Friday, November 3, 2017

10/31/17 Already Forgot & Good Trek/Bad Trek #44 Discovery: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

Intro: I’ve loved Star Trek since I was a kid. I started by watching TNG in 6th grade. I’ve been a fan since then and though I’ve spent a lot of time watching Star Trek, I’ve never watched The Original Series. So, I’m watching and reviewing them as a fan of Star Trek, but one who’s never seen any of them. So I’m watching all the TOS episodes for the first time and saying whether or not they suck. At the end, I give examples of better and/or worse Star Trek episodes to watch that remind me of this episode. Usually, I ramble on about some bullshit before the Trek. That’s it.

Not sure if you guys are news hounds like I am, but there was a terrorist attack in New York this past week. I’m sure you heard about it, but on the off chance that you didn’t, a dude rented a truck and drove it on a popular bike path. I live in New York and I ride a bike in New York. I don’t often ride that path but I have on more than a few occasions so it was weird to see it on the news as a crime scene. I heard that people had died on the Westside Greenway and at first I just assumed that a shitty driver was trying to avoid traffic and killed a bunch of people as a means of getting to where they wanted to get a few minutes earlier. Because that happens a lot.

I was pissed off by the response. I wasn’t really surprised but I was pissed off. I live in New York. I also routinely ride a bike in New York. As a New York bike rider, I can say that even without the threat of terror attacks like this one, cars and trucks are pretty goddamn terrifying. Right after the whole attack, I was riding my bike to an open mic in Bushwick. A ride about 8 miles away from my place in Queens. As I was riding in a bike lane a cop in a car used the bike lane to pass several cars just so he could catch up with another car who was driving like an asshole so as to ask him what sized engine he had in his stupid asshole car. Yeah, I know there’s a lot of difference in terms of intent here. But for fuck’s sake, cop. It’s, at the very least, bad optics. 

You know how big a piece of shit you have to be to be driving in a bike lane minutes after eight people were murdered that very way? I guarantee you if you were to try walking through Las Vegas carrying a bunch of automatic weapons you are, at the very very least, gonna get a few cross glances. People might even call the cops on you. Because a bunch of people were just murdered that way and behaving in the exact same way makes you look like a piece of shit. Which is what that cop looked like. A huge piece of shit. For the record between that trip to Bushwick and between riding through three boroughs yesterday, I saw a lot of shit-head behavior in a lot of bike lanes. This guy was just the shittiest. 

There’s always all kinds of shitty responses to shit like this. Whenever there’s a terror attack that uses anything but guns these idiots come out of the woodwork saying, oh well looks like this guy used a truck to attack all these people. Maybe we should be looking at truck control. How come there’s not a waiting period to get a truck, you liberals. Maybe they need to have the government step in to make sure that nobody can get access to a truck. And to that, I say that’s a damn good idea. We let sixteen-year-olds drive in this country. That’s a bad idea. We shouldn’t let sixteen-year-olds do anything and definitely not command multiple tons of steel near where other people are. I’m sorry teenagers, you’ll just have to find another place to get blown. 

Cars and trucks are terrifying. I don’t know why we let people have them at all let alone to the degree to which we let them have them. There are way too many cars in this city. We’d be so much better off if we destroyed like 90% them. I know a lot of this is clouded by the fact that I live in a dense urban area. I’m sure if I lived in rural Montana I’d have a much different view of cars. Some cars are fine. But as a guy who does live in a city, cars fucking suck. This isn’t an environment thing either because that ship has sailed so who really gives a shit anymore. The oceans are coming for us so might as well just rent water world and find a nice turtleneck to hide your new gills. 

Terrorist attacks are used to shake people’s faith in an institution. 9-11 Made people afraid to fly. Or in my case much more so. The terror attack in Vegas made folks unsure if they were really safe while just having fun at an outdoor concert. Luckily cyclists already felt like they were being shat on all the time so we get to take this one in stride. Because it just kicked us when we were already down. It’s not like we get any kind of respect as it is. We’re already constantly getting run down as it is. People treat us like shit. The NYPD would rather kick a cyclist in the face that ticket any piece of shit that decides to run us down. At least in the case of this being a terror at, ack we can be confident in knowing that they might at least prosecute the guy. Given the NYPD’s track record in dealing with cyclists death I’m a little surprised he wasn’t dragged from his truck and given a fifty dollar ticket for failure to yield which would get thrown out of court anyhow. 

One thing I’ll tell that didn’t further shake my faith in an American institution and that was this week’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery. It was solid as shit. 


