Star Trek: Discovery: Point of Light
January 31, 2019 8:27 PM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Some old friends drop by for a visit.

Multiple elements of the series that seemed to have been ejected with last season's finale return: the Klingons, Ash Tyler, Emperor Georgiou, even the spore on Tilly's shoulder. With the exception of the resolution of last week's Tilly sport-ghost B-story, though, not all that much happens, other than a slight advancement of the overarching Spock plotline and something of a backdoor pilot for the upcoming Georgiou/Section 31 show (which will now include Ash Tyler as well, I guess). L'Rell has a fun new title, at least...

If last week and this week define two types of Discovery fans, I'm definitely in last week's camp.
posted by gerryblog (51 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Here's the Memory Alpha link, which will hopefully be useful later.

Random thoughts:
* Very concerned with the retcons for Spock.

"He's been seeing red angels since he was a kid," and "He's wanted for multiple murders and diagnosed with the space madness" feel... big? Discovery is usually pretty fun, but there are some places they've fallen down, (Culber's death remaining a big deal for me right now). I dunno how they're going to make the Spock stuff check out.

* I'm glad the plot with May is moving along.

I liked the way that Michael figured out what May had to be. I feel like Starfleet should have, like, an official troubleshooting flowchart for this stuff by now though.

Oh, I also liked May believing Stamets was the captain.

* The Klingon stuff felt outta left field.

On the one hand, it makes sense that L'Rell would face a bunch of political challenges, and the stuff with the baby was all very Game of Thrones. But on the other hand, like... the face paint had a listening device, but the Klingon Chancellor doesn't routinely sweep for bugs? Meh. That sort of plot development reduces stakes because it's clear things are happening just to move the plot along, rather than because they make any kind of sense. (Georgiou rescuing them felt similarly weightless, even if she really knows how to make an entrance.)

* I laughed out loud at Pike.

"What do you want to do? Maybe we should marry some people, whether they're into each other or not."

Making Pike something of a goofball has worked surprisingly well for me. (Over in the Enterprise rewatch threads, it's making me wish that Captain Archer had been written more like this, to take advantage of Scott Bakula's comedic chops.)

So yeah. Dunno. As ever, watching with interest but not sure what to make of this yet.
posted by mordax at 8:50 PM on January 31, 2019 [6 favorites]

I'm not too concerned about Spock's experiences here from a strict continuity standpoint; anything short of permanent, irreparable physical damage can be waved away in terms of TOS+ Spock as "Spock doesn't like to talk about his past, especially about his family."

I am more concerned about it thematically, though, in light of ST:TMP. The "Red Angel" plot seems to be going in much the same direction: Spock, long trying to suppress his emotion, makes a connection with another being which causes his emotions to resurface. But if the resolution of this plotline involves Spock better integrating and coming to terms with his emotions, which seems likely, then his pursuit of Kolinahr at the beginning of ST:TMP is kind of a step backwards

Overall, though, I did like this episode, even if it was mostly just moving things along. I feel like Mary Wiseman was particularly a standout, showing a side of Tilly we hadn't seen before, and I will never complain about Michelle Yeoh appearing.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:22 PM on January 31, 2019 [3 favorites]

The end result could be Spock experimenting with letting his emotions out, which didn't turn out all that well in The Cage (insert fan theory from a Best of Trek fanzine)
posted by happyroach at 11:27 PM on January 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

If last week and this week define two types of Discovery fans, I'm definitely in last week's camp.

Agreed... this was a masterclass in how not to write compelling television. Clunky exposition and no emotional engagement with anything going on. I'm not a Klingon fan but I'll take the worst TNG Klingon episode over this--at least those Klingons were a little fun. At least they're walking back on having the Klingons speak Klingon to each other?

In a lot of ways this season so far feels like fan lipservice... the D7 in this episode, L'Rell changing her title to align with a woman never being Chancellor of the Klingon Empire (something I would have been fine for them to just ignore.) But then they want us to see badass USS Section 31 and be all "YES!!!!" I don't get it.
posted by Automocar at 7:38 AM on February 1, 2019 [4 favorites]

L'Rell changing her title to align with a woman never being Chancellor of the Klingon Empire

Didn’t Gorkon’s daughter assume the chancellorship after he was assassinated in ST VI?
posted by nathan_teske at 10:46 AM on February 1, 2019

Put me in this week's camp rather than last week's camp. No, this wasn't the best episode of television ever, but at least it wasn't trying to be an episode of a different series that I've already seen and which hasn't aged well, thank you very much.

