Star Trek: Discovery

“Species Ten-C”

3.5 stars.

Air date: 3/10/2022
Written by Kyle Jarrow
Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi

Review Text

It took a while to get here, and it got a bit tiresome with the padded pace in recent weeks, but we've finally reached the destination — the home of unknown Species 10-C. And even though the destination alone can't make all the stops in the journey along the way worthwhile, this on its own proves to be an effective (partial) payoff that serves as a standout example of well-envisioned Star Trek in its most cerebral science-fiction mode.

We've reached Species 10-C's massive protective hyperfield. What awaits inside is anyone's guess. The crew sends in some of the DOT drones up to the field. Liquid tentacles pull them in, then pull in the Discovery. We are truly entering the unknown. The crew sends hails. They even attempt to use the chemicals that align with the different types of dust and corresponding emotional states discovered in last week's "Rosetta." No reply. Either the 10-Cs are ignoring the message or they aren't receiving it. The crew has no way of knowing which.

At last, something happens. 10-C appears to be trying to communicate. They flash bright lights at the Discovery, which Burnham, Saru, and the delegates view from the shuttle bay. The crew attempts to formulate a response, but is the response enough to convey a sense of intelligence when the 10-Cs are so different they may regard humans as no more sentient than ants? Finally, a breakthrough: Using the light patterns like a decryption key, the crew figures out how to decode the molecules emitted from the 10-Cs into a pattern that reveals ... math, the universal language.

I'm not going to summarize the complexities of the translation scenes any more than I already have. But I will say the procedure plays as top-notch sci-fi, in both how it's written and how it's visually conveyed. The writing staff has created something that feels solid and smart, while the production staff implements it in a way that's visually stunning and conveys what's happening.

Is this original? I suppose not, but it feels pretty unique for Star Trek, give or take a V'Ger. "Species Ten-C" owes a lot to Arrival, which had a similarly framed communication scene that attempted to break down visual patterns into meaning. There's also some of the sense of amazement of Close Encounters, where for once we're truly dealing with a truly alien unknown, as opposed to most Trekkian species, who are humanoid — and where a universal translator allows everyone to communicate verbally without missing a beat.

We don't actually see Species 10-C yet, and I might be okay not seeing them at all. Watching how they communicate is probably way more interesting than finding out what they look like. After initial communications are successful, the 10-Cs send an egg-like pod to Discovery for our crew to board, where communications continue. I was reminded of the spherical metallic enclosure in Contact, although inside this one the 10-Cs have created a replica of Discovery's bridge. There are little moments of excitement as messages are sent, received, interpreted, and understood. Communication is happening, and negotiation may be possible.

Having this heady effort transpire while the DMA is mere hours away from hitting our home planets is still an unnecessary distraction, but the ticking clock does provide the B-plot (Book and Tarka) with its motivation, and the B-plot adds some visceral juice alongside the A-plot's thoughtful exploration — because you just know that this is where the other shoe is going to drop. The episode does a good job of turning the screws in the final act to ratchet up the suspense, with everything going right in an A-plot that's on a blind collision course with a B-plot where everything will go wrong.

Book and Tarka have Reno as a prisoner, and she does her best to talk them down from what looks increasingly likely to unleash a disaster just as the Discovery crew is making slow but steady progress. Book you can talk sense into, but Tarka remains the wild card, and Reno summarizes it aptly when she tells Book that Tarka has been "blinded" by his own pain and personal needs. (I was reminded of how Matt Damon in Interstellar could not let go of his own self-interests, despite what catastrophic consequences that might have for all of humanity. At the end of the day, can we see beyond ourselves when the bigger picture might seem more distant and abstract?)

When Book realizes it's time to stop and let the communication effort move forward, Tarka isn't having it. He had already long committed to this action, and he has locked Book from control of his own ship. Tarka untethers from Discovery, which prompts the 10-Cs to instantly stop communications and to return the away team to the ship.

