STAR TREK

But anyhow, some opinions on 'Jinaal', last weeks episode of 'Discovery':

So yeah, this was definitely more of a character episode than a plot episode, as there was several plot threads going on.

The Trill plot with Burnham, Book & Culber obviously took center stage and it was to see the caves again, nice with the return of the Zhian'Tara (Doc Culber as the host of the spirit of the ancient trill was kinda fun; the actor did well there) & the encounter with the cloaking giga-bugs was not a bad setpiece (even if very familiar from other Trek scenes, as again we have a monster alien that is violent and threatening but it turns out it was only protectting its young and it's solved via communication); I only wish we saw them get the clue in the end (which the story was really all about at the grand scheme of things) but other than that, this was fine and had its moments

Saru getting accustomed to being a Federation ambassador was kinda nice (if disconnected), but it feels like the relationship drama was manufactured as to just show Saru isn't used to a relationship (and Devin the Vulcan being uneasy and advocating caution regarding Saru's relationship with T'Rina because of Vulcan extremist getting the wrong ideas just came off as unnecessary; don't like how modern 'Trek' always must work the intolerant Vulcans into the plot & here it felt really shoehorned as a possible reason of why the relationship shouldn't continue), but I do like that T'Rina was understanding & forgiving and there wasn't a big deal. I wish that this plot thread was more connected to the main story of the season, as yeah, it do feel kind of disconnected and more like a reason to have a role for Saru.

And the Rayner & Tilly plot? This was maybe one of the more intriguing ones. They both had a point: Tilly is accurate about how Rayner has to get used to the "style" of the Discovery crew, work on his social skills and try connecting with the crew, but at the same time I understand him being old-school and wanting to keep some distance from them and want them to follow rules and protocol, yet "analysing them isn't the same as connecting with them", though Rayner did learn a lot about them with his brief interviewsso he's on his way. It's not a question of Rayner absolutely being in the wrong & Tilly absolutely being in the right (as they both did some wrongful things here, but that they both have to get used to the other and their personality. This was like Discovery's emotional style vs. the TNG-era's disciplined one.

Adira & Grey's breakup plot or whatever I don't care for. Neither of them are very interesting (and this is interesting in itself as the show made such a big thing about them being introduced, only to never doing anything intriguing with them at all) and I don't care for the whole teenage drama vibe of it nor the dialogue. Like, these two could just be written out and I'd not care. I know that there's probably many fans who are big fans of these characters, but to me they don't do anything. I don't hate them, I just don't care for them or their plot.

Oh, and I still think Jett Reno is one of the most entertaining and fun guest characters, always good for a chuckle or laugh. Kinda wish she was a bigger presence of the show, but as I think Tig Notaro is really busy, they can only give her some moments here and there.

A bit slow & clunky with the pacing and all (and I don't care for Adira or Grey) & little progress of the main conflict plot (the chase to find the bad guys and the artifact) but some all right character moments throughout and some decent thematic material (and I still hope that the season won't have the entire season consist of clue-finding episodes but rather find ways to be more dynamic).

So yeah, still not hating the show even with its issues and the season is showing some promise.
 
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SNW: "Hegemony"
Probably not fair to judge this without seeing the conclusion, but whatever. The colony being modeled after a 20th century small town felt very meta-TOS in the sense of "well, the studio happens to have this existing set we can use..."

My assumption was that, like the defense against dark arts teacher in harry potter, every season the chief engineer dies or is otherwise incapacitated until they eventually get to Scotty, so I was a little surprised by him showing up "early." I like the actor but I don't think we need more TOS folks.

A recurring theme of the show is finding new ways to communicate so I assume there'll be a gorn redemption arc where the two sides learn to talk with each other. I'm curious to see what they're doing with the gorn and if there'll ever be an attempt to reconcile the modern xenomorph-inspired gorn with the 60s version kirk encountered. I saw a behind the scenes thing for this episode and was surprised to see the adult gorn is, literally, another guy in a rubber suit (I just assumed it was all CGI).

Very Short Treks
I thought these were fine, sorta hit and miss. I dig playing around with TAS style designs. Where does Tendi get off criticizing limited animation…

Star Trek: The Animated Series
Decided to watch this as it's only 20 episodes. The first episode was pretty boring but the subsequent one are more interesting. There are some really fascinating moments: Spock mind melding with a cloud, Uhura taking command, Chapel trying to use a love potion on Spock (their retroactive backstory in SNW makes this feel bittersweet). "The Magicks of Megas-Tu" might be the most insane thing I've seen from the entire franchise. However after a certain point I kinda lost interest again. Oh the crew's tiny now. Now they're blue. Now they're babies. Ehh.

I appreciate that even though it gets fairly goofy the show didn't talk down to children, it just *is* Star Trek. Also kinda respect how... economical the animation is (they reuse the shot of the enterprise veering left A LOT), and there are some fun alien designs & concepts.

DS9 season 3 general thoughts
• Premiere was really great. "We're losing shields!" is in like every Star Trek episode but this is one of the few times where it actually feels "oh, they're fucked"
• I knew beforehand that at some point Odo would discover his fellow changelings and they'd be revealed to be the founders, but I didn't think it would be so soon. I kind of assumed "who are the founders?" would be like a season-long mystery
• I think "one of Dax's past hosts causes issues" plots have kinda run their course
• I never really paid the set design much thought but I am starting to dig it
• I guess the jem'hadar are what hillary clinton would dub superpredators. Not great!
• I love Quark going "excuse me, a changeling" as if that's the politically correct term
• A little frustrating seeing the writers struggling with what to do with Keiko
• I'd seen images of "Past Tense" for years so I'm glad the episodes lived up to expectations. It warms my heart that starfleet is borne out of a desire to improve society
• "Heart of Stone" is great. Nog's desire to join starfleet is powerful
• I love Quark of all people meeting the prophets
• "Visionary" is another fine episode
• A little sad that Mirror Sisko is dead because you could tell Brooks had fun playing him the previous time
• I like when Garak is gone Bashir is forced to talk about art with O'Brien. Also like how O'Brien is always portrayed as this working class slob when his job is maybe one of the most technically sophisticated in the universe
• Odo decomposing (?) as he undergoes torture is terrifying
• Kurzon/Odo (Kurzdo?) is fun… maybe there is still gas in the Dax tank after all
• I love the visit to the Ferengi planet although it was a little spoiled for me by Lower Decks
• Watch out Sisko that's President Palmer's treacherous ex-wife you're dating!
• A solid finale
 
Very Short Treks
I thought these were fine, sorta hit and miss. I dig playing around with TAS style designs. Where does Tendi get off criticizing limited animation
Only one I really liked was the recursion one though even that should have finished on Neelix rather than going even more off the rails.
 
