Star Trek: Discovery: Unification III
November 26, 2020 10:07 AM - Season 3, Episode 7 - Subscribe

A group of people, united by blood but separated by deep and long-held philosophical differences, have finally come together to celebrate their common heritage, but now they face the potential intrusion of yet another group of their acquaintance that they believe pose a serious threat to their very existence. But enough about Thanksgiving 2020...

Memory Alpha invokes their right to the thing, you know, the thing with gongs and candles, no, not that one, the other one:

- The episode title is a reference to the TNG two-part episode "Unification I" and "Unification II", and is a continuation of those episodes. [spoiler alert: while this episode does not completely spoil the TNG eps, I'd still recommend watching them if you haven't done so before going on with this post, as I may let slip some things that you might want to see in their original context.] The episode also has references to the Qowat Milat, from the first season of Star Trek: Picard.

- The name of the USS Yelchin is undoubtedly a reference to Anton Yelchin, the actor who played Pavel Chekov in the Kelvin-timeline Trek movies, and who died in an accident in 2016.

- Ni'Var was previously used for the name of a Vulcan starship in ENT; following the above link will give the origins of the name/term in early Trek fanfic and published fiction.

"You guys are chronic overachievers."

- Book, to Burnham

Poster's Log:

Wow. I knew that this episode would probably be a fairly big deal--the title, published some time ago, hinted that it would tie into the TNG episodes--but this was incredible, with the tie-ins to other series and Trek history and the deep implications for the Federation restoration project, and the amazing amount of laid-bare emotion for a VulcanNi'Var-centric episode. One of the things that I found myself wondering after the "Unification" two-parter was, if Spock were successful at his secret personal mission, and Romulans adopted the teachings of Surak, would the Vulcans in turn adopt anything from the Romulans? I noted with interest in this episode that the Ni'Varians' insignia looked a bit like the old Romulan one. (Of course, the Romulans in "Unification" were keen on simply folding Vulcan into the Star Empire.) I also wonder if reunification might have been delayed by Romulan anger at Spock's inability to prevent the Hobus supernova. (And, to get even deeper into the weeds, I wonder if the tribute to Anton Yelchin was a sideways acknowledgement of the Kelvin timeline as being connected to the prime one through Spock; we got an acknowledgement going the other way in Star Trek Beyond with the scene where K-Spock looks at the picture of the TOS cast in the TOS movie uniforms.)

The heart of the episode was of course the T'Kal-in-ket, which rose above being yet another alien ritual with the requisite gongs and (holographic) candles and turned into a high-stakes battle that was no less thrilling than the usual starships-and-phasers version. No lirpas, and Gabrielle Burnham's sword remained sheathed, but no less amount of cutting for all that, as Burnham's mom reminded her that the sword of truth cuts both ways. I've got a modest amount of cooking and other things to attend to today, but ASAP I want to rewatch this ep because that whole scene was so damn good. In particular, the interaction among the Ni'Var representatives with their different factions and viewpoints averted the prospect of the reunified people simply merging back into one big Planet of Hats, and there's no real likelihood that Ni'Var will rejoin the Federation especially soon; it's going to be a longer and stickier process than simply joining hands and singing the proverbial "Kumbaya." And that's fine. Hope has to be welded to the determination to stick it out through the not-fun bits, which ties in well to Burnham's decision to stay and not just fly off for snuggling and antiquing with Book and Grudge. Big props to Sonja Sohn, as well as to Tara Rosling as T'Rina.

The B-plot also went well, although I suspect that some of the regular readers of these threads may not be happy with Tilly getting the XO job, going by last week's thread. I thought that it was handled well, with Tilly checking out Stamets' reaction. I can't say that I was as tearful as many of the crew when it became official; I did get a bit misty-eyed when they showed footage of Leonard Nimoy from "Unification", though.

