Star Trek: Discovery


Review pending

Air date: 11/19/2020

Pending my review, the comments section is open.

Previous episode: Die Trying

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108 comments on this review

Spore Driver
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 5:02am (UTC -6)
I love Michelle Yeoh, but I detest Mirror Universe Georgiou. She is essentially a space Hitler- a genocidal dictator who is the complete inverse of what Star Trek stands for. And despite her best efforts, Yeoh plays the character as a one dimensional moustache twirling cartoon.

After nearly three years, I don’t see how they can rehabilitate this deeply flawed character enough to build a series around her.
Tim C
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 5:48am (UTC -6)
One-half decent character stuff, one-half super generic action adventure. The junkyard setting was at least more visually interesting than the dull warehouse of the season premiere, but I just couldn't bring myself to care about any of the characters inhabiting it. Book nearly makes me care just by David Ajala's sheer charisma, but doesn't quite get over the line.

The character stuff was good though, with both Burnham and Saru having to learn some hard lessons. Could have done without the ridiculous camera spin around the Book-Burnham kiss though - I get it, show, you want it to be a Big Moment.

What's going on with Georgiou? I'm interested on a plot level, but I just have zero sympathy for the character. As Spore Driver pointed out above, she's Space Hitler. Her presence being tolerated in Starfleet continues to accelerate far beyond the bounds of plausibility and it almost breaks the show.
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 6:11am (UTC -6)

Discovery season 3 episode 6

Mal’s Review before Jammer’s

“Permission to speak?”
- Michael
“It better be the best thing I’ve ever heard.”
- Admiral Vance

3 stars (out of 4)

Holy crap! Did I just watch a movie or a TV show? Looks like these guys just blew the budget of a small country on an hour of action-packed Star Trek. But what an hour it was.

I think it’s safe to say here, at the half-way point of the season, that Discovery is no longer the show it was in seasons 1 and 2. ST:D has grown into a worthy successor and trusted member of the franchise. I never thought it possible. Michael, however, seems stuck in the old paradigm, and while she is clearly beloved, she is not trusted. That has some really interesting story-telling possibilities. I’m actually looking forward to seeing what they do with her, now that she finally has some real adult supervision, in the form of Admiral Vance and Captain Suru.

The story starts about three weeks from where we left off last time. That’s long enough for Discovery to be completely retrofitted with 32nd century technology. But evidently in three weeks, none of the crew were allowed to ever work with a basic comm badge?! I get it, the unboxing scene was cool (Tilly: “This is my new favorite thing”), but logical short-circuits in the writing like this one - simply for the sake of a cool scene - is what separates Discovery from its tightly thought out older siblings in the franchise.

The main action starts when Book’s ship, piloted by a cat, shows up at StarFleet headquarters. Wait, I thought finding StarFleet was super hard and needed a secret algorithm that only Admiral Tal/Adira knew??

Turns out Book has found a “black box” (which is neither black, nor a box, but that is actually pretty typical) that might help Michael figure out the secret of The Burn. See, if the Burn was an attack, and it originated somewhere, then it didn’t actually explode all dilithium at the same time. And if you have enough black boxes, you can use the difference in explosion times at different places to triangulate the origin of The Burn. Clever.

Michael and Book found two black boxes during her year loving aboard Book’s ship. This third one will crack the mystery wide open.

But instead of submitting a research proposal through regular channels, Michael violates direct orders, grabs Georgiou, and runs off to get the third black box. Because this isn’t about The Burn. This is about looooooove. See Book has been taken as slave labor by the Orions. And only Michael can save him. And yes, as payment for saving Book, Michael gets a hot makeout scene. Which is good. She needs something to do other than work.

The action out at the Orion salvage operation is pretty spectacular. I admit, action is not really my thing, and I sort of zoned out. But let’s give props where it is due. For those who have called Alex Kurtzman’s shows “Transformers Trek,” you are absolutely right, and the Transformer scene with Book’s ship was fucking amazing!

Transformers/Voltron meets that multi-vector ship in Voyager’s “Life Line.” Really spectacular.

And let’s be clear, this wasn’t mindless violence. There was a purpose. In structure, it is a little like Kira’s rescue mission with Dukat in The Homecoming.

I have always been a fan of Georgiou, and I see that last week a few people slowly came around to her. Georgiou had my favorite line of the episode (“You had me at unsanctioned mission”), and her scenes with Michael at the end regarding vulnerability, were really an opportunity for Michael to shine. They work well together. I wonder if we are headed in a Farscape split-the-crew situation, where Book, Michael and Georgiou leave Discovery at the end of season 3?

I guess the big question now is who will be first officer on Discovery. And how soon until our crew gets those cool 32nd century red and grey uniforms? That would be a welcome change along the lines of Crusade, the Babylon 5 spin-off. Now that Discovery has finally found her footing, hopefully things will go better for this show than they did for that one. Poor Captain Gideon.
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 7:38am (UTC -6)
A pretty average episode overall. I'll go through the likes/dislikes this week:


Everything that happened onboard the ship or Starfleet HQ was great. I dunno if it was really enough to qualify as a "B-plot" - but it was a set of nice vignettes which provided some good character insights (particularly later in the episode with Stamets and Adira).

Michelle Yeoh was given something weightier to deal with when it came to the Georgiou character this week. I found her character halfway compelling for the first time ever. I'm wondering if maybe she was given some sort of "treatment" against her will at Starfleet which is reversing her psychopathy? Time will tell.

While I otherwise did not like what was done with Michael this week, I do appreciate that the series is becoming continually more explicit that her flaws are just that - flaws. If you read the episode closely, it doesn't even seem like Book needed a rescue. He and the Andorian came up with 90% of the escape plan on their own with just a few weeks of work. They would have gotten out on their own, and she would have gotten the "black box."
I liked the little Easter Eggs this week (self-sealing stem bolts, seeing a TNG-era phaser, etc.).


Michael's whole adventure on the planet was completely forgettable. The grungy planet dominated by unsavory types is basically a complete retread of the first two episodes of the season, with the exact same antagonistic group as the first episode in particular. The villain this week was completely uncompelling, I mean, he was literally someone's nephew - I suppose he was mean to not cut an impressive mien - but it was a big mistake to have Michael and Georgiou up against someone who had kiddie-pool depth. Even Book seemed strangely lifeless compared to his first two outings - basically existing to be the damsel in distress and kiss the hero at the end.

I really, really hate where they are going with the Burn, and Michael's insistence that solving it is the key to the Federation being restored. The in-universe logic is really attenuated, as I've noted before - it happened a century ago, and hasn't repeated. There's no narrative urgency here whatsoever. I am really hoping this is all a red herring and when we get to the end of the season Michael discovers it was all an accident (science experiment gone wrong, Q taking a dump, etc.) because I think it kinda ruins what they're trying to say regarding her character if she's somehow prescient about the "One Big Thing" and it erases all of the mistakes she made along the way.

Michael's "we're just friends" insistence followed by a makeout session at the end of the episode was just so cliché. Mind you, the writers had no way of knowing at the time they composed the series that the scene of them kissing would be included in the trailers before the first episode even aired. But this little subplot was completely unneeded. They had chemistry starting in the first episode, and lived in the same friggin ship for a year. They would have boned already. Wil they or won't they is only interesting in terms of drama if there's some tension or extenuating circumstances keeping a couple apart. There was nothing like this between Book and Michael. The drama in this episode would have been better if it had been established they had an existing (albeit long-distance) relationship.

I'm okay with some contemporary language use in Trek, but Adira saying Stamets is "the bomb" was enough for me to break immersion.

2.5 stars.
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 7:41am (UTC -6)
Well then! Where the heck did that come from? That was clearly, for my money, the best episode of the series, AINEC (also better than any of STP). I definitely did not see that coming. Did they have a new writer join the show or something?

3.5 stars.

The minor flaws that keep it from being a four-star episode:

—The reflection of Georgiou looked weird.

—I still don’t understand why hand weapons are inferior to those that existed 900 years earlier.

— I guess I have to give them credit for having a consistent cinematic language involving disturbing/mysterious flashbacks. What Georgiou flashed back to looked very similar, in terms of the cinematography, to the Tyler/Voq ones. Problem is, I just don’t like this aesthetic.

But as I say, those are pretty minor qualms, and this was an excellent episode overall. Pending some a reversion to the mean, I need to withdraw my statement that I was only continuing with the show to kind of pick it apart on this site. I’m actually excited now to see if they can keep it up!
Chris L.
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 10:38am (UTC -6)
@Mal -

If Michael, Georgiou and Book leave and do their own spinoff program, it would be the best thing that happened to Discovery as a TV series.

I agree with your review 100%, with one notable exception: Georgiou's line "You had me at unsanctioned mission" for me was the the most groan inspiring. I went from "mildly intrigued" by the somewhat new direction for her character last week back to "God, she's an awful character with dialogue that even Michelle Yeoh can't save" this week.
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 1:07pm (UTC -6)
another solid episode. Couple of notes:

- I like the chemistry between Georgau and Burnham. I’m in the minority here, but I like Geograu’s character. She is a little one dimensional, but it works for me overall and I find her scenes entertaining. Curious to see where they take this whole hallucination thing.

- I also like the tweaks they made to Burnham’s character. In prior seasons they tried to give her this emotionless Vulcan side which SMG was never really able to pull off. Having her show a little more emotion is a positive development. I also like how her decisions have real consequences, but it seems like they are heading in a direction where she will be right all along, which undermines the character development.

- The actor who plays Book is very talented. As someone pointed out above, his character is surviving solely based on the charisma of the actor.

- The kiss between Book and Burnham was super cheesy.

- Self sealing stem bolts!!!!!!!

3 stars for me.
Cody B
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 1:14pm (UTC -6)
Bold prediction: “The Burn” has something to with Michael BURNham. Anyway, another decent episode. Not a lot to say. Discovery is still on a path of becoming a better show but still isn’t what I would call “good”
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 1:53pm (UTC -6)
And just like that, Discovery goes back to the mindless action no one asked for. On top of that, this episode had so many cliches, it made an average Enterprise episode seem like it was written by James Joyce in comparison. Speaking of Enterprise, didn't they even do this "we need to break someone out of a prison camp" plot like at least 5 times?

First off, I'll never get over the suspension of disbelief that this is the 32nd century. The entire opening act of retrofitting the Discovery is treated as basically just upgrading your iPhone to the new iOS. Where is the imagination here? The writers had a 1000 years to play around in, and all they could come up with is personal teleporters and "programmable matter"? Weren't the replicators of the TNG era already reprogramming matter?

