Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Passes The Test In Season 4 Premiere “Kobayashi Maru”

“Kobayashi Maru”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 4, Episode 1 – Debuted Thursday, November 18, 2021
Written by Michelle Paradise & Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman
Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

Discovery returns with a bang, delivering an action-packed season opener that sets up high stakes and new character arcs for the season.

 

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

“It’s what we do”

Picking up after some time has passed, we find Captain Burnham on a genuine strange new world, taking on the task given to her at the end of season three. This first post-Burn visit to a former Federation world with an offer of free dilithium and peaceful cooperation meets a skeptical audience with the don’t-call-them-butterfly-people, the Alshain. Boyfriend Book is along for his “empathy thing,” but after the locals scan a certain Felis catus lifeform on his ship, a comedy of errors and misunderstanding of Grudge’s regal nature turns this tense reunion into running and phaser gunning, which is sort of second nature for Michael and Book. While he is ready to meet fire with fire, Michael and the team on the Discovery science out a gesture of goodwill by fixing a local dilithium-starved satellite network. After some more fun banter, they are back on the Disco with a more amenable Emperor Lee’U calling, now open to accepting the Federation gifts, no strings attached. Mission accomplished in this cold open full of sci-fi action, alien humor, Treknology, and good old teamwork. Discovery is back and ready to take on the galaxy.

Back at Federation HQ, Captain Burnham’s new calm confidence is on display as she addresses the first Starfleet Academy class since The Burn. The Federation is coming out of hiding with new president Laira Rillak, who announces Starfleet’s return to the mission of exploration. Drilling the point home, she unveils a new spacedock named for Captain Jonathan Archer and a program of new and updated ships with new post-warp technology. But all the nostalgic feels, inspiring speechifying, and admiring of fancy new dress uniforms is cut short by a distress call from a distant space station. Admiral Vance orders the Discovery to check it out, and the President invites herself along, much to the chagrin of a skeptical captain who doesn’t want to give joyrides to politicians looking to “tick a box” for space action on their resume.

“I know you want to go home”

They arrive at Deep Space Beta 6 to find it tumbling out of control. Together the bridge crew comes to life to sort out the problem (a gravitational distortion) and work out a solution requiring programmable matter and some impressive-looking maneuvering. In this, Captain Burnham is a competent conductor, letting the crew play the high notes. After Owo and Detmer affably align the ship, Tilly and the newly minted Ensign Adira—doing an admirable season one stammering Tilly routine—beam over to fix the station with a remarkable amount of technobabble. With gravity literally upside down, the station’s Commander Nalas is understandably a bit prickly, but Lt. Tilly leads the away mission with some diplomacy, and they get the station stabilized…  just in time for a new crisis: giant frozen methane space boulders start tearing the station apart.

Now a desperate rescue mission with a deteriorating shields ticking clock and no working transporters (because reasons), the only way to save the station crew is for someone on Discovery to Top Gun a Worker Bee over to free the escape pod, and Captain Burnham volunteers herself! After explaining to the president that she is contractually obligated to do some space hero stuff in every season opener, Michael heads out. Sure enough, it isn’t long until the worker bee is destroyed, leaving the captain to go full Super Michael as she flies in to free that pod. She also gets an assist from the President who has to talk down a now phaser-toting crazed Commander Nalas into awaiting the fix instead of doing something stupid.

“It is hard to be away”

While all this action is happening on board the Discovery, a couple of key members of the crew are off on their own adventures. Book has left the ship to return to his homeworld–which happens to be close by to the station having the crisis–so he can participate in the Ikhu Zhen, a sort of Kwejian Bar Mitzvah, for his nephew Leto. His brother Kyheem is there and they have a lovely time tapping into the World Root with an ancient ceremony and some hints of Book’s backstory. But something is amiss, as they noticed the birds have all gone a bit crazy, which is never a good sign. As he flies up in his ship to find out what’s going on, Book sees something destroy Kwejian’s moon and then all hell breaks loose, including exploding programmable matter consoles. The more things change…

On Kaminar, Saru is now a counselor and an “esteemed elder” where he guides the insular Kelpiens and Ba’ul with wisdom and an effective 32ndcentury PowerPoint presentation, helping them see they are part of a larger galaxy and a “new era.” And in a nice, if not a bit heavy-handed, quiet moment, it is his charge Su’Kal doing the guiding, seeing that Saru is torn between his responsibilities to this cause of The Burn, and his longing for his old friends and ship. But Su’Kal is no longer the fragile man-child found at the end of season one. He has friends and acceptance and is ready to give Saru permission to find his own Great Balance by returning to the Discovery; just don’t forget to call home.

“You cannot defeat the mathematics of loss”

Thanks to the president’s clever pandering to a distraught Nalas, Michael has the time she needs to fix the pod, riding it back to the ship Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove-style, with Tilly, Adira, and Nalas left behind to ponder what they are all going to do after this sparks-flying crisis is over. With four minutes of life-saving shields left and five minutes needed to rescue the last survivors, Captain Burnham decides to get bad at math and Rillak is not happy. Cutting it too close, the pod arrives followed by a huge space rock as the ship spores away, leaving the shuttle bay in shambles and Tilly mourning three dead, including Commander Nalas. Once he started talking about going home you knew he wasn’t going to make it.

Highlighting what has rapidly become a complicated relationship, Rillak consoles Burnham while admonishing her at the same time. These two formidable women don’t see eye to eye as the president tells the captain she has failed this particular Kobayashi Maru. Her visit to the ship wasn’t to tick a box, but to see Michael in action… and she has some notes. Apparently, the Prez has been binge-watching the previous seasons, praising Michael’s “undeniable” bravery while pointing out that as captain, her “pathological” savior complex could end up getting her whole crew killed. Still in command of the Discovery, Michael is deemed “not ready” for one of the newer, fancier ships coming out of Archer Spacedock.

But before they have time to wrap things up, a shaken Book shows up, desperate to use the Discovery to find out what happened back home—but his planet isn’t where it should be. In shock, the president and crew find what’s left of Kwejian in another part of the system, and it’s disintegrating before their eyes. “They’re gone. They’re all gone.”

