15 is such an odd number for a season, right? Seasons either have my preferred 13 max or the dreadful 22+ format. It’s like they didn’t want to do “just” 13 episodes, but then one of the higher ups called to let them know, that 20-26 wasn’t going to happen either.

Anyway, what I enjoyed most about the episode, was them being on another, “strange new world”. It was an interesting place to see and the crew had to interact with unknown situations and characters. I liked it. I thought it was beautiful how Burnham realizes that this place is a home too, even if it’s unfamiliar to people from Starfleet. The show usually does a good job at obfuscating, that most of it takes place on the Discovery.
Tilly’s antics were a lot of fun, as always, although they felt a little bit out of place, during a “I could be killed any second” mission.
I was overall surprised they didn’t decide to be more “blow-upy” in the finale – instead they opted to double down on their Star Trek ethics. So I guess this season has been a journey towards them – nice save.
The resolution of the Klingon war arc felt a little bit too convenient for me, I don’t see why/how L’Rell would manage to remain in a leadership position, when she had to use a bomb to get there. It’s like a gun with only one bullet in it. As soon as this threat is dealt with, the other Klingons could easily get rid of her after all.

And speaking of convenience, Burnham’s record being expunged… Sure, you can do that, but everyone still knows what happened, even if the files are blank now. Remember how even every single criminal on that initial prison transport knew all about Burnham? Starfleet’s first mutineer? This wouldn’t wipe her perceived infamy from everyone’s mind. Especially not for people who don’t know her personally. I see it as an attempt to fix their retcon (Spock was called the first mutineer years later), but for all those reasons (and more) this just doesn’t work.

It’s somehow sad and strange that (in Star Trek) apparently nothing will ever be as iconic as the Enterprise. I like Discovery (the series) now, I don’t love it, but I definitely like it. I think it’s a good show (especially for a first season, in Trek those used to stink :P) and yet they constantly feel the need to rely on getting some “buzz” from previous Trek glory. I’ve always been complaining how e.g. Burnham really didn’t need to be Spock’s sister to become a compelling character. And that, at least to me, it almost does the opposite. Since everyone knows it’s just a retcon, she actually might have been better off without this baggage. btw: Can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen with Captain Pike and the Enterprise next season (no one was shown in the end because they haven’t cast these people yet, right?). :P

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I really liked the show and can only recommend it. I only have minor nitpicks which didn’t affect my overall enjoyment very much. The books are unknown to me. This too might have helped more than hindered my enjoyment – come to think of it. Book readers often have certain expectations, or have already made up their minds how something would look and are disappointed if the show’s creators decided differently.

My biggest “problem” was probably how copied minds were treated as being immortal. I don’t know if this was ignored by design or if it stems from an extremely different viewpoint than mine. For this bit it might have actually been interesting to know the books, just to learn if they handled this differently.
If someone copies my mind and then kills me, I’m just dead – the fact that there is still a copy of my mind doesn’t change that. Before I would call something actual immortality, I would have to be something like a vampire – same mind/body just without an expiration date. Apparently no one in the whole world of Altered Carbon feels this way about this. Weird!

In one case the show reminded me of the movie Demolition Man, in which criminals are frozen and unfrozen at some later point in the future. I always thought this was so idiotic, since this sounds like a favor, not a punishment to me. I would be happy to live in a much better future than in the shitty past. Who wouldn’t?!? Altered Carbon does a very similar thing. Criminals are kept without a body for a time and then get a new one. This time without a body is then supposed to be their punishment/sentence. So all that happens to them is that they wake up at a later date. Uhm… I really don’t get how this is supposed to stop anyone from being a criminal. Especially in a world were people potentially and supposedly can live forever, they should have completely different punishments for crime. Some examples are even in the show, loss of status and wealth, or a recoded stack which prevents people from getting a new body, after their current one fails/dies. But no one seems to notice this.

