Join Sean and Matt as they rewatch all of Star Trek in order and in historical context.
In today's episode of Trek in Time, we're going to be talking about how brothers can be a terrible burden. That's right. We'll also be talking about Star Trek. That's right everybody, we'll be talking about Star Trek Discovery. Season two, episode one, after a brief break from the continuity that has felt continuous, we finally had our first moment of, um, we need to weave something older in with something newer.
So we revisited the cage last week in which we met Captain Pike for the first time. And now we're on to the episode brother in which Captain Pike and the Enterprise comes in contact with the Discovery Welcome everybody to Trek in Time, where we're watching every episode of Star Trek in chronological order. We're also taking a look at the world at the time of original broadcast.
So we're looking at things right now. We've returned to 2019. And if memory serves me correctly, it was a very quiet year. There wasn't a lot happening, but we'll try to dig deep into the history books and see if we can't unearth some interesting little nuggets. And who are we? Well, I'm Sean Ferrell. I'm a writer.
I write sci fi. I write some stuff for kids, including the most recently released The Sinister Secrets of Singe, which is available in bookstores everywhere. 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 doing today?
I'm tired because I'm dealing with my house move and going back and forth between the new house and the current house, which there's quite a distance between the two. So it's always a big trek, get it? Trek? Um, Well done. Yes, I gotta say, it was nice taking a little break a couple days ago to watch this episode.
It was just a kick up in a room full of boxes. It looks like we've, our living rooms exploded, but the TV still works and I was able to watch this and it was a lot of
fun. How about you? How are you doing? Uh, we're in a similar sort of emotional. Panic, because we're preparing for my son to head off to college.
So we are, our living room is not impacted in any way, shape or form, but my heart is full of boxes. Oh, Sean. But luckily my TV works and I was able to watch this episode and I really enjoyed it. Before we get into our conversation about the current episode that we're talking about in Discovery, we always like to revisit the mailbag and take a look at your comments for previous episodes.
So Matt, what have you found in the mailbag this week?
Well, all the comments I wanted to cite are from episode 108, The Cage, which is what we just referenced before. This, that episode got a lot of engagement, Sean. Um, people were clearly very interested in us kind of like jumping back in time to kind of talk about the specific episode.
Uh, one comment was from AJ Chan. I appreciate the decision to cover this single episode, The Cage, before Discovery season two, your dedication to Star Trek timeline makes this Trek in Time really unique. It's the whole point of the show. Thank you. It's kind of fun to like. Yeah. Yeah. I really appreciate that, AJ.
But it's, it's part of the fun of like, I've never watched Star Trek this way and it's kind of fun to kind of go through it in chronological order. Yeah. Um, next comment was from Technophile1, who wrote at 43 minutes into the last discussion, I agree, Matt, I'll try to be vague here. I don't know if this is intentional, but did you also catch the similarity with Spock's accident in Strange New Worlds?
The Talosions in this epi, the Talosions in this episode, talking about how they saved Vena, but they didn't know how a human was supposed to look. Star Trek New World made a great callback to this setting up exactly why Spock was more affable. Star Trek New World is so much better at trying the, uh, at tying the canon together.
Shakes fist at Discovery . I agree. I really do agree. Sean, you haven't seen the episode he's, he's kind of hinting at, but there is an episode that. I, I didn't catch it at the time of watching the Strange New Worlds episode, but when we watched The Cage, my mind was kind of blowing, like sparks were going off of like, wow, the creators of Strange New Worlds are like hardcore Star Trek fans and are really kind of pulling all the threads together and pulling things together in an interesting new way.
It's a lot of fun. Look forward to that. And then there's a comment from Dan Sims. I love the crossovers the different series have with each other. And speaking of Strange New Worlds, one of the latest episodes that had a crossover with Lower Decks, So darn fun. Can hardly wait till you guys get to that one.
After Sean and I finished recording last week, I brought this up to Sean saying, I just watched the Crossover episode and it blew my mind. I was having so much fun with it. It's great when a show doesn't take itself too seriously, and it can have fun and be playful, and doesn't feel like it's doing itself a disservice.
