Join Sean and Matt as they rewatch all of Star Trek in order and in historical context.
Hey everybody. In this episode of Trek in Time, we're gonna be talking about what it means to try to find a piece and what it means to protect the unprotected. That's right. We're talking about Si Vis Pacem Parabellum. And for those of you who weren't ready for this, and that includes Matt and me, we're also gonna be talking about into the forest.
I go, so this is a two episode review. Yep. And as we've talked about before, viewer feedback has been very clear. We are trying to tackle two-part stories in one go so that we're not left with no conclusion, or in some cases rehashing stuff because the second part relies so much on a discussion of the first part.
But star Trek discovery, unlike enterprise, is guilty of a new phenomenon in the streaming world where, As they're putting together a streaming series, some episodes are very clearly A leads into B and you get that. But then there are certain times in streaming where they're like, A doesn't just lead into B, a Cliff hangers into B.
Yep. And sometimes it's not something we're aware of. We don't see part one and part two as labels as much on some of these shows. So back in the good old days, watching Next Generation and seeing Best of both worlds Part One as the show title, you knew, I bet this is a two-parter. Mm-hmm. But here we were looking at, Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.
Unless that's Latin for to be continued, we weren't aware of it. So we apologize for no warning. We apologize for dropping this episode without viewers being aware we were gonna be hitting two at once. But after hearing my. Rambling lead in. I hope you'll jump back out of the episode. Watch the second episode, which is into the forest.
I go and then come back and watch this discussion. And after all of that, there's a lot of talking. I still haven't said who we are. Still haven't told you where you are. I haven't told you why we are. Who are we? Well, this is Trek in Time where we take a look at All Star Trek in chronological order. We also take a look at the world at the time of original broadcast.
So we are currently past the halfway mark in the first season of discovery, which means we're also talking about things in the latter half of 2017, it seems like just a few years ago, but it also feels like it was a lifetime ago age. Yeah. Feel like a different Sean Ferrell lived that. And who are we?
Well as I just like cats outta the bag now. I'm Sean Ferrell. I'm a writer. I write some sci-fi. I write some stuff for kids, which includes my just recently released as of the time of this recording, it came out just a few days ago. My new middle grade adventure series, the Sinister Secrets of Singe Book, one has just dropped, and as Matt has been trying to hammer into my brain, I should let people know not only about the book, but about events coming up for it.
So right now I have an event coming up on Saturday, June 24th at 12:00 PM at McNally Jackson Seaport location. McNally Jackson, a wonderful bookstore in Manhattan, New York City, and Seaport location, which is located on the southern part of Manhattan. It's a Saturday. It shouldn't be too difficult considering that neighborhood is largely the financial district.
So on a Saturday, Probably is a little easier to get to by car and maybe walk around and find places to eat. And the Seaport area is a terrific place with a lovely view of the water looking over toward Brooklyn. So if anybody's interested in joining us there, it's at 12:00 PM again on the 24th. And I hope to see you there And with me as always is my brother Matt.
He is that Matt of undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives. Matt, how are you?
I'm doing good. I got your copy of your book showed up at my house last week and my wife had ordered her own copy and for some reason it's been delayed by like two or three weeks.
And so she stole my copy. She's reading it very good. So I haven't had a chance to start it yet cause she's, she took it so
I can't wait to read. Marriage is all about that's, yeah, exactly. And that's what family is for. Everybody in the family buying their own copy and then stealing them from each other.
Exactly as we always like to do. We're gonna start off with some viewer comments from previous episodes. Matt, what did you find in the comments for us this week? So
one from Pale Ghost 69, those, we talked about spoilers last time, where we actually, there was some stuff we wanted to talk about that comes later in the season.
He wrote those spoilers from last episode actually made the show more enjoyable for me, although I have to question some things now. Yeah, that was funny. And this ties into the next comment, which started a little chain discussion from Dan Sims that said, the one thing I don't like with Tyler is that he's integrated a little too well without trying to spoil it.
Let's just say that. Damn, he is cultured. He doesn't miss a step. Yes. So I don't wanna give any spoilers away, but there's a couple, there's a comment after that that kind of like doubled down on that of like, yeah, there's some stuff that's kinda like with some of these characters, things that happen later.
It's kinda like, well wow, he integrated really well under this crew and when we find out stuff about him later, it's kinda like, How did he do that? Yeah.
And there are certain aspects of that that as we move forward into the next few episodes, and it will be refreshing, I think, for me Yeah. To get some of these big reveals behind us because it makes some of these conversations a little tricky.
Yeah. But there are going to be moments where some of the reveal, I think makes for some really fascinating character revelations. Oh, yeah. And some of the chara, some of the reveal, I think really kind of of raises question marks that the showrunners just for whatever reason, were willing to kind of hand wave away.
Mm-hmm. And I do continue to have a problem with, and it's a, I'm, I'm on a weird razor's edge about some of these reveals in the sense of I still like what they do. Yes. I like what they do with the show. I like the character arc. I like those things. But when I am looking at it and I'm saying, I like this, and then I look under the covers and I'm like, but it's not well thought out.
And it doesn't make sense logically, but I kind of like tuck it back in. I'm just like, but I still like it. So there's, there's gonna be some of that coming out in the, in the future. And then there are other aspects of the reveals that I think work not only well, but raise really interesting connections to not only the character, but original Trek, which I really like, like my in in my viewing of all this.
It really plays into kind of a deconstruction of what certain elements of the original series presented. And I really like that part. So we'll get all into that. Probably it just a few episodes from now because we're late. It's not long. We're dancing at the door of those revelations right now in this discussion on these two episodes, so let's jump into that noise in the background.
Of course. That's the Reid Alert. We're all familiar with that, but what we're not familiar with was is this how long Matt is gonna have to read this synopsis.
it's two synopsis. It's two synopsis and sy. These are a little wordy, so yeah. Okay. Everybody drop in. Relax. Close your eyes. Think of the ocean and listen to Matt as you read.
Stumble my way through Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum and into the forest. I go.
First time I've seen this. Alright, so coming to the aid of another federation ship, the discovery is unable to prevent the ship's destruction by a Klingon ship that is using cloaking technology. Desperate for a way to detect these ships even when they're cloaked.