Michael's obsession about the Burn makes absolutely no sense. She's not even supposed to be in this timeline. Shouldn't she and the rest of the crew care more about getting back to their own century? Don't they have families and friends to get back to? They all seem perfectly fine with it, which doesn't sit right. Again, Voyager makes that plot Dickensian in comparison.

This episode was also back to being so Burn focused, I felt like I was getting heatstroke. There are likely trillions of sentient lifeforms existing in the Milky Way Galaxy within the universe of Star Trek. We're supposed to believe not one of them thought to figure this out in a 100 years? The galaxy requires just 1 single lifeform, Michael Burnham, to solve all of its problems across all of time and space? How does that expound on the Star Trek ideal of peoples of all backgrounds coming together to solve dilemmas? Making a single character the savior of everything at all times is not even something I would expect out of a 10 year old. It's just dumb no matter what.

Honestly, if this show jettisoned her out the airlock, it would probably improve overnight. All of the other characters are decent, and this season's addition of Adira seems promising. But this show can't quit Michael like a bad, abusive relationship. WHY IS SHE ALWAYS CRYING???
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 2:19pm (UTC -6)
A solid episode. Not great, not bad. Burnham's fragile relationship with Starfleet is intriguing. Linus supplied a nice comedic break. And I appreciate how this season has managed to find a good balance between episodic and serialized story telling.

Burnham and/or Discovery will let Sahil know about the Federation, right? Poor guy.
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 3:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: Georgiou , it looks to me like she is flashing back to murdering/executing Mirror Michael in revenge for MM's betrayal of her with Mirror Lorca. Could it be as simple as Cronenberg's assertion that Georgiou cares about someone on Discovery made her realize that she actually sorta loves this Michael as a daughter and has never experienced the emotion of love and can't process it? That this has destabilized her somehow? That would be better than another Section 31/mind control plot but would be super corny.

Future command structure will be interesting. It seems Nilsson is/was third in command, but she's a Lt. as are all the other bridge kids (Detmer, Rhys et al). It would make sense plot-wise and be potentially interesting for Vance to insist on Saru's XO to be someone from the base, not on Discovery's crew. Something like Cdr Shelby to shake things up for a couple of installments. Maybe a straight white dude just to F with people :). Burnham would eventually redeem herself and this temporary replacement would sheepishly go back to the base knowing they were unworthy of St. Michael's mantle.
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 3:46pm (UTC -6)
@Bucktown: "Shouldn't she and the rest of the crew care more about getting back to their own century? Don't they have families and friends to get back to? They all seem perfectly fine with it, which doesn't sit right."

This strikes me as an odd criticism, TBH. The whole premise of their going to the future was that it was a one-way trip. Not only could they not risk bringing the database back to Control, if they went back they would have knowledge of all kinds of future events (especially now that they have synced up with Federation databases) and how could they operate without mucking up the timeline? I also don't know where you get "perfectly fine with it" given that they have explored the psychological issues the crew is having on previous episodes--but at a certain point a TV show like this can't just be people wallowing in depression all the time.
Eric Jensen
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 3:57pm (UTC -6)
Action is fine, but this is too much... too much action. This is not a movie... it is a tv show...
It is good that her actions has consequences and now that she is demoted she has to earn herself back up again...
"Michael's obsession about the Burn makes absolutely no sense."
From the storyline, it makes sense. She was trapped for a year and she wanted to know what happened. She wanted to look for Discovery for a year but she did not find anything... Dilithium is a rare material...

Georgiou has something to do now. More to do and it is better. Better than previous portrayal of her character.
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 5:10pm (UTC -6)
I think Georgiou has been replaced as a hologram. The real Georgiou is being inducted into Section 31 under Crononberg.

Vance clearly knows something about the Burn....
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 5:41pm (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc -

I agree with your last point - the last thing we need from this show is characters wallowing in depression any further. But I just don't think we were properly and fully sold on any of these characters' ambivalence about being thrust 1000 years into the future. Everyone they've ever known is long dead, and despite that, they all seem perfectly giddy about their current setting. It's an unbelievable tone.

And yes, true, we haven't seen much in Star Trek's history of our main characters going into the future and coming back (it's always been traveling to the past). But we have seen instances of characters going back to the past to prevent unwanted events that occur in the future, in spite of any temporal prime directive. "Endgame" and "Timeless" from Voyager come to mind. Why wouldn't preventing the stupid Burn be any different?

@Eric Jensen -

I still don't buy it. What kind of ego does she have that thinks that she is the first person out of trillions to look into the Burn and potentially solve it, without ever having any prior knowledge of 32nd century technology and history? And if she is supposed to be the first person to really investigate it, how is that remotely believable by any stretch of the imagination?

As to Georgiou, I actually enjoy her character because I'm holding out hope her psychopathic tendencies are still within her and she murders Michael Burnham. But I am sure we'll instead see some dumb Hollywood sacrifice of hers to save Michael in the finale, which will result in the collective groan of millions of Trekkies across the globe.
Chris Lopes
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 6:00pm (UTC -6)
It's a good episode. The B plot was interesting and the prison break was fun. The only questionable things for me was the burnham/booker kiss (come on, they were on the same ship for a year, constantly saving each other's lives, of course they "did it") and Burnham staying on the crew. That latter one is especially bad, as Burnham really stopped thinking and acting like a Star Fleet officer about a year ago (in show time). From that last scene (where Burnham removed her com badge), they seem to be headed in that direction.
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 6:05pm (UTC -6)
Visually stunning episode, I could have spent half of it gawking at Discovery's retrofit. As for the story we got: Michael Burnham going rogue and getting away with it gets as old as the constant fat jokes about Book's cat. It's to be expected from Georgiou, weird from Burnham and far beyond the stars ironic for Tilly.
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 6:30pm (UTC -6)
@Bucktown, you said “I still don't buy it. What kind of ego does she have that thinks that she is the first person out of trillions to look into the Burn and potentially solve it, without ever having any prior knowledge of 32nd century technology and history? And if she is supposed to be the first person to really investigate it, how is that remotely believable by any stretch of the imagination”.

I was thinking that it’s more her perspective than anything else. When the burn happened, it sounds like everyone either lost a lot, only thought about how to survive or personally gain, or just started fighting 100 fires a day. Basically, everyone in the 32nd century is in survival mode, nobody wants to explore or seek out new knowledge anymore. Burnham is an explorer who represents the ideals of the Federation in its better days and is smart enough to at least start an investigation with a year lead time. Burnham’s progress doesn’t seem that unreasonable to me.

Your point on why nobody in the galaxy in the past 100 years could figure out the cause of the burn is certainly valid, but I would argue it’s something the show hasn’t addressed yet. We only really know that Starfleet doesn’t know the cause of the burn, that doesn’t mean that nobody does. We haven’t seen the status of any other civilization yet. I’m also not entirely convinced that Starfleet doesn’t know what caused the burn, the admiral may have been lying.
Chris Lopes
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 6:30pm (UTC -6)

I'm not sure Michael got away with it this time, at least not as much as she usually does. She lost her position as Number One, and she may have realized she shouldn't really be with Star Fleet.
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 6:47pm (UTC -6)
@AMA that’s a great point on Sahil, totally forgot about him. It does seem mean not to circle back with that guy.
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 7:50pm (UTC -6)
This played a lot more like a truncated version of a feature film than an episode of a TV show. Dang.

I seem to be the only one who thinks that Georgiou's hallucinations are of Captain Georgiou's death. If I were to guess, that David Cronenberg character did something with her that is messing with her mind in this universe, to where she's somehow linked with that other self, who was of course stabbed in a fight aboard the Klingon Vessel in Season 1, Episode 2, I think.

This also might explain why her jerkass facade is starting to crack. Is she hearing this universe's Phillipa Georgiou's voice in her head, or something?
The Queen
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 10:11pm (UTC -6)
Dear Writers,
I wonder if you’re aware that there’s a difference between a story that is good mechanically, with adequate dialogue, pacing, and emotional hooks, and one that is satisfying thematically and intellectually. Because this “Scavengers” episode tore right down the middle for me. You and the director did all the right things technically, with cute little details like a starship named Le Guin and a cat not-really piloting, and even providing a new arc for Georgiou and strengthening the Burnham-Book relationshi[p - but I lost respect for the two major characters, Burnham and Saru. Just out of curiosity, do you want me to like them? Because you’re undercutting that at every turn lately. Burnham’s arrogance and lack of team spirit went beyond insubordination in this episode to actual contempt for Saru, and Saru’s kindness slopped over into wimpiness. No other captain on Star Trek would dream of letting a subordinate tell him after his demotion of her (which she SMILED at), “You’re doing the right thing” without any rejoinder. And even before that, Saru actually goes to an ensign for advice. This goes beyond inclusiveness to simple lack of confidence, which is what Burnham is taking advantage of.

In interviews with the Burnham and Book actors on the Ready Room this week, one of them (I can’t remember which) says that Burnham has decided that the Federation is not for her and she wants to be free of it. To me, this fits her character perfectly - entirely self-centered and uncontrollable. But I haven’t really seen this in the writing yet. I’m not sure if this is simply an actor’s interpretation of her motivation or an actual plan. Of course, if you do go that route, you will no longer have a Star Trek show unless you ditch her, which would be fine fine fine by me.

To repeat, there were a lot of things I liked in the episode. The pacing was good, the camera mostly behaved itself, and there were several good lines. I especially liked that “the cat has its own gravitational pull.” And the acting was uniformly good, except for Michelle’s Yeoh’s speech pattern (her acting itself was good). The scenes with Saru & Tilly and Stamets & Adira were especially well done.

However, there were also some negatives:
- I don’t think individualized console controls are a good idea. Doesn’t this mean that only one person could ever work the controls?
- Linus, poor Linus. Even Rom on DS9 wasn’t played strictly for laughs.
- What was the point of the Tilly & Grudge scene? I mean, the cat is adorable and obviously sweet, but why make such a big deal of her?
- The ending of the escape on Hunhau was confusing to me. I thought for a minute they were crashing their own ship.
- Ryn should have died in the escape attempt. We need a little bit of sacrifice. What we don’t need is yet another new cast member. Unless he’s going to be the new First Officer, but you wouldn't do that would you?

