Who is Anson Mount–The New Captain Pike

 

Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery announced in April 2018 that Anson Mount would play Captain Pike as the series returned for its 2nd season and after the first season closed with a shot of The Enterprise hailing for assistance.

That Enterprise was captained by none other than Christopher Pike.
If you remember your Star Trek canon, Captain Christopher Pike appeared on “The Menagerie” Part 1 & 2 of Star Trek: The Original Series. He was also seen in the pilot episode called “The Cage.” This character was played by Jefferey Hunter who a few years later tragically died. He turned down the role of captain of the Enterprise and William Shatner accepted the chair as James T. Kirk. A training incident left Pike disfigured, mute and paralyzed. It was believed in Starfleet that a great mind was trapped in that body. Spock served under Captain Pike at the time of “The Cage” and he served with Captain Kirk during the time of the “Menagerie.”

These two characters have met before in the movie spin-offs 2009 Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. Christopher Pike is played by Bruce Greenwood.
Now Star Trek: Discovery will reprise the role in its Season 2. The captain will be played by Anson Mount.
But what do we know about Anson Mount?

ANSON MOUNT FACTS

Name: Anson Adams Mount IV
Birthplace: Mount Prospect, IL
Birthdate: February 25, 1973

Hair: Black

Eyes: Blue

Height: 6’1″
Parents: Nancy Smith and Anson Adams Mount II
Alma Mater: The University of the South, Columbia University
Degree: Theater

HIS LIFE

Anson Mount was born to Nancy Smith and Anson Adams Mount II- a religion editor for Playboy magazine and a sports editor before that. If there is some confusion with his father’s name being the 2nd and Anson Adams Mount IV (the actor), it is because his father was married previously and birth a son by the name of Anson Adams Mount III. This is the actor’s older half brother.

Growing up in White Bluff, Tennessee with his siblings  Anson Adams Mount III and his sisters: Kristin and Elizabeth was not easy. Anson’s Father died when he was 13 years old. His mom professional golfer Nancy Smith raised Anson and his half siblings by herself. Anson rode horses a little when he was a child. So he had some experience before his stint on “Hell on Wheels.”  His first taste of acting was at high school playing a guard in “12 Angry Men.” As of now, he is married to Darah Trang. His wife is a photographer actually. He graduated from Columbia University with his major in theater. Mount taught at Columbia even after his success with “Hell on Wheels.” But he believes there is no vocabulary for acting. Even with this belief, Mount advises students to enroll in a good “liberal arts” college. Maybe his advice is right. He has been acting since 1999.

The movie “Crossroads” came to Anson Mount’s attention starring as Britney Spears love interest, but he turned it down at first. His friend Robert De Niro changed his mind.  And not only does Anson Mount act, he also, directs. “Nose,” a silent film was his first as a director.
“Hell On Wheels” is an AMC television show that was a huge hit for Mount. He believes it answers a lot of questions we as a society ask ourselves if we can survive in difficult times. He enjoyed his time on the series. The show takes place in America and centers around the laying of the First Transcontinental Railroad from Nebraska to San Francisco, California stretching nearly 2,000 miles. Two railroad companies built the train tracks. The Central Pacific Railroad Company of California and Union Pacific. Union Pacific supervised 1,085 miles of the railroad from Omaha, Nebraska to Utah Territory. So says the charter of 1862 named the Pacific Railroad Act passed by Congress. A six year project that on May 10th 1969.  Central Pacific was controlled by Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford (created Stanford University and was govenor of Utah when the construction of the railroad was finished) Collin Huntington and Mark Hopkins. Central Pacific hired mostly Chinese workers and laid down 10 miles of track in one day setting a new record. The bet was made by majority onterest holder of Union Pacific Dr. Thomas Durant. His workers were mainly Irish workers, former African American slaves and Civil War vetsvfrom  etsboth sides.