Didn't like:

Somewhat irritated that the Klingons stopped speaking Klingon to each other.

Meh on the "let's introduce the new spin-off series!" bits.

Wish the spore-in-Tilly had been given longer to play out before being sucked out of her. Star Trek people seein' ghosts and wonderin' about their sanity has been done (over and over). A Star Trek person seeing a ghost over multiple episodes that seriously impacts her career is fresher and more interesting and I would have been happier to get a few more episodes out of it.


Enjoying the "Spock: crazed murderer?" plot. Nice to see Amanda playing a real role in events.

The interactions between Tilly and the ghost. Trippy!

Bringing the Klingons back. Hope they stay in and get involved in the glowing-red-object plot.
posted by kyrademon at 10:51 AM on February 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

Spock experimenting with letting his emotions out, which didn't turn out all that well in The Cage

OTOH, the events in The Cage predate the appearance of Pike on Discovery, so maybe Spock's gone off his rocker trying to get back to a flat affect, despite Amanda's take on the matter.

Pretty sure that is the unique appearance of a decapitated baby's head in all of Trek. I for one, hope it is the last, even if in-show it's just a prop. We already know Klingon biotech is the cray-cray, we probably don't want to reflect on how the heads were made.

I'm glad to see Tyvoq is getting a continuing slot, I very much enjoyed Shazad Latif's performance last season. Yeoh continues to be an incredibly appealing presence despite the utter insanity of her role as written. Section 31, led by a genocidal ex-empress from the mirror universe and at her side the terrbly PTSD-damaged Klingon spy Voq whose trauma is so great that he has allowed an implanted human personality to supplant his Klingon identity. Sure, let's hand the keys of our super seekrit black ops force to 'em!

Silly establishing shot left and right 90-degree angles topped off by a full 180-degree inverted establishing shot. Not sure if that means we can expect some corkscrew cuts next episode or what.

Some pretty heavy-handed plot and motivation mirroring between Amanda mourning her emotional distance from Spock and L'Rell mourning her lack of contact with her child. L'Rell's significantly softer character design was interesting too, moving her closer to TNG Klingons. I know it's ridiculous but I keep expecting them to go full fanservice and give us the full augment-virus retcon over the arc of the show.
posted by mwhybark at 11:40 AM on February 1, 2019 [5 favorites]

And another thing! Voq's D7, at first glance, is the classic TOS D7. Surrrre, the Klingons get the classic ship designs, but does the Federation? Noooo, it's all extra angles and doubled pylons and

(I'm mostly joking, mind)

Although, one would think that having someone intimately tied to the design and development of the D7 wearing a delta commbadge and working for a Federation paramilitary group would confer a sort of military intelligence advantage in a few years at, sy, Organia or Deep Space Station K-7. Man, if Captain Kirk ever finds out about this...
posted by mwhybark at 11:49 AM on February 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

Didn’t Gorkon’s daughter assume the chancellorship after he was assassinated in ST VI?

Yep! Which makes it even weirder--like, just ignore that line from Gowron about how women can't be on the High Council. Who cares?

Unless the Discovery writers are doing something else entirely, which, just... I dunno, dudes.
posted by Automocar at 12:11 PM on February 1, 2019

a woman never being Chancellor of the Klingon Empire

What's the source for this? I don't recall it.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:12 PM on February 1, 2019

Somewhat irritated that the Klingons stopped speaking Klingon to each other.

Completely disagree. That was the one bit of the episode that gave me hope that they're learning from their mistakes. It was a decent idea, to make the Klingons speak Klingon with each other--but having actors shout gibberish at each other that they had to learn to pronounce phonetically was not a good way to get interesting performances out of anyone.
posted by Automocar at 12:14 PM on February 1, 2019 [12 favorites]

What's the source for this? I don't recall it.

