Star Trek: Discovery: Into the Forest I Go
November 12, 2017 9:26 PM - Season 1, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Captain Lorca orders an unauthorized attempt to defeat the Klingon cloaking device and turn the tide of the war.

Important events:
* Tarrel orders them back behind the line, to Starbase 46. Lorca doesn't want to, but he agrees to it. The bridge crew are aghast, but Lorca orders them to head back at Warp 5, giving them three hours to think of a way to break the cloak and defend Pahvo. He orders Stamets to sickbay to get a paper trail on their excuse for not using the spore drive. Stamets clearly doesn't want to go, but Lorca insists.

* 2 hours later, they have the beginning of a plan: they need to send a boarding party over to plant some sensors to gather enough data to use the cloak's imperfections to detect it reliably. Tyler suggests using Discovery as bait - they can beam over in the brief window after the ship decloaks, but before it raises shields. The only wrinkle is that they'll need days to gather enough readings.

* Lorca arrives in sickbay, where Culber informs him that Stamets is actually having real trouble: a restructuring of the white matter in his medial temporal lobe. Lorca asks Stamets if there are side effects, and Stamets lies, claiming there are none. He wants Stamets to come with him. Culber wants to discuss this further, but Lorca assures the doctor that he'll read the report later. We learn that Lorca wants Stamets to make 133 micro-jumps to reposition the Discovery at every necessary angle to get sensor readings from the Klingon ship. If Stamets does it, they'll be able to get the data they need in four minutes instead of days. Stamets objects strenuously. Lorca convinces him by showing him that the drive can do more than jump in space - it may even be possible to reach parallel universes with the data they gather. Stamets is sold by this, and agrees to the plan.

* On the bridge, Lorca wants a two person boarding party. Tyler asks for Michael to go along. Lorca objects - she's too valuable. Michael says she's the only one who knows how to do this, and points out that defeating the Klingons is the only reason she's aboard anyway. As she puts it, she's 'on borrowed time.' Lorca concedes unhappily, but wants her back.

* Culber comes to engineering. He tells Stamets that he knows Stamets can't be talked out of this, but he wants to take precautions. Tilly lets slip that the process has side effects. Culber tells her it's fine, gives Stamets a cuff to let him receive treatment in the spore chamber, but he's clearly pissed.

* Lorca gives a speech about how they're the best crew, and they'll tell people about this one day. They detect the signature of a cloaked ship, and they jump back to Pahvo.

* On the Klingon ship, they see Discovery arrive. They decloak and prepare to fight, wanting to take Discovery's secret weapon for themselves.

* In the transporter room, Tyler and Michael put on pattern simulators to mask their life signs from the Klingon internal scans, (making them register as Klingons themselves), and beam out with weapons ready.

* Discovery begins evasive maneuvers to give Michael and Tyler time to plant the sensors. The ship of the dead begins firing on them.

* On the Klingon ship, they plant the first sensor in a dark, empty room. It's very noisy and bright - nobody thought to disable the sensor talking. They head for the bridge. Michael detects a human lifesign and insists on rescuing whoever it is. Tyler doesn't want to deviate from the mission, but Michael's adamant, so they go to investigate. They come to a locked door, which Tyler cracks with his boot knife. They find poor Admiral Cornwell face down in the cell. L'Rell's there too, skulking in the corner. Tyler's not happy to see her. He freezes and has a flashback. Michael wakes Cornwell with a hypospray, but the Admiral is unable to feel her legs. Michael sees Tyler frozen and stuns L'Rell. Cornwell wants to know the mission, and Michael tells her. Cornwell lets Michael know that Tyler's experiencing PTSD-related shock and will be useless for now. Michael leaves her with a phaser and assures her that no one will be left behind, but explains the mission must come first.

* On the Klingon bridge, they seem to be having trouble hitting Discovery. Michael plants the second sensor. Discovery begins jumping around and firing torpedoes, but only intending to harry them since they have personnel aboard. The Klingon ship cloaks. Michael begins using a bulky handheld universal translator to eavesdrop on bridge talk.

* Stamets tells Culber 'I love you,' and commences the jump sequence, clearly freaking out a mere few dozen jumps in.

* In the Klingon cell, Cornwell tries to talk Tyler through his flashbacks and get him to calm down. (Admiral Counselor!)

* On the Discovery, Stamets is under immense strain, heart racing, vitals dangerous. Culber tries to get Lorca to abort. Lorca refuses and orders Culber to do anything he has to to keep Stamets alive through the sequence. Culber administers medication reluctantly. Stamets continues to freak out a bit.

* On the Klingon ship, Michael hears that they know there's sabotage and think it's L'Rell. She hears that Kol wants to go to warp, which would ruin the plan. She fires on a Klingon, then calls out that she wants to talk. Kol tells her to step out, asks how she knows Klingon. She tells him about the translator. She says it's proof that they want to communicate, while Kol takes it as proof they want to remove the distinctiveness between cultures. Meanwhile, Kol has Georgiou's insignia, describing it as a good tool for picking his teeth. Michael begins talking smack about how Kol taking the ship was dishonorable, reveals she's the one who killed T'Kuvma.

* In the Klingon cell, Klingons arrive. Cornwell begins firing, and manages to get Tyler to snap out of it. He helps her defend the chamber, killing a Klingon with a purloined disruptor.

* Kol wants to imprison Michael, as bringing her back will break the last of T'Kuvma's Torchbearers and consolidate his political power. She challenges him to a duel over it. He accepts, tossing her an ornate knife and pinning Georgiou's badge to his chest disrespectfully. They begin to fight, where he initially appears to have the upper hand.

* Discovery finishes the jump protocol, but Saru needs five minutes to complete the cloak-detection algorithm. Someone wants to jump to safety, but Lorca surmises that the Klingons are considering leaving, and he can't let them escape with his people. He stays to try and bait them into staying.

* The fight between Kol and Michael is intense. She manages to shank his leg, but looks to be tiring faster than he is.

* Saru completes the cloak algorithm. They transport Tyler and Cornwell out, but L'Rell hops on, ST:IV style.

* Michael receives notification about transport. She grabs Georgiou's insignia from Kol's chest and dives off the balcony, transporting away mid-jump.

* Discovery loads *all* the torpedoes. Lorca takes a moment to apply his eyedrops before firing. The ship of the dead is blown to pieces. Michael arrives to see it explode, and gives Saru a nod, Georgiou's battered insignia in her hand.

* Tarrel and Lorca discuss events. Discovery hasn't sent the algorithm to Starfleet yet - that's about 11 hours out. Lorca's up for a medal, and they're ordered to Starbase 46 again.

* Michael goes to see Tyler. She wants to know who L'Rell was to Tyler. Tyler explains tearfully, but admits that it was all maybe worth it because he ended up on Discovery with her. They kiss.

* Stamets is in the shuttle bay, staring out into space. Lorca walks in, tells him that he wants Stamets to get his medal, and that they'll warp back instead of using the spore drive. Stamets says he would like to do one more jump to get them home safe, but that he's out after, and he'll need Starfleet's best doctors to help him. Lorca thanks him and agrees to let Stamets leave after this mission.