Central Pacific began laying tracks from the West coast and the Union Pacific started in the east around Omaha, Nebraska. The railroads followed the Oregon Trail. The reason for the railroad was to transport products and people from the east coast to the West coast and vice versa. A ticket on this iron horse from NY to San Francisco was $65 and it took 7 days to get to the destination.

The series stars Mount as Cullen Bohannon, a Confederate soldier on a quest for revenge. It also stars Colm Meaney as Thomas Durant. Meaney is from Star Trek fame as he played on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine as Miles O’Brien. Its creators and producers are Joe and Tony Gayton.

ANSON MOUNT MOVIES AND TELEVISION

Some of Anson Mount’s TV and movie credits are well-known especially with AMC. At one time he was a prospect to play Batman in one of the movie installments.

 

FILMS

Urban Legends:Final Cut as Toby Belcher

Tully as Tully Loates Jr.

Crossroads as Ben Kimble

City by the Sea as Dave Simon

Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden as Cherry
TELEVISION

Ally McBeal as Kevin Wah

Sex in the City as Gregory

Third Watch as Dr. Montville

Smallville as Paul Hayden

CSI: Miami as Tony Macken

Lost as Kevin

Inhumans as Black Bolt

By CellarDoor85 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37101332

MORE ON ANSON

Like everyone, ANSON Mount has a favorite TV show. His favorite show is “Breaking Bad.” His celebrity crush is Pink. So he can be enamored with superstars as well. However he is quite a crush himself to a lot of his female fans. Cowboy boots, blue jeans and a t shirt are his favorite attire. Although, he does not mind stepping out in fancier clothes, Cynthia Rowley and Robert Caballo are a few of his preferred designers.

Mount exercises a lot with workouts including cardio and weightlifting. Known for his piercing eyes, Mount is going to turn heads on screen when he plays on Discovery’s second season. His chisels jawline mirrors Jeffery Hunters almost exactly.

Anson Mount has played in a hit western show and now sets his eyes on the future as Star Trek: Discovery’s newest star. His views on guns and gun control are causing a stir. What do you think of Anson Mount?

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY SEASON 1 EPISODE 15

WILL YOU TAKE MY HAND?

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 15 “Will You Take My Hand” is the finale of the season for this series. Much excitement surrounded how this Star Trek: Discovery uniform colors and designepisode with so many loose ends. What is Emperor Georgiou’s plan with Discovery now that she is captain of the ship? What will be her fate? How will the war end? L’Rell and Ash Tyler, will they ever have a life in The Federation?

All these questions could be answered in season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery. Or not. Burnham’s future is imperiled because after the war, she must return to the prison camp. She is a mutineer. Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 15 “Will You Take My Hand?” is sure to please whether it be a cliffhanger or an all out resolution to the events of the season.

MAIN AND GUEST CHARACTERS, WRITIERS, DIRECTORS

 

Science Specialist/Commander Michael Burnham

Commander Saru

Ash Tyler

Paul Stamets

Sylvia Tilly

Emperor Georgiou

Amanda Grayson

Admiral Cornwell

L’Rell

Sarek

Shavo

Keyla Detmer

Admiral Gorch

Weapon Trader

Rhys

Dennas

Ujilli
Airam

Joann Owosekun

Bryce

Shava

Director: Akiva Goldsman

Writers: Akiva Goldsman, Gretchen J. Berg, and Aaron Harberts (story)

Teleplay: Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts

Airdate: February 11, 2018

SYNOPSIS

Burnham’s monologue while on the bridge asks us to identify fear and how to destroy it, then Emperor Georgiou posing as deceased Captain Georgiou interrupts her thoughts. Violently commanding the bridge and ordering the conn about the correct approach to identify Qo’noS, the Klingon home world. Her philosophy is to take humaneness out of the manner in which we look at our enemies. The unprincipled remarks made by Georgiou are discussed by Burnham and Saru. Burnham is ordered to stop talking to Saru by Georgiou who then insults him with a cannibalistic joke. Georgiou pulls Burnham aside to admonish her and expresses her belief that Burnham’s weakness is her inability to finish a plan like in the episode “The Vulcan Hello.” In the last episode, the Emperor utters to Sarek that Burnham has a weakness that would jeopardize their plan.

