Looking Back at S1

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Vger23, Jan 19, 2023.

  1. Nombrecomun

    Nombrecomun Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I came here to say exactly that! Even the biker gang comment.

    I was happy to see that Klingons were truly alien again.
     
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  2. StarMan

    StarMan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There was ambition, which is why I respect DISCO S1. There were misses, to be sure.

    The behind-the-scenes drama didn't help matters. What disappoints me is they swung back to safety, rather than attempt to refine and build on the type of storytelling introduced.

    Was there a mystery box in S1? I don't recall.
     
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  3. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Rewatching S1 really depresses me, because they had done such a fascinating job setting up a new and fresh take on the franchise. Yes, it was flawed, but it was really fucking interesting.

    And then, they caved to the idiots crying online and we got S3 and S4.
     
  4. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm of the opinion that the black badges being Section 31 was a season 2 retcon, and a rather sloppy one. Though I have no idea what the intention was with them in season 1, probably an abandoned premise as you say.

    Making them Section 31 brings with it a whole host of problems, starting most notably with, what were they even doing there? They obviously weren't guarding the spore drive, and there's no indication there was anything else important on the ship. And I'm guessing these particular Section 31 guards must have left the ship pretty quickly afterwards, at least before Tyler joined the crew. After all, when he joins with Section 31 in season 2, he comments he's been aware of Section 31 and their black badges, but never met anyone from the organization or with their badge. And odd comment if he were serving on a ship with at least two Section 31 personnel assigned to it.
     
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  5. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not really…but a lot of “twists” for sure.

    I sincerely hope they just leave it alone.
     
  6. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    That post you quoted isn't even in this thread lol
     
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  7. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That is my biggest disappointment with Discovery. It set up a really interesting premise, something unique and threw it away for safer more traditional style of Trek. Swing and a miss.
     
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  8. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    Discovery still isn't anything close to tradiational.

    SNW is closer to traditional than Discovery.
     
  9. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Setting the series after something like The Burn is not "safe, traditional Star Trek". It's the opposite. So we have to agree to disagree.

    Seasons 3-4 are different, and I'll agree with that, but the "whiners" (I'd use a less charitable term) still aren't won over. SNW is the series that won most of them over. That's the one that's "safe and traditional".

    As much as I like Season 1, the series can get more mileage out of Season 3+.
     
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  10. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's closer, and closer than my personal preference after Season 1. Hell, even bringing in Pike was too far in some ways in Season 2 and I love Pike. But, the steps were a but not to my liking, chipping away at the uniqueness of Discovery.
     
  11. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Damn!!
     
  12. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry”

    This was another really good episode, and it is a perfect follow-up to “Context Is For Kings.” It focuses a lot on the pressure around getting the Displacement Activated Spore Hub Drive up and into the war, and all of the tensions around that pursuit.

    I continue to like Isaac’s performance here. He has the ability to draw the audience in, and you can’t help but be “all eyes” on him in every scene. Burnham has some great moments here as well, particularly as she works to figure out what is happening with the tardigrade, and her exploration of its nature mirrors some of the ambiguity of her own (is she a “monster,” or is she misunderstood?).

    I absolutely love the scene where Lorca drills the bridge crew in a battle simulation and busts their ass for getting killed. “Very polite” indeed. I also love him playing the audio of the Klingon attacks over the 1MC for the crew to hear. Again, it really is un-Trek, and it makes the character so very interesting at this point.

    Ultimately, the ethical question of continuing to use the tardigrade as a navigator-in-captivity / however else is at the core of the episode, and it works well as it has in several classic Trek outings. We also meet Culber here for the first time, and he’s one of my favorite characters.

    The only real drawbacks here are that Landry’s death is unbelievably stupid, and having Corvan 2 as an undefended source of 40% of the fleet’s dilithium is highly unlikely. But, hey, it’s Star Trek.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023 at 6:21 AM
  13. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Choose Your Pain”

    This was an outing that I thought was a small step backward on first-watch, mainly because Harry Mudd is kind of annoying, but this time through, I thought it was as good as the previous two outings.

    It’s our first “Lorca episode,” and that in itself is awesome. It’s also Saru’s first go in the big chair, and doesn’t do nearly as well as Burnham tells him he does. Burnham gets the “B-plot” this week, in favor of Lorca’s prison experience with the Klingons, and it works really well quite frankly. We are still working on the ethics of enslaving this innocent (and maybe sentient) creature to guide the Discovery’s DASH Drive, and it’s worse now because it’s made clear, after collaboration with Culber, that the creature is definitely being negatively impacted. Saru is feeling pressure to mount the rescue of Captain Lorca, though, and he seems willing to turn a blind eye (which I feel is kind of against his character, honestly).

