Star Trek Discovery: S1 Ep5 Choose Your Pain
Description: While on a mission, Lorca is captured by the Klingons and unexpectedly finds himself in the company of prisoner of war Starfleet Lieutenant Ash Tyler and notorious criminal Harry Mudd.
So much good in this episode; it’s really starting to find its stride. Michael is a unique character and I do like that we get to see her showing empathy for creature within a dream sequence. It wasn’t a plot device or a gimmick. It was a way to show that she was processing an ethical dilemma.
Lorca and his decision to keep Michael on the ship; he’s honest and is able to quote Sarfleet regulations at Admiral Cornwell. I like that his reprimand was done in private and not with the others in their meeting.
“The more you hurt someone, the less helpful they become.”
Never have truer words been spoken. It’s such a weighted line for me, for so many reasons. It’s just a shame that Michael and Dr Hugh Colber are ignored; sending the creature into a catatonic state when Lorca is abducted and Saru takes command.
Speaking of Lorca’s abduction, we a given such a wonderful treat in this episode, in the form of Rainn Wilson. He’s a lovely, joyous nod to the Original Series in the form of rogue trader, Harry Mudd. I geeked out and I can’t tell you what pleased me more; Harry Mudd making an appearance or him being played by the Office’s Dwight!! It is genius casting and I have a sense that he’s good on his threat ‘You haven’t seen the last of me’
Now, Lt Paul Stamets had yet another impeccable episode and has projected this franchise beyond its usual parameters. Firstly, he’s involved in the shows first F-bomb. It’s done, no massive deal is made of it, but there’s something there with its declaration. Something I love and adore beyond comprehension. It’s language after all and is showing it in its true anthropological state. Swearing is not a thing that is attributed to class or intelligence but more an expression of passion, anger and wonder.
Secondly, this dude is bad ass. We already know that he is a man of ethical standing; he didn’t sign up for this. So of course, having it brought to his attention that they are exploiting the creature, he uses himself to generate power for the spore drive. Insanely stupid, I’ll give you that, but it’s also incredibly brave.
Finally, he’s broken my heart. It turns out he’s a taken man. However, I’m going to forgive him because of what this relationship means for Star Trek.
It turns out Paul is married to the Doctor. So not only do we have our very first same sex couple within Trek, we have our first Starfleet established couple from the very start. While obviously having the will they, won’t they tension is good for a show; it means more to me to have this. Right at the end, without much fanfare, we see the couple getting ready for bed. It’s intimate, comfortable and boy, do I love them together. I can’t wait to see this develop further… especially with that final scene bombshell.
Added bonus, the Klingons didn’t bug me so much in this episode.
The spore drive technology; we know it’s not going to be successful. It’s a shame that we’re going into this storyline without any hope. I don’t like watching something unfold when I know the ending.
Again, I’m still not feeling the time frame. Yes, I’m super excited to get my geek on with Harry Mudd. But name dropping old characters is not going to be enough to win me over; especially when you have holograms standing on deck to talk to an on-board crew. It’s not going to align with the existing franchise and it will have a shelf life. Again, it would have had more freedom had they have set it in another time. Sigh.