Star Trek Discovery – Still dishing out Shocking Twists (TM), but at least no one has eaten Saru this week

Yes, it’s the obligatory Star Trek Discovery review cum angry rambling (previous editions may be found here). Though at this point, we should probably call the show Star Trek: What the Fuck?! or maybe Star Trek Rollercoaster. Cause Discovery is increasingly fealing like a funfair ride that was kind of fun at the beginning, but then just keeps on going long after you wish it would stop.

Warning! Spoilers below the cut:

So last week, we and Michael Burnham found out that Lorca, the person we have been given as Captain for the past ten episodes, was actually an impostor from the mirror universe. And this week, Lorca is dead – poof, just like that. And though he only dies just once this time and not 47 times as in the timeloop episode, he really seems to be dead this time around. Though with Discovery‘s addiction to shocking twists (TM), you can never be one hundred percent sure.

Not that anybody, least of all me, is going to mourn Lorca. He was a horrible person in any universe and his death is well deserved, which is more than can be said for any other deaths in this show (okay, there also is that horrible female security chief who is so awful she gets to die twice, once in the regular and once in the mirror universe, and no one ever mourns her). However, to kill him off so quickly after the revelation which would hopefully explain why he was the way he was still seems rather anti-climactic, not to mention like a waste of both the character and the excellent actor chosen to play him. Though Jason Isaacs at least get to act his heart out and chew the scenery once more in this episode and he certainly seems to have fun doing it. Besides, I’ve always been convinced that Jason Isaacs knows exactly how crappy Discovery is and that to him, the show was just a means to an end, namely follow in the footsteps of Patrick Stewart, Anthony Stewart Head, Hugh Laurie and Idris Elba and spend some time acting in a more or less crappy US show, only to return to the UK in triumph, so he’ll be able to play whichever roles he fancies and maybe eventually secure himself a knighthood. And yes, I know not all of them have gotten themselves knighthoods, though at least Idris Elba is clearly headed there. And I certainly look forward to whatever Jason Isaacs does in the UK now that he hopefully has proven that he can act his heart out even in crappy US shows with crappy US morals (since a couple of Harry Potter films apparently did not prove it). Though I still wish that Discovery would have given Jason Isaacs better material to work with.

And in fact one of the most depressing things about Star Trek Discovery is that its cast is so much better than this show deserves. This episode alone had great acting turns from Jason Isaacs, Anthony Rapp and Doug Jones as well as Michelle Yeoh being totally badarse. It’s everything you’d love to see in a space opera show and instead it’s wasted on this steaming pile of crap. In fact, it’s depressing to imagine what a good show could have done with the sheer acting talent assembled here. Too bad that Discovery is not that show.

Getting back to Lorca, the revelation that the Lorca we have been watching for eleven episodes was from the mirror universe all along and also some kind of rebel there who had staged a failed coup against the Empress did open up some interesting narrative possibilities such as “Is Lorca a bad guy or is he actually a good guy by mirror universe standards?”, “Was his attempted coup just driven by ambition or did he maybe try to make the mirror universe a better place?” or “Even if mirror Lorca did start out as a bad guy, did his time in the regular universe cause him to change his evil ways?”

The answer to all three questions is no, nope and no, again. Lorca was, is and continues to be a bad guy. His failed coup was driven not be a desire to improve things in the mirror universe or even by pure ambition, but by the fact that Lorca believed that Empress Philippa the Merciless – you know, the racist and xenophobic dictator whose hobbies include executing prisoners and eating Saru – was not racist and xenophobic enough in her quest to keep the Terran Empire pure. No, she was much too soft and didn’t properly subjugate aliens or rather she merely subjugated them, but didnt exterminate them, therefore a strong man is needed to lead the Empire. And that strong man is – yes, you guessed it – Gabriel Lorca.

Lorca and the Empress quite exhaustively argue their respective points by speechifying to their followers (though Lorca has to free his followers first). Hereby, Empress Philippa continues to give her best Ming the Merciless impression, while Lorca’s speech sounds like a mix of Darth Vader (he even inserts a direct Vader quote at one point, making us wonder whether Star Wars exists in either of the Star Trek universes or whether Lorca made a detour to our universe to watch it), Adolf Hitler (all that talk of destiny and fate), Alexander Gauland and Donald Trump (talk about diminishing returns of villainy). Both Michelle Yeoh and Jason Isaacs clearly have a lot of fun in these scenes, but it still feels very much like observing one of the many inner AfD fights (which would make Georgiou Frauke Petry and Lorca Alexander Gauland. And indeed Lorca’s “We are going to reclaim our Empire” even sounds very much like Gauland’s infamous threat to take back his country and his people). They may argue whether the other is sufficiently racist and xenophobic, but as an outside observer all you can think of is that they are both horrible people and that the best solution would be if they would both just spontaneously explode and take their followers with them. At least, Discovery partly grants that wish. In the real world, we’re still waiting.

