Wednesday, November 1, 2017

What I’m Watching: Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery: Season 1, Episode 7 “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad” (B)

Anthony Rapp has been in the news all week for his identification of Kevin Spacey as the actor who made a sexual advance on him when he was fourteen. He was also a very big part of this episode, with Lieutenant Stamets’ link to the spore drive making him an invaluable savior of the ship and all its crew. It seems to be almost a requirement for shows either set in space or some other science fiction construct to feature episodes that deal with repeating the same day or block of time over and over again, and I didn’t find this hour to be as strong as the recent “Dark Matter” spotlight of the same subject. A big part of why I didn’t love this episode is that I wasn’t a fan of Mud the first time we saw him, and having him back here as a man who, over and over again, disintegrated Captain Lorca and self-destructed the ship, only to be reunited with his somewhat clingy, somewhat scary love with barely any consequences for his many acts of temporary murder. I’m also not sure that we’re familiar enough with many of our characters to spend only a few splintered moments with them and then rejoin them when they don’t remember any of it, and their development suffers as a result. Why a dance like this would happen on a starship with officers present is puzzling to me, though maybe I don’t know enough about military culture in general, and the awkward conversations between Ash and Michael were pretty uncomfortable and not all that informative. I do like Tilly and hope that we see her featured more going forward. As long as we never have to see Mud again. I think I’ll have to rewatch some of “The Office” to be fond of Rainn Wilson again.

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