Star Trek: Discovery: Die Trying
November 12, 2020 8:16 AM - Season 3, Episode 5 - Subscribe

After reuniting with what remains of Starfleet and the Federation, the USS Discovery and its crew must prove that a 930-year-old crew and starship are exactly what this new future needs.

Memory Alpha is mostly untroubled by pesky motivations:

- The 32nd-century Starfleet ships at HQ include a new USS Constitution, a USS Nog (an Eisenberg-class vessel), and the Voyager-J.

- The AFAIK unnamed interrogator of Georgiou is played by David Cronenberg--and let's just pause a moment and contemplate how awesome that is--and, and this is pure speculation on my part, seems based on James Jesus Angleton, the chief of counterintelligence in the CIA from 1954 to 1975. (MeFi's Own cstross has a character in his Laundry Files book series also based on Angleton.)

"You broke my holos."
- "Angleton"

"Dysfunction aside, you all make a pretty good team."
"Dysfunction is the team."
"We've just accepted it."
"No, we haven't."
- Willa, Reno, Stamets

Poster's Log:

At this point in S3, it's hardly a surprise that a) the ship and crew go off to reconnoiter the current status of something that existed in their time; b) find out that the inheritors of that institution or location are suspicious if not outright hostile toward them; c) win them over by solving a problem for them with old-fashioned ideals and can-do spirit. It's not inappropriate, but I hope that they work with another plot this season.

I'm still quite happy with this episode, in part because they avoid having the admiral be a Badmiral; yeah, he wants to split up the crew and take away the ship, but in fairness, you get the impression that, as keen as the 32C ships are (and the crew oohing and ahing over them was neat), you're actually seeing a significant fraction of what remains of Starfleet right there. I still wonder at the logic behind letting the DASH drive, and its designer and only qualified operator, boldly go out into the dangerous galaxy and do stuff. I assume that they have all the data on the spore drive, and at some point might come to the conclusion that there can only be one in operation, anywhere. (After all, we've only seen two ships with it... and the Glenn had its mysterious accident that wiped out the whole crew.) There's also a sense from Vance and Willa that they may be slightly embarrassed at having to counter the high ideals of the 23C crew with the reality of the situation; that may be why they decide to risk sending the ship out. Especially as this ep establishes that the subspace relays seem to be down, as well, having a roving ambassador for the Federation may be worth the risk.

We're also left wondering where they're going with Georgiou. That whole subplot was fascinating, both with Georgiou finding the holos' weakness (more advanced tech doesn't mean that it doesn't have weak points), and "Angleton's" general unflappability and canny spotting of Georgiou's own weakness. Still can't quite get over Cronenberg's appearance; it turns out that he's done a bit of acting over the years--I remember him in To Die For.

Finally, sad to see Nhan leave the ship, although I'm hoping that we see her again in the future. The seed vault on the Tikhov (named after this guy, I assume) is probably based after the real terrestrial one.

One more thing: someone mentioned in a previous thread that previews were not an appropriate subject for first watch threads, since apparently they're not available in all countries or viewing options. That's cool, and I'll abide by it, but I'd suggest that, if you can find the preview online somewhere, watch it, because it hints at something that I've already mentioned in this post, as well as answering something that someone brought up in a previous thread.

io9: Star Trek: Discovery Comes Home, for Better and Worse
posted by Halloween Jack (39 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Couple of other things: DetmerWatch continues, although it's something that she's obviously working on (and hurrah to Owosekun for providing moral support); also, wonder what's up with that melody, and if it has anything to do with the Burn? Reminds me of another extraterrestrial riff...
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:41 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]


I assume that they have all the data on the spore drive, and at some point might come to the conclusion that there can only be one in operation, anywhere.

Wasn't it the case that the ISS Charon also had the DASH drive in the mirror universe? I also recall the implication that the DASH drive was destroying the Mycelial Network, but it may be that this was just the ISS Charon's doing, due to Mirror!Stamets solving the problems with the drive in a more destructive manner. Still, it seems like the biological component of Disco's drive will make it very difficult to replicate.

