Join Sean and Matt as they rewatch all of Star Trek in order and in historical context.
Hey everybody. In this episode we'll talk about why time loops are so much. In this episode, we'll talk about why time loops are so much. In this episode, we'll talk about why time loops are so much fun. That's right. It's Trek in Time, and we're talking about discovery season one, episode seven, magic. To make the Sanest Man go mad.
Welcome everybody to Trek in Time, where we're watching every episode of Star Trek in chronological order, and also talking about the context at the time of original broadcast. So we are currently talking about the first season of discovery. We're at episode seven, which is almost the halfway mark. Thank goodness for streaming seasons, which are so much shorter.
Mm-hmm. We're also talking about 2017 and those were, well, they're wild times, but not as wild as they'll get in a few years. So everybody buckle up and get ready for that. What are you referring to, Sean?
I don't wanna ruin the surprise, Matthew, but it rhymes with shmandemic. And who are we? Well, I'm Sean Ferrell.
I'm a writer. I write some sci-fi. I write some stuff for kids. And with me is my brother Matt. He's the Matt Ferrell. That is the guru and inquisitor behind the YouTube channel, undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives. Matt, how are you today? I'm doing really well
and I love that intro, Sean,
that I will tip the hat, sir, peel back a little curtain on the production of this show for our listeners, that was probably the smoothest intro I've ever done, and I did it.
Literally 30 minutes after getting out of a rental car, in which I've been driving for the past six and a half hours. So, woo. Apparently all you need to do is exhaust me over, caffeinate me, and dehydrate me, and I'm ready to record. Before we get into this week's episode, which is I mentioned is the episode magic, to make the Sanest Man go mad, another one of those star Trek titles that I absolutely adore.
I love it when they sound cumbersome. And how many words they contain. We like to share some comments from previous episodes. So Matt, what do you have from the comments for us?
There's a few good ones. I wanted to call out one from Dan Sims saying, having watched the series once before, I'm loving all these hints that they have been dripping in the episodes about Ash and especially Lorca.
That man is devious. This came up, it's gonna come up again in today's conversation. Yeah. There's more hints that are dropped into today's episode. There's more stuff that came out of it. I'm like, I think I'm genuinely enjoying this rewatch more than I enjoyed it the first time because I'm picking up on all these hints that I didn't know were there before.
Yeah, it almost feels like, it almost feels like to their disadvantage, they made the perfect re watchable program. Yes. So the, the first time through you're left going like, is this really star Trek? Yeah. And then once you see the, you turn the corner, you're like, oh, I see. And now this time through, I'm, I'm with you on that.
I'm seeing all these moments that are just like, and this episode does have some where I'm like, yeah. Oh boy. Yeah. Yeah. They really weren't hiding anything.
No, they weren't. They were out in the open. Yeah. Yeah. Another comment was from PaleGhost 69, and I like this one a lot because this is actually one of my nitpicks on this show.
Do we ever actually get to meet Lieutenant Detmer and Ariel, or are they just background characters who seem more interesting than the main cast? It's one of my knock against this show. This show does a lot of shorthand with a lot of the secondary characters. Yeah, where the other shows. Spend time with them, you get to know them.
So you get to know all of the, the bridge crew. Where in this one it's kind of like they kind of gloss over some of the bridge crew unfairly. And then later episodes and later seasons, they do get to Lieutenant Detmer and do some stuff with them, but it's still not as deep as you'd like. Yeah. So I kind of find it disappointing they didn't go into more characters.
Yeah. It's, it's, and just refresh my understanding, Detmer is the navigator.
Uh, the one that has the, the, like
she's plate on her face. Yes. And, and Ariel is the pilot. She's the one to the, to the right. Yes. And yeah, it's the equivalent of, of saying if in the original Trek series, Sulu and Checkoff never got to talk.
Exactly, and, and it's, I think that one of the things on display in this is the fact that, and we'll potentially talk about it in this episode, an episode like this really reveals who they're focused on. Mm-hmm. And in this episode it's basically Lorca, Stamets, Burnham, Saru, and Tyler. Yep. And a little bit of Tilly.
It is like their cohort, their main cohort doesn't yet in include the larger bridge crew. And yep, it in this episode, I agree with the comment very much. Uh, PaleGhost, thank you for pointing it out. That really is unfold display. Mm-hmm. Because it doesn't feel like anybody on the bridge Crew in this episode exists, talks no.
