SPOILERS ARE AN INESCAPABLE REALITY
Last week I really loved the penultimate episode of STAR TREK: Season 3 of DISCOVERY There is a flood. So much happened in the last episode that I had high hopes. Tilly and the bridge crew, together with the DOT robot army, had to bring the ship back from Oisraa. Michael had just been kidnapped by Zareh while Book was already on deck as a hostage. Osyrai was cornered, overtaken by the Starfleet ships that could shoot from the air (well, space) at the Discovery, but had the most valuable possession: the controversial engine. But she couldn’t jump because Stamets was banished from the ship (against his will) by Michael…… They set off fireworks between them and God knows what! Meanwhile, Saru, Kalber and Adira are trapped on a dilithium planet with the Kelpin equivalent of a black volt, and are trying to save the galaxy before they die of radiation poisoning. The clock was ticking!
What could go wrong with such a buildup in the finals?
It’s hard to know where to start… or stop… or start… or stop again. I say that because I felt that way when watching the 60 minute episode (the longest one of the season). Have you ever ridden a teenager who just learned to drive, and they went so fast you could only postpone your last meal? The finals were something like this.
There was a lot of action – a lot of running, shooting, explosions, fighting, pushing people out of the elevators, panting crew members, people losing time and cursing… things were going at top speed.
And then there was Su’Kal. We have to calm this guy down so he doesn’t scream again and destroy the galaxy! So everything in the holocamera on the dilithium planet was super quiet and slow, with a lot of sympathy and understanding from Saru and others. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But the two scenes alternated, so you either rushed at warp speed or crawled at a tenth of the momentum. And as a spectator, that inequality didn’t work at all for me. Compare this to the last episode, which also contained scenes with different rhythms. Michael did That Slow while the hostages tried to free themselves, while Stamets talked to the Emerald Chain scientist and Vance negotiated with Osira. Why did that episode work and this one didn’t? Because the fast scenes were not super fast, the hostage taking scenes were usually medium fast, and the scenes with Vance and Stamet were slow but had the excitement and the feeling of not knowing what was going to happen.
Compare this to the second part of Hope is You. (By the way, Hope is You Part 1 was the first episode of this season. I didn’t even realize there was never a second episode next week! Well, twelve weeks later, there is now). In any case, as I said, there were only two speeds in this episode, and that pushed us back and forth. The speed was almost too high, making it look like the slow one was too slow.
But that wasn’t the only problem at the end of the season, unfortunately….
IT’S TIME TO TURN YOUR BRAIN OFF
Unfortunately, I have an even bigger problem with action scenes: They asked me to turn my brain off to really enjoy it, and this time I couldn’t do it. Maybe it’s because I saw an episode of Expanse (season 5) the day before. If you don’t watch this series, you’ll miss one of the best science fiction series on television. I never complained when I finished an episode of this series, but unfortunately I can’t say the same about Discovery.
This episode of The Expanse, which I watched the night before, had some very good plots and some very slow parts like Discovery. But in The Expanse, these two types of scenes come together admirably (just like in the previous episode of Discovery). Moreover, the action scenes in The Expanse are perfectly logical and even follow the laws of physics as few science fiction series do. And I love it!
Unfortunately, my head was still in Expanse mode when I started looking at the season finale of Discovery, and instead of being impressed by the credible action scenes, I was frustrated and almost constantly annoyed and disappointed by the badly written, unbelievable, almost useless and meaningless action scenes.
I had the same problem in 2009, when I was at the movies watching a charged ZAHARA QUINTO Spock CHRIS PINE shoot Kirk in a costly escape pod (just before he led the Enterprise into battle, when the pod could have been useful) instead of just putting Kirk in a cell or at least drugging him in the infirmary. Useless plot holes like this have almost ruined JJ ABRAMS’ first Star Trek movie, unless I turn my brains out and think. And that’s not how it’s supposed to be with Star Trek.
Let’s take a look at some of the most striking examples of sloppy drafting that didn’t make sense….
Why is it so difficult to destroy or at least neutralize the entire fleet of the Discovery Federation? I mean, I understand that if the title ship blows up, the episode and the show will end abruptly. But author (and co-host) Michelle Paradise asks viewers and fans to suspend much disbelief if a dozen or more spaceships firing a constant barrage at a stuck duck cannot at least remove the shields, weapons or propulsion systems of a 940 year old ship. I understand the Discovery has been modernized and overhauled, but the fleet has the latest weapons. I watched the first few minutes of the episode and just shook my head without thinking about it.
