Review: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Talks It Out In “…But To Connect”

“…But to Connect”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 4, Episode 7 – Debuted Thursday, December 30, 2021
Written by Terri Hughes Burton & Carlos Cisco
Directed by Lee Rose

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

A somewhat leisurely and cerebral episode explores core Star Trek themes while adeptly setting up things to come for the season arc.

WARNING: Spoilers below!

 

RECAP

“I’m sorry captain. I will not”

A week after their harrowing journey into a subspace void, the USS Discovery is still being repaired at Starfleet HQ. The brains are busy working the data to find a location for the DMA creators (aka Species 10-C) but after Zora comes up with the 147th possibility, Stamets is starting to lose his patience, leaving it to Adira to suggest the rather obvious cross-referencing with the Sphere Data and presto, Zora has the answer… however, the newly emotional sentient computer decides she doesn’t want to tell anyone, even after the captain politely but firmly tells her to cough it up. Zora is now helicopter starship parenting the crew and is worried the mean old 10-C are going to hurt her charges, so it’s best if they don’t go, and tells Captain Burnham “I can keep you safe.” Adorable… but unacceptable.

Dr. Kovich swoops in to take charge of the recalcitrant machine situation, unceremoniously dismissing Burnham to join President Rillak at a big conference. The captain’s ready room transforms into a form of courtroom with Judge Kovich there to decide Zora’s fate. Stamets is having Control flashbacks and steps in as prosecutor, finding Zora’s superseding of her functions “terrifying,” with Saru, Culber, and Associates coming to the AI’s defense. Kovich sets the stakes by revealing that sentient AI cannot be integrated into Starfleet ships, and he is authorized to yank her out. Zora feels she and the ship are one and suggests a “failsafe,” essentially a kill switch which Stamets kind of likes. But the defense team, now joined by junior associates Adira and Gray, finds it morally dubious. When Stamets narrows in on how Zora is going against her own programming by refusing an order, the ship reveals her new core programming is to “care for the crew of Discovery,” something she decided all on her own. Again, nice… but not exactly practical.

“War or peace?”

Inside HQ, Rillak has assembled delegates from across the galaxy (both Federation and non) to discuss working together to deal with the DMA. Assuming the location of 10-C will soon be revealed, two positions quickly emerge, with General Ndoye from Earth leading the charge for the “attack” option and Ni’Var President T’Rina advocating “communication.” Even though the DMA is clearly destructive, the debate focuses on how hostility may not be the intent of 10-C. Arguments range from “we need to stop it” to “we need not fear the unknown.” As President Rillak presides with Burnham at her side, Ruan Tarka sidles up to Book to heat up his already stewing need for revenge.

The mad scientist then injects himself into the debate, offering up a banned-by-treaty subspace weapon to wipe out the DMA. “Boom!” He dismisses Burnham’s concerns about the dangers of the weapon (which includes halting all warp travel in a sector) and potential blowback to the 10-C as “collateral damage.” Book also jumps in and he and Burnham briefly argue the two sides, with Book clearly on #TeamTarka. The prez lays it out: the assembly will vote to either destroy the DMA with Tarka’s superbomb or approach 10-C with diplomacy.

“Not to destroy… but to connect.”

The spirited debate puts Book and Burnham on opposite sides, and during a recess, he leaves her side to find solace with his new compadre Tarka. The Risian reveals his true agenda: He wants to use the DMA’s giant power source to jump to a new home in a nice peaceful parallel universe. Realizing his brash brand won’t carry the day, Tarka pushes for Book to tug on the assembled alien heartstrings, which the Kwejian is only too happy to do, advocating for his lost planet and all the DMA’s victims in a powerful “on behalf of all who have been lost, please end this now” speech. It is left to a reluctant Michael to make the case for diplomacy, calling on Federation principles and arguing “not to let fear define us in this moment.” Naturally, her side wins the vote.

Back in Kovich’s Court and thanks to some Adira technifying, they discover that sectors of Zora’s system that were spontaneously created are the equivalent of her subconsciousness filled with memories and even dreams. It’s a greatest hits reel of all the good times with the crew, which low-tech Culber identifyies as “connection, love, this is who she is.” Paralleling Michael’s speech, Stamets is warming up to Zora, but tells her trust is a two-way conduit; she has to trust the crew instead of making decisions for them. After giving it some thought, Zora puts her fear aside and reveals the coordinates. Kovich makes his ruling: Zora is a new lifeform and therefore not subject to the AI rules, so she can stay. But Stamets has one final caveat: Zora should make it official and join Starfleet as a specialist, which would subject her to the chain of command—so no more refusing orders. And there was much rejoicing (and hugging, naturally) as Stamets happily destroys the big red kill button.

There are a few bits of personal business to sort out as the episode winds down. Gray is heading back to Trill with Xi to start his Guardian training and Adira will take a short leave and go along for the ride. The found family says some goodbyes with more hugging. Saru seeks out T’Rina to give her a “succulent” plant and she reveals she has “more than a moment” for him. Get a room, you two! Michael returns to the ship to try to reconnect with Book after their day at odds over galactic politics, but all she finds is Grudge and a glowing goodbye note. Cleveland has gone rogue and teamed up with Tarka, who installs a fancy stolen next-gen prototype mini-spore drive on his ship. Good thing he has a spore navigator on his side!  Just as Michael arrives, the pair jumps away, presumably to go it alone on the plan to take down the DMA. Cliffhanger!

ANALYSIS

Debatable

Discovery follows up one bottle show with another, with somewhat mixed results. “…But to Connect” has the benefit of an expanded roster of guest stars and a bucketful of background aliens, but at times still feels a bit smaller than last week’s episode. Both the main stories tie together nicely with the theme of the season and embrace the core principles of Star Trek including connectedness, family, and the yearning to explore new life.

Pitting Burnham and Book against each other felt organic for their stories this season and served as an ironic narrative counterpoint to the theme of connectedness, helped along with exceptional and subtle acting by both David Ajala and Sonequa Martin-Green. However, other points being made are sometimes hammered home without the finesse of past Trek episodes like “I, Borg” and “Measure of a Man,” which this episode is trying to evoke.

The laid-back pacing of this entry would work well as part of a binge-watch as this episode ties up the loose Zora ends from the previous entry and sets up the Michael/Book split and hunt for Tarka telegraphed at the end. However, as a weekly show, it feels a bit unfulfilling.

Measure of a computer

The standout storyline is the courtroom drama, helped along with utility player Kovich coming in as judge, jury, and potential executioner of Zora. David Cronenberg gives a strong performance as he guides the heady debate that may not rise to the level of “Measure of a Man” greatness but is still a worthy entry in Trek’s pantheon of exploration of artificial life, with a bit of Asmiov’s Three Laws layered in. This episode firmly establishes Zora as a character on the show, and now a bona fide member of the crew. Also, Zora’s speculation that it was inevitable that she would emerge as sentient once merging with the Disco but the 32nd-century tech accelerated the process feels like it could have implications for that promised connection to “Calypso.”

