Tag: Episode

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 rediscoverypodcast.com. We’d love to connect with you. Please add us on Twitter and Facebook @rediscoverypod.

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

Light and Shadows (S02E07)

In “Light and Shadows”, the search for Spock is finally over as Michael has an emotional reunion with her brother. Meanwhile Discovery finds a time rift whilst investigating the tachyon particles left behind near Kaminar, with Pike and Tyler bonding through space, time, robot octopi and touching fingers. This was an action-packed episode with a forward thrust, temporally, through all versions of Star Trekre:Discovery is living for this episode and the rest of the season!

Connect with us and let us know your thoughts via Twitter, Facebook or our website. A transcript of this episode is available.

Show Notes…

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 rediscoverypodcast.com 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.

The Sounds of Thunder (S02E06)

This week’s episode “The Sounds of Thunder” returns Saru to his homeworld Kaminar. The Red Angel has directed Discovery there – but why? We finally meet the Ba’ul – the mysterious oppressors of the Kelpiens – and ponder what level of action is ethical to stop genocide (you know, just regular Star Trek stuff). Team re:Discovery return to “that episode” to discuss the huge amount of listener feedback we received, and cheekily deliver our audit of #startreknudebutts. Thanks for listening!

Connect with us and let us know your thoughts via Twitter, Facebook or our website. A transcript of this episode is available.

Show Notes…

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 www.rediscoverypodcast.com. We’d love to connect with you, please add us on Twitter and Facebook at @rediscoverypod.

Petra: re:Discovery is brought to you by Splendid Chaps productions. Find more entertainment for your ears at splendidchaps.com.

Saints of Imperfection (S02E05)

In this week’s episode “Saints of Imperfection” the Discovery crew launch a mission to rescue Tilly from the mycelial network and pursue Spock’s shuttle craft. This episode is heavy with entities existing where they shouldn’t – Phillipa Georgiou on Spock’s shuttle, Pike’s old friend Leland running Section 31, and in the season’s first (expected) whoa moment, the highly problematic return of Hugh. Team re:Discovery discuss the history of the theoretical tachyon particle, body diversity in the crew, the queer significance of Discovery and the technology of transporters. Like everything in this episode, it doesn’t work how you think it does!

Connect with us and let us know your thoughts via Twitter, Facebook or our website. A transcript of this episode is available.

Show Notes…

Episode Transcript: An Obol for Charon (S02E04)

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

Saru [From episode]: I’m most certainly not… dead.

re:Discovery theme plays.

Ben: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery. The Star Trek recap podcast whose favourite songs are considerably less than 288 years old. I’m one of your host Ben McKenzie and I’m joined as always by my fearless Captain Carla Donnelly. Greetings Captain.

Carla: Live long and prosper Ben.

Ben: So, let’s talk about “An Obol for Charon” an episode that combines the fun and hope of this season’s first couple of stories with some of the darkness and mystery of Season One. While the Spock thread is kept dangling in front of us and yanked away like yarn in front of a kitten. This episode progresses the “May” plotline, returns Tig No… I mean Jett Reno to us; finds great plot reasons to explore rich elements of the Star Trek mythos and gives us some big feels; and gets deep into Saru and his relationship with Michael. We kick off with a blast from the past, Captain Pike’s trusty Number One visits briefly to confirm Enterprise is still in space dock and to deliver a clue that will let Discovery chase after Spock. Pike argues with Burnham over her reluctance to get involved but while in pursuit of Spock stolen shuttle the ship is sharply pulled out of warp. A massive sphere, part biological in nature, has them in its grip and soon starts messing with a universal translator and other ship systems causing chaos. Saru’s mastery of languages comes in handy but soon he collapses. What he had hoped was just a cold is actually “vahari” the state Kelpians enter when they are about to die either at the hands of their predators or in madness.

Ben: In engineering standards until here watching over “May”, the fungal life form, when they are joined by Jet Reno sent to seal off the ship’s propulsion systems from the malfunctions happening elsewhere; and to trade sass with Stamets. When the power is shut off “May” escapes and latches onto Tilly dosing her with hallucinogens. Although whether to calm her or take her over is unclear. Burnham and Pike debate what the sphere wants, it could surely kill them if it wished, so why this slow attack through the computers? Burnham and Saru work to slow down the spheres virus like influence and share a tender moment. Their work done, Michael learns Spock’s trail will go cold if they don’t break free of the sphere soon and visits engineering where Stamets plan to talk to “May” through a neural interface inspires her. Heading back to Saru the two realize the sphere is trying to communicate and that this isn’t first contact but last. Saru’s “vahari” was triggered because the sphere is dying.

Carla: Saru and Michael convinces Pike to power down the Discovery to receive the spears message, believing it is the spheres attempt in its final moments to download its history for preservation before it dies. The spear pushes Discovery away to safety just as it implodes gifting the federation with 100,000 years’ worth of data from its vantage point. In Season 2 his first real tear-jerker, we cut to Saru instructing Burnham to sever his ganglion -euthanizing him before he descends into madness. Michael’s face contorts in pain as she cries desperately wondering whether this is truly inevitable. Both Saru and Michael are forced to accept what they have been indoctrinated, logic and biology. And this seems to be the main theme of this episode, the polarization between action and surrender. There is a lot in this episode for the Trek fan, the misfit who left home without looking back to find a place where they belonged; where they could be truly stimulated and perhaps people they could call kin. This for me was the source of my many tears shed over this episode. If we surrender to others ideas of who we are and what our potential is, that this is a form of death. But who are we without someone to remember us? Do we exist? Did we exist? But when we push we can discover an entire universe of ourselves but also the rage that is unleashed that comes with this knowing.

Carla: This is further characterized back in the lab with Stamets, Tilly and Reno. Dr Frankenstein, I mean Reno, has trepanned a neural interface into Tilly to talk to “May”. In a childhood that appears to be dotted with loneliness and isolation, May is a friend that Tilly had for only six months and is the fungi’s best bet at manipulating her kindness. The team are dosed by the entity until he disappears seemingly into the mycelial network just Stamets was going to close the door for good. This episode heavily explores the isolation drive and ambition of the highly intelligent. All crewman on Discovery are the best in their field but struggle heavily with their interpersonal relationships; most maintaining a persona that appears impenetrable. However, it is only through teamwork connecting with their fellow humanoid that they are able to achieve their goals and truly by letting others in allowing themselves to love platonically, it radicalises their world beyond anything that they have experienced. The yin yang of human’s fascination and aspiration with space exploration being represented in the microcosm of emotional experience, I feel is absolutely the essence of Star Trek. I adore this episode Ben, but do you think I’m projecting? (laughs).

Ben: Look if you are then I am too. Did you cry Carla?. Because I sure did.

Carla: Oh my god! Are you kidding? Just not even for Saru dying because of course I love Saru but Michael, like Michael’s just beyond existential pain. It’s so multi-dimensional the things that she is having to accept and go through all in that one moment.

Ben: Well it’s her life, like you know, she’s made a new family of the Discovery but Saru is now like the last link to her old family from the Shenzhou. I mean yeah Detmer is there as well, but I don’t you never get the impression that the two of them were ever close. Not like she and Saru were and they’ve had this big bust up where you know Saru couldn’t agree with her methods and what she did. He’s forgiven her, they’ve repaired that friendship, they’ve become close again and now she’s going to lose him. It’s heartbreaking you know, and they have those, I’m tearing up now thinking about it, it was just it was wonderful and sad and I really I really thought he was going to die.

Carla: Me too.

Ben: I really did because I mean it’s a show that’s shown that it’s quite happy to kill people off and look you know in modern television, I think in this post Game of Thrones era we all think anyone could really die…

Carla: At any moment.

Ben: You know they’ll be in the episode when their name is in the titles. That’s as much as you can tell, and you don’t know if they’re going to be dead as a ghost or a flashback and they could die. And I really thought it was going to happen and I was so glad that it didn’t. Not just because you know I love the character of Saru but because I really like where it’s going to take his storyline, but I absolutely agree with you that it’s such an important theme in this episode that people have found their place in Starfleet aboard a spaceship and that the letting down of those barriers that they put up is so important for their success.

Ben: It was what I was talking about you know an episode or two ago about the characters trusting each other and telling each other what was going on which has been a continuing theme and they resist that at first, most of the time. But the thing that I like about Discovery is they let those walls down pretty quickly usually within the same episode or at least the episode after.

Ben: So, it’s never like oh finally you’ve told him about that say no. This only happened earlier this episode or last episode. So yeah I don’t think you’re projecting. I think that’s what it’s all about.

Carla: And also, I think like Michael and Saru are you know metaphorical or parables about science and religion. You know you’ve got one race that is entirely biologically fear driven and you’ve got one race that is highly logic driven and the whole arc of their relationship has been about trying to find that space between them that they share; and not only just getting along but also developing this deep relationship between each other. And that they need each other, they’re not single units you know that there is – together they are more than the sum of their parts. And that is you know it’s just such a beautiful message.

Ben: Absolutely. I think also there’s a great internal conflict in Michael, although it’s not a conflict anymore. I mean one of the things I loved most about…

Carla: She’s letting go.

Ben: She’s letting go. But also, she still has that Vulcan ability because you see it twice in this episode. And I like sat up straight when I saw her do it. She literally shrugs off her emotions like she’s when she’s so bereft and there’s so much pain on her face and she’s letting it out and saying what she really feels. And then she’s like “Well I’ve got to get on with this and do this for my friend” and she just sort of straightens up and the emotion leaves her face and she’s like “it’s time to get the Vulcan mindset on”. And I think that’s something that a human who’s trained can do, but Vulcans can’t do because there’s that whole backstory about their emotions are so overwhelming that’s why they have to train themselves to subsume them. And it’s something that Spock struggles with too being half human. But he sublimates his emotions most of the time whereas Michael can she’s learning to be able to use them when they’re necessary and put them away when they’re not.