One other thought I've had is dilithium isn't actually necessary for warp travel, despite the fact it's used in a "Warp Core." A warp core is just a big matter/antimatter reactor whose primary purpose is to generate high-energy plasma to be used by the warp coils. I recall that Romulan ships, or at least the D'deridex class warbird, use an artificial black hole as an energy source instead. Perhaps this technology died out some time after Romulus was destroyed and the empire collapsed, but the point is there's other ways of generating enough energy for warp travel that doesn't involve dilithium. The fact the stuff is still so highly coveted seems like an in-universe lack of innovation or maybe just a lack of creativity in the writer's room.

I personally don't think it's so hard to believe that the Federation died out after a millennium without needing some sort of outside context problem like The Burn. Civilizations eventually fracture and die, even utopian ones like the Federation. This is not a new concept in sci-fi, and I feel like "there's a lot of reasons" could be a more interesting answer to "Why did the Federation collapse?" or at least a more likely answer.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:58 AM on November 12 [1 favorite]


One complaint I see a lot about Discovery is essentially "too much Burnham." That she's way too central to everything, always the savior. For the most part, it's not a complaint that I agree with. But I think it did come into play here, after they unphase Dr. Attis. Nhan can't get through to him because she's too close to the situation. So Dr. Culber explains to Burnham that Attis has to accept that his family is dead and gone, and start to move on. And Culber can't tell Attis this himself becuase... ? We saw just last episode how Culber has become an effective counselor, even if not formally trained as such, and as a doctor this probably wouldn't be the first time he's delivered such news. It seems like getting through to Dr. Attis would be particularly suited to Culber's skills, but Burnham is the one who does it.

Overall, though I liked this episode. All the "ooh" and "aah" once Discovery crosses the perimeter and sees all the new ships (seeing a distortion which looked like an oblate spheroid, I thought for a second they might find DS9 inside, but what they found was so much better). The Georgiou/"Angleton" scene — and Georgiou's question of "who's really in charge here" hints that there might be deeper problems in the Federation than just the physical ones imposed by loss of warp travel and long-range subspace communication. Detmer's ongoing struggles and Owesekun's support. Nhan's bittersweet departure; I was particularly sad that she didn't get to say goodbye to the rest of the crew, and won't even be able to send them goodbye messages unless/until long-range subspace is restored.

I'll trust for now that Adira being sent off rather abrputly to medical at HQ, not to be seen again the rest of the episode, is going somewhere in future episodes. If she's just back on Discovery next week with no explanation, that seems rather pointless.

I also hope they don't ignore 900+ years of technology and history too much. In this episode, Discovery has to go out as is because of the urgency of the situation, fair enough, but ASAP they should be installing some of that sweet 32nd century tech on Discovery. And they've justified keeping the Discovery crew together, but there's no reason 32nd century personnel shouldn't or couldn't be added to the crew. A "roving ambassador" can be a good role for Discovery, but it's not plausible if the entire crew is ignorant of the past 900+ years of history and even what worlds were in the Federation before the Burn. In reality you'd probably want a couple dozen 32nd century engineers and diplomats aboard; I'm willing to accept one (Willa?) or two for economy of storytelling, but it would be foolish to have no 32nd C. personnel at all aboard.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:13 PM on November 12 [7 favorites]


The fact the stuff is still so highly coveted seems like an in-universe lack of innovation or maybe just a lack of creativity in the writer's room.

Everyone wants to get on board the "lack of needed resource" train. And it just happens to be an convenient plot device
posted by Fukiyama at 1:12 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


My thought for why Burnham handled the talk with Dr. Attis is that she's got the experience of her family dying in front of her (well, almost--within earshot, anyway, and her mom not so much after all). Agreed about hoping that they incorporate some 32nd century tech and personnel.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:18 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


I am wondering why Cronenberg was heavily CGId, so much so that I didn't think it was modelled after a real person until checking the credits. It was giving me heavy flashbacks to the Final Fantasy movie.
posted by Marticus at 2:55 PM on November 12 [1 favorite]


Once again, current jargon breaks the immersion. Philippa's "Vulcans need to learn to stay in their lane" is going to feel dated on rewatch next decade.

