103: Star Trek Discovery Season 1 Ep. 11 Review


Matt and Sean talk about Star Trek Discovery using the mirror universe to offer a fresh perspective on Burnham, Tyler and Saru. What does the mirror universe reflect about us today?

103: “The Wolf Inside” – Star Trek Discovery Season 1, Episode 11

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Hey everybody. In this episode of Trek in Time. We’ll continue to talk about chapter two of season one of Discovery, where things continue to get wild, they get a little wilder than wild. In this episode, we’re talking about episode 11 of season one of Discovery. The Wolf inside. Welcome to Trek in Time, where we’re watching every episode of Star Trek in chronological order.

We’re also taking a look at the context and history at the time of broadcast. So currently we’re looking at the latter half of discovery, which means we’re also talking about 2018. And who are we? I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a writer. I write some stuff for adults. I write some stuff for kids, including my just recently released the Sinister Secrets of Singe, which is in bookstores now.

With me is my brother Matt. He is that Matt of undecided with Matt Farrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives. Matt, how are you doing today?

I’m doing great. And just saw you yesterday for, for reading from your new book and to celebrate your son’s graduation from high school.

Yes. It’s been, which makes both of us feel old. Yes, it does. And there was a point late in the afternoon where both sides of the family were here. So my partner’s family was here as well and her brother-in-law and I were talking about the last time we had seen each other. And both of us were like, it feels like it was eight, nine weeks.

But when we thought about it, we realized it was on June 2nd. So three weeks ago was the last time he and I had seen each other Uhhuh. And I said, I don’t know why. It seems like it’s so much longer than that. And my son very calmly said, I think it was probably because of me. And I said, what do you mean?

And he said, well, I created a lot of stress for you in June,

trying to finish projects, trying to make sure he is passing high school, graduating on time, all these things, and I just kind of smiled at him. I was like, I appreciate the fact that he owns up to it. So before we get into this week’s discussion about the Wolf inside, we’d like to revisit. The comments on previous episodes.

Matt, what have you found for us in the comments this week? There’s some good ones from the last episode, which was episode 10 of star Trek discovery. Uh, there’s one from Jeff Halverson who said, I really don’t like the Mirror universe. It seems that the characters in the Mirror universe are shallow and nobody is likable.

It’s the opposite of the star Trek optimistic outlook for humanity. What are they trying to say about us? Are we just a result of our environment or do we have inherent and good encoded into our D N A? Hmm. I like this comment because it does, there’s something about the mirror universe that doesn’t sit right with me.

It’s kind of a fun what if to see in small doses. Yeah. But for long periods of time, for me it kind of like, especially where it’s multiple episodes like this, it starts to fall flat because it’s like, no universe like this would actually work if everybody was backstabbing all the time. It would just fall apart.

He wouldn’t be able to hold things together well enough. And what is it trying to say about us? It’s like, Are humans inherently good and we’ll just find a way to be good? Or is it literally just, you know, It’s it nature versus nurture. It’s like, what? What are they trying to say about it? Is there something bigger that they’re trying to say or are they just having fun?

Very interesting comment both from Jeff and from you, and I think that will come up in our conversation today because I do have thoughts about them. The other comments were, some of which were in. Well, actually, lemme get to this one first from Stephen Burnside. He said Jason Isaac’s, Glasgow Scottish accent was a, was bang on target in the mirror universe.

Jason Isaac’s is from Liverpool, England. Yeah. Which is why I love, like when he does that bit, it’s like, oh, he’s kind of just kinda going back to more of a natural accent for himself in that moment. Yeah. Which I thought was pretty funny. But it’s another layer to his vocal talents. Yes. But the other two comments were, I wanted to call out, were at the end of the episode.

You asked people to suggest what they think the episode’s gonna be about. Wrong answers only that’s, and so we have a couple of, we have a couple good ones this week. One from Dan Sims who says, obviously the Wolf Inside is actually a typo. That should be the Warfarin side, and it’s all about the enterprise.

D, another one from Happy, happy Flappy Farm. The Wolf inside is about a new pet for Captain Burnham. Uh, arent fang’s cute? Yes. It would almost be a return to the tardigrade at this point where she would have that in, uh, yeah, in captivity, which now that I’ve said that as a joke, like I’m surprised that wasn’t an element.

Yeah, that the tardigrade is still on discovery and is being used in the torturous way that they, that used it at the beginning of the series, but enough of that, that noise in the background is of course the read alert, which means it’s time for Matt to strap in, put his crash helmet on. Oh boy. He’s already wearing it.

I see. Yes, I’m all ready. And get ready to read the Wikipedia description. The ISS Shenzhou is given the coordinates of the resistance leadership in order to kill them all. Burnham and Tyler travel on a landing party themselves, and instead surrender to the resistance in hopes of learning. How the Klingons of this universe.

Have learned to work with other species. They find that the mirror version of Voq is the resistance leader. Burnham offers to give the groups time to escape before their base is destroyed. And Mirror Serek confirms that she can be trusted after connecting to her mind. Listening to Voq triggers Tyler’s programming and he has to be re restrained.

