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wolfstar
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 8:09am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

All time travel is fantasy (as is most science on Star Trek), but I prefer either explanations that at least try to ground themselves in science (the Okuda approach) or that present time travel as an exceptional intervention by a godlike being (Q, the Prophets, the Guardian) or the result of a freak phenomenon. On Discovery, they've just said "time crystal" as if it's self-explanatory - there's no further attempt to explain what they are, how they work or why, we're just supposed to accept them as magic. I'm fine with the idea of them plugging them into the ship (or into a suit) to facilitate time travel (similar to dilithium crystals and warp travel), but the fact that they also give you visions (Burnham, Reno) when you touch them and apparently lock you into a certain destiny if you take them from Boreth (Pike) is too nonsensical. It's woo. It'd have worked slightly better if the time crystals had been introduced via a new alien race, as something unknown to the Trek universe, but locating them on Boreth and retconning the Trek universe so that the Klingons have had access to this stash of magic time crystals all along is messy. As someone said before, it's 1980s Saturday morning action cartoon writing. (Not knocking those, they're great, but they have a different sensibility to Star Trek.)

Like any Trek series, Discovery has to be judged first and foremost on whether it's good drama, so I don't want to get too bogged down in technical aspects like this. It's just messy writing, and it makes it harder to suspend your disbelief when the crystals are basically capable of anything the writers want them to be.
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wolfstar
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 6:13am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

What I'm saying (submitted comment too soon) is the "time crystals" shouldn't be defended based on the Orb of Time, as the Orb of Time wasn't a particularly good precedent, and its usage was also different (it was just used to tell two standalone stories set in the past).
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wolfstar
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 6:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

I think the "time crystals" are ridiculous, but the Orb of Time wasn't particularly well-used either and probably wasn't a good idea. It's only in two episodes and is used in both just as a tool to tell a story set in the past - in Trials And Tribbleations, it's merely a writer's workaround to facilitate the anniversary crossover episode, and its usage in its sole other outing (Wrongs Darker Than Death Or Night) threw up more questions than it answered - most people seem to agree that that ep would have worked better if Kira was merely seeing a vision of the past, rather than the Orb actually having sent her back in time.
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wolfstar
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 11:20am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

While we're on the topic, I also really like Eye Of The Beholder and would consider it a high 3 or a 3.5. It works better for me than Frame Of Mind and is more intriguing and character-based.
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wolfstar
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 7:38am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

The question of how intricately pieced together Discovery is and how much attention it demands from the audience to figure everything out is secondary to the question of whether it's good drama. If the storytelling isn't good, if the characters haven't been well-developed enough for us to care about them, if people have lost faith in the writing over the course of the series (or if they've thrown their hands in the air and stopped trying to make sense of the show in the face of constant twists, shock moments and rug-pulls, not to mention characters coming back from the dead and the ship being able to travel anywhere in space and now time), they're not going to care enough or trust the show enough to muse over the finer details of an episode's plotting. If enough evidence accumulates that the writers don't know what they're doing, viewers will even start to assume that things that may on the surface appear deliberate are actually fuckups and inconsistencies (like the directly contradictory information regarding the red bursts, the directly contradictory information surrounding Voq/Tyler, the retooling of Saru's backstory between S1 and S2, the nonsensical L'Rell/Cornwell plotting back in Si Vis Pacem etc.). It's not our job as the audience to mentally paper over the show's mistakes by coming up with our own convoluted scenarios to explain them all away. If you have to do that, it's a bad show. Conversely, if I've grown to care about a show's characters and I find its plots compelling, and there's ample evidence it's smartly and consistently written, of course I'll be drawn into the show's world and enjoy pondering its intricacies and possibilities.

Burnham in this episode: "There are seven signals, but we've only seen four."
Pike in Brother: "Federation sensors picked up seven red bursts spread out across more than 30,000 light years."

