Spoilers Star Trek: Discovery 3x07 - "Unification III"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Commander Richard, Nov 25, 2020.

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Rate the episode...

  1. 10 - Worth the wait.

    19.5%
  2. 9

    19.5%
  3. 8

    22.8%
  4. 7

    13.8%
  5. 6

    8.1%
  6. 5

    7.7%
  7. 4

    2.8%
  8. 3

    0.8%
  9. 2

    1.6%
  10. 1 - They should have stopped at "II".

    3.3%
  1. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Writer and occasional starship commander Premium Member

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    I don't have a problem with crying or showing emotion. I'm a highly-emotional man.

    What I have a problem is that the writing often relies on melodrama rather than earning their emotional moments... tears or otherwise. Like Airam's funeral. How can I grieve with the crew when the show did nothing to make me as the viewer care about Airam?

    The show uses crying as a means to gain audience sympathy without doing the work to earn that moment for either the characters or the audience.
     
  2. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commodore Commodore

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    I concur. Airiam's funeral was just bad writing. The writers did nothing to build her up until the last minute, then decided to off her character for some cheap water works.

    If you want earned tears, you have to build a character up from the beginning or for a very long time and make us like the character. Then once you off the character, the tears actually are meaningful and earned.
     
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  3. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You only need one episode to make someone care. You feel something when Gary Mitchell dies in "Where No Man Has Gone Before". You feel something when the husband dies in "Balance of Terror". You feel something when Edith Keeler dies in "City on the Edge of Forever". I only needed one episode to care about when Sito Jaxa died in "Lower Decks" even though we saw her in two.

    What we saw in "Project Daedalus" is enough to make me get to know Airiam better and care that they killed her off. She was a familiar face on the bridge too, so it was sad she was gone. And I grasp the fact that the crew knows Airiam and so her death means something to them. It's as much about their reaction to the death as it is the actual death itself.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
  4. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Edith and Jaxa are good examples. I can't put my finger on it, but they did such things better back then. I also felt for the whole damn planet in Inner Light, and for Picard when he got the flute. Maybe cause it's not as rushed as today's shows? But ST09 only needed 10 min to make me care about George Kirk and feel for the mom.
     
  5. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is the thing. I'll explain in greater detail where I'm coming from.

    When we see the flashback of Airiam, pre-accident, with her husband, and then see how she is now, it makes me realize what a tragic thing that must've happened to her that she ended up like that. She must've been disfigured pretty badly. It made think of that immediately.

    Then we see Airiam looking at which memories to keep and which to get rid of. It's showing us which memories she deems as precious. She has to choose what she wants to keep. So we see what matters to her.

    Then there's the landing party mission. When Control takes full control of Airiam and they figure it out, she knows what has to be done, Pike knows what has to be done, Nhan knows what has to be done. Even Burnham knows what has to be done -- but she can't bring herself to do it -- so it has to be Nhan. They play up how Burnham's indecision is giving Control a one-up.

    Airiam was third-in-command, so the third-in-command dying is a pretty big deal. If you think about it from Discovery's point of view. And, yes, Burnham would be emotional. Both by the death of Airiam, and by her own inability to bring herself to kill Airiam.

    The way it's shot, the musical score underneath, and Saru's song afterwards enhance it. It doesn't make it, it enhances it. There's a difference.

    I'm not asking people to agree with me. I'm explaining the way I perceived it. It affected me. It touched me. The set-up at the beginning made me care. Or maybe "made" is a bad choice of words, because I cared to begin with.

    And the sub-plot with Control taking control of Airiam had already been running for two previous episodes. So it didn't exactly come from out of nowhere. It had been going on for three straight weeks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
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  6. Yistaan

    Yistaan Commodore Commodore

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    I guess I just don't feel the need to know every detail of someone's life to understand their friends grieving for them. We know Airiam was a decent person with a tragic past and then forced to work for Control against her will and sacrificed herself. That seems more than enough justification for the emotions at her funeral.

    I think the only thing that would change that is if we found out Airiam was some sort of willing mass criminal, then the tears would feel out of place.
     