But back on the ship. He reveals to Burnham that he now knows he was once Voq and that he underwent surgery to appear human and infiltrate Starfleet. She has him beamed into space where he’s picked up by the U Ss discovery. Saru and Tilly imprisoned him having earlier found the body of Culbert. They also unsuccessfully attempted to heal Stamets who has not been the same since his last spore jump and Culbert’s death.

Burnham is reprimanded for not killing the resistance leaders by the emperor, the mirror version of Georgiou, quite the mashup. Yeah, of elements of the story, which as Wikipedia descriptions are prone to do, is a little hand-wavy about some of the stuff, and then focuses narrowly on certain details that really don’t matter.

But this is of course the Wolf inside. It was directed by TJ Scott, it was written by Lisa Randolph, TJ Scott, and Lisa Randolph. Two names that we haven’t seen all that often before. As we’ve talked in the past, going way back in our history, we focused in on the creators and the directors and writers of, of a lot of the programs on enterprise.

We haven’t really done that yet with discovery, so I wanted to drop in on this episode and take a closer look at a couple of these creators. TJ Scott, the director, is a Canadian film and television director and has an interesting background. He started off as a child actor and while he was in university at York, he started a organization for stunt coordinators, and he became a stuntman himself and was a well-respected stuntman before be moving behind the camera and becoming a director.

And he’s worked on shows like Orphan Black, Xena Warrior, princess Gotham. Star Trek discovery, of course, Longmire 12 monkeys, the Strain and Spartacus. So he’s got, wow. A lot of different traits, all the way from acting, stunt, coordinating and being a child actor is a unique experience on its own. So, Really, uh, interesting background for him.

And I thought that the directing on this episode was well done. There was a lot of moving parts in this episode, as we will get into the conversation, I thought the director handled it all really well. And the writer Lisa Randolph, she is a producer. She has worked on shows like Jessica Jones, which I think is one of the.

That’s fantastic. Marvel TV shows. Yeah. If people have been enjoying or struggling with some of the more recent Marvel stuff, which right now we’re in that kind of in between zone where I think people are becoming a little, the sheer number of programs in movies that we have in the Marvel universe is so much that people sometimes struggle to feel like they can keep up.

Jessica Jones is one of those programs that I think if you’re not interested in something like the new program that’s on Disney for the Secret Wars, Jessica Jones would be a great program to check out in its stead, and especially since they are now folding from the original Netflix programming of.

Daredevil, which helped spawn Jessica Jones and Netflix at one point was the resting place of Marvel’s television series. They’re folding daredevil into the main Marvel universe. I don’t think it’s long before Jessica Jones makes the same sort of appearance, so it’s a good show to revisit. So the Wolf inside Broadcasted originally on January 14th, 2018, and.

What was the world like at the time of original broadcast? Well, Matt, once again, and potentially for the last time you were enjoying Rockstar by Post Malone featuring 21 Savage. Give us a quick bar or two. Great. And in the movies. Well, for the second week in a row, the number one movie was Jumanji, and as I mentioned last week, it emerged as the number one film three weeks into its release.

So this is actually now the fourth week. The Jumanji was in theaters, but it was the second week at number one, adding almost 30 million, something around 27 million for the week, putting it. Into now, like clearly success levels because now it had, it had reached about the a hundred million mark and on television, other streaming services were providing shows in direct competition with shows like Discovery.

We talked last week about the number one stream show for 2018, which was friends that, you know, if you think about the year 2017, 2018, you think about Friends, a show from the nineties that ended in the early two thousands and yet, Here it is. And in the same vein, the number two’s most successful streaming show in 2018.

Grey’s Anatomy. A show that started broadcasting when I was just a wee Child. I think it started broadcasting when I was about five years old, and here we are almost 50 years later and it’s still being broadcast. I joke, of course, it’s only been on the air for what, 20 years? I don’t know. It’s been on him for a while, but it was the number two streaming show earning about 2% of all binge viewership in 2018.

And in the news, well, we had, uh, president Trump claiming that he was not fully informed in campaign vows. So the chief of staff, John Kelly, was telling Hispanic members of Congress on Wednesday the President Trump’s campaign pro promises had evolved, quote, Evolved on immigration, a surprising case of candidate Trump saying things that President Trump would not be able to follow up on.

And among the Democrats who were beginning to make noises about running in 2020, there was a very clear leftward turn. In the Senate, Democrats who were running as Bernie Sanders was going to run again, and Elizabeth Warren was joining the race. So these were more liberal candidates as opposed to more centrist candidates, such as Vice President Biden.

So onto the discussion about this episode. We are still in the mirror universe. As we’ve mentioned before, the the kind of metric that Matt and I have settled on, and I say, Matt and I settled on this even though I unilaterally landed on it, and then I informed him, this is what I think we should do. When it comes to episodes where it feels like, okay, you have one leading it to another, how do you know when it’s a two-parter?