Poster's Log, supplemental: I may have already mentioned this in another thread (maybe in another series), but the Romulan storyline in Star Trek Online is one of my favorite aspects of the game; it takes place a little bit after PIC, and I'm not sure that the continuity exactly matches up now, but it's still pretty neat, with the player being part of a nascent Romulan Republic that's continually threatened by a much-reduced Star Empire being run by the Tal'Shiar. Lots of good moments in the faction missions.
posted by Halloween Jack (47 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Ni’Var: Now Integrated, Vulcans and Romulans.

Count me in the “unhappy about Tilly” camp. They telegraphed this as far back as episode 2 of this season and I hated the thought of it then, too. If you wanna be Starfleet, BE Starfleet, and that includes not elevating ensigns beyond their station.
posted by hanov3r at 11:07 AM on November 26, 2020 [8 favorites]

I am also in the unhappy camp--this promotion seems primarily driven by the Law of Conservation of Cast. (Not one of the characters outranking her is aggravated by this? That's very TNG in the bad sort of way.)

That being said, I was very intrigued by the episode's politics, both for raising questions about the overarching reunification project (T'Rina's point about the Federation exceeding sustainable size) and for highlighting the multiple factions on Ni'Var. The dilithium problem speaks to ecological (er, cosmological?) concerns, and suggests that the Burn might have hastened rather than caused the Federation's collapse. And there's also the hint, going back to DS9 and the famous root beer conversation, about the Federation's troubling aftertaste, as it were, for those observing it from outside.
posted by thomas j wise at 11:40 AM on November 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

io9: Turns Out, Star Trek: Discovery Does Want Michael to Have It Both Ways

And the idea that the Federation is not necessarily the be-all, end-all of galactic civilization has been floated in the franchise before; Eddington in DS9 had some harsh words for it, comparing it to the Borg (although Eddington really didn't help provide an alternative for the Maquis, but instead hastened their doom IMO), and Azetbur in Star Trek VI (which the original "Unification" two-parter tied into) also made some points during the state dinner on the Enterprise.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:54 AM on November 26, 2020

Wut Tilly?

I did however appreciate Tilly being all wtf about this also, "Sir, are you asking me because I'm qualified or because I'm compliant?"

Also Admiral Vance being so ruthlessly pragmatic. I'm not super hot on the deus ex Burnham-from-the-past plot. And her mom shows up too?
posted by porpoise at 7:53 PM on November 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Yeah, the Tilly thing seems a little silly, but it was at least lampshaded nicely, with Tilly asking several good, skeptical questions and Saru giving somewhat plausible answers. As overpromotion silliness goes, this was very far from Star Trek 2009 levels of stupid (in which Kirk was promoted from cadet to permanent captain of Starfleet's flagship overnight).

Pretty good episode overall, although the momma drama was a bit much.

I'm enjoying the visits back to the familiar homeworlds—Earth, Trill, Vulcan—to see how the Burn affected them and do some classic Starfleet diplomacy. After the "People of Earth" episode a few weeks ago, my spouse felt it was a little weird that they weren't staying on Earth longer—after all, they had reached home in some sense. I countered that I liked the decision, because it showed that although the crew of Discovery is mostly human, they're Starfleet first, and so they wouldn't rest until finding Federation headquarters, because that's what home is for them: not those who share their race, but those who share their values and mission (as Earth no longer does in this century). I even wished at the time that they might visit other homeworlds, like Vulcan and Trill (since they had just picked up Adira at that point). So I'm delighted with how the show has fulfilled my hopes and been consistent with that interpretation—and sidestepped the common Star Trek pitfall of treating Earth as the only Federation planet that matters culturally and emotionally.
posted by Syllepsis at 9:09 PM on November 26, 2020 [8 favorites]

I'm going to be annoyed with any episode that doesn't feature Adira going forward. I am here for the nonbinary worm. I am their posse.

Headcanon: Any episode in which Reno does not appear, she is laid up in her cabin complaining about her back. They should do a hallway scene where you just briefly overhear her complaining about her back but never see her otherwise in the episode.

Minor complaint: "...and it's your mom!" was a little bit too on the nose for me, I was expecting some other descendant of Sarek or something. I'm a little bit fuzzy on the sequence of events that led her to landing in the same time period, and you'd think if Burnham thought it was even a possibility, she'd have worked in a little bit of "looking for mom" to go with "looking for Discovery" over the past year.