Ben: Which like feels like a dream you know like I think we’ve all felt like we wished we could do that at some point.

Carla: And that’s where I find Pike such a compelling character and mostly the captain is, because a good captain and almost all the captains I can think of in Star Trek have modelled this behaviour where they are kind and compassionate people to their crewmen. But when it comes down to it they are they are completely solid in their ability. You know like Pike doesn’t even break a sweat when he’s like “eject the warp core” you know like his whole face does not change through that whole thing and it’s just like that is also such an immense level of training and meditation.

Carla: And also, I think sometimes inherent in people to you know like he is what Michael should be looking up to. But she still desires to be Sarek. That’s my feeling you know.

Ben: That’s interesting I like that. Yeah I think it’s also interesting to compare Pike’s command style with what Tilly is like and to see how much of a because I think that’s what you said is actually true and that’s the thing that she’s got a journey to go on to get there because when she’s competent she’s great but she doesn’t believe in herself enough that she can get there easily or without the kind of encouragement of others at the moment. And I think that’s where she’s got to get to because Pike doesn’t need someone else to look to him and say, “what should we do”, he’s just “it’s my job to do that I’m onto it.”

Carla: Yeah but he’s also been taught by somebody to do that. And I think that that’s also like the huge message of this is that if we don’t share of ourselves with each other and if we don’t have; you know it’s like that you know “if you can’t see it you can’t be it”, you know so we can, and that’s what I love about Discovery the most is that there’s so many characters that are on so many different planes of their development and there truly is a character for everyone you know? And you can sort of see from a to b and how you know dotted along the landscape you’ll become X Y and Z on your way to there, you know, if you’re hopeful. But one thing I did love about this episode is that you forget how much of a dick Stamet’s is (laughs). And I felt like that was the first Stamet’s moment post Hugh, which I really liked.

Ben: Yeah he has had that sort of weird smugness about him which is which is an odd thing to say about someone who’s clearly still grieving. But he has had a bit of that like even when he’s talking about the opera. Just like “I know about opera and important things”, and I love when he’s trading barbs with Reno…

Carla: Which I call the “soft butch showdown”.

Ben: (laughs) Yes but I think I think one of the great things about that exchange is that they both are very reasonable in it, like they’re both being snarky to the other one, but whereas Reno’s like being – you know she’s got some sass she’s given him some sass. But it’s because she’s just been told yeah this spaceship flies on mushrooms and she’s like “that’s ridiculous, but okay I’ll do my job”, that’s kind of her attitude. And his attitude is like “don’t come in here and tell me how to do my job, this thing you don’t even understand”. And also, you know he’s got that real strong ecological kind of message. And they both they both right in their way. And I liked that I didn’t feel like that was imbalanced it was a nice sort of trade-off. And then they become friends!

Carla: Of course, because there’s no one right way.

Ben: Yes.

Carla: And you know which we’re learning every day.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Especially Michael.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: I really love that this. Like even though it was about Saru dying I really love that this focus so much on Michael this episode. Her development has been so amazing to watch.

Ben: Yeah, and you know she’s been, it feels a little bit like the last couple episodes she’s been a bit of the B plot even though she should be so tightly involved in the A plot. But the A plot like I said in the intro is being dangled in front of us and pawed along on a string you know -well the arc plot anyway about Spock and we’re not there yet. We haven’t found him yet. I mean you know I feel like we won’t find him for another five episodes yet.

Carla: Oh my God.

Ben: They’re going to string this out as far as possible.

Carla: And that there is a, there is an actor who is playing. So, we will see him at some point.

Ben: We’ve seen him, we know what he looks like. I mean you know he looks like he looks a bit like Spock I guess.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah maybe. Do you think that’s why they made the actor grow a beard so that we wouldn’t…?

Carla: A little bit more sort of camouflage maybe a little bit. I really care about that anymore, do they? We’re supposed to kind of suspend belief, they just give them the same haircut, put them in the uniform and say, “There you go”.

Ben: Speaking of which Rebecca Romijn playing Number One.

Carla: Hooley dooley!

Ben: Amazing! I mean such a small scene but just establishes a presence immediately. I really enjoyed her in this role.

Carla: Hopefully to see more of her.

Ben: Well I mean you don’t cast Rebecca Romijn for like a 10 minute,  not even 10 minutes, like if she’s on the screen for three minutes in this episode I think you’d be lucky. But she’s got that same level of sass as the original Number One, which I thought was great. She’s you know such a forgotten character. She’s only in that pilot. And yeah it’s lovely to see her back.

Carla: And is she in “The Menagerie” as well? Because I’ve only seen the pilot episode.

Ben: She is but not but it’s not much.

Carla: It’s whatever spliced from the pilot episode?

Ben: Yeah because really it’s Spock’s retelling of the bits that are really most relevant. So, there’s a lot of the normal framing stuff you’d have is not there. I mean they do use a lot like the majority of the footage from “The Cage” in “The Menagerie” but from memory, and it’s been a little while since I last watch it, I don’t think she’s in “The Menagerie” nearly as much as she is in “The Cage”.

Carla: So, we’ve got 100,000 years of data. We’re back on Spock’s trail.

Ben: Yeah, can I talk about 100000 years of data.

Carla: Sure.

Ben: Because I have a theory.

Carla: Okay.

Ben: I hope this is a setup to link Discovery in to the Picard series because they say that it will take centuries for them to study all this information. And by the time we get to the Picard, new Picard show era that’s like about one hundred and forty, well I’m guessing here but it’s like at least one hundred and thirty years later. So, I – and his hobby is archaeology. Right. So, I’m hoping that he studies this information or that there’s some link between the two, just like it doesn’t have to be a major link. I just think that would be a nice thing for them to have said.

Ben: I would be very cool.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And it also you know there’s a couple of things that is very exposition-y to kind of link to canon, create canon, so there’s that. So that’s how we sort of get most of the data for the voyages that come like later “go and explore this go and explore that”. You’ve also got Pike explaining about you know how he thinks it’s the “damn hologram infrastructure” on the Enterprise so he’s like “rip it out”. So that creates the exposition that’s the reason why the Discovery has holograms and Enterprise has screens. And then presumably they have screens for the rest of the fleet because he becomes a flight captain later. So, there’s you know there’s little point of exposition there that I think the fans are really loving as well or hating apparently.

Ben: Look you know if course people have their own opinions, but I don’t really want to hear about the hating. We’ve got to talk a bit more about the emotional business between Saru and Michael.

Carla: What do we, what have we got to say?

Ben: I just like the things that we find out about his backstory or his feelings about being in Starfleet. I just I really like to have touched on themes of refugees and how he is a refugee you know and that makes total sense. But the things that happen in this episode make you know when we talked about the Short Treks back in our second bonus episode before we started the season I was a bit like this doesn’t make sense it doesn’t quite gel with what we’ve already found out about Saru but now I’m like oh now it does kind of make sense. There’s this whole like biological thing that happens to them where they think that means they must go and get culled now. But he talks about it like, I still think there’s a big disconnect between the way he talks about it knowing what happens and the way that his society seems to view it. But now it’s starting to make more sense. And it’s clear to me there’s going to be an episode or two that explores that in a great more detail. And we find out who the Ba’ul are what the deal is. So yeah I’m still confused that they you know, the Ba’ul clearly have like post-war era technology. So why the Federation can’t make contact with them and say stop eating these people I don’t know? And I’m also a little bit confused about just get on back on the Prime Directive track a little more a little confused about how Saru’s journal suddenly means his species isn’t applicable under a General Order One anymore.

Carla: Oh no, that the he, they can’t they won’t be able to give them that information until they become a post warp…

Ben: Oh, I see.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah I misunderstood that. I thought he was saying that if she documents it then they won’t see them anymore.

Carla: No. He is just working, he’s just like log it and then when they’re… Yeah.

Ben: Gotcha. Okay that makes much more sense. And also, it’s even sadder because it’s like…

Carla: Oh, that’s what I mean. It’s so heartbreaking.

Ben: His people aren’t even going to see this until who knows how long.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: But now it’s different, now it’s different. I also I really hope that like Saru get some kind of superpowers now that he doesn’t have his ganglia. It just dropped out and it’s like an evolutionary stage for Kelpians.

Carla: Well he’d have so much processing power. If you’re not spending all that energy on you know being anxious.

Ben: And he’s already immediately like “I’m not afraid anymore” and I’m like “oh what are you going to do Saru? are you going to kick some ass?”

Carla: I wonder if “shirtless Saru” as a hashtag already.

Ben: Oh probably. Did you think that’s what you looked like under the shirt?

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: I really liked the how much they use the universal translator, in this episode. Because it’s such a it’s kind of like such a background thing in Star Trek but I’ve never seen it used as such a plot device before and it’s just a really nice way to remind us that yeah all these folks on the bridge they don’t all speak the same language. They’re being translated constantly, anyway, and whenever this comes up I always think  “but why did their mouth movements match the language that we’re hearing? How does that work exactly?.

Carla: I wouldn’t think too deep into it really. (laughs)

Ben: I only ever think it for about five seconds mainly because it’s fun to think of reasons why that works. Like is the universal translator just hearing audio and then speaking another language like real translators that we have in our real world right now? Or is it you know is it something deeper? Is it like a babel fish? Like it translates it in your brain before you speak? You know so.

