Like last season, The Shuttle Pod has again transformed into Shuttle Pod At The Disco for the run of Star Trek: Discovery season two, with weekly podcasts about each new episode.
Shuttle Pod At The Disco – Season 2, Episode 14 – “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2”
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Star Trek: Discovery Season 2, Episode 14
Jared, Kayla, and Matt board the shuttle pod this week to discuss the finale of season two. With lots of excitement and top-notch special effects, the final episode of the season was both nail-biting and gorgeous, but there were a number of issues, including the need to service nearly every character from the season. Also, it’s not clear what happened to Control now that Leland has been neutralized, and whether the USS Discovery really needed to go to the future in the end. The epilogue with everyone lying to Starfleet felt out of place, and not particularly satisfying. Lastly, the final minutes of the episode, while an obvious love letter to Pike’s Enterprise and the 23rd century, was a bit of a confusing scene to end on.
Back to the future
This was great to listen while I did other work. I really enjoyed your expressed points of view, maybe because I felt the same way throughout. Thank you!
Looking forward to a fulsome discussion of emergency bulkhead lever design that necessitates a crewperson committing suicide. Ya never know what you’ll see on CBS All Pakled.
It’s the “it doesn’t matter” mantra. Problem is: it does matter.
I don’t wanna pit one show against the other, but just to compare: the reimagined Galactica had a writers room full of people from all walks of life, ensuring that basic errors like this one would not be missed. (Also worth pointing out it had a fraction of the budget too…) Star Trek might be sci-fi and a starship might be a complete figment of imagination, but grounding the details is what makes these shows function. Having everyone stand around and say things like “we are Starfleet” isn’t really enough to convey how stuff works.
See also “The Expanse,” a current series that outclasses “Discovery” in literally every possible way except (presumably) number of viewers. Better characters, better acting, better writing, better direction, better effects, better stories, better humor, better profanity, better real-world topicality. You name it, that show does it better.
T H A N K Y O U !
This was such an excellent discussion.
It really captured so many of my thoughts.
Hope the folks at Secret Hideout gives it a listen.
I disliked this ending so much and thought it had so many plot holes I thought to write one of my own. Here is how I would have ended the season. Sweet Sorrow part 1 would have been pretty much the way they orchestrated it; however, the big difference would have been in part 2. As Discovery and Enterprise prepare for battle, the 6th Red Angel light appears directly in the middle of the fight. We see it is Michael’s mother again. During this time Michael and Spock are saying their good-byes and eventually, Michael makes it into her suit. While in her suit she is able to communicate somehow directly with her mother. Michaels mother pleads with Michael to put things right now that she has learned what has happened. She tells Michael that the Klingon war, which killed millions should never have happened. She tells Michael that her life on Vulcan should never have happened and that she has learned how to set it right. Michaels mother is dying of old age and has no jumps left. Only Michael can set the universe right again by going back and stopping a Klingon ship from killing her while Michael was little. She further tells Michael that this Klingon ship was a rouge using a stolen time crystal to prop up one of the houses, but it didn’t work. All it did was create an alternate future which never should have happened (think Yesterday’s Enterprise). Michele’s mother dies in the suit, and it fades away. The battle wages on and Control and their fleet are too strong. In a very dramatic scene, we see the Enterprise destroyed. Pike, No. 1 and the entire crew of 203 are gone, and we cut to see the reaction of everyone on the Discovery as Enterprise is burning into pieces. Discovery is next and taking significant hits while Michael is launched in her suit, the wormhole is open, and Discovery attempts to go through. With the battle raging and the remaining fleet protecting Michael and the Discovery, we get a chance to see Michael make it to the wormhole. The camera then pulls out of the Discovery, turns quickly with a caption that says “20 years ago” and we see a Klingon ship approaching a base. We find that this is the base with Michaels family on it and over the base we see a Red Angel appear. It is the 7th Red Angel signal (Michael) and has brought with it the Discovery. The Discovery destroys the Klingon ship and starts to fade away slowly. While it fades away, the camera focuses in on the Discovery logo… On the Discovery gold background, the logo clearly reads… USS Discovery, NCC-1031. As the Discovery continues to fade we see the logo dissolve out and then back in, but slightly different…. USS Discovery, NCC-1031 but not on a gold background, this time on a gun-metal silver one. The camera pulls back to see a Constitution Class Starship with the name of USS Discovery. A caption appears that says “present day,” and as the camera scans around the ship and it moves into the top saucer section (as it did in the original Cage) focusing in on the bridge. It is a Constitution Class bridge, the same as we saw on the Enterprise. The motion moves around the bridge to see the officer complement, including Science Officer Saru and First Officer Burnham at their stations. A slow reveal then moves to the Captain’s chair and we see the Captain of the USS Discovery…. It