I have some other minor quibbles not worth mentioning, but it’s not that the episode wasn’t enjoyable; it was. It’s just that I’m not happy with where things seem to be going.
The Queen
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 10:28pm (UTC -6)
Karl Z - Yes, that "the bomb" comment was one of the minor quibbles I had. I've never known exactly what it's supposed to mean, and I don't care, but one thing I am sure of, it won't be used 930 years from now.

Midshipman Norris - I agree about Kovich (the Cronenberg character). I thought last week, the first time she froze, that he had done something to her.

Since I'm mentioning quibbles, here's another: Stamets calls Adira a "tween," but she's an actual teenager. A tween is a pre-teen, between (whence the word) the ages of say 10 to 12. Middle school kids.

Who is Sahil?
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 10:28pm (UTC -6)
So a couple of notes:

1) I now believe the federation is likely responsible for the Burn, and that, in fact, the Admiral knows it is. The way he reacted to Michael's newfound evidence (granted, he may not know the details as yet), suggests to me that he already knows, and is frankly concerned that others will learn and would rather they get back to work. A reasonable concern, and a reasonable attitude from a Starfleet that is much more secretive than it's past iterations and is actually trying (and perhaps failing) to keep Discovery's unique super-power a secret.

2) Michael's obsession with the Burn gives credence to a line her former captain once said... to the effect of "I'd give you all jobs in my new empire, but you people are all cultists for your Federation thing."

Perhaps he's right lol. Perhaps when Burnham said "That's Impossible" about the very potentially possible "there is no federation" we are revealing that there is something a little off in her character (or Starfleet crews of that era). I know... not likely... and not likely intentional with these writers... but it is an interesting thought and plays into Henry Mudd's point of view, that the Federation isn't so rosy. To be honest... I think that's a very possible truth... I think early Federation was possibly deeply imperfect and became much better through the devotion of it's adherents... cult-like as that devotion perhaps was perhaps?

Point is, I don't see her obsession as un-characteristic of her. The show has made clear that she is a Responsibility Hoarder and that ONLY SHE CAN SOLVE THE BIG THING. So this is entirely in step with Seasons 1 and 2... just a better Big-Thing.

3) God. Damn. I love Saru. Also we may finally have an admiral who isn't gonna go crazy?
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 11:04pm (UTC -6)
Excellent episode that mixes meaningful action scenes with good character moments and even a touch of humor. The Federation is being fleshed out some more too and it's nice to see the Discovery being well integrated into it and the chain of command being tested as only Burnham can do.

What irks me about DSC though is how it just loves to overdo the emotional parts with departures, reunions etc. The other pet peeve is how DSC likes to tease us with issues characters have and then do some kind of big reveal. Here, what were these flashbacks Georgiou was having? They must be tied into some kind of crisis of confidence she's having, I think. But the whole question about finding out about the burn and it being the key to the Federation is a larger example of this kind of writing.

The whole scrap yard slave labour thing reminded me of "The Chute" but this was done quite well, felt truly visceral. Again, DSC scores points for its visuals. The prison escape scene out in the open (and not on a sound stage) was terrific to see and having the added well-developed connection between Burnham and Book made it far more meaningful. Gotta wonder how Book got to this place while his ship was still in DSC's shuttle bay...

Another important part of this episode that really reminded me of VOY is the riot act getting read to Burnham. I couldn't wait for this to happen as the episode was going on. The scenes where Janeway would rip Tuvok ("Prime Factors" or Torres "Nothing Human" or even Chakotay "Scorpion") were some of the series best, for me. It's good to have to see a captain deal with serious insubordination. Well played here by the measured Saru and the Admiral. Good that there are real consequences for Burnham with the demotion to chief science officer.

I also like how DSC is inserting little character moments like between Stamets and Adira. Stamets sees himself in Adira, has shared similar experiences with lost love and wants to help her. Also, liked the scene with Saru and Tilly discussing Burnham's rogue move. Saru's particularly good here -- well written and well acted.

Good enough for 3.5 stars for "Scavengers" -- quite the riveting episode and far superior to "Die Trying". Often times it seems Trek has action scenes just for the sake of having them -- they often lack that deep importance. Here with Book's rescue, who we know and care about, it means something and it was pretty realistically portrayed (in the Trek paradigm). Burnham will be Burnham with her insubordination, but she is contrite. Yes, it does feel like DSC has found its stride. Gone is the over the top brutality and frenetic pacing; however, it still has its own ethos, which I'm still on the fence about. Clearly a lot of thought and effort are put into these episodes but sometimes the writing and ideas can fall short. But when it comes together, it can be fantastic.
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 11:40pm (UTC -6)
@The Queen: "Ryn should have died in the escape attempt."

My answer to that is bifurcated. On the one hand, this is part of why I was complaining about the ineffectuality of 32nd-century hand weapons. On TOS, if a phaser was set to "kill", it totally vaporized someone. Yet a millennium later, the weapons are five times as large and do nonfatal damage, really?

OTOH, in terms of storytelling, I had marked Ryn earlier in the episode as the "sacrifice", and kind of rolled my eyes slightly because that redshirt trope is such a classic way to have supposed "consequences" in a story without actually sacrificing any of the main (or even secondary) characters. So I was kind of impressed in that respect that they didn't go that way.

"Yes, that "the bomb" comment was one of the minor quibbles I had. I've never known exactly what it's supposed to mean, and I don't care, but one thing I am sure of, it won't be used 930 years from now."

It's hard for me to believe you have "never" been able to figure out that it simply means "really great". And while it's likely not to be current slang in 930 years (but don't you actually mean more like 1100+?), if language changes as much over that time as it has since the Battle of Hastings, the language will not be intelligible to us. So I'm fine with the use of current slang rather than pretending everyone will speak unaccented, argot-free 21st-century English, which is no more realistic and less interesting.

"A tween is a pre-teen, between (whence the word) the ages of say 10 to 12. Middle school kids."

I clocked that too, but (1) maybe this usage has changed by the 23rd century? ;-) and (2) Stamets is probably just like a lot of people who don't actually have kids, in not being totally clear on this kind of terminology.

@Rahul, sounds like we saw this episode quite similarly. I was starting to think I had the opposite taste for this show from everyone else, given that there were so many raves for earlier episodes I was not terribly fond of, and a less positive response to this one (which, again, I think is by far the best episode of the series or any of the CBSAA Trek) from most quarters.

"What irks me about DSC though is how it just loves to overdo the emotional parts with departures, reunions etc."

Oh yeah. The lack of that was a welcome element of this episode, but it was pretty bad in the previous one and in many others.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 4:05am (UTC -6)
Just wondering what the long term physical effect might be of someone from the Mirror Universe not being in their own universe and if this is what is happening to Georgiou?
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 4:38am (UTC -6)
Watchable but not very good.

As is usual for S3 DIS, many character scenes are well thought - especially anything Saru, but also everything else on the ship (too thin to be a B-Plot) and even Book-Burnham are OK. However, the main prison-break plot is generic-ish and illogical and focuses on Georgiou which is still the weakest most unbelievable character. Georgiou's act has been growing ever thinner, and I could care less about her PTSD/whatever.

Burnham and Georgiou's plot requires the villain to follow them onto the ship, for him to send his guards back (isn't raw Dilithium far more valuable than some prisoners?) but not himself, to not transport back immediately after being attacked, and most importantly, to not have them shot - half the episode I was expecting him to just shoot them both and take the Dilithium - and for the Syndicate to not have any air/space defenses.

The weak plot reminds me of my worry for S3 - that the show will end up like S1/S2, focusing on a weak/crazy serial plot. One of DIS's weaknesses has been that its serialization often brought the show down rather than up. Other people must have thought of Burnham's idea first, yet... Well, we'll see. At least this time they didn't mention the Burn every other sentence.
Keiren Simmons
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 6:55am (UTC -6)
Hmm... S3 has been much, much better. I think there's a battle going on between the irretrievably poor character writing and story turns of the first two seasons against the improvement of S3. I am enjoying what I'm seeing but I'm constantly reminded of terrible things the show has done. Eg. the doctor is fine, and I can even forget he died, but when its brought up in dialogue like in this episode I just groan because that was a terrible past plot.

As for this episode, I genuinely enjoyed it, although there were still some mundane elements and parts I didn't like. The prison break was very generic but looked amazing!

Some people saying that Burnham is arrogant by trying to solve the burn is not quite accurate in my opinion. Theres likely many species out there who know what caused the burn but are totally out of contact and range of a Starfleet without warp drive. Burnham simply recognises Discovery has more opportunity to investigate since they can travel around.

I really feel like Burnham should've received more punishment. She shouldn't be allowed to serve on the ship as she cannot be trusted despite her abilities. When I saw the opening couple of episodes, I really thought her and Book would end up on his ship and Discovery would carry on with their ship. It seemed really clear her place was no longer in Starfleet and i thought that was they angle they would pursue. I'm kinda hoping after her insubordination here she ends up with Book off Discovery, as the character has been doing ok there.

I slightly disagree with a poster above who said Saru went to Tilly for advice. I read that scene as Saru knowing Tilly hadn't come forward with information and giving her the opportunity to correct that and offer and details Saru didnt know, although he was aware of the bigger picture of what Burnham had done.

The other thing is I cant believe this is another episode with the characters getting so emotional/crying over what needed to be done. I'm thinking of Burnham and Saru at the end. It waters down emotional moments in general and really is an overreaction. I know people have said this before.

Overall... 3 stars out of 4.
Ed Clarke
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 7:04am (UTC -6)
I think Discovery has reached its post-Riker's beard stage and I am genuinely enjoying the series at last. Slightly surprised however that no-one has observed this week's extraordinary ripping off of The Running Man (1987)! Short of Georgiou yelling GET TO DA CHOPPA, it couldn't have been less subtle an imitation...
Jason R.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 7:30am (UTC -6)
What happened to Leland?

He had to split.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 7:43am (UTC -6)
This one felt like a retread of the first episode of the season but this time with an extremely generic and forgettable villain who makes Bjayzl from ST: PIC look like the goddamn Joker. Georgiou was interesting to have around, but the planet itself just looked like a garbage dump and the dreary setting was yawn-inducing.

I will say, however, that Burnham's disobedience leading to Saru relieving her indefinitely as first officer was an interesting development. This rebellious streak with Burnham has been brewing since the first episode of the season (if not the first episode of the series). Unlike many of the other character conflicts in this series, this particular dilemma feels well-earned. Moreover, the conflict is complex and nuanced. Although we tend to side with Saru who is upholding the chain of command, we can't help but feel sympathetic to Burnham who did help people and find a piece of the puzzle that could further unlock the central mystery that's been plaguing the Federation.

