Matt and Sean talk about last requests, making yourself heard, and misunderstanding our own nature. Star Trek Discovery is at it again … non-stop kinetic action and pacing, but are they taking unearned shortcuts?
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We’re also taking a look at the world at the time of original broadcast. So currently we’re talking about season two of Star Trek Discovery, which means we’re also talking about 2019. Not that long ago, but it might as well be from a parallel timeline. And who are we? Well, I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a writer. I write some stuff for adults.
I write some stuff for kids, like the recently released The Sinister Secrets of Singe, which is available in bookstores everywhere. And with me, of course, as always 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. And Matt, how are you doing today?
Time has no meaning. It feels like a Mobius strip. That’s
kind of how I feel right now. It’s about time you finally caught up on that. Yeah, that’s right.
Yeah. How are you
doing? I’m doing all right. I’m looking forward to talking about this episode, which hit a lot of really neat notes for me. And I really enjoyed a lot of it and other parts of it.
As we talked about last week, there are parts of this that just remind me like, Oh, we’re kind of in a different era of TV production than we used to be. Where? Some of the story arcs and character arcs in particular feel a little fast forwarded in ways that are a little, wait, what?? We’ll get into that in a minute.
Before we talk about the episode, we always like to share some feedback from you, the viewer or listener. So Matt, what did you find in the mailbag for us this week?
Well, this one was from episode 109, Brother, and it’s kind of some general thoughts on discovery. How we’re talking about like, uh, the character development and kind of getting fast forwarded.
It’s kind of in that theme. Uh, quick random thoughts from Happy Flappy Farm. Uh, this episode has a lot of heart. I love the interactions between Tilly and Stamets, Burnham and Sarek, Tilly and Burnham. Pike, the fun captain, shows a warmth of personality that endears the crew to him quickly. Saru has become one of my favorite characters and he has some of the great scenes in this episode.
The bridge crew finally gets introduced and gets screen time for us to get to know them. Yay. Here we see the use of the cocky jerk gets killed plot device that is such a standard. We call that jerk crewman guy or red shirt. Are you decapitated if you hit a laser line at your feet or is my perspective off?
The tech displayed in this episode is incredibly cool. Jet Reno is so much fun. I love Jet Reno’s character added to this show. It’s fantastic. But I wanted to kind of highlight that comment because it kind of ties into like what we kind of brought up in the last episode and what we’re talking about today, which is there is some short changing of different crew members and like they’re saying words to us, but we still don’t connect to them emotionally as a character.
So it’s like, there’s a whole bunch of like character development that is just now starting to happen. in season two of a show, which you would have expected this
in season one. And if you add all the episodes together, we would be at the three quarters mark of an old season. So it kind of episode number wise kind of makes sense, but it’s unfortunate because it’s for over a longer period of time.
So, yep. So on now to our discussion of the episode, that noise in the background is not something wrong with your computer. It is actually the read alert, which means it’s time for Matt to tackle the Wikipedia description for an obol for Charon. Matt, take it away. A living,
intelligent, planetoid sized sphere pulls Discovery out of warp and immobilizes it.
The crew surmises that the sphere is well intentioned and has gathered huge amounts of data from all over the galaxy that it does not want to be lost before it dies. However, the sphere’s hold on Discovery triggers the Oh boy. vahar’ai. Yeah. What do we vahar’ai? . Okay, vahar’ai. So the spheres, hold on. You can say that again.
Anyway. It triggers, uh, in Commander Saru, a fatal condition to his species. The Kelpians, the sphere transmits its information to the crew and dies releasing Discovery so that it will not be caught in the ensuing explosion. Saru asks Burnham to help him prepare for his death by removing his threat ganglia, which sense danger.
However, they fall out on their own and leave Saru healthy and living. Without the overwhelming fear his species is known for. Meanwhile, the parasite attaches itself to Tilly again, once again accessing her memories to communicate as a hallucination of May. The parasite claims Discovery has nearly destroyed its ecosystem by using its species mycelial network to jump through space with the spore drive.
It then consumes Tilly, leaving no trace of her.
Thank you, Wikipedia description for breaking down plot points so out of order that you don’t realize that some of these plot lines actually inform others, but we’ll leave it at that. This episode, episode number four, An Obol for Charon, originally dropped on February 7th, 2019.
