Monday, October 16, 2017

Star Trek: Discovery S105 review


   "Choose Your Pain" will go down as the Star Trek where the f-word was used for the first time and also, potentially, one where we've had prison rape alluded to. It's interesting, actually, because the first one is actually less exploitative than the second one as it may well be part of a character's cover identity but more on that later.

   Overall, this episode is one which feels the most like classic Trek as "The Captain is captured by aliens while the crew thinks about ways to rescue him before he escapes himself" is identical to a staggering number of plots. Indeed, I just watched "The Andorian Incident", "Day of Armageddon", "Judgement", and "Star Trek: The Final Frontier" in a row which all contain the plot in some fashion.

Captain Lorca may be genuinely crazy.
   The premise is, after attending a meeting of Starfleet Command where Captain Lorca is told to stop endangering their highly experimental teleporting ship, said captain is captured by the Klingons who intend to torture him into revealing the secrets of the Discovery. With Commander Saru left in charge, he makes several controversial choices to try to get the captain back. This includes putting "Ripper" in danger and potentially costing them their biological navicomputer. While in prison, Captain Lorca encounters Star Trek: The Original Series villain Harry Mudd as well as a POW named Tyler who has been held by the Klingons for months.

   I think the episode benefited from taking a break from Michael Burnham's character development. Which is, unfortunately, one of the big issues in the show. Michael is a workaholic idealistic Trek character but one who doens't make the decisions so she's not that dynamic of a character. Also, her guilt for her misguided mutiny and execution of T'Kuvma is somewhat crushing at times. Here, we get more information on Chief Engineer Stamets (he's gay and in a relationship with the ship's doctor) as well as Lorca himself.

Saru and Burnham make some inroads.
    It turns out Lorca is insane or at least his understanding of the Klingons is so mindlessly prejudicial, he might as well be so. Lorca killed his (previous) crew out of the belief he was saving them from being tortured to death in a Klingon prison. Which, given the conditions on the prison he's transported on may or may not have been true. Certainly, Harry Mudd seems no worse for wear after a few months in their home but he's a prison snitch. With the current depiction of Klingons, it may seem justifiable but if the Klingons actually are just people with only a small number of fanatics being beyond redemption then he's actually about as well-adjusted as Garth of Izzar (Star Trek: The Original Series reference).

Mudd is a great character I'm glad to see back.
   Speaking of Star Trek: The Original Series references, there's a lot of good ones in this episode from Robert April (actually from the Animated Series), Mudd, Decker, and a few other bits which definitely state "This is set in the timeline of the television shows." At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if a time traveling Scott Bakula or William Shatner showed up. Certainly, it would fit with the world they're constructing here.

   My one complaint about the episode is the fact the Klingons have been reduced to being generic bad guys from other sci-fi programs. We've got no mention of honor or displays of their more humanizing qualities. "Errand of Mercy" made it clear that Kor is a BAD person who is a ruthless, nasty, puppy kicking Imperialist but he's a person. A charismatic distinctly "human" person while these Klingons seem much more like orcs. It's actually notable when they mention one of them was having sex with a prisoner as you have to wonder how the physics of that would work. That's obviously not something we had to think about with Worf or B'Elanna.

    I actually felt the character who benefited most from this episode was Saru. For the most part, he's just been a cowardly nasty small minded bureaucrat who has put down Michael at every opportunity despite the fact she saved his life onboard T'Kuvma's ship. We find out, here, he was angry because he blames her for Captain Georgiou's death. Also, that he was jealous of their relationship which is a surprisingly human handling of the situation. I believe his taste of command also made him a bit more sympathetic to Lorca's position given his ruthlessness displayed and I suspect that means his biggest regret is Georgiou isn't his influence but a man he considers to be overly ruthless. A fear this episode shows to be entirely grounded in reality.

   In conclusion, this was a decent episode and everything continues to build to what I assume will be the season finale with episode 9. However, I wasn't entirely blown away either so I'll give it an 8 out of 10.
    "Choose Your Pain" will go down as the Star Trek where the f-word was used for the first time and also, potentially, one where we've had prison rape alluded to. It's interesting, actually, because the first one is actually less exploitative than the second one as it may well be part of a character's cover identity but more on that later.