Now I’m already at the minor nitpicks I mentioned. The first one has to be that the protagonist is brought back into the world after 250 years. He is then attacked and tortured with the newest/latest tech, but every single time he is perfectly trained for each scenario. So the tech didn’t progress much or at all in 250 years? Because if it had, he couldn’t possibly know about it and be prepared for it. He needs no time to acclimate himself.

My favorite character on the show is obviously Ortega and at some point she gets an artificial arm. This arm makes her super strong and it’s also extremely durable (it can deflect swords/whatever). Now this is completely crazy to me. As far as I know from the show, she is the only person the audience ever meets who has such an artificial arm. So I’m to believe, that although this technology exists, almost no one is using it?!? Why not? The show even focuses on the richest people in this world and yet all of them seem to have completely normal bodies. I would expect that especially all the super-rich people would have nothing but those artificial super-limbs! There is just no scenario in which it makes sense that they would not do this, especially since they are frequently shown as fighting their own battles. The final “boss” they fight, never would have lost the battle, if she just would have had these super-limbs. Or is this why? They aren’t using them just so the plot still “works”? That would be quite disappointing.

Probably my second favorite character on the show is, again obviously, the AI. Of course this AI is killed at some point and quite easily at that. All that was necessary, was a device looking like a TV remote. So absolutely everyone could do it, really. And of course this AI is dead for good. So in a world where even humans can and do back up their minds in the cloud, AIs can’t do it? Why the hell not? This makes absolutely no sense. Sorry.

The next powerful technology that is somehow used “wrong” in this show is VR. Their VR is so good, it can create everything and it always seems real. This negates the need to have a lot of things in real life. Just imagine the possibilities. They are endless. And yet there are never any VR junkies… This is the first thing that would happen if such a technology existed. As if this wasn’t extreme enough, the AI demonstrates that time can be altered in the simulation, minutes can then seem like months, which almost is its own form of “immortality”.

Pretty much right away, the “immortal” people in this world are portrayed as “all-powerful”, above the law and so on. Untouchable essentially. Even people who just work for them can just roll into the police station at any time and order the police chief around and he has to take it. And yet, in the end one of these “all-powerful immortals” is simply arrested by the police like anyone else. The fuck?!? This contradicted everything this show was setting up from the beginning. It was way too convenient, that the untouchable guy just became very touchable from one moment to the next. :D Things that were supposedly impossible in this world became possible again all of a sudden, so that everything could be wrapped up in a nice little bow. After all, the mythology of the show didn’t appear that solid to me.

The guy they arrested was drugged while he killed someone. Shouldn’t this be a mitigating factor when he is sentenced? I would expect that, since he most likely wouldn’t have done it otherwise. His wife, who drugged him, is arrested too, but as far as I recall not for drugging her husband, which (again) made him kill someone. This is quite the oversight, I have to say.

btw: I liked the visuals a lot, shows didn’t look like this just 2 years ago. It reminded me of Ghost in the Shell (yeah yeah, the story was weaker than the anime, but it still looked fantastic).

Will Discovery ever have a Captain from its own universe?

This episode continued to reinforce my impression that they gather feedback and have it influence their episodes, which are still in post (which they seem to handle well at least so far, because I happen to like it more and more). They really just seem to address a ton of nitpicks people have or had. I always thought it odd, that they were essentially on (what felt like) an “abandoned ship”. For example, in earlier episodes Dr. Culber was usually alone in sickbay, as if there was no other medical staff on the ship.

In the beginning of this episode, there were almost constantly announcements audible in the background and there were extras everywhere e.g. repairing things… while Burnham was walking around. I don’t think they ever did that to this degree. It was so “intense” that it (again) almost felt as if it was designed to finally shut up people like me. :D There also finally was another medical doctor talking to one of the named characters. :P
I easily can go on listing things they specifically addressed, which I found odd earlier. Lorca for example. I had to ask myself during the last episode, why they didn’t mention Lorca’s fate at all. Well now they did. Although, I thought their explanation was strange. According to this latest adventure, everyone traveling between these universes, also causes their counterpart to be swapped out. Really? I don’t think the mirror-universe was ever explained this way before.

