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S01.E08: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

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The USS. Discovery is tasked with a high priority mission to planet Pahvo and learn the science behind the Klingon's cloaking technology.

Title translates to "If you seek peace, prepare for war."  The episode was written by Kristen Beyer, who writes the Voyager Relaunch EU novels.  She's a great writer, and I'm excited for her.

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On 11/4/2017 at 6:11 AM, starri said:
 

Title translates to "If you seek peace, prepare for war."  The episode was written by Kristen Beyer, who writes the Voyager Relaunch EU novels.  She's a great writer, and I'm excited for her.

Actually, the title is Latin for "If you want peace, prepare for war."

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Another week without a cold open.  I don't know if I like that or not.

I did very much like the landing party side of the story.  It was a great one for Doug Jones and SMG.

I had really hoped that L'Rell was pulling a fast one and hadn't actually killed Cornwell.  Damn it.

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Hooraaaay.... Keyla said something!

Looks like Cold Opens have been replaced by Cliff-Hangery endings.

And poor Cornwell....

But the Death Barge is coming to Discovery. Maybe all is not as it seems?

Edited by CanadaPhil

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How exactly did Ash get the spirit of the planet to transport him to the base of the crystal ?  Because that seemed to come out of nowhere.

Not buying the whole "change the frequency of the planet' to meet our needs to decloak the Klingons ?  It seems like a ridiculous plan to start with.

Was this planet supposed to be near the front, so that the Klingons could easily waltz on over when they picked up the EM Pulse from the planet.   EM pulses still travel at light speed, so the Klingons would have had to have been close by to pick it up and show up so quickly.

Saru went a little too far into the hippie spectrum -- the planet will provide all we will need since we are staying, love and peace, sure, whatever.

And what's up with Stamets' faux pas calling Tilly 'captain' when he came out of the fungo-chamber ?  Is he traveling between alternate realities (possibly one where Tilly is captain of Discovery) or is this the mirror Stamets ?

Edited by ottoDbusdriver
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3 minutes ago, ottoDbusdriver said:

And what's up with Stamets' faux pas calling Tilly 'captain' when he came out of the fungo-chamber ?  Is he traveling between alternate realities (possibly one where Tilly is captain of Discovery) or is this the mirror Stamets ?

My guess is that he's seeing the future.

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5 minutes ago, ottoDbusdriver said:

Is he traveling between alternate realities (possibly one where Tilly is captain of Discovery) or is this the mirror Stamets ?

Maybe he is seeing a possible future.

If Stamets is hooked into the Spore Drive, why isn’t it necessary for him to undergo medical monitoring? If Dr Culbert can’t treat his husband because of rules, there must be other medical offers around. In any case, Hugh must be noticing that all is not right with Stamets.

Random, shallow question: who is the Asian Bridge Officer Dude? Man is handsome.

Edited by marinw
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I'd love it if Stamets was moving back and forth between time rather than starting a psychotic break because of being hooked into the spore drive.

33 minutes ago, starri said:

I had really hoped that L'Rell was pulling a fast one and hadn't actually killed Cornwell.  Damn it.

Same here.  What was the point of actually killing her?  Was L'Rell lying when she said she wanted to defect?  I bet she was regretting killing Cornwell when she was her dead friends.

Such a waste to kill Cornwell.

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Random, shallow question: who is the Asian Bridge Officer Dude? Man is handsome.

Do you mean Patrick Kwok-Choon?

Edited by statsgirl
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10 minutes ago, marinw said:

Random, shallow question: who is the Asian Bridge Officer Dude? Man is handsome.

No kidding.  That is the lovely tactical officer Lieutenant Rhys, as played by Canadian actor Patrick Kwok-Choon.

Not to be outdone is the square-jawed communications officer Lieutenant Richtor, played by Christopher Russell.

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1 minute ago, starri said:

Not to be outdone is the square-jawed communications officer Lieutenant Richtor, played by Christopher Russell.

And Daft Punk crossed with a Borg Lady. 

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That's Lieutenant Commander Airiam.  She's apparently an alien cyborg?

It's weird that if Discovery did a Lower Decks episode, it would actually be an Upper Decks episode, since we don't really follow the bridge crew.

