at the beginning of this episode would’ve showed up in the last episode of the season instead and revealed then of S31 involvement and that they were in the know the entire time. That would’ve confirmed Starfleet’s ‘plausible deniability’ of knowing the organization’s existence while clearly working with them behind the scenes. That would’ve felt like S31 of old. But Gerogiou’s presence makes that impossible.

ML31

Regarding Georgeau in Starfleet intelligence… I sorta think that if one doesn’t buy her in Star fleet intelligence then it is likely one would not buy her in Section 31. Although, I sorta feel like the two are the same thing, myself. A rose by any other name…

Disinvited

ML31,

I’ll grant you one thing: it does give one pause to ask, what the hell passes for Earth History in the 23rd century?

In my lifetime, the US gave a free pass to avoid war crimes prosecution to dozens of Nazis so they could employ them, post WW II, against the godless Commies. Then, in the new millennium, when that got exposed, deported the still living but continued paying them social security.

And still, Starfleet Academy History professor John Gill will try to convert a whole extraterrestrial civilization to the Nazi model because it was just so damn efficient?

I suppose the point to make is: Given this slant on history Gill and his peers have been and are teaching them, is it any wonder that Section 31 finds employing Georgeau
“more efficient”?

Disinvited

ML31,

The Talosians are addicts. They aren’t in a 12 step program, but rather, the throes of their addiction. From time to time, addicts can manage moments of humanity such as empathy and kindness in not wanting to condemn others to their fate. But for the most part, they’ll let you down and disappoint you to serve their addiction.

In Pike’s final exchange with them, in THE CAGE, they clearly understand the concept of trade, and if the quarrantine’s been effective, it’s been 3 years without a fix.

Also recall, when they first met, Vina told Pike the Talosians would stop at nothing to get what they want.

ML31

OK… But that sounds like a fan theory based on what we have seen. There very well could be 100 other reasons. But I honestly cannot find a definitive logical reason why they would want just a memory of any kind. Especially when there has been nothing to directly support why.

Marja

The Talosians feed on the emotional experiences of others. That memory, for Spock and Michael, was very emotional.

ML31

Do they? That was established in The Menagerie or The Cage?

Disinvited

ML31,

What was established was Vina and the minds of the other creatures they had in stock, became stale for them and they craved new memories from fresh minds.

ML31

That doesn’t mean they were “feeding” on memories. That was more about fresh entertainment it seems to me than anything else.

Disinvited

ML31,

If that was all that they required, why were they looking to transition from kidnapping to breeding?

Aiming to grow a crop implies they were seeking to control the quality, i.e. they had certain needs to be met.

ML31

“If that was all that they required, why were they looking to transition from kidnapping to breeding?”

For the workforce?

Disinvited

The pertinent quotes from THE CAGE and THE MENAGERIE PART 2 would be:

“PIKE: So the Talosians who came underground found life limited here and they concentrated on developing their mental power.

VINA: But they found it’s a trap, like a narcotic, because when dreams become more important than reality, you give up travel, building, creating. You even forget how to repair the machines left behind by your ancestors. You just sit, living and reliving other lives left behind in the thought record.”

“PIKE (to Vina); I can’t help either one of us if you won’t give me a chance. Now, you told me once they used illusions as a narcotic. They couldn’t repair the machines left by their ancestors. Is that why they want us, to build a colony of slaves?”

Captain Ransom

ML is just being a troll at this point.

ML31

Because anyone who presents an opinion different from Captain Ranson’s qualifies them as a Troll. Captain Ransom has spoken.

Captain Ransom

No. You will argue anyone. That makes you a troll sir.

ML31

I will defend my point of view to anyone who asks for it. Unlike following specific posters around only to belittle them and moan and groan about how their opinion is the wrong one.

Spiked Canon

Repeated negativity is trolling

ML31

Following specific posters and hassling them over an opinion is trolling.

A34

Section 31 is the best thing to happen to Star Trek. It’s going to get even better when the Emperor takes over.

TG47

If the emperor takes over quickly, then the inherent conflict in the situation will go poof.

Seeing Alan Van Sprang ooze Leland’s pseudosincerity against Michelle Yeoh’s snark has a good way to run.

I find it interesting that TPTB are embracing some of the complex almost campy dark side of TOS. TNG mostly took itself very seriously…

So we’ve had an edgy but still campy Mudd, I hope the TOS fans can see the same in S31.

Tumbler

Didn’t they do the Goodnight Gracie joke in TNG with Data too? I want to say season… 2 maybe.

Sam

The Outrageous Okona. “Say goodbye, Data.” With Data recognizing the joke only after making it unintentionally.

Tumbler

Right. Thanks!

SpiderBat

Spot-on review. “The Cage” was hallowed ground to tread, but they pulled it off. The vintage sound cues were wonderful to hear again. I was a bit disappointed not to see the “Forbidden Planet”-like skyline of craggy peaks and mesas. The set looked pretty much exactly like what it was, an abandoned quarry. But Melissa George was wonderful, bringing the same smoldering vulnerability to the role that Susan Oliver did. And the updated Talosian makeups were very good.

I’ll have to join the disappointment club on the “big reveal” of the Spock/Burnham schism. Felt like every movie ever with a boy who couldn’t keep his dog. “Go home boy! Git!” Pretty weak stuff after the long build up. I felt for sure we were in for some sordid tale of a Ponn Farr gone wrong or something. So maybe it’s a mercy they went this way.

But all carping aside, it was a great trip down memory lane, future or otherwise.

MysticalDigtial

I think getting the racist *half breed* from your sister, told you can’t possibly have emotions, you can’t possibly love her, you can’t possibly understand that because you’re only a Vulcan is pretty freaking crushing and world changing to a kid coming from someone they idolize.

Especially when the Vulcan half of him is the half that gets picked on as well, it’s like he has no safe place now.

I’m frankly amazing people aren’t more shocked by how horrible what she did was (and frankly more than a little bothered that some people (not saying you) wanted it to be sexual))

SpiderBat

As I said, I’m relieved it wasn’t a sexual or romantic incident that caused the rift. But given the tendency to make the show “darker” it felt like that was one possible cause behind the mystery (at a later point in their ages obviously). Very glad it wasn’t.

I just felt the reveal they presented seemed a bit weak. Maybe if that was the last they had ever seen of each other. But Michael came back to live with them almost immediately, unless I misunderstand the timeline of events. Are we to presume she spent the next 10 or however many years calling him a dirty little half-breed? Seems “illogical” there wouldn’t have been some degree of reconciliation in the interim.

Nebula1701

She likely just distances herself both “emotionally” and physically, very little interaction outside of when the parents were around.

She gave him a very big cold shoulder.

Michael Hall

You make a good point, and I don’t think it unrealistic that what Burnham did also marked a turning point in Spock’s eventual decision to go full-on Vulcan. (There have been many fan theories, most recently dramatized by the finale of “Star Trek Continues,” that Spock experienced a similar trauma at the end of the five-year mission that drove him to Kohlinar in TMP.) Still, I have to agree with the criticism that it’s weak trope to justify the buildup, and one only fairly well-executed at that. GAME OF THRONES, with its heartbreaking resolution to the relationship between Tyrion Lannister and the whore Shae, did it much, much better.

Sam

At least the “half-breed” part tracked with Spock’s reaction to it in classic TOS.

But I also don’t believe it never once occurred to Spock what his sister was doing after she had just told him.

Niclovestrek

Realize later on in life, does not change the hurt. As Spock said she was catalyst to embrace logic. Their interaction in this episode was a glimpse into dynamic growing up and definitely not warm. Spock definitely not over the hurt.

German Trekkie

(another copy and paste move XD )
It was not just some name calling (which most of us know is common between siblings). We learn that by that point, Spock not only accepted her, but idolized her and took her as anchor for his human side to develop.
She severed that. She pushed him to adhere to being fully vulcan and purge his human side. So it is not just name calling.

