Star Trek: Discovery

"Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1"

2 stars

Air date: 4/11/2019
Written by Michelle Paradise & Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman
Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Such Sweet Sorrow," right down to its corny Shakespeare-quoting title, is an hour of extreme earnestness, featuring grand gestures of selflessness, last-minute family reunions, naked sentimentality, and lots of tearful goodbyes. I mean, they really laid it on thick here. Here's an hour that slows down to acknowledge the character relationships, but is completely ham-fisted about it. I'll also say this: There had better be a major shakeup of this series coming in next week's season finale for this episode to have been remotely earned. Discovery — or at least Michael Burnham — had better be riding permanently off into the sunset of the distant future.

We left last week with the Enterprise en route to rescue the crew of the Discovery after it was decided the only way to destroy the sphere data and keep it out of Control's hands was to auto-destruct the ship. Well, it turns out this plan also doesn't work, because the data has now merged with Discovery's computer and has enough control of the ship to disarm the auto-destruct. It also raises its shields when the Enterprise starts firing torpedoes at it. So it's back to the drawing board, with only an hour before Control's Section 31 ships arrive.

If nothing else, this season of Discovery has taught us one thing: Make damn sure you read the terms of service before you install any new software. The sphere data is so powerful and invested in self-preservation that I must now ask whether it's as much of a potential threat as Control itself. Presumably, Control's whole motivation for destroying all other sentient life — insofar that a credible motivation exists at all — is that it views other life as a potential threat to its own existence. Now that the sphere data is essentially in control of Discovery — as everything that happens here is only because the sphere data allows it — what will this mean if the data can't be removed from the system?

Next week we will presumably, hopefully have answers. For now, we have nothing but setup and, thus, speculation. That speculation is further fueled by the producers' constant promises that apparent deviations from Trek canon will be clearly and satisfactorily explained. (I have not sought out these articles; they appear in my Google feed and then I feel compelled to click on them.) Given the timeline shenanigans, this means a lot of this series' core anachronisms — from the existence of the spore drive to Burnham's presence in Spock's family — are potentially on the table to be radically upended or erased from history. Maybe.

There's some Trekkian problem-solving on display here, but the issue with Discovery's problem-solving is that it's frequently buried under technobabble rules where both the problem and solution were clearly invented in tandem. Let's call it a problution: Something that moves the plot forward by creating a problem X that must be solved with solution Y in order to get us to destination Z. Except that Z was obviously conceived first, so X and Y are improvised by the writers to justify the utter insanity of going to Z.

In this case, it's time traveling to the future using the crystal we acquired last week, because hiding the data in the future is the "only" way to keep the sphere data from Control. (Sidebar: I guess Pike took the time crystal from Boreth on spec because the appearance of the red burst made him assume a problem would present itself requiring this particular solution; you know, fate and all.) Similarly, the option of deleting the data had to be removed by the story in order to move us along to time travel. And so on. Lots of narrative gymnastics involved. (This series is a seriously dedicated piece of bananas, with a poker-faced tone that dares you to laugh at the lunacy of the plot.)

But we finally get to see the Enterprise bridge here, and the sight is impressive. This series is a reliable triumph of production design, and they manage to make the Enterprise feel both new and familiar at once. Number One makes another appearance (and hopefully will get more to do next week), and the NCC-1701 looks great. Meanwhile, we have Tilly's friend Po (Yadira Guevara-Prip) from the "Runaway" Short Trek making an appearance and bringing in a key piece of technology to help power the time crystal — which presents an engineering nut that Stamets, Reno, and Tilly must figure out how to crack while being circled in Yet Another Endlessly Showy Arc Shot. The mechanics of all this are arbitrary.

If you're not a fan of Michael Burnham, this episode is likely to drive you up a wall, as it all but canonizes her as it becomes clear she must be the one to sacrifice her life as she knows it to save the future from Control. But even if you're fine with Burnham, "Such Sweet Sorrow" can be cloying. Here's an episode where everyone is preparing for this mission, and Sarek and Amanda come strolling down the hallway, having used a shuttle to follow Michael's katra in order to get in their heartfelt goodbyes. This timing seems, shall we say, improbable. And, boy, do they have some things to say. Later, the entire bridge crew chooses to join Burnham in her heoric quest, because Disco is one big happy family. (This episode seems to have more emotional closure than The Return of the King.)

So, yeah, this is all a bit much. But the actors give it their all and it's nice to see the crew rallying around a cause. This is a rare episode that takes the time out to have the supporting characters (Owosekun! Detmer!) writing letters to their families. These are actors who are in all the episodes, and it really makes you wonder why they aren't used more in the daily storytelling.

It's all setup for the season's biggest cliffhanger yet: showdown between Control's Section 31 ships and the Enterprise and Discovery. And a time crystal!

How to score this? I'll split the difference. It's heartfelt ... but manipulative. It's earnest ... but contrived. It's urgent ... and yet also strangely lackadaisical. It's setting me up rather than doing something for me now. And it seems to be reverse-engineering plot points to get where it absolutely must go. This episode could end up paying off or being completely pointless, and it's impossible to know which. It's a Schrodinger's Episode with the box being opened next week. Once again, this show pushes all the chips to the center of the table for its season finale. I hope, unlike last season, they stick the landing this time.

Some other thoughts:

  • Given the usual template of this series to fly through as much plot as quickly as possible, the cynic in me starts doing some calculations. As I look at the calendar I realize my CBS All Access subscription, which I started the day the season premiered back on January 17, will end just in time — like, literally the day before — to have to be renewed before next week's finale. Had this season been 13 episodes instead of 14, I wouldn't have had to pay CBS an extra 6 bucks. Now multiply that times all the U.S. fans who watched the show weekly as I did, and, well, you do the math. Did they pad out the season with this setup episode for an extra month's worth of subscriptions? Are we sorry saps? Surely can't be...
  • Speaking of cynics, Georgiou scoffs and eye-rolls her way through much of the sentimentality of this episode, which I found to be an amusing counterpoint.
  • I think we're seeing why Section 31 keeps a low profile in the future. These incidents are pretty catastrophic for their brand. They should change their name to Section 32.

  • Stamets and Culber seem to make peace over the end of their relationship, and Culber says he's staying on the Enterprise. I have my doubts it will play out this way, given how much trouble the writers went to so they could bring Culber back, but who knows.

  • The episode opens with a personal log voice-over from Burnham that narrates what we are seeing on the screen. This is not only unnecessary and pretentious but unlikely. When did she record it? While everyone's in the process of abandoning ship?

  • As Pike beams back to his ship, Georgiou "reveals" that she's from the mirror universe. Pike says, "What mirror universe?" and winks. This is great.

  • Tyler. Still this series' LVP. His scene with Burnham is a cringe-worthy reminder of the forced nature of this relationship and the absent chemistry between the two actors. Why doesn't he join the rest of the bridge crew in going on this daring mission? Because he needs to keep Section 31 honest or something, and we need to keep him around in case we want to use him for the Section 31 spinoff series, in case there's a fan demand for his awesomeness?

  • Couldn't the spore drive be used to travel through time (as it did last season) rather than the crazy plan that's hatched here? Absolutely it could, if the writers had decided to technobabble their way into doing it that way. But they didn't, so we'll use artificial supernova power to charge a time crystal and make a replica time-travel suit.

  • The red bursts (the fifth of seven which we encounter here) may be linked to Burnham's future time-traveling, as was originally thought before Mom showed up. That leaves two more bursts for one more episode.

Previous episode: Through the Valley of Shadows
Next episode: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

◄ Season Index

302 comments on this review

Yanks
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 8:33pm (UTC -5)
Awesome stuff!

Epic Cliffhanger!

A little sappy at times, but all very well done.

The Enterprise looked amazing!

Can't wait until next week!
FELCommentary
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 8:45pm (UTC -5)
This episode was quite possibly the biggest waste of time the producers decided on. After the initial season was said to be 13 episodes, they extended it to 14 in order to add to the finale I assume. After watching this, why did it even need to be extended? The finale could have been an hour long and about 15 minutes of this episode is all that would be needed.

About 80% of the episode was drooling sappy horseshit that no one is going to believe because unless the writers decide to do an egregious out-of-pocket jump at the finale, we already know Michael is going to be fine and come back, as well as the crew. I have a feeling Michael's dad will make an appearance and save the day or somehow the Calypso episode spells the fate of the Discovery, with everyone off the ship and the AI stuck on it.

To go through the minor plot points I'll just go by characters:

Spock: Ok you got me, I like this show's Spock more by the end of the season. His interactions with Pike are what I expected and much much better with Michael after him forgiving her for being a horrible sister. I still wish he was in uniform, at least the Discovery one.

Pike: Everyone salute for the best thing in this entire season. It's really sad to see the best character leave, especially after the reveal that he's a tragic hero for the Star Trek Universe and knows his fate. A good closure on what I initially thought was just pandering nostalgia.

Georgiou: You can put in as many eye rolls and snarky comments as you want writers, I still don't like her and have less motivation to watch her show when it comes out.

Tyler: Pretty much same thing as Georgiou, I hope there isn't some asspull that brings him back to the crew next season like this one. The fact that Sarek put more emotion into Michael leaving than him is a testament to the character and actor.

Reno: So she's going to make a tragic sacrifice with the time crystal it seems. For as much hype the BTS made before the season aired, good riddance. She brought a lot of the angry smartass aspect of Season 1 back that no one liked.

Also the scenes with Po and Tilly just irked me. If you looked at any type of friendship in the other shows, it at least had some sense of adult scripting. Every scene of these two (and even other scenes of Tilly with the other crew members) plays and is written like it's from a teenage CW show.

As for positives, the Enterprise looked pretty solid. I'm getting really sick and tired of this show's color scheme and making literally everything and every shot blue, but the Enterprise had a more silver gleam to it than anything else. Also Hugh going to the Enterprise?? This makes me wonder even more how no one in TOS heard a conversation that went "hey guys remember when we literally saved the entire galaxy from destruction from a killer rogue AI from the future?"

Also Saru for captain? Please and thank you.

I want to give it 1.5, but I'll go for 2 stars on Such Sweet Sorrow, mostly because I'm just salty we have to wait another week for the actual conclusion when I sincerely think we would have been fine with 13 episodes.
Chrome
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 9:08pm (UTC -5)
Entertaining no doubt! I’ll save judgment until the second part.
Rahul
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 9:08pm (UTC -5)
Good grief ... just turn up the melodrama to 11. Can this series glorify Michael Burnham any more?? This episode really lathered on the anticipation for the big finale far more than it should have. Not much of a plot. Honestly, I think this was the worst DSC episode has ever produced.

So these Short Treks are somewhat relevant. The Tilly ST was one of the worst and this Queen of Xahea character was just another disaster we didn't need to see. No surprise she hit it off with Reno. She's here for some technobabble which somehow concludes Burnham has to take Discovery to the future and stay there. Now the reason for getting the time crystals in the prior episode become clear. (Wasn't totally clear to me until now.)

But overwhelmingly I was disappointed with how much time was spent glorifying Burnham, the soon-to-be martyr. And she's like a catalyst for everybody making up, tying loose ends (Sarek/Amanda, Culber/Stamets, and worst of all her and Tyler - the worst actor/character on the show). It just sucked watching all this garbage.

I was also pissed off at how the bridge of the Enterprise looked -- so flashy. Why could it not have looked like how ENT re-created it in "In a Mirror, Darkly"?? Anyhow, that's not a huge gripe.

I'd also have to question the plan to take the Discovery ship into the future. If the sphere's data is now protecting it from self-destruction and photon torpedoes, how should Burnham be able to take it through a wormhole to the future? Maybe because she's Michael Burnham and the plot demands it.

I guess the other thing the episode focuses on is preparation for a big battle -- Burnham and Reno get visions of this from touching the time crystal. It was fine to see the secondary and tertiary cast members sending messages to their loved ones.

Stuff that should have a great deal of meaning and be very "Star Trek" like Pike thanking his Discovery crew and vice versa -- that fell kind of flat to me. It was just too much given all the glorifying the episode did of Burnham and the buildup to the grand finale.

1.5 stars for "Such Sweet Sorrow" -- this is what I indeed felt after watching the episode. Really seems like the writers are trying to set things back on track with the Trek canon/timeline (Discovery ship into the future, spore drive gone because it is used for the technobabble to go to the future). But no way Burnham's completely out of the picture for Season 3. So I guess we've seen parts of the next episode thanks to Burnham's visions from touching the time crystal. Meh. Somebody needs to slap these writers upside the head. Or they have to get their heads out of their asses.
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 9:46pm (UTC -5)
I really didn't enjoy this episode that much overall.

There were good elements of it of course. I'm not immune to the fanwank of seeing the Enterprise. And the script had a lot of nice character moments that I enjoyed - elements I'm guessing were due to Michelle Paradise. I also liked for the first time in the past three episodes Control was largely off camera, allowing us to deal with the characters directly and not focus on the silly threat.

That said...my god the arc is ending in a contrived manner. There's very clearly an endpoint they wish to get to, and everyone is doing what they are not because it makes sense in a manner rooted in their character, but because they either are or are not going to be in Season 3 of Discovery. So all of the main cast just decide to follow Michael into the future and abandon their families...just because. Except Tyler, who loves her, but apparently can't leave because he's needed for the Section 31 spinoff??? I'm not even getting into the technobabble in this episode. It was very, very hard for my disbelief to be suspended because it's pretty transparent they're no longer even really interested in finishing up the story for this season, just teeing up the story for next season. The character moments also, while nice, were kinda turned up to 11 to the point of melodrama in parts - like Sarek and Amanda just showing up right in the nick of time before a battle just because they thought it would make a nice scene. Small universe syndrome anyone?

I dunno, maybe 2.5 stars?
Ticonstar94
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
I liked the beginning of this episode and the end of this episode. Everything else in the middle was a cringefest of crying. Enterprise looks amazing inside and out. But man this episode just felt like filler for the finale.

I’m also glad I didn’t watch the tilly short trek. Po is as annoying as tilly.
Kensu
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
Why don't they just use the spore drive to jump to another galaxy, or intergalactic space? How is Control going to follow them?
Kensu
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 10:50pm (UTC -5)
I'm hoping it ends with them stuck in the future, it would solve so many of the show's problems. The only thing stopping this from happening is Spock being onboard, but we saw him piloting a shuttle in the preview, which gives an opportunity for him to be left behind.
Perhaps they could even buy Bryan Singer's pitch for Federation and use some of his ideas: such as the Vulcan and Romulans reuniting into one race, the Ferengei running the entire quadrant, and the the Cardassians adopting a religion of enlightened masochism.
Jeanne
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 10:52pm (UTC -5)
Loved it from the moment we saw the ncc-1701 bridge on. I deeply appreciate the efforts to retcon some human detail onto our people--Stamets talking to his brother, Detmer, etc--and I thought the Burnham and Pike speeches were so easy to screw up yet so on point. Good jokes with Georgiou, multiple personality dimensions, attention to detail (I appreciated the Sarek dialogue that sets up "journey to Babel," for one.)

There was some dumb stuff (how fast is Sarek's shuttle, again?), and some infelicities, and I don't care about Tilly's friend one bit. And yes, it was basically fifty minutes of slowing down for briefing room talk and characters emoting. If these fifty minutes had been amortized over the past two seasons, yes, obviously a better choice! But that work had to be done at some point, and it would have been so easy for TPTB not to have done it--to have kept the Action Moments flowing, rather than taking the time to create the context for a meaningful sacrifice.

I really, really appreciate the work that went into this--which, to be clear, is remediating work, not exciting new ground, and all the more impressive for that--and I really appreciate the writers' high level of all around game here. It makes me legit excited for S3, when we're no longer paying for the sins of S1, and it's my first and only four stars for a DISCO.
Mertov
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 11:09pm (UTC -5)
Hard to judge this episode without next week's, I don't envy Jammer :)

As for me, I loved the first half, especially the problem-solving moments in the ship with characters consulting each other including the technobabble. This is easily the best use of Jett Reno since the first episode that she appeared. Enterprise looked magnificent and Number One rocks. Po's introduction and purpose fit well into the narrative and she interacts well with Tilly, plus she owned Geogiou in that one ice-cream scene :) Discovery and Enterprise together on my 50-inch screen is a sight to behold.

The second half loses a bit of steam due to overuse of tear-jerk appeal. For example, the Michael-Ash scene is completely unnecessary, if I watch the episode a second time (who am I kidding, I watch every episode of Star Trek at least twice), I am fast-forwarding through - no, skipping -that crap for sure. Georgiou-Michael talk as they were walking was also mediocre. On the other hand, the collage of the crew sending messages to their loved ones was great. Ironically, those are exactly the people on whom the third season should be built, along with Saru, Michael and the new captain (I hope we get one). Michael's goodbye to his parents was also well played (if you can quickly erase the question of how they got there so quick, LOL). Pike's final goodbye was excellent.

Nice set-up-for-a-finale episode as far as set-up-for-a-finale episodes go. Awesome visuals as usual. Can the finale come as soon as possible please?
The Gorn
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 11:56pm (UTC -5)
Oh, how I wish that Mary Sue Burnham would actually fly into a black hole!
But since she is the bestest evar at everything she does, she might actually return and haunt us for a third season...

I imagine a planet in the far future, full of Burnham statues, where people are worshipping the only person in history who was the bestest evar at everything she did, the second coming of you-know-who. Of course, it will be a blatant rip-off of The Orville's "Mad Idolatry", but who would be better suited for idolization than the bestest evar?

(Please forgive my sarcasm but sometimes I can't help it...! This show is such a convoluted mess even after two seasons, it beggars belief.)
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 12:22am (UTC -5)
Have to hand it to the people who hate this show and make demands for things they want. They will find any attempt to appease them disgusting as well and seek out any way to turn such attempts into things they hate as well.

Bravo!

On the plus side, all their winging has made Discovery one of the most talked about shows on the planet according to the analysis people who CBS is using as their guide to how popular Disco is, so expect the roll out of 21st century Star Trek which will be running 52 weeks a year that apparently some people can't stop talking about. Remember people, hate watching is still watching.
Peter G.
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 12:41am (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roi,

Funny enough, you could have substituted all instances of "this show" and "Discovery" in your post with "Donald Trump", and your point would be made loud and clear. Are you sure you like your argument there?
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 12:55am (UTC -5)
@ Peter G.

Maybe you could take some of that energy you are experiencing towards something productive instead of railing against a TV show.
mosley
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 1:07am (UTC -5)
agree with the above comment. a split personality episode. beginning was good, end was good, the middle...oh my god, what a cringefest.

all those supposedly touching moments of speeches and hugs and i love yous and all hail the captain...er, nope. discovery cant do it. it lacks the setup needed, we dont care enough about half the characters, and you dont get to merely pretend we do. two seasons in and i dont even know most of these peoples names.

and oh my did it go on and on and on for what felt like more than half an hour. this was like ST TMP level slowness, just without the backbone of characters we got to know and love for a long time. try again in season 7, if you ever make it that far. but i doubt that martin green will have it in her even then. i can not (and also dont want to) say whether its the actress or the way the character was setup, but she. must. not. do. deep. emotions. it does not work. not once has that worked with her. maybe its the actress. maybe its the fact that you had to make the lead character and angst-y semi vulcan that primarily serves as a plot advancement machine. so i dont necessarily blame the actress. but you designed this character to be this center-of-all-plot-machinery automaton, so own it and use her in that way and dont try to now make her into something that she cannot portray in a credible way. whether thats because of the actress or because of the character design or both, does it really matter? just have her advance plots and give the emotional material to others. theres a whole bridge full of nameless people to give a life to.

its also SO telling that i cared more about pike than the show lead 10 minutes after he first showed up. thats not because he is pike. personally i dont care all that much about TOS, and pike wasnt of much importance then either. but the actor was great, the character worked and was likeable and down to earth. god how i wish wed be back to down to earth captains logs instead of the angsty "oh im so emotional about everything" burnam audio diaries (more cringe). so, if he leaves the show again (and it sounds like he does), that would be a great loss.

now, for the good stuff though, because its not like there isnt any: i still like that its a bold plot that tries to free itself from the limitations of a prequel. go to the future? hell yes, PLEASE go to the future. and PLEASE stay there. meet the borg. sit down with darmok on a planet, go to a ferengi bar, whatever, but please stay in the open future and tell the stories youd like to tell without anymore prequel BS. its been almost 20 years of prequels and reimaginings on various levels now. enough already, for the love of god (and his starship). please go to the future and stay there. pretty please. that would be the best plot development possible for this series, and would free me from the fundamental prequel-"meh" that always sit on my shoulder regardless of how good an individual episode might be.

oh, and of course the absolutely best news of the season: tyler isnt coming. yaaaaaaaay! :-)
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 1:11am (UTC -5)
@The Gorn

I have no problem following this show. It seems pretty straightforward as post-1950s scifi storytelling goes. i do get a laugh from anyone who considers a show who's worshippers have proseltyzed it the second coming of Star Trek TNG precisely because it goes to such great lengths to so crudely and obviously cut and paste TNG stories as worth ripping off in any way.
Tommy D.
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 1:44am (UTC -5)
I have to agree with Mertov. Thought the episode was going well but lost some steam in the middle with some its heavy handedness. Still, I'm very interested in how this gets wrapped up.
Tom R
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 2:02am (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi

? What

Post 1950-sci fi storytelling? What are you talking about? The show is a convoluted mess and your obvious attachment to it is odd.
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 2:05am (UTC -5)
@Tom R

Sorry you can't keep up with complex storytelling. I wouldn't recommend Dune then.
Drea
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 2:16am (UTC -5)
The writers have set the show up to send our main cast into the future--presumably the same point in the timeline as the upcoming Picard show.

That's the reason for the extended dramatic goodbyes. These characters will not get another chance. If the writers build that dramatic structure so explicitly, and then back off from it and have our characters return to their status quo, I will be shocked. You don't extend a season for an episode of farewells without cause. It's clear the writers have wanted to wash their hands of the scenario that began the show, and what better way to do it than to launch into a completely different era?

Here's the other speculation I'm surprised no one has mentioned: could the artificial supernova that our crew is about to generate just before an untrained pilot opens a time portal become the death of Romulus? Explicit mention of the effects of Georgiou's rejected plan seems like it could be load-bearing dialogue.

I do buy the crew staying with the Discovery--not out of loyalty solely to Michael, but to their mission and their ship. If you could time travel a century and a half into the future, would you? I think I might.

I love Po and her ice cream. I'm glad Ash is staying behind. I liked watching Owosekun speak to her family. I suspect Hugh will come with us after all, while Spock of course will need to go.

Okay mom and dad, thanks for flying here from Vulcan out of the blue, but if you telepathically sensed I was in great danger, could you have brought the fleet? Literally any ships? At all? Dad? Doggone it.

I love the Enterprise, and Number One remains one of my most beloved characters in all of Trek. *She's* the one who should get the spinoff!
Tom R
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 3:17am (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi

You’re confusing complex with nonsensical (all over the place). I’ve read Bleak House by Dickens before. I can Follow complicated plots just fine. Do you work for CBS?
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 3:41am (UTC -5)
@Tom R

Oh that old chestnut again. Enjoy crying in your synthahol as multiple Star Treks continue getting greenlit and avialable for people who enjoy Star Trek that is the leat bit challenging. But maybe you like being enraged 24/7 about a TV show you can't keep up with? But you've read Bleak House, a book that a contemporary critic described as "giving currency to a vulgar error". Awesome. Have a thing for spontaneous human combustion, do you?
Daya
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 3:47am (UTC -5)
I liked the Enterprise bridge, meeting room and interiors. More than arbitrary nods; I think the set designers really thought hard about how to make as many aspects of the Matt Jeffries designs fit within the Disco design language. They added an outer layer to the bridge to make it small like TOS and large like Discovery at the same time, which, even though a little strange, I understand. I loved the grilled light on the top of the turbolift, the Enterprise plaque, and many more specific design details. I missed the chronometer. Where's the chronometer?

SMG's acting was not repetitive and stunted in this episode. Her emotions felt genuine, appropriate and diverse. I think she is a director's actor, unlike, say Shatner or Stewart. I hope future directors figure this out.

I have been asking for the past many episodes how data can protect itself. They kinda explained it in this episode - the data had been a computer virus from the start: it had "merged with" or infected Discovery's computer a long time ago. They should have realized it in the first five minutes, not taken three episodes to come to that conclusion, but oh well, ok.

I liked the depiction of the technobabble parts. The characters seemed to be actual engineers working things out rather than throwing random statements at each other at high speed.

Spock, in his non-uniform and his hands-behind-back erect position seems to be mostly standing around in this (and many previous) episodes. No wonder Pike has no words for him. (In a well directed episode, I wonder if the no-words dialogue was a directorial misfire or the director trying to convey a layered meaning.)

Even though there was no story (and good that they didn't try to shoe-horn one in), I liked this episode.



P.S.: I sincerely submit that less snark while discussing topics will make the board a more pleasant experience for everyone - participants as well as readers. Discussions are possible, even when we disagree, with some effort from all sides. Po made it a law on her planet, maybe we can make it an ethos here!
MadManMUC
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 4:25am (UTC -5)
Pfffffff, melodrama overload. Waaaaaaaay too much.

After seeing this, I have another wish for S03, continuing the list I started in the comment from the last episode:

• Kurtzman, I beg you: no more artificially high stakes. No more having to save the entire galaxy/universe/timeline/whatever. Please. Please, please, please. Just keep the stakes localised and relevant to only the Discovery and her crew, or just a corner of the galaxy. This is getting to be entirely too much.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 4:39am (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi

Being a dick and attacking other people for having different opinions is not doing either yourself or Discovery any favors.

Writing stuff like this:

"Enjoy crying in your synthahol as multiple Star Treks continue getting greenlit and avialable for people who enjoy Star Trek that is the lit bit challenging."

just makes you sound like an idiot (or worse) rather than a person who is ready to be challenged by an intelligent TV show.

P.S.
I'm not going to start an argument on this. I've said what needed to be said, and that's the end of it. Now back to your regular programme.
Booming
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 4:44am (UTC -5)
I really disliked this episode which is strange because I liked a few things quite a bit.
It is hard for me to take any of this seriously anymore because this is apparently now all about relaunching the show. Maybe this show will actually become a sequel show. Helmswoman set a course to the future.

