Trekathon 839: Rubicon (DIS)

February 21st, 2022

Someone’s looking at crossing a river. Spoilers.

Overall a slightly frustrating episode for me. There are some really good sections, and there’s a good action sequence in the starship duel in the middle of the episode. But there’s also a lot of stupidity, and still more pacing problems.

I really find the pacing of this season frustrating. We build up a head of steam, and then we’re stopping to talk about meditation and talking a walk. I mean, I like the Saru/T’Rina relationship (Sarina? T’Saru?), but find better spots for it in the episode.

I did like the tension built into the Burnham versus Book sequence. There’s nice ambiguity and action. It’s a tension not so much about the action, but who of Burnham and Book will go against their values first. But there’s weird pacing again – the frenetic action sequence is interrupted on both sides by plot convenience. And it’s a little undercut by plot convenience in finding a temporary way out of the dilemma.

In terms of stupidity – the episode hinges off several things that people fail to consider that are, frankly, just showing them to not be competent. The two most egregious are everyone (including Book) forgetting that Tarka might not sign on to their deal and could act independently, and no one even thinking that the 10-C might be able to build a second DMA. Simply put, no one is running through possibilities, they’re just focusing on a single outcome. Not good for military leaders.

Quick hits:

  • If I’m in the far future I’m going to rely on some kind of robotic handling for the incredibly dangerous substance.

  • Nice to see that we’re not running on an idiot plot, where people are acting without full information. It’s adult story telling that too often is done.

  • Saying ‘all Barzan’s can be trusted in security forces’ is just the teensiest bit racist.

  • Seeing Nhan was nice, but it made me realise how much I miss Tilly already.

  • Do phones not ring these days? Saru types the number and the connection is instant. What if you’re on the toilet?

  • You don’t need to whisper to emphasise the cloak…

  • Why not have the ‘pre-mission briefing’ before departure?

  • They’re hunting a genius weapon designer and no one thought of the possibility of New defences?

  • That little tiny ship can knock the shields down to 50% in one shot?

  • Another quick aside for a philosophical chat. Sigh.

  • I settled on the ‘silly’ side of ‘does the shuttle right next to the bridge of the ship look cool or silly’, but I can see the other view.

  • 154 hours is six days, not a week.

  • Is anyone anywhere surprised by Tara’s betrayal?

  • At least the description of game theory was, more or less, correct.

  • Some whiplash with Dr Culber from the previous episode. Yeah, he had a nice date. But absolutely no tension or guilt left over? Must have been a hell of a date.

839 down.