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wolfstar
Mon, Jul 8, 2019, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

@grumpy_otter That was absolutely beautiful and perfect, I'm going to save it, thanks for sharing - you invested so much thought and care into it. In every sense, the ending we should have had.
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wolfstar
Thu, Jul 4, 2019, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Favor the Bold

Back in the day, my issues with Sacrifice Of Angels caused me to overlook the greatness of this episode, the Part 1 to its Part 2. But it's a superb piece of work, one of DS9's finest hours. I love Nana Visitor in these episodes and the way the occupation storyline puts Kira through the wringer. (Also, her season 6 hair is her best hair.) Another nice detail is the pragmatic working relationship that has developed between Kira and Quark. It's a good Vorta episode too (we learn a lot about Weyoun), as well as featuring the series's first real Founder-Vorta dialog scenes, which are superb.
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wolfstar
Mon, Jul 1, 2019, 6:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Rocks and Shoals

Short notes on this episode, just some of the many reasons it's so great:

- it's the best Jem'Hadar episode (building on The Abandoned, Hippocratic Oath and To The Death, but more successful than any)
- and easily the best Vorta episode (Treachery, Faith and the Great River in S7 never worked that well for me; here, in the form of Keevan, the Vorta are shown at their most duplicitous and self-serving)
- on top of that, it's also a fantastic Kira episode... her storyline is brilliant and told in just a few scenes, many non-verbal; the dialogue is perfect but Vejar's direction and Visitor's acting do the heavy lifting
- Lilyan Chauvin is superb and incredibly memorable in her small but crucial role as Vedek Yassim
- excellent use of Garak too

For me, while A Time To Stand is strong, this is considerably better - so for me A Time To Stand is 3.5 and this is 4.
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wolfstar
Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 4:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Host

I read the comment as tongue in cheek.
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wolfstar
Wed, Jun 5, 2019, 7:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Rapture

I have more mixed feelings about this episode than I used to and would put it closer to 3 stars. I generally really like Bajoran-centered and/or religious-themed episodes, but the mysticism goes a little overboard in this one. The long-term plot aspects are intelligent and deft (the locusts prediction, and Ben stopping Bajor from joining the Federation), but... yeah, that scene on the promenade where he can see everyone's future doesn't work. I also don't think the writing choices for Winn were correct here – her speeches to Kira about not having believed Sisko was the Emissary and no longer knowing who her enemies are are too expository and on the nose. There's no reason for Winn to spell out her thoughts in this way and in such detail.

What really makes this episode work, though, is the family focus – particularly the way Kasidy is brought back into the fold, and the bond we see between Kasidy and Jake. This corporeal counterpoint to the spiritual plot gives the episode vital roots and brings it down to earth, and is the right note to end the hour on. I also love that Kira strongly defends Jake's choice and his right to make it even though it wouldn't have been her choice.
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wolfstar
Fri, May 24, 2019, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

At best, the Picard show is a story that doesn't need to be told. At worst, it risks doing great damage.
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wolfstar
Tue, May 7, 2019, 3:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Haplo, Yanks - I've seen the DS9 documentary. I gave it an 8/10 (or a high 3 on the Jammer scale). It was great hearing all the actors talk so intelligently about their roles. For me the season eight part was the weakest element - admittedly they only had one day to come up with it, but I didn't think the writers' ideas worked and a lot of the groundwork and character choices seemed to have been borrowed from the relaunch novels. A shame there was no discussion of The Visitor or In The Pale Moonlight at all in the two-hour runtime, and no discussion of the geopolitical side of the show either (the parallels between Bajor/Cardassia and eastern European countries recovering from Soviet domination in the 1990s, Changeling paranoia in relation to terrorism fears in the U.S., etc.). I did really enjoy it, but it was a little too much of a love-in and nostalgia fest - which is entirely warranted, as the show is awesome, but I'd have preferred a slightly more sober and analytical look at what made DS9 so resonant and timeless, rather than lots of scenes of the cast singing and fooling around.
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wolfstar
Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

