Star Trek

A general discussion forum, plus hauls and silly games.
User avatar
Sparky Prime
Supreme-Class
Posts: 5242
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:12 am

Re: Star Trek

Post by Sparky Prime »

Lower Decks
Old Friends, New Planets

Spoiler
Nick Locarno reveals to Mariner that he's created an independent fleet of alien ships he's calling Nova Fleet, named after Nova Squad from his academy days. Somehow, he has control of an entire solar system, the Detrion system, which is protected by a Trynar shield (no idea how it surrounds the entire solar system or how one rouge former Starfleet cadet had the resources for all of this). As insurance, he's also got a bootleg Ferengi Genesis Device (I don't buy that the Federation would have allowed those specs to leak out). He announces to the entire Alpha Quadrant that all the Lower Deckers should mutiny and join his fleet, at which point Mariner takes the Genesis device and a Steamrunner-class ship, but remains trapped in the Detrion system by the shield.

Meanwhile, the Cerritos crew negotiates with the Orions for a battleship capable of breaking through the shield, because Starfleet is dealing with politics and will take too much time to address the situation itself. They end up having to agree to hand over Tendi to her sister once they've dealt with the situation. Mariner gets stuck between a level 7 ion storm (which the writers seemed to forget and call it a nebula later, even reenacting the Mutara nebula scenes from Wrath of Khan) and the Nova Fleet and ends up flying into the nebula to hide, and when she runs out of options, activates the Genesis Device. The Cerritos rams the Orion ship into the shield to temporarily disable a portion of it, allowing the captains yacht to get through and save Mariner. Locarno attempts to deactivate the Genesis Device, but the Ferengi have a paywall on disabling the countdown, so it explodes, creating a new M class planet Starfleet names Locarno (since Locarno's atoms were part of what created the planet).
I was hoping for more from this story....
Spoiler
Nothing about Locarno being the main villain, with this much power, makes sense to me. How would he, a disgraced former Starfleet cadet, have the resources to control a whole solar system, and put a force field around the entire thing? A solar system is HUGE. I doubt even Starfleet has the resources to forcefield off an entire solar system. Not to mention, he apparently built his own starship and a space station single handedly. And he convinced several alien crews to mutiny against their captains and join him, all because they're under appreciated lower deckers? I just don't see a Romulan or Klingon crew in-particular deciding to mutiny on that little of a reason.

Not a fan of the idea that Genesis Device technology is apparently common enough for there to be a bootleg version the Ferengi built.

I did like that we got a flashback, showing the members of Nova Squad (except for Jean Hajar) while still planning on performing the Kolvoord Starburst maneuver, with Shannon Fill and Wil Wheaton reprising their roles. This is also the first time we actually see Josh, prior to his death during the failed maneuver. It's a neat scene, establishing some history between Mainer and the ill-fated Nova Squad members. But honestly, if they were going to have Locarno be the big villain of the season, and tied to Mariner, I think they should have had more of this throughout the season, rather than just these last two episodes of the season.

They acknowledged Locarno looking like Tom Paris... sort of. Rutherford points out they have the same face, but Boimler claims he doesn't see it.
User avatar
Sparky Prime
Supreme-Class
Posts: 5242
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:12 am

Re: Star Trek

Post by Sparky Prime »

It was reported earlier this week that Kacey Rohl will be playing a younger version of Rachel Garrett, the captain of the ill-fated Enterprise-C in the upcoming Section 31 tv movie.

I'm... not optimistic about anything focused on Section 31. I feel like that's something that's been overplayed by Kurtzman, and isn't done well by him at that. But how can Rachel Garrett be in this movie? I'm guessing time travel will be involved. Georgiou supposedly had to return to 2257 following Discovery's trip to the 32nd century. While we don't have much biographical information for Garrett... we know the Enterprise-C was destroyed in 2344, and the original actress was around 45 in "Yesterday's Enterprise". So unless this Section 31 story involves time travel, Garrett shouldn't be born yet, or otherwise she'd be over a hundred years old in 2344.
User avatar
andersonh1
Moderator
Posts: 6341
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:22 pm
Location: South Carolina

Re: Star Trek

Post by andersonh1 »

Yeah, I think any in-depth exploration of Section 31 is a bad idea. I don't object to the department per se, but it needs to appear as little as possible. The more they use it, the more watered down and ineffective the concept becomes, in my opinion.
User avatar
Sparky Prime
Supreme-Class
Posts: 5242
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:12 am

Re: Star Trek

Post by Sparky Prime »

