Jan 8, 2018

Despite Yourself


Ok, after the hiatus comes a smash-mouth episode. Some of our theories have come true some have not. Much action and twists of plot.


1. Ash is Voq, this is pretty much certain now I think but we also see that L'rell is having trouble getting through to the Voq consciousness and that there is the possibility of the Ash persona fighting through, although given that he has murdered doctor Culber he seems to be pretty much in deep trouble if he gets back to Disco.


2. They are in an alternate universe and a VERY alternate universe it is. Humans the bad guys no pity no respect xenophobes with starships.


3. Tilly is a captain but not as she imagined it, Burnham is a captain but not as she wanted it and Lorca is a traitor in a bit of an about face.


What does this mean for the rest of the season?


Burnham, Ash and Lorca on the Shenzhou are in for a bad time but in different ways. Lorca is being tortured physically. Burnham is being tortured mentally by the choices she is having to make and the persona she is being forced to adopt. Ash is being tortured by not knowing who he is and the actions he has taken and may take in the future, tortured by the lack of control over his self.


Tilly is going to have a nervous breakdown trying to play the hardened merciless killer and trying not to become the ship everyone is trying to kill.


Stamets is completely off his rocker but seems to be able to have some sort of prescience about events and motivations. When he finally recovers somewhat he is going to have to deal with the grief at Culber's death and there is a great possibility that he will feel some guilt for them being in this predicament and for his partners death which may destabilize him further.


I found it interesting that stamet's statement that the enemy was here was in the presence of Ash and when Ash entered the bridge Saru's threat ganglia erupted, he is going to be a major problem.


The question seems to be can they survive long enough to get back to their own universe. I think time is irrelevant here with regard to getting back with the shield frequencies as if you can jump to an alternate universe it is likely possible to jump to a specific time. The question would seem to be can they jump at all, will Stamets ever be able to do it, will he do it even though it might kill him as he is distraught at losing his partner. Or will they find some sort of wormhole to take them back, but to when in their timeline would they return?


Why is it that all my posts seem to ask far more questions than they answer?


I may have even more questions after I have watched the episode a second time.

Jan 9, 2018

Kev, you ask some great questions. We get at some of them in the episode (uploading as I type), but with so much else going on, we don't really do much speculating about Stamets. It seems likely that he will recover to some extent, simply because I can't imagine them taking both him and Dr. Culber away from us. But I wonder how helpful he'll be in resolving the current situation. Frankly, I'm left wondering how many episodes we're going to spend in the Mirror Universe, and it might be interesting to see what happens with Stamets if we spend three or four episodes there.


Your emphasis on all three of our characters being tortured on the Shenzhou is brilliant. Certainly, the writers took our three most tormented characters and put them in this situation, and it will be interesting to see if they double-down on torture and agony as a theme in the next episode. Will this experience turn out to be cathartic for everyone? I'd like to hope so, but hoping didn't get Lorca anywhere, either.


I hope we get to see some antics as Saru and Tilly try to command Discovery in the next episode!

Jan 10, 2018

Now that I have finished this "half-season premiere" as well as its AfterTrek chaser plus the newest podcast of Lower Decks - I can come back to the Claytemple forums! Great to be back here and back in this Disco state of mind :D


I confess, the return of Disco gets twice as warm a welcome from me, because I hated "The Last Jedi" - and I desperately needed to enjoy another lifelong space saga love of mine to help heal my open Star Wars wound. Am so, so happy (and more thankful than ever) to be back in Star Trek.


Another confession: at some point during the first half of this season, I expressed distaste for the idea that Disco would be using the Mirror-verse. I said this series hasn't earned it yet. I was wrong. I really liked "Despite Yourself," and I actually hope Disco spends a good chunk of time in this dark reflection reality!


Thought Glenn brought up a great point about how Voq-as-Tyler must be/ will be nervous at least on some level to meet his Mirror Doppelganger. On a related note, I would not be surprised if Burnham runs into her own; that the Mirr-Dopp Burnham did indeed fake her death to track down Mirr-Dopp Lorca. If our Burnham came up with that cunning plan - why wouldn't the other?


