Star Trek: Discovery: Choose Your Pain
October 15, 2017 7:54 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Harcourt Fenton Mudd has a thing or two to say about Starfleet.

More forward momentum on the plot.

Brief synopsis:
* We open on Michael having a bad dream about the spore drive: she's in Ripper's place, suffering. We also learn that Tilly snores.

* We cut to Lorca talking to Starfleet Command. Several pieces of information come out, including that nobody is very happy with Lorca offering Michael another chance, and that they're working on more spore drives but have no way to use them without additional tardigrades that they currently don't even know how to obtain. We also learn that Discovery has been on a rampage since discovering Ripper's navigational abilities, turning the tide of battles and striking at the Klingons, but Command believes the Klingons are onto them, and is concerned about wearing out Ripper - they order Lorca to dial it back for now.

Command turns out to be right, but too late, as a Klingon D-7 cruiser kidnaps Lorca as he's returning to Discovery.

* Saru's left in charge of Discovery, and ordered to rescue Lorca since they're the only ones who can penetrate Klingon space effectively enough to do so. Michael tries to warn him about Ripper's deteriorating condition, but he's not interested. Saru tells her to drop it, and instructs the computer to construct a performance evaluation of him relative to the great captains of Starfleet to help him avoid second guessing himself, evidently a problem for him whenever Micheal's involved.

* The prison cell contains two other men. One's Harry Mudd, who claims that he got in deep with some loan sharks after buying a moon to impress a woman. This being Mudd, I'm not even sure that's an exaggeration. The other is a Starfleet officer who was captured in the Battle of the Binary Stars, and has survived the Klingon prison for 7 months because the captain is enjoying using him.

We learn that the Klingons let the prisoners vote who gets the daily beating - sort of a Klingon Survivor - in order to prevent the inmates from bonding, which is at least passingly clever.

We also learn that Mudd blames Starfleet for his trouble - he thinks their exploration of the galaxy is just stirring up trouble and making enemies. Also, he has a little arachnid pet named Stewart, trained enough to fetch him crackers.

* Michael attempts to go around Saru by talking to Stamets directly. Stamets is willing to hear her and Tilly out, and shuts down the drive. We learn that the tardigrade obtains the fungal DNA via horizontal gene transfer, and they think they can use another species as a navigator instead if they inject them with a cocktail based on it.

* Lorca is interrogated. The female Klingon captain speaks fluent English, (she claims to be 'descended from spies'), and knows a ton about him. He gets under her skin by calling out her having sex with a human, and she tortures him with his light sensitivity.

* Discovery figures out where Lorca probably is, and Saru attempts a jump, but he's stymied by Stamets and Michael. He's furious, demands they jump no matter the cost, (even if Ripper is sapient, he says he'll face the music later). He confines Michael to quarters for going around his authority. They jump, but Ripper is devastated, and goes into self-induced suspended animation rather than submit to more jumps, leaving them stranded in Klingon space. Saru demands they rouse it and use it to jump out when needed even if Ripper dies in the process. Stamets agrees.

* Lorca figures out that Mudd is collaborating, finds a listening device on Stewart. Mudd counters by telling the other officer how Lorca's last command ended: with Lorca as the only survivor. Lorca explains that he killed his own crew rather than let them become POWs in Klingon custody. This is also where he got his eye injury, and why he won't get it corrected the easy way.

This apparently sways the young officer, who works with Lorca to break out of their cell. They leave Mudd to the mercy of the Klingons, and Lorca doesn't finish off the Klingon captain - he just sears her eyes, presumably creating a new nemesis/potential ally for Voq later. The pair steal a raider and flee.

Discovery jumps in, beams them out and jumps away, but we learn that Stamets injected himself rather than kill Ripper. He comes out of it apparently okay.

* Saru and Michael have a talk, and come to a greater understanding: Saru was jealous of how Georgiou picked and groomed Michael, and how he never had a similar chance. Michael gives him Georgiou's telescope and tells him he did a good job, and they seem to be on better terms. He orders her to save Ripper, then leaves and deletes his evaluation program, claiming that he knows what he did.

* Michael and Tilly free Ripper, who wakes up and jumps away looking pretty happy for a space monster.

* Stamets and the doctor turn out to be a couple, sharing a sink as they brush their teeth together while they talk over Stamets' actions. Stamets appears to be fine, up until the final moment of the episode where his reflection in the mirror apparently has a life of its own after they've turned away from it.

Poster's Log:
This was interesting. I really expected Ripper to be around longer. Also, this means knowledge that a spore drive exists at all is more widespread than I would've expected, if various shipyards are gearing up to use them.
posted by mordax (128 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
My spouse noted: at the end, Stamets has, in a sense, gone through the looking glass.

I had sort of a Twin Peaks vibe.

(Tilly and Stamets use the f-word. In Star Trek. On CBS. I am still processing this.)

I am so glad the tardigrade torture is over!
posted by brainwane at 7:59 PM on October 15 [8 favorites]


I adored the toothbrushing couple moment between Lt. Stamets and Dr. Culber at the end. In general, Stamets is growing on me. And I'm appreciating Saru more and more, too, and I'm looking forward to learning more about Ash Tyler.
posted by brainwane at 8:08 PM on October 15 [7 favorites]


So fucking cool.
posted by yonega at 8:12 PM on October 15 [3 favorites]


There's a building theme of the cult of personality around captains that I'm happy to see. I feel like the rest of Star Trek always went a bit easy on the crew as a happy family doing their Federation best!, not as a group of people isolated in a technological egg, outside of which is the big cold vacuum, and prone to fetishizing the command hierarchy that's responsible for not needlessly killing them.

Likewise, Saru as the Spock-figure is becoming more interesting because, while he's still the bridge's superego, he's not struggling with emotionlessness, which was always the most tedious aspect of Data after a couple seasons.
posted by fatbird at 8:35 PM on October 15 [5 favorites]


The list of most decorated captains Saru was comparing himself to was entirely filled with familiar names:

Philippa Georgiou
Jonathan Archer -- from Enterprise.
Christopher Pike -- from the original TOS pilot, The Cage, and the reboot movies.
Robert April -- Gene Roddenberry's original planned name for the captain in TOS, later established as the first captain of the Enterprise (NCC 1701) in the animated series episode, The Counter-Clock Incident.
Matthew Decker -- later Commodore Decker of the USS Constellation, from the TOS episode The Doomsday Machine. Also father of Will Decker, from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
posted by Pryde at 10:28 PM on October 15 [9 favorites]


I cried like a baby for the last few minutes of the episode. When they freed that tardigrade I was DONE. As far as I'm concerned Star Trek is back. And welcome, old friend.
posted by potrzebie at 10:35 PM on October 15 [14 favorites]


A welcome episode for several structural reasons. One is that they've moved away from Michael as the overwhelmingly dominant perspective for the show, largely sidelining her here from the main action, even as she was still needed to get to that point. That gives the show a wider and more fruitful point of view, where more of the crew will be involved and we'll be able to better understand their points of view on events.

Along with that, this episode features Stamets making the heroic self sacrificing decision, something that is also needed lest the show be just about Michael which would be a real problem given her place on the crew and the longer term enjoyment of the show. The show needed more people making their own decisions and to sometimes be more important than Michael for it to work for long.

Lastly, they ended a little mini-arc here, suggesting that they can broaden their scope a bit and pull back from the heightened sense of immediacy they established to start the series. With the tardigrade gone, it's back to warp drive and, hopefully, a bit more drawn out development rather than it coming across as a single mission story.

Lot's of stuff to like here. They set up yet another parallel, this time between the situation with the tardigrade and that of the prison ship. Stamets chooses himself to suffer rather than the tardigrade, while the choice in the prison ship is in making others suffer instead. Mudd primarily, but Lorca makes that choice too at Tyler's urging. That Stamets makes the sacrifice for Lorca, or as part of his rescue is balanced against Lorca's sacrifice of his crew rather than allow them to suffer what he says would be a slow and painful public death. How that balances isn't yet clear, but it's an interesting development.

I enjoyed everyone this episode. They've got a really solid cast, and even the secondary crew members who we don't know much about seem more involved and potentially interesting than is usual for Trek. Doug Jones is outstanding as Saru. The character who seemed so much like a joke at the announcement is becoming increasingly interesting and, thankfully, emotionally complex. Mary Wiseman's Tilly is also developing well. She is still sort of a lighter character that seems aimed at giving fans a bit of relief every episode, but they're adding some depth to her and moving her from being just that to something more.

Anthony Rapp as Stamets and Wilson Cruz as Dr. Culber are good together, the actors body language and the method of address the writers use gives a nice indication of some history without needing to spell it all out. That isn't to say I still wasn't pleasantly surprised by how intimate it seems they've already become, but that they earlier dialogue scenes carried a good amount of non-verbal communication which is great for the characters and just a better way to make a show, where not everything has to be stated explicitly.

Rainn Wilson's Mudd was as good as one could hope I'd think. His scenes were about as memorable as they could be given the screentime he had. I loved his story about buying a moon, his pet, and low key betrayals all seem suitable and well handled. He did enough to be a untrustworthy scoundrel but I still look forward to seeing him again where he might go a different direction. His survival, criticisms of Starfleet and Lorca, and information he holds suggests he is more than capable of doing much more than he seems, but for purposes of his own. I'll be interested to see more of Shazad Latif's Tyler since they played him a bit vague this time to build suspense. I also should mention Jayne Brook's Admiral Cornwall and Julianne Grossman's Discovery computer voice, since I enjoy both whenever they're on screen, whether seen or heard.

