Star Trek: Discovery
"There Is a Tide..."
Air date: 12/31/2020
Written by Kenneth Lin
Directed by Jonathan Frakes
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
"There Is a Tide" tries to do what should've been done many episodes ago: some world-building within this century. It may be too little, too late, but I guess I'd rather see it attempted rather than not seeing it at all.
After having exploited Tilly's tactical weaknesses and seizing Discovery, Osyraa takes the ship back to Starfleet Headquarters, where she uses the subterfuge to get inside the base's shield perimeter where she demands … an audience for peaceful negotiation. I admit I did not see that coming. Turns out there's more to Osyraa than previous episodes — in which she, say, fed her nephew to giant worms — had indicated. She wants to form an alliance between the Federation and the Emerald Chain, providing a new economic model for the Federation through its mercantiles in exchange for access to Discovery's spore drive, which she believes the Emerald Chain has the scientific resources to reverse-engineer and mass produce. This could be a benefit for the entire galaxy, possibly solving a lot of problems posed by everyone's dilithium shortage.
This episode uses dialogue to establish the Emerald Chain to be more expansive and important than previous episodes have conveyed — essentially a power on par with the diminished Federation rather than the rogue state that they appeared to be. (It could be this was previously established as far back as "Scavengers," but I could've simply missed it because of this series' tendency to race through dialogue scenes to get to emotional beats and action sequences.) For the first time this season, it feels like we are getting to town with an idea of what the interstellar political situation kind of looks like. Too bad it took twelve-thirteenths of a season to get here.
This provides the benefit of making Osyraa and the Emerald Chain much more interesting than we previously saw, and I appreciated the episode using actual, substantial details of negotiation and dialogue to convey these ideas. The one-on-one scenes between Vance and Osyraa (plus the hologram lie detector) are the best thing in the episode, showing some interesting diplomacy, information, debate, and good performances from Oded Fehr and Janet Kidder. There appears to be potential mutual benefit in this armistice, and we get a sense of a world beyond this room at HQ.
Naturally, it's all good until it's not. Because Osyraa is such a well-known figure for her tragic exploits and the suffering left in her wake, Vance says she could never be the head of an Emerald Chain allied with the Federation. He requires the condition that she put someone else in charge while she answers for her crimes. This, he says, is the only way the Federation would be able to accept such an armistice. (Naturally, this idea could never work on this show, because there's no one else we've ever met in the Emerald Chain who has mattered, since everything always gets reduced to a single character.)
So it all falls apart just when we seem to be getting somewhere, under circumstances that can't help but feel somewhat forced. Why do the writers spend so much time on these negotiations, trying to make the villain into something more than she seemed, only to rip everything up at the last minute and send her packing so she can go back to being a standard villain? I guess to hint that this show could maybe do more complex world-building, but that at the end of the day it would rather just blow things up? I guess I'd rather have a more layered villain than a cardboard one.
Even before Osyraa returns to Discovery, she has put Zareh (Jake Weber) in command of the hostage plot. Zareh, who didn't freeze to death in "Far From Home," returns here and proves to be considerably less engaging and more trope-y. I guess less of this guy was more. He becomes the primary antagonist in the action plot between him and the Discovery crew — especially Burnham, who is running around below decks trying to fight off bad guys and doing her best Bruce Willis in Die Hard impression as she runs around with a wounded leg, loses her shoes, and talks menacingly over her communicator. This action is all competently done, perfectly fine, and a complete non-factor in the ingenuity department — and not worth spending one minute more discussing. Suffice it to say this will continue into next week's finale since this is only the middle chapter of three.
One of the overarching problems with this series is that it has too many things that play as plot points rather than engaging storytelling. Take, for example, the resurfacing of the sphere data, which has now personified itself within three of Discovery's DOT-23 drones (which have helpfully offered to assist the crew in retaking the ship in next week's finale). While I appreciate that the series hasn't forgotten about the sphere data, this is something that could've been established through an actual story (a whole episode even!) that told us something about this strange AI that has been a part of Discovery for quite some time and seems to demand some sort of storytelling attention. (Sure, it helped Saru set up Movie Night, but that was practically an afterthought.) Rather than engaging with potentially interesting sci-fi ideas, Discovery just uses them for routine plot advancement. It's a shame.
And look at how much plot this story crams in. In addition to Osyraa and Vance, and the whole action plot with Burnham, Tilly, and the others, we also have Stamets and his dialogue with Aurellio (Kenneth Mitchell), Osyraa's top scientist, who may be able to help crack the code of tapping into the mycelial network without relying solely on Stamets and his tardigrade-infused DNA.
The script and direction actually do a deft job of taking all of these elements and putting them together in an episode that makes sense and mostly hums along. The issue is that the competence of the construction doesn't add up to more than the sum of all the parts. What's lacking is that really engaging spark. We mostly have chess pieces being moved around on the board. (On the other hand, Stamets' emotional stake in the away team, where both Culber and Adira are at risk of radiation poisoning, works pretty well to provide a character-based anchor into his plot.)
Like all middle-chapter cliffhangers, there's no resolution to discuss. And we'll have a pretty full plate for next week, which will presumably have to wrap up the ship-takeover plot, deal with the survivors on the dilithium planet, resolve the mystery of the Burn (and perhaps prevent another one), and figure out what the sphere data is up to. I guess that doesn't leave much room for exploring this season's alleged mission — the diminished Federation. I guess it's good we got to see at least some of that here.
In Super Mario Bros., they're named Bill:
- Just as the two parts of "Terra Firma" were bookended by a beginning and end that told one story while having a middle stretch that was isolated, it looks like the finale is also somewhat taking this approach (except stretched across three episodes instead of two); we don't see Saru, Culber, or Adira at all in this outing, but will in next week's.
- Having Earth no longer be a part of the Federation continues to seem arbitrary and unnecessary. Given that the idea had no practical reason aside from the self-contained plot in "People of Earth," it seems odd the current Federation is still so dominated by humans. I guess they never went home a century ago.
- Burnham and Book say the L word to each other. Yawn. This would work better if there were any real chemistry between these two, but this whole romance just feels obligatory.
- Ryn gets killed by Osyraa (which she does in front of Aurellio, which is certainly going to end up being a real tactical error on her part). This was inevitable. Ryn was clearly the most expendable recurring character whose time was running out.
- Admiral Vance explains to Osyraa the experience of eating apples made from recycled shit. He's never tasted a real apple; only a shit one. Some things in life just pass you by, I guess.
- Burnham sends a distress call to her mother. This seems like it's setting the stage to bring them back together to tie up loose ends more than it makes any sort of logical sense under the circumstances. How is she going to get there in any sort of timely manner, and why not contact Starfleet, who is right there?
Previous episode: Su'Kal
Next episode: That Hope Is You, Part 2
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152 comments on this post
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 2:40am (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 2:44am (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 2:54am (UTC -5)
As for a couple of positives: I enjoyed the manifestation of the sphere data, or Zora; and it was nice to see Kenneth Mitchell again, playing a human for the first time in the series. I really enjoyed Mitchell's turn as the scene chewing Klingon Kol in the first season of the series and thought he did the best, of any actor, in working through all the prosthetics that were involved in the redesign of the species.
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 3:56am (UTC -5)
Thank you, Jonathan Frakes, for getting the bridge crew to have so much to do in this episode. They still don't have actual personalities, but they had lines. Lots of lines! They were actually important to the plot.
Why did Burnham take off her boots?
How did Osyra fool the hologram?
I thought the acting was mostly good in this - even Burnham's requisite tearful scene was cut blessedly short. And Admiral Vance, woohoo can that man act! (You know there's not really any President, right? It's all him.)
The moment that Ryn said, "I have to do this," I knew it was all over for him.
My favorite moment had to be the DOTs at the end lining up and saying, "Shall we retake the ship?" Damn they're cute. And useful.
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 4:00am (UTC -5)
Also, who else thinks that Osyra's pet scientist is now going to foment an uprising, bring her down, and take the Chain into the Federation that way?
Okay, now I'm done.
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 4:15am (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 4:56am (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 5:10am (UTC -5)
That said, it was a pretty entertaining hour of television. We've seen the "take back the ship" plot a thousand times before, but thankfully it wasn't the only focus of the episode and was executed well. (Everyone following Ensign Tilly's orders here is still *insane* to me, even if I think she's not a bad commander.)
The best material of the episode, I think, was the negotiations between Dadmiral Vance and Discount Seska. Vance just continues to be a magnetic presence whenever he's on screen and radiates authority and wisdom. Oded Fehr is just perfect in the role. His casual delivery of "They're made of our shit, you know" referring to replicated food made me laugh out loud, and you could feel how tantalised he was by the prospect of piece without letting that feeling overwhelm his hard-nosed judgement of what would be required.
RE the Stamets story, I truly empathised with Stamets here. Especially with Burnham being the one to deny him the ability to rescue his loved ones; you just KNOW that if the table were turned, she'd probably gun down half the ship to save her mum, or Book.
Speaking of Burnham, SMG's Die Hard turn was fine. Nothing particularly memorable but nothing to complain about either.
It was nice to see Zara (if that's how you spell it) back to. I quite like that actor as well, although he was WAY more menacing in his first appearance. Making him Discount Seska's lapdog detracted from it.
All in all, I look forward to the finale without the trepidation I had in previous years. The FATE OF ALL ORGANIC LIFE or EARTH BEING RAZED BY THE KLINGONS is not on the table here; just a distressed Kelpian kid, Saru's growth as a leader, and a great big baddie ship that is just *begging* to get blowed up real good. Hope they do it creatively!
But if they don't, meh. I can deal.
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 6:58am (UTC -5)
- Though short, I liked the starship battle at the beginning, it reminded me of the way old Star Trek did them with the slow, graceful flight arcs (as opposed to the spining, zinging ships and flashing lights we typically see). I want to see more of this.
- I appreciated the depth they tried to add to Discount Seska's character, she's still not great, but improved over the cartoony, one dimensional character we have seen in the past (which begs the question, why portray her that way at all in previous episodes). The idea that she captured Discovery to give her leverage in negotiations is intriguing and a much better outcome than using it as a trojan horse to destroy Federation headquarters. Though I'm not really sure why her subterfuge at the beginning of the episode was necessary if she only came to talk (other than to deceive the audience). Still, I can forgive it.
- I also liked the idea of peace negotiations between the Federation and the Emerald Chain, but it would have been more meaningful if they spent more time world building it. The scenes weren't bad, but I think I would have enjoyed them more if I knew more about the Chain and its history.
- As usual, Vance remains one of the few bright spots this season (@Tim C, the "its made of shit" line was perfect). The only issue I had with his scenes was the use of the lie detector, it didn't seem to contribute to the plot and it was really distracting when they both kept looking at him every 10 seconds for him to confirm the truth. It's not all that different from the use of Troi in TNG but even she didn't tell Picard that someone was telling the truth after every single sentence.
- I think Burnham's character works best in action roles, though again I rolled my eyes at her overemoting this episode. I really wish she would stop that. Also, that fire suppression system seems unnecessarily deadly. So if someone is working in the tube, and a fire happens, everyone in the tube just dies? It would have been better if Burnham just opened the hatch directly (or maybe just shot the investigator instead?)