Anthony Rapp steps up in a big way to play devil’s advocate, voicing Stamets’ many legitimate concerns and keeping the door open for potential future issues as, like Zora herself, this storyline will continue to evolve. However, it wasn’t really necessary to layer Zora’s story of self-actualization into some of the topical themes already being explored with the characters of Adira and Gray.

It’s a small galaxy, after all

With the Zora emergence culminating, this episode opened up the mystery of Tarka in a big way. His hidden agenda has been revealed and it was both surprising and intriguing, albeit a little bit unclear. As telegraphed, his motivation for going after the DMA was indeed personal and related to his time as a prisoner of the Emerald Chain, but we learn now he had a pact with a fellow scientist prisoner to travel to a new parallel universe with no history of The Burn or the Emerald Chain. The talk of this “relentlessly optimistic” scientist is intriguing and opens the door to possible canon cameos, but hopefully this storyline actually embraces Star Trek’s multiverse and points to something new. That said, it’s odd that Tarka needs the enormous power of the DMA for dimensional travel when a transporter and a bit of lightning has done the trick in the past, but he assures us he is super smart so there must be reasons. It’s also clear from their first shared drink in the lounge, Tarka targeted Book (and his spore-drive navigation capability) as part of his plan from the start, and his manipulating is working.

As for the larger assembly, which promised representatives from “all four quadrants” of the galaxy, most Trek fans were probably hoping to see some more familiar faces. While there were a few, the lay of the land in the 32nd century still remains a bit unclear. What’s going on with the Borg, or the Dominion? And even for the assembled aliens, who is in and out of the Federation is still unclear, although we did learn Earth (now united with Titan) is still out, but Rillak wants them back in a bad way. A curious absence: Klingons. Almost ubiquitous with the franchise and a major part of the series from the start, we have not seen one Klingon since jumping into the future, even though the president name-checked the Khitomer Accords and Book even brought up the Klingons in Burnham’s past.

Hiatus interruptus

Strong performances and some intriguing sci-fi and moral concepts elevate what would have been an average episode, long on exposition and dialog and short on excitement. “…But to Connect” is a great setup for what is to come, making it all the harder to have to wait until February.

Random bits

  • This episode will serve as a mid-season finale for Discovery, which will return with episode 8 on February 10, 2022.
  • This is Lee Rose’s fourth time directing Discovery and her second this season.
  • This is the second Discovery writing credit for Terri Hughes Burton, who joined the series as a co-executive producer for season four.
  • This is the first Discovery writing credit for staff writer Carlos Cisco, who joined the series as a writer’s assistant in season three.
  • The Discovery is shown to have significant damage as a result of “Stormy Weather” with much of the outer ring of the saucer being replaced by Archer Station.
  • The USS Voyager-J gets another mention, with Stamets suggesting at one point to use their computer to help analyze the data.
  • Dr. Kovich uses the Latin term “experto credite” which is a quote from the epic poem Aenieid and means “trust one who has experience.”  The variation “Experto Crede” is the motto of the USAF 89th Airlift Wing which operates Air Force One.
  • The Federation currently has 60 member worlds, so the only new member since episode 401 is Ni’Var.
  • Book argues with Michael that she has been one to “take on the enemy” and specifically mentions the Klingons, referring to her actions in the series premiere “The Vulcan Hello,” which kicked off a war.
  • The ban on isolytic subspace weapons was part of the Second Khitomer Accords, as established in Star Trek: Insurrection.
  • Tarka’s isolytic weapon was developed based on the experiment he did on the USS Discovery in episode 405.
  • Tarka said one species tried to attack the DMA with 1,600 quantum torpedoes.
  • Book refers to himself as a “speaker for the dead,” which is a term from the sci-fi novel of the same name by Orson Scott Card.
  • Adira mentions the “All Is Possible” snowglobe given to them by Tilly in “All Is Possible.”
  • This is David Cronenberg’s sixth appearance as Kovich and third in season four.
  • Phumzile Sitole returns to play (now General) Ndoye of the United Earth Defense Force, last seen in the season three episode “People of Earth.”
  • Alex McCooeye returns as Emperor Lee’U of the Alshain (“the butterfly people”) introduced in episode 401.
  • Other familiar alien conference attendees include an Andorian, Orion, Lurian, Vulcan, Cardassian, Trill, Shlerm, Osnullus, and Ferengi.

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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Have to say this episode was very much Star Trek to me. We had the classic debates, logic, and a discussion of what is genuinely right.

I do regret that we did not see the Klingons, but since the Khitomer Accords are still active that means they are still Federation allies. I was pretty excited to see General Ndoye of United Earth. Hopefully this does not draw a wedge as Earth needs to be in the Federation (as does Andor and Tellar).

I’m afraid the cliffhanger was pretty predictable. Tarka’s plan to hop universes I didn’t anticipate. Since they said Prime was drifting away from the other parallel realities last season I suppose that’s why they need all the power and a transporter, wormhole, or lightning storm won’t work.

As far as I remember they said last season that what we know as the Mirror Universe is drifting away from our reality, not all parallel universes.
I guess jumping between realities/universes is as complicated or as simple as whatever episode’s plot requires.

My apologies I had misremembered.

I had thought that they were unable to send Lieutenant Commander Yor to the Kelvinverse because of the drifting; however, Kovich says he could not be returned due to the Interdimensional Displacement Restriction of the Temporal Accords.

So it would seem that other realities aside from the Mirror may still be accessible, just illegal to visit. Which means Tarka and Book are not only wanted for their actions related to 10c and stealing the spore drive, but also attempting to violate the temporal accords. Could next season be a temporal war redux?

The issue would likely be how great the divergence.

This ideal universe may have diverged from the Prime Universe so significantly that it requires massive energy to get there. As well it may take energy to find the exact ideal universe among a very large number of them.

The Guardian of Forever can harness such energies to pinpoint in the multiverse and in time, but the previous crossovers to the MU were not controlled and took place in an era where the Prime and Mirror universes were in the same neighbourhood mathematically speaking.

What’s more puzzling is why Tarka believes he will survive the transition to a universe that’s so significantly diverged from the Prime Universe (even in the same time period). Perhaps he doesn’t have access to Kovich’s data on the Kelvin Universe officer.

“The USS Voyager-J gets another mention…”

That spin-off show has to happen. Voyager-J going to other galaxies with an upgraded spore drive malfunctioning and stranding the J in a galaxy far far away…

I want MyAnna Buring as Captain Vanguardia Janeway, a future relative of Kathryn’s. MyAnna has that Janeway vibe… Kate Mulgrew’s voice and a bit of a young Genevieve Bujold… I love here as Tisssaia on The Witcher and had to think of “the next Janeway”…

Discovery follows up one bottle show with another,”

I didn’t think of last week’s episode as a “bottled” show at all. It had plenty of FX and a pivotal SciFi plot at its center…

Technically it was a bottle show, though, as it required no new sets or locations.

I’m with you! I don’t necessarily need a spin off on the Voyager J (but would be all for it ;)) but I do hope if this is Discovery’s last season or whenever that happens that the next show after it stay in the 32nd century. There is sooo much potential here and they done a great job of setting up a really unique era of Star Trek and one that feels so different from the others.

This is what Star Trek needed IMO and now that we got it, I hope we keep it for years to come!

