Matt and Sean talk about everyone being backed into corners, desperate actions, and questionable decisions. Star Trek Discovery is starting to build out the characters and the rest of the season. Still a good Star Trek ride?
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Welcome everybody to Trek in Time, where we’re watching every episode of Star Trek in chronological order, and we’re also talking about the context at the time of original broadcast. Right now, we’ve just begun discovery, which means not only are we talking about discovery, we’re talking about 2017. Yes.
Remember, 2017 when everything was golden and there were rainbows everywhere. And who are we? Well, I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a writer. Write some sci-fi, write some stuff for kids, including the soon to be published, the Sinister Secrets of Singe available on pre-order Now. Plug. Plug. Go get it. And with me is my brother Matt.
He’s that Matt behind 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 doing good. And we just saw each other this weekend, so it’s a little funny having a conversation like just saw each other two days ago. We could probably have recorded this in front of mom and dad.
No, that’d been fun.
Oh, that would’ve been great. Mom and dad really would’ve loved it. Yes. Mom would’ve kept asking questions while we were recording. Yes. And Dad would’ve slept through the whole thing. Yes. Would’ve been delightful. And as I pointed out to Matt and maybe viewers, maybe you’ve noticed this, maybe you didn’t.
I recently was looking at our history of videos and kind of like hovering over some of the thumbnails and realized that I had a pattern of wearing the same shirt for every recording week after week after week, which created the false impression possibly that we recorded all these in one afternoon. No, this is a weekly report or do you have one set of clothes or I have one set of clothes, much like a Starfleet officer.
Hello, Riker. I see you’re wearing the same outfit again. Before we get into our conversation about the most recent episode and get into the nitty gritty of what was going on in 2017, we like to share some thoughts and comments from our viewers on previous episodes. So Matt, do you wanna dig into the comments?
Sure. There’s been an influx of really interesting comments of people reacting to discovery, cuz it’s like we’ve now shifted from enterprise into discovery. So it’s been kind of fun seeing people’s reactions to, mm-hmm. Does this feel like Star Trek? Is this a good star Trek show, a bad Star Trek show?
There were comments from people like Daniel who wrote, I’ve started Rewatching Discovery season one due to these discussions. I agree. It’s better than I remembered. Another comment along those lines from Dan Sims. I was so excited about the new Trek when this aired. It hadn’t been like a decade without watching any, and it sucked me back in.
I know it was a bit different, but I didn’t mind, and I think that I’m liking it more the second time around, like Matt said, with a more critical eye. But then on the flip side, we got comments like this that were shared by Jason Dumb. He said hard disagree on the writing cause you and how were complimenting the writing on the last episode.
I was disappointed with almost every creative decision this show made. I wish they called the show generic sci-fi. I might have been more on board as a star Trek show. I kind of feel insulted. I’m enjoying the conversation. So he’s enjoying us talking about it, but clearly not a fan of discovery. And I just kinda wanna include that because it’s like he wasn’t alone.
There were other people that seemed to fall on both sides of the. The fence of they very interesting. They appreciate the show more than they realized on our second rewatch. And then other people are like, Nope, definitely not for me. But at least they’re enjoying the conversation of us talking about it.
Yeah. I think as we’re getting deeper into this first season, and now we’re at season, we’re at episode four, it’s, I am seeing how it straddles one foot in star Trek and one foot in just sci-fi in general. It does have a slightly different flavor than I remembered, and I think that it for me may be born of the fact that I watched all of this as an adult through, you know, enterprise.
And then we had a long gap of more than 10 years before we had another Star Trek program on, we had had star Trek movies made. That to me, felt more like Star Wars Akin as opposed to Star Trek. Mm-hmm. And then this felt like a return. To a Trek that I recognized as Trek, but then with further time passing and a show like Strange New Worlds emerging.
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Which to me feels like even deeper into Trek lore. This does start to feel a little bit more one foot out of the camp, and it feel, it feels
like a foot into JJ Abrams,
star Trek than, yeah. Classic Trek. So, yeah. Yeah. But having said that, I still think. It’s remarkably well done and well conceived, and I’m enjoying the rewatch it.
It’s hitting a lot of nice notes for me, especially after some of the episodes of Enterprise where it felt like, okay, I’m gonna drag myself through this episode because it’s just kind of a boggy one, the model of streaming service, tough television, where you know you’re getting 10 episodes. And it’s, mm-hmm.
Like each one feels like, okay, they’re clearly making progress through the big story arc. That’s, this feels more energized and energetic to me. Mm-hmm. So I’m enjoying that aspect of it as well. But that noise in the background, of course our regular listeners will recognize that as the read alert, which can mean only one thing.
