Star Trek: Discovery: Despite Yourself
January 7, 2018 8:25 PM - Season 1, Episode 10 - Subscribe

While in unfamiliar territory, the U.S.S. Discovery crew is forced to get creative in their next efforts to survive opposing and unprecedented forces and return home. Directed by Jonathan Frakes.

Discovery is in the mirror universe (ST:ENT's In a Mirror, Darkly). Burnham, Lorca, and Tyler find and take over the Shinzou in an attempt to find an alternate way home. Tilly is "captain" and Lorca is put in a torture chamber.
posted by jojo and the benjamins (106 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
My neighbors probably thought I was being murdered. I mean, yes, it occurred to me that Culber might get killed but I discarded that thought as fucking improbable. Goddamn. That was worse than the red wedding.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 8:30 PM on January 7 [10 favorites]


Yeah, I just... Culber...

long exhale
posted by fatbird at 8:54 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


DOES CAPTAIN BURNHAM NEED TO STAB A MOTHERFUCKER?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:57 PM on January 7 [7 favorites]


Captain Killy!

"If you greeted me that way, I'd cut out your tongue and use it to lick my boots."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:24 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Burnham got a kickass outfit in the Mirror Universe, and her elevator fight was baller, though I am a little disappointed no one had to have a fake goatee added for espionage purposes. Jason Isaacs doing a riff on Scotty also made me laugh. I assume his torture chamber is secretly set to paper cut level, at least for now.

I do hope at some point we find out what Mirror Discovery is getting up to in the regular dimension, even if it's just a throwaway bit once the crew gets back.
posted by tautological at 9:26 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


As much as I love Burnham (and I looooove Burnham), for me Tyler is the most compelling character on the show right now. I continue to be impressed with his portrayal as a rape survivor and ptsd sufferer. I was hoping for him to come out the other side Heroic Ash Tyler but I guess that's not going to happen now.

My money is on the Emperor being Stamets.
posted by smartyboots at 10:27 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


This show is stressing me out and I am not okay with Culber being dead!

Captain Killy 4eva, tho!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:39 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


I'm so mad about Culber. I liked him as a character, I liked him and Stamets...I went from being worried about Stamets to being worried about Culber once the former started to stabilize, but that was so sudden and brutal and horrible.

Culber was also the only really well-adjusted person on Discovery's crew. While I'm sure we'll see how his loss affects Stamets, we damn well better see it affect everyone else too.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 11:49 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


I am so very done with this ongoing bullshit. Culber deserved better. Lexa deserved better. Poussey deserved better. Adam Torres deserved better. Tara deserved better. Every queer & trans fan deserves better.

This is not okay. I'm beyond frustrated that bury your gays is still a thing.
posted by Banknote of the year at 12:26 AM on January 8 [13 favorites]


Long live Captain Burnham.
posted by yonega at 12:32 AM on January 8


I'm hoping Stamets can bring back Culber somehow. His death sucked.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:41 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Spoilers for stuff yet to come, I guess, but this interview with the actor who plays Culber suggests that this isn't the end, and explicitly acknowledges the "bury your gays" trope:
We saw this Dr. Culber get presumably killed by Tyler but could we see Dr. Culber again? Is this really the end?

Yes. We will see Dr. Culber again. This is an epic love story. Yes. You will be experiencing highs and lows, triumphs and disappoints as you would in any relationship. And what we’re doing is inviting you to go on the journey of this relationship and the roller coaster ride that it is. And this is just one chapter in their story. And where we’re going to take you, I think, is incredibly exciting. And this had to happen in order for us to go there.

So, you know, what we’re all doing, what we’re doing now is asking the audience to trust us. This is not a bury your gays, kill your gays trope storyline. This is a chapter in this relationship and even Paul and Hugh have no idea what’s about to go down. And, you know, I give people permission to be sad on Sunday, I think that’s appropriate. I think we will all go through some stages of grief, and I think that’s okay. I think that’s why we make TV, you know? We take you on this trip. And this is part of it.
Whether that means an encounter with Mirror Culber, or a miracle of modern medicine, or timey-wimey fungal magic, I don't know. Given that the actors are gay and conscious of the trope, and given that the show has so far been respectful and considered in its treatment of sensitive issues, I'm inclined to withhold judgment for now.
posted by Syllepsis at 1:22 AM on January 8 [24 favorites]


I screamed a few times watching this, especially the unceremonious death of Culber - even though i had been spoiled for it! I was also angry about his death (from a social level, not necessarily within the show because I think his death will be of “value” for the rest of the story) And am relieved to hear the actor’s comments about this.

What an excellent mirror universe episode. I imagine this will be the rest of the season? I’m already even more pumped than I was from the previous episodes. And while all the theories we had are true, it’s no less satisfying. I’m still convinced our Lorca is from the Mirror universe originally.
posted by liquorice at 1:45 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


My money is on a Georgiou being the Emporer btw.
posted by liquorice at 1:54 AM on January 8 [17 favorites]


My money is on a Georgiou being the Emporer btw.

The previous, in continuity, Mirror Universe Emporer - as per ENT - was Hoshi. So that would be a nice connection.

I hated Culber's death but I presumed it wasn't permanent. Boy, would that be tone deaf. I expect some kind of magic spore work.
posted by crossoverman at 2:49 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


It was great to see Burnham and Tilly playing off each other so effortlessly on the bridge. The time building their relationship was well spent. I also just realized this is why Stamets called Tilly captain. That this hard, fearless person was lurking under Tilly's anxiety is just amazing. But it's really hard to focus on anything in this episode beyond Culber's death.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 3:49 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Also, their PTSD protocol is immediate quarantine from duty until they can reach a Starfleet medical facility?


Did someone tell O'Brien this?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:57 AM on January 8 [15 favorites]


More from the showrunners and GLAAD about Culber's death, on BuzzFeed.
"I understand why people are upset," said Cruz, who spent two years working as a GLAAD spokesperson. "I am familiar with the problematic tendencies of television shows to do away with their LGBT characters, especially people of color."