This was 3-3.5 for me, and went a long way toward making up for the poor part 1. (The criticism stands, though, that past and future Kelly seem like completely different people.) J Lee handled all the technobabble really well, it's nice seeing Alara again, and Ed's character works better in this slightly grittier iteration. The episode also answers some questions about Isaac's, which raise questions of their own – the alternate-timeline Isaac in this episode served on The Orville for two years just as our Isaac did, and because he never established a bond with Claire and her kids, he's just as genocidal as the other Kaylon, which is a disturbing implication. I prefer this to Voyager's Timeless, which it echoes in quite a few places, but obviously it's no Yesterday's Enterprise. The episode reaffirms the importance of human bonds, which in an increasingly atomised era where screens have become our tools of community, is a welcome and quietly radical message.

The season as a whole has been excellent, with only 3-4 substandard episodes out of 14 by my count. It's clear that a lot of work, thought and love was put into this season, and it represents a major advancement from season 1, which was clearly a trial run. I will buy the season 2 DVD when it comes out to support the show. While the tone is closest to late-season Voyager, this is easily better than the troubled second seasons of Enterprise, TNG and Discovery. Talla was a great addition to the show (mainly because of Jessica Szohr's great performance and likeability), and it's the consistent worldbuilding, character development, relatability and family feel that make this season a winner.
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wolfstar
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Lodged Torpedo – I adore The OA too. I think it's my favourite TV show since DS9.
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wolfstar
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 6:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Hank was writing that about Michael, not about Mirror Georgiou. Guess your comprehension and attention to detail might not be all you proclaim...
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wolfstar
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

The finale also creates the problem that Starfleet had a way to instantly bring Voyager home all along (or at least after contact was established with Voyager in Message In A Bottle) but chose not to because it was classified tech.

John's right. Once these things are out of the bag, they're out of the bag.

I found out thanks to the Midnight Edge video link that someone posted that (unsurprisingly) the spore drive wasn't part of Bryan Fuller's original plan. Fuller did create the Stamets character and plan to have advanced fungal tech in the series, but it was in the context of terraforming. It was Berg and Harberts who changed it to the "spore drive".
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wolfstar
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Everything in Trent's last comment is further evidence the Angel was originally intended to be something else but was retconned to be Burnham after the change in showrunners.
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wolfstar
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

"if people pay closer attention to the show they will be rewarded" is the opposite of my experience – the finale (and the show in general) is flashy and superficially enjoyable but the moment you start to think about any of it, it just crumbles. And season 2 is worse than season 1 in that regard. It's not about whether viewers can cope with the pace at which the show moves, I think most of us here can. The fact that a lot of people missed the start of the vision in Part 1 isn't because they can't follow the show or aren't watching closely enough, it's because it was a) poorly telegraphed and b) the scene actually makes less sense as a vision than as reality (they never even tried to fire on Discovery, they just took Burnham's word that it wouldn't work)

Back in the 90s I went to high school with a kid who was a fellow Star Trek fan. We used to swap video cassettes of the latest Voyager episodes... this was in about 1998 when season 4 was airing. Something I started to notice as the season progressed is that for him, there was no such thing as a bad episode. We could sit and talk about how great Seven was and how enjoyable the Hirogen arc was, but if I then said that (for instance) Vis A Vis or Demon was bad, he wouldn't agree and would always find a way to defend it. He wouldn't criticise the show or individual episodes, even mildly, and would force himself to like every episode – for him, it was automatically good just because it was Star Trek. I really enjoyed Voyager season 4 too but I started to find his attitude a bit weird. It was what I would now call a fetishistic mode of consumption – not watching a piece of drama to see whether it was any good or not, but essentially treating the writers as if they could do no wrong and seeing yourself as subservient to the show, duty-bound to defend it and mentally correct its shortcomings. But you know what... he was a 15-year-old kid and he doesn't do that anymore. And the reason he did it is because he wasn't very happy at school or home, the one thing he clung onto was Star Trek, and it was so important to him at that time in his life that he couldn't accept it being bad, even just for one episode.

