Star Trek - Discovery - 3.07: Unification III

ctg

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Data related to the Burn sends Michael on a mission that reconnects her to family and reveals the fate of Vulcans, Romulans and her brother Spock.
 

ctg

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I have to shoot off to an eye exam, so I don't have time for a full review. But let me say that this is one grand episode, because it proofs that the Kelvin timeline didn't happen in this universe. Spock lived in this one to his olden days and saw the unification of two tribes, Vulcan and Romulans. And the most curious thing about this is, is that the Vulcans are more strict and harsh while Romulans has softened up over the years.

There are also a few connections to the Picard series, but I don't have a time to speak about them until later one. However this is a remarkable episode because it's one of those Star Trek's golden moments, where grand things happen. I'd even say that it's one of the best episodes I've seen in three seasons!
 

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this is a remarkable episode because it's one of those Star Trek's golden moments, where grand things happen. I'd even say that it's one of the best episodes I've seen in three seasons!
Yes, it was.
It filled two big holes in the Whatever Happened To Puzzle by updating the status of the Vulcans and Romulans. (They couldn't have renamed Vulcan Romulcan or Vulcalan?) The episode also made real progress on solving the mystery of The Burn.
Even more surprising than the reunification of the Vulcans and Romulans was the apparently messy divorce between Ni'Var and the Federation. No doubt a lot of finger-pointing followed the Big Boom, but the Ni'Varans apparently accepted the blame for catastrophe. They don't want anyone reopening the wound, although rejecting new evidence which may get them off the hook seemed, well, illogical.
Michael's reunification with her mother was a surprise. Imagine, two 900-somethings being on the same planet at the same time. Small galaxy!
I liked that the Discovery crew came together in the end, with both Michael and Sylvia fitting into their new slots. Saru also seems to be getting more comfortable as captain. (Just how freaking tall is that Kelpien dude, anyway?)
 

ctg

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I liked that the Discovery crew came together in the end, with both Michael and Sylvia fitting into their new slots.

Although Michael claims that she's part of the crew, she isn't. Not really. Not while she's living in Discovery's 'trunk' looking at space passing by in reverse. I bet if they asked, they could find a place inside, even for the cat. Although he seemed quite happy on purring in command console, looking at same view.

IMHO, the way they are living is kind of hobo lifestyle. But I guess that has to do for while. I also cried while the crew accepted Tilly as their new mum, er XO, er, Number One. It also fulfils the prophesy of Tilly being the Captain at some point in the future.

Are they going to call her ma'am or continue with the silly reference of Sir?

Even more surprising than the reunification of the Vulcans and Romulans was the apparently messy divorce between Ni'Var and the Federation. No doubt a lot of finger-pointing followed the Big Boom, but the Ni'Varans apparently accepted the blame for catastrophe. They don't want anyone reopening the wound, although rejecting new evidence which may get them off the hook seemed, well, illogical.

You remember the Romulans from Picard. They weren't hostile. Instead they'd accepted their role in the grand scheme of things and focused on being subversive rather than hostile and scheming. In the olden days, they were always hostile towards the Federation. Even in the Kelvin timeline they acted as if they were on a perpetual war since the incident.

It is also kind of strange that nobody but Michael mentioned Sarek. They all talked about Old Man Spock being the greatest, while it is Sarek that chose to take Michael in and raise her as his daughter, Spock's sister. The way I see it Sarek had much bigger role than Spock in the grand scheme of things.

What I also wonder is how they are coping in the same planet? Is there are lot of sarcasm going around or are they all peacefully sharing the same space, when we know that two Vulcan's can hardly fit together in a Federation spaceship?

Michael's reunification with her mother was a surprise. Imagine, two 900-somethings being on the same planet at the same time. Small galaxy!

Whole ship full of them. Not just two. Imagine if the Feds paid salary, what would your paycheck look like after centuries in duty? I bet there would be a lot of "actually" and "technically" words used in that conversation with the accountants.
 

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I agree that it was a good episode. I just have a few nits to pick, unrelated to the Unification plot.
It filled two big holes in the Whatever Happened To Puzzle by updating the status of the Vulcans and Romulans. (They couldn't have renamed Vulcan Romulcan or Vulcalan?) The episode also made real progress on solving the mystery of The Burn.
Yes, I agree, there was a lot to take in and I think the Tilly promotion and mother-daughter re-union could even have been left to a different episode. To me, this was a natural progression from the events seen in Star Trek: Picard (and I never thought we would be in the Kelvin universe, although I see that could easily have been a possibility because they hadn't yet diverged when they left).
Michael's reunification with her mother was a surprise.
To me, it wasn't really explained what she was doing on Ni'var. Ms. Burnham is neither Vulcan nor Romulan, so why is she a Sister of Lost Causes?

