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Filip
Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 1:05am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Gee

It's my pleasure and thank you for reading. I always found this site to be pure gold with many valuable insights and civilised discussions, something you don't come accross so often these days so I am happy to participate. If it wasn't for this safe haven it is quite possible that I would've quit Discovery mid season.
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Filip
Wed, Feb 14, 2018, 10:01am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

This episode perfectly embodies and reflects everything wrong with this show – and then takes it to a whole new level. Since I have discussed all of the show’s issues in length in previous threads, I am not going to repeat the same points here, but will instead offer a brief overview of the season as a whole. I also want to put this out because Jammer and a lot of other commenters seem to be much more forgiving than I am.

Despite all of the issues that arose even before the premiere, such as the appearance of Klingons and advanced visuals, I really wanted to like this show and for it to be good. I didn’t mind the holographic communication, the holodeck-like shooting exercises and all other elements deemed too “advanced” for a pre-TOS era series, because come on, it’s 2017/2018 and one cannot really expect a show to purposefully limit itself to 50 years old outdated tech.

But when it came to the most important element, it failed miserably. I am, of course, talking about writing. I kept waiting for it to improve. Actually, I desperately wanted for it to improve so much that I was putting myself out there only to be disappointed again and again. And even though it had some rare moments that showed promise, overall, now that we’ve reached the end of the season, I can confidently say that it is very, very bad. The narrative quality of the show is almost non-existent and instead the writers relied on ludicrous twists and actions that sprang only out of the writers’ desire to attack the viewers’ senses in a profoundly vulgar way. I have said many times that inexplicable actions by some of the characters on this show were so obviously subjugated to the advancement of the plot, but now I can look at the wider picture and say that this advancement of the plot was subjugated precisely to that desire to shock and overwhelm the audience. Once I reached this conclusion, it became utterly pointless to call attention to all of the plot holes, nonsensical turns of events and contrived narratives.

Instead of it being interesting tech to be explored, the spore drive became the writers’ hand able to rearrange the in-universe pieces literally however they wanted it to. Except it wasn’t a hand, it was a clenched fist eager to punch you in your face.

Instead of it being an interesting backdrop to examining the qualities of our characters due to its chaotic qualities, the mirror universe became the foundation of a great deal of drama of the show that just straight out ripped those qualities out and shamelessly incorporated them into the main storyline.

In light of all this, the final speech about the nature of Starfleet was so unnaturally, so artificially, so forcibly glued on top of everything that it absolutely baffles me how anyone could buy it.

I am probably going to be back for season 2 to see if the writers’ considered any of the (valid) criticism aimed against the show, but seeing how they pride themselves in a job well done on After Trek and the entire self-congratulatory parade at the end of “Will You Take My Hand?”, my hopes are at an all-time low.
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Filip
Fri, Feb 9, 2018, 9:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Mertov

When you compare real life occurrences with a fictive concept such as a mind-meld the discussion takes a dangerously wrong turn. I say dangerous because discussing this subject in this light is threading on very thin ice so I will keep this short. Since there is actual trauma attached behind real life occurrences, it is immaterial to discuss the two in that context as there is no one who suffered from a forced mind-meld in reality. What I was referring to was an idea, a *concept* of penetrating one's mind as opposed to penetrating (in this case literally) one's body. When you look at it in this light, I do not see how you would think that pointing at the severity of one would trivialize the other. Never did I think my comment would provoke this reaction, and it saddens me that I explicitly have to say that in no way do I take those issues lightly. If it is the question of semantics that bothers you, then consider my original argument to be about Sarek *violating* Saru, under the threat of a gun, no less. I am not going to comment on this subject any further because of the danger of my words being wildly misconstrued.
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Filip
Fri, Feb 9, 2018, 7:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Easily the best episode so far, however still abundant in problems and stupid plot decisions.

I say the best so far because for the first time since the premiere at moments it actually felt like I was watching Star Trek. Interestingly enough, that came about at the same time Lorca got out of the picture. It had some decent character work and dialogue and it took its time to tell its story, unlike the episodes that came before it that were just a relentless series of plot building madness. I see a lot of comments criticizing the Tyler/Burnham scene for its dullness, however I thought it was a much needed change of pace. Yes, it could’ve been done better, but, in isolation, it’s not half as bad as people make it out be. The scene with Tyler walking into the mess hall and everyone joining him at the table I just loved. It felt very Trek-like with colleagues helping out their own in time of great pain and is a stark contrast between the ridiculousness that was the scene with Burnham dining in that same room for the first time. I also found the dialogue between the admiral and L’Rell excellent and for the first time I felt Klingons to actually be Klingons. “How does the war end? –It doesn’t.” Good stuff.