I remember doing this myself with a film once too, in a moment of geekdom in my early 20s – I really supported the director, the film was getting a lot of flak and bad reviews, and I'd been really eager to see it for almost three years. Because I was so afraid it was gonna be bad (having looked forward to it for so long and invested so much of myself in it being good), I decided before pressing play that I was going to like it whatever. It *couldn't* be bad, because it was a film by director X, ergo it was automatically good and it was merely my duty as a viewer to receive and interpret it.

About halfway through the film I realised I was loving it, so didn't need to force myself to like it anymore. But I learned from doing this that it really isn't a good way to watch things. Years later, I still wasn't totally sure whether I'd actually liked the film for what it was or just made myself like it. So I never did that again. Often when we make ourselves like something it's because we don't have faith in its own merits, and we're afraid if we just watch it normally it won't live up to our hopes. I needed that film to be good to maintain my worldview and sense of internal consistency, just like my friend needed Voyager to be good to get him through the week.

This is what's going on here with certain people, I feel.
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wolfstar
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 5:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

One point relating to The Sound Of Thunder, that I find myself looking at again now that the season has ended:

In that episode, the red burst and the appearance of the Red Angel are separate. The initial burst draws Discovery to the planet, then the Red Angel appears several hours after this to knock out the Ba'ul network of weaponized observation pylons to stop them killing the Kelpiens.

The finale only shows Burnham making a single jump to Kaminar (to generate the signal, even though we've never been shown how her suit generates these red bursts). But it then also shows Burnham as the Red Angel appearing to Saru at the end of the episode, suggesting that the incarnation of the Red Angel that intervened to save the Kelpiens was Burnham too, not her mother as I'd wondered (and which might have been more logical).

How does Burnham's hastily-assembled "time suit" have the technology to permanently knock out the Ba'ul's pylon network across an entire planet? And why is she only shown making one jump to Kaminar when this would have required two?

(I mean, I know the answer to this – when The Sound Of Thunder was written, Michael wasn't intended to be the Angel...)
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wolfstar
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 5:22am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Let's drop this... Cody didn't even make the "fascist regime" comment in the first place, he was just quote-replying to another commenter. It's probably an inopportune and certainly hyperbolic choice of description, but Midshipman Norris was just speculating on the conditions in the writers' room. I agree it's a poor choice of words. Trying to accuse people of being anti-Semitic towards the new producer(!) is amping things up way too far though. Not every hyperbolic comment or turn of phrase that might be perceived as being off-color or in poor taste needs to be called out with a lecture. It just starts unnecessary arguments that take ages to die down again and sets people at loggerheads, and moves the discussion further away from the show. And if you genuinely want to encourage people to be more considered with their language, which would be a good thing for us all to be in an anonymous space like this, these adversarial call-outs and appeals to exalted victimhood the moment anyone makes even a slightly ill-judged remark are an actively counterproductive way to do it.
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wolfstar
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 10:08am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

So based on various interviews, it seems the change in showrunners happened between The Sound Of Thunder and Light And Shadows, which explains a lot. Production on the first five episodes was near-complete and The Sound Of Thunder was well underway.

This explains the retconning of the signals. Brother introduces the seven original signals, which all appear over a 24-hour period, are mapped by Starfleet and drawn by young Spock in a premonition. The new signals that happen after that in New Eden and The Sound Of Thunder are correctly treated not as part of the original seven but as *additional signals*. It's only later on in the season (after Berg and Harberts had gone) that these were retconned as being the second and third signal (which they clearly weren't). In the Kurtzman half of the season, new signals that follow are then explicitly referred to as "the fourth of seven" and "the fifth of seven" etc.

Aside from a throwaway mention of Control in Point Of Light (Ash is told that the AI recommended him for the position, as it calculated that he would be an asset to Section 31), the threat of a deadly AI from the future is only introduced in Light And Shadows (the first Kurtzman-helmed episode). The information that the Red Angel is actually a humanoid in a mechanized suit comes at the end of The Sound Of Thunder, the first episode over which Kurtzman had any creative control (it was underway but far from complete when he stepped in).

