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Trent
Fri, May 24, 2019, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Thankfully, according to google, it's actually actress Merrin Dungey's voice in the teaser. So no Michael.
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Trent
Fri, May 24, 2019, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Wait, lol, the show is called PICARD? They literally called the show PICARD? And the tagline is THE END IS ONLY THE BEGINNING?

This already feels as hacky as Discovery.

MadManMUC said: "Though the vineyard footage was beautifully shot."

IMO it's not beautiful at all. Like Discovery, it's just expensive and overproduced. The ideas, compositions, mis-en-scene, over-worked lighting...again, it's the Michael Bay school of art. Or a Thomas Kincaid painting. Everything pushed far beyond the point of good taste, and filmed by people with a background in commercial advertising.
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Trent
Fri, May 24, 2019, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I found that Picard trailer to be kitschy and cliched, and filled with the usual grimdark/edgelord trimmings ("Did you lose your faith in Starfleet?", "Tell us why you left the Federation!" etc). The voice over, which sounds like SMG, also makes it seem as though Discovery/Picard are going to have some tie-ins (please god, no).

It's depressing that Trek constantly needs to "test the Federation" and cook up stories in which "people are fighting for Federation values!" (Rah! Rah!). The implicit message is that writers can't envision what simply living, working and exploring in Starfleet/the Federation, entails, and how this might be an interesting, beautiful thing in as of itself. It's a phony motion: cynicism in the guise of affirming optimism.
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Trent
Sun, May 12, 2019, 10:20am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

Avis blesses us upon this glorious day.
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Trent
Thu, May 9, 2019, 6:20am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

Christianity used to be cool and edgy, man. This was a religion about a gender-neutral hebephile who impregnates their own underage mother in order to incestuously give birth to a proto-Marxist bankster-bashing son who was simultaneously his own father and who possesses a magical save-game function which restores the sin-health-bars of humans whenever he presses reset on a cross.

That is cool, edgy stuff. But then Christians ruined Christianity and turned it into the worst kind of conformism. Your modern western Christian is just like everyone else, down to its day to day activities, thought processes, wants and desires. Worshiping at the alter of the Invisible Hand, the Holy Market and the self, Christ's believers demote Jesus to a kind of teddy bear, selfishly and periodically rolled out.

We gotta bring back the fire-and-brimstone Big Lebowski Jesus. Drunk stoner hippie-love Picard-in-a-toga Jesus. No other religion has a hero as cool as him, except, arguably, Buddhism.

Someone above mentioned "Devil's Due". This episode seems to present the reverse message of "Devil's Due". In this episode, Orville defends religion as a "stage", a "vital crutch" which helps societies "evolve". Religion as a kind of wisdom laid upon cultures, which helps add structure, guidance and shape, and which helps bootstraps humanity to something more nuanced.

"Devil's Due" offers sort of the same message, but is IMO a bit more critical of religion; religion in "Devil's Due" is more parasitic, it claims victories and achievements which the aliens would have accomplished without its presence, and its demands for payments and fidelity get in the way of, stymie and slow past and future accomplishments.
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Trent
Fri, May 3, 2019, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

Has anyone noticed how this second season bookends itself like season 2 of TOS?

TOS season 1 first episode - Amok Time
Orville season 1 first episode - Ja'loja

TOS season 2 last episode - Assignment Earth
Orville season 2 last episode - The Road Not Taken

Amok Time and Ja'loja see Spock/Bortus being taken back to their home-worlds to enact a rare biological ritual. Assignment Earth and The Road Not Taken deal with time travelers trying to restore time lines and prevent future calamity and war.
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Trent
Fri, May 3, 2019, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Watching this episode a second time, knowing where the second installment leads, and I I feel it plays even better. The script's really quite elegant in the way it parcels out information (the way it sets up Ed/Kelly's date taking place right after the temporal teleportation, or the way Young Kelly asks Talla for a date in 7 years time, and Talla immediately looks over at Old Kelly and says "date later in the observation lounge at 8 o clock?" (paraphrase).

This show is also very good at hiding sequences; we have the Orville hiding in 2D space in season 1, and now the Orville hiding in a cloak of ice, and later the (admittedly incredulous) Orville hiding at the edge of a black hole.