Coincidentally, the fact that Mirror Lorca is a rabid racist and xenophobe also makes me wonder how he managed to pose as a Starfleet captain aboard a ship with a multi-species crew without breaking out into hives spontaneously. For that matter, how did Lorca manage to tolerate Saru, who’s not just an alien, but a member of a species that’s kept as slaves and food supply in the mirror universe, as his first officer? Of course, Lorca could probably not have refused to have any aliens on his ship, but I guess he did have some say regarding his first officer. So why did he keep Saru rather than promote a human? For that matter, did Lorca’s experience with Saru, Airiam, the crashtest dummy woman and the other non-human crewmembers of the Discovery change his views regarding aliens at all? Especially since Lorca actually seems pretty pleased to see Saru again. Or maybe he was just thinking of dinner. For that matter, what about Ash Tyler? After all, Lorca did rescue him from the Klingons, even at considerable risk to himself. So did he know who/what Ash was? Or did Lorca actually do one good thing in his misbegotten life. These are all interesting questions to ask, but Discovery completely fails to answer them.

Lorca isn’t the only one who has come home to the mirror universe, though. Mirror Stamets is back as well, after he got lost in the magic mushroom network due to an accident (and Anthony Rapp is fabulous in his double role as regular Stamets and his more sarcastic mirror counterpart), and he’s not at all pleased to see Lorca, since he’d hoped Lorca was dead. Cause it turns out that in any universe, Lorca forces Stamets to work for him and that also in any universe, Stamets really can’t stand Lorca and also cannot keep that fact to himself, because Stamets is a sarcastic jerk in any universe (which isn’t very good for your health, when dealing with Lorca in murderous villain mode). However, for the time being, Lorca still needs Mirror Stamets, because Mirror Stamets has developed some kind of bioweapon for Lorca to wipe out the Empress’ followers. And of course, any good bioweapon needs to be deployed, so we get a huge clash of Lorca’s and Georgiou’s respective followers in a corridor with redshirts dying left, right and centre while Lorca and his followers fire at Georgiou to wear down her forceshield. Which actually works, until Georgiou beams away via an emergency transporter.

Lorca, furious that he didn’t get to kill the Empress, decides to take out his anger on the nearest convenient target, which happens to be Mirror Stamets. Because you see, Mirror Stamets failed to inform Lorca that the Empress had an emergency escape transporter, so everything is automatically his fault. But first, Lorca has to speechify about destiny and fate some more, while strutting around Georgiou’s throne room. Meanwhile, Mirror Stamets makes the mistake to make it very clear that he believes that Lorca has totally gone off the deep end now (well, he has), whereupon Lorca opens up a hole in the floor of Georgiou’s throne room that leads directly to the magic mushroom drive of her flagship. I guess throwing enemies into the magic mushroom drive is another of Mirror Georgiou’s less than savoury hobbies. What is more, the hole in the throne room floor also serves as a sort of Chekhov’s gun (Chekhov as in Anton, the playwright, not Pavel, the Enterprise crewmember). And unlike Chekhov’s Tribble, which appeared in Lorca’s introductory episode and was never used again and also totally failed to detect that Ash Tyler was a Klingon spy, Chekhov’s hole in the floor actually does go off. But first, its effectiveness has to be demonstrated via throwing Mirror Stamets in, after the mirror universe version of the horrible female security chief who got eaten by the tardigrade, shoots him for good measure. For of course, the horrible security chief – her name is Landry, apparently, though it’s telling I can only remember it after she died for the second time – is one of Lorca’s devoted followers. Coincidentally, I also bet that Lorca slept with Landry, both of them probably, when Michael wasn’t around or interested.