But Cruz, Harberts, and Berg all insisted to BuzzFeed News that Culber's death in Discovery will not be another “bury your gays” moment.
...
Understanding the tricky factors at play with their decision, the producers did run it by GLAAD — and received the organization’s blessing. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, spokesperson Nick Adams said that GLAAD is “mourning … the death of a beloved groundbreaking character,” but went on to note that “death is not always final in the Star Trek universe, and we know the producers plan to continue exploring and telling Stamets and Culber's epic love story.”

For Harberts and Berg, the wide open narrative possibilities presented by Star Trek — a sci-fi show predicted on boldly going where no one's gone before — greatly outweigh any fear of immediate fan backlash, especially on a show with a serialized storyline that still has five episodes left in the season.

"Why would we limit ourselves?” said Harberts. “Why would we limit the audience's experience, and why would we limit an opportunity to allow our gay characters to show the audience something truly profound?"

Exactly how that story will play out is something that Harberts and Berg were unwilling to spoil

posted by zarq at 5:54 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


If you're like the AV Club reviewer and don't really know anything about the USS Defiant beyond that it was a ship on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, here's some background as to what the show is talking about. Some spoilers below for other Trek series.

1968: The Original Series episode "The Tholian Web" airs. The Enterprise (commanded by Kirk) discovers the missing USS Defiant adrift in space. Its crew is dead, having apparently murdered each other. The ship itself isn't showing up on sensors, and seems to have slipped into an interdimensional rift. It eventually vanishes completely, into an alternate dimension. Meanwhile, an alien race called the Tholians is using their ships to weave an energy web around the Enterprise, trapping them in place. Spoiler: They escape.

2005: The Star Trek Enterprise episode "In a Mirror Darkly" airs, 37 years after "The Tholian Web". This is a two parter. Both episodes take place in the mirror universe first shown in the TOS episode "Mirror, Mirror". (Enterprise was set 100 years before the days of TOS (Kirk, Spock, McCoy) and Discovery, so "In a Mirror Darkly" is both a prequel to "Mirror, Mirror" and a sequel to "The Tholian Web.") The show created a revised opening sequence from the end of the Star Trek: First Contact movie and new opening credits for the pair of episodes.

In one of the most fun bits of continuity linking ever, the Star Trek: Enterprise episode showed that the USS Defiant (sister ship to Kirk and Spock's ship) didn't just disappear, but was dragged 100 years into the past in the mirror universe. It has advanced technology, and could allow anyone to take over the Terran Empire, so of course, the mirror universe crew of the NX-01 decides to steal it. There's a neat scene where the mirror Enterprise crew powers up the Defiant. The Enterprise episode ends with Hoshi Sato commanding the USS Defiant in the mirror universe and declaring herself Empress.

Now, the Discovery crew has discovered that the Defiant exists in the mirror universe timeline. And it looks like they're going after it.
posted by zarq at 6:27 AM on January 8 [17 favorites]


The thing with Culber's death is that the audience isn't in a position to view it relative to the whole season yet. To us, we can only see it through the lens of the episode itself, or the season so far.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:01 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Yes, exactly. The episode itself didn’t show us an “epic love story.” It showed us a queer POC getting more screen time than usual before being abruptly murdered with zero follow up. I’m glad the show has plans to continue Culber’s story, but they picked the tropiest way possible to kill him off. That’s the opposite of approaching the story with sensitivity and care.
posted by Banknote of the year at 8:20 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Enterprise episode ends with Hoshi Sato commanding the USS Defiant in the mirror universe and declaring herself Empress.

The ruler in the Disco mirror universe might be a Sato if the writers pull from beta canon. There were a series of mirror universe books where Sato I guaranteed her legacy by passing the throne to clones.. Sato III would be on the throne right now.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:16 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I figured this wasn't the end of Culber because of how unsentimentally he was killed off. It seems like a set up, you have Stamets trying to warn Culber from his interdimensional fugue state ("the enemy if here" or whatever the line was) while Culber was trying to protect Stamets. At this point only the audience knows that Culber is dead, it was done just to get a reaction out of us. Stamets' reaction is yet to be seen. I guess it will give Stamets a motivation to snap out of his detached state and use his weird new powers to get his bae back and fix the universes. Killing off Culber just to move the Tyler story along a tiny bit doesn't make too much sense.

I share the disappointment of others, killing Culber off just to eventually bring him back is like Glenn under the dumpster in The Walking Dead. It's a pretty cheap ploy to make emotional drama by treating a gay POC character as disposable. I hope future episodes redeem this crummy turn.
posted by peeedro at 9:28 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Team Killy FTW.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:03 AM on January 8 [4 favorites]


The ruler in the Disco mirror universe might be a Sato if the writers pull from beta canon. There were a series of mirror universe books where Sato I guaranteed her legacy by passing the throne to clones.. Sato III would be on the throne right now.

A shame Hoshi was Japanese and not Malaysian or Chinese. If she had been, perhaps Philippa Georgiou could have been her descendant. Michelle Yeoh is Chinese-Malaysian, and she spoke Geogiou's lines in her own Malaysian accent.

Of course, Hoshi actress Linda Park was born in South Korea, but lord knows we don't need more Asian actresses forced to portray Asian nationalities they don't belong to for the benefit of ignorant audiences.
posted by zarq at 10:26 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


My issue with Culber's death was that they used the neck snap. Such a terrible trope! I hate it! When someone someday makes a neck snap supercut it'll be 6 hours long.
posted by Catblack at 10:56 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]


"If you greeted me that way, I'd cut out your tongue and use it to lick my boots."

That was in no way unspeakably hot and I didn't rewind that scene and watch it a few times. That is my story and I'm sticking to it.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:06 AM on January 8 [13 favorites]


So there's pretty much no way that "our" Lorca isn't actually MU Lorca, right?
posted by Automocar at 11:18 AM on January 8 [7 favorites]


A shame Hoshi was Japanese and not Malaysian or Chinese. If she had been, perhaps Philippa Georgiou could have been her descendant.

Who says she can't? ~100 years have passed; If Georgiou is Sato's descendant, she would likely be her great- or great-great-granddaughter. Plenty of time for other ethnicities to be thrown into the mix.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:59 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]


When someone someday makes a neck snap supercut it'll be 6 hours long.

I would not watch that.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:28 PM on January 8


Who says she can't? ~100 years have passed; If Georgiou is Sato's descendant, she would likely be her great- or great-great-granddaughter. Plenty of time for other ethnicities to be thrown into the mix.

