Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Forges New Paths In “All Is Possible”

“All Is Possible”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 4, Episode 4 – Debuted Thursday, December 9, 2021
Written by Alan McElroy & Eric J. Robbins
Directed by John Ottman

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

In a solid episode, Discovery delivers multiple classic Star Trek storylines, each offering rich and emotional character exploration.

“This is real”

The USS Discovery remains at Ni’Var while Stamets burns the midnight dilithium along with the Vulcan scientists trying to figure out the DMA (Dark Matter Anomaly)—which, for the moment, isn’t threatening any other systems. Captain Burnham orders the crew to take a bit of R&R to blow off steam to deal with galaxy-ending stress and uncertainty. For boyfriend Book, who has been hit hardest of all, she recommends grief counseling with Dr. Culber. As she eagerly awaits the culmination of negotiations for Ni’Var’s reentry into the Federation, Burnham is surprised to get an order from President Rillak for her and Captain Saru to attend the summit, where they are expected to “remain silent and look official.” As for Tilly, her crisis of confidence continues, so Dr. Culber prescribes a new challenge in the form of leading a team-building exercise at the new Starfleet Academy, and he asks her to take Adira along to help with their (lack of) socialization skills.

At the Academy, David Cronenberg’s Kovich (now “Dr. Kovich”) briefs Tilly on the problems of getting cadets to work together after growing up disconnected in the post-Burn era. He ominously warns her that this simple team-building exercise is “about the very future of Starfleet,” so no pressure, Sylvia. The exercise has Tilly and Adira taking three squabbling cadets on a shuttle to do some “fun” (well, Tilly thinks it’s fun) orbital scanning of a nice little desert moon, but no amount of her endearing banter can break the ice with these glum cadets. Things literally get even chillier when a rogue gamma-ray burst sends the shuttle crashing into the wrong moon and they find themselves on an inhospitable icy rock with a broken shuttle, a dead pilot, and no way to call for help. Oh, and the shuttle is surrounded by tentacle monsters attracted to their tech, so they have to shut everything down. Plus the Orion and Tellarite cadets have a simmering historical post-Burn blood feud, so… go team?

“Trust is a journey”

After protracted talks, Ni’Var should be ready to sign on the dotted line, but the summit breaks down as President T’Rina informs President Rillak they want a last-minute “exit clause” due to fears that the DMA could bring back the bad times, even before the Burn, when the Federation was ghosting its various member worlds. Ignoring orders to keep quiet, Captain Burnham jumps in to calm things down. When a hasty recess is called, Michael and Saru do some backchannel presidential tag team with Burham taking Rillak and Saru taking T’Rina, who everyone noticed has a thirst for some Kelpien tea, nudge nudge, know what I mean? Both captains learn that while the presidents want to deal, they are hampered by interests within their respective coalitions and neither has the latitude to compromise on their own without the risk of losing their positions.

It becomes clear Rillak’s last-minute invitation was a ploy to inject the USS Discovery pair into this crisis and work it behind the scenes. Moving past her distaste of politics, Burnham channels her inner Josh Lyman, recognizing the only way out of this diplomess is for her to broker a deal. Together, she and Saru (channeling his inner Sam) quickly (perhaps too quickly) assess all the players and then pivot to full-on lecturing Bartlet (in this now strained West Wing analogy) calling on Federation history and their own personal histories to inspire the regathered dignitaries to move on from the past into a new future with common ground. The solution to satisfy the hardliners in each coalition is an independent committee to review how the Federation is treating all member worlds, with Michael as a member to bridge the gap as both a citizen of Ni’Var (remember she grew up on Vulcan back in the day) and a citizen of the Federation. An elegant solution even Toby Ziegler could get behind… okay, I’ll stop.

“Grief is complicated”

For the third episode in a row, Book is still dealing with the trauma of losing his home planet and family. With T’Rina’s calming mind meld from 403 fading, he is sent to grief counseling in a series of emotionally charged scenes. After sharing some funny macabre family history to break the ice, Dr. Culber prescribes a Kwejian healing ritual, but Book rejects it as a “cheap trick” and “rubbish” because it uses programmable matter to stand in for the required ritualistic sand and other impossible elements now that the planet has been destroyed. But that was the entire point. Hugh hits him with the hard truth that he will never feel the “Kewi’tholum’Kwei” again and it is going to take him “a long-ass time” to deal with his loss. Book presses on to finish the sand sculpture and the pair bonds over both having things they need to deal with. (Culber tells Book he’ll talk about his own issue “someday” in the future.)

“You want to go back, don’t you?”

Back on the ice moon, Tilly’s plan is to head up to a ridge and use their communicators to contact the USS Armstrong for rescue. And if avoiding the “jellyfish from hell” hunting them wasn’t terrifying enough, they now also have to deal with “spider lighting,” two words scary enough on their own. The cadet bickering tests Tilly’s bubbly limits and when Adira ends up stuck in the ice she has to rally the kids to work together like this is the worst escape room ever… with the on-the-nose solution of everyone pulling on a rope. Even after that bit of team-building, the cadets continue to argue until Tilly gets them to actually talk, revealing Orion Harral’s father was a martyred Emerald Chain dissident, so not one of the evil ones that made the Tellarite Gorev’s family starve to death. Now, finally, they can work together. Tilly’s final plan is to make herself into distracting bait for the monsters while the rest of the team opens up coms for rescue. They even help her out with some synchronized phasering, and they are all beamed up to safety just before Tilly gets eaten too. Go team!

Back at the Academy, Tilly looks on as her charges are now all now smiles and best buds, including Adira who has learned how to make friends. Kovich is impressed they survived the ordeal and immediately offers Tilly a teaching position as she has the “anything is possible” optimism that everyone else lost after the Burn. As for Michael, she gets to witness the result of her good work: Ni’Var is officially brought back into the Federation in a touching ceremony, followed by some solid hatchet burying between her and President Rillak. Michael is also happy to see Book has made some progress with Dr. Culber while she has been busy. But when she checks in on Tilly, she senses a change in her old roomie. Sylvia now understands her path to the captain’s chair was all about sending a message to her mother, who has now been dead for nine centuries. Tilly reveals she is now ready for a whole new path, one that leads her to that teaching job at Starfleet Academy. After getting a hug (of course) from all the main characters, Tilly leaves the USS Discovery, looking back at her time there with a smile as she warps away. Wow.

ANALYSIS

Coming together

Like the previous episode, “All is Possible” juggled multiple storylines but with help from a consistent theme of bringing people together and some nods to the overall season arc of the DMA, this collection was more successful and compelling. Perhaps part of that could be because the character stories being told were within familiar if not classic Star Trek stories, especially Tilly and Adira’s crashed shuttle and Michael and Saru’s Federation politics. With good pacing and strong editing, the various strands were woven together well as we bounced from location to location, emotional beat to emotional beat, with especially strong performances from Mary Wiseman, Blu del Barrio, and Doug Jones.

While David Ajala and Wilson Cruz had a “runner” story throughout the episode, it feels like this focus on delving even more into Book’s grieving either wasn’t necessary or could have been done with a single scene, which would’ve given a bit more time to the other stories. But some of the mythology around Kwejian was welcome and could possibly be telegraphing a future storyline that’s possibly related to the Anomaly arc itself.