Burnham, Tyler and Saru are sent to Pahvo, a seemingly uninhabited planet with a naturally occurring crystalline transmitter that broadcasts the planet's vibrational frequency into space. Cuz you know, That's how it works. Mm-hmm. They hope to use the transmitter to create a sonar for the hidden Klingon ships.
Meanwhile, L'Rell tries to help Cornwall Cornwell escape in exchange for protection from Kol, but they're caught and L'Rell apparently kills Cornwell to try to save face with Kol. His he sentences L'Rell to death for her actions. So well done L'Rell the discovery off. Officers learned that Pahvo is inhabited with indigenous life that introduced Saru to their higher understanding of peace, and he attempts to force Burnham and Tyler to remain with him on the planet forever.
Burnham is able to fight off Saru and broadcast the new signal. However, the Pahvo lifeforms adjust the signal to contact the Klingons as well, hoping to end the war. And Kol receives the signal. Mm-hmm.
very matter of fact. Okay. Description for the second episode into the forest. I go. Lorca is ordered to flee before the Klingons arrive, but Disobeys in order to protect the life forms of Pahvo and improve the federation's chances of detecting the cloak ships.
And when the Klingons arrive, Tyler and Burnham transport to the Klingon ship and plant sensors that will help create an algorithm for detecting cloaked ships. They find an alive cornwell hidden with L'Rell encountering the later sends Tyler into shock. Due to memories he has of her torturing and raping him, Lorca has Stamets make 133 micro jumps with the spore drive in order to provide a three-dimensional reading of the sensors while Burnham distracts Kol by challenging him to a fight, the jumps are completed.
Though not without trauma to Stamets, uh, when the algorithm is calculated, Burnham, Tyler Cornwell and L'Rell who wishes to defect are transported back to the discovery and the Klingon ship is destroyed. Stamets volunteers to make one more jump to safety, but tells Lorca it'll be his last. However, Lorca secretly changes the coordinates and they jump to an unknown destination surrounded by Starship Debris.
This is what we were talking about. It's like a lot of these, um, Beating around the bush about, we don't wanna spoil stuff. It's like we are like literally on the cusp of a lot of these things. Yeah. Starting to
come, come light. So Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum, which is Latin for if you want peace, prepare for war, directed by John Scott.
Written by Kirsten Bayer. Original air date November 5th, 2017 and it stars as does the second episode. Our usual cast, Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham. Doug Jones, as Saru Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets. Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly and Jason Isaacs as Captain Lorca and into the Forest I go directed by Chris Byrne, written by Bo Young Kim and Erica Lip Holt original air date November 12th, 2017.
Both these episodes also feature Kenneth Mitchell as Kol, sadly, in 2020. Mr. Mitchell was diagnosed with Emetropic Lateral Sclerosis, the neurological disease that removes our ability to control our muscles. Mr. Mitchell makes appearances in discovery in various roles. So Kol is not his only is not his only role in the show.
We will see him in the future. And as they move forward in episodes and his disease became more pronounced, he will eventually make appearances in a wheelchair. And sadly, after recent episodes were filmed, the most recent being from the, I believe, the most recent and final season, Mr. Mitchell has lost the use of his voice.
So this is a degenerative disease and it is taking its toll on him. He is only 48 years old and it is wow, a real tragedy. It is a reminder that diseases like this, uh, continue to plague people with very little recourse. And it's something that is a sobering reminder. As I mentioned, the original air date of these episodes, November 5th and November 12th, 2017.
And what was going on at the world at that time? Well, I know what Matt was break dancing to. He was break dancing to post Malone's rockstar. We've talked about this. In recent episodes and we'll be talking about it for the rest of season one episodes. This song apparently took Matt and the world by storm and would hold onto the number one streaming spot.
For the rest of the year. And at the box office, everybody was lining up. I know I was to see Thor Ragnarok, which over this two week period made almost 180 million total. It would be the number one film both weeks. This film, of course, is the first of the Thor movies directed by Taika Waititi. It's from a screenplay by Eric Pearson and the writing team of Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost.
It Stars Thor's, Chris Hemsworth, of course, and Tom Hiddleston, Kate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson Carl Urban, mark Ruffulo, and Anthony Hopkins. It is of course the third of the Thor films following on the much darker toned films that preceded it. And on television, we've been talking about the transition into a streaming world.
So the numbers. Are using calculations provided by Parrot Research, which worked with Insider to figure out what were the most viewed shows. And it's based on algorithms and research and looking at all sorts of data to create viewership numbers, to be able to try and turn apples and oranges into apples to apples comparison.
So we've looked in the previous weeks at How Game of Thrones, walking Dead Pretty Little Liars Vikings Prison Break and The Big Bang Theory were the most watched shows. I will admit, I was a little surprised to find out what the seventh most watched show was. It's The Flash really on the CW by Surprise With Five, with 5.1 million viewers.
I always considered it a well done show, but I did not. It's fun. Know that it had a pocket. Yeah, it is. It's a, it's, I think as far as DC is considered, I think that they had a good solid run on television where the movies were not Yeah, as well received as Marvel's Properties, but I always felt like the television shows were a lot of fun.
Arrow and Flash were two programs that I really enjoyed watching, especially when my son was younger and he would, you know, he ate those things up. Um, but I was a little surprised, like to see in the list right behind Big Bang Theory and ahead of some other shows that are gonna follow it. It was, uh, a little surprising to see like, oh, I didn't realize it was that popular.
And in the news, well, over this two week period, we had different news stories like on November 5th in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which had pummeled the southern United States, especially Texas. In August of 2017, the US was looking at flood insurance programs that were broke and broken. They were in insufficient, basically, to cover the costs of what climate change is now doing regarding flooding.
And the US was totally unprepared and insurance companies went bankrupt as a result of the hurricane. Also, in the news that week, a news story by Jeffrey Gettleman about the global ape trade, which steals apes from their natural habitats through beatings, drugging, and smuggling to get them to other locations for sale as either pets.
Or zoo animals or in some cases for worse conditions. There was also a news story by David Kirkpatrick about Saudi Arabia, the transition from the former King King Solomon. His son, prince Muhammad bin Solomon was trying to take a firm control of the government in the days that were the ending of his father's reign in the beginning of his.
