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    • There's a conversation about ST:Discovery in general as well as its first season (and the four "Short Treks") here:

      I think it would be nice to have a post for ongoing commentary of the new season separate from that, and I think it would be great if we could agree to not spoil unaired episodes. Anything else (Short Treks, season 1, other Star Trek shows and movies) should be fair game.

      Anyone interested in joining?

      (Trailer consists of S02E01 footage only)

    • Episode 1 - "Brother"

      I really want to like ST:Discovery, but several aspects of season 1 have left me cold. There's the general lack of optimism, but also some very contrived plot elements. The first episode of season 2 sometimes gets out of its way to address these shortcomings of season 1. That's actually a different kind of contrived at times, but I like the general tone so far much better than before. We'll have to see how that works out in upcoming episodes. Some random things that I liked, didn't like or which made me go "Huh???":

      Christopher Pike: Obviously a very different kind of Captain than ever-smirking and -scheming Lorca. The fact that he even goes so far as to explicitly state "I'm not Lorca!" to the bridge crew makes some amount of sense considering what happened last season - but this is obviously meant as a statement towards the audience more than an in-universe one. It's a bit heavy-handed and fourth-wall-breaking - but if it's meant as an apology for what we had to suffer through last year, I'll take it. ;)

      NCC-1701: The good old Enterprise still looks great. Of course, the design was updated again, but it looks more like the early movies update of the 1970s than the abomination we got for the more recent Abrams films. I like that. This also goes for the interior shots we got later. Still colorful corridors, just modernized appropriately. Last but not least, I think I heard an original series door sound, and saw many familiar elements in Spock's quarters (3D chess, Vulcan harp and bells, a random grille thingamajig standing in the middle of the room, ...).

      Jett Reno: Played by Tig Notaro and probably becoming Chief Engineer of Discovery - I already like this character. She's a bit grumpy and positively arrogant while at the same time providing some so far believable comic relief. In the best case, a mix of Bones and Scotty.

      Action elements: Some of the action is still a bit too over the top and hectic to me. Flying in tiny pods through an asteroid field at high speeds really served no purpose and was unnecessary to the story. I can live with this in small doses, though.

      "Red bursts": Oh no, not the "red X" thing again. I hated it when a MacGuffin in the 2009 Star Trek film was called just "red matter" - as if real people would ever call something that is important to them and which they actually interact with like that. They don't - and I wonder if this is really a coincidence or just something that Alex Kurtzman really likes to do.

      Workplace safety: I understand that catching a giant chunk of the asteroid was important to them. I can even suspend disbelief and accept that for some reason they couldn't use tractor beams and instead had to risk having their shuttle bay destroyed by flying into the asteroid's path and letting its own momentum do the rest - although it would later be held in place by something like a tractor beam. What I don't get is why they needed to do that with 50 people standing in the middle of the shuttle bay and in the direct path of the asteroid. Does Starfleet not have any Safety inspectors? :D

    • Yes, Season 1 has had its share of problems (haven't liked the new Klingon look at all), and it looks like they will address some of them in the second.

      But, hell, I'm too much of a fan of the franchise to abandon the series, no matter what they did. :-)

    • I'm unreasonably fond of this show -- even though there are things I could quibble with, I enjoy the heck out of watching it. Whie l may not have made some of the large scale choices they did in the first season, within the framework of those choices, I found it incredibly engaging and full of some really wonderful performances. And if you look at all of the various Trek shows and their weak/inconsistent first seasons as they try to figure out what they're doing, I think Discovery has the strongest first season of any of them.

      I've talked to a number of people who have said they weren't watching it, or who bailed out after the pilot becuase it felt "too dark" or "not like Star Trek." My pitch to them has been: "remember on TOS, when every so often the Enterprise would cross paths with another Starfleet ship where the captain had gone insane and they had to stop him? It's just like that, except you're on THAT ship."

      (Full disclosue: my wife works for CBS)

    • Does Starfleet not have any Safety inspectors? :D

      I'm pretty positive that Starfleet doesn't have any Safety inspectors and doesn't do any operational security whatsoever :) wasn't that a source of nearly every plot? Away teams always suitless and helmetless, a tendency to split off alone on an unknown terrain, arbitrary access to ship and its systems to arbitrary guests, etc and so on. This, at least, is very much in line with prior practices.

    • My pitch to them has been: "remember on TOS, when every so often the Enterprise would cross paths with another Starfleet ship where the captain had gone insane and they had to stop him? It's just like that, except you're on THAT ship."

