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[Star Trek: Discovery] 1x08 Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum (***Spoilers***)

Matchstick

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Penultimate episode before the midseason break.

(The title translated: "If you want peace, prepare for war.")

And discuss.
 
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zwilnik

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So, like, man. These Pahru guys have the ultimate vibes, dude. So let's go tap into that to stop those Klingons from harshing our mellow. But Saru took the brown acid. TOTAL Bummer. [/Shaggy]

Ahem. Set up for big battle. Shades of Organians. Burnham romances. Awkwardly. Dr. Astromycologist is coming unstuck in time.

The Klingons are like the worst subtitled dialog in the world. It doesn't read well, but it doesn't sound like anything. Nor does it look like much. Oh well. It was a go at something fairly ambitious, and it just hits uncanny valley or some other plateau of not hitting the right signals to make a scene that connects emotionally. Or at least not with me.
 

Bailywolf

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I like that we've got a traditionalist Klingon calling out Pretty Face for being a dishonorable shit. I can see he shape of what might be coming, as a resolution for the war. All our players are on their marks, ready to move into the final act of the season - revelations, betrayals, chaos.

I've been thinking about the Klingons and cloaking tech. I've always thought that they got the tech as part of an exchange deal with the Romulans (which, never made huge sense to me), but I can't actually recall why I 'know' that. Is that an in-episode reveal, or something added in after to explain why they reused models and FX in TOS?

-B
 

4th of Eleven

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Oh good, we're back to the territory of "I don't know where this is going, so I can't say for sure if I hate it yet". Which is a shame, because I was actually enjoying 90% of this, it was nice to get off the ship, the aliens were interesting, and even the Klingon scenes seemed like an improvement - but if they actually have killed the admiral in yet another stupid death of a female character (TM), I'm going to be very annoyed, and I'm also not going to like it if the Pahvans end up being yet another excuse to demonstrate that anyone who tries to negotiate with the Klingons is a naive idiot, we need hard men making hard decisions, etc, etc.

Also, they seem to have decided it was about time to destroy Saru as a competent character. Given his main character trait seemed to be the one guy who actually has his shit together, this seems like a mistake.
 

jackselectrichead

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I'm also not going to like it if the Pahvans end up being yet another excuse to demonstrate that anyone who tries to negotiate with the Klingons is a naive idiot, we need hard men making hard decisions, etc, etc.
That would be a misinterpretation on your part. The overture in Lethe was an understandable situation and a calculated risk. It could have been treachery, it could also have not have been- both made sense. The two out-of-favor Houses could have been approaching foreign allies in order to improve their situation within the empire, or they could have been improving their situation within the empire by abducting an enemy VIP. The guarantee offered is that if the latter was the case it would also have been breech with the neutral power sponsoring the meeting- that didn't make it safe, but it did make it reasonable (if the Klingons could have engaged in treachery with no political cost, the overture would have been laughable to anyone but a sucker. Although Kol's happier that they burned bridges in the process.). So they sent someone that was a VIP but expendable by their lights (Sarek). Cornwell subbed in because of sunk costs, but it was still as good a risk as it ever was (if only because Cornwell was expendable by her lights, and she was the one doing the assessing).
 

Daz Florp Lebam

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The Klingons are like the worst subtitled dialog in the world. It doesn't read well, but it doesn't sound like anything. Nor does it look like much. Oh well. It was a go at something fairly ambitious, and it just hits uncanny valley or some other plateau of not hitting the right signals to make a scene that connects emotionally. Or at least not with me.
Yeah, the combination of the weird cadence or whatever of the dialogue and the subtitles makes me lose track of what's going on and being said. Granted, I don't have a lot of practice at watching things with subtitles.

Also, they seem to have decided it was about time to destroy Saru as a competent character. Given his main character trait seemed to be the one guy who actually has his shit together, this seems like a mistake.
Yeah, I'm not sure that what the character of Saru needed was another reason to feel inferior.

This was the first episode that felt like Star Trek to me. I know others felt this in the last couple of episodes, but I think it's taken me this long to realize that this is just what a Star Trek series looks and feels like in 2017 - or what this one looks and feels like, anyway, and it's the only one we have. This makes me want even more for a new post-TNG-era series to happen, to see if it feels different.

I think I kept waiting to be thrilled or engrossed by every episode, like some high-end series do these days, but then i realized: when has any ST series ever done that for me, other than when i was a wide-eyed kid watching TOS (and even then I could tell the bad episodes were weird).
 

