The following are a few notes I took while watching tonight’s episode of Star Trek Discovery. Warning: mild spoilers may be included, though I’ve tried to stay away from including anything too glaring. Either way, consider yourself warned.
- The drama surrounding the spore-based propulsion technology at the center of this season’s plot does hinge on the ethical concerns of using the Tartagrade creature. I thought perhaps that was going to be the case, which I mentioned previously. The creature is a new lifeform, something Star Trek takes very seriously and values very much. Seeking out other life in the universe and forming peaceful relationships is a core philosophy for them. Using other sentient life as a resource against its will is a problem.
- The thing is the Tartagrade is somehow able to act on the spores, causing a ship to be able to control where they want to go with almost instantaneous travel. Needless to say, that’s very useful, especially with Starfleet being at war with the Klingons. As a result, it’s helping turn the tide of the war. I have a feeling that’s not going to be something easy to put aside, despite the ethical concerns. Using the spore drive causes the creature physical distress, yet it saves Federation lives. Therefore, it’s a complicated issue. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how things play out from here on. After what happened in the finale of tonight’s episode, I have a feeling there’s definitely going to be blowback. The usefulness of the creature/drive for the war effort isn’t something Starfleet will be happy to have lost.
- Loved seeing Jonathan Archer’s name listed among Starfleet’s most decorated captains, living or dead. One thing this franchise has always excelled at is tying the universe together. It looks like the show’s creators are striving to make sure Star Trek Discovery continues that tradition. Being that it’s a prequel to the original series, they don’t have as many opportunities as have other series in the franchise. Good to know they’re using what they do you have available to them, namely the history created by Star Trek Enterprise.
- Another part of that continuing, interconnected universe is evident in the introduction of Harry Mudd. Fans of the original series will remember this charismatic con man, who was a recurring character. Well, we met a younger version of the character in this episode, portrayed by the amazing Rain Wilson.
- One thing about Star Trek Discovery being on a subscription service that caught me off guard: somebody cursed. Like, seriously cursed. Never, ever have I heard that on a Star Trek series before. Not like that. Needless to say, it stopped me in my tracks. That’s not necessarily a complaint; it just felt strangely out of place. Of course, I’m pretty sure it was meant to so just that, since it was presented as a funny moment. It was surprisingly jarring, though. I definitely wasn’t expecting it.