In the brig, Georgiou and Burnham interrogate the Klingon captive, L”Rell for intel on Qo’noS. L’Rell witnessed Captain Georgiou die earlier in the season. Burnham reasons with L’Rell to no avail. Georgiou uses force and brutal tactics t coerce the information until Burnham proposes another idea.

In Tyler’s room, Burnham questions him about Voq’s (his alter ego) memories of Qo’noS. She and Georgiou barge in on Tyler making a bowline Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 14knot; he tied them as a child, Voq. He believes it ties his past and future. Accessing Voq’s memories, Tyler discloses the location in the caves near an Orion outpost to drop the drone recon device. A 3-D holographic image of Qo’noS as an aid, Ash Tyler directs the best location for the recon drone. But the drone will need assistance in the caves. Tyler will be a part of Georgiou’s away mission to the caves of Orion. Tilly is also chosen for the away mission. She carries the drone in a case and the team travels to Qo’noS.

The Discovery jumps to Qo’noS. Near the Orion outpost in a market place with no other humans, the team masquerades as smugglers. Meeting an arms trader, Georgiou and Tyler discuss matters while Tilly and Burnham wander to a food stand. They reach an agreement not to trust Georgiou and to carefully observe her. The rest of the away team does not know her personal motives for this mission.

The team separate to search for the area. Georgiou enters a club and dances with a few of its employees.

As Burnham and Tyler investigate the black marketplace, they run into Klingons playing a gambling game called t’Sang. Ash Tyler is actually very good. His Voq persona controls him to speak fluent Klingon, to place bets and to ultimately win the game. But Burnham tires of the game and plods to a parlor down the street.

Tilly smokes an alien substance with a little green man. (That thought is entertaining all by itself.) This drug knock her unconscious.

Tyler trails Burnham to ask her why she left the game. Burnham explains her childhood trauma. Her parents stayed at the Vulcan outpost because Burnham wanted to watch a celestial event. The Klingons entered their home and she hid as they killed her parents, ate their dinner and cared not. Tyler understands now why Burnham hates Klingons. None have been kind to her, except Voq. Tyler and Burnham make amends with each other.

When she awakens, Tilly stops the little green man from prying open her case which contains the drone. After asking what she inhaled, the little green man informs Tilly that it is ash from the active volcanoes in Qo’noS. The volcanoes travel the entire planet. Then, Tilly opens the case. It is not a drone in the case, but a hydro bomb!

Georgiou steals the case from Tilly. Tilly levels with Burnham and Tyler about Georgiou’s actions. Quickly, Burnham radios Discovery and contacts Admiral Cornwell, but Burnham suspects Admiral Cornwell already knows and was in on the ruse.

If Georgiou iniates the bomb in the active volcanoes of Qo’noS, it will destroy the planet, all life on the planet. Genocide. Burnham advises

Cornwell to cease with the plan, but Cornwell will not give in. Left with one course of action, Burnham threatens Cornwell with mutiny. The rest of the crew on the bridge concur. Cornwell has no choice, but to change the plans.
At the Shrine of Morlar, Michael appears to halt the detonation of the hydro bomb. Georgiou is decidedly against it, but in the end backs down choosing her freedom.

L’Rell energizes into the shrine with Ash Tyler. Given a choice L’Rell can deactivate the bomb or annihilate all life on the planet of Qo’noS. She deactivates the bomb and is then transported to the Mo’Kai ship. Ash Tyler believes there is no life for him at Starfleet and he follows L’Rell. He leaves Burnham with his bowline knot…and memories.

L’Rell demands to be emperor of Qo’noS and start the reunification process of the planet will be destroyed by the hydro bomb she will set. The Klingons elect to allow L’Rell to lead them and so the Federation, Earth and the Klingon home world are saved.