And that included arresting rival princes and billionaires. And that had just begun. And from November 12th, the news stories at that point were largely about how President Trump was reshaping the judiciary in the weeks before Donald Donald J. Trump took office lawyers joining his administration gathered at a new law firm near the Capitol where Donald McGahn the soon-to-be White House counsel, counsel.
Filled a whiteboard with a secret battle plan to fill the federal appeals courts with young and deeply conservative judges. Mr. McGahn instructed by Mr. Trump to maximize the opportunity to reshape the judiciary, mapped out potential nominees and a strategy according to two people familiar with the effort.
Start by filling vacancies on appeals courts with multiple openings, and where democratic senators are up for reelection next year in states won by Mr. Trump, like Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. They could be pressured not to block his nominees and to speed them through confirmation. Avoid cli clogging the Senate with too many nominees for district courts where legal philosophy is less crucial.
We are seeing the fruit of that labor now. Yep. As we just this past week have seen the historic indictment of former President Trump on federal charges, more than 30 of them. And the judge that he will be going before on Tuesday is one of his nominees. So onto our discussion. About these two episodes of Star Trek Discovery, there's a lot to talk about.
So rather than follow a plot driven, let's talk about the episode in Yeah. Event order. Yeah, just wanted to, I just threw together some bullet points and so I'd like to start us off with talking about Pahvo first. The, okay. Starting point of this first episode. It doesn't really play much of a role in the second point, which in the second episode, which I found a little distracting, like the fact that Pahvo was so critical to the first episode and then there was no element about it turned what the planet was doing other than it being the target.
Yeah. So the planet Pahvo, what did you think about that as a setting? What did you think about what it did to Saru? Because the Saru story arc in this episode is really, uh, a critical one. And what did you think about the originating steps of this storyline? I
really liked Pahvo and hated it. At the same time, I'm very conflicted over
this, this kind of plot
Of these two episodes, partly because one of the things I really liked was, I liked how alien they made this planet. Yeah. Not only visually, like all the leaves were like
like different colors and like the life form they come across is very alien and how it kind of like this wispy kind of like thing that just forms in the air.
It's kind of like trying to communicate with them. I thought it was really cool. It's, it's fun to see, oh, we're not just gonna take a piece of latex and give a guy different forehead and nose and there's your alien race for this episode. Right. Very alien. I really enjoyed that aspect of the setup and the concept, the planet and how it was kind of communicating with Saru and connected with 'em, I thought was really cool for me, where everything kind of fell flat was, oh, they have this giant crystalline structure that goes all the way into space and they have this vibration that's gonna, how does that go through space?
Like what? What is happening here? Like it was very hand wavy, convenient. Don't think about the science or anything behind this. It's just, it's science, it's magic. It was like there was this aspect to it that really kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Mm-hmm. And then by the time we get into the second episode where this is completely meaningless, it kind of just reiterated to me of, yeah, that plot point was just to instigate what they really wanted to happen in this show.
And it really didn't have any kind of meaning, any of it. So there was, there was aspects of themes between different plot lines. I don't wanna jump into the other plot lines yet, but like how, like this is about fear driving you. That's another aspect of this plot that I liked where Saru says, my entire species.
We live in a constant state of fear. Yeah. That's something we've never seen in star Trek before, which I thought was really cool. Cause you got angry Klingon, like they work on anger and like, it's like all these passions that, that drive different species. Yeah. But fear has never been one that's been a driving force for one of the main species that they've explored.
So I thought that was pretty cool around how, how we communicate and how we can misinterpret, interpret that communication. And that kind of through line also exists in the other plot lines of these two episodes. So there is kind of a mirroring between the a, b, C plot lines where mm-hmm there's thematic similarities, but the whole like, just kind of hand waving this stupid giant crystalline structure up into space and the planet vibrates and they're gonna make this a sonar beacon.
Like, what? Come on. That's not, come on. That's like the, the, the newest Star Wars movies where it's like, What was it? The first order has that beam that they shoot through space and it like instantly hits these other planets that are light years away. Right. Speed of light people, it's like they would shoot that and it would take years for it to reach their destination.
It's like, it's stuff like that. Yeah. Like the, the whole explanation of what this planet can supposedly do makes zero sense like to me and so, so it felt like a McGuffin from the GetGo and it turned out to be a McGuffin.
I'm so disappointed in that aspect. Yeah. I agree with, I agree with what you're saying.
Big picture. I think that for me, I'm gonna talk about what you just talked about backwards, so I'm gonna start with the crystalline structure and talk about it backwards. Yeah. I think if it had been more in the vein of we're here to research the signal that this planet gives off because this planet gives off a sonar like signal that is unlike any other planet's native.
Signal because it is actually true that planets do make sound. Sound being a relative term. Yes. Because we experience sound as energy waves that go through air in space. Obviously you do not have that, but what you do have is complex interactions of charged electromagnetic particles from the solar winds hitting the ionospheres of planets and the magnetic spheres of planets.
And so every planet does have a kind of resonance that it sends out, and NASA has actually using satellites, been able to capture that and turn that into sound so you can actually hear what the planet sound like. And it's, it's whale song. It's like, it's that kind of like it's a cosmic thing. And I think that if they had done a better job in this of saying, this planet's.
Tone is so unique and it has a quality to it that is similar to Sonar and Starfleet is wondering, can we somehow do some research there to understand how to use that? Yes. As an interstellar sonar, so effectively not saying like we're gonna send out a signal from the planet to help us see everything.
We're trying to research something so we can take it and put it on our ships. That's my problem. I think that is, in fact, what they were saying. I don't think they said it across didn't. Well, I didn't. I don't think they said it Well, no, because when, no,
but here, when they're setting it up and they're turning it on, they're all acting like once this gets turned on, they'll know where all the Klingon ships are.
That's the way they're acting. They're, and that's what makes They're
acting that way. Way. I completely agree with that. They're acting that way when what is really happening, I believe it is stated at one point that what they're doing is creating a signal to discovery that will be able to allow them to collect data.
To conduct future research. So it is a, it is, I do not think communicated well, and if I'm wrong, then they should have done what I just said. So it's like, yes, yes. I think, I think that there is a thing here that from a sci-fi aspect does work, and I really wish it had been a little clearer and I wish it had been more impactful in the second part because mm-hmm.
