Monday, October 16, 2017

Quick Thoughts on Star Trek Discovery Ep 5

Choose your pain
Spoilers beware...

Another episode where I felt not much did happen, but we did get a whole lot of throwbacking. I am definitely not the only one who will have noticed who was on that list of "notable captains". Christopher Pike and Jonathan Archer from The Original Series and Enterprise respectively. But speaking of that scene, I didn't see where that lead to? I guess it was to show Saru whether he had leader qualities or not but they never showed the results of the test (or did I just completely miss that?) so the point of it was kind of lost. And why would the computer talk back like that? Why does the questioner need to justify the question? If it's programmed that way I'd be really annoyed with it quickly. Just answer my dang question, will ya?

The more I look at those Klingons the uglier they get...

And also speaking of throwbacks, we got to meet Mudd, one of my least favorite characters from the TOS. When I rewatch that series I tend to skip the episodes he is in, except the Tribble one of course. He wasn't any more likable now, in fact he doesn't seem to have any redeeming qualities. If he was supposed to come off as street-smart, looking out for himself they mostly just managed to make him look like a huge d*ck.

It also seemed pretty clear the whole kidnapping business was just an excuse to unfold the story about the tardigrade because even though they establish that Lorca has been kidnapped because the Klingons want to know why his magic ship is so awesome, this isn't pre-developed with any kind of hint about this motivation. We don't see any Klingons screaming in frustration as yet another battle plan is foiled by the Discovery, nor any discussion about the kidnapping going to take place. Where did they get information on Lorcas whereabouts exactly when he was at his most vulnerable? Was it that easy for the Klingons to sneak in to what I am assuming is Federation space and kidnap one, if not the most, important captain in the fleet? Heck, they didn't even sneak, they just showed up.

Apparently they also know that Lorca has an eye condition and use that to torture him. Then they just let him leave the torture room when they get nothing out of him, and Lorca doesn't even seem particularly bothered by the torture! It's like the Klingon captain just gave up on the idea almost immediately or the Klingons are just very bad at it because they tend to rather kill their enemies in the battle field. I guess they didn't have the mind reading machines used in TOS ep 27 "Errand of Mercy" yet because that would've made that whole business quick and easy (that would've also made for an interesting throwback and possibly a more interesting plot development).

Errand of Mercy is one of many TOS episodes with omnipotent beings.

The fact that the kidnapping was thrown in there without any kind of build-up, and then quite badly developed, makes me think it's not supposed to be an important part of the plot but just an excuse for the whole tardigrade thing and for showing what a douche Mudd is.

The episode is named after a practice among the Klingons to let the prisoners choose who will get a beating, the prisoner himself or another prisoner. This is how we are first introduced to Mudd, by understanding that he has had another prisoner beaten to death in his stead. But how does this work really? If there are only two prisoners and they presumably name each other, do they both get a beating? Sort of defeats the object.

We get a tiny bit of character development for some characters in this episode. For instance we find out that Stamets and the Doctor are a couple. I thought that Stamets and that guy from the Glen were a couple though? Maybe I misunderstood that and besides, since a couple of months have passed since then I guess new relationships could've been established.

Will we get to know more about Airiam for instance?

We also find out that Lorca blew up his previous ship, with crew and all, rather than have them become prisoners of war to the Klingons. We already know he is ruthless and cares more about results than lives so I am not entirely sure what this was going to add to his character though.

So this felt like yet another episode that didn't accomplish very much until the very last second, with the eerie revelation that there is now something very, very wrong with Stamets. I really hope they go somewhere interesting with this.

I am still having fun watching STD, I just wish I cared more about the characters.


  1. Star Trek pendant's note: Harry Mudd is in only two original series episodes: "Mudd's Women" and "I, Mudd". The episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" was originally slated to have Mudd in them, but Roger Carmel (the actor) had a conflict, so a new character, Cyrano Jones, was placed in his spot.

    On a more relevant note: I really appreciate the effort you are putting into these reviews. For a variety of reasons, I'm not watching, so reading these is really nifty. Thanks!

    1. Thank you for your comment and thank you for your clarification! You are absolutely correct of course. You can tell it was originally intended for Mudd, my brain clearly thought so at least because I had completely fused the characters in my memory.
      I am glad you enjoy the reviews! There should hopefully be another one up tomorrow.