   Overall, this episode is one which feels the most like classic Trek as "The Captain is captured by aliens while the crew thinks about ways to rescue him before he escapes himself" is identical to a staggering number of plots. Indeed, I just watched "The Andorian Incident", "Day of Armageddon", "Judgement", and "Star Trek: The Final Frontier" in a row which all contain the plot in some fashion.

   The premise is, after attending a meeting of Starfleet Command where Captain Lorca is told to stop endangering their highly experimental teleporting ship, said captain is captured by the Klingons who intend to torture him into revealing the secrets of the Discovery. WIth Commander Saru left in charge, he makes several controversial choices to try to get the captain back. This includes putting "Ripper" in danger and potentially costing them their biological navicomputer. While in prison, Captain Lorca encounters Star Trek: The Original series villain Harry Mudd as well as a POW named Tyler who has been held by the Klingons for months.

   I think the episode benefited from taking a break from Michael Burnham's character development. Which is, unfortunately, one of the big issues in the show. Michael is a workaholic idealistic Trek character but one who doens't make the decisions so she's not that dynamic of a character. Also, her guilt for her misguided mutiny and execution of T'Kuvma is somewhat crushing at times. Here, we get more information on Chief Engineer Stamets (he's gay and in a relationship with the ship's doctor) as well as Lorca himself.

   It turns out Lorca is insane or at least his understanding of the Klingons is so mindlessly prejudicial, he might as well be so. Lorca killed his (previous) crew out of the belief he was saving them from being tortured to death in a Klingon prison. Which, given the conditions on the prison he's transported on may or may not have been true. Certainly, Harry Mudd seems no worse for wear after a few months in their home but he's a prison snitch. With the current depiction of Klingons, it may seem justifiable but if the Klingons actually are just people with only a small number of fanatics being beyond redemption then he's actually about as well-adjusted as Garth of Izzar (Star Trek: The Original series reference).

   Speaking of Star Trek: The Original Series references, there's a lot of good ones in this episode from Robert April (actually from the Animated Series), Mudd, Decker, and a few other bits which definitely state "This is set in the timeline of the television shows." At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if a time traveling Scott Bakula or William Shatner showed up. Certainly, it would fit with the world they're constructing here.

   My one complaint about the episode is the fact the Klingons have been reduced to being generic bad guys from other sci-fi programs. We've got no mention of honor or displays of their more humanizing qualities. "Errand of Mercy" made it clear that Kor is a BAD person who is a ruthless, nasty, puppy kicking Imperialist but he's a person. A charismatic distinctly "human" person while these Klingons seem much more like orcs. It's actually notable when they mention one of them was having sex with a prisoner as you have to wonder how the physics of that would work. That's obviously not something we had to think about with Worf or B'Elanna.

   In conclusion, this was a decent episode and everything continues to build to what I assume will be the season finale with episode 9. However, I wasn't entirely blown away either so I'll give it an 8 out of 10.
    "Choose Your Pain" will go down as the Star Trek where the f-word was used for the first time and also, potentially, one where we've had prison rape alluded to. It's interesting, actually, because the first one is actually less exploitative than the second one as it may well be part of a character's cover identity but more on that later.

   Overall, this episode is one which feels the most like classic Trek as "The Captain is captured by aliens while the crew thinks about ways to rescue him before he escapes himself" is identical to a staggering number of plots. Indeed, I just watched "The Andorian Incident", "Day of Armageddon", "Judgement", and "Star Trek: The Final Frontier" in a row which all contain the plot in some fashion.

   The premise is, after attending a meeting of Starfleet Command where Captain Lorca is told to stop endangering their highly experimental teleporting ship, said captain is captured by the Klingons who intend to torture him into revealing the secrets of the Discovery. WIth Commander Saru left in charge, he makes several controversial choices to try to get the captain back. This includes putting "Ripper" in danger and potentially costing them their biological navicomputer. While in prison, Captain Lorca encounters Star Trek: The Original series villain Harry Mudd as well as a POW named Tyler who has been held by the Klingons for months.

