Star Trek: Discovery

"Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2"

3 stars

Air date: 4/18/2019
Written by Michelle Paradise & Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman
Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Well, they didn't exactly stick the landing, but they were still standing by the end of it. This got the job done. And it was, let it be said, epic.

"Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2" had a tall order before it: to fundamentally change the status quo of the series (implicitly promised by all the build-up and goodbyes in last week's overly schmaltzy episode, which at least in context now feels slightly more valid) while trying to satisfactorily make sense of this season's ongoing plot and character arcs. While they don't completely overcome the dopiness of some of the ideas that have been swirling about for several episodes now, they do close as many loops as possible while bringing massive cinematic showmanship to this finale in a way that helps paper over some of the seams.

This is a season finale so definitive it could actually have been a series finale. But since season three has already been announced, we can only assume this will be a clean-slate rebooting of the show into something significantly different. (Subsequent articles I've read since this aired has confirmed as much.)

As an experience, this is an hour so relentless in its action that by the end we are exhausted. It's essentially a full hour of battle sequences while Burnham tries to figure out how to jump her time-angel suit and the Discovery 900 years into the future. As a piece of mechanical filmmaking, it's kind of masterful. It has to make sense of endless chaos, countless visual effects, and characters moving from A to B to C to 47 — sometimes through time and space — all in a way we can follow. And, yes, as a piece of cinema, we can follow it. That alone is probably a small miracle. Kudos to director Olatunde Osunsanmi and the film editors.

As the last word in a wildly churning season, the end results are ... messy. Like season one before it, this season ends up being less than the sum of its many parts once the whole is revealed. This feels better and more cohesive than season one, but it exhibits many of the same problems. Looking back at the season arc from beginning to end, you see the shortcuts the writers often took and the plot holes apparent in doing so, and few of those are mitigated with what happens in the finale. Discovery's plotting has never been iron-clad, and there's always been a tendency for the series' writers to leave big narrative gaps and expect us to fill in the ellipses with our imaginations. This creates a sense of sloppiness more than anything else, as if the writers couldn't be bothered to put in the time to create narrative clarity and credibility.

Take, for example here, the sudden, simultaneous arrival of both the Klingons and the Kelpiens. They come completely out of left field, purely for the convenience of adding something else to the story (the actual plot, strictly speaking, didn't need them at all). There was nothing previously suggested or earned about it; it just happens. The Kelpiens (including Saru's sister) are conveniently flying the Ba'ul ships, and no explanation is given that speaks to how they went from technologically inferior farmers to bold space travelers in the matter of a few months (or even weeks).

Similarly, the Klingons show up here apparently because L'Rell is the only other available character to come riding to the rescue from within this show's microscopic universe. Tyler somehow is now aboard L'Rell's ship, and I'm going "Huh?" and doing the math and trying to figure out how much time went by between Ash's and Michael's cringe-fest of a farewell in part one to now him being aboard L'Rell's ship here. Maybe an hour? (Once again, the rest of Starfleet is of no help because Control has conveniently "jammed" all communications, making this major fight for the survival of all life come down to the Enterprise and the Discovery. But then how did L'Rell and Saru's sister get the message? And why is L'Rell so suddenly willing to reveal Tyler to the Empire now?)

Of course, to increase the action/VFX quotient, an entire fleet is created when both our ships — along with the Section 31 vessels — deploy dozens if not hundreds of mini-fighters that engage in a Star Wars-esque battle of the masses, so we can take a microscopic universe and somehow create an entire galactic war out of it. This seems awfully convenient.

But what a battle it is. This series never scrimps on the spectacle, and for this finale they've gone beyond the scale of where even this show has gone before. As Epic Action-Movie Trek goes, this outing brings the heat and delivers the goods (a standout sequence where a team of fighters surrounds Burnham in her space suit and guides her to her destination comes to mind) — even though if I stop and think about it for 10 seconds, big pieces of it are pretty dumb.

For example, why does Control insist on remaining personified as Leland? This made sense back in "Perpetual Infinity" when it was using his body as a covert means to manipulate the situation to its own ends. Here, why do it at all? I know the real answer, which is purely for the action storytelling: to give the villain a face and a physical form to fight against, which sets up the major sequence where Georgiou and Nhan fight Leland at great, great, great length. But tactically, this is stupid, as it serves only to undermine Control's own objectives by exposing itself to possible neutralization, since Leland represents the head of the snake.

Part of Star Trek and sci-fi in general is finding the sweet spot between narrative requirements and logical bullet resistance. This episode and season have done just enough to squeak by and cover enough bases not to come off as completely fraudulent (the seven signals are explained here, even if I have some reservations about them; we'll get to that later) while contorting the plot for its must-have ends. But you can often see the gears grinding in the process. Consider how the episode starts, in a frantic rush to complete the time suit and get ready for Control's arrival — making you ask how we had so much time for so many tearful goodbyes and letters to Mom and Dad in the previous episode, which presumably took place just minutes ago. The answer is because these two episodes have different requirements — part one to simmer in the emotions, part two to dash through the action — and the passage of time exists in two different continuums.

So, yes, you could point to lots of things and easily dismantle the plot, because the bottom line is that the writers are forcing a story through that delivers their desired goals on their manufactured terms (we are going to the future because we must, so here's a reverse-engineered way of explaining why it kind of makes sense), while also tying up loose ends regarding the canon that have existed since the beginning of the series (the existence of the spore drive; Burnham's presence in Spock's family history). They've done their best to explain everything, but the explanations can be lacking.

But along with the demerits, this definitely has its upside.

It allows the central idea of this episode (and season) to reach its logical destination — the idea that Burnham herself must travel back through time and create each the signals that has led Discovery to each of its missions that has ultimately led us here. It's the closing of the logical loop in the most purely Discovery way possible — through its omnipresent main character. On the one hand, this reduces the season's central mystery to the disappointingly smallest of possible universes — with Michael Burnham as the alpha and omega — in a universe that already feels too small because of how limited the POV scope has always been. But on the other hand, this POV proves electrifying here: Burnham's passage through the wormhole in her time-angel suit leads us to some brilliantly conceived, mind-bending sci-fi sights that are audacious and fantastic. When I'm reminded of both 2001 and Interstellar, the creators have done something pretty damn impressive. If the idea that these signals' origins can't even venture beyond the main character is disappointing, the experience of watching her travel through time to create them is exhilarating, and a reminder of what this series does right and does best. No Trek series before this has come up with something this vividly portrayed.

And that's kind of the lesson of the season, if not the series. Disappointing to middling ideas beget some truly impressive visceral experiences. Insofar that Discovery works as a piece of mainstream entertainment, it does so on those sensory terms — whereas the vision of its storytelling is less compelling because it's an exercise in mechanics rather than an engagement of ideas or philosophies. If previous Treks were about ideas, this one is about experiences. And this episode has some good ones.

A lesser example would be the sequence where Georgiou and Nhan fight Leland in a corridor where the gravity has gone berserk, leading them to fight on the ceiling, the walls, the floor, with all hell breaking loose around them. It's lunatic chaos, but with such a you-ain't-seen-nothing-yet verve to it that it almost redeems the fact that the fight is cliched, interminable, and a really dumb bit of plotting business. The key word there is "almost."

But we also get some decent character closure in the process. While the detonation of the torpedo that claims Cornwell's life is pretty contrived (why can't she be beamed out once the blast door is closed, etc., etc.?), I'll allow it because it makes the larger character point that Pike is willing to sacrifice himself for his ship — but isn't permitted to because an admiral takes the bullet for him.

And while Burnham's and Spock's lengthy goodbye scene — after they realize Spock can't go into the future — piles the emotional feels up to the point of near-collapse (and happens in the middle of a ticking-clock countdown when the characters honestly don't have time for any of this, with the galaxy being on the line and all), it also demonstrates how far these two have come over the course of the season.

After all the sound and fury and closing of the time loop (which is, of course, a paradox, but aren't they all), the episode ends with a coda that closes the books on this phase of the series and promises us a clean reboot. Yes, Discovery goes off into the future to the tune of 900 years — no joke. But I liked the decision to end on the Enterprise. It keeps us in the dark until next season about what awaits the Discovery and its crew on the other side of the wormhole, and it allows us to send Pike and Spock and the Enterprise crew off, with the right amount of fanfare for what serves as the bridge between the Discovery era of Trek and that which is to come.

I'm giving this a qualified endorsement. This is highly flawed, with plenty of logical issues that have piled up through the season — but being logically bulletproof is not the end-all and be-all. Showmanship matters, and this episode has it in spades. This is bold and powerfully executed and makes for quite the ride. And even though individual elements can be easily picked apart, I find that it's still pretty satisfying in the way it ties things together. And the ending, with the last of the seven signals providing closure for Spock — is a really nice emotional note to go out on.

Some closing thoughts:

  • The resolution of all the canon inconsistencies basically boils down to, "Everything that happened here is classified. Do not speak of it again." This is kind of lame, but mostly acceptable. The fact that the two biggest out-of-place elements — Burnham's relationship to Spock, and the spore drive — are now permanently gone from this century is enough for me to accept that we haven't heard of them before. Sure they'd show up in a history book, but that doesn't mean they'd be common knowledge. Spock was always tight-lipped about his family, and you could argue that given the difficulties with the experimental spore drive, Starfleet abandoned the project.
  • The errors of Control and Section 31 do not go lost on the Starfleet brass, although the claims of additional "transparency" for the organization seem to be the opposite of what will ultimately happen by the 24th century. You could spin this as being a gut reaction that will eventually go completely the other way — or you could posit this is what the planned Section 31 spinoff series will ultimately disprove.
  • I was confused at how much of the crew was staying aboard Discovery. It seemed after last episode that it was going to be a skeleton crew made up of the bridge officers who went out of their way to volunteer. Now, as indicated by the very full sickbay, it seems the whole crew stayed aboard. This is, alas, indicative of this series' tendency to simply sail past the details without firming them up for the audience, which unfortunately takes us out of the moment because we're asking questions when we should be simply watching the scene.
  • Georgiou's evil cartoon hatred of Leland/Control was just silly. You realize this isn't really Leland, or a person at all, right? Why are you treating him like he killed your mentor? And, yes, Nhan's "yum yum" line was terrible, mostly for being nonsensical.
  • As has been pointed out by others, the purpose of the Red Angel and seven signals was very possibly changed mid-season. There are just too many inconsistencies — admittedly not obvious until you really break them down — with how they were presented early on versus how they were treated by the end. The speculation that this was motivated by the mid-season change in showrunners seems plausible. (Hopefully this series can get through next season without a change in showrunners.)
  • Looking ahead to next season, my "suggestions to improve this series" list remains largely the same as after season one: Make the universe bigger by not being so constrained to just Discovery's immediate radius. Open up the POV and plotting by not filtering every damn thing through Burnham. Tighten up the writing with less sloppiness and fewer cut corners. Stop using over-the-top Armageddon stakes to drive the main arcs. (Freeing itself from its prequel baggage could be a hugely liberating boon for this show.)
  • That's it for me. I managed to get through a full season with full-length reviews and a surprising lack of shortcuts — something I wasn't sure would happen. I'm happy how it turned out. I'm not making any announcements about future plans until such scenarios are much closer and I have an idea what, if anything, I will be doing. Thanks for reading.

Previous episode: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

◄ Season Index

528 comments on this review

MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
Don't want to spoil too much. But I feel better now.

The cockamamie fish story ended with a decent catch. Ok, Discovery. You've got my vote.

Carry on, keep me informed.
Joseph B
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 8:54pm (UTC -5)
OMG!!!

I had some misgivings coming in, but this was *FANTASTIC* in every sense of the word.

Four Stars!
.... And the entire Season — and Series — has been redeemed!!

Live Long and Prosper! 🖖
Yanks
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
"The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you." - NDT

"LT Spock to the bridge" - Did that sound like Captain Kirk to anyone but me?

More to come for sure, but that was quite a ride and I'm not upset with the ending like I was after season one.

Bravo.

Where is Georgio go?
Startrekwatcher
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
It took what...just 2 years to figure out they should have never tackled a prequel and instead should have gone forward in the Trek universe

But that only remedies the canon and continuity issues. Jumping forward doesn’t fix the poor writing or weak cast.
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:01pm (UTC -5)
That was a fairly satisfying - though not perfect, finale to the season.

What I Liked:

Spock's final monologue was on point. Peck is so damn much better at delivering these monologues without making them seem overwrought than SMG is.

I was expecting the Klingon cavalry to come in, but I enjoyed L'Rell's crowning moment of awesome, particularly the "Today is a good day to die"

Siranna showing up, on the other hand, was totally unexpected. A bit forced honestly (how did they learn to fly Ba'ul ships so fast?) but it was still a nice touch which helped to tie Saru's arc this season in with the season arc as a whole.

In general, I feel like the the arc tied together much more neatly than last season. The way out of the "seven signals" issue was not totally unexpected, but it was a nice answer for why we had yet to see two of them. And yeah, in retrospect - since they wrote everything towards this conclusion - I can see how each of the earlier five signals was building towards this point in the finale. They found a way to work faith back into the arc as well. So even if they made hash of the planned arc midway through the season, they managed to salvage it by the end.

What I Disliked:

The action and VFX were overstuffed. The space battle was much more beautifully rendered than in the first season, but it was so busy that it was hard to keep track of action. And while I appreciated seeing Burnham relive the five earlier signals from her POV, it really was just episode padding.

You mean to tell me that all you need to do in order to stop a photon torpedo from blowing up a ship is to close emergency bulkhead doors? The scene made some emotional sense (someone had to make a heroic sacrifice) but it didn't make a lick of logical sense.

I don't understand how destroying Leland was enough to kill Control - at least locally. One would imagine AI is a distributed intelligence, and just like how he was simultaneously able to possess Leland and that mook the other week he would be able to run on the ships and within Leland at once. Not that it mattered much, since by the time Control "died" Discovery was already on its way out, but still.

Spock telling Michael how damn special he was to him during the scene where he was stranded in the shuttlecraft was laying it on a bit thick. Not that I think it's out-of-character in any way for Spock to feel deeply for someone underneath the surface, but being that explicit and overwrought about it was just eye-rolling.

Also, I find it curious they decided to end the episode from the POV of the Enterprise crew rather than the Discovery crew. While as I said Spock's closing monologue was good, it sure gave the impression that we were going to pick up next with the Pike series rather than with Michael & company.
FELCommentary
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:04pm (UTC -5)
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.
mj
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:08pm (UTC -5)
"Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

The visuals of Discovery are better than any other incarnation of the franchise, but the storytelling, and, more specifically, the profundity or intelligence thereof, is the worst. This series, unlike its predecessors, rarely asks viewers to ruminate, and the finale, while generally beautiful, was often laughable.

I wish Season 3 would continue with the crew of the Enterprise, and bring back some of the thoughtfulness that came with their successors in the Original Series.
Rahul
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:09pm (UTC -5)
DSC had its cake and ate it too -- I think the finale provided closure on many fronts and has the timeline back to normal: The Discovery with all the newly introduced crew is some 900 years in the future and the Enterprise has Pike/Spock (clean-shaven)/No. 1 where they're supposed to be. The spore drive has been destroyed along with Control and nobody is to speak of this whole thing again unless they want to be charged with treason. I think Spock even established some kind of temporal directive. Overall, a satisfying conclusion to an up-and-down season -- although one has to realize we've essentially gone in 1 big circle with DSC's 1st 2 seasons. It's been superficial entertainment mostly.

Some great sci-fi visuals in this episode along with a good soundtrack for the battle scenes helped -- back in the days of 90s Trek they didn't have drones like they do here, which now makes those battles seem dated to me. The firing between ships/drones takes place much faster and overall I liked these battle scenes more than the ones from DS9's later seasons, for example. Good strategies set forth by Pike, Saru. The Sick Bay situation looked genuine and Stamets gets put into a coma by Culber who makes up with him -- not that I cared.

Of course a fair bit of handwaving needed to take in this episode like believing Discovery's crew could build the Red Angel suit so quickly, Burnham could be escorted by the convoy successfully, Leland can't quickly subdue Nhan/Georgiou etc. But a lot of things tied together and did appear lucky like the Kelpiens/Baul/Klingons showing up on time -- but that's typical for Trek. The 1st 5 signals were for helping the "good guys" team up to beat Section 31 in the Big Battle, the 6th was for guiding Discovery, and the 7th was to let Spock know they made it. I guess Burnham going back and revisiting the 1st 5 signals is a way to tie the whole season together -- not really necessary for me.

I think every cast member got to do something here -- some good, some bad, some odd. Adm. Cornwell sacrificing herself to contain the torpedo blast was weird -- couldn't they get a robot to hold the door shut or something? Tilly having to fix the shields on Discovery also seemed out of place -- bugs me that the ship has no formal chief engineer. Jet Reno tells Saru to get off her ass -- what else would you expect from this clown?

Liked the fight scene with gravity off-line between Leland and Nhan/Georgiou although this was just superficial entertainment -- that Georgiou is able to get Leland into the spore drive chamber and magnetize it is the kind of heroics you see in movies -- totally unrealistic but whatever. Hand-waving.

And it wouldn't be DSC if Burnham wasn't glorified. Spock pours it on pretty thick saying he was lost and Burnham found him blah blah blah. These 2 are on good terms already but a season finale has to have more syrup so we get their good-bye scene.

Burnham going thru the wormhole reminded me a bit of 2001: A Space Odyssey -- wonder if that was intentional. I liked this sci-fi visual.

3 stars for "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2" -- much, much better than Part 1, which really seems like fluff now. Nothing profound here but the story for the episode is decent, the actions scenes top notch and I liked the resolutions. Only minor gripes now -- probably more to come as I ponder everything. I suppose DSC Season 3 can focus on Discovery/Burnham in the future and/or follow the adventures of Pike/Spock on Enterprise. But at least all the new stuff DSC introduced is in the distant future where it should have been in the first place.
mosley
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:24pm (UTC -5)
hm. ok. nice action piece.

i think i couldnt fully enjoy it because the mode in which i watched this was "save me the obligatory space battle, will you please just finally get to the future already and free yourself from the Chains Of Ze Prequel". and then we ended up not even getting the obligatory cliffhanger WTF moment. not even a single glimpse. guess they ran out of budget or havent yet made up their minds about where exactly to go from here.

but ok, i guess theres gotta be a space battle every now and then, even when you know no essential people can die because, history, because, Chains Of Ze Prequel. and while slightly cheesy, the efforts to clean up the continuity mess that discovery left behind were appreciated. of course it all feels kind of forced, but since the only non-forced way would have been a giant voyager-ish "year of hell" type reset button, i think i can live with this. (even though i would have loved to hear jammer explode and go all vintage jammersreviews on us with a classic reset button hate rant ;-)

and that sure was a well done space battle. i chuckled every time i saw an "inspired by BSG" sequence, and there were quite a few of them. BSG of course is still on another level to me, because it somehow managed to combine its trademark battle dirt chaos with a sense that you always knew what was going on. with actions sequences in general, that seemingly impossible combination remains a mastery that only few archieve. but discovery is close and might eventually get there. how BSG got this right right from the pilot is completely beyond me.

so im left with only one fundamental criticism. tyler *again* didnt die. i cant work like this. how many more episodes are theyre going to show in which tyler does not die? i find the whole concept of tyler being alive pretty unworkable at this point. and not only that, those scenes at the end seemed to suggest that he is scheduled to play an important role in the section 31 series? do these guys listen to fan feedback at all? this guy is basically wesley crusher 2019 deluxe remaster edition, and not only do they not drop him, they make him a key player in an upcoming series?

errr...bad idea. unless the plan is to do a GOT type "surprise, lead characters with plot armor can die early on" maneuver. call it evasive maneuver RR or something :-)

oh, one more thing: as if the hilarious plot oversight that they actually didnt need to go to the future anymore because control was destroyed, theres an explicit "control is destroyed" message right before they fly into the wormhole. as if they wanted to rub it in. like,
"hey, control is destroyed. no need to go to the future anymore!"
"awesome mrs georgiou, thank you very much. now fasten your seatbelts please, cause WHEEEEE WE'RE GOING TO THE FUTURE!"
all that was missing was a mute "are you frakin' kidding me?" mumble from georgiou in the background right before they switched on the ST4:TVH oldschool timetravel video effect (nice hommage there!)
Baron Samedi
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:44pm (UTC -5)
This'll be my first comment on Season 2 of Discovery. In my latest effort to beat the system, I started watching a month ago and breezed through the whole thing within a single CBS All Access pay period. It is a bit of a blur to me as a result, and maybe that's affecting me to some extent, but I don't think that altered my experience very much.

The episode-by-episode quality was definitely up from the first season in terms of consistency. There were no outright flops like Season 1's finale or "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum". The cast was quite good, though I still don't think Ash works as a character (certainly not as a romantic interest of Michael) and the new characters were great (except Leland, who I never found to be an interesting antagonist before or after Control took him over).

But despite Season 2's consistency, I liked Season 1 more. When I look back on it, I can discern a dozen or so interesting character and story arcs in Season 1. Some of them fell totally flat, but many were fun and interesting, and most at least tried to have coherent parameters and a discernible point. I enjoyed getting to know the new characters and the whole romp through the mirror universe was a blast.

Season 2 had some great qualities. Central to them was Anson Mount, who was really superb as Pike. I didn't expect Discovery to portray Pike as effectively as it did, and Anson added depth and grace to the role, helping to fill the void of Trekkian idealism that Season 1's wartime setting lacked. Also, the more standalone episodes, including the episodes with strong standalone components, worked quite well. Saru had some fascinating storylines. The return to Talos IV (which was admittedly heavily intertwined with the larger story) was clever and well-executed. I found the scene between Pike and Vina genuinely moving.

The central problem is that the second half of the season went all-in with a plot I could never bring myself to care about. I never bought that the personal character journey of Michael would be so heavily intertwined with Control destroying "all sentient life," which itself is absurd. The show tried to convince us that the overriding plot was driven by the characters, but it wasn't. It was just about itself.

There's a charming humility, at least by comparison, with the writing approach taken by other Trek series. I've chided Enterprise a fair amount in the past, but in Season 3, the writers knew better than to link the Xindi weapon storyline with some intimate secret from Archer's past. I feel like the Discovery writers would have made the head Xindi scientist Archer's long-lost alien stepfather and intertwined scenes of Archer dealing with childhood trauma with the Enterprise's efforts to stop Earth from being destroyed, and that would obviously have been insufferable.

I just had to lose interest in this storyline as the connections between the fate of "all sentient life" and Michael Burnham piled up. I really like Sonequa Martin-Green's performances - more than most people here, it seems - but constantly bringing Michael's personal issues into the story usually felt unnecessary. These connections probably felt clever in the writing room, but most of these personal journeys intruded on the crew's duty and felt out of place, because the fate of "all sentient life" is way more important than whatever personal issues the show wants to explore about Michael's past or any of the other characters. There were so many emotional scenes (all over-dramatized and over-scored) where I yearned for the urgency with which the Star Trek: Enterprise crew treated their mission to destroy the Xindi weapon - and that was just to save all life on Earth, rather than the whole universe. These characters on Discovery should have been freaking out constantly at the prospect of all sentient life, everywhere, dying. Since the writers clearly didn't want to portray the crew acting this way, they should have lowered the stakes.

I lost track of the plot at a certain point, because I stopped trusting the show to handle the plot in a coherent, worthwhile, or satisfying manner. A recurring issue was that the music, editing, and flashy visuals put everything on the same level of high dramatic urgency, muddling the narrative further. It's too bad, because there was a lot of talent and competence always on display. And in fairness, the first half of the season was quite solid, even if it wasted a fair amount of effort on a fundamentally flawed long-term story.

I tried putting together an episode-by-episode list of ratings, but it's not very interesting this time around. I gave everything a 5-7 out of 10, except for "If Memory Serves," which deserves a 9 or a maybe even a 10. By comparison, Season 1 ran the gauntlet between scores of 1 and 9, which made for an often frustrating but ultimately more memorable experience.

At the end of the previous season, I wrote, "If the writers can focus on delivering a smaller amount of plot in a satisfying manner, then Discovery could end up being a great show. My primary worry is that some CBS ratings data analysts have resolutely determined that Discovery will lose a significant portion of its audience if the plot isn't always moving at a breakneck pace, so these changes won't actually happen." While the first half of this season showed some promise on that front, the second half succumbed to it, and I'm more pessimistic than before about Discovery ever becoming a show that people, years from now, will want to revisit.
Chrome
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:04pm (UTC -5)
I’ll get into it more later, but I enjoyed this with some reservations. Like FELCommentary mentioned, the VFX for the initial time travel was pretty damn impressive. And of course 1 million points for Control not being the Borg. That alone might have been a good excuse to abandon ship. : )

Yanks wrote:
“‘LT Spock to the bridge’ - Did that sound like Captain Kirk to anyone but me?”

Yeah, weird. I thought the same. Mount’s Pike has much in common with Kirk, so maybe he modeled his some of his performance on Shatner?
Eric
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:12pm (UTC -5)
I’m pretty sure we just saw the series finale of Star Trek: Discovery. Oh it’ll be back next year, but starring the USS Enterprise.
Snitch
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:25pm (UTC -5)
I liked season one about 6 out of 10, the final was weak and the Captain going all ev il was a bit much.

I was optimistic for the first half of season 2, it was pretty good. Then it all fell apart for me.

Unlike the others on here, the final did not work at all. 2 out of 10.

I had to roll my eyes all the time, the killer AI can now be beaten in a fistfight. Saint Burnham saves the universe, I hope I will never see her again on Trek. Why does she have to fly around in her suit, instead of being in a ship. Is it tech tech and plot contrivance?

The end was at least cool. Lets hope Pike and Spock get a show, they were the highlights of this season and Burnham remains lost and never spoken about again. The Empress from the mirror universe is corny as hell, I hope they dont really give her a show too.

Making the Klingon traitor the head of section 31. LOL Who are those idiots?

What a failure.
Jeanne
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:26pm (UTC -5)
I was very down with this until the ending--i just didn't need Spock, of all people, to establish some wacky anti-truth conspiracy of silence treason regulation just to explain why Kirk never asked Spock about Burnham on screen or why spore drives aren't standard model. And ending on the NCC-1701 folks--even though I get it, we're saying goodbye and closing loops, and this season was all about drawing on the TOS goodwill bank as a means of rebuilding trust--feels like too much fan service at the expense of the folks we should really be caring about here: the only real character stuff not involving a beloved TOS character we got here is from Georgiou and Culber. Michael going to Jupiter and beyond the infinite was good, but I'm glad she's clear of this Messianic chapter of her life and that the show can maybe make her a developed human character in S3, someone with interests rather than just a ton of gravitas?

I give this three stars for competence marred by grin-and-bear-it continuity checkbook balancing. S2 overall had some major flaws, but still a clear step up on S1--probably somewhere in the midlevel VOY range, as seasons go? I really hope S3 has the guts to be episodic for a while, to let us get to know these folks, and to start to build out a sensible and coherent strange new world for the group--my worst nightmare is that wherever the ship is going resembles Voyager's featureless, textureless Delta quadrant more than something new and fun and star trekish. More morality plays, character episodes, and sense of confidence rather than insane anxiety of influence going forward, please and thanks?
The Gorn
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 12:08am (UTC -5)
@ mosley
@ Baron Samedi

Well put!

@ Eric

I, too, had the exact same feeling that this was the finale of the ill-conceived Star Trek: Disastery. Oh, they're going to mention it here and there in some spin-off shows.

There seems to be yet another big turmoil going on behind the scenes. Apparently, CBS and Paramount are trying to reunite after the demise of Moonves, most everything is put on halt and the licensees of the Star Trek franchise are up in arms about the underwhelming merch sales of the JarJarTrek films & show.

If true, this indicates a major shift in the future endeavors of the Star Trek franchise, meaning that they're being forced to bring their designs and story lines much closer to the established mighty canon (and away from JarJar & BadReboot).

So yes, a Pike/Enterprise show seems much more likeable & profitable in the long run and hardly anybody would miss Mary Sue B.
Brian Lear
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 12:14am (UTC -5)
The finale does what its supposed to do, re-establishes the canon timeline, and it does so with typical fanfare, and typical Discovery junk-level writing--Cornwell closes the blast door from the inside and, instead of escaping under the closing door, "heroically" sacrifices herself off the show. It was a laugh out loud moment in my living room. We get extended filler sequences such as the video-retrospective of the entire season with Burnham in the superhero suit. Burnham's travel through time was, artistically interesting but it really dragged on. After a few seconds my only thought was "filler".

With each passing moment we see more and more that the Michael Burnham show, excuse me, Discovery, is miles wide but only inches deep.

The "7 signals" plot was not the uber-interesting mystery it was made out to be. It was actually just all about Michael Burnham flying around in a trick super-hero time suit saving the galaxy. Yawn. I knew that would be the case since the first episode of the season. I believe many of us were hoping the red signals would lead to some kind of fascinating exploration of space, perhaps a new ultra-powerful race. Instead, the show remained locked in the tiniest of possible universes, basically the Discovery and Michael Burnham, and those that help her move the plot forward. The entire season was an incestuous circle that never really went anywhere.

Then the writers said screw it let's start over. Ironically, using the exact thing they were trying to avoid with the serialized arc format--the much reviled reset-button. And of course, given us all ample reason to tune in for season 3.

Now that they've gifted themselves a blank slate, we'll see if they just continue the Michael Burnham show in the future, or actually give us a Star Trek show worth re-watching.

I can say that for me, personally, I hated the Michael Burnham show so much, that when she slipped into the future with the Discovery, my first thought was that I hope we never see them again and I'd rather just keep watching Pike and Spock on the Enterprise. Then I caught myself and remembered, no, prequels are bad. Let's stay in the future. But...but...I just don't know how much more Michael Burnham I can take.
Derek
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 12:53am (UTC -5)
Absolute nonsense...absolutely entertaining nonsense...absolutely 4-star absurd makes-no-sense-but-who-cares incredible nonsense. They did split-screen! The camera woooooshed in between ships! There were fighter battles! It was awesome. It was in no way thoughtful or meaningful, but it sure was fun.
Brian Lear
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 12:56am (UTC -5)
Oh, and I will also say that the entire idea underlying the Control/sphere data plot makes no sense. Sorry it just doesn't. The sphere is an ancient lifeform that observed and recorded data about the universe for many years. I don't feel that the show ever really convinced me that the data in that sphere could reasonably be expected to allow an advanced AI to obtain consciousness, or, why that consciousness would be evil and seek destruction, as opposed to simply being a reflection of what it observed of sentient life in the universe for its entire history--a complicated mixture of evil, good, and everything in between. I would expect the sphere data to result in a consciousness that was both REALLY evil and REALLY compassionate and good at the same time--just like any living being. Wouldn't have been amazing if that character was created from the sphere data, and, you know, actually made into a likable character? Maybe a sort of "Q" for star trek: discovery.

But no, nothing that cool could ever happen on discovery. The sphere data would be shoe-horned into the rest of the season and used to build a paper-thin, non-interesting villain who was necessary for the plot to advance from point A to B. What could have been an awesome exploration of humanity was squandered.
Brian Lear
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 1:02am (UTC -5)
Oh, and is anybody else sick of the fact that only female characters can solve problems on Discovery?
Startrekwatcher
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 1:12am (UTC -5)
It’d be nice if Trek would get back to more small scale intimate storytelling. Frankly I miss the basic episodic action adventure storytelling that most people fell in love with on TOS and TNG.

Nothing epic. No convoluted plotting. No serialization No obsession with Trek mythology. Not caught up in namedropping and Easter eggs.

Just fun exploration of the unknown—newlife, ancient civilizations, sci fi weirdness, discoveries that fired the imagination and the occasional thoughtful reflective outing

Writers are making it unnecessarily difficult in themselves trying to construct these complex arcs and story structures. Their time would be better spent on the nuts and bolts of just sitting down and crafting a solid script that is entertaining. I also think it would do them good to have to construct an actual beginning, middle and END!! Episodic storytelling won’t afford them the crutch of dragging things out and putting off a conclusion. Hopefully that would lead to better payoffs than the one they put off til the 11th hour
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 1:27am (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman @others

That was probably not enough to completely wipe out Control, but without the Sphere data holy grail, its going to be a whole lot tougher to become the threat it was going to be. Didn't believe for a moment what the interrogator stated.

Which, despite other people claiming that the ship didn't have to go to the future, it obviously still needed to as the sphere data still needed to be removed from its potential grasp.
PM
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 2:14am (UTC -5)
Holy hot damn that was awesome.

5/4 stars

Snitch, Brian L, if you can't see how awesome this episode was, you're "as blind as a Tiberian bat......sir!" ; )
Cody B
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 2:16am (UTC -5)
Not a very good finale. They tried to shine it up and make it sparkle but the story was not good. They were painted into a corner having to wrap up the red angel crap. I hope discovery stops putting so much emphasis on arcs that last a whole season and concentrate more on single episodes. Or at the least if they want a whole season arc atleast make sure it is very strong. Red angel wasn’t. The first 2/3 of season two was very good. It was all the moments where red angel wasn’t the focus even if a lot of it was byproducts of the red angel storyline the episodes could have easily happened outside of any red angel crap. Well anyway I’m a bit didsapointed although this episode was what I expected since I knew things had to be wrapped up. I guess I was just hoping for atleast a nice surprise or something. Well here’s hoping next season tightens up and gets better.
Cody B
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 2:21am (UTC -5)
I usually defend Discovery but this is the first time I have to agree with the people who say it’s a bunch of sparkly fast paced action with no substance. Usually the story is good enough or we get some surprises. This episode was just a turd of a finale put inside a big shiny golden box with sparklers taped on the sides.
Uxbridge
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 2:22am (UTC -5)
@Startrekwatcher

I agree that I am not a big fan of season long story arcs. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I really liked the “three episode mini-arcs” from Enterprise Season 4. That way you have time to tell compelling stories, without getting locked in for an entire season.

One other thing I was thinking about. Which red angel was responsible for saving those people in the church during WW3 and bringing them to the Beta Quadrant? I don’t seem to recall Michael doing anything of this nature, except for going to the Beta Quadrant and sending the signal. Did I miss something when it was showing her time travel?
Leif
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 2:31am (UTC -5)
I thought Queen Po was going with them into the future since she said she wasn't leaving Tippy! Didn't anyone else think this or want to see more of Po and Zahia, one of the coolest looking and most original and unique Strange New Worlds the show has come up with to date? And have more episodes exploring this world in the future..and havr made the last Red Signals related,to,some cool new alien being and or phenomenon as opposed to just Michael again twice...did anyone else want this?
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 2:43am (UTC -5)
@Uxbridge

Yes, you missed the scene with Burnham's mother's log where Dr Burnham stated she saved the churchpeople in an attempt to prove that she could change the past.
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 2:46am (UTC -5)
@Trekwatcher

We do get small scale intimat stories with the Short Treks. FYI, there will be two more short treks coming up shortly, and it appears that there will be some being prepared in advance of the Picard series as well.
John Harmon
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 3:24am (UTC -5)
These are basically all the thoughts I had while watching the episode. Don’t blame anyone not wanting to read all of this, or just wanting to skim, but I figure it’s best to put everything in one comment rather than spam a bunch.

Well I’ll start with the good. It was cool seeing Starfleet HQ. Future San Francisco looked neat.

Ok, now that that’s out of the way. That’s seriously all the writers could come up? This whole season Alex Kurtzman has been saying that by the end of the season it would explain away all the canon inconsistencies. And their best shot is “everybody kept it a secret”? That made me actually laugh out loud because I wasn’t sure if it was a joke or not. An entire season, tens of millions of dollars spent just to ultimately say “everyone just pinkie promised to not talk about it”? It’s almost impressive what a middle finger that is to the audience.

So it turned out Michael Burnham was the Red Angel all along after all. Kinda makes that whole couple of episodes about her mom pointless. Also, was anyone expecting anything else? It was obvious from the first episode of the season it would turn out to be Michael Burnham, based on nothing else than the fact that the writers love making her the most important person in the universe. And the show treats that moment like it’s a shocking revelation. We were all ahead of the show there right?

Speaking of, I guess Discovery just happens to have the ability to replicate an Iron Man suit? I didn’t even know they had replicators. But they sure built that super advanced time traveling space suit in no time like it was nothing.

The non stop space battling was nauseating. It was full on Star Wars prequel white noise. I’m sure a bunch of animators were underpaid to create all those space battles that I had to close my eyes during because it was giving me a headache. This type of action is mind numbing and frankly, boring. Throwing more stuff at the screen isn’t exciting. For that matter, overly long scenes of people just punching each other isn’t exciting either. All I can think of is how intense and exciting Wrath Of Khan still is, and it was only two ships battling like they were slow moving submarines and not a single punch was thrown between Kirk and Khan.

And during the battle I noticed the Enterprise deployed a bunch of Star Wars repair droids that looked like Skeletor’s hover bots from the old Masters Of The Universe cartoon. Didn’t know they had those.

Admiral Cornwell’s death was ridiculous. So the only way to close the blast door was manually from the inside. Good thing the Enterprise designers created that room to be as dramatically convenient as possible. Why could they not beam her out of the room exactly? Also, this photon torpedo, that had the destructive capability of turning the Enterprise’s saucer section into a crescent shape was held off...by a blast door...is that what we’re being asked to believe? If the door was open, more of the ship would have blown up. But that one singular tiny door was so capable of holding that blast, Pike didn’t even flinch even though he was only a few feet away from it.

Leland wasn’t actually a bad guy right? Am I wrong there? His body was taken over by Skynet, right? It really bothered me how much the show reveled in the sadism of his death...this guy who was really just a victim.

Noticed they couldn’t resist ending another season without a “this is Starfleet” moment.

Security Chief what’s-her-name saying “yum yum”. I cringed out of my skin and now I’m a skeleton.

Didn’t really like Spock monologuing about how Michael Burnham is so great that she’s the reason he is who he is. I can’t believe how much the writers love making her the center of everything. No wonder she has this hero complex. Can’t really blame her. It would have been a missed opportunity not to have a goodbye between them though, so I can’t fully blame them there.

Seeing the bridge crew in the end, with the shots of the Enterprise in space dock was a neat TMP homage. And I appreciate Ethan Peck giving his all in the character, but boy howdy does the full Spock look not look good on him at all. Sad to say it was another laugh moment for me. I felt sorry for him. I also felt sorry for Rebecca Romijn in this. Her wig looked terrible. She herself was great though. I laughed again when she actually gave her name as “Number One”, but I’m sure that was an intentional joke moment.

The ending is intriguing in theory. Taking Discovery to the future frees up the show from a lot of constraints. However, it’s also emblematic of the writing problems in this show. The writers are literally having the show run away from what they think are its problems. They think taking the show out of prequel territory and eliminating all canon inconsistencies will fix the show, but that wasn’t the problem at all. The core problem is the writing style. Style over substance, weak characterization, lightning fast pacing, and boring overextended mystery box plots. Taking the show far into the future won’t fix this show alone. The writers need to fundamentally change how the show is written and structured for it to have a chance of really being good. Otherwise they’re just going to keep wasting tens of millions of dollars on fancy effects coupled with writing on par with bad fan fiction. We’ll see.
Tim C
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:00am (UTC -5)
2.5 stars. It's the opposite of the first season finale`, which was insanely rushed; this was too padded and felt a bit flaccid. When we started getting "2001: A Clip Show Odyssey" in the middle of our Ultimate Space Battle To The Death, I was actively irritated. I've been watching all year, show; I don't need to go on a greatest hits tour. (That said, the trippy visuals were awesome.)

Additionally, the entire subplot with the torpedo and Admiral Cornwell felt completely unnecessary and could have been deleted entirely with no loss to the episode. And I don't buy the denouement, where it's revealed the reason we never hear of the spore drive again is because Starfleet are keeping it hush hush: it makes no sense at all for them to abandon such incredible technology, especially when it had nothing to do with the threat from Control in the first place!

I was also confused by the logistics of the space battle, which is a consequence of filling the screen with a billion fighters, I think. This episode could have been greatly improved with some more restraint, but I think we've learned that's not a word this show is familiar with, for better AND worse.

There was plenty of good on display here though. The opening minutes with the frantic rush to assemble the suit under a ticking clock were excellent, and appropriately heart-pounding. All the performances were on point, as usual, and the battle certainly looked fantastic, if not particularly logically depicted.

Season 2 as a whole? 2.5 stars also. It's probably not going to be the majority opinion, but I think that season 1 was a more ambitious and memorable story, for all its flaws, and it also had the virtue of novelty, being the first new TV Trek in over a decade. Season 1's central mysteries were built around characters, whereas Season 2 gave us a more traditional sci-fi conundrum, and felt more ho-hum as a result. I was far more invested in learning more about Captain Lorca than I ever was in how they were going to technobabble their way out of a fight against Star Trek's version of the Terminator, a story whose facets we've seen in many prior episodes, from all those TOS "AI gone wrong" plots, to the Borg, to ENT's Temporal Cold War.

On an individual level, season 2's episodes were of a higher quality, I think: "Brother", "An Obol for Charon", "If Memory Serves", "The Sound of Thunder" and "Project Daedalus" were all standouts, and the mid-tier stuff like "New Eden", "Light and Shadows" and "Saints of Imperfection" were also quite enjoyable in spite of their flaws. But taken as a whole, it's a bit more of a damp squib.

All of that said, I'm very keen to see what they're cooking up for season 3. I'll see you all here at the end of the year for the Picard show, nerds!

P.S. There's a commenter here named Brandon Adams who owes $10 to the World Wildlife Fund. I won our bet! No Borgs to be found here. ;)
AR
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:04am (UTC -5)
I need to digest this for a while; watching it live, all I could think, over and over, was "yeah, sure, OK". My gut reaction was this was a lot of convoluted nonsense. Pretty nonsense, but sheesh.

Control knocked out every other shuttle and drone protecting Burnham, then she and Spock land and just chill out and finish the mission with only one stray shot coming their way? OK.

Really was kind of that hull breach to only kill the no-name extras during that not-nearly-cool-or-deadly-enough fight in the corridors.

So Tyler somehow managed fetch the Klingons and come back that quickly (also, C-A-V-A-L-R-Y, damnit!)? OK

So just lure Leland into the spore chamber (which it totally looked like it should've been able to break out of) and turn on the magnets? That's all it took to kill it? OK.

The manual release for the blast door was right by the door, but she couldn't rig a way to pull it from the other side? Roll under the door? (Did they explain why they couldn't just site-to-site beam her out of the room?) Also, after the battle, the saucer section of the Enterprise looked like &!#@ing Unicron took a bite out of it, but Pike survived behind a simple blast door at point blank range? It didn't, I dunno, blow out the entire deck around him and jettison his turbolift into space (after what looked like a ton of turbolifts being picked off by explosions and debris earlier)? OK.

So this entire arc was just a closed timey wimey loop of Michael being led by signals from herself in the future? OK.

So that's it? Just pretend Discovery was destroyed, all wrapped up in a neat bow? OK.

Also, there's a reason "Number One" doesn't seem to have an actual name, besides a running gag, right?

Again, I need to think about it. Viscerally I wasn't bored, but mentally I was annoyed.

So. I guess it was better than season one? Once again no true stinkers (easier when there's only 14 eps and things are so heavily serialized), also plenty of meh, but I'll take "If Memory Serves", "An Obol for Charon", and "The Sound of Thunder" over anything S1 served up. No earthly idea where S3 could possibly go from here, but for the love of god, no more time travel, and no more "the fate of the entire galaxy is at stake!!!!11!" stories.
Daya
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:11am (UTC -5)
I liked it. The ending on the Enterprise was great with all the bridge sounds, Spock finally taking his seat, and Alexander Courage's music in the end caused me to really believe they will be going on the five year mission soon.

This is the last Spock / Pike will ever see of Discovery, and somehow I want to stay in Spock's timeline and bid them a final goodbye as I see them blazing a trail of glory into the future. I am glad the episode chose this strange point of view for the ending.

= = = =

"Mr. Spock to the bridge." That's Kirk. Captain James T. Kirk. I just can't reconcile that voice with Pike. They used Shatner's recording. I'm sure of it. Is it possible that young Jim Kirk is a bridge officer on the Enterprise? Anyway they were pretty much all breaking the fourth wall in that final scene so we don't have to take it so seriously.

Also, the Enterprise warped away almost like it used to in the TOS title sequence. No warp flattening, just high speed. Also, they did the "the Cage" opening shot in reverse at the end. All cool.
MadManMUC
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:11am (UTC -5)
All flash, no substance. None. Zero. Utterly devoid.

Space battles. Hyper-fast panning shots. Melodrama. More space battles. More hyper-fast panning shots. More melodrama.

I wish I could even say that I'm disappointed or surprised, but I'm actually neither of those things. This show set the bar so low, I would have actually been shocked if they'd delivered something other than what they did with this.

It was utter, utter nonsense.

It does kind of feel like we actually saw the series finale, though, like Eric said.

And, if that's the case, it's for the best. They really made a dog's dinner of this series. S01 was just fucking miserable, and S02 was too inconsistent. Oh, sure, there were some semi-watchable episodes, and they even came a bit close to making this show feel like actual Trek once or twice, and Anson Mount was just stellar in the role. But, these things can only be really appreciated in isolation from the premise of both show and season.

It's weird. With other Trek series (ENT notwithstanding, I still hate that thing), I generally view them as being basically good series with a few shit episodes. Discovery, for me is the reverse: a turd of a series that — once or twice — sort of has something decent happening in S02.

What galls me the most is that the very basic premise of the season — seven mysterious red signals scattered all over the galaxy — was an utterly wasted opportunity. Instead of making the signals manifestations of Saint Michael Fucking Burnham, they could have made them about anything else: a new alien race with a first contact opportunity, a new stellar phenomenon, something. Anything other than trying to show us how — once again — great and awesome the mutinous war-starter is. There was a bucket-load of Star Trek and literal discovery waiting to be leveraged in the basic premise, but no: instead we got ... this.

Yeah, well, it is what it is. Not good Trek, not even good science fiction, awful plotting and dialogue, and characters I couldn't give even the most microscopic shit about.

At least I have The Expanse S04 to look forward to this year (well, hopefully this year).
CanOfUbik
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:24am (UTC -5)
So Discovery opted for the Armin-Tamzarian-Solution to solve its many canon problems... Not very convincing, but about the level of sublety I've come to expect from it.

The episode itself was pretty much a reflection of DSC as a whole: Good, sometimes outstanding production values and visuals barely covering a mess of unearned melodramatic moments, plot holes and forced action sequences.