ANALYSIS

Welcome back

With a good mix of action and emotion, “Kobayashi Maru” met the challenge of catching us up on the new state of things while setting out a whole new set of challenges for our characters as well as the Federation itself. Given that it was written by showrunners Michelle Paradise and Alex Kurtzman (with an assist from Jenny Lumet), it’s no surprise that the heart of this episode was an exploration of Michael Burnham literally being tested in her new role as Captain. The introduction of President Rillak as a sort of foil allowed for an examination of how Michael’s past messiah complex may not be the best fit for the captain’s chair. Ably played by Chelah Horsdal, Rillak can go toe-to-toe with Burnham, now embodied with a new sense of confidence by Sonequa Martin-Green. All of their moments were illuminating, although the choice to have Michael ring up Rillak for another mini-confrontation in the middle of an intense action sequence was dubious.

The episode still found a good amount of time for some character development, or at least for setting a marker for the arcs that will play out this season. With the little time she was given, Mary Wiseman delivered a subtle performance showing that Tilly is still shaken over the confrontation with Osyraa—and losing Commander Nalas didn’t help. Blu del Barrio was delightful stepping in as the overtalking nervous smart ensign, with a quick sidebar with the ghost boyfriend to remind us that getting him a body is a thing. Anthony Rapp’s Stamets was left standing in for Engineer Jett Reno (as Tig Notaro’s time is somewhat limited this season), running around his spore drive lab pretending it was main engineering and talking about Heisenberg Compensators, but he did get a nice subtle moment in when asking about the fate of his adopted child Adira. The visit to Kaminar offered some good insights and Doug Jones showed good range, but the moment with Su’Kal was a bit heavy-handed and rushed, intended to get the character quickly back to the Disco guilt-free. As for everything that happened on Kwejian, it was a heartbreaking counterpoint to the fun had with the superb David Ajala’s Book at the episode start with the Butterfly People.

The production team also continues to up their game, with the visual effects for the space station sequences being a standout. And Gersha Phillips’ costume team must have been working overtime to deliver all the new uniforms and outfits required in this episode, with some great new additions to the canon like the new Starfleet dress uniforms. We can also see how the new AR Wall set is a great tool for the production, literally putting the actors into virtual locations seamlessly. All of this was held together by executive producer/director Olatunde Osunsanmi who now has a gravitational anomaly to let his love for the spinning camera fly.

A new threat for a new era

For the first time, a Discovery season starts with a bit of a time gap, and this allowed for a bit of a reset. In between all the action and character bits, there was quite a bit of worldbuilding going on here, especially with a reenergized Federation. While the speeches may have made this clear, there were subtle touches like the return of Vance’s family and a brief mention of peace with former enemies (likely season three’s big bad, the Emerald Chain). The opening tease with the Alshain also nicely set up how things have changed by introducing a delightfully weird alien species and getting back to some good old-fashioned cultural clashes and subsequent diplomatic resolutions.

The biggest sign of the new state of things came in a density of fan service with the Cardassian/Bajoran/Human president introducing Archer station (with his theme), the USS Voyager-J nestled inside, and her mentioning “the next generation” of ships. Not subtle, but we get it. The Federation is back in business, which helps set up the drama for the new threat in the form of the Gravitational Anomaly. We also get a hint of an environmental message here; even though the Federation now has tapped into the Saudi Arabia of dilithium, it might be time for them to move on to something new. That Pathway Drive sounds pretty interesting—hopefully that isn’t the last we hear of it.

Killing off Book’s family and his whole planet was a bit of a daring choice but established the stakes in a big way. We have a big new mystery, but it’s not one of those “we’re keeping a secret from you” things the show formerly indulged in.

Let’s fly

While there wasn’t much hype in the run-up to this season, “Kobayashi Maru” may still be the best opener of the series yet. Strong performances, an intriguing mystery, and a world-class production add up to a welcome return for this series, showing again why it is the flagship show of the new Star Trek Universe.

Random bits

  • It’s been five months since the end of season three, but unclear if it’s still 3189.
  • The opening title sequence has a couple of minor changes, including a graphic of the anomaly destroying a planet and a waveform analysis-looking thing.
  • Book’s ship has a two-person pod he called “the little guy.”
  • The Discovery once again has a tribble on board, because of course it does.
  • Before finding the dilithium planet, the Federation had 38 member worlds. Now it has 59.
  • Stamets and Culber have been promoted to Commander and Tilly has been promoted to Lieutenant.
  • The station crew included a Lurian, the first seen as a member of Starfleet.
  • Commander Nalas is an Akoszonam, this is the alien species first seen in Short Treks “Children of Earth.”
  • New character Lt. Christopher (Orville Cummings) has temporarily replaced (now Lt. Commander) Bryce, who is consulting on the USS Curry (and appeared at the Academy ceremony).
  • All the other bridge crew have also been promoted to Lt. Commander (Detmer, Rhys, Owosekun, and Nilsson).
  • Burnham spoke about the Kobayashi Maru scenario as if she had experienced it, even though it doesn’t appear she attended Starfleet Academy, having transferred to the USS Shenzhou after attending the Vulcan Science Academy.
  • While never stated, it appears that Rhys is currently the first officer.
  • Former Tal host Jovar liked birds.
  • With Kwejian destroyed, who will navigate all those new spore ships?
  • Technobabble of the week: “polyhedronic quantum data devices” used in a “multiphasic processing unit.”
  • Tilly of the week: “You know there are people out there who don’t have to put up with spacetime shenanigans.”

More to come

Every Friday the new TrekMovie.com 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 Paramount+ in the U.S. and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada, where it’s also available to stream on CraveDiscovery will debut on Paramount+ in 45 countries around the world in 2022.

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

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I really like the Byzantium arc – the restored Federation with new sources of dilithium heading out into the galaxy. Rediscover the diversity of the Federation races and rekindle the exploration and development of the frontier. In some cases help worlds suffering from the fall of the Federation – like of like General Belisarius returning to Rome and finding it now “the frontier”. I hope there is some of this in the season and not just off screen.
Wish the council was more Journey to Babel / Star Trek IV, diverse and different. But that can be part of the arc, returning to an age of differences, diversity and learnings in the face of hardships.

Except the Byzantine “reconquest” of the Italian peninsula did far more lasting damage to the area than the Goths ever did…

I like Venice.
That being said, doesn’t “Calypso” pretty much declare the Federation will fall / become the V’darysh?

I feel like I saw a different episode than the reviewer. I have loved Discovery since it started and have championed it to the naysayers. I need to point that out because I am definitely not someone who would be called a hater when it comes to Star Trek; I’ve enjoyed every single show so far. Even Prodigy is very much growing on me, despite my dislike of the pilot. But this was easily the worst season-opener. For me, it fell flat, right across the board. I truly hope the rest of the season gets back to form, because this was nothing but cheesy dialogue, lots of angst, way too many cast reaction shots, and the regurgitated “Oh, no, the universe is in peril and only the Discovery can save it” plot they do every year. What a huge disappointment, and I truly hate to say that. This is the first Discovery episode I’ve considered boring. Without Pike or Saru on the Discovery, it’s actually kind of a boring bridge cast now.