Michael, meanwhile, had managed to get herself thrown in the brig again (this happens to her with alarming regularity). However, thankfully, the brig of Empress Philippa’s flagship (appropriately named Charon) is no more secure than the brig of the Shenzhou or indeed any Federation starship. And so Michael manages to escape through the Jeffries tubes yet again. She also find the time to contact the Discovery to inform Saru that Lorca is an impostor. Meanwhile, Saru has more bad news for Michael. Because Stamets has found out that his mirror counterpart exploiting the magic mushroom drive and the interuniverse network it is connected to has not just killed off the magic mushroom spores of the Discovery‘s magic mushroom drive, no, whatever killed the spores could also infect the entire magic mushroom network and end all life in all universes as we know it. It’s probably a testament to how bad this show usually is that I thought, even for a moment, that this would not be such a bad thing.

Meanwhile, Michael, Saru, Stamets and Tilly come to the conclusion that in order to save all the universes, the Charon‘s magic mushroom drive, which is the source of the corruption, must be destroyed. Saru and Stamets get to make a statement about the short-sighted exploitation of resources with zero regard for the consequences, which – though a clumsy bit of moralizing – is also one of the more Star Trek like things in Discovery so far. Coincidentally, though the whole plot was more hyper dramatic space opera adventure than Star Trek, the dialogue with its many stirring speeches and occasional clumsy moralizing actually felt more Star Trek like than Discovery has felt since before the winter break. Not that I ever liked the clumsy moralizing, but it is part and parcel of Star Trek.

The Discovery crew also come up with the plan that Michael, who conveniently is already aboard the Charon, will switch off the forcefield around the drive and then signal the Discovery to shoot at it with photon torpedoes. As plans go, it isn’t even all that bad. There is only one problem. Stamets figures out that just shooting at the Charon‘s magic mushroom drive wont be enough. They need to use the Discovery‘s remaining spores to overload the Charon‘s drive and cause an explosion that will kill everybody aboard both ships. But at least, the multiverse is safe.

The Discovery‘s bridge crew, being Starfleet personnel and therefore used to suicide missions for the greater good, immediately gets to work. In fact, one of the good things about this episode was that it finally gave the Discovery‘s bridge crew something to do beyond sitting at their consoles and looking terrified, when Lorca yelled at them. We even get to see some of them in their evil mirror universe versions as well. The Discovery crew also gets treated to a stirring speech by Saru, who tells the crew that the Discovery is no longer Lorca’s ship, but that it belongs to the entire crew (So will we get democratically voted command decisions now? Cause that would be cool) and that they are the best crew in the universe. Saru also promises the crew that no one will die today, because his threat ganglia aren’t reacting, which means that he isn’t in danger of dying. “We will accept no no-win scenarios”, he says, which makes me wonder how Saru handled the Kobayashi Maru test. Did he just sit there saying “I will accept no no-win scenarios” over and over again, until the computer just gave up and let him pass?

Saru is really awesome in this scene and the character finally lives up to his potential in this episode. There’s also none of his usual passive aggressive behaviour towards Michael or anybody else. No, he even calls Michael “friend” at one point. Honestly, if Saru had been like this throughout the season, I would have liked him a lot more. Okay, so maybe Lorca was what was putting Saru on edge and finally getting rid of him helps Saru to achieve his full potential. Except that Saru also behaved like a jerk in the first two episodes, when he was still aboard the Shenzhou with Michael and Captain Georgiou and Lorca wasn’t even in the picture yet. And coincidentally, his threat ganglia can’t be all that accurate, if they keep reacting to Michael, who merely has the bad luck that the plot is stacked against her, but totally fail to react to Lorca, who is a murderous psychopath from another universe who would enslave and/or eat Saru, if he could get away with it. Just like Chekhov’s tribble and so many other things in Discovery, Saru’s threat ganglia are a concept that probably sounded cool on paper, but is never really thought through, let alone put to use. Still, Saru was awesome in this episode and if he continues like this, he could still become a great character.

Saru’s stirring speech also does its job and galvanizes Tilly and Stamets into coming up with a way to destroy the Charon‘s magic mushroom drive without destroying the Discovery, too. Even better, they can use the wave of the explosion to ride home to their own universe. Of course, the navigation will be very difficult, but Stamets is confident that he can do it, because he doesn’t accept any no-win scenarios either.