I remember from Deep Space Nine that the counterparts were usually dead, when the protagonists traveled over, but this was primarily due to keeping production costs low. There are even scenes in which Kira meets her counterpart face to face – she wasn’t swapped out so Kira could travel to the mirror-universe…

Also, Admiral Cornwell’s statement, that a lone Starfleet officer could never survive the mirror-universe, might just mean they are keeping their options open. It’s one of the oldest rules, that someone doesn’t have to be dead, as long as their death scene wasn’t shown and it’s silly of Cornwell to just come to that conclusion without any proof. They certainly took their time showing mirror-Lorca’s death, to make it unambiguous. So maybe Lorca will return as some sort of “badass” in Season 5. :P

But enough with the good stuff. :P The episode also added again to what I always perceived as its biggest problem, namely placing it 10 years before Kirk. 99% of problems I have with the show would go away if it just would have taken place ~50 years after Voyager. Minimal re-write necessary. “We” all know that the Federation wasn’t almost completely wiped out by the Klingons just a few short years before Kirk. But that’s exactly what STD is trying to tell us. And if they pull a plot device at the end that negates everything that happened so far, it won’t save anything. :D

PS: The crew deciding to sit with Tyler in the mess hall was a nice Star Trek moment. This too should shut up people who regret STD’s departure from what Star Trek originally was. The same is true for Tilly’s (probably my favorite character on the show) conversation about fighting the darker impulses in all of us. At least they seem aware of this and are trying to give us something. :D

For a while I’ve been wondering about the robot lady on the bridge of the Discovery, with her having such an elaborate (and good-looking) mask/makeup and what not, while she never has had a single line and I don’t even know her name. And I’m one of these people who know 99% of names on Game of Thrones. :P

But with 1×13 things have changed. The world will never be the same! She finally talked! And it’s not just that it’s eerie, that everything I complain about actually happens the next episode – what stuck out to me was the way this was done. I was immediately reminded of M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Sixth Sense” with Bruce Willis, because her scene had the feeling of something that was later added in during post-production. Just like it was done with Bruce Willis, being a ghost in The Sixth Sense, no one ever looked at her when she said something, or reacted to her in any way. So it’s totally feasible this was just the production staff reacting to fan feedback, adding her in last minute. :P

Oh and of course she has a robot voice. Is it racist, to assume someone must have a robot voice, just because they have a robot face? :P And if you have the technology to make your voice sound any way you like, would you still give yourself a robot voice? I honestly don’t think so! :P

Also, what happened to non-mirror-universe Lorca? Is it just an oversight, that this was never even brought up? Was it something deemed entirely unimportant? Or are they deliberately keeping their options open to return to it in the future (no pun intended)?

PS: I thought Rise of the Robots… uhm never mind, was a better title. :)

PPS: This is the robot lady without her grey makeup. :P

I told you so. :P But seriously, although most “twists” were very predictable so far, I won’t hold it against STD, because at least it means they don’t just throw random shit at the screen but are actually building towards something. And honestly, everyone should prefer that. It makes me feel like I’m on a real journey and I want to know now where it’s going. :)

So Lorca is the Mirror-Lorca and has always been the mirror-version, right? Does this even still count as a prediction?
The “mirror story” is that their version died/vanished during an attempt on the emperor’s life (shouldn’t the title be empress?!?) and then was never found. The explanation obviously is, that he somehow ended up in “our” universe and became Captain of the Discovery.
Lorca has this eye-condition, but it’s never revealed which accident gave him this injury, they especially never show that. So this incident was when he failed to assassinate the empress, right? Also, he said he refused medical treatment for his eyes – out of fear he would be found out?
After Lorca spends the night with Admiral Cornwell, she says stuff like “don’t even know you/you seem different”… And the short war they are in with the Klingons couldn’t have changed him that much, so…

When they took Lorca to the torture chambers he seemed to know a little bit too much about what was waiting for him.