On a side note, it is nice to see some familiar faces. Andorians look great, but I’m not sure how I feel about those distorted voices.

However, and this is still a pretty big however, almost every good element is yet again directly linked to a nonsensical decision or is too obviously subjugated to the advancement of the plot. Take for example the Tyler/Burnham scene. I said that it was good in isolation because when you look at it from a wider context which is their entire relationship, it doesn’t carry as much weight as it should given how their entire relationship did not happen organically but was rather necessary to happen for this entire conundrum to exist. The forced manner in which the writers put them together makes this necessity blatantly obvious. To go on with the problems, while I found the mess hall scene superb, it is also made possible by an unexplainably foolish decision to let Tyler wander around the ship freely. While it is possible that he now really is Tyler, and all traces of Voq have been removed, we, or anyone onboard cannot be sure of that since the entire procedure is not well understood and one cannot be sure that Voq is truly gone. When you take into consideration the covert nature of their mission, it is without a doubt an utterly brainless idea to let a former Klingon sleeper agent roam around the ship.

I was surprised as well to see a comment about Sarek’s invasive mind meld so far down since the moment he forced himself on Saru I felt it wasn’t right. I see people trying to justify it, but it just cannot be justified and I would even call it worse than rape. One’s mind and thoughts are about the most intimate thing one has and the idea of someone freely examining it without explicit permission is just terrifying.

As this comment is getting pretty long, I am just going to say that I do not appreciate, not even in the slightest, everything spore and mirror universe related. Making MU Georgiou taking the identity of PU Georgiou has been thoroughly discussed in the previous comments so I am not going to. I will just say that it is a horrible horrible idea.

Let me just put this out – if humans are so vastly different from Terrans, what makes everyone think that PU and MU Klingons share the same qualities to the extent that the knowledge of MU Klingons would be so valuable as to help turn around a war that has gone so bad for the Federation?

Also, have you ever heard of the saying “divide and conquer”? So, how is an enemy divided into 24 different factions a bigger threat and a more destructive force than a single, united and coordinated empire?

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Filip
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Chrome
“Burnham's having trouble shaking the fact that MU Georgiou isn't her Georgiou. This was established in "Vaulting Ambition". I'm not sure how I'm "picking some and ignoring other parts of the serialistic(is this a word?) approach", I'm just bringing up scenes relevant to the discussion.”

That much is obvious since the writers made sure the exposition pretty much literally delivered it and later didn’t bother to develop the idea not nearly enough to justify what has been done. I am continually returning to my original point since it seems you don’t see what I am getting at with this. If you think this is good story telling, I don’t. It is too obvious in its service to creating new plot ideas, rather than coming out of genuine characterization. You are doing it by not bringing up all of the scenes relevant to the discussion, but rather those that advance your point of view. In a *serialized* (really?) approach you cannot pick certain elements and discard the others, in this example all those clearly establishing MU Georgiou as a completely different persona. When you take them all into account, and with the absence of significant plot development and characterization apart from all the exposition we’ve been getting, Michael’s choice comes across as profoundly juvenile.
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Filip
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 11:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Chrome

And its serialization blatalntly put forward the ruthlessness and atrocities commited by the empire and the empress herself just an episode prior to this. You can't take certain elements of its serialistic approach and ignore the others to explain the decisions characters make on the show. There is obviously an issue of Michael betraying her captain, but this person she saved is NOT the captain. Apart from physcial appearance, they have nothing in common. The fact that the entire setting of the mirror universe was used to explore the aforementioned issue is a blunder in itself, leading to problems in rationalizing what was presented this Monday (or Sunday for American viewers).