I think the metric that we should use is when you have that cliffhanger moment of how will they get out of this danger? Not simply the setup of an environment in which the next story will take place. For that reason, this is not being treated as part two of the previous week’s episode. Right? The previous week’s episode kind of settled into, okay, we don’t like where we are, but for right now, we’re okay and we have things we need to do.

So this is a little bit like during the third season of enterprise where. Very clearly, they were still on their way through the expanse. They were still looking for the Xindi. They still had all these things they had to do, but you didn’t necessarily mean that you had one episode leading full on into another episode.

So here we have Burnham and Tyler are aboard the Shenzhou, and they receive orders from the emperor that they are to go to a specific planet and literally just blow the crap out of it. It has been identified as the source or the hiding place of the resistance that is working against the Terran Empire and despite the fact that there are.

Numerous other indigenous and intelligent life forms on the planet. There is a quote that is given by Burnham who has clearly studied the Terran. Model of rules of engagement, and she quotes not the prime directive, but the fourth directive. And the fourth directive being if any alien species is deemed for any reason of being a potential threat to the Terran Empire, they should be entirely exterminated.

Obviously a direct. Flip of the prime directive saying don’t screw around with anybody who doesn’t need to be screwed around with. So here is the opportunity Burnham sees, which is to get in contact with the resistance and figure out how have they managed to work together. Because they do know already Klingons are a part of this.

So why are the Klingons here more prone to being. Collaborative as opposed to the universe that they belong in, where the Klingons are the antithesis of good working partners, right? So they go to this planet, there’s a lot of yada yada. They get to the planet and they meet the leader of the resistance.

Resistance. Voq. Matt, I just synopsized probably a good 20 minutes. Of the episode. I think some of the particulars don’t really matter. I’m gonna revisit some of it later when we, we talk about the other bullet points that I wanted to raise, but for right now, just that part of the arc, what were your thoughts about how everything was going?

I’m curious to see my, my opinion on this specific element was not positive. Uh, I thought it was actually pretty stupid because you could summarize, take a wild guess. Why the Klingons are willing to work with all these other species. It’s outta convenience. The Terran empire is outta control. And it’s like they’re, they’re making an alliance outta convenience.

It’s like they have to, if they wanna survive. We gotta work with these other species to knock the terrans back. I could have figured that out before going to the planet. And even talking to the, to Voq, it’s like, it didn’t make any sense to me why it was like, there’s some mystery here that we have to figure out some secret that we can take back to our other universe.

Logical thinking, coming from a woman who’s trained as a Vulcan, it’s like you could have come up with a summary. She could have come up with a theory and then said, I wanna go down there and see if that’s the case. But they, they went in like she’s completely. Devoid of thought and didn’t put any thought behind why this, why would this possibly work out this way?

Why are they all working together against a common foe? Where have we seen that in history? I just thought that was stupid. I thought it was so stupid that this was the premise of why it was so important to go down there. They could have found a better reason to get them to the surface of the planet, to have them talk into these resistance fighters beyond that rationale.

Yeah, I I, I don’t know if you feel the same way, but. Yeah. Stupid. I big picture, I don’t disagree. Right. With what you’ve just said about the reasoning of like why to go down there. Yeah. I think story-wise, the elements of making sure going down there happens, I think are critical. Yeah. And I think that they directly address the question you read earlier from our viewer who is like, what’s, what are they saying about humanity in this mirror universe?

What is the point? Mm-hmm. Cause I think there is a point being made, just real quick off the top of my head. A revision to the script that might have solved the problem. They’re very hand wavy in this episode when Burnham holds up a, a storage disc and says, so I’ve got all this stuff on The Defiant, but I can’t broadcast it back to you on discovery.

I don’t know how I’m gonna get this there. I’m like, alright. She shouldn’t have had that. She should have been like, I’ve been trying to find that information, but I’m having an impossible time. But, If I go to the resistance, they may be able to help me steal that information or may have it already themselves.

Yep. Bingo. Now you got a reason to go. Bingo. So it’s, it’s information gathering. And you could have had them go and you could have had all the same scenes you had and you could have had her negotiating with Voq and you could have had her say, look, Do you have anything on the defiant, this thing that happened in the past and they could have looked through, like could have had somebody disappear in the back and then come back and be like, yeah, we do have some information.

Here it is. So it could have been part of that, and it could have been very easily handled so that she goes back to the ship with that information but doesn’t have it at the beginning. So like that’s all being said. So now they’re on the planet. Why do they have to be there? I think the question. That was asked earlier about what are they saying about the mirror universe?

Mm-hmm. I think that this episode does a really nice job of de-centering humans as the only good element in the universe. Yeah. Okay. I think that they are making a larger statement about optimism, idealism. Collaboration is not a human trait. We do not do that because we are inherently good. We do that because we choose to do good.

