Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Mixes It Up With A Cocktail Of Stories In “Choose To Live”

“Choose to Live”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 4, Episode 3 – Debuted Thursday, December 2, 2021
Written by Terri Hughes Burton
Directed by Christopher J. Byrne

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

“Choose to Live” weaves together multiple disparate but engaging stories held together by some thematic elements. While each has noteworthy elements and strong performances, the episode doesn’t give any of the stories the full attention they deserve.

 

WARNING: Spoilers below!

 

RECAP

“I will bring her to justice”

The main story of this three-story episode focuses on the manhunt (actually nunhunt) for a renegade Qowat Milat named J’Vini who has been hijacking dilithium shipments and really crossed the line by killing a Starfleet officer. Due to the delicate politics of the pending Federation reintegration of Ni’Var (formerly Vulcan), Presidents T’Rina and Rillak agree to a joint operation headed up by Captain Burnham and her time-traveler mother Gabrielle Burnham, who joined the Qowat Milat on Ni’Var in season 3. It’s unclear why J’Vini and her mercenaries are stealing the now plentiful dilithium, but the crime spree started after the discovery of this season’s big bad: the Gravitational Anomaly. First Officer Saru suggests Tilly round out the four-person away mission, noting her ability to keep people at ease and satisfying Dr. Culber’s orders for her to try things outside her “comfort zone” to help address her identity crisis funk.

Borrowing Book’s ship, they follow the trail of the tracker left in the stolen dilithium, and Gabrielle reveals this mission is personal: J’Vini was the nun that took her on as a lost cause and nursed her back to health. After Tilly bonds with the other nun with “absolute candor, I dig that,” things get awkward when Gabrielle demands they respect the Qowat Milat ways and trade in their phasers for swords—which Tilly, of course, immediately drops. The trail leads them to a lifeless moon, but as soon as they figure out there is a hidden interior, J’Vini shows up for another swordfight action sequence, in which her mercs and the red shirt Qowat Milat nun end up on the short end of some swords. Ignoring the warning not to follow, the now-a-trio discovers a vast interior crypt full of alien pods and evidence of grave robbers. When the engine fires up courtesy of the stolen dilithium, Gabrielle channels her inner Obi Wan, revealing, “This isn’t a moon, it’s a ship.” Dun dun dunnnn.

“I’ve been living in an in-between place for too long already”

After being promised at the end of season three and teased in the previous two episodes, Culber is finally ready to bring Gray into the real world via an android body he put together in sickbay. Getting Gray’s consciousness out of Adira and into the android is being subcontracted out to Trill Guardian Xi, who oversees the proceedings as a hologram. The procedure is not without its risks, and once “unjoined,” there is no guarantee the new body and mind will connect. With Gray in limbo, Adira gets increasingly anxious as they wait for the process to work for most of the episode, they take a break to get some fatherly advice from Culber in the ship’s groovy new bar. Eventually, Adira returns to sickbay, telling the still-lifeless Gray android, “I’m here reaching out, and I’ll be here until you come back.” It  works. Gray eventually comes to life with hugs all around (except for the hologram Xi) and lets Adira know he may be a real boy now, but “we’ll always be linked Adira, always.” Aww.

“I need all brains on deck here”

Our third story features Book and Stamets, who remain teamed up like a mismatched buddy cop duo following their near-death bonding in the previous episode. This week, they are trying to sort out all the data retrieved from the anomaly, so they head to the Ni’Var Science Institute to get those big Vulcan brains in on the analysis. Stamets has given the anomaly a new name: the “Dark Matter Anomaly” or “DMA,” with a working theory that it is a primordial wormhole, but there is one missing piece of evidence to confirm it. Paul is a bit disappointed; instead of a meeting of the minds on Ni’Var, he is told to wait while they do some power meditating to find the link. They’re unfazed by his snarky “science first, nap later,” so Paul is left to sit and admire the AR Wall scenery. T’Rina takes the time to offer some comfort to Book, showing a surprising amount of empathy as she argues the guilt he is carrying is illogical.

In the end, the science guys reveal they can find no evidence of tachyons, so the theory remains unproven. President T’Rina has a radical idea: Give the one witness to the destruction of Kwejian a mind meld to see if he noticed the visual signs. Paul worries about Book reliving the trauma yet again, but Book dismisses this and says he’s ready, so T’Rina dives in and starts running Book’s memories like a DVR. He uses the opportunity to get a closer look at his final moments with his brother and nephew, actually finding some peace when he’s able to see the love in Leeto’s eyes as they parted. As for the evidence to prove Stamets’ theory, that turned out to be a bust, leaving the anomaly as unknowable as ever—but Book still sees the visit as a win thanks to that mind meld.

“It’s the path they are meant to be on”

Back on the moonship, Tilly starts to shut down the engines as Michael sorts out the unknown species backstory thanks to some wall carvings and her expertise in xenoanthropology. Turns out they’re actually on a sleeper ship that escaped a supernova, and then arrived at its intended destination. With Tilly left alone as “bait,” J’Vani shows up for yet more fight stuff, eventually holding a blade to her former friend Gabrielle’s neck to explain she had (in Qowat Milat tradition) taken on these telepathic aliens (named “Abronians”) as her lost cause, and the dilithium stealing was to give them a Plan B in case the DMA turned their way and they needed to bail; she couldn’t just ask on the aliens’ behalf because she didn’t want to fill out all that Federation paperwork revealing  their location. Michael offers to fix the cryosystem so they can wake the aliens, releasing J’Vani from her oath. With that sorted, the renegade nun is soon in custody and they leave the aliens to settle their new planet without even staying for coffee and a “thanks for saving our civilization” chat.

Despite being of little help during all the fighting, Tilly helped the mission by brokering some of the tension between mother and daughter Burnham, who have some nice bonding moments. Sylvia has been profoundly affected by seeing the clarity of purpose demonstrated by the Qowat Milat and uses it to reflect on her own path in life. Returning to Federation HQ with their prisoner, Michael requests J’Vani’s mission to save the Abronians mitigate her punishment, but she is surprised when the nun is immediately remanded to T’Rina and Ni’Var custody. Rillak makes it clear she needs Ni’Var to fight the anomaly and handing over a murdering nun is just part of the political price. “Your role in this has now concluded, Captain.” Michael isn’t happy, but Vance talks her down with a nice analogy about symphonies and how she is the showy first chair violinist. We end with a calmer Michael settling in with Book in her quarters, happy to find him more at peace following his solemn interaction with T’Rina.

ANALYSIS

Surprising character moments

After a strong couple of episodes to kick off the season, Discovery takes a bit of a diversion here with a complicated mix of smaller stories only tangentially linked to each other or to the overall season arc. Giving themselves permission by revealing that no systems are threatened by the big bad Anomaly, our characters are paired off for a series of adventures. But there is some connective tissue thematically all tied to “choose to live” becoming a bit of a mantra for each story, especially for Tilly, Book, and Gray.

With the main storyline focused on the Qowat Milat, mysterious aliens, and a reunion of Michael and her mother Gabrielle, the heart of this part of the episode was Tilly’s journey. Throughout the season she has been out of sorts, and here she is trying something way out of her comfort zone as she struggles with a crisis of confidence and even identity. Mary Wiseman was a delight as she brilliantly balanced some of her trademark comedy (that had been mostly absent from the first two episodes) along with some thoughtful emotion as she works through how she will “choose to live,” telegraphing that the path she has been on has ended. While this character arc was satisfying, the multiple spinning plates of the episode didn’t allow much time to explore the intriguing new alien species, and the decision to just leave before they awoke from their long slumber and skip the whole first contact thing was inexplicable.

The visit to Ni’Var Science Institute ended up not being the technobabble-filled exposition you might imagine, much to Stamets’ “math-math-math” chagrin, but instead provided a surprising story about the one character who came along for the ride: in this case, Book. Tara Rosling rose to the occasion, together with David Ajala, to help bring Book back from his grief. It was clever to have a Vulcan do this as both part of the surprise and to show how they, too, have evolved over the many centuries. The floating meditation room itself was another nice use of the new AR wall, giving us some spectacular vistas of Ni’Var (aka Vulcan), a fan-favorite Star Trek location. This makes up for the visit to Ni’Var in season three where they never left the ship, although it would have been nice to see Michael return home or Saru have a moment with T’Rina, who we are still shipping.