The central foundations of season 2 are totally screwed up. When we got If Memory Serves (a lot of people's favourite episode so far) followed up by the excellent Project Daedalus (my favourite so far), I really though this show had turned the corner. But the last 4 episodes have been the worst run of the entire season. The show feels like it's falling apart exactly when it needed to be coming together. And the central mysteries that were threaded through the first half of the season - where is Spock, and what is the Red Angel? - being resolved with "Spock was on Vulcan, and the Red Angel is Michael's mom then Michael." Really?
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wolfstar
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 6:41am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

People missed it because the start of the vision is poorly telegraphed, and because it doesn't make much sense that the Enterprise wouldn't even try to fire on Discovery and they all just take Burnham's word for it that it won't work.
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wolfstar
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 12:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Alan, you've already started another fight in this episode's thread, but in your 6 comments, you haven't told us at all what you thought about this episode, which is what the thread is for. Please share your opinion, like we're all doing here - how did you find the episode and what are your hopes for the season finale? Being enthusiastic and inquisitive about Discovery is a much better way to sell people on its merits than just haranguing people.
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wolfstar
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 6:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

I was going to say this was one of the best directed episodes of the season, until that spinny-camera scene happened. It was even more quease-inducing than the last one.

This one fails on the writing and the acting. SMG is bad again, so is Notaro, Yeoh is ever more grating as her one-note character, and the "Queen Po" character (returning from the worst of the four Short Treks) is horrendously written and acted - she seems to have wandered onto the set from some children's show. Tilly is as bad here.

What we get of Saru, Pike, Owo and Detmer is good. Spock, Cornwell and Number One don't have much to do here but are reliable. I still like Mia Kirschner's portrayal even if Sarek and Amanda turning up makes little sense.

The Culber-Stamets scene is very overwrought, as is the Burnham-Tyler scene... the whole tone of the episode is unearned histrionics. It felt like they were kind of going for a Year Of Hell Part 1 or Hunters vibe, but it just didn't work at all. 1 star.
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wolfstar
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 10:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

@Dom, I agree completely. And the current strip-mining of beloved classic works for remakes and reboots goes way beyond just sci-fi franchises. One of my worst recent cinema experiences was Mary Poppins Returns, essentially an updated remake of the original. A true "uncanny valley" film - technically magnificent and impeccably produced, yet completely mechanical and soulless, with a slavish attitude to the original and no magic of its own, and a plot that bore no scrutiny on its own terms. The whole film was just ticking boxes and going through the motions - I spent two hours in the cinema being audiovisually bludgeoned by one elaborate song and dance number after the other (and I normally really like musicals!) yet felt absolutely nothing.
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wolfstar
Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 6:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

Yeesh. This was the worst of the season for me, more so than Point Of Light.

- the Stamets/Reno/Culber material is not especially bad, just disposable filler. But Tig Notaro's performance is absolutely terrible, and it's a poor plotting choice. Why should Culber and Stamets be expected to get back together? What about respecting Culber's decision? Surely the person who knows what's best for Culber is Culber. This is a waste of time but the least bad part of the episode.
- dead guy on the Section 31 ship turns into a scowling horror zombie who taunts Burnham about her mother and whose entire insides are filled with nanoprobes that flood out and try to "get" Burnham. Voyager never showed nanoprobes behaving like this. Injection tubules are one thing, but how are millions of nanoprobes supposed to move independently through the air like sentient snakes?
- The Boreth detour was absolutely the worst part. Pike's future vision, which could have been handled with sensitivity, is likewise turned into horror schlock, a monsterization of disability that's cheap and revels in its own excess. The fact the Klingons are presented as having always had these "time crystals" (which function not scientifically but in a way akin to magic) is ridiculous, as is the depiction of the rapid-growing plants and the fact Pike's guide in the monastery (which, apart from a couple of CG shots, was clearly just filmed in a regular Gothic church building) is the rapidly-aged son of Tyler and L'Rell is absurd too.
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wolfstar
Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

Rahul, I noticed that too. The best episodes in ENT S1-2 are those written by Chris Black and Mike Sussman/Phyllis Strong, while the worst are the Berman-Braga efforts (for the most part). I think Berman-Braga were just running on empty by this point.
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wolfstar
Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 8:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

I'm not clear on the bursts thing either.

