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S03.E09: Terra Firma (1)

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The crew journey to a mysterious planet in hopes of finding a cure for Georgiou's deteriorating condition. Stamets and Adira make a breakthrough with the newly acquired Burn data.

 

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Good call by showrunners to acknowledge Abrams Verse and accept more contradiction and paradox into canon

Rebooted TNG!Tapestry --- can the magic door send Burnham back in time to prevent The Burn? Or save the Kelpien ship?

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This ep was weirdly paced. I thought it should have ended with Georgiou striding into the camera with her gown behind her (one or two breaks before it actually ended).

Also, the odd mix of bad poetry and spectactacle with coronation was more comical than anything, but not comical enough to be fun. Maybe they were going with a samurai vibe with both swords and haikus, but it was cringy. And then the big genius murder plot was Stamets "sneaking up" on Georgiou in front of everyone ... none of those in the crowd felt it important to yell "watch out?" 

It mostly felt like the show was *trying* to have fun with a mirror universe, but wasn't going far enough. 

Even within that limitation, Georgiou is way too smart to not quickly transition and play her expected part. I know the point of it is "she's changed," but for her own welfare, she would know to be what she needed to be until she saw a different move to make. She seemed far too uncertain.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the ep, and am enjoying this season and the overall message that the Federation stands for something.

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Right now, I'm kind of wondering if Carl/Paul Guilfoyle's character is connected to the likes of Q and so forth, because a lot of his stuff kind of reminds me of him.  I don't think he's actual Q though, because if they ever do bring him back, I suspect it will be on Star Trek: Picard, so that he can torture poor Jean-Luc some more!

So, Georgiou's illness is due to her being from another universe naturally, and the only way to possibly cure her (which apparently is only a 5% chance at best) involves her going through this mysterious door of Carl's, which has put her back into the mirror universe, the day of Prime Michael's betrayal.  All in all, I think it was just a way to return to the Primeverse, and while it was entertaining as always watching the cast play against type (Mary Wiseman in particular seems to be having the time of her life as Prime Tilly), I don't think it brought too much new to the table.  Granted, most of this episode was mainly set-up, so hopefully there will be more shake-ups in the next one (and dare I hope for a surprise Lorca/Jason Issacs' cameo?!)

Heh, Booker's first task from Saru is to read the manuals.  Welcome to the Federation, buddy!

Stamets and Adira's relationship continues to be a pleasant surprise.

Liked how Admiral Vance actually sided with Michael over Saru this time, and explained his reasons to the latter in an insightful and helpful way.  I hope they continue to write him like this, and not make him suddenly become a villain or one-note obstacle to cause the Discovery crew headaches.

Cool seeing Landry again, even if she was in "Prime" form.

I know his name is technically Kovich according to IMDB, but Creepy Dr. David Cronenberg will always be creepy Dr. David Cronenberg to me!

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There better be a substantial payoff in the second half of this story next week, because otherwise I cannot understand devoting 2 episodes of a 13 episode season to the Terran universe and Georgio's growth of a soul.  

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2 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

There better be a substantial payoff in the second half of this story next week,

Set up her Section 31 spin-off....

Edited by paigow
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34 minutes ago, paigow said:

Set up her Section 31 spin-off....

So I guess she resets and returns from the other dimension, and then goes back in time?

Two observations:

1. Sonequa is such an over-actor. Her ham was on a whole other level than the others. She could take a lesson from Yeoh on subtlety. And I say that with the feeling that Yeoh has also been a bit hammy sometimes.

2. I really liked the exchange between Vance and Saru. I'd like to see more of that. Come to think of it, Saru seems to have strong chemistry with everyone he interacts with. I guess Doug Jones is that kind of actor. Ironic that he's spent so much of his career mute behind layers of makeup, because I find I need to see more of him interacting with others like a real person.

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Sonequa is such an over-actor. Her ham was on a whole other level than the others.

The main thing I am struggling with right now is that it feels like she is rage or sad whispering about 78% of her lines. Just TALK, woman.

And all I really want for Christmas is Prime Tilly's teal eye shadow.