Thankfully, the Gray becoming seen storyline has finally been fulfilled, as the ghost boyfriend thing had worn out its welcome even before the last season ended. The process of transferring wasn’t fully clear; although Guardian Xi did mention Zhian’tara, it’s still not clear how that ritual of meeting past hosts fits in. It was also an odd choice to have Xi there as a hologram, especially when he literally handwaves over Gray and yet could “sense” the consciousness. Thankfully all of this is behind us, and Gray is now a real character capable of interacting with others onboard. Blu del Barrio delivered a great performance as they went through all of this, with able help from Wilson Cruz’s Dr. Culber playing father figure, counselor, and boyfriend resurrector.

As with the previous episode, it was nice for Michael Burnham to take a bit of a back seat to allow for these other characters’ stories to thrive, and we still got some nice moments with her and her mom. She and Sonja Sohn showed their best chemistry on the show yet, with Gabrielle fitting in organically into the story much more so than she did in season three. We also have some more tension between Michael and President Rillak, hinting the two are in for more conflict to come. Chelah Horsdal continues to be a great addition to the season, going toe-to-toe with Sonequa Martin-Green.

Living with uncertainty

As with the previous episode, the theme of uncertainty continued with the frustratingly slow progress on understanding the nature of the Gravitational Anomaly (now called the DMA), the main focus of the season. Stamets moved on from his binary black hole theory to the primordial wormhole theory, which also appears to be wrong, leaving the threat entirely unpredictable. We did learn the DMA’s destructive range was given as 12 AU, but that actually opens up a new mystery—it’s actually not that far when you consider that our closest stellar neighbor is almost 300,000 AUs distant. Even though the DMA was described as 5 light-years in size in the previous episode, it’s not clear how it’s moving fast enough to threaten the galaxy.

With a total of 13 episodes, it appears that the mystery of the Gravitational Anomaly will be a slow drip, and perhaps as more of a thematic backdrop for the season instead of dominating each episode. Like the allegory to the pandemic itself, life must go on, and everyone must find ways to work within the new context of the looming DMA.

The sum of its parts

With much to enjoy, the episode suffers from uneven pacing and a complicated mix of character and plotlines. While more entertaining, “Choose to Live” was reminiscent of earlier middle-season Discovery episodes suffering from too many spinning plates; usually those don’t come so early in the season. But there is still enough good stuff going on and hints of some interesting paths to keep the intrigue up and anticipate what is to come.

Random bits

  • The episode title “Choose to Live” is a phrase said by Qowat Milat warrior nuns giving opponents a last chance to retreat, first introduced on Star Trek: Picard.
  • This is the first Discovery writing credit for Terri Hughes Burton, who joined the show as a co-executive producer for season four. She has a long history of writing and producing genre shows, with her last series being (coincidentally) Warrior Nun.
  • This is Christopher J. Byrne’s second time directing Discovery; he also directed the season one episode “Into the Forest I Go.”
  • Gabrielle explains that J’Vani was acting as a “Qalankhkai,” which we learned in Star Trek: Picard is a nun who has bound herself to a lost cause.
  • Michael promises Book she will return his ship “washed and waxed.” Apparently, this is still a thing in the 32nd (or even 23rd) century, but opting for the starship undercarriage wash is still a rip-off.
  • Graverobbers looted the Abronian ship because their bodies contain latinum, revealing this commodity still has value in the 32nd century.
  • The USS Credence appeared to have four nacelles, an uncommon arrangement seen on some ships like Jean-Luc Picard’s first command, the USS Stargazer.
  • Kaminar’s spaceport is being retrofitted for their return to space following post-Burn isolation, something Saru lobbied for as a Councilor  in the season opener.
  • T’Rina mentions the Vulcan emotion-suppressing discipline of arie’mnu, which comes from the 1983 Star Trek novel The Wounded Sky.
  • It’s recommended not to touch Kaminar swamp kelp while it is in bloom—but it’s better if you don’t know why.
  • This is the first episode featuring the new bar set, which was first revealed in publicity photos two weeks ago.
  • The Disco bar featured a number of nods to Quark’s Bar on Deep Space Nine, like Adira playing darts, a Ferengi officer serving drinks, and a Lurian at one of the tables.

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 Fridays where Paramount+ is available around the world. In Canada, it airs on CTV Sci-Fi Channel on Thursdays, and streams on Crave on Fridays. Starting November 26, Discovery also streams on Pluto TV in select countries in Europe and is available as a digital download in additional international territories.

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

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Throwdown? I hope not. I loved this episode.

I liked it a lot too!

I wasn’t able to see it until today, and had been expecting something not great from scanning comments.

Instead, I found it a credible version of the classic A-B-C plots of TNG.

Honestly, I think this is my favorite Discovery episode to date. It’s pure heart, with a proper ensemble cast that lets everyone shine. The heart is the best aspect of Star Trek IMO, and the nicely balanced ensemble is reminiscent of DS9.

I’m sorry – I gave it my best but this show has lost me. A few episodes in to this season and I just can’t anymore. Fingers crossed for Strange New Worlds…

What exactly about this season lost you?

It’s not just this season – it’s the whole thing really. For me it just never materialized into something coherent. There are great actors cast on the show…my problem is not with them. But I find myself struggling to feel anything when I watch. I guess it boils down to the writing.

Fair enough! Wasn’t sure if there was something specific that happened in the last 3 episode, or if was just an accumulation of everything.

I’m also dead inside when I watch the show.

I agree with others here, There is no emotional reason to care about these people. They all wear it on their sleeves every chance they get.

Hearing you – I did the same at the end of season two, and feel like I’ve missed nothing since. Very discouraging.

On the contrary to you, I do not find my lack of enjoyment of the show discouraging. I survived without new Trek on TV for more than a decade, it’s no skin off my back if it’s not what I want. I love rewatching TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT, and there’s plenty of other good stuff on TV these days (unlike the 90s).

And every now and then there’s a decent episode of DSC, so you never know.

Oh, absolutely agree. I still rewatch the oldies as well, which is plenty. And you’re right, there’s a literal ton of, dare I say, Great shows out there these days to enjoy as well. I’m just disappointed DSC isn’t one of them. IMO, of course.

I do like the modern Trek shows for the most part, but far from in love with any of them. But I also agree with you if I really hated all of them, I wouldn’t be that bothered because I have the classic Trek shows which I still like more in droves. The new stuff is still just that, pretty new. Discovery is the only show that is more than two seasons old, so I think it all has a long way to go content wise.

But the old shows and films just has a certain heart, charm and obviously nostalgia which keeps me rewatching them over and over again. I did a grand rewatch of the franchise this year, watched every show and film and the old stuff holds up just as strongly as it did 20-30 years ago. In some ways more. I was always a Voyager fan for example, but today I like and appreciate it a lot more now. It went from my fifth favorite show to now my third today. Same issue with TOS. I grew up with that show but I was getting a little down on it last few years because I felt it was becoming more outdated for me (compared to everything else). But rewatching it in full for the first time in ages brought me back to why I love it so much. STILL outdated lol, but I can still generally watch it like the other shows again. I forgot how great so many of the episodes are.

I have liked Star Trek from the first 2009 film through the present shows, but none of them have nearly the same interest or clout all the classic shows have and which I constantly want to rewatch. Lower Decks has been the closest though.

It’s surprising to me that this is the point where it lost you. I’m still watching… sort of…I don’t hurry to check out each episode, and i’m hardly engaged. But mid-way through last season was when I finally tuned out.

I thought Season 1 was very flawed but showed promise. Season 2 was a step up, and gave me hope that a third season would put the show on TNG’s trajectory towards finding a solid groove in its third season — but then they fell right back to Season 1 territory.

I don’t hate the show, it’s not terrible, it’s just not very good. For all its faults, at least Picard has a few fan favorite characters to enjoy when it’s not great.

I do have higher hopes for Strange New Worlds, which has a much better cast, and Spock/Pike were a big highlight of Season 2 for me.

Yeah… I’m hoping SNW will be have more in common with Prodigy than with anything else Secret Hideout has made. There is hope…

This show lost me after that break they took in S1. Everything after that has been complete garbage.

