Star Trek: Discovery Catch-All [Spoilers]

Tonights episode was pretty good, almost made me cry.

Anyone still watching this? I don't even know what's going on any more. I usually dig time travel but these last few episodes have been pretty rough for me.

For such a tight start, this season has really been a mess imo.

It was doing so well until we hit the time travel stuff! Anson Mount was killing it as Captain Pike, Like literally one of the best Star Trek captains. The Saruu storyline was really interesting. The guy playing Spock was amazing, and then the last two or three episodes it's just been kind of convoluted and uninteresting and a little rushed.

A lot of this season seemed to be trying to correct course from the first season and bring it a little bit closer to the more traditional series. But then we veered back into the kind of thing that didn't quite work in the first season.

What I'm really missing from this series is the ensemble crew. There are a lot of semi-disposable characters sitting on the bridge, including one character who's been hanging around from the very start (red-headed helm), who we know next to nothing about. I like the character of Michael and like Sonequa-Green as an actor, but the show could really use a break from the relentless focus on her character.

This has been some of best trek ever for me.

I'm still loving it and really curious as to where it's going. Their official twitter account said that this season will address a few "cannon" things, like why Spock's sister was never mentioned in TOS and why the spore drive, for being so amazingly powerful, wasn't part of the future cannon either.

I still dig it, and every week I look forward to Thursday nights when the show is released, but I do feel what some of y'all are saying about the past couple of episodes.

Looking at it right now, the whole "Red Angel" and "seven signals" storylines this season just aren't as compelling as "The Search for Spock" storyline, or Captain Pike in general. It's especially rough when the stakes are set as high as "[something] eradicates all sentient life from the galaxy".

This "Control" AI thing that has popped up in the past few episodes as the primary antagonist doesn't feel well fleshed out. Star Trek's best villians are the ones who have good background (looking at you, Cardassians, Dominion, and earlier series featuring the Borg) where the villain's motivations are perhaps more muddy than a Skynet-esque "save myself by eliminating anything that could eliminate me".

All that said, I'm a believer that a TV show's story/season shouldn't be judged when incomplete. Obviously the showrunners have some kind of arc that needs to be completed, and once that is done and this season is over we can look back and determine the highs and lows of the season.

I just caught and really enjoy it. This is some of the most enjoyable Trek around imo.

After last night's episode, Christopher Pike has cemented himself as one of the great Star Trek captains.

I had a feeling they were going to do something like they did last night for months now, but Anson Mount's performance in that scene blew me away.

Spoiler:

And the creepy ass makeup. And his bone-chilling reaction to it.

Theory time:

Spoiler:

It's been pointed out that Michael is the common factor connecting all the time travel incidents. The standard fan theory is that Michael is the second time traveller, the one responsible for the signals, because they tend to lead Disco to places that are important to her. My theory: it's not Michael - it's Tyler. Several scenes in this episode were devoted to establishing that he still cares deeply about her. My guess is that in the final episode (only two to go) they're going to catch up with her mother, try to rescue her from being lost in time, but somebody has to take her place, and Tyler volunteers so Michael and her mother can both survive.

So I am enjoying this season, but it's really dumb. It just throws a bunch of stuff at you that sounds cool without thinking it through. Pike is indeed awesome though.

Like, what makes it dumb?

karmajay wrote:

Like, what makes it dumb?

Time crystals.

I was in the middle of writing a lengthy post, but it came across to me as nitpicking when I read it back. I deleted it. However, I'm not quite sure how else to answer your question. The entire plot this season just feels extremely convoluted and that the story beats are happening without any regard to logic or consistency as long as they sound cool. I guess I'll just list a few of the things that have bothered me in the past three episodes. Maybe this is all nitpicking, but I can't help that it's bothering me when I watch the show.

They want to jeopardize Michael's life to draw in the Red Angel? However, instead of just painlessly shooting her with a phaser, they put her on a planet that slowly melts her flesh. At least give the poor woman a sedative.

The Red Angel heals Michael with a magic healing laser that was inexplicably built into the suit.

Leland has a periscope on a spaceship with an included eye-stabby device.

They can't delete the data because it's been encrypted!? This makes Die Hard 4 look computer smart.

If Pike takes the Time Crystal it will doom him to his fate. But why? How does taking the crystal or not taking the crystal change anything for him? I suppose if he doesn't take the crystal all sentient life (which includes him) will cease to exist, so that will prevent his accident.

Control desperately wants to eliminate Michael because she's a huge threat, but instead of killing her in 0.8 seconds it spends 10 minutes chatting with her like a good Evil Overlord.