   I think the episode benefited from taking a break from Michael Burnham's character development. Which is, unfortunately, one of the big issues in the show. Michael is a workaholic idealistic Trek character but one who doens't make the decisions so she's not that dynamic of a character. Also, her guilt for her misguided mutiny and execution of T'Kuvma is somewhat crushing at times. Here, we get more information on Chief Engineer Stamets (he's gay and in a relationship with the ship's doctor) as well as Lorca himself.

   It turns out Lorca is insane or at least his understanding of the Klingons is so mindlessly prejudicial, he might as well be so. Lorca killed his (previous) crew out of the belief he was saving them from being tortured to death in a Klingon prison. Which, given the conditions on the prison he's transported on may or may not have been true. Certainly, Harry Mudd seems no worse for wear after a few months in their home but he's a prison snitch. With the current depiction of Klingons, it may seem justifiable but if the Klingons actually are just people with only a small number of fanatics being beyond redemption then he's actually about as well-adjusted as Garth of Izzar (Star Trek: The Original series reference).

   Speaking of Star Trek: The Original Series references, there's a lot of good ones in this episode from Robert April (actually from the Animated Series), Mudd, Decker, and a few other bits which definitely state "This is set in the timeline of the television shows." At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if a time traveling Scott Bakula or William Shatner showed up. Certainly, it would fit with the world they're constructing here.

   My one complaint about the episode is the fact the Klingons have been reduced to being generic bad guys from other sci-fi programs. We've got no mention of honor or displays of their more humanizing qualities. "Errand of Mercy" made it clear that Kor is a BAD person who is a ruthless, nasty, puppy kicking Imperialist but he's a person. A charismatic distinctly "human" person while these Klingons seem much more like orcs. It's actually notable when they mention one of them was having sex with a prisoner as you have to wonder how the physics of that would work. That's obviously not something we had to think about with Worf or B'Elanna.

   In conclusion, this was a decent episode and everything continues to build to what I assume will be the season finale with episode 9. However, I wasn't entirely blown away either so I'll give it an 8 out of 10.
    "Choose Your Pain" will go down as the Star Trek where the f-word was used for the first time and also, potentially, one where we've had prison rape alluded to. It's interesting, actually, because the first one is actually less exploitative than the second one as it may well be part of a character's cover identity but more on that later.

   Overall, this episode is one which feels the most like classic Trek as "The Captain is captured by aliens while the crew thinks about ways to rescue him before he escapes himself" is identical to a staggering number of plots. Indeed, I just watched "The Andorian Incident", "Day of Armageddon", "Judgement", and "Star Trek: The Final Frontier" in a row which all contain the plot in some fashion.

   The premise is, after attending a meeting of Starfleet Command where Captain Lorca is told to stop endangering their highly experimental teleporting ship, said captain is captured by the Klingons who intend to torture him into revealing the secrets of the Discovery. WIth Commander Saru left in charge, he makes several controversial choices to try to get the captain back. This includes putting "Ripper" in danger and potentially costing them their biological navicomputer. While in prison, Captain Lorca encounters Star Trek: The Original series villain Harry Mudd as well as a POW named Tyler who has been held by the Klingons for months.

   I think the episode benefited from taking a break from Michael Burnham's character development. Which is, unfortunately, one of the big issues in the show. Michael is a workaholic idealistic Trek character but one who doens't make the decisions so she's not that dynamic of a character. Also, her guilt for her misguided mutiny and execution of T'Kuvma is somewhat crushing at times. Here, we get more information on Chief Engineer Stamets (he's gay and in a relationship with the ship's doctor) as well as Lorca himself.

   It turns out Lorca is insane or at least his understanding of the Klingons is so mindlessly prejudicial, he might as well be so. Lorca killed his (previous) crew out of the belief he was saving them from being tortured to death in a Klingon prison. Which, given the conditions on the prison he's transported on may or may not have been true. Certainly, Harry Mudd seems no worse for wear after a few months in their home but he's a prison snitch. With the current depiction of Klingons, it may seem justifiable but if the Klingons actually are just people with only a small number of fanatics being beyond redemption then he's actually about as well-adjusted as Garth of Izzar (Star Trek: The Original series reference).

