‘Star Trek: Discovery’ is a Show About People in Rooms, Talking

This is a subtle issue. Subtle to the point that I may just be making it up. I could be completely wrong. I’m just going to throw it out there and see if it sticks.

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ is a show full of people in rooms, talking.

I can already hear your objections, and your cries to the effect “so is basically every show, dickwad, what were you expecting?”

The best way to explain this is by example. And for once, I’m going to compare ‘Discovery’ to itself. I’m not going to bring in external sources, and I’m not going to hold it up to the standard of previous Trek shows. Just ‘Discovery’ – it’s best, versus its worst.


Storytelling Done Right

The very, very opening of ‘Discovery’, waaaaay way back when Captain Georgiou was a role model and not a cliché, before we even had that fucking awful opening theme song inflicted upon us, had a great little scene. A few parts of that cold-open were a bit shonky, but there was a great bit at the end where, unable to communicate their location to the ship, Georgiou starts walking randomly in the sand.

As she and Burnham walk, they talk about how they would react to being stuck on the planet, but there’s a dynamic to the scene created by the fact that Georgiou is clearly up to something, and Burnham can’t understand what it is. There’s a power tilt, which ultimately ends in the reveal of the Shenzhou and Georgiou’s plan all along – to trace out the Starfleet emblem in the sand.

It’s a good moment.

Here are some other good moments throughout the series:

  • In the second episode, Burnham negotiating her escape from the destroyed brig with an impassive, disembodied computer that is bound by simple rules. She’s clearly smarter than the supercomputer, but also completely at its mercy.
  • When the away team boards the Glenn in the third episode, ‘Context is for Kings’, and meets the shushing Klingon, followed by the tardigrade chase. The scene shifts from muted tension to dramatic action via a bit of humanising light-heartedness.
  • The final Mudd scene in ‘Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad’ is total garbage because of the “And now your punishment – a girlfriend!” element, but the lead-up to it, with Mudd strolling the corridors with the three Starfleet officers, completely confident of his own dominance, only to have the rug pulled out from underneath him, makes for a great shift in authority.
  • If I’m being honest, most of the structure of ‘Magic to Make…’ is fantastic, with lots of interplay, lots of interaction and lots of development happening within the scenes themselves. It’s just the content that ends up being dumb.

The thing that makes these scenes great is that they develop and change in their own right – specifically, the characters’ states are different at the end of the scene to at the beginning. Following in order:

  • Burnham and Georgiou go from being lost on an abandoned planet, to Burnham having learned more about Georgiou’s ingenuity in a time of crisis.
  • Burnham goes from being imprisoned, helpless, with eight minutes of oxygen, to having conned her way out of the brig to freedom.
  • The away team goes from calmly exploring a dead ship to literally running for their lives.
  • Mudd goes from being a cunning, sadistic criminal in total command of the situation to falling for a con himself, with the Starfleet officers transitioning from being hostages on their own ship to being back in control.

Now, not every scene has to have these changes in state – it’s perfectly fine to have a more sedate bit of exposition every once in a while. And sometimes, characters don’t change physical state or power state at all – it can just be an emotional change that they experience.


Storytelling Done Wrong

The end of Episode Twelve, ‘The Wolf Inside’ (Jesus Christ these episode titles are trash – I never thought it was possible to sink lower than ‘Operation: Annihilate!’, but apparently I was wrong. ‘The Wolf Inside’ just sounds like a lycanthrope’s memoir, or maybe a new computer processor company. Fuck me, I mean, reading the episode list is like reading the back of a power metal concept album, look at this shit:

  • ‘The Vulcan Hello’ – a slow-paced melodic ballad about a village blacksmith and his various creations.
  • ‘Battle at the Binary Stars’ – a grand, orchestral operatic piece about the triumph of Azanog, Champion of the Star League.
  • ‘Context is for Kings’ – Drums and heavy vocals dominate this tale of two warring kingdoms and the plight of their peasant soldiers.
  • ‘The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry’ – Slow-tempo mystic piece describing the dark rituals done in the name of Unholy Maganoth the Despoiler.
  • ‘Choose Your Pain’ – High-energy thrash song with a great hook and chorus.
  • ‘Lethe’ – A soldier lost in a strange land of fairies and elves, with no memory of who he is or where he came from. Some great bass riffs.
  • ‘Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad’ – Wonderful operatic piece with guest vocals by Christopher Lee.
  • ‘Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum’ – A cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’, with Latin lyrics sung in Gregorian chant.
  • ‘Into the Forest I Go’ – Yet another fucking song about ‘Alice in Wonderland’, seriously, that’s like twelve this year already. Nice guitar solo at the end.
  • ‘Despite Yourself’ – Duet between the lead band’s singer, and the frontman of Axebite; could’ve done without the flute segments.
  • ‘The Wolf Inside’ – Literally just a song about a werewolf.
  • ‘Vaulting Ambition’ – Weird, spoken-word track covering the rise of Azanog and his subsequent descent into Lovecraftian madness. Should’ve stayed on the B-side.

