Feb 10

An Obol for Charon


Guys Pike comes walking into that meeting “Everybody to your stations”. But no idea why Nahn is off to the side.


I agreed pretty much right down the line with you guys. This is probably my favorite episode since Lethe really. So emotional for me. Not just the Burnham Saru scenes (which even on a couple other watches still gets me because it doesn’t really matter if WE think Saru will die, Saru and Michael believe it so it impacts us. Michael’s break down just gutted me.), but also every time I think of the Space Oddity scene, even just think of it, tears spring to my eyes because it. Is. So. Loving. It is so clear that just as Michael says “I love you Saru” just as she thinks she will lose him, Stamet’s line “Tell my wife I love her” is really saying “I love you” to Tilly and Tilly’s tearful reply within the lyrics of “she knows” just was so laden with acknowledgement it just broke my heart into a thousand pieces. It was such a perfect moment. Those two are just magic together. I can’t remember the last time I got so emotional watching a tv show or movie.


I am so on board with “what triggers Vaharai?” It is clear that empathy triggered Saru’s here but it’s not Logan’s run. You have priests and elders. There does not seem to be a specific age for this puberty. The culling seems random. I think there *is* something to that obelisk thing and being triggered randomly or genetically to go into Varahai. Or do the priests make these choices somehow? Which would be a real kick in the gut to Saru but his father was clearly weighed down by something. If so, that question Saru asks was very close to home when he says “Father what if I reach Varahai by the next culling” and his father just kind of rages at him “then you’ll be thankful for the honor“ and casts that in a whole new light.


Michael really just took on a new inner light by the end of the episode I have not seen from her before. This seems to have been pretty cathartic for her too in some way.

I am so so excited for next week. Though it looks a little terrifying.

Thank you, @Karen Chuplis for reminding me how beautiful the Space Oddity scene is! I really wish it had gotten as much screen time as the emotional dialogue between Burnham and Saru - all my Stamets scenes are going by way too quickly! The vulnerability, fear, love, and emotion in their voices guts me too, to borrow your verbiage.


You bring up some excellent points about how Vaharai might not follow some sort of stable timeline (such as puberty happening between ages 9-13, etc.). One missing piece of information is whether or not there are Kelpians that live and die without ever having Vaharai triggered - is this something that would occur naturally on its own if given an uninterrupted chance? Do Kelpians die of other causes, and Vaharai isn't actually a natural process at all, but simply something exploited by the Baul and triggered by light? I'd love to get a few more Kelpian episodes, and I think the show is setting things up such that we just might get them.

Thanks for backing me up! Your suggestion that Saru's father even knows Vaharai can be triggered artificially and is so sinister and creepy -- I love it!

It sure seems like some of them have to know....

Disclaimer, I have not yet watched the Saru short-trek, so I'm probably missing pieces of the Vaharai puzzle. But my initial reaction to the latest episode was, surely someone in the history of Kelpia would have discovered that if you just don't go through with the whole dying thing, you come out stronger than ever?


Regardless of the specific nerdy rules of this, I'm very interested to see where Saru's character goes after this transformation. Remember that last time we saw him "living without fear" he became rather scary! I predict an episode about Saruvian overconfidence soon.

Possibly, probably. I personally think the priests definitely know. But I think part of this is also why blind faith is dangerous and detrimental. People so believed what they were told if they weren't taken they ritually killed themselves. When you think about it, we've believed some pretty basic things that turned out to be not true and those who questioned it were even jailed. That's my take on it anyway. It's not a huge population, as Saru has pointed out. So there may not be a lot of outliers or rogues.

You'll see in "The Brightest Star" that Saru is a Kelpian weirdo for having an empirical world-view. So for Kelpiens, I think, any evidence that contradicts their cosmology would not force a person to reevaluate their cosmology but to challenge the evidence or to see it as a miracle.

@chrissam42 I try to stay away from spoilers, but I do follow Doug Jones on Instagram, and today he politely suggested we all re-watch "The Brightest Star" in preparation for this week's episode!

I just have to mention here that I laughed out loud on the podcast when @Valerie H. noted the terrible Italian in the Universal Translator mayhem scene. I don't speak a word of Italian, but I am a classical singer so I have a general idea of how to pronounce it, and hoo boy did that jump out at me as well!

Mar 7

How funny! When I was a kid watching a movie in which a character started speaking in a foreign language, I thought it was all gobbledygook, just random sounds. As for the Disco's universal translator, I thought it did a good job with the French, German and Russian, all of which I've studied. They were not word-for-word translations which can have hilarious results, as you know if you've ever used a computer translation program. It was a fun scene, though! (Sorry to be so late on board.)

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