Mar 10, 2018

Rewatching and listening

11 comments

i decided to rewatch the season and listen to your podcast, which is super exciting. i didnt find this podcast until the last couple of episodes, and ahh i fell in love with georgiou from the strat like valerie did! i still havent gotten over it. how did anyone else!?

Mar 10, 2018

Oh, wow, thank you for making us a part of your rewatch. I did a very bingey rewatch almost right after the finale and Georgiou really stood out to me. Watching the premiere, knowing Lorca's secret, I really rued the loss of Georgiou as the potential captain for Discovery in Season 2. I really love her blend of decisive action and contemplative discourse.

Mar 10, 2018

She’s just such a wonderful character and I can never get over the relationship between her, Michael, and the crew. In such a short period of airtime she by far became my favorite Star Trek captain and such great representation for so many different things. But, I guess I need to move on, but if there was a prequel of adventures of the shenzhou my life would be complete. I love this podcast and it’s such a treat to delve so deep into the show. I haven’t checked out the other podcast you do on different star treks but I’m super excited for it.

Mar 11, 2018

 

So just to make a comment on episode 8 in Pavoh. I don’t think they ever did go very deeply into why Sauru behaved as extremely as he did. To me, I have extreme anxiety and know a lot of people who do and really relate (somewhat) to his experience of feeling peace and fighting to not let it go. It really reminds me of how addiction can work, particularly with people who have anxiety and depression disorders. The relief from the kind of torture that the fear constantly extols on you is extremely powerful and seducing for lack of a better word. To face going back to it once you’ve experienced a complete sense of peace or serenity is it’s own kind of dread and fear.  It really resonated with my lived experience and I thought it was a great parallel for the connection of mental illness with addiction. I don’t know if that was the point, but it did give a great reflection of how those two things can play out. That’s not to say that violence or coercion or insanity is acceptable, but in those moments it can feel like you are totally powerless over everything and you will do what it take to maintain that feeling. So, although I am bringing in drug use and addiction, it didn’t seem like Sauru was under any influence except his own lack of fear. And I think that makes a really great thought experiment of what would happen if we lost our capacity to feel fear. Which ties into drug use, because that’s the simplest way to remove fear, but I think it’s bigger than just that. If you lost your capacity to feel fear, would you be under any moral considerations for your actions. Is fear the cornerstone of morality. Does it play the primary role informing our behavior? Or is that the case just for those who are consumed in it, whether because of a mental illness independent of circumstance or of a ptsd sort of influence. And if that’s the case, particularly for both these cases, inherent or learned, can one be “at fault” because of their actions in the absence of that fear and anxiety. Which I believe yes, you still have control over your actions including getting help for these issues and finding constructive ways of managing that fear.  The other side of this is people who do not have any issues and who are mentally “normal”. What happens if that fear is lost for them. Would the reaction be the same? Which kind of goes to the importance of fear, but also the cause or driving force of morality. Which is not necessarily based in fear and instead is based in either something independent of emotion or of empathy and compassion. So I guess how do all these things play out for people who experience fear in different ways and different intensities. I also think this can go to the question of morality based in and out of religion. Is morality a fear in being punished by a god, or is it an inherent set of values that come from being a socialized “animal” or something else. Morality as a set of principles that can and do exist out of a belief in some religion or supernatural set of consequences for “doing the wrong thing”. So I think this whole episode is an interesting display and consideration of all of these things, whether it was meant to be or not. 

Mar 13, 2018

 

Two notes so far. I didn’t really realize how much detail and significance of that detail was in this show until the beginning of the second half of the season. I was so used to other treks, particularly voyager, where most things don’t tie too much into one another. When I started watching I was so focused on the broader plot that I ended up not understanding it as well as I did after the rewatch and after listening to this and other podcast and recaps. I’m just so impressed by how much thought and care went into this show.  Second, I don’t know how writing or producing a tv how works, but it seems like the writers underestimated how much detail would be lost in the time between individual episodes, and between all the story arcs. There are so many more things that make sense when I watch the episodes back to back than when I watched it week to week and with the large break in between. I don’t think they were fully aware of how that time lapse would affect the audiences understanding of the story overall and how things unfolded. Particularly with Lorca’s story. When I first watched it, I saw Lorca change from a complex character to a one dimensional villain, and it seemed like a big failure on the parts of the writers and a disappointing undevelopment in the show. But rewatching it, I can see how creating this character knowing who he really is could blind you to how he developed through the eyes of the audience. We see him as such an interesting nuanced character because of how he was able to pull this whole plan off and the decisions he made to do it. We contextualize him from a perspective that I think the writers just didn’t have. So I guess I wonder how much of Lorca’s decent to evil villain trope was because of a lack of audience perspective than bad writing or storycraft. But maybe those things aren’t independent of each other. My point is, after rewatching the season, knowing that Lorca is mirror Lorca, my understanding of what happened in episode 13 has changed and makes a lot more sense. I can see how he was just really lucky and desperate instead of a nuanced genius. 

