Mar 22

The Red Angel


The Admiral and Dr. Culber was a great scene. That is the kind of Star Trek I want.


The rest of it...... very sad sigh......

I loved every minute! Probably my favorite scene was Spock and Burnham in the gym. I thought it was such a sweet scene. When she sighed it felt like such a release. SMG was incredible. And I also loved when she went to Ash. That she didn’t know here to put her anger and he says “You put it where you knew it would be ok”. I thought that was so comforting. I also loved her scenes with Georgiou. It was refreshing to see Georgiou in a serious mode and it was very clear throughout that she took this seriously and Michael is very important to her. guess I’m an easy target. To me this was such an emotional episode. I just rewatched it with my friend who is just a casual TNG viewer but likes to watch DSC with me. We ended up watching it twice because she wanted to see it again, which is highly unusual. So I know I’m not alone. Lol. But the performance and the elivery for me just made this impeccable.

@Karen Chuplis These were some of my favorite moments as well. Now that I've seen that Time Crystal wiki entry, I think we're going to need you to come explain how the Red Angel suit works. We...might have been very confused by it in our coverage of Perpetual Infinity!

My questions:


Why did Control decide to incapacitate Leland at that moment? Why expose itself to detection when it would seem to be getting a desired outcome?


Is it wrong for me to have wanted the plan to fail? It was so dumb.

This is my one question too. I do not know what is going on there.

Mar 23

I was surprised to find . . . time crystals.


If I had one, I might wish for - well - any number of things, one of which I have just changed my mind about as I was writing. At least they do exist so the variance still exists.

It’s crazy but true. But apparently they’ve never gotten them to work yet. Makes you wonder.

I liked the scene between Nhan and Burnham. I would have liked it more if Pike had recognized how difficult Nhans actions had to have been for her. You know explain that actually physically causing Airiams death was as hard as Airiams sacrifice. In it's own way.


I am tired of Tilly being used as comic relief. It really makes her character jarring in the episodes context. The writers could be more subtle about it.


I hated the scene between Burnham and Ash in the lift. It was pointless other than to set up the later scene.


Phillipa turning into Burnhams mother hen was taking the only interesting part of her character, the mystery of what she is going to do about a situation, and cutting it off at the knees.


Burnham discovering her parents were more than she thought they were was the only good part of a terrible scene between her and Leland. Nothing else in the scene, or his explanation, made any sense.


If Burnham is definitely the Red Angel, which is definitely her mother, does that make Burnham a clone?

I thought the elevator scene was very realistic, emotionally. Every argument you have ever had with someone you care about is "pointless other than to set up" a later scene in your life.


I'm totally with you on Leland's explanation of the circumstances of Burnham's parents' death, I didn't even try to parse it. They'll re-explain the important parts in a later episode anyway.

Mar 25Edited: Mar 25

@chrissam42 I would they have rather spent the screen time from the lift scene talking about the plan or something else. Burnham telling Ash that she told them he was innocent was a so what moment for me. I'm not invested in the relationship being presented and Burnham is in almost every other scene.


Every other scene where Burnham is questioning his involvement in Section 31 makes it very hard for me to believe that she was convinced of his Innocence. She goes after what she thinks is the right thing to do constantly, but took no action at all to prove his Innocence.

Mar 23Edited: Mar 23

OK still listening but I had to write this before I forgot. I don’t get where the whole pyramid thing comes from? I assumed they are referring to the Voyager epiosde Furture Perfect where the guy uses the time ship from the future to advance the whole computer revolution. I don’t remember him talking about pyramids? I’ve actually watched it like three times (my friend who comes and watches on Friday had me play it again, so we actually ended up watching it last night 2 1.2 times because she wanted to watch the final scene another time). I’m going to have to watch that scene again. Although you’re explanation of her parents waiting for the nova was much better than what I thought, which was that it was the supernova that allowed her mother to get to the suit and use it to escape the Klingons. I thought his drop about “vast energy” was a clue to us about who would show up at the end of the show. It makes more sense they were waiting for the super nova to test the suit. Burnham probably just remembers that perhaps they were going to send her away and she begged to stay. (I’ve had enough family arguments where I remember something differently in childhood than older family members I can believe that she could mistake the events.)


