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1 hour ago, pengbuzz said:

Normally, I'd say Captain Kirk is due to beam onto Discovery just to slap the crew, but I think even William Shatner is hesitant to have anything to do with this dumpster fire on a trainwreck in space....

Maybe they can get Chris Pine to do it.

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9 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

Sigh... Discovery has managed to sink even further into stupidity than I ever thought possible. It's gotten so bad that even my concept for a Star Trek series is beginning to look promising (just need to revamp the uniforms and perhaps adjust the storyline).

Star Trek: Discovery is a show with a lot of different problems... but you can distill most of the show's issues down to just a few basic points:

  1. Discovery's showrunners and writers do not care for Star Trek
    As was explicitly the case with J.J. Abrams, it truly feels like Discovery's showrunners do not want to be working on Star Trek and don't have any real idea of how to write in a science fiction setting that isn't just a big sandbox for a never-ending series of interstellar armed conflicts like Star WarsBattlestar Galactica, or Warhammer 40,000.
     
  2. Discovery's showrunners and writers DO NOT do their research.
    These writers are working in a shared universe and don't seem to want to check to make sure that the stories they want to do actually make sense in the context of the established setting.  Worse than that, they don't seem to want to go to the lengths previous Star Trek showrunners and writers did in terms of making sure their science makes sense and is internally consistent.  The whole idea of tardigrades and horizontal DNA transfer was a published study that was retracted well before the show's first season came out because the experiment's results couldn't be reproduced and were later determined to be sample cross-contamination in testing.  Other concepts in the series are just completely unscientific nonsense like Saru's homeworld food chain or the entire situation with Control wanting to evolve into a self-aware AI.
     
  3. Discovery's showrunners have their priorities all wrong when it comes to special effects.
    This isn't just that ships like the Shengzhou and Discovery look much more advanced than their 23rd century counterparts from previous shows.  The showrunners consistently overspend on unnecessary - and unnecessarily complicated - digital VFX for things that don't need it and then cut corners all over the place where it actually counts and is really obvious.  This tendency has only become more blatant now that they've moved to the 32nd century.  The Discovery's spinning saucer section is something that was near-universally mocked the minute it came to light and a bunch of other ships have tons of unnecessary moving parts.  Booker's Nautilus is probably the worst offender since, on several occasions, it's shown to come apart into something like a dozen different pieces and reconfigure itself for no clear reason.  This also shows up in digital set design and nonphysical props like the seed vault ship in which the seed vault is made up of a bunch of stacked rings of storage cells which counterrotate against each other for no reason, the gravity projector Tilly uses to capture that asteroid at the start of season two that starts out about the size of a manhole cover and unfolds into dozens of moving parts and ends up being at least the size of a family car, and Burnham's Red Angel suit that unfolds a massive set of unnecessary wings out of nowhere.  Probably the worst example of the corner-cutting is the new combadges.  These new combadges are not just the Starfleet badge and a long-range communications device, now they're also rank insignia, a personal transporter, a tricorder, and a PADD, all with a badly rendered purely holographic interface so the characters using them in any given circumstance are now just left gesticulating wildly into the air like they're conducting an invisible orchestra or operating an invisible telephone switchboard.  The best part is the interfaces for all of these look exactly the same, so we have no idea if someone is attempting to beam away, scanning the area, or just frantically dictating their last will and testament at any given time.  Other terrible examples include a proliferation of purely green-screened sets where characters do nothing but stand around and talk while the animators run an old-school OpenGL screensaver in the background like the episode with the Tal symbiont.

 

9 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

Normally, I'd say Captain Kirk is due to beam onto Discovery just to slap the crew, but I think even William Shatner is hesitant to have anything to do with this dumpster fire on a trainwreck in space....

 

Bill Shatner is also probably not someone the creators want to bring back.  He was a difficult guy to work with back when he was a regular, and he's burned a lot of bridges since.

 

8 hours ago, JB0 said:

Maybe they can get Chris Pine to do it.

That's like trying to treat someone's cancer by giving them syphilis.

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Scavengers (DSC 3x06)

Spoiler

All in all, as Star Wars as Booker's ship looks... I'm thinking of calling it the Millennium Turkey instead of its actual name.

We open on a scene of the anachronistic repair robots working with a new generation of equally ugly repair robots on Discovery's upgrades and get our first shot of her new registry: NCC-1031-A.

As I've said before, this is one of the few touches I actually agree with.  Discovery unlawfully traveled 930 years into the future and is now stuck there, so Starfleet had to cover up the fact that this is the same USS Discovery reported destroyed in 2258... so they issue it a completely plausible paper thin disguise by rebuilding it with modern materials and marking it up as a successor ship.  This only runs into issues with the fact that there was a 24th century USS Discovery with a different registry, and that the original registry of 1031 never made sense anyway since its entire class came AFTER the Constitution-class.  The original purpose for the registry numbers being class number and then individual hull number.  Enterprise being ship 01 of the 17th Starfleet starship class (Constitution).  

The idea that detaching the warp nacelles somehow makes the ship more maneuverable doesn't make any sense.  It's a completely pointless visual gimmick that, like the spinning saucer section, both looks AND sounds stupid.  Especially since they have to reattach the warp nacelles to actually go to warp or use the spore drive, which completely defeats any point in detaching them in the first place.

It's also kind of annoying that Discovery's crew adopt the new Starfleet badge but NOT the contemporary 32nd century Starfleet uniform.  It really gives off the impression that they're being treated as the special-est of snowflakes.  The new badge also doesn't really look distinct.  There's too much surface detail on the oval badge, and because of it the actual Starfleet delta is nearly impossible to make out.  It just looks like an oval smear on the front of the uniform except in extreme closeups.  If it's so indistinct to me watching this on a 70 inch 4K quantum dot LED TV I can only imagine how bad it looks on a less over-the-top home entertainment setup.

This is followed by the scene that explains the new combadges are a swiss army tool that does everything except wipe your arse for you.  The badges are a combination of Starfleet insignia, rank insignia, communicator, tricorder, PADD, and a personal transporter.  This is all apparently controlled through a single interface of visually indistinct blue hexagons floating in midair that looks like something from a 90's movie.  This comes freighted with a running joke of the Saurian science officer Linus just appearing out of thin air after mismanaging his personal transporter, complaining loudly that this isn't <place> and disappearing again.

Programmable matter is back too, as a cheesy particle effect for the bridge consoles in addition to the overabundance of holograms that were already infesting the bridge.  You can tell how awkward the actors are having to interact with a non-physical prop greenscreened in after the fact.  The only thing I can think of to explain this terrible design decision is that someone on the creative team REALLY liked Minority Report.

Then the actual A-plot of the episode gets going as Discovery is hailed... by a cat.  It's Grudge, the most popular Star Trek: Discovery character according to their online convention panel viewership numbers.  Booker's ship came back to Starfleet HQ on autopilot bearing just the cat after he went missing on a planet called Hunhau, in the territory controlled by the Orion-Andorian alliance called the Emerald Chain, and he's predictably been captured so our distressed dude can be rescued by the totally obnoxious damsel.  It's a bit like Ghostbusters 2016, but with an even less likeable cast.

Burnham explains the actually halfway sane reasons that she's been looking for and collecting for the "black box" data recorders from Starfleet ships destroyed in the Burn.  She's rather sensibly trying to determine if the Burn happened everywhere at once, or if it was something that spread out in a wave and therefore would have an origin point that could be triangulated based on the last positions and precise time of destruction of those ships.  Entertainingly, this means Burnham has actually been up to something USEFUL in the last year.  Of course, she's determined she has to get to Hunhau to rescue Booker and recover the third black box IMMEDIATELY even though Discovery is on hot standby for a potential conflict with the Emerald Chain in another star system, and despite Saru's quite sensible argument that Booker has been missing for 3 weeks and counting and another 12 hours is unlikely to make a difference.  Saru spells it out for her that Discovery is on standby for a situation which might go bad at any time, and that he needs his executive officer on Discovery ready to roll.  So, Burnham being Burnham immediately proves that she learned NOTHING from being drummed out of Starfleet at the start of the series and runs right to Georgiou to take her on an unsanctioned mission in Booker's ship instead of following the orders of Saru and Admiral Vance.  Interestingly, Georgiou actually gives a "What the hell, Hero" to Burnham pointing out that she's undermining Saru's effort to prove his legitimacy to 32nd century Starfleet.

There's an incredibly badly scripted "girl talk" conversation between Georgiou and Burnham on Book's ship after they've done a runner, where Georgiou teases her about having fallen in love with Booker after a Freudian slip.  Considering how often characters joke about the size of the ship's cat, you almost get the feeling they resent that it's more popular than they are.  It really drives home how poorly developed these characters are too, as Burnham seems incapable of displaying any emotion other than angry or a vacant and slightly listless stare.  This is also where we get the first inklings of how messed up Georgiou is by being in the wrong universe and a thousand years in the future, as she starts having hallucinations about someone's death back in the Mirror Universe that apparently leave her unresponsive with what the showrunners seem to think is a thousand yard stare but just looks like a closeup from a bad makeup tutorial.  The scene drags on a bit as Georgiou argues with Hunhau's Emerald Chain overseer, a none-too-bright Orion meathead with a bowl cut who is doing an even worse job of trying to act menacing than Michelle Yeoh is.

If the writers want us to take Tilly seriously, it would help if they stopped using her as the butt of almost every joke.  Somehow, nobody on Discovery has noticed that Burnham and Georgiou have left yet until Tilly comes back to her quarters and discovers that the cat is loose in there.  We lose a good minute or so of Tilly minorly freaking out that there is a cat and that the cat has less respect for her than the crew does.

Hunhau is an uninspiring special effects failure like the Abrams Enterprise engine room being shot in an unmodified brewery.  In this case, the salvage facility run by Oysrra's dim-witted meathead of a nephew appears to be an almost unmodified modern industrial facility... probably a steel mill.  They just turned half the lights off, filled a bunch of ordinary steel kennel crates with corrugated scrap metal and other odds and ends, and installed a bunch of stage pyrotechnics to give random, purposeless fireballs off at intervals.  It's odd that this is supposed to be a salvage facility recovering materials that'd be useful to 32nd century inhabitants and what they're breaking down are ships that are as old as Discovery is.  Among the ships parked above the refinery are a Hiawatha-class ship like the one Reno crashed on and a Miranda-class ship.  Have there been no advancements in material sciences since the 23rd century?

Of course, we have to demonstrate how awful the Orions are, so the entire complex is run by slave labor in terrible conditions and we have to watch a needlessly over-the-top scene of Osyrra's nephew executing a Bajoran worker to test out his Battle Royale-style your-head-a'splode security measures.  They spend a few minutes of Tolor bullying this Bajoran laborer, shooting at him, to drive him towards the perimeter pylons and trigger the explosive implant on his neck that eventually blows off his head.  (It's also impossible to take these arm-mounted Dyson fans that seem to be 32nd century phasers seriously.)

Back aboard Discovery, Tal is having a chat with her previous host who is manifesting Joran-style as a hallucination nobody else can see or hear.  Unfortunately, Tal is turning into another Wesley clone... which'll make this the first time we've had two such obnoxious wunderkind on the same show.  Tal has redesigned the spore drive interface so that instead of using cybernetic implants Stamets can just put his hands into what appear to be two IKEA flowerpots full of K-Y jelly made to glow green using a bad computer effect.

Burnham and Georgiou orchestrate a jailbreak to get Booker and several others out, and that leads to a badly choreographed and obviously one-sided shootout between the Emerald Chain enforces and Booker's ship.  None of the Emerald Chain's people even bother trying to take cover from the starship firing on them, and are vaporized in droves.  This mess culminates in Georgiou destroying the three ships suspended above the salvage yard and letting their wrecks topple down onto the facility after a brief round of fisticuffs with the overseer.  This episode's so badly paced the A-plot is basically over with a full quarter of an hour left in the episode.  Burnham and Georgiou have a brief conversation about Georgiou's increasingly obvious condition.

Tal and Stamets have lunch together and Tal explains that she's having visions of the symbiont's previous host Gray.  Burnham and Booker have a moment in the turbolift that's interrupted by the running Linus gag, and then Burnham is left to face the music with Saru and Vance both ready to rip her head off.  Admiral Vance rips into her then leaves her punishment up to Saru.  Saru summarily removes her from her position as Discovery's executive officer, making this the second time in two and a half seasons that she's been summarily demoted for insubordination, but allows her to remain on as science officer because despite her rulebreaking she saved a considerable number of lives by freeing the slave laborers on Hunhau and brought the Federation a crucial piece of evidence that offered at least tenuous proof that the Burn had an origin point and wasn't caused by the various Federation experiments into warp drive alternatives.  And, of course, she cries again after being fired from being first officer.  

 

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1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Star Trek: Discovery is a show with a lot of different problems... but you can distill most of the show's issues down to just a few basic points:

  1. Discovery's showrunners and writers do not care for Star Trek
    As was explicitly the case with J.J. Abrams, it truly feels like Discovery's showrunners do not want to be working on Star Trek and don't have any real idea of how to write in a science fiction setting that isn't just a big sandbox for a never-ending series of interstellar armed conflicts like Star WarsBattlestar Galactica, or Warhammer 40,000.
     
  2. Discovery's showrunners and writers DO NOT do their research.
    These writers are working in a shared universe and don't seem to want to check to make sure that the stories they want to do actually make sense in the context of the established setting.  Worse than that, they don't seem to want to go to the lengths previous Star Trek showrunners and writers did in terms of making sure their science makes sense and is internally consistent.  The whole idea of tardigrades and horizontal DNA transfer was a published study that was retracted well before the show's first season came out because the experiment's results couldn't be reproduced and were later determined to be sample cross-contamination in testing.  Other concepts in the series are just completely unscientific nonsense like Saru's homeworld food chain or the entire situation with Control wanting to evolve into a self-aware AI.
     
  3. Discovery's showrunners have their priorities all wrong when it comes to special effects.
    This isn't just that ships like the Shengzhou and Discovery look much more advanced than their 23rd century counterparts from previous shows.  The showrunners consistently overspend on unnecessary - and unnecessarily complicated - digital VFX for things that don't need it and then cut corners all over the place where it actually counts and is really obvious.  This tendency has only become more blatant now that they've moved to the 32nd century.  The Discovery's spinning saucer section is something that was near-universally mocked the minute it came to light and a bunch of other ships have tons of unnecessary moving parts.  Booker's Nautilus is probably the worst offender since, on several occasions, it's shown to come apart into something like a dozen different pieces and reconfigure itself for no clear reason.  This also shows up in digital set design and nonphysical props like the seed vault ship in which the seed vault is made up of a bunch of stacked rings of storage cells which counterrotate against each other for no reason, the gravity projector Tilly uses to capture that asteroid at the start of season two that starts out about the size of a manhole cover and unfolds into dozens of moving parts and ends up being at least the size of a family car, and Burnham's Red Angel suit that unfolds a massive set of unnecessary wings out of nowhere.  Probably the worst example of the corner-cutting is the new combadges.  These new combadges are not just the Starfleet badge and a long-range communications device, now they're also rank insignia, a personal transporter, a tricorder, and a PADD, all with a badly rendered purely holographic interface so the characters using them in any given circumstance are now just left gesticulating wildly into the air like they're conducting an invisible orchestra or operating an invisible telephone switchboard.  The best part is the interfaces for all of these look exactly the same, so we have no idea if someone is attempting to beam away, scanning the area, or just frantically dictating their last will and testament at any given time.  Other terrible examples include a proliferation of purely green-screened sets where characters do nothing but stand around and talk while the animators run an old-school OpenGL screensaver in the background like the episode with the Tal symbiont.

 

 

Bill Shatner is also probably not someone the creators want to bring back.  He was a difficult guy to work with back when he was a regular, and he's burned a lot of bridges since.

