Star Trek: Discovery

"Die Trying"

3.5 stars

Air date: 11/12/2020
Teleplay by Sean Cochran
Story by James Duff & Sean Cochran
Directed by Maja Vrvilo

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

There's a lot to unpack in the dense and ambitious "Die Trying," which is easily the best episode of the third season so far and among Discovery's best outings, and possibly its most balanced to date. This show tries to do a lot of things, and it ends up doing most of them very well. There's promising stuff here.

If "Forget Me Not" was a good example of Discovery dialing it down and acting like classic Trek, "Die Trying" is more in line with Discovery's own true DNA. But it has figured out how to balance the formula and blend its more modern sensibilities with the classic ones. It does this in a story where Discovery reaches the 32nd-century joint Starfleet/Federation headquarters where they meet Admiral Charles Vance (Oded Fehr), who debriefs them on some current happenings, but has numerous questions for the crew of such an old ship.

Because this is an episode that's all about balancing a lot of different things, I'm going to break down whether these elements are more typical of classic or new Star Trek. While these elements aren't necessarily exclusive to one or the other, they do have a tendency to be more prevalent in one rather than the other.

  • The awe/wonder factor (Classic Trek) — This episode really sells the arrival at Starfleet/Federation Headquarters with gusto. We're treated to an advanced-tech starbase and fleet (including the 11th-generation USS Voyager-J), and a genuine sense of hope and amazement by the crew, who gather at the windows to take in the sight of the new HQ. This stuff is pretty well-realized, although there always seems to be a standby of equating "far future interiors" with "antiseptic white." Jeff Russo's score perhaps pushes insistently, but the point is not lost here that this is a big deal.
  • World building (Classic Trek) — We finally start to get a better sense of what this century looks like from the more central point of view of Starfleet. We also get a solid away mission that gives us the sense that more exists in this universe besides Discovery and its crew. These are some welcome developments after the opening two episodes that gave us pedestrian frontier towns and a third episode that spent all of two minutes on Earth before departing.
  • Suspicion and conflict (New Trek) — You didn't think our arrival at Starfleet Headquarters was going to be smooth sailing and greeted with a big party, did you? Admiral Vance is guarded, inquisitive, and suspicious, and he wants answers, especially since time travel is a taboo, outlawed practice as a result of the temporal wars. Oded Fehr plays Vance with just the right level of understated menace, which reads from his point of view as smart and prudent rather than needlessly combative, even though we know Discovery's crew is telling him the truth. It's always good when the conflict makes sense rather than being forced by the contrived needs of the script. Vance wants to split up and reassign the Discovery crew and study the ship's spore drive, while our characters have to argue the case that they should stay together and would be more helpful to Starfleet as an experienced long-range tactical tool.
  • Episodic commitment (Classic Trek) — Structurally, this season so far, even more than the first two, plays like the right balance of episodic and serial storytelling. Every episode has its own self-contained story goals featuring a beginning, middle, and end, while the elements of the larger season arc play in between the story beats as ongoing questions. In this case, we have the classic Trekkian Plague, with lives on the line that must be cured by tracking down an antidote against a ticking clock.
  • Serial mystery and foreboding (New Trek) — How did the Burn happen? We don't find out here; Vance says there are many theories but nothing definitive, and he's not in the sharing mood. Burnham especially wants to know, and even presses Vance when she'd be wiser not to. As evidenced by Georgiou's interactions with a Starfleet interrogator played by David Cronenberg (!), there is speculation the Burn may have been intentionally committed by someone. Meanwhile, Georgiou's face-off with her interrogator proves consistently intriguing, as they fence and she tries to get into his head, and he into hers. The nature of her Terran mirror-universe origin is a topic of discussion, and by the end, it seems very likely Georgiou has been compromised by this experience in some way. Hmmm...
  • Away-mission exploration (Classic Trek) — As a test-run to prove itself, Discovery volunteers to beam aboard a far-away Federation seed repository ship (that's months away by Starfleet's reach but which Discovery can get to instantly with the spore drive). We have a small team sent on a mission to get something done.
  • Visual effects and production design (New Trek) — As always, this series is filled with VFX and elaborate production design, in this case the seed ship with its terraformed interiors and extensive technology. This series is never a slouch in the production department.
  • Character development and camaraderie (Classic Trek) — They really work in a number of threads here, some brief (like the displays of acerbic camaraderie between Stamets, Reno, and Tilly) — some extended, like the away mission that utilizes a fresh team of Burnham, Culber, and Nhan. Overall a good ensemble mix that allows supporting characters to get more focus while also giving Burnham a solid, workmanlike leadership role. Even Georgiou — why did she join this crew, anyway? — gets some analysis. Then there's the captain/first officer interaction between Saru and Burnham, which I thought worked especially well by showing Saru's cautious and diplomatic tendencies and respect for protocol alongside Burnham's more impatient desire for answers. Saru warns Burnham about her impulsiveness with an appeal to prudent caution — a nice, deft, light leadership touch. I really like Saru as captain.
  • History and literacy (Classic Trek) — Saru delivers a welcome note of history for Vance about the artist Giotta and his use of three-point perspective at the onset of the Renaissance, and how that relates to Discovery's arrival here. While this speech isn't as gracefully integrated as, say, Picard waxing philosophic about Nelson's death at the Battle of Trafalgar, the Trekkian staple of invoking literacy within the dialogue is a franchise cornerstone that Discovery has too often shied away from. Good to see it back. This is solid.
  • Big emotions worn on its sleeve (New Trek) — A Discovery staple, in this case surrounding the tragedy of the attendant of the seed repository and his family, who were killed by a solar flare while he was somehow protected when trapped in transporter limbo, which Burnham & Co. are able to free him from with classic Trekkian technobabble problem-solving. Not only is there emotion around this man's plight of losing his family, but it also leads to the bigger emotional payoff/sendoff for Nhan, who agrees to stay behind and see the seed ship back to its destination (which also happens to be her Barzan homeworld). I thought this all worked, although I was disappointed to see Nhan go just as we were getting to know her as a regular member of the crew, and just as Rachael Ancheril was starting to make an impact.

So this episode ticks a lot of boxes. But the most crucial box it ticks is telling a cohesive and engaging story throughout, in such a way it doesn't feel like it's solely ticking boxes. This is a good example of an episode that adds up to more than the sum of its parts.

Even more bullets:

  • Like I said, this episode is densely packed, and includes acknowledgements between characters like Adira explaining to Vance that she carries Admiral Tal's symbiont; Burnham explaining the Red Angel suit; Saru explaining the sphere data and their escape from Control (a plot point that only sounds more ludicrous over time rather than less); the reveal that the Kelpiens joined the Federation at some point; and other various details. Discovery has often been the Trek series most riddled with narrative holes, but not this episode, which feels thorough to the point of being overstuffed.
  • There are now 38 planets in the Federation, down from 350. It seems this season is not about rebuilding a collapsed Federation, as I'd assumed after the first episode, but about rejoining a substantially pared-down Federation and figuring out what that means and whether there are other worlds to patch back into it.
  • Georgiou can disable a 32nd-century hologram system with a clever eye-blinking pattern. I call BS. "Your holograms need an upgrade." Uh-huh.
  • Detmer's psychological troubles continue to be a topic of discussion.
  • I'm not sure the title of this episode lines up with what happens in it.
  • I've decided to adjust the star rating for last week's "Forget Me Not" from 3.5 to 3 stars. It was borderline and I opted last week at the last minute to round it up, but I think this episode is more indicative of 3.5 than that one.

Previous episode: Forget Me Not

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183 comments on this review

Tim C
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 3:22am (UTC -6)
Well wasn't that just a treat!

I loved a lot of things in this episode. I loved the look and feel of future-Starfleet HQ, with some future technology that genuinely seemed fantastical - a hard feat to pull off in a show like Star Trek. (Cute shoutout with the Voyager-J, btw.)

I liked that Starfleet haven't become dystopian evil cartoon types after The Burn. The new head of Starfleet seems like a very reasonable guy; understandably super-cautious about the Disco's tall tale and with a very commanding manner, but still willing to listen and mount a mission of mercy.

I liked that Saru was willing to remind Burnham of her history of disobedience and where that led her, and I liked that she was willing to go along with his plans instead. Furthermore I just like Captain Saru in general; I can't believe it's taken us two seasons to get him into the captain's chair.

I liked Georgiou getting blindsided by the news of her Empire's demise, and finally getting to interact with someone else who seems to be on her level. I'm very interested to see where this thread with her goes.

I liked Burnham being in charge of the mission; SMG has a good command presence and I think her character works much better as a headstrong leader rather than the constantly-insubordinate right hand. That said, the evolving professional relationship between her and Saru is making for good TV and they complement each other very nicely.

I liked that the episode had zero phaser shootouts in dark corridors, or massive explosions, or asteroids ripping little space pods to shreds, or any other high-octane thrills. It had a story to tell about moving on and building trust through honesty, and it told it quite effectively and with some really neat sci-fi along the way. Bravo.

After that thoroughly underwhelming first episode, I am really beginning to take a shine to Disco's third season. It has felt more episodic whilst maintaining ongoing character and plot threads (although "People of Earth" was a bit too far on the wrong side of the ledger for me) and has seemingly pumped the brakes on the tendency to have everything always be an ultra high-stakes battle for the survival of the universe.

Here's hoping they keep it up!
aby
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 4:24am (UTC -6)
Maybe it's my bad memory but I haven't seen this crew smile that much and I loved that. It felt effortlessly fun for the actors (for the most part).
Is it the lighting that improved this season? It just doesn't feel that dark and gloomy.
Bucktown
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 4:33am (UTC -6)
"The Burn" continues to be the most frustratingly Kurtzmanian of all the Kurtzmanesque. Whatever is revealed inside that mystery box can't be worth having to hear every character utter that embarrassing moniker every 10 minutes. We don't care what happened, and neither should you, Messiah Burnham!

Everything about this distant future feels so off, that I half predict Saru to pull a Riker in "Future Imperfect" and shut the whole thing down since none of it adds up. How is it in the realm of any fathomable universe that the Discovery crew could ever possibly assist (and even surpass!) a society advanced 1000 years??? It would be like a crew of a medieval oarship of the Byzantine Empire assisting some Google coders and then somehow developing a holographic interface. Preposterous. Also, 500 year old starships are still in use? What? Why? I better fire up my horse and carriage to get to work tomorrow.

Also, if replicators existed since the 2300s, which can analyze any item down to its subatomic level and get stored in a computer database, what is the need for a useless and literal seed bank ship? Don't all of these seeds' DNA exist in binary?

But are the character and emotional beats there, even if the science and plot isn't? Not really. We never really understand who this alien race that Burnham and crew are trying to save. We spend literally 3 seconds seeing one of them squirm on a hospital bed. There is absolutely no reason to care about the mission to save them at all without being invested. Were the writers just trying to make some ham-fisted GMO parallel? If so, for the love of Q, they need to get a real scientist consultant, since GMOs have been proven time and time again to be perfectly safe and healthy. It is scientifically illiterate to argue otherwise. Wasn't Star Trek always supposed to be pro-science?

We also get another "farewell" episode with all the beats to go with it for a character that the show assumes has had a full series arc, only to not realize that 95% of the audience probably couldn't even remember her name. I still can't remember her name 10 minutes after finishing the episode.

I do appreciate that this episode didn't have any big action scenes, but that's likely more for budgetary reasons. The future Federation officers keeps talking about how Discovery came from the "golden age" of Starfleet, but we never saw that in season 1 or 2. We only saw death, torture, war, violence and destruction.

This show is constantly resting on its past laurels to skirt its own storytelling issues, and it's getting very tiresome. It's high time it creates its own inspiring stories instead of just relying on the good will of our memories of past glories. It came close last week which is why I still watch, but I've been "BURNED" too many times with this show.
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 7:17am (UTC -6)
And, just like that, back to merely okay.

One of the major issues I had with this episode is there was just so much telling, and so little showing. Most of the first half of the episode was The Discovery crew explaining things to the uptime Starfleet officers that we, as viewers, knew already. The writers tried to make it a bit interesting by lampshading how ridiculous a lot of Discovery's previous adventures were, but it still dragged quite a bit. This stuff should have happened off camera.

Finally, around midway through, we get to the "real plot" of the episode on the seed ship. I thought this mostly worked better, but even here I had some concerns. If this was a 23rd century seed ship, why was there all this future tech? I guess it just kept being retrofitted? Why did Nhan have to stay back? I understand the dude wanted to die onboard, but couldn't they - like - tow it back to Starfleet HQ? Or just come back once he died a few days later with replacement crew? Nhan's farewell with Burnham didn't quite work right with me either. The two of them did not have a particularly close relationship - not to the point that I'd expect tears. Still, this was a "classic" Trek adventure with the crew working together cooperatively for a solution. I think it worked well overall, but it would have worked better hived into its own episode.

The stuff with Georgiou and Cronenberg's character was interesting, but it felt like it was an obvious vanity insert to have Cronenberg in the show. It didn't feel like it made much sense in the episode. And I'm really, really not liking what they're hinting about The Burn at all. I don't want "Michael solves The Burn" to be the season arc, and I particularly don't want it to be due to a "bad guy."

Maybe 2.5 stars?
JosephB
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 8:12am (UTC -6)
I’ll make this short and sweet:

THAT WAS STAR TREK!!!!!

*****/*****
Nick
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 9:43am (UTC -6)
They crammed a lot in this episode and as a result the pacing felt a little rushed. But overall I thought it was good. We had some interesting world building with the Federation and I liked the A plot of keeping Discovery together to serve as a symbol of a better time. Saru’s speech about the dark ages artist was great. I also really liked the Georgau scenes with that old guy and I’m really interested to see where that goes. I also liked the scenes with the “dysfunctional” engineering team. Jet Reno is great and helps makes Samets not so unlikeable.

Final thought, I can’t help but think the cause of the burn was revealed in this episode. I really hope it wasn’t the fact that the red angel suit self destructed in the wormhole after it sent the final signal, but it seems like a very plausible explanation. If they do go down that road, they better not do a reset button at the end. Another more intriguing possibility is something to do with the mirror universe. They are clearly setting something up there given all the information they gave, but not sure that it’s related to the burn.

Solid episode, 3 stars from me.
Nick
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 11:45am (UTC -6)
Sorry, one more thought. That music Burnham was talking about could ultimately tie into the cause of the burn somehow. Given how much information they dumped on us this episode, it's the perfect time for the writers to sneak in some info that directly relates to the cause of the burn. I really think they revealed in this episode, just not sure exactly how. I might re-watch it later to look for more clues.
cakes
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 12:23pm (UTC -6)
Mark my words, "The Burn" is ultimately revealed to be some kind of Burnham-related incident, again.
Norvo
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 12:25pm (UTC -6)
An interesting episode that felt more Trek than most of Discovery so far. There's a lot of groundwork being laid here for coming episodes and I can't wait to see where it all leads.

Can't say I agree with Burnham's decision to let Nhan remain on the seed ship (incredible CGI work btw)... The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, in this case. And letting Detmer fly the one ship with a sporedrive when she's clearly unwell isn't the wisest move either.

As for what's wrong with Georgiou? Is she stuck on a holodeck? Is the entire crew stuck in a simulation? Would that explain the music? Oh lord, don't let the burn be a musical tune.

Nice reference to the Temporal Accords by the way :-) Enterprise lives!
Peter G.
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 12:53pm (UTC -6)
@ William B,

"I also think that it's probably a time when the categories that people have are not adequately expressing the reality of lived experience."

Yeah, this is essentially what I was getting at. I feel that even now people are constantly being made to be something they're not in various capacities. It's a very clear situation when we're talking about sexual orientation, gender, race, and these types of things; we have a history of slavery or oppression in some cases, discriminatory expectations in other cases. So those are covered in some sense, or at least at the forefront of awareness. But what about people with alternative circadian rhythms, or the fact that the vast majority of teenagers and children are forcibly sleep deprived based on a ridiculous school schedule, which in turn is at least partly because they act as day cares due to the parents' work schedules? Or what about people with certain dispositions who are made to act happy when they feel otherwise; or people who have a big personal bubble and are expected to shake hands, hug, and do these things, when in fact they prefer personal distance (putting aside COVID for the moment)? I think there are countless instances of variations in psychological, physiological, and other sorts of natures where people are forced into boxes that really constrain them. So yeah, I am no enemy to the idea of showing really progressive ideas in sci-fi, and to recognizing that people really are not all the same. I hope that clarified a bit.
Chris L.
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 1:39pm (UTC -6)
@Karl Zimmerman-

I thought this episode was not as good as the last, but was still a step up from previous seasons and continues a general trajectory slowly rising out of mediocrity.

But in response to your comment, I agree the "Burn" is continuously mentioned every 10 minutes, and quite frankly, I really don't care. I can see why everyone cares about it and it serves as a MacGuffin, but I worry that they are trying to make it more than that. From the viewer's perspective, it is just a 100 year old cold case. I'm happy to accept it as a plot device explaining a diminished Federation, but that's about it. At this point, recovering from the "Burn" is far more important than figuring out "Whodunnit".

I think the ship they found (can't remember the name) was probably not the actual original 1000-year old ship. More like it was the name of the project, and whatever ship is carrying the seed vault is called "Tikhov" (or whatever it was named). It could have been the Tikhov-P, or it could be kind of like whatever plane the President is on being called "Air Force 1". I didn't think about it that much, but I didn't get the sense that it was supposed to be the original ship.
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 2:01pm (UTC -6)
@ Chris L.,

Yes, I don't understand the focus that the show (and some fans) have for the cause of the Burn. From everything we know, it happened once, a century ago. The dilithium which exploded is gone, as are the ships. The scarce dilithium still around works just fine.

Some people suggest that maybe it's a malevolent rival of the Federation that caused it - and it could happen again. I admit this is possible, but it's been a century and no one has rolled over the former Federation, so it doesn't seem like whoever did it would be that much of an active threat. So even in this case, there's no sense of narrative urgency, especially when compared with the silly overblown stakes of the first two seasons.
Tim C
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 2:04pm (UTC -6)
Karl Zimmerman, could not disagree more that the Starfleet debrief "should have happened off camera". I might have thrown my remote at the TV had they skipped it; it's vitally important to establish just where the crew's relationship with the new Starfleet is at, and also to give a sense of how the new Starfleet operates. Yes, some of the dialogue doesn't contain new information, but the way the characters presented and reacted to it sure did.
William B
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 2:29pm (UTC -6)
@Peter, yeah I think I get what you're saying.
Chris Lopes
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 3:15pm (UTC -6)
"The future Federation officers keeps talking about how Discovery came from the "golden age" of Starfleet, but we never saw that in season 1 or 2."

