SPYLER! BRING YOUR SPOILERS HERE!

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I wanted to name this blog. Now it’s a Star Trek! But I wasn’t sure most of my readers would get the link to the 2017 Sketch Spock / Lost Episode of Saturday Night Live. And the more I thought about it, the last episode of STAR TREK: SKYDKOVERS Don’t forget me. It’s not just Star Trek. In many ways, it was also very similar to the M*A*S*H episode of the 1970s, and it was exactly what I had dreamed and prayed to get out of that episode.

Okay, there’s a lot to unpack…

Let’s first talk about what Star Trek is today and what it isn’t, and what it can and can’t be. The good old days of TOS and TNG are over, when Kirk was able to convince a computer to commit suicide, and everyone still got along well. In fact, the era of perfect people and perfect relationships had already disappeared when Deep Space 9 began broadcasting. And that’s good. I like to see people who have friction and problems and then see how they get along with themselves and with others. Of course I don’t want to see a completely crazy cast or crew every week, but I’m happy to see realistic people with realistic problems.

Even those who say that Orville is what Star Trek should be, should remember that Bortus has family problems, that Ed Mercer struggles with his feelings for Kelly Grayson, and that Isaac’s people are a threat to the entire galaxy. Orville isn’t your father’s Star Trek either. Oh, I’m my father. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

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So today’s Star Trek can’t be yesterday’s Star Trek. The world has changed too much. The public’s taste has changed too much. The television has changed too much. But that doesn’t mean you can fool the fans a little and still consider Star Trek. Yes, Star Trek must evolve to meet the ever-changing landscape of the public. But the question remains: Is Star Trek developing well?

Fans were divided by the answer to that question. Even I don’t agree with the answer to that question! From the first episode I had a love-hate relationship with Discovery. And I approached my problems with the show in a very specific way, not just because it violates the canon. I went into detail on criticism regarding character development, tempo, plausibility of plot elements, lack of jokes, etc. I also went into detail on criticism regarding character development, tempo, plausibility of plot elements, lack of jokes and the like. You should all know that Jonathan has already broadcast Discovery’s complaints!

But this last episode not only touched almost all my questions about the series, it also served to show what Star Trek can become, or rather, to discover what it can be, to remain a Star Trek, and reflects the more demanding, sophisticated and fickle television audience of today.

Star Trek can go… Well, uh… M*A*C*X.

Oh, not literally, of course! But remember where Discovery (Ship and Show) is today and where the doctors and nurses of the 4077th Army Mobile Surgical Hospital were on the Korean Peninsula during the eleven seasons of the Three-year War.

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Despite the fact that television began its existence as a sitcom with ridiculous titles, crazy characters and website jokes, M*A*S*H has subtly but inexorably evolved into a very mature, thoughtful show with complex and dramatic depth, intellectually compelling characters and emotionally complex themes that sometimes even tear the audience apart. It was smart, funny, sad, introspective, attentive and always fascinating: Discovery.

Of course, I’m sure the authors of Discovery didn’t consciously think of any connection to M*A*S*H, but the resemblance yelled at me when I saw this fourth episode of season four. Both groups of characters are under almost constant stress and are expected to stay together and do their work with maximum efficiency and precision… often with a life in balance! Both groups of people are far from home, very isolated and have to maintain their fighting spirit, supported by small, very local victories, often against all odds.

And most importantly, despite their seriousness and determination, the two groups of characters are NOT the ones who control the overall bad situation. American doctors and soldiers in Korea simply took part in the war; they did not declare it and had neither the authority nor the ability to stop it. The crew of Discovery was not responsible for the fire and has no real possibility to repair the galaxy … …although, in their case, they’re trying… But as in the 1978 episode of M*A*S*H Peace on Us – where an angry Hawkeye Pierce travels to Panmunj for peace talks in an attempt to end the war (and eventually fails) – viewers realize how little control the crew of Discovery here in 3189 has to correct what went wrong.