I mentioned it earlier, but it would be really fascinating if Burnham discovered she just isn't cut out for Starfleet and decided to go another way with her life. She's obviously very talented, but she's often too passionate to respect the chain of the command. That's a development in the character worth exploring.

And here's where I insert a joke about Wesley Crusher and The Traveler.
Luis Dantas
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 7:53am (UTC -6)
A solid episode, full of nice little moments. The last minute or so was among the most courageous bits of Trek plot that I ever saw, and I gladly welcome it.

The character work, particularly, has been excellent this season. I love what they have been doing with Tilly, Saru, Stamets and Adira. Stamets' lines were just perfect all through the episode, as were Hugh Culber's. His conversations with Adira were lovely, just lovely. It is not often that I see a TV show depict a young person learning to trust other people quite so convincingly or in such a heartwarming way.

Tilly was another stronghold of the episode. She has been growing subtly yet noticeably in both confidence and ability to express herself. Her conversation with Saru served both characters very well. It is just so good to see people being reasonable on-screen at a time such as this.

Admiral Vance, too, was just perfect. This episode went a long way towards showing us quite who he is and where and why he stands. He consistently shows very good judgement and interacts nicely with the Discovery crew. I notice that Lieutenant Audrey Willa, too, has been warming up to the new arrivals, which is yet another nice touch. Given how mistrusting and grim she was just in the previous episode, her change is all the more noteworthy and welcome.

Michael may have had a significant shift in personality this last year and we are just now noticing. She may happen to enjoy being more of a rogue than she would like to admit. That is part of what makes the last minute of this episode so good.

Having the main character be taken down a significant peg was oddly refreshing.
I guess I truly did not like Michael's judgements these last two episodes.

Can we possibly be about to have a Trek series where the protagonist actually changes mid-season? I can see the focus shifting away from Michael at this point. It might even make for an exciting and refreshing change, allowing characters to change and evolve to their hearts content. Ryker avoided attaining Captaincy for well over ten years IIRC, and while I sort of understand his reasons, it should probably not become the situation to be expected.
Luis Dantas
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 7:56am (UTC -6)
I am far less enthusiastic about Giorgiou, as expected. She is just so aberrant a character! I hope the talk about basing a Section 31 series around her do not materialize, although to be fair that is more due to the basic concept than anything else.

The action sequences were a bit cliche as well, and I can't help but wonder why we are not even given a rationale for using some sort of disintegrator rays as opposed to phasers on stun. Trek shouldn't kill quite as casually as happened in this episode.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 8:27am (UTC -6)
I did not like this at all.
After last weeks good episode we are back to (barely) mediocre.
First things first, I'm really tired of Burnham. Was there an episode in season 3 where she didn't cry??? or talked endlessly in hushed tones... Oh and when she said to Saru that he was right to demote her, basically telling him to don't feel sad for doing the obvious after she betrayed him again, I thought of this:
I could not believe it.

Ok positives:
- The general tone is still better. It is more positive and understanding, not exhausting and cynical.
- The respect for it's own world is also better than in previous seasons. Things have consequences. Decisions make some sense.

- so many cliches. The bad guy showing that he is a psycho. The redeeming guy getting shot. Whe have to get the thingamabob to find something out the BURN.
- While Georgiou for the first time ever worked for me last week, this time it was back to form. Eye rolling from start to finish.
- This felt like filler and the season is more than half over. I suspect a cliffhanger ending for the season where the mystery box will be even more mystery boxy.
- The Book Burnham relationship does not work for me. Now they finally hooked up at least. Why did that take a year, why did they not hook up but are extremely close? The show doesn't really tell us which is strange at this point. Hasn't Burnham spent more time with Saru and the crew than Book?! They should have had an episode or two where we understand why they are close. The first one only introduced them. People always say "show, don't tell" but neither no solution either.
- awkward jokes. Transporter! How do they work?

Final thought:
- I guess Burnham will leave Starfleet. Never a big fan of her character but now maybe they have messed her up beyond repair
- Who is going to be the next first officer?!
- Most other Trek shows did not have an all important protagonist (A protagonist is the person who drives the story forward). Sure the captains were often central but there were many episodes where the main protagonist did not appear or was not the protagonist. In Discovery it is always center stage for Burnham.
- *sigh*
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 8:48am (UTC -6)
Reading through the comments:

People are discussing if Burnham should or should not be able to solve that Burn thing but isn't the far more important question what would that actually do? There is barely any dilithium left. What is the point then? If she finds out then they wouldn't have enough dilithium to use it in their ships.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 9:21am (UTC -6)
I'm curious: is Burnham's quest to 'solve the Burn' situation presented more about 'saving the day', or 'uncovering the truth'?
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 9:57am (UTC -6)
Why doesn't the starfleet try to copy or even improve the spore drive? Surely with their future technology it would be easy. Then much of the problem the burn caused would be solved.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 9:59am (UTC -6)
This was an absolute chore for me to sit through. If someone could set up a webpage which lists the genre of each of the Discovery episodes, so that when it decides to do sci-fi I can watch those and skip the vacuous action/drama episodes. I would really appreciate that. Star Trek never did either action or drama very well, and this is no exception. The difference is it used to be balanced out by some, at the very least tolerable sci-fi, but not any more.
Chris W
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 11:06am (UTC -6)
Did not like this episode at all. Such a letdown, especially after the last 2 episodes. It was wayyyy too cheesy for me. Everyone all super clearly 'fake' excited for their new tech and com-badges, like little kids at Christmas. So cheesy. The bad writing, terrible dialogue and line delivery; so many eye-rolling moments. I don't care about Book and Burnham's relationship, not interesting. Georghio sparked my interest last episode, but this episode wasn't interesting, just same old one dimensional terrible character. The make-out scene was painfully bad. Everything was incredibly contrived. The Megaman blaster scenes as they were running out of the prison was so cheesy. My god. 🤦‍♂️ and are we supposed to care about this Andorian that was shot? Lol
And I'm not one to criticize the score because generally it's quite good. But lately the music during lighthearted, comedic scenes is just terrible. Sometimes less background music is better.
Idk, so many things took me out of this episode. 1/4 stars.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 11:47am (UTC -6)

I feel like Burnham can't keep away from mysteries, that's a personality trait in think I see in the character.

So regardless of how helpful answering what caused The Burn would be, she will always be drawn to figuring out the biggest mystery of the day...

I could be very wrong however!
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 12:05pm (UTC -6)
Sure, sure. That is the one consistent trait of her character. Science. It is true though that it makes very little sense that 100 years of dedicated scientists cannot solve this problem, considering that they still have no functioning warp drive tech She comes in and solves it in a year/soon. Wouldn't solving this problem be absolute top priority for the Federation?

Another thing
Others mentioned that she was always rebellious but was she? She started the mutiny because Sarek told her to and she shoot the Klingon PopeKing because of anger, apart from that she seemed fairly professional. That is really not a history of unruly behavior. Is this inconsistent writing or did she change so significantly during that year?

I'm also still not sure why Starfleet headquarter was so hard to find. Isn't it also Federation headquarter?? Why does it have to be kept secret? Nobody has warp drive or at least not for big fleets so wouldn't you see an enemy fleet weeks before it hits??
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 12:14pm (UTC -6)
Burnham and Booker vaporized numerous people in the first episode with those same weapons. Clearly, they have multiple settings, some which kill, just like in TNG.

I thought of that too. However, I don't think they can replicate Stamets just yet. He's the navigator. Without a navigator, they could end up dead, like Stamets's colleague.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 12:34pm (UTC -6)
My thoughts are that a team of scientists in this century would have to travel to areas soooo far away they'd not be able to get there in 100yrs to investigate before Burnham arrives.

Ie. Today scientists could observe something happen on the moon but theres no method of transport available to get there in a reasonable amount of time to actually investigate....

On the other hand, I agree with you that I can see no good reason why Starfleet hq has to be kept secret.

Perhaps this just reflects the kind of show Discovery is.... the reasons why things are the way they are, are all there. But it's never presented particularly coherently or logical or whatever for the show to actually feel solid and feasible?
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 1:14pm (UTC -6)
I don't like to complain. But if the main conflict in the episode seems like something that could have been solved in 3 sentences, then it becomes a little hard to suspend disbelief. Couldn't they have just said "Hey, we have two situations developing in parallel. Luckily we have two ships, and two people with the ability to command!"?

= = = =

Also, given the galactic loss of the warp drive, isn't it obvious that Starfleet / Federation's top priority should now be equipping all ships with the spore drive? Then they can just retire the 930 year old log raft.

If this was a science fiction show, the setting would have been a great opportunity. The spore drive has the capability to create a new clash of civilizations. May be there will be a new Prime Directive -- the Federation will not share the spore drive with pre-spore civilizations. But is it protecting civilizations by doing so, or depriving them of progress?

= = = =

If they could transport Book at the end, couldn't they do it at the beginning, from space? Doesn't personal teleportation significantly change how gunfights happen or if they happen at all? Georgiou destroyed the prison camp, which included all the bonded laborers that couldn't be saved in this trip, were sleeping at the time, or chose not to believe in a crazy escape plan. Michael saw this happen. Does it not deserve any comment from her in her hushed tones?
Richard Webb
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 1:15pm (UTC -6)
Decent serviceable episode. Still miles ahead of the sub-par S1+S2 stuff, but a bit of a small backwards step from last week. Could have done the escape from the scavenger yard a bit better, but the production budgets really showed their money with Book's ship coming to the rescue - I was almost punching the air when this happened.

Neat stuff:
- Book: continually is the most charismatic character of the season. Please use more.
- Admiral Vance is a great character. His line after Michael asks for permission to speak is fantastic and really cuts through.
- I like that there are consequences to Michael's insubordination - she is less of a saviour and more of a liability this time around.

Meh stuff:
- The cartoonish prison warden villain. Little 2-dimensional.
- Georgiou continues to be a bit much for my liking - and I don't know what's going on with the PTSD.
- STD still has this thing where the A and B plots never quite mesh together.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 1:16pm (UTC -6)
I thought using the spore drive too much kills the great space fungus??
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 1:33pm (UTC -6)
It is pretty well known that season 1 and especially season 2 were organizational disasters. Who the hell knows what is intended.

