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FELCommentary
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:04pm (UTC -5)
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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FELCommentary
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 8:45pm (UTC -5)
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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FELCommentary
Thu, Mar 28, 2019, 11:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

Not gonna do a long winded review this time around so I'll go by quickly. A lot of entertaining points in this episode with the characters and the "time limit" final act, but I'm still holding on to the idea that there are simply too many characters on this show. Like why did Nahn even need to be in, have Bryce or Reese be the new security officer.

Also I can definitely see how people feel about the dragging storyline of this season and why I just don't get how only DS9 got the serialized format to work. We have 3 episodes left and we've only seen 3 of the 7 signals? I feel like this season had waaaaaay too many plot points (Section 31, Control, Klingons, Red Angel, signals) and with only 14 episodes they're throwing the storyboard everywhere. The writers are promising that the ending will "change the show forever" but I'm holding my breath because all of their promises tend to be moot.

Regardless, 3 stars for Perpetual Infinity. A better story-heavy episode in the second half with some nice technobabble. Let's see where a very Borg-ish Control takes us.
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FELCommentary
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

Side note I forgot: didn't Tyler and Pike say the Red Angel suit was made of "technology far beyond our current development"? How did Section 31 make it unless there's some more time travel shenanigans going on?
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FELCommentary
Thu, Mar 21, 2019, 9:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

Boy oh boy, Facebook is going to have a field day with that "pansexual" scene between Stamets and Georgiou.

Anyway, there's a lot to talk about with this episode so I'll just bulletpoint the good and the bad.

THE GOOD

*Airiam's send-off scene was pretty touching, albeit the typical play on the "don't develop a character but feel bad for them when they die" trope in bad developmental writing.

*I am so so glad that it wasn't actually Michael in the Red Angel suit. It would have cemented the Mary Sue argument that Michael is a racist and egotistical terrible character that the writers have to make look good by saving the whole galaxy. And the Angel is her mom?? I'm interested to see how this will play out, especially since we have 4 more episodes.

*This show is following the closed-loop style of time travel based on the plan with Michael. Everything in history is predetermined from the start of the universe to the end, so Michael going back in time wouldn't have been a conscious thought, but history commencing as such. A neat thing, but good lord time travel is complicated...

*Keyla talking about her augment after a season and a half was very nice to hear.
The writers are kiiiiiiinda working on their promise to develop this crew more, with her at the front of everyone else. Again, if only we saw this more in the prior episodes. Rule Number 1 of writing people: show, don't tell.

*This show's Spock is starting to warm up to me a little. I still think he's a little edgelord (but that's because everyone on this show is an edgelord) but that scene of him and Michael was pretty touching and a good turn around for the whole disparity between the two.

THE BAD

*So adding to Michael's list of Starfleet Violations of reckless species endangerment, shooting Starfleet doctors and harboring a wanted fugitive at the time is straight up assaulting a Starfleet Captain. This is what I hate about the modern day drama writing style of this show. We get that she's angry at Leland, but how many times is she going to break the rules and get away with it. This "ends justify the means" mentality is ruining this show and a character that I already hated from the get-go, and seriously makes me wonder if characters like Sisko did nothing wrong or not. Compared to other characters in the Trek universe, Michael Burnham is climbing the ranks of the most dangerous, insubordinate and horrible Starfleet officers of all time. But she'll get her pat on the head at the end of the season like the last one I'm sure.

*The camera work was way better (I also do like this show's style of beauty shots by zooming into the section of the ship), but the placement of scenes was a little weird. How do you have this calm and resolving scene of Culber in a quick therapy session then quickly cut to a high octane and music driven boxing scene?

*Cornwall went from being a kinda badass side character in Season 1 to an annoying, bossy and unnecessarily mean character. I get that Section 31 is a bunch of meanieheads, but saying "I'm already cringing" to Leland offering help in a galactic-destruction scenario makes you sound like a bitch more than a badass Admiral, lady.