    But, the real meat of the story is Lorca’s captivity aboard L’Rell’s prison ship. Harry Mudd is there, and as annoying as he is, he has a few great lines of dialogue deriding the Starfleet prisoners for forgetting what it’s like to be an everyday citizen of the Galaxy, and for contributing to a war that only hurts the everyman.

    We get some absolutely fascinating reveals about Lorca’s backstory as the lone survivor of the Buran, and we get introduced to Ash Tyler. The taridgrade is set free, and we see Stamets doing some highly questionable self-experimentation to become the new organic navigator for black alert jumps.

    A few observations /questions:

    -I’ve said this many times, but the story of Lorca’s involvement in the destruction of the Buran really needs to be told in canon.
    -I remember people getting all wadded-up about Lorca leaving behind Mudd. While it is controversial, it totally fits with his character.
    -I like Ash Tyler more than most fans, it seems. I make no apologies.
    -The opening scene with Lorca fencing with Starfleet Command was really good, and it foreshadows their willingness to bend their moral center (Cornwell informs Lorca that Starfleet is looking feverishly for more tardigrade creatures to essentially enslave as DASH drive navigators). That will come up again later in the season’s last two episodes.
    -We also get Starfleet giving Lorca the “WTF” treatment about his methods and conscripting Burnham, which I thought was earned. Again, apparently there are Starfleet regs that suspend the high-and-mighty virtues if survival is at stake. Very interesting.
    - The Stamets “mirror moment” is as creepy now as it was then.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023 at 6:25 AM
  14. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree.

    Mudd can go fuck himself. He deserved to be left behind. As far as I'm concerned: if you betray someone to the enemy, you are the enemy.

    I liked how stand-off-ish he was, even when he was in trouble.

    That's the dilemma Starfleet always deals with. They want to be "high and mighty" but then they find out that doesn't always work. They don't want to admit it doesn't always work and want to take a high road whether it makes sense to or not and whether it makes them look hypocritical or not.

    That was a great shot at the end.

    I'll just cut-and-paste what I said a few years ago, because I'm in the middle of something right now and can't say better what I said last time.

    -- cutting and pasting --

    "Choose Your Pain"
    I love the back-and-forth between Lorca and Cornwell after the briefing at the beginning of the episode. More on that in the next episode. Moving on for now.

    I'm glad they didn't go somewhere they could've gone with the Tartigrade. Using it to run Discovery's spore drive always reminded me too much of "Equinox" (VOY) where Ransom wanted to use those aliens to power Equinox's warp drive. So when Burnham said this is wrong, I was cheering her on. Burnham is trying to make her case, then Culber backs her up, and then Stamets goes along with Burnham and Culber, taking it one step further and giving himself an injection that allows him to be able to navigate the Spore Drive.

    At the beginning of the episode, Cornwell tells Lorca that she wants more ships with Spore Drives and then the end of the episode shows that they can't power it with Tartigrades and the one thing that's compatible with operating it besides a Tartigrade is a Homo Sapien with genetic manipulation (because half their DNA is the same as fungus from back before the animal kingdom evolved). And, of course, genetic manipulation is banned within the Federation, so that answers why Discovery is the only ship that can have a Spore Drive. Humans have enough mental processing power to guide a Spore Drive and they don't have artificial intelligence powerful enough to do it yet. I'm guessing that in the 32nd Century, that would no longer be a problem. In the third season, they could have an artificial intelligence guide the Spore Drive, if one is installed into Discovery. Maybe Zora?

    This is the first episode where the Stamets/Culber relationship goes into focus.

    We also get to see Saru regret not having the chance to be Georgiou's First Officer on the Shenzhou. He's furious at Burnham for how her recklessness led to Georgiou being killed and deprived him of getting to learn how to be a Captain. Over the course of the episode, Saru learns that he's a better commander than he worried about. But one thing he needed to learn was to not follow rules so rigidly and learn how to adapt his strategy to new information he found out. When Culber made it clear he wouldn't be able to get the Tartigrade to operate the Spore Drive, he should've begun thinking about what else he could do, without it.

    I think it's just as well that Stamets didn't tell Saru or Culber what he was planning to do when he hooked himself up to the Spore Drive. Now they're spared of whatever action could've been taken against them, if they knew and would've agreed let Stamets go through with the plan.

    Harry Mudd is a piece of shit. He pretends to try to stick up for the little guy caught in the middle of Starfleet's wars but all he cares about is himself and what's in it for him. Even though Lorca's really from the Mirror Universe and Tyler unknowingly has Klingon within him, they make a good Starfleet team. After Mudd pulled a fast one on them, stole food from them, and relayed information to the enemy, I love how Lorca and Tyler pulled the rug out from underneath him and escaped while leaving him behind.

    I still don't have an issue with Tilly saying "That's so fucking cool!" It's something she just blurted out in excitement. It's not even the only swearing in the episode. Stamets backs her up saying, "It is fucking cool!" and Tyler said "shit" earlier. Discovery took a lot of flack for swearing in this episode but, later, Picard would take it and run away with it.

