Star Trek: Discovery (2017) – Choose Your Pain, and Lethe

Captain’s log: December 2256

Kemp Powers pens the teleplay for Choose Your Pain from a story by Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts and Kemp. It first aired on 15 October, 2017, and sees a familiar character return to this version of the Trek Universe.

While Micheal Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) starts to worry about the pain and damage that travelling along the mycelial network aboard the Discovery is doing to the tartigrade christened Ripper, Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) is captured by the Klingons and finds himself sharing a cell with Lt. Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) – who has a less than desirable connection with L’Rell (Mary Chieffo) – and Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson).

Wilson is fun, and engaging in the role, though even now, I’m not sure how I feel about the character’s appearance in the series.

With Lorca held prisoner, Saru (Doug Jones) assumes command and attempts to track him down, and this causes some intense dialogue between him and Burnham, as well as the character showing that he’s a stronger captain than one initially thought because of his threat ganglia.

There are some solid character moments, especially for Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Dr. Culber (Wilson Cruz). Admiral Cornwell (Jayne Brook) makes a welcome appearance, and we learn more about the war effort, and how much Lorca doesn’t care for her, and that have a history together. And through Mudd, we learn more of Lorca’s backstory, and what kind of person he is.

With the tartigrade arc, Stamets and Burnham attempt to find a better way to use the spore drive without limiting Discovery’s mission and recovering Lorca.

And in a questionable highlight, this is the first Trek episode to make use of the f-word.

Choose Your Pain

Captain’s log: December, 2256

Joe Menosky and Ted Sullvan pen this episode that first aired on 22 October, 2017.

Lt. Ash Tyler conjures curiosity with his arrival aboard the Discovery, while Lorca finds herself questioned by Cornwell, and Sarek (James Frain) reaches out to Burnham for assistance, which brings back memories for her.

On his way to a possible peace meeting with a faction of Klingons, Sarek finds himself the victim of a suicide bomber from a Vulcan group of logic extremists. Connect by his katra and a mind meld conducted when Burnham was a child, he reaches out to her subconsciously, and she, along with Ash and Tilly (Mary Wiseman) take a shuttle to find him.

Using the tenuous spiritual connection to track him, Micheal relives what for both her and Sarek were defining moments, and consequently gives us interesting new spins on both characters. In fact there is a lot of character work for Burnham in this episode.

There is also a much stronger indication of Lorca’s pathological mentality after an encounter with Cornwall, which leads to some revelations, which put his command of Discovery in jeopardy.

A danger that is momentarily avoided when Cornwall assumes Sarek’s role in the peace talks, and finds herself walking into a Klingon trap.

In terms of continuity we get a look at a training section on the Discovery that works a lot like a holodeck. We get a mention of Burnham’s younger brother, Spock, but no mention of her older brother, Sybok and Tilly is intent on working towards a captaincy, while her friendship with Micheal grows.

The Human Adventure continues next Tuesday as I explore more of the first season of Star Trek: Discovery, now available on blu-ray from Paramount Canada.

Boldly go…



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