I am 10000% here for Oded Fehr as Admiral Vance, though.
posted by hanov3r at 4:03 PM on November 12 [5 favorites]


I didn't say much about Fehr l(who was fine) because I wasn't familiar with him. What's he known mostly for, the Mummy films?
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:11 PM on November 12


Oded Fehr's made a good living bouncing between playing "spy with questionable loyalties" in guest spots on just about everything with room for a role like that, and playing a variety of DC Comics villains. Plus the Mummy franchise and a scenery-chewing turn as a live-action Jafar in Once Upon A Time. Despite the pretty wide variety of things he does I've never not found him to be very watchable and this was no exception. (I maintain that in a better world, he would've beaten out Benedict Cumberbatch for the role of Dr. Strange.)

I am very curious about the scene between Georgiou and Cronenberg. It was not lost on me that given the choice of two questions to answer, he chose not to answer "who's really in charge here?" That last scene with Georgiou staring blankly at a wall makes me suspect that she maybe did not end up getting the upper hand in that confrontation - or at the very least, 32nd century Starfleet wasn't keen on letting her roam around without any kind of safeguards in place.

Sad to lose Nhan but I'll accept it as a trade for Oded Fehr. Can't let the cost of the cast spiral out of control I suppose. Still, although she got a happy(ish) ending, I hope we haven't seen the last of her completely. I know it's a science vessel, but with her gone there's a pretty glaring lack of security personnel on board the Discovery - aside from Georgiou I guess, but she's not really someone you want to entrust with enforcing order. Maybe they'll get a 32nd-century chief of security? All of their encounters with foreign ships/weaponry have so far indicated that in a straight shooting match, their antique ship would be hopelessly outclassed, so they could benefit from somebody with a better understanding of the apparently-quite-significant advancements in weapons tech.

Crackpot theory on the mysterious melody: whoever blew up all the dilithium did so by subliminally implanting a dilithium-shattering resonant frequency in everyone's heads and somehow triggering them to hum/sing/play at that frequency all at once, and the melody is the remnant of that. I'm not swearing by this theory yet but it feels like just the right kind of vaguely-sciencey but bonkers stuff this show loves.
posted by mstokes650 at 7:31 PM on November 12 [11 favorites]


Mr. Encyclopedia: My head-canon is that most people in the former Federation, and even in the rump Federation government, are far from clear on why the Federation collapsed. There are probably a lot of competing theories - "the Burn broke the Federation" might be a *popular* theory, but there's no particular reason to believe that it's correct and complete. Heck, the Soviet Union collapsed in living memory, and there are loads of explanations (with varying degrees of crackpottery) for its collapse. And it's relatively easy (censorship aside) for former Soviet citizens to talk to one another, and to people outside the former Soviet sphere. Would be amazing if the former Federation *weren't* a deeply confused place.

(I expect and hope that the actual explanation for the Federation's collapse will be something like, "the Burn was certainly bad, but the institutions that would have made it manageable failed for reasons that had nothing to do with the Burn itself."
posted by Mr. Excellent at 7:47 PM on November 12 [3 favorites]


also, wonder what's up with that melody, and if it has anything to do with the Burn? Reminds me of another extraterrestrial riff...

Or another...

Clearly it was the Cylons that did it.
posted by Pryde at 7:52 PM on November 12 [2 favorites]


<3 the Georgiou - Angleton interrogation scenes. There was a very real sense of evolving mutual respect (her for Angleton's evidently real power [and piercing insight], his for her being a murderous and better-rounded Moriarty).

Great point about the glasses. Kind of like conspicuously incorporating chainmail in a prêt à porter outfit.