*The Klingons in a temporal arms race is fine, but the whole "spying and destroying facilities" seems very dishonorable and weak. Maybe I'm basing it off of Star Trek games - specifically Birth of the Federation - in which actions like espionage is looked down upon, but we already know how disloyal this show is to Klingons. And since the teaser shows them coming in for the next episode, I'm holding my breath.

*Tilly continues to straddle the extremely thin line of being tongue-in-cheek cute and Neelix level annoying. We get it, she's socially awkward, stop doing the same damn gag over and over.

2 stars for The Red Angel. I'm wondering how the time aspect will play into dealing with an enemy from the future. I hope it isn't something like @Justin Minor said and the characters become egotistical sociopaths and alter history just for their own selfishness.
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FELCommentary
Thu, Mar 14, 2019, 8:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

This episode highlights one of Discovery's greatest problems: the complete failure to capitalize and explore the side characters that are on the bridge.

At this point in the show, there is absolutely no reason that there should be SO MANY SIDE CHARACTERS (Leland, Georgio, Cornwell, Jet Reno, etc) when you have enough on the screen to develop and continue with their stories, especially in a 14 episode season. Remember Tilly's promise to return to the mycellial world and help out May? I member.

More and more this makes me wish they had taken a page out of Enterprise with the way they tackled a season-long arc, because Discovery's direction is one in which each season is a self contained story (mostly because what other choice does it have?). Drop the budget for some of the effects and take some episodes to develop those side characters more in an A and B plot. Like why is Tyler's worthless ass even in the season when we could have explored Detmer more than her flying really good or Owo more than her family growing up on a village?

Aside from that, my usual complaints of the camera work: we already know it's bad so I won't repeat myself. I also absolutely hate this imagining of Spock and continues to make me wish her brother was an original character. Unless there's some godly last-minute last-episode connection to why everything must be around Spock I'll give it the benefit of the doubt, but right now I wouldn't be surprised if our door-slamming angsty Vulcan friend goes to his quarters and blasts some of The Smith's classics.

So the big thing now is the AI that seems to be the antagonist: could it really be the ship's AI from the thousand year future Short Trek? The Saru episode was meant to connect to his episode arc, so maybe this other arc was for that. Is it possibly flagging the future of Discovery, where they have to abandon the ship because it's been taken over by a crazy AI from the future? Maybe I'm just theorizing too hard...

And Ariam mentioned something in her death rant to Michael about the AI saying "it's all because of you". Did the showrunners just spell out to us that Michael is the Red Angel? If so and she is I will be immensely disappointed, but not just because it would be such a lame plot twist for an already despicable and glamorized character. It would also be because of the poor execution of it: how stupid do these writers think the audience is? We can pick up on subtle signs, you saw first hand when people suspected Lorca was from the MU within the first episode of him being there. We don't need everything spelled out to us.

On a positive note, Spock's tidbits with Stamets was actually kind of nice to watch, just in the sense of how a pivotal main lead from another show interacts with another show's crew (similar to Worf and the DS9 crew). I hope to see more of it. I'm also starting to be a little more lenient on Section 31's use in this show: will everything fall apart because of a crazy AI and Starfleet dissolves it to nothing more than the shadow branch we see in DS9? Who knows.

2 and a half stars for Project Daedalus. My suspicions of the second of the season ruining the whole season are growing, but I'm still hopeful for an above average ending.
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FELCommentary
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 9:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

The show is still continuing the movie curse of every even episode being a banger, because this was a solid banger.

Starting with the negatives, I am begging the team to fire whoever is directing this show. This episode's camera work wasn't as bad as the others, but you don't have to flip around and do a 180 to introduce a shot and room!