I have to say that I enjoyed the scenes aboard the Discovery a whole lot and not just because I hate no win scenarios, too, and no more acept them than Saru, Stamets and Tilly. Because fictional no win scenarios are usually an heavy-handed attempt by the author to stack the deck against the characters to make some kind of point about how hard choices are necessary and war requires sacrifices, blah, blah, blah. No win scenarios are usually a propaganda tool and also a very American thing. At any rate, works from outside the US seem to be much less enamoured with them. What is more, anybody with a bit of imagination can usually figure out a way to beat the no win scenario without anybody dying. And that’s why I always liked Kirk’s response to the Kobayashi Maru test. Because he realised that the “author”, in this case the creators of the test, had artificially stacked the deck against him and decided to hack the system.

What is more, as Gavia Baker-Whitelaw points out in her review of this episode, once Lorca is out of the picture, the atmosphere aboard the Discovery immediately changes for the better. The crew begins to work together to find a way to beat the threat and get home with as few lives lost as possible. In short, they finally feel like a Starfleet crew and Discovery finally feels like a Star Trek show rather than like yet another depressing episode of the grimdark new Battlestar Galactica. There have been moments, where the Discovery crew worked together to solve a problem and felt like proper Star Trek before, e.g. in the time loop episode or in the final episode before the winter break, but this episode really demonstrates how Lorca held them back. So yes, more of the Discovery crew being awesome, please, regardless of who is captain (and I’m still not convinced that Saru is the right choice for the long term, no matter how awesome he was in this episode).

However, while the Discovery scenes feel like proper Star Trek, the scenes set aboard the Charon feel like they come from a completely different show altogether, an updated, high budget Flash Gordon adaptation. Which would actually be awesome, but really not what I expect when I sit down to watch something called Star Trek.

And so, while Lorca is strutting around in Georgiou’s throne room, speechifying to his followers and doing his best to out-Ming-the-Merciless Georgiou, Empress Philippa is alone in her office, wistfully regarding mementos of Mirror Michael and plotting revenge. Meanwhile, Michael is still hiding inside a Jeffries tube, but unfortunately her call to Saru has been picked by the Charon‘s monitoring systems, as Mirror Landry promptly tells Lorca. Lorca smiles his swarmy smile and practically oozes sleaze all over Georgiou’s throne room, as he says, “Ah, that’ll be my Burnham.”

He promptly hails Michael to give her another speech (Lorca really does speechify a lot this episode) about how the Federation is weak and doomed to failure and how she should know that not all species are equal and that she should join him to rule the Empire by his side. In short, it’s another “Fascism 101” speech, though better written and articulated than the frothing at the mouth nonsense most actual fascists sprout. It’s also another wasted opportunity, because did Lorca honestly expect Michael to fall for that crap, particularly considering that she has heard “Not all species are equal” from Vulcan logic extremists who’d prefer that she did not exist for most of her life? How much more interesting, if Lorca had instead pointed out how badly the Federation and Starfleet treated Michael and did she really want to go back to people who’d used her as a scapegoat to cover up their own incompetence and then thrown her into prison for life? Lorca could have told Michael that she’d have been worked to death in a slave mine in order to prop up the faux utopia that is the Federation, if he hadn’t saved her. He could have told her that the Federation doesn’t give a shit about her, that they’ll send her right back to a slave mine, even if she wins the war for them (and they will, cause even if Saru is no longer an arsehole who hates Michael’s guts, he will still send her back to prison, because he is a rule follower). He could have reminded Michael that she owes him and that Lorca was the only person in all of Starfleet who gave a shit about what happens to Michael, when everybody else – including her supposed Vulcan family – deserted her. In short, Lorca could have actually behaved the nuanced and complex character he’s been built up as, a man who is deeply unpleasant and a psychopathic murderer, but who also has good sides. But instead of nuanced Lorca, we get another Fascism 101 speech, as if the other Fascism 101 speeches in this episode hadn’t been enough. Honestly, by this point Discovery was beginning to feel like an AfD party convention with better speakers.

Michael, of course, doesn’t fall for Lorca’s crap. Not that she would have fallen for it otherwise, but maybe she’d at least have been tempted. Nonetheless, she tells Lorca that she will offer herself up as a hostage and will also deliver Empress Philippa to him, if Lorca promises to let the Discovery crew go. Michael also tells Lorca that she is only offering him her mind, not her body or her heart, though Lorca clearly believes that he will be able to seduce her again and get all of Michael. He also oozes some more sleaze, so secure in his victory.