"They.. make me look smarter more resistant to edged weapons. .. I like them."

Nice seeing Oded Fehr in something again. His hair is starting to recede, but damn, he's still getting a ton of mileage out of it. Yet another high-profile casting - I'm getting the feeling that all of the guest stars are massive fans and are getting massive kicks from guest starring. At least, I hope so.

As for being a badmiral - he's just different*. Times have changed and the Federation has changed with them, having to be more ruthless in order to survive. Fehr did a great job of being bland but putting a razor edge hidden just below the surface like bad Halloween candy.

I want a meaningful scene between Georgiou and Admiral Vance so bad.

There must be a big enough difference in "Federation Standard" (apparently "terranglo" ?) over 900s years that the universal translator must be doing some work when 23C and 32C persons converse.

I'm surprised that there hasn't been a plot point that the universal translator got an idiom wrong-enough to cause confusion/ disunderstanding.

Having a 32C security officer could be a good setup for something like that. Also, the security officer gave off "Soviet political officer on nuclear submarine" vibes.

--

The "seed vault" doesn't really make sense. Couldn't they make a transporter (basically a high fidelity replicator) copy of lots of seeds to sample and preserve all available genetic diversity within that species? Data is data and can be transmitted/ duplicated.

Physically storing seeds feels completely stupid, unless one's trying to tie it emotionally to stored sperm/ ova (seeds, though, are already fertilized and have recombined genetics of their parental units). This and the follow-up spoiled the episode for me.

Also, seeds aren't forever - but are there are "null-time" preservation tech in the pre-Disco S03 Trek universe?

Good grief, with high enough fidelity replicators, you can make the seed sans-genetic material, you could beam in any engineered genetic material into the nucleus. Even 23C Star Trek tech makes the most (currently) technologically demanding part of domestication trivial (although you still need to wait for the plants to grow up).

The whole prion "solution" is bs anyway, so moot point, I guess.


* I totally get Admiral Vance's point of view; some Knights Crusaders time traveled from a dire situation in the Middle East, which they originally arrived at using some witchcraft, and somehow arrived in (with a different witchcraft) modern times and fought/ cajoled their way to the a Vatican (inexplicably located in South Florida) and proclaimed that they want to help and are the best choice to help.

The Values of the therealFederation (verified) are not those of the 23C Federation.
posted by porpoise at 8:48 PM on November 12 [4 favorites]


I really, really hope Cronenberg's contract for appearing in this season (he'll clearly be back) required that his character experience a Sonak-style transporter malfunction, but survive it, and spend the rest of his character appearances flopping around the corridors, squelching and gasping and glistening.

I'm willing to accept one (Willa?) or two for economy of storytelling, but it would be foolish to have no 32nd C. personnel at all aboard.

I had this exact same thought. Not only is it basically necessary for reasons of simple logic, but it's a big opening for the sort of interpersonal tension that today's TV writers can't do without (and that, on this ship right now, seems to have receded entirely to Tilly/Stamets/Reno, and for comic purposes at that). I wouldn't be too shocked to see each department on Discovery given a 32nd-C. representative.

One complaint I see a lot about Discovery is essentially "too much Burnham." [...] For the most part, it's not a complaint that I agree with. But I think it did come into play here

Agree wholeheartedly. Martin-Green is a powerhouse performer, of course, but where TNG (I presume, somewhere) has been accused unfairly of being The Patrick Stewart Playhouse, this show really IS that for her. It's a difficult balance to attain when your excellent ensemble cast is so much larger than that of a more intimate show like PIC (or honestly even TNG).

More irritating to me here was the introduction of the Song Everybody Knows. What made them think that it would be a good idea to introduce, as a JJ-style Mystery Box, the precise Jumping the Shark moment from BSG? God, at least it's not a pop song.