Carla: That’s interesting.

Ben: I love it anyway. It’s great and I like that Saru knows 94 languages because just imagine the discipline it takes to learn 94 different languages from another you from other cultures and other species. When there’s a device that exists that means you can just speak to them automatically anyway.

Carla: Sure.

Ben: You know.

Carla: My thing of that is when they’re talking with people back on Earth I’m like that would literally take years. Like how are they? Are they warp speeding these transitions like transmissions? Like I can’t. That’s the thing that I think about the most. It’s literally real time and..

Ben: They’re subspace transmission.

Carla: Oh, that’s right.

Ben: Yeah. I mean they never explain how it works. The idea is that they’re sending these signals somehow not through normal space.

Carla: Yeah its but it’s going, it’s looping around.

Ben: Yeah. It means they hardly ever get I mean until unless you’re on Voyager. You hardly ever get the plot device of “we can’t talk to people because we’re so far away”. Like even in this is something about you know we’re both watching Enterprise now. I think one of the things that I find the weirdest about it is that it’s not so it’s really not that different from another Star Trek. Like is it they play up as the premise. You know it’s before the Federation that’s before they had shields it’s before they had proper transporters.

Carla: I so I disagree with you.

Ben: But they have all this stuff already like they can they can just talk to home anytime they want. They can. Yeah I don’t know.

Carla: It’s a conversation for another.

Ben: It is maybe that maybe it’s a bonus episode we talk about how we feel about Enterprise.

Carla: Do you want to move onto Short Chats?

Ben: Yeah let’s do it.

Carla: Okay. 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 we do have a question this week don’t we Carla.

Carla: Yeah we do. We have a question from Josh Wright. Thanks Josh.

Ben: Thanks Josh.

Carla: He got in touch via Facebook and he is puzzled by the whole Enterprise business. He has lots of questions. What happened to Enterprise? Why is it so heavily damaged? What happened to the hundreds of souls on the ship? Are they okay with that or their senior officers? And why isn’t Pike going back? Is Enterprise a Manus Island level of intergalactic ignorance and forgetfulness? Have I missed something? Or is there background from the original Star Trek series that I needed?

Ben: Well look I thought I’d go back and look at this because if you remember a few episodes ago I was a bit confused about this.

Carla: Yeah I think it’s really confusing. I don’t think you’re the only one Josh.

Ben: They’ve left little hints for us. They’ve kind of described what’s happened but there’s not really any concrete information about why. I mean in this episode. Well let’s go back to the start. So, in “Brother” Enterprise is described as being “completely off line except for life support”. And they also say that only something catastrophic could do that Enterprise because it’s you know one of the major ships in the fleet, it’s built to last you know. And Pike also says they suffered multiple catastrophic systems failures while heading on their way to the first Red Burst. But you know this doesn’t quite make sense because they’d mentioned all this in passing but what happens in the episode is that the Enterprise seems to be on its way to meet up with Discovery so that Pike can get on board but actually they’re sending out a distress call because they’re stuck they can’t get anywhere and it just happens that Discovery is passing by.

Carla: No. But I also think that that ties into this where it’s like when there’s a ship that is going to go into space dock for a long time that needs extensive repairs usually they just keep the repair crew on, and they repatriate the rest of the officers either into other missions or they give them shore leave. So, I think it was like marrying, I mean these guys were investigating the “Red Bursts” so was that so was the Enterprise. And so, they just repatriated Pike straight onto the Discovery.

Ben: Yeah. Put him in charge of it.

Carla: To continue his mission.

Ben: Yeah that’s right. Yeah. And I mean when Number One shows up in this episode she does give us a bit more detail about what’s going on. She does answer a couple of your questions Josh because she confirms that the Enterprise has been towed to space dock and I think there might have been a brief mention about that in one of the earlier episodes as well. So, we know it’s in space dock and it’s being repaired, its current chief engineer is currently on board. His name is Louvier and they make a nice little reference to “I don’t think they’ll ever have an engineer on this ship who loves it as much as this guy”. Oh yes we will. But yeah I like that he sounds French. That’s nice but yeah. So, So it’s yeah. And they suspect the holographic comms system but it’s a cascading range of failures.

Ben: And I just want to reiterate my theory for the record that I think we’re going to discover Spock sabotaged the ship, in case it ever went after the Red Bursts. So, he’s somehow programmed the ship’s systems to shut down or put like a you know like a virus in there or something if they’re ever heading to one of the coordinates, he’s already identified as where one of the bursts are. So that’s my prediction. I have. I don’t. It’s just a gut feeling. I hope that is true because I think that would be really cool. But I don’t know if. Well I don’t know if that’ll be true.

Carla: Yeah. So, we can only assume that the Enterprise staff has been repatriated to other missions or they’re on shore leave if you want to go back – I’ve only watched the pilot episode for Star Trek which is you know basically most of Pike’s backstory. And then they recut as Ben said in the episode previous a couple of episodes previous. They very cut that episode into a double episode called “The Menagerie” which I’m just up to. And I think they’re really the only two episodes that you’ll get background on Pike. But it doesn’t really explain any of this. This is new to canon. This this incident so we’re about as in the dark as you are.

Ben: They very rarely if ever mentioned what the Enterprise got up to before Kirk took it over except for those episodes you just mentioned. So yeah.

Carla: Okay I want to recommend the Short Treks if you guys haven’t seen it yet. If you go to Netflix and you go to trailers you kind of have to dig around a bit. I don’t know why they buried them so much. But if you dig around in trailers you’ll be able to find the four short trek episodes. The one about Saru is particularly related to this episode so if you’re feeling a little bit lost as well that would be great. So, Commander Nhan was wearing a skirt this episode, did you see that?! So cool. Like a Discovery skirt.

Ben: That’s awesome.

Carla: Want one. And do you want to talk about Number One the history of Number One. Majel Barrett?

Ben: Yeah. Yeah. You’ve watched it more recently than me. What’s your impression of Number One?

Carla: Well I don’t know. I don’t necessarily want to talk about much about the character because you know she. Yeah. She’s like headstrong beautiful amazing. But you don’t really see her much in that episode. I just wanted to give everybody especially people who haven’t experienced or known much about Star Trek. So, Majel Barrett who was Number One in the pilot, she was also the voice of the computer for all of the Star Trek’s up until Voyager. She was also married to Gene Roddenberry. She’s considered the first lady of Star Trek. And she was Lwaxana Troi on Next Gen which I think is like this personally my favourite character in Star Trek of all time. She is fucking amazing. So, I’m like goals. Hashtag goals.

Carla: What else do you have to do you have anything else about Majel Barrett?

Ben: Look that continuity of having the same computer voice over a century or more. It’s just it’s just little lovely little. It’s a lovely little thing. And she’s great. She does such a great job of both. All of those characters yeah.

Carla: What do you have?

Ben: Well I want to…

Carla: Do you want to talk about aliens?

Ben: I always want to talk about aliens and I particularly want to talk about how great is that Linus, our favourite sneezing lizard man has now got dialogue.

Carla: And six nostrils. (laughs)

Ben: (laughs) And six nostrils. Ah he was great. I really like how they’re bringing that because they had that scene at the start of this episode where there’s all the bridge crew sitting around a table like you know.

Carla: Daily briefing.

Ben: Doing a daily briefing discussing the problem and then the captain comes in and Linus is just one of them and he’s just chatting about it. And later on, you know he’s also been researching this sphere and reporting what they’ve found alongside Michael. So, he’s clearly part of the science crew I guess. But yeah he’s I just really enjoyed that. And also, now Nhan is back.

Carla: Nana’s back.

Ben: In her skirt.

Carla: In her skirt she’s very cool.

Ben: Yeah she’s cool. So, it’s nice to see her around and that there’s we’ve got this great supporting cast of people who we’re now getting to know a little bit better and hopefully a couple more of them will get a bit more of a spotlight episode just like Owoshekun did.

Carla: Yeah. And that’s maybe also like directly related to Josh’s question like obviously Nhan has been moved over to the Discovery whilst the Enterprise is being repaired.

Ben: Yeah. And we know Number One is hanging out in the space dock overseeing the repairs.

Carla: Right.

Ben: It’s like we’re not going to let someone else look after our ship. We’re going to keep an eye on it. And he’s asked her to do that, but it’s also given her some time to look into the whole Spock thing. So, it’s worked out quite well.

Carla: I will say one other thing that made me raise my eyebrows was when Pike and I don’t know the Doctor’s name I’m sorry. Pike, the doctor and Michael were in sickbay and they’re like holding down the bandages on that person who’s like bleeding to death but they’re still just like talking all about Saru I’m like “rude”.

Ben: I made a note about this. I’m like look I recently did a first aid course. This was not okay.

Carla: That would not be comforting the person who is bleeding to death.

Ben: No, I’m like “take your conversation outside, be here and present”. Pay attention.

Carla: Exactly.

Ben: It’s not. It’s either or guys either or.

Carla: That’s all I have.

Ben: Yeah I. Yeah. Well I look the other thing I do. We haven’t talked much about the engineering plotline and the mycelial network.

Carla: That’s true.

Ben: But I do want to say I thought I and I think you didn’t feel the same but I thought was a little bit weird that Jet Reno suddenly pops up and she’s been on the ship the whole time like she’d just been stranded on an asteroid for, what was it like five months or six?

Carla: But it’s not the Jet Reno show Ben.

