We’re a Quarter of the Way to Renewing the Comic For Another Series!

Thanks to a number of amazing readers we are 25% of the way to the donation goal needed to keep this comic going for another story line and beyond. And we did it in less than two weeks. $100 a month is all it’s going to take. That pays for my web hosting and the hours I spend away from work and family drawing eight strips a month. At this rate I’m pretty sure it can be done before Mudd Slide wraps up. But it can’t happen without you. Spread out over the year, the cost of funding this comic per person would equal that of a fancy graphic novel, which is exactly what you get here week after week.

Visit my Patreon site add to the growing support. And thanks again!

Want to Keep the Comic going and Fund a New Motion Control System? Contribute to My Patreon!

Click the image above to donate. Read below for more details.

Hello, dear readers. This comic has been serving you for five years now. I’ve amassed a pretty loyal following of nearly one thousand readers over that time. I love making the comic and I love the community of commenters I get to read every week. But, it’s getting harder to keep up with each week. I’ve never wanted to make a living from this as Star Trek is not mine, but some support for materials and work are allowed by Paramount/CBS’s fan production rules. So, I’m asking for donations to keep this – and a lot of my other side work – going. If I reach at least $100 a month the continuation of the comic beyond Mudd Slide will be assured. Donations get you access to each strip a day early as well as it’s underlying as well as perks like scripts and model sheets.

What other side projects am I up to? Some of you know I’m an avid modeler. What most of you don’t know is I’ve been working for the last year on a computerized motion control system that allows shooting of models with multiple, identical exposure passes. It doesn’t just make for great looking videos, but could be a boon to amateur film makers. Check out the results I’ve had so far:

I’d like to keep refining this project, but it too needs funding to keep going. I’m looking to get proper lights, make more models, and continue to tweak the controller software. In the process I’ll be posting my results as well as tutorials. Interested? Start your monthly donation today!

Nothing Makes Any Sense as Discovery’s Finale Rushes to Tie Up Loose Ends

Soap operas and serious dramas seem worlds apart, but they actual have a very simple difference: themes and character development. Soaps don’t have them. They move from one plot point to another without caring about character growth or moral lessons. They focus only on what will be the most shocking happenstance the writer can inflict to make you go “Oh, geez! That’s awful!”

Shocking happenstances aren’t bad. For instance, in the Battlestar Galactica reboot when Adama is shot by Boomer at the end of season one it’s shocking as hell, but it’s also part of a long nature-over-nurture debate involving Boomer’s hidden programming vs her self awareness as a human being. Adama, if he lives, will also have to deal with the fact that his most trusted pilot is his sworn enemy and should he react to the programming or the woman?

Discovery desperately wants to be a drama. It has good characters with good relationships. They have very well defined outlooks that clash in very specific ways. No one on Discovery is a cipher. But, somehow, again and again, the show simply screwed the pooch on its conflict resolution blowing any chance at a unifying theme and character growth out the door in favor of shocking the audience.

Let’s take Lorca. He’s a bad dude from beginning to end. He’s got a wake of dead bodies behind him. He manipulates people through very precisely observed weaknesses. He’s got his hands in several different character’s heads including Burnham, Tyler, Stamets, and Admiral Cornwell. He’s got plans that are beyond the government’s intentions and knowledge. As a Star Fleet captain he’s a pretty decent villain.

His resolution as an evil twin from another dimension, handled before the ending of the season, is a complete waste of the character and premise and seems done just to defy viewer expectations. Not only does Lorca immediately lose any of his power as a reflection of our own society, he loses his power over the crew itself so that opposing him is a no-brainer. He might as well have randomly morphed into a giant spider. Of course we had to shoot him! Look at those fangs! That’s soapy.

Lorca was also dispatched before he could really do anything to negatively influence our crew. What position has the Discovery really been put in this season that was an overt ethical challenge that they failed? None that I can really think of. The Tardigade’s treatment was a good first step, but they properly solved that dilemma almost immediately. The water bear lived. No real harm done. Stamets certainly broke the law by making himself a chimera, but it’s not truly unethical as he did it to spare the tardigrade and never used his powers to hurt anyone else. It’s more of a self sacrifice. Other than being tricked into eating a Kelpian, Michael hasn’t done anything particularly bad. Neither has Tilly, who’s still an innocent toothy grin by season’s end. There’s no lasting mark here. When the next season starts these guys won’t be dealing with fighting the new outlook Lorca poison them with. There will be no taint of war and compromise when they visit their strange new worlds. They’ll just be your average, squeaky-clean crew.