And about Burnham going it alone. Ok, then shouldn't there at least be a few hundred scientists with which she can coordinate her efforts. There are still billions and billion in the Federation but no she needs a black box to find something out about the burn. Is she an expert in anything?? I'm so confused by all these literal mystery boxes.
Dave in MN
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 2:04pm (UTC -6)
I'm going to have to rewatch this.

I got very distracted once I realized a good chunk of the episode was reshoots (lots of little giveaways if you're familiar with the actors's appearance). I spent half the time trying to figure out what was left over from the original script and the other half wondering what the original script looked like (I'm guessing even more action and less common sense).

I feel for Michelle Paradise, I can tell she's trying to right the ship, but I don't think she has total control over who is in the writer's room. I don't think Kurtzmann likes ceding control to someone else.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 2:11pm (UTC -6)
Here’s another question: how is Tilly still(?) an Ensign while being one of the main personnel in engineering and we see her give orders?
This isn’t a Voyager-like situation where half the crew was lost and it was somewhat logical for Harry to be an important crew member?
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 2:16pm (UTC -6)
The new tech is pretty cool. Linus popping in and out was pretty funny throughout.

Admiral Vance dealing out assignments was good. Nice to see some other Star Fleet Captains. I think the choice to use Discovery as a quick response type asset is a smart one.

Burnham going rogue.... again...

This was both Saru's and Michael's fault. Hell, when Saru reported Michael insubordination to ADM Vance, he said Discovery was able to function without Michael for their assigned mission... why didn't he just let her go and do it? ... or at least ask the ADM for permission? Vance was right to give it to Saru a little at the end, but I'm not sure it should have been in front of Burnham. Saru was of course right to demote Michael... she had to know this was going to happen when she left. Is anything going to happen to her accomplice?

I thought the whole bit on the planet was done well. No real surprises, she helps Book, they escape, he gives her the "black box"... all is well. It really shows how shirt Michael is when she hugs Book.

The antennae on Andorians aid in balance. This guy had both lopped off and it didn't seem to affect him. I remember Shran bumping into stuff when he lost one.

At least this time Burnham's "rogueness" was fueled by her feelings for Book. She always seems to put the rush on things in figuring out The Burn and restoring the almighty Federation... what's the rush again? If I hear "I spent every day for a year" blah, blah again...

I again enjoyed the dynamic between Stamets and Adira.

Yeah, this is the worst episode of Discovery this season... it isn't a bad episode, but not on par with the first 5 for sure. The Georgiou dilemma is intriguing but they need to get on with it. I'm still betting it was the glasses!!

I'm glad Book is back on Discovery. It appears that Michael is going to leave? She took her badge off after Saru demoted her.

2.5 stars
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 3:43pm (UTC -6)
I really hope that The Burn is not a kind of mythological short for Burnham ....
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 3:44pm (UTC -6)
I definetly like this season more then the others. As the most here I am also puzzled regarding Giorgou. I am not too fond of her character but I her cynism is somtimes entertaining.

What I do like, and what is much more of a topic, is putting the Discovery greater einvironment. In all oher Star trek the shipe mis mostly alone. Here the ship and crew is a part of something bigger.
Richard Webb
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 4:25pm (UTC -6)
@Dave in MN

Oh interesting. What were the clues for reshoots? I'm curious now.
Paul M.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 4:32pm (UTC -6)
I'd like to know too!
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 4:37pm (UTC -6)
Meh. Whatever it is, it ain’t Trek.
Red D
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 4:53pm (UTC -6)
I just can't seem to get into Discovery. Into the 3rd season and I feel I'm just watching this for the sake of it, not because I enjoy it but because it's a Star Trek series (in name at least). I can only think of a handful of episodes in the 3 seasons that I enjoyed. What it should be called is Star Trek: Burnham.

There are other potentially interesting characters on this show but we'll never know since this series is only interested in Burnham. Her obsession with the Burn is bizarre and is yet another annoying "big reveal coming up" type of thing that we've seen before, where the entire season is building up towards.
Last season was the Red Angel. The season before was the deal with Ash and Voq, I think. Was there another mystery that dragged on throughout season 1 that had a major reveal? I can't even remember.

The weird obsession the writers have with setting up a big mystery at the start to reveal at the end just baffles me. The reveal is ALWAYS going to be a big anti-climax. I guess we all have figured out that the Burn was probably caused by Burnham or her mother, or perhaps another random family member. I don't get why the writers keep repeating this type of storyline, it's just silly and not exciting in the least because by the time we get to the reveal after it dragging on and on, the curiosity is long gone.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 5:34pm (UTC -6)
"I really hope that The Burn is not a kind of mythological short for Burnham .... "

It's looking that way. They'll go to the epicenter of the event, where there's an alien race who have a scrap of her angel suit with the first half of her nametag... mystery solved. Thank you Robert Wise!
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 6:25pm (UTC -6)
@Keiren Simmons: "Eg. the doctor is fine, and I can even forget he died, but when its brought up in dialogue like in this episode I just groan because that was a terrible past plot."

Yeah, it's a good point. They should really avoid reminding us about that nonsense.

@neko: "Why doesn't the starfleet try to copy or even improve the spore drive? Surely with their future technology it would be easy. Then much of the problem the burn caused would be solved."

Very valid question, but then Discovery wouldn't be special, so the writers are not going to want to do that.

For that matter, what was the reason Starfleet didn't implement the spore drive across the fleet? There was some dumb retcon explanation I don't remember for why it was going to be ultra super max top secret, and I'm sure it's going to make my eyes roll way back into my head again when someone reminds me.

@Quincy: "Burnham and Booker vaporized numerous people in the first episode with those same weapons. Clearly, they have multiple settings, some which kill, just like in TNG."

So...they didn't want to kill the Andorian escapee, just wound him? BTW, I never saw a vaporization in TNG, just in TOS (but I have only seen maybe 10-20 TNG episodes).

@Dave in MN: "I feel for Michelle Paradise, I can tell she's trying to right the ship, but I don't think she has total control over who is in the writer's room. I don't think Kurtzmann likes ceding control to someone else."

Are you saying this is the first episode she was in charge of? Because as I've said upthread, for me this was night and day, head and shoulders better than any other episode they have done.

@Yanks: "Yeah, this is the worst episode of Discovery this season... it isn't a bad episode, but not on par with the first 5 for sure."

I can't grok this opinion at all. Baffling. This episode was SO much better than the others!!
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 8:36pm (UTC -6)
"So...they didn't want to kill the Andorian escapee, just wound him? BTW, I never saw a vaporization in TNG, just in TOS (but I have only seen maybe 10-20 TNG episodes)."

I don't know. It could've been either. If they kill everyone, they wouldn't have anyone to work their yard.

We don't even know what kind of weapons those are. They may not even be phasers. Depending on the type and setting, they may have multiple ways of killing people. I hate the design of the weapon as much as the next man. My point is simply that we've seen multiple people killed with those same weapons.

This TNG episode, atrocious as it was, probably illustrates the multiple levels that TNG introduced. (I'm sure TOS had more than two levels, but I doubt it was nearly as many as what we see on Riker's phaser.) Only the last setting vaporizes:

"The Vengeance Factor" -

Here's another less obvious example:

"Aquiel" -
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 9:02pm (UTC -6)
@Booming "thingamabob"
A wayfinder.
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 9:18pm (UTC -6)
"BTW, I never saw a vaporization in TNG, just in TOS"

True but I never saw a guy's head explode in TOS, just in TNG. Bring back the Savini setting!
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 11:10pm (UTC -6)
@Quincy: "This TNG episode, atrocious as it was, probably illustrates the multiple levels that TNG introduced. (I'm sure TOS had more than two levels, but I doubt it was nearly as many as what we see on Riker's phaser.) Only the last setting vaporizes:"

It looked like there was still one more higher setting! So why couldn't he use "stun"? Something about her physiology didn't allow it?
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 12:19am (UTC -6)
@ Ralph
Are you making a star wars joke (in SW9 they were searching for a wayfinder, too)? If not then wayfinder to where??

As far as I know they actually can not use it because it kills the great space fungus. They are riding on the arms of the fungus when they use the spore drive but that hurts the fungus. That may sound idiotic from start to finish but I think that is the reason. I have the slight suspicion that they will find some solution to the problem and then use it anyway.

Memory alpha provides one other explanation which is maybe even dumber. "Following the conclusion of the war in 2257, Starfleet decommissioned the drive until a non-Human interface could be developed."

Space fungus disturbance explanation according to memory alpha:"Stamets' work misused the mycelial network and gave it a disease that would destroy the network as well as the entire multiverse."
OMG not the multiverse!
So using it might actually destroy the entire... *sigh* multiverse.
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 12:35am (UTC -6)
That does sound about right...except that they are just using it, no prob, this season. Ok then.
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 12:55am (UTC -6)
I think they can use it a little and then it neither kills the fungus nor the Stamets.
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 1:25am (UTC -6)
Very good episode, a notch above the previous three thanks to more meaningful character moments with undertones of meaningful dialogues..
And thank heavens, less Federation-worship.

Instead of the Starfleet/Federation heroes swooping in during half an episode to solve long-term battles/conflicts a-la-TOS-TNG style part 'deux' throughout the last three outings, this one's B story featured Georgiou and Michael (certainly in conflict with Federation) saving Book and other workers. I am glad the show realized the Federation is not quasi-God with the only power to produce good results.

I especially appreciated the episode's writers resisting the predictable by having Saru relieving Michael of her number One position (I really feared she'd get a verbal dressdown and nothing more), and spotlighting the connection that Stamets and Adira are forming, including Culber's observaton of their budding friendship. I really hope Culber continues to remain visible in the way he has over the last three episodes, Cruz delivers each time. Along the same lines, I am also glad - as SlackerInc points out above - that Ryn was not written off in a dramatic kill-off, which would have been the predictable, conventional red-shirt or episodic-sacrificial-lamb approach seen zillion times before.

The episode also makes good use of Georgiou as a character, and of Yeoh's acting talents (apparently, she teaches the stunts of other actors what to do in many action scenes while doing most of her moves herself). I am really curious to see where Georgiou's mental block will lead her.

My one nit-pick would be sound editing, I had trouble hearing what the characters were saying during the scenes with the Discovery crew, notably in the first 10 minutes. In contrast, Doug Aarniokoski is a seasoned, accomplished director, and his dexterity shows in most of the action scenes. Other than his vast experience in other shows, he is also familiar with Trek, having directed some of the better Discovery episodes in the past and "Napenthe" of PIC.

