Matt and Sean talk about sticking to your guns when your guns are principles. This is a classic Star Trek dilemma that Discovery wrestles with in this one … how well do they do?
The “Wave Energy” episode mentioned towards the end of the podcast was a little optimistic, it’s still a couple weeks out!
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I’m a writer. I write sci fi. I write some stuff for kids as well, like the Sinister Secrets of Singe, a phrase that will keep rolling off my lips no matter how many times you hear it. You won’t get sick of it because I’m going to keep pushing it. And with me, of course, is my brother, Matt. He’s that Matt of Undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives.
Matt, how are you doing today? I’m I’m doing great.
And speaking of your book, I’ve been reading
it and I’m absolutely loving it. Oh, thank you. Thank you so much.
My brother’s book. Okay. There we go.
So, as I mentioned. Just a moment ago, we are already at the finale for season one of Discovery. Will you take my hand?
And for some more specifics on this, we’re going to be taking a look at… It’s kind of an interesting jumping off point in the series because they’re wrapping up the season. So they’re wrapping up the Klingon war. They’re also wrapping up a bit of what happens with the mirror Georgiou that they’ve brought with them.
Yep. They also wrap up the fact that Ash Tyler has been revealed to be a Klingon. They’re also wrapping up Burnham’s disgraceful exile from being a Starfleet officer and even planting a seed for the following season. So this episode does a lot and I’m looking forward to talking about it. There’s also an element of this that leads us to what’s to come in the future of this podcast.
And this is exciting news. I hope for all of you, I know it was for me when I realized it. And it’s going to be exciting news for Matt because I haven’t shared it with him yet. Oh, jeez, bum, bum, bum. Before we get into our discussion around the episode, though, we always like to dip back into the mailbag.
What have you found for us this week, man? There’s a
few good ones. A recent one from Happy Flappy Farm, which was like a happy farm. Exactly. And flappy. Episode 104, watching this episode was like watching Star Wars with Michael Burnham as Obi Wan on a mission to shut down the shield so they could destroy the Death Star.
Did anyone else notice that? I like Sean’s idea for L’Rell’s alternative dialogue and action sequences that would bring the audience into the details of choosing between Voq and Tyler. The scene they filmed was two dimensional and lackluster. We agree with you on Picard too. We gave up watching the series because of their rushing the plot to the point of it pushing our suspension of disbelief too far.
Good review as always, I wanted to bring that one up. Cause it’s like, I did not recognize the star Wars analogy with him and what Burnham was doing on the ship to star Wars, but it’s like, yeah, it kind of, yeah. And the one thing about the Picard thing, I would say, I think you may have, don’t give up on Picard too soon.
Cause honestly, it’s like season three. They finally kind of got it right.
I think they got a lot right in season one. I think season two had some very questionable choices and that’s where season two, And I watched the entirety of season two and I plan on watching season three. I don’t know when I’ll have the time to do so. It’s entirely possible.
It might be 10 years from now when we finally get to that series on this rewatch, but I do anticipate season three being better. Because I, I just felt like season two was a really, uh, a pretty big step down. And I felt like, okay, season three has to be better. And then everything I’ve seen as far as the audience response has been very positive.
comment from technophile one on that same episode, he said, remember kids always take two Tylenol analgesics before getting into an agony booth. Had me laughing pretty hard. That’s right. And then there was another comment. that goes, was just recent came in yesterday on episode 12, Sean, episode 12.
Somebody is starting to watch our podcast in order clearly from the beginning. So they’re, they’re going to have a ways to go before they catch up. So they’re not going to hear me say what I’m about to say
for a while. They’ve got more than a hundred episodes to go. Yeah. But Jonathan
Baker wrote to Sean and Matt just wanted to say how much you guys speak about Star Trek in your own perspective views.
I. I, I’ve already been a Trekee since Star Trek since 1966, actually, 1987 when I was eight. Mm-hmm. , your direction and respect for Gene Roddenberry and his vision of our future is outstanding and thanks.
Oh, so thank you. That’s very kind. It was a very, it was a
very nice comment. Just wanted to share that.
Yeah. That’s very, thank you so much. That’s quite the compliment. It’s very exciting to see somebody joining in. And that’s been our hope for this series is that people can jump in whenever, obviously you can start watching these shows chronologically whenever, but also the people will visit them. Based on which series is their favorite.
So if you’re not ever going to watch discovery, that’s fine. Enterprise will be there for you. And when we hit the original series, that’ll be there for you and the other programs. And this is really a labor of love for both me and Matt. This is, we both love Star Trek. I’ve been wanting to do a rewatch for a long time of a lot of the series that I haven’t revisited in literally decades.
And. So to have that kind of feedback saying that we’re hitting our target is very special. So thank you for that comment. On to our discussion about this newest episode before we get into it. That noise in the background is of course the read alert. That means it’s time for Matt to tackle the Wikipedia description.
