Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Passes The Test In “Die Trying”

“Die Trying”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 5 – Debuted Thursday, November 12, 2020
Teleplay by Sean Cochran; Story by James Duff & Sean Cochran
Directed by Maja Vrvilo


A strong episode that moves the season’s plot forward while still delivering a classic mystery of the week storytelling. While there was some indulgence in fan service, “Die Trying” more importantly espoused Star Trek ideals. The episode was helped with the introduction of some new intriguing characters, all keeping this season’s track record of strong guest actors going.

Don’t look at the camera. Don’t look at the camera. Damn!



WARNING: Spoilers below!

“Tell them the USS Discovery is reporting for duty”

After a few episodes of Federation foreplay, we start things off by finally hooking up with Starfleet. After penetrating “some kind of distortion field” the opening teaser thrusts the USS Discovery into the inner sanctum of what remains of the fleet. The crew rushes to the windows to indulge in some Starship porn to an extent that would make Admiral James T. Kirk blush. Interspaced with the 32nd-century technobabble and the spectacular visual effects were a number of freeze-frame moments of fan delight.

After everyone has the equivalent of a smoke, Michael and Saru get introduced to Starfleet’s CinC, who is a tall glass of cold water. Admiral Charles Vance—ably played by Sleeper Cell’s Oded Fehr—isn’t ready to roll out the smart red carpet for these long-lost souls of Starfleet past with a mushroom-fueled time-travel crazy-AI-fighting story that doesn’t match what’s in Federation records. (Remember: Captain Pike and Spock ensured the true nature of the Disco would be lost to the ages of canon.) This much-diminished Federation is still fighting the good fight, but they are short on trust and fresh out of hope after the fire sale that was The Burn—oh and they don’t have any definitive answers on that either.

With the ship ordered for analysis and the crew set to be reassigned, Saru and Michael throw a Hail Mary and offer to put the Disco to the test to solve the immediate crisis of alien refugees suffering from some incurable disease. The solution is to track down a distant seed ship to find a cure for the Kili, and the spore drive is the only way to get to it in time. This episode could have spent the whole hour with just Tilly (“All this is after I got my hair blown out and became a Terran captain/dominatrix”) and Reno (“It was raining Starfleet officers. Did you bring any snacks?”) being debriefed by befuddled AI holograms, but duty calls.

I can see my quarters from here

“He’s still trying to save them”

The deal with the Admiral is to send Discovery out with Michael in command, under the watchful eye of his icy security chief Willa, while Saru stays behind as some kind of guest/hostage. Surprisingly, this is the first time we have ever seen Burnham in command of the USS Discovery, and both she and Sonequa Martin-Green rise to the occasion, with  “let’s show them who we are” and more.

Things get all foreboding with the arrival at the seed ship’s last known location, where the seed ship is nowhere to be found but there is a big scary ion storm. The USS Tikhov is located and pulled out of the cloud through some scary skillful maneuvering by Owo and Detmer, only to find the ship seemingly abandoned and running on batteries. Nhan continues her season three rehabilitation program as she gleefully joins Michael and Dr. Culber on the landing party as the ship is under the care of a Barzan family. Once inside, they find it overgrown like a jungle of Nhan’s native planet, with something mysterious in the dark and scary brush.

See how you guys like having to carry around breathing apparatus!

“The weakness of people is generally other people”

One of the more revealing debriefings was that of Emperor Georgiou. Finally, we get into the vexing question of what Georgiou is even doing here in season three, beyond giving Michelle Yeoh something to do before heading off to the Section 31 show in development. Phillipa’s debriefing has extra scrutiny, with two AIs questioning her under the watchful eye of a curious bespectacled onlooker. And for this role, Discovery took on the Mandalorian challenge and raised one Werner Herzog with another legendary director, David Cronenberg.

After Georgiou toys with and then easily dispatches the holograms like a cat, the real talk begins with this mystery man who knows all about Terrans, literally down to the subatomic level. With all her trademark bluster, it’s clear he has her on the back foot, in a series of scenes that Cronenberg and Yeoh chew up with abandon. The former Emperor is clearly not happy to hear the Empire fell, and things started going bad as soon as she left the Mirror Universe. Even more curious, no one has crossed over for centuries. But worst of all, this Kovich has her wicked number, sussing out her true weakness… she actually cares about someone onboard the USS Discovery.

This whole encounter leaves Georgiou shaken, with something definitely off as she returns to the ship. The story of Georgiou is finally starting to get interesting, but will be left for a future episode.

I would like to see the baby—sorry, I would like to see the Terran

“Keep us together and let us help”

The mystery of what is haunting the odd seed ship gets solved by phoning the Geek Squad back on Discovery. Tilly, Reno, and Stamets have an “I know what duh means” banter-off as they sort out exactly what kind of radiation killed the family, why pops is haunting the ship out of phase, and how to get him back. Lt. Willa is grudgingly impressed with how the “unprofessional” team on this “fossil” of a ship solves problems so well. But the real test is getting Dr. Attis to let go of the past (ding ding, hello theme) and help them cure some big-head aliens. Michael drops some truth. There were some tears. Then Nhan drops the Barzan bomb. She is going to stay on the ship and guide it to her long lost home. More tears, of course, but Rachael Ancheril makes it work in her best work—and possibly last—work on the show. (Although there’s always room for a visit later.)

Back at HQ, the Kili healed, the Admiral is also impressed with Nhan’s dedication as well as the bravery shown by Owo and Detmer, although he, too, noticed Keyla isn’t flying on all nacelles. This crew jumped at the chance to take risks to save some aliens they had never even heard of before, and what could be more Starfleet than that? Captain Saru pounces on this opening to show Vance how the Discovery can help lead a renaissance for the Federation out of the post-Burn Dark Ages. The ship, its spore drive, and crew of 23rd-century cockeyed optimists can help this UFP that has been too phaser-focused on the plasma fire in front of them to look up and see the stars again. It’s a bit corny, with references to obscure Italian painters too on-the-nose, but it’s still very Star Trek, and certainly Discovery at its earnest best. And with that, the USS Discovery is back in Starfleet, baby.

The episode wraps again with a solemn moment between Captain Saru and his growingly insubordinate number one Michael Burnham. She still hasn’t shaken the freedom of her gap year and the Kelpien can see how this risks their tenuous relationship with the skittish Starfleet brass. They share a benediction to their belief in the Federation, but there is still a schism between them that threatens to grow. But that is for another episode.

How is this for my new Starfleet headshot?


Striking a balance

Once you push through all the exposition, ship porn, and fan service, “Die Trying” is a fine example of the mysterious-ship-of-the-week subgenre of Star Trek. It finely balanced the season arcs with a good standalone story and just enough character development. Getting this balance right has been a struggle for Discovery in the past, but season three seems to be getting it right. There were a lot of moving parts to deal with here, so scribe Sean Cochran deserves credit for making it work.

“Die Trying” also excelled at introducing a number of new characters, with Oded Fehr’s Admiral Charles Vance being the prime example. Instead of falling into the badmiral trope, this Commander in Chief was able to get into conflict with our heroes without being the bad guy. His security chief Lt. Willa (Vanessa Jackson) also showed some character growth, although it looks like her introduction is coming at the expense of saying goodbye to Nhan just when she was getting interesting.

Sonequa Martin-Green continues to carry a lot of the load as she embodies the subtle yet profound shift in the tone of the show, carrying the optimism of the Federation, but with a bit of an edge. Of course, she and the show also can’t help themselves in indulging in a bit too much speechifying, Burnham-deifying, and melodrama, but that perhaps has just become part of the background radiation of the show.

Can you figure out how we are supposed to see important details on a see-through display?

Now we have even more questions

“Die Trying” dumped a lot of exposition on the state of things in the 32nd century. The Andorian/Orion alliance seen in episode 31 is called the Emerald Chain, and it is led by someone named Osyrra. The Federation is down to 38 member words from a high of 350. Technology has advanced greatly, including organic ships, detached nacelles, and better holograms, that strangely sound more robotic, but perhaps that is a choice to keep them distanced from “real” people.

Kronenberg’s Kovich is a very intriguing character. Could he be from the Mirror Universe himself? Is he part of a 32nd-century version of Section 31? And has he done something to Georgiou? He said he understood Terran biology, so perhaps he got inside her head. It’s good the show is finally using Michelle Yeoh’s Georgiou for an intriguing storyline and not just keeping her around to punch people and make snarky remarks.

As for the season’s big mystery, The Burn remains an enigma, and Starfleet doesn’t seem to have the time to sort it out. So the ball is still in Michael’s court on that one. “We have more theories than ships in the fleet. Never found enough data,” they say, so challenge accepted for Burnham to fix the Federation, again. We did pick up something that could be a clue, in the form of a melody heard last episode played by Gray and Adira that apparently is widely known to multiple cultures that have been separated by The Burn.

All in all, a good episode for fans keeping up on the show’s mythology.

Will you walk into my parlor?

Welcome back

Overall the production on season three continues to hum along nicely. Jeff Russo’s more active score swells when it needs to, and gives you a taste of the past at just the right moments, including a nice dollop of the Voyager theme.  The visual effects were some of the best on the show just yet, especially with the 32nd Starfleet parking lot—take that Picard season finale with your uniform ship designs.

And beyond the fun of checking out all those different ships, there could have been a point to the focus on the beautiful USS Voyager-J. After years of fans clamoring for a post-Star Trek: Voyager show, nothing says we are in the future than seeing a ship carrying on the legacy of the last of the 90s TNG-era shows.

While undeniably modern in style and production value, season three of Discovery continues to feel more and more like the classic shows in terms of tone and theme. Like the ship and crew passing their test, Discovery has passed its test of being worthy of the name Star Trek.

You are going to miss me

Random extra bits

  • Among the 32nd century Starfleet ships was the USS Nog (NCC-325070) named Nog, the first Ferengi in Starfleet, and a nice tribute to Deep Space Nine actor Aron Eisenberg who passed away last year.
  • In addition to the new USS Voyager-J, the crew also spotted what they believed to be a new Constitution-class ship, but no indication if it was the latest version of the USS Enterprise. If there is a 32nd-century Enterprise, they would likely want to play that card for a more dramatic reveal.
  • Admiral Nance mentions how the Federation spent the 30th-century fighting to uphold the Temporal Accords, noting that technically the time-traveling USS Discovery breaks the law against time travel.
  • Adira Tal was summoned to HQ with Saru and Michael, but we never saw her again, which is unfortunate as her debriefing could have answered a lot of questions.
  • Saru is very happy his home planet of Kaminar has joined the Federation, so we can count them out as suspects for The Burn.
  • The Emerald Chain was spotted in the Sigma Draconis system.
  • ELI the EMH was played by Brendan Beiser, who X-Files fans may remember as Agent Pendrell
  • Kovich was born on April 5th, First Contact Day in the Prime Universe and a holy day (but not a “high holy day”) in the Terran Empire.
  • The USS Tikhov is named for Soviet astrophysicist Gavriil Adrianovich Tikhov who is considered to be the father of astrobotony.
  • We hear the Barzan language for the first time.
  • Why wasn’t Burnham supplied with master access codes to the seed vault before being sent on the mission?
  • Giotto di Bondone was indeed an influential painter of the proto-Rennaissance era, and he even has his own website at
  • Line of the week: “I was murdered. That can really do a number on you. But my murderer and I are good now.”

