Trekathon 748: Into the Forest I Go (DIS)

November 13th, 2017

The last new Trek for the year. Spoilers after the jump.

That was an interesting episode. I’m not sure if it’s a good one or not though.

To start with the good, the middle 20 minutes or so of this episode is pretty enjoyable. Despite the ridiculous premise (‘in the next three hours we will solve the problem plaguing the whole federation for months’) they deliver on a pretty strong action sequence with good stakes. It’s fun, and it delivers an unexpected payoff with the death of General Kol.

That leaves the other half though, which I had more problems with. The first 10 minutes or so is just dull – a lot of exposition and setup for the action sequence. But the last 10 minutes seems to be leaning towards what is shaping up to be the stupidest plot twist in Star Trek history. The episode very strongly implies that Tyler is in fact Voq with some kind of programming going on. While I’m happy to give some benefit of the doubt, it’s going to be nearly impossible to make that work given what we know of Voq and what we know of Tyler.

There were a few other bits that I liked – Lorca continues to be an interesting character. He’s played ambiguously in a way that Trek doesn’t normally permit. Does he mean what he was telling Stamets about exploration? To what extent is he motivated by revenge? I don’t know, and it’s a performance that encompasses several possibilities.

The final cliffhanger we ended with is a very weak one – “I don’t know where we are”. It doesn’t exactly set up a compelling platform for the next episode. Plus whatever it is that L’Rell is up to.

There’s a lot left on the table for the rest of the season – Mudd’s time travel device, the mirror universe, Voq, and so on. I’m still interested, but there has been a downward trend since the first few episodes.

Quick hits:

  • ‘Alternative parallel universes’ – Mirror Universe here we come.

  • If I were designing sensors to emplace on an enemy ship I would go with slightly fewer bright lights and sound generating things. For the one I’m putting on the bridge at least.

  • A surprising number of people thought the Admiral was dead in last week’s episode – I could’ve sworn that you heard her breathing in the audio mix.

  • Lorca’s expression as he ordered the destruction of the Klingon ship was a wonderful piece of acting.

  • Has it ever been established before that the starfleet emblem badges double as dog tags? I didn’t think so.

  • Pretty sure that sets the record for most explicit sex scene in Trek. Not sure we needed that on top of the rest of the description.

748 down. And now for a couple of months with no new Trek. I’ll be rewatching the first nine episodes and will probably post some thoughts about that before the show returns.