An issue with Adira and Gray...and Stamets

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Ghel, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. Ghel

    Ghel Commander Red Shirt

    Sep 29, 2005
    First, let me begin by saying that I really enjoy Discovery, so this isn't intended to be bashing it in any way. However, I find that the longer the relationship between Adira and Gray is lasting, the less satisfying I am finding it. After pondering it, there are a few reasons:

    1. While Adira is paired with a Trill symbiont and therefore would have memories of Gray (and as Gray), the longer the projection of Gray continues, the more concerned I am that either Adira or the Trill has some serious mental health issues. While DS9's "Facets" seemed to also blur the lines between host memory and host personality, it seemed a bit easier to suspend disbelief for one episode rather than watching it play out over a full season. This is especially true since Adira is both seeing and interacting with Gray and believing that Gray exists outside of themselves.

    2. Stamets has a unique perspective on relationships since he has been through life and death and life again with Hugh. However, he also seems to be a bit overly casual around the person who is hallucinating and talking to someone who isn't in the room. Especially for an officer who has been known to be a bit prickly and aloof in the past, he just seems a bit too quick to jump on the Gray train rather than first recommending that Adira talk to Hugh just to be sure that there isn't anything physically wrong.

    Ultimately, I find myself less than satisfied with a character who sits alone at a cafeteria table or stands alone at a party by choice because they choose to interact with a hallucination rather than the other people in the room. While it's being played as "real" in the Star Trek universe, it feels almost negligent to me that an entire ship of scientists don't seem to have interest in A. determining the cause of the visual and auditory hallucinations (whether those turn out to be "real" or psychological), B. engage this crewperson and help grieve the (possible) loss of Gray and C. (In the case of Stamets) are actively encouraging Adira to interact with said hallucinations and treat them as "real" simply because of his experience with Hugh.

    Any thoughts or counter-points?
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  2. Markonian

    Markonian Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 2, 2012
    Derbyshire, UK
    Makes sense.
    I wonder if Paul actually discussed any of this with Hugh.
  3. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    Gray said in the latest episode that it's "not supposed to be like this" so I imagine it's going somewhere. Paul may think it's a harmless fantasy and be unaware of the seriousness of it.

    Gray is in season 4 too so I imagine it'll be addressed then.
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  4. Ghel

    Ghel Commander Red Shirt

    Sep 29, 2005
    Hopefully it will be addressed. I know it's not really the overall plot of the season, and they can only do so much with 13 episodes, but I would love to have seen this explored more on-screen, even if it's only to have a Trill doctor come on board and say something like, "oh that is known as the Ardor Toboxan, or the lover's lifebond. It is rare but it happens in cases where two hosts who were extremely close share the same symbiont."
    It would feel much better than the crew basically saying, "we don't know what, if anything, is wrong but Adira's probably fine. . . ."
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  5. Angry Fanboy

    Angry Fanboy Captain Captain

    Feb 15, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I've never given in much thought but yeah, now you mention it if a colleague on a starship tells you they're constantly seeing/interacting with what's essentially a ghost that no one else can perceive then I agree you should probably tell someone about it.
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  6. ananta

    ananta Captain Captain

    Mar 13, 2020
    Good point. Stamets does come across as humouring Adira a bit much. Starfleet officers need to be at the top of their game. During a moment of crisis they can’t afford to be distracted by hallucinations, or whatever Gray is. This plot line is curious, but not much more for me.
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    I'm not sure why anybody's choice of companionship should be the business of the organization at large, unless said companionship is considered a security risk somehow. And Adira, an outsider from a decidedly hostile organization, has been welcomed nicely enough; why would Gray be less welcome, real or not?

    As far as I know, there's no requirement in Starfleet for its personnel to be social and sociable. It's allowed, within perhaps broader limits than today, but it's not mandatory. You turn up at work each star-morning, you do your job, you don't attempt suicide too often, you should be fine.

    Picard never forced Troi upon people like Barclay if there were no performance issues. Troi in turn never caught up on issues like "Eye of Beholder" on her own initiative. People can simply be allowed to be whatever they wish to be, as far as the organization is concerned. Stamets may take a personal interest, but him being Adira's de facto boss in fact makes that a bit dubious. So it's nice that he's giving it the softest possible touch and not involving any outsiders. Although it's also convenient that his social backup there is the ship's highest-ranking doctor!

    Timo Saloniemi
  8. TPezz

    TPezz Commander Red Shirt

    Mar 17, 2019
    Is Adira actually a member of Starfleet? I don’t actually remember whether they officially joined.

    Considering they are supposedly the first known joining of a Trill Symbiont and Human, could that possibly be an explanation? Like a side effect of some sort. The humans personality doesn’t take on symbiont traits, but still exist somewhere in their consciousness? Idk. Just throwing out ideas.

