Honestly, considering the... staffing changes the good ship Discovery went through over the course of the first season, the crew could do with all the hands they could get. But Notaro will be serving the Federation elsewhere in season two.
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One of the most noted, and most controversial, changes of Star Trek: Discovery was its shift away from the series' traditional monster/science-problem/God-starship of the week setup to a storytelling structure that, if not as tightly plotted as many prestige shows, was still pretty strongly serialised.
The midseason finale of Star Trek: Discovery, "Into the Forest I Go", finally got this show to the place it should have been all season. Of course, in the process, it had to jettison a lot of character development it has been working on - but since it was mostly stuff that was bad, I'm perfectly happy letting them get away with it. This episode was the climax to a season that never existed, a season where the plot and characterisation was better. You can see that potential here.
This week's "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum" ended on a cliffhanger that sets up a big showdown for next week's finale. Meanwhile, everyone, save Burnham, is wandering around acting suspicious as hell. And for some reason, the show seems like it's doing its own version of a classic Klingon-Federation moment from the original series.
"Lethe" was a character episode. It was fine. Well, it wasn't. Every plot beat was fairly predictable and the emotional resonance got about halfway there at best. At least I didn't loathe it. I just found it tedious. And instead of thinking about Sarek and Burnham's past and Lorca's future, I kept wondering why this show even exists as a prequel.
Captain Lorca doesn't have a lot of dimension, but it turns out that's a good thing. Lorca is best when he is merely an archetype of a certain set of militaristic beliefs, set in opposition to scientist Stamets, who's devoted to the pursuit of knowledge only. And of course, Burnham's journey is about trying to navigate a path between them.
The third episode "Context Is for Kings" is the first true episode of Discovery, and it's a big improvement over the two-episode TV movie that kicked off the series last week. The characters are more interesting now, the ideas smarter, and the world better understood. Granted, I may be biased because it's also examining a Trek issue I've been dying to see tackled.
Welcome, friends, to the story that never ends: it's Star Trek: Discovery and the flaming nightmare pile that has been every bit of PR for this show. It could be great, it could be bad, it has been impossible to tell. And it will remain impossible to tell, since CBS has reportedly made it a condition of seeing the show early that no reviews be released until Discovery airs.
There's a weird problem that keeps popping up with Star Trek: Discovery and I can't tell whose fault it is. Is it journalists writing about the show who don't know its background? Is it that the people involved in the show are bad ambassadors for it? Is it the way the show's being promoted? Is it just the news cycle? Whatever the cause, the effect is that Discovery is constantly marketed as groundbreaking when it should be marketed as following in Star Trek's footsteps.
Yes. I know. I know that makes no sense given that one of the most famous bad lines in all of Star Trek history is "What does God need with a starship?" I also know it makes no sense since Deep Space Nine's Sisko was the literal chosen one of the Bajoran god-equivalents. I know that and you know that. But my god, does Star Trek: Discovery not know that.
Star Trek: Discovery is delayed yet again. A beloved Next Generation actor was reportedly offered an insulting amount of money to appear on the show. It lost a showrunner with a well-deserved fan base of his own. And CBS has made poor marketing decision after poor marketing decision. So, how screwed is this show? Short answer: Very.