It’s our usual main cast. And this episode is directed by Lee Rose. Story by Jordan Nardino and Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Herberts with a teleplay by Alan McElroy and Andrew Colville. The original cast, the main cast, including Sonequa Martin Green as Michael Burnham, Doug Jones as Saru, Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly, with, of course, Anson Mount as Christopher Pike, are joined in this episode by Tig Notaro, who reprises her role as Jet Reno, as the commenter just pointed out, a great character addition, a fun ad, and an interesting juxtaposition because you have this entire And Back and forth between the mechanical engineer and the kind of trippy mushroom riding, uh, stamets at odds about what, which science is actually the better.
And you’ve got the one engineer saying, duct tape will get you there. The other one saying, yes, but you’re destroying the universe at the same time. So on February 7th, 2019, when this dropped. What was everybody doing? Well, Ariana Grande had the number one song of the week. Matt, you’ll remember that it was Seven Rings.
And at the movies, the final week, The Glass by M. Night Shyamalan would be the number one film. It was now making far less than its opening week of 40 million. It was somewhere around. 8 million for the week, but it was still the number one film because at this point in the year, this is kind of the graveyard of movies.
So you don’t have to make a lot of money to be number one. And on television. Up to this point, we’ve reviewed some of the top shows streamed in 2019, which included Lucifer, Stranger Things, and 13 Reasons Why. And the fourth most streamed series of 2019 was a show called Money Heist, which is an import in the U S of a Spanish television show.
It’s about a criminal mastermind who goes by the name, The Professor, whose plans to pull off a heist. By printing billions of euros in the Royal Mint of Spain with the help of eight people who have various abilities that he needs to pull this off and they have nothing to lose. It’s been on Netflix now for a couple of seasons.
It proved to be a hit here in the US, which is, that’s one of the aspects of Netflix as a streaming service that I really like. Yeah. Instead of… Me too. Remaking a show with an American cast and effectively faking the funk and saying like, here’s a new series, but it’s actually, it’s actually from overseas.
Uh, I like the fact that Netflix just brings the original series and they’ve introduced a lot of interesting South Korean dramas and various shows from Europe. There’s been a terrific show, which is, uh, Lupin from France, which is a effectively a Glass Onion style mystery show around a, a master thief who’s able to, uh, fake both thieves and police as the machinations of getting revenge unwind.
Um, that show is brilliant. Uh, shows that would normally be taken and recast by Hollywood are instead just simply presented on their own. And. Are very, very strong and really, uh, really terrific resource for people who love good television and in the news, February 7th, 2019, the New York Times headline at the top was about the ongoing political crisis in Venezuela, where the U.
S. was recognizing Juan Guaido as the country’s rightful president while Russia and China were continuing to support Nicolas Maduro. The top story from the BBC was about the continuing Brexit negotiations. Matt, we just talked about this last week. Believe it or not, it didn’t conclude last week. It continues still today with the UK and EU seemingly at an impasse over the Irish backstop once again.
And finally on CNN, a US Senate panel found that no direct evidence of a conspiracy between President Trump and Russia existed during the 2016 election, but they did find evidence of Russian interference in the election. On now to our discussion about this episode. So the Wikipedia description does a great job of.
Basically, presenting three storylines as if they have nothing to do with each other. They are woven together much more closely in the episode than the synopsis would present it. Starting off with the Discovery being pulled out of warp and being in front of a massive planetoid that appears to be sentient, it is very quickly introduced that there are signals that there are things coming from this ship that are Unintentionally disrupting the discovery.
It becomes the sort of ticking time bomb of the entire episode. They are up against a cascading series of failures as whatever signals are coming from this planetoid are affecting the computers and effectively breaking things down. It starts off in classic. TV writing methodology. Start off innocuous and or humorous and then lead toward catastrophic.
So we start off with, well, it’s the universal translator isn’t working properly and everybody begins speaking different languages. What do you think about the aspect of this as we see everybody being subtitled and we hear various languages coming out of everybody’s mouths? I
loved this aspect because it’s something that like it’s always like hand waved on every Star Trek series.
Everybody can talk to each other and just know each other. It’s like, Oh yeah. Universal translator. Yeah. Yada, yada, yada. I love the fact that they showed in this, what would happen if the universal translator either stopped working or went haywire? And I just loved, nobody could talk to each other. I absolutely love this.
