Star Trek: Discovery: Mirrors
April 25, 2024 1:31 PM - Season 5, Episode 5 - Subscribe

An unusual wormhole leads to the next puzzle piece, stored on a relic of another place and another time.

Eventually, this Memory Alpha page will be full.

Memorable quotes:

"Purring like Grudge when she’s killed something."

"I don’t need to know how the cake is boiled, Commander." - Rayner reminding Stamets that he doesn't need ALL the details

"Kellerun boil their cakes?" - Adira, reacting with horror

"Action Saru, in any universe" - Book, admiring the former slave who helped lead a rebellion

Personal log:

We finally get Moll/L'ak backstory and confirmation of the fan theory that L'ak is Breen.

Good thing Moll and L'ak didn't know about the Tantalus field in the Captain's quarters.

The 'reforms' that resulted in the death of the Terran High Chancellor were probably instigated by the MU Spock, following the events of "Mirror, Mirror". I wonder if that's documented in the ISS Enterprise's memory banks and if Michael will be able to learn the fate of her brother's doppelgänger.

We only have five more episodes to resolve Culber's crisis of faith.
posted by hanov3r (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
This was the first dud of the season for me. You can't just go to the mirror universe and not do something bold with it. This show has parts of that universe baked into its DNA - seems wild that they would go there now, find an 800-year-old ship and not have some fun. I guess the time difference means they wouldn't be running into evil SNW characters, but this seemed like a waste.

The backstory for Mol and Lak was only mildly interesting - and for a show that has been criticised for stopping the action to have a heart-to-heart in the middle of an action scene, this episode just stopped the dramatic action for its weak flashbacks. I'm not more on their side now or more emotionally invested in their story.

And the Tilly/Culber thread/bookend only served to drag out Culber's crisis, even though - as he said this week (finally!) - he's been dead before! Why would having another consciousness in your body really be all that strange by comparison? (This show likes to use SF tropes to talk about feelings, without reckoning so much with those tropes. Having been dead before should probably affect the character more than it has - though, obviously that was numerous seasons/showrunners ago.)

And now we're halfway through the last season, which they say they didn't know was their last, but it sort of feels like they did after last week's trip through time/the show's history and this week's mirror universe revisit.
posted by crossoverman at 4:39 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


So uh, wait. The ISS Enterprise crew escaped through the wormhole into the normal universe, did I catch that right? Wasn't half the problem with MU Georgiou something about how she was in the "wrong" universe and blah blah blah treknobabble, couldn't stay here? Or am I misremembering that?
posted by Kyol at 6:59 PM on April 25


I know it's a long-standing convention in Trek for the TV/movie audience, but the ship's computer can identify people by their voices, so it's always distracting when somebody basically does a ChatGPT prompt, "OK, computer, let's do a diary entry. Ah bupbupbupbupbup, on't put it in someone else's diary — make sure you put it in my diary. My name is X and today's date is Y." Since the ship's computer got that personality upgrade a while ago, I think it would be great if it got salty and said, "Yes I'm well aware you're the captain. (beat) Captain."
posted by emelenjr at 8:44 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]


The ISS Enterprise didn’t travel both across universes and in time. It’s been sitting in the same place for 800 years.
posted by hanov3r at 9:16 PM on April 25


I enjoyed this one! Re: not doing anything interesting with the MU, crossoverman (eponysterical), I agree, but I also somehow doubt this is the last we've seen of the ISS Enterprise. I was definitely hoping for a Bearded Ethan Peck cameo, even if only a still photo reused from SNW: "The One with the Fantasy Characters."

It was super-cool (lol) to finally get some indisputable lore about the Breen, though they could have trimmed those scenes slightly. Strange to think Kira took a helmet off a dead Breen pre-Dominion War and didn't immediately report the weird gel blob she found inside—perhaps Kira's Breen simply discorporated or something once removed from his suit, and 32nd-century Breen have tech that prevents this.

And I was very glad they didn't stretch out Rayner's whole "THIS GUY SUUUUCKS" thing, as the Paramount+ blurb implied they would.

