Star Trek Reviews

Return to season list

Star Trek Dis - Season 2

Star Trek Dis - 2x0.1 - Runaway

Originally Aired: 2018-10-4

Synopsis:
Onboard the U.S.S. Discovery, Ensign Tilly encounters an unexpected visitor in need of help. However, this unlikely pair may have more in common than meets the eye.

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 3.32

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 8 5 6 1 1 3 0 1 1 1 4

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode establishes that Tilly has a step sister.
- The Xahieans just achieved warp capacity.

Remarkable Scenes
- The food dispenser malfunctioning and chucking random food dishes all over the mess hall.
- It was nice to see the universal translator not working automatically for once. This was very reminiscent of several scenes in Enterprise as well as DS9: Sanctuary, which featured a similar plot in which the usually reliable UT took a bit of time to pick up a new language.
- Tilly: "There is a hormonal space rabbit. He escaped from the lab and then he got loose in here. He's got mood swings."

My Review
Before getting into the story itself, it's worth noting that in season 2, Star Trek: Discovery is now being filmed in a 2.39:1 "true cinematic" aspect ratio, which is even more annoying than the first season's almost as bad choice of 2:1. Like before, this leaves black bars on the top and bottom of 16:9 screens which are the most common screens this series will be viewed on. Again, the producers have said this aspect ratio was chosen to make Discovery "feel more cinematic," which is truly bizarre. Game of Thrones is 16:9 and definitely feels more cinematic than Discovery. A perfect example of how the producers have repeatedly focused on style over substance. Wasting more than a quarter of the screen is not how you make something "feel cinematic." Producing good content is.

As for the story—such as it is—following in the infamous tradition of the horrible Battlestar Galactica "webisodes," this new between-seasons "Short Trek" format delivers what might end up being Star Trek Discovery's first true filler episode, annoyingly sandwiched between the first season finale and the first "real" episode of season 2 that will eventually get the plot back on track and resolve season 1's cliffhanger. This thankfully short chronicling of Ensign Tilly's mysterious encounter with an awkward alien teenager doubles down on Discovery's preoccupation with targeting the short attention span crowd, delivering story depth roughly on par with a typical episode of The Animated Series.

The narrative's only apparent purpose appears to be celebrating immature anxiety as an identity group. All that happens here is a therapy session between Tilly and her alien counterpart in which the sole moral of the story is that it's okay to feel nervous about things sometimes, especially when you're young because it's harder to control your emotions when you're young or something. While it would certainly be nice to see a Star Trek episode that explores anxiety disorders in some depth in an effort to portray mental health problems on TV in a better, more sympathetic light to help erode generations of stigma surrounding mental health issues, this episode misses that mark by far. And in so doing, presents a largely incoherent plot.

How did the alien hitch a ride on a shuttle to Discovery? Why target that specific shuttle or Discovery in particular? Why didn't Tilly call for help when the alien appeared in the mess hall? How could Tilly have possibly gotten away with keeping all this a secret after multiple people witnessed the mess in the mess hall, complete with alien blood? Why didn't the internal sensors detect the intrusion and set off alarms? How did Tilly get away with beaming a living creature off the ship without setting off alarms? Why is it possible for anyone—especially an ensign—to operate the transporter alone without setting off alarms? Where exactly did Tilly even beam the alien to? Where was the ship at this time? When was the ship at this time? Since Tilly was talking about joining the Starfleet Command training program, it had to be after at least some of the events of the previous episode Will You Take My Hand, but it seems hard to believe Tilly would have this entire alien adventure during the cliffhanger between Will You Take My Hand and whatever the next "real" episode of season 2 is which will presumably resolve the cliffhanger. So then the events of this episode take place during the middle of the previous episode somehow...?

Much of that litany of plotting issues seriously strains credibility to rationalize, which is clearly why the episode didn't bother trying. As usual with an episode of Star Trek: Discovery, the writers are hoping to activate your feelings here, not your mind. And as usual with an episode of Star Trek: Discovery, this episode is kind of entertaining, so long as you don't think about it too much. Instead of thinking about totally boring things like plot coherence, you're supposed to feel super moved by such inspiring lines like, "Evolution is about soul," man! Like whoa. Super deep. Almost as deep as Kirk's similarly profound line, "What of Lazarus?" from TOS: The Alternative Factor, an episode that is apparently this show's role model for writing quality.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Rob UK on 2019-01-18 at 12:04am:
    Well i'm sad to say I have decided I am boycotting ST Discovery, speaking with my eyes you could say.

    Anyone out there watching The Orville? I loved season 1 and so far season 2 is even better, makes it all the harder to go from watching a great little piece of sci-fi to trying to watch that contrived drivel replacing Star Trek.
  • From Rob UK on 2019-02-10 at 7:57am:
    Well folks i'm struggling, The Orville is doing that mid season break thing and ST Discovery S02 is sitting there unwatched, I nearly started watching season 2 last night but instead I ended up watching videos from other ST Fans on YT about what they thought of season 2 so far, like a buffer zone if you will.

    Anybody reading out there who has not yet read any of my other mad ramblings on here (Thanks Kethinov) let me explain something, i totally love Star Trek, all through my 43 years so far it has been in my life but i realised just because they call something Star Trek it does not 'make it so'.

    This show is no longer Star Trek, it bears zero resemblance to Star Trek except for stolen character names and ideas, Star Trek should sue this show for copyright defamation! For taking it names and characters and logos and branding and tarnishing a story 40 years in the crafting.

    You are all here for your own love of Star Trek, simply because I have read every single review and reader post on this site so far I know we all totally love it for our own unique reasons, but, we share many commonalities in our love and hate, even the hate is a love/hate kinda hate like you watched it so many times to even get to it kinda love hate, it is through that shared love and hate that we found this blog site and why we contribute and share with each other on it about how and why ST emotes us, I get a little buzz when i pop on to check and see that there is a new fan comment, a juice little mind morsel to consume, i've been reading and posting on here for about 5 years now.

    So then, my reason for commenting again here even though i have not watched anything related to ST Discovery S02 (so far, you guys are telling me how bad it is, i trust i'd feel the same, therefore no need to put myself through it, thanks folks), whilst watching fan vids (as mentioned above) I stumbled upon the legendary Leonard Nimoy RIP from way back when explaining how and why Star Trek is Star Trek.



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

    and coincidentally why Discovery is not Star Trek

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x0.2 - Calypso

Originally Aired: 2018-11-8

Synopsis:
After waking up in an unfamiliar sickbay, Craft finds himself on board a deserted ship, and his only companion and hope for survival is an A.I. computer interface.

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 5.48

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 3 7 0 0 2 1 0 2 3 0 9

Problems
None

Factoids
- This story is set in the 33rd century. This is further into the future than any Star Trek episode has gone before.
- The writer of this episode Michael Chabon stated that the unseen enemy "V'draysh" is a syncope of "Federation."

Remarkable Scenes
- The hologram of Zora crying as Craft exits the dance.

My Review
Like General Chang from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country hitting you over the head constantly with overwrought Shakespeare references, this entire episode hits you over the head over and over again with overwrought references to Homer's Odyssey, an invocation of Greek mythology that is about as lazy as TOS: Who Mourns for Adonais.

Zora is meant to represent Calypso, for whom the episode is named. In Homer's Odyssey, Calypso rescues a marooned Odysseus and keeps him on her island for some time due to loneliness. In this episode, Zora rescues a marooned Quarrel/Craft and keeps him on her ship for some time due to loneliness.

Quarrel's/Craft's two names also mirror Odysseus, whose name is traditionally defined as "to be wroth against," or "to hate." Synonymous with quarreling. As for Craft, Odysseus was traditionally defined as "skilled in all ways." Synonymous with being crafty.

In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus was apart from his wife for many years due to war, missed her, and wanted to escape Calypso to be with his wife again. In this episode Craft was apart from his wife for many years due to war, missed her, and wanted to escape Zora to be with his wife again.

In Homer's Odyssey, Calypso was sad that Odysseus wanted to leave, but instead of holding him further, she gave him everything he needed for his journey back. In this episode Zora was sad that Craft wanted to leave, but instead of holding him further, she gave him everything he needed for his journey back.

And so on, and so on...

If shallow, heavy-handed Greek mythology references were the episode's only sin, it might be worth a few more points, but there are so many more cringeworthy details compounded atop this. Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the story is the setting. Here we have yet another irrelevant likely filler episode sandwiched between season 1's cliffhanger and its eventual resolution, but this time instead of being set ambiguously sometime during season 1—which was bad enough in the previous episode—we now have a story absurdly set a thousand years later aboard a somehow perfectly preserved Discovery that has been ordered to sit in space in stasis for no apparent reason.

Then—as if this episode hadn't imitated enough of Star Trek's worst episodes already—the ship's computer became an emergent AI like TNG: Emergence, one of TNG's worst episodes. Then like about a million other bad Star Trek episodes, the AI turns out to have serious emotional problems, exhibiting behavior also reminiscent of HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Meanwhile, rather than give us answers to basic questions like who the unseen enemy "V'draysh" is, how the Discovery was preserved perfectly for a thousand years but abandoned, or why so much of the Federation's history seems to have been forgotten by at least one human colony, the writers left all that intentionally vague out of an apparent desire to not "get hemmed in by canon" or some other similar platitude that is often trotted out to defend stories with this kind of reckless disregard for the long term health of the franchise's canon.

On the contrary, setting this story a thousand years into the future doesn't do a damn thing to prevent the writers from cornering themselves with canon. If anything, it's one of the worst settings imaginable for preventing future writers from being burdened by canon. Because of this episode, any Star Trek story set far enough into the future has to account for the apparent decline and possible fall of the Federation, or at least rationalize how Craft and his entire planet could be unaware of the Federation's existence.

Constraining future Star Trek stories with this kind of baggage almost never goes well. We've seen what happens with poorly thought through exposition that saddles the franchise with long-term plot implications before. The "warp speed" limit in TNG: Force of Nature was quietly forgotten. The absurd "warp 10" drive that turns you into giant newts from Voy: Threshold was intentionally forgotten with prejudice. There are many examples. This episode's ambiguous proclamations about the Milky Way's future are not impossible to work into future stories, but will require future writers to be at least as clever as this episode's writers were lazy.

And none of it was necessary. There's no reason the story had to be set a thousand years into Star Trek's future. It could've easily been set during a known future era, such as during one of the Federation's many wars from previous shows. Craft could've been a Federation soldier escaping a battle that didn't go well. The idea of the Discovery floating in space perfectly preserved would still be absurd and tough to rationalize, but less so a hundred years into the future than a thousand years into the future. What's important here is this same basic story could've been told in another century that would've actually leveraged canon instead of wasting Star Trek's distant future in such a gratuitously lazy way.

All this just to do an awkward mashup of 2001: A Space Odyssey with Greek mythology, both of which are referenced by science fiction works so often that it is quite cliched to do it yet again unless it is truly earned. It wasn't earned here. A story filled with tired, overused references and no substance of its own is just smoke and mirrors, not real depth. But what else should we expect from a story that rocks a "DISCO" shirt, expecting us to find it, like, real punny, man?

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x0.3 - The Brightest Star

Originally Aired: 2018-12-6

Synopsis:
Before he was the first Kelpien to join Starfleet, Saru lived a simple life on his home planet of Kaminar with his father and sister. Young Saru, full of ingenuity and a level of curiosity uncommon among his people, yearns to find out what lies beyond his village, leading him on an unexpected path.

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 1 1 2 0 3 2 0 3 1 1 1

Problems
None

Factoids
- The writers of this episode have stated that it takes place approximately ten years before the events of the pilot.

Remarkable Scenes
- Kelpiens farming kelp. Cute.
- The alien technology taking a group of Kelpiens.
- Saru's sister: "Look down every now and then. There's beauty there as well."
- Saru's first meeting with Georgiou. The need for a more active use of the universal translator similar to Enterprise was a nice touch.