It was a fun little conceit that created some real. Genuine drama because it was like, well, crap. It’s like things would break down so fast if you couldn’t communicate. A lot of fun. Like, what do you think of it? I
liked the introduction of it. The, the, it also provided a nice, one of the things the show is doing and it does well.
Is it plant seeds in earlier episodes that seemed very innocuous and are just interesting little factoids. And then later on, you’re talking about Saru, they bear fruit. So Saru in a previous episode saying like, I was such an overachiever. I taught myself 96 different languages. Holy cow. You’re crazy to do that.
And this episode, he’s the only person aboard the ship who can translate for everybody, depending on what language they happen to be speaking in that moment. And you get some brilliant acting from Doug Jones as he comes up and is. Ill, it’s presented earlier in the episode. I really liked that it was presented simply as a rhinovirus.
He’s upset that he has a cold. And again, another little factoid that was just dropped in a previous episode, the reptilian alien, who is a member of the discovery crew who we’ve seen previously with a cold is at the meeting. And it’s just like, yes, cold suck. And when everybody looks at them, it’s like. Uh, six nasal passages, like it was really rough and I loved the elements of all of those things building together to, and I also really liked the inclusion of the reptilian crewman.
Just give me more of the totally non humanoid.
This entire episode had a lot of really good humor in it, which I liked. Yes. So there was a lot of little character moments, like with the reptilian guy, there’s one later with Tilly. There’s like little things that happen to add a nice bit of levity to what’s kind of a high tension scenes, which is really nice kind of way to release the tension
and have some fun.
Yes. I also like the reptilian. I just looked them up. The reptilian character’s name is Linus. I love that. . Uh, played by David Benjamin Tomlinson. So hats off to him for, I mean, it’s, there’s gotta be hours of makeup and getting everything ready and making sure the prosthetic works and the eyes even blink.
It’s, it’s gotta be rough to go through that kind of thing to not even be seen on the screen. Uh, but from a viewer’s perspective, I love that. I love, I loved Linus and I’m like. Justice for Linus, bring Linus back, give us more Linus. Um, so we see this breakdown in the crew’s ability to function, but they’re still able to function.
I liked that the communications officer even uses pantamiming to describe when things break down. Like, uh, all those different little layers of how they’re trying to continue to work together. And they’re able to… Piece together what to do, with Saru going from station to station, eventually getting the bridge operating properly, and then Burnham and Saru going down to figure out what’s going on at the larger scene of the overall network within the system of the Discovery.
Meanwhile, in the engineering section, things are beginning to break down, because the investigations of what’s gone on with Tilly, and how to help her, and what this alien life form… Is, begin to break down as… An event aboard the ship leads to a cascading energy failure, and the containment no longer is active.
So now this entity is free, and this is, of course, May. May, who tried to communicate with Tilly by being inside Tilly. And communicating from a perspective of hallucination now is a physical being, which is this giant gelatinous mass, which when they have it in containment in an almost homage to a movie like The Thing has a nice moment of Turning itself into a humanoid hand as it’s reaching out toward Tilly.
There is a certain aspect to it in doing that, that I think they are telegraphing nicely while this thing is completely alien and other, and seems terrifying. There’s some aspect to it, which is also not threatening. There is still kind of the promise of like, I’m just trying to connect with you, to communicate with you.
So when you see that hand forming inside the containment, I think it’s. A little bit of a telegraph of like, yeah, this isn’t nefarious necessarily. So even as catastrophic as things would get in that room, it’s still with a hint of like, but is she actually in danger? So that it plays that, that line very well in my regard.
Um, so as far as the sphere is concerned, the technology behind this thing, which is ancient, and it’s, I think it’s nicely. Depicted as so alien that they never even say it was a built thing. It’s never explained as to what this is. It hearkens back to me, to a lot of the really great. Old original series episodes where they come across the unknown and the unknown remains unknown.
I’m thinking of an episode like where they meet the planet eater and that it’s this destructive machine, the doomsday device that is going to potentially destroy planet after planet, unstoppable. Where is it from? What was it intended to do? Who built it? None of that is ever answered. It is just this ultimate danger.
This is kind of the inverse of that. The same thing. This thing comes from somewhere. It is potentially destructive and dangerous to them if they don’t figure out how best to respond to it. But it’s otherness. It was never really fully explained. They know it’s a hundred thousand years old and it is from wherever and the experience of that.