Ben: I know that but I’m just saying surely they should have taken her home whereas the implication of her dialogue is that she’s been on the ship ever since. Like she didn’t take any time off she didn’t get rehabilitated or debriefed. She’s just gone.

Carla: We don’t know that. Maybe that’s what’s been happening the whole time and now she’s reporting for duty.

Ben: I guess maybe. But it sounds like when she talks it sounds like she’s been on the ship the whole time.

Carla: But also, like whatever her possibilities is that she could get transferred to space dock? That’s it. She’s so fucking far away like she would have to do this kind of domino effect of being transported.

Ben: But they’ve just been to within a stone’s throw of star of one of the space docks because Number One didn’t come out of nowhere.

Carla: That’s what I mean by that’s her option. Like I said they’re just going to ship it in like. Seems to be very into her work.

Ben: But surely they had to take the other survivors of her ship somewhere. They’re not still on the Discovery.

Carla: They probably are getting better.

Ben: I just thought it was weird that they never even. It was just one of those things where I just wanted to say what was happening because otherwise it was a bit weird when she turned up and there was no, I don’t know.

Carla: And they did all the work of the exposition of like who are you again? you know, like you had to say her title again. So yeah you know it’s like well “you rescued me from the Hiawatha”, but it was always my assumption that she was going to be taken up by the crew. But that was just because I figured you don’t get Tig Notaro to do one episode of your TV show.

Ben: Yeah well exactly. Yeah. I felt the same. But you’ve also got the start of your answer about what happens to the spore drive now as well because the mycelial organism reveals that the Discovery’s trips through the through the network are destabilizing and destroying its habitat. And so Stamets immediate reaction is “okay then shut down” and you’re like “yes this is why we like Stamets” because you can be a bit of an asshole, but you are ultimately wanting to do the right thing all the time. What’s going to happen to Tilly. Yeah well I don’t know. Where is she. Do you reckon did she think she’s in the mycelial network or is vanished somewhere else?

Carla: I think she’s in the network. Maybe she’ll see Hugh.

Ben: I don’t think she’s gone to the Mirror Universe.

Carla: No.

Ben: But she’s definitely gone. Yeah. Well I guess we’ll find out. Like it’s surely the next episode is going to be about that.

Carla: Well I’ll be about rescuing her and racing to Spock.

Ben: Yeah well both so that could be. Maybe that’s our next plot. Who knows? Mm hmm. There’s one other thing I wanted to talk about and it’s also from the engineering section is the obsession of Starfleet crew not only in this era but 100, 150 years later with 20th century culture. Because till favourite song is “Space Oddity” by David Bowie. And to put that in context that is like your eye having our favourite song be from 288 years earlier.

Carla: I’m into it.

Ben: Which probably means it’s an opera. To be fair I mean this folk music from that time as well, but I tried looking it up and then Stamets knows it. So, there’s a canon of music. Like I, I mean I regularly work with kids who are you know seven to eleven years old and they don’t know any Beatles songs or even who the people are.

Carla: But year you’re talking about Starfleet. They probably have you know Starfleet 101 is like the history of the obsession with space in culture and culture.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: In contemporary culture like you know it would be the space race and stuff. But Star Wars the missile thing not the actual maybe the old movie as well, you know because that was the start of…

Ben: I guess that’s true. But actually, I do have a theory about this, is that Starfleet like the original Star Trek era and the Next Gen era are both kind of a post scarcity sort of post capitalist society. So, there’s no wants. Like you’ve got, we don’t really have replicators yet in the Discovery era. But you will soon, and they certainly are able to produce food pretty easily. They do sometimes still talk about money. But certainly, by the time of the Next Generation they don’t have any money they can just replicate whatever they want. All they need is raw materials and they can have whatever they need. So, and people who serve in Starfleet right there their mission like they fulfil themselves by doing stuff by going out and doing things that they want to do not because they must feed themselves. And that’s what I mean. And what you see as a result is all these people are doing their job on a starship. But in their leisure time they don’t just sit around watching TV they all play music and sing and do theatre. So, there’s nobody whose job it seems is primarily to be an artist because everybody’s got enough leisure time to be an artist if that’s what they want to do.

Carla: Yeah and they’re also like doing heaps of stuff on the holodeck. They’re experiencing periods of time in different worlds and it’s visceral you know. So, they have the access to all of this information at their fingertips. So, you’re talking about, it’s essentially like a 100 percent self-actualized society. Yeah.

Ben: And so there’s a lot of people learning to play music to perform as an actor and they’re learning based on these classical texts and you’d see occasionally, you mostly see it in Voyager actually whether they introduced the concept to the holonovel although, that’s also in Next Gen they’re just gone, the don’t call it that. But there’s people writing these interactive scenarios and it’s just yeah. I don’t know. It’s cool. But I think that kind of maybe I thought about this way too much as is my want but I just thought maybe that’s why they’re all obsessed with 20th century culture because they are looking back to a time where there were people whose whole job, whose whole life was dedicated to the creation of art whereas now that’s pretty rare because everyone has enough time to do that in their spare time.

Carla: Do you think you’re overthinking it Ben. It’s like in the Star Trek movies when they like go to 20th century earth and eat a burger. Everybody’s screaming because they get to see a representation of their culture in this series. You know, if you wanted to do all the mental gymnastics of trying to understand how that could potentially be, sure. But I think that that’s literally what it is. (laughs)

Ben: Look I understand that’s the real-life reason. I just I just like to think about these things you know I’m…

Carla: Sure, there’s many a fan a fan theory out there as well.

Ben: I hope so. Yeah.

Ben: You’ve been listening to re:Discovery. You’ll find links to creatives on our Web site at www.rediscoverypodcast.com. 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 splendidchaps.com.

An Obol for Charon (S02E04)

Set your face to ugly cry – in this week’s episode “An Obol for Charon”, Discovery’s most elegant soul, Saru, faces a fatal illness – the vahar’ai; the ship is held in place by a sentient orb which causes havoc to its systems; and Tilly is consumed by the fungal entity “May”. Team re:Discovery discuss the central theme of polarisation between action and surrender, whether we exist if there is no one to remember us, the “soft butch showdown” between Stamets and Reno, if shirtless Saru met our expectations and much much more. So grab a hanky and press play!

Connect with us and let us know your thoughts via Twitter, Facebook or our website. A transcript of this episode is available.

Show Notes…

Episode Transcript: Point of Light (S02E03)

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

Philippa [From episode] : “Our command believes that misfits have merit. So, we keep busy.”

TyVoq [From episode]: “I’m surprised you call yourself a misfit, Emperor.

Philippa [From episode]: The freaks are more fun

re:Discovery theme plays.

Carla: Hello and welcome to re:Discovery. The Star Trek recap podcast that knows only in the future will man buns be sexy. I’m joined, as always, by my Science Officer Ben McKenzie. How are you Ben?

Ben: I am disappointed I don’t have a man bun.

Carla: (laughs) You’ve got time, we’ve got time.

Ben: And I need to grow my beard bigger, clearly.

Carla: This week’s episode – a rather blunt Swiss army knife of exposition and recap, “Point of Light” picks up many threads left over from Season One and progresses the Spock/Red Angel plot line but also we finally get an answer for Tilly’s ghost. In the episode opener we meet L’Rell and TyVoq on Qo’noS where tensions with the Klingon Houses over her Chancellorship have reached boiling point. Cut to the Discovery, Michael’s parent Amanda arrives on Sarek’s ship with disturbing news. She has tried to make contact with Spock and tried to find out about his condition, his location, but has been blocked at every step. Amanda steals his medical file and begs Michael to help her break into it. They both take the file to Captain Pike for permission leading Pike to contact the head of the psychiatric facility to find out what is going on. Spock has reportedly killed three of his doctors, escaped, and has been diagnosed with “extreme empathy deficiency”. Amanda, Michael and Pike do not believe this for a second and Pike gives permission to break into Spock’s file. During the transfer several images of the Red Angel appear in drawings Spock has made. Amanda is distraught, relaying to Michael that Spock saw this Red Angel or once as a child, the angel giving Spock the location where Michael was hiding after the learning centre bombings on Vulcan.

Carla: Michael shares with Amanda that she feared for her family’s safety after this and hurt Spock irreparably on purpose so that he would not continue to try to protect her. Meanwhile on Qo’noS we discover that L’Rell got pregnant Voq before he was merged with Tyler having the baby gestated ex-utero, as this was a massive liability. She has never met the baby and presumably has no interest, until TyVoq’s discovery, and they go to meet the baby together. They arrive to L’Rell’s uncle murdered and a very empty goth spacecraft – the baby has been kidnapped by House Kor and is being held for ransom for the kingdom “give up the Chancellorship and keep your family or you will die”. Just as it was finito time for L’Rell and TyVoq a hooded figure burst through the door and killed everyone.

Ben: Surprising no one who’s seen the credits, it’s evil Georgiou now working for Starfleet black ops department Section 31. The last thing they want is another war with an unstable Klingon Empire. And to that end Georgia has a plan for L’Rell. Back on Discovery, Tilly’s ghost May is so insistent that Pike is not the captain during a command training exercise on the bridge until she shouts at May to “shut up”, surprising the bridge crew and appearing unstable. She then retreats back to her room convinced she’ll be kicked out of the program. Michael, desperate for a distraction from her own problems, after Amanda has left to go help Spock, helps Tilly figure out May is probably related to the spores. And with Stamets and Saru’s help they find that, indeed, a spore from the mirror universe has infected her body. Stamets uses the dark matter asteroid to suck it out of her where it becomes a floating blob of matter, they contain in a force field but not before May identifies Stamets as the captain she was looking for. Back on Qo’noS L’Rell channels Evita and makes a passionate speech to the killing on people painting TyVoq as a traitor.