My Review
This charming story that embarks on the worthy of endeavor of unpacking Saru's backstory could've been even better were it not confined to this asinine "Short Trek" format. Similar to how we got a lot of exposition about Burnham's backstory early in the series, this exposition about Saru's formative experiences and how he met Georgiou is content that should've aired much earlier in the series. There's no good excuse to have waited this long to give us this exposition and it's even more inexcusable to air it irrelevantly between season 1's finale cliffhanger and season 2's pickup.

And it certainly deserved more screen time than this. Who are the Ba'ul? Why do they take Kelpiens? How did it come to be that the Kelpiens know the Ba'ul are a civilization of people but have internalized a permanent inferior status to them and a lack of intellectual curiosity about them? Why does the Federation allow a more advanced civilization to exploit a pre-warp civilization in this manner? These are all questions the story could've gotten into if it had been longer than a TAS episode.

Plus while it turns out Saru's backstory is considerably more intriguing than he let on during season 1, it also verges on a retcon. The previous description of Kelpiens as a hunted species with the absurd beyond all reason concept of "threat ganglia" to help them avoid predation is now bent to near the breaking point in this revised portrayal of Kaminar as a society confined to a terrifying status quo of sleepwalking to presumed death TOS: Return of the Archons-style. If Kelpiens are required to submit to sacrifice blindly, it's not at all clear what purpose if any the threat ganglia serve anymore.

This episode does offer a lot of nice stuff though. The story is compellingly presented, Saru's family is endearing and sympathetic, and the subjugation of Kaminar explains why we've never seen a Kelpien before on another series, resolving a minor continuity nitpick common to Star Trek prequel episodes. Most importantly it was nice to see exactly how Saru and Georgiou became so close and it's nice to see that the bond between them is truer to the spirit of Star Trek than perhaps most on-screen friendships on Star Trek. This story despite its bad timing and inadequate length is a great concept and it would be nice to see it unpacked more in future episodes.

While it would perhaps be best if the previous two Short Treks are quickly forgotten, this is the first one to be well worthy of a sequel.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x0.4 - The Escape Artist

Originally Aired: 2019-1-3

Synopsis:
Harry Mudd, back to his old tricks of stealing and double-dealing, finds himself in a precarious position aboard a hostile ship - just in time to try out his latest con.

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.07

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 2 1 1 4 2 0 1 2 1 0 1

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Mudd to an Orion: "Your enemies will be positively green with envy... greener... so to speak."

My Review
Perhaps the biggest piece of filler yet on Discovery—still awkwardly sandwiched between season 1's cliffhanger and season 2's pickup—is nevertheless kind of amusing. A mix of humor that ranges between juvenile, bland, stiff, and sometimes effective, Mudd's scheme to make money off of scams is largely inoffensive if not particularly profound. The reference to the "space whale" places this story chronologically after Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad, but when specifically beyond that is unknown.

This episode is notable for being some of the most explicit references to capitalism on Star Trek so far. As we've seen many times on Star Trek, while the Federation appears to be a considerably more socialist democracy than most present day governments, it is clear that there is still something resembling the various styles of "mixed" economies we have in the real world that mix some elements of capitalism with some elements of socialism. As such, the various Star Trek series (rightfully) continually undermine Captain Picard's famous "money doesn't exist" quotes depicting characters across centuries of Federation history variously engaged in the pursuit of money. This makes sense. Even in a world with replicators, there would still be scarcity of land, services, and other things the replicator can't replicate.

We can chalk this up to Picard oversimplifying it a bit for effect given that it's clear that nobody in the Federation has to work to attain basic needs. It's clear the Federation has something resembling a government guarantee of free healthcare, free education, free food, free housing, etc. In such a society, working and having money would be totally optional. There would be no "wage slavery." But for the "insatiably greedy" like Mudd, the hustle is irresistable.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x01 - Brother

Originally Aired: 2019-1-17

Synopsis:
After answering a distress signal from the U.S.S. Enterprise, the U.S.S. Discovery welcomes aboard Captain Christopher Pike and begins a new mission to investigate the meaning behind seven mysterious red signals. Michael Burnham grapples with her past growing up on Vulcan with her foster parents and brother Spock.

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 5

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 2 1 1 0

Problems
- The young Michael Burnham shown in this episode is older than the one seen in the pilot.
- It's not clear how Pike could've gotten his orders from Starfleet to take command of Discovery if they were supposedly on their way to investigate the mysterious signal only to suffer a catastrophic systems failure that crippled everything on the ship so much that it made communicating with another ship difficult.
- The exterior shots of the turbolift reveal huge, implausibly cavernous empty spaces all throughout the interior of Discovery.
- Burnham said the landing pods were built for a specific mission and that she was one of the test pilots. There would have been no plausible time for this to have occurred though, since from her time on Discovery up until this episode, events have been so compact that no such mission could have taken place off screen.
- It's completely ridiculous that Saru's eyesight is more acute than any of Discovery's sensors.
- Repeating a mistake common mainly to TOS, this episode has some usage of English Imperial units rather than metric.
- Lt. Commander Airiam voiced her rank when introducing herself despite Pike explicitly ordering everyone not to.
- Why not build the pods or the viewscreen out of transparent aluminum instead of glass that can crack and shatter?
- So Burnham just breaks into Spock's quarters, rummages through his things, reads his personal logs, and invades his privacy and nobody cares?
- In TOS: The Cage, Pike expresses discomfort having a woman on the bridge. Now a very short time later, he's surrounded by women on the bridge and seems to have no problem with it. While this aspect of his characterization in the 1960s is obviously distasteful for modern audiences, it's yet another striking example of Discovery's selective regard for canon. A better story would've made a reference to this line from TOS: The Cage and done something explicit to rationalize it. Maybe Pike had been more sexist earlier in his career. Maybe his personal file projected on the viewscreen should've had reprimands from Starfleet HR for sexist behavior, showing him having completed mandatory sensitivity training. Honestly, even the thinnest attempt to resolve the contradiction in characterization would've been better than flatly pretending that line never happened, as Discovery does all the time with both visual canon and story canon it finds inconvenient.

Factoids
- Commander Nhan is a Barzan, a species not seen since TNG: The Price. The Barzans are not members of the Federation, so it is curious how Nhan became a member of Starfleet.
- Stamets describes a former colleague on the Enterprise who is an ethnobotanist. This could possibly be a reference Sulu, who is a science officer and has an affinity for botany.
- The fortune cookie Pike picked up reading "Not every cage is a prison, nor every loss eternal" is a reference to the episodes of TOS which established the foundations of his character, TOS: The Cage and TOS: The Menagerie.

Remarkable Scenes
- Young Spock slamming the door on young Burnham's face.
- Tilly on reassigning people's workspaces: "I'm drunk on power!"
- Stamets: "Tilly, you are incandescent. You're going to become a magnificent captain because you do everything out of love. But I need you to repeat after me." Tilly: "Okay." Stamets: "I will say..." Tilly: "I will say..." Stamets: "Fewer things." Tilly: "Fewer thin—okay..."
- Connolly's death was pretty satisfying.

My Review
"Sometimes it's wise to keep our expectations low, that way we're never disappointed," Pike warns us, as though he is speaking through the fourth wall; as though he is speaking for the Discovery writers to the audience. After the canon-wrecking disaster that was the first season, that is indeed good advice. This episode of Star Trek Discovery: The Search for Spock sidelines the more interesting questions about why Burnham and Sarek are estranged from Spock to focus on yet another galaxy-wide emergency that occurs only moments after the Klingon war has ended. While building up Burnham's, Sarek's, and even the audience's expectations to see Spock materialize on the transporter pad only to end up with an obnoxious letdown of an understudy in Connolly is a reasonable dramatic move for the plot to build up tension, it is much less reasonable for the narrative to decline to let the audience in on just what drove Spock from his family. The mystery surrounding this is entirely manufactured and could be resolved quickly if the characters ever bother to ask or answer obvious questions about it, but nobody ever does.

As usual with Discovery, rather than establishing a dramatic hook, the narrative just dangles the possibility of eventual reveals and maintains a constant state of galactic emergency. A generally accepted guideline for writing good fiction is that suspense is better than mystery. You can hook an audience by disorienting them with endless mysteries that focus attention on piecing together clues, but better stories lay out all the players and their motives early, captivating audiences based on dramatic hooks alone. Good suspense is of course a lot harder to write and it appears to be beyond the capabilities of Discovery's writers so far. Perhaps they were hoping we wouldn't notice because we'd be too distracted by the nostalgic glee of seeing Pike and the Enterprise again like dangling keys in front of a toddler.

As for the all-consuming emergency of the season, we're not off to a great start. The justification for Pike to take command of Discovery doesn't meet the criteria Saru cites, as there does not appear to be any imminent danger posed by these mysterious signals. This is more like a scientific curiosity than a threat. But everyone seems to be constantly trigger happy on Discovery. Like with mysterious signals immediately being interpreted as a threat, so too were Jett Reno's drones when Burnham said, "I have an incoming target," and everyone whipped out phasers in response to the unknown like a spaghetti western rather than whipping out tricorders like an episode of Star Trek. Even the changes to the title sequence reflect this attitude: the communicator was removed, but they kept the phaser in. This jumpy behavior accords with an overall shift in tone on Discovery from previous Star Trek series that has become more evident over time. These characters are not the professional, disciplined crew of previous Star Treks. Instead we're shown a cadre of largely shrill, undisciplined, seemingly emotionally unbalanced (or at least immature) people whose hyperactive vicissitudes are continuously validated by a narrative that acts as though their behavior is something to celebrate when it so often is anything but admirable. They're constantly either sneering or manic as though none of them ever matured beyond adolescence.

A particularly noteworthy example (though there are so many that could be cited) is a scene when Pike chastises Burnham for not offering a constructive solution to rescue the downed Federation ship and she gets offended, replying that she was getting to that. For some reason Burnham didn't seem to understand that in an emergency situation, you have to get to the point quickly. Pike cut her off after a lengthy debate had already begun and Burnham began her supposedly constructive remark with, "Landing on an asteroid traveling at 5000km/s with spotty telemetry and no transp—" and she wonders why Pike cut her off? He cut her off because he was "thinking of all the syllables that gave their lives" in Burnham's completely unnecessary preamble. Repeating a bunch of facts Pike already knew presumably for dramatic effect is the opposite of constructive.

She could've just said, "We have a third option most Starfleet vessels don't have, captain: dope space motorcycles." Then Pike could've replied, "Sweet, saddle up," or "Hit it," or "The power of math, yippee!" or whatever overly contemporary shorthand the writers see fit to dump on us, cementing the scriptwriting as 2019 in space. Such heavy reliance on slang is not the shortcut to authenticity the writers seem to be hoping for, but instead evokes some of Star Trek's worst eras. Like the times when TOS couldn't escape the 60s, Discovery is dating itself as a late 2010s / early 2020s show with its stylistic choices constantly and it will not age well. While TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise were not immune to being overly contemporary at times (especially in their earlier seasons), Discovery is amping that up considerably and seems to be worryingly openly celebrating it.

This worrying tone shift of course extends well beyond unprofessional characterization and overly contemporary scriptwriting though. As alluded to in previous reviews, this episode appears to be doubling down on Discovery's slow drift towards just making Star Trek a cheap knockoff of a Marvel Avengers film. By now all the pieces are in place: a lot of manufactured excuses for action sequences like the space motorcycles, excessive CG clutter like the holographic candles in Burnham's quarters, and they even have Iron Man-style spacesuits which appear from mallet space and expand all around you. Perhaps the reason we never see this tech again in chronologically later Star Treks is due to idiotic design flaws, like inability to manually seal the helmet leading to Starfleet to collectively hang their heads in shame and toss this junk out the nearest airlock. Also, why not put on spacesuits before climbing into the space motorcycles to begin with, you know, to avoid the chance of the helmet not sealing properly in an emergency?

Thinking these things through just didn't seem to be a priority for the writers here. They were preoccupied with writing scenes that dump exposition on us at as rapid a clip as possible while the main focus of the camera is on a random alien dumping bodily fluids on someone for comedic effect because haha body humor is funny; Star Trek is a comic book franchise now, isn't that great? What's next, butt jokes?