Also, would now have been a good time to ask her Mother why she gave her a boys name?
Although Michael claims that she's part of the crew, she isn't. Not really. Not while she's living in Discovery's 'trunk' looking at space passing by in reverse.
I also agree. She wants to be part of the crew, but clearly the last year has changed her, so much so that she will never fit back in. However, the potted history on Michael that her mother gave, pretty much foreshadowed by my comments about her here last episode, show that she is someone who never fitted in to military service and following orders, and probably never could.

One other thing, the Discovery uniforms? The ship has been given a refurb and a new NCC designation, but the crew still wear a 900 year-old uniform design? Surely costume and clothing design and materials have improved in 900 years?
 

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Michael needs her own ship as she is a front runner She was never good following orders. No wonders she keeps having problems with the superiors in every season.

It was odd finding her mother after so many years. What does this mean ? No more time traveling ? Does this mean Discovery will never go back ?
 

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Does this mean Discovery will never go back ?
I hope not.
Past time travel is always a paradoxical mess. This would be further muddied by the fact that they traveled into the future to save all lifeforms.
The Discovery crew should simply embrace and enjoy their new present.
If they attempt to travel back to the past, they will need to be killed. They know too much. ;)
 

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Oh no, this will mean no season 4 for us !

I missed Philippa in this episode. I'm intrigued by her behaviour. Could she be infected by Control ?
 

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I wasn't vey keen on the retconning Spock to have a sister thing either, but that's rather old news isn't it?
Spock was the man he was because of his big sister oh please.
That is certainly going too far, but I'll accept it as an opinion of people who never met him, and of a sister who only knew him until his twenties.

Now, on the Michael Burnham - Gabrielle Burnham reunion, I was expecting something more like this:

 

Dave

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But she is not the only one who travelled in time. Why not the others ?
I think we will need to wait to find out, however someone speculated last week that The Burn could have been caused by the Mirror Universe as an attack. As she is from the Mirror Universe, she therefore possibly more 'in tune' with time distortion effects resulting from crossovers. But who knows? I certainly think we will know before the end of Season 3 because I think the link between her visions and The Burn will become the major plot point.

And I don't think we have seen the last of 'Glasses' man who knows more than he said about everything and may be Section 31.
 

BAYLOR

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I have to shoot off to an eye exam, so I don't have time for a full review. But let me say that this is one grand episode, because it proofs that the Kelvin timeline didn't happen in this universe. Spock lived in this one to his olden days and saw the unification of two tribes, Vulcan and Romulans. And the most curious thing about this is, is that the Vulcans are more strict and harsh while Romulans has softened up over the years.

There are also a few connections to the Picard series, but I don't have a time to speak about them until later one. However this is a remarkable episode because it's one of those Star Trek's golden moments, where grand things happen. I'd even say that it's one of the best episodes I've seen in three seasons!

Even though it might follow the events in the original trek timeline , This still is not really the original prime Star Trek Universe , for practical reasons. It cannot be so. I think of it as an alternate Prime timeline .
 
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Dave

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Even though it might follow the events in the original trek timeline , This still is not really the original prime Star Trek Universe , for practical reasons. It cannot be so. I think of it as an alternate Prime timeline .
You'll have to explain that one. It is definitely among one of the many parallel Universes that Worf encountered following Stardate 47391.2. :LOL:
 

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So anyway, what about the C-plot in which Saru has seen fit to promote Ensign Tilly to acting First Officer?

Given that until this Season the other members of the Bridge crew have hardly had two lines to say in total, and that we knew zero about them, then from the writers point of view it probably was always going to be Tilly, but that was just bad script writing, hardly any good reason. Is this why she was taken to that planet on the away mission to negotiate the Dilithium sale - so we could get used to the idea first?

However, if Starfleet was really some kind of Navy, even a Merchant Navy then it makes no sense. She is extremely bright and intelligent, but she doesn't even have any experience of leading a team, certainly not leading a department, or in project management. She has no experience of writing schedules, or personnel reports, or dealing with day-to-day team personal problems. What, no Bridge Officer's test? Deanna Troi had to take that to become a Bridge Officer, and just to run a shift, not even the First Officer! That was a tough test; the final exam required the officer to make a choice that sent one person under their direct command to certain death! Given that cadets had to undertake the Kobayashi Maru scenario, I'm sure they must have taken a similar style Bridge Officer test, even in Captain Pike's days.

And is no other member of the bridge crew interested in promotion and furthering their own careers?

Also, it is like Riker leaving the Enterprise and Picard appointing Ensign Wesley Crusher.
 

Werthead

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Spock lived in this one to his olden days and saw the unification of two tribes, Vulcan and Romulans. And the most curious thing about this is, is that the Vulcans are more strict and harsh while Romulans has softened up over the years.

I don't think that's quite correct. They state early on that Spock had died, but later on indicate they're not sure about what happened to him, which suggests that it appeared he died in the red matter explosion but they could not confirm what happened, which is in keeping with what was presented in the Kelvin Timeline.

