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Episode Transcript: Such Sweet Sorrow, part two (S02E14)

This is a transcript of our fourteenth season two recapavailable here.

Saru [from episode]: Goodbye. Captain Pike.

Captain Pike [from episode]: Goodbye my friends. My family.

re:Discovery theme plays.

Ben: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery, the Star Trek recap podcast which promises not to shave off its cool beard without warning when you’re already having all the feelings. I’m Science Officer Ben McKenzie and as always, I’m joined by Captain Carla Donnelly. Captain I need to ask you what did you see happen to Discovery?

Carla: It just went boom Ben.

Ben: Well I’m going to have plenty of feelings and questions and they might go boom too as we discuss Such Sweet Sorrow, part two of the big finale of Season 2 of Star Trek Discovery. There’s no denying it’s epic and emotionally satisfying on so many levels but it leaves us with so many questions. And maybe it doesn’t wrap up as many loose ends as it thinks it does.

Carla: WHAT?!

Ben: Yeah, we’ll get to that, all right, but we start where we left off: the Section 31 fleet under Control’s, um, control has Discovery and Enterprise surrounded and Captain’s Pike and Saru are sending their crews to battle stations. The plan remains the same: get the new Red Angel suit working so Burnham can open a wormhole to the future taking Discovery and the spheres advanced A.I. data far into the future, out of Control’s grasp. Enterprise and a fleet of hundreds of armed shuttles and repair craft will hold off the enemy until the suit is ready and keep them from getting between Discovery and the wormhole or following it through. That’s all easier said than done as Controleland reveals he’s not outnumbered: the Section 31 ships detach hundreds of tiny drone fighters. It’s time for an epic space battle! There’s lots of phasers and explosions in space and soon both ship’s bridges have fire, smoke and bits of rocky debris all over them in true Star Trek things-are-serious fashion.

Carla: Pew pew pew!

Ben: Everyone is in on the fight including Po aboard a stolen shuttle. Aboard Discovery Reno and Tilly raced to meet the science team with the now charged time Crystal catching up to them just as Stamets is impaled by debris from damage. In the shuttle bay Spock powers, up the suit and gets into a shuttle to guide Michael. Discovery drops her shields for a moment and the two head out to a safe distance to initiate the wormhole, a fleet of other shuttles providing cover. But while the shields are down Controleland beams aboard Discovery and enters the bridge, shooting the bridge crew before heading off to find the sphere data! But no one dies; Michael’s vision isn’t quite coming to pass. Michael and Spock land on some debris at a safe distance as a photon torpedo lodges in the Enterprise’s saucer – another part of Michael’s vision. Number One and Admiral Cornwall head to the torpedo to try and disarm it. Meanwhile Discovery’s shields on the verge of being disabled, and they won’t last long without them – or be able to go through the wormhole. Just as all looks grim, Tyler arrives with the cavalry L’Rell’s massive Cleave ship plus a squadron of Ba’ul fighters flown by Kelpians including Saru sister Siranna. WHAT?! Michael can’t get the suit to fly into the future though and realises it’s because she needs to go back in time and set the red signals to prepare everything for this battle. Evolving the Kelpians into warriors getting the time Crystal recruiting Reno and Po to make it work and establishing a safe harbor in the future: Terralysium. Aboard Discovery, Georgiou and Nhan team up for an epic fight with Leland, while Tilly takes Stamets to sickbay before heading off to fix the ship’s shields. Hugh has returned to Discovery to be with Paul, and puts his husband in a healing coma, promising they’ll be together from now on, as a family. At the same time aboard Enterprise, Number One and Admiral Cornwall discovered the torpedo is 15 minutes from detonation and the closest blast door, which will prevent the blast from completely disabling the ship, is jammed open. Michael finishes programming her jumps, and leaps into the past…

Carla: In the incredibly psychedelic sequence that is possibly my favorite in Discovery thus far-

Ben: Mmmm.

Carla: – we see Michael make her five jumps as the Red Angel. We get to see her point of view which doubles as a nice recap as she leaves her bursts all over the galaxy. On Discovery Nhan, Controleland and Georgiou are fighting it out in a corridor that is sporadically losing gravity. The fight sequence is essentially unreal and bore many squeals of delight from me. We truly do not deserve Michelle Yeo. Georgiou lures Controleland into the spore drive lab – but why? Cornwall and Number One are trying to no avail to deactivate the torpedo. Time is running out. Pike orders Number One back to the bridge and he takes her place. Katrina Cornwall tells Pike that she can close the blast door manually from the inside. There is 90 seconds left and no other options. Pike tries to bargain with her but they run out of time. Pike leaves and watches with utter dismay as the torpedo is detonated, Cornwall sacrificing her life for the Enterprise crew. Pike informs all hands that the Admiral has been lost.

Michael returns from all of her jumps. Spock’s shuttle is broken, he cannot return to Discovery, and therefore cannot come to the future with Michael and the crew. In a tear jerking scene, the two say their forever goodbyes. Michael in older sister mode counsels Spock to “find that person who seems farthest from you” and to accept those who reach out to him into his life. Michael promises Spock that the seventh signal will be for him to let him know that she’s okay. They tell each other “I love you” before Spock is beamed to the Enterprise. In the lab Georgiou lures Controleland into the spore drive and magnetizes as it slowly splitting him apart nanobot by nanobot. In a show full of great screams, Alan van Sprang’s last time on camera was truly epic. We’ll miss you Leland.

Okay. It’s go time. Michael flies outwards to open up the wormhole. The crew’s saying goodbye to Pike and the Enterprise. A montage of Siranna, Po, Spock, Tyler had me blubbering like a baby. Discovery speeds towards the sixth signal: the guiding light to the wormhole, the crew facing towards their future.

Cut to San Francisco. Tyler, Number One, Pike and Spock are being officially interviewed individually by Star Fleet. They all swear that Discovery exploded and Spock suggests to maintain the safety of the Federation that all reference to Discovery and her crew become wiped from the record and be punishable by treason if ever spoken of again. Tyler is officially promoted to Commander of Section 31. The episode wraps with Spock’s narration. Many months passed with no sign from Michael and the crew. Spock is reinstated onto Enterprise and we see him sparkly and clean shaven in his blue science uniform on the bridge. It was a beautiful moment that passes the baton and also has sent our crew into the unknown future.

Ben! Are you excited that Discovery is cleaved from cannon now and it’s creating a new future for Star Trek?

Ben: Oh yeah, absolutely. And I was so happy that everybody, well, pretty much everyone made it. I mean obviously a lot of people died, but only one like, you know, named character. They got off pretty lightly in that respect. I was sure lots of people were gonna die.

Carla: But I was also like so surprised that there was all these other people that were going that we didn’t know about.

Ben: Yeah. I was really surprised by that too because when she meets the bridge crew in the corridor in the previous episode they’re like “We’re coming with you”. And that’s a big deal, because it’s like this is a one way trip into the future.

Carla: No!

Ben: “We want to come with you because we’re your family, we’re your friends.” And then there’s all these other people and I’m like “What are you doing here, you didn’t sign up for this! You’re supposed to be out there in a shuttle blowing shit up with lasers, not hanging out on Discovery!” And the sickbay is full of people the science lab is full of people.

Carla: I know! Are they supposed to be going or are they just like casualties of war? Like literally and figuratively.

Ben: Yeah I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Carla: Because we know that Hugh came back on purpose. But what about everybody else in the medical bay?

Ben: Yeah I thought they were all supposed to be gone. But maybe the bridge crew was speaking on behalf of a large portion of the Discovery crew, because it’s not clear how many… I mean clearly all of the people who were piloting shuttles are not on Discovery so they’re not going.

Carla: Right.

Ben: But are they the only ones who left because you don’t see any Discovery crew on the Enterprise at any point nobody’s wearing Discovery uniforms they’re all wearing the new Enterprise style uniforms so I guess?

Carla: Who knows who’s going.

Ben: Yeah and it doesn’t make… I mean I was a bit confused because the original plan was they were going to have Discovery fly through on remote autopilot right but it would never have made it because it would have had the shit blown out of it by all of the Section 31 ships. So they clearly needed a crew, but I thought it was just going to be that skeleton crew of just the people that we know.

Carla: Right. And I thought they were all just going because they love Michael, like, not just ’cause they love Michael obviously. And this is the thing that I really love about this like tying the whole theme of misfits, and chosen family, you know. Like, that actually… That move was one of the moves that made the most sense to me out of the whole Discovery storyline, that they were all going to go with her.

Ben: Oh yeah.

Carla: I was so still so surprised and heartened you know.

Ben: Yeah, yeah. But yeah when I saw like the sickbay full of people I was just like…

Carla: Yeah, what the fuck? What is going on? I mean…

Ben: I mean it makes sense they had that the doctor stayed like well otherwise people are going to die. But where did all these people who are in the sickbay come from?

Carla: I know!

Ben: Yeah. So I was a bit surprised by that. It’s questionable but I guess that means that I guess we’ll find out when they when we get to the other side in Season 3. We’ll find out how big a crew complement Discovery has and where they’ve really ended up because it’s…

Carla: We don’t know about that either.

Ben: They’re not really sure. I mean they kept talking in the last episode about how they weren’t sure where they were going to end up. So, yeah… I guess we’ll find out.

Carla: Well also because Mama’s suit didn’t really work properly the first time so…

Ben: And this is a copy of that one. So yeah. Yeah.

Carla: And Michael you know it’s not an old hand, so to speak, at operating it. So let’s see where they end up.

Ben: Yeah she just got that one YouTube video that she watched. A YouTube tutorial from her Mum: “How to fly a time travel suit.”

Carla: Dude can we just get into like how… I don’t want to keep harping on about the red bursts, but when does she, I mean obviously the seventh one is coming from the future. So does she… You know there’s a point where they all bleep at the same time.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah.

Carla: When the fuck does that happen?

Ben: We don’t know.

Carla: In the future. From the future.

Ben: This is what I mean when I said that I feel like they don’t tie up all the loose ends in this episode.

Carla: You think that’s on purpose?

Ben: No I think it’s not. I think they’ve just overlooked. I think they just gone we don’t care because it was very emotionally satisfying. I want to say that upfront like I didn’t get to the end of the episode and go “I’m so annoyed about these continuity errors that I can’t enjoy this!” because it was very emotionally satisfying.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: I did feel like there’s a lot of things that don’t make sense about what happens in this episode. For number one last episode they very clearly established that the time crystal is overcharged and once you make a jump with it that’s it, it’s going to blow up. She makes, like, at least six jumps.

Carla: Yeah!

Ben: How the fuck does she do that?! I mean maybe you could argue that going 950 years in the future is a big jump that’s going to blow it out and maybe it’s easier to go into the past or it’s easier to only go back like you know less than a year, because I don’t know that we know exactly how long it’s been between the bursts. I think it’s I think it’s like it feels like about six months’ worth of time. Which isn’t just because that’s about… no longer, that’s longer than we’ve been watching the show. But every now and then they do mentioned like that was months ago. And I think it’s only it’s relatively real time it’s like a few months have passed. So maybe it’s not a big deal to jump back a little bit in time. But they don’t establish that. They say that “you make one jump. That’s it that’s all you got” and then all of a sudden he’s like “shit I need to make five other jumps.” But it can’t be just five, because as you say who goes back and does the coordinated you know seven bursts. And she can’t do it now because she doesn’t know where the seventh one is going to come from.

Carla: That’s right.

Ben: So she must do it later.

Carla: She’s doing it from the future.

Ben: Yeah. Which means the thing must be working, right? Like they must still find a way to repair it, or something, I don’t know. But then also she makes more than one jump to each location because the burst happens and then vanishes. And then she goes back to the same place, like on the Hiawatha, there’s the burst which leaves them there. And then by the time they’ve got there and they’ve done all their stuff she appears again to see herself.

Carla: There’s so much wonky about this also like where the fuck does the red burst come from?

Ben: Well yeah, they don’t establish that either.

Carla: What is that? That’s a part of her suit?

Ben: And did she watch like 16 other YouTube tutorials to know how to use the advanced stuff in the suit? Because if it was her in the suit the whole time… this is the other thing.

Carla: (laughs) There’s so much wrong with.

Ben: Well remember when we were talking about the plan to trap the Red Angel? And they’re like “well she always turns up to save you. Yeah it must be you. Yeah”. Then it’s not her mum.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: But.. And it works because her mum does show up to save her but her mum is not the one who showed up previously to save her.

Carla: I know.

Ben: It was her!

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: It doesn’t make any sense. And then…

Carla: When they showed that I was like “what! what are you doing?!”.

Ben: Yeah, you’re fucking it up guys. And also yeah she must… she’s somehow learned to use the awesome advance technology in the suit because it’s also revealed she’s the one who goes back to Kaminar at the end of that sequence and destroys all the Ba’ul technology. And I’m like “how the fuck do you know how to do that?” So yeah I think they thought this will tie everything up nicely and you like no it doesn’t actually make sense guys.

Carla: There’s always a bit of like “it’s temporal!” Shrugs emojis, guys.

Ben: Yeah it’s still there’s still some gaps there though. I don’t know.

Carla: But I tell you what they I think they really got right.

Ben: Yeah. What was that?

Carla: Which was I love, I love where Spock’s story ended. Like really that passing of the baton to him going now on to his adventures again on the Enterprise and what they did with his character and his development as a person, and where he’s now leaping off into where he goes into canon from now. I thought that was really awesome. What about you? Or did you think it was cheesy?

Ben: No I liked it. I did like it. And there’s that nice bookending where the whole season begins with Michael talking about Spock, and then ends with Spock talking about Michael which is kind of a lovely symmetry there that’s really nice. But I don’t know I, I also, her advice to him I felt was a bit on the nose.

Carla: It was bit crammed in there. (laughs)

Ben: Well I mean I was I just didn’t know like I was listening to it and I actually didn’t immediately go “oh I understand what that means”. I’m like, “Who the fuck are you talking about?”

Carla: Kirk.

Ben: Who’s the person farthest from you? Is he really?

Carla: They’re pretty polar opposite.

Ben: Or is it Bones?

Carla: Oh, well.

Ben: I mean they do have a very intimate relationship. He shares his katra with him. (both laugh) I don’t know. It’s kind of both of them but it’s…it makes sense. I mean they do become best friends later on, but it also… I don’t know, I feel like this was not the moment for that. Like I didn’t want them… It felt a little bit like cheapening the friendship he has with Pike.

Carla: There was quite a few things shoehorned in there but I don’t think it really did because I’ve said it before… I think it really sets up why he was so like crazily devoted to Pike like you know like almost crazy romantic way. You know for everything that happened in that episode which is just so out of character for everything else that he does. You know I thought it did a good…it was a good way of kind of explaining that.

Ben: Yeah and we get a good sense that they’ve been through some shit together and they really yeah that bond is strong and I mean and it’s impressive that they managed to do that when Spock was not in most of the season.

Carla: Yeah. That’s true.

Ben: Or at least a good half of it you know and when he did first turn up, he was not okay.

Carla: Did you think they were actually going to go?

Ben: Did I think Spock was going to go?

Carla: No. Like did you think they were actually going to make it through the wormhole?

Ben: Yeah I did. I did.

Carla: I didn’t. I had…

Ben: Oh really.

Carla: I realized that I had so much distrust for this whole portion of the franchise, I was like until they actually went through, and even then I was like have they really gone? Like until the…

Ben: Well they’ve done it in a way that means we can do whatever we want next season. You don’t know what happened. Yeah like maybe they end up in the past.

Carla: And then also like when Stamets copped the hit to the chest I was like I thought he was going to die.

Ben: Yeah I thought he was going to die. ‘Cause like I said-

Carla: So then I was like NO.

Ben: -the death count was so low among the main characters.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: And I guess this is a show where it’s not it’s not that kind of show. You know it’s not Game of Thrones, it’s not a J.K. Rowling end-of-the-series novel, right. It’s not like we’re going to kill off all your favorite characters but I did feel like to make this epic we had to lose some people and we only lost one and it was a character who was never part of either crew in the first place. I mean I like Admiral Cornwall. But I wasn’t like, “oh, I’m so sad that she’s died”. And also it really felt like “I’m going to die so you don’t have to”. And that kind of felt a little bit like oh boy you know he can’t die anyway.

Carla: Yeah. So what was with her cryptic like “this isn’t where your story ends”? Like…

Ben: How do you know that?

Carla: I know.

Ben: What are you saying?

Carla: And he’s like… are you picking up what I’m putting down. He’s looking at her like “what the fuck” everything has got double meanings now for him poor thing.

Ben: I do have to say that whole bit that whole storyline with the torpedo is ridiculous. Like why didn’t you just make more of the important bits of the ship out of whatever that blast door is made out of like that is… It’s like the joke that’s on Red Dwarf

Carla: What you couldn’t like pull it and roll under the door? Like.

Ben: Yeah well also Yeah. Because like it didn’t…

Carla: I mean surely Pike could have helped.

Ben: It closed fast but not that fast. Like you’d at least have a go. Like even if you lost a couple of legs it’s better than getting blown up into space right. (both laugh). But I mean it’s not like she’s going to go back for a hat or something. But like get one of those robot repair drones in there, it’s got arms, it could pull the thing!

Carla: Right?!

Ben: I don’t know. I thought there was a lot of other solutions that felt a bit contrived.

Carla: Like someone’s got to die.

Ben: But seriously one blast door protects all that side… Pike stands on the other side of that door when it goes off, and he’s fine, and the whole front of the ship gets blown up. And I’m like “There’s no other things made out of whatever that blast doors made out of on any of that part of the ship? This is ridiculous.”

Carla: Right.

Ben: So I thought that was a weird solution and I was not yeah I just felt it just… I got back into it emotionally it was fine emotionally it made sense I was onboard but just from a logical point of view I was just like this is nonsense. There’s a joke in Red Dwarf about this situation where they’re like why don’t they just make the whole spacecraft out of the thing the black box is made out of? And, um… Yeah. I don’t know.

Carla: I realized that I pretty much spent the whole episode like I was just waiting to see if they went because I didn’t trust that it was going to happen. And there were so many times at that point where I was just like going to fast forward to the end to see whether it happened or not. And then I was going to be able to watch the episode.

Ben: (laughs) Carla I am I am shocked by this.

Carla: I’m so dirty. But yeah I am pumped. Did Georgiou went with them? So I don’t know what happens.

Ben: Well she’s got yeah because she’s got to get back somehow.

Carla: Well we know she’s going to be in the Section 31 show but well do we really? like they’re saying there’s a Section 31 show and they’re like putting pictures of her all around but…

Ben: She’s supposed to be the star.

Carla: Oh so they…

Ben: The captain right.

Carla: Right.

Ben: So there’s some storyline that’s going on.

Carla: Yeah and Tyler, well he was, his rank is commander of and I’m not sure if he’s been made captain.

Ben: Well they kind of put him in charge.

Carla: Yeah…

Ben: But they don’t have any ships anymore.

Carla: I mean they say they’re going to say “we’re going to make it official”. Oh yeah that’s right.

Ben: They blew up all their ships. Yeah. That was the whole Section 31 fleet.

Carla: I think I read that that’s sort of like oh yeah that’s the article that you sent me with like they’re going to make it underground they’re going to explain they’re going to bridge that gap between what Section 31 was now to the underground organization that it becomes by Deep Space Nine and yeah…

Ben: Which makes sense. I mean here it is very much like an official black ops wing of Star Fleet whereas later on it’s like Star Fleet like doesn’t even know what they’re doing.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: And I think that I mean look there’s 100 years of 110 years or so of time for that to happen in. So that’s fine. That’s not I don’t see that as a problem and I think that could be quite interesting how they show that evolution depending on… I mean we also don’t know exactly when the Section 31 show is set.

Carla: That’s true.

Ben: We don’t know much about it yet. So, it could be set in the Discovery era, maybe it’s set 50 years later we don’t know. It could be set any time. It’d be nice if they set it 50 years later because they probably just like in that same article which we’ll link to in the show notes Kurtzman was talking about how you know now they’ve freed themselves from the constraints of the canon that they were enmeshed in. They don’t want that for the Section 31 show. I mean that’s even worse for that show because they’re trying to operate on the fringes and stuff. Yeah. So I don’t know. It’ll be interesting to see what that and what happens with that and how they get Georgiou back for the for that show. But if the red I mean if the angel suit could do several jumps…

Carla: Yeah. Yeah. If they could get it working properly.

Ben: Well I mean they could go to…

Carla: Cause mama bird’s obviously got it working at full capacity from the future. Yes, so she has the ability, she can be wherever she wants.

Ben: They just need another time crystal. They could go back to Boreth. I mean but then this one hasn’t blown up yet so we don’t know what’s happening with it.

Carla: And that’s the other thing I was like if they’re in the future.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Why would she set the red burst like three months later? Like why would she make him wait for three months?

Ben: Yeah, they’ve got a time machine.

Carla: They could. She could have just done it like then.

Ben: And how could she guarantee she could do it anyway because the suits not supposed to work. So yeah there’s a lot of questions here and maybe some of those are like things they’ll answer. But I feel like if you’re going to jump 950 years in the future to escape canon, you don’t even want the canon left behind by the previous season of the same show, you want to free yourself from that.

Carla: Well maybe I just won’t even be explained. That’s it it’s over.

Ben: Well I hope that they do. Just because there’s a lot of baggage that is there. I think for the people left behind. They’re all like clearly it all makes sense to them and they’re not worried about it but they don’t know everything that happened. So, I think it’s for it’s for us the viewers particularly people like me who like continuity and get enmeshed in it. I mean I look and I enjoy it. So, figuring this out could be fun. And if they give us even some hints in the next season, I will be happy to try and stitch those things together. But yeah, I think they have left a few things. More so I mean yeah it is. There are a few other questions too.

Carla: Well shoot because I don’t have much more for this except, I’ve got one note that says crab man’s head is huge.

Ben: It is huge.

Carla: We saw it in profile. Jesus Christ. I loved the split screen.

Ben: Oh, that was great the three way split screen.

Carla: It just made me yearn for more of it. So hopefully there’s more of that in the new season.

Ben: I also have a question about this about what we learn about Control in this episode because they talk about the fact that all of the ships are being coordinated from one place and you’re like “okay great. That kind of makes sense”.

Carla: Isn’t that Leland?

Ben: Yeah but also that makes… But then why would you do that. Yeah it is Leland but that doesn’t make that I mean I had some questions about that I’ve ret-conned it, not ret-conned it I’ve continuity explained it myself I have a head canon for why this makes sense because if you are a super advanced A.I. who can control multiple starships at once you wouldn’t put yourself in one place and make yourself vulnerable you’d distribute yourself across all the ships you’d make copies of yourself or you’d have bits of yourself here and there you wouldn’t exist in a single physical location where you could be blown up you’d have backups upon backups and you’d be transmitting yourself across places but then I thought well if it’s going to be Leland I mean yeah for narrative purposes we need a face for the enemy and Leland is a great face because he’s so punchable, but not the actor, the actor’s delightful, but you know, because he’s doing evil sort of work.

Carla: Of course.

Ben: Although I think it’s quite mean how they keep calling him Leland, like there’s that great bit where Saru says “Now this is going to look like a human, but it’s not a human.” And I’m like “Yeah, you tell ’em Saru!” But then they just call him Leland as if he’s the same person. And he’s, like, he doesn’t exist anymore, he’s just a body being controlled by nanotechnology. But I guess what I came up to was that Control is so advanced that it can’t live in the computers on the ships. It can only live in the advanced nanotechnology and control the ships from there, so it’s got like a subroutine that’s controlling all the ships, but its actual consciousness is too advanced to live in those computers, it can only exist in the human brain augmented by nanotechnology, since it’s hard to escape from where it was before. So, I don’t know. But then it existed in multiple places because we know that it can do that because it did it with that other guy.

Carla: I think like as it evolves it gets bigger you know what I mean?

Ben: I guess so. And they killed it because it was a conscious being. I mean it was evil and was going to kill everybody. And I guess it makes sense that it was Georgiou that did it because although Nhan was bang up for it.

Carla: Yes, she was, she was ready.

Ben: I liked that they teamed up. That was cool. Yeah yeah yeah. And they had the epic fight in the corridor.

Carla: Dude that was crazy.

Ben: It was awesome. We can come back to that and Short Chats. I’ve got something I want to tell you about.

Carla: I don’t have anything else for this. You go to Short Chats. do you have anything else?

Ben: I got a few other things. Do we really believe that Discovery is going to be kept a secret? Like there were a lot of people at that battle and not all of them are Star Fleet crew, like the Klingons know about it, the Kelpiens know about it…

Carla: Klingons don’t care.

Ben: Klingons don’t give a shit. Oh, and the Klingons, know about do the Klingons, know about Tyler? He’s on the fucking bridge of their ship.

Carla: What the fuck.

Ben: We got told that would bring the whole empire down.

Carla: And they’re like the D7’s coming, didn’t get to see it!

Ben: No, I didn’t get to see it.

Carla: That was mean!

Ben: And I was so confused about how like how evenly matched up that was because it’s like we’ve got two much bigger starships and we’ve got this fleet of like 200 like little repair craft and shuttles that we’ve equipped with phasers and shit and you’ve got 30 medium size ships plus your hundreds of you know automated drone fighter things which are cool but I’m like also aren’t the Section 31 ships equipped with all super advanced technology that the rest of Star Fleet doesn’t have the cloaking devices and super advanced weaponry and shit like that? Surely, they should just be able to blow the shit out of them but they don’t and they only launch one photon torpedo the whole time and it doesn’t go off immediately unlike how advanced is this technology. So, I think that that was a bit weird and I think it would have been fine except they called attention to it by having the photon torpedo be such a big plot point.

Carla: I’m not sure Section 31 is armed to the teeth though. I think they’re supposed to be nimble, small and nimble.

Ben: I guess that makes sense.

Carla: And they’re not supposed to be drawing attention to themselves with going into battle or having weapons or anything like that. Third that kind of made sense to me.

Ben: Okay. Yeah I buy that I buy that but I mean they should have had at least I guess I guess the other mitigating circumstances they don’t want to destroy Discovery so they can’t like blow up the Enterprise so badly that it destroys Discovery and wrecks the data on it. But also, you know what else I want to know. Where was the sphere data in all of this? Like it was it was protecting itself when it was on Discovery by itself. Why is it not helping is this pitched battle?

Carla: Didn’t Georgiou say that she transferred it to that thing that she was holding in her hand.

Ben: I don’t know if that’s true though because would it let itself be transferred.

Carla: I don’t know.

Ben: Yeah that’s a good question.

Carla: That was what I was what I thought.

Ben: It does want to be copied.

Carla: Because it wasn’t on the computer. That’s why Leland was Leland was trying to find it and it wasn’t there.

Ben: Yeah. It doesn’t seem to care who has it as long as it exists. Yeah like that which makes sense. That was the spheres motivation. I want my knowledge to live on after me. So, I guess it doesn’t care who copies it where as long as it’s not being deleted.

Carla: Oh, know that thing was a transmitter so Georgiou was like I’ve transmitted it somewhere. Yeah. And then Leland is like “oh you put it in the spore drive because that’s the thing you want to protect the rest of or some shit”. Yeah. So, she’s transmitted it somewhere. Who knows?

Ben: Oh no. This this this directive from Star Fleet you can’t talk about this.

Carla: Well I think its question about that like they’re getting interviewed and it’s like well none of this shit that they’ve been doing exists on any logs anyway. I’m like that’s fucked up.

Ben: Yeah. Like it’s the future. Like surely the computers are recording everything that happens.

Carla: Like aren’t they checking in? Aren’t they like do you know what I mean?

Ben: Well they weren’t checking in because their communications were jammed which is why they didn’t get any backup.

Carla: But any of it about the red bursts, about the angel. I guess they didn’t they just didn’t know that they were building the suit.

Ben: Yeah well, they probably didn’t report that because they didn’t want…

Carla: Or the missions to get the time crystal or anything like that.

Ben: Yeah well, they didn’t want Control to know that they were doing it. Yeah because Control didn’t know like they didn’t, they didn’t specifically. Yeah, they went after Michael but they didn’t make Michael a priority because…

Carla: So, they went fully dark?

Ben: Yeah, I think they did yeah. Which makes sense. Yeah. Because who knows how Control is maybe listening in?

Carla: So, while not fully docked because Admiral Cornwall was onboard so she obviously knows what’s going on with her armada.

Ben: Yeah but they couldn’t communicate.

Carla: Exactly. And now she’s dead so.

Ben: Yeah, they did say it at some point they only had ship to ship communications they couldn’t contact Star Fleet. So yeah, I guess that makes sense.

SFX: Swoosh!

Ben: Now it’s time for re:Discovery Short Chats, where we talk news, trivia and anything related to Discovery, and also any questions you have for us. You can still follow our socials and get in touch even though this is pretty much our last episode. Captain, we got a few questions and comments about the ending of the series, as you would expect.

Carla: Sure. Yeah, we did. Yeah we got a comment from Adam Ford, long e-mail but basically the question was “do you think Star Trek TV show can work well within a novel in chapters format, which is like the new TV format, or is the Star Trek concept too closely associated with the previous story by story format that the previous six series observes?” So, I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot because the one, the one anachronism that it has is that because it’s on CBS it’s cut for commercials and I really noticed that.

Ben: Yeah. Because it’s like got four acts each episode and there’s like a fade to black every time.

Carla: There’s a cliff-hanger. There’s a cliff-hanger each, you know, each cut which I just find so antiquated and hilarious.

Ben: Does that mean that there’s ads on CBS All Access?

Carla: Not on All Access I don’t think.

Ben: Do they also broadcast it on actual CBS?

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Oh, I didn’t know that.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Ah there you go. Okay. What have you been thinking about the episodic sort of story of the week format?

Carla: Well it’s funny because I didn’t notice that until you put it quite early on.

Ben: Oh right.

Carla: I just feel like that format would be odd now. And also, like back when it was like a 22-season episode, season commission, you know you would get you big blockbuster episodes then you get a whole bunch of shit in there as well because they had no budget. You know sometimes it was creative and it was really interesting. A lot of the time it was like quite bizarre and terrible.

Ben: It’s really hard to pump out 22 quality scripts a year ever with a writer’s room.

Carla: Especially sci fi you don’t like that especially back then required quite significant investment in terms of practical effects or digital effects. So now I’m just like I love the episodes are as long as they go for. And you know there’s never one set episode length and you know we have a shorter season but the quality is a lot higher but I do kind of miss a bit of the cheesiness. What about you?

Ben: Well I mean I think you can have it a bit both ways I think.

Carla: We did have that last season with some of the standalones.

Ben: We did a little bit. I mean they did tie back in but I but I think you had that one you had the really strong arc at the end of the sort of well towards the end of the Mirror Universe. So I think you had like smaller arcs in the first season but they didn’t have a lot of standalone episodes. It was a bit more of a hybrid show. I think if you look at no one will be surprised when I mentioned Doctor Who. If you look at Doctor Who now like the modern Doctor Who is a kind of hybrid model. Some seasons more so than others. There’s still very definitely a separate adventure of the week but then there’s also a bit of a meta narrative over the top. And you get like episodes that really do standalone. But the character development and little bits of the episode will push it along. And so I think you can hybridise it you can do a bit of both and maybe I mean if they’re stuck in the future and they can go anywhere and see anything maybe that’s what Season 3 will be like maybe they will have crazy adventures because they’re essentially on a five year mission in the future.

Carla: I do miss it. I think you know it gives different writers opportunities to develop characters in you know more linear ways and more lateral ways I should say the adventure of the week was also like less stressful like I feel like this you know full novelization thing is like really super stressful. I think you can still have cliff-hangers in that and still sort of keep people guessing and wanting to see it each week. But I just mainly I miss it from the character development because I felt like those adventures of the week really did significant as I said lateral development of the characters. So I miss that.

Ben: Easier to focus on different characters each week too.

Carla: Yeah and give them a different thing to do. You know. Yeah just a couple more comments. From Lachlan Kingsford: “So did that look like 2001: A Space Odyssey to you?”

Ben: Oh what when she’s going through the wormhole.

Carla: Whoa.

Ben: Yeah that was cool. Just the sparks like flying an empty void.

Carla: Oh my god it was cool.

Ben: Yeah yeah.

Carla: And also, like you know the slice of time. Spinning around so fucking great.

Ben: I also thought actually when Discovery went through the wormhole that also that also seemed a bit 2001 like with all the colours and people being blurred it was very Star Trek: The Motion Picture as well actually.

Carla: You could easily just put the 2001: A Space Odyssey score over the top of that.

Ben: Surely someone’s done that. Going to have to find that on the Internet.

Carla: That’s it. I just want to do a correction. Don’t know if Reno is leaving on on I’m on some kind of psychedelic drugs. I’m sure I read it somewhere but I could not confirm that. So, I really hope that she’s staying because she’s on Discovery looks like she’s being positioned to have more of a presence next season.

Ben: So yeah well Stamets is you know in a coma. That was a bit weird how the one love scene they get is like Hugh going “It’s okay Paul. I’m putting you in a coma, go to sleep now” (both laugh). Uh yeah, I did that, I cried though. Yeah, I cried. I cried. I was so happy.

Carla: It felt it felt really genuine.

Ben: It did.

Carla: And I’m like “Okay great. I’m good. Let’s put let us, let everyone put the past behind us”.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: I think my misgivings about how they did that progression of their relationship in little bits were really overcome by how much both actors but particularly Hugh as an actor really just sold it and gave it an emotional reality that I was just like “oh I’m so happy but it’s so sad that you’re back together. He’s a look… he’s not dead but he’s not well. But I’m going to look after you. Oh beautiful”. Yeah. I cried. It was great. It was great. Now I had a couple of things that I wanted to talk about. I mentioned earlier I wanted to talk more about that cool fight sequence in the corridor. This totally reminded me of the Fred Astaire dance sequence from the film Royal Wedding. Have you seen this Carla?

Carla: No.

Ben: It’s this very famous he’s dancing in a house and he dances up the wall and onto the ceiling. And they do it by having a camera mounted on the floor but the whole set revolves. Yeah, I’m sure that’s what they did with this. I will post a link to it in the show notes.

Carla: There’s a few Michel Gondry film clips back in the day that did it.

Ben: Oh yeah. Yeah, you’re right. But I think Fred Astaire was like the first big one is from then I think it’s from the 50’s sometime.

Carla: Would have been psychedelic.

Ben: It’s pretty cool. I really dug that and it was just yeah – how great to see that done as a fight sequence. Now I got. Here’s something else for Short Chats. Carla. What does this ending mean for Zora?

Carla: Yes soo.

Ben: Where is she?

Carla: A lot of talk on “teh interwebs”.

Ben: Yeah tell me.

Carla: That even Zora could be a thousand years in the future from that point.

Ben: So, she could be two thousand years in the future?

Carla: Correct.

Ben: Wow.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: And then there’s still human beings like with tattoos having wars. That’s a bit sad for them.

Carla: Well you know. But stupid is as stupid does.

Ben: And then they go back in time. Well the other possibility I thought of was that maybe Georgiou figures out a way to get back to her time using Discovery but leaving you know the Discovery crew without Discovery but then leaves it somewhere where they can find it and tells it to stay there. A thousand years so that it’s there when they need it so they can just get it back again.

Carla: Yeah that’s a good one.

Ben: So I don’t know if that’s…

Carla: Also another possibility is that Zora is already there and she can make herself known.

Ben: Oh yeah.

Carla: In the new season.

Ben: Yeah. Which would be another point in favour of her being in evolution of the sphere data. Who knows. I think they’ll be very if she does show up in the next season. I think the crew will be very wary of her. (both laugh) They have not had a good time with artificial intelligence they’ll be like “get away from us!”. Now there’s so many other Star Trek things happening Carla.

Carla: I’m not up to date on any of it. Give me the info.

Ben: Well just the TV shows. But we know so little about them we know this like at least four other shows going on. It’s crazy. So we’ve got the Section 31 show which we don’t know what’s happening with it. Hopefully Tyler is in it. I do want to say that he’s been left behind and I love him. I want to stick around so I hope he’s in the Section 31 show would make it would be weird if he wasn’t. We got the Picard show we know about that. We got Lower Decks the animated comedy show about the low ranking folks on a starship. We’ve got there’s been talk of a Star Fleet Academy show.

Carla: WHAT.

Ben: About younger Star Fleet people being made by a couple people who were involved with some teenage shows like I forget which one I think there might have been producers on The O.C. or something so there’s that which would be a bit like Wesley Crusher school days.

Carla: Is this like it geared to a younger audience kind of thing?

Ben: Teen audience yeah.

Carla: Yeah ok.

Ben: But I haven’t seen much about that.

Carla: I would watch the shit out of that.

Ben: Yeah I’ve only seen it mentioned a couple of times but if it hits the same spot as something like Riverdale or Sabrina like but with sci fi instead of fantasy I think that could be really awesome. And now of course there’s heaps of talk about a spinoff with Pike and the Enterprise crew and…

Carla: But is it real talk or is it just internet chatter?

Ben: Well I mean Kurtzman said he’s heard the fans that they’re keen for it. I personally am in two minds about it. I’m like we don’t need that.

Carla: No we have enough.

Ben: It would be fun. I mean I certainly like Spock and Number One and Pike I think they’re all great characters played by great actors doing great job but I don’t. I would be worried that you know it would be detrimental to whatever Discovery’s doing although now that Discovery is like off in the far future they’d be so separate and you’d have this one show that was like we’re playing in the canon sandpit and the other show that’s like we’ve gone off to do something fucking crazy. I don’t know. I’m in two minds about it. I don’t think we need it. I do want to see Anson Mount in more stuff but it doesn’t have to be Star Trek. I’d love to see Rebecca Romijin (“Ro-Main”) as you have taught me it’s pronounced not “Rom-jin” because I’ve been misreading it all these years so I’m very sorry Rebecca. If you listen I’m also sorry for calling you by your first name, we’re not on first name terms. You just seem really cool. But yeah. So I just there’s heaps of Star Trek stuff happening but we have no dates for any of this other stuff starting so we don’t know when it’s going to happen.

Carla: It’s fucking cool like I’m into it. And I love the breadth of it. I’ve got serious side eye on a new Enterprise show like they’ve struggled so hard with Discovery I think they’ve learned a lot of lessons that they’ll be able to kind of just easily transfer onto a new spinoff. But in terms of getting the appropriate you know writers room, show runner and stuff like that I think they would really struggle to get that magical combination that if they do this as a pre-Enterprise like their fans would be feral. And I think that I just don’t see that really kind of happening anytime soon.

Ben: You mean you don’t think they want it.

Carla: Oh no they would just be so all over combing like…

Ben: Oh yeah.

Carla: Look at what happened with this. Like this was just a shit show, you know what I mean in terms of fan reaction but I think if you’re going to put something that’s like that which is what is the gap of the next eight years or whatever in the Enterprise’s timeline as a show like it’s just going to have a level of scrutiny that on the one hand I’m sure they have a lot of canon there that they can just be paint by numbers, but at the same time anything that slightly deviated from that or you know what I mean like it would just…

Ben: Well I mean the thing is they’ve already there’s not that much talk about what happens to the Enterprise and Pike before you know actual Star Trek: The Original Series and they they’ve they already covered all the stuff we know about.

Carla: Because why they don’t take the comic book stuff or anything like that?

Ben: None of that is considered canon.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. And I also even if it was I think the TV show producers would be well advised to ignore it when they’re doing their own thing and just do what’s best for the TV show. Yeah because you can’t keep up with all that stuff and…

Carla: How much money do they have as well? Like really to do it well.

Ben: That’s a lot of shows. But I mean that’s also a point in the favour of maybe they’re thinking about it because why else would you build this, I mean the Enterprise bridge is not just a refit of the Discovery bridge. It’s pretty cool separate set and…

Carla: It is only one set though like…

Ben: I guess so yeah and the corridors could be just a redress of the Discovery ones so who knows. I don’t think they need to do it. I think if they do it I’ll certainly watch it because it’ll probably be cool. But yeah I think who knows?

Carla: I’m also at Star Trek overload a little bit because I’ve been watching Enterprise in tandem with this.

Ben: Yeah me too.

Carla: And I’m just like with all the new shows.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Are we going to be at saturation point? I don’t have much more time to watch TV beyond that if I’m honest. (both laugh)

Ben: I’m not watching that much else at the moment, so I mean I’ve finished season 4 of Gotham and season 5 and on the streaming services yet. Most of the shows that I really care about are not making new seasons at the moment so you sort of you know. The other thing I did want to ask is, how wise is this to put Discovery a thousand years in the future? How different does it need to be for them to fulfil this promise of we’re going a thousand years in the future, canon’s behind us you know what’s going to happen? How can they possibly live up to that? I’m a bit worried about it.

Carla: Well I don’t know. Look every Star Trek show has a primary an alien enemy show and a general overarching mission or you know issue. The only thing that really differentiates to me all the Star Trek shows is the time that it’s set because of the technology that they have available to it. The aliens are different in the way that the aliens operate a different but all of those storylines pretty much followed the same trajectory.

Carla: The only thing that’s really cool and the thing that keeps you like hooked is the different kinds of technology that they have.

Ben: Right.

Carla: So that’s where I think that this that’s where the money makers going to be in this new show. Is the imagining of the future at that point in time, we’ve seen little glimpses of it in Voyager. We had a couple of episodes that were set up a thousand years in the future.

Ben: Oh right.

Carla: Yeah. So I mean they’re disaster ones but…

Ben: Oh yeah. Yeah.

Carla: So it’s all technology based and caring about the crew. Yeah. So we already care about the crew.

Ben: They’ve got that in their favour for sure.

Carla: Yeah. So

Ben: Okay. All right.

Carla: What do you think?

Ben: Well I mean Discovery has its technology already and what they’re going to be coping with is being a thousand years behind everybody else is in the future. And also they’ve got to paint Doctor Who had this problem as well where they put when they did the future and the modern series they went like five billion years in the future and five billion years in the future looks like retro-futuristic flying cars like it’s kind of like a bit bullshit to be honest. I’m like “you went five billion years in the future and the best you could imagine was some aliens who look kind of cool but are basically humanoid aliens and some flying cars. Is that is that it is that all you got?” Like. Why. Why go that far in the future if you’re not going to try and come up with something like mind blowingly different, like and I am I’m a little worried about that. I mean look who knows what they’re going to do. Maybe it will just be really awesome and I’m being pessimistic for no reason but I think I’m just worried that they’ve set themselves up to do something. Yeah it’s a super cool and there’s no way that they’re going to be able to realize it but they could.  They might surprise me.

Carla: But that was the best part about Voyager.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: You know a holo-novels, the Doctor…

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And sometimes it’s like it’s just that twist on what the technology that we already have you know but even still of all the Star Trek that we have they’re all within a couple hundred years of each other. You know the time-the main timeline you know so this is so far beyond that. I hear your um your anxiety.

Ben: They still have pre original series level technology even if it now looks like what we would imagine it should look like.

Carla: But I’m also saying to you is that Star Trek is inherently formulaic. (both laugh)

Ben: Yeah okay sure. Sure. I shouldn’t expect to like it suddenly it’s going to be an anthology show or something. Yeah. Do you think that’s going to bring back Short Treks?

Carla: I don’t know, who knows about anything? Yeah I think that really goes back to the previous questioners question which is you know like they’re really struggling to imagine Star Trek now. Like the last time we had a season show was I think the last season of Enterprise was 2005. That’s before internet 2.0. Right. So like you went from having essentially the same formula to for most of the, except for the original season, for most of the Star Treks that we know. And now I think we have seen those teething problems in understanding how it fits into the digital landscape now. So maybe this is their opportunity to really bring their A game in a way that’s fresh.

Ben: Yeah. Well look whatever happens I’m bang up for it. I’m excited and I can’t believe we have to wait like a year.

Carla: Yeah. Well or who knows? I think Picard is due out next year. So yeah, we definitely don’t have anything this year.

Ben: No no.

Carla: But what about us Ben? When’s our next episode going to be?

Ben: Well this is a good question because I’m sure you listening want to know what’s the future of re:Discovery? We haven’t gone a thousand years in the future but we probably are going to go a little bit into the future. We’re not going to do an episode next week but we do want to do a wrap up don’t we Carla?

Carla: Yeah. We might wait a couple of weeks to say I actually want to either re-watch the whole season again or listen to all of our episodes or both. Before we do a wrap up so maybe three weeks or something but keep us in your podcast feed is what we’re saying.

Ben: Yeah, we’re not totally disappearing but we are going to have a break certainly from having weekly episodes and we’ll figure out what we’ll be doing next because we got a few other things on don’t we Carla? We should tell people about those.

Carla: Oh yeah, we can plug them.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: What. What do you want to talk about first? indiepodfest?

Ben: Let’s talk about that. Yeah.

Carla: Yeah. So, we’re having an independent podcasting festival in July. Yeah, the first one in Australia.

Ben: That’s going to happen in Melbourne. We’re going to be celebrating the art and craft of making independent podcasts. We’ve already been talking to potential guests. We’re going to be crowdfunding it. We don’t have any source of external funding so watch out for that. We’ll post about it on the social media and if you can’t come to Melbourne if you’re too far away or if you’re busy that weekend there will be an opportunity for you to support the festival and get access to audio of the proceedings there. So yeah, we’re real excited about that we’ve been working real hard on that for months now.

Carla: For a long time.

Ben: And we still got a few months to go. Yeah well that’s pretty good. But if you want to hear our voices on a regular basis you still can. Carla you’ve still got podcasts going.

Carla: Oh, I have one that’s basically completed it’s about this filmmaker Steven Soderbergh so it’s called Club Soderbergh. So, we’ve covered all of his films to date except for High Flying Bird. So basically, we’ll put out an episode every time he makes a new film but essentially, we’re…

Ben: You’ve finished with the bank catalogue.

Carla: Yeah, we’ve finished with the back catalogue. We will be doing we’ll be doing that live at indiepodfest. So, they go twofer.

Ben: Yeah. Come along.