The Klingons this episode could have been better developed perhaps, I'm sure Dennas will be back and we'll find out more about her. I just hope they'll develop more about them fairly soon since I'm a bit impatient with how long they're leaving them shown mostly as outlines sketched in via their worst behavior.

Oh, one last thing I've enjoyed watching so far that I forgot to mention is seeing the attention they're putting into visual detail, not just the big stuff, which looks great, but things like Michael's changing hairstyles over the course of the show. As her situation shifts, so does her look. Both out of plot need and character development. The show is really tuned in to detail in some ways, so I'll be curious to see if and how that works out on the continuity/larger Trek level as well.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:43 AM on October 16 [8 favorites]


By the way, for those who don't want spoilers I'd strongly suggest avoiding the Memory Alpha page since they may have, perhaps inadvertently, provided a big one. Which I realized only after the fact of reading the page myself.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:49 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]


That was so good! Woo! What a wild ride! Also it gave me an inordinate amount of glee thinking about the conservative Trump supporting Star Trek fans watching that bathroom scene and their heads exploding.
posted by liquorice at 3:02 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]


That thing with the mirror was really scary, I think I need a hug. But hooray for saving the tardigrade.

Did not realise that L'Rell was the captain of the prison ship until I watched the aftershow, that seems like... fast work? Probably I am making assumptions about the timeline. It doesn't work, does it?
posted by Coaticass at 3:24 AM on October 16


A month has passed since what happened in episode 4. I didn't pick up that it was L'Rell that was captain though?? But I also don't watch After Trek...
posted by liquorice at 3:29 AM on October 16


Also I have a theory that would explain how L'Rell could be the captain of the prison ship but I don't know if theory with a little bit of evidence counts as a spoiler or not...
posted by liquorice at 3:30 AM on October 16


I join liquorice in having a theory, but will also refrain from offering it, as I don't know if it violates the rules (no spoiler-y advance knowledge, just an "ah-ha? maybe?" moment).

It doesn't take an advanced degree in astrophysics to arrive at the conclusion that having your reflection hang around in a mirror after you've left is not a good sign. Apparently, this alternative to the tardigrade (yay for releasing the tardigrade!) is not...optimal?

The torture scene was lifted straight out of A Clockwork Orange.

That Stamets makes the sacrifice for Lorca, or as part of his rescue is balanced against Lorca's sacrifice of his crew rather than allow them to suffer what he says would be a slow and painful public death.

Plus the third and fourth options: Saru is willing to kill the tardigrade to save Lorca, but then take the consequences (which Lorca seems not to have done), while the doctor simply refuses to trade one life for another.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:30 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]


I really enjoyed this episode. Woah to swearing in Star Trek- ties it too closely to our times, I feel. (Kirk is born 2228, yeah? that's the same distance from now as 1806 (211 years) when Napoleon was running around Europe, and language-wise, think Jane Austen.)

No Voq in this episode.

I liked the subtle set up- the break in grumpy Stamets last episode when he complained that Ripper was able to interact with the mushrooms "aww, I want to talk to the mushrooms" - I was totally expecting Michael in the chamber, but Stamet's giggling was great.

Did Tilly speak a blessing over Ripper before they released him?
posted by freethefeet at 4:39 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]


Also I have a theory that would explain how L'Rell could be the captain of the prison ship but I don't know if theory with a little bit of evidence counts as a spoiler or not...

Yeah, I think it does, unfortunately, since now I'm going to have to refrain from speculation until things become clearer now that the tardigrade's out of the bag, so it seems.

The "fuck" wasn't the first swear, there was a "shit" last episode I think, or perhaps the one before, either way, they are looking to keep a "mature" attitude for the show. There was even questions over whether there'd be nudity at one point, but I don't know if there was any statement on that.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:01 AM on October 16


We already knew Tilly snores. It's like the second thing she said after she first appeared on screen.
posted by Faintdreams at 5:05 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]


I really love this Star Trek. The ethical questions, the joy over science, the complex (and queer!) lives of the crew members. It's not perfect--this episode was less unified than the previous--but it's very very good.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:42 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]


Apparently, this alternative to the tardigrade (yay for releasing the tardigrade!) is not...optimal?

Mirrors in Star Trek? Hmmm, I wonder how Stamets would look with a goatee...
posted by gusottertrout at 5:53 AM on October 16 [5 favorites]


So, it looks like we're heading for our first 'crewmember acts strange under alien influence' plot.
posted by yonega at 6:23 AM on October 16 [1 favorite]


From at least one previous episode of Discovery we know that the way at least some mirrors work on this ship is not just silver-backed glass. They're reflective force fields or similar, maybe using cameras and holography. So what if the bathroom mirror is an image captured by a camera on Discovery that has accidentally captured a time-delayed ghost image of Stamets, because his time in the fungal pathways has jarred him just a bit loose from the space-time continuity of everyone else on the ship?

(I'm reminded again of Kris Straub's webcomic Starslip, but talking more about why is kind of a spoiler for that strip, which is fun and worth reading.)
posted by brainwane at 6:49 AM on October 16 [4 favorites]


Heh. According to Indiewire, they debated a different outcome for the tardigrade at one point:

Before “Star Trek: Discovery” decided to give the tardigrade its freedom, a far more fun but expensive option was considered. Apparently, the tardigrade was going to be written as an actual Starfleet member that had its place on the bridge. He would’ve been named Ephraim, after the real world’s Johann August Ephraim Goeze, the German zoologist who discovered the microscopic creatures in 1773.

“He was Stamets’ boss,” executive producer Aaron Harberts said. Full scripts were written in which Ephraim would talk to Burnham “about spores and the beauty of mushrooms. It was pretty trippy.”


True or not, I like it and now wish "Ephraim" would have stuck around.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:40 AM on October 16 [15 favorites]


This was maybe the second best episode yet, imo. SO GRATEFUL they backed off the Klingon a little.

I also agree with the thoughts above that the opening up of the narrative to give more time to non-Burnham characters and the slight backing off of the spore drive now GOGOGO plot engine helps.

This is the best new show of the fall season. And I wasn't even a Trek person before.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:40 AM on October 16


I think that may have been the first f-bomb in all of Trek.

The mirror bit is further validation of the mushroom-fairy roads thing, imho. In the most likely immediate source for the introduction of the theme to the show, Susanna Clarke's work, mirrors are the way out from the fairy roads and characters who travel the roads can use mirrors as doorways back and forth between the regular world and the world of the roads. Mind you, I am not saying that Discovery is simply lifting her work and conception but I am saying there are points of congruence, enough for me to see them as in part borrowings.

Where did we see the non-glass mirror, brainwane? I do not recall it.

Why did no one seem all that concerned that the Klingons knew about the Captain's shuttle or about finding how they did? Likewise, how does Mudd know all this detail about Lorca's service record? Did Mudd know about the shuttle? How? Why on Q'onos would L'Rell do such a terrible job of working with and on Lorca as an intelligence asset after going to such trouble to snatch him? If there were forty crew on the prison ship (which was implied also to be the D7, I thought) why in the Seven Hells would Captain L'Rell be among the, what, five total crew we see Lorca and New Guy encounter? If the D7 is in fact the prison ship, isn't that a strange use of a battleship, one with active and armed small fighters? How many prisoners are there on this prison ship? Just Mudd and the Starfleet guys? That's a mighty small body of incarcerated beings to lead to the designation of prison ship, wouldn't you say?

I have questions.
posted by mwhybark at 8:08 AM on October 16 [7 favorites]


I think that may have been the first f-bomb in all of Trek.

First and second!
posted by zarq at 8:40 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]


...Command believes the Klingons are onto them, and is concerned about wearing out Ripper - they order Lorca to dial it back for now.

Yet the Admiral says nothing to Saru about letting the tardigrade rest and dialing back use of the Spore Drive. Is this an inconsistency, or does she feel that getting Lorca back overrides Starfleet's orders?
posted by zarq at 8:45 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]


Where did we see the non-glass mirror, brainwane? I do not recall it.

It was at the start of the previous episode when Michael was getting dressed. Instead of a mirror she had a real time, full-body hologram projection.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:47 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]


Did not realise that L'Rell was the captain of the prison ship until I watched the aftershow, that seems like... fast work? Probably I am making assumptions about the timeline. It doesn't work, does it?

Oh jeeze, can't believe I missed that. (Took so many notes this episode as it was!)

This can only make sense if her House has decided to back Voq this fast - each Klingon House presumably has their own supply of ships to allocate as they see fit. (This is certainly true from what we see in TNG/DS9.)

Yet the Admiral says nothing to Saru about letting the tardigrade rest and dialing back use of the Spore Drive. Is this an inconsistency, or does she feel that getting Lorca back overrides Starfleet's orders?

I figure getting Lorca back was absolutely top priority, since he can give the Klingons just about everything about the drive. Better to lose it and Discovery than to let the Klingons start parallel research - Starfleet would still have a head start recovering the program afterward. They're close to having a bunch of drives that are just missing tardigrades.

If the D7 is in fact the prison ship, isn't that a strange use of a battleship, one with active and armed small fighters?

This bit actually makes some sense in light of Klingon internal politics: taking Lorca to a real prison means sharing the intelligence they obtain with other Klingons. Right now, they're still factionalized, but any House that implemented Lorca's secret weapon would be ascendant over the others.