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8 minutes ago, starri said:

.....

It's weird that if Discovery did a Lower Decks episode, it would actually be an Upper Decks episode, since we don't really follow the bridge crew.

Or a Mack and Bo buff the floor episode. 

(that was a Babylon 5 reference for those under 40 :D )

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Just now, CanadaPhil said:

Or a Mack and Bo buff the floor episode. 

No thanks.  Once was enough with Mack and Bo.

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1 hour ago, starri said:

My guess is that he's seeing the future.

Sidebar.

Andy: "The Future Conan ?"
Conan: "All the way to the year 2000."

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

End sidebar.

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Do we know for sure that Cornwell is dead? Seemed ambiguous to me.

Yeah, Stamets was totally seeing the future Captain Tilly!

With regard to some theories floating around, we got evidence that Lorca is NOT a Klingon in disguise, as we saw him with his tribble for the first time since "Choose Your Pain".  The Mirror-Lorca theory is, of course, unaffected. Saru knew that Tyler was being deceptive when he talked about wanting to hurt the Klingons. But we don't know if this means Tyler was outright lying -- because he's Voq -- or if he was using the truth as a distraction technique. He wasn't super convincing when he suddenly whipped out his trauma, but I'm not sure what to make of that.

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Kind of confused by a few things about this episode, but the basic idea was that whatever that being was (the actual planet?) somehow took Saru's fear away and that's why he went a bit crazy, and suddenly didn't want to leave the planet.  Curious to see if there will be any long term effects over this.  Obviously he wasn't in the complete right frame of mind, but while Michael seemed understanding, I got the sense Tyler is still pissed at him.  And it sounded like Lorca knows what happened, so I wonder how he'll take it (well, once they deal with the Klingons next week!)

At least Saru wasn't alone, as it looks like Stamets is also losing his mind with all of the teleporting and whatnot.  Definitely suspect him "confusing" Tilly as the captain wasn't a throwaway bit.  Did he somehow see the future?  Or another universe where she's the one running the show?  Maybe both?  Hmm...

So, was L'Rell sincere about wanting to defect and killed Cornwell in order to not get caught or was she playing both sides all along?  Then again, the way they kept focusing on Cornwell's body makes me wonder if she's actually dead or not. 

Winter finale next week if the Klingons and Discovery meeting up!  I'm sure it's all going to end nicely with everyone shaking hands and drinking beers!

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When Stamets called Tilly "Captain," I figured he was seeing her future.

Still trying to figure out if L'Rell wanted to get to Discovery so badly because she wanted to get back to Voq, or because she wanted to get to her human victim Ash. At first, I thought the fight between L'Rell and Cornwell was all part of the plan to get the two of them off the sarcophagus ship. Now I'm not so sure. I guess we'll find out.

On last week's AfterTrek, Anthony Rapp said this episode, written by Kristen Bayer, would make us cry (as it did him). I wasn't crying, but I do love having a Trek novelist on the writing staff. Especially since I like what Bayer's done with the post-Voyager novels.

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The L'Rel moments were a bit of a head scratcher. I hate to say it, but the episode seriously hinted that Ash is Voq again!

Remember that L'Rel is the "deceiver", but I feel that her wanting to leave with Cornwell was REAL..... not that she wanted to actually defect but that she was trying to find a way to reunite with Voq again!!

Yeah I know..... I said in another topic that I did not believe the Ash/Voq thing anymore, but if you rewatch and play close attention to L'Rel's dialogue its really hard not to interpret what she is saying as confirmation of the Ash/Voq thing.

I really hope that Cornwell is not dead.

:(

EDIT: If the Voq thing furns out to be real, I think that we will find that "Ash" has no idea of what he is. That is how deep the transformation goes.

His escape with Lorca was REAL along with his rage fit on L'Rel... and his "escaping" pre-maturely was not part of L'Rel's plan. 

Edited by CanadaPhil
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5 hours ago, Lebanna said:

So this episode actually contains 'a hyper-intelligent form of the color blue'? 

They landed on Pandora.

James Cameron's lawyers are drafting cease and desist letters right now.