I admit, I still watch it only because I’m a fan. If I wasn’t as much of a Trek fan I would have bailed 3 years ago. But god help me, I still watch hoping for something good….

that describes me as well. i have a near-religious need to watch everything trek, and i do… but, it has been very painful with DSC. everyone else i’ve tried to have sit through it with me is gone. like some above, there were hopeful “trajectories” i saw in the past, less so in season 2, but more in season 3. but they’ve all crashed and burned. i used to have thoughts on how to “fix it”, make it watchable, but it’s too incoherent to even do that anymore. will this be the trek i stop watching?? probably not, but it is *this* close.

and elsewhere, i lamented how oddly reliant on old concepts/characters DSC is (and how quickly it discards those concepts). and this season, is the “big bad” the doomsday machine? some visual in the prior episode triggered that thought, and it got stronger when they called the anomaly “DMA.” According to Wikidata, “DMa” is apparently a name/acronym by which that TOS episode was known.

I didn’t enjoy this episode mostly because so little of it feels earned. I’m more interested in learning about the underdeveloped characters on the bridge than I am about Gray & Adira. I realize this is supposed to be a happy moment but the invisible boyfriend is really all they’ve been about. Great. Book has happy memories of someone we just met an episode or two ago. I’d be happy for him had the show given me a reason to get emotionally invested. 32nd ninja Vulcan nuns with swords? We haven’t invented a cooler instrument of death for Vulcan ninja nuns than a sword?

As always, the show looks great and I’d watch just for the calming and mesmerizing swing of Saru’s arms but character development remains as rare as latinum.

Grey/Adira/Culver subplot extremely cringeworthy, took things away from a reasonable episode. The whispering is annoying. The pace is much better, slow and steady but it’s too little too late for this show

I’m sorry that you are finding a storyline involving metaphors for trans people being ‘seen’ as “cringeworthy”. Obviously trans right and visibility is just not something that you believe in. A real shame.

F*****g hell – get over yourself. How has what Commander K wrote warranted being called a transphobe essentially? Heaven forbid there is any criticism of these three characters, their story or the writing. F*****g f*** me. That meteor cannot come soon enough.

No one called the characters “cringeworthy.” The subplot was described that way. My beef is these are not well written characters and because of that, what should have been a big emotional payoff with Gray having a physical form and being visible, lands with a thud. Your results may vary but whether it’s the limited number of episodes each season or just bad writing, we haven’t spent enough time with these characters to know them or care about them. I want to care about them but like everyone not named Burnham, there’s no character development.

Lets please not accuse someone of transphobia over criticizing the storyline. Harry Kim was a disliked character because he was written poorly not because he was Asian. Geordi LaForge became pathetic to me after the writers made him that way with his holodeck Leah Brahms romance not because he was black. Every character on Enterprise sucked, again, because of the writing not their race, religion, gender,etc.

I agree about Gray as well. I don’t know but I expected more too. It should’ve been this very cathartic moment but it wasn’t at all. They didn’t show the process which was disappointing and they just waited in the bar for Gray’s consciousness to accept his new body.

I thought when we got to this event, it was going to be done on the level of what was done in “Forget Me Not” last season, but from Gray’s POV as he transfers to a new body. It didn’t have to be that lavish but something more than what we got. And as the review said, they kind of hand waved the explanation. They threw out the word Dax went through in “Facets” but didn’t really try to explain it with Gray. Clearly a lot was going on in this episode. Maybe it would’ve just been better to make this the main story in its own episode and really explore the characters more IMO.

Wait… It was just the consciousness? I thought they actually moved the slug into the robot body! If that is what it was then it’s even more stupid than I thought. Because that makes zero sense whatsoever.

Good lord… Star Trek Discovery goofiness at its finest.

No, the symbiont is still in Adira. However, they may transfer it from them and put it into Gray’s new body. My guess is this will be discussed at the very least.

It is a bit weird for sure, but we have seen something done like this with Dax and her former hosts in Facets as I mentioned; but it REALLY needed to be explained in a lot more detail because the situation is different and unfortunately they didn’t even bother. :(

Yeah but Adira said she couldn’t “feel” Gray anymore. That strongly suggested to me the slug was gone. I do recall the DS9 episode but that was not the same thing as this. At least that is how I read the situation. But this would not be the first time they took something from an old show and took it in some weird way that it didn’t seem like it was meant to go.

And yeah… They handled this entire situation very badly. Again, it’s not the first time and certainly won’t be the last.

I think they just meant the special connection they shared before with Gray. They didn’t say that about the others or would’ve just said she can’t feel any of them either.

But we agree, they really hand waved it away too easily. Even Anthony said that. I think they should’ve put this subplot in its own episode and made it the A story and not the C one.

I agree, fwiw, that the symbiont remains in Adira. The “feeling”/”connection” was to the mental image/soul of Gray.

If that was what they were getting at, then that was just dumb. The slug should be out of Adira and in the phoney robot Trill. But hey… It’s not the dumbest thing to happen in Star Trek Discovery. Just the latest in a long line of dumb plot elements.

i got a emotional reaction to both book and adira&grey subplots and i got a chuckle from both saru’s and vance’s analogies and was on the edge of my seat every minute with the burnhams and tilly plot

Hey now! Trip Tucker was delightful.

I personally love most of the cast on Enterprise.

I was just poking at Enterprise. I actually quite like most of the characters and unlike Discovery, we know a bit about their backstory.

OK, cool!

I liked the characters… Just I don’t think Bakula was right for Archer.

I remember you saying that in the past. Which is crazy for me because even when I didn’t love the show (love it now) I ALWAYS loved Archer. He was one of the reasons I wanted to keep watching it. I was stunned when I read people didn’t like his character when the show was on. It just proves how subjective these things are I guess. I never really warmed up to Tilly like so many others and she is considered a big fan favorite. Never had a single issue with Harry Kim but others thought he was dead weight. Never liked Harry Mudd (the original) at all but again, others seem to really like him too and why he was brought back on Discovery (which ironically I ended up did loving).

Fair enough. Bakula was coming off the popular Quantum Leap run and he probably felt like a casting coup to the producers. But he always felt like he was forcing things to me. I still think the character was good and his transformation in season 3 was incredible… But I still say Bakula was a mistake.

I actually hated Mudd’s Women. But I Mudd, when they turned him into a more comic foil I found him much more enjoyable. But again, a lot of this is subjective, sure.

And that’s fair enough as well. But I agree with you about the character himself. I just always loved Archer and I liked that he was a little less stuffy than the 24th century Captains (who we had seen for 21 straight seasons by then) and a little more easy going like Kirk was and punched a lot of aliens lol. Although Sisko punched quite a few himself.

I think you’re misinterpreting Commander K’s observation of the subplot being cringeworthy. It’s not about trans representation on Discovery but how they seem to be bungling these characters and this storyline. It’s been a missed opportunity.

Precisely. These characters have nothing to *do*. Adira is a carbon copy of Tilly, with a dash of Stamets thrown in. Gray is a ghost — on a *science*-based show. That’s the cringeworthy bit.

Adira has some Barclay in them too. And yes, the STORYLINE is cringeworthy. They way these 2 characters are being used by the writers is like… hey, look at us, we are woke. The writing for Stamets and Culber is much better. They are a normal family. I would say some of the love interest story writing for Book and Burnham is also cringeworthy. Be Captain or be a girlfriend, the only one who came close to pulling that off was Sisko and his was a unique situation. He had a family at the start, and his gf didn’t show up until later in the series. Even then, she went off on dangerous missions in wartime with his support, not so emotionally distraught he tried to stop her.

In general, most of the characters seem too one-dimensional, and as many have said, don’t give us a reason to really care about them.

agree 1000%. plus, making trans character carry a symbiont and have a ghost live in them (that they can then transplant out) is just poor use of scifi tools to make a social point.

Here, it’s a clunky, lazy metaphor that doesn’t work.

The character doesn’t make sense, as written, so far. He’s Adira’s ex, an echo of a host and we’ve heard almost nothing from him — so his sudden appearance “in the real world” doesn’t have much impact.

Compare that to the introduction of Echo in Hawkeye this week. She’s onscreen for just a few minutes with no verbal dialogue – yet she was instantly fleshed out and instantly memorable – I cared right away, thanks to solid acting, direction and writing.

I know representation is important, but on Discovery it often feels more like tokenism.