True!
posted by zarq at 12:44 PM on January 8


On the other hand, Georgiou could be like everyone else, and assassinate her way to the top.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:13 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


- Captain Killy is equal parts silly, hilarious, and awesome. She's easily the best "comedy relief" character Star Trek has had in a long time. I suspect she will find herself enjoying the captain's seat a little too much. I also like how they're tossing aside the 60's "Women get power by sleeping their way to the top" of the original Mirror Mirror. Women are captains in this world and it's kill or be killed the same as everyone else.
- I enjoyed their "Ew ugh everyone here is racist and xenophobic gross" briefing, when in the original Star Trek Spock was notable as a (part) alien working with humans. If I recall, there was another constitution class crewed by an entirely vulcan crew but there was an implication that a mixed crew was pretty remarkable. It wasn't until TNG got a few seasons under its belt that the Federation and Starfleet really started seeming like a multicultural institution.
- I am also of mixed minds about Culber's prefunctory death. Historically, if a character dies on Star Trek it's either a big deal or restored to the status quo before the end of the episode. I could easily believe their medical science could save Culber assuming he's found quickly, and I could buy some weird timey-wimey fungus magic bringing him back or stopping Taylor before he snaps and snaps, but what I really suspect will happen is Mirror!Culber taking his place, and let me tell you, they will have to work hard to sell me on that one. Would've been better if Ash beat the everloving shit out of him and left things more ambiguous. He could've even blamed it on violent Stamets.
- The whole ship going gung-ho Terran Empire cosplay was a bit weird. I can see making sure everyone is in costume on the bridge and repainting the hull numbers, but the whole ship? Are they expecting to host a bunch of locals on board?
- There is zero chance the Lorca we know is not Mirror!Lorca. I suspect what happened was the two Lorcas switched places on his previous command and in both universes he ended up losing his ship and crew. Maybe he was hoping his main universe counterpart had better luck than he did. "Attempt to overthrow the oppressive regime" is a bold move for a Starfleet officer trapped in an alternate universe, but after all Kirk did hand the keys to the Tantalus Field over to Mirror!Spock and implored him to use it to make a more logical, less brutal future.
- I'm also hoping for Emperor Georgiou. There's no reason to expect this world's current Emperor got there any way but by being the hardest ass of all, but being a descendant of Hoshi would be a nice nod.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:32 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


Directed by Jonathan "Two Takes" Frakes as well!
posted by PenDevil at 1:59 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


So there's pretty much no way that "our" Lorca isn't actually MU Lorca, right?

Lorca jumped way, way too fast to "oh, golly gee, isn't this fascinating, we must be in an alternate universe, woo hoo!" so...I'm thinking that this theory has some legs.

I'm predicting Culber's undeath, and not in the zombie way.

Got a retroactive chuckle from the delayed mirror Stamets earlier in the season, which turned out to be a clever bit of foreshadowing.

The shift to the MU, and the characters all having to perform as alternate versions of themselves, has added resonance when you think about Voq!Tyler's predicament. What happens if the "performance" becomes the preferred reality? The physical parallels between V!T's encounter with L'Rell in the brig and then his romantic moment with Burnham at the end emphasize the psychological issues there.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:27 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


Tyler is becoming increasingly aware he has a Voq inside him, it's hard to imagine this can continue. Either he's gonna kill himself to stop Voq, or he has to find some way to permanently overcome Voq.

An interesting (and very Star-Trek) solution would be some way of combining Tyler and Voq into an amalgam, a fusion if you will, but this is up there with "Mirror Culber is the new Culber" as something that will take a lot of convincing.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:35 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Here's a way to bring Culber back: when Stamets first got groovy with Spores, there was the scene at the mirror when the mirror Stamets stayed behind for a few seconds. When Tyler killed Culber, he walked out and the scene ended. Stamets is in some weird interdimensional place. Tyler couldn't remember where he was. That's a lot of narrative wiggle room for Stamets to reverse time or phase shift Culber or another 'tech the teching-tech' solution to show up in the next episode.
posted by fatbird at 7:33 PM on January 8


I love mirror universe Trek (especially mirror DS9) because it's fun and was an excuse for the actors (and writers) to have a little fun (I have not seen mirror ENT except for what's been linked here by zarq).

But I kind of feel like it's a Star Trek "thing" that a series should have to "earn" before deploying it, if only to have well wrought characters with which to contrast a mirror version with.

Fer exermple "Captain Killy" is lazy - take the most obviously absurd character to make Captain and make them the top dog human because its absurd.

If we had several seasons of Sylvia Tilly who grew organically into a complex character, mirror Tilly could have been so much more poignant.

Like, why is there a dif between the Tillys. Obviously its the nurture rather than nature of the individual, but why is Killy confident and aggressive?

Using it as the backbone of a new series feels kind of icky.

But <shrug> I don't mind.
posted by porpoise at 8:09 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Sonequa Martin-Green is a Real Deal Actor.

Lorca (E01 Lorca) doesn't fit the Star Trek franchise's "Captain" archtype.

Lorca (E10+ Lorca) is looking to be a (maybe The) unambiguous post-Picard ST franchise Captain.

I'm totally okay with 'ST: Discovery' so far.

someone mentioned "Poussey" as an allusion (?) to another show? Sonequa Martin-Green plays "Michael Burnham." Samira Wiley played "Poussey Washington" in OITNB (and Moira in "The Handmaid's Tale" !!) yeeah, ok, they kinda have the same kind of energy
posted by porpoise at 8:20 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Porpise I actually think it's fitting with the ENT mirror episode - they did something very similar with Hoshi - who was quiet, meek in our universe and made her the emperor in the Mirror Universe. While that took place in season 4, I'd argue that there was very little character development in ENT, so we never really got to see Hoshi grow into anyone particularly capable or confident. Really, that could just mean it's a weakness of both ENT and DSC, but I think it just speaks to the more 'fun' element of the Mirror universe episodes that I'm on board with!
posted by liquorice at 9:51 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


porpoise, spoilers for OITNB, but I think Poussey's mention was in comparison to Culber, as in "kill your gays," not Burnham.