Always a highlight of the episode for me. So. Good luck. Watch. Watch
me struggle. Tyler suggests that a drone enter Qo’noS’s underground dormant volcanic system to covertly set a search the planet for targets. Discovery jumps to it. Did he actually do that? Or was it somebody else? No,
he did not. This Wikipedia description is wildly wrong.
Yes. Well, that’s
great. Okay. We’re off to a good start here.
Wikipedia. This is a, the, the, the original plan originated with Cornwell talking to the emperor Georgiou. It’s. Yeah. That’s where Tyler did was say maybe that cave, that cave would be a good one. Blow that one up.
Discovery jumps to a cave near the systems entrance and a party of Georgiou, Burnham, Tilly, and Tyler makes me think of a party party. Tyler, they pose as traders visiting an Orion outpost on the planet. Tilly discovers the volcanic system they are targeting is active and that the drone Georgiou has is a hydro bomb.
Burnham confronts Cornwell, who admits that detonating the bomb in the active volcano will annihilate all life on Qo’noS and win the war for the Federation. Burnham insists that Starfleet not commit genocide and convinces Georgiou to give up the detonator in exchange for her freedom. They give the detonator to L’Rell who uses the threat of mass destruction to unite the Klingon houses under her leadership and end the war.
The Discovery crew are hailed as heroes and Burnham is issued a full pardon, yay, and restored to the rank of commander. Tyler chooses to remain with L’Rell as Discovery warps to Vulcan to pick up its new captain. The crew receive a distress call from Captain Pike of the USS Enterprise. I had a horrible time reading this one.
I am sorry, folks. Oh, wow.
And on top of which
we, we have a lot to discuss on this one because I have so many thoughts about how this stuff wraps up.
Will you take my hand directed by Akiva Goldsman story by Akiva Goldsman and Gretchen Berg and Aaron Herberts teleplay by Gretchen Berg and Aaron Herbert’s original air date, February 11th, 2018.
Usual cast of characters here, Sonequa Martin Green as Michael Burnham, Doug Jones as Saru, Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly, Michelle Yeoh as the now Emperor Georgiou, Shahzad Latif as Ash Tyler, Jane Brooke is back as Admiral Cornwell, and James Frayne as Sarek. And what was the world like at the time of original broadcast, February 11th.
2018. Well, Matt, I hate to break it to you because of the gap between season, the end of season one and the beginning of season two, the long run of Drake’s God’s plan at number one on the streaming only lasts for about two months, but we’re not going to be. Viewing any episodes in that span of time. So this is the last time that I will mention that the number one streaming song is God’s Plan by Drake.
I’m really, really sorry. Yeah. At the movie theaters, we were lining up Vicarious Ooh Babies On at Fifty Shades Freed, that’s right, the third film in the Fifty Shades series earned 38 million dollars. This week, and again, this is an example of February’s kind of a dead zone for, for movies. So you put a movie like this, it gets the audience because there’s not a lot else in the theaters.
And I don’t know about you, Matt. I haven’t had the pleasure of watching these films. I’m going to take it from your dead eyed stare that you haven’t either. Nope. Just for fun. I started reading the Wikipedia synopsis. Of the movie and to say that it’s kind of a rambling series of somebody’s worried that a millionaire might be doing something.
That they shouldn’t be doing. And other people are concerned about shenanigans. And meanwhile, one of the lines actually says, meanwhile, the newlywed couple continues their sexual explorations. All right. Yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada. There we go. On television, we’ve been talking about the most popular streaming programs based on an aggregation of.
All sorts of sources. And so we’ve had the top streaming program be friends, a show that hadn’t been on the air for more than a decade was at the number one spot because of its availability on Netflix. We’ve also talked about Grey’s Anatomy, 13 reasons why, La Casa de Papel and Riverdale. And this at the closing of the first season of discovery, we find that the sixth most popular streamed program in 2018 was Brooklyn nine, nine on Fox available also on Hulu nine, nine.
That’s right. And in the news from the week, which provides. lists of the 10 things you need to know on any given day. From this day, February 11th, some of the news items that they were pointing out included South Koreans opening ceremony had they actually identified that the opening ceremony of the Seoul Olympics had been hacked for a 12 hour period.
There was also articles about Trump specifically. Him taking the heat for having defended a member of his staff who was being accused of spousal abuse and also preparations in the Senate for debates about immigration, which were expected to be complicated because of Trump’s outspoken. Stance on the subject also in the Midwest at this point in mid February, there were terrible snow storms in the Midwest.
Two people had died and more than 1500 flights have been grounded as a Midwestern storm blanketed Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, India, Michigan, and Ohio with more than a foot of snow. So onto our discussion about this episode. There’s a couple of points here that I wanted to visit, uh, this again, I think benefits from kind of a thematic visit as opposed to a chronological visit of the plot.