As MadManMUC writes, we're told in Brother that seven signals have been detected spread out over a range of 30,000 light years, all appearing within the same 24 hour period. We're shown images with their locations on the map. Discovery heads to the location of the nearest of these red bursts, which is the asteroid debris field in Brother. So far, so clear.

But then the red bursts at Terralysium, Kaminar and Boreth - although they're new, additional bursts that happen after the original seven - are now being treated as *being part of* the original seven. The seven initial red bursts plus the ones at Terralysium, Kaminar and Boreth make ten total. Borath is the tenth red burst, yet we're expressly told it's the "fourth of seven". The bursts that have happened over the course of the season (three of which are still yet to happen) are being conflated with the original 7 detected in Brother.

Really bad internal inconsistency...
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wolfstar
Sun, Mar 31, 2019, 4:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

Thanks :) I can get on board with those observations. We seem to share the view that the show (partly because of being a prequel) is too fixated on Trek's past, and on namedropping and nostalgia in a tokenistic/superficial way. I agree that an overly comfortable series running on autopilot (like the last 2 seasons of Voyager or the first 2 seasons of Enterprise, or The Orville season 1) isn't what the franchise needs. And I agree very much that the series, perhaps in trying to appeal to a wider audience, tries too hard to "reflect popular thought of what Star Trek has to be". Both the JJ films and Discovery seem to view Star Trek simply as "space adventure", when in fact Trek can be any genre under the sun (we've had great episodes that were courtroom drama, morality play, screwball comedy, psychological horror, study of religion, murder mystery, comedy of manners, naval thriller, study of loss etc.) It's that understanding of Star Trek not as a genre but as a conceptual category that's missing (not just in Discovery, but in the Abrams films and to a large extent in Enterprise too) - you can take any genre of narrative and do it in the Trek universe.
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wolfstar
Sun, Mar 31, 2019, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

I'd still love to hear what you think works about the show and what doesn't, or what you think season 2 did better than season 1 and what season 3 could do better than season 2.
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wolfstar
Sun, Mar 31, 2019, 5:51am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

Alan, I appreciate your contribution and respect your defence of the show - I'd be interested if you were to tell us something you don't like about Discovery! After scrolling down through your old comments, I'm slightly intrigued that everything you have to say about the show is totally positive. Surely, even as a passionate fan, there must be things you think are in need of improvement going into season 3, or things that season 1 did badly but season 2 fixed? Your comments are mainly focused on countering other people's criticisms, so I'd love to see some more of your own reflections and opinions as to what works about Discovery and what doesn't.
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wolfstar
Sat, Mar 30, 2019, 6:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

Kate Mulgrew's acting is slightly stylized, in the mold of the 1940s/50s actresses she idolized as a child, but generally I found her really good. It's the writing that's the issue with Janeway, not the acting.

SMG isn't helped at all by the writing, but I think she's actually got worse since Discovery started. Dan said it best: her interpretation of the character is "two-note/linear - either po-faced, or histrionic and wet-eyed". She basically switches between a blunt mask of stoicism and the BEEF face. Overemoting or not emoting at all, with no in-between, but always with a forced intensity. Instead of finding nuance in her lines and bringing out different shades and emotions, each line of dialog becomes a pronouncement.
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wolfstar
Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

I'm settling on 2.5 stars because it was compelling and well-executed, even if it felt like a cross between bad fan fiction and Jerry Springer. On an episode-to-episode basis, the writing is better than in either S1 or the first half of S2, but the season-long arc (which individual writers have minimal control over) is not especially good. It's certainly better than S1, but probably below ENT S3-4 in terms of quality and how much sense it makes, at least so far.