The fifth and final season of Star Trek Discovery premiered last week with two episodes. I haven't watched them as of yet. Despite how much I hate this iteration of Star Trek, I still feel compelled to pay attention to it, so I've been reading some reviews...
Spoiler
There's an old Romulan scout ship Starfleet wants secured at all costs (issuing a "Red Directive" which apparently is sorta like the Omega Directive we saw in Voyager). Unfortunately for them, some scavengers get to it first (no one else found this ship in ~800 years?). Eventually, it's revealed the ship belonged to a Romulan scientist that was in TNG episode "The Chase". Apparently he'd discovered some technology of "the Progenitors", the race that seeded the genetic building blocks on dozens of worlds for humanoid races to develop in the Alpha/Beta quadrants. For some reason, this Romulan scientist left clues all over as to where to find this Progenitor technology. But while the scavengers get away with the Romulan's journal, their buyer, who is an android, doesn't want to pay them what they want for it, and so they kill him. I guess they decide whatever the journal points to will be even more valuable so they go after it. Discovery, meanwhile, recovers the android and they're able to access his memories. Since he'd seen the journal, that basically gives them a copy, which kicks off the MacGuffin hunt.

I like the idea of this season revolving around some established Star Trek lore with the Progenitors. They are a race I'd like to learn more about. But... MacGuffin hunting has become such a lazy, overused plot device and becomes monotonous, especially if they drag it out over an entire season. I'm also afraid they're going to turn the Progenitors technology into some super advanced thing that can create or destroy all life in the galaxy or something to that degree. I gather the characters are saying the Progenitors seeded life in the galaxy. What was actually said in TNG however, was that they'd seeded genetic codes to direct the evolution of a species on some worlds towards a humanoid form.

On another note, apparently Starfleet has abandoned development of the Spore Drive 2.0. Guess they still haven't been able to figure out how to operate it without a living organism. Voyager-J is instead testing a new "Pathway Drive" to help break their dependence on dilithium, but no other details have been given about it. Also seems dumb they established they had tried for about 100 years, since "The Burn", to develop a new type of FTL drive with no results, even though Starfleet should be aware of other FTL drives that they've encountered in centuries past. But then miraculously they came up with something only 2 years after Discovery jumped to the 32nd century.
Edit: Watched the episodes...
Spoiler
So yeah, they're totally ignoring what the Progenitor's message actually said in TNG : "Our scientists seeded the primordial oceans of many worlds, where life was in its infancy. The seed codes directed your evolution toward a physical form resembling ours.", and instead, are setting it up that their technology miraculously created life in the galaxy. One character even likens them to gods for this feat. I just... I hate this. Manipulating evolution on various planets is a much more interesting concept to me than magically creating life itself.

It also seemed odd to me, in the second episode Captain Rayner and Burnham face an inquisition for their actions at the end of the first episode... Under the "Red Directive", they were ordered to take any and all means to complete the mission. Yet, Rayner is disciplined for doing exactly that, and Burnham isn't when she refused a direct order to from Kovich.

There's... a lot of things I didn't like in these two episodes. Which, I mean, is normal for Discovery. I keep hoping the writers improve but they never do...
User avatar
Sparky Prime
Supreme-Class
Posts: 5242
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:12 am

Re: Star Trek

Post by Sparky Prime »

Discovery season 5 episode 3...
Spoiler
Discovery goes to Trill for the next clue/piece of the map... And already this episode feels like filler territory, with the episode not really adding much. The recently demoted Rayner gets to know the Discovery crew as their new commander, much to Tilly's disapproval in how he handles it. Frankly, I felt this entire part of the episode was mishandled. It sorta reminded me of TNG episode where Captain Jellico took command and the crew didn't like his command style... But Discovery only shows that with Tilly, everyone else just has some slight awkwardness at how fast he interviews them, which we don't even see that much of because most of the interviews they share are in montage. We actually need to see more than one crew member express their discomfort with their new commander for this set up to work. And unlike the crew TNG, Tilly doesn't use military decorum to approach what she sees as a problem. It's his prerogative, so it's not even her place to openly question him on how he chooses to get to know the crew.

Meanwhile on Trill, we find out the Romulan scientist had been a member of a team of scientists from various worlds, both part of and independent of the Federation. I find it hard to believe a 24th century Romulan in their military would agree to work with outsiders, particularly with members of the Federation, but whatever. When they discovered the Progenitor's technology, one of them tried to use it but was killed. Being the middle of the Dominion War, they agreed to destroy their research and hide clues to its location for the day the galaxy was a more peaceful place and make sure it was in the right hands. Jinaal, the Trill host, only joined with a symbiote in order to one day test whoever came asking about it. Not sure why they had to perform a zhian’tara ritual so he could personally guide whoever showed up. They have this big roundabout discussion about how it can only be him to show them the way, without really explaining why the current host can't. They just walk around this rock quarry, and Jinaal takes off before these giant cloaking bugs show up (how are these things that exist on Trill anyway? I feel like they'd easily wipe out the humanoids on the planet). I think they could have just said the current host was too old to show them the way. They even imply she dies and they return the symbiote to the pools after this.