Can Discovery end this season on a high note? I feel like the process of communication was the real point here, and now that we've seen that, I'm not sure what else would happen next week except to re-establish negotiations and wrap up. We'll see, but the initial encounter was a memorable one that goes down as possibly the best example of pure sci-fi on this series. I've named-dropped a number of great sci-fi movies here. If you're going to borrow, borrow from the best.

"Despite knowing the journey, and where it leads, I embrace it, and welcome every moment":

  • Tig Notaro has a narrow range of direct delivery on this series, but Reno's tale of the person she tried to save against his will because the victim's eyes subconsciously reminded her of her wife's did a good job of conveying a sincere and emotional moment while staying within her typically stoic parameters.
  • Speaking of Reno, I said she would snark her way through being a prisoner, but she's mostly sincere in what she says and does here.
  • One more on Reno: She has a MacGyver moment when she uses black licorice to jury-rig the enablement of a device she has that can get a message to Discovery.
  • Zora being the self-aware starship computer seems to function at the needs of the plot. If she has internal sensors, she should know what's going on everywhere, but apparently you can smuggle a device into engineering and kidnap an officer from the ship and she's none the wiser. (The same goes for Ndoye's back-corridor plotting with Book.) The plot does its best to explain these things away, but it would be better if the writers just separated Zora from a lot of the ship's day-to-day operations altogether.
  • The writers manage to work in the story of Cleveland Booker's name, which was passed to him through tradition not from his father, but from his courier mentor. He's the fifth to carry the name.
  • The Saru/Burnham yelling scene did nothing for me. You win some, you lose some.
  • Saru is having trouble figuring out if T'Rina has any interest in him. While I think they have drawn this out far too long for me to care, I did appreciate Michael's Vulcan insight into the matter to help Saru out.
  • I still think it's going to be a tough sell to explain away that the 10-Cs simply didn't know their DMA was doing any damage. They come from a (devastated) planet that orbits a star, and that should be similar enough to life within the galaxy to know the gravitational effects are going to destroy whatever it comes near.

Previous episode: Rosetta
Next episode: Coming Home

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45 comments on this post

    Almost a great episode. Very "Arrival," and that's high praise.

    Subtract that ludicrous yelling scene . . . Saru needing to talk with Michael about his feelings for T'Rina . . . Stamets and Culber needing to talk about their relationship . . . and this WOULD have been a great episode. All those scenes broke the wonderful sense of tension the episode was building. You actually felt the clock, as a viewer, in this episode . . . until the characters lazily and lethargically taking ample time to do THOSE things at those moments just absolutely ruined it.

    Sometimes, Discovery, an episode needs to be about just one thing. You can call that a "concept" episode, I don't care. But the entire focus of this episode should have been on the characters trying to make contact with the 10-C, and the tension of the ticking clock as it counted down. As some of our characters get more harried and frantic and Michael and Saru try to keep their cool. Ya know? Did anyone even seem to hurry through the corridors in this episode?

    Also, you have these absolutely god-like scale things happening outside the ship--where no one has gone before, indeed!--with a first contact the likes of which no one has ever attempted before. And in the scenes dealing with those things, the tension builds, and it's good television. It even REALLY felt like Star Trek (humans wrestling with momentous things and prevailing through ingenuity, co-ooperation, and the better angels of their nature). But in the rest of the scenes, it's like it's just another Tuesday on Discovery. I found the disconnect very . . . strange.

    Was it just me?

    And the scenes on Book's ship were all very "well we know this is going to happen." We know Tarka is going to betray Book (there's zero question that the show wants to preserve Book as a "good guy"). We know the ship is going to go after the controller and threaten everything. There's no tension over if their plan to sabotage Discovery and use warp plasma to break away is going to work. Because obviously.

    I won't talk about Reno using licorice to fix 32nd century tech. You can have that one, Discovery, because I like Reno that much.