Where the fuck was I? Oh, rubbish scenes, right.)

So anyway, at the end of ‘The Wolf Inside’ Ash Tyler the Human reveals that he was actually Mr Lammers, the theme park manager all along. Sorry, no, that he was actually Voq the Klingon all along. Which is fine. But the scene itself is so dull, and it’s difficult to describe why, but here goes:

At the beginning of the scene, Burnham is angry and confused that Ash started speaking Klingon and attacked Mirror-Voq. At the end of the scene, Burnham is angry and confused that Ash said he was Voq. Somewhere in the middle he attacks her and gets knocked out, but most of the scene is just the two of them talking, with some sporadic cut-aways that are indicative of Ash losing it, and that we’ve already seen.

The thing is, nothing in the scene is surprising – particularly because Ash’s reveal is so heavily telegraphed, but also because once it happens, of course he’s going to attack Burnham and start doing evil shit. And of course he’s not going to get away with it because of that meddling Kelpian (also the fact he’s on a ship literally full of genocidally xenophobic arseholes).

The alternative seems, to me, to be obvious – have him actually do something, not just stand there talking. Maybe he and Burnham are in a firefight with the alien rebels when Ash gets set off, leaving Burnham stuck between her once-lover-now-traitor and a bunch of Vulcans and Andorians who want to kill her.Maybe she’s in a stand-off with a murderous subordinate keen to advance up the Terran ranks by assassinating her; at first, Ash has her back, giving her the upper hand, before he goes completely rogue and starts attacking all of the humans that he sees.

There are lots of ways that Ash’s revelation could have been explored in a more interesting fashion, and the same goes for Lorca’s big reveal in ‘Vaulting Ambition’. Sure, there’s the bit where Lorca breaks out of the Agony Booth, but the actual reveal, the revelatory bit for Burnham, is just another scene of her and the Emperor in a different room, talking. Why not have Burnham figure it out as Lorca is being brought to the Emperor, right after she’s convinced the Emperor to release Lorca because she thought he wasn’t his mirror counterpart?

Christ, all this subterfuge makes these sentences hard to parse.

This kind of flat, dull non-scene is sadly endemic throughout the series. Here are a few more examples:

  • In ‘Choose Your Pain’, the bridge crew watch Lorca’s fighter escaping the Klingon ship whilst Saru says some stuff, then they beam Lorca and Ash aboard.
  • Also in ‘Choose Your Pain’, Burnham and Tilly “heal” the Large-igrade by saying a prayer over it.
  • Christ, also in ‘Choose Your Pain’, rather than any actual experiments being done, the solution to navigating without the Large-igrade is explored by three people standing in a line, talking.
  • Also in ‘Lethe’, multiple playfights between Sarek and Burnham are punctuated with conversation, but ultimately change nothing.
  • The finale of ‘Into the Forest I Go’ is an “epic fight” between Burnham and Kol, two people who have never met and who have no relationship, and the fight itself ends in stalemate.
  • In ‘Despite Yourself’, we get one scene of Burnham explaining the Mirror Universe to everyone, followed by another scene, after everyone has just rushed to the bridge, in which Burnham continues to explain that Tilly is the captain. Surely a much more fun way to do that would have been to simply have the other ship ask to speak to Captain Tilly? Have a mad rush to find her, get her on the bridge, brief her along the way? This scene also ends up failing to advance the plot.
  • In ‘The Wolf Inside’, Burnham talks with Lorca by having the brig cleared out and taking him out of the booth – not that we see any of that. Why not have her try to talk to him whilst making it look like an interrogation in front of her crew?
  • Also in ‘The Wolf Inside’, Burnham and Tyler beam down to the rebel planet, establish a tense ceasefire, maintain a tense ceasefire, Ash and Voq fight which changes nothing, everyone stays sat down in the tent, the scene ends in a tense ceasefire.
  • ALSO in ‘The Wolf Inside’, after spacing TyVoq, Burnham has Lorca brought to her ready room so she can “interrogate” him. They sit at a table, talking.
  • In ‘Vaulting Ambition’, Burnham meets Emperor Georgiou in the latter’s Throne Room. They talk. Then they go up to the Emperor’s dining room, and talk. Georgiou decides to kill Burnham, so they go back down to the Throne Room, and talk some more. A few nameless people we’ve never met get murdered. Followed by more talking. The ultimate outcome of the entire episode is that Georgiou probably won’t kill Burnham, for now.
  • Also in ‘Vaulting Ambition’ (there’s been a lot of shite in just three episodes) Stamets and Mirror Stamets wander around an imaginary spaceship. Talking. Then Stamets meets the mushroom-ghost of his dead husband. They do kiss (for the third time in ten episodes) but mostly they talk. After enough talking, Stamets wakes up from his mushroom coma.

