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Luis Dantas
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 12:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I complained a few episodes ago that Dietmer suddenly had become a X-Wing pilot.

Now I get the sense that Discovery has been trying to be a Star Wars show ever since.

This episode is a particularly serious offender, with lots of faceless pursuers that somehow consistently fail to catch up with our heroes despite a serious numerical and tactical advantage, personality cults aplenty, and even jumps and falls from great heights. Even Book is all but told that he, too, is an unique "chosen one", perhaps displacing Stamets in that capacity somewhat.

That goes a long way towards explaining the persistent expectations that Starfleet or the Federation would be found out to be "evil" despite no evidence pointing to that. We mistrust these institutions because we have never learned enough about them to truly trust them. We are too busy with all the implausible action and artificial, often spelled out drama.

This was a serious misstep, IMO. Michael's fate sounds so undeserved that she herself falls just short of pointing out that it is indeed unearned. This Starfleet may well be idealistic, but it is shown to be too lenient with serious breaches of discipline and protocol. Which, again, makes it look a lot more like a Rebel Alliance than a Starfleet proper. At this point I can't help but wonder which ulterior motives Vance might have to go to such implausible lengths while attempting to protect Michael's ego. The final scenes remind me of a Harry Potter story, where nothing of real significance happens without taking a moment to reach out for the protagonist and assuring him (or her) that it would not have been possible were the protagonist Just So Special.

I also wish this episode and the previous one were not meshed into a two-parter. The storylines do not work to each other's advantage except perhaps by providing reasons for Discovery not to be more helpful to Su'Kal and his helpers. There is a definite tone mismatch, and it works to neither plot's advantage.
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Luis Dantas
Fri, Dec 25, 2020, 9:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

Color me conflicted. This is one episode that confuses me utterly.

Much of it was a joy to behold, particularly the Michael / Su'Kal interactions. The actress did a superb job interpreting a holoprogram in those scenes, and the writing was fine as well.

I also liked that Stamets did not see any need to hide his emotions from other crew members. That hints at an aspect of Starfleet (or Federation) society that I find particularly pleasing: a better acceptance of human nature and less interest in ritual and protocols that attempt to deny it. Adira's scene with the radiation pills was comparable, but more ambiguous.

Vance keeps being a reasonable authority figure, despite a lot of insistence from many to perceive him otherwise.

But the plot was also lacking or confusing at times. While I do ultimately like the results, the decision to have Tilly as Acting Captain was unconvincing at best. And it is still far from clear how Su'Kal can ignite dilithium, or how he can have avoided doing that a second time after so many years.

Osyra is starting to look reckless, unless I am failing to understand her actual travel capabilities. Three episodes ago Michael implied that the Transwarp travel that Osyra apparently used here is incredibly dangerous. Osyra won't remain an unchallenged leader for any time at all if she keeps risking valuable war vessels with such displays of daring.

I sort of hope that there is a mole, but logically that would have to be either Ryn or Booker. It would also make sense for spies to be present at the Federation hub, but somehow I doubt it, if only because we have not seen much of those people.

The cliffhanger was fairly well-handled. I honestly don't know how I feel about it. Discovery has been going through so many risks that it almost feels like it deserves to be lost.
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Luis Dantas
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 5:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: The Sanctuary

This may well turn out to be the weakest episode of this season. It was enjoyable, but it made some very poor creative decisions.

One is making an X-Wing pilot out of Detmer - and just because, no less. This was very noticeable and a serious danger to suspension of disbelief.

Till and Saru taking such a direct rogue approach was unexpected and very disappointing. This better have consequences back in Starfleet. I am starting to wonder if Discovery even has a place in Starfleet in the 32nd century.

On the plus side, Stamets and Adira and the doctor keep being handled well.

I also liked the ongoing advancement on the Burn / music plot.

However, the main plot was perfunctory. It could really use some characterization and breathing space. And Empress Georgiou is unbelievably flippant by now, to the point that I have to doubt her emotional balance. This is one character that can't go away fast enough.
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Luis Dantas
Fri, Nov 27, 2020, 6:03am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Unification III

I love this season of Discovery. The writers and producers really found their footing. The episodes are very, very sound from an anthropological perspective.

This episode was just about perfect. We see the consequences of Michael's recklessness for herself and those around her, we see the sincere effort of so many characters. This is shaping up to be perhaps the best Trek series ever.

The main plot was interesting as well. The Ni'var situation was presented in both a concise and believable way, and gave us a few new exciting characters to boot.
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Luis Dantas
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 7:56am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Scavengers

I am far less enthusiastic about Giorgiou, as expected. She is just so aberrant a character! I hope the talk about basing a Section 31 series around her do not materialize, although to be fair that is more due to the basic concept than anything else.

The action sequences were a bit cliche as well, and I can't help but wonder why we are not even given a rationale for using some sort of disintegrator rays as opposed to phasers on stun. Trek shouldn't kill quite as casually as happened in this episode.
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Luis Dantas
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 7:53am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Scavengers

A solid episode, full of nice little moments. The last minute or so was among the most courageous bits of Trek plot that I ever saw, and I gladly welcome it.