* Tyler's having very explicit nightmares about his time with L'Rell. He wakes up in a cold sweat on his couch, Michael sleeping beside him. He goes to the brig to see L'Rell, where he demands to know, 'What did you do to me?' L'Rell assures him that she will 'never let them hurt you.' There's a call to battle stations that forces Tyler to leave, but L'Rell promises him, 'Soon.' He rushes off.

* In Engineering, Stamets kisses Culber before heading to the spore chamber one last time. He ssks Culber to the opera after the jump and tells him he'll have 'nothing but time' soon. They jump, but Stamets screams, and the ship shudders during transit. Tilly says it reads as an 'incomplete navigation sequence.' Stamets staggers out of the chamber twitching, eyes covered in white caul and babbling about the things he can see.

* On the bridge, Saru doesn't know where they are. We pan out and see that the ship is surrounded by wreckage.
posted by mordax (97 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Not just any opera! La Boheme, what Rent was based on. I thought that reference was great.
posted by Vibrissa at 9:43 PM on November 12 [17 favorites]


During wartime, I would expect Starfleet to insist on obedience from its captains. Lorca spends a lot of his time being insubordinate to his admirals.

I am very curious what happens with L'Rell on the ship.
posted by migurski at 10:40 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Initially I thought that Tyler's flashbacks strongly suggested extensive surgery but slowing it down, it could just as easily be torture. Kudos to the writers for dragging this bit out. I think.

Burnham's need to give a speech about being on borrowed time and being necessary to the mission seems to imply that Lorca is oddly overprotective. Especially when you consider the comment he made to Tyler (in a previous ep) about how Tyler shouldn't return without Burnham. Yet another secret or plate of beans?

* Lorca gives a speech about how they're the best crew, and they'll tell people about this one day.
He just had to go and jinx himself and the crew. I'm team Discovery but if this turns into Voyager with L'Rell and Tyler as the Marquis, I'm going to stage a mutiny.

I enjoyed the episode but it was over so quickly. Nine episodes does not a season make. What is this, the BBC?
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 10:46 PM on November 12 [2 favorites]


> Nine episodes does not a season make. What is this, the BBC?

They split season 1 into two "chapters". There will be another six episodes in January, which will constitute the second chapter of season 1. Not sure why they're doing it that way. Anyway, that still adds up to significantly fewer episodes than typical seasons of other Star Trek series.

The announced season 2 apparently may not start until 2019.
posted by Syllepsis at 11:19 PM on November 12 [2 favorites]


I also got the sense that Tyler’s flashbacks showed extensive surgery. I thought I heard the bone saw?
posted by corb at 11:28 PM on November 12 [2 favorites]


INCOMING FAN THEORY:

Ash Tyler is Voq

EVIDENCE:

* L’Rell sent Voq off somewhere. It “cost him everything”.

* Ash Tyler shows up on a ship commanded by L’Rell and is miraculously unharmed despite months in Klingon detention. He says L’Rell “took an interest in him”.

* Ash Tyler flips the fuck out when he sees L’Rell again and has flashbacks to weird body horror surgeries.

* The “never let them hurt you” scene
posted by chrchr at 11:30 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]


I'm going to get a kind of petty complaint out of the way: were I making a covert device to plant aboard an enemy ship, I wouldn't give it a bright LCD screen reading "waiting for the other device on the ship to link up with me"; I'd give it a simpler display hidden by a fucking cover. I wouldn't give it a wobbly, spring-loaded tripod to stand on so that it remained in its crucial place on a spaceship that's in combat; I'd make it magnetic or just have a tear away strip exposing a Crazy Glue layer ready to latch onto what I slap it against. And I sure as fuck wouldn't make it, once it hooks up to #2, throb while it works, especially since it needs to be placed on the bridge of the ship where there are some convenient crates to hide behind, unless there's a Discovery Blue strobe effect going on in that dark corner.

Other than that, loved it, and so impressed that there's not one, but two, Star Trek* series on the air that are completely different from each other and I'm enjoying them both.
posted by fatbird at 11:41 PM on November 12 [25 favorites]


YOU WOULD AT LEAST PUT SOME MASKING TAPE OVER THE FEDERATION LOGO I THINK
posted by potrzebie at 11:50 PM on November 12 [33 favorites]


It looks like “Ash Tyler is Voq” fantheory has been floating around the Internet since episode four.
posted by chrchr at 11:54 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]


I'm not really sure why they couldn't just teleport a big bomb in there on a timer, since they were just going to blow the ship up anyways. Saves wear and tear on the tardigrade DNA.
posted by whir at 12:32 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


I'm not really sure why they couldn't just teleport a big bomb in there on a timer...

The point of all of this wasn't to destroy the ship. It was to use the ship to find out how to beat the Klingon cloaking device, so that the information could be used against all the other cloaked ships.
posted by confluency at 12:37 AM on November 13 [10 favorites]


That was great! My god the after-show has some shitty audio.
posted by Coaticass at 1:33 AM on November 13


Stamens !

My heart cannot take it, even with all the foreshadowing
posted by Faintdreams at 3:02 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


One thing this episode makes clear, I think, is that if Tyler is Voq, he doesn’t know - for maximum heartbreak for everyone later. It’s worth noting that the reasons Tyler is falling for Burnham are the reasons Klingons have for falling for people - bravery and fierceness and loyalty. But so too does L’rell have these qualities. It isn’t good, to say the least.
posted by corb at 3:10 AM on November 13 [10 favorites]


I enjoyed this episode, but did anyone else find the music direction overbearing? The thirty seconds after burnham had beamed back and had to do kabuki whilst the strings swelled was the most obvious overegged part, but I thought there were others.

Really enjoying Tyler's arc, even if it is a little forgone.
posted by smoke at 3:43 AM on November 13 [1 favorite]


I'm really happy that Cornwell survived, and that she left the Discovery alive -- it would have been convenient for Lorca for her to have wound up dead, and I'm glad that the writers didn't write in such an unambiguous and unsubtle villainous turn for him. His plausibly deniable decision not to rescue her a few episodes ago was at just the right level, I thought.

Over the past few episodes I've been more and more on board with the Mirror Lorca theory. I think it was clear that the top brass were about to make him give up the ship, especially given Cornwell's survival, and I'm reasonably sure that he manipulated the jump coordinates once he knew that Stamets wanted out and he wouldn't get another chance. But was he just trying to jump somewhere far away to avoid the inevitable forced retirement, or was he trying to get back to the Mirror Universe? They certainly foreshadowed the existence of parallel universes in this episode, and it looks like Lorca has actively been mapping them.

I'm also really happy that Stamets survived, at least for now -- they really telegraphed his impending doom, and I'm glad that turned out to be a fakeout.

I am now 99% sure that Ash is Voq, but that Ash doesn't know he's Voq (via some kind of memory transfer McGuffin plus surgery).

