Star Trek: Discovery: Red Directive   First Watch 
April 4, 2024 10:56 AM - Season 5, Episode 1 - Subscribe

The Adventure Begins! Burnham and team race to acquire "the greatest treasure in the known galaxy" from an 800-year old Romulan ship. [Previous episode]

Memory Alpha is a bit behind on updating.

- We get thrown into the action immediately, followed by a quick flashback. That's not a story device Trek's used very often, but it was kind of compelling here.
- Stamets, I feel you. Losing what you think of as your legacy while also having to glad-hand everyone at a party? Wow, that sucks.
- So happy to see the Saru/T'Rina ship still sailing mightily along.
- Drunk Tilly is best Tilly, and I will not be taking questions.
- Antares is a well-respected ship name in Trek - at least three previous ships named "Antares" have been seen on-screen.
- Wasn't expecting a tribble randomly crawling around inside Discovery
- Certainly wasn't expecting a Soong-type android in the 32nd century.
- While I don't agree with face-planting a starship into a planet, it was certainly impressive.

Personal log: Well! In terms of 'digging up unresolved story lines', going back to the Progenitors plot from TNG: "The Chase" (previously) feels like a solid choice. But, is their life-creating technology more powerful than the Genesis tech the Federation has had since the 2300s?

Callum Keith Rennie is a great addition to the cast. Please let the Antares be a consistent feature of the season.

One of the bigger complaints leveled at DISCO is the inappropriateness of the timing of the cast's emotional speeches. This is the first episode in quite a while that seemed to be aware of what was happening and left those character connection moments to down time.

I'm happy with this start, and looking forward to a season worthy of this kick-off.
posted by hanov3r (18 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, I see that this didn't link to the last episode. Already pinged the admins. >_<
posted by hanov3r at 10:58 AM on April 4

TREK'S BACK...and I'm amazed at how much I forgot about the last season -_-

Agreed this was a strong start on many levels. I love "The Chase" and it's about flippin' time the franchise revisited it. I'm a touch foggy on Progenitor-Tech's military applications, and while our special guest villains don't seem to be a military threat, I could easily see them selling the secrets to a hostile power. But like...what does it DO? That's gonna be the thing I keep coming back to w/r/t the quite literal mystery box.

But even if the season fails to make the precise nature of the threat clear, "The Chase" feels right as a hook to hang Disco's last season on.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 11:59 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]

When the trailers were promising a hunt for the most important artefact or whatever in the galaxy, at first I rolled my eyes (so dramatic!) and then my first thought was "The Chase". I'm not sure how their secret of seeding the universe with humanoids could be used against, oh you know, all life itself but this is the show to tell that story.

This is the first episode in quite a while that seemed to be aware of what was happening and left those character connection moments to down time.

Totally agreed, but the motorbike chase/discussion did seem wild to me - it was about plot and not emotions, but it felt like a long chat and none of them could have possibly heard each other! (Insert technobabble explanation.) That split screen was cringe.

Good to have this team back. Glad to have the set up out of the way. Nice that it's hooking into some previous Trek lore.
posted by crossoverman at 4:22 PM on April 4

Certainly wasn't expecting a Soong-type android in the 32nd century.
Weirdly when they mentioned a trader interested in 24thC tech, a datalike was exactly what I was expecting. Did a Fred ever show up in Picard?

The whole Progenitor thing feels like one of the weirdest additions to Trek lore. Along the lines of explaining why TOS Klingons don't look like TMP Klingons don't look like DISCO Klingons. (No, not those Klingons). The Chase was alright though, at least it brought it around to a very Trek message.
I'm not sure how their secret of seeding the universe with humanoids could be used against, oh you know, all life itself but this is the show to tell that story.
Right off the top of my head: big 'ol bioweapon.

The "this season on Discovery" has Moll mention the Progenitors by name, so maybe she knows more than is apparent right now. I like their energy, I hope there's more to them.

And finally how did DISCO go four whole seasons _without_ having Callum Keith Rennie? I didn't think that was legal for shows produced in Canada.
posted by dumbland at 6:02 PM on April 4 [3 favorites]

I'm not sure how their secret of seeding the universe with humanoids could be used against, oh you know, all life itself but this is the show to tell that story.

I'm thinking the Jem'Hadar, created on an industrial scale, on demand, specialized for any environment, mission, or enemy.