Personally I would hope that if they want to do a show beyond Nemesis then I’d rather it not be more that 100 maybe 150 years tops. I just don’t buy the amazing stagnation in technology being shown here.

Well that boat has sailed man. ;)

And I’m not saying OTHER shows can’t be prior to the 32nd century obviously. I suspect we’ll have shows in the 25th and 26th century as well, especially if we’re going to have constant Star Trek on for the next decade.

I just hope they keep the 32nd century around once this shows goes. I don’t have an issue with how the tech has been shown because as I said, it’s all very subjective. That’s why doing shows or movies about the future is fun in the first place, it can be whatever you want it to be. But if you don’t like it, that’s understandable.

ENT and DIS both promised perhaps over-enthusiastically to ‘explore a little known era in Star Trek’s past’ (to paraphrase). So the ‘past exciting eras’ premise/excuse for a series is long established. Therefore, I have no doubt they put DIS so far ahead of the other series not just for a clean slate for DIS, but also to leave themselves lots of ‘little known era in Star Trek’s past’ to mine in the future.

I still wouldn’t count going into the future, even that far, represents a “clean slate”. Their slate is so marked up and damaged it’s impossible to clean it off no matter where they take their show (within the prime) Honestly if they really wanted a “clean slate” then just come out and say, “Star Trek Discovery is rebooting the Trek universe. That’s as clean as it will ever get.

I think they got so sick of the Discovery complaints they did the complete opposite and took that show far away from canon as possible and start over with the show; which was a fantastic idea. I was never in love with where it was originally set, but was fine with it if they could’ve been more faithful to the era. But this gave the show a much broader and more interesting premise.

I agree with ML31 though, if they wanted a clean slate they should’ve just rebooted from the start but we are obviously pass that now. And this was the second best idea.

Please, please not – it sounds like a good idea written on paper, but in the hands of kurzmen its another painful entry in the star trek universe. I suffered very much trough season 3, and since netflix does stream it, I did not notice that season 4 is already out. Today I watched the first episode and I must say, Iam very happy netfliy doesnt offer star trek anymore. This series is so horrible. It wants to check all the boxes so hard, of morality, diversity, political correctness, it continously try to state all this and makes it so blunt it reminds me a dog licking its own balls. the action is so over the top, so much going only because they want to show they can and its totally uninteresting. yes the star of the series gained a little weight. so everybody has to wear that terrible penguin cut uniform ? come on !

*netlix does not stream it

I am surprised that nobody posed the solution of “Hey, We’ll try diplomacy FIRST but keep the bomb as a backup”

that would have kept everybody happy

It wasn’t as if it HAD to be one or the other.

That may still essentially be the course of action. But the point is that the choice was between Tarka’s extremely dangerous bomb and first contact. Tarka’s weapon should not be the option, even if diplomacy fails.

True. But I also still don’t know why they dismissed the thing being alive to begin with as even a possibility. That was one of the first things I was thinking about. It could also be a good parallel to the emergence of Zora, too. But, no.

10 will get you 1 that whatever they do with this thing the concept of it being alive would have been the better show option.

I have to say that this is one of the most intelligently written Star Trek episodes ever. Sure it was talky, but so what? Must every episode have some neat balance between thoughtfulness and (violent) action? So I find myself disagreeing with some of the points in the review’s analysis section. What calculation is one supposed to use when comparing episodic vs serial offerings? How is an episode “unfulfilling” when it cannot be fully appreciated without the overall context of an entire series? I also think analogizing the Zora thread with a courtroom drama like “Measure of a Man” is inapt. That TNG episode unfolded according to Federation legal jurisprudence. The Zora decision was ad hoc, subtly conducted by Kovich whose office and authority is entirely unknown to us. (He seems to claim expertise in a multiplying number of fields with each episode!) As the proceeding transpired it clearly became a First Contact situation with few, if any, precedents to draw upon. It is interesting that Kovich declared his readiness to transfer Stamets off the ship if necessary, hardly something done to a prosecuting attorney.

Anyway, a fabulous piece of larger mosaic. I am eager to see how it all plays out.

I also think analogizing the Zora thread with a courtroom drama like “Measure of a Man” is inapt.

Agreed! Kovich seems to have a lot of expertise and has very broad authority to make decisions in the UFP.

I agree with so much of this. The fact that it was so talky is why I liked it so much. This is also why the TV shows will be better than the movies for me because you can find time to do this type of story in a season and with real fans who loves this kind of story telling. In a movie, apparently you can only do it if the villain wants revenge against the Federation and a lot of explosions along the way. In this episode, we didn’t get a single phaser shot nor do we need it. That’s why Star Trek is so amazing as a show. You could have a full blown fire fight with an enemy in one episode and then a cerebral story the very next. Star Trek has done that multiple times from BOBW to Family or Way of the Warrior to The Visitor. THAT’S why this show is brilliant at times.

But this was pure Star Trek to me. They wrestled with several philosophical ideas and literally talked them out. I thought the scenes between the crew and Zora was excellent writing. Zora truly cares about the crew but to the point where it could be detrimental. The way they navigated that, to the point they could end her life to making her officially part of the crew like Data and the Doctor were while also acknowledging her sentience. But I also think that’s what the review was saying in terms of Measure of a Man. It’s not a legal drama, but it basically arrived at the same conclusion that Zora was unique and should be treated as such.

It was a solid episode and probably my favorite Discovery episode now.

In general I agree but when you have a talky episode you really need to be sure that the exposition is good enough to keep an audience interested. It’s why directors dread exposition scenes. It’s just people talking and they always try to find ways to liven that up. In this case, the troubles are even worse because you have uninteresting people doing the talking talking about things we’ve seen before multiple times. At least on the Federation side. I was actually more interested in the Zora stuff and every time they cut to the council chamber the episode came to a dead stop.

Dude, I really hope you like this show at least a little before season 7. ;)

I prefer how Kirk later dealt with a rogue computer – he shut it down! But not on ‘Touchy-feely Trek’: the captain and other higher-ups have to kowtow to it, despite it directly disobeying an order and putting billions of lives in peril. That’s why it’s hard to take this show seriously. It’s not drama, adventure or science fiction; it’s pure soap opera.

Yeah, this. The idea of a benevolent computer intelligence and the ramifications of that could be interesting, but the writing on this show hurts that. And done get me started on this new spore drive that can just be plugged in. At least they tried to come up with some halfway credible technobabble in the TNG era.

Thanks for bringing up the new spore drive. Seems no one needs that 900 year old star ship or her ancient crew any longer. The one thing that made that ship unique (weirdly) is no longer in the way.

So…..

yeah.. where are the spores?

Speaking of this Kovich fellow… The more I see this guy and the more administrative power this guy seems to wield feels a bit… Concerning. What the hell is his position anyway that he has that kind of absolute power over so very many disciplines and departments?

I agree with this. Kovich seems to be involved in every aspect of Starfleet/Federation business lol. One episode he’s picking cadets for Tilly to train. The next he’s giving counseling sessions to Culber. Now, he can decide (or at least recommend) if a sentient computer can be moved off a starship. What is this guy’s deal? First he seemed like someone more in the background and intelligence based. Now it seems like he has direct access to any department he wants and oversees a lot of operations.