My M*A*S*H revelation came right at the beginning of the last episode of Discovery… in fact, as soon as I saw Dr. Hugh Culber trying to play ship’s advisor. And really, I don’t think Deanna Troy’s life has ever been so hard. But when I listened to her talk about the crew’s emotional struggles in an extensive introductory medical journal, I thought: This is like an episode of Sydney Friedman from M*A*C*X!

(For those of you who do not know M*A*S*H and the figure: Dr. Sydney Friedman – the late actor ALLAN ARBUS – was an army psychiatrist who visited the 4077th series a dozen times… also in the powerful 2-hour closing episode (Goodbye, Goodbye, Amen).

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Like Dr. Hugh, Dr. Freedman’s help was not always sought or welcomed, but she so often needed the help of these exhausted men and women who tried to cope with the almost daily stress of their traumatic and overwhelming lives and heal the wounded… and even the broken psyche of the wounded themselves. At the end of the last episode of Discovery, when the whole team gathered to laugh at the black and white film BUSTER KEATON in the Shuttle Bay, I thought back to some of the M*A*S*H episodes where the 4077th old black and white films will be shown. (Maybe the writers have thought of M*A*S*H again!)

Once again, for those of you who know my series of discoveries by heart, I would like to express my deepest regret that these REACT figures, despite all the challenges and failures they constantly face, are almost completely short-sighted. My favorite example is Captain Lorca who betrayed the crew and tried to destroy them. They followed this man blindly for months/years, with blind and unconditional dedication, only to discover that he was a psychopath, an illusion of greatness. And how will the crew react to Lorca’s betrayal when she returns from the mirror universe? You can’t see their reaction! In the one scene in which we get to see something, Admiral Cornwall stages an innocent bowl of cookies from Lorca’s fortune… and it’s time to move on to an exciting season finale! If only the Germans could forget Hitler and the Holocaust.

Anyway, when I saw Dr. Hugh’s introduction, I thought (not even for the first time this season) that not only did I get M*A*S*H vibes : You read my blogs. ? ???. THAT! That’s exactly what I asked!

This does not mean that every episode should be psychologically therapeutic. M*A*S*H rated Sydney Freedman generally no more than once or for up to two seasons (as Q). But often writers have to give the team (and the audience) a little breathing space! This episode was quiet – no one fired on spaceships or tried to disable malicious and sensitive computers, and even a fight ended in seconds because 1) Vibration is not cool and 2) Michael Burnham version 2.0 is totally cool.

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Speaking of Michael (I’m finally going to call him Michael because I’m weakening this character’s new direction), I really shouted a little when I saw writers jumping over the tape after the hoop and trying to explain why it’s Michael and not Dr. Culber who should be guiding Adira to the surface. After all, a doctor will have infinitely more common sense than Michael… and even the writers seemed to understand this when Hugh tried to convince Michael to take his place. Meanwhile, all I could think about was myself: Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. then why don’t you go with her? And I announced that Michael will be the one to save the day again, because, well, that’s the show. Accept it.

Later I found out why I had to get Michael off the boat. What happened at Sarah’s dinner wouldn’t have worked for Michael Burnham there. The character had to dominate the scene in front of one of his annoying and soothing conversations and smooth things out. But that’s not what the crew needs. They needed that catharsis, that Thanksgiving family experience of hell to really yell at each other and bring it all out.

The whole series of dinners was brilliant from start to finish – from Ai Saru (let’s say everything?) to the toast/mantra, from the spontaneous celebration of haiku to the collapse of Detmer. It was a moving and dramatic film, with a very good character. They grabbed Paul Stams at a much-needed stake; if Detmer hadn’t noticed, she wouldn’t have been well; they heard Tilly use the word asshole (at least that’s a small step for her usual choice to swear) and saw Sarah discover that it wasn’t as easy to be Captain Pike as it seemed.