Of the two bigger stories, the Ni’Var diplomacy with Michael and Saru navigating between T’Rina and Rillak was probably the stronger. It was reminiscent of some of the better Deep Space Nine episodes, which relished in political intrigue. This was emphasized when Michael cited how moving past conflicts between Cardassians, Humans, and Bajorans is exemplified by Rillak herself. Doug Jones also shined, moving between diplomacy and a bit of subtle romance with T’Rina, and the callback to his history with the Ba’ul was on point. Bringing Ni’Var back in is part of the promise of the rebuilding of the Federation begun at the start of season three and was worth dedicating a storyline to, instead of just an aside. But it also showed continued growth for Burham and her relationship with Rillak, who are warming up to each other (although not as red-hot as T’Rina teaching Saru meditation).

As for the shuttle crash, that’s a Star Trek trope going back to the beginning with “The Gallileo Seven,” also seen in the most recent seasons of Lower Decks and Prodigy. Even landing on an L-Class planet is a classic, with the most spot-on vibe coming from DS9’s “The Ascent.” But as in that episode, the real action is in the character dynamics, with a great exploration of Tilly and some for Adira, although the cadets themselves were a bit one-note and hard to buy as the “best of the best” of their respective worlds. The team-building moments were also a bit clichéd, but Tilly’s determination and optimism demonstrated what Star Trek is all about, so much so that we really didn’t need Kovich to spell it out in another example of Discovery’s unfortunate tendency to explicitly hammer home points when they can be done more organically. Mary Wiseman delivering Tilly’s personalized version of Star Trek’s core mission with “It’s new worlds, new things, it’s like, ‘What’s that? Is that a new life form? What?’ Amazing.” was all we needed.

Most importantly, the experience did feel like a culmination of Tilly’s arc this season, showing how she can make a difference on a different path, one that (sadly) takes her away from the USS Discovery. Wiseman and Sonequa Martin-Green once again showed their perfect chemistry as they moved between humor and heartbreak when they said goodbye. The season has also been subtly been showing us how Adira is the “new Tilly” on the ship, stepping in as the ship’s awkward nervous genius, and they really put a bow on that with Tilly handing Adira the torch (in this case a snowglobe) with the name of the episode right on it. But if you look deeper, Adira’s arc and the arc of the cadets could be seen as a little bit of a social commentary on people needing to learn how to deal with others outside of their bubbles and silos.

Getting back to Kovich, it’s always great to see David Cronenberg return with this enigmatic character that has been a bit of an obsession here. While he certainly got the job done in framing Tilly’s arc, this more touchy-feely version of the character (now mysteriously revealed to be Dr. Kovich, Academy Consultant) makes trying to sort out exactly who this guy is even more difficult, to the point where it feels like the producers themselves don’t really know. They like working with Cronenberg and they will continue to insert Kovich into various roles in the 32nd century Federation and we should just go along for the ride. At this point, hopefully, they will never definitively say exactly who Kovich (sorry, Dr. Kovich) is.

It’s hard to say goodbye

As for what Tilly’s departure from the ship means for the show, that remains uncertain. We have seen character departures that prove to be simply temporary plot points before on Star Trek, but this may be more than that. We are expecting to hear more from the actress and possibly producers soon. Indications are this is significant, although Mary Wiseman’s Tilly is expected to return at some point this season.

Let’s get going

The first four episodes of the season have set up the big bad, reset our characters into new emotional situations, and even seen the departure (possibly temporarily) of one of our major characters. This episode also nicely reinforced the ongoing theme of uncertainty, along with the pandemic allegory that is the DMA as a backdrop behind everything. We are about a third of the way through season four and we have all the pieces in place now to start digging into the mystery set up in episode one. Shore leave is over Discovery; time to get to work.

Random bits

  • This is the fourth Discovery writing credit for co-executive producer Alan McElroy, who joined the series in season two, and the first for Eric J. Robbins, who joined as a writers’ assistant in season three.
  • This was the first time directing Star Trek for John Ottman, who is primarily known as an editor and composer of feature films.
  • The episode begins with a traditional Captain’s Log, with the Stardate given as 865661.2
  • Theta Helios is a new Star Trek planet, but the 1969 Star Trek comic strip did feature the USS Enterprise visiting the Alpha Helios star system. Theta Helios has 46 moons.
  • Helios is the Greek god of the sun and Kokytos (the moon where they crashed) is named for one of the five rivers encircling Hades in Greek mythology. Geryon (the moon they were supposed to go to) is named for a mythological giant.
  • The Tuscadian Pryosome colony species monster on Kokytos appears inspired by the real-world Pryosome colony species which can be found deep in oceans and can be 60 feet long.
  • The Kokytos monster was reminiscent of the Henrauggi from the 2009 Star Trek movie, also designed by Neville Page.
  • The Ni’Var council chamber appears to be inspired by the Vulcan architectural aesthetic seen in the 2009 Star Trek movie.
  •  The USS Discovery bar introduced in the previous episode is called the “Forward Lounge,” a possible homage to Ten Forward on the USS Enterprise-D.
  • Two Saurians were featured in the episode: Linus was seen playing cards in the lounge, and there was a Saurian Federation official working with Rillak.
  • USS Armstrong captain’s name was Imahara, possibly a tribute to Mythbusters star Grant Imahara, a Star Trek fan who appeared in the fan series Star Trek Continues and passed away in 2020.
  • The Armstrong is presumably named for astronaut Neil Armstrong. There was also a 23rd-century Kelvin-Universe USS Armstrong featured in the 2009 Star Trek movie and a 24th-century Prime Universe USS Neil Armstrong referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • Gray is doing “Zhian’tal” exercises to get used to his new body, apparently following up the Zhian’tara-related procedure to transfer him from Adira to his new android body.
  • The recommended treatment for a Malindian stomach worm is to just let it gestate for 24 hours before extraction. Gross.
  • Tilly’s tour of new foods has included Rigellian rutabagas, which she finds “horrible.”
  • The Puerto Rican custom of “standing funeral” (Muerto Parao or “dead man standing”) Dr. Culber mentioned is a real thing.
  •  The Kewi’tholum’Kwei sand sculpture ritual appears inspired by Tibetan sand mandalas.
  • Tilly’s NX-01 snowglobe looks to be based on one of a set of Star Trek snowglobes released in 2012 by Danbury Mint.
  • Gorev mockingly calls Adira “admiral,” but past host Senna Tal was indeed a Starfleet admiral.
  • The renegade Qowat Milat nun J’Vini has been sent (under the charge of Gabrielle Burnham) to meditate over her crimes at a monastery named P’Jar.
  • Tilly’s snoring was mentioned in the character’s first episode back in season one.

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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I thought this was a very ‘meh’ episode. A lot of character work, and not as much plot, although seeds are being planted I’m sure. I’m more intrigued by this anomaly thing and seeing what that’s all about, so all the training, all the counseling, and all the diplomatic stuff just feels like filler. I want more sci-fi. We only have 10-15 episodes.. so let’s get going.

Like we say in Germany” Solid is the little sister of Schei…”

We don’t say that in Germany, we say “Nett is the little sister…”.

I haven’t watched yet, but it’s worth noting that character work is what really makes Trek for me. Without it, you get Discovery season 1. Sure, they could maybe strike a better balance, but given a choice between all plot, little character, and all character, little plot, i’ll take the latter any day.