    Speaking of, Reno's speech to Book about Tarka--another emotional appeal--was actually appropriate to the moment and to the plot. And you know what? Because of that, it worked! See, Discovery? Earn your moments. Like this.

    There're so many good ideas in an episode like this. But . . . do the writers just not understand the elementary principles of what makes for good drama?

    Is this maybe on the director? I just . . . Man. Why can't it be better?

    It occurs to me that we, the viewers, know why the Federation chose to send Discovery to make contact with the 10-C. But to the 10-C, Discovery, when it presents itself, has a lot of things about it that could needlessly complicate and confuse their attempts to understand what has just arrived on their doorstep.

    For example, it surely has a displaced temporal signature that says it's from a thousand years in the past and has traveled through time. A species as advanced as the 10-C would notice that. What would they make of it?

    They also surely have noted it has some sort of propulsion technology that lets it slide along mushrooms, or whatever. The mushrooms don't exist outside the galaxy. But surely they're advanced enough to understand the principles, even if they never had any idea anything like "mushrooms" even existed!

    They might know the ship has an intelligence governing it. Might they think the ship itself is what wants to communicate? Certainly a reasonable assumption.

    Oh, also the ship has another ship attached to it that it thinks it's hiding. Clearly the 10-C know it's there, with technology like they have. But why are they seemingly trying to hide it? Isn't that strange? What does it say about the visitors?

    I like that this episode engaged my brain enough to have me asking these questions.

    @Jeffrey's tube
    " until the characters lazily and lethargically taking ample time to do THOSE things at those moments just absolutely ruined it."
    Here, watch that video from 2:50. Discovery has always done this. No matter what there is always time for chat.

    This stuff is really part of Discovery's DNA.

    A great episode indeed. Hard to dislike an episode of Star Trek that tells an effective story about meeting new life and their civilization. Greatly enjoyed the extended sequence of the delegation and crew working opening lines of communication. And there even were some Next Generation vibes, with not one but two staff meeting scenes.

    Of course, as aforementioned, Discovery had to Discovery when it comes to emotion, but at least the related scene or two did not take too greatly away from the central story and the remainder of the episode.

    Unlike with the first three seasons of the series, I'm cautiously optimistic, and think the finale will nicely tie up the preceding arc.

    Wow...I was not expecting to enjoy this episode as much as I did. I liked it better than Picard this week...and I really liked that as well!

    This is pretty clearly the most science fiction episode of Discovery we've yet seen, and the most in-depth meditation regarding traversing the communication barriers of first contact since Darmok - and a much smarter episode than that as well. As others have pointed out, it had some real parallels to Arrival, though I think it feels that way in part because that movie was a faithful adaptation of an excellent written SF novella. This felt like part of a prestige SF book which was adapted for screen. The technobabble regarding the language was a bit dodgy at times, but I'm willing to overlook that, because they managed to pull off the difficult feat of making 10-C very alien/inscrutable while still moving the story forward at a fast enough pace that they got to real communication by the story's end.

    As for the remainder of the episode, it was fine. I appreciated the fact that there was finally (in the penultimate episode) forward movement regarding whatever Tarka's real plan is, that Book finally wised up to the fact that he was being used for the last 5 or so episodes, and that Reno was utilized well within the story. She has a...different tone...than most of the remainder of the crew at this point, which is refreshing. Therapy-talk was kept to a minimum - or at least, was less noticeable here than elsewhere. If only they kept out a few completely unneeded scenes (like Saru being emo about a girl maybe not liking him) this could have been an all-time classic episode.

    3.5 stars.

    One follow-up...while I think this was a very, very strong episode for Discovery, it has an aspect of "too little too late" doesn't it? I mean, yes, this is a classic tale of first contact told in a smart manner. BUT WHY DID IT TAKE 12 EPISODES TO GET HERE!

