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Star Trek: Discovery - Disco isn't dead

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
Husband: “How many ghost boyfriends is this show going to have?”

Good on them for using queer actors to tell a queer story using Star Trek’s queerest allegory. I have all kinds of emotions about that episode that I don’t quite know how to express. Let’s just say I... reacted to it.

Kind of funny how this season manages to be a parade of death while staying the most hopeful this show’s ever been.
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
Almost caught up, and this new season rules. I love Trek taking on the concept of scarcity, I love that the writers aren't tying the story into incomprehensible Damon Lindelof/Steven Moffat-style knots (at least so far), and I love that there are finally plotlines about crew members just sitting down and getting to know each other. I watched the first two seasons somewhat out of obligation, but I'm really excited now.
 
That's not the one that got me. USS Nog NCC-325070
I hadn't noticed that! I went back and what do you know...
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I still have a bit more than one season of Enterprise to watch, and should probably rewatch the first two sessons of DIS first. You guys don't make that easy, every time you post I want to get right into it.

Do I need to rewatch the first two seasons, before this one? I don't really want to, but I don't remember too nuch of what happened, except for the maijor things.
 
Do I need to rewatch the first two seasons, before this one? I don't really want to, but I don't remember too nuch of what happened, except for the maijor things.
I did a rewatch before S3 started, but I don't really think it's necessary. Every episode begins with a recap of things you'll need to remember, and the jump to the future is a symbolic restart for the show. Some of the previous events gets mentioned here or there as background/flavor text to inform the characters, but it's nothing mind altering, or anything you won't immediately remember once they mention it. Plus hey, the internet is your friend and if you do ever forget something or get lost, Memory Alpha or this thread is just a stone's throw away.

S3 of Disco is also the most episodic nuTrek has been as well (Lower Decks aside) - it's kinda like the Xindi Arc in ENT where there's an overarching meta plot, but each week features a different core dilemma the Discovery must face and solve before the episode ends. I think S3 is a good place for people to jump onto the show who are lukewarm about the first two seasons, or just want to try out some nuTrek for the first time.
 
Oded Fehr is the admiral.

Ok so there is a bit of a problem with this show, which is putting Michael into the centre of everything even when it's inappropriate. And Culber is the plot push for it these last 2 EPs. It's really weird
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Ok so, I guess I only just noticed this, but have Saru's feet always looked like that? Or is this episode the first time we ever got several clear views of his entire body? Geez, even more props to Doug Jones, I guess, for pulling off his performance in that entire getup.

Also am I mistaken, or is Georgiou having visions of main universe Georgiou's death? That's a curveball.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
Yeah, husband and I were confused about Saru’s feet as well. They have indeed always looked like that!
 

Aleryn

Gravity is overrated.
Very happy with the newest episode's general direction.

I'm glad its being acknowledged that Burnham is not first officer material for the Discovery. Oh, she could do it no problem - she just doesn't want to. Especially after that year of being a free agent with Booker. Quite satisfied how she just took Booker's cat-piloted-ship with Georgiou and flipped Disco the bird to save her friend.

Doesn't mean I disagree with Saru and StarFleet 3k, but they're both pursuing different means of moral action and I think Burnham is just better in a smaller ship as a de facto special ops or privateer agent. My only concern is whether or not we'll get equal parts Discovery and the adventures of Burnham.

Good stuff so far!

... also really like how Saru's boots are detailed so much as the rest. Take a look at 'em and the back heel even has the little shiny band where they'd be on a equivalent human's boot.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
This episode was... fine. I appreciated the callbacks, both to TNG and Picard, and the Vulcans and Romulans finally reuniting seems appropriate, and apparently the new planet name, Ni'var, is some deep cut I don't fully get but it's still neat.

I've read some opinions that were frustrated in the way the episode brushed aside Burnham's consequences and implied consideration of her actions to allow her to keep undermining Saru, take every burden on her shoulders, and still give her the win in the end (with bonus Mother!) but if the alternative is the season dragging its feet I'll take it.
 