I’ve been watching Hawkeye as well – amazing how a much more enjoyable a well-written show is, right?

I’m not watching it. I haven’t seen any of the D+ Marvel shows. I don’t plan on getting D+ again for quite some time. Probably not until The Mandalorian is back or the Obi Wan series. Although I did hear the Falcon show was pretty bad….

I have to admit Danpaine, I wasn’t a fan of the first two episodes of Hawkeye at all. In fact, I felt a little bored by them. But episode 3 picked up a lot for me and now really looking forward to the next episode. It just sucks these Marvel shows have such tiny seasons. People are complaining about how short the modern Star Trek seasons are, at least the count fall into the double digits.

Learn to read first. It is cringey, in fact it’s an embarrassment to the LGBTQ community that they have this “cutesy awe isn’t that lovely for them” storyline. I would have liked to see Adira on the away mission with the sword fighting instead of propping up some soppy bmovie romance storyline.

wow, I agree with others here, nothing was said that is transphobic. I’m unsure anyone who is transphobic or anti-gay, or any other anti-whatever would be watching Discovery. 4 of the regular characters are non-heterosexual. It’s wildly disproprotionate to the general population. I agree… get over yourself.

I have resigned myself to this storyline just not being for me. I recognize that it’s an important representative plot for a community which has always struggled for acceptance. I wish it were less on the nose and cloying and was filled with better dialogue and drama, and I wish Ian Alexander was a much much better actor, but I’m glad that a segment of the population may find solace in it. Asian and African Americans made do with scant dialogue but cherished the fierce symbolic representation of Sulu and Uhura, it’s good for the LGBT community to have Stamets, Culber, Adira and Gray, flawed as they may be. Trek took too long to get here.

That’s just it — it shouldn’t be an important representative plot. It should be a human story. These should be rounded characters, not ticks off a diversity checklist.

I know that sounds terrible – and I understand that diversity is essential and that it’s part of Star Trek’s DNA.

But, even with nearly no lines, Uhura and Sulu never felt like “the Black” or “the Asian” — they were essential characters.

Discovery is giving us hashtags instead of characters. It feels like most of them don’t exist when they’re not in a scene.

These kind of characters might have been okay 25 years ago, when just being seen at all on TV was a big deal – but not any more. At this point, it’ shouldn’t be a big deal that Trek has LGBTQ+ characters (or women or people of colour) – it should be a given.

No, I agree. I hate feeling like I need to step back from laying into a storyline too hard because the mere fact of its existence enshrines it. All I can say is that trans and non-binary characters are still a rarity and while I’m gay and can empathize with this storyline’s aims and intended audience, I’m still cis male and not quite attuned to how they might be feeling. There are good intentions here.

But as someone who appreciates and reacts to great writing, character work and acting, I can say I dislike nearly everything about the Adira/Gray storyline. I do hope that I’m separating things out appropriately.

I think you’ve touched on it quite well Ian. Disco had the chance to tell a really good story with these characters and do the kind of story Trek has done well in the past. Unfortunately we weren’t given enough time to know and care about the characters and when it reached its climax, a moment that should have tugged at the heartstrings, it landed with a thud. The storyline was rushed and it didn’t need to be. We can handle long running plot lines. Of course, I’m a straight guy that accepts people for who they are so maybe it was great.

But hey, Burnham’s mom is conveniently a 32nd century bad ass new Vulcan ninja nun so we’ve got that (insert eye roll here).

Yeah, though while I think it was rushed in some ways, at the same time the screen time we did get was not compelling. Ghost boyfriend trope, mediocre acting, wan dialogue, tepid characterization and a trite and clumsy AF “we see you” metaphor which I think is such a low bar for what a story for the LGBT audience should strive to be. A great writer can make you feel for a character in 5 minutes. Gray is so damned boring – the most interesting thing about him is that he’s played by a trans actor with blue hair. If he were funny or quirky or witty and there was more chemistry with Adira then we’d imprint so much on this storyline. It’s a failure of scripting and casting and direction here IMO, but again, others may be totally invested in them, and I won’t begrudge them that.

Yeah, I hear you. I felt like I should struck by lightning for writing my post (and for wondering — to myself until now — if Ian Alexander’s acting here is part of the problem).

I agree about the good intentions – I want to root for any trans or non-binary characters/actors, too.

But yeah, the storyline isn’t working yet — and it’s kind of made all the queer characters seem like a separate group from the rest of the crew.

Another poster made the point the whole ghost boyfriend thing is a metaphor for trans invisibility — but other genre shows have been tacking this a little more head on.

Sure, it gets tricky because none of this is supposed to matter in the ideal future, so you can’t just show how open prejudice affects characters — but this feels about as simplistic as Frank Gorshin in black and white makeup.

I just want to say you pretty much hit the nail right no the head, Jack. Personally, I’m not seeing that metaphor because I see everyone as an individual person no matter what they characteristics are. So if that is their point then it’s going right over my head and I think a great many people’s heads since I think most people do not give a dam about things like a persons ethnicity or gender ID. They care about what kind of person they are. So Adira’s and Gray’s story needs to be a HUMAN story. Not a metaphor nearly no one will get. Presenting folks as human, or sentient beings should be goal here. What better way to get people to “see” them than to present them in a familiar human-like situation? It’s as you said about Sulu and Uhura. There was nothing special about them being there and that’s what made them being there special. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Discovery.

Agreed. I get that its not written for me specifically, but I watch the show and that storyline makes no sense to me.

in my opinion the problem is that these are not characters, they are flags. they don’t have a personality, they have a direction to follow. you cannot empathize with them because they do nonsense because they are not people with motives that show by doing the things they want, they are automatons that show their fictitious nature by doing things that serve to represent a social battle. I am not against these battles, but they should be fought with more delicacy, leaving it in the background of a story, not the other way around. and then, in canon, certain things raise a thousand questions. why a golem just for Gray? perhaps the other hosts have no dignity? furthermore, depriving a symbiont of a host’s memories is a denial of what the symbionts are.

In terms of how this jibes with what we know of the Trill, “Facets” and “Field of Fire” clearly informed most of this. We got the idea that a Trill could shed a past symbiont if need be as Dax nearly let Curzon stay with Odo. Adira seeing Gray the way that she did was very unusual, and she’s a human host, so it makes sense to me that they’d make some extra accommodations for her.

I think that’s true of nearly every Discovery character — they’re not really characters.

I just didn’t really enjoy this episode as much as I hoped. It started out pretty good actually, especially the opening scene. I loved the look of the new ship. It felt a bit like a TNG ship, with a 32nd century spin. I thought it was going to be a fun caper of trying to catch the rogue Qowat Milat group but a little simpler than that. The stuff on Ni’Var was interesting but a bit weird with the Vulcans meditating through their meeting with Stamets and Book. I did like the stuff with Book though. As for mind melds are people still that concerned about them? I never got the feeling they were considered ‘bad’ to do since they did it so much in TOS and VOY. It wasn’t until Enterprise we got the sense it was ‘wrong’ to even do, but maybe I’m reading it wrong.

I’m surprised no one mentioned the TOS episode “For the World is Hollow”? That’s what I thought about with this episode, only it’s a moon that is a space ship and not an asteroid. I thought it was a small nod at least. Also I loved the new Discovery bar. It does feel like a more high class level of Quarks.

But overall, I just didn’t like the episode that much. I liked it was more standalone but as the review said the pacing was just off to me. Fourth season hasn’t been bad but starting off a little middle-of-the road so far. Hopefully it will get better.

i think only j’vani was the only rouge qowat milat the other two with her were just people she hired to help her with the raids cause these warrior nuns only bind one to a lost cause not more then one

Sure its possible but it seems a bit weird they would be wearing the same garb and weapons as her. Wouldn’t that be a little insulting to the group pretending to be pat of the Qowat Milat? Also being all women hints they are part of the same group.

Did anyone in this episode suggest that a mind meld was bad?

Stamets when T’Rina offered to give one to Book. He didn’t say ‘bad’ but he was so concerned about it which is just weird considering even in the 23rd century when Spock did it, it was just a normal part of understanding someone for a Vulcan, as long as the person getting it was OK about it. By the 32nd century, I don’t think it would phase anyone if they know enough about Vulcans.

I think the reason Stamets was concerned was that the mind meld would make Book experience the destruction of his planet again. It wasn’t the mind meld itself, but having to go through that experience again.

