Star Trek: Discovery (DIS) launched in 2017 on the streaming platform CBS All-Access (an ironic name if ever there was one). I waited until it came out on DVD then, to kill time waiting for season two (to be released on DVD), I watched all of Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG), Deep Space Nine (DS9), Voyager (VOY) and the fourth season of Enterprise (ENT). By this time, DIS season three is out on DVD and I have yet to watch season two. Frankly, I wasn't all that impressed with season one... at least not as the prequel it is purported to be. As a reboot of the franchise, I liked it fine, yet the showrunners insist it is in continuity, despite the fact it seems to violate canon in a major way. I came to the show knowing that there would be no visual continuity with the original show and I was prepared to accept that, but I did expect there to be story continuity. (When I say "visual continuity," I am referring to the ships and uniforms, not the Klingons.) Honestly, I could have gotten to this discussion much earlier, I really just didn't care to. I am told that season two takes steps to reconcile the continuity differences. We shall see. I plan to start over with season one. Here's a look at what's ahead.

SEASON ONE:

1. The Vulcan Hello - -p1

2. Battle at the Binary Stars - p1

3. Context is for Kings - p1

4. The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry - p1

5. Choose Your Pain - p2

6. Lethe - p2

7. Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad - p2

8. Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum - p2

9. Into the Forest I Go - p2

10. Despite Yourself - p2

11. The Wolf Inside - p2

12. Vaulting Ambition - p3

13. What's Past is Prologue - p3

14. The War Without, the War Within - p3

15. Will You Take My Hand? - p3

SEASON TWO:

1. Brother - p3

2. New Eden - p3

3. Point of Light - p3

4. An Obol for Charon - p4

5. Saints of Imperfection - p4

6. The Sound of Thunder - p4

7. Light and Shadows - p4

8. If Memory Serves - p4

9. Project Daedalus - p4

10. The Red Angel - p5

11. Perpetual Infinity - p5

12. Through the Valley of Shadows - p5

13. Such Sweet Sorrow - p6

14. Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2 - p6

SEASON THREE:

1. That Hope is You, Part 1

2. Far From Home

3. People of Earth

4. Forget Me Not

5. Die trying

6. Scavengers

7. Unification III

8. The Sancuary

9. Terra Firma, Part 1

10. Terra Firma, Part 2

11. Su'Kal

12. There is a Tide...

13. That Hope is You, Part 2

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Leland Goo! How do you guys all know my lawyer?

Tracy of Moon-T said:

she was wearing Leland goo. 

FORGET ME NOT: This episode's main focus is on the host Adira and the symbiont Tal. Adira can access  neither Tal's memories nor her own from before their joining. Discovery jumps to Trill for help. The population has been hit hard by The Burn and they are eager to receive a missing symbiont back into their population. Burnham accompanies Adira to the surface, but they neglected to inform the ruling council in advance that the symbiont (or "squid" as Adira refers to it) has been joined with a human. The ruling are split on this new development; some want to extract the symbiont (which would likely kill the host),  some want to send her away, some wanting to help. 

The decision is made to send her away but, on the way to the shuttle, they are attacked by the faction who want to extract the symbiont. They are defeated with the help of one of the Trill who wants to help reconnect the symbiont to the host. He takes them to the sacred caves where Adira undergoes a ritual in a pool of water. she sinks to the bottom and disappears. Michael follows and telepathically helps with the reintegration process.

The Tal symbiont had been transferred from Senna to a young man named Gray, Adira's boyfriend. They were on a ship bound for Federation HQ (which is at an unknown location, no longer on Earth) when it was hit by an asteroid. Gray was mortally wounded, but the Tal symbiont was okay. In order to save its life, the medical drones transferred it to Adira, but the process was so traumatic she repressed all of her own memories and Tal's. since them, she has had access to certain skills, languages, etc. only on a subconscious basis. Following the successful reintegration, Adira chooses to stay aboard Discovery as liaison with the Trill race. 

The B-plot concerns Saru's attempt to deal with the crew's stress from having jumped nearly 1000 years into the future, everything they've known and loved now gone. He considers several options, but eventually decides upon a communal meal, as is common in many societies, for the senior staff. This episode was particularly appropriate to watch within a week of Thanksgiving (a happy coincidence), and it took the track of many holiday family dinners.

Everything starts out fine, until Georgiou makes an inappropriate comment in the form of a haiku. This prompts the rest of the crew to compose haikus of their own, which goes okay until the ships helmsman, Detmer, gets her turn. [I don't think I've mentioned Detmer yet. She been around since the Shinzou, but hasn't really been given anything notable to do yet. She's got her own subplot boiling, though.] Detmer's haiku led to an argument with Stamets and the whole meal degenerated from there.

