Star Trek Discovery season 4

Episode 1…wasn’t horrible. It dragged in spots, it is soap opera-y as usual, but nobody burst into tears. (Although somebody might have as soon as the credits rolled.)

Later in the season we’ll get to see how Michael personally saves the galaxy from this crisis.

it was laughably bad and predictable- in almost every possible way.

I am truly surprised she didn’t say “I don’t believe in a no-win situation”.

Absolutely nothing original - no power, no shields and they can still mushroom jump?

How many damn speeches can you fit in a one hour drama? This episode must hold the record.

As much as I utterly detest this show and watch it out of sheer amazement, I’ll say three good things:

  1. There wasn’t any crying I can recall,
  2. The opening was a nice little sequence, and very Star Trek-y, way of introducing the season, and
  3. At least the A story was a self-contained science fiction story.

It was also nice that Evil Michelle Yeoh is gone, though this was offset by Ghost Prom Date showing back up.

But it felt, as Discovery episodes always do, as if there was about nine minutes of story jammed in 45 minutes of show. The B and C stories (Book and Saru) were incredibly dull, and the President Being Aboard story didn’t really go anywhere except a speech where Space Christ got upset while the President informed her things were going to remain the way they already were.

The characters are still thin but at least this felt like Star Trek. I am encouraged about this season.

Wow, Episode 2 had at least nine minutes of story jammed into its 48-minute run time.

There’s such little STORY in these things. That one was just dreadful; it’s one conversation purely about emotions after another. It’s just so pointless to do it this way. The emotions and characters would be a zillion times more meaningful if you had mostly plot and kept the emotions subtle.

Good drama presents emotion through ACTION. (By action I don’t mean fights and battles; I mean in the general sense of drama, action being characters doing things in advancement of goals.) Show me people acting like people. I’ll get the emotions. I don’t need them spoonfed to me.

There is a scene in Next Generation where Picard and Dr. Crusher are marooned on some alien world, and something - I don’t remember if it’s some energy or alien tech - causes them to know each other’s emotions, and it’s clear Picard has feelings for Beverly. There is no crying, no frantic shrieking. The scene is played calmly, two adults saying things in a manner consistent with two measured, mature people, played by genuinely good actors who play the characters in a manner consistent with how mature adults, senior military officers, would speak and act. Tiny movements, emphasis on one word, a glance, the tilt of a head convey meaning in interesting ways. In two minutes, the scene carries such immense, devastating emotion. It’s so poignant and sad, these revelations of adoration, of sadness, of loneliness, of years lost. The emotion is made powerful by the fact that these scenes ARE so rare in that show, especially from these strong, emotionally controlled people. The scene has been set up by hours upon hours upon hours of true drama, of people DOING things, and you seeing a thousand little hints that these two people might love one another. When it finally breaks through it’s just heart rending, and so identifiable, these feelings of longing we’ve all felt.

Discovery just throws tearful, emotional speeches at you by the dozen, and they stop meaning anything. Leaving aside the fact that I find it impossible to believe a person like Michael Burnham, who cannot control her emotions at all, could effectively command a warship with hundreds of crew members, it just completely ruins any sense of genuine emotion when they’re giving melodramatic speeches every five minutes. Star Trek: The Next Generation was a fine restaurant. Discovery is fast food, and not good fast food.

Hey - atleast we got the ‘cone of silence’ in this episode.

Also, the physics in the episode was especially idiotic, even for Star Trek.

I suspect that all of those two people in a scene scenes talking is a result of filming during the height of the pandemic and minimize cast exposure.

Star Trek always had nonsense science so I don’t mind that so much. My main issue is the show acts they have characters the audience loves like Kirk, Spock, Picard etc. but didn’t do the writing effort to make that happen like those shows did.

And apparently completely forgot about the idea of seat belts - twice.

Which, really, wouldn’t be so bad—there’s a place for fast food when you’ve got a craving. But this is fast food packaged as haute cuisine, which leaves you with three soggy fries arranged around a single chicken nugget with a squirt of ketchup.

Now on the other hand, Lower Decks IS fast food - really, really delicious fast food, the kind that looks cheap but everyone knows is better than most restaurants. It’s the In-N-Out Burger of Trek.

This metaphor thread is working really well.

I guess “Star Trek Picard” is something moldy you forgot in the back of the fridge.

Picard is when you are told you’re going to a fine Italian restaurant and end up at an Olive Garden that just got a delivery from Fazoli’s.

But with way more murder.

‘This is no moon, its a space ship’

This show is truly a lost cause -

Unlike Episode 2, which had only nine minutes of story jammed into an hour, this one had at least… 14, 15 minutes of story.

How many times have we seen that flashback of Book’s nephew walking away from him? Ten? Twenty? It’s so cheap, such filler. It’s already established the guy misses his family; only an idiot doesn’t get that. The plot is established; let the actor act it out. This show has more flashbacks than Family Guy.

A few other thoughts;

  • oh yayyyyy, Ghost Prom Date is now Robot Prom Date. What happens when Wesley 2.0 gets tired of Robot Prom Date, as teenagers do?

I’d totally forgotten that Ian Alexander, who plays Robot Prom Date, was on The OA, which was actually a WORSE show than Discovery, and features this epic climax where the cast prevents a school shooting through an interpretive dance. I swear I’m not making that up:

  • Is no one on Discovery a professional, ever? They all get angry and seem on the verge of tears over and over. Stamets is especially guilty of this in this episode. It makes the character seem brittle and unlikeable. Has he never heard of Vulcans before? Does he lack the patience of a two year old?

  • This thing with Tilly suddenly not knowing about her path in life just came out of the blue, and like so many things it’s so overblown. It has to have occupied at least five minutes of solid dialogue, to introduce a concept that didn’t need sixty seconds; it also led to a storyline dead end, in that she was brought on the mission because of her ability to charm people and never uses that ability.

  • Michael complains that she and Tilly are at a huge disadvantage with swords; thirty seconds later they get into a swordfight and appear to be really talented swordfighters. This is somewhat analogous to someone who has never done gymnastics doing a pretty good uneven bars routine on their first attempt.

There is so much goddamn fighting in this show and it rarely adds much to the story.

  • My God, the Alex Kurtzman team is so fucking obsessed with Romulans and Romulan secret societies, and the intensely boring swordfighting secret society. Can we please see someone else? On top of that, “Choose To Live” is not as badass a phrase as Kurtzman thinks it is.

  • I’d forgotten Sonja Sohn (Michael’s mother) had gotten back to the future. I don’t remember how that happened. Was she on Discovery when it (for no reason) went into the future? Was there another time suit? Anyway, another example of how the galaxy is a really small place for some reason.

  • So, wait, is the Kelvin timeline not true in this show? It can’t be, because Vulcan - stupidly renamed “Nivar” - exists.

I think the conflict will be that Robot will want the symbiot back.

Lower Decks also established that crew can switch disciplines on a whim anyway.

By the end of this season - we will discover that its just another DoomsDay Machine

It’d be a decent story if you wrapped it up in one episode and moved on to another story.

I hate that scrunch-eyed, wide vacuous grin that appears to be his only expression.