Mar 13, 2018

also, i do keep returning to the Pavoh episode, even though it was my least favorite episode and watching experience. While we see Sauru continue to become such a strong and likeable character, how do we square that with his actions on Pavoh. The question i keep thinking about is, if you remove a critical influence on your life, like overwhelming fear, is that version of yourself your real self. is that who you truly are, or is it the opposite. can we blame him for what happened? is that who he truly is? or is it more complex than that. i just keep going back to, if you take away fear in a person that is and always has been dominated by it, who is that person? and how do we judge their actions? and how does that person navigate that experience? what do we do with that? i think this is mainly why i really liked this episode even though i didnt. I would be interested to see if they ever go back to that and talk about it.

Mar 14, 2018

Now that the show and the podcast are on hiatus, nobody is really visiting this forum anymore, but I want you to know that I'm really enjoying your detailed and nuanced posts :)

Mar 14, 2018

thanks, same with yours! it seems like we are having a hard time putting the show down. i wish it would be back on faster than 2020. its just a really good show

Mar 18, 2018

These are wonderful observations and comments. Our whole team was off the forum this past week because I was getting married -- but we're back now and ready to return to obsessing about Star Trek!

 

1. Saru's behavior on Pahvo is really interesting, and you raise some excellent points about it. I wish the show had slowed down and addressed those questions rather than merely raising them in the middle of a tense action sequence. Saru keeps saying that he wasn't feeling fear, but he also says that he was motivated by a desire to keep not feeling fear. Would it be fair to say that he feared feeling fear? In any case, you're drug analogy really works for me. I especially like contrasting this episode with Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. People tend not to like this one (I love it!), but it does raise a similar question: who would we be without our pain? Would we even be the same people? How would we behave? The characters who succumbed to Sybok's Vulcan hypnotism acted very differently, as if they were under the influence of some mind-altering substance. Saru, as you point out, acted very much the same way without his fear. I hope the show will return to this, too.

 

And thank you for sharing your own relationship with fear and anxiety. I hadn't thought about the question this episode raises about the source of human morality. I don't think that our morality is rooted in fear -- indeed, I think think that fear is often an obstacle for our morality. Often we know how we ought to behave, but fear of physical harm or financial burden prevents us from trying to prevent violence or from taking in a stranger. So, again, I think that your drug analogy works much better here.

 

2. You make a great point about how the show looks very different to those who are producing it than it does to those who are receiving it. The writers had this story mostly complete before they began filming, and of course they saw their episode breaks more like chapter breaks in a novel, while we had to wait an entire week to get the next installment. I think it's a pretty difficult task to think about your own story from the perspective of the audience, especially with those format. But, like you, I'm impressed by how much care and thought this creative team put into their story and their world and I thought that it made for a great twelve-hour movie!

Mar 18, 2018

Congratulations Glenn!

Mar 18, 2018

Thanks! There was much talk of Star Trek!

Mar 19, 2018Edited: Mar 19, 2018

Yes, our apologies to lemk1988, and thank you to chrissam42 for stepping in as a Lower Decks ambassador! We *love* getting your thoughts on the show and comments on the forum.

 

lemk1988, I’m really glad you’ve brought mental health and addiction into your reading of this episode! I think they are extremely important and really do lie at the heart of what Saru was experiencing, and ultimately how he acted.

 

I’d be pretty comfortable, I think, labeling Saru’s brief experience in harmony with the Pahvans as much akin to being under the influence of what we would view as traditional mind-altering substances. Even if you take fear out of the equation, Saru did appear to experience a very sharp withdrawal. As he was coming down, his need to get back to his altered feeling state increased sharply and caused him to act out. Ultimately, however, the withdrawal did not seem to last long - back on the ship, he was back to his old self relatively quickly, and the experience did not seem to have left him altered in any more permanent way.

 

I would have loved for the show to address his experience more fully. We mentioned on the podcast that we wanted to know if there were any consequences for Saru’s behavior (and if not, why not). After reading your wonderful comments, I now wish they had taken the opportunity to address what it might have been like for Saru to have returned to his less harmonic feeling state, knowing that there was an alternative out there. Does he feel something is missing? Does he struggle with the need to get that harmony back? Has it affected him negatively? Or perhaps he has been able to channel it positively into his new, awesome command style? Either way, I would have liked a deeper look into his journey. Because, ultimately, substances cannot rid us of fear. They numb us to it, even though it remains very much felt.

 

Oh! And your comments and questions about fear made me think of a podcast that I listened to recently that had a segment on a woman who cannot feel fear. The podcast is called Invisibilia, and you can find the episode here: https://www.npr.org/programs/invisibilia/377515477/fearless I think you'll find it very interesting and would love to hear your thoughts!

 

P.S. Team Georgiou!!

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