Hello Glenn and Valerie,
Just a note to say thank you both for your wonderful podcast! I ran across it a few weeks ago while searching for thoughtful analysis of Star Trek: Discovery, and I think The Lower Decks is going to be a new fan home for me for quite some time to come. I've been a longtime Trek fan since my college days, when VOY and DS9 were on the air, and it's been such a thrill to have new Trek back on television. I really appreciate your informed, insightful commentary. It helps me think through each episode from angles I hadn't considered before, and that's exactly what I was looking for.
I've frankly been a little shocked at how many fellow Trek fans have decided to pan this show without giving it a fair hearing, so I really appreciate how you both are laying out your impressions with a reasoned assessment of the pros and cons. Like the both of you, there are certain things that I particularly like and others that don't quite hit home for me, but so far I'm enjoying Discovery overall and can't wait to see what happens in tonight's fall finale.
I had a couple of thoughts that I wanted to share with you. First, is it just me, or did Discovery (the ship & crew) make a rapid transition from a forbidding, unfriendly and perhaps dangerous/unethical workplace to a more sunny, friendly environment that is more typical for Trek? While I don't necessarily object to the transition, it seems to have happened awfully quickly. Perhaps we are looking at the ship through Burnham's eyes, finding it more comfortable as she gains her footing (but again, is it realistic that all of her colleagues would suddenly be fine working with someone they see as a mutineer?). There are of course still some serious open questions about Lorca and Tyler (Stamets gets a free pass with his personality swings due to being high IMO), but what I'm really referring to are the changes involving the overall atmosphere of Discovery rather than specific characters. Curious to know your thoughts.
Separately, about the question you both raised regarding Admiral Cornwell's fate in last week's episode (Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum), it's not clear to me that she is dead... or that she isn't. I feel like they left that open to interpretation, although I fear we may have lost her (and what does that say about Lorca's decision to volunteer her for that task?). It is possible that L'Rell is allowing Kol to think she's dead so that she can steal off with the Admiral later and exact revenge, but whether or not she could even do that is an open question now that she's gotten busted. I guess we'll have to wait and see. I do think Admiral Cornwell deserves/deserved a cocktail of her own, for what that's worth.
Thanks again for sharing your reflections with us each week. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the fall finale after tonight!