So I’m going to throw out some topics, Matt, and you can pick which one we’re going to talk about first. Okay. We’ll leave the ending completely to itself. So the very end of the episode will be the final thing we discuss. Okay. But we have here the ending of the war, we have the ending of the war via genocide, we have slumming it on Qo’noS, we have Ashe and his conclusion, we have Georgiou and her conclusion, and we also have the redemption of Burnham.
Which of these stands out to you as the thing you wanted to talk about first? Let’s start with the
redemption of Burnham. Ultimately, it’s like the whole point of the show
at this point. Ultimately, that is the point of the show. And so even though there are moments where you would think, like, if you came in cold watching this program and had not seen any of the other episodes, you would probably not be sitting there thinking, Oh, this is about the redemption of this character who had started off with such a bad foot beginning of the season.
Yeah. You would think this is just a member of the crew who is going about her job. There are some key moments though where they, they’ve specifically worked into some moments of dialogue and in particular a speech that she gives at the end of the episode to offer opportunities for the character to demonstrate the full arc of what it has meant.
Where, how do you get from being a mutineer to being a hero? How do you get from a point of saying, I will do anything to protect the people around me to saying, I will be willing to sacrifice anything in the name of my ideals. And that feels like to me, what the arc is really about. So the redemption arc is only visible.
From a distance looking at the entire season in this particular episode, it really just kind of stands out as she’s an incredibly capable and motivated Starfleet officer doing her best to avert genocide. So for me, there were a lot of moments in this where I felt like the character almost feels like it takes the kind of backseat role that a Kirk or a Spock does.
In an episode where the forefront is really about the moral dilemma, the character is not really at the forefront, but when you take the step back and look at the entire series arc at this point, you can see that she really is in the forefront. And it’s an interesting balance that they, that they achieved, I think, what did you think about the redemption arc here?
Both big picture entire series and small picture this particular episode.
I’m kind of torn because I think my main opinion is I thought they did a good job because of how they’ve, they clearly did this. orchestrated from the very beginning of how they showed this character that was supposed to be the best of us falling to the worst of us.
And then she kind of finds her way back to being the best of us again. And so there was the arc I thought was very well done showing how much she had grown and using her. Backstory of that exploration to really kind of use that to convince the admiral to not do what she’s doing to convince to get the rest of the crew on her side to come with her.
It’s her unique journey that allows her to do what she’s doing, which I thought was interesting, but at the same time, it was a little too neat and tidy at the end. You know what I mean? It’s like, here’s. the mutineer of Starfleet. Would they actually give her a medal and have her talk in front of the room for everybody?
Eh, she’s still kind of a black sheep. You know what I mean? So it’s like, that felt a little too, I don’t know. It seemed to push the believability for me a little too far. That, yeah, okay, humanity has hit this utopian ideal and we still struggle with it. I still think we haven’t gotten so far into that utopian ideal that they would just forgive her so Openly like that and make her this, you know, put her on pedestal, essentially that felt like a little too far.
I’m not sure how you felt about
that. I completely agree with that final scene. It’s yeah. It feels a little too much like, and I think some of the new Star Trek series fall into this. Trap a little too often, which is earlier Trek has built a pattern of Starfleet and the Federation at large, recognizing the main characters of our shows as heroes within the universe.
So, and by universe, I mean the universe of the story. I don’t mean literally like the universe. Um, so you have a moment like at the end of Star Trek six, Kirk and his crew have been operating basically outside the parameters of what Starfleet wants them to be doing. They save the day averting an assassination attempt in a very public way at a high stakes peace accord.
And then Kirk stands up and makes an impromptu speech about moving beyond personal grief and agenda and pain and finding a place of common ground, even with somebody that you, that you on an instinctive level respond to extremely negatively, and he has this. Coming to the ideals of the Federation moment in a hard way publicly, and then is applauded for it and treated as a hero for it.
That’s a very, very different place. Considering he’s in that moment within the reality of the movie and the reality of Star Trek history, he’s one of the most decorated captains in Starfleet history. He has, yes, gone off on his own on this adventure, but he hasn’t mutinied. He hasn’t done something which is like.
He’s not been drummed out. He hasn’t been put in prison. He hasn’t been found guilty. He is, it’s literally like he shows up on a white horse at the last moment and saves the day and everybody’s kind of confused about what’s going on. But very clearly there was an assassination attempt and everybody’s like he averted it.
So in that moment, of course, everybody’s applauding and seeing him as the hero. And I completely agree with you in this moment, they may pardon her. Yeah. I love the scene with Sarek because the whole thing with Sarek is like pulling that. That to me was a better demonstration of what would quote really happen.
A very quiet meeting outside, you know, they’re in Paris, they’re outside of a museum and he walks up and very calmly says, I asked them if they would let me do this. And he gives her back her, her insignia. Yep. Tells her that she’s been completely pardoned. I think Starfleet would part, uh, allow the pardon to stand, would re, you know, incorporate her into their ranks, but I do not think they would make a public demonstration of giving her this medal and they would probably do whatever they had to, to let the light shine more on the entire crew and say the discovery helped avert it brings about the end of the war in a way that we.
