Corylea

Episode 1.4 "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry" Discussion

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The Tardigrade with its spores raised a Dune memory of the navigators and their spice.  Nice homage if intentional,. very serendipitous if not.

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1 hour ago, Mutai Sho-Rin said:

The Tardigrade with its spores raised a Dune memory of the navigators and their spice.  Nice homage if intentional,. very serendipitous if not.

That's exactly what my mother and I thought when seeing that. Very reminiscent of "Dune." I wonder if that's where they got the inspiration from it.

As with complaints about the lighting, it's supposed to be moody. At least it's a darn-sight better than that overly bright JJ-prise bridge!

I do have to admit, I'm not too crazy about the Klingon scenes either. I can get used to the look though. However, it's good that they are using their native tongue with subtitles, something I like to see them do when they're not around humans. They should have done this more often in other Trek incarnations.

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Corylea   

A lot of people around the web have been saying that Landry was stupid, and her death was bad writing.  Yes, she certainly WAS stupid, to count on her phaser for controlling the tardigrade, when the whole reason why they were studying it was because it was impervious to phasers. :rolleyes:  But I'm wondering if her death might not serve a few purposes:

1.  It's a message that war-mongering hotheads get themselves stupidly killed. :P  The message "So don't go being a war-mongering hothead" was left as an exercise for the viewer. ;)

2.  It removes one of Lorca's strongest supporters.  He's now alone in his war-mongering, since the other characters have different motives.  Saru supports him because he's the captain, but Saru doesn't agree with his goals or his methods.  Isolating Lorca should help to set up whatever happens next.

Thoughts?

 

Edited by Corylea

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4 minutes ago, Corylea said:

A lot of people around the web have been saying that Landry was stupid, and her death was bad writing.  Yes, she certainly WAS stupid, to count on her phaser for controlling the tardigrade, when the whole reason why they were studying it was because it was impervious to phasers. :rolleyes:  But I'm wondering if her death might not serve a few purposes:

1.  It's a message that war-mongering hotheads get themselves stupidly killed. :P  The message "So don't go being a war-mongering hothead" was left as an exercise for the viewer. ;)

2.  It removes one of Lorca's strongest supporters.  He's now alone in his war-mongering, since the other characters have different motives.  Saru supports him because he's the captain, but Saru doesn't agree with his goals or his methods.  Isolating Lorca should help to set up whatever happens next.

Thoughts?

 

Well, Landry certainly was a jarhead beyond the shadow of a doubt, and a fool for trying what she did. And I agree what she did was stupid. As someone who is a full commander with a good deal of experience, she should have known far better than to pull a stunt like that. An inexperienced "red-shirt" type crewmember maybe, but I do think that the part wasn't that well written.

It's interesting you know, what if there is another mutiny, one that saves the Federation as opposed to what happened in the first two episodes? It would be a sense of ironic symmetry, wouldn't you say? First, Burnham goes against Georgiou and states that they need to open fire on the Klingons, a mistake that put her in the predicament she is now in. Then, something similar happens, but this time around, she's right and this ends the Klingon war. Something to ponder here...

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Well, sometimes trained, competent people do stupid things.

Both Three-Mile Island and Chernobyl happened simply because trained people didn't do what they were supposed to do. 

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Just now, prometheus59650 said:

Well, sometimes trained, competent people do stupid things.

Both Three-Mile Island and Chernobyl happened simply because trained people didn't do what they were supposed to do. 

Well there was more to Chernobyl than just that. Chernobyl was a poorly-built nuclear power plant.

And there's Captain Archer who decided taking his dog onto an alien planet where he could piss on a sacred plant and get sick was a good idea! LOL

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Just now, Rusty0918 said:

Well there was more to Chernobyl than just that. Chernobyl was a poorly-built nuclear power plant.