      Hmm, I never thought about it that way. All of the other ship captains were clearly insane, so you might have a point! :D

    • Episode 2 - "New Eden"

      Now we're talking!

      I really liked this episode - so much that it is the first Discovery episode that I watched twice. It has transplanted humans, it has Shakespeare quotes, it has another take on the theme of science vs. religion (this time science and religion?) - and last but not least, it has the hero ship attempting to prevent a huge rock from hitting a planet. This is Star Trek. :)

      Again, some random observations:

      "Any sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from God": Some alien race that goes around, transplanting humans in danger to far away planets. I wonder if this is yet another race that does that, or if the "angelic beings" will turn out to be one of the races we already know. While watching the episode I immediately thought of the Preservers - but those were explicitly mentioned to install asteroid deflectors on their planets. (

      What's the endgame? Apparently, the Red Angel, whatever it is or they are, is powerful enough to move people and buildings across the galaxy, and is able to manifest itself as a human being. Why then does it appear in one place for Discovery to pick up a dark matter asteroid, and then in another for Discovery to use said asteroid to rescue a bunch of people? What's the motivation? I hope the answer to this won't be a letdown.

      No Tig Notaro: I thought she was going to become a regular - but no appearance in this episode, and IMDb claims an appearance in just one episode. Too bad, I want her to return.

      The bridge crew: This is the first time it occurred to me I don't know any of the names of the bridge crew. There's the one with the eye, the robot-like one, and even the one who was part of the landing party this time. I really don't know who they are.

    • Episode 3 - "Point of Light"

      Now with 100% more exposition!

      What the <favorite expletive goes here> did I just watch? After last week's good episode, this was the most boring and confusing hour I've wasted in front of a screen for quite a while. This episode had not one, not two, but three different B stories - but apparently someone forgot to write an A story.

      None of what happened made any sense on its own, and I can only hope that most of it will become important later in the season. Still, this "putting things into place for later" style of writing is something I really hate.

      Boring subplot #1: Tilly talks to a ghost - and talks to a ghost again - and talks to a ghost again - and eventually insults the captain while talking to a ghost. Then, she tells Burnham about it, who immediately solves the issue, some interdimensional(?) intelligent fungus(?) gets removed via technobabble and... we're done, nothing to see here.

      Boring subplot #2: There's an unidentified vessel on a collision course and... surprise, it's Vulcan. Of course, Burnham can immediately identify the ship as being Sarek's, and someone requests to beam aboard. But... surprise, it's not Sarek but Amanda. Surprise, she stole medical records from Starbase 5. Surprise, the captain is actually OK with that after being lied to via subspace communication, and even orders Burnham (who can do that, too!) to decode the records. Surprise, it's more Red Angel drawings by Spock and... surprise, Amanda knows about that, because of course Spock talked about it when he was young. Then, Amanda suddenly seems insulted and leaves. I'm not sure if that part was a surprise as well, because throughout the whole conversation both Amanda and Burnham mumbled and whispered for no apparent reason. I have no clue if Burnham insulted Amanda or anything, but I really don't feel like watching that scene again to find out.

      Boring (and really painful to watch) subplot #3: Tyler, the human Klingon who is part lover, part watchdog - and part engineer who designed the Klingon D7 battle cruiser(?) - is back on Qo'noS, where Klingons have grown hair because the war is over(?), but one of them wants to keep his war makeup which is disrespectful to the chancellor but... eh.

      Turns out, Tyler has a Klingon child with the chancellor that he didn't know about, because the chancellor feels like the child is a burden. But then she doesn't and they visit the child. But then, to no one's surprise, it's no longer there and instead has been kidnapped by Makeup Klingon, whose makeup actually was a tracking device(?). He want's to be chancellor as well, you know?

      When the three of them meet, to more surprise of everyone who just tuned in without any prior knowledge of TV plots of the past half century, it's a trap! Hilarity (and a badly choreographed fight) ensues, at the end of which current chancellor is stunned to obtain a fingerprint by fraud - which, honor and all, is totally a Klingon thing to do.

      Suddenly, a shadowy figure appears and kills everyone. It's the former empress of the mirror universe - because why not? - who is now a part of secretive Section 31 that everyone knows about. She takes Tyler and the child (but leaves replicated heads of both for Chancellor Klingon who wants to be called "Mother" from now on to throw into her personal lava pit), and later hands over the child to some faraway Klingon monks but keeps Tyler.

      I repeat: what did I just watch?