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There were a couple of moments in this episode where the crew blurted out something totally obvious and/or totally wrong but the worst was Adira being amazed that a 100 year old ship still worked while standing on a 900 year old ship. Do you even engineer, Adira? Every show has featured ancient technology coming back to life. Scotty stranded himself in a transporter beam for 75 years (Adira may or may not know that but Scotty ought to be a celebrity to any engineer). TNG had the season 1 weapons salesman whose product demo nearly killed them and the Booby Trap devices that had snared an ancient ship a long time ago and still worked to snare the Enterprise. Voyager couldn't go a week without bumping into some space junk from the Alpha Quadrant that had somehow floated across the galaxy in perfect working order. Over in the Kelvin universe they took a hundred year old ship that had crashed, dumped it off a cliff to jump start it and then went and fought the giant swarm that kicked the ass of the Enterprise. I know this season is really giving us a crew full of wide-eyed wonder but honestly, the other engineers should have looked at Adira and said "really?"

In any case, we're back in the Mirror Universe or a good approximation of it and this feels more like the Discovery I'm used to. I was not expecting this so credit to the show for pulling a plot twist here. And best of all, I have no idea where this is going.

I'm not buying the "molecules don't like this universe" explanation. They're molecules, what are they going to do about it? According to this show the answer seems to be fly off on their own because they can somehow do that. I also found it strange to say that the mirror universe and the prime universe had drifted apart. They're different dimensions so why would physical proximity matter? However, I'll fanwank that David Cronenberg is just making it up as he goes along because it sounds plausible enough that the Disco crew aren't questioning it. And indeed, as we see in this episode, Georgiou's path back to her universe was to go to a planet and walk through a door, distance be damned.

That reminds me of another weird moment after Burnham and Georgiou beamed down. "We're not where we're supposed to be, guess we're going to have to walk!" is a silly thing for somebody wearing a personal transporter to say.

Mirror Detmer looked fantastic. I'm not sure what they did to her look aside from removing the implant but she looked incredible. Burnham reminded me of Rihanna with her purple lipstick. Not a terrible look for her. In fact everyone looked good in the shiny militaristic mirror universe uniforms although Georgiou's crown was way over the top. I want prime Tilly to straighten her hair, it would be so much easier to take her seriously.

Agent Cronenberg also mentions that one time traveler was so messed up the Federation considered euthanasia for him. Did we not see a Federation member planet with a whole population that called it quits at age 60? That was TNG but still, they should have record of it. And it bugs me a little that societal mores haven't really changed all that much since the 23rd century.

Book has to prove himself. So no credit for that time last week when he loaned you his ship so you could attack the Emerald Chain using something that didn't have Starfleet logos all over it? Let me repeat: you already deputized his ship as your attack dog and possibly started a war by doing so (there are mentions of war games that could be war preparation), so why not deputize him too? Book and Adira can go to 32nd century Starfleet Academy together. That would be an interesting pairing. I'm not sure if they have interacted at all yet. In any case, Book is a great intelligence asset, a capable scout and he knows the lay of the land for those times when the Admiral isn't around to give sage advice.

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Terran Michael is so twitchy with her adult teenage rebellion.  "Lorca loves me and I hate you Mother!"   I wonder if we get to see Lorca?

I figured this would be the jump off to get Georgiou to her Section 31 show, which I will watch. 

How interesting to get her back to her own universe to see if things could be different.

It was an interesting question that Admiral Vance asked our Michael.  By now, she should be able to let Emperor Georgiou go. Does she feel that she has paid enough for Prime Georgiou's death? Plus her actual mother is around now; maybe it is time to build up that relationship.

A few quibbles:

Is Vance the only Admiral in Starfleet?  Is there a Starfleet Academy? Why hasn't Tilly been promoted in rank yet?  

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13 hours ago, dwmarch said:

There were a couple of moments in this episode where the crew blurted out something totally obvious and/or totally wrong but the worst was Adira being amazed that a 100 year old ship still worked while standing on a 900 year old ship. Do you even engineer, Adira? Every show has featured ancient technology coming back to life. Scotty stranded himself in a transporter beam for 75 years (Adira may or may not know that but Scotty ought to be a celebrity to any engineer). TNG had the season 1 weapons salesman whose product demo nearly killed them and the Booby Trap devices that had snared an ancient ship a long time ago and still worked to snare the Enterprise. Voyager couldn't go a week without bumping into some space junk from the Alpha Quadrant that had somehow floated across the galaxy in perfect working order. Over in the Kelvin universe they took a hundred year old ship that had crashed, dumped it off a cliff to jump start it and then went and fought the giant swarm that kicked the ass of the Enterprise. I know this season is really giving us a crew full of wide-eyed wonder but honestly, the other engineers should have looked at Adira and said "really?"