Re; the engineering scene, I think yes Georgiou was becoming a bit attracted to Paul, but when Hugh stopped by, she was totally trying to make him jealous and helping in her weird way OR just doing it for fun. But it totally works and she knows it. That is also why she gives that knowing glance over to Hugh and Stamets at Enouff IV. I know it’s just a weird way to do it but I really believe that is what she was doing. Hugh did not come by to find Cornwall. That was a total boyfriend drive by. You know. You drive by the house hoping they are outside cutting the grass because you are interested but you aren’t sure and then you can either go by unnoticed or if they are out you might just “stop for a chat”. Or drive by. If you lose your nerve because then you can pretend you just didn’t see them but you have an excuse handy if it is more awkward than you think...well you get the picture. It was an odd scene but I loved it. Did it fit? I don’t know. It’s not like a show in this format can have a “data’s day“ episode where getting them back together can go through a B plot shenanigans meet cute. This is definitely an awkward thing about Discovery. It’s the same reason we can’t really have poker games to get to know people or a 10 forward just for advancing small character development. I’m not sure how you solve it either. I did find Georgiou particularly interesting in her interactions with Michael. I really liked seeing her take off her Emporer mask. From the time Michael unveils hers and Spock’s plan, she drops that cold and is totally serious the rest of the episode.

Karen, you didn't miss anyone in the show talking about the Pyramids, but ancient pyramids (famously in Egypt and Mexico, but really all over) are the bread & butter of ancient-alien/ancient-astronaut/ancient-time-traveler theorists so I was using it as a short-hand. I'm not actually sure, though, if Nimoy's show Ancient Mysteries ever actually did an episode on aliens building the Pyramids.

Oh, and I don’t know how they would contact the angel, at least not without cracking open a micro wormhole for an extended period of time which is the whole reason they want to keep her in one spot. Because they are deathly afraid of future AI getting help through. I dont’ know they want to make her do things. They want to question her. Good bad? I don’t know. But the other option is to just sit around and hope she takes care of bidness and the universe isn’t wiped out, which there will be no way for then to know.


Re: Tyler and S31 .... my friend turned to me when Michael was yelling at him and said “That’s not fair. It’s not like anyone else was offering him a job. No one wants him.“ And that is probably his main motivation in a nutshell. I loved the kiss scene because it was indeed the ONE time we have really seen Burnham be totally vulnerable in front of anyone.


Why was the Culber the doctor? Well.....why did the Enterprise end up having the only doctor who could operate on Jean Luc when his surgery went south. I mean, those are just things we’ve always accepted.


Yeah, the very horrific death was for drama purposes, but again, I can site a gazillion examples of things that didn’t have to be as they were in tv. I suppose it would not telegraph if it was a simple hypo spray or something? Too easy to revive? (Because if she hadn’t showed with her most probably future enhanced light beam, I don’t think they would have been able to revive Burnham. Iactuallly thought maybe they would pull a Harry Kim and replace her with herself for most of that scene.) I would also have liked more discussion but honestly the only answer for these things I think are more episodes. And funily enough, people have already complained this was too “talky” an epiosde. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (Which I personally love.)


Oh! And I wonder if the 100% bio signature means that Michael will have to don the suit. Daedalus Iccharus father son mother daughter.... Or I did see someone ask if maybe her mother put that marker into the file for some reason. We don’t really know WHO the file came from, only that it was inserted by a virus. Was it from the info Airian downloaded about AI or was it from the future probe? We don’t really know.


(I actually felt bad about noticing Peck’s immaculate physique at such a dramatic moment but...I mean COME ON.) I sure love all the Spock Burnham interactions. I will watch this over and over just for those. I could watch an entire series JUST about that family And particularly those two.


Leland is the only hard question I have. I do not know why AI would kill him just to do exactly what he was in the process of doing, other than opportunity. If he’s dead. But I think he must be because what purpose would maiming serve. I can only assume he has not used override codes since the AI infected the ship and this was opportunity. ANd AI apparently also wants the Red Angel trapped. I will say I CAN see the pokey eye thing being a (really stupid) security protocol S31 uses as a last resort. I don’t know. I have to say S31 is the least continuity stable story line of the whole series.