It's certainly true that not all of Star Trek needs to be humanist philosophy all the time. The best Star Trek episodes are sometimes thoughtful, cerebral affairs like TNG: Tapestry, but Voy: Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy was also a hilarious and welcome addition to the canon. Discovery's ambitions are clearly leaning more towards the latter, and that's not necessarily a bad thing in principle if done skillfully and tastefully. What's so sad about this is Marvel films actually do a much better job of executing on this goofy, immature genre of storytelling, whereas Discovery comes off more as a cheap imitation. More importantly though, everyone knows what they're getting with a Marvel film. It's either your cup of tea or it isn't. If you like that stuff, great. But taking the pre-existing Star Trek franchise with all its history and depth and shoehorning it completely into the butt joke genre seriously undermines what makes the prior art so great. It's as though somebody said let's make Star Trek into the MCU while possessing no understanding of what makes either Marvel films nor Star Trek appealing to people, so it ends up being good at neither.

Lastly on this list of notably distasteful things, while Discovery's disastrous attitude towards visual canon has been discussed at length already here many times, the redesign of the Enterprise's interior offers another unique angle from which to explore this sad state of affairs. Recall the following exchange from TNG: Yesterday's Enterprise:

Guinan: "I look at things, I look at people, and they just don't feel right." Picard: "What things? What people?" Guinan: "You. Your uniform. The bridge." Picard: "What's the matter with the bridge?" Guinan: "It's not right." Picard: "It's the same bridge. Nothing has changed." Guinan: "I know that. I also know it's wrong."

Then, later on, Garett says: "This sickbay, I've never seen anything like it, even on a starbase. And your uniform. What ship is this, captain?"

What those characters are describing is a sense of disorientation due to constantly shifting visual continuity. A similar point is made in TNG: Parallels where Worf complains of being disoriented because sets and uniforms keep subtly changing and creating a sense of—and I quote directly here—"discontinuity." This is exactly what audiences are feeling when they see the redesigned sets of the Enterprise in a show that is allegedly part of the main canon, unlike the Kelvinverse films which deliberately set themselves apart from canon to avoid these problems. Discovery has trapped Star Trek inside something not unlike this Bob's Burgers episode, except nobody's laughing. Every week is a stressful exercise in, "What canon will they crush next?" The best option available to us is to take Captain Pike's advice: "Keep our expectations low, that way we're never disappointed."

While it's mainly quite a letdown to have a season premiere that draws so heavily on beloved canon like Pike, Spock, and The Enterprise fall so flat, there are some good things in here. This episode resolves the lingering question from the first season about why Burnham was absent in TAS: Yesteryear. And Pike's on-the-nose reference to Nhan being a "red shirt" only to subvert the trope and see Connolly die in his blue shirt instead may have been a somewhat obvious move, but still a well-executed and strangely satisfying one. Plus it's hard not to appreciate the roll call scene which feels like it was as much for the audience's benefit as it was for Pike's. It would be nice to add some more depth to Random Communications Officer Man and the other bridge crew. Broadly speaking though, it would be nice to add considerably more depth and care to the writing of Discovery in general. Let's hope we get it sooner than later.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x02 - New Eden

Originally Aired: 2019-1-24

Synopsis:
A new signal appears, prompting Stamets' emotional return to the mycelial network and leading Burnham, Pike and Owosekun to a pre-warp planet, where they face a complex ethical dilemma. Tilly's overeagerness lands her in trouble but when the planet - and Discovery's landing party - are threatened, her curiosity may be the one thing that can save them.

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 6.5

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 1 2 1 0

Problems
- Pike says it's Starfleet protocol to respect Spock's privacy by not informing his family of his illness, so Pike didn't tell Burnham at first. This only makes the last episode's gaffe of allowing her to her barge into Spock's quarters, rummage through his things, read his personal logs, and invade his privacy even more problematic; especially since it was this invasion of Spock's privacy that led to Burnham making the connection between Spock and their mission, a connection Spock presumably wanted to keep a secret. Then once Burnham made this connection, Pike just throws the remainder of Spock's privacy out the window making a "national security trumps privacy" argument and goes ahead and tells Burnham about the illness. The whole progression of events is a mixture of ugly and incoherent.
- Elon Musk is referenced again as a celebrated historical figure. Irrespective of the ludicrousness of the comparison (covered in the review below), even mentioning Musk's name verges on a continuity error, given that the timeline of Star Trek splits off from the real world in the late 20th century, well before any of Musk's real world achievements (such as they are) came into being.

Factoids
- This episode establishes Discovery can reach a maximum warp speed of warp 7 based on Pike's remarks of how long it would take to travel to Terralysium at maximum warp.
- This episode establishes that the English language is the lingua franca of the Federation, as the colonists on Terralysium speak what Pike refers to as "Federation Standard" and we can infer that since the Federation did not exist at the time they left Earth and these colonists appeared to come from North America, they must have been speaking English. Notably the term "Federation Standard" had been used in non-canon novels in the past, which this line appears to be referencing.

Remarkable Scenes
- Pike revealing that Spock is in fact in a psychiatric hospital.
- Pike: "Any sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from god."
- Burnham and Pike debating the Prime Directive only to be found out by Jacob moments later.
- Pike taking a phaser blast to save the girl.

My Review
This is a surprisingly strong concept for an episode despite a range of flaws in its premise and plot logic. It's fun to see Discovery doing some exploration for once instead of constantly careening from crisis to crisis. It's also nice to see minor characters like Detmer and especially Owosekun get some real character development. It's also nice that the mystery of the red signals is appearing more and more to be like a scientific curiosity rather than the threat it was implied to be in the premiere. We've now had two red signals lead the crew to people who needed rescuing. And Pike is of course right to point out that a lot of coincidences are piling up. Notwithstanding Spock appearing to have had visions of the red angel, other especially notable coincidences include the Enterprise appearing to be intentionally(?) shut down to force Pike to take command of Discovery, which happens to be the only ship with a spore drive. The spore drive then turns out to be the only way to reach Terralysium to rescue the colonists.

It does remain irritating however how the show just keeps busting out the spore drive whenever they feel like it without regard for how we're supposed to believe it would be infeasible for this technology to ever be used again, particularly with Tilly working on a way to pilot it without causing damage to Stamets; damage that once again doesn't seem to be at all medically consequential. Once again using the spore drive seems to be completely free of consequences despite hyperbolic warnings last season that draining the mycelial network of its energy will destroy all life in the universe—no wait—all life in all universes. With that heavy-handed nonsense apparently forgotten, we're back to wondering why a particularly industrious Harry Kim didn't dust off the spore drive plans from the Federation scientific history database to teleport Voyager home in a single episode. After all, Discovery traveled more than 70% as much distance in a single episode as Voyager did in seven seasons, but somehow all knowledge of this mission was lost by the time of Voyager. It would be nice if they would explain how that is possible at some point.

Another perhaps less frustrating but still striking omission from the story is the missed opportunity to contrast Saru's origin story with Jacob's. Both men wanted to fly away from their homes to explore space. Both men managed to use found technology to contact someone from another world. Starfleet allowed Saru to leave Kaminar and join Starfleet. They even clearly allowed Nhan—a Barzan—a person from a pre-warp society that is not a member of the Federation to join Starfleet as well. It would make all the sense in the galaxy for Saru to make a spirited argument in favor of doing the same for Jacob, but it never came up.

Perhaps the most irritating detail of the episode though is one that's very easy to miss. Tilly is said to have attended a "Musk Junior High School." This is the series' second sycophantic reference to Elon Musk, who last season is mentioned alongside the Wright brothers and Zefram Cochrane as though Musk's accomplishments, impressive as they may be, are even remotely comparable to inventing airplanes or inventing warp drive. Again, they aren't. But since they keep doing this, maybe we should dig a little deeper into why Musk is such a problematic person for Star Trek to celebrate. Musk is scandal-ridden union busting billionaire; a person who personally embodies better than most the excesses and abuses of capitalism. Someone like this should not be celebrated on Star Trek of all things, a TV show with a long tradition of depicting a socialist utopia free of greed and mostly free of class.

Consider the contrast between how Star Trek VIII: First Contact portrayed Zefram Cochrane vs. how it is now portraying Elon Musk. Zefram Cochrane was a crass, drunken, greedy man who invented warp drive so he could in his own words "retire to some tropical island filled with naked women." Cochrane was portrayed by the narrative as a flawed historical figure who people tended to irrationally glorify because they wanted a hero to worship, not an actual person to assess. A cult of personality emerged around Cochrane because the myth mattered more than the man.

It is curious how so many of us have a tendency to do that not just with historical figures we are willfully blind to the flaws of which Star Trek VIII: First Contact was warning us about via allegory, but also with contemporary celebrities. The cult of personality around Musk is very real and it has become a clear signpost of foggy thinking. Much as people who unequivocally praise Musk display poor critical thinking skills, the writing of Discovery doing so reveals the vacuousness of the writers. Such vacuousness is at best politically clueless and at worst a betrayal of Star Trek's utopian vision. Indeed, others have noticed how Discovery more generally has drifted away from the socialist roots that Gene Roddenberry planted, and it's a shame.

One could be forgiven for thinking for a moment why should we obsess over such a small detail? Normally we shouldn't. After all, plenty of Star Trek's hundreds of other episodes have dropped cringeworthy throwaway lines and even similarly doubled down on them at times. But in this case that small detail is such a perfect encapsulation of a much broader problem with Discovery's writing: superficiality. A recurring theme for more than a season now has been a constant strain of either pseudo-intellectualism or sometimes even anti-intellectualism in Discovery's writing. When the series isn't wading into puerile immaturity dropping lines like, "Doing donuts in a starship, yippee!" it instead delivers overwrought speeches about not taking "shortcuts on the path to righteousness" without earning the moment at all. The writers take intellectual shortcuts on the path to profundity constantly, so it's no wonder the writers and therefore the writing on this show would be vulnerable to the cult of personality surrounding Musk despite ample evidence that it is devoid of substance.

The biggest flaw of the episode though is how the Prime Directive is handled. It actually started off pretty good, with Pike and Burnham having a quite compelling debate about how to handle the situation. But once they beamed away in front of the colonists, the whole debate ought to have been moot. In previous Star Treks, an incident like that has always been regarded as cultural contamination. Instead the narrative here acted like the colonists observing the transporter wasn't a big deal at all. For that matter, it's quite astonishing that Saru didn't even bother to scan the planet's surface to see if they were standing near any colonists when they beamed them out given that they had already averted the climactic disaster that would've necessitated the urgent beam out.

Instead, Pike and Burnham continue to debate whether or not to enlighten Jacob. After he saw them beam out. Like, really? Just frigging do it. Your cover is already blown. Then when they finally do tell Jacob everything, Pike says they cannot intervene in his society because it "has to evolve in its own way." Really? Even though they're human? Even though they know everything now? Then Pike hands over a piece of society-altering technology to Jacob, which last I checked is a form of intervening, and they fly away to impossible distances with the impossible spore drive that will soon be decommissioned, putting Terralysium out of range of the Federation for centuries. Possibly forever.

It's quite a shame too, because this episode was quite charming otherwise. Without these compounding flaws, it could've easily been one of Discovery's (badly needed) above average offerings.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x03 - Point of Light

Originally Aired: 2019-1-31

Synopsis:
A surprise visitor to the U.S.S. Discovery brings shocking news about Spock and dredges up past regrets for Burnham. Following the asteroid incident, Tilly struggles to keep a grip on her reality. L'Rell's authority on Qo'noS is threatened.

