Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Gets Intense In “Perpetual Infinity”

“Perpetual Infinity”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, Episode 11 – Debuted Thursday, March 28th
Written by Alan McElroy  & Brandon Schultz
Directed by Maja Vrvilo

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

“Perpetual Infinity” delivers a solid episode that answers a number of key questions for the season, while nicely setting up the final three episodes. Packed with emotion, the episode is carried with strong performances by the cast, especially Sonequa Martin-Green and guest star Sonja Sohn.

“Perpetual Infinity” — Ep#211 — Pictured: Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham; Sonja Sohn as Burnham’s mom (CBS)

 

[WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW]

 

RECAP

Returned

“Perpetual Infinity” begins with Michael dreaming in one of many flashbacks peppered throughout the episode, starting with the fateful day that the Klingons attacked the Doctari Alpha Research Outpost where Mom and Pop Burnham were secretly researching time travel. Michael is told by the reinstated Dr. Culber that she was dead, but is much better now. Also, it’s no dream that her mom is the Red Angel and is still down on Essof IV. Apparently, he neglected to mention in the previous episode that his foolproof way of identifying the Red Angel didn’t account for how you can get a false positive due to mothers and daughters sharing mitochondrial DNA. The good doctor’s body may be pristine, but his diagnostic skills are a bit rusty.

It wasn’t a dream. It was a place. And you and you and you…and you were there

Burnham struggles to accept the new reality and isn’t happy she can’t beam down to talk to Mom Angel due to reasons. She has to satisfy herself by analyzing the 841 mission logs found in the Red Angel suit, which conveniently have a visual record thanks to the suit’s built-in drone companions. These include finally seeing what was on the other side of the closet door on the day she lost her parents 20 years ago, when her mother tried to use the Red Angel suit to jump back in time one hour to save them all but ended up jumping 950 years into the future instead.

Thanks to these logs we start to understand the Red Angel more. Michael’s mom—Dr.  Gabrielle Burnham—could travel back in time, but could never stay and would always get pulled back to that point 950 years in the future, and boy was it a desolate future: all sentient life in the galaxy wiped out by Control. She set up a home base on Terralysium, the planet in “New Eden.” Pulling that church into the future and setting them up to be like space Amish worked as a proof of concept that she could change time; however, all attempts to stop Control failed. That’s why she made sure that the Discovery would encounter the big red sphere (with all its juicy data) in “An Obol for Charon.”

This episode also solves the mystery of why the Red Angel has only communicated directly with Spock. It turns out his nature as a half-Vulcan/half-Human with a form of dyslexia gives him the unique ability to accept the visions she can project back through time. The flaws he has always seen as a curse were exactly what made him special, which is as Star Trek a message as there can be. As Michael watches these mission log files it dawns on her that as the Red Angel, her mother has been pulling the strings of her life all along, changing time to both show her love and try to save everyone. These revelations also break down more barriers between Spock and Michael which bonds them even closer, with Sonequa Martin-Green and Ethan Peck continuing to show great chemistry.

Even millennia in the future, parents find ways to make you watch their vacation movies

Rebooted

In this episode we finally get to meet Control in the flesh, more or less. Section 31’s AI, which has been causing all sorts of trouble and is hell-bent on achieving consciousness and wiping out all of sentient life, shows up first as a hologram, mimicking various members of the Discovery crew, but it wants to give itself an organic upgrade and Leland is the lucky boy who gets to be its vessel. In a spooky scene, the Section 31 operative gets hoisted on his own petard of moral relativism as he is informed his ends-justify-the-means perspective is a perfect fit for Control to learn the “element of human nuance I have not yet mastered.”

Couldn’t have happened to a worser guy

After an injection of nanites, Leland is no more. Leland 2.0 is born and gets to work quickly, focusing on the MacGuffin he wants most, the sphere data containing the keys to consciousness and everything a Big Bad needs to wipe out all life. Masquerading as just ordinarily evil Leland, Control orders a reluctant Ash Tyler to steal the data from his pals on the Discovery. Georgiou also starts to question Leland’s orders, but he accuses the former Klingon and former MU emperor of being too soft, and suggests that it is actually Burnham’s mom who is the possible fake. This guy has some seriously artificially intelligent cajones, with Alan Van Sprang subtly changing his performance just enough without making it obvious this is not the Leland they knew.

What does it say about you that people hardly notice after you are taken over by an evil AI

Rethought

As the gravity of the future is tugging at Burnham’s mom and her suit, the crew is given a ticking clock of a couple of hours to learn what they can from her before the inevitable force pulls her back. And Dr. Burnham only wants to talk to Captain Pike, which understandably doesn’t sit well with her daughter. And Mama B shows she has the upper temporal hand right away when she quickly identifies Pike and tells him he will soon return to his command on the USS Enterprise, ominously adding, “I could say more about your future, but you won’t like it.” But would it have killed her to just let him know to avoid Class J Starships?

Losing confidence that the Discovery can protect the sphere data, Dr. Burnham wants to return to the future to keep trying to change fate. She also surprises Pike with the news that she doesn’t know anything about the seven red bursts, which had seemed directly linked to her Red Angel appearances. Putting in a powerful performance, Sonja Sohn is not messing around, telling Pike he is just another dead man to her and until he does something useful like delete the sphere data, she’s done chatting.  A brief talk with Michael after that doesn’t go any better, as Dr. Burnham is so single-minded in her mission that she can’t seem to make a human connection with her daughter.

Hi Captain Pike, one beep for yes, two for no…oh wait, you can talk now? Forget I said that

Saru finally gets something to do in the episode by arguing to keep the sphere data as an invaluable archive, but everyone agrees that the whole everyone everywhere dead thing is a bit of a priority over a good read. However, once they try to wipe it out, the data shows it has a mind of its own and hides behind an impossible encryption scheme. Maybe there IS a good reason for Control to want to get its new human hands on that clever data. And all of this has finally got Ash Tyler feeling like a downtrodden Bluth, finally questioning his loyalty to Leland and Section 31.

After Spock drops some ancient Chinese wisdom, the solution to getting rid of the data pivots to the crazy science realm where the data will be transferred to the Red Angel suit and thrown into the “perpetual infinity” (hey, that’s the title of the episode!) of a never-ending future where Control can’t ever get it. And as a bonus, Stamets and Spock—who oddly blurts out “I like science” like a five-year-old—figure out a way to tech the tech and save Burnham’s mom from joining this endless void. Is there anything that dark matter they picked up in the season opener can’t do?

I bet I can hold my hands behind my back longer than you

Relived

With Tyler off the reservation, Leland 2.0 moves on to try to manipulate Georgiou to get the data for him—oh and kill Burnham’s mom while she is at it—but as the queen of manipulation, Philippa isn’t really falling for it. The formerly tyrannical despot gets humanized even more by having a lovely chat with Dr. Burnham, mother to mother. Accepting her tragic fate, Burnham’s real mom implores Georgiou to look out for her baby girl, and thanks to a nuanced performance from Michelle Yeoh, we believe she will.

Once she sees a plan is in place to keep the data away from Control, mother Burnham starts to lighten up and connect with her daughter. She reveals that all through Michael’s life she has been a witness to highs and lows of her life. In an all-to-brief emotional minute, these two relive their lives together that were once apart. But mom is not ready to come home, not until she knows she can stop Control.

Hands reaching to each other with barrier scene, check

Things get real action-sequency after Georgiou makes her move and cuts off the data transfer to the Section 31 ship. Her chat with Dr. Burnham was the final straw for her to see through Leland 2.0’s façade and to start her own little mutiny and she brings her recruit, Tyler, along with her.  Leland 2.0 is not too happy about this and lets Tyler know by stabbing him in the guts as he heads down to Essof IV to take things into his own hands because good evil help is so hard to find.

What ensues is a series of phaser shots, explosions and Michelle Yeoh showing off that she still has it when it comes to kicking people in the head. But in the end, the only way to keep Leland 2.0 from getting that data he wants ever so much is for Michael to let go of her mother and let her and the suit get sucked back into the future in yet another heartbreaking moment.

This is not going to help with her abandonment issues

Of course, destroying the facility didn’t take out Control/Leland, who warps away with the portion of the data he was able to collect, leaving him for another boss fight in a future episode. Despondent, Michael’s hope wavers, leaving it to her brother to remind her that they are the masters of their own destiny. Saying the keys to winning the fight are “instinct and logic together” he nails the theme of family for the season as he describes what they each bring to the table. In a bit of an on-the-nose metaphor, he helps put her back together by reassembling the chess game he threw aside two episodes ago as they prepare to make their next move to save all of future history.

Promise you aren’t going to throw the board again when I start winning?

ANALYSIS

Timey-Wimey

Time travel is time-honored in the history of Trek and this episode made it clear that it is a pivotal element of Discovery‘s second season. Of course, with any temporal storytelling, things tend to get complicated. With the Red Angel revealed to have been trying to solve a calamity, they did a fairly good job in “Perpetual Infinity” of explaining away all the reasons why she just doesn’t go back in time and fix the problem herself by stopping Control from ever being programmed or even simply stopping by Starfleet HQ and just telling them the whole story.

Even though mom and the suit were sucked into the future at the end of the episode, it is a good bet that she and time travel are not done yet. And when you combine time travel and all the talk of syncing up with canon and something big coming in the season finale, the Trekkie mind starts going to some interesting places. It isn’t clear yet, but we may be in store for some major timeline bending—or even splintering—events in the next few weeks, so buckle up.

I’ll be back

One of Thirty-One?

After watching what happened to Leland in this episode, it’s likely every Trekkie got flashbacks to the Borg, the iconic bad guys that were to 24th-century Trek what the Klingons were to 23rd-century Trek. There were certainly some visual similarities, most notably Control infecting Leland with nanites, similar to Borg assimilation via nanoprobes. Control also says “struggle is pointless,” eerily similar to the Borg’s catchphrase “resistance is futile.” And the result was Leland being completely taken over by another entity and losing his humanity—also familiar.

However, while the origins of the Borg have always been vague, having their birth come from a 23rd century Earth-AI doesn’t fit with what we know of the older Delta Quadrant-based cybernetic race. And once you go beyond the cosmetic similarities in this episode, there are some major differences. While the Borg acted robotically, they were not androids, but cyborgs. More importantly, their brains were organic, and instead of artificial intelligence, they used a collective consciousness. Control’s motivation is to seek order by eliminating all sentient organic life, whereas the Borg seek out perfection by absorbing biological and technological resources. The Borg value life and the “biological distinctiveness” it offers them, Control wants to wipe out all life.  Hopefully, the powers that be at Discovery have resisted the urge to play with this piece of Star Trek canon. (It is not futile.)

What is intriguing is what all of this means for the future of Section 31. What has transpired in the last few episodes may be the spark that sends Section 31 underground, as we know they will become in the 24th century. Starfleet may see a rogue AI trying to kill everyone as a bad move and just shut Section 31 down. We know Michelle Yeoh will be part of Discovery‘s third season, so it’s possible that’s when we’ll see Section 31 rebuilt as the rogue unsanctioned organization we are used to.

What? Is something on my face?

That was intense

“Perpetual Infinity” was a tight episode that nicely set up the final showdown between Control and the Discovery crew. The story was laser-focused and generally self-contained, but as a result, felt a bit dry. Characters that often add some more color to Discovery were relegated to the background, giving the stage over to Michael, Spock, Michael’s mom, and Leland. With Spock as Michael’s primary confidant and new resident genius on board, Tilly barely has anything to do and ends up mostly as the butt of jokes.

With so much attention on the Red Angel, now revealed as Michael’s mom, and with all that history just pouring out, the episode dripped with emotional intensity, which at times deviated into melodrama. While they did a good job of telling their story, writers Alan McElroy and Brandon Schultz lacked subtlety, often an issue on Discovery when they don’t trust its audience to pick up on things without them being telegraphed or highlighted.

Maja Vrvilo kept up the pacing for the episode quite well and was able to transition from character to action to even a bit of horror in a seamless way. Like a number of Discovery directors, Vrvilo also employs a few silly camera tricks, instead of trusting the actors and other elements to make scenes land. The makeup and visual effects teams also deserve high marks for Leland 2.0’s creepy nanite infection.

As always, an episode is elevated by standout performances from this excellent cast, with Sonequa Martin-Green, Ethan Peck, Michelle Yeoh, and Shazad Latif all bringing their A-games, joined by guest star Sonja Sohn, who showed a lot of range despite being limited to standing in a small circle.

In the end, “Perpetual Infinity” is a solid entry that fills the gap and holds our interest as we await what is expected to be some explosive developments in the final episodes of this very much-improved second season of Star Trek: Discovery.

Take that planet, pew, pew, pew

Random thoughts, connections, easter eggs, and more

  • This is the second episode co-written by Alan McElroy, who joined Discovery in its second season and previously wrote the teleplay for “An Obol for Charon.” Co-writer Brandon Schultz gets his first full episode television writing credit with this one, after working as a writers’ assistant on Discovery since season one.
  • This is director Maja Vrvilo’s first full episode, although she previously directed the Short Treks episode “Runaway.” Vrvilo has worked with Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout as both an editor and director on multiple episodes of Hawaii Five-0.
  • Michael Burnham’s father was played by Kenric Green, husband of Sonequa Martin-Green.
  • Control reveals there are over 7,000 active ships in Starfleet.
  • Newton’s Third Law is Tilly’s second favorite law of physics. Saru cuts her off before we learn her first.
  • Spock carries on Trek’s grand tradition of referencing Shakespeare, to which Michael replies “Hamlet, hell yeah!”
  • Saru compares the importance of the sphere data archive to Earth’s Library of Alexandria of antiquity and the Renaissance era’s Bibliotheca Corviniana, but why not the Federation’s own Memory Alpha or more modern Star Trek storehouses of data?
  • In another of this season’s references to ancient wisdom, Spock quotes Chinese philosopher Laozi, making him the second alien to choose an Earth-based source of wisdom and miss another opportunity to Trek up the references. Surak had nothing?
  • Thanks to Leland’s attack on Essof IV, we saw Section 31’s phaser rifle in action for the first time.
  • The cameras the Discovery crew set up to monitor things on Essof IV look a lot like Zora the AI’s interface in the Short Treks “Calypso.”
  • The Red Angel suit is DNA-encoded but given Culber’s mistake, maybe Michael can use her mom’s suit too.
  • The scene where Tyler figured out Leland was possessed was reminiscent of when Picard and Riker figured out the (also chair-bound) Lt. Cmdr. Remmick had been possessed with an alien parasite in TNG’s “Conspiracy.”
  • While Shazad gives “faith” a shoutout, it still seems this much-touted theme for the season has mostly been forgotten.
  • Like Spock, fictional literary hero Percy Jackson (and other demigods like him) also have dyslexia which helps them; it makes reading English difficult, but enables them to read Ancient Greek. Also like Spock, they all have one Human parent.