These scenes all contain perfectly good performances, fine acting, some really ropey dialogue (but that’s forgivable) and some nice-ish sets and costumes. But the scenes themselves are just straight-line, A-to-B affairs: get in, deliver the necessary plot information / characterisation, get out, onto the next.

This is way too subjective a topic for the nearly-nineteen-hundred words I’ve already written, and your mileage may absolutely vary, but I spend so much time watching ‘Discovery’ just bored, waiting for the next plot development to get shat out by whichever character happens to be talking at the opportune moment.

The same is true of the action scenes, some of which I’ve included above. Action scenes are great when they radically change a situation and allow us to learn a lot more about our characters. When they’re just inserted in there to break up the talking scenes, they end up being just as boring, no matter how flashily they’re choreographed.

The test is this – what are the characters actually doing? Are they just talking? Or are they negotiating, bargaining, teaching? Are they outsmarting or tricking or even conning? Are they threatening, or defying?

The same with fights – what are they fighting about? What are they fighting for? What are the stakes? What’s the history between the fighters? Who wins the fight, and why do they win the fight?

These questions outline, for me, ‘Discovery’s greatest weakness so far – so much of the dialogue is info-dump. So much of the action has zero consequences. More of the story is driven by things that happen off the screen, or out of our characters’ hands – but that’s another article for another day.

‘Star Trek: Discovery – Into the Forest I Go’ Reaches New Heights of Daft and Offensive Nonsense

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ finishes the first half of this season the way it began: with unparalleled, unmitigated, unequivocal horse shit. So much was wrong with ‘Into The Forest I Go’ that I’m actually glad we get this weird mid-season break as it means I get to spend that time picking this damn series apart piece by piece, like an air crash investigator, but more jaded and emotionally detached.

As a content note, below I’ll be discussing torture and sexual violence, amongst other potentially distressing topics, so please bear that in mind.


Utterly Predicatble, Completely Disgusting

As laid out in a previous article, it seems my predictions were correct, I was just an episode premature.

Ash the Human is now all-but confirmed to be Voq the Klingon, and the main surprise is that it turns out he wasn’t aware of what or who he really was. Which is good, because this is the episode where he and Burnham finally sleep together, and if he *had* known that he was Voq, that would have raised all sorts of consent issues that I just know the show’s writers wouldn’t have even been aware of, never mind addressed.

We also see him laid bare as a barely-coping victim of PTSD – which may have been a positive step forwards in terms of the portrayal of mental health in TV shows – until it inevitably turns out in a future episode that it’s not PTSD at all, and it’s actually just a symptom of him being a sleeper agent. If that’s the case, then this show can burn.

Ash’s PTSD episode also features a series of flashbacks to him “doing what he could to survive” by having sex with L’Rell, his former captor. Obviously this montage is highly stylised and sexualised, with Klingon boobies and everything, but let’s be clear here: that was a rape scene. It was a rape scene, and it was played to titillate. Hopefully, it’s pretty clear that such a thing is wrong in a TV show. Or in any capacity.

(As an aside, it doesn’t matter if he’s a man and she’s a woman, or that he technically “had a choice” in whether or not to sleep with her – if the reason somebody is having sex is to avoid physical harm or death (or as a result of any other form of threat or intimidation) then that person is being raped. Fucking ‘Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ managed to get its head around this in the boat episode, and that was ten years ago.)