The last problem with Lorca’s spiderfication is that no one really got to face off with him in a philosophical way. Burnham beats him in combat. The crew learns he’s a spider off-site and just goes along with it because, again, fangs. No one challenges his ethics directly or gets their’s challenged in return. There’s no thematic struggle and no real resolution. The spider gets stomped, end of story.

Even individual character arcs, like Tyler’s PTSD, are consistently dumped. He’s not damaged by what this war has done to him, he’s just got a spider inside him. Stomp it. All is forgiven. Stamets was a major character in the beginning of the show with the biggest moral qualms about everything that was going on. By the end he’s just a plot tool with a dead husband. And what of the hero of the show, Michael Burnham? What does she learn? Her fatal flaw was jumping the gun by mutinying for her own sense of right. At the end of the series she mutinies against Star Fleet for her own sense of right. She doesn’t even think twice before rejecting authority again, but this time she’s rewarded. I mean, how great would it have been if Michael was so damaged by her mistake and so wrapped up in not repeating it that she can’t see evil in the form of a captain who’s actually wrong coming?

And now we get to the finale. Lorca’s ethical testing of Star Fleet’s limits is replaced by someone we barely know and is an obvious spider from the beginning. Mirror Philippa shows no signs of reform, so opposing her is also a no-brainer. The crew is tricked into doing the awful duty of destroying Qo’nos, so refusing to do it when the reveal hits is also a no brainer. None of these people have once abandoned their moral compass over the course of the season, so of course when the time comes they’ll do the right thing. I mean, how great would it have been if Michael, still loyal to the image of Philippa and seeped in her own tragic history with the Klingons thought killing them all would be a good idea for just a moment? There’s no real tension in the end scene other than whether Philippa will go rogue and drop the bomb anyway, and why would she with no real stake in the war or even this universe? She literally goes “meh!”

And “meh” is the best reaction I can give to this finale. I avoided writing about last week’s episode because it was all setup and no story. And that really was a mistake. Not only was it dull to watch, but the finale itself definitely needed more time to percolate. The accusation of “rushed” I keep hearing from others who’ve reported on it is an understatement. Burnham says “no” to genocide without a second thought, places the mentally-challenged L’Rell in power, and ends the war in about five minutes of running time.

Fan-wank was off the charts in this one. Just off the top of my head there were Orion’s, fried Ceti Alpha brain slugs, Clint Howard, Trills getting tattoos, and mentions of Mintakens and Nausicaans. And, then, of course, the ultimate act of fan happy-endings, the Enterprise shows up.

And yet, in a lot of ways, this is one of the best Discovery episodes in a while. Our crew gets deposited on one of the most enjoyable sci-fi outlaw worlds since Mos Eisley. Tilly antics are off the charts. I laughed out loud a couple of times. Drugs, whale meat, bi-sexual orgies. What more can a sentient being ask for? And that’s the frustrating thing about this show. We’ve got these great characters who do great stuff in the right situations, but they’re constantly betrayed by screwing the landing.

So what is Discovery’s theme this season? Is it that mutiny is ok under the right circumstances? Is it that unifying your enemy makes them less powerful? That corruption is always external? That good people are always good? I don’t really know. And what about it’s main backdrop, war? What was said about that? Did this even need to be a war show, or could it have just been a mirror universe/bad technology arc? What did all its disparate parts add up to? Nothing is really dealt with in a way that makes sense, including the insidious problem of the Federation basically installing the Klingon’s new leader. What are the ethics in that?

Finally I’ll talk about the soap opera ending to end them all, the arrival of the Enterprise in the last minute to, I guess, set up season two. This was a mistake on a number of levels other than pure, wanton, service to the audience. The Discovery crew deserves a ride into the sunset and they didn’t get one because another problem eclipsed it. And the umbera doesn’t just cover their happy ending, but the cast themselves because no one watching was thinking about the current crew or what their next adventure will be when the Enterprise shows up. They’re thinking about if they’re going to see Spock and who’s going to play him and Pike, and Number One, and will Jose Tyler actually be Hispanic this time?