Many people still think he’s a member of Section 31 with overseeing powers and he could be, but he may just be a high ranking Federation officer (he doesn’t dress like a Starfleet officer) and Vance’s right hand man who he trust to do anything he needs.

I think they just enjoy people guessing and throw the guy in for any random situation they can. ;)

Kovich is a Klingon ;-)

LOL don’t go there!

Honestly… This show might do that. Nothing seems to be off limits to these guys. That can be a blessing or a curse…

He does wear a Starfleet Tricom though (not a Federation one) and his insignia indicates he’s a Commodore.

That is odd. If so why doesn’t he dress in a Starfleet uniform then? I’m sure those will be answers we will never get. ;)

Discovery has found it’s space legs. I’ve liked it since the beginning, but could relate to a lot of complaints through the run so far. This season is different in a great way. Pretty much just like every incarnation of ‘Trek, it takes at least three to get good. That of course, is my own opinion.

Hats off to the creators!

Totally agree. I’ve always kept up with Discovery a bit, but I wouldn’t call myself a fan of this show until this current season. It’s fantastic, and leaps and bounds better than the ones that came before it

Absolutely. Every show wears a different hat with a different color. It has been a wild ride, with all the changes. Producers, writers, pandemic, etc. But now the pace and the writing feel more solid. Besides the Su’Kal (screaming) plot, I am cool with Discovery. =)

I know this is a minority opinion here, but I liked Su’Kal as the cause of the Burn. Rather like a cosmic butterfly effect that did not require some evil villain to appear. I wonder if the DMA is some kind of effort to pull separating universes together, especially if it exists in multiple universes. Nah, probably not.

Also agree! This season felt a little meandering to me in the beginning but it has only gotten stronger as it went on. But Discovery has really found itself this season. It has really gone its own way while also adhering to the elements of what makes the franchise great.

And putting it in a new era has really done it justice. The show can go boldly like no other show can. We may even be going to another galaxy. Maybe NOT, but it’s possible now. This excites me so much as a fan. I want Discovery to be an amazing show. Even when I outright hated it at times I always supported it and now it really feels like its paying off! I won’t say it has until the end of the season (that’s when the show seems to lose me every time lol) but it at least proves it’s very much a Star Trek show that deserves the name IMO.

“The Alternative Factor” was not the episode I expected to be brought to mind this week, but mad scientists seeking escape to parallel universes…?

Maybe on his way back he will run into the two Lazerus’ still fighting each other.

Kovich must know that all intelligent creatures dream. This episode had ambitions of being deeper than it was. With better writing, the debates could have been much more interesting. As it was, there was little suspense in which way the vote or the decision on Zora would go. For a large meeting of diplomats, some of them on Zoom, they were a quiet bunch, and all of them were conveniently equipped with hands for voting. I’m glad we were spared some of the speech from future Empress Of the Four Quadrants Burnham the First. And if Earth were somehow threatened with destruction, I’m sure we would bring up how a class of weapons was banned by an ancient treaty and therefore off limits.

As many have pointed out on this board, we have to accept certain implausibilities on this show, such as the Discovery’s crew being the top scientists and leaders in Starfleet after jumping ahead nearly a millennium, and characters having their civilian love interests living on board. Still, the writers have some decent ideas like the multiverse subplot. I hope they develop that more. I’m rooting for Book and Tarka. They are my two favorite characters this season.

I also hope that species 10C is something more formidable than the resolution of the burn from season three. I wonder about species 1-10B?

Speaking of Book… I like how he just barged into a Federation meeting uninvited yet again. But I guess just anyone can do that. That scientist guy showed up too. Actually surprised they didn’t vote too!

It’s pretty simple: Book was there as the representative for Kwejian. This was a meeting of Federation and non-Federation societies.

One in which he didn’t seem invited to. It wasn’t until he said he was from the destroyed system that people were open to hearing what he had to say. My impression it was more out of awkwardness than anything else.

I don’t really see Calypso tying in. To me that just feels like it was an early draft of Book from when the 3rd season was still in development.

Hi Alastair,

I believe that everyone’s talk of Calypso regards the “sentient” Zora running the ship or being the ship in that Short Trek…. and relating that to how Zora’s current awakening will eventually lead to the larger events/setting of Calypso. That being that the ship / Zora was ordered by “her captain” to stay hidden away in a nebula minus her crew. And that the ship / Zora had been in that nebula for centuries by the time Calypso starts.

I don’t believe the references to Calypso that people are making right now are about the young man in that Short Trek. Or about a potential early draft incarnation of Book.

There are continuity issues though – in particular it’s the pre-season 3 version of the ship though that could easily be unintentional.

Also, the ship jumping into the future and running into a man with his own spacecraft a long way from home in in a post-Federation galaxy in Calypso is *very* similar to what we got at the start of season 3, albeit in that iteration he meets Michael instead. I guess we’ll eventually find out or it may stay ambiguous.

It’s also of course entirely possible that what I said is true of the creative process *and* they’ll marry it up in-universe. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. The writers have said it will fit.

We have seen them retcon stuff before though. For example the shuttle used by Lieutenant Georgiou when first meeting Saru was altered between the Short Trek and episode.

This latest episode’s plot development indicates, to me, that the in-universe explanation is that the Zora we experienced in Short Treks simply takes place in a parallel universe.

It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.

Calypso didn’t necessarily take place in the Prime Universe.

Since crossing the multiverse has returned as a possibility (however illegal and unfeasible), perhaps there’s an alternate universe where Discovery was parked in a nebula for a thousand years instead of jumping forward through time.

Yeah, I think I was trying to put my finger on it- yeah, that’s book.

Didn’t they use the same word for the Federation early in season 3?

V’radysh was used for the Federation once in Season 3.

Regarding all the tons and tons of millions of dollars they put into the star trek franchise currently, aren’t there a few millions over to remaster “voyager” or ds9? I mean today it even doesn’t matter much how many discs they sell because times have changed the business and streaming generates the main amount of money.
I’m not informed about the numbers but maybe “Lower decks” has a production budget with everything including from where you could remaster half a show, or more..? Does anyone has the numbers on how much money they putting into the franchise all in all?

The key here is: They are putting all that money into new content. They already have DS9 and VOY on Paramount Plus (albeit in SD). Remastering them will make them look better but they’re still going to be the same shows everybody has been able to watch for years.

That said, I have speculated that they might be using the 4K release of the Director’s Edition of TMP as a test case to see how much they can actually make from a hi-def remaster of old content. I’m guessing that remastering TMP only costs a fraction of what it would take to remaster a total of 14 seasons of DS9 and VOY. So if the movie does great o Paramount Plus next year maybe they’ll reconsider remastering the shows. If the movie fails to bring in a lot of subscribers then at least they haven’t spent so much on it.

I hope so! Im a trekkie who believes it’s the best trek show ever, beating even TOS. I would love to have it in HD.

I’m talking about DS9….

Questionable how worth it that would be. For TOS & TNG they had the original film & were able to – effectively – completely remake each episode by rescanning the original raw footage in HD & recreating all the special effects (& upgrading them in the case of TOS). All you could do with DS9 & VOY (& ENT, not that anyone is really asking for that) is upscale the final episodes, given that they were “filmed” on videotape instead of actual film. There’s only so much that can be done to improve footage like that at present, and even once AI upscaling matures sufficiently to really make it worth it, the final product still wouldn’t be different enough to justify presenting it as a new product. It’s likely they will do it eventually once it becomes quick enough & cheap enough, but only to replace the SD versions currently on Paramount+.

They have the original 35 mm film of both voy and ds9 too. You see a proof of it in an remastered tng episode where they rescaned the ds9 station.

Enterprise is already in HD and on Blu ray!

They’d need to be convinced there is profit in it, plain and simple. One could argue having 4K DS9 and Voyager as Paramount+ exclusives would give them new life with new fans and reduce churn with old ones. That’s over 300 episodes of content that could then be sold as shiny box sets down the line, likely also into syndication, but not to other streamers per revised ViacomCBS policies.

Is that worth $60-80+ million in expenses? I would think so, even if it meant as few as half a million Trekkers kept renewing for 2-3 years instead of churning. But I’m not an analyst at ViacomCBS.

The setup here is that Michael is going to have to come to terms with a situation not that different from the one she faced in The Vulcan Hello – war or peace.

There is also a way this whole thing could go pretty haywire: what if Tenavik is inside the DMA? What if it is a Klingon Time Crystal Ship?!

Hmm. I don’t know about that BUT it is odd we’ve seen no sign of the Klingons yet, as others have noted.

In August, on this site, Kenneth Mitchell was on record as saying he will return. I think it would be very interesting if it’s him inside the DMA. While technically not Michael’s son, Tenavik is Tyler’s son. So I would expect Michael would go out of her way to save him even if another planet was at risk. I can’t get this idea out of my head.

I also think it could be funny if it is whatever species Grudge comes from is inside or responsible for the DMA, and then Booker has to decide whether to blow up a planet of cats. It would almost explain/connect to the opening scene homage to ST Beyond at the start of this season.

What if Tilley is inside… ok. I’ll stop now.

I cant for the life of me understand why so many people have been critical of this show, especially this season. This is pure, classic trek, dealing with moral and ethical issues

To be fair I think a lot of it is how bad the first two seasons were. And they were awful. But also, you have the way they have mishandled pretty much every character on the show to the point that many just don’t care about any of them. I must begrudgingly admit the show has indeed gotten a little better this season going from outright sucking to a little below mediocre. But at this point it’s mainly the poor characters that is hurting the show. It they had cancelled Star Trek Discovery after season 2 and made a brand new show with brand new characters and set it in the 32nd century and used the exact same story arc I think the odds of it being better received would go up some at least.

Why I love Tarka now?

I don’t know how many times since 2020, I have asked myself, “when did I enter the mirror universe and can I go home now?” Things have been crazy in our world for awhile, even before the pandemic.

I understand Tarka’s need to escape to a universe free from war, poverty, and uncertainty. I get the feeling he’s not going to that paradise by the end of the season, but I think many of us have felt in the last few years that things have taken a turn for the worst in our world and at times wondered, “where can I find a transporter and some lightning?”

At least that’s how I related to him…..

Sounds like the Nexus…

How do I say how much I loved this episode?

It was on fire! THIS is the type of stuff that gets many of the hardcore fans like me grinning from ear to ear. It’s what Star Trek does best and that is a great philosophical debate. In this case we got two of them lol! I just loved the Federation council meeting and seeing SO many aliens in that room. In all the years of Star Trek, we’ve never had a scene like this before of all them actually together debating. How crazy is that? And debating if the DMA should be treated as a friend or a foe was great and it truly highlighted of what I think of Star Trek. And of course they made the very Federation decision while putting Burnham and Book at odds.

And the story with Zora not only ended ALL the frustrations I had with that story line but gave us close to a Measure of a Man episode this show has ever done as the review mentioned. I loved every second of it, especially when they decided Zora was a new life form and even offer to send her to Starfleet Academy. Only in STAR TREK lol!!! I was so hoping we get some good A.I. storylines with Zora this season and we are!

And I have to say I was completely wrong about this season. I was really apathetic on the whole thing and just did not care about the DMA storyline. But now halfway in its gone the other way and actually manage to not only keep surprising us but build some truly classic Star Trek stories around it. It’s not about the end of the galaxy, it’s about connecting with something we simply don’t understand and now finding ways to do just that. And on top of that, I know this is hinting at something bigger. Will we end up in a galaxy or universe by the end? Maybe both!

Discovery has always been a Star Trek show, but it has earned that name in so many ways this season.

Thanks Tiger 2. The show is being aired in 20 mins up here in Toronto. I only read the first line of your review, but that is all I need to know that today’s episode is definitely worth watching. Will be back to read the rest and comment later tonight or tomorrow. Centre Seat Voyager is on following Discovery and will also want to see Doug Jones on Will’s show.

I really hope you enjoy it DeanH and come back and give your thoughts on it. I just thought it was well done throughout and actually have a few interesting twists in it. And it was good you only read the first line since I let out a ton of spoilers lol.

And definitely watch both Center Seat with Voyager and The Ready Room. I watched both of course and both really good. And The Ready Room shows a scene at the end for next week’s Prodigy that is going to have hardcore fans geeking out, but can’t say much more since it’s a big spoiler!

It’s a great time to be a Star Trek fan! :)

Great points Tiger2. I loved the two morality plays and the acting so very much. It was great to see the cast get a chance to show off what they can do when given a well written script.

As soon as they realized Zora was a new life form, this changed everything. As you said, it harkened back to Data and the Measure of a Man.

Completely agree with you about the apathy and now I can’t wait for the second half of S4. Well done Star Trek Discovery! This was a worthy mid-season finale and as I wrote below, “this was a good one!”

I just rewatched it for the second time and really do love it and glad you did too. This and last week’s episode really has changed my mind a lot about the season so now I’m super excited to see where it’s going. It was very smart to have the midpoint be at this episode since the next half looks like it’s going taking a different direction.

And did you watch the Ready Room? I was actually a bit bummed DIS is taking off for a few weeks and then they showed that scene for next week’s Prodigy and got a HUGE smile on my face!

Yup watched the Ready Room this morning! Doug Jones seems like a genuine and nice person. I always like hearing what he has to say, especially when he acknowledged Saru can be gentle and understanding with his subordinates, but can also be stern and pointed when needed.

Conversely, Wil has done a good job overall, but sometimes, he may want to tone down his enthusiasm which occasionally seems a little forced. Relax. He did a great job playing himself as a good and occasionally bad guy on the The Big Bang Theory.

Haha the Prodigy trailer did make me smile and SPOILER SPOILER WARNING – I am sure many fans will like seeing the old Enterprise D bridge. Thanks for not giving that one away earlier in the thread!

Happy New Year and all the best for 2022!

I didn’t want to give away the spoiler for Prodigy partly because TM seems to lock posts that spoils next weeks episode until they post something themselves. But I listened to their All Access podcast and Anthony mentioned it there, so I guess its fine to mention here.

And I have to agree about Wil Wheaton. I do like The Ready Room, but he comes off a bit too excited about every element of the show. He’s getting paid to be enthused but he really can take it down a notch…or five. ;)

But yeah a lot to look forward to next year and hope you have a Happy New Year as well! :)

Ok I may not have had a chance to say it too often of late, but that was a good one!!!

Thought provoking discussions, morality dilemas, logic and Federation principles both on the macro level with the council and on a micro level with the ship’s new lifeform. As several postings have already said, this is Star Trek and it is probably the best written episode of Discovery yet. I have to agree.

I liked the way both sides of each morality play were portrayed and antagonists Booker and Paul were able to eloquently state their cases without being dismissed the way poor old Worf used to be on the Enterprise D when he said something like, “we should attack!”

The one thing that has bothered me about Discovery is its tendency to put too much importance on the touchy feely side of decision-making and actions. Last week, I was happy to see Saru pull rank on Owesekun by simply saying we have no time for this, you have your orders! Today, it was good to see Burnham prioritize her talk with the President at the end of the council meeting instead of worrying about how Booker was feeling. That said, ironically, doing that that may have led to the cliffhanger ending… so what do I know. Finally, I loved the way the Zora evaluation turned out to be an evaluation of both Zora AND Paul!! Well written and a worthy role for Cronenberg to sink his teeth into.

No matter what, this was a great episode and worthy of being a mid season finale!

Yeah agree with everything you said including the one negative and that is Discovery wear its heart on its sleeve a little TOO much at times. I don’t mind touchy feely stuff either but Discovery goes all in with it. No other Trek show has ever done this where making a decision it feels like everyone is suppose to get a hug or something. It’s also funny because it’s so night and day to the Discovery we were introduced to in season 1. That season felt so cold and uptight, I couldn’t imagine anyone talking about their feelings the way they do here lol. But it’s a change mostly for good IMO.

But what Star Trek does so well in every series are the great morality plays. It was done most on TOS and TNG obviously but they all done it pretty well. This was definitely Discovery’s best one and liked it was resolved so positively (of course before the very end ;)).

I don’t throw this name out a lot when discussing Star Trek but I think this episode is a very Roddenberry-esque story. You have the big destructive machine out there with the DMA and people trying to decide to destroy it or understand it. You have Zora trying to decide if it’s a life and what to do with her. Both can be considered very threatening in their own way but both came down to the side of tolerance and understanding. Neither may be the right decision in the end, but one we would expect the Federation to make. This is very much not just a pure Star Trek episode but a pure Roddenberry one as well IMO.

I’m just really impressed with what they did here!

A quick comment on “the touchy feely stuff.” I too have sometimes squirmed at all the tears in previous seasons, though admittedly sometimes situations were pretty overwhelming. If the different generations of Trek reflected particularly American social standards or ideals in their respective decades, perhaps today’s writers see more interpersonal openness as how things should between people in the future. More “absolute candor,” if you will.

Not a bad episode at all. Felt like real Star Trek even if the plot was mostly a version of TNG’s Measure of a Man. Happy that Gray is leaving (please take Adira too) which hopefully means more screen time for our more tenured cast members. Really strong Stamets episode and Rapp was great with the material he was given. Solid cliffhanger.

I know Disco is all about serialization but I wish we had a few standalone episodes every season. It would be a nice change of pace and hopefully allow for the bridge crew to get a little more screen time and character development. Maybe we’d finally get to run into the Klingons too.

B for the episode. Solid C for the season to date.

Forced to agree about Gray leaving. He, Adira as well but to a lesser extent, don’t bring anything of value to the table.

There’s a pretty glaring color correction mistake at 19:30. Looks like final color wasn’t applied to the shot, so it looks desaturated.

Also, Unknown Species 10-C is a weird bit of nomenclature.

This episode was definitely more of what these shows need to be. Its heart is definitely in the right place compared to where Discovery started. Some things still feel a bit amateurish and trite, and I wish I liked more of the cast, but the morality debates were solid. More of this, please.

It would be nice if we could have an episode of straightforward science fiction that wasn’t just a pretext for various characters working out boyfriend issues… I fear the show is becoming a soap opera

This show has been a soap opera since first season. ;)

Burnham and Tyler’s issues were MUCH more complicated than with her and Book. And I think how they are treating it is fine. Because it’s not just about Book but more about Tarka. He’s really the one pulling the strings.

You’re right, since first season! Believe it or not, I had forgotten about Tyler! Speaking of Tarka, maybe I’m misinterpreting this, but is his whole reason for wanting to blow up the DMA with an illegal weapon so that he can reunite with HIS boyfriend in the parallel universe? The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many?…

Yeah that’s what I’m getting too. I did a rewatch of it and I didn’t pick up the first time just how much he wanted to meet up with his scientist ‘friend’ again in another universe. It does seem a bit more to it.

I guess following this logic, Kirk should have saved Edith Keeler, to hell with the future history of the galaxy! What could possibly be more important than who he’s currently dating… first things first, right?

I don’t follow your point here because Tarka could be right and everything happening with the DMA is out of malice. It has already wiped out an entire planet, right? That’s where he and Book are coming from. And it’s basically just some kind of automated machine so no one would be killed even if they destroyed it. Some are just basing the theory it would upset or somehow harm the people who sent it. But there is zero proof of any of that.

The issue is no one is sure of its intentions which is obviously a fair point. But I don’t really disagree with Tarka either. He is doing something for the greater good, he’s just getting something out of it as well. Its not a COTEF situation from what I can tell…at least not yet.

And let’s be VERY honest here, if something from space showed up on Earth today and wiped out Canada and then Brazil with no idea when or if it will even stop, there would be NO debate about it lol. We would’ve tried to wipe it out the second people were hurt. No one would be trying to ‘understand’ it. Sure, there would be scientists who want to study it or find some way to stop it without harming it, but we know those arguments would lose.

In Star Trek, humans have become enlightened enough to look at the big picture and in fairness they have dealt with all kinds of crazy alien or natural anomalies for centuries now, so they are more prepared to look at something from all angles. But most people would probably just vote to blow it out of the stars and keep moving if this was the first time they dealt with something like this.

I guess end of the day the question is is the DMA either a form of the Doomsday Machine or V’ger? Not the actual machines, just the analogies to them. That’s really where the debate lies. The Federation seems to think it’s V’ger, an entity that doesn’t know it’s being destructive and can find a peaceful solution to stopping it while Tarka is convinced it’s the Doomsday machine, an entity that was designed for nothing but destruction.

Even for most fans like me, I automatically assumed it was going to be another Doomsday Machine before the season started and why I rolled my eyes. And this being Discovery, of course it has to be twice the size of a solar system. But now knowing what we know, it’s a much more intriguing idea. It could still be a Doomsday Machine, but at least now it’s a mystery and not just feel like more two dimensional generic sci fi like we got with Control in season 2.