  7. Firebird

    Firebird Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You only need one episode if you're effectively building the character relationships and giving the audience a reason to care. In the case of Airiam, she was nothing more than a glorified extra in the first season, and then they gave her a couple of words at the start of the second season. Giving the backstory for her in the episode they kill her off came off as extremely rushed to me - had they sprinkled that in some other episodes along with showing more of her interacting with the Disco's crew, it might've meant something more. In the end, the show had to resort to making the audience care by showing how others react to her being gone. We have to be told by others why we needed to give a shit about her death. That's not good writing, that's manipulation.

    Burnham's overwrought, teary reaction to her sudden death also doesn't make a lick of sense to me, either. In the timeline of the show to that point, Burnham had only been serving with the Discovery for less than a year, maybe not even six months? (That doesn't account for the bulk of that time being spent under Lorca when she was still a mutineer pariah). That's one of the problems I've picked up on from Discovery and Picard - the writers are coming up with these character pairings and "family" dynamics as if these characters have been serving for years, but in reality the plot of the season is playing out over a manner of weeks. I don't know about you, but I sure don't develop any thick-as-thieves relationships with my coworkers that fast.
     
  8. Yistaan

    Yistaan Commodore Commodore

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    Without going into detail, I have definitely seen people very choked up over the sudden deaths of coworkers they only knew for about a year.
     
  9. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    See the I post I made immediately above.
     
  10. Firebird

    Firebird Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As have I, but as I said, Burnham hadn't been on Discovery or socializing with the crew for anywhere near that long. If she'd been working closely with the bridge crew for even 3 months of total in-universe time, I'd be surprised.
     
  11. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I've cried with people after 3 days of working together. The Discovery crew isn't an office party. They have been through death, trauma and loss. An emotional connection makes sense..
     
  12. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I felt for Adira and Gray in the Trill episode without knowing anything at all about them before - that story seemed rich and emotional. Airiam's episode felt shallow.
     
  13. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Honestly I think this is overthinking it. I think it's more likely just that Sonequa Martin Green and Mary Wiseman can cry at the drop of a hat when in character than any genuine attempt from the director or writers. Kate Mulgrew had a tendency to cry in emotional scenes as well.
     
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  14. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Writer and occasional starship commander Premium Member

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    I won't disagree that the actors do a great deal of work to carry the stories. Their performances often make up for the lackluster writing, imo.
     
  15. rhllot

    rhllot Captain Captain

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    but romulus was destroyed more than 800 years ago and many romulan went to live in the federation
     
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  16. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I often found Berman trek suffered from both lackluster writing and lackluster performances
     
  17. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's funny. I didn't think I'd be talking so much about "Project Daedalus" in a thread about "Unification III". But there we are.

    Anyway, I'm going to shift gears back to "Unification I". It's strange watching this episode now because both Leonard Nimoy and Mark Leonard have since died, and it's not only Sarek who's died, so has Spock, along with Data and -- in a way -- Picard.

    My opinion at the end of Part I stands. It was just an extended set up for Part II. Extremely extended. In 1991, I zoned out while watching this, except for the scenes with Sarek and at the end when Spock shows up. I also liked the scene with Picard and Data in their quarters on the Klingon Ship. Comic gold. The rest of it was... eh. The political stuff annoys me more now than it did when I was 12, but only because now I have a better sense of how messed up all of it is.

    Also Riker and Dokachin's casual sexism. Dokachin's tells Troi, "[Riker] probably thinks we don't get to see many handsome women out here and someone like you would get more cooperation from me. He's probably right." I didn't notice that in 1991, but I noticed it in 2020.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
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  18. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Writer and occasional starship commander Premium Member

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    And you won't get any argument from me on that. Berman was a horrid creative producer who took all the sexy out of Trek, making it much more stuffy filling it with dull humans. I'm hardly ever going to defend his era.
     
  19. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If nothing else, at least we agree here.
     
  20. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Writer and occasional starship commander Premium Member

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    I don't need to know every detail of a characters life either.

    But the show didn't do the work of showing Airam in her interactions with the other characters, especially Burnham. It tried to short cut that in the very episode that they killed her with her uploading and saving memories.

    If it works for you, it works for you. It just does not work for me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
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