The only thing i would complain about (and maybe is the reason that the reveal does not resonate that well with a number of people) is that we should have seen more of the positive development between Michael had on Spock, becoming close and really appreciate each other.

ML31

” Felt like every movie ever with a boy who couldn’t keep his dog.”

That is EXACTLY what went through my head at that scene. And even emoted to Mrs ML31, ‘you have got to be kidding me with this.’

It never occurred to me that it be a little Pon Far related. But even THAT would have been better than what it was they did. Although now that I think about it, I think Spock was “less than married more than betrothed” to T’Pring since age 7.

Spiked Canon

I’m glad you and the wife are so tough and unemotional. That must make life a lot better.

A34

The … must be great.

ML31

It is. It absolutely is. What makes it better is the emotional connection and how we empathize.

A34

Thanks for sharing

ML31

You asked…

Michael Hall

Have to agree about George. Living up to Susan Oliver’s beauty and vulnerability in that role — she’s easily the most sympathetic character in “The Cage”; far more so than the Enterprise crew — was a thankless task, and she damn-near pulled it off. Kudos.

Raphael Salgado

Anyone who’s been watching those Midnight’s Edge videos on YouTube trying to explain the Prime and Kelvin timelines, and keeping canon, kinda blew their theory out of the water tonight, or DSC found a pretty awesome loophole.

Why would anyone watch those?

Sam

Aren’t they always insisting STD is a failure of a show that’s halfway dead just because they want it to be?

Spock Jenkins

Yep, there’s a whole swathe of them. Last time I mentioned their names on this site, my comments were inexplicably banned.

Denny C

They insist on a lot of things.

Raphael Salgado

It was definitely one of those, “how the hell did I get here in YouTube?” late nights. You start off looking how to make an apple turnover, and you end up on the other side of the unknown universe two and a half hours later.

A34

You can block YouTube channels from showing up in your recommendations. Just click on the ‘not interested’ link.

HubcapDave

Because nerd rage requires confirmation bias?

Spock Jenkins

Good god. Can’t stand them. And they’ve formed an unholy alliance with Robert Meyer Burnett, who will castigate fans of other properties who don’t like the things HE likes, but he will happily co-sign the venom and misinformation by the likes of Midnight’s Edge.

Michael Hall

Met Burnette a few years back and thought he was a pretty stand-up guy (whatever you think of Axanar, which my attitude towards have certainly changed). But on this subject he’s positively unhinged, sad to say.

HubcapDave

It’s like he’s lost his damned mind…..

Denny C

Midnight’s Edge has a long history of not getting it right so I’m sure they were a little rattled when the ‘previously on’ flashbacked decades to The Cage.

martin

What, you didn’t notice they changed those “The Cage” scenes by 25%? LOL. I wonder how much of the recap was done before the ME videos – or if they were added in just to say FU to ME, Alec Peters, and that whole ilk of Discovery haters.

HubcapDave

Alec Peters does not hate Discovery. He’s on record as saying he loves it this season.

German Trekkie

Is is too harsh to call “Midnight´s Edge” the Alt-Right and Neo-Cons of the Star Trek Fandom?
Best to stay away fom Midnight´s Edgs vitriol

Jerry

Was it me, or did the scene where Spock melds with the red angel look like it was taking place on Delta Vega? Maybe I’m thinking too much into it. “Red Matter”, “Red Angels”….hmmmm.

Support Your Local Salt Vampire

It wasn’t just you. It looked very reminiscent of Delta Vega.

ML31

Kelvin Delta Vega. But then, this isn’t Star Wars. Planets have varying ecosystems. It literally could have been anywhere.

Spiked Canon

Delta Vega is the same in any timeline.

ML31

Who says it wasn’t?

Spiked Canon

why would you mention Kelvin Universe when we are commenting on a story in TOS universe?

ML31

It was made very clear in my post. Getting a little tired of having to dumb down the obvious for just two people here.

Marja

Wasn’t Where No Man Has Gone Before [2nd TOS pilot] on Delta Vega? Where the power plant or whatever was located? I remember a lot of hoo-ha about it looking so snowy in the Kelvin timeline, and that it was too close to Vulcan, etc. etc.

Jerry

It was just the jacket he was wearing, and the way planet looked. It just seemed to remind me of Delta Vega. Not sure if the mentioned which planet he was on in the scene. Delta Vega is obviously near Vulcan. he all know how Vulcan is destroyed in the Kelvin Timeline. “Red Matter” Again, maybe I’m looking in the wrong direction, or try to meld the two timelines together.

Niclovestrek

Let me help this thread. Spock said that he was lead to a remote planet. Thus it could not be Delta Vega because it’s not remote from Vulcan. Also he did not give a name and Spock would have stated a named of a planet that had a known name. Despite its familiarity it’s a new planet.

Disinvited

Niclovestrek,

Remember, this is universe Prime where Delta Vega is near the galactic barrier far from Vulcan.

Spock Jenkins

I feel the Red Angel reveal will be Burnham. I can’t think of any other reveal that will have a shocking impact ( and I do personally beleive the Red Angel is female ).

Raphael Salgado

What if the Red Angel is eventually revealed to be Picard from his upcoming show?

Spiked Canon

that will be a LOL moment if it is

German Trekkie

The RA seems to be human. So it is not Future Spock. I do not like the “Michael Burnham = RA” theory and do not want the writers to go that way. But I think they are capable of doing a lame twist like that we all can see coming a mile away. One thought: Spock would have recognized fractions of Michael in the RA while the mind meld wouldn’t he? Or the Michael-RA is so powerful it shielded everything that would have given it’s identity away…

OR maybe the writers are so sel faware that they use the Michael-RA prospect as a big RED Angel HERRING XD

Maoman

I was underwhelmed by the new Talosians. I thought the originals with their slight frame and bulbous pulsating head felt far more alien. The new ones look like a generic TNG alien.

I didn’t even think they looked that good, personally. The heads were wrong, the casting was wrong, the voices were wrong. The underground set was boring. The planet looked less like an alien planet than like a rock quarry.

This show has the budget to do almost anything; they settled here for doing more or less nothing.

Ad Astra Per Aspera

Yes dear, we get it. You don’t like DSC.

Tiger2

And that is his right to do. His points are valid, just because others don’t like it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t express it.

Sometimes I do, though. I’ve loved their take on Pike; I like Culber, and I like Jett Reno, and I occasionally like Tyler.

That’s what’s so frustrating about the show’s (many) failures. I see what it could be. It keeps managing not to be that.

ML31

For me, this season started with such promise and it is just slowly turning into The Final Frontier.

Spiked Canon

get’s better every week. Well at least 80% of us think so

ML31

And where do you have the data to support your 80% figure?

Captain Ransom

True – it’s more like 90%

ML31

And this is true because…. Captain Ransom says so?

Captain Ransom

Exactly.

Denny C

They do look a bit generic now and the physicality of their appearance as a frail species living beneath the surface of a planet devastated by nuclear war was completely lost.

TG47

Why would the Talosians be showing their ‘true forms’?

Given that they can look like anything they want to, and they aren’t trying to con Burnham into believing they are fragile and harmless, it wouldn’t have made sense to me for them to look frail during this visit.

In fact, they wanted to intimidate Burnham.

They wanted her to be clear that their help was only offered for a very invasive price.

I just don’t see a frail physical representation lining up with an intimidating illusion of a black hole.

I know some people are struggling with this, but it seems to me to be going out of their way to be inflexible when an exact recreation would be illogical.

ML31

Then why didn’t they do that to Pike to begin with?

Spiked Canon

So the Cage and Menagerie were failed like Discovery? LOL What do you like?

Denny C

Pretty sure I didn’t say that Discovery is a failure. Just saying that I wasn’t onboard with the direction that they took with their appearance. That’s what we do around here.

Disinvited

ML31,

Short answer: They learned from Pike.