Nice to see some Trek watch updates from you, @Dark Homer.


SNW: "Hegemony"
Probably not fair to judge this without seeing the conclusion, but whatever.

Hey, I think it's okay to judge the first part of a two part story, at least to a certain degree due to it being incomplete.

My assumption was that, like the defense against dark arts teacher in harry potter, every season the chief engineer dies or is otherwise incapacitated until they eventually get to Scotty, so I was a little surprised by him showing up "early." I like the actor but I don't think we need more TOS folks.

While Scotty wasn't necessary at all (really do feel they are building up to some TOS thingy with we having gotten Spock, Uhura, Kirk & now Scotty; are we to see Sulu next? or kid Chekov?). I think it was a bit fun to see him & I like how the actor this time is actually Scottish, as opposed to both James Doohan & Simon Pegg (both of whom played the character on screen before). But I don't want him to be a recurring character, which would be playing into nostalgia too much (I mean, we already have Kirk as a recurring character).

A recurring theme of the show is finding new ways to communicate so I assume there'll be a gorn redemption arc where the two sides learn to talk with each other. I'm curious to see what they're doing with the gorn and if there'll ever be an attempt to reconcile the modern xenomorph-inspired gorn with the 60s version kirk encountered. I saw a behind the scenes thing for this episode and was surprised to see the adult gorn is, literally, another guy in a rubber suit (I just assumed it was all CGI).

I've seen a lot of anger and critique directed toward how the Gorn are portrayed as mindless monsters here (which they really are not; they are hostile and violent, yes, but clearly intelligent, as we saw in this episode with the adult one) and I remain hopeful the show is leading toward the two sides starting to oåening up communication and reach some kind of agreement or settlement.

The Gorn in SNW is quite interesting to me and will be great to see where they are going with them and their development on the show (and I too am really curious to see how they will explain these more reptilian "xenomorph" ones against the more humanoid-like TOS variant; I've so far mostly headcanoned it as a subspecies of Gorn, but yeah, I do wonder what the actual reasoning is).

I didn'treally know the adult Gorn in the episode was a rubber suit (as it did look very CGI animated), but I guess that for some shots it really was practical (helps that it was depicted as wearing a space suit). I do know that for the young Gorn, they have used puppetry with the CGI.

Very Short Treks
I thought these were fine, sorta hit and miss. I dig playing around with TAS style designs. Where does Tendi get off criticizing limited animation…

Yeah, this pretty much lines up with my feelings on them. Really a mixed bag, but I liked the TAS animation style chosen and some of the jokes (albeit a lot of them are really obvious, some really reptitive). And Tendi critiquing the animation was fun.

Star Trek: The Animated Series
Decided to watch this as it's only 20 episodes.

Yeah, that original animated series is so wild, but I enjoyed it a lot. I too loved how the writing didn't talk down to kids and had a fairly high consistent qquality with a lot of great concepts and interesting ideas. The animation, even though limited, absolutely included a lot of good solid fun designs (and showed how limiting live-action could be when depicting various aliens and alien environments). Really had a lot of fun with the sheer wild creativity of this series (that managed to look pretty good even with the limited animation; compared to a lot of other budget animated TV from the 70's, it do look better). It is baffling it took them 46 years to try another animated show.

But yeah, I think binging it (or not leaving much room between the eps) can get a bit tiresome, so it's not a show to watch too quickly.

DS9 season 3 general thoughts

Nice to see you enjoyed season 3! Actually think that the season is quite underrated (lots of good, solid episodes, moments and character stuff throughout) and speaks against the myth of DS9 only "getting good" with the advent of season 4.
 
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By the way, @Smear-Gel, Your opinions on 'Space Seed'? You skipped over mentioning it and went directly from 'Return of The Archons' to 'A Taste Of Armageddon' (but then again you went from talking of 'Arena' to 'Archons', skipping over mentioning 'Court Martial').

Just curious. Kind of making me want to go on a selected TOS binge again, lol.
 
By the way, @Smear-Gel, Your opinions on 'Space Seed'? You skipped over mentioning it and went directly from 'Return of The Archons' to 'A Taste Of Armageddon' (but then again you went from talking of 'Arena' to 'Archons', skipping over mentioning 'Court Martial').

Just curious. Kind of making me want to go on a selected TOS binge again, lol.
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Not that anyone will care, but today's episode of Discovery, 'Face The Strange', was one I enjoyed a surprising lot. May be my favorite episode of the series in quite some time and one of its best, if I may be so honest.

I really liked how this one was more of a classic Star Trek story about time travel, or rather time displacement (echoing an episode like 'Shattered', from Voyager) and they did it justice, with a fun interesting sci-fi problem that needed to be solved, with Burnham & Rayner (and Stamets) shifting around in time to various Discovery scenarios (due to a nasty "bug" placed on board by Moll & L'ak) and having to working to understand and get out of their predicament. It was pretty typical Trek and had the heart and humor that one would come to expect from the franchise, not only being a good Discovery episode but good Trek in general, ending up one of the better episodes of the show.

To have one of the episodes of a heavily serialized and pretty serious seasons essentially be a one-off bottle show I did like (and they allowed themselves to have some fun with the time periods in Discovery's timeline revisited, but not overdoing it by having tonnes of guest like Lorca, Georgiou, Rainn Wilson's Harry Mudd, Pike or Spock, etc. but keeping it fairly tight and focused), and there were some nice references and easter eggs (I like how the smart bug was a Krenim time bug; Krenim being a species from Voyager) and character moments (those moments with both Rayner & Stamets getting to interact with a prior version of Jett Reno were both fun), but it did have some nice dramatic moments and character development (both Burnham and Rayner building their captain-number one relationship for the better) and various little bits throughout: Was nice with a focused teamwork story with the three figuring things out and solving it.