;) 

Edit... On a more serious note it looks like they used a section of the Niagara Escarpment for some of the location scenes. (The show is in fact shot in Toronto so we can assume that most exterior scenes are somewhere in Southern Ontario... with cgi adding in all the blue "alien" touches.)

PS... Was the Pandora Tree playing the role of a Tribble when Ash touched the blue stone? ;)

Edited by CanadaPhil
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EDIT: If the Voq thing furns out to be real, I think that we will find that "Ash" has no idea of what he is. That is how deep the transformation goes.

That's the only way to reconcile Ash's behavior but still doesn't explain how he's been able to fool a medical exam.  Lorca seems like the type to fast track a psychological evaluation but any POW should have undergone a thorough medical exam.  Magic plastic surgery doesn't extend to internal organs.

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The planet was very cool. With the music and the blue leaves, I thought for a moment it was Talos IV. 

I don't think the admiral is dead. We didn't see her body and L'Rel had no reason to kill her. If L'Rel was lying to Cornwell in order to get information, she didn't get anything useful. If she was telling the truth, or at least, if she wants to join Voq or whatever his name is, why would she kill Cornwell?

Kelpiens are a fascinating species, and I've been wondering about them. They were prey, okay, but if they developed as the dominant species in their planet, doesn't that mean that they learnt at least to kill their predators? And doesn't that mean that they had to became predators/hunters too?

I love when we see the bridge because then we hear the bridge's sounds which, tbh, is sometimes the only time I feel  I'm actually watching a Star Trek show instead of a new sci-fi show.  For some reason, seeing Sarek or Mudd doesn't have the same effect. 

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8 hours ago, tpel said:

Do we know for sure that Cornwell is dead? Seemed ambiguous to me.

 

7 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

So, was L'Rell sincere about wanting to defect and killed Cornwell in order to not get caught or was she playing both sides all along?  Then again, the way they kept focusing on Cornwell's body makes me wonder if she's actually dead or not. 

 

3 hours ago, Vandy10 said:

 At first, I thought the fight between L'Rell and Cornwell was all part of the plan to get the two of them off the sarcophagus ship. Now I'm not so sure. I guess we'll find out.

I'm also in the camp wondering whether or not Cornwell is dead or not.  I'm also confused about what L'Rell's master plan was. To defect or not to defect?

Curious what's going on with Stametz.  Is he losing his marbles with all the space jumping?

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Aw, Michael might be getting sprung. Ash better not be playing her. Or be a Klingon double-agent.

Good lord, Saru sure drank the Pahvon koolaid. ?This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius!?

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4 hours ago, Vandy10 said:

On last week's AfterTrek, Anthony Rapp said this episode, written by Kristen Bayer, would make us cry (as it did him).

No idea what moment he was referring to -- there was absolutely nothing sad or heart tugging to me. Were we supposed to tear up at Cornwell's death? A lot of us don't even seem to think she's gone.

Lorca shouting at the bridge crew was a highlight. Don't ever change, you irascible scamp.

Why didn't Saru just stay on Pahvo himself if it gave him mental peace for the first time in his life? The show's storyline wouldn't have accommodated that, but the option should at leave have been mentioned. Saru's character is walking a thin line for me between coming off as a boring sniveler vs a capable second in command.

Nice that Pahvo keeps a hippy geodesic dome handy for corporeal visitors, complete with sleeping mats and pillows. Since every bit of vegetation on the planet hums in harmony, whatever Saru prepared as a meal seems like he had to have killed something sentient.

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"Living planet" huh?  I was waiting for a Green / Blue(?) Lantern Corps to come and save the day :D

 

4 hours ago, CanadaPhil said:

EDIT: If the Voq thing furns out to be real, I think that we will find that "Ash" has no idea of what he is. That is how deep the transformation goes.

Agreed.  I wonder if the Pahvo's stone rejected Ash because of his transformation (ie. he was deceiving everyone), instead of Ash lying to stall Saru 

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2 hours ago, 2727 said:

Lorca shouting at the bridge crew was a highlight. Don't ever change, you irascible scamp.