To really tie these two episodes together would've been nice. As far as the alienesque qualities of what the Pahvlons are like. I also agree, I really liked the fact that they were so distinctive in. How they were presented. And they get a little wishy-washy in how they're presenting them because they show what looked like distinct figures.
But effectively this would be a planet consciousness. This would not be individuals in the way that we understand them. So it's Gaia, they're basically dealing with that. There's a little bit of like, I wish there had been a little bit more of an exploration of like, it's not a, it's not an it. It's more of a they, but it's not a they.
It's more of an it. I wish it had played with a little bit more of that. Yeah. But ultimately all of that does fall to the background because the real key concept is what they do to Saru and they turn Saru inadvertently into a bad guy. They turn him into a monster. And one of the things about this episode I did like, and again, I wish there had been some elements of this pulled into the second episode, Saru nearly kills Burnham.
Yeah. And the episode ends with a nice moment between the two of them. Where he reveals like, my people are nothing but fearful. This was the first respite I ever felt from that fear. And when they first get to the planet, it is effectively giving him nonstop migraines in the form of like that resonance sound is doing something to his danger detection, which is setting him an edge.
But once the Pahvlons know that that's how he's interpreting these various signals, they change it in some way to incorporate him into it. So it's not so much about peace, it's about harmony. And yes, that's a key distinction in the Pahvlons actions. I think by the end of the episode, I think one of the things that is critical to understand is that, and, and here's where I wish the writing had been a little more sophisticated again in the second episode, Burnham.
And Tyler and Saru, when they return to discovery, basically like, oh, the Pahvlons think that they can help create peace. It's more that the Pahvlons think that they can help create harmony. The Pahvlons would not actually know what peace was, right? So it's like this is a, this is a really neat opportunity for distinct philosophical and underlying ideas of how things are to come into conflict.
What is a species that does not know conflict? It only knows harmony. How would it begin to approach any kind of interaction with species that don't understand that level of harmony and have concepts of conflict, war hate, like it, the, the aspects of that are very star Trek, and I think they do an interesting job with.
Teasing those ideas out, but they aren't the focus. The focus becomes the action. The focus becomes the survival against a Saru who is willing to lie to his colleagues, trap them on the planet permanently, and the game being, when the discovery comes back doing what, like what was like there is, there's a kind of psychosis here.
Mm-hmm. He's not behaving rationally, so it becomes then how do we survive with this maniac, which is reminiscent to me at certain points of the movie Abyss, where you have the one character who's going through the bends and is trying to, you know, like he's literally cutting his arm underneath the table trying to release nitrogen from his blood.
His psychosis is driving bad behavior with bad decision making, and an end game that involves a nuclear weapon. It's reminiscent of that more than it is. Like, what does it mean to be different from these individuals? Or are they even individuals? There's less of that, and I found myself. A little, I wouldn't say disappointed, I would say the ideas that were raised, I wish there was an opportunity to revisit them a little bit deeper.
Yes. But yeah, you know, it's, it's ultimately, I also did like the, the Saru aspect of this. I think it's a great opportunity. They took a really neat path into pulling back the hood and letting you know what the drivers are for that character. Mm-hmm. And what he might be like if he didn't have those parts.
Because he becomes, he becomes focused on wellbeing and harmony in a way that really genuinely seems like, like he wants to be the good guy desperately, but he becomes, as he said, he, how to,
he becomes a monster. And not to give spoilers away. There's aspects of Saru in the future that. Tie into that a little bit.
Absolutely. He's incredibly fast. He's very strong and there's aspects of him of like, if he wasn't living in a state of fear, he could actually be very destructive if he wanted to be. Yeah. Um, so there's, there's an aspect of that character that there's this kind of underlying scariness to him a little bit, this unknown
quality to, to Saru, which I really enjoyed.
Yeah. What can happen when it's unleashed it's Right. Yeah. Which ties into his interactions with the other two crewmen. And I want to talk about the entirety of now as we talk about Tyler and Burnham, we're now jumping into an element of the story that does continue. The Pahvlons largely become, you know, at the end of the first episode, they're like, we'll help with harmony by bringing the Klingon here, and then mm-hmm.
You can harmonize with them. And when they do that, the second episode becomes all about how does. The discovery defend this planet against the Klingons, but the planet is not revisited. The planet does not play a role in helping solve that problem. However, the elements of the first episode regarding Tyler and Burnham do continue into the second episode.
So as we talk now, I'm inviting Matt to remember that we can now talk about the entirety of the story arc in these two episodes. And I'm curious, what did you think about the stages of where they are in their relationship? I'll call it a relationship, even though it isn't like anything that's been heightened above a very clear attraction to one another.
What do you think about the relationship in the fur, the first starting points of the episode and how it's played and where it ends up? Well, it's
interesting cuz like in the, the first part on the planet when things start to go sideways, Burnham is being Burnham. She's trying to do the right thing, live by the letter of the law for how Starfleet should behave.
And realizing that Saru's outta commission. It was interesting to see how, uh, Tyler, basically in this blooming relationship, he's like, whoa, whoa, whoa. I'm putting my foot down. I'm actually the in command here because if he's out, I'm the next in charge and we're not doing it your way, we're doing it my way.
It was interesting to see that the first kind of conflict and tensions start to form between the two of them. Seeing how he was trying to be the protector and he was trying to be in command and take a leadership role and kind of put her in her place a little bit because he thought he was doing the right thing.
It wasn't out of a, a bad place. At least that's the way it was portrayed. And then you get to the end of the, the second episode and everything flips on its head. It's like he becomes, he loses complete control. He goes into basically post-traumatic stress and loses his mind cuz he's having flashbacks of, yeah.
Torture and all this stuff. And then she, she has to take command and take charge and do what he was trying to do on the planet. So it was interesting to see how that kind of flipped. And they played with that back and forth between the two of them, across those two episodes. And also there's, we could talk spoilers, but we're not gonna talk spoilers.
There's aspects of what happens to him in both episodes. Things he says across all of these that I would say to everybody, just keep in the back of your mind all the stuff he's saying. Like why he, like, there's a point where he's talking about the Klingon and he said he doesn't want to stop the Klingon.