It was also intriguing to see the main trio here go back to early Season 1 and meet the crew from that time (I almost forgot how tense things were back then; with Burnham involved, the bridge crew was like a powder keg and those little character bits were interesting (I also like gow Airiam became so integral; also made me realize how much the others thought they knew her back then, but were wrong); also Burnham vs her early S1 self was just a fun scene (unnecessary, but fun). But on a overarching leve, I liked to see a look into a possible future if Moll & L'ak are successful in aquiring and selling the Progenitors' tech; it does raise the stakes and show what the buyer the Breen, will do to Starfleet if Discovery is unsuccessful. Also Zora, the ships computer, alone playing Que Sera Sera, alone for 30 years since everyone died, was a bit of an eerie moment. That was a well directed scene, I must say). Nice ending as well, with the issue solved and the trio back (and now Rayner has integrated a little further, having spent time working with some of the crew and solved an anomaly issue).

But yeah, I had fun with this one. I am sure the Discovery haters will think this one sucks too, but I thought it was one of their more fun hours, being well paced without slowing down and certainly feeling like a Trek story and handling it like one too (with teamwork, problem solving and logicial, creative thinking), plus the various characters, even some from the bridge crew like Rhys and Airiam, getting some nice moments), also being a nice "standalone" episode, yet furthering both plot and characters (and also ending up sort of a lookback on the show as a whole, now essentially having tied back to the beginnings of the series; suppose this felt nicely poignant, too).

Not fantastic, but good fun and stood out IMO. Wouldn't be surprised if this ends up being one of the most popular of the season.
 
Not that anyone will care, but today's episode of Discovery, 'Face The Strange', was one I enjoyed a surprising lot. May be my favorite episode of the series in quite some time and one of its best, if I may be so honest.
It's definitely the best episode in the entire show for me, actually fantastic. And infinitely raised how good of an actress I think Sonequa Martin Green is. That last half of the episode where she's playing against herself and you can see how different they are just but how the two Burnhams are standing up, its really impressive. It felt like an episode made for a final season. Great dialogue, good emotions, the characters are on point. Captain Reiner is such an amazing character already in just 4 episodes. Exactly the kind of episode I needed to break up the pace of the treasure hunt story.

On one hand it feels like a victory lap, like look how far we've come. But when you think about it, the showrunners and writers back then were different, so its almost a victory lap in like "look what we managed to salvage things from." I know some people prefer the first 2 seasons though. And I havent seen them, but in terms of 32nd century, the show has hit its stride.

Also something I said before but havent fleshed out, this is Discovery's Crisis Point. The main character is faced fighting a version of themselves to see the disparity between them in two different frames of mind. Only, while Mariner fought herself to see the potential in where she could be if she got over her trauma, Burnham fought herself to see how far she's come. Here, Reiner is the Mariner, with how he feels now, always being in defensive mode, contrasting where Burnham was at the beginning of the series.

Also just a fun sci fi concept. Great Trek!
 
It's definitely the best episode in the entire show for me, actually fantastic.

I'm glad to hear you agree! Also nice to have someone to talk with about Discovery (with half of the thread's audience not liking the show one bit). After having the episode sunk in a bit across the latest day or so, it is likely my favorite of the show so far. Solid stuff.

And infinitely raised how good of an actress I think Sonequa Martin Green is. That last half of the episode where she's playing against herself and you can see how different they are just but how the two Burnhams are standing up, its really impressive. It felt like an episode made for a final season.

Sonequa is talented and I think this episode was the one where she has shone the most, actually. I mean, the material hasn't always worked in her favor (and sometimes it feels like she has overacted or underacted depending on the script, but she's certainly not a bad actress and pretty much always tried her best with the material given & has surprised a few times), but this one she was pretty solid throughout (and I really liked that dynamic of the two Burnhams; both fun and dramatic in the best of ways, all due to her performance, selling both the calm collected present Burnham and the emotionally troubled S1 variant & their interactions & drama, which was pretty compelling).

This was absolutely an episode that only could've truly worked here and now, toward the end of the show.

Great dialogue, good emotions, the characters are on point. Captain Reiner is such an amazing character already in just 4 episodes. Exactly the kind of episode I needed to break up the pace of the treasure hunt story.

Agree on all of those points, including Commander (!) Rayner, whom has really been kind of a fresh breath of air with his by the book behavior, but I I like that character development of him loosening up to become his best self, of course. I wouldn't say this broke up the treasure hunt, but was a really fun half-and-half diversion (that still managed to further the plot and characters); I really hope we'll get at least one more episode like this in the season to not make it all strictly about the space chase.

On one hand it feels like a victory lap, like look how far we've come. But when you think about it, the showrunners and writers back then were different, so its almost a victory lap in like "look what we managed to salvage things from." I know some people prefer the first 2 seasons though. And I havent seen them, but in terms of 32nd century, the show has hit its stride.

Yeah, it does feel like a victory lap kind of episode (with the references to older episodes with nostalgia and all that), but nevertheless, I think your point there make so much sense (and it was actually something I thought of writing more of myself): It really kind of is them looking back at how the show was before and how they managed to steer the show from those first two seasons to what we've gotten from S3 and onward (and I think that when you have seen those first couple of seasons, this episode may click even better for you).

Also something I said before but havent fleshed out, this is Discovery's Crisis Point. The main character is faced fighting a version of themselves to see the disparity between them in two different frames of mind. Only, while Mariner fought herself to see the potential in where she could be if she got over her trauma, Burnham fought herself to see how far she's come. Here, Reiner is the Mariner, with how he feels now, always being in defensive mode, contrasting where Burnham was at the beginning of the series.

I haven't seen you pointing this out before (considering this is the first I see of you talking of this one 'Disco' episode, but I assume you've spoken about it on another site?) and to be honest I didn't make the connection myself, but yeah, I can kinda see how this is like 'Crisis Point' of Lower Decks' fame in a sense, albeit not as a holodeck episode but as a time travel, time shift-type episode, with the lead(s) facing themselves in some way, with both Burnham & Rayner kind of sharing Mariner's role in different aspects, which made this more poignant and interesting. I wonder if when writing and then filming the episode, they had the 'Crisis Point' connection in mind?

Also just a fun sci fi concept. Great Trek!

That it was. Like I said, not just a great episode of Discovery but great Trek as well!

And I assume that some of the moments/scene and character moments I pointed out in my above review were some you liked as well?
 
Yes, the point about it being refreshingly self contained I agree with

I wish the show would've leant into this type of episodes more often, having a self-containe story but still managing to progress the overarching plotting. I can see how it can be difficult to do with a heavily serialized show, but this proved it can be done.