As for Starfleet not leaving anyone behind, why didn't she save Lorca then? It was obvious Georgiou was about to kill him. Or better yet, why didn't they take that crewman back in “Mirror, Mirror“ who flat out begged them to take her to the PU? Burnham's sentiment didn't come out of nowhere, but like I already said, everything that came before it just doesn't take off nearly enough to justify what happened.
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Filip
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 7:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Chrome (and others)

When you base that whole motivation on a 40 minute episode that also had other elements to deal with it, it just doesn't take off. Yes, you can rationalize it after watching it, but the show doesn't do it for you. At least not for me. Especially when you take into consideration that out of those 40 minutes a great deal was spent on just running around the ship and shooting things up. "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum" suffers from the same issue in offering background to Saru's sudden shift in behaviour in exactly the same way - the built up presented before the culmination just doesn't do enough to believably make it work.
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Filip
Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Chrome

Yes, but her feelings for MU Gergiou are completely misplaced, and someone presented to us as highly logical for a human should know better than this, which is another example of little characterization we got gone out the window for plot's convenience.

Also, MU Georgiou's willingness to give her life to help Burnham escape is trampling on all pre-DS9 characterization of MU humans established so far, especially by Discovery.

All of it is just too much of a mess to keep my disbelief where it should be.
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Filip
Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 5:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@John Harmon

"So I have a question. Are we supposed to relate to Burnham wanting to save mirror Georgiou? Was this meant to be seen as a heroic move for her?

[...] Remember when she made Burnham choose which sentient being they would eat for dinner? Why the hell would Burnham care about saving her?"

Thanks for wonderfully making this point so I don't have to. If I can just add that an episode or two ago she killed a dozen people in cold blood. What logical motivation Michael has in saving her is absolutely beyond me. She is not the captain of the USS Shenzhou. She is an emperor of a ruthless and fascist organization that reflects those same qualities.
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Filip
Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

This is what I wrote in my review of 'Despite Yourself':

“As for Lorca originally being from the MU, quite possible. And quite lame. The showrunners prided themselves in Discovery not being your "traditional" Trek, and having a grittier and morally dubious tone, and by making the driving force behind that different take originate from the MU would erase all that effort and make the whole development utterly pointless.“

Not only did that happen, but the writers made sure to end it in the most colossally insignificant way possible just to get a few gratuitous action scenes. When the entire plot development hinges on one character defeating a room full of armed soldiers, something seen countless times in B-grade action movies, you can't really feel any suspense or appreciation for the events on screen when it becomes obvious the writers are willing to go down that road to get to the finale they had in mind. Not only that, but they do it in the finale AGAIN.
Basically, the driving force behind the “new approach“ that was hinting at exploring the issues of a damaged man on the front lines was turned into a comic-book villain who wanted to rule the world, with the finale being sending that man into a giant reactor that was about to, wait for it, DESTROY THE WORLD. Literally. Now if you didn't know which series I was talking about, would it cross your mind in a million years I was talking about a plot of something actually branded Star Trek? Not only is this not good Trek, it is not good sci-fi. It is trivial to a point where it borders parody. When talking about gritty and action packed shows, The Expanse is infinitely better than what we've been offered by this show, and they got it right right out of the gate. I see where they were going with Saru's speech at the end, but in the light of everything that came before it immediately fell flat. Saru is one of the rare things I appreciate about this show, but no level of line delivery could've pulled that scene out of the muck the entire episode was.

The pacing was, to say the least, weird again. Things just kept piling up on top of each other already within the first ten minutes of the show as if it had been made for someone with ADHD. What is the point in introducing new ideas and plot elements if you are not willing to develop them further into a sensible narrative?
The scene where Michael meets Georgiou alone in her room would've been so much better if they had just put both pins, MU Michael's and PU Georgiou’s, on the table right next to each other and sat in silence. The subtlety of that would be so much more powerful than all of the exposition this show has been waving around so much that now I realize writers have no idea how to do their jobs. It is a pity because “Wolf Inside“ showed some potential, but now I see the show reverted back to what it was from the start.
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Filip
Tue, Jan 23, 2018, 5:18am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Wolf Inside

@Plain Simple
"My initial concern was about the almost instinctive willingness that some people seem to have to jump to the "they are related" suggestion. I don't know individual people's reasons for doing so, but seeing this in a larger context makes me suspect it has something to do with the apparent interchangeability of Asian cultures in western eyes."



