Matt and Sean talk about who should be captain, who should be killed, and who should be captured. Star Trek Discovery wraps up the mirror universe storyline with a bang.
105: “What’s Past is Prologue” – Star Trek Discovery Season 1, Episode 13
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And we’re also taking a look at what the world was like at the time of original broadcast. So we’re trying to put things into context a little bit. We’re currently nearing the end of season one of discovery. And so we’re also talking about the early days of 2018, which doesn’t seem that long ago, but as Matt and I have discovered, as we started talking about all of this, it feels like it’s about 30 years ago.
Yep. So. When you lump in everything that happened between 2018 and now, as we’re recording it in 2023, five year span, doesn’t seem that long, but who boy, did they pack it in? Feels like a lifetime. And who are we? Well, I’m Sean Farrell. I’m a writer. I write some sci fi. I write some stuff for kids, including my most recently released The Sinister Secrets of Singe, a sci fi adventure book that involves robots, smugglers, and a boy who realizes his father is an evil genius.
I hope everybody will be interested in checking that out. With me, as usual, is My brother, Matt, he is that Matt behind 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 I’m about to throw you a little curve ball, Sean.
boy. I just had to bring this
up. I needed to
bring this up. The curve ball probably comes out of the mailbag. I’m guessing it doesn’t
come out of the mailbag. It comes out of, I’ve been watching the new season of strange new worlds. Yeah. And I needed to bring this up because we’re, we’re watching discovery, which was the first star Trek show in a long, long time.
And it feels very JJ Abrams related the way it’s filmed, the way the storytelling happens. We’ve complained about how, like, sometimes it feels like they’re rushing the storytelling and they’re taking shortcuts with the characters because they only have eight episodes or 12 episodes. Strange new worlds.
Is the most Star Trek show I have seen on TV since like Next Generation Deep Space Nine. It is getting back to what I consider like real Star Trek. They’re taking times for, for episodes where there’s a lot of talking. There’s a lot of talking. There’s a lot of hanging around and dealing with ethical issues and letting characters kind of like marinate and evolve.
And it’s like, wow. I didn’t realize how much I missed this. It still looks like the, it still has the glitz and glamor of the J J Abrams coat of paint on top. Yeah. But the stole underneath is the most Star Trek show I have seen in a long time. I freaking love this show. And if you’re not watching it, everybody needs to watch it.
That’s all I’ll say that’s, I just wanted to throw you a curve ball.
Yeah, that’s not as big a curve ball as it may sound because when we look down the road in the context of this podcast, we are, I’m just spit balling. I haven’t done the math. We’re less than one year away from beginning to do strange new worlds, which is pretty wild because it took us, you know, enterprise took us two years.
To get through because of the number of episodes here in the streaming era with the size of the seasons, we have, I believe it’s 16 for the first season of discovery and then they shorten the seasons for the future. So we don’t even have, we may have less than a year before we’re suddenly talking about strange new worlds.
And I’m really looking forward to that because I love the show. I watched the entire first season completely and then time being what it is. I just don’t have enough time to watch everything that I want. And that’s a program that I tended to watch by myself. So, you know, in my home, the way we do our viewing, it tends to be communal.
So it’s like when all of us are in one place, we’re all watching programs that we’re all interested in. Had a difficult time finding the space for that show for me. So I’ve kind of put it in a place of like, I know we’ll get to it because we’re going to be doing it in this podcast. So I’m really looking forward to getting to seasons two and beyond and seeing a lot of the stuff you’re talking about.
Before we get onto our main discussion, as usual, we like to revisit the mail bag and see what the comments contain. Matt, what have you found for us this week
from. Episode 100 of our show, which was, we were talking about magic to make the sanest man go mad. It’s the time loop time loop episode with Stamets
it’s scooter 6, 8, 7, 7 said. This was probably my favorite episode of Discovery Season 1. It’s got space whales, crazy time loops, and my favorite portrayal of Harry Mudd by far. He’s right up there with Q now as a being or slash person of pure chaotic energy. Yeah, I, I have trouble disagreeing with that comment.
It’s like, it really was a fun. Well done time loop episode. It’s just a good time. I really enjoyed that one and I love
the space whales does a character who was a comedic insert into the original Star Trek and even incorporated elements of his history from the original Trek episode. So that we get to see some of the backstory of who his wife is
from episode one Oh four, which was our last episode kite boat bite wrote love that this podcast love that this podcast is also in this episode more than most a discussion about storytelling and what makes stories satisfying or not.