It’s time for Matt to talk with the Wikipedia description. Here’s a little warning to everybody. The Wikipedia descriptions for discovery. Are wildly different from the Wikipedia descriptions of enterprise. So are they truly Wikipedia descriptions? No. They start with Wikipedia descriptions and then I have started just throwing together.
A quick synopsis of big plot points. So, Matt, take it away. Okay.
The butcher’s knife cares not for the lambs cry is the fourth episode of the fifth first season of the American Television series, star Trek Discovery, which is set roughly a decade before the events of the original star Trek series and explores the war between the federation and the Klingons, the episode was written by Jesse Alexander and Aron Eli Coleite.
It was directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi. In this episode, the war of with the Klingon does not go well. A federation di lithium mining colonies under attack and out of reach by any ship except discovery Lorca makes promises to Admiral Cornwell that they’re ready. Chief Engineer Stamets doesn’t believe the ship can jump that far safely, and they nearly jump into a star.
Burnham discovers that the Tardigrade isn’t aggressive, and by, by using Saru. And that is an unusual connection to the spores that drive their ship by using Tilly. The Tardigrade with some painful manipulation is wired to the ship and allows for a heroic jump, but Burnham wonders at what cost. Meanwhile, Voq and Terrell are scrambling to save the last of T’Kuvma’s crew and are betrayed and stranded by Lorrell leaving the two of them alone and needing to find another way to unite the Klingons.
Man, so there you go. Just that simple. It was that simple. As Matt mentioned, directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi Teleplay by Jesse Alexander and Aron Eli Coleite, and the episode Stars. Guest Appearances by Michelle Yao once again as Captain Georgiou, Jane Brook as a d m Katrina Cornwell. Mary Chieffo as L’Rell Wilson Cruz as Dr.
Hugh Culver. Kenneth Mitchell as Cole and Rika Sharma as C V r Ellen Landry, the original air date of this episode, October 8th, 2017. And Matt, you’ll remember better than most what you were screaming into your bedroom mirror while holding a hairbrush. As a makeshift microphone. That’s right. It was Rockstar by Post Malone featuring 21 Savage, 44 million downloads on that one this week.
Wow. And at the movie theaters, we were lining up to see an unexpected, from my perspective, sequel. Blade Runner 2049. This is of course the sequel to the 1981 Sleeper Hit. Basically, blade Runner came out with a thud and then turned into one of the most pivotal sci-fi classics of a generation. Having impacts on everything from clothing to architecture for decades, blade Runner 2049 opened strong with 32 million, and in television we are working our way through a list of the most streamed television series of 2017.
And previously we had Game of Thrones. We also had the Walking Dead. And at number three we have Pretty Little Liars on Freeform, which had an average of 6.5 million downloads per episode and in the news from the New York Times on this day. There was an article about Steven Paddock examining him. He was the Las Vegas gunman who opened fire at an Eagles of Death metal concert.
There was also description about the resistance raising big money upending liberal politics, the pushback against President Trump’s presidency. Was referring to itself as the resistance in an attempt to keep civil liberties alive. So about this episode, our discussion starts with Michael Burnham is now a, basically, almost like an auxiliary member of the discovery crew.
She, we see her creating her uniform. She does not have the full. Uniform in that she does not have the badge and she is clearly missing it. And we start off with an introduction to her being visited by Tilly who delivers a package to her, which is the last will and testament of Captain Georgiou. A heartbreaking moment for Burnham, and she cannot face the reality of what it might mean.
How did you feel? I want to talk about this episode in kind of, Out of order, the relationship with Georgiou, the relationship with Tilly, the impact of the last will and testament package. Mm-hmm. What did you think about that as an element of this episode? It felt to me a
little out of place with what was happening in the episode.
It didn’t feel like it tied in as, as tightly as it could have thematically, but as a character development, I thought it was really. Nice. It was very touching to see the ramifications of her original decisions continuing
to ripple throughout the
series. So I did like it, but I just thought it could have tied in more directly to what the main, a plot line of the episode was.
I’m impressed by the character development, the relationship between Burnham and Tilly in the scenes. Yes. Where we see the two of them talking to each other and Tilly basically saying, if this found its way to you. Then it is yours. You’ve earned it. Right? Right. And it’s a nice kind of reassuring moment and it’s done.
Again, I like the, I do like the writing. I like the Tilly’s moment of sharing. This is to start off with, as my mother would always say, now that’s not true. My mother did nothing but criticize me. It’s the, it’s this opportunity where she shows a little bit about herself while also. Forging a nicer bond with Burnham.
I did find myself wondering though, how is it that after the battle at the binary stars, there’s nothing but calamity for, for Starfleet out of that battle? Mm-hmm. How did this object, which is a telescope, get reclaimed?
Don’t, don’t think about it after. Don’t think too hard, John, that battle. Don’t think too hard.