This should put Discovery significantly ahead in the MacGuffin hunt, with no way for the villains to catch up... Until we see Moll is secretly lurking around the symbiote caves.

Oh, Stamets gives an update about the Progenitor's technology from the data of an old Romulan tricorder they recovered that he's trying to make sense of... Sounds like it's essentially the ultimate Genesis device, able to create life and make edits by changing DNA and maybe reanimate the dead. It's too powerful of a technology, and still isn't what the message in TNG said they'd done.

On another note, Adira and Gray break up in this episode. I honestly felt these two were the most compelling characters Discovery introduced at the start of the 3rd season. It's disappointing how the writers have handled them. There's no weight to it, considering Gray was pretty much written out in the previous season of the show so the character could spend his time as one of the Trill Guardians, and Adira is a (redundant) science officer on Discovery... So we never got to see them as a real couple. They never even found much of anything for these characters to do once their initial character arc was wrapped up. Really, the same could be said of all the characters in this series. They only focus on Burnham, Saru and for some reason, Tilly. All of the other characters just fade into the background.
User avatar
Sparky Prime
Supreme-Class
Posts: 5242
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:12 am

Re: Star Trek

Post by Sparky Prime »

Discovery season 5 episode 4...

Straight up filler episode
Spoiler
Discovery has reached the coordinates of the next clue... but only find empty space. Meanwhile, the bug Moll put on Adira turns out to be a Krenim "time bug", a weapon left over from the Temporal War. It sends out a signal (alerting Moll and L'ak where they are) while simultaneously trapping Discovery by shifting it through time. Fortunately, Burnham and Rayner were attempting to transport at the exact moment it activated, somehow allowing them to exist unaffected by the time jumps, but still jumping to different points of time along with the ship. And Stamets also remembers everything because of the tardigrade DNA in him. Burnham and Rayner encounter a future where Starfleet eventually saved them from the time jumping, but the Breen got the Progenitor's technology and destroyed the Federation. Eventually, they come up with a solution to kill the bug themselves, and only lost 6 hours due to the time jumping. The DOTS have detected L’ak and Moll's warp signature in the area, so they get back to work to find the clue.

It felt like a lot of the plot for this episode was written fast and loose...
-I didn't like how they handled the time shifting in this episode... For some reason, Burnham immediately concludes they have to avoid making any changes to the timeline. Then at the end of the episode, Stamets explains any changes to the timeline only becomes permanent once the bug resets. Why would the bug resetting make any difference? Either they make changes or they don't. I feel like with any other Star Trek series, they would have explained that everything reset to normal once the thing causing the time shifts was broken, such as the Voyager episode "Shattered".

-Seems like a bad idea for a weapon in the first place if those trapped can make changes to the timeline. Granted none of the crew are supposed to be aware of what's going on, but... Given the right circumstances, it seems like the trapped crew could potentially use it to their advantage. Or accidently screw something up depending on historical events the ship is involved with.

-One of the eras we see Burnham and Rayner in is when Discovery is under construction... apparently on the ground within view of the Golden Gate Bridge. I thought we were past this when the fans voiced how dumb it was they showed the Enterprise being built on the ground in the 2009 film... Even other nuTrek shows like Strange New Worlds and Picard showed ships under construction in orbit.

-Burnham runs into her younger self and she doesn't believe she's from the future because she's wearing captain's pips (because how does a mutineer get to be a captain)... Now granted, the early Discovery uniforms had dots on their badges to show rank, but they didn't actually use pips in the 23rd century. So it struck me as odd younger Burnham would specifically call them pips.

-Stamets has a "hypothetical" conversation with 23rd century Reno about breaking a time loop... And she immediately spits out the name of a device. While I think she might be able to come up with something eventually, it shouldn't have been so simple when time travel is not common place in the 23rd century. To make matters worst, the 'key ingredient' of the device she suggests, Stamets says is a piece from 32nd century holodeck technology.

-How does this device travel with them during a time jump? Stamets just remembers everything because magic space DNA, so he can't take anything with him. While Burnham and Rayner always get reset to where they were in the Ready Room.

-Burnham and Rayner cannot use their comm badge transporters prior to Discovery's 32nd century upgrades.... Not sure why since these have been shown to be autonomous from the ship. The comm badges also apparently are compatible with 23rd century technology... Burnham is able to upload data (in the form of a hologram) directly to a PADD Stamets is holding.