    This season's arc could have been done in maybe 4 episodes:

    Episode 1: DMA unveiled, Book's planet destroyed.
    Episode 2: Conference to come up with response to the DMA. Book and Tarka sod off.
    Episode 3: This episode.
    Episode 4: Season conclusion.

    That means there's been basically 8 episodes of wheel spinning...stretching out this basic plot structure like too little butter across too much toast. Some of it has been entertaining in the moment, but most of it was narratively unnecessary, didn't serve to understand the characters better, and wasn't particularly entertaining.

    Discovery has been a drag since the back half kof season 3, but this might be the best episode of Discovery ever? I like how it gave us flavors of Arrival and The Three Body Problem. I also feel heavily invested in this endgame. I’m really looking forward to where this is going! (Finally.)

    I think it will really help the show’s storytelling when they drop to 10 episodes next season. 13 is too much.

    Season 4 of Discovery has been like that Family Guy gag about the 70s sitcom Maude and it's incredibly long opening credits sequence:

    The season rambled on and on and on... And now that we finally get to the action, I wanted to yell: "AAAAAH! There we go! That was an ordeal!" It took well over 10 episodes to get there, but here's the 10-C and we finally got some action. And math. Tilly would have loved it.

    But speaking of action... Or inaction, rather. I know Jett Reno's whole shtick is being all cool, laid back and low energy, but just sitting back to watch Tarka lower the forcefield to drag Booker in and not even trying to escape? C'mon Jett, do something!

    Don't get me wrong, this is most definitely one of Discovery's better outings this season. I didn't even mind the usual unnecessary veneration of Michael Burnham: "We're all afraid, but Michael hides it better than others" and Zora complimenting the captain's smarts with "Great minds think alike". Fine, I'll go yell to Saru about it.

    Jeffrey's Tube: "Might they think the ship itself is what wants to communicate?"

    That is a great idea, but they seem not to have thought of that, because the critical point in the symbol exchange is when they send the "air" symbol to 10C.

    Joseph, I do think this is the best episode of Disco certainly for this season, and in the running for best ever. And I was thinking the same thing about 10 episodes working better for them. It seemed so obvious this year that they were just filling time a lot.

    Director Osunsamni loves to nauseate me with camera swooshes, but at least there wasn't TOOO much of it. And this is one time when I noticed and appreciated the special effects, specifically the "printed" looking gray swirls-on-a-gray background of the barrier (if that's what it was supposed to be). I mean, it didn't look plausible at all, but it still was interesting.

    The best thing about the yelling scene was Grudge. I know that was just one of the unnecessary emo scenes, but that particular one I liked. Not just for Grudge, either - it's nice to know that Burnham actually has a normal voice. Wish she'd use it more.

    Tarka seems to have forgotten about getting into paradise to look for his friend in favor of just blowing everything up. Or am I missing something?

    General Ndoye is in big trouble; I predict a bad ending for her next ep. And for Tarka, of course. I assume Booker V will be pardoned or something, but he ought to go to prison. He could make some interesting/useful contacts there. Honestly, he needs a better purpose than captain's toy boy.

    P.S. This was the first episode written by Kyle Jarrow. I hope he writes more!

    "Arrival" had far better acting. ;-)

    My volume button is so worn out from having to work around SM-G's whisper-acting that I'm gonna need to buy a new remote.

    It is still very good. Despite the "Arrival"-esque episode, it had good elements of Trek - finding ways to communicate with a new species, helping each other, conflict from Tarka, mathematics is the foundation of how communication is conveyed.

    TenC is technologically advanced, how could Ndoye be do impatient, considering how technologically advanced 10C is.

    Reno definitely stole the show with minimum effort but good work all around. All that yelling must have some benefits, except Grudge.

    Best episode so far this season

    Wow, Discovery has taken the emotional pixie dust and made one hell of a Star Trek episode!