Sorry for the late reply, the explosion of comments this site has seen since the debut of Discovery makes it really hard to keep track of everything. Plain Simple, I understood everything you wanted to say, I just wanted to point out that if writers ever decided to make them related, the actors' backgrounds should by no means stand in the way of that. My comment was more of a critique of confounding real life elements with fictive ones. At no point did I say that they HAVE to do it. They don't. But to address your concern, I don't think people wanted to tie them together just because of some western whim seeing how they are both Asian. I think people want to tie them together because by doing that, they would tie this show to another Trek series, which is what would make this really odd series, to say the least, "more Trek." (The irony being that the other series they would want to tie it with is a black sheep of its own kind.)

@Chrome
"Except that just making them Asian in appearance shouldn't be enough to make them related. There's rougly 4.4 billion Asians living on Earth, and even assuming only 1/100th of those survive WWIII in the Trekverse, it's still a pretty ridiculous conclusion to reach "


Yes, I completely agree, and again, my point wasn't at all in support of that conclusion. It was in support of the fact that that conclusion is not an absolute impossibility. But take this -I would presume that there are even more Vulcans than Asians in the Trek universe, and again it happens that our protagonist is the daughter of none other than the Vulcan we've already seen in two other Trek series. How likely is that? Of course, I don't expect an answer to this question because we all know why that is. I am just saying that on the writers' table (especially the one where Discovery is being written), maths and real-life probabilites don't count for much.

I ended up in this discussion despite the whole deal with making the two related doesn't interest me one bit when compared to all the issues that plague this series because they being related was not even the point of my first comment on this subject.

Now, onto the next episode.
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Filip
Thu, Jan 18, 2018, 10:37am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Wolf Inside

To all the people saying that the idea of making Georgiou and Hoshi related is ridiculous because they are of different nationalities, you've missed the point completely by identifying characters with their respective actors. If the writers decide to make them related, within the show it would work just fine as they are both Asian in appearance. The point about comparing the two culturally would be like comparing a Russian and a Spaniard is completely true when talking about actors, but just like a Russian actor could play a character that is related to the one played by a Spanish actor, both Yeoh's and Park's characters would work in the same manner. But, even though I am one of those who appreciated Enterprise, I couldn't care less if they go for it or not. I just wanted to point out how pointless that whole discussion is.

@Jason R.:
"A Mirror Darkly was great fun and Hoshi being empress at the end was a great gag ending but that's all it was: a joke. It was basically a Simpsons Halloween episode. To connect Georgiou to Hoshi is the height of absurdity - not what grimdark Discovery was going for."
See, this is what I think about ALL mirror universe episodes. They are all great fun, but are absurd to the point of being caricatures. Which is OK, because by next week, we would be back to PU and the show could go on. What DIS is doing is basing its main plot on a Simpsons Halloween episode. Which could very easily blow up into everyone's face. We'll see.

As for the spore-drive, I find the concept ridiculous as it is being used to explain away almost anything by being so vague in nature. It can be twisted in whatever way the writers want to in order for it to seemingly give logic to basically anything the plot requires. However, I don't think anyone would dissect the idea as much as people do if the rest of the show worked most of the time, which it doesn't. And once you don't have a coherent characterization and a convincing plot to drive the show, a highly fictitious element becomes a glaring flaw everybody can't wait to jump on. Especially since the way that glaring flaw is used, like I mentioned earlier, only exarcebates the problem. That is why sub-space in TOS or TNG worked. Because the shows themselves worked and no one cared that much that "sub-space" doesn't exist in reality. The stories were compeling, and the entire concept wasn't shoved down our throats all the time like the spore-drive is in DIS.

Jason R.
Tue, Jan 16, 2018, 8:50pm (UTC -6)
A Mirror Darkly was great fun and Hoshi being empress at the end was a great gag ending but that's all it was: a joke. It was basically a Simpsons Halloween episode. To connect Georgiou to Hoshi is the height of absurdity - not what grimdark Discovery was going for.
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Filip
Mon, Jan 15, 2018, 4:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Wolf Inside

I didn't think I would ever write this after all the horrid episodes from the first half of S1, but... I actually kinda liked this one. Still not very hopeful about the future of the show thought. Let me explain.