He wants to hurt them. Yeah. And like there's this element of truth to what he says and the seething anger that's inside of him when he says that. Yeah. I was like, oh wow. That is kind of profound. It's like knowing what happens to him. There's a double layer to that. Yeah. I just loved and cannot wait to talk about it until that stuff starts to come out.
Yeah. But I thought it was, once again, they're laying the groundwork for these characters where we're perceiving them in one way and everything they're saying fits what we think is happening. Yeah. But there's this
To Mo from Lorca to Tyler that is just bubbling under the surface and the show is never lying to us.
It's, it's fascinating how they're
doing that. It's not, to us it's even happening with Saru. Yes, it's yes. Yeah, there, there, the, the show does a, uh, a job that, I can't think of another star Trek show that has laid seeds like this to gestate over almost the entirety of a season for, in this kind of way.
It's real and it's really well done. And it is these layers of, um, and it does it again with Stamets, but it does it in full vision. Like we're watching it happen with Stamets, like the reversals and the lies and the hidden information. We're watching that all happen with Stamets and his entire thing is like I'm seeing all the possibilities.
Meanwhile, what we don't realize is that we're not seeing all the possibilities of what's happening in the characters. And for this episode in particular, Shazad Latif, who plays Ash Tyler, he does a fantastic job. He's fantastic. He has to go from, I'm the commander with a hint. Just the slightest hint of, and I'm your boyfriend, so you gotta do what I say because I'm trying to protect you.
Like there's a whiff of that. Yes. But ultimately he and Burnham are having what I think both of them recognize is a complex but professional conversation. Oh yeah, absolutely. They have a difference of opinion about professionally what they should be doing. He is pulling rank on her professionally. It is also clear that both of them are like, we're into each other that's making this rough.
But neither of them plays the, like, listen, I love you too much to let you go do that thing. So yes, that's like, I really like the writing and the acting from, uh, Sonequa, Martin-Green and from mm-hmm. Shazad Latif. Both of them do a really great job with that. And as far as the flipping goes, I think that for the first episode, Burnham is, you know, does a really interesting job of like convincing con, they convince Saru that they've kind of bought in by simply like pulling back on their pushing back.
Like they just kinda like become quiet. And the conversation you referred to about him revealing how much he wants to hurt the Klingon is all part of a distraction. Yeah. So it's a nice moment because he's using actual hate. In that moment to distract Saru who's crushed their communicators, trapping them on the planet.
Also that Burnham can get to the crystalline tower and send the signal that she needs to send. Meanwhile, were given a moment of Stamets on the ship. In a moment of confusion, we see him coming out of the chamber and he says to Tilly, captain, what are you doing here? And we get the briefest of what I was just referring to of him revealing, yeah.
When I'm coming out of this cycle of being the navigation computer, I know things, but what I know is changed. Yeah. And it doesn't fit always. And it takes me a moment to realize when and where I am and what is going on. So we're given this hint of like, he's looking at things, he's seeing things beyond.
What they're supposed to be experiencing. So that's the aspect I wanna jump into next. What is Stamets revealing in that episode and what do we see happening in the next one? So onto the aspects of Stamets and what Stamets reveals in the first episode and what we see happening through the second episode, what did you think about all of that?
So the Stamets
storyline is my favorite part of both these shows. What's the episodes he to, to me this is like the heart, the, the star Trek Discovery does a really good job, even though we, I was complaining a little bit about some of the plot elements. One thing that's always impressed me about the show is they do characters extremely well, like, very well, uh, very nuanced storytelling around how characters are developing and evolving.
Stamets in this episode, it, it's heart-wrenching. His story is so heart-wrenching because he is being affected in a way that nobody understands. He's trying to hide it to protect his, his partner, the doctor. From having to report him as, uh, augmenting himself and all this, he's basically trying to protect his, his partner.
And in doing so, he ends up hurting that relationship. But beyond that, how this is affecting him, you can tell it's a profound change to what he is and it could be killing him. And so when he's asked to do the 132 jumps or whatever it is that he has to do, as if viewer, they bring that up. And I as a viewer went like, oh no, because they've been doing such a good job showing this is not doing something good to him.
It's doing something potentially very bad. And now you're asking him to do this rapid jumps and the entire sequence of him doing those jumps. And halfway in he stops. And there's that moment where there's like this pause and he looks to his partner through the glass and says, I love you. And he starts going through it again.
It was excruciating. It was like so painful to watch. And I have to like applaud the show for knowing how to really kind of. Do compelling storytelling around like humanity, what makes us like connected and like really playing against that. I, they were plucking at your heartstrings and they were playing it like a master and so it's like I was just, I just ate this storyline up.
I loved what they did with his character, the hints that they're giving us to where the show's about to go, like literally at the end of the second episode where it's what we're about to watch for next, next week. Yeah. It's like they were laying the groundwork for what was about to happen and Lorca with his like little thing that he does at the end where he last second changes the destination, his Stamets does the final jump.
All of that it's like I thought was beautiful. Especially that sequence between him and Lorca on the, the Launch Bay. When they're looking out at the earth,
the planet, there are two scenes with the two of them. Both of them are critical and key, and the first one being Lorca. Revealing to Stamets of a, of data and mapping that he's collected from all the leaps and, and Stamets Anthony Rap as Stamets is fantastic through all of this.
Yeah. Um, as is Wilson Cruz, who plays his partner, the Doctor Stamets immediately recognizes that it is a map of all of their jumps, but within the data, he can also recognize what he has been experiencing, which is connections to time and connections to alternate timelines and parallel universes. So he is looking at this and I, and I, I love the fact that he looks at it for about three seconds.
And it's just like he recognizes it. I know what this is because he's been looking at all of this. So Lorca is recreating something that Stamets is experiencing by doing all of that the way they do. They give us the insight that Lorca is conducting some level of research that nobody else on the ship is aware of, but it, it's great
how it's portrayed because it's like Stamets doesn't realize what's going on.
Yeah. The captain's only showing him this because he's trying to manipulate Stamets to keep doing what he's
doing. And we, it's, we
know why he's about to do this because in the next episode is gonna reveal why this is going on. But I love how Stamets says, I didn't know you cared. Yeah. When he's talking about what he's been mapping and I know what he's.