Or exists in what should be remarkable circumstances. And in fact, there is one crewman who does like edge up to like, oh, is this guy gonna be a recurring character? And as far as I can remember, no, he didn't ever speaks again. So, nope. I think at this point they may not have even known who on the bridge Crew would become a fully fleshed character.
Yeah. And the last comment is from, uh, Camilla wrote, did I miss the comments about Dwight Schrute showing up again as mud? I can't see him without thinking of his character in the office. Yeah, I thought that was a good comment to bring up cuz here he
is. Here we go again. Yeah. Yeah, we'll talk about him in more detail.
I'm sure it's hard to see him without remembering Dwight Schrute, and that is, that's one of those character associations that is hard for an actor. You know, an actor who becomes so interchangeably wound up with their character, and it is something that has haunted many of these star Trek actors. Yep. And it is something that William Shatner had to wrestle with.
It's something Leonard Nemo wrestled with. Nemo famously wrote a book, I Am Not Spock, in which he pushed back on the idea that he was as limited in his acting ability as the character of Spock might have indicated. And then decades later, he would write a follow-up book I Am Spock, in which he had to wrestle with the fact that the character really was a, a core component of who he was as a person, as an older man.
So this is something that's not unknown to. The Trek Pantheon. It is interesting to see somebody bringing that in with them in this fashion. I think that what I find, and we can talk about this more as we, as we move on, I think that Schrute or not Schrute, but that Rainn, Wilson does a great job with this character.
I actually does really, really like him in this. He does. He does a very, very good
job. It's very different from Dwight, but it's still in the back of your mind. You just keep seeing Dwight. Yeah, it's, it's
a problem. Before we get into our discussion about the episode, we of course always go into a synopsis, which is that noise in the background is letting you know it's time for the Wikipedia description.
Matt, I share this with you, unread by me, so, oh dear. Let's find out together Uhoh what This one says, magic.
To make the sanest man go mad while attending a crew party. Burnham and Tyler are called to the bridge to deal with an endangered space creature. A gormagander. That the discovery has come across.
The creature is brought on board. It's revealed to be carrying a person, Harry Mud. He plans to kill Lorca and sell the ship to the Klingons, but when he's caught by the officers, he decides to blow up the ship instead. Time returns to the party earlier with Burnham and Tyler called to the bridge again.
They're intercepted by Stamets who is aware that they're in a time loop due to his interactions with ripper's DNA n over numerous time loops. Stamets works with Burnham and Tyler to find a solution to the problem. While mud gets further in his into his plan each time they eventually convince mud that he has won and he ends the time loop preparing to receive a boarding party of Klingons.
Mud is instead confronted by his beloved Stella and her father from whom he had stolen the dowry. They take mud away. Stamets reveals to Burnham and Tyler that in one of the time loops they had danced together and kissed.
What a great closing line for the synopsis. Yeah, it's a random, it's really like, not really the point of the episode.
No, but it is a key element of the episode, so we will get into that. So as we mentioned before, we're referring to magic to make the sanest man go mad. This was directed by David M. Barrett. It was written by Aaron Eli Collette and Jesse Alexander, and its original air date was October 29th. 2017 also as referred to before, uh, rather paired down basically a bottle episode with the main focus being on Michael Burnham by Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones as Saru Shaza Latif as Ash Tyler Anthony, rap as Paul Stamets.
Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilley, and Jason Isaacs as Gabriel Lorca. And what was the world like on October 29th, 2017? Well, It's no surprise to anybody that my brother was dancing his ankles off at this point. He'd already danced his feet off last week, so now he is up to his ankles to Rockstar by Post Malone featuring 21 Savage.
49 million streams on average at this point, and please jump into the comments and share your favorite anecdotes about what my brother was doing as this song was rocking his radio. No. In the box office on October 29th. The same day as this episode, the movie Jigsaw was the number one film. It was earning only 16 million.
So, Apparently two days before Halloween is not a big movie night. I wonder if that's because people were trick and treating. Jigsaw is of course the 2017 American Horror Film, which is part of the SAW franchise. It is the eighth installment in that film series, and as I read that, I thought, my God, there have been eight saw films, possibly even more.
There's been more.
