Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Wrongest Take, Alex Jones, & Good Trek #54 Good Trek Discovery: Despite Myself & The Wolf Inside

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.

My job is to read comments on the internet all day. It’s a pretty good job. It’s a weird job. The thing about internet comments is that most of the people who feel the need to get their comments out there are dumb and wrong. Not their fault. Not everyone can be right. Someone has to be wrong. It's certainly not going to be me so why not them?

My favorite wrong comment this week was about how people protesting the flag have ruined professional sports. His comment was “I won’t miss the NFL or NBA. Two elite sports in the tank! They became too politicized. I have witnessed the manipulation and indoctrination of both elite sports. I’m done with the propaganda. So long suckers!! I don’t want to be one! If it wasn’t for a plethora of Libs, the NBA would be as popular as little black bumps that won’t wash off in the shower!”

That’s a dumb thing to say. That's a dumb thing to say that was said in an even dumber way. This dude’s point is that if it weren’t for the half the country that watches the NBA then they wouldn’t be nearly as popular as they are. I guess he’s right, but in a way that only a dumb person can be. You think that people aren’t watching basketball or football anymore because they’ve become too political. That’s fine. I’m pretty sure that sports continue to do fine. Regardless of whether people are angry about football players kneeling during The National Anthem or basketball players telling bums that they’re bums. 

My favorite revelation of these flag protests has got to be that Alex Jones, noted piece of shit, was vehemently against the flag protests. That’s a ballsy stand for a guy like that to take. This is a guy who both thinks that Sandy Hook was a false flag and that people shouldn’t criticize the government. That’s an odd Venn Diagram of a person. You think that the government did Sandy Hook, and you also think that there’s no reason one should ever take it to task. That leads me to believe that he’s of the position that the government routinely orchestrates false flags to control us and that they’re doing a bang-up job. 

You, Mr. Jones, can’t think of one way in which the government can improve? Because if all your crazy horse shit is correct then I can think of at least one. I’m thinking that maybe they could improve, at the very least, in a way in which they don’t pretend that dozens of children have died in attacks as a means of taking away firearms? Right? That’s a definite area of improvement that we could all reach consensus on. I hope for a world where the government can just lead us into shitty wars without lying about 9-11. I hope for a world where people and frogs alike can live out whatever sexual orientation they’re born with without the government using water fluoridation to make us one way or the other. But that’s just me. Maybe I’m a dreamer. 

In addition to that, I watched two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery. One was great. One, less so. 

Recap:

The Discovery finds itself…somewhere. It doesn’t know where exactly, but it looks like a battle has just taken place. Lots of blown up Klingon ships. Nothing looks familiar. it’s all pretty screwy. Where could they possibly be?

They could save time figuring out where they were if they just watched old episodes of Star Trek


Turns out that they didn’t just jump in space but through dimensions. They are in what we Trek people know as the dark mirror universe. Where a lot is the same, but everyone is evil. Since Stamets’ brain is fried they’re going to need to figure a way to get home that doesn't involve a spore drive. They learn that another Federation ship has made the trip before. The Defiant. If they figure out what happened there they can maybe find a way back to the proper universe. 

A more believable evil universe would have everyone rocking a soul patch

They try to get Burnham back to the Shinzou where she’s the captain in this universe. She brings Lorca with her because he’s a wanted criminal and Tilly is the captain of Discovery here. Also, Tyler is evil now I guess. He’s a secret Klingon and snaps the doc’s neck before going to the Shinzou with Burnham. Not cool, bro. 

Great character development, Culbert. Really looking forward to watching your character going forward!

While trying to get the info on the Defiant back to Saru, Burnham has an idea. That if she has a chance to talk with the Klingon leader she’ll be able to figure out how he’s able to keep a coalition together of a disparate group of races. Seems like a stupid plan, but here we are. 

So there's a Starfleet test for being brainwashed but not one for having literally all your organs and bones replaced with a different species?

She meets mirror Sarek who, of course, has a stupid goatee. Because that’s what evil is I guess. Goatees. Talks to the Klingon leader who is the mirror Tyler, but is a Klingon, because I guess our Tyler switched brains I guess. I don’t know. I’m getting a little lost to be perfectly honest. Tyler remembers who he is and freaks out. Putting the whole operation at risk. But Burnham is still able to strike a deal with mirror Voq/Tyler but the dark mirror emperor comes and blows up the rebels anyhow. Also, the emperor is the mirror version of  Captain Georgiou. Because of course it is. That’s where we left off. They go to put Tyler to death for attacking Burnham and she slyly puts the information on the Defiant in his pocket before beaming him into space where Discovery beams him back. So he’s not dead and now Saru & Co. have the information they need. 

A shit ton more happened, but I’m trying to keep this as brief as possible. 

Good Trek?

Yes and no. I loved the first episode, Despite Yourself. Probably my second favorite episode so far. The Wolf Inside I liked a lot less. 