It's, it's a, oh man, I can't wait till we get to that one, Sean. You're going to love it.
I look forward to all that too. And I'm excited about the fact that it's basically just around the corner. You know, we have season two here and then season three, I believe, when then there's the big break. And then we will be moving on to the older series.
I look forward to jumping into. Strange new worlds and being able to experience some of that so close to its broadcast, even though I'm not able to keep up with it right now. That sound in the background you hear is of course the read alert, which can only mean one thing. Matt, it's time for you to get ready, buckle up, and tackle the Wikipedia description.
Are we reading
this whole thing?
Oh my god. Yes, that big block of text, that's you. Yes, that's...
Woo! Okay everybody, strap yourselves in, this is going to be quite a ride. Okay. En route to Vulcan to pick up its new captain after Gabriel Lorca betrayed the crew during the Federation Klingon War, the USS Discovery receives a distress call from the USS Enterprise.
Captain Christopher Pike takes emergency command, explaining that the Enterprise suffered catastrophic damage while investigating seven mysterious signals scattered across the galaxy. Six signals have since disappeared, and when Discovery arrives at the seventh location, it also disappears. There, the crew discovers the wreckage of the USS Hiawatha, which has been believed was believed to have been lost during the war on an asteroid composed of non baryonic.
is that baryonic? Yes. Yes. Non baryonic matter. Instead they find Chief Engineer Jet Reno. I freaking love Tig Notaro in this. Uh, Jen Reno nursing the last survivors. While helping them off the asteroid, Commander Michael Burnham sees what she describes as a red angel. Burnham visits the Enterprise to search the quarters of her foster brother, Spock, who Pike reveals is on leave of absence from Starfleet.
She discovers a file from Spock's log that describes nightmares of the seven signals he has had since childhood. Bum bum bum. Three major news stories from January No. Okay. You stop.
You, you Okay. Yeah, that's in the wrong place. Yeah.
Yeah. Okay. So let me just... Okay. Yeah, the way you understood that it was a block because the...
It looks like one massive block of bold text all strung together, but it's actually... Sorry
about that. Cutting and pasting got away from me. This is of course... This is Season 2, Episode 1, directed by Alex Kurtzman, written by Ted Sullivan, Gretchen J. Berg, and Aaron Herberts, and it originally aired on January 17th, 2019.
The main cast is as usual Sonequa Martin Green as Michael Burnham, Doug Jones as Saru, Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Sylvia Tilly. Guest actors include Wilson Cruz as Hugh Culber. Anson Mount as Christopher Pike, Rachel Antrill as Commander Nhan, and Sean Connolly Affleck as Evan Connolly.
We've got the introduction now of Captain Pike in the contemporary Trek, and of course he is not played by the original actor because the original actor sadly died before the original series was even broadcast. Also, he would be at this point ancient. And would be far too old to play the young Captain Pike.
So we have Anson Mount in the role, and Anson Mount had previously starred as Colin Bohannon in the AMC series Hell on Wheels. He also had a recurring role in shows such as Law and Order Special Victims Unit and Conviction. Mount also appeared in films like The Forger and Nonstop. Rachel Anterell, who plays the recently introduced Commander Nhan, was known for various roles like Guest appearances in shows like Winona Earp, Rookie Blue, and Killjoys, and she also appeared in the film, The Trotsky, prior to acting, she had been a competitive figure skater and coach.
So, at the time of original broadcast, January 17th, 2019, Matt, I know most people. Would be hard pressed to remember when they were dancing along to Sicko Mode by Travis Scott. But I know that when I say that song title, you're like, oh, you mean the number one streaming song from January 17th, 2019, and at the box office people were, I wouldn't call it rushing.
It made $20 million. The movie, that was the number one film at the box office that week was the upside. Matt, quickly, without reading what I've written in our notes, do you remember what the upside is? Isn't it about a
football, is it
a football movie? No.
No? No. I have no clue what it is.