Also recall, they hadn’t downloaded Enterprise’s databanks until after they had already decided on how to appear to Pike, probably based on what they learned from Vina’s anxieties?

Denny C

That’s ultimately the point. The Talosians only defense is to seem far scarier and intimidating than they actually are. They are not a physically imposing species, the only have the power of illusion.

Marja

TG 47, That’s a good point/idea! The Talosians wanted to intimidate Michael not only with their powers, but with their appearance.

Michael Hall

Well, I like DSC far more than he does and I have to agree. Vina and the singing plants were good, but as a tie-in to “The Cage” the rest was a disappointment, and just another unforced error. Too bad.

The River Temarc

Well, I like Discovery, but I unfortunately am coming to agree. The makeup wasn’t glaringly terrible, but it lacked the frail/ethereal aspect of THE CAGE and was a bit more generic.

Look at the bright side: it looked more like a planet, and less like a sound stage. :-)

TG47

Frankly a desolate quarry makes a whole lot more sense for a post extinction-level nuclear war, than mattes with lovely Forbidden Planet mesas.

I always thought the initial skyline was part of the illusion that was eventually exposed to be just that – illusion.

The green sky behind naked rock was cool.

Michael Hall

As a generic planet it was fine. For this show, it needed to look more like “The Cage,” and should have.

The River Temarc

“The Cage” was a soundstage, though, not on-location shooting. And it was pretty generic. This wasn’t a planet like Pahvo or Kaminar with a distinctive environment.

Spock Jenkins

I have to agree.

Praetor Tal

I’m glad someone brought this up. There is a lot about this episode to comment upon, but the one thing that irritated me about it was the casting and makeup design of the Talosians. How does adding a sagittal crest make them look super- (or over-) evolved? Pairing women actors with a weird, otherworldly male voice was brilliant, in 1964 or 2019. Why not do the same here, and stick with what has worked really well? Another example of redesign for redesign’s sake?

TG47

Praetor Tal I’m finding it surprising that so many are disappointed that Discovery didn’t rehash a play on sexist stereotyping.

Using female actors physically to represent frailty and then using male voices for a dissonance of strength basically says that the audience believes female bodies are weak.

Sigh.

It may have been novel 55 years ago, but there is no reason to reprise that given the Talosians can look any way they want and clearly did not wish to look weak to Burnham.

Praetor Tal

I don’t find it sexist. They picked women who were specifically older, thin and frail, not merely because they were women. It was for the body type, not some commentary on sex. There is the distinct possibility that if the right male actors–someone like Doug Jones, though perhaps he would have been much too tall–had been available, they might have picked them instead. Someone with a connective tissue disorder might have had the right frame, but then the present discussion would be about ableism instead sexism.

ML31

Not just body type. But women just carry themselves differently. It just added to the alien feel. It’s the same reason Speilberg used little girls for the aliens at the end of Close Encounters.

Spiked Canon

ya good point they go out of their way to maintain their progressive ideology. i.e. no death penalty. I’m surprised Vina had a short skirt tbh

Marja

DSC Vina also wore six-inch spike heels, great for getting around on uneven terrain [eyeroll]

Denny C

I don’t think they were going for a sexist stereotype. If you out put a casting call for performers between 4′ 10″ and 5′ 2″ and see who walks through the door.

Michael Hall

Actually, the voice used was far closer to Malachi Throne’s original dubbed voice for The Keeper as seen in “The Cage.” They should have gone with the altered version used in “The Menagerie,” which was far more alien and effective.

As for sexist stereotyping, with all due respect I’m not seeing how that fits into criticism of this show’s design choices at all.

ML31

I agree. The make up on females combined with dubbing still produces an excellent effect. Looking at The Cage today and it is still chillingly effective. Sometimes there is no reason to reinvent the wheel.

Spiked Canon

OR in this case it was a good call?

Denny C

Agreed. It worked when they shot the pilot and the design still works today. Not everything needs a redesign.

A34

Only if you watched it while high. That old episode looks pretty cheesy today.

A34

Sorry but that Cage episode was pretty bad. No wonder it was a failed pilot.

jlex

Don’t like the new Talosian. They look too bold. Their skulls appear to have a more boney structure, especially the huge nose bridge running all the way up the forehead. Makes me think that in Talosian early evolution before developing super mental abilities that they used their heads as battering rams in combat like Klingon turtle heads.

Talosian are supposed to appear anti-sex. I could tell which one was male or female with these new ones. I had hoped the showrunners would dub their voices, but they chose not to.

Their heads are not as large relative to the size of their bodies unlike the Cage Talosian. Their bodies are supposed to atrophy from lack of use and their brains are suppose to be huge because it’s become the body’s major organ. You can see this in the Cage’s version, their heads are huge to the point that it pushes their round small ears lower down the skull. The Cage’s huge head look conveys the sense of a deformaty to our views of how we see our own normal body. The Cage Talosian’s look gives that creepy vibe much like you feel when you see old pictures of circus freaks of the late 19th and early 20th century. There is no such vibe with these new Talosians. They look like run of the mill alien makeup.

Picard’s Patty

Bloody excellent episode! It absolutely felt like Trek – true Trek – had returned! LOVED IT!

Now, Mr. Kurtzman, please give us a Pike series with Spock.

ML31

To me a Pike series with Spock has the potential to answer the bigger “Menagerie” question. Why was Spock so loyal to his now invalid former Captain that he would be willing to risk death and his Current Captain’s career?

Spiked Canon

I’m sure you would hate it

ML31

Only if it were badly done.

Denny C

And I suspect that unlike his relationship with Kirk who would become both friend and family, theirs was a professional relationship built on respect. What we gather from last night’s episode is that Spock would always view Pike as a man who never lost faith in him and risked his own career to save him. That dynamic was completely lost in the Kelvin films where Pike was simply his commanding officer. There was no bond between them.

ML31

I think the Spock – Kirk relationship started with respect. And was built from that.

Marja

I disagree, but Kelvin Spock and Pike were not given much time to interact on screen. KT Pike did say something to Spock that Spock thought might be a joke … so I could see Kelvin Pike joshing Spock from time to time. Which indicates a professionally friendly relationship, at least.

Ixley

I loved this episode. I was expecting some huge VFX action romp on Talos 4, but IMO what we actually got was full of subtlety and nuance. I think the latter, coupled with some genuinely moving scenes, really elevated this TOS-inspired outing from pure fan-service and into something truly grand. That scene with Vina and Pike… geezus… that was brilliant! That segment was haunting, poignant, and eerily sweet.

Some random thoughts:

+ Melissa George was fantastic. Vina was an absolute scene stealer here.
+ If my subtitles are correct, Spock actually says “She changed your fate” at 19:57. Was that a voiceover mistake or an accidental outing of the Red Angel’s gender?
+ I loved the fact that Saru behaves differently and gets gently (but decidedly) called out by Pike. That’s some gold-standard Captaining from Pike.
+ That scene with Spock and Burnham fighting over the controls… that felt like an actual sibling squabble to me.
+ Ethan Peck’s Spock hasn’t wowed me. As of now, I find him… inoffensive. *Shrug*

Tiger2

Yeah I really like the Talosians and all the scenes on Talos IV. They didn’t show much but to be honest there isn’t much to show lol. And I also really liked the new Vina. She was great.

ML31

“That’s some gold-standard Captaining from Pike.”

Yes. But goes goes back to what was said last week. That he is a better captain when Burnham isn’t around.

Spiked Canon

OR he respects Burnham’s opinions.

ML31

Except when she talks him into something after his initial refusal.

Vulcan Soul

I’d really like to see a captain-of-the-season who is sceptical of Burnham to the degree Pike is sceptical of Tyler. Because it was always incredible that the level of failure Burnham produced that got her LIFE IN PRISON at the end of episode 2 would be reversed to full rehabilitation with ALL PEOPLE within less than a year (maybe months even). This is just not how it works in real life. Even though she committed no direct murder like Voq, her captain died as a consequence of her actions, and overall the stain on her record can’t be better than Tyler’s. Shouldn’t there be people who still hold a grudge with her and believe that a person who is notorious for overriding authority when she believes to be acting in everyone’s interest could be up to no good?