Call me daddy

And you thought high cholesterol was a problem

Blink and you missed us

Double the barrels, double the fun


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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CmdrR

Jeebuz.
This episode made even less sense than Disco’s usual fast-and-loose approach to plotting. I’m sorry, but YUCK! The writing on this show is so self-serving, like the worst of Doctor Who. The writers hide the necessary bits from the audience, then cram way too much into technobabble-laden dialogue.
Ma “untethered the sphere to put it into Discovery’s path” (or something like that). Really??? When did you have time to meet the sphere, while you were watching every single moment of Michael’s youth unfold? Ma is 20 years older. She’s not five trillion years older, so she couldn’t do multiple things at once. HOW did you “untether” a sphere as powerful as what we saw? Also, why? Also, once you realized that Control would use magical sphere wiki to kill all sentient life, why didn’t you go back and stop yourself using your so-advanced-it’s-godlike RA time suit? What was the sphere tethered to? Didn’t it need to move around to check in on civilizations?
When the Klingons attack, Ma jumps into the batsuit –urm—RA time suit and tries to save the day. So, why were they sitting around waiting for the nova? Wasn’t the nova going to be the source of the suit’s power? If I have this wrong, why do I have this wrong? I’ve watched every episode. This is an important plot point. Why wouldn’t the writers spell it out plainly, a second or third time if needed? I do not think I’m stupid, and I’m tired of getting lost in plot salad.
Seriously, couldn’t Ma have found a white board and written, “Hi, Michael. It’s Mom” on one of her trips? Ma managed to get to know Spock really well. When was there time for that between Michael’s pony rides and first sleepover dates that Ma spied on for twenty years?
Ma knows what Michael wore to graduation, but didn’t see the trap Disco laid for her. Yuh.
Ma never does figure out how to head off the Klingon attack, but she does figure out how to save Michael’s life multiple times. Yuh.
BTW – PLEASE, don’t let it turn out that my mom has a RA time suit and has been watching me!!! I’ll be in therapy for eons.
Otherwise:
We crammed some Shakespeare in there, Hamlet no less.
“I like science.” Sure, I give that a thumbs up as a Spock line.
Not much Tilly, which is enough.
I heard the explanation for New Eden, but have no idea what motivated Ma to move those people rather than killing Hitler (or whoever) and averting that war.
Ma didn’t send the bat signals –urm—seven RA time signals. Because, Michael does that!
What does 54% of AI awareness get you? Isn’t that a good leg up on getting awareness. Also – if Control is not already sentient/aware, what the hell is it? It sure acts sentient/aware now. Apparently, learning that last bit turns Control into a kill-bot of massive proportions.

Professor Spock

I liked it. The writing is not great but I found the episode to be pretty good but not perfect. 7 out of 10.

HubcapDave

Another good episode in the books! SMG does a stellar job playing a hot mess trying to go in five directions at once when she realizes that she didn’t hallucinate seeing her mom.

“I like science.” Spock FTW!

TrekFan67

I disagree. I found it very easy to follow. I loved the pacing. I loved the questions that were answered and I loved the acting. The show just gets stronger and stronger building to the next few episodes. Very strong outing for the show. I’d definitely give this an 8 out of 10.

A34

Agreed I give it a ten out of ten.

blackmocco

Yeah, that was pretty terrible. The show’s practically incomprehensible at this point. Terrible writing, baffling plotting and yeah, I feel like every episode spends half its time explaining its plot points. The show needs help. The people in charge don’t have what it takes.

A34

I have no clue what you’re talking about. Tonight’s episode was pure awesome.

blackmocco

We’ll have to seriously agree to disagree on that one. This season has flown into the mountain for me.

AdAstraPerAspera

You obviously didn’t pay attention because the episode was extremely easy to understand.

TonyD

The episode may have been easy to follow but it also had gaping holes in its plot. In particular, the whole time travel angle leads to some really dumb plotting:

– If Gabrielle Burnham could redirect the sphere, why direct it at Discovery? Would it not have been easier to direct it to a remote area where it would then die and cause the data to be lost? Indeed, by directing it to Discovery she actually caused the crisis since Control wants the data.

– If she can apparently go anywhere and anywhen, why not just go back in time and destroy Control before it becomes as powerful as it now is.

– Similarly, why did she allow herself to get captured? If she knew what would happen to Burnham, just appear above the station a day earlier, blow it up and viola no more needing to be caught to save her daughter.

– Burnham was never in danger over the Kelpian homeworld yet she still generated the EMP pulse. Why? By her own admission, nothing would matter if Control wasn’t stopped.

The episode expects you to take a lot of stuff on faith without bothering to provide an explanation: how could she divert the sphere in the first place? How could she move an entire town across vast distances of space? She originally intended to go back one hour in time yet ended up going forward 950 years – that’s a pretty big error in calculations.

Discovery has never really worried to much about making sure all the dots connect with regard to a lot of its plots but this one really went off the reservation.

ML31

While I liked the episode on a simple level, those are all questions that come up when you give characters control of time. Why can she easily do some things but not others? If you are going to set it up there have to be explained limits. And it is why I am not a fan of time travel unless the ability to do it is limited by something. The same problem happened in Generations. When it looked like Soren had the upper hand, why not let the Nexus come, get swept in it again, then go back and try again? Why not go back and detain Sroen when he was in 10-Forward? For that matter, why not go back and prevent his family from dying in the fire?

Holden

I’m surprised more isn’t being discussed with the pretty clear fact that Michael’s mom in this episode isn’t really her mom. She’s someone else. Solves a lot of these questions. Even Michael recognized this at the end, right?

Chancellor Gowron

How so? That was definitely her mom.

Holden

Michael being thrown off by her mom’s knowledge of what she was wearing at the graduation, for example. It feels like someone who is capable of drawing on others’ memories and feelings but is strangely disconnected from the one person she should have an actual connection to.

Fabio

So, Rick Deckard was a replicant? :O

Holden

Plus I believe Leland when he said he saw her dead body.

TonyD

Leland had already been assimilated by Control at that point so he was most likely lying.

Chancellor Gowron

He could be lying, or Dr. Burnham’s ultimate fate could be to return to Doctari Alpha to be killed by the Klingons

Corinthian7

The theory is plausible. She was stuck behind a containment field so nobody could properly inspect her. She had all of Michael’s memories and apparently identical DNA and we’ve already been introduced to two plausible ways of disguising somebody – Talosian projection and Georgiou’s Section 31 camouflage.

Holden

Leland might have been lying, but then the next question is what would be his motivation for doing so (and in such a strong way)? I think Control won’t care that much.

Oh,another possibility is that Control is telling the truth, but is referring to a different death we don’t know about yet.

Chancellor Gowron

Or she used time travel to visit her daughter, but she has become more and more disconnected after seeing every body die countless times and having all of her attempts to save them thwarted.

Holden

Oh, and that the mom doesn’t know anything about the red bursts, though I thought that was a pretty strong point about the RA.

ML31

Holden, I have a similar reaction to why no one questioned Culber coming back from the DEAD! Like resurrections happen on Wednesdays on that ship. Everything pointed to a myclial agent masquerading as Culber. Yet NO ONE considered this. Not ONE. SMDH.

blackmocco

I’d be far more forgiving of the Culber resurrection if they’d actually done something interesting with him. That whole plot just seems like an arbitrary dead-end.

Corinthian7

So do you think this is where faith theme is going to resurface again, that some unknown entity is manipulating events? Or do you still it might be linked to Talosian projection?

ML31

I think the Science v faith thing was jettisoned many episodes ago.

Corinthian7

It’s barely been given lip service ML31 but Holden is positing that BurnMum is not who she says she is. I’m not sold either way on this idea just now but if he is correct then it may mean that some unseen power is in play and this could fit in with that theme.

One wild theory might be that the person impersonating mother Burnham is Michael herself using the holographic technology we saw Georgiou use earlier in the season. This would explain why the Red Angel has identical DNA to Burnham jnr and how she was able to witness all of the significant moments in Michael’s life.

In this scenario Michael would have disguised herself because she has already witnessed the episodes events. She would therefore already know that Leyland was no longer himself and that he would just try and kill her earlier incarnation once he found out. The other question would be why not just tell the crew about Leyland? The assumption here would be that some future event needed to play out to get her to this position. It’s not a perfect theory, far from it there are definite flaws but then I’m not an advocate at this stage of the idea that Gabrielle is not who she says she is. I’m willing to explore Holden’s theory though hence my speculation.

ML31

You could be right. But I think it was genuinely her mother. If it was a disguised Burnham there is no way they could have caught her unless that was part of a plan.

Corinthian7

@ML31 I’m not convinced on that either but I’m putting it out there as a possibility as it fits in with Holden’s theory and also provides a way of retconning the theory I submitted after last weeks episode that has been pretty much undermined lol.

More Troubles More Dribbles

What if she’s an aged Michael Burnham?

Corinthian7

@More Trouble With Dribbles. Or a disguised Michael Burnham. We’ve seen several ways it could be done from Georgio’s section 31 camouflage to Talosian projection.

Holden

I’ll confess I’m not sold on the DNA business because it reminds me of “Tyler’s not a Klingon because a body scan said so.” Once bitten . . .

Holden

“Or do you still it might be linked to Talosian projection?” Yeah, I’ll probably die on a hill defending that possibility. LOL.

My thoughts on this (which will probably be proven wrong next week!):

On the mom: forms of impersonation do seem to be a major motif this season (Georgiou, Control, Talosians, etc). Why would it stop now?

There were references in the first two episodes to the idea that the RA was a product of Burnham’s imagination and then later that it might be a “hallucination” (Saru).

The Talosians made a point to scan Michael’s memories and not just Spock’s, so they have access to everything (though a knock on my theory is, how would they know so much about the backstory of the Red Angel? Unless they had access to the Mom at some point too).

Burnham’s mom first wanted to see Pike, not her (and she made a point to reference his “future”).

TPTB have been pretty clear about the fact that we will appreciate Pike’s whole arc better by season’s end, and I don’t see how this doesn’t involve the Talosians again (though that could be anything).

And I guess, related to that, the Talosian episode (which I loved!) feels like kind of an arbitrary detour at this point if it doesn’t pay off more. I hope it wasn’t just fan service after all.

Corinthian7

“Or do you still it might be linked to Talosian projection?” Yeah, I’ll probably die on a hill defending that possibility. LOL.”

Lol don’t worry about that I practically spammed the board after last weeks episode with a theory that was underpinned by the fact the RA suit disappeared. Except when I watched the episode back it didn’t vanish, just kind of blinked in and out for a second. Anyway, I’m not completely sold on any of the theories at the moment, whether that be Borg origin stories or Burnham’s not being her mum but I’ve seen enough Discovery to know that anything and everything is possible.

The reason I ask about Talosian projection is that it something you’ve previously highlighted and it can be worked into your new theory. I’ve suggested Burnham herself could be a candidate as it would explain the DNA and and how she witnessed her ‘daughters’ important life events. However, the Talosians also presumably saw those moments when they accessed hers and Spock’s memories. They also have a proven track record for altering somebody’s appearance with Vina, the black hole projection showed that their illusions could fool a shuttlecraft’s sensors potentially explaining the DNA mix up and they’d have obvious motivations for hiding their involvement. Leyland and Georgiou have already had a conversation about how Talos IV was turned to glass in the MU so, if you’ll pardon the pun, the Talosians would be under no illusion about what would happen if Control learned of their involvement.

Of course if this idea was to bear fruit then it still raises interesting questions like why choose Burnham’s mother? Who is impersonating BurnMum? Who is behind the seven signals? And what’s the deal with Burnham’s DNA? Maybe they chose her mother as a signpost ie it’s a nexus point and Burnham may need to travel back to that day. If Talosian mind trickery really is disguising somebody as her mother then I guess it could be anybody but you’d have to put Vina or even Pike himself as a candidate. As for the other questions you’d have to assume the answer is Burnham, at some point she has to put on that Red Angel suit and start doing the big things. After all Airiam did already tell us that it’s all about Michael although we’d all pretty much worked out that part lol.

As I say it could go either way for me with her mum, I’m not convinced it’s not her but I think the question you raised was a good one, especially with DSC’s penchant for misdirection so I thought I’d try and help flesh it out with a couple of possibilities. Of course I have a very hit and miss record when it comes to predictions with emphasis on the MISS part!! However, hopefully it might encourage others to give your idea some consideration.

blackmocco

Oh damn. You’re right. My mistake. Thank you.

Vulcan Soul

For better or worse, you are the perfect viewer for this show. For the sake of the showrunners and their business, I just wished there were more of you :))

Mario Silva

I’m sure I saw a differente episode than you, probably you are referring to a Orville episode that continues to do holodeck sex plots and bathroom humor and people say it’s the “bomb”?

ML31

You haven’t seen Orville this season. I WISH they would go back to the bathroom humor. At least it would be funny!

” Just like TNG ! ”

Yeah no. I guarantee that if The new Star Trek show was “Star Trek The Orville” – people would *HATE* it for being low brow and cheap and tacky. And if Discovery was a fan made series on the internet – people would be praising it to the heavens for being “True Star trek”.

Just look at Axanar. It was a money making scam and people still defended it over the Kelvin movies.

Micah

Yeah, I agree somewhat. I get excited to see Discovery nevertheless, but about midway through the episode I realize that most of what I’ve watched is teasing me for some big reveal that I’ve been denied for most of the season. Some people might like that–hey, I keep watching–but I guess I’m starting to get tired of it. I blame Game of Thrones, Lost, West World, and so on, where so many episodes are meant to tease some big plot point or rely on past and present episodes to make any sense. Some can do this formula well, but I’m honestly kind of tired of it. This kind of storytelling *seems* to me to be poorer writing, so much more reliant on the promise and big surprise rather than carefully told stories that can be resolved within an episode. DS9, by comparison, had nicely contained episodes within a larger story, which strikes me as a more difficult task to undertake in a compelling way but which still gets at what Disco wants to do with its overarching story. I’m waiting to see how this all comes together–and Season 2 is better, arguably–but I hope they start focusing more on substantive, individual episodes rather than the sort of convoluted big reveals where everything must necessarily be mega important (e.g. all life will end in the universe) and complicated because the audience has waited so long for the reveal.

