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Star Trek Discovery: All is Possible

"How long am I supposed to do it?"
"A long-ass time."

By nature I love brevity: Pleasant, if not spectacular. There was a nice classic feel to this one, which I liked.

There were a lot of fun Trek-ish elements to this episode. We started off with a Captain's Log. There was a shuttle crash. Some Cadets learned the true meaning of teamwork. We don't tend to see a ton of this classic-ness in (live action) modern Trek, so it was really neat to see it here. The execution was... middling.

Unfortunately, the most classic of the three main stories was also the least effective. Although I love Mary Wiseman and Blu del Barrio, and although they're doing some great work here, I felt that the attempt at a 'Cadets learn to work together as a team' story was sort of lackluster. For one thing, despite the character introductions, I never really felt like I'd gotten to know the Cadets. The structuring of the team was weird, and probably contributed to that sense; Tilly and Adira are both leads, requiring their own individual arcs over the course of the episode, and the Orion and the Tellarite were clearly connected. That left the human girl sort of on her own without much of a story, and it showed. But adding more people wouldn't help, since five is sort of the magic number when it comes to episodes like this. The result of this is that it felt like we were telling three different stories here - Tilly's, Adira's, and Gorev and Rill's - but none of them really got the time they needed to hit home since there was already only so much time in the episode.

I'm actually enjoying the politics stuff a lot. It's a great way to give Burnham something interesting to do. Being good at so many things, sometimes her character can get a little boring, but her clear discomfort with politics and well-known lack of tact makes this quite entertaining. The addition of Chelah Horsdal's exceedingly well-crafted President Rillak just makes it even better. Although the plot itself was pretty blah, the people in it were fun to watch and the ongoing dynamics between the characters were interesting to track. There are worse ways to spend episode time.

As I've become used to saying, Book's part was the best. I think I could watch David Ajala and Wilson Cruz trade lines of dialogue and play off of each other for hours. I forget sometimes that Cruz is so good, since the show doesn't tend to give him much to sink his teeth into. But when paired with a strong scene partner and given some decent material, the man can work some wonders. And Ajala has been strong right out of the gate this season, deepening his character with every scene in every episode. The two of them together make for excellent tv. I'm here for it.

*sigh* Oh yeah. One more development. *sobs*

So yeah, I was totally right about Tilly leaving soon. I just didn't expect it this quick. Is it a good direction for her character? I suppose, maybe. But I can't help but feel that, four episodes in, she's been unceremoniously shoved out the door a whole lot more quickly than a character of her magnitude deserves. I hope her exit isn't too permanent; I do suspect we haven't seen the last of her, though.

Strange New Worlds:

Tilly, Adira, and the Cadets found themselves on Kokytos, a Class L moon of the planet Theta Helios.

New Life and New Civilizations:

The moon is inhabited by creatures called Tuscadian Pyrosomes. They are made up of thousands of squid-like lifeforms, which track the signals that Federation equipment makes.

Pensees:

-Director John Ottman did a fine job here. I particularly loved the opening transition shot. Some nice clean work.

-Something weird kept consistently happening to the audio at about 5:13 in the episode on Paramount+. It meant I couldn't hear one particular line of Adira's dialogue. Not a big deal, but it was really weird.

-It makes sense that the Burn would cause some serious issues for the Starfleet Cadets trying to work as a team with species they've never met before. It reminded me of the Enterprise era, which may well be intentional - there was a pretty blatant reference to ENT when they introduced the new Academy class in the first episode.

-The relationship this episode set up between Saru and T'Rina was confusing. What exactly was supposed to be going on there? Between the heavy makeup on Doug Jones' face and the non-emotional Vulcan nature of T'Rina's character, I couldn't really tell from the actors what was supposed to be going on.

-I do like seeing David Cronenberg's Dr. Kovich. He's always kind of fun.

Quotes:

Tilly: "Have you ever tried Rigelian rutabagas? Because they're horrible, so don't, seriously."

Adira: "I don't really know how to do new without you."

T'Rina: "Ni'Var has endured without the Federation for a century. We will continue to do so."
Burnham: "Madam President, there is a difference between surviving and thriving."

4 out of 6 withdrawal clauses.
--
CoramDeo likes to go into battle dressed like a cool Youth Pastor.

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