    I was locked in here, almost completely. The breaks to Book not seeing what's really happening knocks this down just a bit. IMO they are really killing this character. That and I wanted to punch the general... good lord. Why didn't someone notice when she just walked off for no good reason? what... three times?

    RENO!!!!! ... and not just in some comedic short snippet. She was AWESOME in this episode. The story she told Book was moving and delivered just perfectly. Why oh why has she been absent all this season?!?!?!!?

    'Arrival' came to mind. Carl Sagan came to mind.

    Too bad Tilly doubled in size because she would have loved the math communication here.

    One of Discovery's best episodes and IMO by far the best episode of this season.

    This was AWESOME, quintessential Trek!

    3.5 stars from me.

    Timmy Tribble, do you have closed captions available? I have them on throughout almost the whole of every episode. You get used to it after a while.

    It's kinda hard to buy any urgency exists when they still have time to dick around, navel gaze, smile, pat each other on the back etc. They keep mentioning how much time they have left. I stopped paying attention.

    A bit better than previous episodes by virtue of the fact the plot was finally given the green light to move forward. The Arrival ripoff is fine. Good thing they somehow knew the Universal Translators wouldn't work in advance.

    So, perhaps 10-C didn't realise the people in the faster-than-light spaceship were sentient because they're higher up on the Kardashev scale? Thanks science guy. Oh - and the moment I've been waiting for. The most obvious out: 10-C might not have been aware of the damage the DMA has caused. Great sadness indeed - FFS. Of course they didn't. They only lived on a planet that was destroyed and presently appear to still live on planets within the Hyperfield. How were they to know that all those stars within the galaxy they're parked up to potentially had lifeforms living in the path of the five - friggin - light year wide mining rig they deployed?

    Now, I might be jumping the gun given we only have one episode left. But given Discovery's tendency to go pedal to the metal in the season finale - with Tarka shenanigans left to deal with and only a rudimentary ability to communicate with 10-C so far established - I am concerned those throwaway lines were it.

    I’ll give this one three stars. It had a focused narrative, sense of alien encounter awe, and decent pace. Not perfect, but certainly the first episode of Discovery that I can remember holding my attention in a very long time. I enjoyed it.

    The scene where Reno said Book and Tarka were acting out of their pain was a nice insight. Generally the character moments flowed well here, serving the plot rather than feeling forced or disjointed as in past episodes. Eliminating Grey and Tilly, plus minimizing the transgender/gay family subplot of Stamets et al, really allows for a leaner narrative here.

    I still don’t know why the Federation and Nivar leaders are on the ship. Are they really so irrelevant to things back home that they can go away on a months-long deep space mission? It’s just weird.

    I like how one character said “that doesn’t make sense” when there encountered a computer readout on the aliens’ molecular emotions. My thought exactly and kudos to the writers for being self aware.

    The episode makes an actual effort to walk us through the mystery of the alien species step by step. It still doesn’t make much sense, but it felt comfortable in comparison to Discovery’s narrative disjointedness in earlier seasons.

    It’s too little, too late, as I still wish this series a mercifully swift cancellation. Nevertheless I appreciate the effort to go out on a high note, not unlike Enterprise’s effort to kick things up in its 4th season.

    Very impressive episode in many respects -- good plot, intriguing sci-fi, interesting motivations for the various characters. DSC is on the right track after a couple of decent but unspectacular outings.

    I actually appreciated the time and care taken with approaching the hyperfield, figuring out how to communicate with the 10-C, the problem solving. Felt like good Trek.

    But I also liked watching Gen. Ndoye grow increasingly impatient and know that she might have to do something naughty, which she finally does. Reno had probably her best role in DSC yet in trying to make Book understand Tarka.

    There were a couple of drawbacks here -- Tarka's now a cardboard bad-guy. Quite predictable that he'd doublecross Book as he did in "Rubicon". And the Burnham/Saru screaming scene made me want to puke. But we know DSC will try to throw in some overly emotional garbage to varying degrees in episodes. This one's about feeling a lack of control. And T'Rina shares something similar with Saru, which is why she avoids closeness with others.