-How does Stamets remember anything about the future when they end up in a time frame before he had the magic space DNA? What happens to him in the jumps where he isn't on the ship? What happened to him with the jump where the computer says everyone is dead? For that matter... what's going on outside the ship in real time? Does Discovery just appear to be sitting there while only those inside experience these shifts in time?

-Rayner first tells Burnham their predicament is probably the result of a Krenim time bug, and explains most of the time they deal with them just by letting them run out of juice. So even if he doesn't have personal experience with these things, he does appear to know about them. But after that, it's Stamets that has to explain everything about the bug, even warns Rayner off from just smashing the thing... Which you'd think he should know.

-When past Burnham wakes up following her encounter with her future self... Why does she go to engineering to confront Rayner and Stamets instead of the bridge where were older self is? And how did she get a phaser if, at this point in history, the crew doesn't trust her?

-Airiam appears in this episode thanks to the time travel. She's intrigued by the hologram technology Burnham displays... which is strange considering the first two seasons of Discovery showed extensive use of hologram technology just as advanced as this is. Although Airiam herself shouldn't exist in the 23rd century, since even in the 24th century we saw there were limitations of how much of a persons body they could replace with cybernetics.

-I liked how this established the Kremin to have been a faction of the Temporal War. Never saw them use little spider bugs like this, but maybe it's something the 29th century Kremin came up with?

Kinda says something when the holes in the story is longer than the description of the episode itself... But like I said, it's a filler episode so it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of the plot. This was meant to be more of a character building episode between Burnham and Rayner, but wasn't written very well in any regard.
User avatar
Sparky Prime
Supreme-Class
Posts: 5242
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:12 am

Re: Star Trek

Post by Sparky Prime »

Discovery season 5 episode 5...

The writing of this episode was particularly bad.
Spoiler
Discovery finally detects a wormhole they missed before because they needed to recalibrate their sensors... And when they do it seems to become visible to the naked eye as well. Oddly, they have a Bajoran character asking what it is. It doesn't look exactly like the Bajoran wormhole, but still, you'd think she'd recognize a wormhole. Speaking of which... How has this wormhole existed for hundreds of years? The opening is collapsing, constantly opening and closing, but they theorize this is the result of matter/antimatter reaction made worst by The Burn... If they wanted to explain the wormhole was made more unstable by The Burn, that would have been fine. We know The Burn effected subspace, even though previously it was only said to have made dilithium go inert and explode. But a matter/antimatter reaction? That'd just be a big explosion. Antimatter's not a component of wormholes, as we've seen plenty of times in Star Trek previously. Going back to the point about how it's lasted this long... Wormhole, aside from the Bajoran wormhole, are a temporary phenomena. They don't last for hundreds of years. Seems like a terrible place to hide a clue, given this should eventually collapse, Burn or no Burn. At anyrate... The opening it too small for Discovery, so Burnham and Book take a shuttle into it.

Inside the wormhole, they find L’ak and Moll's ship ripped in two. They obviously didn't make it through the opening in one piece. However, they somehow made it to another starship trapped inside... The ISS Enterprise from the Mirror universe. Not sure how the ship still has power after 800 years, especially since they establish the warp core had been ejected. Drawn out story short... After Mirror Spock was assassinated for trying to reform the Terran Empire, a group of refugees, led by Mirror Saru, took the ISS Enterprise to this universe. The ship was trapped in the wormhole during the dimensional crossing, so they abandoned ship. One of them eventually became one of the members to research the Progenitors and hid her clue on this Enterprise. They find a plaque in the transporter room explaining some of this, which oddly says "Long live the Empire" on it, which you'd think people trying to escape the Empire for the Federation wouldn't put on a plaque describing why they left. Moving on... They mention 3 life signs in sickbay... L'ak and Moll obviously are two. I'm guessing the 3rd is the vial of liquid that serves as the clue to the next piece, but I kept expecting another character to turn up because they never go back to explain the 3rd life sign.

We get flashbacks about Moll and L'ak to explain their backstory as they fight/work with Book and Burnham as the Mirror Enterprise starts headed toward the opening of the wormhole (and the shuttle from Discovery is lost). Moll used to sell dilithium to the Breen and she ended up in a relationship with L'ak. I felt like these scenes felt forced. What they show doesn't really connect the dots, and just gives us the most vague sense of them getting to know each other and is kinda undercut by Moll somehow already knowing more about the Breen than she should. This results in L'ak's uncle putting a bounty on his head for falling in love with a "lesser being". I guess he's royalty or something? I dunno, the episode touched on several important things and moved on too quickly for it to really sink in. Anyway, turns out L'ak is a Breen, the first we've ever seen without the helmet. Find it a little hard to believe after 800 years, this isn't well known. But at any rate, I get he wouldn't have been recognized as Breen, but Starfleet has scans of Breen life signs right? So how come in an earlier episode they said he was an unknown species? They never attempted to match his life signs to anything in the database? So we finally get a reason for why the Breen wear the suits. They are jelly-like. Which I guess kinda puts them on an evolutionary path similar to the Founders maybe? But, as we see with L'ak throughout this season, they can still make their skin solid, which I feel undercuts this reveal. Why bother with the suit if they don't actually need to wear them? Apparently the Breen consider their jello form superior and shun the solid form because they see it as the weaker form. But... wouldn't relying on a suit to help protect them make them weaker? This whole reveal needed to be better fleshed out if you ask me.