And yeah, the literary references can be paired down. You could do a pretty devastating DISCO drinking game if you took a shot everytime someone cried or quoted some bit of literature that’s esoteric or barely read in our own time.

blackmocco

The serialized format can be just as effective as standalone when done properly (Sopranos, Breaking Bad, BSG, The Wire) but Discovery is nowhere near the quality of those shows. Besides Burnham, there is next to no effort being made to flesh these characters out and give us something to root for. I’m actually not sure anymore this is an improvement on season 1. It’s high points have been more satisfying but when it’s dipped, as it currently is, it has dipped h-a-r-d. If this turns out to be a Borg origin story, I’m pretty sure I’m out.

Micah

You’re right. I don’t know why I forgot about Breaking Bad and BSG. I suppose it’s just my experience with DISCO and West World that’s soured my impression of the serialized format. And geez, I hope this isn’t some kind of Borg origin story. This wouldn’t be the first time time traveling Borg were shoehorned into a series where they shouldn’t have been though…

blackmocco

Up til now, Trek has had two go-to’s in times of trouble: boobs and Borg. I’m hoping and praying Discovery has a better response in 2019.

ML31

Discovery went to Spock when they got in trouble.

Locutus

Are you calling Spock a boob? How dare you! ;-)

Vulcan Soul

“Up til now, Trek has had two go-to’s in times of trouble: boobs and Borg. ”

They can’t do the former anymore because of the thought police so I suppose they will double down on the latter ;)

CmdrR

I rewatched BSG a while back… and came away deeply appreciative of their reveals. The big one… hides in plain sight. They tell you repeatedly in the opener what’s going on… and it holds true through the finale! Disco withholds info until minutes before the reveal. Mom and Dad had a time suit! Really? Then, surprise: Mom’s the RA. I feel cheated or tricked, which I don’t find entertaining.

ML31

Enterprise did their Xindi season long arc better too. But the advantage they, and DS9 had, was they were not limited to 14 episode seasons. They had more time to play with the big picture. Discovery being a mini series, pretty much has to cut to the chase. Even in the Xindi arc, by the last few episodes of the season they were past the standalones. That was true of DS9 as well with their Dominion war arcs.

Season 2 is certainly better. I’m with you in that I’m getting awfully tired of “save the universe” scenarios. Why not tone it down to a solar system next season, eh?

Afterburn

This is not a miniseries. Most cable shows are between 10-15 episodes per season. This is the new normal, like or loathe it.

ML31

Are you actively trying to change the subject to something that was done to death in a previous thread?

Corinthian7

It’s not a mini series Afterburner but that doesn’t mean that ML31’s point doesn’t have merit. When CBS first announced Discovery. There was a lot of talk that this wouldn’t be traditional Trek, this would be serialised premium TV with Game of Thrones being held up as the standard bearer. However GOT is spread out over 8 seasons. Plot threads have been developed organically over multiple years, the story has been allowed to breathe.

Discovery reminds me a bit of how WB looked enviously at Disney’s MCU. DC characters have traditionally fared better at the box office, Marvel didn’t even have access to their most popular properties and yet here they were wiping the floor with everybody. So naturally it made sense for Warner Bros to develop there own DCEU but the problem is they wanted to rush it and get to where Marvel was without slowly building up the universe and characters. I don’t want to diss the DCEU as it has its fans, I don’t hate it myself but it does feel very rushed and disjointed and it’s starting to feel like that with Trek now. It’s like CBS wanted to get to where Game of Thrones is now ie the endgame but they’re doing it without any of the legwork. There’s not been any building the series over a few years they want everything in one season before resetting again and manufacturing another ultimate stakes scenario to run for another year. Not everything has to be ‘the end of all life as we know it’ to be engaging.

blackmocco

Yeah, the shorter season is definitely hurting this show although the writers haven’t helped themselves by regularly cramming three episodes worth of plots into one. Less is more, y’know?

Upon thinking about it – albeit with three episodes left to go – I think the season would actually have benefitted from losing the Spock, Culber Talosian and Section 31 elements. We were promised a season exploring faith but beyond New Eden, that never happened.

ML31

Part of it is it seems like they are trying to do too much. Unless the Klingon stuff comes back for a major story need, it feels like all the Klingon stuff could was not needed. The entire Culber story, thus far, could have been jettisoned. I know they went to Talos IV to get Spock’s head cleared and it served as an excuse to get the “big childhood moment” to the audience. But there could have been simpler, quicker ways to do that. These are all things that could have been swept aside for better stories regarding the stronger parts of the season arc. Most shows with mini season stories don’t have throwaway moments or episodes like this. That said, it is still much better that what we got in season one. So it is improving. Hoping this trend continues in season 3.

PS… Yes, everything involving Section 31 could have been done through another, more believable means.

Captain_neill

Also there was an endgame to the Xindi arc, where as this red angel arc just seems very schizophrenic to me and uneven.

Time Crystals are just dumb

ML31

Forced to agree about the time crystals. That’s just goofy.

alphantrion

I don’t mind the literary references, but I don’t like that they are making the universe smaller by only quoting earth literature. Give references from some other alien cultures, Star Trek doesn’t only revolve around earth and its culture.

Holden

Ma isn’t “Ma.” There’s more to this story.

David Kettering

“Saru compares the importance of the sphere data archive to Earth’s Library of Alexandria of antiquity and the Renaissance era’s Bibliotheca Corviniana, but why not the Federation’s own Memory Alpha or more modern Star Trek storehouses of data?”

Because the two data repositories Saru referenced, were deliberately destroyed by people acting out of ignorance and malice. He was making a deeper point.

Vulcan Soul

“What does 54% of AI awareness get you? Isn’t that a good leg up on getting awareness.”

Don’t ask too many questions, Commander. Clearly you are thinking more than is expected of you as a viewer of this show. Like, think at all ;)

PeteH

star discovery lacks imagination, while ds9 bought us the dominion and voyager the borg, it also brought us new and appealing inhabitants of the universe. While discovery is more a shallow “copy and paste villains”. It is even insulting for fans to consider this atrocious AI be the origin of the Borg. Unless Star Trek is going forward with the same agenda as Star Wars. Destroying the rich historical canon to make way for their more worldly shallow version. For the purpose of attracting other viewers who did not really liked the nerdy idealistic type of Star Trek and prefer the cynical principles of worldly views. They did this to my beloved Stargate franchise when they made Stargate Universe.

Professor Spock

I liked tonight’s episode. I think Control is the origin of the Borg. Maybe Section 31 created the Borg as a mistake because of Control. I don’t trust artificial intelligence now. Leland is a Borg drone! I won’t watch next week’s episode because my CBS All Access subscription expires on March 31. I won’t watch the season finale until the Picard show comes out later this year. I’m glad to meet Michael Burnham’s mom. I like her work ethic. I won’t renew it, sorry.

JonBuck

I don’t think so. The Borg have been around for centuries. In the Voyager episode “Dragon’s Teeth” the Vaaduar said they were in just a few systems nine hundred years before.

Plus, there’s no reason a particular tech would only be invented in one place. After all, warp drive was invented again and again, all over the galaxy. Why not nanoprobes?

Wheelie

Time travel? Check. Skipping across the galaxy? Check.

Josiah Rowe

I assumed the arrow of causality went the other way. The version of Control that took over Leland is from the future, and followed Dr. Burnham, right? So by the 28th century the Federation will have mastered Borg technology, right? I assumed future-Control was using Borg nanoprobes to take over Leland.

ML31

Yeah but it wouldn’t be3 the first time Discovery changed something up to meet their own desire.

Micah

Hm. I hope this isn’t Borg related. And it seems somewhat unlikely? Control seems to want to become sentient and then annihilate all life, not assimilate it. It used Leland for a very practical purpose–helping to facilitate the annihilation of mankind–not to create some kind of collective. The sentient-robot-on-a-rampage isn’t an entirely unheard of science fiction trope (though I’ll admit the nanoprobe scene got me worried this was some kind of Borg).

martin

Whoops I mostly repeated your thoughts here- and I agree. The nanoprobes, why would that be different from Genisys’s nanoprobes – nano size robots was predicted technology before the Borg were ever created – so Borg, Skynet/Genisys, Control, and they were in TNG in other non-Borg episodes too. Nanoprobes != Borg.

One thing is that while it would have changed some of the creepyness of First Contact, I certainly like the abilities of Control-Leland. It makes a lot more sense for a nanoprobe enhanced being to be near superhuman in speed and strength instead of Zombie slow like the Borg was.

Levi 90028

Uh prof Spock The Borg were around in the delta quadrent at least as far back as Cochran’s first warp flight. Why do you think the Borg on the enterprise e were making the interplexing beacon to contact them.

martin

Control may have Borg technology, but likely not Borg – unless they are going to radically change the Borg. Control does not want to assimilate or even conquer life, it wants to completely destroy all non-AI life. Control is more akin to Skynet, if Skynet wasn’t really dumb ineffective AI. The Borg see perfection in the joining of intelligent life and machine… Control sees perfection in having it’s AI be the only intelligence.

Holden

Someone obsessively posting about every single episode won’t finish the season over six bucks? Fascinating.

Tiger2

Profesor Spock I’m surprised you’re not going to finish the rest of the season over $6? I mean of course if you just don’t have it, that’s understandable. But I find it odd that you seem so wrapped up in this season but yet don’t want to pay for the last three episodes that pays everything off? Is the season not as good as you like or you just really don’t think AA is worth it?

martin

I was going to mention that too. He likes the show, he liked the episode.
There are people paying $10 for the commercial free version just so they can whine and hate on it.

I am looking forward to Twilight Zone too. I will snooze the subscription likely after Twilight Zone – but I’d rather skip an appetizer a month (or a Starbucks if I drank that) – and watch the shows now.

ML31

What I don’t get is if one want’s to minimize payment, just map out the calendar and figure out what day to start. I started mine a few days after the premier and that ensured I would have it through the final episode for a minimum of 3 months. I’m canceling it right after. This just goes to show how much of a bozo Trek fan I am. I’ll pay for bad Star Trek but I won’t pay for something good like Game of Thrones.

Danpaine

You should give it a shot, ML. As much of a Trek fan as I am and always shall be, GOT is vastly superior to the Trek we’re getting today. IMO, of course, and it isn’t set in space and very different, more layered, more epic. But it IS about family, which it does very well. Honestly, if DSC had that level of immersion and quality I’d never leave the house. Comparing the two is actually ridiculous.

ML31

I’ve seen it. I get it through my Netflix subscription and season 7 is waiting in my cue for me to see it. So as long as I am patient, I will get those HBO shows. No need to pay extra for it. But being a Trek fan, I want to get the new shows asap. And unfortunately there is currently no other way to watch besides streaming. It seems CBSAA is like Amazon and is hoarding their content. Hulu’s is made available elsewhere.

ML31

My subscription ends April 19th. Then I cancel until the Picard show arrives.

Vulcan Soul

Let’s hope that one has better writing! This is the McDonald’s of Trek. Kind of adequate while you consume it but boy does it ruin your health! Empty calories.

TonyD

Control to Leland: Struggling is pointless. Sounds vaguely familiar. Now where have I heard something like that before … Resistance is futile. Yeah, I think I know where this is going now. When Airiam was hacked a few episodes ago I posted something about how maybe Control would end up going back in time and become the first Borg. Even I didn’t take that notion too seriously but now it’s actually looking like that’s how it will play out. How original.

I also would not be surprised if the red angel suit, which now houses the sphere data, becomes self aware and is the source of the red bursts (which the elder Burnham did not seem to be aware of) from even further in the future.

Overall, it felt like a really disjointed episode, full of technobabble, more Tilly annoyances (talk about doing a character a disservice), Burnham being her usual overly-emotional insubordinate self and what is shaping up to be another messy time travel resolution.

Professor Spock

Control is the Borg. Leland is a Borg drone. My Star Trek theory.

TonyD

Leland certainly looks like a Borg (first drone?), right down to the nanite clusters infecting his body and odd mottling of the skin (ala the effect in First Contact). Hopefully it’s misdirection on the part of the producers, although Kurtzman has always been a TNG fan.

Nebula1701

Question is, how does the “Borg” forget its origin? Perhaps the Discovery crew deletes most of Control and it escapes into the Delta Quadrant and infects another computer system. Filled with an obsession with finding its creator and perfection?

TonyD

Did the Borg ever really reveal their origin on any of the TV shows or movies? I don’t recall that happening but I freely admit to being hazy with the latter years of TNG and Voyager.

Plus, as we’ve seen with Burnham, just because something (or someone) isn’t previously mentioned doesn’t mean it never happened or existed.

Thorny

No, but in “First Contact”, Beverly said that in 2063, the Borg were in the Delta Quadrant. So they’ve existed at least 200 years by the time of Discovery.

Wheelie

This show has used time travel and travel across great distances quite a bit. I’m not saying it will happen, but it wouldn’t take much to plant this particular, uh, ‘space seed’ in the Delta Quadrant of the past.

Holding on to hope it doesn’t happen…

AdAstraPerAspera

In “Dragon’s Teeth” the Vaadwaur state that 900 years before, the Borg were merely a nuisance, so they’ve existed for almost a millennia.

Levi 90028

And that’s why they were attempting to build a interplexing beacon out of the enterprises navigaonal array. 🙄

Kennelly

The Borg didn’t remember the Vaadwaur, since according to Seven the collective’s memories from that time (15th century) were “fragmentary”. So the Borg definitely don’t know everything about their early history.

Locutus

That sounds reasonable. In order for it to really make sense, it would seem the damaged or changed Control AI would have to escape to the past as well. I believe the Star Trek chronology is that the Borg pre-dated the Federation by many hundreds of years at least.

Perhaps the “bad” AI/Borg escape to the past 900 years and the crew must hide Discovery away to protect the “good” AI in that nebulae to allow it to evolve for 900 years to defeat the bad Borg/Bad AI. That’s pretty convoluted but perhaps it’s true. It does hit upon some of the same story points as Star Trek: Destiny books, which would be interesting.

Tiger2

The Borg has predated the Federation by thousands of years at least. But we know they probably didn’t develop warp travel until a few centuries before the Starfleet did. I think thats what people get confused and why they keep suggesting the Borg is very young. From all accounts its the opposite and they are very old, its just they didn’t start invading other territories in the galaxy until relatively recently.

Corinthian7

I disagreed with you @TonyD when you suggested this last week, my argument being that the Borg’s goal is to assimilate not annihilate. However, much of my own theories have been undermined by this weeks episode and I can’t deny there are superficial similarities between the Borg assimilation process and what we saw with Leland so this possibility has to be considered a credible angle for us to explore. I’m far from on board with Control being the Borg, it’s a pretty out there theory but then that is Discovery’s MO and we did have somebody from the design team go on record as saying they were the established race he most wanted to tackle on the show. Anyway, I’m always ready to pop up on here with wild speculation (that’s often wrong!) so I’m going to play along.