A battlecruiser is both mobile and well-defended, thus making it a great way to keep Lorca all to themselves - if Lorca and Tyler had not escaped, it's highly unlikely Discovery could've retrieved them even knowing where they were. (However, it is clear from the jailbreak that they didn't think this all through very well, or that security on a D-7 is as bad as on a Starfleet vessel generally.)
posted by mordax at 9:08 AM on October 16 [5 favorites]


This can only make sense if her House has decided to back Voq this fast - each Klingon House presumably has their own supply of ships to allocate as they see fit. (This is certainly true from what we see in TNG/DS9.)

I'm not clear on something. Is L'Rell a member of two Houses?
posted by zarq at 9:14 AM on October 16


I'm not clear on something. Is L'Rell a member of two Houses?

She mentioned in episode 4 that her mother was a member of a house of matriarchs (whose name sadly escapes me at the moment). I don't know enough about how Klingon succession works to know if that means L'Rell is part of two houses or not, but the lineage is there.

Did not realise that L'Rell was the captain of the prison ship until I watched the aftershow, that seems like... fast work? Probably I am making assumptions about the timeline. It doesn't work, does it?

I thought her outfit was very much like L'Rell but then dismissed the possibility that the captain was LITERALLY L'Rell (as opposed to another member of her house) because it seemed too goofy or unbelievable that she'd mobilize her entire house to join in the war effort on T'Kuvma/Voq's side, only to have her seemingly run all the major ops because I guess that house only has seven members and she has to do everything.
posted by chrominance at 9:27 AM on October 16 [4 favorites]


She mentioned in episode 4 that her mother was a member of a house of matriarchs (whose name sadly escapes me at the moment).

She's House Mo'Kai, and yeah, there's a big long exchange about this on the defunct Shenzou. This is consistent with the claim of being 'descended from spies,' too.

I guess that house only has seven members and she has to do everything.

Shades of Lursa and B'Etor, there.
posted by mordax at 9:40 AM on October 16 [1 favorite]


Interesting theory on IO9 . . . Tyler is actually Voq, after giving up "everything" to get his revenge.
posted by fimbulvetr at 10:41 AM on October 16 [7 favorites]


I enjoyed this episode, but man, the computer's interjections-as-exposition are really getting irritating. Almost as though you had some writers pushing "let's try to avoid giving exposition that wouldn't make sense in context" and their compromise was to have the computer do it all. the. time.
posted by Seeba at 10:53 AM on October 16 [3 favorites]


and oh yeah, the crew technobabble exposition over the DNA graphics whatsits bidniss, where they basically took a voiceover giving context to what they were doing and split it up between Tilly, Burham and Stamets was, uh, not satisfying to me!

also: was this the first instance Discovery of the dreaded Trek plot beat involving sitting around at a conference table talking? I mean, I never really minded it at all on TNG (or TOS, for that matter), but I certainly am aware it became a subject of critique and that later Treks avoided it. I suppose, assuming that Enterprise wholly eschewed it, that might be the first in-timeline appearance of it (assuming there weren't prior conference table scenes in Discovery, I might have missed one)!

I'm bummed we'll never get Ephraim, Starfleet Tardibear.
posted by mwhybark at 11:14 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]


Er, I guess I no longer need to refrain from theorizing, as I see others have already landed on the same conclusion.

Tyler = Voq answers many of mwhybark's questions, I think.
posted by thomas j wise at 11:16 AM on October 16 [1 favorite]


Interesting theory on IO9 . . . Tyler is actually Voq, after giving up "everything" to get his revenge.

What? No way. There's no possible way tha-
To the audience Tyler is so obviously a spy that Lorca’s not just callous, he’s a fucking moron. Tyler is played by Shazad Latif, who also plays the albino Klingon Voq. (Edited, 11:05: At some point between writing this and publishing this, the line that Latif had a dual role vanished from Wikipedia. But this theory has been floating around for a while, based on the name given to Voq being attached to an actor with no other credits and Latif’s birth last name being the same as the credited actor.) We do know Voq went to learn skills from the House Mokai—a house with matriarchs, and this ship was captained by a female Klingon who said she trained as a spy and that’s how she speaks English so well. L’Rell also told Voq he’d have to give up “everything” to win the war, and having to look and act human is that, especially for a Klingon who rages against assimilation and who comes from a time when “Remain Klingon” is the slogan of the day. (Also, “The Trouble With Tribbles” featured a Klingon spy made to look human—it’s not a new trick of the Klingon Empire’s.) It’s too ironic for writers to not be setting it up. And so the problem is that telling your audience this much that they figure out the twist early means, for weeks, we’re going to be screaming bloody murder at Lorca.
Holy cow. HOLY COW.

My usual complaint about scifi tv shows is the plot twists are terribly predictable. They telegraph them way too early. A spy, sure. He's definitely a spy. Totally a spy. But VOQ disguised as a human?! That theory never even occurred to me. Damn, damn, damn. That would be awesome.
posted by zarq at 11:18 AM on October 16 [12 favorites]


Yeah, I only realised it because the actor who plays Voq having no history online basically. But this episode seems to confirm it. I think without that external knowledge it wouldn't necessarily be so obvious as that commentator seems to think. I think it's fun and brilliant if true as I feel like it could also possibly link up as an explanation as to why Klingons look so human in TOS?
posted by liquorice at 11:29 AM on October 16


No offense, but that was the thing I was trying to avoid come up in the thread since, if it's true, it'd be a big spoiler if they try and play it up for a while, so bringing it up early could really impact some people's enjoyment of the show.

That said, I'm not one of those people myself, but the info coming out, again, if it's true and means what it suggests, that really ruins any suspense they wanted to build.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:33 AM on October 16 [4 favorites]


Threads about shows that are currently airing usually allow people to speculate about upcoming plot developments and discuss their theories. So that's kind of par for the course around here. However, I definitely understand your discomfort. It would be a hell of a revelation.

If the community prefers we can easily ask the mods to delete these last few comments discussing Voq as too much of a possible spoiler, if true.

What does everyone think?
posted by zarq at 11:42 AM on October 16 [3 favorites]


If I don't want a show spoiled, I avoid all discussion of it. You really can't avoid it any other way.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:44 AM on October 16 [3 favorites]


I'm fine with deleting the Voq speculation but it might be useful to have a standing speculation thread for anyone that wants to discuss the meta-narrative without potentially spoiling future plot points for others.
posted by nathan_teske at 11:47 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]


Makes sense to delete the comments and the link to the theory as I feel like it is just over the line from fan speculation to outright spoiler. But also think this will be harder to manage as the theory becomes more widespread but may as well try!
posted by liquorice at 11:47 AM on October 16


It wasn't the speculation itself, but the seemingly leaked info leading to it that bothered me. If it's just pure speculation based on what the show has given us, that's fine, that's part of the enjoyment in discussion, but this was info the show was trying to hide, at least for the first few weeks, so seemingly coming out against their wishes and could dramatically alter how we see the events from here on out. I guess we can hope it's a clever ruse designed to fool those who look into these things, but that seems unlikely.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:56 AM on October 16 [2 favorites]


Sure, I've got no objection to my comment taking a hike.
posted by thomas j wise at 11:56 AM on October 16


I dunno, while usually spoiler-averse, resolving my doubts about the apparent timing plot-hole in regards to Tyler's imprisonment really added to my enjoyment. THAT WAS REALLY GIVING ME THE PIP. And I have nowhere else to discuss it, much. So thank you all! (Mind you, if not for After Trek I would not have known about it in the first place.)

That leaves my second nitpick: If the tardigrade could just zip back into its mouldy home dimension, what was preventing it from doing so before? It had to be in open space? Whut? *Team Tardigrade*
posted by Coaticass at 12:32 PM on October 16 [2 favorites]


Also that io9 recap has some great ideas but yes, a bit spoileriffic.
posted by Coaticass at 12:37 PM on October 16


Captain Lorca, this is Clem Fandango; can you hear me?
posted by Sunburnt at 3:51 PM on October 16 [8 favorites]


> If the tardigrade could just zip back into its mouldy home dimension, what was preventing it from doing so before?

I figure it needs A) spores, B) a reason to go out, and C) not be in agony. When it's hanging out in the Egon Spengler Suites of Glenn and Discovery with all of the spores, it's got A and C. When it's in the Drive Room, it usually has A and C. When it's in Discovery's Marquis de Sade Suite of Dangerous Shit, it mostly has B and C. At one point MB gives it A, it loses B. When it's out-Klingoning Klingons on the dead Glenn, it has B, as well as C in moderation.

The real question is, how did it animate itself back to full size after dumping a few gallons of water (seriously, so little water made up 99% of the water of that creature? Human adults have ~10 pints of blood, about 2.5 gallons) onto the drive room floor? It should have to re-absorb some of that water.
posted by Sunburnt at 4:43 PM on October 16 [2 favorites]


I like that the bridge has a pop-up display that lets the know that, hunh, whaddya know, Mister Stametts just about dropped dead just now. I mean, cool that the system can detect that kind of thing I guess (but it'll just make it weird to explain all the stuff the computer fails to catch on to aboard ship), but maybe someone should go ahead and route that info to Sickbay. It really shouldn't be the bridge crew that gets there first.