- Samets is really unprofessional, he does know ship is still in enemy hands right? I suppose this could be a sign that he is not well mentally (similar to Detmer's PTSD) as a result of jumping into the future, but I found his reaction a bit over the top and irrational (particularly since he's supposed to be left brained engineer). What was his plan exactly, go into the spore chamber and ask Discount Seska to call black alert?
I liked the idea of Samets sacrificing to follow Burnham in the future, and then Burnham standing in between him and his family, but that isn't exactly what was happening here. I think the concept/scene might have worked better under different circumstances.
- I liked the Morse code scene, for no reason other than it gave the bridge crew some dialogue.
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 8:32am (UTC -5)
I mean, the episode has a lot going on which is good. Osyraa (or as I say, Discount Seska) was finally given some depth as an antagonist. The scenes with her and Vance were the highlight of the entire episode, and notable because they were the only truly surprising part of the episode. We've been "treated" to so many shallow antagonists who just want to destroy...it's intriguing to have a villain who is instead seeking respect. That said, the trailer for next week suggests this is pretty quickly going to become undone.
The "Die Hard" action section involving Burnham (and eventually the rest of the bridge crew) was serviceable - no, it was done well - but it's something we've seen before in Trek several times. No new ground was being broken here. I suppose I did somewhat enjoy going into the Jeffries tubes (I was wondering if Discovery was all that funhouse open space with the turbolift roller coasters). But on the whole this was just perfunctory stuff you'd expect in a season finale.
There are numerous things which I liked but was like...why didn't we see it earlier in the season. It's nice to see Zareh again, but it would have been nice to see him before the penultimate episode. Did this need to be our introduction to Mitchell's scientist character? Why did they wait so long to flesh out the Emerald Chain as anything other than a group of slavers and marauders? This is a serialized show after all. They could have peppered random scenes involving the Emerald Chain POV throughout the entire season, which would make the payoff here much more compelling. But instead they farted around with mediocre episodic Trek before giving us something fairly emotionally compelling.
I'm glad they openly lampshaded what a bad job Tilly did in the previous episode. It will be interesting to see what happens next week. They should allow Tilly a crowning moment of glory to redeem herself, but given this is Discovery I would guess they give it to Michael, forcing Tilly into
I really did not like Stamets' turn here however one bit once Michael rescues him and they conflict about jumping back to the nebula. It was at least set up well in the previous episode, but the degree of conflict was really overplayed here. He's supposed to be a professional, and this is another example of the weirdly high level of drama in the series this year which results in my suspense of disbelief crashing down.
Still, overall, this was a good episode - even a very good one in isolation. It's just when it comes to seeing it as narrative payoff for the season as a whole that it begins to fall flat.
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 8:39am (UTC -5)
- Did anyone get WALL-E vibes from the scene where the Sphere-ified DOT-23s came out of hiding and projected the movie clip?
- Oded Fehr (as Vance) continues to knock it out of the park. The sole curse word was saved for that fruit platter scene and it was perfect. Rather than having that holo truth detector, it would have been much more interesting to have Kovich (David Cronenberg) there. According to the previews, he's in the finale, so looking forward to that.
- Tactically it didn't make much sense for Book and Ryn to stay behind in the ready room. I know they were there to buy time for the bridge crew to escape, but since the sensors were scrambled and it took time for the doors to be cut open, they were better off escaping with the rest. The group was small enough that there didn't need to be that much buffer time bought.
- Stamets describing Adira as his child was a bit eye opening. Dunno what to make of it just yet, but it does add dimension to his character.
- Stamets' reactions and motivations towards Burnham were understandable, even if illogical and unreasonable, given the immediate peril of the situation. The truth was, without control of the ship, there was no way to actually jump and rescue the stranded crewmembers--and with the Federation HQ bubble under attack, there may not have been anything to come back to. He's a scientist, not a command officer, and so Burnham was actually doing the right thing. He sure guilt-tripped the hell out of her, though.
- BTW It really bugs me that the bridge transparent OLED displays are reversed so that when the camera shows the crewmember at the console, the displays are in readable orientation--as if they did this for the benefit of the audience members to be able to read the screens. The problem is, that would mean the display from the crewmember's POV would be mirror-reversed. I figured the in-universe hand-waving explanation would have been that it was some technology that would allow the display to seem correctly oriented regardless of whether you were in front of or behind the screen.
- Burnham's emergency message to her Qowat Milat mother doesn't seem throwaway. Burnham trying to retake the ship seems like a lost cause, and Vulcan/Ni'Var might not be opposed to stepping in and helping--especially considering their president seems to have warm feelings towards Saru. Perhaps a last minute assist from the RomuloVulcans when the UFP HQ is under siege. Might go a ways towards re-establishing ties once they learn that they were indeed not responsible for the Burn.
- The preview of the season finale shows a shot of the Discovery entering (?) Osyraa's ship, and another shows the ship detonating. I'm on a limb here, but if the Discovery is indeed lost, it does set up an intriguing next season. With Stamets safe, it's not impossible for Starfleet to build a new ship with a spore drive--Stamets was the key that couldn't be replicated. Something happens on the dilithium planet that allows them to survive the radiation, and Burnham could lead the expedition to save them. Something about the writers to show weaknesses in Saru's command decisions (did you see Vance's face when Osyraa reminded him that Saru left an ensign in charge?), and a reaffirmation of duty over individual needs in Burnham makes me think they're setting things up to put her in the Captain's seat--at least for a while. (Also, that whole thing about Georgiou telling Burnham that she is indeed worthy of being a Captain before leaving through the portal.)
- It feels like when the season wraps up and they resolve the burn issue and secure ready supplies of dilithium, the next stories to tell would be about trying to piece the Federation back together, and fighting with the Chain over alliances and influences.
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
Admiral Vance was indeed awesome and his negotiations with The Wicked Witch of West were engaging. Although I felt this standoff was one of the deeper moments of seasonal Emerald Chain plot, it never really felt plausible that The Federation and the EC would form an alliance. Stamets pretty much says it directly, "Osyraa is more than she appears, but she's also exactly as she appears."
Speaking of Stamets, it was fun to see him but heads with Burnham over saving Culber. Here we get the first real and powerful admission by a Discovery crewmember revealing the notion that Burnham owes the crew more fidelity for upending their lives so Burnham wouldn't be alone in a futuristic dystopia. This is good stuff and should have been the source of drama for earlier episodes. It's also kind of dumb how Burnham is dead-set in her solution when she doesn't really know what's going on. If the writers want us to side with Burnham, they need to give the audience more reasons to agree with her POV.
The sphere data showing up as a fleet of R2-D2s was cute -- maybe a little too cute. At least it doesn't look like the Discovery will end up in yet another time period or universe for season 4. But who knows, the writers may yet still prove they're more zany than we expect and pull something nutty in the last hour.
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 1:03pm (UTC -5)
Stamets is an embarrasment to the uniform and everything Starfleet stands for. I get him being upset about Hugh. But Adira? Who he considers his his child? They've known each other for what, a month or two now? Totally unearned emotional connections there.
Remember TNG's Disaster? When Crusher and Geordi put out that plasma fire by decompressing the shuttle bay? They fainted from lack of oxygen as a result... But Burnham is fighting fit? Ow, fine. We only have 47 minutes.
Vance wanting Osyraa to stand trial as a measure of good faith reminded me of Kira advising Winn to step down as Kai to be embraced by the Prophets. She just couldn't lose that much personal power. Powerful stuff.
Loved seeing the bridge crew actually getting something to do. They're all capable of so much more than mug for reaction shots and shout oneliners. Had to giggle at Bryce getting stuck handling coms again (like, what else does he do with his life?)
The Sphere data inside the maintenance bots is a little too cutesy for my taste. But it's perfect for this iteration of Trek. Let's ignore the fact that the Sphere Data is invaluable, so losing even a single bot should be a no go. But sit back and watch them get used as cannon fodder next week.
Ah, if only the Empress would have been around...
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 1:49pm (UTC -5)
My guess is that even though the data exists in the DOT bots, there's enough redundancy that a few can get destroyed in heroics without risking the integrity or safety of the data.
Norvo's comment about the fire suppression thing reminded me about something in my firefighter training--depriving a fire of oxygen is only part of the solution when extinguishing a flame. If the heat source or ignition temperature still exists near the fuel, it will flare back up once oxygen is reintroduced.
The way that Burnham secured herself in the Jeffries tube with the strap bugged me--there's many more effective means of lashing yourself to something. The way she did it made her totally dependent on maintaining her grip strength. If she released even a little bit due to fatigue, she would have slipped out entirely.
Despite the subterfuge, I do believe Osyraa and the Emerald Chain was trying to find some way towards a negotiated detente because of the dilithium shortage. Reminded me of Star Trek VI and the Klingons negotiating at Khitomer a stand down of the starbases along the neutral zone after the disaster on Praxis depleted Qo'Nos' resources.
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 2:15pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
I wouldn't worry about the sphere data in the repair bots. Remember the only reason Discovery came to the future at all is because the sphere data wouldn't allow Discovery and its data to be destroyed. It won't let that happen now. My guess is that it could (probably should) just electrocute these Chain goons and be done with it; Zhara (sp) sitting in the Captain's chair getting lit up would be kind of satisfying.
Admiral Vance is the hero we deserve. He's been a highlight since introduced, probably the only character who is consistently well written and well performed. Here, he got all the good lines and great, dry, deadpan delivery every time. The "shit" comments of course but we also got, "No one seemed to like it when a red light just went off, so we gave it a face." And "Some of your regulators went for a space walk without their EVAs." LOL
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
I didn't have much fun thiis week.
Discount Seska's evil plan wasn't actually about stealing the Spore Drive? She just wanted to negotiate a treaty?! Give me a break. She couldn't send a hail message or a diplomat?!
And why didn't the crew fight back harder? Yes, I get Tilly is incompetent, but that doesn't extend to the crew. It was almost conical how easy Discount Seska took over the ship. And where was any of that 32nd century tech? There's been no advances in ship defense in 900 years?!
Why didn't the Admiral stall her? Why not, I dunno, maybe have some kind of actual dialogue with the Orions? And where is the Federation Council? Yes, I know the President gave him authority to deal with it, but where is the democracy in this version of Trek? It seems more dictatorial than anything.
And why didn't she just steal some fuel when she was at the scientifically impossible dilithium planet? And why couldn't the spore drive breach the bubble around Starfleet HQ? It could before.
And that guy with the beard worked for her for years and had his loyslty flipped that quickly?! Bad plotting.
Why exactly does Stamets have to die during DNA harvesting? Do Q-Tips not exist in the future? Did the writers ever take a science class?!?!
My prediction about one handed guy (from the second episode) coming back for revenge came true. Sigh, it would've been better if they just left that plot thread dangling. A character on STD wants vengeance, what a surprise!
I don't buy the whole Adira-Is-Our-Family plot. Three episodes is not enough to establish this kind of deep personal dynamic. There are Lifetime movies that have set the stage more plausibly than DISC has. It's unearned pathos.
The less said about MB's plagiaristic Die Hard plot, the better.