You can’t think. Stop thinking, stop thinking. You can’t do that. I can’t help it. I can’t help it. It’s, it’s part, it’s part of the reason I was kinda like, I, I liked the character development of this, but it didn’t tie into the entire episode and that same thing was crossing my mind. Of like, wait, is there some kinda like mail ship that like runs around delivering stuff like the UPS delivery guy?
Because yeah, they’re out on the fringes of space and they even say, you’re the only ship close enough to go help this colony, but yet we were still able to make the mail delivery. It was like, yeah, that was, don’t think about it. Don’t think about it. Yeah.
But I also like the idea that there’s somehow Starfleet cruise.
Combing through ships and they’re like, we have to see if there’s anything in the captain’s office that should be reclaimed, but we’re gonna leave di lithium crystals in the engine and we’re not gonna bother with the fact that there are Klingons on that ship over there that’s dead in space, very hand wavy.
It’s a moment for me where the conversation is
well written. Were they imp, were they implying that that came from the ship? Because that, that’s not what I took.
It is the telescope was on the ship. In the first episode, Georgiou shows it to Burnham and shows her and Saru something to look at through the, that’s, that’s how they identify the object that’s in space.
They’re looking through and seeing it physically even dumber. So yeah. Okay. So it’s this thing where it’s like, that’s why when you see the telescope, it actually looks damaged. Yeah, it did not look like that at the original depiction where it was like very well maintained and now it’s been damaged, but somehow reclaimed.
And I just like the idea that somehow somebody reclaimed it while there’s a Klingon ship that has a crew aborted that’s dead in space, they should be taken as prisoners if Starfleet is actually in that location of space and saying like, don’t forget the captain’s telescope. Like, what are we gonna do with these Klingons over here?
Ah, anyway, it’s a, it’s a case where the scene, the, they built a scene that doesn’t make sense so that they could have nice moments within it. Yes, and I understand that, but I don’t always forgive it. Um, and this is one of those cases where I’m like, this just does, it kind of like stood up as, as a moment.
I was just like, this doesn’t really serve a purpose if it’s that poorly conceived. So mm-hmm. I had an issue with that. But the, the main thrust of this episode, Is really about the performance of the ship, and I think that there were a couple of, we’ve talked about this before, the A plot, the B Plot. This is one of those cases where the two of them kind of do stay isolated from each other, but spin around each other really nicely so that you can see the synergy between the two of them.
On the one hand, we have Burnham being tasked with, you’ve gotta figure out how to weaponize the Tardigrade. It’s, she begins to do the research, which is piecing together the similarities between this Rhinoceres sized thing in the holding cell compared to microscopic organisms that live on earth. She begins to piece together tendencies in the creature.
She wonders about aggressive qualities, and she begins to piece together that it’s not aggression, but self-defense. And is using a detective like Vulcan Logic to say, well, what happened on the sister ship involved this thing, and this thing showed up as a result of a large storage compartment full. Of the spores that are being used in the research of the new warp drive.
So she pieces these, piece these things together and tests out her theory by feeding some of the spores to the creature and discovers this strange symbiosis between it and the spores, and then even demonstrates it by releasing the Tardigrade into. The growing chamber where on this ship, Stamets is actually growing his own spores, so it’s not as highly concentrated as the storage compartments on the sister ship.
And when the creature is released, they can witness the spores and the Tardigrade in this symbiotic relationship. From this point, they then have to make a big leap forward into, well, what does that mean as far as how to utilize this? What does it represent? And they began to piece together with what they salvaged from the sister ship previously harnesses that they couldn’t figure out supercomputer issues that they couldn’t figure out.
And when they piece these together with the Tardigrade, they realized the Tardigrade has this relationship to the spores, which have a relationship to the network, the mycelium network that runs through all reality. So effectively the Tardigrade as a navigator can see all of space. Allowing them to utilize it as their navigation device.
Their one attempt to do the leap in order to save the de lithium mine mm-hmm. Ends nearly in calamity. If they had gone just a little bit further, they would’ve been inside a star. Yeah. But they end up. In the corona of a star and just managed to get the warp engines running normally and jet out of there before the ship is damaged.
So without the Tardigrade, they’ve already demonstrated without the Tardigrade, they cannot do this. But once they utilize the Tardigrade, they’re able to do something pretty magnificent, which is run to the defense of this mining. This mining colony. Right. What did you think about the damsel in distress quality of the mining colony?
a little, um, paint by numbers to me would be the best way to put it. It felt like, oh, classic movie trope. Okay, oh, cute little kid. What are we gonna do, daddy? Kind of a thing. It was like a little too, wow. You guys could have. Could have amped this up a little bit. That’s a little more original, but, uh, but no, you went the kid route.