And there's Captain Archer who decided taking his dog onto an alien planet where he could piss on a sacred plant and get sick was a good idea! LOL

The fact is however if the people at TMI and Chernobyl had simply allowed the machine to do what it was designed to do, neither incident would have happened. These trained, competent people made the problem worse at every turn because they thought they knew better.

As for Archer, well, he did a lot of stupid things as a general rule.

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5 hours ago, Mutai Sho-Rin said:

The Tardigrade with its spores raised a Dune memory of the navigators and their spice.  Nice homage if intentional,. very serendipitous if not.

^
Very much this.  No one laughed at Dune and the spice, either...;)

1 hour ago, Corylea said:

A lot of people around the web have been saying that Landry was stupid, and her death was bad writing.  Yes, she certainly WAS stupid, to count on her phaser for controlling the tardigrade, when the whole reason why they were studying it was because it was impervious to phasers. :rolleyes:  But I'm wondering if her death might not serve a few purposes:

1.  It's a message that war-mongering hotheads get themselves stupidly killed. :P  The message "So don't go being a war-mongering hothead" was left as an exercise for the viewer. ;)

2.  It removes one of Lorca's strongest supporters.  He's now alone in his war-mongering, since the other characters have different motives.  Saru supports him because he's the captain, but Saru doesn't agree with his goals or his methods.  Isolating Lorca should help to set up whatever happens next.

Thoughts?

Good point.

I hadn’t realized it, but yeah; it takes one of Lorca’s pillars out of action.   Shame that we didn’t see Rekha Sharma for awhile longer; I loved her as Tory on Battlestar Galactica (newer version) and ST Continues. 

And yes, another good point; it shows the futility of reactionary thinking.   Ultimately it just racks up dead bodies. 

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8 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

When she confesses to Burnham that she intends to be a captain someday?  I believe her. 

From little acorns, mighty oaks do grow...

4 hours ago, Rusty0918 said:

 

As with complaints about the lighting, it's supposed to be moody. At least it's a darn-sight better than that overly bright JJ-prise bridge!

I do have to admit, I'm not too crazy about the Klingon scenes either. I can get used to the look though. However, it's good that they are using their native tongue with subtitles, something I like to see them do when they're not around humans. They should have done this more often in other Trek incarnations.

Not complaining; making an observation. Big difference. It seems to be an aesthetic choice on the part of the lighting artistes and cinematographers. I agree that the more atmospheric, moody tones are preferable to the overlit Apple Store-look of the JJ-prise.

I'm sure I'll get used to the 'new' Klingons.

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49 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

^
Very much this.  No one laughed at Dune and the spice, either...;)

Good point.

I hadn’t realized it, but yeah; it takes one of Lorca’s pillars out of action.   Shame that we didn’t see Rekha Sharma for awhile longer; I loved her as Tory on Battlestar Galactica (newer version) and ST Continues. 

And yes, another good point; it shows the futility of reactionary thinking.   Ultimately it just racks up dead bodies. 

No kidding. Yeah it's a shame that Landry went out so fast, but these things happen. Also, I think they said that there would be killing off of main characters on a level similar to "Game of Thrones," so this kind of thing isn't fully surprising to me. I wonder who the next one will be to kick the bucket? Not that I intend to put Vegas odds on it.

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Corylea   

I don't really care that the Klingons look different.  I do agree that the action slows to a crawl anytime they're on screen, because it takes the actors so long to spit out the Klingon through their prosthetic teeth that I can read the subtitles three times, balance my checkbook, and cook dinner before they're done. :P

The thing I love about the Klingon segments, though, is what a huge contrast their culture is to the Starfleet segments; it really brings home to the viewer that these two sets of people will need to do some serious work before they'll be able to get along, because their values are so different.  At least, they were when we had Captain Georgiou and the Shenzhou.  They're not as big a contrast to crazy ole Lorca. :rolleyes:

But part of what I watch science fiction FOR is for the opportunity to stretch my sense of what's normal by getting exposed to alien cultures.  I don't like or admire what I'm seeing of Klingon culture, but it really IS giving me a sense that these folks aren't just like Federation people, only with different foreheads.  They think differently, and it will take a lot to bring these people together.  In "Errand of Mercy," the Klingons' dialogue showed them to have very different values from those of the Federation, but they didn't actually FEEL all that different.  Discovery's Klingons do feel different, and I'm really liking that about the show.