 

That's like trying to treat someone's cancer by giving them syphilis.

Yeah...it's pretty obvious they don't care (otherwise they WOULD do their blasted research, amongst other things). Number one largely feeds into number two, and drops "number two" all over the franchise).

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Unification III (DSC 3x07)

Spoiler

Can I just open by saying this is my favorite episode of this season?  There's a really good reason too... like in season two, this episode has a HUGE "The reason you suck" speech directed at Burnham.  Except this time, it's not Spock doing it... it's her own mother.  How badly do you have to f*ck up for YOUR MOTHER to deliver a speech about how Made of Fail you are TO THE VULCAN SCIENCE ACADEMY AS PART OF A FORMAL ACADEMIC DEBATE.

Essentially, the Vulcans now accept it as empirically true that Michael Burnham is human garbage.

This is also the only episode this season that actually feels like it might have a not-unreasonable claim to being Star Trek.

 

We open on a narration by Burnham about how she's no longer sure she belongs in Starfleet after a year spend working as a courier.  It's another one of those deeply insincere moments where Burnham makes excuses for all of the things she's done that are very obviously wrong but which her ego insisted she do anyway.  She has "comfort me" sex with Booker in his ship during the narration too, just in case you wanted to be reminded how insincere she is about the whole thing.  (Not that her mom isn't going to totally destroy her professional reputation in about 30 minutes anyway.)  It's kind of funny how every character can tell that Burnham is completely messed up in the head but NOBODY seems willing to actually confront her about it until she up and does something that gets people killed.  Burnham, of course, makes it clear right away (to Tilly) that she feels absolutely no remorse for what she's done and is now hiding behind "I don't know how I fit in anymore" as a justification.

In a rare instance, while discussing triangulating the origin of the Burn the three-dimensional nature of space is acknowledged and that they only have enough reference points to narrow it down in two dimensions.  Burnham suggests obtaining the data from a Vulcan experiment called SB-19.

There's a really stupid and unnecessary effect where we see Vance, Burnham, and Saru walking around Starfleet HQ and the walkway they're on is 3D printing itself ahead of them before filling itself out into an actual floor for an entire room.  Vance very quickly becomes almost as gung-ho about solving the burn as Burnham is, despite her earlier insubordination.  Vance reveals he can't give them the SB-19 data because the data was never disclosed.  Planet Ni'Var - Vulcan apparently changed its name after reunification - sequestered the data.  We get a brief as-you-know statement about the common origin of the Vulcans and Romulans, and Spock's reunification mission.  This whole episode basically revolves around Admiral Vance's plan to exploit Burnham's not-actual relation to the legendary Ambassador Spock to reopen diplomatic channels with Ni'Var and obtain the SB-19 data to prove once and for all where the burn originated.

Saru, very unwisely, informs Tilly that he's offering her the position as Discovery's XO despite the fact that she's the least senior, most inexperienced person on the ship and never even completed the command training program.  As we know, this WILL come back to bite him.  And her.  And everyone else.

Quite understandably, the Vulcan governor of Ni'Var almost immediately tells them to f*ck right off when they ask for the SB-19 data... a completely understandable reaction to Burnham.  Burnham invokes a Vulcan tradition that essentially forces them to humor her in a scientific debate, rustling many jimmies on the planet.  Ni'Var sends a four person delegation, the president and a three-man quorum from the science academy: a Vulcan, a half-Vulcan half-Romulan, and a Romulan.  They also send a Romulan warrior-nun to advice Burnham.  Apparently the Vulcans and Romulans decided the best way to assign impartial advocates was to draw them from the warrior nuns who debuted in Star Trek: Picard, since they have a general philosophy of the truth above literally everything else.  The nun in question is Burnham's missing mom.

The whole "debate" takes up the entire rest of the episode, debating with the academy quorum led by a Vulcan named V'Kir, a Romulan named N'Raj, and a half named Shira.  V'Kir wants her to piss off and go away, Shira is mildly curious, and N'Raj is very VERY ardently pro-Federation.  Apparently that's true of the entire populace down there.  The Vulcans became isolationist after they believed their experiment - SB-19 - caused the burn and they withdrew from the Federation over the objections of the Romulan elements of their society who ardently wanted to remain in the Federation.  

The only thing that's really remarkable in this episode is that there's a good five minutes that are basically just Burnham's mom telling her she's a piece of sh*t and another five of Burnham confessing to being a piece of sh*t in front of the quorum... then things dissolve into anarchy as the Romulan and Vulcan members immediately have it out over each other's perceived intransigence until Burnham gives up in a huff and withdraws her request.  This, apparently, convinces the Vulcan president that the Federation can be trusted with the SB-19 data because they chose to withdraw their request rather than risk destabilizing the still fragile peace between the Vulcans and Romulans.

The episode ends with the crew gathering together to tell Tilly to accept the position as Discovery's executive officer in a show of universally poor judgement, Saru having a moment with the Vulcan president, and Burnham enjoying her success in the crew quarters of the Nautilus.  

 

Really, if Burnham weren't such a total self-righteous sh*thead this would almost have been a proper bloody Star Trek episode.  

That is this episode's main weakness... that, as always, EVERYTHING revolves around Michael Burnham.  Everyone else is a NPC in Michael Burnham's amazing adventure.

 

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1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

It's also kind of annoying that Discovery's crew adopt the new Starfleet badge but NOT the contemporary 32nd century Starfleet uniform.  It really gives off the impression that they're being treated as the special-est of snowflakes. 

Reserving some room for deniability when the crew does something stupid.

 

"Look, if they were REALLY operating under the Federation's authorization, don't you think we'd at least send them a crate of the current pajamas instead of however-many-centuries old the absolute rags they're in now are?"

 

Surely everyone in the galaxy knows how much the Federation likes changing uniforms by now and will take it as a given that only a rogue crew would be wearing an old design.

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1 hour ago, pengbuzz said:

Yeah...it's pretty obvious they don't care (otherwise they WOULD do their blasted research, amongst other things).

It's quite bizarre how they can do their research incredibly well in a few isolated places and do an absolutely terrible job of it everywhere else.

Every now and then they'll reference obscure points of Star Trek lore and follow it up with middle school-level failures of basic science.

Which isn't to say that previous Star Trek titles didn't also occasionally exhibit massive research failures.  One of the most common recurring ones is medical officers pushing the enormously unscientific concepts of goal-oriented evolution and evolutionary levels: evolution following a set series of steps and that lifeforms evolving towards having a specific form or ability.  This is the crux of at least seven entire pre-Abrams episodes including "The Omega Glory" (TOS), "Genesis" (TNG), "Transfigurations" (TNG), "Pen Pals" (TNG), "The Chase" (TNG), "Threshold" (VOY), and "Dear Doctor" (ENT).  There are also a number of rather egregious recurring ones involving distance in TOS and the TOS movies WRT the distance from Earth to the edge/center of the galaxy (in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and Star Trek V), and a lot of really bizarre moments where the writers forgot about conservation of matter or energy.

It's just Discovery has a far greater density of this kind of blatant cockup than any previous title.

 

1 hour ago, pengbuzz said:

Number one largely feeds into number two, and drops "number two" all over the franchise).

... you a +1 from me for that, btw.

 

 

1 hour ago, JB0 said:

Reserving some room for deniability when the crew does something stupid.

 

"Look, if they were REALLY operating under the Federation's authorization, don't you think we'd at least send them a crate of the current pajamas instead of however-many-centuries old the absolute rags they're in now are?"

In hindsight, it's rather odd that even groups that have regular contact with the Federation like the Emerald Chain never remark that the Discovery crew are claiming to be Federation Starfleet officers and yet aren't wearing contemporary Starfleet uniforms.

They never question it.

 

1 hour ago, JB0 said:

Surely everyone in the galaxy knows how much the Federation likes changing uniforms by now and will take it as a given that only a rogue crew would be wearing an old design.

One of my favorite details that I learned as a result of various fans complaining about how often Starfleet changes its uniform design is that it's Truth in Television... the US Army has made minor or major changes to its uniform on at least thirty-nine separate occasions since the original uniform in 1775.  I can only imagine how much worse it'd be if we'd had the ability to run off new uniforms in a matter of seconds using a replicator.

Which, actually, makes it all the weirder that Discovery never updated its uniforms.  Pike's variant of the TOS uniform was already entering service at the end of the Klingon war and Discovery never rolled it out even though it looked way better than the blue Jonestown tracksuits they're wearing now, and after moving to the future and trading their matter synthesizers in for 32nd century replicators it's even weirder that they haven't updated.

(Here's a thought... since programmable matter is widely used, why not make uniforms out of the stuff and update the design with the push of a button?)

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I was working on my summaries of the last few Star Trek: Discovery season three episodes and @BlackRose's summary of the season's penultimate episode tops anything I could ever or will ever write about it.

She summed up "There is a tide..." in eight words:

Space Karen demands to speak to Starfleet's manager.

I lost it.

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7 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

It's quite bizarre how they can do their research incredibly well in a few isolated places and do an absolutely terrible job of it everywhere else.

Every now and then they'll reference obscure points of Star Trek lore and follow it up with middle school-level failures of basic science.

Which isn't to say that previous Star Trek titles didn't also occasionally exhibit massive research failures.  One of the most common recurring ones is medical officers pushing the enormously unscientific concepts of goal-oriented evolution and evolutionary levels: evolution following a set series of steps and that lifeforms evolving towards having a specific form or ability.  This is the crux of at least seven entire pre-Abrams episodes including "The Omega Glory" (TOS), "Genesis" (TNG), "Transfigurations" (TNG), "Pen Pals" (TNG), "The Chase" (TNG), "Threshold" (VOY), and "Dear Doctor" (ENT).  There are also a number of rather egregious recurring ones involving distance in TOS and the TOS movies WRT the distance from Earth to the edge/center of the galaxy (in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and Star Trek V), and a lot of really bizarre moments where the writers forgot about conservation of matter or energy.

It's just Discovery has a far greater density of this kind of blatant cockup than any previous title.

Yeah, there is that; it seems like they only research the stuff that interests them insofar as trying to make the story work.  On that note: I wonder if all of this is actually the fevered delusions of Michael Burnham lying in a Federation hospital on Earth after suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury back in the 23rd century?

(it would certainly make a lot of sense...maybe Picard actually suffered a stroke after the synths torched Mars, and all of Picard is pretty much the same thing?)

 

7 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

... you a +1 from me for that, btw.

:) Thank you kind sir; I'll have it bronzed and put it on my mantle. :D

5 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

I was working on my summaries of the last few Star Trek: Discovery season three episodes and @BlackRose's summary of the season's penultimate episode tops anything I could ever or will ever write about it.

She summed up "There is a tide..." in eight words:

Space Karen demands to speak to Starfleet's manager.

I lost it.

That reminds me of the last time I visited Failblog...maybe Star Trek needs its' own version?

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Is this dumpster fire still going?  Lol,  its almost as bad as that lame Robotech Remix thread, hahaha ha!

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5 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

Yeah, there is that; it seems like they only research the stuff that interests them insofar as trying to make the story work.  On that note: I wonder if all of this is actually the fevered delusions of Michael Burnham lying in a Federation hospital on Earth after suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury back in the 23rd century?

(it would certainly make a lot of sense...maybe Picard actually suffered a stroke after the synths torched Mars, and all of Picard is pretty much the same thing?)

It'd be real convenient if it were just a fever dream by an incredibly self-centered person.

It's one thing for, say, Q to choose Starfleet's finest captain as a representative sample of humanity to put on trial.  It's quite another for a character whose only noteworthy trait is her entirely accidental relation-by-foster to two famous Vulcan ambassadors to keep being given such massive leeway despite constant insubordination that puts her life and the lives of her crewmates at risk.  It's like Starfleet's been taking administrative pointers from Professor Dumbledore.

 

5 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

That reminds me of the last time I visited Failblog...maybe Star Trek needs its' own version?

It probably already has one, we just haven't found it.

 

11 minutes ago, peter said:

Is this dumpster fire still going?  Lol,  its almost as bad as that lame Robotech Remix thread, hahaha ha!

Yes, to our amazement this dumpster fire continues to burn fat stacks of cash to no useful end.

At least Titan Comics apparently knew when to pack it in.  Reports from entertainment news outlets talking to ViacomCBS, Netflix, and Amazon suggest the main thing keeping Kurtzman's odious take on Star Trek going is the sunk cost fallacy.  ViacomCBS is so deep in the red after investing something to the tune of a quarter of a billion dollars developing Star Trek: Discovery in expectation of a highly merchandised seven season run similar to previous Star Trek shows that they continue to spend lavishly on the series in the hopes that it will finally take off, attract merchandising, and start paying down the gargantuan debt incurred by its development.  There were reports from some news outlets that Netflix's ongoing involvement for season three (and beyond?) as the show's principal source of production funding was secured by CBS threatening to sue Netflix for breach of contract if they withdrew from the project.  So Netflix just slashes the budget based on the show's ever-diminishing returns and each new season ends up being shorter than the last as a result.

The merchandise situation's almost as sad as Robotech's... being mainly CafePress-style t-shirts, mugs, etc. with some other odds and ends like replica Starfleet badges and cheap wine.

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2 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

It'd be real convenient if it were just a fever dream by an incredibly self-centered person.

It's one thing for, say, Q to choose Starfleet's finest captain as a representative sample of humanity to put on trial.  It's quite another for a character whose only noteworthy trait is her entirely accidental relation-by-foster to two famous Vulcan ambassadors to keep being given such massive leeway despite constant insubordination that puts her life and the lives of her crewmates at risk.  It's like Starfleet's been taking administrative pointers from Professor Dumbledore.

I was thinking more for the sake of the Star Trek universe, so that it and Picard could just be relegated to the trash heap without much effect on continuity.

 

2 hours ago, peter said:

Is this dumpster fire still going?  Lol,  its almost as bad as that lame Robotech Remix thread, hahaha ha!

This dumpster fire is fueled by Kurtzman's refusal to take a hint and admit his non-version of Trek just plain sucks.

Without going back over all the ground that's already been covered, he's trying to continue what JJ Abomination started: turn Star Trek into Star Wars. And the production team he has going on this has done everything imaginable to try to slap a "Trek" veneer onto this monstrosity. It's like trying to hammer a square peg into a star-shaped hole: all you're gonna do is break the peg, the board the hole is in, and the hammer to boot. At the rate they're going, CBS/Viacom is going to become known as the Harmony Gold of Star Trek, with Kurtzman as it's Frank Agrama.

(my keyboard is crying because I made it type that out.)

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40 minutes ago, pengbuzz said:

I was thinking more for the sake of the Star Trek universe, so that it and Picard could just be relegated to the trash heap without much effect on continuity.

My headcanon is still that, since Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard take stylistic and narrative pointers from the unproduced Star Trek: Final Frontier series pitch and J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies, those shows are in a "bad future" timeline created by the actions of one or more hostile powers during the Temporal Cold War.

The Star Trek relaunch novel 'verse Department of Temporal Investigations miniseries used that exact explanation to dismiss and indirectly poke fun at Final Frontier and a number of other needlessly grimdark rejected Star Trek series pitches.  All of them got dismissed as "bad future" alternate realities created by Future Guy's tampering with history and then retroactively prevented from ever existing by corrective actions taken by the 29th century's Starfleet's Temporal Integrity Commission and the 31st century's civilian Federation Temporal Agency. 

Spoiler

All told, I think that there's an excellent case for Discovery being an alternate universe created by a temporal incursion.