So anyway, what about the C-plot in which Saru has seen fit to promote Ensign Tilly to acting First Officer?

It's not quite as crazy as it first appears. Discovery is down (as per episode 302) to 89 active crew. There's quite a few cadets and other ensigns on board, and most of the other Lieutenants, Lt. Commanders and Commanders mentioned over the show's run seem to have vanished or been killed. We know that around 50 crewmen left the ship to remain in the 23rd Century. I strongly suspect all of the higher-ranking officers with families will have remained behind.

Canonically then, at the start of Season 3, Tilly is only definitely outranked by 11 people: Lt. (jg) Owosekun, Linus & Bryce; Lt. Detmer, Nilsson & Rhys; Lt. Commander Culber and Stamets; Commander Burnham and Reno; and Captain Saru.

You eliminate Saru and Burnham for obvious reasons. The Best of Both Worlds established that non-bridge officers and heads of departments cannot be XOs (Riker doesn't even consider LaForge or Dr. Crusher for the position), so that eliminates Culber and Stamets, probably Reno as well. Detmer is having medical issues, so you take her out of commission. Owosekun's position at Conn may also remove her from contention (in the TOS-era, helmsmen don't seem to have been considered as an XO-compatible position even when you're on the command track; Sulu went straight from Conn to Captain of the Excelsior without taking up an XO position).

That leaves four people ahead of Tilly. I'm going to assume that Linus (dinosaur guy), who has been used mainly for comic relief so far, is not seen as command material. Nilsson (blonde bridge officer) seems to have been Acting XO in episode 302 and the start of 303, so I assume decided she didn't like the job or Saru decided she wasn't suitable for the position in a longer term. So you're down to two: Rhys (Tactical) and Bryce (Communications). You can combine Tactical with XO (Chekov in The Wrath of Khan) and I don't see why Communications couldn't as well.

However, there role of XO in the 23rd Century Trek is not the more formal position it is by the TNG era. There's no such thing as a dedicated "First Officer" role pre-TNG, it's always combined with another position. One of the responsibilities is almost HR-like, acting as a liaison between the crew and captain (this is something Spock actually struggled with a few times before getting a handle on it). The position requires the trust of the crew and a strong rapport with the captain, and we've seen Tilly have both in the past. Rhys and Bryce could do the job, no doubt, but on that interpersonal role it's clear that you'd go with Tilly.

Having an Ensign in the position is unusual - which could be solved by promoting her to Lt. (jg), which she deserves by now anyway - but again it is precedented that a junior officer can command superior ones. LaForge as a Lieutenant in The Arsenal of Freedom comes to mind. Riker also considers making Worf XO in The Best of Both Worlds when he'd only just been promoted to full Lieutenant, putting him ahead of Data, LaForge and Dr. Crusher. In an episode of DS9 O'Brien also says it's not an uncommon practice, and in Valiant emergency battlefield commissions are even given to Cadets, putting them in CO and XO positions (admittedly that was an extreme circumstance, but Discovery's not far off that at the moment).

Also, it is like Riker leaving the Enterprise and Picard appointing Ensign Wesley Crusher.

Wesley was only made an Acting Ensign and by definition the most junior and least-experienced person on a ship with 1,012 personnel on board (an estimated 600-800 of which were active Starfleet duty personnel). Tilly is, as far as can be told, one of the dozen most senior people on the ship with two years of experience (including in warfare) under her belt by this point.
 

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I can see you've thought about that a lot. And I agree with most of what you say. I think the most important things there are:
1.
I strongly suspect all of the higher-ranking officers with families will have remained behind.
Very possibly true, but not explicated in anything shown (I guess that can also be put down to poor writing or the cutting room floor).
2.
Discovery is down (as per episode 302) to 89 active crew.
Although that whole 'We want to be kept together as a single unit' thing shouldn't have prevented them getting new crew to make a full compliment, even if they resisted (though why resist?) Of course, Starfleet itself may be very shorthanded right now. Very probably it is.

Just a couple of things though:
Sulu went straight from Conn to Captain of the Excelsior without taking up an XO position).
Did he though? There is a period in which we don't see him, in which he could have been promoted through intermediate ranks, although I agree that promotion would still have been fast. And maybe Tilly's promotion to junior grade Lieutenant will come next week too.
There's no such thing as a dedicated "First Officer" role pre-TNG, it's always combined with another position. One of the responsibilities is almost HR-like, acting as a liaison between the crew and captain (this is something Spock actually struggled with a few times before getting a handle on it).
Wasn't "Number One" the Majel Barrett character, now to be played by Rebecca Romijn (if they still make a Strange New Worlds series) just "Number One" and nothing else, with Spock as the Science Officer on Pike's Enterprise. And one of my points is that Tilly doesn't seem equipped or trained for that HR role either, though she can grow into it, of course.

Anyway, thanks for that well argued reply to my question (y)
 

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