 

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9 minutes ago, Rusty0918 said:

Also, I think they said that there would be killing off of main characters on a level similar to "Game of Thrones," so this kind of thing isn't fully surprising to me. I wonder who the next one will be to kick the bucket? Not that I intend to put Vegas odds on it.

This is a familiar thing in modern television, and to be blunt, I think it’s a good thing to kill off one's darlings (Stephen King said it best).  

I knew Georgiou wasn’t going to be on the series for long, though I wished we’d seen her a little more because I really loved the character (and Michelle Yeoh is a fantastic actress).  But I see why she had to leave; Georgiou represented the idealistic side of Starfleet.  Burnham rebelled against that ideology in the pilot, and lost.  Now she’s under a reactionary captain who couldn’t be more opposite to Georgiou.   But it may be those values that Burnham learned from her former captain that could save her (and the ship) in the days to come.  

At any rate, I still think it’s too early for so many to dismiss this show as ‘dark and gloomy’ since it’s being shown in chapters, and not episodes.  

If you only saw the first act of “Devil in the Dark” you’d think TOS ST was all gloom and doom as well.   Again, this is ST in chapters.   I’m fairly confident that we’ll see the more traditional ST light at the end of this particular arc’s tunnel.   But on this show, it’s not granted; it’s earned.

6 minutes ago, Corylea said:

I don't really care that the Klingons look different.  I do agree that the action slows to a crawl anytime they're on screen, because it takes the actors so long to spit out the Klingon through their prosthetic teeth that I can read the subtitles three times, balance my checkbook, and cook dinner before they're done. :P

They do seem to speak slower, I've noticed that.   I’m assuming if they talk or move faster, their prosthetics might rip or fall off. :giggle:

7 minutes ago, Corylea said:

But part of what I watch science fiction FOR is for the opportunity to stretch my sense of what's normal by getting exposed to alien cultures.  I don't like or admire what I'm seeing of Klingon culture, but it really IS giving me a sense that these folks aren't just like Federation people, only with different foreheads.  They think differently, and it will take a lot to bring these people together.  In "Errand of Mercy," the Klingons' dialogue showed them to have very different values from those of the Federation, but they didn't actually FEEL all that different.  Discovery's Klingons do feel different, and I'm really liking that about the show.

I wrote an entry on my blog recently (about the Klingons) that you may enjoy: https://musingsofamiddleagedgeek.blog/2017/09/29/still-clinging-on-to-the-klingons/

I think you and I have similar thoughts about them, and their evolution.

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Corylea   
50 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

At any rate, I still think it’s too early for so many to dismiss this show as ‘dark and gloomy’ since it’s being shown in chapters, and not episodes.  

If you only saw the first act of “Devil in the Dark” you’d think TOS ST was all gloom and doom as well.   Again, this is ST in chapters.   I’m fairly confident that we’ll see the more traditional ST light at the end of this particular arc’s tunnel.   But on this show, it’s not granted; it’s earned.

That's an excellent point, and it's one that I hope you'll keep making, everywhere you see people writing off the show when we're only a quarter of the way through the story.  Drama thrives on conflict, heroes have to have obstacles to overcome, and if we're only 26.6% of the way through the story, then of course those conflicts and those obstacles are still extant.

 

I wrote an entry on my blog recently (about the Klingons) that you may enjoy: 

https://musingsofamiddleagedgeek.blog/2017/09/29/still-clinging-on-to-the-klingons/

Ah, cool, I'll go read that!

 

I think you and I have similar thoughts about them, and their evolution.