It is an American comedy drama, written by John Hartmire.
It's a remake of a French film. And the film follows a paralyzed billionaire, played by Bryan Cranston, who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a recent paroled convict, Kevin Hart, whom he hires to take care of him. It sounds, mmm, questionable? Yes. Yes. And on television, the most watched streaming series of 2019, as we've now leapt from Discovery Season 1 in 2018 into 2019, we're restarting what the top shows were.
And from TVTime. com, their compilation of the most streamed series leaves us with the new number one, which is Lucifer, which was a show that was available originally, I believe on NBC. And in the news, January 17th, 2019, major news stories from that day included British Parliament rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal in an historic vote and people who were paying attention to international news or Depending on where you live, maybe local news in the UK, the United Kingdom, the British parliament went through a fit of, I forget how many prime ministers in a very brief window of time, post Brexit, because once Brexit broke it, nobody knew how to fix it.
There was also around the 17th of January, a massive winter storm hitting the Eastern coast of the United States, which caused travel disruptions and power outages. And also the United States government announced criminal charges against Chinese tech giant Huawei and its CFO for violating U. S.
sanctions against Iran. Basically the U. S. sanctions in Iran are intended to curtail the development of a nuclear program. And Huawei and the CFO there were involved in selling them technology which would be used in that very industry. So for our discussion of this episode, I wanted to talk a bit. In the same mode that we talked about last week, casting choices, character setups were introduced to Anson Mount as Captain Pike and of course Jeffrey Archer who was Introduced originally as the original captain of the Enterprise, and one of our big conversation points around him was the approach, both his choices, the directorial choices, and the writing choices around a captain who appears burnt out and angry in that episode, and how it would have sent a very different vibe forward in the show and then in the retooling, they went with
Someone with a lot more swagger, a lot more, uh, very
and a very different idealistic, I can overcome any problem energy of a younger Captain Kirk. So, I'm curious, what do you see here, I'm asking two questions in one. What do you see here in this Captain Pike, who resembles the Captain Pike we saw in the cage?
And what do you see here in Anson Mount? That resembles what we saw in Jeffery Archer and also contrasting the two. What do you see that was a different choice that you appreciated or maybe struck you in an interesting way? Well,
what I thought was interesting was they kept, obviously, the very, he's very on his feet, quick thinking in, I think, both.
And I think they kept that well. The anger, though, that seething anger that was underneath the previous performance, like, I was like, that's a weird choice. It wasn't gone, but it was like way dialed back, and what I thought the way that they manifested it was really clever, because there was two ways that it kind of manifested, one was, there was this pent up anger and frustration that they were sidelined during the war, and they were told to stay so far out there and not help, and then he's back in the thrust of it, and he wants to just help and just do the thing to kind of fix everything, and it's this kind of like survivor's guilt.
That is manifesting a little bit of anger. I was like, perfect. Just a little dash of that. Just like a little spice. And then the other way it manifested was in the original one. You remember how we commented about how he barked at people on the bridge, like the woman on the bridge. And I was like, this is weird.
He's just like snapping people left and right, like yelling at people and they're just doing their job. What's going on. They actually had him do that to Burnham on this episode where she starts to kind of discuss about like, well, this means this and this, and he's like, that's not what I'm asking. Stop it.
And basically reprimands her. And she says, I was getting to that and basically throws it in his face. And he kind of gets that sheepish, like, Oh yeah. Okay. I was a little too hot headed there. And you can see that he regretted his, his choice. And That was just a nice, just enough of a callback to the original performance without making it feeling like the doctor had to come flying on the bridge and give him a shot of whiskey to calm him
down, which would have been a great scene to have
show up with a hypodermic and just be like, what is that?
Whiskey! Straight in your veins!
Yeah. But I thought, I thought they did a really good job staying true to the character, but with The subtlety that was missing in the original portrayal. I thought they did a good job of that.
What did you think? I completely agree. I was very, very impressed with, I remember the first time I saw this episode, it was just, Oh, neat, Captain Pike.