Additionally, did you also enjoy the usage of the supporting cast of the bridge crew? That finale did surprise me a lot and gave some of the characters, such as Airiam & Rhys more character and personalities than they ever had before (and Linus is still a lot of fun). Made me wish the show had given them more to do throughout the show as there was so much potential that went untapped.

And I must also add this episode gave me one of the biggest laughs I've had from the show:  When the main trio (Burnham, Rayner & Stamets were in an argument while in engineering and some random female ensign walks in, they tell her "Get out!" at the same time and she just swiftly turns around and walks away without a single word spoken. 
 
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I wish the show would've leant into this type of episodes more often, having a self-containe story but still managing to progress the overarching plotting. I can see how it can be difficult to do with a heavily serialized show, but this proved it can be done.

Additionally, did you also enjoy the usage of the supporting cast of the bridge crew? That finale did surprise me a lot and gave some of the characters, such as Airiam & Rhys more character and personalities than they ever had before (and Linus is still a lot of fun). Made me wish the show had given them more to do throughout the show as there was so much potential that went untapped.

And I must also add this episode gave me onbe of the biggest laughs I've had from the show:  When the main trio (Burnham, Rayner & Stamets were in an argument while in engineering and some random female ensign walks in, they tell her "Get out!" at the same time and she just swiftly turns around and walks away without a single word spoken. 
I think I'm starting to feel like Rhys is an actual character now. I enjoy him. Owo, Detmer, Linus and Rhys I feel have some personality. Even if I think outside this episode the bridge crew are super duper absent this season.
 
I haven't seen today's episode of Discovery yet, but I'm hearing they finally show what a Breen look like without the helmet. Which has me kind of conflicted as I always liked the mystery of them and how the nature of their visage has kept audiences guessing.

Still, liking that they show seem to be playing into the Breen as major antagonists. Always liked them in terms of enemy species.
 
Well, so I saw yesterdays ep of Discovery, 'Mirrors', and yeah, not as good as last weeks but decent, I guess.

Kind of a typical mid-point season episode with a lot of reveals, some character developments and a surprising ton of exposition, the latter of which got kinda clunky with the backstory on Moll & L'ak (which got its own flashback subplot), so not everything worked out smoothly (I tihnk they could've trimmed this one down a bit and focused on the essentials & gone for more showing instead of telling; I don't think we desperately needed those flashbacks either, not to this extent), but I think that it did have some nice performances & aspects.

I did like the wormhole/fluidic space plot and it was neat to see the ISS Enterprise again (with the ship having ended up trapped there, albeit now empty of people), which led to an interesting and nice plot thread, with the gradual reveal of the ship having been piloted by a rebel and carried refugees from the Mirror Universe to the main universe, plus the chief scientist having left the next clue (and the payoff with the reveal of how the refugees had escaped and settled down in the main universe, with the scientist even becoming a respected Federation doctor, was a really good one, showing that optimism of the franchise, even though this was just a minor aspect of the plot).

The stuff with Rayner & the crew was enjoyable overall (and it was interesting to see him being in command of the crew while Burnham & Book was away on the mission). I think my favorite part was the climactic one where they work on solving the problem at hand, with the crew being active with suggestions on the bridge and Rayner hearing tehm out before making a decision (like that professional teamwork stuff), plus the Discovery pulling the Enterprise out of the wormhole was a neat effects sequence. Don't have much more to say on that.

The main story on the other hand was the one I'm a bit more mixed on. It had some decent stuff with Michael & Book who share a good camraderie and interactions, there was some nice intensity and a bit of OK action toward the end (even though it did feel a bit pointless in a sense and more like having action for the sake of it). Was good to finally get some proper development on the villains Moll & L'ak, with them turning out tragic antagonists desperate for their goal, which is really more or less about having L'ak having a bounty taken off his back, having mutinied against hi people and gone with Moll, which do make them a little less bland in terms of antagonists.

The episode really lean into their romantic connection , which is shown in those flashbacks, with how they do all of this for their love, but I don't thnk the result is so convincing with how relatively forced and rushed it is, with all the infodumping in this one episode instead of gradually showing it building (another problem with shortened seasons these days), plus I think Moll is a bit grating with the cocky emo shithead angry girl attitude (she's tough on the surface but clearly comes off as a scared girl with daddy/abandonment issues underneath), but I was still OK with it. Book had some good moments, such as trying to reason with this clearly broken unstable person.

I think the Breen stuff given here was one of the better parts, with some interesting lore additions & the explanations behind their suits and masks & what they look like underneath was interesting for sure (kinda dig the "two faces" thing, plus the updated suits looked good). I don't think the show needed to reveal how the Breen looked like but I felt the episode did nice with it (their gelatinous-like, semi-solid appearance makes sense in terms of what the franchise has told us before about the "refridgeration suits" and whatnot).

Though I didn't like how the episode had the two baddies escape yet again, which is already tiresome. I mean, the story could've done much more interesting with them in custody aboard the Discovery, but nope, gotta have them slip away again... sigh.... At least the heroes got a hold of the next clue which is good and all, but I wished this episode would've gone about the main story differently.

Oh and there was something regarding Tilly & Culber but I didn't think much of that.
 
Latest ep of Discovery, 'Whistlespeak', was one I didn't think was gonna be much, as it was another "let's solve this piece of the puzzle" episode, but I honestly enjoyed this one and found it one of the better entries of the season so far, behind 'Face The Strange'.

What made me enjoy this one was the fact how they kind of did a standalone "planet of the week" and Prime Directive conflict plot akin to TOS or TNG (with Burnham & Tilly visiting a planet, Hale'mno, and getting caught up in the native's quest to a sacred mountain) and proceeded the important plot in the background, essentially, focusing on developing the Hale'mnites and their culture, language, its ways and spirituality and doing quite well with that (giving the viewers a good understanding), also leaving room for some nice stuff with Burnham & Tilly (the latter of whom carried part of the episode nicely, such as with her dynamic with the native, Ravah).