  • Starfleet ship designs in Discovery c.2257+ contain specific design traits only found in the Kelvin timeline like a window/viewscreen combination on the bridge.
  • Starfleet ship designs in Discovery c.2257+ also contained anachronistic technologies that didn't exist in the prime timeline's 23rd century like holo-communicators (first trialed by Starfleet in 2373), total immersion holographic simulators, and replicators.
  • Section 31 possessed obviously anachronistic - even by Discovery's standards - technologies related to time travel like the Project Daedalus suit and self-aware artificial intelligence.  
  • The Klingon Empire - or at least the House of T'Kuvma - possessed anachronistic cloaking technology and disseminated it (unwillingly, via the House of Kor) to be used extensively during the Klingon War.  The Federation in the Prime timeline didn't encounter cloaking technology of this type until nine years later (2266) aboard a Romulan ship.
  • Various historical events in Discovery explicitly did not occur according to the history in previous Star Trek shows... most notably, the war that was the focus of season one and the Klingon Empire's near-invasion of Earth never happened in the prime timeline.  The Klingon War in 2267 was the first of its kind, and according to General Martok c.2375 his people never even considered doing anything as brazen as attacking Earth, where in Discovery they were clearly massing to attack it.

 

 

40 minutes ago, pengbuzz said:

This dumpster fire is fueled by Kurtzman's refusal to take a hint and admit his non-version of Trek just plain sucks.

Without going back over all the ground that's already been covered, he's trying to continue what JJ Abomination started: turn Star Trek into Star Wars. And the production team he has going on this has done everything imaginable to try to slap a "Trek" veneer onto this monstrosity. It's like trying to hammer a square peg into a star-shaped hole: all you're gonna do is break the peg, the board the hole is in, and the hammer to boot. At the rate they're going, CBS/Viacom is going to become known as the Harmony Gold of Star Trek, with Kurtzman as it's Frank Agrama.

(my keyboard is crying because I made it type that out.)

Well, it is kind of a career-ending admission to make... copping to having effectively dismantled and destroyed one of the most beloved sci-fi properties of all time.  I think he's hoping he can fake it 'til he makes it or hits retirement age.  

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Hats off to all of you who have gone through the trouble to endure this series.

It has stunning visuals, I will admit, but after reading some of the plots and premise, the Kingons (WTF) I couldn't be bothered.

I know there is some enthusiasm for the Discoprise in the Star Trek modelling groups, but that is about the only ship from the entire series that is basically ok, the rest don't get much mention, unless it's to make fun of how stupid the new BOP looks.

Just pop in here once in a while to see if anyone's put the fire out, hahahaha!

 

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4 hours ago, peter said:

Hats off to all of you who have gone through the trouble to endure this series.

It has stunning visuals, I will admit, but after reading some of the plots and premise, the Kingons (WTF) I couldn't be bothered.

I know there is some enthusiasm for the Discoprise in the Star Trek modelling groups, but that is about the only ship from the entire series that is basically ok, the rest don't get much mention, unless it's to make fun of how stupid the new BOP looks.

Just pop in here once in a while to see if anyone's put the fire out, hahahaha!

I wouldn't even say it's visually stunning, TBH.  There is some impressive CG occasionally, but the obsession with using high-end digital VFX at every opportunity is increasingly turning the series into accidental greenscreen comedy when the poor CG design choices aren't just repulsive like the riced-out Discovery, Osyrra's Great Value Star Destroyer, or Booker's I Can't Believe It's Not the Millennium Falcon.  

The one decent bit of design work done for the show was the TOS-inspired uniforms and Discovery version of the classic Enterprise... which is probably why they're keen to reuse those for Strange New Worlds now that Discovery has moved out of the 23rd century to avoid the near-constant criticism for f*cking it up.

(Personally, I will never get past the phrase "Klingon cleave ship".  My hands feel dirty just from typing it.)

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5 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

I wouldn't even say it's visually stunning, TBH.  There is some impressive CG occasionally, but the obsession with using high-end digital VFX at every opportunity is increasingly turning the series into accidental greenscreen comedy when the poor CG design choices aren't just repulsive like the riced-out Discovery, Osyrra's Great Value Star Destroyer, or Booker's I Can't Believe It's Not the Millennium Falcon.  

The one decent bit of design work done for the show was the TOS-inspired uniforms and Discovery version of the classic Enterprise... which is probably why they're keen to reuse those for Strange New Worlds now that Discovery has moved out of the 23rd century to avoid the near-constant criticism for f*cking it up.

(Personally, I will never get past the phrase "Klingon cleave ship".  My hands feel dirty just from typing it.)

BTW, I have an idea to save Star Trek...

We combine Star Trek Discovery and Star Trek Picard into one series.

 

Ready for the name?

Star Trek: DISCARD. :D

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7 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

(Personally, I will never get past the phrase "Klingon cleave ship".  My hands feel dirty just from typing it.)

I had to look that up.....I should have filmed my reaction and uploaded it to youtube.

 

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Ugh! It could have been a good episode...
 

Spoiler

 

...except that the main reveal about the Burn has gone Bust! That was supposed to be the whole BIG THING, but with that stumble and stubbed-toe I found myself not really caring about the rest. Sure, Vance is cool. He seems to be the only real adult in the whole season which begs for more airtime. I felt sorry for him when the Wicked Witch teased him about them losing Discovery in a matter of minutes, and without even a shot. Thanks Tilly. How's that self-destruct option coming along..? At the end of this, both Saru and Tilly should be off the ship, which would probably open the way for Michael.:shok: Although, I think it would be great if they introduced a new captain from the 32nd. Sure, set up Michael as No1 but let's have a professional in the big chair who won't get all mealy and softy and have the need to drop some tears every fifteen minutes. Pike 2.0 if you will.

But c'mon, Discovery is being chased back to the barn by the Big Bad, not communicating at all and they just let them in? They have a dozen ships inside the Enclave and they don't push a few out to meet them head on? And Book's comms are dead (of course) and they manage to get past the Chain flagship without it popping a shot at them, and the weapons officer on Discovery just being too overwhelmed during the choreographed approach?

If it was me, I would have stood off and fired on Discovery. Obviously they could tell what the Wicked Witch was playing at, so have a friendly ship firing on poor Discovery to show Vance that something was more hinky than he realized.

Then though, we wouldn't have Michael getting aboard and getting stabbed within minutes and leaving a bloody trail that no one was following.

Some things were good, like Staments needing to be forced off the ship. But the whole prison break thing was a by-the-numbers wash. And Osyrra's science guy, who is incredibly chummy with her, has never realized how much of a monster she is..? I predict that he will be instrumental in them stopping her from her plan. Any bets?

Also liked the Sphere Data hiding from discovery and coming out, finally, maybe as a fully fledged character. Finally. I really wish they had concentrated on that plot line more heavily in the preceding episodes.

There were some good episodes early on, but it hasn't played out the way it should.

 

 

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15 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

The one decent bit of design work done for the show was the TOS-inspired uniforms and Discovery version of the classic Enterprise... which is probably why they're keen to reuse those for Strange New Worlds now that Discovery has moved out of the 23rd century to avoid the near-constant criticism for f*cking it up.

I haven't watched any of it, but I'm actually starting to plan out a fun way to mod the Disco-prise into a sort of "pre-fit" design, going directly between the TOS and TMP versions.  Ditch the weird transparent bridge and put something more like the TOS design, fill in the nacelle pylons, and give it TMP-style decals and aztec markings.

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10 minutes ago, Chronocidal said:

I haven't watched any of it, but I'm actually starting to plan out a fun way to mod the Disco-prise into a sort of "pre-fit" design, going directly between the TOS and TMP versions.  Ditch the weird transparent bridge and put something more like the TOS design, fill in the nacelle pylons, and give it TMP-style decals and aztec markings.

Nah, keep the transparent bridge, just make sure you add this sun shade:

 

Sun_Shade_I_Star_Wars_-_01_1080x.thumb.jpg.020caf3e4b70354b7944df4e2a9a986d.jpg

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10 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

BTW, I have an idea to save Star Trek...

We combine Star Trek Discovery and Star Trek Picard into one series.

 

Ready for the name?

Star Trek: DISCARD. :D

If there's anything left of the Star Trek franchise once Alex Kurtzman's contract expires for a new creative team to take over, that's definitely one possibility.

As unpopular as Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard are - with almost no third party merchandising behind them - it'll be interesting to see what happens to Kurtzman's Trek once he's not in charge.  There are basically three options from the way that previous franchise brain farts were handled:

  • Alternate Universe
    AKA the Abrams Maneuver... for when an idea (like rebooting Star Trek) is so poorly received that the only way anyone is willing to give it the time of day is if it's officially branded as an alternate reality with no bearing on the rest of Star Trek, so that nobody has to acknowledge it in any way.
     
  • Damnatio Memoriae
    AKA the "Big-Lipped Alligator Moment"... the preferred solution for Gene Roddenberry and other showrunners to deal with stories and concepts that didn't turn out the way they'd hoped for various reasons like TAS, Star Trek V, and various old shame episodes and aborted arcs like "Code of Honor", "Move Along Home", various Kazon-centric story arcs, and anything to do with deuterium scarcity once the science advisors reminded them how common that stuff is.  "That was a thing that happened, but we will never speak of it again."
     
  • Discontinuity
    AKA the "Threshold Solution"... for those rare occasions that something turned out so poorly, or was so obviously stupid in hindsight that even the showrunners can't bear to have it in continuity.  TAS as a whole used to be on this level, but now this is occupied by just a few episodes that were such glaring messes that new material was written to establish that That Never Happened.  

 

Given how much ViacomCBS has invested in Star Trek: DiscoveryStar Trek: PicardStar Trek: Strange New Worlds, and Star Trek: Lower Decks, it's probably headed for alternate universe territory if the franchise survives just so they can try to recoup some of that money on home video/digital library sales while they pray that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

 

 

9 hours ago, peter said:

I had to look that up.....I should have filmed my reaction and uploaded it to youtube.

The worst part is that there's an actual real world name for ships like that which, though old, is somewhat less corny: a ram or ramship.

Of course, the reason that fell out of favor in the real world is that ramming was only really an effective strategy in the pre-Common Era days of wooden rowing ships and that steam-powered ironclad naval rams were so hilariously ineffective that it became evident there was no real point in building them.  Especially once torpedoes came into service and it became obvious you could do the same job better from further away with a torpedo.

 

 

8 hours ago, Thom said:

Thanks Tilly. How's that self-destruct option coming along..? At the end of this, both Saru and Tilly should be off the ship, which would probably open the way for Michael.:shok:

Yeah, that was just undignified.

Tilly talks sh*t to the leader of the Emerald Chain about how she'll never take the ship, and then she immediately takes the ship without firing a shot.  The whole idea making Tilly, the lowest-ranking and least-experienced member of the crew, into the ship's new executive officer was such an obviously terrible idea that it's flat amazing that anyone on the crew went with it.  The only thing I can conceive of as their reason for supporting her is that she's a bit dim and desperate for approval, and therefore would've been easy to the more experienced crew to manipulate.  She's not only not command material, she's not Starfleet material.  Even Reg Barclay had more of his sh*t together than Tilly, and he was more a pile of neuroses in the shape of a man than anything.

(I've noticed that the writers seem to really like doing this plot where they put a complete idiot in charge over dozens if not hundreds of more qualified candidates and calamity immediately ensues.  Lower Decks played it for comedy.)

It'll take some serious bullsh*t from the writers for Burnham to ever be given command.  She's already been dishonorably discharged for assaulting a superior officer and mutiny, censured several times for AWOL, and removed from her post as Discovery's executive officer over such a grievous instance of AWOL during an alert situation that she only narrowly avoided being cashiered out of the service again and the Starfleet Commander in Chief (correctly) thinks she's an irresponsible pillock.

 

 

8 hours ago, Thom said:

Although, I think it would be great if they introduced a new captain from the 32nd. Sure, set up Michael as No1 but let's have a professional in the big chair who won't get all mealy and softy and have the need to drop some tears every fifteen minutes. Pike 2.0 if you will.

Nah, Michael has already proved she's not command material to the point that Admiral Vance wanted to discharge her and Saru removed her from any possibility of the center seat.

They definitely need a proper, experienced captain though.  At the rate they've been shedding crew, I expect at least one or two more people to either quit or come down with permadeath at the end of the season.  Nhan has already left the crew to assist in running a Federation seed vault, and Mirror!Georgiou was sent into the past for a spinoff that's in development hell and will probably never happen.  They've also killed Ryn in the last episode.  Booker's probably save since he's Burnham's love interest, but I suspect they're either going to have Saru leave Starfleet to take care of Su'Kal full time or Tilly will be killed off trying to reclaim the ship.  My money's on the writers killing off Tilly, since her character is redundant with the introduction of Adira Tal who's also socially awkward but more competent and better-liked (esp. by Stamets). and is also Star Trek's first nonbinary recurring character.

 

8 hours ago, Thom said:

Some things were good, like Staments needing to be forced off the ship. But the whole prison break thing was a by-the-numbers wash. And Osyrra's science guy, who is incredibly chummy with her, has never realized how much of a monster she is..? I predict that he will be instrumental in them stopping her from her plan. Any bets?

That, my friend, is a sucker bet.

The writers telegraphed the sh*t out of that when he had that conversation with Stamets and Stamets explained what an evil person she is... leading to him refusing to leave the bridge before she executed Ryn.

 

8 hours ago, Thom said:

Also liked the Sphere Data hiding from discovery and coming out, finally, maybe as a fully fledged character. Finally. I really wish they had concentrated on that plot line more heavily in the preceding episodes.

There were some good episodes early on, but it hasn't played out the way it should.

Eh... I am less enthusiastic about that because that's headed into a Star Trek version of R2-D2... which is basically what those damned robots already are.

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The Sanctuary (DSC 3x08)

Spoiler

Cleveland Booker's origin story... and another bizarre proof that this series was written by Pakleds, for Pakleds.

 

Getting off to an early start with the bad decisions, this episode opens on Mirror!Georgiou trying to intimidate Dr. Culber with incredibly cliched threats and basically failing miserably.  It's rather nice to see that, for once, someone on Discovery has zero time for this racist-ass dragon lady bullshit they keep writing for Michelle Yeoh.  He's trying to figure out why she's tripping balls, falling over, and hallucinating crap from the mirror universe and she's... uncooperative... to say the least.  The performance here gives the distinct impression that neither actor is thrilled with this writing, but Michelle Yeoh has gone full Robert Beltran and is phoning it in on a long-distance collect call.  There's a very definite feeling here that Michelle Yeoh wants out, and with no sign of the promised Section 31 spinoff they'd originally promised her and the godawful writing done for her, it's not hard to see why.

Meanwhile, Booker sets up the episode's A-plot by bumping into Burnham and delivering a rushed explanation that he needs to go back to his home planet Kweijan because his brother is in deep sh*t with the Emerald Chain, whom they've been doing business with for like 15 years, and now Osyrra plans to destroy the planet.  Apparently this is something Osyrra does A LOT.

Back on Hunhau, or perhaps we should call it "Planet Philadelphia" even though the showrunners put the standard brown "Central America" filter over everything like we're watching it through a used coffee filter, Osyrra's nephew Tolor (the meathead who runs the place) is making excuses for himself to his aunt.  She apparently killed his father to maintain control over the mercantile exchanges and now she's going to kill him for being a moron.  So she transports him into a drippy dungeon set that looks like it was recycled from Jabba's Palace and he's promptly eaten by the Rancor a "trace worm".  She's really mad that he lost Ryn, the Andorian she mutilated who was installnig the battle royale bombs in everyone's necks.

There's a brief cringeworthy scene where Saru is apparently consulting Tilly in an attempt to come up with a catchphrase for his tenure as Captain.  It's so painfully meta.  It falls flat when he actually tries it on both occasions.

Stamets unveils the location where the Burn started.  It's the Verubin nebula, a nasty place full of unusually intense radiation and magnetic fields, and generally an unpleasant place to be.  There's also a signal coming from the nebula.  Apparently it's the origin of the music that everyone seems to know, but it turns out to be a Federation distress signal once they clean it up.  There's a brief aside where Adira clarifies some Trill pronoun problems and decides to now go by gender-neutral.