I felt the same way. Same old dilemma, new rubber foreheads. And I realize that Burnham is the star of the show, but even brash beam-down-to-every-planet Kirk made his decisions with the aid of Spock and McCoy… too many unilateral decisions made by Burnham (as usual). I was far more engaged in this week’s “Star Trek: Prodigy”.

Kirk relied on Spock and McCoy. He trusted them equally.

Really? Fair enough. I thought it was the most solid Discovery premiere — and probably episode, period — that I’ve seen yet.

I was leery about the anomaly — and it might prove to be yet another lame big bad — but this was way better than I’d expected (except for yes, all those reaction shots grated almost as much as the fire bursts — Discovery, write for the bridge characters instead of using them as props).

It set the scene for the season without overpromising — and it did it way more efficiently than in previous seasons.

Luckily, there wasn’t much time for Burnham’s breathless “Because we are Starfleet” routine. That Archer thing was pretty shmaltzy, though.

If the show was better I actually would have thought the Archer thing combined with the Enterprise cue to be a nice touch. But that is the problem with the show overall. The main core of the show is so very bad that even something that might otherwise seem like a nice idea comes across as cheap.

I would sum up this episode as “typical Discovery”: some fine work here and there, a lot of utterly forgettable moments, and something that ultimately doesn’t add up to a coherent whole. I loved the dynamic between the president and Burnham, and their final scene was easily the best of the episode. It’s high time someone called out Burnham’s impulsiveness and headstrong command decisions. (Yes, Kirk suffered from the same weakness, but at least he never assaulted his commanding officer and mutinied. And…Hollywood isn’t the same place it waws 50 years ago. Writing is more sophisticated these days.) Does she even have a number one to bounce ideas off of?

If you thought that the JJ movies suffered from FX eclipsing and plot character work, well, this episode featured that on steroids. The visuals are just too busy, too frenetic; you can’t take the time to savor them. (This was something PICARD more or less got right, particularly in “Nepenthe.”) Notably, the final scene between Burnham and the president took place on a conventional set, not one that featured the super-duper AI wall. They’re clearly having fun using it, but it’s becoming the center of attention and waylaying good writing.

The set of characters continues to become duller and duller with each passing season. It appears that Tig Notaro won’t be around much anymore, which was a shame. The wise-cracking Jett Reno was one of Discovery’s most memorable creations. Airiam and the Barzan character are gone; we don’t even know who the first officer is. In their place, we’re getting Adira and their ghost boyfriend. (A *ghost*. On a *science ficition* show.) Owosekun and Dettmer continue to be underused.

Your final paragraph was dead on. The lack of Notaro is a problem. She brought a bit of life to that lifeless ship. I’m guessing that Tilly is still the 1st officer? Regarding Adira, it’s one thing to represent the former Trill manifested as an actual person she speaks to in her head. It’s quite another if their goal is to get Gray to actually physically return in the flesh. Which is where I think they are going, sadly. But I would expect nothing less from this show.

You hone in on something I thought about last season: For ten to fifteen episodes per season the show has too many characters it cannot possibly serve well. So many characters are underutilized and underdeveloped because there are simply too many. That is even true for Burnham. Her character arc last season (from almost fired to become captain of the ship) was hardly plausible because very little time was spent on this development.

Totally agreed. I hated most of the dialog. The tone of the show just feels way off at this point — it feels like a CW show. I loved the beginning of season 2, it felt like Star Trek. Now the crew are way too emotional. And can we have just one scene without music? I enjoyed the Kaminar scenes but everything else…

Me too, Lorna Dune.

I had a lot of eye roll “oh brother” moments watching this but i’ll keep watching the show anyway.

Please Trek Gods, let Strange New Worlds be better than this.

Saru is the only character that is even semi interesting and in this episode even he was dull.

The finale of Season 3 was one of the most poorly written Treks I’ve ever seen; this one, unfortunately, is just as bad. It’s dumbed-down Trek. I liked the Burnham character from Season 1; a serious and believable character. Now she seems as though she’s always high. A huge disappointment.

This is my favorite season premiere of the new era. It surpassed my expectations in almost every category. Absolutely loved this episode!

I felt the same way.

I agree. Each season is better than the last. I can’t wait until next week!

Overall I liked it, but I could really do without the flamethrowers on the bridge making it look like a Ramstein concert.

Flamethrowers are the rocks of the 31st Century :D

There were still rocks on books ship. and yeah, the flamethrowers really took me out of the episode. Like… it looked so fake that I though to myself, they spent so much money on this show and then take really weird shortcuts?

Also… why is everything the Heisenberg compensators?

Though thanks to programable matter, the rocks finally have an explanation for the first time in the franchise.

I thought that also.

DïsköDëthMëtal!

Yeah, they totally jumped the shark on the pyrotechnics. WAY over the top.

I just had to laugh reading this, because while watching it I thought as well, “Rammstein could to a concert on the Discovery Bridge now”. :-) :-) It was really overdone it that sequence and looked funny after a while.

Haha. It was so dumb — especially since they seemed to just be on a timer.

Ah, I see both TrekCore and TrekMovie kicked off their reviews from the first day with new episodes of two different Trek shows since the ‘90s with their Discovery reviews. I was wondering whether one might lead with Prodigy.

I like this review because it didn’t come off as pandering the the will of Paramount+

Haven’t been a fan of this series but I thought it was a decent episode minus some dialogue choices that come off as too silly. This show does seem to keep reusing a lot of the same tropes from previous seasons: running through the forest while being shot at, ships always getting hit with rocks, planets getting destroyed, galaxy ending plots, etc.

I would say DS9 shouldn’t be considered the “dark Star Trek” I would say this series is.

Agreed. I love DS9 so much. Getting to see another Morn species was cool though.

NO SPOILERS – For all fellow Canucks north of the border, I noticed CTV Sci-Fi Channel has picked up the documentary The Centre Seat – 55 Years of Star Trek. It will debut tonight after the season premiere of Discovery and the new episode of Prodigy. I may have to skip the Leaf game haha. Should be a fun evening.

Thanks, from a fellow Canuck.

Thanks, I was wondering if we’d get it here!

To top things off, they started with an episode of DS9 I had never seen before, Accession. It was like getting three brand new Star Trek episodes followed by the documentary.