This episode also contains a couple great dialogue scenes, Kelly and Kelly passive aggressively trying to get under each other's skin. And I like Ed's politeness and dignity, the way he apologizes for his past transgressions, and Ed and Claire's little talk in her quarters. Barring one or two monologues (mostly about Kelly drunk), the episode's a tight sequence of nicely written little conversations.

Jammer also points out that "Kelly should be locked in a room" so as "not to pervert the timeline", but watching this again, I feel the episode addressed this well. Ed suggests locking Kelly up, but comes to the conclusion that they've branched off into another time line, and that locking her up would be unethical (they yanked her out of time; it's not her fault).

Meanwhile, I feel the climactic ending is the kind of old school scifi ZINGER ENDING! that old scifi short stories (think Asimov and Clarke), and shows like TOS and the Twilight Zone, did really well.
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Trent
Thu, May 2, 2019, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

Quincy said: "However, ALL detractors arguments against Discovery are ALL applicable here; this episode was flat out absurd."

But Orville's a comedy written by guys who pen Futurama and Family Guy about a crew who smoke weed on duty. Discovery is Star Trek. It's an entirely different show, and a serious one, and one with a much bigger legacy to live up to.

If anyone's interested, Jammer's review reminded me of this Scifi short story: https://www.tor.com/2011/08/31/wikihistory/
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Trent
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 9:04am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

Slacker said: "no "y" in that word, FYI...[...]...it's ridiculous that Kelly didn't warn anyone about the Kaylon invasion."

It can be spelt with a Y as well (and as two words or one), at least according to dictionary websites.

But that's a great point about Kelly. IMO the only way this "goof" can work is if you assume:

1. Kelly believes that not dating Ed will have no major effect on the universe
2. She believes in non-interference, and the temporal laws cited by Ed, and so doesn't warn the Union
3. She believes events will play out as they did in the Prime Timeline (ie, she lets the war take place, assuming it will be stopped)
4. She wasn't told everything during her trip to the future, so didn't know that Claire only transferred to the Orville because of Ed.
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Trent
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

It's funny how this episode highlights the importance of the Claire/Isaac romance.

Kelly's rejection of Ed leads to Ed not serving on the Orville, Isaac never meeting Claire, Claire and the kids never changing Isaac, and Isaac never betraying the Kaylon, who in turn proceed to conquer the Union and Krill.

Far from being a funny diversion, the Claire/Isaac romance from the earlier episodes turns out to be a kind of galactic lynch pin.
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Trent
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

I had a big dumb grin on my face throughout this episode. I thought it was goofy fun, like a 15 year old kid's scifi wet dream.

If past Orville episodes suckled on the teats of "Star Trek", this one draws on every pop-SF flick since the 1980s. So we have the "that's no moon" scene from "A New Hope", the asteroid chase from "Empire Strikes Back," the Endor bunker scene from "Return of the Jedi", the "mirror universe" episodes from DS9 and TNG (Yesterday's Enterprise), some underwater stuff evocative of "Stargate Atlantis" or "Seaquest", a Ed/Kelly temporal/trans-dimensional romance similar to Fry/Leela in "Futurama", musical cues from James Cameron's "Aliens", as well as James Horner's work on "Wrath of Khan" and of course John Williams, as well as little tropes evocative of "Firefly", "Serenity", and the resistance movement in the "Terminator" franchise etc.

All of this should be annoying, but the pace is quick and clipped (well structured, the plot unfolds on the move, or as a chase), and the tone always funny. Ed and Gordon risk their lives to steal a "microwave", eat twinkies, the universe is hilariously destroyed because Ed couldn't get a second date ("She never called me back!"), Ed didn't take his shirt off when swimming till he was 20 years old (lol), Gordon thinks Kelly's running a "crack house ship" and Yaphit's a member of an underground rebel cell. We even get Alara back. All that's missing is a funny Dan cameo.

The FX are amazing too, part tacky kitsch, part stunningly beautiful (for every dumb shot of flying robot heads, there are gorgeous shots of the Orville leaving the Atlantic Ocean, or skimming clouds above earth). We also get a cool black hole sequence - our heroes hide at the edge of a black hole - a neat idea which makes absolutely no scientific sense (surely they'd have to constantly have their quantum drive running to negate the hole's pull?).