Both Dr. Pollard and Dr. Culber have some fun at Georgiou's expense when sedating her for her scan, cutting her off in mid-snark.

Stamets and Adira talk about Adira's problems and play music together while Ryn complains about needing to get off the ship and Burnham and Booker wander around on Kweijan.  Booker and Burnham are ambushed by Booker's brother and arrested at gunpoint.

Back on the Discovery, Georgiou's condition has advanced and she has another episode while being scanned by the doctors.  Apparently her condition causes her face to become the title screen from Super Mario 64.  

Booker's brother Kyheem is deep in Osyrra's pocket, having apparently lured Booker to Kweijan to get his hands on Ryn, whom the Emerald Chain wants back.  Osyrra is threatening to cut off Kweijan's supply of locust repellant which will trigger mass starvation across the planet.  Kyheem can't turn Ryn over because he doesn't have him, and can't bring himself to take his brother hostage, so Osyrra reasonably decides to just start shelling the planet with photon torpedoes.  Pretty low yield ones, at any rate, given that they only seem to produce tiny detonations a few hundred feet across instead of the city-flattening, continent-cracking blasts we've seen from orbital bombardments in the 24th century.  

Starfleet's solution to not being able to fire on Osyrra themselves at risk of starting a shooting war with the Emerald Chain?  They send Detmer and Ryn out in Booker's ship, the Nautilus, to strafe the crap out of Osyrra's cruiser Viridian.  We get a lot of closeups of Viridian during this sequence, and it's REALLY weird that this ship has gun turrets.  Like, torn off a World War II battleship gun turrets.  Not phaser arrays or phaser banks.  Actual gun turrets like this crap is from Star Wars.

Perhaps the worst prop failure so far happens during that sequence too.  Detmer switches off automatic control and opts for full manual control.  It's like when Riker asked for manual control in Insurrection and got a generic video game joystick on a pedestal... except this time the programmable matter keyboard spits out what are very clearly a pair of VR headset controllers that I'm pretty sure belong to an Oculus Rift.  They've just added some blue-green LEDs to them to make them look more futuristic.

While that's going on, there's a really badly choreographed fight scene between Kyheem and Booker, who are trying to outdo each other for "fakest sounding accent" in the middle of it.  

Viridian warps out after its weapons are knocked out by sustained fire from the Nautilus, and Discovery uses the same thing it used on Kaminar to force every Kelpian to undergo that maturation process where they turn into predators but now it's amplifying Booker and his brother's telepathy so they can telepathically force the locusts to GTFO.  Booker brings his brother for a tour of Discovery, Ryn spills the beans about the Emerald Chain being almost out of dilithium, and Stamets and Culber have a talk about Adira that basically boils down to them having unofficially adopted her.

 

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Terra Firma, Part 1 (DSC 3x09)

Spoiler

"Mistakes were made", the script.

"Mistakes were made", said the writer's parents.

I've noted in the past that Star Trek: Discovery had to go to some pretty obscene lengths on its first outing to the Mirror Universe in order to make its absolutely awful protagonist seem like a lighter shade of grey.  Even though the whole thing turned out to be frankly paper-thin allegory for the rising tide of xenophobia in the US government, right down to Lorca turning out to be Space Trump, it turns out they still thought there was room to go less subtle.

Any pretense of what the Discovery writers fondly imagine is subtlety has gone out the window in "Terra Firma, Part 1".  

I cannot stress enough that this is, hands down, the worst writing in all of Star Trek.  This is worse than "the Final Frontier".  This is worse than "Code of Honor".  This is worse than "The Way to Eden" or "Spock's Brain".  This is worse than "Threshold".  This is worse even than "Bem" or "The Magicks of Megas-Tu".  This is like listening to Gilbert Gottfried narrate a novelization of Ishtar.  This is like listening to Fran Drescher unconvincingly fake an orgasm.  This is like being a fly on the wall while Gordon Ramsey is critiquing Jeffrey Dahmer's cooking.  This is such a transcendently awful experience that even the Cenobites from Hellraiser would tell ViacomCBS to take it down a notch.

This is the kind of writing that doesn't just deserve the most public mockery imaginable.  This is the kind of writing that should come with a court order barring the writer from ever writing ever again, and instructions to the police to break every bone in the writer's hands at least twice to make sure of it.  This someone typed this out and printed it without the computer and/or paper immediately catching fire in a desperate last-ditch attempt to save humanity proves we truly live in the worst timeline of all.  

 

Remember that slightly goofy effect where the Doctor on Voyager was taking 3D holographic scans of everyone and it showed the hologram being assembled one layer at a time?  Yeah, that's back.  Except its' Georgiou!  

David Kronenberg patiently explains that Dr. Culber and Dr. Pollard have been wasting their time.  He shows Dr. Culber a record of a Betelgeusian Starfleet officer named Yor who was a soldier in the Temporal Wars.  Yor was a 24th century Starfleet officer allegedly from the Kelvin timeline who traveled forward in time and was killed by a sickness caused by having traveled both interdimensionally and temporally.  Yor supposedly traveled from the year 2379 in the Kelvin timeline to the 32nd century, where he was euthanized because his illness was killing him in a most excruciating manner and there was no way to send him home.  The reason I say Yor is allegedly from the Kelvin timeline is the hologram of Yor that David Kronenberg calls up to discuss with Dr. Culber is wearing a Prime timeline Starfleet uniform and combadge from the first half of the Prime timeline's 2360s.  (He's wearing a TNG Season 1 uniform and combadge, a design that was retired starting in 2366.)  To me, this is more proof that the timelines of Discovery and Picard are not the Prime timeline.

Georgiou is apparently hella screwed because she's traveled interdimensionally and almost a thousand years in time, and her home universe has gotten a lot farther away from Discovery's universe in that time.

After David Kronenberg tells Culber the best (read: "only") solution is to sedate Georgiou and chuck her in the brig before she has a psychotic break and tries to die gloriously, Culber consults the Discovery's computer and it immediately points out an alternative.

Over in the galley, Georgiou tries and fails to lift a wine glass and then goes thermonuclear on Tilly for trying to comfort her, then throws her food on Tilly and storms out.

The computer turned up a planet where it says there is something that can help Georgiou.  It doesn't specify what or how, though.  Admiral Vance does that Captain Adama thing where he initially says no but immediately reverses himself as soon as he's asked a second time.  He orders Discovery to this planet, and offers Saru some generic advice before leaving.

Meanwhile, Georgiou is having an ongoing meltdown in a gymnasium (or is it a holodeck?), doing an incredibly unconvincing-looking routine on a training dummy while Burnham tries to get her attention.  To show what a balanced soul she is, her immediate reaction to Burnham interrupting her is to attack her with an axe, then slap Burnham, and then pull a sword on her.  

Burnham and Georgiou beam down to this random iceball and walk around because there's bloody nothing there.  

There's a brief aside to Adira being awkward because she's still adjusting to hosting a Trill symbiont, and Stamets continues trying to parent her.  Booker sucks up to Saru because he's just thrilled with what the Federation did for Kweijan and is now a true believer in the Federation's ideals.

Back on the planet. Georgiou and Burnham find a guy played by Paul Guilfoyle (who you probably know best as Captain Jim Brass from CSI) dressed as a 1940s American man, smoking a cigar and reading the paper from the comfort of a wooden patio chair next to an old fashioned wooden door standing upright in the middle of the tundra.  He tells her he was just reading about her, and shows them a paper whose headline proclaims "Emperor Georgiou dies horribly painful death".  He gives several non-answers to every question posed to him except when people ask who he is and he answers "Carl".  He delivers several awful door-related puns that fall flatter than his door.  He insults Burnham by telling her she should've read up on doors a little before coming down.  He speaks in riddles for another few minutes.  Georgiou starts Mario 64-ing again.

Back on Discovery, Saru views the distress signal from inside the Verubin nebula.  It's a Kelpien woman named Dr. Issa, whose ship crashed on a world in the nebula some 125 years ago.  Saru avoids briefing the Admiral on these new revelations just yet, and seems to be captivated by the fact that it's a Kelpien in the distress call.  

Back to the planet, and "Carl" is still talking in riddles while an increasingly frustrated Burnham slowly loses her sh*t in frustration.  Carl really doesn't seem to give a damn, this is a performance as emotionless as the usual Chakotay fare.  Georgiou goes through the door, and hey hey... she's aboard the ISS Discovery in the Mirror Universe back before she executed Mirror Burnham for treason.  We're once again treated to the incredibly retarded idea that Tilly is a person to be feared (as the ridiculously named "Captain Killy"), as the Discovery's troops greet the Emperor on her way to celebrate the christening of the ISS Charon that Discovery blew up back in season one.  Nobody seems to notice while Georgiou loudly exposits that she's traveled back in time to the day before Lorca betrayed her.  We see a party in Discovery's wardroom that feels more Klingon than anything with people throwing knives and playing with handheld agonizers in a sort of pain-endurance arm wrestling contest, and we get our first look at Mirror Burnham and oh my god does she look awful.  Between the black lipstick, enough eyeliner to make it look like she has two sets of eyebrows, and Sonequa Martin-Green's inability to not make stupid faces at any and every opportunity, she looks like she's been taking style tips from Gozer from the first Ghostbusters movie.  

If you thought Prime Burnham was a psychopath, Mirror Burnham is worse.  The very first thing she does is relate that she blinded and dismembered the artists responsible for some art that Georgiou liked so that it will appreciate in value faster.  She immediately starts abusing the Kelpien wait staff, until Georgiou makes her stop, and then starts expressing her desire to exterminate the Kelpiens for no reason at all.  She loses her crap AGAIN and starts making ridiculous faces while berating Mirror Saru, luridly describing her desire to have him dismembered and served up by the ship's kitchen.  Georgiou spares Saru, and makes him her personal servant.  Saru explains to her, at her prompting, why Burnham and co. are siding with Lorca against her... it's all because she's not Incredibly Racist enough.  We then wander the halls of Discovery and find Mirror Rhys and Mirror Owosekun having a fight over who will be chief of security on the Charon because Rhys just wants the title and access to the ship's red light district.  The fight drags on until Georgiou tells them to wrap it up, and Burnham continues behaving like the queen of all edgelords.  We have to watch a ridiculous play narrated by Stamets about how Georgiou came to power by murdering everyone above her, which ends in the unveiling of the Charon as Burnham storms out.  She executes Stamets for the betrayal he was planning, and then arrests Burnham when she storms out of the ceremony afterwards.  We get to see a number of other stupid faces made by Sonequa Martin-Green as she overacts like she's been popping an ocean's worth of uppers.  It's impossible to take any of it seriously since she seems to think she's in The Mask with all the ridiculous expressions she's pulling.  Tilly kicks Burnham in the face to knock her out and she's dragged off to the agonizer.

 

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Terra Firma, Part 2 (DSC 3x10)

Spoiler

There's a saying "Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it." 

Clearly, the writers haven't heard that one.  Nor, apparently, have their parents.

 

We return to the ISS Discovery... but upside-down this time because the writers thought that sh*t was clever.  Burnham is making noises that I'm sure Sonequa Martin-Green and the director fondly imagined sounded like furious struggling, but instead only sound like she's having a hard time in the bathroom the morning after a pub crawl.  Burnham begs Emperor Georgiou for summary execution, shrieking about how every second she hesitates is a display of weakness.  She's still making ridiculously exaggerated facial expressions that manage to both convey how incredibly unhinged the character is and make the entire affair impossible to take seriously.  The best way I can describe the effect is that it's a bit like if Jim Carrey were acting in blackface while absolutely off his nut on crystal meth.  It's the kind of performance that would leave most levelheaded reviewers privately (or even openly) wondering which producer or studio executive she's sleeping with.

Burnham launches into a rant about how Lorca has been able to gather so much support because Georgiou is showing weakness by doing things like not murdering people for no reason, and then accuses her of planning to retire to the newly completed ISS Charon.

Georgiou rounds on Burnham and attempts to explain that it's really hard to maintain an empire if you're murdering people for no reason all the time.  

Owosekun kicks Burnham to the ground and the guards drag her back into the agony booth as she makes even more absurd faces and screams borderline-unintelligibly about how a bunch of the Empire's subject species are banding together against the Empire.  

I'm sure this would be a powerful scene if Sonequa Martin-Green could do something other than pull ridiculous faces like she's tweaking on enough meth to fell an elephant.

So we get to watch more of Burnham being fried in an agony booth while making ridiculous faces... which Georgiou is apparently watching on TV in her quarters, while she talks to Tilly, who is upset that Burnham is still alive, and declares her intention to break Burnham back into a loyal subject.

Can I just stop and say that it's absolutely ABSURD that Mirror Tilly is feared by anyone... let alone allegedly being The Dreaded and the most feared interrogator in the galaxy.

The opening is upside-down and photonegative... because we couldn't be arsed to actually do a proper job of it this time.

Back in her cell, Burnham is still pulling faces and throwing her food at the walls.  Tilly threatens to have Culber force-feed her, then throws her back in the agony booth for a torture session.  They leave Burnham to sleep in the agony booth, and she's woken up by Owosekun coming to torture her.  Meanwhile, there's a voiceover by Georgou about how the world can be a better place.  Detmer comes to visit Burnham in the brig and encourages her to give up, telling her nobody's heard from Lorca.

Georgiou tries to have a motherly moment with the passed-out Burnham, leaving her a lamp full of fireflies while she sleeps since apparently those comforted her as a child.

Burnham swears loyalty to the Emperor and she and Detmer start hunting Lorca's coconspirators.  She guns down Landry, and then we're treated to her throwing bloodied badges on the table to show she's killed most of the named characters in the series.  Then she shanks Detmer by surprise to complete the set.  They have a meal together, Georgiou announcing Kelpien is no longer being served since she finds it unhealthy.  

Back in her quarters, she talks to Saru who has started to realize something is up and that Georgiou is not behaving like a Terran.  Saru reveals he's going into vahar'ai, and she informs him it's not death but a next step in the natural Kelpien life cycle.  

ISS Discovery goes hunting Lorca's remaining associates, and corners one over Risa.  They disable his shuttle and bring him aboard.  It turns out to be a stunt intended to get Georgiou in a vulnerable position where Burnham can assassinate her with assistance from Culber and others.  It turns into a firefight in the brig, with Kelpiens led by Saru coming to Georgiou's rescue and gunning down several conspirators like Culber.  The fight ends in a mutual kill as Georgiou fatally stabs Burnham and is stabbed in the neck herself, leaving Tilly, Owosekun, and Saru as the only surviving Discovery mirror characters.  Georgiou dies on the floor of the Discovery's brig...

... then wakes up back on the ice planet, where "Carl" reveals the newspaper headline has changed to reflect that she's no longer facing imminent death.  

Georgiou's medical monitoring device reveals that she did in fact live three months in the minute or so she was unconscious, suggesting that the last two episodes actually happened, with Georgiou having mentally traveled back in time and to the Mirror Universe.  She starts Mario 64-ing again.

Carl reveals - via some archive audio from the TOS episode - that he is the Guardian of Forever.  The wooden door explodes and reforms into the familiar lopsided archway.

Aboard Discovery, the crew are trying to access the computers of the crashed Kelpien ship in the Verubin nebula.  Booker waltzes in with what appears to be a bluetooth speaker that magically clears up the interference they were fighting with.

Planetside, Carl explains that the Guardian of Forever went into hiding during the Temporal Wars to avoid being weaponized by the factions doing the fighting.  Carl reveals the last two episodes were a Secret Test of Character to see if it was worth sending her back in time so she'd be able to survive.  Georgiou marches into the portal after she says her goodbyes to Burnham.

Back aboard the Discovery, Saru reports on the Kelpien ship to Vance... then the crew does a very forced eulogy for the "dead" Georgiou.

 

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Dangit, Carl, you were supposed to get rid of EVERYONE!