As noted above, the HQ being suspicious of the ship was basically a given, but I thought the explanation provided—the Admiral's mention of the Temporal Accords and time-travel being against the law—made a lot of sense, and was a nice callback to ENT at that. (As is his uniform, a bit.) Wouldn't it be something if they brought in Daniels? (The actor's already reprised the role in Star Trek Online.) He DID originate from only 17 years prior to the Burn… and the actor has aged…almost exactly that number of years!!! Hmmmmmmmm!

Of course, Daniels would be a criminal from the NuUFP's perspective. But that too would fit the style of this show: Daniels convinces somebody (well, Burnham, of course) that illegally time-travelling is the only way to stop some new galactic cataclysm, so Discovery has to go renegade. (That also opens things up for Book to return.) And once time-travel is in the mix, a trip to the time of the Burn to find out what happened is a strong possibility…which allows for Burnham to cause it, per the aforementioned theory that the Burn is named after her. I guess the only hole in that is that Burnham apparently didn't know the song.

Couldn't they make a transporter (basically a high fidelity replicator) copy of lots of seeds to sample and preserve all available genetic diversity within that species?

Not according to the TNG Technical Manual:
Personnel transport is accomplished at quantum-level resolution using analog image data. By contrast, food and hardware replication (which employs transporter technology) employs digital image data at the much more limited molecular-level resolution. Because of this crucial limitation, replication of living beings is not possible.
I guess whether or not a seed constitutes a "living being" is a question that, well, Trek canon is probably gonna be careful about touching for U.S.-politics reasons.

Good grief, with high enough fidelity replicators, you can make the seed sans-genetic material, you could beam in any engineered genetic material into the nucleus.

That sounds reasonable to me. Given the centuries of obvious tech advancement, it seems like a question this show ought to get around to answering, especially once indispensible people start dying. I suppose one out could be "Yeah, we overcame the quantum/molecular limitation in the twenty-whateverth century, but (A) the social consequences of duplicating people a la Thomas Riker were so obviously disruptive that interstellar law banned the process and (B) the process was hugely power-intensive, like more than Warp 9+, which has made it impossible post-Burn."
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:28 AM on November 13 [2 favorites]


They really teased with the "Wow, look, a new Constitution class!" And then you see like a vague shape on the view screen that could be anything. I have to say, the technology honestly looks more 24th century than 32nd. You know what would have been shocking? If the Federation personal were ALL mobile emitter holograms, cos, like, the originals all died.

Philippa's "Vulcans need to learn to stay in their lane" is going to feel dated on rewatch next decade.

I don't know. Some of the outdated lingo on the original series is now so out of date that it sounds cool. Like "databanks" for database. Or "Flash the bridge!" for signal the bridge. Of course, I'm not going to defend "Nobody here but us chickens." :-(

One complaint I see a lot about Discovery is essentially "too much Burnham."

No way. If Discovery was just Martin-Green sitting on a stool reading aloud from the "Star Fleet Technical Manual," I'd still watch. She's fantastic, true Star Trek Captain material. I kind of wonder if Saru's continuing dedication to the Federation, no matter how myopic it's become, is going to get him killed, which means Burnham moving up.

Don't get me started on the science in this episode. "You drank spoiled milk? Unfortunately, we can't begin to treat you unless we have a sample of unspoiled milk to analyze." What? And the seed vault…what are the odds that it's been around for a thousand years, and it gets blasted by a solar flare six weeks ago? How about just make the overgrown plants left behind from old experiments because the crew died hundreds of years ago? The ship is caught in a dangerous nebula, so no one could find it? The out-of-phase guy is like a ghost that's been haunting the seed vault ship for hundreds of years? I know for a fact that the original Star Trek had people looking at the scripts whose job was just to make sure things made sense. Whatever happened to that?

