So, I just finished a re-watch of S1 of SNW, and I thought maybe I'd take another look at S1 of DSC, which I haven't watched in several years. I was able to watch the first three episodes, and it was an interesting experience watching it with this much time past and now with 4 other modern series in the can. Being as objective as possible, here's my "looking back" impressions of the first two episodes, as t I've only watched 3 so far. I'll just kind of give a stream of consciousness reaction. These aren't really "episode reviews," just my own thoughts or notes about what worked, what didn't, and what I found interesting. "The Vulcan Hello" This episode looks amazing. Visually, it's stunning all around and it was a wonderful way to showcase what modern Star Trek could look like and offer to an audience in the streaming era. I'm going to say that Michelle Yeoh is far-and-away the gem of this episode, and I can very much understand why the producers did everything they could to try and keep her involved in various ways. The opening pre-credits scenes are a conundrum. They look amazing and are stylistic and unique...very cinematic. However, they are unbelievably awkward...particularly for trying to draw a new audience in. Listening to T'Kuvma drone on about "remaining Klingon" in subtitles was.....NOT a good idea to open the show with. It's confusing, unengaging and even a little off-putting. I remember sweating a little bit, watching it through my wife's eyes, and hoping the hell she'd stick with it when it first premiered. Then, we cut to Burnham and Georgiou walking around a beautiful desert planetscape, but the dialogue is unbelievably expositionary and unnatural. Like...worse than anything TNG ever dreamed of. Once we get aboard the Shinzhou, things settle in a bit better. Saru has excellent chemistry with Burnham, and there are some charming moments as they prepare for the spacewalk to the artifact. Georgiou is a captain that I really like and her style draws you in. She's an immediate favorite. The spacewalk is breathtaking, pure Star Trek. Once we get back to the ship, things get a little odd again. Burnham, who has some trauma that is somewhat awkwardly shown via flashbacks etc, becomes out-of-her-mind crazy. Looking back, with several years to consider things, I think her actions on the Bridge after her discussion with Sarek are borderline insane. It was admittedly not a great start for the character. Overall, there's a lot to love about this one, and a lot that makes you scratch your head. The stuff on the Klingon flagship is confusing and doesn't quite make sense. It's all edited weirdly, and it cuts back and forth at very strange times. "The Battle at the Binary Stars" So, Burnham gets thrown in the brig for most of this episode, which again is somewhat awkward. T'Kuvma summons the Klingon houses, who all somehow arrive at the exact same time as a very imposing fleet. Gorgeous ship designs, btw. Side note: I've never heard Starfleet commonly say "we come in peace" prior to these two episodes. It sounds more like a 1950's sci-fi cliche than something that was commonly said in Trek. The inevitable battle breaks out. It's interesting stuff, but it leaves me with the impression that it cost a shit ton of money, and it's really not much better than fleet battles we've seen before. I don't like the new visual effects for phasers and torpedoes at all (and these would not be consistent through the run of the series...which is a small but nerdy thing that drives me nuts). Georgiou continues to be fun to watch as a captain. Burnham has a weird "Katra link" to Sarek that is cool. That said, the flashback to her injury is confusing. Is this the attack that killed her parents? Something else? Of course, we find out later...but it is very strangely structured at this point. I can't understand how Starfleet (and Star Trek) is so confused about cloaking technology. First, the Suliban and others have it during ENT, set 100 years prior to DSC. Then, the Klingons have it in DSC, but it is treated like something brand new, and comes off like something T'Kuvma personally "invented" or something. Double weird since it was typically a Romulan technology long before the Klingons had it in TSFS. Then, Spock and Kirk are befuddled by it in TOS...and...aw hell you guys know what I mean. It's a bunch of nonsense. What is the cleave ship that blasts open the Europa? That ship also had a cloaking device? Was it there the whole time? Is it also T'Kuvma's? WTF is going on here? Anyway, Burnham escapes from the brig using a Kirk approach to out-logic'ing a computer. She convinces Georgiou to beam over and capture T'Kuvma to humiliate the Klingons and sue for peace...or something. They explicitly discuss the importance of not killing him, as this would mean that he will be martyred and the Klingons will fight to the last. Then, in the next scene, she kills T'Kuvma in cold blood. Sigh. After they kill off Georgeau... another sigh. So, these first two episodes are a mixed bag. Lots of great stuff. Lots of confusing narrative choices. And, I can see why people did not warm to Michael Burnham out of the gate. It's a very.....oddly written character and character journey in these two episodes. We open BATBS with a flashback to Michael first arriving on the Shenzhou. I thought at the time that this would be a continuing element of DSC, and we'd flash back to times earlier in Burnham's career as she developed as an officer and learned more with regard to balancing her human and Vulcan heritages. Alas, nothing really of the sort ever developed. She's established as an emotionally damaged person who makes some horrifically unsound decisions during extreme crisis situations. Again...risky but ultimately odd decisions to establish your series lead. I also think there was a plan...a concerted effort...to show something different and unique about the Klingon culture and point of view. Lots of stuff introduced here about the different houses, this "beacon of Khaless" (which is itself problematic and underdeveloped), etc...but it all seems kind of "out there" and not well developed in these episodes. Again, it's like they had massive ambitions, but couldn't pull off exactly what they were striving for. I found several comments from writers on Memory Alpha basically saying that the finished episode turned out very differently than what was scripted, due to major editing decisions. I do wonder very much what that means. Anyway, let me know what you think, if you have any retrospective view points on these episodes. I'll talk about "Context is for Kings" next.