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10 hours ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Discover... · 2 replies · +6 points

With regards to Season Two in general:

I think what I enjoy MOST about Discovery is that, especially this season now that everyone isn't tense over the war (and now that instead of Lorca dominating the bridge we have Pike encouraging free interaction), these characters feel more GENUINE than in any previous Trek show.

It's Tilly and Stamets getting excited about science stuff. It's Tilly being unbelievably awkward at everything. It's Detmer and Owo at their stations sharing reactions of all flavors that no one else can see. It's Reno and Stamets trying to out-snark each other. It's everyone interacting with Linus normally because there's nothing odd about a big friendly lizard in the room. It's everyone getting weirded out whenever Georgiou is being Georgiou (and Georgiou enjoying seeing them be weirded out). It's natural conversations and interactions and games in the mess hall. It's letting the camera hesitate on a non-speaking character to catch them smirking at the speaker. It's a thousand little informal moments, many of which might not have even been in the script because they certainly don't FEEL scripted.

Previous crews had this certain formality to them that made them feel a little higher than us, even when supposedly being casual, that I think is older acting/directing techniques combined with Roddenberry still thinking of Starfleet officers as military first. But Discovery is crewed by mortals like us.

(Michael Burnham, sadly, remains the exception to this. SMG is a hell of an actress but her character takes everything SO SERIOUSLY that I have trouble connecting with her. She never has down time where I see her relax for five minutes and show us what she's like in a NON-crisis mode, and we need more of that. So far, the only time she feels casual is when she gets in sibling battles of words with Spock, which isn't enough for me. Make the show more of an ensemble piece, so that someone else can shoulder the weight of the galaxy for an episode; it'll be good for her!)

10 hours ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Discover... · 4 replies · +4 points

And here's where we blow anything left of the season's effects budget. I especially like the suit warping time; it's like compacting our three dimensions into two and turning time into Burnham's third dimension. (Also, after all that overuse of the rotating camera for no reason but to convey EXCITING! KINETIC! MOTION!, they actually found a very creative use for it by rotating an entire corridor around while holding a STEADY camera perspective relative to the floor.)

But once the high of the action wears off, I find I have… thoughts about the canon patch. Taken on its own, Spock's proposal explains a few things. So I appreciate that they realized they'd written themselves into a corner with the canon and needed to correct it. (S3 expectations) Zber trarenyyl, cerdhry frevrf ner nyjnlf gevpxl gung jnl, nf lbh'er nyjnlf funpxyrq ol gur arrq gb borl yngre pnaba, fb pbairegvat Fgne Gerx Qvfpbirel sebz cerdhry gb frdhry (juvyr rssrpgviryl renfvat gur cerdhry cbegvba sebz bssvpvny uvfgbel) jnf n pyrire fbyhgvba! Va gur nofgenpg, gung vf.

But the specifics of execution just raise further questions, and I'm not just talking about the time travel plan itself. Even if you apply that order to everyone in Starfleet, you can't apply it to all the people OUTSIDE Starfleet who know about Discovery and the people on it. Michael Burnham is famous throughout the Federation AND the Klingon Empire as the Starfleet mutineer who started the war, then ended it. Discovery was also directly involved in a major event in the history of Kaminar, so unless the Kelpians and Ba'ul wipe each other out, their history will forever remember the day Saru returned to Kaminar. You also DEFINITELY can't make the Queen of Xahea shut up about anything, and her planet is going to be very important. And civilians in general definitely can't be forced to not speak AT ALL about their believed-dead relatives or their last assignment (on the ship that suddenly never existed according to public Starfleet records). Maybe by the TNG/DS9/VOY era, when nearly everyone old enough to remember Discovery is dead, it'll be realistic to say it's not discussed within the Federation. But, in all honesty, I can't believe that Starfleet Command would even TRY Spock's idea, because I don't know why they would think it would be effective.

And that much of an extreme isn't even necessary to correct canon? There are at most two things you really need to accomplish with the patch, and I'm even sure it's that many:

1) The Federation has never duplicated the spore drive in the 150 years since these events. Well, the drive and its inventor are both gone, as is most everyone who knows more about it than "it teleports starships… somehow... I once heard someone mention that mushrooms were involved but I'm pretty sure he was drunk." So just delete all records and schematics of the thing, and swear anyone else to secrecy WITH REGARD TO THE SPORE DRIVE ONLY. So long as the crew of the Enterprise, Tyler, some people in Starfleet Command, and maybe Sarek obey that order, no one else will have enough information to replicate it. You don't need to pretend Discovery never existed at all to accomplish this.