Close to four stars for me (almost), the best episode I have seen since "Far From Home" this season.
The Queen
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 5:50am (UTC -6)
Slackerinc - You're right, I forgot about the additional couple of centuries involved in the language comment. And of course you're right that in reality, the 31st century people would be about as understandable as we would be to the Picts of Britain.

As far as understanding "the bomb," if I don't understand every single thing about a phrase including how it came to be used that way, then I feel like I don't understand it. I'm not good with vagueness, and I avoid popular culture like the plague so I don't run into it that often. To me bombs are things that blow up, and that isn't a good thing. But I admit I'm overly fussy about language. Also, I'm old and my brain is getting creaky.
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 9:43am (UTC -6)
@Mertov: "Very good episode, a notch above the previous three thanks to more meaningful character moments with undertones of meaningful dialogues."

Thank you! Some of the other comments have been crazymaking. I love you all, but to call this episode a notch or more BELOW previous episodes just doesn't scan.

@The Queen: I hear what you're saying, but keep in mind that within the living memory of some people who are probably older than you, "terrific" meant "frightening". "Enormous" used to mean "Exceedingly wicked; atrocious or outrageous". At one time if you said something someone told you was "fabulous" or "incredible", you were basically calling them a liar.
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 1:26pm (UTC -6)
Thanks SlackerInc. I should also add (I forgot in my previous post) that Admiral Vance is an intriguing character, played exceptionally well by Oded Fehr, and this episode does a nice job of adding an extra layer of ambiguity to his profile.

Although I have found myself agreeing with him at almost every step of the way so far, I feel as if he is hiding something or, as couple of others have noted above, he may know more than he leads on, or at the most extreme, he may have committed a heinous act that he regrets and does not wish to be uncovered. It makes me curious to know more about how that bubble of the Federation was formed and the cause of the Burn.
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 1:44pm (UTC -6)

Don't get me started on the ending of that episode. Each time he shot her, she was in debilitating pain. He literally could've just kept stunning her till she was on the floor and then ran over and restrained her. He could've sent Data down instead, who can move at superspeed. There'd be no chance of her getting to the guy and no reason to kill her. He could've just beamed her up into the brig or the target to a safe spot. Even if you wanted her dead, we've seen before that stunning people multiple times on a high stun setting can kill according to that episode where La Forge was being stunned by those scavengers in that episode, "Samaritan Snare." This ending was asinine.
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 1:50pm (UTC -6)
I would watch a movie about the “gap year” of Michael and Book that took place in the time between Burnham’s arrival to the future & the ship Discovery’s arrival. Every time they make an offhand reference to something that happened, it makes me interested in watching more of the story of that year.
Latex Zebra
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 7:38pm (UTC -6)
Enjoyed it but it felt a bit weaker, especially after the last couple of episodes. I don't mind action. Star Trek has action, that's cool. I do agree that Burnham's constant focus on the burn, whilst the sort of thing we'd expect her character to do is just full on. I could have quite happily had a season of just "Lets get used to the future" before they solved the mystery of the burn and get everything back as it was, or as near as. My worry is that the season finale will be the burn fixed and all the planets coming together again... Which is a great end goal but lets not spunk it in one season.
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 7:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: "The Vengeance Factor"


Next Generation was known for having some of the better written episodes in the history of television, much less the Star Trek franchise, but...

And I say this not intending any irony, *this wasn't one of them.*

Enterprise goes to a planet that looks like a bad imitation of Escape From New York so robe wearing Loud Old Woman from their original planet can yell at them to stop a centuries old war with them or something and come home.

Loud Old Woman has a hot nubile blonde assistant played by someone who can't act her way out of a paper bag. Riker decides it's been more than 24 hours since his last piece of ass and starts getting twitchy.

Talking ensues. Some blablahblah mystery thingy about her identity comes up. She murders some dude. Reminds me of a Simpsons quote:

"That was an episode of Columbo, Chief. They show you who the bad guy is at the beginning."
Chief Wiggum: "Yeah, but you have to watch it."

Anyway, Riker and her are having the improbable tv experience of twoo wuv developing over the course of a 1-hour tv time slot, but she's all: "If I did hypothetically want to murder people, would you be cool with it" or whatever. Riker refuses to believe that she's the killer, and then she goes after the main Intergalactic Biker Gang Leader guy and we're supposed to feel sorry for Riker doing his darn job by stopping her, but then he vaporizes her for the MAXIMUMDRAMAZZZ and ho hum. Yet another woman is kacked so that a male Star Trek protagonist can look moody for the last 5 minutes before the final commercial break.

It always came off as a repurposed Star Trek: Phase II script to me, and not a very good one. But that's episodic tv of the 80s for ya; we are shooting and whatever we've got finished is getting shot. Places, people. And, action.
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 8:09pm (UTC -6)
This episode opens with the "Discovery" being "upgraded" and "refitted" at the hidden Starfleet/Federation headquarters. She's given new warp nacelles, new bridge consoles, chunks of her hull and replaced with programmable materials and mimetic matter, and her crew are given fancy new holographic displays, combadges, and transporter technology.

Yes, the most Mary Sue ship in the history of Trek has just become an even bigger Mary Sue!

Thankfully these scenes are played with a light touch - like watching wild eyed kids rummaging through a treasure chest - a touch which gets lighter when a cat shows up in spaceship.

Though the weakest episode since the season premiere, "Scavengers" is thematically interesting, and works well as a deliberate inversion of the episode that preceded it. And so last episode we had the Discovery and the Federation learning to trust each other, a trust which earned the Discovery a mission. Here, meanwhile, we have Michael betraying Saru and the Federation, going off on her own, and so potentially jeopardizing a Discovery mission. Ironically, Michael's betrayal of the Federation echoes Saru's own behavior; a Federation admiral berates Saru for not trusting the Federation enough to rubber stamp and so assist Michael's plan.

In other words, where the previous episode was about an isolated, untrusting and paranoid Federation, this episode is about an isolated, paranoid and untrusting Discovery. Both sides need to learn to trust.

The episode contains roughly three strands. In the best strand, we watch Saru, Michael and Admiral Vance debating rules, ethics and various Starfleet stuff. It's all very good, with the frictions between Saru and Michael echoing similar frictional scenes between Chakotay and Janeway.

Also good are strands which "flesh out" the Discovery crew. And so here we get some neat interactions between Stamets and Adira, Saru and Tilly (they debate Michael's mutinous nature), Stamets and Culber, and scenes in which Adira or Tilly help Stamets around engineering.

The meat of the episode, however, involves Michael and Phillipa journeying alone to a Star Wars Planet, where they do Star Wars stuff in Star Wars ways. This portion of the episode bounces from one tired cliche to the next, serving up familiar trope after familiar trope, and though it is directed with competence and style (Book's spaceship guns down bad guys like an Apache helicopter), it's still very hackneyed stuff. Funny how nu-Trek is at its most boring when trying to be exciting.

What saves the episode is the scenes back aboard the Discovery, and the overarching philosophy of the episode. Michael breaks an oath to Starfleet because of love. Not just her love of Book, but her love of Starfleet and the Federation itself (Book's carrying vital data regarding the Burn). Conversely, Saru believes himself acting out of love and fidelity to the Federation, when these very well-meaning decisions may have led to the further disintegration of the Federation.

There are some other neat little details: a Federation Admiral seemed named after famous SF writer Jack Vance, and one ship is named after SF writer Ursula Le Guin, famous for her anarchist/utopian fictions. We also get some okay scenes with Phillipa, though IMO her character's relationship with Michael is too soft and affectionate. This lady is a genocidal warlord and psychopath, and yet Michael treats her like a cuddly animal.
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 8:15pm (UTC -6)
Chrispaps said: "The real Georgiou is being inducted into Section 31 under Crononberg."

Wow, that was Cronenberg? I knew I recognized that voice and that magnificent hair. Seems like "Disco" is ripping off "Mandalorian's" hiring of Werner Herzog, another idiosyncratic cult director.
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 9:04pm (UTC -6)
Does anyone agree with me that Michael seems mishcarscterized or like her character regressed in this episode. I dont think she would betrau Saru, Tilly, and the crew like she does here. Does ANYONE agree with me? Georgiou would do this, but I don't see why Michael it espcially when she could've sent Georgiou alone? And she's only known Booker for a year..Hope someone can respond. Thanks
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 9:22pm (UTC -6)
@Mertov: "Although I have found myself agreeing with him at almost every step of the way so far, I feel as if he is hiding something or, as couple of others have noted above, he may know more than he leads on, or at the most extreme, he may have committed a heinous act that he regrets and does not wish to be uncovered."

Yeah, I kind of hope not but that's a definite possibility.

@Quincy: I took a peek at the comments for that episode and yeah, seems like people are mostly puzzled as to why Riker couldn't handle it some other way. (And LOL, thanks for the recap @MidshipmanNorris--sounds like a hot mess for sure.)

@Trent: "She's given new warp nacelles"

Which are detached--how's that work? I mean, I guess they just sort of tractor-beam the ship all the time? Hard for me to see how that's "more efficient" as claimed in the narration.

@Trent: "the weakest episode since the season premiere"

@Latex Zebra: "Enjoyed it but it felt a bit weaker, especially after the last couple of episodes."

Back to the crazymaking. These are bad takes!

Best. Episode. Ever.

I have spoken!
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 10:36pm (UTC -6)

Michael (and the showrunners, it seems) makes it no secret that the year she spent alone significantly changed her (showrunners seem to underline this also) and that she may no longer be a good fit for the chain of command within a starship. Saru's words at the end seem to confirm it too (he implies that he should have seen this coming but he was hoping to be wrong).

It makes sense, she was alone for a year with no guarantee that she would ever see the crew again so she cannot just step back into the same shoes from a year ago. It is not a regression, it is actually an evolution of her character via her life experience. Not sure if in that case, she'd be betraying anyone, and so far I see no signs of her turning her back on her friends. It's just that she may be a better operative outside the chain of command of Discovery (again, if the showrunners choose to go that rout). I would not mind seeing that personally, Discovery could use her services as a rogue "good agent" so to speak.
Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 10:58pm (UTC -6)
“This new technology adapts to you. It learns what to do based upon how you use it.”