Remember how annoyed people were that The Next Generation’s second episode was a direct ripoff of an Original Series story? Well, this is that, but if the actual Original Series crew also showed up and did stuff. It’s not allowing this crew to stand on their own. The star power of the crew we already know is inevitably going to outshine them. That’s not really fair to them or us.

And it’s not even a good cliffhanger. Much like the midseason ender we’re left with zero tension. Ok, it’s the Enterprise. So? She’s not covered in tentacles or bleeding plasma. She’s just there. The shock of seeing her is presented as value enough like a long-thought-dead sibling walking through the door. That’s soapy.

Well, whatever. I promised myself if they ended the dumb Klingon war I’d watch the next season, and I will. Discovery is still a huge mixed bag with a lot of promise. As a jaded asshole I can’t say I’m expecting the next season to improve things. At the very least I can look forward to some dumb entertainment with characters I like, but shouldn’t 21st century Star Trek be more than that?

Discovery’s Finale is Upon Us!

Remember folks, the last episode of Discovery’s debute season is up for streaming right now. You can be sure I’ll have something to say about it tomorrow, so stay tuned to the site. Until then I’ll just leave you this picture of Commander Saru and John, the mechanic who fixed a puncture in my car wheel last month with no other commentary.

Today’s Comic Has Been Reposted

Due to an error, today’s comic was a repeat of last Friday’s. This has been fixed. So, if you woke up to some digital déjà vu, please check back again. Sorry for the confusion.

Lorca, He’s Just This Guy, You Know? – What’s Past is Prologue Review

In exchange for sitting through a season of tedious space battles instead of the frontiersman good times we expect from a Star Trek show Discovery offered us a chance to look at the Federation and its idealism in a new way. Through Captain Lorca we would see how a corrupting force from within could take advantage of a perilous moment in history. How a crew of naive scientists and do-gooders could grapple with their ideals with a leader who tells them to put those ideals aside. Does war require drastic measures? Can ideals survive in a fight for survival? Is there a middle ground? Instead we got a clear-cut monster from another universe. And after he disintegrated we got another.

By changing Lorca from a nuanced opportunist born from our own inadequacies into an external threat bringing ideas we’d otherwise never come up with, Discovery instantly changes from a drama to a soap opera. Lorca is no longer a philosophical lynch pin, he’s a plot point. There’s nothing left to argue with. The evil twin tricked us. Thank goodness no one’s having his baby. We’re all free and clear. No harm, no foul, no lesson learned.

Not only that, but Mirror Lorca isn’t even subtle in his evil. As a human supremacist trying to kill Queen Philippa for being lax on boarder security, he’s apparently bad even for the Mirror Universe. But this has been a reoccurring problem for the entire show’s run: they can’t write subtle villainy to save their lives. Harry Mudd could have been a commentary on the lengths civilians have to go to to survive wars they had no say in. Instead he’s just a Klingon collaborator. The Klingons themselves seem to have had other desires beyond outright war, now they’re just a faceless, knife-wielding onslaught. Honestly, when you’re dealing with enemies like this are there any holds that can be barred?

This was the same problem with Krall in Beyond. He didn’t actually challenge our notions of anything about the Federation as promised over and over by Simon Pegg. He was just a war loving vampire. Punch him in the face. Kick him out the airlock. Problem solved. Let’s check out our new ship.

What’s worse, it seems like Queen Philippa is just going to move right in where Lorca left off, tempting our crew to be bad with her Mirror Universe ways in an even more dire situation. So the Mirror Universe plot really is filler and padding. Some of the faces have changed, but the status quo remains. Discovery still has to figure out how to win the war with the aid of another other-worldly evil at the helm.

We could have really done without any of this. Lorca could have been left as a Prime Universe a-hole who tricked Stamets into jumping nine months into the future instead of to the Mirror Universe. We’d wind up in the same dire situation for him to corrupt the crew with instead of Mirror Philippa getting a shot at the same result. That way he avoids any repercussions for his earlier wrong doings and becomes highly relevant and indispensable again. Four episodes of side-tracking fluff are suddenly clipped from the schedule.

On to the confusing minutia: what the hell exactly was Burnham’s “good plan” that wound up defeating Lorca? Her and Philippa just beat up everyone in the throne room. That’s not really a plan. And what does Philippa think turning off the shield for the spore reactor is going to do? Does she know Burnham is going to let Discovery blow up her ship with her on it? It doesn’t seem that way.

