selenak: (Skyisthelimit by Craterdweller)
[personal profile] selenak
In which Spock would be proud of Michael Burnham, while all previous Security Chiefs of Starfleet facepalm.



Seriously, I can't muster any indignation or sadness at Landry's death when the show went out of its way to give her not a single positive trait before she went, and on the contrary let her only display dumb thuggishness that screams to the skies "this character will be killed off" in addition to "how did she survive this long?". Never mind ethics, if you have a creature provenly able to make mincemeat out of Klingons in attack mode and have no idea whether sedation even works, or whether or not it can sense your intentions, what makes you think removing the one thing that confines it so you can harm it is a good idea? With no backup whatsoever other than a woman who strongly disagrees with your course of action? On a ship in space where everyone could end up dead if the creature gets out again? The idiocy, it knows no bounds. (Really, this makes Worf's palling around with puritan terrorists on Risa look good, and that's saying something.)

Of course, this was to offset Burnham's storyline which seems to be directly inspired from the Spock & Horta tradition of "seemingly monstrous being is approached with understanding instead of shoot first violence, reveals true nature", which is very Star Trek and in the current climate more needed than ever. I especially approve of the fact Burnham argued based on logic (they didn't enough nearly enough data to know what the Tardivore (spelling?) was like, whether or not it was sentient, what its goals were) as well as ethics, and that both weren't presented as mutually contradictory but benefitting each other. Considering media in the last decade or so has all too often presented intellect by necessity meaning either emotional or ethical blind spots I highly approve of post-pilot Burnham displaying smarts, ethics and strong emotions combined.

Which isn't to say she's presented as perfect. She could have simply told Saru why she wanted him in the lab instead of using a pretext, and given their history, not doing so was an extra mistake. I continue to love their scenes together, though I hope we'll see Saru in a context unrelated to Burnham soon. Post TOS Trek is ensemble-tastic, producers, so give me a Saru episode, a Tilly episode, a Stamis episode so I can get to know these people from their own pov in addition to Michael Burnham's! Of the three, Stamis is the one currently given some narrative space that's about his own problem (his science commandeered by Starfleet and the fact the man currently in charge of it and him is someone he can't completely trust), and his interactions with Burnham have gone from hostile to prickly but respectful of her suggestions, so that's good. Also, while I tried to keep spoilerfree, I did come across someone saying he's supposed to be gay, which makes me wonder whether the bit of banter with the ship's doctor means to signal UST and this is going to be our first on screen, not limited to a silent ten seconds m/m relation in Trek?

Be that as it may, the relationship this episode does clearly set up is the one between Voq and L'Rell (spelling?), and so far, so good. I still pity all the actors playing Klingons for having to put up with these horrid prostetics, but they seem to be somewhat more comfortable with the fictional language they're speaking and do express emotions through the prosthetics here. L'Rell being the practical veteran of intrigues to Voq's idealist works for me, and both of them for now outcast and stranded on the remains of the Sheonzu is a twist I hadn't seen coming for the Klingon storyline. (I think I can even spy a thematic connection to the human main plot - it's the B5 spinoff Crusade question, "Who do you trust?" Which is one of Burnham's big challenges on Discovery, also Saru's with her, and whether or not Voq and L'Rell can trust each other and keep doing so is theirs.) Mind you, the Klingon scene also make mincemeat, no awful pun intended, out of the hope I've seen expressed in some reviews that Captain Georgiu will turn out to be only mostly dead, with a Winter Soldier type resurrection planned, by letting it stated in dialogue that her remains got eaten. (Is this some leftover thing from Hannibal, Fuller, giving eat-your-enemies tactics to the Klingons? Because they definitely didn't do that, even in stories of their mythical past, in previous Trek incarnations.)

Plot: let's not think too hard about why the strategically crucial Dilithium mines weren't better guarded, it falls into the same category of "the Enterprise is always the sole ship in the vicinity" plot demands the movies and occasionally the tv shows excell at. Otoh Lorca, while continuing to demonstrate shadiness, also gets to demonstrate tactical abilities by pulling off that maneuvre that tricks the Klingon vessels into taking out each other, which is all for the good. (I want my shady and potentially evil or at least antiheroic characters to be competent. See also: above as to who distinctly wasn't.)

Tearjerker of the episode: predictably, Philippa Georgiu's last will message for Michael Burnham. At a guess, either the telescope or the holo message will be used again. (See also: Tasha Yar's last holo message and the meaning it had for Data on TNG.)

Date: 10 Oct 2017 08:03 (UTC)
saturnofthemoon: (Enterprise)
From: [personal profile] saturnofthemoon
I'm not sure if the Klingons ate Georgiou as a ritual or because they were starving. It was pretty vague.

I'm really enjoying the relationship between Burnham and Saru. Their relationship may be prickly, but they still carry a certain respect for one another. In other words, its not as "in your face argumentative" as some of the other interactions I've seen on Discovery.

I'm wondering how Saru became Discovery's First Officer given that he's such a straight man compared to Lorca, but Starfleet command might have assigned him for precisely that reason.

Date: 10 Oct 2017 08:27 (UTC)
lilacsigil: Uhura Barbie (uhura barbie)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
I agree that Landry's death was stupid, but I think more broadly it's part of showing us that Lorca is not the good, trustworthy captain that we're used to seeing in Star Trek. The speech he gave to Stamets about how Stamets wants to be remembered in history could be seen as inspiring, but it's extremely self-serving, as we see when he immediately plays the recording of the besieged minors across the whole ship, meaning that Stamets has to shut up about his ethics and (reasonable!) scientific and safety concerns or look like a selfish jerk. Lorca pushed Landry to get results right now and she got killed; he pushed Burnham too, but she pushed back as much as she can in her current position, and the scene with her feeding the tardigrade I think reinforces that what Lorca is doing is flat out unethical and wrong.

I was wondering why L'Rell was easier to understand than the other Klingons and thinking maybe it was to do with her higher voice, but when I looked up the actor it turned out she had speech awards from Juilliard, so I guess she's just better at it!

Date: 10 Oct 2017 08:37 (UTC)
4thofeleven: (Default)
From: [personal profile] 4thofeleven
The thing that got me about Landry's death is I was assuming, since she was focused on the creature's claws and hide, that she'd be pushing to kill and dissect it, and that'd be a source of conflict.

But no, and she ends up dying because while she's ruthless enough to want to rip bits off it, she's not ruthless enough to euthanize it first?!

Date: 10 Oct 2017 08:59 (UTC)
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
From: [personal profile] chelseagirl
I thought Stamets was gay, for no actual reason, but it's about time.

Date: 10 Oct 2017 11:18 (UTC)
dalmeny: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dalmeny
Tardigrades are amazing even when not navigating Dune-style in space.

Date: 11 Oct 2017 01:10 (UTC)
kernezelda: (FB Car Wars)
From: [personal profile] kernezelda
OT thought about Discovery and Hannibal. Hannibal's 2nd episode featured a character named Eldon Stammets who buried people alive as fertilizer for mushroom crops; Discovery has Paul Stamets, whose career is focused on mycelium development. If I looked at other shows Bryan Fuller's written, would I find other Stamets/Stammets and their fungal affection?
Edited Date: 11 Oct 2017 01:11 (UTC)

Date: 11 Oct 2017 23:21 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] yabyumpan
There is an actual Paul Stamets who's a Mushroom Guy and was the inspiration for Discovery's Paul Stamets. He was on the third netflix After Trek show. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Stamets

Hope you don't mind me butting in ;o) I love reading your reviews Selenak

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