From a canon point of view we know that Starfleet will have recovered some Borg technology from the crash site discovered in Enterprise and it’s safe to assume that Section 31 would be given access to this. We’ve seen previously that Borg drones can survive in the vacuum of space, that they can remain dormant and even be revived after a century of being buried under ice. I highlight this because we can probably assume that the first Borg drone became the Queen and she did not look like Leyland! However, he wasn’t he first person to be ‘assimilated’ by Control, that honour goes to the Discovery’s resident cyborg who appears to be dead and has been ejected out into the vacuum of space. So if they are really going down this route might it be that Airiam becomes the Borg queen?

TonyD

My hope is that it is misdirection on the part of the producers, especially as some of the links seem overly obvious. On the other hand, they like pulling these kinds of stunts (witness Lorca and the mirror universe in season 1).

But yeah, between the Borg tech discovered in Enterprise (even though didn’t know it was Borg tech) and the similarities with Control I can see them pulling a Ridley Scott and trying to sell us a story where we inadvertently created the Borg. I don’t think that’s particularly clever, maybe the showrunners do.

Corinthian7

@TonyD I hope it is a misdirection, I’t’s just the fact that Discovery doesn’t do subtlety that has me worried. I guess I could live with a story in which the Borg from the future are interfering with the development of Starfleet’s AI or a scenario in which Section 31 created Control using technology recovered from the First Contact crash site. I’m not particularly keen on the Borg being woven into the plot but that would be a lesser evil than having this be an origin story the entire collective – It just makes the universe feel so small.

Holden

“Struggling is pointless” sounded almost too obvious. Can’t wait to see.

DaveCGN

Damn! That went down in the german dub… :-/ The was one scene when Space-Hitler remembered Lelands words but it wasn’t obvious in the german dub. :-/

Thorny

Speaking of which, just who tied up Leland?

PEWDIEPICARD

HAHA. I bet you it was Burnham or her mom.

HubcapDave

As the review points out, the motivations of Control and the Borg are rather divergent. This would also conflict with what we already know about the Borg.

A34

Control changes it’s mission. Instead of destroying all life, it wants to become all life.

Why can’t AIs on Trek be more like the nice and cheeky AIs from the Culture books? I love those guys.

ML31

The Borg changed their priorities from the first visit to the 2nd. The first they were only interested in technology. The 2nd was when they wanted to assimilate humanity. Why can’t they change again?

But I have to tell you, I’m highly doubting this is Borg. But then, I doubted the Lorca being MU because that theory was just too dumb. So I’ve been wrong before when it comes to Discovery plot twists…

Holden

“I doubted the Lorca being MU because that theory was just too dumb.” I was with you on that, and I’m starting to get a similar vibe about developments in season two.

PEWDIEPICARD

Man, the BORG were fine the way they were. Can’t they think up their own characters instead of messing with existing ones. Give me a break. By the end of this show everything in the bloody universe is going to be connected to Burnham.

TonyD

It reminds of of Ridley Scott taking his best shot at ruining the Alien mythos by making David the creator of the xenomorph which, by extrapolation, means humans were responsible for creating the aliens since we created David.

Hopefully it’s all misdirection on the part of the showrunners but the seem to like pulling these kinds of surprises (Lorca being from the mirror universe and all).

A34

No they weren’t. This makes them better.

Corinthian7

@A34 How does it make them better?

Captain_neill

If it’s the Borg and everything is connected to Burnham then I am done with this show

ML31

Control becoming the origin of the Borg would still be a better idea than Lorca being from the MU.

Levi 90028

Tony, the Borg were in existence in the delta quadrent in 2063 and even way before then

TonyD

Thus the time travel angle, allowing Control to be flung back in time and the Borg to come into existence at any point that serves the story.

I’m not saying this is what will happen but the producers to like to pull these kinds of stunts (Lorca being from the mirror universe being another example).

Wheelie

Oh, I hope we’re not getting a Borg origin story. Much like the origins of the xenomorphs in Alien, I’d prefer it if that was left a mystery.

Professor Spock

It’s just a theory for now but anything can happen. Anything’s possible in Star Trek. Maybe Control didn’t create the Borg. Who knows! The Borg are on of the most obscure Star Trek races ever.

Wheelie

Best to keep them obscure, in my opinion. Involving humanity in their origin would make the Star Trek universe seem quite a bit smaller.

A34

Control escapes into the future and later becomes the genesis of the Borg. I like this.

Thorny

I doubt it is the Borg. The Borg still need life. Control wants to destroy all life.

Wheelie

True, though something could happen to change its motivation. Maybe it comes to the conclusion that if it can’t destroy all sentient life it might attempt to assimilate and ‘control’ it…

Just a theory.

A34

I have the same idea.

TonyD

As we saw with Leland, Control is already changing it’s MO from indiscriminately killing to acquiring (or assimilating, if you prefer) organic life. From there, it’s not much of a jump to “if I can’t kill them I will assimilate and control them”.

sofaslug

Or it realizes that it wants to be fully conscious, sentient, and as close to omnipotent as possible and it can only accomplish those goals by integrating with organic beings and creating a hive mind so it can spread and eventually be everywhere at once with trillions of arms and eyes across time and dimensions. It seems like a logical step for an A.I. that wants to become sentient, actually. It needs to grow and is limited by the physical technology so it realizes it must expand beyond it in order to evolve.

TonyD

I think you just described the Borg.

Jordan

I agree they better not go anywhere near Borg origins. But they’d be stupid enough to do it.

Quinton O’Connor

How the heck do we still not know the titles for the last three episodes, lol.

CBS hasn’t released them, and Bell Media (the licensee in Canada) has cracked down on the TV listings, so we haven’t been able to see the new titles, it simply says it’s a new episode, but no title is shown.

Quinton O’Connor

Aha! So that’s why. Good to have an answer.

Vulcan Soul

“Bell Media (the licensee in Canada) has cracked down on the TV listings, so we haven’t been able to see the new titles”

This is getting ridicilous! Are they now even considering the episode titles as part of their “mystery box” to hide the big reveal until literally the last minute?

Corinthian7

I assume they’re too spoilerific, maybe the finale will be ‘Resistance is Futile’ lol.

TonyD

That’s both funny and scary. My prediction: the penultimate episode will be called “Struggle is Pointless” and the finale will be “Resistance is Futile” and it will be a two parter.

TonyD

Probably because they contain spoilers.

TG47

I don’t find ‘Valley of Shadows’ for E11 all that illuminating…other than implying the psalmist’s valley of the shadow of death. No idea what they might do with that faith reference.

Given that the new global trailer on the official site places the 4th red signal at Boreth, we hope that this doesn’t mean death for Voq/Tyler and L’rell’s infant.

But it looks as though a monastery, with dead keepers, hangs on valley wall or escarpment.

More parental angst to come…but this time it will be Tyler’s.

Corinthian7

Well it’s perhaps interesting that they chose to pluralise shadow. Given the location of the episode it seems highly likely that it’s a play on that line of scripture so maybe death will also be pluralised in this instalment. For all the talk of faith being the big theme of the season of they’ve often only touched on it in very superficial ways. I’m surprised nobody had pointed out we now have a (Red) Angel Gabrielle!

ST:EXP

This is so much the origins of the Borg, that if it turns out not to be, then it will be pointless if it isn’t.

Does that make sense what I’m saying?

Am I alone that there seems to be a gigantic amount of suspension of disbelief being asked of a sci-fi audience.

The feats that Michael Burnham’s mother has undergone with that prototype suit Is full-out fantasy.

Unless I am completely misunderstanding the sweeping and confusing plot points, she has the power of the Q.

From what I am seeing here she is able to remotely observe her daughters entire life growing up? She is able to go back to World War III and transplant a church full of people across the galaxy??? WTF.

Someone please educate me on the super powers.

The fantasy science of being tethered to a single point 950 years into the future … Being able to go as far back as World War III to change things, but not being able to change any element of her own history is completely contradictory. Even in a fantasy sense.

blackmocco

People who don’t know how to write good sci fi always ignore the golden rule of any storytelling: no matter how unlikely or fantastical the story, keep something grounded so the audience has a foothold. Discovery’s strategy seems to be to throw everything at the wall at once to see what sticks, like a drunk monkey. Your points are all valid. Nothing has been thought through. It’s just one ludicrous plot point smushed on top of another until the whole thing is utterly incoherent. What a hot mess.

Corinthian7

ST:EXP You’re right I’m troubled by the consistency of how the science is written. We’re lead to believe that they can’t tell the difference between a mothers and daughters DNA when we could do that now and then we have her mothers magic suit. How has she managed to do all these things? The church? Kaminar? Resuscitating Burnham? Diverting the Sphere? I can buy into the time suit but how did it gain all these additional powers? I’d speculated last week that it was a misdirect and that Burnham was really the Red Angel and that the suit was modified by Zora on the evolved Discovery. I’m not going to bother repeating my theory as it mostly seems to have been undermined by the latest episode. However, we did see that Burnham’s mother was prepared to use subterfuge if necessary to ensure the success of the mission so it’s possible that there’s more to her story that we’ve not yet seen and the upgrades to her suit might be explained. She also appeared to be genuinely telling the truth when not knowing anything about the messages so maybe that hasn’t happened yet from her perspective. At some point I still think that Burnham will put on the suit and become the Red Angel.

Vulcan Soul

“However, we did see that Burnham’s mother was prepared to use subterfuge if necessary to ensure the success of the mission so it’s possible that there’s more to her story that we’ve not yet seen and the upgrades to her suit might be explained.”

Corinthian7, don’t forget we literally see her sitting around a fire in a self-built hut in the mission logs. Unless they are implying she staged those logs, her limitless power doesn’t make sense. And they could have easily said she gained those additional technologies in the thirty-whatever century. The plot holes in this are quite puzzling because they are so entirely unnecessary.

Corinthian7

@Vulcan Soul Yes that’s one of the plot holes I have considered myself. As I say I’m not sold yet on the idea that it’s not her mum. It’s actually Holden’s theory, I just thought it was plausible enough to try and flesh out.

Corinthian7

@Vulcan Soul lol I was getting confused there as to which thread I was replying to. I understand what you were saying now in that we’ve seen her Homebase and it’s not the discovery. I’ve thought about that now and I guess from Burnhams mums point of view she would have all the time in the world to upgrade her suit for a specific mission like resuscitating Burnham. I’m still troubled by this though for as brilliant a scientist/engineer as she may be there are surely limits to what she can achieve both in terms of having the knowledge and the resources. Also why travel back to the point that her daughter had died? Couldn’t she have just turned up before the my sucked the air out of the room to save Michael from suffering.

I still think Calypso ties into this though, the time frame similarities seem like too much of a coincidence for this not to be the case. Maybe they are able to plot the place on space and time that she’s been pulled to and they hatch a plan to have Discovery waiting for her to return.

Vulcan Soul

” I’ve thought about that now and I guess from Burnhams mums point of view she would have all the time in the world to upgrade her suit for a specific mission like resuscitating Burnham.”

That’s something that crossed me mind too but afaik just because she constantly travels through time with the suit that does not mean she exists outside of time (such as Annorax in Year of Hell). Ie I think she is aging and thus does not have all the time of the world. In Discovery technology now is virtually without limits but humans are not. Unless next week the Ironman suit will have an anti-aging feature too!

“I still think Calypso ties into this though, the time frame similarities seem like too much of a coincidence for this not to be the case.”

Right, it seems to be the same century. My theory is that Discovery will make the ultimate sacrifice in the season finale to fix the timeline and eradicate Control – disappear into that future!

Corinthian7

“That’s something that crossed me mind too but afaik just because she constantly travels through time with the suit that does not mean she exists outside of time (such as Annorax in Year of Hell). Ie I think she is aging and thus does not have all the time of the world. In Discovery technology now is virtually without limits but humans are not. Unless next week the Ironman suit will have an anti-aging feature too!“

I don’t think I made that point very well as I agree that she doesn’t sit outside of time. I just meant it’s not like she’s sat in the batcave waiting for a signal and then responding immediately. Once she has observed Burnham’s death in the timeline she can plan accordingly and travel back when she is ready. I’m still troubled by how she’s observing these changes in the timeline but Spock did remark that there is likely a 3rd variable and we can be pretty sure they wrote this line of dialogue for a reason.

“Right, it seems to be the same century. My theory is that Discovery will make the ultimate sacrifice in the season finale to fix the timeline and eradicate Control – disappear into that future!”

This is possible, however I think we will have a resolution to the Control story. I base this solely on the comments we’ve heard from Kurtzman and Rapp that suggest this story will wrap up all of plot threads from seasons 1 and 2. Of course this doesn’t preclude the possibility that the Discovery will remain stranded in the 33rd century or end up getting lost somewhere else in the space time continuum when they attempt to make there way back.

Vulcan Soul

I’m still troubled by how she’s observing these changes in the timeline but Spock did remark that there is likely a 3rd variable and we can be pretty sure they wrote this line of dialogue for a reason.”

Hopefully because otherwise it doesn’t make sense how she could observe every part of Burnhams life without micro wormholes popping up left and right for several decades! Her reigned ignorance of the signals is the big mystery of course that could hint at there being much more to it. Maybe she will pull a Laforge’s mother?

TonyD

It’s never good when a story can’t even conform to its own internal logic. Here’s another one that I posted elsewhere but which dovetails with your issues:

Gabrielle Burnham somehow redirected the sphere to Discovery in the hopes that they would destroy its data. Problem with that is that by directing it to Discovery, she made Control aware of its existence so in fact she created the whole mess in the first place. Would it not have been simpler to direct the sphere elsewhere and let it die as it was nearing the end of its life anyway?

It’s that kind of lazy writing where you don’t even fact check your own prior episodes for logic lapses that takes me right out of the experience.

ML31

Isn’t time travel a great plot device?!

blackmocco

That’s exactly the problem here. Most shows are scripted first by a writer/writing team which is then picked apart and rewritten by committee in the writers’ room to improve it and iron out any story problems. It feels like that’s either not happening on Discovery or none of the writers in that room are good/experienced enough to notice the glaring problems with these scripts. It’s fine to tell a story in a linear fashion like “and then THIS happens! And then THIS happens!” (as opposed to having the entire season plotted out from the beginning. A show like BSG was a mixture of the two) but every new plot point needs to be carefully considered in terms of what’s gone before and someone in that room needs to be the one to ask “yeah, but that doesn’t really make sense” or even better: “that’s kinda stupid.”