Well, one nitpick. A tiresome trope popped up: cauteruzing a wound doesn't heal or numb a wound. It's VERY medically unrealistic. Michael prancing about afterwards like she just slept on a cloud is ludicrous.
Will assassin nun Mommy come to the rescue next week? Or will Michael save the day yet again?
Stay tuned for the cringe!
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
Vance is always well acted, but water is wet. The negotiation was great. She may be cruel and it may be purposeful but I’m wondering if we see her join the crew like the ol Empress.
*WHAT DOES OWO DO??? She’s like “Mega-Worf” and I love it! In any timeline she’s quite the powerhouse!!
I need to rewatch but why does Stamets get the “safe” nerve pinch but rando regulator gets the choke out so Burnham gets stabbed? I laughed when she got stabbed because it came out of nowhere to me.
Previously I defended Tilly being the first officer. I’m willing to grant her engineering and personnel skills, but she was definitely out of her element this time. I admit I expected her to have a moment where she decides to tap into the “Killy” personality like when they were in the mirror universe. Oh well.
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 10:44pm (UTC -5)
Anyhow, the only curious or moderately interesting part was the depth given to Osyraa who appears to be more than a cardboard villain and wants to join the Federation. Vance was good again -- great character and pretty good actor in terms of how he deals with Osyraa and reminding her that she has to stand trial or give herself up if she really wants to chart a new future. But that potential goes up in smoke as that's obviously a non-starter for Osyraa and she goes back to being a one-dimensional villain, blowing away Book's Andorian buddy.
Burnham is once again given the chance to play hero "Die Hard"-style on the ship with Zareh sending baddies after her. There's even the part where she hobbles barefoot while Zareh talks to her on the intercom -- could not help thinking of Bruce Willis in the Nakatomi Tower with the German terrorist... There's no way DSC should be attempting this as they will always fall short badly.
Also thought the bridge crew escaping was too easy -- even Trek's done this better with "Basics, Part II" or even "Shockwave, Part II" and those weren't even really good episodes.
DSC seems to lose focus at times and goes off on tangents that don't mean much in the grand scheme of things. Like it's nice to get Ken Mitchell involved somehow, but his part chatting with Stamets about family etc. is a waste of time. Mitchell's character can't be that important, being introduced in the 2nd last episode.
And then out of nowhere the sphere data bots arrive to help Tilly retake the ship?? The writers are just pulling stuff out of their ass at this point.
2 stars for "There Is a Tide..." -- pretty mindless stuff. Preferred the creativity from "Su'Kal" over trying to re-hash old tropes. And as the season winds down, it shows less and less cohesion, for me. Osyraa's objectives are ridiculous if she truly understands the Federation and wants to be part of the symbol of hope that it is -- how can she think she can get away with her crimes -- unless she just doesn't understand the Federation? I don't think she was trying flat out deceive Vance. This episode does feel like some of these Trek episodes that just go for action/adventure without much substance -- maybe like ENT's "The Augments" or "Divergence" or even TOS's "Friday's Child". Looks like DSC S3 is another downer in the making.
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 11:55pm (UTC -5)
But something interesting is happening to me this season with Disco...I am just enjoying it. I am reacting as intended to the emotional beats ("unearned or otherwise); I am enjoying the pacing and the character arcs; I am feeling more and more like I am watching Trek. I am letting myself enjoy it, and I am not feeling a need to analyze and dissect it, or even constructively critique it. I can acknowledge the observations of others, whether positive or negative. But personally, it feels good to just come along for the ride.
All this to say that for this lifelong trekkie (from age 10, in TNG season 5), they must be getting something right if I can just sit back and have fun watching.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 12:16am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 12:20am (UTC -5)
Don't get crazy on us now.
Don't you remember back in season 2, I think it was, when Burnham explained Newton's Third Law to Saru? As if anyone could even get into Starfleet without knowing that.
Robert M: Your prophecy about Saru is very interesting. I've been wondering how the writers can possibly dig him out of the incompetence hole they've got him in. That would be one way.
Ted - Shhh, you're not supposed to admit you like the show. I've been thinking lately myself that this season, especially, is rewatchable for me. Not perfect by any means, but yeah, enjoyable almost always. All I'd ask is that they'd just (a) stop Burnham from whispering and (b) forget the artsy/nauseating camera angles.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 2:50am (UTC -5)
Stamets rant worked for me, even though his kid connection is not earned. They should have just left it with his husband. I am rooting against Burnham so his outrage against her entertained me.
The negotiation was weird. If the Federation is in dire need then a peace deal with the evil chain makes sense. Sometimes justice cannot be served and you have to make peace with murderous racist, e.g. South Africa and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Insisting on a trial of Osyra is just saying "I want the war to continue". Of course Disco is not deep enough to ponder that thought in more detail and went back to she is so evil, she just killed a guy.
The production value of this show is really amazing but they need better writer.
This season once again has been a mess, the Space Hitler detour did not help and not enough world building, and the cause for the burn is a dud.
But this episode at least was entertaining. 3 stars.
PS: The new season of the Expanse is so great, that is how you do multiple Arcs.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 3:32am (UTC -5)
Count me on the side of those thinking Stamets' outburst made sense, it was completely in keeping with his personality and his experiences over the past 3 seasons. I was wondering if he said he was a parent to try and ingratiate himself with Osyra's scientist (although at the same time he does regard himself as having a parental role with Adira, or wants one), he made clear he was into Andorian opera as well. That scientist I found to be a weak link in the narrative. Are we really supposed to believe he's never seen Osyra behave as she does on the bridge before and is completely unaware of the past excesses in her behaviour? I don't buy it. Now he's all squeamish and worried about it (and he will no doubt have a part in the recapture of the ship in the next episode).
Disappointed they killed off Ryn. He could've been an alien member of the crew, a crew in which other species are few and far between.
Osyra was up to something surely, maybe she'd even got a way of fooling the holograph into stating she was telling the truth. Her characterisation was much better in this episode.
Somebody above wondering why Burnham took her boots off. Did you nod off for a few minutes?! They were pulled off by one of Osyra's regulators when Burnham vented the Jeffries Tube and vented her into space. It was quite a lengthy scene.
I was actually pleased they showed Grudge was secure and she was mentioned again as okay by Book. It used to vex me with Enterprise - what was going on with Porthos while the ship was under attack? He was never mentioned. Was he just left terrified bouncing off the walls and furniture in Archer's room as the ship got hit? Presumably.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 4:45am (UTC -5)
Shit is waste, meaning that we poop because parts of our food isn't nutritious. Why would they shit. Artificial food should be 100% nutritious, there should be no waste, ergo no shit.
The whole plot makes no sense obviously. Why start a peace process with a hostile act? What is it with Discovery creating a character, then showing that this character is a psychopath and then turning that character into a reasonable person. As others mentioned the military negotiating a treaty is for obvious reasons a big no no in democracies. The Federation president, whoever that may be, is literally sitting/standing/floating close by. People found a guy in a white suit staring at them less alarming then a red light blinking... sure. Discovery apparently doesn't have a holding cell or why would they keep them in the mess hall, it was so incompetent I was expecting it to be part of the plan of the now not so bad guys. Nice that Burnham let the scientists have their little chat conclude before John McClaning into the room. That may sound obvious but in peace negotiations you normally don't ask the leader of the other side to stand for trial. Also what are they negotiating here? peace? an alliance? scientific exchange? Unimportant, I guess. Stamets shouting at Burnham to let the Federation die and instead save his husband... wow... treason, nice. Why is the bridge crew not freeing the rest of the crew??... if there is more crew, have we seen more people. Is it only the bridge crew?? I'm not sure.
Maybe what Discovery is best at is managing expectations. The start slowly and around half of the season you start to think:"This is not so bad." Then it falls off a cliff and you think:"This is terrible." but then it dishes out two episodes at the end which are a little better then the terrible ones and enough people say:"Alright, I'll tune in next season. Maybe it will get better."
- Ossyra is going to prison. She will not be killed. But for some reason the treaty will still be signed. Sure, the whole thing was build entirely on her political influence in the Emerald chain but who cares.
- We will see a short clip of the Federation president signing the treaty.
- Saru is the hard nut to crack. I guess they are continuing to portray him as incompetent. I guess they are really committing to the stupid Tilly is in command format. Saru dies while telling Tilly and Burnham how great they are.
- Culber and Adira will survive.
- Idiot science guy will be the contact of the Emerald chain. Makes no sense but again who cares.
- Zorah or whatever his name, will betray Ossyra and become the new leader of the Chain.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 8:19am (UTC -5)
from ENT.. 'Breaking the Ice"
ARCHER: Thanks, Hoshi. Here's one from Molly McCook. 'When you flush the toilet, where does it go?' That sounds like an engineering question, so we'll ask Commander Charles Tucker, our Chief Engineer. Trip.
TUCKER: Pause it, will you?
TUCKER: A poop question, sir? Can't I talk about the warp reactor or the transporter?
ARCHER: It's a perfectly valid question.
(Tucker nods at Hoshi to resume recording.)
TUCKER: The first thing you've got to understand is we recycle pretty much everything on a starship. That includes waste, and the first thing that happens to the waste is it gets processed through a machine called a bio-matter resequencer. Then it gets broken down into. Hold on.
(Hoshi pauses recording.)
TUCKER: They're going to think I'm the sanitation engineer.
ARCHER: You're doing fine.
(The recording is resumed.)
TUCKER: So the waste is broken down into little molecules and then they get transformed into any number of things we can use on the ship. Cargo containers, insulation, boots, you name it.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 8:22am (UTC -5)
Why copy Die Hard and air it right after XMas? Setting aside the questionable ethics of adapting someone else's work without credit, I felt like I was watching a Trek cosplay D.H. reenactment on YouTube.
These badly implemented tropes might make it easier for some to digest this trash, but for me, it actually makes it less fun. I have the most fun with Discovery when it makes me laugh with incredulity, not when it bores me by getting predictable (or plagiaristic).
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 8:28am (UTC -5)
They didn't have food replicators back then. They were still using normal inefficient food.
A food replicator should be able to create food that can be digested without any waste. Why would you add something that cannot be digested, it just puts stress on the digestive system.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 8:35am (UTC -5)
I am no doctor but I doubt permitting a part of your digestive system to go unused perpetually would be desirable or healthy.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 8:39am (UTC -5)
But the human body doesn't absorb 100% of what it consumes. Human bodies (and our gut bacteria) don't work at 100% efficiency. Sometimes the body already has what it needs nutritionally and passes along the excess.
Also, some things we eat are not digestable (due to their molecular makeup). i.e. Corn in poop or extra vitamins turning urine a bright yellow.
It's illlogical to assume that eating perfectly healthy results in no solid waste.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 8:41am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 8:47am (UTC -5)
Food replicators are definitely better than food resequencers. My point is that ships cannot waste resources.. even molecules.. which individually are not dirty or clean, can be resequenced by these machines
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 8:48am (UTC -5)
Ok guys, I wasn't super serious. This episode has so many logical flaws I just wanted to start with a silly one.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 8:59am (UTC -5)
It's too bad this show doesn't have a science advisor (like the Orville does). For example, it would only have taken a few lines of dialog to make the impossible planets we've seen this season a little more possible. They either can't (or won't) throw a bone to the astronomy fans. This is supposed to inspire people to go into STEM careers?!