Linus: Teleports everywhere
Linus’s badge (probably): Interesting, my user seems to need to teleport to many different places all the time. Therefore, I will cause him to randomly teleport at all times.
Linus: Crashes the Dramatic Kiss Scene
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 12:10am (UTC -6)
@Gamma: I like it! Nice catch.
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 2:20am (UTC -6)
You confusion is understandable. Her character development reminds me of season 1 where the show always told us that important things had happened but what these things actually were, we don't know. The show indicates that Burnham has changed significantly in that year but it never showed us why or how. It never showed us anything from that year which is problematic because it makes it hard to understand, let alone sympathize with her motivation. A bad narrative choice.

Hey and by the way Terralysium, eh? I guess we have forgotten about that. Man season 2 made noooooooo sense. And did they tell anybody about that freaky guy in that run down Federation space station from the beginning of the season?! Disturbing. Especially considering the usage of holograms and AI in the 32th century his task seems completely pointless. Could a life be more wasted than his?
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 11:23am (UTC -6)
Slacker said: "Which are detached--how's that work? I mean, I guess they just sort of tractor-beam the ship all the time? Hard for me to see how that's "more efficient" as claimed in the narration."

And according to the JJ movies, the Federation has long had access to TRANSPORTERS WHICH CAN BEAM YOU ACROSS THE ENTIRE GALAXY!!!, which renders ships and warp pretty much unnecessary anyway.

Slacker said: "Best. Episode. Ever."

There's nothing original about the "prison break" subplot though. That's 1980s Chuck Norris Action Movie level writing. The producers booked a mine and factory for a few days, planted some explosives, slapped a few action movie cliches together, and dropped some CGI post-production.

This subplot needed a futuristic, science fictional take on a prison break. Some fresh problems and problem solving of the likes we've not before seen (I'm reminded of Michael escaping the brig in the season 1 pilot by appealing to the computer's sense of ethics). Instead we get Phillipa making a bomb out of spare parts, blowing a hole in a fence, and Michael beating up the prison warden and stealing his keys.

Because the direction's improved this season, the subplot plays about as good as this material can be played, but it still feels like "mainstream action movie" filler mandated so as not to alienated action fans.
The Queen
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 2:30pm (UTC -6)
Booming, your comment about Burnham: "Her character development reminds me of season 1 where the show always told us that important things had happened but what these things actually were, we don't know. The show indicates that Burnham has changed significantly in that year but it never showed us why or how. It never showed us anything from that year which is problematic because it makes it hard to understand, let alone sympathize with her motivation. A bad narrative choice."

Thank you for crystallizing exactly what's been bothering me. For some reason I couldn't put it into words myself, but this is exactly the problem. I would be much more on board for her behavior this episode if we'd been shown more of what happened during that year. It makes total sense that her lost-and-alone year would have had a big impact, but we haven't seen any of it yet except that she's fallen for Book, which - who wouldn't? Even one short scene in each of the first 3 or 4 episodes would have made a big difference.

However, I can't agree that this is "regression" on her part. She's been insubordinate since the first episode of the entire series and has been forgiven again and again. This is so unrealistic to me that I'd been hoping the writers were finally going to get serious about it, but apparently not.

I do wonder, if she deserts Starfleet (and I say good riddance!), how that will work for the show. Wouldn't mind seeing that angle as long as it was intelligently handled (a stretch, I know).
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 2:51pm (UTC -6)
@ The Queen
"However, I can't agree that this is "regression" on her part. She's been insubordinate since the first episode... ."
That is another narrative problem, I guess mostly for me personally. It was always my impression that she was a model officer before she started the mutiny in the first episode.
For most it is probably more about the character bouncing around from a (disciplined) to b(rogue) and back again. What is her arc? Redemption? Independence? self acceptance? Who can tell anymore.

"I do wonder, if she deserts Starfleet (and I say good riddance!), how that will work for the show."
I'm worried for the rest of the season. Maybe we got our two feely touchy smart episodes and now it's shooting and disabling dark matter mega bombs till the end. Trent has put that little idea in my head.
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 3:45pm (UTC -6)

As far as prison break subplots go, this one was definitely above average for Trek. If you want a sci-fi original take on it, when in Trek has there ever been a starship pew-pewing baddies as the break is on? Now, that kind of stuff doesn't really do it for me personally, but the overall context of rescuing Book (who is clearly very important to Burnham) made these action scenes more meaningful when compared to something like "Detained" when Archer rescues the captive Suliban, as 1 example.

I do sort of think DSC probably felt it needed more action scenes to appease the masses and it was inserted here; however, the rest of the episode is very strong and I'd say the 2nd best of the season thus far.
Sun, Nov 22, 2020, 5:33pm (UTC -6)
I thought this episode was excellent. Top tier for Disco, for sure.

I really wish the Burn wasn't the driving force of the plot, and just let it be something that occurred in the past and we're just here now and making a way in the galaxy where we're at.

I still think we can just get rid of Georgiou as a character. I don't see what happens with her character from here despite a mystery plot...but there are so many other supporting cast members that I want to see more focus on. Stamets, Culber, Tilly, Adira, Saru and engineer lady are great characters I'd like to focus more on. Others above have mentioned the possibility of a Burnham leaving the show and doing a different series outing with Michelle Yeoh and Book...and I'm all for that. Disco I think can work extremely well without Burnham with its very talented cast. Considering we know SMG is involved with the s4 filming that's already started, this is unlikely, though.

Found the fat cat jokes to be pretty jarring and regressive for what is typical of this show. It was funny in the earlier eps when they referred to her with reverence...Tilly making them is odd and out of character.

Overall, think the series is hitting its stride, and it feels a lot more like the entire season's plot was established before filming began, unlike s1 and s2 of Disco, which had bizarre changes in direction.
Mon, Nov 23, 2020, 8:49am (UTC -6)

"@Yanks: "Yeah, this is the worst episode of Discovery this season... it isn't a bad episode, but not on par with the first 5 for sure."

I can't grok this opinion at all. Baffling. This episode was SO much better than the others!!"

To each their own. I don't judge. I guess I'm tire of "whispering Michael" and "Michael being insubordinate"... I'm just not sold on her insatiable need to figure out the burn and save the Federation. I did give it a 2.5! HAHA.


"Does anyone agree with me that Michael seems mishcarscterized or like her character regressed in this episode. I dont think she would betrau Saru, Tilly, and the crew like she does here. Does ANYONE agree with me? Georgiou would do this, but I don't see why Michael it espcially when she could've sent Georgiou alone? And she's only known Booker for a year..Hope someone can respond. Thanks"

I don't know if it's a regression or just more of the same. I REALLY didn't like the punk look on her face when Saru told her to finish overseeing the upgrades and Discovery wasn't going off on a love fest adventure. I mean think about it, the worst case would be to wait 12 frakin hours and take Discovery there. But no, she's got to go all Jack Bauer. Folks keep saying "she wouldn't betray Saru" but she doesn't it repeatedly. At least in this episode, she gets her just rewards. You'd think she could make sensible suggestions to Saru and still accomplish things using the proper protocols.
Mon, Nov 23, 2020, 10:22pm (UTC -6)
There’s been some discussion about how young Blu del Barrio (Adira Tal) is... I agree a lot, and there will always be limits of what a young actor can do. (And an older one, for that matter.)

But I’m watching season 7 of DS9 and I have to say, I think that Blu del Barrio has been doing a better job than Nicole deBoer did. Sometimes the Adira Tal character feels to me like a re-do of deBoer’s character - and I like this interpretation a lot better.

By the way. My interpretation of the da bomb comment is that it was probably included to show the on-set dynamics between the actors in that scene.
grey cat
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 8:03am (UTC -6)
Wow this was just god awful. Worst since season 1, down there with the worst of the whole series.

I'll start with what I Liked:

- The scene with Saru and Tilly. Saru was superb as usual. Professional and trying his best to be a leader and loyal at the same time. Tilly acted like an adult which was refreshing.
- The final scene even if SMG's acting was embarrassing. Saru's acted the hell of that scene. He really is head and shoulders above any of the other actors in the show (since Anson Mount left).


- The romance with Book. Awkward kiss with rousing music. Just dreadful.
- Various scenes of unearned emotion.
- The comedy. I just didn't find any of it remotely funny.


- The entire prison break thing. It's all been seen a thousand times. Whoever wrote this had obviously just seen The Running Man (which did the whole exploding-head-barrier thing a lot better).
- Traditional burst of pointless action. Melee and shooty ships.
- Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention or did the eventual end of the prision break make any sense? Evil woman shot the big ships for some reason killing a load of people presumably while the slaves ran off somewhere? I dunno. Not sure I care either actually.
- Stamets pulling his constipated face again about his boyfriend who was dead for while due to having their neck snapped but then was recreated in the mushroom world.. which obviously related a lot to a Trill who's boyfriend died and had his memories transferred into her head. Um.. Ok.
- The sound levels were just horrible in this episode. This has never been a problem for me before but either the noise was too noisy and I couldn't hear or the music blared out. Annoying.
- The weaponry is dreadful in 3000+ still. A single solider with an assault rifle from 2020 could have taken out the fleeing prisoners but those hand mounted guns are just useless.
- Where are they going with Georgiou? Nowhere good so far and slowly.


- The new tech. I like that they're trying to come up new stuff but detached nacells (spelling)? Why? How far do you want them detached? I mean leave them in drydock? Do they fly off if you lose power (which happens after 1 shot from a random entity usually)?
- The com badges were sort of cool but you can just teleport about with them?
- Why would you want the control panels like that?
- Retro fitting the 900+ year old ship is like retrofitting a horse and cart into a Porsche. Would be easier just to take the spore drive out and start over surely? No way would 900 year old technology be compatible. 10 year old technology isn't compatible NOW. (How many versions of mini usb plug do we need? lol).

Personally I liked Nicole deBoer's Ezri despite thinking I'd hate her after Terry Farrell. Blu is doing ok. She has a low bar to beat though with the rest of DSC's cast. Not sure of then name of her boyfriend is but he is suitably awful so far - so fits right in.

0.5 stars out of 4 (0.5 for the final scene mostly).
grey cat
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 8:06am (UTC -6)
Oh I forgot to mention Michael disobeying a direct order for the 4-5th time. What rank is she? Commander? Even in ToS era it seems likely she'd have been busted down to Ensign by now if not thrown out.

She has no place in Starfleet which is maybe where they're going with this?
Skye Francis-maidstone
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 8:13am (UTC -6)
Agreed. Horrible episode. Truly horrible. 3 weeks till The Expanse comes back.. thank god some decent sci-fi is on the horizon.

