Spoilers Alright, here's one question.

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Amasov, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. Amasov

    Amasov Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2001
    As we reached the midway point of the season, the crew of Discovery learns they must lure the red angel to them in an attempt to capture it. They determine the best way to do that is to put Michael in distress, because that's what will bring the red angel to them. This proves successful. The red angle is lured in, it turns out to be Gabriel Burnham.

    However, what I find interesting is the red angel appears to Michael toward the end of BROTHER when she's trapped aboard the USS Hiawatha while she is clearly in distress. And this lines up perfectly with their theory regarding how the red angel appears.

    But we find out in SUCH SWEET SORROW that wasn't Gabriel, but actually Michael going back to set the one of the red bursts.

    While I'm not confused...it seems a little disjointed.

    Thoughts? Is it me? Do I just not pay close enough attention? :D
     
    Rhodan likes this.
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    A type 13 planet in its final stage
    It reminded me a little of Babylon 5's time travel hijinks, where what was previously believed to be one person turned out to be three people in suits.

    Some appearances were Mother Burnham, others Michael.
     
    guyute03 and SpocksOddSocks like this.
  3. SpocksOddSocks

    SpocksOddSocks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    Location:
    SpocksOddSocks
    Yeah, that's a time Gabrielle didn't need to go back to because Michael was not in danger of dying from her perspective in the future. The very reason Spock had to ensure the crew didn't help her in The Red Angel was so the danger existed and she wouldn't survive without her mother's interference. At the Hiawatha, she was simply beamed back.
     
    NewHeavensNewEarth and SJGardner like this.
  4. SJGardner

    SJGardner Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Location:
    In the center of Europe
    Yes. The way the scene at the Hiawatha was filmed, it seemed like Pike was already on his way to rescue Burnham when she saw the Red Angel. There was nothing there that would've required direct intervention from her mom.
     
    NewHeavensNewEarth likes this.
  5. Michael

    Michael In alignment with canon Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Aloha Quadrant
    As it turns out, they never actually saw Gabrielle-Burnham-as-Red-Angel before ”The Red Angel“. Spock saw her as a child and on that ice planet (?) after he escaped from Starbase whatever. But other than that it was always Michael in the suit – on the Hiawatha and on Kaminar. They really got lucky that their theory turned out right and she appeared to save Michael.
     
    XCV330, SpocksOddSocks and BillJ like this.
  6. cultcross

    cultcross We truly were a song of ice and fire Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Location:
    The Small Council
    There are two Red Angel appearances in Brother. One is the signal which drew Discovery to the asteroid (sent by Burnham in the finale) and one to Burnham personally when she is injured. Its not specifically stated who this is afaik, but assumed to be her mother.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Momma Burnham managed to spy on key moments of her daughter's life unobserved. The fact that an Angel vision happened aboard the Hiawatha at all would seem to be due to user clumsiness - Gabrielle would have no motivation to reveal herself, and this wouldn't be her first attempt at visiting specific points in time and space, either. Michael fumbling it appears more logical, even if it's not made explicit through MichaelVision or the like.

    What is left very unclear is who founded Terralysium, now isn't it? Michael has little skill in operating the suit, and little personal-POV time to do stuff with it; she's unlikely to have levitated the church. But why would Gabrielle have done that? Will Michael simply do it in a future episode, and if she does retain use of the Angel Suit (which obviously doesn't burn out after the first jump after all - Reno and Po are utter hacks when it comes to speculative physics, it seems), why won't she do more? Timey-wimey-crossing-timelines-noninterference-paradox-grandfather-something?

    Ultimately, is Gabrielle slated to return to her point of departure, where the Klingons will slay her so that young Mickey will hear the screams and Leland will see the corpse? Why? Timey-wimey-etc?

    Or did she die for good when she got yanked to the anchorpoint without this suit that supposedly was the only thing keeping her from suffering all sorts of horrible fates?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Unicorn

    Unicorn Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Location:
    not Talos IV
    It seemed disjointed to me also, almost like two stories smushed in one. I think I would have preferred it if it were Michael who warned Spock all along (in a closed time loop I guess) but that would make it difficult to explain where the suit came from
     
    Serveaux and Longinus like this.
  9. Michael

    Michael In alignment with canon Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Aloha Quadrant
    Maybe I‘m misunderstanding you, but the finale does indeed establish that it was Michael visiting herself when she was injured in ”Brother“, not her mother.
     