 

 

Discovery isn't 900 years old.  It's 5, 10, or however many years old it was when it went to the future.  It's not like it's been flying around for 900 years and still functioning.  Having a ship staying functioning for 100+ years of actually functioning is a whole different ball game. 

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15 hours ago, dwmarch said:

I'm not buying the "molecules don't like this universe" explanation. They're molecules, what are they going to do about it? According to this show the answer seems to be fly off on their own because they can somehow do that. I also found it strange to say that the mirror universe and the prime universe had drifted apart. They're different dimensions so why would physical proximity matter? However, I'll fanwank that David Cronenberg is just making it up as he goes along because it sounds plausible enough that the Disco crew aren't questioning it. And indeed, as we see in this episode, Georgiou's path back to her universe was to go to a planet and walk through a door, distance be damned.

Right there with you - I don't believe his explanation. I think that gizmo he dangled in front of Georgiou like a piece of catnip in front of a kitten has something to do with whatever is going with her. He was also way too insistent that nothing could be done to cure her - glad Zora was around. And then he dissed her! Although I have to admit Culbert's argument that Zora should be trusted because she suggested movie night for team bonding was hilarious.

I'm pretty sure the Admiral's little speech to Saru was laying the groundwork for a future episode dealing with his past. It was probably the best scene of the episode.

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Dear Star Trek Discovery,

If you want me to like an episode, don't keep mentioning Lorca every two minutes without him actually appearing!  They managed to have Leonard Nimoy as Spock a couple of episodes ago; surely they could have found some clip of Lorca to put in.

And I don't see the point of mirror universe versions of most of the crew members when we know so little about them in our universe, so there is no contrast to see.

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Ugh. The MirrorVerse is a fun idea but it has been milked too much by this point, everyone is just acting all hammy and operatic, and not in a good way.

That said, and because I contain multitudes, I will say that I always felt cheated that we never got a TNG Mirror Episode, because Mirror Picard would have been spectacular. And he would have absolutely had a gotee.

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20 hours ago, hendersonrocks said:

And all I really want for Christmas is Prime Tilly's teal eye shadow.

Killy looks AMAZING, so there is that.

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18 hours ago, dwmarch said:

Did we not see a Federation member planet with a whole population that called it quits at age 60?

I believe you’re thinking of the episode Half a Life from TNG.  The aliens from that episode were from the planet Kaelon 2, and were not in the Federation.  The Kaelons were actually pretty Xenophobic, but reached out to Starfleet for help with their dying sun.  Assuming they got that fixed, it’s possible they might have joined the Federation at some point, but it seemed pretty unlikely at the time.

I was surprised to enjoy the return to the Terran Empire universe- I thought that arc was fine back in Season 1, but I was kind of happy to move on to other things.  Going back also puts a fine point on how much slack everyone is willing to cut Phillipa, mostly because she looks like someone they miss.  I don’t necessarily want to begrudge her character growth, but it does feel like the crew just overlooks the fact that she was basically space Hitler.

Still, I think it’s interesting to see how much they all have changed her attitudes.  It’ll be fun to see how this all plays out next episode.  And, the Terran stuff is trashy fun.  Glad to see that Cirque du Soleil exists there - I was not expecting the dedication ceremony to be so Vegas-y.  And I loved that the audience response seemed to range from slight confusion to polite boredom.

I appreciated that we didn’t get an immediate explanation for Carl- it would have been easy for them to just name drop him as a Q, or a Gary 7, or whatever.  Keeping it vague for now is fine- perhaps we’ll get a hint next week.

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42 minutes ago, Chyromaniac said:

I was surprised to enjoy the return to the Terran Empire universe- I thought that arc was fine back in Season 1, but I was kind of happy to move on to other things.

TOS!Mirror!Spock grew a conscience after meeting Prime!Kirk. If the timelines are supposed to be relatively synchronized, Mirror!Spock should be working his way up the food chain and eventually purge all these characters 10 - 12 years from now.

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What a fantastic episode! But then, I tend to love the franchise's Mirror Universe episodes. Delighted to see the Mirror versions of our crew. Rhys and Owosekun's fight was brutal. Damn.

Michelle Yeoh was great playing a lot of different facets of Georgiou in this episode. Love her relationship with both versions of Burnham.