This is interesting. What will they do with all of this? And this time, because we had just watched the cage, I was like, Oh, this is full of very good choices. Because they have to show effectively we, we got some, uh, applause in the comments for having reorganized our viewing schedule to incorporate the cage.
Technically we should have watched the cage before we started discovery because in the timeline, the events of the cage are actually supposed to be about two years earlier. So we. Got it right in one way and that we remember the cage should be watched before we introduce Captain Pike, but we got it wrong in a bigger way, which was, Oh, yeah, we should have had that episode far earlier.
So one of the things that stood out to me is you have some time after the cage where he ends the episode with kind of a reinvigorated. I understand my place in the universe. I understand that I'm in the best role for me because his desire to throw it all away and just to live somewhere. In Mojave and not worry about big pictured decision making is all kind of wrapped up by the end of the cage.
And now we're seeing somebody with a couple of years of processing some of that, which I really appreciated that that is demonstrated in the form of how he approaches being a visiting captain. He knows it is a charged situation, but he doesn't run in with that kind of like, just get out of my way anger, which effectively like would be Lorca.
It's an interesting dynamic when he keeps saying, I understand your lack of trust, I completely get it, and all the protocols that they have in place of the DNA testing to prove that he's who he says he is, is born completely of Lorca, so His owning of all of that shows somebody who's had time to process his instinctive response to certain things, his impatience with various, what he sees as questioning is what makes it feel like it's the same character.
And those choices I thought were perfectly done his impatience while also being he's. Just like Jeffery Archer, uh, the Captain Pike under Jeffery Archer was a little improper towards some of the female members of his crew in certain ways by completely calling them out in rude ways in public, but also he had a bit of a wandering eye.
He ogled the yeoman. There was, there was that 1960s charged, like, this is workplace harassment, but the sixties thinks it's cool sort of attitude. It's here as well in his playfulness toward Tilly. He's giving her a look that is just kind of like, I'm just kind of enjoying hanging out with you here for this moment and in a different way.
It doesn't come across as sexual. It doesn't come across as sexual. It comes across as playful and yes. He even says to Michael Burnham, okay, we're going to go do these things and we're going to do our job, but let's not forget to have fun while we're doing it. It is effectively a character voicing what season two will have different from season one.
Season one came in and said, it's the first Star Trek you've got new on television in more than a decade. And then it was very dark and it was very serious. And now here you have the antithesis of that. A captain showing up, the character literally telling the audience, Hey, we're here to have fun. Let's not forget to do that.
I think that that really works well.
There's also a scene on the bridge when he does that whole like introducing himself. I'm not the same thing. There's a point where he goes, okay, around the room, who are you? No ranks, just who are you and what do you do? And it was just like everybody's just introducing them by their first names and just saying
They did not do. We don't know some of those character names in season one at all. So here's an opportunity. It feels very much like a giant reset button has been set. It was. And it's kind of a secret reset button, which I think is, it really works.
It really, was also a great touch of him because he said, we're here to have fun.
He's not all about proper, um, like military, you know, formalities. It's literally, who the hell are you? Oh, you're Burnham? I'll call you Burnham. Like, it's not, you're not lieutenant, you're not commander. It's just, who the hell are you? I'm going to deal with you. And the playfulness with Tilly, all of that stuff, I thought was a great introduction to him as a character and kind of making him, like you said, the anti lorca.
It was, I
loved it. And they play with the tension, they create tension naturally. I think they had good instincts around when he first shows up, the tension around it is, we don't know who, what kind of captain he's going to be, the Lorca ness of it, overshadowing everything, and he comes aboard with a couple of people that you're not sure don't have nefarious attitudes, especially in the fact that Connolly is presented as basically a jerk.
And they fall into a little bit of the old TV writing trap, which is if you're going to kill somebody, make sure the audience doesn't like him so that when he dies, you have a sense of like, well, he kind of deserved it because. I think it, I think it all stems back to, uh, Alfred Hitchcock had a film in which he showed a child on a bus and a person on the bus had a bomb and then the bomb explodes and audiences were absolutely aghast at the time that a film included the killing of an innocent child.