Yes spoilers, mad spoilers, and on television. We've been up to this point. It's felt like apples to apples because we've been comparing viewership of the most popular shows in 2017. To discovery, and we've been finding that it's been lots of streaming programs. Last week we saw Prison Break Enter the Fray, which is a Fox show.
That was a Fox broadcast show, but it was also available for streaming from Fox, likely through Hulu. Here this week we see the first entry of. What is clearly a broadcast first program? Big Bang Theory was the sixth most popular show in 2017, and on average it was getting 5.6 million viewers per episode.
And in the news from the New York Times, October 29th, 2017, major news stories included that North Korea was rousing neighbors to reconsider nuclear weapons. A debate was raging in both Japan and South Korea about the nuclear option driven by North Korea's rapidly advancing capabilities. And concern that the United States might hesitate to defend its allies.
The fear of hesitation was born of the fact that the Trump administration was saying things and appeared to be cozying up to countries that had previously been very clearly on the opposite side of the United States Interests. Also in the news actress Rose McGowan refused a hushed money payout from Harvey Weinstein.
The former actress who said that Harvey Weinstein had sexually assaulted her, talked about the producer and becoming an advocate for mistreated women. Of course, years later, Harvey Weinstein would face trial, would be convicted and is currently I. Serving what is effectively a life sentence as he is an elderly and very ill man.
So now onto our discussion of the episode itself. I think that this is an episode. Anybody who's watched it in preparation for this episode is not gonna be surprised. It is a time loop episode. This is nothing new in Star Trek. We've seen it many times before. We've seen this before. We've seen it many times before.
So our discussion doesn't have to follow the plot in loop by loop by loop. I think we should kind of take an eagle eye view of the episode and talk about the big picture and how the elements evolved in each loop as opposed to speaking about each loop in particular. So we start off with a party. The party reappears multiple times as we go through these loops.
What did you think, Matt, about the party as a setup for not just the episode, but a setup for the introduction of the loops and how it played a role? It does have a role to play. It does present the characters with an opportunity to do something different than, say, time loop episodes where we've seen, like in next generation, The crew at their stations, the crew in the midst of doing their work.
This is a, this is a very different scenario, so we are given a different opportunity to see a different side of characters. So what did you think about that as the starting point of the episode and its recurrence through the episode? I,
I liked it. Cause this is the first time we're seeing all of these characters not in Starfleet mode.
It's like watching the poker game on next generation or 10 forward or them on the holodeck doing. You know, Shakespeare or something like they're doing, it's them in their downtime. Yeah. So it's like this is the first time we've seen that on this show. So it was kind of fun to see everybody kind of like letting loose and like trying to have a, a moment with each other.
So it's kind of fun to see the other side of Tilly with her kind of tipsy. Yeah. To be able to explore the relationship between Ash and Burnham and Burnham's completely dis her discomfort in social situations, which is great. Yeah. And throughout all these loops what comes out is like, How she's never allowed herself to become close to anybody because she was.
An executive officer, she was a first officer. She was always in charge, so she would, could never let herself get close to her crew mates because they were subordinate and it would be inappropriate. So it's like not only is she kind of Vulcan in the way she was raised, but she's also kind of emotionally stunted because sh of the Vulcan experience as well as her role in her previous jobs.
Yeah. So I, I thought it was kind of a fun way to explore Burnham in a new way.
Yeah, it felt, first of all, I'm a fan of Time Loop episodes in general. Me Too. Like I'm, I'm, I'm always a fan of that as a conceit. In fact, I wrote a book, the Man in the Empty Suit, which is, which is that about a time traveler, which is inclusive of a time loop, and you see a murderer in which the only suspect could be the murder victim themselves.
And it is in populated by multiple versions of this time traveler. So it is a time loop story, and this, I think, serves two purposes. First, it is a very sci-fi conceit, so it has that aspect to it. It is a star Trek trope, so it has that aspect to it, but it really feels almost like this was a shortcut for the writers.
It almost feels like we're given a fast forward button on several major characters, mainly. Stamets Tyler and Burnham to give them all a fast forward button for us as the viewer to really get to know them Well, that's,
I would, I would argue that that's the case for all Time Loop episodes, no matter what show you're talking about.