is Captain Lorca – not the mirror universe Captain Lorca, but Captain Lorca from the prime universe who is in command of this Starship. Commander Burnham says to Captain Lorca that the transfer of equipment and Admiral Cornwall have successfully transported to the Enterprise. Lorca orders “screen-on” and we get a chance to see Pike, No. 1 and Spock all at their stations and the two Captains say goodbye for now. The camera pulls out of Discovery to see two identical Starships… The USS Discovery and the USS Enterprise, which leave each other and go to warp in different directions. The timeline has been corrected. Lorca, Burnham, Saru and the entire cast of the USS Discovery set out to finish their 5-year mission, and we get to know them all over again, albeit in a slightly different way. The camera fades to a starfield… In the starfield, we see an object and recognize it. It is the sphere, which is still out there, but not to ever run into the USS Discovery or Section 31. As the camera pans around the sphere, we see an ancient, very antiquated Earth probe and focus in on it. Battered as it is, we can still make out… Read more »
Interesting. That was also my theory, as I stated in some threads. This could have been like “Yesterdays Enterprise”. But then again this would have been TOO obvious and some viewers would have claimed the episode as a rip-off…
Don’t disagree, however in YE we as the viewer knew it all going in versus being shocked. The thing is that it would have alleviated all of the plot holes that exist and align it much more with cannon than we have now. I just couldn’t buy the fact that Pike and crew would lie and no one will ever remember anything.
The other thing, which I really fear is the going into the future has only two possibilities I can see, and I don’t like either. Possibility number one is that the Federation has evolved. This means the technology has evolved to a point we could no longer recognize it. 1,000 years in the future everything will appear like magic, and if it doesn’t it isn’t real. Discover will be like a Viking ship.
The other possibility is that the Federation has fallen, and add to this we know the Discovery becomes sentient and what you have is a retelling of Roddenberry’s Andromeda, almost to the tee. I don’t want to see a show where the Federation has fallen, nor a reboot of Andromeda which I think was a terrible show. Today’s society is bad enough, I want optimism and to see that we can continue to always move forward.
They could have simply put Discovery back into cannon and sent it on a 5-year mission to other areas of the known space than where Enterprise was patrolling and stayed well within cannon.
The other thing I will say is that I want to see good “science” based sci-fi with morals and character development. While any sci-fi is going to violate what we know, it can be done logically. Discovery has so violated things (like how do 7 lights, all across the galaxy shine at the same time considering the speed of light and reach the Federation) it is just not plausible.
Anyway I do respect those that like it, but personally wish it would go in another direction.
A few changes I would make. First, have Georgeau be the captain of Discovery. Also this would be an opportunity to change the production design to skew closer to pre-TOS. And I think I would leave the sphere out of it completely. It was sort of a ludicrous concept and is better to just ignore it once things were reset.
I like your take on it very much, thank you for sharing.
I am really worried about how they will portray the future. It should be amazing and beyond our comprehension, but I don’t know that these writers are up to the task of imagining a Federation 920 years in the future. I read the article posted here from Michelle Paradise, the new co-show runner. She didn’t seem that well spoken or thought out and the first episode she wrote was equally messy. I question her ability to get the job done. If the future doesn’t make sense, if it’s a Federation Dark Age, or it becomes Andromeda as suggested in this thread, I don’t think lovable characters and great acting can save it from being barbequed like
Georgiou’s head (angry Trekkers, hungry Klingons, not different much and equally vicious).
You guys made great points. I think it was Alfred Hitchcock who said that some plot holes are necessary otherwise you’d have a boring movie like the audience asking “why didn’t they just call the cops?” But if the plot holes pull you out of the story to question why they did a thing when another smarter thing would have made sense and made a better story, then that is bad writing.
It seems Discovery writers are doing the Michael Bay thing by putting spectacle over story. And that sucks for Star Trek.
However: I did cheer when the Klingons showed up. Yeah it was dumb, but fun. And I want a Captain Pike show so bad that I liked the Enterprise send-off. I just hope the Captain Pike show has better writers #mannycoto
Yes, Control was destroyed but the decision was made to protect the sphere data. This was voiced clearly in dialogue.
The bulkhead thing was sloppy. Cornwell deserves an epic death, but the manual lever was a tad lame.
Do any of the Klingons on the Cleave Ship know who tyler is or who the torchbearer was? I don’t know what half the White House staff looks like. Are we supposed to believe that every Klingon knows Voq/Ash? Him being there didn’t bother me.
Not once did they say Discovery was erased from history. They said it was not to be discussed by Starfleet officers and considered classified. Spock said he and his parents wouldn’t discuss Michael around other people. I assumed this was for her protection, to keep from mentioning she’d trabeled to the future. They didn’t erase her from history. They agreed to never discuss her in public.
