Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Feels Its Way Through The Darkness In “Stormy Weather”

“Stormy Weather”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 4, Episode 6 – Debuted Thursday, December 23, 2021
Written by Anne Cofell Saunders & Brandon Schultz
Directed by Jonathan Frakes

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

A classic Star Trek setup gets some nice twists, turning it into a character exploration and even an emergence.

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

“We’re stuck”

The USS Discovery has been ordered to investigate a subspace rift left behind by the DMA, with Captain Burnham and Stamets confident they can find clues in the “crime scene” to reveal Unknown Species 10-C. Book has ants in his space pants and wants bolder action—like tracking down leads outside the Federation—but he agrees to stick with his gf and go along for the rift ride. The crew (along with the now even more chatty AI, Zora) are buzzing with the possibilities as the ship heads in on impulse (Saru checked his TNG box set to learn they can’t use warp) and they are expecting a bumpy ride, but it is surprisingly calm, and dark, and quiet… too quiet. Antsy Book is ready to go do recon, but cautious Burnham sends a DOT-7 out instead—and good thing, because it gets dissolved with a wailing robot death scream. Realizing the DMA leaves behind a different kind of rift, the USS Discovery finds itself in an impossibly dark toxic empty as they start a 30-minute ticking clock on how long the shields will last.

Even though smartypants Adira assures them “it’s impossible for there to be nothing,” with no data to gather, shields rapidly draining, and the rift literally closing in on them, the crew starts getting nervous. After a nice subtle sidebar with Mr. Saru, Burnham makes the command decision to get the hell out of Dodge with, “Abort the mission, we are getting out of here,” leading to an awkward and oddly insubordinate Owo exclaiming, “We can’t leave without getting answers!” With Stamets learning to delegate and Book assigned to navigate, they try the spore drive, but that fails too, and the ship uselessly spins its wheels while Book gets zapped with an energy surge that sends him to sickbay. Something is wrong with the mycelial network in here too. Oh, and now Book is hallucinating being berated by his estranged father (whose birthday is today). That’s just great.

“I think she can get us out of here”

Following last week’s revelation that Zora has developed emotions, the captain and Saru are a bit concerned about this “uncharted territory,” which is pretty reasonable given that they jumped into the 32nd century to get away from Control, an evil sentient AI. When Gray is left alone in the lounge with nothing to do after the crew jumps into action, he turns to Zora. The multitasking ship’s computer finds itself overwhelmed in this empty void, blind to any external sensors and sort of freaking out over the trivia of everyday internal sensors. Gray suggests playing Trill chess as a way for the multitasking Zora to focus and clear her quantum digital head, revealing it has helped him assimilate to his new android body.

Thanks to the game, Zora calms down and is then able to identify subtle changes on part of the exterior hull along with pressure changes in one corridor. Dr. Pollard is close by and is sent to investigate, finding a corridor of dissolving bulkheads. She has to bear witness as a crewman desperately tries to fix the breach and fails to escape in time when Zora is forced to put up a forcefield as part of the ship is ripped away. Zora is devastated, telling Gray, “Ensign Cortez was trapped, he didn’t survive.” With the ship disintegrating and the captain looking for options,  Gray realizes that Zora may be the answer. He runs to the bridge to report that she is having an “emotional response” to everything that is going on, but once able to focus, she was able to sense “micro-variances” on the ship’s exterior, and this enhanced sensor capability could be their ticket out. Except now Zora doesn’t believe she can do it. Wait, what?

“That is not my name anymore”

Although Doctors Pollard and Culber assure him the hallucinations are just part of the void mycelia turbocharging his neurotransmitters, Book is not enjoying being haunted by his father, who calls him a “coward” for hanging out on a Starfleet ship being ordered around by his girlfriend when he should be out there hunting the DMA makers and avenging Kwejian. These two have bad blood going way back, which may be why Cleveland rejected his true name, revealed to be “Tareckx.” While Book chooses to believe this apparition is a real spirit to give him hope that his brother and nephew still exist, his father appears to represent the subconscious anger and Kweijian tradition that fuels his desire to get away from Michael and her Starfleet agenda and into his own “blood for blood” DMA hunt.

There is an upside to all of this as Stamets finds clues in the energy surge in Book’s addled brain. There are particles identifying the DMA as something beaming in from outside the galactic barrier. Book is as surprised as we are, saying he “thought this would be a species we know.” More importantly, Stamets can use this trail of extra-galactic breadcrumbs to lead them out of the void. If only there were some kind of supercomputer that could detect the particles… oh right.

“I believe we can meet this moment”

As the Captain and Gray adjourn to her ready room to deal with Zora’s crisis of computer confidence, Saru heads up some nice bridge crew brainstorming to sort out a guiding signal. Things get awkward again with Owo as she gets in Saru’s face with “We can’t let anyone die” and demands to be allowed to leave her post to deal with some collapsing containment field in another part of the ship. Obviously “request denied,” and seriously, Joann, get it together. But the Kelpien does raise morale with one of his short but powerful rallying speeches. Zora also needs a bit of a pep talk as she is experiencing guilt over Cortez’s death and actual fear. Instead of just hitting control-alt-delete, Michael treats Zora like a member of her crew in distress, with empathy and some relatable backstory, and they are back in business. And thanks to Book’s brain particles they have a way to send that signal via Bryce’s mumbo jumbo simplified down to an actual sonar pulse… in space.

Unfortunately, the shields’ ticking clock will run out before they can make an escape. These guys can’t catch a break, so they opt for the crazy “but better than death” idea of putting everyone into the transporter buffer. After some group hugs and Owo’s apology to Saru for her outburst—this is Discovery after all—everyone beams out, leaving Captain Burnham alone with her EV suit to do a slow-mo hero strut to the bridge surrounded by sparks and flames. As Zora starts to lose focus again, Michael is there to keep her straight with ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’ clichés to help the sentient AI, who feels the pain of the ship being torn apart. As the heat and radiation drain Michael, it’s Zora who steps up to keep the captain going… by singing “Stormy Weather.” (I see what you did there, Discovery.) Afterwards, Burnham wakes up in Sickbay, miraculously healed and greeted with the news that Zora saved them all.

Things wrap up with the ship being repaired at Archer Station while Book and Saru bond over internal rage. Saru reveals he has to fight to keep it together whenever he hangs out with the Ba’ul at council meetings and advises Book to not let his anger define him. Michael and Zora also have a final moment of trust and bonding, and Zora creates her own little holographic family tree, populated by her beloved crew (including the still-absent Tilly).