They aren't TRYING to be scientific, not even lip service. It's beyond lamentable.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 9:00am (UTC -5)
- The Die Hard action plot (I bet they knew this was going to be released around Christmas and decided to go for a self-satisfied homage) undermined the rest of the episode. If you as a viewer were ever invested in the Chain-Federation negotiations, then you couldn't really root for Tilly and Burnham to succeed in retaking the ship and potentially derail an accord. At best, the revolt aboard Discovery was meaningless, at worst it meant that the important part the episode was pointless.
- As many have pointed out, the belief that the Wicked Witch of the West would steal the ship to then bring it into Federation space to negotiate peace is ludicrous. Either the negotiation is done in exchange for her getting her hands on the Spore Drive or she already has the Spore Drive and she doesn't need to negotiate. It showcases that, for all of their alleged wokeness, the writers don't understand that politics is about power and not people being suddenly convinced that the opposing side is correct. Even if the Wicked Witch of the West had always been secretely sold on Federation ideals or thought those would cement her power, there is no chance in hell she would be allowed by her organization to make any concessions to a rival power at a time when the Emerald Chain is winning in every respect (they seem to have military and economic superiority, and now even technological superiority thanks to the Spore Drive). It would have made a lot more sense if it was the INABILITY to control the Spore Drive that led to the Chain wanting peace. Something Star Trek VI did well is to depict the peace with the Klingons as being caused by them being placed in a position of inferiority after the Praxis disaster. It is then that the political opportunists can make peace (mirroring the USSR).
- What is even being negotiated here? At different points it seems to switch from an armistice to fully-fledged political integration. Somebody should tell the writers that these arrangements are polar opposites. Of course, the implications of either are impossible to fathom because neither the Federation nor the Chain have been fleshed out as organizations. The Chain is particulary hard to understand: Are they a crime syndicate, a predatory corporation more akin to the East India Company or a true empire? The implication here is that they do exercise some sort of representative role for the worlds they control, but it is all nonsensical because the writers have never bothered even thinking about these issues. The Federation is an admiral in a corridor and people passing by, and the Chain is a cartoon villain and her goons shooting guns. Nothing can be taken seriously.
- And here we get to the actual interesting idea lurking behind the nonsense: Does the Federation need to accept a different kind of economic organization in a society in which scarcity has returned? Does it need to accept capitalism? The problem is that, as none of this has ever been shown on the series, we don't really know how the economic organization of any world works in the 31st century. We need to take the word of two characters in a room in a 3-minute conversation to get any notion of what it all means. Now, wouldn't THIS have been a worthy subject to investigate from the beginning of the season? (though I have news for the writers: capitalism isn't reduced to mercantile organizations trading for profit, this existed on Earth for centuries before actual capitalism developed. So saying that the Chain is "capitalist" is at this point totally unjustified).
- I will add that I am somewhat distressed by the answer that the writers seem to be providing: That the Federation must indeed accept capitalism as a necessary evil. To be clear, I do agree that this may be the case today (though I reiterate that the writers don't understand what "capitalism" is) but it is concerning that such a moral is being applied with little discussion to a utopian future shaken by a natural-resource disaster. It is the latest example that showcases that NuTrek writers may be openly progressive, but they are also unconsciously deeply neoliberal.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 10:15am (UTC -5)
"- I will add that I am somewhat distressed by the answer that the writers seem to be providing: That the Federation must indeed accept capitalism as a necessary evil. To be clear, I do agree that this may be the case today (though I reiterate that the writers don't understand what "capitalism" is) but it is concerning that such a moral is being applied with little discussion to a utopian future shaken by a natural-resource disaster. It is the latest example that showcases that NuTrek writers may be openly progressive, but they are also unconsciously deeply neoliberal. "
Yes, this. Rare event natural disasters are also what capitalism does very poorly (generally speaking), since there is no competitive advantage to prepare for every conceivable thousand year event. That is where centralized governments and 'socialism' do better. Not trying to turn this thread into a debate about the relative merits of either one, but if the show runners want to bring these issues up, they should at least understand these concepts better.
This episode was better. That said, it was very hard for me to suspend disbelief after Osyra revealed she just wanted to open peace negotiations. Seriously? The federation is obviously interested in peace and stability and always would have taken that meeting. You use that olive branch and some concessions to get your hands on the spore drive through negotiations. Not steal it and then come to the table when you already have everything you need. She wants the good name of the federation? Why the heck does she need that? She has a spore drive and can possibly replicate it and do whatever she wants!
Also, I guess the magic mushroom highway is fully healed and impervious to continued jumping now? I seem to recall a plot thread from one of the other seasons that each jump was killing the network a little bit more. Maybe it's fine for Disco to jump occasionally all on its lonesome, but it seems a whole fleet of them would be bad, considering the effect was measurable with just one ship. Or was it only jumping into the MU that decayed the network? It's so hard to keep up with the nonsense....
This season started off stronger, but went off on a weird tangent or two and lost my interest. It's finishing stronger again, but I am tired of it. I think next season, I will just wait till the end of the season and only buy one month of CBS and watch it all at once. I'd support it more fully and keep my subscription if the show were a bit better.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 10:21am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 10:33am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 11:31am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 11:54am (UTC -5)
Appart from this very promising clarification, that seemd to be part of Roddenberrys vision, this is not Star Trek. But it was still very entertaining. The episode ending leaves many doors open.
The very subtil play with Tillys inexperience was good. And the Bridge crew did show that they are not just filling material. The dialouge between Vance and Ossrya was intressting. Although I did find the Orion girls in TOS and ENT quite entertaining but not really possibla today , Ossyra did show a "platonical" seductiveness. It was long quite unclear if Vance would be able to resist it.
Look forward to next Episode.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 11:56am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 12:05pm (UTC -5)
“ Why start a peace process with a hostile act? ” — Maybe because she thought she had “diplomatic immunity”.
“ Either the negotiation is done in exchange for her getting her hands on the Spore Drive or she already has the Spore Drive and she doesn't need to negotiate.”
Exactly. She has a brilliant scientist AND the spore drive. Take the spore drive out of the Federation’s reach, and now you have literally all the time in the galaxy to reverse engineer it. Now you have all the resources of the emerald chain to build a fleet of spore-driven ships outside of the Federation’s reach, and THEN you march into Starfleet HQ with a list of demands. You’d think 900 years of galactic military history would be put to better use.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 12:17pm (UTC -5)
It's heavily implied that what Discount Seska is really after is the "legitimacy" of the Federation and values it above the spore drive. She stole the spore drive because she thinks it's the only way to get the Federation to the table. The reality is that the Federation probably would have come to the table regardless but I can see why Discount Seska might not realize this since she thinks in terms of power.
In terms of why she wanted the Federation's legitimacy, I'm guessing her hand is being forced and she needs it to keep her empire from falling apart. They are probably having trouble keeping the subjects in-line and realized a structure like the Federation might work better than constantly suppressing insurrections. It's also possible the legitimacy of the Federation would improve the Chain's standing with other governments and races. Who knows. It's unfortunate we all have to speculate on this instead of it being in the show.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 12:18pm (UTC -5)
Diplomatic immunity?! C'mon, even you can't believe that. She has been portrayed up til now as a maniacal tyrant.
How is being antagonistic diplomatic?! Why not just state her intentions? Why the subterfuge? If she has what she wanted, why even talk to the Federation? Why didn't she instead steal a cargo hold full of dilithium from the planet and head back home? Does she really need to talk to an organization so inept that they don't realize sublight speed can still get you to neighboring star systems within a decade?
Let's be real, stealing Discovery to negotiate peace makes zero sense.
In fact, that's why I scored this one so low. (I got sick of listing all the contrivances so I cut my review "short"). This particular installment had WAY too many "But why?" moments that, when given scrutiny, collapse the narrative.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 12:30pm (UTC -5)
If she controls the syndicate, then surely her gang?/ goverment? could and would be able to produce propaganda to push Federation values. Or perhaps the syndicate could skip the propaganda and transition to a full democracy.
Why does she think the UFP will have any better results than she has had?
Why not use her seductive powers to influence the Admiral?
Her motivation AND her method makes no sense. .I can only speak for myself, but I'm not going to project subtleties onto a show with no nuance or logic.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 12:31pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 12:49pm (UTC -5)
This shallow world building style has the additional benefit that they can make up stuff without being limited by earlier episodes. Ossyra can just say that she used her influence to abolish slavery and this is mentioned in one sentence. A species that probably had slavery for thousands of years just gives it up and many more fundamental changes for basically nothing and if that was not already crazy enough the admiral starts demanding that she faces trial, which in her case would certainly mean life long imprisonment. Think about it, Vance sacrifices the freedom of probably millions maybe billions of slaves and the end of other countless crimes, so that one villain goes to prison. It is the dumbest shit.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 12:57pm (UTC -5)
"The storytelling is awful"
The only times DISC us enjoyable is either when it goes all-in on the WB-type inanity/insanity or when ot actually tries to be Trek.
This wasn't either. I don't see how anyone could rate this highly.
(And yeah, that Die Hard "homage" felt more like "theft of intellectual property" to me ... which is kind of ironic when you consider how litigious CBS has been with their own copyrighted material. )
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 1:02pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
That was my bad, I got my classic movies mixed up. I thought I was quoting Die Hard 2 and was actually quoting Lethal Weapon 2 lol!
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 1:20pm (UTC -5)
We are three seasons in. Nothing means anything. ;)
Why is Vance even reading the treaty?! He cannot sign it anyway. The whole scene is pointless. Just send it to the president and continue talking about eating your own poop.
If the trailer can be believed next week will be lots of shooting and action, also crying.
1 to go.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
Yippie Ki-Yay ... and so on.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 1:33pm (UTC -5)
Wow, that's a GREAT point about the Admiral.
This entire episode was a plot hole.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 1:47pm (UTC -5)
You know what the dumbest point is? They acknowledge it. In one off hand comment Ossyra says to Vance something like:"Read it and then let your president sign it." They didn't want to introduce a new character so they just created a scene that makes no sense.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 1:57pm (UTC -5)
2. It seemed that even then Vance wasn’t interested in Osyraa’s gestures and perhaps was buying time to de-escalate the situation.
3. Admirals in Star Trek have always had a large amount of lateral political power. In DS9’s “Paradise Lost”, for example, Admiral Leyton becomes a mini-emperor after it appears that the Federation president is inept at handling the Changling threat.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
I really hope I'm not right, but I have a suspicion the writers are trying to jam a message down our collective throats. Just as they're making Saru emotionally compromised so Burnham can ride in and save the day, it seems to me they're purposefully making Vance unreasonable in pursuit of some moral point they're making. It's not just that the Federation representative is needlessly inflexible, there's also Osyraa's interesting point about the Federation caring too much about abstract things and then expressing surprise that Vance never had a real apple. Also consider how the Federation HQ is hiding in the middle of nowhere, perpetually on the defensive, like it's hiding from the world. And then that arbitrary capitalism remark... There's some half-baked superficial BS moral brewing in there.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 2:16pm (UTC -5)
But they don't sign treaties, they have no legislative power and let's not forget the Federation president is on the station.
to your second point. To what end? if he doesn't agree to her terms then she will just fly away. They had her surrounded.
to your third point. Yeah Leyton wanted to declare martial law. It was obviously illegal but even if it wasn't then he couldn't just sign treaties for the Federation because that would be a military dictatorship.