Speaking of Burnham, I need to know where I can get that lip color her MirrorVerse version was wearing.

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Jim Brass -- in space !!

I was so delighted when I saw Paul Guilfoyle, I said "Oh hey!" out loud in my living room!

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When I watched this episode, I assumed that either the door led Georgiou to the equivalent of a holodeck, or it was all in her head, but most people on here seem to think she actually travelled back in time and to the mirror universe? If so, then the needs of the one may outweigh the needs of the many catastrophically, because she could change the timeline just enough that Mirror Lorca doesn't come through to our universe, in which case Burnham's timeline could be affected enough that she doesn't get the chance to save all life in the universe, and we know she is the only person who could do that. Oops!

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On 12/10/2020 at 9:38 PM, Starchild said:

1. Sonequa is such an over-actor. Her ham was on a whole other level than the others. She could take a lesson from Yeoh on subtlety. And I say that with the feeling that Yeoh has also been a bit hammy sometimes.

 

One thing I personally like about the episodes in every iteration of Star Trek featuring the Mirror Universe is that it is a world of ham. The actors usually seem to be having a glorious time hamming it up in all of the episodes that I can't help having a good time too. I mean, I personally don't think Sonequa is that great of an actor anyway, but I didn't mind her hamminess. 

I mean, nothing is as hammy as William Shatner playing Evil!Kirk. So, there's that.

But like many, I was getting frustrated at hearing about Lorca and not seeing him. Next week, let's see him! Please, please, please, please bring back Jason Isaacs for a cameo. 

But I'm also one who keeps screaming that Lorca is not dead! He'll turn up! Even if Discovery is 900 years in the future, Lorca will turn up!

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This was Georgiou’s chance to realize that one can never really go home again, I think. It’s like Frodo discovering that he’s outgrown The Shire because he has seen evil, except in reverse. She’s been fatally contaminated by the Federation’s let’s-all-get-along-ness.

Jim Brass is the Guardian of Forever, I’m almost certain. If you read the back page of his newspaper that he shows us at one point, it has something about help for the unemployed in what looks like the Depression era that Edith Keeler would probably be involved in. Plus, he’s sitting right next to a big damn interdimensional door. I guess the Guardian has evolved in the last 800 years as well.

And yes, please let Lorca come back ASAP. We never saw a body, so Prime Lorca is definitely still alive somewhere (and who doesn’t want to see the probably super laid-back ‘aw shucks’ kind of Lorca that might be), but for now Mirror Lorca would be so great to see again. 

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36 minutes ago, Lebanna said:

Jim Brass is the Guardian of Forever, I guess the Guardian has evolved in the last 800 years as well.

Doubtful...he had millions of years to upgrade his user interface before Kirk showed up and never did. Also his planet was a dark wasteland without snow.

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Saru's walking command blunder. That's our Tilly!

Loved Terran Tilly's hair.

Wow, Terran Michael. She gangsta. The actress looked like she was having fun with it.

Guess Cirque de Soleil will survive in outer space.

Yeah, all this talk of Lorca and no appearance by him? Disappointment.

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On 12/10/2020 at 4:34 PM, thuganomics85 said:

Right now, I'm kind of wondering if Carl/Paul Guilfoyle's character is connected to the likes of Q and so forth, because a lot of his stuff kind of reminds me of him. 

That's what I thought right away, he might be a Q and this is some new "test" or game that the Q is playing, although I don't think he is "the" Q. He really just gave off that kind of that classic "uber powerful cosmic being with a wacky sense of humor" kind of vibe that Trek has always loved so much. Its a trope that Trek has always enjoyed, and while I enjoy many things about modern Treks more serious prestige TV tone, I have missed the god like cosmic beings who just want to mess with people for yucks or turn out to be children on their summer vacation or something. 

Sometimes I think the franchise can dip into the Mirror Universe well too often, but I admit to enjoying their ridiculous levels of hammminess. Everyone and everything in the Mirror Universe is so extra, and their eye shadow game is always on point. Mirror Michael especially was chewing up scenery in a way that would have even impressed crazy eyed Mirror Kirk, but with even better smoky eye. Terran Tilly might be evil, but she really knows how to rock that blue eye shadow, can she share with Prime Tilly? 