You could have, you could have also just done it as it’s the same exact scene, but it’s not Burnham speaking. It’s the admiral. It’s the admiral. And the admiral could look over at the crew and they could have just a closeup shot of her looking directly at Burnham and saying something about like, you all are the best of us and looking directly at Burnham.
You know, it’s like it would, it would have been a public acknowledgement that wouldn’t have been putting it on a pedestal and shining a light on her. It would have been more about her.
It also would have benefited the story because the entire thing is like this moment and this goes back to what we talked about last week.
You might have had better tension and better storytelling if they had been arguing with Cornwell in the previous episode. About what the right course of action is. And Cornwell cuts them all off and says, no, this is what we were doing and initiates the plan. And only later can Burnham convince her of the reality
of what they could do.
But even not doing that, like on the bridge, when the crew confronts the Admiral and Burnham makes that impassioned plea of, we can’t do this. This is not what Starfleet is and convinces the Admiral to do it. They could have had her in that final scene. Quote her. Yes. Say, I, I struggled during this time and I was reminded, and just quote what Burnham said.
Yes. This is what we are. And it looks directly at her. And it’s like, it would have just been a perfect, like, bow on it without being just It would
have been a nice, connective moment. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It also would have demonstrated what the gist of all of this. Is about, which is this crew when we first meet them are not actually unified whole Lorca has got this sort of yoke around all of them, keeping them all at really short leashes with his goals in mind.
So he’s pushing stamets. And keeping Stamets effectively isolated from the crew. So Stamets is a rude weirdo at this point in the show, he is basically almost like a stoned surfer dude. He is when he’s talking about like. Can I get us into a cave? He’s just like, he’s like, Hey man, like, you know, like just buckle up, man.
He’s just, he’s very like, this is just a wild ride at this point because he has had these experiences, which has altered his brain. So it’s an interesting term, but he’s also viewed by everybody on the crew is like, he’s not that mean anymore. He’s not a jerk anymore. Tilly has grown. She’s now been fully, she’s now a full ensign.
She is in the leadership training program. Saru is, they identify him as the first Kelpien to receive the Medal of Honor. So he is on, at a stage of his career that he previously would never have achieved under Lorca. So we have all of these things in place. Showing the cohesion of a crew. And it’s also been demonstrated throughout the season.
And we talked about this a few episodes, uh, episodes ago, there was a turning point where all those background players suddenly started having lines. I think that was all by design. I think they wanted this series to be about how does a crew become a crew and it becomes a crew because of a unifying glue and Burnham is that unifying glue.
I think that’s nicely demonstrated in her redemption arc. So I think that there are, like I said, I think big picture of the arc through the season is really well constructed. I think it’s also fascinating that at the closer level for this episode in particular, there’s only a couple of scenes that are fully about Burnham.
And with the ones that are about Burnham that stand out are the, for me, the one with his, with, uh, Amanda and Sarek standing outside Paris. It’s a very touching scene with Amanda, where she says, I didn’t know what you meant by maintain my humanity. I know it now. I thought that was lovely. And then with Sarek, it’s a moment of, you get to see him.
I loved this, that he’s emotional. You get to see him have the choking up and he’s got a little bit of a tear in his eye as he’s saying, my daughter did this. So it’s a very powerful moment. The other scene that I really liked is her with Georgiou underneath it, the well underground on Qo’nos where they have kind of a.
Coming to an understanding moment, the conversation there, I thought it was really well done with Georgiou basically saying, I’m, she spends the entire episode saying the emperor is going to Emperor. She spends the entire time just saying like, I am being consistent. I was asked, how did I do this? I told them how I did this.
They said, we like that. Can you go do that again? I said, yes, I’m going to keep doing this. I am being consistent with who I am. Burnham has the response of saying like. Find a different way, find a better way. And her response of no, I I’m completely who I’ve always been. I thought it was great. And I think Michelle Yeoh in this episode really does a fantastic job with, I mean, everything with her was riveting the slave sex scene.
I thought it was just like fantastic that all of that was terrific. What did you think about her performance in particular? I
told you this before we talked about her. It’s like, I just find everything. She’s like a scene stealer for me. Every time she’s on screen, she’s the character I’m drawn to the most.
And Not a spoiler. This shouldn’t be a spoiler. She’s in more episodes and I can’t wait till she’s back because I just love her character so much. She’s so much fun.
Yeah. There was even a, uh, alternate ending that was released in March of this year. There was an add on to this episode in which they first show her being approached by the secret service of Starfleet section 31 approaching her and saying like, Hey, we’d be interested in talking.