TNG, "Redemption":

GOWRON: The family of Duras is massing support. They have many allies on the Council.
PICARD: Duras died in disgrace. By Klingon tradition, his family should share that disgrace.
GOWRON: Their corruption has poisoned the Empire. Honour will soon have no meaning.
PICARD: And who speaks for his family now?
GOWRON: Lursa and B'Etor, the sisters of Duras.
PICARD: And they would claim the leadership of the Council?
GOWRON: Women may not serve on the Council.
posted by Automocar at 12:15 PM on February 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

So, I agree that the plotting of this episode was off again ("wait, there's more of this episode...?" I said about thirty minutes in).

However! All my spidey senses went on the alert with L'Rell's ending. On the one hand, it's a classic monarchy biopic moment: the ruler sacrifices their private desires (OK, here it was supposed to be a lot more literal than usual) in order to declare their total dedication to the country. In fact, the scene played out very much like Elizabeth I biopics, complete with the implied vow of celibacy, and L'Rell's decision to name herself "Mother" of the Empire echoes the real Elizabeth's claim (probably coincidentally) that she was the "mother of my Contreye." On the other hand, the entire thing has been stage-managed from behind by Section 31, so the scene turns out to be a performance in more ways than one.

Speaking of mothers, I see that I was right & the series is still organizing its plots by doubling.

Voqler (Ashvoq?) looks like he's the designated Spock when it comes to identity crises.

Stamets' method of spore removal struck me as maybe less convincing Treknobabble than unusual?

I do like that Pike has a sense of humor.
posted by thomas j wise at 1:46 PM on February 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

GOWRON: Women may not serve on the Council.

Ah! Thank you. I had forgotten that.

I suppose you could handwave it by saying that rule was instituted after Azetbur. Gowron's statement could be read as saying that women are not allowed on the council at that time, not that they have never been allowed on the council.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:50 PM on February 1, 2019 [4 favorites]

My favourite moment was that the Klingons are growing their hair again after the war.

Felt this episode was jumping all over the place. May definitely reminds me of that TNG episode with the alien who appears to the child, especially the shift to petulance.
posted by freethefeet at 2:48 PM on February 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

I liked the old ST refs, the hint of drifty TOS theme early on, just before the half-marathoning command students ran through, then the old school transporter noises. One question, the Klingon with the moustache in the background in the first Klingon scene, then also in the 'call me mother' scene - was the tache a reference to Christopher Plummer's General Chang from Undiscovered Country?

Also, I liked them using the Klingon star empire symbol.

One thing I was wondering about, Ash was wearing a sort of upswept wings emblem on his left breast that wasn't really explained. At first I thought it was the unified Klingon symbol, but then the star empire symbol appearing later ruled that out. It struck me that the symbol was not a million miles away from the red angel representation on the computer screen in the Michael-Amanda scene on Discovery. Could Ash be the red angel?

Very much got an 'Oooh' from me when Michelle Yeoh beamed in and swept back the cowl. Very much on board for an MY led S31 spinoff. One thing that seemed odd, the S31 ship seemed to be poorly defined CGI wise. Aside from that, was it visually referencing Peter Weller's ship from ST: Into Darkness?

Also, right at the end, was the shaved headed guy the commander of S31 or do we have a reveal to look forward to?
posted by biffa at 3:38 PM on February 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

was it visually referencing Peter Weller's ship from ST: Into Darkness?

By which I mean internally rather than the ship exterior.
posted by biffa at 4:23 PM on February 1, 2019

Also, right at the end, was the shaved headed guy the commander of S31 or do we have a reveal to look forward to?

I'm pretty sure he referenced something called "Control" that seemed to be running things. Seems like a Charlie's Angels / Magnum PI thing might be part of the Michelle Yeoh Show.
posted by gerryblog at 5:11 PM on February 1, 2019

Yeah, "Georgiou" is not running Section 31, that would be insane. She may, however, be running her own blackest-of-black-ops® unit.

I liked this episode a lot, much more than the previous two.

Every version of Amanda over the years has nailed that essence-of-mother vibe, huh?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:34 PM on February 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

I am with the consensus that this ep was all over the place. I think it mostly came together at the end but I found it really scattered and shambolic through the middle.

