Trekathon 746: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad (DIS)

October 30th, 2017

You know the drill. More Star Trek, more spoilers (after the jump).

Time travel – Star Trek’s greatest single plot device. Add in Space Whales (Star Trek IV anyone?) and this had better deliver. Fortunately this was a pretty spectacular episode. Easily into the top bracket of Star Trek episodes. It manages to be a unique and interesting take on time travel. The closest in Star Trek history is probably Cause & Effect from TNG, but honestly it felt a lot more like Groundhog Day. Mudd is used to his maximum extent as a villain, and while his Leverage level heist skills aren’t totally consistent with the TOS episodes, it’s a tremendous amount of fun. It’s easily the most riveted I’ve been by any of the episodes of Discovery.

It also felt, perhaps because of the time travel, far more like Star Trek than anything else so far. You could imagine a variant of this episode in every single Star Trek series.

Plot hole (possibly) – it wasn’t clear to me how Burnham got to the dancing with Tyler. Possibly a briefing from Stamets that was better targeted? It was played as if her memories carried over. And how did they get the information about Mudd’s ship into the final cycle? And then that doesn’t even seem to matter? It can be explained, but it seemed a bit sloppy in an otherwise excellent story.

The only bit I wasn’t sure about was the ending. Seemed a little wobbly to me – bringing Stella into the picture was important from a TOS continuity point of view (and both her and her father felt very much like TOS characters). But if felt like an awful lot of complexity got thrown in just in the last few minutes of the episodes, when it didn’t really seem like it was needed to end the story.

Oh, and another piece of the puzzle in that the time travel tech now seems to be in Star Fleet’s hands. Building to something.

Quick hits:

  • Yay, a log. It’s an efficient and Star Trek-y way to get through exposition.

  • Most raging party ever in a Star Trek series? Can’t think of many other contenders.

  • Drunk Tilly added nicely to the reasons why I like her a lot more than her first appearance.

  • Burnham’s triple take with Tyler when leaving the party the first time was a nice little piece of acting.

  • Ah, Yellow Alert. The least used of all the alerts. And used here for approximately three seconds. According to Memory Alpha it’s been used around 14 times in all Star Trek.

746 down. And only two more episodes left in this first half of Discovery’s first season.