In Paris, on the planet Earth, Burnham is reinstated as commander for her bravery and decision-making in the time of peril for the Federation. Sarek

By CellarDoor85 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37101332

recognizes her courage and his mistake and pins her as commander and his daughter. Other awards are handed out. Tilly is admitted to the Starfleet officer training school. Saru receives the Medal of Honor. Stamets and Culber, posthumously, are recognized for their heroism.

Discovery, with Vulcan father Sarek, travel to Vulcan to pick up their new captain. En route, the Enterprise captained by Pike send a distress call that Discovery intercepts…

THEMES AND OTHER LITERARY DEVICES

 

War. The Klingon War as been used to outline the idea of war ans why we war. It could be how we manage our fears. We need not destroy each other in the process.

Fear. Identifying fear and destroying fear is the only way to truly win in this world. It may have been the moral of the story. How we handle our enemies is a close tie to our humanity.

Perspective. Georgiou sees the enemy unhumanely. Burnham humanizes the enemy as she becomes more aware of her humanity herself. This happens on the bridge with Georgiou’s correction to the conn about what to call the Klingon home world. Also, these two clash again with L’Rell in the brig. Their interrogation tactics.

REVIEW

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 15 “Will You Take My Hand?” was full of great surprises including the end, but we will get back to that in a moment. The holographs’ special effects her spectacular as were the sets for Qo’noS. The different alien life of Qo’noS reminds me of the richness of alien costume on Star Trek: The Original Series “Journey To Babel” where The Enterprise hosts a multitude of diplomats including Spock’s father Sarek. I am left to wonder what kinds of species the landing party of Georgiou, Burnham, Tilly and Tyler are dealing with on this planet. Michelle Yeoh as Emperor Georgiou proves she can handle characters made of heroines and villains. Sarek shows emotions as he congratulates and reinstates Burnham to her rank as Commander. James Frain and Sonequa Martin Green give another boost to this series with the relationship between Burnham and Sarek as well as Burnham and Amanda Grayson. Another select episode from Star Trek: Discovery.

CONCLUSION

This wraps up the first season of Star Trek: Discovery. Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 15 “Will You Take My Hand?” tied loose ends while creating new ones that lead into season 2 nicely. A big REVEAL is soon to come with subsequent season. It has been a superbly directed season and well written episodes and an all-star cast. This Star Trek series is worth watching year after year.

How do you think the next season will be of Star Trek: Discovery? Please feel free to leave your comments below.

 

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY SEASON 1 EPISODE 9

“INTO THE FOREST I GO”

The mid-season finale to Star Trek: Discovery is Season 1 Episode 9 “Into The Forest I Go.” The title is a quote by philosopher John Muir and the episode leaves us asking questions still. However, the quote is: Into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul. Insanity and salvation have been recurring themes in this series. But the show leaves a lot unanswered. Questions like “Where are they?” and “What will happen to Lt. Stamets and the spore drive?” We witness a couple of firsts in Star Trek with this episode including the relationship between Stamets and Culber progresses. Discovery has been renewed for a second season and this first season has been extended into next year. We will have to see what happens.