I think the ripples of that continue to lurk in our TV and movie storytelling where all too often it is easy to see. A group of people walk in who are supposed to be on your side. There's one person who is clearly a jerk. And you can say in five minutes, that character is going to die. And it happens in every sci fi and horror film and fantasy.
Like, Oh yeah, the one who's a jerk, they're going to turn into a toad or something. Um, so Connelly is filling that role here, but when they first show up, I thought it was very well done to give it a sense of tension of what is their goal here. And then by the end of it, you have a very nice. Kind of relationship where Pike says, it's going to be a co parenting relationship between me and me and Saru.
He doesn't want to take Saru's captaincy from him. He understand the awkwardness of this. He is also in the role of being the captain of the enterprise. And one of the things that Star Trek has consistently done is demonstrated that within Starfleet, the captain of the enterprise is effectively seen as an in the field admiral.
Whether they are or not, so they have a lot of sway and a lot of swagger. They're the leader of the fleet effective. We see that explicitly with Captain Picard when he shows up at a battle site and says, this is Captain Picard of the Enterprise, I'm taking command. It's nobody, everybody falls in line. So we see that here when Pike shows up and he's the captain of the Enterprise and he says, I'm taking command, Saru doesn't even say, well, I'm going to have to speak with Starfleet first.
It is just like. Once we know who you are, you're in command. That's it. But
he also does challenge it. He goes, there's only three things that could happen that would mean this is happening. And I love the way he rolls through all of them and Pike's like, it's all three. This
is, this is serious stuff. So to get onto the all three ness of it, the second thing I wanted to talk about is the plot here.
The, we are given a plot, which at first you think you have an A and a B plot. And by the end, you're like, Oh no, we don't have an A and a B plot. We just have. One plot. An A plot. There is the family stuff between Sarek, which I think the return of Sarek, the relationship with him and Burnham demonstrates an evolution.
There's a closeness here that wasn't evident in the first season. Sarek is smiling a little bit at her. He has opened up. He has removed some of the barrier. They
have a bond that does not exist between him and Spock. They have a very nice bond. So it's like it's clear she's kinda like The favorite child, which is kind of unfortunate.
Yes, it is unfortunate. And it is. Sarek talks about Spock of like, it's been years since I spoke to him and she is reflecting the same difficulty and carries a lot of guilt into everything.
actually say, I had not expected to see Spock again?
Yes. Yes, he does. I had
never when he said that my heart sank. I was like, Oh my God. He basically thought his son would never talk to him again. It's like talk about
a rift. So here we have this relationship where. She and her adoptive father have A bond that is missing with Spock and her pain around her guilt of feeling like she's responsible for being a wedge both between her and Spock and between Spock and his family is demonstrated and we've by the end of the episode we see that the seven lights the mysterious signals from space that the Enterprise has been chasing Spock taking time off Burnham's attempts and hope to see her brother And even Sarek's hopes to see Spock are being dashed, and then we begin to see them all line up in the sense that we are revealed, uh, we have revealed to us a young Spock who is a troubled child.
He is having difficulty finding his place. This is something that will be revisited again and again and again as we talk about the Spock character, especially as we get into the original series and beyond. And here we see him portrayed beautifully by a young actor who brings to the screen a young Spock who is trying to process a lot of very difficult emotions around a sense of displacement, the introduction of a stranger into his home whose mother clearly Connects with because as a full human, his mother is connecting to this little girl who needs help in a desperate way and Spock's empathy.
And one of the things that is shines through in this episode is what Pike says about Spock. It is effectively a reframing of Spock's line from Star Trek six, in which he says to Savick, logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end. Pike says the same thing about Spock. Spock is somebody who can tell you logically what should happen, but as a starting point, not as the goal.