The switch from Klingon to English was handled just fine and was necessary for the reasons that Automocar outlines above. (A single line of dialogue subtitled in tlhIngan Hol was the right way to do it.) After all, while Toronto has a deep bench of actors to draw from, there are very few ethnic Klingons. A tv show or movie with everyone speaking in what is no one’s native language would be odd, and when it is dialogue everyone has learned by rote, the chances for good performances dwindle. Am I wrong to suddenly think of Incubus, the 1966 Esperanto horror film starting, strangely, William Shatner?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:10 PM on February 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

One thing that seemed odd, the S31 ship seemed to be poorly defined CGI wise
That was so obviously done I interpreted it as a ship-based version of the disguise tech MY was wearing when she showed up (cloaking tech)
posted by coriolisdave at 8:12 PM on February 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

This felt like a throwback to the worst parts of season one and I am not here for it. What a mish-mash of plotlines. Somehow in an episode that includes, effectively, three mother figures (Amanda, Georgiou, L'Rell) there's no real effort made to draw a parallel or have that be thematically relevant. Secret Klingon baby screams of the worst kind of soap opera plotting. The dialogue continues to be hamfisted. Tilly's story was just executed poorly but her performance almost made up for that.

The Spock retcon feels like they are going too far. I'm willing to ride it out, but this feels like it's going to annoy people more than endear them to the character.

Hopefully this is a one-off, since I enjoyed the first two eps of the season. It moved a lot of pieces around. And after episode six, there's a new showrunner, so the series may change all over again.
posted by crossoverman at 10:16 PM on February 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

And another thing! Voq's D7, at first glance, is the classic TOS D7. Surrrre, the Klingons get the classic ship designs, but does the Federation? Noooo, it's all extra angles and doubled pylons and

How can you mess with the perfection that is the Klingon battlecruiser? Seriously, that is one of the few spaceship designs I've completely loved: it actually screams alien, while also obviously being subject to the same basic physics and engineering constraints the Enterprise does.
posted by happyroach at 1:34 AM on February 2, 2019 [6 favorites]

I thought this episode was a bit choppy and had weird pacing, and I thought that it rushed through the Klingon politics in what seemed like an abrupt decision to do a 180 re: where AshVoq ends up -- but I loved it. Even the cheesy soap opera.

And while the Section 31 spin-off sounds like a hot mess on paper, and my rational brain has all kinds of concerns about the way it's going to handle the ethics of the organisation, my animal brain really really wants to see the Emperor and AshVoq's extremely not Starfleet-approved space adventures. I love both these characters, and want to see more of them, but don't think that they quite fit into a conventional Trek series well enough to be regulars. This may be a good place to put them.
posted by confluency at 9:31 AM on February 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Every time the Klingons show up, it's like someone barged into a nice meal and took a dump on the floor.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:01 PM on February 2, 2019 [4 favorites]

If this was a stand alone show and not prequel show, then I don’t think that the Klingon storylines would annoy me as much as they do.

As it is every time the Klingons are on screen it breaks my story immersion and concentration because my brain keeps asking questions about why the show runners/designers/writers made decision X when that doesn’t match previous known fact Y about the Klingons as a race/species/villain/plot’s just distracting.

Especially seeing as the actors who are Klingons seemed be giving such strong performances despite the shallow (or just plain bad) and limiting circumstances they are under. The fact that the actress who plays L’rell manages to portray *any* emotion whilst under so much unyielding prosthetics and that awful wig is a testament to how good an actress she is.

Also they’ve taken to showing fight choreography in the near dark again and oh dear lord why??
posted by Faintdreams at 2:29 PM on February 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

On the Klingon/Section 31 stuff:
- Yawn, generally, but I'm glad they're moving to speaking English so I can stop thinking about how much Zoe Saldana's Klingon is than anyone on this show. And she doesn't even play a Klingon!
- I'm glad they acknowledged somewhat how effed up the dynamic between L'Rell and Ash is, but could they maybe have had her apologize at some point instead of or at least before he decided he wanted to be in a relationship with his rapist? I mean, YIKES. Especially since they ended said relationship ten minutes later.
- Georgiou made the dweebiest entrance I have yet seen in my Trek viewing but I didn't even care because I love Michelle Yeoh
- The cutting back and forth between Michael and Ash's rooms when they made contact, followed by the blending of the two sets when they started talking about personal stuff, was really well done.