Carla: And I have a theatre slash performing arts criticism podcast which is very different to this but if you like going to the theatre and you like my opinions then perhaps, you’ll also like my other show Across the Aisle.

Ben: Yeah it is a great podcast. I enjoy it.

Carla: Thanks Ben.

Ben: Yeah. Yes. Well you do a good job, you and Phillip. I feel like I’m there in the theatre with you.

Carla: Oh, that’s beautiful. That’s what we want.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And what about you? Prachat!

Ben: Yeah. Pratchat is still going so if you’ve not listened to it that’s my monthly Terry Pratchett Book Club podcast. We are reading every single Terry Pratchett book, a bit like Club Soderbergh, we’re covering his oeuvre. We’re covering his canon yes but he did write an awful lot of books. So, it’s going to take us about six and a half years to do them all. We’ve only been going for about 18 months we’ve still got about five years to go.

Carla: Oh my god.

Ben: And we do some bonus episodes were recently recorded our first live episode at a convention here in Melbourne. We’ll be doing the next Australian Discworld convention in Sydney in 2021 so that’ll be fun. I’m really looking forward to that. It was a great time. So, there’s that. That’s coming out of new podcast because my audio drama night terrorists is now being broadcast on the BBC on the radio. Oh my God so fancy. So, if you want to listen to that you can it’s being broadcast weekly on Sundays at 6 p.m. U.K. time and you can look it up on the BBC website. It’s being broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra which is the digital spin off of Radio 4.

Carla: It just means that you’re so cool. Well isn’t that what the kids say these days.

Ben: I don’t know.

Carla: You’re so extra. (both laugh)

Ben: I thought that meant fancy. Does that mean I mean I’m fancy? Glamourous?

Carla: I think it means like bombastic.

Ben: Oh yeah.

Carla: Or like amazing.

Ben: I guess that could be me.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah you can listen to that on the on their site. You have to wait for it to come out each week. So, it’s a bit like Discovery. It is about time travel and it’s an it’s a comedy show. It’s kind of. We always say it’s a bit like sort of early Doctor Who if the doctor was a cranky Australian woman played by Susan from Neighbours. But it’s good fun. And we’ve done a new podcast to go along as a companion to it.

Carla: I love that you’re recapping your own podcast weekly. Benjamin!

Ben: It’s more like, it’s more like After Trek or um or The Bridge or what’s the name?

Carla: I don’t know what it’s called.

Ben: The bridge thing.

Carla: You can’t find it.

Ben: But the podcast is called On the Terrace. Are we plugging anything else? What else can we tell you about?

Carla: I think that’s it for now. That’s enough.

Ben: This is good. This is a long episode.

Carla: That’s okay.

Ben: Let’s say it’s a fun time to end the podcast.

Carla: But otherwise we will be back in your ears sometime in the next month doing a recap of our entire experience of doing this and the season and we’ll have more information for you at that point.

Ben: Yeah. So, until we see you next.

Carla: Live long and prosper.

Ben: Don’t get sucked into a wormhole.

Ben: You’ve been listening to re:Discovery. You’ll find links to all the creatives involved on our website, We’d love to connect with you. Find us on Twitter and Facebook as @reDiscoverypod.

Splendid Chaps: re:Discovery is brought to you by Splendid Chaps Productions. Find more entertainment for your ears at

Episode Transcript: Such Sweet Sorrow, part one (S02E13)

This is a transcript of our thirteenth season two recapavailable here.

Michael Burnham [From Episode]: I wish there was more time. There isn’t. I love you. All of you. Thank you for the greatest moments of my life.

re:Discovery theme plays.

Carla: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery, the Star Trek recap podcast that is so excited to talk about it, let’s just begin. I’m joined by my Science Officer Ben McKenzie Ben. Are you excited?

Ben: There’s no time to talk about how excited I am Carla. Let’s just get straight to it!

Carla: Holy crap. It’s episode 13 so you know what that means. It’s the first half of the two-episode season finale and it does not pull any punches. Even before we know what happens with Discovery the title “Such Sweet Sorrow” leads the way. We last left off with Pike calling the XO on Enterprise and beginning the self-destruct protocols on Discovery. The episode opens with Sarek meditating on the beach at sundown, he whispers “Michael” and we cut to Discovery. The crew are all packing their quarters to evacuate. The Enterprise is clearly back in action as she has arrived to take Discovery’s crew. This is the first full view we get of the re-imagined Enterprise’s bridge and I was breathless.

Ben: So good.

Carla: So good. Pike swagger is onto the bridge like a man wearing a custom-made suit. He looks happy to be home. Number One assuring him that the holograms have been fixed and will be no more. Pike initialises the self-destruct sequence remotely. But it does not complete, the Spheres self-preservation has seemingly taken over the ship and does not allow it to be destroyed. They fire torpedoes to no avail. Michael, having had a glimpse of her future by transporting the time crystal to the Enterprise, sees Leland board Discovery and kill the whole crew. She tells the bridge that they cannot destroy Discovery so the only option is to take Discovery so far into the future Control can never get the data. But however, will they charge the time crystal in time? No time to languor in the gorgeous saltiness that is the newly minted Captain Georgiou, a new Red Burst arrives conveniently taking them to the planet Xahea – you remember where Tilly’s friend Po the queen of Xahea comes from? No? Well keep going it will all make sense soon. Po is a scientific genius who has developed a way of re crystallizing dilithium so surely, she can help power the crystal.

Ben: Meanwhile in engineering Hugh visit Stamets but let’s Paul speak first. Paul says Hugh was right to say they both needed to move on so he’s planning to quit working on starships and maybe pursue that post at the Vulcan science academy. Hugh says he plans to stay aboard the Enterprise, Stamets heads off to finish the new angel suit and that’s where they leave things… Carla, what!? Anyway, we will come back to that. Po arrives and after being plied with ice cream by Tilly listens to the crew’s story, she works out a way to charge up the time crystal without needing the energy of a supernova. But there’s a drawback. The crystal will end up with too much energy and burn out meaning it’ll be a one-way trip into the future for Michael. Tyler is horrified when he discovers this but Michael is willing to go ahead with the plan anyway hoping she will end up on Terralysium with her mother. The crew respects her decision and she shares her love for them before Pike orders everyone to get back to work. Po surprises Tilly with the news that she will be staying on board Discovery when the Section 31 ships come as to do otherwise would be to shirk her responsibility of protecting her planet. Georgiou argues with Michael about her stupid plan. But Michael rebuffs her and walks away only to walk straight into another parental moment – Sarek and Amanda have boarded Discovery, Sarek having felt that Michael was in trouble through their joined katras.

Carla: Awkward.

Ben: They have come to say farewell and reveal they are proud of her. They all express their love for each other and Sarek even asks for, and gets, Michael’s forgiveness before they leave. Later Michael watches a video tutorial recorded by her other mother about how to pilot the suit but is called to the bridge, the Enterprise is close by. On the way she meets Tilly who takes her to her closest friends among the senior crew as well as Spock. They’re all staying aboard Discovery and following her into the future. She tries to talk them out of it but is touched and realizes their minds are made up. Tyler however is staying behind. He feels it’s his duty to make sure Section 31 never creates another situation like this one with Control. Michael walks away from him seemingly distraught but turns back for one last kiss. Everyone records messages for their loved ones before Pike orders the Discovery to move away from Xahea to make sure it’s not in danger from the coming conflict with Control ships and hands the captain’s chair over to Saru. Though he graciously defers the question. As the Enterprise arrives, Pike lovingly commends the Discovery crew but Control’s fleet is only five minutes away. Both crews have prepped shuttle craft with weapons to keep Control busy until the new time travel suit is ready. But in engineering Stamets, Tilly and Reno are worried it’s taking too long to charge up. Tilly suggests a plan to speed up the charging but it would mean the crystals time altering effects will leak out, making it dangerous to human minds. Reno says she can handle it and orders the others out of the room to do it and she sees the same flash of the future as Burnham before her – including the detail of an unexploded photon torpedo lodged in the Enterprise’s saucer. Tyler asks for Pike’s trust and says he must leave before the battle to do something important. Georgiou reveals to him she is Terran and then he returns to the Enterprise. After that the Section 31 ships appear and everyone gets to battle stations to be continued.

Carla: Dot dot dot.

Ben: What the actual f Carla! This episode. Holy moly.

Carla: We just have to get straight to chop chop. Is Season 3 they’re all living a thousand years in the future?

Ben: I think I think our previous listener who predicted this might have been on the money because it seems like there’s no other way. Like everybody’s going into the future. I think for a while during this episode I thought you know you said last episode maybe they’d get rid of Michael and I was like “No come on. She’s the main character” and for a while doing this episode I was “like holy moly it’s going to happen. Why. What’s what?1”. And then everyone said, “no we’re coming with you” and I’m like “Oh yeah!”.

Carla: Yeah but then I was like “Whoaaaaaaaaaaa”.

Ben: That’s nuts but also Spock’s going with them. And we know Spock ends up back on the Enterprise. So, what is going to happen?

Carla: Dude seriously if this show ends up a thousand years into the future for a couple of seasons, I will lose my mind.

Ben: That would be amazing.

Ben: It would be like because I’ve been thinking about it on the ride up here right. It’s like we need that Star Trek for now, like we know like that that the Star Trek that was delivered in the 60s to the 60s consumer right. We need that Star Trek now which is like we’re so we understand completely like all of the technologies of the Star Trek universe all that kind of stuff.

Ben: Oh yeah.

Carla: Where you know I like that, that to me would be the most logical step forward. And they were, as you know listeners would know, like they were my most exciting episodes from just, well from Enterprise and from Voyager and then I’m thinking like “maybe they like get in touch with that organization that sends all of those time travellers back to those series”.

Ben: Oh wow.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: You think they’re the secret time masters?

Carla: Maybe I don’t know.

Ben: That would be totally amazing.

Carla: So good.

Ben: Crazy stuff.

Carla: What do you think?

Ben: Look I have no idea where this is going to end up. I, I, they could go into the future. They could come back they might find the time; the time suit might take them somewhere else.

Carla: OH MY GOD.

Ben: It might splinter time into like three different timelines and people end up in different places and will have like this weird multi fractured, you know I don’t know. I think if anything I actually feel like anything could happen but I also feel like it’s such a great set up this episode and it’s so wonderful because often when you get these two-parter of things at the end of a season I mean in old series of Star Trek it would usually be the first part of the two-parter would be the season finale right.

Ben: But now that we’ve got this two-parter at the end they’ve just they’ve taken a whole episode to set up this like intense situation and also let everyone have a chance to say goodbye which I loved and it made me think about what I love about Discovery as a Star Trek show because I feel it is a show that we need now in another way as well as the way that you were saying because we also need that compassion. We need that empathy and that care for each other which you know we saw often see missing in public discourse in the way that we treat other people who are not like ourselves or our governments do on our behalf.

Ben: And we need a show that says “no we can we can be heroes, we can be space explorers, we can be tough people doing what needs to be done and we can love each other and look after each other at the same time” and I felt like this episode like so summed that up and it’s been a theme running throughout the whole season. I think you know Pike’s little speech about being a starship captain last episode really like also brought that to the fore. But this episode really hit that spot for me and I was like yes, I need this episode if something awful is about to happen. Let me have this moment beforehand while ramping up that tension. And I mean wonder what a way to leave that like we’re all going into the future; we can never come back and we’re leaving you know our mates behind and our families and our lives behind like just huge. I’m pumped. I have not, I really don’t know what’s going to happen next episode but I’m so excited.

Carla: Yeah me too. It’s pretty limiting like it’s a pretty limiting way of looking at it for them because they don’t even know what’s in the future or where they’re going to end up but they’re working under the supposition that they’re going to not be able to come back. But I think they’re like I think it’s tied up like I feel like all threads are tied up at this point except for like what the fuck’s going to happen.

Ben: Well there’s still there’s still two Red Bursts to go so that’s presumably going to light the way to where they’ve got to go.

Carla: Potentially.

Ben: But you know and we still I mean we still I think Zora can’t come into it because like you can’t introduce that character in one episode or maybe you can because this episode showed us that they do expect us to just run with the Short Treks as being part of the show because here’s Po who is a pretty major character in this episode and makes all these references to her previous appearance without them being fully explained. So, if they’re expecting us to have watched that and understood it then maybe they are expecting us to have watched the Zora Short Trek. But I still feel like they can’t just introduce that character out of nowhere in the last episode surely?

Carla: I don’t know I didn’t have any feel-pinions about that but at the same time I feel like also we’ve had three out of four Short Treks be present in this season so I’m like is Harry Mudd in the next episode?

Ben: But have we really had the Zora one? Or are we just reading into that because we’ve had the…

Carla: Oh, that’s true, like we haven’t had it confirmed but it’s…

Ben: I still think your thing about Airiam memories.

Carla: Well not so much says Airiam became Zora. But like that what Discovery is abandoned a thousand years into the future. That’s a pretty direct through line to what’s happening right now.

Ben: True and also the Sphere data of the Sphere, spheres information has now integrated itself with the ship because you know it stops the auto destruct sequence it turns on the shields so they can’t destroy it with the torpedoes.

Carla: So how much prep background processing has been happening already?

Ben: Exactly.

Carla: Zora could have already been halfway developed.

Ben: I mean maybe Zora is an A.I that was, who knows, hoovered up by the Sphere data. It’s not I got to say only on the topic of the Sphere data. I never thought it would become this big of a thing. Not in the way that it has anyway like I liked it when they were using it. Like in Saru’s – in the Kaminar episode, “An Obol for Charon” where they were you know using it to figure out what was happening on his planet. I thought that was cool.

Carla: Or “An eyeball for Sharon” as our A.I keeps calling it. Sorry I couldn’t stop laughing.

Ben: I know, that was weird.  We look we’ve just revealed to listeners that we use artificial intelligence on this show for our transcription. So, we’re sorry if you’re frightened. It’s okay. This one’s totally not trying to kill anyone and it hasn’t injected any nano probes into us. But yeah. So, there was that and then there was Control through Airiam was trying to get its intelligence on artificial intelligence. And I thought those were two nice plot points but then it’s all become about the A.I. And so now I’m hoping that the Sphere information taking over the ship or integrating with the ship becomes more important than that because I kind of feel otherwise it’s a waste of this whole idea of this amazing archive of information if it just becomes about this one part of it. I know that might be a silly thing to think but I just yeah, I hope that they it doesn’t just vanish after this after becoming a fairly one-dimensional plot point. And it’s worked well I thought in that capacity but I think it’s just got a lot of potential to do other stuff.

Carla: To me it’s like it’s just introduced the concept because at this point in time I’m just like and what everyone’s just like” okay cool Sphere it’s got data, it’s got data, sweet let’s just download it” like what the fuck what the fuck is this thing? And it’s not that I need everything to be introduced before but I’m like “This is such a bizarro thing” and like everyone’s just like “yeah got the data okay let’s roll”. You know?

Ben: Yeah, I, well I liked it. I thought that episode I just realized I used the wrong episode name earlier because “An Obol for Charon” is the one where they meet the Sphere but I don’t know I liked it because I was so weird and you know what I’m like. I like weird aliens. And remembering more or less forced it on them to download its data. Like because it was disrupting all their systems until they let it do it and then they’re like “oh you want to share your data with us? Let’s trust you” and again that was you know that theme of trust and love that’s been running throughout the whole season. They decided to trust this weird alien entity wasn’t trying to harm them and they were right to do it.

Carla: But don’t you think there’s been also this like other sort of thing like pretty on the nose I think about faith in there.

Ben: Yeah there has been a few lines. Yeah and particularly in this episode.

Carla: Particularly in this episode about the bursts and I’m like “What is this?”.

Ben: And interestingly because you know that’s always been a thing where they’ve tried to avoid too many explicit questions about religion in most of the Star Trek shows, it comes up a lot in Deep Space Nine with the whole Bajoran religion and also it’s fairly frequently but not constantly touched upon in Voyager particularly when it comes to Chakotay’s beliefs and then they also do a bit of exploration of Klingon spirituality through B’Elanna’s storyline but it’s usually something they avoid. And that was kind of because you know Gene Roddenberry’s idea of the future we’d move past religion like he saw it as a relic from the past that we didn’t need any more which I think is a simplistic way of thinking about it but I get where he’s coming from in a way. And supposedly Jason Isaac’s said he wasn’t allowed to you know use any sort of profanity which included blasphemy because that would indicate that he had some sort of idea that was religious stuff that he was saying he was told he couldn’t say that I think I read that article was about that so he wasn’t allowed to say that kind of stuff. So yeah. Which means I thought they were continuing that on Discovery. But then I’m not so sure now. But yeah there is a lot of stuff about you know “jump and the net will appear” kind of thinking which is a bit…

Carla: And particularly now tied in parallel with like Pike going “well you know like sometimes it’s better not to know you know”. It’s just it’s been a bit it’s been a bit on the nose, eyebrow raising for me but I think it’s helped them to kind of maybe flub a fair bit of stuff in the story line some kind of get it all wrapped up. So that’s really like the biggest thing isn’t it? It’s like are they going to go to the future?

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: I can’t really…

Ben: How they’re going to get out of it if they don’t? Is the other question.

Carla: Yeah that’s true. And what does the vision mean you know? Is that a separate timeline? I kept having like freak outs that they were in some kind of temporal rift already.

Ben: Oh right.

Carla: So, they were in a loop and something and that was why that she, everyone sort of kept seeing the death of everybody on the Enterprise. Like do you remember that episode was a was it of Voyager where like they were just in a loop where they all died all the time?

Ben: Yeah yeah.

Carla: And I thought maybe that was what was happening with this but obviously not. Well who knows.

Ben: Yeah. I don’t know. I thought it was. I think it’s significant that both Michael and Reno see the same glimpse of the future although she does see the longer one where you know Leland shoots everyone but they both see that specific detail about this photon torpedo in the Enterprise. For me that was a bit weird because I’m like “Well we know the Enterprise doesn’t get destroyed because this is happening in the prime timeline”.

Carla: So that’s why I keep thinking about temporal…

Ben: Do you think they’re going to splinter Discovery off into its own timeline?

Carla: No no I just thought that maybe there’s like some kind of alternate loop happening.

Ben: Oh right.

Carla: Right. They have to bring the timelines back together.

Ben: A bit kind of like the Harry Mudd episode from season one.

Carla: Yeah exactly. Exactly.

Ben: Okay.

Carla: So that’s what I was that’s what that was the only thing that kind of gave me that indication.

Ben: Yeah, we’re definitely going to get some Star Wars style action next episode though.

Carla: Well and also this episode like the intros and the outros are like full movie, style, length scenarios with their special effects.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. That’s true. I was thinking more you know we’re going to get a big space battle.

Carla: Oh, I thought you meant like the guy that looked like the red-faced guy. (laughs) Darth Maul.

Ben: (laughs) Oh that guy the pointy face, the spiky face guy. Yeah. No, he’d look great. We should talk, we’ve got to talk about the Enterprise though.

Carla: Holy shit. I actually, like, had tears. I had like little skin prickles.

Ben: I respect that but I’m not very as nostalgic about the original Enterprise. They’re not my favourite crew. They’re great.

Carla: I think you’ve seen all the films?

Ben: I enjoy the films. Yeah, I’ve seen all the films. But I thought they did an amazing job of re-imagining what it would look like given the style that they’ve done Discovery in. Thought that was brilliant. And I love any time you get to see that kind of stuff like…

Carla: That was the wonder in it for me. You know I was like “whoa”.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And I love Georgiou’s comment she’s just like “bleurgh so orange”. (both laugh)

Ben: Yeah yeah. You just wanted to be black and broody. Yeah. No, I thought that was. That was awesome to see all the crew in their uniforms. That’s a lot of set and a lot of…

Carla: I was thinking the exact same thing Benjamin.

Ben: Outfit to build. So surely, they’ve got to reuse it for something. I mean you think the Enterprise is going to come back next season.

Carla: Oh, look it’s you know it’s going to be well you know like it could also cross over into Section 31 show as well. So, it could be used in that show. I’d assume.

Ben: Yeah that’s a good point.

Carla: You know?

Ben: Yeah it’s I think it’s a thing where maybe they’ve just seen I mean this probably doesn’t work in the timeline of production but I was going to say that they saw how well bringing Spock and Pike went and so they’re like well we should have do some more stuff with this. And again, you know it seems weird to past Rebecca Romijn as Number One and then use her in like two episodes.

Carla: Are you speculating that there’s going to be another Enterprise show?

Ben: I don’t know that there’ll be a separate show. I mean there’s a lot of fans calling for it. I think that’s unnecessary. And I do want to say like Discovery has really been – I just I’ve loved it for itself. I don’t really need this other stuff it’s been really cool seeing the Pike and Spock and Enterprise stuff coming in. But I want to see more of Discovery.

Ben: Yeah. I mean we just Saru just got made captain of the ship although he was like “We’ll talk about it later”, I was like “what!”.

Carla: I just think it’s so funny that we were talking last episode we’re like “Oh I think Michael is going to go” and then we were like “Oh who’s going to be the captain?”. And now I’m like Michael’s going to go and she’s going to be the captain!

Ben: Yeah. Well yeah maybe it could happen.

Carla: And that sort of look like what the head nods were kind of a sort of circulating don’t you think?

Ben: It was, well I mean look I interpreted it as he was… I just don’t know why he didn’t say it like he says she’s going to need a new captain and he like taps the chair and he looks at Saru and Saru is like coy about it.

Carla: Because Saru is the more senior officer. And that’s…

Ben: An I, and also, he’s just kickass now, I think he is the right choice for captain and Michael might die. She’s going to be in a suit out in space. I mean I hope not. I want to make that clear. Because I just you know the thing about Michael this season and I said this a few times early on is it felt like she was really kind of being backgrounded in a weird way and which she’s the main character of the show and yet. And while the plot technically was so much about her, this season, for a long time we didn’t know that. And it felt like she just wasn’t being used very much. And so, I will be really disappointed if they get rid of her and continue the show but I’m really glad that the rest of the crew is going with her because it makes me feel that whatever happens that’s not going to be it. Like they’re all going together.

Carla: I feel like they’re creating a new show or like they’re just bringing like Discovery’s…

Ben: Soft reboot kind of…

Carla: Exactly.

Ben: It’s the same show it’s continuing on but we’re changing the format.

Carla: Because like in the first season they all went to the Terran universe. That was like, that was the Discovery show. This is like you know whatever this is.

Ben: This is Discovery “Love and Hope” edition. That’s what it is. And I love it so much so.

Carla: So, and then next season it would totally make sense that they, and but like when not the whole, pretty much the whole bridge crew signed up to go was like “Oh yeah. This is what’s happening” because, and that’s why I think that Michael was going to leave was because so many of the main characters are leaving. It’s like Pike and Spock are going back.

Ben: Yeah but they’re always temporary.

Carla: Yes, that’s true. But Jet, Jet’s going not she’s not the show’s main character Georgiou she’s going to go get her own show on Section 31 so it’s like.

Ben: Is Reno definitely leaving?

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: So, she’s not sticking around?

Carla: No.

Ben: That’s a shame I feel like we could have had more of her.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: I mean you know…

Carla: So then is she going to die and maybe she’s the one who dies.

Ben: Well yeah, I don’t know.

Carla: I’ve got so many other little notes here. Sarek trying to smile was truly traumatizing.

Ben: That was weird was that I. I kind of liked it but also, I got to say something actually about that because in that scene he passes the buck back to Spock about the distance between them. He’s like “Yeah I respect it, I’ll keep my distance like he suggested”. But when you watch that original series episode it really does not seem like that’s how it’s been and they haven’t spoken to each other for 18 years and Spock’s just like “we won’t speak now” but he’s clearly not necessarily happy about it and Amanda sort of is certainly like this is “balls” whereas in this episode she’s like “mm hmm mm hmm yeah. You’re a dickhead but I love you”. You know that’s kind of her attitude here. That was weird. What do you think about that scene? Was it necessary?

Carla: No, I don’t. Look you know I think in terms of like everybody got a goodbye because I’m assuming that we probably won’t see Sarek and Amanda again either.

Ben: Well not if they’re like 1000 years in the future.

Carla: So, I feel like everyone got their goodbye.

Ben: Yeah it was weird it’s weird.

Carla: It was really uncomfortable. I was just like “I want this to stop now please. Cut”.

Ben: Well I also I thought from a pacing and perspective like it really kind of undercut the tension because it’s like we’re in a race against time but somehow my parents have found time to get here from Vulcan to say goodbye and you’re like “what”. And somehow found us as well why I guess we don’t know the whole you know the linking of the katras thing but yeah. But if that’s true why did they need the Red Angel’s help to find her in the forest when the monster was eating her?

Ben: Well they didn’t know the monster was eating her.

Carla: I guess that’s true. They didn’t know that she’d run away but he hadn’t katra mind melded with her by then.

Ben: Ok fair. He hadn’t done that was before she got… No that was after she got blown up! That was the whole reason she was running away. (both laugh).

Carla: Okay.

Ben: Look. That’s fine. I’m sure there’s a way to explain that. I’ll think about it and be great.

Carla: Well and now we know like Nhan’s going, sweet!

Ben: Oh yeah, she’s sticking around.

Carla: And Po’s going as well?

Ben: That’s weird isn’t it?

Carla: So weird but I’m also totally down.

Ben: Yeah, she’s great. She kind of disappeared from the episode after she told Tilly that I was really surprised she wasn’t in that scene later where Tilly, Stamets and Reno are looking at the crystal. I’m like “where are you?”. Or is she just staying? Maybe she ended up staying on the Enterprise because she’s not like going into the future with them. She’s just not going back to where she’s going to help battle Section 31.

Ben: Yeah, I think maybe that’s because it was a bit confused. So maybe she’s on the Enterprise somewhere but don’t really see her after that point on it or at least I don’t remember seeing her.

Carla: And Hugh going to the Enterprise.

Ben: Yeah. What?

Carla: What?

Ben: What does that mean he’s leaving the show. I don’t want him to leave either.

Carla: No.

Ben: But then I don’t know. How do you feel about what they did with that storyline this episode? Like one scene and it’s like Hugh not saying the thing and letting Paul say the thing which is like “oh you right we should go our separate ways”.

Carla: So awkward like they’ve been lovers for like you know a decade or something.

Ben: They’re married like you know?

Carla: Yeah. I don’t know what’s going on there but I do like that Paul was like he had come to some kind of acceptance like he’d obviously processed it to the point that he was like “I’m going to try and make a decision that’s good for my mental health”.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: So that was positive I think and I think like sort of maybe Hugh was building a bridge to kind of be like “I don’t hate you” because it was pretty bad the last time, they were sort of communicating. So, this was more them coming together a little opening up the lines of communication.

Ben: Sure. Yeah.

Carla: I think it just made that feel better I guess for everyone and sort of give more context as to what’s happening.

Ben: Yeah, I go with that but it’s still I mean it just felt like though I don’t know felt like a scene in like a very serious drama like a romantic drama. Where like the two people they want to be together but something’s in the way and neither of them will just like say what they feel. And we’ve had, we’ve talked about how we’ve mostly avoided that this season where people are keeping things from each other which has ruined their relationships or been a contrivance of the plot. This doesn’t feel like a contrivance of the plot it does feel like genuine angst that real people would have. But it’s still immensely frustrating I’m like “Look guys just kiss already. Just come on” and I was just yeah. If they don’t if they don’t sort that shit out and next episode, I’ll be so sad. I’ll be bereft. I’m just worried it’s going to end up like, kind like at the end of season two of the new Doctor Who. Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it. Where Rose and the doctor get separated and I kind of felt that it’s not quite the same for me cause I kind of felt that relationship needed to go somewhere else anyway but they instead of having a proper resolution they just sort of tear them apart unwillingly like they end up in separate universes.

Carla: That’s not very nice.

Ben: And I kind of feel like that might be what’s in Hugh and Paul’s future and I don’t want that for them I want them to either work it out or be okay with it. And while Paul seems to have sort of figured it out for himself.

Carla: There’s no way they could do that to those characters.

Ben: Hugh’s definitely not okay with it. He’s hiding it, he’s swallowing it but he’s realized he was wrong to push Paul away, I think.

Carla: Well that’s a bit of projection I think Ben.

Ben: Well maybe I don’t know but it seems like…

Carla: I think I think like a minimum he’s realized how much he’s hurt Paul.

Ben: Yeah, minimum for sure.

Carla: And that’s kind of like it was a regret.

Ben: He’s full of regret.

Carla: Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s minimum. I’m not sure about, like, lovey-kissy.

Ben: Sure.

Carla: But you know like actually kind of accepting how much he had felt pain in the situation.

Ben: Maybe I just want some people to like to be together on this show, cause Michael and Tyler.

Carla: (chants) “Po and Tilly, Po and Tilly”.

Ben: Oh yeah, I could see that but she’s got a whole planet to run.

Carla: That’s true.

Ben: That’d only ever be, you know, a sometimes kind of relationship. But I could see that that would be fun.

Carla: I could see them…

Ben: I mean they’re totally compatible…

Carla: As Marceline and Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time and just have their own little kingdom together.

Ben: That would be amazing.

Carla: Engineering together.

Ben: Yeah that would be cute. Yeah but what about Tyler?

Carla: Their goodbye was actually very heartbreaking.

Ben: That was that was yeah that hard.

Carla: Yeah that was a sucker punch.

Ben: He’s like basically owning that, yeah, “look I told you I believe in their mission” and he does like he’s sticking to his guns but he’s now also like “someone’s got to stick around to make sure they don’t fuck up things again like they did this time”.

Carla: But I also think that he’s someone who has just made a really good emotional decision for himself. He’s like “this is who I am. This is what I want to do. I’ve got a kid, I’m not going to fucking go a thousand years into the future, no matter how much I love this person that I have an incredibly tumultuous relationship with. I’m going to like do a solid for myself and see how shit works out in this timeline”.

Ben: What do you think he’s gone off to do?

Carla: Don’t know. That’s a very very good question.

Ben: Do you think he’s gone…

Carla: I reckon he’s going to go and get Tenavik.

Ben: Yeah. I was going to say do you reckon he’s gone to Boreth to get like… Yeah, he’s going to visit the time lords. Has he gone, has he gone to find someone who knows more about time crystals?

Carla: I don’t know. Oh, just like a rally the freaky deaky troops?

Ben: Maybe. Ah. What if he takes his torch bearer status and comes back with a fucking Klingon battle fleet to blow up Section 31. How sweet would that be?

Carla: That would be good.

Ben: I mean it wouldn’t work because he’s supposed to be dead and the Klingon. That’s a giant leap.

Carla: (laughs) That’s true I forgot about that.

Ben: But but but it was a sweet thought for the two seconds it took for me to realize how wrong it was.

Carla: There’s only a few other notes I have for this – original torpedo sound.

Captain Pike: [From episode](torpedo sound effect) “Fire”.

Carla: Killed me.

Ben: Ah and also the original door sound when they get on the Enterprise.

Saru: [From Episode] “All Discovery crews accounted for the Enterprise.” (door swoosh sound)

Carla: Oh my god!

Ben: It made me realize that we hadn’t heard it on Discovery like their door sound is different. And I didn’t realize that but it was great. Yeah.

Carla: I have Georgiou’s best quote for this which is she calls a Michael “some galactic rubber band with a martyr complex”. (both laugh)

Ben: That is amazing.

Carla: Whoever is writing Georgiou’s dialogue is having a great time.

Ben: That’s true.

Carla: Other than that, I thought Pike looked ragged. Obviously, everything is playing on his mind.

Ben: He’s been through the wringer.

Carla: And still so elegant and kingly in shutting everything down.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Wrapping everything up.

Ben: Yeah, he was really onto it and just the way he’s just again you know the kind of show we need right now – a leader showing great empathy for the people that he is in command of.

Carla: And dignity.

Ben: Yeah absolutely.

Carla: Immense dignity you know and really understanding what people need in order to thrive in their relationships and in their working life. You know for me, like him and Michael like, Emmys for sure man.

Ben: Oh yeah.

Carla: Like unbelievable performances.

Ben: Oh yeah.

Carla: And they carried a lot of this show when it was like pretty loose in terms of storyline and everything that was happening. Their performances really floated the boat in this sometimes so. Yeah, I hope they get the accolades that they deserve.

Ben: Yeah, they should be up for that for sure. What did you do? I mean I obviously you know famously I love the extended bridge crew and they all got little while lots. Most of them got little moments. I thought they might give Nilsson a bit more dialogue in this episode but she didn’t get any. She was there. She got like Pike talked about her but she didn’t get to say anything that was interesting so I wonder if she’ll get a bigger role next season if she’s still around.

Carla: Well she’s going with so…

Ben: she’s going with them which has been a surprise he’s like “Do you even know each other?”. I guess you do but yeah, I loved that a little letter writing scene.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: You get that little short backgrounder reminder. I particularly like Owosekun’s one where she’s like writing to her family going “I know you don’t understand” because she’s from the Luddite community so she’s like “I don’t you understand me going out to space on a starship and learning how to use this technology”. But yeah, I just loved all of those little moments though they were great.

Carla: Yeah, I think they’ve done a really good job of carefully giving us like little breadcrumbs so that we know enough. And so, like for this. So, we’re set up for the next season like we’ve got a pretty good profile on the bridge crew. We don’t really know much about Rhys or Bryce. But that will happen soon. I think.

Ben: They might be our only characters next season, like we might not get a new captain. It might be Saru in charge and yeah who knows?

Carla: So exciting.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Do you want to go to Short Chats?

Ben: I think we should.

Carla: OK.

Carla: Now it’s time for re:Discovery Short Chats, where we talk news trivia and anything related to anything now. We will also be taking questions but we only have one more episode. So, send in all of your questions to our social media. Yeah maybe if you have like season wrap up questions maybe we could do like a little short episode after the season and answer some questions.

Ben: That  might be a good idea.

Carla: Yeah so send them through. What do you have today Ben?

Ben: I don’t know that I have a lot to be honest. I was kind of emotionally overwhelmed by this episode.

Carla: Fully. It was hectic.

Ben: And it’s also been quite a hectic week and weekend for me so I watched it late at night in bed and I and I loved it but I was just sort of yeah left going “What!”. But I am intrigued by the visions of the future and what they’re going to mean and I think you know I was thinking about other shows that have done those sorts of future visions and other times we’ve seen those sorts of glimpses of the future. It’s not clear which kind of time travel future glimpse we’re looking at in those situations. Mm hmm. So, is it like Pike taking the crystal, this is definitely a future? And if so, what does that mean, how are you going to get out of it? Or is it like this a potential future now you have the means to avoid it like in so many other you know time travel stories. So, I was I was thinking along those lines and I’m just not I’m not sure.

Carla: Well mine is completely superficial.

Ben: I’m fine with that.

Carla: Hugh is like Wolverine level ripped, like it’s ridiculous.

Ben: Yeah yeah.

Carla: And your kind of a bit like don’t want to objectify him but you’re just like “whoa what is happening under that uniform?”. Go to his Twitter account. All these people are calling for him to be some black superhero. I don’t know what the superhero is and he’s like “Yeah hire me”. Like pulling up his shirt full Myspace selfie picture and the dude is like he’s like the most ripped person I’ve ever seen in my life.

Ben: Well I mean when he had his shirt off a few episodes ago I mean well…

Carla: He was probably doing a bit of a power pose as well like you know turning on to the side and got those obliques and everything.

Ben: But when his body got rebuilt like it got rebuilt with like 0 percent fat. Not 0 percent you know 0 percent excess fat. It’s like he’s like you are at peak human condition my friend.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: And yeah look he’s amazing.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: I want to see him and more stuff for sure.

Carla: I’m always curious about the white uniforms. Like I’m like “Yeah, I guess what you don’t ever deal with any kind of body fluids anymore, Star Fleet medical?”.

Ben: Well they just chuck it in a disposal unit and print a new one. Like it’s not a problem, I guess. But it’s good. I mean you want to. It’s like when you wear a lab coat you wear a white lab coat because you want to know when you’ve spilled things on you. That’s why they’re white. Because if you spill something on yourself you don’t want to be like “oh I didn’t notice because a black uniform and now my skin is burned off”. You want to know immediately.

Carla: I’m such a grub that I’m like I see anyone wearing a white anything and I’m like “wow you think you’re the king of England”. (both laugh)

Ben: It is weird because he never from memory, you don’t see such a distinctly different medical uniform in any of the other shows. They just wear the same uniform as the science division. So, I think it’s good in that sense to me but yeah, he does look good in it. He fills it out well.

Carla: So, then I have one question left for you.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Is like are you are you going to be watching Friday Night? Are you going to download? Are you busy? Are you watching on Saturday? What is your what is your situation?

Ben: Look I’m going to watch it as soon as possible.

Carla: 7:00 p.m. Netflix release, Friday Australian Eastern Standard Time?

Ben: Yeah, I mean I haven’t fixed my schedule for next weekend. It’s all over the place at the moment but I’m hoping I will watch it as soon as it comes out. There’s no I mean I’ve avoided spoilers this whole season. There’s no way I want this last one so I’ll be keeping off the Internet that day.

Carla: You got to do you can’t be on from midday Friday.

Ben: Okay. Because that’s when it’s on.

Carla: That’s when the first screening happens, I think. Eastern, on East Coast time.

Ben: Yeah right. Yeah. Okay.

Carla: So 12:00 p.m. It’s cactus but until 7:00 p.m. which is like, that was the reason why I started downloading it because it’s too long of an internet blackout for me.

Ben: It’s hard.

Carla: It’s just Twitter. But still you know what I mean like.

Ben: Yeah. Although I don’t, I find that as long as I’m not looking at the feed from the re:Discovery podcast account it’s not too bad because I don’t follow that many big Star Trek fans it seems on my personal account. I don’t know why but I don’t see as much.

Carla: No, they probably just have the sense to not spoiling anything.

Ben: Yeah back in the day you know when there was no internet downloading of episodes or streaming and if you wanted to see a show that was aired overseas before it got here which was usually like six to 12 two for infinity months later what you had to do is ask somebody in another country to tape it for you and mail you a cassette. I got stuff like Sliders the first season of Sliders I got from America. I think with season seven or eight of Red Dwarf I got on VHS from someone in the UK via a friend here in Melbourne and we were very respectful of spoiler space back in those days because the main way you talked to people online overseas was on mailing lists or newsgroups and so what you would do to avoid people reading your spoilers is you would to a “dot dot dot dot dot dot” and you’d words in that said “spoiler space” and you respected it because it’s like you might not be able to see this for 12 months. Let’s not have a whole conversation about it that excludes you because you can’t watch it yet and I think you know that’s the dimension of spoilers that people forget it’s not just about preserving a surprise for someone it’s also about not locking somebody out of a discussion because you can’t talk about this because you haven’t seen it so you haven’t got an opinion about it all you can do is listen to our opinions about it and ask questions and I think that’s an element of why spoilers are important that often gets forgotten.

Carla: I’m ruthless if anybody spoils anything for me, I unfriend them and unfollow them.

Ben: It’s like this is not happening again no.

Carla: Bye see ya later. I had I had the Drag Race finale ruined for me once and I was like “That’s it!”.

Ben: Oh wow.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. I’m not that ruthless but I’m quite cautious.

Carla: Come on mate. We’ve had the internet forever. Like everyone knows what the deal is.

Ben: I think now though people expect that everyone has seen relatively easily see something.

Carla: No there’s a 48-hour embargo.

Ben: You know what I got spoiled about the worst one I got was the “Red Wedding” in Game of Thrones and it got spoiled for me by the M.C. of an event I was speaking at and being at that event was one of the reasons why I hadn’t seen it yet. And he spoiled it on stage for the whole audience and I was, I was not impressed.

Carla: What a jerk.

Ben: What it was like “that is not cool dude” like he thought you were making a cool hip reference but it’s like Sunday and this was aired in the US on Friday like that is not cool.

Carla: Yeah that’s not cool.

Ben: So yeah, I was I was unimpressed by that.

Carla: All right well we’ll hit play together at the same time.

Ben: Is that a pact?

Carla: And then we can message each other on Slack.

Ben: Okay well we’ll do it. That’s a pact.

Carla: All right. And you guys as well hit us up as soon as you’ve watched it. No spoilers though on the Twitter.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: We want to hear what you think and how you feel.

Ben: And tweet the re:Discovery pod account because you know that way if we haven’t quite got there yet we can ignore it.

Carla: You’ve been listening to re:Discovery. All links to creators are in the show notes on our website We’d love to connect with you, as we’ve just said, so please add us on Twitter and Facebook @rediscoverypod.

Splendid Chaps: re:Discovery is brought to you by Splendid Chaps Productions. Find more entertainment for your ears at

Episode Transcript – Through the Valley of Shadows (S02E12)

This is a transcript of our twelfth season two recap, available here.

Captain Pike [From Episode]: You believe in service, sacrifice, compassion. And love.

re:Discovery theme plays.

Ben: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery. The Star Trek recap podcast which promises not to show you a horrifying glimpse of your dark fate. I’m Science Officer Ben McKenzie and, as always, I’m joined by Captain Carla Donnelly. Greetings Captain.

Carla: I would never sacrifice myself for you like that Ben, just letting you know.

Ben: It’s good to know where I stand in this week’s episode “Through the Valley of Shadows” opens with Michael taking a call from Amanda, who’s dressed in full Princess Leia mode, and knows about Burnham senior from Spock. But before she can do more than ask the two of them look after each other it’s time to go. A new Red Burst has appeared this time over Boreth, the Klingon monastery where Tyler left his son. Michael realizes he’s hiding something and goes to him. He tells her about his son, and she comforts him. L’Rell arrives to negotiate Federation passage to the planet and she tells Pike and Tyler that, aside from the monastery, Boreth is also the source of the time crystals – another reason outsiders are not permitted to go there. Tyler insists he go but she forbids him saying the danger to the Empire is too great if either of them is discovered alive. Pike offers to go in his stead, but L’Rell warns him that no one can take a time Crystal without great sacrifice. Burnham meanwhile gets permission from a very assertive Saru to follow up a lead – a Section 31 ship has checked in 10 minutes past its scheduled time.

Ben: Saru orders Spock to go with her. On Boreth, Pike meets the timekeepers – the Klingons, who guard the crystals and tell him he’s come for nothing. But when he persists, they tell him those to whom the crystals are revealed leave broken. Reno arrives at lunch in the mess to tell Stamets they’ll soon be working on a time crystal. But Stamets is distracted by seeing Hugh reinstated in uniform hanging out with other crew members. He heads off to prep on his own. Tenavik the Klingons, showing Pike around the monastery reveals his Voq’s son, already grown thanks to the influence of the time crystals. WHAT! In their shuttle Michael and Spock debate whether she is the common denominator in the Red Signals when they arrive at the Section 31 ship, they run into its crew who’ve been left to die in space. They beam aboard the only survivor who turns out to be Gant, the tactical officer from the Shenzhou. He says he was investigating a suspicious subroutine when the computer took over and ejected everyone into space. But they’ll only be able to find out more by revisiting the ship. L’Rell and Tyler have a moment together. She tells him she understands that he is in love with Michael and that she has made her peace with Voq being dead and Tyler being someone else.

Carla: On Boreth, Tenavik takes Pike to the chamber where the time crystals grow and warns him that everyone meets their fate when they come into contact with them. Is he ready? Pike grabs one crystal and is transported to a disaster happening on a star ship. A group of cadets are in serious distress. Radiation is leaking at critical mass. In a truly upsetting sequence Pike witnesses his fate – to be severely disfigured in the accident. And just like when you wake up out of a dream to realize you’re still in it, Pike is then standing in a hallway when he sees something robotic coming towards him. He comes face to face with his future self. Horribly disfigured from radiation exposure unable to walk or talk. Pike screams and wails in distress. Tenavik asked him whether he accepts his destiny because to take a crystal is to… err, crystallize it. (both giggle)

Carla: Pike chants the reasons he is a Starfleet captain and agrees to take the crystal believing he has no other choice to save humanity. Tenavik nods in respect. On board the Section 31 ship fool-me-thrice Michael and Spock find out that, of course, Gant has been overtaken by Control. The Control ship takes off to destination unknown, leaving Michael in a struggle to the death with the Control nanobots. Spock saves her just in time by magnetising the floor. Spock convinces Michael that she is a threat to Control, which means there’s still a chance things can be saved. They hurry back to Discovery. Reno visits Hugh and gives him a gay to gay power chart. She reveals her wife died in the Klingon war and tries to give him perspective, albeit in the least persuasive tone possible. Michael and Spock make it back to Discovery just in time for 30 Section 31 ships to turn up. It’s showdown time. Michael convinces Pike the only way to destroy the sphere data is to destroy Discovery. Pike begins the self-destruct protocol.

Ben: Man.

Carla: Whoa.

Ben: Serious business. This is a pretty grim episode Carla.

Carla: Yeah dude. I cried a couple of times.

Ben: I mean I was fully into it though. This was a good one.

Carla: Yeah for sure.

Ben: You think so?

Carla: It really. Yeah. Its sucker punched you gave you a lot of, gave you a lot of meaningful thread wrapping up moments. That really winded me that whole Pike scene I was like “whoaaaaaa”.

Ben: You know I knew I knew it would be something I thought he might get a glimpse his future but not quite like that.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Like once when they started talking about “oh you know time crystals you have to pay some sort of price” I’m like “but we know his future. Is he going to see his futu-WHAT”? And then they made him choose it, I was like “Oh man”. Wow that was full on.

Carla: Well it wasn’t really a choice was it? It’s like I have to sacrifice myself or you know…

Ben: Yeah. It’s like everyone dies or I know my own future.

Carla: But also, he doesn’t know that he gets to go back to Talos IV.

Ben: No, he doesn’t know that.

Carla: So that’s kind of sweet as well. Bittersweet, I guess.

Ben: Yeah. He gets a better ending than he thinks he’s going to get.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: But that makes his sacrifice more meaningful.

Carla: Well and then also like he was sacrificing himself to help the kids. Like this is his deal. You know what I mean? Yeah.

Ben: Yeah, he’s the good guy. Yeah, he’s the good cowboy as you put it.