Pike decides to destroy Discovery because they're trapped by Section 31 ships despite having a spore drive -- used this episode to get to Boreth and discussed in a mess hall scene -- that can take them anywhere in the universe instantly.

Control has taken over a Section 31 ship and killed the entire crew, so Spock and Michael decide to just beam over there thinking that it's perfectly safe? I mean, Control has probably gotten bored by now, right? I'm sure there's no danger. The scene would have been better if Spock had cautioned that this is an extremely risky move, but Michael overruled him because she believes it's their only (best?) chance to get answers.

Reno is without a doubt the best character on the show and she's had, what, 5 minutes of screen time total? What's wrong with these writers?

And yes, Time Crystals. I love Doctor Who, but I don't want Who in my Trek. The streams should not cross.

They can't delete the data because it's been encrypted!? This makes Die Hard 4 look computer smart.

I actually think you just missed what was going on here - it's not because it's encrypted, I understood it as having put up safeguards around itself, as though the entire library was also somehow at least somewhat aware of its situation, and protected itself with protocols using an encryption technique with essentially every language it knew from the past 100,000 years.

That said, yeah - sorry, call up Starfleet and have them send a new computer core if it's REALLY that well safeguarded. Instead they're gonna blow up the ship. Mmmkay.

The Red Angel heals Michael with a magic healing laser that was inexplicably built into the suit

The Red Angel suit also had that future EM pulse. I take it since it has been travelling around in time it has picked up some tech that was not in the original suit.

Leland has a periscope on a spaceship with an included eye-stabby device.

My guess this was a upgrade that Control did just like the instrument t hat injected leland with all those nano things.

I agree with NSMIke on the encryption angle.

I have to watch this week's ep for the other stuff.

I could come up with a dozen things from every Star Trek series episode in the same vein. I'm just not sure why it is harped on so much in Discovery I guess. I just enjoy it as sci fi. If everything could easily be resolved there would not really be a story. Not saying every story decision is great either of course.

Djinn, overall I agree. The show throws so many things at you so quickly so you don’t have time to think about how many plot holes there are.

Luring in the red angel with Michael didn’t make sense on any level. They thought the red angel was Michael, so the red angel would have to save herself to avoid a paradox. But then, the red angel would know it wasn’t a real life-threatening situation because she was there. Now it turned out not to be Michael, but they didn’t know that when they conceived their plan.

I still don’t care for the way they changed the Klingons while pretending the show still fits within the original show’s timeline/universe.

I don’t dislike the show, there are just things that get on my nerves.

Didn't they say the Red Angel DNA fit Michael's 100% and then when it turned out to not be her, they said "it's really close" or something like that? Or am I misremembering?
The show should have been based around Pike, Michael is an unlikable character to me with 0 redeeming qualities.

I think you're all making very valid and correct points So I'm giving you all the +1's.

Control desperately wants to eliminate Michael because she's a huge threat, but instead of killing her in 0.8 seconds it spends 10 minutes chatting with her like a good Evil Overlord.

Control did not want to eliminate her - it said she was the best path to getting the data on Disco. That's why it was gonna co-op her.

Pike decides to destroy Discovery because they're trapped by Section 31 ships despite having a spore drive -- used this episode to get to Boreth and discussed in a mess hall scene -- that can take them anywhere in the universe instantly.

The section 31 ships will search for them forever. Maybe they spore jump 1 time, 100 times, 1000 times but they will have to run forever. Destroying the ship at the end of this ep seems like the only way to not allow the bad future to happen now that Control has escalated to direct control of Section 31 and its resources.

Time crystals were introduced in season 1 so...? Also is there much difference between a time crystal and slingshotting around the sun or the 100 other time travel type stuff in other Star Trek series?

Didn't they say the Red Angel DNA fit Michael's 100% and then when it turned out to not be her, they said "it's really close" or something like that?

They did say 100% but they were also under the impression that she was the only person alive from her family as well. Plus..well the season isn't exactly over yet is it?

I'll agree the show moves quicker than other ST shows but that is more likely due to having a like half the number of shows a season. For me this is better because there are a lot less "filler" episodes.

The section 31 ships will search for them forever. Maybe they spore jump 1 time, 100 times, 1000 times but they will have to run forever. Destroying the ship at the end of this ep seems like the only way to not allow the bad future to happen now that Control has escalated to direct control of Section 31 and its resources.

Like, yes, but... anywhere in the universe. They could go somewhere that would take warp drive 20 years to get there. Or 100 years. Or another galaxy, until they figure out something that they CAN do.