(If you’re still not sure, then bear in mind that in the Western world at least, and elsewhere, it is legally impossible for a prisoner to give consent to a custodian.)

Now, I’m not sure what to make of this if we later find out that the sex occurred before Voq had his personality replaced with Ash Tyler. It still seems really, really gross from the perspective of the portrayal of sexual violence in TV and movies. And if we’re being honest, do we really think that the people behind ‘Choose Your Pain’ (or that bit where Harry Mudd was punished by being presented with a woman) are capable of handling the complexities of this kind of consent issue?

lorcanarrowpicnarroweyes.jpg

In yet another abject lack of surprise, it turns out Lorca – yes, he who aspires to the ‘Angry Celebrity Chef’ style of leadership – is indeed a Mirror Universe version of himself, or something. Basically, he says something like “Let’s go home,” and then overrides the jump co-ordinates so that they end up in a parallel universe, after showing Stamets earlier in the episode that he’s already been charting parallel universes in his spare time.

Woop di doo! Well done ‘Discovery’, you meet expectations, which in your case means being exactly as dull as I thought you were.

Because at this point, there’s two explanations: Lorca is from the Mirror Universe originally, and hence is evil and manipulative in his quest to get back home. Or, he’s evil and manipulative, and at this point is just doing stuff for shits and giggles and to avoid any consequences for his horrible actions. Which would make him, in essence, a clever four-year-old.

How inspiring.


Starfleet Deserves To Lose The War

Faced with a tactically-insurmountable disadvantage, Starfleet is losing the war. The Klingon invisibility cloak allows the entire Klingon fleet to approach Federation ships, planets and outposts without detection, before launching devastating attacks. Pretty brutal.

Last episode, three of Starfleet’s best – a convicted mutineer, a PTSD-ridden former POW who’s been out of action for seven months of an eight-month war, and a lanky alien who is literally terrified of everything – were sent on a critical mission to secure a big antenna thing which might have helped them win the war.

This mission failed. Pretty fucking obviously.

At the beginning of this episode, roughly half an hour after the conclusion of the last one, Admiral Vulcan tells the crew that since the mission failed, Starfleet is now gathering its best scientists to come up with a new solution.

Hang on. So, you hadn’t already done that? Three weeks of getting your arses kicked by cloaked ships, and the Federation hadn’t yet made a concerted scientific effort to crack the cloak? Bear in mind, Starfleet was previously an organisation of scientists and explorers, as Lorca points out in this very episode. And they didn’t leverage their technological advantage when it came to the cloak?

For three weeks?

Seriously?

No matter, though. Because Lorca then tells Burnham and Saru (we’ll get to Saru later) to come up with a means of cracking the cloak. In three hours. It takes them one hour.

Such a shame that the Federation, consisting of “trillions” (again, quoting from this episode) of citizens couldn’t spare two scientists for a whole hour. Else they might have had this cloaking device sorted weeks ago. Y’know, the same Federation, as noted above, that’s renowned for its technological capabilities.

Two scientists.

One hour.

Now, this is the sort of thing that happens in Trek all the time. On countless previous occasions, Geordi and Data have pulled some Treknomagic bullshit solution out of their arses to solve an absurd problem in the nick of time. But that’s usually because they came across some information that nobody had seen before. Like, it’s a plot point – “If only we could <do the bullshit>!” “Wait, Data, we can <do the bullshit>! Look at these readings we took in our last encounter!”

As it is, the crew of Discovery manage to solve the cloaking device problem simply because they were the first ones to even try to solve it.

After three weeks.

If Starfleet’s response to the cloaking device was to send three idiots to a remote planet and literally try nothing else, then Starfleet deserves to lose, and the Klingons ought to win by default. The Starfleet of ‘Discovery’ is the Giant Panda of fictional star empires – so uninterested in its own survival that it writes itself out of the ecosystem.


Absent Consequences

So, in the last episode, Saru attacked both Burnham and Ash the Human whilst on the Planet of the Plot Device, and tries to sabotage the mission. This is a mission that will potentially end the war with the Klingons.

narrowsaru

He turns traitor because he “finally experienced peace” or some rampant bollocks. Point is, at first it seems like he’s brain-washed, but actually he confirms himself that it was just him losing his shit, because his species evolved to experience terror every waking moment and when he was presented with safety he lost control.