The ending tasted very much like house cleaning, leaving the producers with all options for season 3: Continue with Discovery in the future in any shape and style they want, go on an nostalgia cruise with Pike-Enterprise or just call it a series finale and cancel Discovery. Fits pretty well with The Gorn's comments above about potential reshuffling behind the scenes.
Bobby
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:30am (UTC -5)
I enjoyed it, and now we know why the spore drive is never mentioned.

Is it possible the show is going to change focus to Enterprise? Surely not, but I wouldn't complain. Pike is awesome, that actor nails it.
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:38am (UTC -5)
@MadManMUC

..."Saint Michael Fucking Burnham"...

This is the best reason I can see that CBS needs to stop making any furhter attempts to offer any deference to thr detractors of their efforts.
MadManMUC
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:42am (UTC -5)
I know you're a troll, Alan Roi, and I really should feed you, but I just want to state now, for the record: Your opinions don't interest me in the slightest. So, don't bother.

You're patronising. You personally attack other users. You derail discussions.

This is the final time I'm engaging you.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:43am (UTC -5)
@Daya
"Is it possible that young Jim Kirk is a bridge officer on the Enterprise?"

Not likely. We know that Kirk was stationed on the USS Farragut around that time (2255)

But if you really want him to be on the Enterprise, you could argue that he was assigned there temporarily for some reason. Besides, if you care about leaving the TOS timeline intact, you would have far bigger problems to worry about...
axiom
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:51am (UTC -5)
As usual, I thought this was a more or less effective ride. There are less than credible moments, and there are very effective ones (Stamets and Culber, for example). I'm satisfied with the resolution, and keen to see what the far future holds -- now we really get to discover. I'd give the season *** on the whole. SSS P1 would be a **.5, and P2 would be a ***.5.

And, right on time, here we have all the usual critics repeating the same gripes. At times, the commentary here is truly insightful (critical and intelligent). Yet there are a really unnerving number of voices which echo misogynist, reactionary claims week after week. Do these folks see what they're saying?

There are real and troubling problems in the world. Why not embrace the spirit of Trek, turn off the TV, and dive head in with a constructive and progressive outlook?
axiom
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:56am (UTC -5)
PS -- I mean, seriously, folks. "Fucking miserable." "Devoid." Dog whistle rhetoric.

I value constructive debate about art, but we are not going anywhere with this kind of rhetoric. If you don't "give a microscopic shit," please spare us. The only "galling" thing is to find ourselves in a world where a shared passion elicits this kind of discourse.
wolfstar
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:14am (UTC -5)
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.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:16am (UTC -5)
@Axiom

"Yet there are a really unnerving number of voices which echo misogynist, reactionary claims week after week."

Really?

Can you name even one commenter who posts "misogynist reactionary claims" on a weekly basis?

Sure, occasionally we get such comments here as well. But they are (thankfully) few and far between. So what the **** are you on about?

Hint: Not liking what the DSC writers are doing with the Burnham character does not automatically make a person misogynist (or racist).

As for your final paragraph: I agree. Let's go out there and fix the world... or at least, our tiny personal corner of it. It can be as simple as making a single person from our immediate surroundings happier. Or perhaps, as simple as stopping before we decide to accuse people of being misogynist just because they don't like a given character on a TV show.

And after we've done our part to help humanity, there's nothing to stop us from sitting back at our keyboards and discussing Star Trek. The two things are not mutually exclusive, you know.
MadManMUC
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:23am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

'Hint: Not liking what the DSC writers are doing with the Burnham character does not automatically make a person misogynist (or racist).'

Correct.

I don't care about which gender or ethnicity the lead character is, or how many women v men or straight people v gay people or white v black people there are on the cast. This is a complete non-issue for me.

What I do care about, however, is how credible or likable or believable or well-developed a character is. And MB is neither credible, nor believable, nor particularly likable.
Dom
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:27am (UTC -5)
@Baron Samedi, "I've chided Enterprise a fair amount in the past, but in Season 3, the writers knew better than to link the Xindi weapon storyline with some intimate secret from Archer's past. I feel like the Discovery writers would have made the head Xindi scientist Archer's long-lost alien stepfather and intertwined scenes of Archer dealing with childhood trauma with the Enterprise's efforts to stop Earth from being destroyed, and that would obviously have been insufferable."

That pretty much sums it up. Good writers will find some way to tie a character's arc with the central threat or MacGuffin of the plot. The most interesting part of Enterprise Season 3 was how the Xindi threat led Archer to abandon his principles, albeit briefly. He it just been a story about defeating a super weapon, it would have been even less effective. Making tying the threat to the character by making them related through blood is often just a lazy attempt to imbue it with emotional baggage rather than actually giving the character a real arc.
axiom
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:58am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Yes, really. Exuding toxic energy -- using profanity, excessive insults, and articulating double standards towards hero characters (who happen to be women and POC) -- is not the foundation of constructive debate. Nor, I would argue, does it enable us to go out and give our best in a world of difference. You can't start building bridges when your critique is laced with coded, incendinary rhetoric. You may not see that, but others do. I'm not tone tone policing -- post away! -- but I will name it.

Whether or not folks link this kind of behavior to bigger social bads is their perogative. But I remind you that the latter do not solely exist "out there" -- they are reproduced through everyday micro-practices, in sublte ways. In any case, I really question the value that kind of discourse brings to this discussion, or to our lives. Feel free to disagree, but I do hope this makes my position clearer.
Daya
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:58am (UTC -5)
Hello. I don't think Control/Leland died completely. He was in the spore cage. I think there's a reason for that. I think a few nanites figured out how to jump into the spore world from here. There they will slowly build technology and multiply, and in fifty years build the first Unicomplex in spore world ("transwarp hub"). Then they will jump out and start taking over the real world again as the Borg.

Did the writers get scared to say all of this explicitly? May be they left out making this explicit, so as not to offend any one. But the similarities of Control to the Borg, Leland's death in the spore cage, Tilly/Culber's sojourns to the spore world and back, the spore world's transwarp capabilities, "struggle is pointless", poking the eye with nanites, hunger to assimilate, all indicate that this was clearly intended throughout their writing.
Booming
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:59am (UTC -5)
What can I say... (You can reread Karl Zimmermanns review, that is more less what I think) A few things I would like to add.

Last things first. They have probably no real idea where to go from here. That could be why we didn't see any footage from future Discovery which surprised me because I thought we would get at least a short glimpse of where this is going.

About the actual episode. Pardon my french but Discovery is just balls to the walls crazy. The Enterprise is apparently a giant fleet carrier but Lecon was prepared and brought his/her/its own mini ships. Psych!

Then it is mostly battle of the five armies. Looks good but mostly CGI extravaganza that doesn't really do anything on an emotional level. I laughed quite a bit about all the craziness. I actually laughed a lot during this episode.
I mean who puts the emergency lever for a blast door on the side of the door that is facing the hull.
The very same engineer probably thought: Ok, emergency lever on the wrong side. The only thing this blast door now needs is a window!" Hahahahaha so crazy!

Three times I laughed about actual jokes.
- When Reno shouted out of the closing elevator. It was more a chuckle but I thought: Oh, she remembered that her character needs more than one dimension.
- Saru: "You learned to fly a ship." Maybe it was the delivery but I laughed hard and long about that.
- Georgiou laughing about Lecon slowly disintegrating. Georgiou highlights the problem that shows or movies who make everything dark often have. You start to like the bad guys/gals because they are the only ones who have fun.

cringe moment:
"Yum Yum" I will say no more.

I would have preferred it if they had played it straight with Tilly at least in this episode. Jumping from her being traumatized back to making quips again. Eh.. it wasn't terrible but it kind of lessened the effect her being devastated by Stamets injury had.

Call me a sucker but I liked the Culber/Stamets stuff. We also saw that if we know somebody (Stamets) and this person gets injured then that can actually have an impact. I knew that he wouldn't die but still. #nomoredeadgays

Oh and when Michael and Spock were talking at the end of the epsiode I just thought: Really, we are having a personal moment NOW?!

Thankfully it wasn't the horrible mess that the season 1 ending was.
I'm giving my only real star rating this season
3 Stars


PS: Apart from the queen not joining I knew everything that would happen far before it happened on the show and I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing.
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 6:10am (UTC -5)
@Booming

"Georgiou laughing about Lecon slowly disintegrating. Georgiou highlights the problem that shows or movies who make everything dark often have. You start to like the bad guys/gals because they are the only ones who have fun."

Its not really a big problem. All you need to do is watch Blakes Seven to see that characters like Avon and Villa who aren't 'good guys' can work just as well as their far more more moral counterparts Blake and Jenna or Cally
Booming
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 6:50am (UTC -5)
@ Omicron MadManMUC
I think what axiom wants to say is that criticizing Burnhams character is fine, framing it in ways which are often used here is not.
Jason R.
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 7:30am (UTC -5)
"@ Omicron MadManMUC
I think what axiom wants to say is that criticizing Burnhams character is fine, framing it in ways which are often used here is not."

You're not the boss of how people may acceptably frame criticism. And regarding Axiom's point I'm sorry I don't see it on this board beyond rare exceptions and in most cases, coming from troll posters who are just $$$ in regards to everything.

Indeed he (and you) are exactly "tone policing" as he put it. Bang on.

You and him would do well to remember that not everyone yet cowtows to the shibboleths of your particular ideology. Maybe soon, but not yet.
Booming
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 8:01am (UTC -5)
@ Jason R.
"You're not the boss of how people may acceptably frame criticism."
I'll never claimed that I am.
So I am tone policing, do I. But you telling me to shut up is, I guess, not tone policing, then. What a free speech advocate you are.

You may not notice it but the vile and very emotional language that is used quite often here excludes a lot of people because, and this may shock, many don't like to read through comments that are juiced up with disgusting language. It is mostly satisfying to the person writing it but quite the opposite for many others. It is especially unfitting for a board that discusses Star Trek. One can communicate an opinion in a civilized manner or not. I guess you have chosen the latter.

The question of framing for example racism is a different question entirely. I also find it weird that people these days just excuse themselves from engaging abhorrent behavior by saying: "Don't feed the troll." I guess WW2 could have been avoided if we just hadn't talked to Nazis.

"You and him would do well to remember that not everyone yet cowtows to the shibboleths of your particular ideology. Maybe soon, but not yet. "
What are you talking about??? Conspiracy much?
I only interjected to defuse a situation and not to 1984 people.
If you wanted to make me angry then I must congratulate you.
You have succeeded.
axiom
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 8:10am (UTC -5)
@Booming -- exactly. Thanks.

You're right. I was tone policing, to an extent. (To the extent that I was identifying tone as an issue.) But I'm not here, nor do I endorse, shutting down discourse.

There's an unspoken tension here, one which suggests that open discussion of matters of bias (and the legacies and baggage which come with rhetoric) is some kind of barbed ideology, one which is unjustly washing over or winning at the expense of another.

One always runs the risk of using ideas to enact unjust forms of power, and it's worth reflecting on the limits and perils of ideas.

However, I find that this line of reasoning, too, is often deployed as a shield by folks who simply cannot or will not engage with a vital and useful (imo) critique. They throw up their hands, reject subtley and ambiguity, and utterly miss the ways in which their position, too, is informed by ideologies. Ideologies which, at this current juncture, are being played with to nefarious ends.

I suggest rejecting a polarized and dichotomous view which sees ideology (or those which embody) it as coherent or singular, and accepting that these nuanced tensions exist in relatively subtle ways in our thinking (in my thinking, too). I stand by what I said, and hope folks find it useful and provocative as we reflect on the ideas expressed by Discovery -- and the ideas about those ideas.

On a more hopeful note, despite some leaps of logic, I found several moments in the episode to beautifully convey exactly that which I'm getting with this post. We're in a moment of profound uncertainity. Seeing MB, and later Discovery, enter the wormhole, in that beautiful homage to 2001 (and TMP), was a really remarkable affective moment. It's a brave new (ride), and I'm more or less enjoying it.
axiom
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 8:12am (UTC -5)
In my last post, the second line and onward is directed at Jason R, I shoul add.

Jason, it's also wise to not assume that the person you're engaging with is a he. I'm flattered, but... ;-)
Jason R.
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 8:32am (UTC -5)
Axiom I apologize for the assumption. I have been trying, of late, to break the habit of defaulting to male pronouns.

In regards to you not wanting to "shut down discourse" I sincerely wish that I could believe that you are the rule, rather than the exception. Too often of late the idea of "conversation" has been code word for "we talk, you listen" on a short road to "we instruct, you obey" - designed it seems to provoke thd most hostile response imaginable and indeed, to "shut down" discourse.

But I have promised myself to listen more and attack less, despite how good it feels (temporarily) to fight fire with fire (as it feels in the moment).
Amala
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 8:48am (UTC -5)
I agree with those here who felt Spock's monologue about how Michael made him balanced and how she saved him was way too over the top.

I suppose Kurtzman only wants you to acknowledge the latest story he is getting paid for, but I'm not going to pretend he didn't literally co-wrote a Spock in the movies who doesn't have a sister but not only still finds a balance, he does that before Nimoy's version did. He even has a girlfriend! It seems like his life was better without Michael's influence anyway or she isn't that relevant to his evolution and his ability to acknowledge his feelings. I always thought that it was his human mother who helped him understand some things, anyway. He's human too, he could never escape from who he is.
The Companion
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 8:51am (UTC -5)
As someone who lurks these forums and reads message by message (and anywhere else would be considered an "SJW"), I absolutely do not see the extremes with which someone here is complaining of. Curse words, sure, but this is an adult forum. What I do see are sharp critiques of writing and storytelling and I hope that they continue.
SlackerInc
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 9:06am (UTC -5)
Whoa. That was actually really good! After the multiple weak episodes leading up to the finale, I had zero expectation they could pull off something like this.

It doesn't completely redeem the earlier bad episodes, because I still had to sit through them. But if this is some kind of indication of a shift in the show, I'm all for it.

I do agree that the Spock farewell laid it on too thick, but it least it was WAY briefer than the previous episode's 17 minutes of sap.

The way they tied up the story to match with canon was a little on the nose, but I'll allow it.
Cpap
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 9:15am (UTC -5)
Boy, I was *really* hoping that during that episode Q would appear, shake his head at what crap all of this is, quote Spock's words about Discovery's very existence being the key problem, and then click his fingers and wipe out the last two seasons from existence, hence explaining why we never heard about Spock having a sister before etc etc.

But alas. Kurtzman is in charge.
Boura
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 9:28am (UTC -5)
@John Harmon

"And their best shot is “everybody kept it a secret”? That made me actually laugh out loud"

Me too! Gosh that was hilarious.
Boura
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 9:32am (UTC -5)
But yeah, how about those production values huh?

X-Wings vs TIE fighters. Too bad this is TREK.
Daya
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 9:36am (UTC -5)
Spock is seeing his sister for the very last time. What is he going to say? "You were kinda ok, see ya around"? He is going to embellish a little because that is all Michael will remember him by.
Kinematic
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 9:40am (UTC -5)
@axiom

"using profanity, excessive insults, and articulating double standards towards hero characters (who happen to be women and POC)"

By double standards, are you referring to the way in which Michael is targeted with much less invective than Wesley Crusher by fans despite having an even more improbable level of talent than he does, receiving an even more disproportionate degree of adulation from other characters than he does, and having a greater negative effect on her Trek series than he has on TNG?

By excessive insults and profanity, are you referring to the dialogue surrounding Wesley Crusher, who has been targeted with an astronomical deluge of fan rage while eliciting extremely little concern over said profanity and insults compared to Michael?

If Michael was the target of the barest fraction of the wrath visited upon Wesley, I can only imagine the pitch and timbre of the bleating that would be heard. That's the real double standard.

@Booming

By the standards of axiom and some others, you are only allowed to criticize Michael if you hew to a set of labyrinthine guidelines for inoffensive phrasing that change like the weather, frequently self-contradict and which no self-appointed moral guardian is willing to explain in detail ("it's not my job to educate you."). To put it in simpler terms, you are not allowed to criticize Michael.
Boura
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 9:49am (UTC -5)
I reckon the Discovery getting flushed down the shitter was symbolic.

"Send that stinky floater as far away from Trek canon as possible", they thought. And never tell another living soul.

Now, roll out the proper prequel story... "Spock to the bridge". The Enterprise warping away. The End/Beginning.

That ending might just have been the best part of the first two seasons of Discovery (maybe apart from Spocks ears).

Again, wtf did they make this a prequel, other than to link it to the more popular parts of Trek (Spock, Pike, The Enterprise)? They limited themselves from the outset. It's no wonder it all ended so ridiculously and amounted to a pinch of shit.
Dan Bolget
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 9:50am (UTC -5)
Absolutely superb episode. Thoroughly enjoyed it and the season overall. At.least 3.5 stars for the finale.
Boura
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 9:58am (UTC -5)
Oh and was just waiting for Pike to turn around after the admiral was vaporised and say "Damn! We could've just had one of the droids close the f**king blast door!!".

He could've at least ordered a red shirt to do the job, surely? The admiral was most qualified to pull a lever?
axiom
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:15am (UTC -5)
@JasonR. No harm, no foul. My contribution here is in good faith.

@Kinematic. Goodness. Where to start?

"By double standards, are you referring to the way in which Michael is targeted with much less invective than Wesley Crusher by fans despite having an even more improbable level of talent than he does, receiving an even more disproportionate degree of adulation from other characters than he does, and having a greater negative effect on her Trek series than he has on TNG?"

This is what I exactly mean when I say some arguments are being advanced in bad faith. There are several reasons why this is a problematic omparison. You are comensurating two different moments of social critique, which played on two different platforms (and are difficult to compare, word for word, like for like). But the real intellectual sin is to commensurate critique of white men with that of women of color. I am not going to rehash why this mode of commensuration is problematic, unless you'd like to engage on matters of power and representationin good faith. I am not saying that non-white, non-male, non-cis characters (or rather their writers) are immune from critique. Instead, I am saying that this mode of analysis is at best flawed, and at worse gaslighting.

I was amused when a fellow commentator recently wondered why dectators didn't call out Mary Sue Kirk for saving the world over and over, or why the wisdom of Mary Sue Picard went so often unchallenged.

--

"By excessive insults and profanity, are you referring to the dialogue surrounding Wesley Crusher, who has been targeted with an astronomical deluge of fan rage while eliciting extremely little concern over said profanity and insults compared to Michael?"

I'm not simply talking about profanity, although I find it destracting and excessive. I'm comfortable with adult language. Not comfortable with folks who make these problematic arguments week after week. Is this about retaining some sort of sense of power and inclusive, in a context when the landscape of representation is shifting more broadly? Perhaps that's what we're talking about -- not good, bad, and ugly television writing.

--

"If Michael was the target of the barest fraction of the wrath visited upon Wesley, I can only imagine the pitch and timbre of the bleating that would be heard. That's the real double standard."

Yes, all lives matter...
--

"By the standards of axiom and some others, you are only allowed to criticize Michael if you hew to a set of labyrinthine guidelines for inoffensive phrasing that change like the weather, frequently self-contradict and which no self-appointed moral guardian is willing to explain in detail ("it's not my job to educate you."). To put it in simpler terms, you are not allowed to criticize Michael."

Being mindful of the mode of critique is hardly asking that much of the world. Again, we live in a society that is demographically transforming, and ways of thinking and understanding the past and present are evolving too. Part of this demands us to reckon with parochial and often deeply problematic ways of understanding and making demands of the world. Many of us do this work because we have to -- because we have faced stigmatization or worse. Many of us do it because we are emphathetic people, and we wish to learn and co-create new ways of collaborating across (inevitable) forms of difference. To reduce this to language policing is, at best, a misinterpretation of the intentions drving this cultural moment.

My labor isn't free. It simply isn't my job to provide lectures. Nor have out to define myself as a singular moral authority. I can contribute ideas, share insights, and weave in other voices which can help us think about these topics, thought. And I can and do listen and live with an incredibly diverse range of opionions in my immediate life.

To reiterate, for what I hope to be the final time, my critique is not that we must avoid criticism of the ways in which Michael's character has been written, simply on the basis of race or gender or poltiical climate. What I am naming here is what I see to represent an unhelpful (and at times thoroughly anti-intellectual and toxic) mode of critique which has pervaded this forum, and many other places of discussion, since DIS was aired.
Galadriel
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:15am (UTC -5)
As expected, the critizism here generally falls into the spectrum be­tween “dis­appoin­ted”, “vitrioic” and “nuclear”. I didn’t like every­thing, and emphati­cally dis­like a lot, but there is also some­thing rea­son­able to praise.

@Karl Zimmermann “Spock telling Michael how damn special he was to him during the scene where he was stranded in the shuttle­craft was laying it on a bit thick” I agree with that, but that is Dis­cove­ry’s trade mark despite not making any sence, even for humans and less so for Vulcans. Tear-soaked fare­well scenes abound every­where, and while action se­quences are always super­fast (and con­fu­sing, more on that below), the cha­rac­ters easily find time to give longish private and emo­tio­nal speeches that drag for­ever, drenched in saucy scores that want to evoke some human con­nec­tion between the cha­rac­ters and the au­di­ence, but fails.

@Rahul “The spore drive has been destroyed along with Control and no­body is to speak of this whole thing again un­less they want to be charged with treason. I think Spock even estab­lished some kind of tem­poral di­rec­tive” If he really estab­lished such a thing, he would become the worst of­fen­der to his own rule later. Such a “Don’t meddle with Time” rule actually makes a lot of sense, but I don’t see how it extends to the spore drive, which as we have learned in “Saints of Im­per­fec­tion”) is harm­less to use, and is not in any way connected to the Control fiasco. It’s also ir­res­pon­sible from the security angle: What if the Romulans come up with some­thing similar, or even the Jem’Hadar?

@Rahul “Cornwell sacrificing herself to contain the torpedo blast was weird” Actually, non­sensi­cal (the blast door even had a glass window (or trans­parent alu­mi­num?) yet con contain an ex­plo­sion that ripped out an ⅛ slice of the saucer. More­over, logi­cally Pike should have stayed behind, because (α) Cornwell can order him (β) he has only a wheel­chair to lose and (γ) the time crystal should have pro­tected him (to avoid being called a liar).

@mosley “the hilarious plot oversight that they actually didnt need to go to the future any­more because control was de­stroy­ed” yeah, this was weird, especially since Saru knew it and could have aborted the Time Jump, or at least delayed, since even if some Con­trol was still some­where, there was no im­mediate threat to the ships. BTW, it seems odd that Dis­cov­ery was pretty much full manned when Jumping. Are there so many people willing to give up their present lives for an uncertain future?

@Baron Samedi “I feel like the Discovery writers would have made the head Xindi scientist Archer's long-lost alien step­father” I fear Saint Michael Fucking Burnham (© MadManMUC) is going to meet a descen­dant of her unborn twin sister some­where in the future.

@Brian Lear “don't feel that the show ever really convinced me that the data in that sphere could rea­son­ably be expected to allow an ad­vanced AI to obtain con­scious­ness” I can imagine that this sphere thing was a quite dif­ferent life form, one that operates more like an AI and can thus better serve as a model for an AI wanting to evolve than the com­plete­ly messed-up Humans (or Vulcans). Of couse, the ques­tion why Control wants to be­come “sentient” (whatever that means, I have never under­stood that term in any ST show) and why it would turn de­struc­tive still remains open. Perhaps, Control read the script and decided to play along.

@Brian Lear “is anybody else sick of the fact that only female characters can solve problems” No, I am not. I have grown up with an over­dose of TV that shows pro­blem-sol­ving males and damsels-in-dis­tress that I still need anti­dot (BTW, I am male). Besides, Pike and (less so) Saru have also proven capable.

@John Harmon “It really bothered me how much the show reveled in the sadism of [Leland’s] death” We see that scene from the point of view of an Evil Mirror Uni­verse Empress, who had pre­vious­ly said (‘Such Sweet Sorrow 1’, 09:00) “On the other hand, I look for­ward to hunting Leland down to the ends of the galaxy so I can watch every piece of tech­no­logy exit his skin bit by bit”. In that scene, Burnham cri­tisized her sadism, so it is strange and untrekky that she got her wish fullfilled.

@wolfstar “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?” That onto­logic para­dox is in­herent to time travel stories. I can imagine a physi­cal mecha­nism that would pro­duce such an effect, although it needs two two co­ordi­na­tes: One in which the action takes place, and a second one in which the loop reates it­self; in the be­gi­nning, the loops are in­con­sis­tent and will play dif­ferent­ly in every itera­tion, but over (second) time, a con­sis­tent loop is reached that obeyes cau­sali­ty in the first time. By some sta­tis­tical argument, we see only the final con­ver­ged result. There are weak ana­logies for such a mecha­nism in Quantum Mechanics.

@wolfstar “Burnham has never worn this suit before. How does she fly it through space?” There was a manual attached to it, in the form of logs from Burnham sen. (“Perpe­tual In­fini­ty”, ≈15:00). Probably the suit has some pro­pul­sion, even if only navi­ga­tio­nal thrusters, other­wise Burnham sen. would not have been able to land anywhere.

@Chrome “And of course 1 million points for Control not being the Borg” Didn’t you notice the word “Beta Quadrant” at the end (the location of the 7ᵗʰ signal)? I already get Borg vibes for season 3, and I don’t like the idea. I pretty much dis­liked every­thing Borgy in VOY after the “Scorpion” two-parter (does not ex­tend to the cha­rac­ter 7of9, because I con­sider­ed her well-written), for the rea­son that I prefer my Borgs com­pe­tent and mena­cing and with fangs.

@Booming “The very same engineer probably thought: Ok, emer­gen­cy lever on the wrong side. The only thing this blast door now needs is a window” — “Georgiou highlights the problem that shows or movies who make every­thing dark often have: You start to like the bad guys/gals because they are the only ones who have fun” ☺☺☺

Some own thought will come in a separate post. Yet I have to comment on the visuals, which are both terrific and terrible at the same time. They look astounding, reak of a lot of money spent, and would make great wallpapers, but they contribute only to the coolness factor, not to the narrative. John Harmon called it “Star Wars prequel white noise”, and that is as fitting as can be.

So we have fighters now (never been seen before in the ST universe). No one ex­plains how they oper­ate, what they can do and how they come there. It not even shown whether they are manned or not (some dia­logue seems to indi­cate they are, but there is not one shot how they look like insde). The design is un­fami­liar to the viewer, and they fight an equal­ly novel foe. How am I sup­posed t see who is who? Or should I not care and just marvel at the ex­plo­sions? I fear it is the latter, and that makes me sick (“style over sub­stance”). Compare this to the epic battle se­quence in Orville’s Kaylon two-parter, which managed to look great and tell the story by it­self, for it was mostly clear what happens and what moti­va­tion the ships have to do what they do.

Alan Roi famously said in another thread that Disco is more de­mand­ing to its viewers than any other Star Trek show. Maybe he is right, and I can’t pick up visual, verbal and acous­tic clues at high enough speed. Not an English speaker, I am chal­leng­ed enough parsing the muff­led, highly con­tracted and oc­casio­nally un­gram­ma­ti­cal speech drenched in too much score. Very often, I have to rewind a scene, some­times several times, to re­parse a highly in­form­al Eng­lish sen­tence against the back­ground noise without mis­sing some in­con­spic­u­ous but im­por­tant back­ground vi­sual. For example, in a madly fast-cut se­quence some­one says “The bayonet joint on this oxy­gen sensor’s wide open” which took me three re­runs to rea­lize “sensor’s” is not a pos­se­sive case.

Or, take the open­ing se­quence that moves (with a weird shaky-cam effect) from Saru asking some­thing from Owosekun, to Owosekun ans­wer­ing (she sits next to him on the Bridge of Dis­co­ve­ry) to Pike. At that moment, my brain threw an ex­cep­tion, and only after stop­ping the player and in­spect­ing the back­ground props I came to the con­clusion that Pike is where he should be, i.e., on Enter­prise. Maxi­mum con­fu­sion for con­fu­sions sake seems the di­rec­tio­nal mantra. Feeding the audi­ence with con­flict­ing in­for­ma­tion and forcing them to re­evalu­ate their inter­pre­ta­tion of what hap­pened a few se­conds be­fore may be de­mand­ing. But it is not what Trek­kies like me want most and what was famously called “cerebral” more than 50 ears ago.

The “cerebral” remark leads to plot issues, which I will treat in an­other post.
Snitch
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:22am (UTC -5)
The Discovery to never be mentioned and shown again reminded me a bit of the Ending of the Bakula Enterprise. They got the TNG holodeck treatment, none of the Enterprise/Discovery crew mattered , look at TNG/TOS instead, look its Spock and Pike, Riker and Troy!

The action and special effects scenes of the production are certainly top notch, but it seems Discovery is overly reliant on it and neglects basic story telling, especially setups and emotional arcs.

I would have preferred a less on the nose resolution for the gay couple, the doctor has to treat a lot of injured an dying people, it is depressing and heart breaking and at the end of the episode he wanders the corridors in tears, ending up at his former boyfriends door, he rings the door and they just silently embrace. that would be real character development instead of the lazy trope, "Oh you are injured, oh well sure I love you, hold on to your life!"


The writing on the show is just bad. Next season Burnham will fight the "big bad" Kevin Sorbo and his religious fascist following in Star Trek: Andromeda!

She will singlehandedly rebuild the federation (for the first three episodes then to be resolved off screen) and go on to fight the baddies of the day in an action pew pew show. At least action scenes and space battles are a strong point of Discovery.
Chrome
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:24am (UTC -5)
"Didn’t you notice the word “Beta Quadrant” at the end (the location of the 7ᵗʰ signal)? I already get Borg vibes for season 3"

Pretty sure the Borg come from the Delta Quadrant, and from the 15th century, no less.
Booming
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:34am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
"It doesn't completely redeem the earlier bad episodes, because I still had to sit through them" Hahahaha Sentence of the day!

@Kinematic
I don't think that axiom ever said that people should be shut down which would be impossible here anyways. Axiom said her piece and people start shouting "thought police". Who is actually against free speech here?
I'm also not completely sold on this whole "people hated wesley crusher which means any insult that is aimed at Michael Burnham has nothing to do with misogyny or racism" narrative. Just for context 1 in 8 Americans (13%) still believe that men are better suited emotionally for politics than women (down from 50% in 1975).

"That's the real double standard." What do you mean? I only heard on Big Bang Theory that Wesley Crusher was hated. Until that I didn't know anything about it. I suppose that is true for many.

@Boura
Cornwall was top of her class in emergency lever pulling. Considering that a murder robot thingy was walking around the ship a human touch seems necessary. Can you really trust one of those Star Trek hull repair R2D2...
Paul G
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:56am (UTC -5)
The second half of the season didn't work for me. Lots of padding, nothing interesting about the 'mysterious' signals. Control was a weak and boring villain. The emotional moments were badly timed. We didn't see enough Saru. Nothing that I havent seen a thousand times before.

The first half of the season was ok though. I hope season 3 brings something new.
wolfstar
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:59am (UTC -5)
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.").
Peter G.
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 11:43am (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

"Pretty sure the Borg come from the Delta Quadrant, and from the 15th century, no less."

If I'm not mistaken they're also in the Beta Quardrant. I seem to remember that in Q Who the Enterprise was tossed to Beta, not Delta. I know that in VOY they specified that the Borg's 'home base' or whatever is in the Delta, but they seem to have ships in the Beta quadrant as well (whereas, by contrast, they seem to be completely absent from the Alpha and Gamma).
Chrome
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 11:55am (UTC -5)
"I seem to remember that in Q Who the Enterprise was tossed to Beta"

Nope.
Peter G.
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
@ axiom,

"To reiterate, for what I hope to be the final time, my critique is not that we must avoid criticism of the ways in which Michael's character has been written, simply on the basis of race or gender or poltiical climate. What I am naming here is what I see to represent an unhelpful (and at times thoroughly anti-intellectual and toxic) mode of critique which has pervaded this forum, and many other places of discussion, since DIS was aired."

As someone who hasn't posted about the episodes in DSC season 2 but have read them all, I can't see what you claim is happening. The posters have gotten into many arguments about form, but in terms of the actual critique or praise of the episodes I find that the vast majority of posts have been fairly neutral in terms of including anything inflammatory. While I wish those on each side of the debate could get along better, I see almost no signs of toxic (i.e. racist, sexist, or even very rude) commentary about Burnham's character. I do see a lot of discussion *about* racism and sexism, but very little in the way of maligning her for being a woman, being of color, or for any other attributes than her performance. To the extent that people complain about the writing of Burnham this has nothing at all to do with SMG. I'm reminded of some discussions in the past where criticisms of the inconsistent writing of Captain Janeway were often taken of criticisms of her personally. Not the same thing.

Is it possible you've seen so much toxic commentary elsewhere that you're carrying over your sense of it from those sites to this one? I don't really see it here. Actually there are some far more toxic posts in the posts on other series at times, compared with those for DSC (for instance arguments about liberal vs conservative values and which can be more readily found in Trek).

I tent to agree with others that overall the quality of the posting on Jammer's site is pretty darn good, with the occasional crossing a line.
Peter G,
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

""I seem to remember that in Q Who the Enterprise was tossed to Beta"

Nope."

Huh. I went back and checked, and right you are. Scratch that, then!
Chrome
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 12:38pm (UTC -5)
This episode was both engaging and bizarre. The space battle again gave Star Trek a proper treatment of what a futuristic space conflict could be with modern visual effects. The NY Times' reviewer, Sopan Deb, pointed out how limitations in past Star Trek would lead to these unrealistic battles where the Enterprise would take two hits and be completely crippled (ex. Star Trek: Generations). Here the spectacular fire-fight where Discovery and Enterprise fought long-and-bitterly seemed just right for such powerful ships, although I agree with others that there was too much Star Wars in it.

Contrary to others, I really liked how the signals were linked to the storyline and thought it was cool to have each scene recapped as we saw just what the logic behind the Red Angel was. I'm guessing the showrunners are fans of Super Metroid, because the whole scene with time jumps and the montage beautifully matched that game's intro. As Axiom pointed above, there were a few moments of genuine wonder as Michael looked into the great abyss of the wormhole and made her first jump. This scene was just incredible. Pure dynamite.

Of interest also was Spock's role in all this. Others have criticized that "only women can fix things" in this show, but I hasten to point out that Spock contributed much to Michael's victory. First, Spock figured out that she needed to jump to the past. Second, he pushed her onward after she realized he was going to lose her. And finally, she helped cover up the Discovery's tracks so its work to fix the timeline would remain unhindered. There was also some good dialogue with Michael telling Spock to find someone who was different than him and try to seek a bond with them. This was a very obvious nod to the Spock-Kirk relationship, but it's a sweet setup that explains why Kirk and Spock work well together, without taking anything away from what we already know about them.

What was less good were the Kelpians and Klingons coming out of nowhere to help the two struggling Federation ships. I think it makes sense on some level that they'd be there and I like the idea that we get very different peoples working together to fight a common enemy. However, there's so many head scratchers - like how can L'Rell work with Tyler in plain sight without casting serious suspicions on her role as Emperor? Also, how are the Kelpians suddenly working together with their oppressors to go to battle? I can sort of piece together how these things could work on my own, but I would've liked the show to do it better.

The bizarre thing here is how this episode ends. Everyone is supposed to just forget everything about the Discovery and spore drive because Pike and Spock say so? That seems a little too convenient. What's more is, this undoes a lot of the work that Discovery's writers have done to bring us here. If they were planning all along to take us to the distant future from the start, why try to supplant themselves in the past and subject themselves to these historic canon messes? It just seems weird for the writers to remove their own contribution to the show and I hope they resolve this more in later seasons. I would've liked even just one scene in the future with Discovery letting us know what they plan to do from here. But all we're left with is questions.

Still, this was leaps and bounds better than "Will You Take My Hand?" and there's some cool potential for Discovery and the other shows coming out the gate. Will the next season explore the future with the Discovery, or will we take some time off from them and see how other things develop in Star Trek? It's very puzzling and a little silly--and yet I'm game for it.
Quincy
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
I really enjoyed this episode for the most part. Even though they had to mar the ending with more maudlin displays of worship from Spock right when time is of the essence, on the whole the ending was a lot better than I was expecting. I really hope there will be a season 3 and that season continues in the future with the Discovery crew. I really don't want a Pike oriented show. I didn't like Mount's portrayal of Pike, unlike most other people apparently. Strange, since I loved him on Hell on Wheels. He was way too low key for me. I remember Pike on TOS as being more aggressive than that. Sorry, not sorry. Don't want to see Star Trek: Pike next season.

This is a golden opportunity to pick up the show in the future. I think the cast could really come into its own next season. I've got my fingers crossed that there will be a next season. If it continues, I have high hopes for the show.

Their bringing back the Doctor annoyed me. However, his love proclamation wasn't quite (by a hair) as putrid as I expected it to be. At least, he stopped treating Stamets like $#!% for no reason under the sun. I guess you kind of needed him back since they didn't do anything to develop the other doctor, who was so generic I can barely remember her and I just watched the episode.

Some other things that annoyed me. I knew Control would be defeated in some simple, lackluster fashion. There wasn't enough time left in the season for anything else. Somehow an obviously distributed A.I. that can effectively control multiple ships is defeated by taking down a single iteration of it, using a technique used on it before? Really?!? Also, Saru's sister, the sudden onset fighter pilot?! Dafuq?!? If it had properly been set up, it would've been epic. They partially laid the groundwork with the Kelpien centered episode. All we needed was some indication of the two species working together under Starfleet direction.

I thought they were going to have the Queen go with them to the future, but nope. I would prefer she go rather than that @$$#0l3 Reno or whatever her name is. I was starting to like her character. Sorry to see her go. However, I guess the bright side of that is I don't have to see her constantly interacting with Tilly. More Queen = more Tilly. No Queen = less Tilly?! Maybe?!?

The time suit opens up a new possibility. Even if they get rid of the time aspect, the suit can travel by means of wormholes. They could revamp to power it using nothing but dark matter, get rid of the time crystal, and retrofit Discovery to use wormhole technology for FTL instead of the Spore drive. Only problem is I think Stamets wouldn't have anything to do without the Spore Drive and I'm hoping they don't kill him off. I don't remember all of his expertise but it was mainly concerning the spore lifeforms and the drive. Although he did help in constructing the suit, so maybe he'll just be an engineer afterwards or science officer. That begs the question of why you would need Reno if Stamets can do her job?

P.S.
Jesus Christ on a crucifix. Invasion of the Thought Police much? Just... stahp with the doublespeak and doublethink. I came to talk about Discovery, a show I like and have high hopes for. Animal farmers showing up policing tone, language, and thought processes is like eye torture. Just shout in all capitals, "LANGUAGE!," like Captain America in Age of Ultron, and be done with it. It's much shorter, about as substantive, and won't derail the conversation.
Ghosted
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
I agree that the studio purposely left their options open with that ending! kind of strange we didn't close with a discovery perspective.

For a moment there I thought they were going to go full Borg when Leland's voice started to sound very similar to the original Borg transmission voice from TNG and mildly possible spore drive/time crystal/nanobot infested leland cocktail which never materialised. I didn't want it to be an origin story but would have gone with section 31 experiment gone bad.

The admiral Cornwall sacrifice didn't have the impact it might have under more plausible circumstances. Blast door indeed! I thought she had potential as a character, perhaps even as a defacto captain of the future bound discovery. Perhaps others would reject that idea!

Production values were movie quality awesome I have to say. A lot going on yes, but in fine with the action here. I liked the clean cut blue shirted Spock fanservice and Rebecca Romjin as number one was good as was mount as usual. I don't think the emotion was overdone this time either and I was entertained throughout. In terms of the 'reset', it was between a rock and a hard place, either the writers time reset and render the characters' actions meaningless or they go with what they did which resolved things in a fashion leaving some meaning behind. Perhaps someone has a better third option, but it was resolved 'enough' for me. Many would argue that they need not give themselves that problem, but personally I enjoyed the time we had with 'the cage crew', pike, Spock and number one essentially.

Going forward I would rather a pike spinoff than a georgiou one (which sounds like a terrible idea) but not at the expense of discovery. However we got there, there's still an opportunity to do/see something's new in the star trek universe. Prequels, whilst interesting, generate too many continuity problems for a lot of people to tolerate. Of course the studio have the option to cancel with that ending, but I'd prefer the show to evolve if it can.
Quincy
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
@Chrome

"I seem to remember that in Q Who the Enterprise was tossed to Beta"

"Nope."

According to Star Trek: Star Charts (p. 13) and Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library ("Federation Historical Highlights, 2161-2385"), System J-25 (FGC-J25) was located in the Beta Quadrant. - From Memory Alpha

The Borg Collective controlled much of the Delta Quadrant. That's apparently their home quadrant. If you look at the quadrant map on Memory Alpha, depending on exact origin and destination, you see there's a good chance you'll pass through the Beta quadrant on your way to the Alpha quadrant from the Delta Quadrant. The Borg were on their way to Earth due to the signal sent in Star Trek: Enterprise, "Regeneration."
pemensky
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 1:40pm (UTC -5)
“I only heard on Big Bang Theory that Wesley Crusher was hated. Until that I didn't know anything about it. I suppose that is true for many. ”

In the words of Khan Noonien Singh in the immortal wrath of Khan, he tasks me, he tasks me and I shall have him!
Chrome
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 1:42pm (UTC -5)
@Quincy

That's assuming the Discovery writers bothered to do the research on some secondary Star Trek source which may or may not be canon. Anything is possible, but they'd still have to contend with the 15th century Borg stuff.

My only real point was that they never connected the Borg to Control here and I'm happy with that.
Quincy
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 1:46pm (UTC -5)
Wil Wheaton has talked about people approaching him and criticizing Wesley Crusher at Star Trek conventions. There's no debate about how much he was hated. There just wasn't an Internet to spread the anti-love around, during TNG's run.

https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/97243/what-was-the-general-contemporary-reaction-to-wesley-crusher-as-a-character/97244#97244
Chris
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 2:15pm (UTC -5)
That was extremely good looking rubbish. I recently watched the pilot of DS9 again and it had more intelligent dialog than 2 seasons of Discovery put together. So little of the constant emotional overdrive is earned, they are not even trying with the tech aspects, it really is a swell looking overproduced mess.
Booming
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
@ Quincy
"Invasion of the Thought Police much? ... Just shout in all capitals, "LANGUAGE!," like Captain America in Age of Ultron"
(For any of this to make sense you will have to imagine me as a British naval officer from around 1850. Like this: https://images.spot.im/v1/production/mio2jd4x39y3tnzdieny And as your superior, of course. --- Ok, are you ready, go)

I will consider your advice in case you should have, shall we say, another episode. Does this agree with you Mr. Quincy? if that sounds somewhat condescending then please ascribe all this to me watching "The Terror" where I may have picked up some refined British speech patterns. A show I can recommend to some degree, by the way. Not for the faint-hearted, though.

Let me assure you, good sir, that I will carry out the mission of the thought police with due diligence! Engage you and show the errors of your ways if there are in fact any. Because that is what the thought police did in 1984, am I not correct Mr. Quincy?!!
Now go to the bow and take up the first watch.
That will be all.

--- And scene ---
Peter Swinkels
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 3:01pm (UTC -5)
The creators: “loookit we gots purrty lights and flashy thingies! durr... what’s a script?”
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
@Chrome

What are you talking about re: forgetting the Spore Drive at the end of the episode? The only person who can fly the thing is in sickbay in a coma with a sucking chest wound. Exactly how were they going to use it with him in that shape?
Peter Swinkels
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
Alright, my previous comment was made 13 minutes into the episode. It actually went from braindead to fairly decent.

This series all over the map with regard to quality.
Chrome
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
@Alan R.

At the end, Spock recommended that Starfleet Command classify the spore drive. I'm not suggesting that the Discovery crew forgot about it or won't keep using it when they can.
Tim C
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:45pm (UTC -5)
Just in case anybody missed it (some of the commenters seem to have): yes, the show was renewed for season three, and yes, it's taking place in the future with the Discovery crew.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/star-trek-discovery-season-2-finale-time-jump-explained-1203166
SC
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
It was a really good episode with a spectacular space battle. Did Discovery really need to go the future? Control was defeated at that point. They could have just blown Discovery up.

The ending leaves the way for a spinoff show with Pike and Spock, although we probably won't get one. It also serves as a possible ending for the show if it isn't renewed.

Where exactly has Discovery gone to? Are we gonna see Picard and co next - recast. Are we gonna see the Borg and Q? Interesting.
wolfstar
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
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!
Ruth
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:18pm (UTC -5)
This series was fine and definitely an improvement on the first but it was so meaningless and wasn’t internally coherent. Both within individual episodes (I like mosley’s summary of the scene where Georgiou defeats control, we see that really she has done it, all the ships are dead, they no longer need to go to the future and - no one cares) and within the broader series (first one that comes to mind, why is Tyler openly on L’rell’s ship in the same series that she’s brandished his cut off head in front of everyone? I don’t believe her standing is so improved that she can get away with that, especially when what she’s doing is easily slandered as helping her federation masters).

I honestly laughed at the first scene of this episode because the camera spinning was so utterly unnecessary. But you know, at the same time I really liked the bustling scene in engineering for example. Discovery seems to swing wildly between wonderful and comedically awful. “Yum yum” was terrible but Reno’s sweary outburst is the only one that has worked for me, I couldn’t feel the self consciousness of the writers through that one.

The end was stupid. Did they not learn from ENT that you finish with the right crew? They only had to swing back down from that starfield on to discovery’s hull in an undisclosed location if they didn’t want to decide on anything further, but you have to end with the right ship! And saying Spock never spoke about Burnham because he personally made it illegal(!) is insultingly stupid when he doesn’t talk about his family anyway. He in particular won’t mention her because it’s illogical because she’s in the future - tada! No conspiracy necessary.

Tyler’s promotion is also ridiculous as is Cornwell’s death. It’s too transparently for spinoff and casting purposes. You don’t need to kill off an admiral to either never show her again or only have her on as a guest star. I guess Cornwell didn’t do the stunt classes at the academy that most officers seem to. I’m sure I could have got my fat arse under that door before the torpedo blew! It’s just all a bit silly. (It’s nice that a torpedo proof door has a window for people to sadly look through as well. Great ship design, but maybe the Enterprise’s refit could include doors that can be closed from both sides? Or is that a 950 years in the future technology?)
SC
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:32pm (UTC -5)
@Tim C. I missed your link. Discovery has been renewed and it's gonna be set further in the future than the show has ever been. Discovery will be outdated tech then!