 

Actually, this raises questions. If the Guardian is a moral being, is there a Mirror Guardian that is evil and wears a stone goatee?

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Just now, JB0 said:

Actually, this raises questions. If the Guardian is a moral being, is there a Mirror Guardian that is evil and wears a stone goatee?

The way it's presented both here and in TAS "Yesteryear", the Guardian of Forever seems to have a singular consciousness and memory spread across all the universes where there is a Guardian of Forever.  Either that or it's a singular entity who physically exists in multiple realities at once.  Its memory is immune to changes in the timeline or the creation of alternate timelines... like when a Federation research team accidentally failed to close a stable time loop that created an alternate reality where Spock died as a child, it still have knowledge of both the alteration and of Spock's interactions with it in a different timeline.

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Su'Kal (DSC 3x11)

Spoiler

"Su'Kal" or "The episode in which we learn that the galactic civilization was destroyed by one Kelpien manchild's inability to cope with a fairytale monster".

 

This episode picks up right where the last one left off... at the memorial for the character everyone hated and who explicitly hated everyone: Phillipa Georgiou (Mirror ver.).

Adira and her symbiont's previous host (and her former bf) Gray Tal shows up to apologize to her for having disappeared unceremoniously.  He's apparently rather confused as he's not supposed to be manifesting the way he is.  (He's got a bad case of Joran.)  The proceedings are interrupted when the internal sensors of the Kelpien ship show there's actually someone still alive there.  Saru corrects the crew that the red marks on Dr. Issa's head were not radiation sickness symptoms, but an external indication she's pregnant and that the survivor would have to be her child.  Discovery sets course for the Verubin nebula.

Saru orders the ship into the nebula, and and the shields start collapsing almost immediately as Saru asserts that they can't leave.  He eventually relents after Booker offers to scout it himself in the Nautilus because Discovery is too big and she's suffering too much buffeting from the radiation sources inside the nebula.  Nautilus's shields start failing and Booker starts experiencing radiation sickness, getting knocked around a bit before his ship is forced to retreat back to Discovery.  He comes with scans of the planet where the Kelpien ship crashed... a planet mostly made of dilithium.  

They report to Admiral Vance, who is interested to hear of a planet made of dilithium and the presence of a survivor from a crashed Federation ship and they announce their intention to take a landing party down to investigate.

Culber and Stamets have an argument about Culber's plan to accompany the away team to manage their radiation exposure and administer anti-radiation drugs as needed on the mission.  Burnham reassures Tilly about her new role as Discovery's first officer, since Saru is leaving her in charge while he, Burnham, and Culber transport down to the planet.  On arrival inside the crashed Kelpien ship, Burnham discovers that she has taken on the appearance of a Trill, Culber a Bajoran, and Saru a human.  I'm sure that Doug Jones is happy to finally do some acting outside of those heavy prosthetics.  They realize they're in an advanced holoprogram and that they can't access any of their essential equipment like their commbadges, phasers, or radiation meds due to the holograms.  Saru tries in vain to order the program to shut down, and then they resolve to look for whoever or whatever is running the program.

They find a glitchy hologram giving a lecture on replicator technology, apparently to a tree, and attempt to interact with it only for it to glitch out worse and then fail.  It's odd that their outfits look to be off-the-shelf winter clothing for the most part.

They find a crumbling castle or other similarly large ruin, which has enough steps and staircases to look like a low rent M. C. Escher painting.  They find a barred door on one side, and then notice the Kelpien who's been stacking rocks the whole time.  They realize he's the only real person present, but he doesn't understand they're not part of the holoprogram he's been living his whole life in and asks what program they're from.  Something starts banging on the door, and the Kelpien starts freaking out, whines that they woke the monster, and runs away.  

On Discovery, the crew are working to get the Discovery ready to go back into the nebula but the shield generators are too damaged to re-enter the nebula.  They detect an approaching Federation ship.  It's obviously suspicious but Tilly is too anxious to actually take any appropriate action.

Back on the planet, Saru and Culber discover a hologram reenactment of Kaminar's admission to the United Federation of Planets.  The Vulcan hologram starts glitching out badly as it attempts to interact wtih them, asking if they're rescuers come to save "the child".  They ask for the child's name, or how he survived, and the hologram glitches out again and informs them that their appearances have been altered to be consistent with the program to avoid scaring him.  Some golf clapping ensues.  Meanwhile, Burnham has wandered off alone and encountered a monster who looks suspiciously like something from Pirates of the Caribbean, which just sort of blurbles threateningly at her and knocks cutlery around without actually doing anything.  It mimics her for a moment, presumably takes it too far (since it starts shrieking) and chases her around.  She falls off a ledge and falls up for some reason.  

Back on Discovery, Tilly is showing her inexperience as she attempts to reason out the incoming ship and never quite seems to cotton on to the fact that it's obviously a false Federation warp signature.  Tilly finally catches on when Owosekun reports the neutrino emissions from the ship make no sense, and realizes it's Viridian.  Sure as sure, it's the Viridian, which apparently followed Discovery using a transwarp tunnel.  Tilly orders Discovery to cloak, which prevents the ship from using its spore drive.  Viridian also cloaks.

Planetside, Burnham wakes up after her fall, and finds herself face to face with the child.  He thinks she's a program, and she plays along in the hopes of getting him to open up.  Saru and Culber find a holographic Kelpien elder with a storybook, who is apparently responsible for teaching the child history, mythology, and other things of that sort.  They learn the child's name from a painting in the room.  Su'Kal starts freaking out after he starts to realize Burnham isn't a hologram.

Discovery needs another 30 minutes before it can return to the nebula, and Osyrra hails them.  She and Tilly engage in an incredibly stilted pissing match in which it's VERY clear Tilly is out of her depth and about to massively screw up.  

Saru and Culber catch up to Su'Kal just as the monster does, and he nearly triggers another burn, forcing Discovery to power down its warp core for fear of a dilithium failure and forcing both Discovery and Viridian to decloak.  They start preparations to jump, only for Osyrra's ship to start sprouting tentacles and board Discovery.  

Booker attempts to extract the away team, while Emerald Chain boarding parties seize control of the ship and put some kind of mind control tiara on Stamets, resulting in yet another cheap and cheerful "all white eyes" special effect.  Viridian and Discovery spore jump away right before Booker's ship catches up, as Osyrra has the crew confined and more or less declares victory since she can now jump right to Starfleet Headquarters.

 

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There is a Tide (DSC 3x12): AKA "Space Karen demands to speak to Starfleet's Manager."

Spoiler

The penultimate episode of Season 3.

Have I mentioned what a sad mess this show is?  This is supposed to essentially be building up to the climax of the season and literally the only scene in this entire episode that any Star Trek fan group is talking about is the scene where Admiral Vance puts Osyrra off her lunch by pointing out that replicated food is - in the loosest possible sense - made from recycled waste.  Something she really ought to already know, given that she owns at least one starship and that that's been the standard source of matter for replicators to rearrange since replicators were invented.

 

So, when we left off, Osyraa had jumped the Discovery and her ship, Viridian, to Starfleet Headquarters and is now faking a pursuit under fire in order to infiltrate the facility.

This whole scene is kind of an obvious screwup by Admiral Vance given that Discovery isn't taking evasive action or shooting back.  It doesn't seem to occur to him until it's too late that Discovery had already been boarded by the Emerald Chain.  Meanwhile, Osyraa's crew have apparently overwritten the entire operating system of Discovery's computer cores with their own OS except for an old Earth movie which is evidence of the sphere data AI still being around.

The crazy courier from early in the season is back as Osyraa's gunman, keeping the bridge crew under guard in the ready room.  He (deservedly) mocks Tilly, pointing out that under her sterling command it took the Emerald Chain less than twelve minutes to completely take over the Discovery.  He even gets in a few jabs about the possibility of the Federation finally realizing how completely incompetent she (and by extension, some of the Discovery crew) is and letting the Emerald Chain keep them.  

Booker and Burnham have to take the rough way back, a transwarp conduit full of wreckage.  They attempt to warn Starfleet HQ what's going on but their communications are conveniently out.  So they decide to crash land at high speed inside the Discovery's shuttlebay in order to get aboard it and inside Starfleet HQ.  Somewhat realistically, this isn't the neat and tidy crash-at-speed of the shuttle in Star Trek V.  This rips up the floor and ceiling of the bay, trashes the Nautilus, and starts a whole bunch of fires in the bay as a consequence of hitting who-knows-what and probably crushing a few of Discovery's shuttlecraft.  Osyraa is understandably a bit pissed about this, and heads down to the spore cube to see her friend Aurellio, a paraplegic scientist who is analyzing the spore drive in the hopes of replicating it for the Emerald Chain.

Down in the hangar, everything is on fire and Burnham has decided she's John McClaine.  That's right, it's Die Hard on a Starship.  Or at least the mockbuster version of it.  She and Booker share a kiss before she goes running off.

Vance finally realizes that something is up when he's told there's a transport jammer on Discovery and that Viridian is just chilling outside the shield.  He orders every ship to prepare to open fire on the Discovery, demonstrating that he is far and away the most competent character on this show and he's still kind of an idiot.  

Booker is thrown into the ready room-turned-containment area by Osyraa's henchmen, and signals to Tilly that Burnham is on the loose.  She picks a fight with one of the Emerald Chain henchmen attempting to pry off the badges in Discovery's ad hoc memorial and does such a terrible job of choking the minion out she gets stabbed for her trouble.  Sadly, the wound is not fatal.  Being an idiot, she immediately does the worst possible thing you can do with a stab wound... pull the blade out.  She then steals his combadge and tries to use the transporter function.  She goes limping off down the corridor trailing a HUGE amount of blood, which is a pretty clear indicator that she got stabbed in the femoral artery and is bleeding out.  

Starfleet has finished cordoning off the Discovery with ships ready to unleash hell when Osyraa hails them.  Admiral Vance delivers an admirable ultimatum, and she actually apologizes and informs him she's already released the Discovery's crew and is only holding the senior staff.  It seems she's come to talk.  

Aboard Discovery, somehow nobody has noticed the roughly eleven gallons of blood Burnham has left in the immediate vicinity and she's in a Jeffries tube cauterizing her VERY DEEP stab wound that definitely hit the femoral artery with a phaser... which is the equivalent of slapping a band-aid onto a guillotine wound.  She uses her stolen tricom badge to try to get in touch with her mother on Ni'Var and leaves a message.  Burnham overhears instructions for the Emerald Chain troops to send more bodies down to engineering to keep Stamets under control.

Osyraa and a bunch of her Daft Punk-impersonating henchmen beam over to Starfleet HQ to meet with Admiral Vance.  He warns her his people are absolutely prepared to wreck her sh*t, but won't fire first.  They head into the station's ready room to have their discussion in the company of Eli the lie-detecting hologram.  

Back on Discovery, the crew are annoying their captors by tapping out morse code to each other.  Everyone starts talking at once to distract the guards, and the guards get ambushed immediately.  Considering there were two of them and like eight crew, it's amazing it took this long.  Tilly has everyone try to get the doors open.

Admiral Vance and Osyraa open negotiations with Osyraa complaining about the lie detection hologram.  She lays out that she's holding Discovery's senior staff hostage but they're unharmed, and mocks him about how easy it was to take the ship.  She makes sure he knows that Tilly was the one in charge and that she dropped the ball.  She then insists she wants peace, and proposes a treaty to unite the Federation and the Emerald Chain.  She proposes having the Emerald Chain scientists help the Federation to copy the spore drive and indicates she wants the Chain to join the Federation because the Federation is a symbol of hope.

Burnham is somehow upset and shocked to learn that something like a combadge can be tracked, when the Emerald Chain overseers find her pretty much right away from the stolen combadge.  Aurellio starts up a conversation with Stamets, starting with their taste in opera.  Stamets shows some unusual knowledge of alien cultures, noting that his opposite number is married to an Orion and has three children from some culture-specific piercings behind his captor's ear.  They talk about the tardigrade DNA that allows Stamets to navigate the Discovery, and Aurellio starts brainstorming ways to copy Stamets's illegal genetic engineering.  

Burnham is still being pursued through the Jeffries tubes, though she lays a trap for the Emerald Chain troops.  She uses her phaser to blow up some device inside of the Jeffries tube and instead of the fire suppression force field that every Starfleet ship has had since at least 2320 the Discovery just purges the atmosphere from the Jeffries tubes, hurling the Emerald Chain troops into the void.  We get to see a good 30 second long continuous explosive decompression somehow, accompanied with a bunch of silly faces from Burnham.  Somehow, this vents the Emerald Chain troops right in front of the bridge despite the Jeffries tube being near engineering, and the poor trooper who got flushed is somehow flash-frozen to the point that they shatter.

Osyraa is picking at a fruit tray and complains that the replicated apples don't taste quite right and remarks how sad it is that Vance has never eaten a real apple.  He then launches into the "it's made of our crap" speech about how replicators recycle waste, indicating that it's better than luxury foods that you have to commit atrocities for.  She makes a speech about how capitalism needs to be respected in the Federation because the post-scarcity economy that defined the Federation collapsed with it.  Vance puts forward the point that the Emerald Chain uses slavery to prop up its capitalist economy and Osyraa rebuts that she's already forced through a motion for the Orion gov't to ban slavery.  (Which, if true, and Eli says it is, would've made her a visionary Orion civil rights leader if she weren't a ridiculously evil mobster.)  Vance says that she'll need to step down from running the Emerald Chain.  Osyraa then offers up an armistice in which she promises to adhere to the prime directive, walk back all previous prime directive violations and domestic interferences, and all manner of other concessions.

Ryn successfully sabotages the Emerald Chain's communications, replaying months worth of Discovery's internal sensor logs simultaneously to make it look like there are thousands of crew wandering the ship while they make their escape.  Ryn and Booker stay behind to distract the guards while the rest of Discovery's crew head down to the armory.  Stamets explains to Aurellio that Osyraa is kind of a bloodythirsty psycho.  Aurellio defends her by explaining how she gave him a life.  Burnham busts in and stuns everyone, cuts Stamets free, and goes on the run with him.  Stamets freaks out and insists they need to go back to the nebula to save Culber and Tal and Burnham is forced to Vulcan nerve pinch him.  

Vance is understandably impressed by the armistice proposal, but he asks who will be the face of the alliance on the Chain's side and Eli spots his first lie when she says she'll appoint someone who won't just be a proxy for her.  He then suggests that she needs to be tried for her crimes in order to move forward with the armistice, and she has an awkward meltdown at the prospect of a show trial and likely slap on the wrist for her years as a slaver, mass murderer, etc.  She storms out and returns to Discovery, and she learns that Ryn sabotaged the sensors to cover the escape of the Discovery senior staff.  She tries to get Aurellio to leave before she goes to evil methods, and then executes Ryn on the bridge with a disruptor blast that vaporizes him despite Booker attempting to offer her the location of the dilithium planet in exchange for his life.  She orders her ship to open fire on the headquarters shields so she can escape.

Below decks, Burnham is setting Stamets up inside of a force field bubble and preparing to jettison him from the ship.  She sets her phaser to overload next to a viewport to blow him out of the ship with the decompression.  Stamets begs to go to the nebula to save Culber instead, and is clearly distraught about her blasting him out of the ship.  Stamets is picked up via tractor beam and taken to HQ while Burnham cries for what has to be the seventh or eighth time this season, and is immediately caught by another Emerald Chain flunky.  Meanwhile, the Discovery crew reaches and raids the armory, and Tilly announces her intention to launch a do-or-die raid on the bridge, only to have her plan interrupted by three service droids, one of whom projects an old black and white movie.  The sphere data AI speaks for the first time, announcing it's at her service and asks if they should take back the ship.  

 

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2 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

There is a Tide (DSC 3x12): AKA "Space Karen demands to speak to Starfleet's Manager."