I made sure to watch last night because someone from work got spoiled and warned a bunch of us. Well, okay, he was bitching about being spoiled for a character death more than warning us, so I knew someone was going to get killed, but at least I had a bit of warning not to put off the episode a few days until it was convenient. So I wound up staying up a bit late but at least I didn't get spoiled.

I was not ready for the Voq reveal even though I'd been as spoiled for it as everyone else since forever. I kinda feel like I need another watch to figure out how I feel about this. L'Rell, I feel slightly bad for saying this, but I don't really want you to get your messiah boyfriend back. Voq was just not a super interesting character? Whereas tormented Ash is actually really great? Although seriously y'all, exactly how many cripping blackout flashback episodes does one's head of security need to very visibly have during important expeditions before he gets a mandatory day off?

I loved "Captain Killy." Both the nickname as a gag, but also Mary Wiseman inhabiting both roles like that. It must have been a blast for her to pivot between characters mid-scene. And Burnham was credibly badass playing her mirror version, followed by credibly breaking down later, after killing her ops officer in the turbolift.

I think I need another watch before I can formulate complex reactions, tbh.
posted by sldownard at 11:02 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


Well, now that the mirror universe idea is reality rather than just speculation it goes to better explaining many of the "parallels", or now mirroring they've been setting up in the story since the beginning. It seems to clearly be a determined structural element to draw out the concepts they wish to explore.

Switching the show over to the mirror universe goes towards an attempt to balance how the Klingons are viewed in the prime universe, as religious zealots bent on destruction, by showing Starfleet as fascists bent on elimination of the "other". The two concepts in that way are meant to inform each other as to the fears each side might have and how they might respond to those fears. It's seemingly an intent to move the focus from actions of the individuals involved in the prime universe to seeing those actions as part of a larger systemic whole that shapes the paths individuals take. The many mirrorings of action are, seemingly, then designed to be seen as critical junctures, where the choices of one individual acting from a place of bias and lack of information has a counterpart that may act in an outwardly similar manner, but informed from opposing sets of fears and concerns. The actions are mirrored in response to perceived threat from the other rather than simply being an organic or inevitable individual choice alone.

Along with that seems to be the notion of there being some deeper core that goes beyond the surface actions, where the abilities and more innate characteristics of individuals shape their success in differing circumstance and in from that can also, presumably, lead to the possibility of change under different stimuli. So Tilly can become Killy under a fascist system from the same desire to please and succeed under a more democratic one according to this concept. The core person is the same, but shaped under two opposing systems. Tyler/Voq is torn in a somewhat similar fashion, but one where he isn't certain of which system he belongs, feeling increasingly conflicted by his desire for each as represented by Michael and L'Rell. Even his murder of Culber was left undefined as to who was doing the killing and why, whether it was the Voq influence or Tyler or, most likely, the confusion of the two leading to acting without clear design.

The discussion between Lorca and Michael over destiny is likely a key point the show will follow up on in the future, where the idea of things being determined or open to change will come in to sharper focus. If Lorca is from the mirror universe, then his plans and interest in Michael are likely based on their relationship there as much as in the prime universe. The story of mirror Michael trying to track mirror Lorca will almost certainly be filled in with some twist in detail over their relationship that makes Lorca feel the need to keep Michael close, whether as former allies in the mirror universe or because of some ability Michael has that Lorca knows about or something other.

Regarding Culber's murder and some of the other elements, one of the big problems with serial storytelling in tv and movies is, for me, the endless deferment of judgment that's been built into the narratives, where the "page turning" aspect of the shows take precedence over meaning. For shows to really mean something more than simply being delivery vehicles for suspense there has to be some accumulation of idea that resolves itself into some greater clarity of purpose. That resolution needn't be a final end to the story of the characters necessarily, but it needs continuity of perspective in service of some vision.

I'm personally willing to extent the benefit of doubt to the show for the time being since they do seem to have some structure in mind for their hall of mirrors approach, but the doubt over some of the choices still will remain until I get some evidence of something more than vague promises and suggestion in where they are going with it. I'm not entirely convinced about the basis of some of their seeming plans or ideas, but I'm also not certain of their failure with those same either since there is still some promise in them. How they deal with Stamets and Culber and Tyler and Michael will go towards deciding my feelings on the show more clearly, and drawing those resolutions out indefinitely isn't going to win me over. If there isn't some greater clarity by the end of the season I'll be seriously disappointed.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:38 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Problematic Plot Development aside, I loved this episode, possibly the most spectacular example of continuity porn in any Trek, ever. And Mirror Tilly is so going to be the inspiration for a thousand cosplays.

That said, I think there's a hole in Lorca's logic about the Defiant. He's correct to deduce that the Defiant that arrived in the Mirror Universe did so from their future, although strictly speaking all he can say is that it must have crossed over after they did otherwise they would have heard news of its disappearance. But if they assume that it crossed over some time into their future, then surely they would assume that it might have been equipped by then with the Spore Drive? (Unless, that is, that the Spore Drive has to be built into a ship from the outset and can't realistically be refitted to existing ships.)

Presumably there's going to have to be some sort of timey-wimey reset, because if the Discovery crew get back with their memories intact then they're going to warn Starfleet about (a) the existence of the Mirror Universe a decade before the events of 'Mirror, Mirror', and (b) the eventual fate of the Defiant.

I see from the wireframe image of the Defiant that the visual update of ST:D extends to the design of Constitution-class starships. (I assume that this is meant to be from Discovery's own onboard database.

Finally, either medical scanning technology gets a lot better between this episode and 'The Trouble With Tribbles' or Arne Darvin was a rush job, as it took McCoy about five seconds to ID him as a Klingon.
posted by Major Clanger at 12:39 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I'm ... Conflicted ?

The show I was sold, versus the kind of show the first half was and the kind of show the second half of the season is shaping up to be feel vastly different (to me) and this new incarnation (post break) is something I am not entirely sure I can stick with.

How many episodes are left ?

I am.. confuzzled.

And that death out of left field was jarring. Disappointing. Breathtakingly bad plot solution.
posted by Faintdreams at 12:43 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


> ...Arne Darvin was a rush job, as it took McCoy about five seconds to ID him as a Klingon.
Or it's similar to transparent aluminum in ST:IV, and what Discovery's med team learns about TylerVoq's transformation informs McCoy's later knowledge in ST:TOS.