I think this was a pretty interesting compelling story, even though it was on the slow side, I liked the main guest star character Ohvahz and Ravah (felt like their bond as father and daughter was well realized) & it was shot well with some nice forest location shooting and well-made sets (and the music theme for the alien race was fun), but it hit that right 'Trek' feel, with the themes, optimism, learning and understanding, both for our main characters and the alien race of the week, with a solid little dialogue between Ohvahzs and Burnham in the end, which reminded me of something out of Berman-era 'Trek' (and of course we had the classic TOS-era Kirk-style Prime Directive breaking by Burnham to save the people, which felt like a fun throwback, but done in a modern, more respectful way).

There were a few silly/dumb moments (like Tilly not knowing to put out the fires as they burn up the precious oxygen) but overall I enjoyed this one (and the subplot on Doc Culber coming to terms with feeling spiritually enlightened after the experience on Trill was nice in terms of developing his character some; and I guess Rayner got a few good moments as second-in-command).

Kind of interesting so many fans seem to think this was useless, pointless and immensly boring with nothing of value when otherwise, fans tend to love these standalone strange new worlds-exploring stories with developing alien races and 'Trek'style themes, explorations & issues needing to be solved, but I guess to some the pacing didn't help (since it was a fairly slow story) so a few trims could've helped.

But anyhow, this was an all right one by me. Not perfect but held my attention and was interesting (and that very ending bit with the whistling from the planet was like something out of classic Trek and left it on a perfect fun little note).
 
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I'm just gonna drop saying anything more extensive on the remaining Discovery episodes since there's no one here caring about the show so I'll just sum up what I thought on an episode to episode basis in a couple of paragraphs.

The latest episode, 'Erigah', was more of a standard middle episode of a serialized story but had some good elements. We got some more info and lore on the Breen for one thing (which was nice, such as that of them having a civil war for power amongst their empire after their emperor's death, with many factions wanting to claim the throne, one of which being the main antagonists this time) and I liked the focus on a diplomatic negotiations story, with the Federation characters trying to talk their way out of the conflict with the Breen coming to get L'ak (for political reasons) and try stalling them, at least (I think the show did nice with the writing for T'Rina, whom was a well-portayed, nuanced Vulcan and not like one of those more negatively portrayed ones we get every once in a while). There were some decent character developments too, such as for Jett Reno (whom we learnt a surprising bit about; also a drink called "Seven of Lime" made me LOL) and notably Rayner (with his history with the Breen and why he dislikes them) and the continuation of the problem solving of the treasure hunt clues was okay overall (interesting we seem to be headed for the Badlands next; wouldn't be surprised if we'll see DS9, lol).

Less impressed by the Moll & L'ak plot. Still don't really care about them so their drama fall a bit flat for me, much as I still find them pretty lame and dull bad guys, plus them essentially acting like teenagers who are extremely moody and edgy & confrontational constantly is obnoxious (especially Moll). And the swiss cheese security on the Discovery is just lazy writing to make room for an action scene, which was kinda shoddily edited and staged, and it ended up being kind of a dead end, plus just makes Starfleet look bad while trying to make the two baddies seem competent when they clearly don't have an abundance of braincells and act on emotions like children (and don't get me started on how the bio beds allow for a patient to overdose on the medicine). At least I'm glad the show did have the two caught prior to the plot and we're not in another situation of the two slipping away, but rather one dead and the other handed over to the Breen. And interesting to have a similar antagonist switch akin to Picard S3 (this time, the Breen having replaced Moll & L'ak as the primary villains of the story, which I think is for the better because, yeah, the Breen are infinitely more interesting than those two thugs).

So yeah, an average episode with some decent politics, diplomacy and negotiations (plus a moral quandry in the end) and some bits of character developments (and further lore on the Breen) and all right plot advancements, plus a wonky B-plot with a lot of questionable writing decisions. I guess neither good or bad for me, but somewhere in the middle. Three episodes to go.
 
Nobody's other than me around is watching last season of Disco but whatever.... Spoilers inbound and all that:

Labyrinths

This one was OK and had some nice bits and pieces. It's another "let's find another piece of the puzzle" story, but at least this was the final one of those here: I liked the stuff with the archive (had a cool interesting look & design, even though I learned it's a library in Toronto, and I liked the kooky head librarian alien character; felt like a character whom would've been at home in SNW & a little disappointed she disappeared halfway into it), the mindscape plot with Burnham having to solve a riddle to get the last piece of the puzzle was kinda interesting (if a little slow toward the end with the psychobabble, at least lampshaded), Book being confronted with a piece of his dead homeplanet Kweijan was kinda sweet & I liked the choice of not having some superfluous action scene when the Breen was attacking (choosing to just show a piece of Book & Rayner fighting off the Breen on a monitor and only the aftermath).

The shipbound parts also had some bits I liked: the badlands was nicely visualized in terms of effects but really missed the design from DS9 (I think they went a little too far with something original), Rhys in the captain's chair (commanding for a bit) was neat (I do like the willingness to sometimes focus a little more on these side characters) and I liked the reference of the Hysperians (Jett Reno mentioning having worked for them once before), which I tihnk makes the first reference in live-action Trek to something original from 'Lower Decks'. Them working on a way to stop the Breen from effectively drilling into the shield of the archive had some nice problem-solving by the supporting Discovery cast (even though it still was a lot of technobabble, granted).

As something I wasn't so much a fan of at all was the Breen Primarch Ruhn being a prototypical cartoon supervillain whom just was a honorless idiotic thug killing and destroying needlessly, even breaking a promise made to Burnham (twofold) because evil for the sake of evil, I guess, so I was actually kinda relieved when Moll shot him (even though it really did simplify her coup arc, which I did see coming a mile away). Also still not really caring about the Moll & L'ak relationship arc (so if the latter is revived or not, I don't really care).

Now the show is at least moving into the endgame, with the map complete and the race close to the finish line. Episode 9 next!
 
Ive been pretty absent. Not sure if I'll have the time to go back to all of @CousinMerl's reviews but I have been enjoying this season. It feels the most like what Discovery wanted to be and it does make it a shame that it's ending when it more or less "got good."

Between this, Prodigy and Lower Decks ending, its good to just look at this year as closing the book on this current era of Trek. I'll still watch Academy and SNW of course (and since Matalas is doing some Marvel stuff now maybe a hypothetical "Star Trek Legacy" has a chance of being good) but this does feel like the end of the CBS All Access era.
 
One thing worth pointing out is that Rhys is even better since I last mentioned him, seeing him sitting in the Captain's chair was actually a "YEAH" moment. And on that note, Captain Reiner is a 10/10 character an extremely well written.
 