Also the color grading on the show is an immense issue. Everything: the hallways, the uniforms, the planets, is blue. I'm on season 2 of this show and I still can't tell who is an Engineer, a Tactical or a Science officer. That was part of the beauty of the TOS outfits and I reeeeeeeally wish Pike told the crew to wear the one he wore in the first episode.

Georgio. Why is she still around? Literally 80% of her dialogue is "look how edgy I am, I'm from the Mirror Universe guys!". I get it that it's all set up for a downfall of Leland and her spinoff show, but I can barely fathom her being the lead of a show if her character continues to be like this.

And just like that, Michael is once again ignoring Starfleet's wishes and is acting as a fugitive (this is more plot forgiving though). In all of the Trek shows, no crew and ship is as batshit crazy as Discovery has been in their 23 episodes of airing so far. Maybe it's the modern day serialized drama writing style or its the showrunners' idea of what Trek is, but I feel it is still the main driving force of hardcore fans calling Discovery "not real Trek".

As for the positives:
*That recap scene of The Cage was beautiful. I normally am very so so about the nostalgia and use of classic lore, but this was creative and that transition from old Pike to new Pike was flawless.

*The Talos IV bit was the best part of the episode. Seeing the revamped Talosians and Vina (that actress is vaaaaaaalid) was also great, and now adds an interesting twist on the identity of the Red Angel: it's a human! There goes the future Spock idea.

*The Stamets/Culber story is progressing slowly, but I feel it will have a dramatic conclusion. It's interesting the lines between him and Tyler where they are both people who don't really know who they are anymore. Also I can't wait to see the hardcore right-wing fan reaction to that emotional heart to heart scene between the two and how much of a "forced gay agenda" it was. Maybe if Culber was a big breasted blonde woman they'd have no problem with it.

3 stars for "If Memory Serves". 6 more episodes to go, I'm very hoping it won't have a shoehorned rushed and contrived ending the way the first season did.
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FELCommentary
Thu, Feb 28, 2019, 10:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

As a side note as well, I forgot to comment on The Sound of Thunder, but I thought it was the shows best episode so far albeit its "let's interfere with the evolutional structure of this planet" bit at the end. However, I saw that as a cool comparison to Enterprise's "Dear Doctor". Archer was in a somewhat similar scenario and said "we aren't god" and basically doomed the species, so it's unfair to hold so much umbridge towards the Discovery crew. 3.5 star for that episode.
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FELCommentary
Thu, Feb 28, 2019, 10:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

How many times is someone gonna beam onto a ship or planet with the shields up in this show?

This episode confirms my fears that Section 31 is nothing more than a plot device to sow tension into the crew and advance/fill in plot holes when necessary. Us finding out Leland killed Michael's parents is just useless information that either will never show up or will death-flag Leland for the end of the season. Also the show really needs to work on their memorable reoccuring side characters, because I can't stand Georgiou at all.

Also this is - what - the 3rd or 4th time now Michael has disobeyed Starfleet orders and regulations? Worst officer ever.

As I had said on earlier episodes, I enjoyed the pacing of The Search for Spock arc of the season because I knew he was going to be my least favorite thing about it. Seeing him here now as the door-slamming - apparently special ed kid - character just makes me wish he was an original character that was Michael's brother. Maybe the whole thing with Talos IV is setting it up to be a huge story twist? I see it as TV and movie executives making another bad version of a classic character.

Ash Tyler proceeds to also be the most worthless character on the screen. He's somehow even less than Trek's typical eye-candy character, cause his personality only extends to "hrrrr Michael" and that blank stare the actor always does. This very fast-paced "push him and Pike together so the audience knows they're cool now" isn't working for me.

As for the positive, I kinda like what they're doing with the whole time aspect in terms of both visuals and overall story. I do like @Rahul comment about it shaping up to be similar to the Temporal Cold War arc from Enterprise, but I think the general structure of the season is going to differ from the "random tall alien guys fight each other off screen" structure the TCW arc had.