You can’t marry Spock. I’m marrying him. He’s PERFECT. For all the reasons stated including that he is gone a lot. Honestly if I wasn’t in love with him before already all my life, that scene in the gym would have done it. When he looked at her, and his voice dropped into that quiet, sensitive tone as he said “You were a child” that would have been enough. I melted all over the floor in a huge “AWwwwwwwwwwwwww he loves her.“

Mar 24

EP studied LN's speech patterns and cadences which I can definitely recognize in the tendency to speak in phrases with pauses after clauses, or should I say pawses after clawses. Sorry! EP also claimed to detect LN's Boston accent especially in his pronunciation of the word "captain", which I find amazing. EP has a wonderful deep timbre to his voice - it is easy to full in love with.


Tilly wasn't the only one to barge in on others' conversations; Georgiou and Culber did so, too. Unusual, but I guess necessary to convey info among characters who don't normally interact.


The big question, which you brought up, is why do they want the Red Angel anyway? She's working in their interests, so why the need to entrap her and endanger everyone in the process?





@pauladz Section 31 wants their tech back, which makes more sense than the reasons they gave at beginning of this episode.


They don't know that this red Angel is working in their interests or for how long it will continue to do so.

@pauladz I would say they don’t know who interest she‘s working in, even if it’s Michael or if it’s working if she is. As they pointed out at the beginning, big strange anomalous lights in space are a concern since that was the beginning of the Klingon war.

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Mar 24

@Valerie History 101 the pyramids were not built by slaves. I agree with just about everything you guys said on the pod, there is a huge amount of contrivance going on to get people who have no reason to be in a place there and I think that these and the short beats throughout this episode and this season are an artifact of the fact that the season is actually so short and not 20 episodes as some programs have.

This smaller number of episodes makes it necessary to dot these contrivances and beats in to ensure that the various plots are able to be resolved by the end of the season, I really don't think they have much of a choice unless the number of episodes per season is increased.

I don't totally agree that the season length is the main problem. The need for a comprehensive season arc and Burnham needing to be integral to its resolution are the main issues imo. They also keep episode length to TV standards.

What I know about History 101 is that whatever its conclusion is, most likely is wrong. Who built the pyramids, we will never know.

Dammit, Kev, Valerie's a classicist not a historian, and Herodotus says it was slaves. Never mind that he, by his own admission, couldn't read Egyptian and didn't have access to the financial accounts of the construction "companies" that built some of the Pyramids that we've discovered in the last forty or so years.

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Ok I finally managed to listen to the music in that scene thisntome around. Took me four tries before I wasn’t so sucked into that scene I could hear it. Yeah it’s very LOTR. Although it’s also very TOS! No one did over the top like TOS composers. I still love the music In both TOS and apparently here. Lol.

I think Michael is the iteration of the angel that came to Kaminar. She hasn’t done it yet.

She's getting into the suit mom fell out of makes sense.

This is a great observation. V and I certainly forgot that with time-travel we might not actually be getting the same Red Angel that anyone else has seen. So, is Michael Burnham's last act with the suit going to be to go back in time to interfere in the attack on Doctari Prime and save her mother, sacrificing herself in the process?

I haven't listened to this ep of the podcast yet so I was holding off in case you theorized, but my immediate question after watching the show was: where do they get this logic of "the Angel only appears when Michael is in danger" when the angel has appeared to other people nowhere near Michael… particularly rescuing a whole church full of people during WW3! I too think that Michael will probably get the suit and be some of the appearances we have already seen, but even so, it doesn't explain the logic leap necessary for them to have made that pattern.

I am definitely the odd man out with this episode. I LOVE it.

Mar 25

I should have taken this week off. I'm running the risk of just pooping on everyone else's fun.




Suffice it to say, this episode doubled down on almost every recent complaint I've had.


*Hare brained plan which everyone just signs onto though it makes no sense. 'Nuff said. It was maddening.


*Characters changing motivations and personalities at the writers' will: At the writers' whim, Leland can be either obviously evil guy we're supposed to hate or show contrition because Burnham. Worse still, the writers are telegraphing what they want to happen with Georgiou. They like depicting her as (a caricature of) evil because that character is supposed to be "fun," but they also need us to forget about how she's actually a cannibal Hitler as she was introduced into the show. Her jarring character rehabilitation was in full swing this episode. Again, the writers are hoping we'll just forget what came before because they're obviously enamored with the story potential of Section 31. (Only God knows why)