Gray zip

Small quibble. A cardinal rule of romantic storylines is to keep the lovers apart. But STD is playing the gay stuff so cautiously that it looks like other forces are at work here. Culber and Stamets we’re not revealed as a couple until well into season 1, and then Culber was brutally offed. He was absent half this season, and reappears under offputtingly silly circumstances without any feelings for Stamets, so now they have to work through that. I mean, late DS9 did something similar with Worf and Jax when she landed a sitcom, and yet. Give us a Star Trek gay couple. Show the two together for a few seasons. Then you can mess with them. After you’ve finally proven you don’t find gay icky

ML31

“He was absent half this season, and reappears under offputtingly silly circumstances without any feelings for Stamets,”

How is this not obvious? Because it’s NOT Culber!!!!

Spiked Canon

they didn’t say he wasn’t gay anymore. He just isn’t currently into Paul. We don’t have ANY “couples” at the moment. The hurt we feel from this is because they WERE a couple and we were fond of the relationship. We don’t need to appease the LGBTQ community just for the sake of appeasing. That was the last showrunners.

Gray zip

Make Star Trek Great Again!

Denny C

He came back from the dead, he doesn’t know his place in the universe anymore and he seems mad as hell at Stamets for managing to keep him alive. The Culber who came back will never be the Culber who was lost.

There’s a bigger story unfolding here and their sexuality is merely incidental since most aren’t viewing them as a gay couple but merely as a couple. That’s actually a good thing.

Gray zip

Looked at in a vacuum this is right. But there’s a history here. LGBTQ couples have always been treated differently than straight ones in entertainment, and we notice. Just on Trek alone cast members hook up and move in with regularity so this feels… different. It could be innocent, but I’m reminded of the feature films. Sulu is gay! Except no one says it. A man picks him up at the airport basically. They can’t even kiss because his… husband? Cousin? just happens to be holding a child. Some said as you do here that this was a good thing. It’s so normal they don’t lean into it, just like real life. Meanwhile Spock and Uhura Mack on the transporter pad and Kirk humps green girls. Why the kid gloves with Sulu? Well for one thing gay content is forbidden in China and Russia. So wink-wink-who-knows? is all we get. People are progressive and all but $$ is $$. Given that I am not inclined to always extend the benefit of the doubt

Jemini

I don’t disagree that gay couples aren’t treated the same way het ones are, but to be fair here there seems to always be this default belief by writers that a happy couple is a boring couple so they constantly add drama. Take spock/uhura in the reboot (which is an interracial couple too so I wouldn’t say it completely has the same privilege white het couples have. In fact, making it canon now was a big deal precisely because racism prevented it from happening in tos) they never let them just be a happy couple, they added drama in both sequels and Beyond barely let them touch each other as as couple. They show two random officers make out at the beginning but Uhura and Sulu aren’t even allowed to kiss their significant other (outside of them conceding Uhura to kiss Spock’s cheek) and not even hug them or hold their hands.
In Discovery there is no happy couple, even Michael is kept apart from her love interest because of drama. The gay couple might as well be the only stable relationship we have there, but it too is as victim of the ‘a happy couple is a boring couple’ prejudice that romance, in general suffers.

Chris Hansen

My theories; 1. The “Squid Probes” are servants of a future Nomad that has evolved from Discovery’s probe, who’s twisted mission is to seek out and eliminate any “biological infestation” that it deems imperfect. 2. Jean-Luc Picard is in the Red Angel time suit as a member of the future Federation’s Temporal Police .

NCC Lincon 1785

Don’t go to A.V. club review. The reviewer said it was terrible. Emperor is planning something big to the point that the organization is going to have to go underground

TG47

I was surprised how very negative that review was on AV club.

Sounds as though the reviewer was looking for a ‘Trials and Tribulations’ tribute rather than something that actually advances and weaves together plot across The Cage, Discovery and TOS.

Sigh.

And a thanks again for the excellent review here…even though I have a different take on the poisoning of the relationship between Michael and Spock.

steve

Is it just me, or is no one mentioning that Spock (Nimoy playing counter to Hunter’s Pike) snapped out of those “Menagerie” interpretations of the role to become the Spock we recognize in “Where No Man has Gone Before”. In effect, a literal change to satify why the Pike/Spock is so different from the Kirk/Spock.

Or is it so obvious of a hit over the head that I am just being a noob?

The explanation is simple: the show had not finished baking yet, and nobody at the time “The Cage” was filmed had any notion that Spock would end up being written/played to be unemotional. The first season has all kinds of “inconsistencies” like this — Kirk refers to “Space Central” at some point, I think, rather than “Starfleet.”

This is how television shows used to develop. To some extent, it’s still how they develop. Trying to “fix” it by finding an explanation via retcon is a really bad idea. It has about a one-in-a-thousand shot of working, and thus far nothing I’ve seen indicates they’re going to defy the odds.

martin

Roddenberry’s explanation for the Spock changes was that #1 was supposed to be void of showing emotion – Spock was the alien, logical, but not in the way he was later described. When they made Roddenberry take his girlfriend out of the show, he passed the unemotional trait onto Spock.

TG47

Yes, the production reason for the change is well documented.

But that doesn’t mean that an internal reason can’t be found to bridge the performances.

ML31

” Trying to “fix” it by finding an explanation via retcon is a really bad idea.”

100% on board with that. You don’t take tiny bits of characters that nothing was known about at the time of filming and retcon reasons for why things happened. Just accept that the show and the characters were still in process. Those are questions that do not need in-universe explanations as they often need convoluted, contrived stretches of logic to even remotely kinda sorta make sense.

Spiked Canon

OR you DO take tiny bits of characters and retcon reasons for why things happened.

JAGT

There are retcons and there are retcons though. Some are quiet little polishes and some are glaring, convoluted fixes to continuity. I see none of the latter as having occurred in this episode.

Michael Hall

Yes, thanks for making that point for approximately the ten-trillionth time. We get it. Not all of us agree.

Michael Hall

I don’t agree at all, so long as the “retcon” is a clever repurposing of the original material. I and others felt that last year’s “Lethe” succeeded at that, even if much of the rest of the series hasn’t. As to last night, my jury is still out.

ML31

I agree. I’m not a fan of the Burnmam Sarek connection but Lethe worked very well. Was the best episode of the series thus far.

Disinvited

Bryant Burnette,

Except that explanation isn’t as simple when Gene got around to using footage from it in the two episodes that aired. By then, Gene’s Spock cake was mostly baked and he could easily have trimmed parts, such as the smile, that weren’t serving that recipe, but instead, he included it, thus making it part of the collaborative development of Vulcan Spock.

JAGT

Okay, just one thought: What if the “Temporal Cold War” story-arc of ENT, will actually be resolved for good on DISCO?

Denny C

Future Guy was also from the 28th Century so it’s possible.

ML31

Part of me is thinking that is just a coincidence.

Spiked Canon

yes because what I have learned in the last 10 minutes only you have all the answers and you pretty much don’t like anything. Am I accurate?

ML31

You are absolutely not accurate. And the fact that you felt you had to ask suggest to me that you knew that already.

Spiked Canon

not necessarily I just wanted to see if you had some grasp on how radically negative you are.

Denny C

Kind of a lazy coincidence so hopefully not.

Tiger2

That certainly seems to be a plausible theory as any now that we know both Future Guy and whoever sent the probe back came from the same century. And since we have no idea who Future Guy was it wouldn’t be a problem to tie it in to whatever is happening here.

steve

Does anyone think Airiam might be the future Red Angel?

Denny C

Or she’s just a tool of Section 31’a AI now. It could go either way.

ML31

Or her programming is being taken over by whatever the future squid entity is.