Barzans are just like us, they even have cats, or something like cats

More to come

Every Friday the new All Access Star Trek Podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe and discusses the latest episode. The podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocket CastsStitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network.

New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery premiere on Thursdays on CBS All Access in the U.S. and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada, where it’s also available to stream on Crave. Episodes are available on Fridays internationally on Netflix.

Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at

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I just read on another site that CBS has confirmed Voyager-J is also Intrepid Class.


To me it looked rather close to Rick Sternbach’s original Voyager design… Maybe a nod to honor this original unrealized version…

My initial reaction was: cool, let’s have another TEN , no ELEVEN Voyager series :-) But then, it wouldn’t be Voyager if a ship of that name wasn’t lost in an uncharted part of the galaxy / universe… Ad how often can they possibly do that “accident” without overstretching bad luck :-) Maybe a second time…

I so much would like to have VOY on Blu-Ray…

A new class re-using the old name, presumably. After 800 years, it’s not likely to cause confusion, I guess.

Fascinating review. Good job guys.

The Federation is only 38 member worlds. I guess a Brexit happened between The Burn and now as other systems leave the Federation.

Since the Andorian/Orion alliance is a thing, what happened to the Vulcans?

Is Vulcan still a Federation member?

Where is the new Federation headquarters now?

Earth is independent from the Federation now so there’s that. Very Star Trek episode.

Mandalorian reference!

Apparently the Station is also Federation Headquarters according to dialogue.

Episode 7 is called Unification III so I assume that could be about the Vulcans/Romulans.

Absent easy access to FTL drive, the Federation is pretty pointless to a far flung governing body. Brexit was a choice, The Burn wasn’t.

Agreed. People seemed really upset when Earth left the Federation, but its not like they were unhappy with the organization. They left because the Federation could not be relied on anymore. Many probably still wanted to stay but if you can’t even show up in months or even years, then what’s the point? The Brexit analogy was in Picard, this is something purely different.

Tiger, the Brexit analogy here is not entirely wrong. It happened in the wake of unprecedented mass migration and terrorist crises that left many people convinced the EU could not be relied on anymore; and there’s the parallel. I doubt the core of ideological Brexiteers would have pushed the referendum over the finishing line on their own!

Nope, but a massive misinformation campaign by certain prominent Brexit supporters certainly pushed it over the finish line.

We will disagree on this. Not every problem in the world is an information / communication problem even if Silicon Valley wants us to believe so :)

‘Nope, but a massive misinformation campaign by certain prominent Brexit supporters certainly pushed it over the finish line.’@noraa

We will disagree on this. Not every problem in the world is an information / communication problem even if Silicon Valley wants us to believe so :)’ @Vulcan Soul

So are you saying that the false ‘We send the EU £350 Million a week let’s fund our NHS (National Health Service) instead’ promise that was plastered all over their ‘battle bus’ and was a central part of the Vote Leave campaign wasn’t misinformation?

Yes but the Burn itself was the catalyst and the other things came later due to it. There wasn’t some catastrophic issue with the EU, it just has a lot of ideological differences that is happening there along with what you mentioned.

I’m only saying they didn’t leave the Federation because they disagreed with it, they simply left because they just became more isolated. No one is isolated in the EU.

These crises WERE catastrophic issues for people. It’s not ideology but pretty much bread and butter existential issues when you feel your governments/politicians do not guarantee your safety and livelihood anymore unless you are so rich and shielded from the impact that it doesnt matter. In fact, this is the number 1 basic responsibility of a government and the EU failed on this (they did not even have a unified border security agency etc.)

Same as the current catastrophic event and its disastrous handling by Western governments WILL have political consequences down the line. We need to stop blaming the population for reacting naturally to the failure and dysfunction of their ruling classes, the latter cant elect themselves a new people after all although they are trying hard ;)

You’re still debating apples and oranges. The Federation basically fell after the Burn. The EU didn’t. We’re talking a complete structural breakdown overnight. Obviously no one is saying its black and white, but you are comparing something that was literally beyond anyone’s influence in the Federation. They still don’t even understand how it happened 100 years later.

Look I’m not going to debate you on the issue of the EU itself. I don’t live in Europe and I’m certainly not going to pretend I understand how much its affecting people, good or bad, but clearly you’re not a fan lol. But in comparison to Discovery I just don’t see it nearly the same way. Mostly because if the Burn never happened, there would probably be many more members as a part of it now.

I for one am very happy with the burn it must have built a wall around federation space, by preventing Terrans from flooding into the Federation for 500 years

Brexit is an absolute scandal of misinformation akin to Russian interference in USA elections 2016. The knock on effect in ireland will be huge given that those in the North voted to stay in EU and are being dragged out. The British border in Ireland further complicates this, with republic a clear member state of the EU. So there you have it, one island, one pro EU culture, two jurisdictions, one being torn out and the good Friday agreement, that brought relative peace, being ignored.
In terms of trek, parallels are a bit harder. UK has 4 main cultures (not countries as Northern Ireland is a province not country). But say earth Andor vulcan and Tellerites vote together on whether to stay in the federation, with the majority vote of all 4 worlds indicating the result.
Now the cardassians enter the play and work with members of those worlds to argue against the federation. They make wild claims not backed by very much evidence… Just fear. After the vote it looks like the majority decide to leave the federation. On closer inspection, 3/4 want to stay, the sheer size of say vulcan’s population, who predominantly vote to leave with 78%, sway the vote, alongside the leave vote in the other worlds. This tops the scale to leave despite earth andorians and Twllerites showing a preference to stay- their votes weren’t large enough to overcome vulcan and a small minority of their own worlds wanted to leave anyway. So, because its a collective vote, they all leave. That’s brexit folks!
The difference between brexit and our trek analogy is that those four worlds would have their own individual vote and it would be respected. The UK locks Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland and England into the Union. Watch how this breaks up hopefully with Scottish independence and the reunification of Ireland

Show is slowly getting better….many characters still remain incredibly annoying or pointless…

Tilly – needs to be thrown out the airlock, I cringe whenever I see her. The goofy crewman thing is really not funny anymore. Nerdy high school girl theatrics in space are embarrassing.

Burnham – it was better if she never returned…or returned at the end of the season. The episode without her was great. Shes still the one who is going to save the day, every day and always had that smug know it all look about her.

As for everyone else…slowly starting to love them…liking more of Culver, Stamets, Saru than in earlier seasons, they have more…let’s say…balls! Adira stole the show last week. Want to see more of the rest of the bridge crew, as they might as well be cardboard cutouts. Will they be given enough seasons to be fleshed out, I wonder…

Show is slowly getting better”

It is also better getting slowly, if I may say so ;)

Sorry you don’t like Tilly, for me she’s one of my favorites!

I really like how Tilly is being written this season.

In the second half of season two, it seemed like the new showrunner and writers didn’t know what to do with her and went back to the earliest Tilly in the series bible. Her progress seemed to have been lost.

This season she’s moving forward, building on experience. It’s working for me.

“Why wasn’t Burnham supplied with access codes to the seed vault before being sent on the mission?”
I think it’s implied that Dr. Attis installed the codes so no one could damage his impossible project to revive his family.

Yeah, I thought that was pretty clear. The codes were his daughters’ names. No one else knew them to give them to Burnham. I’m not sure why the question is even being asked.

I found the entire concept that a 1000 year old ship would still be carrying seeds. At least that is what they implied. A better concept might have been “Back in our day we did this. If the Federation still is doing that thing we can find the seeds.”

And then it was kinda unclear what the goal of that ship was. Were they using it to get home? Where do these seed ships go? What do they do? Just sit there? The whole thing just felt too convenient to the plot.

The other question I had is “why?” As in, why would they be carrying around several- hundred-year-old seeds and not refreshing them occasionally? I guess “the Burn,” but…

Because the purpose of the ship is to act as a backup, an archive of all collected seeds as far back as the beginning of the archive. There would presumably even be multiple samplings of the same species from multiple time points.

This would allow scientists to retrieve and clone a species from any collected time point. Great for researching their evolution, but also for doing a “system restore” of a particular ecology in the event of an ecological disaster- exactly like the one that happened on that planet with the prion disease.

It isn’t really that far-fetched that there would be a ship serving as a seed vault.

Several countries currently utilize seed vaults now so that there are available seeds to replant a species should it die off. Having this on a planet is risky due to any number of issues that could occur on a planet. True, a ship isn’t much better but a vessel transporting seeds is probably a low risk target.

Then why aren’t the seed vaults of today roaming the oceans?

People have mused about sending a seed bank into space, but the shielding issue is prohibitive.

That said, it seems as though putting a bank in any moon or Mars deep base sounds like a project.

My own first-brush criticism of the Tikhov was that one would expect that there would have been copies of the seed bank scattered around the Federation. However, with many of the founding worlds having separated, seed banks hidden on geologically stable moons in the sol or other major system would be off-limits.

Was the sequence of them gawking at starships longer than the Lower Decks sequence making fun of that sort of thing?

To be clear, this definitely isn’t a complaint. Moar ships plz.

It wasn’t long enough lol. I wanted to see more of those ships and a lot more directly. It’s just fun to see a new era of ships and much more advanced. The Trekyard guys are going to have a field day. ;)

I appreciate the slower pace both of effects sequences, plot and character beats. It’s not boring when well thought-out but adds to the depth of the story. Less is more.

“In addition to the new USS Discovery-J, the crew also spotted what they believed to be a new Constitution-class, but no indication if it was the latest version of the USS Enterprise. If there is a 32nd-century Enterprise, they would likely want to play that card for a more dramatic reveal.”

discovery-j ?

Also…. “The Federation is down to 38 member words from a high of 350.”

Member words?

Copyedit is a lost art.


Yup, I noticed that as well.
Trekmovie editors please note; that needs to be corrected.

How would they be able to tell if a ship 900 years in the future would be a Constitution class? I found that weird.

Yeah. Me too. The name, maybe?

How would they know the USS X was a Constitution class?

The ship’s name was Constituion.

That doesn’t give you the class. Is the USS Voyager a Voyager Class? Is the Enterprise of the Enterprise Class?

I really liked this. The various debriefings were great, each in each own way. Nhan calmly and cheerfully acting like she’s a POW, Culber’s “But my murderer and I are cool with each other now, so there’s that,” Tilly babbling like…Tilly, Reno eating salsa…and best of all, Georgiou casually blinking the holograms out of existence: “You broke my holograms!” I half got the idea that they were trying to get Starfleet to just kick them all out.

I did see the report coming that they work together seamlessly, but it was still well-executed. They do need a new security chief, so… And Nhan staying behind was really touching. I guess the implication was that Attis doesn’t have long, right?

And, yes, I groaned at yet another “Only Burnham can save the galaxy” moment, but at least it was brief, and Saru did tell her what was what.

Finally, a bit of native pride: Apparently the Starfleet CinC is Israeli. :-) OK, the actor who plays him is.

I think people really need to just accept that Burnham is the Captain Kirk of this show and move on.

Totally agree HubcapDave….