Why he's doing it. So I'm watching this when he says that my heart San, I was like, oh, Stamets, he's not doing this. Cause he's interested in science. He has ulterior motives. Yeah. Oh my God. And then, which leads into the
conversation on the conversation overlook from the shuttle bay. Yeah. Overlooking the planet.
And just the total exhaustion and feeling of finality in Stamets. He's really like, he's ready for the next step. And he tells his partner that, he says to him like, I, we have days and weeks and months of my recovery ahead of us where we can just be with each other. And it is a truly, like he's come to peace with.
He's putting to rest the very pursuit that drove him to create the engine in the first place. Mm-hmm. And he's gone through this thing that has burnt out his drive to keep going, going, going and find more truth. He's willing now to recognize that his pursuit of truth is in oper, is in conflict with what he has and he is choosing instead what he has, he wants to help repair his own body and brain.
He wants to repair the relationship he has with his partner and they do it in a nice callback way of him saying there's a opera house with Casini opera and they're currently doing lab om, which is the type of opera in his revealing of how he met his partner. He shares that it was, his partner was humming that type of opera.
So it's a nice callback and it is a loving moment. The two of them have a genuine like, It's hard. It, the doctor's portrayal is great. It's hard to love you. Yeah. And yet I do it is, the conflict within him is evident and his professionalism as the doctor is also evident. So that's a nice element in the episode as well.
And then we see Lorca say like, look at all these discoveries that are ahead of us. We could figure all of this out and what time is, and what alternate dimensions and parallel universes are, and how this all works. We could finally understand the underlying truth to everything. And then at the end of the second episode, we see that he's typing in a destination, but it's, and he's effectively taking the ship where nobody else knows they're gonna be headed.
But before that moment, what the, the conversation, I don't know if you picked up on this, the portrayal of Lorca, what's the actor's name? I'm blanking on his name.
It is, I always blank on his name, even though it is Jason Isaacs and it is Isaac, an easy, simple name. Yeah. I always blank on his, to myself
in that conversation when he is talking about, we can figure everything out and Stamets is like, no, I, I'm done.
This is my last jump when he says that to the Captain Lorca. But there's a flash on Lorca's face that is so subtle and so quick. I was like, oh damn. That was a good performance because you could see in that moment, he's devastated of like, oh crap. Yeah. And he immediately snaps back into, oh, I just gotta brush that off and play it.
Cool. Yeah. But it's in that moment that Lorca makes the call of he's got one shot to do what he's about to do. Yep. And this is it. This final jump he has to make his move now, which is that number that he, that the thing he does. It's like, I love how they set that up. And it was so subtle that at the moment, the first time I watched this show, Sean, I did not pick that up at all.
Yeah. And watching it this time, it was clear as day. So it's like, it's so much fun rewatching this and seeing just how subtle these performances are. That it, it, I just loved it. I was eating it up, Sean. I was
just eating it up. Yeah. I completely agree. I find all of that, the highlight of the show. I also, as we move into the next part, which is L'Rell, the Klingons in general, the fight against the Klingon, there's a lot of, to go back to what we said about Pahvo, there's a lot of hand waviness around like, oh, we can actually figure out a way to detect cloaked ships.
Like, oh, it requires putting sensors on the ships. And like you're telling me that nobody in Starfleet has thought, well, if we could only get a sensor on those ships, we'd be able to track them and maybe figure out, so like, so it's like there's a lot of like, okay, they're just trying to get things moving forward.
I'm okay with all of that because a lot of the stuff that does happen is compelling or interesting. And we have, on the one side, everything we just talked about, the super subtlety of Lorca's motives. He wants to do something revolving around the whole parallel timeline, parallel universes. That is his key goal.
For whatever reason and his manipulation of Stamets and his punching in numbers at the end and taking the notes to a place where they're like, we don't have a clue as to where we are. That's all super subtle. The Klingon stuff ain't super subtle. It is a lot of just straightforward action. We even get Burnham challenging Captain Kol to a fight questioning his honor, questioning.
I love the fact that it was, you know, right down to, she knows that's not his ship, so she's like, you stole a ship. You like, how are you an honorable Klingon and revealing who she is, pushing them, basically just to keep them where they are because she knows they were about to run and if they'd run the discovery wouldn't get the data it needs.
So she's keeping them in place. I. That's another aspect of this that's a little bit like hand wavy. Like Yeah. Kol wouldn't be like, alright, I'm gonna fight this lady while I'm fighting her. Hit the warp engines and get us outta here. Yeah, exactly. There's no reason why everybody's just gonna stand around and be like, oh, before we leave, the captain's gonna kill this lady.
So they could've had her
destroy something, breaks the navigation system so they can't jump, they, she, they could've done something, you know what I mean? She could have been there and sabotaged something.
Yeah. She could've sha sabotaged something. She shoots a couple of guys. Well, can, you know, just to have somebody like, she just shot our pilot, like, have somebody say that.
Like, it's, it's some aspects of this that are hand waving
on the Klingons in general. I don't know how you feel about this, but it's, it hit me why I don't have a lot of memories of all the Klingon scenes from this show and rewatching it. Some of these Klingon scenes I'm like, I completely forgot this was even in this, like, it just like washed over me.
I, I realized, I think for me the reason is, is that the Klingon is the way they're portrayed. It feels so distant be, and I'm wondering if it's the way they were directed or written or, or the performances. Cuz the makeup they've got on is so thick that there's no subtlety to performance. It's just a bunch of guys and women standing around just kind of like slowly barking words that mean nothing too, cuz it's in a foreign language.
And so I, I've never got emotionally connected to what was happening and it was just kind of noise to me. Just kind of a white noise in the background. Yeah. And it's like, okay, well let's get through this scene to get next, get back to the characters we actually care about. I, I
understand what you're saying.
Yeah. But, but it's like, think about like next generation. It's like you have wharf, you care about wharf. Right. And all the machinations of the Klingon High Council and, and Deep Space Nine and Next Generation were riveting. There were great stuff. There was amazing stuff. And I think it came from the performances and the way those characters were written.
And on this one it feels a little more like we're watching a Shakespeare like
Yeah. You know, stage play definitely portrayed more as a Shakespearean experience. And I think there's also an aspect to it that comes from immersion. They aren't as successful as emer, uh, immersing us in the Klingon world. It is much more, we are only there to see Burnham.