Agreed about Culber's little talk, though—they crossed the line from "character awkwardly struggling to communicate something a little bit beyond him" into "character using awkward dialogue."

I'm noticing a big theme of broken families in this season. If this was intended, then we may get a finale somewhat along the lines of: Ni'Var suffers serious ecological damage due to Progenitor tech, resulting in a diplomatic crisis when a newly-emboldened Vulcan isolationist faction pushes for withdrawal from the Federation. After Burnham saves the galaxy from the Progenitor tech by punching ~whomever, the denouement sees T'Rina and Saru going to Ni'Var indefinitely to help keep them in the UFP, Burnham volunteering Disco for a "showing the flag" assignment at Ni'Var (in part so she can spend more time with her mom), and Book winding up there (maybe with a field commission) because his levels of Space Druid can help with the biological reconstruction. Then they all end up hanging out together. That'd be a nice ending.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:20 AM on April 26


I thought this one was OK, but not as good as last week's. The stuff on the ISS Enterprise was pretty good, and Moll and L'ak's backstory was fine, but a bit sparse and by-the-numbers. It was a bit weird that we saw the "before" and "after" of the establishment of their close and deeply meaningful relationship, and just glossed over whatever critical moment of connection actually started it, which I would have thought would be the most interesting part to depict onscreen. It feels like somewhat thin porridge as a result. Once again we are told that they are deeply in love and would do anything for each other, but we see very little that gives this any emotional impact.

I was initially disappointed by the revelation that the Breen are pretty normal-looking humanoids under there, but I was intrigued by the melty face thing and hope this gets expanded on further. It's a bit unfortunate that the weird voice modulation was such an impediment to the actors' ability to be understood.

Culber's Serious Talk fell flat for me as well; this was definitely more from the awkward dialogue department. It felt as if someone had pencilled in "Culber has some complicated feelings" and called it a day. Without rewatching the scene I honestly couldn't summarise how Culber is actually feeling and why he was feeling unhappy enough to be unsubtly telegraphing his unhappiness to a colleague.
posted by confluency at 8:19 AM on April 26


This is shaping up to be the worst season of Trek since ENT S2. Just completely bland, cliched storytelling that feels exhausted.
posted by rhymedirective at 1:13 PM on April 26


You take that back! Discovery's theme song is far less grating!

(I mean, it's also far less memorable, which is maybe another problem entirely...)
posted by Kyol at 1:30 PM on April 26


There's some sort of shared melody or progression in Discovery's theme that reminds me of Hoist the Colors from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End each week
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:55 PM on April 26


This is shaping up to be the worst season of Trek since ENT S2. Just completely bland, cliched storytelling that feels exhausted.

That can't be right. You must mean PIC S2, which nobody likes, not even the people that made it.
posted by crossoverman at 11:27 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


That can't be right. You must mean PIC S2, which nobody likes, not even the people that made it.

PIC S2 was bad, but at least it was entertainingly bad. This season is just tedious. Weren’t there 3 fistfights in this episode?

I said this at the time of the PIC S2 finale.
posted by rhymedirective at 6:54 AM on April 27


they could have trimmed those scenes slightly. Strange to think Kira took a helmet off a dead Breen pre-Dominion War and didn't immediately report the weird gel blob she found inside

The writers later admitted after DS9 they hadn’t thought it through that Kira world’ve seen a Breen face and we are supposed to kinda forget about that. There was so much happening as the finale approached that they just missed the ramifications. Nobody on staff caught it until it was airing on TV.
posted by Servo5678 at 1:27 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


I said this at the time of the PIC S2 finale.

At least we can agree that PIC S1 was great! I really don't think PIC S2 is entertaining at all - it's mostly pretty incompetent. Some of the story choices are dramatically inert, it betrays characters and whole episodes will go past that don't move the main plot. In the streaming era of 10 episodes a season, that's pretty unforgivable.