ANALYSIS

A ship in a bottle

“Stormy Weather” is a standard mid-season episode with some traditional space science exploration all in service of finding a single, but key, clue to the season arc along with telegraphing some upcoming potential conflicts. And it does all that with aplomb, but there is more going on here beneath the surface, making this an important episode for Discovery and a real pivot point for a number of characters. It does this with a nicely balanced set of connected stories and effectively evokes the season’s theme, although the writers should trust the audience to get it without having someone give a speech about “uncertainty.”

Director Jonathan Frakes takes on the challenge of doing a bottle show with a heavy load of bridge scenes and keeps things humming by moving from ship location to ship location via the nicely connected main story and subplots. With minimal but effective visual effects (voids are a budget-saver!) and no cool AR wall moments, the episode relies on on-set pyrotechnics (already overused this season) and some experimental camerawork that (mostly) does the trick keeping things varied (but Frakes can really give producing director Olatunde Osunsanmi a run for his Dutch Angle money). The welcome result is Discovery’s own version of Apollo 13, with an aborted mission turned into a nail-biting fight for survival, relying on ingenuity and teamwork to save the day.

Time to shine

The best thing about “Stormy Weather” is the emergence of two cleverly paired up characters, with both Gray and Zora finally feeling realized. Ian Alexander gives his best performance of the series so far, now allowed to live outside of Adira’s shadow. And Annabelle Wallis builds on the voice work she did starting with “Calypso” to bring Zora to life. Even in the middle of a life or death crisis, the episode was able to cut to these two engaged in tabletop gaming and still make it work and feel organic with everything else going on.

David Ajala also continues to show his range through his subplot dealing with some serious dad issues, helped along by a strong performance from the episode’s sole guest star, Rothaford Gray. Book’s hallucinations were a smart way to explore the character’s inner conflict as he wrestles with following Michael and Starfleet, or giving in to his anger as well as his former roguish ways. Even though he chooses love, there appears to be more to this evolving storyline that may be giving us the best character arc of the season so far.

As a bottle show, “Stormy Weather” was also a nice showcase for the bridge crew characters and actors, who have struggled to be more than tertiary/sometimes rising to secondary. For the most part, this highlight on the bridge crew works, but at times it got awkward, especially with the Owosekun subplot and clunky backstory. Nothing against Oyin Oladejo, but it just felt like tacked on drama to add some tension to those bridge scenes.

From a galaxy far far away?

The big season arc reveal for this episode was that the DMA, and presumably Species 10-C, come from outside of the galaxy. Assuming the Kelvans haven’t moved up in a big way, this indicates the superbeings behind the DMA are something new, which Book conveniently says out loud to drive home that point. Hopefully, this isn’t a red herring and Discovery is going to do something totally new here instead of trying to tie it back to some classic Trek race or adversary. The whole point of jumping to the 32nd century was to plow the “fresh snow” of the new canon, leaving behind the crutch of connecting to legacy shows for the big plot points.

But it’s the Zora storyline that is the most intriguing. Season four has been dropping some nice hints, until last episode with the quick reveal that the AI now has emotions. Here we see what it means to have an emotional AI running your ship, which clearly brings some challenges. This is obviously not going to be the end of the story, as we know Zora becomes even more incorporated into the ship (thanks to “Calypso”), but having to take a moment to deal with the ship computer’s feelings in the middle of a crisis could become problematic. One thankful thing is that while there are some obvious issues, there is no indication of an “evil AI” like the clichéd Control; instead Zora is almost the “anti-Control” with her love for the crew being a possible hindrance… likely to be explored in future episodes.

Two-takes Frakes does it again

“Stormy Weather” is a strong little episode that tells a simple story well, adding some interesting layers of character nuance and setting up some intriguing threads to explore in future episodes. Director Jonathan Frakes keeps up the pace with a classic Trek show format, weaving in and out of the different stories without getting distracted. While mostly a bridge and middle-season episode designed to set up future payoffs, “Stormy Weather” still holds together on its own and keeps up the anticipation for what’s coming next.

Random bits

  • “Stormy Weather” is named for a 1933 torch song, which Zora sang to Captain Burnham, and the name of a 1943 musical film starring Lena Horne, who also released an album titled “Stormy Weather” in 1957. Lena Horne is the grandmother of Discovery executive producer Jenny Lumet.
  • This is Jonathan Frakes’ seventh time directing Discovery and his 26th Star Trek directorial credit (which includes two feature films).
  • This is the fourth Discovery writing credit for co-executive producer Anne Cofell Saunders, and the second this season, following “Anomaly.”
  • This is the third Discovery writing credit for story editor Brandon Schultz, who joined the series as a writer’s assistant in season one.
  • Captain Burnham retells the story of losing her parents, which was seen in a flashback in the season two episode “Perpetual Infinity,” also co-written by Schultz. She first told the story to Tyler in season one.
  • Raven Dauda appears as Dr. Tracy Pollard for the first time since the season three finale.
  • Pollard has been promoted to full Commander, but it is still unclear if she is the Chief Medical Officer.
  • Saru mentions past Starfleet encounters with subspace rifts and includes the USS Enterprise, possibly referring to the TNG episode “Force of Nature,” and the USS Voyager, possibly referring to the Voyager episode “The Omega Directive.” Saru could also be talking about the 32nd century USS Voyager-J and a possible 32nd century USS Enterprise.
  • Saru says Starfleet records document successful long-term survival in a transporter pattern buffer, possibly referring to Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, who used the same technique to survive for decades, as revealed in the TNG episode “Relics.”
  • First appearance of a new Starfleet workout outfit, worn by Owo and Detmer in the ship’s gym.
  • Burnham borrowed the idea for making a holographic tree from the Akaali Lalogi Orb, a plot point in the previous episode “The Examples.”
  • Michael’s tree initially included her birth parents Gabrielle and Mike Burnham, her adopted family of Sarek, Amanda, and Spock, her former captain Philippa Georgiou as well as Mirror Georgiou, and Saru. She later adds Book and members of the Discovery crew, including Tilly, Rhys, Christopher, and Adira.
  • The wall panels on Book’s ship simulate Kwejian Tuli trees. Classy!
  • Adira had to step in for Linus on the bridge because he resting in his quarters “under a heat lamp” and under the care of Dr. Pollard.
  • For the first time, Zora is visualized by a holographic waveform, which has been part of the opening credits since the season began.
  • Zora chose her own name, which means “Dawn” or “new day” by some cultures on Earth, Ba’ku, and Ni’Var.
  • Gray also chose his own name but only because he thought it sounded cool.
  • The waveform is also shown inside a holographic circle, together resembling Zora’s real interfaces seen in the Short Trek’s episode “Calypso.”
  • Zora reintroduces herself to the crew with this new hologram and says, “Hello,” a possible homage to the Apple Macintosh computer which used “Hello” as part of its introduction campaign.
  • Grudge gets a new cat carrier.