Hard Agree. But that would rob the usual suspects around here of their joy in trying to find new words to use instead of coming out and calling her “uppity”

Haha, yeah that is exactly what I was thinking. Kirk always seemed to inexplicably save the day by not doing things by the book or refusing to follow orders – and that seemed to be something that enamored him to the audience. I will let people decide for themselves why they don’t seem to like it when Burnham does the same thing. – maybe it is simply because she is NOT the Captain. I would like to think that is the case. I do have to admit I like the way Saru is reigning her character in a little while still giving her room to show off her potential.

I found the blinking thing dumb. Holo tech would work the same in a different universe 900 years later? I don’t think so.

Yeah. Fun, but silly.

I thought it was a very original plot point, and fun. I think it will be used in the future. There was so much to unpack in this episode.

I can imagine the comedy potential of this.
“oh, I’m sorry, I thought you were a hologram, I’m not really flirting….or maybe I am… come here often?”

I thought it was smart too Iconian.

It also underscored that as an S31 agent in the 23rd century, Georgiou would know the deep design vulnerabilities of Federation technology.

Many here seem to have forgotten that Georgiou spent a year or more with S31. There were weeks and months between episodes in S2 of Discovery.

Being with Section 31 for a while would not give her insight into technology from 900 years in the future. I cannot buy that. Nor can I buy that holo tech would be using the same flawed features from 900 years earlier. Their holograms appear to be way way better than anything we’ve seen on Discovery. Therefore, her silly blinking thing ought not have worked. None of it made a lick of sense.

If it were just a fun gag then I guess it worked for you. I still am taking them at their word that they have moved 900 years into the future. Therefore the joke did not work for me as I don’t see a control from 900 years ago would still work 900 years later.

Reminded me of the Alliance interrogation of the crew of Serenity. A nicely executed sequence.

Nachum, Oded Fehr left Israel after the army and I believe never worked here as an actor.

“We did pick up something that could be a clue, in the form of a melody heard last episode played by Gray and Adira that apparently is widely known to multiple cultures that have been separated by The Burn.”

Is it All Along The Watchtower?

Hahaha i got the same vibe from that storyline…


They’re all Cylons!

So say we all

All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again…

I look at her now, I don’t see Michael Burnham… I see a red angel, blazing with the light of god.

Wonder if that song is a clue to find Mama Burnham…

Ah, good one.

I was thrilled by this episode in a way that I haven’t been thrilled since S1. And I loved S2, just not quite the rapturous sexy love I had for S1. For different reasons, I think this was up on the shelf with LETHE, as one of the most interesting episodes DSC’s done to date. DIE TRYING has the lanky, clumsy movements of a teenager, like we’re just getting a glimpse of the adult Discovery to come.

Final Review: Awesome, totally.

Agreed on all counts!

Was it obvious to anyone else about halfway through the episode that by the end Nhan would no longer be a part of the show? Just like with Airiam last year (and like Walking Dead all the time), as soon as they begin focusing on a secondary character in an emotionally impactful way it feels obvious they are just setting us up to more greatly miss them in their apparently obvious and imminent departure. Once it was clear she’d be leaving, I was just hoping they wouldn’t kill her, so I’m very grateful they gave her a more duty oriented and tender send off that leaves the door open to see her on the show again. I was starting to really enjoy her character the last few episodes as well, sad to see her go.

It looks like maybe her other show got picked up?

She’s main cast on Nurses.

I’m wondering if she had a scheduling issue during production of S3.

I have the sense that there’s at least one more episode where we’ll see her. Barzan was the focus of a TNG episode The Price with tense negotiations over the “lemon” wormhole to the Delta Quadrant that didn’t have a stable anchor point.

I’m wondering if Nhan will play a role in bringing them back into the Federation. I wonder if that old wormhole is still stranding the naive 70,000 light years away.

My assumption is that she’s going to end up being a primary castmember on the Section 31 show.

Once they set up the family situation I knew she would not be back one way or the other. This episode telegraphed everything.

Another example of the show’s steadfast devotion to cheap and unearned sentiment.

Cronenberg > Herzog. I declare this as a win for Star Trek. Can now SW follow up with Wim Wenders and then ST counter with David Lynch, please.

SW might just pull the trigger and go full Hollywood with Ron Howard.

I see that Cronenberg will be starring for one 8 episode season in another franchise.

I was hoping he would become a fixture of the S31 series, if only on a recurring basis. I guess it’s possible to do both if their made in Toronto.

Cronenberg was brilliant. Can’t imagine anyone could have been more impactful.
This season the show has become so good my head is going to explode!

Glad to hear others weighing in in support.

I so hope that Cronenberg’s Kovich will be a recurring character.

USS Voyager-J ?
Seems the ancestors ships wasnt known for serving a long time !

Well we saw in the original series that the original Enterprise lasted 20 years, the Enterprise B came along not long after Kirk was given the A (let’s assume it was in service for at least a 5 year mission before decommissioning even though there was less time between Trek’s 5 and 6). That means we have 3 Enterprises in 30 years. Picard also had the Enterprise D and E within a space of arguably 8 years. It would seem the B and C were exceptions.

Considering the Enterprise record then for the 32nd Century Voyager did very well.

The original Enterprise lasted longer than 20 years. Admiral Morrow in Star Trek III said “she’s twenty years old”, but that can’t be correct, as Star Trek III was 15 years after “Space Seed” (dialogue in Star Trek II) which itself was 13 years after “The Cage” (from dialogue in “The Menagerie”). So NCC-1701 was at least 28 years old when she was destroyed. And she was presumably a few years old at the time of “The Cage”.

The Enterprise was 40 years old when it was destroyed in Star Trek 3. Commissioned by Robert April in 2245.

Is that stated on screen anywhere though?

Yeah, I mean there were 6 Enterprises (not counting the NX model) between TOS and TNG time frame. That’s basically just over 100 years and there were already half dozen of those ships. Two of them got destroyed of course (I can’t remember if the Enterprise C was actually destroyed) but that’s still a lot of new ships in a century.

For Voyager to just have 11 variations in 800 years is a really really good record lol.

OTOH, TNG established the idea of 80 year old starships (Excelsior, Miranda, and Constellation classes). My impression is that lifespan depends a lot on mission suitability and cost to refit (assuming a ship doesn’t get destroyed outright). The plan to decommission the original Enterprise came after the ship had already been reassigned as a training vessel *and* took a beating from the encounter with Khan. Similarly, the Enterprise-A was decommissioned after the events of ST VI where it took a beating from the Bird-Of-Prey, including having holes punched straight through the saucer. (Never mind the question of the actual age of the Enterprise-A as it was a renamed ship.)

I don’t know were there any confirmed examples of starships staying in service that long? The Excelsior class was certainly in use for a very long time (and we never have established how long the constitution class was around before Enterprise 1701 was comissioned), but they likely just made new ships of a class over time (Enterprise B, for example).

In actuality lifespan of a starship depended on production budget. Cheaper and faster to reuse/refit an old model, or an already rendered digital model and just claim that the class of ship was still in service. 😉

That was never correct. It was stated in the movies, but the Enterprise, according to the book Final Frontier, was around 40 years old at the time of Star Trek III.

I’m so sick of the MIchael Burnham character. They make her this god-like person, where the entire universe only exists to address her needs/situation. ENOUGH! It’s a gawd awful stupid storyline. And no, it has nothing to do with it being a WOMAN in the lead role. I don’t care if it was a Horta playing the character. Too much is TOO much.

I agree with you Harry. Except I stopped watching mid-second season because of that (among other things), whereas you have been more patient…

I just can’t do it.

I appreciate the support, Silvereyes. However, if you had prevailed until the end of season 2, you would have seen the shots of the Bridge on Pike’s Enterprise.. Those visuals are a wet dream for any Trekkie! I guess you could always go to YouTube and punch up those bits. Well worth it!

Same exact situation here, Silvereyes. Stopped watching mid-season two, simply not enjoyable for me. I did specifically check out any scenes with Pike’s Enterprise later, though.

It really sounds as though there was a large contingent of viewers who abandoned Discovery S2 midway.

That’s a significant risk when serialized shows are dropped week-by-week. A couple of off putting episodes can just lose the audience (and I’m wondering if the Mandalorian is about to face this).

I watched the whole season, but my spouse signed off after Project Daedulus, for a long time.

And when they watched The Red Angel, they said “That was it,” for quite a while.

They got though the rest of the season in dribs and drabs, and we’d lost the recording of the finale on the PVR before they got to it.

CTV Sci-fi channel brought back all the episodes on demand before season 3 premiered, so my spouse got to finally see the S2 finale in October. I really doubt they’d have done this if our kids and I weren’t looking forward to S3.

sure, and they still come here and banter about abandoning it, here in the discussion to a new episode of a show, they abandoned.

LOL, yes it seems there are some of those Whatever.

But may spouse wouldn’t look at a board like this, and I wonder how representative they are of a certain kind of fan.

Did you have too much of Kirk destroying computers with logic?

Hey, even with Shatner’s selfish behaviour (well documented), Kirk in TOS didn’t hog every scene. The show didn’t showcase him like it was The Second Coming, like they do with the (yawn) Burnham character! NO character should be the ONLY focus, to the detriment of the remaining cast.

Except that’s not really happening…

Well, it FEELS that way, which is just as bad when you think about it.

Doesn’t FEEL that way to me, so that’s only on your end.

Your claim is way off base, Kirk by far has the most screen time in TOS.

Thanks, Matt. I appreciate the clarification. I must feel that way because Kirk was a lot more fun to watch. Yes, it’s subjective, I know.

Hi Matt,

Very off-topic Q:
Can you guys (the TrekMovie Powers That Be) create a DISCO open forum space not tied to any episode?

I know – Reddit already does this along with other sites. But I like most of the high quality Trek-sperts here.


(I have to quote Newt from Aliens once a week.)

Glad you enjoy the conversation here Tarnwood.

It’s great to have some new folks who like to analyse and share it. (Overanalysis seems to be my thing, but it’s baked in by now LOL.)

There is a general “Chat” thread in the main menu in case you hadn’t found it, but it’s not limited to any one show.

The mods may pick up on your suggestion here, but there’s also the option of sending an email to the “tip” address, also listed in the menu.

To be fair, Captain Saru got to berate Burnham TWICE in this episode for poorly thought out behavior. Even if the episode left no doubt we should think Burnham is still in the right ;)

Anyone making comparisons on screentime on away missions etc. should be looking to Riker/Kira/Chakotay as first officer.

In many way, they had a much more active role than their captains.

Actually I wasn’t commenting on screen time but the “Burnham is always right and tells rhe others what to do” syndrome. The writers allowing Saru to use his new authority to provide some limits to her brash actions is refreshing!

I agree. As much as I loathe to give credit to Secret Hideout making Saru the Captain was the right move. He gives her space to operate but lets her know when he things she crossed a line. But I do think a disagreement is coming between the two.

“But I do think a disagreement is coming between the two.”

You may be right. I just hope this disagreement won’t be “solved” with the Discovery Captain Replacement Method (Transferred / Vaporized / Eaten) ;)

I suspect that Burnham will eventually become Captain, but perhaps for season 6 or so.

Perhaps Saru will be promoted to Commodore. That would be a wonderful end to his character arc.