Okay. All right. Kid on a mining colony. Gotcha. Okay. So it was, anyway, I did not like that. But the whole sequence of what they did to get there and how they got there and what the reaction was like, I thought was good. So it’s like, it’s, it’s kind of the same thing as what you were just complaining about for how did the telescope get there?
There’s a whole bunch of, that’s kind of stupid. But at a high level, there’s a whole bunch of really good storytelling that comes out of the stupid kind of wash. So I, I am forgiving of it, of that, you know, paint by numbers aspect because the stuff that we get with our main characters out of it is
Yeah, I completely agree. They, they have a reference at one point to the De Lithium mine. Is responsible for 40% of the federation’s de lithium. I’m like, well, that’s poorly conceived, like putting all your eggs in one basket. I was gonna say, it’s a good
thing it’s all your eggs in one basket and that you had no ships there to protect it because you’re at war.
It’s like, well, they mentioned, they did mention that the, the blockade that the federation had was run. Like the Klingons got through it. Okay. They, they effectively, and, and here’s where I, I think there might have been an opportunity for a little more detail, a little more context as far as how is the war going.
We do get a reference from the Klingon side where the Klingon are taking the approach of, we see a Klingon arrive at T’Kuvma dead ship, and what is left of the crew is operating under the control of Voq. But they have no food. They’re all starving. They have literally eaten the dead that they’ve been able to harvest from the various ships.
And there’s an unsettling conversation in which, uh, the fact that they ate Captain Georgiou is referred to. Yep. An aspect of this that I thought was really disturbing and also like really kind of pushed the Klingon into. Very interesting territory for me, like the idea of eating the dead and in this conversation with the Klingon, the leader of another house who shows up and says, I’m here because you know, you guys need my help, but I also need yours.
You have technology that would be useful in our efforts because you have a ship that is able to cloak. The cloaking technology you have is better than anything around, so let’s, what can we do to work together? This leader will come back and eventually buy off Voq’s. Entire crew just by bringing them food, and it turns the tables on Voq as far as the potential leader of a reunification campaign within the Klingon Empire.
But when Cole shows up, his first statement is one of like, let’s keep this this thing going. We’ve got a good thing going. But then later on he says to Voq. Who expresses shock at the idea of like, why would you do this? Why would you turn, why would you lure my crew away from me? Why would you turn against T’Kuvma’s teachings?
And Cole says All of that is fine for right now, and we will be unified as until we finish this war with the Federation. But once that’s over, we’re gonna turn on our. Turn against ourselves again, and there needs to be somebody, one house that has enough strength to actually force everybody to stay in line.
What I found interesting about that was the very casual when we’re done with Starfleet, when we’re done with this war. Yeah, yeah, it is. It presents the sort of hand waviness of that, which I think is earned in this scene. Normally hand waving this, you know, you, you, you. If you can sense the hand waviness, you don’t want to see it.
You want to like, well, why did they do it that way? But in this case, this is a moment where they are telling us a lot from the Klingon perspective, the war is going well. Yes. And they don’t have a problem with dealing with Starfleet. This commander is already looking down the road at how am I gonna become the top dog and keep the Klingon Empire Unified, but under my control.
So this isn’t, oh, we need this weapon so we can defeat Starfleet. I need this weapon so that I can keep everybody in line. So the hand waviness is information as opposed to obscuring of information. What we get on the other side is hand waviness that does not provide information. I wanted more information.
I think that they made a mistake in the Corvan is responsible for 40% of our de lithium. W I think it needed to be, you need to go to this sector of space because we just lost 12 ships. They needed to refer to the devastating attack of the Klingons being able to run a blockade to the effect of actually being able to even get to this colony.
Mm-hmm. What sort of devastating impact that they had on star fleet’s? Numbers? There hasn’t been that kind of, and I go back to, in. Yesterday’s enterprise from Star Trek Next Generation Picard’s little speech where he says The war does not go well for the federation. It’s this. We needed that kind of information as opposed to, oh, we’re, it’s all about saving the de lithium crystals it.
Mm-hmm. Should have been like, We’re now running out of ships and discovery can’t continue to be lurking in the background as an also that is
ran, but that comes for me. That came across more clearly than I think it did for you because it’s it. There wasn’t like a sentence or two that somebody said that made it clear, but it was clear through everything else, the urgency for the lithium mine.
Was clearly a, we’re kind of screwed, and if this happens, we’re just done because Lorca says that we’re done, like federation is done if we don’t save this. And then there’s the whole aspect of how willing, how risky he and other members of the crew are willing to be in light of this. Which shows the war is not going well.
The fact the sister ship did what it did and killed the entire crew because they were pushing things too fast and too far shows how desperate the federation is. So I think the desperation of the Federation, how badly the war is going, is coming across from what the Federation is doing. It’s like it’s compromising itself.