Discovery manages to get the wormhole open by replacing the standard photon torpedo payload with... antimatter, the standard photon torpedo payload, for the Mirror Enterprise to pass through it before permanently closing. Moll and L'ak escape. Don't know where the escape ship came from when they'd established all the escape pods and shuttles had been launched. Not only that, but the escape pod apparently is capable of warp. Even in the 24th century, escape pods didn't have warp drive. So Discovery ends up with the next part of the map and clue to the next section, which is a vial of some sort of liquid, and the Mirror Enterprise is taken back to Starfleet headquarters.

The ISS Enterprise feels wasted here. It really could have been any ship. I get the feeling they just wanted to save some money and use the Strange New Worlds sets. But considering they salvage the ship, maybe it'll turn up again...? A couple episodes ago there was a character that told commander Rayner that his favorite ship class is the Constitution-class during their brief 'getting to know the crew' meeting. Something that later came back up in that episode to show Rayner had retained everything the crew told him. Feels like a missed opportunity that they didn't do anything with that when the Enterprise emerges from the wormhole. Nor was he one of the crew members assigned to take the Enterprise back to Starfleet headquarters. Instead, they send a character I don't think has even appeared in this season, and the helmsmen with the robot eye.

And speaking of missed opportunities with the crew... Burnham said she wants her crew to be engaged with the mission in this episode. But then she goes out of her way to exclude any of the crew from actually doing anything, even after Rayner points out to her that the Captain's place is on the bridge. Every away team this season has been Burnham and maybe one or two others. Usually it's just her and Book, who isn't even a member of Starfleet. After 5 seasons, the writers still don't give the crew much, if anything to do. I notice several members of the cast seem to be absent for several episodes this season, if they've appeared at all.
User avatar
Sparky Prime
Supreme-Class
Posts: 5242
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:12 am

Re: Star Trek

Post by Sparky Prime »

Discovery season 5 episode 6
Spoiler
Discovery is having difficulty discerning the next clue. The vial turns out to be ordinary distilled water with nothing particularly special about it. So no idea why in the previous episode they said there were three life signs in Mirror Enterprise's sickbay. Kovich turns up and gives a list of all the scientists that worked on finding the Progenitor's technology (no indication of where he got this information) to Burnham and recommends looking into other projects they'd worked on (the names are written on a piece of paper from what he says is an authentic 21th century notepad... pretty sure notepad paper wouldn't hold up like new after ~1000 years). Turns out one of these scientists, a Denobulan, built 5 rain towers on a world that couldn't produce its own rain (this is a radically different area of expertise, how did he get involved with the Progenitor's project?). How and why the planet is like this and has life is never explained. After 800 years, all but one of the towers have gone offline due to disrepair. The remaining inhabitants have all gathered around the one remaining tower to survive, but it also shows signs of breaking down soon. Discovery soon learns the towers have been disguised as natural rock formations, as the inhabitants are a pre-warp culture.

Unable to beam directly into the one operational tower due to a forcefield keeping dust storms out of the habitable area, Burnham and Tilly beam down in disguise to maintain the Prime Directive and quickly learn the only way the inhabitants will let them in the tower is to take part and win a ritual they have. This turns out to be a light jog with a cube in their mouth that makes them really thirsty. During the jog, Burnham notices some different colored moss decides there must be something leaking radiation nearby. You'd think she could confirm that with the tricorder in her eye or something, but no. She drops out of the race to check it out while Tilly continues in case she's wrong. Turns out she's right, and (now) using her tricorder, and with Adira's help on Discovery, is able to fix the malfunctioning panel (as an aside, I'm a little disappointed they never address Adira's Trill symbiote/past lives, the writers still characterize them the same as before they had the symbiote's memories unlocked). And apparently that's all it takes to fix the gigantic rain tower, fixing a little panel on the ground disguised as some random rock not even connected to the tower. Tilly meanwhile wins the race along with a local that she helps.