My issues partly stem from the writers’ incessant need to have characters explicitly spell out other characters’ virtues. “This is why you are valuable, I am going to tell you while the music swells.” It’s so corny and earnest to the point of being lazy and… dishonest. Show, don’t tell.

It’s not what I’m most like them to spend time on Ian, but I can also say that they must think it resonates with some of their audience.

The part of the audience that likes to be forcefed it’s emotions.

Let’s not get snarky about preferences Ian.

Discovery is getting great ratings so far for S3. This means more investment in the other series.

And the writers have acknowledged that all the crew’s emotional responses are over the top, which suggests that they may plan to dial it back over the course of the season and into future seasons.

More, 304 gave us a genuine “work the problem” moment with Stamets, Reno and Tilly that actually sounded like science getting done. Progress!

Snarky is my baseline, so that’s not going to change. But thank you for the info about the writers, I certainly have not been invested enough in the show to read anything they’ve said in interviews. I paid attention to Bryan Fuller while he was involved and I checked in on his replacements for a hot minute until it was obvious they were in over their heads. That’s about it.

I’m enjoying certain pieces of the future. Really like the crew’s geek-out at entering the new Starfleet Command. I have to say, I’m more interested in the background characters than the main ones. Detmer and Owosekun have a nice dynamic together, I’d like to see more of them. Also would like to see more about Detmer’s trauma struggle, and wondering why no one else on the ship hasn’t had a similar reaction.

Michael did an OK job, very over the top as commander, seemed a bit jarring. I would’ve liked a more ‘casual confidence’ air from her. Then again, she does intensity, so I guess it’s in character.

Would be nice to have some casual references to fill in the gap between the end of the 24th century and the Burn. We can hope. Also, I haven’t really been able to get a good look at any of the ships, the picture is always very busy. I’d just like one slow flyby of something new.

Really Good Episode!

1) In episode 3 or 4, someone correctly stated that the writers try to stuff far too many problems into each episode, resulting in superficial coverage of the issues. That is a problem that comes with large casts – you have to give 75% of them a few lines per episode to ensure they are earning their pay. But it also means that a lot of details about core issues are left off screen due to time constraints. Like with Ariam, it would have been nice to see Nahn evolving into a character longing to go home rather than to see her decide it is time to go in just a short moment, with no prior narrative preparation.

I also would have loved to see more actual forensic investigation / “CSI Star Trek” type of action with the Admiral and his team using Trek-nology to query the computer, examine the ship, carbon-date stuff, break into walled-off Section 31 files that Ash may have hidden, etc…. to validate the story rather than to have a few moments of dialogue and a “you saved the aliens! – You are good to come into the fort now.”

Also, it would have been nice to have some sort of scene at the edge of the distortion field where the DISCO must validate who they are (like with the Earth defenses), enter a code or something while interacting with a dubious Federation Security team on comms before they can just penetrate the field. If the Federation is so fearful, why not show the hardened defenses to visually communicate that the Fed now walks around with phasors out and pointed at everyone who enters the neighborhood, rather than talk about it with a lot of dialogue, Trek-splaining and mentions of Italian painters who looked up?

Clearly, decisions on what to show on screen are certainly the purview of the writers. But I think the superficial coverage of some issues (with lots of detail items left off-screen) is due to season length. Discovery is packing 100 pounds of Trek in a 13 episode bag, while TNG / DS9 / VOY / ENT had 20+ episodes per season. With more episodes, you had time to peel the layers back, explore a few narrative rabbit trails, and let seemingly lesser plots slowly build over time. I will always say that the way Ariam was handled was so wrong. I hope that the fan outcry over that, taught the writers something.

I wish that some Short Treks could be used between meatier episodes to fill in a few moments of critical off camera action.

2) I really think Michael and Saru are going to have to part company. They care for each other as friends might, but professionally they are oil and water. It would be good for them if they did separate.

Who could be a good 1st Officer for Saru if Michael leaves the Fed / Fleet? No one seems to obviously fill the gap in Command that could be left if Burnham leaves Disco.

3) Why didn’t they put the ship in dry-dock to be outfitted with the latest weapons, shields, hull plating, computers, sensors, nacelles, transporters, comms gear, distortion fields, cloaking devices, the cool auto-deploying A.I.-embedded shape-altering matter, etc.?

(For that matter, people on this show don’t crawl through Jeffries tubes or have any crises in the ship’s engine room or warp core? Why?)

After being granted a full return to Star Fleet, wouldn’t Saru think that priority #1 should be to update and retrofit the ship ASAP before going out into the galaxy with a 1000-year-old relic? If Earth defenses could punch holes in the ship in a few seconds, I am sure other more aggressive adversaries could do far worse.

Otherwise, good stuff!

I agree with so much of your post with this one exception:

“I really think Michael and Saru are going to have to part company. They care for each other as friends might, but professionally they are oil and water. It would be good for them if they did separate.”

I don’t really think so. This is just basic conflict drama 101. They ARE different people who sees some things differently but it’s no different than Sisko and Kira or Archer and T’Pol. Even Janeway and Chakotay. Neither of these started off great either, mistrusting of the other early on at times but all learned to work together and formed great relationships by the end.

And of course the difference is they have already been together a long time and truly care about each other. They consider each other family and family doesn’t always get along all the time. But like so much of this season, we now see a new dynamic with them with Saru finally becoming Captain and Burnham under him, so it’s going to take time, but I think they are going to be a great team when they get comfortable with everything.

“Why didn’t they put the ship in dry-dock to be outfitted with the latest weapons, shields, hull plating, computers, sensors, nacelles, transporters, comms gear, distortion fields, cloaking devices, the cool auto-deploying A.I.-embedded shape-altering matter, etc.?”

I assume this is all coming. It’s ridiculous to have a thousand year old ship in the fleet and not be majorly upgraded. So I think it will come. At the very least it has to have better shielding and weapons. I would LOVE to see an Emergency Hologram added to the ship as well, but probably won’t happen.

Thanks Tiger.

Those two just feel thorny to me. I can’t help but think she’s going to recall the freedom she had on her own or with Book then decide to retire the Delta badge to be a freelance consultant to the Fed. “Saru, it’s me not you. See you! Hey Book – wait up!”

Otherwise, you are on to something about the hologram. Zora did have holo-emitters on the DISCO bridge. So yes, there will be upgrades. Sooner rather than later, I hope.


They did mention in the episode the ship was up for a refit (and the crew reassigned) before the new mission was agreed upon. Although I’d prefer they go by Calypso, abandon that pizza cutter and get something non-offensive to the eyes to fly on ;)

I was in favor of ditching the ship as well. But now since we know Zora will probably make an entrance much earlier than thought, I don’t see that happening. And of course they have the spore drive. which is something they may not be able to adapt to another ship so easily being a thousand years old and all.

But you’re right they did mention it getting a refit, it’s probably just going to be one where everything is just hidden within the walls so the ship can look the same as before but still ‘upgraded’.

Stammets was crawling around in a Jeffries Tube in Episode 2.

True that. My bad for not recalling.


And Adira was in a Jeffries tube just a few episodes ago when she was caught by Stamets.

We didn’t see the Federation. Perimeter security scene with someone on comms and phasers out because we had that scene two weeks ago in Earth’s perimeter. They’re not going to go through that bit at every planet (hey, why do you have a thousand year old ship?).
We also assume that Star Fleet could identify the ship using its own verification method versus Earth where they may not still have a Star Fleet database.

As for this point: “Also, it would have been nice to have some sort of scene at the edge of the distortion field where the DISCO must validate who they are (like with the Earth defenses), enter a code or something while interacting with a dubious Federation Security team on comms before they can just penetrate the field. If the Federation is so fearful, why not show the hardened defenses to visually communicate that the Fed now walks around with phasors out and pointed at everyone who enters the neighborhood, rather than talk about it with a lot of dialogue, Trek-splaining and mentions of Italian painters who looked up?”

It sounded like Saru had already been in touch with the Federation/Starfleet (they’re kinda one and the same at the moment), and thus the Federation knew they would be there. Based on the scans they were able to perform on Discovery just while they were flying in, I imagine they had no problem scanning the ship before it entered the distortion field to ensure they were who they said they were, and, perhaps more importantly, ensure that they were no threat.

Great article but someone REALLY needs to proofread it before posting it. Found numerous grammatical errors.

I appreciate that just about every criticism of the show was addressed by the characters in their debriefing, especially leading to the Emperor actually having to address how one dimensional she has been. I took the bait here.

Since Tal was led away, and they had teased Cronenberg’s appearance, I really thought Cronenberg was going to dig inside her for the squid. Is this yet to come?

Two quibbles – Culber should have helped the grieving Barzan Captain, since he’s got the most experience with being dead and it’s emphasized in this episode. And if the Barzan Captain is dying from a form of radiation exposure… what’s protecting the seeds?

Was it the best scripted episode yet?

I was not a fan of the interrogations. It felt like a “last season on Star Trek Discovery…” sequence. I was bored and couldn’t wait for it to end. Georgeau is so bad I honestly don’t care about any scene she is in at this point. So I was unimpressed with the entire conversation. Something was said about crossovers or whatnot but honestly when space hitler is featured it’s hard to pay attention.

I loved the debriefs, and would have liked more.

It could have been a chance to let some of the rest of the rest of the crew to own a brief scene.

At least two or three of Dr. Pollard, Owosekun, Detmer, Rhys, Bryce and Nihlsson would have been great to see. It was a real missed opportunity.

Well, Enterprise, you remember, the captain that got has ass kicked all the time, introduced Space Nazis, so Space Hitler ist just the next logical step.

Kelvin Kirk got his ass handed to him quite a bit. I don’t recall Archer being beaten more than he gave out. But yes… That season 3 cliffhanger was indeed a low point. No argument there. But even they could be taken more seriously than Mrs. Snidely Whiplash here.

Fantastic episode in every way!

Voyager J!!! Seeing her just made me feel so giddy. That’s going to be endless talk for months lol.

The look of the new Federation though and all of those beautiful advanced ships just made my mouth water. I loved how everyone on Discovery was geeking out over it all like we were. I loved watching Tilly at the end of the first scene. It’s like she just arrived at Disneyland lol. I really really hope we get on one of those ships this season. Of course The Voyager J would be the one I choose. ;)

Just loved all the references to all the shows they keep packing in every episode. We got great references from Enterprise to obviously Voyager. April 5th being a Holy Day in the MU for wiping out the Vulcans is hilarious. Terrans really do move to a different beat. As said the USS Nog was a great touch! It’s so much fun since we are centuries away from all the shows now everything can be referenced but still relevant even in the 32nd century. The best example of course being TCW from Enterprise and how that war has clearly shaped things in this era. Again I have to give it to the writers, they have really kept canon in line and doing it in a way where it doesn’t feel like it’s just fan service (which LDS admittedly did feel like a lot of the time) but just makes the franchise feels whole and connected in a beautiful way.

Oh and I think you guys missed one in your random bits section, but the Kazon was referenced on their galaxy map display when Burnham, Saru and Adira first entered Federation headquarters. It makes you wonder is the Federation now in Delta quadrant space or have more species from that area just made it to the Alpha quadrant?

