An Obol For Charon

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate not given: Captain Pike is visited by his first officer from the Enterprise, who has managed to bring him data on the trajectory of Spock’s shuttlecraft. But moments after Discovery sets off on that heading, it’s yanked out of warp by a dense sphere of pulsing energy. Attempts to hail the sphere are fruitless, and moments later Discovery‘s systems begin failing, beginning with the universal translator and engineering systems. The fungal life form that Stamets extracted from Tilly is no longer contained, and reasserts its hold over Tilly. Saru, who seemed unwell at a briefing prior to the sphere’s appearance, is now seriously weakened, and reveals that he has entered the Vaharai, the stage of the Kelpien life span at which an individual is ready to be harvested by the alien predators that cull the Kelpiens. Since he is no longer on Kaminar, Saru will not be harvested, but can look forward to slowly going mad as the Vaharai advances; still, he insists on aiding Burnham in trying to stabilize the ship’s systems and determine the sphere’s intentions (which Pike is assuming are hostile). Speaking through Tilly, “May” tells Stamets that Discovery‘s travels through the mycelial network are harmful to the network and the life it supports. Saru deduces that the sphere is also a life form – a dying one trying to pass on all of its knowledge and experience before it expires – and urges Pike to drop Discovery‘s shields to allow the ship’s computers to absorb all of that information. But Saru feels that his time has come too, and asks Burnham to end his suffering.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Alan McElroy & Andrew Colville
story by Jordon Nardino & Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts
directed by Lee Rose
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek DiscoveryCast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lt. Commander Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), Tig Notaro (Commander Jett Reno), Rebecca Romjin (Number One), Rachael Ancheril (Commander Nhan), Bahia Watson (May Ahearn), Hannah Chessman (Lt. Commander Airiam), Emily Coutts (Lt. Keyla Detmer), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Gen Rhys), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. Joann Owosekun), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. R.A. Bryce), Julianne Grossman (Discovery Computer), Raven Dauda (Dr. Tracy Pollard), David Benjamin Tomlinson (Linus)

Star Trek DiscoveryNotes: Gum and duct tape, and burgers and fries, all still exist in the 23rd century. (Especially fries, as both Number One and Jett Reno mention them.) Also, David Bowie and Prince still have fans in the 23rd century, as they likely will long afterward. Many of the elements of Kelpien society mentioned by Saru were previously seen in the Short Treks episode The Brightest Star (2018).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Saints Of Imperfection

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate not given: Anguished by Ensign Tilly’s disappearance into an organic alien coccoon, Stamets is refusing to give up on the idea of somehow retrieving her, believing that she has been transported into the mycelial network. Discovery is chasing a shuttle believed to be Spock’s, and disables it with a photon torpedo only to discover not Spock inside, but deposed Terran Emperor Philippa Georgiou (now an agent of Section 31) inside. After a terse exchange of information, Georgiou leaves, but not before leaving another Section 31 agent – the recently recruited Ash Tyler – aboard Discovery. Stamets devises a plan to perform a “partial jump” with Discovery’s spore drive to enter the mycelial network and recover Tilly, though at great risk to the ship. Inside the network, Tilly is surrounded by any number of things that could kill her…along with May, who says she is the avatar of a race called the Jah’Sepp, which lives in the network and tries to avoid a monster that is killing them. When Discovery slices into the network’s dimension, Burnham, Stamets and Tilly discover that the “monster” which needs to be removed is one of their own.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Kirsten Beyer
directed by David Barrett
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek DiscoveryCast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lt. Commander Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou), Jayne Brook (Admiral Cornwell), Alan Van Sprang (Leland), Rachael Ancheril (Commander Nhan), Bahia Watson (May Ahearn), Hannah Chessman (Lt. Commander Airiam), Emily Coutts (Lt. Keyla Detmer), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Gen Rhys), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. Joann Owosekun), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. R.A. Bryce), Julianne Grossman (Discovery Computer)