The Discovery shows up at around the same time that Michael shows up with Empress Philippa in tow. Lorca actually seems to be pleased to see both the ship he commandeered and even Saru again (whatever happened to “Keep the Terran Empire pure”?), though Saru is considerably less pleased to see Lorca. And of course, Lorca is extremely pleased to see Michael with the supposedly captured Empress Philippa. In fact, Lorca is so secure in his victory and his powers of persuasion that he completely fails to realise that Michael still has an ace up her sleeve. And so Michael and the Empress turn on Lorca and his guards, while the Discovery opens fire on the Charon. What follows is a well choreographed fight scene. It’s also great watching Michelle Yeoh kick some Lorca arse (and she and Michael do kick his arse).

Lorca still tries to persuade Michael to join him. Michael, however, wants absolutely nothing to do with him, as her disgusted expressions makes very clear. Michael also tells Lorca that he should have just asked Starfleet for help and that they would have helped him to get home, because that’s what Starfleet does. Actually, I have my doubts about that – especially since Starfleet is only ever eager to send mirror universe people home to get their own people back, and there is no regular universe Lorca to get back – but then Michael is a lot more trusting in Starfleet and its inherent goodness than me. And so she also refuses to kill Lorca, when given the chance, because she is a Starfleet officer and Starfleet does not do such things. Interestingly, Lorca is also clearly reluctant to kill or injure Michael. However, Empress Philippa has zero scruples and so she runs Lorca through from behind. The mortally wounded Lorca stumbles towards Michael, clearly intending to expire in her arms. But Michael really wants nothing to do with him and jumps aside, leaving Lorca to tumble into the Charon‘s magic mushroom drive via the same hole in the floor into which he’d thrown Mirror Stamets earlier and is promptly disintegrated.

And that’s it. Just like that, Lorca is dead. Empress Philippa intends to go down with her ship, because once she has been shown as weak, others will attack her and eventually someone will succeeed. However, Michael is unwilling to let another Philippa Georgiou die and so impulsively grabs the Empress, as she is beamed back to the Discovery and the Charon explodes around them. Of course, the Empress is not the Philippa Georgiou Michael knew and admired and bringing a murderous dictator who thinks Saru is a particularly tasty morsel back into the regular universe will surely bite her in the arse eventually. Though the Empress’ survival means that we get more Michelle Yeoh and that’s a good thing in any universe.

So is Lorca really dead for good? It certainly seems that way, though of course he could also be hanging out with Culber and Mirror Stamets in the magic mushroom network. Jason Isaacs also insists that Lorca is dead for good, though considering that Isaacs and pretty much every other Discovery cast member has been lying through their teeth for months now (and Jason Isaacs actually apologises for being forced to lie to so many people in the very same interview). Coincidentally, could entertainment journalists maybe stop asking spoilerish questions in interviews? It’s clear that they won’t get an answer anyway (unless an actor accidentally lets a spoiler slip, which has happened a couple of times) and it puts actors and others into the unpleasant position that they have to first lie to people and then later apologise. Though frankly, I cannot recall any show where the interviews with cast and crew sounded so desperate and where so many people flat out lied about pretty much everything.

What is more, after all the build-up, Lorca’s death is very anti-climactic. After all, we just spent eleven episodes following a man we thought was captain of the Discovery, a man who was a manipulative arsehole for most of the time, occasionally tipping over into full-blown murderous psychopath. However, the Lorca we’ve spent eleven episodes watching was not evil all of the time. He was nice to various crewmembers on occasion, he did rescue Ash Tyler at considerable risk to himself, he genuinely tried to save the glowy blue aliens of Pahvo and that mining colony early in the series. Whatever his motives, he occasionally behaved like a proper Starfleet captain. Having him turn into a one-note ranting villain after the big reveal was certainly fun to watch, but it was also a let-down, because Lorca was an interesting character and deserved better than that.

Lorca’s obsession was Michael was also not very well explained. A lot of people say they never even detected romantic or sexual interest in Michael. I certainly did detect Lorca’s interest, though it seemed purely sexual to me and indeed, I have termed it “rapist vibes” because when Lorca was first introduced and called Michael, still a universally despised prisoner at that time, into his office, I genuinely thought for a moment that he would rape her. So yes, Lorca certainly had an unhealthy interest in Michael. I suspect Landry detected this, too, and that may have been the reason why she treated Michael so awfully until the tardigrade did us all a favour and killed her.