And that’s something else that happens in the episode that for me was verging on mustache twirling. But like when Burnham is doing the whole exploration of trying to figure out what the Tardigrades deal is, um, the security officer is so, Just comes across as evil. Like the way she comes in and goes, the captain wants this and is like pulling out a phaser and like ready to start just killing things.
Yeah. It was like that felt a little too, what the hell? One note, one dimensional. There’s no, you’re reading into this character. It’s like, this character seems to be taking glee in doing this now. It’s like, this seemed a little weird, but
it’s like they could’ve, it felt like it was, it was set up merely to kill her.
Right. Yeah. But at the same time, they could have added a little depth to that scene. We’re showing her maybe with some slight reluctance of like, I get it, but this is where we’re at right now. And like, right. You know, showing that there’s some kind of desperation behind what she’s doing. Instead, she comes across as just as this evil Starfleet person, which was a little weird.
I think they could have strengthened the point you’re making by making a small adjustment to like some of the performances without having to write. Explicit dialogue or explicit things because to me, did start, it was coming across the federation is desperate and is doing things to, out of, out of the norm because of that
Well, I think that desperation is, I, I, I appreciate it when it’s done explicitly and implicitly. And this one relies, I think so much on implicit. Yeah. That it’s a little too vague. And some of the critical response to this episode I thought was interesting. A lot of. Criticism said this felt like it was meandering and aimless.
And I think that that’s because there’s no explicit statement of like if somebody had said, right, if the admiral had said at the beginning, we are losing this war, you need to go do this because we are have no other ships to send, as opposed to all of our other ships are too far away. Mm-hmm. It’s like that kind of explicit, like we are running out of ships, you now have to fill a hole in the net.
That we have would’ve been a little bit more, yeah, we’re losing the war stated outright. What we see implicitly, not only do we see Lorca make demands of his crew that are, he’s running them through, through drills where when they lose he. Completely berates the entire crew. Mm-hmm. On their way to trying to defend the mining colony, he plays the recording of the distress call, which includes in the background the child who’s on the mine mining colony.
And he is like, mommy, help me. Like, it’s like, okay, this is, you know, but he’s doing these things because of desperation or Burnham expresses. Or not? Yeah. Burnham refers to, again, the desperation that Burnham is operating from is very implied as opposed to being explicitly stated. Mm-hmm. Her desire to figure out the Tardigrade leads her to use multiple crew members in ways that are, if not questionable or immoral, are just rude.
You know, she brings Saru into the room ostensibly, in a way to tell him how sorry she is for things that had happened in the past. But then she refers in a kind of cold, Vulcan way. Yeah, your ganglia aren’t responding to this thing, so clearly you don’t see it as a threat. So therefore, that’s the information I wanted and that’s why you’re here.
And later, one step down from that, it’s not quite as heavily hit upon. But she basically uses her friendship with Tilly to get some of the spores. And there’s a reference to, you could have been fired for this, but Tilly is like, yeah, but I believe in what you’re doing. But it is an element of Burnham’s. I think it’s a, it’s, I think it’s another element of Burnham being backed into a corner.
She is so desperate to figure out these details that she’s willing to let a friend put her career in danger. In order to get what she needs for the next step of the experimentation. These are things that I think are, are constant demonstrations that these characters feel backed into corners. Yeah. I appreciate that position as a, as a dilemma, but some of the stuff that is done is so implied that I think that it made for some of the criticism at the time that this episode aired.
To be. This doesn’t feel like it’s cohesive. Even on the Klingon ship. Everybody on the Klingon ship has backed into a survival corner. Voq and his entire crew, they’re starving to death. Here comes Cole, who simply by providing food buys the entire crew gets a hold of the ship. Voq is then out and left to die.
On the Shenzou. Mm-hmm. Where he’s completely alone until he discovers that L’Rell, who has demonstrated a loyalty to him and has backed him. And they have a couple of scenes with the two of them where it verges on romantic, but it falls backward into on loyalty and honor. Yeah, in an interesting way where she is basically saying like, I’ve committed myself to you in a way that goes beyond like being a member of the house.
She refers to her family ancestry, including a house that was considered, and I thought this was an, an interesting little peak into larger Klingon culture. One of the houses that she was related to was one that was considered duplicitous and, and, uh, deceitful. So her mother, who was from that house, told her, you need to figure out which allegiance you’re going to follow.
And she clearly followed the, the Warrior House, but now is reassigning herself effectively to Voq. So it’s a reawakening of the deceitful house because presented with Cole, the opportunity to join the crew and feast or stand by Voq. She at first looks like she goes for the feast. Yeah. And makes a big demonstration of grabbing food and eating it in a way that’s just like in your face.
I’m, I’m starving to death. Yep. But at the end, she’s now with him and says, I’ve stolen a small Raider. We have the opportunity to get away. We’re gonna have to figure something out. And Voq, and she look at each other like, we don’t know what we’re gonna do, but at least we have each other. And it’s no there.