As for TylerVoq, I was initially worried that it would devolve too readily into tropey manpain, but the actor has done an excellent job selling it onscreen. Which is too bad, as my interest in the character's growth died immediately once I got over the initial shock of Culber's death. The show can explore TylerVoq's further development all it wants, but I don't want him treated/healed or "redeemed", I just want him fucking dead.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 1:58 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Gonna be gutted if we don't get plenty more Captain Killy.

A little confused what's the deal with Tyler - I mean obviously he's Voq, but if he had a full medical check on the Discovery, he must be a Klingon brain in a human body, right? But the doctor said his bones and spine had been shortened - implying it was his Klingon body altered to look human. But surely a chief medical officer can tell the difference between a human and a Klingon even if the bones are different? Or was it the original Tyler body + brain with Voq's brain stuffed inside his body too? I'm probably over-thinking this.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:32 AM on January 9


(Unless, that is, that the Spore Drive has to be built into a ship from the outset and can't realistically be refitted to existing ships.)

Given that the spore drive seems to involve the entire outer ring of Discovery's saucer section rotating, I think it's not unreasonable that a Constitution-class ship with a solid saucer section could not be retrofitted with a spore drive.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:40 AM on January 9


I think there's a hole in Lorca's logic about the Defiant
I'm still on board with the Mirror Lorca theory, so I think Lorca is lying about pretty much everything, including his motivations for suggesting the plan to find information about the Defiant. I suspect that he wants to use the crew to help him find it, so that he can have another go at overthrowing the Emperor.

(Who is totally Phillipa Georgiou, right? Michelle Yeoh is too awesome not to reuse like this when given a golden, thematically appropriate opportunity.)
posted by confluency at 4:52 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]


Finally, either medical scanning technology gets a lot better between this episode and 'The Trouble With Tribbles' or Arne Darvin was a rush job, as it took McCoy about five seconds to ID him as a Klingon.

Or just that your average Klingon spy isn't willing to undergo the long, torturous, and possibly dishonorable process that Voq went through to pass as human in at least initial scans.

But if they assume that it crossed over some time into their future, then surely they would assume that it might have been equipped by then with the Spore Drive?

I read their discussion about that to be "Defiant is here, so there must be a way to travel universes that doesn't require a working spore drive, and we have to find out what that is."
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:08 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


I'm currently banking on Mirror-Universe Culber (sans goatee, presumably) becoming the new Culber, because Stamets can change him. With the power of love.
posted by whir at 6:09 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Tilly's apparent awkwardness with swearing in her first audio-only transmission ("What the he... heck... hell? Hold your horses!") seems at odds with "Choose Your Pain," where she's the one to say, "You guys, this is so fucking cool."

Two possible explanations come to mind:
a) In the 23rd century, "hell" has become a more obscene swear word than "fuck" (which gives added weight to Kirk's "Let's get the hell out of here" in "City on the Edge of Forever")
b) It's covered by Rule of Funny [warning: TVTropes]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:53 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Or, she uses emphatic obscenities when excited but not when she's angry. Which I recognize because I do the same -- "This is so fucking cool!" is fine to say and a lighthearted "fuck" but "I AM SO FUCKING PISSED OFF" feels really aggressive and is not how I feel comfortable expressing my anger. Cheerful Tilly being excited about something and throwing in an f-bomb intensifier because she's excited is very different than Tilly-as-Killy having to aggressively say "WHAT THE HELL?" to a stranger.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:07 AM on January 9 [13 favorites]


Fridge logic realization: in a universe where betrayal and back-stabbing are a normal mode of career advancement, they could have replaced Captain Killy with just about anyone (except maybe Lorca) and no one on the other ship would have batted an eye.
posted by cardboard at 7:33 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]


Fridge logic realization: in a universe where betrayal and back-stabbing are a normal mode of career advancement, they could have replaced Captain Killy with just about anyone (except maybe Lorca) and no one on the other ship would have batted an eye.

They'd probably want to consider what would happen if and when the real Discovery is inserted back into this universe, with Captain Tilly in charge.
posted by zarq at 8:45 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Upon re-watch, I love Captain Killy's mirror-universe asymmetrical haircut.

It's almost better than a goatee.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:20 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


okay but can we stop for a moment to acknowledge that based on his ability to instinctively recognize disguised Klingons, Stamets is clearly part tribble
posted by cortex at 10:03 AM on January 9 [15 favorites]


okay but can we stop for a moment to acknowledge that based on his ability to instinctively recognize disguised Klingons, Stamets is clearly part tribble

Turns out that he's been injecting himself with dna from other shipboard creatures in his spare time. It was only a matter of time before he snuck into Lorca's ready room.

It was all going so well until someone fed him a big lunch on Tuesday.

Now what to do with Stamets, Stamets, Stamets, Stamets....
posted by zarq at 10:16 AM on January 9 [6 favorites]


I wonder if tribbles act the same in the Mirror Universe.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:17 AM on January 9


I wonder if tribbles act the same in the Mirror Universe.

They love Klingons, hate Vulcans.
posted by zarq at 10:26 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Did anyone else want a scene with Capt Killy on a horse with a cape and a spear? Possibly singing? No? Just me?

I mean, I like her well enough as Tilly, she's nice enough, but Valkyrie Tilly was over the top.
posted by Kyol at 10:45 AM on January 9 [6 favorites]


I am surprisingly resistant to the idea of Lorca being MU Lorca. It provides an overly calculated reason for all his behavior, when part of the appeal of Lorca is that losing his crew has made him deeply paranoid and unable to make attachments. In the normal universe, it's about how war and trauma break us. In the mirror universe, it feels more like a call to arms.

I loved that Tilly was able to embody Killy by embracing the anxiety that hampered her in the normal universe. That hyper-vigilance is what kept her alive and helped her move up the ladder, while without that threat it just made her question everything. Even her word choice.

