Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Grows Into A Modern Family In “The Red Angel”

“The Red Angel”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, Episode 10 – Debuted Thursday, March 21st
Written by Chris Silvestri & Anthony Maranville
Directed by Hanelle M. Culpepper


Plot arc revelations are just the beginning of this excellent emotional roller coaster of an episode. With standout performances from Sonequa Martin-Green, Ethan Peck, Michelle Yeoh, and Alan Van Sprang, “The Red Angel” answers questions about characters that you didn’t even know to ask.

“The Red Angel” — Ep#210 — Pictured (l-r): Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham; Ethan Peck as Spock





All in the Family

“The Red Angel” picks up after the sad ending of the previous episode, with the crew mourning the death of Airiam. After her memories—including the corruption from the Control AI—were purged, Airiam got the full Spock-in-Star Trek II type memorial, with Saru’s mournful Kelpien funeral song replacing Scotty’s bagpipes.

The ceremony includes powerful eulogizing from Pike, Tilly, Stamets, Detmer, and Burnham, with credible performances from all involved. While this would have had more impact if Airiam’s relationships with these characters had been more developed over the season, the scene beautifully demonstrated the theme of family in this second season. And for what promised to be an episode dealing with the season’s major plot arc, this opening also set the tone for a surprisingly emotional hour of Star Trek.

Why so far away? You guys know you can’t catch a computer virus right?

Michael in the Middle

We soon learn that the Section 31 station that housed Control has been destroyed offscreen, and copies of it have not been found on other Section 31 ships, but Pike knows it can’t be that easy. Either to catch fans up or to slow things down after the intensity of previous episodes, “The Red Angel” had a lot of good old-fashioned Star Trek exposition scenes, with director Hanelle Culpepper allowing the actors, script, and music to keep the audience interested, plus spot-on dialog like Spock saying, “The one variable we cannot possibly predict is the future.” Who needs a spinning camera? To shake things up we instead have Tilly and one of her signature barging-in moments to reveal she found a file in Airiam’s memory called “Project Daedalus”—which was mentioned by Airiam right before she sacrificed herself.

Tilly also found the bio-neural signature of the Red Angel, and it turns out to be a match for the person on the top of the suspect list: Michael Burnham. Dr. Culber is brought in to confirm the match and he reminds us that he knows his way around a biobed scanner—remember, he was the one who fatally figured out Tyler was a Klingon. Spock also uses the opportunity to make another one of his sick sibling burns, noting that traveling through time to solve the problems of the galaxy matches Michael’s psych profile to “take responsibility for situations often beyond her control.” This early reveal of the Red Angel was smart as it allowed the rest of the episode to breathe, instead of all being an elaborate setup to a big plot reveal.

According to these results, the universe does actually revolve around you

Get Smart

Complicating matters, Leland and Georgiou show up to help, but especially after last week, people aren’t exactly excited to see the Section 31 gang, with a tone of suitable skepticism set by Admiral Cornwell, who has hung around for this ride. The Section 31 team don’t win any more friends when they reveal that the Daedalus Project was their own abandoned program that created the Red Angel time travel suit. It was made two decades earlier in a “temporal arms race”—not to be confused with the Temporal Cold War—with the Klingons. WTF? They knew this all along? These guys can’t get kicked out of Starfleet soon enough.

It is also clear that there is more to Project Daedalus that Leland isn’t saying. Saru confronts the Section 31 captain, making it clear bad things happen to those who cross his friends. It’s fascinating to watch Doug Jones transition to this new more dangerous Saru, step by step.  After being pointed in the right direction by Georgiou, Burnham also drops all protocol when dealing with this black-clad superior officer, demanding answers. She is hit hard by the truth that her parents were secretly part of Section 31 and the minds behind Project Daedalus. Like Michael, her father was a xenoanthropologist who theorized that leaps in technology were due to time travel, and her mother engineered the Red Angel suit to prove it could be done. Then, due to Leland’s carelessness, they were traced to Doctari Alpha by the Klingons who killed them. Staggered by this revelation, Burnham hits back, literally, twice.

Say “what” again, mother f—–

So, the big plan is to build a trap to capture the Angel. Stamets and Tilly cook up a delicious smorgasbord of Treknobabble with talk of tetryonic radiation, micro-wormholes, graviton beams, phase discriminators, and stasis beams, with a time crystal garnish. And the cheese for this mousetrap will be (of course) Michael herself, as it is determined the Angel tends to show up when she is in danger, actively grandfather-paradoxing throughout her life. Unsurprisingly, Pike is not cool with using Burnham as bait, but making good use of all the practice she has had all season long talking him into things, Michael convinces the captain that they simply are going to have to kill today-her to capture future-her. Wonderful stuff.

I really wish I was on Talos IV with Vina right about now

Everybody Loves Burnham

“The Red Angel” was a big episode of Michael Burnham and not just the big revelation about the Angel. Woven throughout the episode were a series of quieter character moments with her extended family, and even her new crewmate Commander Nhan, who is struggling with guilt after ejecting Airiam into space.

Burnham finally starts to build some trust with Georgiou, after the two have been at odds since Philippa’s exile began late in the first season. They start to bond, with Georgiou showing genuine concern for this doppelgänger of her lost adopted child from the Mirror Universe. While the former Emperor still has her own agenda, the character is becoming more interesting and far less of the cartoon villain we saw earlier in the season, with Michelle Yeoh also toning down her performance to fit the mood of the episode.

Michael and Spock also continue to show off their sibling connection, picked up after their long estrangement. While he is quick with the cutting remarks like “Perhaps you merely have a penchant for the dramatic,” the anger of the previous episode has been replaced with respect, and even love, or as much love as you can get from two people raised by Sarek. In another simple touching moment beautifully scored by Jeff Russo, this Vulcan brother empathizes with Michael over the failure of both logic and emotion to help resolve her problems. They finally bury the lirpa over the painful incident which has burdened Michael since their childhood. Stepping into impossibly big space boots to fill, Ethan Peck continues to impress as he adds more and more layers to Spock, with Sonequa Martin-Green keeping up right next to him.

Check it out Spock, I’m doing the Picard facepalm

Perhaps the most satisfying character moments are with Burnham and Tyler. Even though she fought to get him cleared and released from confinement, Michael still has trust issues with the former Klingon and his new belief in the mission of Section 31. But facing her fate in the Red Angel trap puts things into perspective and she is able to look past her anger to see the man (more or less) that she still loves. In an earned romantic moment exquisitely played by both actors, they give each other the strength needed to face what comes next.

I can feel your old forehead ridge

Three’s Company

While Dr. Hugh Culber was tapped to help out with his medical skills, he is not yet cleared for duty and to make that clear, he spent most of the episode dressed in a nicely tailored suit like he just came off an Instagram photo shoot as opposed to his traditional white medical uniform. The separation from Stamets is a hot topic on the ship, with even Georgiou transitioning to agent provocateur to poke at their “male tension,” and flirting with Paul, resulting in Culber’s indignant comment, “You do know that he is gay, right?” The fun little scene has the former Terran quipping back with the admonishment “Don’t be so binary,” but the whole thing seemed her odd way of showing them that they were meant for each other in any universe.

Oh god. I need to invent the personal transporter to beam myself out of this conversation

While Hugh isn’t looking for love life advice from the evil emperor, he does confide in Admiral Cornwell, who has a background in therapy. He reveals he has “never felt more alone,” since being resurrected. Together they explore his unique nature and how his feelings are more memory than current reality. Subtly played by Jayne Brook and Wilson Cruz, nothing is resolved, because these kinds of issues don’t have simple solutions that can be tied up in one episode. He is left with Cornwell’s wise words, “The only way to make a new road, is to walk it.” Later Hugh tries to reach out to Stamets but it just wasn’t the right time—but it’s a step on that road. By the way, maybe Cornwell should get some more of these people on her couch, as half the crew seems to be having an identity crisis of one form or another.

The admiral is in, and she charges by the hour

How I Met Your Mother

The crazy trap plan takes them to a former Section 31 base on the inhospitable world of Essof IV, which has a lethal atmosphere and plenty of power for Tilly’s Red Angel trap. The stakes are set high as it is determined they will only have one shot at this and if they fail, we are reminded, all sentient life in the galaxy will perish. No pressure! The trap is set, with Michael strapped in as if it were her execution. As the episode often does, the tension gets broken up with light moments such as Spock showing his Vulcan concern by telling his sister it would “be ideal if you survived.”

The final act pays off all of the character arcs that have been building up through the episode, and through the season. This may all be about time travel and a techno-marvel and the fate of the galaxy, but we feel it through Michael’s relationships with her family, through Georgiou’s concern, Spock’s determination, and Tyler’s love. Once the trap is sprung, the agony Michael is put through is raw and visceral and almost painful to watch and hear as she suffocates in the toxic atmosphere. It goes on for a long time with the Red Angel as a no-show. With all the character moments and bonding beats, if you didn’t know better, you might actually think this episode was really setting Burnham up to die. Everyone starts to waver, leaving it to Spock to keep the faith, and evangelizing his belief in the plan at phaser-point.

The moment you realize you are going to be charged with murder

At the last minute, a red burst appears above the planet, ushering in the dramatic entrance of the Red Angel. As the Section 31 ship struggles to close the Angel’s connection to the future, Leland is injected in the eye by some device from the optometrist’s office from hell, knocking him cold, yet somehow you still hear Leland talking on the intercom with Tyler. This wasn’t picked up on again, but Pike’s suspicion that Control wasn’t done yet may have been right, with Leland paying the price. What comes next for this possibly Control-infected Leland is for another episode.

I am never coming back to this LensCrafters

On the planet, the Angel has saved Michael but has been caught in the trap. With everything in order, we know what is coming next. However, the woman who emerges from the suit isn’t future Michael, but Burnham recognizes her, simply crying out in the smallest of voices, “Mom?”

Sorry I am 20 years late but wormhole traffic is the worst 



“The Red Angel” was simply full of surprises, and in a good way. Unlike the first season, the second season hasn’t relied on gimmicky “surprise!” moments, especially ones that weren’t even surprising. Season two has set up mysteries, but instead of clumsily trying to hide them from the audience, the clues to the case have all been on display, inviting speculation. The identity of the Red Angel was the biggest mystery so far, and so it is a surprise they revealed it in the tenth episode, and early on in the tenth as well.

Of course, it was no surprise that the Angel was directly tied to the focal character of Michael Burnham, but they still managed to pull off a good one with the revelation that it was Michael’s believed-dead mother. It’s still not clear if Michael herself will also play the role of the Red Angel sometime in the future, as Culber seemed “100% sure” the bio-signature from Airiam’s memory was a match for Michael.

There is obviously still much more to uncover in the final four episodes of the season, but the arc of the season continues to evolve nicely and is being handled much better than the on again/off again focus on the Klingon War in the first season. The same can’t really be said for the much-touted theme of science vs. faith, which got a lot of attention in the first couple of episodes—especially “New Eden”—but has since barely been given lip service. Perhaps it will come roaring back, but the revelation of the Red Angel as just another example of Star Trek time travel technology seems to have determined a winner: science.

Hey Mom, can I borrow the time traveling suit?

Once more, with feeling

“The Red Angel” is a delight that subverts expectations by taking a plot payoff episode, and using it to deliver emotion and character development. Scribes Chris Silvestri and Anthony Maranville showed that even though they are first-time Discovery writers, they have been doing their homework over the last couple of years, immersing themselves in the show, the characters and Star Trek. It all held together in a tight package, without tangents or wasted moments. And even with all the heavy lifting going on, they found just the right amount of levity, or as Michael says, “Thank you for sharing that with the group, Spock.”

Director Hanelle Culpepper showed that she is the right person for the job to launch the new Picard series, with a deep understanding of how to make all these emotional moments land. She knows when to let the actors showcase their talents, and when to ramp up the action. And even though the ship wasn’t really going anywhere, the visual effects team found ways to experiment with the standard establishing shots, giving us new perspectives on the USS Discovery.

“The Red Angel” is proof of concept for the improvements in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, and it keeps getting better.

Hey Section 31 guys, why don’t you fly into that red thing? We’re sure it’s safe and full of cool stuff.

Random thoughts, connections, easter eggs, and more

  • “The Red Angel” was the first full television episode teleplay for both Chris Silvestri and Anthony Maranville. Both have worked on Discovery since season one with Maranville as a researcher and Silvestri as a writers’ assistant.
  • This is Hanelle Culpepper’s second time helming an episode of Discovery, having directed the first season episode “Vaulting Ambition.” She has also been tapped to direct the first two episodes of the upcoming Picard series.
  • SaruAbilityWatch: Beautiful singing voice.
  • Saru reveals even without his threat ganglia, he has “strong instinctive reactions to dangerous situations and individuals.”
  • Airiam’s body (minus the erased data) was ejected into space, leaving open multiple sci-fi possibilities.
  • The medical tech that erases Airiam’s data was a cameo by James MacKinnon, the head of the special effects makeup & prosthetics department.
  • Tilly justifies her knack for barging into rooms by noting the doors on the ship open automatically, although of course doors can be locked and have chimes to notify.
  • Leland notes that using time travel the Klingons would have wiped out humanity from the “primordial soup.” It is learned in the 24th century in TNG’s “The Chase” that the “primordial soup” of nineteen different planets across the galaxy were seeded for sentient life to evolve by a single extinct race. In the TNG series finale “All Good Things…” Q also took Picard back in time to witness the moment the first life was to spark in Earth’s primordial soup.
  • According to Star Trek history, Burnham’s parents were correct that time travel has contributed to leaps in technology, including Scotty revealing the formula for transparent aluminum in 1986 (Star Trek IV) and Henry Starling releasing technology in the 1960s through to the 1990s based on a crashed timeship from the 29th century (VOY “Future’s End”).
  • The Red Angel suit emits tetryon radiation. Tetryrons only exist in subspace and were often referenced in 24th-century Trek shows.
  • The Red Angel suit creates a micro-wormhole to travel through time. In the 24th century, the Federation’s Project Pathfinder would use an artificial micro-wormhole to contact the USS Voyager in the Delta Quadrant. There are also similarities with artificial quantum singularities which were used to power Romulan ships in the 24th century, and periodically caused some unintended time traveling when malfunctioning.
  • The Red Angel suit was powered by a time crystal. Harry Mudd used a time crystal-powered device to create a time loop in season one’s “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad.”
  • Leland originally got the time crystal for the suit at the Orion black market on Qo’noS. Decades later, he’d return there to recruit Georgiou into Section 31, as revealed in a bonus scene after the season one finale “Will You Take My Hand.”
  • According to Georgiou, Mirror Stamets was pansexual, and their relationship went beyond tyrannical ruler and mad scientist.
  • This episode featured the first full look at the Discovery’s gym, which was glimpsed via a memory of Airiam in the previous episode. The set appears to be a redress of the shuttle bay.
  • The trap built for the Red Angel seems to use components from the Shenzhou transporter set.
  • Georgiou makes reference to “the ninth circle of hell,” indicating that either Dante’s Divine Comedy exists in the Mirror Universe, or she has been catching up on the classics.
  • She also references “DEFCON” levels, which are US military defense conditions, which may also have existed in the Mirror Universe, or perhaps she has been watching WarGames during her time in the Prime Universe.
  • In a bit of poetry, Lt. Nilsson takes Airiam’s old position on the bridge. Nilsson is played by Sara Mitich, who portrayed Airiam in season one.
  • While never stated explicitly, it’s possible Essof IV was Class Y (aka “Demon Class”)

That’s a load off her mind

You look familiar, have we met before? And were you a robot?

Where is everyone?

Someone went dumpster diving for Shenzhou parts

Shouldn’t a time traveler have seen this coming?

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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I have no words for this ep… It was… O.O

Isn’t that Mr. Blutowski’s grade point average from Animal House!!??

“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

That it was! How many of us here actually know what the heck Animal House is?

I was in college at the time. “IS THAT A PLEDGE PIN!?”

It would have been great if the Red Angel was Otis Day. “He loves us!”

As George War Criminal Bush once said regarding a completely unrelated matter:
“This was some weird sh!t!”

Was the dated political commentary really necessary?

dated? That’s like just over 2 years ago he said that.

It was one of those double-u-tee-eff episodes, wasn’t it? And yet the only scene that really kinda irked me was Georgiou hitting on Culber (even though I loved Michelle Yeoh’s performance in this episode): Who in the world thought that we might need that sort of exposition?
I mean, seriously: Did anyone ever have any doubts about the fact that Stamets and Culber are gay characters?

uhh, hitting on Stamets of course… well, kinda hitting on Culber as well, I guess. I just hated the unnecessary over-exposition and buzzword-dropping (“Don’t be so binary” – oh come on! I’ll tell you something: In twenty-odd years, most everyone will have forgotten about the use of “binary” and “non-binary” to describe sexual attraction – am I too much of an utopian to hope that at some point such terminology just won’t be necessary anymore?) and the implication that people commonly referred to as “pansexual” might be more prone to MU-style debauchery than “gay” or “straight” people is more than unfortunate.

It’s incredibly unfortunate, and it’s something Trek has a previous history with. Just really offensive and unnecessary.

Papa !

Okay, I wasn’t expecting the RA to be Burnham’s mother. That doesn’t mean it can’t be Burnham at a later date, though. But this was some decent misdirection.

It looks Future Control has access to Borg tech. That needle in the eye and the gray wave over Leland’s face was very Borg-assimilation. Not to mention it was like Picard’s nightmare at the start of First Contact.

Leland was assassinated by Georgiou. I think that’s pretty much the long and short of it.

I concede that as a possibility. Guess we’ll find out next week.

He was in the way and assassinating a superior to advance in rank is how things are done in the Mirror Universe.

I figured that Leland was assassinated by Control, who then used his voice to signal Tyler. This stabbing in the eyeball isn’t something Leland popped back up and got Tyler the power. Georgiou was on the planet about to abort the plan.

She knows far more than she’s letting on.

This little change in Georgeau is not unexpected but as dumb a character as Georgeau is, I was very much hoping they wouldn’t do the obvious. Have this evil MU killer suddenly start caring about people. (Facepalm)

How is it dumb when she LITERALLY cared for Burnham all the way back in Season 1? It was obvious that she felt something for her because of her genuine love of MU Burnham.

Except… She NEVER cared for Burnham. Certainly not PU Burnham and given that she is an MU doppleganger, likely not the MU Burnham. She is definitely the type that would stab her own mother if she felt it would advance her agenda. That is the nature of the MU. You can take the character out of the MU but you can’t take the MU out of the character.

“This little change in Georgeau is not unexpected but as dumb a character as Georgeau is, I was very much hoping they wouldn’t do the obvious”

And its really one step forward, two steps back by re-adding the hairbraned idea of “mirror universe sexuality”!

Also as I illustrated I dont know anyone could think a murderous dictator becomes a better person because they like their puppy!

Leland is still alive. It looks like something traveled under his skin after he hit the ground and his eye changed.

I hope so! I really like that guy.

And I don’t he’s dead since he’s obviously the connection to both the suit and Burnham’s mom being in it, even if he didn’t know it was her.

@Tiger2 My feeling is he’s probably dead as he served his purpose in the show in that his involvement with Burnham’s parents is exposed and Michael has confronted him. He’s got no real power in Section 31 now as Giorgieu is clearly in control and we don’t need him for the suit anymore as we have the engineer who built it. I got a little excited and pretty much spammed the comments section when I finished watching the episode but in case you missed it my theory is that Burnhams mum is the Red Herring, she was delivered to the Discovery Crew by the real Red Angel who rescued her from the Klingon attack so that she could build the suit. I’m also assuming that this is where it’s going to tie into Chabon’s short. My guess is that there’ll be some sort of final battle, Control will be victorious and Discovery hidden away and told to wait for Burnham to arrive in the future. Presumably the suit will be upgraded and Burnham will travel back in time and complete all the things we’ve seen the Red Angel do plus whatever other steps are required to facilitate a final victory. If he is still alive then I assume he will be under the influence of the AI and would just be there to put a human face on control so that Burnham has got somebody to kill in the season finale!

I love this theory!

Thanks Total-Trekkie 2.

At this point I’d even welcome them to bring on the Borg. Anything to end this unbearable Burnham family emo fest.

Pretty much where I’m at, VS. Just can’t get excited about a family which holds no appeal for me, characters in (Burnham’s) family I’m not invested in. I guess that sums up my disappointment in this storyline. I’d say the rest is fine, but can’t get interested in Sec. 31 either. Anyway, Pike and Saru, Stamets and others are great; they’re just not given enough to do. Imho.

