TV Review – Star Trek: Discovery – S1E5

Choose your pain! I choose to continue to watch Discovery, despite the fact that I should, by now, know better.

This episode was an improvement over previous ones. There were some little moments that I liked, and Rainn Wilson is quite good at playing a character we once saw on the original series. There was also a wonderful little moment of continuity that, at last, canonized the character of Robert April.

But just as I was starting to warm up, along comes the stupid. Here’s my usual spoileriffic list of questions!


First question: why would you allow a prisoner to keep that many rings?

Ok, so there wasn’t quite as much stupid in this episode. But there was some.

  • Why, in the discussion surrounding the use of Ripper to travel, did no one suggest, “Hey, imagine how much it would suck if we travel somewhere and he dies before we can get back? I mean, can you imagine?” That is, of course, essentially what happens.
  • Stamnets continues to be an unlikable, unprofessional dick.
  • And, hey, at least we don’t have to see him and Doctor Cuthbert (or whatever), going through their awkward dating phase: they have a relationship already! Fucking cool!
  • Oh, yeah. That happens. In Star Trek. You know, a show for the whole family? Yep. Not once, but twice. Ugh.
  • Also, no, it really isn’t fucking cool. I could do without the only two gay characters we’ve ever seen on Trek being a couple. Why can’t they just be two gay guys who work together?
  • Then we have the violence. Game of Trek, basically, including a scene where a Klingon woman gets half of her face phasered off. Gratuitous and pointless. I’m far from a prude, but between those scenes and the language, I wouldn’t let any kid under the age of 12 or so anywhere near this. Even then, I might hesitate.
  • Why did they leave Mudd behind? Yes, he was an asshole, but doesn’t it seem more logical to bring him along so he’s not shouting, and thus alerting guards? At least stun him, maybe. Or given Lorca’s past, kill him to spare him later pain.
  • Oh, yes, Lorca. Turns out that he’s got A Past. Killed everyone on his starship to spare them the pain of being captured and brutally murdered/tortured by the Klingons. Yay?
  • Yes, that was technically a question. This is not. Or is it?
  • Why did they release Ripper at the end? I guess they figured he was done being useful or something. At least we have some idea now of why Voyager didn’t have spore technology.
  • What was up with that mirror business? Oh, no. Please, no. No, no, no, no, no…
  • So…it’s now canon that the entire Star Trek universe is a giant mushroom. And how does that make you feel?


I’m still not finding any of the characters likable. Tilly is getting there slowly, but she’s still way too annoying, and has the honor of dropping Trek’s first f-bomb, so I’m not terribly pleased about that.

Orville update. This most recent episode really, genuinely, felt quite a lot like a TNG or maybe even a DSN, episode, and that’s a good thing! Take out the jokes, and you really have a very good, rather serious episode with interesting ethical issues. Also, two guys named Chris and Devon.

EDIT: I just learned that our rescued prisoner is played by the same actor who plays Voq, leader of the Klingons. Oh, no. Please, no. No, no, no, no, no…


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