@Smear-Gel, Nice to hear from you again in this thread. Had actually been thinking of giving you a mention but figured I'd wait for you to show up and that you did.... eventually, haha. Hope you'll find time to read my reviews (which I've so far been writing for myself to get some thoughts on them post-viewing off my mind, not expecting anyone to read).

But yeah, anyhow, nice to see someone else who have been entertained by the season so far. Seems like everywhere I turn online in terms of Trek fan circuits, there's so much openly vocal bitter resentfulness from the fandom about Discovery (even digging for issues where there really isn't any & making stuff up; it's like many fans are desperate at finding stuff to complain about so yeah, it's the most hated of the shows by far) and I do have some fondness of the glimpses of people finding stuff to enjoy or just like in this last season of the show.

I still have issues with it but I think it's been an interesting ride so far & with the likes of Rayner (he's a Commander, not Captain , btw) and some of the supporting bridge crew (like Rhys) feeling a bit more prominent, it indeed like it's "getting good" or at least on its way of finding itself, but yep, unfortunately this will be the last season so way too late (and to be honest, with how the season is written, I do feel that it wasn't intended to be the last and went through some changes and rewrites to feel more like the "last hurrah").
 
Also Lagrange Point was fine in terms of being the penultimate episode of 'Discovery'.

I think much had to do with Jonathan Frakes' expert direction of this one (I had been wondering if he'd direct and episode this season and looked for his name at the end of each intro credits and now he got his chance).

He kept the pacing brisk and moving forward (aside from a few forced moments of stopping the plot to have a heart-to-heart; also, writers, it doesn't help that you lampshade it with Burnham saying out loiud that it isn't the time before pulling Book aside and talking about her feelings on last episode's experience) and the heist plot with the group disguising themselves as breen and infiltrating the dreadnought to get the Progenitor relic macguffin was fine, having some nice intensity and a few bits of action (thankfully none of them feeling forced). It had some decent little moment with them pretending to be Breen and talking with the actual ones (though the translator tech) I also liked how Rhys was one of the four on the mission and led the second duo (I still miss Owo & Detmer, both absent this season)

The shipbound plot with Rayner in command and not wanting to sit down in the captain's chair was a nice one, giving him a nice little mini arc here where he need to stop being afraid of the seat due to his earlier demotion, probably thinking he'd mess up again (and the payoff in the end I did like too); I like how direct and effective he is, not wasting any time and running a tight ship (but not too tight) and showing a lot of professionalism (I mean damn, the show really gained a lot from this character whom is business and mission first, persona feelings and emotions second) and it worked out well in tandem with the infiltration plot. Less fond of the Moll plot as I cannot really buy her as the leader of the Breen and them just going with it since the last episode (I feel the actress was a bit miscast in this role, as it needed more threat and menace), but the relic stuff is interesting, with how it seem to be a portal that suck people up when they enter it.

The final setpiece of the Discovery going all in attacking the dreadnought and even traveling inside it and them out to get the relic and their infiltrated crew out (disabling the enemy in the process) was also well-visualized and directed (that shot of them going inside and beaming up the relic and Book was kinda neat, axtually) and the cliffhanger with the fate of Burnham & Moll up in the air (after the former followed the desperate latter into the relic) was an intriguing one, putting Rayner in an interesting position.

So certainly a flawed episode, but had its moments, did the job well as a lead-in to the finale (which I hear will be a full 90 minutes, akin to the finales of TNG , DS9 & VOY) and the directing backed it up. I wish more of the episodes were around 45-46 minutes like this one, as I've been feeling too many of them have felt a little too long this season.
 
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@Smear-Gel,
But yeah, anyhow, nice to see someone else who have been entertained by the season so far. Seems like everywhere I turn online in terms of Trek fan circuits, there's so much openly vocal bitter resentfulness from the fandom about Discovery (even digging for issues where there really isn't any & making stuff up; it's like many fans are desperate at finding stuff to complain about so yeah, it's the most hated of the shows by far) and I do have some fondness of the glimpses of people finding stuff to enjoy or just like in this last season of the show.
The good part of not feeling motivated enough to engage with many places online is I end up missing all of that discussion too, I've really only seen 2 places review this and they land on varying levels of "best season so far for what its worth"
 
Also Lagrange Point was fine in terms of being the penultimate episode of 'Discovery'.

I think much had to do with Jonathan Frakes' expert direction of this one (I had been wondering if he'd direct and episode this season and looked for his name at the end of each intro credits and now he got his chance).

He kept the pacing brisk and moving forward (aside from a few forced moments of stopping the plot to have a heart-to-heart; also, writers, it doesn't help that you lampshade it with Burnham saying out loiud that it isn't the time before pulling Book aside and talking about her feelings on last episode's experience) and the heist plot with the group disguising themselves as breen and infiltrating the dreadnought to get the Progenitor relic macguffin was fine, having some nice intensity and a few bits of action (thankfully none of them feeling forced). It had some decent little moment with them pretending to be Breen and talking with the actual ones (though the translator tech) I also liked how Rhys was one of the four on the mission and led the second duo (I still miss Owo & Detmer, both absent this season)

The shipbound plot with Rayner in command and not wanting to sit down in the captain's chair was a nice one, giving him a nice little mini arc here where he need to stop being afraid of the seat due to his earlier demotion, probably thinking he'd mess up again (and the payoff in the end I did like too); I like how direct and effective he is, not wasting any time and running a tight ship (but not too tight) and showing a lot of professionalism (I mean damn, the show really gained a lot from this character whom is business and mission first, persona feelings and emotions second) and it worked out well in tandem with the infiltration plot. Less fond of the Moll plot as I cannot really buy her as the leader of the Breen and them just going with it since the last episode (I feel the actress was a bit miscast in this role, as it needed more threat and menace), but the relic stuff is interesting, with how it seem to be a portal that suck people up when they enter it.

The final setpiece of the Discovery going all in attacking the dreadnought and even traveling inside it and them out to get the relic and their infiltrated crew out (disabling the enemy in the process) was also well-visualized and directed (that shot of them going inside and beaming up the relic and Book was kinda neat, axtually) and the cliffhanger with the fate of Burnham & Moll up in the air (after the former followed the desperate latter into the relic) was an intriguing one, putting Rayner in an interesting position.