Carla: (laughs) Yeah.

Ben: Without all the shit bits.

Carla: No.

Ben: Yeah. No, I really liked that. But yeah it was it was rough.

Carla: Where do you want to begin?

Ben: Well look I think there’s I mean there’s a couple of main threads in this episode.

Carla: Sure.

Ben: I mean there’s Pike’s adventures on the planet, but also, we’ve got a few emotional wrap ups here. What you think about Michael and Spock finally teaming up on a mission like, have we not been waiting for this to happen properly? Because like when…

Carla: I’m so disengaged by this relationship I was like “Who cares”.

Ben: Oh really?

Carla: Yeah.

Carla: Because it always feels like it’s about them anyway, so it was a pivot I guess in the way that it was productive.

Ben: Yes, I guess that’s true.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. Did you smell the trap? I mean was…

Carla: Of course. This is so stupid.

Ben: I mean as soon as soon as we met Gant and it was like “I know this guy” I’m like “He’s fucking got nanobots in him. What are you doing?”. And actually, there’s a bit where when Michael’s talking to him Spock’s like looking and I’m like “he’s suspicious”. But then I don’t think he was and I, and because he didn’t act at that point – because I thought he was going to pull a phaser on him or something and Michael was going to go” What are you doing”. He’s like “He could have been taken over by Control because he would have been logical about it”. But no, they’re fooled. And I’m like “Why do you not think this is a thing that could happen like you know that it’s taken over…”.

Carla: I literally said “fool me thrice” because it’s happened twice before.

Ben: Yeah. (laughs) Yeah. Yeah.

Carla: Right!

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Seriously.

Ben: Holograms, then Leland, now Gant. You think he’s named after the chart?

Carla: No. Because it’s two Ts.

Ben: Oh yeah that’s true he’s only got one.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah that makes sense.

Carla: Good one, project management humour, thanks Ben. (laughs)

Ben: (laughs) Well we want to reach some audiences out there.

Carla: No, for me it was like, because look Michael’s whole arc is about controlling her emotions or being human or the intersection between the two.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Right.

Carla: So as soon as her nostrils flared when that Section 31 ship hadn’t checked in and I was like “Oh here we go”. Because she was, she was on a revenge mission.

Ben: Yeah, I did think that when Saru gave her the okay to go.

Carla: That was weird.

Ben: Well I kind of liked it in the sense that it’s like “oh yeah new Saru” but also, I was like “Is this not obviously a trap to anyone else?” like that don’t even mentioned the possibility. And all Spock says is “Saru sent me to make sure that you know you didn’t let your emotions get in the way”. I mean I’m…

Carla: Too late.

Ben: Lucky, yeah well lucky that he did go. Or you know Michael would be nanobot-isized. Is that the right word?

Carla: Sure. Actually, that was, I love that whole sequence so yes. The needle in the eye necessary to inject the nanobots. Why it has to go in the eye I don’t know?

Ben: Yeah well because it didn’t cause the whole thing. Leland wasn’t taken over until it jabbed him in the back of the neck.

Carla: Now I’m so sure it was in the eye.

Ben: But no because remember because after that he’s in the chair and they’re talking to him as a hologram and then they jab him in the neck.

Carla: Yeah but I think they just gave him more or something.

Ben: Okay but now we got to see a bit how they worked.

Carla: Yeah. That was cool.

Ben: And they’re like they’re just filling up his body and she like blows a hole in him with the phasers and now we know why phasers don’t work.

Carla: A whole T2 kind of deal.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah it was cool but also I like that we finally got a bit of Control’s motivation and it is that whole but it was it’s a I like it they added an extra layer of sophistication because it is like “I have to kill you all to save all life” but he’s more than that Control’s like “I want to turn myself into the ultimate form of conscious sentient life. And then I can destroy all other sentient life because then sentient life will be safe because it’ll just be me and I won’t kill myself, so it’ll be fine”.

Carla: The ultimate programmer’s response.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. (laughs) Okay. Is there any are any other professional groups with whom we interact that can piss off this week? Hey actors…

Carla: I’m sure more.

Ben: You’re all dumb. Comedians, you suck. No, I don’t mean that. Yeah. No. I thought I liked that. I like that it was just that extra little nuance that I hadn’t picked up from what we’d already heard.

Carla: Yeah. No, I agree.

Ben: And now it makes sense to me why it wants the Sphere data because it’s making a distinction it’s not just that it’s searching to become sentient or conscious. It’s acknowledging that it is but it wants to be the ultimate version of that. And then it feels then it feels like “once I’ve done that then I can kill everyone else and sentient life will be safe forever”.

Carla: Yeah, I would really love to go to the series. That’s at, that’s at that 500-year mark with the obo-robo-octo.

Ben: Robo-octopus things. Yeah.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. That’s interesting because we don’t know when it happens in the future do, we? We know that it must have happened presumably by about 500 years in the future because that’s how old the probe is when it turns into the octopus. But we also don’t know, and it happens before 950 years in the future but we don’t. Apart from that we don’t know when it happens. I mean presumably relatively soon. I mean how long would Control really wants this data and wants to do it now. I mean presuming that means it can use it immediately to become the ultimate sentient being. So, no I don’t know. Yeah, I liked that though.

Carla: I did too. I’d love to really kind of horror style nanobots coming towards the her.

Ben: With the tentacle shapes and stuff.

Carla: Yeah that was really sweet.

Ben: Yeah. And then they got magnetized to the floor. That was that was a nice old school…

Carla: I agree.

Ben: There was a couple a couple of old school. I’ll talk. Actually, I’ll talk. I’ll save that for Short Chats. there’s a couple of old school references in this episode which I don’t know if there were deliberate but I liked them a lot.

Ben: Okay. Yeah. Shall we move on. So that’s Michael and Spock are we all good there?

Ben: Yeah. Let’s talk about Pike’s journey.

Carla: Wow.

Ben: What a full-on experience.

Carla: Yes.

Ben: I did actually. One thing I will say I was just talking about Saru and when they first go down to the planet to show what it’s like there outside the monastery there’s this great like shot matching where Saru’s like face becomes the face of the rock including like his very specific like mouth shape. I thought that was kind of awesome. I really dug that.

Carla: (laughs) I didn’t notice that.

Ben: Yeah. So, there’s this big rock face. It’s like someone’s carved very crudely Saru’s mouth and eyes but also it just looks awesome. Yeah, I really like that.

Carla: That’s great.

Ben: How was the outside of the monastery? But yeah, he goes down in his cool parka.

Carla: Oh my God what a babe.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah but he takes it off he’s just wearing his uniform underneath. I thought he’d be wearing cool arctic clothes.

Carla:  They just wanted to put him in a parka.

Ben: Yes. Yeah. And then he meets, he meets the blue Klingons, the one of whom looks a lot like the Ice King from Adventure Zone I thought.

Carla: Adventure Time?

Ben: Sorry not Adventure Zone, Adventure Time. Adventure Zone is a podcast. We don’t need to spruik that.

Carla: I think they have any blue people there?

Ben: No well actually one of them is an elf who’s blue. In the original storyline so you know. But yeah, I thought that was it was a little Lord of The Rings. What with their get ups.

Carla: Well look to be honest I feel like I’m not sure what I don’t. I don’t know if it’s me but I’m just sort of sure it’s happening with the Klingon, looks in this season they seem to get… they’re progressing in… they feel like they’re evolving because L’Rell looked really different this time.

Ben: Yeah. She didn’t have any hair this time around.

Carla: No and she was kind of blue like she was also kind of blue. Yeah. You know maybe they change colour in proximity to the time crystals?

Ben: I did like, I thought for a minute when we were on the planet that all the Klingons there were blue but there was like a reddish brown one as well so there’s still a bunch of different looks for Klingons.

Carla: Sure…

Ben: But they all seem to have no hair. And yeah, the Voq’s son all grown up, I didn’t see that coming.

Carla: Except for old mate Voq’s son, he’s got hair. He’s got he got the cool prog-rock Klingon hair.

Ben: He’s got his like crown on as well. Yeah cool metal crown. He’s the he should be on an album cover. Klingons are metal as fuck really.

Carla: Yeah fully.

Ben: Yeah and these guys are just like they’re more like fantasy metal or something. I’m sorry. If you’re a metal fan out there please send me the correct subgenre of metal. I’m aware that there’s 4000 of them and I’m not across them all but whichever one is like singing about unicorns and…

Carla: I swear to God they would be like some kind of Klingon, metal band.

Ben: There’s got to be surely, more than one.

Carla: Yeah of course. So whatever that genre is that would be the genre.

Ben: Yeah okay. Yeah. Yeah. Klingon rock? Is that a thing? I mean there’s Time Lord rock they call it “Trock”.

Carla: What?!

Ben: It’s like. You know like indie rock bands singing about Doctor Who and there’s Wizard Rock.

Carla: I don’t want to know this stuff.

Ben: Which is like you know indie rock bands singing about Harry Potter. That’s a whole thing.

Carla: Really?!

Ben: So, there’s got to be Klingon ones.

Carla: Okay.

Ben: Yeah. I want a Vulcan rock band.

Carla: No, they would never do that.

Ben: No. I guess they would be too emotional for them.

Carla: Yeah. I don’t even know what Vulcan music would be?

Ben: Very… I get the feeling like it would be like very precise.

Carla: Precise, like mathematical.

Ben: Like plucked strings that sort of thing.

Carla: Or just one you know like atonal.

Ben: Like that famous piece of music there’s like one note and then a rest that last 10 years and then another note. (both laugh) Yeah.

Carla: Yeah that’s perfect.

Ben: That would be very Vulcan.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Anyway, Pike meets the Ice King and the other monastery Klingons. And it goes on a quest. It’s very Dungeons Dragons. I kind of loved it.

Carla: Yeah, I did too. But again, it’s just kind of I don’t know like… There doesn’t seem to be enough, there’s not enough consistency in this season for me.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: It’s like that. It’s kind of you know every director comes on to do their episode and they’re like “oh I’m just going to do this”. It’s like “come on guys”. Yeah.

Ben: Did you not plan this? Yeah, I did think it’s a it’s a it is a little weird I think that it’s suddenly revealed that the time crystal is not just a thing. It’s like the Klingons have a whole planet full of them. They just and they don’t let anyone touch them because they think it’s too difficult. So now I’m wondering whether those rumours that Section 31 heard about the Klingons, experimenting with time travel technology are not true. They just someone said that because they heard about “hey there’s time crystals on this planet” and they’re like “oh they must be doing time travel shit”.

Carla: No because L’Rell did say that they had experimented with it but it was too dangerous.

Ben: Yeah. But surely that wasn’t 20 years ago? That monastery has been there for a long time.

Carla: That’s true.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah but then again…

Carla: They may not have had the technology to combine with the time crystals until that point.

Ben: Well also I mean how long has it been there? We don’t know because time doesn’t flow normally there. It’s fucking Narnia on Boreth.

Carla: That’s right.

Ben: That’s what’s happening. There’s no wardrobe though. Just a bunch of cool glowing crystals.

Carla: Oh my God I cried in that sequence. It was so powerful.

Ben: It was full on. It reminded me and I guess I should have thought about this but it’s a little bit like the way Spock dies. Star Trek II.

Carla: Which I also cried in quite significantly.

Ben: Again, radiation business is also a little bit like how the Tenth Doctor dies in the end of time. He also gets some radiation.

Carla: I didn’t cry in that.

Ben: No, I didn’t cry. No that’s not true I did cry a little bit and then they strung out the end for another 15 minutes after he’s supposed to have died. I’m like why am I still anyway. A lot of people find that really emotional. So sorry, sorry. But yeah no it was, it was powerful. What did you think of the… we only got a quick glimpse but it was nice to see a recreation of what the future of Starfleet will look like through the lens of the Discovery design team?

Carla: Sure, I loved his fleet captain uniform.

Ben: It was kind of awesome wasn’t it?

Carla: Yeah it was really hot.

Ben: And the I liked how he found himself in that situation because I got the sense that he wasn’t just sort of observing it. He literally felt like he was there and he very quickly figured out what was going on and just acted the way he would act. And then cut to what seems, you know, it seems like a sinister figure coming down the corridor. And then he realizes it’s him. Like, whoa,  fuck me, just rough just rough.

Carla: So rough!

Ben: So, I’m swearing those episodes because I’m very emotional.

Carla: And one would assume that you can’t become Airiam-ized in the future because of radiation?

Ben: Well I think yeah, it’s that is a problem right because now they’ve established that they have these full body prostheses that can reconnect your brain to your motor functions. It makes this sort of 1960s idea of what that might look like i.e. you are in a chair and you can’t speak or move around kind of weird but I guess…

Carla: I guess it’s kind of like an iron lung type situation.

Ben: Yeah it is because it is keeping him alive.

Carla: Yeah it is. It is kinetically connected to his brain like he is moving it with his mind so that technology matches.

Ben: Oh yeah that’s true but they can’t.

Carla: But he can’t project… OK it doesn’t matter.

Ben: Yeah no but maybe it is it’s the radiation that means is his cells that are still there are too damaged or what have you.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: But yeah, it’s just yeah. Oh, and when he’s when he comes back from the vision though Carla like and they’re like “you have to choose like if you want this crystal you have to accept this is your fate now”. I’m like “what?!”. Yeah this is awful. Like not just you’ve seen it. Now that’s your price. But no, you have to choose. If you don’t take it you might avoid this future. But if you do that’s it. You’re like “Oh man!”

Carla: And now they’re not even going to use the time crystal.

Ben: What do you mean?

Carla: Well they’re going to blow up Discovery.

Ben: Well are they really? I don’t know. What do you think, do you think they will?

Carla: I don’t know.

Ben: It’s a bit dramatic. I mean it’s a drama show. So that makes sense. But.

Carla: Don’t know. We’ll see.

Ben: What about the scene with L’Rell and Tyler where she basically says “I’m letting you go, go off and live your life. I accept that you’re not the man that I loved anymore, you’re too changed now, you’re somebody else. But I see a little bit, I see enough of him in you that I respect you”. How did do you feel about that? You don’t really care?

Carla: I don’t really understand this storyline like I don’t understand why they had to put that scene in there. Because you know she he’s left he’s supposedly dead. The kids you know like but I don’t know I guess that was a nice bit of closure. You know.

Ben: It was nice to know what she thinks about it. And for him to have that moment of course because…

Carla: It makes him more of a choice rather than you know being victims of circumstance.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. Which I think is nice because then we know we kind of have an expectation that you know she’s not going to show up and battle Michael for the right to be Tyler’s husband. Yeah. So, it’s not. Yeah. I thought that was nice.

Carla: I’m just clocking that as well. That’s clear that that’s back on. Right?

Ben: It is now. Yeah. Well or at least that it will be.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah yeah.

Carla: You got that vibe too?

Ben: Yeah. I think last…

Carla: She’s so tiny, she’s so tiny because he’s like a normal, well normal-ish size man for an Australian, about 6 foot 2. Yeah. But look when you see her next to him, she’s like almost like up to his belly button. Like she’s just so tiny. It’s crazy.

Ben: Yeah well look you know people overcome these problems every day.

Carla: No, I know I just. It just blows my mind when they had that hugging scene and it’s in profile you like wow yeah you forget how tiny Sonequa Martin-Green is because I guess she’s just such a big presence.

Ben: Yeah, she has a big presence. Yeah. And then and you know the main time when you see her and she is shorter she’s standing next to Saru who’s just taller than everybody, so it doesn’t really matter. But yeah. So, the other thing though from the episode the other thread was Stamets and Reno and that who situation.

Carla: What was all that about?

Ben: I liked when they had. Well as you know I love whenever the bigger crew get involved.

Carla: Oh of course the little scene.

Ben: Yeah, they’re doing their, what was it, autonym?


Ben: It’s auto antonym game.

Carla: Auto anonym yeah.

Ben: Yeah. And Linus our favourite lizard man who is like “oh stupid humans” I can play your game. And everyone was there including you know Lieutenant Nilsson. She was there. That was nice. But yeah then Reno’s like “he can’t concentrate because your boyfriend came back from the dead. Your husband who came back from the dead doesn’t want you anymore”.

Carla: Bit rude that she was like “oh I thought you’d be over that by now”. It’s like “come on mate”.

Ben: She’s a bit awful. She is like and to know and I think it makes even less sense that she’s that awful when we discover that suddenly she’s been through the same thing. Well she’s lost someone. I liked her wedding ring though.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: I was fucking cool.

Carla: Yeah. And that she still talks about her wife as if she’s alive. That was weird.

Ben: Yeah, I think. Well you know written that way for dramatic effect. So, then she could go… “she’s dead”. Oh no. And possibly not human. The way that she described her.

Carla: Yeah, I don’t know what that alien species is.

Ben: It was hard to know if it was an alien species or she’s just saying she’s from another planet, she’s a human who lives on another planet but then why would you say that? That’s like going oh yeah, my husband’s Italian. Like why would you.? Why would I say that? I wouldn’t say that. I would just yeah. Anyway. But it was it was nice, I guess. What do you, I mean they’re really taking that storyline real slow? It’s like here’s a little tiny bit here’s another little tiny bit. Here’s another really little tiny.

Carla: Every time she pops up, I’m like “Oh yeah”.

Ben: Really parcelling it out for you. Yeah. Yeah. And also, Reno’s like “Where the fuck are you? Not here. Like what are you doing?” and I guess it’s like “oh well you just know part of the adventure this week”. Well like surely, they can use an engineer every week. It’s just weird. Is just weird to cast Tig Notaro and then be like “can you come and do five minutes every four weeks?”

Carla: And also, like what it’s just so the gays can stick together? I’m like she hasn’t had any kind of storyline except t0o she’s almost like a “gay magical elf” like she has had to just she’s just existed to project to keep Stamets storyline…

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Continuing.

Ben: I really hope that like she’s in the last couple of episodes and she does something amazing, some amazing technical jiggery-pokery with the time crystal because I’m just like you know she’s got all of that know how I want to see her use it.

Carla: Yeah for sure.

Ben: It would be great. So yeah, I hope that happens.

Carla: Okay.

Ben: Yeah like she gets the schematics and makes a new red Angel Suit for, that Michael pilots or something.

Carla: Oh, that would be awesome.

Ben: Yeah…

Carla: They don’t have a lot of time though right now because they’re just about to blow up the ship.

Ben: That’s true. And I like that he’s been very organized about “let’s get the hell out of here. Let’s evacuate everyone”. But he also, the look on his face like when in that moment when Michael says the only choice, we’ve got is to blow up the ship which is never the only choice. I mean come on people. But the way Pike looked it seemed to me he was like thinking “but I know that’s not my fate. I don’t die here. I know what my fate is now” and I thought he was going to say …

Carla: They’re not going to blow up the ship with everyone on it.

Ben: No but he is the captain he would presumably stay on board to make sure it blows up right.

Carla: No. Not if you’ve got enough time usually only captain goes down with the ship if they need someone to pilot it whilst everybody escapes.

Ben: Yes that’s true but you might need someone to do that because if you cannot eject or if the crew is all going to get into shuttle craft or escape pods and leave, although there might be enough shuttle craft to carry them all because as we’ve established there’s only about 140 people on board.

Carla: And they don’t do that anymore since the Titanic so.

Ben: Yeah that’s it. That’s right. That’s very important. But if they leave right. What’s to stop the Section 31 ships from just killing them all? I mean they don’t really care about the people but they also don’t want them to get away and warn the rest of Starfleet. And Section 31 is not that big it turns out they’ve only got 30 ships. I mean that’s still quite a lot I suppose and.

Carla: It’s a lot.

Ben: And they’re very high-tech ships with like cloaking devices and weird weapons and heaps of power and stuff so…

Carla: That’s a lot to keep under the radar.

Ben: Yeah it is. It is. Why have people not noticed this? Also, I again like Tyler is just serving on Discovery at this point and sure we know he’s secretly working for Section 31 but he’s just walking around like he’s a member of the crew. I’m like “it’s not very secret. Surely some Klingons, might find out about that and then be like oh he’s not dead” like it’s…

Carla: I was thinking about that as the crew manifest and stuff like that.

Ben: But yeah well, he probably wouldn’t be on the crew manifest, I guess.

Carla: Yeah, I don’t think the Klingons are really caring.

Ben: Now they’re not really talking to Starfleet unless you know someone summons L’Rell. Actually, that was the other scene when Pike is talking to them after he’s been to the planet and he’s saying like “it’s going to be all right your sons okay”. And he gives back the “Torch Bearer” insignia. That was, I liked that too. That was a nice moment. And now. Yeah. Now Tyler’s got it. Does that mean he’s the Torch Bearer? Is that how it works. Again, I don’t know. I mean they don’t really need a Torch Bearer now.

Carla: And like what if Michael and him have a baby. It’s going to be half Klingon.

Ben: Yeah, it’d be like B’Elanna Torres.

Carla: Cool.

Ben: Be turned out really awesome. One hopes before long.

Carla: I don’t have anything else.

Ben: Ok well shall we go to Short Chats?

Carla: I think we shall.

Ben: Now it’s time for re:Discovery Short Chats where we talk news, trivia and anything related to Discovery. And also, any questions you have for us follow our socials and get in touch. And captain we had some interesting theories people have come up with about what’s going to happen at the end of the season.

Carla: Yes, we did a shout out to you guys. We had a couple we had Jessie Scott – Hi Jessie. Just basically said “Borg vibes”. It’s a common theory going around right now.

Ben: I’m really not sure about that. I mean we did we kind of had that discussion we ended up cutting it from episode but yeah, we… I don’t think it’s a Borg thing.

Carla: Unlikely let’s say unlikely.

Ben: Yeah for sure.

Carla: And we had Jez, no Jen “Jazfic” on Twitter saying “I think they’re all going to be flung into the future to fight it out. Control will lose and all life will be saved but Discovery and the Section 31 ship will be stuck there. This is based on absolutely nothing I should add. Just wondering on what a good season cliff-hanger might be.”.

Ben: Yeah OK well that’s a pretty good idea.

Carla: I like that one. Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. I like it. We were talking on a previous episode about where Zora comes from.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: And we were talking about whether it’s Airiam’s memories. You had a theory about that.

Carla: Oh well I just thought the part of Airiam memories could have contributed to Zeus quote unquote personality or development as an A.I.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: But that leads into Richard Ingram’s letter.

Ben: All right. Yeah. Yes.

Carla: To us. Hi Richard. Who had the most amazing letter “I have had a suspicion for a while the events of the Short Trek Calypso might be a little peek into the resolution of this season, once time travel became a major plot point especially after “The Brightest Star” was a prequel to one of the storylines”. Yeah good mapping there.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah.

Carla: “Mostly it was Zora a statement that she was under instruction to wait at a specific point. And now after this episode I feel there is more to it as Zora said she was abandoned for nearly a thousand years and Gabriel Burnham was travelling from 950 years in the future. Since the timeline of this story has sentient life in the 23rd century is this the fixed timeline? Once the crew of Discovery deal with Control and the have they purposefully left Discovery to wait for Gabriel Burnham maybe with some tech onboard to bring her home?

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Mind blown Richard.

Ben: I think that is genius Richard. It really does explain what she’s doing there. She’s waiting for someone and it’s not. What’s his name? It’s Gabriel Burnham. And yeah that makes total sense although we don’t find out where she is. It could be that she’s hanging out near Terralysium which we know is where Gabriel Burnham’s hideout was. So that’s hopefully where she got sucked back to when she got sucked back into the future because otherwise, she’s kind of screwed.

Carla: But it also doesn’t account for the development of Zora.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: So, if she’s just been flung into the thousands into the universe then it’s just the Discovery ship it’s not… but I guess an A.I could develop over 50 years or something like that I’m not sure yet.

Ben: Well I mean I don’t think I think Discovery hasn’t time travelled, I think it’s just waiting 950 years out because an A.I can wait that long. But the main reason or the only reason that I don’t necessarily think that’s what’s going to happen is I feel like we would have to have more of a seed of where Zora comes from. And there’s such an “A.I’s are evil vibe” this this season from because the only one we’ve encountered is Control that I think that’s way too much of an ask to develop that in the last two episodes. You know so I love the idea and I kind of hope that is what happens.

Carla: Me too.

Ben: I suspect that there’s too much work to do to sell us on what and who Zora is. In the last two episodes because he can’t I mean he can’t assume everyone is saying the Short Treks. I mean you know you didn’t need to have seen The Brightest Star to follow the Saru episodes this season.

Carla: No but it’s certainly augmented it.

Ben: Yeah Richard, excellent excellent theory. I love it if you’ve called it maximum props to you. Yeah it is a cool idea. I like it a lot.

Carla: Yeah. And so, thinking about the other Short Treks it did make me remember that we haven’t seen Harry Mudd in this season.

Ben: I don’t think we’re going to.

Carla: No, I don’t think we will either, which is a shame.

Ben: Yeah it’s a shame because he’s great and maybe that’s why they did the Short Trek with him because they’re like “he doesn’t really fit into this storyline, so we’re not going to put him in there’s no room for like a standalone episode where he turns up. Unless I mean I guess he could be if one of the other Red Bursts takes them to where they’ve got to go and there’s I think three left. But there’s only two episodes left.

Carla: I think there’s two left.

Ben: Because this was number five of eight. Now actually this is a point I was a little confused about.

Carla: I thought it was 7?

Ben: Oh no you’re right, 7, 7, so there’s only 2 left. So that makes sense. But this that confused me because I was like “are these ones reappearing in the place where the seven all appeared at once.

Carla: This has been all of my confusion Ben.

Ben: So I think they’re going to have to make that clear because they’ve made it a mystery that nobody knows what the Red Bursts are about but they haven’t really clearly said you know that new ones are appearing in the same places because I get the impression they didn’t. Because otherwise they could just go and visit where the other ones were because they knew where they were.

Carla: But remember they were flashed but it was too fast for them to be like…

Ben: Oh, too far away for them to get you a precise location. Yeah. But I guess they. Yeah, I guess that’s true. So yeah maybe it is that they’re appearing in the same places where they originally appeared but that’s not been made clear to us so I think we’re obviously going to find out.

Carla: And that also brings in another time travelling entity into the conversation.

Ben: You know what though I think I think that’s going to be Michael.

Carla: What!

Ben: Yeah, I think Michael’s going to get in the equivalent of the Red Angel Suit because I think that’s why the brain scan. I don’t. I don’t know. They kind of the hand waved that away but I kind of feel like that would make sense.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: But I don’t know.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. Well guess we’ll find out. We’ll find out. Now I do want to talk about I mentioned earlier in the episode that there were a couple of little nods to other things I thought in this story but I think they would just like coincidence, I don’t know if they’re on purpose but when Pike was standing in the corridor in his flashback and the motorized chair comes in the background I’m like “oh shit it’s Davros”. And I’m like “It’s not Davros, I know who it is” but it just felt so sinister because we’re used to seeing that image or at least I am in Doctor Who of like you know the horrible and when you think about it it’s very ablest visual signifying of evil. But it’s you know the twisted and evil wheelchair bound Nazi scientist and Pikes like the opposite of that. He’s like he’s a good guy but he’s in a bad way. So yeah, I thought that was an interesting little…

Carla: I think that was the name of his country album.

Ben: “He’s a good guy but in a bad way” (laughs).

Carla: (laughs) “Good guy in a bad way”.

Ben: That is a good name for an album.

Carla: Captain Pike.

Ben: I’d listen to it. I also thought it’s interesting because Starfleet Captains seem very keen to blow up their ships.

Carla: I remember I remember. Janeway came close.

Ben: Yeah, a few times.

Carla: A few times yeah.

Ben: While the original Enterprise got blown up. That’s why there was an Enterprise A. The Enterprise D, well not, well they almost self-destructed it at a few times and then they kind of crashed into the planet. The Enterprise E, Picard was going to blow it up to stop the Borg but he really didn’t want to. He’s like “No! No more” I love that scene it’s so good. Yeah so, I don’t know I think they blow up a lot of it. It’s kind of reminded me that scene in Galaxy Quest where people are like “why do you build a self-destruct system? What do you need that for? Why is that useful?”. And we know why it’s because aliens are always trying to use Starfleet ships against them. It’s against the people universe and we won’t be party to this but it. Yeah. I’m glad that he’s organizing an evacuation party. That’s good.

Carla: Well let’s see dot dot dot.

Ben: Oh, I did. You know what else I forgot to mention. We did see the return of Spock’s space butt in this episode, only briefly and it was in silhouette. You didn’t get a good look at it this episode.

Carla: This Section 31, I did write down a note to say the Section 31 EV suits were out of control.

Ben: Yeah. (laughs)

Carla: (laughs) Oh sorry. Fucken hell. They were very very sexy.

Ben: There are. They were very good.

Carla: I didn’t see. I have not even peeped. Scott. Scott. Blah. Have not even Spock’s butt. But yeah, I don’t know what’s happening to me I’ve missed it. I’ve got to start paying attention.

Ben: You’ve got to get on board.

Carla: I know!

Ben: It’s good, it’s good business.

Carla: Yeah. Okay great.

Ben: Also, I’m excited because right at the end Pike says contact the XO on the Enterprise. Does that mean we’re going to see Number One next episode? That would be great.

Carla: That’s a good… Yeah. That’s great!

Ben: I hope she comes back; she was cool. I think Rebecca Romijn did a great really great job of playing her.

Carla: But back on Spock’s wardrobe, so like “hipster Spock”.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: I am very kind of disturbed his like low, what are they called Ben?

Ben: Low neckline?

Carla: Yeah. No, it’s not. It’s not a “deep V”. It’s just liked a low neckline.

Ben: (laughs) That’s something else.

Carla: (laughs) In the t-shirts Ben!

Ben: Yeah, I know what you mean. I was distracted this episode by his beard because I don’t know if I don’t know if it’s changed but it’s really pointy on his cheeks. Oh, it’s like got two triangles like coming up on his cheeks.

Carla: “Eyes up here Ben. That’s what it’s saying”.

Ben: I know I stopped looking at my beard. My eyes are up here.

Carla: It’s more like the butt, the butt “my eyes are up here”.

Ben: Yeah. Sorry. Sorry Spock I’m distracted by your beard and your butt. You’re just very pretty.

Carla: He is very extremely pretty.

Ben: Yeah. I mean everyone else is pretty good as well.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: There’s only two episodes left Carla.

Carla: I know!

Ben: Does it feel like two episodes is enough?

Carla: I don’t know so much happened in this episode.

Ben: We did progress a lot.

Carla: I mean I can’t even conceptualize how much can happen in two episodes.

Ben: Actually, this is one of the things worth touching on in Short Chats. We have heard through the rumour mill that big changes are afoot at the end of the season. We don’t know anything more than that.

Carla: What!?

Ben: Not that something’s going to happen. We don’t know. We’ve heard that Spock, as you’ve said Pike and Spock are definitely leaving. So…

Carla: I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael goes either.

Ben: Michael goes?!

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Who’s the main character of the show?

Carla: Don’t no.

Ben: Tilly? She’s barely in this episode.

Carla: I haven’t seen Tilly in ages.

Ben: She did like she was at the lunch but she didn’t say much. Yeah, I don’t know. She’s maybe she’s got more to do next episode but I don’t think we’ve got time for Bryce and Reese to team up.

Carla: Not yet.

Ben: That’s a shame. Next season.

Carla: Next season. We have the new show runner coming on board so hopefully she’s going to put in a lesbian captain and I would just basically – you can just chuck me into the grave after that. I’ll be done. I’ll be cooked.

Ben: Everything’s cool.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: What if what if what if they go to Vulcan and they get a lesbian Vulcan?

Carla: Nooo don’t Ben! Don’t, I can’t. That’s not ever a possibility.

Carla: Okay.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: All right. Okay. I just thought, I just know you like Vulcans. I was just trying to. Just got to, “how we make it even better?”.

Carla: Nothing could be that good, life could never be that good.

Ben: Yeah. And on that note.

Ben: You’ve been listening to re:Discovery. You’ll find links to all the creatives involved on our web site We’d love to connect with you. Find us on Twitter and Facebook @rediscoverypod.

Splendid Chaps: re:Discovery is brought to you by Splendid Chaps Productions. Find more entertainment for your ears at

Episode Transcript: Perpetual Infinity (S02E11)

This is a transcript of our eleventh season two recap, available here.

Gabrielle Burnham: People think time is fragile precious beautiful sand in an hourglass. But it’s not. Time is savage. It always wins. So, this is meaningless

re:Discovery theme plays

Carla: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery. The Star Trek recap podcast that won’t try to kill you. Let’s face it that’s all we can promise at this point in time in Discovery (both laugh). I’m joined by my Science Officer Ben McKenzie. Ben are you tempted to have further augmentation with nanobots?

Ben: No. No no no no no.

Carla: Nan no bots?

Ben: No no bots! That’s what they are.

Carla: It’s Episode 11 and moving towards wrapping up Season Two’s storyline and a lot of elements of Season One. But not before some more twists and turns namely the Red Angel does not know anything about the Red Burst.

Ben: What!!

Carla: This episode addresses many other things I was confused about. But let’s back it up to a flashback. We meet 11-year-old Michael with her parents on Doctari Alpha. We are shown that, yes Michael’s mother used the time travel suit to get away from the Klingons, sending her 950 years into the future. A future where no sentient life exists. Michael comes to in sickbay, Hugh has been reinstated as a medical officer and is treating her. Michael believes it’s all a dream and is desperately shocked to find out it wasn’t. Her mother is unconscious on Essof IV. She begs to see her but is too unwell. Cut to Section 31 and Leland is being held captive by worker robots that Control’s direction. Control reveals to Leland that it now needs a corporeal presence in order to complete its mission – get the Spheres data. Leland is injected with nanobots that overtake his body and effectively make him a puppet for Control. This is going to end badly. Michael’s mother gains consciousness and is wild with fury. She begs to be released so she can continue her mission to stop Control. She has battled the timeline with over 800 missions, every attempt to change the outcome of total sentient annihilation unsuccessful. Dr Burnham begs Pike to delete the Sphere archive, it is the only way that Control cannot evolve. She has the worn bitterness of someone who has been alone too long and seen too much. She has no patience for chit chat and does not want to see Michael. The crew try to delete the Sphere’s data, but it is too heavily self-protected. They decide to transfer the dash to the suit instead and send it far into the future where it cannot be accessed by Control.

Ben: Spock discovers one of Gabrielle Burnham’s logs explaining that his unique human Vulcan psychology and his dyslexia made him the only person she could successfully communicate with and he and Michael discussed their shared past. They asked Pike to let Michael talk with her mother and he agrees. Since the energy holding her in the present will soon run out and she’ll be snapped back into the future. But Gabrielle remains bitter and stubborn. Only she can save all life from Control and she tells Michael to let her go. Controleland meanwhile had sent Tyler to Discovery to steal the Sphere data claiming he has a secure location in the Section 31 ship’s computer and that he knows Gabrielle Burnham is dead, so is suspicious of the Red Angel. After the data encrypts itself Tyler refuses to go through with the plan and Control Leland surprisingly backs him leaving him aboard Discovery. Instead sends Georgiou to intercept the transfer of data to the suit. Georgiou and Dr. Burnham discuss Michael – mother to mother. But when Gabriel describes Control’s attitude to her using the exact same phrase Control Leland years earlier Georgiou realizes what’s up just as Michael and Stamets arrive with phase two of their plan – using dark matter to power the transporter and free Michael’s mum from the tether back into the future. Georgiou sends Tyler to secretly check on Leland and he discovers Control has taken him over, but too late to avoid being stabbed with a shard of glass.

Ben: Tyler sends a quick warning to Discovery as Controleland beams down and tries to take the data by force. He’s not slowed down by phaser fire, so Georgiou engages him in melee. Gabrielle begs Michael to let her go, there’s no time for the transporter part of the plan. They have to destroy the devices keeping her here so the suit her and the data are taken out of Control’s reach. Burnham, Stamets and Nhan, shoot the emitters and the suit. And Dr Burnham sucked back into the future. Seconds later Discovery beams all crew back aboard and destroys the base with photon torpedoes. But it seems Controleland escaped, leaving behind only an escape pod with Tyler inside.

Carla: Poor Tyler.

Ben: He’s had a rough day. Feeling defeated as Control now has about half of the spheres data., Burnham is comforted by Spock who assures her that what they do now can affect the future and that they can win through a combination of instinct and logic. Carla what’s your instinct about this episode?

Carla: (laughs) I don’t know. I was just grateful to have so many question marks that I had, wrapped up, from last episode about, you know, Hugh what Hugh is doing. What happened to Michael. The thing that we don’t know that’s still leftover is Michael’s dad…

Ben: Yes.

Carla: Big question mark there.

Ben: We don’t know if he’s alive or dead. That’s true.

Carla: And also, I still don’t understand how, I will just refer to as “the suit” because it’s no longer the Red Angel, it doesn’t have an official title Project Daedalus suit or whatever.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: I still don’t understand how the point 950 years in the future is the snap back point.

Ben: Well this is kind of what we were talking about last episode, so we knew that she had have gone into the future and my, and I think what happened was the first time she used it, it went wrong somehow and now it’s doing what it’s supposed to do which is tethering itself to its origin point. But unfortunately, that origin point is the point 950 years in the future.

Carla: Okay.

Ben: Yeah. So, which look I mean whether I get a lot of questions about the logic of how they’ve decided the suit works has because I actually have to say a little bit disappointed by that element of this episode although everything else was great. I thought some of the logical stuff how they point out it works I’m like “that seems a bit dodgy to me”. But look you know I worked it worked for the drama, so I won’t complain too much and still I have I have some questions.

Carla: All right well why don’t you, do you want to ask them what do you wanted to believe it until we see some more episodes?

Ben: I think well I look they might they may well answer them for me. I don’t know but I do. Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know. I will say though if we go right back to the flashback at the start of the episode the whole thing where Michael’s like “they never told me that they worked on a space suit like that that Section 31 and time travel” they’re discussing it openly in front her.

Ben: I mean you know she doesn’t know what “crystal” or “suit” means I guess but still yeah those are I guess they could be things that her parents’ other scientific disciplines are about still. Yeah, I don’t know.

Carla: I thought that was interesting, you know. But I also think that you know it harkens back to the overall theme of this which is trauma and so trauma really warps your ability to recall information like some information you remember like you’re still there and other information just is not. She’s also a child. She doesn’t really have.

Ben: That’s true.

Carla: You know much, I would just say it’s not that she doesn’t have the understanding but she’s a child. She probably has little interest in what her parents are doing together at work. So, it just didn’t register.

Ben: Yeah, she’s really interested in the supernova.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And being a kid, science kid, weird, weird, nerd science kid.

Ben: Yeah, I can identify with that. But also, she you know she doesn’t have the context. She doesn’t know anything about time crystals or Project Daedalus. So yeah. But I was I was a little bit weirded out that it’s just in the next room in a hidden alcove. Yeah that was a bit that was a bit intense but that’s all right.

Carla: What other things do we have ticked off? Oh yeah. Leland alive.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Puppet for Control.

Ben: Yeah. So, I think we were both right. Like he wasn’t injected with something. Yeah. He was just stabbed in the eye. But also, he wasn’t dead, and he did get injected with something this episode. So, it’s kind of like both of us were I quite liked that outcome, but awful. Like presumably he’s dead now.

Carla: Yeah, I think like…

Ben: Do you think he’s still in there somewhere?

Carla: I don’t know, I don’t think so. Depends on when Control stops controlling him, I guess such a bad word. We can’t talk about it without it becoming like Dr. Seuss book.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. I like when I was coming up with a portmanteau for his name Controleland does works.

Carla: I think it’s called a “couples name” Ben (laughs).

Ben: It’s yeah. Okay. Well they I’m shipping them. No, I definitely don’t ship them. Wow. No one should know when you know it first of all no should be shipped by something called Control. That’s that’s red flag 101. But yeah, I don’t know. I have a lot of questions about Control too. I find it very confusing now.

Carla: Hang on I just want to back it up one second.

Ben: Yeah go.

Carla: What I thought was it was happening with the needle was confirmed to me with the first scene that we see him that I was like “okay so if Control, you know, presumably has Control of everything, it’s making these little robots that are like making modifications to the ship in the background”. And so, by seeing these little robots like having him pinned down and all that kind of stuff I’m like “Yeah this is what he’s doing here”.

Ben: Okay.

Carla: We don’t know what I’m saying who we don’t know how far developed Control is already, you know what I mean?

Ben: Yeah, I interpreted that a little bit as the Discovery era equivalent of an emergency medical hologram like it’s a, it’s a medical robot. That Control has taken Control of it, but I don’t know if that’s true. I’m might be just making that up. And it also it’s made these nanobots Where did it get nanotechnology from. That’s pretty advanced business.

Carla: This is what I mean about. We don’t know how much Control knows.

Ben: Yeah. And also, we don’t know what kind of technology Section 31 one’s got access to. I mean we know they got comm badges. They got they got Terran memory stealing technology. They’ve got advanced computer artificial intelligence stuff here. I mean they’ve got all kinds of stuff.

Carla: I think it’s safe to say it’s got the most knowledge in the universe because it’s this confluence of so many different cultures knowledge that has been stolen or appropriated or given to them, you know mostly stolen I assume.

Ben: It’s a bit of a worry.

Carla: Tortured out of people.

Ben: I do I am a little annoyed that we don’t have any kind of motivation for it. I don’t know. It’s kind of implied that it agrees with Leland’s sort of attitude that it must, he wants to bring order to the universe. You know even if he has to be a bit brutal about it and that he’s going to take Control says it’s going to take that to its logical conclusion you’re like “why?”. I mean is that what you were built for is that is that your sort of directive. And are you going to take it so far. It’s like Skynet, like waking up and going “Yeah okay. So, my job is to make sure humans don’t kill each other. There’s only one way to do that which is if I kill them all”. That’s like… It’s sort of that kind of we assume that the evil artificial intelligence is just going to kill all non you know artificial intelligent life.

Ben: But this is my big question about Control, and I think actually that first scene where it’s talking to Leland really brings it up. Is that the whole point of it wanting the Spheres data is so they can achieve real consciousness. But what we see of Control does not in any way seem like it doesn’t already have consciousness like in what way does it not?

Carla: Yeah because it has like, it has motivation.

Ben: Has motivation, has memories, it has personality.

Carla: Mm hmm. I’m sure about personality.

Ben: Maybe not a personality of its own but it doesn’t need one to achieve its aims. So, what’s the big deal about it being conscious?

Carla: It has motivations and desires which is a cornerstone of sentience, I guess. Really. I’m not sure if it’s about becoming sentient, I think it’s about having the technology to be able to fully realize its plans.

Ben: Right.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Okay. Well I guess that does make sense but also, it’s a bit confusing as to where this motivation is coming from because there’s Control in the present. Right. And then there’s the… because Airiam wasn’t being controlled by Control in the present Airiam was being controlled by the future A.I. sending information back through time, although that was only from 500 years in the future.

Carla: That right, that’s kind of the midpoint.

Ben: Yeah but it’s not clear when exactly the devastation takes place. We know that it happened sometime before 950 years in the future. And we know that it was localized in the Alpha Quadrant. And that bit of space where the Federation is because we find out here that Burnham’s mum, seems feel safe 50000 light years away on what would eventually be called Terralisium. So yeah that was I don’t know. I still have a lot of questions about it, so I just don’t know. Like you. Who’s calling the shots? Control, future Control. It’s a bit it’s a bit murky and I’m hoping that I hope that it gets cleared up. I have a feeling it won’t. I have a feeling that they just sort of like happy to go “it’s all Control” Control whether it’s now or in the future and I’m like Yeah, I think there’s a distinction to be made.

Carla: I think I’ve mentioned this before, but it just really does seem like, I mean this kind of A.I. robot conscious robot trope really does seem to reflect our anxieties about who we are as people.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Because they only learn from us, right? And that human race is inherently destructive in the way that we treat each other, and we treat the planet. So, there’s always this kind of moralistic overtone of you know “the best human is a dead human” you know, to an A.I. So, it kind of feels trope-y in that way. It also just feels like they just find humans irrelevant. So, they should just all be gone, eradicated.

Ben: And in this case not just humans you know but and…

Carla: Oh yes that’s right.

Ben: Vulcans, Klingons and everybody else.

Carla: Meat Sacks.

Ben: (laughs) Yeah.

Carla: All meat sacks.

Ben: All meat sacks. Because Control not the only person who shows up to reveal their secrets this episode. Because this is where we finally meet the Red Angel, properly, and learn what they’ve been up to all this time. How did you feel about this?

Carla: Oh, I felt it was a bit ham fisted.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: It felt a bit blunt. You know.

Ben: Yeah, I would agree.

Carla: I was a bit clobbered over the face with how stubborn she is like Michael blah blah blah. But also, at the same time you know 800 missions. It’s got to do something to you.

Ben: Oh yeah. I mean we don’t know. We don’t know how much personal time has passed for her but it’s clearly a lot. And she’s done a lot of things although not all of the things the same. It is a bit intense. I mean I liked the logs and they’re sort of a shorthand way to explain a few things like the Terralysium colonists, although why she saved them? I mean I it’s like one sentence, but I gathered that the point was she wanted to preserve some vestige of life in the future. And because she’s 50000 light years away and there’s no pre-existing technology on the planet. For some reason that means she can’t be discovered. But why she moves them there like in the past rather than to where she is. I’m not 100 percent sure what…

Carla: So, my interpretation of that was like also it was like an Easter egg. You know for eventually like no matter how sort of time travel was uncovered or you know Control was uncovered or whatever it was it’s kind of a deliberate Easter egg as well that you know how could these people be there blah blah blah mysteries of the universe that kind of thing.

Ben: Yeah although I have to say now that I think about it that also doesn’t quite make sense because this is the reason that she’s safe on that planet is that it had no pre-existing technology but she put pre-existing technology there because she transferred all the colonists all those, all those survivors. It’s also not really said how or if I mean the suits got some pretty crazy powers my way as well like it can bring back the dead with a tachyon burst, it can transport an entire church full of people across time and space.