First, the good stuff. (Wow, this is the first as well I think)

I thought Michael's soliloquy at the beginning pretty decent and a good use of the MU setting to explore the issues of identity and choices we make. I really do hope they develop it further because it is a fair nod to the ethos of the previous shows that this one desperately needs. I am also glad that the entire deal with Voq is finally out in the open and can now be further developed. I remember saying that if it turned out Tyler was actually Voq I would quit watching the show, but I have to admit here that it wasn't half bad in the execution by being a play on, again, question of identity. It wasn't the best either as there was an opportunity to dwell more on the subject, but seeing how I was actually pleased with the revelation it was too late in the show for that anyway. The characterization of MU Voq wasn't bad either, and he seemed more of a character that his real counterpart ever was. Like @Karl Zimmerman said in a comment above me, he wasn't an over the top twisted version only the MU could provide, but rather a similar version to the "original" albeit with significantly different realizations of the ideas they both share. The final resolution with Tyler/Voq and Saru's take on it was a great wrap up to Michael's opening soliloquy that rounded the episode in a satisfying manner on that front.

The problems.
Given that the MU here is used as an actually plot element in terms of developing characters and overall plot of the show is risky business given that all previous appearances of the MU were containted to single to two-parter episodes and the characters venturing into it from the original universe were already very well established personas. MU's over the top character worked in previous incarnations because by the following week's episode it would remain exactly that and wouldn't spill all over the show which is what could happen right here which is courting disaster, both for the character development and the show in general (which, despite all the positives stated in this review, I still regard as disastrous). Even though the problem of the show's time frame is not as painfully obvious as it was in some of its previous episodes (all of them), it still shows, namely in the scenes with the rebels that felt rushed. I get what Michael was trying do to (or to put it this way, what the writers were trying to do through Michael), but all her questions were piling on top of eacher other in a very rushed and inorganic manner. Fortunately, it didn't botch the scene completely, but what it did was show us a great missed opportunity. The same goes for the revelation of Tyler's underlying persona. Since the writers managed to maneuver an idiotic situation into a compelling narrative, it is a shame to see it resolved in such a hurried manner.

That being said, I am eager to see the next week's episode, but the burning question remains - in which direction is the show going to continue once we return to the prime universe? Because, by what we've seen so far of it, the MU seems like a much better place to be.

P.S. Enough with the spores already. sheesh.
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Filip
Tue, Jan 9, 2018, 6:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

John Harmon:
"Why in the hell would a doctor go up to a patient they suspect has been drastically transformed by an enemy to tell them this news without erected a force field or bringing security?!?

Why does the drama of this show hinge on the characters being massive idiots???"

THIS!!

I can't believe I had to scroll throught the comments for so long before finding a comment about the idiocy of that scene. Given everything Culbert found out with that advanced scan (god knows why they didn't use it, like, the moment Tyler came on boad) and the suspicions he had about Tyler's persona, it wouldn't take a master mind to put all the pieces together. Even without putting the pieces together, why, but why would Culbert want to go to a person with an obiously utterly twisted psyche and dicuss it with him instead of the captain or LITERALLY anyone else but Tyler?! But once again, logic and common sense are twisted and subjugated to the plot's convenience. A hallmark of Discovery.

As for Lorca originally being from the MU, quite possible. And quite lame. The showrunners prided themselves in Discovery not being your "traditional" Trek, and having a grittier and morally dubious tone, and by making the driving force behind that different take originate from the MU would erase all that effort and make the whole development utterly pointless. Not that I cared for it in the first place, but if they decided to stick with it, then they should either stick to it or develop it in a consequential way. Making Lorca from the MU would just be a magic wand washing all the nonsense away by negating everything that drove the show up to this point. However, I will discuss it further if and when it comes to that. RIght now it's just speculation. It might be a red herring, but seing how Tyler/Voq turned out to be, it might be exactly where the show is heading. Time will tell.

I will say this though, if nothing else, the pacing of the scenes is incomparably better than in the first half of the season.
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Filip
Tue, Nov 7, 2017, 5:21am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

@John Harmon

"Why was this deleted??? You're outside the restraints of network programming and you cut the episode to be even shorter than it would be on network TV? Why? Let it be as long as it needs to be."

Because CBS is all about making money, and when the show's through with its run on All Access and Netflix, they plan on selling it to network TVs and it already being the fitting length would save them a lot of painful editing.
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Filip
Tue, Nov 7, 2017, 5:09am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

I would honestly appreciate it if one of the people who actually praise this show would answer a question I had after watching this episode:

What the hell did I just watch?