The character work, particularly, has been excellent this season. I love what they have been doing with Tilly, Saru, Stamets and Adira. Stamets' lines were just perfect all through the episode, as were Hugh Culber's. His conversations with Adira were lovely, just lovely. It is not often that I see a TV show depict a young person learning to trust other people quite so convincingly or in such a heartwarming way.

Tilly was another stronghold of the episode. She has been growing subtly yet noticeably in both confidence and ability to express herself. Her conversation with Saru served both characters very well. It is just so good to see people being reasonable on-screen at a time such as this.

Admiral Vance, too, was just perfect. This episode went a long way towards showing us quite who he is and where and why he stands. He consistently shows very good judgement and interacts nicely with the Discovery crew. I notice that Lieutenant Audrey Willa, too, has been warming up to the new arrivals, which is yet another nice touch. Given how mistrusting and grim she was just in the previous episode, her change is all the more noteworthy and welcome.

Michael may have had a significant shift in personality this last year and we are just now noticing. She may happen to enjoy being more of a rogue than she would like to admit. That is part of what makes the last minute of this episode so good.

Having the main character be taken down a significant peg was oddly refreshing.
I guess I truly did not like Michael's judgements these last two episodes.

Can we possibly be about to have a Trek series where the protagonist actually changes mid-season? I can see the focus shifting away from Michael at this point. It might even make for an exciting and refreshing change, allowing characters to change and evolve to their hearts content. Ryker avoided attaining Captaincy for well over ten years IIRC, and while I sort of understand his reasons, it should probably not become the situation to be expected.
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Luis Dantas
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 4:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

A very strong episode, not least because it touches on several different characterization points that are very welcome indeed.

I particularly liked that Detmer's issues were acknowledged quite directly, once by herself. Hopefully they will come to the foreground real soon now.

Even Georgiou was written significantly better than usual, almost to the point of being tolerable. I have read people calling her interrogator a member of Section 31. Maybe I missed something?

There were still flaws. This would work better as a two-parter with some breathing room for Starfleet and Discovery to better aclimate to each other. The idea that Discovery just happens to arrive at such a critical moment after being over 930 years late was distracting. And Michael was really quite a bit petulant and presumptous in a situation that called for a lot more humility than she gave us. It was nice to see Saru call her on that. That made me hopeful that this will be a plot to bear fruit in the near future as opposed to the unwelcome character trait that it so far appears to be.

I'm of two minds about Nhan. This episode was a nice spotlight for her character, but I sure hope we see more of her soon. The brief peek at her culture's uniqueness was also welcome.

All the same, this was a nice episode far as overall tone and plot significance go. Plenty of exciting places to go from here, and a good mix of new characters and situations to work with. The work with the ultratech hybrid Starfleed / Federation was particularly solid.
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Luis Dantas
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 5:00am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Talk about different strokes and all that. Jamahl's review makes me wonder if I was watching some other season finale.
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Luis Dantas
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 6:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Such a promising and exciting season, such a terrible ending.

We end up with lots of unresolved plots in the 24th century, an excess of unsubtle action and even more forceful plot points, and a very forced and sudden transition into an entirely new series engine.

I have seen people speculate that Control may turn out to be an early main component of the Borg, but I notice that it would require him to time travel back to the past at some point. Instead, I find it more interesting to wonder if Sphere is not about to become the ghost in Discovery's shell, and eventually become Zora from the Short Treck "Calypso".

I assume that the Spore Drive will be seriously limited in the next season, since IIRC it has been established that it can be used to travel through time.

The new series premise is remarkably similar to what Voyager was once expected to be. There is potential in that. But the episode itself fell just short of stating outright that we would never see Burnham or Discovery again. It looks like a repurposed series finale, instead of just a season finale. We are not even given a glimpse of post-jump Discovery. For all we know they jumped straight into a sun and were destroyed.

The human drama scenes were not too succesful either. I don't know why it is such a big deal that Spock shaved without warning. I don't think Tyler and Burnham have any chemistry at all. And the decision to just never speak of them again is made even more naive because Section 31 is apparently participating of it. Can you say cheaters? Sure you can.

I will wait for Season 3 with an expectation of a mostly-clean slate. There are a few plots already in the fire: Michael's mother, Sphere, Control, and dealing with a very different and strange new world in the Beta Quadrant of centuries beyond. Hopefully we will learn a bit more about the crew as well. And I have a hunch that Po will turn up in some capacity.

Still, a disappointing season finale.
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Luis Dantas
Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 10:23am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

Loved this episode. Great characterization, interesting plot. The most genuine Trek we have had in a long time.
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Luis Dantas
Wed, Mar 13, 2019, 6:22am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

I liked Landry's last scene. It was a perfect display of characterization for both her, Michael and Lorca. Lorca is _way_ over his head and using entirely inappropriate tools for a task that he grossly underestimates, and it shows.

Michael is his direct opposite, because she respects her challenges enough not to engage in destructive shows of daring-doo.
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