Trekathon 832: …But to Connect (DIS)

January 1st, 2022

After three episodes that end with an ellipsis, the first to start with one. Spoilers.

How my thought process went in the pre-credits scene: “Starting from where we were last week. Ooh, sounds like we might finally have some momentum on the main story. Nope, sigh, it’s Zora playing up.” It’s a very talky episode – no action sequence at all that I can recall, and A, B and C plots all just about talking – the Council, Zora, and Grey. Different levels of success, but also a strong ending setting up a lot more interesting momentum for the rest of the season.

The main Council plot is a bit flat – the interesting part of these kinds of debates in Star Trek is seeing people change their mind. But the only people being persuaded here are the nameless and wordless members of the council, so we get no sense of the gravity of the words. And yet another inspiring speech from Burnham is not a must see.

The B-plot does better – despite a number of logic problems for me, at the end of the day it’s about characters we care about expressing a point of view, learning and changing. That’s the core of this type of episode, and it’s ultimately done fairly well. Although I’m not sure what the AI rules mean if Zora is a new species. Wouldn’t that mean practically any sentient AI would also count as a new species, so the rule means almost nothing.

But we’ve set up an interesting platform and conflict for the remainder of the season, such that I’m almost sorry to be taking a break. Almost.

Quick hits:

  • I don’t care how much you like them, a computer refusing orders is ‘we’ll disassemble and replace you’.

  • Nice to see some continuity to Discovery rather than just previous Trek this episode.

  • That is a terrible physical layout for a conference of this type. Just, simply not functional, comfortable or workable.

  • I’m very much with Stamets on the ‘don’t trust Zora’ thing.

  • ‘We all live happily ever after’ – unless Species 10-C sends another one of course.

  • The Federation President is a terrible meeting chair.

  • 5 minutes of what is basically a Star Trek clip show.

  • Not parallel universes again. Tarka is an interesting character, but can’t we have a better origin?

  • Ah, rather than a single heroic monologue we now have two intertwined heroic monologues. Hooray. Not.

  • Every member of the Federation has a hand? And why does Burnham get a vote?

832 down. Time for a break on Discovery, and back to Prodigy for a few weeks.