Every story needs a vehicle and Trek provides a varied fleet of them. We’re discovering with you, which of those story elements are space worthy and which could have done with a bit of patching or should have Stayed in dock thanks. I love that because it’s full of dad jokes and puns, but it’s also very, very on the, on the point of what we’re trying to do with the show is we’re kind of exploring these shows, trying to break it down from a storytelling perspective and what works, what doesn’t, what fits into the current context of Trek and our lives.
Um, yeah. So yeah, thank
you very much. Yeah, thank you. That’s a very nice comment. And, and I would just like to, to point out like Matt and I can’t help it. Yeah. We like, this is, I may have shared this previously on the podcast. I may not, but my, our parents are both theater people. They’re both storytelling people there.
And our father was the chairperson of a theater arts department and directed, I don’t even know how many plays in his, I think like 40 year Our mother was a English major in college and has a master’s in the theater arts as well, and directed plays with students did storytelling, like public speaking, like, so both of them are steeped in this and Matt and I grew up where we would go to the movies with our friends and go out to dinner afterward with the friends, parents, and the conversation would be like, I thought it was great when the planet exploded.
And then we’d go to the movies with our parents and we’d go out to dinner afterward. And the conversation would be, well, I think in the third act, it dragged a bit. The character development was really weak. And then they tried to rush it during the third act. And that’s when like, we were like 11 and eight.
So those were the kinds of conversations that we would have with our parents. And, and neither Matt. Or I saw that as strange or weird, but as we got older, and I remember Matt in particular had a moment where he wanted to share his favorite movie when he was at birthday party. Yeah. For your birthday party and you invited your friends over and we’re showing them a black and white Cary Grant comedy.
Blanding’s builds his dream house. Yeah. The money Pit by Tom Hanks is based on that, by the
way. Yes. And all of the friends in the room sat there perplexed and voiced their concern about is the entire thing in black and white. And why are we watching this? And it was a moment for Matt and for me vicariously through Matt to say like, Oh yeah.
That isn’t what everybody else does. So Matt and I grew up with this sort of architecture in our brains that takes apart stories while we’re watching. And it’s not a distraction from the enjoyment of the story, but it happens all the time. I can’t help it. Matt can’t help it. And both of us have a background in pursuing storytelling.
Matt has a background in film and television and. I obviously with my published books, I am a professional writer. So like both of us incorporate this into our lives. And it’s part of the main generation of why we do this podcast, because we love Star Trek. We love the stories of Star Trek, and we also love the storytelling aspects of Star Trek.
And we think that by and large, it’s worth talking about not only the story, but how the story is made and what the goals of the stories might be and what the overarching. Effort behind all of that might be. And we talked about it a lot in our discussion around enterprise, where we were talking about the sense of exhaustion.
We were talking about the sense of exhaustion in the makers of the show that they were still passionate about making Trek, but they didn’t have the same reserves to be able to put it into the show. And now, as we’ve entered now, the latter part of season one of discovery, we’re talking about maybe the overabundance of desire to tell a thousand stories, but not having time.
So we’re in kind of the flip side. So we are going to keep talking about these, these elements and thank you kite boat for appreciating that. It really is part of the general Genesis of this podcast. And it is part of the passion that we have for doing this. The last comment
ties in directly to what we’re about to talk about in today’s episode.
PaleGhost69, I was glad to see Georgiou again. She’s by far my favorite character, Mirror Universe included. I second that. She’s one of my favorite characters in the entire show. And I’m so glad they did with her, they used her the way they did in this episode leading into future episodes. I’m really excited
to talk about this.
Absolutely. And so without missing a beat, that sound in the background is of course, the Read alert. Matt, you got to jump into this, we can do the description and help put it on fire.
Oh God. Lorca frees his old crew who have been tortured since his disappearance and with the help of Mirror stamets. They’re able to kill those loyal to Georgiou and usurp her throne.
She goes into hiding while Burnham also evades capture and contacts the discovery. They agreed to a plan in which Burnham lowers the containment field around a large energy source in the ISS Charon that originated from the mycelial network. The discovery will then arrive to destroy the energy source, causing an explosion, which will then ride into the mycelial network.
Through which, Stamets could navigate them back to their own universe. Georgiou agrees to help Burnham and they attack Lorca’s group. Rejected and defeated by Burnham, Lorca is then killed by Georgiou, who offers to sacrifice herself to allow Burnham’s escape. The latter instead decides to take Georgiou with her as they are beamed to the Discovery and the Charon is destroyed.
Back in their original universe, the Discovery crew learn that they have arrived nine months after they left and in the meantime, the Klingons… Have nearly won the war. Wow.
It’s a rough ride. Yeah. The reading that is a little bit like what the discovery has to do with the mycelial concussion wave in this episode. It’s they’re all kind of holding on and looking around and saying like, is this working?