We choose a path to be peaceful and work with other people who are not like us. They’re demonstrating that there is an element of the universe, regardless of what universe you’re in, where people can choose to take that good path. And in this universe, it is not humans who’ve done that. So it is okay in a certain way.

I think it’s very modern because when the Mirror universe was introduced in the sixties, one of the elements of it was, if you remember back to the very first mirror story told in the original series, there’s the comment made at the end of the episode, which is a Kirk was able to masquerade as a savage.

Better than a savage could masquerade as a civilized person. The cap, the Kirk that SW switches places from the mirror universe, is identified quickly by the enterprise crew because he can’t contain his inherent paranoia and rage, and he’s, he’s quickly identified as being not the great Kirk. This.

Undermines that the entire story of the mirror universe that’s being told here, undermines it. They’re modernizing it because what they were saying in the sixties was these individuals are above reproach. Kirk, if you swapped him with his mirrored duplicate, Would be an unconsolable maniac. But what they’re saying in this is it’s about personal choices.

It is. They’ve, they’ve put more nuance into it that I think makes it far more sophisticated. And so for this, it is a Voq who is saying the same things he said in the main universe, but the nuance now makes it about collaboration, not about. Overriding it is this universe’s Georgiou is going to be emperor because she has un, she’s made a different set of choices.

I. From the Georgiou, who is like a good teacher and a good parent figure, and one who taught about like you, you pull yourself back from the brink at every opportunity and this one shows up and literally destroys a planet. So it’s about personal responsibility and personal choice. And I think that that is, I think that this scene for me on the planet where it’s the negotiation and the alternate Serek comes in very nice touch with him having the exact beard that.

Alternate Spock would’ve had, and the, the classic, oh, you know, they’re evil because they have this goatee. Uh, so here comes Serek does a mind meld. I like that he gets all these flashes of things that he, I, he, in that moment, my understanding was Serek is like, she’s not from this universe because she knows me.

It came across that he got it and was hiding it. Yeah. He wasn’t to say exactly what he hiding. Yeah. He’s like, he’s like, she can be trusted, but he doesn’t say like, holy crap. Like, yeah. In her mind I raised her, what is this? This is not, this is not the universe I know. Uh, so all of that, I thought that was really great.

But for me, ultimately it is demonstrating that the humanity equals default. Good is being wiped out, and it is about individual choice. Equals potential for good is what is being highlighted. You could, you could extend that then, and I don’t know if we might be, I might be putting words in the creator’s voices in heads right now, but you could extend that to say that this is a reflection of the time because at the time the show was being made, Trump is, Trumpism was in full effect America first.

The rise of authoritarianism, all of that stuff is really in the zeitgeist at the moment. This show is being made. I think it’s an unavoidable connection you’re making. Yeah, so it’s, it’s, it’s a ref. It seems to be reflection on that, that people are making the choice to be authoritarian. It’s not that it’s innately in our.

Being to be good. It’s like we’re people are unfortunately making a bad choice and going down a bad path. And the idealism that this show was born of in the sixties was during a time when progressive leaders were being assassinated. We were roughly a quarter century, just a quarter century away from the greatest war in history, and there were still wars raging.

Around the world that were generating strong protest in the us So the idealism on display in the original star Trek was really a wild kind. It doesn’t go counterculture, but it also doesn’t go conservative culture. It is presenting like it is literally plucking. Humanity out of the circumstances of the late sixties and propelling it to the future and saying, look, we can get beyond all of this.

Both sides of this doesn’t. Neither one of these sides has to win. We can move beyond all of this. This episode seems to be taking the stance of reminding us that you can’t pluck yourselves out of history. You carry with you choices and every individual’s personal choices add up over time into a gigantic mountain of consequences and.

Like Matt just said, I think the era that this episode was written in, we saw not just a swing toward a more conservative viewpoint. It was a. Disconnect between what had been viewed as conservatism into something completely other, and an authoritarian stance, which left many people in the United States and around the world scratching their heads as to what happened.

So in this episode, we have now. Tyler finally recognizing what happened to him. I don’t know about you, Matt. I found his sudden awakening a little abrupt, but also I kind of understood why it had to be as abrupt as it was. Yeah. It went from I’m having flashbacks and I feel like it’s PTs D and I think I can get through this to suddenly being like, oh, I knew I am, and it’s because he literally faces.

The mirror version of himself. It is this kind of, the curtain is pulled away. He is looking at a Voq, who is arguing for Unity, has to take place in order to overcome the extinguishing role of the i s s. Once the i s s is removed, then Klingon can reaffirm themselves as the leaders in a new world, but upon seeing that more collaborative Voq.

Even though it’s just a marriage of con convenience, Tyler’s response is a very aggressive and immediate, like you are no longer Klingon and coming out of the mouth of somebody who looks human. It becomes a really interesting wrestling match between the Klingon who looks Klingon but is not acting Klingon, and the Klingon who doesn’t look Klingon, but is now going to be Klingon.