Star Trek DiscoveryNotes: The wearable communicator badge common throughout Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager apparently has its roots in Section 31 technology, though it’s clearly a shock to Captain Pike in the 23rd century. Given that Pike is in the dark about Georgiou’s origins in the mirror universe, it’s also likely that – despite whatever briefing he received (Brother) – he doesn’t know the full story about Captain Lorca.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Deflectors

The OrvilleThe Orville returns to Moclus for a deflector upgrade, to be overseen by one of the Moclans’ most skilled engineers, Locar. He happens to be an old flame of Bortus’, but Bortus does his best not to associate with the distinguished guest. As his security liaison and escort aboard the Orville, Lt. Keyali spends the most time with Locar, and is caught off guard when he confesses that he is attracted to her. Since Moclans are (mostly) single-gender, a Moclan attracted to females faces being ostracized from Moclan society. When Locar goes missing after a walk in the environment simulator with Lt. Keyali, she replays the environment simulator records and discovers that he appears to have been murdered – and Bortus’ mate, Klyden, is the prime suspect. Klyden admits to confronting Locar about what Moclan society perceives as his perversity, but denies killing him. Keyali realizes quickly that, with Locar’s engineering genius, what seems like an open-and-shut murder case may be something much more complex…and perhaps not a murder at all.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by David A. Goodman
directed by Seth MacFarlane
music by Andrew Cottee

The OrvilleCast: Seth MacFarlane (Captain Ed Mercer), Adrianne Palicki (Commander Kelly Grayson), Penny Johnson Jerald (Dr. Claire Finn), Scott Grimes (Lt. Gordon Malloy), Peter Macon (Lt. Commander Bortus), Jessica Szohr (Lt. Talla Keyali), J Lee (Lt. John LaMarr), Mark Jackson (Isaac), Chad L. Coleman (Klyden), Mike Henry (Dann), Chris Johnson (Cassius), Kevin Daniels (Locar), Wren T. Brown (Captain Rechik), Norm MacDonald (Yaphit), Blesson Yates (Topa), Kyra Santoro (Ensign Turco), Chase Brosamle (Newsie), Rachael MacFarlane (Computer Voice), Vivienne Rutherford (Little Girl), Yvette Tucker (Window Dancer #1), Steve Hanneman (Window Dancer #2), Bruce Willis (Groogen)

Notes: Wren T. Brown is a two-time Star Trek veteran, having appeared in the Next Generation episode Manhunt (1989) and the Voyager episode Prophecy (2001). Kevin Daniels has appeared on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Charmed, and Smallville. Bruce Willis’ guest voice role was neither credited on-screen nor featured in advance publicity.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Identity

The OrvilleMoments after Dr. Finn reveals to her sons that she and Isaac are an item, the Kaylon promptly keels over, showing no signs of life. Captain Mercer gets permission from the Planetary Union to visit the home planet of the Kaylons, not just to seek care for Isaac, but to see if they’re any closer to a decision on joining the Union. When they awaken Isaac, he announces that his mission – to join the crew to learn more about humanity and other organic life forms – has been completed, and that he will be leaving the Orville. Distraught, Dr. Finn’s youngest son sneaks out of the ship to look for Isaac, but in the course of hiding from other Kaylons, finds himself hiding in an underground chamber. When Dr. Finn, Bortus and Lt. Keyali find Ty, he has found something horrifying: a mass grave site of organic life forms. Scans of the planet reveal that these mass graves circle the entire Kaylon homeworld. When Captain Mercer presses the Kaylons for details, they reveal that the dead were the organic beings who constructed the Kaylons to be robotic servants, and then refused to give them rights when the Kaylons achieved sentience. The Kaylons wiped them out in a genocidal conflict, which rules out their ever joining the Union – which seems to suit them just fine, as they intend to board and hijack the Orville to facilitate a similar conquest of Earth.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Brannon Braga & Andre Bormanis
directed by Jon Cassar
music by John Debney