You and I usually agree on 95% of everything, so that'll probably be true again. :)

 

 

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5 hours ago, Corylea said:

A lot of people around the web have been saying that Landry was stupid, and her death was bad writing.  Yes, she certainly WAS stupid, to count on her phaser for controlling the tardigrade, when the whole reason why they were studying it was because it was impervious to phasers. :rolleyes:  But I'm wondering if her death might not serve a few purposes:

1.  It's a message that war-mongering hotheads get themselves stupidly killed. :P  The message "So don't go being a war-mongering hothead" was left as an exercise for the viewer. ;)

2.  It removes one of Lorca's strongest supporters.  He's now alone in his war-mongering, since the other characters have different motives.  Saru supports him because he's the captain, but Saru doesn't agree with his goals or his methods.  Isolating Lorca should help to set up whatever happens next.

Thoughts?

 

I like your thinking here. I can count probably 5 things that fans chalked up to poor writing in the first few episodes that turned out to be quite intentional and crafty on the writers part by the time we see where they are going with it. Now even the skeptics are learning to trust in the journey the writers are putting us on. Landry served a narrative purpose. 

Also, brash and stupid decisions are par for the course on Trek. If you watch the SFdebris reviews you get reminders that Worf was a terrible security chief on the Enterprise. He regularly advocated the kind of brash actions that Landry did, and he also always got beat up, granted not to the point of being mawled to death. 

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Dillkid   

I just caught up with Episodes 3 and 4 after being on holiday for a week. I thought both episodes were pretty good, though I didn't think they were going down the monster of the week route. I'm not keen on Michael at all, but Saru, the Cheif Engineer and Tilly are all interesting characters at the moment.

I could do without the Klingons speaking Klingon now though. I get it, they aren't speaking English. The last thing I want to do after a hard day at work is read scenes worth of subtitles though. Stop that please.

Edited by Dillkid

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4 hours ago, Dillkid said:

I just caught up with Episodes 3 and 4 after being on holiday for a week. I thought both episodes were pretty good, though I didn't think they were going down the monster of the week route. I'm not keen on Michael at all, but Saru, the Cheif Engineer and Tilly are all interesting characters at the moment.

I could do without the Klingons speaking Klingon now though. I get it, they aren't speaking English. The last thing I want to do after a hard day at work is read scenes worth of subtitles though. Stop that please.

I appreciate the effort that's gone in to making these Klingons feel really different and genuinely alien. But there is a point where that begins to have an impact on storytelling and I think that's what you're experiencing. There's a diegetic sleight-of-hand that's often played in films and TV, where initial scenes with "foreign powers" are played with subtitles and later ones not. This is a card that Discovery has yet to play, and I suspect they won't. They'll stick with this for a while yet.

As I said above, the new Klingons aren't really working for me yet either, but it'll be interesting to see how they develop. I'm still not convinced that this avenue of their representation is the only one we'll see during this first season. 

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13 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

There's a diegetic sleight-of-hand that's often played in films and TV, where initial scenes with "foreign powers" are played with subtitles and later ones not. This is a card that Discovery has yet to play, and I suspect they won't. They'll stick with this for a while yet.

I remember the clever way the 1990 film “Hunt For Red October” handled that issue with its own use of Russian; a character is reading (in Russian) from a book, and the camera zooms in for a closeup on his lips, and the language changes from Russian to English.   As the camera pulls out, all of the characters are now speaking English.   Simple and elegant.  

Personally I don’t mind subtitles as I own a lot of foreign films in my collection and I prefer hearing native languages as it adds to the ‘flavor’ of the overall experience.   But Klingon is a fictional language.  It’s not a real thing.  They don’t have to carry it this far.   Just saying.  ;)

13 hours ago, Justin Snead said:

Also, brash and stupid decisions are par for the course on Trek. If you watch the SFdebris reviews you get reminders that Worf was a terrible security chief on the Enterprise. He regularly advocated the kind of brash actions that Landry did, and he also always got beat up, granted not to the point of being mawled to death. 