That's because golden ages only become golden in retrospect. Like with the golden age of television (which was actually kind of crappy when judged objectively), the golden age of star fleet is deemed so at a distance, by no one who witnessed it first hand.
Yanks
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 3:23pm (UTC -6)
Wow, great Star Trek episode!!

I already know I'm grading this 4 of 4 stars!!

Off to watch it again!
Nick
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 3:57pm (UTC -6)
Regarding some of the comments above about the burn, I agree the writers might be overplaying their hand by bringing it up every 30 seconds but I get the sense that finding out what caused it is more a personal obsession of Burnham's than anything else. At the end of the episode when Burnham asked the admiral about it his response was basically "I have more important things to worry about" and Saru was annoyed she brought it up.

I'm not overly optimistic given the track record of the show so far but I'm holding out hope that it's purpose is ultimately a way to continue the worldbuilding of this era and perhaps expand the narrative in a way that sets the stage for future seasons (i.e. by introducing a new threat or concept of some kind). What I'm hoping doesn't happen is that the cause of the burn centers around Burnham which climaxes in a huge reset button. That would be a big disappointment.
Bucktown
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 5:05pm (UTC -6)
@Karl Zimmerman, @Chris L. & @Nick -

I think you all are giving the writers the benefit of the doubt that they have never proven they deserve. "The Burn" is absolutely supposed to be the MacGuffin/JJ Mystery Box. It would be one thing if the Burn was just a simple device that would explain why intergalactic society has not advanced much in a millennium, thus not requiring a completely new imaginative universe with no relation to the Star Trek that we know of the 23rd/24th centuries. That actually would be interesting.

But no. The Messiah, Michael Burnham, will eventually solve (and/or be the cause of) the Burn. Move over Control, Red Angel, Red Matter, Zhat Vash, Admonition, etc. - The Burn will be the stupidest, most asinine revelation of them all.

This big "revelation-style" of storytelling is not rooted in Star Trek's legacy. It never has been. That was always the domain of Star Wars and other fantasy, superhero, and myth type storytelling. It is by far the biggest problem I've had with Discovery and Picard. These are writers who either grew up or absorbed those other writing styles and did not really understand what made Star Trek special.

Ultimately, Star Trek is at its simplest core a workplace drama of elite professionals putting aside differences to solve science-based mysteries or social/cultural/ethical problems that pop up each week. That's it.
Undesirable Element
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 5:59pm (UTC -6)
The Voyager-J definitely got the most attention there in the big future ship show, but did anyone else notice the USS Nog there too? That made me chuckle.

Intriguing episode. I wish we'd gotten more from Nhan before she left the show, as it would have added some stakes. Very similar to the episode where Ariam died, which was intentionally referenced here several times.

I found myself engaged with Mirror Georgiou for probably the first time in the whole series. First, her interplay with the mysterious Richard Beltzer-like interrogator was just a treat. But second, having her grapple with what her status in the universe actually IS... that's long overdue. I could have watched a whole episode of just that conversation.
The Queen
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 6:34pm (UTC -6)
Some of you people are scaring me. Nick, you think the red angel suit might be the cause of the Burn? And Cakes says it's Burnham-related. So we have a disaster called the Burn, possibly caused by the destruction of the red angel suit worn by a character called Burnham. No, no! (LOL) But I do think Nick's comment that the cause of the Burn was revealed, or at least hinted at, in this episode is very insightful. Not saying I see it, but obviously if they intend to reveal the cause, and I'm sure they do, they're going to start dropping clues, and now would be a good time to begin.

Norvo, your theory that they're all stuck on a holodeck REALLY horrifies me. Please let them not do that.

Karl Z, you thought the debriefing scenes were too much "telling," but I timed them and they took 1 minute total; and I agree that the point was not to tell us facts but to reveal the characters' takes on their adventures and how the current Federation reacted to them.

I loved this episode, another 4-star one for me, and the Georgiou plot was a big part of it. She can do something besides kick people!

Another thing I really liked was that Burnham seems to be finally experiencing some character growth. She resorted to her season 1 "the hell with orders" attitude at first but Saru brought her to heel promptly, and lo and behold they got what she wanted through channels. And then, maybe the best part, after they returned Saru brought up the incident again and stressed to her that she should cut out the cowboy talk as well as the cowboy action. And she agreed in a way that sounded like she actually had thought about it.

There was one thing I didn't like, and one minor question. First the question: wouldn't these 31st-century Fed people tend to assume that the Discovery "cavepeople" (so to speak) must not have even heard of holograms? I ask because even today, younger people assume that their grandparents lived in shacks without electricity and were therefore stupid.

Now for the major dislike, which isn't exactly major: Saru's speech comparing themselves to Giotto, bringing light to darkness. Talk about egotism! I think the writers were going for a TNG feeling here? But the same point could easily have been made without an esoteric reference which had to be explained to the audience, while pretending that of course the admiral had heard of Giotto. Also, why does every character who makes a historical reference have to call up Earth history? I'd think a historical figure from Kaminar would be far more relevant to Saru. To me, this is an example of writers trying to sound intellectual without having the ability to actually create something.

But having said all that, I still loved this episode.
Jason R.
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 7:03pm (UTC -6)
"So even in this case, there's no sense of narrative urgency, especially when compared with the silly overblown stakes of the first two seasons."

It is 100% guaranteed that the galaxy will be threatened by the end of the season and that St. Burnham will prevent the cataclysm.
Nick
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 7:23pm (UTC -6)
@The Queen, one point on your last paragraph, I think the reason Saru didn't use a historical figure from Kalimar is because he was trying to connect with the Admiral, who is human. It made sense in that instance for Saru to use someone from human history. I really liked that scene, but maybe it was the delivery from Doug Jones, as opposed to the artist reference, which after reading your post, does seem a little cheesy.

I think the other reason I liked it it's a pretty significant narrative development. Getting the Starfleet brass to start to change their mindset and start thinking about exploration again with Discovery serving as a symbol of hope and reminder of that better time (even if the times weren't actually better) is a good concept. If anything, it was a good tactic for Saru to keep discovery together and demonstrates why he is the captain. It felt very TNG to me, solving problems by communicating concepts and ideals. Way better than the phaser fights, killer ice, cowboy bars, and some of the other nonsense we have seen recently.
John
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 7:31pm (UTC -6)
"One of the major issues I had with this episode is there was just so much telling, and so little showing."

I agree. Why is it, with the capacity for such brilliant and modern visual effects, that what we get on our first look at the Federation of the 3200s is a blurry, dark, mishmash of indistinct ships? In the first ST movie we got extended (some would say too extended) fly-arounds of the Enterprise, and now we have to be satisfied with listening to the crew talk about how amazing what they are seeing is, while seeing none of it ourselves.

It betrays a lack of confidence in what they are doing, in what is being shown. I suppose the idea is, if we can't see it, we can't complain about it, or we'll be left craving more. Which, to be fair, is a sound theory. We've barely even got a decent look at the Discovery for 2+ seasons.
Nick
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 8:54pm (UTC -6)
@Bucktown I think your comment about the usefulness of a 500 year ship is valid but they have acknowledged this in the show. When they were at Earth they basically got owned (could only take 1 shot before shields down, their shields didn’t work against transporters, etc.) but obviously the advantage they have is the spore drive which is why Discovery is still useful in this era. I assume that Starfleet will be upgrading the ship because it would be pretty stupid of Starfleet to let the spore drive waltz around the galaxy with no protection.

However, I do not agree with your comment on the crew not being able to help. I think if you are an expert and math, science, etc. that it wouldn’t be that hard to learn really advanced stuff. It’s also not unreasonable to think that the rate at which new technology is discovered and advanced slows down after a certain point. I would equate it to someone from Downton Abbey driving a Tesla. They would be amazed at all the features but at the end of the day they would still be able operate it with some instruction.
Bucktown
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 9:09pm (UTC -6)
@Nick -

Fair points. But my rebuttal is how fast it was depicted. The Discovery crew was shown basically out-performing these other officers with a 1000 years on them right off the bat. Huh? It's ludicrous unless this version of the future has undergone some type of "Idiocracy" like scenario. If the Burn also made everyone in the galaxy really dumb, that actually might be sort of fun. Oh well.

I fully believe that given some time to learn, Scotty would have been gotten himself equal to Geordi in "Relics." But that episode wisely depicted a character out of time attempting to immediately help, only to realize all of his knowledge is outdated and stale, which causes an identity crisis. THAT's the way to handle it. Not whatever this is.

What exactly makes this Discovery crew so brilliant? The individual characters are written as mostly fine and capable, but not the elite of the elite. There's a disconnection of believability with what they accomplish vs what they seem capable of.
Nick
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 9:24pm (UTC -6)
@Bucktown I don't think the Discovery crew is special or particularly brilliant, but most of the things were happening with Burnham's involvement, who has been here for a year already. The problems they are facing also aren't related to advanced technology (maybe with the exception of solving that phasing thing, but it seemed plausible as it was caused by what I assume is a pretty common stellar event that even someone with old technology could solve). I agree if they had to compete in a 31st century science fair they would come in dead last, but those aren't the types of challenges they have been comforted with (second episode they basically did nothing, Burham had to pull them out of the ice, third episode space battle at Earth was mostly handled by Burnham, Saru almost got everyone killed, fourth episode all they did was jump to the Trill homeworld and in this episode they a had a pretty simple task in getting seeds from that ship.) Bar has been low for them so far.

Also, don't forget that at the end of that TNG episode, Geordi told Scotty that a lot of his knowledge was still useful (impulse engines hadn't changed much in 200 years, etc.), it just happened to be that his knowledge was outdated in the specific issues they faced. So maybe more an element of bad luck that Scotty wasn't able to help in any of those situations.
JosephB
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 10:05pm (UTC -6)
@Bucktown:

You wrote:
“Ultimately, Star Trek is at its simplest core a workplace drama of elite professionals putting aside differences to solve science-based mysteries or social/cultural/ethical problems that pop up each week. That's it.”

Minus “The Burn”/Universal Music Theme/Emperor references, YOU JUST DESCRIBED THIS WEEK’s EPISODE!! I think that’s why it 100% felt like “Star Trek” to me! Good Job!!
Rahul
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 10:47pm (UTC -6)
Back to typical DSC after the outstanding "Forget Me Not" -- got a fairly standard Trek plot with DSC layering on some emotional moments that don't end up having the significance they should. They feel contrived. Some more info about the burn comes about in indirect ways and it's like the Federation is in the dark ages before the Renaissance.

The plot is serviceable -- the Discovery finds Federation HQ, meets with its hard-ass skeptical leaders, argues to keep the personnel together and goes on a mission to prove itself and we get some hopeful messages, Burnham gets lauded to the skies in a tearful goodbye before Nhan pulls a Neelix a la "Homestead". The material is not particularly challenging or intelligent like in "Forget Me Not". No big deal with Nhan staying behind -- just one less meaningless character.

Was glad Saru told Burnham to choose her words more carefully -- she sure did a lot of talking to the Admiral and his dumb lieutenant as the 2nd in command. Saru's a good captain, but this is Burnham's show.

Georgiou was weird -- overall, not a fan of the cartoonish character. But she's used to get us information in her own "unique" way. Some interesting facts of the demise of the Terran empire -- not sure if it will be relevant or not. Georgiou's conversation, I think, hints at some race being responsible for the burn and it also sounds like there are a lot of theories about it circulating in the Federation. Again, it's creating a ton of anticipation that the writers will deliver something sensible and intriguing, but it'll probably be something ridiculously farfetched and likely disappointing.

Some odds and ends: the music Adira's boyfriend was playing -- how do so many people around the galaxy know it? Not sure what to make of Detmer's PTSD here -- maybe she's getting it under control. Get to see how ship technology has changed in 900 years -- not that impressive thus far.

Still think more needs to be said about the spore drive jumps and Stamets' health as well as the regeneration of the spore network -- am I missing something or is this just handwaving by the writers??

2.5 stars for "Die Trying" -- bit of a letdown after "Forget Me Not" but can't expect DSC to reach that standard week-in, week-out. Pacing felt a bit frenetic, the dialog was hurried -- this is typical DSC. Also typical is DSC's need to tell and not show and do it in a way that feels forced.
Cody B
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 1:09am (UTC -6)
Another so so episode. Oh look it’s Votager. Neat. Temporal Cold Wars. Neat. Georgiou finally has something going on other than walking around being snarky. Not much to say ready for the next.
Quincy
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 1:33am (UTC -6)
Oh, man, I loved this episode. This is the one I've been waiting for since the season began. The crew actually gelled together for the first time. When you reign in its excesses, Discovery shines. Whoever mentioned the other week that the new show runner might be good for Discovery, I'm starting to see your point. This is the most gorgeous Star Trek outside of a movie.

This was a classic standalone ensemble Star Trek episode. Everybody came together. Almost everybody that had some screen time had an important role. No major complaints from me, but I can't wait to read about people that recoiled at the nanosecond of "action" from the tragic dude's pathetic "haymaker" that Burnham dodged or who can't stand the fact that Burnham was even in the episode.

Jett Reno, whom I usually can't stand, was hilarious. She's still a butthole, but her buttholery tickled me here. The blend of humor, drama, sci fi, and feels was spot on this episode.

Even Georgiou was mostly enjoyable, especially the latter half of her conversation with the interrogator (I hope he makes a reoccurring appearance. I'm betting he's section 31; If he really gels into his role he could be a major antagonist). I knew they wouldn't just let Mirror Georgiou go like that. They did something to her. Hopefully, the showrunners either will kill her off, or, actually give her some interesting material.

Burnham pinned her hair back. She's not quite as delicious as when its hanging freely, but I'll take it. The sister is fine. (Glad to see Booker back next episode. I ship them. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°))

This episode, like the last one, had some genuinely heart felt moments. I was feeling it. I really enjoyed this one.

Minor quibbles:
Somebody better suggest working with the Discovery's A.I. soon. It's a glaring omission. It probably has a solution for the dilithium problem somewhere in its 100K year history. They need to give it its own episode.

I thought the melody connection was weak. The melody could've spread before for The Burn. They really need to flesh that out in the remaining episodes for it to make sense. I would like for them to introduce a previous little used alien. This might be the impetus for it. Several aliens have only been capable of rudimentary communication with Federation personnel, like those phase shifted (?) aliens in the "one moon circles" episode with Troi or those spatially contorted aliens in that episode with Voyager that downloaded reams of data only to never be mentioned again.

And last but most certainly not least, species 8472. How cool would it be to bring back those telepathic, malevolent entities and make them a threat again, after Voyager neutered one of their best contributions? The Burn could be the result of either of the first two aliens trapped in Federation space searching desperately for help and with only basic communication (the melody) or an attack on the heart of the Federation by species 8472. The melody being some sort of residue from their telepathic presence in the quadrant.

Also, they better upgrade Discovery's weapons and shields with 32nd century technology. From a couple of episodes ago, they'd get wiped out if the spore drive goes down and they have to square up and duke it out with almost any serious contender from that time period.

Bring back the doggone Darmok! If the melody is an attempt at communication, let them be the key to solving it.

Solid 3.5 episode for me. Discovery's finding its flow. Let's hope it continues like this. I'm looking forward to the next episode.
Chrome
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 7:25am (UTC -6)
Okay, this is the first episode this season I've enjoyed. I know I gave "People of Earth" flack for being devoid of details, but I will admit that what we didn't learn about Earth there is made up for with The Federation details here. It turns out that The Federation is fully functional, with ships, admirals and the whole shebang. What's great about this is it shows that the Federation is not merely a place, it's an idea survives regardless of what's going on in the universe. Extra points also for finally showing us some cool technology including upgraded starships. Even nicer is the return of Star Trek's trademark command structure, giving us a refreshing change of pace from the pirate lord Star Wars-y atmosphere presented in prior outings.

The away mission itself was a patented Star Trek story that had some interesting science and a few heartfelt moments with Nhan. I felt it was realistic that she would be having second thoughts about going 900 years into the future. While Nhan's decision to stay on the station was rather unceremonious (she'll likely pop-up again), the overall framework of her story about loss and holding onto what you've lost over time worked very well. Nhan's story also juxtaposes well with the story about what the Federation lost along its way.

What I don't really think worked was Burnham acting insubordinate in an episode that also has her being praised for bringing out the best in others. I mean, writers, pick a message. Was Burnham wrong to push Starfleet and Saru or was she right and everyone was better off for it? The episode is uneven in that regard and fall back into the unfortunate habit of making Burnham unbelievably important. I mean, it's fine that Burnham is talented but even Kirk had to be guided into the right answer by Bones and Spock *some* of the time.

Although it was heavy-handed, I did like the idea of an ancient era of Starfleet crew being a beacon of hope to the tattered future Federation. The debriefings of the crew were handled cleverly as the show basically acknowledged its own absurdity by the skeptical Starfleet brass. I hope the relationship between this Federation and Discovery remains to be a give-and-take. The ending implies that it will.

3 stars.
Daniel Jung
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 7:28am (UTC -6)
@Norvo: The seeds of the many outweigh the seeds of the few.
Yanks
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 10:31am (UTC -6)
55 minutes of pretty much awesomeness!
It seems like I need to say this every time, but visually - Discovery is unmatched; it’s a joy to watch each week.

What an opening scene. Discovery arrives at what's left of the "The Federation" and it was nice to see joy and awe in the crew's eyes as they make their way through a distortion field and take in the 32nd-century Federation/Starfleet landscape. We see the USS VOYAGER (NCC-74656-J). It appears now, that the Enterprise is not the only Star Ship to have earned alphanumeric designations. I guess Janeway and crew were thought of with reverence. I also (on second viewing) caught the USS Nog, an obvious tribute to Aron Eisenberg who sadly passed away last year. Quite nice. Suru orders the hail "USS Discovery reporting for duty"!