I’m in a similar place. Revealing more backstory and family for Burnham isn’t going to make her more interesting. That ship has sailed some time ago.

I’m not going to say that Trek can’t work with a season long story arc. Enterprise season 3 proved it can. But I think I am going to say that Trek probably works better in an episodic format. Even season 3 of Enterprise there were essentially stand alone episodes that also moved the season story arc forward.

ML31, the problem with season-long arcs is that they put the whole season on “make or break” based on a single narrative. We got all this gimmick-y and twist-y plotting, and if that only concerns one episode then the episode is lost but we can move on to the next one and enjoy a new, different adventure. If you don’t like their topic of the season or it turns out a failure, you are pretty much screwed. Especially if a promising setup only fails in the denouement, that leaves a very bitter aftertaste (as happened with season one already, for both Lorca and the Klingon War). As we discussed, Enterprise season 4 was probably the sweet spot in that respect of balancing narrative length with variety.

This Skywalker-esque Burnham family stuff with their oddly singular genius, fantasy elements like “time crystals”, constantly heightened epic drama and not to forget an underlying sense of destiny in all of this, it really starts to remind me of Star Wars (which Kurtzman’s Abramstrek movies had a good dose of as well, of course). As George Lucas once said, to him SW was really a family soap opera in space, and that’s what Discovery is (d)evolving into…

A time crystal isn’t exactly a “fantasy element” though. It’s an actual, existing concept… it’s just not really what the show pretends it is. But then this actually goes in line with how Star Trek has treated the concepts of wormholes, tachyons, etc. – they’re things that do exist (either as a concept or as a measurable phenomenon), but they wouldn’t work the way that Trek suggests they work.
If you want a quick rundown on the time crystal concept, I’d suggest the wikipedia article – plain and simple:

“it’s just not really what the show pretends it is.”

Aka a fantasy ;)

just as “Star Trek-wormoles”, “Star Trek-ion propulsion”, “Star Trek-tachyons” etc. etc.

“just as “Star Trek-wormoles”, “Star Trek-ion propulsion”, “Star Trek-tachyons” etc. etc.”

That’s not quite true. Same as warp drive, wormholes do have theoretical underpinnings in the same direction that they might at least theoretically work. This is not the same case as taking a completely unrelated concept because you think the name is fitting.

How do we know the concept is entirely unrelated though? We’ve heard two mentions of a time crystal so far, with no real explanation as to how they “work”, except that in “Magic to Make…” it was used to create an ever-repeating time-loop – the short definition of a “time crystal” is that it’s a structure which repeats in time and space.
That’s pretty much analogous to how in “classic” Trek, a wormhole is “a thing in space where stuff goes in in one place and comes out in a faraway place” – so the basic concept is just as sound, but in real life, firstly you couldn’t just send matter into a wormhole without it being reduced to a subatomic state and it also wouldn’t just pop out on the other side without having experienced some extreme timey-wimey-wobbly stuff (i.e. time “outside” would’ve passed much quicker than “inside”).
So it’s really not that different. From what we’ve seen in those episodes, one can presume that in Trek, a time crystal is basically some sort of matter in a state that gives someone or something the ability to experience certain points in time repeatedly – just as “possible” or “impossible” as travelling through a wormhole. It’s just that the term “time crystal” sounds quite a bit more esoteric…

Yeah but the WAY they are using it is basically fantasy though. Time travel is basically perfected the way Burnham’s mother can zip back and forth through time. She can go any time she wants on the push of a button via womholes from what I can tell. The only time we seen time travel done with this much ease were the 29th century time ships or Daniels from the 31st century.

I have always said Starfleet KNOWS how to time travel. They do it over and over again lol. But this is the first time they had technology they can just do it on a whim, at least in the 23rd and 24th century.

In TOS it didn’t seem such a hassle for the Enterprise to time travel.

I believe that the Enterprise 1701 in TOS (Assignment Earth) used the so-called slingshot maneuver they invented in an earlier episode to go back in time for a historical scientific mission. You are correct however that they also went back in time in the episode where the Enterprise is picked up on radar as a UFO.

Yeah that episode just never made any sense to me. The way they beamed people back while traveling backwards in time was just absurd.

That one episode, Assignment: Earth, was the only one where they pretty much went back in time as if it were as simple as hitting warp 8. I never really cared for it but since the entire idea of the episode was to launch a potential spinoff, I’ve cut it a lot of slack.

I feel confused at the rationale behind Georgiou with Section 31 at times.

I really believed the show was improving as it was addressing problems I had with season 1, yet Tilly reverts to her annoying self, and Burnham is the centre of the Trek universe now and I dislike her being shoehorned into the most iconic aspects of this once great universe.

So far the second season had a more clear direction than the mess that was season 1. However, the reveal of the Red Angel proves that this show has got to be the most contrived storytelling of all Trek.

I want to love this show but needs to tone down on playing Burnham as the chosen one. I laughed in acknowledgement when Georgiou told Tilly to shut up, I feel when she goes to full Tilly. And I am a fan who never minded Neelix, so go figure.

It was quite the twist. But I assume it’s still misdirection this early.

@Holden I’m inclined to agree.

Edit- too late to edit my initial reply but a few more thoughts on your suggestion

@Holden I’m inclined to agree. The episode basically tells us that Burnham is the Red Angel and then pulls the rug at the last second but if Michael was the Red Angel wouldn’t it make sense that she’d send somebody else back in her place? Would it not also make sense that if Burnham gained access to the time travel tech one of the first things that she might do is go back and save her parents? We knew they were killed in a Klingon attack but I guess now we can assume that the bodies or at least the body of her mother were presumed to have been incinerated in a blast. Also, when Mother Burnham arrived we saw the suit disappear and She appeared to have facial injuries. I would suggest that it’s possible this might indicate that Burnham did travel back as the Red Angel immediately after travelling back in time and rescuing her mother and that when we saw the suit disappear that was Michael escaping. Given that this story seems to be about a predestination paradox it’s probable that she rescued her mother and handed her to the Discovery crewto rebuild the time travel suit that Burnham will subsequently use to complete her Red Angel to do list.

We also never saw the parents die. We just heard some voices and noises.

Borg assimilation was my first thought. It dovetails with my crazy notion that control will eventually travel back in time and end up becoming the first Borg.

@TonyD But if Control becomes the first Borg why would Spock be shown a vision of the it destroying planets like they were going out of fashion? Surely control of Borg would want to assimilate organic life not annihilate it.

Maybe it fails at destruction so, by the end decides that assimilation is a better solution.

I don’t know Tony, it just doesn’t seem to fit the Borg’s MO. Plus Spock has been shown a vision of the AI destroying multiple planets. Now given that this season appears to be showing us a predestination paradox/time loop I think it’s likely that Control doesn’t fail and that most biological life in the Galaxy will be wiped out. This is where I think Chabon’s Short Trek might come in. That glimpse of the 33rd century we saw in which Craft comes onboard Discovery and meets Zora could be a post apocalyptic galaxy in which the AI won. I’ve suggested that the end of a latest episode is a red herring. That the real Red Angel has brought Burnham her mother so that she can rebuild the time suit. If my theory is correct then Burnham will travel to the future where with the assistance of Zora she will upgrade her suit and then she will travel back and do all the Red Angel/burst tasks that we’ve seen and ultimately restore the timeline. Now that being said you’re Borg theory could still have some substance as when the probe came back from 500 years into the future Borg tech could have been used to upgrade it as post Voyager there would have been plenty of it available in the Federation. I just don’t think they’re directly involved although I’ve been wrong already this season.

If they do this… the world will end immediately.

If Control ends up being the proto-Borg or a Borg plot to destroy the Federation earlier in the timeline, I’m out. Leave the Borg out of Discovery. If they have a Borg plot in the 23rd century with a Top ranking Admiral on board and yet no one in the Federation knew of the Borg until Q decided to mess with Picard and crew 100 or so years in the future and show them there are terrors out there in space that they couldn’t even imagine. Kind of messes with TNG canon quite a bit if the Federation knew of the Borg for 100 years and yet had done absolutely nothing to prepare for their arrival. That would mean all the lives lost at the battle at Wolf 359 would have been for nothing. I just don’t want to see Discovery start screwing with canon in any way that touches the Borg. The Borg are the supreme scary baddies of the 24th century, let’s just leave it that way.

There are many other threats to the Federation hanging around the Alpha Quadrant in the 23rd Century for Discovery to meet. No Borg!

I’m sure they could do it in such a way that the Federation doesn’t even realize they created the Borg. Nor am I saying I want them to tie Control into the Borg (I agree there are plenty of other things to explore).

But Discovery has co-opted tech from TNG: the Section 31 comm badges, the shuttles with on-board transporters, hangar bays with energy fields instead of doors and so forth.

Also, Enterprise did a Borg without the crew knowing they were Borg episode; I could see Discovery trying do do the same thing.

I’ve said it previously, the Relaunch book trilogy Star Trek: Destiny, provides an excellent origin and conclusion to the Borg saga.

Many if would love to see it in a visual format.

While Trek lit is only canon until contradicted by film or TV, my opinion of Kurtzman would be very low if Discovery were to undermine David Mack’s trilogy just because ‘someone thought it would be cool’ to work the Borg into the mix too.

Destiny is the only ST book I’ve reread 4 times. The Caliar are the most intriguing st aliens to date. The perfect “accidental” progenitors of the Borg.

First Contact and then Enterprise actually were the two that messed with TNG canon. Enterprise were the ones that took advantage of the opportunity. And those squid ships do sorta look Borgified. I wouldn’t be mad if they’re never actually called The Borg.

Also VOY established that the Borg are known before the “q who”-Events! Also in ST7 we see El-Aurian-Refugees. Of course some of these refugees will mention the Borg to Starfleet-Officials.

I would not like the Borg in Discovery because I think we had too much Borg-episodes. But for canon-reasons I can’t see a problem.

Even TNG wasn’t consistent here. “Q Who” makes it clear that the Federation outposts in “The Neutral Zone” were destroyed by the Borg, but later in the episode Guinan says that now they know about UFP they surely will come – but they already knew the year before!

Also, Seven of Nine’s parents knew about the Borg, young Annika had a freaking model Borg cube as a toy, so there was some knowledge but nobody took it seriously apart from the Hansens.

@JonBuck I don’t this Burnham’s mother is the RA. When they ‘capture’ her the suit disappears and she stumbles forward. I think the suit disappears is because Michael from the future escaped the trap she knew was coming. She simply rescued her mother because they need her to build the RA suit.

Did the suit disappear? It looked like it just ejected her like the iron man suit lets Tony Stark out.

Wasn’t that the twist in the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies? Peter Parker’s parents really being secret agent scientists or something?

Pretty much. They really strained to make a backstory that no one ever really wanted.

And wasn’t Alex Kurtzman a writer on those movies?

Yes he was. In that movie, Spider-Man also had magic blood too.

Ha, wow, I forgot all about that.

One or both of the lead character’s parents turning out to have worked for the “bad guys faction” were twists in Alias, Timeless, The Blacklist and Bourne 5 too.

So…yes…not the most original plot development in DSC.

You and pretty much everyone else. They just kind of exist with zero impact on anything before or after it.

Peter Parker’s parents being secret agent scientists is lifted from the comics.

Probably should’ve stayed in the comics.

All this goes to explain why Discovery feels like a live action comic book so often…

Much of that, I think, comes from Section 31. Which has a total comic book feel to the entire organization on every level.

That’s the thing about Micheal Burnham. She’d be a fantastic character if only her backstory was in no way connected to Spock. Spock doesn’t need to be her adopted brother for everything in Season 2 to work. She could have been raised on Vulcan by random adopted parents and her and Spock could still have bonded over their shared experience of growing up as an outcast on Vulcan. She doesn’t need to be the most important person in the entire universe. She started the war, She has a stronger connection with Sarek then his wife, she’s one of the Red Angels because her parents were super spy scientists that knew how to make a suit with a magic time MacGuffin…

I get it, she’s the focal point of the show. But does that mean she also has to be the single most important human in all of space and time as well? Discovery can’t have many more seasons left because in order to ‘sync with canon’ Burnham is going to have to become the Q and erase everyone’s memories of her existence because how else would it have been that no one ever spoke of her for the next 100+ years when she’s almost destroyed the Federation, and also saved all sentient life in the galaxy?

That’s it! Burnham goes off and becomes a Q! Perfect! LOL

Why not, she can do everything.

They talked about how jumps in technological progressions were caused by time travellers. That sounds like a hint at the Kelvin universe IMO.
I’m starting to think there are more time travelling suits and/or that Burnham will use the suite of her mother to correct her own mistakes or even prevent the events which were caused by section 31.
Like it happened in VOY year of hell. Or the Butterfly Effect. ;-)
At the end of season 2 or the series her timeline will be erased and the series will by syncronised with TOS. So she will never have been part of Spocks life and there will be no problems with canon.

Legends of Tomorrow… ST:Discovery style!

There really have been a lot of hints at this… and I would love for this to be true, but I don’t think they’ll do it. They’ve propped up Burnham too much. And it’s actually for that reason why this would work so well, but I just don’t see them killing her off/making her never exist to reset things.

How would she be erased at the end of season 2 though? The show is coming back so where would Discovery be then? Are you suggesting it would jump to another universe or something?

There’s no need to erase her. if Burnham gets her biological parents back (or at least one of them) then the whole family dynamic changes. Spock may still think of Michael as his sister but then he kind of thinks of Kirk as his brother too. More importantly to the outside world Burnham is no longer an orphan, given that another decade passes before TOS it’s reasonable to assume that in the public eye at least she is no longer perceived as Sarek and Amanda’s daughter.

Oh I see what you mean. Yeah, maybe, but that seems a bit too easy, especially because they were Michael’s family longer than her real parents were before they ‘died’. But you can’t rule it out ether.

I guess but sometimes the simple explanation is the best. Otherwise we end up with silly stuff like trying to explain why Klingons look different,

Yes, Burnham suffers from ‘chosen one’ syndrome. It can work in Star Wars, but it’s a harder sell in Star Trek.

Sisko was ‘the chosen one’ in DS9 … worked fine in ST.

Sisko’s chosen status was a slow burn over 7 seasons…

And it was made palatable by Sisko’s deep reluctance to accept or believe it, and the ongoing debate between Starfleet’s deeply held beliefs about science and the Bajoran’s faith.

Basically, the plot device was earned, and earned well, through 7 years of storytelling.

What TG47 said.

Super Burnham being the centre of everything is wearing thin and feeling contrived to fit this not so likeable character into a universe I have loved for years.

We knew right from the start that the show would be centered around her. She is the star of the show and was written to be the main focus.

You are missing the point. There is being the lead character of a TV show and there is also having every story element that comes along be linked to that character. One does not have to lead to the other. It’s overkill and is asking a lot more from the audience who is already suspending quite a bit of disbelief to begin with. Such a story would work better as a movie than a TV show.

Midway through the episode I was ready to post congratulations to the Trek Movie team for deducing the Angel’s identity, but the end result was the more satisfying one of a known character who we thought had been killed. Hard to predict a new character! A remaining mystery among many is why the Red Angel rescued the New Eden people: Michael wasn’t in danger then. Anyway, lots to ponder and discuss (as we all no doubt will) but what a fabulous episode!

Another problem is the various other times Burnham has been in danger, such as “The Vulcan Hello”. Where was RA/Mom then? And why did the RA show up at Kaminar for Saru to see. I missed that explanation. The Kelpians were about to be wiped out, but Burnham was in no immediate danger.

The RA only appears when Michael is killed in some other timeline. She goes back and changes it. That is why Spock needed to make sure Michael was not going to be saved by Culber. She had to die for real in the timeline, so that the RA had to go back and change that. In all those other moments, Michael managed without the RA. Being from the Future, the RA knew that. No need to come back then.

Okay, but how does that explain the RA appearing at Kaminar?

IIRC, they deduced that the sightings of RA without the Red Burst signals always were times that Burnham was in danger. Kaminar had a Red Burst.

Perhaps because Burnham knew that Saru would be there and she needed him to see her in the suit to push things along in the right direction. Yes, I still believe Michael is the Red Angel and I’ve explained how at various points in the comments.

Perhaps because Burnhams mum is not the Red Angel, rather she is the person who built the suit. It’s my theory that Burnham rescued her mother from the Klingon attack and brought her to a the Discovery crew to rebuild the time suit which Michael will wear therefore becoming the Red Angel.

Excellent point. They likely did not know which way the story was gonna go at that point.

Good question, but I am moved to look at the issue of signalling (cause and effect, and also the use of its presence and absence as a diagnostic element which led to the plan of capture). There was something about this in the expository dialogue. [Edit: Meant as a reply to Thorny.]

Well, I figured that if that trap worked then there was no way the RA was Burnham. (for obvious time travel reasons I’m surprised no one has brought up yet) My first guess was future relative. Parent would have been my next guess.

You mean, ‘how could Burnham have died on Vulcan as a child but still grown up to become a time-traveler’? No, that’s not what the Grandfather Paradox is about. The GP is someone alive today time-traveling back and killing his/her grandfather, thus preventing his/her own existence. But that person did exist in the first place. Dead Burnham could not have existed to time-travel. Yeah, I was really hoping they weren’t going there and was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t.

No. I mean they devised a plan to catch future Burnham yet present Burnham was right there not only to hear but be involved with the entire plan. Future Burnham would know everything and just find a way around the trap.

“No. I mean they devised a plan to catch future Burnham yet present Burnham was right there not only to hear but be involved with the entire plan. Future Burnham would know everything and just find a way around the trap.”

@ML31 Like sending her mother back in time instead perhaps?

But that didn’t work, did it? Her mother was obviously not aware of the trap as she was caught in it. Unless that was future Burnham’s intent.

@Thorny You’re right. Burnham travelling back in time and saving her own life would be more of a predestination paradox in my opinion. A bit like in Terminator with Kyle Reece travelling back in time to protect the mother of the future resistance leader but ultimately falling in love with her and becoming the father of John Connor. I think you’re going to be surprised again as I think there’s a strong possibility that it’s going to be revealed that her mother is not the Red Angel and that she was simply rescued from the past to build the suit for them. This would mean that Burnham actually died in last nights episode and was resuscitated by herself!!

Ouch! That gives me a headache! :-)

Lol reading back my theory maybe there’s just a tad to many paradoxes to make it work!

When I saw “Lt. Nilsson” on my CC, I started crowing! My son looked at me. I explained she was the original Airiam. Well played, Disco! At least you made me stop crying!


Good. I was wondering what ‘new role’ she had accepted and why. That saves her hours in the make-up chair every morning.

Another fourth wall moment though. The music played up, the characters looked up, as if something important was happening. But how is the routine appearance of a completely unrelated character played by the same actress in any way important to the characters, in-universe?

Addendum: it seems the point for the characters was to see a new officer take over Airiam’s old station for the first time. Could’ve been made more obvious.

It was thoroughly obvious.

I was distracted by all those cringeworthy other scenes…

I thought it was them realizing that like Culber, Ariem just came back from the dead intact with all her bionics removed.

It was very obvious. You can pick up on it immediately.

They were looking up because someone was taking over Airiam’s former station.

For once in a while we agree. Airiam would have had at least one relief officer, more likely two that are able to work the DASH Drive controls for when she’s off duty. So that can’t have been Nilsson’s first time at the station, though the first time her being primary.

One gets the sense that there are watch shift configurations, as with other Trek shifts, but the primary or alpha shift bridge officers are called to take their places in any sensitive situation.

So, if Nillson is an engineer who was part of another watch complement, the primary bridge crew might not have seen much of her.

Ariam appeared to be a regular watch commander in addition to having a specific bridge role. Perhaps her augmentation enabled her to pull multiple shifts similarly to Data.

At first I thought that it felt awfully self-indulgent, but after giving it a minute of thought, I was okay with it.
Don’t forget that every officer on that bridge had to watch Airiam die in real-time just a few days earlier – therefore it was justified that the scene was “played for drama”.
The fact that we (as true Trek-aficionados) know that it’s “Airiam 1.0″‘s actress is just a little additional bonus.

It was Ariem resurrected! She came back from the Mycilial network!

I was a bit underwhelmed. As the season progresses and more is revealed the less interesting it becomes after a very strong start. The big reveal was less of a revelation and more of an expected twist, setup in the shows teaser.

I’m ready for the season to wrap up. As Simon Pegg would say, “Skip to the end.”