Spiked Canon

then why would she be sending messages to 31 and disabling the Spore drive so they couldn’t get away from 31

A34

They just assumed that the messages were being sent section 31.

Nebula1701

We don’t even know if they were sending them to Section 31, that’s just a guess.

ML31

Because it’s what the squid things need. They needed to incriminate Tyler for their own purpose. A purpose we do not entirely know yet.

Spiked Canon

yes I guess I don’t know but I think Leland said I know what you’re doing or some such. I think it could play out that way or the other way.

Ad Astra Per Aspera

“Future Squid” made me chuckle. I like that.

Marja

Yes, it was after the squid probe downloaded files via the shuttlecraft that Airiam’s eyes shone red.

martin

Yup.

Tiger2

Yes! Spock threw me off when he said the Red Angel is human but Ariam is basically just an advanced augmented human so it can still be her.

German Trekkie

I think it still remains to be revealed what Airiam actually is (but she should not be an completely artificial lifeform like data obviously).

A34

She was just seen eating in the mess hall.

Tiger2

Well I’m only going by what the producers said last season, that she was human, just augmented. But yes its not exactly canon yet until its on the screen, so it can change. Until then I just think of her as human.

TG47

Hannah Cheesman (Airiam 2.5) has been fairly assertive on twitter that her character is an augmented human.

Given that Cheesman is a screenwriter who’s done entire seasons in a writer’s room, I expect that she got the brief on the character’s background story before taking over the part for the season.

Tiger2

Yeah, its been pretty much confirmed at this point. But not everyone reads every interview either so I can understand why they are not sure what she is since we haven’t learned literally one thing about her on the show other than her name. But next week looks like that is about to change finally!

A34

Ariam is being controlled by the bad guys, while the Red Angel is trying to stop the bad guys.

The River Temarc

I am wondering whether the AI from “Calypso” might be the Red Angel, and is somehow controlling Airiam.

TG47

Yes, I’ve wondered about Discovery’s evolved into AI computer as a possibility for the Red Angel. The body type of the Red Angel and the AI’s chosen holographic form in Calypso are a good match.

However, we now know that Spock had a mind meld with the Red Angel and found it to be human.

On Airiam, it was the cephalopod upgraded probe that suborned her. So, unless there’s a twist, she’s now on the side the Red Angel is working to stop.

FABIO MENDES ENGLER

Talos4 is a Beta Quadrant Planet.
Not Alpha.

Not really. Where are you taking your info from? There was no canonical reference until now, but in the book Star Trek: Star Charts, it shows up in the Alpha Quadrant. Maybe there’s a novel or comic somewhere that says otherwise, but novels are not canon. Now we have a canon reference.

kmart

First one of these I’ve read all the way through, nicely written. “Icy as an Andorian winter” is quite the phrase, enough to make me want to see an Andorian character cover-croon Linda Ronstadt’s ‘Blue Bayou.’

DeanH

Another very good episode, probably a 4/5. Loved the opening (what TOS fan wouldn’t) and although I generally liked the look of the Talosians, I have to admit I was a “little” disappointed in the new “no butt-head” vision. Overall I liked the Talos IV storyline and the interaction with the Talosians and Veena. The singing plant sound was completely 1964 retro but still fit well into a show being made 55 years later.
Also, once again I liked the fact they didn’t try to cram too much into the episode, so the pacing was good. Spock’s mind meld vision of the future of numerous planets IMO was visually spectacular and now we will see how they battle the 28th century villains.
As for the Culber storyline, unlike some episodes where it felt a little intrusive, last night it was good and has the capability of being great. What is death? Can complex and somewhat incomprehensible emotions like love be transferred to a DNA replicated body? Is love rooted in the physical body or in someone’s consciousness, or both? Is Culber just some facsimile or “cheap copy” of the original? Of course there are no answers but digging into those types of philosophical questions IMO is potentially, to quote Spock, fascinating!

martin

I like the Culber storyline – maybe back from the dead, but certainly not reset-buttoned.

A34

If this was 90’s Trek he would have been fine as a fiddle a week later.

ML31

“Loved the opening (what TOS fan wouldn’t) ”

I’m a TOS fan and I felt it didn’t work at all. TOS fans didn’t need that recap. And someone who didn’t know it already wouldn’t be able to figure anything out from it it was such a jumble. No, better that they do the regular recap and drop in a couple of lines to encapsulate the needed backstory for those who may not be familiar.

” What is death?”

Death is the ending of the functions that allow for life.

A34

Most Disco fans are not TOS fans. I’m not a fan of TOS.

ML31

I don’t know if such data has been collected. I honestly do not know how TOS or TNG fans would skew towards liking Discovery. I honestly would guess it would not be a factor. But you never know. Where did you get your data from?

A34

Just my opinion. The show is aiming for new fans and they would be less likely to have seen TOS.

Tiger2

And oddly enough everything this season has revolved around TOS characters, including going back to the story line where it all started. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist who they are trying to appeal to or get to watch.

And since you are backing it up with zero data, its even more telling.

Vulcan Soul

@Tiger My suspicion is that in the greater “Trek-MCU” plans, Discovery now has been given the slot of “optimistic starship action-adventure” à la TOS (except Section 31, hope they are partitioned off for good in the Armus way once the spin off launches!) The downside is that judging from the casting leaks, the previously held contestant for “most appealing to old-schoolers”, the Picard show, now looks less like following that equation but fill up the dark and gritty slot that Discovery vacated after last season’s grimfest.

Spiked Canon

doesn’t really make sense to me A34. I would think just the opposite.

TonyD

Like just about every episode of Discovery so far, this one was entertaining but not something I see myself going back to watch again. Discovery has for me been very much a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts and that really described this episode.

I liked Anson Mount’s acting here; his empathy towards Vina felt genuine despite the fact that the actor has no history with the events of The Cage. It also adds more context to why the scarred Pike from The Cage is so willing to return to Talos IV. I liked the sound effects on Talos IV and the flowers (though having Burnham mirror Spock’s reaction felt forced and artificial), they made up for the rock quarry set.

The Talosians themselves were disappointing, very one-dimensional and Spock’s interaction with them didn’t make much sense. He had Michael take him to them for help, but they would only do it if they could relive another memory, which seemed odd and cumbersome from a story standpoint (would it not have been better to make them more benevolent, having learned from their past association with humans and then having Michael relive her memory as a way of finding common ground with Spock?). And just exactly how did they cure Spock anyway?

It’s too soon to form an opinion on Peck as Spock but I did not understand his surliness and borderline hostility towards her. For such a brilliant and logical character he seemed pretty petty in his feelings toward Burnhan as he should have easily figured out that she did what she did in a misguided but well meaning attempt to protect him. I also thought, as is becoming the norm, Sonequa Martin-Green overdid the angst in her moments of emotional pain with Spock.

I never cared much for the character of Culber and v2.0 is fast becoming a real drag. I get it: he died, came back and isn’t sure he’s himself. That’s no reason for him to be such a jerk with everyone who is trying to help him. It’s another one-dimensional performance with zero conflict or nuance.

Section 31 continues to be the one-dimensional heavy of the show. They are written so you hate them but again it’s all one-dimensional and predictable.

The whole time travel thing with the Red Angel has me worried as well; time travel stories can get really messy and hard to manage. I can just see this one spiraling into some story where it turns out the threat the Red Angel is trying to stop ends up being the Borg who start as a future, evolved version of the Section 31 AI and end up going waaaay back in time and changing their agenda from wiping out all sentient life to assimilating it, thus becoming the Borg we all know and love (Airiam’s walk in this episode was also *very* Borg-like). Dovetailing into this, I could also see the Red Angel ending up being Picard, especially as he has a history with Spock (so much for my earlier Preserver theory) and letting the finale of Discovery season 2 be a jumping off point for the Picard series.

blackmocco

Yeah, I’m glad I’m not alone. Think I watched a different episode than everyone else last night. Now that we’re finally dealing with the Spock stuff, I feel like the season has flown into the proverbial mountain. Some truly terrible writing, a pointless jaunt to Talos IV, if I never hear another actor utter the words “Section 31” again, it’ll be too soon. Oh, FYI: they’re run by an AI that’s now going to be a huge factor in the second half of the season. Thanks for the heads-up. Should I care what’s happening to Airiam? Kinda hard to as the show has done nothing whatsoever to make me care about her as a character. And yeah, the Culber plot is insufferable. Season’s turning into a hot mess. As if the writers are just desperately throwing shit at the walls to see what sticks.