And yes the stuff with Georgiou was great. I think this was EASILY my favorite episode with her. Seeing her dispatch those holograms were funny. And the back and forth between her and Kovic was so fun to watch. I loved it. And yes I think he is a Section 31 agent and probably could be the opening to her becoming a Section 31 agent again in this century. That would be amazing if so. I think a 32nd century show just has so much more potential than going back to the 23rd or 24th century for the new show. Fingers crossed!

I have to say though, just five episodes in this season and I’m totally enamored with this show now. Discovery is hitting all cylinders so far. It still has some of Discovery old problems but has improved greatly IMO. It feels like almost a totally different show now. What is it with Trek shows and third seasons lol. But clearly they have rebooted this show in a great way. The era its in now is just a lot of fun because it’s so different from everything we know but yet still familiar. But you can tell the writers and designers are probably SO HAPPY the show is now in it’s own era because they can just do what they want now. Tell any story, show every crazy tech up their sleeve and don’t have to worry about us geeks pointing out how that’s not TOS!!!! Moving this show to the 32nd century was easily the best decision it made. I’m so looking forward to future seasons now!

And I just love how Discovery stories are now being told in classic Star Trek fashion again! Every episode have been small crisis of the week. Problem solving, empathy, SCIENCE, exploration. Discovery is getting back to Star Trek roots!

The Federation endures and so does Star Trek!

I noticed the Kazon reference as well. With the Voyager references in this episode, I’m kind of bummed that DS9 seems to be the least referenced of the series. It has had references, but so far they’ve all felt a lot more circular or indirect. I’m hoping for some more significant DS9 references in the future.


It is a bit odd I admit, although we did get a USS Nog, that can’t be ignored at all! So they are there, in this case in a really touching way.

But yes, it is crazy that Discovery seems to highlight most shows now, but DS9 is referenced the least so far. Oddly, it seems Enterprise is now referenced the most. It wasn’t surprising it was referenced of course when it was still in the 23rd century, but oddly it feels more relevant now in the 32nd century thanks to TCW. I’m hoping we learn more about what happened with that like we do the Burn. I still have my fingers crossed for a Daniels cameo. ;)

DS9 certainly gets them. We just had a visit to Trill last week, which I found out later was only the second time we ever saw that planet. And again we can’t forget where Section 31 came from! So it’s there, but I know what you mean.

Voyager in general seems to be getting its second wind in the franchise in general with Seven on Picard and of course Janeway joining Prodigy. Maybe we might see her on the Voyager-A on that show. ;)

I think if and when we get a character on that show showing up somewhere, it will make people more happy since we are getting tons of TNG and VOY cast members now thanks to Picard and Lower Decks. I still hope someone shows up on Picard next season.

At this point, with SO MUCH going on and so much Star Trek back in the 24th century now (LDS, Picard, Prodigy) it’s only a matter of when IMO.

If SH is in any kind of discussions to bring back DS9 or Sisko, my expectation is that we will see less rather than more DS9 content until that’s sorted out.

What? Is that a rumor or you just speculating?

I’m conscious that TrekMovie is careful to avoid rumours here.

(That said, there are some rumours out there, but that’s really not my point.)

There has been a pattern of complete silence, or even indications that we wouldn’t be seeing callbacks, followed by surprises.

We’ve had a lot of major characters return at this point:

– Seven, Riker and Troi in Picard
– Riker and Troi in LDs
– Janeway to star in Prodigy.

So, to me, not having major DS9 references that would constrain an actual callback is a sign that they want to have that option.

Sorry this is so late, just saw it. But OK, I understand. But Avery Brooks seem to have made it clear he’s very done with Star Trek at this point.

But yes, a few years ago you could’ve argued about that with both Stewart and Mulgrew, but they always stayed part of the Star Trek hemisphere doing conventions, discussing the shows in interviews, etc. Brooks have seem to move on completely at this point.

If Kurtzman can convince Brooks to come back too, this man is definitely worth the money he’s being paid.

To be fair, DS9 has gotten a pretty big callback with the Trill storyline the past couple of episodes.

Yeah it’s not like DS9 is completely avoided on this show. The last two seasons it has gotten lots of references and callbacks, Section 31 obviously the biggest.

I guess some people want specific history or characters mentioned from the show, like the Dominion war or something. I think more will come in time.

Giotto is not obscure. Humanity’s first probe to Comet Haley was named for him.

I was going to say. Also, the Dark Ages ended with the domestication of the Danes. After that it was the High Middle Ages, until the multiple disasters of the 14th century. Which were dark times, but not the Dark Ages.

LOL I think I had to do an exam on that once upon a long time ago Praetor Tal, but US schools emphasize different things than in Canada or the UK. I’m not sure the average CBSAA viewer would know the distinction.

I have an M.A. in history, so I sometimes overestimate the historical literacy of the average jack in the street. But I should think the writers would do their homework before committing a bold historical assertion to a permanent public medium.

Well, TNG referred to the American southwest in the 19th century as “The Ancient West.”.

The only way I could reconcile these kinds of errors is to think that 400 years hence society would have a different perspective on ancient, or see the high middle ages as dark.

(I can also say that our kids, who here in Canada started into Shakespeare in middle school, are a lot more critical consumers of the Trek use of Shakespearean quotes than the average Trek audience from what I can tell. Just different perspective.)

I thought that pushing Disco into the 32nd century was an overreaction by Kurtzman to the canonistas of the world. However, this show is now really hitting its stride this season. I agree this episode has a good measure of classic Trek episode structuring in it. IN particular, it reminded me of the mystery-solving that took place in TMP.

100% agreed!

I was one of those people who early on hated it was going to be a prequel to TOS, but I accepted it of course. But I admit it really deflated me early on and while I could certainly love the show (if it was good) for what it was, I just really wanted to see something, anything, completely new again!

So of course I was so excited when they decided to place the show in the 32nd century but still cautious of course. It’s been said over and over again the time period these shows takes place in doesn’t make the show good, simply the writing does and Discovery was always shaky with that. But seeing what they been able to do by placing it in this era has given the show a new shot in the arm even I wasn’t expecting.

I think it has given the writers and producers a sense of freedom they didn’t have before and now they are just opening it up on a creative level while still adhering to a classic Trek story structure. This is what you can get when you can literally dream up anything without holding back.

For me, this is everything I been wanting to see in a new Star Trek show since Voyager went off the air. This is literally why so many of us wanted to see Trek go forward again, it opens up the universe in ways we haven’t seen in decades. And it’s doing it differently than the other shows did.

And I still think its funny people were arguing you push the show 100 years past Voyager, then you lose what makes Star Trek special or it will just be too much of ‘magical technology’ when we are seeing the very opposite of that. They pushed this show a freaking thousand years from Enterprise and the irony is it feels much more relatable to me now than it did in season one. The ‘magical tech’ everyone moaned about would happen has only made the show more fun, interesting and creative. And because of the Burn, it’s not crazy futuristic everywhere, so it’s a nice balance IMO. This is what Star Trek should’ve been doing for the last 15 years instead of just constant reboots or prequels.

I know this show still has its detractors for sure but I think even they have to admit it is improving at least even if its still not up to their tastes. And for the record, I still don’t think it’s as good as TNG/DS9/VOY etc, but it’s getting there…fast! Season 3 is on par with the other shows now IMO, the question is will it stay there? Hopefully it will.

I’m just thankful this is where the show is now and I can’t wait to see how the 32nd century will be explored in future seasons. :)

There is not a lot of the “future magic” I think because anytime you go really far into the future no one wants to touch the advances to the point where they make up a reason to keep it regressed. And to some extent that has happened here. Some things are advanced but other things are hopelessly stagnant. I guess this burn thing is their excuse for that.

And I think it really works. The Federation is down, but HQ and the few ships it still has are obviously highly advanced for this era. I would say the same for Earth. But some of the planets we seen are more downtrodden but clearly uses a lot of advance tech in everyday use.

But the producers found the right balance where things clearly feel more advanced than the 23rd or 24th century but not to the point its all just Synths and holograms running starships and people are installing their consciousness directly into holodeck programs. But then again, it’s only episode 5. ;D

I was really worried that Star Trek was dead after 2 horrible season of Disco and even worse season of Picard. However Season 3 of Disco, while still not as good as TNG/DS9/VOY.. is much better. It feels like Star Trek and has been consistently good. The most recent episode being the best so far. Long may it continue and keep fine tuning. PS (Burnham does not have to be the centre of attention!)

That’s not a “cat equivalent”. That’s Bearegarde!

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I don’t think “eschew” means what you think it means…

D’oh! Just a wrong word choice. Swapped, thank you.

My English degree can’t help itself sometimes!

Excellent episode. That’s two straight weeks this series has given me something that fits my idea of Star Trek, and that’s the first time that’s happened. I’d love for that momentum to continue.

Got a little misty when the Voyager-J showed up.


When even you are praising this show, that must mean it has gotten better lol. I was looking forward to all your put downs of it this season since last season they were so fun to read. But I have become disappointed…in a good way! ;D

And yes, seeing the Voyager-J was a moving experience for me too. That’s clearly registering the most since I see it being discussed everywhere. It was just as nice as when the Enterprise showed up at the end of season 1. Just a great moment.

I know, right? I’ve been very hard on this show and on “Picard,” and for what I feel have been good reasons. But I have loved these last two episodes, and am very happy to say so. I just hope that will keep on being the cast for the rest of the season.

I was just like you with Discovery in season one (not as brutal though lol) and we feel about the same on Picard, although I’m slightly more positive on it.

And I agree I think Discovery is hitting its stride and a lot of that is due to not only being in the time period its in, but the writing has just gotten better, period. I think being in an era where everything is new has pushed the creative juices of the writers in a way it never has before. Hopefully it will stay consistent through the season but so far so good at least.

It also helps (probably quite a bit) that this is the first season that has both the same writers room AND same show runners for the whole season. It’s gotta be really hard to write a show when things are constantly changing.

Good point. We didn’t hear any crazy behind the scenes stuff this time. No abuse allegations or the head of the studio leave over sexual harassment claims. Everything seems to be humming along now.

True but the downside is they are still stuck with the same characters.

Not surprising all the negative comments about Burnham. How dare them make the lead character a woman of colour? Sonequa Martin-Green gives depth to Burnham’s character and she is here to stay. Deal with it or stop watching. Nobody really cares if you do.

Otherwise great episode and wonderful to see more character development for the other crew members.

I agree that many of the criticisms of Burnham/SMG feel prejudicial in one way or another, but please consider the fact that it IS possible to dislike a character (or even a person) without disliking their race/gender/etc. There are enough such problems in the world without imagining them.

That said, when there’s direct evidence of it, I do think it should be called out. I’ve called it out myself, and will continue to do so. But maybe do so with a narrow brush and not a broad one; I don’t see any need to generalize and assume that just because someone doesn’t like Michael Burnham, they also don’t like women of color.

I, for example, have never liked Burnham despite liking Martin-Green very much as both an actor and (based on interviews) as a person. I’d love to be a Burnham fan as well as an SMG fan. So far, this season is getting me closer than ever, so here’s hoping the trend continues.

Your points are fair Bryant.

It does get hard to explain one’s problems with a character when it is dismissed as coded systemic predjudice.

I don’t think it serves the series well, or breaking through that kind of prejudice, to reflexively assume that it’s coded.