Threatening to launch pesticides on spaceships in space would be a good idea if they weren’t in space! L’espace, c’est le VIDE. That’s what it’s supposed to do – wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. As a result, the soupape for aspiration will not be accepted. As far as the pontoons of hangars and houses are concerned, an explosion of pesticides on the outside will not cause the navy to collide with the poison, at least not that the ports are open (during the fight?). Et si, d’une manière ou d’une autre, les portes du hangar ou du sas sont ouvertes, le pesticide n’entre pas soudainement, l’air s’échappe. And that’s under the condition that the bidons do not rebond on the boucliers and that the pesticide is not completely dénaturé and runs inert by the kaleur and the dispersion of torpedo tirs. I understand that the scribes had to donate their dents to Osyra, but still once, they have to end their reserve for the point of intrigue to work.
Attendez, Tilly was depressed on the day of his year and is cached in a gondole malhonnête ?????. That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever ententendued in Star Trek! It is completely unrealistic and unbelievable! !! Don’t the authors understand that Tilly is not depressed ????. She’s the cheerleader and the ship’s head hugger!
I’m joking, of course. But seriously, I imagine for some understandable reasons the crew members don’t want to hide in the warp nacelle (unless they have to fix it). First of all, it’s a damn WARP NACELLE, not a toilet stall or a cleaning lady! These elements generate stable warp fields that allow the ship to move faster than the speed of light in subspace. They’re as far away from where people are as possible. If the Captain decides to go to warp and you’re hiding in the nacelle, I doubt it’ll be pleasant (heat, radiation, warp plasma… and the like). Second: Crew members shouldn’t hide on a ship. If you need some time for yourself and you have a room that you only share with one person, stay there while your roommate is on duty. Hidden crew members can get hurt (like hanging around in the damn WARP NACELLE!!), and if no one knows where they are, it can lead to all kinds of problems.
I’m all for a good suffocation sequence, but let’s not forget that Discovery is a spaceship. There is NO AIR in space. It can therefore be assumed that each aisle of the container is filled with emergency breathing masks in the event of an unexpected loss of pressure/oxygen. I mean, if we have oxygen masks on every seat of an airplane these days, I can’t believe that at some point in the future, when space travel began, someone suddenly decided No, we don’t need oxygen masks in a spaceship!
Okay, you knew I’d make it to the elevators eventually. I call it that: Because the ship is hollow and I’m done! Yes, the images of the turbine lift were cool to go to ….. at . Suppose they all live on a boat the size of a small town! Remember, there was no oxygen on a deck six stories high or higher. This means that the whole sequence took place in the dish section. So even if you think these turbine elevators can move in a straight line in the curved primary body for as long as you can see, don’t look into the abyss that extends as far as you can see. The floor must not be more than one or two storeys lower… unless you’re directly above the neck of the ship. But if that is the case, and the hollow part of the ship is under oxygen pressure, then the suffocating deck crew should just open the back of the turbine lift and leave all that delicious oxygen in the corridors!
But really, this whole discovery thing, it’s really the TARDIS that’s driving me crazy! Look at this picture of Michael’s turbine lift approaching the core of the ship’s computer….
Does it make sense to place the ship’s computer core in an inaccessible place, with the exception of a single turbine lift that goes through a completely open area ???? And why is there gravity in that wide open space? Oh, and one last thought: Why do so many other turbulence elevators come and go? Sure, it sounds cool, but there’s no one on the ship but the controllers chasing Michael and Book (plus the crew on the dusty bridge below). And the regulators know exactly where Michael and the book are. So where are all the turbine elevators?
I thought there was nothing worse than turning the engine room of the Enterprise into a Budweiser brewery filled with pipes that looked more like Willy Wonka’s factory than the inside of a ship. I thought wrong.
Okay, buy a computer that literally devours you? Discovery has a computer core that sucks up Michael and almost strangles him. I think this is a major design flaw – especially when there are no security protocols. Don’t eat the crew to avoid such an incident. Rien que data esta assez difficile à avaler (aïe…désolé !). But what about Osiraja, which is not stupid, and which is not so stupid, when what is the third pillar of the elle, after which it is ruled and awaited to be taken care of? A-t-elle soudainement oublié que Michael had a poor one?
Michael orders the new instructor to release all the regulators of Discovery. Où allons-nous, Commander? Are teleporters in the space, or the instructor is the only one for teleporters in Viridian? Of course, this will give them a few minutes of additional life, since the current level of distortion will be felt all over the world.