At a certain point, I just kind of went Zen into my happy spot. You used red
words that were in front of your face, like mycelial, network, stamets.
So what’s past is prologue, directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi, not much on his IMDB page other than Star Trek Discovery, but there is a little nugget. In there, Star Trek section 31 released a 2024 so we have that on the horizon. Oh, that’s interesting. Yes. I thought that was very interesting. This episode was written by Ted Sullivan, who has also been a writer and producer for Riverdale.
Star Trek discovery, of course, and Supergirl and my favorite part of his, his, uh, resume 44 episodes of as the world turns the best part. He worked there for less than a year. Oh my gosh. I’ve been in conversations with people before, mainly my partner around soap opera actors. And like the conversation is usually along the lines of soap opera actors.
When you see them in other things. They can usually nail it because they have a background in, you learn your lines, you hit your mark, you say the words, you move on, you keep, you just workmanlike, you get through it day after day. And those soap opera actors who are on a program for 40 plus years and are just so casual in just being able to kind of like bang, bang, bang, bang that workout.
And there’s a kind of workmanlike ethic that we respect. In those soap opera actors. It may not be the best storytelling. It may not be the best stories, but the workman effort there is commendable. And reading this guy’s bio, I was just like, I’ve been forgetting the writers. Somebody is putting those words on the page Monday, putting down like, Karen says, I don’t think it’s your baby.
And then Thursday, I still don’t think it’s your baby. Somebody had to write those lines of dialogue. So here we are with. Ted Sullivan as a former writer in the late night, excuse me, in the late nineties on as the world turns for 44 episodes in less than a year. How exhausting must that have been? The original air date of this episode, January 28th, 2018.
And our cast includes as usual, Sonequa Martin Green as Michael Burnham, Doug Jones as Saru, Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly, Jason Isaacs as captain Gabriel Lorca. Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou. And I also want to give a call out to Rekha Sharma as Landry, who we saw in the main universe as the security officer, who is very devoted to Lorca, very committed to what he wants, keeping his secrets.
She died. Here we see the mirror version of her. And we see why Lorca had pulled Landry in close in the main universe. This Landry is as committed. This Landry is his number two, and she is committed to his drive to usurp the throne from Georgiou. I wanted to bring her up because Rehka Sharma has been in a number of programs that I’ve seen lately.
I think she might have some sort of contractual thing with Paramount. It seems like Paramount has background players. Other people that they insert into a lot of programs. I’ve seen her in a number of things, including most recently in the show, yellow Jackets. She was excellent in Yellow Jackets. I really like her in this and I think she is a very charismatic actress and I hope to see her in more stuff, and I would like to see her in more primary roles.
I’d like to see her as a regular show because I really do like her work. So on January. 28th, 2018, what was the world like? Well, I don’t have to tell anybody who knows Matt that in the last days of January in 2018, he would break out into the song Havana by Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug all the time.
You just couldn’t stop him. And of the 44. 9 million streams that this number one song had at the time, I don’t want to guess at how many of those are because of Matt. And at the movies, January 28th, 2018, Maze Runner, the death cure opened up. This is the second movie in the Maze Runner series. It earned 24 million in its opening weekend.
It would go on to make 288 million. And on television, we’ve been revisiting the top stream shows of 2018. We’ve seen shows like friends, which was available via Netflix, gray’s anatomy, which was available on ABC, Netflix, and Hulu, 13 reasons why on Netflix. And now we see our first non English program as one of the top streams of the year, La Casa de Papel, which was money heist, which is a Netflix import.
For us audiences and in the news from the New York times, the stories at the top of the page on the first page of the paper that day, there was a interactive feature online. Everyone wants to be popular online. Some even pay for it inside social media is black market. The idea that people would pay for followers was new at that point.
Now, of course, everybody walks around the social media site saying there’s nothing but bots here. We all know it. So it was early days for having the curtain pulled back on social media in 2018. There was also the article. It’s a massacre blast in Kabul deepens the toll of a long war. At least 95 were killed and 158 others were wounded when a car bomb drove an ambulance, a car bomber drove an ambulance past two checkpoints and detonated explosives in Kabul.
There was also discussions around gridlock in Congress as gridlock. Deepens in Congress, only gloom is bipartisan. Republicans warned of a dark plot to overthrow the Trump government and Democrats talk of a creeping authoritarianism unchecked by Congress. A near permanent state of gridlock threatens to diminish American democracy itself.