The Laffs suck. Go Habs! :p LOL

I was wondering if I should hop over to the Raptors game, but glad I passed on that.

Man, they have done you international viewers so wrong.

“This first post-Burn visit to a former Federation world.”
— Did they actually say that? They’ve been taking dilithium around for at least five months already, presumably wearing out their gray uniforms we saw at the end of S3.
“3189.”
–Seems like it should almost be 3190, indeed.
Other points:
–You don’t have to go to Starfleet Academy to take the Kobayashi Maru. It’s done for those standing for command down the road, or on a command path. I’d suspect Burnham did it at some point during her time on the Shenzhou? In any case, maybe they’re just all familiar with ‘those old scientists’ and how Kirk passed it, in two timelines…
–Bryce’s actor Ronnie Rowe is one of the leads in the new series, _The Porter_. They’ve left it possible for him to return, which is cool. I’d rather not see any of the bridge crew get Chuck Cunninghammed. Hoping we’ll start to see them get into more stories….
.
Overall, a rather decent season start with a cliffhanger at the end. I don’t agree with reviews elsewhere which compare the Burn’n’Book diplomatic mission to Kirk at the start of Star Trek Into Darkness. Due to the misunderstandings and a bit of slapstick, it has more in common with the start of Star Trek Beyond. The teaser here was unique… there’s the “strange new worlds” everyone gripes we don’t get — the damn season opens with one!!

David, you must old af to make a Chuck Cunningham reference. Bravo!

“…Chuck Cunninghammed….” I think you win the internet today.

I so want to be positive, but this episode did nothing for me. Burnham continues to be the savior of everybody and everything. I know there is a counter to that statement in this episode (I’m staying away from spoilers) but despite what the dialogue says, she continues to be lifted up by the narrative in a way that feels constantly contrived and that she’s infallible, even when she does inexplicably risky things. As for the Kobayashi Maru and it’s apparent continued use in Star Fleet Training.. can anyone think of anything similar that is in use today that’s 1000 years old? Also, the name drop of a character from canon that they did just because they think we continually have to harken back? This continues to be Trek Canon’s greatest hits. Apparently 1000 years wasn’t long enough to throw them. Season 1 was weird, but I liked it, Season 2 course corrected, Season 3 went off the rails, and it seems like we’re staying off of them now. I know.. one episode and all, but the formula is there and unchanged. We’ll see. Hopeful this will change.

Religious practices – Catholic and Orthodox liturgy, classical Islam, etc.

No comment on whether a damn computer game is on par with that.

Burnham continues to be the savior of everybody and everything. 

I have a feeling this set up her arc for the season where she is about to make the wrong choice with devastating results and then learns how to make a Tough Choice right.

I find the concept that they implied the Kobyashi Maru was still being used hundreds of years later also makes no sense. It was already getting pretty famous and once everyone knew about it the effectiveness of the test drops to nothing.

I enjoyed this episode reasonably well. I wouldn’t say much more for it than that, but for an episode of Discovery it was pretty good.

On the whole I enjoyed it (after I pirated it). The universe still seems small so I was hoping for a bit more exploring this season but I guess I’ll have to wait for SNW will be doing that. It’s a shame because I think a bit of far future exploring would be really interesting
I was also hoping the crew would be a bit more “Starfleet” by now – I still find them a far too casual. Finally the invisible boyfriend has outstayed his welcome now, either get him real or get him gone. Other than those gripes it was a good first EP and better than any of the previous season openers.

The start of the episode was reminiscent of the start of Beyond, to me

Overall, a good episode!

Was Burnham really calling the president while she was still in space… to aks her if she just lied…
seems legit…

The worst part of the episode. Made Burnham look like a real prick after the President had just skillfully talked Nallas down.

The President’s response that it didn’t matter because her role was to support Burnham in de-escalating the situation was right on the mark.

The true question is what kind of Captain is Burnham that she was incapable of de-escalation?

In fact, her status as captain and authority to negotiate under crisis conditions was one of the viable reasons for her not to have been the one to take that worker bee.

The President successfully took on that role in her absence, and Burnham’s response was a kind of micro aggression that completely missed the point and demonstrated that she doesn’t understand what her job is.

Every joke landed, every optical effect blew me away. The story is so incredibly interesting. I hope I don’t get phasered for wondering just how much more of our galaxy would be left to explore after 1,000 years (minus The Burn’s 200 or so of non-travel) of space exploration. Maybe a galaxy jump is just what we need at this point (besides, this one’s too small to contain the awesomeness of Trek’s greatest captain, Michael Burnham).

There’s just nothing else like this on TV and we’re lucky to have it. Welcome back, Discovery!

“Every joke landed”. Yuck. The comedy should be left to ‘Lower Decks’, which is smart and funny. ‘Discovery’ is neither of those things.

More jokes have landed on Star Trek Discovery (thanks to Reno) than LDX could ever hope to have. One funny episode out of 20 is not a good ratio.

The opening of the episode with a botched contact reminded me of the last two Kelvinverse opening scenes. As always, the show looks great. Im not as keen on the quick rebuild of the Federation. It would have been interesting to see the Federation winning hearts and minds. The Saru storyline is pointless because we all know he’s not going to stay away for long.

Still, I’ll watch and see where they take this season while anxiously awaiting Strange New Worlds.

Yeah the opening really did feel like a combination of both Beyond and Into Darkness. The botched first contact speech and then of course all the running and jumping off cliffs as the natives tried to kill them.

I also have to agree, I don’t want to see the Federation totally in tact by the season finale. That said they still have a loooong way to go. The Federation had 350 members before the Burn. They are at 58 members now. So that’s still a little off of 300 members and I think this will be a continual story line through the rest of the show’s existence. At least I hope so.

They seem to be lifting things from the KU lately. There is this botched contact and there was the weird warp “tube” on Prodigy.

Overall, I enjoyed the season premiere. There were a few things that didn’t work for me, though:

  1. The opening diplomacy mission was a bit embarrassing to watch, but at least they turned it around in a rather smart way, which I appreciated.
  2. The butting of heads between Burnham and Rillak felt heavy-handed at times, especially when Michael questioned her about how she talked Commander Nalas down. I felt like we didn’t need that moment, especially considering the urgency of the situation they were facing.