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.78

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 1 1 0 2 0 2 0 0 1 2 0

Problems
- Pike refuses to open Spock's medical file because it would be against the rules. But he was willing to let Burnham barge into Spock's quarters, rummage through his things, read his personal logs, and invade his privacy. He was also willing to ultimately reveal private medical information to Burnham which was also against the rules. What is it with Pike citing rules he refuses to break only to break them moments later?
- Speaking of which, Pike is told that Spock's case is classified. Pike says he's entitled to information about it because of the red signals. The guy he's talking to then replies by saying it's not about the signals and proceeds to rattle off all the classified information he moments ago said he wouldn't disclose.
- Burnham says the Stardate is 1029.46. This is more than 800 units lower than the last stardate we got in What's Past is Prologue.
- The D7 battle cruiser is shown as brand new in this episode, but in Choose Your Pain the ship that abducts Lorca is described by the shuttle's computer as a D7 battle cruiser.
- Tilly stops to have a conversation with May that lasts nearly a minute, then wins the marathon anyway? And why do they need strobe lights for the marathon? Well the ship is nicknamed Disco...

Factoids
- The title of the episode is a reference to the planet Boreth, established in TNG: Rightful Heir. In that episode, the Story of the Promise refers to Kahless instructing his people to, "Look for me there, on that point of light," before leaving for Sto-vo-kor. The Boreth monastery was said to be built on a planet orbiting the star he pointed at.
- This episode shows the Klingon D7 battle cruiser being invented.
- Tyler says L'Rell is speaking English to him, further confirming the previous episode's implication that English is the national language of the Federation.
- Kenneth Mitchell who plays Kol-Sha in this episode also played his character's own son Kol in the previous season.
- The character of Leland first appears here officially, but he actually previously appeared in a deleted scene from the first season's finale Will You Take My Hand? which depicted the first meeting between him and Georgiou. Leland recruits her to join Section 31.
- Leland near the end says: "Control values his skillset." Control is likely a reference to non-canon novels which describe an AI that exerts power over Federation decision-making in some fashion, not unlike the "hierarchy" from Voy: Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy.

Remarkable Scenes
- L'Rell showing off the newly invented D7 battle cruiser.
- Tilly melting down on the bridge because of her imaginary friend.
- Tilly revealing May to Burnham.
- L'Rell and Tyler battling Kol-Sha.
- Georgiou rescuing L'Rell and Tyler.
- L'Rell faking Tyler's death and her child's death.
- Georgiou: "The freaks are more fun."

My Review
This is the strongest episode of the season so far, delivering interesting stuff on a few fronts. The red angel and Spock developments are proceeding apace without any real issues and Tilly's imaginary friend ended up being a fun diversion rather than the dumb distraction it risked being. It was used well for both comedic and dramatic effect, which is nice to see given Tilly's character so often falls flat. Though it would've been nice if she had asked May what she actually wanted at some point instead of immediately treating her as a threat. Another unfortunate but small detail was that there were so many shots beginning at weird angles and then rotating to level, a stylistic choice that needs to go away as soon as possible. Also Amanda not hailing Discovery on approach leading Discovery to declare a yellow alert was pretty dumb. When she boards Discovery, it turns out there was absolutely no reason for all this dramatic tension at all. She apparently nearly got fired upon because she was an idiot. Or more accurately because Discovery's writers wanted to create artificial tension in an idiotic way.

But for once these flaws don't really dominate the story. There is a lot to like here. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this story was the effort the writers went to to fix mistakes of previous episodes. The elephant in the room of course is Klingons have hair again. This plus the faithful depiction of a Klingon D7 battle cruiser and even pink Klingon blood (not seen since Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country!) does much to stitch together visual continuity between Discovery and the rest of Star Trek. Though of course that ship sailed long ago, so making the situation somewhat less awful is of questionable value. Nevertheless we should still appreciate the effort even if it's not nearly enough and even though it has some internal problems of its own. For instance, one curiosity is the Klingons are said to be regrowing hair because the war is over. Okay, well if that is so, then why did they not have hair before the war started in the pilot then? Another appeal to canon repair is in the amusing remark about Pike disliking holo-communicators, which validates a common fan rationalization that the technology came in and out of fashion over the next century, guided mainly by personal tastes of individuals. Another curiosity is one wonders if L'Rell's and Tyler's baby will turn out to grow up to be "the albino" from DS9: Blood Oath. The timeframes would roughly line up for that.

The best piece of repair work this episode does for previous episodes though is how it handles Klingon politics. The end of the last season was a frustrating way to end the war with the Klingons. L'Rell's plan was stupid and it failed. This episode finally acknowledged that on-screen instead of continuing to pretend that it was a coherent plan. L'Rell only became chancellor through dumb luck. This episode makes that undeniable by having Section 31 directly intervene on her behalf to prevent a coup instead of continuing to pretend that L'Rell seized power through charisma and intimidation from a position of strength. It was manipulation from a position of weakness the whole time. It seemed inevitable that someone would mount a coup almost immediately since it seemed obvious that L'Rell was installed by a Federation-initiated regime change. This episode deals with that directly.

Not all of it works. It's unclear how it makes sense for L'Rell to build a new, fiercer Klingon warship to "remain Klingon" but it also made sense for her to call off the war. The two actions seem at odds. The depiction of Section 31 is also a problem. The last thing we want is for Emperor Georgiou, a former genocidal dictator, to be rebranded as some kind of badass secret agent antihero. The introduction of black badges, their own ships, whole crews, etc runs counter to the previous depiction of an organization that operates much more in the shadows than this. It calls into question how anyone could possibly be unaware of Section 31 a hundred years later if they were literally flying around with ships with crews. But we'll see how that plays out. The ship has a cloaking device after all. Maybe they manage to keep a whole ship and a whole crew from ever becoming public knowledge somehow.

Perhaps the most fun detail in the episode is Kol-Sha using a dishonorable weapon to seize power, paralyzing his opponent and forcing her to sign a contract as though he were a Ferengi only to get whacked by an assassin moments later, like some kind cosmic karmic repercussions for acting distinctly un-Klingon in that moment. Perhaps part of what made that moment along with much of the rest of the episode so satisfying is Discovery really needed someone to get in there and give the Klingons a good thwack to make them start acting Klingon again along with giving the rest of the storytelling a good thwack to make it start seeming like Star Trek again. This newfound attention to detail bodes well for the rest of the season. Let's hope it lasts and they build upon it.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x04 - An Obol for Charon

Originally Aired: 2019-2-7

Synopsis:
A mysterious sphere threatens the U.S.S. Discovery even as May, in her original form, implements a plan that puts Tilly's life in danger. Saru and Burnham's bond grows when Saru is forced to acknowledge a deeply unsettling Kelpien truth. Pike receives new intel on Spock from a loyal friend.

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 5.88

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 0 1 0 2 1 1 1 0 1 1

Problems
- Burnham argues that it would be illogical for a virus to kill its host. Viruses do this all the time.

Factoids
- The title of this episode "An Obol for Charon" refers to the coin one uses to pay Charon to ferry souls of the dead to the afterlife in Greek mythology.
- Tilly's favorite song is "Space Oddity" by David Bowie.

Remarkable Scenes
- The visit from Number One.
- The universal translator malfunction.
- Reno and Stamets debating warp drive vs. spore drive.
- Stamets drilling into Tilly's head with a regular drill.

My Review
This is an episode that tries to do too much at once and would've benefited from fewer plot threads that were fleshed out more. The weakest links are May and the sphere. The May story could've been delayed for another episode. The sphere story could've been cut entirely. A better version of this episode would've cut those plot threads and instead constructed a simpler, more reflective story centering on Saru's sudden illness (which really didn't need a sci-fi plot device in order to present itself) while they're en route catching up to Spock. They could've used the content from the Short Trek episode The Brightest Star here instead making a story that intercuts between the crew trying to save Saru and Saru telling his friends the whole story about what Kaminar was like and how he escaped. This would've given the narrative a useful reason to show us Saru's backstory instead of just lazily having Saru hint at the details in dialog. It also would've eliminated the need for the Short Trek episode, creating a tighter, more focused narrative.

A still better episode would also have dispensed with this nonsense about Saru nearly outright refusing medical treatment, which seemed quite out of character. Saru is a person who left an anti-intellectual planet to live with people for whom—as Burnham put it in New Eden—science is their religion. Someone like that wouldn't just uncritically accept the inevitability of death. He would fight it as long as possible. He would rely on Federation medical science to deliver him from the fate the rest of his people so blindly accept. The contradictions in his characterization are made even more apparent by his newfound resolve at the end of the episode as aired to return to Kaminar to go tell his people their religion is wrong. And as for Saru's fear being "gone" now, didn't we do that already? What ever happened to him losing his fear in Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum? Maybe all this incoherence was inevitable given the idiotic premise of having a species whose superpower is somehow having the ability to "sense the coming of death" to begin with.

Another strikingly weak piece of plotting was the numerous logical leaps that Saru and Burnham engage in to assign motivations to the sphere at various times. Almost every conclusion they draw is based on zero evidence amounting to little more than wild guesses. The narrative then validating their unscientific hunches as somehow in the spirit of Star Trek is frankly offensive. Yes, it's a nice message that not all alien life is necessarily a threat or at least not everything that causes damage is outright malicious in intent, but that message has to be earned, not sledgehammered through the plot.

There are some endearing things in this story though. Pike's further remarks about holo-communicators do further canon repair validating a common fan rationalization that the technology came in and out of fashion over the next century, guided mainly by personal tastes of individuals. The universal translator malfunction scene is a highlight not just of the episode, but of the entire series so far. And the earlier universal translator failure with Linus was a nice touch too, though it would be nice if they would stop making frankly racist jokes about him for comedic effect. Using Linus as a way to do body humor jokes is really not that different from making fun of Worf's forehead ridges or Dax's spots. They gotta cut this stuff out.

Reno's and Stamets' interplay was also surprisingly good. Their sniping and sneering at each other was actually effective for once. Though their debate about whether the spore drive is a clean source of propulsion while warp drive is dirty was pretty incoherent too. We already knew that the spore drive risked destroying whole universes or something, so Stamets' forceful defense of it seemed odd. Then only a little bit later May reminds us that the spore drive damages the entire mycelial network. Also, gee it sure would've been nice if she had just come out said "hey you're hurting my people" a couple episodes ago so they could work together on a mutually agreed upon solution, huh? Anyway maybe we'll finally be rid of the spore drive forever soon since everyone is super duper sure finally that it has unacceptable tradeoffs now. Maybe this time. Maybe. Just in time for May to abduct Tilly into a Stranger Things-style cliffhanger, dragging Star Trek down into the muddy waters of cheesy paranormal science fiction storytelling. Though perhaps that fits with their emphasis on body humor and pulpy comic book tones.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x05 - Saints of Imperfection

Originally Aired: 2019-2-14

Synopsis:
Burnham and the crew navigate a dangerous alien landscape in a race against time to save Tilly's life, but Stamets is not at all prepared for what they find in the process. Section 31 is assigned to help track down Spock, much to Pike's dismay.

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 2.57

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 4 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0

Problems
- None beyond the ridiculous mycelial magic discussed at length in the review itself.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Georgiou showing up and Pike not knowing her true identity.
- Georgiou: "You're the one who brought me to this insufferable place. You don't get to be surprised I'm here."
- Tilly: Whatever you are, I am holding a Type 3 phaser rifle. Which is more powerful and generally larger than the Type 1 or the Type 2. I guess that's why they call it a 3."
- Culber suddenly appearing cowering and traumatized.
- Stamets' reunion with Culber.
- Tilly to May: "To him, you're the monster."
- Culber's rebirth of sorts in the mycelial cocoon.

My Review
Quoth Michael Burnham: "And if there is a greater hand leading us into an uncertain future, I can only hope it guides us well." It's as though she's begging the writers for fewer cringeworthy lines like, "Words define us," (like, whoa man!) and more coherent storytelling, because this episode is a bit of a clunker. What we have here is a story about some mushrooms kidnapping Tilly into their mushroom space via a mushroom transporter, but it turns out the mushrooms just need help defending themselves from a dead guy made of mushrooms who is then reborn using the mushroom transporter; meanwhile after a full search of the Mushroom Kingdom, it turns out your Spock is in another castle.