At the end of the episode, Saru gathers the crew in the shuttle bay to watch a Buster Keaton movie, which was a huge success. It seems they needed to blow off some stress before they could move on. At the very end, Adira Tal is playing the cello (one of Gray's skills) in her quarters, and Gray himself "appears." Apparently, the relationship between host and this particular former host is unique. 

I had worried that Adira would be another Wesley but her story is turning into something wonderfully different and interesting. I am looking forward to seeing more. 

DIE TRYING: The episode begins with Discovery arriving at the space station which serves as Federation/Starfleet HQ (which are the essentially same thing now). the crew "ooh" and "ahh" over the future tech before the opening credits roll, so you just know things aren't going to continue to go this smoothly. Saru, Burnham and Adira Tal beam over. The Commander-in-Chief is Charles Vance and the Chief of Security is Lt. Willa. The first thing the Discovery team learns is that, after the Temporal War, all time travel has been banned and that, technically, the entire crew has committed a crime. Burnham points out that, had they not traveled in time, all organic life would have been wiped out, but Vance and Willa have no knowledge of Discovery and are disinclined to trust them. their plan is to break up and reassign the crew and to have Discovery refitted.

I meant to make a point earlier that this episode makes explicitly: "The Burn" represents the Dark Ages and Discovery is the Renaissance. Case in point, some refugees are being treated for radiation sickness after having eaten irradiated plants at some point in the recent past. Burnham suggests retracing their steps and developing a vaccine from healthy versions of the plants. It's not as if Starfleet didn't know that, but without warp drive, the plan is infeasible. Ah, but Discovery has the spore drive! Unfortunately, Vance doesn't trust them. Besides, all of the plants on the planet at which the refugees stopped are irradiated.

Burnham comes up with the idea of finding uncontaminated seeds on a "seed ship" and convinces Vance that Discovery is the only hope of completing the mission and saving the refugees. He agrees but, apart from Stamets (who is necessary to utilize the spore drive), the ship is to manned by his own crew, who must first learn how to properly navigate a 1000-year-old ship. Between the two of them, Saru and Burnham convince Vance to let Discovery's crew pilot the ship, with Lt. Willa coming along to supervise.

I should mention that this point that Adira hasn't played a large part in these debriefings. Vance knew Senna Tal, but considers Adira Tal a stranger. I was certain that the plot would hinge upon Vance coming to accept Adira as Senna Tal (much in the same way Sisko accepted Jadzia as the "Old Man" Kurzon Dax), but that turned out not to be the case. 

The seed ship had been manned by a family of Barzan (father, mother, two dughters), the same race as Discovery security officer Nhan. When the landing party arrives, they find the women dead, in stasis, and the father strangely out of phase. They must overcome a series of obstacles, but they do manage to complete their mission and save the refugees. The Barzan father is fatally poisoned, so Nhan volunteers to remain behind.

Burnham is puzzled by the melody that Adira played on her cello last episode. She heard the same melody on the seed ship and, after returning to Starfleet HQ, learns that a significant percentage of the crew know it as well, but no one knows exactly where it comes from. It is presented in such as way that it is unlikely multiple races would be familiar with the same tune in the post-Burn universe.

All of Discovery's crew have been interviewed and debriefed. The senior staff's interviews are shown, and they all react in their own individual ways. Georgiou has a unique way of dealing with her AI interrogators which causes her to be debriefed in person. Later, Burnham finds Georgiou in a trance-like state, but she seemingly snaps out of it when Burnham presses her. 

Lt. Willa comments that some of the core crew are unprofessional (snarky) with each other but ultimately decides that is why they work so well together. I can tell you that all the best teams work like this. My office runs on sarcasm and snark. 

SCAVENGERS: While Saru is trying to convince Vance that Discovery and its crew can be a useful asset to 32nd century Starfleet, loose cannon Michael Burnham goes off half cocked again (to mix a few metaphors). Because of the spore drive, Vance wants to keep Discovery close at hand to dispatch at a moment's notice, and trouble is fomenting in a nearby system with the criminal gang Emerald Chain, expected to erupt within 12 hours. Burnham, who believes the Federation can never be rebuilt until the cause of The Burn is determined, has dedicated herself to that cause. She has uncovered a clue and wants to pursue it and promises to be back in 12 hours, but Saru points out that Discovery could be called into service at anytime within the next 12 hours. She therefore decides to go out on her own.

Captain Kirk would have been will be prone to the same type of impulsive decisions, but here's the thing: he is the captain. Also, his enterprise is often days or weeks away from communication for orders, whereas Burnham is stationed at Starfleet HQ. Up until this point, I have't really had a problem with Burnham's actions, but in the third season I pretty much agree with Vance's decisions. The Burn was 100-120 years ago; there's no urgency to determining its cause. She will get her comeuppance by the end of the episode, however. 

While Discovery is in drydock at Starfleet HQ, it gets retrofitted with upgraded technology,  including programmable matter interfaces and detached warp nacelles. The crew have all been given new badges, which are not only communicators but also personal transporters and tricorders with holographic displays. Also, Adira has personally updated the spore drive interface allowing Stamets to remove the implants in his forearms.