Yeah sure. They will jam some half baked message into it.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 2:19pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 2:26pm (UTC -5)
I think she has a hard time emoting with all that unnecessary makeup restricting her facial movements, and since she can't really sell her performance, it gives everything surrounding her character a extra hurdle of implausibility. I'm not sure if her talent (or lack thereof) is to blame.
Whoever made the decision to redesign the Orions should be fired.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 2:27pm (UTC -5)
That may be so, but all of that is just supposotion that could've been easily cleared up by using slightly different dialogue.
It's sloppy lazy writing.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 2:31pm (UTC -5)
That'll be a change of pace. ;)
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 2:36pm (UTC -5)
The only person that should read a treaty is the space equivalent of an international law expert. Having an admiral read/judge the validity of a legal document is just dumb.
And I certainly won't defend DS9 on a lot of things when it comes to command structure like Sisko commanding fleets and so on. Ross was Sisko's superior, though, so he gave him orders and somebody else gave Ross orders. Chain of command.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 2:37pm (UTC -5)
So when Su'kal is forced to accept the outside reality next week, he has a blowout that destroys not only his holographic simulation but the one at HQ as well, exposing the ruse, and wipes out all holograms everywhere, only nanoseconds apart! The event comes to be known as The Spurn.
As theories go, "It's pretty good for shit," even if it's holographic shit!
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
@Nick Yes, "legitimacy" is the excuse that the dialogue uses to justify this. But why would the legitimacy of a foreign power matter at all for the worlds under the Chain's command? The idea that ceding power to a foreign faction somehow cements the Wicked Witch's position is preposterous, if anything it would unify the status quo against her. If anything, it isn't the Federation's "legitimacy" that people in those worlds crave, but its superior material conditions. It is very unclear whether those would be made accessible to them, especially given that we have to assume that those conditions don't come from greater natural wealth (the Federation doesn't seem to have more of those than the Chain) but from a series of power imbalances that the Chain should be throughly commited to preserving. The whole thing is ridiculous.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
In my own head from now on, I am going to refer to this episode as “The one where Michael Corleone goes to the UN and applies for representation”
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 4:05pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
Agree with many that it was nice for the crew to have something to do. Stammets outburst makes sense. Yeah, good stuff.
I've enjoyed some of this season and been meh for some of it. Whoever coined Discount Seska though. Take a bow, so glad that has stuck.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 4:37pm (UTC -5)
The resolution of Su'Kal has been wisely put off for another week, in my opinion. Yes, please, let's get the more tense parts of the plot out of the way.
Jonathan Frakes continues to be the best in class for directing Discovery (MAKE THIS GUY THE SHOWRUNNER, FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!). I have always (in the history of Trek) heard a lot about "Federation Negotiations this," and "Federation Negotiations that." It is *nice* to SEE it, for once (show, don't tell). And Osyrra being made into a genuine villain here, was wisely double-blinded against her previous cardboardness, and presented here as a long, drawn-out negotiation in which she basically is trying to wear down the psychological defenses of Admiral Vance, and give him everything he wants, except one thing; she has to stand trial for her crimes. She naturally says "Fuck you." It all just comes together.
In addition, Tilly makes her presence known here. ...It might have been presumptuous of me to discount her. There were always plots where the Enterprise was overtaken by enemy forces under questionable circumstances (And The Children Shall Lead, anyone?), and in an old-fashioned "take back the ship" plot, she has just shown exactly the kind of James T. Kirk confidence that I would expect of a Starfleet Captain, perhaps due to being pushed straight to the edge. I approve. Michael sending a dying message to her Mom also rings very true to her character, and makes me not sorry to be watching SMG for once. Good gracious gravy!
Points for the Vulcan Nerve Pinch, and subsequent protestation by Stamets for her jettisoning of him back to Starfleet HQ. WHOA. That, my friend Trekkies, is a SCENE.
This is pure-ass Star Trek. Four motherfucking Stars. Get me back into this plot, please. Oh my Lordy Lord. January 7th cannot come fast enough.
I enjoyed this episode.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
That's all I wanted to say.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
Still too many unearned WTF whiplash character moments:
• Stamets considering Adira his child after only being with Adira for a couple of months??? Does Adira consider Stamets their parent??? Five or six scenes across a handful of episodes counts as enough screen time to sell this? Really?
• Vance's line "We WANT to join with the Emerald Chain"??? WTF? Just after reading a "Peace Treaty for Dummies" synopsis?
• The only people on DISC trying to retake the starship are the 5 members of the bridge crew. So no-one else is needed to fly Discovery? So it's like TNG Remember Me, when only Picard and Crusher are needed to fly the Enterprise (Picard "We've never needed anyone else before").
• Everyone's reaction to Tilly is just - I have no words. So you can be completely incompetent, so long as you have good intentions??? Reminds me of the Ned Flanders rant after the people of Springfield rebuild his house in the worst way:
Marge: Ned! We meant well, and everyone here tried their best.
Flanders: (to Marge) Well, my family and I can't live in good intentions, Marge! Oh, your family's out of control, but we can't blame you, because you have gooood intentions!
I'm doing my best to erase the unprofessional Stamets rant at the end from my memory...
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 11:42pm (UTC -5)
When you want to negotiate with Federation, you don't take hostages and force yourself into their safe space. You do not need to, it is the Federation they will simply negotiate with you.
Of course it is more impressive to steal DSC to do so than follow logic, right writers of DSC? Right!
-- Ah, and the Federation, basically one (totally cool) admiral. He does everything. Literally. And he is 24/7/365 available. There is no night shift, he is always there.
He can negotiate, he can read treaties in the blink of an eye.
I wouldn't be surprised if Vance turns out to be an android.
-- Burnham, please STOP whispering. Not only because it is an indication of you being unstable, but mostly because it is difficult for the other person to HEAR you. I mean Stamets inside that force field was almost shouting and Michael was kept whispering..
-- This whole thing with Burnham crying at the spot for every difficult decision/action she makes is ridiculous. And unrealistic. Is it possible for a sane person that has to achieve difficult tasks (fights included) to switch emotionally like this and being effective?
Who on his/her/their right mind would trust this person to take life or death decisions? I would't!
And Ι no longer think this is a script/directing thing, but comes from the
inability of the actress to show emotions in any other way than crying (and whispering).
I can't blame him for his ranting, he has every right to want to go back and save his partner since in DSC people put their personal needs first. Burnham has already done. Why not Stamets?
-- However, I didn't really get the part with "we came to the future for you Burnham"
I might missed something last season, because I really disliked it, but didn’t Discovery went to the future so the sphere data won’t be used by Control or whatever?
-- So EVE will save the day? We will see Wall-e as well?
-- Will Vulcan/Romulans also save the day in the next episode? And maybe rejoin Federation?
-- Did the ladies from Vance's delegation look like the ladies from "Addicted to love" clip, or was it my silly idea??
-- Ossyra's delegation are apparently some future version of Daft Punk.
-- Those regulators are quite dumb, right?
-- I am the only one expecting basrefoot Michael to walk on broken glass? I will confess I even waited for the .."Yippee ki-yay m.........."
-- RIP expendable Rhyn
-- Honestly... the next time Detmer and Owo will exchange meaningful glances, even under captivity, I think I will start taking hostages.
Happy New Year!
Sat, Jan 2, 2021, 12:28am (UTC -5)
I won't mention Voyager because I haven't watched it since it was first on. But Discovery doesn't seem to have those character involvement moments (what am I saying! Disco doesn't even believe in character building. . . ) All the details you mentioned about Disco's SFX are exactly what bother me. It's like what my 8-year-old grandson would do if he had lights and sound on his Legos.
Plus, since the whole point of Disco from the beginning has been "ACTION SHOW," they always drag the scenes out too long. It's just not as involving as the legacy series. When Kirk fought the Gorn, that took up most of the episode, but it was interesting the whole way through. Not only was I telling Kirk to "make dynamite!" but I was noticing that the Gorn was pretty damn smart too.
I had to look up Way of the Warrior in my personal mini-review documents. I had two paragraphs on the entire two-parter, and didn't mention the fight scenes. That tells me that it wasn't anything I felt strongly about. I disliked some of the acting in other scenes. However, since it was Worf, I'm sure the action was fine. I mean, by that time Michael Dorn had practically copyrighted the character, so can you imagine a director trying to tell him to go all Burnham? He was always watchable.
So, you know that episode a few weeks back where Detmer did a Star Wars-type attack on the Wicked Witch's ship? That scene is my kind of space battle. Not too "busy," and keeping the characters in focus the whole time. It has to be basic for me.
Sat, Jan 2, 2021, 2:29am (UTC -5)
The idea of a "noble" Federation being willing to merge with a crime syndicate out of desperation is very interesting. Unfortunately, they made it silly by having Vance read an entire treaty in a few minutes and then the whole thing falls apart because he decides he wants to see her imprisoned for crimes. I find that contradictory. If one is willing to merge with this organization for the greater good of the people, tossing it out 2 minutes later because they can't arrest one person is ridiculous. I think they cheapened a good idea this way.
Vulcans and Romulans and Michaels mom are on their way!
Someone will lose a loved one. Will it be Saru and his Kelpian friend? Michael and Book? Stammets losing Culber again?
There is still potential to wrap this up in a decent way, but who trusts this bunch?
Sat, Jan 2, 2021, 3:58am (UTC -5)
I personally don't have a problem from a storytelling standpoint of keeping those scenes centered on Vance, he is the best character on the show after all. And they did throw in some lines to try and justify his role, but unfortunately the storytelling is so shallow you never get too much detail about anything. Like so many other plot points, this would have worked so much better if they just fleshed it out a little more.
@Dreubarik, All your points are valid, I do think the idea of the Chain seeking the "legitimacy" of the Federation is an intriguing concept, the problem is the concept is in a vacuum. So for it to make sense, you have to speculate on the circumstances instead of the show telling you the story. This would be easier If we knew more about the Chain as an organization and the problems they are facing, but the only things we know about them is that they run trading outposts, have slavery, strong-arm pre-warp civilizations, and are running out of dilitihium. So, not much.
@dave, personally I think Michael saying she loved Book was a death sentence for him. You can't have the superhero of the series tied down with a man to look after. Michael's time is very valuable and can't be wasted on a relationship when the galaxy needs repeated saving. Also, just think how much emoting SMG can do when Book dies, I bet it has the showrunners drooling.
Sat, Jan 2, 2021, 4:13am (UTC -5)
It is sweet that your brain tries to give this meaning. I understand the impulse. If it is actually all deep and meaningful then we wouldn't have wasted quite a bit of time of our finite lives on this. :)
The scene still makes no sense. If it is just a summary then the president him/her/x -self would have to read it anyway. Plus we have no indication that it is a summary.
