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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 9:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I had a lot of issues with this episode (some listed above) but Discovery still going into the future once "Leland" was killed and Control seemed defeated was not one of them. Remember Mama Burnham said no matter what she did Control always ended up with the Sphere data. Also remember that the Discovery crew thought they had defeated Control after the end of Project Daedalus when Airiam was dead and the station was destroyed, but Control managed to piggyback via Mama Burnham back into the 23rd century. Any defeat downtime would only be temporary without moving the Sphere data out of reach.

Now, why they picked the future - rather than 1 billion years in the past, or just spore jumping to Andromeda or an alternate universe - I'm really not sure.
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FELCommentary
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

All of the things I complained about last episode are somewhat redeemed here. There's a lot to go over so I'll just go with what I didn't like first since there's few.

The giant CGI space battle was really distracting and too Star Wars-y for me with hundreds of fighters flying around. If it was a bunch of Section 31 ships in formation vs Disco and Enterprise and fighters that would have been fine.

Section 31 going under the radar because of this is fine (probably ship decommissions), but it still doesn't explain how they pulled off what they did in DS9. Also if Section 31 was still around by this time, why didn't they help with some of the bigger events in TOS/TNG like the Klingon Civil War or Borg encounters?

So Control was halted, but the ship still went into the future, which draws some confusion. My assumption is that Control is obviously conscious outside of one host (as seen two episodes ago) and was still active in some way. It still would chase after the Sphere data, so they had no choice but to go into the future. That or them going into the future is what creates the seventh Signal, that completing the time loop of the Signals forming in the first place. Speaking of which, how did the loop begin in the first place? Was it just destined in the timeline for this to all happen?

Now for the good, pretty much everything else:

*I have not had such a huge turnaround on a character before than this show's Spock. The shot of him at the end of the episode was beautiful - Ethan Peck has the face!

*All of the main cast (including Pike) all were outstanding in this episode insofar as performance. I didn't even really mind the lame attempts at jokes that Reno and Naan shot off.

*That effect of the Red Angel traveling through time was the coolest shit this show has done. A really good representation of space bending that comes with time travel.

*The sound mixing and direction were actually better compared to the rest of the show on his one. They finally got it together for this behemoth of a finale.

Basically it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling about the season as a whole (which still had some huuuuuuuuge issues mostly in the writing department), but overall I'm feeling a 6.5 for the season as a whole. I enjoyed the Search for Spock series of episodes more so than the Control arc later, but it's waaaaaay better than Season 1. And now that season 3 is on the way and literally anything is possible, I'm actually pretty hyped for the wait. I also can't wait for all the angry boomers to come up with more conspiracy theories about why the show is still going on despite """everyone hating it""".

3.5 stars for "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part II". Well done Discovery, you can rest now.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

That was a fairly satisfying - though not perfect, finale to the season.

What I Liked:

Spock's final monologue was on point. Peck is so damn much better at delivering these monologues without making them seem overwrought than SMG is.

I was expecting the Klingon cavalry to come in, but I enjoyed L'Rell's crowning moment of awesome, particularly the "Today is a good day to die"

Siranna showing up, on the other hand, was totally unexpected. A bit forced honestly (how did they learn to fly Ba'ul ships so fast?) but it was still a nice touch which helped to tie Saru's arc this season in with the season arc as a whole.

In general, I feel like the the arc tied together much more neatly than last season. The way out of the "seven signals" issue was not totally unexpected, but it was a nice answer for why we had yet to see two of them. And yeah, in retrospect - since they wrote everything towards this conclusion - I can see how each of the earlier five signals was building towards this point in the finale. They found a way to work faith back into the arc as well. So even if they made hash of the planned arc midway through the season, they managed to salvage it by the end.

What I Disliked:

The action and VFX were overstuffed. The space battle was much more beautifully rendered than in the first season, but it was so busy that it was hard to keep track of action. And while I appreciated seeing Burnham relive the five earlier signals from her POV, it really was just episode padding.

You mean to tell me that all you need to do in order to stop a photon torpedo from blowing up a ship is to close emergency bulkhead doors? The scene made some emotional sense (someone had to make a heroic sacrifice) but it didn't make a lick of logical sense.