Like Stargate SG one had a great time loop episode, like sci-fi shows do this all time. But the best ones are the ones that use this. It's about character. It's like the, the time loop itself is a McGuffin. It doesn't matter. The whole Harry mud thing, it really ultimately doesn't matter. It's what they're exploring with the characters that they can do this by using the time loop, they can really expand the characters quickly.
So I agree with you. It's like they, they fast forwarded on Stamets Ash and Burnham in a huge way on this episode, and it was very clever the way they pulled it off.
Yeah, we see the ship get destroyed a number of times because ultimately what is happening is, as Matt shared in the synopsis, the party is going on.
It looks very much like a party from the TV show Mash. This is wartime. So these are people blowing off steam, and this is a side of Starfleet that we haven't really seen before either. This is another aspect of this that I actually really liked in that this is not just a party, like people are getting drunk, people are hooking up and making out in public.
This does not look like 10 forward. This does not look like what we've become accustomed to from Star Trek. You know, on deep Space nine, you've got, you've got the, the bar there. You don't see Starfleet people like, you know, bouncing around in the background, trying to like find their way back to their, their quarters.
It is a much more stayed and a much more conservative look. But these are people at wartime, so the, they are blowing off steam and the interruption of the party due to the discovery of a. Alien life form that is effectively described as a space whale, a gormagander. And it is a so endangered that Starfleet protocol is they need to be protected and taken to a refuge.
So the space whale is brought aboard and then it merges that. Mud is inside this creature. So this is how he's made his way in. We see the ship get destroyed a number
of times. Can comment? Yeah. Hey, comment. One thing. What did you think of Harry Mudd's dead mouse outfit that he came out with? It was about to come out and DJ a rave.
I thought it was great. I thought it was, I thought it was fantastic to put him into an outfit. The first of all, hid completely who he was entirely. So he comes across as. Alien ex who just suddenly is shooting people and able to very quickly take over. But I also really like the fact that it was almost aquatic looking.
Like he looks like a deep sea diver, but it also, like you said, it looks like he's going to a rave and it has this whole like really weird, like where would he have gotten this? And Harry Mud as a character really is that character who would piecemeal. Like pick up different tech little bibs and bobs along the way.
And so it's, he comes across as, yeah, he's got a lot of stuff that's, a lot of it is probably very illegal. He's using a time travel device, which is described only as being like, this must be a fourth dimensional being. That would've provided this kind of tech because the manipulation of time in the way that they're doing is something that no other species has cracked at this point.
A little interesting that time travel as a concept. We spent so much time when we were watching Enterprise talking about how, why is this debate about whether time travel can happen? Still a recurring theme in this show when DePaul at this point should be like, yeah, it's happening. And in this, there's no like never comes up.
Nobody even says like, time travel and that's crazy. It's just like, oh yeah, they've probably got a fourth dimensional being out there. Who gave him the tech?
They did bring up that in his device. It, I can't remember who said it was maybe Burnham said something about he must be using a time Crystal that referred to time crystals.
Have time crystals ever been referenced in star Trek lore before this? I, no, and what I loved about
that is she
actually says, what the hell's a time Crystal? It's like, why
are you also refers to information on them as available in the Vulcan archives, but it's like, I love that time Crystals do. I love that.
I'm like, I'm like, hold on a second time Crystals
time Crystals do come up in the future episodes of, I think it's this show as well as Strange New Worlds. Yeah. But it's like, it felt like a new thing. But they created, but the fact that it was dropped as an offhand comment in this, in this episode, I found completely like befuddling.
It's like this is, this is not part
of star Trek lore. What I think is interesting. Yeah. And what I think is interesting, and I wonder if this was something that may have been an element in creating time crystals as a concept. Like what? Mm-hmm. What is that? A time crystal? I wonder if it's a reference to the alien artifact in, what is it, the city on the age of tomorrow where, yeah, it's the, it's the arc and it is a crystalinne structure, and I wonder if this is some kind of connective link to that in saying, Let's create an alien tech that in our head cannon can be related to that structure.
So like it's part of that technology. And I, I, I would be fascinated to know, but the fact that they
call it the Klingon time crystals. The Klingon time crystals, did they refer to it as Klingon? I thought it was the Klingon time crystals, because in, in the strange new worlds, it does come up again. And they go to the place where the crystals are protected and they get a, they get a crystal loan.