So that was dropped in later. And it was interesting because I finished watching the episode and I was like, where’s that scene? Cause I remembered it. Right. And then, and then we got the opportunity. It was apparently dropped in later. So I’m not sure where it lives in the, in the Paramount app or if people see it depending on where they watch it.
But if anybody else like me is remembering a scene that didn’t actually appear, that’s probably why. So. Another story element that I wanted to revisit was Ash Tyler. We’re wrapping up Ash’s storyline. And this time it’s his storyline. This is one of those episodes where all the different threads and we usually we’ve spent a lot of time on this podcast.
Anybody who’s been listening to us now for a while knows we talk about the A plot, the B plot and on down how well woven together are they? This is one where they have braided together a lot of plot lines. To be able to tell this story. I think on the whole, they do it really well. Ash is an interesting one because they weave him through the L’Rell and the end of the, the war with the Klingons.
Yes. And they weave it through Burnham’s redemption arc, because this is a moment where for somebody who had forgotten the details of Burnham’s childhood. They actually have a moment where she reveals to him why being on Qo’nos and seeing him fit in so well with Klingons bothers her so badly. And so, and it’s a harrowing story.
It’s a detail of her childhood that we also haven’t heard. So this is also a moment for us, who have… Chalked a lot of stuff up to PTSD, really get to see how deep the PTSD goes in Burnham because she effectively lays out, not to put too fine a point on it or be too graphic, her father is murdered and then her mother, it is heavily implied is.
Horribly raped and then murdered by Klingons while she is hiding in a cupboard. And then the Klingon sit down at the kitchen table and eat the meal that was being prepared. And Burnham feels guilty for this because Burnham had convinced her parents to stay at the station that they were on for extra days.
If they had gone on their family vacation earlier, they would have been gone. So this is Burnham’s guilt. And. You’re making a face that tells me you’re like, there’s something going on here.
I did not like, I did not like the way they wrapped this up and it sounds like you did, but here’s why I didn’t, there’s elements of what they did with Tyler that I did like how they wrapped it up.
But my main complaint by this episode, all of the wrap ups is that it was a little too neat and tidy. It was a little too perfect. It was a little too, okay, everything, all the pieces just happened to fit into place in just the right way. It was a little too perfect. The fact that Tyler, it’s like the fact that he wants to go with L’Rell, he has no home.
He’s not human. He’s not Klingon. Being around Burnham is probably not a good idea. He needs his own space. She needs her own space. Go with L’Rell. Okay, that makes sense. But my biggest problem with this is the L’Rell storyline taints. This whole ending for me for Tyler, because how they end the Klingon war by giving L’Rell the bomb that’s under the thing that shows she can press the, you know, you know, take control of the Klingon empire.
I don’t know about you. I found that so stupid, Sean. I found it so frustrating and so unbelievable that a woman Klingon who are Not viewed as equals of male Klingons and their species, how she would just come out and wave at a data pad, go, I got you all and do what I say. It’s like the idea that that would just suddenly wrap everything up.
I found just so ridiculous that would not stop the war. It would cause internal conflict and there would be wars with there would be many wars within the Klingon Empire. It would be like, there’d be all these people fighting and it was like, and all they would have to do is kill her and take the data pad.
It’s like, what is. What? What? I did not understand how this actually makes sense and how it would actually work out the way they made it all. It was such a neat little bow and then to have Tyler tacked onto that be like, oh, I’m gonna go with her. It’s like, uh, wait, wait. Okay. She’s, she’s trying to take control of the Klingon Empire.
And he’s going to be a human at her side. And it’s like, dude, are they going to really accept her in the first place? And then are they going to accept her with a male sidekick? Who’s a human that they were just trying to obliterate before? It’s like everything about this just kind of started to fall flat in its face.
It was like, okay, you’re a stretching believability. So thin for me, this whole plot line did not make sense. I did not like the way they wrapped that up. So it’s like the, the time, I think they short changed Tyler by doing what they did.
I don’t disagree. I don’t think it was as distracting for me as it seems to have been for you.
What it did for me, what it did for me was make me, uh, it wasn’t quite a record scratch, but it was a record skip. You know, that, that being the difference, like you’re listening to your song and then you’re aware of like, Oh, there’s a damaged part to this. Like it didn’t take me out of it. But it did make me aware of that.
I was watching it. And that’s not great. So on the scale of like one to 10, was this a horrible thing? For me, it was probably about a two or a three. It sounds like for you, it was like an eight or a nine. It was eight or nine. Yeah. And I think that there are a number of things that they could have done that could have conceivably allowed.
You have to have the, if you’re going to have the Georgiou plot line be what it is, you have to have it tie in in some way to ending the war. Yes. Yeah. So. Like, as I was watching it, the first thing I thought of was why is it all one bomb? Because if they give L’Rell a data pad and they say, we had originally planted 12 bombs and L’Rell has the ability to pick which ones might be detonated and it would take all 12 to destroy the planet.