Which is fine, that’s a motivation that makes sense for his character. There’s plenty of other dumb shit that happened in the last episode but this was sort-of okay.

What isn’t okay is that literally twenty minutes after caving in Burnham’s chest cavity and knocking Ash the Human unconscious, Saru is back on the bridge, as first-in-command, no less. Which…

Look, the “magic reset button” is a Trek staple, but this series is meant to be a continuous narrative. Not only that, but the last scene of that episode leads directly into the first scene of this episode, turning both episodes into a two-parter. Which raises the question:

WHY ISN’T SARU IN THE FUCKING BRIG?

He literally tried to prevent Starfleet from winning the war with the Klingons. He literally incapacitated one shipmate and tried to incapacitate the other. The last time a Starfleet officer did that, we got this entire fucking show, and the officer in question spent six months in prison before being press-ganged onto Lorca’s Little Ship of Horrors.

Now, okay, so you say that he wasn’t himself, he was subject to extenuating circumstances, fine, whatever. But you’re just going to let him back onto the bridge? In a command capacity?

You may notice that this font is being slowly invaded by italics. That’s because of just how poorly I am coping with the cluelessness of this show’s writers. This universe they have created is entirely inconsistent and nonsensical – and that’s to be expected for the likes of ‘The Next Generation’, which ran for seven seasons over seven years, with 178 non-sequential episodes all with distinct narratives.

But it’s been seven episodes since Burnham stepped off the prison shuttle onto the deck of Discovery and it seems like the writers have already forgotten why she was there. The fact that Saru can pull the same shit as her and evade any consequences is bizarre and jarring from a narrative perspective, and if you were binge-watching this crap you’d be baffled.


Win The War, But Not Too Quickly

This episode is ostensibly about the crew of Discovery winning the war – or rather, finding a way to allow the rest of Starfleet to win the war. And that’s a big thing for Lorca, too. Indeed, it’s basically all he talks about. Ever. “I’m a warrior.” “I win wars.” “I study wars.” “What was that? Was that a war? Can I have one?” and so on.

Lorca touts himself as this incredible warrior. Some kind of pragmatic, capable leader willing to do anything, anything, to win the war. I don’t care for this type of characterisation personally, but we can park that for now.

Pretend you’re a warrior. A ship captain, at war, trying to end it. And in front of you is the enemy flagship. Probably the enemy’s most powerful ship. It’s a cultural, probably religious icon to the enemy, festooned with the sarcophagi of fallen enemy soldiers. Aboard the ship is not only the head of the enemy’s entire military, the most powerful individual in their ranks, but also the original prototype of a piece of game-changing technology which allowed the enemy to gain the upper hand against your own forces in just two or three weeks.

And you have just pierced its invisibility field. It’s unshielded, it can’t fire back, and you have it completely by surprise.

What do you do?

Yeah, that’s right you probably just blow it up with torpedoes.

Never mind the chance of taking the ship, of disabling it from a distance so you can hold its commander hostage.

Never mind the chance to seize the original cloaking device. Y’know, the piece of technology you just risked your entire ship to try and gain more information about.

Never mind the chance to seize the cultural icon of a race motivated to war with you for religious reasons.

Nah, probs better to just wipe it out.

How stuuuuuuuuuuupid is Lorca meant to be, exactly? And how dumb is Starfleet to want to give him a medal for this? He had the actual most valuable asset in the war against the Klingons – an asset that would enable the Federation to negotiate peace probably overnight. I mean, Lorca knows they’ve just found a way to see through the cloaking devices of the Klingons. Combine that with holding General Kol and the Ship of the Dead to ransom, and you can present the Klingons with both an incentive to agree to a ceasefire, and a disincentive to continue a war which is about to become a whole lot more costly to them.

discoverynarrow.jpg

And I get there might be reasons that Discovery had to destroy Kol’s ship. I appreciate that. But the fact that capturing it wasn’t brought up as an option suggests to me that the writers didn’t even consider it.

But here’s the trick: it had already been done.

Twice.

The crew of Discovery know that they can successfully board the Klingon flagship because that’s exactly what happened in the pilot episodes. The busted-ass Shenzhou managed to disable the ship of the dead with a single photon torpedo, and would probably have captured T’Kuvma alive had they sent more than two people.

But as recently as this same episode Lorca sends two crew members to sneak aboard Kol’s ship, and not only do they do so successfully, one of them nearly manages to kill Kol in hand-to-hand combat.