Why did I dislike it? A lot of it felt pointless or forced. The first 15 minutes were wheel spinning. Literally nothing was accomplished. First these evacuation tubes and one of my eyebrows went up but then I thought "ok, whatever" and all the scenes of leaving behind their rooms which were okish but it was all completely pointless because *gasp* we cannot destroy the DISCOVERY. The archive is now it's own little control apparently and protects the ship. Also Burnham has touched a time crystal and knows something bad will happen if they try to destroy the discovery.Fine. All back to Discovery.

Then a discussion in the ready room(?) where I at some point just tuned out even though I laughed when Georgiou rolled her eyes about how much everybody loves their mommy. Apart from that we were back to moustache twirling Georgiou. SAD!

In theory I liked it that they had an actual discussion about what to do. In practice it was pretty bad. Shot more like an action scene. Oh the cinematography. I'll get back to that.

After that we jump to the planet of the 17 year old super genius tyrant (who apparently will become a regular in season 3) who is best friends with Tilly because of course.

It follows the one scene I did like because I had the feeling that actual people were talking. The Culber and Stamets scene. I'm somewhat suspicious that we will have a great dramatic moment between Culber and Stamets but that scene worked for me because it didn't shout into my face: FEEL SOMETHING!!

After that we get another completely pointless scene where everybody gives Burnham a salute because she is supposed to go alone into the future. But it doesn't matter because two scenes later they just decide to come with her which was obvious because Discovery needs a crew in season 3.

And now we come to the scene where it all imploded for me: Sarek and Amanda show up which is so dumb and I'm not talking about the scene but the fact that they are there at all! Often I can forgive Discovery their little logic inconsistencies but this was too much. This scene was only in there because Discovery is going into the future and Sarek and Amanda will be gone. I cannot even say if the scene itself was well played or good on some other level because I was sitting there with my mouth open incapable of believing what I was seeing.

Some here said that in this episode they amped the melodrama up to 11. I would say that they destroyed the scale.

After that we get or farewell Tyler scene. He won't be in season 3 I guess which is shocking because this was the first episode where he actually did something important. When they evacuated the Discovery he helped somebody with his/her bags. Good job, Tyler! So now it is good bye Tyler we hardly wanted to know ye.

Then there were the scenes where everybody said there good byes which was good because it gave us a little bit of personal insight into the crew. It is not much but something.

What else. Pike leaves and I thought: No, don't go. Don't leave me with these people... Spock apparently stays on the Discovery because... I really don't know.
Oh and after maybe the worst arc shot in Discovery and there are quite few now Reno decides to go full crystal.

Finally Lelands fleet arrives. Why are they calling it Lelands fleet, though?? It isn't Leland anymore. At least they could call him Lecutus.

Why do I still haven't given up on Discovery?
It all looks like they are relaunching the show and a lot of stuff they showed is something I want to see (Discussions, believable personal stuff, going into the future, more stuff about the crew, some of the calmer shots, dumped some useless cast members)

I can totally understand that some people like it but for me the emotional scenes, especially the Sarek Amanda Michael scene didn't work actually it did kind of do the opposite. If the emotional stuff works then the episode works to some degree.
I just want season 2 to end in a way that isn't terrible and leads into a further improved third season.
MadManMUC
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 4:51am (UTC -5)
@ Booming,

Interesting you bring up the Sarek and Amanda scene. This one scene pretty much exemplifies on of the show's problems, and that is: the galaxy feels entirely too small in this show. I just can't think all of this adds up, warping from Vulcan to Discovery's exact coordinates (katra course-plotting, apparently) in the short amount of time apparently prescribed in this crisis.

It's really frustrating to repeatedly watch common sense get thrown down the toilet in service of advancing a plot that's full of holes anyway.
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 5:22am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Funny how you don't criticize the guy who accused me of being a CBS plant which I was responding to. I think that says all there needs to be said.
Cpap
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 5:28am (UTC -5)
Awful episode again. To get through it you have to shut your brain down big time. So little of it makes any sense. Just to add to the comments already made that the directing is absolutely awful (again). Its so needlessly distracting. For example, I genuinely felt sick watching that scene between Tig, Stamets and Tilly discussing charging the time signal.
Booming
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 5:30am (UTC -5)
@ MadManMUC

I get what you say but it didn't bother me that much in other episodes because ships fly with fast than light speed. Who knows how fast somebody can get to this or that point. I guess many people notice it especially because TNG and DS9 often used scenes of flying ships to create suspense. Discovery has never done that for some reason. But as you point out Sarek could not know where they would be, especially because the just used the spore drive. So did Sarek just know where they would jump and just fly there with there little shuttle. Can Sarek see the future??? It felt like my brain was melting
Tim C
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 5:47am (UTC -5)
I'm totally reserving judgement on this until we see how things play out next week.

If the show follows through on disconnecting the Disco and Burnham from its current setting, then that's a bold storytelling choice that would justify all of the teary goodbyes, which is largely what this episode largely consisted of. (And they were well done, too!)

But if the show pulls the rug out from under all this build-up, and resolves everything with a Reset Button... well. That would be make this entire episode a colossal waste of time and be a very crass exercise in audience manipulation.

Let's not take door #2, please.

P.S. The Enterprise bridge looked great, albeit too glossy. Much better than the Kelvin-verse variant. The rest of it looked a bit too much like redresses of the Disco sets for my tastes, although that's likely a budgetary decision. And the great teleporting shuttles return! Maybe Vulcan and Xahea are just close neighbours... *eye roll*
Yanks
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 6:08am (UTC -5)
@ Chrome

"Entertaining no doubt! I’ll save judgment until the second part."

Exactly Chrome.
wolfstar
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 6:30am (UTC -5)
I was going to say this was one of the best directed episodes of the season, until that spinny-camera scene happened. It was even more quease-inducing than the last one.

This one fails on the writing and the acting. SMG is bad again, so is Notaro, Yeoh is ever more grating as her one-note character, and the "Queen Po" character (returning from the worst of the four Short Treks) is horrendously written and acted - she seems to have wandered onto the set from some children's show. Tilly is as bad here.

What we get of Saru, Pike, Owo and Detmer is good. Spock, Cornwell and Number One don't have much to do here but are reliable. I still like Mia Kirschner's portrayal even if Sarek and Amanda turning up makes little sense.

The Culber-Stamets scene is very overwrought, as is the Burnham-Tyler scene... the whole tone of the episode is unearned histrionics. It felt like they were kind of going for a Year Of Hell Part 1 or Hunters vibe, but it just didn't work at all. 1 star.
Yanks
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 7:18am (UTC -5)
mosley,

"oh, and of course the absolutely best news of the season: tyler isnt coming. yaaaaaaaay! :-)"

My guess is he is going to be cast in the Section 31 series.
Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 8:20am (UTC -5)
Man, they found a way to fit in every single recurring character other than L'Rell (who got her sendoff last time) this week huh? I mean we get":

1. Sarek and Amanda inexplicably showing up in their shuttle which travels at the speed of plot.

2. Admiral Cornwell, who is on Enterprise when they rendezvous just because, and then is onscreen for all of 30 seconds with one line. Seriously, did they cut something here?

3. Jett Reno, who hasn't vanished into the place she's hidden for most of the past season in the bowels of Discovery.

4. Georgiou, who shows up again as the plot requires.

5. Number One - which is understandable given they hooked up with the Enterprise.

6. Leland - via the visions of Michael and Jett

7. Mama Burnham via footage Michael is watching.

8. Po - for no particularly good reason, given anyone could tech the tech to plot the plot.

In addition, everyone who is part of the main cast gets scenes here, including people who have been relatively ignored in recent episodes, like Tilly and Stamets. No wonder the episode was so light in plot, when they had to fit so many people in!

Honestly, what this makes me realize is the more standard Trek format where most/all of the recurring characters are onboard a single ship, helps make for a much more straightforward show, because you don't have to come up with a series of contrivances to fit everyone into a given episode.
philadlj
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 8:23am (UTC -5)
My Doge-inspired review:


Wow.

many goodbyes

so crying

much maudlin

very speeches

such stalling
philadlj
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 8:27am (UTC -5)
In all seriousness...WTF, Discovery? How much soaring melodrama do you think Trek fans honestly want, or need?

Did you think we'd forget you failed to develop over half of the show's cast by staging these ridiculous goodbyes and "we're coming with yous"? I can't invest in these relationships that never happened!

Po was fun in the Short Trek, but is bascially a magical plot solution machine with exceedingly bad makeup (like, "doodling on her face with a Sharpie" bad).

"I get to make a supernova. This day ROCKS!" GRRRRROOOOAAAAANNNN
MadManMUC
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 8:51am (UTC -5)
@philadlj

'"I get to make a supernova. This day ROCKS!" GRRRRROOOOAAAAANNNN'

Ugh. yeah, that made me wince, too. Terrible.
Yanks
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 10:08am (UTC -5)
@ Daya

"I liked the Enterprise bridge, meeting room and interiors. More than arbitrary nods; I think the set designers really thought hard about how to make as many aspects of the Matt Jeffries designs fit within the Disco design language. They added an outer layer to the bridge to make it small like TOS and large like Discovery at the same time, which, even though a little strange, I understand. I loved the grilled light on the top of the turbolift, the Enterprise plaque, and many more specific design details. I missed the chronometer. Where's the chronometer?"

AGREE!! I will undoubtedly notice more nods in subsequent viewings but it was easy to see they did their homework and respected the Connie and the era she was brought to life.

"SMG's acting was not repetitive and stunted in this episode. Her emotions felt genuine, appropriate and diverse. I think she is a director's actor, unlike, say Shatner or Stewart. I hope future directors figure this out."

Thank you for that insight. I've notice significant changes in her acting (quality?) from episode to episode sometimes. You may be right... maybe it's the director that isn't good sometimes. That could explain many of my issues with her in season 1.

"I have been asking for the past many episodes how data can protect itself. They kinda explained it in this episode - the data had been a computer virus from the start: it had "merged with" or infected Discovery's computer a long time ago. They should have realized it in the first five minutes, not taken three episodes to come to that conclusion, but oh well, ok."

Yeah, I had the same thoughts... I'm wondering how they beamed over (through shields?) and why Control allowed them to jump?

"I liked the depiction of the technobabble parts. The characters seemed to be actual engineers working things out rather than throwing random statements at each other at high speed."

I got the same vibe. Nice to see another short-trek meld into this season. A more significant and relevant contribution this time.

"Spock, in his non-uniform and his hands-behind-back erect position seems to be mostly standing around in this (and many previous) episodes. No wonder Pike has no words for him. (In a well-directed episode, I wonder if the no-words dialogue was a directorial misfire or the director trying to convey a layered meaning.)"

Well, I'll take this opportunity to say Pike ROCKS!! The guy really hasn't missed a moment since coming on Discovery. I thought his comment to Spock was the most moving moment in that great bridge scene. I liked how he called out each by name and complemented different traits in all of them.

"Even though there was no story (and good that they didn't try to shoe-horn one in), I liked this episode."

Me too, a lot.

Good point about trying to jam something else in. I'm sure that was probably a tempting urg, but the right choice was made.

"P.S.: I sincerely submit that less snark while discussing topics will make the board a more pleasant experience for everyone - participants as well as readers. Discussions are possible, even when we disagree, with some effort from all sides. Po made it a law on her planet, maybe we can make it an ethos here!"

Very nice... I don’t believe we’ve met Daya… I enjoyed your post.

Break...

Like I said initially, this episode was a little sappy... much more than we are used to in trek for sure, but other than the Michael/Ash scene - I thought they did it well. I would have much preferred Michael to just walk away when he told her he wasn't going. I guess your sappiness-o-meter varies depending how much you have grown to enjoy/accept these characters. I found myself really caring for this crew as season 2 progressed. So this episode was an emotional ride for me.

Just to beat a dead horse - They could run a series centered on the Enterprise and Pike, still remain within canon and I'm certain it would be well received. All in favor?!?!?!?

It was nice to see Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po again. I like the actress and the character. Tilly's short was a good one in my view... as was Tilly's contribution in this episode.

Nice to see Jet again in engineering. I'm betting she is going to play a significant part in the season ender. Maybe take over as Chief Engineer as Stamets has said he wants to leave when this is all over?

I found the time-crystal treknobabble followable.

Have we seen the end of the Culber/Stamets relationship?

Hey, I think this is about as good a set-up for a finale as you could ask for here... could the stakes be any higher? I think they accomplished alot in 1 episode here.... hell, DS9 drew it out for 6 episodes before they got to it.... I really wanted to watch the final episode last night!

There really not much to gig this one on. I'm gonna go 3.5 stars.

Here's hoping the final episode doesn't disappoint like it did in season 1.
Tom R
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi

I want to self combust every time I see Burnham cry. Which is like every episode.
wolfstar
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 12:53pm (UTC -5)
Alan, you've already started another fight in this episode's thread, but in your 6 comments, you haven't told us at all what you thought about this episode, which is what the thread is for. Please share your opinion, like we're all doing here - how did you find the episode and what are your hopes for the season finale? Being enthusiastic and inquisitive about Discovery is a much better way to sell people on its merits than just haranguing people.
Greg M
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
I called this episode over-waught in sentimentality. I don’t remember many shows (Star Trek or otherwise) having this much crying, and then it feels like the entire crew is bowing at the feet of Burnham and it’s really hard to connect with the emotions this series wants us to connect. For example there was a scene where we see the characters writing letters to families and like Airiam Death, it felt unearned. Compare this to say A Call to Arms in terms of goodbyes and there is much more gravitas to it. Granted we know the characters more but that’s provided by the writing of those characters. We want to see this succeed, we understand why Sisko is pissed at Jake staying on the station. That’s what character development is.

In this series we never see these people as people, except for Burnham and occasionally Suru and Tilly. Heck, even Stamets has been sidelined this season to relationship drama. We haven’t seen this connection the crew supposedly has with Burnham, so those scenes in the episode feel empty.

My favorite episode this season is If Memory Serves and not just because it was the long awaited sequel to the Cage. It was an episode that slowed down and allowed these characters to be actually people. The scene with Pike and Vina, or the scenes with Burnham and Spock really delivered the emotional weight those scenes deserved.

The last few episodes have shown more crying and more emotional baggage than probably the entire franchise combined. Melodrama for the sake of melodrama doesn’t work unless it’s earned. This series is basically cutting corners and leaving all the important stuff on the cutting room floor. It’s a shame because I do think this season is better for the most part than season 1 but it’s ending like season 1 ended, with the feeling the series can be so much more.
Panagiotis Karatasios
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
my god what a melodrama!
Daya
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 4:12pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks

Nice to meet you too. Thank you for sincerely agreeing and disagreeing on various specific points.


"You may be right... maybe it's the director that isn't good sometimes."

It may not necessarily be that a director is bad. There might just be an incompatibility. And by this, I do not mean the director and actor don't get along. On the contrary, the incompatibility may be that the director agrees too easily with the actor's choices. Such a director would be incompatible with a "director's actor", i.e. an actor who is actually relying on a director to make depiction choices.

A great director would be one who finds out the sensibilities, possible range and needs of each individual actor and adapts to each one. This may not even be possible in a weekly sci-fi show setting; and an action sci-fi director needs so much other technical prowess, (and camera-spinning prowess, it would seem) that this ability may not be what they are selected for.


"Yeah, I had the same thoughts... I'm wondering how they beamed over (through shields?) and why Control allowed them to jump?"

I do believe that the cannot beam through shields rule is something the Discovery writers have continuously overlooked. Maybe we gloss over it by saying the shields in the Discovery era are of a technology intermediate between ENT's polarized hull plating and TOS security screens.

Secondly, the sphere data in the Discovery's computer shares only one characteristic with sentience - the quality self-protection. That doesn't necessarily make it sentient. I do not think that the sphere data in Discovery's memory banks is itself Control. I guess this minimal sentience is what explains away all the strange behavior of the sphere data on the Discovery.


"Pike ROCKS"

It's surprising they could create a starship captain that is distinct in character from all the greats, and yet so likeable. Either "they" could, or Anson Mount could. Probably Anson Mount.

= = = =

The next episode is the one that will make or break this season. It will decide how posterity judges this season. Here's hoping the writers have some great science fiction in their veins and don't waste the next hour in an awesome space battle showdown (entirely).
Paul M.
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
There's so much pathos and saying goodbye in this episode that I have a feeling we'll see some real rejiggering (again) of Discovery heading into Season 3. I don't think they'll go the "Burnham writes herself out of history" route, but I wouldn't be surprised at some MAJOR temporal hijinks in order to realign the show with established canon.
Ruth
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
I loved the Enterprise’s interiors. I saw a mock-up of Discovery made to look similar - I’m glad this style might really be in the cards for the next season for one ship or another. Really nice mix of modern and retro future aesthetics.

Why hasn’t Burnham told anyone what she’s seen in the time crystal? And maybe I got the wrong impression but I think Culber was going to ask Stamets to try again, but Stamets thought he was going to ask to try to be just friends so he tried to head him off at the pass, and Culber didn’t want to try to convince him twice because it could be unfair. I think this kind of drama from people not saying something important is insulting, especially when it’s dragged out.

I guessed about the two red angels. It was either that or Culber being a full idiot. Though did Burnham say she had her mom’s MRNA? Surely she meant mtDNA or perhaps I misheard. It’s still pretty dumb that they never considered this before, especially after knowing they confused her and her mother.

The scene with Tilly, Stamets and Reno would have been great if not for the genuinely sickening camera movement. Why are they going to such trouble to do something so ugly?

I wasn’t touched by the goodbyes because this show is too manipulative both in terms of melodrama and plot twists. Amanda and Sarek was a decent scene that had at least something behind it if not as much as there could have been, but them being there was too contrived. All of the rest is nonsense. I know Detmer will have someone important in her life and it’s not unlikely that Stamets has a sibling but you can’t just spring that on me and expect me to care. Those scenes were so generic too. At least Tilly’s complicated relationship with her critical mum has some background, and with Owosekun I guess they were alluding to her one or maybe two lines about growing up in a Luddite community from the beginning of the series? It’s not really the best character work I’ve seen in my life though.

Pike’s praising the bridge crew didn’t work either. He only has a relationship with Burnham, Tyler and Tilly apart from Spock. Maybe Saru at a push. He doesn’t have anything to say to Bryce and Rhys - no one does! Who even are they?

A+ sliding corpse action from Owo’s actress though. And you have to appreciate Pike’s cheeky wink to Georgiou. She can’t have honestly thought he’d not cottoned on.
CanOfUbik
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 6:58pm (UTC -5)
Well, this felt a lot like reshuffling and stage setting for next season.

Moving Discovery to the future would solve quite a few of the shows problems, so combined with the very explicit communication in this episode who will be on Discovery and who won't, I get the distinct sense that DSC will go through with the final mission being a one way trip. I see Spock joining in not really as a contradition, but merely as a set up for some Michael-Burnham-Family-Anguish-Melodrama (tm) next week.

All in all I think the direction plotted for next season seems like a promising direction. My main problem is, that for --this-- season the way there feels so incredibly forced. For example there is not much reason given for all those people going with Burnham other than "well, we like you and don't want you to be alone". That's just a tad thin for people leaving everybody and everything behind.

Another example is the way Discovery's nondestruction is handled. The explanation that the Sphere Data has taken over the ships systems and wants to survive is not completely nonsensical, but it still feels like what in roleplaying games you would call "railroading": When the gamemaster has to come up with ever more contrived reasons why player characters can't do the logical thing, but have to do what the plot demands.

I hope uses this forceful course correction to good effect, but for the moment I'll be only cautiously optimistic. Getting rid of Tyler is a big step in the right direction though. For next weeks finale the big question remains:

Will Discovery go boldly where it should have gone long ago and get rid of Michael Burnham? Or will it again try to salvage that overburdened character?
KMC
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 8:54pm (UTC -5)
Flat. Flat. Flat. All season the scriptwriters have been trying to make us feel things. And in this episode those attempts are so unrelenting, so into overdrive, that it sours most of the scenes. The weakest acting by SMG so far, too many speeches, Po is out of left field, and can we stop with the window shining lensflares already?
For the record, I had been thinking S2 was an improvement over S1. But a lot of this felt like filler.
- Other random thoughts: Evacuation corridors? Disco is larger than Enterprise? And, Saru is going to use that knife in the finale isn't he?
Trent
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 9:52pm (UTC -5)
"Such Sweet Sorrow" opens with this CGI sequence...

https://ibb.co/Z1H1FR9
https://ibb.co/q7jdTbs

...in which the Enterprise and Discovery dock via goofy extended ladders. This is Babylon 5 level CGI, the ships having no sense of heft, solidity or realism. The show gets praised for its "expensive style", but look beyond the distracting flares and camera spins, and its models look like bad video game cutscenes.

"Such Sweet Sorrow", like most episodes, also opens with a clunky recap in which characters remind themselves what happened in previous episodes. We then get long sequences featuring the crew touching one another sympathetically, showing phony affection, and getting teary eyed over the imminent destruction of the Discovery (and later, of Michael's departure). Like scenes in an episode prior, where Saru sang a cheesy song for a dead crewman we the audience never saw him interact with, "Such Sweet Sorrow" strains mightily to convince us that this crew are a "family" who "hang out" and "love one another". We don't buy this for a moment. Discovery is always insisting things it doesn't bother to show.

Several weeks ago I predicted that Discovery's season would end with much goofy forced sentimentality - as it tries to prove its "Trek humanism" street cred before departing - followed by a "shocking" revelation designed to lead into season 3. That's exactly what we get here, only worse. The whole season is now revealed to have been an overly elaborate set up for season 3. I don't know how anybody can defend where this season ultimately ended up, what it did and how it resolved all its little arcs. Do you like the Red Angel revelation? Do you like the Red Lights arc? Do you like Ash and Michael? Did you like Ash's baby? Did you like the Section 31's arc? Did you like Mirror Empress? Did you find the hunt for Spock exciting? Did you like the Information Orb arc? Did you like Spock and Michael's feud-backstory? Did you like the detours into spore world? Did you like Culber's "reincarnated by a tear and trapped in sporeworld and then resurrected because he protected his body from a spore immune system because he covered himself in spore bark" arc? etc etc etc.

I personally found it all to be fan-fic level writing. On one hand it feels like something aimed at a condescending person's idea of a teenage girl (all snarky and ironic and faux hip; "science is cool!", "girls can do math too!"). On the other hand, it feels aimed at low-brow comicbook fans and/or hardcore Trek geeks. It's not science fiction, so much as a corporate machine running demographic targeting algorithms; attention Deficit Disorder Trek, carrots cynically dangled left, right and center.

Anyway, this episode quickly heads on over to the USS Enterprise, proving once and for all that the TOS AESTHETIC WORKS ABSOLUTELY FINE IN A MODERN TV SHOW. As is typical of Discovery, its middle half hour is then dedicated to lots of wheel spinning and soap operaish delaying tactics (lots of mourning and sobbing, all unbelievable), followed by its obligatory "dramatic last five minutes", and customary cliff hanger.

And like the season 1's climactic cliffhanger conned audiences, this one will con audiences again. Puzzles and breadcrumbs and mystery boxes...Discovery seems like it exists to con you into wanting to discover what other bad idea it has up its sleeve.
Trent
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 10:12pm (UTC -5)
With time crystals, spore drives, the ability to sling shot around suns to go back in time, transporter devices that beam you across the galaxy, and that fancy shuttle Amanda and Sarek use to instantly warp them toward Discovery, you'd think it would be fairly easy for the Disco to go back in time 20 years and knock Control out before it becomes a Skynet.
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 10:57pm (UTC -5)
@Trent

If you and others would actually think for a moment you'd be able to understand how Sarek and Amanda could have gotten to the Discovery when they did, but it does appear that so any people are used to being spoonfed by Trek of old that they are expecting the show to do their thinking for them.

Also, if you'd actually watched the show, you would have learned that Dr. Burnham tried to do what you claim is easy hundreds of times and failed, so what you are doing is demand the show to be inconsistent with its own narrative and Star Trek continuity. Yay?
Cameron
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 11:52pm (UTC -5)
I'm probably one of those who likes being spoonfed (and that's fine with me) but it would be nice to know how Sarek and Amanda got there so fast. I don't doubt there's an explanation in there, but I find myself so distracted by the bombardment of the senses sometimes the events are hard to follow. This is pretty much the first new TV I've watched regularly since the spoonfeeding days of the early 00s so I think people who are used to this hyperactive style would have an easier time with it.
Paul B.
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 12:13am (UTC -5)
Wooof.

So, I am pretty partial to Discovery when it has properly set up its conflicts and its character moments. Many of Saru's moments throughout this season, Stamets' moments, and the whole Burnham/Spock dynamic works. But the past few episodes feels a lot like part of the first season, where everything keeps moving too fast to set anything up.

In the past few eps, DSC consistently hopes that SMG will just bang another teary performance out of the park and make us believe it, despite the fact that the stakes for many of these emotional moments are introduced perhaps a few minutes before the conversation or battle (pretty much everything involving Burnham's parents is introduced a few minutes before an emotional moment is supposed to happen surrounding them). I think SMG does about as admirable of a job with a lot of those moments as can be expected, but its just too much to honestly believe. Which is a shame, because SMG is a very talented actress, and I feel like her talent is not always appreciated by the writing.

And then we get this episode. Which is pretty much just all character moments that don't feel incredibly earned, especially when they involve Burnham. The Sarek/Amanda thing was pointless, as was the Ash stuff. There's so much incredible content to mine with the Georgiou connection, and its blown over some snippy walk-and-talk in the hall. Even the Stamets and Culber convo, a duo I am incredibly partial too, seems forced, especially when everyone's supposed to be getting shit done chop chop.

This is a furniture moving episode that got the sofa stuck in the door between the exposition and rising action. This whole ep could have been the first 10 minutes of the finale. Let's hope this episode has set up the finale well.
Prospekt
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 12:27am (UTC -5)
Here's my hot take: people are bashing this episode because there's a lot of indulgent goodbye scenes in it, but compare that to The Orville's "Identity, Part I" which was similarly packed with indulgent goodbye scenes - to a single character who was explicitly demonstrated to be unable to even comprehend the gravity of any of them. Complete with a party scene, heartbroken children, and sappy 20th century music. If we want to talk about cliche melodrama look no further. And yet a lot of people here had no problems and even praised it.