So certainly a flawed episode, but had its moments, did the job well as a lead-in to the finale (which I hear will be a full 90 minutes, akin to the finales of TNG , DS9 & VOY) and the directing backed it up. I wish more of the episodes were around 45-46 minutes like this one, as I've been feeling too many of them have felt a little too long this season.
I'd say it was good, yeah it was very silly to have that aside, yes we needed the moment in the episode but surely Burnham would have went to Booker in the 5 hours of down time to say this. A clunky "tv show" moment right there.

The moment we saw that the Breen ships were so big it was a countdown to Discovery flying inside of one, Im happy it was suitably exciting at least. And there's something to Discovery ending at binary stars. It was all an accident but there's so much final season energy to this, outside so many key cast members being gone for big chunks of it. Other things worth shouting out, the escape from the black holes and the Breen infiltration were both good set pieces, very tense, for the former, very fun for the latter. Discovery having fun is long overdue but I enjoy it.

I agree about Moll, you already have a hard time buying her as the leader of the Breen, when they seem to look down on solids. Arguably killing the old primarch and being married to royalty would make a strong case for it, but absolutely no dissent? Silly. But on top of that her presence isnt commanding enough.
 
The good part of not feeling motivated enough to engage with many places online is I end up missing all of that discussion too, I've really only seen 2 places review this and they land on varying levels of "best season so far for what its worth"

Maybe it is for the best you've not experienced the toxic fan stuff pertaining to the show, as it really feels very desperate and petty a lot of the time (I mean, yeah, there's some real legitimate complaints made, but a lot of the time it is forced and just grasping for straws and generalization, really). But there's definitely been some decent positivity too (trekmovie.com and tor.com, for two).

I'd say it was good, yeah it was very silly to have that aside, yes we needed the moment in the episode but surely Burnham would have went to Booker in the 5 hours of down time to say this. A clunky "tv show" moment right there.

Seem to be a lot of those clunky TV show moments in this show overall. It's so jarring when an episode is generall well written, but yet they do shit like this and just stop the episode cold in its tracks for literall no reason. It's like they can't help themselves to be blatant and a little lazy rather than writing personal moments like that when it makes the most sense (such as at the downtime, like you say).


The moment we saw that the Breen ships were so big it was a countdown to Discovery flying inside of one, Im happy it was suitably exciting at least. And there's something to Discovery ending at binary stars. It was all an accident but there's so much final season energy to this, outside so many key cast members being gone for big chunks of it. Other things worth shouting out, the escape from the black holes and the Breen infiltration were both good set pieces, very tense, for the former, very fun for the latter. Discovery having fun is long overdue but I enjoy it.

I think I can agree with those points, even though it's far from perfect and has it share of issues and flaws (such as those clunky writing moments). Good shoutout to the show ending at binary stars (which feel intentional; I do like the concept of the relic being placed between two black holes, which was kinda original) and even though it wasn't intended as the final season, episodes like this do have that energy (and yeah, I'm glad they actually had them fly into the Breen dreadnaught; that shot was a standout to me, well directed).

I agree about Moll, you already have a hard time buying her as the leader of the Breen, when they seem to look down on solids. Arguably killing the old primarch and being married to royalty would make a strong case for it, but absolutely no dissent? Silly. But on top of that her presence isnt commanding enough.

There should absolutely have been a lot of Breen naysayers who went against her or were skeptical, but yeah, as you say, there would be a strong case for them to accept her as their new leader, but it happened too quickly and smoothly & like I said, the actress (Eve Harlow) feel woefully miscast as they definitely needed a more threatening persona whom can more easily been accepted as a commanding leader (by the Breen and us viewers), but we got essentially a moody teenager in an adult woman's body, though with the way things ended here, I'm glad that her stint as leader didn't last long as it would've felt even more improbable than it already was.
 
There should absolutely have been a lot of Breen naysayers who went against her or were skeptical, but yeah, as you say, there would be a strong case for them to accept her as their new leader, but it happened too quickly and smoothly & like I said, the actress (Eve Harlow) feel woefully miscast as they definitely needed a more threatening persona whom can more easily been accepted as a commanding leader (by the Breen and us viewers), but we got essentially a moody teenager in an adult woman's body, though with the way things ended here, I'm glad that her stint as leader didn't last long as it would've felt even more improbable than it already was.
To be fair, when you're working with 10 episodes I guess some things have to be glossed over
 
To be fair, when you're working with 10 episodes I guess some things have to be glossed over

Yeah, that is absolutely something that has to be taken into serious consideration, but I stilltihnk it is fully possible and preferred to trim and "streamline" the script to naturally pull things off within these 10 episodes without having to make several compromises: There's all often a feeling of these kind of 8-10 episode seasons where they don't really take into consideration that they don't have some 20 episode spots at their disposal (at worst doing a speed run of events to fit everything within these 10 something episodes).
 
Not sure how I feel about the finale essentially devoting the end of the entire show to that, but it was nice (more thoughts later). Plus Michelle Paradise did say they were planning on devoting the season 6 plotline to that so I guess I get it.
 
I've gotten sidetracked fairly consistently this week so haven't finished the finale (,Life, Itself') yet, but I'm liking it fine so far (has some obvious problems with some typically poorly written stuff, a few excessive scenes and my usual qualms on Olatunde's directing choices). More thoughts later (and curious to see what you mean with the season devoting its ending to something unusual, @Smear-Gel).
 
Well, so after much ado, I finished 'Life, Itself', the big series finale of Star Trek Discovery. And what did I think of it? Gonna say more than a few words on it here below (and not gonna mark any spoilers, so I'll just warn for these Unmarked Spoilers Below).

Well, I did like it fine, as said. Had some major issues with it, mainly in the first half but also some quibbles throughout (I think when it comes to the more action-oriented stuff, Olatunde isn't the best director in the series, for one thing) and one could feel that this was a retooled season finale with some added bells and whistles to make for a series ending, but all in all, a fine continuation from the last episode and wrapped things up fine, albeit not perfectly (as some things felt a little bit underwhelming or skimmed over). But yeah, this was nice.