Yeah, that’s how I took it as well. Stamets wasn’t worried about the meld, he was worried about his own failure necessitating Book having to relive the events unnecessarily.

That is exactly how I saw it, too. It reminded me of Sarek sharing Kirk’s mind in SFS. But that was more emotional because I cared that Kirk was reliving Spock’s death. In Star Trek Discovery as a viewer I felt nothing at all about Booker reliving the incident.

OK fair enough! As I said in my post, I could just be reading it wrong and I only watched it once.

Agree with Diginon that Stamets was worried about Book re-living the trauma of losing his family. That said, i know this may not be appropriate, but SOMETIMES one needs to stop worrying so much about someone’s feelings – especially when millions of lives are at stake.
That said, Booker is becoming one of my favorite characters on the show. He along with Admiral Vance and Adira are great (although the Gray Adira storyline yesterday was badly written and rushed – btw why were the monitors showing a human brain inside an android body?)
Finally, I know the COVID restrictions limited travel for Tig Notaro, but i hope we get to see some of engineer Reno soon!

I think I read an interview with Tig Notaro where she said that she only traveled to Canada once during season 4. Apparently, they shot as much with her as they could during that time but it’s unclear how many episodes she will appear in.

OK, I understand it now. Yeah I did feel a bit confused Stamets seemed so worried about it, but I get what people are saying now. I realized it was even said in the review, which I read, but I guess I just passed over it.

But I also agree with you, they are trying to solve a mystery that can save other lives. And Book already knew that the subject matter was going to be about the destruction of his homeworld. I guess that’s why I was confused in the first place, he made it clear before even going down the point was to talk and get to the bottom of what happened at Kwejian and being the ONLY living witness, of course it make sense to mind meld for any information. I guess I can understand Stamets is just being extra protective and why he didn’t want him down there, but Book is a big boy.

And I liked all the 32nd characters since last season. Vance, Book and Adira have all been great. I like Gray too but I understand why he is more divided in the fanbase. Funny thing is I still remember reading some old posts on this site when people kept citing why taking Star Trek further into the future was ‘bad’ and one of the reasons was that humans would be too ‘unrelatable’ and people was suggesting this for characters just going into the 25th century, not the 32nd lol. And yet, these are some of the most relatable and grounded characters we’ve gotten on this show so far, some even more than the old characters themselves. I know Book himself isn’t ‘human’ but yeah. ;) He’s the guy everyone would want to have a synthehol beer with! So thankfully that odd argument is dead and buried forever now.

As for Reno, I read somewhere she is suppose to be in 3 episodes this season. Can’t remember how many she was in last year, but its probably not a huge difference appearance wise.

“With much to enjoy, the episode suffers from uneven pacing and a complicated mix of character and plotlines.”

I disagree. While the Gray resurrection fell short on a plausible scientific explanation and was absolute nonsense, I felt the other storylines were well paced with great character moments filled with human emotions. I thought they tied up nicely.

The episode dealt with grief, hope, frustration, and the ability to want to do something to help but can’t. Something we’ve all been through these past months.

And we got to see a new type of starship as well as the inside. What class is it? I’m a starship fan.

Always happy to see Admiral Vance! He’s my second favorite starfleet admiral, next to Admiral Ross from DS9.

Yeah I really do love Admiral Vance. And he seems to have lighten up this season; but probably because the Burn has finally been resolved and they are getting back to being the Federation of old.

Not to mention he was reunited with his family.

I love the actor. His personal backstory gives me some serious DS9 vibes. He worked in security for an Israeli airline at a German airport. Very Odo/Kira like, I think. And he hates guns, which is also very much like Odo.

The 32nd century starship design seems to have improved considerably since last season, yes.

Now that we got the USS Credence I want to see the USS Clearwater and the USS Revival.

I liken the Gray situation to the Stammets resurrection. Both were preposterous even for a sci-fi show where reality can be stretched. To this day I STILL don’t believe Stammets is the same Stammets. He just CAN’T be.

You mean Culber, right?

Yep. Right. The characters are easy to forget.

When fans and critics together look back for episode where the producers and writer, director, and all the artists working on this show delivered what they promised, this might be a turning point. I particularly care about the way Boooker relived his trauma through a mind meld and came out in a positive way. That was exceptionally optimistic and yet also realistic. Stamets called the anomaly by an acronym but I think he was hinting at MDMA. He also obliquely referenced and ridiculously objected to the similar positive effects that LSD has had on psychiatric patients. There is a lot going on in this episode. Most of it is really positive. We can unlearn the negative cycles that our conservative past represents.

Those episodes with Doug Jones out of make-up kind of ruined Saru for me. Every time he’s on screen now, I just see Jones acting.

And it still doesn’t make sense that Burnham just keeps casually running into her once-missing mom (I know, I know, there were plot reasons), but it just makes this show’s universe seem even more like Six Degrees of Michael Burnham.

The Booker story worked for me. The plot with Michael and Tilly and… I am not going to try to type all those danged names, was a throwaway plot of the week, I didn’t have any huge issue with it, it’s just not terribly memorable. I’m still struggling to see where this confrontation between Michael and the President is going, the former is the one who seems to be in the wrong all the time.

Superb. Absolutely, *stunningly* superb.

Speaking as someone who’s soured on DISCOVERY of late, I found this possibly best-of-series good. (My previous favorite was “An Obol for Charon.”) We’ll see how it holds up down the line, but the one point I’d note is that this was clearly a character-driven episode. The only action scene, where the two Qowat Milat factions dueled, was mercifully brief. “Choose to Live” shows that when DISCOVERY sets aside the frenetic action and special effects, it’s still capable of something remarkable. I loved Book’s coming to terms with his grief — “choosing to live.” And we finally saw Burnham wrestling with a morally complex question — do J’vini’s ends justify the means — without resorting to mutiny or even histrionics. Vance’s soliloquy was beautifully written.

I’ve intensely disliked the multi-season-long ghost boyfriend subplot, which seemed to exist solely to create a role for a trans actor without giving that actor anything to *do* — at least not anything science-y that Tilly or Stamets weren’t already doing. In that context, I think this episode brought that arc to as satisfactory a conclusion as possible. As I speculated it might, it tied the “ghost” into the Trill zhintara ritual from back in DS9…so it’s not *entirely* unrealistic, if you could accept that ritual back in 1998 or so: Trill carry a katra-like echo of their previous hosts. That’s not to say I retroactively adore season three, and neither Adira nor Gray are as fascinating as some of the characters they replaced, like Airiam or Ash Tyler or (sadly, it seems) Jett Reno — but given the morass they wrote themselves into, at least they concluded the ghost arc acceptably.

The Zhiantara thing made sense. Its a ritual to transfer past host’s consciousnesses into a different body. Gray was a past host, and the Synth was a different body.

Say what you will about this episode, we finally got a nice beauty shot of a 32nd century Starfleet ship, detached nacelles and all – the USS Credence!

The separated nacelles still remind me of the rock monster from Galaxy Quest — but it was a cool shot.

Someone on Reddit, named Arbiter82, did a nice job highlighting the properties of what we know about the DMA so far. They even cross referenced it with past Star Trek episodes, especially how dark matter has functioned in prior stories:

DMA Information Roundup!
It’s 5 LY in diameter, and is expected to inflict extreme damage upon any planets within 12 AU (presumably of its outer edge/accretion disc).

  • It’s moving and changing directions unpredictably.
  • It emits “subspace gravitational waves”, suggesting that even if the anomaly doesn’t move faster than light, the gravitational waves it emits might.
  • Current evidence suggests that it is not:
  • A binary black hole (or, presumably, a garden-variety black hole).
  • A proto-wormhole.
  • It contains dark matter, which in Star Trek has the following properties:
  • High concentrations of dark matter can create gaps in the fabric of space, causing matter to phase out of normal space (TNG: “In Theory”).
  • On the other hand a “dark matter nebula” can have no notable effects (VOY: “Cathexis”).
  • Or maybe passing through a dark matter nebula can create bow waves that damage a ship (VOY: “Threshold”). They have also been known to contribute to starship crashes (DS9: “Rocks and Shoals”).
  • Dark matter asteroids can contain metreon particles, and can exert extreme gravitational forces (DIS: “New Eden”).
  • Speaking of metreon particles, bombarding dark matter with high concentrations of them can put on a hell of a show (ENT: “First Flight”).
  • Dark matter asteroids can also generate electromagnetic fields strong enough to attract phenomena such as a graviton ellipse (VOY: “One Small Step”).
  • Dark matter proto-comets are hypothesized to be attracted to antimatter, and would neutralize it upon contact. Such a phenomenon could be a a tertiary product of stellar consolidation . Impact with dark matter could leave a quantum signature in a ship’s hull plating – specifically, positrons (VOY: “Good Shepherd”).
  • Dark matter lifeforms are known to live in a realm outside of both normal space and subspace (VOY: “Good Shepherd”).
  • Dark matter capsules are harmful if swallowed (DSC: “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad”).