He used their names this time. In drills and non-combat situations, he tends to bark orders according to the station (e.g. "helm") rather than using proper names. In contrast,  Saru, when he was in command a couple of episodes back, addressed people formally by their rank and name. It was nice to see Lorca adapting his style to the needs of the moment: in a high-stress situation, the personal address might help keep the (mostly young) crew calm and focused. Yeah, he was yelling, but it was qualitatively different than when they were doing the drill. I love watching Lorca in command mode. For it to be plausible that Starfleet would put up with his issues, the writers have to make it clear that he is an excellent tactician and battle commander. So far, I think, they've done a good job with that. Even when Discovery was not successful, Captain and crew still came off as competent.

3 hours ago, AEMom said:

I'm also confused about what L'Rell's master plan was. To defect or not to defect?

I assume we are supposed to be confused, as "deception" is practically her middle name. But I think it is true that L'Rell genuinely hates Kol -- she disparaged him even when she was alone, when she saw the bodies of her friends.  So, it makes sense that she would want to get away from him. She also has an interest in Discovery; having captured Lorca, she knows there is something special about that ship. She may have an additional interest in Discovery, if that is indeed where Voq is. Thus, her plotting to team up with Cornwell to escape and hopefully rendezvous with Discovery was probably genuine. I strongly doubt that she is interested in defecting, however. But if she could get her hands on Discovery, or learn more about its propulsion system, she could use this to change the balance of power among the Klingons to her benefit and Kol's detriment.

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L'Rell is clearly more loyal to herself than the Empire...she would likely take a Federation immunity deal if it would eliminate Kol...Keeping Cornwell secretly alive will be impossible without command of the ship...Admiral!Dead...

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Count how many times Ash has actively worked against Klingon interests...sleeper agents are usually neutral, inconspicuous, yet important enough to gather usable intel.  Unless L'Rell wants the Empire to lose, the endgame opportunities have been missed...

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16 hours ago, starri said:

Not to be outdone is the square-jawed communications officer Lieutenant Richtor, played by Christopher Russell.

Usually someone who looks like that is cast as a leading man, or security guard. 

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16 hours ago, starri said:

That's Lieutenant Commander Airiam.  She's apparently an alien cyborg?

It's weird that if Discovery did a Lower Decks episode, it would actually be an Upper Decks episode, since we don't really follow the bridge crew.

 

Yeah, exactly. I was just looking up Airiam and was wondering the same thing. I hate dumb, heavy-handed exposition, which was just littered all over the pilot ("Our race is bred to sense the coming of death" and "Well Burnham, since you've been my second officer for seven years now, you should well know that..."). But we don't even know who most of these people are. Apparently, whatever Airiam is changes every week.

 

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Airiam's nature has been subject to a number of divergent background statements. StarTrek.com described Airiam as being a "synthetic-Humanhybrid", while Ted Sullivan tweeted that she was an alien. Meanwhile After Trek: "Episode 3" described her species as "augmented alien", while After Trek: "Episode 5", involving Gretchen J. Berg, Neville Page and Glenn Hetrick called her instead an "augmented Human".

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Oh yes, the away party episode! Weird aliens? Communicators down? Party member goes crazy due to something on the planet? Sounds like classic Trek! Between this episode and its time skips and this week, all we need now if for the crew to fly into some weird anomaly for it to be the Trek trifecta! 

If Ash is a Klingon spy, either has false memories and actually thinks he IS Ash Tyler, or he is literally the worst/best spy in Trek history. He has a deep knowledge of human history, emotion, and geography, and he has has done nothing at all to help the Klingon cause. Even subconsciously from what we`ve seen. Plus, I just really like Tyler, and dont want him to be a spy. He has more potential as a character as is than as a double agent. I also enjoyed seeing a bit more of his issues surrounding his imprisonment and how he feels about it. Yeah he was stalling Saru, but I dont know if he was making it ALL up. 

The new planet was really pretty, and I like the new species, who all seem to be like a really nice Borg. They all think with one mind and want to share that harmony with everyone, but they ask permission first. It felt very "lets discover things!" which is some of my favorite Trek stuff. 

I think Paul is stuck in some kind of temporal mishmash that allows him to see different timelines all at once, hence seeing Tilly as a Captain. I felt so sad for him when he was saying how he cant tell Hugh the truth because either way would hurt him. Even now that he`s gone back to being prickly, I still feel a lot of sympathy for him, and he`s still clearly a good guy. 