All joking aside, Stamets' reunion with Culber was legitimately touching and well-acted. This even aired on Valentine's Day. Aww! But the plotting is ridiculous even by Discovery's standards. The magic powers of the mycelial network approach Voy: Threshold levels of voodoo. The story is vague at best about precisely how Culber's "soul" was transported to mycelial network to begin with. We can maybe help the writers out here by cooking up some absurd rationalization that the story didn't give us: Let's assume that Stamets' connection to the network was the conduit by which he arrived there. Perhaps Stamets and Culber had a connection between them through some sort of special mycelial infection Stamets shared with Culber through intimate contact, such that Culber's consciousness was copied to the network before he died. But even so, there are still so many problems. Why did the jahSepp recreate Culber just to break him down again? Why would the jahSepp want to eat something that was made from their own matter when it was established that they only break down foreign matter? And for that matter why didn't Tilly ask May to stop the jahSepp from eating the ship once they forged an alliance to defeat the "monster?"

The writers simply weren't interested in rigorously sketching any of that out. They just wanted to turn up the urgency of everything to eleven and hope you wouldn't notice that these things don't make sense. Except of course when they painfully interrupted a countdown to have an emotional scene. This happens frequently on Discovery, but this episode was a particular offender. It felt like people were constantly warning the away team that they need to hurry because everyone's about to die, only to see the away team turn around and talk about their feelings for an excruciatingly long amount of time.

The most painful thing about the episode though is the retconning of Section 31. In the 22nd century Section 31 exists as a shadowy organization nobody knows about. They do super shady things and the very few people exposed to them react with horror and work to root them out. Now in the 23rd century Section 31 is basically the CIA, everyone knows who and what they are, not many people think what they're doing is particularly shady, and nobody wants to see the organization rooted out. Then in the 24th century Section 31 is somehow back to being a shadowy organization nobody knows about. They do super shady things and the very few people exposed to them react with horror and work to root them out.

Yeah, sure, we can concoct some tortured rationalizations for why Section 31 was widely known and fairly popular in the 23rd century but not in the 22nd or 24th, but—say—driving them underground after some incident during the events of Discovery doesn't erase the apparently widespread knowledge that they previously existed. What are we supposed to believe, that after they are driven underground they make everyone forget they ever existed, Men in Black style with a flashing amnesia device? Though that would be fitting given Discovery's track record of transforming Star Trek into a goofy comic booky MCU-tone story. As usual, Discovery is playing it fast and loose with canon and hoping we don't think about it too hard.

And that's exactly the problem: it takes extremely tortured rationalizations to make any of this Section 31 stuff make sense. And beyond that, the whole idea of the narrative itself treating Section 31 as a necessary evil rather than the total perversion of what the Federation stands for that it is is precisely the opposite of the spirit of Star Trek. The whole concept behind Section 31 has always been to depict them as monstrously evil. Such evil should not be glorified by Star Trek. We especially shouldn't glorify it by simultaneously glorifying a mirror universe character as some sort of antihero.

Bad mushroom science is one thing, but Star Trek has seriously lost its way with this Section 31 plot thread. It's an insult to Star Trek and everything it stands for.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x06 - The Sound of Thunder

Originally Aired: 2019-2-21

Synopsis:
When a new signal appears over Saru's home planet, Burnham, Saru and the crew embark on a perilous mission that puts Saru in danger and raises questions about the Red Angel's intentions. Hugh struggles to come to terms with his new reality.

My Rating - 2

Fan Rating Average - 4.5

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 1 1 0 0

Problems
- Saru beams off the ship while the shields are up.

Factoids
- David Benjamin Tomlinson, who plays Linus in this episode, also plays a Kelpien Villager.

Remarkable Scenes
- Saru being reunited with his sister.
- Pike ordering disruptive Saru off the bridge during the confrontation with the Ba'ul.

My Review
In the classic tradition of bad Star Trek episodes, our heroes swoop in and force massive societal change on an entire planet this time by forcing precocious puberty on the Kelpiens causing their danger noodles to "evolve" into danger needles to cure them of their Irritable Ba'ul Syndrome. They don't give a second thought to what side effects there might be to forcing this medical intervention on a whole society of people. They just toss a whole civilization a laxative to force them to have a Ba'ul movement against their will, then give them a nice pat on the ass, wish them well, and fly off into the sunset, leaving the Kelpiens and the Ba'ul to sort out their own isuses, clean up their own messes, and flush their own toilets.

Meanwhile it's completely unknown why the Ba'ul didn't just exterminate the Kelpiens ages ago if they were so willing to do it now if the "Great Balance" were ever even mildly disrupted like what happened here. Or if they're so afraid of the Kelpiens, why didn't they just leave the planet with the warp drive they recently invented? But you see, in comic bookish stories such as this we're not meant to consider such questions. We're supposed to react with shock and horror at the menacing black alien goo that looks and sounds scary rather than think of them as a society of people. Besides, scary black alien goo killed Tasha Yar in (a particularly awful episode of) TNG, so it's automatically bad, right?

And like any good comic book story, our heroes need ever escalating superpowers. In this episode Saru implausibly dismantles a machine of oppression by getting angry, becoming The Incredible Hulk, and doing some Hulk Smash. Who knows if that's even his Final Form? Will Saru go Super Saiyan someday? There was some potential for real personal growth for his character in this story that was totally wasted here. Instead of showing us a new Saru that is more confident and outspoken, he just starts fights with Pike. Instead of showing us a Saru who has to work hard to prove to his people that Kelpien puberty need not automatically mean death, the deus ex machina of the red angel just magic wands away their entire religion in one fell swoop. Handy.

Speaking of superpowers, Airiam is starting to get annoying. She appears to be able to absorb information quickly in the same way that Data was able to do a century later, an ability which during Data's time was regarded as novel and impressive. But a hundred years before Dr. Soong created Data, we've got something that strongly resembles an android with apparently all of Data's abilities. They'd better clear this up soon.

On a positive note, what's going on with Culber is incredibly touching and very well-acted. His posttraumatic stress disorder is well earned by the plot and convincingly portrayed. Stamets' denial about it is too. It's quite unfortunate that more of the episode wasn't that good. This much-anticipated sequel to the prior much classier Short Trek episode The Brightest Star ended up being a real stinker.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x07 - Light and Shadows

Originally Aired: 2019-2-28

Synopsis:
In researching what is left of the Red Angel's signal over Kaminar, Pike and Tyler end up in battle with time itself. Georgiou has a few tricks up her sleeve for Leland and Section 31.

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.6

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 0 0 1 2 0 2 0 0 0 0

Problems
- Sarek: "I am not prepared to lose both of our children on the same day." Uh, Sybok? Yeah, he's not Amanda's. But neither was Michael.
- The exterior shots of the turbolift are still showing huge, implausibly cavernous empty spaces all throughout the interior of Discovery.

Factoids
- The opening theme changed to depict the red angel as technology instead of a blurry figure.

Remarkable Scenes
- The beautiful shots of Vulcan during Burnham's visit.
- Georgiou hatching a mysterious plan to help Burnham rescue Spock in defiance of Leland.
- Burnham flying off to Talos IV with Spock, the famous planet that Pike and Spock visited in the very first Star Trek episode TOS: The Cage.

My Review
With the search for Spock finally over, the story advances a bit. The various plots driving it forward are fairly effective. Some Vulcan family drama that is reasonably compelling. Some Section 31 intrigue that works surprisingly well. A fight with a time traveling giant squid robot straight out of The Matrix. Leland is apparently somehow responsible for the Klingons killing Burnham's parents, a curiosity to be followed up on later. Airiam is infected with a virus that might hopefully lead to the irritating questions about her backstory and capabilities finally getting reconciled with canon. None of this is terribly impressive, nor particularly problematic.

A notably unfortunate oversight in the story is the total lack of epilogue regarding the previous episode's events on Kaminar despite Discovery being ordered to remain in orbit of Kaminar. Apparently Starfleet isn't even remotely concerned about Discovery upending an entire society of two sentient species. They're only sticking around because of the red signals. The planet of Kaminar serves only as a pretty backdrop for dealing with the space anomaly. The writers seem to have forgotten about it so much that when the space anomaly explodes into a "time tsunami" at the end of the episode, Discovery just warps away without the slightest regard for how such a terrifying phenomenon might affect the scores of people on the planet below. Whatever. Screw them. They were last episode's problem.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x08 - If Memory Serves

Originally Aired: 2019-3-7

Synopsis:
Spock and Burnham head to Talos IV, where the process of healing Spock forces the siblings to confront their troubled past. Stamets desperately tries to reconnect with an increasingly disconnected Hugh, while Tyler struggles to shed the crew's suspicions of him due to his past as Voq.

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 7.13

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 3 1 1

Problems
- Vulcan was stated to have no moon in TOS: The Man Trap. This episode is one of several now to have contradicted that.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Culber lashing out at Stamets.
- The Talosians demanding to probe Burnham's memories of Spock.
- Burnham making fun of Spock's beard.
- Spock denying the murders.
- Culber confronting Tyler.
- Saru: "This must be allowed to play out." Tilly: "Are you sure about that?!" Later, Pike: "You allowed the fight to proceed..." Saru: "I believed the confrontation was a necessary and unavoidable catharsis for both men." Pike: "But hardly an example of by the book conflict resolution."
- Vina showing up in Pike's ready room.
- Spock: "I never believed I would ask this of anyone, but I need you to take me on faith."
- Spock smiling with Pike, like in TOS: The Cage.

My Review
The long awaited moment when Spock finally joins the story in earnest is a pretty satisfying payoff. With only a few relatively minor flaws, this episode delivers a tasteful tie-in to the beloved TOS episode The Cage and its sequel TOS: The Menagerie which adds lovely texture to those stories without creating any problems with the story canon in the process, finally delivers some details about precisely what the stakes are with the red angel, and sets up a story that is finally more about suspense than mystery; though the precise motivations of the red angel are still annoyingly a dangling mystery.

The most irritating thing about the episode is the opening montage of TOS: The Cage using stock footage. Discovery lost all rights to use stock footage the minute they decided to do a visual reboot. It frankly would've been far more appropriate (and impressive!) if they had simply reshot those scenes using Discovery's aesthetics and put those in the recap instead. Gone are the days of TNG: Relics, DS9: Trials and Tribble-ations, Voy: Flashback, Ent: In a Mirror, Darkly, and others when old footage or classic aesthetics were painstakingly integrated into modern Trek aesthetics in a loving and tasteful way. Instead, Discovery has fallen for the absolute worst kind of selective nostalgia: rebooting visual canon, except for when they're feeling sappy and nostalgic and want to literally reuse old shots in a stupid and jarring way. The climax of absurdity here is the cut at the end of the recap from Pike in the old footage to the new Pike which is clearly meant to be seen as an impressive transition, but it's totally disorienting and only serves to highlight just how problematic Discovery's attitude towards visual canon has always been.

What's strange is they actually got at least one notable visual continuity transition right: the transition to a new actor for Spock. Starting off with just his voice so we can get used to that change first was a nice touch. Then the detail of Spock having a beard implicitly grapples with the problem of switching actors (like all visual continuity breaks) being disorienting. If it is absolutely necessary to break visual continuity in this way, which is certainly the case here with the necessity of recasting actors, then changing the character's hairstyle or something and making that change notable in the dialog itself to lampshade things looking different is a good strategy to minimize this disorientation. The disorientation shifts from the actor changing to the hair changing and lets the audience suspend disbelief more easily on the visual changes by rationalizing it as, "Well time passed, so people look different." It's a cheap trick, but better than putting in no effort at all. And putting in no effort at all is what Discovery usually does with visual canon, so this bit of effort is appreciated.

Another wrinkle in the story is the fact that they're still so willing to jump at the chance to use the spore drive again despite compounding evidence that every time they use it they're possibly killing sentient beings or risking destroying whole universes or something. But hey, gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette. Getting to Talos IV is an emergency or something. We can still use the spore drive in the case of emergency right? Break glass and maybe kill a few sentient lifeforms to complete your mission a little faster like Captain Ransom in Voy: Equinox? No biggie.