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In Star Trek episodes (and indeed in most television episodes) there is usually the main plot A and subplot B. and sometimes a third C and/or D. In this episode they were all four. The story of C and D was both the demons of Detmer and the frictions of Stam and Tilly. Above the action stairs we had for the first time the above mentioned stress of the crew – Sarah and Dr. Hugh did their utmost to get everything in order – up to the Adrira action – back to Trill. But in the course of my life, folks, I can’t decide which of these two plots should give the coveted A’s the credit!

Of course the episode is called Don’t forget me – it clearly refers to the fact that Adira suppresses the memories of the symbiote because she is afraid to face the death of her beloved Gray, the previous host. But for me I was torn between scenes of emotional confrontation and eventually healing for the film crew by a combination of writing, directing, acting and even amazing music. I think it was an A-story, just like Adira’s. Shit, I even cried a little when Stames Detmer kissed while filming Buster Keaton. This show has NEVER made me cry!

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Besides, I won’t be telling Adira’s story anytime soon. It was Star Trek in that episode… and a great sequel to an episode of Balance in Deep Space, in which Jadzia Dax returns to Trill. And let’s hear it for the landscaping department, so McAla Caves is exactly like when we first saw it 26 years ago.

(Yeah, if you just fainted a little bit, that DS9 DID Trill episode really premiered 26 years ago! It was half a life for me).

I liked everything about Adira’s plot, from the fact that the Trills were still cute, but suddenly they were so stubbornly friendly and traditional, to the fact that they endangered her existence. This kind of extreme social conservatism has been the most important element of Star Trek since the beginning of TOS.

And while my inner Trekkie was a little shocked by Michael Burnham’s quick reaction to the Trill trio (would you say a trilogy? Well, excuse me) of antagonists, I discovered I was actually quite pleased with the…-*PTEW* who sent the main villain Trill immediately after he refused to reveal the location of the caves. I’m even looking forward to her finding a new way to do things that have nothing to do with Starfleet. Similar to Kirk’s cowboy diplomacy – maybe a step or two beyond what should be acceptable. On the other side, the galaxy is a different place now.

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Anyway, an A-plus for everything after Adira Tal. As an actor, it must be a real pleasure to play the trill before and after the cast. You can create a character on one level and then lift it to another level. This was especially noticeable when comparing the Adira Gray/Gray Tal type before and after, but it was also subtle in BLU DEL BARRIO’s transition from playing Adira before entering the supply pool to leaving the game as Adira Tal.

I also like it that this season doesn’t stretch (at least not yet). The search for a club is a story that can easily last half a season or more. Instead, American Discovery immediately goes to Earth, discovers that the Federation is no longer on this planet, they get Adira, but they have no access to the memories of Admiral Thal, in the next episode they take him directly to Trill, unlock those hidden memories, and next week we visit the Federation. Three weeks in some states don’t even allow ballots to be counted that fast!

Oh, and a little shouting to laugh at the team (even in this traumatic episode, it’s got the team a little out of their hair). Hell, M*A*C*X was always joking) when they saw Star Trek: The figure of the PICARD era on one of the first Tala hosts, as well as the shallow, bright transitions between the Discovery computer and the sensitive Zora, which we first met in one of the first episodes of SHORT-TRAX Calispo. Discovery of the Red Dwarf? It’s possible… but, in my opinion, in a good way.

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I want to end this blog with an update about my best friend who decided last week to stop seeing Discovery from here. I e-mailed him to tell him he got off the bus too early and begged him to watch this last episode – no spoilers, just watch. Here’s his answer…

Where was the trail?!? I’m suffocated! I would almost like to join this team if the good feelings and community spirit are maintained!

And I can watch the next episode of …. if you think I’ll like it after watching it! But it gives me more hope for the new Pike series. A friendly welcome on stage while he watched the movie, and the OMG boss kissed the woman he had been arguing with over dinner! And a happy ending for Sarah and the doctor!

It’s Star Trek. Not Star Wars.

It’s great to see how the characters support each other, are affectionate and are just nice and cute people! John, I’m happy to admit it…… You were right!

It’s nice to be right for once.

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