Carla: Yeah, I don’t know how that works yeah yeah.

Ben: Like it’s yeah it does it’s a bit of a McGuffin really isn’t it? I can do anything you want it to do. That’s not really what the McGuffin is but you know it’s a it’s a plot device is what it is. Yeah it does whatever the plot needs it to do. And in this episode one of the things it does is it can’t stay in one place. Now I thought we talked about this last episode. I thought they had cut the strand and she was now stuck here but it turns out that no they’ve just caught her and the strand, you know the gravitational beam through the wormhole is still open and stretched back. But then what did they close last episode to stop the transmissions getting through if that’s the case? I don’t know. It’s, it’s…

Carla: And can a human being survive being jetted through a wormhole, without the suit? What’s the point of the suit?

Ben: I know. And where is she going back to? This is the other thing that I was a little unclear on at the end of the episode you know. Is she going back to 950 years in the future?

Carla: That’s what I thought.

Ben: I mean I thought that was the case but then yeah. Does that mean that they didn’t manage to reprogram the suit? I mean I thought it was a bit weird that they were able to reprogram the suit to go really far into the future past the 950-year mark. When the whole point of it was it always just goes back to where it came from and it can’t go anywhere else. So yeah it was a bit weird.

Carla: Yeah, it’s a mess.

Ben: It is a bit of a mess. It’s a bit of a mess. I mean look at exciting and dramatic mess.

Carla: Sure.

Ben:  I really enjoyed the ending particularly with you know Georgiou and Leland just fighting to smash in each other.

Carla: Oh my God.

Ben: That was great.

Carla: Michelle Yeoh just marry me like have everything I have.

Ben: Just well I don’t go that far.

Carla: Or just kick me in the face.

Ben: Just be  my TV smash people in the face all the time. She’s really good at that.

Carla: My favourite was Georgiou and Tyler forming an alliance.

Ben: Oh, that was great.

Carla: That was amazing.

Ben: I did like that. Yes.

Carla: Because. Yeah, they’re two completely outcasted freaks. They should have an alliance.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. And I like that. Yeah, they sort of they were very chummy about it like they seem to have developed an understanding.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: And I think their understanding is really forged just did a mutual distrust of Leland. Which I thought was nice and very you know obviously it’s not Leland so much that they need to distrust what he has become. He didn’t seem very bothered by being shot with phasers, did he?

Carla: No. But he you know he’s gotten all of that extra Klingon physiology.

Ben: No, I meant Leland. But yeah, I did think that was my first thought when Tyler got stabbed and he’s like you were I’m like “oh you’ve stabbed him thinking he’s human you’ve forgotten he’s like a killing on his organs are in different places”.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: But I don’t know I guess we’ll find out if that’s the case.

Carla: Is that because the nanobots were just like repairing everything as time goes as has, he gets shot?

Ben: I don’t know. I guess so. I mean that’s one of the benefits of having nanobots right they can do, and you do all kinds of jazz.

Carla: Can I ask one more stupid question?

Ben: You can ask as many as you like. I think this episode has given us lots of scope for that

Carla: Limitless. Yeah like I don’t understand this whole 950 in the future thing.  no sentient life. But there’s life of some kind? There’s still…

Ben: No, I don’t think so.

Carla: Plants and stuff?

Ben: Oh, there might be…

Carla: What is she living on?

Ben: There must be plants and stuff but then it does say…

Carla: That’s my question is she living on if there’s no creatures? How is she eating?

Ben: Yeah, it’s a good question and they keep talking about how well all the civilizations home worlds have been completely destroyed.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: And presumably all sentient life means everybody else. But if you destroy the whole planet while you’re destroying all life.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: So yeah, I don’t know. Maybe she’s just nicked stuff when she comes back.

Carla: That’s what I though she’s going to get some Macca’s. See you later.

Ben: Yeah. Like there’s all these undocumented appearances that the Red Angel where she’s just like stealing somebody’s takeaway.

Carla: (laughs) But then also how is she like creeping on Michael all this time?

Ben: Yeah. What’s the deal with that? I don’t know. Like it’s not exactly subtle. The Red Angel Suit when it shows up.

Carla: She’s just peeping through the window.

Ben: Even when there’s not a red burst like it’s an angel floating in the air going (sound) “Waaaaaaaaaahhh” and there’s like tachyon detection., but you know all this kind of stuff that you would think the Vulcan science directorate, if nobody else, would be like “now wait a minute”.

Carla: Yeah yeah yeah.

Ben: But it doesn’t happen. So, I don’t know?

Carla: And so, then that goes back to my whole thing of me, last episode going “I don’t understand the whole Red Bursts thing”. And so at least now I know that doesn’t make sense.

Ben: Yeah well not yet anyway.

Carla: So that’s “watch this space”. What – that’s actually like a huge question mark. I’m like “what is going to happen there?”

Ben: It’s clearly a big clue as to the answer.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: I feel like Michael is going to end up inside the suit because I also felt I was very “hand wavy”, where they’re like “yes definitely you. This signature definitely matches your brain pattern. Oh, but also there’s a big similarity between moms and daughters”. I’m like “guys” where Michael wakes up Michael’s like “hey you said it had to be…

Carla: Especially with mitochondrial DNA didn’t you know Ben?

Ben: I didn’t know what that’s got to do with a bio-neural signature.

Carla: Me neither.

Ben: But then it’s all just weird isn’t it. It’s all just words…

Carla: Isn’t mitochondrial, mitochondria is this stuff in the brain, it’s electricity in the brain that clears out all the cells and keeps everything functioning.

Ben: Well mitochondria there is mitochondria in your brain but there’s mitochondria in everywhere.

Carla: Everywhere, in every cell.

Carla: So yeah, it’s like it’s like the little tiny sort of cell that was once a separate organism that was captured by the kind of cells that we have. And yeah. And the idea is that you know that the DNA does get carried down the generations without much change.

Carla: But we have 50/50.

Ben: Not in mitochondria you don’t.

Carla: Oh, is that… okay…

Ben: Yes.

Carla: Alright, there you go.

Ben: I might be wrong about that plays right into my wrong there’ll be a show note about it no doubt.

Carla: Of course.

Ben: How you feel Michael fared this episode. I mean it is intense for her. Obviously.

Carla: It felt, actually felt like an episode about her.

Ben: Yeah. And she went through a lot of stuff. I mean how harsh was it that “oh here’s your mom. She’s actually alive. She’s been gone for 20 years. Now you find out she’s been tried travelling and trying to save you and the entire universe. And she doesn’t want to talk to you”.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Like that’s pretty rough.

Carla: Sure.

Ben: I did, I did hear somebody I know I think was sort of complaining that I felt she’s gotten real whiny and I’m like “if there’s any excuse” like come on this is intense. And I thought she rallied pretty well like she had – this was really rough episode for her but she still managed to get in there and do the job and yeah, sure, she was lying on a bed feeling pretty awful and then sorry for herself at the end of it but well who wouldn’t like, “jeez”, it was rough and then and Spock gives her a bit of a rallying speech and she gets up.

Carla: Yeah. Which is nice. Spock could have gloated quite a bit around that like “taste of your own medicine hey”.

Ben: Oh rough.

Carla: He feels, he’s got the touch of Sarek to him you know like he’s got the Vulcan diplomat about him. Let’s put it that way.

Ben: That would that would cut him to the quick. He would not like that at all. I’m just looking at my notes here. I see. Oh look. That was the other reason that she says she is. She’s trying to establish that she can change the past, Burnham senior, and that’s why she saved those people from World War Three as much as anything else to prove that the past could be changed. I think. But you’re right. Well have you changed the past. And she clearly has changed the past because she says that she was the one who put the Sphere into Discovery’s path so that they would find it and hopefully they would get its data and then Control wouldn’t get it. Which you know means that there must have been an original timeline where that did happen. But for whatever reason she hasn’t been able to go back and stop all this from happening.

Carla: Well there’s been like 800 timelines where Control always wins.

Ben: Yeah yeah. And it’s not clear where she can and can’t go. Like she can’t go back an hour before the Klingons come to kill her husband because of something she mentions a “time storm” at some point which is never explained but also it seems like she can’t go back in time and just stop Control from being created in the first place.

Carla: Right.

Ben: But I guess if she can’t be there for very long, she can’t do very subtle things she has to sort of do something…

Carla: It’s all so…

Ben: Blatant.

Carla: And also, that she said that Spock has been the only person who’s been able to communicate with her and understand her. So obviously she’s tried to communicate with many other different people, beings, aliens and not gotten anywhere.

Ben: Yeah yeah. Which I thought was interesting although I got to say I don’t know that I feel very comfortable with the way that they basically present dyslexia as some sort of superpower in this episode. It just doesn’t make any sense. It’s like only you can understand my time travelling ways because you are both logical and emotional and also you have dyslexia.

Carla: I don’t understand this whole thing.

Ben: It doesn’t make any sense. It’s very flimsy.

Carla: It’s strange.

Ben: Yeah. I mean unless I mean the only way, I can see it really making sense is if it’s not the dyslexia that helps him. It’s the whatever exercises or mental discipline or whatever he’s been doing to overcome it which means he’s used to looking at things that I don’t quite fit because of how he naturally perceives them and has a system or a method for reassembling them into a way that does make sense. Maybe that could explain it. I don’t know but I. But even he like his brain got messed up by it.

Ben: But then again, they represent they’re presenting that is like some mind-bending thing that you can’t understand the Red Angel because like it travels through time and it’s not. And I don’t think they’ve made it really clear why. Like I sort of I’ve come to the idea in my head that the reason is she’s existed across all these different timelines. And so, when he mind melds with her, he doesn’t just see visions of the past and future. He sees all these conflicting visions of the past each year.

Ben: But that’s not presented in the text of the story. That’s me like making that up to make that make sense. But I think that’s what’s going on and like in the episode where the Talosians has put his mind back together it’s really just said that it’s seeing the past and future in a weird order. And I’m like “I think it’s got to be worse than that because nobody else has this problem when they finally get to talk to the Red Angel”. They’re not like “Oh mum you’re alive. My brain is exploding. No, it’s totally fine”. So yeah, I don’t know. I don’t. It’s a bit flimsy I feel.

Carla: Yeah. There’s a lot of question marks.

Ben: Yeah. So, I guess I guess what I’m saying is that on some levels I really enjoyed this episode and, on some levels,,  it just left me a bit these explanations are not very satisfying.

Carla: Look I have to say it’s been a very shabby season. Like I mean not shabby maybe shaggy is the word. Like it’s been pretty all over the place. And the way that it’s been that is there feels like a valiant effort to kind of try to thread it all back into some kind of much like Spock’s brain or something into a coherent narrative.

Ben: No don’t mention Spock’s brain.

Carla: Yeah but I have confidence that you know like it’s all going to whether or not it’s satisfactory or not it’s all going to make sense and the next final three episodes that we have and they’ll put a bow on it and be like “Okay that turbulent time in Star Trek Discovery history is over and we’re going to move on with the third season and it’s going to we’re going to make sense from day dot”.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Well it’ll be really interesting to see where they go with these final three episodes, I think.

Carla: Shall we go to Short Chats?

Ben: I think we shall.

Carla: All right. Now it’s time for re:Discovery Short Chats, where we talk news trivia, and anything related to Discovery and or sci-fi it seems. We will also be taking questions I haven’t heard from you guys in a while so shoot us through a question.

Ben: Surely, you’ve got questions because I know I’ve got loads. (both laugh)

Carla: So, do get in touch with us now on our socials. What do you have today Ben?

Ben: Well I just got a couple of little things really. I saw some nice echoes in this episode of things from other sci-fi stuff that I love. Yeah. And one was the idea and I have to be I can’t write exactly where I’ve seen this before but I love the line that Gabrielle Burnham has when she’s talking to Pike and she says “you’re a ghost to me” because you know she’s from the future.

Carla: She’s seen everything.

Ben: Everybody’s dead as far as she’s concerned and that’s kind of echoes back, I think it’s in the Doctor Who “New Adventures” novels that this idea comes up. So, this was a series of novels if you’re not familiar with them listeners, which were written after the TV series Doctor Who got cancelled back in 1989. They continued the story in these novels and the novels were very definitely aimed at the adult fan audience. So, they gotten quite dark. And there was all kinds of crazy shit that happened in them. They’re not considered canon now although they were for a long time. The Doctor in them becomes quite manipulative and dark. They explore these weird. I mean it’s a bit grim dark people in their 20’s writing “Yeah this is how you do proper science fiction”. When I look back at it was all happening in the sort of late sorry in the 90s it was happening in the 90s. So, it was at the same time as you were saying like the big spiky pole runs on superheroes and everybody wearing pouches and getting all grim backstories.

Carla: Okay.

Ben: It was it comes out of the same kind of milieu but with Doctor Who. But yeah there’s a there’s a few times where the Doctor sort of has this kind of  people accusing him of thinking of everybody as ghosts because he’s lived so long. He travels through time that everybody’s dead to him and I think there’s a similar line that crops up in the TV series and the Christopher Eccleston era from memory. But yeah, I just thought that was it was kind of interesting and it really was a nice shorthand way of showing how grim she’s gotten and how this time travel has affected her.

Carla: Well yeah and this is also analogous to you know many cultures gods – they’re painted as grumpy, intolerant, immersed in godly matters because she’s almost like a god like she you know…

Ben: She got godlike power, right?

Carla: She exists in all space and time and has witnessed you know as far as we know at least a millennia, of our quadrant of the universes, history.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: I only have a couple of things one is it’s been confirmed that Pike and Spock are leaving Discovery at the end of Season 2 which is understandable they’re going to go back to the Enterprise.

Ben: They’ve got other shit to do.

Carla: So that actually makes me excited about sort of thinking forward to the third season like who’s going to be the captain what kind of missions are they going to go on.

Ben: Will they go back to Vulcan where they were going to pick up then you can find out who it is?

Carla: Maybe that’s a good point.

Ben: What if Sarek was the captain?

Carla: No no no he’s not in Star Fleet. He’s just an ambassador.

Ben: He’s very definitely not in Star Fleet. He’s very angry about his kids being in Star Fleet. One of them in particular anyway, yeah no that makes sense.

Carla: Yeah that makes me excited.

Ben: As could be anybody. I think it’ll be a new character.

Carla: I hope so. Actually yeah. What about you?

Ben: I think it will be. I think it’ll be good. I think there’s a lot of people who probably wish it would be a prime universe Lorca re-emerging but I…

Carla: Or even Georgiou.

Ben: What Prime universe Georgiou.

Carla: No no. Terran Georgiou.

Ben: Oh yeah yeah. She’s going to be busy with…

Carla: Oh, that’s right Section 31.

Ben: Because now Leland is practically dead. Probably anyway certainly. He’s can’t be trusted.

Carla: Maybe it will be Captain Saru?

Ben: But I think he’s he would’ve earned it. I think so too.

Carla: Yeah yeah. And Michael can be first officer again.

Ben: Yeah that would work out. Yeah. I’d be into that. But yeah, I’d also be totally open for it to be a new character. I think that would be fun. We’ve never had a we’d never had a show before where the main like the captain of the ship changes every season and I think that’s kind of awesome.

Carla: Yeah, I do too.

Ben: It gives us a lot of scope. I mean presumably though if everybody goes back to the Enterprise from the Enterprise will also lose Nhan.

Carla: Yeah. That’s. No, I’m not into that at all.

Ben: Well she never knows she might stay. She might stay on board Discovery. She’s pretty cool. It’ll be interesting to see what happens. Yeah.

Carla: Do you have another thing?

Ben: Yeah. There’s the other thing. Weirdly that this episode reminded me of was “Back to the Future” because they keep talking about how they’re going to need a power source. Basically, this is in the flashback like when they’re doing the time travel experiment and they need “only the power of a supernova could power this” and they’re like “oh if only we knew where a supernova would happen. Oh, we do. Look here’s this thing. Save the star system now”. But it just reminded me of that. Not terribly accurately perhaps but yeah, I thought that was fun.

Carla: I have one more thing and I mentioned that last episode to talk about goes to Phillips who’s the costume designer.

Ben: Oh yeah yeah.

Carla: She’s amazing and I don’t really have anything to say about her apart from the fact that she’s amazing and also that there is done a tonne of press and interviews about like linguistically how she sort of took translated or you know yeah translated the original series uniforms into to where she wanted Discovery to go and then there’s another great interview about her talking about developing the Discoveries uniforms and how basically she kept the same cut from the Discoveries to the new TOS uniform so they looked almost exactly the same it’s just you know the different colouring. I’ll chuck up a couple of different interviews with her in with her and you can have a look because it’s I find that stuff super interesting.

Ben: Yeah, it’s cool and I would love to. Hopefully she talks also about some of the casual outfits on the show like and some of the Vulcan fashion particularly because there’s cool stuff going on there.

Carla: She’s done so much so many interviews I’m sure there’s that specific something out there which is one amazing interview where she was talking specifically about how her and the set designer worked together too. They work together. She stylistically have a meta frame for the design linguistics but then like with the Terran universe she’s talking about how when she created those uniforms then the set designer then took the patterns from their uniforms and made it into wallpaper so there was kind of like referencing each other and just sounds like such a great process.

Ben: Yeah sounds great. Yeah, I’ll be I’ll be really excited to read that because I have to say the design in all aspects of Discovery has always been top notch.

Carla: It’s amazing.

Ben: Everything from the sets to the costumes to the makeup to the special effects to the sound on it. We had that one nice. We always talk about the spinney directing stuff.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: It had that one shot this episode where it starts off upside down with Stamets  at the display and then slowly rotates 180 degrees until he’s the right way up and I actually really enjoyed that for some reason. I don’t know why, it just really really tickled me in a way that you know spinning around people doesn’t always fit me. I mean sometimes I feel like it does ramp up the tension and sometimes it feels like you just shoot somebodies face?”.

Carla: Or just for just slow it down like it does don’t even have to give it up. You could just slow it down to the point that I don’t feel like I’m going to puke.

Ben: I luckily have not had that problem but I, but I get I get where you come from.

Carla: All right. Anything else.

Ben: There is one other thing I should talk about Carla as I am doing a comedy festival show. It’s on this week as this comes out from the 1st to the 7th of April at Campari house in Melbourne’s here in Melbourne a comedy which sometimes

Carla: Science informed comedy as well.

Ben: It’s true we sometimes do talk about psychology here on the show and I’m doing this show with Alanta Colley who’s also a science comedian and it’s called “You Chose Poorly. It’s all about the psychology of decision making and why we’re so poor at making good decisions. So, I feel like maybe Michael and Spock sometimes could learn from some of the stuff I’ve been reading. Certainly, her mum as well. Maybe I don’t know yeah, it’s just this episode had some real highs and lows for me, and I just had mom’s so harsh, so hard.

Carla: Understandably though.

Ben: Like the first thing she says to her own daughter is “no, no”. That’s rough. Come on.

Carla: You’ve been listening to re:Discovery. All links to creatives are in show notes or on our website We’d love to connect with you. Please add us on Twitter and Facebook @rediscoverypod.

Splendid Chaps: re:Discovery is brought to you by Splendid Chaps Productions. Find more entertainment for your ears at

Episode Transcript: The Red Angel (S02E10)

This is a transcript of our tenth season two recap, available here.

Michael [From episode]: (punching sound) That’s for my mom, (punching sound) that’s for my dad.

re:Discovery theme plays.

Ben: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery. The Star Trek Recap podcast, whose mum probably won’t show up unexpectedly right at the end. I’m science officer Ben McKenzie and as always, I’m joined by Captain Carla Donnelly. Greetings, Captain.

Carla: Hi, Benjamin. How are you?

Ben: I’m very well. Is your mum going to show up at the end?

Carla: She’d like to, I think.

Ben: Yeah, my mum, I’m sure my mum would love it. She’d be great. She’d be a hoot. But she’s not here, so that’s okay. Well, let’s talk about this episode, “The Red Angel”; which confirms our theories, reveal secrets, heals old wounds and opens new ones before yanking the rug out from under us in a big reveal which may have already made a joke about it. We begin with the funeral service for Commander Airiam, at which we hear moving speeches from Pike, Tilly, Detmer, Stamets and Burnham, watched by the entire crew. Plus, Admiral Cornwell and a newly released Tyler. It concludes with Airiam’s casket being shot into space as Saru sings a Kelpian song of remembrance. In the ready room, they confirm that Control has been destroyed and Airiam memories purged. But that while there’s no sign of the A.I from the future, that doesn’t mean it’s not hiding somewhere. Tilly finds a clue in Airiam’s memories, a Project Daedalus file which says Michael is the Red Angel. In sickbay Dr. Culber confirms the bio neural signature is a definite match to Burnham. But there are still many questions. Leland and Georgiou arrive and drop a bombshell. Project Daedalus is an old Section 31 program researching time travel in response to intel that the Klingon’s were doing the same. The Red Angel suit is their design, but they thought it was destroyed just prior to testing 20 years ago by Klingon spies.

Ben: Thankfully, they’ve been working on a method to recover the suit. A mousetrap which can catch the Angel and stop it going home. A plan to use the trap is developed by Tilly, Stamets and Georgiou. It needs huge amounts of power, so Georgiou offers up Essoff IV, an old Daedalus test site abundant in deuterium to use as an energy source. Hugh arrives during the discussion and Georgiou flirts with Stamets in front of him, revealing that Stamets counterpart in her universe was pansexual. Everyone is confused and uncomfortable. Leland works on a way to close the Angels wormhole and prevent the A.I using it to travel back in time. He’s watched by a suspicious Saru, who knows he’s keeping something from them. Burnham has also picked up on this and tipped off by Georgiou that it’s Leland secret, asks to speak to him alone. He reveals that Burnham’s parents were secretly working on Project Daedalus and that they had a crystal vital to the Angels suit. They lied to Burnham to keep her safe. Leland had stolen the crystal and believed he’d covered his tracks. But the Klingons, who wanted it for their own research were able to find it. And that’s why they were killed. Burnham realizes she wasn’t to blame for their deaths, but that Leland is. And she punches him twice, once for mum and once for dad.

Carla: Cut to Michael’s second, or is it third? uncomfortable conversation that day, where freshly galvanized and enraged, she confronts Tyler about his knowledge about her parents. He swears he did not know anything, and she rightly attacks him on being associated with this organization. But he believes in their mission and that “it’s not quite all black and white”. On the warpath Michael is kicking the shit out of a punching dummy when her fourth uncomfortable conversation comes knocking for the day. It’s Spock and he wants to talk with a capital T. He helps Michael understand that her actions were that of a child and appropriate to everything that happened to her and that he doesn’t blame her for all that has transpired. And as with everything in this season, inexorably linked, Michael and Spock’s reconciliation puts into action what appears to be the conclusion of all the dangling threads thus far. And what continues to be one of the shittiest days ever for Michael Spock convinces the crew that it is Michael the Red Angels seeks to protect, so therefore she must be bait in order to capture it. In what is possibly the most upsetting sequence thus far in Discovery, they slowly torture and suffocate Michael waiting for the Red Angel to appear. On the Section 31 ship Leland is waiting for the wormhole to appear so that he can close it. Michael flatlines. The Red Angel materializes and shoots her with a beam that revives her. Leland retinal scans to authorize the process to close the wormhole and is injected in the eye with something from Control. They capture the Red Angel. She falls out of her suit. We see a black woman that looks like… an older Michael? And Michael gasps and whispers… “Mum?”! Ben, where do we even begin?

Ben: No, I don’t, Carla, there’s so much going on. I love this episode so much.

Carla: Holy shit. We just have to talk about mum, I think.

Ben: I think we do. Although I do, I do just want to say I don’t think. I don’t think Control injected Leland or anything.

Carla: Are you kidding?

Ben: No, I think it just stabbed him right through the eye, into the brain. I think he’s dead.

Carla: No.

Ben: Yeah, I think he’s dead.

Carla: Because he’s a whole eye went kind of like all twitchy and milky and there was like some kind of electrical…

Ben: Oh, OK. All right. Well, you look, you might have been you might have seen more there than I anticipated. I just thought he was stabbed through the eye. Like classic…

Carla: Why would Control kill him?

Ben: Sub orbital frontal lobotomy. Well, because it…

Carla: It’s not high enough to do that by the way.

Ben: Oh good. Yeah, we know that that’s true, that’s fair. But I do, and we’ll get back to this, I’m sure, but I do just want to flag…

Carla: It is one of my questions so we can get straight into it.

Ben: Control is a computer, right? It just controls the equipment that it has. Although that seems to be the ship’s computer on his ship rather than Control but infected with whatever it was affecting Control. But that means, right, because Control can’t spontaneously build new bits of computer, so somebody put that spikey injector or stubby thing into the retinal scanner.

Carla: What is even that?

Ben: And I’m like, why would you build that in there?

Carla: That’s exactly right.

Ben: It is actually the kind of thing Section 31 would do, though, isn’t it? So, if somebody scanned and it was a fake retina, they’d get stabbed in the eye.

Carla: There’s such a huge question mark over this. Because also it’s like is the force of that needle literally enough to push that huge-arse men, arse over backwards?

Ben: Sure. Well, maybe, maybe he’s just surprised because it hurts so much.

Carla: Yeah that’s true, it did look like it kind of punched him.

Ben: Yet or, it instantly killed him, and he just fell down because he was twitching, and he didn’t say anything.

Carla: I reckon he’s being “borg-afied” or something.

Ben: Oh shit. Okay. All right. Okay. Well look, that’ll be exciting to find out because I just thought he was dead. But you know…

Carla: Well they’re definitely like imprinting his voice to use it to impersonate him.

Ben: Yeah. I mean that’s why it does it. Right so it can take over.

Carla: (laughs) He’ll live on in that way.

Ben: Yeah. Which presumably means it’s highjacked the beam that Tyler is firing into the rift to close it as well rather than just closing it. Like is it transmitting something?

Carla: Oh no!!! He’s going to like keep it open and then octopus are going to come out.

Ben: Oh shit. Who knows?

Carla: Like I didn’t even think of that.

Ben: I mean we get such a shocking conclusion that it’s like almost like, wait, what’s going on here? Or we don’t have time to worry about that because we need to talk about Michael’s mum. We have to talk about her. I mean, yeah.

Carla: Of course.

Ben: Now, you said you thought she looked… I reckon she looks, she isn’t much older than Michael. I mean, cause that’s the benefits of time travel. Right? I thought she looked pretty young.

Carla: Yeah. But she still looks like she’s in her 50’s to me. Yeah.

Ben: I didn’t think she looked that old. Yeah.

Carla: Not that’s that old but just older.

Ben: No. But like compared to Michael. Like, yes. Michael’s y’know like 30.

Carla: I think it’s because she had more sort of greying hair. That’s the kind it wasn’t you know, like so that that was giving me older person indication.

Ben: Okay. Okay. Yeah, fair, fair. But what a reveal though!

Carla: That was good, I have to I tip my hat to that and I have to be like “holy shit”.

Ben: I didn’t expect that.

Carla: That was great.

Ben: I did… I was hoping it wouldn’t be Michael in the suit though. I was hoping they’d find…

Carla: I thought “that’s basic”.

Ben: Because they… but but they kind of ruled that out earlier on, though, right? Because they said, “look, we know it’s you”.

Carla: “It’s definitely her”.

Ben: “Airiam said it was you. The Project Daedalus file has a bio neural imprint”, whatever that is, “signature bio, neural signature that matches yours exactly”. And then and then Culber’s like “it can’t have been faked like this. All these random elements that a fake thing couldn’t replicate”. I’m like “what do you mean? I don’t understand what that means, but what it means narratively is this is definitely a match for you”. But they never. Yeah. And then it’s not her.

Carla: And then it’s not her

Ben: You know, it’s her mum.

Carla: I guess we’ll find out what it’s all about.

Ben: Yeah. Whether she’s spoofing that or whether Airiam lied.

Carla: Look, they have the ability to time travel. I’m assuming they probably have technologies to do whatever the hell they want.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: I loved it. I love that reveal. I was…

Ben: Yeah, it was great.

Carla: And also, even though it was like a horrible day for Michael. It feels like she’s finally getting…

Ben: It paid off…

Carla: Getting her life back together.

Ben: Yeah. Like she had the worst day ever. And then she gets to meet her mum, who she thought was dead for 20 years.

Carla: And she got to kick the shit out, Leland, which would have been great.

Ben: That would’ve been very satisfying.

Carla: She got back together with Tyler.

Ben: Are they back together?

Carla: I think so.

Ben: I think… I don’t think they need to be, but I think it would be nice if they were. But I also think that, you know…

Carla: If they are just like a one off? Are you kidding?

Ben: Well, not a one off, but they sort of, you know, they needed that moment together. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re back together, back together. But it’ll be interesting to see where it goes. Yeah. Yeah. Because I think his attitude to Section 31 is going to have to change.

Carla: Sure.

Ben: If she going to…

Carla: It’s a pretty big barrier (laughs) between them.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Yeah. Hey, can I ask you, did you think that that was like… to me, like when they revealed that about what Leland had done, quote unquote, to her parents, you know, I was like, “Oh, is that it?”.

Ben: Yeah, I was a bit the same because the way that it was kind of being talked about with Georgiou like we talked about a couple of episodes ago, I figured like he had them killed. But no. Like, it’s just…

Carla: I thought that he did it himself.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. Or that. Yeah. I thought at the very least he would have ordered it or made it happen. But as it turns out, he didn’t do either of those things. He’s just, he just gave them a job and then gave them a thing and thought they’d be safe. But he was wrong. He messed up but he was trying to do his job. He wasn’t like… and the job was not get these people killed. It was like get these people the thing they need to do to make this time machine suit. And then, yeah, the Klingons, found it.

Carla: So, let me get this straight. If this is what you think. So, we’re assuming that Michael’s mum, name unknown currently, took the time crystal and powered up the suit and took off into the future. That’s how she survived?

Ben: Yeah, it’s hard to know if she’s because, because the way they said it was that this happened just before they were ready to test the suit. So, it could have been that it was like all set up and ready to go or not quite ready. But she’s like “fuck we’re going to get killed by Klingons, I’m going to get in the suit and turn it on because what’s the worst that can happen is, I die. That’s going to happen anyway. Let’s give it a shot.” But then also the way they’ve described that it works is that you go through time and it leaves this tether back to where you came from. And then that sort of pulls me back to where you were. And that’s like how the whole mousetrap thing works, is that it cuts that off so that you can’t go back. Which means she’s going back to where she came from. So, is she going back to 20 years ago or did she did she have a first trip that was like into the future and now she’s coming back from the future? She has to have gone to the future. Right. Because she has to know all this stuff to know where to go back in time to.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. I don’t know. There’s still a lot of questions, not least about why she went to the places that she went to, like why she cares about the Hiawatha and the Kelpians and why she saved all those people from World War Three. Like it’s not at all clear.

Carla: Well, I’m sure we’re going to find out. We have four episodes left.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And that’s a lot of time to get the find it all out. You could have it all wrapped up in one episode.

Ben: Well, we could, but I feel like the pacing is good on the mystery this season.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Like I feel I feel like we’ve had some really good reveals and resolutions along the way. And this feels like the right time to figure out who the Red Angel is. Because last episode we had the whole thing about “oh, it’s probably Michael”. And then at the start of this episode we have “it’s definitely Michael”. And at the end of this episode we had “it’s fucking not Michael guys”.

Carla: And where’s her dad?

Ben: Yeah, that’s a good question. Did he survive to what happened to him? Yeah. Did they really die at all? I mean, did she ever see their bodies?

Carla: No. Well, that’s kind of what I’m thinking now. Like she was just in that cupboard.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: You know, she didn’t see them. She thought she heard them being murdered, but could have just been Klingons, getting freaky on her dinner, you know.

Ben: Yeah. And I mean I think the one of the biggest things for her is not just that she found out that she wasn’t responsible for them dying, but that they’d been lying to her like they’d been working for this organization that she hates and that is responsible for their death, but they were working for that organization. I mean, that’s a lot to discover all in one conversation.

Carla: Yeah, that was really. That was a tough scene.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Because you can just see the scaffolding just starting to like…

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: She. She’s due to go to the asylum.

Ben: Well she’s working it out by punching the shit out of some punching dummy’s as  you said. I mean but I got to say those were like MMA style like they had faces on them.

Carla: Yeah. Yeah.

Ben: That seems a bit rough for Starfleet. I would have thought they’d have like faceless things to punch for training.

Carla: You know Starfleet have always been pretty practical I feel like in terms of training.

Ben: Yeah. Okay.

Carla: You know, in the future it’s…

Ben: Yeah. But you don’t need a face.

Carla: Like kicking out… well no in the future they’re doing it on holodecks like with fake people.

Ben: Well that’s true.

Carla: You know, like they’re actually quote unquote killing people on holodecks.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: So, you know…

Ben: I guess I guess the idea…

Carla: That’s as real as it gets.

Ben: Yeah, the more real you can make it the more prepared you are for a real situation.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: I guess that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Carla: And then she makes up with Spock, so that’s all part of her… that was really nice.

Ben: Yeah. That was a good conversation where he’s like “look it’s basically we’ve all let out all our shit. And I know what I said to you was harsh, but it’s true. And you were just a kid. It’s okay. I forgive you. If that’s what you need. I’m doing it. I mean it”. And it was really nice. Yeah.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: But then he straightaway “also I’ve figured out we have to kill you”.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Although I gotta say here I find his, his analysis is a bit dodgy Carla.

Carla: Is it?

Ben: Because what he says is… right, his theory is that whenever the Angel shows up without sending a red burst, which is a signal to Starfleet “hey, you should come here” that it’s always to save Michael. But, during the crisis on Kaminar when Saru and his sister were in the Ba’ul’s stronghold, the Angel appears and saves them and doesn’t send a red burst.

Carla: Yeah, but the red burst led them to Kaminar.

Ben: Yeah, but the red burst led them to the Hiawatha and that was one of the places they said an Angel appeared without one to see her. So, I’m like, this is a little bit dodgy Spock. And he and the Angel intervened even more directly on camera because it shut down the Ba’ul’s system.

Carla: I still don’t understand the whole red burst thing. But I’m not even going to go there because that’s just.

Ben: Well, quick, you want the short version that I think it is.

Carla: Yeah, you’ve said it to me before and I’m like, I don’t even think that it’s that so.

Ben: Oh, OK. It’s just a signal.

Carla: Yes, I know. But there were seven. No, I’m not going there. Let’s just stop. What else?

Ben: Lots of things. What about the funeral? Can we…

Carla: I thought you would like that.

Ben: I did. Well, I, I wanted it to happen.

Carla: Because you’re a sad man (laughs).

Ben: Well, I wanted it to be a proper funeral. And I wanted to get let out. I said that last episode, in fact I was quite, I had a few predictions, but I loved the funeral. I thought it was really nice.

Carla: Yeah, it was nice.

Ben: And it was a nice way to wrap up our knowledge of how Airiam had interacted with the rest of the crew.

Carla: It’s so weird that they don’t cremate the bodies, like when they shoot them into space. Where do they go?  Just into space?

Ben: Well, into a sun maybe? Maybe they shoot it into a sun or something?

Carla: They’re just going to like float around or something?

Ben: Yeah, but they like space explorers. But I assume that they don’t do that for everyone. It’s just people who said that’s what they want to happen.

Carla: Okay.

Ben: And Airiam’s like, yeah, I just want to float through space forever.

Carla: Okay.

Ben: Yeah. I mean, the problem…

Carla: To me I’m like, that’s just garbage, like you’re putting garbage in space.

Ben: Yeah, but space’s big there’s plenty of room. It’s not like landfill Carla. (both laugh) There’s no… you’re not going to run out of space.

Carla: That’s true.

Ben: Right? I mean you run out of space in orbit around a planet.

Carla: Yeah, I suppose you will go where you’ve never been before.

Carla: That’s true. Although you might… and look, if you go into the atmosphere of a planet, you’ll burn up and then you will get cremated.

Carla: You’ll be like a little ash rain.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: That’s nice.

Ben: Really nice.

Carla: Vaporised.

Ben: Although I am a bit worried that Airiam’s body obviously has a lot of cybernetics in it. And while her organic bits are clearly dead, dead, dead, maybe like some weird robots could like reanimate her body.

Carla: Oh, that’s a crazy point doesn’t even go there.

Ben: I don’t want it to happen. So, I hope that we don’t go there.

Carla: Yeah, I really liked the funeral. I loved Saru’s song.

Ben: It was beautiful. Yeah, it’s I don’t think it was Doug Jones singing.

Carla: It was him singing.

Ben: Was it really? His singing voice is very different. So, I thought maybe it was someone else. But that’s wonderful. I’m so glad to know he can sing as well.

Carla: I know it’s sickening.

Ben: What can’t he do this man?

Carla: (laughs) Shoot him out of a spaceship.

Ben: So good. That’s amazing. Wow. It was a beautiful song.

Carla: Yeah, it was nice. And it was, you know, it was to the point, but it was, you know, weighty enough as well, which I appreciated.

Ben: Did they…

Carla: It didn’t feel perfunctory?

Ben: No. Did they, did they write like Kelpian language for him to sing in.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Wow. That’s cool.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Because we never heard Kelpian. Because you so often don’t hear the foreign or non-human languages on Star Trek shows because everything’s universally translated.

Carla: Next.

Ben: Well what about, I mean it was nice to see Nhan and Michael makeup.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: In their little corridor scene. You know, she was like, “I’m so sorry. Like, you all loved her so much. I did what I thought was right”. And Michael was like, “no, you did do the right thing. I get it. It was a hard it was a hard call. And I would be dead if you hadn’t”. It was basically she acknowledges that. I thought that was really nice.

Carla: Yeah, I was good. Well, the whole theme of that episode is reconciliation.

Ben: Yeah. Because everybody’s…

Carla: Everyone I meet up with everyone.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Come back from the dead.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Making up for dying.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And including Michael and Tyler but not though…

Carla: Michael and Georgiou as well. That was weird.

Ben: Yeah. When she puts a hand on her shoulder…

Carla: What was up there?

Ben: She’s off the wall this episode. Georgiou though. I mean what’s going on in that scene?

Carla: What is happening to her?

Ben: I know she’s just gone.

Carla: Is she just having fun?

Ben: I think she’s having a fun time. We haven’t had much of a chance to see that side of her personality because she hasn’t interacted with that many people. And with Michael, she’s got that kind of motherly kind of relationship. But they want to show her. I mean, it is a little bit trope-y. It’s that “we’re going to show she’s the evil one because she’s sexually aggressive”. But I think at least they’re being fun and playful with-it in. And it’s and it’s not like horrendous, like it’s just making everyone feel uncomfortable. And as Tilly said (whispers) “what just happened?”. (both laugh) That was great. But she I think also she did it deliberately maybe to provoke something happening between Hugh and Stamets. And I don’t know what her game is there, but I you know, she didn’t really turn on the flirting at Stamets until he was in the room.

Carla: She just seems perennially bored, which…

Ben: And horny.

Carla: And horny, which, you know, for a woman like her, you’d expect that with her coming into the Star Fleet universe.

Ben: She’s used to being in charge of doing whatever the fuck she wants as the Emperor. So, you know…

Carla: Having as many orgies as she likes.

Ben: Exactly.

Carla: With whoever she likes.

Ben: And whatever she likes.

Carla: She can’t eat Kelpians anymore. There’s no pleasure left for this woman except for the occasional fistfight.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: You know. She’s, you know, even in an incremental way, taking Leland down, I’m sure has become incredibly boring for her.

Ben: I think she’s going to be pissed if he’s dead or taken over by Control. She’s going to be pissed off that she didn’t get to do it, do you reckon? Or is she just she’s not that interested. She just wants to be in charge. But she’s going to be in charge once he’s out of the way. Surely?

Carla: That’s the only thing that she desires.

Ben: Yeah

Carla: But maybe they’ll be like a Control versus Georgiou thing.

Ben: Is it is it still Control or is it some fragment of the future A.I?

Carla: I feel like Control knowing that it was, you know, at the level that it’s at, it has you know, it’s like it’s safeguarded itself. It’s backed itself up.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Somewhere.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: You know, in case it was destroyed.

Ben: Yeah. And Pike does break that as a possibility is like, look we destroyed Control. We wiped all the stuff that was in Airiam’s hard drive and we’ve checked all of the Section 31 ships, we’re pretty sure there’s nothing there. But you never know. It could have been something out before we blew it up and it might be hiding somewhere. And it is it’s hiding on the Section 31 ship with Leland.

Carla: I just love that because I work in IT, it’s like. Oh, well, one would hope that advanced A.I in the future like has adequate disaster recovery. (both laugh)

Ben: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Carla: You’re like okay…

Ben: It’s backed up to the cloud somewhere.

Carla: That’s good. Yeah. Yeah, that’s good. Sticking needles in retina. Retina things.

Ben: Interestingly, that was something else actually, just quickly on Airiam, that you got that sort of x ray of her body and the head.

Carla: Yeah that was cool. Oh my God.

Ben: And you could kind of see how her nervous system is connected up and there’s like bits of it that are still most of us still organic. But there’s like this bit that’s making her brain work or storing her memories. That’s not clear. I mean, again, you know, I’m making it up in my head, but it makes sense to me that most of her brain is still her original organic brain. It’s just like they’ve locked up her motor functions because she had a spinal injury and they’ve hooked up a thing to store her memories because part of her brain was destroyed, and she can’t make memories very easily or at all, maybe. So, I thought that was just interesting to think about that more. I don’t think we need more concrete details and that’s fun to speculate.

Carla: Yeah, I did have one thing. Again, on Spock’s logic. I did have a quote from him. He said, “The one variable we cannot possibly predict is the future”. And I’m like, really, Spock?

Ben: That’s not a variable. That’s like the outcome of that is the outcome when you predict things. Yeah, I remember that line, too.

Carla: I’m like that’s literally prediction. So yes and no?

Ben: Well, I guess what he means is we can’t get any data from the future because we can’t go into the future and we can’t receive information from the future. But someone who’s a time traveller can. Which means they have access to info. I’m going to guess that kind of what he meant. Well, I’m going to say…

Carla: It’s that because they know, and we don’t?

Ben:  Otherwise it’s just like it’s just nonsense.

Carla: It’s just garbage.

Ben: Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Carla: And I’ve got another note that said “love the awks expression. They all exchange around Spock’s takedown of Michael”. (both laugh)

Ben: Oh, yeah. They’re all just try not to laugh.

Carla: I know.

Ben: And even Michael is like not as it’s just kind of embarrassed rather than angry. Which I thought was a nice a nice way to sort of soften that.

Carla: This is a good scene, like this is a good Star Trek franchise of faces.

Ben: Oh, yeah.

Carla: There’s great faces and more subtle acting because we know Americans aren’t really good at that.

Ben: Not really.

Carla: Not acting in that way. But generally, as audiences.

Ben: As audience. Right. Gotcha.

Carla: So that, you know, that’s an evolution.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Of serialized television.

Ben: People have to say how they feel all the time because they can act it.

Carla: Wow.

Ben: And I know, I know. But you know, some people do need it a bit more explicitly signposting for them and that’s fine. But yeah, I really like that too.

Carla: And one more faces moment, like when Michael is dying – I just like what kind of level of training do you have to get you to be able to be like Cornwell and Pike? You know what I mean? Like, they’re just like handling the situation and everybody’s fuckin spazzing out around them. You know, they just completely go into trauma mode like they can’t even do their roles adequately.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: You know, and they’re just like monitoring the whole situation.

Ben: Well, we know Pike’s had what? We don’t know exactly how long. Probably if you went back to that to “Brother” and looked at his file, it would tell you when he graduated from the academy. But I think he’s been a starship captain for at least a decade.

Carla: Yeah. So, he’s seen a lot of crazy shit.

Ben: Like the Enterprise is not his first time a captain. So, yeah, he’s he’s been through some shit. And we also know he’s had like a bunch of Star Trek style adventures on the Enterprise already because he’s already been to Talos and he’s like, I’m not sure. I don’t show you ever say how many years he is into the five-year mission. But presumably he does two of them because there’s still like, you know, another nine years to go before the Enterprise gets taken off.

Carla: Oh, yeah.

Ben: So, yeah, I mean, he’s been around and Admiral Cornwell. Well, I mean, who knows how long she’s been doing it.

Carla: Well she’s a psychologist so you know.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Hahaha.

Ben: Yeah, yeah.

Carla: Well that was just a nice little bit of backstory about her.

Ben: Yeah. Well I mean we knew that from last season. That isn’t new information, but it was nice to see it brought back. I thought.

Carla: Yeah. Just a little reminder.

Ben: What do you think of that scene with her and Hugh?

Carla: I don’t know?

Ben: Is it weird like because surely, they have a ship’s counsellor, right?

Carla: I don’t think they do on Discovery.

Ben: I guess it’s on a small ship like we discovered last episode it’s only got like a 120 or 140 people on it or something.

Carla: Yeah. I don’t think they do.

Ben: So maybe they don’t have. But you’d think, you’d think they’d have to have one though? I mean they see so much weird shit.

Carla: They probably do it virtually like there’d just be resources that you can access virtually.

Ben: Talk to a hologram…

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Psychologist.

Carla: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly.

Ben: Who’s on a star base somewhere.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Or you just get on the shuttle and go to the star base and admit yourself like Spock did. I guess.

Carla: There’s that too.

Ben: Yeah. That seems a bit full on.

Carla: I don’t know like I feel like it was kind of giving us a little bit more context that we needed for what Hugh is thinking and feeling and going through. Why is he not in uniform? But he was in that mission. I don’t understand what is happening with him. Is he on sick leave? What is happening?

Ben: Yeah, it’s a bit weird, isn’t it? I mean, Spock’s not wearing uniform either. But then he’s not a member of the crew. But he is still a Starfleet officer. Well, I guess he’s been stood down at the moment because, oh no they said all the charges against him been dropped. I don’t know why he’s not in uniform, but I guess he’s not an official member of the crew.

Ben: And maybe Hugh isn’t either, because he was declared dead. So maybe they can’t just reinstate him, but they’re letting him do stuff because they like him. I don’t know.