Prediction: In a few episodes, Saru will announce he has selected a permanent first officer: Lieutenant Tilly. He will then pin an additional rank pip on her collar. There will be tears and embracing.
posted by jordemort at 10:08 PM on November 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Good grief. Does Saru not understand that wildly eccentric staffing decisions will make Starfleet (justifiably!) concerned about his own fitness to command?

Also: Not enough Grudge.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 3:05 AM on November 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

I'm placing the over/under of episodes in the entire series without weeping at 3.

Anybody going to take the over?
posted by Seeba at 4:17 AM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

I must say that I didn’t expect the title to refer to more than just a continuation of the Vulcan/Romulan storyline. Kudos on that, if nothing else.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:53 AM on November 27, 2020

MICHAEL: I invoke the T'Kal-in-ket!
MRS. CHEESES (turning to me, assuming I know): What's that?
ME: Why, that's Vulcan ritual scientific combat, of course. …Just kidding, I have no idea.

I had many of the same thoughts as Jack: it WAS incredible—almost* perfectly written, such that I found myself continually nodding and saying "Yep, makes sense"—and it WAS impressively emotional for a Vulcan episode and it WAS as thrilling a courtroom scene as we get on Trek (and that's saying something, b/c that's one of this franchise's strengths) and there WAS a profound and not-a-little personally affecting message about hope and duty and endurance…and yes I DID get misty-eyed during the playback of the "Unification II" datatape excerpt. I'll add, too, that the Qowat Milat was one of my favorite elements of PIC and they found a perfect way to weave it in here.

This feels like the pinnacle of the season, or maybe more accurately, the fulcrum. These writers seem to have two main rails: creating Burnham character drama and respecting/building on Trek continuity—and I can imagine a season-arc planning board where this episode is the first thing they decided on and everything else—Burnham's career uncertainty, the Tilly-Stamets tensions, the Admiral's obvious uncertainty about how to handle this ship—feeds into and out of it; for example, I fully expect to see T'Rina again.

Folks, this is how you do venerable-franchise worldbuilding while simultaneously giving characters of the here and now their due. Possibly my new favorite ep of DISCO so far.

TNG: "Unification" I and II are important episodes and absolutely worth watching prior to this one, but IIRC, on previous rewatches, they struck me as surprisingly slow, despite Nimoy's major and long-awaited guest appearance. I look forward to getting back to them in the TNG rewatch, and moreso now after watching III.

* = As for Tilly as XO, yes, it makes little sense w/r/t real-world military tradition, but OTOH this series has never been shy about making little sense, particularly when good character stuff can be served by playing fast and loose with plausibility. Tilly's character arc needed a promotion, I think—maybe not THIS promotion, ideally, but I'm willing to give this season of this show the benefit of the doubt for the moment.

The more Stamets-head-tilty moment for me was that it turned out to be Burnham's mom—maybe I'm not remembering enough of what was going on temporally-speaking with her, but, like, how?? And more importantly, should Michael have had/voiced any hope that her mother might be kicking around here in the year 3000whatever? But on this point, too, I can accept it for the role that the Gabrielle character played in the resolution of the courtroom drama and the Michael-career drama.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:11 AM on November 27, 2020 [7 favorites]

I'm with CheesesoOfBrazil; excellently written A plot and clearly the fulcrum of this season. I mean the setup is fucking ludicrous; somehow across 1000 years and an entire untravellable universe Michael's mom ends up in a bizarre cult on nuVulcan? A human person, on a planet that has rejected the Federation? And she's fully accepted into Ni'Var society? And somehow she fully knows her daughter she has barely talked to in 25 years of her life and makes a perfect emotional read on her and manipulates her into saying exactly the right things? And those things end up being a sort of intensely personal and emotional appeal, which somehow is exactly the thing to win over the Ni'Var? At least the logical Vulcan of the trio was never swayed; actually I liked how Michael lost the trial entirely, or resigned. Really it was beautifully written and delivered even as it was totally ridiculous what was happening.