Sensors now have the ability to differentiate the symbiote from the host. Saru, Burnham and "Tal" are requested to beam onto the space station. They beam over, are in awe of their surroundings, and meet ADM Charles Vance, head of the Federation. We learn that Kaminar ended up joining the federation which makes Saru very proud. The ADM, rightly so, is very suspicious of Discovery and her arrival and after speaking with Adira, orders her to medical for a "diagnostic". An interesting term for a medical exam, I'm sure Reno would approve. The ADM eagerly awaits a debrief of Saru and Burnham. They tell their story and we learn that today’s Federation consists of 38 member planets, down from 350 at its peak. The ADM is convinced they are not lying to him, but there is no historical record of a "Red Angel" or "Control" so he caught between a rock and a hard place. He explains the "Temporal Accords" (a nod to 'Enterprise') and that time travel now is illegal and of course Discovery is guilty. He cannot risk trusting them without proof. So, he "requisitions" Discovery and orders her crew debriefed for reassignment. BAM, Saru, and Burnham are shocked. (and so was I)

The crew debriefings begin and they are being conducted by holograms. All quite humorous, but the best one was Georgiou’s. She is conversing with 2 holograms and she quickly overloads them by forcing them to shut their programs down. Then she enters into conversation with what appears to be a 32nd century Section 31 agent (Intel Department maybe?) played wonderfully by David Cronenberg and finally, she has met a mental equal or at least someone that intrigues her. He talked to her about 5 April 2063 (Terran holy day), where Terrans met Vulcans for the first time and they killed all the Vulcan's onboard. (referencing IAMD from Enterprise) We learn that the Terran Empire has crumbled after she left and that no one in the last 500 years has traversed between the mirror U and our U (universes drifting apart since she left) and we see Georgiou is visibly shocked by learning this. He decerns that the only reason she is here in this universe is that she must care for someone on the ship. All without asking her a question. At the end of this episode, Michael walks up on Georgiou and she's just standing there in a daze... she finally snaps out of it as Michael asks her if she is alright and she walks off without answering. It appears that Georgiou has always been under the impression she would return to her empire. Looks like that’s not going to happen and she is torn up about it. More to follow for sure and I hope it includes the unnamed character played by David Cronenberg. He was pretty awesome here. I’m still wondering what’s up with his glasses.

Back on Discovery, Michael is explaining to Saru that the ADM just doesn't understand and that Saru should be fighting for them. She goes on about how they can use Discovery to help the Keelu(?) and that would be enough proof for the ADM to let them stay together. Saru quite nicely puts Burnham in her place and tells her they will follow the correct procedures.

Saru and Michael join in conversation with the ADM once again and they figure out the only way to help the Keelu is to obtain a plant seed from a world that is no longer fertile in order to create an antidote. Michael remembers a seed ship, the ADM confirms its existence and of course, Discovery is the only ship that can get there and back in time. Michael can't explain this to the ADM without being the usual “Michael Burnham smart-ass” so the ADM again puts her in her place. Saru sees this as a way to solve two problems, help the Keelu and earn trust. Saru will stay behind and Michael will head up the mission - with Federation Security on board of course.

Discovery drops into the coordinates of the TeeKov and there is a huge ion storm that is masking the ship. They will have to enter and tractor the ship out. They do this, but Detmer is once again freezing up. Michael figures out a Barzan family was keeping watch (4-month rotation) over the seed vault. Now we know that the Barzan also joined the Federation so Michael orders CDR Nhan to join the away crew. Michael, Hugh, and Nhan beam over. They walk up to a running hologram of a family humming a tune, the same tune that Adira was playing on the cello. (All Along the Watchtower starts playing in my head) Reno, Stamets and Tilly work together and figures out that a CME hit the ship and killed the family and because the dad was beaming into the seed vault he didn't die because of quantum blah blah... they figure out how to save him and he helps the away team gain access to the required seeds. It needs to be mentioned again that these scenes are bolstered because Culber is in them. He's frakin awesome. I'm starting to think of him like Garak in DS9. If he's involved in the episode, it is better. Culber reveals that the husband will die of radiation poisoning if he stays. Of course, he doesn't want to leave his family. Michael convinces him to leave and as probably expected, Nhan remains behind to finish the Barzan responsibility of watching over the seeds and ensuring the dead wife and two children receive a proper burial. You can say this isn't "earned" I guess, but it's a fitting closure to this character and in character, I think. She did remain on Discovery to replace Airium out of a sense of duty. One wonders why Discovery couldn't have just jumped back and dropped the husband off after he healed though.

Couple notes… I really enjoyed Stamets, Reno, and Tilly working together, banter and all. I felt the Nhan character was just a tag-a-long so this ending to the character was a good one. Michael just can’t help being herself. It was nice that the ADM and Saru put her in her place. When Suru described Earth's renaissance painter Rodolfo, it harkened back to Archer’s story of the gazelle to the Vulcan’s and I thought showed great leadership and thoughtfulness when speaking with ADM Trance. But when ADM Trance stated that Detmer’s “readings” were baseline, Burhman responded with “we all put out lives in Detmer’s hands and would do it again”. That’s not the point and reveals a lack of leadership and understanding. Stating something along the lines of “we are aware of that and we will help her heal” would have been more appropriate and in my eyes depicts why she isn’t ready for the Captain’s chair.

So all in all I thought this was an outstanding episode. Plenty of trek lore and a nice trek story that didn’t need shots fired to tell. I’m looking forward to figuring this “tune” thing out and can’t wait to see Georgiou’s story unfold. She just may end up in Section 31 in the 32nd century. It looks like Discovery is going to have to figure “The Burn” thing out.

Reese got the con!!

Easy 4 stars from me.
Yanks
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 11:04am (UTC -6)
@The Queen

"Now for the major dislike, which isn't exactly major: Saru's speech comparing themselves to Giotto, bringing light to darkness. Talk about egotism! I think the writers were going for a TNG feeling here?"

I didn't think that at all. Saru was referencing what Discovery brings to the table that they currently, and for over 100 years haven't had... faster than light travel! Saru?? ... Ego?
Booming
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 12:08pm (UTC -6)
Damn it! Again in the wrong thread!
Apologies!

Ok, I'm one of the people who thinks that it is valid to say that something is not Star Trek. This was maybe the first NuTrek Star Trek episode. It still has it's faults but this episode was a significant step up across the board. What more is there to say. Even Georgiou or the conversation she had was neither stupid nor hammy. I can barely believe that there is no actually an episode that did not insult the intelligence of the audience.

A few nitpicks:

Mystery boxes.

I don't know but everytime somebody says the BURN I'm taken right out of the episode. It is such a dumb name for such a horrific event. That is like calling Chernobyl the Boom.

Lt. Willa needs a session with the social behavior hologram. She feels like somebody who walked off the set of BSG.

phew the chief in command is still a white man. That should relax a few people here. They are still around.
Matt G
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 1:40pm (UTC -6)
It think it says something that even the more serviceable episodes of this season are actually pretty good. This wasn't up there with the previous one - but as just a 'filler' its still got a lot of interesting things - and the new admiral is an interesting character; courteous, welcoming but cautious and weathered by a diminished federation.

The Burn may well be a mystery box - but it makes sense that Discovery bring it up - they honestly don't know what happened and are curious to find out. For everyone else it an inconvenience they have to live with and rather forget.

Interesting that this series seems to be using a lot of ideas from the never realised Star Trek: Federation series : https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Trek:_Federation . Including the idea of a catatophe that prevented warp drive. I remember reading the scripts for the first few episodes and they read remarkably similar to this season of DSC.
Matt G
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 1:46pm (UTC -6)
Sorry - I mean to say Star Trek: Final Frontier series is the one that Season 3 of DSC mostly resembles.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Trek:_Final_Frontier
Quincy
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 1:49pm (UTC -6)
@Chrome
"What I don't really think worked was Burnham acting insubordinate in an episode that also has her being praised for bringing out the best in others. I mean, writers, pick a message. Was Burnham wrong to push Starfleet and Saru or was she right and everyone was better off for it? The episode is uneven in that regard and fall back into the unfortunate habit of making Burnham unbelievably important. I mean, it's fine that Burnham is talented but even Kirk had to be guided into the right answer by Bones and Spock *some* of the time."



Burnham wasn't insubordinate in this episode. When they were informed that the crew would be split up her reaction was the same as Saru and she properly restrained herself until she could bring up the issue privately with Saru. As Data discussed with Worf in the TNG episode, "Gambit, Part II" this was the proper duty of a first officer. In other words, that's exactly what she was supposed to do. She gave a risky alternative. She was warned by Saru about the lessons she should have learned; she backed down and was immediately contrite. The latitude that Saru afforded her is nothing more than is to be expected between a captain and the first officer, as described by Worf and Data.

When she brings up again the offer of assistance with the second in command of Starfleet, she is suitably respectful and diplomatic. And that's why the woman listens to her. The only time she comes close to stepping over the line is when the admiral warns her about her tone as she objects to his decision (one objection was not outside the bounds of her duty, though she toed the line with her tone). She immediately slammed her trap shut. Go back and watch the scene. That's exactly what happened. There is nothing else that she did that could be called anywhere near insubordinate.

You know, Kirk did what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it. Sure he listened to Spock and Bones, but who else? When I think about how Kirk disobeyed direct orders and committed outright insubordination, because somehow it was the right thing to do, and in the end got praised and rewarded for it or at worst a slap on the wrist, these ongoing indictments against Burnham wring so hollow.



@The Queen:
"Now for the major dislike, which isn't exactly major: Saru's speech comparing themselves to Giotto, bringing light to darkness. Talk about egotism! I think the writers were going for a TNG feeling here? But the same point could easily have been made without an esoteric reference which had to be explained to the audience, while pretending that of course the admiral had heard of Giotto. Also, why does every character who makes a historical reference have to call up Earth history? I'd think a historical figure from Kaminar would be far more relevant to Saru. To me, this is an example of writers trying to sound intellectual without having the ability to actually create something."



Saru wasn't talking about bringing light to the Federation. He's not saying they're huddled together, cowering in the dark, waiting for Discovery to come along with a flashlight. He was talking about bringing the perspective of a people from a time when the Federation was bursting forth into the galaxy in its heyday. This change in perspective was exactly what an organization that's "been in triage" (according to the Admiral) for a long time needs. A simple change in perspective can make all the difference, even when viewing the exact same scenery. Remember Spock talking to Kirk about Khan displaying a pattern of 2 dimensional thinking, while they're fighting a 3 dimensional space battle?

Also, since Saru is talking to a human, it's appropriate to use human history to reach the Admiral. Vice versa would only be appropriate if a human were trying to convince Saru. Not to mention, how are they going to connect with the audience with a fictional event that we've never heard of? It had to be something that MIGHT mean something to the people watching it, at the very least.
MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 2:02pm (UTC -6)
Jaw-dropping.

This is Trek, at Full Impulse Power.

That's two episodes now that just feel like classic, timeless Star Trek, with thoughtful plotlines, character motivations, thought-out explanations for things, conflict, development, dramatic stakes, "cowboy diplomacy" after a fashion contrasting with a more measured, schooled approach...

Jeez. Keep it up!

I'll give this the same 3.5 stars I gave the previous episode.
Maq
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 3:14pm (UTC -6)
@JosephB
"
I’ll make this short and sweet:

THAT WAS STAR TREK!!!!!
"
Agree ... and even if there where some things irritating me ... it was star trek.
Luis Dantas
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 4:32pm (UTC -6)
A very strong episode, not least because it touches on several different characterization points that are very welcome indeed.

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

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

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

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

All the same, this was a nice episode far as overall tone and plot significance go. Plenty of exciting places to go from here, and a good mix of new characters and situations to work with. The work with the ultratech hybrid Starfleed / Federation was particularly solid.
AMA
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 4:53pm (UTC -6)
A step down from last week's episode. The episode featured several favourable elements, including the reintroduction of the Federation and a most welcome relatively low stakes mission of retrieving seeds. With that said, too little was done to acclimate the crew and viewers to the reality of the new Federation (cf. The Neutral Zone from TNG) and too little was previously invested in the character of Nhan to make her departure and the difficulties surrounding as much very meaningful. Lots to like in this episode, but it was just okay. Still better than most of what was offered in either seasons one or two.
JohnKusack
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 5:35pm (UTC -6)
@Bucktown: “Ultimately, Star Trek is at its simplest core a workplace drama of elite professionals putting aside differences to solve science-based mysteries or social/cultural/ethical problems that pop up each week. That's it.”

Yes - 100%. Very well said. That is exactly what TNG was, for example. But this, this is not that at all. So much unnecessary drama. So little respect for science. How I long to see Data wandering around with a curious frown on his face.
Bucktown
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 6:46pm (UTC -6)
@JohnKusack -

Thanks! But yes exactly - so much unnecessary drama. Discovery's extreme form drama and emotional outbursts have been turned up to 11 since the very first scene and have not let up once. This episode was no different. It's exhausting.

To me, the original concept of Spock and the emotionless Vulcans could be interpreted as a metaphor that problems can be solved much easier without emotions getting in the way and mucking up solutions. Star Trek always posed that question - what if we all (including humans) had perfect control over our emotions? Could we actually accomplish more? Their theory was yes. The emotional development of humankind was more revolutionary than the economic or technological developments. THIS above all things, may be the central thesis of Star Trek.

TNG tempered this slightly by offering Troi as a character trying to help the crew find a healthy balance of what kind of emotion is appropriate in a work place environment. But they all remained complete professionals. Take Riker in "Measure of a Man" for instance. He does his duty to prosecute Starfleet's case against Data. Of course, Data can't feel emotions but everyone else on the crew understands this professionalism and doesn't hold it against Riker.

Or how about this scene between Data & Worf from "Gambit"? Absolutely incredible, and you will never find anything at this level on Discovery:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMKtKNZw4Bo&ab_channel=SuperMetalDave64

Voyager, while constantly criticized for it, may have exemplified this professionalism the best. The crew was thrown across the galaxy, and Janeway was saddled with a mediocre crew, half of whom were a minute ago traitors. Yet every person on board understood the position they were in, put aside differences, and Janeway was there to constantly remind them the principles and ethics of Starfleet and the Federation. Really inspiring stuff.

JJ's and Kurtzman's Trek believes all of that is impossible at its very premise. They believe Vulcans are just fooling themselves, burying emotions so deep that they want to cry and scream at any given moment. Vulcans are a failed experiment. Every humanoid is an extreme emotional being at their core. Michael Burnham, (quixotically) raised by Vulcans, feels so much she speaks through tears about 60% of the show. Every character has to say whatever dumb or asisnine thing pops in their head (I'm looking at you, Tilly, Jet and Michael, and to a lesser but still noticeable degree, Stamets).

One of the writers, Akiva Goldsman, even admits it in this annoyingly pedantic, condescending monologue on his general "rules" of writing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2zEkef-7QU&ab_channel=AmericanFilmInstitute

This, of course, must be the same ethos in the writers room. But I constantly pose the question - if we get that style of storytelling with most other franchises and other studio productions, what makes this version of Star Trek unique or special? Not much, as it turns out.
Bernard
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 7:03pm (UTC -6)
Discovery finally seems to be hitting its stride in s3 and is finally getting its act together. It’s also self-aware enough to have moments of meta commentary. I especially liked how the sickbay was one of the most VFX-heavy settings with the flying robots, the aliens, the holographic status read-outs. It was like the team was saying, “thanks to the pandemic, we have all the time in the world to work on digital effects.”

They’ve figured out how to use all their moving parts to their best advantage.

Two criticisms: Why make the personality traits of the Terrans biological? Groan. And, Tech lobbyists are clearly throwing their weight around: The AI created from the unpaid labor of people who contributed data is benevolent because of course it is. Double groan.
Thomas
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 7:42pm (UTC -6)
A few people have said it was a relief to not have yet another dystopian scenario, but as I see it, that's what this week gave us. Instead of humanity evolving in any meaningful social sense, the admiral and his goons reminded me of a fascist or communist leadership, interrogating and coercing with power.

Not much of this makes sense to me. With the chances of an interstellar invasion fleet arriving at their doorstep, what reason is there to be so fearful? It would have been so great to see some sign that our leaders' attitudes and obsession with power and defenses have changed. I do not regard technological developments as evolution in any meaningful sense, if inner attitudes have not changed along with them. With almost a millennium of quiet, the prospects of still stuck being in the dark ages or paranoia and fear is something I find very depressing.
Yanks
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 7:55pm (UTC -6)
Just had a thought.

Why is this episode named "Die Trying"?
The Queen
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 8:01pm (UTC -6)
Yanks - I know, Saru and egotism don't go together. It seems like I was the only person turned off by his speech. I just think in general there's a little too much speechifying on this show, or the speeches aren't written well enough, or something. Anyway, it was only a minor quibble.

You said (about Adm. Vance's concern that Detmer was unstable) that:

Burhman responded with “we all put out lives in Detmer’s hands and would do it again”. That’s not the point and reveals a lack of leadership and understanding. Stating something along the lines of “we are aware of that and we will help her heal” would have been more appropriate and in my eyes depicts why she isn’t ready for the Captain’s chair.

I thought this was extremely insightful, and I agree with you 100%. I still think Burnham has a LOT of growing up to do.
Yanks
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 8:05pm (UTC -6)
@Thomas

"A few people have said it was a relief to not have yet another dystopian scenario, but as I see it, that's what this week gave us. Instead of humanity evolving in any meaningful social sense, the admiral and his goons reminded me of a fascist or communist leadership, interrogating and coercing with power."

I didn't see that at all. ADM Vance had every right to question Discovery's existence and her crew. He didn't throw them in stockades or submit them to torture, he questioned them. Hell, when lives were at stake, he trusted them to go and perform a mission! I think the Federation and Star Fleet are about what's to be expected without interstellar travel capability.
Quincy
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 8:07pm (UTC -6)
@Yanks
"Just had a thought.

Why is this episode named "Die Trying"?"


It seems to me the man on the seed ship was trying to revive his family at all costs, even though he was a dead man walking. In the end, he chose to die with his family after failing.
Latex Zebra
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 8:29pm (UTC -6)
Yeah, another good episode. Not a world beater but entertaining and feels like Star Trek.
I continue to be happy with this season.
Dr. Franklin A. Booze
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 12:22am (UTC -6)
I dislike that Burnham is seemingly part of every single away mission. Since she was in command of the mission, shouldn’t her place have been on the bridge?
Tommy D.
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 1:18am (UTC -6)
I think that the commanding officer going on away missions is relatively common in the era that Discovery is originally from.
Booming
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 4:13am (UTC -6)
@Thomas
I agree with Yanks here. I thought the admiral was fairly reasonable. Also reassigning or sending parts to counseling seems reasonable as well. It is illogical to keep a crew together that knows nothing about the time they are living in and they seem to not have the necessary facilities to treat serious mental disorders like Detmer's PTSD. That was one of the weak points of the episode. Just saying that they trust Detmer despite her PTSD solves the issue which is dumb. She should not be allowed to fly the ship in her state. She should work her way through this serious disorder and then come back but I guess a mental patient flies the ship now.