The one moment in this episode that I cheered for was when Burnham grabbed Philippa during her beam out. It was the obvious thing to do, but still emotionally satisfying. Actually, I cheered for two things. When Philippa stabs Lorca in the back and he tumbles forward, Burnham sort of moves out of the way instead of catching him even though she just spared his life. It’s that whole “not letting the hero get their hands dirty” trope Disney loves, but it was also emotionally satisfying. I mean, fuck that guy.

So, the big hand-to-hand combat tactic in the Mirror Universe is killing your own ally who’s fighting with your enemy to get to your enemy. Even for the Mirror Universe that seems cruel and wasteful.

Goodbye, Ursula K. Le Guin

I just wanted to take a moment to say farewell to one of my favorite science fiction writers. Le Guin was introduced to me by my wife a decade ago with the book “The Dispossessed”. The Vrapnahr’s anarchist collective in “Mudd Slide” is very loosely based on the Odonians in that story. Le Guin is one of those writers who’s work is incredibly focused and solid, so much so that any of her books would make for amazing cinema. It’s a shame so little of it has been adapted. Living so close by to her, I’d always hoped we might have a run in, even for a moment of quick pleasantries. It’s sad to think that’s impossible now.

Oh no! It’s Not Padding! Man in the Mirror Review

There’s only one thing worse than fanwank filler: Fanwank plot. I have to eat a big old pot full of crow, folks. The Mirror Universe storyline isn’t just something to pad out Discovery’s season, it is an integral part of the season’s arc.

So here’s the big reveal: The Lorca we know as Discovery’s captain is really his Mirror Universe doppelgänger. You can tell because now all Mirror Universe people have a sensitivity to light. That’s how you know they’ve been planning this the whole time. I guess this is why Lorca was able to “survive” the destruction of his previous ship. He didn’t. He was just replaced.

I have not been watching Discovery as an actual part of the Star Trek “prime universe”. To me it’s a pretty straight forward reboot. Nothing in it aligns at all with the Star Trek of the past few decades. It’s not just the look. History, characters, species, and technology have all been reworked into something unique. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. When franchises are weighed down by 50 years of deadweight canon you need to clean house. Very few of the eight million people who tuned into Discovery’s pilot on CBS had probably seen any Star Trek other than the recent Chris Pine films. They may know who Spock and the Klingons are, but not much else.

That’s why dipping into the Mirror Universe makes about as much sense as bringing back Khan in Into Darkness. It’s a reference that has no resonance to anyone but the most diehard fans. So making it a central part of this new universe is completely insane. In order to get it you have to have watched two episodes of The Original Series (“Mirror, Mirror” and “Tholian Web”) and Enterprise’s “In a Mirror, Darkly”. And nobody watched Enterprise. It’s confusing to new viewers at best, and a complete turn off at worst.

And I can relate to this. I have only ever watched the recent revival of Doctor Who. Under Russell T. Davies the show had a few major call backs to old villains, but mostly just Daleks and Cybamen – the Klingons and Romulans of that franchise – and they were mostly revamped or treated as an understandable backstory that enriched without needing to be fully understood. But when Steven Moffat started running things the references got more and more esoteric. Davros? Zygons? Ice Warriors? Most of these concepts were thrown in with little explanation forcing me to read about some terrible one-off episode from forty years ago. I don’t want to do homework to enjoy a show. I just want to be entertained.

There’s another reason why making the Mirror Universe so central to the story is a terrible idea. It just complicates things. We already have a lot going on in the normal universe, what with the spore drive and the Klingons, and the character dynamics. Now we have to intermix it with a 1960’s gimmick that was probably created just to put Leonard Nimoy in a Van Dyke? We have to double all the characters, give them dynamics too, create an entirely different, secondary political environment, and then smash it all together? And for what? I guess we’ll see next episode.

I think this all bolsters the theory I had in the midseason finale review. Discovery’s writers aren’t at all interested in the story they started out with. The Klingons are intensely stupid creatures. The war with them is senseless and yields very few interesting plot lines. We’ve spent so little time on the front lines of this big battle, and for good reason. War is boring as hell. Just look at The Last Jedi. Every moment of that movie that dealt with contraptions shooting at each other was an utter snooze fest. We’ve all seen enough Rambo heroics and lumbering battle cruisers in our lives. It just doesn’t breed good interpersonal drama. So, maybe the Mirror Universe actually is some kind of padding. In the end it’s not a way to draw out Discovery’s main story, but to avoid it.