Same goes with Tilly's elevation to XO. No way. No how. Her self doubt alone disqualifies her. Her going to Stamets disqualifies her. Her inexperience too. But everyone loves Tilly and she's great and I liked her getting the job. Even though she's not a commander, quite the opposite. Stamets stammering "that would be weird" was such a hilariously in-character asshole response though I wanted to slap him. so it was a sweet and nice turnaround that he organizes a group of literal Yes people to help her decide to take the promotion. Except of all the officers Stamets has the most right to be mad about Tilly being jumped up like that. Would have been a far more interesting episode if he truly objected.

I sure wondered what Georgiou thought of it all. Have we seen her much with Tilly? Can't imagine she has much patience for the silly mouse.

This episode would have been the one where they addressed the way Romulan drives didn't use antimatter warp drives and thus might have survived the Burn. I'm gonna go with the head cannon that they just needed dilithium too. Also weird to introduce the idea that the Federation just got too big and that somehow ate up all the dilithium. Really?

Hey remember the Mysterious Music that was going to be the big thread this season? The writers don't seem to have.
posted by Nelson at 7:05 AM on November 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

Do they not have the word "picosecond" in the 32nd (or even 23rd) century? I liked a lot of this episode, but cringed a little bit each time they talked about the difference in timing of ship destructions in the Burn in "millionths of a microsecond."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:21 AM on November 27, 2020 [10 favorites]

Admiral Vance acts mighty shifty whenever the Burn is brought up.

I think Vance knows something vital that he is keeping from the Discovery crew.

I don't think he knows precisely what caused the Burn, but I'd guess that he has concrete information that the Federation is somehow responsible and he's suppressing that information.

Also it was mighty convenient that Mama/Emperor Georgiou was nowhere to be seen during an episode where Burnham's Biological Mother shows up.

Dammit I miss Nimoy.
posted by Faintdreams at 12:57 PM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

I thought there was more here to suggest C32 federation might not be all they seemed to be assuming it was.

The Tilly thing was just stupid, even Saru's justification made no sense. It's just lazy writing.

It also seems ridiculous that they go around telling everyone about having the only example of the single most important technology in the galaxy and no-one seems to care beyond a 'that's nice'. Wouldn't the Ni'varians (sp?) be all over that?
posted by biffa at 1:19 PM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Right? I don't remember if there's anything particularly unique about the spore drive. Or did the original tardigrade-drive give Stamets some special shrooms to open his mind to the mycelial network? It's been a while, I'm probably forgetting... But otherwise, yo dudes, yeah, grow these shrooms and hook up your chief engineer to some high grade psychoactives et voila: FTL without dilithium. You're welcome.
posted by Kyol at 2:08 PM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Stamets is the only one who can operate the drive because of his unique personal experience with psychedelic drugs and tardigrade communion. That was reinforced two or three episodes ago when Saru told Tilly she and Stamets needed to work on finding some other solution so they weren't dependent just on Stamets. Old Starfleet built at least two of these drives so presumably 900 years later cloning the technology shouldn't be too hard.

And yeah, you'd think the nuVulcan Science Academy would be all over that. Except they also seem culturally against the sheer idea of making it easy to travel across space. They developed this weird moral aversion to Starfleet's size, it seems.
posted by Nelson at 2:56 PM on November 27, 2020

To me it's been clear since season 1 that TIlly would end up in a leadership role despite her self-confidence issues. I don't remember how that was communicated, little subtle things. But look at this season. Tilly's first words at the memorial wall in ep3 are about the pain of the crew. At the dinner in ep4, Tilly is the one who understands what Saru was trying to do and consoles him that he's not really failed at it. I hope she'll be a leader who will confound any military expectations of the concept. Maybe that's my little hope that this trek still has some utopianism left in it.

I think this was the single best episode of any trek since DS9, BTW.
posted by joeyh at 6:57 PM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

SB-19, based on the admittedly sketchy graphic, looked a lot like a giant Stargate.