I suppose that's the last we've seen of Pike and Spock (unless they get a spin-off.)
SC
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
Kurtzman, "One of the most gratifying things is to see how deeply the fans have embraced Pike, Spock, Number One, and the Enterprise. The idea of getting to tell more stories with them would be a delight for all of us."

Yeah, they've been embraced but what about the Discovery crew? Ha!
Bobbity
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:49pm (UTC -5)
Is "Yum Yum" the worst line in Trek history? Who would say that during a life and death situation?
Tim C
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 6:26pm (UTC -5)
I cringed at a couple of those quotes in the interview too. Kurtzman's heart genuinely seems to be in the right place, and I don't doubt his credentials as a Trek fan, but the lack of self-awareness is sometimes utterly baffling. Hopefully with a new (co) showrunner next year, some of those less desirable creative impulses will be reined in.

The one that really got me was:

"We will definitely be exploring who inherits that chair. Obviously, there's a very loaded look between Saru and Burnham. They're both qualified in very different ways, and that's something we'll explore."

No exploration needed. That's Saru's damn chair! He's earned it.
brian
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 6:32pm (UTC -5)
well. that was bad. but not as bad as i feared. and not as bad as season 1.


heres hoping they do something interesting with the soft reboot!
Yanks
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 6:38pm (UTC -5)
Does anyone know who the ADM? at the end (interviewer) was? Why didn't they show his face? ... Braxton?

@wolfstar

"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?"

No, Control was neutralized by using magnetism to disable/kill the nanites. Control killed Leland long ago. Control needed a vessel to obtain the rest of the database. The head of section 31 is certainly a logical choice. They all came to the conclusion that this "fight" would never have ended... the only option that guaranteed Control wouldn't get the rest of the data was to remove the data from the scenario. The risk was too great (loss of all sentient life in the galaxy) to fight control.
pemensky
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
I liked Nhan’s “Yum yum!” along with her “So many fun ways to answer that question!” It’s nice that they’re giving her a personality.
Uxbridge
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
Did the ending where the reason nobody ever talks about the Discovery spore drive is because it is made illegal remind you of the end of Star Wars Episode 3? Things are wrapped up there just by deleting C-3P0’s memory. Felt a bit like a cheat.
Kinematic
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 7:57pm (UTC -5)
My thoughts on this episode:

Why do the corridors have conveniently placed glass skylights for debris to crash through and maim people?

Yeoh's lines are awful.

"Everyone hates you!" Is this high school?
"Would you like to join me in making Leland scream?"
"Not hard is boring, and I hate boring!"
"Now you will scream for me."

Did Control just have all the other people on board the ships vaporized or spaced? Why not make more humans into nanite-infested drones? They've proven to be great fighters, imagine if 10 of them had beamed onto Discovery instead of 1.

Fighter craft are used in this battle - we've never seen these before, who pilots them? I don't recall ever seeing people described as fighter pilots, or are they drones? But drones are usually called drones on this show. I don't get it.

The repair robots look nifty. Way to spend that budget.

The visual effects for time travel are actually quite cool and unique and convey the gravity of traveling through time. Too bad the underlying story is a mess.

The battle is not well thought-out, the arrival of Klingon and Kelpians should shift the balance completely in favor of the friendlies, but there is still a constant tension for the rest of the fight without any shifting of the battle lines. After the midpoint of the battle, the combat becomes just a narrative device to keep the tension high with things randomly exploding and shooting flames, there's no sense of which force is winning or how the tactics of both sides affect the battle.

Why don't Control's forces all target Discovery? They use the Enterprise as a shield at one point, but they should all be gunning for Discovery, it's the only thing that matters in the fight. Again, why not make a hundred nanite-infested human puppets and beam them all on board?

Also, why don't they target Michael? She's just sitting on that wreckage with Spock in his broken shuttle, they destroyed her escorts while she was on the way but once she's arrived they just ignore her while she talks with Spock.

Stamets and Culber's reunion is predictable and utterly boring; the fascinating development of Culber that happened in If Memory Serves is discarded. He was brilliantly developed in that episode but the writers obviously had no idea where to go with it and now he's just back to being a cardboard accessory for Stamets.

Georgiou says she's moved the sphere data onto another device. I thought the data didn't allow itself to be deleted, only copied?

Leland, despite being an AI, commits stock villain errors like explaining his reasoning to the hero while in a precarious situation (being on the threshold of the spore drive containment chamber). Feels like a Saturday morning cartoon.

So Control's consciousness resides in Leland's body? Once the nanomachines in him are destroyed all the enemy ships stop? The Control AI was supposed to be created for the purpose of strategizing and determining the optimum course of action for Section 31. Why would it choose to place its entire consciousness within one human body and then transport its embodiment onto an enemy ship? Before they described Control as existing across a network of ships and computer systems.

"Leland is dead, Control is neutralized."

At this point Discovery doesn't even need to go into the future, right? Bit of a plot hole there.

The faceless Starfleet interrogator is another instance of that strange tendency to make Starfleet authorities out to look like bad guys.

"Never speak of them again under penalty of treason."
"I have sworn to never again speak your name in the presence of others."

Haha, bravo, writers! A brilliant continuity fix!

"Mother and father are diplomatically immune from interrogation."

Within the Federation, their native polity? Immunity is for diplomats representing their countries in other countries, within the Federation they should have no special legal status.
Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 9:15pm (UTC -5)
I had a lot of issues with this episode (some listed above) but Discovery still going into the future once "Leland" was killed and Control seemed defeated was not one of them. Remember Mama Burnham said no matter what she did Control always ended up with the Sphere data. Also remember that the Discovery crew thought they had defeated Control after the end of Project Daedalus when Airiam was dead and the station was destroyed, but Control managed to piggyback via Mama Burnham back into the 23rd century. Any defeat downtime would only be temporary without moving the Sphere data out of reach.

Now, why they picked the future - rather than 1 billion years in the past, or just spore jumping to Andromeda or an alternate universe - I'm really not sure.
Trent
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 9:35pm (UTC -5)
Well, we finally have the climax of this 14 episode arc.

This episode divides cleanly into 5 sections. In the first, Saru and Pike wage a massive space battle with Section 31. But despite all the razzle dazzle on display, this is dull CGI spam, devoid of tension, clever ideas, any sense of drama, geography or intelligent tactics, and which panders to the lowest common denominator's idea of "cool". That the Discovery and Enterprise can take so many hits, and that Discovery contains so many shuttles and fighter-drones (especially when you consider, as her elevator shots show, that Discovery's mostly empty space), is unbelievable. This section also ends with an ally fleet coming to the rescue of our heroes, a generic "cavalry charge deus ex machina" which we recently saw done marginally better in The Orville.

The episode's second section involves an Admiral trying to solve the problem of a torpedo lodged in the Enterprise's hull. Bizarrely, this torpedo didn't detonate against the ship's shields. Nonsensically, it has a ticking clock pasted to its shell. Incredulously, the admiral's solution to the problem of the torpedo is to "pull a lever that seals the torpedo in a room with magic, impervious doors". She dies in this room, because everyone forgets to beam her out. Why devote such a big part of your season climax to such a silly subplot?

The episode's third section involves the Mirror Empress fighting Robot Leland. Yes, Discovery's idea of a "climax" is once again a game of fisticuffs. Leland and the Empress punch and kick and battle Inception-style in a rotating corridor, trading pantomime villain dialogue along the way (everyone in this show speaks with modern snark or hip slang). The Empress kills Leland with magnets and a glass box. It is implied that Control is thus beaten - all its ships power down, implying that Control goofed up and put all his nanite eggs in one basket (Leland) - which makes Michael's subsequent plan to "beam into the future" pointless.

The episode's fourth section involves Michael and Spock hastily completing the Red Angel suit. That the Federation has access to time travel suits with infinite computing power at this point in time, is unbelievable. Regardless, they use this suit to "navigate through the enemy fleet", thanks to the help of a goofy looking "shuttle escort". Once safe, Michael and Spock spend far too much time having melodramatic discussions. Afterwards she goes back in time to intimately orchestrate events. Like a god, a divine being arranging predestined domino collapses, Michael sets up a temporal paradox in which she is essentially the savor of the Federation and all sentient life. She learns to have "faith in herself", and in doing so births every single subsequent Trek episode. Michael is now the most important Trek character ever. Which is annoying, but fine.

What's less fine is that Spock and the Enterprise are now permanently altered. Kirk's Enterprise felt like just another lowly, simple exploratory vessel. Kirk, Spock and Enterprise seemed as though they were in the processing of earning their reputation and forging a legacy and a place in history. But now, suddenly, Enterprise and Spock are responsible for saving the universe before Trek mythology and its various heroic journeys even begin. The Enterprise is now a battle proven ship which has fought one of the most important battles in naval history. How can you even look at the TOS Enterprise and Spock the same way, knowing that the known universe exists precisely because of them.

The episode's fifth thread simply watches as various secondary characters try to keep their ships afloat. Mostly this is lots of whip-pans, over-written dialogue and over-dramatic reaction shots. Stamets takes a wound to the chest (the writers covering themselves for season 4), Culber shows up to love his man, and a security officer delivers some comic-book one liners.

And that's it. 14 episodes to tell a temporal paradox story that past Trek would have done in 45 minutes, and which Discovery would have done better to tell in about 8.

As for the rest of the season, which I just binge watched in rapid succession (the show benefits from being watched this way, and many perceived flaws are softened), I thought the pilot was great; exciting, intriguing, mysterious, fun and funny. Episode 2, "New Eden", similarly pushed things in an intriguing direction. Episode 3 was widely criticized - this is where the Klingons, Mirror Empress, Ash and Section 31 are introduced - but in hindsight its a decent episode. The initial hate of Ash and Section 31 stems mostly from not quite knowing where these arcs were going. And of course Mirror Empress morphs into something a bit heroic.

Episode 4 is when Discovery begins to get overcrowded. With "An Obol for Charon" we have the discovery of the data sphere, Saru almost dying and Tilly dragged into spore world. Far from an "integral piece of the puzzle", this all feels like a needless distraction. Still, its a reasonably fun, if overly busy episode.

Episode 5, "Saints of Imperfection" derails things further. What should be a streamlined, tense, Red Angel arc gets dragged into sporeworld. This is very very silly stuff, but also audacious and great in parts. Michael acts her little heart out, Tilly has a cute relationship with a spore alien, and Stamets and Culber have a great reunion. The problem with all this is that the Red Angel plot is clearly being used to justify "episodic asides", little offshoot tales that kill all overriding tension/momentum.

Episode 6 is the popular "Sound of Thunder", where Saru instigates revolution on Kaminar. I thought this was a bad episode, with lots of on-the-nose dialogue and incredulous moments (the Federation reorders an entire species' biology and culture!). "Light and Shadows" come next, where Michael travels to Vulcan. A weak episode, but it's the first time we see adult Michael and Spock interact. Though a better series would omit Spock entirely, and omit Michael's relationship with him, their arc throughout the series is nevertheless mostly excellent. Almost everything about them works well as a kind of sibling love-story.

Episode 7 is "If Memory Serves", which fans love but I found to be weak. An already overly busy tale didn't need to deep-dive into yet another tangent (Pike's life), and Spock's revelations (future robots want to destroy the universe) begin to steadily cheapen the show. Episode 8 is a straightforward, excellent, touching adventure with "Project Daedalus", at which point the series begins to nosedive. "The Red Angel", "Perpetual Infinity", "Through the Valley of Shadows", and the two-part climax are mostly a string of cliches and weak action scenes. Elevating things somewhat is Michael's mother, who shines in every sequence she is in, a scene in which Michael sacrifices herself by strapping herself to a chair (very Christlike, but that's our Michael), and some good scenes between Spock and Michael.

So, not as politically/philosophically interesting as Season 1, but not as awful as well. IMO the pilot and Project Daedalus are the best episodes, with perhaps 3 more episodes having isolated scenes which approach greatness. IMO this tale would have benefited from a tighter, shorter arc.
Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:02pm (UTC -5)
Though there are many flaws with the whole "Cornwell's heroic sacrifice" moment - most notably, as I said, the idea that blast doors (with a window!) could protect Pike from a photon torpedo exploding less than 20 feet away - from a character sense it was clear what they were trying to do here. Cornwell died for one reason only - in order to reinforce why Pike has accepted his fate to become a wheelchair-confined invalid.

The key is in their final exchange. Pike is ready to die in Cornwell's stead, since it is his ship. He's also a bit incredulous that he can die, considering he knows his true fate, and perhaps is considering that such a heroic out is better than what otherwise awaits him. Cornwell notes that he may be wrong, and he needs to think of all the people he could yet save in the future. This convinces Pike to let her make the heroic sacrifice.

The point of the scene is basically to say the reason Pike is now fated to end up in the chair isn't because there's some sort of god of destiny pushing things to their improbable conclusion. It's because he's a man driven by his sense of duty and selflessness, and because of that, he will continue to make the right decisions, right up to saving the cadets. Making other choices simply is not who he is.

Honestly, it was probably the single best "character moment" in the entire episode. It's a shame the scenario they used to railroad this moment into being was so fucking contrived.
Cody B
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
@Axiom

I come here every week. I havnt read a single “misogynistic” or “coded” “hate filled” comment. I’ve seen curse words. I’ve seen arguments. But I havnt seen one single thing where I outright thought “that’s hateful, it needs deleted”. I think you should put on your big boy/girl pants. There are things wrong with Discovery. People are allowed to say things are wrong with Discovery.
spinalatte
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 12:38am (UTC -5)
I enjoyed this episode and this season. I still am not sure what happened in season one but that all seems so far away now, it does not matter. I am very curious to see what season 3 will have to offer, and which direction it will go from here. Do we get to see Pike's tragic injury? WIll it flip between future and past? Reboot of the an Enterprise-centered show?
Booming
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 1:10am (UTC -5)
@ Tim C
So it actually goes 950 years into the future. Phew. I kind of hoped they would jump to the 25th century. 31th is really magic country. If this show hasn't been crazy enough already. The sentences in that interview that worried me the most were these:
Interviewer: Before season two aired, you said you wanted to bring more of the vision of Star Trek into Discovery, which you indicated was "an essential vision of optimism."
The Kurtzman: Star Trek is about optimism, hope and a brighter future. Even if the future turns out to be not as bright as we hope,... .

Optimism, hope and a brighter future... I guess people were crying all the time out of happiness during season 2. Normally I try not to think about how something will turn out based on an interview filled with low ball media questions but this really sounds like the 31th century will be a horrible nightmare. Will the Discovery rebuild a destroyed Federation... will they find the 600 years old wreck of the Enterprise D with signs of cannibalism committed by some crew members (mostly Worf). So many possibilities.
SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 1:38am (UTC -5)
Agreed about the big girl pants. (And FWIW, I have been voting Democratic--zero Republicans--all my adult life, which started in the '90s.)

@Chrome: "However, there's so many head scratchers - like how can L'Rell work with Tyler in plain sight without casting serious suspicions on her role as Emperor? Also, how are the Kelpians suddenly working together with their oppressors to go to battle? I can sort of piece together how these things could work on my own, but I would've liked the show to do it better."

Oh yeah, these are good points I hadn't thought of. (It's another example of something I've noticed for a long time: while it's undeniably enjoyable to discuss TV shows online with other fans, it can sometimes cause me to downgrade an episode I had really liked initially, due to being confronted with undeniable flaws that didn't register in the moment.)

In particular, I have to wonder about the Tyler thing. Didn't she go before the entire Klingon council and claim that he had conspired against the Klingon Empire and thus had to be executed (even showing them a fake Tyler head)? I will admit I fast-forwarded through what I found to be dreadfully boring or cringey scenes in a few of the episodes--did I miss something?

"What's more is, this undoes a lot of the work that Discovery's writers have done to bring us here. If they were planning all along to take us to the distant future from the start, why try to supplant themselves in the past and subject themselves to these historic canon messes? It just seems weird for the writers to remove their own contribution to the show and I hope they resolve this more in later seasons."

I don't have any direct knowledge, just to be clear, but I didn't find this that surprising. They fired the showrunners, so I just assumed that they did not plan this all along, that this was a shift decided relatively late in the game (Kurtzman took over starting with the sixth episode of this season) to push a giant reset button and get out of the canon-trouncing prequel business.

@SC: "Did Discovery really need to go the future? Control was defeated at that point. They could have just blown Discovery up."

But it's the sphere data itself, not Control, that prevented Discovery from being destroyed.

@Ruth: "Discovery seems to swing wildly between wonderful and comedically awful."

"It’s nice that a torpedo proof door has a window for people to sadly look through as well. Great ship design, but maybe the Enterprise’s refit could include doors that can be closed from both sides? Or is that a 950 years in the future technology?"

LOL, I love this snark.

@Trent: "Bizarrely, this torpedo didn't detonate against the ship's shields. Nonsensically, it has a ticking clock pasted to its shell. Incredulously, the admiral's solution to the problem of the torpedo is to "pull a lever that seals the torpedo in a room with magic, impervious doors". She dies in this room, because everyone forgets to beam her out."

Another good example of what I was talking about. I didn't question this while watching, but you are absolutely right on all counts. (I also agree with others that they should have at least had the door slide down more quickly. They could even have tied a basic rope to the handle!)
Artymiss
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 1:58am (UTC -5)
Well, that was everything I expected it to be. Unfortunately.

Thanks to @karlzimmerman for the thoughts on Cornwall's noble sacrifice scene, I hadn't looked at it like that (I think I was too busy rolling my eyes at this point) but what you wrote illuminates Pike's situation very well. Pity the script writers are so ham fisted.

I lie in my first sentence as I didn't expect to be bored and I found this episode boring - the interminable space battle, Burnham going back in time to set all the red signals, Spock and Burnham's farewell (Burnham in tears YET AGAIN), Georgiou and Control's idiotic showdown... Oh and presumably Georgiou will need to steal the Red Angel suit to get back to the present to be able to star in the Section 31 spinoff that nobody really wants especially as they now want a Pike/Enterprise one instead...

The only things I liked: Reno, Georgiou and Saru's brief exchange, the Enterprise bridge.

The final scene was bizarre, it really felt like the permanent end of the show not a cliffhanger to lure us into wanting season 3.
Artymiss
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 2:07am (UTC -5)
@Slackerinc

Oh god yes the fake Tyler head, I'd forgotten all about that! Seems like the scriptwriters did too (or were hoping we had)!
Booming
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 2:20am (UTC -5)
@Artymiss
You forget that Klingons are horrible drunkards. They probably don't remember much about last week, even less about seomthing that happened like a year back.
The Kurtz, as his friends like to call him, just really understands Star Trek.
Artymiss
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 2:25am (UTC -5)
So every Klingon and Kelpian (and Harry Mudd!) etc etc etc involved in the events of the past two seasons will also agree to NEVER speak of Burnham and Discovery and the spore drive etc EVER AGAIN?! How, when, where, why???
Boura
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 2:30am (UTC -5)
@Artymiss

"So every Klingon and Kelpian (and Harry Mudd!) etc etc etc involved in the events of the past two seasons will also agree to NEVER speak of Burnham and Discovery and the spore drive etc EVER AGAIN?! How, when, where, why???"

Funny, kindergarten level stuff isn't it?

It's ok though, Discovery was flushed down the big toilet in the sky. It never existed.
Booming
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 2:43am (UTC -5)
@artymiss
I much more clear could the show be. It all makes perfect sense.

- Klingons drink too much and forget everything quickly and probably have some unhealthy drug habits , too. Plus Humans all look the same to them.

- Kelpians make a trade with the Federation. The Kelpians suppress all information about Discovery and become Federation members and the Federation never mentions that the Kelpians ate every last one of the Ba,ul and stole their ships.

- Harry Mudd has either an "accident" or is sent to the Dilithium mines.

- Terralysium receives an orbital bombardment.

Discovery is just too smart for many people.
Artymiss
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 2:45am (UTC -5)
@Booming
I am reminded of when an entire season of Dallas turned out to be (SPOILER ALERRT!) Bobby Ewing's dream!
Cody B
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 3:01am (UTC -5)
@Artymiss

The sad thing is I wouldn’t be surprised if season three started by saying half the things that happened thus far were dreamt up by culper while in the spore drive or something along those lines. Sad to say but it’s that kind of show. They REALLY need to stop worrying about cliffhangers that end up creating too many subplots that end up not being resolved well and concentrate on QUALITY INDIVIDUAL EPISODES
Artymiss
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 3:14am (UTC -5)
@Cody B

Absolutely. Someone is probably already writing the Harry Mudd down a dilithium mine plot strand....

Or the whole past two seasons were a funny dream Stammets had while in his medically induced coma (from when he accidentally got hit on the head by Tilly during a game of parrises squares)...

It's written to be binge watched and not thought about deeply. Reminds me of junk food, addictive but full of empty calories.
Booming
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 3:48am (UTC -5)
@artymiss
I'm sold on the Harry Mudd show. Just picture it Rainn Wilson working in the Dilithium mines on Remus. He just works their for 13 episodes and it is all like horrible and full of torture. Everybody who watches it feels miserable and in episode 14 Mudd meats Shinzon and tells him about the Federation, human ethics, friendship and how Shinzon can use that to destroy the Federation.
Such a show almost writes itself.

But seriously, I'm probably more critical of the Expanse than most here but that show had a good season long arc. That show sadly has mostly given up on world building which it very nicely did during season 1 and 2 and is now more focused on jumping between sets where important people do important things and action. I really wanted to get a closer look at how Mars works and looks... oh well. The expanse also has a weaker lead than Discovery (Holden who is a walking sedative) but nevertheless often really shines when it comes to lesser characters who often feel like real people with emotions and depth.
Tim C
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 4:35am (UTC -5)
Booming: "I guess people were crying all the time out of happiness during season 2."

I think the biggest moment of pure optimism and happiness in season two of Disco for me was when Michael Burnham was strapped to a chair screaming in pain as her skin burned off and she choked to death on poison fumes, while everyone else stood around watching without anyone even asking if maybe they could turn the volume down. ☺☻

Okay, in all seriousness, there was the occasional flash of traditional Trek spirit this year. The science mission in "Brother", deciding to trust the sphere in "Obol". I don't need that all the time, but I would hope that season three can move us away from galaxy-destroying threats to something a bit smaller scale.

I bet you five hundred quatloos that it won't though!
Booming
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 5:45am (UTC -5)
@Tim C
"I think the biggest moment of pure optimism and happiness in season two of Disco for me was when Michael Burnham was strapped to a chair screaming in pain as her skin burned off and she choked to death on poison fumes, while everyone else stood around watching without anyone even asking if maybe they could turn the volume down. ☺☻"

Yeah, that was a heart warming scene. I invited a few neighbor kids to watch it. These little buggers cannot stop talking about it, especially in therapy.
Lynos
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 6:01am (UTC -5)
So was the whole point of this show to explain why none of it appears anywhere on Trek? Brilliant! Mission accomplished, although the "under pain of treason" thing doesn't explain why nobody ever mentioned any of it in private conversations.

Great effects as usual, and I liked the shot of Burnham flying between the protecting vessels, and the end on the bridge of the Enterprise was pretty cool, but again, it's expertly made fan service covering a hollow core. And what does it all mean, anyway? Where is this series going?

The threat of Control as personified by Leland culminates in a braindead fist fight with Georgio. Prior to that Leland enters the bridge for no reason before heading to the spore data, shoots everyone and misses, in complete opposite to Michael's vision from last week. And speaking of that double vision, it proves to be just a red herring for the most part - yeah, it prompts Michael to "close the loop", but come on... The mental gymnastics are too much. And no good explanation was given as to why Enterprise didn't destroy Discovery last week, the same way as Control is wearing down its shields this week.
Artymiss
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 6:34am (UTC -5)
@Lynos
"Leland...shoots everyone and misses"
Yeah those needle things that injected Control into his eyes obviously played havoc with his eyesight... There was something wrong with his fists as well, note how he could shatter the glass of the spore drive box but not Georgiou's jaw.

Was it ever explained how come we'd never seen the Kelpian race before or rather why weren't they ever seen again eg on DS9 in Quark's? Perhaps the Kelpian planet followed Michael and Discovery thru the wormhole.
Artymiss
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 6:44am (UTC -5)
@Booming
Oh god I just Googled Harry Mudd spinoff series and apparently it's a thing! It could actually happen! ST Mudd?!
Dom
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 7:00am (UTC -5)
@Booming, I really like The Expanse, but can't disagree about Holden. Season 1 was a struggle because it really wanted you to care about him, and I didn't. I get what you're saying about world-building, but they do need to move along with the plot if they ever want to finish their story before the show gets canceled (again). The novels are there if you ever want to dig into the details of the setting.
Booming
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 7:19am (UTC -5)
@Artymiss
"Oh god I just Googled Harry Mudd spinoff series and apparently it's a thing! It could actually happen! ST Mudd?!"
*coughs* Who do you think is writing it?! :)

And the whole Leland vs Georgiou was one of the few things that made sense. Leland says that he only wanted to beat her up until she panics and runs to the data but Georgiou turned it around and used that to lure Leland into the chamber.

@Dom
Yeah, you are right the Expanse always hung by a thread. Let's hope they finish it. I wasn't super happy about the ending of season 3 (I mean the behavior of Ashford which to me seemed completely out of character) And Holden, he has a pretty face and that is probably what got him the job. He was a model before he (tried) to become an actor...
Trent
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 7:28am (UTC -5)
So to summarize this two parter:

1. The Discovery and Enterprise are fleet carriers with massive fleets of drones and shuttles.

2. The Federation possess awesome time-traveling suit technology which can be hastily built in a few hours.

3. L'rell denounces Ash and displays his decapitated head to the Klingon Council, but sticks him on the bridge of her flagship and rallies a fleet behind his wishes.

4. Low-tech Kelpians achieve independence and suddenly become capable of commanding massive warships and/or fighters.

5. An Admiral is stuck in a room with a torpedo. This torpedo has a countdown timer or ticking clock pasted to it. The explosion of the torpedo can be stopped by a small, windowed door. This magical door can only be closed from inside the room, and only by a high ranked human and not a robot drone. The human, once having pulled the lever, cannot be transported out of the room.

6. The Mirror Empress can win a hand-to-hand battle with a powerful, nanite guided robot Leland.

7. In a society with fusion power generators and anti matter matter reactors, the Golden Gate Bridge is covered in solar panels.

8. Like a god, a divine being arranging events, Michael sets up a temporal paradox in which she is essentially the savor of the Federation and all sentient life. Michael is now the most important Trek character ever.

9. Spock and the Enterprise are now permanently altered. Kirk's Enterprise is no longer a lowly, simple exploratory vessel in the processing of earning a reputation and forging a legacy and a place in history. No, suddenly, Enterprise and Spock are responsible for saving the universe before Trek mythology and its various heroic journeys even begin.

10. The Disco and Enterprise's shields can sustain over half an hour of pounding from over a dozen capital ships.

10. Discovery has a spore drive which lets it stay ahead of Section 31 (it can spore jump far away and THEN recharge the crystals with the spore drive), but conveniently forgets to do this.
Artymiss
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 7:55am (UTC -5)
@Booming
"Leland says he only wanted to beat her up until she panics"
Oh I see. I missed that, got so bored with it all I was doing a crossword at the same time by that point.

I wouldn't mind a Stammets at the Vulcan Science Academy spin off...
Daya
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 8:00am (UTC -5)
12. The nanites can infect anyone in a single touch, but choose not to do so. (Maybe they are nice.)

13. The timey-wimey temporal logic of the universe allows predestination loops and spawning of new timelines to both occur simultaneously. (I just cannot wrap my head around this one.)
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 8:04am (UTC -5)
@Daya

This season's temporal logic isn't any crazier than City on the Edge of Forever's IMO, its just a little more complex.
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 8:20am (UTC -5)
@ Trent

1. I won't defend that

2. Which they put in a box, as they regularly do with overly messy technology and have done so in every series.

3. Its been some time since she 'killed him'. So she's a bad emperor, been there done that. Or she's had time to kill off all those who opposed her. Been there, done that.

4. Saru learned how to operate Kelpian tech all on his own in a short period of time, went on to learn 100 languages and be expert at all sorts of advanced tech. Precedence was set at their race's potential.

5. The door is called a BLAST door. What do you imagine a BLAST door is capable of stopping. A BLAST maybe? Pike also admires acts of self-sacrifice. We've seen him display this admiration all season.

6. So what? Do you think there are anti-augment laws in the Terran Empire like there are in the Federation. That's like complaining a person who spent their formative years on Vulcan, a planet with a heavier gravity than Earth, wouldn't be stronger than a typical human being.

7. Its the 23rd century, they can decorate the Golden Gate Bridge however they want.

8. Lots of characters have created loops in Time Travel stories, and in Trek as well. But only Burnham gets called a God? Such worshipfulness.

9. The Enterprise and crew saves the Universe just as much and repeatedly during Kirk's era. This is what the Enterprise does. When was it ever a humble exploratory vessel. For example, In Erand of Mercy it was the vanguard of the fleet in a war that was about to start with the Klingons.

10. The Enterprise and Disco have been established as capable of taking a pounding. And none of what Control threw at them could be described as capital ships.

11. Its clear to me that the best way to take out Control was to get all its ducks in one place. I imagine that occured to Admiral Cornwell and Captain Pike as well.

@Daya

12. Precident was set that the nanobots have been prepared every time before they are injected. Not prepared, perhaps not easily injectable.
Daya
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 8:26am (UTC -5)
Thanks for the replies, Alan Roi. No snarky comebacks from me.

(I'm not convinced of your comment regarding City, but that is a sincere discussion I will save for later.)
James Smith
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 8:54am (UTC -5)
So, what did the Star Trek universe get out of the 29 episodes of STD so far? Did anything have any lasting consequence? The USS DiscoBall and spore drive are gone. So are the sphere data. A bunch of people have disappeared and aren't going to be talked about ever again. The Klingon war made it almost to Earth, before stopping and there seemingly being few repercussions or lasting effects from it.

So, with the greatest possible respect to all involved, WHAT WAS IT ALL EVEN FOR?!?!?! And what d'you suppose was the plan to get STD to sync up with canon *before* they wrote this sprawling mess of fairly epic VFX set pieces linked with clunky dialogue? Was there ever a plan to do so? Were they always going to shoot the DiscoBall into the future?

Because if so, if going to the 33rd century was always the plan...*WHY NOT ****ING WELL START THERE?*
Lynos
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 9:14am (UTC -5)
I have to say, insinuating that Spock has become the character we know because of that moment with his retconned half-sister that was never mentioned by anyone because that would treason borders on travesty.
Even in his most private moments, when Spock had self doubts and was alone or with Kirk or Bones (The Naked Time, This Side of Paradise, Gallileo Seven), never for once was Michael's name invoked, that extremely important person that only 10 years prior had such immense influence on Spock's relationship and outlooks on life, because you never know who's listening, right? And we must never talk about She-who-cannot-be-named.

Not that Discovery has any resemblance to established Trek as it is, but I am so glad they are now stuck 900 years in the future and will stop wreaking havoc on the franchise's history and characters.

Now there is a new worry, though: unless the writing improves, there is a risk the show will wreak new havoc in Trek's future history that future Trek series will need to take into account.
But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it... I still really hope they will get their act back together for season 3.
Peremensoe
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 9:17am (UTC -5)
@Booming
@Dom

Through the first two seasons of the Expanse, I didn't see Holden as "the" lead -- Miller and Avasarala were also focal points, the Roci worked as an ensemble, and there were key scenes apart from all of the above.

The show's "world" is at least half of what makes me care about the plot to begin with, so sacrificing the former for the latter is a very bad trade for me.
Kinematic
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 9:33am (UTC -5)
@James Smith

"So, what did the Star Trek universe get out of the 29 episodes of STD so far? Did anything have any lasting consequence?"

Audience: How does the story of Michael Burnham and the USS Discovery fit into the overall mythos of Star Trek?

Spock: Let us never speak of Michael Burnham or the Discovery again.

Audience: ...

It's literally the Armin Tanzarian story from the Simpsons. Way to go, Disco.

@Alan Roi

"The door is called a BLAST door. What do you imagine a BLAST door is capable of stopping. A BLAST maybe?"

Photon torpedos are like super-nukes, performing total conversion of anti-matter to energy. If one of them detonates anywhere close to an unshielded vessel it should destroy it completely. That blast door would be destroyed by any torpedo or air-dropped bomb used by modern militaries, let alone the smallest of tactical nukes. Weapons like photon torpedos must have enough power to tear through any fortified bulkhead in a ship, or else they would be useless. If that door was capable of protecting Pike from the blast then any photon torpedo detonation outside of a ship should do only superficial surface damage to the ship, so what would be the point of even using them?

When the admiral closed the blast door I thought it was going to be a prelude to launching the torpedo out into space along with her. Why wasn't that option ever explored? Couldn't they have had those little repair drones pull the thing out of the hull and toss it away into space? The entire sequence is absurd, especially with the visible timer.

Perhaps it was a special model of torpedo developed by Control, an MDY (Maximum Drama Yield) weapon. It trades physical destructive power for the ability to emotionally cripple opposing forces by generating intense pathos and inducing heroic sacrifices. A frightful creation from the ultimate strategic AI.
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 10:23am (UTC -5)
@Kinematic

We've seen plenty of ships in Star Trek that have been damaged by photon torpedos and are still partially intact. However Federation starships are built, its enough not to be hit by a photon torpedo and go poof.
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 10:24am (UTC -5)
@Lynos

We all become the people we are by the influence of people we have known.
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 10:26am (UTC -5)
@James Smith

We got as much as any Star Trek stories give us. We got to see more of the Star Trek universe and we learned more about the characters.
Dragana
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 10:37am (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi
„5. The door is called a BLAST door. What do you imagine a BLAST door is capable of stopping. A BLAST maybe? Pike also admires acts of self-sacrifice. We've seen him display this admiration all season”

If the door are able to withstand the BLAST (magically), why not cover all ship with it - this way whole starfleet could be indestructible!

It was better episode than the last one, sequence of Burnham travelling to past was visually interesting.
I liked Reno correcting herself with “sir!” (I wonder why she is so hated?)
Also Number One was cool.
Pike accepting not his fate, but himself, was also a good thing (shame that it was in such, um, stupid circumstances with blast door and torpedo..)
Bye Discovery!
Of course there were logic flaws and overall the whole story in this season wasn’t satisfying.

- I understood “Control being neutralised” as a temporary stop? As if Georgiou “stunned” Control for a few moments (hence all ships stopping) and not permanently destroyed it. That’s why they went to future anyways.

- If saying anything about Discovery and Burnham is a treaty (only to Starfleet? What about others?) then how they tell a story of Klingon war? And why Burnham didn’t use the suit to alter Klingon war, saving so many lives?

Someone here in comments section mentioned he is sick of “female characters solving everything”. I’m sick of almost every piece of literature and culture being dominated by cis males thinking they are the best ever. Thank you, next.
Kinematic
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 10:37am (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi

Weren't all those instances involving ships with shields up? Are there any examples of an unshielded ship surviving a torpedo explosion at close range? I recall from TNG that in Q Who, there was a point where they could no longer fire torpedos at the Borg ship because at that range the detonation would destroy the Enterprise as well. In Conundrum, the huge Lysian space station, basically a city in space, could have been destroyed by a single photon torpedo. That's the kind of destructive yield that makes sense given the level of technology.
Booming
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 10:41am (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roi
As much as I sometimes find your fiery defense of Discovery amusing. Who puts a window in a blast door?! I'm laughing about that while writing this and I have laughed about that many times.
Trent
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 11:05am (UTC -5)
Alan said: "The door is called a BLAST door. What do you imagine a BLAST door is capable of stopping. A BLAST maybe?"

Ah yes, those infamous "closed from the inside blast doors which cannot be closed by robot drones and must be closed by high ranking admirals immune to transportation devices."


Alan said: "But only Burnham gets called a God? Such worshipfulness. [...] The Enterprise and crew saves the Universe just as much and repeatedly during Kirk's era. This is what the Enterprise does. When was it ever a humble exploratory vessel. For example, In Erand of Mercy it was the vanguard of the fleet in a war that was about to start with the Klingons."

The series explicitly links Michael to divine beings. But that's not the point. Michael can save all the universe's she wants. The point is, Spock and the Enterprise are now huge, galactic scale heroes before that reputation is built in TOS.

And the TOS Enterprise was a humble vessel. Previously, its 5 year mission tinkering at the edge of space, is what cemented the ship and its crew's heroic legacy. Now Enterprise/Spock is the symbolic savior of the Universe before Kirk even gets her.

And Errand of Mercy was a relatively mundane mission, and one in which the problem is solved by Organian Gods, not Kirk. Kirk only saves the universe once in Season 1 from galaxy destroy villains, in the terrible "The Alternative Factor". TOS only ever lifts the stakes that high again in "Doomsday Machine" and "Nomad".

"Trek" has made this mistake already, with Archer being given a ship called Enterprise. Piggybacking on name recognition lessens the charm of the TOS era.

Alan said: "The Enterprise and Disco have been established as capable of taking a pounding."

Go and watch the season 1 pilot again, and look how fragile Fed ships are compared to this season 2 climax.
SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 11:11am (UTC -5)
Yeah, the window in the blast door--c'mon, Alan. Seriously? And as others say, why not make the whole ship or at least its hull out of "blast doors"? What about the transporter? A drone? Or a rope?

In every other case on Trek, they refuse to let the person die if there's any cockamamie plan that might save them (even at the potential expense of many other crewmembers' lives). But here' the admiral is just left to die. Too bad, so sad.
Brian
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 11:17am (UTC -5)
‘"The Enterprise and Disco have been established as capable of taking a pounding."

Go and watch the season 1 pilot again, and look how fragile Fed ships are compared to this season 2 climax.’

Maybe the Enterprise or the Discovery are tougher? It’s post-Klingon War, so comparing this episode’s armaments to other random ships in the pilot seems illogical.
Agent K
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 11:37am (UTC -5)
As said above by Kinematic, the final deus ex machina who "saves" the Canon is the Armin Tanzanian episode, lol.

Well, it saves the canon, ok but... What is the sense of the "super secret" expedient?

And, mainly: how the hell can they ERASE the whole Discovery from the existence? I mean, Disco's crew has friends, families, colleagues, buddies, fellows m8s... Does Starfleet use flashes as Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in MIB? :D
Artymiss
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 1:08pm (UTC -5)
And what about that speech Burnham gave at the end of Season 1 in front of a massive audience, with the bridge crew of Discovery all there and getting medals too. Better hope no one recorded it! Or that it was televised (or whatever passes for television then)... Not so simple to erase people from history really.
whatqnavry
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 1:12pm (UTC -5)
Agent K: "how the hell can they ERASE the whole Discovery from the existence?"

Section 31 has ways...
Artymiss
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
@whatqnavry

"section 31 has ways"
Ha, maybe THAT can be the plot for the Section 31 spinoff! :D
Quincy
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
PLEASE, Jammer make an Expanse section!

C'mon, Alan Roi. It's like you actually believe Discovery is perfect. I understand a spirited defense against the haters that won't even give Discovery a chance or who nitpick it to death, but you behave as if there's nothing about it worth criticizing. IMO ALL Star Trek series were mostly atrocious in their first 2 seasons. Discovery for me has been more entertaining than most of them, during its first two seasons. However, there are clear issues with it deserving of criticism. That blast door scene was absurd. I don't see how you can't just admit that and move on. What you're doing is similar to a TNG fan arguing that the scene in 'Conspiracy,' where Picard dodges phaser fire AFTER the phaser was actually fired, wasn't absurd. That makes your "spirited defense" much less credible.

I've had similar criticisms about every single Star Trek Series. Kirk had to be involved in everything. He had to go on all the best away missions and be the one coming up with most of the solutions to most of the problems. "Let me do something!" Spock of all people couldn't beat him in chess. (Dafuq?!?) Only Kirk could figure out the alien's weakness to light in Operation Annihilation! (Dafuq?!?) Kirk had to be the one to physically fight Kahn, when Spock is the one trained in martial arts and almost as strong as Kahn. (Dafuq?!?) I remember being 12 years old watching Star Trek reruns and complaining about this out loud and my whole family laughing about how putrid it was. Guess what? It was putrid then and it's just as puke worthy now that Burnham's the one doing it.

@Boomer
That was... asinine. I thought you'd stopped interacting with me? Could've sworn that was one of your posts?! Notice how I stopped talking to you at the precise instant you did. In this case, I wasn't even talking about you. I was talking about that Axiom person with that dog whistling nonsense about "misogynist REACTIONARY claims."
Booming
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 1:33pm (UTC -5)
Yeah I thought the first season of the section 31 show would be about them deleting any trace of data about Discovery and then "help" everybody to forget. Pikes accident, Spocks death, the first officer of the enterprise who disappeared. It all makes sense now...
The last episode will be shot like "In the pale moonlight" were Tyler looks at the camera and tells his log how he successfully hunted them all down, then he erases the log, we hear a phase blast.

End season 1
Brandon Adams
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
@Tim C

Never let it be said that I'm not a man of my word. Paying up now.

But I'm ticked off about what was now obviously just an elaborate fake-out by the writers. ;) It's not like I just made up the connection. The similarities were too close and drew too much attention to themselves to be interpreted any other way.
Booming
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
@ Quincy
I'm happy you enjoyed it. :)

Be more precise in you accusations next time, please.
Artymiss
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 1:57pm (UTC -5)
@Booming
Tyler's last words "I did it all for you Michael..."
Booming
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 2:00pm (UTC -5)
@Artymiss
Hahahaha
Galadriel
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
Discovery is frustrating to me, and I think I now know why: Be­cause it forces a speci­fic per­spec­tive on the viewer. Jammer once said “This show wants me to feel somet­hing”, and hardly any­one can deny the truth of this and its flip side: that the show does not want me to think. Yet this is only half of the pro­blem, be­cause the show also wants to guide my feel­ings to­wards speci­fic people (who are usually con­nec­ted to Burn­ham). Take the red­shirt­ing of Airiam as an ex­amp­le: That “robot girl” served mostly as bridge furni­ture, and I don’t re­mem­ber a single line of her in the whole of S1 (her name was spoken on screen exacly five times). In S2, she did speak a few words, in­clud­ing a semi-private con­ver­sa­tion with Tilly. In her death epi­sode, how­ever, a lot of dia­logue and screen­ time was given to just to force viewers to care fo her in­evit­able death. That’s guided emo­tion, which some may call mani­pula­tion, and I find it distasteful.

Cut to the current episode and the fist­fight in the ro­tat­ing tunnel. Three people fight vi­ci­ous­­ly: A Con­trol­led™ section 31 agent, an exiled Empress with a taste for Kelpien threat ganglia, and a se­curi­ty of­fi­cer. Whom shall we feel with? The script de­ci­des: It’s the Empress (un­doub­ted­ly, be­cause of her con­nec­tion to Burn­ham), and there­fore Nhan is basi­cal­ly dis­car­ded of after that scene (we don’t even know whether she sur­vived). The two people that mys­teri­ous­ly appear out of nothing and then li­teral­ly go to no­where at 37:08 don’t matter, either. The au­dien­ce must fol­low the lead pro­vided by Burn­ham and her clan.

Compare that to TOS: For me, it was always the Show with Spock™. Kirk was often cool, but he seemed the se­con­dary cha­rac­ter to me. No doubt other viewers pre­fer­red Kirk, or maybe McCoy, or even Chekhov. The show sup­por­ted mul­tiple points of identi­fica­tion, and that’s why it became popular. Si­mi­lar­ly, I found Kira the pri­mary cha­rac­ter of identi­fica­tion in DS9, pro­bab­ly a mino­rity choice. But all these shows left the choice of per­sonal focus, emo­tio­nal in­vest­ment and per­spec­tive to the viewer. Dis­cov­ery has a more authori­tarian approach, and thus I could never get warm with it. I don’t like being kept on the leash.

Moreover, the script is written in a way that ac­tive­ly dis­coura­ges viewers from thin­king about it. Take Tyler: Last time we saw him, he beamed from Dis­cove­ry to Enter­prise to­gether with Pike (“Part 1”, 45:30) asking him to get away. Now we know that he con­tac­ted the on-call Klingon Caval­lery Ser­vice, pro­bab­ly by shut­tle, en­abling L’Rell to save the day with a Klingon ice­breaker of sorts. How­ever, there are major pro­blems: (α) 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.

Now, concerning (α) I can pro­bab­ly con­vince my­self that there was a little more time than shown on the screen, and con­cer­ning (β) that ships moving with the speed of the plot are not un­heard of in Star Trek. But what about (γ)? In “Valley of Shadows”, 9:42, L’Rell says ex­plicit­ly “If it were dis­cover­ed that […] you were still alive, the Klin­gon Empire would be vul­ner­able to sedi­tion” because she had per­sonal­ly called him a traitor and pre­sented a fake head to the Council (“Point of Light”, 44:31). Yet standing next to her on her flag­ship (which he him­self has re­ques­ted to go to war) is OK? This show spends mil­lions on CGI, but can­not af­ford writers worthy the name.

I also noted that a similar di­lemma is planted for the Empress. Last time we hear from her (53:57) she is in Dis­cov­ery’s En­gineer­ing, and the whole ship will jump to the 31ˢᵗ century exact­ly one minute of show time later (the time be­tween is spent with melo­drama­tic crap). Yet rumour says she will appear in a Sec­tion 31 spinoff show set in the 23ʳᵈ century. Ques­tion: How many Empresses do they have?

I will not go to Siranna’s quick training as a fighter pilot in a quick­ly united Ba’ul and Kelpien fleet. Nor to Spock’s beaming aboard Enter­prise during the battle while shields are up. Nor to the use­less time jump after Control has been dis­abled (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). Nor to the tor­pe­do-proof glass wind­ow. Nor to Spock and Burn­ham dis­cus­sing sibling mat­ters while people died by the dozens every minute. You see where this all leads to. Alan Roi’s claim that “Dis­cov­ery de­mands more from the viewers than any other ST show” has haunted me for a week. May­be the de­mand is to hin­der my brain throw­ing ex­cep­tions when­ever the writers plunder. Can any­one come up with a Braga-era WTFery like this?