   Speaking of Star Trek: The Original Series references, there's a lot of good ones in this episode from Robert April (actually from the Animated Series), Mudd, Decker, and a few other bits which definitely state "This is set in the timeline of the television shows." At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if a time traveling Scott Bakula or William Shatner showed up. Certainly, it would fit with the world they're constructing here.

   My one complaint about the episode is the fact the Klingons have been reduced to being generic bad guys from other sci-fi programs. We've got no mention of honor or displays of their more humanizing qualities. "Errand of Mercy" made it clear that Kor is a BAD person who is a ruthless, nasty, puppy kicking Imperialist but he's a person. A charismatic distinctly "human" person while these Klingons seem much more like orcs. It's actually notable when they mention one of them was having sex with a prisoner as you have to wonder how the physics of that would work. That's obviously not something we had to think about with Worf or B'Elanna.

   In conclusion, this was a decent episode and everything continues to build to what I assume will be the season finale with episode 9. However, I wasn't entirely blown away either so I'll give it an 8 out of 10.
    "Choose Your Pain" will go down as the Star Trek where the f-word was used for the first time and also, potentially, one where we've had prison rape alluded to. It's interesting, actually, because the first one is actually less exploitative than the second one as it may well be part of a character's cover identity but more on that later.

   Overall, this episode is one which feels the most like classic Trek as "The Captain is captured by aliens while the crew thinks about ways to rescue him before he escapes himself" is identical to a staggering number of plots. Indeed, I just watched "The Andorian Incident", "Day of Armageddon", "Judgement", and "Star Trek: The Final Frontier" in a row which all contain the plot in some fashion.

   The premise is, after attending a meeting of Starfleet Command where Captain Lorca is told to stop endangering their highly experimental teleporting ship, said captain is captured by the Klingons who intend to torture him into revealing the secrets of the Discovery. WIth Commander Saru left in charge, he makes several controversial choices to try to get the captain back. This includes putting "Ripper" in danger and potentially costing them their biological navicomputer. While in prison, Captain Lorca encounters Star Trek: The Original series villain Harry Mudd as well as a POW named Tyler who has been held by the Klingons for months.

   I think the episode benefited from taking a break from Michael Burnham's character development. Which is, unfortunately, one of the big issues in the show. Michael is a workaholic idealistic Trek character but one who doens't make the decisions so she's not that dynamic of a character. Also, her guilt for her misguided mutiny and execution of T'Kuvma is somewhat crushing at times. Here, we get more information on Chief Engineer Stamets (he's gay and in a relationship with the ship's doctor) as well as Lorca himself.

   It turns out Lorca is insane or at least his understanding of the Klingons is so mindlessly prejudicial, he might as well be so. Lorca killed his (previous) crew out of the belief he was saving them from being tortured to death in a Klingon prison. Which, given the conditions on the prison he's transported on may or may not have been true. Certainly, Harry Mudd seems no worse for wear after a few months in their home but he's a prison snitch. With the current depiction of Klingons, it may seem justifiable but if the Klingons actually are just people with only a small number of fanatics being beyond redemption then he's actually about as well-adjusted as Garth of Izzar (Star Trek: The Original series reference).

   Speaking of Star Trek: The Original Series references, there's a lot of good ones in this episode from Robert April (actually from the Animated Series), Mudd, Decker, and a few other bits which definitely state "This is set in the timeline of the television shows." At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if a time traveling Scott Bakula or William Shatner showed up. Certainly, it would fit with the world they're constructing here.

   My one complaint about the episode is the fact the Klingons have been reduced to being generic bad guys from other sci-fi programs. We've got no mention of honor or displays of their more humanizing qualities. "Errand of Mercy" made it clear that Kor is a BAD person who is a ruthless, nasty, puppy kicking Imperialist but he's a person. A charismatic distinctly "human" person while these Klingons seem much more like orcs. It's actually notable when they mention one of them was having sex with a prisoner as you have to wonder how the physics of that would work. That's obviously not something we had to think about with Worf or B'Elanna.

   In conclusion, this was a decent episode and everything continues to build to what I assume will be the season finale with episode 9. However, I wasn't entirely blown away either so I'll give it an 8 out of 10.

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