It’s… has moments where they are hinting that it is almost spiritual, the experience of it. They have Saru picking up on the ultraviolet spectrum, responding to all of that with headaches and it’s, it’s annoyance. And he’s slowly coming to the realization that the sphere is triggering. The illness in him, this death moment that he thinks he’s headed toward, but at the same time, when they finally tap into it and they look at it in the screen, using the screen to present the ultraviolet as visible spectrum for the humans, all of them stand there in awe of it.
And again, it reminded me of some of those moments from the original series where Spock and Kirk and McCoy would be faced with a moment of simply standing in awe of a thing as something played out in front of them. How did you feel about the experience of the otherness of the sphere? Um,
I, well, I loved it.
I thought it was great to have something so… Truly alien that they had to figure out and work around. But here’s where I’m gonna kind of take a little dump on it again, just like I did last week. There was some short changing in the storytelling that felt rushed to me where they were suddenly making leaps to this thing means us no harm.
This thing is. Good. And they were figuring things out about it that made no sense. It’s like, okay, you’re making a leap of logic there. I’m not following how you got there that quickly with as little information as you guys have. It’s you’re taking too much of a leap. Um, the spiritual aspect of it could have been better done to explain how they were making those leaps.
But they didn’t. It was, it was just, it was just happening so fast. It’s like, whoa, how did you get from point A to point B? Because that makes no sense. Nobody in that position would have made that jump, but you just made it. So I was getting that again and again, but the aspect of how alien they made the sphere and what it was and its history and how it was dying, I thought that was fantastic.
I thought it was like a, from a sci fi point of view. Great setup. It was just some of the execution felt a little rushed to
me. Yeah, I agree with that. And I would have appreciated if they, like you said, dove a little deeper into the spiritual aspect of it. It would have been simple enough to add a line or two where people would say things like, Captain, I’m looking at my monitors and I’m understanding the danger that the numbers are indicating, but somehow I’m feeling a sense of calm as I look at this thing.
And all of them could have shared the, yeah, there’s something about looking at this. That makes me feel like it’s not intending us harm. Why do I want to trust this? It could have been a very interesting aspect of this about faith and trust and understanding, which would have lined up perfectly with Saru’s experience of what he sees as I am entering the final stage of my species life.
This experience leads to my death and it would have lined up nicely. With Tilly’s experience of how do I trust the otherness of this thing? Why do I feel like this thing is not, even though I know it is angry at Stamets, that it is looking for vindication and vengeance, it still doesn’t seem nefarious.
Why do I feel that way? It could have been a repeated note throughout this, this episode. I was going to bring that up.
The whole thing of. Here we are kind of rewriting the episode, but that would have been a bit stronger because the A plot and the B plot would have clicked into place together in a much clearer way.
So you’ve got Um, Tilly’s alien that is becoming very aggressive and outright dangerous. And so you could have that as the juxtaposition of, is it just making us feel calm before it like pounces on us? Or is the sphere genuinely not a harm to us? So it would have created an interesting tension between those two plots of you have one that’s proving to be more dangerous than they thought and the other one that actually isn’t dangerous.
It actually is very safe. So it’s, you could have had a lot of fun with that if
they had just tweaked the story a little bit. It meshes nicely too with Saru’s experience because what Saru’s experience is, is the inverse. It is completely reversed. I know what’s happening to me. I don’t need anybody to communicate it to me because I already know.
And then discovering, I actually didn’t know what I thought I knew. Like what I thought I understood was actually a falsehood. And his experience goes from being spiritual to being mundane. Whereas the rest of it would be mundane moving to spiritual. So it would be a nice juxtaposition. Could we juxtaposition there as well?
Can we talk about the whole Saru thing? Because this is one of those things where we’ve, I’ve complained about how they’re not doing a lot of character development.
I think you and I are on the same page here. Yeah. This, this, I think I know exactly what we’re going to talk about, but please jump into it.
Okay. So this,
the way that they’re building out the whole, the way he’s known his own species is all a lie. And what does that mean? The fact that he joined Starfleet and can never go back home again has been introduced now where he said, I can’t go back because the prime directive, because if I go back.
I’m going to influence my culture’s, um, development because they aren’t a spacefaring species. I escaped, but I can’t go back. So there’s this, all this stuff that they’re starting to layer about him that’s making him even more interesting and giving him more depth and making me as a viewer want to know more about his background.