Considering my whole viewing party was floored in the final scene, that was not an expected twist. Heck, none of them keep up on the internet Trek communities and were shocked with the idea it could even be Michael. I literally had people jumping off the couch in excitement. And these are not some Trek newbs, they are life ling trekkies, some going back to TOS first run.

Michael seemed too obvious so I suspected her mother but once they gave away that it was Michael’s DNA in the opening minutes that pretty much confirmed it for me. You don’t make a reveal that big in the opening minutes unless it’s meant to throw the audience off. The only other woman who would carry matching DNA would be her mother or some previously unknown sibling and it seemed highly unlikely they would go with yet another unknown sibling thread.

You picked up up earlier than I did. It seemed obvious to me that if the trap worked then no way it could possibly be Burnham. Especially since she was integral to the success of the trap. Future Burnham would know everything present Burnham would know. Therefore, could circumvent the trap. Duh… So I figured it was some future relative. Or parent would have been my 2nd choice. But everyone should have known it wasn’t Michael. So that ending was no surprise whatsoever. Leland getting poked in the eye and still talking… That was the bigger thing. I mean, we knew we haven’t heard the last of the AI (I can’t call it Control without laughing) it was just a matter of when and how. But I didn’t think the guy would get poked in the eye!

Death by eye poke was NOT expected. It was like an evil, twisted Three Stooges gag.

It was gratuitous.

And a return to season 1 grim, bloody horror for its own sake.

It may have finally made it the decision for us not to let our kids see season 2 either.

We’ve been trying to figure out if we could drop Point of Light (severed baby’s head) and Obol for Charon (drill into Tilly’s temple) and still have the season make sense.

But I don’t see how we can omit the Red Angel…

@TG47 I get the impression that CBS have been making these episodes with a view of making them so that they’re easily cut to meet network broadcast standard. It’s almost like they’ve gone out of there way to “say look at us, we can do whatever the hell we want because we’re not on a network”. However, if you look at the runtimes most fall into the typical 43 minute range with not much above 54 minutes. They’ve thrown in a couple of f bombs, a few very brief scenes of graphic violence and a flash of Klingon nipple but all of these things could be easily cut to make it suitable to be shown on the parent network. Now it makes sense that once they have started building up a library of original shows they might start to look to promote their streaming platform by showing older episodes on network. Long story short, if you’re worried about exposing your kids to some of the more extreme content it could be worth giving it a wait and see approach to see if they do get broadcast on standard tv.

I agree that it seems as though they are trying to put just enough in to exceed the PG8+ rating of the other Trek offerings. Much could be easily edited out with no damage to the story.

They are on standard cable on Space in Canada and are in a 14+ category. Two episodes in season 1 were rated 18+ adult content.

Space seems to fill up what it can with commercials. One can see how different the episodes are in terms of graphic violence, mature subject matter and coarse language by how the 14+ warnings after the commercials vary from episode to episode.

It’s one of the things about Discovery that I’ve found most disappointing. It’s nothing to do with being a prude or offended as I watch plenty of 18+ rated shows it’s just that Star Trek, despite often dealing with mature themes has still been accessible to families. The same principle annoys me in reverse, I hated when studios decided to try and turn every half decent R rated property into family friendly PG13 fare.

Precisely Corinthian7.

Trek has been amazingly accessible across a range from middle grade up. Our middle graders still choose Trek reruns over just about any other TV offerings.

Yes, there were a few episodes in each series that were too mature or disturbing in content or graphic for younger ones. Screen Rant once did a helpful ‘what were they thinking of’ listing.

We were able to omit those when our kids were younger, or at least watch them together so we could discuss the more mature content after.

The episodic format made it possible… and the same currently with The Orville for the one that is willing to watch it with me.

@ML31 Are you really sure it isn’t Burnham though? They told us at the start of the episode it was Michael, what if they were telling the truth? If we are seeing a predestination paradox in which effect can precede cause then we could assume that the real Red Angel went back in time and rescued Michael’s mother from the Klingon attack. She was the the engineer who built the tech for Section 31 so she was presumably rescued so that she could rebuild the time machine and set everything in motion. When reviving Burnham the Red Angel utilised technology that appeared beyond anything we’ve seen in the 23rd/24th centuries so presumably whoever wears the suit has travelled further into the future (presumably the 33rd century as this has got to tie into Calypso at some point) and upgraded. This would still make Michael the number one suspect.

We know it’s not because 1, it wasn’t Michael who fell out of the suit and the RA was caught to begin with. Does that preclude Future Micheal not being involved? No. But this was not Michael and and it is likely not her going back in Michael’s stead at Michael’s request. Unless, of course, it’s part of some grand plan that involves mom getting caught.

I’m leaning to it being both mum and Burnham.


Things to consider:

According to the animated Guardian (YESTERYEAR) the adult Spock as a predestination paradox according to it rules of “all is as it once was” is “normal” time or it never would have returned him to his future. Of course, the fact that it spat him out, first, into a timeline where Spock had died as a young child would seem to indicated that that timeline was also “normal” for the adult Spock to exist in.

Also, Spock will encounter 2 AIs, NOMAD and V’ger, responsible for the destruction of multitudes of civilizations – V’ger, alone, gave some indication that it consumed some planets whole in its data analyses, while NOMAD claimed to only have destroyed planetary systems’ flawed “biological” infestations with the clear implications that it left all else untouched.

And for something that likely has no connection to anything other than the fun of playing something along the lines of 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon:

Jonathan Nolan created PERSON OF INTEREST, a television show ultimately about battling AIs for JJ Abrams who knows Alex Kurtzman.

@Denny C. I think they did throw you off Denny C. I don’t think they just caught the Red Angel, rather I Think Michael rescued her mother from the Klingon attack and handed her over to Discovery to rebuild the time travel suit that she uses to become the Red Angel. You can get your DNA tested online through companies like and they can compare DNA with enough accuracy to show your relationship to another family member. That’s in the 21st century, so off course 200+ years later they can tell the difference between Michael’s DNA and her mothers and it goes without saying that they have her parents DNA on file because they both worked for freaking Section 31.

I liked it but yeah I still wish we got something a bit different overall. I’m HAPPY it wasn’t Burnham herself but it is too much Burnham focus just the same. But now that we know its interesting we don’t know where the rest of story is going at least. I know some people feel its kind of cheat but I can’t wait to hear how they explain it all.

How many TOS episodes had Kirk as the main focus? He was the star of the show. Likewise, for Michael.

I’m talking about where her family is literally the crux over if the galaxy will be destroyed or not! Yeah Kirk was the star, I don’t remember one episode where his mere presence is what kept humanity from being wiped from existence.

At best, he go down to a planet, punch out whoever was screwing it up and warp out.

Fair enough, but I would attribute that difference largely to the episodic vs serialized nature of the two series.

I understand that. I was only saying I would’ve preferred the Red Angel to not be related to ANYONE we knew and just be part of the bigger story. But we also knew that wasn’t going to happen once we were told it was human.

Yup, I agree. She’s the lead and therefore expected to be the focus but she has instead been the focal point of existence itself two seasons running. First for the continued existence of the Federation and then for existence itself.

And I would have preferred if the red angel remained a complete mystery of the universe. I like the idea of science v faith and really have no issue if it is explored on Trek. I wish more writers and producers would have the balls to NOT spoon feed the audience everything. Not everything needs to be explained away. Let the audience imagine some things for god sakes. To me, making this thing time traveling tech (forgetting about the Section 31 silliness) undermines a lot.

The science vs faith thing went right out the window once it was revealed that it was a living organism inhabiting the suit.

Yes. That theme went out the window the instant they decided (without nearly enough evidence, mind you) it was indeed a time traveling suit. Lost opportunity again. This show ought to be called, Star Trek: Lost Opportunities.

Not necessarily Denny C because with the story clearly being a predestination paradox it does open up questions around destiny and whether or not there’s a guiding hand or higher intelligence at work. However, I do take you’re point as for all they’ve hyped up the science vs faith debate it’s barely been touched upon.

Kirk was the focus and saved the galaxy but he and his family weren’t the KEY to saving the galaxy.

Yeah, it was George and Gracie’s family that was key to saving the Galaxy. Kirk was just the Space/Time Uber driver they needed to get to the 23rd century in order to do it

That pretty much nails it.

Kirk was not the “chosen one” like Burnham seems to be.

You do realise Burnham is the main character of the show, yes?


You tried, Tiger. You tried :)

He really did and as clearly and as pleasantly as he always does.

That’s not what Tiger2 is referring to.


Yeah. With 4 episodes left I’m pretty underwhelmed with season 2 and if the show ended right now I wouldn’t feel cheated out of anything. Unless something miraculous happens in the next four shows, I’m ready to chalk up season 2 as an improvement over season 1, but still not very good. Hoping the improvement continues for season 3….

Sure Jan, an “expected twist” that everyone who kept guessing the RA’s identity got wrong. That sounds exactly like an expected twist doesn’t it?

I loved it, amazing!

Thanks for the quick turnaround review. For a show that took place primarily aboard Discovery, this episode had a lot of answers and plot twists packed into it. I know many including myself often found the Culber/Paul plot a little intrusive in the early S2 episodes, it seems to have found its place in the show over the last 2-3 shows. So much so that the Admiral’s words to Culber about walking a new road could have been appropriate for many of the crew (as well as many of the viewers I’m sure). Also, Peck’s Spock continues to grow on me with some great lines plus his steadfast refusal to stop the trap reminded me of his “needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one” thinking he would hold onto right through to his death in TWOK. A few plot holes I was not happy with including – how could they have identified the red angel as Burnham, only for the surprise pop in by her Mother? Hopefully we get a good answer next week. Overall quite a good episode with some good answers and new questions.

Even 21st century technology would be able to detect variables in DNA so, yeah, I hear what you’re saying.

You’re overlooking Pike’s cautionary remark about not fully trusting the genetic data Tilly retrieved. I also disagree with your dour opinion about what people don’t want or ready for the season to end.

It’s an opinion. We’ve been promised that we’ll see how this all directly ties into canon and I’m far more curious about the final destination as opposed to the journey. I was really enjoying this season but then, for me at least, it hit a bit of a bump. Last night’s episode just reinforced the idea that Michael being adopted by Sarek and the connection to Spock was completely unnecessary for this series.

Wait until the series is over. Michael will become the red angel, change (or correct) the past and voilá – she becomes erased of Spocks life and Star Trek Discovery becomes canon. ;-)

With a few changes, that is sorta my theory as well.

Ya’ never know.

I’m guessing Mom dies and Michael has to put on the suit to prevent it happening.

At least they avoided the “Young Michael died on Vulcan, so how could she have lived to go back in time as the RA” head-scratcher. Which despite Spock’s invoking of the Grandfather Paradox still wouldn’t have made a lick of sense.

Speaking of TWOK, I wonder if DSC will do a scene where Spock and Culber meet, with Spock saying something like he can’t comment on Culber’s situation because he has never come back from the dead…

In fairness… There are a lot of things that have been done on Discovery in both seasons that haven’t made a lick of sense. Adding a few more to the pile isn’t going to mess things up any more.

It’s just not well written. The writers are good with character development (aside from Burnham), but poor with executing plot. They’d be better at writing for a show like Grey’s anatomy. I don’t want to be that person who says this new regime doesn’t GET Star Trek, but I don’t think they do. The true Star Trek moment of the entire series was when Captain Georgiou, Saru, and Burnham were looking through the telescope in the first episode. Then, it all fell apart with the Vulcan nerve pinch followed by explosions. It hasn’t stopped since. I’ll take a series where a smart group of emotionally stable folks debate the ethics of contaminating Mintakan culture over this schlock any day. I hope Burnham stops crying and goes away.

While I’m enjoying Discovery more than you seem to RikersMailbox, I definitely agree that the show would be greatly strengthened by more of the ‘work the problem people’ attitude, and less of the ‘Oh, I’ve got it!’ veering from of trippy solution to the next.

Work the problem, exactly. I WANT to enjoy this show, but I don’t know what the show is about ultimately. I think when you boil down what Star Trek is, it has predominately been a show about ethical dilemmas that reflect our own society. The affirmation is that people in the not-too-distant future, our future selves, will be better than us, and they will have the disposition to come together, state the problem or ethical dilemma and solve it as a group using some sort of scientific or psuedo-scientific, evidence-based approach, in a calm, cool, and collective manner. That is not what Discovery is. Fine, but if Star Trek is now something different, which it certainly looks like it is, then what is its new mission? What is the message that I’m supposed to take away from these episodes? Does anyone know?

Well said, RikersMailbox. Star Trek is, or was, just what you said.: “ethical dilemmas that reflect our society.” Whatever Discovery is, I don’t believe it is Star Trek. And if DIscovery is what Star Trek has mutated into, it is no longer Star Trek.
To answer your question, my view is that we are supposed to take away from these episodes that Star Trek is now something distilled from what is common and trendy in other shows- GOT, and other dystopian sci fi shows. This will ensure decent ratings. But Star Trek as a visionary, groundbreaking show, existing as a prescient force, is gone.
I guess a Borg analogy might work here. You can recognize who a Borg drone used to be when it was an individual by its superficial appearance. But its individuality is lost. This is DIscovery. Star Trek has been assimilated into the current cultural milieu, and its essence has been lost.

I used to think they are trying to turn DSC into an outer space GOT in Season 1. But every ounce of Season 2 felt very close to good Trek. The essence is still there and it is very much grounded in traditional Trek, just upgraded with better FX, arc-based story telling and more emotionality.

The moral dilemmas are stretched out over several episodes and are therefor not that easy to track down as if it still was a 43-minute short story. But there has been plenty of that traditional stuff in eps like New Eden, Obole for Charon or Sounds of Thunder. Apart from the ongoing elements, this is very close to traditional Trek. I just don’t see what is lost… It’s all there, just looking better than ever and feeling up-to-date, paying hommage not mainly to GOT but rather great all-age comic book shows like The Flash…

““ethical dilemmas that reflect our society.” Whatever Discovery is, I don’t believe it is Star Trek.”

Why would CONTROL as an A.I. threat be not a reflection of today’s society which is on the brink of creating real-life A.I.?

Why would a modern-day patchwork family such as the Sareks not qualify as a reflexion of society?

Queer sexual orientation being widely accepted? Female Admirals and commanding officers? The fate of Kelpiens and their masters, a classic Trek dilemma. Fulfilling the destiny of that space-faring supercloud by letting it download into Discovery’s computer, trusting and embracing the unknown.
The entire MU/PU divergence reinvented to reflect upon current political polarization…

This IS Star Trek! It may come off as a bit comic-bookish at times but that’s what times demand. But the essence is very much pure Star Trek at its best…

Since you brought it up, I’ve now noticed that Burnham has shed more tears in 25 episodes than any other character over their course of shows. And remember, three of those series’ had some 170 episodes.

Which was why I felt Nemesis wasn’t Trek…

Troi becomes an emotional basket case… just, no…

Yes, it’s different when you’re the one violated and not the therapist, but she didn’t fall apart during other invasive attacks, and had better perspective on mind-to-mind possibilities and boundaries than any.

Meh. Regardless, she seemed to be the same person she always was. No changes from the show to the movies. Which is pretty darn worthless overall. At least she served a purpose in Nemesis.

I think the control A.I could possibly have fudged up the data. I think the control A.I is pulling all of the strings behind the scenes and it wanted to capture the Red Angel.

“how could they have identified the red angel as Burnham, only for the surprise pop in by her Mother?”

Michael could still become the red angel by using the suite of her mother.
If Michael was the red angel in that episode, then her future self would have known what happened anyway. Why wait until she died that horrible? Her future self simply could have appeared at an earlier moment.
Or maybe the events of this episode will make Michael becoming the red Angel. Angry about the revelations of Leland, Michael wants to correct her past and is willing to disobey the temporal prime directive.
Thus those events create a causality loop.
I’m surprised that the crew didn’t come up with the idea of a temporal causality loop. Shouldn’t that have been their first thoughts? Like it happened in Star Trek 8? Lazy writers?

Given that the suit travels time, it is still possible that Burnham uses the suit, and the medical data was from that.

They couldn’t @DeanH. You go online these days to sites like and order a DNA test and the results when compared to other family members will be able to tell with some degree of accuracy your actual relationship to them. It’s therefore inconceivable that 23rd century scientists would not be able to tell the difference between the DNA of a mother and daughter. What does this mean? I believe Burnham will be confirmed as the Red Angel. Future Michael new the plan, it’s likely that she was able to escape the trap because not only did she know about the it but it’s clearly implied that she will travel further into the future and have her suit upgraded. This notion is supported by both Chabon’s Short Trek and the fact that that the Red Angel has done things that clearly require much more advanced technology. For example her actions at Kaminar and the resuscitation ray she used to revive present Burnham. The reason the RA went back and rescued mother Burnham is that they need her to build the suit.

Loved the more Cmdr Nhan, and also Cornwell.

Cornwell actually using her therapist background to help Culber was a nice touch.

Rrrright, because you go to the superior of your superior officer who is not part of the ship and knows nothing about you and your boyfriend when you need relationship advice. Rather than, I don’t know, consult one of the medical staff on your ship which you were once a part of?

Yeah that was just weird to me lol. Was it known Cromwell was always a therapist? I can’t remember but it felt forced he would go to her. It just felt like they wanted to give Cromwell more screen time.

It was implied in “Lethe,” and her skills in working with PTSD were mentioned (and put to use) in “Into the Forest I Go.”

Semi-canonically, her background of being a psychologist was confirmed early on by the showrunners on After Trek.

Oh OK thanks. That makes it a little better then, but I really couldn’t remember. I just thought they pulled it out of their you-know-what. ;)

FTIW, I’m not questioning at all and am aware of Cornwell’s psychology background. I’m questioning the appropriateness and believability of Culber going to this complete stranger admiral (to him) and asking for personal relationship advice when the ship SHOULD have professionals for this purpose. The writers’ motivation for this scene, as so many, was “lets use one of your regulars instead of a characters that would make most sense from an in-universe perspective”. But no doubt its not the worst scene in this horror show. Just bizarre.

asking for personal relationship advice when the ship SHOULD have professionals for this purpose.

Not really, this is the 23rd century. Ships don’t routinely get councilors until the 24th century.

I have to say the Discovery needs to be a test case for having one assigned to a ship, big time.

Matt, I’m aware of this fan conjecture that was developed as a result of this obvious oversight in the 1960s,and yet AFAIK there is zero direct on screen evidence for it. The lack of evidence is not evidence in itself. The shows so far had no problem with retconning and modernizing social aspects such as TOS’ stance against women captains, as early as Enterprise (timeline-wise) . The idea that 5 year missions dont have trained psychologists (don’t need bridge counselors, THAT was a 24th century invention) is absolutely ridiculous and unbelievable. Even today NASA has trained psychologists because obviously humans in space on dangerous missions have psychological strain. It’s like saying they dont need physicians either. If anything there is more need for psychologists in the 22nd and 23rd than the 24th century because Earth/outposts are far and missions are long.

You’re quite correctn@Vulcan Soul in that we don’t have any onscreen evidence to suggest that they don’t have ship counsellors in the 23rd Century and I agree it’s extremely likely that they did. However, I’m prepared to give this scene a pass on the basis that Culber was part of the ships medical staff and was likely well aquainted with the crew member that fulfilled this role on Discovery. Given that most people that go and see a psychiatrist tend to choose one they’re not personally aquainted with I can buy into Culber taking advantage of having a trained psychologist onboard who wasn’t attached to the same medical team that he is a part of.

Corinthian, I understand he may want “outsider perspective” (although I question how valuable that could be coming from someone who knows zero about the two or his case file – remote psychological classification is frowned upon by the American association of psychologists for a reason), my main point is that it is unbecoming in terms of rank hierarchy and positions. Cornwell is not a practicing psychologist anymore and has not been for a long time, she is a visiting Admiral for Fleet Operations. If this was Culber talking to a visiting counselor, I would agree. Maybe Marja can chime into this discussion still regarding the real world military perspective, but for me it feels off.

VS we don’t know if the Admiral does just enough on the side to maintain her professional certification as a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Docs rarely give those up unless absolutely obliged to. Her keeping the qualifications seems typical even if she long since switched to command.

Docs in executive positions in the US public health service or US military branches will maintain credentials by working the minimum hours annually at some hospital out of their regular chain.

Docs who are elected officials in the US and other countries work clinic and hospital shifts to keep certified.