So it's like it comes up again and it's not tied back to the, um, the edge of tomorrow. It's not, it's not tied back to that. So I'm just very confused to like, why they would drop it like that. In a way, the us as viewers have no concept of Yeah, and they didn't even bother to explain it. It just, to me, it, it kind of highlighted.
The whole time loop is a McGuffin. It's not important, it's a ya yada yada. Absolutely.
It doesn't matter. It is absolutely doesn't matter. Unnecessary. Yeah. One of the things I think that that underscores the fact that the time loop is really a McGuffin is also that Harry mud does not change. As a result of the McGuffin, as a result of the time loop, it isn't about him at all.
And the one thing at play with Harry Mud is that he is doing the time travel conceit, which is a fun one to do. And they do it mm-hmm. Very well in this, that he, in sort of like, what's the Tom Cruise movie where he keeps fighting the war. And keeps dying and then gets reborn to, do you remember which one that is?
Oh, edge of Tomorrow. Edge of Tomorrow, yep. Mud has clearly done that. He, he knows the timing of when people are in hallways. He knows when to just simply stand to the side of a hallway in a corner and somebody comes out of a door and they walk around the corner and he goes through, and then he goes and stands in a different corner and waits for people to walk into a room.
He's, he's learned, he's done this so many times. He's learned all the patterns. It's a groundhog day for him. Yeah, and the way that Rain Wilson portrays it is playful arrogance. I really liked his depiction of it as playful arrogance in that he's doing all this stuff and when he kills people, he kills people with zero moral dilemma.
He is. He's killed people multiple times. He kills people multiple times and he enjoys each and every attempt and that, and they give us a almost montage of Lorca, do you know how many times I've killed you? And we see all these different versions and they're all terrible, including one that is transporting him.
Out into space. We see the little tiny figures squirming as it's clearly asphyxiating and dying, and we see him use a weapon, which he says, do you think this melts brains? He's, he's having so much fun doing this and that. We still don't know if this melts brains. Let's find out. Shoots Lorca. The chest and the weapon appears to eat Lorca alive from the inside out.
He also uses those anti-matter pods that look like Tide pods. And when he hits somebody with one as simple as just throwing it at somebody basically destabilize their entire molecular structure so that they break apart in front of everybody and it looks awful. Yeah. But what's about, and he loves
Yeah. But that's the part, the, the portrayal of this and the writing of this I thought works so well is because he's having fun with it. Because there's no consequences when you're in a time loop like this. You can do whatever you want because it doesn't matter. It's the next loop. Everything resets. So you could say something to somebody, it doesn't matter.
You could do something to somebody and it doesn't matter, and without consequences. Morals and ethics go out the window cuz who cares? Yeah. And I referenced Stargate SG one. They had a time loop episode that they did the same thing. And one of the best parts was they were trying to figure out how to get the loop to end.
And at one point, one of the main characters goes, he's, he's just taking, uh, golf balls and hitting golf balls, the Stargate. And somebody comes up to him and says, what are you doing? He goes, oh, I'm taking this loop off. It's like, he's just like, they've done it so many times. Right. It's just like, I gotta take a break.
It's like, this is getting too much. Right. And so it's like, I like that they did this with Rainn Wilson. Like at a certain point he even says to Lorca in the beginning, he's like, I'm getting bored. Take glee and lording over this. Yeah. On, on you. And later he's like, I'm actually getting kind of bored of this now.
Yeah. Cause he's done it so many times. Yeah. So I, I did like that they were referencing that and having fun with it. It was, it was, it was amusing episode. This was actually a, as graphic as it was, it was also very funny.
Yeah. Yeah, he, and ultimately his plan is I need to figure out what makes the ship so special.
He does that and through multiple loops, he gains more and more information about the drive. He figures out what the fuel is, he understands the large concepts behind it. But he doesn't understand what the missing part, how does the navigation work. He can't figure that out until finally Stamets reveals to him that he is the missing link.
He is that part. Stamets is the one person on the ship who understands what is happening because of his DNA from Ripper. The Tardigrade that they have in the previous episode released. He is. We already know based on his mirror image not leaving, when he has stepped away, that Stamets is different. Now something is happening to him and he can see beyond one timeline.