"It's also possible that the President was never serious about this offer and didn't want to waste anyone's time, so he just told Vance to handle it and make her go away, which he did."
Sure, if it was just the Federation buying time to do something then the behavior of Vance would make sense but the scene itself would still be a waste of time. The Discovery is maybe the most important ship in the galaxy. Would he not rather destroy it then let the Emerald chain keep it. Ossyra will not give it back without a treaty. So if they weren't serious and there was nothing indicating a rescue effort by the Federation then why not just destroy the ship. I would think that the Federation has the plans to rebuild it.
Don't waste your time coming up with reasons why this makes sense when the show doesn't. You are wasting more time on something that very likely doesn't deserve it ;)
Sat, Jan 2, 2021, 7:42am (UTC -5)
So many ridiculous scenes.
Earlier in the season was had a bad "The Running Man" rip off now we have a bad "Die Hard" rip off. I'm not sure what the aim is here by taking good/classic movies and making bad versions of them with Michael in the Arnie/Bruce roles.. anyway.. that was the least of the ridiculousness.
DSC is best if you try hard (REALLY hard) not to try and make sense of it because the whole negotiations made no sense. Glancing through a treaty. Expecting someone to stand for their crimes (when they obviously don't consider them crimes), the federation becoming capitalist. Some drivel about history (which smacked of trying to make this relevant to today's issues of statues being torn down and previously heroic figures now being branded racists etc).
Burnham's leg wound didn't seem to bleed nearly enough (Reminded me of Daryl in Walking Dead getting a very similar wound last season and he almost bled out in a couple of minutes and certainly could hobble about and crawl in tunnels). She IS a superhero though.
I seem to remember Book saying something like "Tilly, you're our best hope" which made me laugh at least.
I'm having trouble remembering most of it. A blur of action and ridiculous scenes.
It wasn't boring at least which add half a star or maybe a star for me.
The bad guys were completely incompetent but the Star Wars droids came to save the day.
I just don't care anymore. Please god let it just end. I think season 4 will be on my "watch list" on Netflix for quite a while along with stuff like Umbrella Acedemy which I just never get around to.
Why wasn't Blonde Girl in the bridge crew? I like Blonde Girl.
Burnham cried twice for those that like to count such things.
Still, it had entertaining moments. 1.5 stars from me (Predicted Jammer Rating: 3 stars).
Sat, Jan 2, 2021, 8:11am (UTC -5)
Sat, Jan 2, 2021, 8:47am (UTC -5)
I struggled to make it through the last episode, this one - time flew. (both times)
Well, our "villian" has shown up to The Federation and wants to negotiate? Didn't see that one coming. Very interesting and very well presented by Frakes and acted by Oded Fehr and Janet Kidder. That was quite a joy to watch. Just love how Vance stood his ground in the end. I was wondering if we were ever going to get there (Osyraa being held accountable) and releaved we did.
Michael 'John McClane' Burnham has proven she can be quite the bad ass. I think the writers knew they would be getting comparisons to 'Die Hard' so they wrote in Michael losing her boots... haha. I guess my only real nit-pic with her actions was how she secured herself before activating the fire suppression system. I don't think her grip should have been strong enough to hold her.
12 minutes... Tilly's greatest accomplishment... LOVED it when Osyraa said it was so easy to take the ship she thought it might be a trap. I know they gave her good lines in this one, and she feels bad and all, but none of that matters... she should not be the #1. Period. What a joke.
Nice to see Zareh again. I guess we all knew he was going to make another appearance. Jake Weber does a fine job with this part. I'll bet he was glad Georgiou wasn't around anymore. haha
Stamets... he probably had his best line of the series here when speaking with the scientist about Osyraa. "she is exactly what she appears to be", then turns round and becomes 'whiny bitch Stamets' when yelling at Michael before he's set off in that bubble. Again, you're a commander, put your feelings aside and look at the big picture. There also was no way he could see those child tatoos.
BZ to the writers bringing Kenneth Mitchell back. That wheel chair was specially made for him because he has ALS. Aurellio is quite an interesting character... not only a scientist for the EC, but shows us that there is more to Osyraa than we have been let on. I'm surprised she let him stay on the bridge at the end. So, they will grow tardigrade DNA??? I'm guessing this doesn't work... but we'll see.
I love it each time we get to see our bridge crew get some action. I just love this group of actors. I love the characters too, I just want to see more of them. So they make it to the armory and we run into 3 "repair bots" (red/yellow/blue) that are the sphere data. Aside from being cute, this actually make sense... Discovery's operating software was being over-written so the SD does what it does, it protects itself and moved into the bots. I'm looking forward to how they help next week.
The was never a doubt in my mind that Ryn was going to get killed by Osyraa. I am a little surprised she did it in front of Aurellio though.
Frakes did an AWESOME job in this one. The pacing was perfect, the negotiaion was nuanced and intriguing... everything was well done.
Michael should have used the Vulcan nerve pinch on that guy that stabbed her. Is it called a "Ni'Var nerve pinch" now? haha
Who names these episodes? ... "There is a Tide..."???? How the hell does that relate to anything? The last episode has now been changed on IMDb to "The Hope is you... Part 2" now... I kind of figured that was going to happen to bookend this season.
My guess for next week is Culber forgot to bring his hypo-spray... because it would be really easy to knock Su'Kal out and beam him out of there you know...
I'm going 3.5 stars here... huge improvment over 'Su'Kal'. I can't wait to see how they wrap things up next week.
Sat, Jan 2, 2021, 9:35am (UTC -5)
At least Burnham is useful in a super hero way. Stamets is just one of endless amazing engineers with some DNA.
Sat, Jan 2, 2021, 2:37pm (UTC -5)
I'm guessing Orien woman pheromones are a thing of the past in the 32nd century?
Sat, Jan 2, 2021, 3:30pm (UTC -5)
I thought the same thing. I sat there and waited for her pheromones to begin to take effect, fully expecting a cheesy-but-fun scene where she would then begin to manipulate him and break down his barriers ... and then, when they didn't ....
This is low-hanging fruit, the scene writes itself. Why not do it?! It makes no sense to ignore canon here, especially when actual entertainment seems the likely result.
Maybe the concept of the Orion species violates the Bechdel Test, I don't know.
Sat, Jan 2, 2021, 6:45pm (UTC -5)
IMHO “Discovery” does none of these things particularly well. It’s a handsome-looking mess that covers a lot of ground but ends up saying and meaning very little.
It’s not that there aren’t any good or worthwhile ideas or characters in here. They’re just constantly stuck with material that’s nonsensical, meaningless or just bad. For example, I liked the thoughts and ideas behind the holodeck and the ‘child’ it needed to raise. But it’s weighed down by its link to the Burn as well as terrible character material for poor Saru. Admiral Vance is always engaging, and the question of how to deal with an organization like the Emerald Chain could be worth exploring. However, it’s all meaningless because Osyraa is a one-note character, the Emeral Chain is a cliché, and nothing in this episode changes any of that.
Because it’s a Star Trek show, I really struggle with the idea of not watching S4. But looking back over three seasons that have repeated the same mistakes over and over, I really don’t know if I’ll be back for more.
From where I’m standing, it’s simply a pretty terrible Star Trek show that doesn’t hold a candle to some of the other Sci-Fi shows out there. And I really wish it did.
P.S.: I have ZERO interest in the “Section 31” show based on the main character alone. I thought “Section 31” was fascinating when it was first introduced. But it’s become nothing more than a group of comic book villains.
Sat, Jan 2, 2021, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
Why is Michael notifying her mom and not Starfleet that Ossyra took over the Discovery? For all she knows, Ossyra is using the Discovery as part of some plot and Starfleet knows nothing. Wait, Michael DID try to send a message, but that didn't work since the comms were fried. So naturally five minutes later, when she can send a message, she sends it to her mom and not her 'superiors'. (The trick is that the viewers know by that time that Vance figured it out. But Michael had no knowledge of this).
The Emerald Chain has institutions that can technically ban slavery? We've seen no hint of institutions so far. The Federation has legitimacy? Didn't most worlds secede? The negotiations were a farce. I'd say that Vance was just stalling her, except his last gambit made sure the negotiations would fail right away. What was he even trying to do?
At least the action parts were just forgettable and Stamets had some decent lines, but as expected the serialized plot is going nowhere. Ultimately, DIS shows that serialization can make shows worse if proper care is not taken. In this case, insufficient world-building in a new setting.
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 12:03am (UTC -5)
There are bad episodes in all seasons of all previous star trek shows, but they were mostly stand alone and you could ignore them. And when you rewatch old shows, you can skip them. Disco doesn't have this chance, so the bad ideas in some episodes are dragging the whole season down, even the whole serie.
Also, it feels like each episode is written separately from the others. The emerald chain wants to make peace with starfleet? Where is that idea in previous episodes? The whole arc should be written completely before you even start shooting your first episode, even if you can allow for flexibility. Babylon 5 did it well in its time. The Expanse also, as it's based on books. Here, I get the feeling the writers didn't have a clue what could have caused the blur at the start of the season, and they struggled to come up with an explanation after that. Too bad. Discovery have very strong aspects, but that improvisation is hurting it. Burnham has to become captain? Well, let's suddenly derail Saru's character.
I stop here, I'm too frustrated. I would probably wouldn't watch this if it wasn't a Star Trek show. But I won't give up, I'll be back for season 4, hoping for better writting, and for more stand alone episodes (i really hope for a Detmer centered episode one day)
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 2:54am (UTC -5)
The funny thing though is that for some reason I thought this was the finale, so I started really wondering how they were going to wrap it all up when there was like five minutes left. Then a couple minutes later I thought, WTH, they are going to leave the season on a cliffhanger? LOL
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 4:03am (UTC -5)
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 5:00am (UTC -5)
The idea that the burn made space travel really tough for everyone was a central premise of this season which they just hand wave away at a whim.
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 5:13am (UTC -5)
Right and this brings up more nonsense. Considering that warp is so limited why not construct ships that can clean up the transwarp tunnels which brings us to the next nonsense point. Why are all the transwarp tunnel full of destroyed ships. It seemed like apart from the ship parts nothing was hindering people from using them. So these tunnels were empty and then sooner or later ships exploded in every tunnel and then other ships just kept flying into these death traps and nobody every thought of cleaning that up.
This is like a dumb marvel movie or that last star wars movie. The moment you use more than two brain cells it falls apart.
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 6:07pm (UTC -5)
However, it does happen to have one quality which Discovery can't seem to resist; it is very melodramatic.
Do you all remember when Kirk and Spock would talk on the bridge, and say things like
Spock: "I fail to see why you insist on questioning me upon matters which you have already decided."
Kirk: "It gives me emotional security."
Without any music, without any special effects in the BG, indeed, without anything in the scene except sfx of the ship and Spock and Kirk well-shot and talking to themselves. Wrath of Khan has lots of moments like this.
Star Trek is suffering from being able to afford its vices; when the show was limited in its budget and thus scope, they had to do more with less. This feels excessive, and I keep coming back to this, but it feels unbalanced. It doesn't seem to know what kind of show it wants to be anymore, and that messes with the story and pacing.