As for Culber, I was also pretty surprised over his death. But my instincts - plus his appearance and attitude on AfterTrek, as well as the attitudes of the showrunners who also guested - make me believe Culber will not be dead for long, lol. I'm not worried.


Lastly - is it just me, or did Disco tweak the Terran Empire logo even further than Lower Decks discussed, in that all of Earth's land masses on the globe in the middle of the logo now appear to be reversed in image? As in, the Mirror Universe's Africa now sticks its upper head to the right, with the Sinai Peninsula to the left of it?

Jan 11, 2018

Well, I don't think you were wrong to think that the first season of a show is too early to give us a "but what if all the characters were different" story. Normally, I'd agree, and I think that TNG made this very mistake with The Naked Now. But I think what makes it work in Discovery, is that all of our characters are trying to work out who they are, and so putting them in a position to be explicit about that really serves the theme. That said, I do wonder what is going to happen in Season 5 if we're already getting a multi-episode Mirror Universe story.


I'll have to check out the Terran Empire emblem again, but I wouldn't be surprised if I missed that detail while I was hyperventilating from over-excitement.


And I'm right there with you about The Last Jedi. I would have rather seen Despite Yourself on the big screen.

Jan 11, 2018

(Oh and P.S., thanks for the shoutout on the podcast, now I'm extra glad that I cut/pasted that Mirror Universe discussion from Scott Tipton's Star Trek TNG comic book!)

Jan 15, 2018Edited: Jan 15, 2018

We're glad to have you back with us, BionicDave - listener extraordinaire! Very glad to have you along for the ride to enrich the experience and our commentary. (And ppssttt...I'm holding out the same hope for Culber. It'd be awful of Star Trek to repeat the trope of killing off an LGBTQ character of color. I just have to believe they know better than that.)


I love what kev may highlighted in his post, that Disco has taken our three most tormented characters and put them in the most precarious of situations. It's funny, too, that you all mention here that it's potentionally too soon for this type of epsidoe. Disco is so packed with character development in every second of the show that it really does feel like we know (most of) our main characters very well already. Other Trek shows have taken much longer to give characters definitive personalities, meaning there was less to play with in the Mirror Universe early on. As for the question about what might happen in Season 5, well, I'm kind of hoping that the war will be over and we'll get more classic Trekventures and morality plays once we're all settled in. A girl can dream, can't she?


P.S. - I will not tolerate any more badmouthing of The Naked Now.





New Posts
  • I had missed some of the bonus content and am finally getting to your coverage of S1 ep1 Caretaker. I've really enjoyed it. I have seen the first 3 or 4 seasons back when they originally aired but haven't seen any since then. I can't say that Voyager stuck with me, it's my least favorite Trek. So my question for anyone is: What are the 5-10 best episodes of Voyager?
  • I am not the biggest Voyager fan. The series never lived up to the potential I thought it had. So my disappointment in it is all on my end as a viewer. That being said I recently watched the premiere episode again and was impressed by how good it was. The intro starts with a text crawl that looks like it came from a 16 bit video game. Its terrible. I don't think it was needed, some other contextual clue would have been better. The intro then drops us right in the action with Maquis being chased by Cardassians and disappearing. This is more action than most episodes get right off the bat. The main function of a premier is to show us the crew, the ship and the setting. Voyager does an excellent job introducing the crew. Disgraced officers, rebels and a mix of new and veteran Starfleet personnel promises for an interesting show. Captain Janeway is fully fleshed out from the get go, they did a great job making her character feel real for the audience. The cameo by Quark is also very well used, setting up a crucial friendship between Paris and Kim. They spend enough time and give us something about all of our main cast here which is a very strong start. The ship doesn't need alot of time and doesn't get it. It can't compare to the Enterprise so they don't try. It's a smart choice. The plot in how they ended up in the situation is where this gets a little thin. I actually think they would have been better served by making the alien more incomprehensible rather than a hologram that babbles. Janeway makes a difficult and understandable choice, but if I was a crewman I would be mightily pissed off. This is a strong start for the series and is the second best premier, after DS9, in my opinion. It was way lower for me prior to this rewatch, so I am somewhat surprised by Voyager here.

Claytemple Media is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.