So he is aware of all these changes, which I think is a terrific element. Of this, it creates for, again, the fast forward button on Characterization. Stamets reveals an interpersonal relationship with people in multiple places in this episode that in another, you know, concept of the show would've taken a full season.
And they give you this, this characterization and this character who in the first episode comes across as arrogant In later episodes, just appears cold. In this, you see him reveal how he met and fell in love with his husband. His husband is shown as being lovingly caretaking. And partnering in the first instance.
But as you see multiple instances, you see the underlying anxiety and actual terror he has for Stamets. The doctor is looking at in some of these instances is looking at Stamets as I'm watching my husband lose his mind, and it's heartbreaking. Because we know it is both true and not true. Stamets is right about the time loop, but we also know this is doing something to Stamets that Stamets can't conceive of.
So, yep, terrific tension for us as a viewer and that that's not even the main principle of the episode. I thought that that was fascinating that you see them. Their characters evolve in this fascinating way, and they're not even the C plot. They're just a few scenes where you just get them. Yeah. Stamets gets some time with Burnham where he then pulls out of Burnham some.
Oh yeah. This tragic backstory that she hasn't shared. Tell me something only you would know. Yeah, and her secret, secret, he says, so tell me something. I need the key to unlock you. Yeah. He effectively says, I need the key to unlock you immediately. I need to be able to walk up to you in a new instance, tell you something, and you're on board with me, right from the word go, because we don't have enough time to fix this otherwise.
And the key she gives him is, I've never been in love. Yeah. And his response broke my heart. I'm sorry. Yeah. Yeah. It's this beautiful moment. Yes. Where they are literally moments from dying, the ship is going to explode and they turn and face it together. Holding hands. Yeah. Did you notice that, that they, that they're holding hands as the, the fire rushes through the, the hallway.
So you get these fast forward buttons. You see him talking and Tilly talking. About how she clearly likes Tyler Ash. Tyler, the new guy on the crew who is already more integrated in the crew than Burnham is. Burnham is still operating as he's leading the party. He's giving a big speech. Yeah, he's, he's the king of the party.
Yeah. Yeah. The fact that he's leading the part, it shows how she is so emotionally stunted because she's. An outsider. She's an outcast and she's on the fringe and he's just integrated immediately and become well-liked. And part of the crew. And, and like you
already has Tilly. She has Tilly, yes. And it, the episode actually includes Burnham's personal log in which she says, I'm making friends.
Well, I have Tilly. It's in her, in her. I think we probably, she only has one.
This is pushing the fast forward button on a lot of the character development. Yeah, because they do the loops. They can take shortcuts and so it's like they, they've fast forwarded the relationship between Ash and Burnham. Like this would've taken an entire season usually to build that out.
But by the end of this episode, I. They're basically in love and they've acknowledged to each other that they're in love and that they've had a first kiss and that he wishes they can remember the first kiss. Yeah. Like they talk about that and now it's just like out of the bag. And so like in one episode, you just did probably what would've been a month or two of storytelling in a pre, in another show.
Yeah. Which is great. And it's the same thing for, uh, Burnham and Stamets, their relationship kind of blossoming and finding that connection there as well. So it's, and then Stamets. I kinda wanna tie back to the whole Stamets thing. My memory of him and rewatching the show. I forgot how much of a jerk he was in the first few episodes, and I, part of the reason for that is the character that I've only, that I really remember is him after the Tardigrade.
Right when he goes to the personality shift. That's what I've always recalled for Stamets, and I completely forgot about how they started him in one direction and did a hard left turn. Yeah. Because of this thing that changed him fundamentally of how he is as a human being, because he's basically tripping on mushrooms all the time.
Now. He's, yeah. Yeah. Seeing the universe in a way that he's, he's unlocked his mind and he's come to peace with a whole bunch of stuff, so he's no longer a wound up jerk anymore. He's
actually this very, yeah, he's having a. Yeah. He's having a literal experience Yeah. Of a, the drug trip. Like Yeah. The thing that drug, the people who would sample mushrooms would say is you do it to expand your mind, and he is literally undergoing that.
Yeah. Whereas it's largely metaphor for, you know, what we're, you know, the people around us who might ex do that kind of thing. It's, they're reaching for a brass ring that. Is largely just metaphorical, but here a science fiction depiction of actual, I am seeing beyond time, and I can't help but wonder about how much of the original depiction is based on a story bible, a show Bible.