Trek has always done character well, even when episodic and not serialized. The serialized format tends to be more about character than plot, and this writing staff is running with that. The bad news is this is what everyone is doing in episodic TV/streaming.. so for me, it makes Trek like a lot of other shows. It’s more like a soap opera now, than sci-fi, and I wish they would strike a better balance.

Normally I’d agree with you. But in Star Trek Discovery I’d rather have plot. None of these people are people I’m particularly interested in. Saru is the best of them and even he is someone I’m starting to not really care about anymore. The last two seasons have not been kind to that character. And it should be noted that the best TNG episodes were plot driven and the bulk of the worst episodes were character driven.

Agree. I’m not going to go a rant about how these people don’t act like starfleet officers and walk around depressed and moping all the time.

That’s two “filler” episodes that did not advance the anomaly storyline. One was OK but with these mini-seasons you really can’t waste episodes like that. Unless your writers had a tough time mapping out their season to begin with.

And I must admit that over this episode I have nearly forgotten the anomaly even exists. A lot of it is because I just don’t care about it. I’m not curious in any way about it. This is the problem that the Star Trek Discovery people have created for themselves. It’s really hard to care and they make it even harder when they try to pat themselves on their own backs with what they think are “emotional” moments when they aren’t in the least.

I don’t really care about the anomaly stuff at all either so I’m completely fine with ignoring it for a few episodes. I’m much more interested in seeing how the Federation is trying to come together again and the various dynamics that comes with it.

I really wish they just went a totally different way this season and we just have a more political based conflict instead of more end-of-the-galaxy stuff. Exactly like DS9 was based on and trying to work out the problems between the Bajorans or Cardassians, but this time we’re talking the entire Federation. It might’ve been more interesting if the conflict was about a group of people trying to sabotage the reconstruction efforts because they want more dominance in the quadrant. Ironically what I thought Picard was going to reveal when Mars was attacked or even the true reason for the Burn.

I kind of thought even the previous episode was going to reveal some type of conspiracy plot and why someone from the Qowat Milat was really stealing the dilithium but oh well.

I’d be fine with that, as much as I want good sci-fi, if they could go that direction, I could live with it.

I think I”m more interested in finding out where it ties in to something else in canon.

I get that but my problem is that when this new group of Trek writers try to connect anything to Trek of the past they have failed on a spectacular level every single time.

And that trainwreck is what I’m excited for.. not the mystery itself.

I’m usually a big fan of heavily serialized story telling, but quite honestly, Discovery has never been great at it. The writer’s have a tendency to start with big grand ideas, only to run out of steam near the end. As such, I’m enjoying this smaller-scale episodes that gives the story time to breath and develop. And it’s not like the dark matter anomaly has been forgotten, it’s still a prominent through line in everything we see on screen, it’s just that not every waking moment can be focused on it.

Yeah, I’m ok with that in principle.. as you said, I just think they’re not good at striking the balance. I was bored because it’s just that nothing interesting is happening or coming to light. But Burnham continue to be the savior for everyone in this timeline. Sonequa’s talent really is wasted in this series. The only reason anything works about this character is her talent and charisma.

Why do they even send cadets out in shuttle craft? Surely it has been established by now that there is guaranteed to be some sort of accident which forces them to crash land and fight for survival.

+1

Ships counseler as navigator always seems to end badly, as well….

+2

It felt like they were trying to do their version of “The Galileo 7”. It didn’t work. The characters were so amazingly cliche it was really hard to take any of them seriously. I mean, what would have been the reaction if that Orion’s father was a nobody? Or worse, a collaborator. Would have been a better story to be honest.

Very emotional episode. I love these characters.

Watch your daytime soaps instead. Us adults prefer good stories.

So you’re telling him to go away and watch a different show because he likes this show?

Maybe Wiseman will lead the new Starfleet Academy show they keep whispering about…

Holy sh*t. You might be onto something. Good for her. I’ve always liked the actress and character.

(also nice to have a Linus sighting, however brief)

Yep, that’s been my guess as well! I’ve got a thread on it at TrekBBS.

That is an appealing and logical idea, but somehow I would prefere an academy series to be set in the Picard timeline, where I’m familiar with the universe.

But it could be a brilliant way to explore the 32 century. We know an awful lot of the 24 century. The writers won’t be handcuffed to canon so much if they pick the 32 option.

This is exactly why it was such a brilliant idea to put the show so far in the future. Your point is literally why so many of us wanted to go forward in the timeline again. I think a 32nd Starfleet academy show would be great because of the conditions in this period and they are now bringing cadets who hasn’t really been part of world where Starfleet or the Federation was just a daily part of their society. They are basically starting from the ground up again with hundreds of former Federation worlds and where mistrust and isolation has been their reality for a long time.

I will be fine if they place the Academy show in the 23rd or 24th centuries, but they can do so much more with it in the 32nd century era.

I am not dead set against with moving forward from the last Trek time. Voyager time. But I still say going to the 32nd century was just WAY too extreme. Perhaps if they went to the 26th? Going that far forward just makes me question every bit of tech they have and why it isn’t even better than it is? I still say that 32nd century tech needs to look like magic to us. And it should be 100% baffling to everyone on Discovery. They should all go back to school for 4 years just to catch up with the new tech. Probably more. Letting them out on their own was foolish.

Anyway… They just went too far ahead. That was my point.

They only decided on the 32nd century because that was the only place they could realistically create the Burn since we know from Voyager and Enterprise nothing like that happened through the 31st century.

And I get what you’re saying but the reality is we just have no idea. I highly doubt our real 23rd and 24th centuries will be as advanced as what we seen in Star Trek. Sure, maybe some things but not at the level the shows are. I just don’t see transporter stations on Earth by the 23rd or 24th century for examples. Now if you’re extrapolating from Star Trek’s version of the 24th century into the 32nd (which you’re probably are), then I can see where it could be more futuristic but I don’t think it needs to be super magical either. And they also had an entire century of the Burn that set them back too.

For me, I’m fine with most of it. BUT I have said A.I. should just be waaaaay more advanced as well by this period. It’s odd there aren’t more Synths around or more sentient computers like Zora. And now ironically we have both on the Discovery lol. Why do we have an advanced holographic Janeway on Prodigy who can control a starship on her own but we don’t have any holographic Captains in the 32nd century? Or advanced holos of any kind? So I’m not totally disagreeing.

But as I said to someone else before, we haven’t seen everything yet. So maybe we will run into more ‘magical’ tech. I’m personally just happy they can do what they want now. That was the issue I had with DIS in the first place because it was clear they wanted to go SO MUCH bigger but the era held them back. The irony is the spore drive feels like tech that should just be part of every starship in the 32nd century and waaaaay too advanced for the 23rd century but it’s Discovery, so here we are lol.

I guess we just have to agree to disagree on the tech. I mean, the reality is in just 66 years we went from powered flight to walking on the moon. How far do you think sentient beings would advance in 900 years? Really impossible to say except that it would very likely seem impossible even to the most open of minds to folks today. And likely to folks in the fictitious Trek universe even of the Picard time.

I, too, am wondering why there is no AI there. It seems to be a subject they just don’t want to talk about. Given that a device like Data was created over 700 years earlier and that slightly less than that there was an entire civilization of AI robots one can only imagine what would be the case 700 years later. The best reason I can think of for the lack of AI in this show is there must have been some sort of AI uprising or war where they all decided that organic life was intent to keep them from evolving or something like that and was wiped out, and ruled no AI ever after that. But I think that it’s just a subject the show doesn’t want to touch. Perhaps they want to deal with it in the next batch of episodes or perhaps they just don’t want to deal with what AI could evolve into. But again, that is just another reason why I feel the 32nd century was a tremendous mistake.