The hinting of romantic stuff I thought was interesting considering by the end of the episode, to me it looked clear like. This is not about romance. This goes into something about belief in the calling of unifying the Klingon empire. Did you agree with that? It’s
all about faith. Yeah. No, there was a, there was a scene where it looked like they were gonna kiss at one point.
Yeah. When they were kind of looking at each other over like the di lithium chamber thing. Yeah. But it was, it became clear by the end that this was more of a, a thing of faith. That she’s with him because of her belief in what their teachings mean. So I thought that was a very interesting development for that storyline.
I kinda wanna tie back to the Lorca stuff cuz I don’t wanna give spoilers away for anybody that’s watching for the first time, I don’t wanna give anything away about what happens over the course of the first couple seasons, but I forgot how much. Like layering they did with Lorca in the beginning because there’s, the way he acts is off and it’s weird.
Yeah. And he has that room that’s like the predator room. The predator trophy room. Yeah. Which is really bizarre. And that’s his kind of like little, like his little place he goes for a siesta to look at all the crazy weapons he’s got. It’s like there was a whole aspect of him. I forgot they were laying the groundwork for that.
Not to give spoilers. Pays off in a way. Yeah. I just, my first time viewing it, I did not pick up on all these clues. Yeah. And all these things they were layering in for him and it’s, I just find it fascinating what they’re doing
with this character. Yeah, I do. I do too. I really like the character and I like the little touches, like him eating octopus.
Yeah. Something about that. In this episode, him eating octopus with his hands is just like, it’s a little. I mean, we’re, we’re accustomed to, but seeing how like other, yes. Other species and other cultures in the show have different ways of consuming things by showing a captain. Eating with his hands lends the character a nuance that like, That’s Picard wouldn’t have done that.
Kirk wouldn’t done that. Archer wouldn’t have done that. Well, fact, he’s, he’s
leading with a stick. He’s not using a carrot for his, his crew, he’s using a stick. And the whole, like his berating of the crew when they fail the whole playing that horrific audio recording of the attack. It’s like all of that is so not what you would consider a good leader.
And he’s, he’s leading by strength.
will and fear and intimidation. It’s so not star Trek. It, it, it’s like, uh, the ganglia on us as a viewer is supposed to be going off with Lorca because of that, and I just forgot how much they were doing. Like little nuances. The way you’re talking about how he was eating, what he eats the whole, the dark room, like everything about this guy Yeah.
Is meant to get your spidey
senses even when. Uh, Cornwell, the admiral shows up and makes hers, yeah, holographic plea to him to go rescue this mining colony. Her initial response is, I didn’t realize you were eating. And it’s clearly like, she’s like, why are you eating in front of me? This is not how things are done.
And he doesn’t put the food away. He’s just like, he makes
a comment of like, yeah, protocols,
whatever. Just get, he’s just like, yeah, whatever. Like, I’m. Like, I’m hungry. And so he’s going to eat and she’s gonna have to suffer with him eating on this call. And you just imagine on the other end what a holographic figure looks like, who occasionally brings up food into their mouth and like that’s his, you know, a nice depiction of him rebuffing protocol and yeah.
On his own ship Rebuffing protocol by bringing Burnham in the way he has. We have another scene with Saru where he is talking to Burnham and she throws back into his face. You said I was an asset that was being wasted, and his response is basically to say, I was trying to be nice and I don’t think this is appropriate that you’re here.
I don’t know what Lorca is thinking. And I, and he even says, I don’t necessarily trust Lorca. Yeah. But I’m doing my job that I’m supposed to as his first officer. So there’s a lot of layers at work there that I think are, are really fascinating and the performance from. Lorca is top notch. I think as an actor, he’s, he’s doing a great job.
Can I ultimately,
can I ask you? Yeah. Okay. Go ahead. No, go ahead. I was gonna, I was gonna ask about ending Yeah, go ahead. Because I was gonna, the way that this show wraps up everything with they do, how they’re able to go in rescue the Colony, uh, and in the process of doing that, they find that the Tardigrade is.
It looks like the Tardigrade is being tortured every time they use the Tardigrade to jump, and every time there’s the slow zoom in on Burnham going with a look on her face that says This is not right on her face. Yeah, every time, single time. The way the show wraps everything up. I thought was a real, I understand the reviews that said this felt like a meandering episode, and for me, that kind of resonated, re resonates the most, the way it ended because it didn’t feel like a clear conclusion.
It felt like it just kind of ended and it wasn’t satisfying and it was, it left on a very dark note of, Where things are. Um, cuz it’s like you don’t get a clear resolution with the, the Klingon storyline. They get in their little ship and take off and then they are able to save the colony, but at what cost?