Yes. So that becomes the focal point. It's almost like the Klingons. Are in the background at all times, even when they're by themselves. And there are, I think there are subtle aspects to the depiction of all of this, but they're sometimes so subtle that they get lost. And I th and going back to the idea of immersion, for me, one of the key things about the lack of immersion in the Klingon stuff is that usually there's only one or two Klingons who talk.
And you think about some of the great immersive scenes in Klingon depiction in Star Trek when Kirk and McCoy go on trial. In Star Trek six is one of the best depictions of, of Klingon culture where they're being put on trial by the general who is basically starting a coup. And the way it is depicted, you feel like they are in a Klingon world.
But in this. Through the fact that only Kol really talks
it, it's, it's it to, for me to see specific here, Sean, it's like L'Rell. L'Rell could have been like Gaius from Battlestar Galactica, yeah. Where he's this kind of delicious villain that will do whatever he needs to do to weasel his weight out of whatever situation he's in.
And you kind of like really get into that character because he's kind of charming, even though he is a jerk. It's like L'Rell is kind of like she's out to kind of protect herself and she keeps flipping sides and whatever's convenient. She's basically doing what Gaius did in Battlestar Galactica. Yeah. But there's no, there's no depth to the character.
It's all very surface level. And there's like, when she's getting caught in a lie through that thick makeup, there's never a flash of you. You can tell, oh, she's trying to puzzle her way out of this one. It's like, no, it's just like suddenly she's saying something completely different. It's like, this goes against what you just said before, but like there was no.
It feels like you're looking at somebody through a mask, literally. Yeah. Yeah. And so it's like there's, there's, there's no connection to what's happening. And they could have handled it differently and they could have made L'Rell this really compelling, like weaseling her way through everything because she
could been a lot of fun in Next Generation.
You have the sisters of Yeah. Drot who, yeah. Uh, dross, who's, you know, their machinations go on for years and mm-hmm. They're played very, they chew the scenery every time they're on camera or when Picard goes to the Klingon home world in response to Wharf's family dilemma. Yeah. And you feel like Picard is in foreign territory.
He's in a place where he's like, he knows he is not the one who's gonna call the shots. This is a totally different environment, and even though you only have a few actors talking, you feel like it's, you are completely immersed in it. It doesn't work as much in this. And I think it's not for a lack of trying.
I think that they did do things to really try to push the, these aren't humans and the Klingon culture is harsh. One of the things I want to, I wanna see if you interpreted this in the same way I did, where they put L'Rell, I interpreted that is they've been sticking their prisoners into a room and then simply not feeding them.
Yeah. And I interpreted that as the Klingons who were put in that room were eating each other. Yep. Eating the dead. Mm-hmm. And then themselves eventually dying and more people thrown in and it was a room full of half eaten corpses. And when you see that room is discovered, because that is also where they've put Cornwell, after L'Rell, effectively paralyzes her in a poorly conceived escape attempt to say to Cornwell.
If I get us outta here, you've gotta give me sanctuary, so let's go. They get caught part way through a hallway. She then takes Cornwell, smashes her against the wall, breaking her back, and then both of them get thrown into this room of half eaten corpses. When Tyler and Burnham find them there. L'Rell does not look good.
She has clearly been beaten and it is unclear as to whether she has begun to consume any of these corpses around Cornwell Still alive, but we see, like, I see stuff like that and I'm like, they're trying, they're trying some things to give us this really alien, like that room was the only room where I felt like, like, oh, it's about the Klingons in this room.
Yeah. Yeah, the fight on the bridge doesn't feel quite the same. No. There's even an aspect to it where Burnham says at one point Klingon, you know, like Klingon bridges are larger than ours. And I'm like, where in any of star Trek have we seen a Klingon bridge that looks anything like this? And it like the depiction of it is like we're learning about Klingon and like now you're actually contradicting everything we do know about Klingons.
Klingon exactly are always depicted as a little too cramped, a little too small. The Klingon always appear like they're on top of each other and like they're all like kind of like jostling for elbow room and ready to fight at a moment's notice. Largely probably out of a sense of claustrophobia. I always got a sense in the Klingon depictions that Klingons act as aggressively as they do because they don't have enough alone time.
Like, like I need to go be where I can't be around other people right now, but you're all right on top of me. So everybody's ready to go at any moment. So the description and the depiction of this ship doesn't really mesh with that. So there's aspects of that that are a little jarring, and it's not, I'm all for newness and I actually am on board with the depiction of Klingon with all this extra makeup.
I'm okay with all of that. I, it's like, I, I think, I feel like I understood what they were going for, but there are certain aspects of it that just always feel like they didn't really think that through completely. No, it doesn't really jive with what we know or what we're anticipating. And it's okay to lead elements, lead elements in a show that slowly bring the audience into a deviation of previous depictions and explain, yeah.
Okay. There's a reason why this is different. And an audience will follow you into a lot of those places. This feels a little more jarring. The, the way that this stuff is presented feels a little more jarring. Yeah, yeah, no, I agree with that. To keep it in the Klingon stuff and the L'Rell stuff and the Tyler's stuff, the triumvirate of the three of them, the depictions of very, obviously he has a rape flashback.
He has P T S D and torture, torture, flashback. And he reveals to Burnham, I had to do, I had to make a choice to survive and I made a choice. And that choice was, I would even encourage what she was clearly interested in in order to stay alive. So there are a lot of moving parts in how that's presented.
It's presented as unreliable flashback. It is presented as P T S D. It is res, it is presented as a prisoner doing whatever they have to, to get out of terrible situation. And there is also. Aside to it, which is hard to interpret, I think when L'Rell says to Tyler in one scene, yeah, I will not let them hurt you.
Yeah. The, and it's almost time. So there are aspects to this that it's like on one side you can say like, I see all this storytelling being about true hardship and turmoil and ways people get through it, and the scars that leaves behind. And then there's the other side, which is this very murky, like, what are they talking about?
Yeah. Like what? And not, and not like poorly written, just like, oh, they're, they're holding something back. And what is that thing? Yeah. I, yeah, I love that. How do you feel about like this big ball of turmoil and trauma and how do you feel about all that? This ties into
what I was saying before is the show is not lying to us, but they are.