Ben: She tosses TyVoq and the babies heads into a pit vowing to never have another child but instead to rule the empire not as its Chancellor but as its Mother. On an advanced Starfleet stealth ship, we find Georgiou and AshVoq and baby whose heads were fake! The baby is sent to a Klingon monastery and Tyler, more or less press-ganged to join Georgiou in Section 31.

Ben: Like, look, again there was a lot going on in this episode.

Carla: I don’t think there’s ever not a lot going on but whether its good quality is a different story.

Ben: I’m getting a vibe that you didn’t like this one as much.

Carla: There was a lot to like but there was also a lot that I really did not like. Okay so how do we want to demarcate.?

Ben: Well let’s talk about the different threads of the plot.

Carla: Okay.

Ben: We spend a lot of time on Qo’noS.

Carla: Yeah. Which just seems like such a miserable place.

Ben: Yeah. Well I mean it does seem quite it’s got more goth than I remember…

Carla: Yeah, I agree it’s…

Ben: they were more like space Vikings it’s Next Gen

Carla: Fire and ice and ash and…

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: But it makes sense. I mean it was never a pleasant place.

Carla: No of course not.

Ben: I mean you don’t evolve like backup organs if you live on a verdant field world. You know.

Carla: Yeah.Or, the ability to have ex-utero babies.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: All right. So, we’ll talk about L’Rell and Voq.

Ben: It’s nice to see them back.

Carla: It is nice to see them back. Can we just get out of the way that I was right about Klingon hair?

Ben: Yes.

Carla: Amazing.

Ben: Well it’s not I don’t dismiss it so quickly. Glory in it a little bit longer.

Carla: But I’ve seen them lot on internet that they’re just like “oh they’re just covering up their mistakes because everybody railed against how bad the Klingon looked” but I don’t know. I feel like it could have been purposeful.

Ben: Look they still look largely the same.

Carla: Yeah, I mean slightly different, but you know.

Ben: Yeah, the difference is not that big.

Carla:  There’s some pretty sick Mr. T mohawks in there.

Ben: Oh yeah. They’re all just, I mean I like that because they were – every time you see a species on Star Trek, and they all look pretty much the same except for the actor’s face under the makeup…

Carla: Sure.

Ben: You just think “humans aren’t like that.”

Carla: Right.

Ben: Right. So, I like it…

Carla: Two arms two legs…

Ben: They have different coloured hair, they have different styles of hair. They have different skin colours. Weird bumps on their heads. Yeah and I’m cool with it. Like reinterpret it. However, you want. I think.

Carla: But don’t you feel like though kind of gross caricatures of everything the worst that Klingons can be? or is this just like the unstable post-war Klingon environment? or is it a Klingon environment under a female leader?

Ben: I think it was. It would have been too easy to say it’s all neatly wrapped up now that L’Rell’s in charge. I mean she does take control of the Empire.

Carla: It’s a hostile takeover. Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. She holds all the other Houses to ransom – “Let me be leader and unite under me or I’ll blow up the whole planet”.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: That was never going to be a happy stable ending.

Carla: I feel like it would have given them all a boner like they would have loved that.

Ben: Oh well they did. That’s why they agreed to it. But that doesn’t mean you know there aren’t Houses who are like we should still be in charge. And there’s always that jockeying for position.

Carla: Of course.

Ben: Who’s going to be head. You know.

Carla: Wherever…

Ben: Yeah…

Carla: Can I just, like the gender politics of this was messed up.

Ben: Sure.

Carla: Yeah. So, we’re talking about this is like two 200 years in the future?

Ben: Yes.

Carla: Right. And so, we’re still having women in power having issues about you know having their children cared for while they’re working. Yeah well so many clumsy, it just felt like a 75-year-old man was ordered to write in some feminist content into the structure that he had made.

Ben: Sure.

Carla: You know.

Ben: Yeah. No look I get that. I think. I mean there’s definitely reason why they’ve done it with the Klingons rather than anyone else because the Klingons are never depicted as being particularly gender progressive. So even in the Next Gen era all the important Klingon characters are dudes.

Ben: And if they’re not then they I mean they pay the sort of lip service that I mean B’Elanna talks about on Voyager having all the same kind of issues that say Worf does. But I mean she’s also got that extra dimension of only being half Klingon. But then all of the Klingon women that you see, well there’s not that many of them to start with and they’re well they, and yeah they were operating in the shadows or they’re behind their Houses. They’re not leaders of Houses.

Carla: Well and that’s the other thing – like you I think I’ve only seen one barely other female Klingon in the background in all of these scenes.

Ben: Well there’s. Yeah, I mean there’s the Next Gen there’s the sisters who get blown up in Star generations, they’re pretty great. But at the same time, like, they’re you know…

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: So yeah look I agree with you that the politics of this are not great. But I also think like if they’re making a consistent with Klingons then they needed to work harder to make it better.

Carla: It just felt shoehorned in. It could have not been there, and everything would have been fine.

Ben: Yeah that’s true.

Carla: You know, like no comment. So, there was that though, that I found. These are ultimately the things I found disappointing something that I didn’t find very interesting, that has not been explored enough, but it is in the realms of religion/science/sci-fi stuff is you know the consent issues with Voq/Tyler.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And how he’s talking about you know how you know basically he feels violated or raped by L’Rell. They’re sort of negotiating and that feels to me in that spectrum of genetic manipulation, people not really understanding the consequences of that, so I find and also like Stockholm syndrome. So, I find that quite deep. But it wasn’t very explored.

Ben: Yeah, I quite enjoyed how he basically gives like a five second recap of what happened to him which I think is good because it is one of the least clear parts of the plot of season one.

Carla: Sure.

Ben: Where he says, you know, “I am a Klingon, but I’ve been surgically altered to appear human and then I had this human psyche grafted onto mine. And then you’ve had to destroy my personality. So, I’ve got access to…” and he still he mentioned he’s got access to all of his memories. But he doesn’t have the personality anymore the personality is gone. And I think really, he should be a new person. Like I think they’ve missed an opportunity of integrating him as a new character by changing his personality more significantly whereas really, they’re presenting him as no it’s Ash Tyler. It’s just that now he’s Ash Tyler who knows he used to be a Klingon.

Carla: But well we don’t really know that because we don’t really know him before…

Ben: I guess that’s true.

Carla: …what happened to him. Yes, so this is whatever the result is.

Ben: Yeah. Because he’s not I mean he was never Ash Tyler. He’s a Ash Tyler.

Carla: As we know him.

Ben: He was killed in his, but his brain was scanned and then was put into his head somehow. They never had never really addressed that. I mean wouldn’t it be great if he turned up and he wasn’t dead. No, it would be awful.

Carla: He wouldn’t have, I don’t, I don’t even know what it’s going to happen there. Of if that was a possibility.

Ben: I got to say he’s got some style going on.

Carla: Oh my God.

Ben: That’s a big beard he’s got a cape.

Carla: Stop.

Ben: He’s got leather outfit.

Carla: It’s out of control.

Ben: He looks like he’s playing a goth bard in a game of dungeon and dragons. (Carla laughs) I was really into I thought was cool.

Carla: Yeah. He looks great but I just can’t. I can’t help but feel so sad for this character. And now he’s going, he’s in Section 31 because he just doesn’t fit in anywhere.

Ben: He’s got nowhere else to go.

Carla: And presumably, so now he’s like transferring the Stockholm Syndrome to there.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And now he’s just going to be like part of this amoral organization presumably being made to kill people or go on like dark missions or who knows what they’re going to use him for. They just see him as an asset.

Ben: Yeah, I guess he’s they’re Klingon specialists.

Carla: Yeah maybe. Maybe he’s just going to be a desk bound.

Ben: I mean he kick some ass in this episode of me.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: He and L’Rell get beaten but they’re heavily outnumbered and they take down a lot of those Klingon’s, so he’s clearly got all Voq’s fighting skills still.

Carla: And body and strength. Yeah.

Ben: Yeah, he’s got the strength of a Klingon they’re stronger than humans so he’s yeah, he’s a pretty valuable asset to somewhere like Section 31 although again he also he’s pretty recognizable like surely everybody in the Federation knows his deal?

Carla: They’ll probably just manipulate him to be a sleeper agent again but for them back into the Federation.

Ben: Oh, that’d be, that would be rough.

Carla: Who knows.

Ben: Who knows what we’ll find out. We’ll find out.

Carla: So “Mother”, if I’m generous with that I would say that that is a deliberate shitting on a homo social society and making them be ruled by a feminised titled person.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Is that how you would take that?

Ben: I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it at the end there. Because it always seemed weird that they called – it’s an empire. Why isn’t their leader called the Emperor or the Empress? Why is it the Chancellor. I don’t know. Oh wait no. That’s a whole. That’s a Kahless thing isn’t it? Because he’s there, look I think there is actually a law reason for that. Now that I’ve said that out loud but yeah it was a bit full on. And also, quite in its way quite condescending but I think that was the intent. It’s like the squabbling children.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: So, I’m going to be a mother and tell you to cut it out.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: I don’t know. We’ll see how that resolves, I guess.

Carla: So that’s them. Oh, but also the baby does a Luke Skywalker. Adopt him out.

Ben: Nothing’s going to happen with him surely because like he can’t unless we jump forward 18 years, he’s going to be old enough to do anything.

Carla: No but maybe that is a great tangent into my theory of what’s going on.