SMG is still really bad, here particularly, and we get more Burnhamface/BEEF than ever. The scene where she demands to see her mother isn't that bad as written, but SMG murders it on the screen - she could have played it with a complex mix of emotions (distress, loss, love, confusion, everything you'd feel in that situation), which would have really helped the scene work and made her character's predicament moving and relatable, but instead she basically just plays it as "I'M ANGRY AND THROWING A TANTRUM AND I WANNA SEE MY MOM NOW NOW NOW". It's dreadful. I've been watching a couple of other series recently in which everyone is just perfectly cast and exquisitely acted, so when I return to Discovery each week, it really stands out. This goes back to the troubled birth of season 1, but the main cast aren't well-chosen apart from Doug Jones. SMG could be a decent ensemble member but shouldn't be the lead of any TV show, Rapp's performance has no depth whatsoever, Wiseman is one-note and Latif is barely there. Pike, Saru, Culber and Cornwell are all well-acted but they can't carry the show on their own.

I'm impressed at how much the sphere has figured into things continuity-wise when I assumed back in episode 4 that it was just an anomaly of the week. I admire this season's audacity, even if I think some of its ideas (if "Section 31 accidentally created the Borg" is where we're really heading) should have been nixed at birth. The less Mirror Georgiou and the less Tyler, the better - neither work, and it seems they don't know what to do with Tyler this season. Mirror Georgiou is a fundamentally uninteresting character, and scenes in which she's manipulated by others like Leland just make her look dumb, which is one thing we know she isn't.

Cruz is good again, and I'm glad Culber has been reinstated as the doctor and hope he will continue to feature more. The standard Tilly scene was also superfluous.

As some others have commented, I've noticed the tendency in the writing too for Pike to be an almost passive figure who just takes advice from others all the time. Not that a captain shouldn't solicit and act on their crew's opinions, but he's become almost a piece of furniture who just serves to give orders, facilitate things, and put into action what other characters suggest.

The scenes between Burnham and her mother didn't work for me and were the low point of the episode, and I'm a sucker for that kind of emotional stuff when it's done adeptly. Here, I think the writing was at fault as well as the acting. It turns into soap-opera drama, but doesn't feel earned, when it should.

Then we come to Leland. I'm absolutely not against the idea of Discovery doing a Borg episode in theory - Enterprise's "Regeneration" is probably the most competent hour of the show's first two seasons, and is a case study in how to execute a risky idea in a way that's fresh and dramatically compelling without retconning things or change the timeline. But what Discovery looks to be doing isn't a one-off Borg episode, but another attempt to rewrite Trek canon around Discovery in a way that makes the rich, expansive Trek universe small and claustrophobic. Not everything has to be about Earth and the Federation (or #allsentientlife) just like not everything has to be about Michael.

Regardless of my issues with the arc, for the final 3 episodes, at least we're in the hands of Bo/Erika and Michelle Paradise, who've proven themselves the show's best writers. I expect good things. If Leland suddenly ends up thrown back in time in the Delta Quadrant, I won't like it... but this season, while not good Star Trek, has at least been better drama than Season 1, more internally consistent and less reliant on twists. Probably the most audacious thing Discovery could do, after two seasons in which the serialized arc has really hamstrung the show, would be to do a season of standalones. I normally prefer serialisation, but standalones are really a test of good sci-fi drama writing. I really hope the show becomes less atavistic and more forward-looking, instead of constantly trying to tie itself into Trek history (distorting it in the process).
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wolfstar
Wed, Mar 27, 2019, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

I took an Orville break after Identity Part II so have only just watched this one.

2 stars. Second-weakest episode of the season for me - boring and disposable, and doesn't really work in terms of Gordon's character. Orrin and his daughter never feel like real people, and their predicament doesn't feel real either. The acting is pretty weak. Orrin certainly doesn't seem like someone who's just spent 20 years in an alien prison camp. As such, much of the episode - including Gordon's material, centered as it is around Orrin - falls flat. The whole thing feels like a formulaic phoned-in episode from early Enterprise or late Voyager.