*Everything unnaturally running through Burnham and everyone deferring to Burnham - setting aside her being at the center of saving the universe (again), I'm more annoyed by her interactions with others. Assuming Leland was telling the truth and had some remorse, why does she get to punch him there? As far as we know, the parents took the job voluntarily and Leland was well within his rights to say, "They knew the risks." Where does she get the nerve to *demand* that a superior officer give her more information he knows anyway? I wish he'd told her to get lost. Even more eye rolling was the scene with Naan. As she approached, I optimistically thought, "oh good, maybe the writers will backfill that awkward situation where Burnham and everyone else only cared about Airiam dying." Nope! She was there to tell Burnham how awesome she is, even in the face of Burnham's (recurring) dereliction of duty in not pressing the airlock button herself. ARGH! If we're in the business of settling personal scores with superior officers by punching them in the face, Naan was well within her rights to deck Burhnam, IMO.


*Dodgy science that makes Doctor Who seem positively grounded - Let's ignore the time crystal, flux capatitor Macguffin that was just thrown out there with no previous Trek basis at all. I didn't appreciate how the writers threw like six different kinds of Trekno-technology at us at once to drive the drama of trying to ensnare the time traveler. What they were trying to do became so muddled to me that I just threw my hands up and waited for the result. Pretty much anything Stamets is involved in, aside from his strangely public private life, hinges on rapid-fire "hey, let's do this weird thing!" type of conversations. Worse still to me was the brief DNA discussion. Something to the effect of "it can't be a fake because we'd be able to tell it's a fake." This makes my brain physically hurt. OK, a positively identified DNA match is a positively identified DNA match. What does it mean to say, "we know this is Burnham's DNA signature, but we checked to see if it's fake?" Presumably, anyone in the future or the Control AI could have Burnham's exact DNA, whether it be a physical sample or from Starfleet records. Again, what does this actually mean, apart from the writers wanting us to accept the plot point fully, so they can lead us to the next wild leap of contrivance? Lazy, lazy, lazy...


*Sci-fi tropes misapplied - Time travel is tricky to criticize because it can be paradoxical, but if the "angel" is from the future and it knows things that are going to happen, in what way can it be surprised that some past iteration of Burnham is dying? It should know whether Burnham lives or dies and have any knowledge it needs to avoid being ensnared. Maybe she wanted to be ensnared? OK, then why wouldn't she just show up and chat voluntarily? It doesn't stand up to even the slightest logical analysis. Also, the luxury of having a time travel suit means never having to torture your kid with the idea you'd been killed. One could appear all throughout history, righting wrongs, and not be so mysteriously non-communicative all the time. Knowing the Discovery writers' track record, I expect them to patch this gaping hole with the most hand-waving of explanations, if they address it at all.

Although I am less critical of some of this stuff, I am right there with you on every Stamets "science" explanation being hand-wavy nonsense. And I also strongly wonder how on earth the Angel fell for this trap if she has future knowledge. That said, that particular hole is so large that I'm sure they're going to explain it in the first scene of the next episode. This show is at least very good at answering obvious lingering questions like that most of the time.

@chrissam42 The Angel fell for the trap because its Burnham's mom. How the mom knows Burnham is in danger will be handwaved away. Burnham is getting into the suit though.

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Finally listened to the podcast. Regarding the confusion over the “exact match” on Burnham and the red angel, my wife’s instant reaction at the end of the episode was, “maybe they were measuring mitochondrial DNA.” I’ll bet somebody a dollar that turns out to be it.


We did both laugh out loud at Culber’s confident “I’d be able to tell of it was a fake” line, which was just obviously hubristic.

Thank you for clearing that up. I really should know more about DNA than just what happens on crime shows.

My memory of the conversation was that it was actually some kind of "mental signature" that they were comparing, instead of DNA, but I don't quite care enough to go back and verify :) anyway the ultimate explanation will probably be similar either way!

Mar 27

@chrissam42 Nope. I'm still calling BS on the show. It's like reading a murder mystery where the author gives factually misleading information to the reader, then pulls the rug out from under them at a later reveal. It's a cheap and lazy writing tactic. It's a twist not earned.

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Had this random thought while listening to the podcast, when Glenn mentions the "cannibalistic" (is there a word for "eating other sentient species but not your own"?) nature of the mirror universe… With our new knowledge of Kelpian development from S2, it turns out there is a "humane" way to feast on threat ganglia! (Although, they did not look very appetizing after falling off.)

Haha, I hadn't thought of this. Do Kelpiens hide their defunct threat ganglia under their pillows for the Ganglia Fairy?

New Posts
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