Another sf franchise where music played a key role in the story: Macross. Humans discover an ancient melody that turns the warlike Zentradi aliens into emotional wrecks!!
posted by jabah at 6:29 AM on November 13 [3 favorites]


My brother wanted to comment on the science:
On one hand, no one did morality sci fi better than Trek. But on the other hand, the technical sci fi of Trek is pretty half-baked. They hide it behind a lot of consistent techno-babble, but its still half-baked. Trek has wonder-tech like transporters and replicators so that it doesn't get in the way of the drama. But when Trek actually does something straight techy, they have to nerf it to make it interesting, but it just ends up looking contrived. "There's coffee in that nebula." Give me a break.
posted by Fukiyama at 9:26 AM on November 13


David Cronenberg SQUEEEEE! Memory Alpha and various articles credit him with the name "Kovich", but I don't recall hearing that name in the episode itself.

I loved this episode. They've really dialed up the emotional stakes in this season, from last week's group therapy episode to this week's homecoming joy to immediate rejection and threat of dissolution. Those are heavy themes.

I also like how well we've grown into the cast on this show. I'm now in that fully comfortable Star Trek vibe where I know the characters and like them and care about them. I mean Saru started out as three things: a cool costume, the ability to sense impending death, and being a "Kelpian" because his people eat kelp. But between the writing and the acting I now fully understand this character and care every week what happens to him. It's great.

Totally agree that it was dumb Burnham gets to finally talk down the poor seed guy. They should have just let Nhan have the win; it would make her pivot to wanting to stay on the ship make more sense. Or yes, Culber. It feels like the writers are under a mandate to make Michael the hero in every setting. Bah.

Oded Fehr is a serious talent. I remember him best from Sleeper Cell where he plays the dastardly head of an Islamic terrorist cell and managed to make that character much more interesting than it might have been. He also had a juicy role in 24: Legacy.

Because I'm like 11 years old I was distracted by Eli the AI's little peener bulge in his uniform. Seemed like an oddly human bit of anatomical detail for an emergency medical hologram. Either that or a bit of costume awkwardness they didn't feel the need to airbrush out in post.

I'm worried the Song Everybody Knows is going to be this season's mysticism, much like the Red Angel appearances were last season. OTOH they landed that wackiness pretty well in a solid sci-fi plot, so maybe this will work out too. The fact we're all thinking about Battlestar Galactica while seeing this happen is not good.

What I really liked is Georgiou in here. So fun seeing her play against David Cronenberg of all people, I can't help but think being a director who can wrangle actors is helpful for a scene like this. Anyway now it's clear what Georgiou is in this season for. She's going to stage a coup. The current Federation is small and weak enough that she could take it entirely over. In a twist Cronenberg's character will be the one providing the crucial help because after so much study he's come to idolize Terrans as a master race.

Bonus line: "Much as I like being fetishized... and I do..."
posted by Nelson at 9:32 AM on November 13 [7 favorites]


You know what would have been shocking? If the Federation personal were ALL mobile emitter holograms, cos, like, the originals all died.

What kind of smeghead would be willing to exist in such a form?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:39 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


Depends on whether this is the Ace universe or the original smeggy universe, doesn't it, GCU?

On to the episode at hand, y'know, while I can understand the complaints about the first two seasons not being particularly trek-ish, this season has really been nailing the mood. Ok, the first episode was maybe a bit more Kelvin timeline-y, but that also sort of feels like it could be a natural evolution of the set-based phaser battles in DS9 and TNG, just with modern effects and filming budgets allowing them to be more expansive than they had been in the past.
posted by Kyol at 6:56 PM on November 13


Also I'm waiting for the Small Burn that will happen when the production company gets sick and tired of painting out all the legs on all the desks and chairs. Huh! Our levitating desks just crashed to the ground! How bizarre!
posted by Kyol at 6:57 PM on November 13 [6 favorites]


Not going to lie, this might be my favorite episode of Discovery to date. It hits all of the notes of a great Trek story, and did so without feeling rushed.

There have been several good Star Trek films that had a weaker central plot than this episode had. That they elegantly crammed it into an hour of a series that’s previously been known for having “no chill” is a testament to how great of a job that the writers have done this season.
posted by schmod at 8:25 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


It hits all of the notes of a great Trek story, and did so without feeling rushed.