MAIN AND GUEST CHARACTERS, DIRECTOR AND WRITERS

Michael Burnham

Lt. Commander Saru

Lt. Ash Tyler

Cadet Sylvia Tilly

Lt. Paul Stamets

Captain Gabriel Lorca

Joann Owosekun

Airam

Keyla Detmer

Rhys

Dr. Hugh Culber

Admiral Cornwell

Admiral Terrel

Kol

L’Rell

Director: Chris Byrne

Writers: Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippolt

Cinematography: Glen Keenan

Airdate: 11/12/2017

SYNOPSIS

“Into The Forest I Go” begins where “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” ends.
The Klingons are approaching the planet Pavho and Captain Lorca is commanded by Vulcan Admiral Terrel to leave the friendly Pavho and set coordinates to Starbase 46 behind Federation lines. There the greatest scientific minds will meet to devise a way to break the invisibility screens that cloak the Klingon battle ships. Lorca’s new mission is to have the scientists of the Discovery join the conference for a solution. Angered, Lorca suggests defending Pavho and stay to confront the Klingon sarcophagus ship. However, the admiral makes the directive clear to jump to Starbase 46. Saru pleads with the captain not to leave the planet unguarded, however Captain Lorca heads the ship to Starbase 46 at warp 5. At that speed, the Discovery will reach Starbase 46 in 3 hours. Lorca admits to the crew on the bridge that he has no intentions of obeying the direct bidding, but he must have a good reason. Until then, he allots the crew that amount of time to find a solution to the Klingon cloaking problem.

Time is essential and Lorca has to have a good reason for Discovery’s delay. The captain talks with Lt. Stamets, the ship’s navigator on the bridge, he orders Stamets to the Medical Bay for a full examination. The lieutenant is hesitant, but obeys his captain’s wishes.

Burnham unriddles how to detect the Klingon ship while cloaked. She observes that the Klingon ship produces a large gravitational field that bends light making it disguised. The crew would have to place sensors on the Klingon ship to collect details and transmit back to Discovery creating an algorithm allowing the ship to be detected by Federation vessels. How to get the away team on board the Klingon ship? Use the spore drive to ambush the Klingon ship. Once the ship cloaks, the away teams beams over before the shields on the ship go up.

The results of the full examination on Stamets proves that negative effects of the spore drive. Stamets has brain damage due to the jumps. But Lorca needs 133 jumps to complete the mission to detect the Klingons cloaking device. Reluctantly, Stamets agrees.

Lorca, with Stamets’ agreeable to his wishes, tells Tyler to prepare his boarding party. Tyler suggests Burnham to assist him in the away mission. No one has been on that ship besides her except for Captain Georghiou. The sensor locations are strategically important to the mission. Lorca orders Burnham not to go to the Ship of the Dead. She will stay on the Discovery and give the location to place the sensors on the Klingon ship to someone else. After Burnham makes her very logical argument, Lorca concedes. Burnham is part of the away team and Discovery jumps back to Pavho before reaching Starbase 46.

The ship battles the Klingon Ship of the Dead while Tyler and Burnham beam aboard it. They set the first device, but Burnham picks up human life signs. Tyler wants her to ignore it, but she will leave no human behind on this ship. In the brig, Admiral Cornwell sits paralyzed from the waist down. And in the same cell is L’Rell, Tyler’s the Klingon torturer. When Tyler sees L’Rell, he is benumbed by a post-traumatic stress disorder spell. Flashbacks of his time with L’Rell torturing him in the Klingon prison ship vividly replays in his mind. He is incapacitated.

Burnham goes it alone to the bridge and plants the sensor. Meanwhile, Stamets is having a fit of his own in Engineering chamber. He cannot continue these micro jumps. They are straining his brain. Discovery has made only 33 jumps. On the Sarcophagus ship, Burnham hears Kol’s voice clearly through her communicator and the universal translator in it. He admits he wants to cloak the ship to escape the Discovery. Something is amiss to him, but Burnham buys time and challenges Kol to combat to delay the Klingon ship from disappearing therefore the mission can be a success. Kol throws a few punches at Burnham and he ribs her very well by mocking Georgiou with the captain’s own name badge in his possession. Goading him into combat over his honor, Burnham discloses she killed T’Kuvma on the very bridge they stand on. Kol grants her the challenge and he forgets all about the Discovery and their predicament.

Ash Tyler reclaims his composure from his bout with PTSD by Cornwell’s therapy session with him in the brig. Then he aids the admiral by grappling with the guards. After Discovery finishes its micro jumps, it beams aboard Tyler, Admiral Cornwell and a scrapping Burnham who rips her captain’s insignia off Kol’s armor just in time to beam out. L’Rell invites herself along with Tyler and the admiral.

Once the boarding party is back, Lorca locks onto the Klingon ship of the dead and orders it destroyed with photon torpedoes. He medicates his light-sensitive eyes so he can relish the moment with the explosion from the ship.