Challenge to Alan Roi: Spock seems to be sur­prised by the loca­tion of the 7ᵗʰ signal in the Beta Qua­drant. How is that pos­sible as he him­self has drawn the Seven Signals in their cor­rect loca­tions months be­fore (“New Eden”, 1:48)? And who told him, BTW? It can’t have been Burn­ham sen., be­cause she knew no­thing of the Seven, nor Michael, as she cannot time-travel after arrival (“Part 1”, 25:25). But then, how could she plant the Seventh Signal any­way, and how could she pro­mise to do it before leav­ing? Also, we have seen the 3D galactic map with all the signals couple of times early in the season; yet by what kind of time-bending she­nani­gans could all of this vanish, so that no cha­rac­ter in the show re­mem­bers it, but all have to wait for the sig­nals to mani­fest them­selves after they had all been recor­ded by Fe­dera­tion sen­sors before the actual start of the sea­son (“Brothers”, 12:11)? Which de­mand did I not meet to miss the cen­tral element of the whole season?

I am a Trekkie, and that is quite an ad­dic­tion. So I shall pro­bab­ly watch future sea­sons be­cause every junkie knows cut drug is better than no drug. But I shall not invest any emo­tio­nal or intel­lec­tual re­sources into it, unless the show con­vinces me not with baits (that have no nu­tri­tio­nal value) and pro­mises (that are never kept) but with actual de­liv­ery. Yet, reading to Kurtzman inter­view linked to above (that, cor­rectly, calls the finale “shocking”) I feel very pessimistic.

I want my Star Trek “cerebral” because I am an ana­lytic person. There is no cere­brum in this show. Rather, I think of an­other ana­tomi­cal re­gion that, by chance, is con­tained in the word “analytic”.
5
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 3:03pm (UTC -5)
* The Admiral sure sounded like she knew about Pike's time crystal vision. I thought Pike had kept the contents of his vision entirely to himself.

* Just how they knew there were seven signals if they didn't all appear at once is never resolved AFAICT.

* Burnham just setting the signals based on where the signals had been seen is a bit much even for a time travel plot. I felt like a cheat after all that portentousness.

* The interrogation scene instantly brought "The Principal and the Pauper" to my mind too. I couldn't help but laugh out loud.

* In general the plot and setting this season have a sort of "mushiness" about them much better suited to a science fantasy or pure fantasy setting. About a different show, but pretty in line with my feelings about DSC season 2:

https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/just-watch
5
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 3:10pm (UTC -5)
"It felt like a cheat". bla.
wolfstar
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
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.
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
@ Dragana @Kinematic @ Booming. @Quincy

I don't act like Discovery is perfect. I specifically pointed to one of Trents complaints that I agreed with. I'm just pointing out answers to people's questions as I see them when I have worked out such answers. I will admit that often this series doesn't answer every single question that it brings up, and part of the fun for me is working those non-stated questions out, as opposed to immediately throwing my TV out the window.

Why aren't all ships made of blast door material? maybe take that up with Starfleet engineers, every series they've had some parts of ships that were tougher than others. No one would ever make a blast door with a window? Do a google search and check images, you'll find a number of blast doors with, you guessed it, windows. Kirk and Spock saved the galaxy/universe/federation several times. So did Picard and super Data saved the federation/universe as well on several occasion. Are they not puke worthy gods then themselves?

As for the seven signals, throughout the series the characters have stated that they didn't know where the signals would show up, so I am theorizing that the original estimate of where they were sourced was a widlly inaccurate scan produced by equipment designed by a cuture that doesn't have a firm grip on how time travel works.

But again, I find figuring out how things work is more fun than yelling at my TV. Of course, your mileage may vary.

@jammer @Quincy

Yes Jammer, The Expanse is probably the most envelope stretching space opera on today (at least maybe until Consider Phlebas comes out on Amazon and people get exposed to Ian Banks Culture) even if it also has a plot driven by its own brand of applied phlebotinum that many here complain is too prevalent in Discovery and is definitely worthy of your attention. Much of it is fucking awesome!
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
@Wolfstar

To answer your question about how the Red Angel suit can move through both time and space:

Einstein stated that time and space are two descriptions of the same phenomena. This is basically a science fiction swing at that theory, IMO.
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
@5

Pike is a exemplary Starfleet officer. I expect he wrote up an accurate report of his experienceon Boreth.

Burnham actually made all the seven jumps within moments of each other. I would theorize that might make it seem like they took place at the same time to the equipment Starfleet has to pick up and measure such phenomena.

Time loops are funny that way. But she stated that they all should "Trust the mystery" so IMO, she walked the talk.

I agree the interrogation was pretty silly at times, but in a very TOS kind of way.

Star Trek, IMO, has always thrown in some fantasy into its science fiction from Catspaw to Q sending the crew to Sherwood Forest. IMO, its a feature following Clarke's Maxim, not a bug.
Trent
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 5:21pm (UTC -5)
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.
Trent
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 5:30pm (UTC -5)
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.
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 5:50pm (UTC -5)
@Trent

All the crew of the Disco already abandoned the ship on preparation to blow it up. The only ones who are likely on it are the ones who agreed to go back for the time jump.
Paul M.
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 6:11pm (UTC -5)
This was a disaster. One of the worst Star Trek episodes I have ever seen. There wasn't a single element that made sense: the battle, confrontation with Leland, bomb disarming subplot, vow of silence, explanation of the red bursts, medieval priestesses flying space ships, technobabble to end all technobabbles, and on and on it goes. This was a disaster the likes of which I have never in my life seen on Star Trek, unless you count the likes of Spock's Brain or Threshold. This episode seemed like it was made by a murdered corpse of Michael Bay that underwent extensive zombification somewhere along the way. Abysmal is a kind word for the quality of this... thing.
Tim C
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 6:15pm (UTC -5)
TBH Brandon Adams, I was on the fence myself for awhile, but I figured it would just be *too* shamelessly fan service, even for this show.
Brian Lear
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
I sure would love to see the defenders respond to Galadriels points line by line, since he so coherently put them together for us.
Gooz Chos
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 7:01pm (UTC -5)
4 stars for the biggest magic reset button ever!

So, the reason we don't know about Michael, the spore drive, gays, etc. in TOS, TNG, & DS9 is that they were all sent into the future (apparently, we just had 3 gays in the universe at the time of Discovery).

I'm so glad I never invested much emotional or intellectual energy to this show, and left it as background CGI/Kungfu fighting while doing dishes and cleaning the kitty litter box.

Hopefully season 3 will start with either 1) a newly built Discovery and a brand new crew in the TOS timeline, and/or 2) Mitt Romney/Pike, Spock, Number 1, and the wicked witch of the west (who the F was that?!?!) continuing the voyages of the star ship Enterprise.

Bonus: The crew's reaction to Spock shaving his beard reminded me of the scene in The Room, where another pencil-neck actor shaved his face-pubes for no reason. Priceless homage.
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 7:33pm (UTC -5)
@Galadriel

You thought Spock seemed surprised when it was reported the seventh signal had shown up? We get a poker face and him turning to Pike who is wearing a shit-eating grin. it seems clear to me that neither of them or Number One are suprised in the least. As for the argument between L'rell and Tyler, that was done in front of Pike, and could be interpreted as her inflating the threat of sedition in order to protect her son or put Tyler down a peg. It turns out, their kid no long needs protection of any kind. More notably, you ignore the other interactions between Tyler and L'rell throughout the episode, most importantly at the end where they appear to reconcile over the fact that their son gave him back the Torchbearer sigil. Stands to reason that broke the ice between the two and Tyler wasn't asking Pike for permission to contact L'Rell but about to tell him what he was already brokering between himself and her to aid Discovery and Enterprise.

And yes, this isn't stated explicitely, but so what? This has been Discovery all along and it hasn't changed. IMO, its designed to force the audience to think where previous series were spoonfed everything they needed, so little was in question at the end of each ep. Honestly, I haven't been engaged this much in a Star Trek series since DS9 excactly because it keeps me thinking, excercise my brain, which is a *good thing* IMO. Not an easy thing, I'll admit

And why couldn't Michael make her promise or create the 7th signal or finish connecting with Spock young or old? She still has a Red Angel suit at the end of the season last i checked, so what exactly will prevent her from using it if she manages to get her hands on another time crystal in the future?

As for the Empress? How do we even know that it is the Empress who showed up on the Enterprise and fought Leland? For all we know, she's an android using the same tech that Harry Mudd used to create all his androids in The Escape Artist. And even if she is the real MU Georgiou, if past Trek's are any indication, odds are if you toss a cat in the Trek Universe it will hit something that will send it back to time (a slight exaggeration there on my point).

I admit, I'm not a young man, as I started watching Trek as a kid in the 70s, so this requirement to fill in the gaps with hints spread across the series is a boon to my not so young mind. But I will agree, that people who are accustomed to TNG era Trek and even TOS will initially struggle because the shows before never asked viewers to do this much thinking just to get through a season. We were always told what the lesson was each episode and maybe mull on said lesson. Disco is a different beast entirely. So yeah, you either learn to play the game of connect the dots that it deliberately (in my assessment) doesn't fill in (such as were we go from L'Rell's and Tyler's reconciliation with him receiving the torchbearer sigil back to him on the bridge of her ship back in the role of the Torchbearer once again, or I suppose you play the frustrated viewer. I know which game I prefer to play.
Boura
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
@Gooz Chos

"and/or 2) Mitt Romney/Pike, Spock, Number 1"

That's the only way I'll be watching a season 3.

I only watched this because of the Star Trek brand but it is not Star Trek. I choose to completely ignore this fantastic looking pile of crap (which is exactly what the writers wanted the rest of the Trekverse to do).

No number of Alan Roi's can convince me otherwise. It never existed.

Screw this rubbish.
Boura
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
"TNG era Trek and even TOS will initially struggle because the shows before never asked viewers to do this much thinking just to get through a season"

Haha
Startrekwatcher
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
TNG era Trek and even TOS will initially struggle because the shows before never asked viewers to do this much thinking just to get through a season"

TOS, TNG etc never asked viewers to do that much “thinking” because they were well written and solidly constructed and therefore didn’t require viewers to make sense of a convoluted mess of narration

Don’t confuse making sense of the absurd for thinking

Don’t confuse convoluted for complex.

DIS isn’t well thought out or structured. It’s a frenzied mess and blur of a bunch of half realized ideas and plot points just thrown together. It’s like the writers suffer from A form of storytelling ADHD. They simply can’t slow down. Catch their breath. And work out a nicely told five act standalone episode.

They can’t seem to fathom that they don’t have to use TOS as a crutch and throw in every TOS character or element to their episodes.

TNG wisely avoided this and became its own successful thing. In fact, Roddenberry explicitly didn’t want TOS mentioned and hired people not familiar with it.

TNG went onto use sparingly TOS elements as well as create its own unique original characters and races

dS9 wisely stopped shoehorning in TNG elements after its freshman year making the show better

But it seems nowadays writers think Trek needs to be TOS or recycled TOS or tied into TOS. Frankly that’s boring
Trashbarg
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 8:44pm (UTC -5)
I'm just gonna talk about the blast door thing. You guys familiar with M1 Abrams tank, designed through the 70s and fielded through the 80s and up to this day? It keeps it's ammo in turret bustle which has blast doors that separate the ammo from the crew compartment while the roof is made in such way that if something penetrates the ammo storage the blast doors protect the crew and help explosion go upwards and not incinerate people in fighting compartment. Is it so far fetched that similar design principle is used in starships with outer skin configured to vent the internal explosions out so they don't crisp the crew?

Also, it's not only about the material, it's about how the whole thing ties into the overall hull construction and there is usually some plan involved with dealing with various types of damage, be it concussion, blast or penetration borne out of incessant testing. I suppose that blast doors are integrated into strength decks ( or whatever is equivalent on starships ). Basically, you can't build an invincible Abrams out of it's blast compartment doors.
Tim C
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 8:45pm (UTC -5)
Alan, when the viewer has to do as many mental contortions as you've been valiantly performing over the course of this season in order to backfill gaps in storytelling logic, I wouldn't call it successful storytelling. This doesn't mean the show can't be *entertaining*, or even thought-provoking; just that when the writers have left it up to us to fanwank away some relatively glaring contradictions, they're not doing their job properly.

I like the show. I applaud that it has had the creative courage to forge its own distinct identity as Epic Action Trek, as opposed to following the VOY/early ENT/Orville route of just duplicating the TNG model. But far too often, when a reasonable audience member might ask "Huh?", the show just reaches over and cranks the volume to 11 and pretends it can't hear you. I would hold up the conclusion to "The Sound Of Thunder" as a prime example of this phenomenon, where the spectacle was very impressive but just left me in the audience going "wait wait wait wait!"

This overlong and overindulgent two-part finale has been the ultimate expression of the problem, and people are dinging it accordingly. I wouldn't go as far as some in calling it awful; I feel that there's been a lot to like, primarily in the acting department, and the spectacle is on a ridiculously sumptuous visual scale.

But at a certain point, you can't just keep giving a pass to all these logical nitpicks. They stack up. Especially in a serialised narrative like this one, the damage to one's suspension of disbelief is cumulative, and leaving reasonable questions unanswered (like, "Why do nanobots have to be delivered into the eye?" or "How are these shuttles getting around so quick?" or "How exactly do those red signals that kicked off the entire season's storyline work?") doesn't make me think the writers are encouraging us to come up with the answers ourselves. It makes me think they never bothered to ask the question. It's either an insult to our intelligence, or an indictment of theirs.

This show has all the tools at its disposal to make something great. It has excellent actors, amazing production values, and a generous budget. The only missing ingredient is tighter writing. I hope that in season three, they can deliver it.
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
@Tim C

I pointed out that the show isn't for everyone. And perhaps I'm a lot more prepared for this kind of challenge because I writer/ghostwrite science fiction for a living so coming up with answers that connect ideas come as second nature to me.

And none of the things I delivered here took more than a few seconds of thought. And I can answer all your questions in a blink of an eye without breakinging into mental sweat. Took me all of 10 seconds, no contorting involved.

But again, it appears that you, like the others who responded after I posted consider it an insult to have to interact with any sort of show in this manner. That's OK, I never said everyone would respond positively to the challenge.
Tim C
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
You're missing my point, and deliberately so, I suspect. The fact that you *can* fanwank away a plot hole or nitpick doesn't always excuse having to do it in the first place, and DSC leaves quite a few of these logic gaps in its wake. Now that we've got 29 episodes in the can, it's starting to look like a habit.

I'm not particularly interested in having a last-word Internet fight with someone as eagerly combative and quick to make things personal as yourself; when it comes to entertainment value, everything is ultimately subjective so there's not much point. So I'll leave it at that.
Gooz Chos
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
@Tim C,
By far, the fanboy/fangirl internet fights here on the JammersReviews.com comment boards have been more entertaining and cerebral than ST:D (and definitely less painful than my last STD).
Anthimos
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 9:56pm (UTC -5)
This 900 years into the future thing piques my interest. It reminds me of the rumors I heard years ago about Gene Roddenberrys original concept for "Andromeda". I had heard it was written as a Star Trek series were a Federation starship was somehow forzen in time for many centuries and was released into a galaxy where Federation was a distant memory, the Vulcans had abandoned logic and were warlike and the klingon empire was destroyed leaving them almost gypsy like bands of refugees/pirates. The Federation captain decided to go on a one ship crusade to bring the ideals of the federation back to this bleak time. The story went that Roddenberrys wife nixed the idea because it's bleakness "wasn't Star Trek". Instead it was rework as that POS Andromeda. The Idea that somebody might have decided to brush off Genes original idea and give it a spin is exciting to me. Given since Rodenberrys death Trek has already gotten darker I think those old objections no longer hold weight. I for one would love to see something original to Trek like that. One ship against all the odds trying to rebuild the federation. And I say original knowing full well andromeda already did it. As far as I am concerned that show never existed and I bet most people under the age of 30 don't even know about it. Hell given it's rating even an older audience has probably never seen an episode of it. I think rehashing the concept in the Trek universe would work.
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 10:19pm (UTC -5)
@Anthimos

I watched the first four seasona of Andromeda. It had some interesting ideas but suffered from a degree of cheapness. The AI's the had to fight were kind of creepy as I remember they had to use human brains in bottles to use the FTL drive in the series. The ideas that suns were sentient appeared to have come from an old French scifi novel and the Nietzschian's had a knack for coming up wwith amusing names for themselves (Ghengis Stalin for instance). It wasn't, however, close to as contemporaries like Babylon 5 or Farscape, but I enjoyed it a lot more than Voyager.
Gil
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 12:10am (UTC -5)
Hot Take on “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Part II: Cry Harder”

The Rules of DISCO

1st RULE: You do not talk about DISCO.
2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about DISCO.
3rd RULE: If someone says “DISCO,” “spore drive” or “Anas Abdin,” the jig is up and the Prime Universe implodes.
4th RULE: Two plot holes minimum an episode.
5th RULE: One beta male captain on the bridge at all times.
6th RULE: No logic. No common sense.
7th RULE: Crying will go on as long as it has to.
8th RULE: If this is your first time discussing DISCO, you HAVE already broken the first rule and Section 31 will be around shortly to escort you to a Federation penal colony whereupon you will be imprisoned until such time as DISCO's cancellation or to the end of your natural life … whichever comes first.
mentalc0rn
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 12:39am (UTC -5)
no no no stop for a second. you set up the Borg and had no pay off, your only resolution to no-one in the prime timeline knowing about discovery and the various technological advantages it gives over anything from the next 200 years is that Spock gives a throwaway comment for anyone involved or with knowledge of this entire two season trek outing to categorically deny it ever happened (tbh thank god cos Jesus I've never been so bored by trek in any of it's forms) which is, by the way, only taken 'under advisement' so what's this the set up for?, some vague lineage of storyline for the Picard outing soon to come?

let me put my copious amounts of grievances aside for one second however, one thing we did learn, and that really does provide an ending to discovery if god forbid no more episodes are made, was the trek short of calpyspo. in retrospect we now know that a possible future of discovery is to hold position wherever it jumps to and the crew abandon the vessel. the ship is still there 1000 years later when the calypso epsiode takes place, and we know that sentient life continues to exist due to Craft being aboard discovery. Thus we know that discovery's mission was successful, war and strife has still not been solved 2000 years in the future from discovery's origin timeline, but it exists, and as such we don't need any closure for the storyline beyond any fan's investment in the over emotional protagonists, which i'm sure we'll get in another season.

Overall I hated this ending, because i don't believe section 31 or any of the events of the past two seasons being denied and 'forgotten' en masse by anyone involved is believable in the slightest.

The only acceptable ending for me would be one linked to the crashed borg sphere technology creating the borg in THIS timeline and being dealt with by discovery in some way as to reset the whole timeline back to the prime. I don't think it would have been that hard to write either , as long as it wasn't worked on by anyone involved in the last episode of voyager.
Quincy
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 12:42am (UTC -5)
@wolfstar
"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?"

She's using wormholes. The main thing that wormholes do is bridge two points in space. If it's possible in the story to create them from scratch, why would this be a problem?
mentalc0rn
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 12:48am (UTC -5)
@Gooz Chos

Second that room mention, the rest of the crew literally react the same way as the cast of the room did to mark. oh hi spock
Booming
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 12:55am (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roi
Trashbarg correctly pointed out that blastdoors are there to redirect an explosion. It is imperative that a blastdoor is a strong point. Putting a window into it severely weakens the structure making it more likely that the blastdoor fails and more important parts of the ship are damaged. The fact that google reveals that some billionaire's bunker door has a window is unimportant for this question. And this billionaire will probably see his mistake when the cannibals are starting to crack the window.

Let's be logical here. What reason could there be for the creators of Discovery?
- I see only one reason why the writing team put that window into that door. It is there so that we can see Pikes "Gosh dang it, this emergency lever should be on this side of the blast door" face.

You know it, I know it.

It is the same with you general argument that Discovery challenges the audience to come up with reasons. Sure that could be true but the far more likely explanation is that they thought that it was unnecessary to put it in there. Knowing that maybe a few very smart people (us:) at a science fiction ivory tower would go crazy debating it but the rest would mostly be fine with it and enjoy the spectacle.

To quote from the wiki page of Occam's razor: simpler solutions are more likely to be correct than complex ones.

This applies here.

Does that mean that you are definitely wrong? No.
Does it mean that I think that you are very likely wrong? Yes.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 1:31am (UTC -5)
@John Harmon

"This whole season Alex Kurtzman has been saying that by the end of the season it would explain away all the canon inconsistencies. And their best shot is 'everybody kept it a secret'? That made me actually laugh out loud because I wasn’t sure if it was a joke or not. An entire season, tens of millions of dollars spent just to ultimately say 'everyone just pinkie promised to not talk about it'?"

I gotta say, I laughed out loud at your description.

That's Kurtzman for ya. It's precisely the kind of "grand twist (NOT)" that I'd expect from him. It's like the guy has some twisted version of object permanence deficiency.
MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 1:31am (UTC -5)
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FridgeLogic

... Reading all this stuff you guys are saying about the plot holes in this show has me doing what is described in this TV Tropes article.

Gosh. It's actually disturbing how desperate I am for new Star Trek. I am willing to simply turn off my brain and completely look over mounds upon mounds of hackjob writing, just so I can feel good about this show.

It is a big realization to come to that I am in this kind of vehement denial. The irrational human thought process goes like this:

Premise A: "I like good shows."
Premise B: "Star Trek is a good show."

Therefore, Conclusion C: "I like Star Trek."

By Corallary:

Premise A: "I like Star Trek."
Premise B: "Star Trek: Discovery isn't good."

Therefore, Conclusion C: "Star Trek: Discovery must be better than I think it is, because I like Star Trek."

I don't want it to be bad. But it is. It's awful. It's boring. It's contrived. It's heavy-handed with its speechifying and morality. It's cheesy. It's dumbed-down. It's an absolute mess of logical wrongness. It's ridiculous, the dried, fly-eaten carcass of a Science Fiction show that once pushed boundaries.

I don't think Star Trek deserves for me to like it anymore. Discovery actually makes me look back at all the years I've watched Star Trek, cared about Star Trek, and thought about Star Trek, and I feel like I've been wasting my time. The end result of it all was that Star Trek eventually aged to the point where it was no longer relevant.

Star Trek is dead, Jim.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 1:48am (UTC -5)
Alternatively:

Premise A: "I like Star Trek."
Premise B: "Star Trek: Discovery isn't good."

Therefore, Conclusion C: "Star Trek: Discovery" is not Star Trek (despite the misleading name).

Which explains, right there, my decision to bow out of everything Trek ever since the first Abramsverse film came out in 2009.

A decision that earned me many dirty looks and unflattering nicknames (such as "gate-keeper"), but I fully stand by this decision. After all, we cannot argue with logic, can we?

Live Long and Prosper 🖖
Booming
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 2:24am (UTC -5)
@ Midshipman Norris
"the dried, fly-eaten carcass of a Science Fiction show"
(Picture me as the hunky angel that is Chris Evans in Captain America)
LANGUAGE :)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 2:46am (UTC -5)
@Boura

"Again, wtf did they make this a prequel, other than to link it to the more popular parts of Trek (Spock, Pike, The Enterprise)? They limited themselves from the outset. It's no wonder it all ended so ridiculously and amounted to a pinch of shit."

Their original reason was simple: They wanted to sneakily reboot TOS and the 23rd century, without calling it a reboot. Their goal was to get people to forget about 1960's Trek, so they can rewrite the Terkverse in their own image.

I know this sounds paranoid. But if you remember the marketing campaigns for season 1, every single thing that CBS did was aimed at this goal. Their open attack against fans who care about the details. Their constant promos with captions that scream "We've painstakedly recreated the original..." while the pictures themselves showed something completely different. And let's not forget the "fan film guidelines" fiasco which was served with a phony "we love the fans sooooo much" disclaimer.

The entire situation looked like something straight out of Orwell's 1984. You had to be there to believe it.

At any rate, their plan didn't quite work as they intended. That's why they were forced to back-pedal in season 2. And since they weren't really interested in creating a prequel in the first place, they've used this season to launch Discovery into the future.
Uxbridge
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 3:19am (UTC -5)
I think I have a good explanation as to why it is suddenly okay for Tyler to be around L’Rell in plain sight of other Klingons. She finally remembered that she is the Chancellor because she is holding the Klingon home world hostage with a bomb. And because of that, she can “do whatever the fuck she wants”.

As for all of the other things that make no sense, they can all be explained via Kevin Uxbridge. For example

1. Why doesn’t anybody in future trek remember anything about Discovery or its crew? Because Kevin Uxbridge deleted everyone’s knowledge of Discovery. He didn’t just delete one person’s memory, or a hundred, or a thousand. He deleted all knowledge of Discovery, everywhere.

2. How could the window on the blast door survive the photon detonation? Because Kevin Uxbridge built the window using his immense douwd powers.

Feel free to come up with other Uxbridge explanations to Discovery plot holes. It will make the show easier to watch a second time.
Trashbarg
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 3:45am (UTC -5)
@Booming - window or no window is immaterial here, because Star Trek material science is rather undefined and acts according to the writing and budget since forever. It's kinda silly from our perspective, but it could very well be some transparent tritanium alloy or whatever. I just wanted to point out that there's some basic engineering principles involved that are applied in 20th Century to deal with those situations and being kinda into all things naval and military I was amazed that people here were that surprised by basic blast redirection.

Also, this classified thing is also pretty possible. In a 7k ship fleet stretching over thousands of lightyears it's not really that hard for a ship to drop out of public knowledge with a gag order. The US could have classified F117 if it sucked in some way and we would never find out about it, like no one else did know during the Have Blue phase of the project or Beast of Kandahar which did it's thing before getting snatched by Iranians with nothing more but silly sounding rumours about something something flying out at night.

Basically, what I'm arguing here is that some stuff that gets criticised is kinda directly lifted from various real life examples. There's so many problems in this finale that blast doors doing blast door things and a navy successfully classifying stuff about a ship are the least of our worries.
Mertov
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 3:54am (UTC -5)
Wow, almost 200 comments in little less than three days since the finale aired? I bet about a 100 were by about 6-7 commenters :)). In any case, I’ll pass on reading them for now and get to my thoughts.

Very, very entertaining season finale with some of the best visuals of any Trek to date and an almost-perfect first 30 minutes followed by a non-perfect next 30 minutes. Much better than first-season finale, which is indicative of this season also being much better than the first (and it’s not like I disliked the first either). At the same time, it’s a chaotic season finale in terms of plot details, which is also indicative of the season. Enjoy it, but don’t spend too much time analyzing it, and you will be fine. If you do, you better get a drink or two, or a dose of ibuprofen, LOL.

First of all, the cinematic experience is outta this world. I watched one episode early on (New Eden) on my computer – I was on a trip - and I regretted it since, because when I got back and watched it home like I usually do on my 50-inch HD, it was not even comparable. I really think people who watch it on their computers are missing out on DSC. But actually, for the finale my daughter (with whom I have watched almost every DSC episode) and I got invited to a Trekkie friend of mine who has a 75-inch home theater system, and I can tell you with certainty that it was no different than a well-shot cinematic experience. The space battle scenes, the cocooning of Michael by other ships, Michael’s first trip with the Angel suit, and any other visual experience was simply dazzling. I’d recommend it to anyone. Osunsami, whose directing I usually find suspect, does an excellent job on this one (relief).

The next best thing is the first half of the episode. You have Enterprise and Discovery crews, led by Saru and Pike, working together, coordinating efforts, frantically working together to problem-solve. It does not get much better and more Trek-y than that. There is some cool camera work here too (split-screen shot for one example) as almost every important crew member gets something significant to do. I really enjoyed these scenes mixed in with the stunning space-battle shots.

Then comes the next thirty minutes where plot holes appear (more on that coming), and the story becomes only tenable if you are willing to do some hand-waving. But even during this portion, not once was I not entertained or tuned in to what was taking place. Those few plot holes (three to be exact) did not spoil it for the four of us (my friend’s partner joined in early during the episode, although she has zero interest in Star Trek, because she was also impressed with what was on screen), but gave us something to add to the “cons” portion of our talk after the episode finished.

Below are the significant plot holes, in my opinion, that keeps this finale from being a four star in Jammer’s scale (In my opinion, it’s a 3 in his scale). I am not going into nit-picking the way DSC gets nit-picked second-by-second, and syllable-by-syllable, and eyebrow movement to below-the-ear-twitch. Maybe nobody did this so far (who am I kidding, with 190+ comments, I’m sure some have, I may even guess who, lol), but as I’ve said before more than once, applying the standard of the usual nit-picking to slam the show, bring me any single episode of any Trek, or any single season of any Trek, or any single Trek series and I’ll effortlessly rip it apart and shit on it so much, it will carry the stench from today until Cochrane meets the Vulcans.

Having said that the following plot holes were consequential and annoyingly inconsistent, to say the least:

- In part 1, a handful of Michael’s close friends say they will accompany her. Next thing we know, in part 2, it looks like the whole Discovery crew came with them. What? The irony is that two red-shirt crew members who, I reckon, barely said one “hi” or two to Michael at some point, get flushed out into space during the Georgiou-Nhan-Leland fight scene. So much for coming to help Michael, dear red shirts!

– Sad to see Cornwell go. I liked her and I am fairly certain she was an inspiration for many women Trekkies watching DSC. I know she was one of my daughter’s favorite characters (along with Detmer and Owo), and her mom’s favorite character. But why couldn’t she be beamed away after she manually shut down the blast door? That sequence does not hold water and makes it obvious that one character had to die and and she was the one penciled in, very sloppily.

– Ash’s head being chopped off and now he is in a Klingon ship with other Klingons with no explanation? The sad part about this inconsistency is that it could have been easily explained away with a few lines or a scene of 1 minute maximum. But writers did not bother. Sloppy again.

- Spock and Michael talk too long while people are continuously being killed behind them (they are on the background on the screen too, what a gaffe!). At that moment, they should be hurrying up trying to get the signal going instead of a sentimental talk. The first part of their sequence was great, Michael unable to figure out why she can’t get the navigation interface set, and Spock eventually coming up with the solution (that is in the first half hour). Later comes the sappy second part that makes no sense under the circumstances.

Other than that, nice scenes in the last 5 minutes. I am totally on board with fan service if it’s done well, and the ending scenes on board Enterprise were great. It also helps that Peck and Mount (let me also add in Romijn as Number One for good measure) knock those scenes out of the park pretty much the way they have every other scene they’ve been in during the season. I really liked the fact that we don’t see Discovery after it goes through the vortex (nice visuals there as well). I was so scared that they would end the show on a “Into the Forest I go” type of ending (the only bad part of that episode) with Discovery arriving to “somewhere” and some cliché cliff-hanger shots of Saru and others looking shell-shocked and saying a cliché line like “where are we?” with loud music ending the season. Luckily, they did not. This ending was ten times better, the last red signal appearing, letting Spock and Pike (and viewers) know that Discovery got there, and different avenues available to writers for the third season.

Curious that Georgiou left with them, she would need to return quickly for the Section 31 show unless they don’t plan on starting it until fall of 2020 after DSC’s third season ends and Discovery makes it back to its timeline? Or something?

Overall, visible improvement from season One. Looking forward to season 3.
As for how they could improve, I remember MadManMuc had a good four-bullet point wish list in the comments of “Through the Valley of Shadows.” My simple wish is that Discovery now uses its own crew for screen time and builds its own adventurous (preferably with its own captain, but that does not look likely, so I may settle for Saru as acting captain for the time being.

I’ll wait and see what Jammer says and, if I can find the time, go over some of what other commenters said.
KMC
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 6:32am (UTC -5)
Wait, did someone say the spore drive destroyed?
Galadriel
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 8:18am (UTC -5)
I once read a col­lec­tion of humo­rous short stories from the olden days when no­bili­ty still aboun­ded and the noble­men’s chil­dren would get in-house edu­ca­tion by a private tutor. The exams were a chal­lenge for the teacher, because a young Prince could never be wrong, and the tutor’s job was to justi­fy every answer given by the ex­ami­nee. This would play out like the following:

“How long did the Thirty Year War last?” — “Seven Years.” — “In those days, no figh­ting oc­cur­red during the nights, nor on sun­days and holi­days. More­over, there were cease­fires and nego­tia­tion breaks. Taken to­gether, all of those re­duced the war­ring time to seven years, as cor­rect­ly stated by the Prince.”

I think we are come to that point, and Alan Roi would make a per­fect tutor (get me right, this was con­sider­ed a great career then). Some head-canon in­deed is needed all across Star Trek, and per­haps in SF gen­er­al­ly; TOS was quite an of­fen­der here, and since I have seen it as a teen, I have also de­vel­oped some skill to fill gaps in a story (“wasn’t men­tion­ed be­cause known to every­one in-story”), dis­card ob­vious­ly botched state­ments by the cha­rac­ters (“lay­men’s talk”), invent work­arounds for bla­tant errors (“inside joke”) or come up with ex­cuses for mis­sing con­sequen­ces of mis­deeds (“was never re­por­ted to ad­mi­rals”). This makes epis­odes like “The Galileo Seven” or “Plato’s Step­chil­dren” watch­able, be­cause they con­tain good sub­stance which can still be enjoyed despite ob­vious flaws.

However, there are limits. I found no way of mind-bending that could inject any de­gree of sense into “The Al­ter­na­tive Fac­tor” (no doubt Alan Roi can, and I am the same time awed and en­vious and ap­pal­led). How­ever, I never ex­pec­ted there would ever be some­one who spends a hun­dred mega­dollars for pro­duc­ing a 13-epis­ode remake of “The Al­ter­na­ti­ve Fac­tor” or “Thresh­old”. Nor did I ex­pect half of the world ap­plauds to such an enter­prise and praises the mul­tiple lens­flares, the di­verse cast, the emo­tio­nal jour­ney of the prot­ago­nists, the auda­cious cine­ma­to­gra­phy and the kewl SFX. It has hap­pen­ed be­cause we live in a crazy world. And yes, I know a few people who still de­fend “Lost”, because even if it ended no­where, it was a great ride, they say (“sunk cost fal­lacy” in my opinion)

Having done some research on the web, I found indi­ca­tions that in­deed the main story­line of the sea­son was changed in mid-pro­duc­tion, mean­ing that the Seven Sig­nals had dif­fer­ent pro­per­ties and mean­ing for the cha­rac­ters in the early epis­odes; the mys­tery solved in the end was there­fore dif­ferent from the mys­tery posed in the be­gin­ning. Cha­rac­ters paid lip-ser­vice to what they had said be­fore, but acted ac­cor­ding to the changed sce­na­rio, re­sult­ing in huge in­con­sis­ten­cies. No doubts, the next days or weeks will bring new leaks and in­sight and revelation.

Think of a murder mys­tery story where a girl is found drowned in a bath­tub in chapter one. At the end of the novel, the in­ves­ti­ga­tor sol­ves the case by stating that the victim, a 50 yo pro­fes­sio­nal wrest­ler, was suf­fe­ring from prostate cancer and hanged himself, plan­ting hints that im­pli­cated his former as­soci­a­te. Would any­one be satis­fied with that?

Now, my head-canon: Dis­cov­ery season 2 is an off­shoot of the wea­pon de­vised by Data and Picard in “I, Borg”: No mat­ter how you look at it, no sense can be made of it, it rather drives you crazy when you think about it. Some time-travel­ling AI from the 24ᵗʰ cen­tury used it to infect Kurtz­man's brain in an at­tempt to eradi­cate huma­ni­ty by re­duc­ing our intel­lec­tual level to that of half-rot­ten in­dus­try-made custard.

I will say no more, at least for now.
Amala
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 9:44am (UTC -5)
@Lynos

Yeah, you cant tell people that this character who was created only 3 years ago, and was never part of the trek's lore, is the most important person in SPOCK's life and the reason why he is Spock and kirk&spock are friends, and then get surprised when fans find it way too forced, or even a little bit pathetic and trash from a writing standpoint. They really couldn't help themselves.

Michael is a mary sue and people who like Discovery and can't accept criticism need to get over that because it's delusional to deny the evidence she's a self insert fanfiction character created by a writing team who has no respect for 50 years of canon and characters that they don't own and have no credit for.
It's like Spock was so iconic and they selfishly wanted a piece of that, as if people need to thank them for the creation of this character who was unique but now is just used to make their own character important. How selfish is that? Their ego is huge!
If Nimoy were still alive, he'd be disappointed. Not only they diminished the character integrity, they created a backstory that doesn't even make sense with the Spock you see later.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 10:17am (UTC -5)
@Mertov

As possible answers to your questions

1. When Tilly tells Michael she specifically says "All of us" not "some of us" you can't fit an entire crew, most of which are pretty busy anyway in a corridor intersection.

2. Cornwell could have asked for a beam out attempt to be made. She didn't. This forces one to look at what's happened to her over the past two years. The horrible mistakes she made that did/would have cost so many lives. Ask why she joined Enterprise on what was essentially a suicide mission where there was no need for an Admiral. IMO, she was done.

2. If you watch his scenes with L'Rell carefully in Valley of Shadows, you will see a major reconciliation going on, especially once he's given back the Torchbearer sigil.

3. Well, its the last time they might ever see each other again. I've seen many TV shows and movies where this is done, but YMMV.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 10:20am (UTC -5)
@Amala

Seriously, speaking for the dead? Nimoy happily passed the Torch when Trek 2009 came along. He obviouly did not want the character to die with him. Nimoy was not as selfish as you claim him to be.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 10:27am (UTC -5)
@Midshipman Norris

My irrational human brain runs things like this

A - I like shows that offer me something useful
B - I don't watch shows that bore me
B - I like the idea of Star Trek, but as often or not its B as opposed to A
C - Does this Star Trek offer me A or B
D - If this show is Voyager or Enterprise was pretty much always B
E - If this show is TOS, Disco or post seasons 2 of TNG or DS9 the answer was mostly A
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 10:36am (UTC -5)
@Galadriel

I appreciate that I both appall you and make you envious. I do recall the ability to contain such contradictions was a human trait that often confounded Spock.

As for your research on the web, I can only conclude the likes of Midnight Edge and or Doomcock have been your sources or the sources of your sources (which I expect you aren't naming because of the ridicule that would engender your theory). And if you are going to take them as your 'sources' regarding the idea that the series changed horses in midstream this year I can only be appalled, sorry, these are the same people that stated Disco would be cancelled 2 years ago, and have repeated it every 2 to 3 months ever since among other actions that any rational mind can only see as satire.
Galadriel
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 10:56am (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi: Actually, the source was tor.com — some of the com­men­ters (who seem in­siders) drop­ped omi­nous hints (which, to be fair, I might have mis­under­stood or ex­ag­ger­ated in meaning, or they might be bogus at all). They also an­noun­ced an ar­tic­le on the pro­duc­tion history of S2 for next Fri­day, which will hope­fully solve the question. In any case, we will see. https://www.tor.com/2019/04/19/the-director-of-your-opponents-fate-star-trek-discoverys-such-sweet-sorrow-part-2/comment-page-1/#comment-800646

Your very special talent never ceases to amaze me, and I mar­vel at the mul­tip­le ex­amp­les that you give. Yet, you are right — as I told be­fore, I have al­ways been a Spock fan, and I found the level of contra­dic­tions some people can han­dle (and, in­deed, con­sider nor­mal) far too much for my own ganglia.

In any case, I am happy you could put your unique talent to pro­fes­sio­nal use as ghost­writer. I did so too, becoming scientist.
Mertov
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 11:02am (UTC -5)
I skimmed over the comments, did not read all.

- "how the hell can they ERASE the whole Discovery from the existence?"
- "So every Klingon and Kelpian (and Harry Mudd!) etc etc etc involved in the events of the past two seasons will also agree to NEVER speak of Burnham and Discovery and the spore drive etc EVER AGAIN?! How, when, where, why???"

I'm sorry, what? Where on earth did you come up with these?

Spock says to the interrogating Starfleet dude at the end that "All officers remaining with knowledge of these events..." --- as in the mission in Season 2, and he is obviously talking about Pike, him, Number One, and the part of the crew in Enteprise who know what happened when he says the above and not the entire species. What he says is not implausible at all and has nothing to do with "erasing Discovery out of existence." Wow..

--

Apparently someone complained that only female characters get to solve problems he is sick of it?
First of all, it's not exactly true, the two captains of the ship in the finale are male, along with Spock. But, if it were true, I'd be glad to see it, after a lifetime of watching and reading male characters portrayed as heros and "grand saviors of all" in the overwhelming majority of films and literature while poor damsels in distress must be 'gentlemanly guided' by them.
Mertov
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 11:14am (UTC -5)
Alan Roi,

Thanks for the answers.

1) You are right in that Tilly says "some of the people" joining her cannot be there in the corridor because they are busy working on other things, so yes, it is technically plausible. But, I just did not think she meant the rest of the crew (although we are not sure of the numbers either)

2 and 3) I can't buy it, sorry.

4) Yes, many films do this, it's true (and even other Trek shows may have done it once or twice). Still, it's bad writing.
Greg M
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 11:23am (UTC -5)
That finale was something else. It was full of action, but on thinking about it more, it kind of angers me.

I think my biggest issue with Discovery is two fold: It lacks an identity and the writers cut too many corners to give us emotional moments that are not earned.

What is Star Trek Discovery? What is it's place in the Star Trek Mythos? What I saw in Season 2 was Discovery sidelined in favor of Star Trek mysticism. Pike was great, Spock was decent, but it feels like fans are so entrenched in the original series for some reason (A series that only lasted 3 seasons, by the way) that Star Trek as a whole always has to revert back to that series. Why can't Discovery stand on it's own. Hell, we end season 2 with the Enterprise and not the Discovery. That is a big disservice to Discovery in my opinion.

You were talking about the characters in your piece and I think the character who got the shortest shrift was Paul Stamets. Stamets was a great character in season 1, going from arrogant to standing his ground against Lorca and what he has worked for. In season 2 he's just pining for Culber all year. Anthony Rapp deserves better because he's a much better actor than that.

In terms of cutting corners, look no further than Airiam's death scene. The writers take so much time writing a clip show for this character because they were too lazy to actually work on a character arc for her the prior season and a half. We were lead to believe that these characters are important, then why did the writers treat them as furniture prior to this. The same can be said for the entire secondary bridge crew. We then have scenes with these people writing letters home and it feels empty because why should I care about these people when the writers don't.

I hate how Burnham centric this show is. Everything has to revolve around her, and it makes me roll my eyes. I'm not going to get into a Mary Sue debate, but by making her the Red Angel, did the writers pretty much elevate her to a deity. Also, that story with her mom was a big waste of time. Also, can she stop crying? Every episode this season she is crying and it's ridiculous. She's the most emotionally sad character I've seen in Star Trek and she's the lead.

I hope season 3 is a reboot of the series, and this time they actually give a damn for the characters they write. I don't want Star Trek. I want Star Trek Discovery. That's what the show is called and they should be front and center. By having the final shot of the finale being the Enterprise going on it's mission, that was a spit in the face to the two seasons of Star Trek Discovery, like These are the Voyages was a spit in the face to Star Trek Enterprise (According to many in fandom).
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 11:24am (UTC -5)
@Gladriel

I will check that out next week if there is anything official about if there is any evidence presented at all or just continued rumors of the firing of the showrunners having anything to do other than their budgets going over the top and them abusing their underlings that has been officially stated and that Paradise was allowed to change anything more significant than ramping up character bits (although reaction here has been overwhelmingly angrily and negative to these inclusions) and/or minor tweaks to where the season was already going.
Other Robert
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
Did not purchase this season, feel like I got the same amount of entertainment just reading here and spent 14 less hours in the process, thanks everybody.
Galadriel
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
@Mertov: “Wow, almost 200 comments in little less than three days since the finale aired? I bet about a 100 were by about 6-7 commenters”

At present, it is 206 comments by 71 authors, the most prolific of which are Alan Roi (23), Booming (17), Artymiss (11), Tim C (7), Boura (7), Chrome (6), axiom (6), Trent (5), Quincy (5), OmicronThetaDeltaPhi (5), Daya (5), wolfstar (4), Kinematic (4), Galadriel (4), Cody B (4), Brian Lear (4). The top 7 commenters amount to 80 posts.
Kinematic
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
@Other Robert

In the interest of giving you your money's worth of entertainment here I present this:

Michael the red winged angel
Was on Star Trek Discovery
Spock never talks about her
Her story was a butchery
All of the Star Trek fandom
Laugh and call it STD
The actors can't give away
Their autographs or pics for free
Because one coke-fueled studio suit named Kurtzman came to say,
"Sonequa, your performance stinks,"
"But I don't care what viewers think!"
'Cause all of the market research
Said fans were desperate as dogs in heat
But Michael's so nauseating
The network writes it off their balance sheet!
Booming
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
@Galadriel
Ok ok, but most of my comments are pretty short.
Once it was just Hahahaha. I demand a recount!
Artymiss
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
@Galadrial
One comment by one poster may very well be the same length as all my shortish comments combined! I think you need to go by word length! Or you could use a ruler and measure each comment... :D
Artymiss
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 2:29pm (UTC -5)
@Greg M
Agree re Stamets. This has been a disappointment for me this season. He was a major character in season 1 but in season 2 was very under utilised. If I was Rapp I'd be fed up. As we've lost several characters hopefully there will be space in season 3 to make better use of Stamets.
Mertov
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 2:29pm (UTC -5)
"The actors can't give away
Their autographs or pics for free
Because one coke-fueled studio suit named Kurtzman came to say,
"Sonequa, your performance stinks,"
"But I don't care what viewers think!"
'Cause all of the market research
Said fans were desperate as dogs in heat"

What a distasteful piece of writing. Did you expect the actors to give away pictures and autographs for free? Your hatred of Kurtzman has obviously blinded you since he has nothing to do with that. Just recently, at a convention, I spent close to $200 for pictures and autographs with William Shatner, Robert Duncan McNeill, and Dwight Schultz. But yeah, they should give them away for free because... Kurtzman..
Mertov
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 2:36pm (UTC -5)
Booming, I laughed hard at your "recount" post, good one, and thanks for brightening up the day :))).
Galadriel, I am getting up there too, joining the trend :)
Galadriel
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Sorry Booming and Artymiss, your excessve feature requests are unfeasible. I just piped the HTML file through a pipe that counts the number of posting head lines and reformats it properly. Your desired weighting by posting length would require much more extensive work.

wget -O - https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-dsc/s2/such-sweet-sorrow-2.php | grep -i view.all.com | cut -d\" -f6 | cut -d' ' -f5- | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr | sed -e 's/^ *//' -e 's/\([^ ]*\) \(.*\)/\2 (\1)/' -e 's/$/, /' | xargs | sed 's/, *$/./'
Lee
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 3:22pm (UTC -5)
Did anyone else notice that almost perfect lift from dialogue in Star Trek (2009) from the USS Kelvin battle? One female officer on the Kelvin mentions "Life support failing on decks seven and thirteen" and then George Kirk mentions something along the lines of "Shields at eleven percent and dropping, ten percent...we're at nine."
These lines are repeated exactly at around 25:00 by Detmer and Owosekun.
Thought I'd heard that somewhere before!
Lee
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 3:26pm (UTC -5)
....following my post above, then Saru even says "All remaining power to forward shields." This was said by captain Robau.
Al
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 4:23pm (UTC -5)
Stamets/Control is neutralized - so why bother to carry on through the wormhole?