And in 2018, how could we have anticipated? That kind of article wouldn’t even be close to the darkness that would come just a couple of years later. And this out of Saudi Arabia, the billionaire Saudi Prince Alawade bin Talal is freed from detention. Saudi Arabia’s most prominent investor. He had been detained in the Ritz Carlton in the Capitol after a mass crackdown on corruption.
The crackdown on corruption. Reading behind the scenes was actually maneuvers by a prince who was positioning himself for when his father would pass away and he would take on power. He was putting himself in a position to remove adversaries. So this week’s episode, we have a number of things to discuss.
I have bullet points here. And Matt, if you have no problem with the order in which I wanted to visit story elements. I just wanted to talk kind of like big picture points around various characters as our means of discussing this episode. The first one I wanted to visit was Lorca. Yeah. This episode has in a fascinating way, a huge character turn and conveyance of an entire arc that was basically hidden from us in plain sight.
Up to this point, we have talked in previous episodes about how the show on a second watch. You realize they’ve been telling us for weeks, almost from the very beginning that this guy is not from this universe, that he has nefarious plans that are not just a captain who’s so devoted to the aspects of defeating the Klingons or conducting research that he has a plan.
These things have been dropped and dropped and dropped in little subtle hints. For the entirety of the season here, they all bear fruit. But what I find remarkable about this episode, and you may disagree with it, and I’d invite you to share your thoughts that this is almost like a movie about Lorca this episode, and it has this entire character arc where you finally see the turn, you see him for who he is and you see his whole plot.
In a different light and ultimately it puts him in my mind on like this show. If you view this show as a lesser star Trek, they construct him in a way that feels like he’s a lesser con, you know, that kind of. His commitment to what he envisions as right, his belief in himself and his ideals. He is not doing things simply to be a jerk.
He is not doing things to twist the knife. We have plenty of moments in Star Trek, including in some of the better programs of like next generation, where we have. mustache twirling in the form of like, well, I’m doing this because you don’t want me to do this and I’m going to do it anyway. I remember some of the better episodes of next generation where Picard goes up against Romulans.
The Romulans are cartoonishly villainous in what they’re doing in, in some of those episodes. And just like, you can’t stop me, Picard. I’m getting away with it. And in this, this is not a person who is evil. This is an antagonist. This is somebody who is saying you think I’m wrong, but I know I’m right. And that’s always the most complex and most tasty version of a villain, the antagonist who fully believes in their cause.
So I felt like this storyline for Lorca, this episode for Lorca was compelling, complete. And I really like how it ends. I really like his denouement as like, everything was so it was in his grasp. If he had simply made a few different choices at the end, if he had just simply left the ship and blown it up, like he could have had everything he wanted.
He didn’t, he had to have one last moment of saying like, I want to see Georgiou die and that being his undoing. Finally takes him out. So what did you think about this episode for him and how it fit into the whole storyline of 13 episodes of discovery?
Well, there’s two things. This ties directly back to what we were talking about of this time in history, authoritarianism.
That’s the whole mirror universe. Yeah. Yeah. Stabbing each other in the back. Everybody who’s trying to be the leader thinks that they’re going to do it best and they know better than everybody else. And that somebody else is doing it wrong. I can do it better. I have to take it over by force. So that’s, that’s Lorca’s whole storyline and Georgiou’s fall.
It’s like, it’s, it’s what we’ve seen in real life just here in the U S but throughout history. So it’s a very universal story and it makes a lot of sense. It’s very compelling about how they built this up where we became attached to Lorca as a star fleet captain. And then when the reversal happens, we’re still kind of rooting for him in a weird way, because we understand his backstory.
We understand where he’s coming from. And even though he’s a horrible person and kills people, and he’s done horrible things to young women and like he’s grooming people and doing horrible stuff, you’re still like, he’s taken over the ship. And I found myself at one point going, yeah, wait, why am I rooting for him?
It was just one of those moments of like, that’s good storytelling because they’ve made the Villain, you can identify with them and you’re kind of rooting for them and you kind of like what they’re doing. And you, at the same time, you don’t like what they’re doing. It’s really good
storytelling. I love the sequence where they have the, the shoot out in the hallway with the force field scene where I’m like, yeah, he’s going to get her.
And then suddenly I’m like, wait a minute. Am I rooting for either of these people? They’re both terrible people. Yeah.
But the best part is the whole twist at the end where he’s lost sight of what the true battle is for. And it becomes very personal and he wants to see not just Georgiou die. He wants Burnham.
Yeah. And those two things in combination are his undoing. And that was my favorite part about his ending. The very end of Lorca gets basically taken out and Burnham and Georgiou’s plan. works delicious directing and acting from, I’m blanking on his name who plays Lorca so good where when the ship they’re, they’re talking to, uh, the discovery crew and Saru is basically like, you know, fealty like to Lorca and then there’s this moment of pause where.