There have been piles of dead security chiefs and security guards on of the ST shows.  It’s a staple of the series.  Even Lt. Yar died, and she (like Landry) was a security chief.   Worf was getting his butt kicked on a weekly basis (though I had to chuckle when he discovered that it was Counselor Troi who broke his wrist in “Clues”...:giggle:).

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17 hours ago, Justin Snead said:

I like your thinking here. I can count probably 5 things that fans chalked up to poor writing in the first few episodes that turned out to be quite intentional and crafty on the writers part by the time we see where they are going with it. Now even the skeptics are learning to trust in the journey the writers are putting us on. Landry served a narrative purpose. 

Also, brash and stupid decisions are par for the course on Trek. If you watch the SFdebris reviews you get reminders that Worf was a terrible security chief on the Enterprise. He regularly advocated the kind of brash actions that Landry did, and he also always got beat up, granted not to the point of being mawled to death. 

I think Landry was a total red herring as a character - set up as a potential clash for Burnham down the line, played by a well-known and well-liked guest actor in Reka Sharma so the audience would think she was around for the long haul and we wouldn't guess she would be quickly offed. For me, while the theory is good, the execution just didn't work, in part because the showrunners had announced their intention to pursue Game of Thrones-style character culling. Even as that scene progressed, I could feel myself thinking, "Ooh, here it comes. They're gonna make Landry do something stupid so we get our first shocking death." And we did. 

It felt manipulative*, and even given my extra-story perspective, there are ways of not jerking the viewer out of immersion. What it set up, storywise, was of great value, and I appreciated the outcomes, but whoa, it seemed like a waste of a great actor and character. On the other hand, if that's the caliber of both they intend to work with, I'm not unhappy. Ultimately, it's a small glitch (for my tastes) that others can overlook. It was set up that Landry was eager to please Lorca, no matter what. But having this previously efficient and cold security officer suddenly lose any sense of competence to further the story was a moment I could've done without. 

In the greater context of Trek, you're absolutely right, Worf and others have messed up on similar scales. Plenty of captains have messed up on similar scales. There's always wiggle room! 

What's of more interest to me, and which speaks to your point of intentionality on the part of the writers, is how they're revealing shades of Burnham ever so slowly. It's a little contradictory - we're told she was brought up on Vulcan, with a human mother, Vulcan dad, half/half sibling - we know all this. Sometimes she's resolutely Vulcan, sometimes she's very human, almost reactionary in her responses. We actually don't know that much about her yet, except for her losses. I think they're doing a good job here - she's intriguing, even if you happen not to like her. (I do, but I've seen a lot of adverse reaction in Internetland.) Same for Stamets - we get a first impression, when he's under pressure, which is later mitigated when we understand what he's had dumped into his lap. In the two episodes featuring him that we've seen so far, I really like how this character is turning out. He might not be graceful under pressure but he absolutely cleaves to his morals.  

Saru exhibits these layers of characterization too, and it's an aspect of this new Trek I'm really appreciating. At first he says he'll do a better job of protecting his captain (Lorca) than Burnham did hers, but the next episodes when he's resigned to his former first officer remaining on Discovery, he says she'll "fit right in." There's an implication that she's as dodgy as Lorca is. Not contradictory, just adding depth to what he's already said. This is very subtle storytelling via character, and so far I'm liking it. 

 

*All storytelling is "manipulative" - it's just whether we, the reader or audience notices it or not. I tell myself this often. ;)

3 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I remember the clever way the 1990 film “Hunt For Red October” handled that issue with its own use of Russian; a character is reading (in Russian) from a book, and the camera zooms in for a closeup on his lips, and the language changes from Russian to English.   As the camera pulls out, all of the characters are now speaking English.   Simple and elegant.  