There were some stand-outs for me that I really loved:

  1. It’s so nice to see Tilly come into her own more and more. She’s still very much the same Sylvia Tilly, but she keeps a much cooler head and knows when to stand her ground. I love that.
  2. I loved the “Archer Spacedock” moment. That was a lovely nod to Captain Archer and Enterprise.
  3. It’s great to see the Federation and Starfleet start to recover from the Burn, but they’re not 100% there yet.
  4. Book has really grown on me as a character, and I felt his anguish as he saw his homeworld destroyed. To me, that made the stakes more personal this time around, even though it is yet another “anomaly threatens the whole galaxy and Discovery has to fix it” situation. It is grating, but at least they’re not pointing phasers at it and going pew-pew. They have to investigate and research and DISCOVER what it is and where it came from and what they can do to stop it. That’s what bring the Star Trek element for me when it comes to Discovery.

So, yeah, I dunno. Discovery has adjusted course, tinkered here and there, altered the premise but has never been on firm footing since it launched and has never really covered since the missteps behind the scenes those first two seasons.

It set up Brave New Worlds and will likely set up a different series set in this era but Discovery will always feel a bit lost.

This season 4 opener was a mike drop for me! I enjoyed just about everything about this episode, the look, the story, the humor, the action, the uniforms and costumes in general. Also it was just more Star Trekkie to me. But it was Captain Burnham for me mostly. I really thought she just rocked it. I can’t wait for the rest of the season if we are in for more of this. More please more! 

Overall a good episode, if not a great one! I really did love the beginning in so many ways. As many already pointed out, it took a lot of it from the beginning of Beyond which made me smile. I thought the first half was just really good, especially the scene back at Starfleet headquarters and the new cadets. I always love to hear anything about Federation business and politics; especially in this era since we still know very little. The new Federation President looks like she will be interesting and correct me if I’m wrong, but this is first one we seen since Deep Space Nine. And was SO happy when she finally discussed building future spore drives. It was so weird how it was just ignored first season.

The gravitational anomaly stuff was interesting, but still not very excited about it. But seeing Kwejian wiped out was a big shock for sure and had some good emotional stakes. But watching this episode it does show why it was a great idea to move this show to the 32nd century. It really does feel like it’s own show now and it FINALLY has its own mandate which is rebuilding the Federation. No one is talking how out of place it feels like the first two seasons while building its own mythology. And it just so much more interesting because everything is practically new.

Man, I like those dress uniforms way, way better than the duty uniforms.

Me too.

Disco has great season openers. I’m keeping my expectations in check since S3 was mixed for me. I actually enjoyed the first 2 seasons.

I’m hoping to see more federation ships, especially the Voyager-J. I’m interested in the pathway drive. I’m also hoping to see more world building and learn why some world’s were pulling away from the federation pre-burn. Lots of room for storytelling.

Oh and I’m hoping for that Trek message that reflects our time.

Overall, great review and great episode.

Oh yeah great reminder. I forgot to mention that in my OP too, but I really want to see Voyager J in action this season. I think some fans felt let down (certainly me) last season that they referenced her but we never got to see her do anything. But I think with so much emphasis in the very first episode showing her again in the space dock and then mentioning equipping her with a new drive is foreshadowing they are going to really show her off this season. That would get the fans excited! In fact I have a feeling we may end up seeing TWO Voyagers next year when Prodigy comes back, but I’m getting ahead of myself as usual lol.

Someone even mentioned on another site Saru could end up being it’s Captain by the season finale. I don’t see that happening, but I would love to be wrong. ;)

BTW, did anyone catch the latest Ready Room episode yet? There was one segment that was really interesting. It discussed the new Federation President going over her Cardassian/Bajoran heritage but then gave a brief history going into a lot of detail about the Bajoran and Cardassian conflict from TNG and DS9. If you haven’t seen it, I queued up that part if you want to have a look:

https://youtu.be/r-suqvMtg9M?t=1405

I bring it up because I wonder will this be a regular thing going forward and will give newer fans a perspective into what is happening with Discovery and all the past canon? Since it takes place so far into the future, they can’t just reference things the way other shows can without it feeling so forced at times. They were able to get away with it in Unification III for obvious reasons but it may be harder for others and especially why it’s a monumental moment to even have a Cardaassian and Bajoran President. This is a smart way to tie in events from the 22nd/23rd/24th centuries and how they affect the present day 32nd century. I hope they keep it up!

Of course, it’s also just another way to get new fans to watch the classic shows since the clip literally tells people to stream those specific episodes of DS9 and TNG even giving them the season and episode number. ;)

So, not sure how this could work with Doug Jones continuing as main cast, but what do folks here think of the possibility that Saru is given the captaincy of the Voyager J?

Love that idea! I actually mentioned it myself on this thread responding to someone else. I doubt it will happen, but who knows? And I just don’t think we need another situation of two Captains on the same ship like we got in the TOS movies (but kind of resign to it). And it would be nice to continue the Voyager legacy in a real way.

I swear that I thought of this independently! :)

Plenty of ways it can work; there was Capt. Hernandez in ENT, Worf commanding the Defiant in DS9, and of course Capt. Sulu in TUC.

Well, if all of us are picking up the possibility from the episode, it seems as though it will be something that is explored one way or other this season.

Maybe Discovery will become an anthology show like they planned for TNG if they had left Riker as a Captain. Their plan was one week would have been Enterprise and the next Riker’s ship.

I mostly liked this episode. It did seem like the presidents admonishment of Burnham was pretty much a page of dialogue from Pike to Kirk in Into Darkness. There at least has to be 4 sentences in there that are not changed more than a couple words.

I don’t like the president involved with picking ship crew. With 59 worlds in the Federation, that’s a pretty big job, and why is she picking Captains? I saw some comments yesterday about not liking that she is in uniform, and it’s clear since she has a fairly dramatic suit change, that she is not wearing any uniform– overall I liked the President, but I really liked Vance. I don’t know why we will need another big boss in the show – and I hope that she isn’t made evil, we’ve done badmirals to death in Trek.

Also, I am not seeing it mentioned elsewhere, but does Culber have super strength since coming back, or is he not human? Him lifting the slab off in the shuttle bay seemed to give that he is disproportionally strong.

It does have an air of micromanagement about it, akin to Pres. Johnson personally picking bombing targets in Vietnam. Nonetheless, I think her rationale is that these new captains are going to spend much of their time rebuilding the Federation; they’re as much diplomatic emissaries as anything.

There is the air of pointedly restoring civilian and democratic control over Starfleet in the President’s actions.

Which is something that leaders in democratic societies need to do after protracted crises. All of the captains will have come up through Starfleet under drastically different circumstances.

The civilian authorities will need to ensure that the captains reaching out to new civilizations will represent the Federation and not just themselves.