A lot of interesting points. Of course if all this ends up being the source of another crying kid, some of us are going to lose it. 🙄

Haha that last comment is too funny and sadly appropriate. Although I think the writing and the show have improved greatly since the disasterous first five episodes of S1, IMO it is still ocassionally plagued with some ridiculous plot twists and the cause of the burn is certainly one of them. It reminds me of a line from the old Canadian comedy sketch show SCTV – “get a load of this cheap wrap up!”

SCTV was GREAT! I saw it late night on Fridays on NBC here in the states.

Obviously I was just poking a little fun. ;)

But same time, sadly every big mystery solved has ended in a dud for me on this show and yes, I’m afraid the DMA won’t be any different. But I’m not nearly as invested in the DMA stuff so far like I was the Red Angel and the Burn, so maybe it won’t matter as much to me either.

BTW, I know this SUPER off topic, but did you respond to me in a post somewhere discussing an experience living in Japan and the lack of Star Trek when you lived there? If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please ignore this lol. But someone wrote me in another thread about this and it’s really annoying because I couldn’t remember which thread it was in lol. I looked through a bunch of them and can’t find it. But if it is you, sorry I didn’t respond because as said I have no idea after I read it and had no time reply when I did first read it. For some reason, I think it was you who wrote it though. I wish TM could have a more updated and modernized message board by now but that’s just me.

Sorry, but no it wasn’t me. Sadly, i have never been to Japan, but many relatives and friends have and once this pandemic is finally done, i hope to go! It must have been incredible living there, even for just a short time!

No worries! It just motivates me to find that thread. I always feel bad when I don’t respond to someone who clearly wrote a post to me that’s more personal in nature.

And I been there many times (which is why I wanted to respond) but haven’t been in over a decade. And had planned to go back when the pandemic happened. But definitely worth a visit! An amazing place to check out and the future home of the Daystrom Institute so an even bigger reason to go! ;D

Arbiter82 is a mod on the Star Trek Subreddit, doesn’t comment too often but it’s always well researched and dare I say, logical. The Sub however, is basically dead with how many posts they remove.

Thank you for that info! I’ve seen the poster before, but didn’t know they were a moderator. And I agree with you about the removal of posts. I’m a poster there for years now but I go there less and less these days because they constantly remove a lot of the negative threads. I love Trek to death and can even be considered an apologist for it at times, but people should be allowed to speak their minds. If they have an issue with something, let them say it. It brings healthy debate. That’s why I still like TM, they let people have their opinion about everything here as long as it doesn’t fall into the Midnight Edge BS territory..

The Sub however, is basically dead with how many posts they remove.

No one goes there anymore, they’re too busy? :)

Have they said how fast it’s moving?

Because, sure it’s absurdly huge (but wouldn’t it take decades, supposing it could somehow move at light speed, or a lot longer to threaten most worlds?

Guardian Xi says “I do not yet sense his presence”. I wonder why? I’ll tell you why: because you are a hologram doing a videochat in space, that’s why

WTF, this is so dumb

I thought the same thing. Were the writers thinking he’d transported in and simply forgot he was a hologram?

To be fair, Betazed abilities seem to pass through viewscreens into locations sometimes very very far away. If it’s dumb now, then it was dumb then too, and if that dumbness was okay back then, then it should be okay now.

It wasn’t ok then. I’ve always found the presence of counselor Troi on the bridge grotesque.

(And even if it was ok doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be learning from past mistakes – like for instance they realized in TNG that using “bytes” is not a good idea (after using them in “Encounter at Farpoint” IIRC) because real-world-tech-progress and invented “quads”. And then Discovery writers went back to using “bytes” and “SQL injections”… for crying out loud)

Also: they could’ve just get him to be on the ship in person. After some genius came up with the spore drive time is no longer relevant. Jump to planet, beam him over on board. Takes 10 seconds.

Yep. I always felt that there was ZERO reason for Troi to be on the bridge. In fact, the ship’s shrink would have very little use even with her empathic abilities. Maybe she can read people like a poker player reads people but I cannot buy that her empathic readings can take place via the phone. I just can’t.

Troi was easily one of the most worthless characters on all of Trek.

I suppose it was a statement about how much Picard valued her advice. The show did write her as being the wisest character besides Picard and Guinan. This was usually at the expense of Riker and Crusher who so often had to be written to suggest the wrong thing.

And of course without Yar it would have been a terrible look to have no female main characters on the bridge.

Really? They wrote her as “wise”? Epic fail if that was the goal. 95% of the time she just stated the incredibly obvious. If she was wise that reflects very poorly on the other characters…

Sure, and I may end up editing a supercut of her doing that one day if someone doesn’t finally put one on youtube soon. But she rarely said anything that was wrong. She gives Data good advice (well, apart from in Descent), such as when he grapples with trying to be human or whether to tell his mother she is an android. She tells Riker to put the crew first in Gambit instead of moping, she gets Picard through multiple personal crises. She does a hell of a lot of companioning to everyone, which is an incredibly important thing to be to people.

I remember rewatching the episode Samaritan Snare when we first meet the Pakleds and Deanna was the one who knew they were actually a threat after Riker sent Geordi on their ship for repairs. Riker didn’t believe her until it was too late and made Geordi a hostage…because she wasn’t on the bridge to warn them. ;)

To be fair, Worf was suspicious of them too, but when does anyone ever listen to Worf?

Deanna had amazing value being on the bridge. She either warned them of threats or helped stopped conflicts before they started and since Picard consulted with her in practically every episode kind of proves that.

The first couple of seasons of TNG would have been much more interesting if *Troi* had doubted Data’s humanity. It didn’t work with Pulaski, because the character was too ornery, and her interactions with Data came across as nasty. But with Troi it would have; she would have doubted anyone who didn’t have emotions.

Actually I think it DID work with Pulaski. When I did my first rewatch a couple of years ago my opinion of her did a complete 180. I remember hating her when I watched the show live. But decades later I actually liked her abrasiveness. I LOVE that she treated Data like a computer. That’s exactly how I saw the character.

I just remember her being on the bridge when Picard was talking to someone on the viewscreen, the guy is perhaps jittery and making nervous tics… Picard mutes him and asks the Counselor for her opinion and she says something like, “He’s nervous about something, Captain, but I cannot tell what.” She just relayed to the Capt. what every person on the bridge who was not an empath saw. From time to time she was a help but more often than not she was just taking up space.

I picked up on that, too! My first reaction was “because you’re a hologram, you moron!” But I try to remember this is the 32nd century and perhaps there is some sort of magic tech that enables that sense to work via that network.

But again, this is a problem with setting the show so very far in the future. The future tech SHOULD be magic to us and just not make any sense. I mean, show your touch screen phone to a WWI era person. It would be crazy nonsensical magic to them. But that is a problem because showcasing that kind of super magic tech is a near guaranteed way to lose the audience because they don’t think the plot devices make sense.

Agreed J.S. It was absolutely ridiculous.

That silly renegade nun could’ve just called someone to check out her ‘lost cause’ which looked like it was repaired in 2 minutes. She comes off as a stupid idiot, now with a rap sheet.

I rolled my eyes so viciously when I saw this was a Qowat Milat (ugh) episode that I bout near had a seizure. But I ended up liking it fairly well; the Book subplot was terrific, and there were even moments in the Gray subplot where I thought Ian Alexander managed not to be awful, so that’s a win of sorts.

However…

Do they really expect me to believe that Tilly survived a Qowat Milat attack where an actual Qowat Milat was killed? Someone in that scene got straight took out, and it was NOT Tilly? That’s a thing this show is genuinely trying to make me believe.