Beyond that though, there is so much to love about this episode. The Talosians demanding Burnham finally spill the beans on what the details are of her family drama with Spock felt like they were speaking through the fourth wall as the audience to the characters. Like really, Burnham. Out with it. Now. Or we won't let the plot advance. Thank goodness! The acting for the new Spock was also truly excellent, as was the writing. His recklessness was perfectly in character. He encounters the red angel and doesn't understand it. So why not mind meld with it? That'll surely—crap now I have space madness. His exasperated sigh at Burnham making another Alice in Wonderland reference also felt like the audience speaking to Burnham through the characters. Very cathartic.

Speaking of catharsis, Saru letting that fight happen in the mess hall was fascinating. The way he rationalized it to Pike made more sense than it might be comfortable for us to admit. Likewise Pike taking a hard line against that sort of conduct in the future was exactly the right response. A very well-conceived progression of scenes. And of course the interplay between Culber and Stamets in this episode is heartbreaking and once again beautifully acted and written. That Discovery is taking its time with the two of them processing their trauma is quite worthwhile and appreciated. Overall this adds up to one of Discovery's finest episodes.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x09 - Project Daedalus

Originally Aired: 2019-3-14

Synopsis:
When the Discovery crew infiltrates Section 31's headquarters, suspicions arise that the crew may have a traitor in their midst. Burnham tries to help Spock but her efforts don't go as planned.

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 5.5

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 1 1 0

Problems
- Why not throw some photon torpedoes at the mines to blow a few of them up before they strike the ship?
- Saru scans for ultraviolet light to detect a heat signature, but he would actually have needed to scan for infrared light.
- Bodies don't freeze when they're spaced.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Cornwell showing a video of Spock committing the murders.
- Burnham and Spock arguing over the chess game.
- The mines pelting Discovery.
- Tilly putting together Airiam's deception.
- Airiam taking Nhan's breathing apparatus.
- Airiam getting spaced.

My Review
Another fairly banal offering, but not too bad. The increasingly annoying mystery of just what Airiam is and whether or not she is a continuity error is resolved satisfactorily. She's not an android, but a person who suffered a traumatic injury and had extensive implants installed in order to survive; sort of like a more extreme version of what happened to Detmer. A compelling concept for a character. But this satisfactory resolution to the potential continuity error comes just in time to kill her off and waste all of this character development, in the classic Star Trek tradition of bad episodes conspicuously shining a lot of attention on a minor character only to swiftly kill them off a short time later.

The main plot driving the story involving Control spinning out of control is less effective. It is curious why Starfleet would allow Patar—a logic extremist; a member of or at the very least a sympathizer of a terrorist group—to be an admiral and wield such extraordinary power over critical decision-making. It's also remarkable how sloppy a job Cornwell did in her supposedly extensive checking into the validity of the video depicting Spock committing murder when all Saru had to do to prove it was fake was check the non-visible light sensors to show that it was made using holograms. It's also astonishing that after Airiam was trapped in the airlock, Nhan—who was literally suffocating on the floor—was totally forgotten for several minutes, left to retrieve her breathing apparatus on her own. Burnham didn't spare a single moment to help her. Nobody else noticed either.

What worked better was the several scenes depicting Burnham and Spock banter. They continue to be credibly presented as siblings with believable sibling rivalry tinged with Vulcan cultural quirks. Watching them snipe at each other out of both frustration and love simultaneously is good fun. So was the space battle with the mines. But that's about it.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x10 - The Red Angel

Originally Aired: 2019-3-21

Synopsis:
Burnham is stunned when she learns her ties to Section 31 run deeper than she ever fathomed. Armed with the identity of the Red Angel, the U.S.S. Discovery goes to work on its most critical mission to date.

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.5

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 0 0 2 0 3 1 0 0 0 0

Problems
- It was previously established that there were seven initial signals, after which Discovery investigated two "new" ones in New Eden and The Sound of Thunder, meaning nine have appeared so far. However this episode resets that total back to seven.
- Spock says the planet's atmosphere is a carbon monoxide atmosphere laced with perchlorate dust. In other words, the atmosphere is made up of a combustible fuel laced with a powerful oxidizer. Why isn't the whole planet on fire?

Factoids
- Lieutenant Nilsson, who replaces Airiam, is played by Sara Mitich, who also played Airiam in the first season before she was recast for season 2.
- This is the first Star Trek episode to use specific terms for different sexual orientations like "gay" and "pansexual."

Remarkable Scenes
- Pike: "Burnham is going to wake up one day, access time travel technology that doesn't exist yet, and take it upon herself to save the galaxy." Spock: "That supposition fits her emotional profile rather precisely. Particularly her drive to take responsibility for situations often beyond her control." Burnham, annoyed: "Thank you for sharing that with the group, Spock."
- Georgiou: "I was thinking you may be smarter than the Stamets I knew. You're also much more neurotic. Have you considered medication?"
- Tilly after the awkward scene with Georgiou: "...What just happened?!"
- Leland revealing to Burnham the truth of her parents.
- Cornwell: "Love is a choice, Hugh. And one doesn't just make that choice once. One makes it again and again. [...] The only way to make a new road is to walk it."
- Burnham's writhing exposure to the toxic atmosphere.
- Spock's refusal to end the mission, letting Burnham die.
- The red angel coming to rescue Burnham and getting caught in the trap.
- The red angel turning out to be Burnham's mother.

My Review
We finally have the identity of the red angel: it's BurnhamBurnham's mom. We finally have an answer as to what precisely the red angel is: it's a time travel suit that Section 31 invented as part of an arms race with the Klingons 20 years ago. It was also developed to investigate the question as to whether a series of technological leaps in various civilizations' past were the result of contamination of the timeline, akin to what occurred in Voy: Future's End or Enterprise's Temporal Cold War. Though ironically, the technology developed to investigate this question could itself be the cause of that contamination. What precisely Burnham's mom is doing in the suit and how she survived the Klingon attack is a question for the next episode.

It continues to be a concern for canon that so much ultra advanced technology is being invented in the 23rd century. The existence of a personal time travel suit—even a classified one—presents serious problems for canon that are perhaps even worse than the spore drive. Like with the spore drive, we must ask what happens to this suit? Why is it never used again after the events of Discovery? It's unclear if the writers are much interested in that question as their track record of bothering to think these things through is mixed at best. Another wrinkle in canon worth thinking about that the writers probably aren't thinking about is how can Spock spend so much time with Mirror Georgiou now but know nothing of the mirror universe ten years later in TOS: Mirror, Mirror? Hopefully we get satisfactory answers eventually. One more murky detail is why exactly is Michael getting angry at Leland for the death of her parents? This is basically shooting the messenger territory. It seems her parents were lost in the line of duty on a mission they signed up for.

Aside from that stuff though this is a pretty engaging episode. We continue to see the narrative transition from mystery to suspense. It's nice to see Culber back at work while continuing to sort out his feelings. It's nice to see Cornwell's past as a counselor leveraged here. And the closing scenes involving setting the trap for the red angel are classic incoherent (in a good way) time travel logic that deliver solid dramatic tension, a satisfying payoff, and a compelling cliffhanger.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x11 - Perpetual Infinity

Originally Aired: 2019-3-28

Synopsis:
Burnham receives the reunion she's been longing for, but it doesn't go quite as she imagined. Georgiou and Tyler sense a disturbing change in Leland.

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.86

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 0 1 2 1 1 0 1 0 0 1

Problems
- So if Gabrielle Burnham can't stay in the past for very long before she gets pulled back to the future, how then could she save a huge number of World War III refugees and relocate them across the galaxy as she was said to have done in New Eden?
- Discovery fired photon torpedoes from its nacelles.

Factoids
- Kenric Green, Sonequa Martin-Green's (Michael Burnham's) husband, plays Michael Burnham's father Mike Burnham in this episode.
- The supernova young Michael wants to watch is Alpha Lupi, the brightest star in the constellation Lupus. It is one of the nearest candidates to Earth for going supernova soon in the real world, at 460 light years away.
- Starfleet is said to have a fleet of 7000 ships at this time.
- Gabrielle Burnham was stranded in the 32nd century. This would be after the time of Daniels from Enterprise's Temporal Cold War, but before the events of Calypso.

Remarkable Scenes
- The flashback to Burnham's childhood.
- Gabrielle trying to use the suit to prevent the Klingon attack and getting stuck 950 years into the future.
- Gabrielle to Pike: "I could say more about your future, but you won't like it."
- Gabrielle: "People think time is fragile, precious, beautiful. Sand in an hourglass, all that. But it's not. Time is savage. It always wins."
- Gabrielle telling her daughter about how she watched her childhood.
- Discovery bombing the facility from orbit.

My Review
This episode is a mixed bag. On one hand, the presence of Gabrielle Burnham giving a firsthand account of developing the red angel suit, being forced to use it, getting stranded in the 32nd century, and using time travel to prevent a galactic calamity is welcome exposition. It was also fantastic to finally see direct flashbacks to the moment when Burnham's parents were lost, which was a notable oversight in the first season's finale. Now they are finally adhering to the principle of, "Show, don't tell." All of that was great payoff, but it could've been worth a lot more points if there weren't so many terrible details dragging things down.

For starters, Leland's story eerily resembles having been assimilated by the Borg. We must pray that it's only a superficial similarity and that there is no actual connection between Control and the Borg, or that would likely be yet another continuity error that the series would have to clean up. Also the debate in the episode about whether to delete the sphere data is idiotic. Saru was right. Burnham, Gabrielle, and Pike were wrong. Knowledge is good. Deleting knowledge is bad. Destroying Control should've been their goal.

But even so, suppose for whatever godawful reason that destroying the data truly was their only option... okay, what's so hard about that? Sure, some kind of firewall or DRM prevents itself from being deleted. Whatever. It's unclear how that could possibly work, but let's go with it for now. Did anyone think to physically smash the computer it's stored on? Or blow up Discovery? It turns out they can transfer the data to the red angel suit (move it, not copy it; which itself implies deleting the copy from the computer it started on, but we digress), so instead of the bizarre plan of "send the suit to the future with the data" why not just transfer the data to the suit and then destroy the suit?

Speaking of the suit, its incredible superpowers are well beyond reasonable suspension of disbelief by this point. Gabrielle and Section 31 appear to have built it without too much difficulty beyond locating a "time crystal." Once constructed it possessed the power of time travel, flying through vast distances in space despite having no apparent means of propulsion, the ability to emit powerful signals that can be detected from across the galaxy, a "heal beam" that brought Burnham back to life, weapons that could effortlessly neutralize the Ba'ul in The Sound of Thunder, and "literally infinite" computer storage capacity. And who knows what else?

Perhaps its best superpower though is it provides the series a way to carve out Star Trek: Discovery as taking place in a multiverse, similar to the Kelvin films, which is a possibility we should not only start taking seriously now, but begin assuming is the case immediately for the long term health of the franchise's canon. We should now assume that 20 years prior to the start of Discovery when Gabrielle Burnham began traveling through time to escape the Klingon attack and began altering historical events, she contaminated the timeline which spun off the prime universe into a multiverse that now exists separate and apart from the main canon, just as Nero spun off the prime universe into a multiverse in Star Trek XI (2009).

Unless and until a future episode contradicts this conclusion, it will be official editorial stance of this publication that Discovery exists in a multiverse apart from the main canon for this reason. Hopefully the writers either 1. validate this on-screen at some point, or 2. at least do nothing to contradict it in a future episode. If so, this can fix all of Discovery's breaks with canon. Even visual canon. So perhaps this otherwise mixed bag of an episode is the greatest gift Star Trek: Discovery has given us so far. It gave us the tools to strike all of this from the main canon to undo all the damage that has been done to canon by this series. Hooray?

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x12 - Through the Valley of Shadows

Originally Aired: 2019-4-4

Synopsis:
A fourth signal leads the U.S.S. Discovery to an insular world, where Pike is forced to make a life-changing choice. Burnham and Spock investigate a Section 31 ship gone rogue, leading to a discovery with catastrophic consequences.

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 3.33

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0

Problems
- Bodies don't freeze when they're spaced.