    3 stars for "Species Ten-C" -- Nearly 3.5 stars. Overall, a pretty good story is told here about how first contact takes place with a species that is so far above humans. And it should be that the Ten-C are curious and make attempts to communicate as best they can. Really enjoyed this one and am looking forward to the season finale.

    two stars. thats a high rating for a DSC episode.

    nice scifi concept with the language barrier. this felt nicely alien.

    but thats where it ends. its simply breathtaking how they jump from "ooooh, this is all so urgent" to "lets play a game of chess in sickbay and talk about the ship computers feelings". it completely, utterly destroys any momentum. ok, thats gonna be one hiccup, right?

    enter the screaming and hugging scene. even in a supposed climax episode, you still feel like the show is trying to kill time. again and again and again. what a contrast to the picard episode. that one is only episode 2 of the season, and it had me hooked the entire time. with this, honest to god, i fell asleep several times and had to rewind, only to realize that the reason i fell asleep was because the plot came to a screeching halt with yet another amateur therapy session. some climax, that.

    oh and of course, we have some of the leaders of the alpha quadrant as well as some super bright mind on board. guess who they need to have the deciding idea? michael burnam.

    excuse me for a moment, i have to throw up. shes done it. i never thought i could be annoyed by a character more than by jonathan archer. but i herewith declare this episode where she crossed that threshold that i thought noone would ever be able to pass.

    can she also turn into a lizard now please?

    I agree Mosley. But I can’t throw any praise at this at all.

    Michael is a super computer now? Why do we need anyone else on board? She’s amazing!

    Culber was chosen for the away mission but here, he is playing a game with the ship computer? Then, he is the one, finally (oh god thank you), to ask ‘where is Reno’? Stamets: oh yeah, I’ve been looking for her all day to help with schmuffle glibber gumph??? I should of been in the shuttle bay assisting with my great intellect but Michael is ever more brilliant! Atrocious.

    And forget Arrival! Close Encounters has only been around for 40 years or so. Also, our watery tentacle was straight out of The Abyss. Boldly going backwards more like.

    So many more things wrong with this that I could just take 10 minutes out when I don’t have 10 minutes and fucking SCREAM!!!

    Sean Doyle now holds the distinction of playing a sarcastic, toxic asshole in TWO iconic genre franchises. Well done, sir. I salute you with an unironic golf clap. (clap clap)

    @Jammer - I hope one day you review The Expanse.

    While we can safely call this the strongest episode of the season, this is largely the payoff moment that we've all been waiting for, so it'd BETTER be worth all the wheels spinning and stalling in many of the previous episodes. For many, it may be too little too late.

    I generally liked the first contact problem-solving, it felt very classically Trekkian even if some of the science and logic is questionable. Such as isolytic weapons being made from the element "isolynnium" which is atomic number 178, even though another element already has that atomic number. It's the kind of thing that even a fifth grader might scratch their head at.

    Also, why did they assign their dumbest and most useless people to problem-solve the first contact situation that the fate of the galaxy depends upon? Because all the smart innovative engineering people are on a wild goose chase trying to find Reno? Therefore they need to resort to Detmer and commander whats-his-face contributing their uneducated guesses.

    That whole C-plot was so pointless and silly. In any other Trek series, it would have taken only a few minutes to figure out that someone was not on the ship. And it's all because Zora has a feeling that something isn't quite right: "I can't quite put a finger on it but it feels a bit less snarky in here..."

    - Speaking of Reno, did anyone else wonder if she was going to slit Book's throat with her comm badge when he opened that gap in the force field?

    - Maybe the 10C aliens were just being sarcastic when they gifted Burnham and co. an isolytic weapon in exchange for the generous gift of boronite residue leftover from when Tarka blew up 10C's entire bononite mining operation with that very same weapon?