People are risking their lives all around us so as to make time for the 'Red Angel' to complete it's mission. So seems like the ideal time for us to have a little chat about how much we like eachother.

And who shall we send to diffuse the bloody great bomb sticking through the ship? Somebody from the weapons department? An informed member of the engineering crew? Nope - let's have the most senior ranking officer available - obvious really.

And then let's all pretend none of this ever happened.

I've enjoyed quite a lot of this second season but this final episode did get a bit silly for me.
Dom
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 4:30pm (UTC -5)
Here's a good review of Season 2 of Discovery that puts to words the frustration many of us feel:

https://theculturalconversation.com/2019/04/21/oh-brother-star-trek-discovery-season-2/
Baron Samedi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
@Dom - that article was a great read, thanks for posting it.
Greg M
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 5:00pm (UTC -5)
@Dom

When I wrote my post it was referring to the article you posted, as I replied to him in a Facebook group. That’s where the whole character paragraph comes from. It was a great read.
Bold Helmsman
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 5:06pm (UTC -5)
@OmnicronThetaDeltaPhi

...Or

Premise A:I liked (previous) Star Trek
Premise B: I don't like Star Trek Discovery

That's it. No need for a corollary. Despite whatever you think, Star Trek Discovery is Star Trek. All the gatekeeping in the world can't change that.
SlackerInc
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
I was, as I say, shocked by how much I liked this episode. But I have to just massively roll my eyes at the claim that this series is too sophisticated for many fans to get it. To the contrary: I have four kids and am intimately acquainted with children’s programming, and this show very often tends toward the cliched, overwrought, subtle-as-a-hammer approach those kinds of shows use.

@OTDP: What are “fan film guidelines”?
Luis Dantas
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 6:25pm (UTC -5)
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.
Kinematic
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
@Mertov

I'm not saying actors should give away autographs for free. That stanza is a reference to the notorious photo of Jeffrey Combs and Anthony Rapp offering autographs side by side at a con. Combs, who played a side character on DS9 over 20 years ago, had a line of people for his autograph stretching out of the frame. Rapp, who plays a character on the currently-airing Trek series with the biggest budget ever, had no one lined up. I attribute this state of affairs to the possibly chemically affected decision-making of the showrunners.
Cody B
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 7:33pm (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roi

Bro you are trying HARD. I think you might feel hanged up on as far as me personally this is not that. There are things wrong with discovery. Period. You cannot lie and say you watched that finale and we’re excited and on a guy level thinking “this is great”. You are really laying it on thick trying to convince yourself more than us that this episode was good. And I’m not saying it’s flat out bad. If I had to describe it in one word I’d use disappointing or underwhelming
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 7:46pm (UTC -5)
@Cody B

I would only be lying if I claimed I expected you to get anything at all out of what I've written here.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 7:47pm (UTC -5)
And Cody, I mean that on a guy level.
Cody B
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 7:57pm (UTC -5)
What do TOS, TNG and ds9 have in common? Originality and not looking back. People had complaints at first but writers stuck to original characters and premises. Discovery does nothing but look back which most times usually lands on making people confused or angry. The only time it really worked was Pike and Talos. Every other time Discovery has been successful is when it’s been original. Please season three build up your original characters and concentrate on individual episodes more than big arcs. It’s not a lot to ask.
Cody B
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roi

Oh yes genius Alan roi. Everything you write is so above my head I just can’t understand it. That must be why you are a failed imaginary writer and not a real one. The lowly masses just don’t get you. Or maybe it’s because you have the talent of making everyone who reads what you write not like you. On a guy level, guy to guy, give up your fan fiction. Oh you prefer “ghostwriting”. I guess it’s called ghostwriting because the talent and chance of success is dead but you just keep on with spirit
Trent
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
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.
Dragana
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 8:57pm (UTC -5)
@Cody B
I think your comment is unnecessarily mean.
Although I agree that DSC got many flaws and is not the best it could be. It’s quite flashy, but without essence. It does have charisma though.
And it’s also tiring to convince people, that it’s not a problem of intellectual capability to understand DSC, but a problem of a not very good script. That would make a very weird exception, that this series is more complicated than every other show/book/film/art project.
Dragana
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
@Trent
Woah!!
Good point!!
But wasn’t that an anomaly an effect of a signal? Anomaly itself could’ve been linked to any place in history, not necessarily to something few weeks in future.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
@Cody B

You're funny.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 9:31pm (UTC -5)
@Trent

The thing about the Kaminar wormhole was that it didn't close properly and continued to expand in timespace long after the Red Angel was gone, until the 'time tsunami effect' disintegrated it. Likely because the operator on the suit was still learning to fine tune the suits operations.

At least that's what I take from what happened.
Cody B
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
@ Dragana

If you are referring to my comment to Alan roi read what I said to him before and how he responded. I went out to of my way to say I wasn’t trying to gang up on him and hope he didn’t think that but I thought he might be a little too defensive of discovery and unwilling to concede it’s not perfect. You can read the response he wrote to me
Cody B
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 10:20pm (UTC -5)
@ Alan roi

I typed gut level btw originally and also ‘were’ not ‘we’re’. Autocorrect is POS

I see why you thought I was dumb but you still replied aggressively
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 10:33pm (UTC -5)
@Cody B

I am sorry if you found me agressive. I don't think its very polite to call someone a liar. I think we should just agree to disagree.
Booming
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 11:35pm (UTC -5)
@Trent
That is a little confusing. Maybe binge watching the show would make it clearer. The wormholes and stuff that was all Michaels mother. Michael only created the red signals to guide the Discovery. So the probe came from where Michaels mother was. In the unchanged timeline in which control succeeded.

@Cody B
I agree with Dragana. Your comment is unnecessarily mean spirited.
In other words: Language. ;)

And even though I do not agree with Alan Rois view, his perspective on Discovery (it's braindestroyingly genius) cannot be falsified which means it could be true. If we could get somebody into Kurtzmans inner circle, maybe we could get a few answers... *oceans eleven soundtrack starts to play*
Paulus Marius Rex
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 2:22am (UTC -5)
The music mix in the credits - original Courage theme mixed with DSC theme - that put the cherry on top for me.

Season Two is a win. For all its flaws (of late, the most disappointing involving laying it on too thick with the personal goodbyes), it was much better than Season One. I'm less fussed about canon than most, but am glad to see that distraction hopefully come to an end, because with some more carefully considered writing - they're almost there. Maybe in Season Three, Discovery will find itself.
Paul M.
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 3:31am (UTC -5)
@Trent
"Can someone explain the probe encountered over Kaminar? "

Feels to me like there was some heavy behind-the-scenes rejiggering of the plotlines after the dismissal of the previous showrunners, which happened somewhere early in the season. I don't think all the pieces neatly fall in as we would like.
MadManMUC
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 3:44am (UTC -5)
@ Dom

Excellent article and, you're right, it does summarise most of my gripes regarding Discovery; although I absolutely disagree with the author's opinion that S01 was in any good good or clever in comparison with S02. It was neither. I found that — on balance — S02 had more semi-decent individual episodes than S01 did, and had (originally, until it was essentially abandoned) a more compelling premise than another damned war story.

But the point of the article remains: Kurtzman & Co firmly — and wrongly — believe that fans will accept Discovery as Trek if they throw more fan service at it, be it from sound FX from TOS films/TNG/DS9/VOY; showing us a list of Starfleet's most decorated captains; throwing Pike, Spock, and a re-designed Enterprise at us ... the list goes on and on.

That's not the point *at all* of what makes Trek feel like Trek. I truly get the impression most life-long Trekfans don't want the fan service. In fact, I remember seeing 'The Naked Now' (TNG S01E03) when I was 14 on its first run in 1987, and thinking, 'Oh, come on. Don't try to tie this in to TOS like that.' At 14, one's critical appreciation of fiction isn't at its most refined, but — even back then — I wanted TNG to stand on its own two feet and show me why I should care, on its own merits (it did, of course).

And this is what I want Discovery to do, among other things. Someone above me mentioned a bullet point wish list I articulated in the comments of 'Through the Valley of Shadows', and it bears repeating as we now wait for S03 to turn up:

[BEGIN COPY AND PASTE REPOST]

• Simplification. Stop trying to pack in A-, B-, C-, D-, E-, and F- plots into a 46-minute show. It should come as no surprise to the producers and writers that the strongest S02 episodes also followed a simple A/B-plot structure. And the more you simplify, to better you can keep internal continuity on an even keel, and the better-focused/thought-out and compelling the stories are. (I'm looking at you, Seven Signals clusterfuck);

• Trim the casting fat. Do we need Linus the Sneezing Saurian? No. Do we need Agent Mouthbreather from Qo'noS/Section 31? No. Do we need two or three baddies with their own agendas working at cross-purposes? No. What we have is a perfectly fine bridge crew/senior staff we're dying to get to know (Detmer & Co). Trekkies love bridge crews and senior staff. It's true. Please stop red-shirting them in favour of packing in two or three semi-random chumps ever week. Give them the prominence, and let us really get to know them now. Not like poor Airiam;

• Sloooooooooow down. I've nothing against a bit of action-adventure in my Trek, but really: sloooooow the fuck down. And that means: pacing, cinematography, editing. And mix it up. Again, the strongest S02 episodes were a balanced mix of world-building (such as it is), character work, plot forwarding, issues/ethics, and action;

• No more fan service. Please. I'm begging you. No. More. Fan. Service. Try to make this show stand on its own now, and not on the back of superficial fan nostalgia things.

[END COPY AND PASTE REPOST]

And to this I would also add:

• If you insist on so-called 'prestige TV' serialisation, then hire writers and producers with not only good demonstrable experience in this realm, but who also understand what makes great Trek great. Make them watch TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, and (wince) ENT. Make them understand what fans loved about all of these series and their best episodes, and incorporate those *principles* into Discovery, without either ripping off plots or picking the lowest-hanging fruit that is fan service.

For better or for worse, this eye-wateringly bad season-finale creative decision has given the producers and writers of this show a new blank slate. I really do hope they finally take full advantage of this, because I'm really looking forward to watching weekly Trek I can finally like and care about, and not roll my eyes at week to week.

I feel like I'm asking too much, though.
MadManMUC
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 3:53am (UTC -5)
Oh, and one final wish for my list:

• Enough with the 'fate of the galaxy/universe/dimension' high-stakes shit. Some of Trek's best stories have very localised stakes and conflicts, limited to a person, a ship, or a limited group of people. Having to always save the universe from some sort of existential threat gets *really* tiresome, really quickly.
Cody B
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 6:51am (UTC -5)
@ booming @ Alan roi

That’s the problem with text as well as not having to see someone in front of you when you speak. I didn’t notice my comment said ‘on a GUY level you can’t tell me your feeling was this episode was great’ when I actually typed ‘on a GUT level you can’t tell me your feeling was this episode was great’. Along with autocorrect making some unnecessary punctuation errors, Alan Roi’s reply to me made more sense after I saw what I appeared to originally write. But I didn’t know these errors existed when I first read alan’s reply and I thought he was just telling me I was dumb out of nowhere. Even though that was still an aggressive and rude to thing to say after I told him I hope he didn’t feel I was piling on and tried to be nice. But regardless, Alan I should not have told you to stop writing. It’s something you enjoy and I have no place to be telling you not to do it. Here’s some fan fiction of my own: Cody B, Booming and Alan Roi sit down after a quarrel. They give each other a hug and decide that even though they don’t agree on Discovery, they are all glad it exists. The Red Angel comes and takes the three of them to the future where they watch every future episode. The BFFs live long and prosper.
MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 7:16am (UTC -5)
I've been reading the comments on Discovery as I have watched it unfold, on and off, and thinking back, there are two major problems that seem to keep cropping up, when people are dissatisfied with this show.

First, the character of Michael Burnam, as played by Sonequa Martin-Greene.
---
Sonequa Martin-Greene may or may not be a good actress (I haven't seen her in anything else). In this show, her character comes off as robotic, forced, and not worthy of all the heaping praise and attention that she is getting from the entirety of the story. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that it's possible SMG herself despises the writing of this show, and is basically phoning it in, because she has an attitude of it being unsalvagable. I'm guessing her opinion of where the character seems like she should go, development-wise, is being paid lip service by a money-hungry Hollywood Type (not naming any names, not the least of which reasons is I don't know who's driving this thing). She is trying to do something memorable with writing that is unimpressive and uninspiring to her. If I were to hazard a guess.

The problem is that Burnham's character being the focal point of such a story basically _does_ come off as the kind of 'shoe-horning*' of a long-lost family member into an established fantasy world's setting that amateur fan-fiction does all the time, usually so that the writer themself can have an 'avatar' in the story through which they end up writing a romantic encounter with the character in the story whom has attracted their amorous urges.

That doesn't happen here, but I'm guessing some several sequences were re-written**. And yes, for those of you whom are keeping track of this comments section, the typical term for such an 'author avatar that doesn't technically belong in the setting but is forced in' is a "Mary Sue." I'm not calling Michael Burnam a Mary Sue, but I am saying that the way this story (Seasons 1 and 2 of Disco) was written raises a lot of those red flags. I am, in essence, saying that Disco comes off as amateur fan-fiction without any real direction or focus, beyond "Michael Burnham goes to SPACE and does SPACE STUFF with her stepbrother, Mr. Spock."

*A shoe-horn is a metal device which stretches out the heel of a shoe a bit, so that a person can fit their foot into a shoe which is not quite large enough for it.

**I'm kidding.
---
Secondly, there is the problem of the haphazard writing and logical inconsistencies that are being machine-gunned out of the writing room left and right.
---
Look, I am not anywhere near anal-retentive enough to sit there and say "If every detail of everyone everything is saying doesn't logically fit with every detail of everything everyone's said in every previous episode, then this is crap." That is way too extreme for me, I just want a night of entertainment once a week that takes my intelligence seriously. ST:Disco does not do that. I am not sure if ST:Disco is capable of taking anyone's intelligence seriously.

The two words which best seem to describe its attitude towards continuity are "who" and "cares." (note: I care, Disco.) ST:Disco wants you to turn off your brain, stop thinking about things, and just watch the show as it is fed to you on a spoon, seemingly being buzzed through the air by a Hollywood Studio Suit making biplane propeller noises. I am insulted. I haven't got a clue why they think this is going to help build the brand's reputation.

I really feel like the two problems here are related. Michael Burnham is a weak character, being written transparently as this Great Unsung Federation Hero Who Is Big Surprise Spock's Stepsister. Such a weakness (having a weak piece of writing at the center) sucks everyone's enthusiasm for keeping the integrity of the storytelling intact right out the nearest airlock.

Intellectual interest in intricate storytelling seems all but extinct from the Star Trek Writer's Room. I am not saying they aren't any good at writing (to be honest they'd have to be pretty good at it to make all this insanity seem like it fits together), I'm saying that nobody on this team is allowed to ask the question of Mr. Big Time Hollywood Guy (again not naming names) "What's the idea? How will this story be interesting? What's the draw?"

I very much sense that Star Trek's Production Team is run similarly to a Fascist Dictatorship at this point, where anyone who questions the leader is suddenly disappeared, and never heard from again, and never allowed to be mentioned again by anyone who wants to keep their situation intact.

I wouldn't take such a job, myself (to quote Gillian Taylor) "for all the tea in China."

At any rate, to conclude this, I will say that ST:Disco is a beautiful piece of tripe. Just lovely VFX, guys. Amazing action sequences, great martial arts choreography. No brain.

Whoever is driving this show, relieve them of command. Commodore Matt Decker, anyone?
Daya
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 7:40am (UTC -5)
I think no one has pointed this specific point out, so I will:

It's the serialized arc format which exacerbates the plot hole perception. I can think of TOS/TNG as a series of capsulized fantasies, and it doesn't hurt me if the logic of transporter technology, holodecks, time travel, Federation politics, or anything for that matter does not remain the same across episodes. I am willing to go with the conceit of this particular episode, to try to understand the point the particular writer is trying to make. I am reassured that there is no larger impact of the inconsistency.

There might be inconsistencies within an episode as well, but they still do not affect me so much because the entire episode is a capsule, and I am reassured that the inconsistency will not leak beyond its boundaries. In an arc format, all the inconsistencies go on piling in a single mental heap, at the end of which the perception is that of a mess.
Cody B
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 7:42am (UTC -5)
@middhipmannorris

Great comment. I agree with everything except when you said it’s run like a facist regime. What I think is happening is this strange thing in Hollywood where everyone smiles and tells everyone else how perfect they are. They fake cry after any scene that’s supposed to have any emotion. They pay each other on the back nonstop. There are no sane people who can say things arnt perfect. These people interrupt fantasyland. An example would be that recent all female oceans eleven. They remade a movie that has way too many sequels in the first place and put an all female cast in a heist movie which obviously is more of a male genre. Instead of maybe realizing the movie wasn’t a great idea from the jump, mindy kaling blames the poor box office performance on “white males”. You see, the whole time they were in a insulated bubble where they all smiled and said how perfect everyone was. And when the movie actually came down to earth and everyday people could watch, no one was interested. Discovery isn’t that extreme of an example but I think it’s similar enough.
Peter G.
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 9:58am (UTC -5)
@ Cody B,

Just a small point of interest, but:

"I agree with everything except when you said it’s run like a facist regime. What I think is happening is this strange thing in Hollywood where everyone smiles and tells everyone else how perfect they are."

What you describe sounds to me like another kind of fascist regime. More the Huxley type than the Orwell type.
Paul M.
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 10:01am (UTC -5)
I thought this season was coming along rather nicely, with its own unique voice and approach to storytelling, up until Red Angel stuff hit us full force, sometime around when Momma Burnham showed up. Since then, these last, say, 4-5 episodes were going down the drain, and quickly. The show abandoned the episodic structure of the earlier two thirds of the season and dived headlong into the narrative and character black hole that is the Control/Red Angel plot. Pathos increased exponentially, tears and fake earnestness flowed like blood at the Red Wedding, outrageous plot points started piling atop one another, and it all culminated in a gigantic space battle that was, like any Michael Bay movie, at the same time a marvel of technical expertise and a textbook example of style without substance or character.

Even upon rewatch, I am still not sure which pew-pew beams are supposed to hit Discovery and Enterprise and which ones are actually fired by the two ships. There is no strategy or tactics to the battle, just thousands of light pixels exploding everywhere. Compare this to any of BSG space battles, which were done on a vastly smaller budget. BSG also had a lot of smaller craft flying around, it had that awesome looking flak barrier that seemed to be present around Big-E and Disco as well -- but there is no comparison. BSG battles were masterpieces of pacing, action, storytelling, and character beats. This thing... ugh.

And that ending, sweet Roberta, that ending. For months Kurtzman had been all around the various media outlets, talking about how the ending will explain any and all canon inconsistencies (which -- canon, I mean -- is rather low on my list of priorities, so I never exactly needed an explanation, but fine, whatever). The explanation: they swore never to talk about it. And Starfleet apparently abandoned perfectly workable and reliable technology like, oh I don't know, spore drive and time travel because, hey, why not? There may be some bad guys who could misuse it, so let's pretend it doesn't exist.

Though, why stop there? I vote for the retirement of antimatter energy production and transporters! They could be abused in a million ways. Oh, and a note to the future Federation engineers: DO NOT DESIGN HOLODECKS!!! Those damn things abuse themselves all the time, not to mention that they seem intent on creating self-aware AIs every now and then. It's only a matter of time before a 20th century afficionado embarks on a Terminator-style holo-adventure with a sentient Arnold replica, and the future is screwed. You were warned. Arnold did say he'd be back.

On a side note: after all is said done, what was with all those strange Borg callbacks that amounted to nothing? Sentient fusing of organic and artificial, green nano-technology injected into the body that assimilates the host (kinda), "struggle is pointless"... What the hell was all that? It's way too reminiscent of the established Borg lore to be a mere coincidence... yet that's exactly what it seems to be from an in-universe standpoint.
wolfstar
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 10:08am (UTC -5)
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.
Peter G.
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 10:24am (UTC -5)
@ wolfstar,

"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."

It's funny, but what you describe sounds exactly like what the hacks Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert did to Frank Herbert's Dune series. Essentially they made the claim that they were writing prequels and sequels "in line with canon" in which they proceeded to invent new characters and storylines, illogically plugging them into the middle of Frank's stories, more or less contradicting his entire world-building and even his themes. And they did it in just this way - by making some robotic grand villain in a series that's not about villains (same as Trek!) and by retconning in their own made-up character to be the savior of the original book series that we 'mysteriously' had never heard about (The Oracle). It was even to the point of inventing various characters who magically were related to characters we loved from the originals, and making the new made-up characters the real lynchpins of the story. Kurtzman sounds like he's done just this, even to the season-in-progress as you describe it. I don't know if your analysis is accurate, but it immediately reminded me of what happend to the Dune series.
Kinematic
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 10:34am (UTC -5)
@Paul M.

I have a feeling there was originally a plan to make Control the origin of the Borg but Michelle Paradise or someone told the showrunners how much that would piss fans off. It would certainly be in keeping with their habit of gratuitous fan (dis)service.

@wolfstar

I wonder if the faith/science storyline was nixed because they thought Trek fans had no taste for religious themes, because they were worried about offending people or what. Be interesting to see if any insider stories leak out.

One more thing... Leland/Control was killed using magnetism. Another Control drone was killed in that same way. Would master strategist Control really not modify the nanites to be give them some degree of resistance to magnets after the first incident?

I wonder if Leland wasn't really trying his hardest to escape from the spore drive chamber. In their attempt to escape Control, the Discovery ended up jumping into the future with a load of Control nanites on board; are they sure that every one of them is dead? Maybe after Leland's "death" the Control ships stopped because their role was finished. Maybe Control committed the "error" of gloating to Georgiou while in a precarious position on purpose.

That's what I would expect from the intellect of a strategic AI, not so much from the intellects in the Disco writing room.
Booming
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 10:43am (UTC -5)
@Cody B.
I find the use of the term fascist dictatorship very hyperbolic and it actually diminishes the rest of your argument. In Nazi Germany you didn't lose your job and be shunned by a small group of film execs if you did something undesirable. You were either because of group adherence or because aspect of your persona deemed undesirable and in Nazi Germany that meant death often preceded by torture and horrible labor. And I think your comment is in especially bad taste considering that Kurtzman is of Jewish descent. There is a good chance (Kurtzman sounds very German; Kurtzman=small man) that relatives of him were killed by a fascist dictatorship.

I'm not saying that you are a bad person because you wrote it or that you had any bad intentions and I know that we all have the tendency to let emotions get the better of us but I think it is a very, very poor choice of words.
Paul M.
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 10:49am (UTC -5)
Let's hope Michelle makes a better showrunner. She doesn't exactly have much experience, but at least she *is* primarily a writer. Kurtzman, on the other hand, has only a couple writing credits in this century and around one million producer credits. At this very moment the guy is producing 5 movies and several TV shows. How anyone can accomplish that in addition to writing, editing, showrunning, and directing is beyond me.
Mertov
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 10:53am (UTC -5)
"That’s the problem with text as well as not having to see someone in front of you when you speak."
Cody, you are right and your post with the above quote was very warming to read. As for your fan-fiction proposal sounds great, I'd gladly volunteer to participate myself :)

Paulus Marius Rex, yes, I forgot about the end credits, I really enjoyed the music too, good reminder.

Daya, that was pointed out in earlier episodes' comments by a few if I remember correctly, but certainly needs reminding because it's a valid point.

Paul M, about your last paragraph, I never expected the Borg to appear (and thank heavens they didn't), but I can totally see why all those little clues may have geared people toward that thought. I also agree with your first paragraph about the first portion of the season.
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 11:55am (UTC -5)
@Daya

In addition to the arc there's also style to be considered as well. Discovery is not closer to Versian/Golden Age Science Fiction like most fans see Star Trek as being supposed to be. Its more Wellsian /New Wave science fiction which causes a lot of consternation as such differences caused people in the past.

It should be noted that Verne hated Wells stories and called them fantasies. And Golden Age scifi readers had a lot of distaste for New Wave science fiction because the stories were no longer about the idea with characters hung on it to help explain the idea, it was about people living in scifi worlds where such ideas existed and how they went about their business.

Compare 20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea to War of the Worlds. Compare Arthur C. Clark's A Fall of Moondust or Larry Niven's Ringworld to Roger Zelazny's The Dream Master or Sam Delaney's Nova. All still science fiction, but in many ways as different to each other as Disco is written when compared to TNG.
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
Omicron... brought this up in the recent Orville discussion, and I think its also worth thinking about with regards to Discovery's time travel issues this year as well when referring to a whole number of things:

"BTW real quantum physics seems to suggest that "predestination" is Nature's preferred modus operandi. Creating a divergent timeline would require the "parallel universes" (in reality: perpendicular quantum states) to interact with one other. When we calculate the actual probability of such a thing happening (at least on a macroscopic scale) we usually get zero.

Of-course since no person has ever actually travelled through time yet, we don't know how difficult (or even if it is possible) to override this natural tendency for consistency."
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 12:05pm (UTC -5)
@Cody B

I accept your ultimate effort in the spirit it was intended. I have to decline, however, on one point of honesty. I do not write fanfiction.
Peter G.
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 12:07pm (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roi,

Is this quote yours, or are you quoting someone else:

""BTW real quantum physics seems to suggest that "predestination" is Nature's preferred modus operandi. Creating a divergent timeline would require the "parallel universes" (in reality: perpendicular quantum states) to interact with one other. When we calculate the actual probability of such a thing happening (at least on a macroscopic scale) we usually get zero.

Of-course since no person has ever actually travelled through time yet, we don't know how difficult (or even if it is possible) to override this natural tendency for consistency.""

Because whoever said this, I must immediately correct the error for any readers: quantum physics has literally nothing to say about predestination, for or against. There are various theories out there that try to explain the *data* of quantum experiments, and no mainstream theories would ever dare make statements about predestination. There are no doubt tons of various theories out there, including ones about a completely mechanistic universe, ones where events at the quantum scale are truly random, ones involving the many-worlds theory, and so forth, but no data or any other accepted paradigm has made declarative statements about causality. How can they, when physics hasn't even begun to solve what time is?
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 12:44pm (UTC -5)
As I pointed Out it was Omicron on the recent Orville discussion.
Daya
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 1:03pm (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi:

I think that was a wonderful exposition (Verne vs Wells). Thanks.

So let us say there is a club of Golden Age (Vernian) sci-fi aficionados. Their club would be all about debate. Debating the philosophical implications of each scenario, the choices made by the characters, etc. Now they are introduced to Wellsian sci-fi. They just do not know how to engage with it, because the story seems impervious to their usual mode of engagement. In fact, they will think there is nothing here to engage with. Maybe this will enrage them and they will turn their sharpened debating skills against those who in their mind are replacing their favorite pass-time with "all this mindless tripe".

But then, what is the correct way of engaging with this new mode of entertainment? There are no philosophical discussions to be had. And there is no way to even try to be objective about emotions, feelings, beauty, aesthetics, etc. So does one describe one's subjective impressions about such things and leave it at that? Doesn't one even attempt reconciliation between various points of view? Is there no constructive debate to be had? Let me know what you think about how a group of individuals can communally engage fruitfully with this form of art.
Peter G.
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roi,

"As I pointed Out it was Omicron on the recent Orville discussion."

Ok thanks. I don't follow those discussions so I wasn't sure.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 2:09pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

It looks like some people here (including you) completely misunderstood what I meant by "predestination".

I wasn't refering to some obscure philosophical statement about destiny or about the nature of causality. I was refering to the famous "predestination paradox" (which isn't really a logical paradox at all): A time loop where an event ends up causing itself.

The context of my post was last week's Orville episode and the question of whether time travelling into the past would be likely to accidently change the future. In other words, my post tackled the question of which time travel mechanism is more likely: predestination (i.e. self-consistent time loop) or a divergent timeline (i.e. moving from one branch to another on the multiverse).

And the answer I gave was that predestination is more likely, because what sci fi fans call "parallel worlds" (in reality: quantum states which are orthogonal to one another) don't normally interact with one another on a macroscopic scale.

This isn't just speculation or philosophizing. Among other things, this is the reason why creating efficient quantum computers is so difficult. Quantum computers rely on "working in many worlds" simultaneously, which is a surprisingly tricky proposition.

This lack of interaction is also why we have so many different "quantum mechanics interpretations" in the first place. When the interactions with something prove elusive, it's only natural that a multitude of theories regarding the nature of this "something" would be put forth.


Note:
The above holds regardless of the specific interpretation of quantum mechanics you pick. You can disregard the idea of "parallel worlds" but then you'll just be calling them by some other name (perhaps "elements of the universal wave function" instead "worlds").
Peter G.
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
@ Omicron,

Sorry to have butted in, then. Out of context it sounded like it meant something else.
Geekgarious
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 4:46pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G
My very first exposure to Star Wars was a book called Jedi Search. It was actually a book on tape and featured music and sound effects. As a six-year-old it was good enough to get me interested in the franchise. I reread the real book before The Force Awakens came out… Yeah, a six-year-old would pretty much be the target audience. And look who wrote it.
SlackerInc
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 5:14pm (UTC -5)
@Cody B: This white male thought "Ocean's 8" was dynamite.

@wolfstar: I think your timeline of when and how things were retconned with the new showrunner is likely about right. I think the instinct to change things was right, as those original plans were not very appealing. But he didn't do that well in making the show better, until the finale.

@Alan Roi: DISCO is New Wave SF? Ehhh...no. New Wave authors would not have approved of the space battles, the romance, the goopy love stories, the hagiography and tearful goodbyes. This take is just not even close, sorry.
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 5:59pm (UTC -5)
@Slackerinc

Go read Sam Delany's Nova or Cecillia Holland's Floating Worlds and get back to me how there aren't any space battles in them. And I can also count the number of space battles in this season of Discovery on 1 finger. And for all the war going on in season 1, the space battles were rarely the focus of the narrative.
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 6:17pm (UTC -5)
@Daya

It is difficult for people accustomed to people who's debate bread and butter is how ideas work vs how people work. And its not just the 'beauty salon' topics that you brought up, but the kind of way people disect non-genre fiction and non-genre movies. Subtext becomes important, as does psychology, anthropology, There's less debate on exactly how things would world and how implausible a piece of tech is, but more how it affects the people who use it. One might have long discussions about how the Ba'ul and Kalpians might be able to work together given what we've seen of their biologies. Or even how characters work against their archtypes. Is Pike really a good captain or does he subvert that Star Trek archtype? Or how does Burnham subvert expectations of different approaches to her character. There could be discussions over why the characters choose not to destroy the Discovery even though its technically possible and what we've seen over the two seasons that would lead to that decision or not.

But, those discussions are only possible by not dismissing large swaths of the series as 'bad writing' 'soap opera' (which both DS9 and Babylon 5 were accused of being) , 'mary sue' and all the hyperbole that people engage in when describing anything they don't approve of and maybe ask themselves why characters are doing what they are doing in stead of pronouncing that they shouldn't be making the choices they are making.
SlackerInc
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
I guess "This is Us" must be cutting-edge new wave fiction as well. ;-)
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 7:07pm (UTC -5)
@Slackerinc

Nice narrow description you have for a very broad literary movement. I, however, am not scared away when the science fiction I watch bears the slightest hint of emotion, which is why I also have enjoyed Counterpart, The Expanse, 12 Monkeys, Killyjoys, Black Sails, Homeland, Atka Manniskor and many others.
SlackerInc
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 7:13pm (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi: I would love it if DISCO showed "the slightest hint of emotion", rather than bolded, underlined, OTT melodramatic emotion.

Of the shows you mention, I've only seen two.

"Counterpart": Really good in the first season. Blah in the second.

"Homeland": Kind of cool for an episode or two. Then it turned ludicrous. (I stopped watching after five episodes or so.
Nolan
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 7:39pm (UTC -5)
Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. I finally had a chance to catch up and basically binge watched the majority of season 2 in a day. I don't know what this was...

In the moment, this show can be very affecting and cool. Great visuals, earnest attempts at characterization/interaction, shocking revelations and twists. But overall it's just... sloppy.

This season had one goal: "Win the lost fans back" and it did it in the most hackneyed, blunt, saccharine way. I mean yes, by deciding to launch the series by saying "f-- what came before" the writers painted themselves into a corner. And clearly they heard fans when they were saying "That holographic communication shouldn't be there" and "This show shouldn't have been a prequel" but they only took all that at face value. They had a character say they hate holo communications and swear off them (not actually fixing the issue) and popped Discovery and crew into the future for flimsy reasons, solving the prequel issue without /really/ solving it. Starships still have that stupid bullseye of a window on their already bullseye of a bridge, Spock still has ANOTHER sibling he doesn't talk about, Klingons are still a convoluted mess of not looking or entirely acting as they've been established. And all the while, the series throws winks and nods at fans about the continuity they previously ignored as if to say "no, see, we appreciate what came before."

Which is not to say this Pike and what they did with him was bad, because he was really good. As are several of the other characters. I like Saru, and the thought of an alien captain is still interesting, even if they jettisoned one of the most interesting things about that dynamic - a captain with a natural instinct to flee. But that seems to be Discovey, abandon nuance and subtlety in favor of BIG MOMENTS. There were better ways to write a way to tie this show to fit with established lore, using the pieces they had. Rewrite time to fit what came before, but leave the crew aware of the change, have them travel to the future because they can't live their new lives, as it's too different. Realize Discovery was the best place and leave. Something. As it is, the writers essentially threw their hands in the air, said "f--- it" and wrote the simplest out they could. Bah.

The sad truth is, if this show wasn't Star Trek, I wouldn't mind all of this. In fact this show feels to me, in terms of tone, approach & dynamics, but not neccessarily in quality, like "Farscape" or at least what I've seen of that show so far.

The most "Star Trek" feeling episode for me this season was "New Eden" which had great stand-alone elements while still playing a part in the larger plot. But other than that, I'm still feeling like the show isn't or maybe doesn't know how to live up to the legacy it inherited. The closest I could guess is that the writers still don't know how to balance traditional Trek writing with modern TV storytelling techniques. As it's own show, with it's own feel, I think I can say I like it. But as Trek I can't help but feel it's broken, and leaves me unsatisfied so far.
Trent
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 7:59pm (UTC -5)
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.
Cody B
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 8:25pm (UTC -5)
@ Booming

I think you misunderstood or misread. The guy I was replying to compared them to fascist regime and I said I DID NOT think it was a racist regime but instead Hollywood’s cult like programming of constant praise and no one being allowed to criticize everything
Cody B
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
@ Booming

But that is a bit of PC thought policing regardless. Can Jews not be part of a facist regime? Now if anyone says someone is a racist they are being anti Semitic? I very much doubt anyone who has been a part of this thread talking about facism even made a connection to Kurtzmann and his being Jewish. It’s walking on eggshells to a sad and pathetic degree. I refuse to overthink every single thing I say. If what I say comes from an honest good hearted place and someone gets offended well all I can do is tell you that wasn’t my intention and keep it moving
Cody B
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
*racist=fascist in 3rd sentence. Autocorrect is PATHETIC. From now on I’ll proofread every single little thing
SlackerInc
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 9:17pm (UTC -5)
You don't have to use autocorrect. I have had mine turned off for literally years.
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc

Well, IMO, you've missed out. 12 Monkeys is probably the best time-travel series I've ever watched. Black Sails is a masterwork clinic on writting a narrative where every single main character is a worthy protagonist with their own opposing agenda. The Expanse is the most envelope pushing science fiction series on TV right now, but that is likely to be eclipsed when Amazon finally launches their Ian Banks Culture adaptation.
T'Pow!
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 3:27am (UTC -5)
"I will tell you there’s a good chance I’ve dealt with prejudices in life." LOL

Ok, back to Star Trek!
Brian
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 3:27am (UTC -5)
Issue: unsolvable plot problem

Answer: "let's build a time suit"

Cast members then proceed to hastily construct the single most advanced piece of technology ever developed in the history of humanity, in an hour.

Do the writers seriously believe they can get away with this? Apparently the answer is no, because POOF, it's all gone and classified. How convenient. Voyager crew managed to get transwarp working briefly, but only with some help from Borg technology, and it wasn't without problems and couldn't be relied upon. Star trek is FULL of crazy examples of humans using technology, but NEVER have I ever LAUGHED OUT LOUD at my television as i did the moment I saw the discovery crew racing to put together a....F***ing TIME SUIT! And of course it folds and unfolds like a transformer, because, ya know, it just has to, because the kids won't think its cool unless it has SUPER obviously fake animations. The show doesn't even seem REMOTELY real, AT ALL. There IS tech in Star Trek that is plausible enough to enjoy the show as if it was real, such as warp drive, holodecks, replicators, etc. But a time suit built in an hour? No.

Discovery writers:

"hmmmm, people love marvel movies....comic books...super heroes flying around in suits.....AND people seem to love star trek, time travel.....think...think....what should we do......aha.....F***ing TIME SUIT."

Genius!!
Artymiss
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 3:37am (UTC -5)
@Trent
"The idea of Culber being 'de-gayed' after his trip back from spore world is great"
Huh?! In what way is he 'de-gayed'? He just has issues with Stamets (and we don't really know what they are yet, perhaps we never will knowing these script writers) and that's not the same thing. I don't get any sense he's no longer a gay man.
Rene B.
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 4:40am (UTC -5)
I too am happy with producers' decision to pull the plug on STD. It was doomed from the beginning.
Anyway, complaining about double-digit-iq entertainment is not what I'm here for.

Since this place has become host to such a 'heated' discussion I have expanded a bit on Galadriel's work and present to you a
JavaScript based approach for minimal forum statistics. You can use the following JS-Code and simply paste it into the developer console of any of the review sites.
This should work for all episodes of all series. The script will give you a sorted list of the authors, their postcount in the current comment section and the number of characters
they have used in total. If desired, the script can be easily extended to include word-count or even average comment length.

Enjoy :)

Here are the current top-15 for this comment section:

0: {author: "Alan Roi", postCount: 36, characterCount: 19695}
1: {author: "Booming", postCount: 24, characterCount: 17488}
2: {author: "Cody B", postCount: 19, characterCount: 11283}
3: {author: "Artymiss", postCount: 14, characterCount: 4116}
4: {author: "SlackerInc", postCount: 8, characterCount: 5790}
5: {author: "Tim C", postCount: 7, characterCount: 7627}
6: {author: "Daya", postCount: 7, characterCount: 4734}
7: {author: "Boura", postCount: 7, characterCount: 2122}
8: {author: "Kinematic", postCount: 7, characterCount: 10188}
9: {author: "Peter G.", postCount: 7, characterCount: 6020}
10: {author: "Trent", postCount: 7, characterCount: 13979}
11: {author: "Chrome", postCount: 6, characterCount: 5001}
12: {author: "OmicronThetaDeltaPhi", postCount: 6, characterCount: 5778}
13: {author: "axiom", postCount: 6, characterCount: 8381}
14: {author: "Galadriel", postCount: 6, characterCount: 21624}
15: {author: "Mertov", postCount: 6, characterCount: 10632}

And here is the code:

let commentBoxes = [];
let authorsAndComments = [];
let authors = [];
let resultArr = [];
let countDic = {};

function compare(a,b) {
if (a.postCount > b.postCount) {
return -1;
}
if (a.postCount < b.postCount) {
return 1;
}
return 0;
};

commentBoxes = document.getElementsByClassName('commentbox');

for (var box of commentBoxes) {
authors.push(box.children[0].children[0].innerText);
authorsAndComments.push(
{'author': box.children[0].children[0].innerText,
"commentText" : box.children[1].innerText}
);
}

var uniqueAuthors = [...new Set(authors)]

for (var author of uniqueAuthors) {
var authorCount = 0;
var characterCount = 0;
for (var item of authorsAndComments) {
if (item.author === author) {
authorCount++;
characterCount += item.commentText.length;
}
}
countDic[author] = { "authorCount" : authorCount, "characterCount" : characterCount };
}

for (var usr in countDic) {
let userCounts = countDic[usr];
resultArr.push({
author: usr,
postCount: userCounts.authorCount,
characterCount: userCounts.characterCount
});
}

resultArr.sort(compare);
wolfstar
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 5:22am (UTC -5)
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.
MadManMUC
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 5:55am (UTC -5)
Just what the fuck is going on here, people?
Trent
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:09am (UTC -5)
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.
Artymiss
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:14am (UTC -5)
Hi @Trent

I did think the Culber Stamets split up and the changes to Culber had a great deal of dramatic potential but the writers have already botched it by having them reunited in that gooey scene before Stamets gets put into his medically induced coma!
Artymiss
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:17am (UTC -5)
Ooo @ReneB!

Thank you!
Kinematic
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:48am (UTC -5)
Culber was one of the biggest wastes of potential this season. He came back from the dead in a way which no one else has before, making him a unique being in Trek canon. He apparently felt alienated from his former life, with his body reconstructed but not the same as the original in ways he could perceive. Cruz hit it out of the park with the performance in If Memory Serves.

It could have been the start for an entire arc for the character; maybe he discovers that he has some unique form of insight that other don't because of his experience, maybe he finds he has no fear of death and feels drawn to dangerous situations. But the writers couldn't be bothered, they had their highfalutin time traveling angel story to pursue so now Culber is just Stamets' boyfriend again, and Stamets himself is also kind of a nonentity this season. "Spore drive guy" is not characterization.
Artymiss
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 7:07am (UTC -5)
@Kinematic
I agree with you 100%. This story could've played out through subsequent seasons. It's like the writers just wanted to conclude it as quickly as possible and have him reunite with Stamets as Stamets lay close to death blah blah was the easiest way. As I've mentioned before I've been disappointed by Stamets in season 2 - how come he went from a major character in season 1 (where he even got to play two versions of himself!) to this? Did the writers just get bored with the character? He was so weedy and dreary this season I'm not surprised the new Culber wanted a break from him...
Jammer
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 7:36am (UTC -5)
Okay, this unending personal argument has nothing to do with the episode and is completely out of hand. I'm going to delete it and ask that it be stopped at this point. Thanks.
Booming
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 9:26am (UTC -5)
@ Jammer
Thanks. I almost asked myself for this mess to be deleted.
Yanks
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 9:28am (UTC -5)
@ Brian

"Issue: unsolvable plot problem

Answer: "let's build a time suit"

Cast members then proceed to hastily construct the single most advanced piece of technology ever developed in the history of humanity, in an hour.

Do the writers seriously believe they can get away with this?"

Sure, why not? They had the frakin plans..... plans of a suit that worked.... they weren't deisgning the damn thing.


"Apparently the answer is no, because POOF, it's all gone and classified. How convenient. Voyager crew managed to get transwarp working briefly, but only with some help from Borg technology, and it wasn't without problems and couldn't be relied upon. Star trek is FULL of crazy examples of humans using technology, but NEVER have I ever LAUGHED OUT LOUD at my television as i did the moment I saw the discovery crew racing to put together a....F***ing TIME SUIT! And of course it folds and unfolds like a transformer, because, ya know, it just has to, because the kids won't think its cool unless it has SUPER obviously fake animations. The show doesn't even seem REMOTELY real, AT ALL. There IS tech in Star Trek that is plausible enough to enjoy the show as if it was real, such as warp drive, holodecks, replicators, etc. But a time suit built in an hour? No."

HAHA ... warp drive is plausable.... right along with transporters.... haha

"Discovery writers:

"hmmmm, people love marvel movies....comic books...super heroes flying around in suits.....AND people seem to love star trek, time travel.....think...think....what should we do......aha.....F***ing TIME SUIT."

Genius!!"

I think it was. Especially with the Enterprise time travels as a routine function in a few years.
Kinematic
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 9:49am (UTC -5)
The bigger plot hole with the time suit: why did they have to rush to build it in this episode instead of taking some time during the last episode when they were twiddling their thumbs waiting for Control's fleet to show up?
Paul G
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 10:45am (UTC -5)
Let's imagine you're doing your job as a doctor, helping someone, and 5 seconds later you're murdered.
After being miraculously brought back to life, you'd still be in shock. Mega PTSD.
Not wanting to be in the same room as someone else. Probably not wanting a boyfriend, nor friends. Just wanting to be left alone. Probably for years.....

Well, they really could have done better with Culber.
I agree with kinematic and the others on this.
Ryan Rabideau
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 11:28am (UTC -5)
Reading through these comments and such... well I'm ruminating on a couple of things...

1) Discovery has suffered by it's breakneck pace, it's lack of "substrate" character development (the bridge crew/etc.) and it's ever increasingly grandiose plot.

Perhaps... the constraint of being a prequel felt like pressure to continually keep the stakes "global". So maybe... just maybe... in season 3... being in a future where most likely the Federation is long long dead... we will see the plot's stakes being more humble... survival/getting back to their time/etc.

That would feel nice...


2) By being in a hostile future with presumably no strategic support, we see Discovery in the same position as Voyager was... but this time perhaps the authors will do a better job of showing Discovery forced to adapt, forced to do more with less... and not be able to spawn infinite numbers of spare shuttle-craft :)


3) By not showing us any of the aftermath for Discovery in the end, they cleverly positioned themselves to remove any actor from the show they'd like. Obviously it would be difficult to justify Michael or Saru... but minor characters like Reno or even Stammets can be justifiably killed off-screen as a casualty of their journey.

I'm not advocating for their removal... just saying that there are real life concerns and more than most shows... Discovery is under intense scrutiny... so being able to make some cast removals etc. for Season 3 keeps them flexible.


4) I wonder if they are learning from the Orville's moderate success. The Orville possess the relaxed "day to day" living scenes that TNG and other Treks were truly known for... if Discovery could slow down the pace JUST enough to let in more of this sort of humanizing moments, I'd really feel better about their terribly convoluted plots.
Alan Roi
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 12:17pm (UTC -5)
@Ryan Rabideau

Show A

Highly controversialnew interpretation of 50 year old IP. The Streaming service it launched enjoys subscriptions 2 years a head schedule, a situation which is strongly suggested this show is responsible for. Was renewed only half way into 2nd season. Research reveals it is one of the most talked about shows in the world. Has convinced the moneymen to bankroll at least 3 additional series based on its successful interpration of its IP.