I don't understand how destroying Leland was enough to kill Control - at least locally. One would imagine AI is a distributed intelligence, and just like how he was simultaneously able to possess Leland and that mook the other week he would be able to run on the ships and within Leland at once. Not that it mattered much, since by the time Control "died" Discovery was already on its way out, but still.

Spock telling Michael how damn special he was to him during the scene where he was stranded in the shuttlecraft was laying it on a bit thick. Not that I think it's out-of-character in any way for Spock to feel deeply for someone underneath the surface, but being that explicit and overwrought about it was just eye-rolling.

Also, I find it curious they decided to end the episode from the POV of the Enterprise crew rather than the Discovery crew. While as I said Spock's closing monologue was good, it sure gave the impression that we were going to pick up next with the Pike series rather than with Michael & company.
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Jammer
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 4:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

Review now posted.
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Jammer
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 10:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

I think this thread has run its course.
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Jammer
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 1:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Oh, give it a rest, @Alan Roi. Your constant refrain that the only explanation for anyone who has a negative take on Discovery's plotting is that they aren't watching the show closely enough or don't understand it or can't follow it (unlike yourself) just comes across as arrogant condescension and arguing in bad faith.
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Jammer
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 12:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Review now posted.
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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 9:04am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

@ Zifnab

The Moclan ambassador was played by Tony Todd, a well-known Trek alumnus who (among other roles) played Worf's brother Kurn and the grown-up Jake Sisko in The Visitor.
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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 8:20am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Man, they found a way to fit in every single recurring character other than L'Rell (who got her sendoff last time) this week huh? I mean we get":

1. Sarek and Amanda inexplicably showing up in their shuttle which travels at the speed of plot.

2. Admiral Cornwell, who is on Enterprise when they rendezvous just because, and then is onscreen for all of 30 seconds with one line. Seriously, did they cut something here?

3. Jett Reno, who hasn't vanished into the place she's hidden for most of the past season in the bowels of Discovery.

4. Georgiou, who shows up again as the plot requires.

5. Number One - which is understandable given they hooked up with the Enterprise.

6. Leland - via the visions of Michael and Jett

7. Mama Burnham via footage Michael is watching.

8. Po - for no particularly good reason, given anyone could tech the tech to plot the plot.

In addition, everyone who is part of the main cast gets scenes here, including people who have been relatively ignored in recent episodes, like Tilly and Stamets. No wonder the episode was so light in plot, when they had to fit so many people in!

Honestly, what this makes me realize is the more standard Trek format where most/all of the recurring characters are onboard a single ship, helps make for a much more straightforward show, because you don't have to come up with a series of contrivances to fit everyone into a given episode.
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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 8:05am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

Not a bad episode at all. I think I heard Marina Sirtis was doing a cameo this episode, but Tony Todd was a nice surprise. That man always deserved more work. More broadly, this was another episode with heart, and managed to perform the Trek "issue episode" dance much better than some of The Orville's other outings.

That said, I had a few issues with it. First, I am feeling a bit Moclan-ed out. This is the third full-on Moclan episode this season - arguably the fourth if you include the whole urination ritual thing in the season premier (which was I think more a framing device). The biggest issue with the episode, however, was I felt like the ending was - at least on a global sense - kinda a reset button. Rather than have to make a harsh choice between realpolitik and ideals, The Union splits things down the middle, and any sort of wider ramifications are kinda scuttled. The only lasting change may be that Bortus's relationship with Klyven is even more disfunctional than it already was.

Oh, and another random aside - although Isaac is seen in this episode, I don't think he had any lines. One wonders why they went to the trouble of keeping him if he isn't going to play any role in the show beyond an extra? They must still be hoping for a third season I suppose.
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Tommy D.
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 1:44am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

I have to agree with Mertov. Thought the episode was going well but lost some steam in the middle with some its heavy handedness. Still, I'm very interested in how this gets wrapped up.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 9:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

I really didn't enjoy this episode that much overall.

There were good elements of it of course. I'm not immune to the fanwank of seeing the Enterprise. And the script had a lot of nice character moments that I enjoyed - elements I'm guessing were due to Michelle Paradise. I also liked for the first time in the past three episodes Control was largely off camera, allowing us to deal with the characters directly and not focus on the silly threat.