Their prize? They get to be sacrificed in the vacuum chamber of the tower to summon the rain (and despite running out of air, there's fire in the chamber that seems unaffected). Discovery can't beam her out due to deposits in the walls (seems like every episode has had something that prevents the transporter from working). Forgoing the Prime Directive, Burnham beams into an adjacent chamber with another of the locals and demands he release them, explaining it's just a machine and that the sacrifices aren't necessary. He eventually opens the door and Tilly, recognizing the symbol from the vial on the wall representing the 5 rain towers, figures out the next clue is in tower 5. They are currently in tower 3. So they could have avoided all of this if they had just checked the other towers first. Which would have been easier and avoid messing with the Prime Directive. As they get ready to leave, the tower starts to produce rain. Before they can analyze the new clue, Starfleet informs them that Moll and L'ok have been found.

This was a better episode than last week, but not by much... The writing was still lazy and not at all thought through. Why did Discovery just assume the clue must be in the one operational rain tower without even bothering to check the others first? Why is Burnham once again part of only a two man away team? Why does anyone participate in the jog if they know the winner will be sacrificed (granted Burnham and Tilly don't know this, but there were clues)? Why couldn't this planet produce rain? It seems like it must have at some point for life to have evolved on it. So what happened? Why did this Denobulan scientist decide to save the inhabitants by building these towers in the first place, and then have no plan to maintain them? Speaking of which... They made no mention of Discovery fixing the other towers, so they're just going to leave the inhabitants the one remaining working tower? I'm pretty sure the Denobulan was actively breaking the Prime Directive in building these towers to save these people, even if he disguised the outside. The rain towers obviously have shaped their religion. The interiors are made to look like some sort of temple, so he expected them to get inside, and they believe it's connected to Gods who bring them the rain. The ritual of jogging around the tower while trying not to drink water seemed laughably simplistic. There needed to be something more to it. The episode, titled "Whistlespeak", makes a point that these people communicate long distance by whistling, but then they don't really do anything with it so I'm not sure why they made it a thing at all. Why haven't these people made any advancements in the last 800 years? They also have the ship's doctor going through a spiritual awaking following the zhian’tara ritual several episodes ago. Not sure why they're making this is a thing either, but it feels awkward the way they're handling it. He spends the episode trying to determine if it's a physical side effect, only to determine it isn't.
User avatar
Sparky Prime
Supreme-Class
Posts: 5242
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:12 am

Re: Star Trek

Post by Sparky Prime »

Discovery season 5 episode 7
Spoiler
Discovery beams Moll and L'ak into their sickbay and begin treating L'ak for his injury from two episodes ago, but not knowing Breen physiology, have no idea what to do to help him. Culber eventually gets the idea the Breen heal better in the cold, and Discovery returns to Federation HQ for an old Breen refrigeration suit, and convert the bio-bed to keep him frosty as well. Unfortunately, once at HQ, Discovery learns a Breen dreadnought is on the way for Moll and L'ak. The Admiral tells Burnham they'll be jumping as far as possible for the Breen to follow them (apparently the Breen have the capability to track the spore drive jumps? Pretty sure that's never been established before) but Burnham argues that's just delaying the inevitable and the Admiral agrees to let Discovery stay put. Burnham presses L'ak for why they Breen are so keen on getting them. The duo refuses to answer, but Burnham realizes L'ak is royalty. L'ak confirms, he's the last direct descendant of the Emperor who died, making him his Uncle's way to the throne above the other Primarchs. And we also find out Rayner's homeworld was occupied by one of the other Breen Primarchs, which has left him hostile towards them.

Meanwhile, Tilly, Adira, Stamets and Book are trying to discern the clue to the final piece to the Progenitor's technology. They believe the clue refers to to a Betezoid book, or rather, the original manuscript. Not knowing if it (or even a copy of the book) still exists, they track down someone that know anything about handwritten manuscripts, which turns up one result... Their own Jett Reno. I'm sorry, but this is dumb. Why would a Starfleet engineer originally from the 23rd century know anything about a book written in the 24th century? She admits that part of her 'resume' is embellished, but still... This feels like the writers stretching just to include a scene for Reno. But she tells them about the “Eternal Gallery and Archive,” a mobile repository of knowledge from all worlds. I like this idea of a mobile archive, but I feel like it's unnecessary in Star Trek, when every Starfleet computer has the Federation database. There's no need for one mobile storage archive when essentially every computer across the Federation serves that purpose. Apparently the clue may be a catalog card from this archive. Meanwhile, Stamets and Book are trying to discovery the origins of the card and having no luck narrowing it down. Because this clue was left by a Betazoid, Stamets suggests maybe there is a empathic impression left on it (while he have seen physic impressions left by telepaths before... it's usually the result of a traumatic death, not something they can willing do), and Book is able to sense a plasma storm... The Badlands.