Boy oh boy, we got ourselves a time loop episode. That and Harry Mudd is back. And this time I’m really liking Rain Wilson’s take on him. Mudd has a little device that helps him relive time as many times as he wants. He’s using it to keep Discovery in a 30-minute time loop. He gets as many chances as he can to take over the ship and sell it to the Klingons, who desperately want the only ship in Starfleet that’s been kicking their asses. 
I applaud the makers of Discovery for not using Fight For Your Right To Party for this scene

There’s a catch with his little plan though because of Chief Engineer Paul Stamets, due to him fuzing his DNA with a space tardigrade (???) in a previous episode somehow exists outside of normal time. Just go with it. I'm so much happier suspending disbelief than when they try to over explain this bullshit. So he knows that time is repeating. It’s driving him a little batty. Battier than he’s been in previous episodes. 
Fun, your name is Mudd
Most of the episode is repeated scenes where Stamets is trying to convince Burnham what’s going on and Burnham is trying to get Tyler what’s going on. They also seem to fall in love a whole bunch of times throughout the many many loops. There’s also a really enjoyable scene where Mudd goes through all the ways he’s killed Captain Lorca during his many many attempts at taking over the ship. 

It's hard to pick a favorite Lorca murder scene, but being beamed in the vacuum of space wins
Spoiler alert: Burnham and co. do figure out how to thwart taking over the ship and give Mudd their own brand of justice in a nod to the ending of I, Mudd. 

Good Trek?

Oh, hell yeah. Last week’s episode, Lathe was my favorite of the new ones this one gives it it’s run for its gold pressed latinum. I’m starting to hope that war with the Klingons just stays in the background for the entirety of the series. I know it won’t, but the storylines that have dealt directly with the war have felt a little flat for me so far. The episodes where they only really talk about the war but other stuff is the main plot, like in this episode and the one before has been so much more satisfying to watch. If I never see another Klingon or one of their newfangled fake bat’leths it’ll be too soon. 
Great shot. Great scene. Great episode. 
One thing that separated this episode from the previous Mudd episode is that Rainn Wilson seemed to be having so much more fun this time. It reminded me of the Mudd from I, Mudd. Even though his plan is terrifying and he’s an awful person the episode had so much levity to it. The scene where he’s going through all the ways in which he’s murdered Lorca is a hoot. Seems off to describe a character murdering a main character over and over as a hoot, but goddamnit it was. 
The only thing that's missing is the "nagging continues" from end of I, Mudd
Speaking of characters I didn’t care for which are now growing on me is Didn’t care for the Lt. first few episodes, and I don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that he outed Kevin Spacey as an attempted child rapist, but he’s really starting to grow on me. I thought his character was a little one dimensional and grating up until now. He’s either been way too gruff and then got his DNA all screwed up and has been doing a kind of annoying hippy act. I thought both were a bit much. I like to think that the character we saw this week is the one he’s settling into because it was much less grating than either of the other iterations. 

In just about every way this episode somehow is able to manage the tightrope act of being like a classic Trek episode while at the same time having fun with old Trek conventions and cliches. I guess this is what Enterprise could’ve been if it didn’t suck so much. Even though it’s repeatedly nodding to what’s come before, it’s telling its own story with its own much different characters so well. I’ve been leery of this show, but that’s starting to go away. If even a quarter of the season is like this then I’m 100% on board. 

Time crystal. I do kind of like how they don’t try to base any of this on real science. There’s really no reason to attempt to make this jive so who give a shit. It’s a time crystal. Doesn’t make sense why it works it just does. I was half expecting a reference to the orbs from DS9, but they didn’t. Maybe we were just supposed to assume that’s where it came from. I did. I assume anyone who’s gone through DS9 probably did too. 

The bottom line is that this one was great. The last two episodes have both been really Trekey without at all feeling stale. Great Trek.

Better Trek?

This one is great. Watch it. Because it’s great. 

That being said, also watch TNG’s Cause and Effect. If you’re into time loops and thing inexplicitly repeating, and who wouldn't be because it's an awesome device, then this is a great time loop episode. In this one, the Enterprise is caught in a…TIME LOOP! It keeps on getting blowed up. Few of the folks, mostly Data are aware something is amiss, but they can’t quite figure out what’s going on or why. It’s a really cool piece of classic sci-fi. It’s just a real solid TNG. 

I know I've mentioned this one numerous times, but also watch Trials and Tribble-ations. It’s a DS9 episode that’s just pure fun. There are no time loops, but there is a time orb which I think is really the same thing as a time crystal. 

That being said, also watch TNG’s Cause and Effect. If you’re into time loops and thing inexplicitly repeating, and who wouldn't be because it's an awesome device, then this is a great time loop episode. In this one, the Enterprise is caught in a…TIME LOOP! It keeps on getting blowed up. Few of the folks, mostly Data are aware something is amiss, but they can’t quite figure out what’s going on or why. It’s a really cool piece of classic sci-fi. It’s just a real solid TNG. 

Other than that, just please don’t drive like an asshole. Cyclists have enough to worry about and we don't want to be murdered. Especially me. 


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