But any one given at one individual time wouldn’t destabilize the planet too badly. And she’s given that and she basically is like. You know, if they had had a moment where they’re leaving the planet and they say there’s just been a massive explosion under one of the cities, that is basically the home base of one of the major houses.
Yes. Yes. And they’re like, Oh, we didn’t expect L’Rell to move so quickly. And then they go to L’Rell. This is precisely my point. Yeah. If they’d gone to L’Rell then and her saying, without showing the data pad, just saying like, you’re all going to calm down. You’re going to stop this stupid war with the Federation because I am ending it.
And what happened to that house was me. And you will all get in the line because I can do that to any of you at will. That would have given, like, that would be the wrap up that you sound like you were looking for. It’s also the wrap up I was looking for. I would have preferred that as a storyline.
There’s no threat.
Unless you show what the ramifications are and the fact that there was this one bomb with this one data pad, it was like you could kill her or you could find the bomb and deactivate it. It’s like then her, her threat is gone. But if you have what you just described, it’s like it becomes a lot more believable that people would
start to and it could have been, you know, they could have released them with, you know, they’ve got this packet and they open it up.
It could have been 12 individual, smaller drones that are, she dumps them all out of the suitcase into that pit. They all go different directions and they’re going and planting themselves at various locations. L’Rell, once she has that data pad and knows where they’re located, using one strategically to take out an entire house all at once and say.
Like, we’re done here, like I just took one of the biggest houses and I’ve decimated them. So we’re done here with this war and you’re all going to line up because we need to unify because otherwise we’re just going to eat ourselves alive. And I think that would have been a terrific end to that. But having said that, the fact that it ends the way it does in my, in my mind, I’m like, I can pretend it happened the other way and, and still move forward.
And as far as Tyler going along, I think he’s going to be a shadow figure behind her. Initially, like, I don’t think he’s going to be visible. Uh, I can’t imagine her running out and saying like, Oh, my name’s L’Rell. This is my human friend. And we’re going to come in and I’m going to be your leader. I don’t see that happening.
The Tyler of it all too. I like the way I felt like. His tying of the knot and trying so hard to like remind himself of how he was Tyler, I thought was an effective device. I think leaving the knot with her at the end was a nice symbol and I thought it did enough for me to say like, okay, this is Tyler as the personality and there’s a whole parallel memory system that sits underneath it.
Which is Voq and that when he needed to dip into it, I thought it was a really nice depiction of that where his performance as Voq was suddenly evident without the makeup when he goes and gambles, I actually really liked that scene because he gets into that thing where he’s getting, he’s, he’s mixing it up with them.
And instead of being the human they anticipated, he’s immediately Klingon, he’s punching them in the chest. He’s knocking them back. He’s calling them insulting names. And because of that, as he said, I’m like a dog on water skis to them. I’m used by it. So he’s, yeah. So he’s an oddity. I thought that that was a nice depiction of where, of how he’s figuring out.
I’m going to have to skate between two worlds and I can do it easier in the human world. But when I need to dip into it for the Klingon side of me, I can do it by forcing the oddity of what I come across as to work for me. So I thought that that was pretty neat. That ties us into the slumming it. Scene on Qo’nos.
I thought that the depiction of Qo’nos, the underground network of black markets, the Orion console, that is Clint Howard on what Clint Howard. I’m the Clint Howard of it all. The call back to do you like the Tranya? The for those who don’t remember Clint Howard is the small alien that they incorporate, who is voiced by an adult, but played by Clint Howard when he was.
Probably four. And it’s the classic Tranya episodes, the Corbomite, Corbomite maneuver, where Kirk convinces this massively powerful spaceship that they will blow themselves up instead of being taken prisoner by this spaceship. And when. The bluff is called and Kirk and Spock get to go aboard this other ship.
They find that this massive alien they’d been speaking to is not massive at all, but this tiny little Clint Howard person. So Clint Howard being in this one and basically, I mean, he’s, he’s just sitting around smoking weed and gets Tilly to smoke with him, her comedic performance, her comedic timing is fantastic.
I loved her scene in this with, well, maybe just a little bit. And then. Saying, did I take enough passing out and then later when she gets on the communicator with Burnham and calls Burnham and immediately says, now, first thing, I’m incredibly high right now. Second, I don’t have drones. I’ve got a bomb.
It’s. So in
this, this episode for me, this is going to kind of give you a sense of how I felt about this episode overall. My first note, I take notes as I watch the show, take notes. First note I wrote, funny. My first note comes in when Howard’s appearance, it’s like the first thing I wrote down was Clint.
It was like, that was the first thing that caught my eye on this episode and that Orion’s sequence, the slumming it scene was when I kind of sat forward a little bit more and started to enjoy the episode more. Everything up to this point in the episode felt very, just kind of like, eh. To me, it wasn’t bad.