Liked the main plot of Burnham in the Progenitor's technology (withe the pocket dimension with all the portals and whatever; really liked the visuals and the design of that place) and her unholy alliance with Moll gave some decent interactions (for one, I felt that Moll, as an antagonist, worked a little better here than in the previous example), but yet, I had some issues:

Wasn't a fan of the forced unnecessary fight between the two (kinda bothered me that Burnham, for essentially no reason, ignited the fight instead of trying to converse with Moll into a teamup & when the pointless fight, which I thought was shoddily shot and edited to boot, was over and they made peace, it really felt like the episode could've just cut the fight entirely and lost nothing; second, Burnham later grabbing the idiot ball and actually turning her back to Moll (when hearing Booker) when having reached the puzzle and, of course, was whacked unconscious by Moll (which was just dumb writing to have Moll rush the puzzle, do it wrongly and getting a prolonged electrocution so that Burnham could save her ass). They should've had the conflict in dialogue and of of interest with them butting heads a bit non-physically.

But other than those bad moments (that made the story feel a bit padded, to be frank), I thought it was a fine plot: I liked the visuals as said and the exploration part and mysteriousness I also liked, plus Burnham activating the technology and speaking to one of the Progenitors (appearing in a version of the same place in her mind, sort of?) I enjoyed too; that dialogue was maybe a little too "I'm so deep and profound" at times, but I enjoyed the meanings and what was gotten out of it, such as in terms of Burnham's character development and finding out the limits of using the technology to create and revive (the latter which cannot be done, at least in terms of memories). So while the road to getting there was more than clunky and silly, I think this finale made it worth it, more or less.

As for the spaceship-bound plot with the Discovery against the Breen, it was fine, if mainly to see Rayner being acting captain and doing a great job, running a tight and effective ship (why wasn't this character introduced in one of the earlier couple of seasons? lol), but the action was OK and the plan to get rid of the Breen dreadnought (without destroying it) was convoluted but typical Trek science stuff (and I liked the solution there, which was befitting punishment for the Breen). Also the Booker & Culber subplot with them helping to keep the portal open until Burnham gets out of there was fine, plus gotta mention the Saru subplot which was small, yet important and strong: Was really neat with him standing up to the Breen Primarch, Tahal, and running a gambit of will (which ultimately pays off), which was probably one of my fav parts of the episode (helped by Doug Jones' acting) and kind of a classic type 'Trek' scene (felt like out of DS9).

And Burnham (once returned to Discovery) and her solution for the progenitor's tech? I thought that was an interesting moral quandry, with her saying the portal should be sent into one of the two black holes as the technology is too dangerous to be used (especially by the wrong people) and the likes of Stamets objecting (due to the immense importance of the discovery, etc.), as both sides have a good point, but ultimately I feel that for this time, Burnham was right (plus she is right if those who created it still exist somewhere out there, they can rebuild it again). So not an easy answer (and one I can see fans feeling either way of), but I like that about 'Trek', for one.

But alas, gotta mention the elephant in the room which is Olatunde's disorienting action with a ton of shaky cam/jitter cam and camera spins, most of which feel excessive and sometimes disorienting (such as that space shot into the action some halfway in or so when the camera rotated in a circle and I'm like "What is this nonsense?". I mean, It's fine if they want to have dynamic direction, but feels like his approach is way, way too much (and we don't see this kinda directing in other space shows like The Mandalorian).

I would also say that in terms of the overall Breen plot, while the immediate threat was over, it did come out feeling unresolved after so much buildup on the conflict between Primarchs and their civil war over leadership (so I'm guessing this was intended to be a main thing in season 6, had the show gotten to that) and the Moll & L'ak plot felt a bit anticlimactic, with Moll stunned by the tech, taken into custody by Burnham and then presumably going to prison (and L'ak's body is still in the personal pattern buffer), but at least Booker got to made peace with Moll so I guess that makes it OK? Anyhow, I think I expected a bit more from both these plotlines in the end, but yeah, with the show being abruptly cancelled like it was and they had to make compromises, I am fine with the way these stories ended (and it's not like I cared much for the latter one, so I felt their fates were suitable, even if I wonder if the show intended to bring L'ak back).

And regarding Kovich, was nice to get a closure scene on him and the Red Directive, with his meeting with Burnham; Also nice twist of his real identity, which I didn't really expect (and it was kind of neat callback, even though it does feel like a nod to the longtime fans, especially of those of the particular show inquestion). Oh, and I did like the ending with the crew attending Saru & T'Rina's wedding (I assume on the Kelpien homeworld) and the beach scene with Burnham and Booker was nice, if especially due to the way it was shot at sunset and on location (as it seemed). Was a nice endin- wait a moment, the counter say it's only been 69 minutes and theres some 15 minutes left?

Well, so we get the last chunk of the episode dedicated to a timeskip some 30 years into the future where we meet an older Burnham (now Admiral, hopefully not a Badmiral) & older Book, find out they live out in the wildnerness on some planet (and I like how she does things by her own hand, repairing a fence, which seem to be a trend with most Trek captains like Kirk, Sisko & Pike who don't rely on tech for everything) and have a grown son who's made captain. It's kind of unexpected, but I get why they wanted to show an epilogue (and I guess some of this may tie into the Starfleet Academy show, which they also hinted to again with Tilly being the longest standing instructor).

Burnham going aboard the Discovery by herself to go with Zora, the ships AI, on a final mission out into the far reaches of space, which apparently is supposed to tie in with the Calypso short (which I didn't remember until someone stated it, but then again I'm not sure I saw all Discovery's Short Treks)? Feels like kind of a weird decision (as does the show really need to explicitly set up a short which came out years ago? why not leave it ambiguous), but I suppose them thinking of continuity is nice (I'm assuming this was the thing you meant when speaking of feeling unsure about them devoting the end of the finale to this thing, @Smear-Gel). I did like Burnham reminiscing of her crew (supposedly after the whole Breen & Progenitor debacle) which was a neat coda. I liked this, even if the time spent on the epilogue was longer on some things that probably should've been more focused on, creating a bit of an imbalance.

I would say I liked the second half of the episode more than the first, but overall, I enjoyed this both as a season and a series finale. It's far from perfect of course (for one thing, I wish that Jonathan Frakes had directed this instead of Olatunde and for another thing, I would have skipped the forced fight scene and Burnham's moment of being an idiot in an unholy alliance with Moll), but I tihnk the decent and good made up for the lesser part and it turned out entertaining in the end in its imperfectness. Even though not a lot of people were fans of this show and it not being a favorite, I'm kind of going to miss it, but it has left a legacy & I am glad it led to Strange New Worlds, too.
 
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