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Star Trek Discovery

bionicbob

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Episode 10 "THE RED ANGEL"

--first off, let me say I try really hard to keep my reviews SPOILER free, but this particular review I may cross the line a bit... thou hast been warned!!!!

--After multiple stellar episodes in a row, this was a weaker one.  While it has some fantastic moments, the cohesive narrative is very uneven and highlights some of the ongoing problems this show has had since season one in regarding developing characters/plots and paying them off....  This is essentially an exposition dump episode to set up the final four.

--"Time Crystal"... sigh.... the stupid MacGuffin returns.... so why is Time Travel so difficult then if they exist?  Why was there even a Project Daedalis then?  Why isn't everyone time travelling?

--So the entire ship goes on Auto-pilot for the funeral?  Isn't there an evil A.I. out there hunting them?  Also, while the funeral had a couple of nice moments, it mostly served to remind the viewer we didn't know this character.

--Leland, another non-character, has his reveal with Michael, but again because he was never developed it does not have the impact it should and his final fate does not feel tragic enough

--Time Travel and Paradox's make my head hurt.  If it is Micheal from the future, wouldn't she know about the trap?  Or is she from an alternate timeline?  Mostly bothered me no one bothered to voice this simple question.  But the final twist reveal sort of, kind of, makes slightly more time-whimy sense.... I think...?  But again, it lacks full impact because we have never seen this character before....

--this nitpick is be silly, but it bothers me that Culber is dressed all GQ... no attempts at futuristic clothing by production... I am not saying he needs to be in spandex or a jump suit... but it still bugs me... the curse of nuBSG lives on... LOL

--the glue of this episode is the incredibly powerful performance of Martin-Green, if you still had doubts, this episode makes it clear why she is the star of this show.  Her scenes with Leland, Spock and Tyler are excellent and is the only arc that truly pays off the way it should.

--the death scene!!!!!  OMG!  That was brutal!

--again, some very strong moments but it is all hampered by some of the messiest writing since season one... too much happens off screen and thus the vital info dumps lack emotional weight or narrative impact.
 

bionicbob

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Episode 11 "PERPETUAL INFINITY"

--last week's episode was an awkward info dump/plot set up saved only by Martin-Green's powerhouse performance.  This week is pay off and full of even more fantastic character drama!  Once again, Martin-Green knocks it out of the park!  But this time she is matched by guest star Sonja Sohn.  

--Trek factoid.... Starfleet is comprised of 7,000 ships.  Doesn't really match my head canon lol.  Starfleet seemed smaller in Kirk's era.... out of 7000 starships, only 12 Constitution Class were built?

--the softening of mass murderer and tyrant Georgiou continues... she truly loves Michael like a daughter.  Don't get me wrong, Michelle Yeoh, she is brilliant in the role and I love her for it, but I am exhausted with the tv trope of redeeming an unforgivable villain just to keep him/her around because they are popular.

--speaking of Yeoh, why have have a performer of her legendary caliber and write a martial arts fight scene for her, and then butcher it with extreme close up shots and fast cut editing?  

--Spock loves science... very funny.

--love it or hate it, classic Trek technobabble was back in full steroid force in this episode

--so last time we saw Leland he was unconscious on the ground... how did he end up tied up to a vertical exam table?  Regardless, some great villainy in this episode!

--so I repeatedly stated how much I love this season, but with only 3 episodes left, it is clear there is still some very sloppy/half baked season one style writing going on it terms of the actual arc and villain....


--So we are to believe Starfleet is essentially governed by an A.I. called Control?  Why was this important fact never mentioned in season one?  With an interstellar war raging you think that might have been mentioned by the Admirals at some point?
--Control has never been adequately explained, hell it was introduced with a casual background name drop and then not mentioned again for a couple more episodes
--how did the A.I. become Sentient?  Or was it always?  And why, and this is a big one, why does it want to destroy humanity?  And it seemed to be already trying to this before the arrival of Sphere?  And therefore, are all computers semi-sentient?  What are the RULES????
--it feels like this whole plot was created just to explain why Star Trek does not have/use sentient A.I.s in the future.  Which is fun fan service, but as an actual driving story arc it has been very poorly developed, relying way too heavily on Terminator Skynet tropes.
 

bionicbob

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I will post my thoughts on Episode 12 later, but the teaser promo for episode 13 is available online, and we get our first peak at the Enterprise bridge.... get ready to hit the pause button... lol

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m54XdRKowoc[/video]
 

bionicbob

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First off, to all my fellow Trekkers and Trekkies, HAPPY FIRST CONTACT DAY!!!!!!   :D

Episode 12 "THROUGH THE VALLEY OF SHADOWS"

--Time Crystals again.... a whole flipping Klingon planet of them, and not just any planet, but Boreth, the holy world where Ash and L'Rell sent their love child... it's all connected!!!  The planet Boreth was featured in TNG.