Can’t say that Burnham and Book represented the best of the Federation in that opening sequence.

I don’t like how Starfleet and the Federation are seemingly merging into one. Seems very autholitarian (especially versus the debate and diversity filled Federation Council seen in Star Trek IV).
Maybe that contributed to some member worlds leaving the Federation?
I hope they address this as an emergency situation and maybe have an arc about the Federation returning to being a Federation with Starfleet being just the navy as the Burn crisis is over (and maybe have some opposition by the military, bring back some of that old is Starfleet exploration NASA vs. military Navy debate) for drama (answer of course isn’t clear cut, embrace the drama).

Dear directors, could you please stop shaking the camera?
Leave the f**** camera still. Thanks!

Agreed. They probably think it creates action and drama, but it’s way overdone.

And lens flairs. Enough with the lens flairs.

Yes. Exactly. It makes the show even more tedious to watch.

🥱 another galaxy wide threat .

And as usual Berhnam (?) is the only one who can save the day. 🤔

Talk about a Mary Sue

Good point about the overdone “galaxy-wide threat.”
Just curious though: as you had to be on the interwebs to share your wit and wisdom with us, could you not have opened a new tab and looked up the proper spelling of the character’s name? (It’s Burnham). I think it’s also spelled properly in the article you’re currently commenting on.

Agreed, so predictable. This is why I stopped watching this show halfway through S2. It’s ALL about her. I liked SMG on The Walking Dead, but on DSC, she has too much hubris, imo.

Of course it’s all about her. It’s her show. Always has been and always will be.

The show’s creators have said since before Season 1 that the show would focus on Burnham.

I liked it. The scene with Archer spacedock got me thinking though, it’s too bad they did skip the arc this season and just focus on the rebirth of the Federation. Like a parallel to Enterprise S1 of getting (back) out there.

Also, Saru for captain of the VOY-J.

For me, the best part of the episode. Archer spacedock with his theme playing…..brought a tear to my eye. Ok, not really, but if it was going to happen, that would have been when it did.

I commented this on another article, so I’ll just copy-paste it here:

Given the reveal of a new shipyard with an explicit connection to Star Trek: Enterprise due to it being named after Jonathan Archer (or possibly his father Henry, or both), including the end-credits theme (Archer’s theme) being played, while the Federation president was talking about Starfleet getting back to exploration, I suspect that may all be foreshadowing Saru being given command of a newly-constructed Enterprise (NCC-1701-Z? NCC-1701-AA? NCC-17001? They seem to get through those letters faster than most ships) at the end of the season.

is it just me or is the lighting more akin to a Broadway play than a tentpole series? Especially noticable in the image in the story w/ Burnham and the Prez on the bridge. It looks like that time the Frasier cast join a starship for a Star Trek celebration on stage.

“Star Trek: Discovery” – now on stage at East Bumpkin High School. Tickets available at Jo’s Seed and Feed.

Discovery is Hamilton in Space. Its like they gave the kids at Julliard the keys to the franchise and let them run wild.

I like it but I’m against the complete destruction of planets to serve character development and plot purposes. That’s major extinction, and in real life larger than any one person can adapt to. Narratively this makes Book/Han Solo into… Leia? But to what end? Or is this like Dr Who when Gallifrey was left in a time bottle for a few seasons? In the Kelvin Universe, they totally punted any serious consideration of of the destruction of Vulcan and I am pretty sure they will do that here. It already feels wasted.

Another prediction I’m making now: that “world root” or whatever gets replanted on a new planet (“New Kwejian” or whatever) in the final episode of this season.

Are Kwejian’s inhabitants supposed to be human, or aliens? I’ve never quite understood this point.

Well, exactly. Book’s ethnic characteristics are open to interpretation so we know no reason why Kwejian is interesting.

For example… Vulcan was only interesting because of Leonard Nimoy, and the casting of Book had potential. Now… wasted.

I honestly don’t get the choice to blow up a planet, to kill a culture, ever. Ever.

I wonder if that mention of USS Voyager-J is an example of “Chekov’s (the playwright, not the TOS character) Pistol”. This theatrical axiom holds that if a gun is in the first act, it will be used by the end of the performance. Since we learn from dialog that this Voyager version is in spacedock being equipped with a spore drive, what are the odds we’ll see her in “Black Alert” action before the end of the season?

Yeah..

It very much looks like the show still has the same problem. But to be fair it is such a huge problem that if they address it it would change the ENTIRE show. Which I guess they have no interest in doing but as a fan I would endorse it. That problem is the lack of interesting characters. In fact, these characters are all so very bland that I just have a huge disconnect from them. I mean, Book’s planet is destroyed and my reaction was, “meh.” What happens next? I never cared about his nephew or his personal connections because I just didn’t care about him. And it’s not that there is NO empathy for the characters, really. It’s the overall tone of the show just leads the viewer to not really care. It’s what they have done over 3 seasons. It’s very hard to care at this point.

Case in point… In the beginning when we were watching them work together on the bridge and all that incessant smiling they gave each other was ridiculous. It reminded me of that scene in “Airplane!” of the stewardess singing “River of Jordan” and all the passengers looked at each other and smiled in a cliche sappy way. That was the joke. How lame that sort of thing is. And now Star Trek Discovery just did it FOR REAL. Not as a joke. That sort of thing would be better placed on LDX. It would have been a funny gag.

And yet another issue is that they are 900 years in their future and they are STILL using dilithium and a warp system that they were using 1000 years earlier. It would be as if no one on Earth worked on cars or airplanes and in 2000 we were all still riding horses and sailing ships with wind and oars. And I just find it impossible to buy that after 900 years NO ONE has duplicated the spore drive.

All these things just get in the way of the rest of the show. Sorry. At this point I’m thinking this show needs to change characters, writers and producers and directors to get better.

Certainly weird about the propulsion.

Book’s ship was said to have Quantum Slipstream drive early in season 3, but it’s never brought up again, for ANY ship.

Thank you, ML. Thus justifying my refusal to subscribe to P+ yet again. I stepped out on DSC halfway through S2, and no regrets. I will sign back up to check out SNW, but as you have said in the past, my hopes are dampened given these showrunners’ history. PIC was just ‘ok,’ imo, and now he’s AI, so not terribly interested. At least Prodigy is getting good reviews. I’m in no hurry to see any of it, though. Cheers.