Based on this, while I do think Berg and Harberts intended Control to play a role in the season, I don't think they intended it to be the main villain. I think they had another plan for the signals and the Red Angel, one more in line with the original announcement (at the start of 2018) that this season would explore faith vs. science. I don't think they intended the signals that happen during the season (Terralysium/Kaminar) to be part of the original seven, and I don't think they intended Burnham to be the Angel – likely either her mother or something else altogether.

The "search for Spock" also takes on a different light when we know when the handover happened. It's strung out as an ongoing thread through the early episodes, but dropped when Kurtzman comes in and we get the anticlimatic reveal that he was hiding on Vulcan the whole time (and his mental turmoil is instantly resolved too). This explains the conflict between Amanda's appearances in Point Of Light and If Memory Serves too – in the former she was written as if she didn't know where Spock was. I don't think Berg and Harberts intended for Amanda to have been concealing Spock. The explanation that his violence was holographically faked by the malevolent AI seems like a mid-season retcon too – I think Berg and Harberts wanted to do something different with his madness.

TL;DR: Berg and Harberts's original plan was for the season to explore faith vs. science, via a future entity (NOT Burnham) that guides the crew to intervene to protect societies (Terralysium and Kaminar) and save the lives of specific highly gifted individuals (Reno, Jacob, Saronna) as part of some future plan, but when Kurtzman took over as showrunner he made the season about Control instead and retconned various elements like the signals and the Red Angel to fit the Control storyline.
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wolfstar
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Something else just occurred to me: the crystal-powered time suit allows Burnham to jump to different times, but how does she jump through space as well? She jumps tens of thousands of light years back and forth across the galaxy, to the USS Hiawatha -> Terralysium -> Kaminar -> Boreth -> Zahea, just in her suit, and the only technology we've seen that is able to do that is the spore drive. Ditto Momma Burnham. Are we supposed to assume that the time crystals have the power to create wormholes that instantly teleport people across the galaxy as well as through time?

@Snitch: It reminded me of These Are The Voyages too, the way the ep ends with the focus on the old crew instead of the series's own. And Admiral Cornwell basically does what Trip does, with as much reason. ("Guess it's my time to die, so here goes!")

"I would have preferred a less on the nose resolution for the gay couple" - same here, though it's a minor point compared to my other criticisms of the episode and season... I'd much rather have followed Culber's journey and see both him and Stamets developed as independent, three-dimensional gay male characters rather than have him gravitating back towards Stamets. Between Hugh's travails and everything else that's been going on, we've hardly seen any of their relationship together since the teeth-brushing scene way back in S1... I wish we'd had some scenes of them just chatting and doing day-to-day stuff together, so we could invest more in their relationship.
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wolfstar
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Thanks Tim.

Funniest bit of that interview: "We felt pretty strongly that replaying the Red Angel signals and revealing ultimately that Burnham had sent them would be particularly satisfying." (Not the word I would have chosen...)

Then: "Especially when they go full-circle to the premiere, where she sees the Red Angel and it's revealed that she's been looking at herself the whole time. [...] Ultimately, she's rewarded for her faith by finding out she's the one who set the signals."

I guess this is how they (incorrectly) think they can pitch Star Trek to the Instagram generation these days - by writing a storyline where contemplating the divine turns out to be contemplating yourself. All that initial wonder and mystery as to the Red Angel's origin, nature and purpose that sustained us through early episodes like New Eden and The Sound Of Thunder, culminating in the validation that it was the audience-surrogate character in a hastily built Iron Man suit powered by magic all along. All the cynics said at the start that it would turn out to be Burnham and they were right. But even that being the case, Burnham as the Red Angel could have been done way better than it actually was.