Later, Tyler and Burnham discuss his condition and their relationship advances. Stamets decides to jump the ship one last time to get Discovery home, but this final jump pushes him to seizure and he regresses to a stupor with his eyes turning grayish blue. Discovery finds itself in a very distant place, not knowing where they are and there is a Klingon wreckage all around them.

THEME AND OTHER LITERARY DEVICES

THEME

Fear. In “Into The Forest I Go,” this is prevalent from the beginning to the end. Chiefly, Ash Tyler’s fear spawned by the site of L’Rell. He becomes petrified and we finally watch his emotional collapse unfold as he relives the past torture.

MOTIF

Paralysis. In the brig of the Klingon ship of the Dead, Admiral Cornwell Star Trek-Comic Consuffered paralysis from the waist down. Ash Tyler’s paralysis was emotionally driven due to Post traumatic stress disorder. While Cornwell’s paralysis was physical both Ash Tyler and Cornwell’s paralysis were at the hands of the same torturer-L’Rell, the Klingon torturer. She shared the same cell with them at this point which is another discussion in and of itself, but I digress…

Tyler and Cornwell uses their strengths, his combat skills and her psychology background to conquer their captors while they nursed each others weaknesses, the emotional wounds of Tyler and Cornwell’s physical incapabilities to beat their situations.

SYMBOLISM

The universal communicator was employed to symbolize communication. When Burnham put down the communicator, it symbolized something else. She also laid down the phaser with it. This symbolizes war and peace.

It also typifies the cold war. The communicator and phaser set down by Michael Burnham betokens the state of affairs between two countries when they are neither at war (a phaser) nor at peace (a communicator). They are not talking, they are not warring. This mirrors the relationship with the Soviet Union and the US—-between the US and North Korea–the armistice that followed that war. This may be where the series is headed with the Klingons and the Federation and its timeline with Spock and Kirk. Once there was a war, then the two parties agree to unsteady agreement of peace.

The Battles. Two battles are staged for Kol: the one outside the ship with the Discovery and the one inside the ship with Burnham. Neither battle with his foes is meant to be a death match, but to keep him preoccupied. The outside battle with the Discovery is a war with the outside world, the Federation and the other Klingon houses. But the battle with Burnham epitomizes a war within himself. Kol’s deepest desire is to demonstrate he deserves the title he has earned.

Two Minds. Tyler and Stamets are both going through sensory overload in the brain. With Stamets it is one of knowledge, too much. With Tyler, it is an emotional overload filled with flashbacks of torture. These represent a far deeper problem for both. Their job titles clue us in as Stamets is a Scientist and Tyler is Chief Security officer. Both these officers slip into a kind of traumatic trance.

REVIEW

Kol vs Burnham. I enjoyed the fight scene and all that it had to offer. The acknowledgment of Captain Georghiou, her demise and her redemption by recovering her captain’s badge, all pertinent to Burnham during this sequence is how and what fuels the overall arc of the series and all found in

Pictured (l-r): Doug Jones as Lieutenant Saru; Sonequa Martin-Green as First Officer Michael Burnham; Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou. STAR TREK: DISCOVERY coming to CBS All Access. Photo Cr: Jan Thijs. © 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

this one scene. But let’s examine why Burnham acted this way in the first place. The Klingons were going to cloak into space and lose the Discovery. Discovery was not finished with its jumps yet. Burnham had to check Kol’s decision quickly. One way to do this is with a showdown, make him prove his worth in front of his comrades. I enjoyed how violence was not Burnham’s intent only when she perceived no other way out of the situation to stall the Klingons from cloaking and the Discovery losing the ship, her and her comrades did she engage the Klingons. This time she did not kill anyone and no one in this scene was killed by her. Burnham’s self-sacrifice was rewarding and recovering Captain Georghiou’s badge satisfying. She managed to , save the boarding party, rescue Admiral Cornwell , save the mission and L’Rell who wants immunity from the Klingon empire.