--hhmmm.... still using the Spore Drive even after learning the destructive effects it has on the mushroom-verse?

--The sibling banter between Spock and Michael is pitch perfect.  They go on a road trip and encounter our Big Bad A.I., which continues to confuse me... I don't know if I blinked and missed some vital exposition in a past episode, but I am still very murky on the "How" and "Why" of our villain's agenda...


What we know... CONTROL is a Threat Assessment A.I. used by Section 31 and the Federation, it is highly trusted and has strong influence on Starfleet and Federation decision making.
We know in the future, for some reason, Control will destroy all Sentient Life in the galaxy.
We know it is after the Sphere Data, because it will make it more Self Aware and All Knowing... I think?
But when did Control become first aware and why does it destroy all life?
Some online fans suggest this is the birth of Borg...?

--Jett Reno and Culber have a nice character moment in Sick Bay

--the dramatic heart of the this episode belonged to Pike... thanks to those freaky Time Crystals, Pike is allowed to see his TOS future.  The dark revelation is horrific but how Pike deals with it is truly inspiring.  Great performance by Mount!

--in the Flash Forward, Pike and the cadets appear to be wearing uniforms similar to the Academy ones in Star Trek 2009

--big cliffhanger, the Discovery is surrounded, outgunned and sends a distress signal to the Enterprise.

--solid episode with great character beats!
 

TM2YC

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I've been a bit behind with this season, as I've found it a slog to get through. Just finished episode 10.

Has anybody got a running tally of which Discovery characters from the show have not magically come back to life? It can't be very many by now and I'd like to have a list to tick off when they do get brought back :D .

- Michael's father
- (Good universe) Lorca
- Airiam


?
 

bionicbob

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Spock got a shave....

spock.jpg


I really hope DISCO adopts these uniforms for season three.
 

bionicbob

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Episode 13 "SUCH SWEET SORROW"

--for the second to last episode, there is no plot advancement or resolutions, this is ALL set-ups and emotional goodbyes

--the goodbyes at least allow a bit of character development for the supporting bridge crew which is nice, fleshing out their characters a bit, which makes their decision to remain more powerful.

--nice emotional scene with Sarek, Amanda and Michael... though how they did they get to Disco faster than the Enterprise or Section 31???  But there is a nice piece of TOS continuity as Sarek references why he will not visit Spock.

--so that is how they salute in Starfleet!!!  Again, a nice emotional scene.

--missed opportunity.... no classic verbal self destruct code....OOO-Destruct.

--Queen Po and Tilly together again!  Looks like all those Short Treks were essential viewing after all.

--Pike's wink at Georgiou was pitch perfect!

--lots and lots of technobabble about Time Crystals and Time Travel to set up the plot for the final episode

--so lots and lots of emotional manipulative writing which works very well, it makes you care about the characters and forget about the illogical plot lol

--the cliffhanger ending has strong echoes of Best of Both Worlds part one to be continued moment

--ok, with all that out of the way, lets talk about the BIG moment -- the ENTERPRISE!!!
enterprise_bridge_in_discovery.png

--TOS angular corridors with red metal mesh!
--Turbolifts with handle controls
--TOS style bridge layout, though slightly larger, with original operations chairs and Command Center Seat!  With red turbo lift door and red bridge railings, and helm control poppy up targeting thing!

--The Enterprise interiors look amazing!  It has enough classic design that you recognize it instantly but with the Disco universe stylings that it completely fits in.   It also looks very, very, VERY EXPENSIVE.  

Which leads to speculation time....

--CBS is prepping a Pike/Enterprise spin-off series, while Disco will go the Voyager route and stay trapped in the Future for Season three?

quick edit... forgot to mention -- the soundtrack!  Not only did they play cues from TOS but they used the 2009 Enterprise theme too!
 

Rogue-theX

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So season 2 was good? Do you have to see season 1 to get into season 2?
 

bionicbob

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Rogue-theX said:
So season 2 was good? Do you have to see season 1 to get into season 2?

In my opinion, yes, season two is exponentially better than season one.

Season two, the producers/writers made the crew likeable.  You feel emotionally invested in them.  I love Michael this season!  The rest of the cast feels more balanced and developed.  The background bridge crew were given names and each given brief moments of fleshing out. It feels more like a Starfleet family now.  I would follow this crew.  

So in terms of characters and a return to traditional Star Trek-isms, season two has been a very successful retooling.