I'm reserving judgement on this episode, like others, as this is basically careful setup for whatever the finale brings. Given all of the press about it completely shaking up the universe and whatnot, I am quite optimistic.
Booming
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 12:42am (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roi
"If you and others would actually think for a moment you'd be able to understand how Sarek and Amanda could have gotten to the Discovery when they did, but it does appear that so any people are used to being spoonfed by Trek of old that they are expecting the show to do their thinking for them."

I would love to hear an explanation for this because normally when something happens that appears very unlikely my brain just creates a scenario in which it could happen but after watching Sarek and Amanda appearing there I feel more like the Holo doctor at the end of "Latent Image".
Brian Lear
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 1:01am (UTC -5)
Thanks Trent, for the perfect explanation of why season 2 just didn't add up to anything.

One thing I'll add, is that Discovery has created such distrust between itself and the audience, with all the constant plot twists, cliffhangers, and WTF moments, that now when the show wishes to "be serious" and "trust us, something big is going to happen" I just don't trust that they are going to tell me a story worth paying attention to.

It's like the boy who cried wolf. The stakes are always so high, and there are so many about-faces and big twists, that we just can't trust the writers to do their job anymore. Perfect example is this episode:

They REALLY need to jump discovery into the future and start from scratch with this show. And the fact that they MIGHT be doing that gives me a glimmer of hope for the future of this show.

But at the same time, that glimmer of hope is stained by a fear that the writers are going to chicken out at the last minute and write something incredibly stupid.

That's how poorly they've done their jobs so far.
Brian Lear
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 1:30am (UTC -5)
I guess what I'm trying to say is...even if the writers follow through and bring Discovery into the future (permanently), I have absolutely zero confidence that they will do anything interesting with that, either.
Uxbridge
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 1:39am (UTC -5)
I have enjoyed this season much more than season one, albeit I felt the first half of the season was better. As soon as Control was introduced, the season started to go downhill.

I really would like the following things to be corrected for season 3.

1. Stop spinning the camera around when characters are talking.

2. Stop continuously playing music in the background when characters are talking. I just happened to watch a rerun of the TNG episode “Lower Decks”. It is stunning to actually compare a scene where Picard tears a strip off that ensign to any scene from Discovery. As a viewer you can just feel the tension and intensity of the scene, with no music required, as the actors do this on their own.

3. I know a lot of people would like Burnham off the show completely. I just think her role needs to be reduced. I don’t want everything to revolve around this character.

4. Georgiou needs to be written off the show. The writers screwed up with her. They never should have killed the normal universe one in the first place. Now they just have the next Lwaxana Troi. A one note character who nobody wants around.

5. Please do not make Control the Borg origin story.
Aaron Yorgason
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 1:53am (UTC -5)
@Booming

Its very simple. future Burnham told him where and when she needed him to be.
Aaron Yorgason
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 1:58am (UTC -5)
@Brian Lear

Not sure what your problem is with plot twists, cliffhangers and WTF moments. That's what entertainment is all about
Booming
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 2:08am (UTC -5)
@Aaron Yorgason
Wouldn't that made it kind of pointless to fly to current Michael Burnham to say good bye to if they had just met future Michael Burnham?! Why not just say your good bye to future Michael Burnham?!
Certainly better then flying into a war zone with your wife. Also kind of a waste of time for Burnham to just go back in time to tell her parents that they could met at a specific point to say good bye.
Aaron Yorgaosn
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 2:18am (UTC -5)
@Booming

Future Burnham has been moving along a process of setting up events to achieve whatever final goal she desires in response to events which occured in her past. One of these events is saying goodbye to her parents on the Discovery before heading to the future, which is in her past but current Burnham's future. Sarek and Amanda make the journey because Michael asks them to because she remembers needing their support for what she's going to be doing. Its really simple time travel mechanics.
Booming
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 2:30am (UTC -5)
@Aaron Yorgaosn
" Its really simple time travel mechanics."
If you are implying that Burnham wouldn't do what she is doing (going into the future or something) if her parents didn't appear then that is a paradox. In the sense that future Burnham has to motivate current Burnham to do something that will make her go into the future which future Burnham couldn't do if current Burnham wouldn't go into the future.
Plus Burnham made the decision to go into the future before her parents arrived. So what was the important input current Burnham needed to get through here parents from her future self?
Aaron Yorgaosn
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 2:50am (UTC -5)
@Booming

Its not a paradox its a loop, just like in Mission:Earth when the Enterprise was supposed to have been involved all along. You saw the scene. You know what she got out of it. I'm not saying you have to like it, but it does explain how Sarek knew where to be and when. Just like with all the other 4 Red angel appearances that lead the Discovery this season.
Booming
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 3:08am (UTC -5)
@Aaron Yorgaosn
To mention it. The show indicates during the scene at the beach that Sarek gets the information/coordinates through telepathy. There is no scene that hints at future Burnham talking to Sarek.

And even if we just assume that future Burnham did it then it still doesn't make sense.
- if it was just about saying good bye then it is completely pointless because future Burnham could have just done it herself. It would seem like very unnecessary time travel which also changes the past. Who knows what consequences it will have that Sarek is not on Vulcan? I would love to see how Sarek explains his behavior to his superiors in the Vulcan foreign ministry. Isn't he an ambassador?

- If it is important that Sarek and Amanda are there to motivate current Burnham then it is a paradox not a loop because again if current Burnham needs the intervention of time travel Burnham to become time travel Burnham then current Burnham cannot become time travel Burnham.
(A loop is a temporal phenomenon were everything repeats until the loop is broken)
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 3:25am (UTC -5)
@Booming

You are again assuming that she needs the motivation to leave. I would posit she needs the hearfelt goodbye in order to motivate her to provide the added belief in herself to find the way back.
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 3:27am (UTC -5)
And its not a paradox if the first time around she didn't get the goodbye and knows the regret she feels is preventing her from being able to push on. He mother did hundreds of trips. There's no way of telling how many times Burnham has failed to do what she needs to do in her own loops.
Bob the Dob
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 4:21am (UTC -5)
All hail Michael Burnham, the very center of the universe time and time again. I wonder what season 3 of Star Trek: Michael Burnham will show us. Her walking on water? Perhaps becoming a demi-god? Perhaps the galactic leader of the entire multi-verse?

Also that teenage princess is the Jar Jar Binks of the trek universe. I hope she gets blown into space at some point.
Booming
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 4:36am (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roi
But it didn't prevent her from pushing on because she went back to create a situation to motivate herself. And she already knows that she has a time machine. I guess she did it to be more motivated beyond being motivated enough to go back in time to motivate herself. Which is important somehow.
Her mother did the trips to prevent the end of sentient life in the milky way. Michael did it to feel better about her relationship with her parent in the past which is pretty useless because she can travel back in time.

My hypothesis is that they forced this scene in so that they could have a good bye and the only reason they could come up with for her parents to be their is Michael sending Sarek a space telepathy message.

I have basically written the same answer three times now. Anybody here can make their own judgement (or is probably already ignoring this debate for quite a while).
Mirror Booming
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 4:53am (UTC -5)
Alan Roi is quickly becoming my favourite commenter here. :-)
Trent
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 5:05am (UTC -5)
Alan said: "If you and others would actually think for a moment you'd be able to understand how Sarek and Amanda could have gotten to the Discovery when they did"

I know exactly how they got there so fast. Because they were written by inept, impatient writers who cannot convey any sense of universe scale/size, geography or location, cannot structure a graceful and balanced script, and who cheesily yank characters light years across the universe onto the Discovery whenever the plot requires it. It's ridiculous to have Amanda and Sarek repeatedly bouncing from Vulcan to the Discovery, and similarly, for the Mirror Empress/Ash bouncing from Klingon space to the Discovery, not to mention Spock in his shuttle, from deep space to Vulcan. The way the show yanks its tiny cast of intimately connected people around, is laughable.

Alan said: "Also, if you'd actually watched the show, you would have learned that Dr. Burnham tried to do what you claim is easy hundreds of times and failed"

If you'd watch the show, you'd have learned that Michael's mom fails because her suit is always tethered to its starting location and so is never able to stay outside its "time worm hole" for more than a few minutes. She can't fix anything because she is always being yanked back. If you're a writer enforcing this contrivance, you can equally enforce a contrivance in which the Discovery - a ship with vastly more gear and weapons than the Red Angel - slingshots around a sun or magic time crystals to the past, or magic spore leaps to the past, and thereby lingers there until it blasts Control before it becomes Control. But the show contrives to set up season 3 instead.

Alan said: "so what you are doing is demand the show to be inconsistent with its own narrative."

A couple weeks ago you were defending the horrendous, trashy, cheesily written Michael Bay series, "Black Sails", as "serious TV". I think this is why you like Discovery. It's Michael Bay in space.

Paul B said: "despite the fact that the stakes for many of these emotional moments are introduced perhaps a few minutes before the conversation or battle"

And every dangerous/dramatic cliffhanger is ultimately reversed, or resolved hastily, often within the first few minutes of the next episode. Rewatch the season; all the cliffhangers are hollow and deflated once you know the outcome.

Prospekt said: "Here's my hot take: people are bashing this episode because there's a lot of indulgent goodbye scenes in it, but compare that to The Orville's..."

Isaac's unemotional receiving of these "farewells" added an creepy edge, undercut the cheese, cheese which Discovery revels in. And of course the Orville farewells are much shorter, funnier, and don't drag characters across the universe. More crucially, the series spent 2 seasons actually showing the crew together, hanging out, and Claire's family forming a bond with Isaac. These brief scenes are far more earned than Discovery's protracted, unbelievable farewells.

Aaron said: "Its very simple. future Burnham told him where and when she needed him to be."

I think everyone (except Booming) picked up that Michael called her parents (who mention her katra or whatever). The issue was about the cheesiness and speed at which Amanda repeatedly shuttles over to The Discovery. Space is small in this show, and characters pop up at the speed of plot necessity.

But this is to be expected: this is a show which can't focus long enough to last in its own universe, let alone time line. Attention. Deficit. Disorder. Trek.
Booming
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 5:15am (UTC -5)
@Trent
"I think everyone (except Booming) picked up that Michael called her parents (who mention her katra or whatever)."
That is what I meant with telepathy. The problem here is that at the moment in the episode when Sarek receives the katra message Burnham doesn't even know where they are going because the fifth signal hasn't appeared yet.
Trent
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 5:43am (UTC -5)
Booming said: "That is what I meant with telepathy. The problem here is that"

Yeah, I only now see what you've been talking about. I didn't read your subsequent messages/discussion when I hit "send". Personally, that stuff never even occurred to me. I'm trapped at a surface level of eye-rolling ("Why are you even bothering to write this!") and you're on some kind of next level, ninja eye-rolling ("You shouldn't write this, and if you do, clearly show your rules and calculations!").
SC
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 5:56am (UTC -5)
Imagine if Michael went to the future and that's now the show! The rest of the characters are gone. The DISCO haters would really hate that. They could rename it - The Michael Burnham show! Michael TNG.

[I personally don't have a problem with her. I did at first (because the actress was in Walking Dead mode, which might have been me) but I like her now.

Also, to all the trolls who hate DISCO, the Picard show is moving forward. People on YouTube were saying it's been cancelled, but it hasn't. Rehearsals have started. They're pushing it close for a 2019 debut, no?
Trent
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 6:10am (UTC -5)
Another weird thing about this episode: why don't our heroes use the spore drive, which has almost unlimited range, to jump somewhere where the Section 31 ships have no hope of catching them?

Instead they do a small jump, pick up their new time crystal recharge tech (from a silly, hastily shoe-horned character, first introduced in a Trek Short) stop to recharge the crystal, and then are "shocked" when they run out of recharge time and the enemy catches up with them.

Why not spore jump further away, recharge there (the recharge tech can go with them), and give yourself more time? Alternatively, jump to Klingon space and let the Klingons fight off Section 31.
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 6:12am (UTC -5)
@Trent

Enjoy raging for the next 5 years at this show, and more years at all the others that the success of Disco will spinoff. Won't change a thing or make your complaints any more valid or less made up than they are now. And anyone who has watched Black Sails knows that your criticisms of that show are similarly BS.

Don't worry, though, we are all laughing at you as you continue to melt down. Its entertaining.
SC
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 6:45am (UTC -5)
It's amazing that people keep watching things they supposedly hate. Your life is short. If you don't like Discovery, The Orville, Star Wars, Who, Potter etc... then stop watching them!

I stopped watching Discovery after S2 Ep3 and I was done. But a mate convinced me to give it another go and now I like it. Because S2 is much better than S1 and because the show works better when being binge-watched.
KMC
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 7:01am (UTC -5)
On the spore drive, how many times have they used it now despite knowing the devastation it is inflicting on May's people?
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 7:10am (UTC -5)
@KMC

Its not inflicting any damage on May's people. Man, its like people don't watch this show at all. The damage was done by resurrected Culber who. after they tried to eat him, coated himself in the bark of trees that was lethal to them and was wandering around aimlessly and damaging their environment because of that.
Artymiss
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 7:10am (UTC -5)
Earlier in the week, after seeing Spock in his Enterprise uniform, I was thinking to myself I'd love a spinoff set on Enterprise with Pike, Spock and....Culber as the Enterprise Doc.

And Culber is actually moving to Enterprise! I did like that scene between Culber and Stamets because it was low key, I kept waiting for it to descend into the hideous melodrama and emoting just about everyone else was indulging in but thankfully it didn't. The music didn't help, it was trying to force me to feel something and I resented it. That Tyler/Burnham goodbye scene made me want to throw up in a bucket (as did the spinning camera work in the Reno/Stamets/Tilly scene).

Good use of Reno in this episode but where the hell has she been for most of the previous episodes?!

And how is Spock going to end up not in the future on Discovery but on Enterprise? I think Michael will reset the past in some crucial way when she zooms off into the future next episode. Once Michael has literally saved the universe where can this character go in terms of utter wonderous amazingfulness, surely she will have reached the pinnacle of her glory and we can have significantly less focus on her in season 3, please.

Leland's killing of the entire Discovery bridge crew early on during Michael's vision of the future really ticked me off, really cynical writing. Again all the soaring, emotional music. Was I supposed to care, be moved??? What would've been the point as that mass death is obviously not going to happen. And yet the show seemed to be expecting me to weep as if it had or would.
SC
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 7:42am (UTC -5)
It would have been a good way of rebooting the show! Take everyone to the future - let them face the Borg etc... BUT we all know Spock wouldn't be there.
Maq
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 8:08am (UTC -5)
Having accepted that the antology time ist past. I try to enjoy the show. I do , mostly. It is still entertaining but not in the way that I like. I have also a quite big tolerance for minor flaws in the script. But .... they have 57 minutes until Enterprise will arrive , 10 minutes until control arrives.

What happens?

Michael is walking in the corridors having philosophical discussions with Giorgiou. Sarek and Amanda turns up for a little chat. A goodbye from the window. Then she starts to watch an instruction video from her mother. Tilly turns up for a chat. Then meeting in the corridor with the bridge crew.

Probably Pike is steering discovery alone or auto pilot. A small chat over the future. Then taking goodbye of Tylor. This takes 46 minutes. +1 minutes until Enterprise will arrive. Now obviously Pike gets a little stressed and calls for her. No hurry, time for a long kiss. The bridge crew goes to their apartment’s start recording messages to their loved ones. Stammets have also everything under control, his men and women.
Michael arrives to the bridge, the other bridge crew that just where in their compartments are already there, very efficient in going to thier cabns and then to the bridge. The Tylor kiss must have been longer than shown. The farewell speech from Pike starts , discovery turns up. It’s now 8 minutes to go. Speech ready, 5 minutes until control arrives. Start to evacuate those who wants to leave. Now back to work. O now we need to honour the captain first.
Unfortunately there is still some engineering problems. Reno volunteers to make the final sacrifice. A short goodbye.
On the Bridge there is now 30 second to go. Time for Pic and co to calmly beam back.

Dear scriptwriters, if you read this. I accept parallel universes, beaming, time travel , strange metaphysic and things that you need to invent to get a story. I tolerate you making a good soap instead of the old fashion story telleing but please get this thing reasonable realistic. It is not neccesary to irritate us with such poor scriptwriting.
Dragana
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 9:30am (UTC -5)
Pathos pathos pathos pathos.
I’m criticising this and last episodes, because I really liked the potential of Discovery, but I feel disappointed in what course the series took.
As the season 2 is coming to its great finale, I’m less and less hooked on this show.
First part was pretty okay, but the last four episodes were really messy. I don’t know what writers are thinking, but having a Very Emotional Scene (VES) in every episode isn’t working. Why having a long scene of Airiam’s funeral, when viewers are not attached emotionally to this bland character? It also felt kinda sad, because for a moment they wanted us to think that Nhan also died and no one cared. Same with this Pike’s pilot from the beginning of season. Just imagine, you take your two crew members to a mission, one dies and then you shrug it off because.. Because why? Because Burnham is so amazing?

I actually liked Burnham character from first season. She was more flawed and guilty of Klingon war. Just another person, trying to make up for her mistakes and growing as a person thanks to it. And right now? Her character was destroyed by all the coincidences and links. What is so amazing in her that everyone likes? I don’t see her as a person at all, just plot device and VES server.
That’s a bad writing. At least they should make other crew members more sceptical towards Burnham. For example, using Jett Reno as an observer on Discovery, commenting stupid course of action. “The Red Angel is Burnham’s Mom and Leland Knew Her Parents!” Jett Reno: “Are you guys serious? Are we in some sort of weird tv show?”

Saru is much better, he’s a self-made-man. No links, no famous parents, only his own decisions.
Another reason why VES are not working is because characters don’t really talk with each other. They exchange speeches instead of normal dialogues. So they seem flat, who talks like that in real life? The super quick friendships are making it unbelievable (like the one between Po and Tilly, c’mon! they spent like what, one day with each other and now Po decides to leave her whole planet? the hell?)
I think that sometimes illogical things in the script could happen if the writers want to tell amazing story and the narrative is so compelling and layered, that some minor mistakes are understandable or forgiven. But in this case - what story they are telling? I see no story, just pieces of it mixed together.
On the bright side:
I like Saru and his new confidence, Stamets and Culber dynamic, Georgiou being caring and her idea about destroying life (that was actually a nice dialogue, about bad ideas), Pike being down to earth and very likeable character, the alien who had a flu and their auto-antonym game from last episode.

Some thoughts about this episode:
Why they couldn’t just leave explosives near the engines of Discovery when self-destruct failed?
Why Burnham never told anyone about the vision?
Really hate lightflares.
Why Sarek and Amanda couldn’t use their subspace communication to tell Starfleet that Section 31 is compromised? If Section 31 knew Sarek is coming, they could’ve just destroyed their shuttle, if they didn’t how could they interfere in communication?
Ash should go somewhere far away and never come back.
Burnham should go to therapy, trauma level above normal.
Let’s start over in future and make Discovery a show that asks important questions instead of “we have to stop the world from being destroyed” show.
Whew.
Anyway, thanks for having this space to discuss it!
The Gorn
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 10:01am (UTC -5)
Oh, how right you are, @Dragana! My feelings exactly.

I'd like to adopt @SC's proposal and binge-watch season 2 once it has wrapped up. If I can make it through w/o destroying my screen, that is. Probably the best would be to watch it while doing cardio or something.

@Artymiss

An Enterprise/Pike/Culber spinoff would be awesome! Not sure if I ever get used to a bearded Spock w/o always being reminded of "Return to the planet of apes", but hell yeah, that would be awesome!
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 10:25am (UTC -5)
@Maq

As someone who has read a lot of novels, I was able to look at this as the penultimate chapter of a 14 chapter novel and not the first 45 minutes of a 90 minute movies. Perhaps that's why it didn't feel eggregious to me.
Maq
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 10:52am (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi

It was the 70 minutes frist within the plot that irritede me. Had they said we have 48 hours to sort it out all these actions would have been "relistic". If you can speak of realism in sci-fy. Keep in mind that they also had to build finsh this strange time trave suite. I am normally not so fuzzy regarding details but I do not se any reason for making it unrelistic in this way.

The story iteslf I enjoyed even if I was not overwhelmed . Also the patheic stuff was ok. In earlier Treks there was not so much of these kind of feelings involved. It is ok to include it , also the very large amount of femal charcter is ok. I actually prefer it. I do look forward to next episode.
methane
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 11:18am (UTC -5)
“Flat. Flat. Flat.”
“Pathos pathos pathos pathos”

Is there some unwritten that if we repeat the same word over and over that it increases its meaning? Tell you what guys, I’ll make you a deal. You quit doing this and I promise to read the other words in your comment.
methane
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 11:19am (UTC -5)
Unwritten rule, sorry.
Dragana
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 11:24am (UTC -5)
@The Gorn
Thanks!

@Maq
“In earlier Treks there was not so much of these kind of feelings involved. It is ok to include it , also the very large amount of femal charcter is ok. I actually prefer it. I do look forward to next episode.”

I agree that diverse cast is a great thing. From this point of view Star Trek was always good, makeing every series more inclusive. That is something that works in favour of the series. Showing strong female leads, different, not bound by their gender at all. It’s great that it’s above gender in some way. Showing Lorca as a broken man, entangled in ego and power - superb! In contrast Pike is this non-violent, sympathetic wise guy but with no power play.

Emotional scenes are not bad per se, just in my opinion they don’t work in this season and intensity. It would be stronger to have less emotional scenes (and in silence for example, like in “ All Quiet on the Western Front” from 1930, the silence was powering the tension).
Hugs!
Dragana
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 11:36am (UTC -5)
@methane
You absolutely don’t have to read anything, although repeating the word was a wink towards Jammer’s CONTROL prank review. Also repeating a word is commonly used in a literarure, “a rose is a rose is a rose”.
Hugs
Jammer
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
Review now posted.
Artymiss
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
I was just thinking about the ST short set in the far future where Discovery is crewless and the lonely ship computer has developed into a sort of hyper intelligent and aware Alexa... So I reckon the entire crew gets back to the present at some point leaving Discovery hidden in the future for its own good and the good of the universe. I still think Michael will sacrifice herself and thus reset (reboot?) the past and that way Spock never had a sister and we find him beardless (I hope!) and back on Enterprise.

The other thing I ponder is this: Control destroying all sentient live in the universe... Does this include all mirror universes too?
Mertov
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
Wonderful review Jammer. Thanks for the insight and sanity :)
Each one of your reviews is a reminder of the main reason - insightful & sane takes on each episode - why I come to this site.
Trent
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 12:53pm (UTC -5)
Dragana said: "Why they couldn’t just leave explosives near the engines of Discovery when self-destruct failed?"

It's odd. Starfleet's finest can assemble a cutting-edge Time Traveling Space Suit which has an infinitely powerful computer, in one hour, but aren't smart enough to spore jump further away from Section 31, or figure out how to destroy Discovery (eg push everyone in an escape pod, activate the Enterprise's self destruct, and ram it into the Discovery). As Jammer says, they instead incredulously/immediately jump to solutions that exist because they were reverse engineered to push the show where it needs to be.
Paul M.
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 1:10pm (UTC -5)
Discovery's hypersonic plotting really deserves a good old Jammer's season recap. I know we're not gonna get it, but I think it'd be a cool read.
Rahul
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 1:13pm (UTC -5)
Great review from Jammer -- really nails what's so wrong about this episode and how the writers are trying to shoehorn plot to get to a certain end. Yes, this episode layered on the melodrama pretty thick, as I previously mentioned, but that's not the biggest problem.

This is key from Jammer's review: "Let's call it a problution: Something that moves the plot forward by creating a problem X that must be solved with solution Y in order to get us to destination Z. Except that Z was obviously conceived first, so X and Y are improvised by the writers to justify the utter insanity of going to Z."

It's the "problution" that is killing these writers -- not that they have consistently proven themselves to be capable -- and the choice of starting DSC in the Trek canon roughly a decade before TOS. This series needed to start sometime in the future after VOY finished and come up with new ideas and not be constrained by canon and trying to pay lip-service to TOS -- though "If Memory Serves" was terrific (but that's just 1 episode).

The other thing is the Short Trek "Calypso" is an end that needs to be reached -- so the Discover with fully functional AI (sphere data) is supposed to end up 1,000 years in the future. Where Burnham is etc. who knows -- I guess we find out next week along with a Big Battle. But yes, next week's episode either knocks it out of the park or falls flat. I'm banking on something closer to the latter.
Brian Lear
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 2:31pm (UTC -5)
Re-watched, and it seemed even more contrived than first viewing. I almost think Jammer was right about them extending to 14 episodes in order to force people to renew All-access. Can anyone else confirm, is it true that you have to renew all access just to watch the finale? That seems awfully shady...
methane
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Just a note:

I'm the guy that normally posts on this site with the name "methane", and the guy above isn't me. I don't normally post on this series, since I haven't watched it!
John Harmon
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 6:35pm (UTC -5)
I have a question...if this show didn’t have the Star Trek brand attached to it, would anyone care about this? I see people doing mental gymnastics to excuse the sloppy writing and I just can’t imagine this show would have ever made it past season one if it weren’t for the strength of the Star Trek brand alone pulling in subscribers.

This show is objectively a mess, writing wise. I’m honestly floored that this show is written by actual professional Hollywood writers. Maybe it’s because of all the mess this show has had behind the scenes for the past two seasons. Or maybe it’s the Alex Kurtzman influence, who has a particular talent for failing up in his industry. Every script he’s written has been awful and he’s brought down multiple franchises.

It seems like they’re preparing for a major change of scenery for the series, as if that fixes all the problems. I just don’t know if can be fixed if the next season is going to be another season long mystery box story arc with nonsensical plotting. If this season finale is meant to “fix” the canon issues Discovery has with the rest of Star Trek, it just means they wasted an entire season “fixing problems” they made themselves. The show should be called Star Trek: Course Correction, because that’s what this season feels like. If they want to iron out the kinks of the show, they need to get rid of Kurtzman’s influence completely and hire writers who can actually do sci-fi and good character work, as opposed to soap opera melodrama.
Trent
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 6:50pm (UTC -5)
Someone explain this to me: the data sphere raises the shields because it knows the Enterprise wants to destroy the Discovery. But the data sphere also lowers the shields to let the very people who want to destroy it, beam back onto Discovery? Doesn't that make no sense? And while back on the Discovery, and under its shields, the crew can't cook up a way to destroy Discovery?
Mertov
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
Here is a mental gymnastic for you..