We also spotted Burnham is a sure shot with the phaser. She keeps proving that. Not so good with the hand-to-hand combat, she and Kirk are much alike.

I prized the universal translator coming into play on the Klingon ship. We heard the Kol speak English for the first time. It was worth the wait. Great build to it throughout the entire season.

The first half of the season leaves us on a cliffhanger about where the crew of the Discovery is. The ship materializes near a wreckage in space. Lorca made a confusing decision with his coordinates to the next destination and to override the helms coordinates. Lt. Stamets could not maintain the jump completely with the spore drive. He is suffering from brain damage. All of which makes for a very interesting climax.

Conclusion

That’s it for this half of the season for the series Star Trek: Discovery. The highs and lows of losing comrades and finding new ones has made Discovery worthwhile in the first part of the season. The settings and special effects were also gainful for the series. Star Trek: Discovery’s season begins its second part in January. Hopefully many of the questions we have will be answered in this next part. We will have to wait and see.

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY SEASON 1 EPISODE 8

SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM

If you want peace, prepare for war. The title for Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 Episode 8 is Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum. The translation, above, has Latin roots. This episode is rooted in harmony and its opposite. The visual and special effects were superb on the planet and in space. The series is asking more questions with very little answers. Episode 8 sets viewers up for the mid season finale. Viewers should be pleased.

MAIN AND GUEST CHARACTERS, WRITERS, DIRECTORS

  • Michael Burnham
  • Lt. Paul Stamets
  • Captain Gabriel Lorca
  • Cadet Sylvia Tilly
  • Ash Tyler
  • Joann Owosekun
  • Airam
  • Kol
  • Kovil
  • Terral
  • L’Rell
  • Director: John Scott
  • Writers:Kirsten Beyer and Staff writer: Sean Cochran
  • Airdate: 11/5/17

SYNOPSIS

The U.S.S. Discovery answers an emergency hail from the U.S.S. Gargarin who is being attacked by 6 to 8 Klingon vessels. The ship is blown out of the stars and Discovery almost with it. She has to retreat using her spore drive.
Referring to Tilly as captain, Stamets is back to his grumpy ways. Although, later he will not be able to explain them.
On the sarcophagus ship, Klingon Kol exploits his stolen cloaking device to gain support with the other Klingon houses.
Lorca forwards Saru, Burnham and Tyler on a mission to the planet Pavho which has mysterious capabilities. A tall crystal structure is erected that reaches into the sky on the planet. Starfleet’s aim is to use the electromagnetic signal found in the planet into a sonar makeshift so as to alert them of the cloaked Klingon ships. On Pavho, Saru is having trouble with the constant noise the planet discharges. The away team discerns they are not alone, but the planet is inhabited by sentient beings.
L’Rell promises fealty to Kol, but to prove her worth she must interrogate Admiral Cornwell for beneficial intelligence.

Burnham and Tyler discuss their futures, but focus on their present sealing it with a kiss.
Encountering a hut in the woods, the sentient being fails to make contact because the universal translator cannot interpret. The sentient being adopts Saru as the linguist. It intertwines Saru to do so.

Stamets admits the unfavorable side effects of the spore drive are taking their toll on him. He is disoriented and reality shifts for him. Asking for medical help with put Doctor Culber, his partner between Scylla and Charybdis.
L’Rell’s interrogation is actually a request for defection to the Federation side. They plan an escape and Admiral Cornwell will help L’Rell in her alliance with the Federation.
During their discussion, Saru learns that the Pavhoans are one with the planet. They are failing to make contact with any other life forms in space by employing the tall crystal radio. Saru is still having problems with the noise on the planet. He steps outside and the Pavhoans engage with Saru again. He lies down on the ground reliving the past.

The next morning, Saru is not acting like himself at all and informs his team they will stay on the planet forever in perfect bliss. He therefore destroys their communicators. Burnham and Tyler now have a problem.