Ed and Talla are the stronger points of this episode, though I wasn't keen on a couple of Talla scenes - the one where she stalls the Krill delegation, and the one where she uncharacteristically turns her back on the girl in a way that makes it really obvious something's gonna happen. Both make her look less professional than we're used to her being.

I don't think Isaac's character works after Identity Part II. That isn't a flaw with this episode, but it's an issue with the series going forward.
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wolfstar
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 8:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

Look at Leland's hand in the preview for next week: http://twitter.com/DS9FBTS/status/1109722837479276544

My working theory is that when the AI entered Airiam, it learned for the first time how technology can be combined with an organic body. It's now testing that out on Leland... how and whether they retcon the Borg with this is anyone's guess. But it reveals Leland's purpose in the series as being a plot function rather than a character, just like Lorca and Tyler in S1. I doubt very much he's coming out the other side of this, especially as we basically know that Mirror Georgiou will take over S31...
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wolfstar
Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

My call is they're gonna turn Leland into a Borg and retcon the Borg now...
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wolfstar
Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

I agree with Kinematic's well-argued points and, when so much about Discovery is so much improved this season, especially the past few episodes – an improvement that looks set to continue into season 3 what with the new showrunner – arguing that Burnham is an effective character feels like a silly hill to die on. Seriously, loads of things about the show have got better but she isn't one of them, yet. It's important to be critical of this as it's one of the few remaining things that haven'e been fixed. I want the character to work better! And in general, going back to the worst parts of season 1, if people constantly defend even the weakest elements of a show, it holds back that show's development. TNG only got good because of the awful reaction to the legitimately bad S1+2. If fans had praised the first couple of seasons of TNG to the heavens and acted like it was perfect, the show would never have improved and never have been fixed, and wouldn't have gone on to have other spin-off shows either. Discovery's still far from perfect but it's got way better recently – I enjoy watching it and am engaged in the story – but it's important to be constructively critical of the things that don't work so that the show can continue to work on them.
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wolfstar
Sat, Mar 23, 2019, 5:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

Fantastic post by Kinematic.

As the term Mary Sue is kinda controversial and can easily lead to a reductive discussion on whether a character is or isn't one, it can be useful to look at it other ways too. Put simply, the show's basic mechanic is different to all previous Trek series - TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT were ensemble shows, whereas Discovery is a "ride" show, and the function of the Michael character is to act as an avatar for viewers as we travel with her in and around the depths of the Trek world. This is unlike any previous Trek, and whether or not it's a good idea is debatable. As such, Season 1 of Discovery functioned less like a drama and more like a non-playable video game, or even a rollercoaster (bearing in mind it was written backwards from a predetermined endpoint with various fixed twists along the way - consider those the loops). We've talked a lot in previous threads about how all of the S1 cast apart from Saru were written as plot functions rather than as people - Lorca and Tyler existed solely to be twists, Stamets was something akin to a BSG hybrid, Michael was the viewer avatar and Tilly the comic relief. If we imagine Season 1 as a rollercoaster, then Michael is the seat, Tilly is your friend sitting next to you, and Tyler and Lorca are the two big loops. Season 2, likely also planned backwards from a predetermined endpoint, even has your mom waiting for you at the end. I'm just glad it dispensed with a lot of the previous season's loops and twists for a calmer and more scenic ride overall.
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wolfstar
Fri, Mar 22, 2019, 8:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

Going for 3 stars on this one - preposterous content well-executed (much like Saints Of Imperfection, albeit marginally less preposterous). The writers are two novices and they do a better job than the writers of many earlier episodes this season.

That said, there was a lot that didn't work for me. SMG's ham theatrics writhing around in that chair were hilarious. And while I guess I'm vaguely glad the word "gay" has now been uttered in Star Trek, the Mirror Georgiou scenes misfired more than anything else in the episode - the character is so grating, and wasn't well-utilised here. I do applaud the choice of unusual character combinations in this episode though: Saru + Leland worked, even if Georgiou + Stamets and Tyler + Cornwell didn't. (Tyler has become really annoying and superfluous, and the actor seems bored.) Also, Detmer got a relevant, character-building line of dialog!

