Star Trek: Discovery: Rosetta
March 3, 2022 8:24 PM - Season 4, Episode 11 - Subscribe

While Captain Burnham leads an away mission to a planet that was once home to the aliens responsible for the DMA, Book and Tarka secretly infiltrate the USS Discovery.

Memory Alpha

- Big Detmer episode.

- "Steamed bananas" has to be a reference to the LD premiere "Second Contact."

- Reno's back! And a hostage. I almost feel sorry for Tarka.

- Pheromones have been used as a plot device on Trek before.

- Kind of seems weird that they didn't go for the Ringworlds first.
posted by Halloween Jack (21 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
♪ I was gonna go on an away mission, but then I got high ♫
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:29 PM on March 3, 2022 [2 favorites]

Detmer had better keep her mouth shut about her backstory or she's liable to get killed in the season finale
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:38 PM on March 3, 2022 [10 favorites]

That was very paint by the numbers, especially the overheard praise of Detmer when they've rarely even mentioned her off the bridge.

I hope something interesting happens in the next episode, since this one was too much filler for something that's not 26 episodes per season.
posted by Marticus at 11:06 PM on March 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

yeah I feel like we've been juuuuust about to get to the Big Reveal for like… three or four episodes now, and I'm starting to tip back over into "hatewatching"
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:29 PM on March 3, 2022 [2 favorites]

I swear to fuck if Book doesn't punch Tarka's lights out next episode, someone damn well better. And I know who I'd like it to be.
posted by SansPoint at 6:31 AM on March 4, 2022 [3 favorites]

Any episode with more Detmer back story is a good episode. Love her, love her recovery arc. Bringing her into Tal's found family seems especially meaningful, what with Emily Coutts crediting Star Trek for her courage to come out.

I absolutely love the concept of pheromones as the primary mechanism for communication for the 10-C. It's a Children of Tama problem writ large and is the kind of SF I want in my Trek. Also, having Kovich's incredibly anvilicious exposition about the universal translators, bias, and Federation assumptions pay off like that is, while kinda hack writing, a perfect example of the character.

I'm really looking forward to watching Reno deck Tarka, as long as she doesn't throw out her back doing it.
posted by hanov3r at 1:24 PM on March 4, 2022 [8 favorites]

My big complaint is with whoever let those in-helmet hero lights go forward into production. Great, let's put a bright light smack in the middle of the actors' foreheads, so their eyes' inside sclera is well lit and the outer sclera is in complete darkness so they look WALLEYED 24/7. What the absolute fuck my dudes.
posted by Kyol at 6:28 PM on March 4, 2022 [5 favorites]

Darn, seems like this doesn't line up with the theory that the unknown species is actually Tarka's BFF. I .. kinda liked that theory.
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 8:03 PM on March 4, 2022

I was entertained but boy did we go back to Big Feelings Trek. But in a soft sci-fi way because the feelings actually come from "complex hydrocarbons". Eh, it's an interesting story conceit even if executed a bit clumsily. I particularly liked the way we (the audience) didn't understand what was going on with the fear responses people were having, just that it was awful. I liked the way they came to understand what was going on. I did have to laugh a bit when Michael tried out the second one and was all "OMG instant love!" and everyone immediately clicked off their filters so they could get a hit, too.

Glad to see Detmer get some more screentime. What is her backstory that DoctorFedora is referring to in their comment? I've forgotten.
posted by Nelson at 8:29 AM on March 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yeah, you know the instant love hydrocarbon is gonna go for 50 slips of latinum per hit in a month, right?

Also, and I know it’s well trodden ground, but when Adira was asking how Detmer could comport herself in a troubled time, I hate the “oh they’re terrified too” answer. Yes, ok, they’re terrified and anxious and they’re still not wetting themselves and passing out from the anxiety / adrenaline, please explain _that_ part kthx?
posted by Kyol at 1:33 PM on March 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

*sratching skin* "C'mon, I just need 10 ccs of Ten-C, man!"
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 2:20 PM on March 5, 2022 [5 favorites]

"C'mon, I just need 10 ccs of Ten-C, man!"