Carla: That’s a good point.

Ben: I mean, I don’t know. How do you how do you feel about how much room that storylines being given? Because he hasn’t been in every episode since he came back from the dead. And then this episode he has, you know, has the moment he goes in. And there’s the whole thing, weird thing with Georgiou in the room. Then he talks to Cornwell. And then also there’s him listening to Stamets at this funeral at the start and going  “oh, what a beautiful thing” and Stamets tells that great anecdote, which I thought was really quite beautiful about how Airiam felt that…

Carla: Oh, my God, are you kidding? I feel like “hogging the mic much? Like he’s just talking about his own story.

Ben: No, no, no. That was Airiam’s story.

Carla: No, I know. But it’s like literally exactly what just happened to him with Hugh.

Ben: So, sort of look, I didn’t I didn’t feel that.

Carla: But you liked it. That’s nice.

Ben: I liked it. I liked it because it’s that…

Carla: We all project.

Ben: Well, it was that way of using a scientific principle to talk about wonder in the universe, which is I’m just a sucker for that. So, I really enjoyed it. Anyway, you know, Hugh sees him and he has him saying that and then tries to talk to him when the whole crisis with Burnham is going down just before they’re about to kill her to summon the Red Angel. And I don’t know. What do you think of that way that’s going? Cause Stamets seem to be like this isn’t the time for that conversation. Then he says, like it might never be the time. What do you think’s going on?

Carla: I just don’t think he wants to engage with him about it anymore. He’s heartbroken and he doesn’t want to talk about it. That’s fine.

Ben: Yeah, that’s fair.

Carla: You know?

Ben: Like you, I lost you. You came back from the dead and then you told me you weren’t that same person and that I should move on. Now you want to talk to me about it? Make up your fucking mind mate.

Carla: It’s sort just like back…. Like, basically, it’s like “don’t call me, I’ll call you”. That’s essentially what he was saying. Like, if I’m ever ready to talk about this. You’ll hear from me. But fuck off until that day.

Ben: And that’s fair enough really. I can’t fault him for that.

Carla: I don’t know. I think they just kind of building it up to whatever that conclusion is going to be like, whether he leaves Discovery, or he stays, I don’t know, but they’re giving it that groundwork. So, it doesn’t kind of seem odd.

Ben: Yeah, I just felt it was a bit weird because they made such a big deal about his return and then it just feels like they haven’t spent much time on it and it’s going somewhere very emotionally real. But in terms of, you know, and the characters, there’s some interesting stuff happening there, but there’s not a lot of time being spent on it and it’s not interacting with the plot very much. So, I’m just curious to know if it’s going to have like some massive payoff in the next four episodes, which it might.

Carla: It might, the whole thing’s pretty hodgepodge. So, I don’t really, I’m not really reading into it too much. You know what I mean?

Ben: Yeah. Fair enough. Fair enough.

Carla: I did like the way that all these tendrils wrapped up together because I thought it was like a perfectly masochistic final penance for Michael, like for her to go through that in order to kind of like it’s like this rebirth process…

Ben: Yeah. Literally die and be reborn.

Carla: Literally with her mother. Yeah. And with her mother. Reborn by her mother.

Ben: Oh shit! Yeah, that’s true.

Carla: You know, which has been the source had her mother’s death has been the source of all of her pain, you know. And you know, she seems like the kind of person that needs to suffer for anything that’s good that is gained. So, I thought that that was a really smart way of wrapping up her personality and all the things that have happened to her.

Ben: Yeah, I hope she. I mean, this is obviously massive for her. And I hope, hope has some big – I’d like to see some changes for her as a result. But also like, can we just talk about mum’s like life laser?

Carla: (laughs) I know what is that?

Ben: She just shows (buzzing noise) “wake up”. Like I wish I had one of those. That’s like a maybe it’s 500 years in the future defibulator.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben:  I can’t say that word. That’s like the one with the defibulator or defibrillator?

Carla: Defibrillator.

Ben: Defibrillator. There we go. Yeah, I find it hard. I never get it right the first.

Carla: That’s okay.

Ben: Wait, hang on. Your plan is to let her die like the Angel supposed to arrive and prevent her from dying? But she doesn’t prevent it from dying. She just brings it back to life. I did at the same time, Michael’s got to have horrendous injuries. Like the toxic atmosphere is like burning her face. What’s it doing to the inside of her lungs?

Carla: I know I was expecting like a whole “Total Recall” situation when it was happening.

Ben: Yeah, it was, it was gross. But then when she sort of wakes up and she’s brought back, she’s just kind of like “Mum?!”. And then, yeah, she seems okay. So, I mean, I guess she’ll be yeah. She’ll be brought back to life. I did see somebody on the Internet said “hey, this is my recut of the end of the episode” and they just they just do the bit where she dies and then they just cut to the credits. I’m like whoa! that would be intense. I’m so glad they  didn’t do that.

Carla: But not off brand. (laugh)

Ben: (laughs) Yeah, fair. Any other bits of the episode you want to?

Carla: I think we should go to Short Chats.

Carla: All right. Let’s do it.

Ben: Now it’s time for re:Discovery Short Chats, where we talk news trivia and anything related to Discovery and also any questions you have for us, follow our socials and get in touch. Captain, we’ve got a few things. We’ve got a question on Twitter.

Carla: Yeah, hit me.

Ben: Let me find it. So, Darren Lutchner.

Carla: Hi Darren.

Carla: I hope I’m pronouncing you’re name there right. Darren sent in the question, “would you like to see any other characters from the Original Series join Discovery?” and Darren suggests he’d like to see Scotty meet Stamets and think that they would verbally hit it off. I don’t know how I feel about that Scotty would be really young, like he’s not the engineer of the Enterprise, he’d be like an Ensign or something in his career, I think.

Carla: Well it could be one of the ships that they come up on.

Ben: Oh, yeah.

Carla: You know, yeah, that’s really plausible.

Ben: That is that would be fun.

Carla: I would like Sulu.

Ben: Oh, yes. Young Sulu. Yeah. Cool.

Carla: And he could actually be out rather than being inferred.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I mean it’s very well caused the problem it’s kind of. Yeah. There’s a lot of things inferred about Sulu. Because it’s, I mean it’s like…

Carla: It’s a J.K. Rowling type situation.

Ben: It is. Yeah. In the in the prime-time line in the Kelvin timeline he’s explicitly.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Got a partner and a kid.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Which is nice but yeah that would be cool. I don’t know. I mean I think I might’ve mentioned it before, but I kind of feel with time travel introduced here and the fact that they’re making like the future Picard show that it would be crazy not to do some kind of crossover like at least once.

Ben: Like just something little like even if it’s just Picard watching holograms of the Discovery crew doing something that becomes that’s a plotline in his show like it wouldn’t even have to be time travel necessarily, but I thought that could be cool. But specifically, Original Series characters, I don’t know. I mean,  Spock was my favorite. So, I kind of feel like anything more for me would be greedy, although I would like to see more of Number One. I hope Number One comes back.

Carla: I would like maybe Janice Rand, Yeoman Janice Rand.

Ben: Oh, she’s cool. Yeah.

Carla: Her crazy woven beehive.

Ben: She’d have to be a cadet in Starfleet if she’s even in Starfleet. At this point in time, because she’s like at the start of her career, I think on Star Trek. So, this is, and this is like what did we decide? Like about nine years before that.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: So, yeah. So, she’d probably be in the academy, I guess. I mean how long do you go to Starfleet Academy for?

Carla: I don’t know. Probably a very long time.

Ben: Yeah, maybe. Or we could meet her as a teenage girl. Maybe they inspire her to go into space. That could be a fun little thing…

Carla: Oh, when I went to Starfleet Academy, it was only one day.

Ben: Oh, right.

Carla: But that’s because I was so good at it.

Ben: (laughs) Of course.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: And you got chosen for the command training program.

Carla: And got chosen for the command training program.

Ben: Accelerated entry. Yeah. Yeah, I understand.

Carla: What else do you have Ben?

Ben: Ah now I do. Well, one thing I didn’t talk about this episode. You told me to watch out for butts in Star Trek. And I’ve got to say, Spock’s butt in that space suit.

Carla: Set the Internet on fire.

Ben: Holy moly. It was good.

Carla: Yeah, it was.

Ben: Yeah, I know. I didn’t even see the people on the internet talking about it.

Carla: Are you kidding?

Ben: I was just watching the episode going “that is… That’s a good butt”. Nice one!

Carla: I saw the butt, but then of course you hit the hashtag and it was just all everyone.

Ben: #spocksbutt is that the hashtag? “the search for butt” (both laugh). Star Trek 3… I don’t know. I thought that was cool. I enjoyed that. I enjoyed that a lot.

Carla: People were discussing his workout routine, how it could possibly get to that kind of bubble butt on such a skinny guy, there’s lots of theories bandied around about…

Ben: He’s got padding in the butt of the space suit.

Carla: Squats… What kind of squats…

Ben: That’s too much.

Carla: There was a lot of chat.

Ben: Just enjoy it. Just enjoy it. Yeah, that’s what I say. I did. I enjoyed it. Now, I didn’t predict this on-air last episode, but on Twitter, I did wonder whether we would see…

Carla: Lieutenant Nilsson?

Ben: Lieutenant Nilsson more. Because as we’ve previously mentioned, the actor playing Lieutenant Nilsson is Sarah Mitich, who was the original Airiam who was replaced by Sarah Cheeseman. Is it Sarah?

Carla: No Hannah?

Ben: Hannah Cheeseman. Yeah, for this season, who did a great job, but Sarah Mitich has appeared in the background of a few scenes without really. I mean she had like one background bit of dialogue which is probably not scripted. And then yeah, when the doors open and she comes onto the bridge and it’s Airiam. replacement and everyone’s a bit awkward about it. Yeah, it’s her.

Carla: I was like Airiam 1.

Ben: So, she’s, she’s back on the bridge and I I’m really glad to see her back, you know. Yes. It was nice. It feels like a nice bit of continuity. But also, clearly there’s something…

Carla: It’s probably contractual or something like that.

Ben: Yeah. It’s probably like “we contracted you for like three seasons, but we’ve decided now we want to kill off this character in the second season. So, we’re going to recast that character and give you a new one. Is that alright?” And she’s like “yeah”. It’s like “you can also show your actual face”. “Oh, that’s great”. So, but it is nice to see her still there on the show because, you know, she did a great job as Airiam in the first season. She got like about three lines of dialogue.

Ben: But because of her being there, we felt that emotional attachment to Airiam. much more easily this season, even though it wasn’t her playing the role. So, it’s nice to see her back. So, I really enjoyed that.

Carla: I want more Rhys cause Rhys is the biggest babe on Discovery.

Ben: He’s pretty. He’s great, he’s great. And Bryce though as well.

Carla: Bryce?

Ben: Is it Bryce? Who’s the other guy? The other guy on the bridge.

Carla: The black guy?

Ben: Yeah isn’t his name Bryce?

Carla: I don’t know. I’m only all eyes for Rhys.

Ben: I think it is.

Carla: Who is this guy?

Ben: It’s Bryce or something like that.

Carla: Yeah, no he’s nice there.

Ben: But they’re all good. They’re all good. Yeah, but I would like you know, we had that Owo episode, Detmer’s had a few good moments. Obviously, we now had the big Airiam episode. There’s still four episodes left. There could be a Rhys and Bryce episode. Maybe they team up.

Carla: Who knows?

Ben: Maybe, maybe. Yeah, it’ll be fun, and we might see some more of Nilsson as well. I think that’ll be great.

Carla: Yeah, that’ll be good.

Ben: I also like this episode was directed by Hanelle M. Culpepper.

Carla: Yes, is that like a French-Canadian name?

Ben: No, it’s a very, it feels like a very southern American southern United States named to me. It’s like I like when I first hear if I hear the name Culpeper assume like someone’s got a big white beard in there. They’ve got a pipe and they’re like (southern American accent) “oh, yeah, I’ve, uh, directed some Star Trek”. But that is not what is happening because she is an African-American woman. And I got excited to see her name in the credits because I like I see her work because I hadn’t been paying that much attention. If I’m really honest to the director credits until or whenever the first Frakes directed episode was “I’m like, oh, I should be paying attention to this”. She did a great, great job on this episode. And she’s also directing the first two episodes of the new Picard’s show.

Carla: How exciting.

Ben: So first African-American woman to direct the debut of a Star Trek show.

Carla: Hey, hey!

Ben: And yeah, I think that’s really great. And she did such a good job with this. I just feel even better now about the Picard’s show. I think it’s going to be great.

Carla: Next week, we’re going to, I’ll do Short Chats on the costume designer. She’s. African-American woman, her costumes are crazy.

Ben: Oh, they’re off tap. I want I want all of Spock’s clothes. I want to dress like Spock or Hugh, Hugh’s got some great clothes as well.

Carla: I’ll get you the squats formula. (both laugh) The squats formula.

Ben: I’ve got to get on the regime. If I’m going to fill them out the way he does, was there anything else you wanted to talk about?

Carla: No, that’s it from me.

Ben: I’ll see you next time.

Ben: You’ve been listening to re:Discovery. You’ll find links to all the creatives involved on our web site We’d love to connect with you. Find us on Twitter and Facebook @rediscoverypod.

Ben: Oh, before you go, I almost forgot. I’m doing a comedy show. You can catch me in “You Chose Poorly” as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from the 1st to the 7th of April at Campari House in Hardware Lane in Melbourne. You can find details via my website But this, as always, is a Splendid Chaps Production.

Splendid Chaps: Find more entertainment for your ears at splendid chaps

Episode Transcript: Project Daedalus (S02E09)

This is a transcript of our ninth season two recap, available here.

Admiral Cornwall [From episode]: You sat out the war because if we’d lost to the Klingons, we wanted the best of Starfleet to survive. And as this conversation makes clear, that was you and all you represent.

Carla: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery, the Star Trek recap podcast that won’t make a funny quip this episode because it’s all just so dang sad. I’m your host, Carla Donnelly, and I’m joined by my science officer, Ben McKenzie. Ben, I’m a little bit suss on your implant now.

Ben: No three cheers for cybernetics. Yay, yay, yaaay. Oh.

Carla: Project Daedalus kicks off with Admiral Cornwall boarding Discovery. She has travelled there secretly as something big is going on. Control, the computer that Starfleet Admiralty use for threat assessment has blocked her account and Section 31 had stopped taking her calls. She fears that Admiral Petard, who is a logic extremist, has turned Section 31 Admiralty against the Federation. But first, she must examine Spock and determine whether he is lying about all that has occurred. Administering a lie detector test, Spock comes up clean. He didn’t kill anyone. Nor did he leave the facility without permission. As a voluntary patient, he was free to go whenever he pleased. This is in direct opposition to the footage Cornwall shows Pike and Saru – that of Spock shooting and killing three medical officers. Pike offers assistance and Cornwell sets the mission, head to Section 31 to reset Control to accept her data, as if it’s only in the hands of extremists, the entire Federation is in danger.

Carla: Cut to Airiam scrolling through her memories, a process she must do each week to free up space in her hardware. We see that Airiam was just married before having her accident and confesses to Tilly that her partner died. RED ALERT! You generally know what it means when you get to know the emotional backstory of a minor character. Spock and Michael fight like children bitterly spatting, its mean and raw and strange. Michael is devastated by Spock’s clear and merciless assessment of her character, but not before it also affects him to the point that he yells and destroys the chess set they were playing. Spock is embracing his feelings, perhaps instinctively, knowing that it’s a journey through rather than the prison that Michael thinks hers are. This enrages Michael, both shaming and maintaining her blockage. Airiam is having many moments of cognitive breaks. She is understanding that something is happening to her but doesn’t know what. Fearful of the changes she asks Tilly to stay by her side as she tries to decode the messages that Tyler supposedly sent to Section 31. Their relationship is tender and warm whilst Nhan watches her like a hawk. She knows something’s up.

Ben: Engaging the spore drive Discovery arrives on the outskirts of a decommissioned prison star base. The secret headquarters of Section 31. It’s surrounded by mines, prompting a discussion between Pike and Cornwall about Federation ethics, in which she reveals the Enterprise was kept out of the Klingon war so that if they lost the best of the Federation, as exemplified by Pike and his crew, would be what survived. They take Discovery in closer, using Cornwell’s data on a safe path. But the ship is attacked by a variety of mines that slice into its hull and scramble navigation. Burnham realizes Control is predicting their behaviour and following Spock’s chess example suggests they use randomness. So, Pike has the bridge crew take turns to suggest evasive manoeuvre patterns. It works and the ship reaches the minefield, but not before Airiam again taken over, insists Tilly leave her and finishes uploading something. Discovery is hailed by Admiral Petar, who says the mine attack was ordered by Starfleet and labels Pike, his crew and Cornwall all traitor’s. Burnham, Nhan, and Airiam beam over to the base in shiny EV suits. Control has shut off power and life support to most of the station and find dead bodies, one of which turns out to be Admiral Petar! She and the rest of Section 31’s leadership have been dead for two weeks; and Saru, who already had suspicions, confirms that their recent communications were fakes holograms, as was the video evidence against Spock. They realize they’re not fighting Section 31 but Control itself and that it must want something from them to allow the away team to board. Tilly finds that Airiam downloaded all her personal memories before she left and uploaded something else. She must have what Control wants. Pike tries to warn Burnham and Nhan, but Airiam has already flipped into evil mode and started uploading her payload to Control – the sphere life forms vast collection of data on artificial intelligence, which Control will use to evolve itself to full sentience. She fights with the others, ripping Nhan’s respirator implant out and almost killing Michael before she turns things around and traps Airiam in an airlock. Tilly manages to reach Airiam by transmitting some of her memories across and briefly herself again Airiam begs Michael to flush her out of the airlock before she can unlock the door and kill her and complete the download. Michael resists following Pike’s order to do it, but has a final conversation with Airiam, who tells her everything is about her, Michael, and that she must find Project Daedalus. Before she can say more or escape and kill Michael, Airiam is ejected into space by a surprise Nhan. The crew watch in grief-stricken silence as Airiam floats into the void, her last moments spent watching her favourite memory sent to her by Tilly of herself and her husband on the beach. Carla, I felt like Michael and the whole crew at the end of this episode, when you see their faces. How did you feel about the death of Airiam?

Carla: A lot.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Yeah. Look, I found it really interesting like I’m also like a bit like “oh, really? Come on”. You know, but I feel like everybody it’s someone has someone key has to die.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Right. But the thing that struck me most, and it’s a mechanical thing, is like how effective they were able to make you fall in love with her, like so quickly. In such a short period of time, like, I found that really magical. And I don’t know if that’s Frake’s or the scripting or it was just so lovely. And all you needed was those little snippets of memories to really have that intimacy with the crew and, yeah, and so it was devastating. I can’t believe that this has happened.

Ben: Yeah. I think they were really cleverly had sort of inserted little more and more little bits of her throughout this season. And because she’d been with us from the very start and she’s got such a distinctive visual look that we have always been aware of her. And Discovery seems to have a fairly small crew as well. So, you’re always seeing the same background characters and you feel like you know them even when you’ve only seen them like a brief time. But I think they really capitalized on that so well, as you say, and this episode really brings her to the fore, gives us just enough information to really go “ah, yeah”, just before she snatched away from us. And it’s yeah, it’s kind of awful. I mean it’s beautiful and an awful but, yeah, yeah.

Carla: I have so many questions.

Ben: Okay. Let’s let’s hit them.

Carla: So, it actually like, I was very confused by the end of my first watching of this. So even at the end of the second I was like, okay, I think I kind of know what’s going on. So, are we assuming that Control evolves to become the octopus in the future? Is that the inference?

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: So then how does it desire now to become sentient? Like, how is that how does an A.I. desire that?

Ben: I think there’s a couple of things that could happen. First of all, could be a big paradox, because one of the first things Airiam does after she is taken over by the influence is, she makes those secret transmissions. And we know it was sent to Control at Section 31. And that’s around the time Control kills the leaders of Section 31. So, it’s been given this information from the future saying, “you need this”.

Carla: Oh, yeah. Okay, good.

Ben: That’s a bootstrap paradox. It’s like where does that start?

Carla: Of course. Yeah, but I missed that. So that’s a good explanation.

Ben: Yeah. So that could be it. I mean it also could be that it already wanted this stuff and was looking for how to get it. And Section 31, remember, has pretty much access to everything that Starfleet has. So, it might already know that it wants this data and set programs in motion means the way it gets it is by doing this time travel thing.

Carla: Yeah. And it’s obvious like now like AI is racist now you know, like, yeah, that AI is evil, you know, because it’s only learning what it’s being taught.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And so, you know, they say that, you know, after making the Spock video, it now learned that it could replicate, make hologram humans to utilize that for whatever it’s will was. So where is Georgiou? Where is Leland?

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. Well I mean I think it’s Georgiou obviously is not going to be on board with this because she has already in a previous episode expressed her disdain at how much faith they put in a computer telling them what to do. So, I think when she finds out, she’ll be like “kill it”.

Carla: Yeah but is she dead?

Ben: No, surely not.

Carla: Where is she?

Ben: Well, I mean, this episode has a few notable absences. I mean, Hugh’s not there. This has got a lot of implications for Tyler’s storyline. We don’t see him at all this episode either.

Carla: Well, because he is locked up.

Ben: Yeah. Oh, well, yeah, that is true. And Michael is expressly forbidden from going to see him at the start of the episode. So, it does kind of make sense there. But also, by the end of the episode, I mean, hopefully the first thing they do next episode, if it’s not having a proper funeral for Airiam, then it’s some, you know, letting Tyler out and saying, we’re sorry we doubted you, but it was very convincing evidence.

Carla: Sorry again. Sorry.

Ben: Sorry, buddy. At least it wasn’t you this time. You were framed. No. Yeah, pretty rough. It’s not clear what’s going to happen with Control either. Like we haven’t met Control. I mean, is there a backup Control? They had to go there to fiddle with Control. Does that mean this is the only place Control exists? They blow the station, that’s it? No more Control or. Or what?

Carla: Yeah. And if its only admirals feeding data into Control, then maybe that’s why all the Admirals are dead.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: So, Georg… Yeah, I have lots of other questions. Who gets to decide whether they become a cybernetic human or not? Like obviously Airiam has been severely injured in an accident? Yeah, hopefully they just didn’t make her into that without getting her permission.

Ben: Well, I think I mean, it seems like cybernetic augmentation is pretty common. Like we’ve seen a lot of crew. We’ve commented before, you’ve seen a lot of crew members on Discovery have some sort of augmentation, including the guy looks a bit like Geordi in the transporter. So maybe they maybe it’s something that people ask you about, kind of like organ transplants.

Carla: That’s exactly what I thought. Like, you just kind of tick a box.

Ben: They have a box is like, if I’m injured, I don’t want to be cybernetically saves cause I…

Carla: That’s a significant augmentation.

Ben: It’s massive. Yeah.

Carla: Yeah. It’s not like having a visor because you’re born blind.

Ben: I mean they’ve clearly replaced parts of her brain and her entire face and head. But she also clearly has a human brain in there as well. Yeah. So that’s rough. Like that a lot. And she’s got I think she’s got robot hands as, well doesn’t she? So, it must have been pretty extensive, her injuries.

Carla: That’s what I mean.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: It, it’s all unclear because we haven’t seen this before either. This type of…

Ben: We we sort of have. But we’ll come to that in Short Chats.

Carla: Oh yes, of course.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Lots of other things for me. Was Admiral Petar frozen midden nerve pinch?

Ben: Oh yeah. I didn’t notice that. But I think you’re right. Yeah.

Carla: Where does Nhan’s Barzan gases come from?

Ben: Well, that’s a good question, because those implant things are very small. Yeah, I think it’s not that the atmosphere is radically different. That’s why they can just wear this little thing. It’s just one extra gas that they need. So maybe she isn’t, she doesn’t need much of it. I don’t know. Or maybe it can convert other gases in the atmosphere.

Carla: That would be a better, that would be a more smart…

Ben: Yeah. Could be like a yeah like a “rebreather”, that kind of deal.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: That scrubs the carbon dioxide out of the air.

Carla: And the one thing that I do hope from all of this is that she is now going to get more of a of a presence, of a storyline.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Because she’s awesome. I think she’s becoming my favourite character on Discovery.

Ben: She is pretty cool, and it was nice to see her get a real chance to shine because she sort of only been in a handful of episodes since she was introduced. And we all thought I think she was going to be a bit more of a bigger character and now maybe she gets a chance.

Carla: Yeah. Fantastic resting bitch face.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Which is my favourite of all time.

Ben: And just like very appropriately suspicious as well.

Carla: Yeah. Yeah.

Ben: Like Airiam was acting weird.

Carla: A good security chief.

Ben: Yeah. She was onto it before anyone else, although she didn’t tell anyone which I thought was an odd move. But maybe she thought maybe she was just second guessing herself like “I want to know that something’s up before I…” But then and then she does take her eyes off Airiam, like there was that great moment where, you know, she’s got to go and do something apart from Michael and Airiam and you can tell she’s like “oh, no, the whole reason I’m here is to keep an eye on Airiam because I’m suss”. But she’s like…

Carla: “I’ve got to do it”.

Ben: “I got to do it. You’ll be all right. Okay”. And she doesn’t question Pike’s orders or all on the needs of the mission or Michael’s capability. Exactly. So, I like that.

Carla: My biggest thing that I came to an understanding of this episode was that like 99 percent of the action fight scenes in this entire show has been with women.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah that’s true.

Carla: And I actually thought it was 100 percent. But then I remembered the Tyler…

Ben: Tyler, Culber…

Carla: Tyler Culber fight followed and that’s the only non-female fighting I can think of on the show.

Ben: Yeah. Cause I mean all was Spock in the medical guards.

Carla: That’s true.

Ben: But that’s more a flashback and a little bit Spock and Michael when they’re in the cockpit. But they weren’t major ones. They like backstory stuff.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Really. Yeah.

Carla: The fight scenes are incredible.

Ben: They’re really well choreographed.

Carla: So good.

Ben: Yeah. And I just like this one. You know, I the thing I love most about a good fight scene is when it really allows the actors to express the emotion through their style of fighting. And that’s why I’m never that concerned about too much technical accuracy. I just I just loved how, you know, Michael’s trying not to hurt her. And then you just see the point where she’s like, “you’re trying to kill me”. And she just let’s go and is like, “I’m just going to smash you because I’ve got to stop you. You’re going to kill me”.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: And I love that moment. It was just. Yeah. It just it really conveys what’s going on with the character without any dialogue. I love it.

Carla: There’s such a complexity to the expression of violence and trauma in this show, like how people cope in those kinds of situations or don’t cope. And the bridge that they have to build in cognitive dissonance to actually really begin to understand what is happening to them. And usually it’s usually it’s too late. That’s the reason why so many people, women in particular, end up dead is because they just, it’s you know, it’s like their dog has started talking. You know what I mean? It’s like it’s a world that they can’t have ever imagined existing. So, it’s so fascinating to see that play out, be acted so finely. And such a responsible, I think, representation of how PTSD can work as well. Like, I’ve been so impressed with the work that they’ve really done in all of these characters. And obviously the actors are incredible.

Ben: Yeah. And you know what? That actually brings me to one thing I really wanted to talk about, which is the chess scene with Michael. Because I …

Carla: Hoo boy…

Ben: I mean, it was full on and I really enjoyed it. But I also find it really interesting the way that this episode really wants to paint Spock as the villain in that relationship and then kind it and then sort of tries to turn it around because it very much presents Michael as the calm one who’s like, “no, come on, we can sort this out”. And Spock is the one who’s very spikey, and I was watching that at that scene and all the way through, I’m going “he’s very emotional”, like he’s not voicing it too much. But the things he’s saying he’s clearly pissed off. And then, you know, he has this explosion at the end, and he gets one in at her is like absolutely right about her kind of saviour complex. I don’t know if that’s what it’s appropriate to call it, but that’s kind of how I was like. Yeah. Well it’s always yeah. It’s always about her but it’s not good. Like she hates it. And he’s revelations like “the logic extremists much more worried about me as like a half human half/half Vulcan”. And you’re like “whoa that’s like that’s quite a true burden to bear”. And he’s like “and you took it all on yourself”. I guess I found that a bit weird. I mean, we talked about last episode. It seemed like what she said to him wasn’t maybe as awful as we were expecting, given how it was built up. But at the same time, we’re expected to believe that it had that effect on him.

Carla: Sure.

Ben: And now that it’s been turned around, it just felt weird to me that he was being painted as the main an evil, awful one.

Carla: Yeah. I didn’t see you like that at all, actually.

Ben: Yeah? Okay.

Carla: I saw. I saw his beef with her – once he articulated it, and probably the way he articulated is not rational. But the gist of where he was going, I thought was totally fine. Yeah, I was like, I understand that. I understand why you’re angry. You know, she’s always tried to take control and never it’s never been a conversation. And now again, she’s trying to take control. And he’s like “the only thing I can do with this situation is passively go along with everything that you demand of me, and you don’t want to hear anything that I have to say”.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Right. So, you know, chess. Ha, ha. You know what I mean? So, I thought it was. I thought I was actually very smart the way that it was depicted.

Ben: That makes a lot of sense when you put it like that. Yeah. Yeah, I can see. Yeah. That that kind of resolves some of the things I was wondering about that scene.

Carla: Cause she’s extremely pigheaded.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: You know and that that goes beyond all realms of logic. You know what I mean. And that’s her running. That’s her on the run. And that’s what I said in my introduction. That’s why she was so gutted with what he said because it’s so true. It’s like she is constantly running towards the future to try to get away from her past and that if she keeps running fast enough, she’ll always be one step ahead of it when really, like, you know, she’s completely glued to that moment in time. And unless she evolves through it, which is what it seems like Spock is trying to do. He’s acknowledging that he has these human feelings and he’s comfortable in the discomfort.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And that’s a very evolved way of being, you know, and that’s threatening to someone like Michael.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Because you can’t control someone like that.

Ben: Yeah. Although she tries. I mean, I think…

Carla: She sure does.

Ben: Is very calculated and really mean of her to keep bringing up Sarek, for example, when she knows that there’s this massive rift between them, they haven’t spoken for years and won’t speak as we know for at least another decade. It’s like, yeah, that’s rough, you know. And also, I’m really enjoying that we’re finally getting back to Michael’s storyline because like I said that in the last episode, it’s felt very much like she’s been, you know, a protagonist, but she’s it’s not been about her like it was so much last season.

Ben: And now she’s coming back to the fore, not just because of what Airiam says to her at the end, but also now we’re finding out more about her backstory and we’re seeing more about that moment when, you know, the Klingon’s kill her family. And we know that Leland somehow is responsible for that, although we don’t know why or what the deal is with that yet. I mean, I’m really interested to know, was it really Klingon or was it like fake Klingon who actually Section 31 agents or something?

Carla: I mean, that is dark. Whatever is going to happen, there is fuckin dark.

Ben: It’s going be awful.

Carla: It’s going to be full circle like it’s going to be full circle for everything that’s happened and it’s going to drop the bottom out of everything.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And she’ll go deranged or something.

Ben: Yeah. Oh yeah. No, it’s going to happen. You know I also want to talk about there’s a really nice scene with Spock and Stamets and it was short, but I just I really liked how they both sort of gave each other that bit of insight and they both went, “well, maybe I’ve been a bit of a dick” like, and I was like, yeah.

Carla: From one to the other. (laughs)

Ben: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Carla: I was just laughing because I was like, “oh, Stamets you are getting a dose of your own medicine” you know, like you’re really…

Ben: Someone just piercing you with like “Hey, this is what’s going on, buddy”.

Carla: Yeah “I’m the more anal prickish person in this room”. (laughs)

Ben: (laughs) Yeah. Yeah, I know. I really, I enjoyed that. I also really liked Saru getting another moment to shine this episode.

Carla: So textured. I mean ha-ha not a joke but so textured in performance.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: I couldn’t. Yeah, I don’t. Yeah. I just find it miraculous what some of these actors do, you know what I mean? Like he’s just covered in latex. And he can just be so. But he was just like I’m loving it, I’m loving who he is becoming, or who he has become. He’s become so calm.

Ben: And he’s onto it you know.

Carla: Onto it.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: But not like. “Holy shit”. Frantic before. Just like. Hang on. Dot, dot, dot. Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. I mean it’s. It is. I mean it’s one of those classic things of modern television that we really enjoy watching characters who are really competent and what they’re doing. And Saru now is becoming an extreme example of that where every time he goes, I’m just going to work something out. You like, oh, he’s going to crack this case. It’s going to be awesome. And he does. And I just. Yeah, I really love that.

Carla: Do you think he’s going to shoot his spines to kill Georgiou?

Ben: No,

Carla: You sure?

Carla: Oh, I’d love that.

Ben: It would be amazing. But I mean, yeah…

Carla: Put that on my Wishlist.

Ben: I can’t I can’t quite disengage my brain from the knowledge of that she’s got a spin off.

Carla: She’s got another show.

Ben: She can’t die. I mean, unless there’s some massive time jump, and it all occurs in the gap or something. I don’t know. Yeah, I’m interested. That’ll be weird to find out.

Carla: What else about this episode? Any other scenes of note for you?

Ben: How Airiam’s memories and how her brain works, I thought was really interesting and a nice, quick way to kind of establish that she was human and now is part computer basically. But how, like the fact that she’s deleting memories I’m like “oh, okay”, does that mean they’re gone forever? Or is it more I mean, she’s backing up to the cloud and just deleting them off their local memory because she doesn’t need them right now. I mean, that’s how I prefer to think about it, because I think it’s pretty rough otherwise.

Carla: But we don’t remember everything that happens to us on a daily basis.

Ben: No. And I mean and you would know this better than me, although I’ve been reading about it recently, is that memories are kind of constructed when you try to recall things rather than written into your brain like a computer.

Carla: Exactly.

Ben: But the I still feel like it’s kind of rough. Like it’s all. Yeah. It’s not written in there like a book, but it’s kind of, you expect that. Well you think of your past as a continuum where if your memory is good enough, you will remember anything. It’s not like if there’s a gap that’s unusual, where she has to choose to have gaps every week and that just seems seems a rough way to live. And I like the way that she talks about it with Tilly as well. She’s not sugar-coating it.

Carla: Yeah, but they were joking around.

Ben: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Carla: Also hang on. I just want to get in a hashtag first trap moment and here.

Ben: Yeah go on.

Carla: The fight scene that she has with Rhys, I’m like Rhys!

Ben: Oh yeah. Yeah.

Carla: That’s such a good way of showcasing all the other bridge people. And like all there, they must have a close relationship with each other because they’re all at the same level in the hierarchy much you know.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And in that high-, in that structure as well. I don’t know if it’s in this version of, this era but yeah. Like superior officers aren’t really allowed to and fraternize with more junior officers as well.

Ben: That seems to be less of a thing in the Federation than in Starfleet. I mean it does get referenced a few times I think in the Original Series, and certainly it’s a thing that comes up a few times in Next Gen.

Carla: Well, no, they’re definitely not allowed to have relationships, but it’s also like…

Ben: But they’ve got a real friend friendly relationship going on. They’re just all buddies. And I guess if you’re stuck on a starship, it’s not like you can go home. You can’t get out of the port an…

Carla: But there still is like thousands of people I guess as well. So…

Ben: Yeah, well, I don’t know. I was actually just thinking about this because I think the Discovery’s got a fairly small crew, only about 130/140 people.

Carla: Oh well then that’s a really small pool of potential friends and enemies.

Ben: Weirdly, that’s not that many more than the Enterprise NX-01, they’ve only got like 80 people on board.

Carla: Yeah, that’s true.

Ben: Yeah. So, it’s a pretty small crew so they would all know each other. And I think that goes back to what we’re saying at the start about how we’ve seen all these people all the time because there’s only so many people on board the ship and now there’s one fewer.

Carla: Yeah. Because you know how many people we generally know like, actually know?

Ben: What is it like? About 100 is that.

Carla: Yeah. It’s about 100-120.

Ben: Yeah. Wow.

Carla: These are all people that we can you know, say their full name and recall a memory of.

Ben: And understand their relationship to us and the other people that we know.

Carla: Yeah exactly.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: What else? You always have more things to talk about Ben.

Ben: I want to say when Cornwell first shows up, Admiral Cornwall. I thought she was going to turn out to be evil because she turns up in this weirdly disguised shuttle. She’s acting real suss. She’s really like “Spock’s not innocent”. She believes the video footage, even though she’s just done a lie detector test on him. And I’m like, “surely the video footage could be doctored?” And her excuse for why it wasn’t was pretty flimsy. It was like, “no, it definitely came from the star base”, which seems to me to mean that Section 31, it wasn’t just Control that faked this it was Section 31 did it. And they did it by projecting holograms into the room so that it was actually recorded in the room where it happens.

Carla: Or either just fictionalized the entire thing, like.

Ben: Yeah, but I think I think this is why they use – I thought this is a clever use of holograms. But just by the by. Because, you know, if you give someone a fake image, you can detect that fairly easily. But what they’ve done is they’ve projected a hologram into the real space and recorded it using the actual recording equipment. So, it all seems legit, except when, you know, Saru does his thing and goes…

Carla: Does that mean the hologram killed the people?

Ben: No, I think Section 31 did. But they’ve and they’ve then recorded a hologram of it happening in the room and sent that as the legit.

Carla: That’s complicated.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah, but that’s how I read it anyway. But who knows? I mean. Yeah. But yeah, I really thought maybe she was going to turn out to be a villain this episode and I was like I hope not, I kind of always liked her. Although her last appearance where she’s basically telling Pike that Section 31 is all right me should stop complaining about them. I was like, “oh I’m starting to like you”.

Carla: No, I was like “toe the party line”. You know, you can’t ever really tell what their true intentions are, particularly in a public environment around other offices. So I wasn’t. I don’t take a lot of things that they say with a grain of salt. Like even with the speeches she gives Pike, I’m like  “you’re buttering him up” you know, like it has it has a ring of truth to it. But I’m like, you’re a fuckin player lady, like in all senses of the word. And that’s why I love her.

Ben: Yeah, maybe we can’t quite trust what she says here.

Carla: I don’t think you ever can. Because when you’re at that level, you’re playing a political game that a lot of people aren’t privy to. And, you know, you got to eat a shit sandwich every day, you know, to kind of get everything over the line. And so, it’s a fine balancing of your own morals and ethics. And you know what it is that you can do. But, you know, she put herself on the line to come and do this, and she. She was right.

Ben: Yeah. So, do you think do you think it’s true what she said about Pike and why they sidelong the Enterprise?

Carla: Well of course, I would believe that is true.

Ben: Yeah, I believe it’s true. I want to believe it’s true. Do you think maybe she’s lying about it for some other reason?

Carla: Well, no, it did. That is that is a standard military tactic.

Ben: Yeah. Okay.

Carla: You know, is to take best pieces off the board. Yeah. But also, like pack it with your best scientists and your best you know, your best peeps.

Ben: Oh yeah.

Carla: Yeah. You know your best civilians, or the brains trust like when it’s really when the shit’s really going down and it’s like total annihilation kind of stuff. Yeah. Yeah. You put all of your historically important people that are still alive somewhere safe.

Ben: Yeah. And they’re like this is one of our best starships with our best crew off doing the important five-year mission stuff. Yeah. Let’s make sure they are still out there doing stuff.

Carla: And that’s also strategic as well, because if something does survive or partial survive or whatever, they can either come back and save or, you know, repopulate with all their mega brains. You know what I mean? Like eugenics as well. You know what I mean?

Ben: But they’re very down on eugenics and stuff.

Carla: I know.

Ben: They’ve already had bad experiences. I mean, although they don’t know that. They don’t know that Khan is still alive at this point. But they know what he did before he left Earth. Yeah. There’s two quick things I want to mention. We saw the return of the shiny suits.

Carla: Yes. Very cool.

Ben: Although I have a question.

Carla: Oh, no.

Ben: Because Airiam’s wearing blue and which makes sense. She’s science officer. Nhan is wearing red. Makes sense. She’s in operation slash security. But Michael’s wearing silver. Whereas previously she was wearing, was she wearing blue before? I can’t remember now.

Carla: I can’t remember.

Ben: Maybe she was wearing silver before. Maybe the Discovery one’s are silver.

Carla: Silver is science officer.

Ben: Well, the badge is silver.

Carla: She’s still a science officer?

Ben: She still is. I think. I’m not sure. Anyway, I just thought that was interesting. And I like that they brought those back because those suits are super cool.

Carla: Yes.

Ben: I like a good, cool spacesuit. And I also really liked the couple of “what the fuck moments” that the crew shares like when Admiral Cornwell tells them that they have to have the shields down and all the crew just had to look at each other for a moment going “are you fucking kidding me? This was already bullshit”.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: And then also when there’s another one later on when they realize what’s going on and just really good faces from everyone. Yeah, I just really enjoyed those two. All right. Shall we Short Chats?

Carla: Let’s do it.

Carla: Now it’s time for re:Discovery Short Chats where we talk, news, trivia and anything related to Discovery or Star Trek. We will also be taking questions during this segment from you the list. So please follow our socials to be in touch. Haven’t heard from you guys in a while. So, yeah, we haven’t reminded them lately.

Ben: That’s true.

Carla: It’s a give and take relationship.

Ben: Maybe. Maybe you’ve just been so struck by the awesomeness of the last few episodes

Carla: The last few episodes have been great.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: So, what do you have for me today, Benjamin?

Ben: Well, I thought it took a little bit about silent credits.

Carla: Oh cool! They’re always so sad.

Ben: Yeah. And they’ve got a long history. They’ve been around for a long time. I couldn’t quite figure out what the first one is, but I know one of the early ones was in Coronation Street back in the 60s. I think when the first character on Coronation Street died.

Carla: You had to say (Geordie accent) “Coronation Street”.

Ben: Coronation Street? No, I think I did say it now. So anyway. But it’s got it. Yeah. And I my familiarity with them comes from Doctor Who in the 80s, they killed off one of the companions, Adric, who was famously unpopular with some of the audience. I think probably a smaller proportion of the audience than was expected. Like they were just very vocal, they didn’t like him. And he gets killed off. And at the end of the episode where he dies, they don’t show the normal like space credits with the theme song. It’s silent. And the only thing you see is under the credits is a picture of this badge that Adric where’s that got broken in the episode before he died. And they just show that smashed on the ground. And it’s really sad, huh? And yeah, it’s it was it was really affecting like I was like “oh no” and it’s been used in lots of shows.

Ben: The end of “Blackadder Goes Forth” doesn’t have credit music. It just sort of kind of has, you know, “To the Fallen” and fades to black. And also, it’s been in in Star Trek before. It was used in Star Voyager, oddly enough, not for a main character dying, but in the episode, “The Thaw”, which you might remember, has Michael McKean as a weird clown.

Carla: Oh yes, I hated that episode because I’m terrified of clowns.

Ben: Oh, yeah.

Carla: And I like Michael McKean, you know.

Ben: Yeah. Oh, no, it mashed up your favourite and your worst together. But when he says his last words, it just sorts of fades to black. And then there’s the credits rather than the usual Voyager stuff. And I thought that was weird use of it.

Carla: But I think because he was so creepy, it was so good.

Ben: Oh, yeah, yeah. I love that episode. But the saddest use of it that I found was in Blue Peter, which is this children’s show in the UK. And they always have like pets on the show. It’s usually a dog. Sometimes they had a cat. And if one of the pets died or if somebody who had been on the show a lot as a guest or associated with the show died in real life, they would have silent credits. But I’m like, that’s for real. So, yeah, it’s got a long and interesting history. And I just really liked that they did that this episode when, you know, they might have chosen not to because Airiam’s technically kind of a supporting recurring character. But, you know, they really sold her death and they really made us care about her effectively.

Carla: So, yeah, they milked it for all it’s worth putting in that beach scene right at the end and like, you know. Yeah,.

Ben: Yeah, yeah. I liked it.

Carla: Tonally they got it right

Ben: They did. I’ve got some more things, but what have you got?

Carla: Oh, look I’m really, I love the whole, well I don’t love it, but I really find the whole A.I’s gone bad genre really fascinating.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Because obviously it’s like this existential interrogation of who we are because there are only them because of us. Right. But it’s had such a weird – mostly I tried to do a little bit of stats on it because I’m primarily remember it rightly or wrongly, it’s mostly women. Female A.I’s that go bad.

Ben: Yeah, I’m not sure about.

Carla: I think it’s a good half, half after doing my stats today, that it’s pretty equal along the gender divide. But the stories are very different when it’s a female A.I gone bad and a male A.I gone bad. So surely there’s some kind of screen studies essay out there that I can read on this or a doctorate or something like that. Which, I will go away to find.

Ben: OK.

Carla: But lots of questions made me think about Zora, mostly.

Ben: Zora. Tell me about Zora.

Carla: Zora’s “Calypso”.

Ben: Oh, yeah, of course.

Carla: So, I was thinking about Zora. A lot.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah.

Carla: And I’m like. Is she Airiam?

Ben: Oh, well, because. Yeah, because Discovery does have like all of Airiam’s memories downloaded into it.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: I mean, presumably not her actual personality because she’s still at least partly human, but they could turn into a personality. Oh, wow. I hadn’t thought of that. That’s amazing.

Carla: Yeah. So, think about that.

Ben: She lives on.

Carla: What has been your favourite A.I go, goes bad movie.

Ben: I look I mean, I do. I do enjoy Terminator. And it’s interesting. I was thinking of it because, like Control. You never meet Skynet.

Carla: Yeah.

Carla: You only ever meet its minions. Like no one ever has a conversation with Skynet in any of the films, at least not that I know of. And I haven’t seen the most recent one because it looked rubbish. But yeah, I thought that was interesting. Yeah. But yeah, I really like – that’s probably my favourite one.

Carla: Anything else?