Saru says something to the crew of like, okay. And as soon as he says that it cuts to a shot of Lorca and he gets this look in his face of like, something’s not right here. Something’s off. And then as it starts to kind of unfold, he immediately goes, Oh crap. And like, you can see on his face, it’s, there’s a dawning of I’ve been played because he knows this crew.
He knows what they’re capable of and he knows at that moment, I love the fact that right before it happens. There’s a recognition that he screwed up. And it’s like, to me, that was, that was just fantastic because if, if he had been completely caught unaware, it wouldn’t have felt true because he is a smart guy.
He knows these characters. I just, I just love the whole story arc of Lorca and how it wrapped up
his, uh, to pull back on something that you said about it being of its time. Yeah. His. Revelation of who he actually is includes his references to alien influence, which after the amount of time he’s been serving on discovery, he has no additional respect for non human life forms.
It’s like it, that hasn’t rubbed off on him. He hasn’t grown in that way. He refers to Georgiou allowing alien encroachment to be undermining the Terran empire. And so. It’s little revelations like that, that come right out of the headlines from 2018, those kinds of statements. And to kind of now rearrange my own, you know, topics of discussion.
I wanted, one of the things I wanted to talk about was Saru in particular in this one, this is the moment for me where you’re like Saru. Is a captain. Oh, yeah. He is doing things. He has two moments in this episode, which are right out of like the things they remind me of are the moments where you see those people who are the second or third in the Rank of command and you’re given those opportunities to see them in a command moment, thinking of the episode where they have to in next generation, create a web to, to be able to detect Romulan vessels coming through and data is in command of one of the ships and has to earn the respect of his first officer because this.
Human doesn’t think that an Android should be in command of the ship. And then data demonstrates his capacity for command. I think of in one of the Trek films, when you see captain Sulu in command of the Excelsior and he is flying to Kirk’s aid and he is barking orders at his people and you see like, this is a guy who cut his teeth at Kirk’s.
You know, at Kirk’s side, and now in his own role as commander, he is an excellent captain. So it’s these kinds of moments that are so delicious for those characters. And Saru has two moments like that. The first comes a little bit earlier than the moment Matt talked about. It’s where he has this rousing speech with everybody in the engineering room, and everybody has basically been presented with we’re in a no win situation.
We have to do, we can either run and hide and keep ourselves safe and trying to figure out how to survive in this universe, or we can do what’s right for the people in this universe. We have an authoritarian regime. We have this massive ship and they are going to destroy everything because their engine uses the myoclial network in a way that is contaminating it.
They, they know we can’t. Let this stand, but in doing what we have to do, we are likely to die. And without hesitation, Saru makes a speech in which he says, I know what you’re all capable of. You are people who are up to this task. And I do not believe in the no win situation. And my, and you all know, he says, my people detect death.
I do not detect it today. He gives them. Even if it’s false hope hope he gives him hope and it does it in a beautiful way where he makes it about like there is a job to do and we are Starfleet and this is what we have to do and then the crew one by one various people start offering advice to everybody saying here are the things we’re going to need to do because this is going to be tricky and then they all have to work together perfectly and we get a nice moment of characters who haven’t had names previously mentioned in the episode are suddenly named.
And I thought it was a really nice way of bringing a little bit of the background into the foreground because you don’t have Burnham on the stand. You don’t have Lorca in the captain’s chair. You have, you have Saru and the also rans of the background crew. And now we’re hearing their names as he is telling people, you need to make sure that he’s ready to fire.
You need to keep us in a safe distance until we’re ready to go. And he’s. Calling out these things, they’ve got this plan. The second moment for me is in that conversation with Lorca, where he demands to hear from Burnham. And when she says her piece about how I’m staying here and what I’m prepared for this, her reference to, I’m prepared to do this.
And he says. And I loved it. That’s all I needed to hear. It’s that line. That’s all I needed to hear. That’s the moment when Lorca’s expression changes to like, what? That doesn’t make any sense. That’s what you needed to hear. What does that mean? Uh oh. And it’s that moment of like, this is not the Saru he’s accustomed to seeing.
He’s accustomed to seeing the ganglia firing, the worry. There’s the question at this point for me, did Lorca keep Saru as his number one because he knew somebody he could cow, he could
keep in his place. That was the way I interpreted it was he had him as his second in command because he knew he. They eat them.
They’re slaves. You know what I mean? It’s like, he clearly is not counting on Saru to be able to rise to the occasion, and you don’t want somebody who’s your second in command that could overtake you. He’s going to pick somebody he knows he can stay in control of. And yet Saru has just is way beyond what he expected.