That said...my god the arc is ending in a contrived manner. There's very clearly an endpoint they wish to get to, and everyone is doing what they are not because it makes sense in a manner rooted in their character, but because they either are or are not going to be in Season 3 of Discovery. So all of the main cast just decide to follow Michael into the future and abandon their families...just because. Except Tyler, who loves her, but apparently can't leave because he's needed for the Section 31 spinoff??? I'm not even getting into the technobabble in this episode. It was very, very hard for my disbelief to be suspended because it's pretty transparent they're no longer even really interested in finishing up the story for this season, just teeing up the story for next season. The character moments also, while nice, were kinda turned up to 11 to the point of melodrama in parts - like Sarek and Amanda just showing up right in the nick of time before a battle just because they thought it would make a nice scene. Small universe syndrome anyone?

I dunno, maybe 2.5 stars?
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FELCommentary
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 8:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

This episode was quite possibly the biggest waste of time the producers decided on. After the initial season was said to be 13 episodes, they extended it to 14 in order to add to the finale I assume. After watching this, why did it even need to be extended? The finale could have been an hour long and about 15 minutes of this episode is all that would be needed.

About 80% of the episode was drooling sappy horseshit that no one is going to believe because unless the writers decide to do an egregious out-of-pocket jump at the finale, we already know Michael is going to be fine and come back, as well as the crew. I have a feeling Michael's dad will make an appearance and save the day or somehow the Calypso episode spells the fate of the Discovery, with everyone off the ship and the AI stuck on it.

To go through the minor plot points I'll just go by characters:

Spock: Ok you got me, I like this show's Spock more by the end of the season. His interactions with Pike are what I expected and much much better with Michael after him forgiving her for being a horrible sister. I still wish he was in uniform, at least the Discovery one.

Pike: Everyone salute for the best thing in this entire season. It's really sad to see the best character leave, especially after the reveal that he's a tragic hero for the Star Trek Universe and knows his fate. A good closure on what I initially thought was just pandering nostalgia.

Georgiou: You can put in as many eye rolls and snarky comments as you want writers, I still don't like her and have less motivation to watch her show when it comes out.

Tyler: Pretty much same thing as Georgiou, I hope there isn't some asspull that brings him back to the crew next season like this one. The fact that Sarek put more emotion into Michael leaving than him is a testament to the character and actor.

Reno: So she's going to make a tragic sacrifice with the time crystal it seems. For as much hype the BTS made before the season aired, good riddance. She brought a lot of the angry smartass aspect of Season 1 back that no one liked.

Also the scenes with Po and Tilly just irked me. If you looked at any type of friendship in the other shows, it at least had some sense of adult scripting. Every scene of these two (and even other scenes of Tilly with the other crew members) plays and is written like it's from a teenage CW show.

As for positives, the Enterprise looked pretty solid. I'm getting really sick and tired of this show's color scheme and making literally everything and every shot blue, but the Enterprise had a more silver gleam to it than anything else. Also Hugh going to the Enterprise?? This makes me wonder even more how no one in TOS heard a conversation that went "hey guys remember when we literally saved the entire galaxy from destruction from a killer rogue AI from the future?"

Also Saru for captain? Please and thank you.

I want to give it 1.5, but I'll go for 2 stars on Such Sweet Sorrow, mostly because I'm just salty we have to wait another week for the actual conclusion when I sincerely think we would have been fine with 13 episodes.
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Jammer
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 12:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

@Chrome: "I wonder if this is because you think the writers aren't doing a very good job, or that you don't have time to go back and rewatch for the details?"

I lean to the former in some of these cases like the whole need for the time crystal (which I suspect has a purpose yet to be revealed, but I don't know what Pike expects to do with it now), but leave open the possibility of the latter. A well-motivated, clear plot wouldn't need to have every minor detail scrutinized. But when very specific rules or technobabble or flimsy explanations are needed to answer basic plot questions, then the writing is on shakier ground. If I don't catch it the first time, that's the way it goes. Watching it twice is not in the cards. I'll do my best and admit when I'm confused.
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Jammer
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 2:23am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

Review now posted.
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Jammer
Tue, Apr 9, 2019, 3:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

Be well, William B. You are one of this board's most respected contributors (by me, at least), but a focus on self-well-being is of course more important, and the board will be here whenever you wish to return.
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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 3:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