On the hierarchy thing, it’s odd. However, Cornwell may have opened the door by asking Culber to consult on the basis of his specific expertise although she was clear that he wasn’t certified for return to duty.

Basically, by treating Culber as an expert peer, she created the space for an informal consultation outside the hierarchy.

This is much more believable than Tilly’s continuing inappropriate outbursts.

I wouldn’t say she knows nothing about them or his case file VS, I would think she would know a heck of a lot given her position near the top of Starfleet’s hierarchy. Culber being murdered by a fellow colleague aboard a Starfleet vessel and then being revived through the mycellial network must have come up in a few top secret admiralty meetings. I dare say that she will have at the very least debriefed Culber personally when she came on board as well. Of course, I do still fully see what you’re saying and your point is valid. I merely offer a counter viewpoint for you to consider.

Well, Hugh needs one for sure, and so does Saru. But Cornwell could move into Burnham and Tilly’s quarters and those two would give her enough counselling to do at least until the Horta starts killing miners.

Excellent, hysterical, Martin!

VS.. A lot of people questioned the Spock-Stammets moment last week. I did not. But Culber going to talk to the admiral felt weird and out of place to me. As you said, it felt more like a chance to give Ms Brook more screen time than anything else. I never questioned the concept of having psychologists/therapists on starhips. I only questioned one being on the bridge at all times (like TNG did). I had always assumed that McCoy had one on his staff that we never saw. And he pretty much acted in that capacity for the command crew himself since he knew them so well. At least, that was my head canon for it.

She explicitly states in Season 1 that she was a psychologist.

Lorca called Cornwell doctor when she was challenging her on her questioning his behaviour…and then asked if she was asking professionally or personally.

It sounds as though she started in the pysch service in Starfleet.

By the way, I agree that the absence of a counsellor (either as psychologist or first contact specialist) in TOS does not establish it as a fleet norm or policy.

Discovery, as far as we have ever been told, has no chief engineer or CMO…

All that tells us is that there is a limited number of major characters a TV show can manage and choices have been made.

(Although my preference in both cases would to have these officers appear as recurring characters…like Sarek and Amanda, there when the story needs them.)

I didn’t see it as relationship advice. I saw it as Culber trying to come to terms with being un-dead. And he went to an outsider precisely because she would have no preconceived ideas. It made a lot of sense to me.

@Thorny Exactly.

The Admiral being a psychiatrist was discussed in the episode in the first season where Lorca pulls a phaser on her in bed, Lethe I believe. It has been mentioned several times since. Culber is a man she knows, a colleague, back from the dead, and suffering. Her willingness to try to help him shows her compassion, and is no stranger than Deanna Troi travelling all the way back to Earth because Reg Barclay sent her a message.

How is Culber someone she knows? Does she personally know everyone on that ship?

BTW… Troi going to help Barclay on Voyager was silly, too.

@ML31 She probably doesn’t know everybody on the ship but I would be shocked if she didn’t know Culber. How many Starfleet personnel had been murdered by a Klingon sleeper agent and then resurrected? He’s not exactly the guy that cleans the bathrooms, he’s obviously been discussed at the highest levels of Starfleet and she would have no doubt checked in with him when she came on board.

That just means she knows OF him. She doesn’t KNOW him. Huge difference here.

I saw it as the mycilial agent that has taken Culber’s form was just looking to get insights into the mind set of the beings on this side of the wall for their as of yet unknown agenda. Why this guy wasn’t locked up immediately continues to boggle the mind.

Her being an Admiral should keep him from seeking her help as a psychologist/counselor? I don’t get that idea at all. Her rank doesn’t matter. She’s a human being and a professional. Why would he not seek her guidance?

And no, it’s NOT a good idea to talk to your former friends and co-workers if you feel mentally and socially displaced due to a death experience. A complete stranger who is well-trained in the subject matter is definitely the better choice…

I felt a bit inundated by the events of this episode.

This part of the arc is in part a time-travel story, which takes me a while to process. Yet this time-travel story is not fundamentally that of the “Grandfather Paradox” at all, but rather more of an Electra Complex. The psychological aspects of this episode are intriguing, since Michael and Spock are both Freudian archetypes. For Spock, the equivalent is the Oedipal Complex.

This is consistent with the overall sense of misdirection taken by the writers throughout this series. The explicit reference to the “Grandfather Paradox” (predestination paradox) belies the deeper significance of the conflicts and motivations of the characters.

There is much to psychoanalyze and write further about here.

I dunno, but interesting, Rick. But who was Michael’s mother-rival, Amanda? Her newly-revealed (and nameless) biological mom?

Quite possibly both. Sarek was the displaced object of her full attention — recall her uber-Vulcan mannerisms in the early part of this series. She modelled herself after her adoptive father in order to become what she believed her adoptive father wanted. Recall also that she had a very close relationship with Amanda, who tended to be much more severe to Spock (her biological son) than to the young Michael. Amanda recognized in the young Michael the humanity that had been lacking in Sarek… and yet in the end, she did not trust the adult Michael with the secrets of her brother’s whereabouts when Spock was “insane.” This latter was the manifestation of Amanda’s understanding of Michael’s need to “out-mother” her in relationship to Spock and to prove her (Michael’s) value to her Vulcan family (led by Sarek).

When the cause of the death of Michael’s biological family were revealed, she instinctively released her containment of the repressed emotions she had experienced her entire adult life by striking against Leland, who in this case was an exemplar of Sarek and the masculine aspects of the figures in her life. Ironically, her subtle affection for Georgiou (yet another displaced (mother) figure) were increased, to compensate for this release.

Rick, your recollection of Michael’s uber-Vulcan persona is persuasive: she could be a better Vulcan than Amanda, so to speak. And Spock? Wouldn’t he try to be more human to please his mother and provide the emotional connection that Sarek could not? Or does Michael’s rejection of his humanity push him to identify with Sarek? Thanks!

Yes to the question about Spock. Spock increasingly smiles and laughs as time goes on. He relates very well with his mother in canonical works.

Spock’s memories of and interactions with Sarek (e.g., in the cinematic features) is at best distant. Sarek returned the favor, considering Spock all too human. Spock considers Kirk to be the heroic archetype that Sarek never was — perhaps because Kirk was the closest thing he had to being a father-figure without being someone who was married to Amanda.

As well, the works of Joseph Campbell (“The Hero with a Thousand Faces”) come to mind. Spock literally follows in the footsteps of Kirk — and pointedly not that of Sarek.

Well, I wonder if Spock is less easy to fit into Jungian categories. It needs more thought. And of course his character has been created over five decades by many different writers who couldn’t possibly have all had a consistent take on him. He becomes uber Vulcan later after deciding to go through the Kolinahr ritual, becomes more integrated as a mentor to younger Vulcans, but probably doesn’t fully resolve his inner conflict until he indirectly melds with Sarek through Picard. Which prompts me to note the important difference that Michael has not only melded with Sarek, but actually carries a “piece” of his katra, whereas Spock told to Picard that he and Sarek never melded (which always struck me as rather shocking). Thanks for the exchange!

I’ve always wondered about the dynamics of Freudian categories in terms of points in the lifetimes of the analyzed. Freudianism and Neo-Freudianism do not need to be true in order to suggest the persistence of patterns.

It is a famous and ancient saying that no one can step into the same river twice. Thus, the constancy of change transforms the self as much as the ego/id/superego heuristic framework does at the earliest critical moments. Indeed, therapy itself becomes a causative element in personality.

In looking at the archetypes to which I referred, I can say only that the classic psychoanalytic categories are summaries of repetitive and recurrent patterns of behavior: I don’t think of them as unchangeable or fundamental to existence. They are, to repeat, heuristical and useful in literary-style criticism.

What does fascinate me is their resonance in a variety of contexts, separately from psychology per se. As in this series.

Fair enough, Heraclitus! Thanks.

Red Angel is not Michael Burnham. That’s her mom so not a grandfather paradox.

Yeah, he said that.

That’s insightful. I like where you’re going with it. Thanks for the post.

Klingons in preview for next episode seem to be wearing uniforms inspired by TOS style Klingons

I thought this episode was brilliant. I was either on the edge of seat or wiping away tears. Green and Peck were beautiful music together. Episode 10 was all 10’s. They keep growing these characters is such fruitfully ways. I have so much to say but don’t want to leave an easy. As a 39yo life long Star Trek fan my hat is off to the DSC team. My company and I actually clapped at the end of episode 10. My applause continues.

A really good episode with some neat ST references. Did anyone else see the parallels between the scenes of Burnham going to her potential death and the Machine launch scenes of the movie Contact? There is a reconciliation between lovers beforehand, and that chair Michael was strapped into? Even Michael telling them to keep going as she was dying. “Okay to go. Okay to go.” So very similar…

Meh. It’s a major crisis for the future of all sentient life in the galaxy and yet we have plenty of time for soap opera moments throughout the episode. Burnham is all over the place: Stable then unstable. The sentient life in the writers room died awhile ago.




And we already know that everything is going to be OK. One of the pitfalls of a prequel is that any suspense you may build is offset by what has already been predetermined.

No, you just know that Spock and Pike are fine. There’s none of these other characters that you hear about later in Trek so how do you know they’ll end up ok?

I still don’t know any of the other character names. What was Data’s mothers name again?

Juliana Soong (later Tainer)

Well put, Denny C.

Exactly Denny C!

It’s actually an interesting premise but we know there isn’t going to be a full on AI war or anything. It would be too hard to justify it within canon. It will be wrapped up pretty neatly as it basically has to be.

You could say the same about any series though given that they were all standalone. For example when you were watching The Best of Both Worlds part 2 did you really believe that the Borg were going to win given that another 25 episodes had already been greenlit for the season?


I find Burnham to be completely emotionally unstable. Weird from someone raised on Vulcan. She is a total emotional rollercoaster. That combined with the fact that I’m not all that interested in her character make it impossible to care more than a little bit about her story.

Her character as written is a bit overwhelming. She is quick to give advice and is certain of her actions but will not take advice and runs slipshod over her fellow and commanding officers. Yes, Kirk was known to bend the rules but he relied on those around him to keep him grounded.

Bones was very good at that.


Why do you have a problem with a main character who is a “emotional rollercoaster”? Yes she was raised on vulcan, but before that she was raised by humans. Also she witnessed the death of her parents. You can find plenty of people who are emotional unstable who had such experiences in their past.

It would be very boring to see a emotional stable Burnham.

Being the emotionally unstable person she is does not help make her more interesting. In fact, for me it detracts from her. What made her potentially interesting the show has never ever touched on. A human raised by Vulcans. Perhaps because the interesting part of that would be the time spent being raised there as opposed to being a full grown adult a decade or two removed from said upbringing. She sure doesn’t seem to have any long standing issues from her upbringing. She was a pariah for perhaps 3 episodes before everyone magically accepted her. I guess her epiphany happened off screen somewhere.

AGREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED. It’s like the galaxy revolves around her. Oh wait, I guess it sorta does.

I was really ready to hate this episode!

Once it was ‘revealed’ that Burnham was indeed the Red Angel I groaned so loud my girlfriend heard it from the other room and came in to see what happened lol. I really did not want it to be but after so many ‘clues’ thats where they were going I just shrugged and kept watching. I was in a bad mood for most of it after hearing it, but yes the ending really saved it for me. I will have to say I don’t think hardly anyone anywhere made that prediction. It was quite the jaw opener. That said, I don’t know how much I like it either, but am intrigued for sure. This episode was another plot filled doozy. Learning Burnham’s parents did indeed work for Section 31 and Project Daedalus was their program (oh and Section 31 can now build TIME TRAVEL SUITS lol) is just one crazy trippy mess. They are using Section 31 to its full potential, what will be left for their own show lol.

But I think this was SMG best episode. She really delivered here. And Peck killed it as Spock.

They can only build time travel suits that work if they have TIME CRYSTALS. I’m still trying to unroll my eyes after that revelation.

Like, in an episode that references phase discriminators and tetryons, they couldn’t come up with something less cheesy than “time crystals”?

Isn’t that what Mudd used, too?

Praetor Tal – however cheesy some fans here are finding the title, time crystals are a real thing and a focus of current research.

It’s also good continuity with Judd’s use of time crystals in Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad. Mudd had a time crystal too.

Technobabble is an essential part of Trek…just go with it.

Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Time Crystals.

“time crystals are a real thing and a focus of current research.”

I have to point out that time crystals are something completely different and NOT facilitators of time travel, same as Paul Stamets research on mushrooms has nothing to do with fictitious “mycelial networks” through spacetime.

This new habit of TPTB to “hijack” existing science concepts and repurpose them for their fantasy gizmos in order to give themselves an aura of scientific credibility is really not a good idea as it not just disqualifies the show as serious science fiction, but dilutes the belief in science as well. Science is NOT magic and science fiction should not be fantasy.

We already had time crystals mentioned last season in “Magic to make the sanest man go mad”. They are using what’s been established rather than reinventing the wheel and that’s good.

They were dumb then too, on par with magic blood and Kai Winn’s Dungeons and Dragons-y book of Pah’Wraith spells.

I liked how they used them last season though. They made them a little more limited on how they were used and that you couldn’t just jump centuries in time. They were used a bit more methodical there vs here where its just another time travel tech where you can go anywhere at anytime.

My eyes were rolling much of that episode with all the catalysts that caused it. Time crystals were just one. And again, once they said the RA was Burnham and they set a trap for it, you KNEW it wasn’t her and I was floored why they kept talking about the trap right in front of her! Anyone who still thought the RA was going to be Burnham at that point must be completely wrapped up in the character and story to the point where even the most obvious of holes are missed.

For the first time, The Orville was the best episode. Damn they finally got it. That one will stick with me.

I thought both were great tonight. I must say though, Scott Grimes really outdid his performance last week!

Scott Grimes did great work back in his ER days.

This was the best episode of The Orville this season. And it was the B story that carried it. Why? Because the B story was the comedic one and it worked! And that is a sad commentary on what happened to The Orville this season. BTW… A week off, one episode, then THREE weeks off? WTF??

Blame effing college basketball. FOX doesn’t want to waste first-run episodes while all the sports nuts are watching b-ball live on CBS.

Good lord. I like sports as much as the next guy but unless my alma mater is involved, I just don’t care about college sports. Ridiculous.

That’s because Seth was barely in the episode. I think he is a serious weak link in the show.

This was painful! Some kind of bizarre horror show, a worst of Discovery’s bad habits:
– Airiam’s funeral was still the high point of the episode, though it must be noted they surely milked the emotional impact of this character most efficiently in two episodes. Anyway, it went all downhill from there.
– It’s indeed all about Burnham, and now her family even. The soap opera and emotions surrounding that are dialed up to 11. We literally see Burnham switch from grief to anger in one of many painful scenes (not just for Leland). By now it’s clear he won’t make it alive beyond this season, if he isn’t dead already (Rage-Michael: “THIS ISN’T OVER!!11”). I’m not usually one of those critics who say the actress has a pretty limited emotional range, but it sure showed in this episode.
– The plot was so ridiculously linear pretty much everyone guessed last week already they’d set a trap for the red angel, and her parents were in Section 31. The only saving grace was subverting the expectations by having the Red Angel not being directly her in the end. Still, it’s allllll about Burnham.
– Characters are now stating the plot so crudely as if to break the fourth wall (such as Georgiou about Burnham saving the universe). Some of this plays like self-parody now.
– Nobody but Spock seemed to think that coming from the future the angel could and would anticipate this move of a trap. As such his refusal to chicken out before death was certain, was one of the few logical points of the episode.
– Section 31 once again ups the tech level to ridiculous. Ridiculous is also the twist that they knew the nature of the Red Angel all along and did not tell Starfleet, even though being a part of it officially. Can somebody knock any sense of professionalism, or any sense at all, into this organization?
– No consequences at all for the attempted lobotomy of Spock; nobody mentions it, Leland is reinstated without a word.
– Lower Decks playing senior officers: Culber overrides CMO, Stamets the mushroom scientist is now also a specialist for time travel, wormholes and future technology too; these characters are lower decks in name only. Reno or chief engineer missing in action again (a small extra point for bringing back Nhan though).
– Bad science and analogies (time crystals and rubber bands). The middle section of the episode was basically one giant pot of techno-babble
– The tired trope of “sexual deviance” in the mirror universe. The less said about the Georgiou-Stamets scene, the better. “Captain” Georgiou’s out of character behaviour is even worse if we remember that basically none of these characters knows that she IS from the mirror universe!
– Culber needs the Admiral (!) to counsel him for relationship advice because apparently there’s not a single psychiatrist or counselor on board (“I never felt this alone in my life” (welp!) “Love is a choice!” (yay!)) Characters are mere functions of the plot now and there’s no correlation to any sort of realistic relationships or realism in general.
– Burnham volunteers to suffocate in a heart beat! Shouldering the fate of the universe on her shoulders indeed. Movie countdown “bomb”, apparently biological functions can be predicted to the second
– A finale straight lifted from a horror b-movie. Shrieking Burnham!

My apologies for cutting this short, this episode surely doesn’t deserve so many words, by far the worst of season 2 and up with the very worst of season 1.

Apart from weak, cartoonish villains, Discovery’s weakest point has always been resolving the mysteries they build up in any satisfying or believable manner, from Lorca to Tyler to Klingon War. A recent article stated that Discovery is on the brink of repeating the mistakes of season one. After watching this train wreck (and finishing was hard indeed!), I have to agree.

While I don’t agree with your take on this episode, your comment about the nonchalance with which the crew accept or even understand that there is a Mirror Universe Emperor in their midst strikes upon something that I was puzzled about as well.

Most of the crew shouldn’t have known of Georgiou’s true identity. Or maybe I’m missing something.

That’s just one example of the bigger problem: characters are used and abused by the plot in no believable manner at this point, just as it happened in season 1 (most infamously with Tyler and Lorca). Last week Spock gave relationship advice to Stamets and now it’s the Admiral! Do these people have friends or trusted medical staff?

I would say I’m willing to give quite a bit of leeway to Trek as I look at it as a continuing effort to give us interesting stories on a weekly basis.

Some aspects of it may seem hard to mesh with reality, and yet I think many of us are willing to concede that no work of fiction can satisfy the sensibilities or even the logic of all members of its audience.

After all, even Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver, in his size and feats, don’t seem realistic or logical whatsoever, if you look at it. Yet his travels are engaging nevertheless on various levels.

What he said.

But Gulliver served as a metaphor and as such there is an expected leap of logic. It was by design whereas Discovery is very much a reflection of how storytelling is structured in television today.

Thank you for your constructive reply, as we see this is not at all a given here! I appreciate your points, but let me elaborate that suspending disbelief for treknology or fantastical concepts (such as Gulliver’s world) is different from accepting real lapses in plot logic and character realism. I have no problem accepting scientific conjecture as long as it is not openly clashing with reality (spore drive IS such a case because it is based on the idea that biology precedes physics when reality works the other way round. However I can live with that, it’s just not a great example of treknology).

Now when Discovery stoops down to soap opera I will have to judge it by the rationality and realism of its character interactions and those are known parameters from the real world. It is no different from other character-based dramas, just set in space. They have assigned positions and ranks to these characters in a quasi-military organization, which sometimes mean something and sometimes they don’t, depending on the plot requirements. Such plot-driven characterization is just not good writing and it was rightfully criticized with Voyager. I will add that this sort of “unprofessionalism” in science fiction is by far not restricted to Discovery, it is almost a feature of the zeitgeist. One of the most infamous examples was the movie Prometheus, where so-called scientists were frequently acting in unscientific, insubordinate or just plain stupid manners. Just that it happens elsewhere however does not excuse its inclusion here. And given that we have seen quite a few episodes of this show that managed not to insult the intelligence of the audience so openly but treated it with respect goes to show that this is a specific writing/writer problem that can and should be solved.

You can have connecting threads that you build up and carry through from episode to episode and throughout a season but Star Trek has always been about the individual stories it was able to present each week. What has weighed down season 2 is the serialized nature of Discovery as presented, with this need to have a ‘big story’ for the season presented in the first episode and wrapping with the final episode of the season. Battlestar Galactica set up the premise with the first three hours and would introduce elements that would follow through to the end of the show’s run while still managing to present standalone stories each week. It was all connected but each season wasn’t meant to provide a specific story for that story.

Season 3 of Enterprise did the same thing. The first 2/3 of the season had standalone stories that had elements that served the larger one. Only towards the end did they get really serialized as we ran towards the finish line.