LibraryLass

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I like that we've got a traditionalist Klingon calling out Pretty Face for being a dishonorable shit. I can see he shape of what might be coming, as a resolution for the war. All our players are on their marks, ready to move into the final act of the season - revelations, betrayals, chaos.

I've been thinking about the Klingons and cloaking tech. I've always thought that they got the tech as part of an exchange deal with the Romulans (which, never made huge sense to me), but I can't actually recall why I 'know' that. Is that an in-episode reveal, or something added in after to explain why they reused models and FX in TOS?

-B
The latter-- I think maybe Spock or someone speculates it in-episode, which I'm willing to rationalize away as saying that the Sarcophagus-ship's cloaking device was originally claimed from them in some raid centuries ago.
 

4th of Eleven

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That would be a misinterpretation on your part. The overture in Lethe was an understandable situation and a calculated risk. It could have been treachery, it could also have not have been- both made sense. The two out-of-favor Houses could have been approaching foreign allies in order to improve their situation within the empire, or they could have been improving their situation within the empire by abducting an enemy VIP. The guarantee offered is that if the latter was the case it would also have been breech with the neutral power sponsoring the meeting- that didn't make it safe, but it did make it reasonable (if the Klingons could have engaged in treachery with no political cost, the overture would have been laughable to anyone but a sucker. Although Kol's happier that they burned bridges in the process.). So they sent someone that was a VIP but expendable by their lights (Sarek). Cornwell subbed in because of sunk costs, but it was still as good a risk as it ever was (if only because Cornwell was expendable by her lights, and she was the one doing the assessing).
I was actually thinking of "Battle of the Binary Suns", which felt the need to include scenes where both Georgiou and the admiral from that episode waste time trying to alleviate the Klingons concerns and negotiate a ceasefire, not realizing that Burnham is right and they're all savage brutes who see peace as a weakness and only understand force, etc, etc.

The latter-- I think maybe Spock or someone speculates it in-episode, which I'm willing to rationalize away as saying that the Sarcophagus-ship's cloaking device was originally claimed from them in some raid centuries ago.
The first Klingon ship on-screen with a cloak was Kruge's Bird of Prey in Star Trek 3. That was originally meant to be a Romulan ship that Kruge had stolen - hence the Bird of Prey name - but that got cut from the script to simplify things. Harve Bennett justified keeping the Bird of Prey name, remembering that "The Enterprise Incident" had established the Klingons and Romulans were sharing ship designs - so Kruge's Bird of Prey could have been a Klingon adaptation of a Romulan design. So everyone pretty much assumed based on that that the cloak was part of the technology exchange. Enterprise held to that - though it had Klingons in the 22nd century using the Bird of Prey name, they weren't cloak capable.

I like to imagine the confusion over the origin of cloaking technology is an in-setting argument too - that the Romulans insist T'Kuvma must have stolen the design from them somehow, while Klingons are furious nobody can accept they developed the technology independently.
 
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Bailywolf

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The latter-- I think maybe Spock or someone speculates it in-episode, which I'm willing to rationalize away as saying that the Sarcophagus-ship's cloaking device was originally claimed from them in some raid centuries ago.
I did a poke around, and it looks like almost all the 'klingon/romulan tech trade' stuff comes from secondary sources. Trek canon is a mess. As is usually the case, TOS is the goofy standout. Most of the later series' jive pretty well, but making things work with the grumpy old grandpa series is always tricky.
 

jackselectrichead

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I was actually thinking of "Battle of the Binary Suns", which felt the need to include scenes where both Georgiou and the admiral from that episode waste time trying to alleviate the Klingons concerns and negotiate a ceasefire, not realizing that Burnham is right and they're all savage brutes who see peace as a weakness and only understand force, etc, etc.
...Another misinterpretation on your part. Georgiou's call for open relations was predicated on accepting the explicit statement that they were in Federation space (with their communications facility as evidencing claim), while simultaenously downgrading the original Klingon communications facility as an artifact that does not evidence claim. Also the Klingons as recognized policy didn't want open diplomatic relations. Georgiou was also using the situation as wedge.

I've been with T'Kuvma all along on the "We Come in Peace" thing. In the case of the Klingon Empire in the series it seems to have come to mean territorial aggrandizement without providing legitimate recourse to war. His gambit was that he was actually right about this. If Europa's squadron hadn't shown up (making this "word words words [this is ours because we say it is and isn't yours because we say it is and we're willing to fight over it]"), his plan would have fallen flat, the House Leaders would have scorned him and left, Georgiou would have "won".

Only T'Kuvma was pretty much right.

EDIT: To borrow a phrase, the Federation in this circumstance isn't good, it's nice.
 
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