I don’t agree with all of this but yeah the two things that STILL bothers me about this show is the dilithium thing and believing no one has worked on another spore drive in all that time. It would be one thing if the prototype didn’t work or had a lot of bugs with it or something, but it works perfectly lol. The thing hasn’t had one major problem. So why has no one has simply made another one…in 900 years? And what’s MORE frustrating is that the guy who helped d-e-s-i-g-n it, is there on the damn ship. Why not work with him to, I don’t know, MAKE MORE???? It’s absurd in a future where FTL speed was crippled for a century, they don’t have Stamets and a thousand engineers picking his brain to come up more of them the day Discovery arrived. That should’ve been his number one job once he got there.

I just can’t really buy that at all. But it’s a TV show and you have to suspend your disbelief. But with Discovery you’re doing that practically every episode. ;)

I have grown to like the characters for the most part though. Not in love with them like a lot of the other shows yet, but they are at least at the likable phase for me now. But if you feel differently about them like you do the TNG characters, completely understandable.

If you had watched the episode you would’ve known that Starfleet is working on a “next generation spore drive” that will be equippped on new ships constructed in the Archer Spacedock.

Also, all records of the spore drive were erased at the end of Season 2, because:

1) You need to either enslave a sentient creature, or augment a person to operate the drive.
2) Starfleet believed the drive was faulty and as a result the Discovery was destroyed.

Lastly, the spore drive has actually had a major problem – an entire ship and all its crew were lost in an accident (USS Glenn).

They did say that but look… It’s been 900 years! Even if there was no record of it remaining it is ridiculous to think that not one person or scientist in the Federation would have considered the concept. Hell, someone already did! If there was record of having been tried and failed, it is also ridiculous that no one wondered, “why did it fail?” and work on it.

And that doesn’t even speak to the silliness of them still using dilithium powered warp drive. In a near millennium there was NOTHING discovered that was better? I call bul***it on that.

“If you had watched the episode you would’ve known that Starfleet is working on a “next generation spore drive” that will be equippped on new ships constructed in the Archer Spacedock.”

I did watch it Mike. In fact if YOU read my review post I wrote on this thread last Thursday, you would’ve seen I actually said just that here:

 And was SO happy when she finally discussed building future spore drives. It was so weird how it was just ignored first season.

So yes, I directly acknowledged it after the episode aired. My ONLY point was, as I alluded to in the second line, it was still ludicrous it was completely ignored in the first season. And even if I bought the idea no one worked on it because it was considered ‘faulty’ it’s still a weak excuse. A lot of inventions, especially dealing with transportation, people have died trying to create them. People who tried making planes, trains and automobiles have all suffered fatalities due to ‘faulty’ construction. And yet we still have all of those today in abundance. Didn’t people die in the Apollo space program trying to be the first people to the moon? There was a lot of ‘faulty’ problems in that program too but they kept persisting just the same because they felt the goal was worth it.

I don’t see how inventing a teleporting ship to literally anywhere in the galaxy in seconds wouldn’t be an absolute dream for anyone traveling in space in the 23rd century and wouldn’t have worked on it for probably decades even if it didn’t work the first few times around (although we know it DID work).

So yeah I don’t buy it.

But even it that was a reason to stop making more in the 23rd century, its ridiculous to believe by the 32nd century when you have an active one there. You’re talking about ships that hasn’t been warp capable in over a century. And then a 1000 year old ship show up with a piece of technology that can not only get them anywhere in the universe at the flip of a coin, the guy who invented it was also on the same ship.

My only point is they should’ve at least been studying the thing to see if they CAN adapt it and no one even suggested it. Isn’t that why the Emerald Chain highjacked the ship, so they can make more? Why were they thinking ahead but the Federation wasn’t?

Burnham and her boyfriend are the only people on the away mission re-establishing contact with other worlds.
Burnham’s boyfriend’s planet is affected by the anomaly.
Burnham attempts a recue using a 23rd century robotic-arm vehicle, has time to ask the President if she lied, and is unaffected after a few seconds of explosive decompression in space…
The ship, with 31st century deflector dish and shields is under attack from gas in space. The same gas you get as a result of BS. Fitting…
Dialog was cheesy.
But previous Trek shows took 4 seasons to “find their feet” so this show will get better they say.

Burnham is the captain and was a key person in figuring out the Burn and reigniting the Federation. It makes sense that Starfleet would make her its representative. Book was with her, because he has a special ability that can be quite useful in communicating with alien races.

The Discovery wasn’t under attack by gas, but by huge chunks of ice. After her shields were extended to protect the station, they became weaker. And as we all know, ice is pretty hard.

Burnham still Wonder Woman, Mary Sue-ing across the galaxy.

Only good scenes were with Saru. How can writers/producers not see he was the perfect choice for Captain and leading the show.

Something tells me final scene will be a precursor to the final scene of the season…perhaps something like this:

Season finale excerpt:
President: “I misunderestimated you Captain”
Burnham: “It’s ok, sometimes my greatness is too hard to recognise, you are forgiven”
President: “Thank you Captain”

Crew exchange glances and start crying tears of joy.

END SEASON

What does Mary Sue mean? Are you like five years old or something?

Perhaps you should learn what a Mary Sue is first.

A little research before making a condescending comment like that would go a long way. Here, let me help….

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Mary%20Sue

I don’t understand why the “Mary Sue” accusation couldn’t be made against Picard or Kirk.

If you don’t understand that I would argue that you don’t understand the concept of the ‘Mary Sue’ to begin with.

Probably because Kirk and Picard are white men, so people expect them to do amazing things. Burnham is a black woman, so if she does something incredible it must be bad writing.

SMDH

Captain Michael Burnham is NOT a Mary Sue.

She is a Q.

She just doesn’t know it.

My overall take was that this episode was probably 3.5 stars. Nothing majorly good or bad. I liked the intro that reminded me of the Kelvin movies and I liked the story with the new President who didn’t just turn out to be a mindless pompous bureaucrat. Of course the scene with the new Archer space dock was great.

I know that some really detest the idea that for each season, Discovery has had a galactic threat to deal with (understandably that must grow tiresome for some), but that has always been something that serialized Star Trek has relied on, whether it was fighting the Xindi and eventually the spherebuilders or the Dominion. It’s just too bad they have to do this every season. I personally prefer episodic shows, so I am looking forward to SNW and I like Prodigy, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying Discovery or Picard.

Finally, Discovery has slowly evolved into something that for me is much better than the first 5-6 episodes from S1. Best of all, with FIVE shows now in production, it no longer has to try to be everything to everyone. For example, LDs is never going to be my favorite and that is okay. IMO it is okay that Discovery is never going to be what some fans what it to be – but I do hope the producers keep trying. Maybe S5 can be episodic or they could break it up into 3 or 4 multi-part stories. I bet the cast wouldn’t mind a change of pace.