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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Good episode. I too thought that the Enterprise they were referring to was the D. Interestingly some other sites are suggesting Saru was referring to the 32nd Century Enterprise and Voyager instead of previous iterations.

I was under the same impression, I’m sure many Starfleet ships have encountered them, unless they’re incredibly rare since the 24th century

It would be cool if he was referring to the Enterprise J

I def got 32nd century versions

I assume they are talking about the Enterprise D and Janeway’s Voyager as well. But would love to be proven wrong and there is another Enterprise in this time frame as well.

I just rewatched the episode and I think I keep going back to it being the classic ships because of Saru’s wording: “In reviewing Starfleet records of similar encounters…”

They also mention this is the first time Starfleet has encountered this leftover from the DMA.

Guess we’ll find out soon enough though.

Dammit Jim – I’m not scientist or green-blooded Vulcan. But even I have to say that was a very good episode.

Stormy weather indeed… that gave this old man the feels.

Zora – send me your CD girl!

I’d be very apprehensive of Zora at this point. The first thing I’d do when I got back was check into the advances in AI in over the last 900 years. See if this sort of thing is covered and figure out what would be the best way to deal or handle it.

Actually, I agree.

To my thinking, there should have been a convening of an AI investigative team to determine the likelihood of Zora becoming a rebirth of Control. That there has not is somewhat confounding. She needs to be vetted, tested and given the chance to prove that she agrees to act in ways that serve her crew in all cases… to abide by Asimov’s three laws in essence. And the crew needs to have some way to throw Zora into an EMP-based brig.

That said, I love Zora. I am a huge fan of the Calypso short Trek. BTW, have Short Treks been abandoned? Short sighted.

I am wondering a lot now how much the writer’s room is working the narrative of the show to deliver on what we saw in Calypso: Factions in the far future were fighting against the Federation (Vdrash – if I recall).

I read a theory this week that posited that the DMA could have been created by the Federation. The DMA destroyed the one planet that could produce countless spore drive pilots, which means that The Federation is the single source for Dilithium, and the single source for access to one of the two remaining spore drive pilots who can fly The Fed’s spore ships.

There were a number of other instances provided in this theory to show how the DMA is cementing Federation hegemony, and reducing the ability of worlds to look outside the Fed for other options. (Would the Vulcans and the Romulans have returned to the Fed if the DMA were not a big bad threat?)

Clearly Ruon Tarka knows far more about the workings of this phenomenon than he wants to acknowledge. I think this is the start of the Fed breaking bad, as was evidenced in Calypso.

And I think that Zora’s awakening may lead to circumstances that cause her / The DISCO to be abandoned as we saw in Calypso. Perhaps she becomes the most prized and sought after AI weapon in the known galaxy… and the best way to protect humanity is to abandon her in a nebula in the hinterlands of space with orders not to exit for any reason for all time.

Just a thought.

I’ll just say that Calypso was one of the better Short Treks.

But I really don’t see the need to tie Star Trek Discovery to it.

PS..

Here are more thoughts on Zora.

Has the Captain NOT told anyone about this revelation about the computer? If not, why? And if she has then the audience has not only not been made aware but we aren’t aware of anything Star Fleet might be doing about it. If they are doing nothing does that mean such AI’s are commonplace in the 32nd century? If so I guess there is little to be concerned with. Further, Star Fleet redesigned the ship. Presumably that would mean purging or even completely removing the 900 year old computers. So how is Zora even there? It’s like the writers here are following the example of the final 2 seasons of Lost. Where story is less important than the characters. Of course the difference there is that Lost had complex and interesting characters. Anyway… Just wanted to add that two quatloos.

Thanks ML31.

I really do like where you are coming from.

However… the most important thing to me is… I want a copy of Zora singing the full version of Stormy Weather!

I thought Zora was going to sing “Daisy”.

Daisy!

My goodness, that would have been freaky. Would have given me shivers.

DISCO would have turned into a sci-fi horror show at that point and all trust in Zora would have been sent out of the airlock.

This episode really felt like TOS with its entering into the unexplored strange and unknown (in more ways than one). Also, the noteworthy invocation of the “galactic barrier,” which goes all the way back to the second pilot (and referenced subsequently, such as in the episode “By Any Other Name.” I also recall that the “Doomsday Machine” came from outside the galaxy.) Anyway, Disco is really finding its stride imho.

I’m getting a pretty strong Andromedean vibe from the DMA at this point and this episode has cemented it. Didn’t they say it would take almost 1000 years to travel from Andromeda to the Milky Way?

But Discovery has a spore drive….a thousand years could just be minutes for them. ;)

I think William’s point is that a thousand years have passed and the Andromedans are finally arriving.

Ah, yeah, that makes sense!

Apologies. That is what I meant.
Also used the wrong name. I meant the Kelvans.

It’s great to see you back here regularly Elrond! :)

And yes I loved it when they mentioned the ‘galactic barrier’ too. Discovery seems to be doing an even better job connecting all the classic shows together the last two seasons. Even if the writing itself is still uneven in many ways, I give the show credit for trying something radically different on one hand but still using elements from canon whenever it suits them. It makes the universe feels connected even this far into the future.

Thanks, Tiger! Just a quick comment about writing unevenness: I am not sure how one measures this objectively or if it is entirely subjective. You and I can both point to real clunkers in past episodes (e.g., much if TOS s3, TNG s1-2, etc., etc.). I think Disco — given the perils of serialization— is pretty much on par with other series in this regard.

You’re right, I don’t think the show is that much worse than past shows, but yes a big problem is because it is serialized, a lot of it just stands out waaaaay more. And I do think they keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Like this episode for example, everyone is pointing out how Owo had the exchange with Saru. It wasn’t THAT bad but it was such a weird time to have this character suddenly want to leave her post to do something frankly anyone else can do. And then of course we get the awkward backstory that didn’t need to be there. But then its nice just to give the lesser characters some development. It just always feels like an after thought. And this wasn’t a huge deal, it’s just another example of it.