The ending could have been a series finale. The show wasn’t renewed for season 3 until after filming. So the ending was never intended to set up season 3. It concluded the story of season 2. That it focused on Enterprise was not at all bothersome.
It sounds like all 3 podcasters don’t care for the show. I’ve never heard so much knit picking.
It’s “nit,” not “knit.” “Knit” is how you make sweaters.
Kno it’s knot
I can, will, and do forgive plot holes and inconsistencies if I’m emotionally engaged in a story. But Discovery has only engaged my emotions on a handful of occasions. I think you guys made good points when you suggested that the show’s writers seem to write to fir conclusions they’ve already come to about the emotional payoffs. That’s cart-before-the-horse mentality; it’s antithetical to storytelling.
Stephen King, for example, talks about how for him writing is a process like uncovering something buried in the ground — you just keep digging until you get all of it, and you almost never know the shape of it until you’ve unearthed it. Sometimes, along the way, surprising things happen to a writer’s characters; King has said that he’s been just as surprised by some of his characters’ deaths as his readers have. It’s an organic, intuitive process, and the result is that when he’s on his game, his characters feel like real people.
Virtually none of Discovery’s characters feel like real people to me. I like most of the actors, and even love a few; but they’ve been stuck playing characters who “evolve” in completely inorganic and nonintuitive ways. So for me, every emotional beat with them rings false; I feel nothing, except admiration for the technical skill of the performances.
This season finale really went overboard with all of that. Just one mechanical scene after another in which non-characters spewed unearned emotion at other non-characters while millions of dollars of digital effects blared on all around them. Others will feel very differently; I envy them that experience.
“I can, will, and do forgive plot holes and inconsistencies if I’m emotionally engaged in a story.”
I’ve mentioned that quite often myself. Normally if I’m engaged in the story my mind is not wondering around thinking about plot holes or other ways to do things. I’m just going along enjoying the story. If I think about something while watching it, that mean I have failed to engage. Which means the story is not compelling at best, terrible at worst. I, too, find myself bored by the entire cast of characters. Saru was becoming a little interesting until he lost his fear. And Reno is interesting only because of her acerbic wit. We know next to nothing else about her. Beyond that, the regular people on Discovery have been duller than dull.
Clearly you do not know much about the “standard” writing process proposed by the likes of Robert McKeeand John Truby.
Knowing where you want to head / what you want to say / knowing the end of your story / knowing the arcs you want your characters to go through is – at least to them – not antithetical to storytelling, it is ESSENTIAL. The Way King writes is a technique some writers of course practice and prefer.
If you are a aspiring writer, do not fall into the trap to think “If Stephen King does not need outlines etc. I don`t!”
I think the big challenge (that most writers face) is to construct your story so good, that the viewer does not have the feeling it is constructed. Maybe that is where the Writing of Discovery falls flat. I may get behind that statement. And maybe putting big plot twist over well constructed endings
PS Not thinking about a proper ending but just see where it goes may also lead to LOST style desasters ;)
I think it was said that you are covering the Twilight Zone in the future…?
Either way, I highly recommend, “Replay,” the third episode of the new Twilight Zone. I feel like people on this site are jonesing for what this particular episode offers. In fact, if feels more like a feature film.
It was science fiction, emotional, and it did not betray it’s own logic. Horror, love, timely politics – and an homage to documentary filmmaking.
I feel like if I say more, I’ll give it away.
I saw that one and thought it was sophomoric. In fact, none of the 4 Zone’s I saw before canceling were really very good. For one thing, all the episodes have played WAY too long. TZ works best at 30 minutes or less. But also the way the concepts have been presented have been poorly handled. And Replay has been the worst of them all.
Yes! More Hard sci-fi please. I’m all aboard for a show that introduces some real scientific process into the drama. Trial and error. I like the cast/acting/crew, but we have too much magic with goofy throw away lines about “science.” I just can’t relate to the super hero aspect of the writing. The Martian is a good example. But maybe modern Star Trek isn’t going to cater to that demo.
I had to stop listening to the podcast as usual because you are always hung up on plot holes. I understand it’s the low hanging fruit and easy to punch around. My main gripe about the series is there’s no grounding to larger ideas any of us mortals can relate to. The stakes are turned up to eleven. Where are the big ideas and dilemmas that have at least SOME grounding in the world we live in? This is magical super hero writing.
But you DON’T care about plot holes…?
Same. There are many plot holes in the entire history of Trek but it comes off as if the critics of this show feel this is the first Trek endeavour to have them.