I love that. And on the first point that rousing speech, I was very moving. I thought it was incredibly moving, but I would argue it wasn’t even that they were given a choice. Because they can’t run and hide to stay safe. There is no staying safe. They’re given the point of if we do nothing, we die. If we do this, we die.
That’s the new moment scenario here. It’s like we, our only action is to do something here. We have to stop this, but we’re going to die in doing so. And I, for me, it was this, the, the, the acting of even the also ran in the background of the room. Everybody is just has, you can see it on everybody’s face that they’re like, yeah, We’re doomed, but we’re going to do this.
Like everybody is got pet, you know, we’re all going to die, but we got to do what we got to do. But when he comes in and gives that rousing speech, it was really well done. Well written, very true to the character. And it was, it’s, it’s the first time we’ve seen him as true captain material in the show, which
of course is setting up for the future episodes, which is.
Perfect. And we’ve said this before, for Doug Jones as an actor who spends most of his career behind prosthetics, he spends a career effectively doing like The most remarkable levels of acting with foam on his face, and he’s able to, to evoke emotion in just how wide his eyes are open and how he places his head and like, you know, putting his head back and opening his eyes wide or, or narrowing in and leaning forward.
He’s bringing the physicality of acting to the four in a way that is really remarkable. He does a fantastic job in this episode, in particular, that last line, that’s all I needed to hear. He is in the chair, the captain’s chair in a position of complete authority. I am prepared in every way. And just, I loved his performance in this.
So Georgiou and Burnham. Are kind of a pair in this one. There’s a very nice back and forth between them. They have quiet moments in this episode that I think work really, really well where Georgiou is already in mourning for having lost. She, she has no doubt. I am no longer Emperor. I’ve lost my people are gone and he’s only going to fight his way to find me.
Even if I kill him, everybody sees my weakness. Now, everybody understands I can be taken down. So there’s going to be another person who will show up to take her down, even if she can defeat him. So she is in mourning of losing the empire and she and Burnham as a pair. Are both mourning the loss of the other because they don’t actually belong to each other.
And so it’s this weird dynamic of both of them seeing just enough of their version of this person to say, I want to help you. And it’s a very compelling relationship because it’s exactly what Lorca was trying to do, but Lorca was hiding it. And there’s something about the honesty of these moments that reflects that the mirror universe is not inherently evil.
It is a different set of details in the context that has created these people. So you The opportunity to do the right thing, even if it’s for different reasons. And Georgiou has this thing with Burnham where she’s like, you were my daughter. I loved you and you betrayed me. You personally did not do that.
And I see in you those parts of my daughter that I wanted so they can connect. And Burnham knowing who this woman is can say the same thing in reverse. I see in you those parts that I betrayed. I see the commitment, the devotion, and the love in you, and I betray that in my universe. Let me help you. And so it’s this moment I think that works beautifully with the two of them.
And then from an action component on the opposite end, there’s some great fight sequences where the two of them kick ass. They go in by themselves and basically take out a room full of Lorca’s people, just the two of them in order to save the day. Well,
this is what we want to see of Michelle Yeoh. It’s like she’s known for being a fighter in her, in movies and stuff like that.
So it’s, it’s, it’s actually kind of a double edged sword for her as an actress. It’s like, she’s a really good actress, but she’s kind of typecast. And in this role of this show, she’s given a lot of leeway to do non action, quiet moments, be a villain, be a hero, all those kinds of things. But at the same time, we still want to see Michelle Yeoh kick some ass.
And it was nice to have a couple of those moments in this episode. She just went on to win the Oscar. And like, it’s, it’s like, you can totally see, you can see, I don’t know if this is, I would call this show a turning point for her, but it was, this seems to me like to be the beginning of the Michelle Yeoh Renaissance, if you will, of like, this show feels like it.
And then the culmination is everything, everywhere, all at once. I just absolutely love the connection between these two characters. It shows really strong writing. It also shows really good planning of how they laid everything out because. All those threads and strings that they’ve laid out get pulled together in a nice tight knot by the end of the episode.
And at the end, when Burnham is getting transported out and then has that moment, like, I got to save her and grabs her and brings her back to the discovery. I love Georgiou’s sentence. She says, What have you done to me? When she looks at Burnham, she’s angry because she wanted to go down fighting. She wanted to, she, she had lost everything.
She was giving up, but she was going to go down fighting and she was ready for that. And so by saving her now, she’s kind of like left in disgrace. She’s kind of a coward. It’s everything against what she is as a person. I love that what they’re setting up for Georgiou’s character going forward, because here’s this character in that now is going to have a chip on her shoulder.
