Aaaaand Discovery is back!
First thing I noticed is “Directed by Jonathan Frakes” - i.e. Commander Riker from TNG. And I’m like oh we going to get some “fun” directing, eh? This is something I’ve noticed with most SF show actors-turned directors (Amanda Tapping from SG1 on Travellers, for example - she also appears as a character in that), is that their direction tends to lead to solid acting (certainly no worse than usual, often slightly better), but often involves slightly excessive/silly camerawork.
And we sure got that here. Frakes apparently found out about arc shots - i.e. camera moving around the subject and OH SHIT, they are going to get used. SO MANY ARC SHOTS. Round and round and round. Until you’re feeling faintly dizzy. Also extreme close-ups. And some of it HAS to be handheld work - i.e. “shakey cam”.
I’m enjoying it though.
Plotwise nuclear grade spoilers so I’ll block the lot.
(Had to do these in a slightly annoying way - apparently this thing can’t cope with multi-paragraph spoilers, I thought it could previously but meh…)
It’s the Mirror-Universe, but the situation is unusual in that they’ve apparently swapped places with the Mirror Discovery (I don’t think this has happened before with ships - people yes but not ships).
The Mirror-Universe, for perhaps the first time ever in Trek, feels terrifying and fucked-up, rather than “LOL goatees”/“LOL Kira is humping the furniture”. Before the concept was certainly terrifying and fucked-up, but the implementation was always slightly hokey/joke-y. A lot of this is down to Burnham having to knife to death someone who was a friend in the main universe… This despite “LOL Tilly is Captain and a blonde mean-y”.
Whoa HEAVY continuity with main-line Trek! The Constituiton-class Defiant they’re discussing (not the DS9 Defiant) is from ENT’s Mirror-Universe episodes, which were an extremely complicated deal plot-wise, and notably mostly because they had an awesome Mirror-Universe intro in place of the lame country-music intro.
Errrr did you guys just kill one of the most likeable characters on the Discovery. I mean, he’s a little dull but, really, you killed the gay black guy? I mean are past that being a trope? I kind of think we aren’t but I guess we’ll see where that goes. Still though, even ignoring that, maaan, really. I liked that guy. Expecting Twitter backlash against Discovery for this, we shall see. I kind of figured something might happen when Lorca threatened to replace him with some other doctor. We shall see who that is. If it is an Andorian or other classic Trek species I suspect much will be forgiven (but man, c’mon, stop being mean to Stamets, he’s a good guy!).
Taylor did get scanned to see if he had implanted commands or the like, that’s cool. Apparently they didn’t do a very good job. Doctor Gotmurdered should probably have gone straight to the captain with his findings, but I guess he’s overly trusting.
Lorca doesn’t seem to be Mirror-Universe Lorca. I mean, he could be, Mirror-Universe Lorca is missing, but if so he’s doing a good job pretending not to be, like seriously good.
“Don’t go into the Palace” - Well ONE of Lorca or Burnham is probably The Faceless Emperor, almost certainly.
Seems like they Discovery is going to need some more crew-members soon unless they do some kind of “reset” deal (or er… recruit Mirror-Universe replacements or something… yikes), because like, Taylor is going nuts and killing people and probably but not definitely a Klingon - you’d really think a deep scan would find that though - more than just massive scarring around bones and organs - but maybe they full-body genetically engineered him, and the surgery was just to speed things up or complete the process- because bones wouldn’t get shorter or change shape with genetic engineering in a full-grown human, not quickly anyway, if ever. Anyway Taylor is dangerously nuts, Stamets is completely out of commission, acting as a soothsayer (presumably seeing multiple realities still), Dr Culber is dead so that mean they’re down head of security, chief of engineering, and main doctor.
Spoilers BEYOND these spoilers, literally from a thing an actor said - Antimatter-grade spoilers here, do not read unless you don’t mind being spoiled (does not relate to Taylor).
Wilson Cruz, who plays Dr Culber, who got killed, says he will definitely be back. So that’s good! Sounds in fact like they’re going to go where I wondered if they might, and have Stamets do something really wild to fix the situation. Thus Twitter backlash is going to collide directly with spoilers.
Overall I enjoyed the episode a lot but I wish they’d released two episodes, not one! Ugh waiting until next Monday.