Avery Brooks had some very clear thoughts about being the first black male series lead and captain. He talked about how it was important that he be seen as an ordinary human male.

Brooks strongly resisted the kind of “Archer Syndrome” , main character as the centre of all major events in their history – despite Sisko actually being a fulcrum character. And to me and many others, that made Sisko a character that we empathized with throughout his truly bizarre experiences with the prophets and as a messianic leader for the Bajorans.

To put it out there, I am in the camp that liked Burnham a lot up until the middle of season two. The self-absorption from Project Daedulus on really lost me. Yes, she was dealing with trauma and loss, but not only was it “not pretty” as Culber described it in 304, she was exasperating in her loss of sense of duty.

I like how the writers are acknowledging in S3 that Burnham continues to have overly heightened emotions, and it’s bringing me around, but having lost the connection to the character, the emotional beats mostly don’t land for me.

I found it odd that someone raised by Vulcans would be so incredibly emotional, to be honest. Did she not absorb any of what they taught her adopted brother?

But I digress. That is trait they seemed to abandon half way through season 1.

Just a thought. If Star Fleet knows about the Terran Empire universe do you think they know about the JJ-verse?

Is that the one where they’re up to the 37th Voyager?

Seriously, though, that’s a good question. I’d say no, since there is (as far as I remember) no reason for them to know it even exists. With the Terran Empire, there were crossovers to alert them to its existence.

It’s an interesting thought. We know they have records of the Terran Empire explicitly from both TOS and DS9, i’m struggling to see how they could know about the Kelvin Universe. Did they mention anything to Georgiou beyond that the Terran Empire fell? We know that from DS9.

I had that thought as well.

Michael’s suit opened a wormhole. Do we know that the wormhole was strictly linear?

Could it have crossed over to the Kelvin timeline? I mean, Star Fleet and Federation offices do look spare, white and antiseptic like an Apple store … just like the bridge of JJ’s shiny Enterprise. (I am joking about Apple. But I am curious about Kelvin.)

For that matter, assume DISCO is firmly in the prime timeline. Would that time jump have impacted… no.

Cronenberg is already familiar with mirror verse. I wonder then, if he is familiar with parallel verses such as Kelvin?

Recall in season 1, Lorca showed Burnham (and maybe Stamets later) a holographic map with overlays of areas of space that the spore drive could take them. The crew didn’t know it but Lorca was mapping his way from the Prime timeline back to the Mirror timeline… two different universes. So I wonder if that map had some random marker that would equate to the Kelvin verse? If DISCO could map that stuff 930 years ago, Cronenberg certainly has the temporal mapping tech and multiverse knowledge now.

I wonder what is happening in the Kelvin time right now. Did they have a burn? Lorca used the spore drive to go from the prime verse to the mirror verse, so I wonder if it could be used to go to the Kelvin verse to secure dilithium and other resources as needed assuming there was no burn there.

Really cool possibilities for linking the show to the movies!

I for one hope the JJ Verse is never referenced again. Despite a few pieces of admirable casting (and some not so admirable; looking at you, Cumberbatch), tapping into a vein of nostalgia, and a come-from-behind third act, it is ultimately the most forgettable iteration of Star Trek. Please pretend it never existed.

Tarnwood, watching 305 again yesterday, one of the comments by Kovich (Cronenberg’s character), really stuck out.

He said to Georgiou that she was in her second universe and her third timeline.


We all have assumed that she and the Discovery is in the same timeline as TOS and 90s Trek, just in a different era, further down the timestream.

But we have two other clues/suggestions that they might have hopped to another version of the Prime Universe.

First, Saru explains one of the theories they have about why Burnham and Discovery didn’t arrive together in the future, positing some kind of rough going in the transit.

Second, the Admiral notes that they now have two truths and that rarely goes well.

From what we know of the theory of multiverses that Trek relies on, for the most part small deviations in timelines tend to fold back into the main one. While there are some big event breaks that separate a universe into branches, it’s not an infinitely dense and expanding tree of universes in the long run.

But Burnham and Discovery’s transit with their technology and the spore data were a major branch. Only timelines where they left the 23rd century successfully will have preserved life, but they don’t need to survive to arrive in the 32nd century for that.



TG47 – You get it!

The new Fed has the tech to watch and monitor timelines now. I recently watched the TNG episode where Worf keeps phasing into different universes each time he is near Geordie’s visor. Data finally caught on and did an analysis of Worf’s (don’t recall the terminology, but I will call it the…) temporal signature and found it to be different from the everything in that specific universe. When the ship returned to the causal worm hole, hundreds or thousands of other 1701s popped up, representing the many other universes intersecting at that worm hole. They finally identified which 1701 that Worf belonged to by comparing temporal signatures.

Kovich did the temporal signature analysis on Georgiou. I wonder if they did the same to the rest of the crew to verify that the DISCO is actually a resident of that universe’s past.

In any case, I think there is something there… and precious few people either realize it or are talking about it.

But some part of season 3’s drama or this series’ larger multi-season core narrative (aside from the original time jump) is buried in some ADDITIONAL kind of timeline or multiverse MacGuffin for which the first jump is causal.

This is why I want to get a 24-7 Trek thread that talks issues and topics rather than episodes. When BSG was on, there was a thread on SYFY/SciFi that was agnostic of the episode, and there were about 20 of us who kept that thread lit up trying to probe much deeper into too many theories and plot threads to count. It was so much fun! I truly enjoyed that thread as much as I enjoyed the show. Honestly, I really wish Kurtzman would hire a few of the writers from Battlestar Galactica to come in and write a few episodes to:

1) better and more tightly weave the stories and plot threads together (it really bothers me that if the Picard show resolved the issues with synthetic life, why have we not seen any synths in DISCO Season 3 yet? And why are the Holograms so obviously artificial so as to ensure that no human/humanoid mistakes them for anything else? That is a plot thread that should be tied up already, or there better be a good reason why Data’s children are no where to be seen.)

2) truly nail down the character development / character arcs / cast drama

3) do a better job of prioritizing which plot points are critical to an episode rather than trying to cram so much into each ep.

That said, I am happy. Not complaining. Not really.


I think we need to be patient. Discovery is definitely moving to a show more than tell exposition of some of the changes in technology. It seems that there have been some choices that have taken things somewhat backwards.

BTW, it doesn’t sound like you’ve read the Trek Relaunch novels (now sadly another continuity) but the better authors from that writers room have this stuff down cold.

Fortunately Kirsten Beyer was brought on to Discovery as a writer and continuity expert, and has been working her way up the WGA hierarchy. She is credited as a co-creatoe of Picard, but I don’t get the sense she had a strong influence on that once they initially broke the first season.

I’m getting the sense she has more influence now that she’s moved up to co-executive producer on Discovery.

Anyway, Beyer’s 10 Voyager Relaunch novels grapple with all manner of timey wimey implications. Whatever the writers room has done, I’m confident that at this point it’s been mapped out across the multiverse.

Another top-notch Trek-lit author David Mack is working as a consultant on LDs and Prodigy. Mack was originally a NY film school grad, and has two writing credits for DS9 including “It’s Only a Paper Moon.”. His trilogy Destiny in the post Nemesis Relaunch continuity is arguably the best Trek-lit written.

I would think not. That is not a universe one can just hop over to. It’s an alternate timeline that exists only within itself.

I’m guessing what’s they meant by third timeline had to do with the all sentient life being dead by the 32nd Century thanks to Control before the time jump prevented that.

“eschewed” or “espoused”?

Fixed! D’oh.

Now that we know the Federation had 350 members by the 31st century but down to just 38, I wonder what happened to all those Federation colonies??? There were already a thousand colonies by TOS time frame. By the 24th century I have to assumed they had doubled. No telling how many there were by this time frame. What happened to all of them though? I’m guessing most were pretty self sustainable with replicators, etc but there still could’ve been many who relied on the Fenderation to bring more resources, especially in start up colonies.

I too was stuck on this. It could be that colonies belong to each member ‘world’ as in they are the governing state for all of the thousands of colonies. Then again, Earth is not in the UFP, so who owns those colonies? *shrug*

Many have probably declared independence or perhaps formed their own alliances with neighboring worlds. Maybe this is also what the Orion-Andorian alliance is doing. Snatching up former Federation colony worlds and extorting them in exchange for protection.

That’s actually a great point. Maybe they just created alliances with nearby neighbors, kind of what the Maquis did, but for different reasons. ;)

Pretty sure the pet flower the Barzans had was the same species as the one in the original series in Sulu’s botany lab. The one that freaks out around disguised salt monsters. lol.

That was my favorite bit from the episode. Nice to see Beauregard/Gertrude’s species survived the Burn.

I really want to see Beauregard with a young ensign Sulu as a xenobiologist on the Enterprise in SNW.

Avika Goldsman – we want the story of how Beauregard came to the Enterprise!

A good outing, probably the best of the season (with episode 2 coming right after, which had more problems than this). Of course pretty much on the emotional side again, but crucially these scenes were not gratuitous but justified due to external drama (the doctor) and Nhan leaving.

Somehow the latter reminded me of Voyager leaving Neelix behind before its homecoming and here it’s one of Discovery’s crew going there own path right before the crew truly “coming home” (being welcomed back in Starfleet). This is only understandable that some of the crew would want a fresh independent start after this enormous break with the past (literally).

Overall the episode did a much better job at selling the 930 years gap than the ones before (and no, I don’t buy “the others are resource strapped and thus are using the equivalent of 10th century interior design – so is the Federation). Once again the costumes are the weakest link but the production design is top-notch. Curiosity won out for me this time and I was not disappointed, however I will probably skip coming episodes I’m not interested in based on the trailers and early reviews.

I think the writers may have just figured out something brilliant. Now that the Discovery and her crew have found Starfleet and the Federation, I can see them being assigned to various mission-of-the-week type assignments – such as repairing or replacing the much needed and highly important subspace relays, checking in on existing Federation planets, and most importantly, checking in on the many planets that left the Federation due to the burn. These assignments will fit in perfectly with weekly standalone-type stories, while still maintaining the overarching arc of the season – uncovering the who, what, where, why, when and how of the Burn. Already, this first 5 episodes have had a more standalone nature than stories told in season 1 and 2, and now the writers have set themselves up to continue on that style while still maintaining a solid season arc.

I hope this is what they are going for and this episode certainly had a standalone feel. As for mission of the week, unfortunately the Admiral immediately poured cold water on the idea of exploration missions, so the show would still be better titled “Star Trek: Burnham’s Self-Discovery” as not much other discovery is to be found ;)

Mission of the week ≠ exploration missions. Things such as repairing subspace relays, and coming across something suitably crazy and Star Treky, would be a perfect mission for Disco to undertake. But, we shall see…

Yes, I got that. I was expressing regret we STILL will not see much classic exploration but probably more intergalactic politics a la DS9. I guess exploration is what SNW is for…

Got it, you may be right in that regard. It’s possible they’ll still be able to some level of exploration on top of other missions – in some ways learning about the Burn is all about exploration. Regardless, I’m really excited as to where this season is heading.

TOS didn’t actually have much pure exploration. The majority of episodes were started with errands or responding to a lost signal/distress call or some such thing.