  Hide contents

The penultimate episode of Season 3.

Have I mentioned what a sad mess this show is?  This is supposed to essentially be building up to the climax of the season and literally the only scene in this entire episode that any Star Trek fan group is talking about is the scene where Admiral Vance puts Osyrra off her lunch by pointing out that replicated food is - in the loosest possible sense - made from recycled waste.  Something she really ought to already know, given that she owns at least one starship and that that's been the standard source of matter for replicators to rearrange since replicators were invented.

 

So, when we left off, Osyraa had jumped the Discovery and her ship, Viridian, to Starfleet Headquarters and is now faking a pursuit under fire in order to infiltrate the facility.

This whole scene is kind of an obvious screwup by Admiral Vance given that Discovery isn't taking evasive action or shooting back.  It doesn't seem to occur to him until it's too late that Discovery had already been boarded by the Emerald Chain.  Meanwhile, Osyraa's crew have apparently overwritten the entire operating system of Discovery's computer cores with their own OS except for an old Earth movie which is evidence of the sphere data AI still being around.

The crazy courier from early in the season is back as Osyraa's gunman, keeping the bridge crew under guard in the ready room.  He (deservedly) mocks Tilly, pointing out that under her sterling command it took the Emerald Chain less than twelve minutes to completely take over the Discovery.  He even gets in a few jabs about the possibility of the Federation finally realizing how completely incompetent she (and by extension, some of the Discovery crew) is and letting the Emerald Chain keep them.  

Booker and Burnham have to take the rough way back, a transwarp conduit full of wreckage.  They attempt to warn Starfleet HQ what's going on but their communications are conveniently out.  So they decide to crash land at high speed inside the Discovery's shuttlebay in order to get aboard it and inside Starfleet HQ.  Somewhat realistically, this isn't the neat and tidy crash-at-speed of the shuttle in Star Trek V.  This rips up the floor and ceiling of the bay, trashes the Nautilus, and starts a whole bunch of fires in the bay as a consequence of hitting who-knows-what and probably crushing a few of Discovery's shuttlecraft.  Osyraa is understandably a bit pissed about this, and heads down to the spore cube to see her friend Aurellio, a paraplegic scientist who is analyzing the spore drive in the hopes of replicating it for the Emerald Chain.

Down in the hangar, everything is on fire and Burnham has decided she's John McClaine.  That's right, it's Die Hard on a Starship.  Or at least the mockbuster version of it.  She and Booker share a kiss before she goes running off.

Vance finally realizes that something is up when he's told there's a transport jammer on Discovery and that Viridian is just chilling outside the shield.  He orders every ship to prepare to open fire on the Discovery, demonstrating that he is far and away the most competent character on this show and he's still kind of an idiot.  

Booker is thrown into the ready room-turned-containment area by Osyraa's henchmen, and signals to Tilly that Burnham is on the loose.  She picks a fight with one of the Emerald Chain henchmen attempting to pry off the badges in Discovery's ad hoc memorial and does such a terrible job of choking the minion out she gets stabbed for her trouble.  Sadly, the wound is not fatal.  Being an idiot, she immediately does the worst possible thing you can do with a stab wound... pull the blade out.  She then steals his combadge and tries to use the transporter function.  She goes limping off down the corridor trailing a HUGE amount of blood, which is a pretty clear indicator that she got stabbed in the femoral artery and is bleeding out.  

Starfleet has finished cordoning off the Discovery with ships ready to unleash hell when Osyraa hails them.  Admiral Vance delivers an admirable ultimatum, and she actually apologizes and informs him she's already released the Discovery's crew and is only holding the senior staff.  It seems she's come to talk.  

Aboard Discovery, somehow nobody has noticed the roughly eleven gallons of blood Burnham has left in the immediate vicinity and she's in a Jeffries tube cauterizing her VERY DEEP stab wound that definitely hit the femoral artery with a phaser... which is the equivalent of slapping a band-aid onto a guillotine wound.  She uses her stolen tricom badge to try to get in touch with her mother on Ni'Var and leaves a message.  Burnham overhears instructions for the Emerald Chain troops to send more bodies down to engineering to keep Stamets under control.

Osyraa and a bunch of her Daft Punk-impersonating henchmen beam over to Starfleet HQ to meet with Admiral Vance.  He warns her his people are absolutely prepared to wreck her sh*t, but won't fire first.  They head into the station's ready room to have their discussion in the company of Eli the lie-detecting hologram.  

Back on Discovery, the crew are annoying their captors by tapping out morse code to each other.  Everyone starts talking at once to distract the guards, and the guards get ambushed immediately.  Considering there were two of them and like eight crew, it's amazing it took this long.  Tilly has everyone try to get the doors open.

Admiral Vance and Osyraa open negotiations with Osyraa complaining about the lie detection hologram.  She lays out that she's holding Discovery's senior staff hostage but they're unharmed, and mocks him about how easy it was to take the ship.  She makes sure he knows that Tilly was the one in charge and that she dropped the ball.  She then insists she wants peace, and proposes a treaty to unite the Federation and the Emerald Chain.  She proposes having the Emerald Chain scientists help the Federation to copy the spore drive and indicates she wants the Chain to join the Federation because the Federation is a symbol of hope.

Burnham is somehow upset and shocked to learn that something like a combadge can be tracked, when the Emerald Chain overseers find her pretty much right away from the stolen combadge.  Aurellio starts up a conversation with Stamets, starting with their taste in opera.  Stamets shows some unusual knowledge of alien cultures, noting that his opposite number is married to an Orion and has three children from some culture-specific piercings behind his captor's ear.  They talk about the tardigrade DNA that allows Stamets to navigate the Discovery, and Aurellio starts brainstorming ways to copy Stamets's illegal genetic engineering.  

Burnham is still being pursued through the Jeffries tubes, though she lays a trap for the Emerald Chain troops.  She uses her phaser to blow up some device inside of the Jeffries tube and instead of the fire suppression force field that every Starfleet ship has had since at least 2320 the Discovery just purges the atmosphere from the Jeffries tubes, hurling the Emerald Chain troops into the void.  We get to see a good 30 second long continuous explosive decompression somehow, accompanied with a bunch of silly faces from Burnham.  Somehow, this vents the Emerald Chain troops right in front of the bridge despite the Jeffries tube being near engineering, and the poor trooper who got flushed is somehow flash-frozen to the point that they shatter.

Osyraa is picking at a fruit tray and complains that the replicated apples don't taste quite right and remarks how sad it is that Vance has never eaten a real apple.  He then launches into the "it's made of our crap" speech about how replicators recycle waste, indicating that it's better than luxury foods that you have to commit atrocities for.  She makes a speech about how capitalism needs to be respected in the Federation because the post-scarcity economy that defined the Federation collapsed with it.  Vance puts forward the point that the Emerald Chain uses slavery to prop up its capitalist economy and Osyraa rebuts that she's already forced through a motion for the Orion gov't to ban slavery.  (Which, if true, and Eli says it is, would've made her a visionary Orion civil rights leader if she weren't a ridiculously evil mobster.)  Vance says that she'll need to step down from running the Emerald Chain.  Osyraa then offers up an armistice in which she promises to adhere to the prime directive, walk back all previous prime directive violations and domestic interferences, and all manner of other concessions.

Ryn successfully sabotages the Emerald Chain's communications, replaying months worth of Discovery's internal sensor logs simultaneously to make it look like there are thousands of crew wandering the ship while they make their escape.  Ryn and Booker stay behind to distract the guards while the rest of Discovery's crew head down to the armory.  Stamets explains to Aurellio that Osyraa is kind of a bloodythirsty psycho.  Aurellio defends her by explaining how she gave him a life.  Burnham busts in and stuns everyone, cuts Stamets free, and goes on the run with him.  Stamets freaks out and insists they need to go back to the nebula to save Culber and Tal and Burnham is forced to Vulcan nerve pinch him.  

Vance is understandably impressed by the armistice proposal, but he asks who will be the face of the alliance on the Chain's side and Eli spots his first lie when she says she'll appoint someone who won't just be a proxy for her.  He then suggests that she needs to be tried for her crimes in order to move forward with the armistice, and she has an awkward meltdown at the prospect of a show trial and likely slap on the wrist for her years as a slaver, mass murderer, etc.  She storms out and returns to Discovery, and she learns that Ryn sabotaged the sensors to cover the escape of the Discovery senior staff.  She tries to get Aurellio to leave before she goes to evil methods, and then executes Ryn on the bridge with a disruptor blast that vaporizes him despite Booker attempting to offer her the location of the dilithium planet in exchange for his life.  She orders her ship to open fire on the headquarters shields so she can escape.

Below decks, Burnham is setting Stamets up inside of a force field bubble and preparing to jettison him from the ship.  She sets her phaser to overload next to a viewport to blow him out of the ship with the decompression.  Stamets begs to go to the nebula to save Culber instead, and is clearly distraught about her blasting him out of the ship.  Stamets is picked up via tractor beam and taken to HQ while Burnham cries for what has to be the seventh or eighth time this season, and is immediately caught by another Emerald Chain flunky.  Meanwhile, the Discovery crew reaches and raids the armory, and Tilly announces her intention to launch a do-or-die raid on the bridge, only to have her plan interrupted by three service droids, one of whom projects an old black and white movie.  The sphere data AI speaks for the first time, announcing it's at her service and asks if they should take back the ship.  

 

At this point, they really need to change the theme song for STD to "Yakety Sax".

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And so, Discovery comes to an end... an ending that ignores the consequences of every single action, but nonetheless wraps up all the outstanding plot threads in a definitive manner.

Let it die here.  

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That Hope is You, Part 2 (DSC 3x13) OR "The Culmination of Your Poor Choices"

So, we have come to the end of this particular atrocity against the honorable name and legacy of Star Trek.

On one level, I am relieved that this mess has finally reached its screeching, juddering halt like the saucer section of the Enterprise-D crashing on Viridian III.  On others, I am depressed beyond measure that this is the standard of writing that now passes for a flagship Star Trek series and that these horrid characters are going to be held up, in their own story, as heroes of Starfleet and quite possibly the saviors of the entire United Federation of Planets.  It's one thing to be hailed as a hero of the UFP when you have saved it from an exterior threat, saved peace negotiations with a major hostile power, or defeated an existential threat to every species.  The Discovery crew are going to be hailed as heroes for cleaning up a series of problems they created through their own idiocy, shortsightedness, and unwillingness to abide by Federation law and Starfleet regulations.

It's cold comfort that Star Trek: Discovery will probably never get a movie, so this lot will be forgotten once their series ends.

 

Spoiler

Once the recap ends, the episode opens on some grotesque flying fish/whale/squid thing flapping its way through the malfunctioning nightmare sky of the simulation onboard the Kelpien ship KSF Khi'eth.  Apparently it's another space whale, the same kind from "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad".  The writers contrive to turn this into a positive as a slightly distorted voiceover notes that the space whales hold the record for longest tenure on the endangered species list, and imply that they were no longer endangered at the time the Khi'eth crashed.  Culber, who was watching the narration, reports to Saru that things are worse.  More radiation has penetrated the ship's hull, presumably because Su'Kal's outburst caused a hull breach.  They have an aside about how to approach him about turning off the holoprogram.  Adira enters, covered in some absurd tribal tattoos, and announces that she has the radiation medicine.  She reasoned that they were landing in a holoprogram and to prevent it from concealing the pills from her she hid the bottle in her mouth during transport.

Gray Tal walks in and congratulates her on her clever thinking, then stops dead when he realizes that, despite being just the stored memories of the long-deceased Gray Tal in the Tal symbiont everyone can see him and even touch him.  He's been made to look like a Vulcan by the program, which is really incongruous since he has bright blue dyed hair and is very expressive.  Saru sends them to go find a way to escape the ship, reasoning that they have at most a few hours before their radiation exposure will prove fatal.  As they leave, they walk past a rock formation that is revealed to be snarling (somehow they don't notice) and unfolds into the "Kelp monster".  

Back at Starfleet Headquarters, Viridian is shown to be holding position outside the station's distortion field and has opened fire on it in an attempt to create an exit for Osyraa.  Discovery can no longer employ the spore drive since Stamets was ejected from the ship by Burnham and recovered by Starfleet.  Inside, Discovery has started firing on the station and ships inside it.  Vance orders the Voyager to take the lead on fighting the Viridian. and orders all other vessels to fire on Discovery on his order.  David Kronenberg asks about the message it sends to be firing on the one ship that can reconnect the Federation to all the worlds it lost, and Vance reasonably points out that if Osyraa gets to them first it's all over.  There is a miserably poor display of marksmanship as only one or two shots manage to actually hit Discovery.  Osyraa somehow knows that the headquarters shield emitter is disguised as a deflector array and orders the Discovery to fire on it.  Vance orders the fleet to step up its firing on the Discovery.  Osyraa announces her intention to destroy the Federation, then slaps Burnham.  One of the Emerald Chain minions reports a firefight on Deck 7, with hostiles advancing towards the Bridge.  The Sphere Data AI seems to have inhabited a lot more than just three robots, as they're getting junked left and right in the firefight flushing out blind corners for the crew.  Osyraa shuts off life support on Decks 6-18 in order to kill the senior staff and seals off all decks below 5.  She's purging all of the atmosphere down there.  Stamets barges in and interrupts, telling Vance that Saru is trapped in the nebula and says that they need to force their way back onto Discovery.  Vance points out that Burnham did the right thing, and then orders him to the Foresight, a civilian emergency transport.  The base's shields fall, and Discovery makes for the exit.

An incoming hail from Ni'Var reveals that the Vulcans and Romulans have dispatched a fleet to Starfleet Headquarters to assist them against the Emerald Chain.  Osyraa orders the Viridian to target shuttlebays, airlocks, and intakes with its cache of pesticides.  Burnham tries to convince Osyraa to negotiate and she dismisses her.  Osyraa hails Vance and Burnham says they need to let the ship go.  Vance points out that it's rather difficult to believe a hostage with a phaser to her head.  Burnham argues that Discovery isn't too valuable to lose without Stamets.  Now that Burnham is begging Vance to trust her, you'd think the reasonable thing to do would be to immediately sink the Discovery with quantum torpedoes before she can screw up and destroy the Federation.  The correct response would be "You're a goddamn disgrace to Starfleet and the Federation, all ships open fire"... and because Burnham is a Mary Sue Vance grudgingly follows her suggestion and lets Discovery go.

Osyraa orders Burnham off the bridge.  You'd think she'd have the sense to just vaporize Burnham and save us all a lot of trouble.  She does, however, confirm she still intends to kill the rest of Discovery's crew.  Discovery and Viridian warp out for the nearest Emerald Chain stronghold.

 

 

On the dilithium planet, Saru is attempting to get through to Su'Kal by offering to share a meal and conveniently what he proposes is something that the holograms couldn't teach Su'Kal to make properly.  Saru gently attempts to explain that he isn't a hologram and isn't human.

Viridian and Discovery continue to warp away, pursued by a combined armada from Ni'Var and the Federation.  In Discovery's sickbay, Aurellio and Zareh are arguing about how to handle Booker, with Aurellio pointing out the truth serum needs time to take effect and Zareh demanding to just skip to using their little mind control tiara.  Osyraa demands Burnham get the route to the dilithium planet from Booker, under threat of torture.  Aurellio protests against Osyraa's order to use the device on Booker because it would be excruciating for an empath.  Osyraa makes an anatomical reference about Orion hearts having six valves and bilateral bloodflow, noting that "Orion hearts are much more complex than human hearts".  He refuses to allow the torture, and Osyraa starts strangling him, reveals that she only helped him because he was useful, and threatens to murder him if he defies her again.  Zareh puts the mind control device on Booker and Osyraa points out Booker will die from sheer agony.  Burnham once again knocks back being told that she's in a no-win scenario by claiming not to believe in them.  Osyraa points out that means Burnham still has a lot to learn.  Zareh activates the device, and Booker starts screaming.