The OrvilleCast: Seth MacFarlane (Captain Ed Mercer), Adrianne Palicki (Commander Kelly Grayson), Penny Johnson Jerald (Dr. Claire Finn), Scott Grimes (Lt. Gordon Malloy), Peter Macon (Lt. Commander Bortus), Jessica Szohr (Lt. Talla Keyali), J Lee (Lt. John LaMarr), Mark Jackson (Isaac), Chad L. Coleman (Klyden), Victor Garber (Admiral Halsey), Graham Hamilton (Kaylon Primary), Mike Henry (Dann), Robert David Grant (Kaylon Secondary), B.J. Tanner (Marcus Finn), Kai Di’Nilo Wener (Ty Finn), Norm MacDonald (Yaphit), Jay Whittaker (Kaylon Tertiary), Blesson Yates (Topa)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Sounds Of Thunder

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate not given: With his recent exposure to an unusual space phenomenon having accelerated Saru past the stage of life at which Kelpiens are expected to surrender themselves to culling by the Ba’ul, he is free of constant fear for the first time in his life. When the latest detection of one of the mysterious signals sends Discovery racing to Saru’s home planet, he is eager to stand up for his species – perhaps, Captain Pike notes, too eager, as Saru has also undergone a radical shift in thinking regarding the “Great Balance”, the belief system that keeps Kelpiens subservient to the Ba’ul. Should Saru revisit his planet and reveal that the Great Balance is a lie, that would be a clear violation of the prime directive, though Burnham argues that it doesn’t apply to the Kelpiens, since the Ba’ul’s presence has already revealed advanced technology to their prey. Saru introduces Burnham to his sister, Siranna, and learns that his own father was culled shortly after he left the planet. But Saru’s return to Discovery triggers a swift response from the Ba’ul: they want him returned to the planet, and threaten the entire Kelpien race to secure his return. Saru allows himself to be taken aboard a Ba’ul ship. As Burnham, Tilly, and Airiam search records from the data downloaded from the sphere and discover that the balance of power on Kaminar was once quite different, Saru learns that he is far from defenseless against the Ba’ul… and is willing to break every Starfleet rule on the books to help his people achieve the same ability to protect themselves.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt
directed by Doug Aarniokoski
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek DiscoveryCast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lt. Commander Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), Javier Botet (The Ba’ul), Hannah Chessman (Lt. Commander Airiam), Emily Coutts (Lt. Keyla Detmer), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Gen Rhys), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. Joann Owosekun), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. R.A. Bryce), Hannah Spear (Siranna), Julianne Grossman (Discovery Computer), Mark Pellington (Ba’ul voice-over), Raven Dauda (Dr. Tracy Pollard), David Benjamin Tomlinson (Linus / Kelpien Villager #1), Michael Ayres (Transporter Officer)

Notes: The pre-first-contact state of Kelpien society, and Saru’s departure from Kaminar, were previously seen in the Short Treks episode The Brightest Star (2018).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Identity Part II

The OrvilleUnder Kaylon control, the Orville proceeds toward Earth with a massive Kaylon fleet in tow. Another Union ship commanded by an old friend of Mercer stumbles across the fleet, and when Mercer tries to signal to them what’s happened, the Kaylons destroy the ship and execute a member of Mercer’s crew. Yaphit and Ty Finn squeeze through service ducts to reach a communications station from which they can transmit a warning to Earth, but they are discovered by the Kaylons, and the Kaylon Primary orders Isaac to execute Ty for his actions – something that Isaac finds he cannot do. Deciding to help his shipmates rather than his fellow Kaylons, Isaac guns down the entire Kaylon crew manning the Orville’s bridge and prepares to set off an electromagnetic pulse that will eliminate the entire Kaylon presence on the Orville…including himself. But the Kaylon fleet is still barreling toward Earth, intent on destroying humanity and seizing the planet. Commander Grayson takes on a risky mission of her own, gambling her life and the future of the human race to ask the Krill to join the fight against the Kaylons.