BTW… Just because we saw bits of future events in the Federation on a couple of other shows doesn’t mean they should feel pigeon holed into keeping that future locked. The future is never written until you get there. In the past, if you have a vision that is ALWAYS a possible future. Not THE future.

We’re not REALLY disagreeing, I just don’t have an issue what we have now. But sure, if they came up with crazier things I would be fine with it too. I never been one of those people who look at Star Trek as ‘realistic’. I WANT to see magical technology because its just fun to see the types of ideas they come up with. That’s a big reason why I watch. And Stat Trek has been using magical technology since the first season of TOS. It’s funny how people try to tell themselves stuff like transporters, shields and warp drive is something that wouldn’t seem magical to most people. So I never cared about that as long as they give it some technobabble explanation on some level. So I’m really enjoying what we are seeing in the 32nd century, but sure they can push it harder too.

But same time though its hard to really predict ANYTHING especially that far out. I originally gave an example of BTTF 2 in my post, but erased it. So here it is again. They predicted a future that was waaaaay more advance than our future and they were only extrapolating 30 years into the future. Unfortunately we still didn’t get flying cars in 2015, nor do we have them now. And we’re talking about predictions in our life times. To predict 100, 300, 1200 years from now is insane lol. According to Star Trek warp drive is suppose to be coming in about 40 years. I don’t think we’re going to make is sadly.

And I don’t disagree with the future not being locked bit. It was Picard who says the future isn’t written yet. But you also know how fickle Star Trek fans are lol. That’s literally the reason they moved Discovery so far in the future to begin with, so no one can complain they are ‘messing up canon’ when there is literally no canon of any kind to deal with. That’s what they wanted to get away from completely and just do their own thing. It’s also why people like me and you said constantly they should’ve just rebooted the show and start completely fresh. But my guess is that was probably never possible. CBS probably demanded they stay in the Prime universe so they can constantly use legacy characters and push the classic shows again as they been doing. This was probably the second best option for them outside of a hard reboot.

And you’re probably right not wanting them to touch the A.I. thing too much, but then they made things like Zora and we now have another Synth character with Gray. So they should make up their minds. Either show it and EXPLAIN the situation with A.I. tech in that century at least like they did in the 24th century when they said Data was unique and the EMH was new tech. At least tell us the situation because it’s very odd. But it’s still early too.

They showed some kind of A.I. in early season 3 episodes. There was this guy who was present during the Disco crew debriefing at Starfleet HQ (not Kovich). Georgiou “broke” him.
My guess is the writers are keeping this deliberately vague to keep all their options open if they ever decide to build a story around this topic.

You could interpret the nonchalant way in which the crew seems to react to Zora’s evolution as an indication that this is not considered something extraordinary. Or the writers have just decided to put it on the backburner while they do other stories.

I would think that, at the very least the entirety of last season, the Discovery crew would “ooh” and “aah” at just about everything and for most of it be thoroughly confused. Yet they seemed to take to it like it was the latest smartphone OS upgrade. The indigenous 32nd century folk should be nonchalant toward the tech. Not the Discovery crew.

Disagree, Starfleet Academy would be way WAY more exciting in the 32nd century when they are taking people new to the whole concept of the Federation (re) introducing them to it, gives them a chance to actually shape the future. Also introduce new tech / challenges.
Just look at Prodigy, way more fun!!

Yep we agree completely!!

Give us a 32nd century Academy show!

My preference would be the TOS movie era.

Wow. I would love this concept. I LOVE Mary Wiseman (and have actually met her in NYC at Urban Outfitters in the checkout line.) This is an amazing idea that I hope is real. Having her lead a show is a good call as well as having it set in the 32nd century. So much story potential.

I agree.

The 24th century is getting crowded with shows.

A 32nd century Academy series would create an opportunity to show different aliens as part of the Federation or returning to the Federation. It has more scope for storylines about bringing species and cultures together than any time periods beyond the last 22nd century when the Federation was first founded.

I was wondering how an Academy show could be done that would hold interest beyond the target demographic. But much in the way Prodigy is starting with outsiders, this could work too.

Tilly could be the anchor to older Federation values and enthusiasm for scientific exploration.

Yeah we have 3 shows in the 24th century now, I think it’s time to move to a new era as well. A 32nd century academy show is a brilliant idea for all the reasons you said.

It could also just really add in the 32nd century canon that can’t be done in a 24th century show because we know so little about it now. A 24th century show could certainly be interesting and fun but a 32nd century show can add a lot of intrigue and develop this era more.

Yeah, this seems very likely. For example, the things that Dr. Kovich says about cadets in the 31st century nicely mirror the realities we experience with college students now. (I work them.) Plus, having a show set in one of the current timeframes being filled allows for easier crossover. For example, some people imagined a post-PICARD Starfleet Academy show with Dahj and Elnor. But this opens up more options than setting it in a time where the Federation and Starfleet are well established.

I don’t know if I think Wiseman would be the lead. That would likely go to an actor playing a cadet. If it is really a teen/college age story, they need to be the leads. But what Mary said on the Ready Room, that “Adira is weirdly teaching Tilly how to be an adult.” As an educator and minister I can say that this rings true and it could be a very good dramatic opportunity aside from the “teenage angst” and melodrama those shows usually heavily rely on. [Yes, I am talking about you “The 100” on WB!]

I am pro this idea and I think its very, very likely!

Oh good God, no.

She is so annoying that I’ll be happy to see her anywhere else (but not on SNW, of course).

That would be indeed fantastic! I love the idea and this was another awesome episode. I love this season! Much better balanced emotions and more “natural” dualigs by all characters!

I really enjoyed this episode. It had a lot of parallels to “Galileo Seven”, “Redemption”, and reminded me of character-specific episodes of TNG. It was also almost entirely an episodic episode.

I picked up on The Galileo 7 parallels as well. But all it did was remind me how much better that episode was. Spock learned a ton in it. Tilly didn’t learn anything except how lucky she was.

Really? She didn’t learn anything? She learned a ton about leadership and her skills as a teacher. The fact that she left Discovery to become an instructor at Starfleet Academy kinda shows that she learned a ton about herself in this episode.

I didn’t see it. There was no leadership from her at all. The cadets never saw it either. At least, they never acted like they did. Not until blind luck operated in her favor. And given what we saw of the events that led to her academy offer it really doesn’t make any sense whatsoever that she get that offer. She only got it because the script demanded she get it. Not because of anything that happened in the plot. But again, this is another chronic problem with Star Trek Discovery.

Did we watch the same show? She started out trying to do her “nice” thing but then realized she had to give them some stern guidance, to help the cadets bond by not offering them a choice to bicker, and showing them they had more in common than they realized.

“We’re doing this, and that’s final,” is leadership, as is demonstrating self-sacrifice to save her crew, who rallied to help keep the monsters at bay until the Armstrong could beam them out.

EVERYTHING in the plot led to this. She was clearly feeling lost on Discovery for at least a couple of episodes now, so this wasn’t out of the blue.

Maybe you missed this bit in Tilly’s final conversation with Capt. Burnham, but it was important: That she had been pushing herself down a path set in opposition to her demanding diplomat mother’s expectations, but that she still felt she had to become a high-achieving captain herself just to get her mother’s respect.