And she finally opens up the crate from Georgiou and finds the telescope. That makes no sense for why it’s even there. Yeah. And there’s this heartfelt, like, looking at that thing, so it’s like, it just, it just kind of ended. And there was no really clean conclusion to any of the storylines in a way that was satisfying.
Mm-hmm. How did you feel about the way they wrapped
everything up? I think that’s very, in the era of what television looks like now, I think a lot of TV does that and I think it’s very different from
most they, but most of the time they wrap up at least one of the storylines. Like you might have an A, B, and C plot, and then you wrap up the A plot, but you’re leaving B and C wide open to go into the next episode.
Mm-hmm. And so there’s this constant weaving of storylines, so you’re always getting some kind of conclusion in the last third
of that episode. I think in this one, the one that they concluded was the defending of the minor colony, and they, they did it Well. That was
unsatisfactory. I’ll say that.
I think they did it though in a way that was a little bit like presenting that the ship discovery would become almost mythological.
For right people in that era. The question being, okay, if we’re just 10 years before we know Kirk and the original crew on the original series are on enterprise, how come nobody’s talking about discovery? How come nobody’s talking about what that ship could do? Mm-hmm. How come nobody’s ever referred to there was a warp drive that could have done all these magnificent things?
How come none of that is a part of the cannon? And of course it’s not part of the cannon because it wasn’t there when they created the show, but now they’ve created this prequel show, so they have to explain that. And I think that the way they do it in that closing scene is there is the rescue of the mining colony, but then the ship blinks away before anybody from the mining colony can even see them.
So it leaves the question on the colonists part of who saved us, who rescued us? It’s this kind of mysterious superhero, like discovery is going to become a myth that. Like, oh, there are rumors that there was a ship that was doing a thing, but nobody knows who they were. So I think that storyline is the one concluding storyline.
The rest of it being, why is the Tardigrade. Look the way it does at the end of the episode. Is this a healthy relationship? Will Burnham be able to find a place and trust with a crew that looks at her skew? There is a reference in this. I think the only other thing, which is maybe a little bit of a conclusion is Tilly says, the crew’s looking at you differently now.
So it’s like, yeah, we get a, a little bit of a turn there, but I think that to me, this looks very much like streaming television. I’m, I’m, I’ve become accustomed to streaming television tells stories that don’t reach conclusions. I’m currently watching a new show, which is on Netflix, the Diplomat, which I think is a terrific program.
Episodes ended at moments when I was not anticipating it. Constantly, almost every episode ended with a like, oh, and this end of this scene, and here are the credits, because the next episode butts up against it so close. That’s where the current goes. And I think that that’s an element of this, and I think it’s an element of the program ultimately that may have been a part of what led to Fuller leaving the program.
Um, we talked previously, one of his original visions of this show was that it should be multiple seasons, but each season would be completely standalone and a different era. So that you would have something before the original series, then you’d have something during the original series, then something during Next Generation, and then something way into the future.
To tell those kinds of stories, episodically really does create a a need for story threads to last more than one episode. And when you do that, especially in conceiving, what does it mean to be a streaming show? Binge watching, binge watching was the, the, it’s weird to say that in 2023, we don’t view binge watching the same way we did in 2017.
I think in 2017, they were leading heavily into episodes, should stream one into the next so that the audience sits there and watches for eight hours and they’ve moved the other direction. They moved back the other direction back to what television looked like in 2004, 2005, where it’s. No, we need to release things slowly.
We need to get ad revenue. We need to do these things in order to recapture how we control what an audience can consume. So I think a TV show, a Trek show right now is being made with a different vision than was being made when this was made. And I do agree. It feels very much like, and. And as opposed to conclusion.
Mm-hmm. But it doesn’t surprise me because of when this was made. I think that, yeah, CBS especially was picking up on the lessons of programs that like Game of Thrones fell this way to me.
Oh, it didn’t feel this way to me. That’s what I’m getting at. It’s like a lot of streaming shows that I, I’ve watched and I’ve enjoyed that have this whole, like, it never really ends as this kind of weaves episode.
Episode. There’s always some kind of fundamental plot line that happened in that episode that kind of gives you a beginning, middle, and end. Even though there’s so many threads that are left out as cliff hangers to get you to go to watch the next, hit the next button, why hit the next button? And you
don’t see the mining colony story as that no ends.
And we don’t go back to the mining colony. It’s so,
but that’s my, that’s my point is like, if that to me felt like a C plot line, it felt like so weak sauce. So lame. And the real meat of the stuff to me was the whole thing around the Tardigrade and what Burnham was doing. And because that felt like that to me was the A plot line, and that was not resolved.
And it was not even kind of like, and the way to handle it just kind of felt like a wamp wamp the way the episode just suddenly ended. So that’s part of the reason why it kind of jumped out at me. Uh, it didn’t feel that way the first time I watched it, but it’s like, because I was watching it in that fast, like, I’ll just hit the next button.