I guess Georgiou got infected by Federation ideals, because now its hard for her to go back to her normal Terran self, so does that mean she will come back soon, or try and change the Terran empire? Of course, we know that Mirror Spock tried to make the empire a bit less evil, and we find out in DS9 that when the empire fell its races were enslaved by the rest of the Alpha Quadrant when they all allied against them, because everyone in the Mirror Universe is very morally grey at best and puppy kicking evil at worst (mostly puppy kicking evil), so who knows how that will end up working out. 

Mirror Universe of Prime Universe, Starfleet's taste in entertainment is...eclectic. 

Is this the first reference we have gotten on the TV shows to the Kelvin timeline? I also saw the Maybe Q's newspaper seemed to be a reference to Edith Keller from the classic TOS episode The City on the Edge of Forever, and there was a lot of talk about the temporal wars that were a part of early Star Trek Enterprise, continuity everywhere!

Of course as soon as Book wants to start helping Starfleet, the first thing he gets is the manual. If the Federation loves anything more than inspirational speeches, its rules. Even if you just need to know them to break them and have someone from Starfleet command yell at you before they give you a commendation. 

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1 hour ago, paigow said:

Doubtful...he had millions of years to upgrade his user interface before Kirk showed up and never did. Also his planet was a dark wasteland without snow.

 

‘I cannot change’ - The Guardian of Forever (unknown entity), ‘The City on the Edge of Forever’, 1967

‘You know, coming back in time, changing history... that’s cheating’ - Jim Kirk (notorious big old cheater, see his score on The Kobayashi Maru test for details) ’A trick I learned from an old friend’ - Spock (possibly an exaggerater on occasion, but originally definitely not a cheater at all), ‘Star Trek’, 2009


Yeah well, people change, you know? 

Edited by Lebanna
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The door and guardian and newspaper reminded me of City on the Edge of Forever.

I liked the alt-universe costuming and makeup. I was fascinated by that crown. It would make a great sculpture on a table. Liked Tilly looking like she was out of the 60s.

Living in a country (Canada) that does get harsh, cold winters, I was impressed that neither Georgiou or Burnham looked cold and had little difficulty in traversing snowy terrain in boots that probably didn't have much grip/rubber soles.

 

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I see I forgot to post about this episode....I do love the Disco Mirror (Ball?) Universe, and I enjoy seeing Georgiou in her natural habitat, as it were, while she's also a bit of a fish out of water at the same time.  Since she has been dying (I think this is a surprisingly good character choice by the writers) she has been extra Mirror-villainous, out of fear/desperation and rage and nostalgia for her life, so it's kind of great to have her go back and realize she's been remembering with rose-colored glasses. 

It is an interesting contrast how much of a...relief, maybe? hugely refreshing change? it was when we got to the Mirror Universe in Season 1, whereas this time I do find the "real world" interesting and fun so it's not such a big difference.  Costumes are on point (I also love Michael's lip and Killy's eye shadow, and personally think that fucking crown is AMAZING and wish Michelle Yeoh could have worn it to the Met Ball when they did that Catholic fashion exhibit) though I do think Mirror Michael is too much ham, and I also was disappointed with Mirror Stamets, who I remember being excellently devious in Season 1.  And like everyone, I really thought we'd get a bit of Lorca, at least, after all the talk...maybe even just something like "I blew him out an airlock two hours ago" kind of scene.  I think with all the timey-wimey it's hard to keep track, but this is now a completely different Mirror timeline (which may or may not exist depending on Carl, who is very TOS although I think he would have been, like, broadly Irish or something back then) because Georgiou is not repeating her actions.  But what I really wonder is where this San person comes in, which surely will be soon, but if so, it must not be a memory after all, but a premonition??  To be honest it's hard to remember what did Georgiou know and when did she know it in the Season 1 timeline, but in any case I look forward to her team-up with Mirror Saru.

Speaking of timelines I guess this means Spock travelling to the past and living the rest of his days in the Kelvin timeline is canon?  (Or does he go back home at some point?  I only saw the first Abrams movie, it sucked so bad I didn't bother with the rest.)  I wonder if Michael will find that out.

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9 hours ago, KimberStormer said:

Speaking of timelines I guess this means Spock travelling to the past and living the rest of his days in the Kelvin timeline is canon?  (Or does he go back home at some point?

It is impossible to reconcile Abrams as canon. Nero blew up Vulcan whereas it survived in Roddenverse but has undergone a name change. Pretty sure that Picard mentions Spock died of old age...because Prime!Federation never tried to save Romulus by creating a black hole.