IMO this episode also works well as a love story; it is revealed that Kelly breaks up with Ed in the last episode not because she resents him and how their lives turned out, but because she wants to protect Ed from emotional pain. It's thus an act of supreme love and altruism which annihilates the universe, the episode making literal the kind of ridiculous hyperbole associated with romance and breakups ("She left me and now the universe sucks!", "Meeting you is the greatest moment of all time!" etc). It's kind of sweet.

It's also worth comparing this to Discovery's climax. Surely the similarities between the two are not a coincidence. Surely Orville learned of Discovery's plot and smuggled in a response, just as it did with "Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes" (undercover Klingons vs undercover Krills- incidentally, there's nothing left on earth, not even fishes, in this episode).

After all, in both shows characters use information from the future to assemble a team and then use time travel to stop high tech robots from taking over the future and annihilating all living things. Both shows also climax with the hero ship using its engines to power a "time crystal"/"time machine", thereby leaving it dead in the water whilst enemy ships close in on its location.

So I found this to be a fun episode; it ably mixes adventure, with tongue-in-cheek comedy, sweet romance, parody, serious stakes, cutting edge CGI and goofy retro-aesthetics. It's a hard juggling act, and probably one which results in the show shooting itself in the foot (Jack of all trades, master of none et al).

As for this season as a whole, IMO it's been very good. I found "Ja'loja" to be a funny, pleasantly low-key relationship episode. "Primal Urges" I found to be weak and too literal with its critiques of pornography. "Home" I felt was a beautiful mood piece. "Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes" I thought had a weak middle, but excellent opening and closing acts. "All the World Is Birthday Cake" I thought was flawed but thematically interesting. Like Jammer I found "A Happy Refrain" incredulous, but was ultimately swayed by its sentimentality. "Deflectors" I thought was excellent, and probably the closet thus far to a great Trek episode, and "Identity Part 1 and 2" I found to be a worthy successor of Trek's best action 2 parters. "Blood of Patriots" I found to be generic, though IMO it had about two great scenes. "Lasting Impression's", like Jammer, I thought was great, with nice themes of tech addiction, love addiction, loneliness and longing. "Sancturary" I thought was excellent as well, and more than most episode this felt like TNG, complete with its moral quagmires and Union HQ debate halls. Taken as a single tale, I thought "Tomorrow, Tomorrow" and "The Road Not Taken" was neat as well, and an interesting tonal juxtaposition (subdued chamber piece vs cataclysmic spectacle).

I hope the show gets at least one more season, and doesn't go the "Firefly" route.

Also if OmicronThetaDeltaPhi is reading this, thanks for inspiring me to rewatch "Enterprise". So far, it's a big improvement (dramatically and aesthetically at least), from the previous seasons. Also, if If OmicronThetaDeltaPhi is reading this, a pre-emptive "**** YOU, MAN!" for making me rewatch Enterprise.
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Trent
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 6:22am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Jammer seems to hate anything to do with Ed and Kelly romancing. Since season 1, he's always seemed to want them to just be colleagues.

I personally like the constant flirting, pining and tension between them, and it plays to Seth's strengths as a lovelorn schmuck. I've always felt this is a direction Chakotay and Janeway should have gone.
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Trent
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 2:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

If Sarek knows where Michael is and that she's in trouble, why doesn't he send a Vulcan/Federation ship to assist in the battle against Section 31? If Section 31 is jamming communications - I assume it's a huge blockade, given that Discovery can't escape it - how does Ash get a message out to the Klingons?
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Trent
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

It's the Federation that's Hitlerian now.

In the first Season, the Federation plants a planet destroying bomb in the volcano of Kronos.

In the second Season, the Federation backs and staffs a clandestine organization that creates a weapon that almost destroys all sentient life in the galaxy, and in at least one timeline destroys all sapient life. This is galactic scale genocide.
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Trent
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 10:26am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Further to the above, Michael's Mom couldn't have left the Kaminar signal, because she explicitly says in an episode that she has "no idea" about any of the signals. So if Michael is behind all the signals, what we see in the last episode is an error. She couldn't have gone to Kaminar and simultaneously left the signal and helped Saru, because the signal happens about a day earlier.

