Spoilers Star Trek: Discovery 2x08 - "If Memory Serves"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Commander Richard, Mar 7, 2019.


Hit it!

  1. 10 - A mind-blowing episode.

  2. 9

  3. 8

  4. 7

  5. 6

  6. 5

  7. 4

    0 vote(s)
  8. 3

  9. 2

    0 vote(s)
  10. 1 - I imagined better.

  1. st4ever

    st4ever Ensign Newbie

    Sep 4, 2013
    Cashiers, NC
    8/10 for me. But I loved it. One of the best Disco episodes yet and the connection to The Cage wins my heart over. The reason I didn’t give it a 10/10? It’s not “In the Pale Moonlight”, “The Visitor”, or “Duet”. Those are perfect Star Trek episodes - my love for DS9 is now evident.
  2. cultcross

    cultcross We truly were a song of ice and fire Moderator

    Jul 27, 2001
    The Small Council
    That was very very good indeed. I'm not even that much of a fan of The Cage (either the episode itself or the revered status it has among the continuity conscious) but this worked, and worked very well.

    The entire bit on the planet was a ten score for me easily. The way it was shot, paced, written, acted, everything.

    I liked the stuff with Culber - I'm interested to see where they go with it, and it was remarkably hard hitting relationship stuff for Star Trek.

    Pike's story was very good too, I like the personal POV they seem to give him, I only remember that being used occasionally for Sisko. This is the Pike and Burnham show at this point for me.

    Some great moments: Pike and Spock, "do you think the beard is working", "step into my office", the sneaky Airiam stuff, Pike and Vina, the shuttle landing sequence (beautiful).

    Only thing that brought this episode down was the s31 stuff. It's all so unnecessary and melodramatic. Grr. This story works fine with another Starfleet ship in their place. Georgiou is a cartoon in an otherwise strong set of characters. And the illusion reveal on their ship was incredibly obvious (and "say goodbye Spock", really?)

    Still, the rest is so good, it's an overall 9 from me.
  3. jespah

    jespah Rear Admiral Moderator

    Jun 21, 2011
    Boston, the Gateway to the Galaxy
    My God, I loved this episode.

    And... Michael calling Spock a half-breed -- no wonder that insult worked so well in This Side of Paradise!
  4. bookworm8571

    bookworm8571 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    May 10, 2009
    I liked Spock’s beard.

    I also thought the actor playing Spock did a better job than any other actor who played him since Nimoy. I can now see how this Spock turned in to the Spock of the original series.

    I never did particularly like The Cage or the Talosians, but so be it.

    The Red Angel is apparently this series’ version of Future Guy from Enterprise.
  5. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 23, 2017
    I’m sure Control has a reason for doing this. It is weird though. If I was writing it, I would have them as Starfleet Intelligence and have one of their operatives also a Section 31 operative.

    Does someone know how the stardates are calculated for this? Every time I add them to calculators, I get 24th century dates.
  6. cbl1

    cbl1 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 3, 2017
    I gave it a 9 - very well done. But I don't give 10s very often (to me episodes like TNG Best of Both Worlds Pt. 1)

    A few great parts included the fade away from Pike in the cage to Pike on Discovery. Taking an angle that really showed Mount looking exactly like a slightly aged Hunter.

    I like how they actually built upon the cage and showed how much of a connection Pike and Vina really had. They truly made it a greater love story and gave greater depth to The Cage and The Menagerie. This is the first time I can say Discovery truly added to and made Original Star Trek better.

    My only nit pick now - and I don't know if it will get answered. Why did the Federation add the death penalty to keep people away from Talos. The Federation somehow cracks down on visits to Talos more than a simple restriction. Pike did not avoid Talos in this episode yet later on tells Spock not to disobey Starfleet and return him there.
    BeatleJWOL, SolarisOne and Tomalak like this.
  7. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 24, 2011
    The stardates seem to be random in DSC, they’re not consistent
  8. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 22, 2003
    Loved that!

    The "last time" recap was great. It was nice they didn't bother to explain the visual differences and the obvious cast changes, because they assumed the audience gets that it was 55 years ago.

    The return to Talos also made sense from a character perspective - it adds depth to The Menagerie as we see that Spock and Pike have an even deeper connection with the place than The Cage suggests. They both owe Vina and the Talosians.

    Rest of the episode was good. Leland got slapped down again, and Georgiou is currently on top in that relationship. Not a good week for Tyler, but I suspect he'll be given a second chance at redemption before this is done.

    I thought Culber might also benefit from the Talosians, but it doesn't look like it. Good that they haven't just carried on like nothing happened to him. The pain on Stamets' face was heartbreaking.