Captain Killy making me go through feelings I haven't since T'Pol went through Pon farr

I figured out that this was in the Dark Mirror universe pretty early on. Soon as that Vulcan ship fired on Discovery it was pretty obvious to anyone who’d been paying attention. I’m not a huge fan of the dark mirror universe as a plot device. It’s not as bad the holodeck, but I don’t usually care for it. The first episode was great. I like mirror Tilly learning about her alternate badass self. I loved Burnham struggling with her brutal alternate self and what she’d have to do to fit in within her new surroundings. Not a huge fan of Lorca so far, but it fits in with his character just how far he’ll go for his mission. Willingly subjecting himself to a device called the agonizer because he knows he has to. I loved watching the character stretch out and get used to their new, less than ideal surroundings. It was great. Unfortunately, the plots of these episodes really fucked things up for me. 
:(

Jesus Christ. The end of the first episode. Just watching Lorca writhe in pain in the agonizer both. This is the first series I can remember where the dark mirror universe is treated with some gravity. It was a good enough scene to get me to forget what a silly plot device the dark mirror universe is. 

Dr. Culber is dead. I guess so is Stamets but not really. And Tyler is Voq. A lot of twists. Maybe too many. I didn’t think too much of fan theories. Don’t get me wrong, I like yelling about Trek in a bar setting as much as anyone. But when it comes to sitting on the internet and endlessly about what may happen seems a little weird to me. There’s just gonna tell you in a week or so. Calm down and just watch them, folks. I’d heard rumblings of the “Tyler is Voq” fan theory and thought it was dumb. Now that I’ve seen it play out I know that I was right. It’s dumb. I’m glad that they didn’t kill him off, but I still don’t like it. I was liking Tyler and I was liking the relationship between Tyler and Burnham. And now they've completely thrown it out the window. 

I’ve shit on the doctor for being a nothing character before. I changed my mind. Then they killed him. What the hell? I think that Despite Myself was the first episode that they gave the character anything to do aside from spew exposition and be Stamets’ significant other. Finally, we get to see the doctor do some doctoring and I think it was pretty good. He shows the signs of stress of having to worry about Stamets. There’s some real tension between him and Lorca. Both of whom make good points about whether he can do his job. So here I am just getting to really like the guy and he’s immediately fucking killed. Come on. This is a great show, but it really needs to pump the breaks with dispatching characters just as I’m really starting to get to know and like them. The got rid of Captain Georgiou just as I was getting invested in her and Burnham. The original chief of security was someone I was looking forward to getting to know before she was unceremoniously dispatched. I don’t even think I got her name. Now, the doctor. Tyler isn’t dead, but his previous character is.
I love how they made Tilly the captain of Mirror Discovery. It’s just another funny ay that Discovery is good at fucking with traditional conventions. The mirror universe is so goddamn silly. It always seems a little dumb that not only does everyone still exist in an opposite universe but they all pretty much have the same jobs. Of course Tilly would be the captain in the opposite universe. I’ve heard she’s a pretty divisive character, but I just love her. Sarek has a goatee in the mirror universe. Because of course he does. 

All in all, I liked both these episodes but they’re still very frustrating. This is very cinematic Trek. I mean that as both a compliment and my biggest gripe. Trek does best when it has a chance to breathe. We don’t get a whole lot of chances to breathe with this show. It goes from twist to turn to universe to new ship so quickly. I still don’t really feel like I know a lot of the characters. I want to see more scenes of Tilly and Burnham jogging. I want to see Stamets and Culbert having dinner and fighting about how the spore drive has changed Stamets. My favorite episodes have been the ones that haven’t really been advancing the larger narrative, but just letting us get to know everyone a little bit better. Maybe take a break from the war. Little shore leave maybe. Is Risa a thing yet? Let’s all go to Risa for an episode or two and relax. 

Better Trek? 

The ENT two-parter In a Mirror, Darkly is one of the better ENT episodes. It’s nowhere near as good as Despite Myself but it’s probably better than Wolf In The Fold. Also, I just watched it again recently and even though it wasn’t nearly as good as I remember, it was still pretty solid. I watched it with my wife and she most certainly did not think it was good Trek. But she’s wrong. It’s solid. Give it a watch.

That being said, the opening credits of ENT’s Mirror, Darkly is really fun. Plus, since it’s a two-parter and we get a chance to get to know the mirror counterparts which is cool. Mirror counterparts are usually just shown to contrast the normal universe with. It's nice to get to know them as the characters we've gotten to know reacting to an entirely different universe. It also tells the story of the Defiant. The ship that the Discovery folks are doing whatever they can to find out all they can about. 

Worse Trek?

The TNG novel Dark Mirror. I read it because my friend thought I’d enjoy reading a really garbage Trek book. I read it. I did not enjoy it. It was garbage. I read dozens of those Trek novels when I was a kid. Most of them are really bad. 


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