ML31

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This season is slowly turning into Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. There are some good elements. But overall it’s just a bad story. Right down to the metaphysical concept turning into something very real. Thus completely destroying the concept of science v faith. The one the producers claimed their show was going to examine. Apparently that was a lie. Or at best a misdirect.

Captain Ransom

Why do you watch DISC, ML? You obviously do not like it. You do not enjoy watching it. You are completely negative about anything people bring up. You trash it at every chance you get. I am thinking that maybe Orville will be a better show for you to watch. Stop torturing yourself every week. All we get from you if that you do not like it at all. You are definitely in the minority here. You are now just coming across as a troll. Please stop. You don’t like the show. We get it.

Tiger2

Captain Ransom, no offense but I have to ask you why do you spend anytime on these boards yourself? You always seem much more obsessed with people who have issues with the show instead of just talking about the show in itself. I mean I’ve read every post you made here, not one of them is giving your own personal thoughts about the show, but just chastising the people who had an issue with it.

Not everyone is going to like the show or every episode. But many like ML31 at least give their thoughts why. You can certainly disagree but calling him a troll for it is going over the line when he has actually stated in the past what episodes he has liked. I haven’t seen you talk about what you liked about an episode once lol. It’s just constantly telling people to get lost who doesn’t like the show and nothing else.

Spiked Canon

Tiger2 that’s because this is a fan site and fans take it personally if trolls are doing this. They (ML31) in this case, have an agenda to try to sway others to their opinion because they are disappointed. I get that, but the relentless negativity is not welcome by me and many others. State you negative opinion once please and then move on. I don’t understand why the statements have to be reiterated after every positive comment.

A34

So true

Tiger2

But he’s not doing that! He’s simply stating his opinion, which last time I checked is what you also do on a fan site. Give me one example where he’s trying to sway others to his opinion? Maybe I just missed it but he hasn’t told others they are wrong for believing in theirs or has insulted others for liking the episode, he’s simply arguing why he feels the way he does. And yes you can state that more than once as everyone has clearly stated their POV more than once here.

To me, it just seems like people really liked the episode and bothered others didn’t as much as them but nothing he has said here is anything more than him not liking it and stating his reasons why. He hasn’t attacked anyone, so how is that being a troll? If anything I see a lot of people attacking HIM for simply stating his opinion over i.

ML31

I would respond but you just did a bang up job for me. I’m not a professional writer and you just did a better job than I probably could have.

Marja

Tiger, you have to skip about 1/3 of the way up this thread. There was a bit of opinion slinging between ML31 and another poster about facts [as ML31 saw them], and the rules of baseball, &c. &c. Jaysus on a popsicle stick

ML31

Or the facts as another poster saw them.

Ad Astra Per Aspera

In ML’s defence (and for the record I disagree with them on a lot of stuff), they have been just as critical of The Orville’s second season as they have Discovery’s.

ML31

Ad, I actually still think Discovery’s 2nd season is much better than Orville’s. But thanks.

ML31

I watch it for the same reason everyone else does. I’m a Star Trek fan. I don’t trash my fandom just because the current iteration sucks. My baseball and football teams are terrible. Doesn’t mean I stop supporting them. I hope they get better. Season one of Discovery was garbage. But season 2 started out much better. There is now reason to be hopeful. But, as the season has worn on, that promise is waning. I am hoping the season can be salvaged. It’s what fans do.

And no. The Orville had a stellar first season but the 2nd season has gone to hell. At this point, I’m only watching it for the goodwill it generated from the first season. And it’s only a mimi season so it’s not sucking up much time. But it started out better and I am hoping it can return to that eventually.

PS… Learn what a troll is before dishing out labels. You couldn’t be more wrong.

Danpaine

Please don’t use the term “We,” when calling someone out, Captain Ransom. You’re certainly not speaking for me in this instance.

Captain Ransom

I’m not speaking for you when I say “we” get it that he doesn’t like the show? Are you saying you don’t get it?

ML31

BTW… “We” get it. You don’t like people disagreeing with you. ;)

Muse

Good lord, ML31, reading through this comments page, and it is FULL of yourself whining and complaining ad nauseam, while most other people just state their opinion once. You’re obviously not enjoying the show, so why don’t you go watch something else :)

ML31

Tell that to a certain two posters who are constantly complaining and challenging my opinion. As if it is wrong.

J.S.

What’s up with those writers? “SQL injections”? Seriously?

martin

Then they sent out petabytes of transmissions via ftp.

J.S.

And that’s another thing – once again they are using “bytes”. As if they never learned from the mistake that TNG did and which was already corrected by switching to “quads” as unit of computer memory storage.

グレェ

Did they state FTP was used as the protocol? I did not hear that but I could believe it given that FTP survived the NCP to TCP transition, it could in theory still exist in the 23rd century, though I certainly hope they tunnel it over encrypted comms.

I thought I heard that it was “several petabyte bursts” but no protocol of the transmission was specified.

Utilizing the terminology “SQL” broke the 4th wall too much; LMDB and other key value store databases are substantially more memory and computationally and subsequently power utilization efficient than any 1970s IBM database technology. SQL does not scale. I have tried. MySQL for Fortune 5 companies choking on 500GB schemas. Oracle, don’t even go there. PostgreSQL for sanity. SQLite for learning, everything else just abandon already, you are feeding technological dead ends older than MS-DOS.

I wholeheartedly disagree with the author, ANTHONY PASCALE’s “The Talosians finally diagnose what is wrong with Spock: He is experiencing time as a “fluid, instead of a linear construct,” which doesn’t exactly mesh with a mind vigorously trained in logic.”

Belies complete ignorance of Pascale’s part of water clocks, used in China, long before mechanical horology was developed.

If you are out of water, you are out of a way to measure time. Given that time itself is simply a unit of measurement, when navigating spacetime, being able to calculate a measurement of time, may in some locales of spacetime, absolutely be intrinsically tied to fluids given how the clocks were designed in that era.

Very difficult problem. The sort I would only expect someone such as Spock to even begin to undertake.

Discovery finally got good with this episode. Finally Michael Burnum got some long overdue recompense, and we saw that she herself uttered bigotry to her own brother, scarring him for life.

I may actually start to pay for a CBS subscription after that episode.

The rest of Discovery wasn’t worth commenting on publicly but some nice special effects, casting choices and acting. The writing, as evidenced by the lazy SQL line, needs serious rewriting to get me to take it even slightly seriously and they have decades and decades of material to build on. They could have invented new technobabble.

Now I am worried they’re going to be featuring shite 1970s Halt and Catch Fire crossover Star Trek which absolutely is not something I ever want to watch.

J.S.

“Did they state FTP was used as the protocol?”

No, clearly martin was joking.

“I thought I heard that it was “several petabyte bursts””

Which, as I mentioned, is bad as well – TNG was quick to learn that given the rapid technology progress referring to anything in “bytes” is risky. That’s why they came up with “quad” a unit of computer memory storage. Discovery writers, once again, were oblivious of that.

グレェ

Thanks for the clarification!

Quads does seem like a better choice of writing, even within the field of computer science, byte is imprecise and can vary dependent upon the CPU (though that nomenclature is mostly lost on non technical folks who can usually more reliably associate 8 bits with a byte even if the CPU itself may not store memory in such nibbles/bytes/etc. depends a lot on the CPU ISA). SI units solve some of these issues, but are not widespread across all operating systems yet, e.g. pass the -si parameter to ls on most contemporary Unix and Linux variants for that type of output.

