Project Daedalus (S02E09)

Set your face to ugly cry (again) for Project Daedalus, where we inch so close to the mystery of the Red Angel we could mind meld with it. Discovery is on the run with an innocent Spock aboard. Admiral Cornwall secretly rendezvous with them and they join forces against a suspect Section 31. An away mission goes very, very bad. We lose a crew member we had only begun to know. 

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Show Notes…

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.

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