Mm-hmm. That they deviated from. Because originally there were things like the Tardigrade was going to become a a re a, a constant on the ship. It was going to remain a part of the show was Stamets originally envisioned in one way and then had to evolve because they recognized, oh, we're limiting ourselves.
We're doing things to the character that put us in a corner or put us into a box. So I can't help but wonder how much of this is originally intended to take a character and make him. An arrogant genius and turn him through this experience into something else. And how much of it is, oh, we need to make a left turn as writers.
And because the backstory moment that they give has a foot in both camps, he depicts, he tells the story of how he met his husband, and his husband was trying to hum. Opera. They don't let us hear anything like it, but he effectively says it's a form of music that if you're trying to hum along to it, it sounds awful.
And I told him that he needed to take it elsewhere and instead he joined me. And then we became a couple, that is a story that does sound like the original Stamets. Mm-hmm. But it is told so lovingly by this new Stamets, and I'm like, mm-hmm. So was this the original arc for this character or not? I, it feels very organic, so I'm willing to go with it.
So, but it's just me as a fan. Curious. Uh, I don't see it as a problem. So we've talked about the party and the party plays this recurring role of, of, in the first instance. It being just a party and then later on it becomes the, the initial point of relationship building between Burnham and Tyler. It's the place where they have their first kiss.
It is like we're seeing the fast forward relationship effectively in these instances. It becomes the place where Stamets has now the code word. You've never been in love to be able to get Burnham to immediately. Buy in with what Stamets is selling, which is we're caught in a time loop. We need to figure our way out.
We've talked about Harry Mud, the depiction by Rain Wilson, and the depiction of the loop is the last thing I wanted to to talk about. Did you find that the loop as it was portrayed, and we've already talked about, it's a McGuffin, so ultimately what I'm talking about now as far as the heart of the episode, doesn't really.
Matter for the point of the episode, which is the relationships of the characters. But do you think that they maintained enough consistency in how the loop was presented throughout the episode to keep it feeling like. It wasn't a distraction or was there something about the depiction that made you say, huh, that's not quite consistent enough.
I think you're leading me, but it's like in almost all the loops, I thought it was handled really well. Where to me it fell apart a little bit was how they ended it, because it felt like they had a sudden suddenly they had a basic concept of how it worked, like how his tech worked. How would you know, unless you've inspected it, So how did you come to the conclusion, oh, we know how to end this because he can on, as soon as he tells it to stop, he has to work in a 30 minute window, and if he goes past that 30 minute window, it's over and then we can stop them.
It was like, how, wait, how, how did you, how did you know this? Uh, this make no sense. Klingon time. Crystals, uh, we've never talked about this before, but yet you seem to know everything about them. It's like it, there was a whole bunch of. Just craziness for how they wrapped up the looping that I thought kind of fell apart, that they could have very easily had tried to work in on multiple loops that they made in picking up clues, um, that they could have done.
But there was no clues that they ever did. It was just suddenly they just understood and they wrapped it up. That, to me, was the underwhelming part of this episode. Yeah, it was, it was too neatly wrapped up. And the whole thing of like, oh, mud, we've tricked you. It's you're your wife and her father that's gonna keep him from selling the secrets to the Klingons.
How, yeah, he could still pick up a, a phone and give the Klingons a call, even though he's with his wife and say, Hey man, I can still make extra money by songs to the Klingons even when I'm with her. It, it didn't make sense why, how what the way they wrapped it up was going to solve the problems that they had created.
That, that to me was the most underwhelming part of the entire episode.
Yeah, I agree. It felt a little bit like they had forgotten that they showed us how Harry Mud could use multiple instances of the time loop in order to learn, learn, learn, learn, learn. Mm-hmm. And they forgot to show us that the crew could do the same thing through Stamets and they could have done it very, very quickly.
They could have had an instance where Stamets says to Burnham and Tyler, You've got to trust me. We need to find out certain information. I need your help in finding this information, and you need to tell me as soon as possible because you will not remember it, but I will. So I can start to learn and piece together what is happening and how to stop it.
And then they could have had a very quick montage of multiple instances in which Burnham, Stamets and Tyler confront Mudd in different ways and effectively. Pull out of him enough information to say it's a time Crystal. It works on the 30 minute loop. He, he has control of it because of this element. They could have shown all of those things.