Now I am wondering if any fan out there has created a -quad parameter for a variant of ls. ^_^ Though doing a little searching on that, it appears to be very imprecisely defined.

The Discovery writers took a season and a half to give Spock much actual screen time as well and given that in the first episode we already knew Captain Pike was a character, taking so long to feature his first officer seems as if CBS is really stretching thin the patience of their potential audience with such a long and drawn out tease?

We’ll see where the season goes from here. Presumably Spock will remain onboard for the rest of the episodes now? Who knows. The Red Angel hasn’t been much more than a MacGuffin so far, if the writers actually do something more interesting with it remains to be seen.

German Trekkie

Yeah and Datas memory is some Million Bytes. XD maybe the terms have developed and mean something else…

J.S.

They later refrained from using “bytes” in favor of “quads”.

“maybe the terms have developed and mean something else…”

Honestly, they could’ve come up with ANYTHING here. Using a familiar acronym/name was pretty much the WORST thing they could’ve done here. I would’ve expected this from the Orville as an in-joke (as I would that awful time travel cliché “it’s not about WHERE they are, but WHEN” from last week) but certainly not from Discovery. I can excuse the screen full of WinAPI code in Season 1, but not this. To me it’s a clear “we don’t care” attitude.

I pay the bills as a enterprise solutions architect, and I actually LOL’ed when I heard that. Normally I’d say that to most audiences something like that would slip by unnoticed, but this is Star Trek, guys! Computer nerds are your core audience!

J.S.

“I pay the bills as a enterprise solutions architect”

Which Enterprise? ;)

“Computer nerds are your core audience!”

They clearly don’t care.

David Moss

Awesome episode, with only two complaints… First, Vina never met Spock, but maybe she did in the bathroom like Chekov meeting Khan!!! Vulcan has no moon!

Vina met Spock along with the landing party.

David Moss

Ah, you guys are right. They actually even could have talked a lot. Thanks.

ML31

To be fair, Spock was in the landing party that found the illusion of the survivors. Vina was among them.

I assumed that was Vulcan’s sister planet, T’Khut.

“Georgiou reveals the Mirror Universe’s Talosians tried their illusion tricks on her and she “blew them and their stupid singing plants off the face of the planet.”

She only THINKS she did, LOL

A34

Illusions can’t stop antimatter explosions.

Duncan MacLeod

She only thinks she fired the torpedos

TonyD

The Cage (and even this episode) made it pretty clear that the Talosions could make you press the wrong buttons and not even realize it; and they could do it from vast distances. If they could project images to vessels light years away it would be a simple matter for them too fool the Terran Empire flunkies into thinking they’d wiped them out.

Tiger2

Yeah but it didn’t stop the Enterprise from actually blowing the door away in The Cage either. Their illusions can only go so far and once people realize what they do its not hard to figure out that’s what it is as both The Cage and this episode proved.

ML31

Although in many cases, I think the key is making you actually believe it. I mean, if they put the illusion to you that you were beamed into space… Would you die even if you were just in a room?

Tiger2

Thats a great question. Part of me would say no since its just an illusion, ie, not real. But Vina said in this episode the reason why she stays on Talos IV because they not only make her look like her normal self but she actually feels that way too. So it is a bit confusing just how far their powers go. I guess you can’t over think it, their powers are probably as powerful as the writer wants it to and no more or less than that.

ML31

My guess is you would die. The brain is very powerful. It caused Chekov to “die” in Spectre of the Gun. Granted, since he was never dead he was brought back. Haven’t seen that one in a while… How was that accomplished again?

Marja

Poor Vina. She could have left Talos and gotten plastic surgery from people who knew what they were doing.

Generic Eric

Didn’t TNG shuttles have on-board transporters for at least short range transport? Data and Worf use a shuttle’s escape transporter to beam on to the Borg cube in “Best of Both Worlds” to rescue Picard.

MattR

Yup, they did.

ML31

They did. And TOS shuttles did not have transporters in them. To be honest, the shuttles seen on discovery look like they are perhaps 10-20 before the ones seen on TNG. And bear no resemblance to the TOS shuttles whatsoever.

A34

The TOS shuttles looked really bad.

How DARE you besmirch The Flying Butter Dish!

A34

LOL oh God that’s exactly what they looked like.

Michael Hall

I liked that flying butter dish, even if Matt Jeffries was never happy with it. Great design for the time.

ML31

I actually thought the TOS shuttles looked pretty good. It was the TNG shuttles that looked bad.

Tiger2

Definitely agree to disagree here. The TOS shuttles always looked bad to me too. I like all the other shows shuttles including this one.

ML31

Makes sense. Discovery shuttles are more like the other non TOS shows.

TG47

The Discovery shuttles hold a lot more than 6 people and a bit of cargo mass.

The interior reminds me of search and rescue, research or modern troop transport helicopters with the long rows of seats along the sides.

Which given Discovery’s initial mandate as a scientific research vessel makes sense.

So, it makes sense to me that they would have a bit more range and transporter capacity.

I’ve said this elsewhere and many times before but I thought another bit of genius of the original show was the casting. French Hungarian Reggie Nalder as an Andorian, Celia Lovsky as the Vulcan T’Pau. Inspired! And casting small framed, middle aged women with slight builds as the Talosian people. A race of people whose mental abilities had evolved far beyond physical form. I totally bought it. I remember seeing the head Talosian as a little old lady on the Andy Griffith show once as a kid and recognizing her and also realizing what good casting it was.

And not to sound like old-man-the-original-did-it-better, guy but I thought the original veiny bulbous headed prosthetic makeup was so great! It looked so delicate and thin. It was perfect to me as a kid. Even as primitive as that makeup effect was, it was so great!

The actors who played these Talosians in STD were all strong looking, fit bodied people. I know that’s a strange gripe to have but that’s the way I see it. I would have had a real weird, very specific casting process for these roles. “Do you do weight training? Yeah, I can tell you do. No, sorry, I need someone who looks like they don’t use their bodies very much. . .NEXT!” That’s just me.

I did appreciate the humming planet effect they used again for the planet. And the plants looked cool. I’ll give it that.

Denny C

The original Andorians looked like a 10 year old could kick their butts whereas the new Andorians look like they could take on a Klingon.

PEB

I agree Denny. The Andorian from Journey to Babel especially was always creepy to me and NOT in a good way.

Marja

The elder Andorian [Reggie Nalder]? He completely enchanted me with his patient, “we are a very violent race.” I still love that guy.

ML31

I really liked the accent. Thought it helped a great deal.

ML31

She also appeared in “The Last Starfighter”.

Michael Hall

Also, SOYLENT GREEN.

AJinMoscow

Pike’s Enterprise had spikes on her nacelles in ‘The Cage.’ Gotta fix that opening shot from the flashback!