Damn. I hate to be so negative about the show. It’s terribly disappointing. These writers just aren’t up to the task.

Vulcan Soul

” These writers just aren’t up to the task.”

If I was cynical I would ask them, how does that “diversity hiring” work out for you? Meritocracy for the win ;)

Corinthian7

Yeah I saw that TonyD and it’s a fair question. I need to watch the episode again to be sure but I think there was something said about the sentient sphere wanting or needing to share it’s memories. So it wasn’t like she could direct the sphere into a gas giant or anything, more that she could lead the Discovery to the point in space that it was always going to be. I could be wrong about that though, like last week I came on here all excited with a theory and part of it was based on the fact that I’d mistakenly thought that the Red Angel suit had gone back to the future so at this stage I’m going to play it safe and assume that I could have missed/misinterpreted a few things.

Tiger2

The whole sphere thing is a bit confusing to me too. Last episode I wrote a lot of questions I had about how she was able to do so many things in previous episodes that didn’t make sense to me, but directing the alien sphere was not even on my radar. And the other questions were mostly HOW she was able to do it. This one is both a question of how and why since it seems to play right into Section 31/Control hands.

Gabrielle would seem to know dealing directly with Section 31 and how powerful Control becomes the LAST thing you want to do is give it the opportunity to access that information from another Starfleet ship.

Holden

My thought is that Michael’s mom really is dead. What we’re seeing is something or someone else. Q? I doubt that but yeah something is obviously off with her.

Corinthian7

@Holden If not her mum then what if it’s Michael wearing the holo-camouflage tech that Georgiou was sporting earlier in the season? There’s a few potential plot holes with this idea but…

Holden

Yeah, however it plays out, I worry that the second part of the season won’t sync well up with the first part, as was the case in season one (another consequence of firing showrunners midseason?).

Vulcan Soul

“The feats that Michael Burnham’s mother has undergone with that prototype suit Is full-out fantasy.”

That sums it about up! And people lambasted Endgame for the bat-mobile armour and shooting Borg cubes out of the sky like pottery ducks! This tech is universe-changing in comparison.

TG47

A really excellent review.

Thank you Anthony.

I found myself agreeing with all your observations and analysis.

One thought that I had on the Borg question is that Control already had some of the sphere AI data via Airiam, and may have some Borg data from that.

Given that the sphere has been travelling around for a long time and wouldn’t have come to Discovery without Burnham’s mother’s intervention, it’s entirely possible that it has come across some Borg drones or Borg tech and was able to obtain a version of their nanoprobes that predates the 24th century ones we see from TNG on.

Of course, Control wouldn’t use Borg tech the same way. But we know that Voyager was able to repurpose Borg tech, including nanoprobes.

Anyways this would allow S31 renegades to have some older Borg tech, without violating canon in terms of contact with Delta quadrant Borg from TNG on.

Last thing…

What is with women taking their husband’s names in Trek?

For a show that is trying to adapt to societal changes, assuming that Burnham’s mum took her husband’s surname is just odd.

It’s so steeped in old gender roles.

And in many countries where Trek is shown, legal name changes with marriage are not automatic, and require the same bureaucratic and legal obstacles as any other name change.

So, strange for a show wherein Amanda tells Sarek that she isn’t under his authority…

I note that we could assume more progressively that Burnham’s dad took his wife’s surname, or for some reason they decided there child would take the mother’s family name.

But it comes across just not as woke they are seeking to be.

A Rag Man

Well I choose to believe he took her name. Fine by me.

A34

Did they get someone else to play the younger verison of Michael’s mom?

Hey, why wasn’t Wilson Cruz credited in this episode? He was definitely in it, but he wasn’t in the main or end credits. What gives??

danielcw

He was credited in the main-credits (after Mary Wiseman) like in every other episode of season 2 that he appeared in

PEB

P.S. theres a D7 in the preview for next week’s episode

Elrond

Thanks for the quick and thorough analysis. I am less interested in the Borg than in the revelation that Dr. B. knows nothing about the red bursts. Setting aside that she seems practically omniscient about everyone’s doings, it would seem that some other mind has been sending Discovery around from place to place via the bursts and thus saves endangered people. Who? Why?

A34

It’s Lorca

Jeff F

I’m terrible at making predictions, but I felt that she was lying when she said she knew nothing of the red bursts. It seems like a setup for another big reveal.

Captain Sislo

Borg Drones were Left in the 21st Century following the events of Star Trek First Contact. (See Enterprise episode Regeneration). Is it possible that Control was modeled after that technology? It happened before the founding of the Federation. Didn’t that event alter the timeline?

Discovery is a great show. Fans complained when there was no Trek after Nemesis. They complained when Bad Robot took over the movie franchise and complained about no Trek on television. You get it back on tv and you’re still angry. I don’t understand. Trek is better than it has ever been. Its in good hands. The Original series had ita issues.Trek should be growing. If you hate Disco that much dont watch.

Captain Sisko

Its amazing how there are all these Trek purists now. Smh. I love Trek and I love when someone does something different. Into Darkness was so dope. There was nothing to apologize for. Bob Orci was right to push back. DS9 took risks no other Trek took. I appreciate good sci fi. I appreciate shaking things up.

kmart

Dope is a word I associate with ST ID too, as in what I’d call any creative voice behind it (and 09, which for my money is even worse.)

A34

Into Darkness is my favorite trek movie. It got me back into Trek.

FrostUK

I wouldn’t rewatch Into Darkness if I was paid money to do so.

Danpaine

Same here, I tried, but it is a total dumpster fire.

Tiger2

Out of boredom I rewatched STID again a week ago for the first time in ages. Honestly the first half really did start out very strong IMO, but the story turns into a shamble mess when John Harrison tells us his name is Khan and then it just feels like a tired villain revenge story while redoing some of the best parts from a classic film. I know everyone who worked on it had the best intentions but I really wish they left all the fan service stuff out of it. It basically helped kill off the Kelvin movies before they had a real chance of starting.

Holden

Tiger2: man, even the first part is a mess. “Cold” fusion? Submarine Enterprise? Prime directive says “what”? Uhura reduced to nagging girlfriend? If anything, the movie gradually improves (somewhat) over the course of the running time . . . until the magic blood finale. It’s a classic example of keep the story moving as frantically as possible so no one notices how stupid this all is.

The acting and production values are very strong, but on a narrative and franchise level, it’s about the worst Trek film ever made.

Tiger2

I admit Holden a lot of what happened in the first hour wasn’t that great either but I didn’t mind a lot of it because the story felt really strong and was intrigued with where it was all going. But yes as a whole the film did have a lot of problems and I can understand why it had so many issues with fans.

Holden

@Tiger2: yeah, the story had potential (once we got past the stupid Volcano opening). I’ve always conceded it worked better (not great, but better) as a generic sci-fi action blockbuster than it does as a Trek film. DISC, for all its flaws, is still definitely TREK.

ML31

“It’s a classic example of keep the story moving as frantically as possible so no one notices how stupid this all is. ”

That, Holden, is why I place it higher than Voyage Home. At least it was moving so fast the audience never got a chance to digest how ridiculous most of the plotting was. TVH was a slower moving 80’s film that gave the viewer LOTS of time to think about how lame and gawdawful everything happening was.

Holden

Good one, ML31. We’ll have to agree to disagree on TVH (once again!), but I’ll give you points on that. Then again, that could be said about the pacing of most any `80s movie versus those of today. Funny (and kinda scary) to think that in thirty years, someone might think that STID doesn’t move fast enough to cover up its own stupidity.

ML31

For fans, STID didn’t help the KU. But, it did make the most money of the 3. So I don’t think that is what killed it completely. There are other circumstances, sure. But the low BO for Beyond is what halted the KU for the moment. Ironically, that was (IMHO at least) the best of the 3.

Holden

ML31: I’d argue that, while STID did certainly make money, its underwhelming reception among audiences in the long run killed a lot of interest in a third, kind of the opposite of ST09.

ML31

I agree. I believe a lot of the numbers for ID came from the fact that ST09 was received pretty well and the low numbers for Beyond were helped by the fact that ID was not a very good film even though it did well at the BO.

Indie32

The whole problem with ID was that they had the franchise’s most charismatic villain, played by a most brilliant and charismatic actor, and could only make a psychotic murderer out of Khan in the reboot. It was almost criminal.

ML31

The problem was that they used Khan to begin with. That was self defeating before cameras even started to roll.

A34

That’s your lost

ML31

If you paid me, I would watch it. But if you want me to watch The Voyage Home, that would cost you a lot more.

TG47

ML31 I can get through The Voyage Home, and have when our kids have asked me to: it’s the Final Frontier that you couldn’t pay me to see again.

And I only saw it the once during a movie marathon with definitionally geeky crowd at my grad school. Howling laughter from smart people in the middle of the night is about the only way to make it bearable.

ML31

TFF has it’s flaws. That is for sure. But at least it get’s the characters right. That makes it more watchable than TVH. TVH is not only a bad Star Trek film as none of the characters are themselves for some goofball reason (among a litany of other reasons), but it’s a bad film in general.

TonyD

Into Darkness was a classic example uninspired, kitbash writing. Take a bit of TWOK, add in a bit of Undiscovered Country, throw in a few familiar names, include a few lines that people might remember (doesn’t matter if they’re totally out of context), regurgitate some stuff from the prior movie and you have what you think passes for an acceptable script. Problem is that it really isn’t.

I haven’t watched it in ages.

DaveCGN

That was also my impression. A remake of TWOK with elements of other movies. Like the main plot of the two movies before and the movie after. I’m still hoping of a Star Trek movie without the “evil villain has a super-power-weapon” plot. Maybe a movie with some mysterical elements like TMP and ST IV…

ML31

ST IV was no mystery. It was badly thought out in every possible way. And a plot that makes Discovery look like the best thing ever in comparison.

JRT!

All three new movies are totally dope! LOVE’em all and still hoping for one more.

PEWDIEPICARD

There was a realness to Star Trek. There is no realness to Discovery. It’s just shiny consoles, fancy lighting, reinventing for the sake of it, etc. etc. I’m not against updating stuff but it’s being updated to the point of being totally different. And then they throw in an old sound or two. Reminds me of a saying … “Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to”

A34

Star Trek Realness

https://youtu.be/bScmdcdqWBE

😐

J.S.

Yeah, Star Trek would sometimes go over the top, like with “Tuvix”. But it at least that served a purpose, in this case to present Janeway’s moral dilemma, whether to let Tuvix live or kill a being to bring Tuvok and Neelix back. With Discovery I don’t see anything like that; convoluted plots for the sake of convolution; “petabytes”, “SQL injections”, “time crystals”; lazy writing and deus ex machinae everywhere. Meh

ST:EXP

Not angry, sir. Frustrated by flippant writing that doesn’t suit a pre-established franchise paradigm. It’s not about purists and not about preserving every contradictory element of cannon. It’s about watching the Red Angel’s suit’s magical powers blast a healing beam of light to cure Burnham after she is suffocating. It’s about standing in a Chuck E Cheese Ticket Blaster machine and being able to spore-jump anywhere in the universe. The show has some solid acting… it’s beautifully shot… the production values are phenomenal…. but it’s perpetually a frenetic unrefined plot that’s reflected of a new generation of inexperienced lower-cost writers under the thumb of a new-generation of rushed tight production budgets and schedules.

blackmocco

What he said.

CmdrR

Waiter, I’ll rage what he’s raging.

Michael Hall

Very well said and, much as I might want to, I can’t honestly disagree. The show is beautifully produced, and much of the writing on a character level is at least competent (and occasionally better than that). But the plot holes and shortcuts — in this case, Dr. Burnham’s Magical Time-Suit-That-Does-Just-About-Everything ™ work overtime to take me out of the story, just as they did in the Abrams films, which Kurtzman of course also produced. I’ve said it before: what this show needs more than anything is Bob Justman redux, a cranky veteran who’s not too lazy to write twenty page memos detailing every problem with a story, and who isn’t afraid to get in the face of anyone, including the boss, and say “But this just doesn’t make sense!”

Holden

“Dr. Burnham’s Magical Time-Suit-That-Does-Just-About-Everything ™”–I think, at its core, this is why I want to believe there’s more to this story than we’ve seen so far. The RA, as it’s presented to this point, opens up such a giant can of narrative worms (not just in terms of Trek “canon,” but in terms even of DISCO’s own timeline).

alphantrion

I think you might have hit the nail on the head here. The real problem might be that no one is willing to have a conflict about anything in the writers room for the fear of being fired, so they end up accepting all the illogical plot points and developments.

TG47

Michael Hall, I agree.

And beyond the Bob Justman, they need a Naren Shankar…

Shankar started on TNG, with his physics PhD, as their on-staff science advisor who would not only provide his own advice, but was responsible for reaching out for more.

When I watch the Expanse, of which he is TPTB, I remember seeing him in a panel at a CreationCon shortly before one of his first TNG episode credit. Bright, pretty humble, really wanting to create great SF stories.

Kurtzman needs to find Trek’s next Naren Shankar and hold on to them.

BTW I think it’s cool that Discovery has a neuroscientist and other writers with advanced educations, but some solid physics, CS, and engineering would really help…. Even just to help the showrunners understand what the culture is really like.

A34

Are you guys getting mad because Discovery is giving the Borg a back story?

I loved this episode. It sucks that there’s only 3 episodes left until 2020.

Mad? No. Disappointed. Yes. We have at this point no fewer than three backstories for the borg and like other’s have mentioned, tying them to the Federation kinda shrinks the universe to a point of singularity. Tying it to Michael Burnham directly is like people have stopped writing the show and handed it off to an actual AI algorithm that’s slowly writing itself into the story one lazy trope at a time.

Corinthian7

“Are you guys getting mad because Discovery is giving the Borg a back story?”

I think there’s an element of that A34 because it takes away the mystique but you could argue that Voyager already did this. I think the main thing that’s concerning people is that tying the Borg’s origin not just to humanity but also to this particular crew smacks so heavily of small universe syndrome.

TG47

We have an excellent and very original Borg backstory in the Relaunch Destiny trilogy.

Unless the current writers can offer better, which is not what we were hearing from Kurtzman, they should leave the beta canon be.

Better yet Kurtzman should recognize a great product and find a way to film it, even if it has to be animated.

Alan Light

Agreed. The haters should find something they like and focus on that….

A34

Feel like there’s a lot of old school fans here complaining just because they can.

Tiger2

Or just maybe there are quite a bit of holes in the story and they are pointing that out?

I have been pretty positive about this season, certainly way more about last season, but that’s not hard lol. But it still has tons of problems and its nothing wrong for people to point it out. If you want to just pretend the show is perfect, that’s fine. but the rest of us don’t.