Um, so it’s like everything they’re doing with him there is really cool, but there was an aspect of the storytelling of Saru, especially when he gets to the point where he’s like. This is it. I’m dying. I’m, I’m, I’m about to die. And takes Burnham and says, you’re the only one that knows me. And he’s giving him, giving her this whole speech and on the deathbed, only you can do this.
And she’s crying. And there’s this very, it’s supposed to be this overwhelming, overwhelmingly emotional scene. Let me relate this to Star Trek II Wrath of Khan. You’ve got Spock in the engineering bay. You’ve got Kirk on the outside. They’re talking to each other. Kirk is bawling his eyes out. The hands on the thing, they’re talking, and he’s like, you’re the most human, and the whole, that whole thing.
You are bawling your eyes out as a viewer because these characters have had that emotional connection, and we’ve had that emotional connection with them. Yeah. This was… Wait, how is Burnham the only person that understands Saru? We’ve never, we have never seen this. We’ve never been shown this on the show once.
Where the hell did this connection come from? This is like the writers saying, well, we got to fast forward this. Here you are. They’re emotionally connected, everybody. Well, it’s like, they’re not emotionally connected to me as a viewer. You’ve never shown me. You’re telling me they’re emotionally connected.
You never showed me. And that is really bad. really bad storytelling. That’s not just a minor mistake in my mind. That is horrendous writing, poor planning. They should have been planting those seeds for that from season one to now, and they didn’t, and they cheated, and they tried to fast forward and do something they hadn’t earned.
And this makes me so angry, because what they’re doing with Saru…
is amazing. But the fact that they tried to create this forced relationship between him and Burnham, they could have just left that all out. And she could have been still there. He could have been reaching out to her, but that conversation should have not happened because they did not earn
Unfortunate too, because there are so many moments in the series where they could have, they had perfect moments to build those character points. They wouldn’t have had, I mean, what you’ve just asked for didn’t even require major rewriting of episodes or different episodes than we had. There were so many opportunities when.
Burnham and Saru reconnect after her treason, he does have a speech that he makes to her in which he could have included, I thought you and I were a team. And then you pulled the rug out from underneath me and I realized that I was a sucker for thinking you and I were even friends. That as a moment in season one would have been the beginning of the path to lead us to this moment.
To this. Yeah. Because you could have then had. In all the episodes that followed, moments between the two of them would have been him begrudgingly understanding maybe the things I saw before were true, her trying to convince them that they were, that they could be again, and then they get to this moment.
We’ve been through hardships. We’ve been through rough times. You know who does that? Family. You are my family. He could have said to her at any point in any episode prior to this, I have always been the only Kelpien, but I never felt As alone as I did until I felt deceived by you because with you, I’ve never felt alone.
Saying lines like that, 10 seconds at any moments up to this point would have earned that moment. For me, the episode came to a screeching halt during his speech, as you said, where I knew, Oh, we’re supposed to be feeling a thing, but they’re trying to manufacture it right here, right now. And it’s not working.
The episode works on an emotional level. Every time you go back in engineering, when they sing David Bowie, when Stamets says to Tilly before trepanning her, her temple, because they realize in order to connect to Tilly has now been captured by the alien. In order to connect and communicate with that alien, we need to actually put sensors directly into Tilly’s brain.
In order to do that, we’re going to have to physically drill into her because we’re trapped in engineering. In that moment, Stamets goes up, what’s your favorite song? And they sing David Bowie to each other. The emotional gut punch, first of all, the emotional gut punch of just that song for me is an emotional trigger that works immediately.
Second, you put this scene on top of that song. Now you’re firing on all cylinders. As they’re singing and he suddenly drills into her and she screams and then they’re done. And Jet Reno is standing up to the side with basically like, I can’t. I friggin believe I just watched that happen. It’s like all of that is emotionally charged.
Then you go to this follow up scene of like, you’ve always been my sister. And I’m like, Oh boy, they just like thunk. Like a, like a brick dropping to
the floor. They earned it. From the very beginning between Tilly and Stamets, from the very beginning, even when he was that acerbic, nasty person, you, the relationship between the two of them grew over time.
Yeah. And. That loving relationship started to show up and you could tell that Stamets really looked at her as a genius in her own right and was kind of like taking her under his wing and trying to kind of help her out. So they had earned that emotional moment when they did that. And it’s like, it’s amazing.