It’s both the character development and big plot stuff that this show still has a lot of issues with. And I haven’t been happy with a single finale so far because they all just feel a bit clunky or convoluted, especially seasons 2 and 3. I’m really crossing my fingers for season 4 though.

I have liked the show since season 2, but yet I’m still disappointed season after season. Again, because it all comes down to one big story line, it’s different from the previous shows. But I like how this season the episodes feel much more standalone even if they are all connected. That makes a big difference too and like this episode shows over and over again, it’s the more standalone episodes where this show shines more.

Makes sense, Tiger. The Owo scene does illustrate a pattern that has appeared with some regularity: “When I was young I used to [fill in the blank with a skill needed at that precise moment]” or “I once had so-and-so happen to me, which is why I understand your situation or acted as I did.” That’s not so much uneven as predictable. I am toying with a related idea about interpersonal relationships from TOS to Berman era to Disco, but let me wait until I’m more confident about it. 🤔

“Zora, please turn off your emotion chip.”

“An excellent suggestion, Captain”.(audible click) “Done”.

“Zora, there are times I envy you!”

Tony,

I agree with your review. For the first time, the writers gave Ian something to work with and it was great! I loved their connection with Zora. Bravo!

I also agree on Owo’s weird outburst. I’ve been waiting for them to give her more, and it was a letdown, but that’s not the actresses fault. I still love her character and hope for a novel to give her more backstory.

This episode was a solid episode and I’m looking forward to the second half of Disco. It is a big improvement over S3 and feels like Star Trek.

I don’t want to jinx it, but I think I might like this season. Here’s hoping for a stuck landing.

Don’t start on the “clunky backstory”. That was the second time they did this after last week’s Rhys “moment”. Why wasn’t that edited out?! To me that signals bad writing ánd bad editing. Did they run short?

This week: I was hooked from the start. They kept the pace up rather nicely, except for a few cringe dialogue moments. I really loved the music. I only saw the episode once, so I have to get back, but it felt like I heard some call-backs to classic movie scores. Not sure, but some nebula/void crossing stuff or something. Am I hearing things?

But my attention started slipping past the half-way point. It slowed down a bit once the story was laid out. Also, right after the decision to go into the pattern buffers, that was not the time to pause everything and do some more talking. In the end it was 7/10 for me. Great start, not so great 2nd half. In the end they didn’t have enough (really exciting stuff) to keep the pace up. But I’m glad it improved after the last couple of weeks.

Final thoughts: don’t give us a Tilly-like character (without the humor), give us Tilly or give us someone really different. It feels this dialogue was written for Mary. And maybe I’m alone in this: I’m kinda over Book. I mean, why is he there?! (yeah I know he’s Michael’s bf).

I agree with the “clunky backstory” thing they do for the minor characters. She explained herself and the first thing in my head was, “I don’t care. Shut up and do your job. He’s your boss. Not your therapist.” This is what they do. They try to engender feelings for these underused characters by giving us some lame backstory. It’s called unearned emotion. For that to work, you need to get the audience to actually care about these folks.

Wow, the TOS vibe was there is this ep. This season is firing on all cylinders.

Well done, Mr. Kurtzman.

You aren’t the first person to say that. I’m just not seeing that at all. TOS had us caring about 3, maybe 4 characters. This show has us caring about… Well no one really.

I really care about Linus. There is no show without that guy. NO SHOW!!!!!!!

Weirdly, his absence is creating a curiosity for me larger than for that of the season 4 big bad.

Agree. Zora is the opposite of VGER… all emotion after amassing all this knowledge, but with all the ability to deal with them of Data right after he installed his emotion chip that he can’t turn off. Thank god lord and savior of the universe Michael Burnham is there to talk her through it with some simple reassurance.

Why does this episode work? We get to spend some long overdue time with the bridge crew! For me it gave off a TOS/TNG vibe because we saw the cast work as an ensemble for a change. It really felt like more was stake than just Burnham or Saru. While I liked the void, I didn’t care as much for Book’s hallucinations of his father and the AI plots on DISCO are just as much a cliche as holodeck issues were on TNG/DS9/VOY. Beyond that, the Zora plot, while coincidence, feels awfully similar to Gideon on Legends of Tomorrow right down to the British accent.

Can we also please stop with the forced family angle on this show? It worked on TOS/TNG because it was earned from good writing and acting. DS9 had actual families: the Siskos, O’Briens, Quark/Rom/Nog/Leeta, Jadzia/Worf. Voyager was partially about getting back to family. DISCO keeps beating us over the head that they are a family but I’m not feeling it. Utilizing the cast like they did in this episode would help me get there tho.

I’m torn as to whether I’d like this threat to be something new, or a callback to someone/something we’ve seen before.

On the one hand, I’d love to see V’ger again, and it would be fitting for V’ger to have traveled outside of the Milky Way, only to return with the best intentions while simultaneously destroying everything in its path.

It could also conceivably be the Kelvans from Andromeda. Their technology was portrayed as significantly superior to 23rd century Federation technology, so something like the DMA could definitely be them with 900 years of advancement.

On the flip side, as the review stated, one of the points of jumping to the 32nd century was to move past canon. We’ve already had a number of TOS/TNG era callbacks since the jump forward (the most notable being of course the Guardian of Forever), so it would be nice for the DMA to be something new.

With all of that being said, this was a really good episode. I’m especially glad that they are exploring the ramifications of Zora not only gaining emotions, but becoming more and more self-aware. I was slightly worried (with the somewhat matter of fact reaction by Michael to the revelation of Zora gaining emotion last episode) that the crew would just accept Zora’s emotions and move on. I am happy to be proven wrong on that point.

If they try to attempt to link this thing to something we’ve already seen in Trek that would signal to me the writers are as lazy as many think they are. They can’t come up with something new that’s intriguing? Ideally this should be something new. Still surprised no one is suggesting the possibility that it’s alive. Not sure why it wasn’t even brought up and reasoned out at least. It being alive would be a typical Trek thing, too. But it really should be brand spanking new. Does the Star Trek Discovery team have the ability to not only do that but do it in an interesting way? History suggests they don’t.

GREAT EPISODE!!!!!

In Frakes we trust!