And here we have a child who is instinctively trying to exhibit that. There is, in young Spock, the desire to figure out what is my place, and the difficulty of doing it while being Vulcan is creating tensions and barriers. And We hear the personal log. We see the child drawing. Burnham is able to make that connection and understand that he is encrypted within the audio files, visual files, which turns out to match identically.
The map of the galaxy with these signals that the Enterprise has been chasing. So Spock's leave of absence, the mystery of what these lights are, Pike does not yet realize when he's looking for all this that his own science officer is somehow related to all of this. So we're given a huge mystery in a tiny little nugget at the end of the episode.
What did you think about the introduction of such a big connection being a nugget at the end like that?
Um. Well, first I want to correct you. I think we should not address him as young Spock. We should address him as adorable
Spock. Yes, he is adorable.
He does. Yes, he's so cute. I don't wait. My I'm torn on this, Sean, and I have a feeling you're not going to agree with me on this, but I'm torn because there's a trope that we see a lot, and especially like science, science fiction and fantasy, where it's like the, the, the.
The building of like, like, um, destiny and like the hero character is like the centerpiece of this thing that's actually happening. The fact that they're making this so much about Burnham and Spock
crazy event that's happening in the galaxy. It's just kind of like, really? It has to be about them?
Like... Really? Really? Uh, for me, that was kind of like my part of my reaction of like, I forgot that they tied this so tightly to them. Um, but at the same time, I did like it, the storytelling aspect of it, the way that they, how they dropped that Bombshell in the end of the episode and it tied it together so nice and neat because like you said it's like we're going through the episode thinking it's an A plot and a B plot kind of interweaving okay this is interesting this is interesting at the end I was like oh no oh wow that's cool it's all together it's all one thing so I did like how they packaged it it was a it was a good delivery for making me want to watch more But then there's that voice in the back of my head.
That's like, really? You had to make it all about Burnham and Spock for this whole galaxy event. Really?
I know what you're saying. I do disagree. I think that when you have a TV series, if you don't have any kind of personal connection to the events that are taking place, you have to manufacture either a parallel in the person's lives.
And I think that that sometimes feels a little Forced. Um, and we've seen that in Star Trek before where we have the A plot and the B plot and we understand, okay, the B plot is supposed to be helping us have a visceral connection to the A plot. It's feeding us information that is going to allow us to do that kind of sewing it together on our own.
And that can sometimes not work as well. I think that the convenience of, Oh, of course the main characters accidentally stumbled onto a galactic thing is. I get what you're saying, but I kinda liked it. I kinda liked the epicness of Spock in this one. Of, yeah, I've gotta go do this thing, and I don't even quite know what it is, and people may wonder what happened to me, so I've embedded it in the right people will know.
Like that it's a message in a bottle, but he knows that the bottle might be picked up by Burnham. or somebody in his family. It's, it's very, uh, removed. It is very Spock like and it's the first time we're hearing the Spock as will be portrayed in this series, which I really liked the fact that it, it resonated. as the kind of conversation that Spock would have.
I also loved the set design in this, seeing Spock's quarters and seeing a contemporary view of, it always, you know, whenever they showed crew quarters or hallways in the original series, it always looked like a nondescript Ramada Inn from the sixties, it was always like flat panels, no color. You go into one of the quarters.
The quarters would always be strangely lit, very dark corners trying to create a sense of depth in very small sets. Basically. And Spock's Quarters famously included what looks like a musical instrument, a meditative board with bells, and this contemporary shot is, first of all, far larger than we're accustomed to seeing in, in a Star Trek Enterprise set, but also I love that it was moodily lit.
I love that it was dark. I love that it was that musical instrument. I love that the meditative bells were there and it was nicely set up to say when you looked at it, if you had, if you were not told that that was supposed to be Spock's Quarters, but you had been a fan of the original series, you would look at that and say like, Oh my God, it's Spock's Quarters.
It was really, really well done. Can
I take a quick tangent on something I really did not like? in this episode. Absolutely. When you said how you liked how they did the mood lighting and the, you would know that's a Spock quarters by looking at it. I agree a hundred percent, but there was something. In this episode that drove me nuts, the turbolift scene and, um, there was another scene.