Put me down as another "Did Cornwall really die?" skeptic. They lingered on her body a bit longer than you would expect for a corpse. 

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44 minutes ago, marinw said:

The writers really like Latin for thier episode titles.

The writers exhausted their list of 1 word titles on VOY and ENT episodes :P  

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

Put me down as another "Did Cornwall really die?" skeptic. They lingered on her body a bit longer than you would expect for a corpse. 

I hope so.  I really like the character and the actress.

I think this was the first time the Klingon scenes actually added to the episode.  It's mostly because now that they've gotten L'Rell speaking English sometimes, you can see what a good actress she is, and the good vibes carry over into the Klingonese scenes.  But I did legitimately enjoy them.

My one wish right now is that--given this is at least tangentially a Bryan Fuller show--if we ever meet the matriarch of the House of Mo'Kai, she's played by Beth Grant.

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I think in some early images for the show Airiam was referred to as a robot. But this episode proves pretty conclusively that she is not a robot or android. She is a Lt. Commander who can be entrusted with the Conn. Were she a fully artificial intelligence, that would require a level of advancement on par with Lt. Data, and TNG established that Data was the first such being. Discovery may play around with established cannon "firsts", but I can't imagine they would do so for such a minor character. So, she is either a human or an alien, who has been augmented with cyborg parts. I get the sense that minor cybernetic implants are relatively common in this time period -- we see Lt. Detmer with facial equipment and an artificial or enhanced eye, and we don't know whether the replacement eyes Lorca resists getting are organic (cloned) or synthetic.  Here, too, they can tread lightly around cannon. LaForge on TNG wore a banana clip on his face, not getting human-like eyes until the flash-forward at the end of the series. But he was born blind, so making him see might be more challenging than just swapping out a damaged organ (or part thereof) with something synthetic, for someone who could previously see.

11 minutes ago, starri said:

I think this was the first time the Klingon scenes actually added to the episode.  It's mostly because now that they've gotten L'Rell speaking English sometimes, you can see what a good actress she is, and the good vibes carry over into the Klingonese scenes.  But I did legitimately enjoy them.

Even when they were speaking Klingon, they seemed to be talking at a more normal pace. Perhaps the actors are getting used to the language.

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This was the first episode in which I found the Klingons interesting. I was genuinely intrigued by L’Relle. I didn’t trust her but thought her defecting would be seriously interesting. Was she eager to get to Discovery for the ship itself or to collect intelligence from an embedded spy? It seemed to confirm my least favourite fandom theory about Tyler. She and the Admiral made for excellent frenemies, and the presence of both L’Relle and Cornwall on Discovery would have seriously annoyed Lorca. I’m disappointed it apparently won’t happen. I like Cornwall so I hope she’s just mostly dead. I’m also trusting L’Relle has a plan to escape her latest predicament.

Tilley is still high on my list of favourite characters. She cared enough about Stamets to refuse to be intimidated and to respect his wishes. I always like to see the steel under her flightiness. I kind of wish Tyler had been paired with her instead of Michael. I like the work bond between Michael and Ash, but I’m not feeling the romance at all. 

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3 hours ago, tpel said:

I love watching Lorca in command mode. For it to be plausible that Starfleet would put up with his issues, the writers have to make it clear that he is an excellent tactician and battle commander. So far, I think, they've done a good job with that. Even when Discovery was not successful, Captain and crew still came off as competent.

I like when Lorca is in command mode too. The guy has issues and I can see why Starfleet would be skeptical around him, but he is clearly a skilled commander and I also get why people would still follow him, even knowing how possibly shady he is. Even when Discovery doesn't succeed, I can see his competency as a leader and tactician. He would probably freak me out a bit in daily life, but in the middle of a war? I would be glad to have him on my side. 

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So this episode actually contains 'a hyper-intelligent form of the color blue'? 

Somebody's a Hitchhiker fan.

 

My exact thoughts when I saw those beings!