I haven’t rewatched any earlier seasons of Disco so far, but I recall last season being an all-shirt-tails-a-flying breakneck pace for much of it. This feels a bit more measured.

I concur with the note upthread that Nhan’s emotional farewell feels a bit unearned for a character who has had maybe four hundred words of dialogue total. And the music seems a weird echo, as it were, of BSG, and not in any kind of encouraging way. I have always found that when everyone knows a melody but no one can place it or name the title, it tends to be because we all heard it in Looney Tunes cartoons. They should check mid-32nd century children’s entertainment.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:49 PM on November 13 [1 favorite]


I guess I've worked with too many military organizations to feel happy about Nhan deciding on her own to leave Discovery without getting permission from her CO -- OTOH, Saru was tens of thousands of lightyears away, so I guess having the XO agree to it was just as good.

But still it bothered me: for one thing, she should have gotten a sendoff from the crew she had just crossed a millenium with, and for another, she just signed up to nurse poor Attis through a pretty horrifying death.

That said, I thought the graphics here were pretty sweet: the seed bank and the Federation HQ were both lovely. But the costume designers are falling down on the job. This Federation is as far from Burnham's time as we are from the 12th century: the clothing and hair and makeup should be wildly different, and so should the interior design. Everything should be far, far more different, including the language and the rank structures and, well, everything.

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
posted by suelac at 8:49 PM on November 13 [2 favorites]


Hey Tikhov is an OK name for a ship, but the writers really messed up naming the seed vault. Thematically (both for seed vaults and for heroic self-sacrifice) the Federation's seed vault ship should have been named the Vavilov, after the scientist who created the first and still one of the greatest seed vaults in the world in the Soviet Union before WW2.

Or maybe name it for one of the staff members at that seed vault, who protected their precious seeds throughout the war. At least nine of them starved to death during the siege of Leningrad-- some of the corpses were discovered sitting at their desks, which were filled with edible seeds.

They chose to die rather than loose that precious heritage, which they believed they held in trust for the entire world.

Starvation is a long, and painful death, and knowing every minute of every hunger pang and hallucination that you could just reach down and eat something-- and then not doing it until you died. I think that is one of the great and most heartbreaking stories I have ever heard, and those people are heroes of all humanity. Least you could do is name a Star Trek ship after them.

Tikhov was an OK astronomer, and interested in astrobotany, but if you have to name a seed vault ship for a Soviet scientist, well there are much better choices is all I'm saying.
posted by seasparrow at 9:24 PM on November 13 [18 favorites]


Re: The Burn

Michael sent the Red Angel suit back down a corridor punched through time, where it was detonated to seal the breach. Who wants to lay odds it exploded about 120 years back in that tunnel?

I'd rather it be something else entirely, but I'm expecting that to be where the writing goes.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 7:11 AM on November 14 [3 favorites]


But if the suit didn't go all the way back in time to explode and send the signal, then wouldn't the whole chain of events that got the Discovery to the future not have happened? I forget exactly what the purpose of the signal was but it was important. I mean sure maybe the suit just scraped the tunnel wall at exit 120 or something, with a time travel plot you can write any bullshit you want. But they already paid off the purpose of the suit going back in time so there's no need to revisit it.

Archive link of seasparrow's Leningrad story.
posted by Nelson at 7:54 AM on November 14 [2 favorites]


This Federation is as far from Burnham's time as we are from the 12th century: the clothing and hair and makeup should be wildly different, and so should the interior design.
I had trouble with Culber's civilian outfit last season, but Kovich wearing a tie 900 years further into the future struck me as even more outlandish (unless it's an affectation like his glasses).
posted by Strutter Cane - United Planets Stilt Patrol at 6:13 PM on November 14