The writers’ tendency to cram as much as possible within the time limit now not only produces choppy scenes and dialogue, it produces plots bordering on the senseless. Nothing screams bad writing more than the fact that a viewer has to read a lot of other people’s comments and takes on the show to put together any sense behind Saru’s actions. And even then, the premise does more harm to overall character development than good. Let me just say this, I watched a lot of Star Trek. And I mean a lot. That much that rarely, if ever, I miss anything important to understanding the plot. That much in fact, that the moment Saru asked for Tyler and Burnham’s communicators, I knew exactly what would follow. The explanation of the twist that followed however, that he wasn’t possessed after all, flew right over my head. And I attribute that to the fact that the writers bit off more than they could chew and can’t form their ideas into a logically functional show.

Let’s move on to the scenes aboard the Klingon ship. What?! Just.. What?! One moment, L’Rell is assuring the admiral she knows what she doing because “she lived on that ship,” the other she is slamming her into a conveniently placed energy relay because Kor appeared out of nowhere. The sudden and random shift of the scenes left me wondering what the hell just happened. Also, why is the Discovery’s crew utterly unconcerned with the admiral’s imprisonment? The last we see, Lorca made a very ambiguous call to wait for Starfleet’s orders, and then… nothing. Too many important loose threads that I feel will never be addressed.

The chemistry behind Tyler and Burnham is non-existent. Zero. Their take on “the needs of the many” was so laughably bad that it made me physically hurt.

The motivations behind character’s actions make no sense, and not because they are mysterious and it is up to us viewers to figure it out, but because they the writers consistently fail to materialize them in some reasonable form on screen.
I keep giving this show a chance, but every time it disappoints me more and more.
The opening battle sequence wasn’t half bad, but what good is it worth when for every good thing Discovery does, it does ten bad. The show can’t keep on banking on the Star Trek name forever.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also, a word about the theory of Tyler actually being Voq in disguise. I did a bit of research, and as it turns out, the actor credited for playing Voq has an Imdb page consisting solely of Discovery and pictures of him in full Voq mask. It is ridiculous to a point where people began speculating if he even existed, and that the character of Voq was actually played by Shazad Latif – the same one that plays Tyler. Now, the writers could be playing a trick on us, but, based on what we’ve seen so far, I think that would be giving them too much credit. Even if it turns out Tyler is Voq, there has already been so much speculation about that, and given that the show’s immersive quality is zero, I could only say – good for him.
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Filip
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 6:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Spoilers ahead.

The show has arrived at the crossroads. One path would redeem it (to a degree) and set it in a more familiar direction, while the other would send it down a gaping black hole that has nothing to do with Trek. Good thing I am not too invested in it because the situation would normally make me very anxious. I am, of course, talking about the motivations standing behind Lorca's sudden change in modus operandi when confronted with the situation the admiral found herself in. To be honest, the thought that Lorca's change is only a farce hadn't even ocurred to me before I came to the comment section and read some of your comments. The final shot of the episode with his phaser firmly close to him does seem to alude to that scenario. However, I am not going to play interpretations now since the show is going to reveal it anyway, but unfortunately I can't say I'm very hopeful about it. Even though the writers made sure we the audience knew that the captain is not the protagonist of this series, the captain's role inherently possesses the power to set the overall tone of a show and that is why it is so important.

That is why I hope we are going to get more backstory about Lorca and the Buran alongside with the revelation of his true motivation, because as it stands at this moment, the story about the Buran and how Lorca survived the ordeal is extremely underwhelming in establishing a nuanced character, which writers want Lorca to be.

As for the rest of the episode, it follows the Discovery's trend of very uneven storytelling and clunky realization. The weird pacing of the scenes and dialogue present since episode one is watering down even the few moments that have the potential of standing out, as if the writers are trying to cram as much as possible within the time frame they have, resulting in choppy dialogues, scenes and plot pacing. Sometimes, less is more. A philosophy that would improve the show greatly, IMHO.

To be specific, I was thinking about the conversation between the admiral and Lorca that was a good idea with a lot of potential for low-key character development that was botched by its execution. However, like I said, the problem is far from being specific to that scene. They same could be said for the scenes in Sarek's mind, only there the idea itself of them physically fighting is bizzare and feels very out of place. Trek-meets-Matrix out of place. There were a lot of different, more discreet ways, of handling the issue of Sarek not wanting Michael's presence in his mind, but I guess that wouldn't get the hearts pumping as this does, which seems to be way higher on the show's priority list than giving us tactful dialogue, and even when that dialogue surfaces, it is immediately botched by the execution.