Leaving things out. So it's all about how, how we're perceiving the information at this moment and then, then later when additional information is dropped, re perceiving what we got before. And it's not that it was a lie, it was, we didn't have all the facts. I love that cuz it did. I, I was really admiring all these flashbacks that ptsd, the what looks like torture and the things he's going through.
I remember watching the first time and thinking, wow, this guy went through some horrible stuff. And then when it comes to L'Rell at the end saying, I won't let them hurt you. It's that, what the hell is going on here? There's something else going.
His flashback, the way he
drops to his knees and he's like looking at her from his knees.
It's just like, what? No, there's something, there's something that's gotta be beyond what we've already been seeing. And I
just really, and flashback is clearly Klingon mating ritual. It is, yeah. Aggressive. It looks painful. It does not. It there's, it does not look romantic. It looks visceral and it does look like rape.
And it is, but it's mixed up with this response from her, which seems so caretaking and so loving. And it's, yeah. So it really is at odds with like what we would anticipate her being like in that moment. Yep. Yep. So it adds, it adds a really interesting wrinkle. Just finally like big picture for me. I just wanted to share a couple of thoughts about things that stood out as moments that I, that I really liked in the episode.
Um, I thought the action sequences, the battle on the Klingon bridge, the fight with Saru. Mm-hmm. I think they were well done. I think they added a nice, you know, star Trek has always been about, let's talk, what about what it means to be at peace? And let's also show people throwing each other around the engineering room.
Like it's always been. An action show as well as a philosophical show. That's one of the pieces of magic, of Star Trek. I think that the action sequences in this, in these two episodes, I think they did that well and they show Burnham able to holding her own against. I think it's a nice setup that you see her fighting.
Somebody who she's clearly outmatched by who's a friend in the first episode, and then she goes toe to toe with the person who has benefited the most from the opposing side and she's able to hold her own in both those situations. She's barely able to defeat Saru and she effectively doesn't defeat Kol.
She just escapes. Yeah. So that's, that's a nice element. I also liked the space battle sequences. I thought that they were well choreographed and added a, again, a lot of fun to the show showing what discovery can do, especially during the sequence where discovery is bouncing all over the place, taking readings and the Klingons, basically like they're doing something we do not know what, and Kol's very appropriate thought of like, let's get the hell outta here.
Cause they're doing something and I don't know what it is, so let's not stay around. Like he's a wise commander. Yeah. And ultimately I also liked. The conclusion of that with discovery, being able to now clearly see their, their research has worked. They can spot the cloak ship and they blow it outta space.
And I like that sequence of, you see the torpedoes raining down on the ship from Kol's perspective and the camera backing up the fireball takes everybody. It's a nice, it's a nice, uh, the sequence. Best bit of that
though. The best bit of that though is on the, is on the discovery when Lorca just starts walking towards the view screen and, and basically says, drops in his eyes, fire, but din dink fire.
And it was like, cuz he wanted to be able to watch the explosion without hurting his eyes. Yeah. Yeah. Very subtle. Oh, this is, he's gonna enjoy watching this thing explode. Yeah. It's, that was another bit of like foreshadowing about Lorca and his motivations. He's taking glee. Yeah. Out watching an entire ship of beings
get destroyed, get blown up space.
Oh, that's, yeah. I also liked from Lorca the speech he gives before they go into battle. Yeah. And he makes, and it's a moment where, and with Lorca, they've done a, a magnificent job. We've already talked about the fact that revelations are coming. There's like, there are things underground that we don't yet know for certain.
But one of the things that they did a great job of doing is they give you that, like I've, I compared him previously to the mad scientist in a gothic horror film where it's, there's this imposing castle and it's got lightning behind it and it's a dark and stormy night. And you get up there and this, this mad scientist is at work doing something that they shouldn't be doing.
There's an aspect to that of him. And yet at the same time, they present you with a captain who is able to motivate. And bring a crew together under extraordinary circumstances to the point where when he disobeys orders in this episode, he simply says to the crew, I don't think we should be leaving. We gotta stay here and defend the Pahvlons.
And everybody on board is like, yep, they're with him. And then he makes a speech before going to battle, which is a rallying speech. It is comparable to something the Picard or Kirk would say, you're the best crew in the fleet. We have a terrible thing to have to do. It's going to be hard. Not all of us may come back, but we have to do it.
And we know that. And he makes the point of saying, when you all came together, you were just a group of scientists trying to do research. Now you're battle hardened warriors. And it's a moving speech. It's, he is a good leader. And that is one of the aspects of this that I think is terrific is that he is presented as this guy who's like, yeah, he's hiding a lot of stuff, but.
Yeah. Like he knows what he is doing. He's like, yeah. So whatever his alternative motives are like doesn't make me not like him. I actually do like him. So yeah, that for me really stood out as like one of the big elements of this show, feeling like, I really like this guy and yet I recognize, Hmm, he shouldn't be doing that.
Please shouldn't be punching numbers into his chair. Uh, and I think this is something you said just a few minutes ago, I don't recall recognizing that he was doing something into his chair. The first time I watched this and this time I was like, oh yeah. Like I think the first time I ever watched it, I was like, oh, they left to some place where they don't know because Stamets is so tired.
Yeah. This time through, I was like, oh yeah, okay. Yeah, they didn't hide it. It wasn't Stamet's fault. It was Lorca. It wasn't. It was. It was clearly Lorca doing this. So before we end this episode, just wanted to invite our listeners to jump into the comments. What did you think about this pairing of episodes?
Did you agree that it works nicely to set up a bunch of revelations coming up, even if you don't know what's coming? I'm curious, do you feel like this is laying a trail of breadcrumbs that make you want to keep moving forward and finding out more information? Also, jump into the comments and share your thoughts on what the next episode will be about, which is titled Despite Yourself, and please remember wrong Answers Only and interesting that this next episode is episode 10.
This is post winter break. So, Into the forest I go aired on November 12th, 2017. Episode 10 is considered chapter two of the series, and it aired on January 7th, 2018. So there was a break there. And it's also nice to see the director of the next episode one Jonathan Frakes. So there we go. It'll be nice to see his work behind the camera once again.
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