Personally I don’t mind subtitles as I own a lot of foreign films in my collection and I prefer hearing native languages as it adds to the ‘flavor’ of the overall experience.   But Klingon is a fictional language.  It’s not a real thing.  They don’t have to carry it this far.   Just saying.  ;)

Actually, that was the precise instance I was thinking of! You don't even have to do it onscreen the way they did on that occasion - just later, when you cut to those characters, they're speaking "English." 

Doctor Who even riffed on Hunt for Red October in that episode where Clara realizes she doesn't speak Russian, yet she's on a Russian submarine. 

Often it's a subtle editing switcheroo that, thanks to the pace of the editing, isn't noticed by the viewer. It almost always works. I think the problem with the Klingon sequences is that because the actors are required to speak Klingon through those ample prosthetics, it comes across as slow. Rewatching the episodes, and knowing this is coming, they play better. But I still think it was an awkward decision.  

Quote

There have been piles of dead security chiefs and security guards on of the ST shows.  It’s a staple of the series.  Even Lt. Yar died, and she (like Landry) was a security chief.   Worf was getting his butt kicked on a weekly basis (though I had to chuckle when he discovered that it was Counselor Troi who broke his wrist in “Clues”...:giggle:).

Yar and Landry - "Don't make their deaths meaningless!" 

Every Trek has teething troubles, which, in the most successful instances of the various iterations of the show slowly but surely get ironed out. 

Edited by Robin Bland

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2 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

Every Trek has teething troubles, which, in the most successful instances of the various iterations of the show slowly but surely get ironed out. 

^
Wise words.  ;)

2 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

Actually, that was the precise instance I was thinking of!

Brother from another mother...:P

 

Teething issues aside, I’m still more than willing to give this series a little breathing room.   This is the first televised ST in 12 years and it’s with a largely new team (in Canada, no less).  There are going to be things that need ironing out.   

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1 hour ago, Sehlat Vie said:

^
Wise words.  ;)

Brother from another mother...:P

You know it! :biggrin:

1 hour ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Teething issues aside, I’m still more than willing to give this series a little breathing room.   This is the first televised ST in 12 years and it’s with a largely new team (in Canada, no less).  There are going to be things that need ironing out.   

Absolutely. TNG season 1? Brrrrrrrr!

Even DS9 wasn't too light on its feet at first...

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Corylea   

Over at the TOR website, I was angsting about Lorca after the first time we saw him, in Episode 3, when a thoughtful commenter gave me another way to think about things.

I said:

I’m enjoying Discovery so far, but I’m also finding it a bit uncomfortable to have to see Captain Lorca as a suspicious character who may be up to no good. While Trek has certainly had captains in the past who were evil or insane (think Captain Tracey in “The Omega Glory” or Commodore Decker in “The Doomsday Machine”), those weren’t OUR captains.

Of course, maybe Lorca will turn out to be a good guy after all. Maybe. At the moment, it seems as if he might be setting Burnham up to be the scapegoat if everything goes horribly wrong with his mysterious project.

I’m afraid I like my Star Trek captains to be morally exemplary and downright heroic … then again, I grew up on James Kirk. :-)

 

And Christopher L Bennett -- yes, the Star Trek novelist -- replied:

“I’m afraid I like my Star Trek captains to be morally exemplary and downright heroic …”

But past Trek captains have been the lead characters of their shows. In this case, Burnham is the lead character. If the lead character in a show is underneath another authority figure, it’s not at all uncommon for that authority figure to be less heroic, to be a source of conflict for the hero. Look at all the unpleasant commodores and admirals and Federation officials that Kirk and Picard had to butt heads with.

I expect that Lorca’s moral ambiguities will give Burnham the opportunity to be morally exemplary and downright heroic. After all, there has to be a reason why she’s the star of the show and he isn’t.