Ben: Yeah. A couple other things. I like that there are a couple of little links in this episode to the Star Trek movies. Probably not for the first time, but I noticed them this episode when they find the floating blood in the zero G, that reminded me a lot of Star Trek 6 when they assassinate Chancellor Gorkon and his blood like floats through the air and the little globules. I thought that was cool and also…

Carla: It’s a pretty good space trope anyway. And like. Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. Anytime they remember about zero gravity, you’re just happy, aren’t you? But the other one was, and I had not noticed this before now and I found it on Reddit. Someone spotted that in Star Trek 3 “The Search for Spock” in a scene in a bar. There’s a character in the background who looks an awful lot like Airiam. Like it’s clearly not her. It looks like it looks like a male character, but he’s got like a full face, kind of, makeup on to make them look like a cyborg or robot. And they don’t have any lines. They’re just in the background. But it seems fairly clear that they’ve modelled Airiam after that character.

Carla: Of course, they would of.

Ben: And that’s set like 20 or 30 years after Discovery. I think closer to 30 or maybe even 35, because it’s like well after the five-year mission of the Enterprise with Kirk on it, it’s over. So that’s like 15 years in the future from where we are now in Discovery. But yeah, that’s. I just thought that was super cool. And we know that they they’ve looked at all of the material and everyone working on the show…

Carla: The style libraries for this would be fucking nuts, like seriously. I would love to get my mitts on that, particularly like set design, weapon design and costume design or even aliens.

Ben: Surely there would be a good book about that.

Carla: I did think of you. There was another fucked up alien on the bridge. This episode was that this episode was at last episode. The guy that looks like a crab.

Ben: Oh yeah. He was on this episode. He’s been in it a few times. Yeah. Yeah, but he was more prominently on standing around on the bridge.

Carla: Do you know, kind of alien that is?

Ben: I don’t think we’ve ever seen them before.

Carla: We’ll do that next Short Chats.

Ben: You know, maybe we have, but only in the background. I seem to think maybe there was something that looked a bit like him in one of the films, like maybe in the background in Star Trek IV or something.

Carla: Sure.

Ben: But anyway. No, I don’t know what kind of alien they are. It is a cool makeup.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. Much, much less like a human with a bumpy forehead.

Carla: Yeah. It’s still two arms, two legs, but you know. Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. The other thing is probably worth talking about is what Daedalus is all about.

Carla: Yeah. I don’t know anything about this. I know it’s got something to do with Icarus.

Ben: Yeah. So, Daedalus was Icarus’s dad. This is in the Greek myths and Daedalus was given the job of building the labyrinth for King of Mynos, who I believe actually was called Mynos, King Mynos. And so that’s where they put the Minotaur in there. And he also. Yeah, his son was Icarus and they got imprisoned so that he could never give up the secret of how the labyrinth works because Daedalus built it. So, he knew the way in and out and they got imprisoned in a tower on the island and Daedalus devised a way for them to escape, which is that he made these wings out of feathers and wax and sends Icarus out and “says, all right, let’s go, we’re going to escape”

Carla: An Icarus is the son.

Ben: Yeah, Icarus is his son. And he gives Icarus two instructions. And a lot of the time we only talk about one of them, which was don’t fly too close to the sun because it’ll melt the wax.

Carla: Yeah or you’ll fall down.

Ben: All feathers will fall out, but also don’t fly too close to the water or your wings will get wet and you’ll be too heavy, and you’ll drown. It’s often used as a kind of a metaphor for don’t get too proud of yourself, don’t try and overreach yourself or you’re going to fail. But also, it’s like but don’t aim too low either. Like aim in the middle. Right. Be reasonable. Don’t be, don’t go too high. Don’t go too low so that’s…

Carla: Be mediocre.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: The Australian motto.

Carla: Yeah, yeah. But Project Daedalus is like, you know, he’s I assume it makes sense because the Red Angel has a suit with wings on it.

Carla: Exactly.

Ben: And so, Project Daedalus must be creating it.

Carla: Yeah. So that was going to be my question.

Ben: Yeah, I think that must be it. Although that is weird that the technology is so far advanced that they assume it must come from the future, Project Daedalus must be like really in its infancy at this stage of the timeline, surely?

Carla: What do you think? Like everyone thinks now, the Red Angel is Michael.

Ben: Why else would it all revolve around her? and why else would Airiam have that knowledge from the future that the evil from the future is targeting her? I mean, why bother?

Carla: You know, like she gives a shit about the Kelpians.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah.

Carla: But then the first mission doesn’t really make sense. Yeah.

Ben: Well, look, I think I think the motivations for the missions that aren’t directly to do with the robots is still really unclear. Even the Kelpian’s really, because it seems to me that the time rift was an accidental thing and possibly even caused by Discovery poking it with a stick essentially to find out what it was. So yeah, I’ll be really interested to see how that resolves because it could go a few ways.

Carla: You’ve been listening to re:Discovery. All links to creatives are in the show notes or on our website We’d love to connect with you, please add us on Twitter and Facebook @rediscoverypod.

Splendid Chaps: re:Discovery is brought to you by Splendid Chaps Productions. Find more entertainment for your ears at

Episode Transcript: If Memory Serves (S02E08)

This is a transcript of our eighth season two recap, available here

Saru [From episode] : The Star Fleet manual offers no regulatory guidelines for interactions between humans with Klingon grafted to their bones and the ship’s doctor returned from the dead.

re:Discovery theme plays.

Ben: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery the Star Trek recap podcast with the record for the most time elapsed between an episode and the events in its “previously on segment”. I’m Ben McKenzie your faithful Science Officer, and as always, I’m joined on the bridge by Captain Carla Donnelly. Greetings Captain.

Carla: Hello Benjamin. How are you?

Ben: I’m very well. How are you feeling about this episode?

Carla: Amazing.

Ben: Me too.

Carla: Yeah, good.

Ben: Shall we talk about it?

Carla: Yes please.

Ben: “If Memory Serves” shatters and rebuilds relationships and trusts; what should be mended is found still broken, as the consequences of past events catch up with the characters and all this happens through the catalyst of a planet and people rooted firmly in the past of our favourite Captain, Pike. We’re reminded of the Enterprise’s visit to Talos IV before joining Georgiou and Leland aboard their Section 31 ship where Georgia is already gaining favour with the Starfleet Admiralty. She orders Pike to stay put, analysing the debris of the destroyed squid probe and he complies but still has Saru calling Vulcan medical facilities to see if they can locate Burnham and Spock. Tyler urges caution. He’s loyal to Burnham and opens up to Pike about their past relationship but has found a home at Section 31. Later Saru confides to Pike that someone has been sending encrypted transmissions increasing the feeling that something isn’t right. Hugh also doesn’t feel right reacting with cold intensity to seeing Tyler and later lashing out at Stamets when he tries hard to make him feel at home. Things ultimately boil over when he confronts Tyler in the mess hall and despite Tyler’s attempts to placate him the two fight. Saru tells the crew to let it happen believing it is a necessary catharsis. Afterwards he tells Stamets the person he loved is dead and they both need to move on. Stamets sadly relents. Burnham shuttle emerges from warp around Talos IV only to find a black hole.

Ben: But Spock wakes enough to stop her from altering course and they fly right through it, finding it an illusion. On the planet’s surface, they meet Vina – a human woman encountered by Pike and Spock on their previous visit. She invites them below the surface where they meet the Talosians who tell her Spock’s mind is unstuck in time. Burnham realizes Spock brought them here because he knew the Talosian’s immense psychic abilities could heal him. But as payment they want to see the memory of how Michael hurt Spock as a child. Vina convinces her to agree, but she wants to see Spock’s mind first. She sees his memories of the Red Angel, how it helped him save her when she ran away from home and more recently called him to an icy world where he melded with her and saw a vision of the future in which countless planets were destroyed by powerful missiles. Afterwards Spock is conscious and reveals Michael was right. He brought them here, but more so needed her to come because only someone who knew his life well could sort his mind back into linear time. He has seen possible futures and knows that the Red Angel is human. He then shows her the memory of what happened at the psychiatric institution. He was about to leave when he was informed Section 31 was coming to take him into custody. So, he knocked out, but did not kill, the staff in order to escape.

Carla: Back on Discovery Pike has a visitor, his complicated love interest from Talos IV, Vina. She reveals to Pike that Michael and Spock are on Talos and need his help. Michael confirms that Spock is innocent, so Pike fires up the spore drive for the rescue mission however it won’t work. Someone has sabotaged the spore hub and been sending secret encrypted messages to unidentified recipients – authorized by Tyler’s command code. Tyler is prime suspect and is confined to quarters, Airiam’s eyes flash three red dots. On Talos IV Michael pays the Talosian’s for their assistance by sharing her full history with Spock. We learn, rather chastely, that in order to protect her family she crushes baby Spock’s half human feelings telling him she “doesn’t want a freak like him as her brother”. Section 31 catch up to Discovery and demand they stop. Pike complies and they drop into orbit outside of Talos IV, in a classic switcheroo the Talosians project a version of Michael and Spock onto Section 31, whilst the real pair fly Michael’s shuttle onto Discovery. In the most understandable, but shocking, move thus far the entire crew agreed to mutiny and go on the lamb until they clear Spock’s name. Georgiou is ecstatic, how will Leland explain this to Starfleet command? How will he Ben?

Ben: He won’t. He’s going to be out. Oh, he’s in so much trouble!

Carla: What’s going to happen to him?

Ben: He’s going to die. Surely, he’s going to die. Don’t you think?

Carla: Yeah. Medical experiments I’m hoping. I don’t know I just feel like…

Ben: They’ll destroy his mind with that memory thing.

Carla: I feel like they medically experiment quite heavily on/in Section 31.

Ben: Oh yeah. Well they’ve got that memory thing they’ve got. I didn’t realize this last episode.

Carla: They said it’s Terran technology.

Ben: It’s from the Terran universe.

Carla: How? Did she just like, remember how to do it?

Ben: Yeah well, she is a genius.

Carla: Yeah that’s true.

Ben: I guess she built it. It looks, I mean it looked sinister and Terran it had the like the distinctive orange glow instead the distinctive blue glow.

Carla: I love how Georgiou, like the first lady in the White House, I’m going to love what she does with the interior decoration to Section 31 when she’s the captain.

Ben: It’s just all going to go orange isn’t it? That’s going to go black and orange and everything is going to be dark. It’s going to be much darker.

Carla: Oh yeah. I mean what’s up with her eyesight? That’s something that we can talk about later.

Ben: Maybe she’s had it corrected.

Carla: Potentially. How did you feel about this?

Ben: I loved it.

Carla: Me too. Oh my god heaven, heaven!

Ben: Yeah. So good.

Carla: Although I did kind of like tap my I was going to say my TV, but I don’t have one a projector. Yeah because get this like I’m too impatient to wait for the 7 p.m. release on Netflix so I actually illegally downloaded at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

Ben: Carla…

Carla: I know and so I thought I had downloaded the wrong file when I was like “No I’ve downloaded Season 2 of original Star Trek or something about Season 2 Episode 8” and it took me a second to realize, but then it was thrilling.

Ben: It was so much fun. I really enjoyed that.

Carla: That was so unexpected.

Ben: Yeah, I didn’t see it coming and it was just fun to see them just reuse the old footage like…

Carla: And the way they chose to sort of the brief narrative that they chose to display.

Ben: Like they were showing little slides of it… Yeah that was nice I liked it a lot and they used the original music. Yeah and I saw some people online like sort of arguing about how they thought they should have re-filmed them with the new cast and the new look Talosian’s and stuff and I’m like “No we don’t need that”.

Carla: It did make me feel like “wouldn’t it be cool. Kind of like the American Office did it just reshot it the original season series”. I mean they could anyway. It made me fantasize about that probably just more Anson Mount time.

Ben: That would be great. I would love that. What if they just did like a news they just after this they do another spin off which is just the adventures of Pike. Yes, that would be great.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Pike and Spock forever. But I am and Number One I mean that would work. I think we’d all watch that but yeah early Enterprise adventures. But it is interesting, and I’ll talk more about this in Short Chats. But there’s a contrast with Dr Who here because both during the 50th anniversary and during the most recent regeneration story they opened with footage from an original first Doctor story and that’s like a similar gap. But the difference is that those shows are like a continuation of that story that just accepts the old episodes as what happened, and they’ve never sort of gone back and changed any of the old stuff. And whenever they feature the old stuff like the old Doctor Who stuff in the new series, they recreate it to look like the original case.

Ben: But that’s I think that makes more sense because the doctors like the TARDIS for example has a very different look in the old days and looks much more primitive but it’s the same time it’s not human technology it’s not meant to look human. And so if you recreate the original console it doesn’t feel like “that’s not from the future”, it still feels a bit weird and alien, whereas now I think you know obviously if you’re making a Star Trek show now even if it’s set at the same time you wouldn’t get away with shit like what the original Star Trek looks like.

Carla: Maybe that’s how they also cherry picked that tiny bit of narrative. Do you think that it was even worth putting that in or do you think I was just a sweet little cute little wink for everyone so that they could see you know…?

Ben: Oh, look I think I think they were having fun. You know I think they’ve been hinting at all this Talos stuff. You know what would the fortune cookie message in the first episode.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: With a couple little references here and there with the reveal of the name of the place last episode and now you know they’re going to show it but they’re like “in case you missed it”. Because you know what some Star Trek I mean if you’re watching Star Trek on Netflix now The Cages is up there as Episode 1 as we discussed last time. Yeah but that’s not always the case, you know.

Carla: No and it did actually make me go and watch The Menagerie, but we’ll talk about that in Short Chats.

Ben: I think that’s right.

Carla: Yeah. We’ll park it for that.

Ben: But I enjoyed it and I think they’re having fun with it like that they’re just having that nod to the past, but not erasing it and I and I really appreciated that.

Carla: I did too, and I love the way that the storylines are melding. It makes me really curious as to what could potentially be in the next season as well, where these kinds of things can intersect and overlap.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: But there’s a lot to talk about here. I mean everything sort of wrapping up. But first things first I didn’t think that you could do a mind meld on a helmet? Is that how it works? It’s just kind of… like kinesiology or something?

Ben: Well I think, well I think the – there’s a ritual that goes along with it which is the sort of placing of the fingers in the in the right points on someone’s face. But I don’t, I think it has happened in the show without that.

Carla: Well It clearly has now. So

Ben: Yeah well exactly. But I think a bit in the flashback he is doing that on the helmet.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: It’s just not doing it on their face. So, so I guess. But he and he does say like there’s “a quantum field, he couldn’t get through” but he can still mind meld. So, I guess that means like in the Star Trek canon brainwaves are not affected by quantum field, I don’t know.

Carla: I’m sorry. That was a really dumb question to open with.

Ben: No, it was great. That’s fine. This weird. We’re doing a Star Trek podcast Carla if we can’t ask questions about the minutiae, who can?

Carla: Sure.

Ben: When can we talk about it?

Carla: It’s just it feels like this episode is all over the place. So, I feel like I just have little snippets of things that I’m going to talk about.

Ben: The listeners have watched it though, they’ll keep up.

Carla: Obviously Pike is beautiful, he’s got this love – our Melissa. We haven’t even said anything about our Melissa George.

Ben: I was so good to see her.

Carla: As Vina.

Ben: She was great. I got like because I have to admit like I actually think, and I can’t reveal that I’m going to look up the actor’s name but the original actor who played Vina in The Cage is one of the most striking looking people.

Carla: Yeah, she’s stunning.

Ben: She’s amazing. And I think Melissa George does a great job of the part and I think they made the right choice by not trying to cast someone, kind of like with everybody else. Like not trying to cast someone who looks like the original actor but who has the same kind of vibe and the same kind of attitude. And I think yeah, I think she was great. I think she did such a good job.

Carla: I agree, very longing. And you got to really see that side of Pike which is so sad.

Ben: That conversation they have on Discovery in his like ready room. Yeah. Wow. Just. Yeah. And you could see how uncomfortable he was. But he was like “that was the right thing to do to leave you behind, but at the same time what could we have had?” and I think that’s kind of nice. Like I think it’s lots in very nice…

Carla: Parallels with Hugh.

Ben: Well yeah it does. But I think also it’s slots in really nicely into his storyline because we only have those two bits of his life in the canon. You know, like his mission to Talos, and then him going back there at the end of his life. It’s nice. I think these slots nicely in between, you know, I think these fits.

Carla: I agree because in the original story he’s quite brusque you know really like he’s very bark-y here and you can see how this experience could have turned him into the captain he is on Discovery.

Ben: Yes.

Carla: So that’s a really sweet little disarming bridging moment for him.

Ben: And I think he, because it’s not that long ago, I think I think he…

Carla: It’s like three years.

Ben: Like two or three years. Yeah. So, it’s, that’s still a long time, like to have not seen someone that, you know, you made that kind of connection with. So yeah.

Carla: How did you feel about the updated Talosian heads?

Ben: I thought they were fine. I mean they weren’t as big, but I did think it was interesting that they had such a redesign when we saw the original ones in the intro sequence. And it’s always…

Carla: I thought the original ones were cool as… I wish they’d just recreated them.

Ben: Well they are but they’re very of their time Carla, I said this last time they’re very 1950s sci-fi. Like that was full of little men and flying saucers with these enormous, veiny, throbbing heads. The idea being like future humans they would be more cerebral and less physical, so they’d be quite physically frail but much smarter. Which is such an outdated kind of idea about aliens now, but it is kind of cool and it’s just such a, I don’t know it’s also feels like it’s very on the nose, obvious way to go “these people are hugely psychic. You’ve got massive heads and massive brains”. But yeah it works. I thought was fine. I liked their new duds. I thought their new outfits were cool. It’s a nice reinterpretation and it’s interesting.

Ben: You don’t often get to see such a direct you know like I think the other direct kind of redesign that we’ve seen that I that I think is comparable is the you know the Enterprise style Star Fleet uniforms that you know I really like the redesign of those as well. So, I have to I think the designers on this show are doing such a killer job.

Carla: Yeah absolutely.

Ben: Reinterpreting this old stuff. Yeah.

Carla: Yeah. This really sucker punched me in the sweet spot, this episode. I’m just thinking and gave me all the feels. I’m excited to see where it goes. Now that Discovery – if I didn’t know the third season was greenlit, I’d be fucking worried, to be perfectly honest, that was going to end of the at the end of this season.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: With the whole crew going on mutiny and now gone on the on the run.

Ben: But like they’d all die or something?

Carla: Well or just you know, the Discovery is decommissioned, and everybody goes to prison.

Ben: Yeah yeah.

Carla: You know what I mean?

Ben: Yeah it’s I really liked how quickly all the crew I just like “no we’re on board Pike. No worries. Don’t worry about it. We’re here. We’re on to this”.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: That was pretty great.

Carla: I think they’re all united. I think they’re all shady on the Federation. So, I think you know with everything that’s happened. Yeah and they’re just kind of like “Yeah we’re totally with you and we’re a united front”. Apart from like the terrifyingly cool vision of the robot octopus from the future coming to destroy the universe.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: There’s not really much more that I have for this episode beyond Short Chats.

Ben: I want I want to talk more about some of the plot stuff I mean what about for how about Spock and Michael’s past? What did you think?

Carla: I thought it was very mild.

Ben: Well this is what I thought to like after the massive build up. You know. And he even says, “I know you were just like trying to push my emotional buttons”. And then she goes, “It was much more than that I needed to. I need the family to be safe”. And you’re like “no I wasn’t much better”. I think the other thing that I found shocking was that it was something she did as a child. Like I didn’t think that I thought it was going to be something she had done as an adult, because adults are rational that way and that they look at what they’ve done as children and you go you’re a kid you know any better you’re just trying to hurt me and you you’re a kid. You didn’t understand the implications of that. And there’s been a lot of time. And I just. Yeah. I just felt like that’s it? like…

Carla: Well and also children are incapable of incredible cruelty.

Ben: Oh yeah.

Carla: You know, so I actually think that this was a change in the baton of writers because I think everyone – I get the overall feeling that everyone was incredibly sick of the really extreme soap opera stuff that the old writers were developing for the show. So, I think that that was just a popping of the balloon of this and just letting it fly under the radar.

Ben: OK.

Carla: I mean she was still pretty horrible to him and also a little darling baby Spock who is just the cutest child on the face of the earth.

Ben: Oh my God.

Carla: Liam Hughes.

Ben: I just wanted to give him a big hug.

Carla: I know. And so, you just see his little face crumble and it’s like he obviously adored her and worshipped her.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And she said, “I never, you know, you’re a loser I never want to speak to you again”. That’s pretty crushing for a little brother.

Ben: That is pretty awful. Yeah. Yeah, I mean I hope they get over it in the next few episodes.

Carla: Crushing enough to like to have this level of animosity then for the rest of their relationship?

Carla: And so, crushing that she couldn’t even tell Amanda what she’d said? I mean surely Amanda could have guessed what she’s saying.

Carla: There’s some continuity stuff here unless like that kind of stuff is just so heinous on Vulcan and because it’s so emotionally manipulative?

Ben: I guess the other thing is that they probably I mean you never get the idea that there’s much in the way of racism on Vulcan right. So also, I mean come on, the it was really hard to watch like a black actor calling another character a half breed and like using these really racial vilifying terms it was like ah. And you could see like Sonequa Martin-Green when she’s doing the lines as the adult versions you can just see her going – like when she has that expression just before she says it because she’s like being forced to remember it; just oh you can just see, I mean they sold it. They did sell it. I got to say they did a great job of the scene. But I still feel I was like that was awful but not as awful as I was expecting. But you know that’s good. That’s great. I mean like in this day and age of television how nice to see something awful that’s not as awful then it be the other way around.

Carla: But Spock is so salty now, like come on everyone.

Ben: He’s very, like he talks about how much he’s like rejected his emotions and embraced the Vulcan way of life. He’s got a lot of sass on him.

Carla: Super pissy for someone who has done some serious Vulcan work apparently.

Ben: Yeah yeah yeah. I don’t know. I don’t know about that. We got to talk about the Hugh situation.

Carla: Well I think it parallels what I was talking about previously about the fortune cookie.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: So, I think his little storyline parallels that quite well.

Ben: Right. OK.

Carla: And he’s comeback. I don’t know. Like I find this pretty um the whole storyline is dead to me. I don’t even want to talk about it anymore. It’s just a bunch of bullshit like and now they’re back together and now they’re breaking up. It’s like “Oh yeah. Couples can’t survive when something major happens to someone right”. Well unless Hugh goes on to do something fucking amazing. Right?

Ben: I hope so because he just sort of vanished for an episode

Carla: I hope so too. I did love that killer fight that him and Tyler had.

Ben: That was pretty great.

Carla: But it was also pretty amusing because Tyler is so much taller than him. So, it’s like those these really awkward camera angles trying to make it look like much more…

Ben: Well he’s also…

Carla: Competitive than it was.

Ben: Well also, like I thought that worked though because I think it sold to me that like its Tyler really doesn’t want to hurt him. And so, he’s in that position of someone who’s much stronger much much better fighter, you know.

Carla: And that’s a good point.

Ben: He’s a Klingon admittedly Klingon with bits of…

Carla: He is a Klingon Ben.

Ben: With bits of human grafted onto him –  not the other way around as Saru says which might drive me nuts. I’m like you put a convoluted thing in there. Stick to it, like.

Carla: I don’t think anyone knows what’s going on.

Ben: It made me angry, anyway. It’s just that one line but the fight was great, and I thought yeah, he’s in that position where he knows that he could kill this guy. I mean he already did once. So, he’s trying not to hurt him, but he’s like bringing it. And I did get the impression they pitched that really well because he, I never felt like Tyler was in any danger.

Carla: No.

Ben: He was just sort of like going to any and if necessary, would let Hugh beat the shit out of him.

Carla: Sure.

Ben: But there was not really much danger of that. But I loved the way it ended too when he is like “I don’t even know who I am anymore” and Tyler just says, “Who do you think you’re talking to?!” Oh, shit dog yeah!

Carla: Oh snap!

Ben: That was great. And then look I know I know you don’t want to talk about.

Carla: It’s okay. I want to hear your feelings about.

Ben: Well I feel like it, it is, there is still that parallel to Buffy’s return where it’s just it just doesn’t feel right. I mean it’s different because he did go through hell and it’s kind of like what the other characters on Buffy thought Buffy had been through for those first couple of episodes. They’re like yeah “she’s been through hell like she’s not going to be the same when she comes back” and then eventually they find out, no she went to heaven and that’s why she’s not the same when she’s come back.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: He has been through sort of through hell. I mean I don’t know and there’s all these references in this episode where he’s like eats the food and he’s like “,but it just doesn’t taste right, something’s not right and he’s been tetchy. He’s very angry and Stamets says “Why are you so angry with me?” and he’s like “That’s a good question”. I have a feeling it’s going to go somewhere satisfying. But I think I feel at the moment it’s very hard to be super sympathetic with Hugh. And I think that’s what’s making it difficult for me is that I feel like I get that he’s angry and weird but he’s not experiencing any relief coming home and it is a sharp contrast to how he was in the network when he was willing to die to let Paul go and to solve the problem that was happening because he didn’t want to hurt anybody. And now he’s been brought back to life and he’s just like “nothing’s quite right. I’m not having a bar of it. Get out of my life” you’re like “that’s a bit harsh”. I mean sure I get that you can’t just go back to life exactly as it was but yeah, I’ll be in it and see where it goes.

Carla: Yeah me too. It’s just yeah. So, let’s say let’s put a big question mark on that. Yeah.

Ben: And look we didn’t see too many other characters, but we got to talk about Spock though.

Carla: What about him?

Ben: He’s back.

Carla: He is back.

Ben: I mean we don’t see much of him, but we see a bit of him.

Carla: He talks.

Ben: He does. He does some martial arts.

Carla: Talk about can I also get a continuity issue. I’m a very like I’m a hawk for continuity.

Ben: Okay. I love it.

Carla: And that’s something about. Okay. So, get this right. So, are we all onboard that Spock has a beard because he’s been so crazy, he can’t shave? Is that, is that what we’re thinking?

Ben: I guess so. Yeah.

Carla: Because he has like the top the cheek hairs. That makes it look all crazy and homeless but underneath he’s got a perfect straight line under his beard it’s been completely trimmed there’s no neck hairs, there’s no neck beards.

Ben: There’s maybe. Well I mean there is that line Michael says, “do you think that beard is working for you?” which was, that was great. I really liked that but at the same time yeah, he’s got to he’s got a TV beard.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Like they never let you have a proper scraggly like as a beard grower.

Carla: Ha ha! You are you’re your you’re on the beard visual linguistics.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: For television. Okay.

Ben: Yeah. They never let you have a proper scraggly beard.

Carla: Sure, like you probably wouldn’t he probably wouldn’t have washed hair. You know what I mean. Yeah yeah. He’s got washed and blow-dried hair.

Ben: And you know that doesn’t really make that much sense because he goes on personal leave, he goes this icy planet. He meets the Red Angel and mind melds with them, goes a bit nuts and then goes to a psychiatric institution where he seems to be fairly compos mentis even though he’s drawing on the floor but he’s willing like he’s voluntarily admitted himself. And then hears Section 31 is coming from him so he like he’s like…

Carla: “See ya later”.

Ben: Fights his way out and then escapes in his shuttle somehow gets from the shuttle to Vulcan and hides out with his mum right where he gets worse. But I think it’s I think it makes kind of sense because the way the Talosians describe it is that he’s experiencing time in a non-linear way.

Carla: Yeah, he’s existing all at once. Yeah.

Ben: He’s a bit all over the place he’s like what’s his name, from Slaughterhouse Five you know. So, it’s yeah. So, I guess it makes sense that he has moments of lucidity and like he has that moment on the shuttle when Burnham’s trying to steer them away from the black hole and he like wakes up enough to like kung-fu her away from the controls which was great, like I love that sort of slapping hands.

Carla: It was like two siblings like wrestling for the remote.

Ben: Yeah but with Vulcan martial arts training, it was cool. So yeah, I was into that. But yeah.

Carla: For me I think because I watch that I only ever seen The Cage and then I watched The Menagerie after this which is essentially The Cage with another hour of stuff.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: So, I kind of fast forwarded all through The Cage bits that they project. But this like also puts into context; because in The Menagerie Spock goes Spock as wild hog wild and kidnaps Pike and takes him back to Talos IV and commandeers the Enterprise and lies and says that Kirk has given him the bridge and you know that is just completely outrageous. So, it gives a lot of context now for how loyal he is to Pike. And you know how he is capable of doing something so out of control.

Ben: Yeah yeah. I wonder if he he’s seen all these weird visions of the future I wonder if that’s one of the visions he sees? That maybe he knows that has to happen.

Carla: So, what’s he going to do now? He’s on he’s going to be on the Discovery and they’re like trying to clear his name.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: I wonder if he’s going to like to get on this and get on the uniform and participate.

Ben: Good question. I mean they’re mutineers now, so the uniform doesn’t seem that important. Do you think, do you think the squids are the ones who shoot the missiles? Like its kind looks like that in the in the preview of the future.

Carla: What missiles?

Ben: You know, the missiles that blow up all the planets.

Carla: Well that’s actually a good point. Like I assume that, but it might not be that.

Ben: Yeah. Because I thought that’s a bit obvious. But then who makes the squid robots and is it really just The Matrix but in space? Or something else?

Carla: I just feel like… yeah exactly I just feel like it’s sentient robots.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: That are cephalopods for some reason.

Ben: Well if I look if I was a sentient robot and I can have any shaped body I want it would be giant squid.

Carla: Well there’s always the space/sea analogy as well. So, you know that’s logically I guess where it goes to.

Ben: Kind of works.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. Shall we, shall we do some Short Chats?

Carla: Yes please.

Ben: Now it’s time for re:Discovery Short Chats where we talk news trivia, and anything related to Discovery and also any questions you have for us follow our socials and get in touch with us. We always love to hear from you. But Captain you got one that you mentioned to me in our little…

Carla: Some late-night texting.

Ben: Yes, and I’m very excited. I want to hear about this. Tell me.

Carla: Okay. So on, for Americans like we have this other streaming platform here called Stan, and there’s a show in there called “Penis” but it’s “Pen15”.

Ben: I didn’t. You know why I’m such an innocent. I didn’t pick up that it was “Penis” when you texted it to me, I thought it was “Pen15” and I’m like “What is that about?”

Carla: “You’re like that sounds, intriguing”. Yeah. So anyway, did you ever watch “Strangers with Candy” back in the day?

Ben: A little bit.

Carla: It’s kind of in that vein. So, it’s like these two women recreating their teenage years… it’s a teen drama but they’re both 30 playing their 13-year-old selves with all these other 13-year-old actors. And it’s really wrong and it’s really hilarious.

Ben: Okay.

Carla: Oh hence “Penis”. And it’s like I’ve never seen such an accurate depiction of the volatility and ridiculousness of teenage girls and also the tenderness of their relationships. Like my partner was like “do two girls really love each other like this?” and I’m like “yeah they’re like married”. And he was just like “whoa this is intense”.

Ben: This blows the mind. I mean this is you know when I talk to teenage boys about this stuff, they don’t know that.

Carla: No well I’m tell them to watch “Penis”/”Pen15”.

Ben: I will now. I can’t do that. It’s probably rated M.

Carla: So anyway, three or four episodes in, we’re watching it last night and Jack’s like “Don’t you recognize who that is? and I was like squinting and I’m just like “No” and he’s like “it’s TUVOK!”

Ben: What!

Carla: He’s much older now. That’s the reason why I didn’t recognize him because he has almost like completely grey hair and a grey goatee. But yeah, he’s the music teacher.

Ben: What!

Carla: On Penis.

Ben: Wow!

Carla: So, there you go.

Ben: I got to watch it now.

Carla: Yeah. It’s awesome.

Ben: I loved Tim Russ so much.

Carla: Yeah me too.

Ben: He’s my Vulcan space Dad.

Carla: Yeah. Just you know I reckon Tuvok is my favourite character of all time.

Ben: He’s so good. I. You know what Tim Russ would absolutely come back for the Picard show if asked.

Carla: Oh, Tim Russ does fanfic films man.

Ben: He loves it.

Ben: Yeah. Loves it.

Carla: He’s such a fan.

Ben: What’s his character like in “Penis”?

Carla: Just your regular. It’s because it’s such a boiler plate “afterschool special” type show.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: He’s just you know he’s your salty bandleader you know. Okay. He’s just completely beleaguered and downtrodden by life. But he makes the band play all of his own original compositions.

Ben: That’s amazing.

Carla: Yes, I know.

Ben: Are they good?

Carla: No, they’re terrible. I think they’re a total pastiche of terrible marching band music.

Ben: Yeah ok. Yeah of course. Of course.

Carla: And what do you have?

Ben: I got a couple of things. We mentioned that the woman playing Vina in this episode is Melissa George, best known to Australian viewers as well as Melissa George. She’s super famous here.

Carla: Well let me ask you Ben. What do you know Melissa George primarily from? As being a person of almost the exact same age as me.

Ben: Well see this is an interesting question because I grew up in a country town in Australia during a time when we didn’t have all these different channels right. We only had two channels. We had the ABC and we had our local channel and our local commercial channel would buy…

Carla: Was it “WIN”?

Ben: No, it was it was called NRTV – Northern Rivers television. It eventually got bought by Ten when they did the deregulation. So, we did get other things but like most of those regional stations it only bought one or other or the other of the two big Australian soap operas and my local station had Neighbours and did not have Home and Away.

Carla: What!

Ben: So, I had never seen a Home and Away when I was younger. And by the time I was old enough to watch it I just didn’t watch it. So, as I have missed it, I missed it.

Carla: You’re blowing my mind.

Ben: I know I know.

Carla: I didn’t even know there was a class of Australian that had… it’s like “Sophie’s Choice” like “Neighbours’” or “Home and Away”.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: That’s insane.

Ben: But I know that that was where she got famous playing Angel.

Carla: It is. Yes.

Ben: And she was in it for like how long was she in it for? like three or four years.

Carla: Yeah yeah. I wasn’t a big “Home and Away” fan Neighbours was my drug of choice but when Home and Away did begin I you know I was all over it.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: So, you do what do you remember the first time you saw her then?

Ben: I mean I mostly know her from her Hollywood career, and she’s done some great stuff there.

Carla: Yeah, she went over and started working pretty much straight away like what she finished Home and Away in 96 and then she’s got her first credits here in Dark City in 98.

Ben: Oh, Dark City!

Carla: But Dark City was shot in Sydney wasn’t it?

Ben: Yeah. And look best that is the thing actually that I most know from because I love that film. I love a lot.

Carla: And her next credit is The Limey, but I do a Steven Soderbergh podcast and she’s just literally a photo. In The Limey she’s this daughter that’s died and oh maybe she has like a couple of scenes where she doesn’t speak it’s just a memory. Um yeah so. So, I just have a bit of trivia about Melissa George it’s the thing that I remember from reading in “TV Hits” or whatever back in the day.

Ben: Hit me.

Carla: That she was a professional roller skater before she became an actress. And that’s how she was discovered.

Ben: Holy moly. I didn’t even know that was a thing in Australia before roller derby.

Carla: The 90s was wild.

Ben: It was a wild time. That’s incredible.

Carla: Well you had one other thing about Dr Who was it?

Ben: Yeah yeah. So like I mentioned that Doctor Who has also done this thing where they use footage from like long ago episodes in the new series and I did some maths and I worked out that this episode does hold the record for the longest time between the episode being aired and when the previously on stuff was aired on TV except Well it depends how you count it. Right. Because if you count it from the year that it was made then it’s 53 years.

Carla: Wow.

Ben: Between 2019 and 1966 when they made The Cage.

Carla: Right.

Ben: But they didn’t air The Cage because it was the unaired pilot.

Carla: So, when did they?

Ben: It didn’t get shown on television until 1980 was the first time it got shown on TV.

Carla: But the footage was shown in The Menagerie. So, you should count it from there.

Ben: Well I guess that’s true. So that would still be 53 years whereas the Doctor Who one’s, the most recent regeneration story with Peter Capaldi was only 51 years. So, this pips it at the post at 53.

Carla: Sweet.

Ben: Yeah unless you count…

Carla: Further cementing that Star Trek is the best show of all time. In all ways.

Ben: Okay look.

Carla: Firsts.

Ben: Let’s not fight, Carla we’ve been doing so well up until now.

Carla: I just want to finish by talking about Susan Oliver who plays the original Vina. It was her birthday recently and Trek Movie dot com did this great post about her to say that she was a pilot and she was the fourth woman to fly a single engine aircraft solo across the Atlantic.

Ben: Wow.

Carla: So, she was extraordinarily beautiful and extraordinarily incredible.

Ben: And talented.

Carla: And talented.

Ben: And a great actor.

Carla: Yes.

Ben: Wow.

Carla: So, RIP Susan Oliver.

Ben: You’ve been listening to re:Discovery. You’ll find links to all the creatives involved on our Web site We’d love to connect with you. Please find us on Twitter and Facebook @rediscoverypod.

Splendid Chaps: re:Discovery is brought to you by Splendid Chaps Productions. Find more entertainment for your ears at

Episode Transcript: Light and Shadows (S02E07)

This is a transcript of our seventh season two recap, available here

Michael [From episode]: Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly for she had plenty of time as she went down.

Computer [From episode]: Working. Working.

Michael [From episode]: To wonder what was going to happen next.

re:Discovery theme plays.

Carla: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery. The Star Trek recap podcast that will never turn you over to Section 31. I’m your host for today, Captain Carla Donnelly, and I’m joined as always by my Science Officer Ben McKenzie. Ben would you shoot a robot octopus off me if it were strangling me?

Ben: Even if I hadn’t seen a misleading glimpse of the future, Captain.

Carla: (laughs) We have made it to the mid-season! Woo!

Ben: Excitement.

Carla: Episode seven “Light and Shadows” delivers on so many goods promised and much much more. The episode opens with Discovery still in orbit around Kaminar. They are staying to investigate the tachyon particles the Red Angel left behind. Michael requests personally from Pike, she will return to Vulcan on the hunch that Amanda knows where Spock is. Michael believes that Spock is the key to the mystery and is determined to find him before Section 31 do. The analysis of the tachyon particles reveal they are the same measured by Section 31 at the site of the first Red Angel appearance way back at the crash site of USS Hiawatha. Discovery gets closer to investigate; a time rift appears and causes chaos with temporal disturbances. So, everyone’s favourite “will they or won’t they” couple, Pike and Tyler shoot off on a mission together to shoot a probe into it.

Carla: On Vulcan, Michael arrives at her familial home grilling Amanda about Spock a man who refuses to cooperate believing that Spock has been unfairly accused of murder. Michael begs Amanda to let her help him. Back in the time rift a shockwave consumes Pike and Tyler’s shuttle cutting them off from Discovery. Saru enlists Stamets help believing that his tardigrade DNA will make him immune to the effects of the rift enough to locate the shuttle. Cut to a sacred crypt on Vulcan and the search for Spock is finally over. He has had a total psychological breakdown and is pacing repeating the “First Doctrines of Logic” on loop completely disassociated. Michael begs Amanda to take him to a hospital. Amanda refuses as a wife of a diplomat she has immunity from extradition. World’s Greatest Dad Sarek turns up and objects.

Ben: On the shuttle Pike comes up with a risky plan to signal Discovery. Taylor accuses him of seeking danger because of his guilt at sitting out the war. After trying Pike’s manoeuvre, they encounter the probe they fired into the rift. It’s now 500 years older and equipped with tentacle upgrades which it uses to attack the shuttle. In the cavern, as Spock mutters seemingly nonsense numbers, Sarek accuses Amanda of abusing his diplomatic privilege to harbor Spock. But she refuses to back down. Sarek offers a compromise hand Spock over to Section 31, they want his information and have the resources to help him outside Federation protocols. No one likes the plan but agree it’s their best shot. On the shuttle the probe pierces the hull and grabs Tyler. Pike realizes his vision was really of him shooting its tentacle to save Tyler. The severed arm connects to the shuttle computer and starts hacking into Discovery’s databanks. Back on Discovery, Stamets enlists Tilly’s help to track the shuttle and beam aboard and he successfully pilots it out of the rift, but they can’t remove the probe. Michael delivers Spock to Leland who assures her that they have a device that can heal his mind. But Georgiou tips Michael off that they will only extract his memories; damaging or killing him in the process. She helps Michael escape with her brother hoping to use Leland’s failure to advance in Section 31. Stamets, Tyler and Pike can’t disable the probe, so they set the shuttle to self-destruct and beam back to Discovery just in time. But not before Airiam, trying to shut the probe out of Discovery’s computers, is secretly exposed to its seemingly malevolent signal. Tyler and Pike make amends and resolve to treat the Angel with caution. At Section 31, Georgiou firms up her hold over Leland by threatening to reveal to Michael that Leland was responsible for the death of her parents. As their ships pass by Spock quotes from Alice in Wonderland and Michael realizes his number is backwards and refers to the planet Talos IV – dum dum dum!!!

Ben: Holy moly Whoa Carla you know how I like to say, “so much going on in this episode”, I don’t think that phrase that even really cuts at this time.

Carla: No, it was a mile a minute or sorry per kilometre, as I’ve said I appreciate about the Star Trek universe.

Ben: It is metric. Yeah that’s true. There’s no way we’d take miles into outer space.

Carla: Holy crap why do we even start?

Ben: I don’t know, let’s start at the start. Well can we? How do you even start at the start – this is as time travel episode there is no start?

Carla: Oh my God I’m in heaven.

Ben: So good. Oh man. Old school temporal anomaly business. I love it.

Carla: This is the best of Star Trek. As I said on our introductory episode.

Ben: It’s so good it’s so good.

Carla: So, first of all I feel like it really is a shift in a different direction, tonally it was so different to most of the other episodes. What do you think?

Ben: Well I don’t think I noticed that as much as you. But now that you say it yeah, I see what you mean.

Carla: I feel like it had that old school kind of soap opera, Star Wars, screen swipe, pace and tone to the whole episode. And it really kept things up at a really fantastic pace. It was light on personal drama, even though there was a lot of personal issues happening. It was more a storyline for it was it was drawn together by everyone; the storyline was drawn together by everyone then having these sort of separate siloed situations.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And by sort of elevating it up to this more meta story line or teamwork I can’t I can’t describe it. It just felt more cohesive to me and really robust direction.

Ben: Yeah yeah. It felt like everybody was involved and I think you know this episode is something I’ve been waiting for a bit.

Carla: So long.

Ben: This was a Michael episode or at least well sort of. I mean because Michael’s storyline has been so in the shadow of Spock all through this season so far and every episode, it’s been like the background plot because we can’t get close to Spock yet. And there’s been nice character moments with her. I’ve really enjoyed her sort of growing friendship with Pike. And you know her reaffirmation of her friendship with Tilly and with Saru, but this feels like the first time she’s really front and centre even though again you know it’s all about Spock. But she’s the one who’s actively looking for him. She’s the catalyst for, you know, making a decision about what to do with him and finding him. So yeah, I really liked that about this episode, and it felt like there was that but even then, her storyline involved Amanda and Sarek and Leland and Georgiou; and then the Discovery storyline involved pretty much everybody. And it was another big one for the bridge crew, Carla.

Carla: There’s so many bombs that went off in this episode.

Ben: I know.

Carla: And like what, just in terms of what’s going to happen. Airiam! What is going to happen with that?

Ben: You know what excites me most about this is we will have to learn more about her, for this to make sense.

Carla: Of course! She’s going to have an episode.

Ben: it’s going to be so good. She’s going to have an episode and an episode.

Carla: (laughs) Before she takes down the Discovery or attempts to.

Ben: I liked how the representation of the virus or whatever it is like three little lights and it’s like the Predators type thing like, yeah, it’s pretty good.

Carla: But what’s with sleeper agents, like really?

Ben: They’re very was it’s full of drama is it because if you’re a sleeper agent you might not even know yourself. I mean that was the whole thing with Tyler/Voq not knowing, you know, the Tyler personality did not know that they were implanted on… you know what the terminology around that got very confusing this season because they have to take this shorthand that “yeah I was… I’m Tyler. Voq’s gone”. Like no you’re still Voq, you’re like an you’re a fake version of Tyler. You know it’s…

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Why did they make this so needlessly complicated?

Carla: I like that they called it the “Voq shadow”.

Ben: Yeah that was good. That was good.

Carla: That’s so euphemistic.

Ben: I’m guessing you loved the Pike Tyler business in this episode.

Carla: What a surly salty situation. You know the three S’s as they say in scriptwriting.

Ben: (laughs) Yeah.

Carla: Yeah. I thought this was fantastic. And look you know as a project manager there’s nothing better than getting a team to start working together than putting them in a crisis situation or getting them, we’re giving them a really difficult puzzle to solve.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: So, I really appreciate that. I loved this back… getting more background on Pike being a test pilot, further solidifying in my mind that he was a wild cowboy back in the day. Yeah.

Ben: Yeah and nice sort of you know a really good excuse to explore his motivation for the way that he’s behaving, because what I have been thinking “wow” the captain really goes in a lot of dangerous missions in this season. You know Lorca I never did that. And in fact, most of the Star Trek captains do not do that. The big exception was Kirk right. He was always in the landing parties, but you know Picard did not do that. Sisco doesn’t do that, Janeway doesn’t do that they are all like “No I know I know I’m important. Like I’ll go down when it’s necessary. But I’m not going to put myself on the front line all the time.” Whereas Pike is definitely doing that. And now we have a reason why.

Ben: Yeah. Because he wasn’t in the war. Yeah, he feels…

Carla: But you can say for a man like that would have been very ego bruising particularly in terms of how, you know, married he is to Starfleet.

Ben: And he’s very, I think it’s also it’s part of his caring personality too. He feels like a lot of people died and maybe I could have saved them.

Carla: Yeah, he could have helped.

Ben: And so now I’m going to try my best to save people from this threat that I am here to deal with.

Carla: I mean it’s typical macho risky behaviour. It’s like what if you die? Captain Pike, what happens then?

Ben: Yeah. And you can’t help anybody. So, I’ll be interesting to see if he backs down a little bit now.

Carla: Well yeah. The two of them together, I feel like they’ve found a bit of a bond they kind of trust each other. They have a basic level of trust.