2) In previous series and movies, Spock has never mentioned having an adoptive sister on-screen. True! He's also never said he DOESN'T have one on-screen. He's often a very private person, and he's definitely unlikely to bring up such subjects (especially ones he's sensitive about) when not relevant. Kirk didn't know anything about Spock's parents until after he'd met them face to face! And Spock could have talked about Michael off-screen. Kirk was shocked about Sybok because he thought for sure Spock had no BROTHERS, but that doesn't rule out that Spock has mentioned a sister. In short, I think they could have left this alone, and I would have believed that we'd just missed any conversation about her.

Still, despite the very bumpy road to get the series moving in this new direction, it is a very exciting direction indeed, one they can do a LOT with, because who knows what the galaxy will be like in the 32nd century? As a refresher: that's not only long after every other series to date, that's after the war with the Sphere Builders, after Braxton and the Relativity, even after Daniels and the end of the Temporal Cold War. I snicker a little about Mark being excited to see "the future" because Trek is ALWAYS in "the future," but this is the FUTURE future. We've never been this far before, and whether or not Discovery comes right back to the, uh, PRESENT future at any point in Season Three, what we get will no doubt be something to see.

(future announced Trek project) Zrnajuvyr, bss tb Cvxr, Fcbpx, Ahzore Bar, naq gur Ragrecevfr gb gurve bja frevrf. Gubfr npgbef unir rnearq gurzfryirf n fubj bs gurve bja naq V'z irel zhpu ybbxvat sbejneq gb vg.

11 hours ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Discover... · 0 replies · +4 points

"Not to mention, it was ridiculous that Cornwell was the one to go check out the torpedo in the first place."

With the first officer, no less. Let's send two of the three highest ranking officers on the ship to defuse the explosive. (Oh, Number One needs to be back on the bridge? We'll replace her with Pike and have two of the TWO highest ranking officers on the ship there instead.)

1 day ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Discover... · 1 reply · +5 points

"Pike knows about the mirror universe. So Starfleet is sharing that information with its captains. Which is something that should happen, for obvious security reasons."

I think it's likely that Pike wasn't told anything by Command, but figured it out from being captain of the one ship that has been to the MU and back, and doing sufficient investigation of that deleted batch of logs from about half a year ago (or maybe someone just said something within earshot; most of the rest of the crew DOES know about it, after all).

1 day ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Discover... · 0 replies · +4 points

"So at best Pike should be staring at Georgiou with incomprehension when she says MU."

On first view I actually missed the wink (maybe I blinked myself, although the transporter effects over his face didn't help) and so I thought he actually WAS confused by what she meant and was serious about "what mirror universe?" Realizing that he knows and hasn't done anything about it is... annoying.

But maybe he realizes he CAN'T do much about it while Starfleet Command overrides him, and therefore is doing the next best thing, which is to respond to her taunt with "you're crap at hiding it, I've been on to you for a while, so much so that I was able to dig up information I shouldn't even have" and let her stew on that.

2 days ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Discover... · 5 replies · +2 points

Somehow I missed the second set of eyelids on Po until my rewatch of this episode (and despite watching her Short Trek twice). That's a really neat effect!

Again from The Ready Room: SMG gives an interesting analysis of her own character that can be summed up as "she's stepping away from the Vulcan training, feeling that Sarek has given her his blessing to do so, and is embracing her emotions again for the first time in a long while." Hence the numerous extremely un-Vulcan responses in Burnham this season: she's opened the floodgates and takes some time to learn how to deal with the result. (Much like Saru post-fear, only more drawn out.) Pike apparently noticed this development and approves of the result if not the bumpy path getting there, given his "discovering your heart" complement at the end.

Also, to respond to Mark's repeated "How is this not the finale!?" producer/writer Michelle Paradise confirms that this WAS supposed to be the season finale, and then they realized they had too much story to pack into it, so they begged for, and got, a fourteenth episode to the season.

(Oh, and while I have space for it, I'll note one more thing I learned from The Ready Room: there is a real Paul Stamets, and he also studies mushrooms, although of a more conventional variety. And yes he is a fan and according to Rapp is extremely flattered by his namesake.)

I've heard criticisms with a couple parts of this Hail Mary plan. I have a counter for ONE of them:

1) "Why don't they upload the data to the new suit, like they were planning to do with the old suit, and then they can just send the suit?" The new suit is still being put together at this moment. And the last upload attempt was taking the better part of an hour, which would have to start over again when the suit comes online and no sooner. Better to lose Discovery itself into the distant future than make Discovery and Enterprise try to hold off an armada for the upload time on top of everything else… and we're also assuming the data can finally be deleted from Discovery once it's safely preserved elsewhere. (Also, once several crew decide to come with Burnham, the issue becomes moot: they can't ALL ride the suit so they've gotta take the ship regardless.)