Another good bit: "The other thing that was very important to me was finding a way to tell this story so that fans and non-fans alike could understand that were it not for his sister, Spock could not fully actualize himself with Kirk." So there we have it. Turns out the most iconic and enduring character relationship in the entire Star Trek franchise, namely Kirk-Spock, was only possible because of this new character we invented three years ago. You heard it here first, folks!
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wolfstar
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:59am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

There is so much to discuss about this season and this finale, and I don't think people should take axiom's bait, otherwise yet another episode thread will be derailed into an endless argument based on a bad faith supposition that anyone strongly criticizing the show (or anyone who sounds like they're angry or frustrated at the show) must have underlying misogynist/racist motives. There's always gonna be a small minority of people like that, but it's really not the case on this site and on this debate thread, as The Companion points out. I know from this site and others that there are lots of female and POC viewers who are highly, vociferously critical of the Burnham character and the series in general (because guess what, they want a good character and a well-written show just like everyone else), and even many viewers who like the character and performance but have grown tired of the way the show constantly forces everything to revolve around her. On top of which, a lot of the viewers who have been really critical of Discovery's first two seasons have DS9 as their favorite show - you know, the series where the two lead characters were a black single father and a female former terrorist. So I really think people need to stop and think before trying to equate strong criticism of Burnham and Discovery with some kind of bigotry, based on scant evidence. Especially as the two examples of "dog-whistle rhetoric" that axiom points out are both in relation to the show's plot ("S01 was just fucking miserable" and "[the finale was] All flash, no substance. [...] Utterly devoid.").
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wolfstar
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 7:02am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

This was the weakest episode of the season for me, and dropping the ball like this in the first half of a two-part finale (that immediately follows two of the series's strongest episodes) is very bad timing. Apart from one or two clunkers like Blood Of Patriots, the show has been going from strength to strength this season. I've really enjoyed it.

This hour returns to many of the show's biggest weaknesses, not only revisiting territory that we've already spent more than enough time in (mainly in season 1), but doing so in a badly contrived way that doesn't serve the characters well. Past Kelly is depicted as shallow and unprofessional in a way that I find hard to buy, and Ed's character regresses here too. It's a soapy rehash of Second Chances done with nowhere near the dexterity, wistfulness or character insight. Tom Riker felt like a three-dimensional character, but past Kelly here is 1D. The unfortunate implication is that she only became who she is because of her relationship with Ed. We all grow and change in relationships, but this episode didn't work because the character of past Kelly didn't work as conceived, and because barely anything that happened was compelling. It's tough to get through, and perhaps the worst choice of ways to end what has been a great season.

Uncharacteristically, the Bortus/Klyden comedy scene on the dancefloor doesn't work at all either. Talla is great as usual, and regular Kelly is fine here too.

I do want this show to get renewed because I've enjoyed season 2 (which for me has only had 3 duds in 13 episodes) way more than season 1, and the main reason for that has been the strong focus on relationships and characterization this season. This one is trying to be a relationship episode too, but it really fumbles the ball.

1.5 stars
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wolfstar
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:14am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Weirdest reset button I've ever seen in a show. I'm going for 2.5 stars because it was well-made, but... no.

Control is neutralized just by killing Leland. When Georgiou kills him, all the drones/ships operated by Control go dead in the water. Why would the Control AI transfer its entire self into a single vulnerable body? Until now, the impression was always that it was merely using Leland as something like an avatar. There was never any suggestion that just killing Leland would defeat Control. If that's the case (which apparently it was), why wasn't the plan to kill Leland (thereby neutralising Control) rather than to jump to the future?

I thought it was ridiculous that they were frantically piecing together the time suit at the last minute in this episode when they spent the whole of the previous episode making extended goodbyes and standing around talking, all the while knowing the S31 fleet was on its way.

The only reason Burnham knows where to send the signals from... is because she did it in the first place. How does original Burnham in any timeline learn why she needs to send the signals from those points?

How does Burnham make the bursts? OK, so they built her a "time suit" containing a time crystal. How does it generate or release a signal?