Still, taken for all and all, "There Is A Tide..." is enjoyable TV, if you are willing to make the caveats to this already baloney plot that it is asking you to make.
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 11:45pm (UTC -5)
Book/Burnham love story- it's cute. Book's a really attractive guy, and an animal lover, so I love seeing him on-screen. But so much of their relationship development happened off-screen, the 'last kiss' moment didn't tug at the heartstrings.
I really liked Aurellio! Complex character- disabled, an example of who the Emerald Chain helped survive in a time when resources are stretched so thin. The Federation is totally wicked for not sharing the spore drive tech with everyone immediately, Osyrra is right! But Aurellio... disabled, married to an Andorian with kids, evidently brilliant. Clearly upset by seeing Ryn blasted into nothingness (god, Book, you're so stupid!), so I guess we should expect a super predictable betrayal.
Fleshing out the Emerald Chain! They should've done this from E1. Imagine an episode from entirely the Emerald Chain perspective, to show how their government works and how villains like Osyrra are just trying to help their people.
I thought the scene with Stamets was... really sad. That actually made me feel for him. And recognizing Adira as his surrogate child is great. See, writers, how things can have emotional resonance when you plant seeds in the episodes before? Should've done this with the Emerald Chain.
Vance is still pretty bland to me, but he had some great lines (apple scene funny!) Lie detector robot was weird. I feel like they drew a lot of attention to it with no payoff- I expected Osyrra to be hacking it somehow.
Overall, this episode didn't bore or confuse me! I knew when I saw 'directed by Johnathan Frakes' that it couldn't be that bad, and I was right!
Mon, Jan 4, 2021, 1:33am (UTC -5)
He ought to be court martial for disobeying a direct order...
Mon, Jan 4, 2021, 2:52am (UTC -5)
"Fleshing out the Emerald Chain! They should've done this from E1. Imagine an episode from entirely the Emerald Chain perspective."
We got this to some degree when Ossyra was introduced. She revealed that she not only murdered her brother but then also fed her nephew to worms. I thought that these worms would be somehow important, why explain what they do, but no it was just to show how evil psycho she is.
On a general note I want to mention that Discovery is terrible at doing hand to hand combat. The actors are either not good at fight choreography or they didn't have enough time to study the choreography. The ship combat was ok but the hand to hand combat reminded me of Liam Neeson's famous fence climbing scene. (If it doesn't look good then use a lot of cuts and shaky cam)
Mon, Jan 4, 2021, 10:43am (UTC -5)
Mon, Jan 4, 2021, 5:43pm (UTC -5)
"Maybe the concept of the Orion species violates the Bechdel Test, I don't know."
HA... I had to look that up. With this writing and producing crew, I wouldn't put it past them.
"Another thing that they retroactively turned into nonsense. At the beginning we see Booker fly his little morph ship through the transwarp garbage tunnel and they barely make it. So Ossyra's big ship made it through this... ok."
We know that her ship and Discovery used this tunnel?
"Holy shit, that was really good! I was not expecting an episode of this quality. Easily the best episode of the series.
The funny thing though is that for some reason I thought this was the finale, so I started really wondering how they were going to wrap it all up when there was like five minutes left. Then a couple minutes later I thought, WTH, they are going to leave the season on a cliffhanger? LOL"
That reminds me of an 'Enterprise' experience I had. The first time I saw 'Observer Effect' I knew the series was canceled so I thought they were killing Hoshi off... lol ... so glad they didn't do that.
Mon, Jan 4, 2021, 6:07pm (UTC -5)
I want to point out that the Bechdel test is not an actual scientific test and was never intended to be used as one but a way to highlight something that was (1985) and is to a lesser degree still true. That for a long time women only had very specific roles. The test itself is basically meaningless.
copied from wiki:"this criticism indicates the problem that the test's utility "has been elevated way beyond the original intention. Where Bechdel and Wallace expressed it as simply a way to point out the rote, unthinkingly normative plotlines of mainstream film, these days passing it has somehow become synonymous with 'being feminist'."
"We know that her ship and Discovery used this tunnel?"
Booker says that all these transwarp tunnels look like that. So no they didn't use that very specific tunnel that directly connects the Dilithium planet to Starfleet headquarter.
Mon, Jan 4, 2021, 6:56pm (UTC -5)
Barefoot Burnham going full McClane was also fun.
Admiral Vance is perhaps the best Starfleet Admiral in Trek history. He's just so damn...STARFLEET, and yet still not just wallpaper paste (see: Bryce/Rhys when not knocking out Morse code).
After the shit they pulled killing Culber, I really want to doubt they'll kill him AGAIN, along with Adira and Saru. I happen to like all three, so save 'em! Judging by how well the "anti-radiation meds" work (Burnham's burns just vanished like dermal regeneration), they can hold out until someone can go get them.
Mon, Jan 4, 2021, 8:06pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 3:26am (UTC -5)
It is mentioned in my last sentence and about the accusation that it is, as you say, widely used, which I find disputable, well... when idiots get their hands on something... and then a few stupid and/or mediocre journalists come in and think:"Hot button issue and buzzwords. THIS HAS EVERYTHING!!" from there it goes to usual moron brawl between left wing paramecia and right wing troglodytes. We all know how this works.
To quote another sentence:"Originally meant as "a little lesbian joke in an alternative feminist newspaper", according to Bechdel,..."
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 8:27am (UTC -5)
The terms of the Bechdel Test are quite minimal:
1. Two female characters
2. Two female characters who talk to each other
3. Two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man (if we really want to be technical, this is the only criterion)
These criteria would hardly tie a competent writer in knots, and certainly do not negatively impact storytelling in and of themselves. Interestingly, though, a shocking number of films and television programs can't pass even this admitted joke of a test.
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 10:23am (UTC -5)
Looks like I hit a feminist nerve. Why do people feel the need to pretend reality is something other than what it is?
If you view indiscriminately view every character through a lens of gender, the Bechdel Test can and is easily abused.
If you don't want to believe your eyes and ears the Wiki article that Booming excised a quote from has plenty of citations.
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 10:41am (UTC -5)
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 11:18am (UTC -5)
Please read my comment again. You are confusing adherence to the original Bechdel Test--which, again, was created as a cartoon and not in a film journal--with poor writing or a substitution of [X category] for thoughtful narrative. Part of the joke is that the Bechdel Test is an extremely low bar. Including a total of two women who talk to each other about something besides a man does not by itself generate bad writing, nor does it harm story telling. Passing the Bechdel Test is not the same as the "indiscriminate" bean-counting mentality to which you allude. Nevertheless, Discovery's many narrative problems have far more to do with its faux-Star Wars action, paucity of ideas, and anemic characterization than they do with checking off demographic boxes.
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 11:43am (UTC -5)
here's a left turn change of subject
What scientific discoveries (pun Very Much Intended) has the USS Discovery made, since the start of this series? The Spore Drive does not count, simply because that's "the big one" and we have heard the opinions on it from here to eternity... a place in the sun ... (that's mongomery clift, honey!) ... ahem sorry
So... besides that, I think that Kelpian Danger Ganglia fall off at the end of the Varharai, discovered when Saru got too close to an alien tree, or somesuch... gosh I forgot "Si Vis Pacem" or maybe it was the episode before it?
Uhm, they discovered the source of the Burn, just now, uhm, they discovered a colony of humans way out in space they didn't know about...hm... They discovered that there was a mysterious thing about Ash Tyler that they didn't know... and that the mycelial network is capable of regenerating a human consciousness through contact with it.
Weird list, already... The future stuff they've learned since coming to the 31st century doesn't seem like it should count though. That's not discoveries they've made, it's just discoveries that happened.
There was some Dark Matter dealy that Tilly was kicking around? Oh, and that the Sphere Data is sentient and benevolent. Trying to think of more... How bout you guys?
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
Definitely, but the writers appear to see checking off the boxes as a form of absolution for their narrative sins. The box checking isn't causing the story telling failure, it's being used to cover up for it. Unfortunately while they're virtue signalling, they aren't telling a coherent story.
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
Transparent aluminum keeps the flavor in.
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 4:03pm (UTC -5)
@Moldorf: "These criteria would hardly tie a competent writer in knots, and certainly do not negatively impact storytelling in and of themselves."
People who have been reading me for any length of time, especially this year, know that I find a lot of woke/PC stuff tiresome or even borderline malevolent (particularly the implicit test we increasingly see of "not too many straight white dudes, unless they are villains"). But in this case, I have to strongly agree with Moldorf. To be resistant to the very basic criteria of the Bechdel test really is kind of regressive. It's not a high bar to clear, and the paucity of programming that does clear it is a sad commentary.
@Jammer: "Those weren't just windows. They were transparent aluminum!"
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
I think the great fungus was only hurt by mirror stamets reactor. Starfleet forbid people from talking about it because ... file not found.
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
There is an important difference to Lost. What in the end broke Lost was that they had created memorable mysteries they had no idea how to solve. Discovery on the other hand just burns through large amounts of mysteries very fast and hope that the audience will forget that they make no sense.
Here a few mysteries that will never be solved.
- Why is Starfleet and Federation headquarter in a bubble which seems to be located in the middle of nowhere? Why not on a member planet? (I get the meaning. Starfleet lives literally in a bubble *wink* *wink* How clever...)
- Why are the transwarp tunnels full of destroyed ships?
- Why did Earth not know where Starfleet headquarter is?
- Why did Starfleet never find the Dilithium planet on the other side of the transwarp tunnel?
- Why have we never visited Terralysium?
- Why is everybody at Starfleet headquarter Human? Look at the scene when Vance receives Ossyra. Everyone with him is Human. A planet that isn't part of the Federation anymore.
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 5:48pm (UTC -5)
This results in an artificial barrier which hamstrings good storytelling. You can't bar one sex from discussing the other without restricting narrative options.
As far as Discovery's discoveries go, they still haven't discovered logic, reason or the chain of command.
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 5:49pm (UTC -5)
Allow me to kindly answer ALL of your so-called “mysteries”
- Why is Starfleet and Federation headquarter in a bubble which seems to be located in the middle of nowhere? Why not on a member planet?
To give Michael Burnham something to search for.
- Why are the transwarp tunnels full of destroyed ships?
Michael Burnham accidentally destroyed them in her Red Angel suit.
- Why did Earth not know where Starfleet headquarter is?
Because Michael Burnham wasn’t there to tell them.
- Why did Starfleet never find the Dilithium planet on the other side of the transwarp tunnel?
You can only make relevant discoveries with Michael Burnham on board.
- Why have we never visited Terralysium?
They have changed their religion to Michael Burnham worship, and seeing God would throw their entire culture into chaos.
- Why is everybody at Starfleet headquarter Human?
They are actually from various planets, but use advanced holo-technology to appear human in order to make Michael Burnham feel more comfortable.
-Why did the chicken cross the road?
Because Michael Burnham was on the other side.
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 5:53pm (UTC -5)
For example, if TNG were written in the current day, you could never have Crusher and Ogawa or Troi and Guinan discuss any male for any reason without Twitterati condemnation.
It's sexist to deny actresses dramatic opportunities and limit such inter-gender discussions to males.