"I have a question...if this show didn’t have Kurtzman attached to it, would anyone care to hate-watch and shit on week after week it as intensely they can? I see people doing mental gymnastics to nit-pick every second possible to shit on the writers and I just can’t imagine they would have ever watched it past season one if it weren’t for the strength of the Kurtzman brand alone pulling in hate watchers.

Etc, etc..."
------------

Now, as for the answer..

I am not sure which one is worse.

(1) That someone willingly chooses to spend 45 to 55 minutes to watch a show they loathe with a passion + the time to read all the comments about that show they loathe + take time discharge their deep loathing for it week after week, probably adding to a few hours per week charging their loath-o-meter and unload it every week,

or,

(2) That someone does mental gymnastics to excuse the sloppy writing because it has a Star Trek brand.

They both sound pathetic to me, but you be the judge (oh wait.... unless you belong to one of the two above.)

Or,

there is also a third one, different that the two above:

(3) you can simply watch a TV show, like the show/episode in question (which is not the same as the described individual at no.2 above) or dislike it (which is not the same as the described individual at no.1 above) and discuss that in this great message board without seeing it as a space to get antaognistic with anyone offering constructive criticism or as a space to unload your passionate loathing of the show and its showrunner like.a broken record to the point where people see your name and know exactly what to expect.

Luckily, majority of participants belong to no.3
Except that no.1 or no.2 are the perennial noise-makers.
Trent
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 7:36pm (UTC -5)
Further to my comment above, rewatching the scene, Michael has a crystal vision of the Enterprise shooting at the Discovery, and seeing that it fails, tells Pike not to bother shooting at the ship. The moment is hard to miss, because it's structured as a little vision immediately after her main vision. So the Discovery never actually raises shields to defend itself from the Enterprise. It lets everyone back on board, because it doesn't quite view them as threat. But once on board, surely there are a million ways to detonate that ship, unless the Info Orb wants Control to find it. Maybe it thinks Control will preserve it and give it life, so to speak.
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 8:29pm (UTC -5)
@Mertov

As far as I have been able to see the idea that #2 people exist at all is directly sourced from the #1 people.
Tanner
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
I would think that the Enterprise could eventually overpower and collapse Discovery's shields. Or is it that the sphere data has made its shields impenetrable?
Michael H.
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 10:19pm (UTC -5)
“I have a question...if this show didn’t have the Star Trek brand attached to it, would anyone care about this?”

I’m sorry but this question is - in the vernacular of others here - dumb, dumb, dumb. Would anyone care about TNG if Star Trek wasn’t attached to it? How about Enterprise? I don’t think we can construct a hypothetical show without the brand these shows based on because...wait for it...these shows are based on brands and written that way.

In line with your thinking, I offer a piece of wisdom to anyone who doesn’t like this show: don’t consider it Star Trek and let it go. I made that decision with Enterprise long ago and am perfectly content.
wayne Ostler
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 11:25pm (UTC -5)
In answer to your comment Tanner, potentially the Discovery could fire back on Enterprise.
The episode was the biggest disappointment of series two for me.
It started with the overlong good byes - Stammets to Culber, Burnham to her foster parents (who decided to Pop by because they knew trouble was ahead. Could they have not brought back up??) Burnham to Ash..The rest of the cast to family. That in itself took up about half an hour all told. And to see them all talking to family when it was 20 minutes to leyalands arrival- come on???
With regard to the Spare and Control...I have a feeling that these are two underdeveloped characters....a couple of episodes ago they tried to delete the database...and it couldn't be done. Did anyone try to figure out how this could be done. Now, they try destroy the ship- and oh well, the database has pretty much taken over discovery and won't allow it. They haven't looked at what it is about the database that allows it to do that (other than a terrifically trite 'oh, it must be sentient'. They haven't tried to crack its secrets, to see what benefit it can deliver, to find out what specifically Control wants (maybe the offending data can be targeted and deleted. Maybe control wants it for some good purpose). They have a major mystery, something that's sentient....and no one's looking at it.
Jammer also infers above that we really don't why Control wants the database, except that Control is bad, so it's reason is bad. I loved that moment when Leyland goes to look at a viewer- and a drill mysteriously pops out at him. In that episode we see control appear as a couple of holograms and it mainly says it wants him (you know, cos, he's real bad). Then in the next episode it reveals that it wants Burnham (cos she's at the centre of everything, right??) Outside of that we know nothing about it..and thus they fight it, not knowing why...
Lynos
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 1:48am (UTC -5)
Once again, the main reason to watch this show is the eye candy. The Enterprise bridge looked fantastic. THIS is how you design something to feel both retro and updated at the same time.
The writers keep reminding us, though, that there will be NO HOLOGRAMS on the Enterprise, to get themselves out of their own sinkhole. More on that later.

So the sphere takes over Discovery and does not allow it to be destroyed in order to protect itself. It cancels the self-destruct sequence and raises shields. It has been established in Trek universe that shields can be fired upon and weakened and ultimately destroyed, but apparently not in this version of Trek. The sphere then ALLOWS the crew that wanted to destroy it to board Discovery again, and the crew hatches a plan which involves putting Discovery on auto-pilot.
Since the writers have established that the sphere now has partial or even full control over Discovery, I'm not sure how everyone is so confident their plan will succeed. Ah, it's because the sphere controls Discovery when it's required by the plot, and not controlling it when it's not.

Po, a character I did not recognize, arrives on the bridge. I went and saw the short this character is from. The short is nothing special and while Po had some fun dialogue involving ice cream, nothing in this plot line was especially memorable.

Georgiou pops up again out of nowhere to crack some jokes. I don't get this character. It started the season as a sneering villain undercover, somehow began to turn "good" during the season, and now she's simply a comic relief. I don't get her motivations and I don't understand who she is. Michelle Yeoh is great but the writers are completely botching this character.

Then a tearful goodbye from Burnham (who cries for the third or fourth time this season) only to have everyone change their minds and decide to ride into possible oblivion along with her because hey, they all love her so much or something. We get heartfelt scenes with characters we know nothing about even though we've seen them for more than 20 episodes write letters to loved ones. Give me a break, Discovery.

So considering all the time shenanigans, it is possible we're going towards either a partial reset of the timeline or a branching into a parallel universe, just like the JJ Abrams movies did. I stopped really considering Discovery as canon a while ago, but the writers lack of confidence in their own material is telling. After screwing up the timeline in season 1 with all kind of weird decisions, they have spent a good chunk of this season trying to correct that. I think I would really have preferred they just stuck to their own brave new universe with its bald Klingons and holographic communications and Spock's half-sister and gave us the finger. I think I would've respected them a little more. Because all this course-correction just shows me the people behind Discovery have no idea what they are doing.

Either way, the show remains a fascinating mess to watch and I can't wait to see how they wrap it all up.
Andre
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 3:32am (UTC -5)
Sigh. Let’s begin.

1. Why not just jump discovery to the delta quadrant or...idk....ANDROMEDA GALAXY? S31 ships still use basic warp nacelles. So it would take them centuries to reach these places which effectively removes the threat from now. ...what’s that? That’s too logical? Oh you want a convoluted time travel explanation which makes no sense ? Ok then.

2. Why not jump the ship to The mirror universe again? It’s lol sentient life on the line.... so... why not?

3. Denote a photon torpedo next to the warp core of discovery. Easy.

4. In the ship entirely out of power, then blow it up. Unless the sphere can make energy out of nothing, problem solved.

5. How how how was a shuttle from Vulcan able to find discovery ? Are they still broadcasting their position? What!
Corollary- how were they able to get to discovery before s31? Oh, you just want to be an emotion slut and get all the feels ? Even if it makes no sense? Okay then.

6. Seems like control is basically sentient already. It is self aware. It strategists, it understands self preservation and it grows. Why does it need the sphere data again. I SWEAR ALL the discovery writers are gender studies graduates who never attended a single science class in their life. NoR economics. Or management. Or anything of use which would describe actual reality and human interaction for that matter.

Alright. There is one single hope. One. If discovery becomes a time traveling ship, allowing the crew to spend a season in a different time period, allowing us the audience to really get a grand story of the federation. So season 3 could be about the post nemesis time period, kick starting the Picard series before it jumps again far to the future to see a possible downfall of the federation due to internal strife then a final season where we see it reform from the ashes like a better written Andromeda.
.....what’s that? Thy said this time jump will burn out the time crystal making it a single jump to an unknown future where we have to stay? Oh, ok then.

Well at least there’s the Orville. What’s that? They did ANOTHER episode about the Maklans ? Oh. Okay then.
Booming
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 4:54am (UTC -5)
@Andre

What is your problem with gender studies?? You do realize that even though it is a very young subjects, it is a scientific field. The stupidity of people talking about this field is mind numbing. Go 300 years back and talk to a physicist or a chemist and I guarantee you will have to listen to far more lunacy than today in the gender studies. Or are you implying that there are no differences between the sexes and therefor there is no reason to study this specifically?

You know what?! Believe the hyper emotional hogwash youtube has told you. And definitely don't work on whatever insecurity you have that is giving you the need to write this testament of ignorance.
Trent
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 5:01am (UTC -5)
Andre said: "Why not just jump discovery to the delta quadrant or...idk....ANDROMEDA GALAXY?"

I rewatched the episode, and this seems the biggest bad bit of writing. The Disco can pick up the "crystal recharging technology", spore jump out of range of Section 31, and then begin charging the crystals with the spore drive.

And as others say, there are multiple ways to destroy the Discovery, especially as it lets the crew back on board. If push comes to shove, the Enterprise can also be used as a detonating battering ram.

More crucially, the crew know that the sphere data is intelligent and self-aware (sort of sentient? Fully?) when it begins to protect itself, and certainly when it blocks the remote detonation. Yet they never seek to communicate with it.
Paul M.
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 5:35am (UTC -5)
@Rahul:

(...) killing these writers (...) [is] the choice of starting DSC in the Trek canon roughly a decade before TOS. This series needed to start sometime in the future after VOY finished (...)

I speculated years ago that the, frankly unneeded, decision to place DIS pre-TOS is the likely result of not wanting to mess with split timelines that resulted from Abrams' movies and thus confuse the audiences that were first introduced to the franchise courtesy of J.J.

Now, I believe this was weird and unnecessary: old Trekkies know better, and new ones will hardly be bothered -- if they even notice anything -- by some divergent lore, e.g. Vulcan still being there.

But such is the way of Hollywood: I sincerely doubt that the present course of action was the result of creators' and showrunners' decisions, but was more likely mandated by execs from above because they wanted to tie their show more closely to the J.J. Trek.

Of course, once you're under that mandate, it's still the responsibility of the showrunners to deliver the best possible product. That they haven't speaks primarily to their failings.
Kira Nerys
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 7:07am (UTC -5)
Okay, I've been going through a super emotional phase in my life and crying at the drop of a hat...yet all this episode made me do was roll my eyes to high heaven. This must be some kind of special (anti-)accomplishment! The harder they try to make us FEEL, the worse it gets. After actually getting better somewhere around the mid of the season, Discovery has now become so contrived, cheesy and ham-fisted it's barely watchable.

The most watchable part for me was seeing Captain Pike in a gold shirt...sooo hot!!! Almost makes up for the "touching" goodbye of Tyler and Burnham and all those "hearfelt" letters from crew members we don't know anything about. So sorry to see Pike go ;( He was the best thing about Season 2!
Kira Nerys
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 7:17am (UTC -5)
Discovery is like that guy who lays it on thick from the beginning of the first date, showering you with flowers and sappy poetry even though he doesn't know a thing about you...and then calls you a bitch for not liking him back.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 8:45am (UTC -5)
@Andre

What does it matter how sentient Control actually is (which we can't actually tell anyways) if it still wants the sphere data to improve itself?
SC
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 8:48am (UTC -5)
@Kira Nerys. That guy has probably been rejected time and time again. He's lonely and looking for love. Consider his feelings.

I do agree with you that Pike is the best thing about season 2. However after initially being lukewarm to Discovery, I quite like it now. At the end of the day, it's just a TV show. If you're no longer having fun, maybe stop watching it. Life is short.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 9:10am (UTC -5)
@Lynos

"It cancels the self-destruct sequence and raises shields."

Again, another case of you not paying attention to what you are watching. The Discovery never raised its shields because the Enterprise had yet to fire at it. But this is common among haters who see what they want to see whether it happened on screen or not.
Lynos
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 10:59am (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roy

My phrasing was a bit off, but Discovery did raise its shields when Enterprise fired at it so that is what I meant, and the criticism still stands. Shields can be weakened. It did certainly happen on screen.
Not only that, but when Pike orders another volley of photon torpedoes Michael tells him to stop saying that the sphere has not merged with Discovery and use its shields for protection.

By the way, I am not a hater. I can be very critical of the show and still like/enjoy certain aspects of it. I always try to highlight some of the positives when I comment on the episodes. If there will come a time where I will find no redeeming values in it then I will stop watching. I'm not a masochist.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 11:03am (UTC -5)
@Lynos

Watch it again. The shots at the Discovery never happened and it never raised its sheilds. They were part of Burnham's vision and Pike canceled the order to fire before they actually happened. There was no second volley. She stopped him before the first was fired.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 11:13am (UTC -5)
Here are some specifics you missed:



The self destruct fails.

Burnham's vision starts:

Saru say "That is not possible."
Pike says "Arm Photon Torpedos."

We get a scene of Burnham in reverse demonstrating this is a vision.

The vision passes, Burnham snaps out of it, right after the auto destruct fails.

Saru say "That is not possible."
Pike says "Arm Photon Torpedos."

She then tells them that the ship is going to use its shield and Spock says "You sound rather certain." If the Discovery had raised its sheild already, why would he say that?
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 11:28am (UTC -5)
When I watch a show and something doesn't track, my first thought is not, "there's something wrong with this show". My first thought is "did I miss something?". I find that I learn more from that choice of reaction.
Trent
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 12:05pm (UTC -5)
Paul M said: "I speculated years ago that the, frankly unneeded, decision to place DIS pre-TOS is the likely result of not wanting to mess with split timelines that resulted from Abrams' movies "

I think it was done for purely commercial reasons. The TOS era is more swashbuckling, edgier in a pulpy way, has readily packaged villains and so forth. It's the perfect epoch for a vast, pulpy, action series.

But "Discovery's" never been able to work well on these lowly terms. It needed to learn better lessons from JJ Trek: it had to be lighter, simpler, more tongue-in-cheek, more roller coaster and less convoluted. Instead it married three conflicting approaches: the mainstream action of JJ Trek, the mind-bending, SF plots of Brannon Braga, and the wannabe long-form grunge of stuff like Game of Thrones. The show got greedy.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 1:09pm (UTC -5)
@Trent

These statements are constructed of pretentious idiocy, expected from viewers such as the one I had to correct above, who don't even bother to watch what they are criticizing, and when they do, miss so much of what they are watching, yet are so arrogant to think they haven't, and declare what they've failed to grasp as a mess.
Jammer
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
Oh, give it a rest, @Alan Roi. Your constant refrain that the only explanation for anyone who has a negative take on Discovery's plotting is that they aren't watching the show closely enough or don't understand it or can't follow it (unlike yourself) just comes across as arrogant condescension and arguing in bad faith.
Paul M.
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 1:46pm (UTC -5)
@Trent:

"I think it was done for purely commercial reasons. The TOS era is more swashbuckling, edgier in a pulpy way, has readily packaged villains and so forth. It's the perfect epoch for a vast, pulpy, action series."

There's no reason you can't have a swashbuckling action series post-VOY. Just because it's set in the future doesn't mean the show has to adhere to a more TNG-era approach to storytelling. They could have done whatever they wanted in whatever time period they wanted. Doubly so when you consider that the initial idea was NOT to feature Spock or Enterprise. So if you're doing a prequel show and don't really want to "prequelize" stuff all that much, why do it in the first place? While your explanation certainly has merit, I still think that the primary motivation behind placing DIS ahead of TOS was twofold:

(1) to avoid answering (literal and narrative, not to mention copyright) questions about "Prime or Abrams", and
(2) hitch a ride on the movie bandwagon -- stylistically and by drawing on other common elements.

I still think DIS is superior to Abrams Trek, which I found almost unwatchable.
MadManMUC
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 1:50pm (UTC -5)
@ Trent

'Instead it married three conflicting approaches: the mainstream action of JJ Trek, the mind-bending, SF plots of Brannon Braga, and the wannabe long-form grunge of stuff like Game of Thrones. The show got greedy. '

I don't know if the show got greedy, as such. I think it was more a case of just plain old CBS wanting to 1) stay relevant with what is called 'modern TV' (GoT/SoA/BB/BSG/etc-style), 2) choosing Trek as the platform with which to attempt to milk that particular cash cow.

Which is fine. I don't *fundamentally* object to largely serialised Trek. What's really ailing this show, in the end, is simple writing and plotting ineptitude. Placing emphasis on sieve-like plots before giving us reasons to invest in characters. Making the characters themselves either unrelated, unbelievable, unlikable, or simply ill thought-out. Adding too many characters. Adding too many plots.

I remember saying in the comments in one of the S01 episodes that if they really wanted to go down this serialised road, they would have been very, very intelligent to bring on Ira Steven Behr and Ronald D Moore, instead of the clown car of writers and proiducers they had then and now. They both have the Trek credentials, and can actually plot serial stories effectively.

I'll bet anything that if those two had had a hand in this show, it would have been a really compelling watch, even with the dodgy premise is started out with.

Oh, and Alan? Piss off. You're tedious and patronising.
MadManMUC
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 1:51pm (UTC -5)
@ Paul M

'I still think DIS is superior to Abrams Trek, which I found almost unwatchable. '

No question; but — if we're really honest with ourselves — JJ-Trek set the bar incredibly low, and it's not like Discovery did a high jump over it.
Steven Lee
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
@MadMenMUC.

"No question; but — if we're really honest with ourselves..."

Er, no because I prefer J J's Treks to Discovery. I like all three films.
Daya
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 2:55pm (UTC -5)
Wow, Alan Roi's observation blew my mind (not the one about "some viewers" and so on, but the one about photon torpedoes). What Alan said did not track with what I remembered, so I went and watched that part of the episode again; and again. And again. I have come to the conclusion that, yes, Alan Roi is right. *No photon torpedoes were fired* by the Enterprise at the Discovery. It was all Burnham's dream. (I know the editing does not make this obvious at all, but after viewing it thrice at least I am willing to believe that Alan's version is what the writers meant. If anyone wishes to disagree, please do so without hating me or Alan.)

If this is the case, the episode just became much weirder than I thought it was. After the auto-destruct failure, they didn't even try! Even if Burnham saw that a couple of photon torpedoes failed to destroy the Discovery, I do not understand (a) why the vision should be trusted and (b) what in the vision prevents the Enterprise crew from at least trying to blow up the Discovery. At the most a few minutes and a few photon torpedoes would be wasted.

If anything, Burnham's vision depicted that both ships would survive deep into the battle with Control, so there was no harm in trying right now, when the battle is at least an hour away. Burnham saw a photon torpedo lodged in Enterprise's hull, in a vision approximately an hour from right now. Owosekun and Saru, both somehow back on the Discovery, seemed surprised by this, which means the photon torpedo was not launched an hour in advance of the battle. Thus that photon torpedo from the vision has no bearing on whether photon torpedoes should be fired at the Discovery right now or not.


P.S. @Alan, you have amply demonstrated with this example that you are the most careful watcher of the show. I do understand how you may feel frustrated by the rest of us who have a hard time following some points. I have described my confusion above not to declare "I hate this show", but because I am genuinely perplexed.
Daya
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
Regarding the scene with Sarek / Amanda, the scene would have worked better had it been over subspace video (holo) conferencing. I think the writers realized after the scenes were set and the casting was finalized that subspace communications had to be jammed to keep the Discovery / Enterprise from contacting the rest of the Federation. This then caused them to rejig the scene to happen in person. It kind of still plays out like a holo-call.

Here's an idea: the scene could have been made more plausible as a Katra-call rather than a visit. We know Sarek can Katra-call Burnham. (And mind melding has been depicted many times as the subject's mind possessing the initiator's body, so Burnham could have met Amanda as well, like Patrick Swayze meets Demi Moore in Ghost. Just a thought.)

Improbability aside, I liked the actual scene, especially Sarek's regret.
Paul M.
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
@Daya,

I don't think that's a photon torpedo lodged in Enterprise's hull. It's way too big. Some kind of probe? Insidious evil malicious thing trying to take control of the ship? Proto-Borg ship-sized nanite-delivery vehicle intent on assimilating everything in its path? Be sure to tune in next week and find out!
Daya
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
@Paul M: Or it could be Khan.
Steven
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
So, does anyone else think they’re not going to end with a new time at all by the finale? They spent so much time here with cheerful goodbyes. And yet, generally when a show explains to you in detail what will happen, something different happens. It’s the inverse of “The Unspoken Plan Guarantee” for those of you into TV Tropes. For starters, there’s no way Spock is getting stuck in the future even if he insists he’s going. Anyway, if I had to guess, something will change the current timeline but they’ll still be in the same pre-TOS period.

@Daya

Thank you for engaging everyone politely. I had half a mind to defend Alan, too. To be sure, he’s being snarky, but with the tone of some of the criticisms, I can sort of see his frustration. Let’s be true to Trek and keep things civil, all.
Booming
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 3:49pm (UTC -5)
@ Daya
I noticed it but it is a little confusing because it is a vision which then jumps an hour into the future to Leborg killing the bridge crew. I assumed that the archive Discovery began to defend itself and that took and hour so that Lecutus could arrive but it isn't really that clear.

It is kind of weird that everybody just accepts Burnhams bad feeling/vision. But shortly after that they decided to go back to the Discovery making the first 15 min kind of pointless which made me a little angry.

I found it very odd to show Saru, Culber and Stamets leaving their rooms or workspace behind and then let Saru and Stamets come back 10 minutes later (and Culber will come back too). It felt like pretty heavy filler.
Now that Jammer has told us this little detail about the CBS membership this episode makes so much more sense.
Paul M.
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 4:02pm (UTC -5)
@Daya

"Or it could be Khan."

Nah. Could be K'Ehleyr being delivered to the Enterprise, photon torpedo-style. I mean, she's used to it.
Jasper
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 4:27pm (UTC -5)
Yawned my way through the goodbyes. Laughed at all the speeches and the surprise party of the crew in the hallway while the clock was ticking on making a timesuit and all. All in all this episode mostly was rather boring.
Lynos
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 4:50pm (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roy @ Daya

I watched the scene again several times and I see no evidence that it was entirely fabricated in Michael's head. The editing and camera plays it straight. Up until now, including this episode, the visions had a distinct feel to them. Yes, we cut back to Michael's face but she is just listening.
Then at some point, I believe on the line "Liland's ships are now in range, captain" we go into the vision proper with a distinct sound effect and camera movement. If the vision already started, why would we have another "vision starting" moment within the vision? Is this a David Cronenberg film? Michael has her vision, sees the ship boarded and her friends killed - the vision has the feel of a nightmare - then it ends when she says "excuse me captain". Note that Michael says "we should have anticipated it would use our shields". Why would she say "anticipated" if it never happened? If that was the case she would say "we should anticipate it would use our shields".
Two more points: 1) during Michael's supposedly early vision, there is a conversation with Saru and Saru realizes what the sphere has done. It does not make sense to me that this all takes place during a dream/vision. 2) if Alan's and Daya's interpretation is correct, then Enterprise didn't even TRY to shoot at Discovery. Why not? What does it have to lose? Michael doesn't tell them it's dangerous, only that it's futile. Pike would just take her word for it?

I'm sorry if Alan is tearing his hair our reading this and thinking I'm an idiot. I am not saying my interpretation is the right one, I'm only saying this is how I interpret the scene, even after watching it multiple times. It's okay to tell me I'm wrong but please respect my point of view if I choose to disagree.
Lynos
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 4:58pm (UTC -5)
I would also like to say that whether I'm wrong or not, Jammer in his review interpreted the scene the same way as I did:

"Well, it turns out this plan also doesn't work, because the data has now merged with Discovery's computer and has enough control of the ship to disarm the auto-destruct. It also raises its shields when the Enterprise starts firing torpedoes at it. So it's back to the drawing board, with only an hour before Control's Section 31 ships arrive."
Gooz Chos
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 5:05pm (UTC -5)
The characters are now so annoying that I'm solidly on Team Control. When will it finally get its hand on the data and rid the universe of these losers?

Also, we're slowly getting set up for the giant reset button.

Holographic communications is no more. Why? Reasons. Not sure if I understood the explanation.

Discovery's spore drive is no more. Why? It's in the future.

Spock's always-almost-crying step-sister is no more. Why? See spore drive.

There no more Kelpiens in the Fedration. Why? See spore drive.

Still unexplained:
- Where did all the gays and lesbians go in TOS, TNG, and DS9? Must've been a right-wing backlash right after STD.
- Why does mirror universe Georgiou not have a goatee?
brian
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 5:36pm (UTC -5)
wow what a waste of an episode and my time. the jokes about how long the ending of return of the king is applies here much more. self important and dumb. trying to make us care about characters they never wrote properly in the first place.. serves me right for watching this stupid boring contrived show written by soap opera hacks who wouldnt know real science fiction even if harlan ellisone slapped them in the face.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 6:14pm (UTC -5)
@Lynos @Daya

Michael says, "We should have anticipated it would use our ship and our shields."

Whey does she say it this way? Because she's repeating what she heard in the vision. To her, the conversation over not havint anticipated the data protecting itself has already happened and is past tense, even if to Pike and the rest it hasn't happened, or indeed will never happen.

As for why they don't make any further attempts, you just need to move a little futher when she brings up that they had to have been brought to where they are for a reason by the latest red burst, and that's the time crystal which needs Po's tech to get it to work so they will be able to time travel successfully. And then Pike gets on board with that, and that's all she wrote.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 6:17pm (UTC -5)
@Steven

I wouldn't worry about Spock getting sent to some other time and being able to find his way back to wherever he needs to be. That's kind of always been his thing.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
@Daya

As for Sarek and Amanda showing up, my interpretation of how that happens is that Future Burnham, doing her best to make sure everything plays out, katra visits Sarek in her future but before the events of this ep to tell him she needs him to visit her to say goodbye as she remembers him doing so and decides that the reconciliation she has with him and Amanda is what has helped keep her going.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
@Lynos

I don't understand why it doesn't wouldn't make sense that in the vision the aftermath of the discussion isn't still a part of the vision. It does take place after we get the 'reverse time' moment where Burnham blinks backwards and a person behind her walks backwards. I don't see that as being an accident. And again, Spock would not likely ask her if she is certain of her assertion if the whole discussion she's referring to had already taken place for real and everyone had already agreed what the sphere data was doing.