    So Spock's back, Discovery is on the run, Ariam has a parasite, and there's a future war to be prevented. Second half of the series is nicely set up.
  9. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jun 22, 2003
    Just like in TOS ;)
  10. Manchester

    Manchester Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 8, 2018
    Some get it. Some don't.
    SolarisOne, KennyB, GMSkarka and 2 others like this.
  11. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

    Nov 2, 2014
    That was fucking bonkers! In an extremely good way.

    Okay, first of all: I'm really not a fan of references and indulging in it's own lore, so I dreaded the return to Talos. It feels like gate-keeping. But IF you do it, I think it only workd if you go the full way - like DS9's "Trials and Tribble-ations" and ENT's "Mirror Darkly".

    And HOLY SHIT they went there! ALL the way! Showing footage of TOS - in complete and utter earnest - and then directly continuing this story - that was fucking amazingly well done! A nice hint for new viewers to check this old stuff out - without being exclusive (like the USS Defiant in season 1, where most new viewers didn't even knew about the backstory). And for people like me, it was amazing to see new facets to stories I'm so familiar with. Man, I'm in awe!

    There are two things I didn't like about this episode:
    1. The Section 31 stuff. Why the fuck would Starfleet admirality trust them more than their own fleet, and their decorated Captain Pike? Especially considering how it's all about Spock. This makes no sense at all, and also makes S31 look rather incompetent - why do they pick an open fight with a Starfleet ship, instead of doing covert spy stuff? And why do they have the backing of the people they openly fight?
    2. The Spock-Burnham-relationship. Having Burnham be the reason for Spock to go fully emotionless was exactly the bad type of ret-conning I hope they'd avoid.
    Everyting else in this episode was purely fantastic!

    Now I have to make a confession: "The menagerie" is my favourite Trek episode of all time. It's the one that drew me into "Star Trek" in the first place. Not despite, but probably because it was so different. It felt a lot like a pure visualisation of the SF-stories I only ever were able to read as books. To this day, this is the type of story-telling I wish Star Trek to be. Maybe not exactly this, but the general style and direction. The universe really feels magic and exciting and scary there.

    I actually got really emotional in the scene between Pike and Veena. It was absolutely the highlight of the episode for me, and I love that Anson Mount played Pike as so cold and stoic in this moment. Before that, I only ever cared about Pike as "Spock's friend". Mount made me love Pike himself. And in this scene - everything came together. Especially knowing their later developments, this relationship between the two - made the ending of "The Menagerie" even better, and so much more personal. Damn, that was something I never expected to see, much less be this emotional about it. God that was great.

    Stuff that I liked:
    • THAT OPENING! Damn. That's how you connect your show to the larger lore!
    • That was a REAL, physically correct looking fucking black hole in the illusion! That's how a black hole is supposed to look like! They learned from "Interstellar"! Man, do I love that!!
    • Veena. Much like Pike, that was fucking pitch-perfect casting. And their relationship in this episode was nothing but beautiful.
    • The blue plants from "The Cage" returning and making Burnham smile - seems hey really do spread pheromones and made Spock smile back then;)
    • Culbert - he really is not the same character "resurrected" - he really is a new person in an old body. I don't like resurrecting dead characters - but if you do, do it this way!
    • Also, his fight with Voq/Tyler felt very natural and not forced. That was good.
    • "You think the beard is working?"
    • The creature in Spock's dream was really nice!
    • Minor thing: The voice modulation of the Andorian Admiral was much more natural than the more electronic sound in season 1
    • I think Airam as the traitor is really well done so far - they didn't overplay it, Voq getting framed makes sense, and it's handled well so far - and the preview for the next episode shows they aren't going to drag it much longer!
    Stuff I didn't like:
    • Planets getting destroyed all over the galaxy. This trope was SO played out already in Trek 2009. Stop it! We like SF for the cool adventures! You don't have to save existence itself every single damn time!
    • Section 31 going full "for the evulz"! Murdering three Starfleet officers, blaming Spock for it - even though he is the only one that could help them (via his visions), they make him an outcast and put the spotlight on him. I liked it when they were just "good guys gone bad", not realizing they were doing harm by their method. But now they're also comically inept at their main objective - protecting the Federation - that them going full evil for every minor thing is really distracting
    • The complete re-write of Spock's character. I'm not a fan, I would love this show much more if they could steer away from trying to put their own spin on Trek's most famous character. But his interactions with Pike were great! So I'm not hating it or anything - just not happy about it either.
    • Control....
    A little mixed about:
    • The Talosians make-up. The Talosians were EXTREMELY WELL DONE this episode! They felt absolutely bonkers and alien, like they should! The costumes were amazing, but mostly the acting and directing made them come across as exactly the Talosians we used. But - on a purely technical level - I think the make-up didn't look that good. I think mostly because of the centerline-cranium (which is generic at this point) - and that their heads weren't doing this weird "breathing" motion like on "The cage":guffaw:
    Wild ass guessing:
    • These future probes look like the same future Discovery-probe that came back in the time anomaly. I'm wondering - can it be that this threat is a futuristic mutation of S31's "Control"? If so - I would hate it:guffaw:
    • "Red angel" = "Future guy"? At least from a concept stage? Really unsure about this seasons main arc so far - but I'm immensely enjoing the ride so far, so whatever.
    Final Grade:
    Okay, this is another major problem of serialized story-arcs: I really love this weeks' plot, but I don't like the over-arching S31-plot. So I would give tis episode the highest score, but then shave off a point for the S31-stuff, so that at the end of the season the average rating is the same as "lots of good episodes and one really mediocre S31-one".
    But you know what? Fuck it this time.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  12. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 24, 2011
    They tried to stay consistent in later seasons.