Mommi

Miss or be made.
(She/Her)
I had to wait until my wife caught up. But we are now keeping up with season 3! It's fantastic fun. It's funny how the overall crew arc is going from neurotic to chill, very appropriate for this moment and generation I think.

Pretty sure there was a Warframe callout in Scavengers. The planet Discovery was possibly going to deploy to was called Hunhow, which I cannot find any reference to besides the major Warframe villain.
 

Aleryn

Gravity is overrated.
The episode Unification III was an oddball.
The performance of Burnham, her mother [Gabrielle Burnham], and the challenging Vulcan/Romulans was good - especially Gabrielle's public challenge of her daughter's reasoning and intentions in 'court.' However I can now relate more with fans who question Burnham's up and down nature with Starfleet. All I care is Burnham eventually finds a role that is more stable, I don't mind this dramatic nature of where she belongs in the world - but I feel the writers are pulling that card a little too often.

Standing back as just a fan of this drama though; good performances, I've felt that way from the beginning with Burnham's path through this show. But still, she's an odd central character for a Star Trek show. Maybe because she's not a Captain and moreso; isn't a character who leads a great deal of people and thus isn't very reserved in her style of expression and reckless? methods.

The most similar character I can compare to her from Star Trek et all would probably be Kira Nerys from Deep Space Nine IF she had gone her own way as a paramilitary or similar figure. Or maybe Jim Kirk if his more impulsive urges kept him out of the captain's chair?

I could go on but I like the character, but think she does NOT fit the old molds. And I like that.
 

Lakupo

Comes and goes with the wind
(he/him)
It's been mentioned already, but while there's a few extremely convenient things that happen, like Burnham's mom becoming a Qowat Milat but it's well-acted and ties everything together, and moves things forward without dragging too much, so I am cool with it. I was watching Jessie Gender's video review of the episode and they brought up how fitting the title is, not just as a callback to Unification I and II, but of a unification of different elements of the Star Trek canon into a more cohesive whole. Like, Picard had a lot of new world building in service of its... "plot", but this provided what felt like a better trajectory beyond evil spy twins.

When it comes to Burnham, her ongoing role in Starfleet kinda feels like
it's starting to mirror Mariner's role by the end of S1 of Lower Decks? A rogue agent who breaks the rules to save the rules, kind of thing? But with the "endearing messianic complex" on top instead of Mariner's swagger.
 

Aleryn

Gravity is overrated.
My last post was meandering and rambling overall. Burnham is likable and good actress performance but man her narrative arc is all over the place after that last episode - but I totally agree that execution worked and hope the writers stick to this resolution. So much better than
evil spy twins.
But hey I'm biased, Picard show was almost fully lost on me.

I think you nailed it there, Lakupo. I haven't seen all of Lower Decks yet but I already see that direction outta Mariner
reflecting in Burnham
. Weird.
 
Unification III was really good. Really, all of Season 3 has been. Exploring Star Trek in four dimensions has been a very successful formula for them so far, IMO. My only real criticism that I keep coming back to, is the lack of poly-species people 32nd Century. The 22nd through 24th Century Star Trek made it a point to explore interspecies exchange beyond just the cultural, into the biological. With characters like Spock, Worf's family, Ziyal, B'Elanna Torres, and Trip/T'Pol leading the way. ENT's small previews into the future of the Star Trek world always made it a point to emphasize that the Federation's cultural union becomes so strong in the future that interspecies mating and child rearing became common place to the point where most "humans" had a little bit of alien DNA in them at the least. And there's just zero evidence of that having happened so far. We see aliens cohabiting and living together a lot, but there's visually and in the dialog pretty much zero representation of people who identify as more than just one species. Part of that I'm sure is just S3 being very focused on re-establishing the setting and setting up a new normal, as well as reassuring anxious fans that their precious lore is being given good custodial oversight. A link to what we're most familiar with and show us the most recognizable stuff and how it's changed. But it still feels like a massive oversight when it was something so core to the franchise from the very beginning. It's honestly not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, but it's something I've been personally very attached to in the franchise.