If you have a toxic parent, like a clinical narcissist, it can be ego-crushing because nothing you do is ever good enough to please them.

Tilly was reflexively a people-pleaser probably as a reaction to her mother, to defuse criticism and tension. She realized that her mother has now been dead for over 900 years, so she’s never going to get the approval she wanted, and that was *freeing* because now… all is possible.

At the end of the episode, Tilly felt… taller. Stable. More at peace with herself. When she spoke to Adira and Kovich, she didn’t babble or make pre-apologies for anything as she’s done for 3 seasons. She spoke firmly and decisively. She changed! She became a leader.

Nice post. I agree 100%. It’s a pleasure to read insightful posts like this.

Wow… We really didn’t see the same show. I saw contrite characters ridiculous circumstances to force a divisive character down a specific path. None of those cadets ever respected her. But suddenly they all magically did once it was revealed who the parent of the Orion was. And suddenly they are all extending hands for each other when 2 seconds earlier they wanted to bicker and argue and in one case, kill the other. It’s ridiculous This wasn’t due to her ability to lead. This was blind luck. The script created it so she could SEEM like she had leadership potential.

“We are doing this and that’s final” is not leadership. It’s one thing to give orders. It’s another thing to get people to respect your orders. Tilly did give orders. But she was certainly not respected.

As I said, offering to stay behind for them was indeed a pretty darn good gesture. But really it would have been slightly more believable had they led with that and ignored the silly parentage thing that illogically brought them all together. But… That is a mere FIRST STEP towards engendering leadership. It takes more than one gesture. It does take time. But the show didn’t have time so they just decided… That’s enough. They lover her now. Let’s give her the gig.

Regarding how she has felt lost… Yeah they mentioned it in recent episodes but it felt like it just came out of left field. This was not something that was bugging her for some time. Suddenly she felt it a day or so ago. And I guess the script decided the audience didn’t need to know.

You made a number of grand assumptions about Tilly based on very little knowledge. But if the show provided enough for you then bless you. Keep enjoying what they are doing. But for people who want more than just 1 dimensional character tropes this just doesn’t cut it.

And I didn’t see a change in her. She was still the same annoying person at the end of the episode she was at the beginning.

I’m not going to argue about her leadership ability as Fred Javelina already did a great job at that, but I’m definitely going to push back against your “blind luck” analysis. Exactly where in the episode did Tilly and the cadets get out of their situation because of blind luck? You’re acting like a bolt of spider lightning just narrowly missed them and then happened to throw them up in the air onto the ridge they were hiking towards.

Blind luck in that the Orion’s father was someone whose circumstance would give the other guy (Tellerite?) pause. After that reveal suddenly everyone was pleased with each other for some bizarro reason. If his father was a nobody all the cadets would still be bickering with each other and possibly dead.

Fred did a good job only if you buy grand assumptions with precious little evidence.

First of all, a great episode that again feels way more like the Star Trek I loved. The storytelling structure, pacing, character building, and sci-fi elements. However this does feel like a farewell season for Discovery, the departure of Wiseman confirms it for me. This show just can’t afford to lose one of its strongest cast members.

The new Tilly? Adira is the new Wesley, if anything.

Haha, this is so true!

after reading this review I find myself thinking I’d much rather have another season of West Wing than Discovery ;)

Wow… Discovery is THAT bad to you, eh?

lol

I found this episode very enjoyable. There are always some questions of logic that can be asked about this or that detail, but I thought the scenes on NiVar and the interactions between Saru and T’Rina on the one hand and Burnham and Rillak on the other were well written and terrifically acted. Kolvich is also an intriguing character. Well done!

This episode was written by the same person who wrote Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and was directed by the same person who scored Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later.

That’s odd.

Well, Tilly leaving is disappointing. There were times her goofiness drove me nuts but Mary Wiseman is so darn likable because she’s one of the better drawn characters on the show. I’m happy she’ll be returning but if they are doing an Academy show I’d rather it be set in the Strange New Worlds or TNG era.

Good to see more of Culber. Wish the Book mourning story was over. Interesting character but seems like his storyline is a big whiff right now.

The Ni’Var plot. 32nd century Vulcan/Romulans certainly seem to have an illogical understanding about how alliances work. The whole plot is silly to me but if Saru gets a little Vulcan body meld action (wink wink)I guess something good came from it.

Two things… I’d rather see an Academy show in the TOS movie era. Although truth be told I would LOVE to see a new Trek show set post TUC anyway. Just want Not Secret Hideout to make it.

Next, that bit of Culber saying he had things he had to deal with was the first on screen bit that supported my theory that this is not the real Culber and never was. The real Culber is deader than dead and this was just some sort of mycelial facsimile.

I’d be into a post TOS movie era Academy show. There’s a lot of story to tell between TUC and TNG. It could take us straight up & thru Enterprise B of Generations. There’s a ton of story waiting to be told.

Good take on Culber but while the events preceded the launch of Picard, that show has already given us a Jean Luc who is not really Jean Luc. Shame really because I think DISCO really missed the boat on fleshing out the supporting characters.

He is the real Culber, just like Picard is the real Picard and Spock is the real Spock. However, he still went through a traumatic experience, and had to come to terms with his identity after receiving a new body. He still has the same katra that he always had though.

Why do you bring up Picard and Spock? While Spock’s resurrection was sci-fi hogwash there was still an air of believability behind it. The steps weirdly lined up. The Culber resurrection was very different. We already had a mycelial facsimile appear. So we know they copy lifeforms. He came back from the network and the explanation for his return was vague and unconvincing. Unlike other Trek resurrections there was no air of believability to it. Therefore, Culber is dead and this is a mycelial copy.

Its the same as the other two in that their mind was preserved while their original body was lost, and then their mind was put into a new body.

I’m wondering what causes you to think that is what happened. As I said, it was never explained very well at all. I think they kept if vague because even the writers didn’t really know how they were going to do it. Not only that, but the one thing that severely causes doubt is the fact that we already saw the mycelial network create a facsimile of a human. So we know they will do that. There is no reason to think that nu-Culber is the same person as the one who got aced. In fact, the only thing that suggests nu-Culber is genuinely Culber isn’t anything that was shown on screen. It was because the producers said he was. Now that may have been their intention but, as usual with this group, that is not what we saw on screen.

Not a bad filler episode. The character focus was appreciated.

Tilly is often written and directed to be an irritant, so it was nice to see a smart use of her which puts her on a path to believable development and growth in the future.

Having Michael offer herself up as the solution to all Federation world disputes was far-fetched as a solution everyone would agree to so fast, and it’s a running theme for the show that needs to be cooled off on. But sheeting her relationship with Grillak mellow is great.

This was also a good use of Culber, though Booker’s grief arc is overstaying its welcome. I can only assume something he’s doing is relevant to the anomaly, otherwise I’d have rather seen one of his scenes turned into a session with (so help me) Gray to get into how he is adjusting.

She was still an irritant. And I don’t buy any of her leadership abilities. Not after seeing how she has been portrayed the last three mini-seasons. They got out of that mess by pure luck. Not due to anything she did.

Recognizing that they need to turn off the power to the ship, work together and make it to high ground… that was all luck? I think we watched to very different episodes.