    The TNG era shows were also very consistent, though some managed to slip through
    Deledrius likes this.
  13. cultcross

    cultcross We truly were a song of ice and fire Moderator

    Jul 27, 2001
    The Small Council
    What's wrong with the old Dodgy Commodore, I ask you? We're in just the right era for it too.
    GNDN18 and Noname Given like this.
  14. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 24, 2011
    To be fair, Lorca and co. did explain the significance. Watching IAMD would just give further context. I don’t think it would be required watching.

    I’m not sure how it’s a complete re-write of his character? It hasn’t changed any of the future stories he appears in.

    This Spock feels like he could be Nimoy’s Spock.

    We’ve never seen his childhood outside of TAS and ST09.

    This is adding to his story, not rewriting it.
  15. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    Good episode overall.

    Is it implying that in the original timeline Burnham didn’t survive childhood? Is that the timeline we experienced in TOS?
  16. rhllot

    rhllot Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 18, 2016
    I liked seeing an Admiral Tellarite !!! and the admiral shukar !! that high command is great we see human, vulcan, andorian and tallarite! in my mind those 4 races should always be the most important of the federation since they created it!
    I hate the concept of control !! the artificial intelligence that secretly governs the federation is garbage!
  17. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 24, 2011
    Well there’s no evidence yet that it is here.
  18. Ricky

    Ricky Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Feb 20, 2019
    Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam
    Mind blown by that. Disco goes from strength to strength.
    BeatleJWOL and saddestmoon like this.
  19. eschaton

    eschaton Commodore Commodore

    Oct 2, 2017
    I realized in the light of day there's a very clear and obvious thematic link between the A plot and the B plot here. Part of it is evidenced by the title, as memory plays a role both in Spock's predicament and Culber's. Spock can't fully let go of what happened to him in the past, while Culber is irritated because he thinks he should feel something, yet he doesn't.

    But the deeper thread - which even includes Pike/Vina - is basically that even though our past helps to define who we are - even though the Red Angel travels through time - even though Spock begins by perceiving time in a non-linear fashion - you just can never go back. Some things cannot be undone. No matter how helpful Stamets tries to be, it's not going to fix Culber. No matter what Burnham tries to say to Spock, she can't unsay what was said that night two decades earlier. Even Pike and Vina are involved in this theme, because you can see Pike's longing to return, yet his understanding that it is not his path.
  20. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

    Nov 2, 2014
    Thing is - the explanation served only as a distraction - and even then they didn't eplain that it was from the future, so Georgious' remark about her "knowing" of Burnhams future story is completely lost for new viewers. And putting so much vital information into told backstory is simply not great story-telling.

    On another note:
    I really love how the DIS-universe shapes itself this season! Both the Talosians here, and the Ba'Ul previously are such amazing SF-concepts - they look like they sprung directly out of a short story. It's fucking great to see this type of stories being back on mainstream entertainment! With all the superheroes, the plots have mostly become "stop the badguy, save the universe" (admittedly also apparently the main arc for this season). But having this weird shit in an otherwise "realistic" SF-setting - I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.

    It's the perfect combination - realistic portrayal of humanity in the future, and completely unexpected "discoveries" out in the universe. That's why we are exploring in the first place! to see stuff we DON'T expect! Trek often felt like, even when visiting completely unexplored places, that what was found there was way too familiar. In TOS and early TNG, they could find anything - from regular political intrigue, to mind-bending aliens and superstructures. And it seems - DIS follows suit! Even if it doesn't turn out to be perfect every week - I simply love that direction!