Trekathon 753: The War Within, The War Without (DIS)

February 8th, 2018

Two in one day? What madness is this? Must be more Star Trek: Discovery spoilers.

One thing Discovery has done consistently this season is gone in surprising directions. I had genuinely no idea what to expect this episode – the last episode would have been a perfectly good end to the season in a lot of ways.

What we get is really three main plots. First we’ve got the ‘nine months later we’re losing the war’ stuff. This is mainly moving pieces around for next weeks episode, setting up the how and why of sending Discovery to Kronos. The individual scenes dragged occasionally, mainly because so much work had to be done to go from A to B.

Second is the Tyler/Voq stuff. I was glad there wasn’t any kind of instant forgiveness with Burnham – or indeed, even much prospect of reconciliation. It felt honest to the characters. But I am left with little sense of who Tyler is now. And the scene between Burnham and Tilly was nice.

And finally Emperor Georgiou. To quote another franchise – ‘This is not going to go the way you think this is going to go’. I can’t imagine putting her in charge is going to turn out to be a good idea. She spends most of the episode sulking – perhaps understandable, but not exactly great to watch.

Overall it’s an episode packed with a bunch of plot mechanics, plus some character advancement on the Tyler side. It had good moments, but didn’t grab me the way the previous few episodes have. There’s a good setup for the final episode of the season though.

One side note. I appreciate that in a TV show there’s an imperative for ongoing action, but it would nice to acknowledge the strain the crew have been under. It’s been a rough month or so. Doing things this way reduces the impact of the events of the story.

Quick thoughts:

  • I liked the continuity in correcting the ISS to USS in the opening sequence.

  • What Sarek did with the mind meld on Saru was not cool. Star Trek has been very inconsistent on this, but fundamentally that is a violation on the level of rape when done without consent.

  • I was sad that the Mirror Discovery seemed to have been destroyed very quickly. I wanted Captain Killy to have had some fun in the prime universe.

  • Did Star Fleet seriously redesign the uniforms in the past 9 months? Don’t they have anything better to do during a war.

  • ‘100 AUs from Earth and 1 light year from our current position’ – I hate the way there is no logic to the use of measurements. That’s a pretty small distance on the scale of a galaxy. There’s certainly no blue life bearing planet 100 AUs from Earth. What bugs me is that it would be so easy to get this right.

  • ‘I’m OK’ ‘How could that possibly be true’. Tilly is such a wonderful character.

  • ‘My home planet’ – more Federation Terran centrism. There are a lot of home planets in the Federation…

  • The ‘why did we never hear about the Spore Drive’ plot hole is being dug even deeper with the creation of that spore moon.

  • ‘I would congratulate you but I’m afraid the work has just begun’ – not, as far as I’m aware, a rule that forbids congratulations. Indeed, might be a good idea to provide some ongoing feedback as you go through a project.

  • There’s a shot of Saru as Burnham exits Tyler’s quarters where he is entirely out of focus and only recognisable from his stance. I hope that was either a stunt double, or that he at least had some other work that day. That’s a lot of time in makeup to be out of focus in the background.

  • Yay, Enterprise flashback.

753 down. Just one episode left in the first season of Discovery.