I am also very mad about Culbert, and that makes it hard to appreciate Tyler's believable arc of finding out he isn't real. I could maybe forgive Tyler killing Culbert if it was less calculated. But unless Klingon Neck Dislocation is a thing, there's not a believable redemption arc for me. Even if we bring Culbert to life with spore technology or other nonsense.
posted by politikitty at 12:51 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Maybe the reason why Starfleet abandons the spore drive technology is that Discovery never makes it home and Command has no idea what went wrong. What if they spend the rest of the series in the Mirror Universe?
posted by Servo5678 at 3:32 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


So my fanwank about the neck dislocation is that it wasn't about Tyler finding out he isn't real, or Culbert finding out that Tyler isn't real - but about Culbert preventing him from going on the mission. I feel like as part of the Tyler/Voq mash-up, he's strong feelings of protection and loyalty that were originally directed at his Klingon mission and at the Klingon lady (I'm terrible with names) are now being directed to Burnham (see: his comments at the end of the episode to her). The idea that he was being prevented from protecting Burnham while she was going on a very dangerous message triggered that violent response.
posted by liquorice at 3:54 PM on January 9 [6 favorites]


This episode does shed light on why Captain Lorca keeps a phaser beneath his pillow. Apparently that is the MU version of job security.

Also, was that chocolate milk that Tyler was drinking after he talked to his handler and had his identity crisis? If so I applaud his taste.
posted by Balna Watya at 4:03 PM on January 9


Speaking of tribbles, am I going nuts or was there one inside Lorca's ready room underneath the holographic star-map? It was like a tribble on one side and a big bowl of Doritos on the other. I even thought it made a little squeaking sound.
posted by whir at 4:15 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


liquorice, I think all three are true. At the moment of the neck dislocation, it was most acutely to avoid being grounded. But if that was his main motivation, he would have never risked going to Culbert for additional tests.

Going into the scene, I was interested in the question about the internal struggle Voq and Tyler must have, and who is primarily steering the body. Lt Saru had noticed Tyler as a threat. But that could easily be about his instability, not motivation. Then Stamets calls him out as clearly being the enemy.

It should be an interesting turn that when he leaves, he runs to Burnham, and quickly escalates their budding relationship. He seems desperate to be Tyler, not biding his time as Voq. But killing Culbert, I don't really care. It's just two different flavors of villain.
posted by politikitty at 4:41 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


That is a big, fat tribble. It coos during a lot of scenes. Lots of people online (and probably in these threads) have speculated that the tribble will eventually unmask Voq. Why that one wasn't born pregnant is one of the show's great mysteries. (After all, it's a great timesaver.) Also, they never show it chowing down on the fortune cookies.

Oh. Those are fortune cookies. Lorca explains in the second episode that baking fortune cookies used to be his family's business back on Earth.
posted by zarq at 4:45 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


But if Lorca's from the MU he should have a weird aversion to or mistrust of nonhumans. That definitely hasn't been the case.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 5:07 PM on January 9


The Lorca from the MU was a rebel against the Empire and on the run from it, wasn't he? I mean, wasn't he opposed to Empire values anyway?

Weird thing: I watched Star Trek when it was first shown in the UK, at least the last season (1969), which I remember (probably erroneously) being shown in the Dr Who slot between War Games and Spearhead From Space. And then it was on on Monday evenings just before bed. By which I mean 7:20.

(That angry looking alien who turned out to be a dummy that appeared at the end of the end credits was the scariest thing I'd ever seen.)

So, anyway, the original series is in my blood somewhere. But I never really got on with any of the other series - I tried to get into Next Generation but it was too... conversational. So I'm probably the only person in the world for whom Discovery is the favourite iteration of Star Trek.

They're all on Netflix, though, so who knows.
posted by Grangousier at 5:46 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


The Lorca from the MU was a rebel against the Empire and on the run from it, wasn't he?

Oh dear. You're right. Lorca's basically the best of humanity from the MU. And he's a big ol' jerk of a pragmatic turd over on this side.

Oh! Is there a MU Lt. Saru? Or is everyone from his race genocided? Or were they a predator species instead of prey?

If they don't have a Scary Saru, I'm going to be disappointed.
posted by porpoise at 7:32 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Maybe mirror universe Saru is the Emperor.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:45 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Imagine a species whose response to any perceived danger was fight-or-flight-but-nearly-always-fight.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:46 PM on January 9


Oh dear. You're right. Lorca's basically the best of humanity from the MU. And he's a big ol' jerk of a pragmatic turd over on this side.

Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.
posted by Kyol at 7:48 PM on January 9


Imagine a species whose response to any perceived danger was fight-or-flight-but-nearly-always-fight.

Isn't that Klingons?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:21 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


whir, as zarq notes we've already noted the tribble and its possible significance.

In the course of that discussion I said this, for which I may some day be forgiven.
posted by Major Clanger at 12:02 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


was that chocolate milk that Tyler was drinking

I wondered if it was a glass of Baileys.

What happens if you ask for replicated booze? Presumably you can, as we saw a lot of beer being guzzled in the party a few episodes back. I'd guess that the replicators need special permission or only allow alcohol at certain times. Also, given that we've seen that you get a patronising commentary from these replicators*, I'd imagine that asking for a shot of Baileys would elicit a pretty snarky response.

*I wonder if this is a deliberate homage to the trope of the futuristic talking food machine, such as the Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or the Talkie Toaster from Red Dwarf?

(I have encountered the Nutrimatic's rather basic relative; one is installed in the public waiting area of the court building in Nuneaton, UK. You put in some coins, punch the combination for the drink you want, and irrespective of what you ask for you are dispensed a tepid cup of a liquid almost, but not entirely, unlike tea.)
posted by Major Clanger at 12:12 AM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Did anyone catch what L'Rell said to Tyler when the "what's your name" thing failed to restore him to Voq? "The [mumble] was supposed to..." or something similar. I rewound it a couple times but just couldn't make it out. I guess I got the !!plot point!! hint but it would have been nice to figure out what she actually said.
posted by sldownard at 12:27 AM on January 10


The prayer was supposed to... (source: closed caption)
posted by politikitty at 12:54 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Maybe mirror universe Saru is the Emperor.

Best prediction yet, and why the emperor is faceless.

(But it’s gotta be Georgiou, right? That’s why Burnham is MU captain of the Shenzou.)
posted by LooseFilter at 7:09 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Maybe the reason why Starfleet abandons the spore drive technology is that Discovery never makes it home and Command has no idea what went wrong.

