Oct 5, 2017

Star Trek: Discovery - Context Is for Kings

6 comments

Just wanted to get some random thoughts and observations out there, mostly responding to points made in the podcast:

 

First off, thanks for pointing out that this episode was set 6 months after the first two. If that was mentioned I completely missed it!

 

With how people are treating Burnham, I definitely understood it as people wanting a scapegoat and looking for someone to blame, because that's how people react to these sorts of situations. Whether the writers intend for them to be right or not is harder to say. Based on what we saw in the first two episodes, Burnham obviously isn't to blame for starting the war. T'Kuvma wanted a war and was going to start one no matter what. But maybe the writers were trying to set Burnham up as being the instigator. I'm still not sure about that one.

 

I spotted Ginny Weasley (sorry, don't remember the character's actual name) and her weird technological enhancements. Originally I just saw them as part of the treatment for whatever wounds she sustained at the Battle of the Binary Stars, given that we're pre-TNG magic technology here. But now I'm not so sure, maybe it is part of one of Lorca's experiments. Also, her and Saru have both been transferred to the Discovery. Is it normal to have two (or more) members of a crew who survived something like that battle transferred to the same new ship (from a military/Starfleet perspective)? Is it just to give us some familiar faces? Is it part of some scheme by Lorca? Is he gathering Shenzhou veterans?

 

I didn't catch that the weird blue dots from the start of the episode weren't the same ones they're experimenting with on the Discovery, so thanks for clearing that up too. Unless that's just what we're supposed to think?! I have no good explanation for what happened to Burnham in the chamber, and I'd really like one. Speaking as a non-scientist, the science in this episode felt dodgy, even for Star Trek.

 

Lorca totally tricked Burnham at the end and he's actually developing a weapon after all right? (Also, as soon as she walked into his ready room the first time I yelled at the TV for her to check his forearm for tattoos...)

 

Overall I think they set up some interesting plots in this episode and I'm intrigued to see where they're going. But I'm not completely sold on this yet.

Oct 6, 2017

Yeah, it's hard to tell exactly what Lorca's tricking her about, but he's definitely tricking her. I believe him when he says that the mushrooms are for a propulsion system, if only because there is other evidence of it, but that monster from the Glenn (can we call it the Glenn Monster?) is all about making a weapon ... just like Paul Reiser always wanted.

 

Do you think that this weekend's episode is going to be more setting-up, or will we get some external forces in the form of guest stars?

Oct 6, 2017

You have far more faith in Lorca's intentions than I do, but you're probably right.

 

I have a feeling the next episode will be more setting-up and crew interactions. That's not to say we won't have guest stars of course. I'm expecting Ginny Weasley to put in another appearance at least. (What is that character's name anyway?)

 

(And yes, we're totally calling it the Glenn monster now!)

Oct 6, 2017

Haha, it's Keyla. And just reading the credits, I think we can be certain that we've only met half of our main cast so far, so, you are probably right about the nature of Episode 4. At this rate, we might not really get around the Discovery's mission until the mid-season break.

Oct 12, 2017

Interesting episode, I must say that I find the darker and more realistic feel is a positive as I do sometimes feel that the franchise is too PC and preachy and we all know that life is shades of grey not black and white (and for good guys they broke the prime directive every time they were faced with it). Lorca is a manipulator but we have yet to ascertain if he is doing so for good or bad. It may be that he has good reasons and intentions or even orders and he just is not in a position where he can or is ready to reveal them. There was comment about his not a democracy comment and my take on this is as follows.

Starfleet is a multi-purpose organization, Exploration, Science and defense. Most of the time they have been involved in the first two and have not really had to think much about the third. Their personnel have joined for the first two and sort of assumed the third would never happen. Lorca understands that things have changed the mission is now military, they are at war but many in the crew are not mentally prepared for that shift and are railing against it or are in denial. Command can be exercised in various ways depending on the situation.

In peacetime with a routine task you may gather everyone around and have an almost democratic decision making process.

If the task is more time sensitive or less routine then maybe a small group will make suggestions and the leader will decide amongst them.

In war, with life or death and time critical situations then command is autocratic, I say, You do. The away mission to the Glenn was such a situation and Lorca was quite right to remind everyone that there is a rank structure and he is the captain and arguing with his choices and orders is not appropriate.

 

I think they have to bring us up to speed on some of the other characters before they introduce more and I think that while Lorca tries to manipulate Burnham I think her personality and strength of will will have an effect on him perhaps moderating him towards a more engaged person, she might teach him to care about more than just mission results.

Oct 20, 2017

 

Hey Karanthir! We’re really excited to have you join us for the discussion and give us feedback on the podcast. Thank you!

 

By now there has been some good discussion re:Burnham starting the war over on the aptly titled “Is Burnham to Blame for the War” thread. I’ll let that speak for itself.

 

Karanthir, how has your opinion on these plots changed since you first put up the post/since the last episode? I’d be interested to hear how your perspective has been changed, because I keep bouncing all over the place.

 

As for kev may, I like your explanation of the three branches of Starfleet, so to speak. It’s the simplest explanation for what’s going on, and I think there is a saying somewhere about that, isn’t there? :)

Oct 21, 2017

I really like Kev's explanation here, and I think Discovery has done something interesting by changing the color scheme to a metal scheme. In our culture, the colors yellow, red, and blue don't have any inherent ranking system; but as far back as Hesiod's Theogeny in ancient Greece our culture has understood that gold is more valuable than silver, which is more valuable than bronze (or copper). I think this more firmly shows us the place of Science within Starfleet's priorities and hierarchy. It is also worth nothing here that the medical branch seems to have been removed from this scheme altogether. I think this fits nicely with the recurring tension between Starfleet's mission of exploration and its role in defending the Federation.

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