@Vulcan Soul, I understand your frustration with the colloquial and sometimes vulgar comments the writers put in the mouths of the crew. I will have to say, however, that this varies in the level of perceived inappropriateness in part depending on the nature of the viewership. (I will also offer, separately, that the term “cursing like a sailor” is grounded in reality.)

Pike is Not Picard

When Pike uses a mild vulgarity as he did in “Project Daedalus,” I thought that this was a particularly 20th and 21st model of what a military officer could be. I could see Patton (U.S. Army) using swear words even in a formal setting.

For example, Patton is quoted in a relatively formal setting as having said as follows: “You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON’T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, “Well, your Granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana.” No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, “Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-Bitch named Georgie Patton!” (Source: ) By comparison, what Pike said, and his relatively relaxed mannerisms, aren’t unexpected at all. Pike is certainly not Picard; Pike is arguably more relatable, less elevated, but nonetheless the best damn officer you’d hope to serve under.

Does the Language Make the Man — or Woman?

All of which goes to say that it depends on one’s sensibility, the question of what language a character uses. I could see a modern CO aboard a nuclear submarine using the type of language that Pike used in “Project Daedalus.” And in defense of the portrayal of Pike, I’ve heard and read some very positive views of how he’s one of the best characters in the show.

That said, Tilly’s language is decidedly not Starfleet-ish, at times.

The “Mushroom” Cloud of Implausibility

Your remarks on the odd concepts we see in DISC are also worth considering. The idea that there is a living, breathing subspace network allowing virtually instantaneous travel is inherently unbelievable given what we know about physics today. It’s almost as incredible as if Trek postulated that warp travel was really the work of magical elves who periodically needed dilithium in their diet. It’s fantastical, and in a way that somehow seems at odds with the Treknological expectations of many in the audience who want to see harder science. Yet again, I would say that what one might think about this depends on one’s perspective. I approach DISC with the notion that I am watching the implementation of a story. If the story has a point and its lack of credibility doesn’t take me out of the universe it has created, then it’s met the minimum requirements for watchability, for me, as a lifelong fan of Star Trek and all forms of science fiction. By contrast, some of the weirder episodes of VOY did exactly that: They took me out of the Trek universe entirely: Warp 10 travel shouldn’t exactly turn people into salamanders, now, should they? (“Threshold,” VOY).

Life is a pretty serious business. I find that my entertainment should be enlightening, in more than one sense. Humor, audacity, stretching the boundaries of what we think we know … these are all things that can and, in my view, do work rather well in DISC.

DISC isn’t perfect, by any means. But as a divertissement from the trials and tribulations of ordinary life, it works well for me.

Vulcan Soul I agree with you on Georgiou. She is the most unlikable person on the show. Overall, I liked it. This was the low point of the season. Too much season one vibes.

At least Georgiou can shut Tilly up.

@FrostyUK Because that doesn’t violate the rule I mentioned the other day (gender match) but apparently even stating such observation is sexism now already…

She reminds me of the Missy from Doctor Who. I love Missy.

Agreed. So bad.

Yeah, this was a bad episode. As soon as Tilly entered the briefing room and started talking about doors I knew we were in trouble. And it only got worse…

“As soon as Tilly entered the briefing room and started talking about doors I knew we were in trouble”

This Tilly shtick is getting old indeed both for the writers and the actress (“Hey, hi…” – Someone who doesn’t get professional behaviour excelling in the command program, what a joke!) Someone said before Tilly is like entering Discovery from an alternate daily soap universe every time and boy are they right!

Also, her lack of focus at a critical moment on the bridge. At least Pike had a slight look of disappointment in her for a second instead of it just being breezed over, like how she can win a race despite obviously being obese against 4 other much fitter officers even with a 30 second pause whilst talking to a ghost. Absolute self-insert character. I don’t even dislike her that much but I’m getting sick of her failings being treated as positives.

“Also, her lack of focus at a critical moment on the bridge. At least Pike had a slight look of disappointment in her for a second”

Yeah I noticed that too. We MAY forgive all her unprofessional mannerisms but this was a real case of professional neglect. She was supposed to monitor for time travel and Burnham’s life literally depended on this! I wonder if they put this in on purpose and we will see any fall-out from this eventually.

” like how she can win a race despite obviously being obese against 4 other much fitter officers even with a 30 second pause whilst talking to a ghost. ”

We are not supposed to question this or SEXISM ALERT. Body positive always wins!

Uhm, I thought the whole point was that Tilly wouldn’t have won the race under normal circumstances.

When I first watched it I thought the outcome was pretty clearly the result of an extreme adrenaline spike due to May’s appearance and Tilly’s fear she was losing her mind.

Which completely justifies May’s bizarre ‘see I helped you win remarks’ and Tilly’s fairly appalled facial reaction, embarrassment at Saru’s praise, and determination to give public credit elsewhere.

A race as part of a training program would not have spiked the others in the same way. Also, we don’t know how long the interaction with May took in real time since it was just in her head. All we know is that the group got ahead and beyond the next turn in the corridor.

Nerd-rage alert will probably do quite nicely, thanks. And, FTR, I don’t think ‘obese’ means what you think it means. (Ask Donald Trump.)

Michael Hall, over a third of the US adult population is obese…

Our ability to look at people visually and assess whether a weight is healthy has been changed by this.

Sorry, but there’s a big difference between “could stand to drop a few pounds” — which I’ll venture would apply to the better portion of those who post here — and “obese.”

I’m not body shaming Tilly but no way she wins that race even with the help of the ghost of spore drive past.

“obviously being obese”

ZOMG. You DO NOT get to body shame womyn. Period. The actress who plays Tilly is NOT obese. Got it, champ? You need to delete your misogynist post right now and apologise to this community.

The frightening thing is, its difficult to tell whether this is parody or not, because this is actually how they talk.

I was thinking the same. If it was a satire, kudos, it’s right up there including the user name ;)

S’okay, faps. Yes, it’s how “they” talk, they being “feminists.” Go ahead. You can say it.

And don’t tell me for a minute you didn’t pick your username to call attention to the size of your dick. Someone needs to come and cut that little pecker right off you. We’ve heard it all before, and WOMYN DON’T CARE, champ. Something tells me you are less than an adonis yourself.

If she was my captain I would ask for a transfer or resign my commission.

Naturally, because Pewdiepcard can’t think for a moment that he (and yes, it’s a he) would have to take orders from a womon. Here’s a newsflash for you, sport. You don’t get to “ask for a transfer” or “resign your commission” every time you don’t like your CO in the military. Womyn like Joni Ernst and Martha McSally were ASSAULTED in the military, and they didn’t get to leave their posts. So you and your misogynistic MALE views sure don’t get to do it either.

It’s because she’s a frantic emotionally unstable scatterbrain. Give me Captain Janeway any day. Chill out.

Yes dear, we get it. You hate the series and you have a pathological compulsion to let us all know about it.

Nothing compared to your pathological compulsion to police this forum and shut down opinions you don’t like. Do yourself a favor and use your energy to petition for a ignore button. At least a mental one ;)

Yes Tootsie, we get it. You have appointed yourself the master of all Trek opinions and you have a pathological compulsion to be rude and insulting to anyone who happens to have differing opinions than yours. Maybe you should have a talk with the Admiral.

Ad Astra, don’t feed the trolls. Their posts here reflect on how ridiculous they already are.

You need to look up the definition of “troll”. No, it’s not “having a different opinion than the conformist one”. And don’t you guys usually have edgier names for us? Something like wwwwwwaycist ;)

PEB, spare us the indignation with your troll comment. Your pal arrogantly dismisses anyone who has a differing opinion. You seem to be the same way. It’s not ridiculous to find and comment on problems with the episode. Stop being so triggered and intolerant. You just can’t seem to handle that other people believe differently than you. Your lack of tolerance is what is truly ridiculous.

Vulcan Soul, spot on, Amigo! All of your points were valid in my not so humble opinion. Of course “wrong thinking” will result in punishment! Beware those that can’t accept differing opinions. Again, great job on you analysis of this mediocre episode.

Thank you, I will hand myself in for correction tonight ;)

Sorta on board with you VS. I didn’t hate it as much as you did but there were a number or plotting problems with the episode. On the other hand, I felt the directing and editing were quite well done. The episode did move at what felt like a proper pace and in spite of the eyerolls and groans that appeared throughout, I lost track of time watching it and was a little surprised when the credits rolled.

I really HATE the concept that Section 31 is dealing with time travel now, as well as all the other future tech they pull out of thin air. It’s cartoonish and absurd. Nearly everything wrong with season 2 goes back to Section 31. The MU last season, section 31 this season. I’m wondering what terrible Trek bit they are going to rely on next season. It couldn’t possibly be a fascinating sci-fi type thing or rely on that cast of uninteresting characters. This group of showrunners has proved they are incapable of such cleverness.

” On the other hand, I felt the directing and editing were quite well done.”

That is the silver lining here as incidentally it was the director for the Picard pilot! I would say 95% of the episode problems were in the script. If she can handle this kind of…. material competently, we are in good hands :)

Totally agree on Section 31. The whole thing is now nothing more than a plot device for “superhero stuff”. Which again is not at all surprising given who is at the helm.

And as the main problem with this season seems to lie with Section 31 that does not bode well for the supposedly upcoming Section 31 series. If it is treated the way they are treating it in season 2, and I think this likely since Georgeau is going to be there, then I’m not sure I even want to give that show a chance. It has too many strikes against it already.

I don’t think that any mystery has really been solved here. In Aristotelian terms, this episode was most likely the season’s peripeteia – the turning point, showing a possible outcome, but also a possible misdirection, leading to a second peripeteia.

Great episode… no quibbles on my part. And a solid and swift review thanks.

I’d wondered if it was Burnham’s mother, but was trying to go with the early reveal that it was Burnham.

It was deftly done.

No need for classic psychoanalysis in my view Hat Rick. Glad the episode works for you on that basis, but attachment and the dynamic effects of early trauma pretty much cover it just as well.

Last, a new line of speculation:

Since Georgiou was Burnham’s foster mother in the MU, she knew Burnham’s mother and her fate in that universe (as we were reminded by Georgiou’s tweaking of Stamets and Culber).

Is there something that Georgiou knows from her relationship with MU mum and her fostering of Burnham that will come into play?

In my own defense, the invitation to psychoanalyze was deliciously inescapable given the conspicuously presented therapy session between Doctor/Admiral Cornwall and her resurrected patient.

(This is before the age of Troi, so perhaps the implications for canon make this even more interesting.)

@Hat Rick – Your analysis was helpful, thoughtful and stimulating. Wish I could write that well.

Thank you, Trek in a Cafe, for the kind compliment.

Uhm, Hat Rick, my point is that classical Freudian psychoanalysis isn’t the only way to go.

Developmental psychology and the neuroscience around trauma and the developing brain inform newer approaches to psychological assessment…and neuroscience is a scientific expertise that Discovery’s writers room definitely has. It’s rather cool that the psychology/psychiatry works from the perspective of different schools of thought and models of function.

A great deal of Burnham’s problems seem to stem from her early trauma, and her own problems in managing risky, emotional situations in the moment.

Looking at her with a dual-self theory of cognitive control, Burnham’s Vulcan training has given her forebrain executive function great capacity and tools, but not a good set of heuristics and cognitive short cuts when time constraints, lack of information, complexity, unknown causal relationships, and/or emotional triggers require quick, intuitive thinking (as opposed to a test pilot’s quick reflexes).

@TG47, you are quite correct: In fact, Freudianism is decidedly out of fashion among actual psychiatrists and psychologists. I use it as a literary shorthand for some of the conflicts we see in fiction, which — whatever the actual basis — can be summarized the way that Freud and Jung did regarding their patients and/or in their theories.

It’s worth noting that Jung is said to have believed in the idea of archetypes in a fundamental sense. Interestingly, the field of modern and ancient folklore and myth, I am given to understand, also references archetypal exemplars. Archetypes as a tool of analysis are in a sense present in several other fields as well, including, for example, meta-religious studies.

No matter who RA is, if she’s from the past, she couldn’t know when Burnham would be in danger and if she’s from the future, she’d know about the trap. Ugh. I’ll thank the writers at least for retroactively blowing up Sect 31’s HQ with its iteration of Corrupted Control… but, of course, that leads to more questions: Control is VITAL to Starfleet Admiralty’s sweet sweet logistics, so what are they using? Splenda? And if Control exists elsewhere… ugh. Also, if there IS A WAY to time travel, wouldn’t at least one of an infinite number of future baddies, AI’s or otherwise, be able to do it and unmake the human race? Ugh.
Time travel is only worthwhile — to me — for an emotional storyline, not a ‘save the universe’ one. This tries to be both and my brainium hurts bigly.

Temporal Sensors exist in Trek you know. When the RA’s sensors detect Michael dying the RA pops back and changes it, it isn’t confusing.

“There’s a techno-babble explanation for it so therefore it’s ok”. “Temporal Sensors”, please. What a weak way to explain away how impossible it would be to constantly chase after a timeline being fixed, not to mention all the times in Trek that a timeline has been changed and no one turned up to fix it.

Um, no. I don’t care if that’s the in-universe explanaition. Does Ma live in the suit? Does she pop from one danger moment to the next? Why wouldn’t she appear earlier and keep Michael from even getting close to danger… maybe getting her to go to Earth and working as a CPA? What about writing a long list of things for Michael not to do? And… once RA changes something, doesn’t everything else randomize? The RA is just an overprotective mom. Michael will wind up resenting her.

This is yet another reason why it is best to only leave time travel for certain circumstances. The instant you give characters control of how and when they use the ability everything plot wise is ruined. Back to the Future works because it is light hearted, enjoyable AND there is a ticking clock the characters have no control over. ST Generations doesn’t work because it seems anyone can leave the Nexus any time they like to any place or moment they choose. This time travel tech (what we have seen thus far) seems to be able to be used nearly whenever and however the user sees fit.

ML31 you’ve just made the case for Starfleet to establish the intertemporal investigation service that showed up in DS9.

Those guys seemed very determined to preserve the ‘trust’ prime timeline.

But this seems to be a value issue.

Basically, in Trek there are numerous ways to mess with time, even before time travel tech becomes fairly accessible in the 27th or 28th century… and even in the 24th century intertemporal mechanics was standard for science officers.

Making the choice or not to use any available intertemporal mechanisms seems to go right to the heart of Trek.

Culbert is that sort of person Spock was referring to in Star Trek IV when McCoy tried to talk to him about dying and coming back to life. In my head canon now, Spock probably sought Culbert out after they returned to Earth at the end of IV to have such conversation. Further twisting the figurative dagger on McCoy’s back, of course the other guy is a doctor…


Given how time travel works, it is very possible that the Red Angel Spock saw as a child and then mild-melded with as an adult is Michael in the Red Suit, while the one that appeared where the bursts showed up was her mother. They were just using the suit at different times to travel to different eras. The mom could have traveled to their future (Michael’s current present) while Michael travels to her past after putting the suit on at the end of the season.

She is — leaping back in time to put things right…

So, everything really does come back to Scott Bakula. Who knew? ; )


Admiral Cornwell said the Discovery crew and Spock had all charges dropped against them. Has anyone really said what happened to the medical staff at Starbase 11? Spock didn’t kill them. Control only appeared as a hologram. Are they dead or not? If so, who killed them? Leland and Co.? Why no charges against THEM? If not, why did none of them raise their hand and say, “hey wait, I’m not dead” when charges against Spock were filed?

There you go inserting logic and continuity into the mix! This show uses the very rapid “stroke of the pen” to create micro-premise only to see that there is always of pile of incongruent pieces floating around after each episode.

“This show uses the very rapid “stroke of the pen” to create micro-premise only to see that there is always of pile of incongruent pieces floating around after each episode.”

There you go! Chaos theory and second law of thermodynamics, all thanks to Discovery! Who says there’s no science to be found in this mess :)

The problem I think is that they have so many pans in the oven that sometimes they tell important plot points instead of showing them. Hence confusion happens.

Trek has always reported a lot of the story…although in the past it was often due to special effects limitations.

Yes, they did, but they didn’t tell important plot points, they tried to show those as much as they could. Like you said, they only left out some stuff because of special effect limitations.

That is a great point. If the med guys were dead in reality then who killed them? Was it section 31 operatives? If so, were they working under orders from the AI that runs the place? Did they get off because “they were simply following orders”?

I’d give this episode a 7.8 out of 10. There were some really dense bits of exposition, which definitely dragged the story down. Nonetheless, I found it to be an enjoyable ride.

+ I am so insanely relieved that the RA isn’t Michael Burnham. I have no problem with Michael donning the suit at some stage (possibly explaining the bio match thingo), but I really didn’t want the ‘main’ angel to be Michael. So… yay!
+ Sara Mitich walking onto the bridge to take over Airiam’s station? That seemed surreal on so many levels. Now *that* was a bigger twist than Burnham’s mom IMO. This lends credence to the whole rumor about Mitich being allergic to the makeup. Why else would you turn down a huge character turn in episode 9?
+ I am so thrilled that Keyla got to do a bit of the eulogy. I love that she mentioned the augmentation.
+ The amount of little one-on-one interactions between characters was surprising. And welcome.
+ Still not really sold on this iteration Spock. As I’ve said earlier, he’s inoffensive and well-acted–but is he Spock?
+ I too didn’t like how everyone just ignored S31’s treachery.

Georgiou ruined the episode for me. She is too obnoxious, Tilly is more tolerable for me. She keeps talking about her time in the mirror universe. I’m happy the Red Angel turned out to be Michael Burnham’s mom instead of herself. Interesting plot twist. It was surprisingly good for most of it. 7 out of 10 experience.

I’m not particularly interested in a Georgiou/Section 31 show, but I liked her in “The Red Angel” and thought she was FAR less obnoxious this time around. Her scene with Burnham (“it wasn’t my story to tell”) was excellent. Her scene with Stametts, Culber and Tilly (“what just happened?”) was entertaining, too.

Georgeau is another eyeroll for me. And quite frankly it seems unavoidable. She is either 100% cartoon villian straight out of a nighttime soap (eyeroll) or she softens as she comes to care about PU Burnham & Co. (eyeroll) Georgeau is a lose-lose situation and one of the things that keeps Discovery from being better than it is.

So the Red Angel is Michael Burnham’s momma, I didn’t see that coming. Overall, this episode was forgettable at best. It was straight out of season one. This was a low point of the season for me. Next week’s episode will go deeper into the Red Angel’s identify as her mom. The Orville had a better episode tonight. Georgiou is the worst thing about the episode. I liked everything else. Airiam will be missed. I’m happy Michael Burnham didn’t die. It went too far.

Prof. Spock: how is it that you write contradictory opinions in posts five minutes apart? First the episode is forgettable at best, then five minutes later it’s surprisingly good.

Elrond do you have a problem with that? My freedom of speech and opinion. I had mixed feelings okay.

Prof., no one questioned your freedom of speech. It’s just that your posts can be difficult to follow or don’t always seem connected to the posts to which you’re responding.

It is a little weird, Professor. One can get whiplash changing one’s mind that fast! It’s one thing to have formed a different opinion after a day or week of reconsideration. But after five minutes?

Anyway, I’d call this third or fourth best episode of the season.

Freedom of speech is not freedom from questions, criticism or consequence. Say what you want, but your words matter, as do everyone else’s.

Forgive me if I didn’t recognize the actor that plays Burnham’s mother, but for a split second during the slow reveal of the Red Angel, she looked like a half-black, half-Asian person, as if they CG’ed Burnham and Georgiou’s face together. I was going to say, well, that’s an interesting twist, before it became the real interesting twist. Was I the only one thinking that?

According to posters on Reddit the actress is half Korean.

But yes for a split second I thought it was Georgiou too. I remember thinking ‘another one’????

Me too!!!!!!

Nope, that’s exactly what I saw. Now let’s await our fair judgement by the bigotry police.

I don’t get your response? Why would anyone question you over it? The actress is literally both black and Asian. I made that clear in my post.

The response was to Raphael and I thought I even wrote it before yours. The comment system continues to lead to confusion especially on mobile (lack of indentation). The missing quoting function doesn’t help matters either.

He’s just looking to troll the libs.

90% of Vulcan Soul’s comments seem (a lot of the time) to be filled with snark, trying to provoke certain people. I know the actress from the series The Wire so that’s what I immediately thought of to be honest.

Well I didn’t know the actress so thats what I saw. You call it snark, I call it truthful observation!

The Wire is 1000x better than this show.