    - LOL@ Book explaining how he comes from a long line of empaths who prioritize TRUST and he couldn't have gotten to where he is now without that trust. Meanwhile, at that very moment, Tarka is literally tinkering away against everyone's interests right behind his back...

    - And why does Tarka's pain only just NOW make him a clueless idiot? In the past, I never got the impression that Tarka's pain and his genius were mutually exclusive. It only made him more reckless. As in.. he'd take on a little extra risk. It never got to the point of "let's almost certainly destroy everything!"

    - Hee~ Saru is soft-spoken and erudite but he can still scream like a banshee out of hell. Burham gives him a run for his money though. It's all so Discovery....

    @Jammer @Everyone I would love to know dod you want to see THE FULL PHYSICAL FORM OFNTHE 10 C AND MORE KF THEIR HOMEWORLDS na dotber lofe forms that might love innthe hyoerfield wktjbthem..YES please we MUST SEE MORE NEXT WEEK..I want to see their FULL GLORIOUS NAKED GAS GIANT FLOATING BODIES and more of their hyperhabitat ..Wasnt amyone elae disappointed that we only saw a glimpse?? And doesnt anyone else want to see other life forms thatcmust live in such an advanced habitat with them?? Hope to hear some feedback..but thank you Disco writers for such a wondrous new alien life form and a unique story up there with the best of TNG.

    @Starman @Jeffrey'sTube @Alienatbar wasn't this episode mostly ORIGINAL though and the similarities to how thebaliens communicated in Arrival only somewhat and superficial? I don't remember loghts or chemicals or pheromones being secreted by those aliens to communicate just like a mist or ink wasn't it or using tentacles to move gas in the air..the 10C don't have tentacles that we've seen..

    Am Inthe only one who had never heard pf the Kardashev scale before this episode..or is it a fixtional concoction of the writers too?

    I'm uncertain whether Leif's youthful exuberance keeps getting the better of him and his keyboard or it's more apt to picture him as rabidly angry fan whose sarcastic frustration with NuTrek has boiled over to the point of pummeling the keys and just giving a crap about how it looks.

    Putting aside my amusement for the moment, I did neglect to acknowledge that it hasn't been a complete payoff just yet because we still don't know how 10C looks like. Indeed, the mystery box hasn't fully unraveled just yet. Though oddly enough, I find myself not being as eager to find out exactly how they physically appear compared to how and why they function the way they do. I think I'd be satisfied if they remained as mysterious and unseen Elder God-like beings. Because sometimes the unknowns that the mind must fill in with its imagination is far more impressive than anything that can be decisively rendered in CGI.

    This was a really good episode, but at this point it really does feel like too little, too late - and having now been burned by *three* botched season finales, I have zero faith the upcoming one will be any better.

    I really did appreciate the shades of TMP, as well as the obvious influence from Arrival. It's the kind of heavy sci-fi stuff Trek rarely takes the time to do and it's much appreciated to have this cool new addition to the canon. (I mean, as a point of comparison, the best that the PIC writers could come up with for their super-powerful synthetic intelligence at the end of season one was some evil metal tentacles coming out of a portal).

    As @Rahul noted, Tarka's betrayal was *far* too predictable, and it makes Book look stupid to have not anticipated it and found a way to keep control of his own ship should the need arise. But that's really my only major sticking point with this one.

    Up until I found the comments section of this site, I was convinced that Australia was the worlds' largest collection of poisonous things.

    Porthos - I grew up with a beagle so I know that they're usually friendly, optimistic beings. For such a being, a community of jaded nitpickers is not the best environment. Personally, I deal with it by relying heavily on Jammer's thoughtful reviews and doing my best to ignore the more poisonous remarks.

    Discovery certainly has its weaknesses, but at this point I wonder if they're really any worse than those of Voyager or Enterprise or even (gasp) TOS. And I'm starting to wonder myself if I might enjoy the whole thing more without the commentary. There's always that option.