Download this episode via Amazonwritten by Seth MacFarlane
directed by Jon Cassar
music by John Debney

The OrvilleCast: Seth MacFarlane (Captain Ed Mercer), Adrianne Palicki (Commander Kelly Grayson), Penny Johnson Jerald (Dr. Claire Finn), Scott Grimes (Lt. Gordon Malloy), Peter Macon (Lt. Commander Bortus), Jessica Szohr (Lt. Talla Keyali), J Lee (Lt. John LaMarr), Mark Jackson (Isaac), Chad L. Coleman (Klyden), Victor Garber (Admiral Halsey), Graham Hamilton (Kaylon Primary), Mike Henry (Dann), Robert David Grant (Kaylon Secondary), B.J. Tanner (Marcus Finn), Kai Di’Nilo Wener (Ty Finn), Norm MacDonald (Yaphit), Jay Whittaker (Kaylon Tertiary), Blesson Yates (Topa)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Light And Shadows

Star Trek: DiscoveryStardate not given: Burnham returns to Vulcan to see if Sarek and Amanda have any answers about Spock’s whereabouts, while Discovery remains in orbit of Kaminar to study residual affects of the appearances of the signal and the Red Angel. When deep scans are conducted, a temporal rift appears, and Pike sets out to pilot a shuttlecraft as close to the anomaly as he can without getting pulled in. He’s annoyed when Tyler insists on going with him, as Section 31 has now claimed an interest in Discovery‘s mission and has placed Tyler aboard the ship on a semi-permanent basis. Temporal anomalies cause Pike to see events that have yet to happen, with no context, and before he knows it, the shuttle is sucked into the time rift…and the most recent future event he has forseen is himself firing a phaser at Tyler. On Vulcan, Burnham and Sarek discover that Amanda, claiming diplomatic immunity, has sequestered Spock in a Vulcan temple. Rambling quotes from the Vulcan principles of logic as well as Alice In Wonderland, Spock seems lost. Sarek insists that Burnham take Spock to Section 31 to receive medical attention, a prospect that she finds less than appealing – and, as Georgiou reveals to her when she arrives, with good reason. But an even more unlikely destination awaits Burnham – coordinates that Spock has been chanting repeatedly since she found him.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Ted Sullivan
story by Ted Sullivan & Vaun Wilmott
directed by Marta Cunningham
music by Jeff Russo

Star Trek DiscoveryCast: Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lt. Commander Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike), Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou), James Frain (Sarek), Mia Kirshner (Amanda), Ethan Peck (Spock), Alan Van Sprang (Leland), Hannah Chessman (Lt. Commander Airiam), Emily Coutts (Lt. Keyla Detmer), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Gen Rhys), Oyin Oladejo (Lt. Joann Owosekun), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Lt. R.A. Bryce), Julianne Grossman (Discovery Computer), Arista Arhin (young Burnham), Liam Hughes (young Spock)

Star Trek DiscoveryNotes: The dumping and igniting of the shuttlecraft’s fuel is very similar to a last-ditch maneuver executed by Spock roughly a decade later (TOS: The Galileo Seven); Rhys says it’s a technique taught at Starfleet flight school, which makes it odd that Scotty and others don’t recognize it on that future occasion. Talos IV was previously visited in the original Star Trek pilot, The Cage (1964), which was not shown on television in anything resembling its original form until 1988; footage from The Cage was worked into the 1966 two-parter The Menagerie, during which Spock returns a crippled Captain Pike to Talos IV, thus making that Spock’s third visit and not his second. (That’s two Star Trek Discoverymore visits than most Starfleet officers are expected to survive: The Menagerie establishes that travel to Talos IV is the only remaining death penalty under Starfleet’s paramilitary law.) It’s worth noting that Spock’s mental state when he’s first seen, including the repetition of phrases, is similar to that of T’Pol at the beginning of the Enterprise episode Shockwave Part II (2002), in which she is seen in a similar state of shock upon discovering that time travel is not only feasible but is in fact taking place. Spock originally fled to the Mutara Sector, an area of space where he will, in fact, later die during the battle with Khan for the Genesis Device (Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, 1982).

LogBook entry by Earl Green