Turning things off was hardly “leadership”. That was making an obvious decision. All it showed was she was not an idiot. Not that she was capable of leadership. She never got that group to work together. They didn’t come together until it was revealed that one of the cadets happened to have unique parentage. That wasn’t because she did anything. That was happenstance. A convenient plot device. What would have shown leadership would have been if she had done something that so impressed the group that they knew deep down she was a leader worthy of following. The only thing that came close to that was when she opted to draw the creatures away from them. But by that point blind luck had already started to turn them to her side. So, sorry, it just wasn’t there. And yes, I am swayed some by what we have seen of the character over the previous episodes. This is not a person who is even remotely suited for command. Yet, like some of todays high ranking officials, she seems to keep stumbling upward.

My initial reaction to this episode? Probably the most enjoyable one I have seen since some of the S2 Captain Pike episodes!

It borrowed the concept from Enterprise and DS9 that you can do good standalone episodes, even when you are on a season long story arc trying to figure out the DMA, battle the Dominion or stop the Xindi and the spherebuilders. It sounds like this episode wasn’t so enjoyable for some, but for this old legacy fan, I really liked this episode.

Perhaps what was most interesting was accidently glancing over some of the spoilers about Tilly (which I did not read) and it caused me to think they may have written her out of the show. For me, this created a very real level of stress during the beam out scene, that she might actually be killed off saving the rest of her team. For me it made for some very-good story-telling. Other things I liked about that cadet mission was how it mirrored some legacy Trek plot and storylines – like Stiles’ race hatred of Spock, the Galileo 7 crash landing, Tuvok training the Maquis crewmembers on Voyager during a crisis, etc.

Finally, I saw that some of you liked the idea of the proposed Starfleet Academy show being set in the 32nd century instead of the 24th century. I have to say either way would be great, but if it ends up being in the 32nd century, this served as a very good psuedo-pilot episode.

Ok time to check out the Centre Seats’ take on the 1980s TOS movies.

I agree with so much of this review. Yeah, its just more proof Star Trek works better as standalone stories. Again you CAN do serialized stories very well as both DS9 and ENT did IMO, but isn’t it interesting nearly the best DIS episodes are more episodic in nature? I don’t think the episode was amazing but very solid. It was a number of past Trek episodes you included and why it felt at home. I always been up and down with Tilly like a lot of people, but this was probably her best episode bar none for me. They put her in a situation that’s really suitable for her but then upped the stakes and pushed her into a command position where she had to think her feet every minute. She was still Tilly but came off more confident and decisive. That’s the better way to do it instead of just for no reason at all make her an XO which was eye rolling.

But then, and maybe I’m giving the writers too much credit here, I don’t know, but mayte was all part of the plan? They wanted to put her in that type of position for her to realize it’s ultimately just not cut out for her and she goes new path this season? I won’t over think it, but yeah I think the new direction for her is great.

And yes, she will be back and they all live at Starfleet headquarters now. In the old days when Wesley or Nog was sent off to Starfleet Academy, they really left (although they both came back). But in Tilly’s case, she’s just leaving her role on the ship, but she can see the crew almost anytime.

And I do like how now everyone is super excited for the Academy show lol. This may not have anything to do with it, but I have to admit it never occurred to me it would be set here. I would be curious to see what they did with one in this era but like you I’m fine if its set in the 24th century, but this opens up a lot more possibilities.

I think you are indeed giving the writers way too much credit. Tilly still came off as whiney and she never engendered any kind of leadership whatsoever. She was only able to bring those two together because of a 1 in a million circumstance. Blind luck. Apart from that she was still irritating. But to be fair those cadets were pretty irritating themselves. Felt like they sorta deserved each other.

Man, I can’t wait for the day you start to enjoy any of these shows lol. I know this is super off topic but from the classic shows you seem to like all of them minus TNG. Am I right?

But you’re also probably right and it wasn’t planned either. I was just throwing it out there.

I like Prodigy. The first batch of episodes have been above mediocre. And there was that one episode of LDX that, shock of shocks, actually had some laughs in it. But other than that Secret Hideout has been a dismal failure. ‘

I don’t hate TNG. I would say it’s the worst of the Berman era Treks. But that is mainly because the characters are easily the worst and most boring of all the shows. And I think that is a function of GR was the guy that came up with them. To this day I am convinced that original Star Trek was a mistake by him. That said, they had a number of quite good episodes. But the best TNG episodes were more Trek-Sci fi oriented episodes that would have worked as a story on TOS or Voyager. They generally didn’t require the characters of TNG to make work. They were just good episodes. And the worst TNG episodes were ones that had character connections. Like Troi’s mom or “will data understand love?” or Riker’s daddy issues or garbage like that.

Well you like Prodigy…now lol. IIRC you also liked LDS very early on. We’ve only seen 5 episodes so far. And I can end up hating it too. I’m not suggesting you’re the only one who changes their mind here but I don’t call the shows a ‘dismal failure’ either as you just did. But yes maybe this will be the show that will turn it around for you.

I didn’t say you hated TNG, but you’re clearly not a fan of it either like the other classic shows. And it’s completely understandable based on your reasons for it. But I really do hope you like one of the new shows. At least more than you do now.

To be fair I did admit after the fact that the reality was that the reason I endorsed LDX when it started was because I was a fan of the concept and really WANTED it to be good. So the first few episodes I constantly gave it the benefit of the doubt. But deep down I was disappointed with what I saw from the very beginning.

It is true that Prodigy could take a turn for the worse. I really hope it doesn’t. But it has started off much better than LDX has so I think there is a decent chance it won’t.

Fingers crossed.

I heard the spoilers too and that beam out scene, even though I figured she was most likely not killed off there was still part of me that was hoping she wouldn’t make it out. Unfortunately, she did.

This episode really epitomizes Star Trek Discovery. Lame sappiness, unearned emotion and really dumb plots.

I bet that when I start reading the posts someone is going to mention that when Burnman wondered why the President wanted her there the actual response she should have given was “Because I’m so awesome!” It was truly a ridiculous story line. In fact, all three stories in the episode were particularly bad.

One good thing… Really happy Tilly is gone. Not sure where she sped off to at the end. I thought they were right there at the Academy already. Would not be surprised at all to see her again a few episodes down the road. So I’m sure my happiness will be short lived.

PS… Back to having P+ problems again. Now for two weeks in a row I’ve had the casting butting disappear. Both times I’ve had to delete and reload the app. I’ve never had this problem with Netflix nor the two 1 month instances where I had D+.

Couldn’t agree more. Great to see Tilly gone. Book should be next. Adira’s buddy after that but I know it won’t happen. Saru and Culber are the only consistently solid and interesting characters.

Honestly, I’d like to see them all replaced save for Saru, Reno and perhaps Booker. He has potential to me but the jury is still out on him. It will likely depend on what the show does with him.

Really enjoyed this episode and the best one in the season for me so far. It finally did something hardcore Trek nerds like me love about Star Trek and that is a bunch of people in a room discussing Federation politics lol. The review brought up DS9 did this a lot thanks to Dominion war and why I loved that show so much. That and TNG did it the most.