Show 2

Pleases people nostalgic for a 30 year old show with similar characteristics. Has lost 70% of its audience over just 26 episodes. Shows with higher viewing numbers are being cancelled left and right. Even though the season has just about ended, no renewal noise even being made.

Which show would an outside observer suggests needs more to learn from the other?
Jammer
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
Without summarizing my thoughts on the creative value of either show overall (I find strengths and weaknesses for both), I'll just say that creative and commercial success are often two different things. Drawing a correlation between the two is tenuous at best. Lots of people like garbage, while many gems go unappreciated.

Also, comparing the streaming business to the traditional broadcast one is a clear case of apples and oranges.
MadManMUC
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
@ Jammer

'Without summarizing my thoughts on the creative value of either show overall (I find strengths and weaknesses for both), I'll just say that creative and commercial success are often two different things. Drawing a correlation between the two is tenuous at best. Lots of people like garbage, while many gems go unappreciated.

Also, comparing the streaming business to the traditional broadcast one is a clear case of apples and oranges. '

You, sir, are correct, which is precisely why I've avoided any comparison between the two shows. They're two very different animals, running on two diametrically opposite business models.
Trent
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 12:52pm (UTC -5)
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.
Jason R.
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
In evaulating relative "success" one also needs to consider the value of the intellectual property on which the show is based. A $500,000,000 net profit could be considered a roaring success for an unknown independent film or a cataclysmic failure for an established franchise.

Star Trek is a major established franchise with a built-in audience. That has a massive dollar value to it which sets the bar at a far higher level for "success" relative to a show like The Orville.

It's like when a baseball team pays a power hitter $20 million a year it is going to be one hell of a disappointment if he hits 250 with 25 hr 50 rbis, even if those woukd otherwise be solid offensive numbers.
Mertov
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
While it's true that just because a show has a wide audience does not necessarily mean that it's of high quality (in person A's opinion of what that is, of course), I would also not assume the other extreme, which is, that those shows garnering wide audiences and get renewed are of low-quality (again, in person A's opinion). Some 'bad' shows get renewed, but for the most part, if a show is of high quality (in storytelling and/or entertainment value, or etc.), it rarely gets canceled after or during its first season.
Booming
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 1:41pm (UTC -5)
At this point it seems pretty clear that cbs is trying to create a small screen Star Trek version of the marvel cinematic universe. Losses and missteps are to be expected. That is probably one of the main reasons why Discovery was picked up so early for season 3 and it will probably get at least 4 season no matter how it goes. It is the flagship for now. It is save until the other ST shows have gained traction/their own fan base or they abandon the project altogether.

The Orville is a passion project for one of the Fox golden boys. The problem with these shows are that they are costly from the beginning and if successful become even more costly. A show like young sheldon is very cheap compared to that and it only becomes costly if it is successful. The Orvillians should put their hopes on streaming. These companies suck up anything right now. I would be surprised if Amazon or Netflix don't bite if Fox doesn't renew it.
Hank
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Having not watched the last three episodes (besides the last five minutes of the finale), just reading the comments, I must say that it is perfectly fitting that the series writes itself out of existence. Well, not really, since the "nobody talks about it"-retcon is the weakest reset button, but ok, lets assume that everything is reset. Back in season 1 I had the hope that by the finale it would turn out that it was all just a weird dream, and we are now getting basically this. It was clear from the start of season 2 that the writers tried to retcon everything away (with characters mentioning that in-universe, for example "Remove all the holo-comunicators!"), because they really had no-where to go. They couldn't do their own thing, because their own thing sucked, and they couldn't go full-retro beceause they would have had to have a massive break in the story, plus throw away all their sets, scripts, etc. So they give us this: Kirk and Spock are where they should be, nothing what Discovery ever did matters (because nobody talks about it, so it might as well not have happened at all, which, in a funny way, proves all the people right who said this show was pointless), and the Discover herself is off in the far future - where the whole story should have taken place to begin with. This whole second season was the writers basically saying: We screwed up, we made a huge mistake, now we just pretend nothing happend.


The last five minutes of this episode could have been the beginning of Discovery (on board the Discovery, not the Enterprise), a well balanced modernized set design (could have been a little lighter still), updated uniforms, etc etc. Just imagine how fun that would have been, but alas, thats not what we got. Still, it is painful to see what could have been.
Hank
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 4:40pm (UTC -5)
Oh, just one other thing:
@Alan Roi: A show asking the viewers to fill the blanks in themselves is literally a show about plotholes... Thats what plothole means. A hole in the plot. Sure, we can come up with all kinds of answers to all kinds of questions, and we can interpret the shit out of Discovery, so that it becomes this intricate, multi-season mind bender, but then again, thats our imagination, not the show itself. Last episode you tried to explain the arrival of Sarek by pointing out that Michael contacted him in the past via time travel. Yes, that could have been. But it wasn't. Sarek followed her by Katra-Sensing. Which doesn't explain anything, because it is a temporal, not spacial problem. Yes, you are right, your explanation makes sense, and you might have come up with it in five seconds without breaking a sweat.

Everybody can do that. For example, contrary to popular belief, Burnham didn't shoot T'kuvma in a completely human emotional outburst, but because she knew that it was necessary to shoot him. Hence her completely emotionless acting in that scene. It was deliberate, because she actually recieved a message from her future self saying that it was necesarry to kick of the events that would follow from his death, because a few hundred years later, Klingons and Humans would learn to live together, but if T'kuvma lived, that would be imposible.

See? Now all of Discovery makes sense again. Except that nothing like that was shown on screen and no hint was given that it worked that way. What you are doing to make Discovery make sense it was conspiracy theorists do: Jet fuel can't melt steel beams, hence it must have been explosives, and it makes sense in-universe, because Ameirca wants to have the oil of the middle east. Expect that you don't need to melt steel beams to weaken them enough that the building collapses, so the the whole theory is not needed.

It's fine that you have fun with that. But I am tired of your constant proclamations that "everybody else is just stupid, you don't know how to HANDLE such an intriciate story, that deliberatly leaves out half the important facts so that you can come up with your own reasons, but that would require thinking, and since you all like your Star Trek to hold your hand and spell out its morals, you can not possibly comprehend Discovery, because you look at it like Verneian fiction, where the characters are in service of the technology discussed, while this is Orwellian fiction, where the implication of those technologies are discussed, but it is pointless to talk to you anyways because you dismiss the series out of hand by simply saying that its "pointless" and "stupid", because you don't dare to engage the series with intellectual honesty".

You described yourself as a writer, who loves to come up with solutions to story problems. Thats great. That explains why you have so much fun with Discovery. Because you are not watching the Discovery that we are watching, you are Watching "Alan Roi Discovery", you make your own story as you go along. And thats fine. But it does not make Discovery any less convoluted, disjointed or nonsensical.
Maverick
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 4:50pm (UTC -5)
Wow... it's been a while since i don't post anything here.
Been watching Discovery and coming here (most times a little late) to see peoples reactions and points of view on the series.
I just realized watching the last 3 episodes whats Discovery seems to be for me: It's Enterprise on steroids.
I started getting interested in trek when a was about 10 to 12 yo, thanks to my father who loved the TOS movies. After wathing all, some years later a begin watching in that order: TNG, DS9, VOY, TOS e ENT. On every single incarnation of trek, I can point my favorite episode, i remember them in detail. Same happens with the worst of every series, except Enterprise. I enjoy the show, but i've never took a single outstanding moment from that. Never had a absolute favorite or absolute worst. Everything was kind of in between. A can't remember a single episode in detail. And mind that I've just finished watching ENT about 4 years ago. Now, Discovery gave me the exactly same feeling. I just finished watching the damn thing and i can't remember any relevant detail from 5 episodes ago (I can't even remember witch was that episode). I never rush to watch the just-released episodes (I live in Brazil, and we receive them via Netflix with 1 day delay). Theres no excitement or expectations. It was just mildly entertaining. I'll admit i just love this incarnation of capt. Pike. That was the outstanding moment of the series, and i wish they could keep with the enterprise instead of following Discovery in the future. I'll also bet that they'll problably won't last more than 4 seasons, as Enterprise, because there's little "real trek" content to keep fans interested.
All that said, i still pretend to watch it till it ends, and, just as Enterprise, with just enough curiosity and wonderment to keep me going.
wolfstar
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 5:09pm (UTC -5)
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...)
Gil
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 5:19pm (UTC -5)
Hot Take #2 on “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Part II: Cry Harder”

“Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.”
Alan Roi
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 5:39pm (UTC -5)
@Hank

As I have pointed out many times, if people pay closer attention to the show they will be rewarded. Such as with the vision in pt.1 which many people didn't notice started and ended with Saru saying 'that's impossible' which a number of people here noticed once I pointed it out. And there are other actual in-episode scenes I point out that people miss and are therefore confused which I do point out. Are people stupid for missing what I catch? No, because that's not a matter of intelligence, its a matter of coping with the pace at which this show moves, or chosing to watch episodes more than once if one doesn't. Are some not paying close enough attention to catch what I do? Clearly.

Do I say everyone has to watch the show it the way I do? No. Do I say that the way I watch is for everyone. I repeatedly point out that it isn't. But as you have pointed out, and we both agree, it is a way to enjoy the show.
Alan Roi
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 5:52pm (UTC -5)
@Hank

Also, as I have read, Verne has been stated as not likeing H.G. Wells' stories because he didn't explain things Verne thought should be explained (Orwellian fiction is something else entirely and I don't think Discovery is that deconstructive of the genre, the time travel here or Federation doubespeak from the Klingon POV isn't really investigated in that much depth).

There seems to be a bit of confusion here, so I'll further elucidate:

But back to Verne vs. Wells. Verne wanted to know: How does this 'time machine' work? How does the 'Martian's Heat Ray' work? On and on, which Wells was never interested in. War of the Worlds features a central character who hardly knows what is going on, for instance, with regards to the invasion. So yes, I think there is a reasonable connection here in the differing approaches. Again, Verne most often hung characters from his ideas like a hard-science fiction writer. Wells, at least in his early career, did the reverse, like a new-wave writer. Classic vs. modern Trek has the same dichotemy, in my opinion.
Brandon Adams
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Welp, Endgame reviews are upon us, so Jammer's run out of time to keep us interested in his review. See y'all in August :P
Gil
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:17pm (UTC -5)
Hot Take #3 on “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Part II: Cry Harder”

“The Horror. The Horror.”
Boura
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:18pm (UTC -5)
@Gil

"“Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.”"

Yep. The writers even said so.
John Harmon
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:23pm (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi the season is over my dude. You're constantly replying to every negative comment about this show like it's your job.
wolfstar
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:34pm (UTC -5)
"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.
Gil
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:42pm (UTC -5)
Hot Take #4 on “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Part II: Cry Harder”

“Long live the new flesh. (gun blast)”
Alan Roi
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
@John Harmon

And you are still making comments here about my comments, because...?
Alan Roi
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 7:04pm (UTC -5)
@John Harmon

Jammer hasn't posted his review yet. How about you?
Alan Roi
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
@Wolfstar

Many people show like and dislike on principal, that is true. And it goes both ways.

But I have to ask you how does the response to her after she has her vision not make sense:

Does it really make sense to you at this point in the season that say, Pike would suddenly start rejecting Burnham's advice, especially given the consequences if she isn't wrong? Think of all the times over this season he accepted her advice. He even went so far as agree to risk killing her to attract the Red Angel. I will not suggest anyone has to, say, like Pike's decision making processs and his style as Starship Commander, that's an entirly different argument, but where is the inconsistency here in how the relationship between him and Burnham as has been constructed over the course of the season?
SlackerInc
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
I agree with Jammer that it's apples and oranges to compare streaming and broadcast. I would be curious to know what the raw numbers are of viewers for each show. I suspect they are fairly similar.

@Booming: "The Orvillians should put their hopes on streaming. These companies suck up anything right now. I would be surprised if Amazon or Netflix don't bite if Fox doesn't renew it."

I agree.

@Hank: Your 4/23 4:40 p.m. comment is made of win.

@Alan Roi: Do you believe the writers intended Burnham to be the Red Angel from the beginning? Just curious.
Daya
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 11:00pm (UTC -5)
There was a controversy last week about where Michael's vision really started. Most of us had missed the fact that it started before a single photon torpedo was fired. Hilariously, whoever edited together the recap at the beginning of this week's episode missed that fact as well, and edited it as if the shots were really fired. Go look at it and see if I'm wrong. :D

= = = =

I listened to the mixing of the Discovery theme song and Alexander Courage's TOS theme song at the end of the episode again. It is expertly done, especially given the fact that these two pieces of music do not fit together musically at all. The TOS music has to be distorted in tempo, cadence and the actual notes themselves to fit with the Discovery music. In fact, before the high-pitched soprano voice starts (a throwback to almost the same voice in the original TOS theme), it is much harder to recognize the TOS theme even exists in this mix. And it ends lamely on a half-hearted attempt at the TOS theme and gives up Discovery completely. ;)
Trent
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 6:14am (UTC -5)
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.
Mal
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 7:45am (UTC -5)
Like Season 2 of TNG, DISC also wraps up its second year with a clip show. We see Michael blast by the greatest hits of S2 one by one. Who knew Shades of Gray could ever serve as inspiration? I kid, but only slightly.

In Shades of Gray, Riker was infected by a virus and his life could only be saved by triggering past memories. In “Such Sweet Sorrow Part 2”, it is Star Trek that has been infected by the virus known as Discovery, and the franchise can only be saved by blasting that blasted ship far, far in the future and ordering everyone to never (ever, ever) speak of this drek ever again lest it drudge up painful memories of show with an insane budget for CGI, and zero budget for writers.

On the plus side, we have no SMG for the last 8 minutes of the season. Thank god for small graces.

@Trent - you’re killing it. Keep up the good work.

The comments cover a lot of ground already, but I’ll just add (since no one else has) the huge difference in the torpedo scene when Quark and James Cromwell were trying to diffuse a torpedo in DS9 (“Starship Down”) and when Number One and Admiral Cornwell try to diffuse it this week. The scene with Quark and Cromwell is grounded in their characters. Their solution (pick at random with a 50/50 chance of success) is true to Quark’s character. And the gallows humor is phenomenal: these two veteran actors really sell it.

Then take the scene with Admiral Cornwell and Number One. Do we learn anything about either woman? About who they are? Nope. Instead the writers pull Number One out, which breaks the entire flow of the scene. And then they throw Pike in (yeah, that’s the ticket, take your two senior most officers off the bridge in a time of crises, to diffuse a bomb. WTF!?!). But there is no point of Pike being there, because we learn nothing new, but just get one more iteration that Pike's timeline doesn’t end here, because Star Trek still needs a pilot Cage episode, or Discovery will never have existed. Or something.

I liked Kat. She was trained as a shrink, and her talents really were valuable. When she slept with Lorca, she quickly figured out he was a completely different man. She counselled Dr. Colbert on his impossible situation - dealing with his own death and rebirth, and with Stamets. She brokered a lasting truce between Leyland and Pike, at least until Leyland was assimilated. All great ways to demonstrate her skill and training as a shrink. You would think she and Number One would have had some interesting things to talk about before her end. Turns out the writers just don’t have any clue what the fuck they are doing.

Dr. Pelosi, could you expunge the memory of Discovery from our collective conscious? Please.
Booming
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 8:35am (UTC -5)
@ Trent
That is a little confusing but I think that the angel that Saru sees is Michael Mom. Not signal angel Michael
Daya
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 8:43am (UTC -5)
@Booming: Nope! They clearly showed Saru seeing Michael in the present episode.

@Trent: She's an angel. She just hung around.
Flarpblarp
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 9:01am (UTC -5)
This soft reboot is so bizarre... but honestly, it feels like Discovery was completely misconceived from the beginning, so maybe it's for the best.

I don't think the writers are necessarily to blame. They've demonstrated an ability to do individual episodes quite well. I suspect the development of Discovery was severely hampered by misguided executives. It's surely why it started as a prequel (marketing execs have a fondness for them as they require no pre-knowledge of a franchise, despite creating so many storytelling issues). It's surely also why Discovery has been so needlessly fast-paced and flashy. And why the Enterprise and Spock were awkwardly added in S2. And maybe it's even why it has Iron Man-like flying suits or the battles in this episode seem inspired by BSG and Star Wars (wait there are repair droids now?!).

This whole show just reeks of shitty guidance from executives - clueless and under pressure to make this a bigger mainstream hit that can launch CBS All Access. It just feels like such a weird hodgepodge... even though it sometimes has good elements, it's probably not the show anyone actually wanted to make.

The spore drive was such a conceptual mistake as well - if you can potentially go anywhere and anytime, it removes any sense of danger or progress. It was a WAY overpowered device that has had to be slowly nerfed and then discarded.

Perhaps they can still reset DIS and fix this show in season 3, but S1 and 2 will still feel like such a waste of screen time - despite isolated elements of the show being quite impressive.

The production values on this show are so amazing and some of the writers must be individually very talented, but I also wish this were a whole different show.
Booming
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 9:05am (UTC -5)
@ Daya
I think one could explain Saru seeing a red angel away as some strange editing. What one cannot explain away is that we can see Saru and his sister mirrored on Michaels helmet. So yeah, that is a mistake. Or should I say the Federation doesn't allow that we talk about it?
Trent
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 9:53am (UTC -5)
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.
Alan Roi
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 10:04am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc

If I were whoever it overseeing this show, I would want the people writing it have a show outline mapped out before they started writing the episodes, considering how much money is at stake, and how important CBSAA is.

Am I suprised at all that the RA figure who she saw in the beginning turned out to be Burnham, not in the slightest. I've seen and read a crapton of time travel stories. It's one of the major ways how they are played out.

@Flartbarp

Brian Fuller originally conceived Discovery as an anthology series set in different periods of the Federation. IMO, Discovery is just following along with the same crew.

Also, CBSAA reported that subscriptions to their service as of the beginning of this season were at numbers 2 years ahead of predictions, so regardless of your concerns, whatever their plans, they are working and even better than expected.

Also, the robots showed up last year, when the Discovery was repainted to appear like an ISS ship, but since most detractors of this show don't pay attention, its not suprising that they think they just appeared this ep. I, however, have a good memory.
Alan Roi
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 10:07am (UTC -5)
@Mal

Pike has shown a prediliction towards self-sacrifice the entire season. Of course he was going to go to the torpedo room for yet another opportunity, because that would be consistent for his character to do so.
Trent
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 10:26am (UTC -5)
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.
Booming
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 10:53am (UTC -5)
There is only one explanation.
The show is just too smart for us.

(Not too smart for me of course. I choose not to understand it.)
wolfstar
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 11:38am (UTC -5)
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.
SlackerInc
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 11:49am (UTC -5)
Anyone excited for the "lawless teens" Trek series? https://www.indiewire.com/2019/04/star-trek-animated-series-teen-nickelodeon-cbs-1202127643/ I would actually be more curious to see this than the Section 31 spinoff.

@Alan Roi: that's not an answer to my question. I wasn't asking how you would operate as a showrunner. I'm asking if you believe the writers thought Burnham was in the suit when, for instance, the angel intervened in Kaminar.

Can't you just acknowledge that they obviously changed course, probably around the time they changed showrunners, and they did a bit of a botch in their retconning? Or are you really that invested in the narrative that this show is a finely tuned clockwork?
Alan Roi
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 12:03pm (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc

You show me the interview where the writers and producers say that they did what you say and I will believe it. Is it a possibility? Sure, everything is. Do I need to believe any rumor about what is going on behind the scenes like you do? I don't.
Alan Roi
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 12:05pm (UTC -5)
@Trent

How many Red Angel Suits exist after the end of this season?
Alan Roi
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc

Oh, I give this season an 8/10. I've pointed out what people have missed and ways it can be enjoyed along with the many things other viewers have missed when they watched and noted when others were being hyperbolic. I've pointed out it isn't for everyone and why I make that assertion.
SlackerInc
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Why would the writers and showrunners openly admit this? That shouldn't be the only way you'd believe it. How about just looking at the plain evidence?

I don't think you understand that making this assumption (that they changed course and retconned) is actually a form of giving them the benefit of the doubt, at least to some degree. They could have done a better job with the retconning, but it's at least a better look for them as compared to their having planned for the Red Angel to be Burnham all along, yet being so sloppy in all the ways @Trent outlined (although a nitpick: he's right that the number of points on the map should not be seven--but it should be five, not three).
John Harmon
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
Are we actually supposed to believe this is an acceptable way to write out the spore drive? Was there any evidence that Starfleet didn't plan on implementing it in more ships? We saw in season one that Discovery wasn't the only ship working on a spore drive. Stamets got it to work.

Considering how technological progress happens in humans, when we discover a technology that irrevocably changes our society, we don't just mothball it if it seems a little dangerous. We work the problem until it's fixed.

It's entirely unbelievable that Starfleet would discard all information on this fantastic technology and never try to develop anything like it ever again even though it cuts travel time around the universe down to zero. Humans just don't work that way and technology progresses, it never regresses.
wolfstar
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
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".
Thomas
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
- Internet conspiracy theorists have come up with a way to validate my dislike for the show based on speculation and liberal interpretations of real news.
- The showrunners refuse to release potentially damaging information about their show.
- Since the showrunners don’t release news that validates my opinion, the internet conspiracies that do validate it must be correct.

Riker: What a perfectly vicious little circle.
Booming
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
Kurtzman wrote/said that it would all make sense at the end of season 2 which was obviously a typo. He meant the end of season 3.
About the spore drive. That was banned after the great fungi wars. They were never mentioned because Federation made it treason to talk about it.

It kind of makes you think. Talking about something that is true, is occasionally treason in the Federation... sort of a red flag.
Weiss
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
I am going to guess next season will be about them in the future with a tyrannical federation and trying to bring back its nobility.
MadManMUC
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
@ wolfstar

'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.'

Bingo.

Ironically: Season 3 will probably be a Voyager-like affair, with the crew of the USS Discovery looking for a way to get home to their own time. My opinion.
Hank
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi: "Also, the robots showed up last year, when the Discovery was repainted to appear like an ISS ship, but since most detractors of this show don't pay attention, its not suprising that they think they just appeared this ep. I, however, have a good memory."

Wow, aren't you just great? Jeez, man, I am awestruck by your awesomeness. Sure, you are not calling anybody stupid - just suffering from amnesia... And in all your small triumphs of justifying things you completely miss the big picture.

Regarding Verne and Orwell: You missed my point, though. I understood what you tried to convey, no elucidating necessary. Star Trek is mostly Orwellian, in that sense, anyways: It always explores the human condition, the techno-babble is just the lense through which it is viewed. But if you introduce some scientific concept, and that concept is based on real world stuff, but gets it all wrong, thats still a problem in an Orwellian type of sci-fi story.

Which leads me to my main point: You think that we do not understand Discovery because we are 1.) not paying close attention and 2.) pay too much attention to how things work instead of what they mean, which is utterly ridiculous, given that Star Trek always was about "what it all means".

"As I have pointed out many times, if people pay closer attention to the show they will be rewarded."

No they will not be. Just look at Trents observations a few posts above. Explain those, please. Or why Discovery didn't jump far enough away to charge their crystal in peace. You suggested earlier that there must be a hidden meaning behind all that, that there is a reason for Discovery to stay so close. Well, yes, there is, we need Discovery to be there so that the Big Fight can happen. But in Universe there is no reason. Disovery can jump away, charge its crystal, and, if it so pleases, then just jump back to confront control, or lure it in. There is no reason to so drastically endanger your plan that hinges on being able to jump to the future when you have magic tech at your disposal. And they didn't know that the Klingons would show up in the last moment. They didn't call in reinforcements beyond Enterprise, they didn't try to lure Control in to a trap or anything, they just sat there. Have fun trying to explain that with character motivation.

In episode three we have a prison shuttle with one guard, flying alone in deep space, and that guard leaves the shuttle and instantly dies, because there is a space storm outside. Never mind that there are no storms like that in space, that you would never have only one guard on a prisoner transport ever, or that you would not use a shuttlecraft to ferry prisoners between far away points because shuttles are slow, but how did me paying attention in any way reward me with a better experience? That whole sequence was just there so that Discovery can pick up Michael. Thats it. They needed the shuttle to have an emergency, so that they would send a distress call, and they needed the guards to be gone, so that they would not look after the prisoners on board Discovery, so that Lorca can do his shenanigans, because as we later learn, he planned to abduct Michael all along because he is the evil space wizard. So the writers went with the most obvious and most visually spectacular option to achieve that end goal: Have a space storm (because ships sink in storms, space ships sink in space storms), and have only one guard on board that commits suicide. Problem solved.

The problems begin even further back, though, because why would Star Fleet not ask what happend with Michael? She was, after all, the very first mutineer, charged with starting a war. She is, in universe, literally Hitler, as far as Star Fleet is concerned. Even the other prisoners despise her. And then nobody cares that Lorca does not send her to prison but instead makes her his defacto first officer? It's the same problem as before: The writers need Michael to be an outcast, thus, she is made out to be the worst person ever. But the writers also need her to be the main character on board a military vessel, so they ignore their previous story and just put her there. This is all a problem of excess. Everything has to be over the top. It would have been sufficient to have Michael do something that was technically correct but very harmful to many people. She is put in front of a military tribunal, and they find her innocent. But she is still known as "Michael the Killer" or something because her actions caused the death of many people, and everybody despises her. She herself is completely guilt-ridden, because what seemed like the logical choice turned out to be horrible in hindsight. (Heck, it could be something simple like her shooting Georgiou accidentally while they try to capture T'Kuvma, and she then retreats without capturing him and he is later killed when Federation reinforcements show up, completely eliminating the stupid scene where she sets her phaser to kill intentionally despite her previous objections, and yes I know, heat of the moment and all that, but that has been discused to death already) Then Lorca comes along. He already leads a black-ops ship full of shady people, who are ruthless but efficient, and he wants to have Michael Burnham. Star Fleet agrees, and she is send to the Discovery.

Now, the story does make sense and follows the exact same beats as before, but does not require you to not think about it. You do not have a prison guard so incompetent as to get (her?)self killed in the space of five minutes of screen-time. You do not send your most closely guarded prisoner with a completely inadequate shuttle, if only for the reason to save her from retribution by over-zealous Star Fleet personel.

Or what about the scene where that security chief, i forgot her name, lowers the force field and instantly gets mauled by the tardigrade? I mean, sure, over confidence is a thing, but ... thats just outright stupidity. They KNOW that phasers to not hurt that thing and they KNOW what it did to the Klingons because they SAW it earlier... but sure, just go on in... So maybe I didn't pay enough attention when it was established that she is so utterly overconfident and self absorbed that she completely ignores reality around her. But even if you could successfully make that point, you are still missing the forest for the trees. That whole scene is completely stupid. If she is so incompetent, she would not have been security chief in the first place, but if she still gets that position, that means that everybody above her is also completely clueless... It goes on and on.

Or the way that the Klingon war ended. Star Fleet: "Hurr durr, lets just threaten them with genocide, that will make them give up!" Also Star Fleet: "Lets give the detonator to that Klingon Fanatic that brought on the war in the first place and make her the new Dictator!" Also Star Fleet: "Ermagherd, we are the good guys!" Starship Troopers was right: "Violence has solved more problems in history than anything else!" What is stopping L'Rell from just resuming the war with the Federation now that she holds the controls? Nothing, really. Which makes the whole thing not only morally questionable (one could argue that extreme danger justifies extreme means to ensure survival) but also utterly pointless. The only reason that the plan works is because L'Rell does a 180 and completely goes against her character, because ... reasons.

How has it come to this, that Discovery openly advocates for violence and expects us to cheer for it? Same problem as above: Excess. Instead of having the Klingon war being hard fought but fairly even, which results in an eventual cold war because neither side can beat the other, they have the Klingons completely annihilate Star Fleet - so much so that they are literally right above earth when Discovery returns from the Mirror Universe. Once written into that corner, they can only do something crazy to pull themselves out of it - and they don't even manage it, if you pay attention....

Oh, or how Tyler shows up in the finale on the Klingon ship? Remember when he was the Arch Traitor, who killed L'Rells and Voqs Son, at least that's what the Klingons know? And revealing that thats a lie would instantly crumble L'Rells power base and lead to civil war? Yeah, now he just casually stands there and nobody bats an eye. Guess all those Klingons aboard are 100% trustworthy, and will shut up about it, just like not a single person ever mentions Spore Drives or the Red Angel ever again, because the writers need a soft reset because their story goes nowhere...

I will stop now, but I could go on and on about how paying attention does NOT lead to higher enjoyment of Discovery in the slightest.
MadManMUC
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 4:24pm (UTC -5)
@ Hank

'I could go on and on about how paying attention does NOT lead to higher enjoyment of Discovery in the slightest.'

In fact, in some cases, the opposite is true. Trying to shut your brain off and paying less attention to the flaws sometimes leads to marginally more enjoyment of Discovery ...

... until your brain switches back on, thinks about what it just saw, and effectively dry-heaves in its mouth (if it had a mouth).
Yanks
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 4:32pm (UTC -5)
@ MadManMUC

"Ironically: Season 3 will probably be a Voyager-like affair, with the crew of the USS Discovery looking for a way to get home to their own time. My opinion."

Especially since in 'Calypso' we see a crewless Discovery "awaiting orders" 1000 years in the future.
MadManMUC
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 4:35pm (UTC -5)
@ Yanks

'Especially since in 'Calypso' we see a crewless Discovery "awaiting orders" 1000 years in the future.'

Yup. And — if I recall correctly (I don't have Alan Roi's apparently flawless, god-like, photography memory) — the ship's computer states it was abandonned. For what reason(s), I suppose we'll eventually find out. So maybe the crew find their way home, but the ship doesn't.

Who knows. It probably won't make any sense when we find out.
Gil
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
Hot Take #5 on “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Part II: Cry Harder”

Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave. I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it.
John Harmon
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
I gotta agree. Paying attention does not make this show more enjoyable. You have to pay as little attention as possible to get any kind of surface level enjoyment from it.
Alan Roi
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
@Hank

Way to much there to unpack. But still on the Hitler thing with Geogiou? Seriously. We all know enough about Hitler to know that there's not enough to know about Georgiou to know, but we do know so far she isn't literally Hitler. its not even close. And the rest well, TL;dr. Brevity is the essense of wit.
wolfstar
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 6:12pm (UTC -5)
Hank was writing that about Michael, not about Mirror Georgiou. Guess your comprehension and attention to detail might not be all you proclaim...
Galadriel
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 7:10pm (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roi “We all know enough about Hitler to know that there's not enough to know about Georgiou to know, but we do know so far she isn't literally Hitler. its not even close.”

We have seen her destroying half a planet (“The Wolf Inside”, 46:20), feasting on a Kelpien (“Vaulting Ambition”, 12:50), executing her advisors (ibid., 18:10), bragging of turning Qo’noS into a blackened mass of dust (“The War Without, the War Within”, 31:42) and of blowing the Talosians and their stupid singing plants off the face of their planet (“If Memory Serves”, 51:37). Maybe I missed some.

While two genocides, a war crime and a few murders perhaps don’t yet fully qualify for the Hitler level, I am pretty sure that she has not told everything about her activities as a Mirror Universe Empress. Most likely, not even 1%.
Trent
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
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.
Jammer
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 10:31pm (UTC -5)
Review now posted.
Mertov
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 11:14pm (UTC -5)
Wonderful review Jammer. You covered just about anything there is to cover (with sane outtakes, sorely lacking in the comments' sections for me).

I am also glad to see personally that hat many of my own afterthoughts appear in your review (ex: I am also pleased with how they wrapped up the spore drive issue and Burnham, although I never bought into the "why did Spock never mention her?" question considering Spock was portrayed as a character who did not chit-vhat about his famy to anyone to begin with. Kirk and McCoy did not even know his parents until they visited the Enteprise, and nobody knew of Sybok.

Your suggestions for Season 3 are right on point. Let's expand the POV plotting indeed. Yes Sir !!!

Thanks for another season of insightful reviews.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 12:14am (UTC -5)
@Hank
"Regarding Verne and Orwell ... But if you introduce some scientific concept, and that concept is based on real world stuff, but gets it all wrong, thats still a problem in an Orwellian type of sci-fi story."

Alan Roi mentioned Wells, rather than Orwell, but this only serves to strengthen your point.

While Wells' sci fi might be a tad softer than Verne's, he still incorporated tons of science into his stories, and did it correctly. He even gave us a vivid explanation of time as a 4th dimension, a full decade before Einstein's relativity. He was also quite a world builder, and he took great care to make his worlds consistent.

So I'm not sure why some people think that bringing up Wells for the defense of Marvel-style sci fi is a good idea...
Booming
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 12:26am (UTC -5)
Sometimes I think Jammer is Control and that he? is reading my thoughts.
Great review.
Peter G.
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 1:11am (UTC -5)
Thanks for the review, Jammer. I didn't watch this season at all, but have been entertained anyhow reading the comments and your review. What I've read has made it pretty clear to me that there are certain positive and certain negative things about this season, and perhaps this show, and that the positive things are ones I don't really care about. Spectacle and grand imagery is a marvelous thing, but at this point in my life feels more often than not as just throwing money and FX at a problem. I always did enjoy Trek special effects, mind you, and so I can't claim to have no love for visual spectacle, but at the same time it's the meaning behind it that makes it exciting to me, rather than the FX in a vacuum (if you'll pardon the pun).

Crafting an entire sci-fi series around spectacle and grand ideas could sound cool on paper, and indeed on TNG there were many one-offs, especially by Braga, which were high concept and low-logic. But as a single episode we let the logic failures pass (like in TNG's Phantams, cause, you know, "mint frosting") since the novel concept is cute for 45 minutes. I don't think such things pass muster for much longer than 45 min, though, as to establish a continuity in a long-form story the literal plotting and details become more and more important in order to justify subsequent plot developments. I can imagine a 4 minute song, for instance, that sounds a little off but maybe has good lyrics and you can kind of dig it for what it is. But to base a 45 minute symphony off of a questionable musical excerpt is just digging the hole deeper out of its shortcomings.

For my part I'm grateful for all the good commentary here, and I'll keep reading the reviews and comments for their entertainment value alone, and because frankly I do sort of want to know what's going on in the Trek world even if the literal show on at present doesn't do it for me.
Startrekwatcher
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 1:25am (UTC -5)
The problem I’ve always had with Kurtzman and Abrams storytelling is they are so totally hung up on structure and cons that everything else becomes tertiary. They fixate on setting up WTF twists and reveals and intriguing mysteries early on then when it’s crunch time they always come up with something so very anti-climatic. And because everything is so interconnected the writers don’t want to show too much of their hand in service of the “a-ha” moments. That’s why so much stuff I think happens offscreen. It’s very unsatisfying

That is what I miss most about 90s Trek was that it wasn’t about the VFX or the spectacle or games. It was really about telling entertaining one-off stories that effectively utilized the 24th century and space setting TNG wisely used battles so rarely it was always a treat when they gave the audience some. And on FS9 you could easily follow the fights unlike the blur these epic battle sequences tend to be anymore these days
OmcironThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 1:28am (UTC -5)
@Jason R.
"In evaulating relative 'success' one also needs to consider the value of the intellectual property on which the show is based. A $500,000,000 net profit could be considered a roaring success for an unknown independent film or a cataclysmic failure for an established franchise.

Star Trek is a major established franchise with a built-in audience. That has a massive dollar value to it which sets the bar at a far higher level for 'success' relative to a show like The Orville."

The real question is if and how these shows are going to be remembered in the moderately far future. What impact will they have on the next generations (pun not intended).

This new kind of Star Trek may be making CBS tons of money, but will it be remembered in 30/50 years the way that TNG and TOS are remembered now? Will it inspire young people to create a better world or to pursue careers in science? Is there anything unique to this version of Star Trek, when we compare it to a dozen other money-making flashy pieces of entertainment?

I don't see it. And given the fact that the show runners obviously don't care about anything but $$$ , there's little hope of turning back the clock on this front.

The Orville, on the other hand, is a pioneering show that will be remembered for a very long time. Even if it gets canceled shortly as an individual show, it will - at least - be remembered as a proof of concept. It was the first show that dared to question the assumption that the days of optimistic thoughtful sci fi are long over.

And where the Orville went, other shows will surely follow. I'm pretty sure that in a few decades, the Orville will be remembered as the show that started this new wave of sci fi shows.

I will end with the following food for thought:

When people ask me which TV shows I'm a fan of, I no longer say Star Trek. Not out of spite, but simply because trying to explain what I mean by "Star Trek" is getting increasingly confusing. You just can't start explaining, in casual conversation, that you aren't refering to the show that's currently airing or the movies that came out in the past 10 years. Nobody is going to sit and listen to the end of such convoluted explanation.

So I say "The Orville". That's the easiest, most concise way for me to define the thing that I love in terms that non-fans would understand. It's also quickly becoming the first phrase that comes to mind, whenever I think of a hopeful future.

That, my friends, is the power of branding. And that's what CBS has lost when it insisted on Marvelizing the Star Trek franchise.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 1:31am (UTC -5)
@Booming
"Sometimes I think Jammer is Control and that he is reading my thoughts"

Remember April 1st? We all thought it was a prank, but...
Booming
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 2:04am (UTC -5)
@Omicron
Hahahaha. Now that you mention it...

I want to say though if you want to compare this new kind of Trek to something than I would compare it to the DC Universe which is mostly gloomy and depressing (wonder woman excluded). Marvel is also smarter and more positive than Discovery. Yesterday I watched infinity war because today I will watch Endgame. In infinity war there is an interesting set up that is smarter than anything I have seen so far in Discovery.

---- Spoilers for Infinity war (and probably Endgame) ----
There is a scene where Dr. Strange goes through alternate timelines to find a way to defeat Thanos. He says after 14 something million tries he has found one where they could win. Thanos shows up an they fight and it looks like they almost win but then Starlord gets emotional and everything goes to hell and they lose... or do they because almost at the end Dr. Strange says something like: "It had to happen." or maybe even something more subtle which indicates that they are still in this one reality where they could beat Thanos and that losing this fight against Thanos was part of it. That's not genius or great storytelling but it is a nice little nod to people who pay attention.

Also Marvel movies are always a little tongue in cheek and fun to watch. While I laughed quite a bit during the last few Discovery episodes it was mostly about how crazy it was and probably not intended by the writers.

PS: To the people who think that the Federation is now like "Hitler". The Federation is not totalitarian like Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia but it definitely shows some worryingly autocratic tendencies (gag orders, shadowy tribunals, pretty massive secret police). Which makes me question how the somewhat autocratic Federation of that time became the enlightened paradise it is in in TNG.

PPS: Totalitarian means that the state tries to control every aspect of life from birth to death. Star Trek examples are the Borg and the maybe the Cardassians. And about the Federation killing huge amounts of civilians. Democracies can be capable of mass murder of civilians(Hiroshima, Bengal famine) and dropping the bomb and annihilating two major cities was not even because the US was facing destruction if they didn't do it. It was a demonstration of power to force a enemy to surrender and in addition threaten a potential future enemy. Compared to that the Federation was in far more dire straits.
Luis Dantas
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 5:00am (UTC -5)
Talk about different strokes and all that. Jamahl's review makes me wonder if I was watching some other season finale.
Paul
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 5:32am (UTC -5)
One thing not mentioned that is not Star Trek was the belittling and condescending way officers spoke to each other at the start of the episode - a lazy way to create tension and urgency in the story. Sarcastic comments like ‘Are you trying to kill her?’ Have no place in ST, and typified just some of the poor universe creation in this show.

There’s a long list of what else is wrong with this ST world which is a huge shame really. I don’t think I’ll be watching season 3. However the first two seasons of both TNG and Voyager were truly awful, so maybe we could see an improvement.
James Smith
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 7:12am (UTC -5)
@Paul - people keep saying that the first two seasons of TNG were awful, as if every episode in those two seasons was. I genuinely don't think that's the case. Yes, there was some rubbish - some of it offensively bad ('Code Of Honor', 'When The Bough Breaks', 'Shades Of Gray'...). But there were stand-out episodes as well - '11001001', 'Heart Of Glory', 'Arsenal Of Freedom', 'The Measure Of A Man', 'Q Who'.

So far, in two seasons STD has produced *one* good episode of Star Trek IMO. 'An Obol For Charon' was a genuinely good Trek story fighting to get out from underneath STD. I'm sort-of amazed at how little praise that episode generates. But then maybe not, because it's emblematic of how far away my impression of STD has been compared with others. Jammer rates this episode three stars for example - I'd give it one for the VFX, half for Anson Mount doing his best with the material, and zero for quite literally everything else about it. Plot points that make no sense, scenes where characters stand around talking for ages when time really would be of the essence, SMG sliding into an abyss of poor acting choices (she really can only do one face even vaguely well, that wide-eyed look of panic)...

And the cop-out ending, desperately trying to claim that canon is now sorted because they just won't talk about the ship or crew ever again in continuity. Well I'm sorry but *fuck* whoever wrote that and thought 'yeah, that will do'. If that's any indication of how poor the writing in this series is going to continue to be then I'm out.
MadManMUC
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 7:40am (UTC -5)
@ James Smith

'[...] people keep saying that the first two seasons of TNG were awful, as if every episode in those two seasons was. I genuinely don't think that's the case.'

Agreed.

And as for Voyager S01 and 02 (referenced above), it didn't suffer from being bad, like TNG S01 did; it suffered from being bland, but largely OK, imho.
Ruth
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 7:41am (UTC -5)
Jammer, I’d just like to say thanks for all your reviews and for allowing our comments and I do hope you continue, though I wouldn’t want to pressure you.

I agree totally with your review of this episode. And though I tend to disagree as much as or maybe more than I agree with your reviews, I always enjoy reading them.
Kinematic
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 7:45am (UTC -5)
@Booming

Superhero comics and films, in particular the Marvel brand, are the absolute nadir of storytelling. There are no consequences for anything in the stories and the characters may never truly die or go through any change that can't be immediately retconned, so there can be no drama. They take place in massive shared universes where every imaginable character and story concept is clown-carred into a single setting, so there can be no stakes. If you thought Discovery was bad about constantly placing the galaxy in peril, the superhero universes are threatened with destruction and saved every other week.

Then there's the constant quips, a.k.a. bathos. All the ironic humor is intended to distract and numb the audience to the persistent failure of the movies to make sense or evoke genuine feeling. Anytime there's a plot hole or an emotional moment doesn't resonate, a character chimes in with a quip to remind us that we aren't supposed to take it seriously anyway. The use of humor in superhero movies is literally as an anti-emetic, a measure to prevent the audience from vomiting up the material due to its intense illogic.

If Discovery is patterning itself after the superhero universes, it's ensuring that this generation of Star Trek will be utterly forgotten in the future. It's like a chef imitating McDonald's; the product provides some satisfaction in the moment but leaves no lasting impression.
philadlj
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 8:15am (UTC -5)
First of all, a heartfelt thanks again for continuing to provide your incisive and enlightening reviews. To twist a phrase of the Klingons, today it is a good day to live in a world with new Star Trek on the air, even if this Trek is very different form that of our youth.

While we may not always agree on where an episode stands on a mostly arbitrary rating scale, I know you'll always intelligently argue your positions and offer insights I did not initially consider.

I also feel this was a 3 - a 3.5 or higher wasn't really possible with the way they wrote themselves into a corner. I echo your wish for more consistent showrunner situation going forward; for a show to re-invent itself every season could be innovative, but has been mostly distracting in these past two years.

It would also be advisable for the show to branch out from Micheal Burnham. Not that I dislike the character or the actor, but it's safe to say her background has been explored exhaustively. I am full of anticipation for whatever they come up with for S3 in a year or so (hopefully), and also wish (perhaps foolishly) they'll go easy on those horribly dizzying "camera spinning around a conversation" shots. We've witnessed "most is more" this season; taking the intensity of everything down a notch or two once in a while would be appreciated.
Carlos Anglada
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 8:16am (UTC -5)
I'm giving this a qualified endorsement. This is highly flawed, with plenty of logical issues that have piled up through the season — but being logically bulletproof is not the end-all and be-all. Showmanship matters, and this episode has it in spades. This is bold and powerfully executed and makes for quite the ride. And even though individual elements can be easily picked apart, I find that it's still pretty satisfying in the way it ties things together.

===

Yes. A 1,000 times yes.

I will continue to read and enjoy the reviews. However, this will probably be my last venture into the comments section. There's just too much negativity and nit-picking. It leaves a foul taste in my mouth.
Hank
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 9:12am (UTC -5)
@Omicron: Wow, didn't even notice that I wrote Orwell instead of Wells... Pretty big brainfart...

@Alan Roi: That reply was weak sauce. Also, I said "To the Federation, Burnham is literally Hitler", regarding her importance as a criminal actor, being the first mutineer, starting a war, etc. Which is obviously hyperbole, but ... since you didn't read, I won't bother anymore.

@Booming: Yes, the Federation is not really an authoritarian regime. But we don't learn very much about their inner workings, so we can not really say either way. However, everything we see makes them out to be either stupid or evil, abandoning principles at every turn while still being self-congratulatory about it. I mean, the whole Klingon War could have been averted if they just left the scene. Sure, T'Kuvma could still try to gain the support of the council by attacking some Federation outpost, but I don't see them rallying around him when the Federation backs down and he is the agressor. The whole point of the Battle of the Binary Stars was that it happened right by their ancient beacon, remove that context and T'kuvma is just a fringe extremist. T'Kuvmas point was that the Federation was expansionist, and the Federation proved him right by occupying Klingon space (even though unbeknownst to them) and sending a massive fleet to reinforce Discovery... Really, that whole stand-off was over nothing. We have seen the Federation time and time again choosing very carefully which Hill to die upon, even abandoning people for the sake of peace (that whole Cardassian Border debacle) to an expansionist regime, but now, somehow, that system in the middle of nowhere is important enough to go to war over?
Alan Roi
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 10:05am (UTC -5)
@Jammer

Since Tilly explicitely tells Michael that other crew members were busy and couldn't come to share their support and state their intentions they were coming that could include as large a swath of the crew that one can imagine, and even might include some Enterprise crew who considered a trip to the future as the ultimate 'Going where no one has gone before'.

Lorca specifically built a crew to as a loyalty first group which would stick together even if he lead them wherever he would. Its not surprising to me that the crew would continues to stick together. Its who they have demonstrated they are.

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Thanks for making me laugh:-). By and large its TOS that has been the most inspiring of all the Star Trek series. Why? It stirred the imagination of a generation to create what they saw on it. It reminded people that creating a better future takes hard work. And it pushed many envelopes that non series had dared to do before unapologetically. And it still inspires people to look forwards. And I do see Discovery as the same kind of actor, offering how we get to where we want to be and demonstrating that it is not an easy road.