I don't know...Burnham's mom showing up, Tilly becoming XO...I kind of wonder if the season will have an epilogue where Burnham sits up in bed, shakes her head, and says, "That was a weird dream."
posted by jabah at 10:08 PM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

I find Michael's story very relevant and fascinating. She's been raised to believe in science, to question authority, to value freedom of thought above all else. But she also really cares about the collective, about common goals and bringing people together (which means following orders and trusting authority). Both values are VERY much at the core of what Star Trek means, and we've never seen them so much in conflict. It's so timely and so connected to what's going on in American politics and culture.

I don't trust the Federation Admiral (and the show obviously doesn't want me to trust him completely). But there's definitely something to the argument that a stronger Federation can do more good in the galaxy than a weak one, and that widespread peace and cooperation is a good thing. But this season forces us to ask, what are worlds forced to give up by joining the Federation. Is there another way? We've seen clearly in Discovery how out-of-control Section 31 can get. When Michael refuses orders and questions authority, she's often correct to.

I'm enjoying this season so much, and feel like the show has finally found its feet. There was a lot of good stuff in the first two seasons, but you could tell there was a change of showrunners halfway through each: neither season 1 or 2 really knew what it wanted to be. It usually takes a Star Trek a couple of seasons to settle in, and I'm glad CBS has kept paying for it. Disco is a very different show, but now it's really taking the story to new places, and I'm really enjoying it.
posted by rikschell at 5:07 AM on November 28, 2020

Shout-out to Tilly calling Michael on her bullshit: "That was *my* choice. Mine."

I'm also okay with her being Saru's pick - he's seen what she can do and how the rest of the crew feels about her, and concluded that she's might work out. He balanced that against her lack of experience and Command training, and decided to try it out for a month or two and see how it goes. I've no doubt he'll yank the designation if she really can't handle it.
posted by Mogur at 5:35 AM on November 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, Burnham's mom showing up is a product of last year's nonsensical plot, and there have been a couple of nods to it this season. But you're forgiven for being confused, it was not really well set up. The link to PIC is great, though. This show might be easier to follow as a binge watch (esp. the first 2 seasons), but I like getting it once a week and letting it last.
posted by rikschell at 5:38 AM on November 28, 2020

Sorry, forgot to add - Saru has a shallow pool of candidates for what he is expecting will be a "very heavy on the diplomacy" set of missions. It's basically him, Michael (who took herself out of the running with that scavenger stunt) and Tilly. Adira has possibilities because of their symbiote, but it'll be *years* before they're ready for any kind of command duty. He wants someone who is, yes, reliable (Tilly said 'compliant', but that's too harsh), but more than that, he needs someone who's good with the diplomacy, for the times when he's not available.

Tilly makes sense.
posted by Mogur at 5:50 AM on November 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

It's possible that Tilly is my favorite character and always has been.
posted by Mogur at 5:50 AM on November 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

more than that, he needs someone who's good with the diplomacy, for the times when he's not available.

...and Captain Killy if it comes to that.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:55 AM on November 28, 2020 [4 favorites]

Tilly who constantly blurts out unfiltered drivel is the go to for diplomacy?

Am I right in thinking the XO is in charge of the ship if Saru gets a donk on the head or gets stuck on a planet?
posted by biffa at 8:27 AM on November 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yeah, this episode worked for me. No, it doesn’t make any sense in any kind of real-world military command structure, but as has been pointed out already, Star Trek series already have a grand tradition of making all sorts of silly decisions that wouldn’t happen in a real-world military. Kirk’s giant promotion in Trek 2009 is one, but I can also think of plenty of things like, for example, Picard essentially giving civilian Wesley Crusher a field commission... why, exactly? I don’t even remember the on-screen reason (other than the ongoing background “Wesley applies to the Academy” plot for the first few seasons), but the real reason is, of course, that Wil Wheaton was a main cast member and they needed a reason for him to be involved in stuff in a series where the story focus is exclusively on commissioned officers and especially senior staff, but it doesn’t make a ton of sense in-universe. Not to mention things like how Starfleet COs are surprisingly forgiving and tolerant of insubordination, etc.