But it still suffers from accelerated simplistic cinematic narration, with the actual driving season arc feeling half baked.  It is a show that masterfully manipulates you emotions... you cheer, you tear, you get the feels.... it all works so long as you don't actually take the time to think about the plot logically or the lack of true depth to many of the scenes.... ha ha! :p

As I think I have mentioned before, I think you can watch season two without having seen the first season, though some the intricacies of the various character relationships may be confusing to some viewers.
 

Rogue-theX

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I'll keep my eyes peeled for the dvd then. Thanks a lot Bob.
 

bionicbob

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Rogue-theX said:
I'll keep my eyes peeled for the dvd then. Thanks a lot Bob.

Though if you are craving old school classic Next Generation style Trek adventures --episodic planet of the week stories, stories that invoke discussion about the current social, political, cultural issues of our world -- then I say THE ORVILLE is the show to watch.

Season two has been spectacular!  Highly recommend it.  :D
 

TM2YC

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Finally got caught up with Season 2 in time for the finale (not the short episodes though). S2 was no better than S1 in my opinion but no worse either. I've mostly grown to like/love the characters through shear attrition of hours spent in their company but the whole premise just isn't Star Trek to me. You need to have individual episode plots and an overall season story. There was even less Treking to the Stars than in S1. Actually, now I think about it, the Saru's planet episode was pretty great on it's own merits. Look, we spent a whole episode learning about a new alien culture, imagine that in a Star Trek episode!

I still love Tilly, Stamets and Saru. The new guy playing Pike is perfect and Jett Reno needs to be in every scene. I find Burnam and the Doctor tolerable and the new guy playing Spock doesn't work. I've started to get quite irritated by Ash and Georgiou. As long as Discovery is "free" with my Netflix subscription, I'll watch S3 and beyond but I doubt I'd actively choose to pay to see it. It continues to be a show which is frustratingly not quite as good as I want it to be.

I might be the last person to think of this fan theory but...

...if Discovery is really going to go into the future (and not just a tantalising cop-out) then what if the new Captain for Season 3 was:

allgoodthings-thumb-450x337-84409.jpg


That would be a wonderful misdirection magic trick. Announcing a Picard show ahead of time to put people off the scent.
 

Q2

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TM2YC said:
Finally got caught up with Season 2 in time for the finale (not the short episodes though). S2 was no better than S1 in my opinion but no worse either.

I guess I'm not as picky with my Trek since I've really enjoyed both S1 and S2.

...if Discovery is really going to go into the future (and not just a tantalising cop-out) then what if the new Captain for Season 3 was:

allgoodthings-thumb-450x337-84409.jpg


That would be a wonderful misdirection  magic trick. Announcing a Picard show ahead of time to put people off the scent.

That would be a brilliant bit of misdirection. :)
 

Rogue-theX

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bionicbob said:
Though if you are craving old school classic Next Generation style Trek adventures --episodic planet of the week stories, stories that invoke discussion about the current social, political, cultural issues of our world -- then I say THE ORVILLE is the show to watch.

Season two has been spectacular!  Highly recommend it.  :D

Probably watching episode 18 tomorrow night. Thanks man!

(sorry for being off topic)
 

bionicbob

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Episode 14 "SUCH SWEET SORROW Part Two"

--and season two is a wrap!
--this two parter has really left me conflicted and confused, as the underlying sloppy writing of the overall Big Bad arc really becomes apparent here....
--So why couldn't the Disco be destroyed in part one?  They sure gave up easy... why not go plant bombs on it, disable the shield system, fly it into a sun....so many options.   But then there would be no season three.... sigh...
--Still do not understand the whole Leland/Control and Sphere Data obsession.... Control seems very self aware and sentient already even without the Sphere Data... it can control an entire fleet of Section 31 ships and take on human form....
--Wow!  That is one powerful Blast Door!?!?!?!!!!
--Coolsville!!!  Enterprise has the classic blue continuous phaser beams! YAY!  no pew pew for them!
--Nice visual homage to TMP wormhole sequence
--So if the whole point of going to the future is to get away from Leland, shouldn't/couldn't they stop with Leland now on Disco and/or maybe neutralized?
--so the Kelpians have evolved so fast in a few months they now control and pilot their own space fleet?
--the Michael and Spock stuff was wonderful and heartfelt
--again, another nice classic Trek shot of the the Golden Gate Bridge and Starfleet HQ
--So the entire season is a Time Loop Paradox....?  This is going to give me a massive headache to try and figure out...lol
--oh... so that is the canon explanation why no one has heard of Spock's sister or the Discovery or Spore Drive tech?  Under penalty of death, no less!  It seems to be an extreme over reaction to me?

I really do not know how I feel...  This is a show more dedicated to winning your heart rather than your mind.
It wonderfully, deliciously and masterfully creates "oh wow", "oh cool", "awwwwww" moments.  It knows how to hit the right emotional buttons and give you the appropriate FEELS.  So in terms of characters and relationships, I think the show is exceptionally successful.