TNG isn't remotely the same kind of show. IMO, it was about comforting people that there was going to be a world where all the hard work was already done.

As for The Orville (which has, from what I've been told has been dropped from the California tax credit list for S3 - maybe not gone, but looks like if there is a S3, it won't likely be filmed in CA), it will most likely be seen as a TNG knockoff and vanity project of Seth Meyers that hardly anyone under 50 was interested in watching.

It telling that Discovery is one of the world leaders in TV show internet impressions. People are talking about it. Artists are busy making vast amouts of fan art. Hardly anyone is talking about the Orville. As you show, the only way the Orville gets any attention is when fans of that show appear on discovery discussions and pontificate.

And as we speak The Picard show is being filmed, and we've been promised its not going to be just a TNG continuation. Season 3 of Disco is scheduled to start filming July 1st. Several new Star Trek shows are on the horizon. IMO, its a great time to be a Star Trek fan, possibly more than a any time in the history of the franchise. IMO, its time to look forwards not back.

@Hank

IMO, Georgiou have even a tangetial connection with a Hitler type character. One has to be an ideologue to be so, and she isn't. She harkens back to how the Klingons and Terrans were presented in TOS. As an Emperor she reminds me of a Ghengis Khan type character.

@Booming @Hank

And the Federation making mistakes, or course it does? Well, the pre-TOS Federation isn't the Federation which made treaties with Cardassia. Its 10 years removed from one of its colony governors executing half his colonists because of a food crisis and ten years ahead of drawing a line in the sand over a planet of goat herders and ready to fight an interstellar war with the Klingons, which only a civilization with superior firepower was able to force a treaty to prevent. Picard's Federation is a century in the future after all the hard work of turning the TOS Federation into the TNG Federation was ironed out.
Chrome
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 10:51am (UTC -5)
I haven't always agreed with you Jammer, but I think you got this review just right. When a TV show is so technically achieved that it can attract cinephiles on the basis of cinematography alone, that's nothing to sneeze at. I can think of some TNG and DS9 episodes with less than stellar writing (ex. "Timescape", "Blood Oath") which succeed in spite of themselves because of the charm of the actors and behind-the-scenes technical achievements. However technical achievements alone do not make a show work (look no further than "Threshold" which won an Emmy for make-up but was an utter failure in the storytelling department). You can't always win the day through panache and spectacle, so I hope the writers have learned something from this season. Indeed, there were some well-written episodes like "New Eden", "An Obol for Charon" and "Project Daedalus" which should serve as template for future good Discovery.

On a side note, Rahul deserves special credit for landing so close to Jammer's star score each episode, even if for different reasons. In large part, I noticed only a 0.5 star variance between the two reviews. Nice job, Rahul :-)
Shannon
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
Great review, Jammer! Completely agree, this episode, and the season in general, had some plot flaws and silly moments, but as a whole it was an entertaining ride that ended with an acceptable bang. I would give this finale 3.5 stars, but let's not pick nits... Looking forward to next year, and as you said, hopefully they expand the POV and move away from centering everything around Burnham... Caio.
Daya
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 12:42pm (UTC -5)
"Nits" is a unit of Shannon entropy. Either your use of nits is unwittingly cool, or you are the actual father of information theory.
Lodghed Torpedo
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Thank you for everything, Jammer. Any prospects of ever doing The OA reviews? I drank the show in my top 5 along with Lost, all of Star Trek, & Twin Peaks, and there are only 16 episodes so it wouldn't be the biggest commitment, but the sci-fi is transcendent and if not, I at least hope you watch it!

Thanks again, I love the site so much
MadManMUC
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 1:33pm (UTC -5)
Mm, for a new review project, I'd really, really, really recommend the Expanse.
Jammer
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
There are not going to be other reviewing projects. Three and a half months is about all I can manage in a year. It's not sustainable.
Booming
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
@kinematic
Don't get me wrong I think that superhero movies are not anything great when it comes to storytelling. They are what they are and we are all tired of them at this point, I guess. That is why I wanted to watch this movie (Endgame) because that is it for me. I'm done with them and Star Wars and the Star Trek movies and so on. All this childish stuff dressed up for grown ups. For a while it gave me kind of a perverse pleasure to watch them but that is over. There is only one superhero movie I genuinely liked and that was Logan.

And I'm not that hard on the Marvel movies because everybody knows what they are getting into and they are very well made visually and often have solid acting. robert downey junior for example is one of the best of his generation. Discovery on the other hand is pretty bad because I expected more but I still prefer it over Enterprise. Better crazy nonsense than bland and boring. As I said a few times season 3 is the make or break season for me. Either they give me something that I really like or I'm out.

@Hank
I must admit that my brain has mostly erased season 1 but yeah that whole conflict seemed pretty stupid

Apart from that. What a rush.
I'll be back!
no... that's not it. What is a good fade out...
Tudelu.
No.. eh. yeah

Good luck and Good night.
Rahul
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
Another great review from Jammer — but more importantly, one that I think is very fair to this episode and the issues with the series. There is no question in my mind that this is a very good episode with a shit ton of flaws but it’s about having the pros outweigh the cons and telling a good story. And that has been achieved with all the reverse engineering.

I also thought this episode could have been a series finale. Oddly enough, I watched parts of “Endgame” yesterday and feel these 2 episodes have a lot in common. They both spared no expense with the visuals but are highly flawed. Just like “Endgame” had to bring in the Borg one last time, SSS Pt. 2 had to bring in the Klingons/Kelpiens. I won’t get into the time travel analogies with Admiral Janeway/Captain Janeway vs. Burnham.

Couldn’t agree more with Jammer here:

“And that's kind of the lesson of the season, if not the series. Disappointing to middling ideas beget some truly impressive visceral experiences. Insofar that Discovery works as a piece of mainstream entertainment, it does so on those sensory terms — whereas the vision of its storytelling is less compelling because it's an exercise in mechanics rather than an engagement of ideas or philosophies. If previous Treks were about ideas, this one is about experiences. And this episode has some good ones.”

I don’t like the fact that DSC is about experiences — but isn’t that what people (stereotyping millennials here) are after these days in general? But I would hope to see more substance from DSC in Season 3. Go episodic!

And let’s face it: the writers/showrunners fucked up with the arc but they made it come good in the end and despite the flaws, this particular episode told a decent story. Now they have Burnham and Discovery where it should have been in the first place — in the distant future. And Pike/Spock can go on their not-so-merry way.

@ Chrome:

Thanks. Yes, I guess I mostly do see things the same way Jammer does (or vice-versa!). I think me and him are both impressed with DSC’s ability to generate a visceral emotion and I couldn’t really penalize any episodes (other than SSS Pt. 1) in the way some other Trek episodes deserve to get hit ratings-wise by my criteria.
Trent
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 2:23pm (UTC -5)
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?
Paul
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
@James Smith

Thanks for replying James. Ok, fair points. I'll check out those episodes again. Yes, I'm out too, but it has become a bit of a slow-motion-car-crash where you can watch to see how much damage they're going to do. So I may end up watching in the end!

You're right - the cop out ending is so lazy. What they must have decided was 'let's do whatever we want, because we can always make it classified', which goes against what us ST fans believe in. I'm surprised Jammer has swallowed this one - and again, I agree with you, 1 star episode maximum. The space battle which is so hard to understand you can actually go away from it for a while to watch two characters have a chat (and take their time about it) as nothing has changed when you get back anyway! This isn't Star Trek.

It's not clever, it's not inspirational, it's not thoughtful, it's not insightful, it's not full of characters you care about and it doesn't make you wish you were on that ship. Because if you were, you'd spend your days getting interrupted by Burnham or her not doing what you just told her to do.

TNG was all those things. Can't see Disco getting there.
wolfstar
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
@Lodged Torpedo – I adore The OA too. I think it's my favourite TV show since DS9.
Matt
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
I wish I could feel like they reverted everything back to canon, but it seems like there are still so many loose ends. The spore drive may be classified as far as Starfleet goes, but Discovery presented the mycelial network as basically the fundamental, foundational structure of the universe, with properties beyond just space travel.

Even if they classified all knowledge of the network (which would mean an incredible loss to science, at least as far as the Federation is concerned) surely others will discover it. Someone would've figured out e=mc2 even if Einstein had never been born.

Plus:

Harry Mudd knows about the mycelial network and the spore drive.

I think the Klingons also know about the mycelial network and the spore drive.

The whole Mirror Universe knows about the mycelial network and the spore drive. The Terran Empire owes its reign of terror to using the network as a power source. Yet when we return to the MU it's never mentioned.

Don't Starfleet and Spock know about the MU, thanks to the misadventures of Lorca? But when the Enterprise visits the MU a few years from now, everyone treats it as a new thing. And Spock knew the mycelial network can offer a way in and out of the MU. In "Mirror, Mirror" is he playing dumb the whole time?
Mertov
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 7:43pm (UTC -5)
About the blast door..
Enterprise is armored with blast doors, but when the photon torpedo hits it at first without detonating, they get jammed. Pike tells Amin to "lower the blast shields no. 5 and 2," (which leads me to believe that they have numerous blast shields positioned throughout the ship) but Lt. Amin says that only one remains functional and that the other one is jammed. Also, it makes no sense to have those blast shields in place all the time, however many there are, because it would make it strenuous for the crew to circulate around the ship, having to open and close them all the time. That part makes sense.

What doesn't make sense as I have said in my first post here (and Jammer also mentions it) is Cornwell not getting beamed away from the room. The only explanation is that she wanted to simply go out a hero? Too flimsy for me.
Brian Lear
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 9:53pm (UTC -5)
Jammer, you're awesome and I really appreciate your balanced take on things. But I feel like you rate Discovery according to a completely different set of criteria. You were extremely tough on Enterprise. And Voyager. You do call out Discovery's mistakes but I don't see that ever translating into your ratings. A show that consistently displays deep logical flaws and over reliance on spectacle regularly pulls 3 star ratings and up?

If these episodes had come from any prior Star Trek series, I feel like you'd be giving them 1.5-2.5 stars max. Yet somehow, Discovery gets a huge pass and I believe the justification is that you review each show on its own merits, and there is a "4 stars for TNG" and a "4 stars for Discovery" and those may be completely different criteria. That's fine, I get that. I just feel like you were much tougher on previous Trek series than this one. You seem to call out all the mistakes, bad writing, and poor execution in your reviews, but it never seems to affect the star rating.

For example, you say this:
"Looking back at the season arc from beginning to end, you see the shortcuts the writers often took and the plot holes apparent in doing so, and few of those are mitigated with what happens in the finale. Discovery's plotting has never been iron-clad, and there's always been a tendency for the series' writers to leave big narrative gaps and expect us to fill in the ellipses with our imaginations. This creates a sense of sloppiness more than anything else, as if the writers couldn't be bothered to put in the time to create narrative clarity and credibility."

.....and.....3 stars.

So, sloppy writing, writers couldn't be bothered, plot holes left gaping open, over-reliance on spectacle, gets 3 stars.

What the hell would they have to do to get down to a 1? or a zero? Intentionally insult the audience perhaps?

:)
Uxbridge
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 10:30pm (UTC -5)
@Trent

To answer your questions.

1. Why didn’t Sarek send a Vulcan/Federation ship if he knew the location of Discovery?

Because Kevin Uxbridge forbid Sarek from doing so. Kevin wanted to see if Michael Burnham could save the universe on her own without any help. In a way, it was a test for Michael to see if she was worthy of being a Douwd.

2. If there was a communication blockout, how did Ash contact the Klingons?

Because Kevin Uxbridge realized Burnham was going to fail his test, and therefore overruled the blockout from Control, on this one instance.

@Mertov

3. Why didn’t they beam Cornwell out?

Because Kevin Uxbridge created the window on the blast door, and wanted to witness it used for it’s true purpose. If Cornwell were beamed out, then there would have been no reason for Pike to look through the window on the blast door, thereby making the window useless. Kevin could not permit this.
Daya
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 11:53pm (UTC -5)
About why Admiral Cornwall didn't transport out: the Enterprise transporter was not created for within-ship transport (i.e. site-to-site transport; ref: Day of the Dove). The Discovery had their shields up.
The Gorn
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 12:13am (UTC -5)
Thanks for the review, Jammer!
I haven't made it (yet) through the season, tried to binge-watch it, but once you have recognized all the flaws of the show, you cannot "unsee" them anymore.

For the record:
A matter-antimatter blast is between 200-380 times more powerful than a staged thermonuclear explosion (pressure gradient). It can be made smaller in scale, though. The radiation contamination/fallout would be similarly devastating.
Mitch
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 12:28am (UTC -5)
@ Brain - I wholeheartedly agree. I've been a regular follower of Jammer's site for nearly 25 years now (honestly, started back in early 1995 reading his Voyager reviews from a text-based terminal program!) and know how critical he has been in the past. His reviews always incredibly insightful, well analyzed and written, but each and every single star (even half stars!) had to be deservedly earned. No free passes. In fact there were several times I felt he scrutinized certain episodes a little TOO critically in terms of the star rating.

Best examples were TNG's "Darmok" and DS9's "Sacrifice of Angels" only getting 3 stars, when clearly they deserve 4 stars. Does anyone here, including Jammer, believe STD's "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2" is on equal footing with those? Or "If Memory Serves..." is superior to both those TNG and DS9 episodes?

I'll read the reviews, see we generally see eye to eye, but then scratch my head when I see the star rating, and think, is he even rating the same episode he just reviewed? What irks me is how TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT, TOS and TAS and others had such high standards for stars given out, and STD gets such different treatment. Like it's "special" and needs to be segregated in its own little world.

As for this particular episode, especially when I compare it to most any from TNG or DS9 era, it just screams of being intellectually bankrupt. I don't watch Trek for non-stop explosions (sparingly used, admittedly fun though), sci-fantasy, terrible acting, unrelatable cardboard characters, and piss poor writing and logic. To me this episode deserves something in the order of 1 or 1.5 stars, and that's being generous if it honestly wants to be considered official Star Trek canon.

You know, I'm looking back now not only at season 2, but the series as a whole up to this point. Dare I say it, there is not ONE SINGLE EPISODE I would actually want to sit and re-watch again. Not one s-i-n-g-l-e episode, now or any point in the future.

Even Enterprise, as much as I disliked that series, I can still think of a handful of episodes that were fun or entertaining that I could re-watch again (e.g. "Dear Doctor", "In a Mirror, Darkly"). Ditto for Voyager which has a good handful or more, despite its overall failing as a series.

At any rate, I highly respect Jammer's reviews but I'm going to have to shake my head every time I see STD getting above average to excellent star ratings (I feel the same way with the star rating for recent Star Wars films; Last Jedi 3.5 stars? Seriously? Am I missing something?). I really feel like STD caters towards the lowest-common-denominator out there, and almost feel like these star ratings are trying to cater towards them by not hurting that groups feelings. Are we not allowed to be critical anymore?
Peter G.
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 1:07am (UTC -5)
Hey everyone, let's stop reviewing Jammer's star rating. We come here for his insights and for the great forum to discuss, but hopefully not to demand that his ratings accord with ours!

If he finds merit an in imperfect product, we should only be so charitable as to try to find the good in something problematic. And there's also the matter that he points out directly, which is that while a DISC episode may fail to achieve certain criteria that TNG strove for, it may simultaneously delivery something Trek has never delivered in this manner before. *Even if* this is Marvel-style Trek (for argument's sake), it's still possible to assess how successful it is at being that. One can even go to a fast food restaurant and say it's the best one in town - even while hating fast food! I don't mean to say that DISC is fast food, but rather that there's nothing wrong with assessing a product on the merits that it strives for.
Booming
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 2:21am (UTC -5)
@Peter G.
Seconded.
I also find it odd that people give their own star ratings or write longer reviews than Jammer.
Boura
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 7:01am (UTC -5)
@Peter G

"reviewing" his star rating?

Brian and Mitch make fair points. His ratings are inconsistent with his reviews, if you compare to other Trek series.

@Mitch
"there is not ONE SINGLE EPISODE I would actually want to sit and re-watch again. Not one s-i-n-g-l-e episode, now or any point in the future."

Me neither.
JohnTY
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 7:19am (UTC -5)
Nah, I'll back @Bryan and @Mitch.

The reviews of Discovery seem at odds with the star ratings, by and large, and the bar set for other shows reviewed in the past.

But that's Jammer's prerogative.
Booming
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 8:05am (UTC -5)
Guys, what is at odds is your perception of Jammers star ratings. Oh, and this may shock you. Jammer is just a person who writes reviews and then gives a star rating based on his views and feelings about that episode. It is not a scientific system.

His ratings can't be wrong because it is just his view on the show.
Take it or leave it but please stop telling him that his star ratings are wrong.
That's like telling somebody who likes a certain kind of food that he/she actually shouldn't/couldn't like it because this person didn't like or liked another kind of food.

I find it weird that I even have to explain that.

And why would you even start writing that you think his star ratings about Discovery are wrong? Do you wan't him to change them so that the more align with your perception. Jebus help us!
Boura
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 8:24am (UTC -5)
How about you don't explain anything and let him do that himself? If you can help yourself, of course.
Yanks
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 8:36am (UTC -5)
Jammers rating system again? ..... sigh

On to this season closer....

Can't for the life of me think why they went there with those repair bot things... especially since they didn't "save the day" or something like that. We saw them and didn't see them again. They reminded me of Wall-E's girlfriend.

We did learn 1701's #1's name though!! Anyone catch it?

I enjoyed this season and this closer. I enjoyed season one, but not the closer.

Tons of "WTF's"? You bet.... but honestly, the plot holes or contrivances aren't any worse than any other trek throughout the years. Hell, canon-wise, TOS didn't respect its own canon. At least they attempted to wash the slate clean here. Like Jammers said, Discovery is more about the spectical and feel.

I'm not sure why "they" were worried about Michal Burnham's name being remembered... hell, we didn't know anything about Sybok until the movie. I had no issue with Burnham being included in canon under the same cloak.

The Spore drive to the silent network? .... no problems.

Again, the Enterprise here was just frakin awesome. Everything about it to include the BLUE PHASORS!!! It would be sad to see all this work go to waste.

This battle episode sure was busy.... but the visuals were just out of this world. I've watched it twice now and am enamored each time. I didn't know there were two of those big ass Klingon ships though.

People have issues with the glass window in the door? Really? .... that's never happened before in trek? ... come one folks... I agree with Jammer, her sacrific was done to bolster the Pike character... I'm fine with it.

It seems they break out the cheese slicer each time Georgiou has a line... now she's stuck on Discovery? ... what about the section 31 series? I personally hope they scrap that for a Pike/Enterprise series.

I liked the time travel take in this one... it actually made sense to me. there are many times TT makes my head hurt.

....but I wasn't thrilled with Michael being the end all be all once again. I was OK with her mom doing it.

Culber could have been so much more. He ended up just being the gay guy. Too bad, because Wilson Cruz is a very good actor IMO.

Tilly... I didn't mind her comment... seemed consistent with the character, and her actions spoke louder than her "Tillyness" in this one.

Over time I've come to enjoy and route for this crew (yes, even Michael). Pike was a HUGE success, so we'll see how they progress next season. Will Saru finally get the chair? I've come around to like Michael. I enjoyed the Michael/Spock storyline and thought they both played well off each other on screen. Peck was great as Spock. Romine was fantastic as #1.

When Michael was giving her last bit of advice to Spock and she said something to the effect of "find someone that's opposite of you" it seems most think it was a nod to Captain Kirk. I was thinking Dr. McCoy.

Who was the Star Fleet person conducting the interviews at the end? .... Braxton? Will Discovery become the originators of the temporal police we see in Voyager and DS9?

I think I'll bing watch this season this weekend.

Fantastic review once again Jammer. One nit-pic.... Leland coming on board was the smartest thing for him to do.... all Discovery and Enteprises efforts were centered on distroying his ship(s). The safest plave for control was on Discovery and he of course knew the sphere data was there. I thought Phillipa's solution was a good one by using Lelands tech to hide the data.

3 stars from me.
Booming
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 8:49am (UTC -5)
@ Boura
I just explained that it is nonsensical to critique a star system based on an opinion. And it is not the first time we had this discussion here.
Boura
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 8:52am (UTC -5)
Of course you can't.
Jason R.
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 9:15am (UTC -5)
Jammer does seem to have mellowed a bit over the years. It seems like his baseline centre of gravity has shifted about 1/2 a star or maybe a whole star upward.

I'm not really criticizing him, just making an observation. Not sure why that should be a taboo subject.
Peter G.
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 9:27am (UTC -5)
I wasn't suggesting a taboo, but more referring to the type of post such as "How could you give it that rating!!" or "Jammer, are you blind?!" I do enjoy the discussions where we go over disagreements about how good an episode is.
Jammer
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 9:49am (UTC -5)
The star ratings are what they are, and are explained here:

https://www.jammersreviews.com/info/ratings.php

Read the paragraph at the end. Not sure what else to say...
Chrome
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 10:39am (UTC -5)
FWIW 3 stars is like a solid B rating. If I were CBS/Netflix/Whoever spending millions on this and churning out B material, I would not be pleased. I see other contemporary shows like Riverdale regularly getting critically acclaimed as A material, and I wonder why Trek can't get the same.

In other news, it seems like DSC isn't going the "Let's try our best to get home!" route in season 3 according to an interview with Paradise:

https://trekmovie.com/2019/04/25/interview-michelle-paradise-on-star-trek-discovery-season-2-finale-and-going-beyond-canon-in-season-3/
Daya
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 2:26pm (UTC -5)
They could have tied a rope to the lever that closed the blast door and pulled on it staying on the safe side of the door.
pemensky
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
They could’ve planted a timed detonation device on The Caretaker and had it set to explode after they used it to get home. Oops, wrong show!
Macca
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 4:59pm (UTC -5)
They could have beamed away from every dangerous situation except for that pesky ion storm, cave covered with strange minerals, system lock out, forgetting about the transporters on the shuttles, bad guy taking comm badges...
Brian Lear
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 12:50am (UTC -5)
Oh I've read the stars explanation page long ago. But then, if they don't mean anything, why do you have a star rating system? Are we meant to skip 1 or 2 star episodes? Because that doesn't seem right. I always recommend people watch all of a good series, even the bad episodes.

The star system seems especially irrelevant with the new serialized format of Discovery, and that's probably all I was picking up on.

Like, are there people out there choosing which discovery episodes to watch based on how many stars Jammer doles out? :)
Daya
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 6:02am (UTC -5)
Since the corporate takeover the Jammer that you see is not the original Jammer. They try to make you believe he is the same Jammer, but the truth is that this new "Prime" Jammer is contractually bound to be "at least 25% different" than the canon Jammer. This is the reason for the shift of 1 star in a 4 star rating system. 25%.
Tim C
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 6:12am (UTC -5)
You were more charitable than I thought you'd be, Jammer! Great review.

As for my fellow Commenters. RE: star ratings, I have it on good authority that there's a review of Star Trek Nemesis on THIS VERY SITE that has a higher rating than zero minus fifty. If we're going to revolt and burn the place down over the arbitrary number system, I feel like that's rightfully the first stop, right before the Undiscovered Country review, BECAUSE WHY DIDN'T YOU GIVE IT FOUR STARS JAMMER THAT MOVIE IS PERFECT AND YOU ARE A BAD PERSON FOR NOT LIKING IT AS MUCH AS ME
SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 7:08am (UTC -5)
@Brian Lear: "Like, are there people out there choosing which discovery episodes to watch based on how many stars Jammer doles out? :)"

There is at least one. Not entirely based on that, but it was a major factor this season after I started to tire of the show a few weeks ago.

I have also used them to help me curate a VOY list to watch with my wife and daughter.

@Daya: ISWYDT :D
The Gorn
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 7:09am (UTC -5)
@ Daya

Ha ha ha, good one!
Dom
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 7:34am (UTC -5)
@Mitch, I agree, it's hard to reconcile some of Jammers star ratings in previous years with the ratings he's given Discovery. But Jammer is also a human being, one I suspect only a handful of us know in real life. People's tastes change over time, they're allowed to mellow out. I know personally just 5 years ago I thought all the Marvel superhero films were dreadfully boring. Now, I really enjoy them. Have I suspended my critical faculties? Possibly. But it's also just a function of where I am in my life. I have close friends and family who really enjoy the films, so Marvel films are more like a communal event I can share with loved ones. I can also appreciate the joys of escapist entertainment a bit more. Things within and outside me changed to change the way I view the films. I don't want to psychoanalyze Jammer, but perhaps things have changed for him as well.
Dom
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 7:43am (UTC -5)
@Peter G, I think you hit the nail on the head on how we should think about reviewing movies. After Last Jedi, a Washington Post reviewer explained her thoughts on this

"Before you review any film... ask yourself three questions: What was the artist trying to achieve? Did he or she achieve it? And was it worth doing?"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-last-jedi-backlash-provides-a-useful-primer-in-how-not-to-watch-a-movie/2018/01/04/6fa9a72c-f142-11e7-b3bf-ab90a706e175_story.html?utm_term=.04bb20aed2fd

Even after all that said, I find I still can't get on board with Discovery. But I also feel like I gave the show a chance on its own terms and didn't just hold it up against the nostalgia I have for DS9 or TNG.
JohnTY
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 7:45am (UTC -5)
@Jammer

So the first line reads "The star rating represents a general summary of my thoughts and feelings overall."

My main comment was simply that your written reviews seem, to me, quite at odds with your star ratings for this series (by and large). Maybe there's a reason for that, maybe it's an overstatement on my part.

That's my opinion. Just like reviews are an opinion..

If you like the show more than I do that's fine but if one reads the text alone I believe you'd probably assume a lower average score.

But let me be clear. I respect your insights, thoughtfulness and integrity. Your reviews are always expertly written and this is hardly a damning indictment of your work!

And yes, admittedly, I'd probably be less inclined to notice (let alone point out) any such discrepancies if my scores on this series more closely followed yours. I mean, you have an average of about 2.75/4 where I'd be closer to 1.5/4. In your words: "Poor" :)
Booming
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 8:09am (UTC -5)
Thanks Dom for writing it so I didn't have to and for all the people who think that Jammer gives too positive reviews for Discovery. Maybe think about it this way, things are really good for Jammer right now and he therefor sees things more positive in general. Wouldn't that be nice?
Mertov
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 8:47am (UTC -5)
Daya you are on a roll :))

First, a good catch with 'Day of the Dove,.'

And then, your last post about 'prime Jammer'.. Hahaha..
Dom
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 9:32am (UTC -5)
"there's always been a tendency for the series' writers to leave big narrative gaps and expect us to fill in the ellipses with our imaginations. This creates a sense of sloppiness more than anything else, as if the writers couldn't be bothered to put in the time to create narrative clarity and credibility."

Man this applies to so much writing on TV and in movies nowadays.
Chrome
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 11:25am (UTC -5)
Thanks Dom, that was a great article. I think Jammer has also mentioned numerous times that he dislikes the star system and would prefer if people just read the review (which in this case seems fairly critical to me, at least.)

And Daya thanks for reminding me to renew my Jammer Prime subscription. ;-)
Quincy
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
@wolfstar

"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."

There's a problem with this point of view. The signals were only "mapped by Starfleet" in a very general sense. Brother explicitly states that Starfleet couldn't get a definite "fix" on all seven signals. They only had generalized locations for them. The signals came and went too fast. And when they attempted to scan for a definite location their instruments went haywire. Saru speculates that they are temporal in nature and that's why they can't get a reading on them. Only the first signal's definitive location is revealed by the "stabilized" signal in that episode. Pike himself says so, as well as the Enterprise crewman that got killed. That automatically means they intended to countdown the signals one by one from the very beginning, as each location was sent a stabilized signal and triangulated.

I'm pretty sure Burnham was always supposed to be in the red suit, if for no other reason than she's always the focus of the series.

At this point, reading over some of the comments, I can see many of Alan Roi's frustrations with this board. Multiple people ask the same questions or raise the same issues that have already been answered. When they are answered, it is hardly ever acknowledged that they have been answered. For instance, with regard to the blast doors. Yes, to me, it is a stupid scene, but not for the reasons most people keep raising. Multiple people, John Harmon, Karl Zimmerman, Trent, Kinematic, raise the issue that it's somehow odd that the one torpedo didn't destroy the entire ship. To one of which, Alan makes this reply:

Alan Roi
"@Kinematic

We've seen plenty of ships in Star Trek that have been damaged by photon torpedos and are still partially intact. However Federation starships are built, its enough not to be hit by a photon torpedo and go poof."

This is only acknowledged by one person, as far as, I can see, who speculated all those ships had their shields up. This statement is demonstrably false, as this scene from Undiscovered Country indicates, where two unshielded ships take direct hits from a single photon torpedo apiece without being destroyed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg58hVEY5Og

The evidence in this movie is quite conclusive. No. One photon torpedo is not going to destroy an entire Federation level ship, even an unshielded one, unless it hits in a particularly vulnerable spot. Other than the bridge, the Federation star ship saucer section isn't a particularly vulnerable spot. We see that very clearly in the clip I posted from a universally loved Star Trek movie.

To me, the main things wrong with that scene are 1) no attempt to beam out the Admiral 2) one lever on the side most likely to trap a crewman trying to seal off a section, 3) no attempt to try one of those probe/drones used previously for repairs to trigger the blast door, and 4) Pike standing there looking retarded, instead of running for his fucking life. A single torpedo NOT destroying the entire ship is NOT one of the things wrong with that scene.

And can people please stop complaining about what are most likely transparent aluminum windows in the blast door and the spore drive chamber. You know, the same material that comprised a "60 by 10 tank" with only one inch thick walls, holding "18,000 cubic feet of water," not to mention, two full grown humpback whales. Why people thought Cyber Leland should punch through something they felt comfortable putting the Tardigrade alien in is beyond me.
Brian Lear
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 6:40pm (UTC -5)
^^^
well put but it still sounds like apologizing for a very poorly conceived scene.
Quincy
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 7:01pm (UTC -5)
Pointing out flawed arguments, while simultaneously describing how the scene is actually stupid, doesn't even rise to the level of a backhanded compliment, let alone an apology.
phaedon
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 7:23pm (UTC -5)
DISCO is a train wreck. This season was the worst, but I can't look away. I still can't figure out how they found Tig Notaro. The Sphere is the most ridiculously glossed over Macguffin of all time. All-seeing mom doesn't see the Red Angel stuck in a time loop? When Po showed up, I felt like I was watching Star Trek: NCIS. I will absolutely blow my colon if they bring Picard on for Season 3.
Tomalak
Wed, May 1, 2019, 2:41am (UTC -5)
If anyone doesn't have time to read all 200 comments, here's a short version.

Axiom: I can't believe all the reactionary misogyny around here - no one would criticise a white male character the way they attack Burnham.
Kinematic: Well, these critics tend to love DS9 with its black captain, but I'll bite... Wesley Crusher?
Axiom: OMG! What a bad faith gaslighting intellectual sin! Deeply problematic. I can't continue this discussion unless you are willing to respond in good faith.
MadManMUC
Wed, May 1, 2019, 1:41pm (UTC -5)
@ Tomalak

LOL ... yup, pretty much!
Yanks
Wed, May 1, 2019, 6:08pm (UTC -5)
@ Brian Lear

"well put but it still sounds like apologizing for a very poorly conceived scene."

I think the only thing poorly conceived is the location of the manual door lever. Put it anywhere where it appears to not be accessible and we're OK.

That said, they should have at least attempted to use the transporter.

Nice post Quincy.

For anyone.... how does on in the Alpha Quadrant see a "signal" from the Beta Quadrant? (7th signal)
Chrome
Wed, May 1, 2019, 6:22pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks

If I'm not mistaken, part of the Federation is actually located in the Beta Quadrant. Whatever the case, it appears the Federation has long range sensors and/or listening posts that detected the initial seven red bursts which were spread out among 30,000 light years (including one burst in the beta quadrant) according to "Brother".
The Gorn
Wed, May 1, 2019, 11:16pm (UTC -5)
You could be right about the Beta Quadrant. But then, large parts of the Federation were wiped out by the Kling-Orcs just the other day and NOT ONE episode is dealing with the aftermath of this supposedly catastrophic war. That's what I hate about Disgracery. It's all flash, all about Burntoast, all popcorn, no substance. Just imagine, what the DS9 or BSG writers would have done with such material. Makes your eyes water actually...
Axiom
Thu, May 2, 2019, 3:28am (UTC -5)
@Tomalak

I don’t see why you feel the need to bring this up in such a condescending way. Trolling much?

Although there were a few exceptions, several posters responded with a very typical throwaway comment. “If I don’t see the problem, it must not exist.”

If folks don’t want to engage, that’s fine. Equally, I made my point - I’m not going to belabor it alone. But thanks for mocking a serious observation and concern from a community member.

This is disappointing behavior coming from select members of a crowd that I’ve enjoyed chasing up with week after week for over a decade, but such is 2019.
Tomalak
Thu, May 2, 2019, 6:46am (UTC -5)
No, it's not trolling - I stand by my summary. It was actually you who was unwilling to engage. People made reasonable points in response to your accusations, and rather than respond you simply defined every single counter-argument they made as some kind of bad faith manoeuvre that further implicated them in their guilt. There is all the difference in the world between asking you to substantiate strong claims rather than just take them on faith on the one hand, and saying "If I don’t see the problem, it must not exist."

After reading the above, I don't understand how anyone could even disagree with your view that critics of Burnham are motivated by racism, misogyny and so on without you taking it as further proof that critics of Burnham are motivated by racism and misogyny.
Mertov
Thu, May 2, 2019, 7:07am (UTC -5)
Quite a simplification there (rather, a misrepresentation) of what was pointed out by Axiom whose point is much more nuanced than that for anyone that cares to look for it.
Jason R.
Thu, May 2, 2019, 7:09am (UTC -5)
"Although there were a few exceptions, several posters responded with a very typical throwaway comment. “If I don’t see the problem, it must not exist.”

Several people stated they disagreed with the way you characterized the posting on this forum.

If someone doesn't see a problem, then they don't see a problem. Or are you suggesting that they shouldn't trust their lying eyes?
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, May 2, 2019, 7:25am (UTC -5)
@Tomalak

That "summary" of yours refers to a tiny portion of the discussions here which:
(1) ended over a week ago.
(2) is not something most of us wants to remember anyway, given that this thread has moved on to far more respectful (and interesting) exchanges.

How about we keep that dead horse buried, where it belongs? This thread was doing so well...
Axiom
Thu, May 2, 2019, 7:37am (UTC -5)
Thanks, mertov.

@Jason R. No. Recognizing a difference of perceptions should be the starting point of discussion, not the end. “I don’t see it, so there isn’t a problem — except you” is very different from “I don’t see it, so could you help to shed some light on your perspective?”
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, May 2, 2019, 8:00am (UTC -5)
@Brian Lear
"Jammer, you're awesome and I really appreciate your balanced take on things. But I feel like you rate Discovery according to a completely different set of criteria."

Probably because Jammer expected more from Voyager and Enterprise.

You say that Discovery is a show that relies on spectacle? Well then, it only makes sense that a professional reviewer would review it on that basis. Surely you can have a 3-star movie that's fun a romp (or a touching romp) even though it doesn't make much logical sense?

After all, that's what Trek has become for the past ten years. A reviewer can either embrace this change (which will also affect his ratings) or stop reviewing new Trek shows all together.
Jammer
Fri, May 3, 2019, 11:36am (UTC -5)
Seeing as this pointless sniping over who said what and whether it's right or wrong, etc., blah, blah, has nothing to do with Star Trek and no sign of stopping, I'm deleting a bunch of this white noise in the hopes it will get things back on track.
Booming
Fri, May 3, 2019, 2:23pm (UTC -5)
I didn't read anything that came after my post. I wrote in a a state of great anger.

Sorry Jammer I couldn't resist. This is very unfair towards you.

And with grinding teeth I want to apologize to you Omicron. I lost my composure because of circumstances that are not related to this thread. I found your words deeply insulting. You are certainly a guy (I guess) who also searches in his own way for enlightenment. My insecurities often materialize in dark ways. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive my shortcomings. This song is for you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTxEkLyisoA
Booming
Fri, May 3, 2019, 3:58pm (UTC -5)
PS: I want to add this for anybody who wants to understand the fears and challenges of many of us and why I may sometimes overshoot. This video covers it quite perfectly. We all hope that we go forward to a better future like we see in Star Trek but what if we are wrong.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2W0-z8EnaM
The Gorn
Sat, May 4, 2019, 6:00am (UTC -5)
I'm sure Y'all have already read this:

"Mary Sue stories—the adventures of the youngest and smartest ever person to graduate from the academy and ever get a commission at such a tender age. Usually characterized by unprecedented skill in everything from art to zoology, including karate and arm-wrestling. This character can also be found burrowing her way into the good graces/heart/mind of one of the Big Three [Kirk, Spock, and McCoy], if not all three at once. She saves the day by her wit and ability, and, if we are lucky, has the good grace to die at the end, being grieved by the entire ship."

If we are lucky...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue
Leif
Mon, May 6, 2019, 11:10am (UTC -5)
Jammer,

Can you please elaborate on why you found Michael's travel through time brilliantly conceived and mind bending? Do you mean just visually the images they chose and how they were edited? Because there were no new ideas or concepts underlying them as far as I could yell..no new aliens or phenomena either..so I'm wondering what impressed you. Thanks. Hope you can respond.
Daya
Wed, May 8, 2019, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
@Leif. No one had used welding sparks to signify time travel before.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, May 9, 2019, 2:46am (UTC -5)
@The Gorn

"I'm sure Y'all have already read this: ... "

Actually, no. It's the first time I've seen the actual origin of the term "Mary Sue".

And after reading that article, I don't think I'll ever use that term ever again. It very clearly originated in a culture that's not only misogynist but also one that's lacks empathy and understanding for the way young authors (of both genders) think and express themselves.

Yuck. What a pile of offensive cr*p.
(still doesn't excuse those who believe that badly written female protagonists should get a pass just because of their genders, though. Bad writing is bad writing, folks)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, May 9, 2019, 3:18am (UTC -5)
@Booming

It's all forgotten.

And regarding the fears and challenges of people like us: I get it. Believe me, I do.

It's a complicated situation of "damned if we do, damned if we don't" and there are no easy solutions. I guess that's why the Trek Future we all dream of is so difficult to achieve in reality, even though there are plenty of good people out there who could help make it happen.
Booming
Thu, May 9, 2019, 3:56am (UTC -5)
@ Omicron
Thanks. :)
I, of course, see the problem that a lot of people who are not affected by intolerance use these issues to boost their own self esteem without the actual will to change something. You haven't really lived until a person tells you how great you are just for being LGBT.

Around a hundred years ago, we had a black exchange student from South Africa and at the end of his stay a teacher asked him who treated him best and he named 5-6 people and included me which baffled me back then because we weren't that close. I just treated him normally. Now, sadly, I know that most people either treat you shitty or are fake nice and only a pretty small group just treats you like a normal human being.

And there are moments were I almost prefer the shitty ones because with them you at least know what they believe. The fake nice people often are a little intolerant but don't want to be so they overcompensate. I have a hard time trusting them. So from my viewpoint real allies are few and far between.

Be that as it may. That is no excuse for my behavior.
I often battle with my strong emotions.
Thanks again!
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, May 9, 2019, 5:48am (UTC -5)
Real allies really *are* few and far between. I, personally, trust no one (with very few exceptions). Doesn't mean I can't like certain people or respect them or find common grounds with them. But to actually trust them? Don't be ridiculous.

And that's a life lesson I've learned the hard way, believe me.
Yanks
Thu, May 9, 2019, 6:32am (UTC -5)
Chrome,


"If I'm not mistaken, part of the Federation is actually located in the Beta Quadrant. Whatever the case, it appears the Federation has long range sensors and/or listening posts that detected the initial seven red bursts which were spread out among 30,000 light years (including one burst in the beta quadrant) according to "Brother"."

You are most correct.

The Klingon and Romulan Empires are in the Beta Q. (probably Andoria too?_

*** slaps forehead***
Dom
Thu, May 9, 2019, 7:41am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, agree. Mary Sue is a very loaded term. But criticism of any character is fair game. I've been saying for years we need a new (gender-neutral) term for characters at the center of a story who never struggle and magically have whatever skills and powers they need to resolve problems that come their way. I can certainly think of male and female characters who fit that mold.
alcoremor
Fri, May 10, 2019, 10:47pm (UTC -5)
@Mitch
@JohnTY
@Jammer

Jammer, I won't talk about you as if you are not in the proverbial room next to me. Jammer, thank you so much for 25 years of always well-written reviews, which are perceptive, insightful, and sometimes just darn funny. Even if I don't agree with a review or something you said in it, your writing has a logic and a flow to it, from which I think I may have learned a little bit about what you like, and don't like, in terms of storytelling (by the way, some people are of the opinion that you must like certain things, and once you do, your likes must never change. What a boring existence that would result in for the person trying to take this opinion seriously). And you've managed to put yourself out there time and again - after receiving an amount of negative (and unfair) commentary that would have led me, and I suspect many others, to throw in the towel a long time ago. (Needless to say, you've also shown remarkable tolerance toward those who have used this site for, well, purposes unrelated to the discussion of Star Trek. Noise these people make, indeed). Thanks for always having something cogent to say, and thanks for being you. Happy Anniversary, and I'd be grateful for another 25 years of reviews!
Jammer
Sat, May 11, 2019, 12:22am (UTC -5)
@alcoremor, Thank you for your kind words!
JohnTY
Sat, May 11, 2019, 8:01am (UTC -5)
@alcoremor

Am I tagged in your comment as a dissenter? Coz I agree with you.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, May 12, 2019, 2:36am (UTC -5)
@JohnT

I guess you aren't worthy enough in his eyes, to speak as if you are in the same room with him. ;-)

At any rate, I second the appreciation to Jammer's work here.

@Alcoremor

Just because someone disagrees with Jammer on something or finds his ratings inconsistent for some reason, does not mean he doesn't appreciate and respect Jammer's reviews (not to mention his moderation of this site, which is of a caliber I've never seen elsewhere)

Also, I think that having some distance between us commenters and the owner of the site is a healthy thing. There's a huge amount of activity here. Would you *really* want every single person who has something to say about Jammer's review, to address his words personally to him?

I think most people refrain from doing that precisely because they respect him so much. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Though perhaps the best approach would be to ask Jammer himself what he'd prefer. So:

@Jammer

Do you prefer people to address you personally when they debate one of your reviews? Or do you prefer them to keep a respectful distance?
Chess
Sun, May 12, 2019, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
This thread seems as good a place as any to thank Jammer, which I’ve been wanting to do for months. Except for about 20 TNG episodes in my youth, all the Trek I’ve seen has been in the past 18 months, with Jammer’s reviews nearby for company. I’ve finished TNG and almost done with TOS and deciding now whether to watch movies or DS9 and Voyager.

Jammer, your reviews are very readable for someone relatively new to Trek. Most of what I’ve found elsewhere seems powered by superfan-lingo, which is fine, but not necessarily hospitable to outsiders and newbies. Here is different. Thank you for your reviews. (Also your general posts and rants, which I also thoroughly enjoy.)
Mertov
Tue, May 14, 2019, 8:33am (UTC -5)
I saw "What We Left Behind" the DS9 documentary last night, and it was terrific! I would recommend it to any Trekkie, especially DS9 fans. Great interviews, insight with actors and crew members and a great take by 5 writers on what season 8's opener would have been like including simulations... And of course the HD footage throughout, amazing!.. Do NOT miss it when it comes out on DVD.

But the most telling part was when DS9 actors read a bunch of hate-mail from fans back when the show started, and how similar (almost identical) those loathers of DS9 sounded to today's hate-DSC crowd. "It's not Star Trek," was there more than once and of course that they were "killing the franchise," blah blah.. LOL... And that is not even half the story, because they obviously can't read the x-rated hate mail.

And now, if people only knew the severe hatred that flowed TNG's way back in the late 80s during Compuserve days (they were already very noticeable in the written press and letters sections of sci-fi publication, and, I hate to say it, in my local chapter of the Int. Star Trek Fan Association back then). Of course, their motto also being, "it's not Star trek".. LOL
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, May 14, 2019, 3:42pm (UTC -5)
And your point, Mertov?

Does the fact that there were always noisy narrow-minded fans that complain about everything new, provide new Trek shows with a blanket immunity against criticism?

People like me have explained exactly why we are refusing to accept DSC as a part of the Star Trek ethos. Hint: our points are more substantial then "A show with a French bald Captain whose name isn't Kirk is not Star Trek".

Perhaps you'd like to address the actual points we've raised, instead of making silly comparisons in a transparent attempt to mock those you disagree with?
Mertov
Tue, May 14, 2019, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
The point is (although you got it), making it appear as if DSC caused more rift among Trekkies than any of the previous incarnations is balderdash.

And the hate toward TNG was far more than the reductive sentence in your "hint." When you have Star trek fan groups at conventions saying in unison "this is not Star Trek" it's a bit more than the baldness of the captain.

As for this:
"Perhaps you'd like to address the actual points we've raised, instead of making silly comparisons in a transparent attempt to mock those you disagree with?"

(Here we go with the royal "we," but let's move on).
It's a moot point. You claim something that only exists in your world. Fans like you (and that would be the singular "you," not the group for which you appear to be elected the spokesman) or I don't get to decide what is in the Star Trek ethos. We are not that important.
Chrome
Thu, May 16, 2019, 5:15pm (UTC -5)
@Mertov

Your comments about TNG backlash reminded me of an old MAD magazine spoof of the show back in 1998. A link for the curious:

http://mystartrekscrapbook2.blogspot.com/2011/03/1988-mad-spoof-star-blecch-next.html

You can tell by the final panel alone how MAD was trying to tap into the pulse of older Trekkie fan hate for TNG. Of course, when I first read this circa 1990 I was mostly familiar with TNG and thought that the writers of MAD were making ridiculous criticisms of a show they didn't understand. In retrospect (and especially having watched season 1 of TNG multiple times and watching TOS) I can see where the writers of MAD were coming from. It's still interesting how a show can turn people off so badly and yet be remembered much differently decades later.