On Team #SearchforSpock:
- Stop being so hard on yourself, Amanda! Just because Sarek is doomed to be a hot Vulcan mess of a parent for his entire life doesn't mean you need to be perfect or you're personally and solely responsible for breaking Spock, yeesh. Anyway he'll be fine once he shaves his beard.

On Team Tilly:
- I'm glad we didn't have a second season of "character thinks they're going insane but they try to hide it from everybody." One of my favorite things about TNG as I go through it is that when a character perceives things that other characters don't, the assumption is never "well, I don't see it, so it must be all in their head," and it was nice to see that echoed here in Michael and Tilly's (very sweet) conversation. Though I assume May will be back in some form.
- Captain Pike is super charming and with every episode I feel more and more bad about where he's going to end up in 10 (or -50) years.

And also:
This has nothing to do with this episode but for anyone, who, like me, delights in the idea of Tilly meeting (other) captains from other Star Trek series, a couple of recs!
1. Distractions by zozo, a Picard perspective on Tilly, and
2. The Big Cheat by ClawR, a Grand Unifying Theory of Kirk Backstory in which a redheaded classmate of his plays a big role in a couple of chapters. (Please read the tags and author's notes carefully because "Conscience of the King" is addressed in some detail, though not gratuitously IMO.)
posted by bettafish at 5:53 PM on February 2, 2019 [6 favorites]

This was not a well-directed episode. Ridiculously acrobatic camerawork for less than no effect. And the fight scene (Michelle Yeoh aside) was terrible.

Writing was also pretty shit. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by sixswitch at 9:07 PM on February 2, 2019

My opinions on this show are so at odds with the general reaction that I sometimes feel like the FanFare comments are a feed from a Mirror Universe.

Or maybe I'm from the Mirror Universe. I don't know.

(*Looks suspiciously at the low ambient lighting in my flat.*)
posted by kyrademon at 1:43 AM on February 3, 2019 [12 favorites]

Secret Klingon baby screams

I can’t decide whether this is a band name or a sock puppet, but I’m using it somewhere.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:01 AM on February 3, 2019 [5 favorites]

I mean, your username is kyrademon, just saying...but at least you know you look great in gold lamé!
posted by bettafish at 5:59 AM on February 3, 2019

Tru dat.
posted by kyrademon at 11:07 AM on February 3, 2019

Ridiculously acrobatic camerawork for less than no effect.

Yah. Why are we upside down? Why are we sideways? What is going on?

Also, WHY are the corridor lights flickering on and off as the trainees marathon through the ship? People are trying to work, here, there's no need for that.

And the fight scene (Michelle Yeoh aside) was terrible.

Oh boy was it. I think this has a lot to do with the Klingon prosthetics, makeup, and costumes simply not allowing for much flexibility. (And speaking of which, mostly I don't care that the Klingons look different in different series or even really care about whatever retcon "reasons" the shows have come up with to explain this, but . . . . the Klingon skulls in this show are just HUGE. Massively, distractingly, elongated front to back. I think they're growing bigger in this season than the last. They're starting to look like the damn Alien xenomorphs, and I'm having a hard time watching them without wondering how much effort it is for the actors to actually look each other in the eye rather than up at the ceiling as the weight pulls their heads back.)

Count me among those who have no real interest in the Klingon Of Thrones storyline - it may have been an important part of GrimDark first season, which overall worked well enough that I was willing to give this season a shot. But the first two episodes of this season were far more satisfying in an "Ok, this is Trek" kind of way - there's some humor, there's a sense of adventure, they're developing an actual crew (not just Michael Burnham Battles Everything Including Mostly Herself plus Magic Spore Drive), there's an overarching long storyline with plenty of room for strong B plots and/or single-episode stories. I could give-or-take the Secret History of Spock stuff - as in, I think it's kinda unnecessary fanservice to have Spock be Burnham's stepbrother and have him involved in this at all (there's no reason it couldn't have been done with an entirely new set of Vulcan characters), but so far they haven't borked this up too badly. But the Klingons? Nah. I'm interested in the DISCO characters and their adventures. You kinda can't do much with this version of the Klingons without turning everything GrimDark again, and by this point in my life I've seen more than enough of that, and better done, too. Figure out some other way to have Michelle Yeoh cross paths with our crew.