What made this all a little weird or slightly fascist was Lt. Willa. She was far too rude for around half of the episode. At the half point they changed her personality. Then there are the uniforms which look like they slightly borrowed from the Wehrmacht. Here a Wehrmacht generals uniform.
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/34/f3/78/34f378762945aae319e6f44d2b788532.jpg
John
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 4:47am (UTC -6)
This probably shouldn't bother me, but... Nhan has a nose, doesn't she? So why does she need these surgically implanted attachments delivering breathable gases to her mouth when she could just use what we humans use today, for lung cancer patients etc: a basic tube going into each nostril?
MarkG
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 5:02am (UTC -6)
@Booming

It seems to be a common trope of TV/movies that people with mental health issues can just “tough it out” on their own while also continue doing their work.
In fact, staying at work is somehow actually beneficial for their mental health!
Booming
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 6:15am (UTC -6)
@Mark G
Yeah. Don't they have a few people who could at least take over for a time? Is she irreplaceable?!

"In fact, staying at work is somehow actually beneficial for their mental health!"

This is bugging me, too. Every doctor will probably tell you that a high stress job is the least suitable environment for somebody with PTSD.
Yanks
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 7:35am (UTC -6)
@John

"This probably shouldn't bother me, but... Nhan has a nose, doesn't she? So why does she need these surgically implanted attachments delivering breathable gases to her mouth when she could just use what we humans use today, for lung cancer patients etc: a basic tube going into each nostril?"

Well, she is not a human, so we really don't know what her requirements are. We can say that it was the same in TNG so that makes it acceptable, correct?

@Dr. Franklin A. Booze

"I dislike that Burnham is seemingly part of every single away mission. Since she was in command of the mission, shouldn’t her place have been on the bridge?"

My State Farm representative says... "Well, she's the show's protagonist so..."

@MarkG

"It seems to be a common trope of TV/movies that people with mental health issues can just “tough it out” on their own while also continue doing their work.
In fact, staying at work is somehow actually beneficial for their mental health!"

While I applaud Discovery for including PTSD in the show, for every pat on the back they receive for this, two are taken away unless they show some sort of proper treatment for it. (they did the same thing for Ash) It doesn't need to be for the rest of season 2. This IS the 32nd century for god's sake, but there has to be something. One or two episodes maybe? I know folks suffering from this, you can't just push it aside.
SlackerInc
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 8:01am (UTC -6)
I quite enjoyed the first part of this episode, especially the debriefing scenes (although I continue to be unable to understand why Georgieu is not thrown in the brig and the “key” thrown away).

But ugh, everything after that, especially the whole away mission, was nauseatingly saccharine. Really hard to endure. TBH, if it weren’t for this site and my enjoyment of chewing the fat with you all, stuff like that would put me off this series permanently.
JohnKusack
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 9:28am (UTC -6)
@Bucktown - I agree with you 100%, yet again. Thank you for the youtube clips. Absolutely - the dialogue scene between Data and Worf is just so much better and, frankly, more adult, than anything Discovery puts out.

I can't add anything to what you say. But I'll add the following anyway. You stress the "control of emotions" aspect, starting with Spock, which made Star Trek, and I 100% agree. And I also just want to add that what went hand-in-hand with that was a love and respect for science. This is also very much missing in Discovery. In today's episode, I think of Lt. Willa. She was so anti-science / anti-intellectual it was unbelievable that she could be so high up in Starfleet.
SlackerInc
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 9:40am (UTC -6)
@Bucktown: “This big 'revelation-style' of storytelling is not rooted in Star Trek's legacy. It never has been. That was always the domain of Star Wars and other fantasy, superhero, and myth type storytelling. It is by far the biggest problem I've had with Discovery and Picard. These are writers who either grew up or absorbed those other writing styles and did not really understand what made Star Trek special.
Ultimately, Star Trek is at its simplest core a workplace drama of elite professionals putting aside differences to solve science-based mysteries or social/cultural/ethical problems that pop up each week. That's it.”

This comment really surprised me, because there has been so much “ink spilled” on the topic of what Star Trek is and whether this show really qualifies (beyond the name and other superficial elements). But this is a point I have not seen made before, and I think you are really onto something here.

@Booming: “phew the chief in command is still a white man. That should relax a few people here. They are still around.”

Wait, what? You mean the admiral? Ehh...no. He’s clearly Persian or Syrian or something like that. [I looked up the actor, whose name is Oded Fehr. He is Israeli, so “Syrian” was close!]. Maybe he would code as “white” in say NYC, but definitely not here in northern Minnesota, nor in many other parts of North America and the English-speaking world, where it refers to people of European, Nordic, or Slavic ancestry.

But I don’t care about straight white guys being authority figures. That’s not my trip at all. I would just like them to be meaningfully represented, other than as villains.
Booming
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 9:54am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
Ok he is Israeli but his parents were Askenzi ergo from central Europe. So Jews who lived in Germany/The Holy Roman Empire probably hundreds of years maybe longer aren't white? Tough white rules in Minnesota. :)

"people of European, Nordic, or Slavic ancestry."
I understand Nordic and Slavic but European?
Albanians are European.
Here a picture of the average Albanian. barely white but certainly European.
https://gdb.rferl.org/F57311E5-1BD8-4F9B-B8AD-A8966AC9BFF3_w1071_s.jpg
SlackerInc
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 10:05am (UTC -6)
@Boomer: We can nitpick all day, but I think you know what I mean. Stamets, Tilly, and Detmer on this show. Picard, Riker, and Wesley on TNG. Kirk, Scotty, and McCoy on TNG. Janeway, Seven, and Paris on VOY. Just give me one sympathetic straight dude of that sort with a meaningful role, doesn’t have to be an authority figure, and it still leaves room for a massive amount of diversity.

I don’t think it’s an unreasonable desire to see someone who represents me on the show, any more than it’s unreasonable for a gay woman of color to want to see herself represented.
Booming
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 10:48am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
"We can nitpick all day, but I think you know what I mean."
Sure I do. You have troubles identifying with somebody who is not white male and heterosexual. For me that is not a problem. For me skin pigmentation or gender or boinking preferences are not important. So far 90% of heroes in movies and TV are white heterosexual male. It is a little more colorful since 2010 but for the most part the hero is still white and mostly male. Case and point.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ivzPjUFlKQ
Need more Borne, Bond, Fast and the Furious, Transformer, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, X men, Spiderman, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Hunger Games, Game of Thrones and even the frikking Twillight Saga.
In all these franchises and more the hero is white, male and heterosexual.

"I don’t think it’s an unreasonable desire to see someone who represents me on the show, any more than it’s unreasonable for a gay woman of color to want to see herself represented."
I think there is a difference. Homosexuals until 2000 were almost completely absent from TV because of intolerance and Transpeople are more or less still absent apart from the occasional "pity the trannies" show. These groups even once wanting to see somebody who resembles them in a positive way is not the same as it is for you. You can chose almost everything and will have more than enough positive representation. Demanding that every show should include what boils down to a positive version of you. Sorry but I don't find this reasonable.

But again it doesn't bother me to see myself or not on the screen. I'm not a big fan of this whole racial/secual journey to Jerusalem game. Every now and then there will be shows were this white male heterosexual group is not represented. As they say"You can not control the world, only your reaction to it."

If that are you feelings on the matter, what more is there to discuss.
Nick
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 10:50am (UTC -6)
@Booming and @MarkG on Detmer, I think this is one of those situations where you are somewhat limited in that doing the right thing here wouldn’t be that interesting of a TV show. I’m not saying it’s impossible to make it work, but I think the options here are basically:
1) Take Detmer off the job and have her recover offscreen (kind of defeats the purpose of having her have PTSD in the first place)

2) Show Detmer’s recovery off the ship, and create some kind of interesting side-plot around it. Certainly do-able but may not fit into what they were envisioning for the season.

3) Keep Detmer on the job and have her PTSD be part of the main storyline. I think this is the best option from a storytelling perspective, but I really hope there is a consequence to it. In other words, have her really screw something up to show that maybe it wasn’t the best move to keep her on the job and work that into the overall plot and use it to develop the characters at the same time.
Nick
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 11:02am (UTC -6)
Also, I have to say I find all the focus on race, gender, and sexual orientation fascinating on a STAR TREK TV show. What I mean by that is that you are exploring the galaxy where diversity is on a whole other level. Think Data as an android, Odo as a changling, the Doctor as a hologram, etc. Star Trek has always been about exploring beings that are truly different from us. And I mean real differences, not just skin color, which, in a galactic sense, is small potatoes. On this type of show, you really should be able to relate to any of the human characters, as all the human characters “represent us”.
Henson
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 11:16am (UTC -6)
@Booming

"Need more Borne, Bond, Fast and the Furious, Transformer, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, X men, Spiderman, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Hunger Games, Game of Thrones and even the frikking Twillight Saga.
In all these franchises and more the hero is white, male and heterosexual. "

Um...I'm pretty sure there are some female protagonists in that list.
dave
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 11:43am (UTC -6)
Dear White Men who identify as Straight

Stop being so insecure about all this. You did not have to face oppression and dismissal of talent for the last number of centuries based only on your skin or gender or who you want to have sex with. Enjoy the show and the characters. Stop getting so upset about all this. It is not really worth the negative energy.

The characters have been written much better this year regardless of the real life gender identities and skin colors of the acting crew. Enjoy it.


Kim Ng just became GM in the Major Leagues. Guess what? She had the credentials to be one 10 years ago but did not because of her gender. All people want is equality and once that is firmly established (it still is not), these "messages" that we are given by Trek and other shows will not be necessary. They hire someone who is non-binary because that person a few years back would never ever get a chance even if the talent was there (and from what we have seen this season, the talent is there. Imagine how much talent we never saw because of the way things have been)

Let it run it's course and enjoy or hate Trek all you want for all the other reasons there are.
SlackerInc
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 12:03pm (UTC -6)
Having one straight white male character, who is not the captain/pilot/chief engineer, does nothing to upset any of that. In fact, it should be *beneficial* to the cause, to show someone like that taking orders from superior officers who hail from those historically underrepresented groups.
Booming
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 12:27pm (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
Your feeling are your feelings. Can you change your emotional response to certain stimuli, sure but it takes a long time.

I identify with a person because of the values of this person and I empathize with somebody because of the emotional response to situations. Skin tone or whatever are not really factoring into that.

@Henson
Ok Hunger Games slipped in. But for the rest the protagonist is white male and very heterosexual.

@Nick
"I think this is one of those situations where you are somewhat limited in that doing the right thing here wouldn’t be that interesting of a TV show."
I guess but smart writers could maybe come up with something smarter then "saved by the power of love" I mean what is this a 90s Disney movie...
SlackerInc
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 2:41pm (UTC -6)
I don't agree with the dismissive characterization of my opinion as an "emotional response", nor do I believe it is something that I ought to be conditioned out of, whether over a short or long timespan.
Nick
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 3:15pm (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc, I'm not saying your opinion is invalid, I just don't think it's something you are necessarily going to get 100% of the time. Someone who is white AND straight, AND male is pretty specific. And quite frankly, that's probably the only combination where you can have that expectation based on demographics (and even then, you still had it in season 2 with Capt Pike). As a straight Asian man, I do not have the luxury of thinking this way, but I still thoroughly enjoyed TNG, DS9, ENT, DIS, PIC, and Lower Decks despite not being "represented" in those shows. It's really unfortunate that something like this is holding you back from enjoying the show.
SlackerInc
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 3:28pm (UTC -6)
Don't worry, @Nick: there are plenty of other problems with the show (as well as some things I like). As I mentioned, in this episode the cloying, saccharine nature of everything that transpired after they started the away mission was nausea-inducing. Having a straight white male character or three wouldn't make any difference, if that's the way they intend to write the show.

This subthread about the dearth of such characters was not something I brought up. Someone else (I no longer remember who it was) brought it up on the previous episode thread, and I made a brief comment reacting to that, basically shaking my head like "yeah, pretty crazy". That incited pushback, and I've been standing up for my perspective ever since, as I am wont to do whether it's a BFD or NBD. Nowhere did I say this was some deadly poison pill that singlehandedly ruined the show for me.

STP obviously has a straight white guy as protagonist, plus appearances by Riker, but similarly to this show I liked some things about it but had problems with other aspects. In particular, I thought it really fell apart badly in the finale.
Maq
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 4:04pm (UTC -6)
To less whis stright men around. I am white europeean stright and mature. Do I miss the Don Johnsos type males ? NO.
Do I like the mix? Yes.
This was my serious part now to the un-serious
The only thing that I miss is the short skirts that the females had in TOS.
And keep in mind ,they should still be worn by the females.
Booming
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 4:27pm (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
"I don't agree with the dismissive characterization of my opinion as an "emotional response"
I didn't mean it as and insult. Saying that you prefer shows that include positive depictions of the group you belong to is an emotional response. Is that a controversial statement?

"nor do I believe it is something that I ought to be conditioned out of, whether over a short or long timespan."
Only if you wanted to, of course. That is why I said that it takes a lot of time. Probably not worth it for you. Minnesota is as white as a snowstorm in a cracker factory.

@Maq
"And keep in mind ,they should still be worn by the females."
I find it always funny that short skirts are now super feminine while it was for most of ancient civilization the standard male clothing item. In ancient Egypt, Greece, the Roman Republic, later the Roman Empire and more. They were swinging freely.
Nick
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 5:09pm (UTC -6)
What I find amusing about the whole thing is that despite an apparent effort to have a diverse cast of characters they have yet to address any issues related to diversity and inclusion in the show. TNG had great stories about Worf and Data fitting into Starfleet. DS9 had a lot on Odo fitting in with the solids, Nog fitting into Starfleet, and the differences between the Marquis and the Federation. Voyager had it with the Doctor and Seven (showing prejudices against Borg and holograms). I would personally prefer an all white, straight, male cast if it meant actually discussing it as an issue on the show.
Sxottlan
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 5:22pm (UTC -6)
Liked the caution of the Starfleet C&C. Trust, but verify. LOVED

This idea that a Federation seed ship is maintained? Cool. That production design? Incredible.

The SAME seed ship, though? Centuries later? Just holding station in the exact same spot so that our crew can still feel like they know anything about this time period? It completely broke my suspension of disbelief. It's nonsensical.

I think I need to turn on captioning because the dialogue goes by so fast, because I went back to the scene where the idea is proposed, thinking I missed a crucial bit of a dialogue where we're told why we should even believe that the ship is still there.

This show has good ideas. The execution.. no, just no.

It's not unreasonable to be like, 'okay, we believe your story. welcome to starfleet. massive debriefs for all of you. you're going to take time to get adjusted to living in this time period. we're assigning a historian and cultural attache to your vessel. we're going to go over this ship with a fine tooth comb. we're going to upgrade it. you're all getting new uniforms.'

I'd be cool with half a season of just that.
Sxottlan
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 5:25pm (UTC -6)
I meant to add, that I loved how the C&C's mistrust was based in the Temporal Cold War. Nice use of continuity.
Chrome
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 5:35pm (UTC -6)
Nick wrote:

"What I find amusing about the whole thing is that despite an apparent effort to have a diverse cast of characters they have yet to address any issues related to diversity and inclusion in the show."

Well, in "Forget Me Not" Adira did face the challenge of being rejected by her home planet because, even though she similarly was a joined being, she was not a Trill. It wasn't until she came to terms with being a Trill and what that meant (through her relationship with her lover) was she able to be accepted by the Trill community. There's certainly an allegory about non-binaries or transgenders not being accepted by heterosexuals due to similar physiological differences.

I just think some of these diversity stories click better for some people than others. I didn't personally think "Forget Me Not" was great, but Jammer explains the diversity aspect of it fairly well and I respect his opinion.
Nick
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 5:58pm (UTC -6)
@Chrome, you are absolutely right about Forget Me Not, and perhaps is additional evidence why this episode felt more like traditional Trek.
dave
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 6:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: Seed Ship

I can't imagine that was the original. They can keep the name obviously but there is no way they kept the same ship and just installed new tech in it over the years. End of life cycle they move all the material to a new ship with a new crew, etc. Minor quibble but unless they come out and say it is the original ship, I won't go with that.
Booming
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 6:31pm (UTC -6)
@Nick
True, so far it didn't do any stories about acceptance. The Trill story didn't make it for me. With Nog for example there were always little bits and pieces about how he struggles with his conflicting identities and how people reacted to that.

I also hoped that with their multi quintillion dollar budget we would see a few cool aliens on the bridge but with Nahn being send away and robot lady spaced, apart from Saru, it is an all Human bridge crew. SAD
grey cat
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 6:51pm (UTC -6)
2.5 stars from me. Best one this season.

A few lines had me thinking the writers were poking fun at some of their own ridiculous stories.

Annoyances:

- Burnham was back to being completely annoying and led the away team (and walked ahead of the security chief Nhan bizarrely). "
- Burnham face" was back. Stamets is starting to do 1 face now though. Constipated face.
- Burnham should be nowhere near star fleet. She just can't follow an order without questioning it. You'd thinking getting your ship killed and starting a war and going to jail for mutiny...
- Splitting up the crew makes perfect sense. Retraining them completely in fact. 900 years out of date is a bit of a problem.
- Blinking at the holograms.. err ok. How does she even know what they are? No holodecks in the evil G's time.

At least Token Asian Guy had a line. I feel fully represented now.

Other than that it was reasonably diverting. Almost enjoyable if you don't think about it too much. Which probably sums DSC up.

Nice upward curve DSC making at least by my ratings. 1 1.5 1.5 2 2.5...
SlackerInc
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 9:27pm (UTC -6)
I agree that there was some stuff that seemed to rush by too fast. Like, why was it so important to bring back the guy who wanted to die where his family had? What crucial information about the Federation did he possess that wasn't in the logs?

@Booming: "Saying that you prefer shows that include positive depictions of the group you belong to is an emotional response. Is that a controversial statement?"

I would dispute that assertion, and I highly doubt I'm the only one who would. So yes, it seems to qualify as controversial at least in the strictest definition. Unless any opinion anyone expresses about art is "an emotional response", in which case it's trivially true but redundant and thus essentially meaningless.

"Minnesota is as white as a snowstorm in a cracker factory."

Bit of an exaggeration. Non-Hispanic whites are 94% of the population of West Virginia, 93% of Vermont and Maine. They (we*) make up 79% of Minnesotans, which means the proportion of the population that's a racial minority is at least three times as large as in those states.

*FWIW my grandmother was half Native American, grew up on the reservation and was forcibly sent to what they called an "Indian boarding school" back then. My mother identifies as NA, which I consider reasonable (she looks it); my sister does as well (which I consider kind of questionable, as she does not except in the way she and I both very subtly do), and labels her very ginger children NA as well (which I consider reeallly cringey). I do not so identify, but I have hung out with second cousins from the "rez" at family reunions.
Sen-Sors
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 11:54pm (UTC -6)
David Cronenberg's best role since Jason X.
Drea
Sat, Nov 14, 2020, 11:55pm (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc

So you want the show to include a sympathetic and significant straight White cis male role.

Does the show contain sympathetic and significant trans Latina lesbian?