For being robbed of her own autonomy, I made the choice to die there and you stole it from me. Yeah. And so it’s like, she’s feeling probably a little betrayed, which is one of the things that she didn’t want, but it’s great. It’s a great area to put a character for character development over the course of the, like the next season or something like that for whatever, however long we, we, she’s part of the series.
It’s great place to put a character to have her find her way. And for us to watch it and to watch Michelle Yeoh be Michelle Yeoh and just be completely awesome. Yeah. So it’s like, I, I, she’s my favorite character and I loved how they set her up.
I would also say it’s a demonstration that the producers and the writers of the show managed to have their cake and eat it too.
Yeah. Because the position she’s in when Emperor Georgiou is rescued and says, what have you done to me? She now is in exactly the position. That Burnham’s Georgiou was in when Burnham mutinied on her, that Georgiou had chosen to live her vision of how to conduct herself moving forward was to offer the hand of peace, even in the face of danger.
And Burnham robbed her of that moment. Her Burnham, her Georgiou in that moment could have turned to Burnham and said, what have you done to me? In exactly the same way. So by rescuing the mirror universe, Georgiou, and bringing her, continuing her story in discovery the way they have, they’ve managed to have their cake and eat it too.
They got to kill off a major character, setting a whole world into motion with this personal storyline for Burnham. And they get to also have that character in the show. In very much the same perspective, I had a world vision, I knew my place in it, I was conducting my life the way I wanted to, and I was prepared to end my life, even if it meant dying by living to my own ideals.
And you robbed me of that choice. It’s fantastic. As far as like, like you said, not only setting up a character as a, for a character arc moving forward, but also what it allowed them to do as writers and storytellers to be able to tell two stories, both of which are compelling. Yeah. And we get. A sense, even though the original Georgia was only in the episode, mainly for one episode, when she dies at the end of it, you feel heartbroken and now you get to have her back, but not quite.
And then a different way, but is it better? Like it mixes all these things in a really fascinating way. Finally, I want to talk kind of like wrapping three things together, the escape, the conclusion of the, like the space battle-ness, of it all the. Escape from the mirror universe and the time travel element, which all kind of mixes in together with stamets there are elements for the stamets storyline stamets, the mirror stamets, we see scrambling around just basically doing whatever the most threatening person wants him to do.
We find out that he was behind turning on Lorca, but he had been helping Lorca, but he also developed the engine that is part of the Charon and. Lorca does not trust him and we get this death scene with him. So the mirror stamets has his very quick demise at the hands of Lorca and his people. But meanwhile, in discovery, the main stamets is in a position of working with Tilly to figure out how can we get.
Through this and the two of them using simulations are able to determine that there might be a shock wave that they could effectively surf out on that would contain enough of the mycelium that they could utilize it. They have none on board the ship. They are basically they’ve run dry, but in the explosion of the mycelial engine.
Which is the giant sun that the Charon is running off of, they may be able to find a way to surf that energy, gather enough to actually jump back to their own universe. The problem being, how will he know how to navigate it? There will be so many, as they say it, there’ll be so many bifurcations and this is a whole.
Element of this, which is how do you find your way back through all the parallel universes and the idea that like, what could come along is fascinating. The depiction of it looks very much like a video game. It is. It’s sliding along through what looks like a giant tunnel, like a network, a web and running inside one of these threads and moving and seeing all the offshoots.
And he is losing his way. He says at one point there are too many and you see him begin to divide. You get the sense that what he is experiencing is actually the possibility of them falling into multiple parallel universes. Like this isn’t going to end well for anybody. And then
it’s the Star Wars moment.
It’s the doctors. Obi Wan Kenobi. He’s Luke Skywalker doing the trench run. And he has that moment of like putting the machine away and just becoming Zen and go with the universe. And he finds the path. It’s like, I, because it
was very Star Wars for his husband. Yeah.
Yeah. It was very Star Wars, but it fit.
And I thought it was, it was a nice moment, especially with the way it was filmed again. Um, it’s Anthony Rapp, right? Uh, there’s a reason why you cast actors like this in these roles because they’re the top of their game. And Anthony rap in this scene, this sequence, he brings a humanity and emotion to it that you wouldn’t expect in an action sequence.
Like He’s like on the verge of crying. He’s like becoming Zen. You can see him just becoming very in the moment when chaos is everywhere. It’s like, it was just, I got kind of emotional in the, in the moment of him remembering his partner, remembering what he had learned from him.
Dr. Colbert by Wilson Cruz is also, it’s, these are both Broadway actors.