2) "Why don't they jump again, away from Xahea, BEFORE they take the spore drive offline, and then they have more time to get ready?" This is fairer. Yes, Enterprise won't be able to contact them and find out where they are, but they would have to leave Pike anyway since he needs to get back to his ship. So beam him down to someplace safe on Xahea, and he can signal Enterprise when they arrive, tell them the location Discovery is now (hopefully DAYS away), and they can head that direction immediately. Then Discovery has time to finish it needs to, drops everyone who isn't coming into shuttles right as Enterprise gets there, and does its time jump immediately afterwards before Control can arrive.

(season finale) Pyrire gevpx, chggvat Fcbpx ba gur "tbvat jvgu Qvfpbirel" grnz. Evtug hc gb gur zbzrag vg'f pyrne gung bbcf ur'f ABG pbzvat, jr'er nffhzvat gung gurl UNIR gb svaq n jnl onpx gb gur gjragl-guveq praghel (be gb abg yrnir va gur svefg cynpr), orpnhfr uvfgbel fnlf Fcbpx vf fgvyy tbvat gb or va gung praghel.

5 days ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Discover... · 3 replies · +6 points

Because I adore both Anson Mount as Captain Pike and Tig Notaro as Commander Reno, I am still a little annoyed at Ajaxbreaker, who apparently beat me by mere HOURS to the commissioning of "Brother" and therefore BOTH their introductions to the show. Well, my vengeance is swift and I instead grabbed my second choice, this episode, in which they each get their strongest moment of the season thus far.

We've known something Pike didn't -- his fate in "The Menagerie" -- since the Original Series. If we'd forgotten, the appropriately-named "If Memory Serves" gave us a good reminder of those events. Well, now we know PIKE knows that fate as well, and maybe in the moment it comes, he'll recognize it and accept it knowingly. Regardless, he will, one day, sacrifice his body to save others. Which he also does today.

(Side note: So riddle me this, were the Klingons ever ACTUALLY developing time travel? Or did someone in Section 31 find out about Boreth, its crystals, and the presence of Klingons there, and then panic without looking further into what the monks here were actually doing?)

(all S2) Frpbaq fvqr abgr: Jung jnf vg nobhg Cvxr gnxvat gur pelfgny gung frnyrq uvf sngr? Juvyr vg'f abg evqvphybhf (ng yrnfg abg va gur pbagrkg bs nyy gur bgure evqvphybhf fpvrapr ba guvf fubj) gung gur pelfgnyf bs Obergu jvyy yvgrenyyl thvqr uvz vagb gung fnpevsvpvny zbzrag, urer'f na nygreangvir gubhtug: ur'q whfg or QRNQ bgurejvfr. Jura Pbageby pnzr sbe gur qngn, jvgubhg n cbjrerq gvzrfhvg, gurer jbhyq or ab rfpncvat, naq rirelbar ba obgu Qvfpbirel naq Ragrecevfr jbhyq qvr evtug gurer. Vafgrnq, Cvxr'f shgher vf YBATRE, naq gubhtu vg unf n crevbq gung vf cnvashy naq genhzngvp, jr xabj jung ur qbrfa'g: gung'f ABG ubj vg raqf. V'z fher gur fba bs n eryvtvba grnpure jvyy nccerpvngr guvf: jubrire jnagf gb fnir gurve yvsr jvyy ybfr vg, ohg jubrire ybfrf gurve yvsr sbe fbzrguvat terngre jvyy svaq vg.

As for Reno (who we now have the technology to put into all media and we should get working on that immediately), her weapon is not sacrifice but snark, and she uses it to bond with her coworker's ex, but is willing to drop it and get serious when it matters.

There's a behind-the-scenes show, also on Paramount Plus, called The Ready Room, in which the cast and crew of Discovery get interviewed after each episode. People have a tendency to hint what's to come (vaguely, but enough to violate Mark's spoiler policy), so be careful about watching it yourself. But among the things I've learned is that Cruz, in figuring out how to play Culber post-resurrection, called upon his memory of his friends and acquaintances with AIDS when viable treatments became a reality. These people had accepted their death was soon or even imminent, and now they had their whole life ahead of them again. And quite a few took a long time just to process that.

Notaro, meanwhile, famously survived cancer herself (and did an entire spontaneous stand-up about it). So I have to imagine SHE was bringing her "you're still alive, you didn't expect to be, get all that emotion out sure, but then DO something with what you've been given" perspective to the scene. In other words, don't just survive, Culber. Live.