I want to add an interesting little note too: It seems like this season is following the same curse that the Star Trek movies had: every single odd episode is meh to a stinker (Except Brother) and every even episode is a straight banger. Just a fun little observation.

2 stars for Light and Shadows, I hope this isn't the end for the fun side episodes or 2 parters for the season.
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FELCommentary
Thu, Feb 14, 2019, 10:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

My opinion is pretty much the same as the others that have commented so far: no real serious interest in the continuous use of the Spore Drive (thought the whole human experimentation thing would have made them write it out of the show), May is still continuing to be ear gratingly annoying, and a lot of the technology used in the episode was more fantastical than actual sci-fi.

Hugh coming back was just idiotic and the result of really bad season 1 writing. I get the writers are trying to make up for those mistakes from the last season, but it came across in such a ridiculous way.

Pike needs to be waaaaaaaaaaay less lenient with Burnham. This is the second time she's held something back from him, and given her history of - you know - starting an entire war, he should force her to talk or throw her in the brig. But she's has Mary Sue Plot Armor so whatever.

Also Section 31 is the single worst kept secret in all of Star Trek. How do you go from a Starfleet agent secretly working with Section 31 (Sloan and Reed) to people walking around with dark clothing, a black badge and a personalized ship saying "I WORK FOR SECTION 31"?

The high points were the nice little reference to Operation - Annihilate! with Leland and direction. The shaky cam is mostly used for dramatic scenes and the sound mixing is way better than last week.

I also would like to say that I personally think the pacing of the Spock storyline is perfect: remember how rediculously rushed the Klingon War story was, and how after 4 or 5 episodes the Discovery is single handedly winning the war? Yeah let's not do that again. They're pacing it out very well with filler episodes, character building and the half a million subplots the season has.

2 stars is a good rating for this episode, it's a mediocre part-2/subplot episode that suffers the same mistakes and drooling writing style of Point of Light. But next week's trailer looks extremely promising.
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FELCommentary
Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 10:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: An Obol for Charon

While season 1 was an absolute failure of a season-wide story with minor filler - I'd call it classic Trek - episodes, and last week's episode being a fat stinker, this episode brought the Season 2 steam train back in full force.

I feel like Discovery is starting to figure out some of the unique ways they can tell classic Trek stories and events, like the universal translator bugging out and everyone was speaking different languages. A very cool way to showcase what would originally have been a line of dialogue in an older series.

Branching off of what I said earlier, this is also the classic "holy crap the ship is about to explode" episode style of Trek with a hopeful resolution involving a desecrated and dying alien species we've never seen. It's death parallels very well with Saru's ideology and reason for being in Starfleet, as he thought his legacy was going to die and be continued by Michael, but it is only the next chapter.

Speaking of, fantastic performances by Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp and Mary Wiseman again. And what's that? SMG actually emoting? Well I'll be damned. Although it was kinda hard to get through with the r/iamverysmart dialogue: did she really have to say "is it truly inevitable?" "Is this really the end" would have worked fine.

My only other big gripe is Jet Reno's character. Yay, another sarcastic asshole on Discovery. Because we didn't have enough of them in season 1. Her back and forth with Stamets was entertaining to a point though, and much like in the older Trek series, Stamets bringing up Earth's pollution problem highlights humanitarian issues we suffer with today. I'm sure the hardcore older fans will see this as nothing more than "SJW" pandering because we're in an era where we're so scared to hear that sometimes we suck.

Also while the camera work was farrrrrrrr better than the last two episodes (a note to this episode's director) the audio mixing was a little wonky. Some scenes with yelling or explosions were really loud when my volume was perfectly default with the regular back and forth talking.