Right? So it really presents. Two versions of Klingon. Well, it’s, it’s also neither ones of which seems like it would work well moving forward. It’s also a literal manifestation of the conflict that’s been going on inside him for the past number of episodes. It’s like, it’s literally the human side of Tyler warring with the Klingon side of Voq inside his head.

And now we are literally watching. The Klingon side of Voq fight the, the human side of Tyler in physical life. It’s, I thought that was an interesting way that they did it. It came across a little like, I agree with you a little. It was like sudden outta nowhere, outta left field. Wow. That was kind of sudden and suddenly he’s now big, bad.

That was kind of abrupt, and I thought there was a little bit of the filmmaking at fault for that because there should have been a little more of a, a rec during that fight sequence. There could, there were flashes of his, you know, torture and his changing in his head. There could have been moments where he looked at Burnham and there could have been a moment from, from the looking at the actor of like seeing the recognition of like, oh, that’s right.

I need to. Hurt you too. Like him, something recognizing where the flip has happened, but we never actually see the flip happen in that fashion. So like when they get back up to the ship and she’s like, what happened? It’s like at that point it’s like it, it should have been apparent to us, the viewer that he’s been flipped.

Yeah. And it wasn’t completely clear. It looked like it was just another one of his freakout sessions. Yeah, but it’s like they could have made it more clear. Like this wasn’t just a freakout session, this was it. And that’s the part to me that felt a little weak. I think the, I think that the way that they, I don’t disagree that they could have had a moment of him looking at her and recognizing that he was internally saying to himself like, oh, I should really kill her as soon as possible.

Yeah. Like that. That I think would’ve been helpful. But I think where they tried to convey that was that in the flashbacks, it no longer looked like Tyler going through those moments of torture. Yes. It turned into Voq. So it’s. I found that effective. I liked that as the, as the transition imagery. Um, I feel like there might have been an opportunity.

Yeah. I don’t disagree with that. It’s, it’s more, it’s, I don’t disagree with that at all. It’s more of a, the that’s in his head. Yeah. So what they showed in his head, it’s like, okay, that makes sense. Yeah. But what they didn’t show was the, the human Tyler on the ground. There was not a moment where they allowed the actor to kind of represent you see a click in his head visually of him.

Making that, making that connection. Yeah. It was only the, the visuals of what was going on in his head. And they needed to also represent that in the, in the here and now in the physical space in some fashion. And it would’ve been very small moment, but it’s like just giving the actor a chance to show that click, I think is all it would’ve needed.

Cuz it would also, it would also made the tension in the ready room on the ship. Yeah. Even stronger for Burnham. Yeah, it was already tense cuz you knew something’s off. But if they had done that earlier and set it up, you would’ve been a little more on the edge of your seat of like, holy crap. She’s sitting with a powder keg and she just doesn’t know it yet.

Yeah, yeah. So they get back to the ship and Tyler’s powder keg finally goes off and he is fully engaging. Like I am Voq, I like, this is who I, who I was. Who I was, and I’m here for one reason. I needed to get a board, I needed to get into Starfleet so that I could find out information to figure out what the weapon was so that we could take hold of it and win the war for the Klingons.

And it was at this stage in my original viewing that some dots were connected between pre-release quotes and things that critics had said. People, critics who had seen original. Episodes before the series became available. I remember reading from one critic in particular who said, this series is going to explain why the Klingons of the original series looked different from the Klingons.

That we know from the later movies and for next generation. I think it’s a wild misunderstanding of what was being included in the show. Yep. For that critic to have said that. Yep. It reminds me of the critic who effectively spoiled the ending of the movie AI by saying in a review I listen to on the radio.

Well, the movie is fine until in the very last scene. It’s this wild tangent of aliens show up at the planet and are looking at. Things they’re finding in the ice. And they discovered this robot Boy, and it was after seeing the movie that I was like, that critic is an idiot. Because what the movie was showing were the evolution of AI into this whole other thing that was basically self exploring.

It was these future AI or looking for their progenitors, they’re looking for the original ones. So in watching this episode, I was suddenly like, oh. Those critics who said this EP series is gonna explain why the Klingons look different. Yeah. Are misunderstanding that Tyler was a unique experiment. Not Yes.

An explanation for No. Yeah. Lots of Klingons have gone through this. This. Nope. What a wild misrepresentation of what happened. So having said all of that, when Tyler reveals himself to be Voq and has. He’s gonna kill her. It’s obvious that Burnham is is dead in that moment. She is rescued by Saru. So I wanna now jump back and we’ll discuss Saru in his entirety in this episode.

I think this is a very important moment for Saru. Not so much for Saru. But for Burnham’s understanding and relationship to Saru. Mm-hmm. I think it reveals something about Saru that Burnham did not understand, and now that she sees it, I think it’s gonna change her relationship to the Saru that she knows, aboard the discovery.

What I’m referring to is the scene in which Saru appears as basically a hand servant. He comes in and is. Presents himself as like, I’m here to help you. It is during a moment earlier in the episode where she and Tyler have just been intimate. They’re in bed together and Saru walks in and she has to quickly put on the costume of being the authoritarian leader.