So true. I estimate if you look at episodes that is purely about exploration and it’s someplace no one has been before, it’s probably 10-20 episodes at best.

It is amazing how many episodes is just mostly going to Federation colonies or doing ‘second contacts’ so to speak after a starfleet ship showed up at a planet 50 years ago and screwed things up Kirk has to now repair.

After watching next week’s clip on The Ready Room, I think you’re on to something. I agree, I think they will set it up like they did for TOS and TNG where every week they will be given a new assignment, but this time they will primarily be stationed at the Federation HQ instead of just roaming out into space somewhere.

This will be a great way to feel more standalone while continuing the big story line over the Burn. And because it has the spore drive, it will be doing all the heavy lifting of first contacts (or re-contacts ;)), any big crisis, rescue operations, etc. I think this will be a great set up and it really gives a chance to learn how Starfleet is operating more if they are spending more time at HQ.

I think I’m going to truly love this season! It’s just checking all the right boxes with me.

It also occurs to me that of COURSE Discovery is getting better. It’s the 3rd season! pretty much a tradition since TNG that the series really find their footing and take off in the third season.

LOL yep!

TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT and now DIS! The tradition lives on….maybe! :)

The U.S.S. Nog is an Eisenberg-class starship. I may be crying a little bit :'(

Someone on Reddit posted all these amazing screenshots of Federation HQ!


Clearly the production designers are doing their job, while the costume people clearly are not :)

Oh stop, VS!

You and I are never going to agree on the costuming.

I agree that the Discovery uniforms aren’t ideal, clearly they’re designed for the maximum screen which isn’t necessarily what they’re viewed on.

But otherwise, I think the design is great, and unlike Picard, the workmanship is excellent.

The quality of the uniforms on Picard got better as the season progressed. Compare Captain Riker’s uniform to the ones we saw in episode 1- different materials, better cut, better stitching. Maybe it was just learning and experience, maybe they changed teams, but something changed.

Yes, Picard’s costumes improved, but there were still some with really poor sewing through to midseason.

I’m talking about rippled and bunching seams and bad finishing.

That’s just inexplicable, and something most cosplayers wouldn’t go out with. Some of the costumes just had that “homemade” look, even Picard’s.

Cut, fit and materials, I can understand taking a while to get right, and they may have been pushed. But basic workmanship being so poor is just bizarre.

By the way, Gersha Phillips has talked about problems the Discovery team have faced with fabrics coming late from Europe or looking very different from expected in HD using Red. She’s said that they did a vast number of variations and camera-tested them before they landed on the colourful uniforms for the Enterprise crew.

So, even if the California designer and team was a different group, the issues were well known ahead of time.

VS, I don’t know why you seem so obsessed with the costuming?

Honestly, I’m not trying to sound like an apologist but I think its fine. I just don’t know what you expect in this regard? But I really like the Starfleet uniforms. Not my favorite, but fine and still fits what we think of Starfleet while being unique. To me, I just like the simpler starfeet styles (but never a fan of TMP) which is why I liked Enterprise and the First Contact/DS9 uniforms so much.

At the very least you have to admit they look better than Discovery band uniforms. ;)

I’m surprised, Tiger, since 2 weeks ago you agreed with me the EDF uniforms look so similiar to Discovery’s it hindered the narrarive of showing the clash of the two crews! There’s jusr a complete lack of imagination in these uniforms and looking better than Discovery’s is not much of a challenge anyway ;)

Yeah I agreed with you about the EDF uniforms but we are talking about the Starfleet uniforms which this episode was based around and clearly will be a mainstay in the series and I think they look fine.

I remember having this discussion with you several months ago as well and I stated you’re either going to get something more ‘futuristic’ like Daniels temporal suit in Enterprise or something like the time cops from the 29th century in Voyager. I can’t tell you which one is more ‘realistic’ when you’re talking hundreds of years into the future. But these guys decided to go the 29th century route we seen on Voyager and I like that look.

Sure you can go more ‘out there’ I just don’t know if that’s anymore realistic either, but I understand you want something more.

I don’t know – I think the uniforms here looked future-y enough (cool textures). Sure, there were zippers on the Disco uniforms, but…

Is this more an FX thing where you want to see space-y fasteners, or TOS thermal suits?

Or would you rather see Buck Rogers-style onesies? How different could future uniforms be?

They still look way better than the Picard uniforms, which looked like a fifth grade sewing project.

“How different could future uniforms be?

Glad you’re asking! I wrote a lengthy and detailed post on this a couple of weeks ago which unfortunately nobody seems to have read.

In short, the difference should be conceptual more than stylistic already. Keyword: smart clothing. You can bet early prototypes of this will be available in a decade already (the Nike shoe that fastens itself is an early example), so why not in 1000 years by a culture that has programmable matter for everything? Basically the uniform would be the equivalent to the yellow off grid of the holodeck and then you could transform it instantely into any clothes needed according to environmental conditions. Also personal force field and so on. No more spacesuits.

Now, all this could still be coming, but somehow these uniforms look too “earnest” that I believe that. It’s the equivalent to a WW2 movie showing soldiers in chain mail armor, because clearly military clothing doesn’t change much in 1000 years, right ;)

“Die Trying” ESCHEWED Star Trek ideals?! I think you need to look that word up; it means “to refrain from” or “to abstain from.”

I’m amazed at all they packed into this episode, and so well, too!

Burnham’s year of being a free-and-easy courier has her chafing at Starfleet discipline. While that’s understandable, she was known as “the mutineer” for a couple of years, so I really think she needs to take a step back and remind herself of what it means to be a Starfleet officer.

They may all love Detmer, and she may be a great pilot normally, but it isn’t clear to me that trusting her with their lives right now is actually a good thing to do. Thank heavens for Owo!

Burnham seemed annoyed that Admiral Vance didn’t just welcome them with open arms, but I thought it was entirely reasonable that he’d need to figure out what the heck was going on before just accepting them at their word. Aren’t there any Vulcans in Starfleet anymore? Surely a mind meld or two could show that the Disco crew is telling the truth.

What’s up with Georgiou? Anything that can faze HER is some scary stuff!

Can’t wait for next week!

Thanks for changing “eschewed” to “espoused;” I was pretty sure that’s what you meant!


Amazing episode. Once again season 3 delivers. The only episode I haven’t like was the second one. In this one though, Georgiou caught my eye. I generally can’t stand Space Hitler, but between her acting weird, and the mention that Starfleet has isolated what makes Terrans into psychopaths, gives me hope for a new theory. What if the “bad” bit of Georgiou was taken out? It would have been against her will, and possibly without her knowledge that it happened. Now she’s just going to have new thoughts and feelings popping up. I doubt they’d let a Terran, especially one as dangerous as her, parade around uncontrolled. Removing her evil nature is really the only way I’d except a redemption story for her. Now that she has feelings and remorse, how is she going to use her wit and badassery for good? I, for one really, really hope this is what happens.

It would be a bit weird though, since she’s already been using her wit and badassery for good for at least a season and a half.

” I, for one really, really hope this is what happens.”

Maybe you are on to something since there was this “Space Hitler freezes in the hallway” moment after her interrogation that was clearly setting up something!

I only watched the episode once but I guess I missed all of that oddly. I heard the parts about finding something in their DNA that makes them more aggressive and evil vs humans in the Prime universe but I didn’t realize they suggested it could be extracted? Gotta love the 32nd century!

But if that’s where they are going, I’m kind of all for it too. I just have no interest watching Space Hitler struct around her own show trying to resist the urge to eat her colleagues.

Hey all.

Business Insider, which gets the top nine original streaming series demand ranking for the United States from Parrot Analytics, has Discovery in 3rd place last week. It leads the story as the fastest rising series last week.

And the new Nielsen streaming on television sets ratings, which come out a month behind, have Discovery in the middle of the top ten for its second week of the season.

Trek Movie’s Review suggests that there may be a rift between Burnham and Saru.
I hope not!
While this isn’t my favorite episode, I love the crew’s mission not only to save lives but to stay together.
Star Trek Discovery feels like a DS9 series style show, and I hope that a growing appreciation of DS9 will help the sow get recognized for its own merits.
This episode had something for every type of Trek fan.
For me, it was the crew’s hope in the Federation despite the fact that the Federation may not be recognizable. There is a lot of fan service, but I’ve grown to consider the Discovery crew ad “the Federation” at this point. The new Federation hasn’t inspired me yet, and I’m finally getting emotionally invested in this crew which is why the departure of Nan was sad.
It reminded me of the departure of Nealix in Voyager.
I love the crew’s interactions with the holograms.
The interplay between Stamitz, Tilli, and Reno were some of my favorite parts of the episode followed by Culber’s performance.
Culber is becoming one of my favorite Trek doctors.

Cool ratings news, if true.

Why wouldn’t it be true?

This is from independent media (that is used by investors) and an independent ratings company.

Both Parrot Analytics and Nielsen’s approaches have their limitations, but they’re consistent even if Nielsen is lagging in its reports.

Pretty much a “by the numbers” episode in that everything was amazingly predictable once we got the set up.

Once again they went for cheezy unearned emotion. I’m wondering how many times they plan to dip into that well? And I’m still pretty darn tired of them rattling on about Federation ideals and Star Fleet codes and what not. Is that ever going to stop? Good grief! I don’t recall Kirk doing that every other episode. And Picard only pulled it out as a last resort. So geez… Enough already!

All that said there is really nothing new to see here. As I surmised a few weeks ago, this is what the show is. So far I am forced to admit it is marginally better than S2. But it’s still not good. At this rate it might be mediocre after perhaps season 8?

I thought it odd the crew would recognize the lettering system that as far as the audience knows didn’t seem to start for at least 25 years after the time they left. Of course one could argue it was already being done we just never saw it. And while this is a valid reason it feels like a cop out to me. It just felt like an excuse to connect the show to the TNG era.

And the other thing that struck me was once again Culber seems to be able to read the situation well but asks Burnham to do the work it seemed like he would be in a better position to do. Again it felt like an excuse to get the lead to be at the center of things. Which I guess is fine but maybe they ought to find a more organic way to do it. Twice now they made illogical choices just to give Burnham more screen time. And again, why is Culber going and not the CMO? Great confusion surrounds his status. Maybe he’s the Co-CMO? And why have we NEVER seen the Chief Engineer? But I digress…

ML31 Burnham is the first officer, a xenobiologist and previously the chief science officer.

It would make no sense for her not to lead the away team onto that seed bank ship.

I think everyone should ask themselves whether you would see Riker, Kirk or Chakotay leading an away mission vs Crusher/Bashir/the Doctor before making such an assertion.

The writers finally have Burnham acting as a classic Trek first officer (post TOS), but the criticism continues. This isn’t justifiable.

Alright regarding leading the “away team”, but I think the thing that made no sense is Dr. Culber, who had been counseling the crew psychologically even, delegating the delicate task of talking the Barzan doctor into giving them access and giving up on his family to Burnham, who has no qualifications for this whatsoever! Or did I miss something here?

Psychologists and psychiatrists don’t usually deliver the tough messages, rather they let people find their way to their truth.

It’s a Starfleet facility and the Barzan scientist’s duty was to keep it for use by the Federation.

As a command officer sent from headquarters, Burnham was exactly the right person to deliver the tough message and order if necessary once cajoling by Nhan failed.