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Filip
Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

@Akkal, thanks for the quick reply.

However, that again does not explain the blame everybody keeps placing on her. She was attacked, that is, the Klingon was hostile first. Not much she, or anyone else in that situation, could do to prevent it.

The show bases a LOT of Michael's character development on the fact that she did something horrible, and when that fact turns out to be a massive plot hole, the development take the same turn.
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Filip
Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 3:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

@Hank, please keep watching the series and writing reviews because the one you wrote here was both spot on and hilarious.

Now, onto my review. Didn't want to post on the first two episode as the jury was still out, but judging by this third episode - bad. Very bad.

SPOILERS AHEAD

First thing, and I would honestly appreciate if someone could explain this to me as either it went over everybody's heads or it's me missing something important:

How is Michael acutally responsible for the war? What action of hers did directly provoke the war and kill 8000 people in that first battle?

Yes, she broke the chain of command and led a one man mutiny that was... stopped in its tracks before it could go ahead with doing anything. The Klingons planned on engaging Starfleet long before Michael or anyone else on the Shenzhou even thought of Klingons. The war going to happen wether Michael fired the torpedos or stayed on Earth and read Alice in Wonderland.

So what I'm saying basically, did she mutiny and does she deserve to be punished? Absolutely. Did her mutiny actually provoke any direct consequences? Not really.

Now, as for this episode. In short - Trek meets Alien meets Walking Dead. A lot of you have already discussed the numerous issues plaguing this episode, and boy, there are a lot. I was ready for a different take at Trek, and was OK with a grittier approach, but whatever the setting, what made all of us (or me, at least) love Trek so much was the likeability of its characters, for better or for worse. We could identify with them, want to be like them and want them to win. Here, they are shady to a point where the righteousness of their cause is dubious at best. Not only is the captain (a Starfleet captain, mind you) presented as a very shady character, the rest of the crew seems hostile and arrogant. Take out the trash? Really? Allowing a brawl to go on in the middle of the mess hall... because? As for the initial exchange between Lorca and the science officer, could you imagine someone questioning Picard or Sisko like that? I can't. I am going to cut this part short because I could go on for a couple of pages.

What the fundamental problem is, I am, as I presume most of you are, used to treating the protagnoist crew of each series as a conjunct of intensly linked entities working towards a common goal. I am more than OK with keeping suspense with some shady business, but NOT when it comes from within the protagnoist conjunct as it seems to be the case here. That is not forming a relatable driving force of the show so characteristic of EVERY Trek series so far. In general, I don't have a problem with shady protagonists, nor do I think that a protagonist of a story should adhere to a specific moral code, but when it comes to Trek - I most certainly feel that way.

Looking at the visuals, I can't help but think how stellary spectacular DS9 would've looked like had it had the same CGI technology back in the day. Watching this show makes me really sad that they didn't decide to move the show after the events of Nemesis.

I am not going to quit on the show, as I am interested to see in which direction it will head. Not because of the plot, but to see what shape will this new Trek take, making it the sole reason for me sticking with it. Which is a shame, because it can't live only on its name forever.
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Filip
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 11:30am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Relics

I'll just go out and say it - I never was much of a TOS fan. Next Gen was the first Trek I saw and the one I grew up with. Don't get me wrong though, I love the original series, and especially the movies that came out of it, but when someone says Star Trek, my mind immediately goes to TNG. That being said, I can maybe give a more "dispassionate" review of the episode, and it was a mixed bag.

The biggest problem with it (as is the case with so, so many TNG episodes) is that it had too much going on for the time limit of one show, so everything was rushed, leaving potentially brilliant scenes never realized. As for the crews reaction to Scotty, it is fairly obvious that it was scripted in this way for the entire metaphorical payoff with old vs. new at the end, so I won't give it much thought. I've seen some really nice takes on that here in the comment section though(@SkepticalMI , I'm looking at you. Even though I am three years late to your comment).