I can't remember what scene it was, but it makes this, the ship look like a freaking Tardis. It's like, This is, this is the discovery. This is not some planet sized machine. And the turbo lift looks like it's moving on rails inside of this cavernous thing with little robots flying all over the place. That just looks like it's, Way bigger than the outside of the ship looks.
And it's like, what is going on there? And there was another scene that had something similar where they were walking through something and you could see something through the, I think maybe it was another turbolift scene. But regardless, it was like, I don't know what they were doing there. Like,
what the hell?
I had exactly the same experience. I had exactly the same experience when they went to the asteroid and were going through the ruins of the Hiawatha. Where yes, without a sense of scale, it was like, how big was this ship that, and it was supposed to be a medical frigate. So medical frigates typically you would think, okay, if it's a medical frigate, maybe it was simply bigger, but it's a scale that is really hard to kind of wrap your head around because they're walking through what looks like has had at least seven floors ripped out of it.
So they're in a cavern that is. I couldn't even imagine how big the ship was supposed to be. It was a little disorienting and I, and they're going for a sense of scale and scope. I think that, uh, maybe outreached the reality of what they're trying to convey. And so it did work. It did kind of dispel the moment for me when I was like, wait, how big was the Hiawatha?
They would be, they'd be walking in that kind of cavern. Um, but I think that that is a good opportunity for us to leap to the Hiawatha storyline. And the introduction of Reno, Jet Reno as portrayed by Tig Notaro, who came out of nowhere in this episode for me. I was literally like, wait, is that Tig Notaro? And I'm a huge fan of her comedy.
I'm a huge fan of her as an individual. She has, uh, she's an amusing podcaster and she is, she's a really charming comedian. And here she plays a role. First of all, I was like, she can act well, she can kind of act and, but effectively she's Tig Notaro, she's playing Tig Notaro as a spaceship engineer, but she really brings an interesting charm to this sequence of, yeah, I've been keeping these machines together and these machines just happen to be people and she's been doing it all by herself and she's relieved to finally see somebody show up.
I didn't have a bat left. I love that line. Uh, yeah. And she's built little robots to help herself and kept herself sane somehow, or sane enough to be able to keep crew members alive. And so is a part of the rescue effort here to get them safely off this asteroid. And really brings a sense of whimsy in an interesting way that was reminiscent to me of the original series.
she's such a playful character. That's one of the reasons I loved her. It's like, it doesn't matter if Tig Notaro is going to win an Emmy for her performance here. It's like, that's not why she's here. She's, Tig is here to be Tig. And I love Tig. It's like, I will take her any day of the week. And her, her, her personality is this character.
And so it's like, she just has to be herself. And it's, yeah. Perfect because she's got sarcastic kind of quick comebacks to people. She's very quirky and she brings a lot of fun to this engineer. And I loved the writing of her introduction because it was so organic. It comes across within 30 seconds. She is clearly Not just a great engineer.
She is an absolute brilliant engineer. Yeah. 'cause they're how, they're like the stuff that she's done and she's been here alone for 10 months and she's got these little robots. She built outta spare parts and Oh, she's keeping the crew alive and she's not even a doctor and she's like, oh. The human body is just biological machines.
He's like, she's got like this artificial heart thing from a keeping this guy alive. Like she's doing all this stuff that's a great
engineering crewman to build an artificial heart for another crewman who's not dead. And it's, it's things like that. They're really just like, okay, this is somebody who's working on a different level.
It's a nice introduction of a potential replacement for Stamets because in this episode, Stamets reveals to Tilly, I've been offered a place at the Vulcan Science Academy. I love that as a detail because it's like, okay, the Vulcan Science Academy isn't just like offering teaching positions to anybody.
So Stamets is operating clearly. At the highest of the high levels and has been offered a role and you have a very nice scene between him and Tilly, where Tilly is making all sorts of arguments for why he should stay ultimately ending with her. I just don't want you to go. And it's a very sweet moment.