Factoids
- The title of this episode appears to be a reference to Psalm 23: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil."
- Kenneth Mitchell plays Tenavik in this episode. He previously played Kol and Kol-Sha.
- This episode establishes that Section 31 has a fleet of a bit over 30 ships.
- Reno's wife was killed during the Klingon war.

Remarkable Scenes
- L'Rell and Tyler arguing over who should go down to the surface.
- Pike's vision of the future showing him how he'll end up in the wheelchair in TOS: The Menagerie.
- Reno encouraging Culber to patch it up with Stamets. Reno: "You have a second chance. And it may not last forever. Don't screw it up."
- Spock saving Burnham from Control.
- Pike telling L'Rell and Tyler about their son.

My Review
Another clunker in a season full of clunkers. After spending some time with L'Rell's and Voq's/Tyler's son (so much for those theories that he might grow up to be "the albino" from DS9: Blood Oath), Pike becomes convinced that the vision he saw of ending up confined to a wheelchair is inevitable for no clear reason other than being told that it is inevitable. It's entirely unclear how taking a time crystal and having a conversation with a time monk deprives him of all free will for the rest of his life, but that appears to be what the writers expect us to believe. Gone is Pike's agency to resign from Starfleet, change careers, or simply kill himself before the impending accident. Foreknowledge of it as a possible outcome doesn't render it merely a possible outcome, but somehow a certainty.

Bad takes on the philosophy of free will aside, the whole notion that the Klingons are sitting on rich deposits of natural resources that can be used to build powerful time travel technology that they simply refuse to use because it wouldn't be honorable or something is utterly stupid. Countless Klingons would have no such scruples, yet for some completely asinine reason we're supposed to believe that this power is never exploited across centuries of Star Trek stories. The tendency for this series to grant superpowers in a prequel that history never recorded and not think through the implications of how they would ripple across canon is an endless source of frustration and one of the principal reasons why this whole show ought to be struck from canon with prejudice.

And somehow, overwrought time crystals are not even the stupidest detail of this story. That honor goes to the cliffhanger. They're being chased by a fleet of 30 ships, can't outrun them with warp drive, and need to buy time to figure out how to use the time crystals to defeat Control. So rather than do the overwhelmingly obvious thing of using the spore drive to jump across the galaxy—say—to Terralysium where it would take the enemy 150 years to catch up to them, they just suddenly forget that option for no coherent reason and decide blowing up the ship is all they can do, which is especially incoherent given that they used the spore drive earlier in the episode to travel to Boreth. But hey, at least we finally had a scene with Linus where he wasn't used to make a body humor joke.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x13 - Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Originally Aired: 2019-4-11

Synopsis:
When the U.S.S. Discovery's crucial mission does not go according to plan, Burnham realizes what must ultimately be done. The crew prepares for the battle of a lifetime as Leland's Control ships get closer.

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 3.43

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 2 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0

Problems
- The stardate is said to be 1051.8 which is around 500 units smaller than the last stardate we got in If Memory Serves.
- Vulcan was stated to have no moon in TOS: The Man Trap. This episode is one of several now to have contradicted that.
- Georgiou suggests making a star go supernova to harness the energy. Everyone dismisses the idea as reckless because it would destroy life. How about an uninhabited system?
- Sarek and Amanda reaching Discovery before the Enterprise does is pretty hard to explain.

Factoids
- The title of this episode comes from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: "Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow."

Remarkable Scenes
- The auto destruct on Discovery failing to activate.
- The Enterprise firing on Discovery only for it to defend itself.
- The full crew of Discovery committing to join Burnham on her one way trip to the future.

My Review
Discovery won't let itself be (easily) destroyed, so they decide to fight Control instead. It's pretty hard to take anything in this episode seriously given the absolutely absurd premise that it's impossible to run from Control even though they've got the spore drive which can teleport them instantaneously anywhere in the galaxy. Given that, the excessive number of tearful goodbyes in this episode is doubly annoying. They didn't earn them at all and even if they did it would still have been excessive to spend this much time on it.

Speaking of excessive, the return of Po is regrettable. She is so obnoxious. A child prodigy inventor queen exuding constant arrogance and snark which the narrative is clearly expecting us to find charming for some reason. Doubly annoying is Tilly and Po reveling in their little secret the whole time making in-jokes about Runaway while everyone else looks either confused or annoyed. Because puerile giggling is totally the proper way to prepare for war. Can you imagine Commander Adama and Admiral Cain acting this way preparing to attack the Cylons on Battlestar Galactica? Or Sisko and Dax acting this way preparing for battle with the Dominion on DS9? Even notoriously goofy Farscape reined it in more than this when the stakes got this serious. But not so on Star Trek: AvengersDiscovery.

Then once their preparations for battle are made, a completely ridiculous number of shuttlecraft appear from mallet space. People used to criticize Voyager for having a seemingly endless supply of shuttles, but at least you could explain that away as the crew rebuilding them. They're even shown to build a shuttle from scratch with the Delta Flyer. But here the Enterprise and Discovery somehow house a massive fleet of shuttles in their tiny little shuttle bays.

A few highlights: Sarek choosing not talk to Spock when he is aboard the ship preserves continuity with TOS: Journey to Babel, since that episode establishes that they have not spoken "as father and son" since before the events of Discovery. It also looks like the battle that will occur in the next episode will be pretty fun, for all that the setup is idiotic. Lastly the idea that Discovery may end up permanently in the future might give this show a place to go where it can do something new and original instead of constantly stumbling through canon making a mess as though it were in a drunken stupor.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x14 - Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Originally Aired: 2019-4-18

Synopsis:
Season two finale. The U.S.S. Discovery battles against Control in a fight not only for their lives but for the future, with a little help from some unexpected friends. Spock and Burnham discern vital new connections between the red signals while Burnham faces one of life's harshest truths: the right decisions are often the hardest to make.

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 3.7

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 3 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 1

Problems
- The stardate mentioned at the end of the episode is 1201.7. This is six units below the stardate mentioned in the pilot episode: The Vulcan Hello.

Factoids
- The title of this episode comes from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: "Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow."
- Clocking in at almost 65 minutes, this is the longest single episode in Star Trek history.
- Number One is given a name in this episode: Una. This legitimizes non-canon books which originally gave her that name.

Remarkable Scenes
- The start of the space battle.
- Leland boarding Discovery.
- Spock and Burnham putting together the mystery of the signals.
- Burnham's trip through the wormhole.
- Leland's funky gravity fight with Georgiou and Nhan.
- Cornwell sacrificing herself to save the Enterprise.
- Georgiou taking out Leland.
- Discovery disappearing into the future and those that remain organizing a conspiracy to pretend none of this ever happened and bury all knowledge of Discovery, her spore drive, and her crew.

My Review
Well the surprisingly lengthy space battle was indeed fun as expected, but as usual with Discovery they put exponentially more effort into production quality than writing quality. As usual there are so many layers of incoherence and bad plotting to work through. For starters the absurd number of shuttles and "pods" (whatever those are, and who knows why they're never seen again...) hinted at in the previous episode is much greater than it seemed. They number at over 200! Seriously? Then we have super genius teenager Po who knows military tactics better than every trained Starfleet officer. Then there's the surprise allies arriving to save the day trope executed more sloppily than usual. Tyler somehow organizes and teleports everyone to the battle in the space of what, an hour? How does Tyler organize all that? When did he really start preparing it all? How did those ships get there so fast? Why couldn't Tyler have contacted Starfleet for help if he was able to reach the Klingons and the Kelpiens? There are no good answers to these questions. An even more awkward question is why didn't the Klingons look surprised that Tyler is even alive? Remember earlier in the season when L'Rell faked his death to keep her hold on power? The writers apparently didn't remember that.

Then there's that indestructible blast door on the Enterprise. That torpedo blows off a third or so of the saucer section but somehow leaves Pike untouched when he's standing just on the other side of a door. And why didn't Cornwell get one of those repair robots to pull the lever for her? A similarly embarrassing oversight has to do with the motivation behind transporting Discovery to the future to begin with. Set aside for the moment that they could've avoided this whole mess by using the spore drive to get out of range of Control to begin with. That was covered in the earlier reviews. What we need to talk about now is they've actually made it worse: Georgiou destroyed Control and nobody took a step back and realized, "Hey, wait, we won. We don't need to send Discovery to the future anymore. Control can't weaponize the sphere database if Control is dead. Hooray! No need to maroon a whole crew of people!"

But the writers didn't notice that either because they were utterly committed to sending the ship and her crew to the future at all costs because that was supposed to reconcile Discovery with canon. Except it doesn't. Not even close. It's an insult to expect the audience to believe that all the numerous tough things to reconcile that happened across these two seasons can be satisfactorily reset buttoned by making it classified. Too many people already know too many things. And making Discovery or the spore drive classified doesn't fix the numerous outright continuity errors, or the visual reboot. The only real solution is to dump Discovery into a multiverse like the Kelvinverse from Star Trek XI (2009) where it always should've been to begin with. It's quite remarkable that the writers saw the problem clearly enough that they were willing to almost totally retcon Discovery out of existence, but they didn't take it all the way. Thankfully they haven't yet precluded the conclusion that Discovery is in a multiverse. So we must continue to presume that it is and hope they never contradict it. Indeed, we should further hope they endorse Discovery being in a multiverse on-screen some day like was done with Star Trek XI (2009) for the long term health of the franchise's canon.

Looking to the future, Discovery's third season will have have some interesting plotting problems to solve internally. Setting aside canon concerns, the other half of Discovery's overall awfulness is its unwillingness to think through its innumerable comic bookish superpowers or the implications of the corners they write themselves into. They're going to be in the far future with an unknown political geography in an obsolete starship that has suffered from massive battle damage. Assuming they somehow survive, what do they do? This finale makes it seem like they're stuck there forever, but they still have the time travel suit. It just needs a new time crystal. And there sure seemed to be a lot of those on Boreth, so... yeah. Even if Discovery somehow delivers us the perfect fix to its canon-wrecking two seasons by endorsing the multiverse solution, it seems pretty clear we shouldn't trust them to tell a coherent story on its own terms any more than we should trust them to play nice in the sandbox of Star Trek's epic canon.

Overall, Discovery continues to be a massive disappointment and at times even a disgrace to the Star Trek franchise on many levels. Let's hope the writers start paying closer attention to the damage they're doing to the franchise and work to make repairs before it's too late.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Z on 2020-04-07 at 3:21am:
    Kethinov, I have loved (and mostly agreed with) your reviews for years. But this take is pretty ridiculous and completely unfair. You do have a few valid points about writing issues in this episode, but a number of your complaints were directly addressed. The crew made a pointed decision /not/ to run because they believed that Control would have the resources to track them down anywhere; and because charging the time crystal required power from the spore drive, they decided to move forward with the plan immediately (can't run and time travel at the same time, so they picked). There are obvious issues with this logic, but to imply that they never discussed jumping away is simply untruthful. And they went ahead with the plan after destroying Leland because it was heavily implied (like as explicitly as possible) that the sphere data was "in the wrong hands..." type of info and had to be kept out of anyone's contemporary grip (furthermore, I believe the phrase used after Leland's destruction was "Control is down"; there's no reason to think that disabling Leland and the local ships destroyed all of Control).

    You claim that making everything classified does not correct continuity errors, but (assuming people keep their mouths shut) I have no idea what you are talking about. Is calling all the info "top secret" lazy writing? Sure. The spore drive was lazy in the first place. But if the information was successfully suppressed in-universe, it does technically account for the lack of spore drives and angel suits in "future" ST stories.

    The "pods" they were referring to were, like, extremely obviously escape pods, established both verbally and visually. Again, there are inherent issues with the idea of retrofitting escape pods for combat, but to say that their existence is not explained is, again, untruthful.