Also, like many of you have said, the sphere itself didn't get much attention, and someone even said that if the show had been made nowadays, half of the season would revolve around it. Which, alongside the time limit each episode has, brings me to another problem with TNG, which is one-plot-per-episode scripting. So finally, it boils down to having two huge elements that could barely be explored enough in one episode, let alone having them both at the same time. Because of that, the episode feels like it didn't deliever (to me, at least). The Sphere wasn't explored (on screen), Spock wasn't mentioned to Scotty (because each episode erases the memories of the crew of the previous events it would seem) and so on.

As for the errors, a lot of you have already mentioned beaming Scotty and LaForge through the shield, but did anyone else notice that every time they put the Sphere's star on the viewer you could see space and OTHER STARS in the background? The second one is a minor mistake we all are used to by now in Trek, but I just wanted to point that out because I found it pretty funny.

What I found to hilarious is Scotty's reaction to Worf, especially at the end of the episode where he says goodbye to everybody and the way he looks at Worf after that you know that he's thinking "I can't wrap my mind around a Klingon in that uniform."
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Filip
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 6:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

@Chrome

"Apocalypse Rising" is another example of how little sense that whole policy makes. Worf and Odo going on that mission actually does make some sense, but for sure there are at least a couple of experts on Klingon culture in Starfleet that could've taken Sisko's and O'Brien's place there, avoiding the whole blitz-lesson on Klingon culture on Dukat's ship (although that did give us a hilarious scene).

But what makes the "Apocalypse Rising" different from the "To the Death" is that it was gripping from start to finish to the extent that it didn't challenge my suspension of disbelief the way "To the Death" did.

@Jammer

Yeah, I know. And I even wanted to mention that as a counter-argument to myself in one of the previous replies, but I decided to stick to it as if we were observing the story from "within the universe." All Star Trek series are filled with such inconsistencies, but more often than not their story and execution more than make up for it and keep me engaged, which is not the case with the episode in question.

Also, I hope no one got the impression that I'm this critical because I dislike DS9. Quite the opposite actually - for me as a series DS9 is a very close second to TNG and is one of the best things the television has ever produced and is something that I've constantly been coming back to over the years. It's just that as I get older some things are a bit harder to swallow.
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Filip
Thu, Feb 16, 2017, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

Once they set off from the station they were perfectly aware of what they were getting themselves into. Or do you think they planned on kindly asking the Jem'Hadar to return and fix the broken pylon?

The Dominion threat was obviously taken very seriously from the beginning since Starfleet decided to build an actual warship back in S3 when they went through with constructing a Defiant class starship after it had previously been scrapped, and the station became a much more important strategic point for Starfleet once the ship was assigned to it.

To better summarise what I've been trying to say, any mission that requires an implementation of a warship is very likely to need a MACO-like team on it. That simple.

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Filip
Thu, Feb 16, 2017, 2:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

Chrome, you are missing my point. At the moment of the episode, he is the chief engineering officer not only of the Defiant, but of DS9 as well, and is as such a too valuable asset to risk in an operation that could've been handled by a specially trained team. The battle drills were to prepare them for a "if push comes to shove" situation, which is not the case with this episode - from the start they set on a mission with a specific goal with a high probability of battle. This wasn't an unplanned event, nor was it a TNG era Enterprise cruising along when it suddenly got caught in a hostile enviorment where they had to risk the vital parts of the ship's crew. In that situation, I might've agreed with you, but this is the complete opposite.

My other examples still stand.
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FIlip
Mon, Feb 13, 2017, 6:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

As for Dax, she may have fighting experience which is, again, personal, and not due to her extensive combat training. After all, she is a science officer. Even if she is proficient in hand to hand combat, can you make the same assumption for every science officer of every Federation starship? Chances are, the vast majority probably never held a blade in their hands as I don't think swordfighting would be a course at the Academy, let alone slash someone with it.
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Filip
Mon, Feb 13, 2017, 6:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: To the Death

@Chrome

Sorry for the late response but I never thought that someone actually read these comments.

Anyway, they shouldn't have been fighting the Klingons in the first place for the same reasons. Also, personal experience shouldn't be a deciding factor in who to send on such a mission. To give you a real life example, I could be a maintenance engineer on an aircraft carrier and be a season Krav Maga pratictioner, but that would still make me unfit to go parachuting behind enemy lines.

It was also mentioned on more than one ocassion that O'Brien and his staff didn't even go to the Academy, as their function onboard was that of an engineer. Which brings me back to my first point, if they had a special operations team for such missions, the engineers' job would be just to - engineer.
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