I have had enough of Michael now. She was irritating, not she's intolerable. Crying and saying "you did the right thing" after being a massive selfish thoughtless arrogant arse doesn't really help. Saru was classy for not saying anything.

I defended this show for a good while.. first season: It was just nice to have some Star Trek back on TV and it was a first season so I cut it some slack. 2nd Season was a mess but Pike managed to save it.

This season has just been a chore. I didn't even bother to watch it till yesterday (3 days after it came out) and I'm a huge Star Trek fan.

I feel I may struggled to make it to the end of it. ENT was a real chore to get through, at this point - this is becoming worse.

Having 1 likeable character/actor is killing it for me (Saru).

Side note: Is sarcastic engineer just going to pop up every other episode to make some snarky remarks?

Short Review: Mindless action. Unearned emotional scenes. Ridiculous technology - not clever or imagination, just dumb. Annoying story. Pointless scenes of waffle. No need to engage my brain at all and it wasn't even pleasantly diverting.

1 out of 4 stars for me. That feels generous.
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 11:20am (UTC -6)

"There’s been some discussion about how young Blu del Barrio (Adira Tal) is... I agree a lot, and there will always be limits of what a young actor can do. (And an older one, for that matter.)

But I’m watching season 7 of DS9 and I have to say, I think that Blu del Barrio has been doing a better job than Nicole deBoer did. Sometimes the Adira Tal character feels to me like a re-do of deBoer’s character - and I like this interpretation a lot better."

I hadn't even thought of that comparison... not sure why I didn't :-)

I think we saw Nicole RIGHT after the emergent joining and she was clearly having issues. We see Adrian about a year into this (I think) and she was blocked from completing the "merge" and had to go to the pools to figure that all out. So I think she had a much easier transition.

Personally, I detested Ezri on initial viewing. But in subsequent viewings I realize I was hating her because I was pissed at Jadzia's death. Since I've grown to really enjoy her performance.

I think Blu is doing a fine job with Adria.
Dave in MN
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 3:34pm (UTC -6)
I agree with your assessment of Ezri.

I found deBoer's performance to be annoyingly doe-eyed for someone with the collective experience of a half dozen lifetimes. Part of that has to do with how Ezri was written, of course, but a different actress would've done much more with the same material.

The only old -Trek episodes I've never bothered to watch are the couple of DS9 episodes revolving around her character's personal issues.

I'm not interested in watching a tone-deaf portrayal for 45 minutes, especially since (that late in the game) those episodes should have been reserved to the original cast. Maybe if they hadn't wasted time with Ezri, they could've found a few seconds to establish if Bajot joined the Federation.
Dave in MN
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 3:35pm (UTC -6)

That was @ Yanks
Dave in MN
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 3:45pm (UTC -6)
Someone above asked how to tell a reshoot from the original scripts. Besides the obvious fluctuations in weight/ haircuts of the actors, the most obvious tell is any scene where Saru is referred to as Captain.

At Trek Vegas panel, the showrunners (while talking about this season) tepeatedly said "Michael is our captain" ... and then there was months of reshoots and now that's not the case.

I think they tried to salvage some of the old footage which is why Michael seems so impetuously willing to break orders. In the original version, she wasn't breaking orders, she was GIVING them.

I'm pretty sure the reshoots were Michelle Paradise's doing ... hence the reason I say she's doing a decent job trying to salvage a mess.
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 6:01pm (UTC -6)
Ha! Captain Burnham. Of course S2-era STD writers would want that. What a mess.
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 6:28pm (UTC -6)
Dave said: "At Trek Vegas panel, the showrunners (while talking about this season) tepeatedly said "Michael is our captain" ... and then there was months of reshoots and now that's not the case."

That's a huge change to make, and I'm glad they changed it. Saru is outstanding as a captain - he simultaneously feels like a captain, and is radically different from previous Trek captains - and really elevates things.

That said, this is "Discovery" we're talking about. That Vegas panel might have been right; maybe this season eventually kills off Saru and gives Michael the ship.

Rahul said: "As far as prison break subplots go, this one was definitely above average for Trek."

Which begs the question, WHAT'S THE BEST TREK PRISON BREAK?

I'd probably rank the Worf/Martok/Garak escape from the Dominion concentration camp as the best. Then Kira breaking out the Bajorans in "The Homecoming". TNG's "Allegiance" I'd put next, and maybe "Voyager's" "Workforce" two-parter, if it counts.

Kirk was always getting placed in a cell in TOS, and breaking out, so it's a bit unfair to add him to the game ("Errand of Mercy" and "Bread and Circuses" have some good prison moments).
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 6:31pm (UTC -6)
Spore Driver wrote: “After nearly three years, I don’t see how they can rehabilitate this deeply flawed character enough to build a series around her.” I think that’s exactly what they’re trying to do. MU Georgiou seems to be having flashbacks of PU Georgiou’s death. With her hesitation to take the kill shot, I think the PU and MU Georgious are going to somehow merge.
I enjoyed the chewing out that Burnham gets, but she really should have been dishonorably discharged from Starfleet and/or thrown in the brig. Taking away a title she didn’t want in the first place is hardly punishment for disobeying a direct order, putting her whole crew at risk, and what’s more, this is a pattern of selfish, dangerous and insubordinate behavior that (according to the show) already led the Federation into a war.
Also, does Burnham really have to cry in nearly every episode? No other woman in Trek has been portrayed as this hyper-emotional crybaby. Troy was the most empathic member of Starfleet and hardly ever cried. If you haven’t guessed, this series has really made me hate the Burnham character. She’s poorly written, overacted, and hypocritical.
BUT, the saving grace of this show is the rest of the cast. Saru’s grappling with his newfound command has been my favorite part of this season. Tully’s scenes are great in this episode, as is the Stamets/Culber talk. The slow world building of the Federations is intriguing. The Gray Tal portions, however, don’t really need to be included though. Ian Alexander is not a great actor, and the continuation of this weak plot line strikes me as Discovery writers proving how woke they are.
2/4 from me. I was going to say 1.5, but I really liked the Megaman style arm buster cannons.
Dave in MN
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 7:15pm (UTC -6)
@ Trent

Agreed. Saru makes a pretty good captain.
grey cat
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 7:16pm (UTC -6)
@Austin "2/4 from me. I was going to say 1.5, but I really liked the Megaman style arm buster cannons"

They do look cool admittedly but they're utterly useless as weapons. Right up there with storm trooper blasters. They don't look quite cool enough to add any stars for me. What a horrible mess this was.

SMG was in an episode of New Girl. God she was annoying but at least she was playing a deliberately annoying character. She didn't cry either and was semi funny (which is about as funny as the show gets).
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 7:19pm (UTC -6)
Also re: the Burn. I hate how predictable this “introduce a problem in episode 1, spend episodes 2-12 giving no information/misleading information, and then cram the resolution into the last 2-3 episodes” formula is. But a few thoughts...

I don’t think Burnham is the cause of the If they wanted to play this smart, I’d say make it the Q Continuum. The Q could have been threatened/annoyed at how fast humanity was evolving and decided to push the reset button. Biblically it’s like the Tower of Babel, but instead of stopping the dangerous accelerated cooperation of a society by confusing their languages, it’s stopping them by essentially putting them all in time out in their limited warp-free bubbles.
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 7:25pm (UTC -6)
@grey cat
But.... Megaman tho :(
Dave in MN
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 7:32pm (UTC -6)
@ grey car

I tried watching New Girl and I found the supporting cast to be very likable and amusing. Zooey Deschanel? I think her persona is phony.

She's also in one of those oretentious coffeeshop "bands" where a guy plays a ukulele while she sings the same 4 notes in a vibratoless voice. Imagina a song in an Apple commercial, it's repellent to me.
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 3:12am (UTC -6)
At first I thought "Dishonorable discharge" was too hard a punishment but it is actually the norm in such a situation, at least in the USA. A fellow soldier of mine (German Army) once went AWOL for several month because of some harebrained scheme (he was an idiot) and he was not dishonorably discharged but demoted and had to spent 3 month in prison. On the other hand we see people breaking orders all the time in Star Trek... often without consequences.

And please CBS do not make Burnham captain. To quote Weyoun: "Perish the thought!"
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 7:02am (UTC -6)
Starfleet is notoriously bad about actually discharging insubordinate or regulation-violating personnel. It's a serial television show, and if you change the status quo, then it's almost always bound to lose you viewers, one way or another. I like to refer to this as the "Moonlighting" effect (After Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd got together, the show was basically over for a lot of people...the 'will they or won't they' tension was what kept people interested).

So, television writers tend to hew very closely to the established parameters of a show, unless they have a very clear idea where they're going with a certain decision, or the show is almost over.

This presents a problem in a show about any ranked organization; you want the characters to experience dramatic situations and do dramatic things, but oftentimes in real-life situations like these, doing the dramatic thing would get you shitcanned pretty fast.

They paid for these actors to do this show, these actors are gonna be in the next episode; it's a conceit that television in general is really not able to do much about. That's what Walking Dead and Game of Thrones (as I understand it, never watched either) were making a "stunt" out of, in order to generate drama. "Oh wow they killed Character I Thought They Wouldn't Kill!"

Star Trek, however, tends to back off from this kind of behavior.
Skye Francis-maidstone
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 7:19am (UTC -6)

"That's what Walking Dead and Game of Thrones (as I understand it, never watched either) were making a "stunt" out of, in order to generate drama."

Not so sure it's stunt in GoT since it's reasonably close to the path the books took. Certainly it could be called that in TWD though.

Stunt or not it's hard to argue that it doesn't make the tension more real if they might actually kill off your favourite characters.

I mean DSC is a bit lacking in any characters for anyone to care about (they killed the blue alien/robot last season and I doubt anyone watching shed a tear). Saru is the exception I guess.

Tears of joy if they killed off Michael? That won't happen anyway obviously.

It might actually be refreshing to have a Star Trek series with a large revolving cast like TWD maybe. Thinking about it, DSC is perfect for that since they don't seem that interested in fleshing out any of the characters anyway.
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 7:26am (UTC -6)
True. You cannot send her to prison for 6 month but sooner or later these things start to break immersion and with Burnham it is sooner. She went from commander to dishonorably discharged back to commander to now something. Maybe they actually have her leave starfleet. That would be interesting, branching her story off. She goes on adventures with Booker and meets with the Discovery every now and then. Like a freelancer.

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