ML31

Unfortunately, the technical glitches were back. They weren’t huge and didn’t make the show unwatchable. But they do exist. I think it about time to contact CBS tech support (a major struggle when I tried it last year) and point it out to them again. So, this episode had good and bad in it. The good, I think Peck hits many of the right beats for Spock. The goal is for him not to be the Spock from TOS and in that, mission accomplished. Something does feel a little “off” about him. But I think it by design. I still am not feeling much for the sibling relationship. The “I never loved you” ploy was a tremendous let down. As the reviewer said, it pales compared to what happened in Lethe. I’m preparing myself for a series of narrative let downs at this point. They abandoned the divine mystery of the red angels. Culber’s *ahem* regeneration (which NO ONE on the ship should have bought yet everyone is), and then there is all the Section 31 drivel. And, of course, the same old tired trope of universal destruction. Would be nice to have smaller stakes, I should think. All of those things are poor creative choices from those who mapped the season out. But, and I want to make this absolutely clear… None of the bad decisions made this year thus far have been as destructive as the Lorca reveal from last year. Using Section 31 (and Space Hitler in particular) is tired and lazy, but I think I’d rather have that then spend half the season in the MU and have a fascinating character suddenly not be for the dumbest of reasons. I didn’t have too much an issue with the new Talosians. I think it obvious they didn’t want to touch GO7. Just saying visiting is forbidden was probably enough. Capital punishment in their new version of TOS probably doesn’t sit well with the producers personal views. Also probably for the best that the “head cracks” were removed. Although I would have smiled had they remained. The Talosians felt way too masculine to me. I feel like they would have been better served by casting women and then just dubing the dialog. Although I’m still not 100% sure why it had to be the Talosians. I don’t recall them being masters of time. Just illusion. The best ones to go to for this I would think would be the wormhole aliens from DS9. But I guess they were not found until then. The limitations of prequels, I guess. I liked who they cast as Vina. Well done. Although she looked a ton worse in The Cage when we saw her true form. I figured they would go overboard THAT way. But I suppose we can come up with reasons for why the Taolisians didn’t fully go that way. Perhaps what they showed was enough. Just can’t get into the Culber Stammets stuff. Mainly because I can’t believe this is really Culber to begin with. I’m just floored everyone on the ship is fine with this. Maybe Stammets I can understand but NO ONE else should trust him any more than they Trust Tyler. Culber has to be some sort of undercover mycelial agent or something. Who knows if it is up to no good or not? This season has made some very weird leaps with little to no evidence to support it. I thought the Forge was just a harsh Vulcan desert. I feel like they used that place to show off their knowledge but as often happens, it just makes them look like they don’t really know. I brought up the phasers acting like the phasers from the KU earlier. Has anyone else noticed this? Also, when at warp the effect very much looks like the KU warp effect. And has anyone in the show ever mentioned warp factor? Like the captain ordering warp 5 or something? It feels like going to warp in this and the KU trek is just one speed. Period. In the end, Section 31 is totally bringing down the entire season. Every time I see Leland or Georgeau my eyes roll at the over the top silliness of it. Section 31 feels like it belongs in Star Wars. Not Star Trek. And this season is more and more starting to feel like a longer version of Star Trek V The Final Frontier. There were some good elements in it, but overall was not a very good story.

TG47

ML31 yes at at least one point in Discovery the Captain has said Warp 5.

Which made it clear the goal was to go fast enough not to be doddling, but not max warp for that era.

We do hear maximum warp on occasion which is to say the maximum a particular ship can go over a sustained period and distance.

ML31

OK. I’ll take your word for it. I just don’t recall it. The warp effect comes straight out of the KU and they never mentioned warp factor either.

Spiked Canon

LOLOL that’s right you are the glitch guy. It was smooth as silk for me and most everyone else since about the middle of season 1. Maybe when you get a better ISP you will like the show better.
So your review says you don’t like anything in the show that has to do with relationships/emotion. Makes sense. Also yes a lot of the show looks like the KU because, guess what, it’s 2019 NOT 1967!!!

ML31

Again, I’d like the evidence to support your thinking that the CBS app plays very well for “most”. I don’t personally know anyone else who subscribes but a number of folks here have mentioned it. And for the billionth time, it’s not the ISP. EVERYTHING else streams fine. Only CBSAA has the issue.

Actually, I’d love to see some relationships and good emotion in this show. The only time I saw it done well was in last season’s Lethe.

If it looks like the KU then it would not be unreasonable to think it IS in the KU. I’m not saying it is, but that sure is the aesthetic they are going with.

Do you have to hate on everything?

Spiked Canon

Just your opinions

A34

How fast is your internet? I just found out that my problem stems from a family member watching Netflix at the same time I’m try to watch CBS AA. When I’m the only one using the internet, I have no problems watching.

The CBS AA app seems to need a certain amount of bandwidth allocated to it before it can work right.

ML31

Again, it’s not the internet. It’s happened even at 1am when no one is on. I’ve used it when my kid was surfing the net and when no one else was around. It still happens. 99% sure it’s a CBS thing because It doesn’t happen with netflix or youtube. Not for 3 years now.

Nebula1701

Not had a single issue with the Xbox or Roku based CBS AA apps. They have worked flawlessly.

A34

What app do you use? Have you tried to watch it on a PC?

ML31

Gawd no! I want to watch TV on, you know, a TV.

A34

If you have a laptop with an HDMI port you can use your TV as a secondary monitor and watch it that way.

ML31

Tried it. It doesn’t fill the screen no matter what. Had a friend who is in the IT field and far more knowledable than I come by and see what could be done and couldn’t make it work. Seems it’s a shortcoming in either the TV or the laptop. Further, doing so was a pretty large hassle anyway.

It’s not just you ML31. Two other people replied to our review tweet last night that they have chronic problems with AA. And it’s very clearly an AA problem, not their Internet connection.
https://twitter.com/DRjtaRX/status/1103856256505298944
https://twitter.com/WhittyUzerName/status/1103865112320864256

Garth Lorca

Oh My Great Bird… That was one helluva great episode! DISCO is deliverinng on what ENT’s final season once promised… a great link to TOS. I love this episode. Great character development on all fronts, great TOS moments, even including sound FX references and finally Spock speaking in normal patterns. His voice is just 110% spot-on. They couldn’t have found a better actor for the part. It can’t get any better than this, can it?

Vulcan Soul

Spock to me was the best part of the episode! He nails Spock’s speaking patterns, quiet phlegmatism and hidden sarcasm much better than Quinto, despite the warning this Spock would be much different from the one he becomes!

ML31

In the one episode I’ve seen, I think I like Peck’s Spock better than Quinto’s. Only one episode and he really wasn’t playing the Spock we all knew, but I still felt he was better. That might change in the coming episodes, however.

Mark Lynch

This was one of, if not, the best episodes of Discovery… Ever.

The tie in to The Cage was exemplary, in fact I wondered for the first minute or two if someone had cued up the wrong video for the episode!

Everything that needed to be redone was well done, but still familiar. A minor nitpick is that the lead Talosian was perhaps not frail looking enough.
I loved all the nods to what has come before. And for anyone that was doubting, this series is firmly in the TOS Universe.

One of the outstanding moments in terms of the visual effects was when we saw Discovery go to Warp at the end. It was very TNGesque.
If they would just fix the Warp speed effect, I would be a very happy bunny.

I could go on at length, but I won’t!

All in all, a solid episode with a 9.5/10 from me.

A34

Pike and Spork sure looked weird in that flash back.

Duncan MacLeod

Half Fork, Half Spoon, Mr. Spork Struggles with his identity.

A34

Haha the auto correct on my phone keeps doing that.

TG47

Interesting Australian media interview with Melissa George (Vina) is available now.

It includes what looks to be a production still of the interior Talos set which is very interesting.

https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/written-in-the-stars-aussie-melissa-george-in-surprise-star-trek-role-20190308-p512wg.html

CBS held back a group of production stills until the episode aired. That article includes a couple of them. Here’s the image you’re referring to:
comment image

TG47

Cool. And thanks for embedding it Matt.

Looking forward to seeing the rest once you and the others can catch your breath.

DaveCGN

That was really a big pleasent surprise, BUT that surprise was a bit spoiled by netflix who show a still of the Talosians and Vina!!!!! :-/ So, after seeing that pic and thinking if that woman could be someone of the crew, I immediately came to that conclusion and was expecting to see Vina and knew it was her, when she appeared… I was very pleased but ot that surprised… How was your reaction?

A34

Did anyone notice that Daft Punk is back?

Niclovestrek

Love 💗 this episode!

DaveCGN

Am I the only one who thinks the red angel is Spock’s “butterfly effect”?
The episode felt like “butterfly effect” meets V’ger. The scene when Spock tried to mind-melt with the angel was so reminiscent of Spock’s attempt to mind melt with V’ger.