The actress playing Mom Burnham is Sonja Sohn. She played one of the detectives on The Wire.

She was Shaft’s girlfriend in the 2000 reboot too, but she got a lot better as an actor between that and THE WIRE, which showed her doing incredible work. She had a cop-minded goodnightmoon riff on the show that was downright hysterical. Oh, I saw it again last year but now I want to rewatch the whole series one more time …

I recall on early scene where one of the detectives was checking her out, only to be told that, sorry, “She bats for the other team.”

She was awesome on THE WIRE. Haven’t seen this episode yet, but she certainly looks enough like SMG to credibly play her mother.

Thought the same for a split second

Hate feeling snarky after an episode, but this one left me feeling not much else. Snark Moment No. 1: yet another poor-impulse-control moment from Burnham, sucker punching Leland after he reveals his involvement in her parent’s death. Sure, anyone would be upset. But he was admitting a painful mistake, of his own volition, apparently regretful. Fine, be mad at the guy, hold a grudge, sock him at a later date when he’s being an a—hole. But this just seemed a needlessly violent reaction — followed by the corny “and this one’s for my Dad!” second punch. Not behavior becoming of an officer.

Then we get to the Worst Conceived Plan of all time — trying to capture a supposed future version of yourself by putting yourself in mortal danger… ‘cause Future You couldn’t possibly already know about it, right?? Fine, they introduced the Spock variable, which, in theory at least, introduced an element of surprise. But just the fact that nobody raised the possible paradox seemed really dumb.

Then we had to sit though a tensionless scene of SMG overacting — like she’s reeallly in danger of dying, folks. All leading up to the Big Reveal of the Red Angel — and we get the tired “Long-Lost-Parent” TV trope. Gasp! “Mom??” (or “Dad??”) Cut to Black! Yawn.

Can’t really think of a single thing I liked about this one, which leaves me bummed. And I had just watched all the “Short Treks” this week too, any one of which felt more like solid Trek than this one (even the teen-angsty Tilly one). I guess I’ll just go back and rewatch the lovely “Calypso” episode and remain hopeful for a Trek writer’s room that includes Michael Chabon.

Hilariously, as the red angel was -not- Michael, Michael could’ve just died there and Spock and Pike would’ve really been in trouble. Luckily the Red Angel suit can shoot a beam out of its chest that brings people back to life. Phew…

“Luckily the Red Angel suit can shoot a beam out of its chest that brings people back to life”

Deus Ex Angelus? :D

That magic “stroke of the pen” that seems to primary basis of all Discovery scripts. I am betting this resurrection beam comes from the Time Crystal.

I feel like I’m watching a Marvel-Star Trek crossover!

Don’t make fun of Marvel.

I didn’t see it that way. The RA showed up when Burnham was in mortal danger. That doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be Burnham in the suit. “Burnham = RA” and “RA only appears when Burnham is in mortal danger” were two separate theories.

The chest beam thing was just some sort of remote cardio-defibrillator, presumably. Same thing Culber would have done hands-on if not held at bay by Spock.

Spider-Bat.. Totally agree regarding Burnham punching Leland. Sure, the guy is a snake. But at least outwardly, he was admitting the mistake. He didn’t even have to tell her either but he did. He appeared to be regretful and she just suckerpunched him. Something we all saw coming. It was a terrible moment from a terrible character. Sure, deep down she shouldn’t trust him. For all we know he’s such a S31 snake that the entire story could be fabricated to get Burnham off balance for some nefarious reason. But that was certainly not the time to punch him.

And very glad you brought up the Burnham paradox. Yours is the first post I’ve seen that did it! I was starting to think I was the only person who noticed. It wasn’t even mentioned in the review!

And for the record, Calypso was by far the best of the Short Treks, I agree.

Poor impulse control?!
For over twenty years she has been blaming herself for the death of her parents. All of a sudden she learns that they’re involved with S31 AND their handler was sloppy and was the actual reason they died. I haven’t hit anybody for over 30 years and I’m sure I would have done the same.

I, too, am a bit taken aback by the audacity of plan. If the plan in any way fails to result in the continued existence of Burnham, all sentient life in the Galaxy dies, as claimed in dialogue. That outcome represents a downside factor of 100 percent, or as close to it as one can conceive without the actual physical disappearance of the galaxy or universe itself. Anything with that kind of potential outcome skews the consideration of risk in one direction almost beyond belief, with the inevitable conclusion that one must not attempt the plan. The upside is nowhere near sufficient to justify the risk of failure (unless the downside probability is not, in fact, what we are told it is).

In my mind, I rationalize this by thinking that Spock must have known with 100 percent certainty that the Red Angel wasn’t Burnham at all even as he was holding the phaser that prevented the crew from prematurely resuscitating her.

It is possible, also, that Spock has ulterior motives and that his earlier account of the end of all sentient life is an “exaggeration,” to use a Spockian phrase. After all, we only have his word that his vision showed what it did.

I read all the mostly positive comments about this episode. I don’t get it. It seems like a “jump the shark” moment. All of humanity is saved by spocks’ never before mentioned step sister…. oh sorry, spock’s step sisters’ mom. I hope they come up with a good way to explain why she is never mentioned. It was bad when Spocks’ brother magically appears in STV, but he was a nobody outcast, not a decorated Star Fleet officer convicted of mutiny. At the end of the day, at the end of the series, she has to die. That is the only logical reason she is never mentioned again.

Another “jump the shark” moment is referring the Stamets and Culber as “gay”. So in 200 years, nothing has changed? I thought the point was to normalize that lifestyle. To not differentiate it them from people who are “straight”.

I still wish Tilly would stop being Barcley on steroids. He was a minor character on TNG, not a main cast member.

They show was wonderfully directed and acted, and visually stunning.

“I read all the mostly positive comments about this episode. I don’t get it”

Then you clearly didn’t read mine ;)

If there was any doubt, and to use the crude, verbal slam-bang fourth wall breaking sledgehammer the writers employed in this episode: yes, I really HATED this emo-wreck!


Last week was very good, and the week before was okay. That’s the real mystery box right now. Very uneven output.

My thing too. Season one was not uneven. It was just plain bad save for one decent episode. This season is an improvement in that it maintained potential for longer than the previous season did. So there is hope for season 3.

We ought to have anticipated unevenness with the showrunners being fired in midproduction.

Frankly, this season has been no more uneven than TNG season 2.

And like TNG S2, there have been true gems.

It’s just that in a heavily serialized approach, unevenness and poor episodes has a greater impact. One can’t just forget and ignore certain episodes.

Your last point about serialization is well-taken, TG47. It’s hard to just consider a whole season “The Way To Eden,” and look forward to the next one.

I’m still really enjoying this season, honestly. But I am pretty disappointed where the whole Red Angel thing has ended up. We still have four more episodes so I am still really intrigued where it all goes. But this does feel like a missed opportunity we could’ve gotten a very classic Star Trek story and not a Section 31 comic book style one instead.


AD ASTRA, Can you tell in advance which shows are going to be lousy so as to avoid them? If so, provide info for such an ap or cash in on it, because you will be rich beyond dreams of avarice. Otherwise, why are you trying to pull this loudmouth THOU SHALT NOT poster suppression stuff.

I think only the Red Angel would know which episodes work and which don’t so you’re asking a LOT here.


Typical from Ad Astra Per Aspera. You seem to be having a temper tantrum hissy fit that people actually have the audacity to disagree with you. How terrible life must be for you. Dry those tears, roll your shoulders back, and face the reality that your opinion isn’t more important than everyone else’s. What you seem to want is an echo chamber where everyone avoids anything critical or negative about Discovery. You are being delusional with this behavior. Many of us disagree with you. Deal with it!

Spaceman Spiff, let’s not get bogged down and enjoy the spring. The snow is melting, and conformist tears are delicious :)

They are most tasty. Ahh, Spring time!

The whole “Spock’s never mentioned sister”thing is getting old. It is as if people never watched Star Trek before. The 100 odd hours of Star Trek showing Spock do not show the entirety of his 200+ years of fictional life. Not to mention the list of people and things that Spock never mentioned to Kirk and McCoy. — the biggest, most obvious, is his half brother. Oh, but also his wife, and that T’Pau had a relationship to him. And the ambassador coming on the ship in Babel was his dad (seriously, his commanding officer and his personal physician doesn’t know that his dad is Ambassador Sarek and his mom is named Amanda?)

Yep, this is really old.

Basically, in TOS, we only are told of relationships and Starfleet history when it is needed to advance the story of a specific episode or movie.

If Michael and her history weren’t relevant to any of the Enterprise’s stories, no mention would ever be made.

So, to make the ‘why didn’t we know about…’ argument, one would need to show how and why including this information would have been critical to a previous TOS plot.


I agree. I think with the exception of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, a the TOS characters are underdeveloped. Spock may be the most developed of them all. I believe in Journey to Babel, Amanda explained that Spock and Sarek had not spoken for years. I would think his parents names would be mentioned in his personnel records. Did Spock alter his own records? On Next Gen they mentioned that he got married. Were they talking about another son? Did Spock have kids?

You mean like he never mentions his pon farr mate until he needs too, or Sybok, or his parents when the came aboard to go to Babel

Yes, and Reg was a TERRIBLE character whose appearance always ruined the episode. So why copy that and triple it?

Because, well, not everyone else feels that way about the character?

Doubling down on something you like isn’t always a good thing either.

No, it surely isn’t. But that wasn’t the point of the post I was responding to. And the fact is that lots of people, myself included, liked the character of Reg Barclay just fine.

Well, the post you responded to included the line, So why copy that and triple it? Can’t blame me for thinking that was what you were responding to.

No, what I was responding to was your assertion that Barclay was a terrible character, as if that opinion was shared by everyone. (Thus, crazy for the producers to repeat it.). Doubling-down on things you like.isnt relevant to my response. This isn’t that complicated; but then, I’m well-aware of your passion for arguing over trivialities.

I know what your intent was. And my response, “Doubling down on something you like isn’t always a good thing either”, was appropriate. Then you went back to the beginning for some reason. It was not I arguing over trivialities. That is not my M.O. It was you.

Thank you Michael Hall.

Reg may have been painful to watch at times, but he represents a reality among the very bright techie types that Starfleet needs to recruit from.

Unlike Starfleet, places like CalTech, MIT and Polytecnique see many painfully socially maladept but brilliant engineers.

Having Picard insist that Rike, Laforge and Troi do their jobs to bring the best out of Barclay rather than pass him off was one of his best moments in showing what great captains are made of.

Likewise, I’m always happy with scenes where Saru and the other Discovery officers are mentoring and coaching Tilly. They believe that her intellectual and other strengths are worth the work…

But it doesn’t mean that the writers should be having Tilly act silly and unprofessionally as much as in the past two episodes…

I took her bad moments as the new writers not having the brief on her actual development over season 2, and just writing off the bible.

That may be but I found Barclay to be silly and irritating. This is as a viewer of the fictional story being presented. Sue me.

YEah I really loved Reg. And then I loved when he went on to Voyager and developed him more. We needed to see more flawed Starfleet officers like him. And its also funny how TNG is attacked for ‘perfect’ humans and Reg was an example that people still had problems that couldn’t be wiped away with just a pill.

I like Tilly but yeah she is becoming too much. They are turning her into a cartoon character.

To me, Barclay was a huge cartoon. No one who achieves the kind of level Reg has could do so behaving like that. Not in today’s world and probably not in the TNG world, either. It’s one thing to have flaws. These are exaggerated to the point where Reg is a cartoon character. It’s funny how he is the complete opposite of every regular on the show. Almost as if he were created to be exactly that.

At the time the first Barclay episode aired TNG was still recovering from Roddenberry’s antidramatic dictum that the Enterprise be a perfect ship crewed by perfect people. In that context Reg Barclay was largely greeted as a breath of fresh air, and Dwight Schultz did a fine job portraying him with all his insecurities. Tilly, by comparison, can be annoyingly over-the-top. I like the actress, but they need to dial back the social maladroitness ASAP, at least a little.

He was hardly a breath of fresh air. Throwing in Barclay was just the other end of the spectrum. Going from being in a smoke filled room to one with almost no air. The better characters are somewhere in between.

OK, now I been thinking about the past season with all of the Red Angel appearances and knowing what we now know, I’m even more confused lol. Someone help me out here PLEASE, but I’m trying to wrap my head around a few things. At least your best guess.

1. So is the suit able to do more than just jump through time but can also create spacial wormholes too? I was thinking about New Eden being 50,000 light years from Federation space and yet the Red Angel had no problems jumping there. Does it create artificial wormholes that can send it anywhere it wants? Or is it maybe another form of spore drive tech?

2. Speaking of New Eden (and the biggest head scratcher of all) didn’t the Red Angel teleport literally an entire group of people AND the church 50 thousand light years away???? Uh, what? That’s why so many of us thought it was an advanced alien race doing it. It’s hard to believe Burnham’s mom can do all of that on her own. And again with what technology? Is it coming from the suit too?

3. The seven red bursts. I get the Red Angel made them but why would they all appear at once? The whole seven burst thing originally suggested there was some big phenomenon happening and they were tracked across the galaxy at once. What’s the significance?

4. During the battle with the Ba’ul, the RA single handily sent a pulse that knocked out the entire Ba’ul’s weapons and shields. Detmer said the technology required to that doesn’t exist which suggest that either came from the future or Section 31 has that tech as well.

So this suit is clearly not just for time travel. It’s like Iron Man’s ultimate dream super suit to defeat Thanos lol. Or all the infinity stones operates it. Clearly Section 31 didn’t create all of that, right? Did she literally go into the future and upgraded it? But still doesn’t explain everything, like the seven bursts appearing at once.

Obviously I don’t expect anyone to really have the answers but I’m open to theories at least.

“Clearly Section 31 didn’t create all of that, right?”

Judging from the holospecs and Leland’s pep talk, it is implied that yes Section 31 did build all that, and more specifically, her mother! Genius comes from genes, clearly ;) The only thing they did not have is a (snicker) “time crystal” but that’s where our friends the Klingons enter the game again!

You could be right but I’m hoping they have an explanation besides the fact Section 31 have unfrozen Khan again to make all that ridiculous advance technology work. ;)

How do they create technology that can teleport a church 50,000 light years away? There must at least be a third party involved.

I don’t mind the time crystal thing too much since it was introduced in Sanest Man, but I was under the impression it was a very limited jump through time like a few hours or maybe days. But I guess that’s just how Mudd used it. It’s all very confusing lol.

Yeah even though I really like Disco and this year’s story arc, the existence of a time crystal seems to make no sense to me. Why would the Klingons know about its existence and not use it to conquer various worlds and star systems? Oh well, like a lot of science fiction, one of those instances where you look the other way.

Klingons were fragmented houses so I see them losing the time arm race

Who knows : perhaps the house that was working on intertemporal tech has been marginalized for some reason.

So far we have L’rell’s house matriarchs with incredible personality engram and DNA transformation tech, and T’Kumva’s with old cloaking tech.

What else has Klingon disunity buried?

And is this why we will be seeing L’rell on Discovery before the end of season?

“And is this why we will be seeing L’rell on Discovery before the end of season?”

The preview strongly implies that!

note that a “time crystal” is an actual scientific concept, not just a fantasy-thingumajig. And while it might be treated as a MacGuffin-style plot device (we won’t know for sure until they speak of it again), it’s by no means worse “science” than the way Trek has treated black holes, wormholes or tachyons.

Didn’t even think about New Eden but you’re right, that now makes no sense at all. It’s like the writers forgot how they set up the RA in the first few episodes and finished the season in the style of a madlib.

She has future tect

“She has future tech”. Yeah, like the magic beam she fired at her dead daughter and made her magically not dead. Not “she appears before she dies and stops what’s going on”. No, she literally allows her daughter to die and just undoes it without going back in time at all.

Also, “She has future tech” doesn’t explain why she saved one town during World War 3 from nuclear annihilation and moved them to some other Class M planet. How does that tie in with everything we learnt in this episode, that all the Red Angel events happen around Spock & Michael? This doesn’t. Hopefully they’ll explain this.

That’s the problem, its feeling TOO fantastical at this point. Maybe this will all be explained but that suit is literally something you can find out of a Marvel or DC comic. When I thought it came from an advanced race, I wasn’t that bothered, but now knowing its a Section 31 prototype suit made literally decades ago it raises MANY questions.

Questions I’m not sure they can answer fully but we’ll see.

Tiger, you opened my eyes! Kurtzman is secretly doing a Marvel cross over and we all did not realize it. Geeeeennniussss!

LOL maybe he just watched Infinity War one too many times and got inspired. ;)

To be fair we still have four episodes to go so maybe its a lot more to it than just the suit. But if I’m being honest I really wish they just took a more alien route with the whole thing. It would’ve been more satisfying and less crazy (but I guess they love crazy though).

Tiger, judging from the last four episodes of last season the good news is there WAS a lot more to it. The bad news is, nothing good (Evil Lorca + Klingon War cop-out). Wishing us more luck this time (donning my bad weather suit though just in case ;)

The New Eden time incursion is a real puzzler.

I hope that there is a good justification for it.

If it turns out that Michael’s xenoanthropologist father did not move people to Terralysium to set up a controlled study of human technological development without interference.

It sounds very S31, but ethically pathological.

On the other hand, given as my spouse remarked, New Eden was just another of those weird TOS human colonies that seemed to be weird sociological experiments, perhaps we will find out that Burnham’s parents are part of the reason why those weird TOS colonies existed.

That would be something not to mention outside the family…

“It’s like the writers forgot how they set up the RA in the first few episodes and finished the season in the style of a madlib.”

They learned all their lessons from Enterprise! Unfortunately, all the wrong ones ;)

Yes, at this point none of this feels like it was thought through. I fear that we may get yet another goofball wrap up like we got last season. I’m really starting to think that the people running this show have no idea how to do a full season long story arc and perhaps they ought to just make the show episodic again.

Ml31, or they should invite Manny Coto over, who knows how to combine standalone and serialization in a satisfying way and add some TOS fanwankery for the spice! Although judging from Coto’s twitter feed, most likely he would never make it past their political filter!

ML31 it seems more likely that the previous showrunners had an idea on science vs faith that led to a crisis in the writers room. And the idea has been jettisoned with those showrunners.

Tamara Deverell has said that the windows in the church in New Eden had to be redesigned more than 20 times due to changes from the writers!?!!

While many here like it, New Eden was a short episode that was quite thin in terms of finding out about Terralysium. Good directing and pacing saved it, but many wanted more about that community’s story.

It will be interesting if we can ever get the ‘out of the archives’ story on what the fundamental disagreement was, and what the original outline for the season was like.

This i certainly possible. That would be two seasons in a row where production turmoil led to a less than mediocre final product if true. None of us have any way of knowing but my gut tells me what we are seeing is essentially the same course that was mapped out for the season from day one.

Since fools rush in where (Red) Angels fear to tread, I’ll hazard some guesses on your questions, Tiger.

1. If wormholes are shortcuts through spacetime, then they can transcend both time and space. But microwormholes, which I thought I heard mentioned (see Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter’s “The Light of Other Days”), shouldn’t allow the transmission of a person or a group. Maybe these are macro microwormholes. 🙄

2. I think all of these feats are beyond S31’s capabilities. There must be future tech involved.

3. It wasn’t very clear, but isn’t it correct that the red bursts didn’t always accompany the RA’s appearances? Or was it vice versa? Anyway, the multiple red bursts could have been intended as a galactic red alert, saying: look here Starfleet, something really dangerous is happening or about to happen. Look into it. On the other hand, some the bursts were connected to rescue situations. Hopefully, the lack of coherent info will be remedied in the remaining episodes.

4. I think your first option (future tech) is the only possible explanation, based on what we know now.

Thanks, Tiger.

Thanks for the response Elrond!

1. I only said wormholes since that’s what they called them on the show obviously. But yes I know in theory (since in terms of real science we haven’t discovered any yet) they can transcend both space and time so I assume that’s how she is doing it. But yes we never seen an actual person physically go through one without being in a ship until now. So if that’s how she is traveling, that suit is veeeeeery special lol.

2. Honestly it HAS to be! I can buy time travelling of course and the wormhole explains how she can jump so many distances. But how do you manage to transport an entire group with you? I can’t see Section 31 having that too. It would just fly in the face of everything we know. But if its from the far future or an alien unicorn did it, you can suck it up a little more at least.