    Saru deciding that the middle of tense, species-impacting negotiations with a vastly superior intelligence is the perfect moment to talk about his romantic foibles is peak Discovery.

    Also not big on the weekly obligatory scene of Culber telling a random character that he's Not Okay. I think Culber is one of the most compelling characters (and I love the performances Cruz brings to the show in this role), but I sure wish they'd give him another note to play this season.

    Great episode. 4/4 for me. This season and this episode specifically have gone above and beyond to embrace diplomacy and exploration which feels right in line with the original Trek vision even when it stumbles or gets a little ham-fisted. Nits to pick remain for sure, but no longer questioning the overall creative arc choices being made. Losing Tilly has been addition by subtraction with more time for characters who have spent years on the fringe, who are frankly a lot more interesting.

    No, not great, but it got exciting at the end.
    I sort of like watching discovery. I like to like the good parts. Unfortunately the lesser good tends to irrittes me more than it used to.

    After 12 episodes of waiting we now got to the cliffhanger and can wait for the last episode.

    Some episodes ok but n one that I could think of to just lazily rewatch with a beer and something to nibble.

    The higlight of this episode was seing Tig Notaro's very understated acting. Very good charactarisation.

    Up until I found the comments submitted about the opinions expressed in the comments, I was convinced that Australia was the worlds largest collection of poisonous things. I guess all of our unsupportive selves would not find our way on to the Discovery.

    And Australia is a lovely place. Come visit.

    I had two beagles growing up. They used to fart and shit a lot from all the household items they used to destroy and eat. They would sniff at anything and used to drag me down rabbit holes. In the end I’d just let them go.

    :) (Hope my tongue in cheek molecule is conveyed correctly)

    I believe Saru is such a great character and is fantastically rounded by Doug Jones. The fact that he shines through the make up each week is testimony. The fact they also placed him in a helmet on the away team would have pressed my claustrophobic buttons.

    I support you in your comment @Marc that Culber needs assistance here. He is not being heard. Again he recedes, and his concern for Reno overshadows his own issues and in my experience people who do this just pop eventually. I would suspect Discovery has an Assistant to the CMO who can take over duties?

    @Jammer Don't you think we should and deserve to see the 10 C Jammer? I want tonsee their Entire CIVILZATION and other species in tbeir hyper solar system, not just their ful glorious bodies? I hope and expect we see that tomorrow night.

    It was better than 'Arrival', In that movie, The communication sence was horrible. Using tablet PC drwaing some random symbol. A few seconds later they understand langauge. WTF?

    Compared to that this episode was a real sci-fi

    kth, you may want to give that movie another watch. Even better, read the short story it was adapted from: “Story of Your Life”.

    Matt Damon was absolutely in Interstellar, and his character's actions in the movie are what I was talking about.

    Jammer in retrospect would agree thus episode is not serious Interstellar at all or even that similar since here it's hydrocarbons and kight patterns and there it's ink or writings from tentacles so it's a very different kind of pattern?

    Wouldn't most ppl.saybthisnepospde is very original and only superficially thematically similar to Arrival..the.aliens a and their methods of communication are very different in Arrival from 10 C here as is their appearance and type of nonhumanoid life form they are..

    I would give this episode 3.5 stars. Yes, the yelling scene was superfluous, but at this point I expect Discovery to take a detour from whatever epic threat at hand to make sure they talk about their feewings.

    But overall, I haven’t seen a communication episode this good since Darmok. Even the Booker/Reno stuff was compelling. It’s almost sad seeing what this series is capable of, and then seeing the rest of it. I had a relative suffering from Alzheimer’s who would have moments of lucidity before going back into a confused state, and it was so sad when things went back that way. That’s kind of what this series reminds me of, the high points only serve to show how aggravating the low points really are.

    Ah well, I’ll enjoy it for now! Finally an episode worthy of the Trek name.

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