TG47

A34 I’m glad Discovery brought you and other new fans to the franchise, but it keeps lurching from one shiny thing to another in a way that says CBS is letting Kurtzman know it’s not serving it’s planned market niche.

I’ve been working very hard to like Discovery. I actually enjoyed the first season for what it was trying to do, which is to bring an modern audience through the darkness to see the value in Trek’s positive ethos.

I’ve watched every show in first run (even if I was a kindergartener peeking around the sofa at the horta).

I’ve taken each series on its own worth. The only time I completely signed off was for the all Xindi second season of Enterprise. I just couldn’t fit it in my head canon.

But I fear that as TPTB thrash through sci-fi tropes trying to make Discovery appealing, they will lose my interest.

ML31

To be fair, it was explained by Daniels to Archer that the Xindi conflict was never supposed to happen. It was the result of time interference. Also, the Xindi arc was season3.

BLACKMOCCO

There’s plenty to like, as has been pointed out. The cast are likable, the show looks absolutely beautiful, the overall concepts are pretty interesting. We can talk about that stuff til the cows come home but all the good stuff is being let down by some really bad writing. If the script doesn’t work, nothing else is going to either.

The first five or so episodes of this season was fantastic. The one with the humans from pre-warp earth was great. Spock is amazing. Pike is amazing. I have a huge crush on SMG. It’s shaky in a few places with Tilly but all-in-all it’s been fantastic up until they took us, like the red angel, tethered us to the future of star trek and keep taking us back to this concept that Rick Burman and Voyager drove the tires off of in the 90s.

Corinthian7

I’m not keen on the Borg angle Captain, but yes, it is possible that Control was developed using technology found at the crash site.

alphantrion

I think some people just like to watch it with a critical eye and there is nothing wrong with that.

Since they lifted control from David Mack’s Section 31 Novel of the same title, which is beta canon, no. It is not. It is a man made AI algorithm that was developed pre-first contact and was re-activated at some point.

It’s been about two years since I read it and the story was extremely disturbing to me. For one it was just heart wrenchingly tragic, and second it’s not exactly science fiction at this point anymore. If the Disco writers are just mining the novels (and they should they’re a fifteen year triumph) David Macks’ Beta Canon explained the borg origins and the word is, “the Caeliar”.

TG47

Unfortunately Kirksey they it seems that the Discovery writers room may have lifted the name Control, but not the arc from the Relaunch novels.

I agree that the Relaunch arc is a triumph and that Kurtzman and CBS should be very aware that anything they do that touches on their beta-canon will be compared to it.

In my view, they shouldn’t conflict with the main lines of that beta canon for anything less than an incredibly excellent and durable storyline that can move the franchise forward.

I’m very concerned that they are doing quite the opposite, in spite of having brought Kirsten Beyer in the tent.

ML31

” CBS should be very aware that anything they do that touches on their beta-canon will be compared to it.”

Only to the fans who have read it. I’ve stopped reading the Trek novels years ago. Sure, they often were fun speculation but even if Discovery opted to use a story line from one of the books I read I wouldn’t compare them to each other. They are their own separate entity.

Bram

Points for Trek history, points for your haters gonna haters comment. You win this comment section. :-)

Luke Montgomery

Amazing episode. Sonequa is amazing. I just LOVE that woman. Great actor.

A34

Discovery is so much better than that wooden 90s trek.

Anthony Thompson

Season Two so far:The poor writing continues. WAY too much technobabble! That’s a sign that the writers can’t construct coherent plots. Lazy writing. Too much touchy-feely goo-iness (Airiam episode especially). It feels forced and is embarrassing to watch. I preferred Burnham and the other characters in the first season, when their motivations seemed more real-world, more believable, and more interesting.

Tilly is just way over the top this season. Doesn’t that actress fight for the believability of her character? Or does she gladly play whatever junk is handed to her? Again, Tilly not only isn’t credible as a command trainee, she doesn’t even belong on the bridge.

Too many contemporary references in the show. Too much ham-handed “humor”. And the ship goes from point A to point B anywhere in the universe much too fast even when it’s not using the spore drive. There is no sense of the vastness of space.

FrostUK

The lines they’ve given Tilly in the last few episodes are awful. In this episode Saru – the “gentleman” – doesn’t even let her finish, he just talks over her until she stops talking.

FLB

You almost get the feeling that Tilly was a product of the former team of producers and that the new team does not quite know what to do with her.

TG47

Exactly my feeling FLB.

I’ve noted on other threads that the new group are writing Tilly off the show’s bible, completely unaware of her development since S1E3.

Which is rather unexpected given Kurtzman’s close involvement in the Tilly short Trek, not to mention this week’s director.

Tilly was over the top previously, but clearly on a track to develop appropriate command comportment and physical fitness.

All the senior officers were coaching and mentoring her. This is something we haven’t seen enough of across the Trek shows, and Saru, Stamets and Burnham are losing something as Tilly fails.

PEWDIEPICARD

Vastness of space? Don’t you know that space revolves around Burnham?

Sully

I keep on crossing my fingers that we see Tilly enter a highly irradiated engineering, and that the universe is fresh out of Genesis planets/magic Augment blood…

ML31

Or any access to myclial networks.

khambattafan

Oh, so Control needs 100% of the sphere data to gain sentience. 86% just won’t do. Why? Just because the script says so. What is this, a frickin’ video game level? Control has 54% now, I guess it’s just half sentient, so it can’t wipe out all life just yet- needs 100% for that. OK!

And I think I’ve seen Martin-Green cry enough to last me a lifetime. Is she auditioning for a telenovela? What a cringe fest.

ML31

My question was why does Control need the sphere data to begin with? It seems pretty sentient already!

And yes, some time ago I was tired of SMG’s melodramaics. However, in this instance, her response seemed appropriate. It was the character’s mother, afterall. The scene did call for some emotion. My issue was since I never really cared about Michael I did not feel the moment with her as the audience should was meant to. Sure, the scene tugged at the heart some. But not enough to really be drawn into the moment in any way.

TG47

My take away ML31 is that Control wants all the sphere data not for mere sentience, but sentience enough to assuredly wipe out all sentient biological life in the galaxy.

That is, enough to reach the 32nd century dead galaxy that Burnham’s mum says has been unavoidable.

Perhaps, that 46% that’s missing is the difference between assured success for Control, and a fighting chance for sentient biological life.

ML31

I guess… it just seems like that AI has achieved sentience already and has the ability to wipe everyone out right now.

alphantrion

I think this might be the Trek show with the most crying in it. :))

TG47

Yes…’best in crying’

In a series who’s niche is cool headed, creative working of the problem in a crisis.

Sigh.

Can we hope that season 3 is the one where Burnham find emotional moderation…

And isn’t as Doug Jones put it ‘always the one who’s saving the day.’

PEWDIEPICARD

Please let this be an alternate timeline.Please let this be an alternate timeline.Please let this be an alternate timeline.

Please don’t let Control be the Borg.Please don’t let Control be the Borg.Please don’t let Control be the Borg.

How small is this bloody universe that now even the BORG are connected to Burnham? Stop messing with stuff people actually like. Come up with your own stinking characters. Holy moly.

I am really hoping by the end of this season it turns out Mother Burnham has messed with the timeline so much that it is an alternate timeline or something.

Ridiculous.

AdAstraPerAspera

It’s Prime. It’s Prime. It’s Prime. It’s Prime.

It’s Prime because the producers say it is.

TG47

But the producers have changed their minds before.

All in the name of the thrill of the twist.

I’m yet to be convinced this will be thrilling.

I noticed my anticipation has gone down episode by episode since the Daedalus Project.

Anyone else feel that way?

ML31

I’ve never “anticipated” any episode after season 1 episode 1. Season 2 has gone up and down. Started out promising. Then sunk to some pretty deep lows. But now is on the up swing again. I’m not excited to see the next chapter but I am curious to see how this plays out. Errors and all.

Corinthian7

Daedalus Project is definitely the last episode I’ve really enjoyed. I’d been thoroughly entertained by this season up to and including that episode but my excitement seems to have been replaced with nervousness.

Danpaine

Honestly, TG47, they lost me at Saints of Imperfection.

Levi 90028

Well even Georgiou even called it the prime universe tonight.

Trek in a Cafe

She actually said “prime” universe? SMH

She could turn around to the screen and say, “You are watching streaming.”

ML31

She did say “prime”. Which I thought was weird because from her perspective, HER universe should be considered “prime” and our prime is her mirror. That was a mistake. A small one, but still a mistake. Just shows that I don’t think they really thought the entire MU concept through. Especially since it looks like Evil Georgeau’s tiny MU heart (like the Grinch before her) appears to be growing some. Sadly, predictably so.

Trek in a Cafe

It’s been said, “You dance with them that brung ya'” — and theoretically Michael brought Georgiou. But why? From a creative and business point of view, this is a BTS story I would really like to know.

Fuller’s long term plans were being scuttled almost from the start, but contract negotiations with Yeoh were probably complete.So I think they paid Yeoh a ton upfront and then realized they wanted to kill off the character and bring her back as this Emperor. But did they have a plan to save her at the end of season 1? And do what? Was this always in the cards from the beginning? Did they have this two season arc in place from the start of season 1?

The problem with the small universe style of soap opera is that we can’t see how something outside our “important characters” can change characters. For example, if Georgiou went on a S31 mission and saw that “negotiations could work”, rather than just bombing a planet, she might find Starfleet’s ideology more worthy. We are also supposed to believe someone as lauded as Prime Georgiou has no family or friends that would be interested in her return and notice the difference. And/or we haven’t seen the comedy of Mirror G pretending to fit into Prime G’s life. These writers clearly switched up to make their Trek optimistic again, but they are having a hard time finding a dramatic space for being serious about what these people are going through. And that’s also the production’s fault – the wide cinema lenses are great but without mediums or closeups of characters unless they are standing still, we miss a lot they may actually be handling well. Nearly every episode, we have a discussion about some interactions with characters they are purposely ambiguous because of the physical production style. There is no close up or medium shot coverage. Or maybe it’s just me.

ML31

I, too, would like to get the BTS stuff for the foolish decision to bring Evil Georgeau back. There are a ton of things we can speculate. But I can tell you, as a viewer, from a story telling standpoint there is zero reason for her to be around.

MysticalDigtial

Considering Fuller wanted to go the the Mirror Universe starting in Episode 4 of Season 1, and was responsible for much of the arc of the season before he left, he totally had Mirror Georgiou in there the whole time.

Trek in a Cafe

But… did Fuller intend to bring he back to the Prime Universe? Is that what her contact was negotiated for? I guess that is what I am most curious about. If this is really GOT style, Michael should have left her there. And I think we all would have been satisfied with that.

ML31

We can only guess. Did her contract call for her to be in more than just a couple of episodes? Was she brought back because of story changes? Did they alter the story just so they could keep Yeoh around?

More Troubles More Dribbles

TPTB did not realize how much she brought to the series until they already killed her off. The first writing team that got canned wanted to bring in popular stars that they could kill off, like GOT. Apparently CBS saw the ratings drop when she was killed off. That’s why they brought her back in such a stupid, desperate fashion. They screwed up with Doctor Culber as well. They wanted to kill him off, but the blowback was too great, so they figured out a bogus way to bring him back. Now the crew don’t even give him a second look. Like people get resurrected daily in the 23rd century. Not even an attempt to explain the science behind his return. Instead they want to proceed as if he was never killed. So much for following in the foot steps of GOT.

ML31

I’m not sure I can agree on your theory for the motivation for keeping Yeoh around. It is difficult to believe that killing a character early would be enough to get people, who paid for a month of the service, to just stop subscribing. Now if the show was bad for that month, then I could see it. I only partially understand your reasoning for the Culber killing. I figured you are right, they wanted Tyler to kill someone. (I was wishing it was Tilly) but Culber was the obvious choice in the cast to off. The problem there was, he was the other half of their highly touted, first openly gay couple on Star Trek celebration. Obviously they felt like they were between the proverbial rock and hard place. So their foolish solution was to tell everyone immediately that he was not really dead. And I think we all know how terribly that went.

Corinthian7

She did say it yes. They officially labelled the Mirror Universe in an episode last season as well.

J.S.

“How small is this bloody universe that now even the BORG are connected to Burnham?”

Yeah, they are turning this into Star Wars.

I think, I finally figured out, why I don’t like this show. Not everything has to be connected to something bigger. Not everyone has to related to someone important to the plot. Not everything has to have a connection to somethin we know will happen later down the line.

That kind of lazy fanservice-writing ist what makes the Star Wars Universe so small. That’s why those movies are in effect the same story over and over again.

The great thing about (most) Star Trek has allways been, that it is a Universe first. And things happen in that universe. But the events, people and ships are largely unimportant when it comes to the universe itself. What happend to the Enterprise could have happened to any oher Ship. What happend to Cpt. Picard could have hapend to any oher Captain as well. It never felt, like it was destined to happen that way …

anyway … those are my thoughts on Discovery :-D

Michael

I completely agree with you Sascha. Spocks’ step sister, a member of Star Fleet who we have never heard of before now, who is the only member of Star Fleet to ever be convicted of mutiny, who single handedly started a war with the Klingons that killed billions, is also apparently going to be the savior of the universe?

alphantrion

Absolutely agreed, in fact I see this as a problem with many of the big franchises of today except for perhaps MCU who seems to be the only one that is actively trying to grow its universe, while all the others seem to want to make them smaller.

Tiger2

Agreed. But this is a problem with both prequels and serialized TV. They basically did the same thing with Archer and that he was the lynchpin to the entire founding of the Federation years before it would even happen. They set him up as this larger than life figure from the beginning and kind of what they are doing with Burnham now. And in serials, everything has to feel connected to keep people watching. It can’t be some passive experience, they are usually the center of the action. First season Burnham was literally the one helped start the entire Klingon conflict and now this season her family is the entire catalyst if the galaxy will be wiped out or not. Must be hard to sleep at night lol.

That was the interesting thing about Kirk and Picard, they were decorated officers and saw a lot of crazy stuff but they were still just another captain in the fleet. And the fate of the universes and humanity never rested squarely on their shoulders alone.

ML31

Yes, Archer was eventually made out to be a pivotal factor in the formation of the UFP. But it was far enough removed from TOS that it was not unreasonable no one mentioned his name. I mean, how often does George Washington come up in everyday conversation? But Burnham is a mere 10 years before TOS. That’s awfully close. OK, so no one mentions her. But then, she’s Spock’s step sister! That fact would seem a little harder to hide than the identity of his parents. (and remember, I am one of those who says her existence does not violate canon) And assuming she’s not dead or not in some other time or dimension 10 years later, she would still be around and one would think would have turned up at some point. Which is why I think ultimately her fate is either death or disappearance.