Burnham's mom showing up then and there would have felt more like an insane coincidence if it wasn't played and framed so well. The integration of the Qowat Milat into the story and setting was just really good and added a rich layer to Vulcan and Romulan societies. And their ethos and purpose are such a natural fit with Michael's mother, her purpose, and her disposition as previously established. In the meta sense, it's also a very kind blessing that they've now neatly tidy'd up that plot thread and can put it to bed in a satisfying way instead of having it dangle over the show like a Sword of Damocles.

Something that isn't a criticism, but is more an oddity that I keep thinking about, is the size of the USS Discovery crew. The show always makes it a point to make the Discovery feel like a lived-in place simply by having its corridors and stations filled to the brim with extras/background characters. It's a nice contrast to say, the Enterprise-D that often felt oddly desolate at times, despite the immensity of the crew. The logistics though, when you begin to think about them, become pretty amusing in that light. Because the Discovery as of Season 3, has like ~80-90 crewmen onboard. That would give the ship a crew complement on par with the NX-01, despite the Discovery being an immensely larger ship. It's a ship with a larger profile than the 1701-Enterprise, despite only having a fraction of the crew. So when you see scenes with dozens of people in the hallways, it's weird to know that a good quarter of the ships' crew are all coincidentally always in this one specific hallway just standin' around or whatever. And with that in mind, it also probably helped to inform controversial staffing decisions like Temporary First Officer Ensign Tilly.

I have a lot of thoughts about the narrative arc of Burnham's character, so much that I won't put them here and save it for a later post. But the long story short, is that I generally like/appreciate what they've done with her over the three seasons, even if it was done a little hamfistedly. And also I suspect a lot of the pushback and criticisms of her in the broader fandom are informed partially by patriarchal, misogynistic, toxic masculinity. (Not blaming anyone here of that, or that you can't have legitimate criticisms of her or how she's written/performed, but it's something I suspect informs a lot of the broader discussion around her in The Discourse.) It's always sad to see personally, but it's not unexpected given the history of this fandom and the kinds of people it attracts despite the show's obvious stated intentions and morality. The arguments against her, how they're phrased, and the specificity with which people target her for slights and conveniently ignore when other characters in the canon do similar things, feels very Janeway-y.
 
This was a perfect Mike ep. Uses her place in history as Spock's sister, her relationship with her mom, her relationship with starfleet, and her Mass Effect "renegade" alignment. It's awesome and Sonequa Martin-Green is awesome in this role.

My general critique of the character is the writers sticking her in when it's weird. I'll stick to noticeable bits this season

1. Nhan's farewell - Culber decides Nhan too close to situation and Mike should talk to the dude.
- why not Nhan? Would be a great showcase for her
- why not Culber? He picked up on problem and he is rad af

2. Trill shenanigans
- why was Mike in the pool?
- again Culber is the impetus for her going at all
- Detracts from Adira's story
- double weird as I think it would have been cool if Mike was at the dinner
- Detmer going through some PTSD, and she has suffered a lot due to Mike's actions
- Being disfigured in battle of binary stars, losing ship and captain, now future jump
- her beef with Stamets sort of out of nowhere

ANYHOO
Lots of people griefing over Tilly's promotion. But eff them, Tilly hauls ass. Also loved Stamet's initial reaction.
 

Aleryn

Gravity is overrated.
Just gonna agree with WisteriaHysteria's observations that a lotta' fandom commentary on Burnham [and Tilly now that chud_666 reminded me] reeks of sexism and I'm glad I don't feel that eyeroll reaction when talking about the show here. Its nice.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
People hating on Tilly is bewildering to me. Saru’s decision made perfect sense to me, though it probably should have come with a promotion in rank. And the scenes between Tilly and Michael were some grade A emotional indulgence.