    The Mirror Stamets appearing after Stamets and Culber brush their teeth is still weird, strange, mysterious, and ominous at the same time. The End.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023 at 3:36 AM
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  15. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    My only issue with that scene was how awkwardly it was done, which made it feel like they were trying to shine a spotlight to emphasize the moment of this being the Franchise's First F-Bomb.
    I remember the Space channel in Canada actually got in trouble over not censoring the word Fuck due to the timeslot they had Disco on at the time (8 PM Eastern). Ironically, if it were on an hour later they wouldn't be required to censor the profanity. Their reasoning at the time for that timeslot was that The Walking Dead was on and they were under no illusions about competing against that, while they attempted to justify not censoring Fuck by saying they didn't want to disappoint Trek fans by airing an incomplete version of the episode.

    Space (now CTV Sci-Fi) would later move the Trek shows to the 9 PM timeslot when Thursday became the day the episodes aired, thus allowing them to include profanity uncensored. Meanwhile Disco's writers felt bad over the situation which is why they included the line in season 2 about Tilly being requested not to use profanity anymore as a sort of meta joke referencing the matter.

    Ironically, Canada has pretty lax rules about profanity on television, even during daytime hours. Fuck and Cock are the only words required to be censored, otherwise anything goes.
     
  16. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    Have they actually said this or are you speculating.
     
  17. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Lethe

    One of a few semi-episodic outings for S1 DSC, and I think this is the best of them. It’s no secret that I have always loved this episode. I think it’s one of DSC’s most meaningful contributions to Trek lore.

    We get a pretty good A/B plot structure from veteran Trek writer Joe Menosky. The A plot has a Vulcan logic extremist sabotaging a supposed peace mission that Sarek was undertaking. Burnham convinces Lorca to mount a unique search and rescue mission, using a technobabble mind meld enhancer to extend her katra link with Sarek to attempt to locate him and save his life. The B plot has Lorca sparing with Admiral Cornwell, “an old friend “ who also enjoys drinking and sleeping with him.

    The payoff of the Sarek plot is a very well-done exploration of Sarek’s psyche, relationship with Burnham and, most importantly, the true source of his disapproval of Spock’s decision to choose Starfleet over the Vulcan Science Academy. I think it was beautifully done and is a major payoff to the question of “why did they want Michael to be Sarek’s adopted daughter in the first place?”

    The Lorca plot picked up the mysterious threads dropped in “Choose Your Pain” and expands upon them, but not so much that it doesn’t leave you begging for more. The brilliant thing about this whole B plot, and the end result that has Lorca convincing Cornwell to go charging into a Klingon trap, is that it absolutely leaves you guessing as to whether Lorca is sincere, or weather he has purposefully sent her to her doom just to stay in command of the Discovery. Isaacs is brilliant in these scenes….some of the best stuff in the series.

    A few comments/questions:

    -The location used for Vulcan is gorgeous. Mia Kershner was a really nice choice to play Amanda.
    -The katra link thing is kind of hokey, but hey, Star Trek.
    -It’s a little weird that neither Lorca nor Starfleet Command viewed the release of the tardigrade in the previous episode as a questionable offense.
    -You can see more evidence here of Lorca’s strange obsession with Burnham, but it’s subtle enough to not blow the cover off the whole deal. He has that exchange with Tyler where he says “Bring her back in one piece….or don’t come back at all.” Creepy.
    -I also thought to myself that there’s no way that Lorca would have side-tracked on this mission if it hadn’t been deeply personal to Burnham. Again, more clues and breadcrumbs that are fun to pick up on a re-watch.
    -The visual fx of the nebula are shit.
    -More funny / lighthearted moments includes the food synthesizer narrating the nutritional value of the crew’s meals
    -The alien hosts are pretty cool looking. Too bad they die quickly.
    -I think this episode establishes that Kol has reverse-engineered the cloaking technology from T’Kuvma’s flagship and is using it to bribe other houses to pledge loyalty to him.
    -Kol is SUCH a dick.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023 at 6:27 AM
  18. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don’t mind swearing in Star Trek, but this wasn’t done very well, I have to admit. It was very……..inorganic.
     
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  19. Gul Sengosts

    Gul Sengosts Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I want people to swear, but in a natural, casual way without drawing much attention. DIS introduced the f-word to Star Trek, but it's like "Oh my Goood did she just drop the f-bomb??" Similarly in Picard, the way she says "the sheer fucking hubris" feels like it's done for almost shock value. So now they swear (which I approve of) but they ruined it by making it super awkward.
     
  20. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Swearing in Trek always feels inorganic to me. The closest is Kelvin Kirk's "bullshit" line. The rest is adolescent style.