On the individual plot point front, there’s a lot of niggling little annoyances to drive you batty:

• L’rell really is as dumb as rock. In some great villain monologuing she willingly blurts out that Tyler/Voq is the key to the Klingons winning the war while the guy is strapped to a chair.

• Burnham tells Mirror Georgiou that quantum blah-blahs are impossible to fake. Is that why she was able to convert all the atoms in Discovery in a matter of seconds from her bridge station?

• If Discovery now knows about the Defiant and interphase, can they warn the crew not to enter that area of space? After all your past is my future and all that!

• Culper’s death now has a larger purpose, but I’m even more unhappy with it. A living Culper could have been written into the story as an anchor to bring Stamets back as easily as a dead one. I also counted four times during the episode that I had to watch a replay of the murder. I’m as tired of it as seeing L’Rell’s nipples, which are also flashed back to on the regular these days.

Popular Mechanics is also tired of the amount of violence on Discovery. Their review of this episode talks about almost nothing but that.

You Mean There’s More?! The Wolf Inside Review

The diversion continues as Discovery wraps up the middle part of what’s turning out to be a Mirror Universe trilogy of episodes. I’m not really wild about this. While the story is definitely pushing forward, it’s hampered by the tedious anxiety of people who don’t want to be found out. Does the inevitable revelation of Tyler/Voq and Burnham’s utter betrayal really work that well when it needs to be whispered under the threat of an even more evil third party? What is the Mirror Universe getting us that couldn’t have been done better in the proper one?

The answer is an almost adventure game-like hint at how this show will wrap up the Klingon war. When Burnham makes her head scratchingly quick and easy way to the rebel leadership, it turns out it’s headed by Mirror Voq. When he tells her the Klingon people will only open themselves to outsiders once its own internal factions are unified I could hear the little “ding” that lets you know you’ve scored a point.

Let’s talk about this rebel meeting for a moment. It’s a “federation” of aliens made up of Klingons, Vulcans, Tellarites, and Andorians. Burnham wonders aloud how such disparate aliens could get along, and in doing so shows us one of the major problems of science fiction and fantasy genres: the one note race. Vulcans, Klingons, Dwarves, and Elves– they all have a single trait that defines them as a species. In the real world this would be incredibly racist, but in genre fiction it’s some how ok. Burnham walks through the rebel group like a Klansman on an episode of Jerry Springer calling out everyone there based on stereotypes: the warrior, the peacenik, the willful jerk. The Andorian literally has a look on his face of “what did she just call me?” When Burnham starts picking apart Mirror Voq it gets even worse with her interrogating him on why he’s not all the things she personally expects from a Klingon. Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Meanwhile, back on Discovery, we get another glimpse at the empty corridors of the heroic ghost ship. Tyler didn’t bother to hide poor Doc Culber’s body. He just let Stamets out of the force field so the two could have some posthumous cuddle time. Several hours later some tech assigned to replace a broken lightbulb accidentally spots them. We’ve seen these very corridors before on Burnham and Tilly’s Disco run. They were packed. So why does it now look like the Glenn after the tardigrade got loose? Also, why doesn’t anyone suggest they review the sickbay video log we all know would exist by now? If it’s tampered with that alone points to a murderer other than Stamets.

I hate to be upset with any scenes involving my beloved Tilly whose light shines a beacon of joy and hope on everything it touches, but her technobabble attempts to wake Stamets up are the very reason I stopped watching Star Trek in the 90’s. Seeing people push buttons and talk out their asses is not fun to watch. There are so many ways bringing someone back to reality could be sexed up. I kept thinking, “show me what’s going on in Stamets’s head!”, but the writers refused until the end scene where we see a mental avatar of Stamets meet his Mirror doppelgänger. Why wasn’t this seen through the whole episode? Instead of Tilly button pushing, why weren’t we privy to a Stamets fighting madness, grappling with his husband’s death, and trying to find out for himself how he got trapped in this fugue state until he stumbles upon the Mirror Stamets? That would have been interesting to watch. The very fact that the writers give us this at the end makes me even more annoyed. They obviously knew what to do, they just didn’t.