I thought this episode was well done and felt like a classic Trek episode. Falling into a void is another familiar, but less used trope in the franchise. Even though it’s not referenced the biggest episode I kept thinking about was the Voyager episode aptly titled The Void. ;) That’s one of my favorite episodes of that show and obviously a lot more complex since others were trapped in it too. But I liked how they used everyone to get out of it and this episode really focused on teamwork from everyone! Gray was the one who came up with it but it was still great seeing the crew utilized for it.

And I did like how Zora was portrayed. I was saying in third season I hope we see her developed more in fourth season and now they are going full on with it. She’s basically becoming this show’s Data or the Doctor. I want more A.I. characters, we’re in the 32nd century! And yes not just one who wants to take over the galaxy. And since Discovery have holodecks now, maybe we can see her in full form in one of those in the future. But I like where they are taking her.

As far as the DMA, I have to admit the whole thing started out as an ‘eh’ but seeing where it’s going, it’s getting more and more interesting. Now knowing it’s from outside our galaxy just made it a lot more intriguing. And I hope whoever created it is someone completely new as well.

I won’t over think it (as I always do lol) but maybe this will lead Discovery going into another galaxy in future seasons. I been saying this a lot too, but I want to see Trek expand beyond the alpha quadrant in a real way. Jumping to another galaxy could shake things up the same way jumping to the 32nd century did. Star Trek is just the best vehicle for story telling I think we have in science fiction. You can do ANYTHING and why it’s so fun. So maybe they are setting up something bigger to come! I’m excited now to see where all of this takes us.

In Frakes we trust!

I love it!

Actually, we lost our trust in Frakes (in our household) with the Picard episode Stardust City Rag.

The Icheb torture and death scene in the abbatoir of Borg parts wasn’t just the writers’ responsibility. His directing choices were part of that too.

Since we have one of our Star Trek loving teens go off new live-action Trek completely for some time after seeing that, it’s not to much to say Frakes was part of breaking trust, at least with our teen.

After enjoying Lower Decks and Prodigy, I convinced them to give Discovery seasoning three another try, so they’re working their way forward to Discovery season four now.

That said, this episode had all the hallmarks of Frakes better directing.

Oh yeah we agree about Stardust City Rag lol. It was brutal (pun intended). In fact in my rewach of the episode, I had to fast forward that part. The episode overall was just OK and was the start of the season turning bad sadly.

But glad your kids are giving the live action shows another chance.

Funny. I found that episode to be a highlight of the season. It was around then when the show looked like it might have hit a stride. (A stride it did not keep, unfortunately.) I don’t think the director was why the episode was one of the better ones. Frakes isn’t a great director. He’s not a bad one either. He seems to me to be an adequate professional actors director who knows how to work under the limitations of television.

I thought the Icheb scene was grossly irresponsible. When you consider kids might have just gone from seeing him in Voyager to wanting to see what happened to Seven in Picard, it crossed the line IMO to have that scene be so graphic. There was zero point to that.

I really liked this episode.

Following up on some observations of others:

Owo’s concern and desire, as Ops, head, to go to engineering and address a failure wasn’t entirely unreasonable, and if anything evoked the kind of singleminded focus on her role at the cost of the bigger issues that have been Burnham’s weakness in the past. My biggest issue was the emotional explanation to Saru at an inappropriate moment as everyone was going into the pattern buffers.

However, this was no worse than Book taking time with Grudge to find Burnham to say goodbye.

This writing team has never seen a crisis on a clock that they don’t want to take time out of to have as many emotional scenes as possible. The idea that it is the nature of crisis that people have to act in the moment and deal with the emotional weight later just doesn’t seem to be something they understand.

That said, the scene with Burnham and Zora flying out of the rift was the best “captain almost goes down with the ship” scene in the history of Trek.

The Zora scenes with Burnham were generally good as a whole, and we may have finally seen Burnham acknowledge that there is such a thing as a no win situation. This episode says more able her journey to becoming a real captain than any single other.

Ian Alexander’s performance was back to the fey and engaging style we saw last season. Clearly he does better in these kind of scenes than the overly earnest ones that he’s has to deliver earlier this season. Or perhaps Frakes was more successful in his direction.

Not sure what to say. I don’t want to keep saying the show sucks. That’s not entirely fair. It certainly seems to have hit it’s high. It’s still not good by any means. But it’s not in that horrid sucking hole it was for quite some time. But at this point I find myself not caring. I still watch because it’s Star Trek. But in these tense situations they present I’m just not feeling it at all. Not because I know they are going to get out of their predicaments. That’s true of all the shows. But as a viewer, I’m just not feeling what the producers and writers are obviously hoping I’m feeling. Not feeling the dread or danger when they are in a tough situation. Not feeling empathy when some character, regular or background, pours their heart out for whatever reason. Not caring about the big mystery of the season. It really doesn’t help when they desperately try to milk emotion out of the audience. They’ve been doing it for some time. And this episode had the same type of direction where they cut to nameless bridge crew for smiles to show how much of a crew/family they are.

So this is what they want to do. I guess it’s appealing to some. For me, this type of overly sappy Star Trek just doesn’t work. I like that they try to change things up. But that alone doesn’t make the show good.

And I know it’s because they are our characters but it still doesn’t make any sense to me that Star Fleet would leave the investigation into this planet killing phenomenon in the hands of people from nearly a thousand years past. Would we put figuring out why…. An entire city block disappearing for example, in the hands of a couple hundred people who just appeared from 1220? I don’t think that would be the best use of those folks…

Dude, do you spend a lot of time telling kids to get off your lawn?

I’m just teasing. ;)

I do agree with you about one thing and it is weird how Discovery just got the mantle to figure out what the DMA is when you have to think there would be ships that are much more advanced in this time period to study it. I guess you can excuse it by the fact the ship itself did get major upgrades back in season 3 and yes they have the spore drive.

The spore drive is the number one reason that keeps the ship the most vital thing in Starfleet in this time period. Definitely in season 3 and even in season 4 now that they are dealing with an anomaly that can literally appears where ever it wants. So you can use that as an excuse why they are so involved with it. It’s still funny how people thought the spore drive was going to just disappear at some point and it’s more vital to the show it’s ever been. It’s just now in a time period where it makes sense. ;)

I really don’t get though why they can’t just replicate the spore drive tech and put it in a more advanced ship like the Voyager J. I mean this is the 32nd century but so far I’m not seeing how technology has really advanced all that much (like how we saw it did with Daniels in Enterprise). This should have been a snap for them to do even after the burn and well before Discovery showed up.