 

Oh.  Of course.  Duh.  Thanks, Mr. Bennett.  I'd still rather Lorca were a good guy -- we can have Kirk and Spock BOTH being good, after all -- but pointing out that if Lorca does turn out to be dark, it gives our main character a chance to be "morally exemplary and downright heroic" is a good point.  It's so obvious that I'm embarrassed I hadn't thought of it. :S

I think -- like a lot of people, going by what I read online -- I'm having a bit of trouble adjusting to the serialized format and hadn't quite taken into account that it's still the early part of the story.  That's why I'm so thrilled whenever Sehalt Vie reminds us that this story isn't even one-third of the way through yet.  Add to those reminders the fact that BURNHAM -- not Lorca -- is the main character.  :)

 

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5 hours ago, Corylea said:

Over at the TOR website, I was angsting about Lorca after the first time we saw him, in Episode 3, when a thoughtful commenter gave me another way to think about things.

I said:

I’m enjoying Discovery so far, but I’m also finding it a bit uncomfortable to have to see Captain Lorca as a suspicious character who may be up to no good. While Trek has certainly had captains in the past who were evil or insane (think Captain Tracey in “The Omega Glory” or Commodore Decker in “The Doomsday Machine”), those weren’t OUR captains.

Of course, maybe Lorca will turn out to be a good guy after all. Maybe. At the moment, it seems as if he might be setting Burnham up to be the scapegoat if everything goes horribly wrong with his mysterious project.

I’m afraid I like my Star Trek captains to be morally exemplary and downright heroic … then again, I grew up on James Kirk. :-)

 

And Christopher L Bennett -- yes, the Star Trek novelist -- replied:

“I’m afraid I like my Star Trek captains to be morally exemplary and downright heroic …”

But past Trek captains have been the lead characters of their shows. In this case, Burnham is the lead character. If the lead character in a show is underneath another authority figure, it’s not at all uncommon for that authority figure to be less heroic, to be a source of conflict for the hero. Look at all the unpleasant commodores and admirals and Federation officials that Kirk and Picard had to butt heads with.

I expect that Lorca’s moral ambiguities will give Burnham the opportunity to be morally exemplary and downright heroic. After all, there has to be a reason why she’s the star of the show and he isn’t.

 

Oh.  Of course.  Duh.  Thanks, Mr. Bennett.  I'd still rather Lorca were a good guy -- we can have Kirk and Spock BOTH being good, after all -- but pointing out that if Lorca does turn out to be dark, it gives our main character a chance to be "morally exemplary and downright heroic" is a good point.  It's so obvious that I'm embarrassed I hadn't thought of it. :S

I think -- like a lot of people, going by what I read online -- I'm having a bit of trouble adjusting to the serialized format and hadn't quite taken into account that it's still the early part of the story.  That's why I'm so thrilled whenever Sehalt Vie reminds us that this story isn't even one-third of the way through yet.  Add to those reminders the fact that BURNHAM -- not Lorca -- is the main character.  :)

 

Mr. Bennett is a smart guy. It's an adjustment, for sure. But I have a sense that Lorca is going to surprise us all, in that he's going to turn out to have many ambiguities. The best and most beguiling characters in any fiction aren't always the most straightforward. Lorca is so deliberately threaded through with shades of grey... and yet he became captain of the Discovery. He must have something going for him - aside from potentially dubious moral qualities that are handy to have in wartime. Maybe he'll do the right things for the wrong reasons, and vice versa. Maybe he's capable of seeing a bigger picture and feels that his methods will get results that are for the good for the many, not the few.

Me, I think he's a splendid fictional creation, superbly brought to life by Isaacs. I don't like him and i certainly wouldn't want to serve under him, but I'm enthralled by the way he captivates, both in-universe and his audience.

 

Edited by Robin Bland

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10 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I remember the clever way the 1990 film “Hunt For Red October” handled that issue with its own use of Russian; a character is reading (in Russian) from a book, and the camera zooms in for a closeup on his lips, and the language changes from Russian to English.   As the camera pulls out, all of the characters are now speaking English.   Simple and elegant.  