Ah, the things we do for love.
posted by hanov3r at 7:46 PM on March 5, 2022 [4 favorites]

I found this episode painfully boring.

It also really bothered me that they said there was no life signs, and sat around looking at bones and dust pondering the mysteries, all while there were multitudes of giant jellyfish things floating around in the alien building that no-one commented on. Maybe they were added as set dressing special effects afterwards? It seemed odd that so many of the giant things were just hanging around and everyone just ignored them.
posted by fimbulvetr at 5:28 AM on March 6, 2022

It also really bothered me that they said there was no life signs

I'm puzzled at why they couldn't detect their own lifesigns. That was very strange.
posted by crossoverman at 2:39 PM on March 6, 2022

We need to find out a way to connect with this new lifeform.

I know, let's frolic in the corpses of their children! That will make them like us!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:58 PM on March 6, 2022 [3 favorites]

I didn't mind this episode, but what the fuck use are spacesuits that don't filter unknown substances.

like.. that should be the first fucking thing they do.
posted by coriolisdave at 7:00 PM on March 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

But.. but.. they're hydrocarbons. Might as well be Red Matter for how exotic they are.
posted by Nelson at 6:47 AM on March 7, 2022

Also, even with a fantastic AI thingy, the security on Discovery is really bad. Someone should figure out how to monitor lifeforms on board or something.
posted by Marticus at 12:46 PM on March 7, 2022

Yeah, I mean I'm sure it's a technology back and forth, but "detecting unauthorized transports" is a thing they've been doing since forever. I mean OK maybe they've got their guard down because they figure they're the only ones out beyond the great barrier? Maybe? Or did they know that Booker and Tarka had snuck through too?

That said, just before they teleported to Disco, Tarka specifically called out some blah blah technobabble that would suppress their biosigns so that the Zora wouldn't detect them, so it's back to Disco's shields are down and uh I guess they can't detect unauthorized transports?

Also I'm not sure what Tarka's plan with Jett is, really. Like, Disco won't notice the (current?) chief engineer (?) is missing? I mean, if that isn't resolved in the first few minutes of the next episode...

As an aside I'm not sure what's going on in Engineering - what Stamets vs. Reno are responsible for, or are we actually seeing duty shifts for like the first time ever?
posted by Kyol at 2:14 PM on March 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

Reno couldn't call security? Just call out to Zora? Reno couldn't kick him in the face before he got out from under the console and pointed a weapon at her? What a disappointment. She spent too much time saying something snarky, I guess.

(Zora, who cares deeply about all her peeps, won't realize Reno's gone? She doesn't, like, count them every 30 seconds because she has computer OCD or something?)

(The mass of a whole different ship doesn't change Disco's engine response enough that it's noted? I guess the mass of Book's ship might only be 1% of Disco, you chalk it up to damage from the galactic barrier, OK. I guess)

Since Book and Tarka are along for the ride, I feel like it's too much to hope that one of them isn't going to be the one who saves the day and solves the 10-C problem. So I guess I'll hope it's Book, but by using his empathetic abilities instead of any of the "pew pew explode explode kill all for power source" plans Tarka would hatch. Together with Book's earlier agreement to stand down from launching the weapon at the DMA seems redeem-y enough that we can have a nice reset next year with Book at least not in space prison or whatever. And the 10-C send Tarka to lala land and we never see him again.
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 5:00 PM on March 7, 2022 [3 favorites]

So I guess I'll hope it's Book, but by using his empathetic abilities instead of any of the "pew pew explode explode kill all for power source" plans Tarka would hatch.

Plot twist, it's not Book who saves the day, but Grudge. Turns out, hairballs are a viable alternative powersource for the whatsit.
posted by coriolisdave at 3:53 PM on March 9, 2022 [1 favorite]

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