Tiger2

Agreed and as I been saying that’s why this silly argument why no one knew Spock had a sister is about as plausible as believing no one related to Brad Pitt would not have a clue they are related to Brad Pitt because Burnham is so known. It just flies in the face of common sense frankly. But maybe season 3 will try to explain why everyone just doesn’t know who this woman is by reputation alone.

Bridger

Have I got this right Control wants to become conscious but for it to be able to wish to become conscious it already had to be conscious.

CmdrR

Yup.

MysticalDigtial

Kinda like how Data wants emotions but the fact he wants emotions means he has emotions.

ML31

And yet he still can’t master contractions.

Trek in a Cafe

I want a timeline where Michael and Spock grew up friends, went on dates and, you know, did it in the back seat.

PEWDIEPICARD

HA HA.

Mathew

LBH, after the Talos episode, everything has become a mess of extended exposition and less than exciting reveals.

MysticalDigtial

Sorry no, can’t follow you on that. I literally had people leaping off my couch last episode when Burnham’s mom was revealed screaming Oh My God! and someone was crying. Seasoned trekkies, but they keep off the internet discussions, they were completely caught unaware (hell, they were excited/shocked that Michael could have been the Red Angel at the beginning of the episode).

J.S.

“I literally had people leaping off my couch last episode when Burnham’s mom was revealed screaming Oh My God! and someone was crying”

lol

Tiger2

Wow, that was one emotional party lol.

SpiderBat

“I LIKE SCIENCE”?!? Srsly?? That rumbling sound you no doubt heard was Leonard Nimoy rolling over in his grave. Ugh.

TG47

Spiderbat I agree that ‘I like science’ has to be the lamest line of the season.

Perhaps the writers meant for it to be delivered with slow irony, but the actor and director weren’t sufficiently told the beat.

The really sad part about it for me was that we FINALLY had a group of the characters working a problem together in true Trek style.

It seems like the writers felt that they had to apologize for that with cheer for science.

Which is incredibly sad. Many of the best scientists, engineers and astronauts have been inspired by Trek.

Never apologize for putting the science in.

And a minute of technical explanation, even technobabble, that makes it seem like these people are actually scientists, rather than magicians or idiot savants, is better than bulleting through any logic and losing the bright, scientist audience.

I wonder how this show is playing at MIT and CalTech as compared to its predecessors… which were very popular there.

ML31

The line reminded me of the idiotic “Power of math, people!” line earlier in the season. Do they think their audience is not aware enough to figure catch on? I doubt it, especially looking at their subscriber numbers.

MysticalDigtial

You have subscriber numbers? From where?

ML31

Only from what CBS has announced. I believe they have made two announcements. Trek movie reported both of them.

TG47

The power of math line was ok…

Especially as it came from Tilly after a big achievement. That’s in line with the kind of nerding out that happens at big science and engineering schools.

Achieving a great science-based hack is a complete adrenaline rush, and it’s appropriate for Trek to show young officers express that…but by the time they are chief science officer or chief engineer, they should be cooler both in the ups and downs.

My problem was that they put Tilly’s power of math line in the season trailer…and took away the moment from the actual episode.

Spock, even a much younger Spock saying ‘I like science’ would have only worked as an ironic response to a look or comment from someone else who was sort of putting down the technical discussions.

Which is why I wondered if there was a disconnect between the writers and the director… or if something was deleted to the point that the line no longer fit.

ML31

Fair enough. But in this context, I think there was a clear and intended subtext to the comment that read something like “See how useful science and math are kids? Get involved!”

TG47

Given that my my spouse, like many parents, still finds Discovery to be inappropriate for middle graders, I really wondering who they thinking they are trying to sell on STEM education and careers.

ML31

Then they may not be aware of who their audience is. That line was clearly meant for tweeners and teenagers.

TG47

Our bright tweeners aren’t going to see it for some time given the graphic content.

And teens would find it condescending.

In fact I’m not sure that the line would fly much with kids older than primary.

Even Odd Squad would be cautious with that line.

ML31

I guess the takeaway there is the show seems disconnected with their audience. They throw in stuff for kids in a show that some parents wouldn’t let their kids watch.

Vulcan Soul

“The line reminded me of the idiotic “Power of math, people!” line earlier in the season. Do they think their audience is not aware enough to figure catch on?”

They have to remind people literally that this is (supposed to be) a science fiction show, because the material we see clearly does not support this notion.

Vulcan Soul

Spock may like science. But the writers of this show clearly do not :P They should’ve auditioned for the next Harry Potter spin-off.

Spaceman Spiff

Star Trek Discontinuity continues!

Afterburn

I think you meant Discovery.

PEWDIEPICARD

I think he meant Star Trek Blubbery

Spaceman Spiff

Discontinuity fits way better than Discovery as I watch each episode.

Old Trekker

Just one episode where Burnham isn’t whispering and holding back tears. Just one.

Thank you.

CmdrR

Or going bug-eyed over something. They really don’t give the character much range. She’s just a train wreck.

ML31

My current opinion of SMG in Discovery is that she overplays every scene she is in. I don’t know if that is just her style or if she is just doing what the director is telling her. But she isn’t very good in this part. The casting on this show was pretty hit and miss. The hits were Jones, Mount & Tig. The misses were Yeoh, SMG and Wiseman.

Tiger2

Going to be honest, I’m not sure how I felt about this one. It just kind of felt all over the place. And I honestly didn’t understand what was happening with Burnham’s mom and why how they were going to send the suit without her and all of that. It was a long day working though and I was admittedly pretty tired when I watched it but there was so much technobabble with temporal craziness and AI exposition I think even Captain Janewway would’ve needed it repeated to her.

And not sure how I feel about Leland turning into a terminator when Control entered him but a pretty fun fight scene. And why didn’t Michael’s mother just say what happened with her father? It just felt like they were stretching every mystery out so I’m guessing that shoe will be dropping soon as well. I can’t say anything bad about the acting. I like the actress who played the mother, she felt very real and authentic. I know people get on SMG case about her acting but thought it was pretty good here.

But sadly the story is starting to disappoint me the more I hear it. I don’t mind the time travel part but I still wish it was someone else in that suit and it is starting to feel more like sci fi fantasy knowing she somehow DID move an entire group of people from Earth to New Eden. Its funny how they just glossed over that lol.

As far as the theories leading to the Borg, I’ll believe it when I see it. A lot of people were convinced the story was heading towards the Temporal Cold War angle and didn’t happen so not holding my breath on that either…yet. Would be crazy if it did happen of course.

But it was surprising to hear there are 7,000 starfleet ships in the 23rd century??? WOW! I guess that whole 12 starships during TOS run has now been debunked completely. It makes sense but (how else do you fend off both the Klingons and Romulans) but that is a staggering amount of ships. Maybe they aren’t all starships though. And I liked that Tyler and Georgiou were using the 24th century style com badges. Makes it feel a bit like TNG and VOY again!! I really miss that era. Picard show can’t get here soon enough!

But overall, the episode was just average for me. And not even very excited for next weeks episode but will obviously be turning in.

Bamasi

It was 12 constitution class ships, which should be accurate in Kirk’s time. Maybe there is another conflict in the near future that wipes out another chunk of the fleet.

Tiger2

Oh I know and I have said that myself. But I have heard others argue it was literally just suppose to be 12 ships in the Federation. Even on this board. I never believed that either. It never made sense to me but even 7,000 star ships is pretty crazy but as said makes sense. I had always imagined Starfleet as this very vast and powerful organization but in 50 years I think this is the first time someone has just put a number on exactly how many ships are out there.

ML31

I thought he meant 12 Constitution class star ships. That was not the entirety of Star Fleet.

BTW… I HATED the TNG com badges S31 uses. It’s ridiculous and only serves as yet another element to make me hate S31 as a Trek story element even more. The entire concept that Section 31 has their own Q branch with hyper advanced tech they share with NO ONE is absurd and cartoonish.

NCC Lincon 1785

It’s true. CIA don’t share its tech with FBI

Spiked Canon

Writers trying to be too cute

Tiger2

Yes I remember we had this conversation before about the com badges. But man Section 31 now has a magical time travel suit that can apparently teleport entire groups of people 50 thousand light years away. I’m going to cut them some slack on a more portable communication device lol.

The Q branch is pretty appropriate, but I can believe they do have SOME tech they keep to themselves. Section 31 IS black ops, right, so they will be things they keep from the rest of Starfleet that is probably above top secret.

ML31

Contrary to what we have seen in movies… There is no special advanced tech used by the CIA. At best they will have something special made. Using existing tech that is out there at the time. But it is not advanced. A lot of people don’t know this but GPS satellites have been in orbit for quite some time. It was only in the 90’s that the military made certain frequencies available for public use.

Tiger2

Well I didn’t say the CIA. And I have said in the past there have been government and military programs that have developed technology that private industry didn’t have a hold to like you just mentioned about the GPS satellites.

Again, the problem is we just don’t know exactly what the direct relationship is between Starfleet and Section 31. Yes they are working more closely in this universe compared to the others, but it is still Section 31 lol. They clearly have their own agenda and do things they don’t even want Starfleet to know about. It’s been made clear Control is already doing things behind everyone’s back, its just no telling what Section 31 deems appropriate to share or not. We just can’t treat them like any other intelligent branch like in our world today. I doubt anyone in the CIA is getting their marching orders from an advanced AI computer for instance.

ML31

Correct. Even though I just did it really is inappropriate to compare that organization to anything out there today. It probably is closest to the CIA but even then it really isn’t like it at all. All we know is they are clandestine (but not in the 23rd century) and accountable to no one. Which is that part I find the most absurd about it. Until this show when we find out not only do they have a fleet of ships but they are using technology from over 100 years in the future!

Vulcan Soul

“Yes I remember we had this conversation before about the com badges. But man Section 31 now has a magical time travel suit that can apparently teleport entire groups of people 50 thousand light years away.”

So now that Section 31 has been revealed to have literally limitless, magical, fantasy technology, why do they even fail at anything. Clearly it must be those pesky humans that spoil the equation. Seems Control is right about that one ;)

Vulcan Soul

Tiger, I think we are now at a point where it’s not even about continuity with TOS anymore, or continuity with the rest of 50 years of Star Trek, but the most basic self-continuity and plot/character credibility that should be part of any writing 101. Can’t suspend my disbelief no more. This writing makes Voyager look like Shakespeare.

Michael

So we now know that Michael can never die, momma has watched her die a thousand times, but keeps saving her apparently. So why did momma let her do such a stupid thing as start a war with the Klingons? And… how is it, momma can go back in time to any point to watch her daughter grow up, but can’t go back 10 minutes before the Klingons attack and apparently kill her husband to stop them or at least warn him he is about to die? She doesn’t have to stick around.

Enterprise brought in the Borg hoping to improve ratings, I hope this is not the plan here. No Borg, please!! If the writers can not come up with anything more original, them the whole series should go away.

Every time they mention control, I keep expecting Maxwell smart to step out from behind the warp core or for Leland to take off his boot and make a phone call. This is small, but its just a cheesy name.

TonyD

>Every time they mention control, I keep expecting Maxwell smart to step out
>from behind the warp core or for Leland to take off his boot and make a phone
>call

Now that you planted that association I won’t be happy until I see the Cone of Silence installed in engineering.

DaveCGN

“And… how is it, momma can go back in time to any point to watch her daughter grow up, but can’t go back 10 minutes before the Klingons attack and apparently kill her husband to stop them or at least warn him he is about to die? She doesn’t have to stick around.”

Yeah, that sounds like a mix of Quantum Leap and Butterfly Effect. They might find a way to that and the everything will be reset.

ML31

The way around that, I guess, is for someone to ask why she didn’t change things from the start, and she tells them she tried but every time something else gets messed up. It reminds me of a bit from The Flash this season. Barry’s daughter keeps trying to change an event but every time she tries something else gets messed up. It never works.

DaveCGN

Now that sounds more like VOY: year of hell…

ML31

The Borg were created so the Enterprise could fire phasers. Period. They were a race that couldn’t be reasoned with or bargained with. They were a device that FORCED a space battle. In that sense, I guess ratings could have been involved.

And yes. Control was a terrible name because I, too, think of Ed Platt and Barbra Feldman and Don Adams every time I hear it. They mention it and I expect Hymie to show up or Tyler to say, “That’s the 2nd biggest space sphere I’ve ever seen!”

TG47

I do get the feeling that the writers are throwing everything at the wall and hoping something will stick.

I’m getting less and less excited by it.

Message to Kurtzman, this has not built momentum towards the finale.

Quite the opposite, actually.

ML31

I actually find that it is building some momentum as we approach the finish line. It’s not appointment TV or anything close to it. But while I am not jazzed for the next part like have been for other shows, I am kinda curious how this is going to play out. Which is so much more than could be said for season 1. Which lost me pretty early on. Pretty much everything after that first break was disastrous.

Tiger2

It’s still interesting but now that the mystery has been revealed, the balloon has been deflated a bit for me too. Of course its probably my high expectations and crazy guesses for so long that really did it. But I do think some people feel generally disappointed that the Red Angel wasn’t something a bit more mysterious and I KNOW a lot of fans hates it all revolves around Burnham and her family.

That said I’m still generally enjoying it and I really do like the time travel angle. I just wish it was a bit more than a Section 31 project that got waaaaaay out of hand lol. It seem like a story line they would save for their actual show. It’s interesting how they dived in with head first with this organization. I thought this season they would play it a bit more coy and slowly introduce them as the season went on. The complete opposite happened. Shouldn’t be too shocked I guess knowing Kurtzman also helped wrote STID and gave them a pretty big starring role the second film in.

ML31

At this point, I am more interested in the show than I ever have been. That doesn’t mean I’m loving it. It means I have more interest than before. Still wishing Section 31 was not involved at all. It totally feels like a crutch or a cop out for the writing staff. I’d like it better if some Andorian scientist or something was coming up with the time suit. Although, I’m not currently a fan of the time suit so far to begin with. But at least it wouldn’t involve an organization I was never fond of to begin with. Perhaps involve Section 31 later by saying they want to confiscate the tech or something… I think that would have played better. But it is what it is and I am curious to see where they go with this. I’m actually liking that they gave us this info three episodes before the end. Makes the final episodes more intriguing to me as obviously there is more to, er, discover.

Vulcan Soul

“Enterprise brought in the Borg hoping to improve ratings, I hope this is not the plan here.”

I mainly don’t want them to bring in the Borg because they would cheapen them like every meaningful character, plot points or big ideas so far. More than Voyager ever did.