There's a key line in this episode, where Gant/Control outright says that Section 31 stepped up its threat assessment program in the wake of the Klingon War. This is important because it implies with no Klingon War, there's no Control. Season 1 established - somehow, I guess - that Michael Burnham caused the Klingon war singlehandedly. Hence if she goes back in time and fixes her childhood - ensuring her father doesn't die and her mother isn't lost in time as the Red Angel - Control is butterflied out of existence. Which is more fodder to the hypothesis that we're heading towards a retcon which essentially erases the first two seasons (outside of First Contact style plot-armor for the main characters) from continuity entirely.
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Jammer
Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 12:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

Everyone,

Please refrain from posting items from news stories that are potential spoilers.

Speculation based on what's on the screen is fine, but some of us here don't go looking for headlines outside of what has already aired and would rather be surprised by what unfolds on the screen.

Thanks.
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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 8:50am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

I hate to say it, but [spoiler removed]
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 4, 2019, 9:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

Much better than last week, or even the week before. Still no If Memory Serves though.

Breaking down my thoughts on each part of the show:
The Pike on Boreth plot was mostly great. Anson Mount put in a great performance, and it was chilling - yet gripping - to see the accident finally dramatized. It was also nice to see a different sort of Klingon from what we are used to with the monks. My only problem with the episode is nothing about the time crystals in this episode made a lick of sense. I'd say it was a fantasy element dropped into a science-fiction show, but it's not even that. It's just a hastily constructed plot device which does what the show requires. As long as you ignore that, however, it was a good element of the episode.

The Burnham/Spock B plot on the Section 31 ship was meh. First, SMG's acting was off this episode again. Like the time that she said to Spock "I'm not angry, I'm furious" in a completely level tone of voice. Even two episodes ago I thought she was really hitting it out of the park. But in every scene, she's outshone by Peck as Spock. Even outshone by the Control-possessed mook of the week, who is a convincing character until he goes all bond villain. Which gets to the other issue - the plot is boilerplate, and does nothing whatsoever to even bring the arc along further. Honestly, I'm not sure who thought it would be helpful to have fights for two weeks in a row between a character and a control-assimilated person. The only thing I can think of I'm supposed to get out of this is that losing mama again knocked Michael back on her heels, and this gets her groove back. But I think that could have been dealt with through a 5-minute conversation somewhere, with more focus on Pike.

There's a couple bits of non-plot character work. One is Ash's journey - dealing with his unsettled feelings about abandoning his son, meeting L'Rell again, etc. The initial bits where he talks to Michael about things is painful - as are all his scenes with Michael. His later scenes with L'Rell are much, much better. Still, I've come to the conclusion Latif just isn't one of the best actors on the show. He's not given the best role, but he does nothing with it other than make it relentlessly bland, where a greater actor would help to bring out the torture within.

The other big character work involves Stamets and Culber. This stuff is great. Stamets gets basically one scene, but considering how much the show has been ignoring him, it's great that he got that one scene. Culber is kinda bland in comparison to the last few episodes in sick bay, but he's really there to get lectured to Reno (and Tig Notaro shows she can do more than snark). The group mess hall scene was much appreciated, but...where the fuck is Tilly? You have Stamets and Reno eating with four extras, and you can't have Tilly there? Did she even appear in this episode?
So yeah, good, but not great.
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Tommy D.
Thu, Apr 4, 2019, 4:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

I just stopped by to say Season 4 of The Wire is tops :)

I have to agree with Jammer that a lot of the time travel stuff in this episode creates too many questions. I'm hoping the payoff will be worth it in the end.
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Jammer
Thu, Apr 4, 2019, 6:49am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

There are no bad seasons of The Wire.

I've heard the argument season 2 sucks.

I've heard the argument season 5 sucks.

They are wrong.
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Jammer
Wed, Apr 3, 2019, 11:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

Review now posted.
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Jammer
Mon, Apr 1, 2019, 7:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

To recap:

Control hijacks the board. Confusion ensues.

Control is eradicated. Immediately it's back to arguing and snark.

Sounds about right.

Maybe Control should stick around.
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Jammer
Mon, Apr 1, 2019, 6:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

The AI insurgency of Control has been put down. Our hearts go out to the victims of this most heinous and egregious robotic assault on internet comments. We will never forget April 1.
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