It's a nice, very touching, uh, bookend compared to. Where they started the relationship, where he was mean to her, he was critical of her. He was constantly reminding everybody around him when he was first introduced in season one, leave me alone, genius at work. And here he is having a very compassionate moment with Tilly.
We also see him in a moment where he is watching a holographic recording of Culber as he's revisiting Uh, his dead husband, and it is setting up Stamets in a very different story arc of I'm on my way out and the introduction of Jet Reno feels very much like, okay, here's the potential replacement, another genius of a different type and a different kind of weirdo, which I think is a brilliant need for the show to recognize.
And by introducing Reno the way they do, they, they really do capture something special. So we are left at the end of this episode with the teaser of galactic mystery, personal connection with Spock and Burnham, and what does it mean? And a new captain who is basically saying, I'm only the new captain in certain ways.
In other ways, Saru's your guy, but don't let's forget to have fun. So in kicking off season two, it sets itself up as the antithesis of season one. And I'm curious, Matt. At the time, and as now, how does that change in tone hit you? When you originally saw this years ago, in 2019, were you like, great, and now, how do you feel about it?
time, I don't think it hit me as powerfully as it does now, and I think part of the reason for that is, I've seen the rest of Discovery once, I'm currently watching Strange New Worlds, I know where that's going, and love that show, so it's like, seeing this, I realize how much of a turning point this is.
At this moment at the time, I didn't realize how big of a turning point it was actually going to be. So I recognize, oh, they're trying to inject a little more fun in the show, but it's still discovery. It's still this new modern take on it. Um, but now rewatching it, I'm like, it looks, it really does look like the producers hit the gigantic reset button.
And said, we got to bring more fun back into the series. And bam, here we go. Here's the starting point of that. So for me, it's like the rewatch it hit, hit me harder on the rewatch than it did the first time through.
Completely agree. It feels like they really, um, owned some of the response. from season one which was there was a lot of criticism at how dark it was that it was a dark trek that people weren't prepared for and the people were really hungry for something closer to the original series and this does absolutely fit the bill so i'm looking forward to where this new season will be taking us next time we're going to be talking about
oh wait new we gotta bring up the easter egg sean at the very end of the show the when he's in the when he's in the ready room And Burnham comes in and he has leaned over
and sees this,
uh, uh, what was it?
The fortune cookie, uh, fortune that was just on the floor from Lorca. And he picks it up and he reads it and Burnham comes in, they talk and he tosses it down and they walk out and the camera zooms in on what it said. And it said, not every cage is a prison. And I was like, Oh, there you go. There's the, there's the like tip of the hat to the, the original
episode that we just watched.
And yeah, tip of the hat to the future of the character than anybody familiar with the original series will be aware of.
So next time we're going to be talking about the episode New Eden, and as usual, I invite you to jump into the comments and share your synopsis of New Eden, but wrong answers only. Also, what did you think about this episode? Do you think that it was the reset button that Matt and I have talked about it being, or did it feel like it was part of the continuity from Lorca?
Did it make sense to you that this would be the direction the show would be going? We invite you to share your thoughts in the comments. As usual, your comments are a huge part of the program, and we really do appreciate you jumping into the conversation with us before we sign off. Matt, is there anything you want to share with our viewers about what you have coming up on your main channel?
On the fact that I'm living in a time vortex cause I'm moving and I've slowed my roll on my other channel. Um, it's like, I've lost track of like what episodes coming out when I think the one that's going to, there's no episode out on the channel the week that this comes out, but the episode coming up.
The following week, I believe is on wave power, which is capturing the power of ocean waves to create an incredible amount of renewable energy, um, and why there's so much interest in it and what kind of possibilities it actually
has. As usual, it sounds very technical and very interesting. I look forward to watching that.
As for me, please look for my books anywhere you buy your books. That includes your public library. You can ask for it there. My most recent book is the Sinister Secrets of Singe, but I also have picture books and adult novels as well. If you're interested in those, you can also visit seanferrell. com and you can find out more about my writing there.
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