But I will not argue that the sequence that makes the most sense character and behavioral-wise to me is kinda bananas. But IMO, messing with time should produce kind of bananas scenes, because... messing with time.
Startrekwatcher
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 7:39pm (UTC -5)
Reading the reviews and recaps makes me happy I didn’t sign back up for season two. It sounds like what I expected based on season one and Kurtzman’s track record

I’m seriously amazed The studio handed the reigns of such a beloved franchise and an enormous budget over to someone who has the writing skills of a failing creative writing college freshman.

He has no grasp on the fundamentals of writing. He just throws shit at the wall and sees what sticks.
They can throw the series into the future to free them from some of the continuity issues but as long as the same writers are running things it won’t matter.
Quincy
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 8:45pm (UTC -5)
Wow. Terrible episode. Really disappointed. You're supposed to save your best for last. The writers did exactly the opposite. All the maudlin displays of endearment just went on forever. We're approaching the climax of the arc. Yet the writers are bogging us down in personal issues. The current star trek movies do the same things. This seems to be a millennial oriented quirk, where the world is ending and you take time to talk about your relationship, even though time is of the essence. That said, it's ridiculous that the Doctor just discarded Stamets like excess litter, even though he's less of an ahole this week. At this point, Stamets just needs to move on. Hopefully, the Doctor really will go with Enterprise and we won't see him next season.

Their strategy just made absolutely no sense whatsoever. Why didn't they retrieve the queen and then immediately jump to a secure location, where they'd have more time to work on the suit? I know the setup with the countdown until Control is on that ass is for suspense's sake, but it's not suspenseful when it's totally unnecessary. Not to mention, they're so lackadaisical about imminent throw down. They don't even have their shields up when Control drops out of warp. Why the hell didn't Control start beaming infiltrators on board, like instantaneously?!?

How does this stop Control anyway? It only protects the Sphere data and keeps Control from leveling up immediately into something unstoppable. However, Control at this point is powerful enough to just keep assimilating people until it has enough bodies to do exactly what it wants to do. In fact, I don't even see why it's forcing a confrontation now. It doesn't need the Sphere data anymore. If I were Control I'd take my Section 31 star ships and assimilate world after world in the boondocks until I had so much industrial economy of scale that I could build a million star ships to roll over the galaxy.

I don't see why writers write themselves into corners like this. I know it's sometimes difficult to see the pitfalls in your own writing, but they have an editorial staff I'm sure.
Alan
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 11:11pm (UTC -5)
Alan Roi’s convoluted and downright nonsensical explanations for this show are the reason why we need to get better as Star Trek fans and demand a better show.
Alan
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 11:31pm (UTC -5)
I also just rewatched the unfortunate scene: to be so confused where one can reason that there was a seamless premonition which contained another more obvious vision. Then only to seamlessly return back to reality which shares no boundary with the initial vision just highlights this show needing better writers. This nonsense “interpretation” of the scene shouldn’t be propagated any further.
Uxbridge
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 12:26am (UTC -5)
I have a prediction as to how they will stop Control next episode. Michael Burnham will go to the future and find a bomb that can destroy everything in the universe, not just sentient life. She will then travel back in time and give the bomb to L’Rell, who will contact Control and threaten to use it if Control does not step down. The season will then end with Michael talking about how “We are Starfleet”.
Lynos
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 1:03am (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roy

My god, this is bonkers.

This is not about shields or not shields anymore, this is about the construction and editing of a scene.
You are right. There is a very brief moment, almost imperceptible, where time moves backwards for Burnham. There is clearly a crewman walking backwards behind her! It's literally a blink-and-you-miss-it moment and I missed it even after watching the scene multiple times, so my hat's off to you for catching it, sir. And then the dialogue with Saru and Pike repeats. So I cannot help but conclude your interpretation is correct!

However...

This is so WEIRD! They do two "vision transitions" in one scene, one almost imperceptible and then another, bigger one. The first vision looks almost mundane, and devolves into nightmarish. Why? What are the rules of those visions? The editing in this scene is bonkers. I will be very very interested to know how many people got totally confused by this scene vs. how many people got it. I would applaud Discovery for being so subtle if it wasn't for how weird it all was. You can also argue that they go that route so they wouldn't have to deal with the shield issue, as Michael tells them there is no point even trying. I still don't understand how they all believe her so readily without even trying, but the show established Michael as the de-facto expert on-board Discovery and Pike has done as she suggested many times almost without question.

I am utterly baffled and I concede that I missed this (and Jammer did as well!) even though I don't know what the point of it was other than stopping Enterprise from firing at Discovery.
In the vision itself there is no clear link between Enterprise firing at Discovery and Control boarding the vessel, it simply jumps ahead in time. I assume Michael's conclusion is that firing on Discovery will lead to a chain of events that will result in Control taking over.

As I said, the rules of the visions are not clear, it's not clear when they happen and why. For example, Pike touched the crystal as well but does not seem to have visions anymore.
Lynos
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 1:07am (UTC -5)
I also don't understand why the vision begins with a time-rewind since she is obviously moving forward in time in her vision, not backwards. So weird. It seems like it was only done to show us something if off.
Daya
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 1:16am (UTC -5)
About where the premonition started. Please look at the scene, right after Amin says "photon torpedoes ready". A red shirt human female with her hair in a bun walks in reverse behind Burnham. There is no reason to put in that shot unless they meant to signify the start of the premonition.

I agree with everyone that it is impossible to detect this: they have done a much stronger "start of premonition" transition later, which is now to be interpreted as a time jump within the premonition. Burnham's usage of "should have" is not helping either. Everyone on this board, including me, (excluding the marvelous Alan Roi) seems to have assumed that the premonition started on the Discovery bridge during the battle; proving that their editing choice was a strange one.

I was similarly confused in the TNG episode "Eye of the Beholder". It took me many rewatches to figure out what had actually happened there. The problem was exactly the same: though many "start of fantasy" signifiers were present throughout the episode, the start of the actual fantasy was not signified by any editing transition at all. The fantasy merged seamlessly into the present, making it very hard to determine what happened in that episode. Discovery has used the same technique. In my humble opinion the use of the technique is pointless here, and serves only to confuse the audience.

Furthermore, as I have noted above, with no photon torpedoes fired, the scene becomes really really strange to me. Bordering on the illogical. Alan Roi too seems to accept that it is "kind of bananas" but thinks that any messing-with-time scene will be so. I understand it is a contentious point, so let us carefully keep the discussion civil. Both sides. Thanks.


TL;DR: A red shirt walks in reverse, which is the start of the premonition.
Daya
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 1:23am (UTC -5)
@Lynos: the time rewind does occur somewhere, because Saru's "that is impossible", Pike's "arm photon torpedoes" and Amin's "photon torpedoes ready" are duplicated in the beginning and the end. So either the first iteration of these dialogues are vision, or the second iteration are the vision's version of "catch up to live", or Burnham did actually live those 5 seconds twice. The place in the edit where the time-rewind shot is placed is nonsensical to me, and I am not defending the show at all. Trying to find what they might have meant to mean, that is all.
Lynos
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 1:24am (UTC -5)
Daya, I know, I caught the actual beginning of it (see my comment above).

The "obvious transition" though doesn't happen on the Discovery, I don't think. It's all happening to Michael on the Enterprise. She sees Discovery in her vision, but that's it.

Other than that I agree with everything you said. I will now need to re-watch Eye of the Beholder to compare.
Lynos
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 1:28am (UTC -5)
The time rewind: yeah, I get it, but that means we have a time loop within a time loop. She either goes back in time initially, and then goes forward, or she goes forwards and then backwards, but we are shown the forward before the backward.

My head is exploding.
Lynos
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 1:34am (UTC -5)
Also, Alan Roi, apologies for misspelling your name repeatedly, I guess it's just another thing I missed.
SovietOmega
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 1:51am (UTC -5)
I can see it now...

"Golly, the future is a strange place full of diplomacy and politics, and here we are stuck without a captain."

"Hey, maybe that perverted hobo we rescued from a shipwreck can tell us where to find one if we can get him to stop talking about grey tea!"

And so begins Star Trek Discovery Season 3: The Picard Show
Alan
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 2:04am (UTC -5)
You guys are right!

Actually come to think of it. They never left the premonition! The rest of the episode took place in Michael's head!
Daya
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 3:11am (UTC -5)
@Alan: No no no. You got it wrong again, as usual. Everything from Lorca picking up Burnham with a tractor beam is Burnham's fantasy. (That is what the rewind signified - we have to go way back to find the start of the fantasy.) It explains evvvvvrything.
Booming
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 3:24am (UTC -5)
It is a little strange that everybody was thrown off by that vision of Burnham which I found pretty obvious while so readily accepting the sarek and amanda stuff which made my brain go into a meltdown mode.
Yair
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 3:28am (UTC -5)
@Alan, Daya

Now I understand everything. Just about all of DIS is in Michael's head, an extended hallucination following the nasty radiation poisoning she got during the Pilot.
Lynos
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 4:11am (UTC -5)
@ Booming

I think with the Sarek thing it's simply a plot issue, and Discovery has its fare share of real or perceived illogical plot machinations, while with the vision sequence, it's in the way it's edited, both visually and sound-wise. Some were able to lock in on the edit, and some were not. Personally I only caught it when i LOOKED for it. It did not register otherwise. This difference in perception between different viewers is what makes it so fascinating, purely as a litmus test for the way a scene is edited.

Of course if you got it from the get-go you would consider it "obvious", but the fact a fair amount of us were thrown off by it, including the highly intelligent, Trek expert who is hosting this site, means that there is a problem there. If the writers meant for EVERYONE to get it, then they failed. And I still don't know what was the point of it. Perhaps it will become clearer in the next episode.
MadManMUC
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 5:03am (UTC -5)
@ Booming

MB's vision was absolutely clear to me, too.
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 5:52am (UTC -5)
@Lynos

Never offended at people spelling my name wrong. I've long since accepted that as how the reality I live in works ;-)

I've interpreted from day one and always pointed out that Discovery distinguished itself in a big way from other Trek series by being *very* demanding on its audience, that it can be a very hard nut to crack, and view this as a feature, not a flaw, and that it is the writers' intention to make it a relatively hard show to figure out when compared to past shows. Hell, it took me a week to figure out all of what was going on in Magic To Make The Sanest Man Go Mad, but once I did, I was very pleased by what I uncovered and it now ranks up at the top of Trek as a whole for me along with the very differently written Calypso.

I do, however, agree this show is not for everyone for this reason, and, honestly, a whole slew of other valid reasons when it comes to personal preferences. If one does not like puzleboxes and is not committed to view this series with intense attention it often requires then this Trek will be frustrating because the previous series prepared no one for this kind of thing, and if one has other problems which eject them from the show (Its focus on a lead character, that it looks different than the 60s show, that its seasons are constructed like a novel and not an anthology of discrete short stories etc.) then I agree that such insights that I have provided are not going to make a difference whether one likes the show or not.
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 5:57am (UTC -5)
@Booming

I just consider the Sarek and Amanda thing as part of Future Red Angel Burnham getting all her ducks in a row as she believess she as fixed the timeline and had infomed Sarek to make sure everything happens the way she remembered just like all the other things she's done as the Red Angel from A-Z. To me it fits the narrative we've been given.
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 6:03am (UTC -5)
Of course, the fact that I accept this narrative doesn't mean anyone else should. Its a very deterministic take on time travel that is not many people's cup of tea. If one prefers time travel as the way of getting out of jam and not getting into one, then I agree, this narrative sucks.
Lynos
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 6:19am (UTC -5)
@ Alan Roi

I cannot approve or refute your claims as to the nature of the show. I will admit I did not study Discovery intensively or search its episodes with a fine comb. I admit I sometimes miss stuff, even though I stand by most of my criticism of the show.

Obviously I feel a little odd when I am told that Discovery is actually very clever and I just don't get it because "it's not for me". I watch a lot of Sci-Fi and usually have no problem following what's going on. Again, I cannot go back to every little nook and cranny of the show and discuss it here. I don't hate the show. I think it's interesting, but very flawed, especially as a show bearing the Star Trek moniker.

I will concede one thing: the show is very fast. Very. Things are happening at a crazy pace. I will try to pay more attention from now on just to make sure, y'know... that they won't trick me again. :-)
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 6:36am (UTC -5)
@Lynos

Many years ago a friend told me that Buffy the Vampire TV series was a lot cleverer than I thought it was, which I found very odd as well. And then she showed me a way of looking at it that had never occured to me. That kind of revelation changed how I watch everything because it showed me that I was missing much more than I thought I was. And I'm still learning.

I will agree Disco is paced at a speed that it took me time to adjust my brain to as well, something I hadn't had to since the second season of Tru Calling was on the air which similarly was also one hell of a ping pong game to watch, and I agree there have been questionable decisions made with regards to what is shared and not shared with the audience and how it is shared (although this is a complaint I have of all Trek series). This is why my ratings on TrekBBS are typically 7s to 8s out of ten and only a couple of 9s.
wolfstar
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 6:41am (UTC -5)
People missed it because the start of the vision is poorly telegraphed, and because it doesn't make much sense that the Enterprise wouldn't even try to fire on Discovery and they all just take Burnham's word for it that it won't work.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 6:55am (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi

So you're saying that Discovery is presenting the audience with some kind of ingenious puzzle and that the show has been doing that from day 1... yet there are no forums on the net dedicated to discussing these puzzles? No websites of dedicated geeks who list all these "easter eggs" and how they found them?

I find this very hard to believe.

I'm reminded of the so called "secret alien language" that was used in Futarama... which was decoded by the fans WHILE THE PILOT EPISODE WAS STILL AIRING. And that was in 1999, before the internet and fandom forums were as huge as they are today.

Sorry, but I ain't buying it.
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 7:10am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Just because you aren't looking for something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Maybe check out TrekBBS.
Thomas
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 7:13am (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi
"I've interpreted from day one and always pointed out that Discovery distinguished itself in a big way from other Trek series by being *very* demanding on its audience, that it can be a very hard nut to crack, and view this as a feature, not a flaw, and that it is the writers' intention to make it a relatively hard show to figure out when compared to past shows."

I would ask - to what end is the complexity? What is its purpose? If it's a story about saving the galaxy and nothing more, aimed at entertaining us, then would a simpler storyline be just as enjoyable as a complex one? If so, then I would argue the complexity is needless and is a flaw. If it's there just because the creators intend to make it tough to figure out, and for no other reason, then I think most would say it's a flaw - and this is something that applies to just about every human endeavor, from art to architecture, mathematics papers, literature.
wolfstar
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 7:38am (UTC -5)
The question of how intricately pieced together Discovery is and how much attention it demands from the audience to figure everything out is secondary to the question of whether it's good drama. If the storytelling isn't good, if the characters haven't been well-developed enough for us to care about them, if people have lost faith in the writing over the course of the series (or if they've thrown their hands in the air and stopped trying to make sense of the show in the face of constant twists, shock moments and rug-pulls, not to mention characters coming back from the dead and the ship being able to travel anywhere in space and now time), they're not going to care enough or trust the show enough to muse over the finer details of an episode's plotting. If enough evidence accumulates that the writers don't know what they're doing, viewers will even start to assume that things that may on the surface appear deliberate are actually fuckups and inconsistencies (like the directly contradictory information regarding the red bursts, the directly contradictory information surrounding Voq/Tyler, the retooling of Saru's backstory between S1 and S2, the nonsensical L'Rell/Cornwell plotting back in Si Vis Pacem etc.). It's not our job as the audience to mentally paper over the show's mistakes by coming up with our own convoluted scenarios to explain them all away. If you have to do that, it's a bad show. Conversely, if I've grown to care about a show's characters and I find its plots compelling, and there's ample evidence it's smartly and consistently written, of course I'll be drawn into the show's world and enjoy pondering its intricacies and possibilities.

Burnham in this episode: "There are seven signals, but we've only seen four."
Pike in Brother: "Federation sensors picked up seven red bursts spread out across more than 30,000 light years."

The central foundations of season 2 are totally screwed up. When we got If Memory Serves (a lot of people's favourite episode so far) followed up by the excellent Project Daedalus (my favourite so far), I really though this show had turned the corner. But the last 4 episodes have been the worst run of the entire season. The show feels like it's falling apart exactly when it needed to be coming together. And the central mysteries that were threaded through the first half of the season - where is Spock, and what is the Red Angel? - being resolved with "Spock was on Vulcan, and the Red Angel is Michael's mom then Michael." Really?
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 7:43am (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi

"Just because you aren't looking for something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Maybe check out TrekBBS."

I have a better idea:

Why don't you simply give us a few examples of these ingenious puzzles? Go ahead. Enlighten us.
Mertov
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 7:57am (UTC -5)
Oh please Omicron.. Nobody is here to entertain you.

Who is "us" anyway? Speak for yourself.

What would it matter anyway? By your own admission, you don't watch the show (although that hasn't stopped you from crapping on it in the past via accurate or inaccurate hearsay).
Dan Bolger
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 8:06am (UTC -5)
Good lord, Jammer. This episode was great and the sentimentality wasn't at all overdone. There doesn't need to be jolting warring on every episode and a lack of empathetic emotion entailed for an enjoyable episode. I think 3 stars would've been adequate.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 8:13am (UTC -5)
@Mertov

I'm not here to entertain you either. Go find yourself another victim.
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 8:15am (UTC -5)
@Thomas

Your question involves a lot of ifs which neither you nor I can answer with any certainty.

Everybody however, has a different threshold where it comes what level of complexity in their entertainment is no longer entertaining. If a story is entertaining to you, but not to me because of its inherent lack of complexity, should I consider it flawed because the creators deliberately made it to simplistic for my mind to find any engagement with it?
Bryn
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 8:27am (UTC -5)
@Thomas
In other words, if one were, in a moment of inexplicable masochism, to sit down and complete a 2999 piece puzzle, then they would be justified in feeling aggrieved that the resulting image was of a solitary, slightly lame looking duck as opposed to a complex menagerie of exotic creatures.

A complex/convoluted narrative should only be employed where the lasting impression of the work demands it, where complexity in action aligns with complexity of thought; with the philosophical scope. In DS9's incredibly dense 'The Marquis' double-parter, we are confronted with a moral quandary about whether making certain post-war concessions with an autocratic government in the interest of peace is worth displacing your own people and turning them against you. In 'The Wire' we get an extraordinarily comprehensive weaving of the social fabric of Baltimore post 911. I'm leaning forward in my seat watching these shows because they've goddamn earned my time and attention.

In Discovery s2, we get an AI trying to get AI data from Discovery to become a super AI because it's evil. It subsumes a clandestine organisation's fleet and sends them to stop Discovery taking the data into the future with their magic crystals. Michael Burnham is there and she has a turgid history and is very sad and is the best and most loveable and most important person ever. They will fight and the universe will be saved.

Oh what's that? I still have another 1500 pieces left? Can't be especially bothered.
Mertov
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 8:28am (UTC -5)
Omicron, it seems you need to find a new victim since you posted three times prior to the last one and all three were all attacks - including a straight-forward x-rated insult - at another poster.

By the way, I agree with you, there is no doubt that you are here to (or could) possibly entertain me.
Dragana
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 8:34am (UTC -5)
Thank you Jammer for a great review!

@Alan Roi

„Many years ago a friend told me that Buffy the Vampire TV series was a lot cleverer than I thought it was, which I found very odd as well. And then she showed me a way of looking at it that had never occured to me. That kind of revelation changed how I watch everything because it showed me that I was missing much more than I thought I was. And I'm still learning. „

I agree that sometimes texts of culture have deeper meaning and hidden tropes. Although lots of it comes from interpretation. I personally don’t see in Disocvery masterful writing and puzzles. Even if they are, the show has more simpler flaws.
In the same time we can interpret story of second season as metaphor of machine learning and neural networks. Sphere data would be missing component needed for Control to upgrade itself in unpredictable way. Situation would be similar to what happend with AlphaGo and AlphaGoZero, the latter being an “alien” GO player, using weird non-human moves. In this way of thinking the Discovery crew should inspect the Spehere
data in the first place, as it has the key to understanding the whole commotion. But is it valid interpretation? Does it make Discovery a better show?
I don’t know.
Also, something that came up to
me recently. As we seen in Short Trek with Mudd, there is a possibility of creating android with DNA readings of a human, right? So it might be possible to create Burnham-copy who would lead the ship in her time suit. Yeah, yeah, not enough time..
Hugs
Rahul
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 8:43am (UTC -5)
I think wolfstar makes some good arguments on what has gone wrong in DSC S2. No question there are inconsistencies in the writers' logic but I completely agree with this:

"If the storytelling isn't good, if the characters haven't been well-developed enough for us to care about them, if people have lost faith in the writing over the course of the series (or if they've thrown their hands in the air and stopped trying to make sense of the show in the face of constant twists, shock moments and rug-pulls, not to mention characters coming back from the dead and the ship being able to travel anywhere in space and now time), they're not going to care enough or trust the show enough to muse over the finer details of an episode's plotting."

Here's always been the problem for Trek writers and I think a very good example is dealing with ENT's temporal cold war. Exposition and creating a canvas is the easy part and, at the start of a season, the viewer is not looking for resolutions and thus those kinds of episodes are more satisfying. It's like the typical 2-part Trek episode where the 1st part usually (but not always) winds up being "better" than the 2nd part.

The harder part for the writers is coming up with a logical conclusion to what they've set up. While ENT's temporal cold war started out with some promising episodes, its wrap-up was disappointing. The writers could not dig themselves out of the hole they created. Same thing is happening with DSC S2 although the exposition was not as good as ENT's temporal cold war. It is a credit to them that they came up with "If Memory Serves", "Project Daedalus", and "Perpetual Infinity" (for me the 3 strongest episodes of the season/series) -- but we've now had 2 underwhelming episodes ("Such Sweet Sorrow" was downright embarrassing for me) as we reach resolution. I'm not holding my breath for the finale as it has an awful lot of loose ends to tie up and I have no reason to have faith in these writers.

Hopefully Season 3 is episodic. I've had enough of arcs, whether they be short or season-long.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 8:44am (UTC -5)
@Mertov

I'm going to say this exactly once:

Given my past experience with you, I'm not interested in talking to you. So back off.
(or not. Just don't be surprised if I ignore you after I explicitly asked you to leave me alone)

@Alan Roi

I see you still haven't given us a single example of Discovery's ingenious writing. Me thinks I called your bluff.
Artymiss
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 9:01am (UTC -5)
Isn't there a difference between a complex and a complicated narrative? I don't find Discovery particularly complex and don't (usually!) have difficulties working out what's happening. It does seem unnecessarily complicated though and when those complications are going on at breakneck speed I can understand why some people might have literally 'lost the plot' (I had to have it explained to me what happened to Leland's eyes as the scene was so fast and almost throw away in a yeah we'll cover this next week stop worrying audience way). Complex suggests to me nuanced and rich, complicated is messy and a bit WTF just happened and why.

I'm still wondering if we're going to get a complete reboot at the end of the next episode - Michael changes the timeline (so much she never even existed in the first place? or she exists but she isn't actually Spoke's adpoted sister anymore?) and we'll find ourselves back where we were right at the start with the original Georgiou as Captain and Saru with his ganglia back (and lots of changes eg no spore drive or holograms).
Galadriel
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 9:02am (UTC -5)
Count me among those who don’t understand Burnham’s Vision. But those who claim they do maybe can answer two questions: How many tor­pe­does did Enter­prise really fire at Dis­cov­ery? And why did Burn­ham stop Pike from firing an­other (first? second? third?) round of tor­pe­does (I don’t see any danger in firing them)?

BTW, in this scene we see a young blonde woman in red (who also has a line of dia­­logue at 17:50). She somehow looks like Yeo­man Colt, but the ‘The Cage’ she wore blue. Funny no one com­ment­ed on that.

@Alan Roi: I agree that Discovery somehow challenges the viewers. But it is not the kind of chal­lenge that I remember fondly from old Star Trek episodes, where viewers would be in­vit­ed to re­flect on the mean­ing of a plot, or at the de­cision of a com­mand­ing officer, or on an ethi­cal di­lem­ma. The chal­lenge is to under­stand the plot, be­cause it moves so fast. Con­trari­ly, any re­flec­tion on what hap­pen­ed and why ends in another enigma. I don’t know why there are seven signals in the first episode, al­though by the pen­ul­ti­mate epis­ode, only five have ap­peared. And I don’t under­stand why we need five episodes to de­le­te a file. IT se­cu­ri­ty must be ter­rible in the 23ᵗʰ century, they can­not even shred a hard disk (or erase it by dynamite); instead, they have to fly the ship into the future, with the entire bridge crew, a queen and an ex-emperess on board.

There might be a 10% chance that every­thing will make sense after the sea­son end. I called DIS a sort of fast food before — fast, tasty, shiny but neither nu­tri­tious nor fil­ling. Jammer nailed it with the verdict “This show wants me to feel some­thing”. But it does not want me to think about some­thing. Com­pare that to master­pieces like ‘Amok’, ‘Balance of Terror’, ‘All Our Yester­days’, ‘The Tholian Web’, ‘Chain of Com­mand’, ‘Yester­day’s Enter­prise’, ‘The In­ner Light’, ‘Duet’, ‘In the Pale Moon­light’, ‘Trials And Tribble-ations’, ‘Home­front’, ENT’s Vulcan tri­logy and many more. In all these epis­odes, pro­blems were well stated and solved, and far more inter­esting things happen than just a failed file delete, Most tellingly, they are still sources for many in­spir­ed dis­cus­­sions. Do you really feel the same will be true of any DIS epis­ode? I doubt it.

BTW, I considered ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ an ador­able piece of intel­ligent pop art. The premise ‘Pretty teen girls fight against monsters’ might sound wacky, but the show man­aged to do everything quite right, from great actors via nuanced scripts and well-de­vel­oped cha­rac­ters to an almost perfect execution.
Trent
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 9:06am (UTC -5)
Paul M: "There's no reason you can't have a swashbuckling action series post-VOY."