Ben: Oh okay. Well actually having said that there is also precedent for this because Worf’s son comes back in time from the future to teach himself how to be a proper Klingon, avert like a disaster or something (both laugh).

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Like so if Alexander can do that then…

Carla: Well there’s also chatter on the Internet that I haven’t gotten that far into Deep Space Nine I’m only on Season 3. But later on, there is an albino Klingon and they think that this person could be him.

Ben: Oh yeah.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Or his descendants.

Carla: He’s descendent, him or his descendants.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Because it’s so far into the future.

Ben: Ah well no. Yeah. He could totally be him because when there are other Klingons that live from this era and are still around in the Deep Space Nine era.

Carla: Right.

Ben: So yeah. Like Kang.

Carla: (laughs) Such a good space name.

Ben: Yeah. Even though in the in the old school series he looks like a human with a goatee and eyebrows. But you know the modern Klingons. They look great.

Carla: I agree.

Ben: I think they look good. I’m glad the hair’s back.

Carla: I am too.

Ben: And I really liked how the face paint became such a clever plot point.

Carla: Really? I thought I was so stupid.

Ben: Yeah no you didn’t like that?

Carla: No! Okay tell me what. you just thought it was cool tech?

Ben: I thought it was cool and I thought it was nice because I didn’t see that coming. .

Carla: Yeah. No that’s true.

Ben: How did they know he was here?! and then he’s like “I put micro probes in the face paint that you wiped off my face” and I’m like oh that’s cool!! Like this guy you know I just feel like I really love a good competent villain. And I thought that was nice. That’s a clever plan.

Carla: That’s true.

Ben: Competent villain moment. So, I enjoyed that.

Carla: And he’s just ready for anyone to try to wipe off his you know his face paint.

Ben: I think he specifically did it because he knew it would insult the Emperor and that she would get him or her one of her lackeys to do it because he did. He does say like “I was only intended to sort of listen in on your plans. I didn’t think I’d find out about your secret baby.”

Carla: Yeah. Oh my God.

Ben: But yeah, I do. And I said this during the intro but I kind of wish that they hadn’t put Michelle Yeoh in the credits so prominently.

Carla: I didn’t even know. So, this is like this is the thing this is the first episode where I’ve really was really quite disappointed in this episode. I didn’t like most of it, but I think it’s the first time where it’s like if I hadn’t of known so much, I would have had that amazing shock moment but then yeah as one of our listeners said in the comments that it was in the credits. I always skip credits.

Ben: Okay it was probably wise I mean this is the you don’t often get spoiled by a special guest star announcement like because usually that I’ve put it in there. If the special guest star is supposed to be a surprise but I guess if it’s Michelle Yeoh she’s going to have high billing.

Carla: So then if you saw that name and then there’s a character that’s killing everyone of course you’re just going to immediately get her but then you’re not necessarily going to understand that she’s a part of Section 31.

Ben: No, I mean.

Carla: That would have been a good reveal.

Ben: Kind of guessed. But just because we know that from the, it it’s one of those things where it’s not a surprise because of the knowledge you have in the sort of hype around the show and the announcement of the other show that she’s going to be in. But at the same time, I still like super into it. Like she showed up like the freaking predator.

Carla: I know.

Ben: Blowing people with like a shoulder mounted plasma canon.

Carla: I know. What was that tech that was covering her face making her look like a different alien?

Ben: Yeah. And the big cool like hood thing that she’s wearing.

Carla: Yes!

Ben: It was awesome.

Carla: Yeah. It’s pretty thrilling.

Ben: Yeah, it’s great.

Carla: Can I tell you my theory of what I think this all means? Like all of it.

Ben: The Klingon stuff or are we going onto the Red Angel.

Carla: Red Angel potentially also. You know implications for everything.

Ben: Sure.

Carla: Right.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Is that in Star Trek usually things like this is one of two things. It is a temporal timeline. So, we’re having interference from the future by Star Fleet inserting themselves into situations or getting things to happen.

Ben: Right.

Carla: To preserve a timeline or rectify a timeline or we’ve had a Q and a Q which is a being mostly from Next Gen they’re basically like supernatural beings.

Ben: Gods. Yeah.

Carla: Yeah, they’re gods who make a lot of mischief, but they couldn’t, they don’t care about humans at all. So that’s why I’ve been always kind of like it’s not a Q, why would they care? But if they’re invested in it then they would care. So, they’re the two things that I have as possible explanations as to what is going on because this whole thing with Spock saving Michael that’s a real manipulation of a pawn in a chess game kind of thing you know?

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: So that got my antenna up. What do you think?

Ben: Makes sense. I mean the Red Angels don’t need to be time travellers because we’ve already established that they’ve been around for like 200 years. Like they saved people from World War 3.

Carla: Right.

Ben: But that yeah there’s no sign as to why they would do that.

Carla: Right.

Ben: What they want. I mean I get the feeling my feeling was that so far up until now they’ve just been sort of getting the Discovery crew to clean up after their messes like because you’ve got the crashed spaceship on the asteroid which is their asteroid that’s gonna crash into a thing. So, it’s kind of their fault. At least you could read it that way. And then there’s like “oh yeah and also there’s these humans that we saved from World War 3 we put them on this planet. They’re just been living there happily. But there’s about to be this radiation can you sort that out for us?” And so, I was like “oh maybe that’s their deal. Like they’re just fixing things that they’ve screwed up through their meddling.” But now I’m yeah, I’m thinking maybe I like your idea. I don’t know whether they’re time travellers or what.

Ben: I mean I hope it’s something more complicated than that because there’s so many instances and as they flagged in last episode there’s so many instances of creatures that have such immense power that they may as well be gods in the Star Trek universe like it’s ridiculous how many there are.

Carla: Right.

Ben: And I hope that there’s something else going on with the Red Angels like they clearly have that level of power. But are they entities themselves? Are they working with someone? I mean what if it turns out like there’s only one Red Angel and it’s it is Spock and like he’s going through his own timeline. I don’t know. It’s weird. So yeah, I think your theories are good because my theory I think is kind of rubbish doesn’t make any sense in the light of why would they save Michael?

Carla: It’s motivation. That’s the key.

Ben: Yeah why are they doing these things?

Carla: Yeah. Yeah.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Because we’ve had several examples like many of beings that have this kind of power but it’s like why would they care?

Ben: And they don’t usually show up and be helpful.

Carla: Exactly.

Ben: They’re usually very selfish and it’s always an allegory for “with great power comes great responsibility and also ultimate power corrupts ultimately” or whatever the phrase is you know. So, it’s the Squire of Gothos and Q and all these other entities or humans who are given this kind of power. They always go a bit off the rails and then have to be reined in. Or they are making a very definite point of saying I don’t want this power I would misuse it. And so, these angels are something else. Hopefully.

Carla: We haven’t really talked about apparent killer Spock.

Ben: This is all I’m worried about this.

Carla: I’m really worried. I feel like he is being held somewhere by somebody and this was all lying and they’re like milking it for information or powers or something.

Ben: Yeah somebody knows what’s going on. Somebody knows more than they’re letting on. I mean because I did like that Amanda and Michael and Pike were all like “No way did he kill a bunch people and run off like there’s no way” like there’s no way that would work.

Carla: Or without because you know.

Ben: Unless he was like they were attacking him. I, it’s disappointing to see Starfleet in the future like going “yes he has mental illness he’s psychotic he’s kills people” you’re like that’s not how mental illness is.

Carla: Right and that it’s the mother blaming herself as well for not giving him enough love like it’s so gross…

Ben: Yeah. I mean is that they always.

Carla: it’s contextualized in Vulcanism, but you know it’s like still at the same time.

Ben: Yeah. And he I mean Spock there’s moments in the Original Series where Spock kind of struggles with that dichotomy within himself and he largely really embraces the Vulcan identity and the Vulcan way of life. He holds to it. He could reject it and he’s certainly done other things that have pissed off his parents you know like not going to the Vulcan science academy. But I just yeah. I don’t know this this extra backstory for him. You don’t really find out much about what his childhood was like in any of the other shows. Oh, there’s an episode of The Animated Series apparently where you meet young Spock. But I don’t know if you would really consider that to be part of the story. So yeah, I don’t know. I just don’t know how I feel about it and feel sad about it.

Carla: And there was that comment from Michael to say that he was my shadow. So, this has all been painted as like he was challenged by this new child coming into the environment but then later.

Ben: Overprotective.

Carla: Overprotective. Is that enough Spock? We don’t know enough.

Ben: Yeah. We don’t know what’s going on. It’s his. He’s a very he’s a shadow in this. Yes. As we don’t see him, we don’t know what’s going on with him and every time we find out something new things are worse.

Carla: I have the feeling that Tyler is going to be able to help Michael the most with this with finding out where he is.

Ben: Well I mean the obvious sort of thing is if somebody has got him and he’s been abducted from a Federation it’s Section 31.

Carla: Yes, that’s exactly what I’m thinking.

Ben: And so maybe next episode that’s what we discover I don’t know.

Carla: And then we’ve got Tilly’s ghost, fungal space fungal poisoning.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: I loved this.

Ben: That was great. This is my favourite part of the episode. I mean I think I liked this episode overall more than you, but I agree with you. This is the best story line of the whole episode. I just because I remember last time, I was talking about how I liked that everybody was trusting each other and revealing their problems. And then this episode begins with Tilly like not telling anyone about this woman who’s dead that she can see who’s talking to her and I’m like “why haven’t you told anybody?” And I think she, they do justify it pretty well it’s just like “No I’m in the command training program I can’t go to medical and tell them I’m seeing things like they’ll not like you”…

Carla: But that’s not another feather in the cap of mental illness in the future.