I thought the MU Discovery went missing as well, at the same time and location as the standard one. Somehow I think the ISS Discovery would not be as benevolent towards its giant tardigrade or its Stamets. Perhaps it could do a lot of damage and spell the end of spore drives after it is destroyed.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:44 AM on January 10


I thought the MU Discovery went missing as well, at the same time and location as the standard one.

I thought so, too, and my inference was that the ships switched places, and thus the ISS Discovery would immediately start wreaking havoc on Federation allies (and maybe the Federation itself, given the filthy aliens in their ranks). If so, I expect that the show will give us some of what's happening in our universe, with this destructive agent of chaos dropped into it.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:56 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I am surprisingly resistant to the idea of Lorca being MU Lorca. It provides an overly calculated reason for all his behavior, when part of the appeal of Lorca is that losing his crew has made him deeply paranoid and unable to make attachments.

I very strongly agree with you, but the Voq/Tyler reveal, which makes all the nice PTSD/character work Discovery did with Tyler completely meaningless, demonstrates that this is a show more interested in cheap dramatic shock than deep character work, so...
posted by Automocar at 10:08 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I'm curious if the break coincides with Bryan Fuller's departure from plotting. He does such great characters, and was the primary reason I was originally stoked for this version of Trek. I still need to get access to American Gods.
posted by politikitty at 11:07 AM on January 10


I'm curious if the break coincides with Bryan Fuller's departure from plotting.

According to current showrunners, Fuller's plan was to get the Discover to the Mirror universe much earlier - by episode four. Once they took over, they decided viewers needed to spend more time with the characters before encountering any possible doubles.

I suspect there will still be Fuller stuff through the end of Season One, in that case.
posted by crossoverman at 3:20 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


It's possible that the Terrans were too cruel to figure out how to harness the tardigrade's power, and have been aimlessly jumping around the galaxy (hence the fact that none of the other Terran ships seem be in communication with MU Discovery, and have no idea where it's supposed to be)

It's also possible that the MU Glenn is still around.
posted by schmod at 6:57 PM on January 10


the Voq/Tyler reveal, which makes all the nice PTSD/character work Discovery did with Tyler completely meaningless
I really don't understand why some people see it like this. Tyler may be very wrong about the specifics of what happened to him, and his memories may be false, but I have never doubted that Tyler is real, his trauma is real, and his feelings are real.

His trauma just has a particularly unpleasant science-fictional cause -- his personality was transplanted into a Klingon infiltrator, his original human body is probably dead, and both the painful process of his host's surgical transformation and his presumably consensual sexual relationship with L'Rell have become deliberately or accidentally remapped to horrible constructed memories to fit his own identity.

Just because this isn't something that can happen to real-life trauma survivors doesn't mean that the portrayal of Tyler can't continue to have meaning. A science-fictional depiction of an issue which hinges on in-universe elements which aren't real can have parallels to real world issues. It doesn't have to be a perfect allegory.

I will be very disappointed if after developing Tyler the way they have the writers just leave us with "j/k, Tyler wasn't ever real, now here's Voq, lols!" -- but everything I have seen so far suggests that they have no intention of doing this. I think that they are treating Tyler's personality as an entity just as real as Voq, which is now trapped in Voq's body as Voq's personality is trying to reassert itself, and that during the remainder of the season we will see Tyler/Voq's internal struggle to figure out who he is and remain himself.

I could be wrong about this, but I'm withholding judgement until the end of the season (a phrase which I have typed verbatim many times since this show started).
posted by confluency at 2:43 AM on January 11 [16 favorites]


It's possible that the Terrans were too cruel to figure out how to harness the tardigrade's power

If it turns out that Lorca is actually MU-Lorca, I would not be surprised if Landry was also from the mirror universe. It certainly explains her "let's poke it with a sharp stick!" approach to exobiology.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:28 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


My bet is Tyler is real and was an actual Klingon prisoner who was somehow merged with Voq. That would explain the apparently only minor physical adjustments, and that there's apparently enough Starfleet records about this guy that he can just walk onto Discovery and pick up a job and security clearance.

That gets us both trauma survivor good guy Tyler, and OMG SECRET KLINGON SPY.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 9:18 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


I have trouble buying that Tyler was a human who they put a Klingon brain in but then also shortened his bones because they picked the one human who was...too tall to not be suspicious? Or what? Full-body de-Klingonification of Voq makes a lot more sense in my mind (to the extent that this whole scheme makes sense at all), working with what Culbert was saying this episode right before The Incident.

Which doesn't say anything to me about the potential for Tyler-as-mind to be any more or less real; I don't know where they're gonna go with that and I'm interested to see, since it seems like it could run the spectrum from Tyler as a human consciousness repurposed all the way to Tyler as a from-scratch constructed identity.
posted by cortex at 10:00 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


plus, he did pass the Manchurian Test, so
posted by mwhybark at 10:05 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


It could be that the Klingons put intentional scars inside a brainwashed human Tyler to help convince him that he used to be Voq.
posted by cardboard at 11:00 AM on January 11


I'm pretty sure that Original Tyler was an actual human prisoner -- possibly that out-to-lunch guy who looked vaguely similar and got killed early in the prison episode. The process of transplanting his personality into Voq may have given him irreversible brain damage -- this may have been some very early foreshadowing. I think all of the information about Ash Tyler in Starfleet's records is real.

I don't personally find it necessary for Tyler's physical body to still be his original human body in order to accept Tyler as Good Guy Trauma Survivor Tyler. I'm cool with him being a disembodied personality dual-booting on Voq's hardware. Sucks for Voq that his own partition seems to have been corrupted in the installation process.
posted by confluency at 1:05 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Counselor: Why don't you pass the time by playing a little solitude?
Tyler: No thank you.
Counselor: Well, he's passed the Manchurian test.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:18 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


... solitaire. Thanks, autocorrect.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:17 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


What do you mean solitaire? I’ve been playing solitude for years!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:19 PM on January 11 [5 favorites]


If Lorca is really MU Lorca then the swap had to have happened on the Buran. Mirror!Lorca had a hard time adjusting and in the end blew up the ship to cover his tracks and give himself a fresh start. Prime!Lorca used the Buran to attempt a coup and got it blown up for his troubles. The Lorca we know was clearly interested in how his counterpart fared, could be personal curiosity but could just as easily be him wondering if his counterpart did better in a strange universe than he did.