As it is every time the Klingons are on screen it breaks my story immersion and concentration because my brain keeps asking questions about why the show runners/designers/writers made decision X when that doesn’t match previous known fact Y about the Klingons as a race/species/villain/plot’s just distracting.

Yeah, exactly. Even as a very casual ST fan I keep going, "Wait, what? Is this a thing? That doesn't seem quite right . . . . Christ, am I gonna have to research this to figure it out? I just wanna watch a good SF show, I don't wanna write a damn term paper on Klingon culture, religion, history, and prejudice."
posted by soundguy99 at 2:49 PM on February 3, 2019 [8 favorites]

One thing that was raised in the Fem Freq recap podcast that I also noticed was: why is Amanda so young? She's fully human and barely looks 2 years older than Michael.
posted by Marticus at 3:45 PM on February 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

There's about 10 years between the actresses. And the characters aren't biologically related. But how old must Amanda have been when she adopted Michael/how old was Michael?
posted by biffa at 4:23 PM on February 3, 2019

"... why is Amanda so young? She's fully human and barely looks 2 years older than Michael."

This distracted me, too. I was tempted to Google their ages because for some reason being in my mid-fifties has broken my age-estimation module. But I didn't. I'm just fanwanking it that she's unusually young-looking and (or but) they wanted the actress to resemble TOS's Amanda (which she does, but as much younger). I dunno. I really like her, though, and she's very much how I think Amanda should be and the actress is compelling. I was impressed with the scene with Pike (the "bossy" slap down) and her acting choices in how Amanda's body-language conveyed her response to Michael's confession about intentionally hurting Spock.

"My opinions on this show are so at odds with the general reaction that I sometimes feel like the FanFare comments are a feed from a Mirror Universe."

It's interesting and unexpected to me, too. I'm an old-time Trekkie so I don't think it's a casual versus hardcore fan thing. I suspect it's a TNG thing? My series ranking is DS9, TOS, DSC, TNG, VOY, ENT. I hated TNG, VOY, and ENT when they first began. TNG was peak-Roddenberry puppies and flowers (except when it wasn't, which was when I liked it). I've not been pining for a return to TNG-Trek. And although I don't absolutely hate the Kelvin Trek, I am glad this is less that way.

Like other Trekkies, I can wax philosophically on how essential Trek's anti-dystopian outlook is essential to its value and appeal. But people will continue to be people and I greatly appreciated that DS9 allowed various kinds of conflict. I'm not opposed to grimdark Trek, though, because (again) people will be people and there are such stories to told in the Trek verse. I don't think the flagship series should be grimdark. But I always felt that the moral ambiguity of Special Circumstances is what made Banks's Culture novels so interesting despite the utopian nature of Culture society. I see Sec31 as an analog and am interested in those stories in another show.

However, I've never been happy with DSC's Klingon storyline or portrayals. They swung for the fences, and I give them points for that, but meh.

My intuition is that the showrunners have a nearly impossible task, which is probably part of the reason for the churn. They need to simultaneously recapture some of that old Trek magic, but without being stylistically dated and with some scent of prestige television. An entire streaming service is riding on it. This is asking too much, probably, and I keep being surprised that it hasn't failed spectacularly and unambiguously. Instead, it's been very uneven.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:53 PM on February 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

OT but funny: the Scenes From a Multiverse webcomic showcases the Bad Opinion Havers support group, with the cartoonist's stand-in sticking up for Disco... but he doesn't stop there.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:52 AM on February 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

One thing that I saw pointed out in a review: Pike getting ribbed by his friend at the starbase for doing communications by screen, in the same tone that someone today might tease an acquaintance who insisted you beep their pager so they can call you back from a landline. It doesn't resolve the issue of "How do they have all this holographic communication when DS9 treated it like a brand new thing", but it does at least show that the writers are aware that it's a problem to be solved.
posted by radwolf76 at 9:01 AM on February 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

"... why is Amanda so young? She's fully human and barely looks 2 years older than Michael."