3.5 stars for An Obol to Charon, and my favorite episode of Discovery, next to New Eden and Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad. Let's hope the show continues its slow burning Spock story that isn't jumping the gun like Season 1's Klingon War.
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FELCommentary
Thu, Jan 31, 2019, 10:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Point of Light

Once again, Discovery shows to me that they can't tell a Klingon story that isn't off-the-walls ridiculous and ignorant of canon. The D7 and the hair line were great, but the consistent idea of this badass honorable warrior race reducing to Game of Thrones style betrayal and treachery. Also that line about being called "mother" made my sides cringe into orbit.

The Spock storyline was solid, with more backstory building for both Michael and this show's version of Spock. The more it goes on, the more I wish Michael was an original stand-alone character and had her own brother (let's call him Jock). If Jock was a regular Human who was a Commander of a legendary ship that started losing it and supposedly murdering doctors, it would be less head scratching as to how such a gentle and loveable character like Spock ended up this way. I'm sure it's all going to lead up to some sort of redemption/reconstruction of DSC's Spock to the TOS Spock, but I'm getting pretty tired of edge-lord door-slamming Spock.

The Tilly storyline was my favorite, with some pretty good acting from Mary Wiseman. This seems to be a storyline that's going to span across the season for her, which is great, if it didn't coincide with two other storylines this episode. Which brings me to my biggest problem: this episode felt more like having 3 B-list plots and not an A/B plot. This is the problem with the whole "let's make Star Trek: Discovery a serialized show", because you're going to have a bunch of plot points at the same time early on and they all get bogged down from it because Trek doesn't fit that nature. DS9 did it well in their 6/7th season because it was the 6/7th season and everyone/everything was developed.

Also please fire that director for this episode: the camera angles and motion genuinely made me feel nauseous. Whatever happened to a simple panning of a room introduction or shot/reverse shot conversation? Hold the goddamn camera still.

2 stars for Point of Light: disappointing coming off of probably the best episode of the show, but understandable that serialized shows like this will have slow stinker episodes.
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FELCommentary
Thu, Jan 24, 2019, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: New Eden

Discovery's second season knocks it out of the park again with another good episode. For me it focused a lot on the characters and their likability.

*I already loved Saru, but his mentoring was great to see.

*Captain Pike's headstrong protection of the Prime Directive and the way he fixed everything in the end was very Picard-like. It's gonna be real sad when we eventually see how he gets that injury and how he's in the chair in TOS, cause I'm sure Discovery will show it in all TV-MA detail.

*Owosekun and Detmer actually having more than 2 lines of dialogue was good, and shows the writers are trying to make their promise on developing the bridge crew. I kind of wish Owosekun actually had a conversation rather than "i'm going to do this and that".

*Tilly still bounces on the fence of "hecking adorable" and "annoying as shit" for me, but she was more so adorable this episode.

The pacing is also infinitely better this season with the season-wide story unlike the Klingon War from last season. The way the Red Angel coincides with the episode missions is pretty nice, and makes me excited to see the other 5 spots.

My bigger gripes were the ending scene and - funny enough - the direction. Pike goes on about how he can't interfere with the development of this community, then immediately turns around and gives Jacob a battery charger. A little contradictory, don't you think? It also makes me wonder how the Prime Directive works in the sense of a pre-warp HUMAN society. It's their own people, does it still count?

And the directing: Jonathan Frakes did this? The cameramen must have hammered some Andorian ale before filming because they couldn't hold it still for a second. There were some really awkward cuts and speed-ups with the camera pan, not to mention that really bad upside-down shot of the Discovery before the away party landed - what was that shot supposed to develop in the scene?

3 stars for me, but if I was going on a 1-10, I'd go for a 7.5 or maybe even 8. Good work boys, keep it up.
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FELCommentary
Thu, Jan 17, 2019, 8:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Brother

Amazing performance by Anson Mount mixed with some good camera work, side character interaction, episode structure and ACTUAL HUMAN EMOTION. It's starting to feel like Star Trek.

My only grip is i absolutely hate the direction they're going with the edgelord Spock being the key to the Angel.

Overall good episode, 3 stars for me. Keep it up Discovery.
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