Not for one second.

Again, that is a great point that Tilly lives but the trained warrior nun bites it. It’s why it is impossible to take this show seriously.

They make so many unforced errors of this nature. Just find an excuse to keep Tilly out of the fighting, and boom, it’s no problem. But if you put her in there with an actual sword, there’s zero chance of that ending without her being bled out right there on the floor.

Adira/Grey characters seem to be written too “twee” and “cute”. In fact it affects most of the LGBTQ characters… adira was actually looking like an interesting character last season with this quiet hidden confidence. Seemed to have turned adira into an emotional wreck this season. Now if writers had any sense they would of put Adira on that away mission as well having to swing a sword (hidden talent) in a fight whilst telling Grey to get out of their head for a while as they were too busy on an important mission…would have been a nice juxtaposition :D

Loved the episode. Loved how they weaved the Qowat Milat into Discovery. I wanted to learn more about them since Picard. I loved the Adira/Gray storyline. We should all be who we are. They wonderful to watch. I loved the emphasis on grief this season. This past two years have been filled with it. My favorite moment of the whole episode was when Burnham Mother talked to Tilly about how when one path ends, you must go on another path. Than strongly resonated to me. Good job writers.

I actually liked the Book storyline this episode.
Did the Nun actually need Dilthium at all? Or just ask an engineer to look at the ship?
Is Tilly leaving? Seems like it.
So can Adira’s other hosts also get bodies? did anyone explain anything about how that could even happen? In Picard it was explained but they had him there. Does anyone know?
New starship was traditional and looked good or at least I liked it better then some of the other future designs.

They used a Trill ritual that was introduced in DS9 (“Facets”) to separate Gray’s consciousness from Adira’s body and transfer it into the new body.
Technically that would indicate that other former hosts should also be able to to get new bodies. I guess that’s why they mentioned both last week and in this episode that these mind transfers are rarely successful. The “it rarely works so people don’t try” gives them an “excuse” why there aren’t more golemns around.

But it was my understanding that it was not actually the hosts but the memories the slug had specifically so the current host can get a better grasp on all the stimuli they are getting from the past hosts. That one wanted to stay in Odo but, and I’m trying to remember here, I got the impression that either it doesn’t last or that Odo was better capable of keeping the memories due to his being a Founder.

Two unconnected thoughts:

1) So the two guys who can navigate the spore drive are not only off the ship at the same time, but they’re also in the same place. At the same time, the Captain is also away from the ship. Kinda puts Discovery in a very precarious position, no? I know they’re docked at Starfleet Command, but what if Discovery is needed on location someplace quickly (as we’ve seen as an important thing in previous stories.). What if both Stamets and Book get killed?

2) Boy, they’ve really upped the pyrotechnics budget this season? Flamethrowers embedded in the columns in the bridge, a dozen fireplaces in the bar, a ceremonial fire pit in sickbay? I know tech has advanced in a thousand years, but speak to any astronaut, air crew or naval crew and they’ll tell you that there are few things more dangerous than fire on your aircraft/spacecraft/vessel. Of course, I guess it could be super safe holographic fire or something, but regardless, the production team certainly seem to have leaned into the fire, huh? ;)

Pres. Rillak did say that the Federation was working on a next-generation spore drive. Perhaps this includes an operator other than Stamets and Book (such as another Kwejian).

Assuming there are any more people from Kwejian. The planet certainly is no more.

Presumably some of them were off-planet at the time. Even in ST09 some 50,000 Vulcans survived Nero’s attack.

Vulcans had a long history of space travel so it made sense for Vulcans to be off world. Actually, you might even expect more than 50,000 Vulcans to have left the planet.
According to Memory Alpha Kwejian was a pre-warp civilization before the Burn so space travel probably wasn’t very common for them. Still, you would hope that Book wasn’t the only one.

I love Dicso and SMG as captain… but please.

The Starfleet ship that was robbed was clearly a redress of the Dicso halls and window. Hint: if you want us to believe we’ve jumped 900+ years into the future stop trying to pass off a Viking rowboat as an aircraft carrier. Just sloppy. That scene could have just been filmed on the starfleet command set doubling as the starship set. How do I head canon this nonsense?

Next. Blu who plays Adira is a great actor. They are charming, endearing and believable (and maybe my new fave next to Mary Wiseman’s Tully). Ian Alexander who plays Grey is not up to Blu’s level. He’s one note, saccharine, and just annoying. It’s like watching acting from a 90’s bad after school special. I’m gay. And this whole storyline feels forced and unearned. I love the storyline, love the trans allegory but think the acting and writing are not doing it justice. It’s like they are jumping to the payoff without taking the audience down the journey and getting them invested. Feels cheap. Like lame fan fiction.

Add all this to the stupid flame throwers on the bridge and I’m just taken out of the show and story because of second-rate choices made on this show all too often.

Best line: Tilly dropping the sword and saying she moisturizerd her hands this morning. Mary Wiseman is comic gold. Love her.

Alexander is not a great actor for this and a wider net needed to be cast. But Gray is also an incredibly dull character on paper. Make him funny or quirky or a cad or witty or dangerous or seductive or smooth… anything. There’s nothing there except a wan vaguely supportive/wistful bland personality. So frustrating.

Yep. His only character trait seems to be “smiley.”

It’s a problem with all the characters, frankly – there’s not much to them – and, despite some solid performances, I don’t care about most of them.

I couldn’t describe most of them apart from the actors’ physical attributes.

Stamets, Tilly and Saru started off with potentially interesting arcs – and, well, meh.

It’s more obvious with Gray, because Alexander is miscast, but they’re all underwritten (and inconsistently written).

Not a great episode, but the thing that struck me about this one is that the storytelling structure and tone were very similar to many TNG episodes. Several plot lines interwoven, all done to service many other characters, and the story did a better job slowing down and breathing in its moments. Not to mention the show feels like it has a better handle on each character’s voice this season. The problem remains storytelling logic and earned emotional beats. The episode is also a deep cut, very dense for anybody not watching Picard for example, it would have been completely nonsensical to a Discovery-only fan. I appreciate that type of Star Trek for sure, but it’s still odd for such a recent in-universe development to become such an important plot device 1,000 years apart in two series. I was still largely perplexed by the entire Qwat Milat story here, it seems to use their single-mindedness for plot convenience. The Gray and Adira storyline continues to drag on this series for me for many reasons, but most importantly it’s just emotionally flat and doesn’t work. Visually stunning as always, the artistry of this series really pulls much of the weight. And this season has done a MARVELOUS job with the techno babble and science, they finally got back to a convincing level of “brilliant people problem solving” I’ve always loved about Star Trek TNG. I’m still very happy with how this season is developing.

As a loyal DISCO fan… This season sucks and it’s too dry. Tired of the constant whining all the time. It’s time for action! It’s time for new writers or something…

Anyone else find it alarming to see so much fire on a spaceship?

Are you talking about the fires in the bar? Presumably that is a holographic simulation.

Yeah. Even if it’s supposed to be a hologram, I find it alarming to watch, lol.

Well, the episode didn’t suck too hard. But the same problems do remain. That there is no reason to really care of be interested in any of the characters.

I guess I see what they are doing with Gray. So they made a robot body to transfer the slug into. Why I’m not too sure. Perhaps because they needed to get it out of the human but if that was the case why didn’t they do that ASAP? The way they are handling this character and the situation is really confusing and borderline silly. But then, what else is new?

Never was a fan of the Michael’s mom being a part of the special vulcan/romulan sect. Thought it was silly and convenient before and still think that.

I will say that Tilly was particularly annoying in this episode. More so than usual. It might be because in this one she had a larger role and there is only so much of her one can take. It seemed like the subtext of the vulcan/romulan lady when she spoke to her was she was doing everything she could to NOT cut Tilly’s head off with her sword. Which I find an odd weapon to had given how far in the future they are. I mean, even light sabres could be used defensively to avert blasters. But this was just a metal sword. What good would it do against a phaser from 80 yards away? Or for that matter a 32nd century weapon? Sorry but that is just another reason why it is very difficult to take anything on Star Trek Discovery seriously. I mean, it’s already borderline unintentional comedy anyway.