Mia Kirshner is 44. Amanda was born in 2210, and we're in 2257, so she's ostensibly 47; I'd call that close enough.

FWIW, when Amanda and Sarek visited Spock on the Enterprise in 2268 (TOS: "Journey to Babel), Jane Wyatt was 57.

I find Nu!Amanda's age much easier to deal with than I do Rainn Wilson's age as Nu!Mudd.
posted by hanov3r at 11:58 AM on February 4, 2019 [5 favorites]

Generally speaking, I'm enjoying DSC Season 2 more than Season 1 (which I felt started out rocky, but got better towards the end). I'm super happy with the addition of Pike, and I felt like S2E2 was a big step in the right direction, and S2E3 wasn't as great, but it's still trending better.

My only issue with the show is that it still feels like it's trying too hard at times. It has gotten better this season, but it still seems like DSC desperately wants to be cinematic, with the artsy / distracting camera angles and lights, which take me out of the story a bit. Granted, TOS liked artsy lighting as well, but it wasn't nearly as in-your-face (except for William Shatner's face).

Star Trek fans (and by "Star Trek fans", I mean, "me") are more interested in stories and characters, and the oddball camera angles and flashing lights are more of a distraction than anything.

I don't want Game of Thrones In Space. The show doesn't need to be flashy. It just needs to be Star Trek.

I'm predicting a better-but-still-somewhat-uneven Season 2, not unlike TNG and DS9's second seasons.
posted by vitout at 1:05 PM on February 4, 2019 [2 favorites]



holy crap
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:32 PM on February 4, 2019 [18 favorites]

Dang, Halloween Jack beat me to it!
posted by bettafish at 1:43 PM on February 4, 2019

Yeah, that decapitated baby head was pretty hardcore—I think the most unsettling thing I have ever seen in a Trek episode (up until then, that place had been taken by some bad-guy on Voyager trying to impress a woman he had captured by wearing the face of a friend of hers).
posted by blueberry at 2:44 PM on February 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

This episode sure divided opinions! I liked it. I'm fully on board for the Klingon Game of Thrones stuff. I'm not particularly bothered by how this will all fit in with canon because honestly, the canon is ridiculous. But the leader of a fractured Klingon-racist empire has a Human fetish and tries to pass off her Frankenstein monstrosity as a Klingon? Tell me the tragedy of L'Rell and Voq!

Although I guess that's over now, with Shazad Latif going on to a new role on the Section 31 show. I suspect he'll be showing up now and again whenever L'Rell feels the need for a little soft human lovemaking.

I'm also grateful they gave up having everyone read lines in bad Klingon. But they kind of undercut themselves a bit by still calling attention to the language being spoken. In one scene Voq complains to L'Rell she never speaks Klingon with him anymore. The in the very next scene he's confronting other Klingons for not treating him as a true Klingon, and he does it in English. It would have worked better if they just went with the trope that the Nazis Klingons are speaking their native German Klingon even if it comes out sounding like English.

I have no idea where the hell they're going with the 7 McGuffins, their Guardian Angel, or a complete reversal of the character of Spock. I hope the writers are up to the task.

What I didn't care for was Tilly's Space Mushroom Ghost. I did like how Burnham took her visions seriously and that led to a quick Ghostbusters solution of just vacuuming out the fungus. But it all felt pretty cheesy, particularly the animation of the critter that.. somehow is a flying fungus? Wut?
posted by Nelson at 7:49 AM on February 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

that.. somehow is a flying fungus? Wut?

Well, the show's already asked that you accept that there's a fungal giga-organism living in subspace permeating not just the extent of the entire known universe, but also crossing over into parallel realities, and that said organism can enable a starship to directly jump to any location, but the regular space projection of a slightly different fungus originating from the same stratum of subspace flying around the room when energized by exposure to some nebulously defined dark matter? That's where suspension of disbelief falls apart?
posted by radwolf76 at 8:53 AM on February 5, 2019 [5 favorites] the Klingons are all fighting with bat'leths and Michelle Yeoh transports in and kills them all with an auto-targeting phaser thing. The Klingons do have disrupters (=phasers), they don't have to stand there and be massacred. If it's so easy for "Section 31" to come in and reorder the Klingon government, why don't the Klingons do the same to the Federation? What happened to not interfering in other cultures, pre-warp or not?
And Empress Georgiou, as much as I and everyone on the planet loves Michelle Yeoh, is a Machiavellian, blood-thirsty killer. Yeah, great idea Federation guys, let's give her a shiny stealth spy ship and lots of tech. The only way this might turn out fine is if she kills the captain of the ship (you know it's coming), steals it for a higher purpose, and essentially becomes Captain Harlock. That would be a nice, and very different, Star Trek spin-off show. Yeah.
posted by jabah at 6:05 AM on February 6, 2019