3. I guess that’s possible. But then it raises another question and that is why did Spock even see them in his visions months BEFORE they even even appeared? That’s what is so confusing, they seem to originally been something more supernatural in nature when Spock was shown them. I assume the Red Angel (somehow) gave him those visions but it appeared to be something a bit more. Maybe there still will be.

4. Yeah, same.

Tiger, love the alien unicorn! 🦄 Similar to the time crystals– whatever they are.

Your new question 3 is really important, I think. Maybe it suggests a return to the (never really developed) science / religion theme, which I would still hope to be seriously treated.

Fantastic episode. Sonequa Martin-Green has never been better. But everyone — even Michelle Yeoh! — was great in this one.

It might end up being for only one week, for all I know, but boy is it nice to be able to love a new episode of “Star Trek” again. Been a while.

Haven’t seen it myself yet, but man, all I can say is that the opinions on this one are sure mixed.

They really were. The writing continues to be hit-and-miss on this show, but the performances last night were right on the bullseye. SMG really does deserve an Emmy nomination this season.

Three observations:

1. Interesting that both The Orville and DSC had notably emotional episodes tonight.

2. For everyone complaining that the Scooby gang wasn’t supposed to know about the true identity of Emperor Philippa, keep in mind that—at least for the command crew—the jig was up when she went rogue in the final episode of S1. They couldn’t really have that scene on the bridge where everyone was threatening mutiny against Admiral Cornwell if they didn’t know that something was up with their “captain”.

3. I thought “The Red Angel” was marvelous, even though it underscored how time travel episodes usually don’t make a lot of sense. If Dr. Momma Angel only appeared when Michael Burnham was about to die or in mortal danger, why didn’t she appear in, oh, EVERY EPISODE OF SEASON 1?!

Counter-observation: overemoting family soap does not equate emotional episode. But yeah that’s just my opinion as the resident Vulcan. This blaring but vacuous loudness on the show confounds me.

Because it was too early and Klingons were not a threat. Control AI is more of a threat. Plus 6 months were in the Mirror Universe

I’m just gently poking the bear in jest. I really enjoyed last night’s episode and usually enjoy Star Trek‘s time travel episodes in general. Sometimes you just have to turn off the logical part of your brain and enjoy the ride.

So it sounds like S31 had all the info they needed about the Red Angel. What didn’t they have, besides maybe who was in the suit? What was worth melting Spock’s brain for? I’m sorry (not), is that an inconvenient question?

That’s just how Section 31 rolls.

Which would be “fine” (as in believable) if it was the DS9 style rogue organization. But unfortunately it’s an official arm of SF Intelligence led by Starfleet admirals and captains. Can’t have it both ways…

They knew it was Burinum

Burinum? Is that this exotic, rare element that causes righteousness and infallibility in anyone upon ingestion? I take Burinum over Marisuenum any day though!

From S31s perspective (as they told it at least):
Years ago the suit was presumed destroyed.
The red bursts showing up means they now know it wasn’t actually destroyed but stolen, but not by whom. It could be the Klingons stole it which would be REALLY bad. Spock then turns up having some connection to the signals, so he’s their only lead, but he’s unresponsive.
S31 being that “the ends justify the means” kinds outfit are weighing a possible erasure from the timeline of the entire Federation against the life of one individual. To them (and Control, before it goes off the rails), this is a simple version of the trolley dilemma.

I knew the red angel was either michael or her mother or really both. It probably is more than one person anyway. I need to think about this more because there are aspects that honestly don’t make sense to me such as Michael or her mother going back in time to save herself. It isn’t clear to me why it didn’t also save Michael’s parents too. The concept that everything is because of Michael and always Michael once again exposes the writers to the usual, annoying, mary sue criticism. I don’t think she is one (no more than kirk&co were! In fact, I bet Shatner would love to play her lol!) but with her being a retcon they might be a tad over the top with some things and I wonder when they will reach the point of no return. I didn’t care about them giving Spock a sister all the sudden because we already have Sybok and canon suggesting Spock doesn’t talk about his family so, for me, they didn’t need to explain why she wasn’t mentioned before. The problem is discovery’s team made it a point they WILL explain why she wasn’t mentioned in spite of being clearly a very important character not only on Spock’s story but the whole universe. It’s the explanation they will give us that I’m concerned about.

I wish I liked Spock a bit more since he’s my favorite character of the franchise, but I can’t seem to connect yet. I just see him as another human/vulcan character, just like Sarek didn’t feel like Sarek to me, but I can’t reconcile with him as a young tos Spock and the guy who will become the character we see in the series. There are aspects they cannot resolve now because they weren’t resolved for tos Spock until much later in the series and the movies, so this is still a concern for me that they might mess up with his evolution in a way that tos seems like he went backwards. In general, I still don’t like how they treat his human/vulcan heritage and reduce it all to human=the guy with feelings vulcan=the guy with logic . He isn’t someone with borderline or bipolar disorder, the human and vulcan aren’t two separate people with their own personality. He’s just mixed. And Vulcans have feelings too, move on.
This isn’t to say the actor is bad. Maybe it’s also the writing too not helping him add some of the more unique layers that both tos and kelvin Spock had and that make me love him.
I love Spock but I never was one of those old fans who want every new trek thing be about the old characters at any cost and I think I still consider him useless for this show, like he has to be there only because his name is Spock but if he wasn’t so iconic they’d use that screentime for the characters of this show instead. There are only few episodes left and there are so many things and character stories they hadn’t fully dealt with.
I have a feeling most of them may get Airiam’s treatment where one episode wants to develop and show it all but it isn’t enough and they should’ve built her connections to the other characters more earlier and not just when it’s her end. Perhaps the next season.

I felt just that way Zach Quinto’s Spock. Good actor; credible performance of an iconic character; terrible writing.

Michael Hall
Yeah, I love the movies and kelvin Spock and the new layers added to him, but I feel stid and beyond kind of didn’t give Zachary that much to work with. Tbh, I could sense in some interviews that he wanted more even though he was grateful just being in it.
Like Discovery, it isn’t like there is nothing good but no matter the effort to give him more, the character is often limited by the fact that, honestly, if you give Spock too much he may overshadow the others (Kirk, Michael..) so he always ends up playing the sidekick and his conflict and story is superficially developed (eg. treating his vulcan/human heritage as a personality disorder is silly, outdated and frankly exhausting at this point). He’d need his own show or movies.

Personally, I didn’t like Spock in Trek ’09 either, and actually prefer Peck’s take on the character, though there’s a lot involved with that beyond the actor. But given the character’s iconic status, and that an innumerable number of writers, directors, producers, and 3+ actors have had their inputs as to who Spock is after all these decades, I think it’s actually pretty amazing that the whole illusion of a real person hangs together as well as it does.

Michael Hall,
I don’t have issues with emotional Spock personally but for those who did, I don’t see how Peck’s take can be better, honestly. Quinto did his own thing too but he still had his cadence and sass that make me smile and say in my best Mccoy imitation ‘that’s Spock!’. He just needed better writing, at least in the sequels for me.
Peck is even more different Spock and was no doubt in part modelled on the kelvin timeline style. When I watch him, I don’t see Spock or someone who can become that guy; it doesn’t even make sense with the character arc they are giving him here because it feels like tos Spock went backwards now. I guess the ‘prime timeline’ illusion isn’t working its magic on me, nor stops me from honestly seeing everything as a reboot regardless.

Neverthless, both Spock are far away from Nimoy’s version but the fact Peck isn’t playing an alternate reality version of the character should give people reason to nitpick about him more, not less. After all, Quinto wasn’t given the task of showing us who Nimoy’s version was before tos. He wasn’t, so why have higher expectations for him? I think young original Spock was supposed to be a bit more mellow and chill than how both Quinto and Peck play him, anyway.

+1 now that I think about it, the writers of the kelvin movies were too claiming that Spock would become like tos Spock, lol! in spite of Quinto very obviously getting a different task because he was an alternate reality version with significantly different life experiences, and they knew it. This should give people a clue that when discovery’s team is saying ‘don’t worry Peck will be tos Spock, eventually’ you should take it with a grain of salt because they said the same about (even) the alternative reality version too. They are just coddling the fanboys but in every case their goal isn’t having tos Spock again. That doesn’t interest them one bit. They all want to make their own version of him and change him to fit modern standards, and they believe that if they tell us he ‘isn’t tos Spock yet’ we will more easily accept it when he’s clearly different.
Nimoy got that, but then again he recognized why new iterations cannot be like his portrayal from the 60s and didn’t want them to be. Many old fans don’t get it, hence why the creative team needs to constantly placate them with ‘he’ll be like tos’ delusions.

I prefer Peck’s Spock too. Quinto was OK, but he was always missing something. But as said it’s probably both the writing and the acting that was the issue.

Like I said, I don’t see when and how Peck is more like Spock than Quinto when the acting, appearance, mannerism and personality feels, for the most part, as different if not more than the reboot did. In fact, as a Spock fan who likes both the original and the kelvin versions, I even see kelvin Spock in him more than I do see tos Spock tbh. I consider both a reboot either way, but I find it contradictory that people who dislike Quinto’s version like this other guy now in spite of his take having the same issues they think Quinto’s version has. I don’t find the writing is particularly brilliant in Duscovery either. I cringed at ‘say goodbye, Spock’ and that forced scene between him and Stamets where Spock gives him relationship advice is just ridiculous. Like the movies, this show is a hit or miss but if someone likes the new actor more it’s a different thing and not a matter of him truly feeling more like Spock, IMO.
After all, Quinto’s version was approved by Nimoy himself (and his wife said it was like looking back at him when he was younger) and that alone means he did more than OK, especially when countless of fans and critics agreed with him.

THAT SAID, if people can buy Peck’s version becoming more like original Spock good for them as it would make sense since he is playing a younger Spock Prime while Quinto is an alternate reality version of the chararacter who has a notably different history and story. Each of them is supposed to do well with their own roles and the different task they are actually given, so you could say they are doing that.
I thought there would be higher expectations for Peck, but I realize that maybe some people are willing to let his portrayal be ooc/different because they know the ‘sequel’ of that guy is tos Spock. He may be perceived as just temporary, thus more safe for old fans, while Quinto’s version is a bit more unpredictable as you know he doesn’t necessarily have to become like the guy we saw in the series and this is upsetting for some old fans who don’t like change. I, on the other hand, never expected the kelvin characters be carbon copies of the tos characters. I could never relate to those who, for example, praised Urban for making an impersonation of DeForest because I understood that the goal of the movies was showing a different version of the characters and I was more interested about that than trying to see how much they copied the original ones. I get for others it’s different though. In my mind, the original will forever be different things and I’m OK about that.

Well that’s fine. Obviously others disagree.

Of course others disagree, lol just like I disagree, or others disagree about the new guy being better than Quinto and they, unreasonably IMO, expected him to to still play Spock in Discovery too. I think both face equal praise and criticism because the character is so iconic.
‘Others disagree’ isn’t a good argument or counterargument to the very different points I addressed, but that’s fine. I prefer to motivate my opinions.

I agree in that I think the writers are digging themselves into a whole here, leaving some mighty big questions to answer that must live up to the build. Michael’s story, IMO, is basically that she is a major problem for the Federation in the universe. The cause of the Klingon war, linked to the destruction of all life, what next? How does a character like that have almost no mention in the lore of Star Trek?

How did nobody know that Klingon’s used to be ridgeless?

RockoandSocko3, yeah unless discovery is another alternate reality (thus the explanation why she wasn’t mentioned before is that the red angel changed Michael’s fate in the prime timeline where she died as a kid), it seems they painted themselves into a corner. I don’t see how either scenario would make anyone happy.

Yeah that is the problem for me too when concerning Michael. They have made her a celebrity because she is personally tied to this stuff. The entire story line this season literally revolves around her, Spock and now her real mother. How do these things not become huge news lol. My only guess is in this instance Section 31 will probably classify it all. It would be a cop out but what else are you going to do?

That’s the problem I feel that these writers have ahead of them. They’ve put so much behind the selling of this second season that they are, on a weekly basis it seems, making it like too tall of an order to fulfill. I will be greatly disappointed if Section 31 just sets it all as classified and calls it good. That would be a horrible payoff for such a high amount of build.

That all being said, I hope this season is the end of “everything is Michael, and only Michael” and that the next season has more attention equally shared across the entire cast. Not only that, but more focus on just Michael next season will only make her an even bigger character in scope that it would make 0 sense that this character with so much negative impact in the universe could go unmentioned, or unrecognized.

Who’s to say it’s not huge news? Who’s to say Kirk didn’t go back to his quarters every episode and read a book about it? That Picard had a framed picture of her in his “famed 23rd Century Icons” scrapbook?

Nobody ever remembered NX-01 either until that show aired, and you can gripe about “oh see, this is why prequels are stupid” but in the end it doesn’t matter.

Who’s to say it’s not huge news? Who’s to say Kirk didn’t go back to his quarters every episode and read a book about it? That Picard had a framed picture of her in his “famed 23rd Century Icons” scrapbook?

Nobody ever remembered NX-01 either until that show aired, and you can gripe about “oh see, this is why prequels are a bad idea” but that’s just reactionary, because in the end it doesn’t matter.

The NX-01 was over 100 years ago from TOS perspective. Both Burnham and Spock were not only in Starfleeet together at the time basically everyone was already in Starfleet, they are part of a huge mission together stopping the galaxy from literally being destroyed that they are both directly involved in. It’s just silly people wouldn’t know about them being siblings automatically.

And if Kirk or Spock knew this, its bizarre not once did anyone ever refer to his sister even in passing as they all dealt directly with both Spock and his family. It is what it is though so yeah.

LOL meant Kirk or Picard. ;)

I understand the grandfather paradox. The Red Angel will appear to prevent MB’s death. The problem is if the RA is future MB, SHE WOULD KNOW THIS IS A TRAP AND ALL THE DETAILS PRESENT MB IS INVOLVED / PARTICIPATING IN. Present day MB would have to be isolated from everyone else before this plan is ever hatched as not to tip off her future self right?? Point 2: The RA has a red beam of immediate resuscitation?

Maybe Spock melds with Burnham to erase the memory that would tip-off her future self. We’ll see.

Happy Birtday, William Shatner. Double 8s. Not bad…not bad at all!

If that age were a MPH speed, we could see some serious sh!t happening if HE suddenly went backwards in time.

Then again, I don’t think I’d want 21st century Shat overwriting the way he first delivered ‘go to your quarters or I’ll pick you up and carry you there,’ in CHARLIE X. It’s like the perfect way he delivers the opening credit spiel, without his voice going sing-song (try recording yourself doing the TOS narration — it is almost impossible to not go up or vary it in a bad way by the time you get to ‘where no man has gone before.’)

Amen, Disinvited. LLAP.

I was happy when Burnham flatlined, was hopgin Tilly wouldn’t be far behind, rest of the characters on this show have grown on me except those 2. Burnham’s always condescending, Tilly’s just insufferable and there’s no way that anyone with that level of anxiety or personality disorder would be in any sort of Command Training Program where the end result is commanding a vessel and being responsible for hundreds of lives lol.

Heh Lukas, you hoped that Burnham “flatlined”? But as someone pointed out above, she IS the sole and central focus of this show, rightful or not (and I wished they would change this into an ensemble show already), so that’s a bit like saying the Third Reich would have been A-OK as long as that pesky Adolf H. flatlined already ;)

What a fun comparison.

It’s never too late for Godwin. Or too early, for that matter :)

And it’s always more fun to be a part of the problem than the solution.

You mean like Discovery all too often? Full circle, mate!

Yeah look, I’m happy to have civil discussion re differing opinions with any fan/non-fan, but as soon as you bring Nazi’s and crap like that into it you lose all credibility and I’ve got no interest in continuing the discussion.

To everyone else, as I’ve stated in the past, I’m not a big fan of the show as it stands now, that said, TNG DS9 and ENT all of which I love dearly didn’t get strong until their 3rd seasons either, hence why I’ll continue to support Disco!

Well, the Russian Front would have gone down a lot differently, am I right?

Mwahwahwahwa Ok I told it before. The R.A. is Michael!

You mean Michael’s mother? I didn’t seen anyone predicting that.

I listed it as a possibility among speculations, and so did at least one other review site.

After Georgiou teased she had information about Burnham, it seemed clear that her parents were implicated. How was the question.

Mwahwahwahwa? Blain my brain! I was completely dam dumbly wrong! It’s mamma!

Or maybe both of them….

That mech suit seemed to be standing on its own at the end.

I will probably be skewered for this, but is the writing staff not permitted to create a positive straight male character? The number of prominent women include Burnam, Tilly, Cornwell (only admiral we really ever see), Georgiou (empress of the Mirror universe), and L’Rell (leader of the Klingon empire). Detmer, Owosekun, Nhan, and Airium all get far more air time than Rhys and Bryce (I actually had to look up their names). I think Reno has had more lines in 2 episodes than they’ve had in 2 seasons.

Two of the most prominent male characters, Stamets and Culber, are gay, NTTAWWT. Lorca turned out to be evil. Leland is evil. Heck, the guy that appeared in the first episode this season was sneezed on and killed for laughs.

Tyler plays as pretty weak, IMO. Pike (who’s great, but gone after this season), Spock, Mudd, and Sarek are all from canon. And Sarek’s wife Amanda appears much stronger than he is.

That pretty much leaves Saru, an alien that only this season is beginning to show some teeth (his species was literally prey on his planet.)

Oh, and who is the red angel? One of Burnam’s parents; her mother, of course.

None of these characters is bad; I don’t have a problem with any one of them. In fact, I like most of them, and not saying we should get rid of them. But it seems this writing staff is trying to right all the wrongs of the past in one series.

Am I wrong to care? For those of you that would say, “It doesn’t matter, these are interesting characters.” If it doesn’t matter, then why don’t they also include straight males that are interesting? It seems that there must be a reason.

Because, 2019. It’s not just this show, Jeff (though DSC does seem to take it to new heights); what you’re speaking of is the case across most of tv these days. Straight, is out (unless you’re a villain). There is no balance, and forget realism.

Don’t watch a whole lot of television these days, but I’ve noted several “good guy” (if flawed) characters on GAME OF THRONES, and other shows on HBO. (Well, Tyrion’s a dwarf, so maybe he doesn’t count.) Do I really need to prove that discrimination against white, heterosexual male roles in television and film is not a real thing?

I see and understand your perspective and opinion and I don’t think it makes you a bad person. As a North American straight male, I got very used to seeing the world through TV where 80-90 percent of the cast for most shows I have watched in my life were white males. Truth is white males apparently make up only about 15 percent of the world’s population**. So for every 10 cast members, one or two should be white males – if you are trying to portray a global earth ship. And that is what Gene Roddenberry wanted to do. It was the United Space Ship Enterprise in TOS and not the United States Ship Enterprise. Is Discovery an accurate depiction of today’s global population, probably not but I don’t have a big problem with the diversity the show depicts. **NOTE: I don’t have exact numbers but let’s just say whites make up about 30 percent of the world’s population (some say it is closer to 23 percent) and 50 percent are males. That seems to pass the common sense test.

In a few decades the U.S. won’t be majority white either. And, no one should care.

So when will Africa not be majority black and Asia not be majority Asian and why should anyone care. What are these suicidal extinction fantasies REALLY about?

You tell me. I’d love to live on Trek’s future earth, where national boundaries don’t exist (or at least are far less important) and no one cares how many white people or black people or gay people live on any given continent.

Dean, by that logic the vast majority of the crew should be Asian so they are clearly NOT trying to depict a United Earth ship.

What? You are correct so I have to say this is an outrage! Discovery sucks haha.

Jeff, it’s not even “wronging the rights of the past”. It’s “two wrongs do not make one right”. The pendulum is swinging mightily heavily in the other direction now.

It seems Leland is the “toxic male” of this season, and as such, he needs to be discarded of according to the writers, as they did Connolly. We will see…

I suppose you’d have felt better about Connolly being blown out the airlock if he’d been a woman of color.

Unlike a certain faction I do not have extinction fantasies for people I disagree with or who have certain characteristics. And certainly not those who show “bad manners” from a subjective point of view. But Stalinism always ends in the same way, as Orwell warned us.

Emasculation is in. We reach, Brother.

I am all for diversity, but in DISC you can basically predict who will be evil judging by what race and gender they are. It’s becoming like some 1950’s Fu Manchu novel or something.