CmdrR

Before I forget, Thank you, Anthony!

Michael

Another bad theory: The Red Angel is Q. While this would be just as bad of an idea as bringing the Borg into Discovery, it would be at least slightly more original. At least its only been done twice.

ML31

Not sure what to say here. For this episode it feels a bit disingenuous to speak about it on its own. I will say this, while I am not a huge fan of a number of the plot elements needed to make the story work, the show is gotten more interesting. The story flowed along nicely. And for once, the overacting of SMG when she was saying “goodbye” to her mom finally felt earned and appropriate. Even though that moment was telegraphed to the audience way in advance. It still worked. Although it would have worked better had Michael not been the dull protagonist she has been the last 26 episodes. But that’s probably about as good as we are going to get from her.

Still not a fan of Evil Georgeau suddenly finding a conscious. Nor am I a fan of Section 31 or the fact that they devised an Iron Man level time traveling suit. That’s just way too over the top. Maybe if it were set in the TNG days it would work better. But not in the TOS days. That AI seems to be pretty darn self aware already. I did start questioning why does it even need the sphere data? Also, what is the logic for it to wipe out all life? Why does it feel threatened?

Also, the CBS stream is still glitchy. I called their tech support but was on hold too long and eventually hung up. I guess I ought to try again…

Daniel

Amazing. Just before this episode aired I read a version of LaoZi’s work called The Tao of Empty Space. Both the book (and this episode) were really good. Can’t way to see how Season 2 ends up and really looking forward to Season 3.

We’ve come to a dangerous crossroads with the narrative. Either Control is the Borg or Control is not the Borg but resembles the Borg. If Control is the Borg it stretches the suspension of disbelief to it’s absolute breaking point. If Control is not the Borg but the production artists telegraphed the Borg in their design for control how profoundly lazy.

I keep hearing about how this season finale is going to be a big deal and how much I’m going to feel when I see it. And, right now it seems like the finale kinda boils down to two outcomes so, either nostalgia for the Borg or relief that it wasn’t the Borg but just a fake out.

The writers of this show are very literal. I get this feeling like, this will just boil down to William Shatner having a cameo?

Vulcan Soul

” If Control is not the Borg but the production artists telegraphed the Borg in their design for control how profoundly lazy.”

That’s exactly what I was thinking!

“I keep hearing about how this season finale is going to be a big deal and how much I’m going to feel when I see it”

Isn’t that the whole point of this show as telegraphed? To make you FEEL, at least the moment you watch it. But don’t think about afterwards, at all. This show is like a ghost house joy ride in a theme park now. All cheap thrills, zero meaning. And no window dressing quotes of philosophers and scientists is going to change that.

What’s worse is that the guy who wrote Section 31 Control, also contributed to the Star Trek Destiny trilogy that spelled out the Borg Origins as a sort of tragic thing that shouldn’t have happened. There was a time travel component to that story as well, so maybe we’ll find out later that Control was one of these pieces of tech that got dropped off from the future since in the story, control was developed in the 2020s, I think, it well predated first contact.

And in that future was the one of the possible ones where the Borg survived before Captain Hernandez put her foot down… but anyway.

For me the Borg are vastly ancient, they’re vastly alien. They are also a narrative container for criticism of Roddenberry’s Utopianism, they are the Federation’s *shadow* side, for the sake of a Jungian analytical term. So, unchecked globalism, cultural hegemony, gentefrication, literal cultural assimilation, yadda yadda, so like hear me out, the T’Kuvma story in Vulcan Hello dealt with this inversion of the Federation.

So, it’s the exact same story, just with different players.

DaveCGN

Has anybody noticed the wheelchair? Are we gonna see in the last episode what happens to Pike?

ML31

Only if Pike gets teleported 9 years into the future.

DaveCGN

Since the series deals with time travel, this might not be impossible. ;-)

ML31

We could always get a card that reads, “9 years later…”

danielcw

“8 years later” to screw up canon

Vulcan Soul

“Has anybody noticed the wheelchair?”

Apparently they have limitless magical technology in this timeline but disabled people still need to wheel their own chairs. Clearly not an inclusive society ;)

Bootstrap

Is Control the birth of the Borg? He said something to Tyler like Resisting is pointless.

Fabio

“A big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff”

DetroitBORG

What a total mess of a story, this was absurdly written with enormous logic gaps and baffling contrivances. Again they lost the voices of the characters with emotional payoffs that weren’t earned. The only thing that tickled me was the possibility of a Borg connection. And if there isn’t, then that makes this extra senseless and randomly similar.

PEWDIEPICARD

Soo Mama Burnham can go back in time and change whatever the flip she wants with her magical suit of infinite abilities (one of them being the the power to MOVE A DAMN MOON/SPHERE or unhinge it from whatever it was stuck to which again wtf?) but she can’t tell Pike, hey dude you’re going to be crippled in a few years so here is how to avoid that??? Like that would’ve messed up the timeline? Talk about heartless.

At this point Iron Ham’s suit can probably do anything. All of a sudden it can also store infinite amount of data? Couldn’t Starfleet use that kind of thing?

Oh and “I like science.” Also Mr. Spock, here are your balls, you won’t be needing them anymore or should we put them next to Captain Pike’s?

Vulcan Soul

“Also Mr. Spock, here are your balls, you won’t be needing them anymore or should we put them next to Captain Pike’s?”

Clearly Discovery Pike could need them at this point. In his “We’ve come this far” speech he seemed to be out of his wits what to do and completely depending on the crew giving him a plan. Sadly Burnham was not around to tell him what to do :)

RockoandSocko3

After last night’s episode, I think I have concluded for myself that Ethan Peck was the right choice for the role of Spock. Personally, I think he is hitting it out of the park. The top performances I feel from this season have been him, and Pike.

Also regarding this episode, I think the writers have officially gone overboard with writing for Michael, or direction they are giving SMG on how to bring the character to life. I could not take any of the acting for Michael seriously last night, because it felt so forced and inauthentic. I get it, the show is centered on her, but I feel like the the real meat of the show comes from the other characters and not so much Michael Burnham.

Spiked Canon

I enjoyed the episode. There are things in every episode of this show from 1:01 to this one that we could question and shake our head or finger at. This is an entertainment show and it is very entertaining. It’s science fiction and can use any science it wants to move a story along. It’s not meant for us to go frame by frame and word by word debating it. It looks good and is acted well. The writing could be much better I suppose but I take what they give me and enjoy.

This is a time travel story people. Time travel does not exist. They can interpret it any way they want and they don’t have to explain every minuscule confusion in the plot or story. Take it for what it is. It is a fun ride. Sit back and enjoy it and quite getting so upset about things you can’t change. If you don’t enjoy it, you know the options.

Tiger2

Yes but people can still debate merits of the story either way. Star Trek has always dealt with loopy and out there science but it usually came down to how believable they made it feel that made it realistic enough, at least in the Star Trek universe.

I think Discovery mostly does that but it does feel like its going towards the fantasy realm a lot more. If the suit for example JUST time traveled, that’s one thing. But in this instance it does everything from teleporting to vast distances of space to having so much power it completely wiped out the Ba’ul’s total defense system in one swoop. I THOUGHT it would be explained maybe she just upgraded the suit with either tech from the future, had an advance alien species help or maybe both. Now we know that’s impossible because where she jumped into the future all life had already been wiped out.

And when you build up a story like this for ten episodes and make the Red Angel literally the biggest mystery in your story, people will naturally just question some of its story points and how it got there.

ALL that said though, its still an intriguing story and it is nice that they made it about science and adventure and not just another boring war like first season did IMO.

John in Canada, eh?

Thanks for the review.
What I don’t understand: If Dr. B knows that Control will become sentient if it gets the data from the Big Red Sphere, then why did she make sure that the Discovery found it and “its juicy data” in “An Obol for Charon”?

MysticalDigtial

Because she couldn’t destroy the sphere (she tried) and she tried just leaving it, it was found… she likely tried a few things but then hit upon getting it to Discovery.

Muse

“…this very much-improved second season of Star Trek: Discovery.” Why don’t you just come out and say it’s been an excellent season, which it has?

ML31

Because “improved” does not = “excellence”. If a student goes from an F to a C grade, they very much improved. But it is hardly “excellent”.

Vulcan Soul

I would also add that it slipped quite a few grades again since the Talos show.

Sundiver

Seeing the dramatic interaction between Mother Burnham and her daughter has been the highlight of the show. Time is savage indeed. That firefight at the end seems inconsequential considering that Leland-AI rapidly repairs any phaser damage courtesy of the nanites, not quite Terminator, but there it is. And chess brings instinct and logic to the table, thanks to Michael and Spock. I always enjoy watching Michael and Spock interact.

More Troubles More Dribbles

It was pretty good. I’m not a huge fan of this “Control/Leelan” character. Seems like we’ve been there before. Outstanding performance by Green and Peck. Stamets is growing on me but Dr. Culber just doesn’t sell the Starfleet Doctor part too well. I think he should be more inquisitive and contemplative. But that’s just me.
Overall, I feel like the writers are working hard to take us to this place they want to take us, and then filling in the gaps that get us there. Some of it is sloppy. Some of it on point. In general, I get the impression that we’re being set up for this major overhaul of the series premise. We could be looking at a new Starship Discovery, a new era for the series to play in, Michael as captain, maybe even all the above. We will soon find out.

KevinA Melbourne Australia

Have to disagree about Dr Culber. Mom said she knew nothing about the ‘red warning signs’ – didn’t she? There is still a possibility Micheal could be the Angle warning them from the future. Just a thought; we’ll have to watch the next 3 episodes to test my therory.

AtzeH

Why mention the two libraries? Both were destroyed, Memory Alpha was not.

AtzeH

Was it explained why Mom couldn’t simply jump back before the Klingon attack to warn herself and family? I missed that somehow. Would have created a nice paradoxon.

And one thought: They have to alter the timeline Kelvin-like! Otherwise we would never meet Picard, Janeway and all the others ;D

VZX

I’m really scared that Control is going to be the origin of the Borg, and that really, really sucks. I’d actually be OK if Control had something to do with Nomad or even Vger, but not the Borg. Ugh! Why do the writers have to do something so sucky like that! We don’t want an origin to the Borg! In fact, we don’t need anymore Borg at all!

Also, Anthony is right about the silly camera motions. Just trust your actors! I don’t know of any other show that does that!

That said, I liked Spock in this episode for once. I like Leland as a bad guy. And the parts when Michael was going through her mom’s logs were the best parts. The rest was dumb.

ML31

It doesn’t work for V’Ger or Nomad either.

Vulcan Soul

This show really starts to feel like late-era Voyager, where the motto was “A movie every week (and let’s forget about consequences)” – only now, production-wise they can actually make that happen. Tons of inane techno-babble (ironical with all those quotes of science in the dialogue – namedropping Isaac Newton does not make this good science fiction), magical technology that has now reached Endgame-level absurdity (the suit has “limitless everything” as literally stated in dialogue – which is quite the opposite of science) and the usual “characters in service of the plot twist” (kudos for not killing off Tyler right away though – this guy has more lives than a cat and is still needed for the Space Hitler show!) .

I’d say this show was not as offensive on a visceral level as last week’s, and not quite as soap-operaish (with all the daughter-mother tearing up, that doesn’t mean much of course), but just plain mediocre. The plot holes that are starting to emerge are bigger than black holes. They say, yes, the mother alone in a dead universe, literally living in a self-built hut around a fire (suit with unlimited power can’t help?), has moved all the people and church to Terralysium and watched virtually every step in Burnham’s life. Creating technology and characters that omnipotent is just plain bad writing. That is notwithstanding that I actually quite liked the characterization of the mother as some kind of Dr. Soran or Arrakis (Year of Hell) kind of tragic anti-hero – this is a kind of character we could see more often and that they specifically denied Lorca to be last season (something that would have been infinitely more intriguing than the mustache-twirling mirror madman). At least in her big picture thinking, she has better motives than Admiral Janeway who just wanted do get her crew home faster and risked the galaxy for it (this is quite the opposite), although her course of action of using magical technology to change the future is strikingly similar.

But sadly these kind of subtle notes kind of fade in a show that’s now mostly big, loud and dumb. Thinking about which, is exactly what Kurtzman productions always stood for in the past. Seems people don’t change after all, even in the future ;)

ML31

To compare to other Trek incarnations, Season 1 was like The Voyage Home in terms of lameness and idiot characters. Season 2 is like The Final Frontier. Better, but still not good.

TKW

Was Control somehow building the needles and tools to take over Leland appear and built automatically, like how Borg tech takes over ships, or were those devices there already?
Also is Control Leland vulnerable when “regenerating”? Looked like he was not aware of Tyler while his eyes were blacked out.
Don’t mind if Control is incorporating Borg tech somehow, as long as it’s not actually the real traditional Borg behind everything. Some new hybrid that follows a different agenda that isn’t typical Borg is fine.

PEWDIEPICARD

Control is actually a Decepticon from Cybertron. Directed by Michael Bay.

PeterH

LMAO, Na Control is Lieutenant Data’s bastard grandfather.

PEWDIEPICARD

I just realized something. In Season 1 didn’t Burnham say that she heard the Klingons kill her parents and that with her mother they took things slowly (which made it sound like she was trying to say something else as well)??? SOOOO like when she got out of the closet was there a body or not? Did the Vulcans find their bodies? Did Sucktion 31 do something to the body of her mother? Was there a funeral? Didn’t anyone realize, oh crap, mama Burnham ain’t here…I don’t know man my brain hurts.

I feel like i’m watching a show about plot holes.

CmdrR

Same basic question with Georgiou. She was dead for a year before Mirror G showed up. Her death was sworn to by Burnham no less. ‘Kept prisoner by the bald Klingons’ doesn’t answer all questions.

Speaking of which— the Klingons who burst in on the Burnhams were bald… and that was in peace time. Sheesh!

ML31

Yes, I noticed the bald Klingons in the flashback, too. But let’s be honest… None of us were shocked by this, right?

FrostUK

Imagine if Dr Burnham was the villain and Control was actually the good guy. Dr Burnham basically went completely insane and kept altering the past. Control is trying to keep things in order. The final episode ends up with Control leaving Leland and entering a small square robot that goes skiing, like at the end of Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Day Out.

Leland watches from the bridge of his ship. “My head hurts.” Cut to credits.

PeterH

Plus how come the Federation time agency did not intervene?? Holo communication, new Borg replacement, backdoor space jumps…etc might as well create a new show instead of using Star Trek to peddle their crap. Unless their doing a Star Wars, subvert and destroy all past canon to make way for their commercialized version.