 

Back on the dilithium planet, Saru is still trying to explain that he's Kelpien and only looks human because the holoprogram is changing his appearance.  Su'Kal explains that the holos had told him that the Federation would come for him, and that a part of the reason he's afraid of the outside is that they did not.  The topic turns to the Burn, as Saru attempts to explain that the Federation did try to rescue him but failed when the burn destroyed the rescue ship, the USS Hiraga Gennai.  Saru does his best to explain and seems to actually get through.

 

On Discovery, Osyraa is still torturing Booker.  Burnham is begging them to stop, and Zareh notes that he'll die soon at this rate.  Once again, Burnham is crying because that's like half of what she does in this show now.  Osyraa mocks her, noting that she can't save her crewmates who are (she thinks) dying slowly on the decks where life support has been shut off and tells her she can at least save Booker.  Sonequa Martin-Green treats us to more faces that look like Burnham needs to take a massive crap, which I guess are supposed to be conflicted.  The torture resumes for a second until Burnham says she'll talk to him and get them the information they need.  Burnham uses the distraction of trying to talk to Booker to activate a quarantine field, steal a guard's phaser rifle, and starts gunning down the Emerald Chain guards.  Meanwhile, the senior staff are in engineering swapping around emergency oxygen.  They're not accomplishing anything useful, as is their usual idiom being led by the usual idiots.  Burnham opens a shipwide channel using the stolen combadge she's had for the last episode and a half and shares a coded message meant for the rest of the crew.  Despite the fact that the crew is suffocating, Tilly takes the time to tell the crew the anecdote behind the coded message.  The plan is apparently to go to a nacelle catwalk and set off a bomb to temporarily detach one of the warp nacelles and knock the ship out of warp.  One has to wonder why none of these idiots are wearing EV suits, despite having to walk past dozens of airlocks to get to engineering, so they're having this discussion while out of breath.  It's apparently a suicide mission (yay!), so bets on who's dying?  I'm hoping Tilly.

 

Saru is doing his best to get through to Su'Kal, explaining that he's a living being and not a hologram and that the "Kaminar" that Su'Kal has known is just a holodeck simulation.  Su'Kal briefly starts talking like Gollum, because that's always a good sign right?  The Monster approaches, and Su'Kal runs off to find the elder hologram.  Culber, Tal, and... Tal... approach the broken edge of the holodeck and discuss attempting to figure out how badly the system is damaged.  Gray volunteers to step beyond the breach since he's immune to radiation as a pure hologram.  Culber introduces a pseudoscientific explanation for why Su'Kal has magic powers.  Gray reaches the edge of the holomatrix and we get our first good look at the Khi'eth in the crash site.  The ship's in a terrible state. 

Discovery has now officially endorsed the idea from the old novels that dilithium has a higher-dimensional component, which is how/why Su'Kal is able to affect all of it everywhere.  Adira and Culber finally realize that Su'Kal caused the burn.  They theorize that Su'Kal's anguished scream had a subspace component because of his mutations and that it was what caused dilithium to go inert.  Culber theorizes that if they get him away from the dilithium planet they can potentially stop the burn from happening again.  Gray returns and announces the ship is falling apart and that its shields won't hold for long.  Su'Kal discovers that the elder hologram is gone.  Su'Kal mentions that he once saw the outside world when he was young and that it was terrifying. 

The Discovery crew attempt to take the bomb to the nacelle but fail as they're all about to pass out from hypoxia except Owosekun, who apparently was a free-diver in her youth and able to hold her breath for at least ten minutes.  I can't believe this turd still has half an hour of runtime left to it.  Burnham and Booker are still on the run from the Emerald Chain flunkies.  They get trapped in a turbolift, and apparently escape outside of it.  We get another view of that absurd open space full of junk and random turbolift cars flying around.  Burnham falls back into the turbolift car and rolls out an open door onto another one that was passing.  We get an all-effects shot that makes it appear Discovery is infinitely deep and basically just one HUGE empty space.  Seriously, Discovery's interior seems to be the size of a goddamn city in these shots.  Burnham boards the turbolift car, and sends it to the Discovery's computer core.  Osyraa is already there herself, and a firefight erupts.  Both are very quickly disarmed and we have another incredibly poorly choreographed fistfight sequence like the one with Seven and the Romulan girl in Picard or the one with Georgiou in Discovery's second season.  Booker, meanwhile, is fighting Zareh and one Emerald Chain guard in a moving turbolift. 

Owosekun makes it to the nacelle.  Somewhat gratifyingly, this appears to be a near-perfect copy of the arrangement shown when the Enterprise-D's nacelle interior was shown in TNG "Eye of the Beholder", complete with the forcefield door in place to prevent anyone from being injured by the plasma stream powering the warp coils.  Owosekun inserts the bomb she was carrying into some access panel and walks away, only to collapse from hypoxia.  She is rescued by one of the sphere data AI robots.  The bomb goes off and Discovery is knocked sideways while its warp field collapses due to the separation of the nacelle.  Osyraa orders the Viridian to pull Discovery in, as they're thrown around inside the computer core.  We get a copy of the scene in Enterprise where the Xindi-Aquatic ship pulled Enterprise into its docking bay before jumping to warp.  Why are there random gas jets just shooting out of the walls of the computer core, INTO the space where people are meant to work?

Booker manages to kick Zareh out of the turbolift, sending him plummeting to his death in Discovery's interior spaces, even hitting a fast-moving turbolift car on the way down.  Burnham, meanwhile, is losing her fight with Osyraa, who forces her into a programmable-matter wall for some reason?  Burnham shoots her thorough the programmable matter and staggers out.  Burnham reboots Discovery's computer core, and the original Starfleet computer software reasserts itself over the Emerald Chain's, and she immediately beams the Emerald Chain goons off the ship, restores life support, and orders any crew to the bridge.  Everyone apparently survived.  Burnham apparently restored the pre-upgrade shipboard OS.  Discovery is stuck inside the Viridian.  To show that the bad decisions are not about to stop here, Tilly surrenders command to Burnham.  Talk about the blind leading the blind.  She plans to eject the warp core.  Aurellio proposes using Booker as Discovery's navigator since he's an empath.  Booker is beamed into the spore cube, and Burnham orders them to prepare to dump the warp core.

 

Back on the dilithium planet, the Kelp Monster (lol) is leading them to the way out of the holodeck and Saru is trying to persuade Su'Kal to end the program so they can all escape.  They go through the door out.  Gray starts whining about how once they turn off the holodeck he won't be visible anymore.  Culber tells him they'll find a way to make him visible to everyone outside of the holodeck.  Su'Kal ends the program, and the simulation slowly unravels, revealing the horridly decaying state of the Khi'eth, which at this point seems to mostly be held together with emergency force fields and wishful thinking.  We discover, as Su'Kal asks the computer to show him the final recorded archive from before he retreated into the holodeck, and we're shown that the burn was caused by his trauma over his mother's death by radiation poisoning.  The rumpled sheets on the floor appear to be body bags containing the remains of the Khi'eth's crew.  Su'Kal finally accepst that the Discovery crew are real, and Culber begins hailing Discovery.  

On Discovery, Booker reveals that he assumed the name Cleveland Booker from his mentor as they prepare to spore jump away.  Discovery ejects her warp core and jumps away as the Viridian explodes from within.

On the Khi'eth, the crew views a hologram of Dr. Issa thanking them for rescuing her child.  Su'Kal realizes that he caused the burn.  The Khi'eth starts to break up, just as Discovery arrives to beam them out.  

Discovery returns to Starfleet Headquarters and we get another narration from Burnham while we see the crew reunited, Reno and Owosekun repairing the robot that saved Owosekun.  We learn that the Emerald Chain broke up without Osyraa to lead it, and that Trill became the first former Federation member world to rejoin.  Ni'Var (Vulcan) is apparently also considering rejoining.  Saru leaves the crew to help rehabilitate Su'Kal on Kaminar, which now has cities.  We see the guy from the first episode get commissioned as a Starfleet Lieutenant.  

Admiral Vance meets with Burnham, and Admiral Vance seems to be talking himself into admitting that Burnham's actions worked out even though he's also clear they were very wrong.  Unfortunately, this is one of those Mary Sue moments where Burnham's actions ultimately get her rewarded for causing all kinds of harm.  Saru has put Burnham's name forward as captain for the Discovery, and Vance has OK'd it... proving that terrible judgement is downright pandemic in this series.  Starfleet apparently found a way to mine the dilithium on Su'Kal's planet, and Discovery is being repurposed as a long-haul freighter to deliver dilithium to Federation member worlds.  The Discovery crew is seen in 32nd century Starfleet uniforms for the first time as Burnham assumes captaincy of the ship.  I am disgusted beyond words that this horrible person has been sanctioned and even rewarded AGAIN for being a terrible moron and the cause of most of the galaxy's ills.  The episode ends with the USS Discovery warping away on her first mission as a freighter.  

 

Curiously, the credits music they chose for this episode is the Original Series theme.  

Please CBS.  Let this turd end here.  Don't go any further.  Make it easy for whoever replaces Kurtzman and Secret Hideout to strike this dumpster fire from the record so we can have real Star Trek again some day.

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5 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

That Hope is You, Part 2 (DSC 3x13) OR "The Culmination of Your Poor Choices"

So, we have come to the end of this particular atrocity against the honorable name and legacy of Star Trek.

On one level, I am relieved that this mess has finally reached its screeching, juddering halt like the saucer section of the Enterprise-D crashing on Viridian III.  On others, I am depressed beyond measure that this is the standard of writing that now passes for a flagship Star Trek series and that these horrid characters are going to be held up, in their own story, as heroes of Starfleet and quite possibly the saviors of the entire United Federation of Planets.  It's one thing to be hailed as a hero of the UFP when you have saved it from an exterior threat, saved peace negotiations with a major hostile power, or defeated an existential threat to every species.  The Discovery crew are going to be hailed as heroes for cleaning up a series of problems they created through their own idiocy, shortsightedness, and unwillingness to abide by Federation law and Starfleet regulations.

It's cold comfort that Star Trek: Discovery will probably never get a movie, so this lot will be forgotten once their series ends.

 

  Hide contents

Once the recap ends, the episode opens on some grotesque flying fish/whale/squid thing flapping its way through the malfunctioning nightmare sky of the simulation onboard the Kelpien ship KSF Khi'eth.  Apparently it's another space whale, the same kind from "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad".  The writers contrive to turn this into a positive as a slightly distorted voiceover notes that the space whales hold the record for longest tenure on the endangered species list, and imply that they were no longer endangered at the time the Khi'eth crashed.  Culber, who was watching the narration, reports to Saru that things are worse.  More radiation has penetrated the ship's hull, presumably because Su'Kal's outburst caused a hull breach.  They have an aside about how to approach him about turning off the holoprogram.  Adira enters, covered in some absurd tribal tattoos, and announces that she has the radiation medicine.  She reasoned that they were landing in a holoprogram and to prevent it from concealing the pills from her she hid the bottle in her mouth during transport.

Gray Tal walks in and congratulates her on her clever thinking, then stops dead when he realizes that, despite being just the stored memories of the long-deceased Gray Tal in the Tal symbiont everyone can see him and even touch him.  He's been made to look like a Vulcan by the program, which is really incongruous since he has bright blue dyed hair and is very expressive.  Saru sends them to go find a way to escape the ship, reasoning that they have at most a few hours before their radiation exposure will prove fatal.  As they leave, they walk past a rock formation that is revealed to be snarling (somehow they don't notice) and unfolds into the "Kelp monster".  

Back at Starfleet Headquarters, Viridian is shown to be holding position outside the station's distortion field and has opened fire on it in an attempt to create an exit for Osyraa.  Discovery can no longer employ the spore drive since Stamets was ejected from the ship by Burnham and recovered by Starfleet.  Inside, Discovery has started firing on the station and ships inside it.  Vance orders the Voyager to take the lead on fighting the Viridian. and orders all other vessels to fire on Discovery on his order.  David Kronenberg asks about the message it sends to be firing on the one ship that can reconnect the Federation to all the worlds it lost, and Vance reasonably points out that if Osyraa gets to them first it's all over.  There is a miserably poor display of marksmanship as only one or two shots manage to actually hit Discovery.  Osyraa somehow knows that the headquarters shield emitter is disguised as a deflector array and orders the Discovery to fire on it.  Vance orders the fleet to step up its firing on the Discovery.  Osyraa announces her intention to destroy the Federation, then slaps Burnham.  One of the Emerald Chain minions reports a firefight on Deck 7, with hostiles advancing towards the Bridge.  The Sphere Data AI seems to have inhabited a lot more than just three robots, as they're getting junked left and right in the firefight flushing out blind corners for the crew.  Osyraa shuts off life support on Decks 6-18 in order to kill the senior staff and seals off all decks below 5.  She's purging all of the atmosphere down there.  Stamets barges in and interrupts, telling Vance that Saru is trapped in the nebula and says that they need to force their way back onto Discovery.  Vance points out that Burnham did the right thing, and then orders him to the Foresight, a civilian emergency transport.  The base's shields fall, and Discovery makes for the exit.

An incoming hail from Ni'Var reveals that the Vulcans and Romulans have dispatched a fleet to Starfleet Headquarters to assist them against the Emerald Chain.  Osyraa orders the Viridian to target shuttlebays, airlocks, and intakes with its cache of pesticides.  Burnham tries to convince Osyraa to negotiate and she dismisses her.  Osyraa hails Vance and Burnham says they need to let the ship go.  Vance points out that it's rather difficult to believe a hostage with a phaser to her head.  Burnham argues that Discovery isn't too valuable to lose without Stamets.  Now that Burnham is begging Vance to trust her, you'd think the reasonable thing to do would be to immediately sink the Discovery with quantum torpedoes before she can screw up and destroy the Federation.  The correct response would be "You're a goddamn disgrace to Starfleet and the Federation, all ships open fire"... and because Burnham is a Mary Sue Vance grudgingly follows her suggestion and lets Discovery go.

Osyraa orders Burnham off the bridge.  You'd think she'd have the sense to just vaporize Burnham and save us all a lot of trouble.  She does, however, confirm she still intends to kill the rest of Discovery's crew.  Discovery and Viridian warp out for the nearest Emerald Chain stronghold.

 

 

On the dilithium planet, Saru is attempting to get through to Su'Kal by offering to share a meal and conveniently what he proposes is something that the holograms couldn't teach Su'Kal to make properly.  Saru gently attempts to explain that he isn't a hologram and isn't human.

Viridian and Discovery continue to warp away, pursued by a combined armada from Ni'Var and the Federation.  In Discovery's sickbay, Aurellio and Zareh are arguing about how to handle Booker, with Aurellio pointing out the truth serum needs time to take effect and Zareh demanding to just skip to using their little mind control tiara.  Osyraa demands Burnham get the route to the dilithium planet from Booker, under threat of torture.  Aurellio protests against Osyraa's order to use the device on Booker because it would be excruciating for an empath.  Osyraa makes an anatomical reference about Orion hearts having six valves and bilateral bloodflow, noting that "Orion hearts are much more complex than human hearts".  He refuses to allow the torture, and Osyraa starts strangling him, reveals that she only helped him because he was useful, and threatens to murder him if he defies her again.  Zareh puts the mind control device on Booker and Osyraa points out Booker will die from sheer agony.  Burnham once again knocks back being told that she's in a no-win scenario by claiming not to believe in them.  Osyraa points out that means Burnham still has a lot to learn.  Zareh activates the device, and Booker starts screaming.

 

Back on the dilithium planet, Saru is still trying to explain that he's Kelpien and only looks human because the holoprogram is changing his appearance.  Su'Kal explains that the holos had told him that the Federation would come for him, and that a part of the reason he's afraid of the outside is that they did not.  The topic turns to the Burn, as Saru attempts to explain that the Federation did try to rescue him but failed when the burn destroyed the rescue ship, the USS Hiraga Gennai.  Saru does his best to explain and seems to actually get through.