Does the show contain a sympathetic and significant Australian Aboriginal gay cis man?

Does the show contain a sympathetic and significant asexual Chinese agender person?

The show contains a sympathetic White cis man. Most of the cast is straight. Most of the cast is cis. A lot is White. Each of these traits that you share belong to characters with positive representation.

That you think that any given show ought to contain a positive representation not simply of people with traits you share, which Discovery does, but of your specific combination of them is mired in the way you've gotten this for the entire history of film and have been able to take it for granted.

For people who do not share that privilege, it has been historic to see characters with even one of their traits receiving positive representation.

Every single Star Trek series other than this one has delivered someone just like you--multiple someones. Most people are not getting someone just like them. Many never have. It's just that, for the first time, a cast is diverse enough that you also aren't.
SlackerInc
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 12:32am (UTC -6)
Yes, I'm sure there are nearly as many Australian Aboriginal gay cis men watching the show as straight white cis men. Millions and millions of them! :eyeroll:
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 1:14am (UTC -6)
@Drea
"Every single Star Trek series other than this one has delivered someone just like you--multiple someones."

What the heck do you mean by "someone just like you"? Are all white heterosexual males carbon-copies of one another? And shouldn't we identify with characters on a basis that's a bit deeper than superficial appearances?

And have you noticed that the represented groups in the "diversity" of modern TV shows are always the same groups? They neither represent the actual percentages in America (which would mean more white heterosexuals) or the actual percentages in the World (which would mean a far richer mix of ethnicities and cultures).

It may look more diverse on the superficial level, but in reality it isn't diverse at all. It's still about giving very specific groups an over-representation while completely ignoring everybody else.

Can I identify with a nonwhite/female/gay character? Sure.

Should I embrace a TV industry that routinely, deliberately and blatantly exclude characters on the basis of gender and race politics? Well, I don't know, Drea. Maybe you can tell me: Should I?
dave
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 2:18am (UTC -6)
clearly I am being ignored, but you all are ruining these discussion threads going on and on about gender and identities. Enjoy or not enjoy the characters or writing, but fuck right off with all this insecure hurt baby feelings.

Blu has shown to be a good actor so far, as have most of the other characters this season. That is all that should matter.

Imagine if we had this in 1993 and all the yelling and screaming that Trek was pandering by getting a black captain.
Booming
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 3:09am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
"Unless any opinion anyone expresses about art is "an emotional response","
There is some truth to that but art is (or can be) such a complex way of conveying thought and emotion that it goes far beyond the emotional sphere.

"Bit of an exaggeration."
When I heard Minnesota I thought that it was like Wyoming or North Dakota. It seems fairly rural but not as thinly populated and white. Fargo, great movie. Didn't like the show, though.

"*FWIW my grandmother was half Native America, grew up on the reservation and was forcibly sent to what they called an "Indian boarding school" back then."
Interesting. So your grandmother has suffered through institutional racism and your mother has probably made quite a few racist experiences inflicted by white people (an old friend of mine was from Canada and told me that people are pretty racist towards the Natives like calling alcoholics, useless and so on; really horrible jokes, too; she was from Vancouver).

"my sister does as well (which I consider kind of questionable, as she does not except in the way she and I both very subtly do), and labels her very ginger children NA as well (which I consider reeallly cringey)."
Interesting. We might be zeroing in on the core of the issue for you personally. Your white identity is a fault line even in your closest family. Thanks for sharing.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 4:01am (UTC -6)
@dave

"but you all are ruining these discussion threads going on and on about gender and identities."

I'm not sure how a person who yesterday started a post with "Dear White Men who identify as Straight. Stop being so insecure about all this. You did not have to face oppression and dismissal of talent for last number of centuries based only on your skin or gender or who you want to have sex with." is in a position to preach people about "going on and on about gender and identities".

The most ironic thing about you rant, is that the majority of the people here who go against the current madness aren't even stereotypical white males. One is an Asian. Another is a Jew. And I, too, am a member of a minority in my country (won't say any more because I don't fancy the idea of doxxing myself, least of all in the current climate).

Ever heard of the way the Japanese were treated in the US after WWII? Ever heard of the Holocaust? I can also tell you that I - personally - faced systematic oppression my entire life, and I've seen the lives of family and friends get destroyed by it (both literally and figuratively).

In short: I find your attempt to patronize us and guilt us with "white privilege" cr*p to be positively cute.

And I'll tell you another thing:

Our ancestors did not spend decades fighting for our freedoms and for equal rights just so we could replace one oppressor with another. We've had enough of all this prejudice, hatred, injustice and intolerance. Go read the Constitution, or the UN Bill of Rights, or the Federation Charter. No single group has the right to declare itself the center of the universe and tell everybody else to go f*ck themselves.

Or at least, that's my view, as a person who've seen oppression personally and up-close. Seriously, we should strive for a future where no person has to experience this kind of cr*p.
Skye Francis-maidstone
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 7:54am (UTC -6)
It's not really surprising there's no many discussions about race/gender/sexuality going on when this show hits you in the face with a shovel with it every episode. We get it... it's a woke, virtual-signalling show. Well done tackling all the issues of the day! (except it's just not - at all).

Shame the actors and writing is (generally) terrible.

2 stars from me. Too mediocre to bother to write anything much about. Traditionally filled with eye rollingly ridiculously scenes. First 10-15 minutes were good though.

Superwomxn saves the day again while pulling a ridiculously over the top facial expression.

Replace the Discovery crew with a crew from 3100 except keep the other 1 expression character (Stamets) on board to operate the damn drive. Detmer and Saru should be able to fit in nicely with a little retraining. The rest can cos learn to act like adults then re-apply to Starfleet.

btw This forum is starting to look like Twitter lately. Please remember we're Star Trek fans.
Sooty
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 8:30am (UTC -6)
As much as I am enjoying the new direction Discovery has gone to. I simply can not take to Michelle Yeou. Her delivery is stunted and monotone and her facial expressions are none existant. I know she can act a lot better than this, I just dont know why she is the way she is in this. Shame really as I do like the character.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 9:15am (UTC -6)
"btw This forum is starting to look like Twitter lately. Please remember we're Star Trek fans."

Truer words of wisdom were never spoken.
Paul M.
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 1:05pm (UTC -6)
In the words of Dr Archer's brother: Please make it stop.

Aren't some of you tired, exhausted in fact, by eternally rehashing this identity bullshit? Both sides are insufferable beyond imagination. Go and latch onto some other issue du jour where you can pat yourselves on the back for being so in tune with the zeitgeist without needing to actually stand up for anything in particular. Scan public discourse for buzzwords, find ways to incorporate them in random conversations, congratulate yourselves. Rinse and repeat. Bravo, you've done it! You get a brownie for your contribution in devolving what is actually an important social and cultural topic to the level of adolescent you-know-what-measuring contest.

With that out of the way, let me say that Discovery Season 3 is a remarkably refreshing affair. Still prone to excessive emoting and fake earnestness, sadly, but a definite departure from earlier seasons. Everything seems more restrained and focused. Plotting, acting, emotional beats, dialogue, camera, editing, even music is a bit less droney. All this pining for the good old days of the Federation - - which I'll admit does strike a chord with me - - would make more of an impact had the show in earlier seasons actually been about what makes UFP so special. We old dogs around here know this stuff from earlier shows of course, but I'm not so sure if younger viewers really had an opportunity to grasp this mythic halo around the Federation. Oh well. Enjoyable season nevertheless.
Dave in MN
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 3:10pm (UTC -6)
I think the writers wrote themselves into a corner.

I'm guessing they had a brainstorm session when they sat down to sketch out the third season.

Apparently they decided the easiest way to reset the galactic playing field was to pin the changes on a MacGuffin (in this case, "The Burn".)

Yes, it's easier to construct episodes and plots when every change to Federation society can be pinned onto "dilithium (implausibly) just exploded everywhere simultaneously", but I think that also shows a writers room not confident in their abilities (to world-build, to write compkex characters, etc).

None of this extraneous "mystery" and the rewriting of canon is necessary. This story could've easily been told just using a "Fall of the Roman Empire" template, and I think the possibilities for good drama and characterization would've been much more numerous.

Add to that the tiresome Michael-as-Messiah deux ex machina, the unprofessional demeanor of the crew and the lack of rewatchability .... yeah, I feel this show is one massive missed opportunity that alienates at least as many fans as it attracts.
Dave in MN
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 3:24pm (UTC -6)
Oops, I forgot.

This episode was surprisingly boring. Discovery's need to subvert expectations is itself becoming predictable.

Also, SMG still is overacting. I appreciate the tweaks to the character but it'll never work unless the actress can actually sell the performance. I want her to succeed, but after 2 and a half seasons, I'm doubting it'll happen.

2 stars


PS- I read back through the comments and it seems like 99% of us are comporting ourselves as adults. I don't see much commonality with Twitter-type discourse.

IMy advice is to ignore the 1% who are behaving immaturely. Let's move on.
Tomalak
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 8:04pm (UTC -6)
I honestly don't think I could bear to watch this show but for the enjoyment of seeing discerning fans rip it apart on this web site. If Jammer falls under the proverbial bus, presumably ending the comments here, will stop watching. It actually had its moments in Season 1, and Lorca was for some of his time a fantastic Captain. I hated Season 2 and this season seems just as passable.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 9:07pm (UTC -6)
@Paul M.

"Bravo, you've done it! You get a brownie for your contribution in devolving what is actually an important social and cultural topic to the level of adolescent you-know-what-measuring contest."

Gotta say that I agree with you assessment.

But it seems that you think that the proper alternative is for everybody to just shut up about the topic. Well, it isn't. The proper alternative is for people to stop fighting (even though this fighting is usually padded with politeness) and start to actually listen to one another like mature intelligent adults.

I've known the people here for years, and there is absolutely no reason for this to be impossible. The people here *are* capable of doing far better. And they should.

@Dave in MN
" I read back through the comments and it seems like 99% of us are comporting ourselves as adults. I don't see much commonality with Twitter-type discourse."

On the surface, you are right.

But let me ask you a simple question:

Has this discussion, which has been going for a very *very* long time, gotten anywhere? Did any of the participants learn something new? Does any of you feel like your views were seriously challenged? Do you feel that a bridge of understanding has been formed between you and those who disagree with you?

And most importantly:

Is the discussion itself evolving in any way? Or are you just going round and round in circles?

Try to remember that everything we write here becomes forever part of the comment section. I personally think that it's kinda rude to future visitors, to waste this space on idle chat that goes absolutely nowhere. Not to mention that the participants clearly get annoyed and frustrated in the process... so (it seems to me) you're not even having fun while you're doing it.

So what's the point?
Leif
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 10:54pm (UTC -6)
IS NHAN REALLY GONE? I think she is coming back..why would they promote her only to get rid of her so soon..And why didnt theybintroduce some new alien phenomena like dark matter or dark energy vortex instead of a hoary old ion storm ..something new and wondrous in the 32st century ..or some new alien species or phenomenon aboard the seed ship instead of the CME..anyone else disappointed by this?? Though the idea pfna seed ship itself is pretty neat and original as was the flying self contained rain forest at the beginning..
Startrekwatcher
Sun, Nov 15, 2020, 11:04pm (UTC -6)
I think another issue I have with DIS is it’s too excessive in all it does

Too frenetic. Too much convoluted plot. Too much frenzied action. Everything looks superficial like a vide game in terms of VFX and cinematography.

I was for DIS leaping out of prequel territory but the 32nd century seems too much. Maybe a couple centuries but feels very Remote

Berman and Braga had that concern when developing ENT—that going into future would be too much. I disagree. But some of there concern presents itself with DiS in season three.

Although in better writers hands the idea of “our best days are behind us” could be milked. Afterall I feel that way about not just Star Trek having stagnated under Kurtzman unto unrecognizable drivel that makes one pine for 90s Trek. But also about the decline of our culture and society. Between the pandemic, the polarization of people in large part to social media/internet you do feel a need to get back to basics and recapture what made yesteryear better. But I don’t think these writers are capable nor inclined to tackle something like that via the 32nd century’s Federation


Also I appreciate the nod to Nog but wouldn’t ge have had a ship named after him centuries ago not nearly a millennia after he lived. It’s not like it’s the Nog-J

And as far as the visuals You can barely make out the ships. The VFX I don’t think are better than the vfx we got on ds9-Voy or Enterprise honestly

And I don’t like the whole hybrid approach to trying to squeeze in a standalone story while advancing the arc. Do one or the other. Doing both I don’t like

Did appreciate the tidbit about Terran empire not being visited for centuries and it growing further away from our universe

Sonequa still is awful actress. I know they won’t because they don’t want to be seen as firing a black female lead but they should.
SlackerInc
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 2:49am (UTC -6)
@Booming: "When I heard Minnesota I thought that it was like Wyoming or North Dakota. It seems fairly rural but not as thinly populated and white."

Oh man, I would hate to imagine that this is what a lot of people think! We are very different from those states (although I live only a mile from the North Dakota border--but I'm on this side of the border for a very consciously chosen reason). Those are very conservative red states. I'm proud to say that Minnesota is the only state that has not voted Republican for president since 1972 (the closest any other state can come is 1984). It's one of the only states that legalized same sex marriage by popular referendum (other states did it through their state Supreme Court, or just had to go along with Obergefell when that was handed down).

As far as being "rural", there are certainly plenty of rural areas, but Wikipedia has it listed as the 24th most rural and the 26th most urbanized. So not really urban or rural.

"Fargo, great movie. Didn't like the show, though."

I love the movie, like most Coen brothers films, although all but a couple of the actors do a terrible job with the Minnesota accent (including the one who got an Oscar for it, uff da). I also love the first two seasons of the show, really like the third, and I've had a tough time getting into the current season.

"We might be zeroing in on the core of the issue for you personally. Your white identity is a fault line even in your closest family."

LOL, you are quite the spin doctor. My finding it cringey that my dirty blonde, blue-eyed sister and ginger kids identify as Native when they don't share that lived reality (not just in appearance, but life circumstances) is not about "my white identity". Pffffft. Straw man much?

@OTDP: "And have you noticed that the represented groups in the 'diversity' of modern TV shows are always the same groups? They neither represent the actual percentages in America (which would mean more white heterosexuals) or the actual percentages in the World (which would mean a far richer mix of ethnicities and cultures). It may look more diverse on the superficial level, but in reality it isn't diverse at all. It's still about giving very specific groups an over-representation while completely ignoring everybody else."

This.  So much this.  But the people who love this kind of boutique diversity defend by (perhaps inadvertently) strawmanning all critics, or lumping the really toxic haters in with those who are being more thoughtful.  No one here is expressing hatred for those overrepresented groups or advocating to go back to the bad old days when they were erased or demonized.  At least I'm not.  But letting the pendulum swing too far the other way, in such a distorted manner, is not the answer either.
White (cis) women are, by a slight margin, the single largest demographics group in English speaking countries. There are three of those in this cast: two of them appear to be gay and the third codes as straight.

But (even if we don’t adjust for the likely skew in the demographic of people actually watching this show) in these countries straight white cis men outnumber gay white men, gay Latina women, straight Latina women, gay Latino men, gay Black men, straight Black men, straight Black women, gay Black women, gay Asian men, straight Asian men, gay Asian women, straight Asian women, and all transgender people *combined*.  So it really is sophistry when you compare their absence to the absence of aboriginal transgender lesbians or whatever.  It's just not accurate to say that any random three demographic sorting descriptors mixed together are equal to any other such combination.  Some combinations are much, much more numerous in the population, and so to make one such combination vanish from the show, while certain favored but rare combos are represented, is at least arguably worth noting and potentially criticizing.  It doesn't, in and of itself, make someone an alt-right bigot to do so.

@Skye : "It's not really surprising there's no many discussions about race/gender/sexuality going on when this show hits you in the face with a shovel with it every episode. We get it... it's a woke, virtual-signalling show."

Right? I don't begrudge anyone's right to feel very happy that it is so woke and virtue-signalling. To embrace it. But please don't try to gaslight the rest of us with "What? Nothing to see here. Why are we even talking about this?"

@Tomalak, I don't know if I would put it the same way you did, but I am definitely with you in that without this comment section, I'd have stopped watching the show by now (or, probably, never consciously "stopping" but just letting it fall by the wayside while sort of halfheartedly imagining that I'll go back and catch up at some point).
Booming
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 3:59am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
Yeah I read up a little about Minnesota. Quite the interesting state.

About Fargo the show.
To me it always felt like a show that tries to be like a Coen brothers movie but never quite reaches those heights.

"LOL, you are quite the spin doctor. My finding it cringey that my dirty blonde, blue-eyed sister and ginger kids identify as Native when they don't share that lived reality (not just in appearance, but life circumstances) is not about "my white identity". Pffffft. Straw man much?"
I just meant that you seem to have a strong negative reaction to your sisters heritage claims and that may have pushed you in the opposite direction. Just a thought. I don't think that is a straw man argument?

But whatever it may be. The discussion seems to have run it's course.
Mal
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 4:40am (UTC -6)
Die Trying

Star Trek Discovery season 3 episode 5

Mal’s review before Jammer’s

2 1/2 stars (out of 4)


“Amah. Toprah. … They’re my daughters.”

- Evidently passwords in the 32nd century no longer need oNe c*aPs, onE speci@l Charac4er, one1 numb3R


If arriving at Earth was a let down two weeks ago, then arriving at Federation Headquarters this week is even more of a let down. Not that there isn’t a lot that is pretty decent in the episode. And Discovery still looks to be going in the right direction.

But this week they fell back on a few of the bad habits from Seasons 1 & 2, that I had hoped they left behind 900 years ago.

The missteps start with Michael. What can I say other than she really is a huge disappointment.

At this point, Michael is the same age that Will Riker was when TNG started. And Michael has been first officer on not one, but two Starfleet ships, first the Shenzhou under Captain Georgiou, then Discovery under Captain Saru. And yet she still can’t seem to follow basic protocol, let alone, decent manners.

Michael regularly interrupts, provides unsolicited advice, can’t follow orders without questioning them first, and her first instinct is to disobey a superior officer and steal information. Not to get all @grey cat on you, but Michael may be the worst first officer we’ve ever seen on a Star Trek show.

Even at her more rebellious, I have a hard time imagining Kira acting so poorly, and she wasn’t even in Starfleet! That time when Kira did wear the uniform for a bit in Season 7 of DS9, she carried herself very well, because she spoke for the Federation. Remember how Kira chided herself for her flippant quip to Damar (“Yeah, Damar, what kind of people give those orders?”). Such a small thing, but she knew it was the wrong thing to say at the wrong time, to the wrong person. That is what is expected of a self aware Commander.