It actually never occurred to me that the Admiral was really dead. it would be anticlimactic for her to be killed after L'Rell set up the defection. Of course, a Klingon head butt LOOKS pretty damn fatal, but I thought it was all part of the act. I was surprised that L'Rell didn't speak to the admiral after she dragged her into the corpse storage room, but she was unconscious and L'Rell had other things on her mind. But since most people seem to think that the admiral is dead, I may be wrong. 

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I'm really starting to enjoy L'Rell - nobody seems to know what her endgame is. Well, except that Kol is in for a nasty surprise somewhere down the line.

And they keep Ash's lines deliciously ambiguous.

Quote

Saru: What's the other option? Allowing it to transform you into something worse than those who did this?

Ash: If it means I can make them suffer like they made me suffer, then yes.

That might as well be said by Voq talking about 'giving everything up' in order to get revenge for T'Kuvma's death. Or rather that's the writer wanting us to go there since Ash is an unaware sleeper.

Using Pandora Pahvo as Klingon sonar was a weird idea but so is traveling through space via spores I guess.

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I will say that for a psychiatrist, Cornwell is excellent at hand-to-hand combat.  Where did she do her residency, the Orion homeworld?

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I liked L'Rell. Smart Klingon. Keep your friends close and enemies closer. I wonder if she will indeed 'defect' at some point. Don't really think that Cornwall is dead. Maybe it's part of L'Rell's master plan. Klingons and honour. Subvert that and put the plan in to motion. Perhaps she wants her own House.

The planet was similar to Talos IV - except that Talox IV seemed more rocky. Everything of course was an illusion and Pahvo may be no exception.

No idea if Ash is a Klingon spy or operative. Time for a Tribble!

Saru can stay on that planet if he is looking for some peace.  It just seemed so... random.

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6 minutes ago, Frozendiva said:

No idea if Ash is a Klingon spy or operative. Time for a Tribble!

Now that you have brought this one up, it feel like a plot hole if Ash has never been to Lorca's office. Hell knowing Lorca the whole reason he has the damn thing is because its a Klingon detector. uhj;ojiho

The only thing I've really noticed that about Ash that stands out is that his English is a little formal. No American says "Pardon" like he did with Tilly last week. If an American uses the word at all it would be "Pardon me". Its all just little things like how he phrases things that are more in line with someone who isn't a Native English speaker. Which given his colouring could have a perfectly innocent explanation. Or even just be the London born actor slipping up. Its really the only thing that doesn't feel right and doesn't feel like the writers are trolling.

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On the surface, L'Rel  going back to the Death Barge unannounced makes no sense whatsoever. She was lucky to have slipped off of that ship in one piece in the first place and returning would do nothing but put her in jeapordy... and it did!

That is another point that strengthens the Ash/Voq thing. 

Right now L'Rel's only thoughts and efforts should have been on aiding Voq and being at his side so that they can bring their plans to fruition.   

Why the Hell would she gone back to the Death Barge now taking her away from Voq given all thats at stake? Well, because she apparently has no idea where Voq is!!

Whether or not Ash turns out to be Voq there is no denying that Ash is somehow tied to her in some way.

We know that a big part of Ash's prison story is a complete fabrication. There is no way in Hell he was being tortured for 7 months! Well at least not at the hands of L'Rel because we all know that she was stranded with Voq on the derelict barge for 6 full months after the battle at The Binary Stars. This is a fact. We have all seen that was the case.

Ash may believe he was but we all know that cannot be the case. So the question is how does he have these memories which he believes are true? Was he meant to be a sleeper agent to be activated later by L'Rel and Voq in order to help them defeat the Federation? Whatever it is, L'Rel clearly has a plan for "Ash". 

It just seems so easy now to fall into the camp of Ash is Voq, especially when the Showrunners are even beating us over the head with it, but that just feels lame. I can't believe it will be the outcome. 

Hey, here is a crazy thought... Maybe there is more than one L'rel !!!

or.....

Maybe L'Rel is Voq !!!!

My head hurts!

;P

Edited by CanadaPhil
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4 hours ago, starri said:

I will say that for a psychiatrist, Cornwell is excellent at hand-to-hand combat.  Where did she do her residency, the Orion homeworld?

Well Cornwell sure put Georgiou to shame!

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