It wasn’t good. It was just kind of like, eh. And then at this point, it was kind of like, Oh, Oh, okay. We’re gonna have fun here. Oh, Tilly’s really, Oh, Tilly’s moments. Great. Like the humor, her performance, uh, it was, this point was a turning point for me. So
it’s for me overall, The Emperor is taking them into a strip club where she, she basically buys a couple of sex slaves and it’s just like, I’ve got voracious appetites.
And then she’s apparently so good in bed that one of the sex slaves is like, we shouldn’t even charge you because you’ve taught us some things. And it’s just like, like the weirdness of all of that, the turning of the cables of what
we expect. They’ve all gone off and done their own thing to try to find where to do this.
And I also liked that they were like bouncing between the three different groups. It was like Tilly, it was the Georgiou, and then it was Tyler and Burnham. And they were all finding the answer they needed seperatly. It was kind of fun to kind of go, Oh, here’s how they’re figuring it out. Here’s how Tilly’s figuring it out.
And oh, and Georgiou. It’s doing this whole sex slave. Now I’m going to point a gun in your face. Tell me what I need to know. Kind of a thing. So it was really fun to see how each one of them was trying to come to the same conclusion. This is why for me, this, this is the point of the episode
where it kind of turned around.
So the whole. Thing hinges on basically conversation. If this to me does feel very Star Trek and that it comes down to the scene with Burnham and Georgiou underground arguing about what it means to make peace and what it means to, to move forward. And Georgiou’s entire thing is like, I loved at one point, she’s like, I’m doing this for you so you can move forward past the guilt.
And Burnham says, I called. BS on that. And she’s like, yeah, okay. Yeah, it was, that’s not what it is at all. I’m doing this because this is how I get my freedom. And then she’s basically bought off by giving her free buying, being given her freedom with no strings attached. And she has no stake in this. So she ultimately.
Was willing to commit genocide killing how many potentially billions of Klingons on this planet almost just on a whim just for something to do Because when she gets bought off I expected another like, oh, she’s gonna she’s gonna twist a knife. She’s gonna do something here She hands control over to L’Rell as asked and then just disappears and it’s like, okay, I’m off on my own.
Goodbye It really is the kind of fill aside. There’s no Punching each other out to get a control of the data pad. There’s none of that. There’s just people standing around saying, what does this mean? Even to the point where they convinced L’Rell, you need to be the head of the empire, you, you need to go do this because you’re the one person who’s demonstrated that war was not the first course of action for you.
The L’Rell has created a spy to get into the star, into Starfleet, as opposed to creating a super weapon to blow up earth. It’s, this is a woman who that they’re like, given all the courses of action you could have taken, you actually picked one that demonstrates you’re looking for new paths. So that’s a better thing for us.
So putting her in a position of being in head of the Klingon empire is actually within their. Desires, which is a kind of fascinating place to be. And that’s part of Burnham’s speech at the end to saying all of us in the federation had a reckoning of what it means. We’ve also seen that there’s been a reckoning going on in the Klingon empire, and that’s important for us to be aware of.
And as Matt and I talked about the ending with the speech. Maybe too much of a spotlight, too much of a pedestal for Burnham. It’s meant to give us in the audience, I think that hero moment for the character. I don’t think you always need that kind of spotlight for the hero moment. Sometimes the hero moment, and especially in this program with how they started out with this character, the hero moment for her might have been better if she had just been.
Standing with the crew silently. And as you pointed out, if Cornwell was making the speech and gave her the eye to say, like, you did this, that might’ve been a better hero moment for me and audience member. I agree. The other thing I want to call out, this is foreshadowing for the rest of the discovery stuff, but.
This show falls into a trap that I think does a disservice to the show overall it gets a little too sentimental at times It gets a little too precious With the characters because we’ve talked about this before how there are times in the show where it feels like they’re taking shortcuts for the storytelling Because they’re they’re trying to have their cake and eat it too of we’re only gonna have 14 episodes But we’re gonna act like we had 26 Do you know what I mean?
So they’re taking these shortcuts with the character developments and the character arcs and the relationships. And so they show us things of like, Oh, well, this character loves this character. We’ve never seen these two characters like love each other. Like, yeah, but we’re, we’re just supposed to accept that they are.
And then you show us this big slow mo sentimental scene between these two people. It’s like, where did this come from? That the show kind of falls in that trap and this ending. It’s kind of a little bit of that. They’re being very little too precious with Burnham. They’re being a little too sentimental, trying to tug our heartstrings, make us give it that hero moment.
And it was done in a way that kind of like, I’ve used this metaphor before. It’s like hitting a wrong note on a piano. It’s like you’re playing something really beautiful. And then you just hit this one flat note. It’s like, oops. It’s like, for me, that’s kind of what this ending was. It was, they kind of just took it a little too far.
They just did a little something off. Um, and if they had just dialed it back a little bit, it would have been a much stronger ending.