I agree if we're talking about characters outside of Starfleet. One can easily imagine a post-VOY show involving swashbuckling Klingtons, smugglers, traders and rogues.

But such a show involving the crew of a Federation ship? I can't see that quite working.

To me, the TOS era feels populated by 18th and 19th century pirates, packet ships and gunboats. It feels like the lawless times when the Great European Empires were scrambling for land and colonies, all making their first forays into the unknown! It feels a little bit tongue-in-cheek, and a little bit swashbuckly. It's a time of fisticuffs! Of gentleman rogues and dashing captains!

I associate the post TNG era with bureaucracy, protocols and order. I just can't see a post-TNG captain/crew doing stuff Kirk gets away with.
Artymiss
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 9:07am (UTC -5)
@Rahul
I quite like plot arcs but the plots need to grow organically out of the characters not characters existing just to drive plot relentlessly forward backwards sideways etc. My main frustration with Discovery is the lack of interest in character development (and partly this is due to the excessive focus on Michael).
Thomas
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 9:25am (UTC -5)
"Everybody however, has a different threshold where it comes what level of complexity in their entertainment is no longer entertaining. If a story is entertaining to you, but not to me because of its inherent lack of complexity, should I consider it flawed because the creators deliberately made it to simplistic for my mind to find any engagement with it? "

This may be true when talking about Discovery alone, however when you consider the show as part of a 50+ year old tradition which, on occasion, sought to do more than entertain are we asking too little of it now when we reduce every aspect of it to how entertaining it is on a personal level.
Mertov
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 9:42am (UTC -5)
Omicron, fair enough. Let's see if you stick to it this time. "Given my past experience with you," you've made similar promises before only to ignore them later.

Galadriel,
"The chal­lenge is to under­stand the plot, be­cause it moves so fast. Con­trari­ly, any re­flec­tion on what hap­pen­ed and why ends in another enigma." I couldn't agree more. As to your earlier questions, there were no torpedoes fired except in Burnham's first vision (the hard-to-catch one). Michael says that there is no point in firing them as others have pointed out so Pike does not give the actual order. But yeah, again as others pointed out, it's a lot of faith put on Michael there (and as you say, there is really no danger to trying it anyway).

Thomas, interesting question right above (I am assuming it is a question although there is no question mark at the end). A whole separate message board is needed for that one :)
Rahul
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 9:47am (UTC -5)
@Artymiss,

I agree with what you're saying -- and you made me think I should clarify my point about Season 3 hopefully going episodic and not just leaving my point as glib or something.

I guess it comes down to trusting these DSC writers but I find that S2 episodes that just serve to advance the arc (typically juggling 2 or more subplots) have not worked out as well as episodes that are more "standalone" in nature with the overall arc firmly in the background. So it makes almost think that it would be easier for these writers to produce better episodes without having to move several plot pieces along and just worry about 1 story. I think the writers need to make their own jobs easier.
Rahul
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 9:58am (UTC -5)
@Trent,

Interesting argument re. swashbuckling TOS and more diplomatic TNG.

"I associate the post TNG era with bureaucracy, protocols and order. I just can't see a post-TNG captain/crew doing stuff Kirk gets away with."

But I think DS9 muddied the waters on that -- Sisko's actions in "For the Uniform" and "In the Pale Moonlight" show a swashbuckling nature of sorts (although this is far beyond what Kirk ever did). Maybe there's a better word than "swashbuckling" to describe Sisko's deeds...
Trent
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 10:03am (UTC -5)
Me last week: "Michael has a crystal vision of the Enterprise shooting at the Discovery, and seeing that this fails, tells Pike not to bother shooting at the ship. The moment is hard to miss, because it's structured as a little vision immediately after her main vision. So the Discovery never actually raises shields to defend itself from the Enterprise. It lets everyone back on board, because it doesn't quite view them as threat."

Alan this week: "Discovery is too complex and intelligent! Everyone missed the second vision! The haters aren't paying attention!"

But Alan is right in a sense; some episodes do need watching twice to track their lines of logic. Can anyone honestly say they understood the Culber/Sporeworld sub-arc after one viewing?

The problem is, these rewatches often expose how silly the information you're being asked to decipher is ("He survived because he was resurrected by a tear and covered himself in spore trees!"). The "shocks" and "gotchas" the show relies on to keep you watching, are also spoiled. The "big mysteries" made out of Spock's murder and Michael's "feud with Spock", to cite just two examples, feel dull upon rewatch.

Regardless, for me the 3 big "logic problems" in this episode are this: Firstly, Section 31 should never catch up with the Discovery. Discovery simply has to acquire the "crystal recharging technology", spore jump across the galaxy where it cannot be quickly reached by Section 31, and then begin using the spore drive to juice up the time crystals (which takes several hours).

Secondly, if you know Discovery (and the data sphere) seeks to protect itself, and you know it won't raise its shields (thereby letting you back on board), you have a multitude of ways to cunningly destroy the ship. As a last resort, you can even put the crew in escape pods, set the Enterprise to self-destruct, and ram it into Discovery.

Thirdly, if you know the "data sphere" has some sort of "sentience", you can "talk" to it and convince it that it is in its best interest to avoid Section 31. You can even convince it that it can "survive" in separate time line, or even in the sporeworld "sub-universe".

This all also obfuscates a big issue: the easiest way for Control to acquire the sphere data would have been to do nothing. Simply let the Discovery beam the data to Starfleet HQ. As Control is plugged into Starfleet computers, this data then ultimately flows to it anyway. Conversely, use one of your hologram admirals to order Pike to beam the data to one of your ships. It had plenty of time to do this.

Instead, Control operates like a 19th century data trader. It gets Airiam to physically download the sphere data into her, and physically walk into Control HQ and physically hand it over to Control. This is stupid, as it immediately tips our heroes off as to what Control is, wants, and how it operates.

But all these issues are brushed aside in the rush to usher us into Michael's plan.
Trent
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 10:13am (UTC -5)
Rahul said: "Maybe there's a better word than "swashbuckling" to describe Sisko's deeds..."

I'd call that "realpolitik" (ie a decision based on perceived practical and pragmatic considerations rather than moral or ideological considerations). Sisko was behaving like a typical politician or general; he rationalized what he was doing for the greater good.

"Swashbuckling" is something else entirely. It's Sulu in tights fighting with a sword, and Kirk topless and wrestling with a Gorn. It's old school adventure. For all its flaws, the JJ movies recognized that part of the charm of the TOS era was its funny, rough-and-tumble shenanigans.
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 10:20am (UTC -5)
@Omicron

I've given up playing games of bait and switch.
Alan
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 10:33am (UTC -5)
Now I understand how conspiracy theories get started on the internet. If this incomprehensible premonition within a vision did occur, answer me this: why?

To answer in a really convoluted why the enterprise only fired 4 torpedoes? If that’s true, then this makes the plot of Into Darkness feel like Sesame Street.
Rahul
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 10:40am (UTC -5)
@Trent, yes "realpolitik" is the right term and is quite different from "swashbuckling" for sure.

Kirk had his realpolitik moments as well: "A Taste of Armageddon" (making the 2 warring planets fight a real war instead of via computers) and "A Private Little War" (arming Tyree's people with a 100 "serpents" or flintlocks).

So while TOS had its "swashbuckling" moments (which some will mock -- not saying Trent is), it's realpolitik episodes were terrific.
Chrome
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Dragana wrote:

"In the same time we can interpret story of second season as metaphor of machine learning and neural networks. Sphere data would be missing component needed for Control to upgrade itself in unpredictable way. Situation would be similar to what happend with AlphaGo and AlphaGoZero, the latter being an “alien” GO player, using weird non-human moves. In this way of thinking the Discovery crew should inspect the Spehere data in the first place, as it has the key to understanding the whole commotion."

Interesting analysis. Yes, I think one of the issues I'm having with the material is the set of Big Data that's supposed to hold the power to dominate the universe if used by the wrong people (i.e. Section 31). The thing is, we've only seen one or two episodes of Discovery using the data to its own benefit. If the data itself is so powerful, why doesn't the crew use something in the data to defeat Control? It boils down to the broader argument: why is knowledge only evil, why can't it be used for good? And, I don't think the writers have handled this issue very well. I think we see a glimpse of this argument being developed in "New Eden" where they debated giving the colony information about Starfleet and whether that knowledge would help them or hurt them in the long run. And that issue comes up again on Kaminar. There's a skeleton of a theme about knowledge in season 2 I can piece together, but I'd like to see this thematic element brought to the foreground more often.

I don't mind DISC having broad arcs (DS9 sure had them), but they need to tether the message to the material better.
Lynos
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 11:12am (UTC -5)
@ Alan

The answers to your questions are all above in the comments. Bottom line: Discovery did not fire a single torpedo. It was all in Michael's head. I do not have a real good answer as to "why".

@ Daya

I re-watched TNG's Eye of the Beholder. Great episode, and I came to it completely fresh since I haven't seen it in many years and remembered nothing. It does share similarities with Such Sweet Sorrow because it features different layers of dream/fantasy nestled inside each other. However, I was not confused for a moment. I was perplexed, as in "what's going on here", but by the time it all ends, the script lays out very clearly what happened and why. While in Discovery's episode it's just a very confusing and seemingly arbitrary scene that is done for no apparent purpose. I have tried to imagine how the scene would go if they played it straight. Pike would fire the photon torpedoes, they would realize what is happening - just as Saru is realizing inside Michael's vision (!) - and then... and then... I dunno. The scene seems to be about the importance of what Michael is seeing. It might pay off in the next episode. Who knows.

But I find that Eye of the Beholder is much more skillful with its reality/fantasy transitions and generally is wonderfully made. It's also about CHARACTER, both Deanna's and Worf's.
Alan
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 11:17am (UTC -5)
@Lynos, trust me I've read all of these comments and have watched the scene a few times too, and to misconstrue an editing mistake (basically a typo) into a plot point is bonkers.
Lynos
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 11:19am (UTC -5)
That's the thing, it's not an editing mistake, it's totally purposeful (if I understood your post correctly).
wolfstar
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 11:20am (UTC -5)
While we're on the topic, I also really like Eye Of The Beholder and would consider it a high 3 or a 3.5. It works better for me than Frame Of Mind and is more intriguing and character-based.
Alan
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 11:24am (UTC -5)
@Lynos how do you know it was purposeful?

If I can get an answer about what the point of the vision within the vision is then I can entertain that it was done purposefully. Otherwise this lends as much credence as a conspiracy theory.
Mertov
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 11:51am (UTC -5)
Alan, there is essentially almost 3 minutes of two successive visions (2nd within the first). It starts when the reverse scene occurs and ends when Michael snaps out of it and says "it won't work."

The cue for me was Saru saying "That's not possible," Pike saying "arm photon torpedoes," and the yeoman replying they are ready before the reverse scene. At the end of the almost-3-minute vision sequence those three repeat the same lines again, indicating that we are back in the current events. Spock saying, with a curious tone, "you sound rather certain of that" confirms it.

The point was to show why Michael says it is pointless. Yeah, it's not the greatest editing for a minor point by any means but as Lynos says (and others above), it did have a purpose.
Alan
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 11:56am (UTC -5)
@Mertov LOL! Ok! Yessir!
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 11:57am (UTC -5)
@Trent

No scifi show would meet your stringent requirements for suspension of disbelief. Not one, Star Trek or not. Does that make them all as nonsensical as you claim Discovery to be? Perhaps. Most non-scifi shows would likely fail to meet your stringent requirements as well. Are they nonsensical? Perhaps they are.

Must be tough for you to watch anything.
Yair
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 12:15pm (UTC -5)
All this time, we've assumed something would happen to make the Spore Drive go away. If the arc keeps its current direction, I don't see that happening.

There's no time for any new, well, discovery during the Big Battle awaiting us. The only thing left is for Discovery to go into the far future. Given all we know, Starfleet and others will try developing a Spore Drive, and they should eventually succeed in replicating 23th century tech by whenever the Discovery jumps to.

Starfleet has every motivation to get a ship to replace the Discovery, so useful in the last war. There are multiple characters who are well aware of the drive and will stay in TOS era, including Discovery's own captain during S2. Doubtful the crew hid the drive's workings from its own captain or from Starfleet. Starfleet must also have some information from the Glenn.

There's also Control, which had access to everything on Starfleet's computers and possessed Airiam. S31 must also have access to anything Starfleet has. The Empress and the Klingon Empire are at very least aware of what the ship can do, and knowing something is possible goes a long way towards doing it. That the Glenn existed tells us that other people can figure out the drive and the Tardigrade even without Discovery's data.

The only way I see to not make this an rather unpleasant problem (I might not be creative enough) would be to keep the Discovery cast in TOS era, and come up with some reason why the Spore Drive is unused some later season, but that would be a rather disappointing end to S2, e.g. this particular episode turning into a non-evacuation leading to non-goodbyes.
Alan
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
I watched it again, and I am beginning to believe this insanity. There is a scene that begins and end with the exact same two phrases "That's not possible. Arm torpedoes. Torpedoes armed."

This show is bad guys. Really really bad.
Daya
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
@Lynos:

In the TNG episode The Eye of the Beholder, the transition between reality and fantasy being imperceptible *was* the point. That the participant cannot differentiate between the two is the "scare" in that episode. It's like a well done Night Shyamalan movie. In Such Sweet Sorrow, I do see the point in principle -- only once the premonition is over will Michael realize it was a premonition and not reality, so the premonition transition should be subtle, just like in The Eye of the Beholder. I think if the extremely garish premonition-time-jump into the deep future premonition had not been attached to the first near future premonition, more of us would have been able to tell that the original thing was a premonition. (Repeating the exact same dialogues 10 seconds later would be easier to detect than 3 minutes later after an entire murder-and-mayhem sequence.) Such Sweet Sorrow is like a bad Night Shyamalan Movie.

= = = =

So, since Alan is now onboard with the original conspiracy theory, I am going to cook up a new one for all of you. Here goes.

The photon torpedo scene was supposed to be played straight. There is enough material in the shots to edit it to play straight, and I claim while shooting that was the intent. Photon torpedoes, really fired. But they wanted to show the photon torpedo in Enterprise's hull premonition somewhere (we will understand the reason next week). Though they showed a glimpse of that when Michael touches the time crystal, and at the end of the episode when Jet Reno gets close to the crystal, giving Michael the entire premonition so early on would have caused her to change many things in the plan thus it was untenable, and Jet Reno getting the premonition would make her the center of the story next week so that was untenable.

This they discovered during editing: that none of these choices worked story-wise. So they decided to shoehorn the premonition in a third location, the photon torpedo scene. Now just the Enterprise photon torpedo premonition in that shot would make no sense, they had to somehow connect it to the current scene, so they decided to show two premonitions in series, one about the current photon torpedoes being useless and another about an undetonated photon torpedo in Enterprise's hull. The meaning of the second premonition will "dawn" on Michael only in the next episode.

Now, they had no real signifier shot for the start-of-premonition, so they just played a reaction shot that they had backwards, and added a sound foley in post production to signify the start of the premonition. They used slightly different shots of the three sentences uttered by Saru, Pike and Amin before and after to signify the repetition. They hoped no one would notice Burnham's slightly wrong tense in "should have". Spock speaks anything deadpan, so that worked well for them.

Maybe they realized the logical fallacies (a) it would be downright irresponsible to take Michael's word without trying out at least a few photon torpedoes, (b) Michael told no one she is speaking from a premonitory perspective, (c) autodestruct failure by itself is a rather weak indication that the sphere data has taken over the Discovery, the shields raised would have been an act of commission, requiring a clear agency on somebody / something's part but no one saw that happen, (d) you can tell whether another ship's shields are raised without firing torpedoes at it, and if they are not, you should try to fire at least some torpedoes and if they are that itself should be a cause for concern on the Enterprise bridge. Then they said, in the editing room, let's cut everything together so fast, hopefully no one will notice the problems.

TL;DR: The photon torpedo strangeness was created entirely in post production.

Bu ha ha ha ha!
Mertov
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 2:35pm (UTC -5)
Daya,
Your conspiracy theory takes the cake, I laughed reading all the way through. Awesome stuff, thanks for making my Monday better :))))))))
Peter Swinkels
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
Either I am becoming an old and senile fart who simply is unable to see his own shortcomings and blames his inability to comprehend on others ... OR: this witless dreck that dares to even hint at pretending to a continuation of Star Trek is an utterly unsalvageable mess of ideas even more convoluted than the worst previous incarnations had to offer. Yes it’s pretty to look at and distracts for an hour. If that’s it’s purpose it succeeded with flying colors. -10/10 or 10/10? Take your pick.
Alan
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 2:55pm (UTC -5)
@Daya Wow this analysis is more interesting than the episode itself haha.

I am fully onboard that someone in the Disco production team decided including an imperceptible premonition within a premonition was the right course of action here. However, reading your conspiracy theory, the torpedo that was lodged in the Enterprise seems to be from the upcoming battle rather than the Enterprise's lame attempts at destroying the Disco. So I don't understand how the self-destruct torpedo premonition help explains anything about the lodged torpedo premonition.
Jason
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 3:28pm (UTC -5)
Uh, guys? Michael touched the time crystal before evacuating which gave her flashes into the future - much like Pike in the last episode. She remembers one of the flashes right before they fire the torpedo. Jet Reno touches the time crystal later and has a similar vision. I don’t understand the confusion.
Daya
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 4:13pm (UTC -5)
Ah the innocence of youth. I was once like you, Jason: sweetly naive and simple. And then Alan Roiled it all by pointing out that *no torpedoes were fired*.
Jason
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 4:23pm (UTC -5)
That just means the visions are malleable like that one DS9 episode where O’Brien sees the future. No one really expects the vision of Leland coming on the bridge and killing everyone to come true, right?
Lynos
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 4:25pm (UTC -5)
@ Daya

Your analysis is honestly brilliant and quite plausible. There is enough material in this scene for it to be edited straight, no problem. Something is definitely off in the editing of the scene and I think your explanations are rather good.

There is only one problem.

There is no real connection between the two visions. I refer again to what Daya said:

"This they discovered during editing: that none of these choices worked story-wise. So they decided to shoehorn the premonition in a third location, the photon torpedo scene. Now just the Enterprise photon torpedo premonition in that shot would make no sense,"

Why would it not make sense? There is literally no connections between the two visions, other than involving photon torpedoes. There is no thematic or plot connection. The torpedo shown in the 2nd vision is lodged into Enterprise's hull, not Discovery's! So even if Pike were to shoot at Discovery, we are talking about two different ships, at two different times.

While it feels very plausible that this was decided in post - because it does not feel organic at all - I simply cannot comprehend why they would think this would enhance Michael's "Garish Nightmare" vision.

I also don't understand why Michael is shouting "stop!!" as Pike prepares to fire the torpedoes.
What is she afraid of?
Is she afraid the sphere will shoot back at them?
Is she simply riled up from her vision?

If we're going by Daya's theory, and this all played straight originally, what was this "stop!!" for, originally?
Did Pike just kept shooting and shooting at Discovery in the "original version" as opposed to the edited version where he didn't fire a shot?

Someone needs to get the script for this episode.
My head is exploding again.

Let's recap again (this is becoming my favorite past time): there is "vision 1" where Micheal sees them firing the photon torpedoes at Discovery. Basically time stops for her and she jumps a few seconds into the future. Then "vision 2" starts, where she finds herself on the bridge of Discovery again.
The only connection between the two visions is that it involves photon torpedos, but in "vision 2", the torpedo is lodged into Enterprise's hull, not Discovery's! Why would they fabricate "vision 1" in post? Can't they just have her experience "vision 2" on the deck of the Enterprise?

Again, there is no real connections between these two visions/premonitions. The first one is about:
"Guys, don't bother firing at Discovery, the sphere has her". It takes place in the immediate future, literally seconds from real time. The second one is at undetermined point in the future, showing Control winning the battle and Enterprise fatally wounded.
We do not know yet what this second vision means.
Lynos
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
The two last paragraphs in my post above were from an earlier draft of the post and repeat the same information more or less, sorry about that, I forgot to delete in my excitement.

This message board really needs an Edit button... oh wait.
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
All right, here is the next piece of insanity people:

Some are scratching their heads wondering why they didn't use the spore drive to escape and send the ship to the future.

Perhaps its better to ask, what advantage is there to having the ship sit right where it is without even the spore drive to save it.
Lodged Torpedo
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 4:40pm (UTC -5)
From a previous episode, but was bugging me, so forgive me for posting here, but: How did Spock, as a hologram created by Control (a la the holomirals) kill those 3 Starfleet medical officials in the sanitarium that Spock willingly (OMG this plot is so contrived) admitted himself to? I thought holograms were...light images, incapable of murder?
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
@Lodged Torpedo

Whose to say those 3 medical officers he was killing weren't holograms themselves If it was Section 31 filing the death certificates themselves.
Daya
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 5:06pm (UTC -5)
@Lynos

"Why would it make no sense?" It would make no sense because they didn't have a shot of Burnham waking up from a reverie, and realizing she was having an unconnected premonition. They only had a shot of Burnham realizing something and shouting stop. (Originally, she just realized the futility of shooting torpedoes.) Now why would she wake up from an unrelated vision and realize something and shout stop? It made no sense. So they made the futility of the photon torpedoes another pre-vision, so there was some reason for her realization expression which could then be used to transition back to reality. There really was no other way to transition back to reality.

I also think that some script doctor person mandated the above change in the edit. The actual person doing the cutting didn't like the change and hid it to the best of his ability, trying to make many simple viewers believe the scene actually does play straight. (After all remove the person walking backwards and there is no real indication that vision 1 even exists. The dialogue can sincerely repeat after having fired a few photon torpedoes unsuccesfully. "That is impossible...".)

I also think the Earth is flat.

= = = =

Somewhat related: no one else till now has had an actual premonition without being close to the crystals. So this vision is unique. Another indication it was added in post.

= = = =

@Alan Roi

I have a premonition you are about to drop another bombshell. An undetonated photon torpedo in our enterprise. Do we even want to know? I'm already flailing my arms around shouting "Does not compute!"
Lynos
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
@ Daya

"Somewhat related: no one else till now has had an actual premonition without being close to the crystals. So this vision is unique. Another indication it was added in post."

You have a point there. Anybody can counter that?

As for the rest of it, i dunno, her "stop!" sounds too urgent to be just about firing the photon torpedoes. Again, what is she so afraid of? But we have to accept we will most likely never know how for sure how this scene was originally written and conceived, even though, again, I like your theory. It has some strong arguments.
Cody B
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
For me this season has really lost steam the past few episodes. There have been some good moments but overall the story is like air being let out of a balloon
MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 10:59pm (UTC -5)
-_-

I hate to be *emotional* about it, but I am sad to see Trek sunk to such a miserably low level of writing quality. It's like seeing the ruinous wasteland left over from a forgotten age.

There is no way Gene Coon would have let things like this go past the editor, literally no way. Star Trek: Discovery is what Georgi La Forge would describe as a "blurry after image" of a Star Trek show, speaking strictly from a writing cohesion standpoint, and I'm talking about both the quality of the dialogue and the overall plotting of the story.

"I'm very disturbed by what has just happened here."

~ Capt. Katherine Janeway

I don't even think I want to try to go into detail about everything I find wrong with what has happened here. Right around the time someone said "Temporal Cold War" the writing of Trek has focused less and less on ideas for episodes that would be good watched on their own, thus good for a rewatch, turning watching these episodes into a kind of hobby.

I have no desire to watch this show again, after I've seen an episode. None. I couldn't care less anymore what it has to say or about any characters I didn't care about before this show existed. The show devotes SO MUCH time to characters that are not creations of this series, and so little time to it's own creations (Owesekun and Kayla, and POOR AIRIAM!!) that it all comes off as (as Leonard Nimoy speaking with William Shatner about 'Wrath of Khan' in Star Trek Movie Memories) "an acting out of a clause that was in someone's contract" (He was speaking about the death of Spock in WoK, about how it was moved to the end of the movie after the leak, and why it made a better film out of it...it could have been Nick Meyer or Harve Bennett who said it, don't remember).

They aren't spending the time developing the characters that they kill off, and they are wasting copious amounts of time developing characters whom are not as good at expressing those developments as the supporting cast is at expressing the developments to theirs. I don't like the main characters, and I don't feel moved by their "Interesting Story To Tell Someone If We Ever Get Hitched." The only way the show can move on is if they are gotten rid of, and to be honest, their characters are too central to the plot arc for it to continue being interesting without them.

Not only do I not find the journey entertaining, the only way forward seems like it will be depressingly badly written. And that's the worst part of watching ST:DISCO, is that is is bleak and overserious about the ongoing arc. You don't even see "threats to the entirety of existence" in Star Wars, which most people have generally agreed is not typically as narattively parsed as Star Trek has been. More sweepingly operatic and certainly a lot more colorful and action-packed, yes. But Star Trek was always more on the "Twilight Zone" "Forbidden Planet" "Songs of Distant Earth" side of Sci-Fi than Star Wars (which calls back to Buck Rodgers, Arthurian Legend and so forth).

The most common way of expressing this idea is the concept of 'hard' sci-fi and 'soft' sci-fi. Hard Sci Fi is 2001: A Space Oddysey. Soft Sci Fi is He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe. Star Trek and Star Wars are both rather moderate, but with Trek being always just a tad harder Sci-Fi than Star Wars.

That hardness is buckling. Shields are down to 18%, Captain.
Quincy
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 1:33am (UTC -5)
I have a feeling that the Queen's dilithium rejuvenation trick is going to be used to regenerate the time crystal itself so they can all get home. Otherwise, I don't see why she's going along. I actually would prefer that Discovery remain in the future. I've wanted all along to see events occurring in the time period after Voyager's return.

Lynos questioned the point of stopping them from firing the torpedoes. He says, "I assume Michael's conclusion is that firing on Discovery will lead to a chain of events that will result in Control taking over." That's correct IMO. She's trying to interrupt the future she's just witnessed twice. People point out that there's no connection to the premonitions Burnham sees consecutively on the bridge. That's actually irrelevant. The real point is that nothing has changed between the time they decided to destroy Discovery and when she first touched the time crystal to when they're about to try to do so. She still sees their deaths at Control's hands, as she did when she touched the crystal. What this means from her perspective is that the track they were on right up to her seeing that game over premonition the second time, WHATEVER PRECEDED IT (this means you Sphere shields up premonition), is the wrong track. It is imperative they get off that track. Hence her urgency.