It also fits nicely with Kirk's actions in "Mirror Mirror". Prime!Kirk didn't openly rebel against the Emperor, but he did give the Tantalus Field over to Mirror!Spock with the suggestion to use it to make a better, more logical world. Meanwhile it took everyone in the prime universe two seconds to realize something was up with Mirror!Kirk and have him confined. I'm sure Mirror!Kirk would have approved of blowing up the Enterprise to make a fresh start.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:42 PM on January 12 [4 favorites]


Huh, that was a pretty strong episode IMHO. Confirms the two main theories we had; Tyler / Voq and the Mirror Universe. Although they haven't quite said the Tyler / Voq thing fully out loud yet and I wonder what folks think if they haven't had that theory in their minds all along. Shout out for having the explicit name the "Manchurian protocol"; Starfleet Medical watches Angela Lansbury movies, too.

Culber's death was annoying but it sure looked like a fake-out or will otherwise be reversed. (Although neck snapping is awfully visceral...) One thing I found a bit implausible was Lorca telling him "another doctor" would be treating Stamets. How many doctors are in the Disco anyway? The ship apparently has a crew of 138 people. So sure there'll be at least a nurse practicioner and/or a field medic. But they'd have a name, and there'd only be one or at most two of them. Tiny thing but it bugged me.

I like the twist that we have been watching Mirror Lorca all along. While he's a ruthless bad guy in our universe he's what we'd think of as a good guy in the Mirror Universe, opposing the Terran Empire. A man of conscience, ruthless and wily and with nothing to lose. There's at least a season of good character development there. Can't wait for them to bring back Prime Lorca and he's some wimpy milktoast, perhaps with a stupid hipster goatee.

I wish they'd made more of a demonstration of clearing the bridge of non-humans for the Terran Empire disguise. Terrans are racists, there's no way someone like Saru would be on the ship. They didn't explain what happens to him at all. Nor did they explain what Mirror Tyler's story is; come to think of it, that investigation would perhaps have uncovered some very interesting things about our Tyler / Voq.

The only thing that would have been better with Captain Killy is to have given her more of a latex / leather fetish outfit along the lines of mirror universe Kira. But I'm with porpoise that it doesn't quite feel like Disco has earned the right to do mirror universe silliness yet.

I'm on board though. I totally feel like I can trust the writers to take this somewhere good.
posted by Nelson at 7:24 AM on January 14


They didn't explain what happens to him at all.
Whenever we see Saru after the Mirror Universe makeover he's still wearing his normal Starfleet uniform. I thought it was clear that he was staying off the bridge and out of sight.
Nor did they explain what Mirror Tyler's story is
If you examine the next episode's preview closely, it looks like we're about to find out.
posted by confluency at 9:02 AM on January 14


One thing I found a bit implausible was Lorca telling him "another doctor" would be treating Stamets. How many doctors are in the Disco anyway?

In Choose Your Pain when Burnham and Cluber confront Stamets about the wellbeing of Ripper, Stamets blows off Culber asking if there's actual people on the ship who need his help, Culber takes the hint and excuses himself by saying, "the CMO needs my help with an Andorian tonsillectomy." I take that to mean that there is a chief medical officer Culber works under so he is not the only doctor on Discovery.

Is that realistic for a crew of 138? I dunno; this is a show about a spaceship that travels to an alternate universe using the power of magic mushrooms so the finer details about the crew manifest don't seem worth worrying about.
posted by peeedro at 11:15 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Peeedro - I'm actually on the other side, but also finding it completely implausible: they mentioned the CMO, so ... why isn't the CMO treating the if-he-doesn't-heal-we're-fucked ChEng? ... and doesn't Cadet Tilly have actual duties to perform? Why is she hanging around sickbay?

The "we have a crew of 138, but only 6 actual Named Crew Members" really really takes me out of the story a lot. Nobody else speaks, works, engages with the named characters - unless it's plot related? That's just weird.
posted by Seeba at 11:20 AM on January 14


and doesn't Cadet Tilly have actual duties to perform? Why is she hanging around sickbay?

She’s assigned to the spore drive. No Stamets, no spore drive.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:33 PM on January 14


oh and a little so-obvious-nobody's-mentioned-it point: the USS Defiant schematic seen on screen in this episode does not appear to be the same ship seen in both TOS and ENT, although the registry number is correct.

In ENT, the ship arrived in the MU out of time synch, as the Constitution class vessels we know from TOS were built approximately 200 years later than the NX-01; this superior technology is what appears to have enabled Empress Sato's rise to power.

So the questions then are:

Does the schematic represent the design and appearance of Constitution-class vessels in the DIS timeline?

Does this represent a 200-year-old ship which has undergone modifications?

Nobody in Discovery's crew remarks that the ship looks different from the Constitution-class vessels they are familiar with. It does appear that the data on-screen is derived from the data core.

We do have a read on when the events seen in DIS are happening; they are roughly co-temporal, perhaps slightly before, TOS. My operating hypothesis has been that DIS is a separate timeline from TOS and therefore I would tend to assume the bent-pylon Defiant probably is the design of the Constitution class in DIS-prime.

Finally, if we treat the Defiant (and the other apparent divergences from TOS in the show, such as UI, uniforms, and, uh, Burnham's place in Sarek's family) as diagnostic of a show-specific timeline, it would stand to reason that this MU is in fact one of many MUs, each specific to a primary timeline, so the events leading to Defiant's presence in the MU may differ from those depicted in ENT.

Gotta go - the replicator just beeped me that my plate of beans is ready.
posted by mwhybark at 3:17 PM on January 14


You don't have a chatty replicator that tells you about the nutritional benefits of your beans?
posted by peeedro at 3:25 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I had a toaster like that, traded it to some guys from a JMC ship I ran into at Quark's this one time.
posted by mwhybark at 3:36 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Maybe mirror universe Saru is the Emperor.

An aggressively xenophobic humanity ruled by an alien? It would explain his facelessness but they'd need a massive gimmick to pull it off. Sorry, don't see it.
posted by scalefree at 1:25 PM on January 15


An aggressively xenophobic humanity ruled by an alien? It would explain his facelessness but they'd need a massive gimmick to pull it off. Sorry, don't see it.

That's the other franchise reboot. War in the Stars or some such.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:13 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


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