Cheers.
Dom
Thu, May 16, 2019, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, agree very much. We're in this weird place with pop culture discourse where we not only disagree about the quality of a movie or TV show, but also about the extent to which it's legitimate to critique that quality. Vox just had a good piece about this with respect to Game of Thrones, but could equally apply to Discovery and The Last Jedi:

https://www.vox.com/culture/2019/5/16/18618425/let-people-enjoy-things-criticism

I generally liked the DS9 doc, but I thought that first scene came across like an undeserved pity fest. People need to realize that when you're talking about a pop culture franchise like Star Trek, millions of people watch it. Millions. That's a big number. That means you're always going to get a broad spectrum of opinion. Even if only 0.1% of people send nasty letters, that's still a 1,000 people. Fortunately, at the time the writers of DS9 had enough confidence in the show and pushed ahead.

There's another aspect to this discussion the doesn't get discussed nearly enough. A lot of these complaints about DS9 and TNG came during their first two seasons. A lot of fans, and even the DS9 doc, want to portray this as evidence that Trek fans are always resistant to change. But guess what? The first seasons of both shows were pretty bad! Would anyone associated with Trek really defend "Move Along Home" or "Code of Honor"? Sometimes the fan complaints were ridiculous (the captain's bald!), sometimes they were rude, but I also don't think the writers deserved glowing compliments at that point in their respective shows. If they hadn't gotten complaints, they might have gotten complacent, and then the shows wouldn't have pivoted around the end of Season 2 to become the classics that we all know and love. And guess what? Most of the fan complaints stopped once the shows got better!

Call me old fashioned, but the best complaint to fan criticism is to make a good show. Not to give in to fan demands or lavish fan service, but to make a quality piece of storytelling that you're proud of.
Macca
Thu, May 16, 2019, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
At least we're not tearing ourselves to shreds over Game of Thrones too.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, May 17, 2019, 2:03am (UTC -5)
@Dom

I actually liked "Move Along Home" :-)

And while I agree that the first season of TNG/DS9 weren't exactly masterpieces, I think they were terrible. Sure, "Code of Honor" is terrible. But most episodes were okay, and quite a few were really good ("11001001", "Duet", "Elementary, Dear Data").

At any rate, even those who think that the first season of TNG stunk, cannot deny that this show respected the source material from the start. It didn't start by trampling all over previous continuity. It didn't put up a huge sign that says in red letters "LOOK! We are doing everything differently just because we can!".

The TNG team also didn't spent nearly two years mocking their target audience and running a huge campaign to discredit anyone who values consistent worldbuilding and intelligent story-telling.

So really, comparing the Trekkie backlash to TNG with the Trekkie backlash to Discovery is nothing short of ridiculous.
spinalatte
Fri, May 17, 2019, 6:06am (UTC -5)
Well, it’s official. The new Picard show is called... (get ready to be shocked) Star Trek: Picard. I could’ve sworn Jammer’s been calling it this for months already.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, May 17, 2019, 7:48am (UTC -5)
Oops... That was supposed to be:

"And while I agree that the first season of TNG/DS9 weren't exactly masterpieces, I think they *weren't* terrible. Sure, "Code of Honor" is terrible..."
Alcoremor
Fri, May 17, 2019, 9:01am (UTC -5)
@Jammer

You are welcome!

@JohnTY

I tagged you because I agree with you!! Sorry for any confusion.

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Thanks for your message!
Mistah Datah
Fri, May 17, 2019, 12:41pm (UTC -5)
"And while I agree that the first season of TNG/DS9 weren't exactly masterpieces, I think they were terrible."

I liked TNG okay, especially EAF, "Datalore" and "Conspiracy". DS9 season one wasn't terrible, it's maybe the only Trek series post-TOS to have a good first season.

"At any rate, even those who think that the first season of TNG stunk, cannot deny that this show respected the source material from the start."

Maybe, although Roddenberry has gone on the record saying TOS is non-canon versus TNG. He was trying to do the show he wanted to do, and didn't mind stepping on TOS when it suited him. -- https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/17993/what-evidence-exists-supporting-that-roddenberry-thought-of-tos-as-non-canon

"It didn't start by trampling all over previous continuity. It didn't put up a huge sign that says in red letters "LOOK! We are doing everything differently just because we can!".
The TNG team also didn't spent nearly two years mocking their target audience and running a huge campaign to discredit anyone who values consistent worldbuilding and intelligent story-telling."

I'm confused, is this hyperbole? I've watched Discovery and don't feel mocked. Do you feel like something is mocking you if you don't like it?

Let me give you an example of Star Trek product I think is dumb: the new animated show set to air on Nickelodeon. Despite me thinking the show is geared towards a different audience than myself, I don't think it's mocking me. Maybe teenagers will like it and grow up to watch TNG along with me. So it doesn't appeal to me, but I'm not the end-all be-all of Star Trek fans.

For the sake of a balanced discussion, it's worth noting that product dilution is always possible, but just because dilution is possible doesn't mean studios should stop trying. Batman: The Animated Series was very experimental for its time; it hired a Japanese animation Studio and differed much from the films and live action Batman show. Yet, it succeeded on another level by showing young adults a Batman universe they could relate to. I think it's worth trying to make a product like that even if it's not for me.

"So really, comparing the Trekkie backlash to TNG with the Trekkie backlash to Discovery is nothing short of ridiculous."

I don't think you're addressing the discussion in honest terms. Have you not read about the fan and TOS cast backlash TNG received? From the TNG Wikipedia article alone:

"Several stars of The Original Series and the film franchise stated that they did not like the premise of a new series [TNG] set in the same universe that did not feature them. DeForest Kelley, who appeared in the pilot as Admiral Leonard McCoy, said that while he understood that the studio wanted to keep the franchise going beyond them, he felt that "there's only one Star Trek, and that's ours". James Doohan, who played Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, said that Star Trek was about the characters and with a new cast the studio was "trying to fool the public, and that's bad business." William Shatner, who portrayed James T. Kirk, was concerned with the overexposure of the franchise and how a new television series could affect future films.[9]"

So real criticism perhaps worse than Discovery's existed in the TNG era. Or, do you not agree that TOS and TNG were trying to do very different things? If your answer is they weren't then I think Roddenberry would be dissatisfied because he spent considerable effort trying to distance TNG from TOS. (If you haven't, read the link I posted above about TOS canon). After McCoy, no reference to TOS characters were allowed. Sarek was finally mentioned in season 3, and Spock made an appearance (after Roddenberry died) in Season 5 as part of a promotion for the final TOS movie. That sounds like deliberate effort to get away from TOS, not to try to keep TNG in check with it.

Otherwise, TNG was its own show. The closest shows to it are really the ones it spawned like DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise. But for Roddenberry, TNG's success meant giving up the TOS model and try a more diplomatic, conflict-free future.

To summarize, (TL:DR for those of you playing the mobile version of JammerReviews), the TOS vs TNG and TNG vs DISC comparison is not only a valid one, it's an interesting opportunity to see how vast the Star Trek fanbase is and how it's changed if you sit down and do the research.
Mertov
Fri, May 17, 2019, 1:25pm (UTC -5)
@Omicron
"So really, comparing the Trekkie backlash to TNG with the Trekkie backlash to Discovery is nothing short of ridiculous."

LOL, it's the same franchise (Star Trek), same fan base (Trekkies), and even the mottos in the hate-rhetoric are the same ("It's not Star Trek," "soap opera," "killing the franchise").
It CANNOT possibly get any more apples to apples than that, regardless of what you want to label it because it does not fit your neatly created narrative.

And as for people coming around, do we know for a fact that that they did? I didn't think so. Furthermore, do you think people pre-disposed to loathe everything Kurtzman-related will actually admit to liking the product from this point forward if somehow the show turned into exactly what they want? Of course not. They are already busy shitting on Star Trek: Picard and they haven't even seen a minute of it (reminds me of you shitting on DSC continuously, using erroneous information you got somewhere else, even though, by your own admission, you don't watch the show).

@Chrome
That cartoon is hilarious :))

@Macca
If GoT carried the Star Trek name, I am sure fans would, LOL.

@Mistah Datah
Welcome to the forum and a great post. The hatred for TNG was not pedestrian and the anti-TNG discourse was led by prominent fan groups. Anti-DS9 discourse was even worse from what I remember (like I said, what the actors read - and they read numerous letters) was only half of the story.
Dom
Sat, May 18, 2019, 7:21am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, I agree and I was trying to support your point. I was also trying to go a step further though and defend the idea of criticism in general. But you're right, and I think one thing you point to shows a disturbing trend in pop culture. Back then, showrunners and actors and studios didn't publicly trash their fans. Yes, it must be frustrating to get letters or tweets condemning the show, but that's part of the process of the game. That's an inherent risk of putting your art into the world for all to see. Now, some of the people associated with these shows, professional critics, Trek websites, and fellow fans attack fans critical of a TV show or movie. And unfortunately this is a problem with both sides. Fans who don't like a show will harass critics, fans, etc who disagree. This level of personal attack is new for pop culture and deeply frustrating. We should all vigorously talk about our opinions about a show, but refrain from attacking the people expressing those opinions.
Booming
Sat, May 18, 2019, 7:46am (UTC -5)
Who trashed the fans or the critical fans to be precise??

We should keep in mind that criticism is far more direct today. In the 90s you could only right letters. Today, people can spam twitter, Instagram, Facebook and so on. Back then you got 20 vile letters a day. Today you get 1000 horrible messages an hour.
Dom
Sat, May 18, 2019, 8:19am (UTC -5)
@Booming, it's all over the internet, include sometimes in these forums fans attacking other fans. Vox just published an article about this:

https://www.vox.com/culture/2019/5/16/18618425/let-people-enjoy-things-criticism

I obviously don't condone people sending vile messages to creators, and it's a shame that it happens, but there's actually a pretty simple solution: don't check Twitter. I get that creators have to post things on social media, but they don't need to actually respond to every tweet. For fans, I'd say something similar. If someone disagrees with you, don't attack the person, attack the argument. If a bunch of fans start a petition to remake a film or TV show, ignore them. It's their right to be dumb (for the record, I loved the recent episode of Game of Thrones).

What we're seeing online isn't just disagreement about a movie or TV show, it's this notion that a lot of fans and creators have that disagreement itself can't be tolerated. I think a lot of fans want to feel like there's consensus and the fact of the matter is with millions of people out there consensus might just not be possible.

Huge caveat to this: if someone is being a bigot or harassing other people online, it absolutely makes sense to call them out. I don't know if that's always the most effective approach, but that's certainly morally defensible (I think blocking or ignoring trolls is probably more effective - trolls thrive on conflict).
The Gorn
Sat, May 18, 2019, 9:07am (UTC -5)
This has been posted before:

https://trekmovie.com/2019/04/25/interview-michelle-paradise-on-star-trek-discovery-season-2-finale-and-going-beyond-canon-in-season-3/

Q:
Can you give us an update as to how things are going in the writers’ room for season three and if there are any changes in the room from season two?

A:
A lot of people from season two have come back, including a lot of folks from the beginning of the show. We have added a couple of new faces as well who are wonderful writers and wonderful human beings. We are super excited about the makeup of the room. Of course, we have [executive producer/co-creator] Alex [Kurtzman]. I am running the show with him, but he is very much involved in the show and in all of these decisions we are having on season three and I am helping him along the way. We are really excited about how everything is going so far and how the room has come together. Again, there are a lot of folks from last season, so there was a lot of cohesion there. A lot of folks who have been there since the beginning, which is great.

---

We are really excited about the fact that "A lot of people from season two have come back, including a lot of folks from the beginning of the show."
Peter G.
Sat, May 18, 2019, 9:39am (UTC -5)
@ The Gorn,

"A lot of people from season two have come back, including a lot of folks from the beginning of the show. We have added a couple of new faces as well who are wonderful writers and wonderful human beings. We are super excited about the makeup of the room."

That whole quote sounds like it was said by Donald Trump. No wonder I have a problem with the showrunning.
Booming
Sat, May 18, 2019, 9:51am (UTC -5)
@ Dom
Maybe I misunderstood. I thought that the creators of Discovery attacked critical ST fans.

As you say online harassment isn't ok. I know people who work for politicians and they get so much crazy shit in the mail alone. Most people wouldn't believe it.
Artists are sensitive beings and you don't need to be sensitive to be hurt by an avalanche of negative garbage.
Critique on the other hand is of course ok but what is legit and what isn't, sensitive artist or not (companies of course always look for ways to shut down negative reviews)?

By the way. I LOVED THE EPSIODE 5 OF GOT! Especially because I knew that people would go crazy. I was awesome :D

@The Gorn
I don't follow??? What is the problem here?
Dom
Sat, May 18, 2019, 10:24am (UTC -5)
@Booming, I probably wasn't clear, I was talking about criticism generally, including but not exclusively Disco. I don't know of the creators of Disco attaching fans, but Trek websites and Disco fans certainly have attacked other fans. With Star Wars, people associated with Lucasfilm certainly attacked fans (and I don't just mean calling out bigots).

I'd certainly never deny an artist's right to feel hurt! What we're seeing though I think is fundamentally different. As you alluded to, I think this is more about companies trying to shut down negative criticism. Ultimately, I come down on the side of saying ANY critique of the art is fair, whereas critiques of the artist - especially ones focusing on the artist's race or gender - should not be fair game. If people disagree with a critique, they can muster the evidence and analysis to support their side.

With all due respect, I do wonder if your attitude about GoT episode 5 isn't part of the problem. Why would people going "crazy" increase your enjoyment of the story? Isn't that a bit sadistic? Schadenfreude much? Why not just enjoy/dislike the story for what it is and let people who disagree go their own way?
Dom
Sat, May 18, 2019, 10:38am (UTC -5)
@booming, the Washington Post article I posted above is a good guide to constructive criticism. Criticizing a story because it's not the story you want isn't good practice. There's a difference between "it didn't meet MY expectations" and "it didn't meet the expectations set up in the story itself"
Booming
Sat, May 18, 2019, 10:47am (UTC -5)
@ Dom
Well, if art can be separated from the artist is a question art schools wrestle with since ... since art schools came into existence.
There is often a huge grey area.

To clarify my GoT comment. I enjoyed it first and foremost because I didn't think that they had the guts to do what they did (We both know what I'm talking about). And about my enjoyment of the crazy reactions that is mostly because I find this extreme fandom we see today (or maybe it was always there but the internet made it visible) totally pathetic. For me it is a product, sometimes an enjoyable product, very rarely even great art but I don't go nuts because of it. Like when people come dressed as Star Wars characters to some Disney event and then cry and hug or faint after watching a 2 minute trailer for the new Star Wars movie. It is almost like a cult. There is actually a petition to remake season 8 of GoT which is completely delusional and it has already almost a million signatories. I find this all very amusing. :)
William B
Sat, May 18, 2019, 12:07pm (UTC -5)
@Peter, lol. I laughed. I could hear his voice.
petulant
Sat, May 18, 2019, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
A former TV show personality sounds like a TV executive? Incredible!

Sometimes when Pope Francis is talking I swear I hear Benedict. Scary!
alcoremor
Sat, May 18, 2019, 4:30pm (UTC -5)
@mertov
"Fans like you (and that would be the singular "you," not the group for which you appear to be elected the spokesman) or I don't get to decide what is in the Star Trek ethos. We are not that important."

I like this comment. As Nicholas Meyer has said, "Art is not a democracy. It's a dictatorship." And as the late movie critic Pauline Kael said about Mike Nichols' direction of The Graduate, "Nichols lets the audience direct him. This is demagoguery in the arts."

If a show is flawed, let's focus on the flaws, without using the royal we's (not to mention the strident tone and ad hominem attacks, as if to simplly disagree with someone is to insult the core of their existence) and the ad hominem attacks, disguised as "direct responses to arguments, head-on,") and thus implicitly putting ourselves on the side of Those With Taste and Culture and Superior Morality (if there is a common thread running through all Star Trek shows, it's that Those With Taste and Culture and Superior Morality do not facilitate discussion; they stifle it).

Let's focus on why we like what we like and why we don't like what we don't, without resorting to, "Well, it's not Star Trek." People make that assertion all of the time - some cleverly, some with fancy language, and some more brusquely, but in the end that is all it is. An assertion, not an argument. I could argue, for example, that "Shades of Gray," the last episode of season 2, showed as much contempt for Trek audiences as anything Trek has ever put out. But, to make that argument as opposed to just throwing the phrase out there, I'd need to, at a minimum:

1. Comment on the quality of the script and direction and production values of that episode;
2. Look for any comments those involved in the making of it have provided (more than once, the creators have been candid with us, a la Brannon Braga's criique of "Threshold");
3. Put my cards on the table about what I found insulting. I generally find clip shows to be indicative of lazy writing, whether or no they are the product of Writers' Strikes. I'd have to go further, though, and say why I found that PARTICULAR episode to be the product of lazy writing; and (among many others)
4. Make an assessment as to what entertaiment value, if any, the episode holds.

(Even these four factors involve, ultimately, expressions of opinions - just not on the most base and reductive level).

Assertions are hide-the-ball value judgments, and those making the assertion won't bring their biases to the fore. Assertions are crude expressions of belief - and beliefs, I try to remind myself, are beliefs precisely because they are not facts. Trying to make an argument involves trying to think before speaking. For me, that often isn't easy, but I've found that if I have something I want to share with others that I want these others to not dismiss out of hand, it's the only way to go.

Like you, I also was alive and cognizant when the criticisms of TNG and subsequent iterations were made. To determine whether these criticisms were different in both degree and kind than those leveled against DSC, one must first actually read the criticisms, or at least attempt to gain knowledge about them. Criticism against Trek not being "Star Trek" have been with us since time immemorial.

There is a wonderful book that was written in the '90s: "Star Trek : The Making of the Lost Series by Judith Reeves-Stevens and Garfield Reeves-Stevens." This book was a behind-the-scenes-look at the '70s "Star Trek Phase II" series that never was (but instead was ultimately was the basis for The Motion Picture). The book recounts how the producers' and Leonard Nimoy's decision to have Spock be featured on only 2 out of every 13 episodes (I believe that was the number) led to some pre-emptively dismissing the show as not "Star Trek."

Some things never change.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, May 18, 2019, 6:06pm (UTC -5)
@Alcoremor
"If a show is flawed, let's focus on the flaws, without using the royal we's (not to mention the strident tone and ad hominem attacks, as if to simplly disagree with someone is to insult the core of their existence)"

Interesting comment. Can you give a single example of a Discovery detractor who is using ad hominem attacks against the fans of Discovery?

Because I can give you dozens of examples that go the other way. We've been accused of being misogynist and of being racist. We've been attributed ridiculous strawman opinions, while the actual content of our posts was completely ignored (my "favorite" is the attempt to paint us as some continuity fanatics who nitpick the tiniest things and expected Discovery to have '60s-style cardboard sets).

And then there's Mertov comment and yours. Please enlighten us: What point could your comments possibly serve, except trying to paint people like Dom and Trent and myself in a ridiculus light? You've responded to none of our points. You haven't even *acknowledged* any of our points. You just compared us to a group of crazy narrow-minded fans from 30 years ago, without giving a shred of evidence that this comparison is justified in any way.

So who is doing the generalizations here? Who is doing the ad-hominem attacks?

Not me, that's for sure.

And let me tell you another thing:

These constant unfair attacks by people who call themselves Trek fans, is part of the reason I'm no longer a fan. As if the issues I have with the show itself aren't enough, posts like yours constantly remind me why I don't want to be part of this fandom anymore. What used to be a lovable geeky fandom has turned into an Orwellian nightmare, where claiming that black is white is the norm.

@Booming
"Who trashed the fans or the critical fans to be precise??"

You're right. Obviously, this kind of cr*p never ever happens. My mistake. :-P
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, May 18, 2019, 6:34pm (UTC -5)
@Mertov
"LOL, it's the same franchise (Star Trek), same fan base (Trekkies), and even the mottos in the hate-rhetoric are the same ("It's not Star Trek," "soap opera," "killing the franchise")."

Is that your usual way of having discussions? Taking snippet phrases out of context and completely ignoring the actual issue at hand?

How about actually addressing the points that the detractors of DSC have raised? How about trying to have an actual honest discussion for a change, instead of constantly looking for ways to trap your "opponents" in some kind of "Gotcha"?

(who am I kidding...)
Mertov
Sat, May 18, 2019, 7:36pm (UTC -5)
Oh my God.. Grow up, will you?

Who is taking snippets? I copied and pasted your whole conclusive paragraph, and answered to it. Unlike you who has taken four or five words out of my sentences in the past and distorted what I said. Would you like me to remind you? It wasn't that long ago, I am sure you remember.

And what is this obsession of yours with "we" vs. "you"?
- "Please enlighten us," - the royal "us" again.
- Another whole paragraph of "we"s in your answer to Alcoremor
- "You and Mertov" (in your answer to Alcoremor)
- "Dom, Trent, and myself"?
What is this urge of yours to group people together and pit them against one another?

Did I address Dom or Trent? No, I addressed you specifically. I am actually learning a lot, for instance, from what Dom and Booming are debating above. If I had a problem with anyone else I'd address them. I don't meddle in the "us vs them" business.

And I addressed you *only* because, you labeled what I said "ridiculous." So, you're the one who started attacking me first. What did you think, that you can just attack what I said, label it "ridiculous," and expect that I bow my head and say nothing return? Quit the drama for once, and let it go.

@Alcoremor
I've had the "90s: "Star Trek : The Making of the Lost Series" book in my shelves since mid-2000s and still have not gotten around to reading it (my Star Trek literature taking a hit for an eight-year period to do research for grad school and PhD). Now that you mentioned it, I may get to it next week while on vacation. But I do have a few novels to catch up first, so I gotta make a choice, although after reading your post, I am tempted to delve into that one first.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhiw
Sat, May 18, 2019, 8:03pm (UTC -5)
@Mistah Datah

"Maybe, although Roddenberry has gone on the record saying TOS is non-canon versus TNG. He was trying to do the show he wanted to do, and didn't mind stepping on TOS when it suited him."

Can you give a single example from TNG that "stepped on TOS"?

"I'm confused, is this hyperbole? I've watched Discovery and don't feel mocked."

I wasn't talking about Discovery itself. I was talking about what CBS did in the year before the show debuted and during the first season.

"I think Roddenberry would be dissatisfied because he spent considerable effort trying to distance TNG from TOS. "

Exactly.

He was trying to *distance* TNG from TOS, which is a very different thing from trying to override TOS or somehow overturn it.

That's why he set TNG a century further in the future. That way he could pretty much tell any stories he wanted without worrying too about previous continuity.

It worth noting, though, that Roddenberry could have easily introduced deliberate contradictions with TOS, had he wanted to do invalidate the older show. He didn't do that. So regardless of his opinions on whether TOS should be regarded as canon, he had enough respect for his older material to leave it alone.

"But for Roddenberry, TNG's success meant giving up the TOS model and try a more diplomatic, conflict-free future."

Huh?

Roddenberry always said that TNG was the way he wanted to do Star Trek in the first place. That was his vision of the future. What does "TNG's success" have to do with it (and how can a show's success retroactively influence the way it was conceived from day 1)?

I also maintain that TNG and TOS are far closer in spirit than you're claiming. Sure, the style is somewhat different, but the themes are the same: Both shows are about a better future for humanity. Both shows are about exploring the unknown. Both shows have inspired many young people to become engineers or scientists.

Also, there's a huge difference between the actual creator of a show making a few changes after 3 low-budget seasons, and a mega-corp making massive changes after 28 seasons of creating a detailed rich fictional world.

In short: No, comparing the TNG situation in 1987 to what's going on with Discovery today, doesn't make much sense.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, May 18, 2019, 9:06pm (UTC -5)
@Mertov

When I said "snippets", I was referring to your use of phrases like ""It's not Star Trek" and "soap opera" and "killing the franchise" while completely ignoring the actual points that were being made by the people you're so eager to make fun of.

And yes, I say "us" because you've chosen to ridicule an entire group of people with your unfair comparison.

"What is this urge of yours to group people together and pit them against one another?"

On the contrary.

As far as I'm concerned, there are no camps here. I have absolutely no quarrel with the fans of Discovery. It might come as a shock to you, but I have this crazy belief that people are free like or dislike whatever shows they want for whatever reasons they want.

What I do have problem with, is people who choose to mock and ridicule and erect strawmen instead of having an honest discussion. Especially people who do this on a constant on-going basis.

"Quit the drama for once, and let it go"

So you want the last word, eh?

No problem. I've already said everything that needs to be said. Enjoy.
Mertov
Sat, May 18, 2019, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
"What I do have problem with, is people who choose to mock and ridicule and erect strawmen instead of having an honest discussion. Especially people who do this on a constant on-going basis."

Then, since you bring up 'honest discussion,' you may want to consider watching the show before slamming it repeatedly. Or maybe not portray the fans of a particular Trek series as "the lowest common denominator" as you have done in the past.
---

"It might come as a shock to you, but I have this crazy belief that people are free like or dislike whatever shows they want for whatever reasons they want."

Nice try again, as if I said people were not free to do that. Speaking of honest discussion...
---

"So you want the last word, eh?
No problem. I've already said everything that needs to be said. Enjoy."

Now that's honest. So have I. You enjoy too. Just don't expect one to stay quiet when you label their position "ridiculous."
Mistah Datah
Sat, May 18, 2019, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
“Can you give a single example from TNG that "stepped on TOS"?“

Just off the top of my head:

- The Warp system is completely rescaled and transwarp is forgotten.
- The years of the Eugenics Wars are changed.
- Data is supposed to be the first of his kind, but androids exist in TOS such as Mudd’s androids and the Sargon androids.
- Despite supposedly being offshoots of Vulcans, Romulans are given protruding foreheads in TNG.
- The first Enterprise is depicted as the movie version (“The Naked Now”).
- The Klingons measure in kilometers instead of kellicams like they do in other Treks.

The link above also gIves examples of Roddenberry disregarding TOS canon. You can see from the sources on that page that Roddenberry preferred a fluid canon that changed for a good story over following some strict rulebook. That Trek did as well as did canonically despite Roddenberry can likely be attributed to the studio keeping things in line. One advantage that TNG - ENT had were that the same rightsholders were in place and could keep things consistent (although there were still notable retcons like with the Trill and Borg).

“I also maintain that TNG and TOS are far closer in spirit than you're claiming. Sure, the style is somewhat different, but the themes are the same: Both shows are about a better future for humanity. Both shows are about exploring the unknown. Both shows have inspired many young people to become engineers or scientists.”

The latter half of your description is true with all the Treks, so I don’t want get into the weeds with you when we largely agree. My point was that TOS employed more of a conflict-style show than TNG. Famously, McCoy always had a bone to pick with Spock and called him racial epithets when they didn’t agree, which was often. The tone of the two shows is much different as well, with Kirk playing fast and loose with regulations and getting the Federation in hot water with other races (i.e The Klingons) whereas Picard paid close attention to Starfleet policies and formalities, preaching to others just how important it was not to break them.

“Comparing the TNG situation in 1987 to what's going on with Discovery today, doesn't make much sense.”

There’s enough similarities between the Trek reboots to make the discussion worthwhile. Like Discovery, TNG had the major backing of a studio that wanted Trek to do well in the long haul unlike the tenuous relationship TOS had with NBC. The span of time is similar albeit TNG took longer because Phase II got aborted. Also both the shows follow relative movie fame with TNG airing during the TOS movie peak and Discovery running after some modesty successful Trek movies.

I mentioned the TNG criticisms above, and today former cast members like Marina Sirtis criticize also Discovery. Although, it’s notable that Discovery actually has more support from the rank-and-file like Frakes than TNG did.

@Mertov
“Welcome to the forum and a great post. The hatred for TNG was not pedestrian and the anti-TNG discourse was led by prominent fan groups. Anti-DS9 discourse was even worse from what I remember (like I said, what the actors read - and they read numerous letters) was only half of the story.”

Yes, it’s easy to ignore these things nowadays because for a long Star Trek was “solved” with fans and writers more or less coming up with explanations that made all the retcons gel. I don’t mean to say Discovery doesn’t have serious continuity errors, because that’s disingenuous. I do think time will correct much of these errors, but In the meantime it’s great that fans point them out and keep the Disco team on their toes.
Booming
Sun, May 19, 2019, 12:44am (UTC -5)
@ Omicron
Saying that there are more ad hominem attacks by Discovery fans is kind of a hollow argument. If I go into any fan forum and say stuff like the quotes below I wouldn't be surprised about negative reactions(I quote from stuff people said about Discovery during the last !two weeks! on this forum)

"Absolutely. This show is a farce."
"Who the f cares about 'The Red Angel'? Are we 10 or something?"
"This show is stupid. Period. End of Story. "
"That whole quote sounds like it was said by Donald Trump. No wonder I have a problem with the showrunning."
"I hate hate HATE the stupid, retarded, cartoonishly moronic mirror universe with an all-consuming passion. It's the dumbest, lamest, most idiotic thing Star Trek ever did, and why they keep doing it is a mystery to me. Every episode to feature it has been irredeemably putrid."
"You lot are welcome to pick the peanuts out of this poop, but I'm out."
Again last two weeks.

These are at least ad hominem attacks through the back door. And we had lots and lots AND LOTS of comments like these. So it's kind of understandable when people get defensive. I'm not a fan of Discovery but this stuff makes even me angry.

By the way saying that somebody uses strawman arguments without providing examples is a strawman argument. :D

And because we psychoanalyze each other Omicron, you seem a little rowdy lately. Everything all right? :)

@Dom
Did you mean the vox article? I read it but it was a little meandering as opinion pieces often are. I think there are limits to critique. Look at the stuff I posted above this. These technically are criticizing the franchise (a word I hate by the way) while pretty much also insulting the people who like Discovery.

With which I mean, that if you say ad hominem not ok, everything else ok then people will always find a way to get around that barrier. You censoring people too you just draw the line at a different place. At what place? At a place you think is right.

What if somebody thinks that ad hominem attacks are important to have a worthwhile discussion about something? What is your argument against that? and even if you have good arguments should you be allowed to enforce your anti ad hominem stance?
Colm Meanie
Sun, May 19, 2019, 6:24am (UTC -5)
@Booming
None of those examples are ad hominem arguments.
Dom
Sun, May 19, 2019, 7:53am (UTC -5)
@Booming,

I actually agree strongly with your first point on GoT. I was grinning during the episode, not because I'm a sociopath, but because for years I felt like that's where Dany's arc was going but I didn't think the show would have the guts to go through with it. Glad I was wrong.

I actually meant the Washington Post article (posted much higher in the thread), not that Vox article. I find it to be a useful attempt to structure film criticism. It suggests we ask three questions: "What was the artist trying to achieve? Did he or she achieve it? And was it worth doing?" What I like is that it gets us away from actually critiquing the art on its own terms rather than measuring it against our own expectations. So for me, for example, Discovery in Season 1 was trying to tell a war story, but it didn't succeed in the building the stakes or providing a satisfactory payoff. As much as I might want my Trek to be high-concept episodic sci-fi, Discovery was never going for that, so that might be a reason why I personally don't enjoy the show, but that's not a constructive critique of the show.

Which gets back to my point above. There's a difference between allowing fans to have their criticisms and those criticisms being constructive and leading to productive discussion. I believe strongly fans can and should be allowed to say whatever they want about a show and not attacked. At the same time, while I respect their right to disagree, that doesn't mean I have to respect their argument. If someone is launching ad hominem attacks, I'd say don't engage. That person just isn't worth your time. People online seem to think we're going to persuade people who disagree with us, but we just aren't. The social science on persuasion shows that it's much, much harder to get people to change their minds with facts and reason than most people believe.

You're right though, the line between critiques of the show and attacks on fans can perhaps become a bit blurry. Is "the writers must think the audience is stupid" an attack on show or on fans? I could see how someone might think they're just criticizing the art, but fans of the show would take it as a personal slight.
Booming
Sun, May 19, 2019, 8:27am (UTC -5)
@ Colm Meanie
The Trump comment is a clear ad hominem (if you think that Trump is a horrible horrible horrible person) the rest is borderline guilt by association. When I say:"this is shit. Have fun digging around in it" then that is not only an attack on the show but also on the people who like it. (I'm taking this from wikipedia, could be wrong)

@Dom
These three questions seem very reasonable and a good example. Was season 2 about getting them into the future? If so then they were successful... somewhat. And was it worth doing so? eh...

About ad hominem. Let's say we find out that Kurtzman is an evil Hollywood sex pervert. Would it not be ok to say, you shouldn't watch that show because the guy who made it is a monster. I must admit I would be on the fence here. I cannot watch Mel Gibson stuff anymore. I cannot separate the art from the batshit crazy artist. Or Roman Polanski. Should he be shunned and then forgotten. I tend to say yes.
So I would argue that there are instances were ad hominem arguments are valid.

"You're right though, the line between critiques of the show and attacks on fans can perhaps become a bit blurry. Is "the writers must think the audience is stupid" an attack on show or on fans?"

And we have seen this stuff a lot which makes me fly out of the neutral zone with weapons charged. I can totally understand the critique of the show but I also respect people who like it and if somebody attacks them directly or indirectly... then that somebody can ring the bells as much as they want... ;)

To GoT. I wouldn't have believed it but I'm kind of hooked for the last episode. Never expected that. Fingers crossed for a horribly miserable ending! :D
(have you seen these articles. More than 3500 children were named Khalessi hahaha. O M G)
Dom
Sun, May 19, 2019, 9:22am (UTC -5)
@Booming, at the end of the day, I do tend to err on the side of giving fans more rather than less freedom to voice their opinions. Disney, HBO, and CBS are massive corporations and already have a lot of power to shape the public discussion about their products. The actors and writers give interviews, hold events at cons, etc to promote their work. Your average fan on Twitter or Youtube is nothing compared to that. I do worry about a world in which these corporations deliberately whip up fans of their works to shout down fans who are more critical. I think we already saw a bit of that with The Last Jedi, which was a PR disaster. I refrained from talking too publicly about certain parts of that film for months because I didn't want to get labeled as a sexist or racist manbaby. Now, a worrying trend on the other side is that in aggregate fans do seem to have increasing power to shape the public discourse on the other side. I do think part of that is the media attention the most extreme parts of fandom get. If mainstream media outlets hadn't covered the GoT or Last Jedi petitions, I doubt they would have gotten nearly as many signatures. The outrage industrial complex shines a spotlight on fan outrage, increases fan outrage, and so on.
Chrome
Sun, May 19, 2019, 11:04am (UTC -5)
Is it a bad sign that I’m more excited about season 3 of DuckTales than Discovery? :-)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, May 19, 2019, 3:08pm (UTC -5)
@Dom

"There's a difference between allowing fans to have their criticisms and those criticisms being constructive and leading to productive discussion. I believe strongly fans can and should be allowed to say whatever they want about a show and not attacked. At the same time, while I respect their right to disagree, that doesn't mean I have to respect their argument."

I completely agree on both counts.

One thing that drives me crazy, though, is that many people tend to have double standards on this. If it's someone they disagree with, they judge every word in the most negative light. But if it's someone who shares their own opinion, they'll let almost everything pass under their radar.

This is hypocritical, and it isn't conductive at all to having an honest discussion.

"I do worry about a world in which these corporations deliberately whip up fans of their works to shout down fans who are more critical. I think we already saw a bit of that with The Last Jedi, which was a PR disaster."

CBS did the same thing with the first season of Discovery, and it was no less of a PR disaster. It was that, more than anything, that turned me away for good.

You wanna know how to treat your fans? Watch how they do it with the Orville. Both Seth and his production team are doing everything they can to make us feel comfortable. They even come to fan forums and have discussions with us on a regular basis. They are practically treating us as their friends.

It's just heartwarming... and quite refreshing, after the dog-eat-dog vibe I was constantly getting from CBS. What can I say? Thank God for the fact that we have free competition in the entertainment industry.
Alcoremor
Mon, May 20, 2019, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
@Mertov

The book about the aborted Phase II series is definitely worth a read (not to the detriment of graduate studies lol; speaking of studies, I got through many a lonely night in college through reading it and can't recommend it enough). Several of the proposed stories became TNG episodes, which you already may know. I think the Reeves-Strevensens, the authors, subsequently wrote at least one episode of Enterprise.
Dom
Tue, May 21, 2019, 10:00am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, absolutely. I've been really frustrated with the hypocrisy in fandom. I've seen people who claim to just want a "genuine dialogue" with fans who disagree, and then turn around and trash those fans when they do disagree. People are far to ready to dismiss any opinion that doesn't line up with theirs.

@Chrome, I just watched the most recent episode of Ducktales and you're not wrong. I hadn't been watching that show, but it's actually quite good (and clever). If I had more time I'd dig into it.
Chrome
Wed, May 22, 2019, 10:58am (UTC -5)
@Dom

If the episode you're talking about is the one I'm thinking of, there's some insightful commentary about directors with creative visions who are totally out of touch with the fans and make a mess of the franchise. I'm sure this could be applied to a lot of series, but they seemed to be poking The Dark Knight trilogy the hardest for making things too "dark and gritty" and pushing actors to weird places.

It's funny how DuckTales is a really simple show, but they work hard to make it smart. This is a stark contrast to Discovery which is an extremely elaborate show, but showrunners actively dumb it down.
Dom
Wed, May 22, 2019, 5:59pm (UTC -5)
@Chrome, yes, that's the one. I tuned in because I was a Darkwing Duck fan, but came away very impressed. It also had some interesting things to say about what it means to be a fan. I agree, it's a bit puzzling that Ducktales has better social commentary than the current Star Trek show.
Jammer
Thu, May 23, 2019, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
I haven't really watched much of it, but my 6-year-old daughter really likes the new DuckTales. She doesn't get all the social media references, but hey.
William B
Thu, May 23, 2019, 2:02pm (UTC -5)
It's weird and cool that there's a new DuckTales and people like it. I haven't followed it (and have only the vaguest childhood memories of the original) but it is kind of neat -- if symptomatic of the endless reboots. I guess my general rule is that if reboots are good, they're good. Tautology but hey.
Snitch
Thu, May 23, 2019, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
CBS took down the Star Trek:Picard trailer, but the internet never forgets

https://streamable.com/ad5re

It reveals a bit what happened to Captain Picard since we saw him last.
MadManMUC
Thu, May 23, 2019, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
Ok. Just saw the teaser trailer for Picard. Not sure what to think yet. Though the vineyard footage was beautifully shot.

On another note, I wonder why they’re using the TOS rendering of the Star Trek wordmark in this logo, but not for Discovery.

Also, @Jammer: maybe time to create a new section of comments for the Picard show?
MadManMUC
Thu, May 23, 2019, 4:32pm (UTC -5)
Oh, and nice musical call-back to the TMP/TNG theme at the end.
Dom
Thu, May 23, 2019, 5:58pm (UTC -5)
@William B, it's amazing how many people forget that, but it's so true. Reboots can actually be good if you actually get good writers and have some good ideas. Battlestar Galactica and Rise of Planet of the Apes are to me the gold standard for reboots.
Dom
Thu, May 23, 2019, 6:02pm (UTC -5)
So the Picard teaser:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3om4V_-Y0Q&feature=share

It's fine. It's a teaser. There's obviously a mystery about where Picard's been. He's no longer in Starfleet. He's downcast. It's beautifully shot. Didn't make me more or less excited for the show.
Mertov
Fri, May 24, 2019, 8:46am (UTC -5)
Alcoremor,
I looked it up, apparently they wrote a few episodes of Enterprise (of the better ones too) in the fourth season. I had no idea (or knew at soke pount and forgot, I had that book sitting in my shelf for many many years). Thanks for the info. I am planning on reading it as soon as I can.
Artymiss
Fri, May 24, 2019, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: Picard trailer. Was that SMG doing the voice over?! There is no escape from Michael flaming Burnham...
Trent
Fri, May 24, 2019, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
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.
Trent
Fri, May 24, 2019, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
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.
Trent
Fri, May 24, 2019, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
Thankfully, according to google, it's actually actress Merrin Dungey's voice in the teaser. So no Michael.
Artymiss
Fri, May 24, 2019, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
@Trent
Yes I just saw that via Google too. It does sound very like SMG though (unless my ears are playing up), can it be altogether accidental? The voice over irritated me, reminded me of all those annoying Burnham voiceovers. And I can't think that bodes well for the Picard scripts.
wolfstar
Fri, May 24, 2019, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
At best, the Picard show is a story that doesn't need to be told. At worst, it risks doing great damage.
Rahul
Fri, May 24, 2019, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
I too could not believe the new Picard Trek would actually be called "Star Trek: Picard" -- similarly, I think DSC could be called "Star Trek: Michael Burnham"

It's fine to have plenty of focus on the Picard character as we all know and love him but I think the new series should be a bit broader in scope like "Star Trek: The Golden Years" or whatever.

No point commenting on the trailer, just like there's no point commenting on a preview. They're bound to be excessively emotional and dramatic.
Booming
Fri, May 24, 2019, 6:59pm (UTC -5)
Oh, a Trailer about a new Star Trek show? Time to freak out! :D
Tim C
Fri, May 24, 2019, 7:17pm (UTC -5)
I'm loving how one minute of teaser, consisting of just pretty-looking shots of a vineyard and an expositional monologue, is already drawing loud declarations of how much this series is going to suck. Never change, Internet. < 3
Dave in MN
Fri, May 24, 2019, 7:30pm (UTC -5)
There wasn't really much to see that could be nitpicked. I do like the conscious effort to resist continuity better ... the only things that annoyed me about the trailer were the boots sewn into Picard's pants, the washed out sepia color palette and the lens flare.
Dave in MN
Fri, May 24, 2019, 7:31pm (UTC -5)
* respect continuity (auto correct typo)
Jammer
Fri, May 24, 2019, 9:29pm (UTC -5)
Some quick thoughts, if perhaps we take the Picard topic over there:

https://www.jammersblog.com/2019/05/24/trailer-star-trek-picard/
Booming
Sat, May 25, 2019, 3:26am (UTC -5)
Redlettermedia's take on season 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn4fW0EInqw
Tim C
Sat, May 25, 2019, 4:43am (UTC -5)
Lol Booming, I came here to post the same link. I was giggling the whole time, even if I haven't agreed with all their criticisms of the show to date.
Booming
Sat, May 25, 2019, 2:18pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, I really like them. Their whole style is such a nice contrast to everything right now.
4Q2
Tue, Jun 4, 2019, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
"Everything that happened here is classified. Do not speak of it again."

I'm so effin on board with that.

Gave both seasons a fair shake. I shall (gladly) forget the whole thing.
Jimmy
Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 7:05pm (UTC -5)
I can't and never will consider Discovery as ANY part of classic Star Trek canon. Probably not the Picard show,Or the Section 31 show either.I don't care what CBS or the show-runners say. Discovery is just too aesthetically and tonality different for me to reconcile it with classic Trek. They have just taken wayyyy too many liberties with aesthetics and canon. The ridiculous things for me that will never fit in for instance the R2-D2 like droids on the Enterprise hull or the Red Angel Iron Man suit . They are not era appropriate. For me these and the terrible (IMO) writing and unlikable characters are just insulting, laughable and cringe worthy . But if people like it that's absolutely fine. Everyone is different and has different opinions and tastes. I totally get it I just can't bring myself to watch it.
FD
Thu, Jul 11, 2019, 7:00am (UTC -5)
This episode - probably discovery’s best IMO.

- it frees the series from the shackles of the prequel, and there are so many new avenues with which to redeem some of its worse features.
(But for the love of god, can these producers just ditch the alpha quadrant now, I can’t think of anything worse than a section 31 spinoff. It’s been resolved now, let’s leave it alone)

- the best visuals I have ever seen in any Star Trek series, period. (Side note; felt seriously like a BSG space battle!)

- cracked writing, “problutions” - nice term Jammer - and the other plot holes that dog this series, but you know what? Their sheer confidence in their story itself makes me go along with it on its own terms. I think I’m ready to like this series.

-I’m gonna miss Anson Mount!

3.5/4 for this one. Damn good episode, nearly a 4/4 if it weren’t for - ah, what the hell. Y’all know the writing of this series is more SW:TLJ than BSG or DS9. But for what it is, it’s pretty damn good.
The Gorn
Fri, Jul 26, 2019, 8:57am (UTC -5)
If you have up to 50min to spare on a rainy day, kindly watch RedLetterMedia's re:View of the second season. It's hilarious and so true. Highly recommended.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SHhySoXDcA
Edward
Fri, Jul 26, 2019, 3:38pm (UTC -5)
This is like the 10th time that Red Letter Media review has been linked on this site...today.
Boooming
Fri, Jul 26, 2019, 3:55pm (UTC -5)
And it is like the fiftieth time that somebody has counted correctly on this site...today. :)
Edward
Fri, Jul 26, 2019, 4:05pm (UTC -5)
Fifty-first now. ;-)
Trent
Fri, Jul 26, 2019, 7:54pm (UTC -5)
I hadn't seen that RedLetterMedia review before, so thanks for posting it. It's a quite subversive review, in the sense that it really lays hard into our whole zeitgeist.
Robert
Fri, Jul 26, 2019, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
Yes, it’s been around for awhile now and I had a good laugh at it with my mates. No where as good as the Star Wars reviews made in RLM’s heyday, though. I guess even video critics can jump the shark.
Boooming
Sat, Jul 27, 2019, 4:57am (UTC -5)
@Edward
That guy gets it :D

@Robert
You mean back then when they had 500 subscriber on youtube. ;)
I like the half in the bag stuff better than the plinkett stuff, which was far more shark jumpy than the newer stuff.
Mertov
Fri, Aug 2, 2019, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
With regard to the earlier discussion above, about previous series also facing their fair share of antagonism from Trekkies..

From Scott Collura's interview with Jonathan Frakes last week..

His first question to Frakes: "Do you remember your first convention experience?"

Frakes: "Only too well [pause]. I was in Syracuse, NY, and the show had just barely aired. The audience, as you may or may not know, was quite skeptical, of all of us. So, it was a, dare I say, a hostile group.. who were not ready for a bald, English captain with a French name and a wholesome cast. They wanted their Kirk, Spock, and Bones."
Yanks
Wed, Aug 7, 2019, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
Just rewatched this the other night.

What a great ride.

I do however, it great trekkian stile, have noticed a pretty large Spock gaff...

I remember noticing it the first time I saw it too.

Pondering whether I should share...

Anyone care to guess?
The Gorn
Sun, Aug 11, 2019, 12:15am (UTC -5)
The big problem is that STD season 3 has the potential to end Star Trek canon as we know it. They go into the future and everything they're gonna find is closing a chapter. The first few promo images show Mickey Spock and a non-white male in a barren landscape (Iceland). This indicates that the future is as bleak as the writers imagination. It could also mean that the federation doesn't exist any more and that Mary Sue has to single-handedly fix the future of the federation. Ugh.
I really hope I'm wrong!

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