But this begs another question. Seven simultaneous signals trigger the Discovery's mission. One episode (Brothers) explicitly says this "would have required energy beyond Starfleet's understanding to produce". So how can the Red Angel possesses more energy that Starfleet can produce? And how can it trigger 7 simultaneous signals (" perfect synchronization" the characters say), at different locations?

Spock also tells us he was visited 2 times by the Red Angel, both revealed to have been Dr Burnham. But she doesn't know anything about the red signals. How can Spock draw the seven signals as a kid if no Red Angel gave him this info? And Michael only traveled 5 times back to the past before going in the wormhole, so she couldn't have set the original 7 signals at the beginning of episode 1. So who did?

Finally, the famous "map of 7 signals" shows 7 distinct points, but signal 2 and 7 are both at Terralysium and 5 and 6 are both at Xahea. So the signal map is nonsense; it should only show 3 points.
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Trent
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 9:53am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Daya said: "@Trent: She's an angel. She just hung around. "

What does that mean, exactly? You can't hang around in the suit. It automatically yanks you back in time after a few minutes.

The two options seem to be that Michal jumps twice, once to make the signal and once to help Saru. But the show only shows her jumping from the Section 31 battle to Kaminar once.

The other option seems to be that Michael's Mom lays the signal and then Michael shows up to help Saru. But this episode seems to contradict that, as it reveals Michael in the suit laying the signal and helping Saru.
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Trent
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 6:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Can someone explain this?

According to the show, the signal at Kaminar happened before Discovery arrived. The angel that Saru saw out the window showed up several hours or days after the signal, and disabled all the Ba'ul weapons. This seems inconsistent with this new episode, which shows Michael arriving and creating the signal at Kaminar when Saru was already on the Ba'ul ship.
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Trent
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 12:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Alan said: "Which show would an outside observer suggests needs more to learn from the other? "


Popularity and longevity don't inherently correlate with quality. The most watched youtube videos include Justin Bieber, a singing cartoon shark, a Latin American woman shaking her butt and Gangnam Style. The most watched series last year include America's Got Talent, NCIS and Young Sheldon. The longest running TV shows include NCIS, Beverly Hills 90210 and Two and a Half Men. Firefly was cancelled after 1 season. The Wire was ignored when it was originally running. Seth McFarlane has the second and third longest running half-hour sitcoms in the history of TV.
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Trent
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:15am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Lynos said: "By the way, I did not see anyone mention this, but the opening was different, wasn't it?"

Yeah, the credits were hugely cut.

As for "dating the younger version of your ex", I don't see anything unethical about it, especially if your ex gives your permission as Ex Kelly seems to do in this episode. But it's worth remembering that the episode itself doesn't endorse this; both Ed and the writer conclude that it's a bad idea.

For me, far worse was Orville's handling of Kelly's "infidelity". She was basically raped by the Blue Alien and his pheromones. This subplot needed at least one scene which condemns this, but it's brushed aside or treated for laughs.
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Trent
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:09am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Artymiss said: "Huh?! In what way is he 'de-gayed'?"

Sorry Artymiss, I wasn't clear enough. When Culber returned from sporeworld, there was speculation here that he had been radically transformed and probably become heterosexual. Of course subsequent episodes confirmed that this isn't true. But for a brief period (one or two episodes), I thought it was an interesting SF angle to explore, especially as Culber's acted so well.
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Trent
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 7:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

There are no space battles in Delany's Nova. And I can't believe people are comparing Disco to Jules Verne and Wells.

Disco is mostly good SF ideas destroyed by generic, tropey TV writing. In season 1, the idea of contrasting the Federation and Mirror Universe, and having them bleed into one another at a time of war, is good. The idea of fleets starring down one another over a torch-beacon, is good. The idea of a pacifist/prey species, is good etc etc.

Meanwhile in this season the idea of dramatic red signals in the sky is great. The idea of a powerful alien or thing orchestrating events to save species, is great. The idea of Culber being "de-gayed" after his trip back from sporeworld, is great etc etc.