6 days ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Discover... · 0 replies · +2 points

(same) Gur qngn vf pyrneyl qrirybcvat fncvrapr guebhtu Frnfba Guerr, naq nyfb unf gur fnzr ibvpr nf Mben nf jryy nf ure vagrerfg va byq zbivrf. Fb, nygubhtu vg'f arire PBASVEZRQ, vg'f n fnsr org.

1 week ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Discover... · 3 replies · +3 points

"In the eleventh episode of the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, I hurt. Forever." Not as much as Leland does, though. And though he didn't EXACTLY bring it on himself (nor does anyone deserve that fate), being told "I picked you because your whole MO is doing morally questionable things and convincing others it's for a greater good" has got to be a rough thing to hear right before you lose the ability to make a good comeback.

(something you may or may not have already realized) Bhe svefg uvag gung gur fvtanyf ner ABG gur erfhyg bs gur Tnoevryyr jr zrrg urer pbzrf jryy orsber fur fnlf vg bhgevtug. Fur jnf gur bar jub pbaarpgrq Qvfpbirel jvgu gur Fcurer, ohg fur hfrq gur irel oyhag vafgehzrag bs culfvpnyyl zbivat vg vagb Qvfpbirel'f cngu. Jul qvqa'g fur whfg cynpr n fvtany arkg gb vgf bevtvany ybpngvba? FBZRBAR unf orra qebccvat gubfr fvtanyf jvgu gur fcrpvsvp vagrag bs qenjvat Qvfpbirel gb gurz, fb gur bayl ernfba jul Tnoevryyr jbhyqa'g unir qbar gung urer nf jryy vf vs ABAR bs gurz ner ure qbvat.

(S3) Naq bhe svefg uvag bs Mben: gur qngn unf qrirybcrq n fheiviny vafgvapg. Guvf vafgvapg jvyy fperj hc guvf naq frireny bgure rnfl fbyhgvbaf gb gur ceboyrz, pbzcyvpngvat guvatf sbe gur erfg bs gur frnfba. Ohg va uvaqfvtug, vg jbhyq unir orra n irel pehry qrpvfvba gb zheqre n onol NV va gur anzr bs fnivat hf sebz na nqhyg bar, fb V'z tynq Mben xarj ubj gb qrsraq urefrys (naq qvqa'g gnxr gur nggrzcgf crefbanyyl).

Paranoia is a mixed bag when Control is involved, because everything fake-Leland says about Gabrielle in his first appearance sounds reasonable if you don't know who's actually proposing it. The fact is, Control CAN control a person like a meat puppet to get at that data, right now in the 22nd century. It's hardly unreasonable to believe that 31ST CENTURY Control could have found (or recreated) Gabrielle to influence Michael. And if you start from the assumption that the good doctor is acting on Control's behalf, putting the data in the suit SHE BROUGHT HERE is plainly a bad idea.

No, Tyler, the only people we can trust with control (Control) of the data is us at Section 31. Right?

Speaking of micromanagement syndrome: Dr. Gabrielle Burnham has been playing Homura Akemi for 841 mission logs worth of repeats of history. She takes after her kid, with that level of sheer determination. But what if Michael Burnham spent YEARS trying and failing, trying and failing, yet still searching for a solution, what would she be like after that? Would she be able to trust anyone else to handle any part of it anymore? Would the mission become EVERYTHING, more than any individual life?

(S3) Ohg sbe abj: "V'yy svaq lbh, Zbz." Naq lbh'q orggre oryvrir fur jvyy.

Cool little moment: Spock turns off the video log and Michael's face is where Gabrielle's was.

Michael has THREE mommies. Amanda Grayson. Philippa Georgiou. And Gabrielle Burnham, who is NOT dead as it turns out! Gabrielle gets no opportunity to chat with Amanda, but she DOES get some quality time with Philippa, who after several loops through this era she knows better than Philippa knows herself. We could guess that Georgiou DOES want to prevent the destruction of all life in the galaxy, since that's a group that includes her, but would she continue to care what happened after she died? Who or what would she want to outlast her? According to Gabrielle, however short that list is, it includes Michael Burnham.

Both would die for Michael. One possibly just did.

1 week ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Discover... · 4 replies · +4 points

"It’s a bit contrived that Section 31 could somehow build technology that advanced."

Well, the only thing you REALLY need is the time travel, and then the rest is just jumping ahead several centuries and grabbing whatever you can find to accessorize the suit with. Behold, resuscitation beam! (It's just a 26th century hypospray.)