    Since both Gray and Adira are back next season, I’m sure this will be fleshed out a bit more.
  9. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

    Jun 30, 2004
    New Therin Park, Andor (via Australia)
    In order for characters to grow, they need to start somewhere. Patience. It is a story arc, not a single episode.
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  10. Angry Fanboy

    Angry Fanboy Captain Captain

    Feb 15, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Adira was part of the Earth Defence Force or whatever it was called, but at some point had come into contact with Admiral Tal which led to the symbiont being implanted.

    I'd imagine Adira is currently the equivalent of a Tom Paris Starfleet observer or 'Specialist Burnham' from Season One - not part of Starfleet as such but along for the ride due to the value they can add.
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    You're forgetting DS9: "Field of Fire," where Ezri Dax used a variation of the zhian'tara ritual to separate Joran's memories from her joined consciousness and interact with him as a separate consciousness that she perceived as a hallucination, in exactly the way Adira perceives Gray. So we know for a fact that this is not mental illness or a delusion. It is a known, genuine way for a Trill host to interact with a former host's consciousness. It's unusual for it to happen spontaneously, yes, but that hardly constitutes mental illness. It's also unusual -- unprecedented, in fact -- for a human to host a Trill symbiont successfully. So it's no surprise that the symbiosis manifests in an unconventional way. But unconventional doesn't mean wrong.

    In general, it's a mistake to assume that hallucination must be evidence of mental illness. It's more just an alternate mental state that can happen for any number of reasons -- fatigue, meditation, drug use, etc. Most of us have hallucinations occasionally, even if it's just a split-second thing like imagining someone calling your name when you're half-asleep. Many people actively seek out hallucinations as a religious or meditative experience, and there are some who think they have therapeutic value. In the science-fictional case of someone genuinely sharing their brain with a second personality, it's simply a way of visualizing that personality to make it easier to communicate with them.
  12. nafeasonto

    nafeasonto Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Dec 15, 2015
    We never fully knew how Trill symbiotes work. They can very well communicate with each other, we don't know. The lore of Trills was never expanded on.
  13. Jackson_Roykirk

    Jackson_Roykirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 10, 2007
    Northeastern Pennsylvania
    While it does often seem he is only humoring them, it's hard to tell for sure. It might be that because Stamets has no experience at all with Trills, he thinks it is not that too abnormal for Adira to be seeing Gray.

    As for why is Adira seeing Gray and whether this is a symptom of a larger problem, I wonder if maybe it's a side effect of it being a Human-Trill symbiosis, which we know from Will Riker's experience that it cannot be safely done (at least not in the 24th century).
  14. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 2, 2017
    My own guess as to where this is going:

    Next episode, when Adira beams down to "the Citadel" and Saru and Culber can see Grey. He manifests as a holographic being. The tell for this was his appearance at the beginning of the last episode, and his discussion regarding his frustration at only being able to interact with Adira.

    Then, due to some technobabble, Grey can continue on as a holo-lifeform for Season 4, allowing the rest of the cast to interact with him.
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  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    I was thinking maybe a permanent zhian'tara into a clone of Gray's original body, but a holo-Gray could work too. Not sure how a holodeck could extract a personality from Adira's (and the symbiont's) brain, but the fact that it's able to make Saru feel he's moving like a human suggests it's able to alter mental perceptions as well as create visual illusions, so maybe it has a psychometric (mind-reading) component.
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  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    Maybe the pain of Gray's death is what's making Adira see him all the time.
  17. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    A neural interface linked to the holograpric systems would probably do the trick.
    They did it in Season 2 in order to chat with Tilly's spore parasite. I suspect they can easily make a neural interface that simply attaches to Adira's head and specifically target's Grays consciousness for the purpose of creating a hologram in the same location Adira usually sees him but by also giving him substance and voice for the rest of the crew to interact with.

    That is, if they decide to go down that kind of route.
    They could probably also download his consciousness into a holographic body probably... but given that he's part of Tal and how the whole purpose of the symbiots is to acquire many new memories and experiences... not sure if that will actually happen.
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    That's a good thought.

    But the symbiont is in Adira now. Gray was its former host who died. So it's now Adira's job, not Gray's, to provide the symbiont with new experiences. And having a former host as a holographic life partner is certainly new.
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  19. Crusher Disciple

    Crusher Disciple Admiral Admiral

    Dec 4, 2001
    Crusher Disciple
    It would be a great thing to talk to Tilly about. She had May following her around.
  20. Fateor

    Fateor Captain Captain

    May 18, 2017

    They should probably bring in a telepath or have her mind meld with a Vulcan to make sure what Adira is seeing is actually real and what she thinks it is.

    Because potential medical issues aside, there are a number of not so good things that would be sitting in her mind pretending to be Gray that they really really want to rule out.