In the end it was a little bit episodic and didn’t seem to advance the overall story arc all that much. It feels like this entire episode may have been able to be scrapped and the arc would have been unaffected. One reason some of said they like the shorter seasons was a lack of “filler” episode. Well, this one felt very much like “filler” to me.

They specificially mentioned the Zhian’Tara as the way they separated just Gray, like in Facets when Odo and Curzon wanted to stay together.

They can’t just say something like “trans magnetic doppler inducer” because it was mentioned once in some show 25 years ago. That’s poor writing. There are heavy fans who just aren’t going to remember these things. They need to resay what is going on there. Also, what happened in Facets seemed to me to be very different than what they are doing here. But that’s par for the course with Secret Hideout.

Another really bad episode that seemed to care more about hitting certain story beats more than those beats making any sense.

-I’ve never been a big fan of the Vulcan space nuns, ever since they were introduced on Star Trek: Picard, but I think it’s compounded by Michael’s mother being shoehorned into episodes as one of their members. The writers have the mother involved in order to give Michael personal stakes, but it makes the Star Trek universe seem so small. That struck me in the first 20 minutes, where the Federation President lays out the huge interstellar stakes of the mission, and yet it felt like the Nivar government only consists of what the Nivar President thinks, and so far there’s been no mention of the Federation Council (or any indication it exists in the 32nd century). So these huge, monumental decisions about planetary societies, which could be done in much more interesting and big ways, has been condensed to a handful of people in an office.

-The entire episode boils down to an “idiot plot,” since the attack on the Federation starship, the misunderstanding about intent, and all of the deaths don’t have to happen if the characters didn’t act like idiots and are able to have a single conversation about what’s going on.

-If you’re a member of Starfleet, would you be satisfied with the extradition? The politics of the situation may have called for it, but you’ve also put out a marker to all of your personnel that their lives are expendable for reasons beyond what they signed up for.

-The Stamets and anomaly plot goes nowhere this episode. We’ve been inundated with technobabble that tells the audience absolutely nothing (it’s like a black hole or a wormhole except not). It would be one thing if maybe we were getting hints that it’s a living entity or that maybe there’s some kind of vessel at the heart of it. Something. But no. The only thing so far it serves is to have another sappy mental vision of Book with his brother’s kid that lets the actor do a sad, melancholy face that will end with Michael looking on longingly while she talks to him in an emotional voice and sad music plays behind it. It just becomes too much episode after episode.

-I’m usually the last person to entertain the “it doesn’t feel like Star Trek” arguments, but nothing about this season so far feels like Star Trek. The episodes of this season feel like it’s more something out of a Mass Effect DLC with the symbols of Star Trek modded over the top of it.

-I’ve felt this way since first seeing them, but the black away mission uniforms/armor with led under lights looks ridiculous, and like something out of a Power Rangers series. Same thing goes for the Vulcan/Nivar structures on which Stamets and Book met with Nivar President and science institute. The platforms are just a really stupid design that serves no purpose other than to look weird for a TV show. I just don’t believe a society based largely on logic would go: “Lets do meditation meeting sites but let’s make them like a mix of human jungle gyms and onion rings.”

-You’re members of Starfleet. The primary mission of the organization is to seek out new life and new civilizations. You just woke up a species you’ve never met with no history in the Federation database. Maybe wanna try talking to them?

-The Adira and Gray plot is one episode of story that’s been stretched over three. 1) Are we going to do a robot body, 2) We’re gonna do a robot body but I have doubts, and 3) We’re gonna do a robot body but it might not work.

-If you’re a member of Starfleet, would you be satisfied with the extradition?

Probably not, which is why Burnham objected to it openly, and even Vance said it wasn’t his “preferred outcome.” But politics trump the needs of individual service members.

Remember the Okinawa rape case of several years ago, in which three US marines were tried in Japan for the rape of a civilian on Okinawa? The US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) permits trial of US military personnel in Japanese courts. The alternative (at least then; with China now, who knows?) was likely public sentiment in Japan turning against the stationing of US service personnel in-country.

Writers on this show though must be smokin crack for some of the decision made by characters in these scripts…or maybe they should smoke crack and maybe they’ll churn out better episodes!

Writers on this show though must be smokin crack for some of the decision made by characters

…such as?

If you’re referring to Tilly’s participation in the away mission, (1) Saru was 100% right she had skills that contributed to the mission’s success, and (2) it’s far more believable than Crusher participating in an assault team in “Chain of Command.”

Tilly had no skills in that situation. She was their only for comic relief.

It was ridiculous she didn’t die in the first fight, and being bait is not exactly a skill, but she did sabotage and fix the ship.

She wasn’t intensely involved in the melee; she actually steered well clear of it. And J’vini was not looking to slaughter Starfleet personnel indiscriminately. She only killed the Credence’s first officer when he tried to take her on *with a sword* of his own.

I agree. Bringing her along was ridiculously stupid. On the Captain’s part and the writer’s part. At the very least, bring someone who could give a warrior nun a bit of a fight. She could come as the engineer who could mess with the tech, but she would need to be protected.

Another medicore episode. Season 4 is starting very rough. The shows feeling very anonymous at this point. I’m really struggling to watch – first time this has happened to me on a Star Trek series. This show seems to be in a weird dichotomy of trying too hard but not trying hard enough at the same time. During the episode I’m thinking this is actually quite enjoyable. But then immediatly after I realise too many things irritate me. The character moments feel very unearned and theirs waaay to much melodrama, it feels like a soap opera. The witers always come up with harebrained ideas and situations. I just find it quite feeble next to something like The Expanse.

Having watched since TOS reruns in the 1970’s as a kid, the more of Disco I watch, the less interesting it becomes. Everyone is a drama queen. The best character is Book. Captain Burnham is good, but she is led too much be her emotions. That of course has been her downfall since the beginning and what caused her to be courtmarshalled in the first place. SHe is hardly the archetype Star Fleet Captain, but in less than 50 episides, she has literally saved the universe more than Kirk ever did, spanning over 1,000 years to do it. The writers can do better.

The Adira/ Gray storyline is way over played and is getting old. They look like politically correct props. If humans have evolved, why make such a huge deal over them. Don’t de-normalize them.

Overall way too much “wokeness.” Has the humanoid species evolved so much that it takes a 1,000 year old courtmarshalled and discraced Kirk era starfleet officier and her 1,000 year old ship (even with upgrades) to save humanity?? If so, that says a lot about humanity, unfortunatly. The writers can do better.

One would think that Discovery would be outgunned and outclassed by a shuttlecraft by this time, even a pre-burn ship. MIlitary tactics change, technology changes. It’s like putting Medievil sailing ship (even with upgrades) and her Caption in charge of a nations 21st century navy. Just imagine being a captain from the existing timeline. Disco shows up out of nowhere and all of a sudden it and Burnham are basically leading the fleet. Despite the evolved ideas of GR about humans in the time of TOS, not all would be happy. [looking at you writers — story idea]

Perhaps one reason they seen so uncommitted to the next movie is that every week we get a (bad) Abrams-like Star Trek movie. Why put all that money into a shallow, mindless special effects show when they are already doing it every week. I agree with others here that I’m hoping Pike and crew fair better.

AS much as I like the Beastie Boys, I hope in the future, more people know about Shakespere, Berlioz, and Gilbert and Sullivan than the Beastie Boys.

Rewatching Voyager’s “Barge of the Dead” and chuckled when Miral tells B’elanna, “Choose to live.”

So, the number one thing that bothers me about this show is the lack of formality between characters of different ranks. I can understand that Saru and Burnham are friends, and that Burnham is Tilly’s mentor, but I could never imagine Kirk hugging Checkov. Did Picard, Janeway, or any previous captain hug a lower-ranked officer? The Discovery really does not feel like a Starfleet ship. Even Janeway kept to Starfleet protocol 75,000 lightyears away from home.

I am watching this show because it’s Star Trek (even bad pizza is still pizza), and it is much better than the first two seasons, but it’s getting harder and harder to care about it or the characters. I think I only like Saru and Dr. Culber.

All that said, the plot of this episode was very Star Trek-y and that’s awesome. I just wish it was executed better.

It’s starting to not be pizza at all, despite being in s pizza box.

But yeah, it doesn’t feel like a real ship and it doesn’t feel like a real crew. It feels like actors on sets in Toronto.