I hate, hate, hated PIC S3 but it was more entertaining. But, for me, I'm enjoying DISCO S5 because the progression of the plot is parceled out between episodes really well and the tone is much more fun. It's using Trek lore in interesting ways, without re-writing history. It's not so bogged down by canon, which is where PIC S3 lost me.
posted by crossoverman at 9:01 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


I suspect they'll use the progenitor tech to bring back Book's planet, and then not mention it ever again.
posted by Marticus at 5:14 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Aw I liked this episode. Good fun for me.

A little disturbed by how much Star Trek lore they mined. Like folks have said above, weird to bring in a Mirror Universe thing and then do so little with it. I like the idea the ISS Enterprise will have another showing before the season's over. Let's hope.

I've always loved the Breen helmet conceit, the inhumanity of those masks. Weird to finally see inside them. And then see.. a silicone actor mask? I guess the melty face thing could be interesting but they haven't really explained what's going on with that.

Was expecting Moll and L'ak to be Bonny and Clyde. But I guess they're really more Romeo & Juliet?

I loved Stamets comment to Commander Asshole about "you are not alone", and that falling flat and Stamets stammering "it sounded better than when you said it". I continue to think the writers this season have read all my Fanfare complaints last season about Feelings Trek and all the writing belaboring snowflake fragility during major existential crises. So now they're self-aware of how silly that can be. But still leaning heavily on the kumbaya themes of everyone getting along and understanding each other's whole selves. At least Commander Asshole seems fully rehabilitated, we're one poker game scene from him being buddies with everyone.
posted by Nelson at 9:28 PM on April 29


I suspect they'll use the progenitor tech to bring back Book's planet, and then not mention it ever again.

I considered the same possibility, and I won't be mad if that happens. Much less silly than using it on a single person (please, no Space Jesus Michael), and they've brought back single people from the dead loads of times before.
posted by confluency at 12:10 AM on April 30


I liked the part where they looked directly into the camera and said, "The theme of this week's episode is: father figures"
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:05 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


Goofs aside, a lot of the episode felt weird, like it wasn't fully coalescing into a whole. The Breen stuff was mostly okayish, leaving aside the way that the flashbacks killed any narrative momentum (though I did enjoy the cross-cuts on Pris's face), though the contrivance with "you should speak to me in her language" felt soooo clunky in the way that sort of thing always does.

I did kind of wonder if they would acknowledge the throwaway line from DS9 from Weyoun about the Breen keeping their suits very cold inside, and, well, I guess it's unclear? Maybe something about temperature keeps them in goop form and then they callus over in temperate environments? Who knows

I appreciate the way that they're gradually going "he's not being rude, he's just Dutch" with Rayner. He seems like a good foil to the crew overall, in a way that makes me wish he were going to be around for longer than just this one final season.

Doubling down on the "someone obviously dies and gets resurrected" bet, and I will raise with "Book dies and is resurrected along with his whole home planet."
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:43 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


The theme of this week was choices, which they said approximately five thousand times.
posted by crossoverman at 5:43 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


DoctorFedora: I liked the part where they looked directly into the camera and said, "The theme of this week's episode is: father figures"

It paired nicely with Culber talking about how he died and came back, now living a so-called life.
posted by dr_dank at 3:24 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


hoping they bring back that guy who sounds like emo philips who says what the theme of this week's graybles were at the end of each episode
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:14 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]


wait does this mean Gooigi is canonically Breen
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:50 AM on May 3


You can't just go to the mirror universe and not do something bold with it.

Hey, they can't all be alternate-versions-of-prime-universe-characters episodes. Even DS9, which did the most with the mirror universe before DIS, had an episode which featured Mirror-Bareil, of all the characters that they could have picked. (We could have had a Mirror-Winn who was an atheist freedom fighter dual-wielding phasers and smoking a cigar, or a humble Mirror-Dukat, or a Mirror-Morn with actual dialogue, or...) They could have shown a picture of Ethan Peck with a goatee or something, but given that we get more information about the Breen in this ep than we did in DS9 where they were major antagonists in the last season, I'm OK with the ISS-E getting sent to the space museum and the idea of the Fed historians going nuts over the ship logs.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:22 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]


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