Didn't Nicholas Meyer do something similar in Trek VI. There was a scene with Chang and Gorkon's daughter and others on one of the Klingon ships that starts out in Klingon and transitions to English. It was a bit jarring, not as elegant at "Red October" 

4 hours ago, Corylea said:

Over at the TOR website, I was angsting about Lorca after the first time we saw him, in Episode 3, when a thoughtful commenter gave me another way to think about things.

I said:

I’m enjoying Discovery so far, but I’m also finding it a bit uncomfortable to have to see Captain Lorca as a suspicious character who may be up to no good. While Trek has certainly had captains in the past who were evil or insane (think Captain Tracey in “The Omega Glory” or Commodore Decker in “The Doomsday Machine”), those weren’t OUR captains.

Of course, maybe Lorca will turn out to be a good guy after all. Maybe. At the moment, it seems as if he might be setting Burnham up to be the scapegoat if everything goes horribly wrong with his mysterious project.

I’m afraid I like my Star Trek captains to be morally exemplary and downright heroic … then again, I grew up on James Kirk. :-)

 

And Christopher L Bennett -- yes, the Star Trek novelist -- replied:

“I’m afraid I like my Star Trek captains to be morally exemplary and downright heroic …”

But past Trek captains have been the lead characters of their shows. In this case, Burnham is the lead character. If the lead character in a show is underneath another authority figure, it’s not at all uncommon for that authority figure to be less heroic, to be a source of conflict for the hero. Look at all the unpleasant commodores and admirals and Federation officials that Kirk and Picard had to butt heads with.

I expect that Lorca’s moral ambiguities will give Burnham the opportunity to be morally exemplary and downright heroic. After all, there has to be a reason why she’s the star of the show and he isn’t.

 

Oh.  Of course.  Duh.  Thanks, Mr. Bennett.  I'd still rather Lorca were a good guy -- we can have Kirk and Spock BOTH being good, after all -- but pointing out that if Lorca does turn out to be dark, it gives our main character a chance to be "morally exemplary and downright heroic" is a good point.  It's so obvious that I'm embarrassed I hadn't thought of it. :S

I think -- like a lot of people, going by what I read online -- I'm having a bit of trouble adjusting to the serialized format and hadn't quite taken into account that it's still the early part of the story.  That's why I'm so thrilled whenever Sehalt Vie reminds us that this story isn't even one-third of the way through yet.  Add to those reminders the fact that BURNHAM -- not Lorca -- is the main character.  :)

 

I just do not see the evilness in Lorca that others see. In Ep 4 he was downright heroic with the successful mission to save the dilithium mine. That was a great, classic heroic moment. He is different than other captains (other than Sisko) because he is driven to win the war as opposed to being driven to explore, etc. But the show has suggested that he is driven by those things as well, once the war is over. 

 

Did anyone else feel like the way Ripper was used in this episode was a step too far for Starfleet officers? I did not think it was blatantly exploitative--it was too fast with too little information and too little time for the crew to react while under pressure to save the mine colony. But others I've heard were really put off by it. 

  

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1 hour ago, Justin Snead said:

Didn't Nicholas Meyer do something similar in Trek VI. There was a scene with Chang and Gorkon's daughter and others on one of the Klingon ships that starts out in Klingon and transitions to English. It was a bit jarring, not as elegant at "Red October" 

I believe the English in that scene began with Plummer’s, “Ss, ss, ss... your father was killed for what he wanted.”  
But yeah, it wasn’t quite as seamless as the “Red October” transition.

 

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Lorca is getting a lot of “nope” from Trekkies indeed, no matter if main character or not, a lot of people don’t seem to want a man in charge who doesn’t at least try to represent the “best of humanity”.

I don’t get it - we had so many nice captains, what’s wrong with having one who ISN’T exactly nice? He’s the one person who makes me watch the show at this point - I honestly don’t care about Burnham’s arc at all, I like Lorca’s shady shenanigans much better. 

I’m doing this Star Trek thing completely wrong again, aren’t I... :P 

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