They have said in previous episodes that they are attempting to replicate the Spore Deive technology and even improve upon it. The issue they keep having is finding a suitable pilot.

That’s true. But I have to keep going back to the fact that this is the 32nd century. in 1000 years they haven’t found a technological solution to this? It feels like technological advancement has taken a back seat for the 800 something years since the 25th century and time just stopped.

True that. Obviously they got the spore drive to work 900 years earlier. Even if the Federation banned spore drive research someone somewhere would have to have eventually stumbled upon the idea and investigated. Even after some time it seems likely that someone within the Federation would have picked up on the work. It just doesn’t make any sense that ideas with potential (and make no mistake, the spore drive even after what we saw in season 2 obviously had potential and a LOT of people saw it and knew it.) would be abandoned forever. By this point it would even make sense that people would have personal spore drives that could take them literally anywhere.

You have to remember that in this future for some weird reason they are STILL relying on dilithum to help create warp fields. I guess one excuse is that they decided that they could never improve on dilithium and there was an unlimited supply of it somewhere.

The problem is no matter what excuse one makes for a lack of advancement in what makes things “go” over 900 years none of them have made sense.

Again, and sorry to bring this up again but it’s valid… There is a reason why most sci-fi stories that are set super far in the future are in some sort of dystopian or post apocalyptic landscape. Because it is nearly impossible to predict future technology if it continues advancing unimpeded. No matter what one comes up with something is going to feel wrong or not line up with the viewers. It distracts from the story.

Other, more advanced ships have already had a go at this and come back with nothing.

Discovery is not only a mix of old and new tech, it’s crew and captain were trained for exploration in a way that newer ones weee not.

It scans.

Wut?

Ships 900 years after TOS have lost the ability to scan as well?

Well, I don’t think they are the only ones exploring the DMA. There are others exploring as well, like the USS Janeway, USS Armstrong or NSS T’Pau.

For the viewer it only SEEMS to be Discovery, because that’s what the series is about.

On the other hand, it’s sort of a recurring theme on Trek that “the Enterprise is the only ship in range” :-)

And, don’t forget: Discovery is the ship that solved the Burn mystery, so they do have a certain reputation…

They solved the burn because the show wrote that they did. It still didn’t make logical sense that they be the ones to do it. The same argument for this season was even MORE relevant last season. If they needed the spore drive to get around then what you do is leave Stammets to run the thing but staff Discovery with people from the current time frame who know how things work. Then take all of the Discovery crew and have them go to school for a few years to catch up with the times at least a little… I certainly wouldn’t trust someone from 1220 with the keys to my car even if I gave them a 30 minute explanation of the controls. I can’t imagine any sane person would…

“This is different. But it’s good.”

More than anything, this statement from the end of this episode best sums up Star Trek: Discovery to me. I can’t take credit for the following observation, as it came from another poster here, but DSC differs from prior Trek series by exploring the value of empathy as a key part of its DNA. Some viewers hate the series for its regular displays of emotional expression, but I think it makes this Trek series contemporary to our times, much like prior Trek series did in their times. We live in a time where people have become more angry, more demanding, more rude, more self-centered… and more fearful. Opening up to others, being vulnerable, and expressing empathy is seen as weak and worthy of ridicule and scorn. This Trek does deal with contemporary moral issues, just not the same ones where the story resolution makes us feel superior to that alien race that is racist, or war-mongering or patterning themselves after clearly bad role models (gangsters, Nazis, imperial Romans). DSC challenges us to overcome our fear of, and hostility to, those who have insulted us, hurt us, or even killed us, and instead, focus on those actions and emotions which can lead to future peace, partnership and harmony.

This isn’t to say the series has always been successful, because it hasn’t, but I think I’m starting to understand it better, particularly in these last two seasons.

TOS addressed an audience reeling from the Vietnam war, societal upheaval and the generation gap.
TNG addressed an audience steeped in capitalistic excess.
DS9 addressed an audience post-Soviet breakup, where heroes and villains were no longer clearly defined.
VOY addressed an audience distrustful of authority.
ENT addressed an audience who didn’t believe in perfect heroes, or the promise of a better future.

All series have spoken to the audiences of their time. Writing issues aside (as all Trek series have had them), overacting aside (again, all Trek series have had that, too), each show has had its vocal detractors from the beginning, as well as its champions. DSC is no different, and the online arguments are no different; just the names and audiences have changed.

Anyway, that’s one long-time fan’s take on things. Your mileage may vary.

It’s not that I don’t like emotional expressions, it’s that I think this show pats itself on the back for them even when it’s not called for. The glorified extras on the bridge are only there to flash smiles at each other and clap until their lack of character is clumsily highlighted:

“Oh, I kite surfed when I lived in blah blah blah!”
“I was rescued by Starfleet, thank you for letting me rescue people for Starfleet!”
“Oo oo, I know we are in an emergency, but let me hold you up to quickly explain that I watched my best friend die and that’s why I suddenly have a defiant streak in me!”

…and then everyone literally holds hands to beam out. It’s nauseating. We need this kind of belabored writing because the real world has gotten more tribal and fractious? The fundamentals of good drama and storytelling are what a show should stick to first, and then whatever tone and emotional impact that is intended should come out of that. Picard’s implacable facade is shattered after a fistfight with his brother in a vineyard and it’s devastating. Spock shows joy when he realizes Jim is alive. Odo suggests having breakfast with Garak and that’s practically a major breakthrough with one’s therapist. The EMH realizes he’ll never be with Seven of Nine after falling for her and it’s heartbreaking. These moments work because the creatives did the work to get us there.

Discovery has repeatedly failed to connect with this long-time fan on everything from Burnham’s redemption arc after starting a war (for example, Detmer eventually offers her a chair and that’s considered closure of her justifiable animosity towards Michael, and a year later she and everyone else is okay with sacrificing their 23rd century futures for her) or Emperor Georgiou’s acceptance of and by her Prime Universe shipmates. It’s not doing the work to earn all those hugs and feel-good moments.

I don’t dispute that it’s Star Trek, and the other shows weren’t always subtle about how they tackled politics, moral issues, emotionality etc. But very rarely did a character’s actions and motivations feel totally out of left field because the work hadn’t been put in to flesh them out or their relationships with their peers. Having a bunch of undeveloped extras laughing and smiling to telegraph love and emotional acceptance is not a compelling vision for dramatizing how people can come together.