Ben: No. And also, you’re on a Star Trek show. You know that weird shit like this is real. You should be trying to figure it out with your brain then your friends. And eventually she does of course come clean to them and they’re like of course. Yeah. Come on let’s go. But not before she shouts at Captain Pike. Oh, I felt for her in that moment.

Carla: I know. And he was just glorious, as usual, stealing everything that he is in.

Ben: Yeah oh when he suggests “oh why don’t we just marry some people who aren’t that crazy about each other” Oh no you don’t mean that. It’s so delightful.

Carla: But you’ve touched on what I wanted to talk about with this because very much like in Voyager by Voyager time this entity I mean this entity is persistent. It’s talking quote unquote talking to Tilly but they’re perceiving that as her commandeering her neural network to create hallucinations. But this entity was very insistent in the end in trying to tell her something and then they just kill it, they capture it, by Voyager time that would have been considered a first contact opportunity and they would not have they would have explored it as long as it’s not going to hurt the human they would have explored that as much as possible but now they’ve just captured this thing and…

Ben: Yeah, it’s interesting because Tilly is so angry with May. She’s really like “you’re messing up my opportunity” and it seems for superficial reasons. But also, there’s that element of “you lied to me” and she’s freaked out because “you are using the memory of a friend.

Carla: Sure.

Ben: You have not seen in a long time and who has been dead and I didn’t even know and that is that is a shock” and I can understand her anger and resentment because it’s like “you could have told me who you were you could have said hi I’m not a real person you could have and you could have appeared presumably as anything you wanted. So why you here are this person whose dead who’s from my past and lying to me and presenting himself as a real person” and then you know.

Carla: Because they have an important message about the network, they’ve got to tell Tilly and they killed it.

Ben: But they don’t but she doesn’t tell you. I mean there’s the other thing is that May is not very good at conveying this message last, she’s been talking to Tilly this whole time and oh she’s just like “we have to talk to the captain”. It’s like why don’t you just tell Tilly what the message is the captain can’t see? Yeah. Again, her frustration is so I think justified by the way that May doesn’t communicate what it is that she wants when she is quite you know, eloquent. And so why doesn’t she just come out and say it? Instead she’s like I only talked to the captain. He’s short like she can. She can say all these things but can’t actually.

Carla: Because is it a message from Hugh?

Ben: Oooo it could be. I mean it’s the fact that it’s a sport from the Mirror Universe is quite worrying because maybe the Mirror Universe bores are evil in some way.

Carla: (laughs) That too. But I was just like festival as a human. I’d be like “Oh my God I have a parasite in me. Get the fuck out of me”. But then at the same time like she’s mega science and she’d be like “can’t we study it? What is it doing to me?” I just found this all very rushed.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And it’s gonna bite them in the ass. That’s my prediction.

Ben: Well I mean they haven’t killed it or expelled it from my body, and it seems a bit angry but hopefully now maybe now they can talk to it.

Carla: Maybe.

Ben: I don’t know. I hope so. I hope they try.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: I am glad that we now know there’s definitely no weird incestual stuff going.

Carla: Yes, well not really.

Ben: Oh, you think maybe that’s the thing that she did…

Carla: I think it’s…

Ben: to push him away.

Carla: Yeah maybe.

Ben: Like pretend that she was interested or something.

Carla: Or tried to have some kind of physical intimacy with him but I think there’s a lot in that contextualisation that Amanda does about intimacy and talking about how she was never physically affectionate. I don’t know that feels contextualised, so I feel like yes potentially that’s off the table, but I’ve still got a question mark.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: All right. Shall we 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 or the Star Trek universe. We will also be taking questions during this segment from you the listener. So please follow our socials to be in touch. What do you want to talk about Ben?

Ben: Well we actually do have a couple of questions from listeners.

Carla: Oh, we do! Hello!

Ben: Which is fantastic so I think we should talk about those from Darren Lutchner via email. Thank you, Darren, for sending it in  “You mentioned on recap of the first episode that you like the mix of aliens on board and females on board Discovery. I totally agree. However, the humans all seem to be American. I would like to have seen a mix of Earth cultures surely all Trek series set in the original universe should have a grumpy Scotsman”

Carla: Everything should have a grumpy Scotsman.

Ben: They just make everything, better don’t they? I mean Harry Potter is immensely improved by having McGonigal on hand but yeah. This was something that I kind of had in the back of my head because all the human crew of Discovery. That all Americans and this is pretty rare on Star Trek.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: I mean in the Original Series they made a big deal out of showing that Earth was a united culture by having all of the human crew be from all these different countries and have different accents. Then on you know like Next Gen Picard is French but he sounds English.

Carla: Yes.

Ben: And that’s pretty much it actually produced the entire rest of the human crew. They’re all from America show or at least have American accents. And on Voyager they’re mostly American actually. But then you have Chakotay who is Native American and B’Elanna Torres who it’s never really, didn’t really go into it.

Carla: She’s kind of like Latino but American.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: So, it’s not since the Original Series it’s they’ve not gone out of their way to include lots of non-American actors.

Carla: We had Miles on…

Ben: Oh true.

Carla: We had Miles on TNG and then also when he went to Discovery

Ben: and Julian Bashir Yeah.

Carla: And Julian Bashir on Deep Space Nine.

Ben: He’s English but we’d like an Indian or Sri Lankan heritage. They never go into exact detail about what his ethnic background is but and they’re from England it seems. But then they moved around on earth quite a bit.

Carla: Well who knows what that means in the future you know. We do have Georgiou who has grown up in Malaysia.

Ben: OK that’s true.

Carla: But she’s not on the crew so to speak.

Ben: She’s dead.

Carla: Yeah. (bursts out laughing).

Ben: (laughs) So So they killed her.

Carla: Yeah. So, we don’t know where the Terran in Georgiou grew up.

Ben: Yeah. So, I would love it if you don’t introduce any new human characters that if they weren’t from America.

Carla: Yeah. And the irony is that so many of the actors are British.

Ben: Yeah.

Ben: So, there’s Sarek. Jason Isaacs is British. He’s a Northerner. He’s got a very thick accent. Yeah Shazad Latif. Yeah.

Ben: And so, I think that was a great point. Thank you for that Darren and I agree we love to see some non-American characters on Discovery.

Carla: And shout out to Keith Gow as well,  Oh hello. We love our chats with you. Do we have any other questions?

Ben: We did have one more Dan “Destructor” on Twitter. Thank you Dan who did send a couple of questions last time that we kind of covered in the discussion, so we didn’t end up explicitly addressing that asked, “Was it me or was that blood un-Disco pink?”

Carla: Right.

Ben: And I am interested in this because I was keeping an eye on that scene and I was trying to once there was blood flying around. I kind of assumed that you know it was gonna be pink because that’s what colour Klingon blood is.

Carla: Right.

Ben: I think it kind of was.

Carla: Yeah. Because did you notice it splatter on the camera?

Ben: I did not until you pointed it out.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Now you won’t be able to unsee it.

Ben: Now I can’t unsee it.

Carla: I’ve passed the gift to you. (laughs)

Ben: Oh, this it’s the worst! (laughs).

Carla: Yes. So, it has been colour match. So, it’s not weird I don’t think.

Ben: Yeah. So, I. And that’s a nice little bit of continuity but also it’s, and this is not a Discovery problem this is this is my disappointment with all of Star Trek, it’s because the aliens are always like a human but with weird face they do anything they can do to differentiate them I’m keen for you know and I know that there’s an in universe explanation for that but I still am vastly disappointed that we almost never meet intelligent species that don’t seem to be just more humanoids right. And I understand that’s budget reasons. But. Yeah. So, anything that differentiates them further I am a big fan of.

Carla: All right I’ve got a couple of things. Do we all clock Pike calling Owosekun “Owo”?

Ben: oh, I did not clock that.

Carla: So, Hashtag Owo. What about Sybock?

Ben: Oh yeah. I wondered if we bring him up. Yeah.

Carla: So Sybok for those who don’t know is also the other brother in this situation Sybok rejected logic later in life and was excommunicated essentially from Vulcan the Vulcans and the family.

Ben: And he’s Spock’s half-brother.

Carla: That’s right.

Ben: Whose mother is another Vulcan.

Carla: Yeah. Before Amanda right because she died. Yeah. Yeah. So, she. So Sybok is Spock’s older brother. So, what are we thinking? He’s already rejected logic at this point and there’s only quote unquote the four of them as Amanda said.

Ben: Yeah well, he’s old and it’s never clear how old he is. It’s further compounded by the fact that from memory the actor who played him in Star Trek five is actually younger than Leonard Nimoy (both laugh) which makes it very difficult to figure out how old is supposed to be but also maybe he just seems younger because he’s not always frowning seriously like all other Vulcans. So yeah.

Carla: That’s okay cause Rose was two years younger than Bea Arthur in the Golden Girls. So, you know, not Rose um what’s the name of the mother? Yeah, the mother.

Ben: Oh, are you serious?

Carla: Estelle Getty. Yeah. She’s two years younger than Bea Arthur. Yeah. They had put her in like old makeup.

Ben: Wow. Okay yeah. All right. But look. Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know. Is he going to turn up? It seems difficult to have a discussion about weird secret siblings of Spock.

Carla: AGREED!!!

Ben: Like not even at least vaguely mention it. Although having said that if there’s anyone who could keep a secret and never bring it up it’s gonna be Sarek. (laughs) Because he’s clearly done that for multiple things.