    SpocksOddSocks, Longinus and Ovation like this.
  10. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    It was Michael seeing her earlier self. Moreover, that Red Angel took no action to save Michael, unlike Gabrielle's Red Angel (warning Spock, rescuing Michael on the hellish planet).
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Not taking action on Michael's survival is standard fare for Gabrielle, too - she leaves Michael to die in the brig of the Shenzhou, in the hands of Emperor Georgiou, or by the sword of Kol, too. Michael is free to die at any time of her choosing, except there is never such a time; she always survives on her own. Just like in "Brother".

    That the "Brother" Angel in the vision would be Michael is not established, as none of the five visits to the past by Michael is limited to showing things Michael-as-Angel would have seen through her own eyes. We see little extra beyond the original episode footage, and none decisively establishes which Angel is in the suit at which point.

    Why, Michael would have no real reason to hang around in any of those instances - and indeed the Red Sign is always already gone when a particular adventure begins. So it probably isn't Michael even at Kaminar, but Gabrielle. Michael really should only be setting up the Signs, not doing anything else.

    Who set up the original Seven Signs is another mystery. Obviously those were different Signs, because none of them was over Boreth (or the Klingons would have known) or Kaminar (or the Kelpians would have known) or Xahea (or the Xaheans would have known) etc.

    Jacob does speak of a Sign appearing "the other day". Does this mean one of the Original Seven was at the same spot where Michael later set up the second one, the one that blinked out just before our heroes arrived? Or did the ship arrive "the other day"? Or, more probably, did the Sign appear "the other day", that is, a day or so before our heroes did their big jump?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  12. Doctor Bombay

    Doctor Bombay Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    I hate time travel. :(
     
  13. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Its not unclear who founded Terralysium. We watched Michael read her mother's logs where Gabrielle states she moved the church to the planet to see if she could change the timeline.
     
    SpocksOddSocks, TPezz and PiotrB like this.
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Ah, quite. But the uncertain part then becomes more subtle...

    The act of moving the church is what convinces Gabrielle that time is fluid, so did it stick? Do these people still live there later, say, a thousand years later, radically altering the nature of Gabrielle's home base? Apparently not, since later on she still believes Control will win, all will die, and survival is hopeless. So will Gabrielle still move them, after having witnessed her own failure in that respect? Her other antics, the attempts at stopping Control, apparently aren't cumulative, so the act of moving the church could well be erased by later acts, too. So who gets to decisively found Terralysium?

    I guess we might find out in a later episode why Terralysium became an anchor for Gabrielle's suit, but not for Michael's. It's the only place out of the seven where there appear to have been more than one signal - potentially, it hosted one of the original seven, the second one of Michael's later seven, and finally the seventh one of Michael's seven. It's a special place indeed. And supposedly important in S3. So ultimately I'm pretty sure we'll get more data. Plus a good many reappearances of these S2 Terralysium characters, even if the ship ended up in the wrong century for that.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Spaceship Jo

    Spaceship Jo Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    The writers bit off more than they could chew with this one. There are so many things they didn't realize or account for, it would take longer to inventory them than it would take to watch the whole season.

    The thing is: they don't care. I mean they care about the characters and want to tell good stories, but they are telling stories that are melodrama, where (well constructed, but unearned) emotional moments are around every corner and the "story" such as it is, is just a means of connecting those moments, i.e. It's all plot.

    Observe the emotional death in the finale. Imagine if that was the payoff to the story of a character! Nope. It's there because they wanted emotional moment 75923 to happen at the X minute mark and to give the actors something to chew.

    And there's nothing wrong with any of that, it's just not sci-fi in any meangful sense, just genre trappings around a very standard contemporary melodrama.

    The difference between the best Trek and the worst Trek of old was how much it engaged the viewer intellectually or energetically: stories to think on or be thrilled by. Not that emotion didn't matter, it was just more directly tied to one of the other two areas.

    The best or worst of DSC can't be measured that way. It aims to hit the heart. So sometimes that might be thrilling, but it's best not to think on it. The spore drive can do anything (including time travel). The red angel suit can do anything and everything. These aren't means to tell a different story (the way warp or transporters are rarely the story themselves), they ARE what little there is of a story because it's not a story, it's a plot to get from emotional moment to emotional moment. Don't think, just feel.

    And by that measure, it works.