Le super pouvoir magique du Book Doctor Doolittle fait-il de lui un conducteur de spores comme Stams ? How surprisingly convenient. And Dr. Auelio found out that in the few minutes he was preparing the book for the truth serum injection? Even more comfort! This episode almost wrote itself! !! (Maybe that was the problem!)
Correct the following sequence of events. Discovery’s exploding its warp core. The ship will drop its warp core into the Viridian’s belly. The discovery then jumps just before the core explodes. Very dangerous, very suspicious! But like what God needs with a spaceship…. let me ask you this humble question: Why would Discovery drop a warp core and blow it up? Wouldn’t it be infinitely safe to just jump without running the risk of being destroyed by a warp nuclear explosion? If Michael had said: We have a chance to destroy Viridian for the good of the Federation. I couldn’t agree more. But no, they have to destroy it to escape? And yet they must escape before it is destroyed? It’s sloppy, sloppy, sloppy!
I realize it seems like I’m just wandering around in exciting plots…. and it’s just a show, so why not just go with it? And usually I can. Star Trek is not always perfect, and not all laws of physics have been followed for 54 years. But this episode was too often ridiculous and incredible (as you can see on my list) for me to really appreciate what I saw. I mean the episode shown was fantastic (this series is almost always), the acting was excellent, the special effects were incredible, the music was excellent, the lighting, the camera angles, the make-up, the costumes…. Technically, that episode was flawless.
But sloppy writing, handy plots and lazy, ridiculous logical mistakes have overwhelmed me in these season finals, just like the finals of the last two seasons, and just like JJ Trek in 2009.
OTHER THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN NEGLECTED
Sorry, I’m not done yet, I have a lot to say. Meanwhile, on the dilithium planet, not everything made sense. For example, we know that the Holocam changes the appearance of Saru, Kalber, Adira and (surprise!) Gray so as not to confuse Su’bald. (Actually, because they wanted to give Doug Jones a chance to finally act without his latex-covered face). Apparently Su’Kal is too vulnerable to see two people, two Trills and a Kelp. So the program turned them into Trill, Bajoran, Vulcan, Saheen, and human instead. Anyway, it doesn’t matter… I went with him. But if the computer changed everyone’s appearance so as not to cause Su’Kal so much stress, why did it show that Saru and Kalber had flaky skin? This should be even more worrying!
But the time to write came when Culber said it….
Oh, great! Just keep Su’Kal away from all that dilithium and power? No more galactic time bomb? And Dr. Kalber made all these observations without ever physically examining Su’kala… even with a tricorder? It’s surprisingly convenient that the authors don’t have to wonder whether it’s better for the galaxy to simply end Su’Kal’s existence with a full phaser or a lethal dose of sleeping pills (perhaps it’s safer to overdose him). Sorry if I seem insensitive, guys, but I don’t know if I’d believe Su’Kal would lose a spark of subspace dilithium just because she’s from a planet.
Hmmm, one last thought: why didn’t Su’Kal scream after losing her mother – a kind of predictable and frustrating reason to burn after such a large seasonal accumulation – why didn’t that first wave also wipe all the dilithium off the planet? After all, it was something like ground zero, and it certainly contained a lot of dilithium. The answer is probably this: This did not destroy the planet, because the writers would have nothing left to finish the season!
WHAT A WASTE OF SUCH GOOD MATERIAL
In this episode (the longest of the season) I had the feeling that too many potentially powerful things were left out. I mean, uh… I mean, uh…
The stamps have appeared twice. At one point he was dragged out of the command center, kicked and shouted, and then he couldn’t see the rest of the way when he fingered Michael. (In fact, Stamets is also on deck, at the very end, in a new luxury uniform… the only one that doesn’t really smile). It is clear that this plot should be explored next season. Michael took Stams down and stopped him from rescuing Hugh. But she saved Hugh in the end, so that’s good, right? And Michael made the right decision anyway… or so we were told. Paul Stams and Michael Burnham have some tough times ahead of them, but when you blink your eyes, Paul’s nasty looks are easy to miss. The dramatic and potentially explosive conflict in the last episode has therefore not borne fruit in this one and will only develop in a year’s time. I’m not sure it would have been worth another 30 seconds to show Michael that he’s trying to get close to Paul and falsely turn away from him…. and realizes that not everything happened to him.