All in all, this was another filler episode with not much going on. The Mirror Universe schtick is such a distraction from the main plot. The writers seem too invested it in, though, to give us any real drama back on Discovery. Now the faceless Emperor of the Galaxy is Captain Georgiou? She sure is well recognized by the Shenzhou for someone so secretive.

One great thing about this episode? Andorians don’t have ears again!

Long Live Captain Tilly – “Despite Yourself” Review

After over a month hiatus, Star Trek: Discovery is back to let us know what was such a big deal about their midseason non-cliff hanger. “Into the Forest I Go” left us with the Discovery sitting in normal space in no immediate danger with only their exact location as a real mystery. In the premiere we now know what that big deal is. They’re in the Mirror Universe! Yawn!

I’ve been grading this show on a curve so far because so many, many people who have probably never seen it hate it on mere principal. It doesn’t look like their Star Trek! There’s minorities and gays! Orville is the real Star Trek! There’s a lot to like about Discovery when given a chance, but when it fails, damn does it fail hard. And this episode is beyond my ability to make excuses for. With the exception of Captain Tilly using the dismembered tongues of her enemies to lick her boots, it’s just plain bad.

There’s a lot here I could dwell on:
• Escaping from the main plot into the well-worn fan-wank of the Mirror Universe is an obvious attempt at padding.
• Tyler is so obviously Voq, and that’s fine. It’s the worst kept twist in the history of television, but it’s fine.
• Cutting out of “Into the Forest I Go” after the Vulcan ship opened fire would have been the proper place to splice this two-parter in half with any amount of tension.
•Every new Star Trek property seems to be really keen on breaking away from the established canon in all the previous shows with the exception of Enterprise. What is it about that show that made most of us bail on the franchise but that producers and writers love so much? Discovery and the JJ film runners have had the courage to change the Klingons, the aesthetics, the technology, characters’ histories, but Enterprise is some kind of sacred cow?
• Are elbow joints really the best they could do to update the Defiant to Discovery’s aesthetic?
• Can’t anyone else get in the spore-drive chair? There was nothing particularly special about Stamets. I’m assuming anyone willing to have their limbs punctured could make a jump.

But all of that is really secondary to the enormous disappointment that turns this episode from a standard “where are they going with this?” annoyance to full-on garbage: the murder of Dr. Culber. This senseless act was obviously done for shock value alone. And when I say “shock” I don’t mean surprise. It was the obvious cliché thing to do. I mean the shock that they actually thought we’d buy it.

A lot of mental gymnastics had to take place in order to kill poor Doc Culber. He’d have to be stupid and incompetent on a number of levels. First, he reports a huge diagnosis concerning the security of the ship to the patient directly. That’s something we’ve never seen before on Star Trek. This isn’t a hospital, it’s a military ship on high alert. A patient with a possible secondary personality implanted by the enemy is something Culber should have reported to the captain first. Think of all the times Bone’s whispered a diagnoses to Kirk over the comm or in person. There should have been security in the room. Barring all that Culber should have read Tyler’s obviously desperate body language. There was a force screen around Stamets. I kept expecting Culber to raise the one around Tyler. He had all the time in the world to do so.

But even worse than that is the problem of the Discovery’s convenient and baffling emptiness in key stations around the ship. The only time Discovery looks like a well staffed ship is during meals and parties. Otherwise it’s deserted. This includes the engine room and sickbay, two places that should be swarming with people all the time. And yet any idiot can sneak into either of these deserted areas and do whatever harm at will. In the case of Culber’s murder there are no nurses or lab techs present to witness it or intervene. No one is there to discover the body in the hours that Burnham is on her mission with Tyler. All this while Stamets, an extremely high-priority patient who’s status is in constant flux and is vital to the ship, is being tended to. Are you kidding me?

All in all, “Despite Yourself” had the series’ usual good pacing, decent action, and fun character moments. I’m especially relieved they ditched the Mirror Universe’s bare-middrift outfits. Burnham’s pep talk about what it means to be a captain is spot on. Lorca smacking his face on the wall before being presented as a fake prisoner is pretty hardcore. But the episode’s plot was pure trash. So much so that nothing in the second part could possibly save it. Not even if Culber’s death is somehow reversed by Stamets’ spore powers. Not even if Captain Tilly left Lorca behind in the agony booth, single handedly won the war, and returned Discovery to an exploratory mission with herself at the helm.