Ben: Also, they’ve touched fingers, now (both laugh) there’s that little moment with the controls. See someone and Reddit like post a close up of those controls.  I’ll talk about that in Short Chats.

Carla: Okay great.

Ben: I really liked near the start when Saru sort of just takes command and it’s the new Saru. And I he’s just like…

Carla: I thought of you.

Ben: Let’s do it, let’s go. This is what we need to do. You just it’s just self-assured there’s no like worrying.

Carla: But very calm.

Ben: And he’s just like “Okay you need to do this you need to do that you need to do that. Hey, go talk to Stamets, he’s the one who’s got the solution to this because we know that his relation to time is different to ours now”.

Carla: He feels really recalibrated.

Ben: Yeah, I really loved that. I really enjoyed that little moment. He doesn’t it doesn’t have a big presence in this episode, but he really makes himself felt there at the start and then the bridge crew get on with their jobs and again you know everybody was on board.

Carla: Yeah. And Reese’s like, it’s really strange, like Reese isn’t getting a lot of actions but he’s getting his name said a lot. Would you think it’s you know almost as good, I guess? It’s maybe they’re kind of like setting that up that you know he’ll get an episode, but I can’t tell you how like I’m trying to just calm myself down how excited I am now for the rest of the season. Yeah there’s all of my favourite things coming, happening, and I’m just so excited to see where all of this stuff is going to go.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: It really feels like a huge change has happened and also with the new announcement of the show runner. But we’ll talk about that in Short Chats.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: So, it’s been a huge week for me Star Trek. I’m like freaking out.

Ben: I know it’s been a great week and we haven’t even mentioned the whole confirmation of renewal for a third season. I guess we can talk about that in Short Chats. So, getting back to the episode that that time rift whole plotline was awesome. It had a little bit of everything, like there was glimpses of the past and the future. There was a weird sort of Matrix/20,000 Leagues Under the Sea kind of monster moment with the probe turning into a giant squid. I love it!

Carla: Screaming.

Ben: I’m a big I don’t know if I have mentioned this on the podcast I wouldn’t had a reason to but I really love giant squids like I’m really into cephalopods like I just think they’re super cool and so yeah to see like one turn the probe into I didn’t see it coming that it was going to become a robot squid. I was like “this is awesome”.

Carla: So, you must really love that movie. You know the one?

Ben: Mega shark vs giant octopus?

Carla: No, the one where they’re alien octopi and they talk in symbols and smoke.

Ben: Oh! “The Arrival”

Carla: Yeah “The Arrival”

Ben: Or “Arrival” I think it’s just “Arrival”

Carla: Did you like it?

Ben: I did like it.

Carla: Didn’t Denis Villeneuve do it?

Ben: Denis Villeneuve… The guy who’s doing the new Dune right?

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. And did the new Blade Runner.

Carla: Yeah yeah. Which apparently terrible.

Ben: I haven’t seen the Blade Runner.

Carla: I have to watch it for Screen Studies and I’m so disappointed.

Ben: Hope it’s okay.

Carla: Yeah. It’s alright.

Ben: But I’m excited about the Dune. Dune could be good.

Carla: Okay. Back to this.

Ben: Sure.

Carla: So much other stuff so much other stuff was dropped in this Spock had dyslexia.

Ben: Is it dyslexia or is it something like dyslexia? It’s a learning difficulty.

Carla: No, I think it was the dyslexia.

Ben: But they used the Vulcan word.

Carla: Yeah. That’s right. It’s contextualized in a Vulcan way, which is strange. I don’t know where that is going in the plot line.

Ben: Actually, speaking of Dune I found his chanting in the cavern when he’s going over the logic. It reminded me a lot of the “Mentats” particular from the film version of Dune with it just like you know that “the juice sets my mind in motion, that logic is countering what the…” you know but you know what I mean. Yeah.

Carla: Okay.

Ben: It was like that it was good. But yeah. So, he’s had some difficulties which is why she read him. I like that kind of contextualization of why they’ve – Alice in Wonderland is involved.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Was like to show that it’s okay if you can’t figure things out. You can still figure things out in a way.

Carla: Yeah. And the whole you know the whole upside down-ness of the whole of Discovery.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And mushrooms as well.

Ben: Yeah. Yeah.

Carla: That’s all linked.

Ben: It all comes in together.

Carla: I only had a few more notes for this. I think Spock’s eyebrows are really weird.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: They sort of really, they look very drawn on to me. I can’t kind of get it out of my mind when I look at them. The other thing was that sick fight scene between Michelle Yeoh and Michael.

Ben: So good.

Carla: Whoa!

Ben: Well yeah that was cool. And she’s sees that doing Vulcan martial arts. Yeah. So, I thought that was. Yeah that was great.

Carla: Another moment a long time coming with a lot of satisfaction.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: In resolution for both of them, especially for Michael.

Ben: Were you surprised when Georgiou sort of said “Hey I’m going to help you out”.

Carla: No because for a creature like Georgiou it’s just about what she can get out of a situation. So, she’s trying to become the leader of Section 31, which is terrifying. Yeah and a person like that is always just trying to rack up as many points with other people as possible to either blackmail them or you know use them as a resource. So, I wasn’t surprised. Yeah, it’s not altruistic.

Ben: No. Totally. Although she’s trying to present it as if it is.

Carla: Yeah. Because that’s what psychopaths do.

Ben: She wants Michael to like her. Yeah. Yeah. True. How did you feel about the way that the relationship between Amanda and Sarek was present in this episode? It’s the first time we’ve really seen them together.

Carla: Well it’s what one would assume. You know what I mean.

Ben: It’s felt a lot spikier than you see it in the Original Series when they’re older. Which I guess makes sense. Like they probably made their peace with it. But even in that episode because it’s, it’s the time when Sarek sees Spock for the first time after like 18 years of not speaking to him. Not counting this episode where he sees it, but he doesn’t speak to him. It was a nice way to get around that like he’s there but he can’t talk to Spock because he’s like “I hate Spock he’s still he’s still disappointed me but he needs help it’s okay” but in that later episode you know they’re from it from the original Star Trek series, she does like they do have a fight and they do this weird thing actually where they, they hold hands just with like two fingers.

Carla: Yeah. You’ve mentioned this before.

Ben: Yeah, I like it.

Carla: You like it.

Ben: But in this one I’m like wow you like you’ve got some real unresolved issues here. Like about how to raise your son, like talk it out. Surely that’s a logical thing to do as well?

Carla: No because it’s emotional.

Ben: but it’s also ideological like they have different approaches to how they think Spock can be helped. And she’s kept things from him like I sort of read the subtext as Spock’s learning difficulties both his parents know about it. He thinks they’ve been corrected in the learning centre like he’s been taught how to overcome them, or they’ve been treated in some way and she’s like “No I just read him this book until he managed to overcome it himself”. And this is a revelation to Sarek is like “what the? what? okay so” yeah it was a bit hard to get a read on what the deal is with that. It’s like, yeah, I feel like there’s more to be discovered about that, I don’t know.

Carla: To understand that they have a dysfunctional marriage it’s no surprise.

Ben: I guess not. Yeah.

Carla: Yeah but I did like her kind of Bolshie speech that she gave him. Yeah. She’s like “I’m not I’m not your employee” or whatever it was.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: What did she say?

Ben: “We’re partners”.

Carla: Yeah. She said “I don’t live under your law. I’m your partner”.

Ben: Yeah. That was good that was badarse.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: To use a phrase used way too often when women are just not doormats. But no, she was great. I like to you know a little bit of exploration of Vulcan lore there which I’m always.

Carla: Yes. I’ve got it written down. It’s “a sacred crypt filled with katra stones that blocks telepathic communication”. So Sarek would not be able to try and find him.

Ben: It’s very cunning. Yes. Yeah, I guess that so you can meditate in peace. If you if you’re a bit psychic and you don’t pick up on other people’s thoughts, makes sense.

Carla: Sure.

Ben: And they were cool like glowing pyramid things it was awesome.

Carla: Yeah that was rad.

Ben: But then he’s scratching things into the wall. I’m like “This is a sacred crypt you jerk! But it seems like it’s a private crypt it’s not like a public one.

Carla: Yeah, it’s their own.

Ben: It’s on the estate somewhere. Because Sarek just shows up I think that her a little bit Draco Malfoy.

Carla: It shows them coming in on a shuttle.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And then two seconds later they turn around and it’s like he’s over there. It’s like moment of like “oh he’s standing right behind me, isn’t he?”

Ben: Yes, he just apparated. He did give me a yeah. Like I said Drake. I met Lucius Malfoy. He gave me this sort of elder Malfoy or even you know Alan Rickman as Snape.

Carla: As anything.

Ben: As anything, yeah, he just sort of sweeps in. He’s like… Yeah. It was great. I loved it.

Carla: I loved the old hiding in an asteroid trick that Michael did.

Ben: It’s a classic of the genre.

Carla: Classic of the genre. So sweet and um so they’re still in orbit around Kaminar.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: What’s happening with Kelpians?

Ben: I had a big, actually this is the thing I wanted to ask because the “time tsunami” – not a very gentle choice of words there Tilly – goes off and I’m like it’s right, it’s just…

Carla: That’s exactly what I was thinking!

Ben: Is it going to fuck up the planet? What’s going to happen? I was worried and they were just like “Let’s get out of here” and I’m like “wait a minute what about this civilization you just massively disrupted who are trying to deal with their new status?”.

Carla: Exactly.

Ben: And you just have fucked off in your spaceships like “You, you’ll be fine. Temporal wash over you”. It’s a you know it may well they’ll come back and like the Kelpian civilization will have moved on 500 years so like what the hell’s happened here?

Carla: That I would be rad!

Ben: And then how angry would Saru be. He’d be like “Oh man I really screwed this up. I should not have let us leave”. Yeah. I don’t know. The other thing it just made me think of when we’re talking about classics of the genre – I really love the sort of time echoes in this episode that made me think of the Red Dwarf episode “Future Echoes” where they go through the light speed barrier and they start to see things before they happen. Yeah. They had like nice things about that and had the whole time rift thing.

Carla: There was a lot of classic classic stuff in there.

Ben: Yeah yeah there really was and just I don’t you know we saw this at the start but just a little something for nearly everybody to do.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: I’m surprised that.

Carla: Except for Hugh.

Ben: Yeah. Hugh I was very surprised we didn’t see Hugh this episode yet. Where is he? I mean is it… is this a sign that he does need, I mean clearly needs a bit of recovery time so maybe he’s taking it easy. But then Stamets goes off on like possibly, you know death mission, and doesn’t even send him a little note to say, “bye Hugh love you”.

Carla: We don’t see that. But I what I loved about that the most was that Stamets seemed so cohesive. You know it is like “right no, I know what to do. Let’s do it plug me in. I’m going to you know this is what we do”. He seems so far less neurotic and so far, more together.

Ben: Do you think that’s going to be a thing? I I’m starting to suspect that’s a thing like there’s something that’s happened to him because of his…

Carla: Potentially…

Ben: And his experiences in the in the network and the return of Hugh. Because he did seem to really not be concerned about Hugh’s concerns, about his return. It’s almost like he’s gone into this sort of weird Zen state of overconfidence because he’s like “everything’s back to normal now. Everything is perfect, I can do anything” and he’s like…

Carla: Well he was arrogant before.

Ben: Oh yeah, I guess so.

Carla: But now he just seems more blissful and that may be the spores.

Ben: He’s happy again I reckon.

Carla: Yeah. What a what a way to be.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: All right. Shall we Short Chats?

Ben: Yeah. Let’s.

Carla: Now it’s time for a Discovery Short Chats where we talk news, trivia, and anything related to Discovery. We will also be taking questions during this segment for you the listener. So please follow our socials to be in touch. Ben what have you got for me?

Ben: Well we’ve had a really nice review actually, when we talk about listener feedback.

Carla: Thank you.

Ben: Thank you for – I don’t know how to pronounce user name “require” I think who reviewed us on Apple podcasts who said particularly that they liked the little recaps at the end and our focus on thematic connections. So, thank you. Thank you for that feedback. And look if you if you want to give us some feedback that other people can read you can give us a review on Apple podcasts as well. We always like to know what people think and it is a nice way to support the podcast or any other podcast that you listen to because it does help make the podcast easier to find and get the word out a little bit easier. If you get a few ratings in there. So, thank you we really appreciate that.

Carla: Thank you. And to the future people who leave us review,

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: We had a really interesting email from Michelle Wood, who identifies as a non-binary parent. And Michelle talked a lot about how they felt that the L’Rell/Tyler storyline was something that they had really longed for in popular culture. So, I’ll just read a little bit of their message “I can count the media representation of strong women being mothers with agency who care about their children on very few fingers. Mothers in media that I’m actually interested in who represent that part of me in a way that feels real essentially don’t exist. So L’Rell having this experience even though it was an experience profound loss was a rare opportunity to see that part of my life through other eyes. Having a child is a huge deal. And I love so much seeing two people have that conversation and the joy and fear and hope that comes along with that.”

Carla: So, I thought that that was really fascinating. Michelle also went on to say that they had never heard any criticism anywhere about this new season mentioning parenthood and that’s something that’s a blind spot for us because we’re not parents.

Ben: Mm hmm. Yeah, I hadn’t thought about that either. I think maybe I had not considered that because it did feel like the baby ended up being a bit of a plot device because…

Carla: Sure.

Carla: Here’s a baby same episode, baby’s gone. Mm hmm. But it really was a transformative experience both for L’Rell and for Tyler too. You know as has happens with some people in real life when they find out they’re going to be a parent they’re like “wow I’ve really got to get my shit together” and he sort of had seemed to have a bit of a moment where that was like I’m going to integrate the two halves of my personality and get my shit together for this baby. So yeah, I thought that was that was really interesting insight I hadn’t thought of.

Carla: And also, it really gives it a lot of context for Tyler’s “tetchiness” as I described it, you know we’re like “uh what about Pike? Blah blah blah” but really like this is the person who has found out that they’ve had a child and then given the child up for adoption and in an incredibly painful way. Been put on Section 31, then been put back on Discovery to the side of you know his pain and suffering. So, a lot more depth there.

Ben: Yeah yeah totally.

Carla: Do you have anything else Ben?

Ben: There was a great post on Reddit where someone had done a screenshot of the control panel in the shuttle and they zoomed into it and there’s like four controls that have labels on them, and they all have the abbreviations for the other four Star Trek shows. So, there’s one labelled TNG, there’s one labelled – actually I don’t think TOS is in there I think I don’t think the Original Series, but there’s TNG there’s a VOY there’s a DS9 and there’s an ENT. I thought that was that was great, and I can’t believe somebody spotted it. They’re so small.

Carla: That’s so cute.

Ben: Just in that one shot. But I guess you know you might be watching that bit closely because that is you know that’s the control panel where they’re flicking switches when they touch fingers.

Carla: Touch fingers.

Ben: Which is weird. I like that they looked at each other, they’re like “What”.

Carla: I hope that’s not some kind of DNA swapping situation either ha-ha. DNA is all over this place in this season.

Ben: It’s true.

Carla: I have one more or maybe two more. Okay so Michelle Paradise who has been an Executive Producer on the show and maybe just a Producer. She has now been elevated to Co-Show Runner with Alex Kurtzman. This is thrilling to me because she is a massive Star Trek nerd but also, she is a queer woman.

Ben: This is awesome. This is the first time this is surely…

Carla: I think so.

Ben: Well first time we know about it at least.

Carla: I think so. Well it’s definitely the first time for Star Trek. Yeah that’s for sure. Yeah. So, thrilled to see where that goes. Michelle has a couple of TV shows that I’ve never heard of which is crazy to me. So, I’m going to run off and watch them now one is called “X’s and O’s”. And she has the distinction of making that show, selling it and selling it to Logo without a manager or an agent.

Ben: Wow.

Carla: She made it all of herself. So, seems like a powerhouse of a person.

Ben: She knows what she’s doing.

Carla: Yes. So that’s thrilling! Do we want to talk about Talos IV?

Ben: I think we probably need to.

Carla: I want to so bad.

Ben: Well let’s let’s talk about it. So, this is the planet that is revealed at the end of the episode that Spock’s number, now can I just, actually I do want to talk about this for just a second… There are a lot of planets in the galaxy.

Carla: Yes.

Ben: The idea that a six-digit number could refer to just one of them and nothing else is kind of ridiculous. I think it should have been, I’m just saying, I think it should have been a longer number. Because also then it would have been a cool demonstration of how Vulcans have very good logical minds and they can remember long strings of numbers it’s no big deal.

Carla: Or it could have been several Google search results and they could have picked the top one.

Ben: Yeah but instead it’s like – well also firstly the first number has no matches at all. I’m like it’s a six-digit number. There’s going to be billions of matches in the entire galactic federation database. But then you reverse it and there’s just one. You get a what, what did they call it? You know we need to play that game. And the objective was to find a search term where if you Googled it you only got one result. I was really hard. I think these days it’s basically impossible. It was a game that you used to play if you were bored when Google was new. But yeah, I thought that was weird. But then the one place that it refers to is the planet Talos IV. And we’ve talked about, we’ve mentioned Talos IV briefly.

Carla: Well I don’t think we’ve mentioned it by name, but we talked about the episode.

Ben: Yeah. So, it’s yeah, it’s “The Cage” or “The Menagerie”. Yeah. Which I guess means that the events of “The Cage” and so therefore the past mission depicted in “The Menagerie” is either being set up or has already happened. And this is Spock going back to the planet because he already knows about it.

Carla: But how does that work with Pike storyline?

Ben: Well Pike’s moves so… there’s the mission that the Enterprise goes on to find Talos IV in the first place and then when they leave then no one can come back here. They must’ve already because Spock wouldn’t want to go there unless he knows, because I have a prediction for this, do you want to know what my prediction is?

Carla: Yeah of course.

Ben: I think the next episode, and I hope is the next one, but I think they’re going to go to Talos IV, they’re going to meet the Talosians, and the Talosians are going to do Spock a favour by putting him and Michael into a weird like mind-scape so that they can unravel whatever the hell’s going wrong with his mind. And I’m betting it’s like Alice in Wonderland.

Carla: Dude that is so cool.

Ben: And I hope that’s what happens because I think they’ll be awesome if it doesn’t happen, I want someone to write that as fanfiction because that’s be so cool.

Carla: Sounds like you’ve made yourself a job

Ben: But I think it’s, yeah, I just was when he was saying when they when it came out, I was like “Oh cool! This is going to be awesome”.

Carla: Look can I say like you know I’ve watched six episodes of the Original Series. And I hadn’t watched any before we started this podcast but the… guys if you’ve got Netflix just watched the first episode on Netflix it’s the pilot.

Ben: “The Cage”.

Carla: And basically like what happened with that episode was it was a pilot that got shelved and as Ben explained in a lot of detail in one of the first episodes that we did, they then created it into recycled material into a two-parter later on in the series which is like episode nine and eight and nine I think. But if you just watch this one episode, and it was a lost episode until the late 80s as far as I’m aware.

Ben: Well it was never available anyway. Yeah.

Carla: Yeah. So, it’s literally Episode 0 on Netflix if you open up the Original Series and it’s awesome. Like I’ve always put off watching the Original Series because I’m like “Oh, it’s going to be a bit crap. I’m not going to be able to suspend belief, it’s going to be a bit cheesy”.

Ben: And you know what a lot of that first season is kind of like that. I won’t lie. I tried and I got about three episodes in I’m like “no”.

Carla: I haven’t minded it at all, and like that first season “The Cage”, the first episode I thought it was awesome.

Ben: It is great.

Carla: I loved it in but in a kitschy kind of way and I think that’s kind of the only way that you can come at it.

Ben: It’s very of its time.

Carla: But it’s also to me like I’m a theatre critic and it’s like it’s very theatrical. It’s like soundstage stuff. It could be a play, you know.

Ben: And early television is very much like that. I mean you go back to the 50s when you see the very first sci-fi happening on the BBC and they did like an adaptation of “1984”. I don’t think any of it still exists but when you look at other stuff from around that time, it basically is a stage play. They just have some cameras points about it.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: By, you know, the 66 when they’re doing Star Trek things have gotten a lot more sophisticated than that. They’ve brought a lot more film techniques into television but still it’s a lot more theatrical than modern television is.

Carla: It just looks so cool and it looks way cooler than I thought it would look. And the Talosian’s have these like giant alien heads would like pulsating…

Ben: It’s very “This Island Earth”

Carla: It’s so cool and I don’t know how they did the practical effects on the 60s show, but I like I’m watching it like a hawk trying to see how it’s beating. You know like the veins are beating in its head it’s rad. So, spend an hour of your life watching this episode because it’s going to ground you in so much and I just think it’s really cool.

Ben: Yeah. And I go further than I would say it’s worth cherry-picking other episodes from the series that are relevant. Other good ones – the one where Sarek turns up for the first time with his diplomatic mission, “The Trouble with Tribbles” is quite interesting to watch for the sort of attitude – that’s a good one for Klingon relations in the sort of Original Series era and there’s a few other ones as well.

Carla: Look there’s 60 there’s over 60 episodes or something, I can’t remember.

Ben: It’s about 60 you ran for three years kind of standard sort of long American season length.

Carla: but let me tell you the first episode the one that went to air is awful. It’s all about them being bro’s and romance.

Ben: And then bizarrely they decide to do basically the same episode as one of the very first episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation. And they even refer to it. It’s ridiculous.

Carla: It’s crazy.

Ben: But you do get shirtless Sulu in that episode which is which is worth the price of admission.

Carla: But after that it gets better. Look I’m making my way through it and I’m enjoying it. I’m not sitting down to watch it like I’m scrolling or sort of doing something else or whatever, but you know.

Ben: I’m still dipping in and out around my watch of Enterprise which I’m enjoying more and more as I get into it. Now I’ve just realised I do have a couple of just quick little things. One I really liked in the intro sequence to this episode we now get a really good look at the Red Angel whereas previously it was all shadowy and yeah and in silhouette. So now we see the detail of the suit that we now know that it wears. So, I thought that was really cool. I liked that, Burnham talks about how in her opening log.

Carla: Which is a lot shorter.

Ben: She talks about how Amanda like taught her that things come in threes. I’m like I so Amanda is a comedian. Is that the rule of threes? That was my…

Carla: That was sort of the most busted thing I’ve ever heard a Vulcan say.

Ben: Well she’s not a Vulcan so.

Carla: That’s true yeah.

Ben: But I did think like does that mean they have the rule of threes on Vulcan (both laugh) now and then I started to try and imagine what a Vulcan stand that would be like so I’m like “No”. Okay yeah. Oh, there’s one last thing. One last little tiny thing. This is just me nit picking, and I like to get these in because sometimes I’m like “why guys just this is the continuity fail”. They say, “yeah we’re going to full stop in the shuttle”, and then the next time we see a shot of the shuttle from space it’s like flying through space. You just said, “full stop guys”.

Carla: I didn’t notice that.

Ben: It was really weird. Anyway, it was fine.

Carla: It was just, it must be the “time full stop”.

Ben: I think so yeah. I mean look he turned the engines off he still moves around but that’s it for my money that’s not what full stop means, anyway.

Carla: You’ve been listening to re:Discovery. All links to creatives are in our show notes and so on our website We’d love to connect with you. Please add us on Twitter and Facebook @rediscoverypod.

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Episode Transcript: The Sounds of Thunder (S02E06)

This is a transcript of our sixth season two recap, available here

Saru [From episode]  : Are you suggesting that I might be incapable of following Starfleet regulations or that I would disobey your orders?!

re:Discovery theme plays.

Ben: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery. The Star Trek recap podcast which won’t shoot spines out of its headphones at you. I’m joined on the bridge by my firm but fair Captain Carla Donnelly. Greetings Captain.

Carla: Hello Benjamin.

Ben: I’m sorry I was pointing at you when I was miming that you can’t see this listeners but that’s what was happening.

Carla: It’s okay.

Ben: I got a bit excited. We’re going to get excited, I can feel it, feel it in my bones. Now, “The Sound of Thunder” follows up episode four “An Obol for Charon” to forward the story of the Kelpians, and like that episode combines action and the kind of high concept moral quandary with a twist science fiction that Star Trek is famous for. Plus, it’s a time for Doug Jones as Saru to shine. This episode is all about our favourite first officer and how his life is changing forever. As Hugh Culber readjusts to his newly created, and super buff by the way, body and Saru wonders what changes are occurring within him? A new Red Burst is detected over a planet outside Federation space. Saru’s home world of Kaminar. When Discovery arrives in orbit, the predator Ba’ul species refuses their hails, and Pike orders Burnham to go down to the planet to make official first contact and ask if the Kelpian’s know anything about the Red Angel. Saru, displaying uncharacteristic aggression, argues with Pike that he should be the one to go and eventually after extracting a promise that he won’t share the truth about the “vahari” and start a war – Pike agrees suggesting the pair start with Saru whose own village. On the surface Michael and Saru meet Saru’s sister Siranna, now priest of their village since the death of their father. She is happy to see her brother who is presumed dead and accepts his story of his travels among the stars but grows angry when she thinks he has only returned because he wants to ask about the angels. The Ba’ul meanwhile, have noticed their arrival on the planet and set off alarms. Siranna angrily tells Saru to leave and never return and he and Michael beam back to the Discovery. In orbit the Ba’ul finally show themselves demanding that Discovery returned Saru to them and leave. Despite being ordered to stand down Saru reveals to the Ba’ul that he has survived the “vahari” and knows the truth about the so-called “balance” they maintain. The Ba’ul become even more insistent that he be turned over, sending multiple of their advanced ships to surround Discovery. Ordered off the bridge, Saru goes to the transporter room and turns himself over. He and Siranna are brought aboard one of the Ba’ul’s ships which promptly vanish from Discovery’s sensors.

Carla: On-board the frankly creepy “Alien-esque” ship Siranna and Saru face one of the Ba’ul – a really gross alien life form appearing to be constructed of tar like liquid. The Ba’ul reveals that Saru is the first Kelpian to have transcended the “vahari” in 2000 years and it must stay that way. As Michael, Airiam and Tilly unearth from the sphere’s history – once Kelpian wins transcend “vahari” they become the predatory species; and the Ba’ul were their prey for thousands of years. Saru and Siranna must now be put to death so the Kelpian’s never learn of their power. In the most boss move so far in this series, in place of his threat ganglia Saru has now grown extendable fins with spines that shoot from it and Saru attacks the Ba’ul with full force. The Ba’ul unleashes droids to kill both Kelpian’s but Saru harnesses his fearless psycho strength and breaks himself free to save Siranna. Saru rigs the Ba’ul’s technology to communicate with Discovery and together they decide to bring all Kelpian in through the “vahari” simultaneously by transmitting a modified version of the sphere lifeforms signal, across the Ba’ul infrastructure on Kaminar, in order to save the Kelpians from annihilation. The Ba’ul attack, powering up the same infrastructure ready to wipe out the Kelpians when something all powerful appears and disrupts the Ba’ul signal. It’s the Red Angel! And thanks to Saru’s enhanced vision we’ve finally learned that is a humanoid in a suit technology unknown to the Federation. The Red Angel is an entity from the future manipulating events. Ben, that was a very brief overview of what happened to these episodes. I couldn’t help but think of you when we first saw the Ba’ul. Did you love this non-humanoid entity?

Ben: Well for a start is it non-humanoid?

Carla: I don’t know!

Ben: I mean the thing it most reminds me of…

Carla: That’s why I said it!

Ben: It was kind of like it was kind of like a mix of like the girl from “The Ring” and the “Skin of Evil” that kills Tasha Yarr. It was like those two things that are mashed together and the guy who is in the suit is a. I think he’s Spanish, he’s worked with Doug Jones before and he’s…

Carla: Was very “Pan’s Labyrinth”.

Ben: Yeah well he’s worked on some of the same stuff with Doug Jones and he played the “Slender Man” in the Slender Man movie, that we just don’t want to go there. But anyway, so super creepy but I’ve got to tell you during that opening monologue when Saru’s is like learning that he’s he is getting superpowers I was right, he’s totally got superpowers! My first thought was oh “You know who the Ba’ul are? They are the Kelpians. Kelpian’s go through the “vahari” and they become the Ba’ul. They’re not a separate species at all. They don’t get killed. They just go to the spaceship.” That’s what I thought was going happen. And that isn’t what happened. But I have to say they look pretty similar, like they’d all be tall and lanky and they’re very skinny and they’ve got long limbs.

Carla: Well they come from the same planet.

Ben: So that does make sense, but it is so creepy like how could those guys be prey species like they’re so gross? And what’s with that tar? I want to know more about them.

Carla: That’s why I say non-humanoid, because is it all just one blob?

Ben: Yeah I was going to say do you think they’re made out of the tar? do you think they just live inside it?

Carla: I think, who knows? We don’t know.

Ben: I mean there’s a pretty good defence mechanism. How the fuck do the Kelpians hunt them down and eat them if they’re like hiding within this weird goop?

Carla: Is it like Odo? Like if their shape shifters or whatever, like why are they choosing to be that shape? So, they’re either non-humanoid tar goo that pop out in gross figures.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Or they’re gross figures that live in tar goo?

Carla: I mean look I think they make these decisions on purpose so that we can just like make up our own answers and have endless hours of discussion trying to figure it out.

Carla: I mean yes still two arms two legs even though it was dripping in good.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: But I did appreciate that… my big question was it’s such a dumb thing to think about straight away but I’m like “How did they build that spaceship? They’re made out of goo.”

Ben: Well, well they seem to be solid like they move around and stuff. Like they’ve got fingers and glowing red eyes. But is that even really what they look like? Or maybe did they take on a form appropriate like..

Carla: Well that’s what I’m saying. Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. I don’t.

Carla: It’s like Odo.

Ben: But whatever they really are. They really seem to have been at the mercy of the Kelpians once upon a time because the Kelpians kind of get to a point in their lives where they go through adolescence and just like all adolescence they get real angry. But, but also they have, like, fuckin spikes and super strength.

Carla: Well is it super strength or is it just so…

Ben: I guess this is a good question.

Carla: I’ve been thinking about this a lot because I’m studying psychology and so what happens when you have damage to your amygdala, you have a under under performing they say or undeveloped amygdala, is this kind of stuff. Like when you don’t have, when you’re not afraid when you don’t have appropriate fear responses, you have the potential to be able to put yourself into situations – really dangerous risky situations and either not conceptualize it or if you have some sort of psychopathic tendencies or sociopathic tendencies you can really push it to the limit.

Ben: Right.

Carla: So I think it’s also like hooked in with what’s called “executive function” which is like the frontal lobe, being able to moderate one’s thoughts in one’s actions. But yeah. That’s what it does feel like it feels teenage.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Like he’s kind of got this power that he can’t mod… he hasn’t learned how to moderate it yet.

Ben: I was really worried where that was going to go because I didn’t want us to lose Saru because that composure and that thoughtfulness and the empathy, which is what we’re talking about two episodes ago, in “An Obol for Charon”, is so much a part of what I love about him as a character. He’s so different from a lot of first officers that we’ve seen before.

Carla: Sure.

Ben: He’s very staid and he’s very, not well he is reserved as well, but he’s also just very “let’s do the right thing, let’s not rush in”. And that is partly out of fear in his case. But I just, yeah, I was really worried that they were going to change him into like Angry Hulk McAngressen or something. And I really that by the end of the episode he already turned it around.

Carla: Sure. And if there’s anything that he was going to be angry about it was it was this.

Ben: Yes.

Carla: You know, like, his whole life has been a lie.

Ben: I’ve got to tell you that there’s still something that doesn’t quite make sense to me about this whole set up.

Carla: What is it?

Ben: So, when Saru is on Discovery we know that for most of the time he’s been in Starfleet he has had this feeling that the Ba’ul are oppressing his people and that they kill them. And we learned through the Short Trek and the couple of episodes you’ve had this season that most Kelpians they believe in this thing called “The Balance” which means they go through the “vahari” and they think they’re going to go insane and die horribly or they can be mercy killed by the Ba’ul. But that’s not really a predator relationship like they’re not eating them all right. And it seems like…

Carla: But I think, I kind of felt like they were. They thought they were. Because Saru mentioned, somewhere, that they’re more like a cattle kind of species.

Ben: Yeah but I, but they’re not though. I mean when you see them like they’re this sort of I mean it is a weird sci-fi kind of concept.

Carla: But I don’t know what happens to them when they go, when they…

Ben: So, this is this is my point. They don’t know right? They told one thing they told that they sort of given this mercy killing. Well we think that’s what they told us it’s not 100% clear what they’re actually told but they believe that they have to submit themselves and they get taken up to wherever the Ba’ul will take them. And then you never see them again. So, you don’t know if they’re dead or what happens to them which is why I thought it was possible that the Ba’ul was like this species of evolved Kelpians but for some reason they keep their unevolved folk like in this primitive, like no technology state, on the planet because they think it’s important for some reason.

Carla: Sort of like reverse Soylent Green.

Ben: Yeah well it is you know.

Carla: We didn’t see what we didn’t but still we don’t know like do they just kill them?

Ben: Yeah we don’t know. We don’t know. I mean that those robot things did seem to be pretty – surely they don’t just stick knives in their face like that robot thing was going to do? I don’t know. So, I thought that was pretty intense. And then there’s the whole question of “Is it really okay to force an entire species to go through this evolution thing?”.

Carla: I’ve got “what the fuck General Order One” written down here.

Ben: Well I mean they kind of get around that a little bit at the start at least in terms of talking to them.

Carla: Yeah but also General Order One is about interfering in a species natural development. That’s the cornerstone of what it is. Right.

Ben: Yeah. And Saru basically has that one line where he says, “Well I think this is what the Red Burst brought us here to do.” and Pike goes “Okay well we’ll do it then”. I think well like hang on a minute, “Do you take your orders from Starfleet or do you take your orders from the mysterious Red Angel?” Like when they did it in New Eden when they interfered they were saving these people without otherwise interfering in their culture, right? They just stopped them from being wiped out by you know fixing the problem with the radioactive rocks falling from space. But in this episode they’re completely changing the evolutionary course of two species.

Carla: But I think they thought that it was either that or that they’d become extinct. So

Ben: I think their justification is good

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: You know and about all the other thing is the Ba’ul are a post-warp civilization and they’re kind of keeping the Kelpians in this you know sort of pre-warp state but they’re clearly smart enough to understand post-warp technology because you know well because Saru worked it out for himself from bits that fell off and they’ve seen post-warp technology it’s not like they haven’t been exposed to it. So, and this is what I was saying before like it felt really kind of flimsy that the Federation shouldn’t be interfering with the Ba’ul at least and saying, “this is not okay.” And now we find out that they did try that and the Ba’ul’s said “No fuck off we’re not interested”.

Carla: You what you wish, you were you were side-eyeing this the whole time.

Ben: I was and now it’s still side-eye little bit. I still I still think there’s like a I don’t know it makes sense. I’m being a bit picky but it’s because I love Saru and I want his story to be the best possible and it is great. I really loved it.

Carla: This was an awesome episode for Saru.

Ben: I’m just picking a little bit that’s all, but I really loved it. I had such a good time. I had such good time in this episode it was wonderful, and it was really it was interesting to see it like the “b” plot was almost non-existent.

Carla: Not.

Ben: Because the “b” plot was Hugh Culber going “Oh look I’m all buff now and I don’t have my scar and I’m conflicted because I’ve come back from the dead.”

Carla: Well the “b” plot really if you want to loosely tie it all together is transformation.

Ben: Yeah that’s right.

Carla: You know. So, you’ve got Saru’s transformation. Interestingly as well Saru finds himself in a similar situation to Michael at the beginning of Discovery. Which is going against all her cultural training, so Michael had that moment to back Saru down off the bridge and Saru was ejected from the bridge and disobeyed orders exactly like Michael and went and did this cataclysmic thing for a whole race of people too.

Ben: Yeah I do, I mean I can see that the differences in the situation and so I can understand why Saru’s is probably not going to get court martial. But still it’s interesting I hadn’t thought about that. That’s a great sort of parallel for them as you know like almost siblings themselves to have gone through now very similar situation.

Carla: And Hugh looks perfect.

Ben: He does, he’s super buff.

Carla: He is, he looks perfect like they’ve got his hair just right and I feel like they just powdered him all over. And they made him just look the best version of Hugh.

Ben: Because they like when, when he came back, like last episode, I really quite enjoyed that the, they made it immediately apparent that this was a weird process because in the network had clearly been like dishevelled and unkempt and he’s like hairs growing out he’s got a beard and he’s all grubby. And then when they remake him he goes he’s he looks exactly like he did when he died he’s got the shaved hair he’s got you know he’s all clean and I’m like “What the.” This also actually this this episode raises questions about that process again for me because the thing I’d forgotten last episode is they made a big deal about DNA, when they were talking to it and they didn’t have his DNA like when he was created in the mycelial network his energy was transferred through but not any kind of…

Carla: Oh no the tear. Did you see it was the tear?

Ben: Well it was you know that was metaphorical tear.

Carla: No wasn’t it real?

Ben: His tear didn’t get transferred into a network.

Carla: I feel like that was what was the bridge.

Ben: Oh well.

Carla: That was what was brought through the network.

Ben: I thought it was an emotional bridge.

Carla: No.

Ben: Because it because it’s his energy that gets transferred not anything physical.

Carla: But I think that that was what…

Ben: You think it was his tear.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: That is kind of beautiful in a way.

Carla: Yeah. But that’s a really cheesy…

Ben: But tears don’t have any DNA in them.

Carla: Yes, they do that they everything has DNA in them, off your body.

Ben: No not everything. Just cells there’s no tears aren’t made of cells.

Carla: But they would have cells in them they’re coming out of your eyes.

Ben: I think well yeah they would have like bits of skin cells and stuff in them I guess, it’s just liquid you know just it’s just liquid that is stored in a reservoir in your body.

Carla: Well have to get an anatomist.

Ben: I’ll ask Liz is on Prat Chat. She studied medicine she’ll know she’ll know what tears are. But anyway, we all know what tears are.

Carla: (laughs) What are tears?

Ben: We’ve been watching Discovery. We’ve cried a few but yeah it, they mentioned in this episode the importance of DNA and that the reason that he doesn’t have his scar is that they had a sample of his DNA, some I don’t know where that came from. I can’t remember where that came from. Oh no. Hugh, Stamets had like a hair or something I forget what the deal was.

Carla: They would have it all on file.

Ben: He had some weird DNA thing in the last episode. I forget what it was and so they needed that to properly recreate him using the Transport Pod which doesn’t really make sense given how it’s supposed to work. But anyway, so the idea is he’s been recreated in that moment but also from his DNA which means it’s kind of like in Red Dwarf when Dave Lister like gets his DNA altered and then he gets put back together again and that’s that happens in one episode.

Ben: But there’s an episode previous to that where he mentions he’s had his appendix out and there’s an episode after that where he gets his appendix out again. And the fan explanation is very simply well “when you get your body changed into one thing and then you’ve got rewritten according to your DNA back we DNA says you should have an appendix, so you had another one. And just like the previous one it was likely to get inflamed” so you could be like that. That was the most serious use of a Red Dwarf reference I have ever made. (laughs)

Carla: (laughs) Well I think possible.

Ben: Wow. Anyway I’ve talked about DNA too much but it’s so I thought that was that was curious and I think there’s still a lot to explore there about what the hell is going on and I don’t think as it goes on for me the parallel now with Hugh’s character, I think he’s going to go through, I’m going to be interested to sort of compare it to Buffy’s journey after she dies and comes back from the dead. And how similar it is and what he feels about it and I mean you know he hasn’t been in an afterlife he’s been in a weird kind of another thing but I’m. But yeah. So, it’s hard to know.

Carla: It’s an afterlife of sorts I guess.

Ben: Well it is. Well this is a question actually did he, is he, was he ever actually dead? Or was he like somehow transferred. Because they’re treating it like he was alive and I think… but his body was dead. And how do you know it’s not a copy of him and which doesn’t make him any less real or less Hugh but that means that there is a Hugh who did die, you know, so there’s – it’s one of those weird sci-fi situations where it’s like “wow this is not a thing we’ll ever or probably never have to figure out in real life but it’s such a weird situation that it’s fun to think about”. I say fun. It’s also very sad.

Carla: Interesting.

Ben: It’s interesting. Yeah. So yeah I don’t know. I’m really interested to see where that goes.

Carla: I really liked this episodes.

Ben: Me too I had it I really loved it.

Carla: It felt really eventful, but I don’t have much more to say about it actually. Beyond what happens to the Kelpian ends now that they’re all predators?

Ben: And now they’ve all got superpowers. But the Ba’ul’s still have this huge amount of technology but they don’t have the network of the watchful eye.

Carla: So, what’s going to happen to all of them together as predators? I don’t know. Hopefully there’ll still be peaceful.

Ben: I think the implication is that they were predators but they’re talking like thousands of years previous and.

Carla: They’re only predators to that’s species rather than everyone. Yeah there was a Ba’ul/Predator joke in there somewhere, but I couldn’t make it work. (both laugh)

Ben: Ok well I mean I my feeling is that you know they’ve had this and it’s more than 2000 years was like 2400 years or something, I think when they’re looking through the sphere data. But I liked the implication that you know they’ve had this period of peaceful existence now. And even though, they now have this sort of suppression of their fear response and they have this like arguably heightened strength or maybe you know it was just a stressful situation and they’re always as strong as a human being I mean they’re bigger than human beings taller at least.

Ben: But now they have these super powers of like shooting spines and who knows what else. Like I really hope that there’s more than that although that’s that would be enough. That’s pretty cool. But, that they’ve had this experience and that’s changed them culturally.  You know because it’s kind of and you know they have evolved in a sense that they’ve evolved in the Pokémon sense rather than in the actual natural selection sense.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: But that’s kind of cool and who knows what they’ll be as people now. But there’s, their culture is still the same and they all happened for them very quickly as well.

Carla: No but their whole ideological structure and framework has been, well destroy it.

Ben: That’s true “The Balance” has gone but they talk about creating a new balance. But the Ba’ul never agrees to that in this episode.

Carla: When they said that made me think of shoes every time “new balance”.

Ben: No. No product placement here. But yes, so I’m, I’m curious to find out what will happen with them. And I don’t know if you will…

Carla: Hopefully we’ll get to check in on them again.

Ben: Well I hope so. I mean I think I think what happens to Saru will be what we mostly get to see, and he’s sort of at the start of that journey too because for him he’s sort of going through it. I don’t know. You get the impression that his process of “vahari” was kind of closer to what the natural one is. It was just triggered early by the spheres signal, but the, everyone on the planet they all had theirs like accelerated so that it happened immediately. And I wonder if there’s something else there that means like they recover from it more quickly as well. I don’t know. There’s a lot of questions there but certainly Siranna doesn’t seem at all different afterwards. Like she’s not angry. She’s quiet, fine. She seems very friendly and nice and she likes looking at her planet from space. How could she by the way?

Carla: So Amazing.

Ben: Yeah. What a great, what a great…

Carla: And they’re all so softly spoken. And it was beautiful.

Ben: I mean now they can just kill you with spikes that fly out of their face.

Carla: That’s right.

Ben: That was pretty awesome. I did not see that coming. It was pretty good. But the Ba’ul have got like force shields and lasers and spaceships and they live in tubs of goo. So, who knows?

Carla: And they may be made of tubs of goo.

Ben: Might be. So, I think that’s going to be interesting. Yeah. The main other thing I want to talk about this episode was it was also a nice episode for Airium.

Carla: Yes indeed. We also get some kind of knowledge that she’s, well we know that she’s mechanoid/AI.

Ben: Part robotic some way.

Carla: But yeah there’s that quote at the beginning where Tilly says “without Airiam it could have taken months.” So, she’s instrumental to crunching the data.

Ben: And we don’t know if that means like she can plug herself in or if she’s just really good at understanding data structures.

Carla: Well she the spore drive operator so we can only assume that she is integrated somehow.

Ben: Yeah. Although whenever we see them activate the spore drive it really consists of pressing one button. So, I don’t know.

Carla: Is that just the dimmer that says, “black alert”? (laughs).

Ben: Yeah I don’t know. But that’s usually Dettmer who gets to press that button.

Carla: Is it?

Ben: Yeah. And Airium’s doing something else.

Carla: I was just making a joke.

Ben: Yeah. No, I know but I’m…

Carla: Shall we Short Chats? I think I think we should

Ben: Now it’s time for re:Discovery Short Chats, where we talk news, trivia and anything related to Discovery and also answer any questions you have for us follow our socials and get in touch.

Ben: Now captain we have a few things to follow up this week.

Carla: Hooly dooly as they say in the Star Fleet. (laughs)

Ben: Do they? (laughs) Yeah I mean I believe Pike says that.

Carla: It’s secret Captain language. We got a tonne of feedback about the last episode and also our reactions to it, more specifically mine. I just want to briefly, we can’t read it all because honestly there was so much we love you. Thank you so much for reaching out to us. There were some heartfelt, beautiful, very long detailed messages and it really made me think about things differently. How about you?

Ben: Oh yeah absolutely.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: And it’s just you know when you do a podcast there’s often no feedback just silently. You just don’t hear. You don’t know how many people are listening because the stats are weird, and you just don’t. And so, hearing from you listeners has been wonderful. And particularly on this subject as you say Carla.

Carla: The gist of it is, is that after Hugh died last year apparently there was a press conference and there was you know a lot of promises made on Twitter and Wilson Cruz saying that “he’s not dead he will be back” and there’s been a lot of kind of interviews and stuff and then now we get and then we had him in the posters. So, there’s been a lot of fans that have been like “but we’ve been known this has been happening for so long” and that’s great that you knew that. But for me I didn’t know any of that back history. I also don’t think it’s necessary to know that kind of level of stuff like I should just have to know what’s presented to me on TV. So, I sort of just take them at their word which is what they present on television. So, I still think it was unnecessary. Yes, everybody on Discovery has had an absolutely shit time of it, like no one has escaped. But I think that this is an area that they could have just left alone, and it would have been fine.