Why do they continue to show Pike’s chair in the opening credits?

I was thrilled that the president gave Burnham a much-needed talking-to. I think Rillak is absolutely right. I’m reminded of the TOS episode “The Immunity Syndrome,” where Kirk wonders aloud, “Which of my friends do I condemn to death?” Sometimes a captain has to make that kind of choice, and it doesn’t seem that Michael is capable of it. I hope she grows into that over the course of the season.

Kurzman blew up Vulcan during the first reboot movie, and now he wants to blow up Kwejian? Does this guy not like planets or something?

Olatunde Osunsanmi, please, PLEASE lose the spinning camera! The director is supposed to serve the STORY, not be saying, “Look at meeeee!”

This is way off topic, but thought this was the best place to post it!

For any Americans who was looking forward to seeing The Center Seat tonight, looks like you’re out of luck. They pulled the episode. I was sitting down looking forward to watching it at this hour and even had it set to record when I noticed my DVR didn’t record anything. I looked it up and all the episodes tonight are suddenly gone. It looks like the ratings are not doing what History was hoping because they relegated all the episodes to Monday night instead, where you can also catch episode 4. And that’s it! No other viewings for the rest of the week.

So if you wanted to watch the next episode, you now have to wait until Monday. They will show all four episodes in one sitting at least and the rest will be on History Vault from that point on I’m guessing.

I noticed it wasn’t on my DVR Friday night. I looked and noticed it was moved to Monday. Not sure why the move. Can’t imagine it’s viewers as Fridays to this day are not as strong viewing days as Monday’s even today.

Also noticed there was no article about the TAS episode that aired last week on the site. Would have liked to leave comments on it.

Sadly it still looks like only 4 episodes are going to me on THC. But I did notice it is listed on On Demand. I don’t like using that because you can’t FF the commercials. But I guess it’s better than subscribing to the streaming service.

Yeah, but they also got rid of episodes running OTHER days as well. The reruns for the first two episodes were not just on Friday, but also Sundays, Monday and I think Wednesday. It was multiple viewings. Now it’s just regulated to one day.

Or maybe more people were just streaming it on the regular site and didn’t see a need to air it more. That’s possible too. I do think ratings had something to do with it though.

As far as the other episodes, they are actually already on History Vault. I went and had a look and there are five other episodes. I was going to wait for the four to air on TV and then just subscribe for a month to watch the rest. It’s only $5, I’ll live! And the first week is free so if I get through the rest in the week I can just cancel then.

But I’m also guessing if they make more episodes, it will all just go to the History Vault, especially if the ones on THC didn’t do great.

Looks like the burned the other two episodes Monday. They aired after a rerun of part 2.

I’m still getting a kick out of this thing. Liked seeing the Xon footage. In all my years I have only seen stills. Not footage. So it seems they have indeed found SOME new stuff.

I loathe to watch on demand but that seems to be the only way to watch the remaining episodes. Haven’t seen “Trek Goes to the Movies” yet. But will have to psych myself up for sitting through commercials for the rest.

Is it strange that we still don’t know for sure how many episodes there are this season? I know IMDB is hardly a bulletproof source at the best of times, but it has stuck with 11 for weeks.

It’s almost certainly 13 just like season 3. You’re right though it’s unusual for them to not confirm the number.

I feel like they have a missed opportunity to name drop Kirk with the mention of the Kobayashi Maru test.

That was over 900 years ago. He just cheated on the test, he didn’t invent it.

True but Burnham does have a connection to Kirk in a small way. She has never met him, but her brother sure did. His solution was “unique”

Her brother met Kirk after Burnham had departed for the future.

Even if she has had time to review all of Spock’s logs, it doesn’t seem like something she would bring up.

It was dreadful. I love Star Trek, I couldn’t love this. So disappointing.

Agreed. I’ve watched all 3 seasons (and enjoyed most of the first two and a few from the third season). But this ep. was my last. It, together with the awful finale of Season 3, has totally extinguished any enthusiasm I had for Discovery.

A nice nod to James T. Kirk beating the Kobayashi Maru would have been nice. But then again by this time he may not have been the only one to beat it.

I find it ridiculous that test is still a thing 900 years later. Everyone knows about it now. How effective could it possibly be?

I just realized that the opening scene could be interchangeable with one on ‘Lower Decks’. Cartoonish. Using a lot of present-day banter. But on ‘Lower Decks’ it actually would have been entertaining and funny rather than cringe-inducing.

Michael has saved the multiverse, saved Earth, saved Kronos, saved all sentient life in the galaxy, saved the Federation, in addition to lots of other bits of saving, and we’re supposed to take seriously a scene in which she is chastised for having a hero complex. 

Remember to the President, Burnham is a newcomer to the 32nd century and quite honestly despite her 23rd century accomplishments, is probably seen as someone who can easily be chastised. Just imagine meeting someone from the 12th century today – they would been seen as a primitive oddity from another era.

I felt this episode was not that bad. It was interesting that this president was putting Michael in her place. Michael has been way to cocky of a character for me to fully enjoy but seeing the bit of dialogue at the end was surprising and well needed for her character. Hopefully Michael does face failure instead of winning all the time. Without conflict, without character trouble, there isnt much of a character.

There were a few decent moments but the whole of the episode just didn’t land for me. Again, it’s the writing, dialogue, science fantasy instead of science fiction, style over substance. I suspect the cringe parts of the episode were Kurtzman’s contributions as the opening action scene was right out of his bag of tricks.

I work at a game development studio and the level of professionalism in my office could almost be dropped into a starship. lol If I had to work with the likes of Stamets, babbling and mouthing off in a dire situation, I would ask for a transfer or quit. lol

Why can’t the crew behave like professionals anymore?

Definitely, TNG was the management ideal of professionalism.

More, by all accounts, Kurtzman is himself that kind of workplace leader and so is Sonequa.

So, why don’t they want to give what they know is good leadership and workplace behaviour to us onscreen?

Please somebody help me out here: So does the Federation now have the monopoly on dilithium? That should be its own story arc. Who decides who gets dilithium and who doesn’t. If the Klingons are naughty they’re not getting any, but if Ni’Var gets its act together they’re getting some? Basically the Federation is capable to decide who remains in the galactic stone age and who can advance. That’s quite some responsibility to say the least. Maybe this would be more a Picard story.

Logic does not exist in these nu-Trek shows.