A segment of Tumblr fandom really, really, really hates this theory -- they don't want a nuanced portrayal of sexual assault survival and PTSD to be undermined by a revelation that none of it was real, and they don't want a character played by an actor of Pakistani descent to be revealed as a villain.

I understand their concerns, but I'm more optimistic about the possibility of introducing this kind of reveal without undoing all of the pre-reveal characterisation: I would like to believe that the writers aren't tone-deaf enough to throw away all of the character's development so far by completely replacing his personality or retroactively making him a calculated liar. I think that the Ash Tyler persona that we have seen so far is completely genuine and sincere, and I hope that this persona survives the season.

TL;DR: I like Ash as a character and I want him to stick around on the show, so I really hope that this twist is resolved in a way which makes this possible.

And now, no more Star Trek until January! :(
posted by confluency at 3:46 AM on November 13 [9 favorites]


Great theory out there: Lorca is from mirror universe. Real Lorca died with crew on last ship. Explains aggressive behavior, why Admiral thinks he's 'like a different person' Also why he's so insistent to get spore drive to work, and to stay on Discovery, why he's been tracking Stamets jumps so insistently. Why he overrode last jump (he knew it was Stamets last one). Why he said, "let's go home."

Even better, what if this isn't even prime universe, but another alternate reality? Solves all continuity problems.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:13 AM on November 13 [18 favorites]


Like confluency, I think this episode pretty much cemented that Ash = Voq. As people have already said, all of Voq!Ash's flashbacks stand up to a dual interpretation. However, I also suspect that there really is an Ash Tyler who was taken hostage during the initial battle with the Klingons and transformed into a vessel for Voq, thanks to confluency's posited "memory transfer McGuffin." We've seen Voq!Ash on a biobed in sickbay, after all--his body is human, at least. If the theory is right, then it will be interesting to see just how well the transfer worked (just seeing L'Rell is clearly not the "release Voq" trigger, although Voq!Ash's visit to the brig at the end shows that it clearly triggered something beyond his PTSD).

I liked how Lorca's manipulative speech to Stamets was promptly followed by Burnham's manipulative speech to Lorca. Apparently, the Captain isn't the only one who knows how to push buttons. Also got a wry chuckle out of Lorca's distinctly unenthusiastic response to the good news about Cornwell.

Killing Kol and destroying the Sarcophagus should produce an interesting power vacuum now in the Empire, which is potentially great for Voq and L'Rell. Er, if they can get back there.

Mirror!Lorca has promise, although there's another good suggestion in that Reddit thread that leotrotsky linked: this has something to do with the mystery surrounding his previous command.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:59 AM on November 13 [8 favorites]


I’m starting to dig the idea that Ash is NOT Voq, but that the writers knew we’d notice the actor thing and have decided to deliberately mess with us as much as possible.

Oh man, Stamets, though. He may as well have been a week from retirement and just bought a yacht named the Live Forever for all the heaping-it-on-thick they were doing there.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:28 AM on November 13 [28 favorites]


Is it wrong that I'm sort of hoping that wreckage is what's left of the Caretaker? I'm itchin' to see some Kazon again. Not to mention some wily Talaxians...

I think the idea of Ash is Voq wouldn't, ultimately, be to make Ash the villain, but to show why he, and the Klingons, aren't "villains" in the crude sense of the term, through his relationship with Michael. That seemed to be the direction the show was heading in from the very beginning and fits the various parallels they've set up along the way. I mean if Ash=Voq is the way they're going. It'd be about the complexities of perspective involved in conflicts of identity on that possible path. Or at least I'd really hope so or they'd have fucked up entirely.

Question: If the sensors can detect the power signature of a cloaked Klingon vessel in orbit around Pahvo, then why exactly can't they hone in on that power signature to see the ships? Seems a bit odd.

They're really playing the ambiguity card heavily with Lorca this episode. All his actions can be read either as genuine or as having some hidden agenda, with seeing him punching something into his keypad right before the last jump, that either could be legit or a purposeful waylaying of their journey. His plans for Michael remain hidden, but were once again emphasized in his hesitancy to send her to the Klingon ship. His speeches to Stamets, with their difference in attitude towards him and their mission was another example as was his disobedience, of course, and his rather indeterminate response to hearing Cornwell was doing better. That last bit too was odd. Did I mishear or did Cornwell leave Discovery and already get back to Starbase 46 while Discovery was still cruising around somewhere for reasons unclear?

Overall this episode left me with more questions than the previous ones in how they're going about things, even as there was a lot of enjoyable aspects to it as well. Some, I should say, were less enjoyment in the sense of "fun" as in the sense of well done, such as Ash's PTSD, which mirrors that of Lorca interestingly. I wasn't keen on the scene set ups and pacing this time, with the episode feeling a bit anti-climatic in a strange way that didn't suggest it was entirely planned as such. Culber and Stamets were charming together, though perhaps a bit more show of concern from Culber at a couple key moments would have been better. Tilly spilling the beans was a bit silly but the rest of the cast was solid. I'll have to think about this one some more before deciding how I feel about it entirely I think.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:55 AM on November 13 [2 favorites]


It’s worth noting that the reasons Tyler is falling for Burnham are the reasons Klingons have for falling for people - bravery and fierceness and loyalty.

The whole thing that Burnham did that disgraced her in the eyes of Starfleet and the Federation? Challenging a superior officer for command when she felt that they were in the wrong? Totally permissible--nay, expected--for Klingon warriors. Plus, she's fought Klingons on their own turf twice now.

If they're going to replace Kol with someone who will be the main face of the Empire, I'd vote for Chang. I don't care if he's Mark-III-Klingonified, as long as he can quote the Bard half as well as Christopher Plummer. Plus, it would be very interesting if he ever met Burnham F2F; we know that he admires sufficiently baller Starfleet officers, even if they don't reciprocate.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:44 AM on November 13 [4 favorites]


A shower thought I had some time later: perhaps the devices which mask human life signs are more Ash / Voq foreshadowing. A common complaint about the Voq theory is that Ash has been in sickbay and gone through a transporter a bunch of times and nothing odd has been picked up about his physiology. An implant which can e.g. fool tricorder readings would explain some of that if most of his medical treatment was superficial and relied on advanced equipment.

(But if the Klingons have that kind of tech, why didn't they give it to Arne Darvin several years later? Arne Darvin was definitely trained as a spy, not provided with fake memories, so perhaps whatever secret project produced Ash is going to be a dismal failure and this useful piece of tech will be scrapped along with the brainwashing techniques.)
posted by confluency at 7:22 AM on November 13 [5 favorites]


The effect on Discovery's final jump was different than it had been on other jumps: after doing its spinny-thing there were briefly two Discoverys shown before it/they jumped. I think this lends credence to Discovery now being in a parallel universe, likely the Mirror Universe.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:38 AM on November 13 [7 favorites]


Thanks for posting that screencap of Lorca overriding the last jump coordinates. I'd missed that when watching. Here's a screencap of two Discoveries during jump, as DevilsAdvocate pointed out. (It looks better in animation). We must be dealing with mirror universe shenanigans, all that stuff with Lorca talking about going places never imagined. Also he says "let's go home" instead of just "go" for the jump; perhaps this is mirror-Lorca's home. They landed in the middle of Klingon wreckage, I wonder where that's gonna go? Thankfully not the Delta Quadrant.