Ben: Mm hmm yeah. And I felt like when he died originally like we didn’t get a funeral.

Carla: No.

Ben: There wasn’t a big mourning episode. I mean Stamets went through some stuff but mostly when he was in the network meeting what we all, well I certainly I assumed was like a weird construct of the network in his mind to help guide him through it. I didn’t ever think for a second this is really Hugh.

Carla: Right.

Ben: Or some version of him that could come back. The strong message from the show now is this is Hugh, he is back. He may have been changed by his experience but it’s the same person. And I agree with you. Like when there’s all this commentary around it outside of the show I shouldn’t need to watch that and read that you know it’s like it’s like when J.K. Rowling says Dumbledore is gay. And then none of the actual on screen or in text stuff in the book ever says that. And so, you like does that count? I don’t think that counts J.K.

Carla: And that what you have to take their word for it? Like and for this it’s like if you do something which is like your most shocking moment of your show you’ve set it up to be you know the pivot of the most shocking moment of the show but then you have to immediately turn around and say that it’s not real and that he isn’t dead and that he is coming back. It just feels very messy and ham fisted to me and that they didn’t really understand like how big the backlash was going to be. And honestly if you have to do that much work in the background you’re doing it wrong.

Ben: Yeah yeah. I mean like I said you know I feel like there’s going to be some sort of Buffy-esque journey and I think really the problem was that he died and then it felt like apart from seeing him in the network. It wasn’t that big a deal.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: I don’t know. And that’s just it never felt like a big deal for anyone except Stamets. I also feel like in a related way they’ve revealed that they were actually married but they’ve done it with two lines of dialogue. Very off hand or even maybe just one line.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: He gets referred to in last episode and I missed it the first time I watched it. He gets referred to as a widower. And I thought that was possibly metaphorical but no apparently now they’re really married and then there’s another line. But he never they never referred to each other as you know “that’s my husband” or you know. I mean and look maybe in the Star Trek future it’s just not really a big deal we don’t hear that much about people who are, I mean what we sometimes do when they’re like Betazoids for example – a big hullabaloo about marriage there. But it’s, and you know Riker and Troi get married, so marriage is still a thing in the future. But I think once you’re married it’s not that nobody really feels like that.

Carla: I think it’s more about couples serving on the same ship.

Ben: Yeah so they keep it low key.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah that makes sense I guess.

Carla: So, I think let’s just put that to bed. I’m happy he’s back. I’ve still got a bit side-eye. He’s looking beautiful which is you know a good thing. So, let’s see where this goes.

Ben: Yeah I’m excited to see where it goes.

Carla: Yeah me too. I’m happy. I feel like this episode was a real pivot in some kind of other different direction. So, we’ll see what happens.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Do you have anything that you want to talk about?

Ben: Yeah. Look we heard from Adam Ford, listener of the show. Thank you Adam. Who wants to tell us that while there’s nothing else really on TV that, nothing canon, that is more backstory for Pike and more adventures of him in the Enterprise Pre-Captain Kirk. There is a whole comic book series from back in the day which explores that whole thing and its apparently it’s out of print a bit hard to find but he says it’s really good and I trust his opinion on that so if you’re interested in more adventures of Captain Pike go and search out those comic books. It sounds like they’re really cool. So yeah I’d like to read.

Carla: That sounds awesome. Yeah yeah.

Ben: Yeah. I mean remember there’s written way before Discovery so completely different take on what Captain Pike is like so that could be awesome.

Carla: Yeah I’m keen to read those. Right I have two things I always say this. This was shot at the same time as the Short Trek.

Ben: Oh yeah I did hear that. Yeah.

Carla: Yeah. So that makes sense. So, everything that you’re saying is true. You get a tick this week Ben.

Ben: I did all right didn’t I.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Thanks Carla.

Carla: And then we need to talk about the nude butts. We had a lot of feedback about #startreknudebutts. Hashtag as well.

Ben: Oh yeah.

Carla: We have to T’Pol and Trip when they sleep together for the first time, slight spoiler for me because I wasn’t up to that but sounds good and verified by a screen caption. We also have apparently Picard when he was tortured. But Ben and I don’t really remember that, so we’ve got to go back and watch it.

Ben: Well I remember it, but I don’t remember seeing the butt. Because I knew he was naked. He’s like strung up, nude and you just see him from behind, but I don’t remember if he sees his arse or if you just see him from like the torso upwards and like that’s not that’s not a fun time to see somebody’s butt that’s not okay.

Carla: Not for you. (laughs).

Ben: That was not consensual torture. Carla, that was not okay.

Carla: Okay. Yes, sorry, excuse me.

Ben: So, I mean look you know we have to say that we don’t want to necessarily objectify our friendly neighbourhood Discovery doctor because it was not he was not having necessarily a great time when he arrived nude either. He was sort of in the foetal position on the floor going “I’ve just been recreated through weird alien technology”.

Carla: No, we’re not objectifying we were just quantifying.

Ben: Yes.

Carla: In actually in Discovery. Oh, really in the first season when they’re all on Klingon and Georgiou’s goes and has a threesome with those two sex workers, he shows his butt.

Ben: That’s right. And he’s like an Orion is he Green.

Carla: Yes.

Ben: Yeah that’s right. Yeah. I’d forgotten about that.

Carla: Yeah. There you go.

Ben: Oh wow.

Carla: And there’s one butt, but it’s only half a butt it’s a cheek.

Ben: Butt cheek. Okay.

Carla: And that was when Q is banished from that continuum and they sent him nude to the Enterprise.

Ben: Oh wow.

Carla: Yeah but we really only see a cheek okay.

Ben: Yeah. Well chronologically it’s nearly the first naked butt. Because you know Trip and T’Pol is earlier and certainly you see them in their underwear all the time.

Carla: I know! It’s just whoa that’s another conversation for another time.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: I just have one more thing. Michael is in a different outfit this episode which was really weird. I don’t know why. Maybe they just like pulled her out off duty, but she in this like white top and grey slacks.

Ben: I noticed that too she does like to get out of the official uniform. It was kind of like I think there’s a white undershirt for the Discovery Star Trek uniform and she’s just sort of got the jacket off because she was kind of like not on official bridge duty. But it still seems a bit weird because everybody else is wearing the full uniform the whole time they’re doing other stuff. So yeah I don’t know. I did notice that too that was that was a bit unusual.

Carla: And also, that Tyler has a beard on Discovery. Beads are not Starfleet regulation?

Ben: I don’t know that they’re not like anti Starfleet regulation.

Carla: I mean feel like everyone is clean shaven.

Ben: Well not well certainly not by the Next Gen Era. Because Riker grows a beard. Nobody’s worried about that. And but you’d be right most people are. I think this is because you know Americans are distrustful of beards. Actually, that reminds me I did want to say something about Ash because he’s super paranoid in this episode. Like he’s really I don’t want to say he’s drunk Section 31 Kool-Aid because I was listening to that scene and thinking he’s much more cynical than I remember but then by the end of that scene he kind of says you know the war is like screwed us up.

Carla: You know I’ve written that down because it was such a cheesy terrible line Ben.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And it was “some of us are still torn apart.” (cracks up laughing)

Ben: Yeah I was a bit over the top wasn’t it. But. It does seem I mean how do you feel about that? Is that being that do you buy that change in his character because he was such a kind of…

Carla: I was like is he I just think everybody’s sexy for everyone I’m like why does he hate Pike so much but because of the relationship he’s developed with Michael?

Ben: Or Pike doesn’t like him remember because Pike doesn’t like Section 31.

Carla: That’s right. And he’s kind of like commandeered him with no choice so he’s right to be tetchy.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: I just think he’s tetchy because of that.

Ben: Yeah fair.

Carla: I only have one more thing. You know that’s probably like my fifth thing.

Ben: What do you got?

Carla: I hated the direction of this episode.

Ben: Oh really? Tell me.

Carla: The camera direction was like being on a roller coaster.

Ben: Oh yeah.

Carla: It was spinning and around it was wobbly, it was action cam. It was like going back, it was going forward. It was just always moving, and I had serious motion sickness after watching this episode. Yeah it was crap.

Ben: No, I was I’m down with that. And also, they did your hated thing. They splashed water on the lens of the camera.

Carla: Oh, What I did see it, oh that’s good I was probably cause us to nauseous.

Ben: It wasn’t blood. There was water got splashed it was one of the scenes on shit on Kaminar. And the other thing the other thing that I did I noticed this episode is they’ve done this a few times. They had this really long like voiceover monologues.

Carla: Hate it.

Ben: And the first episode one was fine because it’s like let’s set up the whole series and it was that cool story about the girl like throwing the stuff and causing the Milky Way. That’s a worst retelling of that story ever. But it was it was cool right. It was interesting. And now we have these really long heartfelt emotional monologues aren’t they just a bit too long.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: You know what I mean.

Carla: A bit too much.

Ben: I like I like the idea of them, but I feel they’ve outstayed their welcome now and I hope they don’t keep doing those. This one at least was punctuated like they stopped it and then had a bit of a scene like when Saru’s in med bay and he talks to Culber and then he goes and talks to the doctor who very helpfully was like “How do you pronounce that thing that happened to you?” and he’s like ““vahari””. He’s like “Oh thank you for reminding the audience.”

Carla: Yes. Yeah I thought it was so unprofessional.

Ben: Yeah. She’s like I’m like “You’re a Starfleet officer. It’s like learn how to pronounce someone’s culturally important words” like if I can learn to do it.

Carla: That’s exactly what I felt I was like “Jesus, ship shape lady. Come on.”.

Ben: But I agree with you like that. That first scene where it’s like circling around them that just went on forever. I was like “Why are you doing this?” And they’ve done that once or twice this season already, but it was much shorter in the other episodes where they did it. And this one just kept going. Oh man.

Ben: Yeah I did just want to talk about the title of the episode because we haven’t talked about that much before and probably I’ll talk about the episode titles in general when we get towards the end of the season. But I did, I don’t normally look at what the episode title is going to be but I was looking at a list of episodes just to remind myself of the previous episode titles and oddly had two or three of them in advance. And this was one of them and I really thought this was going to be an episode about time travel because one of the really famous influential stories about time travel is called “The Sound of Thunder”.

Carla: Oh, that’s interesting.

Ben: And it’s a story where it’s about a time travel company that sends people back in time to hunt dinosaurs and a guy, it’s where the famous like “treading on a butterfly” thing comes from because this guy goes back and you have to stay on this specially built path that built so that you don’t disrupt any of the lifeforms. And he gets off the path and he treads on a butterfly and completely changes history and then it comes back to the future and everything’s fucked up. So, I thought “Ah so they called it the sounds of thunder it’s going to be a reference to that there’s going to be time travel stuff”.

Carla: Well it was.

Ben: And there was right at the end like they confirmed that the Red Angel is some sort of time traveller.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Nice work Carla. That’s a tick for you.

Carla: Thank you. Yeah.

Ben: And I had a couple of moments in this episode where I thought things and then almost immediately the show confirmed that my thoughts were correct and I felt so good about myself. And I was like “oh no you knew I was going to think that like that’s not me being clever. That’s you doing their job.”.

Carla: That’s them being very clever.

Ben: “You’re being clever.” And it was when you know Saru looks at the Red Angel and you see the suit and I’m like I’m like” I’m like a suit of armour it’s like. It’s like Iron Man in there. What’s going on there.” And then they go. “Yeah it was a humanoid wearing some sort of armour” and was like “Oh yeah. I wasn’t being clever. They were deliberately showing us that.” But I still felt like validated. Yeah it was good.

Carla: Yeah. Yeah. It’s exciting.

Ben: I got to say I did just do a cheeky Google while we were talking and I found a picture of Picard during that scene. Like during the five lines and I don’t think you see his butt but he is nude and they’re positioned like a little thing on the Cardassian’s desk in such a way that I can’t see you know Patrick Stewart’s actual bits but you can see as one of my friends famously described it to me “the line suggesting penis”. (both laugh) And I got to say I didn’t remember how ripped Patrick Stewart is in this scene.

Carla: Are you sure it’s not a body double?

Ben: No, it’s he can see his face. It’s him. You kind of do see a bit of side butt. In the side of his torso. Sorry I just I just I was just like I’m pretty sure you don’t see his butt I just “I’ll have a quick look”.

Carla: We should just get screenshots and put them on the website.

Ben: We can.

Carla: Butt content.

Ben: You’ve been listening to re:Discovery. You’ll find links to all the creatives involved on our website and we’d love to connect with you find us on Twitter and Facebook @rediscoverypod.

Splendid Chaps: re:Discovery is brought to you by Splendid Chaps Productions. Find more entertainment for your ears at splendid chaps dotcom.

Episode Transcript: Saints of Imperfection (S02E05)

This is a transcript of our fifth season two recap, available here

Leland [From episode] : There are always lives at stake. That’s what keeps us employed. See we do what we do, so you can do what you.

re:Discovery theme plays.

Carla: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery. The Star Trek recap podcast that knows burying your gays and bringing them back to life is a trick reserved for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And even then, they never did it.

Carla: I’m joined by my Science Officer Ben. You’ll have a lot of work to do this episode. Ben are you prepared?

Ben: Aye captain as much as possible.

Carla: You better be. In “Saints of Imperfection” Discovery comes full circle with closing most open-ended story lines from Season 1 and Season 2. We immediately pick up where we left off from the previous episode – rescuing Tilly from the mycelial network and chasing Spock’s stolen shuttle. The shuttle is finally locked onto but in another cliff-hanger it is not Spock inside but Phillipa Georgiou. She has recovered the craft without Spock in it, it seems everyone is looking for Michael’s brother. This gives Captain Pike his first run in with Section 31 and it’s mononymous Captain, Leland. They appear to be old friends or are they? But the tension is high immediately. Who is this organization and why are they hunting Spock? With Georgiou’s arrival on Discovery, and the reaction this creates, Pike is suspicious to the extreme. When escorting Michael to speak with the “Section 31 liaison”, arrived to free Georgiou, Pike sees Michael’s face fall into shock and agony when she realizes it’s Tyler. This is enough for Pike to demand answers, fearing for the safety of his crew and presumably being very unbalanced by the existence of these black ops. Cut to the mission to recover Tilly, Airiam and Stamets manoeuvre Discovery to be half inside the mycelium network and half in the plane of reality. May has finally managed to spit out exactly what is happening. There is some kind of toxin overtaking the network that she believes is a malevolent force. This toxin was weaponized when Discovery started jumping through the network, so May believes they are responsible for it and responsible for killing it.

Ben: Stamets and Michael cross into the mycelial plane and find Tilly and May who have tracked May’s monster into Discovery. Following its trail, they find a dishevelled bearded Doctor Hugh Culber. May screams at the others to kill it as Hugh runs off with Stamets in pursuit. Burnham fills Pike in on this complication as the ship starts to be torn apart. Tyler uses his Section 31 comm badge to call for help and Leland ship de-cloaks and holds Discovery steady with a tractor beam. Pike is not impressed at this subterfuge. Stamets reconnects with Hugh just as the others arrive. May takes Tilly’s phaser rifle but till he talks her down from using it as Burnham explains Hugh wasn’t attacking them just using the deadly toxin from the mycelial plane as armour to protect himself from the spores. Stamets works out that his energy was transferred to the network through him when he held Hugh’s dying body and he was reconstituted by the JahSepp microbes. But when they returned to the interface between planes Culber’s mycelium matter can’t pass through. He’s willing to let himself be reclaimed by the JahSepp spores so Stamets will return to safety, but Tilly asks May to try transporting him back with the pods used to kidnap her. May doesn’t know if it will work but promises to try. The Emperor blackmails Leland to buy Discovery just enough extra time for Michael and the others to return and the ship jumps back into normal space. In engineering Hughes naked body appears as the mycelial pod disintegrates. He’s back, but the last link to the mycelial plane is gone. Pike visits Leland ship to find Vice Admiral Cornwell who informs both captains that analysis of the Red Bursts has detected tachyons and forces them to make up so they can work together to find Spock. The only proper lead they have.

Ben: Carla. You know normally I said there was so much going on in this episode, but I actually feel like this one had a pretty straightforward plot and spent a lot of time on it. How did you feel about this episode?

Carla: What do you think the straightforward plot was. I’m curious to hear that?

Ben: Well it was it was pretty much entirely a rescue mission to get Tilly back from the mycelial plane and we got a couple of surprises there. But it wasn’t – like a couple of the other episodes so far this season I feel like have had three or four things going on maybe, with the exception of the Q’onoS episode which was mostly about the Q’onoS plotline. But I felt like this one sort of had one main thing going on and really focused on it which I liked you know. I mean it had the subplot of “oh here’s Pike’s old mate who’s running Section 31” but you know that not much happened with that apart from that were dicks.

Carla: I don’t know I feel like that there was a lot of subterfuge with everything but I agree with you in the way that – look I think that I mean this is a third of the way through this season and we’re just on the precipice of where the story line that Harbert’s and Gretchen Miller designs is about to end. And I think it did wrap up so many things that we already knew about.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: So, there wasn’t a lot to kind of learn or keep track of.

Ben: Yeah it didn’t introduce a lot of new stuff. Yeah.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Well except for one big new thing.

Carla: What?

Ben: Well it introduced Hugh back into the show.

Carla: Oh yes. But here’s an old thing to.

Ben: Well he is, he’s been recycled quite literally. Which is which was weird. (laughs)

Carla: Yes. (laughs)

Ben:  So weird.

Carla: How did you feel about this episode?

Ben: Look I I really loved about the first half of it. I was really into it. I was on the edge of my seat during the intro sequence I thought it was one of the best intros we’ve had so far. I mean they’ve all been really good. Second episode was also amazing but just the action-packed sequence of chasing the shuttle and like you know doing this the Star Wars trick of like stopping so that the ship goes past. It was just cool it was a lot of fun and you know there’s lots of involvement from the bridge crew which is you know I always love. And then the great reveal where Spock is not on board. It’s bloody Emperor Georgiou which I was not expecting.

Carla: I love her theme song as well.

Ben: Oh yeah. Yeah she’s the best.

Carla: It’s Darth Vader she is Darth Vader.

Carla: Yeah well she’s the evil overlord totally. She even wears all black like she’s, she’s got it going on.

Ben: So yeah I really love…

Carla: Has problematic issues with her adopted daughter. (laughs)

Ben: (laughs) Yeah totally.

Carla: The analogy could go very far.

Ben: It could. It just means she just needs to have superpowers and she kind of does I guess.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: And then also the first half of like the whole plan to go into the mycelial plane and rescue Tilly and the development of May revealing why she’s brought Tilly there, I thought was kind of awesome and interesting. But then I felt like the plot slowed right down and it was one of those episodes where “we’re trying to tell you it’s urgent it’s urgent like we’re all going to die it’s urgent it’s urgent” but then they take quite a lot of time to have these long dramatic moments, which kind of I felt took away a bit from the urgency of what was happening. But I mean you know I still enjoyed the second half. I have very mixed feelings about Hugh’s return.

Carla: It’s so problematic.

Ben: And I want to hear what you think about it because I know I know you’re not happy.

Carla: The first time I watched this episode I was just in shock, like I couldn’t actually believe what I was watching, and I couldn’t process it. And then the second time I watched all I did was cry like it’s such, I feel like actually, like it sounds so dramatic, but I feel betrayed by this franchise of what they have done. As a queer person all I have ever seen up until very recently is queer people die, be murdered, be abused, die of AIDS, be you know a point of journey for a straight person. Queer people and queer bodies have been used as a plot device to amp up drama right? And have been completely disposable.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Right. Once their use has gone, for the straight people or the white people, they are disposed of and that’s why the “bury your gays” trope is so potent and so for that to happen, it was disappointing but something that we’re used to. But now to use this gay man’s body as a plot device for this re-emergence, this emotional re-emergence is so awful. It’s like why would you put a queer character/couple on there in the first place to do that to them first of all? Then I have to understand that both of them have been tortured during this period of time of waiting or in between being reunited they’ve – one’s been dead and tortured by the network the other one’s been tortured because he’s lost his partner. It’s just so unnecessary and so manipulative and it just made me so upset you know especially we’ll talk about it in Short Chats, but you know these actors are iconic for the queer community. They’re – it’s so meaningful to have them together on this show. And it just, it feels really fucking cheap to me to be perfectly honest and I don’t understand what their thinking was behind it.

Ben: Do you think maybe they feel like they made a mistake in buying into the bury your gays trope and killing off Culber in the first place and now they in some way they kind of want to undo it feeling that that will undo that mistake.

Carla: I have no idea. It feels impregnated into the storyline like you know and there’s also as I said most of it feels wrapped up like you know the band’s back together again. Tyler’s been requested to be a liaison, ordered to be a liaison now, on the Discovery so everyone who is still alive from the first season is back on the Discovery in whatever capacity. But everything feels wrapped up and everything feels like it’s in its place. I do feel like it was purposeful but perhaps not to the point that he was going to come back. But I add, to this extent but I do feel like it was… and it’s just so offensive because sci-fi is so populated by queer people you know and it just it feels like such a disservice to the community and now I’m sure they’re probably going to try to cover it up by it being this romance story or even worse, it’s going to be like Hugh’s all messed up from what he’s gone through. I don’t know but I have massive stink face over this whole situation.

Ben: I think it would be so unsatisfying for it just to go back to the way it was because even though we might want that, you can’t imagine that possibly happening. Really.

Carla: No.

Ben: Whatever he’s been through even if he is back to being normal Hugh and you know he’s psychologically he’s been through hell.

Carla: They both have.

Ben: Yeah. I mean because the Stamets also has been not just you know grieving the loss of his lover but also he was tortured by the network too. Like what Lorca put him through to get to the mirror universe nearly killed him and the state that he was in, which is referenced in this episode when Hugh died was not he was not okay you know he was linked into the network in a way that sort of fundamentally altered him and which is the catalyst for what happens in this episode.

Ben: So yeah I just I don’t know it’s I felt really weird about it. I mean also it’s not something – Star Trek does not have a long history of killing people and bringing them back, like usually when people die in Star Trek they stay dead.

Carla: Do you know literally the only one I can think of is Spock.

Ben: Yes, Spock the only one but you know and that’s like a full on – that’s like two films worth, well three films really.

Carla: Cried so much in that movie with that. Yeah.

Ben: But then when he comes back you know he’s not quite the same and he takes some time to readjust and he kind of, I don’t know I feel like they set that up really well. I mean the whole plot of the film in which he dies is about rebirth and genesis like the device is called “The Genesis Device”. So, it feels like they earned that. Whereas this does not feel like they planned to do this from the start. I think maybe they planned…

Carla: I think they wanted to be contrite there could have just been so many other ways to do it. You develop a lesbian relationship. Have other gay people on Discovery. Yeah you know it’s like, yes.

Ben: As always the problem of these things is not that you choose a particular storyline for a particular character, it’s that the same storyline keeps coming up for the only characters who are representative of certain sectors of the community on these shows. Like you always killing off one of the gay couple. That’s why it’s shit like it’s not because one gay person dies in one show. And yeah. And it’s yeah it is gross. I agree. And I think yeah. And look at also it’s just a weird thing. It was just a really weird thing to do.

Carla: So weird.

Ben: Just weird you know.

Carla: So weird.

Ben: And that like you know I also feel like from a techno babble perspective they really twisted themselves into knots to justify it and they didn’t set it up terribly well.

Carla: That’s why I said at the beginning like you better be ready to explain all of this shit.

Ben: I’m ready. I’m across what they said happened. And I’ll tell you why it’s nonsense. No, it’s actually I actually, it actually makes a surprising amount of sense, but it relies almost entirely on things that are explained or introduced in this episode. That’s what makes it feel kind of cheap to me and rushed and even though I suspect probably they were planning this the whole time they could have seeded it a bit more. Maybe it could have come in an episode or two later. They could have had a couple more things happen with the mycelial network that set it up a bit more clearly. I also look I also want to say like the mycelial plane itself I found quite disappointing.

Carla: What do you mean?

Ben: it just looks a lot like the mycelial spore garden on Discovery except under a black light. Like its trees and fronds that are in glowing blue and pink colours but otherwise seems to be a pretty normal just place. But also, like it’s a whole other plane of existence and they’re just standing on a plane, like a literal plane like full of like weird plants. I’m like guys “c’mon” like I know you’ve gone with a mycelial theme but also all of your representations of mycelium look like other kinds of plant life, they look like plant life for starters and fungus is not plants. It’s just weird and I was so hoping that seeing the actual mycelial network, because we never really seen it before was in the spores we’ve seen kind of glimpses of it but now we’re visiting it and it just seemed a bit odd when I was a little bit disappointed.

Carla: This may be where you and I differ in our life experience Ben, but the mycelial network very much that looks like what life looks like when you’re on mushrooms. (laughs)

Ben: (laughs) Oh okay. Oh well that’s completely changes my opinion. That’s genius.

Carla: So, I actually had that written down as a note in my notes I was like I really love that room I see the mycelial network looks like when you’re on hallucinogen and it really has that. Yeah. I mean I understand your point.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And I always kind of wrap that up into the kind of “Q continuum” kind of stuff of like they can’t show us our true selves, their true selves because we can’t actually conceptualize it and if we’re within that plane they can only show us things that we can relate to in order to be able to move within that environment. So,  I always kind of position it in that way but I do hear what you say and like I think they had so much more license to do it, but I don’t know much about, I mean Paul Stamets has written a book called “Mycelium Running”.

Ben: That’s the real Paul Stamets, just to get anyone is confused about time travel being involved.

Carla: The real mycologist.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: I’m wondering it’d be something interesting to look into because I’m wondering whether he did any concept design with them about this kind of stuff and I hazard a guess that it would be based on mushroom hallucinations.

Ben: Quite possibly, quite possibly. I mean look you know it’s my innocence showing that I had no idea that was the case, it’s a boring existence in some ways. It’s been very exciting in an imaginative way. Maybe not so exciting you know in a seeing things that aren’t there kind of way.

Carla: Well speaking of being provincial, I do love Pikes, I do love Pike’s reaction to everything, and I say that because he says “call me provincial” in questioning everything that is quite obviously like a fart. There’s serious energy in those rooms and he’s picking it up.

Ben: Yeah. And again, you know there’s that issue of trust. And I was so worried Michael was just going to not tell him about you know Georgiou being from the Mirror Universe and she doesn’t but she does let on that “Yeah there is something I’m not telling you but I can’t tell you right now, I’ll tell you later” and he’s like he’s can you…

Carla: Yeah he’s “like don’t let me chase you”.

Ben: Yeah but I also like that when she asks him for that time he’s just like “done” you know he’s like “yes I’m trusting you” but you know come through for me.

Carla: I have such a leadership burner for this man, seriously.

Ben: Oh god it’s the best.

Carla: It’s that fine line of hard and soft you know I like that little sweet spot.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: But also, I’ve written a note here that says he leads by instinct which I think is quite a common thread to all of the great captains that we see and also leaders I think. They have their protocol, they have their training but really they’re very led by instinct by what they feel is right and wrong and what is going on and that is quite apparent in this episode with him.

Ben: Yeah there is that juxtaposition of Section 31 and traditional Starfleet and Pike very much represents all the things very best.

Carla: Yes.

Ben: You know he has that speech with his Starfleet is a promise, oh god I love that so much. Like probably some people thought it was hokey, but I was just like “No this is, he really means it” and that’s what sells it. And you know Anson Mounts doing a fantastic job of embodying this person who really believes in the mission and isn’t going to leave somebody behind, and he tells his whole crew that’s what we’re doing and everyone’s like “Yeah”. And also, you know he’s just such a good judge of character, like he’s met Tilly two or three times and he’s like “I know that she would give her life for any of us”. When she’s when he’s talking to Burnham, he says to her “I don’t know you that well, but I know you well enough.” And I’m like yeah that’s, you don’t know that well, but you do know her well enough like that is very clear. So yeah I’m loving him still. And his reaction to Leland who’s his old mate who’s running Section 31. He’s like “nup”.

Carla: Well he’s such a company man. And to not know that this exists really shits on everything that he believes in in this organization because black ops really is analogies to the CIA, right.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: The CIA are out there you know rigging elections, assassinating world leaders, you know putting people into place and drugging people. So, to, he does seem provincial in that moment.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: To be so upset by the existence of this organization but also their tech – like there was so me there was so many “whoa” moments for me in this like when they decode from being a rock.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And also, it took me the second watch to realize where he goes “what the hell kind of com is that?” and he’s using a badge.

Ben: He’s got a comm badge.

Carla: Yeah dude.

Ben: Which they I mean and they’re all wearing like they’ve got the little insignia and it is it’s like a comm badge, but nobody else’s has got any technology in it. And I think that’s really nice, it’s a nice explanation for us because when you look at…

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: When you look at Star Trek now like if we made the show, and some people complain about this and I don’t understand their position, because when you look at Star Trek now you look at the technology they have on the Enterprise in the Original Series and you like, I wouldn’t have that in my car today. That that is crap.

Carla: Maybe in my car. (laughs)

Ben: (laughs) Well I don’t have a car so you know I’m theoretically I’m imagining a theoretical car, but you know I’ve sat in a Tesla like it’s more advanced than the old school Enterprise, it can drive itself for starters. It’s got better screens, got all the stuff and like you we’re all used to having these supercomputers going around and our pockets so the idea that you have to have your flip phone to talk to people 250 years’ time, however long it is, like ridiculous. And so, when you reimagine it for a modern audience having this thing where it’s difficult to do full on Star Trek style communication through subspace and miniaturizing it is quite a feat. So, showing a character going “How the hell do you do that?” that’s secret technology which will become mainstream and used you know, but that’s how the real world works too. You know like they were the technology that made say you know an iPad possible existed for decades before they made the iPad but it was very expensive to produce and so it wasn’t in the mainstream.

Carla: And of course, I absolutely believe that technology is gatekeeped, gatekeepered, by…

Ben: Gatekept?

Carla: Powerful organizations whether it is you know a governmental organization that’s developed it or even a capitalistic organization you don’t want to let people know that they have that technology.

Ben: They want to hold onto it till they can exploit it properly.

Carla: And that actually makes that actually makes canon extremely interesting that they have cloaking technology and it never even makes it into fleet until a thousand years into the future until the time travellers and can we say hello! maybe I’m right again. We’ve got some tachyon particles.

Ben: We do have tachyon’s its true. But they could mean anything Carla.

Carla: Could it.

Ben: Yeah it could literally mean almost anything.

Carla: Really? (laughs)

Ben: Yeah. They don’t exist they’re not real.

Carla: I know but because they’re from the future.

Ben: Well you know where they’re from? You know this is fascinating.

Carla: I was hoping you. Yes, I was hoping you would explain.

Ben: It is, so tachyons are a theoretical particle. There’s no evidence that they actually exist. There’s a lot of theoretical writing about them and what they would be like if they did exist. But the guy who wrote about them and gave them their name, Gerald Feinberg coined the term in 1967 in a paper he wrote about a theoretical faster than light particle because this is the important thing about Tolkien’s is that they always travel faster than light which means that they could potentially go backwards in time if they existed. You could potentially build a tachyon anti-telephone, a device that you could use to send information backwards in time. So, you can’t travel physically backwards in time but if tachyons are real you could potentially by building now a device that could detect the tachyons and someone sending a signal in the future and you would detect them coming back in time and get information from the future which could change history and cause paradoxes. Right. So, they don’t exist as far as we know but the guy who wrote it he was inspired to write the paper about a potentially faster than light particle because he read a short story called “Beep” by a guy named James Blish. James Blish then went on to write the first ever Star Trek novel for adults which was called “Spock Must Die” which is, a lot of people think, the first ever use of the word tachyon in science fiction.

Ben: So, it’s like this sort of full circle like he was he inspired the idea a scientist gave it a name and theoretical framework and then he used it, and didn’t just use it in the sci-fi, he used it in Star Trek.

Carla: It’s academia at its best.

Ben: Yeah. So, it’s quite an interesting history. But yeah they don’t they don’t really exist. So, when I think Leland who suggests it could be time travel and then Pike says yep it could also be transporter stuff or this other thing. And the Admiral says “you’re both right or maybe none of you are” like I think they’re setting up that this is a clue but we’re not going to tell you what it means. And maybe it does mean time travel.

Carla: It’s like “you might think you know what it means”. But really it’s dead Hugh from the future.

Ben: No no no.

Carla: So right it’s trying to think of the worst thing that they could do.

Ben: There’s a lot of bad things they could do.

Carla: I have so many notes on this, mostly about Pike. His hair seems to be getting bigger.

Ben: And better.

Carla: And better.

Ben: Oh, he’s got such good hair.

Carla: His face is so expressive. You’re an actor and tell me all about it. How fucking hard would this be?

Ben: It would be interesting to contrast Anson Mount’s performance with Sonequa Martin-Green because she knows she’s playing a character who has mostly got her emotions under control. So, she is often portraying Michael with quite a flat affect. But then you know in emotional moments lets it out and she’s great, she’s amazing.

Carla: It’s so controlled.

Ben: And that is like that is super difficult but also just as difficult and just as wonderful is Anson Mounts performance because Pike wears his emotions on his sleeve. By which I don’t mean you know he’s overly emotional and.

Carla: And yeah you can read him like a book.

Ben: But here he shows what he means. And but he’s funny he is in control but he’s not in control by repressing those emotions he’s in control by channelling them. And so yeah he shows on his face and yeah it’s just wonderful. I mean I got say that I like so many of the cast members of the show.

Carla: Oh, they’re all wonderful.

Ben: And I really liked that there was, is there are a few lines for the regular bridge crew this this time around, Reese gets a couple of lines.

Carla: Nhan got to have her resting bitch face on which was amazing.

Ben: She’s still wearing the skirt. I noticed that this episode.

Carla: Yeah! And it’s like I don’t know what’s underneath it is tights? Cause she’s got kneed high boots. I’m loving it. I want one!

Ben: Yeah but she’s like she’s wearing the skirt what she’s doing – now she’s Chief of Security.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: She’s still in a skirt, you don’t need to wear pants to be Chief.

Carla: It’s probably easier.

Ben: Yeah yeah. Probably is actually, freeing to run around. That’s great.

Carla: Yeah. And like speaking of which like in the future we probably all have calorie-controlled diets by re.. what are they called again the reconstitutors?

Ben: Well they don’t the kind of don’t. Well they don’t have replicators yet, but they do have.

Carla: Well maybe that’s why there’s fatter bodies on Discovery.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Because that’s what I want to talk about.

Ben: Oh okay. Yeah.

Carla: Because I always thought in the future because they’ve got the replicators you can just have a completely calorie control diet and eat exactly what you want and never put on any weight so that’s why everyone’s thin in the future.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: But this one I’ve noticed like there’s so many big butts walking around in the background in uniforms and it just and then like with Nhan and stuff it’s like oh “finally I can imagine a uniform that maybe my body will fit into”. It’s been really thrilling.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: It’s good. And I think I mean everyone’s fit like they’re all running around chuckles all the time and.

Carla: Sure, you’re no slouch in you know the Federation.

Ben: You’re in Starfleet you can just you got shit to do like you got to get out there and do it. But yeah but they, yeah it’s good they’re showing a nice diverse range of bodies.

Carla: Of butts.

Ben: Of butts. Oh, hey look I got to admit I wasn’t looking at the butts as much but maybe I will now be noticing them now.

Carla: You won’t be able to stop looking in the background.

Ben: Well I mean I did notice Hugh’s butt of course. First nude butt on Star Trek was it?

Carla: No!!!

Ben: Has there been one before?

Carla: I don’t know. That’s a good question. Message us plays with nude butts.

Ben: Yeah we want to know all about it.

Carla: Only from Star Trek.

Ben: Yeah just from Star Trek. Only Star Trek butts. I mean cause we’ve seen we’ve seen plenty of bare chests.

Carla: So many!

Ben: Starting with Sulu way back in the day.

Carla: Holy shit Enterprise is like just oh yeah gay porn.

Ben: Always getting their t shirts off getting around in their gear.

Carla: It’s actually like uncomfortable. Anyway, that’s a conversation another time. Shall we go to Short Chats?

Ben: I think we will.

Carla: Now it’s time for re:Discovery Short Chats where we talk news trivia, and anything related to Discovery. We will also be taking questions during this segment from you the listener. So please follow our socials to be in touch at @rediscoverypod. Ben what do you have to talk about today?

Ben: Well this episode gives me the perfect chance to talk about something I love talking about which is transporter technology.

Carla: Oh yeah, ok cool.

Ben: Because it’s such a big plot point in this episode.

Carla: I love this analogue version.

Ben: And they it’s nice they have the other pods like the organic transporter but really the thing that I want to talk about is that the way that it works in going between the two planes and the way that they talk about it really establishes that Star Trek transporters work in a way that as far as we can tell is impossible in the real world.

Carla: Okay.

Ben: And if you’ve ever read anything listeners about the physics behind how mad a transmission might actually work; the way we’d have to work in the real world is you would be scanned, then your body would be destroyed and then precise information about you would be transmitted via whatever means and then you would be re constructed from raw materials at the other end.

Carla: It’s just like the replicator but for people.

Ben: Exactly. Yeah but that’s not how Star Trek transporters work.

Carla: WHAT!

Ben: No. Star Trek transporters use some weird process that doesn’t make any sense according to the laws of science that transmit forms your body into energy and then transmits that energy and then reconstitutes that energy into matter. So, it is you the whole way.

Carla: No.

Ben: That is the way they talk about it. And look I mean it’s a bit confused in a lot of Star Trek like they’ve never really gone into a lot of detail about how transporters work there’s been techno babble about various things like Heisenberg compensators to measure accurately the position of atoms because that’s impossible to do at a quantum scale. So, they come up with some jargon to say no we can actually do it. And the way they talk about it in this episode is explicitly about transforming someone into energy and then transmitting them and then reconstituting them. And that energy somehow is them and that’s the whole story about how Hugh becomes a person in the mycelial network is that his energy was transmitted into the mycelial plain through Stamets, who at the time was still a conduit for it. And then the spores, the JahSepp on the other side, build a body according to his energy pattern.

Carla: Okay.

Ben: Which made sense to them. And that’s also how their organic transporter works. I mean like I said earlier they kind of bend over themselves backwards to explain how this is possible, but I still think it doesn’t quite make sense but it’s but it’s pretty close.

Ben: But yeah I thought it is interesting how explicit they were about this sort of transformation into energy and then reconstitution into matter but how your still you and they never talk about it because Stamets talks about the conservation of matter or mass which is a real physical concept where the amount of mass in the universe cannot increase or decrease it just, well the universe expands just gets further away from itself but it’s been further expanded into the amount of mass and energy because you can convert one into the other it can’t be increased or decreased. And so, his whole thing about how if she was destroyed there’d be bits of her left but if there was none of her there then that could only be explained – because you can’t just destroy it like he could burn her but then there’d be bits of her DNA and like molecules left. But if she’d been transported then there would be no sign of her. So yeah interesting.

Carla: I thought it was kind of fun, metaphysical, meta-ness about death. Yeah you know but life and death and the spirit and our existence beyond physical plains. Because I think that’s kind of what people imagine dying to be like as well. I’m not sure but that’s certainly how I’ve thought about it in the past particularly about the decomposition of the body and how everything is made out of atoms and carbon and all the materials of life you know and that we return to where we once came from and will come back again from the same material.

Carla: Okay I think I’m finally ready to talk about the queer significance of this version of Star Trek. Okay so we have Tig Notaro which you’ve talked about in the past which is fabulous. Also, the actors who plays Paul Stamets and Hugh Culber are very dearly loved in the community. They were both in the original production of RENT, RENT is an AIDS musical essentially, that sounds horrible, from the 90s it’s very famous. I don’t know anything about it but lots of people are very falling over themselves about it. Also, Wilson Cruz has the honour of being the first gay person to play a gay character on TV.

Ben: Really?

Carla: In “My So-Called Life”.

Ben: Wow.

Carla: Yeah. So, he is a trailblazer.

Ben: When was that?

Carla: I think it’s like 96?

Ben: That’s horrendously recent.

Carla: Right! and Anthony Rapp who plays Stamets kicked off the gay #metoo movement by accusing Kevin Spacey…

Ben: Oh wow.

Carla: Of sexually assaulting him when he was a 16-year-old actor in New York. So, Anthony Rapp has done an incredibly brave – because both of them at the time were one of a handful of actors who were out. He’s been out since he was a young teenager. He was a child actor and then he also has the unfortunate indignity of also being the first person to kick off the gay #metoo movement and bring light to Kevin Spacey behaviour. So, the two of them together are stalwarts and heroes of the Queer community. Who else do we have? We have Tig really like these oh and we have Mia Kirschner who plays Amanda. She played probably one of the most notorious queer characters in queer TV. She was Jenny on the L word and we sometimes see on the #queertrek hashtag people being like “what! Jenny’s in Star Trek now? my two worlds are colliding”. She’s not actually queer but the L Word was obviously such a huge show for queer people in the early 2000s. So really that’s kind of like most of the active iconic queer people are in this show. I can only think of really one more person that they should add that is in that stratosphere of queer icon is Jane Lynch. They need to bring in Jane Lynch.

Ben: She would be great.

Carla: Potentially Portia de Rossi.

Ben: Although I don’t know. Jane Lynch. What who would she play? I mean I feel like..

Carla: She could be another salty.

Ben: Yeah well these are…

Carla: Or gregarious.

Ben: Oh, you know she could be she could be Harry Mud’s mum. (both laugh) That would be incredible. Like it just turns up and like seem like she’s going to be like telling him off. But then no they’re totally planning a con together. Like how good with that.

Carla: That is awesome.

Ben: Okay. I mean there’s lots of other things you could play with that’s the one that immediately came to mind.

Carla: And we need to get Portia de Rossi in as like T’Pol, 7 of 9 type character.

Ben: She would kill that.

Carla: Totally. Ah so that’s my uh that’s my finalization of queer casting for Star Trek. But I just thought I’d give everybody the backstory on who these actors are and how we see them as the gravity that they have behind them when they are all together on one show. It’s obviously incredibly deliberate, cherry picking these people to put them on the show. So, when things like this happen it’s just like “What the fuck are you doing bros?” you know.

Ben: Yeah. It does seem weird. I mean of course there’s still a lot of representation that hasn’t happened in the show. We don’t have anybody who’s gender queer or non-binary. But I think that’s weird because it’s the one thing and this is something I’ve been thinking watching Enterprise. It’s the one thing that really dates it, makes it feel not like the future is how retro and traditionally hetero everything is.

Carla: Particularly Enterprise so much fist fighting.

Ben: Yeah. Because you’re just looking at it and also like just I mean one of the characters I thought I was going to really like, and then he just turns out to be such a bro in a lot of episodes is Malcolm the English character who’s a bit stiff and you expect that he’s going to like sort of relax a bit into the show but he’s just he’s just such a bro you know? Like what the episode where they go for shore leave on Risa and they’re just trying to get laid. And it’s just gross and he gets drunk with his mate and the way he talks about T’Pol. I mean I’ve learned a lot in the last decade. Right. And that was like the 2000s. Like surely I would hope that by the time of Enterprise things have only gotten better and more enlightened, but no it’s such a reflection of the time that it was made..

Ben: And then you look at things like there’s that episode of Next Gen where Riker falls in love with the alien where it’s taboo to have a gender. And he wanted them to cast a man so it would be more significant, but they cast a woman which was, and he’s on record in interviews saying I still think that was a mistake. We should have cast a man and I should have made more of a fuss about that and tried to make them do it because then you would have had like a non-hetero kiss on Star Trek the Next Generation which would have been amazing. But also, that episode kind of also is weird because now you watch it and you go that’s the future. And the only representation of people without traditional genders is an alien.

Carla: Right.

Ben: And so yeah it’s weird.

Carla: That’s funny I felt the same way about Enterprise about Trip. But I ended up loving him.

Ben: Trips like yeah he’s just there’s something less dickish about him somehow. I don’t know what it is.

Carla: He’s curious.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: He’s open minded. Yeah.

Ben: Because he has that early episode where he gets together with the aliens. I mean he gets pregnant and he’s like and he’s not shy about the whole thing. And then he gets pregnant he’s understandably pissed off.

Ben: Yeah.

Ben: But you know that’s yeah I think that is a big difference.

Carla: Look the biggest thing that date’s Enterprise and it’s the thing that irritates me the most about that show is the blonde highlights that they put in Trips hair and Scott Bakula’s hair. That’s some serious “NSYNC” frosted tips there and they brush it into oblivion but it’s there.

Ben: Yeah fair.

Carla: I only have two more things go for it. Leland and Pike homo vibes?

Ben: Could be I mean they clearly were close and they’re still kind of chummy but I don’t – I mean you get the impression you know Pike hasn’t seen him for ages like last time he saw him he was wrestling crocodiles on some place which does sound like maybe that’s a euphemism for something (both laugh).

Carla: I was like “hmmm”.

Ben: Yeah I mean that would be a cool backstory I’d be into that.

Ben: I’d love it.

Ben: But clearly they’re not, they’re pissed off now although the way that they apologized to each other. I mean and I’m always in two minds about this like yeah I think having more queer storylines is great. I think also it’s so important to show good close friendships between straight folks, particularly between men, like this is something you see between women on TV a lot. It’s one of the reasons I always get a little bit annoyed with people. I understand why they want to ship Holmes and Watson for example in any version of Holmes and Watson. And sometimes I’ve done it as well, but I think also the value of the relationship they have as friends or any two male characters have as friends, where it’s not just that very bro-y thing like with Trip and Malcolm in Enterprise but where it’s a deeper more important friendship. I think it’s also really important in addressing issues of toxic masculinity. So, having said that I also just don’t think Leland is hot enough for Anson Mount, Pike’s too hot for him.

Carla: (laughs) Well maybe that’s what happened?

Ben: Pike just realized why am I with this idiot.

Carla: I’m too good for you.

Ben: You’re both hot-wise and morally.

Carla: You’ve been listening to re:Discovery. All links to creatives are in the show notes or on our website We’d love to connect with you, please add us on Twitter and Facebook at @rediscoverypod.

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