Bluffing that they've already made a deal to hand over Moll and L'ak to the Primarch that occupied Rayner's home world, the Breen agree to leave. Unfortunately, Moll and L'ak pull an ill-conceived escape attempt, which puts L'ak's life in damager once again. Needing a Breen doctor to save him, Starfleet negotiates with L'ak's uncle, who warns them if L'ak dies while in their custody, it'll mean war. Book is able to convince Moll to return to sickbay as L'ak dies. Moll suggests she may be of use to the Breen, because she claims they were married, and tells them about the Progenitor's technology (not sure how she could find it at this point, when she doesn't have any of the pieces Discovery collected, and didn't even see all the clues). The Breen leave, and Discovery prepares to recover the final piece of the puzzle...

---
I assume L'ak will be brought back to life using the Progenitor's technology. And it'll probably lead to the first Breen/Federation alliance given they've established L'ak is basically the next Breen emperor. That being the case though, I think they should have explained why he isn't. I mean, they establish there are 6 Primarchs fighting each other to be emperor, with L'ak's uncle apparently being the top contender because he has L'ak....But why isn't L'ak, or his uncle, already Emperor of the Breen given this direct bloodline?

Also, just to point something silly out... The Breen in Discovery seem to have a lot of blood based stuff. Like blood bounty and bloodline succession.... It just seems strange when the Breen are known not to have blood.

The Breen dreadnought design disappointed me. It was just a generic looking gigantic city ship. They should have designed it to look like a future version of the Breen ships we saw in DS9. Starfleet seems very concerned about facing off against the Breen given what happened the last time they entered Federation space... During the Dominion War. I find it hard to believe Starfleet still knows so little about the Breen after 800 years. Not to mention, they were pretty much on equal footing once Starfleet overcame their energy dampening weapon.

I do like how they've pivoted the villains from these small time "couriers" to a faction of the Breen. At last, it feels like they've got proper villains that can match Starfleet. Although I'm not sure how they could do much of anything when Discovery has information they don't have...

The writing behind this Macguffin hunt continues to be incredibly lazy, filled with coincidences and convivences. These scientists wanted this technology to be found, right? So why did they make the clues so incredibly vague? Without literally being handed the scientists names and planets of origin, I doubt they could have solved these last two clues. This clue, they seem to have made some wild guess work about it being a book, which there just so happens to only be ONE book with that title, and how convenient the ONE person that might know anything about it in their database happens to be Reno of all people. And the hiding places that frankly shouldn't be around after 800 years? The Badlands and a wormhole in-particular are especially dumb given how quickly the plasma storms shift and a wormhole, in general, is not a long lived phenomena.

Also... copy of a book? The original manuscript? This book was written in the 24th century, right? I know some writers still sometimes use paper in the 24th century (such as Jake in DS9) but wouldn't the book be digital (or whatever the 24th century equivalent is) and in the Federation database?

Book's instance to talk to Moll in this episode doesn't come off believable. At one point he claims he has the best chance getting through to her because he's talked to her the most... For like 5 minutes while trying to not die on the Mirror Enterprise? That's not exactly the most compelling reasoning there Book. And while I get he sorta sees her as his sister, being the daughter of his mentor, she's made it clear she doesn't see it that way because her father abandoned her. How the writers have him approaching the situation could be better. I did like how someone finally called him out for not being the most trustworthy after what he did last season.

Rayner at one point suggests using "thoron fields and duranium shadows" to bluff the Breen into thinking HQ is more heavily armed than they are. Obviously the writers watched some DS9, because this was used in "Emissary" and Martok suspected it in "The Way of the Warrior". But... I just don't buy that ploy would still work in the 32nd century, with 800 years worth of advancements to sensor technology.

Speaking of Federation HQ's defenses... How come they didn't use their distortion field to protect themselves from the Breen? I know originally they needed several Starships to help power the thing, but that was also the encompass the entire fleet. They wouldn't need it that big in this situation. Also seems to highlight why moving Federation/Starfleet headquarters off a planet was a bad idea.
User avatar
Sparky Prime
Supreme-Class
Posts: 5242
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:12 am

Re: Star Trek

Post by Sparky Prime »

Discovery season 5 episode 8
Spoiler
Discovery jumps just outside of the Badlands where they encounter a communications beacon and one of the Archivists guides them to an oasis in the plasma storms where the Archive resides. I'm guessing the plasma storms have gotten worst over the past 800 years? Because Discovery is roughed up by the trip, even though ships in the 24th century could navigate through it without taking damage. The Archivist asks that Book join Burnham since she has something to show him from his world. I think he called it world tree roots. I get the feeling they'll be using it to restore his homeworld, or create a new one. Meanwhile, a device in the book left by the 24th century Betazoid scientist takes Burnham into a mindscape of her own creation. She's meant to see the most important place in her life, which is portrayed as the Archive. Burnham reasons it's because she's always 'on mission'. The Betazoid scientist is portrayed by Book, which felt like they just didn't want to hire another actor for the role to me. I didn't buy the excuse he's just the image that Burnham's mind conquered up. At any rate, Burnham reasons this is a test she has to pass and begins looking for a way out of this mindscape.