Just target the ship’s weapons and engines and then beam a whole bunch of people over with phasers on the “Stun” setting. And just like that, you’ve got critical leverage over the Klingon Empire, your deadly adversary.

Or, waste your extreme tactical advantage and just blow the ship up, no questions asked. Seems reasonable.

The monumental stupidity of all this is astonishing. I genuinely struggle to cope. It’s like being trapped in a Lovecraftian nightmare specially crafted for a writer. The show’s idiocy is almost comic – but the joke is on me.


Put Her On The Medical Bus

Admiral Cornwell gets her legs busted. Or her spine. It doesn’t matter. The point is, she is added to the constantly expanding list of “Female Authority Figures In ‘Discovery’ Who Receive Lethal Or Hospitalising Injuries In Some Way”. Just to outline the issue (again):

  • Georgiou – stabbed, eaten.
  • Burnham – burned by radiation.
  • Landry – eaten by bears. One bear. Mauled. Mauled by a single bear. A space bear.
  • L’Rell – face burned off.
  • Stella – married to Mudd.
  • Cornwell – paralysed from the legs down.
  • Tilly – relegated to “single line of social awkwardness on legs.”

cornwell-angry.jpg

That’s not the point I want to make, though. The point I want to make is:

Immediately after Lorca destroys Kol’s ship, Cornwell was put on an “emergency medical shuttle” to Starbase 88, as confirmed by the Vulcan admiral. She’ll make a full recovery, so that’s all good.

After hearing this, Lorca tells the admiral that the algorithm for detecting cloaked ships is “being refined for fleet-wide use” and will be sent to Starfleet in eleven hours.

Wait.

What?

Hang on.

What?

This exchange raises so many questions that it’s easier to just use another list:

  • Why not send the algorithm straight away?
  • Why refine it first?
  • Why does it take eleven hours to refine something that took less than an hour to create from scratch?
  • At the beginning of the episode, Starbase 46 was three hours away. Presumably that was the closest one, because Discovery would’ve been ordered to the closest, right? So you’re looking at a minimum journey time of three hours, right? Assuming shuttles travel as quickly as starships? So it’s safe to assume that it took Cornwell’s medical bus three hours at least to reach Starbase 88, riiiight? So it’s actually more like fourteen hours to refine the algorithm? Seriously?
  • The Vulcan admiral also tells Lorca that Klingon ships are speeding towards Discovery, which is shown to still be in orbit over the same planet. So, for three hours they just hung around? Refining an algorithm?
  • Why not just put a, I dunno, a fucking USB stick containing the algorithm on the shuttle with Cornwell? Starfleet would have it by now! They could be “refining” it themselves!

All of this is just throw-away dialogue, really, but throw-away dialogue shouldn’t be bringing into question major plot points! The main thrust of this conversation is that Cornwell will recover, Discovery needs to head home so Lorca can get a medal, and now the war is theirs to win. But so many stupid things get said that the entire plot of the episode starts breaking down entirely.

I already mentioned that there are Klingon ships headed for Discovery, and yet we later see Lorca approach Stamets to stand with him, staring out at the sunset over the Planet of the Plot Device. They shoot the shit for a while, they talk about medals and stuff. Then Lorca guilt-trips Stamets into using the jump-drive one last time, because Klingons are totally on their way to kill them all.

Soooo… Why, exactly, are they not already at warp? Earlier in the episode they use the jump drive at warp, so that would still be an option. So why wouldn’t they be warping the shit away from the danger zone? What reason could they possibly have for not going to warp immediately after Lorca’s conversation with the admiral? What possible justification could there be for Lorca just wandering around the ship and looking at sunsets?

I mean, we know Lorca’s up to no good, but what about the rest of the crew? What about Saru? Y’know, the first officer who is permanently terrified? I mean, Lorca tells Stamets that they can use the warp drive to get home without need for the jump drive – so why the everliving fuck aren’t they already at warp? Maybe I was wrong, maybe Ash isn’t a Klingon agent, maybe everybody is a Pakled agent.

More like ‘Star Trek: Bag of Hammers’ if you ask me.


These are just the most glaring issues from a narrative perspective. Issues around theme and characterisation are pervasive, and I’ll have to cover them later. For now, ‘Discovery’s first half finishes exactly as it started – troubled, troubling and completely out of order.