Barks at Tyler to leave. Tyler does so, and then Saru presents himself as I’m here to take care of your whims. He helps bathe her. He helps take care of her. He is massaging oils into her skin. He helps her dress, he prepares her for her day. She is calmly trying to suss out like you are Saru. He reveals he doesn’t even have a name.

And here is a representation of the mirror universe, where the reflection is not the opposite, but is effectively the same as the original universe. This Saru is living the life that the original universe is Saru fears. Yeah. I thought that this was really tragically lovely. Yeah. And what it does to this character.

Yeah, absolutely. And I also enjoyed, she accidentally calls him Saru Yeah. In that moment. And then tries to recover and say it’s a, a name of a dear friend or something like that. Yeah. Son of respect, I, I really enjoyed that. It was like, she kinda like the walls down cuz she’s getting to know a side of him that she’s never seen before, but he, it’s one of those characters where he’s basically the same in this universe as he is in Yeah.

Our universe. It’s just, he’s just enslaved. And then the fact that he becomes her rescuer. Yeah. It raises the question of does this Saru recognize that she is off, that there’s something about her that’s a little different and that needs protection. I think that Saru rescues her because she gave him a name.

Yeah. I think it’s a, that connection that takes place and her saving Saru, her Saru, from even knowing what his role is in this universe. She’s trying to protect him because Saru contacts her and casually says, this is off topic of our main discussion about you getting a hold of. Defiant information, but have you seen any of my people there?

Because we are small in number, even in our universe, and I’m just curious if you’ve seen anybody, and she has in fact just been literally bathed by Saru and says, no, no, I haven’t seen anybody. So she is saving that ally from. What feels like incredibly hurtful information. Yes. I’ve met some of your people.

In fact, I met you and you are a slave to me. She will not tell him that, and I thought that that was a turning point in her understanding because one of the things that stands out to me in the very subtle ways that this show is constructed, Saru. Inherent ability to detect danger, to detect threat is talked about in multiple episodes.

It is not even mentioned in this one but her. But you have to, you have to imagine that this Saru does not see her as a danger. He does not see her as a danger. He is in the room with her. He is massaging oils into her neck. He is helping to bathe her. At no point. Does his ganglia emerge? No point does he demonstrate that he sees her as a threat, even when she breaks down the wall and accidentally calls him by a name.

None of that raises an element of danger. It to me, that is what causes the rescue at the end, is that here is a person who. For whatever reason, she’s gone through some kind of dramatic change just recently and he does not detect a threat and he moves to intercept the danger to that. I even wonder, was he not even in the room or approaching the room when he detected the Tyler was trying to kill her like this?

Well, the like, it raises the issue of like, was he somewhere and suddenly the ganglia came out and he’s like, I gotta go rescue her. She’s in danger. Well, the other thing that I find interesting is, again, like we’ve been talking about how like the rewatch is actually more enjoyable than the first watch.

Cuz Yeah. It’s like watching Six Sense. We’re going back and picking up all the clues. There’s a whole bunch about Saru that comes out over the next season or so. Yeah. With his backstory and what his species is all about. And that reveals a whole bunch of stuff. And they’re hinting at it here cuz it’s like there’s the.

Just a couple episodes ago where we found out, oh, Saru can run like 80 kilometers an hour and like Yeah. Is all this crazy stuff. It’s like, why is somebody who can run that fast and is that strong like in fear? It’s like this is something that should be able to take care of themselves. Yeah. And then this one, he throws Voq.

He throws Tyler across the room. Like a rag doll. Yeah, like that wide shot. You see the hand coming his shoulder. There’s the wide shot of Saru, just like casually flipping him across the room. Yeah. Like how, how is that, uh, somehow a subservient species? Yeah. When it is so ultimately powerful and they’re just not standing up and doing something about it.

It comes back to what we will find out about sa in the future. But I, I love these little hints that dropping about him of, he’s not some meek little creature. He, he has the power inside when he needs it. Yeah. And it’s, it’s how he applies that power. That’s the secret of Saru and his species. Yeah, so we see Tyler is captured, and this is of course aboard the Shenzhou

so the entire approach from Burnham’s new number one, who is the pilot of, from the main universe. I like the fact that she’s. Got a a, a nice meteor role in this side of it. She immediately is like, well, we’re gonna teleport him into space. This is, you know, he’s, he’s committed treason. At no point is Burnham even saying like, well, it turns out he is actually a Klingon.

It’s, there’s no, like, she uses this as the opportunity. It is the question about how do I get the defiant plans back to discovery has just fallen into her lap. In fact, it tried to kill her. She just takes the plans. She manages to put them into Tyler’s pocket and then beams him intentionally into space herself in what I believe is probably, she’s probably had some quiet communications with discovery in the background to say, I’m going to teleport.