Good thorough discussion. Though some of the plot holes don’t bother me as much as you guys, I agree that this finale has me feeling mixed at best. I think you guys should have gave more kudos with how well the Red Angel mystery was resolved. it made sense, it was a neat way to incorporate a time paradox, and it showed that they thought that through. It wasn’t a stupid non-answer, like the smoke monster in Lost or Kara Thrace the angel.
I wouldn’t give credit to the red angel mystery at all. It would have been much better if the mystery remained ambiguous. That would have fit right in to the supposed science v faith thing that was mentioned before the season started. Instead, science was declared the winner pretty early on and turns out the RA’s were just comic book tech. I guess I should learn to stop expecting better.
Doesn’t having Ash Tyler on the Klingon ship give us a way to tie up canon? The next step is L’rell is overthrown/killed, and the Klingons then dissolve their amicable relationship with the Federation. So by the time we get to TOS Ash Tyler’s actions while saving Discovery and the Universe destroyed the short term peace with the Klingons. (sent this by email before realizing there was a comments section, ha!)
Yeah. I agree with Kayla’s initial assessment. I can’t say I liked it or didn’t. There was a lot going on and some things were really cool and other things not so much.
The Angel wings are obviously there so it looks like an angel.
I still had a problem with the quick turnaround to re-create the angel suit. The building of the suit issues would still be there, at least for me, even if they had thought about a few details like was discussed. I still think the entire thing is a stretch.
It was mentioned that the writing wasn’t worthy of the excellent effects. But that has been true of the show from day one.
Micheal going back to set off the bursts I felt went on WAY too long. Show us the first one, then shorten the others. I really didn’t want to see those scenes again. And it made the sequence drag.
Unexploded torpedo… Yes. I feel like it only works if one ignores certain existing tech issues. The scene isn’t about why Cromwell has to do it. But the fact that she had to do it. Yes, the scene was poorly executed. But it was going for feeling more so than logic. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But that only works if the characters were more interesting or dynamic.
Yeah, the Leland Georgeau Nahn fight was just there for no reason other than to have an action piece. But the entire episode was a huge action piece. And I honestly think the reason behind the “women stop talking” line was merely there so the bad guy can just say something misogynous to make the fact that women are going to beat him feel a little better. I rolled my eyes at the line, to be honest.
Couldn’t agree more about the evil Georgeau decision who supposedly is destined to have hear heart grow three sizes on one day. It’s ludicrous.
And the podcast touched on the problems of the AI being the main baddie. The entire concept was pretty tough to suspend disbelief for. This was made clear many episodes ago. So again, that was a problem with the season. Like many things, it feels like a plot device that wasn’t thought through at all.
In all fairness for Tyler bringing in the Klingons, it’s possible he moved beyond the sub space interference and radioed L’Rell and get picked up as she was on her way. But then it feels like he would be better served to contact Star Fleet to get over there rather than reveal himself to the Klingon Empire. Unless the Klingons could mobilize their fleet faster. However it was silly that Tyler was even there. He could have called for her to come and stay out of sight. But I did not have too much of a problem with the Klingons showing up. In fact, I was expecting it at a moment when all seemed lost. The surprise was the arrival of the Kelpians. Which was patently absurd.
I have read criticisms where people did not care that the show violated canon from other shows but that they violate THEIR OWN ESTABLISHED canon.
Gotta say, I was not a fan of the epilogue at all. They used it to explain the silliness of the fact that they decided no one should talk about it but the entire sequence as weird. And once again, they decided to fix something that was never really the problem with the show. And yeah, I forgot about the fact that the entire crew sent goodbye letters to their loved ones. How was Star Fleet going to police them?
The alluding to Kirk didn’t bother me that much but it did feel a little like fan service.
Yes, the Enterprise ending was misleading. What should have been done was show the E fly off then pan to the red signal and zoom towards it then fade to black. Pretending the entire thing never happened was silly and it still would have been better to not pretend. Just set it up so the timeline didn’t ACTUALLY happen. It’s not great but would have been better. The good news is that it still wasn’t nearly as bad as season 1.
Question: Is treason a penalty or is it a crime? I found that confusing.
Usually I really enjoy the ideas, opinions and nits the podcasters bring up. Most of the time I listen to it twice because I like hearing Kayla, Matt and Brian (leaving out Jared deliberately, read into it) talk about the episode because I usually think their thoughts are constructive and interesting. This one, however, I got half way through and I just turned it off. It felt like one of my client meetings focusing on negativity and going no where constructively.
Could the episode been better written? No argument. Was it the steaming piece of fecal matter the gang complained about? Not entirely. Visually it was breathtaking, the actors always deliver, I was entertained (and I don’t think I am alone), and while I have no confidence that the writers will do the future justice, I thought it was pretty brave to go there and not chicken out and leave them in the 23rd.
I agree completely with this! Way too much nitpicking and negativity, and snobbery about science errors that basically just don’t matter.