Again, Wilson Cruz was way better than Anthony Rapp. There's just no depth to Rapp's performance - a better actor would suggest other emotions behind the snark (the way actors like Nimoy, Spiner and Ryan were able to skilfully add so much color and nuance while playing very controlled, emotionally buttoned-down characters) , whereas Rapp uses Stamets's snark as a cover for his lack of ability.

The plan, of course, makes no sense - they could have brought her to a near-death state medically, like the Doc did with B'Elanna in Barge Of The Dead. And if the Red Angel intervened to save Burnham's life as far back as her childhood, how come it didn't intervene at any point she was endangered in season 1? Their logic - that putting Burnham in a situation in which she will be killed will summon the Angel - is flawed.

The angel being Michael would have been an eye-roll - I laughed when Tilly "revealed" it - but it being her mother is only slightly less of an eye-roll. It damages the show by once again making everything revolve around Burnham, and it further burdens her character background. If her character is ever to work, they need to stop piling more and more things on it - it's an impossible character biography, and I don't know how any actor can be expected to play it. She "started" the Klingon War (or at least the show kept telling us, even if she didn't), is Spock's adoptive half-brother and responsible for making him who he is, her parents were secret Section 31 time travel scientists, and she single-handedly convinced Starfleet not to do genocide. In terms of her behavior, she's pseudo-Vulcan and highly logical, but also human and highly emotional. That's not a character, it's an unholy hodge-podge. How does any actor get a handle on it? I'm not surprised SMG's performance is blunt, confused and overwrought when her character is expected to be everything to everyone.
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wolfstar
Fri, Mar 15, 2019, 7:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

Fun fact: this is the 24th episode in Discovery's run, and Skin Of Evil was the 23rd in TNG's run. I guess that makes Airiam this series's Tasha Yar.

I was reminded of DS9's Life Support too, where Bashir wrangles with the ethics of replacing parts of Bareil's brain with positronic implants.
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wolfstar
Fri, Mar 15, 2019, 7:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

This is Discovery's Q-Who - it was just stellar. Michelle Paradise came in and systematically attacked all of the show's problems head on while making every single character work (even in small scenes), delivering a compelling plot with superb pacing, and (in a first for this show) managing to convey information and deliver several "reveals" without any of them feeling like terribly-written info-dumps. Compare and contrast with the dreadfully unskilled exposition-laden dialog of last week - it's night and day.

Paradise structures the episode as a fully realized tragedy, managing to humanize Airiam and give her a compelling backstory despite the writing room's failure to do this in previous episodes. So by the end, we actually care. Spock's deconstruction of Burnham's character is superb - Paradise decides to tackle the issues with the character by having Spock (a beloved character the audience relates to) calmly but mercilessly call her out on the narcissistic way she makes everything about herself; over-responsibility as a dysfunctional and damaging coping mechanism. Paradise is smart enough to see that what the Discovery writers have until now sold as Michael's virtues are actually grave flaws, and it sets the stage for a potential retooling of the character going into S3. Even the small character scenes work - Detmer shines in this episode, Tilly is utilised really well, and the Barzan girl (even if we don't know much about her) likewise. There's a Lower Decks feel to the flashbacks of Owo, Detmer and Airiam playing kadis kot with Tilly, and the actresses all sell it and are enjoyable to spend time with - why have they been treated as glorified extras so far? There's a strong ensemble focus and every character gets their moment. For me, this was the first time in the entire series's run that Stamets's character actually worked as intended - just a couple of superbly-written scenes greatly inform his character, humanizing and reframing his snark while showing an underlying warmth.

4 stars. And great that Michelle will be co-showrunner on S3. I feel optimistic about this show for the first time in ages, especially given that Kurtzman will be more focused on developing the other spin-off shows, so Michelle will likely be the main showrunner for S3.
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