 

On Discovery, Osyraa is still torturing Booker.  Burnham is begging them to stop, and Zareh notes that he'll die soon at this rate.  Once again, Burnham is crying because that's like half of what she does in this show now.  Osyraa mocks her, noting that she can't save her crewmates who are (she thinks) dying slowly on the decks where life support has been shut off and tells her she can at least save Booker.  Sonequa Martin-Green treats us to more faces that look like Burnham needs to take a massive crap, which I guess are supposed to be conflicted.  The torture resumes for a second until Burnham says she'll talk to him and get them the information they need.  Burnham uses the distraction of trying to talk to Booker to activate a quarantine field, steal a guard's phaser rifle, and starts gunning down the Emerald Chain guards.  Meanwhile, the senior staff are in engineering swapping around emergency oxygen.  They're not accomplishing anything useful, as is their usual idiom being led by the usual idiots.  Burnham opens a shipwide channel using the stolen combadge she's had for the last episode and a half and shares a coded message meant for the rest of the crew.  Despite the fact that the crew is suffocating, Tilly takes the time to tell the crew the anecdote behind the coded message.  The plan is apparently to go to a nacelle catwalk and set off a bomb to temporarily detach one of the warp nacelles and knock the ship out of warp.  One has to wonder why none of these idiots are wearing EV suits, despite having to walk past dozens of airlocks to get to engineering, so they're having this discussion while out of breath.  It's apparently a suicide mission (yay!), so bets on who's dying?  I'm hoping Tilly.

 

Saru is doing his best to get through to Su'Kal, explaining that he's a living being and not a hologram and that the "Kaminar" that Su'Kal has known is just a holodeck simulation.  Su'Kal briefly starts talking like Gollum, because that's always a good sign right?  The Monster approaches, and Su'Kal runs off to find the elder hologram.  Culber, Tal, and... Tal... approach the broken edge of the holodeck and discuss attempting to figure out how badly the system is damaged.  Gray volunteers to step beyond the breach since he's immune to radiation as a pure hologram.  Culber introduces a pseudoscientific explanation for why Su'Kal has magic powers.  Gray reaches the edge of the holomatrix and we get our first good look at the Khi'eth in the crash site.  The ship's in a terrible state. 

Discovery has now officially endorsed the idea from the old novels that dilithium has a higher-dimensional component, which is how/why Su'Kal is able to affect all of it everywhere.  Adira and Culber finally realize that Su'Kal caused the burn.  They theorize that Su'Kal's anguished scream had a subspace component because of his mutations and that it was what caused dilithium to go inert.  Culber theorizes that if they get him away from the dilithium planet they can potentially stop the burn from happening again.  Gray returns and announces the ship is falling apart and that its shields won't hold for long.  Su'Kal discovers that the elder hologram is gone.  Su'Kal mentions that he once saw the outside world when he was young and that it was terrifying. 

The Discovery crew attempt to take the bomb to the nacelle but fail as they're all about to pass out from hypoxia except Owosekun, who apparently was a free-diver in her youth and able to hold her breath for at least ten minutes.  I can't believe this turd still has half an hour of runtime left to it.  Burnham and Booker are still on the run from the Emerald Chain flunkies.  They get trapped in a turbolift, and apparently escape outside of it.  We get another view of that absurd open space full of junk and random turbolift cars flying around.  Burnham falls back into the turbolift car and rolls out an open door onto another one that was passing.  We get an all-effects shot that makes it appear Discovery is infinitely deep and basically just one HUGE empty space.  Seriously, Discovery's interior seems to be the size of a goddamn city in these shots.  Burnham boards the turbolift car, and sends it to the Discovery's computer core.  Osyraa is already there herself, and a firefight erupts.  Both are very quickly disarmed and we have another incredibly poorly choreographed fistfight sequence like the one with Seven and the Romulan girl in Picard or the one with Georgiou in Discovery's second season.  Booker, meanwhile, is fighting Zareh and one Emerald Chain guard in a moving turbolift. 

Owosekun makes it to the nacelle.  Somewhat gratifyingly, this appears to be a near-perfect copy of the arrangement shown when the Enterprise-D's nacelle interior was shown in TNG "Eye of the Beholder", complete with the forcefield door in place to prevent anyone from being injured by the plasma stream powering the warp coils.  Owosekun inserts the bomb she was carrying into some access panel and walks away, only to collapse from hypoxia.  She is rescued by one of the sphere data AI robots.  The bomb goes off and Discovery is knocked sideways while its warp field collapses due to the separation of the nacelle.  Osyraa orders the Viridian to pull Discovery in, as they're thrown around inside the computer core.  We get a copy of the scene in Enterprise where the Xindi-Aquatic ship pulled Enterprise into its docking bay before jumping to warp.  Why are there random gas jets just shooting out of the walls of the computer core, INTO the space where people are meant to work?

Booker manages to kick Zareh out of the turbolift, sending him plummeting to his death in Discovery's interior spaces, even hitting a fast-moving turbolift car on the way down.  Burnham, meanwhile, is losing her fight with Osyraa, who forces her into a programmable-matter wall for some reason?  Burnham shoots her thorough the programmable matter and staggers out.  Burnham reboots Discovery's computer core, and the original Starfleet computer software reasserts itself over the Emerald Chain's, and she immediately beams the Emerald Chain goons off the ship, restores life support, and orders any crew to the bridge.  Everyone apparently survived.  Burnham apparently restored the pre-upgrade shipboard OS.  Discovery is stuck inside the Viridian.  To show that the bad decisions are not about to stop here, Tilly surrenders command to Burnham.  Talk about the blind leading the blind.  She plans to eject the warp core.  Aurellio proposes using Booker as Discovery's navigator since he's an empath.  Booker is beamed into the spore cube, and Burnham orders them to prepare to dump the warp core.

 

Back on the dilithium planet, the Kelp Monster (lol) is leading them to the way out of the holodeck and Saru is trying to persuade Su'Kal to end the program so they can all escape.  They go through the door out.  Gray starts whining about how once they turn off the holodeck he won't be visible anymore.  Culber tells him they'll find a way to make him visible to everyone outside of the holodeck.  Su'Kal ends the program, and the simulation slowly unravels, revealing the horridly decaying state of the Khi'eth, which at this point seems to mostly be held together with emergency force fields and wishful thinking.  We discover, as Su'Kal asks the computer to show him the final recorded archive from before he retreated into the holodeck, and we're shown that the burn was caused by his trauma over his mother's death by radiation poisoning.  The rumpled sheets on the floor appear to be body bags containing the remains of the Khi'eth's crew.  Su'Kal finally accepst that the Discovery crew are real, and Culber begins hailing Discovery.  

On Discovery, Booker reveals that he assumed the name Cleveland Booker from his mentor as they prepare to spore jump away.  Discovery ejects her warp core and jumps away as the Viridian explodes from within.

On the Khi'eth, the crew views a hologram of Dr. Issa thanking them for rescuing her child.  Su'Kal realizes that he caused the burn.  The Khi'eth starts to break up, just as Discovery arrives to beam them out.  

Discovery returns to Starfleet Headquarters and we get another narration from Burnham while we see the crew reunited, Reno and Owosekun repairing the robot that saved Owosekun.  We learn that the Emerald Chain broke up without Osyraa to lead it, and that Trill became the first former Federation member world to rejoin.  Ni'Var (Vulcan) is apparently also considering rejoining.  Saru leaves the crew to help rehabilitate Su'Kal on Kaminar, which now has cities.  We see the guy from the first episode get commissioned as a Starfleet Lieutenant.  

Admiral Vance meets with Burnham, and Admiral Vance seems to be talking himself into admitting that Burnham's actions worked out even though he's also clear they were very wrong.  Unfortunately, this is one of those Mary Sue moments where Burnham's actions ultimately get her rewarded for causing all kinds of harm.  Saru has put Burnham's name forward as captain for the Discovery, and Vance has OK'd it... proving that terrible judgement is downright pandemic in this series.  Starfleet apparently found a way to mine the dilithium on Su'Kal's planet, and Discovery is being repurposed as a long-haul freighter to deliver dilithium to Federation member worlds.  The Discovery crew is seen in 32nd century Starfleet uniforms for the first time as Burnham assumes captaincy of the ship.  I am disgusted beyond words that this horrible person has been sanctioned and even rewarded AGAIN for being a terrible moron and the cause of most of the galaxy's ills.  The episode ends with the USS Discovery warping away on her first mission as a freighter.  

 

Curiously, the credits music they chose for this episode is the Original Series theme.  

Please CBS.  Let this turd end here.  Don't go any further.  Make it easy for whoever replaces Kurtzman and Secret Hideout to strike this dumpster fire from the record so we can have real Star Trek again some day.

Nuke it from orbit; it's the only way to be sure. In fact, nuke it repeatedly (100-200 times should be good). Then burn the ashes with fire. LOTS of fire. Drench the ashes in napalm and then do a re-enactment of the Torching of Mars. When that is finished, nuke the mess again, then fire about 5,000 Quantum Torpedoes at the site of the ashes. Take those ashes, mix with concrete mix and water, let set into a brick, fire in an over for 3 weeks, then drop that brick into a black hole, then drop red matter into the black hole. Using a tractor beam, drag the remains outside the galaxy (past the galactic barrier), attach warp engines to it as well as every bit of antimatter they can scrounge up, and let the warp drive take it out past any civilized areas (other galaxies) and then detonate the mess.

Then nuke it one more time. And pray that just might be enough....

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Now we know...

Spoiler

 

...why the nacelles are separate from the struts. It was only so they could have that scene where they sabotage the ship's warp bubble. That's it! 

@Seto Kaiba already hit on most of what was wrong with this episode, so I won't elaborate too much. Other than the crew suffocating and there being no other emergency oxygen bottles on a starship! Modern navy ships have emergency equipment all over them, so why not a futuristic starship?!

And then of course, Michael urging Vance to let them go. "We won't let you down, sir!" His response should have been, 'You've already let us down." At every step of the way, Discovery's crew was letting them down, and then to be subsequently rewarded for it... In reality, Discovery would have been completely recrewed rather than keeping the same group of bumbling boobs in charge.

Then of course Discovery could not reach the dilithium planet when they first got there, but at the end - after dumping its warp core mind you! - they just cruise right in and beam them up like it was a walk in the park. Guess all they needed was for Michael to be in charge...

And get this, they had four hours after Saru, Culber and Michael got on the planet before the radiation sickness would kill them. By the time Michael left with Book - and before Adira arrived with the medicine - that had grown to 24 hours... And how did she know to hide the medicine? She had no idea the holo program was futzing with their appearances and equipment. And how the heck does basically an imaginary persona get a holo body?!

And that has nothing on the fact that Discovery is apparently the Tardis! An apt description was that it looks like a city stuffed inside that ship...

 

In the end though, there were just so many bad decisions made by the writers about the characters and plot that I was just meh about everything. My give a damn has long since been busted...

Tell me when Strange New Worlds is airing.

 

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21 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

Nuke it from orbit; it's the only way to be sure. In fact, nuke it repeatedly (100-200 times should be good). Then burn the ashes with fire. LOTS of fire. Drench the ashes in napalm and then do a re-enactment of the Torching of Mars. When that is finished, nuke the mess again, then fire about 5,000 Quantum Torpedoes at the site of the ashes. Take those ashes, mix with concrete mix and water, let set into a brick, fire in an over for 3 weeks, then drop that brick into a black hole, then drop red matter into the black hole. Using a tractor beam, drag the remains outside the galaxy (past the galactic barrier), attach warp engines to it as well as every bit of antimatter they can scrounge up, and let the warp drive take it out past any civilized areas (other galaxies) and then detonate the mess.

Then nuke it one more time. And pray that just might be enough....

That seems to be the general consensus of the season finale on the Star Trek Facebook groups and subreddits I've been on.

There are a few folks gamely attempting to defend it, but most fans seem to be either disappointed, upset, or downright disgusted with Star Trek: Discovery now.  Even the official Star Trek subreddit has abandoned its usual role as an echo chamber for pro-Discovery fans and started taking shots across the franchise's bow.  The main bones of contention seem to be, in descending order of vitriolitic-ness:

  • Interior shots of Discovery during the turbolift fight sequence.
    In previous Star Trek works, turbolifts traveled in narrow elevator shaft-like spaces that ran both vertically and horizontally through the ship's tightly packed interior.  Discovery's season finale features a bizarre, and shockingly long, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator-esque sequence where Burnham and Booker are fighting on turbolift cars which zoom hither and yon through a MASSIVE empty interior space far larger than anything that could be contained within the Discovery's internal spaces with the turbolift shaft being just airborne rectangular frames springing into existence as the car travels and disappearing once it's past.  Normally turbolifts can travel anywhere in a ship in a matter of seconds, but this is a fifteen minute long elevator ride to nowhere through the unspecified bowels of the ship that now seems to be slightly smaller than V'Ger.
     
  • The warp core ejection.
    Normally, a ship's warp core is depicted as being a substantially large device - normally a good half dozen or more decks high - and in or directly adjoining main engineering and connected to various plasma conduits which carry the reaction plasma off to the EPS grid that powers the ship and to the warp nacelles to charge the warp coils.  On the USS Discovery, the warp core is seemingly located in the middle of nowhere, isn't connected to anything, looks like an oil drum with blue LEDs, and when ejected spends a not-inconsiderable amount of time sliding down a shaft (seemingly under gravity) and bouncing off the sides of said shaft on the way out.  Designing a warp core that can't even be ejected cleanly when it's full of highly volatile antimatter seems like a REALLY bad idea.
     
  • Osyraa's death being a non-event.
    Despite being the main antagonist for this entire series of Discovery either directly or by proxy via her organization the Emerald Chain, Osyraa's death is treated almost as an afterthought.  Her fight with Burnham in Discovery's computer core ends with her walking away assuming Burnham is now suffocating to death inside a column made up of programmable matter and Burnham shoots her dead seemingly by accident.  She just gets hit once and goes down like a sack of potatoes.  Burnham doesn't even check to see if she's actually dead or not.  Granted, the lack of drama is certainly realistic... but it lacks closure when the villain gets hit seemingly entirely by dumb luck and dies with the protagonist not even bothering to check the body.  We only find out she's dead and not just stunned or wounded in the closing narration!
     
  • Burnham's Designated Hero status allowing her to pull yet another Karma Houdini and become Captain.
    Since this particular problem only crops up at the very end, it's kind of overshadowed by the writing problems elsewhere.  Burnham, who had mere days earlier in-series been the recipient of a demotion and a severe dressing-down from the Starfleet commander in chief and her captain with the explicit indication that the only reason she wasn't up for her second dishonorable discharge from Starfleet was because she'd saved lives with her stunt on Hunhau, is promoted to Captain and given command of USS Discovery once Saru decides to take a leave of absence to help Su'Kal adjust to life on 32nd century Kaminar.
     
  • Burnham crying all the damn time.
    It's been made fun of a lot.  Burnham cries at least one in like eight out of thirteen episodes this season and as often as three times per episode in some cases.  It's somewhat exacerbated by Sonequa Martin-Green's unconvincing acting, but it compares unfavorably to Kathryn Janeway's ability to handle even greater stresses with a calm, collected demeanor and considerable grace.  The way it was handled felt more like an attempt to telegraph to the audience that the scene was supposed to be dramatic, which lacking direction and acting tended to render comical or dull.

In the wake of the Discovery being disabled by detaching its warp nacelle at warp, I've noticed a lot more people taking shots at the ugly Starfleet ship designs that hang around in Starfleet Headquarters as well.  Especially comparing a lot of them to ships from Stargate SG-1.  

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