S1's Klingon language was great in theory, in practice it somehow managed to be slow and tedious compared to earlier iterations, and it doesn't have to be that way. Instead of giving those scenes dramatic weight, it just made them unnecessarily long. So I think switching to the translation convention is probably a good thing.

Probably the best thing for me in this episode was clarifying my biggest WHAT THE FUCK left over from Season 1. Not only did Season 1 cinematically gaslight Tyler/Voq's trauma, they ended the series with him running off to further the political ambitions of his abuser. This episode confirmed that yes, that was real and not "whoo hoo hot Klingon torture-sex," and that the relationship is seriously fucked up as a result. I think had that scene been played differently, I probably would have dropped the show for my own health.

Now if only we could fix the gratuitous episode where Mudd became a 1980s horror killer.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 6:14 PM on February 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Didn’t Gorkon’s daughter assume the chancellorship after he was assassinated in ST VI?

Yes, and since the period between the end of the TOS cast movies and the TNG era has only been covered lightly in canon, one of the retcons/headcanons that I've seen WRT the "no women on the High Council" thing is that Azetbur was disgraced somehow and that the rule was subsequently imposed.

As for the episode... I liked some aspects of it; May has a lot of Trek precedent in the person who isn't what/who they seem (the very first broadcast episode of the franchise was "The Man Trap", about a shapeshifter), and we already know from the preview for the next episode that Tilly is not free of May completely. The retcon to Spock's background is a little harder to swallow, but they already brought in the logic extremists in the previous season, and Michael's estrangement from Spock may be the reason/retcon for why he never mentioned her previously. However, I too am kind of over Game of Thrones IN SPAAAAACE; the FacePaintCam thing was dumb, the idea that Dad of Kol would ever be accepted by the other Klingons after holding a baby hostage is extra-dumb, and I can't even with the "Here's a head, here's a baby head, call me Mom" speech. I was down with the revision of their overall look and design at first, but now I'm really just hoping that the show gives the Klingons a rest for a while and brings them back looking closer to the human-looking TOS model.

bettafish: Cool fanfics! In her appearance in Star Trek Online (voiced by Mary Wiseman), Tilly mentions Kirk and Finnegan. Coincidence?
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:23 AM on February 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Ash with the beard looks too much like Derek on The Good Place, and it had me wondering if he ended up with wind chimes where his ding-dong should be after the transformation process.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 1:08 PM on February 15, 2019 [7 favorites]

I like this show a lot and am willing to give it quite a bit of latitude. I was slightly peeved that they brought in Another White Dude as captain but so far, Christopher "Dad Jokes" Pike has been delightful.

The main thing that annoys me is the little screenshots CBS All Access uses when displaying the episode preview on the page; Georgiou was shown in the screenshot for this episode, so it was pretty obvious to me that she'd be the one saving the day on Qo'noS.

"... why is Amanda so young? She's fully human and barely looks 2 years older than Michael."

My headcanon is that, like Aragorn among the elves, humans living on Vulcan remain youthful for a while longer. But that's entirely unsupported by anything in-universe, and I believe, contrary to established canon w/r/t human characters on Vulcan. So.
posted by duffell at 10:46 AM on February 18, 2019

On original watch, I remember May (Bahia Watson) being very annoying but felt impolitic to bring it up.

On rewatching the series, May is striking an overwhelming nerve of annoyance.

Then I remembered that Watson was Sakai the (supremely annoying) traitor in 'The Expanse' season 4.

I stopped watching 'The Handmaid's Tale' but evidently Watson has a recurring role through s02 - does she play a similar kind of character?
posted by porpoise at 10:21 PM on April 15, 2021

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