Tyler to this location. He is actually a Klingon agent. Arrest him. He’ll have the plans on him, so they beam him into space and then he quickly is re beamed and he’s aboard the discovery and he is caught and they have the plans so they can begin to do their, their work to figure out what can we learn about how to return to our universe from what happened to the defiant Meanwhile, Board the Shenzhou Burnham is basically playing a waiting game.

She knows she has a finite amount of time to allow the resistance to escape from the planet. She’s trying to play that out as long as she can. When suddenly another ship emerges and the bombardment that takes place is horrific. Is horrific. The entire planet side is just mushroom clouds as far as you can see’s turning into glass.

It’s like it’s this molten rock. Yeah. Everywhere. And it is the. Arrival of the Emperor, and we are informed that the emperor wishes to speak to Burnham, and the holographic image of Georgiou appears, as she says, do you no longer bow to your emperor and Burnham bows at the waist before the woman that. In her mind is dead and was effectively a mother figure for her.

So this is a tragic turn for Burnham. It is. Once again, she is in way too deep. Yeah. There is an element of, of this episode that I want to revisit and then a, another character I want to talk about in more detail. So for the element of this moment, Burnham, where she is, Burnham, what she is doing when she tries to go down to the planet to meet the resistance, she goes and visits Lorca and Lorca’s entire response to her plan is, you gotta kill everybody on that planet.

If you don’t do what everybody here expects you to do, it’s gonna come back and bite you. So that’s what’s happening at the end. But she makes an argument to say, I may not have any Pips anymore, but I’m still Starfleet. This is the first moment in the series where Burnham, since her act of mutiny in the very first episode, has made that kind of argument.

Yep. She has worn basically the traitor label. For every episode, even as she was beginning to work for Lorca and was beginning to do things that she felt she had belief in, this is the first moment where she says, it doesn’t matter if I have Pips. It doesn’t matter if you think I’m part of Starfleet. I am Starfleet.

Mm-hmm. It’s an important turning point for her in this episode, the element I wanted to revisit in more detail, which we haven’t even talked about at this point. We talked about it last week. Here we are this week. Wanna talk about Tilly. Uhhuh, what do you think about Tilly in this episode? I, I’m torn. I like what they were doing with her because she’s, the, the, the argument she makes to let me take care of Stamets.

Nobody knows more or more about the fungus, the fungi, the mycelium network than me. I’m the one that can help him. This is not a medical issue. This is a science issue, a science issue with the mycelium and makes a very compelling argument to Saru to like, she’s basically trying to, she’s trying to stand up and take a leadership role of like, please trust me, I can do this.

Yeah. Which is nice to see her do. Part of what I kind of like didn’t resonate with me completely was during the sequence where she’s. Trying to help him. I thought it got a little too over the top with her, her reaction, cuz it’s like it’s not going completely well. You can tell that she is completely ill at ease, that she’s not a hundred per sure, a hundred percent sure about what she’s doing, but she’s still pushing forward because it’s what you’re supposed to do of like, you know, stay, keep doing it, keep doing it.

Even though you could tell she was not a hundred percent sure that you should keep doing it, that part of it. Felt, like I said a little, just a little over the top. It was a little dialed up to 11 where it could have been a little more subtle because it was sending a message to me, the viewer that she is so out over her skis to use a cliche.

Yeah, it’s like that. She’s completely out of her element. She doesn’t know what the hell’s going on. It was kind of making her feel a little too just out there as far as she’s outright risking his life. Where in reality she probably was doing the right thing and it felt, it felt like they were being a little unfair to Tilly and making her a little too unsure of herself where they could have basically made, made it so that she was clearly unsure, but that she knew, no, we have to do this.

Like, it could have been a, I don’t wanna do this, but we have to do this. But instead it was kind of like, uh, should we you doing this? No, we gotta keep doing it came across as her just being a little too wishy-washy. Yeah. And that, that part felt a little off to me. Yeah. I think that there was a moment where it was a little bit, I think what you’re describing ultimately is, is they leaned too hard onto melodrama.

Yes. It was very melodramatic. That’s a good way to put it was. And it was preceded by her making the request. When Saru says, like, I’m impressed by your leadership abilities in this, in this case, you made a compelling argument. And she says, compelling enough to. Enroll me in Leadership Leadership Academy cuz she has the desire to be a captain at some point.

I felt like even that line was one line too many. Mm-hmm. And it was a little too on the nose and I felt like it was a case where the, the storytelling was to in the weeds for the moments. Like moments as opposed to telling the story that needed to be told. Yeah. Um, having every character moment be about two characters in that moment is not always necessary.

Sometimes it is about just getting the job done, and I’m thinking about things like, in the best of both worlds, data’s attempt to rescue Picard from being locutus. Is full of data isms, but it’s never moments where data is effectively outshining what is happening in that moment. Right, right. So he is wrestling with locutus and leaps to the conclusion that perhaps what Picard is saying is in fact a suggested path, of course, as opposed to just expressing exhaustion.