I’ll watch the next episode. So it’s like, since we’re not doing it this time, yeah, I think
may be more. I think we see the same thing. I just think we have a different response to it because for me, yeah, the rescue of the mining colony was the one that was a conclusionary. Like here’s a conclusion. I think the Tardigrade storyline also had a conclusion in the form of they figured out that the Tardigrade has this relationship with the spores.
Like that was a, like what is this creature and how can we weaponize it? Oh, we don’t need to weaponize it. It’s part of this, it’s actually a part of the engine. So it’s like that’s a kind of conclusion, not a hard conclusion, but definitely I felt like there was an arc there cuz it starts with like, how do we use this?
And Burnham’s entire thing is like, why do we have to use it? And then she ends up using it and she feels bad. Mm-hmm. She realizes it’s a bad relationship. It’s like I thi I feel like there is an arc there that that worked, but I do also agree on what you’re saying, is that the place where I think that they were putting.
Like, okay, if there’s one storyline that’s gonna hold the energy of this episode, it’s gonna be the mining colony. And that was not a great storyline. It was. It was not. There wasn’t enough structure to it or meat to it to make it feel satisfying that, oh, thank goodness they saved that colony. And maybe it could have been, I just really just like, just spitballing.
Maybe the admiral needed to be at that colony. Maybe she needed to be at that site and be like, I need your help. You need to come find me. You need to come rescue me. Get here. And then for them to get there and have that moment of, you know, good thing you came here because you just saved all these colonists and all this de lithium, right?
Maybe just by having a present character as opposed to go over there and do that thing. And then they do the thing. Mm-hmm. It was a little easy to say like, That was it. Yeah. I also didn’t like the baby crying, like the, they made it seem very homestead, which I didn’t understand. Yes, yes. Like these are, I didn’t let it either.
Wagoneers going across space and like, I think I found some de lithium. Let’s dig it up and like Uhoh, here comes some people who hate us and like I was just like, why is it depicted in this way? Yeah. And they have zero military response at the colony. They’re, they’re so completely dependent. That’s on Starfleet in space that when Starfleet in space is knocked out, the colony just sits there and takes a bombarding.
Like, what is that? Like? It’s six months into a war and they haven’t put any sort of phaser cannons on the ground to be able to shoot up. That’s what, like this, things like that,
this ranks up to me with the mailman thing. It’s like you don’t, you can’t think critically on some of the episode. Yeah, because it
doesn’t make sense.
So kind of like big picture, what do you take away from this as far as what did this episode do that you think was valuable? For me, it was a lot of Lorca. For me it was, it was, you know, plot wise, it’s the stuff of the Tardigrade and the spores, the engine working them making a tremendous leap. I think that that stuff works, and I like Lorca and I like the simmering stuff between Saru and Burnham, and I like the growing bridges between Tilly and Burnham.
Some of the stuff that. You and I have already talked about, uh, in detail is stuff that didn’t work for us. I won’t regurgitate, but I do think that there was stuff here that was valuable for you. What do you, what do you take away from all this? It
was the character stuff and the, this episode to me felt like building bridges.
It was not an episode unto itself that’s like, it has an amazing episode. It’s more of a, okay, this is really helping to kind of establish the characters and the linkages that will pay off in future episodes. So this felt more like a, a bridge episode to me. So for me it was really around Burnham and um, Lorca, specifically between the two of them, the establishing who they are and what they kind of stand for.
I agree with that. So viewers, what do you think? Did you find this to be. One like Matt has described as there’s not enough meat on any of these bones for me to feel like this is a complete story and a complete episode on its own, or do you agree with me that. This kind of felt like what TV can feel like now in a streaming world where you’re dealing with a long-term storyline instead of relying on episodic storyline.
Jump into the comments and let us know your thoughts. Next time. We’re gonna be talking about the episode, choose Your Pain, and in the past I’ve asked Matt what he predicts an episode is about, but I’m gonna take a different tack this time. Viewers, I’m asking you. What do you think choose your pain is going to be about?
And if you are rewatching the show and you remember what this is about, I’m gonna give you another rule that you have to live by. Guess what you think, choose your pain is about, but wrong answers only.
Before we sign off, Matt, do you have anything you wanted to share with the viewers and listeners about what you have it coming up on your main channel? Have a
episode coming out about an update about my home build. I’m building a net zero energy home and, uh, there’s a lot of stuff that’s happened, so there’s an episode coming out about that.
As for me, you can check out my website, sean Ferrell dot com, look for my books there. And as I mentioned at the top of the episode, My newest book, the Sinister Secrets of Singe, will be coming out in early June. It’s available for pre-order right now, so I would greatly appreciate anybody’s interested in that, picking it up.
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