Or how about Chakotay? He was a maquis for crying out loud, but I can’t ever imagine him acting this way either. As @Bucktown mentions above, say what you will about VOY - and you can say a lot - but Janeway ran a tight ship, and Chakotay was there running it with her every step of the way.

T’Pol? Not exactly Archer’s first choice for the job. But even she, at a time when Vulcans were generally insufferable, would not have addressed the Admiral in charge of StarFleet Command in such a manner.

But not Michael. Seems she has no control over herself. I remember when they were trying to give Sisko an edge and had him act rough towards Picard in Emissary part 1. But Picard was not Sisko’s commanding officer. Picard was not an Admiral. Picard was not head of the whole freaking StarFleet.

Second, they are again rushing things. Maybe they think we won’t notice.

If this starbase is the head of the civilian government, with 35 federation planets, wouldn’t the civilian government (President, or someone who works for the Federation Council) have something to say about a ship traveling in time in violation of the Temporal Accords? Can the head of StarFleet really decide these things all on his own, when the Council is presumably just down the hall?

Also, there sure are a lot of humans around. Remember that Earth is *not* one of the 35 planets still in the Federation. I get that the Andorians have joined up with the Orions. But what about Vulcans? Trill? Benzites? Zakdorn? Bajorans (did they ever join - seems everyone else did)? Unless Lt. what’s-her-name new security chic turns out to be a Betazed, the demographics of this show are way off. Even all the AI’s are programmed to look human?? I don’t care what creepy German justification @Booming might provide; it is highly problematic & borderline racist!!

Third, the entire debriefing humor fell flat for me. The Federation did a much better job with the crew of the Serenity,

https://youtu.be/SyzBBjrlUy8

Jett Reno is no Wash.

Also, please people, give us a few seconds to take in the sights (@Startrekwatcher touched on this above). One of the most memorable parts of the NuTrek movies was when they arrived at starbase Yorktown in Beyond,

https://youtu.be/eZTnSxW4pOI

Look at those beautiful shots. Compare that to the utterly drab entry to Federation HQ this week. Where are we, when Discovery can’t even live up to the damn movies this whole NuTrek look and feel is based upon?

I know everyone has been watching the Mandalorian on the side. Now there is a show that knows how to stop and smell the roses.

I hate to sound so grumpy, but Discovery was really doing a great job this season, and I don’t want to see them backslide into Magic Michael Gives a Speech happy hour. There was zero need for Michael to have that looooong soliloquy with that man on the seed ship. I mean, if this really is a farewell for Nahn, wouldn’t it have been better if, you know, Nahn had talked him down?

Kudos to Hue. Still doing a great job buddy.
Booming
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 5:35am (UTC -6)
@Mal
" I don’t care what creepy German justification @Booming might provide"
I pointed out several times the lack of aliens on the show.
So thanks for your hateful comment. Let me reply in kind.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKYo-dyy0uI&ab_channel=fishforuranium
Lorene
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 8:19am (UTC -6)
There’s delicious irony in that the guy is complaining about racism in this show then calling something “creepy German” in the same section.
Skye Francis-maidstone
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 9:57am (UTC -6)
@Mal

"At this point, Michael is the same age that Will Riker was when TNG started. And Michael has been first officer on not one, but two Starfleet ships, first the Shenzhou under Captain Georgiou, then Discovery under Captain Saru. And yet she still can’t seem to follow basic protocol, let alone, decent manners.

Michael regularly interrupts, provides unsolicited advice, can’t follow orders without questioning them first, and her first instinct is to disobey a superior officer and steal information. Not to get all @grey cat on you, but Michael may be the worst first officer we’ve ever seen on a Star Trek show."

Entirely agree. It's not like Frakes was the best actor ever or anything and neither is SMG but her behaviour is just so unacceptable for a Star Fleet officer. I think that's what I find most annoying about her. I MIGHT be able to tolerate that face she pulls if she acted like an officer now and again. Pike seemed to just about keep her under control.

I mean I guess this is TOS era and maybe they weren't so strict but that doesn't seem to be the case from watching TOS. Sure Bones regularly questioned Kirk but usually for a genuine medical reason. Not mere because he didn't agree with Kirk's way of doing something.

The way Michael spoke to the head of Star Fleet was utterly ridiculous.
Drea
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 10:41am (UTC -6)
"Should I embrace a TV industry that routinely, deliberately and blatantly exclude characters on the basis of gender and race politics? Well, I don't know, Drea. Maybe you can tell me: Should I?"

Pardon, are you implying that the TV industry routinely, deliberately and blatantly excludes straight White cis men?

Buh-whuh... fuh... nuh...

Ha ha ha ha!

That deserves laughter, and nothing more.

Pardon, I generally prefer more constructive dialogue. However, it's clear that certain quarters here are simply going to double down and dig themselves an ever-deeper hole.

A decrease in your hegemony does not mean that you are now oppressed.
grey cat
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 10:55am (UTC -6)
It's clear some people are very bored during lockdown and seem to have resorted to plain old trolling.

Guesses on Jammer's Rating? I'm going with 3.5.
Cody B
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 11:44am (UTC -6)
@booming
@slackerinc

Ah Minnesota. The birthplace and home of Prince, the black man who wore high heels and makeup and for years wouldn’t answer if he was straight or gay. As well as Judy Garland, gay icon. Or how about the Jewish Bob Dylan who’s “Blowin In the Wind” was one of THE civil rights anthems. Some people will just remain Xenophobic and make their own inaccurate assumptions.
Booming
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 12:36pm (UTC -6)
@Cody
And let's not forget Terry Gilliam. Here in his most famous role
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpicfnfcEiM

I loved Brasil by the way. I thought he was from England?!

Man, and Hubert Humphrey's and Walter Mondale are from Minnesota, too. These are two of the least successful presidential candidates ever!

Impressive in it's own way.

And yes I noticed that you implied that I'm xenophobic. I guess you don't understand the word. It's fine Cody. My opinion of you is so low since the time you posted videos from that white supremacy channel that I really cannot take you seriously anymore. I'm sure you understand. Bye :)
Quincy
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 1:26pm (UTC -6)
@Mal "Or how about Chakotay? He was a maquis for crying out loud, but I can’t ever imagine him acting this way either. As @Bucktown mentions above, say what you will about VOY - and you can say a lot - but Janeway ran a tight ship, and Chakotay was there running it with her every step of the way."

This is just hilarious. Chakotay was often the voice of reason on Voyager. But let's look at Janeway's reaction to Chakotay just doing his job. She relieved him of duty. She got "in her feelings" and accused him of disloyalty. She never listened to his very rational alternatives. She was magically always right even when we could clearly see on screen that she was full of humanoid shaped, sentient turds. She was a far shittier captain than you've even accused Burnham of being a first officer. (And this is coming from someone who grew to be a fan of Janeway's) And your response to this is "Janeway ran a tight ship." LMAO!

People who believe that the hate Discovery and "NuTrek" have received is something brand new or unique need to go back and take a look at ancient history. DS9 was the original coal in the stocking at Christmas. It got all those same asinine "this is not Trek" indictments. The actors and creators today still talk about how it affected them. Only in retrospect did it become beloved as much as it has. I'll just leave this here for all of you who've forgotten or never noticed in the first place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHixW9PLsAc&t
Paul M.
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 1:55pm (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi:
"Gotta say that I agree with you assessment. But it seems that you think that the proper alternative is for everybody to just shut up about the topic. Well, it isn't. The proper alternative is for people to stop fighting (even though this fighting is usually padded with politeness) and start to actually listen to one another like mature intelligent adults."

Not at all. As I indicated in my post, I believe this is a very important topic well worth thinking and talking about. But, as for everything else in life, there is a time and place for it. I'd hope adults don't incessantly drone on the latest fashionable topic out there, with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Diversity and inclusiveness? Of course! But spending time counting cis white males and trans magenta Ferengis in every single episode of every single TV show is a sign of either (a) extreme insecurity, (b) extreme lack of imagination, or (c) both. It reduces our shared human condition and experiences to a set of biological and societal factors essentially beyond our control. Like we're all just pawns in a game, nothing more. I'm cis white male, therefore I should predominantly sympathize and empathize with cis white males. Well, sorry, but no. I choose my preferences in worldview and people on a much broader level. I have no illusions as to my prejudices here. I know that on some level I'm still wired to prefer those like me. But luckily for us humans, it goes way beyond only those parameters and includes a host of acquired and inherited preferences like shared experiences, reason vs emotion, art vs science, openness to audio vs visual stimuli, urban vs rural, etc, etc... What I'm trying to say is... it's not that identity issues are unimportant -- far from it -- it's that there is much more to who we as individuals and collectives are than identity politics. Focusing so much on this stuff, rather than on the totality of who and what we are, not only diminishes us, but ultimately leads to sectarianism and paucity of spirit.

Finally, if I may for only a moment veer into a more overtly political arena, my distaste for these kinds of topics also has to do with what I see as an insidious and rather successful neoliberal/neoconservative consensus to divert public discourse and attention from issues that are anathema to the economic and political establishment -- income inequality, health care, state of the planet, imperialism and neocolonialism -- in favor of issues that do not threaten the power structures, but which are already inflicting significant damage to the fabric of society at large.
Cody B
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 2:05pm (UTC -6)
@Booming

Are you still going on about that Memology video? I’ve explained Atleast three times I have no idea who that guy is and I linked the video because it was the first one I could find after googling that showed hard facts that proved you were wrong. Also I don’t know how a very obviously dark skinned Latin American man is running a “white supremacist” channel but keep on running with that narrative.
Dave in MN
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 2:35pm (UTC -6)
@ Booming

I won't lie and act like my state is a bit dumb for reelecting people who have failed at their promises for a century, but ....

#1. 47% of the population voted for a Republican in the last election. It isn't a land of pure liberalism.

and

#2. Half of the population of MN is in the Twin Cities and it's just as diverse as any other urban area. Half my neighbors fit some minority classification or another.

There's nothing inherently better about a population that's "diverse" vs. one that is homogenous.

Besides, I often see Scandinavian nations held up as models of socialistic governmental intervention. If a majority-white population was an issue, liberals wouldn't view the whitest countries in earth as paragons of bureaucratic virtue.

If no culture is better than any other, then no culture is any worse than any other .... so Ii a state's demographics don't match the U.N.'s, that alone doesn't make it a bad place.
Dave in MN
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 3:03pm (UTC -6)
@ Paul M

Compare how Discovery does "diversity" to The Orville. There's very little pearl clutching over the way that show presents diverse characters.

I think the issue (for some) is that the elements aren't integrated well on Discovery.

There's constant telling and very little showing, which results in characters whose only definjng trait is their appearance. For example, it's been 2.5 seasons and Wheelchair Guy STILL doesn't have a name. It's Tokenism in its purest form.

And of course, when a story isn't immersive, many viewers don't want to give up the time they've invested so they stick it out .... yet the mind wanders and they start to ponder why it failed production-wise instead of focusing on the presentation.

The best way to make an audience accept what they're seeing is to create a compelling story. If you have likable characters and a good plot, that's what people will care about.

If you don't? Well, like I said, the mind wanders ....
Jason R.
Mon, Nov 16, 2020, 4:50pm (UTC -6)
"Also I don’t know how a very obviously dark skinned Latin American man is running a “white supremacist” channel but keep on running with that narrative."

Heads it's white supremacy, tails it's false consciousness.
Booming
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 3:12am (UTC -6)
@ Cody
Ok, lets call the channel fascist. Better? :)
And by the way you genius, you can be racist towards black people as a Latino but I find it interesting that this is the point you argue about.

video titles from the channel that you say gives us the facts

- Billionaire Oprah blasts Whiteness
- The master race (with a picture of a black man)
- Walmart gives 100m to BLM, gets ransacked anyways (pictures of black people plundering)
- Are you white? Then you are simply guilty of existing (with a picture of kneeling white people)
and sooooooo much more

But hey you explained three times. It was all googles fault. Perfectly fine.
Spreading videos from a racist channel by accident. We have all done that, haven't we? Why shouldn't we believe you considering what opinions you push here?

@Dave
"There's nothing inherently better about a population that's "diverse" vs. one that is homogenous."
The difference is more in rural versus urban. It is culturally universal that people in rural areas are more intolerant which is likely because of exposure. If you live in a city you see people different from you all the time and see that they are fairly normal. If you live in a region were everybody is similar than that is the basis of your reality. Combine that with the skiddish nature of humans and being different can swiftly become being dangerous for significant parts of that homogeneous population. Doesn't matter if you are white, black or whatever.

"Besides, I often see Scandinavian nations held up as models of socialistic governmental intervention."
Social democratic but alright

"If no culture is better than any other, then no culture is any worse than any other"
A matter of perspective. In most majority Muslim countries you have homophobia values above 80%, sometimes 90% combined with often severe punishments and don't get me started on women's rights. Cultures are not better or worse but feature more or less desirable aspects. Not condemning the culture as a whole, doesn't mean one shouldn't strongly oppose certain aspects.

"so Ii a state's demographics don't match the U.N.'s, that alone doesn't make it a bad place."
I never said that Minnesota is a bad place. I just said that it is veeeery white, because I thought it was like Wyoming. Wyoming is how it is because of it's structure. Very homogeneous and very rural (Republican won that state by almost 70%). If you look at the county results in Minnesota you will see that Minnesota goes democratic because of the twin cities. The rural areas all vote right wing, often with 60%+ margins.

And to be perfectly honest, while I didn't notice that they didn't include a white heterosexual guy this season, I wish they had. Maybe over time through deep fake they will change the blond women into a blond man.
Jason R.
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 4:04am (UTC -6)
"- Billionaire Oprah blasts Whiteness
- The master race (with a picture of a black man)
- Walmart gives 100m to BLM, gets ransacked anyways (pictures of black people plundering)
- Are you white? Then you are simply guilty of existing (with a picture of kneeling white people)
and sooooooo much more"

Huh. Is this guy a critical race theorist or a white supremacist? I find it challenging to tell the difference from just the description.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 5:21am (UTC -6)
@Jason R.
"Huh. Is this guy a critical race theorist or a white supremacist?"

Difficult to tell these days, isn't it?

@Paul M.
"But spending time counting cis white males and trans magenta Ferengis in every single episode of every single TV show is a sign of either (a) extreme insecurity, (b) extreme lack of imagination, or (c) both."

Or (d) they are actually talking about worrying industry-wise (and country-wise) trends, with the TV show in question just being cited as an example.

Because there *are* worrying trends. And a person does not need to be obsessed with identity-politics to be scared-out-of-his-wits by what's going on.

Part of what makes these discussions so frustrating, is that everybody thinks the other person has some kind of ulterior agenda. Same thing with the political discussions. It's always "my camp vs your camp". You try to appeal to the basic decency of other people, and they label you as an enemy.

I mean, look at the situation of race in Hollywood and the media. It's bloody obvious. It's not even a latent bias against cis white males. It's an agenda that's declared openly. There are actual rules in many places that force this bias, and people are actually giddy about this chance for "revenge".

Not to mention this strange new trend where people think that prejudice against cis white males is okay because they are "the majority".

This kind of thing should alarm any ethical person, regardless of their race.
Quincy
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 9:46am (UTC -6)
Lmao! The Orville "clowns" diverse characters, which certainly sometimes can be funny. If that's your thing, cool. But don't attempt to put that up as some sort of example of a display of diversity. It's just an example of wallowing in stereotypes. This is perfectly fine for a comedy show, but not something to pat yourself on the back about. It's just low brow humor, the easiest thing in the world to poke fun at. The Orville clowned a black single mother by having pretty much her only action as a sexual liaison with a gigantic booger and then a full blown relationship with a battery operated boyfriend. If that's what you call diversity, I'll take single white male homogeneity any damn day of the week.
Booming
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 12:02pm (UTC -6)
@Jason
I guess one could categorize the channel as right wing extremist. I just picked a few who were specifically about race relations.

@Omicron
I get it. You want to silence me. You are probably one of those constantly complaining about cancel culture.
You have this strange cycle. You join a discussion late, insult and make up lies about a bunch of people and then write long posts about how we shouldn't insult each other and should be more understanding. It is quite amazing and amusing.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 1:22pm (UTC -6)
@Booming
"I get it. You want to silence me."

No. I have no interest in silencing your opinions. I just want you to stop trolling and stop maliciously attacking people just for kicks.

Alas, we don't always get what we want in life (and I'm obviously in the minority here).

(the rest of your post isn't even worth replying to)
Booming
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 1:31pm (UTC -6)
@Omicron

I know your third ex wife has already told you that but you are the least self aware person on the planet.
SlackerInc
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 2:44pm (UTC -6)
@Drea: "Pardon, are you implying that the TV industry routinely, deliberately and blatantly excludes straight White cis men?"

No one is denying that straight white cis men have been strongly represented in the history of TV, and on many parts of "the dial" to this day. But there is an increasing trend in media criticism, which certain people making TV (like the people running this show) are clearly sensitive to. And that is not just to say there should be more representation of historically underrepresented groups, but to actively complain about any prominent role for a "white guy" (the cis/straight aspect is usually implicit). Just this week on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, they discussed the show TED LASSO, and two of the four panelists (a white and Black woman, the other two being white guys, one straight and one gay) said they liked the show but repeatedly complained that the fact that it starred a white dude was a serious strike against it. And I have in the past heard similar things on NPR's news shows like Morning Edition and All Things Considered (memorably, Judd Apatow was taken to the woodshed for daring to make a show whose protagonist was a white guy). I have also seen frequent complaints about SNL, that it has too few Black castmembers, even though the four current Black members of the cast represent literally twice as high a percentage as Black people make up of the overall American population!

This is going too far and it's just plain wrong. Someone who happens to have been born straight, white, and cis male, all things he has no control over, should not be put in the penalty box because he happens to share immutable characteristics with people who have done bad things or just been overrepresented. We should strive for fair and equitable representation NOW, not to settle scores based on the past, that the straight cis white guys of today have no culpability for or control over. And we should not pretend that every demographic group is deserving of equal representation. There are, as I pointed out previously, more straight white guys in English speaking countries than there are members of all the other groups represented in the crew of the Discovery (with the exception of the one straight-presenting woman) COMBINED.

@Dave in MN: "my state is a bit dumb for reelecting people who have failed at their promises for a century"

LOL! Glad to know my DFL vote is canceling out yours. :P

"For example, it's been 2.5 seasons and Wheelchair Guy STILL doesn't have a name."

I confess I never even noticed him. Where is he? And why wouldn't 23rd century technology have him all fixed up? Oh, right, because PC diversity blah blah blah (see, there are those of us DFLers who aren't into all that "wokeness" stuff).