It is a very data moment, but it is not overshadowing the fact that it’s about like how do they separate Picard from the Borg? How do they defeat the Borg in this moment? What happens next? And so I felt like they’ve got a lot of good things going for Tilly in this episode. Didn’t always like the way it was decorated in certain lines of dialogue.

Yes. Yep. And I agree with you. I think it would’ve resonated better if her. Desire for the next step had been embedded in strong leadership action when things were going south and. Her arguing Saru from a confidence standpoint of like, yes, you have to trust me here. I know this is going to work. Would’ve felt better for her and the story in the moment to have, even if everything fell apart, even if he did conceivably, like the, the scene ends with Stamets effectively dying.

Yep. And then an uncertain amount of time later. Tilly is by herself with Stamets. Which raised a couple of questions for me. Like medical personnel showed up, he died, and then they were like, let’s just leave the body. Anybody wanna get lunch? Like, it was kinda like, why is she there by herself with the body?

Like, why, like, couldn’t that have been Medical Bay? Or maybe other people could still be there like, Like maybe Saru and a medical person who’s clearly getting a body bag ready or like anything like it’s, it’s again, they leaned in melodrama. She’s supposed to be there by herself. It’s supposed to be incredibly dark around her.

It looks like literally everybody left and turned off the lights as they’re leaving the engineering room. Yes. And leaving a body in that box. Yes. And I’m just like, the setup of this is done completely for imagery, not for. Logic. So I didn’t no like any of that, and I felt like, okay, have her argue vehemently and clearly and respectfully to say like, you need to trust me.

I know this will work, have it fail, have other scenes, and then come back with Saru, potentially even like dressing her down. Yeah, so like, like you asked for a long leash, I gave it to you and you’ve screwed it up royally, and that will not happen again. Have her being dressed down in some way and then have Stamets wake up.

That would’ve been, I think, a far more compelling scene. Than what we got. But with the Stamets of it all, it does also include everybody on the ship now knows the doctor is dead. They, early on, they’re like, we have a murderer on board potentially. Well, I loved, I loved how they handled that, actually. I loved how they handled that.

It’s like, how do you, how do you explain away this dead doctor? Oh, well, Stamets has been out of his mind. He killed his, his own partner. Yeah. It was like, oh, that’s genius. Okay. Solved. Yeah. You’re not looking for it’s, you’re not looking for Tyler. Cuz you think Stamets did it. You, you’re not looking for Tyler because Stamets clearly did this, that he was found with the body.

Yeah. And her argument like he never would’ve done this. And there are things about the death that don’t make sense. Like he would’ve had to lower the force field to go in. And why would he do that if Stamets was doing something that was problematically? So all of that. Works for me. And then at the end when Stamets wakes up, even the miracle of him coming back from the completely dead, that still works for me because they’ve got this whole thing with Mycelium network where who’s to say that in that moment of his death, he wasn’t elsewhere.

And in fact, we do see a connective moment mm-hmm. Between Stamets and and Stamets Stamets, where we see the Stamets wearing the I Ss uniform who shows up. Yeah. And walks up to the image of Stamets that we know in the mycelium sphere of the forest that they have aboard the ship. And he simply says, I’m glad you could join me.

And it’s this moment of like, ho boy, like, yeah, meta gonna get meta. And yeah, it’s uh, a nice. Really kind of mind bendy moment of the multiple versions of Stamets interacting with one another and what that might mean for the next episode of the show. So moving on to the next episode of the show. Next time we’re gonna be talking about the episode Vaulting Ambition, and once again, I encourage everybody jump in the comments and give us wrong answers only as to what Vaulting Ambition is about.

I think it is a title that invites. Lots of fantastic wrong answers. Also, while you’re there, is there anything that we talked about this episode that stands out as a mistake on our part, or do you think we missed something that we should have talked about? Let us know what you think. Before we sign off, Matt, is there anything you wanna remind our listeners about that you have coming up on your main channel?

Yeah. Uh, the last episode of my UK Fusion tour is out at this point, so I, I’m visiting a company called Astral Systems. That is using a fusion energy fusion breakthrough to try to improve the production of radio isotopes for medicine, detecting cancers, cancer treatment, things like that. It’s a really, really cool story and thing they’re building, so definitely check that out.

Sounds like something right outta star Trek, where you use fusion technology to help sick people. As for me, you can check out my website, sean Ferrell dot com, or you can just look for my books at your local bookstore. Barnes and Noble or Amazon, wherever books were sold, you should be able to find my work.

And don’t forget, I have a recently released adventure series. It’s book one in a new series called The Sinister Secrets of Singe is a middle grade adventure that features. Robots, mad geniuses, smugglers, and just about anything else that you could find exciting. So I hope you’ll be interested in checking it out and sharing it with the young readers or even yourself in your life.

If you’d like to support the show, please do consider leaving a review on Apple, Spotify, Google, wherever it was. You found this. Go back there. Leave a review. Don’t forget to subscribe and don’t forget to tell your friends. And if you’d like to more directly support us, please go to Trek in Time dot show.

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