Susan Arendt of the Continue podcast joins us to review the second season of Star Trek: Discovery! We swoon over Anson Mount, relate to the Spock/Burnham dynamic, consider Tilly’s character development, grow nostalgic for the Enterprise, lament the inevitable malice of Control, theorize the future of the show, review the Spider-Man musical, and smash the patriarchy.
The second season finale of Discovery has finally landed, offering plenty of space battles and fisticuffs that didn’t live up to their potential. The episode also tied up plenty of loose threads, but it left few hanging for us to get an idea of what to expect in the next season.
But we loved the dialogue and the characters, as always, with questions raised and answered in director Olatunde Osunsanmi’s behind-the-scenes diary, an interview with season three co-showrunner Michelle Paradise, and even the non-canon TNG novel Dark Mirror.
Ken and Bri bring you this wealth of lore in our season finale recap!
The second season’s penultimate episode is a long, drawn-out affair with many ponderous, redundant speeches and reflections — making it one of Ken’s favorite of the season! Bri was less receptive, perhaps due to time travel giving her a headache. We swoon over the Enterprise and reflect on the characters’ inner monologues and heartfelt goodbyes while looking forward to a trip to the future.
Ken & Bri are joined by Jessica Janiuk to discuss the antepenultimate episode of Discovery’s second season. Anson Mount elevates himself to "Best Star Trek Captain Ever" with his performance after learning Captain Pike’s future. We ponder the warm yet complex family dynamics of Spock, Amanda, Michael, Georgiou, Dr. Burnham, and even Saru, and we have more theories about how time travel and "Calypso" will tie into the season finale. Check out The Ready Room for more insight right from Pike himself!
Dr. Burnham is alive! The possibility of having back a lost parent struck Ken, making this a difficult episode for not just Michael. But can Georgiou stand the competition for Michael’s affection? Meanwhile, the possibility of CONTROL being precursor to the Borg seems plausible but unlikely. Will the Sphere data fall into the wrong hands — or will Discovery use it to create a benevolent A.I. 950 years in the future? There’s a bonus time-travel reference to Chrono Trigger in this week’s special episode of Transporter Lock that, for the first time ever, eliminates the physical distance between its two hosts!
Before finally learning the identity of the Red Angel, we have some difficult scenes to get through. Burnham’s decision reminds Ken of his own life-and-death ordeal, and the temporal mechanics give both of us a headache. On the bright side, Airiam’s funeral gives us hope that Doug Jones’ singing will be on the Discovery Season 2 soundtrack; we love Georgiou encouraging us to escape binary thinking; and we totally caught this tie-in to Voyager. Stay tuned for a post-credit sequence where we theorize the return of a classic Trek villain!
Does anyone else need a hug? Michael and Spock fight over chess, and though he doesn’t finish his stratagem, the argument hit close to home with Ken but missed the mark with only-child Bri. The minefield brought back memories of Star Trek Beyond and how susceptible starships are to physical warfare. And Airiam, whom we came to know too late in the season, nonetheless bid a desperate farewell that left us breathless. We were nonetheless left with a general sense of confusion: has nobody in Starfleet ever seen the Terminator movies?!
Burnham is caged in the menagerie of Spock’s mind! The Talosians stand in for us viewers, conveniently wanting to learn how these two siblings became estranged. Airiam and Section 31 are pitted against Discovery and the Red Angel in a temporal game of chess. Meanwhile, Captain Georgiou ports over some Terran tech while Discovery relies on outdated SQL databases. (Are they MySQL? MongoDB? Redis?! We need to know!!). Ken and Bri ponder these points while empathizing with Burnham’s shame and Culber’s pain. 😢
A probe from the future that threatens humanity? That’s V’ger. A temporal visitor changing the past? That’s the Temporal Cold War. Burnham knocking out Georgiou to get her way? That’s the Discovery pilot. Big-brained aliens? That’s the Star Trek pilot. But how do they all tie together?! Every answer raises new questions, and Ken and Bri do their best to puzzle their way through.
Later this month, come meet us at PAX East (March 28–31 in Boston, Mass.)! Ken will be moderating the panels “The Art of Craft: Inspiring Game Creations” and “The Return of Couch Play“, while Bri will be on the panel “A Discussion of Women in Esports“. She also hosts the show Pulse Bomb Ready on the new Overwatch website Blink and Recall!
The USS Discovery violates an alien homeworld, circumvents the ruling government, and conducts an unauthorized medical experiment on a pre-warp civilization. But it’s cool, because Saru can fire needles out of his head now! We debate the ethics and legality of this gross violation of General Order One, aka The Prime Directive. Sabriel also has a theory about the identity of the Red Angel that absolutely blows Ken’s mind. All this and more on this week’s Transporter Lock!