I agree that they’re shoehorning Michael into scenes that would have worked better with other characters. It’s particularly annoying when a character has an emotional goodbye episode but still gets upstaged by Michael at the pivotal moment.
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
The Greatest Discovery podcast hosts go absolutely wild over Sonequa Martin-Green's and Mary Wiseman's performances, and I agree they're some of the best Trek acting there is.
 
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FelixSH

(He/Him)
I watched the first two episodes. They were a lot of fun. The second more than the first, because I really enjoyed spending some quality time with the crew sans Michael, and seeing especially Saru, Tilly and Gergiou being awesome. Saru and Tilly have always been my favourite characters in this show (more specifically, they have always been the only characters I really cared for, aside from Michael), so this was really fun.

Only thing that I didn't like was the fight scene in the first episode, way too much shaky cam. Had to close my eyes for that part.

But this looks really promising, and I'm already more invested than I have ever been in this show. Alone that Saru is finally, finally Captain is just nice. And it's really great how he interacts with Tilly.
 

Aleryn

Gravity is overrated.
That bit early in season 3
between Saru and Tilly as they walk from the newly landed Discovery across the ice fields was incredible. Saru knows its only a conversation between him and Tilly so he can speak to her insecurities and encourage her in nearly a perfect way. I now suspect that might be some foreshadowing of her "promotion."
 
People hating on Tilly is bewildering to me. Saru’s decision made perfect sense to me, though it probably should have come with a promotion in rank. And the scenes between Tilly and Michael were some grade A emotional indulgence.

I agree that they’re shoehorning Michael into scenes that would have worked better with other characters. It’s particularly annoying when a character has an emotional goodbye episode but still gets upstaged by Michael at the pivotal moment.
Tilly was one of my favorite parts of Season 1. I thought in Season 2, they generally had a hard time naturally finding things for her to do in the story, as well as borderline flanderizing the character, leaning into her goofy side and not giving her other personality traits enough time to shine, or using her too often as the comic relief. So like, I get why some people would be bothered with her. But Season 3 has been a pretty big course correction for her, and she's had a lot of opportunity as a character to both shine and display multiple facets of her self. She's back to being amazing, and it's just *weird* to see internet hatred of her calcify into something irrational and intransigent despite her being generally excellent and also the show seeming to take criticisms of her in Season 2 to heart.

It partially reminds me of when people hate Neelix, and then only really describe how he is in Season 1 of Voyager, as if they just never gave the character the chance to redeem himself or grow later. Which he absolutely does as he blossoms into one of my personal faves later in Voyager's run. But I suspect a lot of it also has to do with her being body-positive representation, and a woman on a show where a large chunk of the fandom is essentially goobergamers. The shit I hear about Tilly in Season 3 is largely manufactured BS. People fake outrage that an Ensign gets a duty promotion like that. And it really is just straight nonsense. It ignores plenty of established precedent of junior officers getting field promotions and taking command under dire situations. (IIRC Picard became a Captain as a junior officer when his was killed during an emergency.) And it ignores that Tilly is more than qualified for the job. (She played the role of Captain very well in the Mirror Universe and has demonstrated nothing but pure competence in all of the tasks she's ever done on the show.) And it ignores franchise precedent like Ensign Harry Kim - whose regular station is Ops and is also Captain of the Night Watch. (Something you usually leave for your senior staff/second or third in command like Riker and Data.) And it ignores the reality of the ship itself - which is massively undermanned. And it also ignores that this is being addressed as a temporary assignment, so it isn't even necessarily permanent. And it also ignores that literally everyone on the ship supports this and loves Tilly, with whom they've already put their lives in her hands many times before, so it's not like anyone in the show feels aggrieved by this perception of leapfrogging.