Wild wild speculation: Control will actually evolve to be the Borg. They end up in the delta quadrant due to the spore drive. Leland with nanites under his skin certainly looked a lot like a Borg.

I'm enjoying the hell out of the show, but I still don't know what the hell it's actually supposed to be about. About half the bridge crew are total enigmas, to the point where when they started showing more details about one bridge officer's life, my wife nodded and said, "Oh, she's gonna die." It's pretty, the acting is pretty outstanding, and it's fun, but it still feels nothing like Star Trek. Stylistically, it seems to be taking all of its cues from the reboot films. It doesn't seem to have any interest in exploring the philosophical style of TNG, the serialized personal drama of DS9, or the family aspect of Voyager (which I disliked, but knew the crew better after three episodes than I know Discovery's now).

I'm not saying it's bad, it's just different. And I don't understand what, beyond the names and the tech, makes it a Star Trek series.

I'm the complete opposite: this season gets worse for me with each episode.

I don't think a big reveal in the last episode can save it either. Worse, if it's the borg. Too many story beats make absolutely no sense. Even though it's sci-fi, there still have to be rules.

In the last episode alone, the Klingons have had time crystals all along but have never used them because they're too dangerous, Klingon baby is now adult because time crystals, if Pike touches the time crystal his future is set because time crystals, Michael beams over to an evil ship because there's now atmosphere, and Discovery suddenly can't use the spore drive to escape even though they just used it to get the Klingon planet?

At least we'll finally get to see...

Spoiler:

The Enterprise in action

... next week.

I'm personally fine with techno babble, time crystals and made up solutions to made up problems. That's Trek through and through. What's actually stuck out to me is how poorly they've sold the emotional moments and how much they screw up the "show, don't tell" rule. In the latest episode Pike saw the future and did the thing anyway, but not before he gave himself the most stilted, unnecessary pep talk ever. Grabbing the time crystal tells us who he is, he doesn't need to explain it out loud for the audience.

The episode with the crew member who was given some background and then died was a bigger, more obvious example. This show loves lingering on "meaningful" death scenes and conversations (like with Saru when they thought he was about to die) without earning the buy-in. Or pulling the rug out from under you immediately after with a gotcha.

PS: your security officer needing a thing on her face to BREATHE is kind of a weakness guys. Like hoop earings in a mosh pit.

Anyway, Karla and I still like the show but wish they could do melodrama better if they want to keep leaning on it.

liquid wrote:

Didn't they say the Red Angel DNA fit Michael's 100% and then when it turned out to not be her, they said "it's really close" or something like that? Or am I misremembering?
The show should have been based around Pike, Michael is an unlikable character to me with 0 redeeming qualities.

The response was that the mitochondrial DNA was a match, which is passed from mother to child. But then, that seems like a glaring oversight.

jbavon wrote:

Wild wild speculation: Control will actually evolve to be the Borg. They end up in the delta quadrant due to the spore drive. Leland with nanites under his skin certainly looked a lot like a Borg.

You're not the only one to make that connection.

karmajay wrote:

Time crystals were introduced in season 1 so...? Also is there much difference between a time crystal and slingshotting around the sun or the 100 other time travel type stuff in other Star Trek series?

In previous series, time travel was used sparingly and for good reason. The obvious exception was Enterprise, and look how that turned out.

I wouldn't say they used time travel sparingly in the other series. Compared to enterprise time war sure but did time travel a lot in the other series. The best episodes were the time travel episodes on DS9. Voyager had the evil time guy, Kes went back in time, they had a battle with the aliens using time missiles, the borg stuff, the back to earth but wrong time episode, seven of nine gets recruited to the time police, man it is like all they did were time episodes. TNG probably have double the time episodes of voyager. TOS would go back in time every tuesday. They called it time travel Tuesday.

I mean, I'm a hardcore Trek nerd, but "time crystals" are fine with me -- would people feel different if they were something more technobabble like "chroniton minerals"?

Security officer needing a breathing apparatus isn't anything new to Trek either; see the Benzite officer in TNG:
IMAGE(https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/aliens/images/1/13/Benzite.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/1000?cb=20171221125713)

Overall I still feel like this season is much better than the first. It's far from perfect Trek (and I've seen them all, perfect Trek doesn't exist) but I'm thoroughly enjoying the hell out of it.

Wasn't that Benzite a cadet?

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Wasn't that Benzite a cadet?

There was more than one. Wesley even mistakes one for the one he trained with.