Correct. Culber would have the training and tools necessary to talk to the guy. That was my point from the start. It really made no sense whatsoever to have Burnham do it. If they really wanted Burnham to do these things they need to come up with logical reasons for her to do so. Perhaps in this situation Culber tries but comes up empty? Leaving Burham as their last resort. Of course, that would have made the episode longer but hey… It’s streaming. I thought that sort of constraint doesn’t matter.

I wasn’t questioning her presence with the landing party. I was questioning why Culber would insist SHE talk to the guy rather than him. He seemed to have a far better grasp of the situation than she did. Yet he said she was the best choice for it. Made no sense.

ML31, you are completely missing the distinction between a line and staff role on this mission.

Burnham is the senior line office in this situation, and the Barzan is putting his grief ahead of his duty and the trust placed in him by Starfleet.

This isn’t a situation where a mental health practitioner is coming in as a grief counselor. He’s not there to give mental health first aid.

Culber is absolutely not that man’s therapist and the message may be harmful even if it’s necessary in the immediate situation trading off the needs of others against the needs of this man’s grief.

On this away mission Culber is acting as a counselor advising Burnham. Just as Troi advised Picard or Riker as a counselor and first contact specialist.

It doesn’t matter who is an officer of the line and who is “staff”. In this situation it was quite obvious the person best suited to deal with it was Culber. He spotted what was going on. He seemed to have a good grasp on how to deal with it. To leave it to someone who has no clue about anything happening with the guy was essentially medical malpractice. Maybe this is a clue to my theory that this is not the real Culber but a mycelial network copy. Twice he’s pawned off his job to Burnham when he would have been the better person to deal with the situation. This cannot be Culber! ;)

ML31…well, of course they had Culber insist that Burnham talk to the guy, since the universe rises and falls depending on everything MIchael Burnham does. Why does nobody else recognize how weak the writing is on this???

Yes, of course the fact that Burnham is the lead was the true reason for this. And that’s an acceptable reason. The problem is writers were unable to find a logical reason for Burnham to be the one do to these things. So yes. I agree this is more a writing failure than anything else.

You have to laugh out loud at the slopped-on cheese, or it becomes unbearable. I can think of no current, major American producer who matches the absurd mawkishness that is Kurtzman’s trademark. His extreme deficit of taste and dramatic sense will mar every Star Trek season that he is closely involved with. An ongoing embarrassment.

The constant “rah rah Starfleet” would get on even Janeway’s nerves.

I wish they’d tone down the scoring a little.

But the show’s showing promise.

They couldn’t just show us the new Constitution and Voyager-J in all their glory? We just got mere glimpses. They clearly designed them and created CGI models, why not just show them in their entirety?

Whet the appetite; blingly reveal later in the season. I think we all know it’s going to be a new Enterprise and get to come out to play in the finale.

With no presence on Earth, one might assume that Star Fleet academy has been shelved or significantly scaled down. Besides, there are way fewer worlds to recruit from now, and it is far more difficult to transport students across vast distances.

So it makes sense that there would be a lot more holographic staff members in Star Fleet / the Fed.

The synthetic life form issues were resolved in PICARD, so there should be more members of that “species” in SF / The Fed as well.

But with the holos being so overly artificial in their behavior vs the old EMH, something tells me there might have been a new schism between organic life forms and synthetic life.

“including a nice dollop of the Voyager theme.”

Nope. Nothing from the Voyager theme there.

That melody… nice “inspiration” taken from NuBSG.

The Tikhov just felt a bit Genesis cave-ish… Nice TWOK reference.

That enigmatic character that interviewed our Emperor was truly spooky.

The future uniform designs reminded me of first season Space: 1999, just grey instead of white…

I thought of the genesis cave too that or first season TNG. I think that set was the most Star Trek thing we’ve seen on the show so far.

Also, if the Fed is down to 30-something members, how can it afford to have such a blingy high tech base with blingy high tech ships?

Now would be a good time to review Federation economic theory and policy.

Maybe the big bad is not the burn (or those who caused it), but rather the Fed’s inability to pay debt service. Thus the Andorian-Orian trade syndicate is now a rival power.

Depends on your POV. They did a pretty good job making it appear “blingy” and impressively futuristic enough to distinguish it from know 23rd and 24th century tech / designs. However, for all we know, this base could be a major setback from the early 30th century heydays of the Federation.

Good point Lord Lorca.

Yeah true. For all we know, the original Federation HQ could’ve been the size of a city and much more advanced. Think of the Yorktown station in Beyond. That thing was not only crazy huge but super advanced as well and that was just a civilian colony in the 23rd century.

I can only imagine what a large Federation HQ commanding over 300 planets and thousands of colonies with probably over ten thousand starships would’ve look like at the height of its power.

We’re probably just getting a much smaller slice of what it was before.

“Review Federation economic theory and policy.”
24th century Federation economic theory – EVERYTHING IS FREE, THERE IS NO COST TO ANYTHING.
You can use your interstellar starship, the flagship of the fleet, as a giant holodeck to play games in.
What can go wrong?!?!

The sporedrive was used to turn the war against the klingons and I was under the impression that people knew about this. At the end of season 2 ist was declared a secret. And everyone instantforgets it?


Discovery was a top-secret project. The Klingons upper circles certainly knew what was going on but I doubt they’d openly advertise that painful dishonorable truth. As far as Starfleet is concerned: the higher ranks certainly knew all about it but decided to make it disappear. Sworn to secrecy they would never talk about it and take it to their graves. Spock certainly never mentioned it :-)

Don’t forget that most of the admirals that interacted most closely with Discovery are dead at the end of S2.

Control took out several, and Cornwell bought it in the finale.

Now this was more like it- compelling story, interesting characters- and a ship yard that was geek-tastic! ( Eaglemoss— your 2021 lineup awaits!) Will be watching this repeatedly— and in slo motion.

Another great episode that is organically building the storyline for this season. The pacing and tone is spot on, the characters are making reasonable decisions, and each character has an increasingly important roll to play. This season feels way more clever than the last two in so many small ways. More importantly the characters are reacting to their predicament with a reasonable sense sadness and wonderment. The previous episodes was about loss, this episodes is about discovery. The moment with the crew awing over the new ships and Tech is just the best and what we as fans all feel. And the Voyager (and Nog) nod was my favorite moment for sure, super fanboy moment.

There are still weird moments here and there that add some color, but don’t quite make sense. The hologram with a bow-tie and Detmer saying “Is that the new Constitution” as if she already had info about Starfleet. Also, Discovery instantly jumping away after leaving Nhan was an overly convenient moment that didn’t make sense.

I’m a little disappointed we lost Nhan since she was a nice little nod to TNG and was a better developed character than the others. But I understand the need to focus, and she was sent off in a beautiful way instead of killing her which would have been a Season 1 and 2 thing.

Most seem to love the return to a “episode of the week” format (and I don’t hate it), but I actually miss the more focused season-long story arc – although admittedly the Klingon war deep hole that Fuller and the writers first dug in the first half of S1 was not exactly compelling. I liked the continuing Xindi and Dominion stories of Enterprise and DS9, so I didn’t necessarily mind the serialized format. That said, the impressive yet limited ratings info and what appears to be an overall positive feeling towards S3 indicates most viewers are liking what they see – so keep it going, my complaints are not that strong.
As for E5, I think in many ways this was the weakest S3 story – perhaps because IMO E4 may have raised the bar so much, so this seemed like a letdown. Despite that I did like the plot progression on many of the characters like Georgiou as well as the Captain/First Officer relationship and of course we did get to see the future Federation and Starfleet. I was worried about what happened to Adira after she was whisked away – especially since she posses all of the Admiral’s secrets about Starfleet which would be understandably concerning from a security standpoint – but hopefully Discovery has proven this is not a risk.
Overall I give this one a 3.4 out of 5.0. Since the show seems to be morphing into something episodic, I hope next week there is a bit better story.

Anyone else curios as to whether Kovic, the “Terran expert” might perhaps have an eyesight problem. Perhaps an aversion to bright light?

I was wondering whether he was protecting his eyes from some kind of visual manipulation or testing that he was working on Georgiou.

The holographic interrogators may have distracted her from some intervention.

Clearly, he was in control the entire time.

Rewatching the episode, I also noticed that in the second scene of Georgiou’s debriefing/interrogation, Kovich has his glasses back on and is fiddling with the temple/frame with his right hand.

Some subtle lighting effects happen in the room at that time as well.

I think all the more that he messed with her brain via visual inputs while protecting himself.

Last thought, I think that Starfleet and S31 aren’t that separate in this era. It’s not a time of utopian ideals: the C-inC said that their primary mission is to protect the Federation — which of course is what Section 31 of the Federation Charter is all about.

In this case, the head of Federation Security may also be the head of S31.

Wouldn’t that make him very old? He said there hadn’t been a crossover in hundreds of years.

Unfortunately, my assessment of the episode is 180 degrees contrary to the review.
I even fade it to an all-time low so far this season.
1.) the authors and also the production design fail to create a credible 32nd century. The portrayal of Starfleet is absolutely unbelievable. On the one hand, they want to impressively demonstrate the modernity of the 32nd century, which becomes visible in a rather bad arrival sequence, where everyone is freaking out about the other Starfleet spaceships. Not a single ship looks interesting or more sophisticated than the Discovery. The 900 year difference in technology is so invisible and not noticeable. The reference to the Voyager is even a logic error. Why should the crew catch the eye of the Voyager J? Unfortunately, the fan reference doesn’t work at all.
2.) The reactions of the characters are all illogical. Burnham reveals, as in the pilot, a suppressed criminal vein. Why does Saru trust her anyway? Is Burnham even suitable as a leader?
3.) Starfleet of the 32nd century is also acting pretty out of the ordinary. It’s just not believable that despite “The Burn” there is no technology for interstellar travel. How can this “Starfleet” operate at all? With the progress you would think that in 120 years – that is how long ago The Burn is – an alternative technique would have been found. After all, there were alternatives to be seen in the series before.
4.) Cronenburg plays an interesting character, but I found the scene with Georgiou more to blink. The dialogue has a Lost moment. The Authors implicate great mysteries and don’t know how to resolve them in the end anyway.
5.) The plot about the seed ship is completely illogical anyway. How did Burnham know about the seed ship? And why should such a small ship fly around somewhere in the galaxy? Probably not the safest concept, right?
6.) In general, the episode is poured out in a pathetic staging that somehow just seems out of place.
All in all, the episode reveals how little the writers actually know about Star Trek. At Discovery nothing is new or innovative and nothing fits together. The series has no direction, no premise and no flair. The authors manage the extraordinary, even 900 years in the future, to generate Canon plot holes on a line. Why the show first started 10 years before Kirk and now jumps 900 years into the future and create a credible atmosphere neither there nor there is a mystery to me. Where the showrunners want to go with the series?

A lot of good points here. To be honest, I figured them moving that far in the future would be problematic at best. And I’m just not buying this is the 32nd century. If they said it was the 27th I might have bought what they are doing. But things just aren’t advanced enough for that far off IMHO. And the idea that they would still be using dilithium is still somthing I find impossible to buy. It would be like we never discovered the combustion engine and are still using horses.