@Booming: "In most majority Muslim countries you have homophobia values above 80%, sometimes 90% combined with often severe punishments and don't get me started on women's rights. Cultures are not better or worse but feature more or less desirable aspects."

You were on the right track, but didn't follow through. Some cultures ARE better than others. The reason I find myself in a very unusual place on the political spectrum is that I think Western culture is better than most precisely because of its progressive elements. So I'm in trouble with the right because I favor progressive ideas; I'm in trouble with the left because I'm touting Western cultural "imperialism" and being "Islamophobic".

"If you look at the county results in Minnesota you will see that Minnesota goes democratic because of the twin cities. The rural areas all vote right wing, often with 60%+ margins."

No, this is actually how Minnesota differs from many other states, why it has remained consistently blue despite being middling on urbanization. The margins are more in the 15-30 point range in rural counties, compared to the kind of 60 point margins you'll see in a state like Oregon.

"And to be perfectly honest, while I didn't notice that they didn't include a white heterosexual guy this season, I wish they had."

Okay, good--we agree on this.

@Quincy: "The Orville clowned a black single mother by having pretty much her only action as a sexual liaison with a gigantic booger and then a full blown relationship with a battery operated boyfriend."

Wowww. You are engaging in very selective cherrypicking here. I wonder if you really see it this way, or or just being lawyerly to try to prosecute your case, facts be damned. Overall, Dr. Finn has been portrayed as probably the smartest, wisest, and most well-rounded character on the show, and her family's dynamics have shown nuance in the writing and acting that's rare on a genre show--or a comedy for that matter.
SlackerInc
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 3:02pm (UTC -6)
D'oh, wish we could edit. That should have read "...the one straight-presenting WHITE woman", meaning Tilly (Adira is a brand new character and it's debatable how straight-presenting she is). Burnham is straight-presenting, but her demo is one of the many others on the ship's crew that can be all combined together and would still not match the percentages of straight white cis guys in English-speaking countries.

As long as I'm composing a new post, another thought occurred to me. What sexual relationships have been portrayed on the show? I may be missing some, but there's obviously the gay relationship between Stamets and Culber, which had its rocky moments but is ultimately portrayed as positive. I thought there was an implied gay relationship between Detmer and Owosekun, but Google doesn't turn up anything so maybe I'm reading too much into it. However ambiguous Adira and Gray are as characters on the show, it would be a stretch to define their relationship as cis heterosexual.

So the only cis hetero relationships I recall on the show were Lorca and the admiral, and Burnham and Tyler. In both cases the straight guy in the relationship was secretly an evil enemy agent, hoodwinking his female partner. Interesting.
Booming
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 3:09pm (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
Let us not forget that not so long ago we had many of the flaws we now criticize in many Muslim majority countries or Russia (Around 60% homophobic). One could also mention that Turkey/The Ottoman Empire was the first country to legalize homosexuality in Europe more than a hundred years before GB or Germany did it. In Germany for example between 1949 and 1969 more than 50000 homosexuals were sent to prison.

But I get what you are saying. I see my comment more as a strategy than a moral statement. Maybe some of these countries can change more towards our views on the matter and outright demonizing them entirely probably doesn't help there. Religious hardliners are the obstacles to overcome. They were in Western Europe and are now in these countries.

"No, this is actually how Minnesota differs from many other states"
My bad English. Sorry. I meant 60 to 40 results, not that republicans had 60% more.
Booming
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 3:15pm (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
"Detmer and Owosekun"
When did that happen???

"However ambiguous Adira and Gray are as characters on the show, it would be a stretch to define their relationship as cis heterosexual."
I guess on the show they are defined as a cis heterosexual couple

"So the only cis hetero relationships I recall on the show were Lorca and the admiral, and Burnham and Tyler. "
The relationship between Lorca and Cornwall started before he changed to evil Lorca. There was also Pike and Vina.
Booming
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 3:19pm (UTC -6)
oh and Klingon Queen and Albino Klingon/Tyler!
HaveGun_WillRiker
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 3:54pm (UTC -6)
Holy hell what did I stumble into. Yikes.

I know Jammer has a hands off moderation approach but no one's even commented on the episode in like 50 comments, god damn...
grey cat
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 7:55pm (UTC -6)
Indeed. DSC is nowhere near deep enough to warrant these huge essays on race/religion/sexuality/identity.

And this episode didn't really tackle any of those issues either.

It was just a kinda mid season move the plot along episode with some vague themes of death and family.. or something. I think I forgot most of it already... Seeds!!! Burnham was rude and insubordinate again and saved the day. Oh yeah. 2 stars
Tommy D.
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 8:41pm (UTC -6)
@Quincy

Spot on.

And 3 stars for the episode.

Carry on.
dave
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 9:39pm (UTC -6)
You all need to think about how toxic this place is becoming the last couple of years. Many of us have been reading Jammers website and comments sections for well over 2 decades.

Please, don't put Jammer in a position of having to close comments sections or even go so far as deciding he doesn't need that in his life and shut the whole thing down. This is a treasure, please consider that when arguing and what we can lose if you take it too far.
Quincy
Tue, Nov 17, 2020, 11:02pm (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
"Wowww. You are engaging in very selective cherrypicking here. I wonder if you really see it this way, or or just being lawyerly to try to prosecute your case, facts be damned. Overall, Dr. Finn has been portrayed as probably the smartest, wisest, and most well-rounded character on the show, and her family's dynamics have shown nuance in the writing and acting that's rare on a genre show--or a comedy for that matter."



Actually, no. I didn't cherrypick anything, but you certainly cherrypicked my post. My very first sentence says that The Orville clowns diverse characters. In other words, they're clowning EVERYBODY on the show in SOME form or fashion. No cherrypicking thus far. How are they clowning them? Clearly, with stereotypes and low brow humor, of the kind that Seth MacFarlane is famous for. No cherrypicking thus far. I then give one example of how they are clowning one of those characters. Giving an example of what you've BEEN talking about for clarification cannot be called cherrypicking if you're using the same dictionary most people use. I use Webster's, American Heritage, or Oxford English; how about you?

Meanwhile, you cherrypick my post as if that's the only thing I'd said. The fact of the matter is the strong, black, single mother with a mountain of man troubles is a stereotype. That's what it is. You can deny it all you want to, but there it is. Was it funny? Some of it, I'd have to say yeah, but that shouldn't interfere with one's ability to see what kind of humor it is you're laughing at. This isn't something I'm fabricating. This isn't something I dreamed up or manufactured. This is something Seth MacFarlane is KNOWN for. Any honest person should be able to admit that, whether they do so while laughing or not.

I didn't even intend to get involved in these stupid @$$ off topic debates. I just get sick to death of people holding up The Orville (a show I do actually like by the way) as some bastion of all that is wonderful. It's asinine. I can point to fact after fact of it being guilty of nearly every selective (cherrypicked), hypocritical indictment levied against "NuTrek." I will continue to do so every time I run across it.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 1:38am (UTC -6)
As a big fan of the the Orville, I will be the first to agree that the show has flaws.

Nameless cardboard characters (which is what Dave MN was talking about in regards of DSC's diversity) is not one of these flaws, though. Characters who fall in stereotypes is a completely different issue, and the way the Orville deals with it is complicated:

I can certainly see Quincy's point that the Orville Characters are *based* on stereotypes. The fact that (say) Dr. Finn is a single black mom is probably not a coincidence.

Does she really fit the stereotype that has this name? Or is the show deliberately uses that started point to subvert the trope?

And why does it even matter?

In my view, it doesn't. As long as she is written as a well-rounded, relatable, capable, respectable character, who cares?
Bucktown
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 3:32am (UTC -6)
@HaveGun_WillRiker, @grey cat, @dave -

I tried following along with what this comment section devolved into and it honestly makes no sense to me. Something about Minnesota?

My best hypothesis is while we were away, this board was bombarded with synthetic T-cells and most turned out like Riker in "Genesis".
Jason R.
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 5:49am (UTC -6)
"Please, don't put Jammer in a position of having to close comments sections or even go so far as deciding he doesn't need that in his life and shut the whole thing down. This is a treasure, please consider that when arguing and what we can lose if you take it too far."

Why would he "have to" close anything down? Is running a forum where people argue alot illegal?
Mal
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 5:53am (UTC -6)
Regarding Dr. Finn, and for that matter Bortus, I just realized how nice it is that two crew members have kids. I know Discovery isn't big enough for families, but I really do miss that about TNG and DS9 and VOY. I guess I had really gotten used to Star Trek with kids.

I don't know about Orville using minorities as stereotypes. I think they're mostly going off of TNG.

Beverly was a single mom, so Finn is also a single mom.

Geordi went from being a pilot to an engineer, so LaMarr does too - I mean they even name him LaMarr, which is just shy of LaVar, as in LaVar Burton. Although, honestly, I think LaMarr is more modeled off of Trip than Geordi. Captain Grayson served under Trip in a previous lifetime,

https://youtu.be/IgKxeX0_oL4

Issac is sent to learn what it means to be human, which is what Data is obsessed about. Even the bartenders on both shows are played by famous comedians, Whoopi for TNG, Jason Alexander for The Orville.

Sure, Odo was played by a white guy, and so is Yaphit, just as Worf was played by a black guy and so is Bortus, while Tasha was played by a white women as was Alara, but honestly, I really don't think that has as much to do with race, as much as it is just The Orville ripping off Star Trek ;)

And I say that as someone who loves both The Orville and Star Trek!

And in any case, they replaced Alara with Talla, and Talla isn't exactly white - not that they make anything of her mixed ancestry. It's a non-issue.

If they have any stereotypes, it's the Irish lushes. But even there, Gordon's every man nature, I have to assume, is modeled off of Miles.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 7:45am (UTC -6)
@Jason R.
"Why would he 'have to' close anything down? Is running a forum where people argue alot illegal?"

Jammer himself said he'll do it if things get too out of hand.

Though I'd worry more about the possibility that the endless arguments will simply make the interesting stuff near-impossible to find.

If we haven't reached that point already.
Britz94
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 7:49am (UTC -6)
I thought all the characters were extremely unlikeable, the straight white dude, the gay men, the asian woman, the "special needs" girl.

As a human, Hopefully I was not "represented" by these snarky, intolerant, sarcastic, mean-spirited characters that are also human.

Nice job writers.

But in all seriousness, the women in ST:P browbeating an 80 year white man was extremely disturbing. The only explanation is that the writers of that show are psychopaths.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 7:50am (UTC -6)
@Mal

It also help's that the child actor playing Ty is quite good. The child actors on Trek are usually terrible.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 8:28am (UTC -6)
@Britz94
"But in all seriousness, the women in ST:P browbeating an 80 year white man was extremely disturbing. The only explanation is that the writers of that show are psychopaths."

In all fairness, this has less to do with any woke politics thing, and more to do with the way ST:P seeks to destroy the legacy of the TNG Captain Picard.

They went to great lengths to completely ruin the character and his message, as well as all the worldbuilding that TNG has done. It's a blunt and deliberate rewrite of Trek's history, 1984-style.
Cody B
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 9:31am (UTC -6)
@Omicron

There’s one person who is always involved in any argument on here. I suggest not replying more than once or twice (or none) and just dropping it when that person is clearly wanting to argue and planting obvious comments to stir the pot
Mal
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 10:47am (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, I agree, Dr. Finn's sons are very endearing :)

I know that Star Trek has that reputation for bad child actors, but honestly, I liked a bunch of them. TNG's Disaster is one of my favorites, in large part because of the three kids with Picard in the turbo lift. I don't understand why @Jammer scored it so low.

And more recently, on Star Trek: Picard, Troi and Will's daughter also does a pretty good job.

I think, for me, it started with TNG's When the Bough Breaks. When that episode aired back in '88, there was a boy in it - Harry - who was maybe a year or two older than me. And Harry kept complaining to his dad that he didn't want to do Calculus. And I remember asking my folks again and again, what is Calculus, and when will I get to learn it?!? So I started identifying with the kids in Star Trek very, very early on.

I know Alexander gets a bad rep. Yeah, maybe that is well earned.

By the way, those of you keeping PC-points score at home, Alexander was Worf's son, but he as was played by a girl actress, while Bortus' daughter gets a sex change and is made into a boy. Yeah, Seth even ripped things off down to that level of detail. Which frankly, is pretty impressive! He's a true blue fan boy just like us :-)
Henson
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 11:22am (UTC -6)
@Mal

"By the way, those of you keeping PC-points score at home, Alexander was Worf's son, but he as was played by a girl actress"

Okay, so I looked up the information on Alexander Rozhenko, and I find that he was played by four different actors: Jon Paul Steuer, Brian Bonsall, James Sloyan (future Alexander), and Marc Worden, all of whom are male. Not sure where you got your information from.
Booming
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 11:25am (UTC -6)
@Omicron
"Though I'd worry more about the possibility that the endless arguments will simply make the interesting stuff near-impossible to find."

Being the person who holds the title of "first person to get an angry response from Jammer". You are so full of shit, the government will certainly soon declare you National Poop Reserve.
Tomalak
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 12:12pm (UTC -6)
"Though I'd worry more about the possibility that the endless arguments will simply make the interesting stuff near-impossible to find."

True! But I think this is the key point: "There’s one person who is always involved in any argument on here. I suggest not replying more than once or twice (or none) and just dropping it when that person is clearly wanting to argue and planting obvious comments to stir the pot"

To the present and future reader who wants to avoid the thousands of words of not very important or relevant debate, just skip past the posts by Booming and replies to him.

But it does take two to tango. If some idiot accuses you of white supremacy for no reason, just ignore him rather than get in a 50 post debate, especially if you know he has done this at the drop of a hat to lots of others.

And as someone said last week, this probably wouldn't be happening if Discovery episodes weren't so forgettable. They leave discerning viewers with almost nothing to say, so even obvious trolls/fanatics like Booming suddenly seem worth the effort.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 1:23pm (UTC -6)
@Mal
"I know that Star Trek has that reputation for bad child actors, but honestly, I liked a bunch of them."

Classic Trek featured literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different children. There are bound to be a few excellent actors in the mix.

But most of then are completely forgettable.

"TNG's Disaster is one of my favorites, in large part because of the three kids with Picard in the turbo lift."

I agree that the episode is a very good one and the Picard/kids scenes are written extremely well.

But among the three child actors in that episode, only the girl that played Marissa was good.
Dave in MN
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 1:30pm (UTC -6)
@ Mal

You mailed it. Orville characters are all a twist on old Trek tropes.
Dave in MN
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 1:33pm (UTC -6)
@ ODTP

Voyager's casting director was by far the best at selecting children with acting skill.
Booming
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 1:42pm (UTC -6)
@Tomalak
You may not have noticed it but I only react, I barely ever act. The last 20 interactions I had were always a person insulting me. I insult that person. In one post alone you called me idiot, fanatic, troll and accuse me of other things. You guys are of the kind who sees a group of people hitting a person and think:" Man, I want in on that."

I never called Omicron a white supremacist. He is a shyster, not a nazi.

So guys have your little circle jerk where you tell each other how right you are and how wrong I am and more than anything how important an insult free and harmonious forum is for you. After writing posts full of insults.

Pathetic.
Jammer
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 1:58pm (UTC -6)
@Booming: "Being the person who holds the title of 'first person to get an angry response from Jammer'. You are so full of shit, the government will certainly soon declare you National Poop Reserve."

Let's be clear here. The user in question is not the first person on this board to get a reply from me for their comments or activity. I answered that user because they are always harping on the point that I should take actions I've already said I won't.

But that doesn't mean other users like yourself are vindicated in their approach to how they engage with their fellow posters. Far from it. Don't invoke my name and imply there's some sort of endorsement. There isn't.

Everyone should take a look in the mirror and ask how they can make things better around here and lower the temperature, rather than constantly looking for ways to escalate the rhetoric and "win" as if the discussion is a zero-sum game.
Booming
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 2:12pm (UTC -6)
@Jammer
"Don't invoke my name and imply there's some sort of endorsement. There isn't."
I guess, I deserve that. I was stretching your words to the limit for my own benefit. In my view this is more about some people poking me and then act surprised when I counter punch.

Be that as it may. I will abstain from arguments in the future and ignore personal attacks and it appears that my opponents for the most part seem eager to follow the same course.

May this be the end of it.
Tomalak
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 2:29pm (UTC -6)
I think we need an unwritten rule that if someone could read your whole post here and still not know you were discussing a Star Trek episode, or at least the wider Star Trek universe, then - whoever started it! - it's gone way off topic and it's time to bring it back on topic. There is nothing really wrong with arguing about Star Trek here. The problem is if the Star Trek discussion gets entirely lost.
Jammer
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 4:00pm (UTC -6)
@Tomalak, I agree that would be a great behavioral practice. But it's up to everyone individually to exercise that practice. I cannot police it into being. Maybe I can come in and try to nudge people in the right direction from time to time, but it ultimately falls upon the contributors.
Dave in MN
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 4:45pm (UTC -6)
I don't mind conversational digressions because Trek often is/was designed to spark philosophical, political and ethical debate.

If people go off on a "tangent", I can usually see how the episode or production choices led to the current discussion.

I can only speak for myself, but I've always liked learning new things in the last place I expected to. Jammer's reviews AND comments is the best website at scratching that itch, at least for me.

I don't mind the looser nature of the interaction here, I think it's healthy.

Simply put: it doesn't bother me and probably shouldn't bother you.

Besides, the art of skimming through a comments section is second nature to most people. The usernames make that process even simpler.

As far as decorum goes, my personal feeling is that if one has difficulty being tactful, then it is wise to refrain from posting. That's basic human decency.

To that I would add that tthere's more than one person who's previously boasted of being drunk/high previously while commenting.

No accusations, it's public record.

As a general rule of thumb, It's much easier to be nice when you're sober (and there's no mess to mop up the next day).

@ Jammer

I loved the little bonus with Mrs. Jammer's opinion! You should make that a regular feature of your reviews. (I think she's totally right about Burnham and Book).
Mal
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 7:27pm (UTC -6)
@Henson, seems you're totally right - my bad! I was literally going off something my folks told me 30 years ago when we were watching "Reunion" in first-run. Probably should have looked that one up. Thanks for doing it for me.

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, you can call her Number One :-)
SlackerInc
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 9:21pm (UTC -6)
Where did Mrs. Jammer weigh in? I don't see a review up yet. What am I missing?

@HaveGun_WillRiker: "no one's even commented on the episode in like 50 comments, god damn..."

This was written four posts, and 52 minutes, after I posted a comment that mentioned ELEVEN characters from this show, by name. Technically not about this episode specifically, but AFAIK there's no general thread for discussion of the show overall.

@Jason R: "Why would he "have to" close anything down? Is running a forum where people argue alot illegal?"