It’s the same writers. It’s like you guys nailed it over here and you
shanked it over there. Yeah, it’s nuts. Like, to put a minor capstone on the Saru stuff, the ultimate place that they bring Saru is remarkable. They bring a character whose defining characteristic was fear, and they bring him into a new place at the end of this episode where he is like, how do I live with this?
How do I save my people? How do I convince my people that their entire philosophy of life is wrong? How do I break the prime directive to do that? Like all of these things are remarkable places to bring that character. It is tremendous. And the Tilly side of it, the acting from Wiseman, For her performance here, when she talks about who she was as a teen, how she rejected a friend, how she was not a good friend, her relationship to Stamets and Stamets saying like, that may have been who you were, but that’s not who I know.
And you’ll be the person that I know again, because we’ll get you through this. The support, the relationship there is, is perfectly rendered. I absolutely love all those moments. And it’s preceded by some great stuff with Tig Notaro as Jet Reno in the back and forth of Stamets, basically two engineers, both flexing at each other.
Like, you think you, you think you’re smart, you think you can do like, I could build anything out of anything. Well, I could think anything out of anything, blah, blah, blah, blah. And the back and forth between the two of them is so much fun. And it leads to them, you can, it’s, it’s very telegraphed. It’s like old TV show, standby, introduce two people who don’t like each other and force them to work together.
That’s we’ve seen it a million times. It’s obvious that that’s what’s happening here, but it’s fun to watch because the performers are having fun doing it. And Tig Notaro’s, you know, like anybody have any gum, Tilly very awkwardly walking between the two of them with a container of grape gum. I’ve got grape.
And then walks up with a gum and then offers it to Stamets very awkwardly. Like the comedic timing on all of their parts is in great form. It’s a beautifully rendered scenario that they keep going back to. And I love the context of the Saru storyline, but not the practice of it. On the screen, it just falls apart because it doesn’t work even with the emotional acting that is coming out of two people.
One of whom is Doug Johns, again, complete prosthetics across his face, yet he can act his ass off. And on the other side, you’ve got, uh, Burnham. She is blubbering through that entire scene and you really get the sense like she is acting her heart out. Nothing preceding this episode built up to this moment so it really is there for being there and there for being what the show needs moving forward and I get that.
I just wish it had arrived at that location a little bit better. And ultimately, all of this is wrapped up together. The Burnham and the planetoid storylines, when they finally discover, with Saru’s help, as he is, like, it’s been asking for our attention. It has not been trying to do anything nefarious. It is not even aware of It’s potential harm to us as they figure out if we just let it do what it wants to do, which is share its story and right.
The idea of intimacy, the idea of sharing, the idea of revealing who you are to another and being remembered beyond your life is all this episode is about. And on the flip side of the Planetoid experience, it. Of course, classic Star Trek ending, the very danger becomes the solution, it has the ability to save the Discovery even while dying.
And ends its life by sharing everything. And they have a moment, which for better or worse, like I’m a little okay. I’m a little not okay with some of the details of Pike listening to early translations of some of the messages from the planetoid that was like, okay, we didn’t need that. It could have just been Pike saying like, we’re beginning to decipher some of this information and.
Federation scientists are going to be looking at this for 300 years. Like this is, there’s so much here that we’re going to have to figure out the idea that it would have already just interpreted historical data of a war between two planets that lasted. I love the fact that it said it was nonsense. It was absolutely nonsense.
I love that it said the war lasted for a hundred years. What is a year to two different planets? Like hand waving and a war between these two planets. You’ve never heard of lasted a hundred years, which is three days. The year on that planet is three days. The year on the other planet is 300 days. So you figure out what we mean.
Like it would have been fine if it, I actually, in that moment, I was like, they couldn’t have said it lasted a certain number of light years, like. Lasted 0. 08 light years would have made more sense because mathematically that’s going to be the same no matter where you are in the universe. By saying it lasted a hundred years.
I’m sorry, planetoid, it lasted how long? Uh, and that was just the most minor, minor little nitpick. But in that moment I was just like, wait, what? Yeah. Um. So they’ve got this huge repository now of information, and they’re talking about memory, and they’re talking about remembrance, and they’re talking about intimacy, and knowledge, and self, and all of that, and that is what Saru’s storyline is about.