Other than that, there’s not much to say, he always behaved more like a villain on the show and the way he hired Ash Tyler on the crew was pretty much like Captains select their own personal guards in the mirror universe.

So the real Lorca is probably dead.

Also don’t forget this chamber full of weapons he has collected. Really weird for a Starfleet Captain, but super normal for anyone in the MIRROR-UNIVERSE.

I feel like they laid out all these bread crumbs. I will be really surprised if this doesn’t happen!

Ah, Dishonored… Is the architecture and level design of these games the best in the industry, or just very close to that? I don’t know. It’s the best part of these games in any case. The worst part however (sorry!), must be how they always dump a single, short scene at the end and then go right into the ending credits. Those games are definitely all about the journey, not the destination. While this is anything but uncommon in the realm of gaming, this absolutely has to be the worst part of these games. I love these screens that are shown at the end of each mission, giving a summary of everything that took place in YOUR playthrough. The most intriguing section probably is “special actions”. So in one of the Death of the Outsider missions I saved a witch from her prison cell and you can meet her again in the same level outside sitting on a chair – but that’s it. You’ll never meet her again and nothing further will change anywhere. Everything will be as if you didn’t do that. Now I understand that it’s very expensive to reflect player actions and choices in a game, but this is the only big thing where all the Dishonored games really drop the ball. After spending many extra hours sneaking and not killing anybody (obviously you can end the game in a fraction of the time if you just kill everything), I want more than a short clip at the end, saying “Yeah you got the good ending BYE!”. It’s frustrating. I want a real payoff. I deserve one! :P A proper epilogue, at least, is not too much to ask!

But more specific to the Death of the Outsider, I found the idea so odd. Why would anyone want to kill the guy? Without him giving Corvo these powers, he never would have been able to survive the events of Dishonored 1 or at least to have a meaningful impact. He also always gives these insightful hints. That’s pretty cool, right?
The only thing I ever wanted in regards to the Outsider, was a little bit more info on him. And, shocker, this is exactly what this expansion didn’t give me. Instead there is this premise I didn’t really buy into and then it only leads to the typical 30 sec Dishonored ending scene. Great! The thing I want now, what they’ll obviously never do, is have us play the Outsider in the next Dishonored game. Retconning everything is even a Dishonored tradition (they’ve done it in every sequel, at least to a certain degree), so this wouldn’t be a showstoppper.
Spoilers: The only thing I learned about the Outsider in Death of the Outsider, was that some cult performed some ritual on the Outsider, but I still have no idea why and why he was chosen. There is also no information on who he was or anything else that might have been actually interesting (the sole reveal they tease a bit, his name, they completely chicken out of). It’s a complete cop out on anything story related. The game is as bad in telling any kind of meaningful story, as it is good in world-building and creating an enticing atmosphere. The people who hacked all these notes together should have been able to come up with some sort of rudimentary story. Okay, I guess they kinda did, with an emphasis on the rudimentary.
This game was also the first entry in the series which deemed it necessary to call itself Dishonored®: Death of the Outsider™ instead of just Dishonored: Death of the Outsider. Yay! :D

btw: The graphics really impressed me. Incredible textures all throughout. Breathtaking art everywhere. Someone should do a Dishonored museum with only paintings from this game. [1] In one scene I thought for a second there might be some decal stuck in the air in front of me, but it turned out I was under a tree and its leaves were falling… And let’s not forget the lighting effects, those were pristine. Best I ever saw in a game, I think. [2]

PS: The “void leaking into the world” part was “strongly reminding” me of BioShock Infinite. There was only Elizabeth missing making a comment about it. :P

PPS: OWLS! What’s up with the owls?!? A reference to Blade Runner? An inside joke? Did I miss something?

[1] Part of the Dishonored 2 exhibit at the Art Ludique

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dishonored_2#Release

[2] Arkane removed unneeded elements from the engine like the mini open world and overhauled the graphics. The new engine is intended to improve in-game lighting and post-processing to help the game’s visuals, and allows the game to visualize subsurface scattering.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dishonored_2#Development

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