Discovery cooks up some good ideas. A team of bad writers then systematically destroy, ignore or chop them up. I mean, this show literally degenerates from mysterious red lights to a GIANT SUBPLOT ABOUT A WOMAN NONSENSICALLY TRAPPED WITH A TORPEDO.
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Trent
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Can someone explain the probe encountered over Kaminar?

Michael in the Red Angel suit appears over Kaminar, then is yanked back to the future through the wormhole created by the suit. Pike fires a probe into this wormhole and the probe gets sucked 500 years into the future, where it encounters someone who reprograms it (Control?) and turns it into a super , futuristic, high-tech probe. It then re-emerges from the wormhole and attacks Pike.

Is that correct? Isn't that what the early episode's say?

But according go this finale, the Red Angel suit wormhole led just a few weeks into the future. The probe couldn't have come from here. And in this future - the battle with Section 31 - nobody saw a probe or messed with it anyway.
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Trent
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

I thought this episode had two great jokes: Ed and Gordon playing future Nintendo on the couch, and Yaphid dancing like a manic blob.

Thematically, I thought this episode would turn out to be a giant guy's fantasy: Ed misses Kelly, wants to make up for being a poor husband, is still in love with her, and so, via a time-travel contrivance, conjures up a version of Kelly from 7 years ago. Finally a chance to make things right!

But, perhaps because it was written by a woman (Janet Lin, who I assume has no interest in creepy Ed), the episode focuses on Kelly instead. The younger Kelly is used to examine older Kelly's insecurities and her perceived failures. We then get a moment of twin-sister solidarity: younger Kelly assures older Kelly that their lives turned out well.

But when younger Kelly returns to her own time (via another time travel contrivance), she commits a breathtakingly sinister act of vengeance. She turns down a date with Ed and so effectively kills future Kelly.

What's interesting is that, when she was in the future, younger Kelly saved the Orville from certain destruction at the hands of the Kaylon. This detail seems strangely specific, and I assume this occurrence will have weird ramifications in the next episode.

Some have complained that Ed is a giant creep in this episode, but I think he redeems himself. He's just madly in love with All Kelly's, but recognizes Old Kelly as his Prime Kelly. And I'm not even sure that ditching your Present Ex for her Past Version is immoral. I dunno.

It's interesting that Discovery ends with a time-travel heavy two partner, and Orville likewise is now ending its season with a time-travel two parter.

Anyway, I found this to be a decent episode, engaging and pleasant but a bit too low-energy and low-stakes. It's very hard to rate it without knowing where the second installment goes. Some have compared it to TNG's "Second Chances", but I think it also echoes TNG's "We'll Always have Paris", an underrated time-travel episode, this time with Picard pining for a long lost love, and contemplating his past, career and various regrets.

I hope they lean a bit heavier on the comedy next season. Just a slightly bit more jokes and wisecracks (or is this just me? Do people prefer a more straight tone?); this season has been very serious, and very relationship heavy, with only 1 real "planet of the week" story. It's handed its little "SF relationship" plots consistently well, but "anthology" shows like this need some variety.
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Trent
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 5:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Galadriel said: "with a lot of crew that might have pre­fer­red to re­main in the 23ʳᵈ cen­tu­ry even if a time jump is deemed neces­sary to eli­mi­nate the threat for­ever"

This is a big issue. Does the show ever explicitly say that crewmen who wish to remain in the 23rd century, are being shipped to the Enterprise? We know the crew shipped to the Enterprise when Discovery was set to auto destruct, but it seems to have been repopulated once plans were changed.
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Trent
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 5:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Galadriel said: "How­ever, there are major pro­blems: (α) Ash he could not have left, because the enemy ar­ma­da showed up im­me­di­ate­ly after his talk to Pike (β) the time is in­suf­fici­ent, as there can be no more than an hour of time be­tween him leaving the stage an re­tur­ning with the Klingon Flag­ship Ice­breaker and (γ) he cannot reveal himself to any Klingon with­out under­mining Chan­cel­lor L’Rell. "

lol, wait a second. That's true. Ash is hugging and making out with Michael in the previous episode, which was about 30 mins before Section 31 showed up. And he shows up with a Klingon fleet about 55 minutes later. This show has no sense of time and space.
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