Or just making 4 or 5 of those "alamaraine, count to 4" idiots from Deep Space 9. If I was the Federation, I'd go all in on stopping that.
posted by PlusDistance at 6:46 PM on April 4 [3 favorites]

One of the things I've been thinking is that the new Captain Rayner is a Kellerun, and the show's producers have hinted that that's something relevant. So, the Kelleruns were introduced in the DS9 episode Armageddon Game where their species and another (the T'Lani) had been at war and developed bioweapons they found horrible called "Harvesters".

In the episode they've come to peace, and asked the Federation to help destroy all Harvesters and all knowledge of how to make them. They believe that also means killing everyone with knowledge about the Harvesters, including now Doctor Bashir and Chief O'Brien, but of course our heroes escape and while on the run start bonding into what'd become a major bromance.

Anyway the show never revists those species or the Harvesters. Until now apparently. So now we've got two plots about forbidden knowledge and dangerous powers, one old, one to do with the Progenitors. Perhaps they'll end up related?
posted by traveler_ at 8:12 PM on April 4 [3 favorites]

Ohhhh shiiiit. The Harvesters…yeah. Good call. And Memory Alpha seems to agree that Rayner is a Kellerun.

…Dare we hope for a (presumably holographic) appearance by Old Dr. Bashir? :D
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:18 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]

Self-sealing stem bolts are also a nice nod to DS9. I never expected I’d be hanging my hopes on Discovery for and yet here we find ourselves
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:44 AM on April 5 [2 favorites]

Self-sealing stem bolts are also a nice nod to DS9

Also, drinks that taste like jumja sticks.
posted by hanov3r at 10:31 AM on April 5 [3 favorites]

I wonder if the Red Directive is on par with the Omega Directive from VOY (a threat not only to the Federation but to the whole galaxy).
posted by Roger Pittman at 11:16 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]

You've already covered most of the points that I was going to make in your list, so I'll just say that I was happy to see this crew again, although it was kind of bittersweet, wondering if this was the last time that we might see Tilly, Saru, or Book, since they all seem headed toward careers away from Starfleet.

Also, my main speculation is that the Progenitor tech could be used either against all humanoids, or against all non-humanoids*. Trek has generally steered away from bioweapons (the Harvesters being a prominent exception); biomimetic gel is supposed to be a highly-controlled substance, and the prohibitions against genetic engineering might conceivably be along those lines as well. So far, we don't know anyone who would go either way, but we also don't know that much about Moll and L'ak, except that they're scarily competent (which kind of makes sense; if the Federation has started cracking down on couriers, then they may be good simply because they'd have to be to have survived this long). There may be more to them, or they may simply be in it for as much cash as they can get. (Per my speculations above, the high bidder might conceivably be the Tholians, who are non-humanoid.)

*Although a bioweapon that attacks non-humanoid sentient species would probably not affect all sentient non-humanoids; in addition to the Tholians, you've got a wide variety of non-humanoids, including androids, energy beings, computer programs, purely psionic entities, the Founders, the Horta, &c., &c. Come to think of it, who's left? Whales?
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:22 PM on April 5 [1 favorite]

The fairmettle household's favorite hate-watch is back!
posted by fairmettle at 10:55 PM on April 5 [1 favorite]

Ugh, hate watching. Everyone here is having a good time.
posted by crossoverman at 11:38 PM on April 5

Oh I am fully expecting to do my usual transition from “this season has so much potential” to “you know, there’s so much more to talk about with bad art than good” over the course of the season but I’m still in hopeful mode, since it’s still the start

Even hatewatching is still entertainment, in its own weird way
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:03 AM on April 6 [3 favorites]

Season 4 was my favourite season of Disco, and all the hate watching in the posts for last season was kind of a downer.

Hopefully there can be a balance of people airing their grievances with the show, which doesn't make people who enjoy it feel pushed out of the conversation.
posted by Alex404 at 6:33 AM on April 6 [5 favorites]

I would like to balance out the negative vibes of those hate-watching by saying:


posted by Faintdreams at 3:36 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]

In case anyone else spent a big chunk of the episode wondering why L'ak’s voice was so darn familiar, it’s the same actor that played Space-Cowboy-Ranger-Slash-Single-Dad Sam Coe in Starfield!
posted by FallibleHuman at 8:36 AM on April 7

If you're trying to stop an avalanche and your best solution is to crash your starship into the ground, you have bigger problems than an avalanche.
posted by jabah at 7:04 PM on April 7 [3 favorites]

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