But I have a more important screen cap: Stamets and Culber kiss! And not some polite kiss, a full face-mashing expression of love and tension and caring about each other more than anything in the world (including Tilly there, looking on.) I particularly like how Cruz puts his joy into receiving the kiss. I awkwardly complained in the first few episodes about "the kind of gay" they were playing because they felt like stereotypes to me. I'm totally over that, both characters have enough nuance from writing that their mannerisms just feel like real people to me, not a stereotype. Also: hot gay kiss. I know in 2017 that's supposed to not be a big deal, but it's still a big deal for me.

We've been talking about the Ash/Voq theory since Ash was first introduced so I've been primed for it. It is interesting they kept this episode ambiguous. Do they think their casual viewers wouldn't have heard about the theory? Maybe they didn't expect the fan community to guess so quickly? There's some sort of dramatic irony here that's not quite working right. What I'm hoping now is that Ash really is Voq, but somehow he chooses / is forced to stay human. That he and L'Rell defect to the Federation. It seems unlikely, L'Rell is too much of a True Klingon, but clearly Ash is going to be super conflicted if his main memories of L'Rell are "she did this horrible torturous stuff to me and kept me as her sex slave for months."

This new show is good. Anticipating January.
posted by Nelson at 7:51 AM on November 13 [7 favorites]


Great theory out there: Lorca is from mirror universe.

Great theory here too, three weeks ago. *flexes*

I have no idea if that's actually the case, but the reddit thread linked above points out that Lorca inputs coordinates into the jump destination that reads: override - lorca g. spore-jump 133: -- Unknown, so it looks like he was at least trying to avoid going back to Starfleet for now.

Ha! I just realized if that last jump puts them in it already, then meeting the Terran Empire is on the table. Maybe L'Rell sees how scary humans are there, gets back and is like "Guys do NOT fuck with the humans." Voila! Klingons trade the hot war for a cold one. OK, maybe not, but I like the idea the rest of the Federation quadrant ends up tiptoeing around clueless humans and whispering asides to new species "Shh, don't piss the humans off. They're actually really scary."

This adventure may neatly explain why we never see the spore drive in the future. If it can drop you in alternate universes, Starfleet might well kill the drive and all research. That would be one hell of a can of worms to open—that research'd get buried like the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Indiana Jones. It reminds of the hysterically funny thread screenshot that occasionally reposts on Imgur.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 9:06 AM on November 13 [14 favorites]


L'Rell is too much of a True Klingon

L'Rell has previously been established to be a morally flexible pragmatist. I expect her to do whatever is most likely to lead to her survival and / or political success at any given moment.

This adventure may neatly explain why we never see the spore drive in the future.

The only conclusion to this that I would find satisfying is some cataclysm which makes it literally impossible to build and use another spore drive. The many terrible side effects might satisfactorily explain why the Federation would bury this research forever, but not why a less nice and responsible spacefaring power (of which there are many) wouldn't use it despite the risks and costs, or why some unfortunate newcomer wouldn't independently reinvent it a century later.
posted by confluency at 10:14 AM on November 13 [7 favorites]


that research'd get buried like the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Indiana Jones.

Top men.
posted by zooropa at 10:25 AM on November 13 [2 favorites]


What if we've been in *a* mirror universe all along (not *the* Mirror Universe, but similar) and the jump is to the Prime (Kelvin?) universe?
posted by ewan at 10:30 AM on November 13 [2 favorites]


It's been established that the spore drive requires a sapient creature. Using someone/thing that can't give informed consent is obviously too problematic, and now they're establishing that any crew member they jack into the network will have degenerative problems, moreso as they grow proficient at it. If the federation can decide not to bother with cloaking technology for treaty reasons, it doesn't seem a stretch to decide that spore drive is just too contrary to Federation values--especially if its winning role in the Klingon War turns out to be the machinations of eLorca.

My memory's not hot on this point: weren't there mirror universe plans, at some point, to colonize the prime universe?
posted by fatbird at 10:30 AM on November 13 [3 favorites]


My memory's not hot on this point: weren't there mirror universe plans, at some point, to colonize the prime universe?

There was a TNG Novel ("Dark Mirror"?) that was essentially this.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:59 AM on November 13 [3 favorites]


Also part of the Shatnerverse novels, as well.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:02 AM on November 13


I just can't get over the fact that the most important weapon in the war against the Klingons apparently has the worst crew ever: a first officer that is terrified of everything; a head of security with untreated PTSD; a specialist sentenced for mutiny; a brand new cadet acting as a science officer who can't control herself yet is privy to all the secrets; a doctor who is easily distracted during a crucial point in his science officer's/partner's ordeal; a jerky science officer who lies about his condition and is easily manipulated by his captain; a captain who is under scrutiny by Starfleet yet still is unsubordinate at all times and who also does not seem very smart. Oh, and previously a security officer who decided on her own that it was time to kill the creature that her captain had gone to pains to acquire only the week before. I think this is the biggest obstacle for me for accepting this show as a Trek show. In spite of people's flaws and silly plot points on previous Treks, you could assume a level of competence and some consistency. There's nothing wrong with a story of crew of broken misfits helming a ship in wartime, lord knows it's been done to death, but I can't believe they would be Starfleet officers. Burnham appears to be the only grownup, and yet even she isn't above (illogical) manipulation of her captain to go on the mission to unfold the delicate little legs of noisy, blinking secret space probes on a Klingon ship.

I keep watching in hopes this show will jell, that the bad writing and plotting will start to come into some sort of focus. TNG was lousy the first season or two, but very internally consistent. DS9 was best once Sisko grew a beard. Never could like Voyager, but I also never felt like it's crew was effing incompetent. So there's precedent for a show not to really come into it's own for awhile, but I don't trust that this show even knows what it wants to be.

The one relief in this episode was it not being jerked to a shuddering halt by Klingon subtitles. But really that's more a function of the writers never ever allowing stories to unfold at any pace other than break-neck.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:07 AM on November 13 [3 favorites]


So, uh, if they can transport two people, with beacon/sensor type things, onto the Klingon ship - why do they need to be placed by hand? Couldn't they just transport them to the right spot?
posted by Happy Dave at 12:44 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


Oh man, Stamets, though. He may as well have been a week from retirement and just bought a yacht named the Live Forever for all the heaping-it-on-thick they were doing there.