She doesn't know what Reno sees after they decide to use the crystal. If you look closely at Reno's vision. It's slightly different than Burnham's. You have to rewind and slow mo it to see it, but Control attacks engineering in Reno's vision, instead of the bridge. And this time Georgiou is standing next to the security officer in engineering with phasers out ready, instead of Georgiou getting knocked to the floor on the bridge and getting shot before she can regain her footing. So it appears, Burnham already changed something with this new plan from what was originally slated to happen. Stamets also appears to be seriously injured in Reno's vision. I do hope they're not planing on killing him off.

Yes it's odd that they automatically accept her conclusion without any corroboration and without any alternative. However, I believe what they are showing is very similar to how Picard often accepts Data's word without any corroboration, even over Commander Riker's, as he did in Cause and Effect. Yes, I know Burnham is no Data. However, I believe that they were trying to show the crew's imminent trust in Burnham. What they should've done instead is simply had her tell Pike she touched the crystal. Pike would instantly know the gravity of what she was saying, due to having touched the time crystal himself. Being the captain, he would overrule any objections.

I believe Alan Roi is implying that the "advantage" of sitting there with the Sphere data is baiting Control to draw it in to stop it. The problem with that idea is that they have no way even hinted at of stopping Control. Logically, they shouldn't be able to stop control with the resources they have available versus what he's bringing to the table. There's no type of allusion to a plan beyond fast forwarding Discovery. With the lack of foreshadowing on how they plan to confront Control, such notions ring hollow. Therefore there can only be an ass pull in the next episode if indeed they do end up stopping Control. I don't guess they're just going to magnetize the floor again. Control would've thought up a contingency by now.
Boura
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 1:54am (UTC -5)
"No more holographic comms. Ever. We promise."

Pukeworthy.
Boura
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 2:00am (UTC -5)
@Thomas

"to what end is the complexity? What is its purpose? If it's a story about saving the galaxy and nothing more, aimed at entertaining us, then would a simpler storyline be just as enjoyable as a complex one"

Yep. All of this fluffing around with magic time crystals is dopey and pointless.

If they insisted on making a prequel, I wish they had just based it around Captain Pike and kept it simple. "Where no one has gone before" and all that.

I reckon Anson Mount could've carried that and it would've fit nicely into canon. They could've included Spock that way too.
Alan Roi
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 2:24am (UTC -5)
@Quincy

There have been hints that there is a plan being set in motion to use the situation to take out Control. Why haven't we been explicity told of this? Because its above our main cast's pay grade and the fact that one spy on Discovery has been caught it doesn't mean there isn't another one lurking about.

Sarek shows up out of the blue, was that just to see Michael? Admiral Cornwell is on hand, did she need to be if there isn't a plan in the works? Why was the Enterprise allowed all its extra gear? What was Tyler offering Pike? To claim there is nothing going on behind the scenes among the higher ups and a character who has the ear of the Klingon chancellor is deliberate denial.
Yair
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 5:05am (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi,

I don't see how the Discovery could kill off Control.

Going into the past? Burnham's mother tried that, it doesn't work.

Lets say the Discovery destroyed all S31 ships. So? Control is ultimately software, and is quite able to have copies throughout the Galaxy (the notion of what "I" means for AI must be quiet complicated). If it's not completely stupid, at least one of copies is not present.

Most likely is that the S31 ships are destroyed (next episode or offscreen), and the S31 series gets a villain to work against.
Alan Roi
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 5:19am (UTC -5)
@Yair

When did I say the Discovery could kill off Control? Its practically imppossible to completely wipe out anything completely, just have to look how defeating Germany in WWII eliminiated all Nazis. There are however, 2 more RA signals, so who knows what they are all about, but it is likely that wheels are turning in the Federation to take advantage of the situation and eliminating Control's fleet is a major start to cleaning up the mess, at least as much as they can do themselves.

And crazy Dr. Burnham? Given that she used the exact same 'Mission' catchphrase that post-assimilated Leland also spouted, I really don't think everything she claimed is exactly trustworthy.
Yair
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 5:59am (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi,

"When did I say the Discovery could kill off Control? Its practically imppossible to completely wipe out anything completely..."

Reading back:

"There have been hints that there is a plan being set in motion to use the situation to take out Control. [Notes how all the characters appear onboard the Discovery]"

At the moment, I don't see any satisfying ways of wrapping this season off.

* I don't see any credible ways of killing Control, so it must live.
* The data must be denied to Control, but simply keeping the Discovery in current timeline while Control is alive resolves very little.
* Destroying the Discovery will also be unsatisfying, given we've established the characters can't/shouldn't do that for 4 episode straight.
* Jumping the Discovery to the future creates its own problems (I've noted that we will have to ask why nobody used a Spore Drive later on). That seems to be the current plan according to this episode.

Hopefully the writers will surprise me, but most likely they'll just have a Big Battle and then jump to the future.
SlackerInc
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 6:04am (UTC -5)
I wrote the following before reading any of Jammer’s review, but scanning the first few lines, I see it’s “not just me”:

I don’t have a problem with a bit of treacle. Some melodramatic speechifying and tearful goodbyes are par for the course in a story like this. But by my count, they kept up the syrupy onslaught for seventeen minutes straight before getting down to business. That’s WAY too long. It’s just bad storytelling.
Alan Roi
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 11:39am (UTC -5)
@Yair

i said a plan was being set in motion, not that it would be a 100% success.
Alan Roi
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 11:44am (UTC -5)
@Slackerinc.

If one is looking at Discovery as a discrete set of individual episodes this one can seem kind of strange. But if one is looking at the season as being the equivalent of a 500 page novel, which these season are in fact, spending the equivalent of 10 pages on goodbyes isn't way too long by any stretch and definitely not bad storytelling.
Chrome
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Jammer wrote:

"Sidebar: I guess Pike took the time crystal from Boreth on spec because the appearance of the red burst made him assume a problem would present itself requiring this particular solution; you know, fate and all."

Pike took the crystal because the solution to eliminate the data presented in "Perpetual Infinity" required the time crystal. Saying that he took it only on faith and assumptions is not giving the story enough credit, in my opinion.
Artymiss
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi
"If one is looking at the season as being the equivalent of a 500 page novel..."

It isn't a novel though. It's a TV series. So I don't watch and compare it to a novel.

Besides which I suspect most 500 plus page novels could do with some editing, especially if they contain 10 pages of goodbyes.

And before you query my attention span my favourite novel is Richardson's Clarissa which is absolutely vast.
Ghosted
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
I do think the 'goodbyes' dragged out a little too much for my liking. I think I have a slight scepticism of these scenes because a few times we've seen similar rendered a little hollow later on. It needed to be acknowledged, but it just took an age to get through and was losing its impact with each scene imho. I agree with an above poster that the burham/ash scene would have been more effective if she'd continued walking as the run and embrace felt a bit Hollywood movie parody (I'm not anti-ash actually, but wouldve appreciated his last act as exposing Leland as control before being despatched). However I did like the montage of the crew in the same way that I liked the mess hall scene in the previous episode. There was nothing 'wrong' with the episode on reflection but it felt more like a filler ep for me.. hopefully there will be some payoff in the finale. I'm suspecting that the crew will end up in the future with the TOS characters having no memory of the events. Its a pity that burham is so dominant a character (and lost most of her Vulcanisms) I don't especially want to lose her/SMG but not sure she could be re-established as a more equal crew member. maybe this is an opportune time to write her out..lol or make her the first Borg queen :)
Daya
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 1:53pm (UTC -5)
@Ghosted:

Oh I like that! We have a time crystal and the spore drive (together known as the TARDIS). It would not be impossible to make Burnham go a few hundred years into the past in the gamma quadrant and become the first Borg queen. It will happen in the course of some supreme sacrifice on Burnham's part to save the entire galaxy.

The rest of the crew abandons Discovery which travels a few hundred years into the future and becomes fully sentient slowly after that by assimilating the sphere data. The third season of Discovery starts post-Calypso with just the Discovery, no crew. That would really be a fresh take!
Daya
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
@Lynos: "... I dunno, her 'stop!' sounds too urgent ..."

It's Michael Burnham. Everything sounds too urgent.
Trent
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 2:25pm (UTC -5)
Alan said: "spending the equivalent of 10 pages on goodbyes isn't way too long by any stretch and definitely not bad storytelling. [...] Discovery is a 500 page novel [...]"

Telling goodbyes which involve characters who are barely developed, who have very little screen time, who are in romantic relationships which the audience doesn't feel or believe ("I love you but I need to stay back and hang out in the grey areas"...who writes this stuff), who take hokey shuttle rides to meet Michael, who have just been introduced (Xahean queen Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po!), who are reading monologues/logs to characters we don't know, is bad storytelling.

A good 500 page novel would not shoehorn all of this out of nowhere. They would develop Detmer, Airiam, Owosekum etc before giving them elaborate funerals/farewells.
Trent
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
Ghosted said: "I do think the 'goodbyes' dragged out a little too much for my liking."

Maybe they were inserted as padding. The final two episodes were probably one episode. When the producers ordered another episode (possibly, as Jammer alludes, to increase subscription profits), this "farewell" stuff may have been inserted as filler.
Alan Roi
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
@Trent

I didn't find it shoehorned out of nowhere, but then again, I pay attention to what I'm watching, at least enough to know that the Xahean queen was introduced months ago in the "Runaway" short trek episode, as referred to in this episode and personally don't require extensive development of characters to feel empathy or sympathy for them.
Ghosted
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 5:21pm (UTC -5)
@trent
I agree, the padding kinda made sense after reading jammer's review though I've felt 'some' of the emotional scenes in earlier episodes came out of left field and sometimes overdrawn. I felt for stamets, saru and Michael in their situations, but I was interested in the backstory information during the crew montage more than anything else...the more time spent with the crew, the easier it is to connect with them.

@daya
To boldly go where no sentient starship has gone before ;)

@alan ROI
Good catch with the Dr Burnham repeating control/Leland's mission line mentioned in your earlier post. The same thing occurred when I watched the episode, but on reflection I thought it was probably just dialogue so that Burnham could join the dots. maybe there's something in it though, we'll find out soon enough I guess!
Quincy
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 7:15pm (UTC -5)
Yeah. Because the rest of Starfleet has a squeaky clean record on the infiltration/penetration front. Nobody wants Discovery's cooties!!! ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

In any case, that's besides the point. I don't ask that Discovery's crew be clued in to all that's going on in the Milky Way. I ask that the viewers receive proper foreshadowing and depiction of prominent events in the Control arc. You know? Like $#!% leading up to the climax of the god damn season.

By your logic, if Lord of the Rings Trilogy focused wholly and solely on Frodo's mission to dispose of the ring with only nebulous hints of the larger battle against Sauron and his forces that makes for wonderful storytelling. We don't need to hear about Gandalf, Aragorn, or Isengard. To hell with the Army of the Dead vs Gothmog's forces. All that is above Frodo's pay grade anyway and therefore ours too. In fact, Frodo is all we'll ever need to see to understand that story. So put the spotlight on his @$$ and don't move it an inch!!!

Yes. That was just to see Michael. That's why they warped away after doing just that. Do you have any evidence otherwise?

Admiral Cornwell has been on hand since her first rendezvous with Discovery. How would that suddenly indicate she was there specifically for a last ditch effort to stop Control?

Ok, now that you've knocked down your straw man can we take a look at what I actually said?

Me: "The problem with that idea is that they have NO WAY even hinted at of stopping Control. Logically, they shouldn't be able to stop control with the resources they have available versus what he's bringing to the table. There's no type of allusion to a plan beyond fast forwarding Discovery. With the lack of foreshadowing on HOW they plan to confront Control, such notions ring hollow. Therefore there can only be an ass pull in the next episode if indeed they do end up stopping Control."

Clearly, I'm talking about HOW they plan to confront Control. There's been no mention of how they even plan to approach this. Meanwhile, we've known for quite a few episodes how important time crystals, dark matter, etc will play into the role of Discovery's mission to protect the Sphere data. For the climax of the battle against Control, all we have now is "Let me do something!"
Yanks
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 8:46pm (UTC -5)
Wow, a red shirt with a bun was walking backward? .... Did she have a short skirt and leather boots on? ... I usually don't miss those :-)

Alan Roi... I'm really trying to understand your thoughts here, just not there yet. I'm currently with Janeway here... time travel... headaches....

My thoughts each time I saw the torpedo stuck in Enterprise's hull in the time crystal visions was Voyager's 'Year of Hell'... :-)

Maybe it will all be spelled out in the finale.

Nice review again Jammer... I'm pretty much in lockstep with you except I thought I'd followed the plot and I summarily gave 2 stars for the look and feel of the Enterprise before I graded :-)

I really hope they knock this closer out of the park... I really want this season to end on a high note.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 8:55pm (UTC -5)
@Alan Roi
"I've given up playing games of bait and switch."

What games?

You've made an incredible assertion, and I've asked you to provide actual evidence for that assertion. And I didn't ask for much. I simply asked for examples of that ingenious writing you've been talking about.

By the way, just showing us random insane bits that were hidden in previous episodes, is not enough. Hiding random insane bits is easy. Taking care that it all makes perfect sense in the end - that's the hard part.

I'm reminded of the show LOST who did the same kind thing. In the end, the writers themselves admitted that they had no idea what they were doing and had no plan what-so-ever. They just made the show as crazy as possible. Sounds familiar to anyone?

I'm also reminded of the Temporal Cold War in ST:Enterprise. There too, they had all these cool hints sprinkled over multiple episodes, but the resolution was... well, there wasn't really any satisfactory resolution (unless you count red-eyed alien Nazis as a satisfactory resolution).

At any rate, this all debate is a little silly, given that the season end this Thursday. I wonder... if this week's resolution doesn't make as much sense as you hope it will, will you retract your statement regarding the masterful writing?
Brian Lear
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 10:52pm (UTC -5)
Basically if you are holding out hope that the writers are holding a royal flush, you're about to be bitterly disappointed. They've got a pair of jacks, maybe. They've been bluffing you for a while now, and you missed it because you were too busy trying to wrap your head around the plot minutiae. If you'd stopped for a minute, taken a step back, you would've recognized the signs all along. The chances of this writing "team" (and I use that word loosely) suddenly turning out something great, are pathetically small. However the chances of them throwing out a gigantic TWIST that makes you WONDER what is going to HAPPEN next SEASON, are 100%.
Sheldonari
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 11:22pm (UTC -5)
Sarek and Amanda getting in time to the ships, is something actually very straightforward, IMO.

Discovery gets to Enterprise's location at warp speed, not jumping. This is established in the previous episode, at T -1:48 (30 seconds before credits).

Control does the same, their ships travel at warp speed.

This takes 'normal' travel time.

This is also enough time for Sarek and Amanda to rendezvous in time.

Discovery did not spore jump to Enterprise, so no logical inconsistency is there.

Then, in this episode, Discovery spore jumps to the fifth signal, to Xahea.
Booming
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 12:19am (UTC -5)
Yeah this all reminds me of the dreaded Lindelof. I stopped watching LOST during season 3 because it somehow became clear to me that this going nowhere.
The second time that Lindelof got me was with the leftovers which was even worse then LOST when it comes to Lindelofing.

SPOILERS (for a Lindelof show, so really not that much of a spoiler)
During one of the last episodes the protagonist just flat out said: "All this stuff about this strange group. That was all dumb and had no meaning."
It was kind of funny to just admit that this is all meaningless but there I promised myself to never fall again under the spell of the Lindelof.

And Discovery kind of feels like that too even though Lindelof is better at presenting a world that seems to make sense. Of course it never does.

I'm kind of excited to watch the last episode. Like a spectator at a possible disaster. The worst thing would be something boring. *fingers crossed*
Aya Tademaru
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 3:44am (UTC -5)
Thanks for staying an honest reviewer, Jammy. Depressing to see a number of Disco shills succumbing to the (Mirror) Emperor's New Clothes miasma.
Alan Roi
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 5:05am (UTC -5)
Quincy

I don't understand why you didn't accuse Tolkein of Asspulling as well. After all we didn't get Gandalf and pals chatting about sending in the eagles to pull out Frodo and Samwise when the Volcano went off, or the ageless complaint about why the eagles didn't just carry them both to mount doom in the first place. Ah, how people forget.
Alan Roi
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 5:47am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

You're admitting that your request is a bait and switch game by stating your standing position: that all I've presented are "random insane bits hidden in previous episodes."
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 6:29am (UTC -5)
No.

I'm simply asking for EVIDENCE that there is - indeed - an ingenious master plot of the kind you're claiming is afoot. An EXAMPLE of the allegedly great writing that wowed you.

You've said that this super-complex ingenious plot was set up from day 1, right? Well, we're now 28 episodes after day 1. Can you give us even one example of great plotting that was already resolved?

To everybody else:

I apologize if it seems that I'm bashing the show, because that isn't my intention. I'm simply voicing my doubt (which the vast majority of DSC fans seem to share) that super-tight ingenious plotting is one of Discovery's strong points.
Daya
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 10:53am (UTC -5)
I think Alan Roi would be a little sceptical of answering the question because if he gives us an example "A" of great plotting, some of us may not think it is great plotting. I believe he also thinks that some of us will argue in bad faith, i.e. any A he points out, some of us will say it is bad plotting regardless of what we would have neutrally believed. This is why he refuses to engage.

I, for one, even though lukewarm about Discovery, would really like to hear these examples of great plotting from Alan Roi, because he is one of the most careful viewers of the show. It would be educational, and it may help me enjoy the show better.

(I am not saying that anybody on this board actually argues in bad faith, I am not pointing any fingers, and do not mean to.)
Alan Roi
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 5:48pm (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

"You've said that this super-complex ingenious plot was set up from day 1"

This is exactly the bad faith that Daya mentioned. I don't have to come up with something and compelling and worth looking over again, it has to be "super-complex ingenious" as you state above.

But here goes. I don't expect you will spare any thought to this, but maybe other people less rigid will:

Now, there's the insistance that the universe in Discovery revolves around Burnham in such a way that many still insist she is a 'Mary Sue". So when it's repeatedly demonstartae she was just in many ways just a handy tool for Sarek, Lorca, Stamets and Emperor Georgious to use help them achieve their own personal ambitions that hammered on point is ignored by detractors in favor of the "everybody loves her for no reason" when in fact its "certain people were looking for someone to use to advance their own cause and she was there to be taken advantage of because she was desperate to make up for her own percieved failures," and actually acts to pretty cruelly subvert the whole intent of the "Mary Sue" wish fulfilment narrative.

Identifying this subversion, however, would tear down one of the main pillars of criticism for this series however, so I honestly don't expect many committed detractors to be interested in looking into my assertion here.
Trent
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 6:01pm (UTC -5)
A reminder that we still don't know why the Red Angel sets up the colony on New Eden. Why save people from WW3 and plant them halfway across the galaxy?

Surely this has to be revealed in the next episode. That church and colony seems needed by Michael or Michael's mom, maybe because of the black engineer guy down there (needed to fix the suit? Related to Michael?), or perhaps the lights from the church tower (which wouldn't be lit without Pike) provide some kind of crucial, future beacon. Or perhaps the power cell Pike gives the colony has some future significance.

The show's setting up some big mind screw, because a lot of its little puzzle pieces are yet to slot into place.
Alan Roi
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 6:13pm (UTC -5)
@Trent

We know why Dr. Burnham set up the colony on Terralysium. It was to test to see if she could alter the timeline in any way and she saw it as proof that she could. We see this from her logs in Perceptual Infinity.
Trent
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
Oh, thanks for that. Hadn't reached that episode in my re-watch yet. I'm trying to re-watch of all episodes before the final is aired.

I was hoping New Eden ties into the Calypso short Trek episode, and the finale, in some way. I expected the guy from Calypso to be a far-future ancestor of the scientist in New Eden.

Hastily binging these episodes, one quickly notices the subtle difference between the styles of the directors. I would actually say Kurtzman is the best director on the show thus far; his direction is the most cinematic, a cut above everyone else's, and his pilot juggles comedy, action and the entire cast well. Next is Frakes, who IMO directs the next two best episodes after the pilot. The others are pretty disposable, other than David Barrett (Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad in season 1, and Saints of Imperfection in this season). I wouldn't say these episodes are good, but they have interesting and great moments, and are similarly audacious.

I would say Olatunde Osunsanmi is the worst director (this episode and Point of Light, and he's directing the finale). Though on a show like this, the director is at the mercy of their script.
Liam
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 7:47pm (UTC -5)
"I was hoping New Eden ties into the Calypso short Trek episode, and the finale, in some way. I expected the guy from Calypso to be a far-future ancestor of the scientist in New Eden. "

I wouldn't worry, everything is related to everything else on this show.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 8:48pm (UTC -5)
@Daya
"I think Alan Roi would be a little sceptical of answering the question because if he gives us an example of great plotting, some of us may not think it is great plotting."

I can understand the feeling, but isn't it a bit late for that?

A person can't go half-way. You can't come into a thread and call half the people morons for "not paying attention", make extraordinary claims about some master plan of plotting that every single one of us missed, and then refusing to back up these statements with something substantial.

And yes, others may reject his examples. Others may disagree. Why should anyone who is interested in an honest discussion be afraid of that?

The "bad-faith" concern is more serious, but that's a concern we all share on the internet. And it still doesn't mean that dropping bombshells and than refusing to explain yourself is good idea. I mean... you aren't doing anyone else a favor by explaining your position, are you?

Well, at least we are getting some answers now:

@Alan Roi
"This is exactly the bad faith that Daya mentioned. I don't have to come up with something and compelling and worth looking over again, it has to be "super-complex ingenious" as you state above."

It doesn't "have" to be anything. I've used these words because your posts have set very high (perhaps unrealistic) expectations.

At any rate, this isn't some kind of test. I simply want us to be able to discuss the issue openly. Because let's face it: Keeping things at the general level of "this show is a 500-page novel and you're all too stupid to understand it" versus "who needs all this complexity? give me some brain-dead action" is not getting us anywhere useful.

We need to start discussing the specifics.

"Now, there's the insistance that the universe in Discovery revolves around Burnham in such a way that many still insist she is a 'Mary Sue". So when it's repeatedly demonstartae she was just in many ways just a handy tool for Sarek, Lorca, Stamets and Emperor Georgious to use help them achieve their own personal ambitions that hammered on point is ignored by detractors in favor of the "everybody loves her for no reason" when in fact its "certain people were looking for someone to use to advance their own cause and she was there to be taken advantage of because she was desperate to make up for her own percieved failures," and actually acts to pretty cruelly subvert the whole intent of the "Mary Sue" wish fulfilment narrative.

Identifying this subversion, however, would tear down one of the main pillars of criticism for this series however, so I honestly don't expect many committed detractors to be interested in looking into my assertion here. "

What the heck does this answer have to do with my question? I've asked for an example of a smart long-term planning by the writers that proves that they know what they are doing. You give a rebuttal to the Mary Sue argument, which has absolutely nothing to do with my query. Again.

How does your answer support the notion that the DSC universe is more coherent than it seems at first glance?

By now I'm pretty sure that you're just messing with us. You don't have anything. If you did, you would have given a genuine example that supports your claim rather than answer with yet another non-sequitur.
Alan Roi
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 9:50pm (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

A response as expected. A bad faith response and goalpost moving and an absolute refusal to respond at all to the narrative development I brought up. Yep, bait and switch again as always.
Jammer
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 10:07pm (UTC -5)
I think this thread has run its course.
Daya
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 11:29pm (UTC -5)
At first I thought it's a non sequitur as well. But after thinking about it, it is actually a good example of the kind requested. Thanks, Alan Roi. Let's move on to other topics as Jammer seems to have asked us to.
Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 12:43am (UTC -5)
I agree with Daya. You asked for an example, Omicron, of smart writing and subverting the whole Mary Sure issue would certainly be an interesting concept.
I never bought the whole Mary Sue argument to begin with, though. To me Burnham was always a flawed character.

My example of... well maybe not ingenious but interesting writing were the meta comments that permeated the show. For example the whole Mary Sue offshoot debate about Burnham being the center of everything. People were often complaining about that which I found a bit disingenuous because the show was always advertised as such. Also an interesting choice after all the other shows had the captain as the focal point which in part explains why people love their daddy aka Pike so much and some even demand that he should be more dominating. Admittedly, they focused maybe too much on her and forgot the lesser characters a bit.

The meta comment about all this which I found kind of nice was the debate between Spock and Michael while playing chess. Spock bluntly says that Michael is putting everything on herself all the time like she has some sort of savior complex. I'm not sure if that was actually smart writing. In the sense that they created her that way so people would complain and then make that meta comment to show: "We know that she is too often the center of everything but that is actually another character flaw which you, the audience, saw as her being forced into everything." but of course it could also be them just giving the audience a nod that they realized that they had overdone it a bit.
SlackerInc
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 2:00am (UTC -5)
@Ghosted: Good point about her losing her Vulcanisms. I had forgotten she even had them until you reminded me. Feels like yet another retcon. Has anyone read any behind-the-scenes stuff about the writers deciding this change was needed? Did SMG insist that she needed to show off her "deeply emotive face" more?

Alan is right that the queen was introduced months ago, in between seasons. What he didn't mention (and probably doesn't agree with) is that that was easily the worst of the "Short Treks". Just awful. (My favorite, FWIW, was the one set far in the future.)

@Brian Lear: "Basically if you are holding out hope that the writers are holding a royal flush, you're about to be bitterly disappointed. They've got a pair of jacks, maybe."

Hah! As a poker player myself, I loved this. The rest of your comment was spot on as well.

@Booming: I cosign your and OTDP's take on "LOST". But I actually loved "The Leftovers", at least once it got going late in the first season and especially in the second and third seasons. What "group" were you referring to there?
lynos
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 3:16am (UTC -5)
I highly recommend listening to this guy, especially if you find yourself having issues with Discovery:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVxSC5wHSig

The relevant part is between 00:34 min. and 00:58 min.