Carla: Sarek is a douche I’m sorry and how is he a diplomat? Maybe it’s like chefs don’t cook at home you know what I mean. (laughs)

Ben: (laughs) Wow. Yeah. He doesn’t really intervene very well. I mean those scenes in the last episode of him talking to Spock and telling him what to do would not yeah. Not very diplomatic.

Carla: No.

Ben: He’s much more of a douche in the Original Series. Okay. Like when. When Spock finally sees him for the first time in 18 years. He’s just did what a dingus.

Carla: Okay.

Ben: Like seriously he just it’s he’s given Spock the silent treatment quite literally and it just goes to great lengths to avoid speaking to him or even about him. And you like that’s not very logical sir.

Carla: I know it’s a drama.

Ben: Yeah. And then Amanda’s like “Oh why did I marry a Vulcan?!”. They have this cute little like they hold their fingers instead of holding hands. (Carla laughs) well it’s very weird.

Carla: I have to admit like seeing Amanda in this episode and everything that she’s going through I’m like “Why. What’s in it for you Amanda?”

Ben: Yeah. I mean look I like Sarek in this for the most part but it’s the back-story parts of him where I’m like “Why did you do that?”

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. So that’s a fair point.

Carla: I don’t think I have anything else except this. Andrew Colville who wrote this episode was in the writer’s room for Mad Men. I know definitely season three but I’m not sure how many seasons, he’s a well-respected writer but he was just I don’t know where that was the direction that the show needed to go in. But this this episode really didn’t land for me like I think it did I called it a Swiss Army knife, so I think it did a good job in terms of you know bringing everything together. But these first three episodes are so different from each other that I’m really hoping that now everyone’s caught up. We’ve got a path that we’re going down and from like Episode 4 onwards we’re going to be moving forwards not all over the place with a story. What are you, how do you feel?

Ben: Well I mean I feel the first two had a pretty consistent tone for me like it was there was more adventure there was more fun. This one’s a bit back to the season one style of awful things happening all the time and less being less about mystery and more about conflict and very direct conflict. And at the same time all of the conflict in the episode comes from existing sources like the Discovery doesn’t go on a mission in this episode. So yeah, I don’t know I feel in two minds about it. I certainly liked it more than you and I had a good time watching it. It does feel a bit like the whole Klingon subplot. I kind of feel like it felt shoehorned into one episode.

Carla: Yeah like look it always was telenovela and I think that that kept it real to what it was in the first season. So, I don’t sort of begrudge that.

Ben: That’s what Klingons are like.

Carla: Yeah. Klingon Oprah.

Ben: Yeah. They love it. Now I wanted to briefly mention that we’ve both been watching some old school stuff. Yeah. And I I’ve really been enjoying revisiting a few episodes of the Original Series I’ve just watched all of season one of Enterprise with the sort of new perspective that Discovery has given me. And one of the things that made me realise just like this is the first time that I know of that someone has done a spin-off series that’s not just a prequel or a sequel it’s set in between other existing stories.

Carla: Yeah that’s a good point.

Ben: So, it comes after Enterprise you’ve got like a lot of stuff established in the Enterprise about what kind of technology level the early Federation had and all that kind of stuff. But then it comes just before the Original Series so it’s like set roughly the same time period. And a lot of the same politics but sort of the things that lead up to that point. And so, it was actually someone on Twitter was talking about how the way that Klingons behave in the films makes a lot more sense. And even in the Original Series when you now have this context of what the Klingon Federation war was like they nearly but they nearly got as far as earth like they gonna wipe it out and it was only kind of averted by this you know weird extreme dimension hopping spaceship crew that was then had to be silenced and not allowed to talk about it. So, there’s this really. And also, the stakes of what that war about for the Klingons now being established kind of feeds into what they like as a culture and how they view the Federation in both the Original Series and kind of you know ongoing from that. So yeah, I’m really enjoying re watching some of that stuff for the new context.

Carla: You actually reminded me of something that I wanted to bring up which is you know like right in the beginning T’Kuvma is like “yeah. Here comes their lie. We come in and peace”. And now that we’ve seen we’re starting to see that they’re essentially amoral behaviour of Section 31 if this is what other beings that are not in line with the Federation are experiencing then we can now understand the mistrust, aggression, that the Federation ships experience in the future. And it’s not just xenophobia or trying to gain control of power. Well they’ve got their little operatives in the background controlling or murdering or you know.

Ben: That’s their America. And I mean this is the thing that in so many of these sci-fi shows earth becomes like a stand in for the United States rather than you know like a bunch of different nations that amalgamate and create a new culture.

Carla: Right.

Ben: Shorthand for that like Babylon 5 was very much like that as well. And sometimes that’s what the Federation is painted as. And I think that also is why I get to make another Insurrection reference (Carla laughs) because one of the things I love so much.

Carla: Three for three.

Ben: I know one of things I love so much about that film is it is Picard reinforcing the real values of the Federation in the face of the Federation doing something horribly unjust and ethically corrupt.

Carla: Right.

Ben: And saying you know he’s got a skill he’s got this great speech about where they’re going to relocate these people because they need to use the energy on their planet and he’s like it’s only like 800 people. And Picard’s like “How many does I have to be before it’s not okay. Six million?” and you’re like WHOA this is the business. And so, he’s like yep. Disobeying orders we’re going to shoot at Federation officers like this is bullshit. Not standing for it.

Carla: Right.

Ben: And it’s that that. And the fact that that you know corruption can still exist into the future.

Carla: Sure.

Ben: I like that while the whole people who often bang on about how the flaw in Roddenberry’s vision is that it was supposed to be so lovey dovey and perfect but it’s always those moments where people have to hold onto those values in the face of even the institution that they’re serving failing that I think reinforce it and make it so great.

Carla: Yeah totally. And it’s also a parable for us to understand that complacency creeps in wherever and whenever no matter how far you have evolved there will always be these attitudes and insurgencies coming trying to you know it’s just natural. People want what they don’t have.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: And it will you know you have to stay true to your ethics and your morals and I think that’s always the thread that runs through Star Trek.

Ben: Yeah there’s one other thing I want to mention before we go which is about Anson Mount.

Carla: Oh yeah?

Ben: And I’m sure you won’t mind us talk.

Carla: No, we can talk about him all you like.

Ben: Because I was looking at him in this episode was going “He looks really familiar. I’m sure I’ve seen him somewhere else” and so I looked him up on the IDB and I realized where I’d seen him. And it’s weird because I haven’t even actually watched the show that I’m about to talk about, but I was really interested in it. He was in the Inhumans.

Carla: Okay.

Ben: One of the Marvel TV shows based on a fairly obscure by Marvel standards group of kind of like mutants called the Inhumans, but he played the leader of this group who’s called Black Bolt.

Carla: Mm hmm.

Ben: And he wears a cool outfit and he’s like…

Carla: Of course.

Ben: The leader of then humans.

Carla: Yeah.

Ben: They used to live in a secret underground lair and then they moved to the moon. It’s a whole Marvel comic book nonsense. But his superpower is that his words when he speaks his voice can just destroy things. And if he even so much as whispers like things get cracked in half and if he shouts, he can destroy a whole planet. So, he never speaks, and he speaks in sign language. And I was reading about this. He invented his own sign language.

Carla: Oh wow.

Ben: Cause he’s like they’re the Inhumans they live on the freakin’ moon. He doesn’t know American Sign think we know. So, he worked with like some sign language folks to kind of create his own signs that you could kind of follow but were not ASL. And I’m like “What a dude!”.

Carla: That’s really cool.

Ben: And then the show apparently was awful and got cancelled really early. But yeah, he’s the silent protagonist of this show. And he looked great in the outfit.

Carla: That’s awesome. Do you know. Can I tell you something? Because I study psychology.

Ben: Yeah.

Carla: Can I say you’re really interesting about linguistics. So, in cultures, deaf cultures that had developed without language. So, there was no proper, there was no language to be learned. Communities of deaf people created their own sign language, ways of communicating and they all had natural syntax.

Ben: Oh wow.

Carla: Syntax is inherent to humans.

Ben: Yeah. You know I was this Steven Pinker wrote about this.

Carla: I don’t know who Steven Pinker is.

Ben: I think I got the name right. He wrote a book called The Language Instinct and it’s all about how humans are hardwired to learn a language. He didn’t go into. I don’t remember if he talks about the syntax but yeah, he mentioned that as like one of the bits of evidence is like you don’t have a language you make one up because your brain is ready for it.

Carla: That’s right.

Ben: Yeah that’s cool.

Carla: That’s my car.. that’s “Carla’s Science Corner”.

Ben: Oh, I’m going to read more about that. It’s amazing.

Carla: You’ve been listening to re:Discovery. All links to creatives are in the show notes or on our website www.rediscoverpodcast.com. We’d love to connect with you, please add us on Twitter and Facebook @rediscoverypod.

Re:Discovery is brought to you by Splendid Chaps Productions. Find more entertainment for your ears at www.splendidchaps.com

Point of Light (S02E03)

“Point of Light” picks up many threads from season one, as well as progressing the Tilly’s ghost, Red Angel and Spock plotlines. We reconnect with L’Rell and TyVoq’s man bun on Qo’noS, where holding onto the seat of power is proving difficult; Amanda seeks Michael and Pike’s help in decrypting Spock’s stolen medical files; and a new assassin is in town – Section 31 is real, and is recruiting! Team re:Discovery discuss overarching theories, question Sarek’s parenting, ask where (and who) is Sybok, and much much more.

Connect with us and let us know your thoughts via Twitter, Facebook or our website. A transcript of this episode is available here.

Show Notes…