Tilly being the acting XO makes a sort of emotional sense, and Star Trek is littered with examples of plot decisions being made because they made a sort of emotional sense in the story, even if they’re sort of silly on their face. Yes, in any “normal” rank structure, it should’ve been Stamets or Reno, probably? (Are they the only other full CDRs?) But neither of those two makes a ton of emotional sense in that position. Mary Wiseman is a talented performer who has earned the right to have more to do, and I’m interested to see what story beats they give her now.
posted by Kosh at 9:01 AM on November 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

One of the weaker aspects of season 2 was the Flanderization of Tilly, which the writers seem to be mercifully walking back on. If we disregard that then she's less implausible in her new role.

Yes, it's still a stretch; I rationalise it as Saru wanting not so much an executive officer as an aide-de-camp (or in naval terms, flag lieutenant) to organise the administrative and diplomatic aspects of his command. That's a post often filled by quite junior officers in real life.
posted by Major Clanger at 11:03 AM on November 28, 2020 [11 favorites]

Tilly who constantly blurts out unfiltered drivel is the go to for diplomacy?

Yes. Saru has no idea how or why it works, but he's observed that people really seem to like her after she blurts drivel. vide Princess Po.
posted by Mogur at 12:31 PM on November 28, 2020 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I'm with Major Clanger on Tilly being more a dog robber (flag lieutenant) than a true XO. Also, the Discovery is clearly operating with less than half of its intended crew (the rest opting to stay behind in the old century to rejoin their families), so you can make a case that the remaining senior staff are needed more urgently as Department Heads and technical experts. You can't pull Stamets away from the spore drive to be the XO-- then your ship will not work. Just extrapolate that principle to every other remaining experienced officer.

Besides, this is Star Trek. It's fiction. It's drama. I was IRL military for 24 years, and I think it's amusing want to apply 21st century personnel policies to a science fiction show. I don't worry about it. It was never going to be perfectly realistic.

I want to echo and restate something I said months ago in a Picard thread-- these writers and showrunners really get Star Trek and its characters and what makes them unique. To wit-- those are the four best Vulco-Romulans I have seen in the series since Spock. Recognizably Vulcan, using logic and restraint, but still able to project emotion and intent through the tiniest expressions. It was good. Really good.
posted by seasparrow at 10:49 PM on November 28, 2020 [8 favorites]

Well, I guess maybe people are right that Saru didn't have a lot of options to choose from for XO. In the episode previous to this one, he kept saying, "You have the bridge!" to people I swear I'd never seen before. I was glad he didn't have a fish in his ready room like Picard did.

SARU : Ensign Bubbles, I don't think you've had a turn? You have the bridge!
BUBBLES: (In bubbly voice) Aye, Captain!
posted by jabah at 6:39 AM on November 29, 2020 [4 favorites]

I feel bad for Rhys and Bryce and Nilsson on the bridge crew, though: they are all lieutenants and to be passed over for an ensign is gonna burn.

I really like Michael but I was expecting her to be wrong here: her self-righteousness about her own decision-making is what tripped her up in the pilot. So I liked that she backed off on the request, and was unpleasantly surprised by the way the writers rewarded her immediately for that. Anything that is that sensitive would not have been shared right away, especially since the Ni'Var-ian (?) willingness to believe that Michael (and Discovery's crew) was operating in good faith would not necessarily have been extended to the rest of the current Federation as they knew them.

All that said, I really was intrigued by the decision to really go there with the Vulcans and the Romulans, and I guess it's at least one sort-of positive outcome from what I consider the bullshit plot decision to destroy the Romulan home system. (I never liked that, because Romulans are my favorite Trek aliens [thank you Diane Duane], and they have never gotten the kind of development in the canon that the books have given them.)
posted by suelac at 8:22 AM on November 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm going to go out on a sturdy limb and state that Tilly's promotion is going to be the centre of an entire episode "Heavy is the head that wears the Crown' kind of thing.