Burnett is the director of the feature film Free Enterprise, a long time Trekkie, and is part of the industry (he produced special features for many genre DVD's, including Star Trek: TMP), so I think his take is worthwhile. He has encyclopedic knowledge of Trek and of movies in general, and is quite knowledgeable regarding the genesis and production of Discovery.

I find his take is rather brilliant and doesn't come off as a rant but as genuine, thoughtful criticism.
Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 4:14am (UTC -5)
@ SlackerInc
spoilers for leftovers

The smoking people who didn't talk. In one of the last episodes the protagonist became president and said in a speech (I'm paraphrasing): "smoking was dumb and this was dumb and that was dumb so we stopped doing that."
I wanted to throw my non-existent remote at the screen. Teasing the audience several seasons about these strange people and why they do what they do and then having the protagonist giving the audience the finger and just saying:It had no reason. Psych!
I will never watch a Lindelof show again.

And about SMG's Vulcan -> Human transformation. That kind of made sense to me
Until the point where the show starts Burnham leads a life that allows a human to behave like a Vulcan (promising career, good personal support system,relatively save environment) but that slowly unravels. She loses here career (even though she kind of gets it back later), she loses parts of her support system often in terrible ways. She loses her mentor who gets killed in front of her and she also loses her friends from the Shenzhou like the guy on that sections 31 ship who then was just a copy made by control. Plus her work environment is anything but save. She has to suffer through a lot of trauma. That her human (emotional) side would take over under these circumstances, at least to me, makes sense.
Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 4:40am (UTC -5)
@Lynos

It don't think that it is that smart. I'm puzzled how people just accept the orb of time in DS9 or flying around the sun and timing it in a way that gets you to a certain point which is both complete fantasy but time crystals are heresy.

I would also call that very much a rant. "poop, ridiculously stupid, bad science fiction makes people stupid, I hate it (says that more than half a dozen times), bastardized, none of it makes sense, it diminishes people watching it, brain dead, dumbest idea, egregious, and it goes on and on like this.

The critique of Discovery is often so emotional.
Lynos
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 5:37am (UTC -5)
To a degree it's sort of a rant, yes, but it is very different than the typical rant I see on YouTube. I don't think it's the choice of words that "qualifies" something to be a rant, it's the quality of the argument. Some people just use strong words but don't have a lot to back up their claims. The words are a result of, as you say, him being emotional. It doesn't void his arguments.

I think he makes his point rather eloquently, though, but of course you might disagree.
wolfstar
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 6:03am (UTC -5)
I think the "time crystals" are ridiculous, but the Orb of Time wasn't particularly well-used either and probably wasn't a good idea. It's only in two episodes and is used in both just as a tool to tell a story set in the past - in Trials And Tribbleations, it's merely a writer's workaround to facilitate the anniversary crossover episode, and its usage in its sole other outing (Wrongs Darker Than Death Or Night) threw up more questions than it answered - most people seem to agree that that ep would have worked better if Kira was merely seeing a vision of the past, rather than the Orb actually having sent her back in time.
wolfstar
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 6:13am (UTC -5)
What I'm saying (submitted comment too soon) is the "time crystals" shouldn't be defended based on the Orb of Time, as the Orb of Time wasn't a particularly good precedent, and its usage was also different (it was just used to tell two standalone stories set in the past).
Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 6:40am (UTC -5)
@Lynos
Discovery or the critique of it always forces me into strange positions because I am not a big fan of Discovery but the criticism to me often rings hollow and hyperbolic. This has often to do with people assigning value to something while denying it somewhere else. I often look at these two things and find it hard to see real differences at least in respect to the ordering categories that are chosen. Like as mentioned flying around the sun (good time travel) time crystals (bad time travel).
To me both sounds like lunacy. I guess people need some sciency explanations even though these explanations are complete fantasy and maybe Discovery isn't providing that. Or maybe they need a certain positivity/hopefulness that Discovery certainly lacks to be more forgiving when it comes to made up science.

@Wolfstar
Yeah, ok but look at the other instances of time travel. They are all complete fantasy.
https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Time_travel (under events)

time travel happens because of
- an emergency cold start of the warp drive
- an encounter with a black star
- the Guardian of forever. A a mysterious construct of an unknown, ancient alien race. (memory alpha quote)
- the flying around the sun (two times, once in the movie, once in the show)
- The Nexus. An extra-dimensional realm in which one's thoughts and desires shaped reality. (memory alpha quote)
- a time distortion because of...
- Q
- chroniton particles
- Kemocide pumped into the engine
- the Prophets
- an energy barrier with quantum fluctuations
and it goes on like this. I had to stop. It is so crazy. :D
Why is any of this more rational or logical then a time crystal???
Trent
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 8:03am (UTC -5)
Liam said: "I wouldn't worry, everything is related to everything else on this show."

Which is itself the chief theme of the season: a god-like hand intervening, reaching through time and space, to orchestrate and organize every little thing and relationship in the season. The season itself begins with Michael telling the story of an ancient African myth. A myth about a "girl who tosses stuff into the air" which "becomes the universe" and "contains a message in a bottle" visible "only to those faithful few whose hearts are open enough to see it."

Pre-season buzz made this sound like a season about faith and religion, but the faith angle is doing something a bit creepier; faith in a kind of predestination or super-determinism. The guiding hand of Michael, Michael's Mom, or some other future agent we don't know yet.
wolfstar
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 8:09am (UTC -5)
All time travel is fantasy (as is most science on Star Trek), but I prefer either explanations that at least try to ground themselves in science (the Okuda approach) or that present time travel as an exceptional intervention by a godlike being (Q, the Prophets, the Guardian) or the result of a freak phenomenon. On Discovery, they've just said "time crystal" as if it's self-explanatory - there's no further attempt to explain what they are, how they work or why, we're just supposed to accept them as magic. I'm fine with the idea of them plugging them into the ship (or into a suit) to facilitate time travel (similar to dilithium crystals and warp travel), but the fact that they also give you visions (Burnham, Reno) when you touch them and apparently lock you into a certain destiny if you take them from Boreth (Pike) is too nonsensical. It's woo. It'd have worked slightly better if the time crystals had been introduced via a new alien race, as something unknown to the Trek universe, but locating them on Boreth and retconning the Trek universe so that the Klingons have had access to this stash of magic time crystals all along is messy. As someone said before, it's 1980s Saturday morning action cartoon writing. (Not knocking those, they're great, but they have a different sensibility to Star Trek.)

Like any Trek series, Discovery has to be judged first and foremost on whether it's good drama, so I don't want to get too bogged down in technical aspects like this. It's just messy writing, and it makes it harder to suspend your disbelief when the crystals are basically capable of anything the writers want them to be.
Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 8:35am (UTC -5)
@ wolfstar
So it is about not giving enough explanations even though these explanations themselves would be complete fantasy. Fair point.

About the time crystals being useful for everything. Compare that to Inner light.
The probe makes no sense from start to finish:
- How did the probe travel that far? It doesn't have faster than light travel.
- How did a not really well defined industrial but apparently also agrarian society create rockets that could not only go into space but transport heavy equipment?
- How did such a society create a probe that could incapacitate a completely unknown species and then transmit some kind of complex simulation over thousands of kilometers? That is far beyond anything we can do. It seems needlessly complex and also illogical because many would perceive the behavior of the probe as an attack and destroy it. Get the flute and a nice CD in there, let it fly and wait for V-Ger to contact you. Simple.

Maybe that's why they went extinct. Instead of using their apparent technical genius for survival they put all their eggs into the remember probe project. :)

As you mentioned, you don't want to get bogged down by technical debates. My question is then why are people bringing this stuff up? Something is amiss... hmmm I don't know yet.
And no, Discovery is not good drama. I still believe that Discovery mostly fails at being inspirational and that is why people dislike it so much.
Well, in a few hours we will be much wiser. Maybe.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:57am (UTC -5)
@Booming
"I agree with Daya. You asked for an example, Omicron, of smart writing and subverting the whole Mary Sure issue would certainly be an interesting concept."

No. I asked for evidence for the Alan Roi's specific earlier claims.

Subverting the Mary Sue issue is indeed an interesting concept, but it has nothing to do with the bold statements that Alan made. At least, that's the way I see it. YMMV I suppose.

At any rate, you're right. In a few hours, we'll be much wiser. I just hope that if the season finale doesn't live to the expectations, people won't just brush it off and say "no biggie. they'll resolve everything in Season 3".
Mertov
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:04am (UTC -5)
Booming, good points.
Let's not even mention the most revered episode in Star Trek, featuring the ridiculous portal resembling a giant-shiny picture frame with silver-magenta-ish border, called Guardian of Forever (!) through which you can just jump to travel through time. Suuure..
Daya
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:04am (UTC -5)
I have an observation about human beings in general. When humans dislike something, they are not really aware of why they actually dislike it. They are more likely to give the reason that seems most logical than the one that is the actual truth when explaining their distaste for something. Humans are not aware that they do this.
Tim C
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:19am (UTC -5)
I don't know about the rest of you, but anytime an argument devolves into back-and-forths over terms like "Mary Sue", I switch off. As with other pejorative labels like "SJW", it's lazy criticism and the frequent abuse of it by online shitheads* has tainted it by association.

That said, I will confess that I find it mystifying how anyone could apply it to Burnham, the character who has first billing in the credits. Of course she's involved in everything; she's the main character of a heavily serialised narrative.

The question of whether or not this blows out your suspension of disbelief in a narrative sense is another matter. (As Jammer mentions in this review, the show has pushed it to the limit with Burnham-worship in the first half of this finale.) Personally, I like SMG's performance, and I find the idea of her character - a human raised by Vulcans - to be an intriguing one, but after this season I'm ready for the show to broaden its scope beyond Burnham, purely for variety's sake and because this show has a talented cast and other interesting characters that aren't being tapped to their full potential.

*Not specifically aiming THAT pejorative at anyone here ;)
Jason R.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:53am (UTC -5)
"I have an observation about human beings in general. When humans dislike something, they are not really aware of why they actually dislike it. They are more likely to give the reason that seems most logical than the one that is the actual truth when explaining their distaste for something. Humans are not aware that they do this."

Your observation is consistent with the latest evidence on this subject. People generally come to conclusions from the "gut" and then employ reason to justify what they already believe after the fact. This is pretty much universal and transcends education and intellectual capability. Indeed, an educated smart person will only differ in that he'll come up with smarter (and more informed) reasons to justify his gut belief, but he's still using the same cognitive process to get there.

I think this topic is very much related to the use of terms like "Mary Sue". I agree with what others said, which is that this type of term is especially unhelpful. It is a dog whistle designed to signal a "gut" reaction in the listener, either positive or negative. It simply serves to polarize and shut down any chance of rational debate. To use a legal parlance, its prejudicial effect vastly outweighs its probative value.
Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:00am (UTC -5)
@ Picard :)
Sorry because of two horrible days with very limited inet connection I didn't follow the debate that closely. I gave lost three and a half season, same with Voyager. Let's see if Discovery makes it that far. I have my doubts. It is also at this point pretty clear to me that Discovery will not reach BSG levels. That show really moved me. All these depressed people circling the maelstrom of human extinction. So awesome. :D

@ Mertov
Or think of the Iconian portals that could teleport infinite amounts of people instantly anywhere in the galaxy. Or the warp drive which is basically an anti matter-matter explosion that then flows through a crystal which crates a bubble that makes the ship go faster than the laws of physics. I always find it amusing when people defend it. :) As Daya said people, and don't call me misandristic please, but especially men have a harder time of connecting emotional states with rational thought. It gets less over the years (with which I mean birth cohorts) but yeah... nevertheless it remains statistically significant. So you feel that something is wrong but are incapable to engage your own feelings in a way that leads to the actual answer therefor you find something that is easily identifiable and focus your anger on that.
wolfstar
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:00am (UTC -5)
"As you mentioned, you don't want to get bogged down by technical debates. My question is then why are people bringing this stuff up? Something is amiss... hmmm I don't know yet."

You're right, and as I see it, it comes down to the characters and storytelling again. People will excuse all kinds of oversights if they care about the characters and are emotionally invested in the story. Your example of the Inner Light is a perfect illustration. This is why, even though I've been really critical of the past few episodes, I had basically no criticisms of Project Daedalus - the emotional arc and the drama were so compelling that I was able to overlook any minor inconsistencies and contrivances. But if the characters aren't working and the story isn't gripping people, all the slip-ups and short cuts in the script become harder to ignore. If the story has earned your trust and you care about the people and what happens, it's much easier to excuse them. If season 1 had told an awesome emotionally-involving story with well-developed characters, people wouldn't have focused on things like the Klingons' appearance as much.
Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:03am (UTC -5)
@ Jason R.
"Indeed, an educated smart person will only differ in that he'll come up with smarter (and more informed) reasons to justify his gut belief, but he's still using the same cognitive process to get there."
Could you provide studies that indicate that. I'm planning to write a paper about something where this information could be useful.
Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:05am (UTC -5)
@ wolfstar
Yeah, when I think of tomorrow, I'm reminded of the season 1 ending...
Jason R.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:14am (UTC -5)
Booming, I think I already may have recommended Jonathan Haidt's book to you on another thread.

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0052FF7YM/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

One of the things I enjoyed about it was that it was good about citing credible sounding evidence to support its thesis (which I very crudely summarized above)

For full disclosure I am just a layperson who read a book that very much appealed to his inner "elephant" (again, Haidt's metaphor). I don't presume to be an expert of any kind on the subject.
Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
@ Jason R.
I must admit that I forgot about that. Sorry. I really had horribly demanding month behind me and just tried to get away from all that stuff.
That book is certainly interesting but seems to be aimed at a broader audience. Could still provide useful sources. Thanks.
Jason R.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 12:43pm (UTC -5)
Hey Booming, since you were interested in the education factor specifically, I did a keyword search in the book just for the heck of it. It cites a study from 1991 by Perkins and Bushy which attempted to measure the ability of participants to provide reasons in support of or against various arguments on social issues. The idea being that the participant would tell you what his opinion was (for or against) and then list the "my side" arguments in one column and "other side" arguments in another column. The study used high school students, college and graduate students from different grade levels within the same institutions.

So the idea being presumably the more educated a person was the more arguments would be generated on *both* columns - or that is what you'd expect if the thesis is that intellect / education serves a rational purpose versus merely buttressing a pre-existing conclusion after the fact.

Here's the money quote:

"Perkins found that IQ was by far the biggest predictor of how well people argued. But it predicted only the number of my-side arguments. Smart people make really good lawyers and press secretaries, but they are no better than others at finding reasons on the other side. Perkins concluded that "people invest their IQ in buttressing their own case rather than in exploring the entire issue more fully and evenhandedly"

The central thesis is that our underlying beliefs are *not* derived from reason, regardless of the iq or education level of the person. Rather, our reason acts as a kind of lawyer or press secretary whose job it is to explain and rationalize a belief that has already been adopted.

Anyway if this is your field I'm sure this stuff isn't anything groundbreaking. No idea if it's credible from an expert perspective, but as a layperson, I found it eye opening.
Peter G.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
@ Jason R.,

I wonder if whether, in a long-term fashion, we may see a link betwene these sorts of results, and cultural context. For instance, if a culture has as it's M.O. that you need to be right about everything, that others are there just to obstruct you, and that 'the other side' needs to always be either beaten or converted, then instead the mental heuristics would be well-trained to always bolster your own side, as the currency in play to reward helping the other wise would be minimal. And I think Socrates was even in some sense investigating whether the inability to care about the other side's argument is endemic, or the result of bad education and upbringing. I couldn't guess which it is, but I'm not at all convinced that what the studies you mention describe is something true of "people", or rather something true of badly educated people. I wonder whether it's because we are actually really bad at forming counter-arguments to our own positions, or whether we just don't care to because it seems like there's nothing in it for us to do so. As an excercise in imagination, seeing the other side equally to your own requires training and experience, like anything else. Professional actors have to do this as a matter of course; but does anyone else?
Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 1:44pm (UTC -5)
@ Jason R.
I requested the study. It certainly has a lot of citations which is usually a good sign. I still need to read it though and cannot say anything about what you wrote. Thanks for taking the time. Oh and social psychology is not my field. ;) Political science (mostly. Haven't given up on sociology completely) is. They overlap at times, of course.
At a glance it sounds like confirmation bias.
Sorry guys for derailing the thread again.
Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 1:50pm (UTC -5)
@ Peter G.
I would argue that the problem here is not rational but emotional because really getting into the arguments of the other side could be challenging to ones own core believes which is not pleasant while believing that you are right is comforting.
That is true for most. Not me of course. :D
Jason R.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
Peter I can't answer your question. What I will say is that Haidt did travel to places like India in his research (citing some of that data). While there were significant differences found between Western and non Western countries (although mostly on educational and class lines rather than ethnic / national ones) Haidt takes great pains to avoid the trap of mistaking the cognitive behaviours of educated westerners for human nature (as he alleges others in the field did previously)

But that said, my response already presupposes that your thesis is aimed at the west. It is of course possible that certain cultural forces are *global* which means they may indeed be true everywhere and yet not, in fact, be truly inherent in human nature. This seems implausible but if true, it would obviously be extremely challenging to verify.
Peter G.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
@ Jason R. and Booming,

Indeed, there may be global forces at work badly educating people (if that's a factor). Just to be clear, by "education" I don't mean expertise in some field, but rather how one values others as worthy in themselves. In other words, we might call it social education, as opposed to technical education. And yes, I would completely expect there to be no difference in India or China; in fact I would expect it to be exacerbated there compared to North America, where mindsets are very much geared towards having to fend off others trying to take advantage of you.

@ Booming,

Yes there's an emotional component for sure, but part of that is a rational problem as well, because while it's true that we're goint to react instinctively all things being equal, I don't believe it has to be this way. But that is something that 'education' would have to overcome. Right now it seems it doesn't, and seems rather to incentivize bolstering one's own side. Socrates seems to have doggedly assigned himself the task of exploring the opinions of others, and yes, I do think this is a task that requires assigning; it won't come naturally.
Jason R.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Peter your point is well taken. I am certain history must be littered with the corpses of theories that falsely promised to dig down to the true bedrock of 'human nature' but instead illuminated only the biases of a single culture (or individual).
Booming
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
@ Peter G.
These are all discussions that would be more fitting for a philosophy board. I'm also at risk of going into lengthy sermons from this point on. ;)
But let me say at least this.
For conflict to grow, inequality has to grow.
Alan Roi
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
My prediction for how all this shakes down:

The squidified probe being sent back from the future and taking over Airiam ends up being revealed as as the timeline's McCoy/Edith Keeler moment and the consequences of its changing the past are what ultimately erases the future where Control took over the galaxy, just like McCoy's saving Keeler changed the future in a similar manner.
Jason R.
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 5:09pm (UTC -5)
I predict Control turns out to be Michael Burnham's father.
MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 7:15pm (UTC -5)
You know, I feel like crap right now. I've just taken on a new job which starts very early in the morning, have a difficult personal romantic situation going on, have had something tantamount to a total upheaval of my personal life in the time since Discovery first aired, and further, I am not getting younger (I'm 37, I'm not old).

I feel bad. I feel emotionally, mentally, and physically bad. I feel like 10 pounds of bantha fodder in a 5 pound bag.

This is why I watch Star Trek. I don't follow many current "TV" shows. I can list them offhand right now, in fact.

- Castlevania.
- Star Trek: Discovery.
- Dragonball Z Abridged.
- Game Grumps.

That's literally it. I am fairly interested in the MCU (having been a Marvel Comics fan since childhood), and fairly interested in how the end of the Star Wars Saga is going to play out.

But returning to my original point. Entertainment through fiction is meant to be used by it's consumer to salve those bad feelings generated by dissatisfaction with one's 'real life,' as the colloquialism goes.

So, regardless of any other factors (technology details being consistent with the rest of Star Trek as it's been presented, for one thing), the question I am asking myself tonight, on the 30 minute eve of the Season 2 Finale of ST:Discovery, is:

"Why am I watching this?"

I want to be transported (sorry if that sounds like a clunky pun) out of my 'real life' predicaments and worries, into a fantastical universe, so that I can mentally disengage from them for a while. Does Star Trek: Discovery do this?

Yes and no. See, I used to watch the older Star Treks (TOS, TNG, and to a lesser extent DS9 and VOY) to do this for myself. But around the time DS9 came out, I began to feel my interest in that waver. I was reaching adulthood, and that was consuming a lot of my mental faculties. I had taken up music, was looking at my very own high school experience, discovering girls (have kissed many, Bill Shatner, thanks)...I was 'getting a life.'

I didn't care for much of Voyager, didn't find the DS9 Finale satisfying at all, and as for ENT... well... er. Yeah. It just came off as a dumbed-down version of everything that came before it.

Watered-down sequel to TNG on the Silver Screen after watered-down Sequel to TNG on the Silver Screen came and went, and I generally stopped being interested in Star Trek for a time. Then Star Trek (2009) happened, and I felt a brief resurgence in the level of interest I had in it. Then ST:ID came out, and those who recall how I came to be at Jammer's Reviews will perhaps recall my impassioned defense of the movie. I have since gone back and re-watched it a few times, and found many people's criticisms of it to be quite valid.

I haven't finished watching Star Trek: Beyond, and probably will not.

...I can feel my interest in Star Trek sagging again. This feels like the era in which Star Trek: Voyager came around. Except that this time, I am no longer a teenager on the brink of adulthood... I am smack in the middle (pun intended) of Middle Age.

"How do I feel? ... ... ... Old. Worn out."

~ Adm. James Kirk, TWOK

SO, returning to the question I posed earlier, does Star Trek Discovery transport me out of my life's worries and problems for a time, to get lost in a fantastical world? Technically it does.

But it does so in a way that makes me see the seams of it's shoddily constructed plot. [TNG SPOILERS ALERT] At what point do I feel like I'm watching Picard finally realizing that the Borg Cube is going to destroy his ship, and calling out to Q for help? At what point do I feel like I'm watching the Dowg from "The Survivors" explaining why he has recreated his home on this war-ravaged planet? At what point do I feel like I'm watching Juliana Tainor fall into a subterrainean ravine, only to be discovered by Data with electrical diodes sticking out of her head? At what point do I feel like I'm watching Picard prove that humans are mortal and not Gods in "Who Watches The Watchers?"

No doubt there are many moments of shocking dramatic reveals which climacticize the plot arc of many Star Trek episodes throughout the series' long history. At what point does ST:Discovery do that?

At this point, this point right now. In 17 minutes, the last episode of Season 2 will go live on CBS All Access. If it does not thrill me, if it does not give me a satisfying conclusion to this off-the-rails, kick-the-can-down-the-road cockamamie fish story, then I fear my interest in Star Trek will have to be put in cryostasis until they find a cure for boring.

Please, for the love of Kahless, do not make me feel like I've wasted my time watching your show. That's all I ask, Discovery.
Booming
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 1:37am (UTC -5)
@ MidshipmanNorris
Seems like you are heading for a rough midlife crisis maybe worse.
Good luck. With Discovery and the rest. :)
Chrome
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:44am (UTC -5)
So, ahem, in light of this episode marking a completely different direction for the show (no spoilers, I promise, heck I don't even know what will come) the goodbyes here make a lot of sense. Sure the farewells are unearned, paint-by-numbers, trite, derivative, overly-long, but--they are necessary as show markers. I imagine after five more years of this show, people will look back on this episode and say how great it was to have a moment where we reflected on everything that had come before.

Furthermore, I still have PTSD from season one's finale where they needed to wrap a bunch of things up and tried to do it in one episode. "Bad" is too polite a word for what we got. Jammer's cynicism aside, (hey man, they announced the airdates back in December and you still signed up!) I liked having this extra episode to set everything up and prepare us for the finale.

That said, this episode was good in concept but was not very well executed. For example, I would've liked a narrative bridge that put Po into the main show. She's an interesting character, why not give her a full introduction in the show proper? Probably the most effective thing were the goodbye letters the lesser cast members were composing, but they were all too brief. Nevertheless, one could feel that something epic was about to occur and I appreciate the energy here. So, let's just call this a serviceable build up.
Peter H
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 5:42pm (UTC -5)
Could they not have just kept firing on the Discovery? Are its shields suddenly impenetrable?

Terrible, terrible episode. Worst of the series by a long shot. Hated all the endless speeches, technobabble and the glorification of Michael.

(Loved the Enterprise interior design though - that was awesome!)
Peccath
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 2:21am (UTC -5)
Wow... It required a lot of willpower to sit through this STD episode. Just horrible. I had never heard of Short Trek before, and based on this episode, I'm not sure if I even want to know more about it. My comment here doesn't contribute anything to discussion on this episode, but neither did this episode to Star Trek franchise.
Gary
Mon, May 13, 2019, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
An ongoing complaint, applying particularly to Discovery, but to some extent to at least the last three ST series:

As others have noted, the writers just feel they Must Top Everything that came before. The most egregious example, courtesy of the mycelial network: all humans could be wiped out? No, all life in the galaxy? No, all life in this universe, and All Other Universes.

In this episode (and, to a lesser extent, to the Short Trek predecessor): Queen Po can recrystalize dilithium, way back before TOS. OK... a bit much, but OK. But now... they need lots of energy. No, not "lots"... Supernova Lots. So she can make one, with a bit of hand-waving and a few hours using pre-TOS tech. That is an absurd level of power - more, I think, then we've seen harnesssed in any future Trek. Of course, like the spore drive, it'll never come up again, and that's the basis for my beef: please, writers, stop introducing super-powers that then need to be forgotten.

On the same topic of upping everything: unless I misheard, were we not told that any one of the section 31 ships could give the Enterprise a stiff fight? But of course there are many, to make the situation just that much more hopeless. (We're surrounded! Umm, in 2D, at least!) And tying oh-so-cleverly into my complaint that super-weapons are constantly introduced but discarded: since it's now established that ramming is a viable tactic (we're always told these battles are taking place at thousands of kilometres, but are plainly shown they are often with a few hundred metres): an AI with drone ships, or magically-transformed crews, can quite happily ram a few into the Enterprise, letting the rest dismantle Discovery at leisure. This battle is for all the marbles, after all.
Tibor
Sat, Jun 1, 2019, 3:39am (UTC -5)
What a load of garbage. Kurtzman is such a worthless hack, ugh.
4Q2
Tue, Jun 4, 2019, 5:57pm (UTC -5)
Cancel this dreck.

Give Anson Mount his own Pike-led show or put him in the Picard show.

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