But was Lorca’s obsession with Michael purely sexual in nature or did he just need her for his grand plan to take back the mirror universe or did he actually love her on some level? This never really becomes clear. Lorca’s repeated attempts to pull Michael onto his side, his clear reluctance to kill her and the fact that she was the person he sought out when he was dying suggest that he did have genuine feelings for her. But if Lorca was truly in love with Mirror Michael and projected those feelings onto regular Michael or – even more interestingly – if Mirror Michael really was just a means to an end for him, but he fell for regular Michael, the previous ten episodes never remotely hint at any of this. What is more, Lorca’s romantic interactions with Admiral Cornwell actually made them look like a couple that enjoyed each other’s company – at least, until Lorca freaked out and pulled a gun on her and then set her up to walk into a trap. Meanwhile, Lorca’s interactions with Michael never seems to go beyond prurient obsession. Lorca watched the stars with Admiral Cornwell (of course, he’s just playacting, but he’s still convincing enough that he should know how to be an attentive lover), but he never does the same with Michael.

The big reveal that the Lorca we have been watching all along was actually from the mirror universe should have given us more insight into his character. Instead, it raised even more questions and contradictions and offered zero insight. And before we could get any sort of handle on who Gabriel Lorca really is, he is unceremoniously killed off. After eleven episodes, I still have no idea who Gabriel Lorca actually was and what he truly wanted beyond making the Terran Empire great again and Michael Burnham in his bed.

And coincidentally, it’s a bit strange that Lorca and Tyler, the only two eligible straight men in the entire main cast (Stamets and Culber are gay, Tilly, Landry and Admiral Cornwell are all straight women and Saru’s sexuality is a complete mystery) both happen to fall for Michael and that they both turn out to be imposters and traitors. Indeed, one of my main criticisms of the “Ash Tyler is Voq” plot is that it’s way too similar to the Lorca plot and not executed nearly as well. It’s also a waste of a good character. They should really have skipped the Ash/Voq plot altogether and focussed on Lorca instead. Hell, maybe they should have skipped the whole Klingon war plot and focussed on the mirror universe plotline instead. Because the Klingon war and the mirror universe plotlines feel way too similar to each other, since both involve an infiltrator posing as someone he’s not and both make some political point about how diversity and multiculturalism are better than isolationism, xenophobia and racism. Which is actually an important point to make, especially in these times, but maybe not twice in the same show, stated in an almost identical way.

Talking of Ash/Voq, he’s never even mentioned in this episode and I didn’t even notice it until afterwards, because so many things happened. Though the bloody Klingon plot will rear its ugly head again for the last two episodes of the season, since once the Discovery makes it back to the regular universe, they realise that nine months have passed and that the Klingons have won the war in the meantime (which must irk L’Rell and Voq to no end, because obviously no one missed them – they just went on to win the war without them), while the Federation has been destroyed.

Now we know that this state of affairs cannot last, if only because we know that in approximately ten years of time, the Federation will be fully functional and show no sign of having ever been brought to the brink of destruction by the Klingon Empire. So I strongly suspect that the season will end with a big fat reset button in the form of travelling back in time to either stop the Klingons from winning or stop the war altogether. Unless the Discovery crew realises that they have ended up in the wrong universe yet again and continues to go universe hopping. But while Star Trek Discovery – Universe-hopping Outlaws would probably be a fun show with a lot of potential, I don’t really see that happening. Bryan Fuller would probably have ended with killing off everybody (and plenty of characters have been killed off already), since he planned on only spending one season with these characters anyway. But Discovery has already been renewed for a second season, so a big fat reset button is the easiest and probably the only way to salvage the unholy mess that this show has become and undo some of the really stupid decisions made by the showrunners. And whatever emerges after that big fat reset button has been pushed – the Discovery under the command of either Saru or Michael or maybe even Philippa Georgiou or some version of Gabriel Lorca, provided the producers cough up enough money to tempt them back, with either Saru, Michael, Tilly or maybe even Ash as first officer – may well turn out to be a good show eventually. After all, Star Trek is infamous for ropey first seasons. But if the entire first season is thrown away with “Forget this stuff. It never happened, cause we changed history”, that’s a colossal waste and probably not good for the show in the long run. Because it essentially means that the entire first season can be skipped. Besides, a show should never write itself into such a corner that the big fat reset button is the only way out. Because so far, it has never worked for any show.

As an individual episode, this one was certainly exciting and a lot of fun, easily one of the best episodes in the series so far. However, viewed in context, it still seems like one huge missed opportunity. A lot like the whole show, in fact.

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