In its entirety, his worldview is now gone, and we’re on the precipice of some very new Saru storytelling, and I’m very excited to get into those in the future. And then, still left hanging, and then we talked about this last week. Different way of approaching this might have been to give Tilly an episode to let Mary Weissman actually be the A plotline instead of making her the C plotline for three weeks running.
But here we are again with Tilly now being pulled inside the alien and it cocooning her. Enforcing a rescue, which turns out to be an hallucinogenic dream, which the hallucinogen aspect of all of this, they very quickly are like, Oh, she’s. It’s a fungi. It’s releasing acids into her system that are effectively putting her into an acid trip.
So when they try to rescue her, it turns out both Stamets and Reno are also now tripping and they have a funny depiction of, you know, you’ve got a great aura. I like your aura too. And then wait, slap me. And figuring out that what they thought was happening was not happening. The rescue of Tilly did not actually happen.
And then a very Alice in Wonderland like. Ending of opening up the cocoon again and the camera withdrawing into the cocoon to indicate Tilly is no longer even there. So it is this sort of otherworldly now through the looking glass introduction at the credits so that we know what’s coming next is going to be something completely other and focused on Tilly.
And that of course will be next episode. Matt, was there anything else about this episode that stood out that you wanted to make sure we talked about before we jump into our closing statements? Yeah. The
only other thing I want to kind of bring up again is I thought the comic relief on this episode was top notch.
You brought it up in that sequence with the way they were tripping, uh, the when they Got rid of the electricity, you know, the, the surge and they had, it was like that Jurassic Park moment where the kid stands up and he’s like stumbling across the room. Cause he’s been electrocuted on the fence. There was a moment where like in this, where Tilly sits up and her hair is just frizzy and everywhere because she’s been like electrically charged.
So there’s all these moments that were just pitch perfect. It wasn’t overdone. It was very quick, like a little one liner and on you go. Just to put that comic relief at just the right moments to release some tension, have some fun, and be playful, which again, to me is important for Star Trek. So it’s not overwhelming with how much tension and suspense and all that kind of stuff they’re trying to put in there.
So I thought the comic relief in this entire episode was just
like really well done. I agree. I always appreciate the great comedic performances that have been in Trek since the very beginning. The ability of all of the actors who’ve been in the various shows to be able to have a perfect comedic timing and the show writers to always carry a hint, a hint of, remember, we’re having fun at the same time as talking about these deep issues.
And for me, that’s another, we’ve talked recently about what does it mean to be Trek? And that for me is also part of it. A sense of fun, a sense of whimsy, a sense of wonder that’s on display here. So next time, we are going to be talking about episode 5, Saints of Imperfection. And please jump into the comments and share your speculations about what that’s about.
As always, wrong answers only. Matt, I know you’ve been busy with moving into your new home, but I anticipate by the time this episode airs, you’ll have some stuff going on, including a trip. Do you want to talk a little bit about what you have going on in your main channel and what you have going on with your trip?
for the trip, I’m going to be going to, it’s actually this week, I’m going to Vancouver for the Fully Charged Live. Event. So it will already happened by the time this episode comes out. But, um, it’s a really fun ev um, home energy hacks kind of conference expo that, uh, fully the YouTube channel fully charged just around the world.
They do it in Australia and the UK and Europe, uh, down in San Diego. And this one’s up in Vancouver. Um, I’ve been to one once before and it was a blast. I’m really looking forward to it. And then on the channel, um, I’m going to have videos coming up about my house, the new stuff I’ve got going on here. Uh, but those are still a few weeks off.
Um, the one that’s going to be coming out around the time that this episode comes out is going to be about the additive manufacturing. Sean and I just did an episode about this, um, on Still to Be Determined. I had an interview with Paul Gradle from NASA about additive manufacturing and how they’ve made a rocket that is…
Really kind of breaking boundaries, and it’s being unlocked because of additive manufacturing, 3D printing. And so I have an episode on Undecided coming up that dives deeper into that and what that
actually means. Oh, sounds fantastic. As for me, you can look for my books anywhere you buy your books. That includes your local bookstore, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or your public library.
And if you want to find out more about my writing in general, you can check out seanferrell. com. Don’t forget, if you’d like to support the show, please do leave a review wherever it was you found this. That could be Apple, Google, Spotify, wherever. Go back there, leave a review. Don’t forget to subscribe and don’t forget to share it with your friends.
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