    If old Trek vacillated between being Kirk and being Spock, but with the other always around with McCoy as well, then DSC is McCoy doing all the talking.

    **edited to add** I'm aware this is all quite hyperbolic. Also, I'm surprised people take the "we're not in the TOS era anymore" thing seriously. Sure, they might be. All it takes is one magic tech/crystal/mushroom if they feel they want to write that in. Since everything is arbitrary anyway, why would you think this particular move is final? Lorca might not be dead. Cornwell might not be dead. Beaming. Fungus. Etc. The reason this matters here when previous Trek did the same kind of "cheats" is that those were part of stories (with arcs and everything), while this is plot (so they can work with those actors again if they want to, they want a "shocking" twist, etc).
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
    Michael, David cgc and Longinus like this.
  16. Longinus

    Longinus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Yep. And personally that sort of storytelling just doesn't work for me.
     
    Rhodan likes this.
  17. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    If, when she returns, there is any sign that the church and the people she brought there is to be found, then yes, that proves it stuck.
     
  18. Spaceship Jo

    Spaceship Jo Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    I don't judge my mum for loving her stories (soap operas). They obviously are working for their audience. Characters and plot beats. Emotional moments. But we can't pretend they are operating with the same mechanisms, structures, and intentions as narratives with beginnings, middles, ends, causes and effects, and purpose. If anyone wants to try evaluating Days of Our Lives as a piece of narrative fiction, good luck. Nor would it make sense to judge narrative fiction by the same criteria as soaps.
     
  19. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Throughout most of Star Trek's history, it was a presentation of short stories. Short stories, according to many, are the best form of fiction to present ideas. one of my favorite science fiction authors Brian Stableford, wrote that he always had trouble with short stories because he found that anything short he wrote tended to turn into an essay or a lecture.

    So yes, I won't argue that in past Star Trek series, each story tended to be an essay or a lecture with people attached to it. But it was the relationships between those people and their characters themselves that took those essays or lectures and made them into stories. Because without those people, there is no story.

    Around 1960, a change came to literary science fiction, The New Wave, which also accompanied a change from the short story being dominant in the genre to novels being dominant and soft science fiction taking over, featuring less emphasis on the particular problem that was to be debated and more on the people living the debate.

    These novels still included plenty of scifi ideas, but they were less about debate on the idea than the people living in consequence of them than there being a lesson strategy involved. Some of my favorites of the era include Roger Zelazny's The Dream Master, Samuel DeLany's Nova and John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar.

    People looking for the kind of lesson's didactic science fiction provided in those stories would be sorely disappointed because they weren't lectures or essays, but stories about people in a science fiction setting and not science fiction ideas with archtypes hung on them, but were still science fiction stories.

    Star Trek in the past has been presented as a pre-new wave construction of science fiction. It was about ideas with the available archtypes to hang on them. Discovery isn't that kind of science fiction series. It is more of a New Wave take on Star Trek which is a story about people in a science fiction setting. Science fiction ideas are still there, but they are not what Discovery revolved around as its mainstay.

    So, no, Discovery isn't about providing didactic stories that offer you a lecture or present an essay on the idea of the week. But again, IMO, it is still very much science fiction, just a science fiction which was invented in the 1960s, not one who's heyday was in the 1940s and 1950s. And searching for that didactic fiction in Discovery is going to be as hard as it would be to find it in Norm Spinrad's Bug Jack Barron or JG Ballard's Vermillion Sands, because the writers are not treating their forum as a classroom to lecture kids on the topic of the day.

    I honestly recall the kinds of complaints in reviews of New Wave Science Fiction by oldschool SF critics saying "what the hell is this, this isn't science fiction" but, at least in literary circles science fiction has been what Discovery is for longer than Star Trek has been on the air. And IMO, its about time Trek moved past the 1950s, at least before we actually get to the 2050s.

    And honestly, continuing to use the term Soap Opera as a derogatory complaint about anything that isn't lecture first and character second is getting pretty creaky in its old age, as is most viewers who still remember what a soap opera is, Good heavens, The big complaint about Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine back in the days was that they were 'Soap Operas' in space. Even creaky old Marina Sirtis recently chimed in that DS9 wasn't really Star Trek because it was a "hotel in space". This antique opinion was off point then, and still is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  20. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Location:
    previously Mickmike
    I'ts been 25 years and I'm still trying to work out how Marlena got possessed by the devil and got kidnapped by Stefano every other week.