And frankly, this is the kind of stuff I think a lot of fans wanted to see this season and see a rebuilding of the Federation and from all levels. I didn’t even think about the Starfleet Academy angle and bringing back people from former Federation worlds to be part of Starfleet again. So I give the producers real credit on this and yes maybe it will lead into the Academy show. But the political dynamics of trying to convince the Vulcans/Romulans to rejoin was great stuff. Not perfect, but this is the direction the show should be going in. We are seeing multiple angles of the Federation being rebuilt through bringing worlds diltihium and being part of Starfleet. I’m still just meh on the whole DMA thing, but its nice the season is actually focused on other things. Why they couldn’t talk about these types of stories happening before, I will never know. But I would’ve been much more excited about season 4 if they did.

And I am curious to see what they do with Tilly next. I did not expect her to leave the ship at all. And I did love that nice moment between her and Burnham at the end sitting in their old quarters reminiscing. It’s those moments that give the show heart. And I’m glad they didn’t over do it with them both crying as I thought they would. Less is more Discovery, seriously.

And I have to say I am really liking Burnham as a Captain. She’s a bit of Janeway and Archer combined how she is with the crew. A bit motherly (Janeway) but also kind of like a pal to everyone (Archer). In other words very anti-Picard lol. The old Picard that is. And admittedly they have been through a LOT together.

And speaking of Archer, nice touch with the NX-01 snow globe. It’s really crazy how much this show gives attention to Enterprise, probably more so than any previous show. There are now more references and Easter eggs from that show 1,000 years apart than when they were 100 years apart. Keep it up please! Anything that is Enterprise related only endears me to this show more! ;)

I was thinking of Enterprise, and then realized that it’s the only Trek in Discovery’s “past.” Even a snowglobe of 1701 wouldn’t make much sense.

Yeah not coming from anyone in the Discovery crew themselves. I could see something like that showing up at Federation headquarters.

But thinking about the snow globe would Adira even recognize the NX-01? Maybe pre Burn era it would be still iconic years into the future but not sure now. But if they named a space dock after Archer I guess it would be.

I didn’t really understand the NX-01 snow globe. Why was it even there beyond giving fans a chance to say, “hey, it’s the NX-01!” I like referencing old shows but I like it better when it’s a more organic appearance. Not the LDX type of fangasms.

That’s pretty much it lol.

On the Ready Room, they did say something about it being sort of a torch that Tilly is passing along to Adira as her way of telling her she sees her taking her place on the ship. Again, its nice symbolism if that’s true but it would work better if it was something we seen her had in the past and was considered an important item for Tilly. Sort of like Sisko and his baseball. What he left behind (see what I did there) on DS9 at the end of season 5 after the Cardassians took back the station, that was very strong symbolism. But of course it was the complete opposite meaning lol.

But DS9 actually had good writers, no amazing writers, who stressed his attachment to that baseball very early on in the show. Discovery writers just threw this in at the last minute to give Tilly some type of depth I guess. And sadly it feels about as deep as a puddle when you constantly do stuff like this when you are sending characters off in literally the same episode.

It’s what Discovery does. It’s like suddenly giving that one background character a full back story just so they can kill her at the end of the episode. That is what I mean when I say the emotion they go for just isn’t earned.

As a viewer, I did not see the significance of that snow globe whatsoever. I’m not sure a whole lot of people did.

Speaking of What We Leave Behind… I recently watched it and boy was I re-impressed. Easily the best series finale of the Berman era. My one complaint was the flashback sequence. It worked for me but it’s still a bit of a trope. Maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on flash backs. It was done at the end of Lonesome Dove and it worked there too…

Tilly’s NX globe reminded me of how Voyager would just tell us something was important for a moment when it could have been set up. Janeway’s lucky tea cup in Year of Hell or Chakotay noticing she fiddles with her combadge when she’s plotting something (never did it once before Dark Frontier or again since).

Nitpicky, sure, and TV writing is rapid-fire and stressful chaos, but a writing team working confidently and laying down foundations for later finds it easier to build on them, obviously!

LOL the second you mentioned Year of Hell I thought of the fiddle with her com badge thing too. Voyager had the same type of issues at the time. The only difference was it was more episodic and not so character driven the way serialized shows suppose to be, but it’s still bad writing just the same. The tea cup one is not coming to me and I rewatched that one just this summer.

And none of this is a huge deal. No one is going to decide an episode is worth watching because a character suddenly has some important item to them they randomly brought up or a small character habits liking touching their com badge. It’s just funny how didn’t see either until by the fourth season of those shows. And of course it’s nothing wrong to add things to characters either as they are always being developed. But Chakotay telling Janeway he notices she does that just rung so hollow because none of us ever saw her do that once before. I really wish they never mentioned it because as you said she never even did it again lol.

100% agree! This episode, from the Captain’s Log at the beginning, to the departure of Tilly at the end, felt like the show was really hitting its stride, the Trek-ness was front and center, and all the groundwork they’ve done to set up these storylines is paying off.

I think the C story of Book’s therapy could have gotten a few more minutes, but we got to see two great actors play off against each other; one playing a character who, despite intense trauma, has learned how to remain open and vulnerable, and the other, still processing an unfathomable loss, in the denial stage.

Yeah, this felt like a very classic Star Trek episode. Burnham finally did her first Captain’s log (although we saw her give other logs in the opening, but as a lower officer). I think it was nice to just see more political stories which Trek has done tons of and the stranded-on-a-planet trope which you have to do a story about at least once a season on every show and once in every movie series. It’s in the Star Trek bible. ;). Both Lower Decks and Prodigy just recently did that one too.

I liked Book’s ordeal with Culber but yeah it probably needed to be a bit longer. That was the more forgetful one for me but it was good (I just realized I didn’t even bring it up in my review). When you are juggling 3 stories in an hour one of them usually gets less focus but they did a much better job focusing on these this episode compared to the previous one.

“Starfleet Academy is awesome!” An example of why the writers are paid the big bucks…

Ha!

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this season, and this episode further cemented that feeling.

Going into the season, I was expecting (as most everyone else), another heavily serialized season of Discovery zipping around the galaxy trying to save all of civilization… again. And while I do enjoy a good galaxy-spanning serialized story, Discovery has had a really bad habit of making this massive stories feel really small. As such, I was very much expecting any type of world-building (especially in regards to the rebuilding of the Federation) to take a complete back seat to the Discovery and her crew saving the day… again. There is still a very high likely hood that the season will ultimately come down to Discovery figuring out how to stop the dark matter anomaly and save the whole galaxy, but at the moment I am really enjoying this more self-contained stories that simultaneously strengthen character development, while also expanding the world building into what this new Federation is going to look like.

With that being said, I’m definitely excited and ready for the show to really get back into learning more about the DMA and how to stop it, but I hope the writers continue to take a break every so often for these more episodic episodes.

Finally, I’m gonna miss Tilly :( I know she’s a divisive character, and I completely understand why some people just can’t stand her, but I’ve always related to her overall shy-nerdy personality. I know she’ll be back on some level later in the season, so fingers crossed we don’t have to go too many episodes without her.

I think the producers kind of oversold the anomaly before the season started. Or fans, in their cynicism, expected it to dominate the whole season. I actually like this more because it’s more realistic: 1) In reality people probably wouldn’t figure out the problem within one episode. Scientific progress takes time, and the process itself is often not very exciting to look at. 2) Unless the anomaly moves at high warp speed or just appears out of nowhere in random places, it is more realistic that it does not threaten another solar system all the time.
So this gives them time to explore other stories while Stamets and the Vulcan Science Institute keep researching and the anomaly is just traveling through open space between systems. It’s just not what people seem to have expected.