LOL, good question. And the other day, I actually clicked on a banner ad and ordered something! I very rarely do that, but it was a cool looking item. Hopefully that benefited Jammer.

@Mal: "And more recently, on Star Trek: Picard, Troi and Will's daughter also does a pretty good job."

She was fantastic! Talk about stealing scenes with a minor role.

I cosign @Dave in MN's entire 11/18 4:45 p.m. post. He and I are apparently in different political parties in the same state, but on most topics I find a surprisingly high amount of agreement.
Mertov
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 9:36pm (UTC -6)
Just got around to watching it, The plus side is that I should (I hope) get to watch the next one within 24 hours. Again, nothing stellar, but again, another solid episode to add to a great season so far. I still think episode 2 was the best of the season until now. Episodes 3 to 5 have had a few too many Trek tropes I've seen zillion times for em to give this four stars (the hero crew of the show shows up somewhere where things are not right, and makes it all right in one episode, hmmmm, where have I seen this before?)

On to a couple of nitpicks:

-- Nhan-Airiam friendship felt oversold in my opinion. I don't remember any scenes with the two of them being close friends during season 2. In "Project Daedelus" Nhan suspiciously followed Airiam's every move (and for good reasons) before finally engaging in a fight against her, along with Michael. It just feels awkward that she persistently mentions Airiam as the reason for her making two life-changing decisions already.

-- Michael overstepped her boundaries and came across insensitive when they met with Admiral Vance. I found myself agreeing with Vance throughout the hour. He needed to be cautious, if not suspicious, when there is so little of the Federation left. Saru, who is more captain-material than some past captains we have seen in Trek, steps in at the right time to halt her 'mood.'

--So, Detmer is still suffering from PTSD and yet still responsible of piloting Discovery. Shouldn't she be the number one priority for Culber or Pollard at this point?

Now to the good:

-- Fantastic couple of scenes between Georgiou and.. none other than David Cronenberg! Not sure what happens with Georgiou at the end there, with her eyes fixated when Michael tries to get her attention. For once this season, Georgiou's scenes were one of the highlights of the show.

-- Culber had an important role for the second episode in a row, and Wilson Cruz delivered again.

-- Saru and Tilly are such positive forces. I can say the same about Adira. Jett Reno is always a delight. Michael remains an inspiration for millions of viewers I dare to say. As far as I am concerned, the more Discovery's own crew is explored, the better the show gets.

-- The visuals, lighting, make-up and special effects are all second to none on TV. I watch a lot of TV and I don't know of any other show at level with Discovery in these areas. Spectacular TV in that sense.

-- The Federation as portrayed here provides multiple opportunities for fascinating future storylines, whoever thought of it, well done. Let's see if they can deliver on that potential.

-- Oded Fehr is a capable actor and a great guest-star addition. I remember him well from his recurring role in 'Covert Affairs' as a Mossad agent and from starring next to Alexander Siddig in 'Inescapable.' He was great in both. He was also in a few mediocre films, but his acting has always been high quality.
Jammer
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 11:43pm (UTC -6)
Review now posted.
Mal
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 12:32am (UTC -6)
Great review @Jammer!

I love the "even more bullet points" :-)

It made it think about all the crap Admiral Vance has to deal with in his job. We only saw the small thread dealing with Discovery, and a few hints of what else is going on in his job.

When, as you write,

"Saru explaining the sphere data and their escape from Control (a plot point that only sounds more ludicrous over time rather than less)"

I can just imagine Admiral Vance mumbling under his breath, "great, now I have to deal with this shit too."

Instead, Admiral Vance is far more diplomatic.

He is a great addition to the show. Reminds me of one of the characters on the Apple TV+ series called "Tehran". Real leadership and patriotism.

Now, let's see what they have for us this week!

https://youtu.be/cGZL934qNN0
Dave in MN
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 12:34am (UTC -6)
@ SlackerInc

It was last week's review where Mrs Jammer's opinion got a mention.

@ Jammer

Interesting comprehensive review.

Discovery might not be ringing my bell this season, but I can see a little better why some might find this more appealing than previous installments.
Startrekwatcher
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 1:01am (UTC -6)
I think 3.5 stars is too high. 3 stars maybe

It certainly is the best episode this season. But it’s got issues—blurry unsatisfying glances when it comes to VFX like the federation ship visual reveal. The chatacters aren’t connecting with me still despite the more effort writers trying to give to them. I don’t like the serialized/standalone style. Hated it on Fringe and other shows

If you’re gonna do serialization-/and for some weird reason the 21st century writers think they made it fashionable when it was being done and done better in the 80/90–then be fully serialized like season one of Heroes or Hill street blues in the 80s etc

Yes you are never gonna beat DiS at vFX but who cares. VFX should be like a spice used to slightly enhance something not to be ladled on thick like gravy to cover over the disgusting meal placed on your plate

And the show still treats “characters” as plot devices like Nhan. Think she is a character then realized just used to move her around like a pawn in a chessboard. I’m sure they’ll kill somebody off nobody cares for after giving them three seconds of screentime this season then expect it to be shocking and sad when it’s not. It’s manipulative and lazy
John
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 1:24am (UTC -6)
Wasn't the best ep of the season for me. I preferred the Trill one.

And I'm surprised to hear the vfx described as 'second to none'. For me, they're second to many things, including most of the Trek movies (bar Nemesis), the Mandalorian, Blade Runner. The effects in those can be eye-poppingly impressive and yet are fully integrated so that you don't notice they're effects. The CGI in Discovery sticks out like a video game, it's conspicuous but tries to undo that by making everything blurry, quick-cut and indistinct.
Booming
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 2:36am (UTC -6)
On the writing front it was probably the best episode of the entire show. Often Discovery or NuTrek in general felt like a happy meal. Comfort food. Fast, bland and something shiny to play with. Quickly consumed, even quicker forgotten.

This episode took its own source material serious and treated the characters as complex individuals. It seemed like they noticed that they had an entire cast to use. The admiral was a good example, or even more the Cronenberg dialog were I was waiting to role my eyes but never did. I think I never smiled about the level of dialog in NuTrek. Here I did. The difference was so noticeable throughout most of the episode that I thought that maybe this could work as a show and even provide us with a few good seasons.

Great review.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 3:22am (UTC -6)
@Jammer
"I answered that user because they are always harping on the point that I should take actions I've already said I won't."

That's not what I was doing.

No offense Jammer, but it looks like you have prejudice against me in this respect, and that this prejudice is preventing you from even listening what I'm actually saying.

That's unfortunate. Because I really do care about your forums. If I didn't, why on earth would I put myself on the line like that? Ever thought about that? You think I *enjoy* this kind of thing? Or maybe that I've just flipped a screw?

Any way, if you don't want to me bug you again, I won't bug you again.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 4:20am (UTC -6)
@Booming
"You may not have noticed it but I only react, I barely ever act. The last 20
interactions I had were always a person insulting me. I insult that person."

Four huge problems with that:

1. If the person insulted you on purpose and without previous provocation, then he is a jerk. If you start an insult war with a jerk, you gain nothing. Everybody loses in such a situation.
2. If the other person didn't have a malicious intent, then picking a fight with them makes even less sense.
3. You are taking things way too personally here. Yes, I know, it's a classic case of a pot calling a kettle black, but that's precisely why I'm allowing myself to say this to you: I sometimes have the same problem. Used to be far worse, but I'm slowly getting the hang of the right balance.
4. You are actively seeking these conflicts. You admitted yourself that you like the "action". You constantly walk around poking people, and you enjoy watching them squirm. You are actively goading them to enter this kind of cycle with you, and then blame them when it gets out of hand.

#4, specifically, is the reason that the blame for all these insult-wars falls squarely on your shoulders.

And since you *are* quite sensitive, the person who suffers the most is you. It starts with "I want to alleviate my bordom", continues with "I gotta show those fools who is right", and ends in you hating yourself for hours after the incident ended.

In short, you should really *really* stop doing this. For your own sake.

Note:

I am not interested in turning this into another argument or even a discussion. Right now you are an extremely unpleasant person to be with. Sorry, but that's the truth.
Tomalak
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 7:32am (UTC -6)
@Omi, while I agree with your post, Booming has made clear above his intention to behave differently in future. So I suggest we not dredge up past behaviour - even from yesterday. What matters now is whether future discussions get derailed.
Caoimhin
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 8:34am (UTC -6)
Having just got around to watching this episode it struck me that the most "other-worldly" individual I've witnessed so far in Discovery is David Cronenberg.
zanki
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 10:06am (UTC -6)
Very solid episode , I thought the Barzan security officer was one of the strong points of last season so it sorta sucked to see her stay behind, maybe a season finale cameo is in the books for her.

The Georgiu scenes were probably my favorite parts , even if the notion of her disabling 32nd century holograms seems far fetched.

Aside from the first episode that had me going '' here we go again'' , Disco seems to be gaining that series momentum and coming into it's own.
Chrome
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 10:12am (UTC -6)
These Trek Era-comparisons are really fun to read. Also, I agree the title seems off. A better title would capture both the A and B plots since they do tie together thematically.
Elstrifor
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 3:40pm (UTC -6)
@Tomalak

I hope that future discussions do not get derailed by certain individuals.

History has made trying to conjure up such hope extremely difficult, but every day is indeed a brand-new day. And thank goodness for that.
Yanks
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 5:35pm (UTC -6)
Great review Jammer.

I had to look up "acerbic" :-)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 11:02pm (UTC -6)
@Elstrifor
"I hope that future discussions do not get derailed by certain individuals."

So do I. :-)
artymiss
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 11:23am (UTC -6)
I think Georgiou's intriguing interrogator has tinkered with her DNA, somehow snipped out aspects of her Terran-ness.

Highly morally dubious of him, but since he's presumably Section 31 anything goes.
Trent
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 7:08pm (UTC -6)
Another excellent episode, in a season that continues to be vastly better than preceding seasons.

And so this episode watches as the Discovery journeys to the last remaining Starfleet/Federation headquarters, which is in the middle of nowhere and hidden behind a kind of cloaking field. Starfleet's adopted a siege mentality, hunkering down and doing their best to police the handful of planets still formally aligned to the Federation.

We get some neat FX shots as the Discovery approaches a huddled collection of starports and spaceships - a bit too much blue and smeary, flaring whites - and then some great scenes where Saru and Michael chill out with an admiral dude. Here, the crew of the Discovery are like needy, overachieving kids desperate to prove their worth and loyalty to the Federation. The Federation, meanwhile, are deeply distrustful of these new arrivals, and justifiably so.

Much of the episode thus watches as the Federation pushes past its fears, its paranoia, reaches out and learns to trust Saru's crew, an act which echoes the overarching theme of the season - different planets need to reach out, trust one another and re-establish links - and directly mirrors the next episode, in which Michael breaks promises to the Federation and Saru, and so breeches their trust.

This episode works best when we're watching Starfleet officers do Starfleet things in nice, orderly, Starfleet ways: Admirals talk. Holo-medics investigate. Psychologists build psych-profiles. A scene between Phillipa and what seems to be an elderly intelligence operative, is particularly chilling, each trying to out mind-game the other.

Also nice is Saru and Michael's relationship, the duo shining when paired with one another, he a wonderfully watchable captain who sticks close to the Starfleet Rulebook, and she basically Mel Gibson from Lethal Weapon, a hero who does any crazy ole thing if it fits in with her personal code. In season's 1 and 2 this trait was super annoying, but under the control of new showrunner Michelle Paradise, Michael's roguish behavior is the very point of the season, and is repeatedly challenged, and interrogated.

There are minor flaws here: Phillipa "blinks" a hologram to death, a character incredulously "abandons herself" on a seed ship, an "alien infection" plot is rushed, the show still dips too much into contemporary speech, is a tad too emotional still, and vestiges of Kurtzman's pen still annoyingly linger (references to the Data Sphere, Control, Red Angel etc), which you sense Michelle Paradise wants no part of, but which the nature of a serialized show forces her to address (and hopefully correct).

But these minor flaws are overwhelmed by the huge improvements made by Paradise and her crew. The show is shot better, the score crackles with the awe-and-magic of 1980s Trek movies, every character from Stamets to Culber, Detmer to Phillipa, is acted better and written better, and the episodes are simply more dramatically competent.

Regarding the comments above, in which people complain about the lack of "straight white males" in the show, and insinuate all kinds of weirdly paranoid stuff ("White genocide!", "affirmative action is the real racism!", "quota picks are the new discrimination!", "Inclusivity is the new bigotry!" etc)...this season is proving why such "corporate pandering" to activists and artists, has positive effects. This is an episode written by a 65 year old gay guy, directed by a woman and overseen by a lesbian showrunner. Its cast is largely black, Asian, female, alien and gay. The one white guy in it is - like in the previous episode - a provincial old dude holed up in a metaphorical cave and who exists to draw attention to very knee-jerk instincts of those who bemoan the lack of white dudes. And it's arguably the best Trek episode in decades.
SlackerInc
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 6:50pm (UTC -6)
@Trent: “Regarding the comments above, in which people complain about the lack of 'straight white males' in the show, and insinuate all kinds of weirdly paranoid stuff ("White genocide!’...”

Not cool, dude. I never said or implied Nazi/alt-right crap of this sort, and you owe me an apology for slandering me this way. I only called for equitable representation.
Cody B
Mon, Nov 23, 2020, 12:10am (UTC -6)
@Slackerinc

He regularly defends any criticism of the far left’s crazier more harmful actions and agendas by being hyperbolic and leaving troll-like argument bait. I would just let it go. Calling people of any race “nazi” and “white supremacist” is pretty common in those circles. It’s beyond disrespectful to victims of nazis and white supremacists that they use those terms so flippantly. You were completely rational and respectable and when that shines truth into nutjob ideologies it tends to get them a little upset and argumentative
Booming
Mon, Nov 23, 2020, 6:51am (UTC -6)
@SlackInc
I don't think Trent meant you. While you argued for SWM representation you only based that argument on proportionality or just personal preference to see somebody who is "like you". Both understandable although debatable points. Trent should have been more specific who he meant. It has the same problem as Clinton's infamous "deplorable" statement. Far more people than she meant were thinking that she meant them. She made the ultimate political facepalm comment.

Now let's get back to the state of eternal peace which is now holding for almost a week. Let's go for an entire month! :)
SlackerInc
Mon, Nov 23, 2020, 9:56am (UTC -6)
Fair enough. Thanks, you two. :-)
Austin
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 12:16pm (UTC -6)
“Nhan. Security officer, USS Discovery. SFB534-0679. Edgy Catchphrase: ‘Yum Yum’”

“That’s... not that really edgy. I guess if...”

“Nhan. Security officer, USS Discovery. SFB534-0679. Edgy Catchphrase: ‘Yum Yum’”

“I mean, was there a chocolate fountain nearby or...”

“ Nhan. Security officer...”
Trent
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 5:57pm (UTC -6)
Slacker said: "Not cool, dude. I never said or implied Nazi/alt-right crap of this sort..."

Yeah, I'm not talking about you. But on here, the startrek forums and the startrek subreddits, "Discovery" is routinely bashed for being "bigoted to white people". These folk are "fearful of the times we're in", worry about "societal collapse caused by black people, gays, commies, effeminate men and radicals", and are paranoid about "reverse racism" of which "Discovery is a portentous harbinger of things to come". It's like bashing a blaxploitation film from the 1970s as being "anti white" whilst being totally oblivious to the context in which it is made.

Slacker said: "I only called for equitable representation."

But a work of art is under no obligation to represent everyone, and we have enough science showing us that forms of unequal representation leads to equal representation. And some of the best works of art, and artists, are deliberately inflammatory. Imagine asking a film like "Soldier Blue" or "Shaft" to have "more white people" or "less racist portrayals of white people". That's silly. Absence is a powerful artistic and political tool. And a lack of representation, or certain forms of representation, is often the point. How you judge these things is by gauging the context in which they're made, and the motivations of those who made it.

For the record, I think you can make the case that season 1 of "Discovery" is kinda racist, in the sense that it simultaneously epitomizes a corporation's very mechanical understanding of representation, and couples this with a really dumb attempt to say something political and contemporary. I don't think this was Brian Fuller's intention though; he just wanted the most diverse possible Trek cast ever, and made the white guy the villain as a twist on convention. Couple this with dumb writers and you get IMO a pretty terrible season.

Season 3 seems to be a bit smarter, and a bit fairer, and very tactical in its employment of race, but we have to reserve judgement. It could degenerate into Leni Riefenstahl territory.

Cody said: "It’s beyond disrespectful to victims of nazis and white supremacists that they use those terms so flippantly. "

Amen bro. People accusing a show with no white people of being racist to white people, are being disrespectful to victims of racism. A TV show with lots of blacks and gays is the slippery slope that leads to anarchy and Auschwitz? How silly is that! And where have we heard that argument before?

Cody said: "...when that shines truth into nutjob ideologies"

Ah, that notorious "make everyone black, Asian or lesbian on a ship, but have the black character be totally unlikeable and the Asian woman be a super villain, and introduce two strong white male heroes in the second season, and make the captain a white actor in an alien suit in the third season, but add a black guy with a cat!" ideology.

What's funny about the aforementioned paranoias - which I'm not saying anyone here holds - is that their tacit admittance that society is not meritocratic, and that forms of racism are zero sum, are never taken to their logical conclusions (you'll rarely find someone wanting "more white people on TV " arguing for equality in any larger material sense). And then their coupled with an unconscious desire to end corporate free speech, police artists and the arts, and introduce white quotas, and even the belief that guys like Alex Kurtzman, one of the largest media corporations in the world, and a disparate team of writers, many of them fired mid-production, constitute a coherent ideology. This results in a kind of weird marriage of corporate bootlicking and liberal legislating (suddenly acceptable, because it's for white dudes).
SlackerInc
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 11:21pm (UTC -6)
@Trent: “But a work of art is under no obligation to represent everyone”

Technically true, but the woke contingent is not going to like the implications of that.

Personally, I was a fan of Bill Clinton‘s aim of making his cabinet “look like America”. I would like the bridge of the Discovery to look the same. We could, as I have said, broaden that out to English-speaking countries more generally, but that would skew it whiter, so I think just sticking with representing every major demographic group in the United States would be the best approach. And again, I’m not even calling for the straight white dude(s) to be as numerous as their percentage of the population would predict, nor to be in positions of power. Just not so blatantly absent would be nice.

But I said upthread here that it’s not as though this was the dealbreaker to keep me from enjoying the show. It had lots of other problems. But then with the most recent episode, I thought it was really excellent without changing that aspect. So it’s just something I would prefer, but it doesn’t get in the way of my enjoying the show on the rare occasion (which I hope will now become less rare) that they write and direct a good episode.

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