I’m now going to go watch Single All the Way on Netflix. Good day to you! ;)

You know what, that’s a fair critique. I am always the one rooting for the overall direction the creators have taken, but the execution can sometimes be difficult to pull off, and I think you’ve correctly identified the issue.

What they haven’t really given us, to build the emotional depth around the minor characters, are B-stories completely given over to them, or even flipped A stories where the minor characters have to carry the major storyline while our leads are busy elsewhere. (In Doctor Who parlance, it’s what they call a “Doctor-lite” episode.)

I’m hoping we see more of that in the back half of S4 and if it’s renewed for S5 I’d like to see a LOT more of it.

I was harsh on Voyager for spending all its budget on VFX rather than recurring characters, and Enterprise didn’t have a single minor character on the ship who wasn’t a MACO, but those shows didn’t lean on their extras the way Discovery does. We are constantly given reaction shots of them being gleeful or concerned or mad or proud, and the show drops in perfunctory tidbits about them which only call attention to how badly they’re written.

No one would say a Trek show on a starship has to make all of the bridge crew part of the main cast, but not doing so causes problems like this. The show still pends a big chunk of time on the bridge, and everyone on it is at least a friggin’ commander now. So it’s glaring that none of them have real depth, including Detmer, whose anxiety storyline last year forwarded Culber but did little for her. The show should have spent more time on characters. I love a good space battle, but what keeps me invested in a show and coming back are the characters and plots that use them well and pitch emotions right by earning them. Discovery has characters with potential and Saru deserves a place in he top pantheon of Trek creations, but is too interested in flashy production values and breakneck pacing. It’s slowed down a bit this year, but so much fundamental work was never done in the previous seasons, it feels like their patching holes rather than building on a foundation.

I’m completely on board with nearly all of that. You are right on the money. Their attitude towards character growth showed in season one when it took, what, all of 2 episodes (after Burnham appeared on Discovery) for the obvious animosity from the crew towards her to vanish. And they NEVER showed why. I guess it all happened off screen? And yet the audience was supposed to buy that all of Burnham’s social pariah problems were behind her. And that is the kind of characterizations they have stuck to the rest of the show.

That is why I have constantly said the show’s attempts at sympathy or emotion or empathy for the characters has been completely unearned.

Everything happens offscreen, it’s maddening! The crew’s acclimation to both the new tech and society of the 31st century as well as the trauma of losing their loved ones in season 3? Mostly swept under the rug of a Culber personal log. What I wouldn’t have given for an episode just about characters finding out what happened to their friends and families. Burnham seeing that clip of Spock was effective.

Burnham’s redemption arc, and frankly her character in general, I will always consider to be a victim of Bryan Fuller’s ousting. She was his creation, he’s the one with the good track record for female lead characters on TV shows. With him gone, no one quite knew how to write for her, just as no one knew how to write for Michelle Yeoh, or how to make Gray interesting, or flesh out the Bridge Peons. Saru works because he got a strong backstory on top of a dynamic actor playing him. There’s mileage there for story and a clear voice to write for. SMG is a good actor and lovely human, but Bunham’s history is so messy and she’s become the most haphazard captain (after Janeway, that’s a feat!). I find her difficult to root for or understand, and that is so very frustrating.

Ian — very well said.

What I would love to see is some of us fans write a better DISCO episode … taking the issues with the current writers into account and then solving for those inadequacies expertly…. Done so as to produce a script that can actually stand up to the best episodes from TOS or TNG or DS9.

This is not a snide remark. I am very serious.

My STRONG desire would be to write a DISCO episode that sees Saru wake up in an alt world as Doug Jones… he finds his other cast mates living their actual daily lives… there is an inverse “real world vs the matrix” challenge created by a Q or a guardian of forever or a Trelane… Doug has to convince them of the facade… the story takes on a “Galaxy Quest 2” / Get back into the Matrix / “There’s no place like home” quality. The core actors would be Doug, Tig, and Owo because it would need to be driven by people who can rightly handle comedy within a dramatic context. And SMG is the one that needs saving as she is the unaware singularity (battery) that is powering this delusion everyone is in. She is stuck in a time loop on her worst day @ The Walking Dead while begging her agent to find her a new gig. Her depression feeds the singularity. But if you break the singularity you break existence … if you save SMG, you save the world… and everyone wakes up on DISCO saying there’s no place like home.

Most of you would hate that idea but it makes me smile.

I am (once again) off the Discovery wagon after the third episode this season, but reviews for this one have me considering checking it out.

Owa’s outburst could have been redeemed if she stayed on the bridge with Michael, at least I thought that’s where they were going. We know she can hold her breath and run the ship. What if Michael died.. then what?

And isn’t there a battle bridge or some other fall back?

That said, bring the Kelvans!!

Wellll… the bridge being a pimple on top of the saucer section of the ship has always been a questionable place to put the command heart of the ship, giving its so easy to target, and one of the first places that would get soaked with radiation or what have you from outside the ship. Sure, ‘extra shielding’ around the bridge is often posited but if you put the command area in the heart of the ship it’d make a lot more sense. Then you wouldn’t NEED a battle bridge. Or it’d be a lot less likely to be needed, by the time damage got to the middle of the ship they’d probably be screwed anyway.

The original Enterprise was influenced by previous movie/tv show flying saucers, and contemporary rockets – put the two shapes together! – but there’s a lot of naval influence in the show, and that would have impacted the design decisions too. On contemporary warships the bridge was/is up high for maximum visual capability, but, despite the JJPrise and now Discovery having windows, we all know that vision is far less useful in space than other sensors (both lack of light and the speeds involved). So you don’t need to be up high to see better. Heck after all that influence, they put the bridge up top on the original Enterprise and then gave it no windows, so what was the point of having it up high? Easy modular exchange was posited but you mean that by the 22nd century we couldn’t figure out how to exchange ship modules inside the ship/design ships to make that easy?

Circling back for the TL;DR folks – if there was a battle bridge on Discovery, it would have been the sensible place for Burnham to ride out the ‘storm’ rather than the main bridge. So probably not. But hey maybe they’ll put one in now.

Also – wouldn’t free floating warp nacelles be 1) way more likely to be disintegrate like melting icicles, and 2) with the energy systems failing, might those nacelles just go floating off? Not to mention with the edges of the ship disintegrating, wouldn’t that include the pylons where the whatevers-that-keep-the-nacelles-with-the-ship are located?