While escaping the Klingon sarcophagus with Cornwell, L’Rell’s plan is foiled by the Klingons. She fails to save herself by “killing” Admiral Cornwell and disposing of her body.

Saru is distracted by Tyler while Burnham at the crystal relay connects her devices to it.

L’Rell learns most of her comrades dead in a room where she dragged Admiral Cornwell’s body.

Saru arrives at the crystal relay and destroys Burnham’s equipment so that she cannot contact Discovery. A confrontation between the two ensues. She fires upon him after with ther phaser and convinces him that peace can be found with the end of the war.  Tyler shows up and Burnham requests from the Pavhoan for aid against the Klingons.  Saru believes the Klingons will destroy the Pavhoans and their peaceful planet.  The relay is energized sending out its signal. The away team is beamed aboard. Saru apologizes for his actions against Burnham.

On the sarcophagus ship, Kol denounces L’Rell as a traitor and accuses her of treason.  L’Rell is escorted off the bridge while the Klingons are being hailed by the Pavhoans. The sarcophagus ship is invited to Pavho.

Klingon ship arrives at Pavho. There the battle begins with the USS Discovery and the sarcophagus ship.

 

THEMES AND OTHER LITERARY DEVICES

Fear. One of the major changes was Saru’s disposition. On Pavho, without the element of fear, Saru becomes violently aggressive. Perhaps, more like the predator species in his dynamic. He demonstrates what happens if he lives without fear to me. He, like we all, need fear otherwise we become unstable. His logical, anchored mannerisms hinge on fear. His strength on Pavho when fighting Burnham indicates that there is something more to his species than prey. If predator is the flip side of Saru, the coin is fear. Remember, Lorca and Burnham are not too fearful at all. They arc toward aggression especially in their decision-making and actions.

Harmony vs. Discord. The vibration originating from the planet Pavho, its effect on Saru and the surroundings in general imply harmony. The battle with the Klingons in space for the USS Discovery suggests discord.

MOTIFS

Communication.  The relay on Pavho sent communications out to other life forms.  Saru became the new communication mechanism when the universalCBS Logo translator did not work in deciphering the Pavhoans’ messages.  And Saru destroyed Burnham and Tyler’s communicators.

Light followed by a Sound. Remember in the first episode “The Vulcan Hello,” there was the Klingon beacon that radiated a light then a sound happened after that. Then Captain Georghiou asked for silence and Lt. Commander Saru explained the sound. After that the Klingons arrived, a fleet of them. This is no different. Planet Pavho flagged the Klingons to this remote location. Another historic battle could develop.

Sonequa Martin-Green confessed Michael Burnham’s first name was derived from Michael, the archangel. Captain Lorca’s forename is Gabriel as in the messenger angel. Where is the other one?

SYMBOLS

Planet Pavho is a symbol of harmony. It could also be an Eden and what humans and other life forms were before discord and strife. It may also symbolize paradise’s abrupt end. The color scheme seem to hint at this peace and tranquility. In the Bible, Eden is a paradise on Earth, but what surrounds this paradise? The planet Pavho reminds me of this. Perhaps a paradise, but violence with the Klingons and the Federation surrounds this place.

REVIEW

The visual and special effects were stunning. I appreciated the use of color schemes on the planet Pavho. The director, John Scott, should give himself a big pat on the back for this one. He had to negotiate the battle scene with the Klingon setting and the Planet Pavho. I would have liked to have seen Burnham and Tyler’s relationship as an Adam and Eve connection. They were in the right place for it. To me, Saru’s behavior may not be that far removed from him. We only know the prey species of his kind not the predator one. The predator species may enlighten us to Saru and his behaviors, fear versus aggression. We’ll see.

IN SUMMATION

Star Trek: Discovery’s Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum was another good episode. It had a lot of twists and the series can still take a lot of turns in that it still doesn’t answer as many questions as it asks. That makes for a great story. The directing was specifically memorable. The Discovery series in filling out more with plot about the Klingons and Burnham’s relationship with crew members. Discovery is turning out to be an exceptional Star Trek series.