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32 minutes ago, paigow said:

It is impossible to reconcile Abrams as canon. Nero blew up Vulcan whereas it survived in Roddenverse but has undergone a name change. Pretty sure that Picard mentions Spock died of old age...because Prime!Federation never tried to save Romulus by creating a black hole.

Nah, the Kelvinverse is totally cannon. Picard tried to evacuate Romulus because Spock’s plan had failed and he was assumed to be dead because he disappeared by getting sucked into the black hole. That’s why everyone in the Primeverse assumes that Spock’s dead after that.

Nero blew up the Vulcan in the Kelvinverse, so that was Alt-Vulcan anyway and has no connection to ‘our’ Vulcan still existing. I do want Michael to find out what happened, that Spock founded New Vulcan on the other side before dying of great old age. She kvelled enough about him trying to reunify Romulus and Vulcan, but that would make her head explode with pride.

I would really love for all this to be leading in about four or five years to a giant Manyverse crossover, with any surviving TOS crew (come on, George, Nichelle and Walter at least? Please? Even if they stay seated the whole time?) any of the Abrams chicos and chicas who want to come back for a last hurrah, and the current TV crew of the Enterprise all coming together somehow to fight crime on ‘Strange New Worlds’. Especially once New-New-Kirk inevitably starts making cameos on that show.

Edited by Lebanna

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1 hour ago, paigow said:

It is impossible to reconcile Abrams as canon. Nero blew up Vulcan whereas it survived in Roddenverse but has undergone a name change. Pretty sure that Picard mentions Spock died of old age...because Prime!Federation never tried to save Romulus by creating a black hole.

The 2009 movie states that Nero's incursion caused a separate timeline.  It didn't cause the Prime timeline to cease to exist.

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On 12/12/2020 at 2:20 PM, historylover820 said:

I mean, nothing is as hammy as William Shatner playing Evil!Kirk. So, there's that.

Nothing is as hammy as William Shatner, period.   He could do an ad for Honey-Baked Ham and substitute for the ham. 

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On 12/11/2020 at 6:19 PM, catsitter said:

Dear Star Trek Discovery,

If you want me to like an episode, don't keep mentioning Lorca every two minutes without him actually appearing!  They managed to have Leonard Nimoy as Spock a couple of episodes ago; surely they could have found some clip of Lorca to put in.

And I don't see the point of mirror universe versions of most of the crew members when we know so little about them in our universe, so there is no contrast to see.

Bold mine, I totally agree with this. Going in to season 3 this is my main complaint with Discovery.  I still don't know the names of any of the bridge crew, except Detmer because they use her name a lot. But the woman that sits next to her, the guy that brings up the hails, the other guy and the woman that was the robot lady in season one.  It just feels sloppy. And I don't want anyone on this board to tell me their names, I want the show to do so, regularly. They are set up to be considered "regulars" but they're not treated as such.

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Wow, those Terran female officers must spend a lot of time on their eye makeup everyday. Or do their Kelpian slaves do the makeup? I hated Mirror Burnham’s blue lipstick but loved her hair. Much better than her mass of hair extensions in Prime. Wasn’t “Killy” a nickname for Mirror Tilly? The Emperor called her Captain Killy.

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On 12/14/2020 at 9:10 AM, jah1986 said:

I still don't know the names of any of the bridge crew, except Detmer because they use her name a lot. But the woman that sits next to her, the guy that brings up the hails, the other guy and the woman that was the robot lady in season one.  It just feels sloppy. And I don't want anyone on this board to tell me their names, I want the show to do so, regularly. They are set up to be considered "regulars" but they're not treated as such.

I agree, and I've been thinking about it.  This may just be a personal reaction, but I wonder if part of it is due simply to the set, the lighting, and the camera positions.  The bridge of the TOS Enterprise had bright colors,  was brightly lit, and you could see everybody.  Most shots of Kirk included Sulu and Chekov pretty much head-on. The bridge of the Discovery is just damn dark, and the shots of the crew are usually at such extreme side-angles that I have a hard time figuring out who is who. 

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I don't have any trouble seeing the characters. I know all their names, as well, even the minor bridge crew (who are, let us remember, merely supporting characters, not main cast). And I'm not even that big a fan of the show. Do I win a gold star? 😄 

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I liked the visual of Burnham and Georghiou trudging through the snow, it was a nice bookend to the first scene of the first episode when B & G were trudging through the sand.

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