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 6:36pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 7:57pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
Dave in MN - You're turning the Bechdel test around. It doesn't say that women in a story CAN'T talk about men ever. That would be silly. What it says is, they ought to do something else as well.
Jammer - Any chance we'll ever be able to upvote comments?
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
I know it doesn't say that, but that's how it's being received by many.
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 8:30pm (UTC -5)
I don’t think you’re analogy holds up. Now if you’re boarding the plane and notice the pilot is doing the maintenance outside, then starts loading the luggage herself, then starts passing out drinks mid-flight, and because she’s so overworked accidentally lights the cabin on fire— now we’re talking Discovery. This show revolves around Burnham as the center of the galaxy, and you cannot separate the travesty of Discovery from the poor development of her character. They put her in every scenario, no matter how impossible, stack the odds against her, raise her up like Christ himself, and drag us along for every tear-soaked minute. Ask yourself, as bad as Discovery is, take Michael out of the equation, and if it were a true ensemble cast like every other iteration Trek, wouldn’t it be better? Even with these half-brained plots, I know I’d enjoy it much more.
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
Part of the reason I gave the second episode of this season, "Far From Home" such high marks (https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-dsc/s3/far-from-home.php), is because it showed the potential Discovery had if they got rid of Michael and let the rest of the crew actually do their thing.
Of course that was at the start of the season, when hope still, um, *burned* eternal ;)
By now we can safely say that DISCO is what it is. The all hail Michael Burnham mindless action/over-EMOTING hour.
On TOS, Nurse Chapel had more character development than the entire bridge crew of Discovery - put together.
On TNG, even Data and Wesley - put together - didn't save the day as much as Michael does on ST:D.
On DS9, even Rom (fucking night-shift technician ROM!) was more willing to make a nobel sacrifice that whiney bitch Stamets.
On VOY, even terrorist Maquis Chakotay was a more loyal first officer than Burnham.
On ENT, even the Xindi arc tried to show things from the Council's POV, which Discovery didn't bother with in this Emerald Chain arc.
There is not a single positive contribution Discovery has made to the Trek franchise. Except, I assume, getting people to subscribe to CBS All Access.
Even when Star Trek had the benefit of a Picard (Patrick Steward) or a Kira (Nana Visitor), they never relied on just one person to carry the whole show. Even super-woman VOY brought in Seven to compliment Janeway. And the holo-Doctor provided real rounding to the show.
The closest Star Trek has ever come to a Michael Burnham-like situation with the pilot running around doing every single thing, was at the very end of the TNG episode "Remember Me,"
CRUSHER: It's all perfectly logical to you, isn't it? The two of us roaming about the galaxy in the flagship of the Federation. No crew at all.
PICARD: We've never needed a crew before.
It's sad, really.
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
That was a hilarious post.
It’s weird. Despite Burnham being the center of attention since the start of the series, it never really bothered me until this season. Season 1 I was just getting familiar with the cast, and season 2 I thought that Anson Mount as Pike was so good that he completely overshadowed Burnham. Ethan Peck was also great as Spock.
But now those two characters are gone and I am familiar with the cast. And I have just found Burnham to be the focus of every episode to be super annoying. She just isn’t a good Star Trek character. Perhaps part of the issue is that Sonequa Martin-Green is a mediocre actress, but I think her character isn’t written well and she is overexposed.
A lot of people hate Wesley from TNG in season 1 because he would notice things or solve problems that adults could not. Now imagine Wesley being the focus of every episode, going on every away mission, and solving every single problem. That’s Burnham right now, and a lot of people are hating the character (and show) for it. I honestly think the show would be better with her not in it. Or at least reduce her role.
Here’s another question. Why wasn’t the dilithium planet story at all shown in this episode? Because we need Burnham to first get the ship back. Then Discovery can jump back to the other planet in time for Burnham to transport down and resolve that story.
I am trying to think of another show where the lead character is really not that great. A show that lasted more than a season? Can anybody think of one?
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 3:35am (UTC -5)
"Ask yourself, as bad as Discovery is, take Michael out of the equation, and if it were a true ensemble cast like every other iteration Trek, wouldn’t it be better?"
It is my impression that many here think that if they replace Burnham then the show would be better. As if it wasn't still the same writing team. The fact that Burnham is a bad character and shoehorned into everything is a sign for complete ineptness of the writers. Replacing Burnham will not turn the writing team into a good one. In other words, Burnham is a symptom of a far deeper problem and not the cause.
"Even when Star Trek had the benefit of a Picard (Patrick Steward) or a Kira (Nana Visitor), they never relied on just one person to carry the whole show."
Well, let's not forget that while being on the ultimate guilt trip, Picard at the end of season 1 basically becomes Jesus. Saving the galaxy, dying, being reborn. The show is literally called Picard and while people complained that many characters humiliated or ignored Picard... that is how season 1 started for Burnham. Season 2 of ST Picard will be about him learning that he now can fly and do jedi mind tricks and at the end of the season he will explode a Borg fleet with his mind. You just wait. :)
@Frank A. Booze
"But now those two characters are gone and I am familiar with the cast."
Really?! I barely know any of these people.
" Now imagine Wesley being the focus of every episode, going on every away mission, and solving every single problem."
Again, I'm not debating that Burnham is a bad character or shoehorned into every story. My point is that the character of Wesley was a hiccup of an otherwise solid writing team. Burnham is a sign of a completely incompetent writing team. Replacing her will not change that. They had a better dynamic with Pike and then tossed that. The writers for NuTrek obviously think that we need a superhero at the center.
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 4:45am (UTC -5)
I think the Expanse is an example of a good show where the lead character, James Holden, is not that great. He's not bad, but pretty uninteresting. The show succeeds because the world building is excellent and incredibly detailed, the plots are excellent, and many of the supporting characters (Chrisjen Avasarala, Amos, Bobbi, etc.) are outstanding.
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 7:20am (UTC -5)
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 7:37am (UTC -5)
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 9:09am (UTC -5)
That would make sense, in a sad kind of way.
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 7:50pm (UTC -5)
Okay, let me clarify. I am more familiar now with Stamets, Culber, Saru and Tilly. Detmer, just barely. I couldn’t tell you anything about Rhys, Bryce or Owosekun aside from the fact that they exist.
You are right though. Removing Burnham won’t solve the problem of crappy writing. It’s too bad Discovery won’t take the ensemble cast approach from previous trek shows. It says a lot though that Burnham is the “star” of the show and gets nearly all the screen time, yet the other actors have more of an impact on the show with their limited screen time.
And then there is Jett Reno, who has a single personality trait of making sassy comments. I don’t think her as an engineer works. There have been too many times where she SHOULD be in a scene, but isn’t because the actress can just be part of an episode whenever she feels like it. They should make her the ship barber. That way when the actress feels like being part of the show, they can write her in by having a character go for a haircut.
I think if Burnham gets promoted to captain next episode I might throw my remote at the tv screen.
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 8:01pm (UTC -5)
" They should make her the ship barber. That way when the actress feels like being part of the show, they can write her in by having a character go for a haircut."
Why not just make her a bartender like Guinan. She is different enough from Whoopie Goldberg's character. That would even give us a few scenes where we could actually meet the people that we have seen for three years now. But here we do it again, trying to imagine a show that Discovery is not.
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
"I am trying to think of another show where the lead character is really not that great. A show that lasted more than a season? Can anybody think of one? "
Kevin Sorbo in the later seasons of Andromeda? The rest of the cast had their screentime greatly reduced, the script was inept, and it was all about showing how the captain in great. I sometimes get the same feeling with Disco.
About SMG being a bad actress: I don't know, butI think even the greatest couldn't save this character. Burnham is badly written. She's supposed to have been raised by vulcans and keep her emotions at bay, but now this is all forgotten and she cries for nothing in every episode. She can betray her captain or her crew several times, it's also all forgotten the following week. If we're not supposed to remember and care about a character past, it's difficult to care about it's future....
Also, I have seen many comment about the Bechdell test. I think this is largely unrelated to the quality of the script. We can have an all male cast and a plot that still makes sense, and a very diverse cast with a weak script.
Having a diverse cast is good from a diversity standpoint.
Passing the Bechdell test is good from a feminist standpoint. Nothing more, nothing less. If you replace all characters by white straight males, the burn being caused by a kid or the EC wanting suddenly to join the federation is still bad writing. And if you replace Kevin Sorbo in Andromeda by a black actress, you still get a bad show. Those things are unrelated in my opinion. It's nice to have diversity if you like diversity. But it won't save the show.
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
Yep, just as lame only in a monochromatic way.
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 11:26pm (UTC -5)
"Why is Starfleet and Federation headquarter in a bubble which seems to be located in the middle of nowhere? Why not on a member planet?"
It's a reasonable question, but it could be out of a desire not to seem to favor any particular member.
What I'm confused by is how they could still have a decent number of members (even if significantly down from their peak), yet not only Earth (as you mentioned) but a courier, various traders, etc., seemed sure it had gone extinct.
Let me reiterate that even though I'm joining in on the snark about the series' continuity in general, I still think this episode kicked ass.
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 2:43am (UTC -5)
Either I am projecting your words back onto you or you may really be racing to conclusions yourself. I shouldn’t be quick to jump to conclusions I guess. Some things need more time and patience than others.
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 4:50am (UTC -5)
"Turns out there's more to Osyraa than previous episodes — in which she, say, fed her nephew to giant worms — had indicated."
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 6:42am (UTC -5)
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 7:27am (UTC -5)
Is this even an attack on capitalism? Nothing bad is said about the economical system itself. The Emerald chain is capitalistic and they are bad but that's it.
Others have pointed out that the writers do not care or understand capitalism. Exchange of goods is not what capitalism is about. At it's core capitalism is about the accumulation of capital and the eventual overproduction issue. One could probably name other aspects. None of those are mentioned by the show.
It is what I would call for lack of a better word: Problem-tokenism.
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 7:54am (UTC -5)
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 10:28am (UTC -5)
Pretty much what Kurtzman is conveying to what's left of the fan base.
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 10:51am (UTC -5)
"Burnham sends a distress call to her mother. This seems like it's setting the stage to bring them back together to tie up loose ends more than it makes any sort of logical sense under the circumstances. How is she going to get there in any sort of timely manner, and why not contact Starfleet, who is right there?"
Osyraa was blocking comms to the Federation. They tried "calling home" during the trip in. ... and Vance instructed his LT to secure all comms channels to find out how the EC hacked in.
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 11:52am (UTC -5)
Haha classic Jammer (I haven't seen the show).
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 2:05am (UTC -5)
As of a week ago I did not believe it was possible for this show to produce a *great* episode, only the occasional good one to go with mediocre and bad outings. I was stunned last weekend to discover I was wrong.
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 9:48am (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Sep 26, 2021, 1:01am (UTC -5)
Thu, Jan 27, 2022, 9:46pm (UTC -5)
I liked this better than the abstract and fruitless holographic program hijinks of the last episode. This one is at l least a fun popcorn show, not the turgid mess of the burn mystery.
One observation: Boy this show loves killing off its characters (both guests and regulars) more than any other Trek series. Here we lose Ryn.
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