    And even when your points are valid, the weight you give them is totally inconsistent with your criticism of past ST series. E.g. Captain Pike surviving the torpedo blast. Star Trek characters have *always* had "plot armor" when convenient. It has been an inherent issue with ST since TOS. Canon inconsistencies have existed since TOS (arguably more so in that series). These things are problems, but the fact that you take these errors and the errors you misidentified (mentioned above) and come to the conclusion that this show is a "disgrace" to Star Trek is inconsistent, unreasonable, and in my eyes totally undermines your credibility. As I have watched through DIS and read your reviews, it has become increasingly apparent that you weigh criticisms more heavily when drawing your conclusions, more so than any "classic" Trek show you have reviewed.

    Last two points I want to leave you with: 1) constant complaints about visual inconsistencies are tired and childish. Shows that look like TOS are not profitable, and frankly, they are not fun for most people anymore. I hope you get over it because every time you and people like you bring it up, it causes the rest of us to roll our eyes. 2) your characterization of Po in your review of Part 1 ("arrogant" and "snarky") comes across as *extremely* sexist, point blank. I've gotten the impression that you tend to lean left when it comes to social issues, so I won't accuse you of being a flat-out misogynist. But I would challenge you to question your socialized biases. All men, even self-proclaimed feminists, have stigmas that must be consciously suppressed.

    To sum all this up, I think it is ironic how lazy your DIS reviews have been given your accusations of lazy plot construction. It is obvious you made up your mind about this show well before it premiered. As someone who got into Trek fairly recently (i.e., I have seen every series now but only within the past ~6 years), and therefore has less nostalgia to challenge, I feel pretty confident saying these first two seasons were, overall, much stronger than the first two seasons of TNG, DS9, or VOY. And I love those shows immensely. I am sad to say I will not be visiting your website anymore, but after reading your DIS reviews I know I will find little of value in your reviews of Picard and any other Trek to come. LLAP.
  • From Kethinov on 2020-04-08 at 8:10am:
    The crew saying we're not gonna run and then citing an incoherent reason is not directly addressing it. It was clear that Control did not have the resources to teleport to their location. Track them, sure, but if you spore drive your way to the Gamma quadrant, you've bought a lot of time to prepare a defense because it will take them decades to travel to you.

    The sphere data being too dangerous for anyone to have is 1. hard to believe at all, but setting aside that 2. a reason to destroy it, not maroon a whole crew of people into the future. In previous reviews I discussed the incoherence of the sphere data defending itself from being destroyed, but even if we assume it's literally impossible to destroy Discovery with the sphere data on it, just send the damn ship to the future unmanned maybe?

    As for classifying the time travel suit and the spore drive, we need think this through a bit harder than "sure, I guess it was lazy writing, but meh." There are implications. Dozens (hundreds?) of people know about this tech. It actually is pretty hard to believe all of them keep their mouths shut, but even with this already overly generous concession, we have to grapple with the fact that the tech was rather easy to invent. It stretches suspension of disbelief to the breaking point to assume that nobody would ever reinvent it even if the tech was perfectly classified for the rest of Star Trek's history. When Star Trek is at its best, it gives us reasons to hang our hats on as to why some new superpower is unsustainable, e.g. the tech is too unstable to use, or it requires a super rare fuel, etc. Nothing like that was used to limit the powers of the spore drive or the time travel suit.

    Sure, they have some token limiting factors, but they're not nearly enough. The spore drive "damages the mycelial network" so using it hurts living creatures, so they want to use it sparingly, but they keep using it anyway. And what stops an unscrupulous power like the Romulans from inventing this and using it with no regard for the mycelial alien life? The writers didn't think that through. And the time travel suit just requires a time crystal—something that apparently naturally occurs in great abundance on planets like Boreth, and now you're suddenly godlike. They could've told us time crystals were impossibly rare, that there's only one in known existence, or maybe the time travel suit itself came from the future and can't be replicated. There's any number of ways they could've limited its superpowers and prevented it from being a "so why can't they just keep using it?" problem. But they didn't. The accumulation of an unsustainable number of superpowers is a serious problem in all Star Trek shows, but Discovery is perhaps the worst offender. And just so you know I'm not singling out Discovery here, Picard's season 1 finale is a pretty serious offender in this regard too, and my upcoming review will be as harsh to that finale as I was with this one, FWIW.

    Regarding the pods, I'm struck by you saying "to say that their existence is not explained is, again, untruthful" directly after saying "there are inherent issues with the idea of retrofitting escape pods for combat." Yes. Those inherent issues are exactly what I was complaining about. There is no coherent explanation for why weaponized pods (derived from escape pods or otherwise) are never seen again. It's puzzling why you accuse me of being untruthful for saying something you just said yourself. Perhaps our disagreement isn't about truth, but rather about how much someone should care about bad writing?

    As for "canon inconsistencies have [always] existed," this is a very common and very annoying argument trotted out by Discovery apologists all over the web. It is a textbook example of whataboutism, a common propaganda technique used to make bad arguments that sound plausible but are actually logically incoherent. In this case it's a bad argument for two main reasons: 1. It's not actually a defense of Discovery to say well everything else is awful too, and 2. Discovery isn't just as bad at this, it's substantively worse. Even setting aside visual canon, Discovery has created much harder to reconcile problems with canon than any previous Star Trek series. It's like the whole series is one long version of Voy: Threshold + TNG: Force of Nature + TOS: The Alternative Factor. Those episodes got zeros for a reason: if we took their canon implications seriously, it would contaminate Star Trek's canon too much, so we've all collectively agreed they aren't canon. To be fair to Discovery, it isn't quite that bad yet, but it's right on the edge. Bad enough that when you pair its story canon problems with its visual canon problems, we should seriously shuffle it off to its own universe to contain the massive canon implications of Discovery in order to protect the rest of the franchise from the damage.

    And regarding whether we should consider the visual canon issues valid too, of course we should. Like you, I don't want a show that looks like TOS either, but the obvious solution to wanting an updated look was to not make a prequel set during TOS. Enterprise did it right by being set a century earlier than TOS. The Picard show did it right by being set a century later than TOS and decades after TNG. Discovery picked the worst possible choice of setting and now their excursion into the far future is the writers basically admitting that mistake. As for your remarks visiting my biases regarding Po, that was uncalled for and unworthy of a response. But I will say this: her character would've been equally annoying had she been male. That should go without saying. It's sad I even had to say it.

    The saddest part of all this for me is contrary to what you seem to believe about me, writing negative reviews takes a lot more work than writing positive reviews. I put a lot more hours into my Discovery reviews than I have for Picard so far since Discovery required more criticism. (Though the Picard finale will require Discovery levels of work to adequately criticize, which is why the review is not up yet as of this writing.) I hold negative reviews to a very high standard. I vet each criticism rigorously before I release the review by first asking myself, "Wait, did I miss something? Did they actually account for this?" I do that because I understand the importance of checking your biases in order to gain as much objectivity as possible. I often like to wait several days after seeing a bad episode before I even write about it just to give myself more processing time to think through the criticisms more. Doing all that is why it takes me much longer to write negative reviews than positive ones. Calling all the work I put into these criticisms lazy when it's been some of the hardest work I've ever done writing Star Trek reviews is the real irony here.

    But I'm glad you wrote this, because I know your views are shared by others. I hope your comment and my response help people think more clearly about how the writing of Discovery is substantively worse. Or perhaps put a better way, substantively different. I think a simple fact nobody here could argue with is Discovery's writing has a much different tone than previous Star Treks. I don't think anyone would disagree that Discovery feels more like the MCU than like TNG or Voyager. What we debate is whether or not that is an improvement or a step in the wrong direction.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x15.1 - Q&A

Originally Aired: 2019-10-5

Synopsis:
Ensign Spock's first day aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise doesn't go as planned when he and Number One are unexpectedly stuck together in a turbo lift.

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 3

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

Problems
- The exterior shots of the turbolift are still showing huge, implausibly cavernous empty spaces all throughout the interior, this time of the Enterprise instead of Discovery.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Spock: "Have you ever considered that the Prime Directive is not only not ethical, but also illogical and perhaps morally indefensible?"

My Review
This coda to Discovery's second season chronicles Spock's first day on the Enterprise, as portrayed by Discovery's visual reboot of the Enterprise. It is notable that this episode takes place prior to TOS: The Cage, making it even more inexcusable for Discovery to have not recreated the recap to TOS: The Cage in its new aesthetics during If Memory Serves. If they have budget to do random codas featuring Spock, Number One, and Pike, then they had budget for that too. Indeed, the issue was never budgetary most likely, but as noted in the review for If Memory Serves, the writers were most likely taken in by the absolute worst kind of selective nostalgia: rebooting visual canon, except for when they're feeling sappy and nostalgic and want to literally reuse old shots in a stupid and jarring way. As for this story, it is mostly unremarkable. It isn't bad. But it isn't that good either. This feels more like the sort of thing you'd find perusing the deleted scenes of a film only to say, "Yeah, I can see why they cut this."

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x15.2 - The Trouble with Edward

Originally Aired: 2019-10-9

Synopsis:
Newly minted Captain Lynne Lucero is excited to take command of the U.S.S. Cabot, until she meets Edward Larkin, an ornery scientist who believes he has found a revolutionary new use for tribbles...

My Rating - 0

Fan Rating Average - 2.33

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

Problems
- In Ent: The Breach, it is established that tribbles breed too quickly to be controlled. That contradicts the notion that they were slow breeders before Edward modified them.

Factoids
- This is the first (and hopefully the last) episode of Star Trek to feature a post-credits scene.

Remarkable Scenes
- The ship being destroyed by the tribble overrun.
- Lucero regarding Edward: "He was an idiot."

My Review
While it was nice to see a brand new crew on a brand new ship, this is easily the worst Star Trek "episode" in many years, so much so that it deserves to be struck from canon and ignored forever. Aside from the fact that the details regarding tribble biology and history are hard to reconcile with the rest of canon, the "post-credits" scene (a newer fad in TV/film that we should hope dies a swift death) is obviously pure parody and clearly not intended to even be part of canon to begin with. The rest of the episode isn't much better though. It's basically an episode of Bob's Burgers set in the Star Trek universe, except Edward isn't even remotely as likable as Bob. Edward is awkward, antisocial, reckless, immoral, and vindictive. The narrative expects us to hate him and celebrate his needless death in the end, as though watching obnoxious people win Darwin Awards is somehow in the spirit of Star Trek. It isn't.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x15.3 - Ask Not

Originally Aired: 2019-11-13

Synopsis:
When an attack on Starbase 28 leaves a surprise prisoner under Cadet Thira Sidhu's watch, she is faced with making a decision that may threaten her standing in Starfleet.

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 3.5

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
- Pike being revealed as the prisoner.

My Review
Another Discoveryverse Enterprise coda. Again fairly unremarkable. Again not bad, but not necessarily good either. Again feels more like the sort of thing you'd find perusing the deleted scenes of a film only to say, "Yeah, I can see why they cut this."

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x15.4 - The Girl Who Made the Stars

Originally Aired: 2019-12-11

Synopsis:
When a lightning storm in space scares a young Michael Burnham, her father aims to ease her fears with a mythical story about a brave little girl who faced her own fears head on.

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 4.5

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0

Problems
None

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
None

My Review
Unlike the previous season 2 codas, this one adds real if marginal value to a significant character by visualizing the fable Burnham told in Brother in a unique and stylized way. A charming little story.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Star Trek Dis - 2x15.5 - Ephraim and Dot

Originally Aired: 2019-12-11

Synopsis:
Ephraim, a humble tardigrade, is flying through the mycelial network when an unexpected encounter takes her on a bewildering adventure through space.

My Rating - 0

Fan Rating Average - 3.2

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0

Problems
- There is no window in sickbay.
- The ship is mislabeled as the Enterprise-A.

Factoids
None

Remarkable Scenes
None

My Review
Like The Girl Who Made the Stars, this is a reasonably charming little story, making better use of the animated medium than TAS. Unfortunately the framing device makes it impossible to reconcile with canon. There is no reason Starfleet would make an educational film about a technology that has been classified in order to be buried and forgotten.

No fan commentary yet.

Prove to me that you are a real person and not a spam robot by typing in the text of this image:

Return to season list