So that takes us now to the ending, which we end up with Sarek saying to Burnham, Oh, your mother is going to be staying in Paris for a few days. I am going to go back to discovery with you and be taken back to Vulcan.
And he seems kind of wistful. As he is boarding the ship, I never tire of seeing my home planet, he says in a kind of interesting, uh, almost emotional way. And there’s a little bit of chit chat, like, why are we not folding space to go do this? Oh, I’m happy to, to walk says Stamets as they are looking for an interface that is not a human.
To make the, the spore drive work. So there’s a little bit of foreshadowing of how is discovery going to be operating in the future? Well, it’s not going to be jumping around quite the same way as it did previously and almost instantly out of the gate. They are hitting warp. They are partway to their, they’re barely 30 seconds into their trip.
Yeah. When they start getting a signal from another Starfleet ship and there is some static, and this is another moment where this is all drawn out. In a weird way to it’s a fan service moment effectively, because there’s no reason why it’s like, Oh, I’m having Kevin. I’m having a hard time in the reading under who it is.
And we see the beginning of the Starfleet identification code coming out and we see 1 7
0 and it’s Oh, surprise, surprise. It’s the enterprise has shown up and. It is Captain Pike who is reaching out to them and we see the Enterprise come out of warp and do a nice leisurely swoop into coming face to face with Discovery and we get the opportunity to see the Enterprise, which has been out on its one of its five year missions out well beyond known space in what is built .
As the key mission of this flagship star ship of the, of the star fleet, it is. Under Kirk doing a five year mission to go where no one has gone before. That is also the mission it was under with captain Pike. So here they are coming back to earth for some unknown reason, and they have come to discovery in particular, reaching out to them directly.
So something is going on, which leads us. To that is the final scene of the episode, which will lead us to season two. And starting next week, I record scratch. Yeah, here we are, Matt. This is the record scratch moment. This is the moment that you aren’t even aware of next week. We will be watching the cage, the original compiler.
As I was doing some thinking ruminating recently, I realized that our chronological rewatch should have started with the cage. Because the cage would have taken place a year before the events of discovery. No. Yes. So there we go. I had no idea. We will watch the cage before we watch any of season two. So for everybody who’s joining us on our.
Personal journey of watching these on chronological order. I’m sorry that this is not perfect chronological order, but it will make sense big picture because when we watch the cage, there are elements of the cage that will be present for captain Pike and for strange new worlds moving forward. So I think it’s a really cool opportunity for us to have that kind of mixing of various shows to.
Jump back and forth to tell the story of Star Trek in an order that actually makes sense for within the characters. When the, the writers and producers and directors get all of those notes, right? I think this will be an opportunity for us to see some of that in action. So the cage is available. If you are watching this the way I am on paramount, it is.
In the original series, they have it as the very first episode of the original series. So, it is right there for you to watch. Uh, this will be our first opportunity. I’m super excited to revisit this as part of this re watch. And to, for us to be talking about what the world was like at the time of original broadcast, considering it’ll be a trek back in time.
To the late sixties to talk about some of the original Roddenberry-ness of it all. Some of the characters that we will see in the, in the cage being characters. We will revisit when we enter strange new worlds and to talk about captain Pike in a way that when Cage was originally produced and the vision of who Captain Pike would be little did anybody know that it would take 50 odd years for those stories to actually be told.
So I think it’s going to be really cool to take a look at Jeffrey Hunter. And Leonard Nimoy and Madgel Roddenberry and what they were trying to do with the characters of Pike, Spock, and Number One, and what they would eventually become for Strange New Worlds. So, that’s something for us to look forward to.
So, I have been in the habit recently of asking everybody to jump in the comments and let us know what you think next week’s episode is about. Wrong answers only. I’ll do that again with the cage. You all know what it’s about. If you’re watching this, you probably have seen the cage multiple times, but still feel free to jump in and leave a comment about what the plot is, but wrong answers only before we sign off, Matt, is there anything you want to remind our viewers or listeners about what do you have coming up on your main channel?
There’s a video that
should be out around this time about, uh, wave energy capture devices because way ocean waves produce way more energy than wind solar. All those other technologies, but we just haven’t figured out how to do it effectively yet. So I have a video that’s kind of, no pun intended, diving into that, um, or maybe that was intended.
Yes, that was intended.
Okay. That sounds good. I help Matt out with his main channel in the form of helping co host a follow up podcast. To his main channel, which is called still to be determined. And the two of us talk about the topics that he examines on his channel. And in doing so I’ve on a recent episode that you and I recorded, there was somebody who jumped into the comments to complain that you were not talking about wave energy as a power source.
And so here you go. Just here I go. Can’t stop you. Can’t keep a good man down. As for me, you can check out my website, seanferrell. com. You can find that information about my books there, or you can just go directly to wherever it is you buy your books. They’re available everywhere. That includes your local bookstore or online retailers like bookshop.
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