The hatred for Michael also is pretty illogical when you break down the reasons and how they've changed over the course of the seasons. The shifting goal posts of why these two characters specifically get hate (not just disapproval or disinterest, but hate) tells me it isn't so much what people say, it's what they aren't saying.
My general critique of the character is the writers sticking her in when it's weird. I'll stick to noticeable bits this season
I get this perspective, I'm constantly asking little nitpicky questions like this myself when I'm watching any media and Star Trek is no exception. But I can largely detach my enjoyment of the show from this, and I've rationalized it away as really not being that big of a deal.
I'm currently going through TNG with someone who has basically never watched any Star Trek ever before, and one thing the both of us are noticing/constantly asking is, "Why did *so-and-so* have to go down on that away mission?" For example, Dr Crusher has an entire medical staff of capable professionals and officers, but for some reason she's the only medical officer ever going on dangerous away missions. With a little creativity and imagination, we can create all kinds of excuses for why this or that happens (which is easy to do and a lot of fun!), but the reality is that Dr Crusher recklessly goes on dangerous missions because she's a main cast member, and the writers decided to have a Beverly-episode. And the reality of Discovery is that Michael Burnham is the main character, so she's going to be featured in a lot of the scenarios.

And that fact rubs a lot of people the wrong way. But like, why? It's definitely a different paradigm shift to have the most important character on a Star Trek show not be the Captain/highest in rank. But why is that inherently important to telling Star Trek stories? Most Star Trek episodes in the TNG-era and beyond, don't feature the Captain as the most important person in the episode, but rather one of the other ensemble members. And Lower Decks just had an incredible first season where none of the principle characters were anything but nobody Ensigns. Requiring the lead character to also be the one in absolute control honestly has weird shades of authoritarianism to it that I don't understand or agree with, and feels particularly icky in the current cultural climate we find ourselves in today.

Discovery also is somewhat unique in Star Trek in that it's less an ensemble show than most of the franchise is. But again, it's not like that's without precedent either. The original series only saw fit to put Shatner and Nemoy in the opening credits. (It took a year or two for the show to begin crediting DeForest Kelly as well.) But that was a show that cared first and foremost about Kirk, and to a slightly lesser extent, Spock. TOS exists in the popular imagination as having this recognizable and iconic cast, but a lot of that exists merely in the imagination. The show itself, and the first few movies, had a narrative laser focus on Kirk and Spock as the only characters that mattered, with a sprinkling of McCoy thrown in. Sulu, Uhura, Scotty, Chekov, are all essentially afterthoughts and have about as much characterization as Detmer or Rhys do in Discovery currently. It wasn't until the later TOS films that those characters began to get appreciably more screen time, dialog, and meaningful things to do in the plot. Like, think about this. It took decades for Star Trek to iron out basic information about some of the TOS bridge crew. We didn't even know Uhura's given name until the late 2000s! Discovery's de-emphasis on the bridge crew and the ensemble cast isn't anything new to Trek. It's actually following the Ur-example! But Discovery and Michael gets singled out for criticism. It's... highly illogical!

So Burnham being on these away missions where it seems 'weird' - is it actually though? She's a senior officer, and the Chief Science Officer on the ship. Know who that sounds like to me? Spock. Would anyone bat an eyelash if Spock were in an episode of TOS and doing all the things Burnham does? Of course not. So what really sets Burnham apart then?
 
I never said I was logical.

I find it's weird as it sucks the other air out of the room, in examples I mentioned. But def correct in the way the show is about her, and less about the crew in general. Iunno. I guess that's it. I didn't care in S1. Like you were always in her perspective in that season, and it super worked In s2 and beyond they are trying to play it both ways and not entirely succeeding. Introducing all these fascinating characters and sidelining them all the time. If this was a 22 EP kind of thing, with more room to breath like it was 1989, wouldn't seem so terse with Nhan etc.

And I still dislike Neelix. ;)
 
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