> Nhan can't get through to him because she's too close to the situation. So Dr. Culber explains to Burnham that Attis has to accept that his family is dead and gone, and start to move on. And Culber can't tell Attis this himself becuase... ?
It feels very much like Burnham is the party member with the highest charisma stat, and everybody knows it, so they have her do all the persuasion checks. (Cf. the rationale last episode for Burnham being the one to accompany Adira to the Trill homeworld, which was so self-consciously flimsy that even Burnham herself questioned it.)
posted by Syllepsis at 7:47 PM on November 14 [6 favorites]


Ominous music everyone knows on Star Trek and Starbuck guesting on Star Wars the same week? Yes, the Cylons are clearly up to no good.
posted by bcd at 12:19 AM on November 15 [3 favorites]


Not much to say on this one. I was preoccupied with looking for ship designs in the background. I could have sworn I saw a single-nacelle ship in there, but no such luck.
I did find a present for Nelson, though. Wanna visit a collapsing nebula / 'stellar nursery'?
This was while trying to find a reference for the solution to their subspace communication woes: bring back the Derf class starship! Commission the construction of the USS Miles O'Brien and get those comm relays back up.

Oh, and the mystery tune is coming off as very Bad Wolf / wall crack / Sound of Drums. Don't tell me The Burn is a measure to soften up the universe for a Terran invasion from the mirrorverse.
posted by bartleby at 7:57 PM on November 15 [3 favorites]


Yes, the mystery tune is giving me a case of the ol’ Space Magic and I do not like it one bit.
posted by adrianhon at 2:52 AM on November 16 [1 favorite]


"Who are you? What if you're not a Holo?
What if you're a human programmed to think he's a Holo?"

All signs point to Emperor Georgio now being either a Holo who doesn't know it, or a reprogrammed Human (again who doesn't know it).
posted by Faintdreams at 8:43 AM on November 16


Burnham went from being a Trauma Ping-pong to being the Trauma Whisperer.
posted by Faintdreams at 8:44 AM on November 16


Here's hoping the song everyone knows is either the Ressikan Flute melody, or maybe Faith of the Heart
posted by Jon_Evil at 11:12 AM on November 16 [7 favorites]


Theory 1: Georgiou agreed to or had a hand in creating her android replacement.

Theory 2: She was replaced without her knowledge and is still being interrogated in some type of sim that keeps her occupied.

This is meant to be Sonequa Martin-Green's star vehicle and Burnham's black alert scene was sublime. *chef's kiss*

Sure, after 900 years, everything should be unrecognizable but considering Trek space science is and always has been 909% magic, this is negligible.

The music thing is very Bad Wolf. I wonder which of the writers are Whovians.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 5:31 PM on November 18 [2 favorites]


TBF, this is the *least* Who-like season so far.

Season 2 might as well have been written by Steven Moffatt
posted by schmod at 5:52 PM on November 18 [1 favorite]


Wait, I have an idea about the mystery tune, and Giorgiou freezing up.
It is a beacon, nay a harbinger, of the coming of the Terran Empire's most feared enemy.
Not from the main universe, not even from the evil-goateed dark-and-gritty mirrorverse; but from what the Terrans fear most, their own mirror-mirrorverse.
As the tune becomes recognizable...Watch out! We're about to be invaded by the Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism timeline!
posted by bartleby at 7:10 PM on November 18 [2 favorites]


Michael sent the Red Angel suit back down a corridor punched through time, where it was detonated to seal the breach. Who wants to lay odds it exploded about 120 years back in that tunnel?

She sent it back as a signal to Spock that she made it through the wormhole. We saw the signal reach him in the finale of season 2.
posted by roolya_boolya at 6:55 AM on November 19 [1 favorite]


> still it bothered me: for one thing, she should have gotten a sendoff from the crew she had just crossed a millenium with

Doesn't she want her stuff? I know they're all minimalists in the future, but still: everyone has some kind of knickknacks they bring out for emotional shorthand.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:47 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]




« Older The Great British Bake Off: De...   |  Dash & Lily: Dash & Lily -... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments