Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Quick Thoughts on Star Trek Discovery Ep 14

The War Without, the War Within
And spoilers

This episode turned things down a couple of notches, but after last weeks episode it was difficult to go any other direction. I'll be honest, I really thought last weeks episode was a season finale. I even wrote a wrap up of the season which I removed before publishing because I double-checked and realized it wasn't the finale yet. But I am glad they're going a little bit longer, because a lot of interesting things happened in this episode.

Getting back to Tyler was not one of those things however. I never really thought Tyler was an interesting character until he turned out to be Voq. But then he didn't manage to accomplish anything as Voq and was quickly cleansed (or was he? I'm still not sure) of any klingon attitudes and now it's all about the damage control of all the things he managed to ruin. Which was quite a lot and still it really didn't feel like that whole idea got to live long enough. Either way, Michael doesn't want to meet him and who can blame her? He did try to kill her, even if he was being controlled by someone else, and seeing past that is probably not an easy thing to do (fortunately not a situation I've been in). We'll get back to the two love birds before long though.

Also, L'Rell looks more like one of those human-alien crossbreeds from Alien.

Let's talk about some interesting things instead. They manage to find some other Federation people, but these turn out to be less than friendly. At first at least, because I guess in these times every precaution is needed. The federation ship turns out to carry Sarek and Admiral Cornwell and they both board the Discovery where Sarek uses a mindmeld on Saru to make sure he's who he claims to be. Once that's done everyone is friends again.

Michael tells Cornwell that she brought Terran Philippa back and Cornwell tells everyone that no one must speak a word about the alternate universe. She says the information is to be classified and destroyed (although if it's going to be destroyed anyway, why classify it? Maybe to prevent the people on the ship from talking as well) which can explain why it's not a widely known thing in TOS. Nice one.

Cornwell and Sarek explains the current situation of the Federation, which quite frankly is beyond bad at this point. The Federation is losing big time against the Klingons, although the Klingons are not united under one house but still in factions. This is also a nice way to explain the intense hatred for Klingons that most people show in TOS. Although it is established in TOS that the Federation had been at war with the Klingons, ST Discovery really makes the reactions and actions of characters in TOS a lot more understandable and established.

Did they even have water and vegetation on Vulcan?

Not only is the Federation on its knees, they quickly find out that the Klingons are closing in on Earth, which of course always is the end-game scenario in any Star Trek series. Why Earth holds such a massively prominent role in a union of a vast amount of aliens, some of which are presumably way ahead of humans in technology and civilization (Vulcans for instance) I've never really understood. Somehow it's always assumed that humans is the core foundation for the Federation, but I must've missed where they explained why this is so. And even if that was the case, wouldn't you spread your eggs into more baskets once you've scattered yourself across that much space? I understand Earth can have immense sentimental value to humans so I think it's perfectly reasonable to assume all the humans in the Federation would all the starships to protect it, but wouldn't every other species in the Federation think the same about their home planets? Why are all the non-humans so keen to send the entire remaining fleet to protect Earth specifically?

Instead of doing that however, they decide to launch a massive counter-attack on Kronos (as I am going to spell it, rather than the updated Klingon Discovery way of Qo'noS). This idea is based on intelligence from Philippa, whom Michael turned to, to get more insight into how to destroy (or at least retaliate against) the Klingons, seeing as Philippa basically conquered them in her universe. Philippa tells Michael to strike at the heart of the Klingons, and the plan is to jump the Discovery into the planet to gather enough surveillance to be able to launch a coordinated attack.

To be able to jump they need more spores though, since they used up everything in the previous episode. Queue lazy writing as Stamets proposes to simply terraform some random moon somewhere, apparently not affected by the war, into a huge mycelial farm. This takes them literally ten minutes to accomplish so I don't know what to say about that... "Oh yeah they need more spores, but we don't have time to gather any before the Klingons take over Earth? Guess they can just make spores out of nothing in ten minutes? Yeah ok".

Philippa is of course not done making some sort of evil plans however. She invites Sarek to a little tête-à-tête where she tells him that the information she gave Michael was not enough to destroy the Klingons. We don't get to find out exactly what she tells Sarek but he is off on what is hinted at a suicide mission - so that will definitely, hopefully, be interesting to see.

Michael finally goes to see Tyler, who greets her by being a complete d*ck. When she says that she can't just forgive him, he accuses her of using the situation to try to get out of a relationship that she never wanted to be in to begin with and "just because it's a bit complicated you want to leave". Eh dude, things have gone way beyond a bit complicated in your relationship. You were a Klingon-Human who tried to kill her. Honestly, I don't know where they are going with Tyler at this point, but unless he is still somehow Voq I am not particularly interested.

The episode ends with Philippa being instated as the captain of the Discovery, part of her deal for giving more information to Sarek about the Klingons. So now Discovery has had two alternate universe captains, unlikely as it is. Philippa is presented to the rest of the crew, who don't know the truth, as the prime-Philippa who actually made it out alive from that fight with the Klingons way back when. I can't see this ending well for anyone either, because evil-Philippa is balancing that exact same fine line of "is she sort of good or actually really evil?" that Lorca did. Which is good, this series still needs more characters with some depth and layers to them.

I doubt they'll be able to launch much of an attack in the next episode, or maybe they do and let the season end there - with the Klingons in even more disarray, the Federation at their first real comeback, Sarek doing his important mission and dying (no wait, he won't do that because he is in TOS) and Philippa showing her real ulterior motives (which is probably nothing more than trying to become emperor of this universe as well).

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