This was a significant step down in quality from the last few episodes and mostly that comes from the writing. Firstly, all this “time crystal” stuff seems straight out of the Voyager/Enterprise playbook in which time travel was some kind of technology that everyone had access to, so much so that the Federation basically had to dedicate itself to maintaining the timeline, an obviously sisyphean task that really has no dramatic value and is just a bit of a nightmare universe to imagine. Time travel in Trek has always best been utilised as either an unknowable force or, at worst, a last resort that’s somewhat skipped over to get us to a good story, but the idea that you can just have a “time crystal” is… I mean, it’s just dumb.

Putting that aside, the key failing in this show is still Mirror Georgiou. They cannot get her character right at all. Either she’s a mustache twirling bad guy who gleefully tells of the genocides she has committed and all the people she’s slept with or she’s sympathetic towards Michael and Federation’s values, with other characters who happily punch their commanding officers in the face for making a mistake and apologising for it totally accepting her presence there. Can you pick one way to go with this character, particularly if you’re going to waste our time with a terrible Section 31 show starring her? The whole scene of her on the planet being concerned for Michael is just awful and the stupid scene in the engineering room about how she had sex with Stamets and Culper was just weird. I’m surprised she didn’t mention how much she enjoyed “Killy”‘s company as well since apparently everyone in the Mirror Universe just bangs the Emperor all the time which, given the Mirror Universe is just evil versions of our characters, kind of muddies their apparent glee at the idea. Is promiscuity bad then?

Spock and Pike are thankfully excused from these embarrassing exchanges and are left relatively unmolested as characters. Spock’s insistence on continuing the mission is classic Spock. Overall it wasn’t awful but it was probably the worst episode since the dire Episode 3.

1/ Leland should have just told Michael is was all Mudd’s fault.

2/ Is Michael the genetic duplicate of her mother?

I love Sonja Sohn so whatever the logic of RA, which now does seem really confusing, their interactions will be interesting.

3/ Also it would have been totally off the hook if Michael died let Spock be responsible for her death, Phillipa be right, want Spock in her terror chair. It would have been very cool to have two very depressing endings in a row. They could have let this run for at least an episode more. And then still have the RA come and be Michael’s mom and wave a timey-wimey wand.

Unlike last season, I was actually enjoying this one. The writers and producers seemed to take criticism of the first season to heart. Until this real hot mess of an episode. Whiplash pacing, twist upon twist, dictating by fiat how viewers should feel, without leading us to feel. The grief of the crew–and by extension the audience–over Airiam seemed forced seemed forced. I think this puts a finger on why I can’t quite like Michael Burnham. We are told to like her, to accept her centrality to the story, rather than earning that affection. Forced, forced, forced. That seems to be the original sin of Discovery. Apart from hiring Bryan Fuller, that is.

I agree. It’s really not good when the show tells us what to feel rather than giving us material to come to it ourselves. And this show does it a lot. It’s just…weak.

Last night’s episode was really good up until the revelation of ‘The Red Angel’. That was a big let down. I hoped it was either Spock from the future or maybe even Lorca returning from the mirror universe. That would have been a massive WTF moment.

I had guests at my party leaping off the couch screaming “what the fuck?” and others jumping around in excitement at the twist. Then again these are trekkies who don’t partake in the online mosh pit, so even the idea that Michael could be the red angel got most of them excited and was a bit WTF to them.

Trust me, mosh pits are more fun, sensible and civil than a Trek online forum. 😊

Trust me, many people were saying that, just in a different tone from your group. ;)

Can’t say I cared much for this episode. Like other installments it tries to cram too much into too short a running time.

The opening with Airiam’s funeral seemed forced and a bit too much given how little we actually saw of her.

The whole scene with Stamets, Culber, Georgieu and Tilly was bizarre and I’m still trying to figure out the point of it. Were they trying to be funny? If yes, they failed.

The reveal of the Red Angel felt cheap and manipulative; after encouraging all kinds of speculation to have it be a character that had been “dead” for years felt like a bit of a cheat. They could have at least thrown a few breadcrumbs about Burnham’s parents in prior shows to cast doubt as to their fate.

The episode also seemed to rely a little too heavily on technobabble and fantasy science. The whole time travel angle seemed almost too routine, the introduction of “time crystals” felt ludicrous and the ease with which Discovery’s crew came up with a plan to capture the Red Angel felt, again, too rushed.

Pike once again was presented and largely helpless and impotent here, with Captain Burnham making all the important decisions again. Tilly was her usual annoying self. Don’t the writers get tired of having her break into conversations and interrupt everybody?

Leland’s backstory was interesting and I’m happy he wasn’t another one-note heavy; Spock and Burnham’s reconciliation was well done, but beyond that there was little here that resonated with me or really drew me in.

“the introduction of “time crystals” felt ludicrous”

They weren’t introduced here, they were introduced and explained in Season 1 in Magic to Make The Sanest Man Go Mad. They are also a real bit of science (though not to the degree that Discovery is using them) that you can easily find out about with a good or wikipedia search.

Great review. Also enjoyed the comments from great episode to crappy. In under an hour so many subplots and great sets. They stretch the logic at times re for a fan trying to connect to the entire Star Trek history. I actually like Spock the character and the actor for me fit within the context of what I can rationalize as a Spock in this period of time. The emotions are more evident than I thought but then he is a younger Spock. I also appreciate how the central character is not in command and it works. Lastly I really like Pike. Although we have limited history from previous star treks again compelling that he is the same character. Someone also pointed out in the past we tended to go with episodes with carry over of characters not plots. Here we have both. Challenging to do and I think they are doing it well.

I’m torn on this one. There were good things and bad things. The good things were in the execution and presentation. The bad things were there were too many facepalm moments. Thus distracting from story. I mean, a “time crystal”? Are in the marvel universe now? And that is only some of it. There were just way too many facepalms in the show for it to be enjoyed on the level I believe it is meant to be.

One thing that I will comment on. If as they decided, the red angel was Michael, then why oh why would they discuss the trap RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER!!! Once no one cared if she knew then I surmised that it was NOT her. It couldn’t be. My first choice was a future relative of hers. Parent was my 2nd guess but I was betting on great great great great great granddaughter.

This is the problem with time travel stories and why so few writers ever seem to get a grasp on them. What you said is accurate; if the Red Angel was Michael then she would have known about the trap since she helped spring it earlier in her life. It’s such an obvious faux pas and the fact that the writers didn’t even bother to touch on it really demonstrates that they are not good science fiction writers. Likewise the introduction of the “time crystal” (it feels downright hokey just typing it) and the matter of fact way everyone talks about it.

” What you said is accurate; if the Red Angel was Michael then she would have known about the trap since she helped spring it earlier in her life”

I thought this was why Spock was so adamant on not aborting? Death had to be inevitable. So even in case the RA knew it was a trap, she had to intervene. Probably the only logical characterization of the episode.

True but if it was Burnham, as the crew surmized, then she would have known everything about the trap and almost certainly would have found some future tech solution to save herself and avoid the trap. It was pretty piss poor plotting that comes straight out of season one.

As was suggesged above, sending her mother instead was avoiding the trap, and we are still being served red herrings. It’s an intruiging idea.

Not necessarily. Unless her mom getting trapped was a (and i HATE using these terms) predestination paradox then Micheal would have told her mom how to avoid the trap she knew was coming.

Now that I’ve finally watched the episode for myself, this criticism, which FTR I had thought entirely reasonable, seems to me misplaced. Yes, Burnham no doubt could figured out a way to save herself while avoiding capture had the script gods so decreed, but in all actuality why would she, necessarily? She might very well reason that getting captured by her prior self and the DSC crew was simply the way things were “meant” to happen (which would be entirely in line with how this franchise has customarily dealt with time travel), and while that may or may not be the case preventing such an outcome would be just as risky as letting it happen. And if she didn’t have a plan for escape, or botched one, Spock’s intervention had meant the “trap” was no bluff — either she showed up for the party, or her younger self would die. The show could have made that clearer, but — well, time travel, what can you say. Personally, paradoxes give me s headache. At least it’s not Marty McFly staring at the photo as his parents fade away.

“Spock’s intervention had meant the “trap” was no bluff — either she showed up for the party, or her younger self would die.”

I think Spock recgonised that the Red Angel not only comes to save her life but indeed changes the timeline after she really dies. In other words: Michael really died in the timeline of the last episode, the Red Angel notices that somewhen in the future and goes back in time to that point to change the timeline.

It appears that both Burnham and Spock understood that she had to actually die or be very close to nonrecovery to make it work.

His statement that it would be ideal if she survives otherwise he will be once again accused of murder clearly indicates that they both knew that they would have to take it further than the Discovery crew and Georgiou would permit.

Spock was ready to pull that phaser, and Burnham was fully aware and agreeing to the plan.

Does that mean that they agreed that the timeline needed to be changed?


Burnham already destroyed herself with Mudd, to reset a timeline when time crystals were involved.

As if things like a “time crystal” haven’t been done a hundred times already in Trek. Trek can often be a bit mind numbingly corny.

Not only has cornier stuff be done, a time crystal has already been used in Trek, and it’s a real bit of science the writers extrapolated on for sci-fi.

The concept of the “time crystal” was introduced in the second Mudd episode last year, which proved to be probably the most popular of the first season shows. No one seemed to complain about it at the time, though I can honestly say that I didn’t care for it.

I honestly had no recollection of Mudd’s use of a time crystal in that episode. But, as I’ve said many times, very few Discovery episodes really stay with me and I rarely find myself watching an episode more than once.

That’s you’re lost. The show gets even better after a second watch.

I have completely forgotten it was used by Mudd. But, that was used in a different fashion and the entire tone of the episode was more comedic. Much can be forgiven in that context. Also, much from the first season was forgotten as it was not worth remembering except in how bad the season was. That said, it doesn’t make it’s use in this season any less hokey.

Didn’t say it wasn’t hokey; in fact I said that I didn’t care for it. You do make a good point about minor throwaways being more forgivable in a comedic context. Still, if this episode is good — and, boy, do opinions seem to be polarized on that score — it wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for me in any case. The simple truth is that time travel has become absurdly easy on Trek, especially given the potential consequences. But that ship sailed long ago, and it wasn’t named Discovery.

At this point, time travel in Trek is as easy or as hard as whatever the story line presented needs it to be. That has been the case since the beginning of the show. And is a reason why I would rather they just start leaving it alone.

As much as I love Sonja Sohn from The Wire, I think not casting Angela Bassett was a missed opportunity.

I am in full agreement, Afterburn, but I believe such a casting would boil down to the (tight) production budget meeting her fee…which I’m certain would go well beyond even what SMG is receiving.

Well, you have to admit that MacFarlane has gotten more than his fair share of high profile cameos on The Orville. Still, I think Sohn was a great choice for this role, much as I’d love to see Bassett kick some ass on Trek. :-)

His show needs the ratings, he’s desperate.

As I said, I do love Sohn, she was a huge part of The Wire’s top notch cast. And maybe it did come down to budget, i don’t know, or they may have wanted to stay away from any choice that Fuller had wanted (he was very open about wanting to cast her as Burnham prior to launching the series, probably before it was decided she’d be younger).

It’s a lazy pun and I’ve used it before, and yet I’m going to use it again: Michael’s mum isn’t the Red Angel, she’s the Red Herring.

What happened to Leland? Is he dead? I think Section 31 control killed him. The time crystal is very interesting and micro wormholes for time travel. Klingons can time travel now is cool. The Red Angel was created by Section 31 to stop Klingon time travel. Michael Burnham’s parents worked for section 31 before they were killed by Klingons on that planet. Its starting to make sense now. I get it now.

Wow. These articles are in depth, thanks, Trekmovie!

IKR?! I can’t believe how quickly Anthony gets these out, especially considering the immense level of analytical detail and the loving care he puts into these reviews. It’s quite remarkable!

If I remember correctly Anthony said that Trekmovie gets the episodes ahead of time so they can write the reviews and post them so close after release.

Hey Bob, are you watching the show this season at all?

Honestly, no, Saw first two of season one.

Oh OK! I still hope you come around one day and give it a chance.

Are you watching this show now? Not to put you on the spot, but what do you think of your former partner’s work?

Not watching it yet, but I hear since Alex really took the helm that it is better, Those former show runners were amateurs, lucky to be in Alex’s presence,

Those former show runners were amateurs

While I am usually not too prone to just jump on one side or another (after all, I don’t know Berg and Harberts – all I know of them comes from cons, PCs and other assorted press material; they weren’t the type of people that had me saying “Whoa, those guys sure know their sh*t!” – more like “nice exercise in ‘exec-talk’ there, folks”, but that’s just an outsider’s personal opinion) I have to say that I find that quite easy to imagine.

The overall lack of focus in the first season was highly apparent and the the kind of pressure that some writers must have been under was almost tangible: cramped/rushed-feeling episode scripts, plot points that were hastily picked up only to be dropped like a hot potato, unnatural character interaction etc. – and the ever-present feeling that one just wanted the characters on the show to sit down for a second and think/talk things through.
Of course you could also feel that there were writers (plus directors) who were probably used to that sort of environment, while others weren’t (that also means that there sure was a number of moments where it really felt like the show might be getting somewhere, even in that not-too-stellar first season). Overall it really struck me as a “chaos on the bridge”-scenario though.

I could ramble on for hours, but might I ask you a question? – Knowing Alex Kurtzman the way you do, would you characterise him as the kind of person who knows how to delegate duties?
Since that appears to be what he has been doing ever since his showrunnership became public knowledge (like having the upcoming S31-series be Lippoldt’s and Kim’s “baby”, letting Mike McMahan be the figurehead of the “Lower Decks” animated series, getting Michelle Paradise on board etc.). And of course it could be that Kurtzman just begrudgingly acknowledges that sort of delegation as a necessity, even though he’d really like to run things with an “iron fist”. So would you deem him more of an “iron fist”-guy or more of a “breathing room”-guy (so to speak)?

I gotta be honest. He is kinda both. If he focuses on something, there is no getting in his way. On the other hand, he expects those around him to carry their weight for real. Sometimes, he doesn’t trust people enough to do their job. But when that happens, he steps in. Other times, when he is truly in charge in soul and spirit, he’s the wind at everyone’s back. Miss him very much.

Thank you for the honest reply, Bob! That’s an interesting bit of insight and it will be interesting to see how it will work out on this new, large scale (I mean “large” as in “3 or 4 concurrent TV shows”).
We as fans can only hope that it will indeed be a “soul and spirit” job for him. Seeing that you miss working with Alex, I sure hope that you get to team up again in the future!

Reading a few other boards, people have made the point that Starfleet now has the complete ability to not only teleport anywhere in the galaxy thanks to the spore drive but they ALSO now have the ability to time travel pretty freely thanks to Section 31 time travel technology. Both in a century that shouldn’t be ANYWHERE close having such abilities based on what we seen on the other shows, most a century ahead into the future.

You know I just find this all very funny now. ALL I heard why Star Trek should not go into a post-Voyager era is because you want the show to be more ‘grounded’ and to avoid all the silly magical tech the other shows have done. I said it even before Discovery debut that the century never mattered because sci fi writers are going to write advanced sci fi tech THEY want to see and in Star Trek they can literally get away with anything.

And now here we are! Starfleet has invented both instant teleportation and time travel…in the 23rd century. Gee, look at that, MAGICAL technology. And just remember, Discovery is so far only a total of 25 episodes in lol. Can you imagine where Discovery will be by the time we reach its 50th episode? Or its 100th? By that point Starfleet tech will be so advanced, they will be secretly working with the Q.

Tiger2 Starfleet has time travel technology in the 24th century. The spore drive is something else entirely. Gotta love Section 31. Those goes have Starfleet under their thumb. Section 31 is like the CIA, they have access to top secret and classified advanced technology most of Starfleet and the Federation is not aware of even existed. Deep state black ops division is Section 31. Section 31 is the Area 51 of Star Trek.

Starfleet has always known how to time travel since the 23rd century BUT they never had direct technology like a time travel suit before. This is a first.

As for Section 31, yes they have always had advanced tech but its never been THIS advanced lol. At least not until this show. And of course until this show Section 31 was never directly affiliated with Starfleet, now they work hand in hand so its telling they have so much of this kind of tech and yet Starfleet doesn’t seem to use any of it directly. But I said in the past Section 31 probably does develop a lot of things they keep from Starfleet as well I guess. You can probably buy they didn’t know about the suit but once it is out how do you keep it from them?

But regardless it just goes to show magical technology is just part of Star Trek, always have been and always will be. Enterprise was really the only show that tried to downgrade things being so early in Trek’s timeline but the others just did what they want. Discovery seems to be one of the worst culprits with all the crazy technology considering it’s only 25 episodes in its run and yet has stuff more advanced than all the other shows.

I think the writers will say that because Discovery is a Science ship then all the tech is a by product of the experiments on board the ship. There was a Section 31 guard on duty in the first season. I thought Discovery was a Section 31 ship. I think that the time travel story will be a way to explain the new tech. Remember Star Trek First Contact? The Borg Episode of Enterprise? Remember that Communicator Checkov left behind in Star Trek IV. If the writers are smart, there are plenty of things that could have altered the timeline and impacted technology. Remember the episode where Pike is talking to number one, he tells her to remove the Hologram tech from Enterprise and said they will stick with old fashioned viewing screens. They are dropping a few canon hints to explain why Enterprise never had that tech even though it was around apparently. Retroactive continuity is a ‘bleep’.

Yeah that’s all valid but it still doesn’t take away from the fact its just a very advanced wielding show with tons of crazy toys that are beyond anything we’ve ever seen, even by the 24th century. I don’t remember anyone on TNG or VOY wearing time travel suits lol.

Of course they will probably just ‘classify’ everything or find a way to suggest it didn’t function properly so they will simply not use it like Pike and the hologram tech but its still all a bit silly. It’s just the writers having their cake and eating it too because clearly they want to do a more forward thinking show with a lot of cool technology but because someone decided to put this show in a time period it really doesn’t belong in they have to bend over backwards trying to make it ‘fit’ in canon and while they have certainly done a better job this season its still not great.

And to be fair to the writers, none of them ever claimed it was going to be a more grounded show from the others just because it was pre-TOS. It was really a lot of the fans who wanted a ‘simpler’ time to TOS who wanted that and didn’t want tons of techno-babble and crazy tech solutions to everything. I think that boat has sailed.

Regardless… And this feels like the right spot to repeat this… The show still feels like it belongs either post Nemesis or in the KU. Even with the few bits they’ve done to try and make it fit it still doesn’t feel like it is part of the era they say it is in. Even Enterprise did a better job at that than Discovery is doing.

Your point is taken, but the “why don’t they just use the tech they discovered in episode C to solve the problem in episode X” issue has been with Trek almost since the beginning. (Whatever happened to the Kelvans’ magical super-warp drive that could get them to Andromeda in 300 years?) It’s really a mug’s game to worry too about it at this point.

And you know what’s really funny, Tiger? It’s the 2399 Picard show that’s being described as “grounded”! Maybe they do not want to up the ante, or couldn’t, after Discovery ;) But it’s clear these writers do not feel bound by the constraints of time or cause and effect, like ever. What was once a neat concept for a wacky episode (with a big reset button at the end) has now become the standard modus operandi.

LOL I trust Picard will be as ‘grounded’ as much as I trusted them when they said season 2 of Discovery would be about science vs faith. They may not go super crazy with it but its clear they love creating a lot of toys to play with. I don’t expect that much less with the Picard show.

But I also agree, they probably know they can’t up the antee too much more. The 23rd century starships are already bigger than the 24th century ships and doesn’t look any less advanced so you do have to wonder if they will try to make any distinct differences or just stay with the designs they have now? I’m sure they will try in some areas though. It’s going to be really interesting to see what they do.

Tiger one way they seem to have put in new constraints for themselves is by apparently making this about an outsider, non-Starfleet crew on a merchant ship, so it is kind of the opposite of “experimental science vessel Discovery” and all that super-secret (not) Section 31 stuff. But I agree all signs point to them not being able to sustain such resolutions for long, especially given that there are so much fewer hard ceilings in the new forward setting compared to Discovery.

Thank god for that. We don’t want a boring show do we?

*APPLAUSE* Also, spoiler alert, Burnham is actually the first Q.

It’s just a tv show…

The reset-button seems close though.

Yes. Essentially, they have turned Star Trek into the MCU. This is all schlock.

I can suspend my disbelief as much as the next guy but……..

What am I missing? The grave threat is future AI hitching a ride along with Mom through the mini black hole.

“Hey mom, don’t go through the mini-black hole anymore, I’m an adult, I got this”