Hah! Mrs. Example and I were sitting here during that scene saying "Oh shit, he's three days from retirement and just bought a boat."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:47 PM on November 13 [9 favorites]


The non spoilery bit of the AV Club's recap:
The midseason finale of Star Trek: Discovery, “Into the Forest I Go,” finally got this show to the place it should have been all season. Of course, in the process, it had to jettison a lot of character development it has been working on—but since it was mostly stuff that was bad, I’m perfectly happy letting them get away with it. This episode was the climax to a season that never existed, a season where the plot and characterization was better. You can see that potential here.
Fascinating.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:18 PM on November 13


Unless I misheard, the admiral was transferred from Discovery via shuttle. Considering what happened last time a shuttle was used to transfer high level personnel, it struck me as part of the poorly plotted 'last jump' foreshadowing.
posted by Marticus at 2:08 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


This plan, which looked great on TV for the knowing audience, required some capital stupidity on the part of the Klingons. In the history of ships who manage to transition from a state of being detected to a state of being undetectable, they still have to elude deductive reason, particularly the kind that assumes they keep on going as they were going before, aka dead reckoning.

Ships that sailed in the pre-radar days would sail in one direction until they were out of sight, and then change direction (Graf von Spee's fleet crossed the Pacific, stealing coal and blowing up radio gear at various vulnerable Pacific island bases, and leaving no idea which way they were going because a reckoning couldn't be assembled. Submarines turn after submerging, which initially prevented them from being torpedoed (until the Brits applied some mathematicians to the problem). And god dammit, a cloaked Klingon ship should change its orbit after cloaking, or else your enemy's basic dead reckoning will nail your shit down every time. Orbits are profoundly predictable in the short and medium term, and mostly predictable in the long term.

So, Klingons neglected to do this, and somehow the Discovery didn't mind counting on this fact to execute a jump to move themselves to every angle around a thing they can't even see (but the audience can)? This plan makes no sense for either crew, but makes sense for the audience.

Also, as the ship explodes, Burnham looks away from the blast and towards the viewer. Behold, the Cinematic Selfie Frame. Let this not be a trend.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:16 PM on November 13 [9 favorites]


So, Klingons neglected to do this, and somehow the Discovery didn't mind counting on this fact to execute a jump to move themselves to every angle around a thing they can't even see (but the audience can)? This plan makes no sense for either crew, but makes sense for the audience.

But the Discovery *could* see the Klingon ship -- the sensors had an uplink to Discovery and were presumably transmitting telemetry. The 133 spore jumps was to gather data on a cloaked ship from all angles; if they weren't interested in the data they could have beamed the boarding party back aboard and targeted the sensors.
posted by nathan_teske at 2:48 PM on November 13 [6 favorites]


I have comments, but the largest thing that jumped out to me: "We have detected the cloaked Klingon ship in orbit of Pahvo"?

... so... your long-range sensors can detect it, you're just hosed when you get there? What the hell?

Or on preview, what Sunburnt and nathan_teske said - which is only as contradictory as the show's depiction of all it's NuTech.
posted by Seeba at 3:18 PM on November 13 [4 favorites]


I think it's probably significant that the only *confirmed* mirror character we've seen so far is Mirror Stamets, who showed up almost right away when Stamets Classic got juiced up with tardigrade DNA. My interpretation of the last jump fiasco was that Mirror Stamets, knowing they were about to make their last jump, somehow intervened to transport the whole ship into the mirror dimension. I don't really think that Lorca is a mirror version of himself, I think he's just a bit of a Machiavellian borderline sociopath. His mirror version is probably really chill and put together.

As for Voq/Ash, I also think that Ash must have been a legit human prisoner with legit human memories and a legit starfleet career, otherwise it's unbelievable that he would have checked out after his rescue. I don't know *how* Voq is embedded inside him, but I await the coming identity crisis.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 3:22 PM on November 13 [6 favorites]


"SECRET SABOTAGE DEVICE NOW ONLINE! JUST IN CASE YOU CAN'T SEE THE DISPLAY, I WILL BELLOW THIS SO THAT IT REVERBERATES DOWN EVERY HALLWAY"
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:12 PM on November 13 [30 favorites]


Upon further reflection, the sabotage devices are just so over the top and ridiculous, they have become a thing of art. I bet there's a button to have the announcements and readouts in Klingon!
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 4:59 PM on November 13 [14 favorites]


KLINGONS: What is that noise? It sounds like the awful braying of human voices!

Burnham sets the universal translator down to hide the Federation logo.

SECRET SABOTAGE DEVICE: NOW BROADCASTING ALGORITHMICALLY WEAK POINTS IN THE KLINGON'S CLOAKING DEVICE! TWO MINUTES TO FULL UNMASKING! DISCOVERY REPORTS READINESS TO FIRE ALL TORPEDOES WHEN ENGINEER STAMETS COMPLETES THE SPORE DRIVE JUMPS THAT ARE CRUCIAL TO SUCCESS!
posted by fatbird at 5:39 PM on November 13 [11 favorites]


Beyond my expectations, I found the series (thus far) entertaining and sufficiently Trek (and yet different enough) to give my tentative allegiance/loyalty to this iteration.

The Georgiou character (Micheal Yeoh) was very effective and was an excellent segue into the darkness of Discovery and provide legend from which the character(s) can go forward on. Her being a cameo (like Stewart thought he was going to be) was effective, elegant, and respectful.

Lorca - JFC, I was't expecting that "you were polite scientists when I found you, now you're fierce warriors!" speech, but damn man, you be a (Star Trek universe lead) Captain. I take it back.

I can totally buy that he's a Mirror Universe Lorca who came into this one somehow. Seeing how badly humanity could lose (and sick and tired of losing) is willing to play dirty in this universe. Incidentally, this closes a loop in reconciling how TNG ethical (although I'd classify it as more moral [strict rules moreso rather than thinking about consequences on a case-by-case basis] instead of purely ethical) could have a Section 31, where the originating philosophy originated from a Mirror Universe trying to avoid Mirror Universe situations (where the wellbeing of Humanity is the sole criterion for "good outcome").

Klingons being plot idiots, yeah, cultural differences I guess. But humans are both soft and good warriors (if tricksy); Japan went America-phile after WWII and there are still strange pockets of Ameriphilia in their culture (if twisted and incompletely understood like blackface lolitas or whatever).

On a whole, yeah, this has scratched my Star Trek: Total War itch and I've really appreciated the production values and the art design decisions. Kind of a stark contrast with The Orville where both shows strongly diverged from the inspirational material - but in very different directions.

I like where this is going.
posted by porpoise at 6:00 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


> Even better, what if this isn't even prime universe, but another alternate reality? Solves all continuity problems.

I really hope not. Setting your prequel in an alternate universe is the laziest and dumbest way to avoid thinking about continuity. (Side-eyeing NuTrek here.) So far I've been really pleased by the way this show treats the source material, and nothing so far has been seriously continuity-breaking (making allowances for aesthetic departures). As others have said, it's very easy to imagine that a Federation that forgoes cloaking technology for diplomatic reasons, and imposes warp speed limits for environmental reasons, and abandons transwarp technology for safety reasons, would also mothball the spore drive.
posted by Syllepsis at 8:37 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


D'oh, I made a capslock joke up there and mixed up the Federation logo and the Starfleet logo. Super embarrassing as I actually have mugs in my personal house with both logos and see which is which all the damn time. Sorry guys.

