TV Review – Star Trek Discovery – S01E04

Ever wonder why I’m not putting titles for these episodes? Because a pretentious title like the ones we’ve seen lately deserves no praise, no accolades, and no recognition.

Oh, well. On with the review. Spoilers ahoy. Etc.

Also, why are transparent monitors a thing? So useless.

I liked this episode better than the previous three. It gets a solid C! So, yes, still pretty bad, but it did have some good things. Michael is slowly becoming more likable (though it’s very much a “ten steps forward, nine steps back” kind of situation), Saru is annoying, but I continue to enjoy the way Doug Jones plays him, and the only two Klingons who have much dialogue in this story can actually speak it at slightly faster than a snail’s pace.

But problems remain, as do questions.

  • Michael has no reason, at all, to believe that Ripper is a passive, non-violent creature. Every single thing it has done has been violent and aggressive. She’s going with her intuition, or “feelings”; something no scientist, much less a Vulcan trained one, should do.
  • Gosh, that security guard lady sure had a death wish. I think her demise was designed to show us that the stakes are raised, and that anyone can be killed off. Well, anyone minority and female, at least so far.
  • Speaking of, should we take any notice of the fact that the only two main character deaths so far have been minority women? I predict now that Michael will die in an act of redemption.
  • Why did Michael lie to Saru about why she wanted him near the creature? Why not be up front about it? He’s a science officer, after all, surely he’d have come down to see what happens. All her actions did was make her seem like a bitch and further distance her from him for no good reason.
  • While we’re on that, were those pre-ganglionic fibers, or post-ganglionic nerves?
  • It’d be nice if the only two gay men we’ve ever seen in Star Trek do not wind up being a couple. But we know they will.
  • Why did the Discovery destroy three Klingon ships with phasers, and then the rest with explodey sticks after being hit repeatedly? What did this demonstrate? I could kind of understand if they destroyed all but one ship, and let that one go to bear witness to the others, but even then, you don’t really want to advertise a weapon like the one Discovery has.
  • So to be hip with the kids today, Discovery is a giant fidget spinner?
  • It’s a mining colony. Mines tend to be deep. Even a mile or two deep just here on Earth. Why aren’t the miners seeking shelter deep within the mines? And, “Wake up, mommy, wake up!” Oh, fucking please.
  • It’s going to be the telescope, isn’t it?
  • Ok, so it is indeed the telescope. Which was last seen on the Shenzhou. So Starfleet took the time to send someone over to the ship to pick that up, but didn’t then strip the rest of the ship of tech and resources to prevent the Klingons from getting those things?
  • And come to that, why leave the ship intact at all? Why wasn’t it set to self-destruct?
  • Come to that, why has Voq’s ship just been hanging around doing nothing during a major war? It’s implied that it’s the only ship with a cloaking device. Surely the Klingons would want it in battle.
  • And that makes me also ask, why didn’t the Federation send over a raiding party? Clearly this ship has, at least, some great cultural value to the Klingons. Why not send over a team to capture or destroy it and demoralize the enemy?
  • The Klingon stuff, it must also be said, is boring. I don’t care about Voq and T’Rell, or whatever her name is, and their budding romance. I really don’t care about it in Klingon, by which I mean to say, jISaHbe’. Kudos to the production team for trying the whole “let’s have them speak Klingon” thing, but it is distracting and isn’t really working. They’d be far better off taking approach used by The Hunt For Red October, where we have our characters speaking a different language, the camera pans, and now we’re hearing English. Simple!
  • This traveling via spores thing is really, really fucking stupid.

Meantime, while this series has been spinning its wheels in an endless show of “meh”, The Orville has turned out to be some of the best Trek in ages. The most recent episode had everything you’d want in a good TNG story, plus dick jokes! I really do recommend checking out the series. It’s great fun!


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