She's going to have to learn the hard way that you can't be besties with a bunch of people who are also under your command.
posted by Faintdreams at 1:04 PM on November 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

Just what I needed from a Star Trek, a vision of the future where people are appointed to positions not based on their experience or qualifications but on their "potential" and everyone is just fine with that. So different than the world we have now!
posted by juiceCake at 1:12 PM on November 29, 2020

Goddamit, I will die on this hill. Tilly has the skills and talent to be allowed to *try* to be a probationary XO for a couple of weeks (or less) while Saru picks a permanent one. At which point she is out. He was very clear on that point. I think she will do better than anyone expects.
posted by Mogur at 1:42 PM on November 29, 2020 [7 favorites]

I'm with Faintdreams - Tilly's going to find that command is a lonely position (and tough choices) and hate it. She cares too much about people.
posted by porpoise at 3:38 PM on November 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

The natural pick for XO is someone from outside the current cast. The admiral should be very involved - he should want someone from "modern" starfleet on the ship, and the XO position is open now.

They could even have him flat-out assign someone and give Saru no choice in the matter, inflaming tensions between Discovery and Starfleet. Plenty of potential there.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 6:22 PM on November 29, 2020 [8 favorites]

I assume Georgiou must've been having one of her episodes when Mom was pointing out how Michael got Georgiou killed. Normally she'd find walking in on that line too delicious an opportunity to pass up.
posted by ckape at 9:18 PM on November 29, 2020 [4 favorites]

ckape that would have been mighty Funny

:: Georgiou saunters in::

"Reports of my Demise have been greatly exaggerated"

::sits down crossing legs languorously::
posted by Faintdreams at 8:29 AM on November 30, 2020 [4 favorites]

The natural pick for XO is someone from outside the current cast. The admiral should be very involved - he should want someone from "modern" starfleet on the ship, and the XO position is open now.

Definitely agree with this.

Also.. in theory, Georgiou must have some sort of section-31 rank... make her XO, you cowards.
posted by coriolisdave at 1:16 PM on November 30, 2020

The natural pick for XO is someone from outside the current cast. The admiral should be very involved - he should want someone from "modern" starfleet on the ship, and the XO position is open now.

So, the XO from a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier gets reassigned to a 12th-century galley. He knows that his admiral has arranged for GPS and a backup engine to be installed, and that the galley is perfectly suited for shallow-water exploration, but...he'll be sleeping in a wooden coffin swarming with rats, and will be leading a crew that honestly has no idea how gunpowder works except that it looks really cool when it blows up. Sure, they're committed to the mission, and great at the oars, but what if they need to get a car started?
posted by Mogur at 5:51 PM on November 30, 2020 [5 favorites]

Not saying they'd *refuse* to go on Discovery. Just that it may not be their preferred assignment.
posted by Mogur at 5:52 PM on November 30, 2020

Also, Team Tilly 4eva.
posted by Mogur at 5:52 PM on November 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

Surely there are plenty of XOs who would love to be on the only ship that can travel anywhere in the universe instantly.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:45 PM on November 30, 2020 [5 favorites]

It's old, but as was pointed out this episode it's also their only rapid response vessel, meaning it'll get sent to situations where you need boots on the ground (so to speak) immediately. It might not be the prestige position, but it's high profile and not going to be boring. There would certainly be some... let's say cultural adjustments, but I feel like the right officer could see the opportunity in it, if they were so inclined.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 9:23 PM on November 30, 2020 [3 favorites]

I just had a thought, what if the Burn was caused by Ham?
posted by Marticus at 7:41 PM on December 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

I've just realised that the person out of time who has to resurrect Organisation that Polices everyone is the same remit as Captain Dylan Hunt in the other Gene Roddenberry Show Andromeda
posted by Faintdreams at 2:48 PM on December 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Captain Dylan Hunt in the other Gene Roddenberry Show Andromeda

And Genesis II and Planet Earth. It's a Roddenberry favorite.
posted by hanov3r at 3:13 PM on December 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

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