The whole episode I was biting my nails off and saying out loud "All these plans seem so poorly thought out, all these schemes feel like they're not gonna work." And I actually yelled "BUT STAMETS, WHAT HAPPENED TO STAMETS" when they had a bunch of different post-many-jumps self-congratulatory stuff before showing us whether he was dead or not. It was a very tense episode.

Can't believe we have to wait till January for more of this fun, fun show!
posted by potrzebie at 9:57 PM on November 13 [3 favorites]


But humans are both soft and good warriors (if tricksy)

Niven's Kzinti always reminded of the Klingons, with their "scream and leap" strategy, and the Kzinti even have cameos in the Federation, strangely enough, considering they were inhabitants of a different franchise all together. The 70s certainly were a different country.

I haven't read Niven since probably the 90s—his politics are pretty odious which keeps me from really enjoying his stuff anymore—but at one point there were collections of short stories about the Man-Kzin wars, and one had a blurb on the back that has always stuck with me:

But the Kzinti learned the hard way that the reason humanity had given up war was that they were so very, very good at it.

That idea always struck me as a pretty good motivation for Starfleet's reluctance to get involved in shooting wars, they fear we'll develop a taste for it again. Star Trek stories have danced around our brutal past and how other species view it here and there, but it also seems a little like the aliens should feel the Federation is necessary to keep the humans on a short leash. They value us for our scientific curiosity and drive, but need to keep an eye on us too. And especially after they learn of our shenanigans in the MU, it seems like they'd watch us like hawks.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 11:01 PM on November 13 [9 favorites]


What if we've been in *a* mirror universe all along (not *the* Mirror Universe, but similar) and the jump is to the Prime (Kelvin?) universe?

Nine Starfleet Officers in Amber.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:59 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


SECRET SABOTAGE DEVICE NOW ONLINE! JUST IN CASE YOU CAN'T SEE THE DISPLAY, I WILL BELLOW THIS SO THAT IT REVERBERATES DOWN EVERY HALLWAY

This secret sabotage device has a Genuine People Personality and a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is my pleasure to secretly sabotage for you, and I have the satisfaction to secretly sabotage again with the knowledge of a job well done.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:11 AM on November 14 [27 favorites]


WHAT HAPPENED TO STAMETS

Stamets died on the way back to his home planet.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:09 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


The one relief in this episode was it not being jerked to a shuddering halt by Klingon subtitles.

True, but it did completely spoil my recently established "Drink when a Klingon mentions T'Kuvma" game.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:30 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


That idea always struck me as a pretty good motivation for Starfleet's reluctance to get involved in shooting wars, they fear we'll develop a taste for it again. Star Trek stories have danced around our brutal past and how other species view it here and there,

"Let me tell you something about Hew-mons, nephew. They're a wonderful, friendly people – as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are working. But take away their creature comforts... deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers... put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period of time... and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people will become as nasty and violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon." — Quark, "The Siege of AR-558"
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:59 AM on November 14 [14 favorites]


They finally find a Klingon who speaks English and then they immediately blow him up :(
posted by jordemort at 5:22 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]


Hmm, supposing Lorca is from the mirror universe, I'd be willing to bet that his unusual interest in Burnham will be neatly explained by him knowing mirror Burnham and her capabilities well.
posted by Pryde at 5:45 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]


This secret sabotage device has a Genuine People Personality and a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is my pleasure to secretly sabotage for you, and I have the satisfaction to secretly sabotage again with the knowledge of a job well done.

OMG, I bet it's related to the replicator!
posted by fatbird at 6:17 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Mirror Burnham's mutiny (which was motivated by simple ambition, because of course Mirror Georgiou would be at least as ruthless in handling Klingons as Prime Burnham) definitely succeeded and she was given full command of USS Shenzhou by the Terran Empire afterward.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:11 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


los pantalones del muerte: That would be one hell of a can of worms to open—that research'd get buried like the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Indiana Jones. It reminds of the hysterically funny thread screenshot that occasionally reposts on Imgur.

The previous discussion of "The United Federation of 'hold my beer, I got this'" on Metafilter is pretty great!
posted by Pronoiac at 7:41 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


What if there's a fungal lifeform invading universe after universe? [/crackpot-rant-mode]
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:51 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]


> They finally find a Klingon who speaks English and then they immediately blow him up :(

That was some TV shorthand, to extract the ungainliness of the translation process, somewhat in the fashion of "The Hunt For Red October;" (YTL 30 sec) once it was shown that it could be accomplished with total effectiveness. I don't think the frontrunner for Klingon rule would actually deign to speak the Federation's language.

It just occurred to me that Michael Burnham maybe (I can't check atm) left the communicator laying around to do the translation, and therefore one wonders how it was they could lock on to her signal. I guess her special suit had some transporter-specific tracking, like those armbands they sometimes wore on TNG.

> Klingons trade the hot war for a cold one.

Oh yeah, nothing like a cold one after a hot war!

It seems like the Klingons got a lot of concessions for whatever ended the hot war: no spore drive, and I forget which treaty it was that prevents the Federation from developing a cloaking device. That suggests that they were negotiating from a position of advantage. Also the jury is still out on the spore drive, as we just saw-- maybe it's a major boondoggle, more trouble than it's worth.

That said, I'm guessing the Klingons aren't up for a peace treaty just yet, now that the Feds blew up one of their major relics-cum-flagship.

Was Pahvo's story ever resolved? Planet was saved, sure, but is it still broadcasting a beacon on the Klingon frequency, so to speak? (What's the frequency, K'neth?)
posted by Sunburnt at 9:46 AM on November 14 [4 favorites]


> But the Discovery *could* see the Klingon ship -- the sensors had an uplink to Discovery and were presumably transmitting telemetry.

Another example of Klingon incompetence-- no electronic warfare. They didn't detect the transports on or off their ship. They didn't detect the signals from the two transponder gadgets. For a space-navy with some many superfluous staff officers, nobody seems to be minding the ship.

I guess when you're Klingon, you tell yourself, contra plenty of evidence, that nobody is so brave as to take the fight to the Klingons, or maybe nobody has the opportunity. Self-delusion isn't just for humans.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:50 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


Sunburnt you (maybe inadvertently) bring something up that bugs the hell out of me...

Why are the only (active, there were I think two in the background) engineering officers the Chief Engineer and a cadet? Why was the cadet running the "only chance we have to win the war" all-the-jumps procedure? Spc. Burnham aside, are there any officers or crew between the rate/ranks of cadet and LT?

And Spc. Burnham's "I'm the only one who knows where to put the transmitters because I'm the only one who's been there" doesn't make sense. ... she was a) fighting, and b) not the designer of the (as has been noted above, way-too-loud) transmitters. ... why the hell wouldn't you take a security NCO?
posted by Seeba at 10:08 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


.... oh yeah. Plus, the ability to beam on to the ship. Need to place your whosawhatsits in two specific places... yet you beam, I think 600m from the closest one?

Fire the transporter officer.
posted by Seeba at 10:09 AM on November 14


SECRET SABOTAGE DEVICE IS ISSUING A REMINDER TO PICK UP THE REFILL OF YOUR RASH CREAM FROM THE PHARMACIST! SECRET SABOTAGE DEVICE REMEMBERS THAT TIME IN GRADE 11 WHEN YOU THREW UP IN FRONT OF EVERYBODY AT STEVE DURKOWICZ'S PARTY!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:25 AM on November 14 [17 favorites]


Why are the only (active, there were I think two in the background) engineering officers the Chief Engineer and a cadet? Why was the cadet running the "only chance we have to win the war" all-the-jumps procedure? Spc. Burnham aside, are there any officers or crew between the rate/ranks of cadet and LT?

From my extensive navel experience of reading a lot of the Aubrey–Maturin series, wouldn't Tilly be a midshipman? In the books, that role was filled by rich kids training to be officers and they did a lot of running the "getting things done" work on the ship. Actually, I guess in real life Tilly would be running the seamen/oilers/whatever doing the actual jump work.
posted by sideshow at 10:53 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


> That was some TV shorthand, to extract the ungainliness of the translation process, somewhat in the fashion of "The Hunt For Red October;" (YTL 30 sec) once it was shown that it could be accomplished with total effectiveness. I don't think the frontrunner for Klingon rule would actually deign to speak the Federation's language.

You think so? The subtext I read into the switch was more along the lines of "oh, you have a fancy Federation translator gadget, that's cool, have you ever considered just LEARNING YOUR ENEMY'S LANGUAGE?"
posted by jordemort at 11:11 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


> ... why the hell wouldn't you take a security NCO?

Another way of saying, why wouldn't you take a redshirt? I agree.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:16 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


> have you ever considered just LEARNING YOUR ENEMY'S LANGUAGE?

I rewatched it just now-- maybe you're right.

I also re-noticed something I saw the first time. The translator anticipated her line. Bernham's line is "This device is a universal translator, an example of human ingenuity." And just after she says "universal translator" and pauses, the translator says "hoo-mon" which she hasn't yet said. Pretty ingenious device! Or most likely a production glitch because the person recording Klingon couldn't anticipate Bernham's performance as selected by the director...except it would've been added afterwards in the edit bay, so I dunno, maybe it was a bit of a bad edit.

And then she definitely left the translator (which is her communicator) on the lower deck with the phaser, which means the transporter officer is pretty darn competent after all. I credit the fact of them beaming deep in the bowels of the ship to have to do with the fact that a transportee is both conspicuous and vulnerable during transport, something established elsewhere in Trek. The Binars episode of TNG established that, when Riker and Picard beamed themselves to the bridge, simultaneously, but at two opposite points.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:51 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


> Why are the only (active, there were I think two in the background) engineering officers the Chief Engineer and a cadet?

I think it's our mistake to confuse the Spore Drive room with Main Engineering. Maybe they're waiting for more set-money to roll in, but I don't think we've seen the warp drive that we know this ship has. Additionally, the warp drive may be the less-than-awe-inspiring set like the TOS engineering set. Before it became a drive system, the spore program was perhaps used for remote viewing (a massively underrated feature of the spores, seen during Bernham's orientation of Discovery), or just another research lab on a ship full of weird labs (e.g. Lorca's dangerous-shit room).

> wouldn't Tilly be a midshipman?

Naval Academy students are midshipmen, while Military and Air Force (and Starfleet) Academy students are Cadets. I know that middie upperclassfolk have summer cruises where they are detailed to ships. They're treated mostly as officers (at the bottom) and not in the chain of command. It's unclear what role they fit in ST Prime timeline, as the most we've seen cadets do, at least in the televisual material, is from the Kelvin timeline.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:55 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]


Sunburnt - fair theory about the Spore vs Engineering point.

Regarding MIDN/CDTs... totally get it. ... my problem isn't that she's there, it's that there's no supervision, she's in charge of the ultra-critical thing (and, from previous episodes, seems to be one of the only four crew members on a 160 person vessel).

... and the less said about the Kelvin-Cadet-Kirk-Now-You're-The-XO-What-The-Hell-Why-Don't-You-Take-Command timeline, the better.
posted by Seeba at 12:00 PM on November 14 [1 favorite]


Oh, agreed. ST's notorious for complete neglect of the near-constant grind for qualifying for promotion or certification going on in every military context I've ever heard of. Just read Harry Kim's future biography, Seven Years an Ensign. At least they weren't afraid, on ST:V, to give Ensign Kim the occasional command, and it did solve Voyager's problem of the risk of becoming completely massively top-heavy after 7 years (during which time, 1-2 promotions would be normal for career officers in, say, the modern Navy). As far as I can tell, the only regular ST character ever shown studying for a promotion was Wesley Crusher.
posted by Sunburnt at 1:18 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


It seems like the Klingons got a lot of concessions for whatever ended the hot war: no spore drive, and I forget which treaty it was that prevents the Federation from developing a cloaking device.

Minor lore quibble but that's the Treaty of Algernon, signed with the Romulans. It comes up in a TNG episode where the Romulans find the supposedly destroyed test ship and on DS9 when the Defiant had a loaner-cloak (and briefly a Romulan minder) that they were only allowed to use in the Gamma quadrant.
posted by nathan_teske at 2:14 PM on November 14


I still miss Tiny Angry Romulan.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:26 PM on November 14


They split season 1 into two "chapters".
WHAT
There will be another six episodes in January
Bastards
posted by glasseyes at 3:30 PM on November 14


Yeah, the whole "mid-season finale" thing is a bunch of horseshit.
posted by tobascodagama at 3:41 PM on November 14 [4 favorites]


You know what would be awesome? If the next six episodes take place on Mirror Discovery with no mention ever made of the first episodes. They simply tell the exact same stories with the same setups, only now it's the Terran Empire and things work out a little differently. Also no Saru because who would want a cringing coward for a first officer? The rest of the cast stays the same in the Mirror Universe, but these are new characters who have no memories because they have not yet seen these events. Except for Lorca. Lorca made it through, but has to play dumb so as to not distort the timeline.
posted by Nelson at 3:43 PM on November 14 [7 favorites]


Also no Saru because who would want a cringing coward for a first officer?

Prime Saru is a prey species. Mirror Saru is a predator species. With a goatee of course.
posted by nathan_teske at 4:25 PM on November 14 [11 favorites]


"My species was bred for one purpose and one purpose only: to sport rockin' goatees."
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:38 PM on November 14 [14 favorites]


Mirror Burnham's mutiny (which was motivated by simple ambition, because of course Mirror Georgiou would be at least as ruthless in handling Klingons as Prime Burnham) definitely succeeded and she was given full command of USS Shenzhou by the Terran Empire afterward.

I prefer to think that Georgiou and Burnham started the war to lure Admiral Brett Anderson and his flagship into a trap they set, so Georgiou could take his position and command of the fleet with Burnham as her right hand captain.

It would be a damned waste for Michelle Yeoh not to show up in the mirror universe.
posted by Pryde at 6:02 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


> That was some TV shorthand, to extract the ungainliness of the translation process, somewhat in the fashion of "The Hunt For Red October;"

Don't wait for the translation! Answer me now!
posted by Syllepsis at 9:05 PM on November 14 [3 favorites]


I now know that Ash is going to have a sorry end, because I finally realized where I knew him from -- Tariq on Spooks, who also had a sorry end that made me upset. (Seriously, Spooks. You were mean to me.)

And yeah, the sensors had me shouting "Shut up, Alexa!"
posted by sldownard at 11:52 PM on November 14


I didn't enjoy the subtitle-heavy Klingon acts, but I suspect (or rather, hope) that there might be nerdlingers in the future who will fight over not whether the subtitles were artistically worthy but rather how accurate the subtitles are based on the aural inflections in the spoken Klingon or some hokum like that.
posted by porpoise at 12:03 AM on November 15


...in the future?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:36 AM on November 15 [3 favorites]


(A bit late to the party, we only got to watch it last night.)

Oh man, Stamets, though. He may as well have been a week from retirement and just bought a yacht named the Live Forever for all the heaping-it-on-thick they were doing there.

I was irresistibly reminded of Hot Shots! and Dead Meat's final mission.
posted by Major Clanger at 6:40 AM on November 15 [2 favorites]


You know what I keep coming back to? Burnham disobeys orders and goes on the attack, and she gets courtmarshalled and sentenced to life in prison. Lorca disobeys orders and goes on the attack, and he gets offered the Legion of Honor.

Even StarFleet has sexist double standards. And in the latter case, Burnham did most of the work!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 1:44 PM on November 15 [4 favorites]


> Yeah, the whole "mid-season finale" thing is a bunch of horseshit.

Sort of. Back when it was a rare for a TV show to have a season arc, the concept was entirely horseshit, and also didn't occur to anyone. Even season finales were barely worthy of remark.

The holiday hiatus, during which networks play reruns while viewers travel for the holiday, go shopping all hours, and spend time with family instead of watching TV, has been around since time immemorial. The ad-rates have been set during the Oct/Nov Sweeps period, and the network can just coast until Jan/Feb when it's time for viewers to get their asses back on the couches and watch commercials again and fill out their Nielsen books, so that's when we'll see either early season finales or at least some blowout sweeps episodes of typical fall-to-spring shows.

But now, there is an arc in every drama, every action show, some comedies, all sorts of things, and the hiatus will leave viewers in limbo! A break in the arc, for the holidays stretch of reruns, is a significant event in the viewer's life (I presume networks believe this), and you must give the viewer something to come back for in the spring.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:24 PM on November 15 [2 favorites]


I now know that Ash is going to have a sorry end, because I finally realized where I knew him from -- Tariq on Spooks, who also had a sorry end that made me upset. (Seriously, Spooks. You were mean to me.)

Also.
posted by dumbland at 8:06 PM on November 15 [2 favorites]


Ash was also Dr Jeckyll on Penny Dreadful.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 6:04 AM on November 16 [4 favorites]




I now know that Ash is going to have a sorry end, because I finally realized where I knew him from -- Tariq on Spooks, who also had a sorry end that made me upset. (Seriously, Spooks. You were mean to me.)

Also .


I didn't realize who he was in his Voq makeup, but I plan to spend my re-watch yelling "Yes, I can see you Clem Fandango!" at the television.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:56 AM on November 16 [3 favorites]


I reckon what's happened to Ash and/or Voq might be something like this.
posted by Coaticass at 8:10 PM on November 16


* Kol wants to imprison Michael, as bringing her back will break the last of T'Kuvma's Torchbearers and consolidate his political power. She challenges him to a duel over it. He accepts, tossing her an ornate knife and pinning Georgiou's badge to his chest disrespectfully. They begin to fight, where he initially appears to have the upper hand.

That's a mek'leth. It's a Klingon double pronged blade traditionally intended for disemboweling one's enemies. They have a long history in Trek and were referenced in quite a few DS9 episodes. One was used by Worf to kill a Borg by the Enterprise's deflector dish in ST: First Contact.
posted by zarq at 8:43 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


"One last jump" and the "there's a moon near Starbase 46" and and and -- my spouse and I were just groaning with apprehension. My spouse literally yelled "No, don't make *plans*!" at the screen.

In both Tyler's and Stamets's plots in this episode, we see the wrenching consequences of the violation and misuse of men's bodies, and are drawn into sympathy rather than dismissiveness or pity, which I found really moving. Stamets sacrifices his health to serve the ship and (at first) tries to keep the harm a secret, and Tyler was sexually abused and interprets his past submissions to his captor as choices he made in order to survive (and I get the sense he has been fairly private about the specifics of the abuse he suffered). My spouse pointed out that Lorca's choice to look directly at the explosion of the Ship of the Dead, which hurts his eyes terribly, also visually reminds us of this motif -- Lorca openly hurts his own body here by choice, to serve his own emotional needs.
posted by brainwane at 9:12 AM on November 17 [7 favorites]


Actually, now that I think about it, Worf used his mek'leth to chop off the Borg's arm and push him into space. A hose or artery from the arm was then used as a tourniquet on Worf's leg to stop his suit from leaking. The Borg went sailing off into the dark and was not seen on screen again.

So, he might not be dead.
posted by zarq at 4:20 PM on November 17


Oh man, Stamets, though. He may as well have been a week from retirement and just bought a yacht named the Live Forever for all the heaping-it-on-thick they were doing there.

On rewatch, it occurred to me that if Stamets had kept quiet about doing one last jump, Lorca wouldn't have had incentive to change the jump coordinates.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:31 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


The part about being able to detect the general presence of the Klingon ship, but not track it with any precision, is plausible to me. For a 21st century example, our efforts to learn more about cosmic rays are stymied considerably by the fact they're deflected by magnetic fields all through the galaxy: we can detect them very easily, but not connect them to any particular source.

I think any form of energy or process that's detectable, but not easily focusable or collimatable, will be like that. In our time that includes neutrinos, gravity waves, and very high or low frequency photons at least. Who knows what their century has that would make the Klingon ship vaguely noticeable like that?

As far as I can tell, the only regular ST character ever shown studying for a promotion was Wesley Crusher.

Counselor Troi was studying for some sort of "bridge officer's test". Passing it led to her promotion to Commander.
posted by traveler_ at 10:24 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


My theory, which I’m sure is elsewhere too: Lorca is saving Burnham for use in the Mirror Universe - to change the sequence of events that started the war, thus saving his original crew and preventing the war.
posted by olinerd at 3:28 PM on November 21


Meanwhile, mirror-universe Pahvo is transmitting a continuous loop of All Along the Watchtower for reasons that will never be explained.
posted by schmod at 12:07 PM on November 23 [7 favorites]


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