One of the guys from Red Letter Media says that he understands that ST:TOS doesn't look like the future anymore, but this show looks so far ahead of everything that it makes much more sense if you just picture it being about 150 years after ST:TNG, and maybe Kelvin Timeline. The more I see of this show, the more I agree.
posted by Sunburnt at 4:48 PM on October 16 [3 favorites]


I'm glad I read the Voq speculation here because it was bothering me that damned much that a human would be able to beat up a Klingon woman that easily.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:23 PM on October 16 [7 favorites]


Yet the Admiral says nothing to Saru about letting the tardigrade rest and dialing back use of the Spore Drive. Is this an inconsistency, or does she feel that getting Lorca back overrides Starfleet's orders?

Starfleet's concerns aren't that the tardigrade is getting worn out by the jumps (in fact they are actively looking for more tardigrades) but that Discovery is drawing attention to itself too much. So it's not inconsistent for there to be a mission to rescue Lorca, as they aren't worried about the beastie but the visibility.
posted by freethefeet at 5:38 PM on October 16 [2 favorites]


Woah to swearing in Star Trek- ties it too closely to our times, I feel.

The fuck it fucking does! Take note, The Fucking Expanse! The goddam gauntlet has been thrown down. Y'all best let Avasafuckingrala have ALL THE SWEARS.

(Kirk is born 2228, yeah? that's the same distance from now as 1806 (211 years) when Napoleon was running around Europe, and language-wise, think Jane Austen.)

People were saying "fuck" centuries before Austen lived and, most assuredly, while Austen lived. She just didn't write about it.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:57 PM on October 16 [9 favorites]


...which is to say that I like the swearing and hope they don't go all "felgercarb"-ey. But it would be acceptable for them to have stuff vaguely reminiscent of swearing by Klono in the Lensman books.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:05 PM on October 16


Star Trek has always had swearing, damn it!
posted by surlyben at 7:24 PM on October 16 [3 favorites]


"I join liquorice in having a theory, but will also refrain from offering it, as I don't know if it violates the rules (no spoiler-y advance knowledge, just an 'ah-ha? maybe?' moment). "

I feel certain that people here would have figured it out almost immediately without the prompting because, when you think about it, it makes a whole bunch of puzzle pieces fit together. It seems obvious in retrospect. Why that ship attempted a kidnapping, why it had prisoners, why there was another Starfleet officer imprisoned, why the captain was L'Rell of all people, why there's a "relationship" between her and Tyler, why Tyler suddenly was able to overpower his captors, why they both were able to escape so easily, why they thought they could get away (Tyler obviously has some knowledge about the ship and an escape route), why Voq had to "give up everything", why we've spent so much time on Voq when he hasn't had anything to do with Discovery.

The one problem is why they'd risk Lorca actually killing L'Rell (though he didn't) when she showed up, given that he'd been shooting to kill all the other Klingons. I don't know why she'd show herself at all.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:04 PM on October 16 [8 favorites]


Did Tilly speak a blessing over Ripper before they released him?

What she said was: "May the sun and moon watch your comings and goings in the endless nights and days that are before you."

This is a paraphrase of the last verse of Psalm 121, from the Torah.

8. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from now and to eternity.

חיְֽהֹוָ֗ה יִשְׁמָר־צֵֽאתְךָ֥ וּבוֹאֶ֑ךָ מֵֽ֜עַתָּ֗ה וְעַד־עוֹלָֽם:

The prayer is said by Orthodox Jews daily on behalf of those who are Ill. Some also say it during Shiva (the time of mourning.) It is a reminder among other things that G-d watches over us all.
posted by zarq at 8:11 PM on October 16 [14 favorites]


No show needs a Riker, but if the captured Captain sticks around, I think we found this show's Riker.

I'm being really cynical, but I totally read Michael giving Saru Georgiou's telescope as a totally white elephant regifting... but Saru may enjoy it more than Michael would. Works out all 'round.

Not a fan of Stamets cemented by his "no, it's UR fault, Michael" cowardly bullcrap. I never trusted his eyebrow wrinkling from the start.

What was with the creepy music with Stamets smirking to himself in the mirror in the closing scene? I could easily imagine his eyeballs suddenly skirching around into wet dark opal puddles like demons do in Supernatural.
posted by porpoise at 9:14 PM on October 16 [1 favorite]


I didn't catch it at first either, but the creepy music plays while his reflection continues to smirk in the mirror, despite Stamets having left the bathroom.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 9:25 PM on October 16 [2 favorites]


I'm glad I read the Voq speculation here because it was bothering me that damned much that a human would be able to beat up a Klingon woman that easily.

I hollered “enough Klingon foreplay” at the TV.
posted by Kyol at 9:36 PM on October 16 [5 favorites]


> This is a paraphrase of the last verse of Psalm 121, from the Torah.

Does that mean what I think it means?
posted by Sunburnt at 9:58 PM on October 16 [6 favorites]


Regarding my thesis casting Lorca as the Erlking and pondering the possibilty that we might benefit from examining the eponymous Spanish poet's work for related themes, allow me to post here an unexamined link to the result of what appears to have been a most fruitful Google search:

Two Poetic Techniques: Lorca's "Romance de la luna, luna" and Goethe's "Erlkönig".

Please note, I have not yet read the article and it's surely possible this has no light to shed.
posted by mwhybark at 10:47 PM on October 16




I feel certain that people here would have figured it out almost immediately without the prompting because, when you think about it, it makes a whole bunch of puzzle pieces fit together. It seems obvious in retrospect.

Oh, sure, it puts a lot of the pieces together in both the plot and in how they are going to tackle the themes they've raised, so in that sense it would be a key to the show going forward. They certainly hinted at something not being right with the set up on the prison ship, which they didn't have to do, so it isn't like they're being entirely coy about the idea.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:54 PM on October 16 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, you guys, that poem is about a child stolen from human society because he was seduced by the moon. My jokes about Ferdinand seem to be well substantiated.

This is so FUCKING COOL!
posted by mwhybark at 11:02 PM on October 16


It's like an ARG that isn't alternate, but instead literary!
posted by mwhybark at 11:05 PM on October 16 [2 favorites]


Plus I just had the unbeleivably sensuous pleasure of reading the poem in Spanish to my Cuban wife, not entirely sure what it meant in the moment, but after that I will vouch for Lorca as a man who put syllables together in a way that was hella fun to speak.

Now I'm pondering the weird Klingon speaking stuff. If Lorca, the poet, really is central, one hopes that spoken cadence is a thing directed with intent, English, Galactic Standard, or Klingon.
posted by mwhybark at 11:11 PM on October 16


Likewise, Saru as the Spock-figure is becoming more interesting because, while he's still the bridge's superego, he's not struggling with emotionlessness,

He's starting to develop, and he's one of my favourite characters on the show, but there's something in his fussbudgety nature ( and facial prostheses ) that keeps reminding me of Red Dwarf's Kryten.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:57 AM on October 17 [6 favorites]


Captain Lorca, this is Clem Fandango; can you hear me?

Oh shit, I knew I recognised him!

I'm glad I read the Voq speculation here because it was bothering me that damned much that a human would be able to beat up a Klingon woman that easily.

Yeah, when Lorca initially talked to Tyler we were like "don't just blab to him, he's obviously a spy!" and then later when they beat up the Klingon guards we commented on how Klingons are supposed to be super strong and tough but a Federation captain can always beat one up when the plot calls for it. Now it makes sense - they let him go.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:15 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


I feel certain that people here would have figured it out almost immediately without the prompting because, when you think about it, it makes a whole bunch of puzzle pieces fit together. It seems obvious in retrospect.

Well I hadn't figured it out (I never do, for these kind of things), but fwiw I find that more exciting than spoilery - I'm now looking forward to the next episode to see how all of this unfolds
posted by motdiem2 at 6:59 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


I wonder if the Klingon-human transformation has anything to do with the Augment virus or if it was surgery? Given the time-frame it seems pretty coincidental that a Klingon suddenly appears human. If I recall correctly, the Augment virus should be around at this point in the timeline.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:51 AM on October 17


I enjoyed this episode, but man, the computer's interjections-as-exposition are really getting irritating.

That was my biggest gripe -- Star Trek has danced around with machine intelligence before, but the Discovery's computer currently falls into an odd spot of being at once too smart for how it's used and too dumb for a machine that's as smart as it's shown to be (it shouldn't be shown to be that smart, because if it was we'd have a different show). Take, for example, Saru asking the computer to analyze what makes a good captain -- if the ship's computer is capable of that kind of analysis, it should be doing a lot more than it is. The TNG/TOS model was of a computer capable of extremely fast data caching and recall -- a computer capable of pulling together vast amounts of information quickly, but incapable of self-directed analysis. By contrast, the Discovery is nearly the reverse: it can't crunch the numbers that Ripper can, but it can tell Saru what makes a good captain in no time at all. I like what they're doing with the character, and some introspection on his part is both interesting and needed, but (as with the ethics-computer computer in Ep. 2), the particular way in which they drew out that scene is, bluntly, dumb.

I'm fine with dumb if it goes somewhere interesting, and Lorca getting called to a meeting (1) in person, despite all of the hologram tech that everyone uses, (2) which he attends by shuttle, rather than in an armed starship, despite Starfleet's concern that the Klingons might be aware of and interested in the Discovery, and then (3) getting kidnapped by a Klingon vessel that somehow made its way into Federation space undetected, the ease or difficulty of which is unclear but somewhat undercuts the Discovery's unique ability -- I mean, if they can just warp in and snatch a captain without detection or retribution, it's not clear why the Federation can't do the same thing back with conventional tech -- is...dumb. Unless I missed something that would explain it (I couldn't get subtitles to work for this episode), in which case: okay, but the entire situation leading to Lorca's capture just seems entirely avoidable by common-sense policies and procedures.

Which I'm fine with (unlike the computer), because it sets up some good moments (unlike the computer), and it probably could be explained away (maybe the D7 was detected, but couldn't be caught in time; maybe they were concerned that communications were being intercepted; maybe they gambled on a shuttle because it was relatively stealthier and the Discovery needed to guard a planet? again, maybe this was explained and I missed it). Dumb plot in service of future good plot, or interesting character developments, is something I'm entirely okay with.

And I'm entirely okay with getting us an ethical conundrum on the Discovery that isn't a repetition of Burnham v. Lorca; it's good to see the show branching out and giving the other characters time. It's particularly interesting to see where Stamets goes here: overtly disagreeing with Culber, yet (in retrospect) lying to him in order to save the Tartigrade (but also not being open with him after the immediate need is over). I'm more than okay with Rainn Wilson's Harvey Mudd, and his (er) mudd-ying the ethical waters; one of my worries is that Discovery would get too bogged down in parallelism, rather than exploring a variety of viewpoints. Not so! I'm happy that they released Ripper; I'm...intrigued, let's say, by the mirror scene. That opens up (ahem) a universe of possibilities. The science-exposition dialogue was not great, but not meaningfully worse than Star Trek's of yore, and that the central conceit of (half of) this episode was a group of characters thrilled by exploration and science was, in fact, cool.

Overall: damn it, that was a fucking cool episode.

That being said, Lorca is 90% awful. Leaving Mudd behind because...of reasons? felt gratuitous. His justifications to the admiral for fighting the war his way were less than stellar. And his sole survivorship is...not suspicious, exactly, but let's say I'm curious whether we're getting the whole truth, because there aren't a lot of possible scenarios that fit to the chain of events we've been told took place. There's one theory I've heard that feels both persuasive and compelling, and also one that I hope isn't true, that would explain it; but I'm inclined to think it comes down to the writers/producers wanting to write parts of the show more in terms of emotional coherence rather than in terms of strict logical plausibility.

I'm choosing to willfully ignore the Voq/Tyler possibility (it is extremely plausible to me, though) because I'm also having trouble coming up with a scenario where the Klingons (1) know where Lorca's shuttle is in exactly such a way to capture him and only him, (2) still have any need to actually plant a mole in Starfleet, since they've obviously fully compromised Starfleet's communication channels and encryption technology, given (1). Like, it could be true, but if it is true it hardly feels necessary.
posted by cjelli at 8:21 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Enjoyed this episode a lot. Thanks to gusottertrout for writing what made this episode work so well structurally. Moving past a show just about Michael; as good as she is, you can't hang a whole Star Trek on one character. Also I'm relieved they've nerfed the spore drive although it's going to continue to be a major problem for the writers going forward. I can't imagine Starfleet is going to be happy about them releasing the one Space Navigator they ever found.

I'm a bit sad I'd read about the gay relationship before the show aired. Clearly the writers were going for a bunch of dramatic irony having Stamets and Culber disagree so much before the Big Reveal but knowing what to expect it just looked a little silly. I continue to be a bit freaked out about the kind of gay they are playing, but I'm thinking now it's just my own internalized homophobia. There's something very late-80s about their gay accents and what I can only label as faggyness. I'm gay myself and have these campy mannerisms myself sometimes, am proud of them and play them up if the occasion warrants. But it's kind of weird seeing it on screen like this. It feels a bit out of place in 2017, much less in the Star Trek Future. OTOH what the hell, it seems honest and true and the characters are both well written and acted. I should have more trust in where they're going. (I recognize this whole paragraph is problematic, I'm trying to figure out what I'm thinking and why. Like I said, internalized homophobia is part of it.)

Thanks to everyone laying out the Voq/Tyler theory, it makes a whole lot of stuff that seemed dumb about this episode make a lot more sense. I think they could have sold it better if they had a short establishing scene that it was L'Rell from previous episodes who was the captain of the ship. I honestly didn't recognize her, I must be failing my TV comprehension skills.

Very optimistic about this show now.
posted by Nelson at 8:33 AM on October 17 [4 favorites]


zarq: I am grateful for the insight. I am looking forward to seeing more of Tilly's Judaism!
posted by brainwane at 8:45 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]


I'm a bit sad I'd read about the gay relationship before the show aired. Clearly the writers were going for a bunch of dramatic irony having Stamets and Culber disagree so much before the Big Reveal but knowing what to expect it just looked a little silly. I continue to be a bit freaked out about the kind of gay they are playing, but I'm thinking now it's just my own internalized homophobia. There's something very late-80s about their gay accents and what I can only label as faggyness. I'm gay myself and have these campy mannerisms myself sometimes, am proud of them and play them up if the occasion warrants. But it's kind of weird seeing it on screen like this. It feels a bit out of place in 2017, much less in the Star Trek Future. OTOH what the hell, it seems honest and true and the characters are both well written and acted. I should have more trust in where they're going. (I recognize this whole paragraph is problematic, I'm trying to figure out what I'm thinking and why. Like I said, internalized homophobia is part of it.)

FWIW, I'm a straight guy who works with a lot of gay men and I have to say, they seem perfectly normal to me. There's a bit of tension and snark in their relationship, which can be normal for two people who work together. They don't seem overly campy or stereotypical to me. I'm kind of loving the honesty between them. They seem very real. Plus the show is going out of its way to show us that Stamets is a prickly, reckless genius with a huge ego who thinks nothing of altering his own DNA(!) to perfect his invention and his own ability to traverse the universe. Gonna be interesting to see where the relationship goes now.
posted by zarq at 8:55 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


zarq: I am grateful for the insight. I am looking forward to seeing more of Tilly's Judaism!

You're welcome! Am actually not sure she's Jewish, though. Substituting "the sun and moon"for "the Lord" makes me think not, but you never know. I know some Christians read/pray Psalms too, but I don't know if this one has special significance to any Christian sect.

I'm really enjoying the depths this show has given us. The plots, storylines and characters are way more complicated than I was expecting.
posted by zarq at 9:04 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Plus the show is going out of its way to show us that Stamets is a prickly, reckless genius with a huge ego who thinks nothing of altering his own DNA(!) to perfect his invention and his own ability to traverse the universe. Gonna be interesting to see where the relationship goes now.

Not just that, but Dr. Ricky is deeply ethical and abides by his moral compass, which is why Saru knows that he won't work on reviving the tardigrade. It's a really interesting relationship dynamic.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:22 AM on October 17 [5 favorites]


I'm fine with dumb if it goes somewhere interesting, and Lorca getting called to a meeting (1) in person, despite all of the hologram tech that everyone uses, [...]

Yeah, I actually wondered if my stream had jumped ahead in the cut from the conference to the shuttle. Bringing Admiral Jayne out to say hey to the Discovery or taking the Discovery somewhere in secured territory, sure. Running Lorca out on a shuttle that crosses near Klingon territory, or in Starfleet territory that is so poorly held that a battle cruiser / prison ship can do a snatch and grab is just plot stupid. I mean, it does things for the story, but I wish they'd hung the tiniest bit of plot armor on it.

On the other hand, keep it moving, keep it moving.
posted by Kyol at 10:04 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Plus the show is going out of its way to show us that Stamets is a prickly, reckless genius with a huge ego who thinks nothing of altering his own DNA(!) to perfect his invention and his own ability to traverse the universe. Gonna be interesting to see where the relationship goes now.

I loved Dr. Ricky getting mad at Stamets for unnecessarily putting himself in danger.

After the mirror, I think poor Dr. Ricky's gonna get his heart broken.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:31 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


zarq: I am grateful for the insight. I am looking forward to seeing more of Tilly's Judaism!

OMG I can't wait for Tilly's interminable phone calls with her mom. I miss Lwaxana Troi.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:41 AM on October 17


I was discussing the Tyler-is-Voq theory with Mrs Clanger (who suspected that something was up with Lt Tyler). Our chat went something like this:

Mrs C: So could the Klingons disguise Voq as a human?

Me: Yes - remember how in The Trouble with Tribbles there was a Klingon agent surgically altered to look human. He was found out because a tribble reacted badly to him, as it had to other Klingons.

Mrs C: Hang on, Lorca had a tribble on his desk a couple of episodes ago.

Me: Oh. My. God. That's why the tribble was there.

Mrs C: You mean they put the tribble on the desk so they could use it later on. Then it's...

Me: ...CHEKHOV'S TRIBBLE!

(I really, really hope this is where they are going because it would be the ultimate combination of plot twist, continuity reference, fan-wank and shaggy dog pun.)
posted by Major Clanger at 1:00 PM on October 17 [36 favorites]


As I hold my tribble plush, I agree that a disguised Klingon was going to be found in the plot. The camera lingered on Lorca's desk where it cooed. Also, I believe that Ford's, The Final Reflection, is going to be used more extensively for Klingon background/timeline.
posted by jadepearl at 1:13 PM on October 17


Thanks for the comments about Stamets and Culber and the way "their kind of gay" was bugging me. I talked to some other friends of mine and one thing really clarified what I was worrying about; both actors are gay and out. That instantly changed how I was seeing the scenes of them acting stereotypically 90s gay. I feared this was straight actors clumsily trying to act gay but I'm much more willing to accept as authentic if it's coming from a gay actor. Not sure that makes sense or is defensible, but there it is.

I also really appreciate the comments here about how the two characters are given complex personalities with lots of things going on. That kind of depth makes a big difference.

(The idea of CHEKHOV's TRIBBLE is brilliant. I'm all in for that punchline.)
posted by Nelson at 2:31 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


I'll re-cement my status as the resident curmudgeon of the thread, because after re-watch, I really didn't like a lot of this episode. (and I've been enjoying the series so far, even if I am really disappointed with the quality of the writing)

Don't get me wrong, a lot of the ideas were pretty okay, and I get (though dislike when it's forced) that they're going for thematic parallel... but there was a lot that I (and my wife for her first viewing) just ... sighed at. (and that's before taking into account weird things that might be in-universe explained... like how a prisoner so starved for months that he nicks food... is still in fighting shape to take on a guard one-on-one (and "she uses me" doesn't make sense for what we know of Klingons canonically... he'd still be subjected to some measure of privation... or at least a lack of regular haircuts/shaves...))

As cjelli pointed out, the computer is a weird mix of brilliant-and-not... but in ways that are only useful for exposition. Seru asks the computer to track his actions against those of other Captains (which reminds me, why do they constantly refer to him as "Acting Captain" instead of either Captain (position) or Commander (rank)? It was jarringly odd)... and the computer tries to talk him into doing something else? What? Other than exposition and getting him to explain -to-the-TV-audience- his reasoning... what was the point? And the computer that tracked the ChEng's life signs... but only his, nobody else's during, for example the other life-or-death struggles that have gone on before? What would happen during a battle?

The worst "this is only here so we can talk to the audience" was the scene where the ChEng, a non-rate ex-con, and a cadet... all explain to each other, slowly and with alternating "thoughts", the very very basic operating principles of the supposedly extremely complex and groundbreaking engine that they've all been building, studying and operating the entire time? I get that the writing staff used it to show that they've "come up with a new idea", but it was as though the pilot of a commercial airliner with a power problem started explaining basic aerodynamics and all of a sudden had a fix. (That's beside my question as to why the designer/builder of this system seemed to have just as many/few insights to the system as a cadet (who, really, is getting quite an education and some great experiences given the amount of things that she's doing on a ship of, what'd they say, 140, 150?)

And that kind of brings me around to my biggest problem if the aforementioned theory ends up holding water... ... between the literal Chekhov's Tribble, and all of the in-universe injokes... it seems like the writers are trying to be clever, but wanting to make sure that they can point to a deliberate trail afterwards, and for the in-episode twists/reveals/events wanting to make sure that we're hit over the head with plot developments, tech functionality, or interpersonal relationships.

... but that's not how people speak, that's not how events really transpire. If you're going to go for gritty-realism, or an approximation thereof... then the lingering glance at the tribble, the let's-make-sure-we-zoom-in-on-Saru's-glands... it's almost as overstylised as were they to show up in a commedia or kabuki costume. I enjoyed that the relationship between the ChEng and Doc wasn't spelled out the first few episodes. It was natural, it was hinted at in a way that made sense in a professional setting... then their first conversation in what was obviously a domestic setting, they had to emphasise (several times) that "hey, in case anyone hadn't figured it out, we are in a relationship"... which seemed to be more the subject of the conversation than "hey, don't get your ass killed by doing something stupid again".
posted by Seeba at 2:52 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


I wonder how many episodes we'll see before there's a shuttle trip without any fatal incident on board. This is a weird alt-future where the transporters work perfectly and shuttle travel is so hazardous that it's a wonder they bother to still make the things and train people to fly them.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:08 PM on October 17 [9 favorites]


... and now that I think of it ... the newly-rescued crewman... "I just brought you to a ship in the middle of a war zone" ... why would they have jumped back to the front lines, instead of to, for example, a starbase or friendly planet? The crewman (soldier?) is a recently recovered POW who's spend seven months in a camp. Why would they keep him aboard instead of dropping him off for a lengthy debrief, medical treatment, etc?
posted by Seeba at 3:55 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


I'll re-cement my status as the resident curmudgeon of the thread

If it helps, I read these for the curmudgeon stuff as much as the praise. You should see our Voyager threads if you haven't.

This is a weird alt-future where the transporters work perfectly and shuttle travel is so hazardous that it's a wonder they bother to still make the things and train people to fly them.

And speaking of Voyager threads: I'm the one keeping the official 'destroyed shuttles' count in the Voyager rewatch right now. They're past the number they started with, and we're only about halfway done. I can't bat an eyelash at Discovery's track record - at least it's different pilots, and not Chakotay wrecking up half of them.

Why would they keep him aboard instead of dropping him off for a lengthy debrief, medical treatment, etc?

I'm on board with most of your complaints, (especially about the computer - good grief that's annoying, especially the ethical argument in the pilot), but I feel like this one is justified. I think Lorca feels possessive about Tyler in much the same way that he does about Michael: 'I rescued this person, now they're mine.' It's very much the vibe I get off him.
posted by mordax at 4:09 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


And speaking of Voyager threads: I'm the one keeping the official 'destroyed shuttles' count in the Voyager rewatch right now. They're past the number they started with, and we're only about halfway done. I can't bat an eyelash at Discovery's track record - at least it's different pilots, and not Chakotay wrecking up half of them.

I am waiting patiently for the episodes where [SPOILER] they build their own shuttlecraft.

WHICH IS TOO LARGE TO FIT THROUGH THE DOORS OF THE SHUTTLEBAY ACCORDING TO THE STARSHIP'S OFFICIAL SPECS.

I am waiting patiently.
posted by zarq at 5:49 PM on October 17 [5 favorites]


Seriously. They built a shuttlecraft and then suddenly in external shots, all the the bay doors are the size of a space station's. The shuttle isn't even the same size when they show it outside the ship as it is when they show it inside the shuttlebay. It's smaller outside the ship than inside and THE FLYER ITSELF IS BIGGER ON THE INSIDE than the OUTSIDE.

WHAT THE HELL?

I may be having difficulty with the patiently waiting bit.
posted by zarq at 5:51 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


I'll re-cement my status as the resident curmudgeon of the thread

The snark is my favourite part of Trek threads.
posted by fimbulvetr at 6:14 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Oh fun, someone in a Star Trek thread use the word "faggyness". It's so thrilling that Trek has come into the mainstream and is being abused by MRAs, racists and homophobes. This is definitely the future that Gene Roddenberry envisioned; IDIC - infinite douchebags, infinite combinations.
posted by crossoverman at 4:54 AM on October 18


It's so thrilling that Trek has come into the mainstream and is being abused by MRAs, racists and homophobes. This is definitely the future that Gene Roddenberry envisioned; IDIC - infinite douchebags, infinite combinations.

I get the reaction, but if you read the rest of what Nelson said he explained that as a gay man he was worried about how the show was going to represent the gay characters and used the term as a reference to the way being gay was handled on shows in the past. He also explained he himself was experiencing conflicted feelings about the representation, and used the thread to sort of look into that. It wasn't meant as a slight, but part of a descriptive account of his concerns. I personally appreciated the trust he placed in us for being able to share those thoughts.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:19 AM on October 18 [16 favorites]


From following the threads but not watching the show, I'm going to make a wild speculative leap:

Lorca got himself captured intentionally to infect the Klingon fleet with a bioweapon. (Anyone other than a captain wouldn't be worth capturing alive, or at least not worth a personal interrogation by a Klingon captain.)

The process of disguising a Klingon as a human (e.g. Voq->Tyler) changes their biology enough to render them immune to the bioweapon.

As a result, in order to survive the spread of the bioweapon throughout the Klingon population, the House of Mo'kai shares their disguise technique with the other houses. Many Klingons submit to the transformation rather than die outside of battle, but it becomes a shameful topic that they refuse to discuss with outsiders.

I don't know if this would be better than the existing "Augment Virus" story, but I could see it happening. A genetically-engineered genocide virus is totally something that Lorca would be involved in creating and deploying, right?
posted by tobascodagama at 8:27 AM on October 18 [5 favorites]


FWIW gusottertrout's comment is more or less an accurate description of why I made the comment I did. I chose an offensive word on purpose but now regret that a natural reaction to the offensiveness of it obscured the conversation I was trying to have. Language is hard.
posted by Nelson at 12:58 PM on October 18 [7 favorites]


I liked the gay relationship in theory but is it just me or did the actors have terrible chemistry? They're standing so far apart in that final scene and seem almost squeamish about touching each other.
posted by speicus at 2:40 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


I guess I'm kind of thick because I didn't recognize L'Rell at all, but at the same time was like that is the fakest of fake jail scenes I've ever seen. The fact that a supposedly conflict savvy cynical officer didn't see through the obvious bullshit of the Starfleet plant and wussy Klingons just makes me think that Lorca is some sort of idiot. Everything is telegraphed so broadly in this show there is no room for discovery, as it were. And I just don't understand why even the most basic functions of the technology they supposedly have are rarely used- why wasn't Stamets taken to sickbay for a full diagnostic after his space fungus ordeal? for that matter, what about a med exam of the supposedly starving and beaten "human" prisoner they just took on board? Why did Lorca have to be physically present for the Starfleet meeting? There's no reason why the Klingons couldn't just lift him off his own ship, it happened on other Treks, so the shuttle ride is a dumb plot device. There are many dumb plot devices. This bums me out because I sit watching in disbelief as Starfleet officers don't think twice about torturing or hurting other species, as the ship's computer is only used in the stupidest of ways, as no one writing this show seems to think beyond the immediate needs of what they've outlined for an episode instead of how things operate in this universe.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:01 PM on October 18 [7 favorites]


Why did Lorca have to be physically present for the Starfleet meeting?

Perhaps Starfleet is concerned that long-range communications may be compromised.
posted by zarq at 3:10 PM on October 18 [4 favorites]


The DNA modification stuff also potentially sets up a means by which the Klingons could be made more human-looking by the end of the series, too…!
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:40 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]


Perhaps Starfleet is concerned that long-range communications may be compromised.

Agreed. IMO, a better complaint is: why wasn't he ferried there by Discovery? He's the captain, he shouldn't need to get ferried around by shuttle anyway.
posted by mordax at 4:05 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]


It's a Plot.

Or rather, The Plot.
posted by zarq at 4:40 PM on October 18 [3 favorites]


I think Culber said at one point that he was going to go help the CMO with a surgery. I'm assuming that's Chief Medical Officer, which I thought was notable because it means that the doctor we're seeing is not the head of medical. Every previous Star Trek there's been pretty much only one doctor, and if we saw more than one, the head of the department was the actual character we knew.

It's a nice detail in the vein of DIS spending more time with the lower ranks than previous shows did.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:47 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]


And I just don't understand why even the most basic functions of the technology they supposedly have are rarely used- why wasn't Stamets taken to sickbay for a full diagnostic after his space fungus ordeal? for that matter, what about a med exam of the supposedly starving and beaten "human" prisoner they just took on board?

I think it's safe to assume Stamets did go to sickbay since he had four huge puncture wounds and was still being checked out, on the side, when we see him at the end of the episode. The show simply isn't following the usual Trek style of highlighting the few dominant characters in their usual environments in the same way the old shows did. They elided Stamets visit to sickbay since that could be assumed without needing further evidence. That neurological abnormalities may or may not have been visible isn't, at this point, clear since we don't know for sure what happened to Stamets and how whatever it is would manifest itself under standard diagnostics. Stamets himself doesn't seem to believe he is suffering from any serious problems, so there is no reason to believe he would suggest or accept claims of symptoms, which would make diagnosis of a mysterious effect difficult under the best of circumstances.

As for Tyler, we don't know what his status on the ship is yet. They only noted he and Lorca had been transported off the shuttle and Lorca wasn't yet able to resume command at the time Saru gave Burnham the command to save the tardigrade. Given that, one could assume some medical attention was being provided, but the extent of it isn't clear, neither would be whether they could determine Tyler wasn't what he claimed, at least if they didn't know to look for abnormalities. They have no reason to suspect he's anything but who he says he is at the moment, even if we do given our extra knowledge.

As to the shuttle thing, yeah, that's just left to the viewer imagination or annoyance. One could speculate about fears of communications being monitored or hacked or whatever, but they didn't suggest that from what I recall. Being called to see the admiral, who knows Lorca somehow and may have wanted a face to face is also a reasonable scenario, but that still doesn't explain why Discovery didn't take him instead of the shuttle or even where Discovery was in relationship to the meeting. Something that could have led to a shuttle being used instead of the ship under the usual kinds of Treklike scenarios, but they didn't give us any reason to go with that idea either. It's something that will remain vague unless there is further plot development to come from it all I guess.

The Klingon ship could have been cloaked I suppose, since Voq and L'Rell may have known how that technology works, or it could just be a single ship is hard to detect in the vastness of space, something perhaps suggested by Discovery being able to sit in Klingon space undetected while they were deciding on a course of action against the Klingon ships. They fungiwarped to that point of course, but once there they weren't spotted. That makes as much sense to me as the old style instant detection anywhere in space method Treks often used previously.

As for the computer, I like it. I found the previous Trek computers far more annoying with their bizarre inabilities to prevent security breaches and take overs among other things. This version amuses me and doesn't seem all that much worse than the others, even if it leans more in the other direction.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:24 AM on October 19 [3 favorites]


It just occurred to me that the tardigrade plotline resembles the plot of "Encounter at Farpoint," the TNG premiere, without the Q bits. Probably-sentient being is painfully enslaved and made to work for the benefit of others; our heroes figure this out and release it and it lives happily ever after, presumably. Almost as if the Discovery writers were saying "Here's how EaF could have been done better."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:22 AM on October 19 [1 favorite]


The Klingon ship could have been cloaked I suppose, since Voq and L'Rell may have known how that technology works, or it could just be a single ship is hard to detect in the vastness of space, something perhaps suggested by Discovery being able to sit in Klingon space undetected while they were deciding on a course of action against the Klingon ships.

I've been thinking about this, after complaining about the fact that Lorca was on the shuttle at all earlier, and I think a large part of my annoyance is that there's an increasing number of things that the show is sort of suggesting about how the show's spatial geography works without ever quite addressing them head on, and the longer it goes without doing that the less willing I'm willing to assume that the writers have actually considered any of this.

At this point, I'm presuming the ship wasn't cloaked -- because it wasn't shown to be cloaked. I'm presuming that Starfleet wasn't worried about communications -- because there were multiple moments to highlight that concern, and it wasn't highlighted. And that, unfortunately (for me) detracts a bit from the drama, because -- okay, let's presume that is right, though, and ships are reasonably hard to detect in the vastness of space. Then why do you need a cloak? And why do you need a fungus-warp drive in this episode? Couldn't you just...sneak up on them with a regular warp drive-equipped non-cloaked ship?

All I'm really asking for is a few lines to show that the show's producers have actually considered this: 'the Discovery was needed to check out [whatever], while the captain was called away on a secret briefing that Starfleet didn't trust even to encrypted channels for fear of Klingon eavesdropping.' I'd be fine with that (even if that would raise some other questions). That would address my underlying complaint, which isn't so much that the show doesn't make sense, but actually that the show hasn't shown me that it makes sense. I can come up with fan theories all day (and do), but that's my thinking, not necessarily the show's.
posted by cjelli at 12:14 PM on October 19 [2 favorites]


One other thing that I've been thinking about, in re: Tyler/Voq -- the timeline would make much more sense to me if Voq's fall from power had happened a month after the start of the war, and if he had spent the last six months in training/learning English, rather than the timeline we have where he spends six months on a ship that no one is willing to help repair (which doesn't make that much sense anyway, but works a bit better if it's only a month, at least), and then (maybe) spends one month learning to be human.

Which -- look, I like thematic parallels, but TV can be non-linear and we could have been flashing back to Voq in order to keep a while-watching-television parallel to Burnham in the last episode, that (if the Voq/Tyler) theory holds up, would also help the math work in this episode.
posted by cjelli at 12:21 PM on October 19 [2 favorites]


Here's something that may be an interesting point in terms of canon. I was just rewatching The Tholian Web (TOS, S3 E09) and just after the credits they beam to the derelict USS Defiant to find the crew have killed each other. Chekov asks if there has ever been a mutiny on a Starfleet vessel and Spock replies that there is no recorded occurrence of such an event. Which would seem to be at odds with what we saw in the pilot and with everyone in DSC knowing who Burnham is and that she is the only convicted mutineer in Starfleet history to that point. (DSC is set just ten years before TOS.) And Burnham is also supposed to be Spock's adopted sister? The IMDB trivia page does note that Spock has been involved in two mutinies himself at that point.
posted by biffa at 12:28 PM on October 19 [4 favorites]


Honestly I just assumed that the transparent jail break plot was just bad writing. I LOVED Rainn Wilson's Harvey Mudd. His height gave him a very nice physical presence.
posted by bq at 12:34 PM on October 19 [2 favorites]


All I'm really asking for is a few lines to show that the show's producers have actually considered this: 'the Discovery was needed to check out [whatever], while the captain was called away on a secret briefing that Starfleet didn't trust even to encrypted channels for fear of Klingon eavesdropping.'

I'm curious to see if this is a continued thing or if they'll address past incidents or just be more careful about providing exposition going forward since it is unusual and sometimes a bit disconcerting how little info we do get, especially given Trek has never been noted for being light on the technobabble and explaining before. I don't mind the show relying on the viewer to fill in some pieces, but there is a point where they're asking more than they should be when it comes to not tying up their own loose threads.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:51 PM on October 19


previous Trek computers far more annoying with their bizarre inabilities to prevent security breaches

This. I lost track of how many times Sulu noticed a flashing indicator on his console and informed Kirk that someone was opening the shuttle bay doors, only to be followed by an immediate order from Kirk to close them but whoops! Too late, someone has left with a shuttle. Sigh.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:59 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]


I LOVED Rainn Wilson's Harvey Mudd. His height gave him a very nice physical presence.

Mudd is a larger-than-life character in every way. For what it’s worth, IMDB has the original Mudd (Roger C. Carmel) standing 6’3”, a half-inch taller than Rainn Wilson.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:05 PM on October 19 [2 favorites]


I think this is the germ of the script justification of Lorca's absolutely inexcusable abandonment of Mudd. Lorca's character stuff seems to borrow from the least Trekkish popculture precedents and I would say, frankly, as of now, he is totally irredeemable as a Starfleet Captain. We are not sure as of this moment if the showrunners want to expand the set of heroic Starfleet Captains to include obvious bad guys such as Lorca.

Mudd will escape to, what, engage in human and android trafficking, because he is Trek's Joker. I suppose that makes Khan the Penguin, or possibly vice versa.

On the other hand, previously mentioned, I think, in these threads, is the case of Captain Garth, who found himself confined to a high-security detention facility for homicidal and genocidal lunatics. His career dates would imply that he is temporally and institutionally congruent with Lorca.

Kirk fought him in his madness and defeated him, and clearly forgave him. I have my doubts that Discovery's scriptwriters are so deep in the long game that that's the plan for Lorca, but let's do keep in mind that in TOS any number - *any number*, it's literally indeterminate - of genocidal maniacs and institutions were met, defeated, and forgiven.

I really have a hard time imagining the show expending plot beats on reminding us to practice forgiveness, but it's a major, recurring feature of TOS.
posted by mwhybark at 10:48 PM on October 19 [4 favorites]


Guys guys guys. You're missing the important stuff. Stamets and Culber were wearing matching jammies at the end.

And they were RED SHIRTS.

What about Lorca mercy-killing his entire previous crew? I want to know how the heck he was the sole one to escape.
posted by Start with Dessert at 2:43 AM on October 20 [3 favorites]


On the other hand, previously mentioned, I think, in these threads, is the case of Captain Garth, who found himself confined to a high-security detention facility for homicidal and genocidal lunatics. His career dates would imply that he is temporally and institutionally congruent with Lorca.

I must admit that when Saru did his research on most-decorated captains, while it was fun to see Archer, April, and Decker up there with Georgiou, I immediately asked myself, “Wot, no Garth?”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:04 AM on October 20 [3 favorites]


I liked this episode more than the last several, because of a combination of
1- the Treknobbable, which I didn't realize how much I'd missed until they went all-in with it here
2- Rainn Wilson being an excellent fit for the Young Harry Mudd Chronicles
3- the mirror moment; I'm like "Damn right, show; if you're inventing a galaxy-spanning fungus entity and having Starfleet crew experiment with it via Weird and Untested Science, shit BETTER get freaky"
4- and the big scene where Burnham tells Ripper "Go on, boy, you're free now." That scene, and her and her roommate's reaction to it, had a bit of the feel of Real, Actual Trek.

Re: 2, I expect to see more of Young Mudd, and I hope to see a lot more of him. Given the sketchy nature of what's going on, he should fit right in.

Re: 3, I've always said few Trek incarnations were as effective at creepy/scary as TNG often was. I will be pleasantly surprised if this show goes that route.

Also re: 3, and in the spirit of wild speculation…we, uh, don't have any firm canonical info on the exact splitting-off point between the Prime and Mirror Universes, do we?
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 10:02 AM on October 20 [1 favorite]


Enterprise provided it, per Memory Alpha:
April 5, 2063 – From beyond Earth's atmosphere, a Vulcan ship descends and lands in Bozeman, Montana. Watched by a crowd of onlookers, a member of the Vulcan crew disembarks and approaches Zefram Cochrane. The alien performs a Vulcan salute and recites a Vulcan salutation: "Live long and prosper." Cochrane tries to imitate the newcomer's salute. After an unsuccessful attempt, he lowers his hand and, instead of holding it for a handshake (which is what happened in a similar parallel universe), he reaches into his coat and pulls out a shotgun with which he shoots the Vulcan, who instantly collapses.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:08 AM on October 20 [1 favorite]


Even without enterprise, it has to be well in the past of DIS. There's zero chance mirror spock had the same upbringing as regular spock.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:20 AM on October 20 [1 favorite]


The redone credits for the two Mirror Universe Enterprise episodes suggest the point of divergence might very well be further back than that: the symbol of the sword impaling the earth is shown over newsreel footage of marching armies* and on the flag bring planted on the moon. And in the episodes themselves, the alternate universe Phlox finds that ancient literature from our universe is weak and milquetoasty compared to what he is familiar with, although Shakespeare is equally grim in both.

*From our own past, of course. Oh the irony.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:37 PM on October 20 [3 favorites]


What about Lorca mercy-killing his entire previous crew? I want to know how the heck he was the sole one to escape.

I'm mentioned this earlier, and I'm still having trouble coming up with a way that could have happened. His ship is in a position to be captured, and the ship can't escape, but he can -- and no one else can? Possibly several people attempted to escape in a shuttle and only Lorca survived the attempt, or something; I think you can make it work, but it feels a bit like it's a plot out of a naval adventure rather than one set in the dark vastness of space.

By contrast, though, what if we're not in the Mirror Universe, but Lorca is originally from there? Prime Universe Lorca goes down with his ship, Mirror Universe Lorca pops up -- the miraculous 'sole survivor,' perhaps having been involved with fungal experiments on the other side and having accidentally wound up here.

I'm not saying that's particularly plausible, but.
posted by cjelli at 2:34 PM on October 20 [4 favorites]


Rewatching the episode and just passed the point where Lorca tells L’Rell that a human male wouldn’t have enough organs to keep her happy.

Last episode she told Voq he would have to sacrifice “everything.” Apparently this includes all but one of his penises.

That is... dedication to the cause.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:02 PM on October 20 [3 favorites]


It also puts Worf’s love life in a whole different light.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:03 PM on October 20 [2 favorites]


and now we really have to spend some time pondering Mom and Pop Torres, to boot.
posted by mwhybark at 12:44 AM on October 21 [1 favorite]


M-A:

"B'Elanna was born in 2349 on the Federation colony Kessik IV to John Torres, a Human father and Miral, a Klingon mother."

Lorca! Spouting surrilous speciesist innuendo even while strapped down and wearing a, uh, ah, um, a boxer's sparring helmet with fangy bits?
posted by mwhybark at 12:47 AM on October 21


Apropos of nothing specific to this episode, I realized yesterday the amount of generational change Star Trek has undergone. When Voyager premiered, I remember feeling a bit old that Jennifer Lien (playing Kes) was younger than I was, and thus was the the first regular cast member who was not even born when TOS was on the air.

Last night, a brief survey of IMDB showed that except for Jason Isaacs and Doug Jones, it seems all the regular cast arrived after TOS aired, and those two were three and six, respectively. Star Trek now has a cast of people for whom Star Trek has always existed.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:34 AM on October 21 [1 favorite]


We all seem to be assuming Lorca's statements to his jailers and fellow prisoners were completely truthful and accurate, but is that reasonable?
posted by Coaticass at 3:55 PM on October 21 [1 favorite]


I think it's likely Lorca was shading the truth a lot, if not outright feeding tales to the Klingons. The explanation about being L'Rell's ongoing rape victim (which, in itself, isn't that plausible--seven months of Klingon sex is sure to leave a mark, too) is one of those that kind of stops the interrogation until Lorca has more to go on. Doesn't mean he believed it, and Lorca is very suspicious of the entire setup.
posted by fatbird at 4:40 PM on October 21 [1 favorite]


Delighted to know that in the future there are still sonicare toothbrushes, but properly badged for starships.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:40 PM on October 22 [2 favorites]


There are at least two ways of judging this show: as a modern tv show of the New Golden Age, and as a Star Trek series. Succeeding at both is a tall order, considering the inherent cheesiness and optimism of traditional StarTrek. When Russel T Davies rebooted Doctor Who in 2005, the cheese factor was still nice and high, and it felt right, even while it borrowed from more modern shows like Buffy and the X-Files.

But it’s hard to get away with that level of cheese now. It’s really tough to make a show feel like Star Trek while also feeding like it fits in 2017. The scene at the screen explaining how the creature can borrow the DNA of other creatures felt annoying from a writing standpoint but felt ABSOLUTELY like Trek. Plot holes (sometimes papered over with technobabble) are such a seamless part of Star Trek you can’t NOT include them. I think the producers have done a good job of serving two masters here, but it’s such a precarious balance that I can totally understand folks who think it’s not Trekky enough, or it’s too Trekky. For the former, all the old shows still exist; for the latter, the Expanse will be back in the spring.
posted by rikschell at 5:41 AM on October 23 [7 favorites]


Delighted to know that in the future there are still sonicare toothbrushes, but properly badged for starships.

We've known this for a few years already.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:57 AM on October 23


I think what I really like is them showing that Lorca does indeed have a moral compass, it's just..different. I think that's why he fights so hard to save Tyler and is protective of him - Tyler is who he thinks he once was, whether accurate or not.
posted by corb at 6:45 AM on October 24 [1 favorite]


There's something very late-80s about their gay accents and what I can only label as faggyness.

This bugged me, as well. It's not super blatant, but they're definitely telegraphing "HEY I'M GAY" using a shorthand (speech cadence, posture, even the careful grooming - look at their head and facial hair) that I haven't seen much of in media or IRL in quite a while. Stamets especially, with his fussiness and cattiness.

And, I mean...I know gay guys (of a certain generation) who embrace those affectations. But this is the far future. It's obvious that the show is just leaning on rusty stereotypes here. It's strange that they're okay depicting a gay relationship in a frank, straightforward, no-big-deal manner - but they feel the need to swish it up like this. I hope they tone that down a bit.

OMG I can't wait for Tilly's interminable phone calls with her mom. I miss Lwaxana Troi.

Oh, good Lord - I hated Lwaxana, to the point that I won't rewatch a TNG episode if her name is in the synopsis. My Netflix TNG listing is literally all red bars except for the Lwaxana episodes. I'll watch Barclay before I'll watch Lwaxana.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:36 AM on November 14


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