My point is, I DON’T think Tarka is doing this for the greater good, with getting something out of it for himself as a secondary benefit. I think Tarka is primarily out to get something for himself, with the possible side benefit of helping the greater good. If he knew for a fact that his weapon was going to rip a destructive hole through subspace I don’t think that would dissuade him from his plan at all. On the other hand, I do think Book’s motives are pure. His entire planet was destroyed. But I just think that in Disco, generally, too many decisions of galactic life-or-death consequence are decided based upon characters’ personal relationships. As if we, the viewer, would have no interest in the plot unless the relationship with the boyfriend were also at stake. That’s a writers choice… Tarka could be trying this weapon with noble motives or evil motives, but to just toss in that he’s doing it merely to reunite with his special friend? Really? Just trivializes everything, I think…

I suspect the scientist guy (Tarka is it?) is more like Soran than not. Book on the other hand I don’t think is acting all that pure myself. He’s in it just for the revenge. A motivation that I feel has been overused in the more modern versions of Trek.

Obviously Tarka has an agenda, I’m not disagreeing with you on that. But same time, I really do believe he thinks it’s a threat and this thing is to do major harm to the galaxy. In other words it’s not black and white.

But yes, this is Star Trek, anytime a character goes against the Federation or the more peaceful option, they are usually proven wrong lol. Tarka is definitely the villain in this scenario, but I also think a lot of people with good motives believe his idea is the right way to go regardless. That vote in the Federation wasn’t unanimous. And maybe we will find out he knows more than what he is saying and even have a bigger connection to the DMA.

As for Book, he’s obviously acting out from grief.

My first thought, once it changed course, was it was alive. Yet no character even put the possibility out there. Which means it’s not but jeez… It’s Star Trek. That possibility should have been discussed and perhaps dismissed.

Agreed. I wonder why no one at least considered that as you said. I guess since none of the readings has proven a sentient life but it’s odd no one at least brought it up since we know they have encountered life forms before they didn’t realize until later was actually alive.

After a few “meh” episodes we get a monumentally dull one. I guess the drama was setting up Books desire for revenge against Burnham’s desire for talking. Was that supposed to produce tension? It really didn’t. First, the speed at which they were taking the vote was pretty breathtaking. One would think they would let the delegates have some time to contemplate, to think it through, to consult with others. Nope. We want a vote on this amazingly important decision within an hour or so. Be that as it may, there was no drama there. It was pretty obvious that the vote would go in favor of talking. Burnham was on that side. And not only is she always on the right side of every single issue but her being in favor of talking while her boy toy was in favor or blowing it up sets up a personal dilemma. She gave her uninspiring pep talk to the group (Jean-Luc Picard in his prime she certainly is not and weird that no one else would speak up) after it was set up to fool the dim folks in the audience that there was even a chance they would vote to destroy. So most saw that coming. But not just that. Everything was telegraphed well in advance. Who didn’t see forehead tattoo guy manipulate Book into helping him?

This story is looking to be amazingly basic.

Not really sure what was the point of wrapping the vote around the Zora thing. Which I’m forced to admit was handled better than I thought they would. I still have major doubts about Zora. The entire thing feels like something everyone should be at least a little concerned about. Making Zora a crew member is a little over the top but it would seem to be the only way to deal with the issue without purging the computer. But I would still be wary that Zora is seeing and hearing everyone do and say everything at all times. Privacy is a real issue here and they never dealt with that aspect of it. But I found myself on Stammets side of the argument. Begrudgingly accepting the situation but still having reservations. Personally, I would have disconnected Zora the moment it showed the slightest bit of sentience. The sphere data be damned.

At any rate, I guess this cliffhanger was supposed to leave people hanging but I’m still at the point where if the show were to finish at this point forever it wouldn’t matter to me at all. It comes down to the fact that as a viewer I just don’t really care about any of these people. Even the ones who are slightly more interesting than the others. At this point I’m unsure if there is anything the show can do to get me to care about them. I was finally able to care a bit for Data in Nemesis. So I guess there is hope.

This episode was a bit ironic with Zora. This episode dealt with her questioning if she will follow orders or not although when we first met her she was waiting a thousand years probably in the 44th century or something because she was ordered to. She wouldn’t even give Craft a short ride home, even with a freaking spore drive. So its clear she’s a very committed officer. ;)

This ep was a step above what we’ve been getting this season so far, with the debate as to Zora’s sentience being a barrier to Burnham’s command addressed thoroughly, with all points of view properly considered. Also, the Federation’s 32nd century morals are firing on all thrusters with Kovich’s “test” of Stamets and the vote for First Contact rather than war.

The fact that Burnham got a vote was really weird. Who does she represent? Earth has a vote, and why would Starfleet vote? (And if it did, she never consulted with them.) The Ni’Var got something like three votes as well. (Unless there’s some algorithm that calculates a majority vote of each delegation.)

By the way, “Pick up your hand to vote for the option I clearly like, do nothing if you don’t want” (and she doesn’t even mention option two) is a psychological trick and really, really undemocratic. It’s like when dictatorships have ballots with a huge box to check for the dictator and a tiny box not with a second option but just “no.” And lo and behold, Assad gets 98% of the vote!

The Mary-Sueing is really getting strong here. Book gives an impassioned speech that has the whole place applauding (after his buddy starts the slow clap, the oldest cliche in the book) and even seems to sway the Vulcans, and then Burnham utters a bunch of platitudes about values- values that may be completely alien (no pun intended) to half the species there- and which she and the Ni’Var had just said already- and she manages to sway the whole room? And that’s not all: Bear in mind that Book is her *boyfriend*. So basically, with thousands of delegates present- some of whom are already very much involved in the effort- the entire debate revolves around Burnham! Apart from the President, Book, Burnham, and Tarka- none of whom are delegates- the only people who actually speak are two or three Ni’Var, the Earth delegate (by the way, if they can appear remotely, why her and not the president?), that white guy from before, and an Orion.

Look, I get that filming has limits, and I get that there are certain rules of storytelling. But it gets to be a bit much. It’s almost as if the President is in on the joke sometimes: “And now, Michael, for the umpteenth time in two vastly separate centuries, it’s time for you to save life as we know it again.”

In all honesty, I actually liked the episode, overall. And even if it were bad, which it wasn’t, Kovich is enough to improve anything.

One minor thought I had: Up until Abrams, all Orion female we saw had black hair. Then Abrams showed us a few red-haired ones. (One was in a deleted scene.) In Discovery, we’ve now seen both. Does anyone think that’s a Kelvinverse tribute?

Great point being brought up about the voting. I did find it weird that she got a vote. Was she representing Star Fleet? Wouldn’t that admiral guy be the more appropriate choice than a time traveler from 900 years past?

Good point about “if you do nothing it counts for action B”. Utterly ridiculous. In fact, seems like they could just register their vote, Y, N or abstain on some sort of wrist device or something. With tallies not revealed until everyone votes.

Regarding the Vulcans… That Vulcan who seems to be swooning for Saru sure is having a VERY tough time holding in her emotions. Just sayin…

Yeah, I hadn’t considered making the voting public before results were known (and having people vote for only one side) is also a great way to manipulate votes. You even saw people looking around before raising their hands.

Unless we find out that the manipulation was actually intentional, in which case…look out.

Votes are public and transparent in parliaments or the US congress.

In fact they are done by having members come forward with their ayes and nays.

There is no secret balloting when a person is representing an entire planet.

They tend to vote at once from their seat. Only after do we see who voted how.