The Breen arrive and demand the clue, which the Archivist denies, causing the Breen to attack the Archive. Book and Rayner help to defend the station, while Discovery works from a distance to hamper the Breen ship. Burnham eventually gives in, admitting her own shortcomings and faults. notBook explains she passed the test by being true to herself, telling her where the clue is, as well as something about the location the Progenitor's technology is hidden. Discovery re-enters the oasis and beams the away team back. Burnham negotiates with the Breen, agreeing to hand over the map if they don't attack the Archive. The Breen reluctantly agree, but before transporting it over, Discovery makes a copy of the coordinates. The Breen attack Discovery. Just as their shields are about to collapse, Burnham orders a spore jump as they vent warp plasma, making it look like they were destroyed. However, the Spore Drive as well as the warp drive are both damaged. At maximum warp, they figure it'll take the Breen about 6 hours to reach the Progenitor's technology, so Burnham orders that they need to get there within 5 hours.

Believing Discovery destroyed (seemed like the Breen believed this ruse a little too easily with just a little debris and warp plasma. Shouldn't they be able to tell it's not enough debris to account for the whole ship? What happened to the Breen being able to detect when the spore jump?), the Breen Primarch orders the Archive destroyed. Moll objects given he swore a blood oath not to. He tells his guards to take her to 'the chamber', and kills the first guard to argue with the order. Moll continues to object when the Primarch reveals he's just after the Progenitor technology at this point, that's all he cares about. She kills him and gains the support of the Breen by proclaiming they will resurrect L'ak (also seemed too easy. What happened to the Breen being xenophobic and seeing humans as a lesser species, even if she was married to L'ak?).

--
I think they could have come up with a better design for the Archive. I mean, it was impressive, but the whole thing appeared to be full of books. Physical paper books. Seemed obvious they went to a real library for filming. While I could see this alien archive having some books, I find it hard to believe the majority of the archive would be filled with printed books. The paper wouldn't last for hundreds of years, and pretty much every culture we've seen in Star Trek writes primarily on PADDs. So why isn't the majority of the knowledge they have stored digitally (or whatever future terminology they want to use)? I would have rather seen something like the Jedi Archives, where instead of paper books they had some sort of digital storage devices. The outside of it looked like a city. Reminded me of Atlantis in the Stargate franchise. Cool design, but isn't very Star Trek. And if it is hundreds of years old as they imply, it should look like a space station. It should look old, even if they have kept it updated. And why hide it in the Badlands? I mean, I get it's a level of protection, but if the Badlands are as dangerous as this episode shows, it doesn't seem like a good location for people to actually visit or contribute anything to it. Reno mentioned in the previous episode that they relocate every 50 years. Yet the empathic vision Book got from the book ticket thing showed the Badlands. Which was 800 years ago. Shouldn't it not be in the Badlands now?

Speaking of designs... Apparently the Breen bridge is in the middle of their shuttle bay? There's storage containers and smaller ships constantly flying around in the background, and a giant opening to space in the background.... It seems like an odd place to be commanding the ship from.

The completed map does not match 24th century technology. It projects a holographic star map, which is fine, but the way it looks and how they interact with it is more like they do with 32nd century holograms. Not sure why Burnham beamed it over trying to make a deal with the Breen when it seemed like she didn't really seem to expect them to stick to it.

I don't get Moll's change of attitude in this episode. She's been willing for people to get hurt/killed in the pursuit of her own interests. Yet, with the Breen, she argues against them attacking Discovery and the Archive.

I was a little confused at one point when Book comes back to the room Burnham is unconscious in, after getting shot. They didn't actually show it happen, except after the fact on Breen body cam footage.

At one point someone on Discovery points out they can't last long in the plasma storms of the Badlands. They can't seem to avoid getting damaged. But that goes against what we saw in DS9/Voyager. Obviously it was dangerous, but ships could navigate it without getting damaged. Heck, the Maquis used the Badlands to escape the Cardassians and Starfleet all the time, and even had some bases on planetoids. It suggests to me somehow the Badlands have become more dangerous over the centuries, but unfortunately, the episode doesn't do anything to explain it.

Seems like a lot of the actors have jumped ship... I know Doug Jones was busy with Hocus Pocus 2 at the time they were filming this season (it was that long ago), but a lot of the other actors have been absent for the last couple episodes now as well. Practically everyone on the bridge are new characters.

At least the clue/map piece hunt is finally over.
Post Reply