Burnham has never worn this suit before. How does she fly it through space? It has no visible means of propulsion, yet she's able to fly it perfectly through space like Iron Man as if she's been wearing it all her life. (At least Iron Man was shown struggling to master his suit when he first built it... I haven't seen the film in a decade but I seem to recall that being the case.)

The scene where Burnham cries as Spock tells her that she basically made him who he is and that he's her "balance" and "always has been", to the extent he doesn't know if he'll be able to cope without her, is a reach.

Saru's sister is a fighter pilot now, and so are all the other Kelpiens, in Ba'ul ships? This is a very sudden and arbitrary development. What on earth went down on Kaminar between The Sound Of Thunder and this episode - did the Kelpiens attack the Ba'ul and steal the ships? Did they come to some kind of peaceful agreement with the Ba'ul and borrow the ships? Once again, Saronna is the only Kelpien we see or who has a speaking role. I know the Kelpiens went through the Vaharai, which makes them more assertive and less fearful, but having an agrarian pastoral race turn into fighter pilots without any dialog or screen time being devoted to this development is asking a lot.

Tyler is staying behind so he can operate in the "grey areas" as part of Section 31 and keep the organization on track, but wait, now he's by L'Rell's side on the Klingon flagship shouting instructions to the fleet in Klingon... but wait, now he's back on Earth and Starfleet are putting him in charge of Section 31 based on... what, exactly? If Section 31 was a large organization in this time period and had all those ships, presumably all with their own captains and command crew, surely they must have other more experienced operatives than Tyler, even if Control killed a lot of people in the organization... it's like "well, Leland is dead and Georgiou is gone, so as you're the only other Section 31 character we've seen and who has a speaking role, congratulations!"

What about Leland's characterization? He was another interesting "grey area" character in the first half of the season, who could have been developed and used in a smart way, but he became Lorca 2.0 and his characterisation went out of the window as soon as his function as a plot device became apparent. The one saving grace in this is that they didn't go down the Borg route, despite the nanoprobe injections and "struggle is pointless".

So Leland is killed and "Control has been neutralized" before Discovery goes through the wormhole. Why does it still need to go to the future?

I think Ethan Peck's performance is the single thing I'm most thankful for in this season arc as a whole. It was a risky role to step into but he was masterful. I liked the Enterprise send-off with Pike, Spock and Number One. But it was weird to end the episode there, given that this show is Discovery and it's the Discovery characters who we've spent 2 seasons with and are supposed to care about. Ending the show with the Enterprise's send-off while never even showing us where Discovery ended up felt off... the send-off was great but I thought we'd cut back to Discovery one more time on the other side of the wormhole. I guess they wanted to show as little as possible because they haven't decided what they're going to do next season.

Screwing things up so badly that you have to create a loophole that excises everything you've spent the past two seasons doing from the show's canon and worldbuilding, by removing the ship and its crew from the timeline and forbidding the remaining characters from ever speaking about it, is not good writing. The journey has not been worth it.

What was this season about? What were its themes, its ideas? Any themes it did touch on - the dangers of AI, predestination, the syncretic religion in New Eden - were barely developed, and addressed (if at all) so superficially as to be barely there.

The more I think about it, the more 2.5 stars seems kind.
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wolfstar
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:00am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

"As you mentioned, you don't want to get bogged down by technical debates. My question is then why are people bringing this stuff up? Something is amiss... hmmm I don't know yet."

You're right, and as I see it, it comes down to the characters and storytelling again. People will excuse all kinds of oversights if they care about the characters and are emotionally invested in the story. Your example of the Inner Light is a perfect illustration. This is why, even though I've been really critical of the past few episodes, I had basically no criticisms of Project Daedalus - the emotional arc and the drama were so compelling that I was able to overlook any minor inconsistencies and contrivances. But if the characters aren't working and the story isn't gripping people, all the slip-ups and short cuts in the script become harder to ignore. If the story has earned your trust and you care about the people and what happens, it's much easier to excuse them. If season 1 had told an awesome emotionally-involving story with well-developed characters, people wouldn't have focused on things like the Klingons' appearance as much.
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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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