Jett Reno’s technician also played twice and had no lines! One of the most intriguing, exciting and fascinating characters in the series said nothing at all. Instead she just repaired the DOT-robot and got up in a hurry when Michael entered the bridge. We’ve only seen Reno twice this season, and his last two episodes have been minimal. BU! It is now said that actress TIG NOTARO, 49, one of the oldest actors in the series (DOUG Saru JONES is 60, ODED Vance FEHR 50) and a survivor of breast cancer, wanted to minimize her filming time once the pandemic began. So maybe this lack of reno wasn’t the perpetrators’ fault. But once the vaccine comes out, season 4 will really be more Reno…. will have to contain. Especially now that the only other voice of sarcasm in the series has gone through Guardian of Forever, also known as Guardians of Eternity. Carl.
Kovic. Best unused plate. Imagine how much cooler he’d be if he really did something! Vance is beautifully designed. Kovic is completely forgotten.
Dr. Aurelio was also a fascinating character. I couldn’t wait for him to get back on his feet for Osira and maybe even help him fall. But of course Michael Burnham had to save the day, so instead Aurelio fought in the infirmary, nearly smothered to death, and then came on deck just in time to tell us that, hey, Book can jump off the ship just like Stamets.
Another plot that doesn’t seem to have been added this season is that of Grey Ghost and Adira. Both actors did a good job, but Gray’s story was almost as incoherent as Gray himself. I’ve always wanted to see more, and I admit that I’m intrigued by the holocam Gray broadcasts (I don’t know how that was possible, but I had enough other plot elements to understand it). But in the end it was the plot of the season that almost didn’t work and became very frustrating for me.
The fleet of the Ni’Var… They came, they saw, they blocked the exit. Did I miss something? What a waste!
Last but not least, unfortunately, the cute and adorable army of Sphere Data/Zora/Dotbots. Or rather, there wasn’t. The cliffhanger in the last episode was pretty brilliant when Tilly has an unexpected ally (maybe dozens or even hundreds) to help her back on board. And then, uh… …what? In one scene the bots become bastards of the regulators, then you only hear from them again when one of them saves Ovosekun. What if they helped Michael? (Oh wait, Michael has to save the ship himself… I almost forgot!) What if they help fix the oxygen leak so the crew doesn’t suffocate… or get more oxygen masks? What if the super-intelligent Zora/Sphere Data had the idea of blowing up the nacelle instead of letting Michael think about it? Oh, wait, I’m sorry. Michael has to save the ship alone…. even if it’s just to tell others how to save it).
It is certainly a completely missed opportunity to do something very interesting and exciting with this new character, which is a personified data atmosphere and will probably become Zora and live in a DOT-bot for the time being. And hey, isn’t Sphere Data so big that it needed the entire core of the Discovery computer to contain it? Does it fit in a DOT robot now? Hmmm, I think 930 would be the best computer memory, so I won’t talk about it this time.
AND SO THE SEASON ENDS…
I must say I’m going to enjoy not watching the new Star Trek for a while, because these blogs are a bear to write every week! I started it for ten episodes of Picard, then I wrote two for Lower Decks, and now thirteen for Discovery. That must be more than 60,000 words… the length of a good novel! Why am I doing this? Because every post I write gets an average of three times more reviews than my usual film fan blog. Find something! But give people what they want, I always say.
What does the fourth season have in store for us? Well, Michael Rebel is finally Captain Burnham… just like Kirk at the end of Star Trek 2009. Mutiny is not at all what it used to be! Is Michael ready for the scene? Although all the characters, except Stames, continue to tell the public that yes, Michael should be captain, I’m still not convinced. Though I would give anything to serve under Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway or Archer…….. I’d be afraid Michael Burnham would be my commanding officer. It just seems to be more about ridiculous happiness (or conspiracies) than really rational and informed team decisions.
Fortunately, for now, Michael will only order the equivalent of a FedEx (Federation Express) truck, which bounces around the planet with dilithium to deliver crystals to all the cute little boys and girls while enjoying an ice cream. Meanwhile, Saru takes a time-out on Kaminar (hey, that rhymes!) and ensures that Culber was right and that Su’Kal won’t destroy the galaxy again. By the way, yes, it’s been confirmed that Doug Jones will be back for Sarah next season.
For example, the longest episode of the season has produced the longest blog. I don’t know about you, but I’m sure I’m exhausted. I think it’s time to cancel the All Access subscription to Star Trek….. comes back.
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