Yes. I was going to bring that up. They vote right there, on the spot, at the same time (not waiting to see what others are doing) and NEVER is inaction taken as a vote one way or the other.

In many countries, parliamentarians either stand or walk to a designated area and loudly state their vote. It is entirely public and there definitely are influences on each other’s votes or abstentions.

In the British parliamentary tradition (UK, Canada,Australia), when a question is called for a vote, first there is a verbal vote (ayes then nays). If it’s not clear from that, a member may call Division, and a counted vote is taken. If it goes on to a counted vote, Division bells are rung for a set period throughout the complex ( ~15 minutes), all members come to the chamber and the speaker takes the vote.

Historically that was done by members filling out from the chamber through the Aye and Nay exit arches. In some jurisdictions it’s done now by the speaker calling out the names of the members one by one starting with the front benches.

It’s never private, and the choices of the front benches definitely impact the back.

When I watch votes in the US Congress a similar thing happens. When a vote is called the members file to the front to the speaker’s podium and go left or right and publicly say their vote as they do.

In some parliamentary systems, representatives always vote the party line.

I’m not sure what you were watching in regards to the US Congress, but that’s definitely not what happens. Members of the House of Representatives vote by inserting a card into a machine and pushing a button, and the tallies are announced when done. The Senate still calls out names.

I am glad to see so many positive reviews. I also enjoyed the discussions around the computer and the options for the anomaly. That said, I found it all very simplistic. I also was very disappointed with how few alien races we saw. As a big fan of those easter eggs, we only saw races they’ve already shown and as the review points out, not even all of them. I paused when they showed the vote tallies and the emblems of the different races were even slimmer. It was just the same 4 or five over and over again…and a very small vote tally over all. It just makes the galaxy seem so very small.

“Discovery follows up one bottle show with another, with somewhat mixed results.” Are you kidding me?? This was the best episode of the season since Kobayashi Maru imo.
I am glad however they finished up some meh interesting storylines so they can now really focus on the action. I still feel like Adira’s (non-personal) lines were written for Tilly. It’s so obvious that it’s annoying. Still not sure about the reason Mary is off the ship, but it feels like Adira was supposed to leave the ship with Gray if Tilly would still be there. Regarding Cronenberg: I do feel they missed a great opportunity with him. There was so much mystery around him last year (which was so exciting), and now he’s ‘just’ another doctor.

And a final note: props for mentioning Hugh is now a counselor ONLY once this episode. lol

This was a horrid episode. I’ve never seen so much navel gazing in one episode on Discovery. But the most egregious part was when the ensign and her non-com lover barged into a meeting of officers about Zora. This is just NOT done. No discipline in the ranks? No protocols? Can anybody just walk in? Where’s the security? If an ensign had pulled this insubordination crap in the Navy they would have been in the brig, if they were lucky.

Besides the acting of these two is just so bad. Heavily distracting. Can we push them out an airlock. The LGBT thing is great. These two actors are terrible. They should be on the lower decks cleaning out CO2 scrubbers.

Lastly, why is beaming around a meeting of leaders of various worlds allowed? I’m referring to the mad scientist who wants to go home. Doesn’t that sound a little reminiscent of Season 1? When you’ve got such a high level meeting, security should be really tight. In this case that means that some shielding must go up to disable beaming in, out, or within the meeting. I mean, what a tempting target! Wipe out all the universe’s leaders in one bang!

And why is Burnham allowed a vote among world leaders? WTH?

Okay, I’m done with my rant. Discovery does what they always do… how are we feeling today…

Gawd.

Apparently just barging in on meetings uninvited is not considered to be a bad thing in the 32nd century. Customs do change over time I suppose…

Given how closely Gray had worked with Zora, it seems more likely that Saru had asked him to join the discussion. With Tilly absent, Adira had worked more closely with the sphere data than any so also a reasonable officer to call into the session.

Frankly, Stamets role and relevance is less clear.

Burnham seemed to be representing Starfleet and casting a vote for it. Odd, but she was the captain with greatest direct experience with the anomaly so it makes sense for he to be prioritized as the Starfleet rep. Also, given President Rillick had asked her to speak and had to stay neutral, it was important for Starfleet’s vote to be cast.

It’s not clear and the officers were clearly surprised.

The LGBT thing is great. These two actors are terrible.”

Unfortunately, in Current Year, characters can only be played by people who belong to the same sub-group as them. (Apparently the word “acting” has been forgotten. And of course this only goes in one direction.) Gray and Tal are not clearly trans, by the way- I don’t recall anything to that extent ever having been said out loud- but they are both somewhat ambiguous, being Trill to one extent or another, and so, in Current Year, they *must* be played by trans actors. (Imagine that DS9 was able to portray Trill with non-trans actors! Ah, the Dark Ages.)

However, there just aren’t that many trans people out there, so the pool of actors is smaller. So Paramount is in the unenviable position of picking non-trans good actors to play their kinda sorta trans characters (shriek!!!), or going with what they can get. (Or not having trans characters at all, but that of course is unthinkable. How we had hundreds of Trek episodes without…well, the Dark Ages.)

That said, I don’t find the actors all that bad. They are portraying kids going through upheavals, after all- they’re going to be a bit quirky. The relationship between them as portrayed is weird, but maybe I’m just expecting an adult relationship and, again, they’re kids.

Those are good points. I’m a transwoman of many years (meaning I’m very old) and I just dislike making everyone an identity issue. Once I resolved my issue I moved on. (Yes, I am “out”. But that’s a consequence of it’s very obvious as I go about my daily business. I am not ashamed. On the other hand, you don’t have a “right” to know about me either. If you ask I will readily tell you, and even chat with you if you like. I don’t hide. Neither do I wear a banner saying, “Look at me! I’m trans!”) You don’t dwell on it because you want to live life, have friends, have a few adventures. If one constantly dwells on their identity it means there’s some unresolved stuff going on. The only folks who stay “stuck” in their issue is because they really don’t know who they are… And I would rather have great writing and great characters than a checkoff list of actors who fit a certain category… but that’s just me.

I know exactly what you mean, those dak ages, wehre instead of getting someone in black face, and another better actor in yellowface they *had* to cast black woman as Uhura and an Asain man as Sulu…And we ended up which such awful characters…. /s

That’s apples and oranges.

(Imagine that DS9 was able to portray Trill with non-trans actors! Ah, the Dark Ages.

They were even able to portray Trill with non Trill-actors! Shocking ;-)



Yeah, I was thinking that. :-)

I mean, the guy who played the Trill on TNG was clearly not Trill- he didn’t even have any spots! :-)

I guess I’m just showing my age, when I hear the “10C” I think “10CC” and suddenly “I’m Not In Love” is playing in my head. Dangit. :D

Thought the same LOL.

Has anyone tried to see if those coordinates match anything previous in Star Trek? The timeframe and the fact that the DMA is extragalactic really has my brain leaning towards the Kelvans acting out of desperation to clear out a galaxy so they can move in. I could be wrong, but that’s where my brain is going.

There is no bigger Gary Stu than Kirk, but oddly nobody complained when he always got the girl or always had the perfect words to solve things… I have no idea why that is. /s