The floating nacelles make no sense to me. What possible function do they serve except to say, “hey, look what we can do!”? The technology of the 32nd century in this show has been pretty disappointing ever since last season IMHO.

You and me both are extremely disappointed with the true lack of advancement over 900 years. “Programmable matter” is probably the most interesting thing but even that feels like it should be old tech by the 32nd century.

And for the record… Yes from a tactical standpoint having the bridge be the pimple on the top of the saucer section doesn’t make much sense. But from a TV show and viewer standpoint, I have no real issue with it.

Yeah, agreed. I wonder though if, besides “tradition,” it’s simply to make the location of things more legible for the audience. Bridge up here, engineering down here, 10-Forward here, otherwise it’s just a lot of identical curving corridors. Where were half the locations we saw on the Enterprise-D?

That’s kind of the deal with these new 32nd century ships. With personal transporters and “transporta-vators” as seen on Starfleet HQ, there’s less of a need to physically connect everything with corridors, but disconnecting the nacelles feels counterintuitive. How do you pump all this superheated, highly energetic drive plasma from the core to the warp coils, unless the cores are now in the nacelles?

If Michael had died, it would be up to Zora to save the day.

Just want to point out that I never liked the “battle bridge”. It was really more a “back up” bridge for when the ship separates. As far as I know, Voyager never had a “battle bridge” which led me to believe it existed solely for ship separation.

They name-dropped two well-known ship names, if they didn’t want us to think they’re ships we have seen in another show, they could as easily chosen two other random ship names.

And given the regular references to other series, despite the ‘clean slate’ of leaping to the 32nd century, I wouldn’t rule out that a known extragalactic species, or at least one referenced before, is the culprit. I’ll toss out the idea of it being the species who created The Doomsday Machine. Maybe Kirk’s speculation that it was the product of a long dead war was wrong, and it was sent into our galaxy deliberately. Which would also explain why something from outside our galaxy got into ours despite it needing planets for fuel – because they built it at, or transported/towed it to, the edge of our galaxy, then let it loose.

Either it’s the CONSPIRACY aliens that infiltrated Starfleet in TNG S1 or the Kelvans from TOS :-)

Much to love about this episode. Kinda scary when the DOT gets “eaten” and the sound makes. Loved that. The mystery was great. I love SMG as captain. I love Blu Del Bario as Adira… what an endearing performance. Ian Alexander is one note only on the acting front… forced sentimental, schmarmy and he is just not a good actor with any range. I also find Book to be an uninteresting character. I’m kind of fed up with everybody being on the edge of tears all the time. Gets old. Oh, I was also afraid Dr. Pollard was going to get blown out as well with the hull breach. I like her but maybe it would have been good to kill a character with some history to raise the level on risk and tension in this episode. I hate to say it, but I think when Strange New Worlds comes out that fans are really going to compare this show and it will lose. I’ve loved it but I’m fatigued by the constant tears and forced sentimentality. It just doesn’t feel earned on screen by the story.

Am I the only one that knows that sonar doesn’t work in space? Sonar stands for Sound Navigation and Ranging. Sound does not travel in space. What they are actually doing is Radio Detection And Ranging, or RADAR. Takes me out of the moment when they make such a basic mistake.

I would agree, however, Bryce said that unexpectedly the only signals they were getting within the sub space anomaly were audio.

The usual EM signals were dead.

I’m not going to assume that the normal rules applied.

That would presume some sort of sound-carrying medium. I mean, Zora did detect differential pressure on the hull, so the void might not have been empty empty, but maybe filled with some sort of dark matter?

So funny that everyone on the ship is a Commander or higher. Talk about a top heavy command structure.

We’ve seen this kind of episode done better before, but Frakes did his darndest to distract us from that. Visually it was always interesting.

Owo’s outburst was whatever, but her explanation for it was horribly written. It’s one thing to not give the Bridge Peons much to do or any real character (or the Bryce/Christopher switcheroo), but that’s two weeks in a row where we just get a clumsy info dump of by the numbers backstory. Rhys last week, Owo this. Just calls attention to how bad the character work can still be on this show.

Ian Alexander’s acting is still not great, but at least they started to give Gray something useful to do… until he just became a prop to react while Michael did everything else. Zora’s storyline is a bit trite so far, but it has potential.

Saru is still a delight.

Regarding Bryce, TG47 has pointed out that Ronnie Rowe has gotten a leading role in another show so they may be grooming Christopher to either replace Bryce completely or at least step in if Rowe has to reduce his time on Discovery due to that other role.

I’ve noticed the unusually high number of officers back when TNG was on the air. I was wondering where the enlisted crew was. We did see one or two over the course of the show. But holly crap… That ship seemed to be 95% officers and 5% crew. I don’t think there are any active US naval vessels with that kind of ridiculous ratio. It’s a TNG trope that always bugged me. By contrast it seemed that TOS had a lot of enlisted guys. When everyone is an officer then no one is an officer.

This is actually standard military parlance. (It led to some confusion on earlier shows too.)

In general conversation, or when being directly addressed in the field, lieutenant colonels and lieutenant commanders are, for brevity’s sake, addressed as ‘colonel’ or ‘commander’; but when discussed in the third person or in more formal situations, they would be referred to with their full title.

That is why one might think everyone’s been promoted to commander, but in fact are mostly lieutenant commanders.

Did Discovery “feel” its way out of its problems again?

I loved the subtle reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey in the scene between Gray and Zora:

HAL, to Dave: “Just a moment; just a moment. I’ve just picked up a fault in the AE-35 unit.”

Zora, to Gray: “Wait. …. I can detect something unusual on the exterior hull of deck 17.”

In each case, the computer interrupts a “thought” with an announcement of a problem with the ship:

HAL (voiced by the late Douglas Rain) repeats “just a moment”, almost as though he is stuck in a loop, with Rain adding a touch of hysteria to the line-reading.

By contrast, Annabelle Wallis’s line-reading indicates calm, even though Zora then expresses discomfort with the fact that she is uncertain about what she is sensing on the hull.

Of course, HAL was lying to Dave about the AE-35 unit; thus the verbal “tell”.

And how about “I apologize, Captain, but I don’t believe I can do that” mirrorring “I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t do that”?!?

Overall, I liked this episode!

One classic Trek episode though of which it reminded me of very much, especially at the begin (ship trapped in a void off “nothing”, sends out a probe with a result raising more questions than it answers) was TNG “Where Silence Has Lease“!
The whole time I was half expecting Nagilum’s creepy face to show up…