The two of them are Broadway actors. So having them being able to do these scenes, which are these quiet scenes between the two of them, and The hinting of close your eyes. You can do it. You can, you can find your way back. And he says at the end, the last thing that Stamets says when it finally comes together is, Oh, it’s the clearing in the forest.
And he now is repeating a phrase that didn’t make any sense throughout the rest. He’s said it in almost every episode for like five episodes in a row. It’s never been clear what he’s been referring to. This is that moment. So it becomes this kind of, again, the timey wimey ness of all of this storytelling.
His experiences with the essence of his husband, the reference to a phrase that he says only on his way returning to the universe. But the time element, the time travel element of all this indicates that all of that is kind of wrapped up and going backwards at the same time. So he’s had not only experiences.
In using the mycelial network where he’s been getting signals from his mirror self from this other universe, but he’s been getting things through time, temporal messages as well. So we see this pop out in this moment of, Oh, it’s the clearing in the forest and he can find his way home. They get back and up to this point, this episode has involved.
Regarding the mycelial network, a lot of techno babble, but techno babble should only serve getting us across little chasms. It should never serve as like the meat. Of an episode Technobabble serving as the meat of an episode is where the episode starts to feel boggy. Cause you know, you’re like, we’re not talking about anything real.
What does this all mean? The Technobabble here is the perfect amount for the job that it needed to do. We see this adventure coming to a conclusion of getting home for the mirror universe through the mycelial network, they re emerge and they discover quickly that they are nine months in the future and that the war does not go well.
It is for me, a beautiful ending to that aspect of the Lorca’s captaincy. What does it mean to be under this man as a captain? Who is he really? And then re emerging now with a Georgiou, who is, you know, a former Empress somewhere in the sick bay. They have a Tyler who hasn’t really been talked about too much, but basically is.
It’s a reformed Klingon at this point. And like all of these elements, like they splash here. It almost feels like an escape pod landing at a point where we only have a handful of episodes left in the season. This felt complete. And I really found myself reawakened to the fact like, Oh yeah, they’re not done.
It’s really kind of an amazing endeavor for them to have invented a show. That lets us start off like, Oh, this is the show we’re watching. Oh no, it’s not. She’s a mutineer. There’s this whole other show we’re watching. Oh, wait, that’s not the entire show either. Yeah, it’s this now really quite compelling to be able to do that.
Well, most most streaming shows at this time are taking that season long approach where it’s like we had had. Monster of the week episodes, you know, 20 years ago was the norm of like standalone kind of episodes. And then in streaming it was, Oh, you get 12 episodes that have a cohesive story arc start to finish.
And this is kind of like turning it on its head again. It’s like, well, we’re kind of going in that middle ground where it’s like, we’re not going to do episode of the week, but we’re also not going to do full season over the course. We’re going to. Change the story three times. And in fact, you may not know this.
They do it again. So it’s like, it’s a very clever way that this show has kind of like tried to take these, have their cake and eat it too with, well, we’ll do it eight episode arc and then we’ll do a four episode arc and then we’ll do a three episode arc and then we’ll change it again. This show changes its clothing so many times.
It’s reinvents itself in really fun, interesting ways. That’s one of the charms of discovery that I’ve always liked on the first watch and the second watch is that it can reinvent itself in really profound ways. And the next. Big turn that ends up happening down the road is quite a significant change, um, again, but it’s like this next kind of like story arc we’re going to have is really kind of fun.
Um, and I’m looking forward to watching me
too, but those bigger turns will come later. As for right now, we’re looking at one week away. To the episode, the war without the war within I invite as usual, everybody to jump in the comments. What do you think that’s going to be about wrong answers only as usual?
The comments are a big part of the show. We enjoy hearing from you. Please do jump in before we sign off today, Matt, is there anything you want to remind the viewers and listeners about undecided I’ve
got episode out at this point about mass timber skyscrapers, building skyscrapers from wood, which is something that sounds like a bad idea on the surface.
But it’s really quite cool. Um, I have an episode that dives, dives into that. I interview a architect that designed the tallest mass timber building in the world. That’s in Milwaukee right now. I find it fascinating. Definitely worth checking out. It
sounds really interesting and unexpected. As for me, if you want to check out my.
Books. You can visit my website, seanfarrell. com. You can also just go to Amazon Barnes and Noble or your local bookstore or public library. My books are available everywhere. And as I mentioned at the top of the show, I have books for kids and adults. And my most recent book is the Sinister Secrets of Singe.
It is an adventure book, sci fi adventure book about a boy who discovers his father is an evil genius. If you’d like to support the show, please do consider reviewing us on Apple, Spotify, Google, wherever it was, you found this, go back there, leave a review, share it with your friends. And don’t forget to subscribe.
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