Adira also reveals to Stamets that Gray is present in her mind, which is an example of something I really like about this show (especially this season): the characters actually talk to each other and share information. What a concept! It's so frustrating in, in all kinds of fiction, when writers artificially prolong the plot by not having characters reveal what they know to each other. 

Booker's ship arrives with just his cat, Grudge, aboard. A prerecorded message reveals that he was on his way to a salvage planet run by the Emerald Chain to retrieve the "black box" from a ship destroyed in The Burn. They already have two, so Burnham wants the third in order to triangulate where The Burn may have originated. Against Saru's direct orders, Burnham and Georgiou takes Booker's ship to retrieve the box and perhaps to save Booker's life. 

Long story short, they accomplish their mission. Georgiou goes into one of her "trances" at one point, endangering their lives. They also acquire and Andorian ally named Ryn who has had his antennae removed by the Emerald Chain. Back at Starfleet HQ, Vance lets Burnham have it, but leaves her punishment to Saru, who demotes her from first officer to merely science officer. 

Computer, locate Burnham.

Commander Burnham is not on board.

Tilly to Grudge: Did you eat her?

Me: laughed out loud! 

She's a QUEEN!!!!

That is a big cat.

Burnham actually used the cat to find Book. Grunge is fitted with a 32nd century version of a chip. Burnham reverse-engineered the device to find Book. Georgiou's comment: "That cat can't get lost. It's got its own gravitational pull."

Also, when Burnham went missing... again... Saru checked with Tilly to see if she knew where Michael went. She didn't but, on the command track herself, she advised Saru to go to Vance with it because, if he found out through other channels, it wouldn't look good for the entire crew. Saru keeps doing everything he can to prove to the Admiral that he and the Discovery are  trustworthy, and everything Burnham does undermines him. 

Grudge is my favorite Star Trek cat, ahead of Isis and ahead of Spot. 

UNIFICATION III: Season 3 continues to impress me as it barrels along. "Unification III" is a pretty ambitious title for a series that has, so far, had little to do with continuity or canon ("Unification, Parts I & II" being TNG episodes). It has already been established that Burnham and Book have had no romantic relationship during their year together between S3 E1 & E2, but this episode begins with them in bed together. One of the main themes of this episode is that, perhaps, Burnham has moved beyond Starfleet. Having been furloughed for over a year myself at this point (I do expect to be called back at some point), I can relate. 

The information Burnham acquired last episode is not enough to triangulate the origin of the burn in three-dimensional space, but it is enough to indicate that it was not caused by SB-19, a research project on the planet Ni'Var, which Admiral Vance assumed had been the cause of The Burn. Ni'Var, it turns out, is the new, post-Reunification name of the planet Vulcan. Dilithium was becoming scare in the galaxy even before The Burn. SB-19 was an alternative means of long-distance travel, similar to the spore drive. The Vulcans determined it was too dangerous to pursue, but the Federation pushed them to pursue it. Whereas some believe the Vulcans caused The Burn, the Vulcans believe the Federation pressured them to cause The Burn. Reunification was on shaky ground even before The Burn, but the galaxy-wide disaster caused Vulcan to withdraw from the Federation and re-name itself Ni'Var.

While Discovery orbits Ni'Var, the President refuses to share data concerning SB-19. Using her status as Spock's sister, Burnam invokes an ancient Vulcan ritual based on pure logic which forces Ni'Var to consider the Federation's request. Reluctantly, the President beams aboard Discovery with a quorum consisting of herself, Romulan elder, a Vulcan purist and a representative of the Romulo-Vulcans. Burham is assigned an advocate who turns out to be none other than (wait for it)... Michael's mother, Gabrielle Burnham! I was not expecting that! 

The meeting is recessed due to obvious lack of progress, and Dr. Burnham realizes that her daughter is not being honest in her motives. She manipulates her daughter into withdrawing her request, but that action proves to the President that her motives are true and the SB-19 information is turned over. Gabrielle's manipulation also serves to rededicate Michael to the cause of the Federation. 

Meanwhile, Saru has offered the role of acting First Officer to Ensign Tilly until such a time he can find a suitable replacement, which is awkward because, if she accepts, it would put her in a position of authority above officers not only senior in experience, but rank (including her direct "boss", Stamets). The crew rallies around her and she accepts. 

Things happen on this show, unlike, say, TNG in which the status quo never changed (until the last season, and even those changes weren't permanent and didn't have much of an impact, apart from the illusion of change). Season three has been a HUGE improvement over the first two seasons. 

I agree with Jeff. This season is more enjoyable now that it is free from its original timeline. 

I keep wondering when Tilly will remember they have the dilithium recrystallizing technology, from Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po, referred to as "Po", the Xahean Queen. 

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