It would've been so easy. And it would've been fun. It would've fun. He doesn't,
he doesn't know that Stamets can remember. Yes. So it's like he would think there's no risk in telling them this stuff. Right. Because they're not gonna gonna remember. He loves to talk. Mm-hmm. Right. So it's like they could have played into that and very easily worked it in, like they just trick him into doing this and at the end the reveal is, Hey, uh, Stamets could remember all this stuff all along.
Yeah. And it's like, you didn't realize it. Yeah. So it's like, it, it was a very easily done, but it's, it felt like it was an afterthought. And because the time was a McGuffin, it really doesn't matter at all. It's,
it really doesn't matter. It's matter. But I agree with you. Yeah. There, there was a solution there that was.
So, so easy that by the time the episode was ending, I was like, huh. They kind of like jumped. Over, like they set up this thing where it's like this swamp is full of crocodiles and at the end they just jumped over the last crocodile. Instead of it being presented as like, oh, we had to come up with a solution.
And for me it was like, wouldn't it have been so much fun if they had shown them tricking Stamets, getting him to like super villain, talk his way into explaining to them how the tech worked. You could have had a very nice, just quick montage of, you know, what if. Ash in one of the instances, rushes and tackles him and just looks at the thing on his arm and is just yelling out information about it.
He's got this thing and it looks like this and it's got a crystal and da da, and then he gets killed in that instance. And then Stamets is there hearing all of this stuff. So now he knows and then him giving them directions in, okay, I know how to start putting together a response and I would've appreciated a little bit more.
And I'm curious if you agree. I know it's a McGuffin, but I would've liked it a little bit more if what Stamets was able to do was somehow wrestle control. Of the loop away through something that he could do design as a part of his understanding of the spore tech, his big picture, understanding of time. I would've liked an ending better where he's able to rest control of the loop away from mud so that he can effectively take mud's information away from him.
So that he, they can get back to a time before mud even begins to do these things, so that the ending of mud going away now captured again in his marriage. Would work because I agree with you, mud leaves with all this information that he could sell, and I'm just like, that's not the best end, but
I don't think it's worth it.
It's like, to me it's like, it's like, it's fine. It's fine. It's like we all know what happens to mud because of the original series, so it's kind of, they got him back on his track to go meet Kirk, but at the same time, it was just kinda like a disappointing aspect. But I thought the rest of the episode.
Delivered enough fun and interest in character development. It made up for the lackluster end.
So listeners and viewers, what do you think? Did you agree that this episode held together well as a time loop, which was effectively a McGuffin and an a necessary element to give us a fast forward on some characterization?
Or did you not enjoy the fact that you get this kind of. Day in the Life Repeated Groundhog Day style. Let us know in the comments. Next time we're gonna be talking about Seawee Packham Parabellum, the first episode of Discovery, which is titled in Latin. And I'm curious viewers jump into the comments, let us know what, not only what you think the episode is gonna be about, and again, wrong answers only, but also what do you think your direct translation of Seaweed's Packham Parabellum is?
Again, wrong answers only. Before we sign off, Matt, is there anything you'd like to remind our listeners about that you have going on?
On my main channel, I would say just stay tuned because I'm gonna be talking about another star, Treky kind of. Technology, nuclear fusion. I went to the UK and got a chance to basically tour all these different nuclear fusion, uh, facilities and get to see Tokamax in person.
And it blew my mind and I am gonna have a whole series of videos coming out about that. So just stay tuned for
that. As for me, you can check out my website, sean Ferrell dot com. You can find out more information about my books there. And you can also look for my books directly at your local bookstore or any major book seller, wherever you prefer to get your books.
That includes Amazon or Barnes and Noble. And by the time this episode is coming out, it will be well after the release of my next book, which is the Middle Grade Adventure, the Sinister Secrets of Singe Drops on June 6th. And so as Matt and I are recording that this right now, that is two days from now.
So this episode will drop. And we will be in the past talk about a time loop. So I'd be very happy to hear if anybody checks out that book. If you have any thoughts about it, do share your thoughts and the comments. I'd love to hear from everybody. And if you'd like to support the show, please consider reviewing us on Apple, Google, Spotify, wherever it was, you listened to this or watched it, go back there.
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