Another Random bit that you missed: The story Tilly tells about her mother and the diplomatic corp is consistent with the events of the Discovery tie in novel “The Way to the Stars” by Una McCormack

This was on OK episode. But the “we need to work together” theme was laid on with a trowel. Usually I don’t mind the writing but it felt like a 12th grade film making project.

Since when has the writing ever been subtle?

i really enjoyed this episode, this was classic trek storylines in a fresh way. season 3 was bloated and plodding. after the first 2 episodes season 4 felt more of the same, but the last 2 episodes really gave a nice balance of stand alone episodes within a larger arc. season 2 is still my favorite season of DSC though, but i’m less pessimistic about DSC after the last 2 episodes compared to how i felt all of last season

I watched this episode twice and followed it until the ending. I loved last week, but this one just doesn’t jive with my experience. I would have loved to see Tilley’s adventure be a little harder on her, and it would have been a lot more dramatic to see her cope with explaining what happened to the crew of the USS Armstrong. I find it weird that Tilly is facing a lot of death, but doesn’t really register the shock the way I think one would. Also, I don’t know if this a BTS thing or not, but is Kovich the Matre D’ for Discovery cast members or what?

I liked this week much better. Probably the most enjoyable of the season so far.

-I was somewhat vague on what Burnham’s independent commission is supposed to do. It’s stated to be the “bridge” between Nivar and the Federation, but it’s not clear what happens if the commission thinks Federation policy is wrong. What’s supposed to happen? Like can the commission overrule the Federation president or Federation Council? Also, doesn’t that commission sound like what the Federation Council is supposed to be? An independent branch of government capable of expressing the will of every member world?

-Since Nivar is the result of the unification of the Romulan and Vulcan peoples, should we believe that most of what used to be the Romulan Star Empire is now part of the Federation? Like are the Remans part of Nivar too?

-For bonus points, are Federation starships now equipped with cloaking devices? If there is no Romulan Star Empire, then there is no Treaty of Algeron. Since Starfleet Command had a cloak, I would guess that the ships do too, right? Although, there’s no evidence Discovery has one.

-I’m curious now as to what the status is of the other original Federation founders. Any chance the Tellarites, Andorians, and humans rejoin the Federation anytime soon? Earth seemed VERY isolationist when we last saw it. And the Andorians seem to be a core member of the Emerald Chain.

-Burnham mentions the conflict between Cardassians and Bajorans when she’s linking herself to experiencing Vulcan history, but she must have read about it when she got to the 32nd century since the occupation of Bajor hadn’t happened yet when Discovery left the 23rd century.

-I like the Starfleet cadet uniforms much better than the normal cast uniforms for this season. I wish they would have used those and just put them in the different Starfleet colors.

-Star Trek has always kept the inner workings of the Federation pretty vague. Since we are now 900 years in the future it’s completely unclear how the Federation is governed. We know there’s a Federation President (and apparently, she’s new to the job, too). We don’t really know anything else.

-So far it sounded like Ni`Var is only one planet (formerly known as Vulcan), not a whole empire. I don’t remember if they’ve mentioned the Remans at all. Maybe Remans became independent after the destruction of the Romulan home world.

-Discovery had a cloaking device in a late season 3 episode. They used it to hide from Osyraa’s ship but it was then disabled by a shockwave.

-This episode had a Telarite and an Orion as Starfleet cadets. This suggests some form of cooperation. They kind of implied that the Emerald Chain fell apart after Osyraa’s death.

-All of Discovery’s crew has had to do a lot of catching up with history since they arrived in the 32nd century. Burnham has been in this time a year longer than the rest of the Discovery crew so she’s probably had more opportunities than the rest.

Maybe Remans became independent after the destruction of the Romulan home world.

Maybe they were left to burn when Hobus went supernova

I would expect that at least the Federation included both Romulans and Remans in their rescue efforts. If Romulans left them to burn all the more reason for any surviving Remans to seek independence.

Maybe that is what sent Nero off on his Federation destroying rage?

Perhaps the level of pacing that should of started this series….

Regardless, too little too late …Burnham quieter yet still being used to fix galaxy wide issues. Something doesn’t sit well with this show, it has nice elements to it but they are forced in to a very mediocre show
Would of have this a pass if it was a 25 EP series….it’s a miniseries and it’s lost two eps trying to do the right thing in the wrong way…

Happy to see back of TikTok Tilly, but suspect she will be the new face of the Starfleet Academy show

Starfleet Academy in the 32nd century? That would be interesting.

However, I’d prefer an Academy show set post-NEM, with Miral Paris, Kirayoshi O’Brien and Kestra Riker-Troi :-) What I don’t want is Kirk & Spock at the Academy…

For a 32nd century spin-off I’d go for an intergalactic Voyager-J series and finally a midget captain becoming the greatest character of the Andromeda galaxy… Can they afford Peter Dinklage?

Looks like Saru may be strengthening some diplomatic ties here! A lot of tea time going down!

I’m digging the slower pace. What I always liked in Star Trek was the more dialogue driven parts – parts where the characters talk to each other. The break-neck action pace of Disco has been somewhat difficult for me follow (don’t get me wrong, I still liked it..just, I felt like I was being taken on a weird ride).

Also, I’ve seen some complaints here about the characters always being too emotional or moping about or whatever.. If you think about it, if Star Trek has always contained social commentary that’s reflective of the times, then to my mind, Disco is no different. There seems to be a real focus on mental health in this season (and some in the last). Just hanging out on the internet, I see people’s focus shifting that direction as well – that is to say, I seem to randomly encounter a lot of reading about it, especially the last year or so. To me, it seems somewhat timely.

Anyway.. I lurk here often (and have since this site come out), but don’t usually post. For some reason I felt compelled to post tonight (maybe because I just binged the last four episodes to get my wife caught up). I’m so glad to see Star Trek alive and well, for better or worse, and this is the place I like to come to put my finger on the pulse. Anyway…Cya!

Gorev was a Tellarite? For some reason, I thought he might be a redesign of the Chalnoth species from “Allegiance”

Yeah… That make up was so different that I was actually unsure if he was Tellerite or not. I was guessing Tellerite but the entire episode I just wasn’t sure. I find the alien updates on Star Trek Discovery to be unimpressive at best. When Enterprise redid Telleritres I think they did a pretty good job. They were still very recognizable as Tellerites and of course, the Andorian update with the moving antenna that display their emotional state was brilliant. No one really should be expecting anything as clever or well done from Discovery people.

Was there a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance by an Antican during Burnham’s captain’s log at the beginning?

Wow, there were about 18 different plot lines in that episode and none of them were all that satisfying. Burnam and Saru must be mind readers because they figured out what the diplomatic impasse was all about in about two second and had a solution in no time. Only I had no idea what they were talking about or how it was solved!

Book’s continuing grief had me falling asleep. He’s on his knees playing with a glow stick (programmable matter) and yelling about how it’s not working. Didn’t he get over his grief after the mind meld last week? Why are they still pursuing this story line? And sorry but I’m not really into the intricacies of Book’s made up space religion. When the actors get the script, do they say to themselves “ugh, I gotta say this stuff? How do I make this work?!”

Then there was the investigation of the big bad space anomaly… only no answers so that plot line goes nowhere. Then the Galileo 7 plot line, and then Adira and Gray’s story, and, And, AND… too many threads. The show is turning into a soap opera in space. What kind of audience are they trying to appeal to?