But in terms of clarity to narrative, story structure logic and arc payoff....half-baked and sloppy are the kindest words I can think of at the moment.

Is it because of the behind the scenes chaos and the firing of the show runners part way through the season?  Did the planned story arc get retooled/redirected?

I dunno.   I know season two was a fun, fantastic ride for me.  I loved it a million times more than season one.   But this ending has left me feeling a bit dissatisfied and with more questions than answers. :blush:

I do know, I WANT A CAPTAIN PIKE SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

I need to dwell on this some more.... more thoughts may follow....  :s
 

bionicbob

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more thoughts....

---how many frakking shuttles and pods do these starships carry?  Apparently 100's!!!!!  They must use TARDIS tech for storing them all in the landing bay
--well look at that, the Enterprise has Astro Repair droids
--so Number One's legal name is Number One????  While funny, I thought this a lost opportunity, they could have done something tribute-ish and had her name be Majel Something..... 
--loved Spock's science station!!!
--why couldn't they just close the Blast Door and then beam the Admiral out?

hhhmmmm..... still mulling over this finale....  :dodgy: :p
 

TM2YC

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Hmm, an hour of incoherent explosions isn't really what comes to mind when you say Star Trek to me. I did enjoy some moments though:


- Jet Reno's "Sir! Get off my ass, sir." to Saru was a laugh-out-loud line for me. Love that character.

- I liked the way the timey-wimey stuff recalled The Motion Picture FX.


Some things that were confusing:


- So Georgiou killed control but they still went forward in time because?
- Why do phasers hitting shields in a vacuum make fireballs? Maybe Discovery has always been this stupid and it's just having every inch of the frame filled with fire that made me notice.
- Wow! Ash Tyler sure knows how to climb the career ladder! Being put in charge of Section-31 days(?) after joining the organisation.
- The ending was emblematic of this show's preoccupations. Shall we spend the last 5-mins following the all-new exciting adventures of the ship the show is named after as it finally (maybe?) boldly goes where no one has gone before... or shall we just have 5-mins of fan service?

I'm genuinely curious, even excited to see where this show goes next but please get better and please get back to some genuine Star Trekkin' across the universe, on the Starship Enterprise Discovery, under Captain Kirk Saru.

bionicbob said:
--why couldn't they just close the Blast Door and then beam the Admiral out?

I thought that was daft too but to be fair "why couldn't they just beam" is pretty much every episode of Star Trek :D . Credit due to the many writers over the decades that have come up with reasons for this to not be possible.
 

bionicbob

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@"TM2YC" what is your interpretation of the Starfleet headquarters scene...


What is is about this specific event that makes it warrant being classified so Top Secret that it is to be scrubbed from the historical record and treason to even speak of...?

Is it the Time Travel element?  The sentient A.I.?  The Sphere Data?


I have replayed the scene three times now, and I am still muddy on the actual reasoning other than bad writing trying to adjust for canon.... lol  

I am also excited for Discovery's season three, as it will free them from canon shackles and they can be the show they want to be with out old timers like me crying "foul" all the time.... ha ha ha! :p

But I gotta say, I am in that camp that LOVED all the fan servicing we got this season and truly hope this season was a testing ground for a Pike series.
 

TM2YC

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I think was to protect the sphere data from ever being misused wasn't it? although it was obviously really to get around all the canon nonsense they'd created.

@"bionicbob" Since you are much more knowledgeable about ST than the rest of us...

...can you shed any light on where Discovery has supposedly gone? (in terms of previous ST canon). Did Burnham say 900 years into the future in the Beta Quadrant, or something?
 

bionicbob

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TM2YC said:
...can you shed any light on where Discovery has supposedly gone? (in terms of previous ST canon). Did Burnham say 900 years into the future in the Beta Quadrant, or something?

I believe the plan was to time jump 950 years into the future to the planet Terralysium in the Beta Quadrant.  This is the planet featured in the episode "New Eden", where humans from World War III were transplanted by Michael's mother.  It is also the planet that Michael's mother is tethered to in the future, and supposedly is technology free so Control would not be a threat if it survived and found them....

At least I think that is plan.... lol :huh: :p ...so confusing....

So if that happens, season three would be set a few decades before the Short Trek story "Calypso".

In other related confusing matters....

I think I figured out why Michael and Disco continued with their Time Jump even though Leland was onboard and defeated.  Now correct me if I am wrong, as I might be misremembering, but I think they said the Time Crystal only had enough energy for one jump and once started it could not be stopped....?

No.  Wait a minute.  If that was true, then how did Michael go back and forth through time to send the 7 Signals?  

Back to being confused.... ;)
 
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